Nintendo on Zelda: Tri Force Heroes' multiplayer, tested online chat, but decided against it

Coming from a Verge interview with director Hiromasa Shikata...

"In a lot of multiplayer games there are a lot of people, but they're not really playing together, That was the main focus — building a multiplayer game that requires cooperation At its heart, Four Swords was kind of a party game.

(Link's emoticons) Are actually creating a new form of communication. I believe it might be a little bit stressful for players to try to figure out how to communicate what they want to do, but I think that because of that feeling, when you're able to do it successfully there's a level of satisfaction that you don't find in other games. Yes, we did (consider voice chat). With voice chat, what we would see is a highlight in the difference of experience levels between the players. Higher players would tell lower players what to do, and lower players would wonder why they're being told what to do."


"With voice chat, what we would see is a highlight in the difference of experience levels between the players. Higher players would tell lower players what to do, and lower players would wonder why they're being told what to do."

This is actually very interesting. With the Voice Chat, the player is being told, they aren't figuring it out. However, with the hinting ability the game offers, the players can figure things out that way and get better at the game for the more difficult levels ahead. It's a pretty neat take at a learning curve.

This is getting ridiculous. It's a co-op puzzle game. It needs voice chat. End of story. How do you think Portal 2's co-op would have been if it didn't have voice chat? Sure, it maybe could've been done, but it wouldn't have been nearly as good. If people don't want to be told what to do, they can turn the voice chat off.

It's like the ordeal with SwapNote scarred Nintendo permanently and made them hate online communication.

Portal 2's co-op is playable without voice chat...

On top of that, why does voice chat honestly matter for this game?

Like look, you can play it by yourself and not have to worry about any of this in the first place, or you can play with 2 buddies who will either be in the room with you or very likely readily available on some chat service. This isnt a fast paced game like Splatoon so whats the big deal about pausing to discuss how to solve a puzzle every few minutes?

Thu Jun 18 15 03:50pm
(Updated 1 time)

That's funny you specifically mention Portal 2 because they have the ping tool, which is very similar to the emoticons you use in this game. I played Portal 2 with people without voice chat many times. I've found there are a lot of people that don't have mics or don't use them, at least on PC. It's an extra challenge only using the ping tool, but it's still fun (unless you're being trolled).

I would still much prefer to have the option of voice chat though, especially with friends. It makes the experience more enjoyable, easier, and thus less frustrating.

Maybe I could have worded that better. I know about the ping tool, and it's the reason I chose Portal 2 in particular; it's an example of a game that can be done without voice chat, but is much better with. Nintendo stating they chose not to include voice chat is just them saying they want to needlessly shut out everyone who isn't satisfied with a "ping tool". There's no reason for them not to take the minuscule amount of time/resources out to add voice chat + an option to turn it off.

Even though this excuse sucks it's not as bad as the excuse for the lack of voice chat in Splatoon.

I don't know, I think Splatoon works fine without voice chat. But this is a puzzle game where you have to work together much more tightly than Splatoon. If you can't tell someone what they need to do, then you have to wait around for them to figure it out. Often all three players have to be coordinated precisely; if one player doesn't know what to do then it could be very frustrating for the other players.

Thu Jun 18 15 02:51pm
(Updated 1 time)

I know Splatoon works fine without voice chat. I'm comparing the excuses they gave. This excuse is lame but not as lame as a butthurt developer who got callled a piece of crap online one time or whatever so he chose not to include voice chat at all...

If I pick this game up I'll be playing by myself in single player.

Playing with people that have never played a Zelda game and have no clue what to do is infuriating.

Oh that is a load of ****. "Well, players tell each other what to do with voice chat, so we decided not to allow cooperative communication in a cooperative game."

That's it. I'm done. This just went off my guaranteed pull list.

I'm preeeeetty sure they're more talking, "We don't want one player micromanaging/hand holding the others. Even more so, we don't want that one player cursing out/insulting the inexperienced players when things don't go their way." Of course that could just be a small fraction of players out there.

And that's still not even considering the potential language barrier if you're playing with foreign players (I mentioned lower in this thread).

This isn't brain surgery or Seal Team Six. It's a co-op Zelda game. Voice chat would've been cool, but freakin'... people need to stop acting like online games are 100% unplayable just because of the lack of one feature. "Blah, blah, blah options, blah blah" be darned... lest we forget there's still pings/emoticons.

Oh yes, pings and emoticons, those so make up for the inability to speak to my friends as I play the game. To verbally congratulate each other, to make figuring out the puzzles easier, to make coordinating strategy easier, to make the game function better. The potential for cranky players and foreigners does not outweigh the benefits of voice chat. This is not something that is defensible for anyone but an apologist.

