Author Topic: Our intros sucks  (Read 1206 times)

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Our intros sucks
« on: August 02, 2017, 09:33:43 AM »



They really do, and they haven't gotten much better since the above picture was made. In this post, I'm focusing on game pages because that's what my mind is on, but recurring characters page are also lackluster and I'll get to them eventually.  It's not a standardised kind of suck however. Some are big unappealing boxes crammed with a succession of factoid without care to make them flow well or consideration that the information presented even makes sense to be in the lead...

Quote
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (known as Donkey Kong Jet Race in Europe and Australia) is a racing game in the Donkey Kong franchise. It was released for the Wii in mid-late 2007 in Japan and North America and early 2008 in Europe and Australia. The game was developed by Paon, who previously developed DK: King of Swing and its sequel DK: Jungle Climber. Some game modes present in the game are Jungle Grand Prix, Time Trial, Candy's Challenges and Cranky's Flight School. The game incorporates Miis as indicators for records in Time Trial and Candy's Challenges mode.

Why is Mii support such an important feature that it needs to be mentioned in the first paragraph? And namedropping the mode as is doesn't work for the lead because the reader doesn't have the context of what the modes are. A more generic but informative statement like "The game features a variety of modes like time trial, challenges, and tutorials..." would work much better.

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a side-scrolling 2.5D platform game developed by Retro Studios and Monster Games for the Wii U. It is the fifth game in the Donkey Kong Country series and a successor to Donkey Kong Country Returns. It follows the adventure of Donkey, Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky Kong as they are flung from their homeland and attempt to come back and retrieve it from the Snowmads, an organization of Viking-like seafarers. They appear as antropomorphic, (sub)polar animals ranging from penguins and walruses to owls and hares.

The game was originally slated for release during November 2013 before being pushed back to December 6; it was later pushed back again to February 2014.[7] It can be purchased at retail stores, or digitally from the Nintendo eShop, with the digital version requiring 11300 MB (approx. 11.3 GB) of memory to be installed. Standard set Wii U consoles do not have enough internal memory to have this game downloaded on them without an external storage device, but deluxe set Wii U consoles do.

This one is fine. Mostly. It could stand to be exapnded and the existing writing tightened , but it flows well enough. But that last paragraph stand to be excised. Why is more than half of the lead about the game's file size and the Wii U's data storage options?

Others are just spartan.

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Super Mario 3D World is a 3D platformer action game for the Wii U. It is a follow-up game of the Nintendo 3DS installment Super Mario 3D Land, the fifteenth title in the Super Mario series, the sixth original 3D Mario title, the seventh 3D Mario title overall, and the fifth 3D Mario title on a home console after Super Mario Galaxy 2.

This is all you can write about Super Mario 3D World!? Seriously? (This is a featured article btw)

And then some are on a whole 'nother level of suckitude.

Quote
Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario USA in Japan) is, outside Japan, the second game in the Super Mario series. It originally was for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but was subsequently ported to many other systems. The game was originally released in North America on October 9, 1988, in Europe on April 28, 1989, and in Oceania on May 1989. As a result of Japan already having a Super Mario Bros. 2 (known outside of Japan as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels), the game did not make its debut in the country until after the release of Super Mario World, on July 14, 1992 (making it Japan's fifth installment of the series), under the title Super Mario USA. Super Mario Bros. 2 was re-released the first time on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe and Oceania on May 25, 2007, North America on July 2, 2007, and in Japan on August 10, 2007. The game was later re-released on the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console in Japan on November 28, 2012, North America on July 11, 2013, Europe on August 7, 2013, and in Oceania on August 8, 2013, and even later was re-released a third time on the Wii U's Virtual Console in North America, Europe, and Oceania on May 16, 2013, and in Japan on March 19, 2014. Everyone can play as Mario, Luigi, Toad or Princess Toadstool.

Super Mario Bros. 2 came about after Nintendo of America deemed Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels too difficult for Western audiences and too similar to the first game, which led Nintendo to redevelop the Famicom Disk System game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic into a Super Mario Bros. game for the international release. After its release, the game became a commercial success, and eventually the game became well received enough that it was also released in Japan. After performing well both critically and commercially, Super Mario Bros. 2 has been considered a classic Super Mario Bros. game around the world (including in Japan), and has since been re-released as one of the Mario games featured in Super Mario All-Stars, and as well as having its own enhanced port in Super Mario Advance.

