My problem with Nintendo and the 'If it ain't broke' theory.

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JediMB:

rob_simple:
Mario Sunshine: And what is it you are doing in this new world? Hunting for stars (sorry, Shines) just like you did in Mario 64 and just like you'll be doing in Galaxy. And what story are you talking about? The imposter Mario or Bowser and his son kidnapping Peach? Because that's writing about on par with a saturday morning kid's show.

They're not plot-driven games, for fuck's sake. They're gameplay, environment and challenge-driven. The stars are simply goal posts, and something you collect upon beating the actual challenges set before you.

One moment you are to scale a mountain, the next you race against a rival character, fight a boss battle, attempt to collect flying coins by shooting yourself out of a cannon, explore underwater caverns, help a penguin mother find her baby, or storm a lego fortress that seemingly hovers above hell itself.

The "story" is just a basic fairytale scenario to get you going, or to explain a shift in environments.

Yeah? And how many times have you raced that rival? How many times have you had to climb to the top of something really high? How many times have you stun-locked a boss three times to jump on him or hit his weak spot or swing him into something?

Without a plot, you are just repeating the same motions through the same games. The levels might be different and the extras might be slightly re-skinned but the task is always the same: get the star. Help a mother penguin find her baby in one game is just help X find Y in another game; they're just hoops to jump through to reach the same goal you've been aiming for for four games now.

It doesn't make the games bad, though, they're just not creative or particularly special.

Where the fuck is Battalion Wars 3 Nintendo?

Can someone making this topic turn into an auto warning? Its getting ridiculous now... I'm a nintendo fan, granted, but these topics are just massive amounts of flamebait.

OT- I'm a fan, so I cant offer an unbiased opinion, but I ask the OP, how long has Halo been around? And how long has Mario been around? Both are system mascots, both have spin off games and are hugely popular. Mario started in 2d, switched to the larger titles being in 3d, whilst having 2d games continue (on handhelds). The games are still as popular, and some are heralded as being revolutionary. Compare that to the halo series. Started in 3d, the graphics have improved over time as is to be expected, it helped innovate fps's.

I see both of these not as examples of "If it aint broke, don't fix it" But more like masters of their domain building to make themselves better. Like I say, Im a nintendo fanboy.

Kimarous:
Ignoring all the arguments about innovation and whatnot, I'm just going to say that Majora's Mask is my favourite of the entire Zelda series. Why? Because it felt the most unique out of the rest. A completely different world, a distinct time mechanic, different modes of play via transformations, a strong focus on masks, a gradual sense of impending doom... even if the other games do have their unique mechanics and styles, they don't form the same "whole" that pulled Majora's Mask out from the mould.

Same here. I would also add that of the 2D Zelda games, Links awakening was my favorite.

RafaelNegrus:

Really? I think Pokemon is probably the MOST repetitive game on the face of the planet, (exception for sports sims of course)but it manages to get away with it because each game is essentially an expansion of the last one. The story is a thin veneer at best, and ALWAYS plays out the same way, but people keep buying it for basically a roster expansion. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, but defending Pokemon as innovating from game to game is rather silly.

DigitalAtlas:

Btw, if you want Nintendo to innovate more with Zelda? Shut up about it. No really, think about it. It's the diverse *fanbase* that feels like they know what's best that pulls it apart in two constantly conflicting directions. In short, Ocarina of Time was the worst thing to happen to Zelda.

I don't know what this means. Please elaborate?

The Pokemon thing I really CAN'T explain. All I can say is simply: Have you only been playing single player? Because if you've ever gone through a competitive Pokemon phase, you'd know just how different each game is. Each move they add changes how the entire game is played. Think of the move Stealth Rock and how it made fire types and flying types terrible unless you bring a counter.

As for Zelda, I'll try once more with some quick descriptions, if you still don't get what I mean, I'll try get more detailed, deal?

Basically, every time the Zelda franchise tries to innovate, fans complain. They complain a lot. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword are innovative and fantastic titles that try to do something new with the formula and people just rag on it. And it's mainly the Ocarina of Time loyalists who do the complaining. There are still people who complain that the 3D games aren't like the original and want you to bomb every inch of Hyrule, but they don't get a lot of attention. Back to the Ocarina of Time fanbase, Twilight Princess was basically a gift to them and Nintendo listened to everything the fans wanted.... And it was mostly pretty crappy.

How is what Nintendo does any different than anything any other company does?

Every FPS is nearly the same, every MMO is nearly the same, every JRPG is nearly the same, every platformer is nearly the same... yeah you get my point.

Other than minor nuances, gimmicks, themes, or characters every game is same game these days.

DigitalAtlas:
As for Zelda, I'll try once more with some quick descriptions, if you still don't get what I mean, I'll try get more detailed, deal?

