Why we’re breaking up with Nintendo
With the NX on the horizon, and a rocky few years, the Quit or Continue gang ask ‘Is it time we broke up with Nintendo?’. From games that lack sparkle, the the questionable cash grab of Amiibos, we think it’s a relationship that has run its course.
QorC podcast: Why we’re breaking up with Nintendo
Now, let’s get one thing straight, I’m as big a Nintendo fan as they come. I grew up on a diet of Game Boy and Super Nintendo classics, spending untold hours of my youth finding the secret levels of Super Mario World, working out how to shave vital milliseconds off Super Mario Kart’s Ghost House course and blasting through all of Star Wing’s stages. But that was then.
Now having hit my 30s I want to be just as awestruck by what Nintendo serves up, and sometimes, as was the case with Super Smash Bros., I am. But the ‘Nintendo effect’ for want of a better description is starting to be diminished and I don’t think it’s me that’s the problem.
For years Nintendo iterated on its famous franchises with consummate ease, combining leaps in technology with ingenious game design. Mario 64 is probably the best example, but Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart and just about every other one of Nintendo’s stalwarts benefitted in the same way.
But such momentum is difficult to maintain and the Wii U marks the first time (though the GameCube was a portent of things to come) that Nintendo’s magic has worn a little thin. That’s not to say that the Wii U doesn’t have great games, but it certainly doesn’t have enough to allow the console to compete in today’s video game market place. The inch of dust of my Wii U GamePad is proof enough of that.
Zelda was supposed to be the tonic to all of the Wii U’s woes, the one game that would unite gamers everywhere and get them scooping up Nintendo hardware by the bucketload, but it’s nowhere to be seen. Presumably it’s been mothballed until the NX is ready to rock, but I’d say the more damning thing is the lack of an original Zelda on Wii U.
In fact the lack of original Nintendo games to hit the Wii U is completely baffling. It’s almost as if they company was caught out by how much extra work, from textures, to AI, to the use of areas, is required when the leap was made from SD Wii to HD Wii U.
Ever since HD arrived I’d waited patiently to see how the worlds of Mario, Samus, Fox, Link, DK, Pikachu and more would look in sumptuous 1080p, but in the Wii U’s lifespan we’ve barely been treated to any Nintendo classics produced to a standard that makes the most of the the HD era.
Graphics aren’t everything, of course they’re not, but just once I’d like to have seen one of the universes I love given the kind of treatment that Rockstar lavishes upon its franchises.
Perhaps Zelda does represent the first time this will happen. Not enough of it has been shown to make a judgement one way of the other. But even if it does look the part, will it be aimed at me, a Nintendo fan of 25+ years just waiting for Nintendo to tempt me back in? Or will it be a Zelda built for an audience that only Nintendo thinks exists – the audience it assumes will go out in its droves to buy the terrible looking Star Fox Zero and pathetic Mario Tennis Wii U?
I’m sorry Nintendo, but unless the NX signals a new way of thinking, it’s over. Of course, that’s just my side of this week’s Quit or Continue podcast, click the play button above to listen to a humdinger of a show.
About Quit or Continue
Want to know more about Quit or Continue? Well, the short version is that we’re four 30-something blokes who love games, don’t have the time we used to and want to guide people like us to make the right choice when they buy games.
We review games in the book club style to tell you if a game is a waste of time. And, even better, we’re here to make your voice heard, so please let us know your thoughts on this or any game we’ve covered.
And, if you liked our podcast, feel free to subscribe and leave a review with your thoughts the thumbs up on iTunes and you can find our RSS for other podcast players here. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter @QuitorContinue as we’d love to know what you think of the games we review and you can browse our video content on YouTube.