It has always been an argument amongst some Nintendo fan boys and anti-Nintendo gamers that Nintendo seems to continue to make nothing but Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, etc. type games every single year out of the same cookie cutter formula their best known for. However, games such as \’Super Mario Galaxy\’ put Mario into space and opened up again the 3d familiar open world that Mario 64 introduced and the game only had minimal side scrolling levels. Nintendo put players into the bounty hunter suit of Samus and allowed them to experience her world through a first person experience fighting space pirates, interacting with doors and puzzles, and even allowed a little fun playing in her orange pinball looking form.
Nintendo brought back Donkey Kong in \’Donkey Kong Country Returns\’ spicing up the game with better graphics, music, some new game play mechanics, and more interaction between D.K. and Diddy while playing. These are just a few examples of how Nintendo has broken out of the mold of some of these great franchises and made them more interesting and new.
GameSpot chatted with Bill Trinen, the director of Nintendo\’s product marketing and asked him why Nintendo keeps recycling the old familiar Nintendo house hold names. Trinen responded saying,
\”There is a couple of driving reasons why you keep seeing a lot of the same franchises come back. One, is just the way that we develop games. What we don\’t do is start off and say we\’re going to develop a new game in X series or what are we going to do with it? It\’s really more about what is a fun and interesting new gameplay element or gameplay mechanic? How do we develop that? And then what kind of a character or what series is that really best suited to?\”
Trinen pointed out that once an idea is thrown onto the table then its looked at and discussed as to what character is well known enough to fit perfectly into the new world they have created. It is through using that character with their unique abilities in that particular game that is what will make it fun and more appealing.
At yesterday\’s Nintendo Direct when the sequel to the classic SNES title \’The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past\’ was introduced a lot of people got excited. The idea of putting the once memorable 2d world of that game and \”raising\” it up into a 3D world with new dungeons plus a new game play mechanic was a feast for the eyes and music to the ears. That new game play mechanic was of course having Link be able to turn into a paper version of himself and pass through or move along walls to help him get past certain obstacles. A brand new Yoshi\’s Island game was even announced which got people even more excited.
There is a almost a kind of tug of war going on between adding new elements into refreshed old classics or even sequels to old classics which sometimes leaves many players just plain bored. When asked about how to maintain a balance between all of that Trinen said,
\”You do on the one hand want to try to find a way to bridge that gap between what are the new experiences that we can offer? How can we give the fans what they\’re looking for in terms of new installments in existing series? And it is a balance that you\’ve got to find.\”
Long time fans and even new fans will have to be the ones who decide if they are happy with new installments in preexisting franchises, replaying old classics that have been remastered with better graphics and sound, or totally new entries in old names like Mario that put him into places he\’s never been before that are exciting and fun.
What do you think about Mr. Trinen\’s comments? Leave your comments here on Nintendo Enthusiast.