This is not something that is defensible for anyone but an apologist.

Oh, no no no. You're free to your opinions and you're free to disagree with me, but please don't play the "apologist" card. You might as well just tell me to "Shut up." and save yourself the time/key strokes... And it's just as easy for me to play the "entitled" card on you and call it a day.

My stance isn't so much excusing the lack of voice chat, but that it's crazy to think someone would skip out on a potentially good game due to the lack of ONE feature as if it's virtually unplayable now. If verbal communication really means that much to you, and you're specifically talking about playing with friends, there are other alternatives. Regardless of whether that makes Nintendo lazy or not, you [probably] have a phone. You can get Skype on your computer/phone/tablet/TV. Literally any other option would probably have better quality than trying to talk and listen through the 3DS mic and speakers...

I mean, I feel you on the lack of voice chat. And if we were paying a subscription-based online service, I'd probably be shaking my fist right there with you. But IMO, that shouldn't be the deal-breaker. As opposed to the game possibly being a boring mess, broken, unplayable, politically/intellectually/personally offensive, just not for you in terms of genre/play style.

Fri Jun 19 15 03:13am
(Updated 1 time)

You're an apologist. You are justifying a colossally stupid decision on Nintendo's part, and it's not a defensible one to any logical person. You are, quite simply, wrong. There is no arguing this. You can try to justify it, claim there are alternative communication methods, claim that one missing feature won't make it unplayable, and you'd be right on the latter, however the former is absolute bull****. I shouldn't have to go outside of a game to use a feature that should be built into it, that we all know works on the 3DS, that the 3DS quite literally can handle without any added devices. There is no valid excuse for it not to be in there and attempting to defend that decision makes you an apologist. You are wrong and this is not an opinion.

As someone who actually got to play the game, and played the hardest level in the demo with two other people also tethered to a Nintendo rep, I walked away thinking voice chat was nearly essential for that game. I've played a lot of Zelda games. I can't speak for the other two people I played with, but they weren't idiots, and we died multiple times on the boss of that level, even with voice chat. Voice chat made that fight much easier. It was very hectic, and the idea of having to use my already busy fingers to also select an emoticon would make an already difficult fight more arduous, and more importantly, it would make it frustrating because I would just want to be told (or tell) something directly and specifically. Not having to use an unwieldy facsimile of a very common and often times well-liked feature for multi-player games.

Long story short, it's probably not unplayable without it, but I don't want to play it without it. Communicating with my teammates was certainly not a mere minor feature during my time with the game.

Hearing your impression at least convinces me to be at least slightly concerned, if not completely changing my stance on the "no voice chat" matter. Much more effective than an above poster slinging "No excuse! You're an apologist and you're wrong!" at me. :V

It is a shame to hear that the emote system might not be the 100% solution I thought it'd be. But guess I still stick to my stance on how there are 3rd party alternatives if voice chat is wanted between friends and Nintendo doesn't ultimately include the function at launch, as footwork-y as that might be for some...

Anyway, thanks for the response.

no worries, by now a lot of people have xbox360s, we can just use the FREE voice chat feature TO PLAY ZELDA!

Really, there is nothing to worry about!!

Not even considering the experienced arguing with the inexperienced, if this Triforce Heroes game is world wide rather than regional for online play (like Splatoon), there's gonna be that language barrier issue.

Lord help you if you're stuck playing with any player from a non-English speaking country... Emoticons and preset regional text has much more effect in those cases.

And that is why I'm thankful it's not in the likes of Splatoon.

It'd scare new and or younger players off, and just piss everyone else off.

And I just decided not to support this game..sorry zelda..instead that day I'll spend that money on another console..

What I find infuriating about this, is if you watch the Treehouse Live segments, they prove how important communication is for this game! Sure, we can use Skype or whatever, which I will, but we shouldn't have to. I played through Four Swords Adventures with some friends, and it was an absolute blast, so my hype for this game is pretty high, but the lack of integrated voice chat really knocked me down a few pegs.

Voice Chat on modern systems has a thing called MUTE. It's super effective.

I get that excuse, since that's what happened to me with some games, and being just told what to do isn't fun, but again: it should be there at least for friends!

Though considering how I have yet to see a Nintendo game that would require it, it's a moot point

Seems like they'll never be adding voice chat.

While I don't care much for voice chat, it's a shame that they cannot give it as an option, with the ability to mute. Judging by the Treehouse presentations for this and Federation Force, voice chat would be helpful (they were constantly chattering, and not for the audience's benefit)

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