Have you ever been to our Nintendo forums? If not, you’re really missing out. See, these forums aren’t like any other message boards you’ve been to on the internet. Basically, most of our retired editors, current editors, and soon-to-be editors all hang out there in a soupy nutrient-rich mix of other intelligent users, who all form the nucleus of a thriving, intellectual, and close-knit community.
Yes, I realize that by making this fact known to all, I just opened the floodgates for the trolls to target an actual safe-haven for Nintendo fans to enjoy honest debate and conversation about their favorite company. But, there is so much good going on in those forums that I couldn’t help but share some of the wealth on the front page.
One idea that I had was to share some of the epic posts that are made on the forums in a new segment on the site called ‘Ridiculously Awesome Posts’. Of course, for a post to actually make it to the front page of the site, it’s got to merit the quotation. What I love about this concept is that forum posts can sometimes be so refreshing in comparison to standard news posts and articles. All professionalism is dropped, so-to-speak, and the writer is writing without thinking about how will his words be digested by thousands of readers. He’s merely sharing his ideas in their raw form with other friends. It’s short, it gets right to the point, and it’s about the ideas themselves- not the format of the words around them.
For the first post in this series, I’m quoting a post from our senior VIP editor and writing mentor on the site, Alex Balderas. You can spot him on the forums on any typical day, chatting freely and joking around with everyone else. In this particular post, he responded to another forum member (Superfakerbros) who had posited that Iwata was the perfect president for handheld systems and a weak president for console systems.
This was his response:
“I think Super’s idea of Iwata being a great CEO for handhelds but not for consoles might have a lot of merit. The things that players look for in consoles are very different from those they look for in handhelds, and Nintendo’s work since Iwata took over really does seem to fit the handheld mentality a lot more than the console one.
Handheld games have traditionally been much more about quick bursts of fun than about heavy time commitments. This is not to say that handheld games can’t be deep — think of Kid Icarus with its weapon crafting system and complex combat — but they certainly fare better when they are made to be digested in shorter bursts. Even Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (and Link’s Awakening wasn’t very different as far as I recall) only requires about 20 minutes of your time for each dungeon, regardless of the overworld still being large and filled with secrets.
Console games, on the other hand, have always had a different focus. Ocarina of Time’s dungeons were massive undertakings when we first met them, Shadow of the Colossus’ bosses can take over half an hour each if you don’t know what you’re doing (let alone know where to find them), and games like Uncharted 2 can be referred to as “couch potato” games, where you might spend hours absorbing the game half absent-minded.
Nintendo’s console games used to be largely like this: Super Metroid, A Link to the Past, Star Fox 64, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Metroid Prime 1 and 2, and others. Even games like Super Mario Bros 3 and SMW had to be beaten worlds at a time, a considerably longer investment than New Super Mario Bros’ half-a-world-at-a-time investments, and vastly more so than Super Mario 3D World’s save-after-every-level design. Now, most Nintendo games are designed with that handheld bite-sized mentality, or, occasionally, in a way that accommodates both mentalities (Sin and Punishment 2 is designed in a way that encourages straight play through the whole game, but still allows the player to save between every level, if I recall — Xenoblade, likewise, seems meant to be taken in long strides, but still allows the player to save and quit any time).
In short: Handheld games have typically been like showers, while console (and PC) games have more often been like baths. Lately, Nintendo makes more showers than baths; their showers are the most profitable they have ever been, but their baths seem to be dwindling in popularity.”
So, what do you think? Do you agree with Alex? Is Nintendo losing their touch with lengthy and deep gaming experiences?