Basically, every time the Zelda franchise tries to innovate, fans complain. They complain a lot. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword are innovative and fantastic titles that try to do something new with the formula and people just rag on it. And it's mainly the Ocarina of Time loyalists who do the complaining. There are still people who complain that the 3D games aren't like the original and want you to bomb every inch of Hyrule, but they don't get a lot of attention. Back to the Ocarina of Time fanbase, Twilight Princess was basically a gift to them and Nintendo listened to everything the fans wanted.... And it was mostly pretty crappy.

The curse of fanbases... No matter what you do, someone will be pissed off.

WanderingFool:

DigitalAtlas:
As for Zelda, I'll try once more with some quick descriptions, if you still don't get what I mean, I'll try get more detailed, deal?

Basically, every time the Zelda franchise tries to innovate, fans complain. They complain a lot. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword are innovative and fantastic titles that try to do something new with the formula and people just rag on it. And it's mainly the Ocarina of Time loyalists who do the complaining. There are still people who complain that the 3D games aren't like the original and want you to bomb every inch of Hyrule, but they don't get a lot of attention. Back to the Ocarina of Time fanbase, Twilight Princess was basically a gift to them and Nintendo listened to everything the fans wanted.... And it was mostly pretty crappy.

The curse of fanbases... No matter what you do, someone will be pissed off.

And with Zelda, Nintendo just needs to do something COMPLETELY different to just make them shush.

I don't blame Nintendo. They have tried to bring out some new stuff (like that Sub-marine game and the game with the armadillo in it) but everybody just keeps buying Mario instead. They have been doing somewhat better since the release of the Wii, as there was the average Wii series and Nintendogs.
Still though, Mario had four games last year. That's just ridiculous. Stop milking this cash cow.
My only real grudge is the Mario series. I looked at Game's "chart" shelf and they had three party games featuring Mario (mario party 9, Boom/Fortune Street, Olympics). That's just bloody ridiculous. If you want to keep making sports and party games, try someone else for once. Maybe Kirby, he would fit well. Or some brand new characters. Anything but those god-damn plumbers.
Even Capcom, who are known for over-milking franchises, have made quite a few brand new games recently, some of which have done pretty well. Dead Rising was great, Lost Planet was pretty successful,and this year alone they have Asura's Wrath and Dragon's Dogma. Just because Mario sells well doesn't mean nothing else will.
Also, if Nintendo made another F-zero for the 3DS, I would buy it as soon as possible.

rob_simple:

Wow, I actually had to crack my knuckles for this one, here we go again...

Mario Sunshine: And what is it you are doing in this new world? Hunting for stars (sorry, Shines) just like you did in Mario 64 and just like you'll be doing in Galaxy. And what story are you talking about? The imposter Mario or Bowser and his son kidnapping Peach? Because that's writing about on par with a saturday morning kid's show.

Again, disingenuous considering your defense of God of War. Let's put that example in similar terms, shall we? "And just what is it you are doing in GoW2/GoW3? That's right. You're unleashing a bloody trail of carnage against monsters and gods again, using similar combat mechanics to boot." Seriously, be consistent in your criteria.

rob_simple:
Smash Bros.: I'm not grasping at anything. The roster has expanded but every new character is a double of a previous one with only slightly tweaked movesets. Mario is Luigi; Fox is Falco; Captain Falcon is Ganondorf; Peach is Daisy on and on and on and on. It doesn't matter how big the roster is when it can still be boiled down to the original 12 characters or whatever. And you're right about Street Fighter, but that's my point. Every laughs about how bold-facedly Capcom releases the same Street Fighter games over and over but Nintendo does the same damn thing and people think it's brilliant.

And who, praytell, are Sonic, R.O.B., Snake, Meta Knight, the Ice Climbers, Bowser, Diddy Kong, Ike, Marth, King Dedede, Mr. Game and Watch, Olimar, Pit, Zelda/Sheik, Peach (incidentally, Daisy is not a character in the Smash Bros. series' roster) and Pokemon Trainer copying? Really, you are reaching if you're trying to portray every character as a copy of another. The biggest offenders in that regard are the Star Fox characters which - despite their nigh-identical moveset - have different enough leans to occupy different tiers[1]

[1] Falco is Rank A, Fox and Wolf are Rank D. Amusingly, Wolf has some of the more noticeable mechanical differences, such as the angle of his forward-b attack, his weight class and a unique standard moveset (as opposed to special moveset)

JediMB:

hermes200:
and I could bet you real money the next game will involve Link trying to save Zelda by getting a master sword, a boomerang and sticking bombs to walls.

Funny, because Skyward Sword had Link trying to catch up with Zelda, as she had her own world-saving mission to take care of. Also, Link never got a boomerang and there were maybe three or four points in the game where a wall had to be bombed to get to an optional item hidden behind it.

