Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why I Can't Really Stand Nintendo Any More

Nintendo licenses are a funny thing. I used to love Mario and Zelda, but now I can't stand them any more. What happened?

On the other hand, Square Enix puts out one Final Fantasy after another, and I continue to be fascinated by their games.

Something dawned on me the other day. I don't hate Nintendo's games, I am simply tired of their characters.
What if, instead of making a "new Mario game" every E3, if they just announced their new "platformer"?
And instead of announcing their new "Zelda game", they presented their new "Action Adventure game"?

Nintendo franchises have become synonymous with game genres.
Mario/Mario Galaxy - 3D Platformer
New Mario/Kirby - 2DPlatformer
Pokemon/Paper Mario? - RPG
Zelda - Action-Adventure
Metroid - Shooter
Fire Emblem - Tactical RPG
Star Fox - Flight Sim

It seems to me that they are doing this deliberately. Metroid wasn't always a shooter. They seem to be honing in on genres more specifically over time. They've even gone so far as to bring back sidescroller platforming with the line of New Mario games.

My problem, I realize, isn't so much that their games have gotten too hard, too easy, or poorly problem is that they are just lacking creativity. Every time I see an ad for Nintendo, it's the same dozen or so characters over and over and over.

People adore these characters. I can see why they keep it up. But on the other hand--Think of how much we've been missing the last ten years--if they had put in the effort to expand into new worlds, new characters, new stories, new visual designs...