Is Nintendo Trapped by Its Legacy?

Tom Mc Shea explains why Nintendo's latest game announcements fail to muster much excitement.


We've been here before. The trickle of new releases has dried up. Release dates that seemed so near have been pushed to the distant future. Third-party developers are nowhere to be found. It's the ugly reality of Nintendo's consoles, and this worrying cycle is on display once more with the Wii U. And as is always the case, just when people have almost lost hope, a light shines down from Kyoto, illuminating the bleak tableau in a ray of blinding white promises. The characters and worlds that you love most, that you cut your teeth on in your formative years, are set to relieve your boredom once more. Franchise updates are on the way, but are more sequels enough to elicit excitement?

A light shines down from Kyoto, illuminating the bleak tableau in a ray of blinding white promises.
A television psychic could have proven his telepathic might by forecasting Nintendo's latest announcements. Coming soon to a Wii U near you are the latest iterations of franchises that anyone who has a mild interest in the industry saw coming a mile away. Nintendo's hallowed Tokyo studio tries its hand at another Mario platformer, Eiji Aonuma vows to "rethink the conventions of Zelda" in his latest attempt to top Ocarina of Time, Yoshi enters a world that looks strikingly like Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. add more fuel to the flames of friendly competition. Anyone playing Nintendo Bingo at home would have won with a clean sweep, though a couple of surprises caused a mild stir. Intelligent Systems is working on a mash-up of its own Fire Emblem series with Atlus' revered Shin Megami Tensei, and Monolith Soft looks to be taking on Monster Hunter in another expansive role-playing game.

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There's no doubt that Nintendo has cheered up those who have been lamenting their purchase of the Wii U. News has been dire since the troubled launch. A bloated firmware update had eaten up a large chunk of the system's meager storage space, third parties have been announcing games for every system except for Nintendo's, and interesting offerings in the future have seemed depressingly far away. Nothing can brighten the day quite like another entry in a beloved franchise, and though we have no idea when those newly announced games will hit, Nintendo extended a bonus for those in need of coaxing. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the most endearing of Link's many outings, is being reimagined in high definition this fall. All is right with the world.

When will we learn our lesson? And, more importantly, when will Nintendo?
How quickly we forgive Nintendo for their mistakes. They have pulled this same maneuver in the past, and it's tiring to suffer through lengthy neglect followed by effusive apologizing to make us forget about how they wronged us. For the last two decades, Nintendo has ventured forth alone. Third-party developers have flocked toward Sony and Microsoft, forcing Nintendo to pick up the slack. And they've yet to solve the constant dilemma that has infected every one of their consoles. They simply cannot create enough games to fill an entire calendar year, which leads to aching dry spells while we wait for the next release. Promises followed by promises followed by promises. To appease us a decade ago, those who preordered Wind Waker received a bonus disc containing both the original and Master Quest version of Ocarina of Time. Now, while we wait for Zelda Wii U, we're given a remake of Wind Waker. The circle is complete. When will we learn our lesson? And, more importantly, when will Nintendo?

Nintendo has a knack for catering to its excitable fan base. It has earned that trust through years of churning out top-notch games, so it's no surprise that people are willing to forgive Nintendo for every misstep the company takes. But Nintendo is so infatuated with its history that it seems reluctant to pull away from it, even slightly. They are being smothered by their own legacy, forced to endlessly resurrect elderly franchises to appease the unquenchable desire for the same-old experiences. A ripple tore through the industry when Nintendo announced a slew of new franchise installments. But how much longer can Nintendo rely solely on the same tried-and-true characters to push its products? At some point, Nintendo has to step boldly into the future, without the rope of frayed memories holding it back.

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Nintendo has earned goodwill by periodically reinventing its most enduring properties. Mario has been as malleable as he is portly, pushing the bounds of platforming in every 3D adventure he undertakes. Kirby and Donkey Kong are just as flexible. The pink puff can be found in a delightful world constructed of yarn or floating in a dangerous land as you use the stylus to guide him to safety, while his simian pal might fancy the rhythmic tapping of a plastic bongo drum. It's these forays into previously unexplored realms that keep aging Nintendo franchises feeling fresh despite their years of digital work, but they are rare exceptions to the rule.