Because, believe it or not, with Skyward Sword they've actually tried to distance themselves from the traditional puzzles and the items associated with them.

Thank god! And it only took those creative geniuses 25 years...

No particular thoughts about Nintendo, but the biggest problem I have with games nowadays is that many of them don't incorporate failure as an option. Everytime you reload your quicksave or "lose a life", the game just goes on, maybe resets you to an earlier situation.

I'll take Mount & Blade:Warband as an example. If your army dies, you get captured, and eventually manage to free yourself, but you receive a definite penalty (money, equipment, people and time) for failure, and it changes your situation, rather than resetting it.
This has a huge impact on the way you tackle obstacles, compared to e.g. Skyrim.

OK... Quick question.

How many companies even have that many IP's at all that have been around that long?

Most franchises don't change much, and judging by the arguments being used here, you're dismissing all Nintendo franchises as never changing while simultaniously pointing out equally trivial changes in long-running series made by others as though they're huge changes or improvements when they aren't that much more impressive than what you're complaining about.

You also seem to have completely failed to notice (as usual) all the 'little' IP's that have shown up along the way from Nintendo, or it's second party developers.

Probably because they don't end up being used the way Mario & Zelda are, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

(Pokemon is also less than 20 years old, just in case you've forgotten). But let's see...

The whole Mii business, about a dozen puzzle games of one kind or another,
Golden Sun (admittedly I don't know if it's fair to count a game made by camelot, which is an independent studio, but has their games published by Nintendo... But by that logic, Pokemon doesn't count either. But in a strict sense, neither does pretty much anything published by ÉA, Microsoft, Activision, or Sony... Remind me again where their dev teams come from)
pikmin (but you knew that one at least)
Animal Crossing
Advance wars

Well, in any event there are a lot more franchises than just Mario & Zelda, but they don't get much attention.
(Fire Emblem is huge in Japan though.)

How about F-zero, or starfox, when did you last see those mentioned?

Kirby? Well-known at least.

I mean, look at this list, it might surprise you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_products_published_by_Nintendo

I know the sheer volume of stuff on it (which I doubt is a complete list) is impressive, even considering a company that old...

CrystalShadow:
I mean, look at this list, it might surprise you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_products_published_by_Nintendo

I know the sheer volume of stuff on it (which I doubt is a complete list) is impressive, even considering a company that old...

There's a pretty big difference in meaning between the terms published and developed.

DigitalAtlas:

The Pokemon thing I really CAN'T explain. All I can say is simply: Have you only been playing single player? Because if you've ever gone through a competitive Pokemon phase, you'd know just how different each game is. Each move they add changes how the entire game is played. Think of the move Stealth Rock and how it made fire types and flying types terrible unless you bring a counter.

As for Zelda, I'll try once more with some quick descriptions, if you still don't get what I mean, I'll try get more detailed, deal?

Basically, every time the Zelda franchise tries to innovate, fans complain. They complain a lot. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword are innovative and fantastic titles that try to do something new with the formula and people just rag on it. And it's mainly the Ocarina of Time loyalists who do the complaining. There are still people who complain that the 3D games aren't like the original and want you to bomb every inch of Hyrule, but they don't get a lot of attention. Back to the Ocarina of Time fanbase, Twilight Princess was basically a gift to them and Nintendo listened to everything the fans wanted.... And it was mostly pretty crappy.

That's exactly what I'm saying, you can't really say that Pokemon is changing it's formula in terms of story or level design or things like that, otherwise you wouldn't even be asking me if I mainly played single player (which I do, I don't have time to get into these things really competitively graduate courses tend to do that to one's life). Wouldn't it be rather different if instead of fighting the Team Rocket of the year you were one of them? What if in Black and White you WERE N? (I think that was his name) That's not what they care about in Pokemon though, they just add new pokemon and new moves, which affects the fighting and the competitive scene but never makes the game seem really all that different. They could if they wanted to (come on, playing as Team Rocket working your way up from grunt to the head of the operation would be amazing and you know it) but they never do.

And I think your second point is good reason for Nintendo to come up with some new IP and actually push it out there a little. Because that way no people are going to say that the prequel was better.

Asita:
snip

Your argument falls down in the fact that there were three (main) God of War games, and soon to be four. How many Mario platformers are there? And then you paint God of War with the generalization of killing mythological gods and monsters and then defend Smash Brothers with detail as fine as Wolf's weight class?

Yes, we know that other companies do the same thing as Nintendo, but other companies also then move on to other IPs while Nintendo has done very little of that.

Vivi22:

CrystalShadow:
I mean, look at this list, it might surprise you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_products_published_by_Nintendo

I know the sheer volume of stuff on it (which I doubt is a complete list) is impressive, even considering a company that old...

There's a pretty big difference in meaning between the terms published and developed.

