*This is a guest post written by neither Riddles nor Ethos. Still, please enjoy the writing stylings of Matti Cowan, aka Constipated Cow*
I recently updated my Facebook status to “…has officially lost interest in Nintendo”. I’ve been a Nintendo loyalist all throughout my gaming life, but I find now that I really just don’t care. Nintendo’s 2010 E3 press conference was adequate enough, but it gave me absolutely no good reason to hold on to my Wii. I was banking on Zelda to really impress me, but it doesn’t look like it will offer anything new, and I doubt if the Motion + controls will add any real depth to the gameplay. Is that what they even strive for anymore? Granted, I’ve not yet played the game but the landscapes looked uninspired, and the graphical style was underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, they looked fine, but I’m not drooling, and I’m a fucking cow – I should be drooling. Poo poo oh you, Aonuma, Miyamoto and that new director guy whose name I don’t care to look up or remember. Give a complete series overhaul. Take some fucking risks you pricks! Not just graphical Wind Waker type risks, but real, gritty, down to the bone risks. Change the series’ skeleton. Change the tone, structure, everything! It’s so tired! Unify its elements into a cohesive whole and give it emotional depth and character it deserves and is easily capable of.
My friends were, I think, shocked (and understandably doubtful) to read my status update – Ethos included. While I’ve been quite disappointed in Nintendo for a very long while, I’ve nevertheless clung to the hope that some day they would return to their former glory and awe and inspire me with epic, genre defining masterpieces. I’ve finally given up. If one day Nintendo’s eyes unglaze and they suddenly snap out of it, I will fellate them once again, but until that day comes I will be Nintendo celibate. I will definitely play, and beat Skyward Sword, it just won’t be on my own system. Ethos, I’m looking at you.
For me, Metroid Prime: Corruption was the last Nintendo game that I found to be groundbreaking. Before that there was Pikmin for the Nintendo Gamecube. Metroid Prime: Corruption proved to be truly epic, innovative, and isolating. It is perfect example of the brilliance of Nintendo’s former ghost. Corruption’s design is unprecedented on Wii, and, without relying on them, the Wii pointer controls actually add a level of immersion that isn’t yet possible on other gaming platforms. Unfortunately Nintendo’s future looks bleak. Despite an okay showing at E3 this year, none of the game announcements got me wet. There was Zelda Skyward Sword which looked fine, Donkey Kong which looked almost exactly like the SNES games (indeed it’s obvious that’s what they’re going for), Metroid Other M, and Kirby Epic Yarn (the latter looking the most exciting to me). Why are all these games in 2D?
Oh I have a solution! Pick me, pick me!; It’s because they’re fucking lazy sons of bitches who will recognize allure of their big name franchises – an allure that Nintendo built slowly, over decades. Now that they are established, they can sell cluster-fucks of games without needing to make them masterpieces, by slightly modifying an element or two and calling it “new”. This is the same bullshit that Apple does with all it’s versions of iPods; “Buy this new Nano! It now has a camera, ooo!” “But I already have a camera on my pho-” “BUY IT GODAMN IT!” “OKAY SORRY!”. I guess that’s a pretty unfair comparison though. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is extremely fun, it’s just not mind blowing. Nintendo knows that it doesn’t have to do anything extravagant to wipe their asses with $100 bills. It is all about appeasing the masses, and people like my brother who were vehement gamers in the early-mid 90s and are now exuberant to see a new 2D Donkey Kong game that doesn’t push the boundaries in any way and looks classically retro.
Today I rather sadly posted my Nintendo Wii and all of my games (except for the Prime trilogy) up for auction on eBay (if you know anybody thinking of purchasing a Wii, please send them my way. I’ve got tons of other games for sale too). While some of these games have provided lots of fun for me, none have blown my mind since Corruption which was released early on in the Wii’s cycle and was likely in development for quite some time before Nintendo realized that they could get away with handing us plates full of mediocrity. With the profits of this eBay sale I plan on purchasing a PS3 Slim so that I may engage play in deep, moody games with atmosphere and call out, “COW!” in bed rather than, “GRANNY!”.
I post quite frequently over at IGN, and know first hand how blasphemous it is to criticize Nintendo in any way. The fanboys legitimately do not think that there is a problem. It’s pathetic, and depressing. They settle for less that perfection, and cling to what Nintendo was: a great gaming company that pushed the limits and delivered groundbreaking, innovative games. Their loss. It’s time to grow up.