On a skim reading, this intro seems fine. It mentions the release data of the game, its status as a spriteswap of Doki Doki Panic, the player characters, and so on.  But it's seriously mediocre. Obviously including the release date of atleast the original version is mandatory, but you don't need to list the exact release date of every version of the game in every regions. That's what the infobox is for! The intro doesn't even allude to the game's considerably different gameplay mechanics. The statement that "Nintendo of America deemed Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels too difficult for Western audiences and too similar to the first game," is unsourced.  "Super Mario Bros. 2 has been considered a classic Super Mario Bros. game around the world (including in Japan)," is a clunky statement (rather than waffling about SMB2 being a classic Mario game, it could take about its concrete impact on the series like the recurring characters and concept it introduced) and the "including Japan" parenthetical part is both unsubstantiated and unnecessary. Et cetera.

This is for a featured article. As of this writing, SMB2 is the featured article on rotation so this is new reader's first taste of the wiki when they reach the main page. We could do so much better.

I don't fancy myself as a master writer, and I don't want my post here to be taken as an immuable guideline of every intro should rigidly adhere to. But generally, I think there's a formula that works well for introducing a subject like a work of media.


-A [Thing is a [thing] released for the [thing] released in [year], along with mentions of the developer and any notable creative talent involved in the project.

-Where the game stands in its series.

-An one sentence summary of the premise and plot.

-Listing remakes, rereleases and derived media.

-Any notable gameplay additions or input gimmick (WarioWare's twisted tilt sensor, Donkey Konga's bongos)

-A brief mention of the media,s reception and legacy if it's notable for either extremes (Not introducing Donkey Kong Country without mentioning the game's sale success and it single-handely driving the adoption of pre-rendered graphics would be a faux pas, for example).

Good introductions are vital. To quote TV Trope's page on the stock phrase "I suck at summaries"

Quote
To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is a vital way of letting them know that spending it on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing that your reader sees a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a blind-date by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features — ill-advised.

Most online works described in this fashion, needless to say, aren't very good. Furthermore, such stories usually die long before they are completed, due to the author giving up from lack of feedback... Neither is surprising: if the author lacks the skill and dedication to write a proper summary, why should the story itself fare any better?


A wiki ostensibly synthetizes a large amount of information in a way that's ideally accurate, interesting, and concise. A lead is a microcosm of that. If it can't do that from the get-go, it's a problem.

But enough bellyaching for me.What do you think Super Mario Wiki community?
Rest in peace, Walkazo.

Alex95

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 11:32:06 AM »
I'm thinking about rewriting the major character pages at some point anyway, like how I did with Luigi some time ago. Wario and Yoshi are tagged with rewrite, though Mario's could just use some expansion in places. Using 3D World as the example, the sections on Mario's page should be about Mario, not the game.

Ray Trace

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 01:51:55 PM »
Writing intros has always been one of the most difficult parts of article writing, as with any form of writing, so I'm not surprised that our intros aren't the best quality, as sometimes even I struggle to come up with a good one.

Anyway, when writing game articles, I usually write the genre of the game in the intro of the article (many articles don't do that, they just say, fifth installment of the Mario Kart series or whatever, and never actually mention it's a racing game, forcing potential new people -there's always going to be new people- to click a link on what the Mario Kart series is about...less popular series benefit far more than ), as I think it's also a great, small sentence to give people the general idea of what the game is like.

I don't know if the game articles I had a heavy hand in are any good with their intros. I had been following some standard I set up since...I forgot.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Mario Party: Star Rush
Mario Sports Superstars
Mario Kart 8
Mario Party 5
Mario Party 6
Mario Party 7
WarioWare: Touched!




I just realized this, but I really hate it when enemy articles say something along these lines.


Quote
Derp-a-doodle is a creature that first appeared in the Nintendo 10DS game....

There's no need to mention what adjective system this thing appeared in, as it's not notable to the character at all, and it clutters the sentence.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 02:13:17 PM by Baby Luigi »
RIP B. "Walkazo" Dalziel. December 16, 1991 to March 27, 2016.

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 02:24:03 PM »
I just realized this, but I really hate it when enemy articles say something along these lines.


Quote
Derp-a-doodle is a creature that first appeared in the Nintendo 10DS game....

There's no need to mention what adjective system this thing appeared in, as it's not notable to the character at all, and it clutters the sentence.
Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like that. It's clunky and irrelevant to the subject at hand. I've already made a point of removing it whenever I've seen it.