Yes. And if you apply that to anyone else in the industry, most of the big players start to look pretty flaky as well.

I mean, list the actual developers of most of the famous big-name games. Not the publishers, the developers.

No, being wholly owned by the publisher doesn't count. (Nintendo does technically own several developers it seems. Where is the line for instance between something like the various Nintendo EAD groups and HAL laboratory or Game Freak?)

I mean, does anyone even stop to think that Pokemon isn't strictly speaking developed by Nintendo?

And you could ask the same question about all the other large company.

Name a game developed by Microsoft or Sony. I don't mean published by them. I mean one they actually developed internally. (For extra credit, without having resorted to buying out a pre-existing company. - In which case I think you'll find that number drops off considerably)

How about EA?

Is it fair to say EA created the sims? Even though most if not all the people involved in creating it probably came from Maxis, which EA bought outright?

How about Call of Duty? Is that Activision, or, in fact, several different companies (principally Treyarch & Infinity ward) that Activision owns?

Does owning another company count?

In any event, even accounting for that it's still a longer list than most companies.

But... If you want to make that distinction:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Nintendo_games

Just make sure you know what your standards are before you ask these kinds of questions, and that you're judging everyone by the same standards if you compare companies.

(And that's implied in any being critical about how creative Nintendo is, since it kind of implies making a comparison to other companies...)

rob_simple:

Wow, I actually had to crack my knuckles for this one, here we go again...

Mario Sunshine: And what is it you are doing in this new world? Hunting for stars (sorry, Shines) just like you did in Mario 64 and just like you'll be doing in Galaxy. And what story are you talking about? The imposter Mario or Bowser and his son kidnapping Peach? Because that's writing about on par with a saturday morning kid's show.

Mario Kart: If you love those old tracks go play those old games. If I'm forking out forty quid for a brand new game then you better believe I'm don't expect to be paying for the same content I already have two or three times before.

Smash Bros.: I'm not grasping at anything. The roster has expanded but every new character is a double of a previous one with only slightly tweaked movesets. Mario is Luigi; Fox is Falco; Captain Falcon is Ganondorf; Peach is Daisy on and on and on and on. It doesn't matter how big the roster is when it can still be boiled down to the original 12 characters or whatever. And you're right about Street Fighter, but that's my point. Every laughs about how bold-facedly Capcom releases the same Street Fighter games over and over but Nintendo does the same damn thing and people think it's brilliant.

The writing being on par with a kids show: It's a game for kids. Dolt.
And really? You're going to grill it for collecting shiny shit? Yet you mention NOTHING of the THOUSANDS of platformers out there, many NOT made by Nintendo, that get IMMENSE praise for jumping around collecting shiny shit to save your girlfriend. Games that are in 2D mind you, so they're not even breaking the old mold, and they get insane praise. If you're going to complain about what one game does, you don't get to excuse it for others.

Mario Kart: They still release a shit ton of new tracks per game. Or did you forget that?

Smash Bros: Peach is a character all in her own. Daisey makes no official appearance in the game. The clone characters ALWAYS have different mechanics, damage output, and attack pattern. Such as Falco's meteor Smash.
And since we're playing this game:
SSBB's Roster
Bowser (unique)
Donkey Kong (unique)
Diddy Kong (unique)
Fox (Unique)
Ice Climbers (unique)
Ike (unique, only one copied move)
King Dedede (unique)
Kirby (unique)
Link (unique)
Lucas (move set mimics Ness but with an entirely different set of effects)
Mario (unique)
Meta Knight (unique)
Olimar (unique)
Peach (unique)
Pikachu (unique)
Pit (unique)
Pokémon Trainer (unique)
Samus*/Zero Suit Samus (unique)
Wario (unique)
Yoshi (unique)
Zelda*/Sheik (unique)
Captain Falcon (unique)
Falco (move set mimics Fox. Heavier, jumps higher. Different attack properties)
Ganondorf (Mimics Cap. Falcon. Heaver, different attack properties)
Jigglypuff (unique)
Lucario (unique)
Luigi (mimics Mario. Different attack proprties. Lighter, jumps higher)
Marth (unique)
Mr. Game & Watch (unique)
Ness (unique)
R.O.B. (unique)
Snake (unique)
Sonic (unique)
Toon Link (mimics link. Lighter, different attack properties)
Wolf (unique)

Out of 35 characters only 5 have a similar move set to another character, their attack properties are changed and the character's stats are changed making them completely different play styles.
Tell me again how that's worse than Ken, Ryu, Akuma, Gouken, Sakua, Sagat, and at least 5 other characters all having the same input commands and play style in Street Fighter.

LastGreatBlasphemer:

rob_simple:

but Nintendo seem to be the only one people actually try to defend as being a company that still release original, top-quality games when in actual fact they are, for the most part, average at best.