It's hard to get excited about the newest round of Nintendo announcements, because it feels as though we've been in this exact place before. What can be done with Mario Kart that we haven't seen before? Why should we trust Aonuma's claim that he's going to reinvent Zelda when he has failed to do so in every attempt thus far? Does a new Smash Bros. have much appeal beyond the requisite roster update? Chances are that every one of these games will exhibit the high quality that Nintendo is known for, but that doesn't change the feeling of sameness that suffocates this upcoming lineup.

Excitement is a difficult property to bottle. Nintendo has briefly conjured interest in the Wii U after it had been collecting dust in the months since release, but it has done so by courting the very people who have already made up their minds about the system. The company's reluctance to break new ground has made it appear like a tired relic desperately grasping old ideas, and that identity is only going to be harder to shake the longer Nintendo embraces it. Nintendo has the talent and expertise to forge a glorious future. It just has to trust that it can fly without the safety net of nostalgia underneath it.


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Avatar image for CaptainGamespot

yeah, nintendo is trapped by legacy. not sure it matters. history shows we get nintendo games with their consoles.

Avatar image for jhcho2

lol, everyone bashing Tom McShea over a single review and an arguably rational article.

When the PS3 failed to live up to the PS2 legacy, sales wise, butthurt cows were everywhere. Now I'm getting that same vibe from the sheep. Everyone scrambling to find reasons to argue against anything which is postulated to be negative about Nintendo.

The fact is, Nintendo could retain all the franchise iterations and still attract 3rd party development on their console. Having more 3rd party games couldn't possibly hurt their console. However, Nintendo's arrogance on this will be their downfall. Nintendo and fans alike, don't think they need 3rd parties. Fans irrationally argue that they don't buy Nintendo consoles for 3rd parties. Might be true for some, but not true for all. A console brand cannot survive solely by catering for a niche market. Audiences must be broadened. That way, you can still keep the diehard fans, and attract new ones as well.

This situation is akin to Transformers fans who refuse to accept the new Michael Bay designs. Now, the movies aren't good by any stretch of imagination, but design choices had to be made to ensure relevance to today's audiences. The die hard fans don't care about the franchise's future, they just want back the same old thing. If Nintendo fans want to ensure Nintendo's place in the future, you can't shut the door at 3rd party devs. Some compromises had to be made.

Avatar image for KommieSketchie

"Why should we trust Aonuma's claim that he's going to reinvent Zelda when he has failed to do so in every attempt thus far?"

This line is so wrong it hurts. Last time I checked, Skyward Sword was groundbreaking and it's success caused Nintendo to take Legend of Zelda as a HUGE influence for the Wii U's design. Not only that, but every Zelda game is exponentially different than the last - Twilight Princess is the freaking anti-thesis to Wind Waker's happy and childish themes.

People also need to stop comparing sales now to sales 10 years ago. EVERYONE'S sales are down. The PS3 didn't sell NEARLY as many as the PS2 because the economy is shit right now; many people can't afford to buy the latest game system until long after it's release - myself included.

Does the new Super Smash Bros. have appeal?! Clearly, you don't know what you're talking about. Every new addition has added an insane amount of content! The first game included 10 characters and what we now call "Classic" mode - just fighting each character then Master Hand. The second game featured 25 characters, All-Star Classic Mode, a multitude of mini-games (still miss Board the Platforms), the Event mode, and even Multi-Man Melee. Brawl added: a full-fledged story (Sub-Space Emissary), updated Classic and All-Star modes, multiplayer Events with varying difficulty, a level builder (which can be improved drastically in the next edition), multiplayer for the "1 player" games, a better trophy system, a massive soundboard, customization for that soundboard and a whopping 35 characters with third-party guests and long-time favorites (and less useless clones like Dr. Mario and Pichu)... Don't you DARE say that the franchise can't be improved, because they've done it over and over in ways you probably wouldn't have thought of.

Avatar image for KommieSketchie

Moving on to the big one (No, I'm not done yet.)