On topic, do you have an example of an article with a gold standard intro, something that could easily be used as a model for other articles?

Glowsquid

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 07:35:03 PM »
For game pages, I think Super Mario Bros. is good. It explains the what when where, gives the reader an idea of its legs and reception and doesn't get bogged down in unncessary details.

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Super Mario Bros. is a video game released for the Family Computer and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. It shifted the gameplay away from its single-screen arcade predecessor, Mario Bros., and instead featured side-scrolling platformer levels. While not the first game of the Mario franchise, Super Mario Bros. is the most iconic, and introduced various series staples, from power-ups, to classic enemies like Goombas, to the basic premise of rescuing Princess Toadstool from King Koopa. As well as kicking off an entire series of Super Mario platformer games, the wild success of Super Mario Bros. popularized the genre as a whole, helped revive the gaming industry after the 1983 video game crash, and was largely responsible for the initial success of the NES, with which it was bundled a launch title. Until it was eventually surpassed by Wii Sports, Super Mario Bros. was the best selling video game of all time for nearly three decades, with over 40 million copies sold worldwide.

For character pages, Bowser's:

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Bowser, sometimes known as King Koopa (Japanese: 大魔王クッパ, Daimaō Kuppa, which translates into "Great Demon King Koopa" or "Great Sorcerer King Koopa", the latter being used in the manual of Super Mario Bros.[1]), is a major character and the main antagonist of Nintendo's Mario franchise. He is the leader and most powerful of the Koopas, a race of evil turtle-like creatures, and has been the archenemy of Mario ever since his debut in Super Mario Bros. He has repeatedly kidnapped or attempted to kidnap Princess Peach with the ultimate goal of defeating Mario and taking over the Mushroom Kingdom, though he has also attempted to conquer various other realms and even the entire universe. Despite his villainous nature, he has occasionally helped Mario and other heroes against common threats and participates with them in their numerous sporting events in spin-off games.
Rest in peace, Walkazo.

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 07:50:40 PM »
My favourite is Dr. Stein's.

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Mad Scienstein[1], originally known in Japan as Arewo *bleep*ain-hakase[2] (meaning "Dr. Arewo *bleep*ain"), and sometimes referred to simply as doc[3], is a recurring supporting character who appears throughout numerous Nintendo games. He has filled a multitude of different roles and professions; including a scientist, researcher, robotics engineer and archaeologist. Mad Scienstein is a comical, elderly man with a large head, glasses, a mustache, and a beard. Despite being around 90 years of age,[4] he demonstrates strong sexual interests.[5]

Mad Scienstein first appeared in the Japan-exclusive game Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru under the name of Arewo *bleep*ain-hakase, where he acts as a researcher who provides assistance to the player in providing useful items. After an absence, he reappears in Wario Land 3, being referred to as Mad Scienstein. Here, he supports the game's antagonist Rudy the Clown, and creates potions which have an effect on Wario and the gameplay. He fills a similar role in Dr. Mario 64, where he assists Rudy the Clown in stealing Megavitamins, and the player must pursue him throughout the game. He has most recently appeared as an archaeologist, known again as Arewo *bleep*ain-hakase, conducting research within the Golden Pyramid in Wario Land 4.

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 04:19:28 PM »
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Quote
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a fighting / beat 'em up game for the Wii. This is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series and the follow-up to Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube. It was designed by Masahiro Sakurai, who also made the preceding Super Smash Bros. games, and developed by a team that was specifically created for it. The game uses a game engine called Havok that mainly focuses on the game physics, which was provided by an Irish company of the same name.[2] After a planned release date of December 3, 2007 in North America, all regions had their release dates pushed back. It was then slated for release on February 10, 2008 in North America, and January 24, 2008 for Japan. However, on January 15, 2008, it was then delayed to January 31, 2008 for Japan[3] and March 9, 2008 for North America.[4] It was released in Oceania on June 26, 2008 and in Europe on June 27, 2008[5].

The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ceased on May 20th, 2014, making it no longer possible to play this game online.[6]

Blah blah blah, release dates blah. Blah blah blah, featured article blah.