Call of Duty
Halo
Medal of Honor
Uncharted
Tomb Raider
Final Fantasy
Ratchet and Clank
Grand Theft Auto
Mortal Kombat
King of Fighters

Every one of those game's parent companies tries to convince you that each iteration was new, and different.
The list goes on, you are a moron.

I notice you tactfully cut out the part where I said all other companies are guilty of the exact same thing, but (and that's why there is a but at the start of that sentence) while we deride CoD for being the same and all the grunting space marine bullshit, people still hail Nintendo as creative geniuses.

But I apologise, don't let the words I actually said get in the way of your impotent bleating.

I didn't leave anything out actually. I quoted where you said that Nintendo was the only one trying to defend it, and they're not. Try again please.

RafaelNegrus:

DigitalAtlas:

The Pokemon thing I really CAN'T explain. All I can say is simply: Have you only been playing single player? Because if you've ever gone through a competitive Pokemon phase, you'd know just how different each game is. Each move they add changes how the entire game is played. Think of the move Stealth Rock and how it made fire types and flying types terrible unless you bring a counter.

As for Zelda, I'll try once more with some quick descriptions, if you still don't get what I mean, I'll try get more detailed, deal?

Basically, every time the Zelda franchise tries to innovate, fans complain. They complain a lot. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword are innovative and fantastic titles that try to do something new with the formula and people just rag on it. And it's mainly the Ocarina of Time loyalists who do the complaining. There are still people who complain that the 3D games aren't like the original and want you to bomb every inch of Hyrule, but they don't get a lot of attention. Back to the Ocarina of Time fanbase, Twilight Princess was basically a gift to them and Nintendo listened to everything the fans wanted.... And it was mostly pretty crappy.

That's exactly what I'm saying, you can't really say that Pokemon is changing it's formula in terms of story or level design or things like that, otherwise you wouldn't even be asking me if I mainly played single player (which I do, I don't have time to get into these things really competitively graduate courses tend to do that to one's life). Wouldn't it be rather different if instead of fighting the Team Rocket of the year you were one of them? What if in Black and White you WERE N? (I think that was his name) That's not what they care about in Pokemon though, they just add new pokemon and new moves, which affects the fighting and the competitive scene but never makes the game seem really all that different. They could if they wanted to (come on, playing as Team Rocket working your way up from grunt to the head of the operation would be amazing and you know it) but they never do.

You know, there ARE other Pokemon games than just the core games right? That there are many spin-offs that indeed use the same IP, but in different ways. Titles like the Pokemon Ranger series, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, the upcoming Pokemon Conquest SRPG, Pokemon Puzzle League, Pokemon Trozei, PokePark, Pokemon Rumble, Pokemon Snap, Hey You Pikachu, Pokemon Pinball....

You can even look at Mario. Yes, he has platform action in both 2D (the original games, NSMB Wii) and 3D (Galaxy, Mario Land 3D), but he also has RPG games (Superstar Saga, Mario + Luigi, Paper Mario) and even mixes of the two (Super Paper Mario).

If you just look at the core games, then, yes, there's more iteration than innovation, but they don't tell the entire story.

Don't forget that Nintendo made Xenoblade.

Karutomaru:
Don't forget that Nintendo made Xenoblade.

No, Monolith Soft made Xenoblade.

rob_simple:
See, this is my exact problem. Why does it always have to be Mario saving Peach and Link saving Zelda, (I mean aside from the massive pools of cash)?

Why can't it be a new character, say a prince, who has to save a village girl from being sacrificed to a giant dragon but the village is only doing it so the dragon doesn't destroy the world and then the hero has to sacrifice himself to the dragon so there can be no damn sequels. It's not much, but at least that's a bit of role reversal.

Guess what? They did.

http://www.mariowiki.com/Super_Princess_Peach

It sold reasonably well but was "bombed" by critics for being too easy, as most Nintendo games are. All in all, it sold over 1 million units which isn't bad, it's just not great by Nintendo standards, which is probably why Peach is only the heroine in games like Mario Party, Mario Golf, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Tennis, Mario Super Strikers, Super Mario 2 & Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.

Peach is probably one of the most highly respected female characters in any game series. As the games evolved, so has Peach into less of a captured princess and more of a strong female in the unfortunate position of being the leader of a nation. Heck, in Paper Mario Peach actively tries to spy on Bowser to help poor, directionless Mario defeat the bosses and get to where he needs to go. All in all, I think Peach is awesome and breaks that mold you hate so much in her own way.

Karutomaru:
Don't forget that Nintendo made Xenoblade.

And Earthbound. And Golden Sun. And...I could go on with this.

rob_simple:

JediMB:

rob_simple:
Mario Sunshine: And what is it you are doing in this new world? Hunting for stars (sorry, Shines) just like you did in Mario 64 and just like you'll be doing in Galaxy. And what story are you talking about? The imposter Mario or Bowser and his son kidnapping Peach? Because that's writing about on par with a saturday morning kid's show.

