So E3 is just around the corner and, like every gamer worth his or her salt, I am greedily anticipating how I will be spending money received from my family this Christmas.
I figured since everyone else is likely doing the same thing, it’s time for me to do an E3 wishlist. This is going to be in three parts because… well, three major companies. We’re starting with Nintendo. More after the break.
So Nintendo has, obviously, had a decidedly lackluster showing so far with the Wii-U. But as this is mostly a wish list and not anything concrete, I’m going to go ahead and dream. Especially where Nintendo is concerned.
I was raised with Nintendo, and I’ve been a fan for years. I love the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox etc. My earliest memories are of playing Mario and some movie tie-in games on the NES, and I had a blast.
Growing up, I still played Nintendo and my hobby as a gamer really took off in November of 1998 when I acquired my copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Since then, I’ve been a fanboy.
Lately, however, I have been more than disappointed. And I can point to the fact that I currently am using a PS3 and not a Wii to confirm my disappointment to you.
Nintendo went for the casual route with the Wii. I’m not going to bag on them for it. A business exists to make money, and they found a niche market that had yet to be cracked.
We still saw a few excellent releases such as the final chapter in the Metroid: Prime series, the parallel release of Twilight Princess and, if you must, the travesty that was Skyward Sword.
I bring all this up to make a point. As Nintendo attempts to move forward with their gimmicky machines and tie-ins, the industry and the players suffer for it. And this is the decision the company now needs to start rolling back at E3 this year.
So, what does this entail?
Well, first of all, using the Wii U’s screen for gimmicks as little as possible. It does certain things well, as a touch screen. It can be a map, it can be an inventory, it can be used to solve puzzles in a three-dimensional space. It’s great for all of these things. What is not useful is using it as a camera, or any other way it needs to be moved around to any major degree. We need to get away from this.
I also don’t need to have two different, and major, parts of gameplay going on with two different screens. We already have a 2-screened system, Nintendo. You invented it. It’s called the 3DS.
What we need to see from you this time around Nintendo is a mea culpa for the obnoxiousness that is the Wii U. We need to see a step forward in the innovation of your IPs, not your hardware.
Minor improvements are welcome, of course. The PS4 and the Xbox One all made some form of modest, quality of life improvements, but you seem to feel things need to be changed every bloody generation.
So, focus on IPs. It’s what you’re known for. Mario is one of the world’s most recognized characters, and you insist on putting him in the same bloody setting every time. Same princess, same giant green dinosaur, same kingdom.
And you’re not just guilty of this with Mario. You put Link through the exact same travesty every time. It’s time to reinvent the IPs a bit. Maybe allow Mario to do something other than run, jump and stomp.
Maybe we could see him using a new form of heretofore unknown magic to help prevent an apocalypse in the Mushroom Kingdom, and he has to band together with Bowser and several other enemies for the common goal of living another day.
Perhaps the new Legend of Zelda could be set in the future. Link doesn’t know anything about his destiny or the past incarnations of himself and he goes on a journey of discovery to save the Kingdom of Hyrule instead of just getting up and going, “Well, time to assume the status quo.”
He could use a grappling hook to swing between buildings in this clean, sterile, and dystopian future. We could incorporate some parkour in there too for getting around. There are plenty of avenues for you to take.
In a nutshell, at E3 this year, Nintendo needs to reinvent itself, or risk becoming a non-entity. Relegated to the backshelf as nothing more than a hyper-active child’s plaything. Unmourned, forgotten and unloved by all save the most rabid of fanboys.
Also, I don’t need an update to the handhelds. Just more software and third party support.