Super Smash Bros. Melee
Quote
Super Smash Bros. Melee (known in Japan as Great Melee Smash Bros. Deluxe) is a fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. This is the second installment in the Super Smash Bros. series and is the follow-up to Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Various characters from Nintendo's popular franchises battle on different stages, also taken from the Nintendo franchises. Many major characters of the Mario franchise make an appearance. The game's major focus is the multiplayer mode, while still offering a number of single-player modes.
A lil' better. Still, I think it can mention the stylistic change and its general expansion. "Offering a number of single-player modes" needs to be way more specific and probably mentioned that Meele vastly expanded on Smash 64's paltry single-player (event matches, all-star, multi-man melee, home-run contest) and also adding new important gameplay mechanics especially side-special but also air dodging, sidestepping, charging Smash attacks, and also doubling the character roster, increasing the item selection, more stages, more multiplayer options. It also introduces new important multiplayer modes including Coin and Special Melee. Who can forget the timeless classic, Single-Button Mode!? There is also a collection mechanic introduced, the trophies. This intro doesn't cut it.

Ray Trace

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2017, 04:11:07 PM »
A lil' bump here but I've done much work to rewrite pretty much most of the cited bad examples of intros in this thread, which includes Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast, but also some extra work with Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Superstar Baseball, and Mario Strikers Charged. I think I got the hang of writing intros for articles now. I haven't done Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Melee yet but I will get around to them.

I've come across some more video game intros that desperately need a rewrite/expansion

*Paper Mario: Color Splash (it is only two sentences long)
*Super Mario Odyssey  (it is only three sentences long and it's extremely jarring)
*Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (same with Paper Mario: Color Splash, only two sentences long)

As for currently featured articles...

*Super Smash Bros. (it is only four sentences long and especially bad for a game that has a profound legacy with Nintendo, creating the smash hit series Super Smash Bros.)
*Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (it's okay, but it doesn't really talk about what the game is about aside from the part about receiving critical acclaim, which should be the last thing readers read in the intro, not the part that is the only thing that describes the game to them)
*WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (it's all right for the most part but I feel like an expansion here and there can benefit it)
*Mario Super Sluggers (needs some tweaks here and there, could use some expansion, and that citation needed tag is awful but it's okay for the most part)
*Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (this article doesn't really summarize the game up, most of the intro talks about the differences between it and its enhanced port/remake/whatever. The only summary of this game itself is a brief one-sentence description of the plot, it doesn't really talk about what the game does differently than the first Donkey Kong Country).
*Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (it has the same problems as Donkey Kong Country 2's article)
*Mario Sports Mix (could use an expansion, I feel, it's a little bit bare)
*Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (this intro could use expansion, it has a lot of mechanics that has improved from the original Paper Mario that has a space in the intro for sure, most of this intro just talks about the story of the game and next to nothing about any new features, such as audience, partner health, etc)
*Yoshi's Island DS (the intro never calls this game a 2D platformer and automatically assumes the reader knows what genre Yoshi's Island games are in and how exactly they play like. The sentences don't flow that well either when it is explaining new mechanics, such as what "new babies" means. I also don't like the article says "fewer levels" in the intro it just sounds wrong. The intro isn't that good overall.)
*Mario Party DS (I write a lot of Mario Party intros and I can already tell what needs to be done. Just compare this one to my other Mario Party articles and you can see problems with it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it doesn't talk about the gameplay, the story mode, the collections, and the part that does detail mechanics unique to it need to be far more fleshed out than a simple phrase listing the features unique to the Nintendo DS)
*Mario Party 9 (same problems with Mario Party DS, basically. It's bare and it doesn't even say what the new mechanic is, an essential feature of this article)
*WarioWare: Smooth Moves (the intro should still explain what the WarioWare series about, it automatically assumes readers know what "microgames" are from the getgo. Also, I think the motion control bit could use some expansion, and I think Miis being a pretty persistent part of this game should also be mentioned, as early Wii Mario games liked using them because they were a new feature).
*Mario Tennis Open (needs an expansion, it's a little bit too barren for my tastes)
*WarioWare: Twisted! (could explain what its gameplay actually is in the intro)
*WarioWare: Touched! (heh I wrote this-anyway this could explain what "microgames" are but I can't really criticize my own writing)

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I think that's it. If you want me to go into more detail in my criticisms (such as "needing expansion" criticisms) for any of these articles' intros, I will happily elaborate.
RIP B. "Walkazo" Dalziel. December 16, 1991 to March 27, 2016.

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Re: Our intros sucks
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2017, 04:15:10 PM »
we improve our intros to get articles featured.
Quality post by MKDSF