They're not plot-driven games, for fuck's sake. They're gameplay, environment and challenge-driven. The stars are simply goal posts, and something you collect upon beating the actual challenges set before you.

One moment you are to scale a mountain, the next you race against a rival character, fight a boss battle, attempt to collect flying coins by shooting yourself out of a cannon, explore underwater caverns, help a penguin mother find her baby, or storm a lego fortress that seemingly hovers above hell itself.

The "story" is just a basic fairytale scenario to get you going, or to explain a shift in environments.

Yeah? And how many times have you raced that rival? How many times have you had to climb to the top of something really high? How many times have you stun-locked a boss three times to jump on him or hit his weak spot or swing him into something?

Without a plot, you are just repeating the same motions through the same games. The levels might be different and the extras might be slightly re-skinned but the task is always the same: get the star. Help a mother penguin find her baby in one game is just help X find Y in another game; they're just hoops to jump through to reach the same goal you've been aiming for for four games now.

It doesn't make the games bad, though, they're just not creative or particularly special.

I'm sorry, but I you seem to be operating from the false assumption that video games are inherently about movie-like plots. Plot isn't the only way to create context for the game's goals. By disregarding the need for a coherent plot for each level--and the limitations thereof--the developers can instead focus their creativity on interesting (and wholly self-contained) environments, and populate them with creative challenges that put both the player's creativity and mastery of the game mechanics to the test.

This design allows besting the challenges to become solely its own reward, rather than the means to an end that it usually ends up as in more cinematic games. Focusing on the star at the end of the challenge is losing sight of what playing the game is really about.

Thinking that this is the point of Super Mario Bros...
image
...means that you've missed the entire game.

DigitalAtlas:

WanderingFool:

DigitalAtlas:
As for Zelda, I'll try once more with some quick descriptions, if you still don't get what I mean, I'll try get more detailed, deal?

Basically, every time the Zelda franchise tries to innovate, fans complain. They complain a lot. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword are innovative and fantastic titles that try to do something new with the formula and people just rag on it. And it's mainly the Ocarina of Time loyalists who do the complaining. There are still people who complain that the 3D games aren't like the original and want you to bomb every inch of Hyrule, but they don't get a lot of attention. Back to the Ocarina of Time fanbase, Twilight Princess was basically a gift to them and Nintendo listened to everything the fans wanted.... And it was mostly pretty crappy.

The curse of fanbases... No matter what you do, someone will be pissed off.

And with Zelda, Nintendo just needs to do something COMPLETELY different to just make them shush.

OT: I have no issue with the current state of gaming. The "rehashes" are just fine in my book. Then again, I have a loose definition of what constitutes "innovation".

What I take issue with is the many people populating these threads going on cherry picking which games they get to go in depth with, and which ones they break down to their base parts. Either make fair comparisons or don't bother. It just makes you look like a fanboy/hater, and your argument is just ignored.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Erm... come again?

Sorry, but people keep perpetuating this myth that Nintendo keeps releasing the same game over and over again, and I can't for the life of me understand why.

Go look at Twilight Princess. Then go look at Skyward Sword. Then go compare both of them to Windwaker. Then tell me exactly how all three of these games are identical knock-offs of each other. Because I always thought that:

Windwaker: Introduced cell-shading to the masses, years before Okami was released.

Twilight Princess: Darker-and-edgier throwback to OoT-era after Windwaker's cartoonier visuals. Wonky motion controls, but large, expansive world to explore.

Skyward Sword: A moving watercolour picture with completely new world design, and a revamped combat system that actually makes use of 1:1 motion control, as well as having a giant flying bird-steed and no Ganon.

I mean, if someone can point out to me how Windwaker and Skyward Sword are actually the same game, I'd much appreciate it. I will of course reciprocate by then pointing out how Mass Effect and Gears Of War are fundamentally the same game as well.

I get that Nintendo have been using the same brand names for a long time now, but when you actually look at what they do from game to game, I don't understand why people think they're so uncreative as a company. This is the same Nintendo that decided to introduce motion controls while everyone else was still focused on regular controllers, and they managed to make a boat-load of cash doing so. Does that not at least speak of a little creativity on their part? Or the fact that the two Metroid games designed for the Wii, Corruption and Other M, are on absolutely opposite ends of the game design spectrum, one being an FPS and the other being a throw-back to the style of the SNES games?

Can anyone point out the massive changes in gameplay that Sony has made between Uncharted instalments? Because I figure that if Nintendo gets labelled as releasing the same thing over and over again despite releasing Windwaker and Skyward Sword, then companies like Sony must be making some pretty major changes between Uncharted 1&3 to avoid getting painted with the same brush, right? I mean, it's not like the Uncharted games are all fundamentally identical and people refuse to call out Sony for the same alleged crimes as Nintendo, right?

I'll just let this guy make my argument for me. :)

As a side note (almost completely unrelated, so skip if not interested), I've said similar things about the FF series. Yes it's a long-running franchise, and yes they have recurring elements, but they manage to be incredibly varied from game to game.

penguindude42:

Karutomaru:
Don't forget that Nintendo made Xenoblade.

And Earthbound. And Golden Sun. And...I could go on with this.

Technically, they didn't make any of those. Xenoblde can be attributed to the wonderful people at Monolith Soft. :)

Buretsu:

You know, there ARE other Pokemon games than just the core games right? That there are many spin-offs that indeed use the same IP, but in different ways. Titles like the Pokemon Ranger series, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, the upcoming Pokemon Conquest SRPG, Pokemon Puzzle League, Pokemon Trozei, PokePark, Pokemon Rumble, Pokemon Snap, Hey You Pikachu, Pokemon Pinball....

You can even look at Mario. Yes, he has platform action in both 2D (the original games, NSMB Wii) and 3D (Galaxy, Mario Land 3D), but he also has RPG games (Superstar Saga, Mario + Luigi, Paper Mario) and even mixes of the two (Super Paper Mario).

If you just look at the core games, then, yes, there's more iteration than innovation, but they don't tell the entire story.

Man, my Pokecred is really coming under attack here. Yes, I have been to Bulbapedia and serebii, and I do indeed know about the spinoffs that they've done. To me, many of them seem like cheap cash-ins, Pokesnap and Hey you Pikachu being particularly blatant examples of this.

I haven't personally played any of the spinoffs. They may have a couple of neat ideas but from what I've seen they play like completely different games that are skinned with the Pokemon brand. This may or may not be true, but it is certainly true that Nintendo is not relying on these games, they are quite simply not the core games and that's what would need to be changed for me to think of Nintendo as an innovative company. There are many things I think they could do that would be very successful (playing as Team Rocket, making a fully 3d game that takes some aspects of the Legend of Zelda games etc.) And the fact is that they never do those things.

Innovators take risks, they put out big ideas that have the chance to fail, and Nintendo doesn't do these things.

rob_simple:
Metroid? Lose all your powers fight Ridley then a giant Metroid. Nintendo just hits reset on the universe after every game concludes, as if all their characters are stuck in some hellish limbo.

Now this is an overstatement.

First of all, there are no Ridley fights in Metroid 2, Metroid Prime 2, or Metroid Prime Hunters. Big metroid fights only feature in Metroid 2, Metroid Prime, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Other M (not counting Super Metroid because "having all your energy sucked out" hardly constitutes a fight).

There are even occasions where some powers are retained from game to game. For example, the Long Beam obtained in the first game is never lost, the Charge Beam is frequently retained, and in Metroid 2, Metroid Prime 3, and Metroid Prime Hunters, several other powers are available at the beginning of the game and never lost.

All told, only 2/3 of the games in the franchise feature Ridley, about 1/2 feature boss-level metroids, 2/3 feature loss of all powers (minus the Long Beam, of course), and only 3 games in the entire franchise (Metroid Prime, Metroid Fusion and Metroid Other M) feature all three.

All games need to have some threads linking their games (the ones about that character) together. LOZ games for example All (at least the ones I played) at some degree have dungeons, collectable, and/or mini games. If you had Link in space and his job is to defeat an Allen race, it wouldn't really fit in and be more of a game with Link in it rather than Another LOZ game.
For me I'm tired of Nintendo Making LOZ, Metroid, and Mario games. They made so many that there losing originally is almost (if not all) gone. Games have to be different enough to grab our interest, and similar enough for us to associate them with another of the same kind.
The games are somewhat the same but the real issue is that there is too much of them, and for a lot of people (including me) they are getting old fast.

Vivi22:

Cheesepower5:
That`s why I specified no more than other games. These are samall changes yes, but normal compared with any given franchise. The only reason you want Mario or Zelda to change completely as opposed to, say - Gears of War or Mass Effect (random examples) is because you don`t like them.

Wrong. The reason people give Nintendo a hard time and not other series is because for the most part they've been making the same game over and over since the N64; so about 16 years. Not to mention that in that time the underlying mechanics not only haven't changed much, they usually haven't changed at all.

If you can't see how some iterative improvement across a 3 game series within the span of a few years is different than games which, even if they had the same level of iterative improvement, have been getting made for more than 3 times as long then you're just being willfully blind.

And you think CoD 10 years down the road is going to be a a rhythm game? They've been doing it for longer because they've been around for longer. Logic, man, logic.

Of course, it's just going to run on nostalgia by then because people will be imitating something else. Just like people imitated Mario. History repeats. And once again, countless spin-offs and different sequels have been brought up. So who's REALLY being willfully blind.

Call of Duty needs to take a cue from Nintendo: It's perfectly alright to release the same game as long as you wait 3-5 years between each installment.

RafaelNegrus:

Your argument falls down in the fact that there were three (main) God of War games, and soon to be four. How many Mario platformers are there? And then you paint God of War with the generalization of killing mythological gods and monsters and then defend Smash Brothers with detail as fine as Wolf's weight class?

Yes, we know that other companies do the same thing as Nintendo, but other companies also then move on to other IPs while Nintendo has done very little of that.

To the former: To be blunt, quantity shouldn't factor in. Repetition is repetition, and what I was pointing out was that the inconsistent criteria by which the OP was comparing the IPs. I refer you to the first post wherein he presents the God of War series as a decent example of variance by highlighting the differences in their respective premises. One page later he dismisses a similar level of difference, which I was highlighting by presenting his original example in what I felt was similarly generalized terms to how he was presenting the latter IP. I did so to make a point about the way rob_simple was presenting his arguments.

As to the latter: The weight class bit was an incidental note in what I flat out acknowledged in the post itself as the most derivative three characters in the game, a tidbit I felt amusing, as the two similar-themed characters in the same tier included the most distinct of the three, which I noted by mentioning weight class and moveset. This, however, was hardly even a tangent in my argument, which focused on the number of characters with unique movesets in the games to counter rob_simple's claim that the characters were essentially repeats of priorly used characters.

I hope that clarifies my post a bit.

Asita:

To the former: To be blunt, quantity shouldn't factor in. Repetition is repetition, and what I was pointing out was that the inconsistent criteria by which the OP was comparing the IPs. I refer you to the first post wherein he presents the God of War series as a decent example of variance by highlighting the differences in their respective premises. One page later he dismisses a similar level of difference, which I was highlighting by presenting his original example in what I felt was similarly generalized terms to how he was presenting the latter IP. I did so to make a point about the way rob_simple was presenting his arguments.

As to the latter: The weight class bit was an incidental note in what I flat out acknowledged in the post itself as the most derivative three characters in the game, a tidbit I felt amusing, as the two similar-themed characters in the same tier included the most distinct of the three, which I noted by mentioning weight class and moveset. This, however, was hardly even a tangent in my argument, which focused on the number of characters with unique movesets in the games to counter rob_simple's claim that the characters were essentially repeats of priorly used characters.

I hope that clarifies my post a bit.

Of course quantity factors in. Ideas aren't one and done, have to move on to something completely different. Let's take a look at the Elder Scrolls series, cause that's one of the game series that I have played 3 games of and are currently coming to mind. The idea behind them has been a big open world that you can do many different things in, however with Morrowind the game never really sold itself, it didn't make it all that apparent everything that the game had to offer and was content to let you wander in rainy muddy forests for a little too long. Oblivion did a little better with that, but it had an unintuitive leveling system and really suffered from the terrible disease of everything-looks-the-same-itis. Skyrim dealt with those issues too and is so far the best representation of the core idea (could be better, namely more stuff to do and factions, but still).

I think trilogies are probably about the right length for refining the ideas so that they are executed better. The thing is that Nintendo have been using the same kind of ideas for so long that they're getting really stale. They've done better with some IPs than others, Metroid Prime was a new take that still had the same appeal and could be looked at as the ideal balance between innovating and staying true to the original, but Mario for example has not really done this. True, some games he could be replaced with anybody else and the game would be the same (racing, sports, party games, etc.) but his core platformer games have just started re-using ideas and using them selling points (Super Mario 3D Land for example). That is obviously ridiculous.

I was introducing the weight class comparison just to point out that you attack his examples of God of War by simplifying them, while bolstering your own by being very specific.

RafaelNegrus:

I was introducing the weight class comparison just to point out that you attack his examples of God of War by simplifying them, while bolstering your own by being very specific.

And again: You're cherry picking to make your point. To start off, you take that out and ignore the more evident difference I mentioned in the same sentence, a fact made more egregious by how I've repeatedly noted that my pointing out the differences between Fox and Wolf was irrelevant to the point as a whole (that point being: the debunking of the claim that the roster was full of carbon copies by listing the various non-carbon copies).

Furthermore, as similarly noted: My description of God of War was a characterization of rob_simple's phrasing of other IPs for the sake of illustrating the inconsistency of his criteria, as noted by my immediate qualifying in the post itself as putting his example in 'similar terms' to his characterization of Mario Sunshine, and subsequently reminding him to 'be consistent in [his] criteria'. It was never presented as a characterization I'd champion but an illustration of his own position. Amusingly, you're criticizing me for not holding to the very position I was criticizing in my post, which I am under no obligation to adhere to as my only use of it was to point out the argument's flawed nature.

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