Graphics. This is the worst argument that anyone can pull. Specifications mean absolutely NOTHING. The GAMECUBE has insanely better graphics than the XBox 360 or PS3. What? I'm crazy? See, there's this little thing called COLOR. If you take a look at games (just the graphics) like Call of Duty, Battlefireld, Infamous, even Halo or other popular PS/XB exclusives, I can list every color they use on one hand: black, blue, grey, beige, and the occasional red. How can it be said that these are "good graphics" when those so-called impressive specifications are never used? Yes, there are games like Banjo-Kazooie" Nuts & Bolts which have a beautiful array of colors and and scenes, but they're usually bad games anyways or made for Wii as well (and thus invalid for spec usage comparison) and are rarely worth noting. A notable game would be Assassin's Creed, of course, which, despite having only a few colors, uses them quite well and it makes SENSE for them to be beige and grey as all the buildings are made of stone or wood. In a game like Call of Duty where you're fighting in a city with modern buildings, the sky is most often grey (you have sunshine during wars...), the grass and tree leaves are practically brown instead of green, and objects that are supposed to be shiny and reflective are dull and give a pixelated, blurry reflection of yourself (seriously? Is it THAT hard to reflect something? Countless other games do it.). Now see, these kind of things worked for World at War, because it was scorched earth tactics - burn everything to the ground. The sky would be clouded by dust and smoke, and the ground would be burnt. What use are high specs if they're never pushed to the limit? If you're going to consistently put out PS2 and XBox quality graphics, why use the new graphic cards for PS3 and XBox 360 (you know what I'm talking about, don't be that guy and talk about how better cards are necessary for the shaders and the improved rendering)

Nintendo, however, uses their "lesser" graphics to the fullest extent. Look at games such as Super Mario Sunshine. Yes, it is a cartoony, silly world for the younger generation, but think about it: every structure is a thing that exists in real life. The construction cranes are vibrant red, the roller coasters are brightly colored, the buildings are beige, they're blue, they're striped, the tiles for floors are whites and greens and blues and green-blues. All those "lack of graphic specs" by comparison to the XBox 360 and PS3 mean nothing when those graphics are used to the fullest extent and have the same crispness and quality! For another example, let's look at Majora's Mask, an actual Zelda game that DIDN'T break the boundaries. This is a fantasy game, quite like Super Mario Sunshine, right? WRONG. This game is so dark, and it expresses the embodiment of so much pain and suffering... But it uses all the same colors. Just look at a fully upgraded Link, Gilded Sword and all: crisp quality, few jagged lines despite being on such a dated console, then you've got pale yellow, purple, red, silver, white, a slight shine ( all this on just on the sword) green, brown, gold, blue, more red and silver, and tan. That's a bigger palette on one entity than in the entirety of many XB/PS games nowadays.

Avatar image for KommieSketchie

Now don't get me wrong, YES, I'm a biased fanboy and will always love Nintendo more... BUT. I also love many exclusives for XBox and PS3. Uncharted and Infamous, though I haven't played more than a demo, look like EXCELLENT games. Halo is one of my favorite games, and then there are DLC games like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, not to mention XB Live Arcade ports of arcade games like Centipede and Space Invaders! Nintendo simply knows what works and what LASTS. Legend of Zelda has worked for now 27 years, why in the HELL would they get rid of it when it makes up a massive portion of sales? The reason third-party companies don't go to Nintendo is because there is so much hate for Nintendo, a lot of which seems to stem from not playing anything other than Super Smash Brothers and Wii Sports. People CONSTANTLY tell me how "bad" the Wii is, but then they can't back it up with anything other than it's lower specs, which I've already shown is not something to value a game or system on, yet people come on sites like this and flood the boards with "Nintendo is so bad and XBox this, PS3 that", which, okay, your opinion. But what that tells the large third-party companies like Activision and Ubisoft (thank GOD they aren't listening and putting their games on Wii U, too.) is that no one wants to buy a Wii U, so no one would be buying their games (Odd, since it would only increase sales...).

Not only that, but Microsoft repeatedly shows itself to be incredibly greedy. They don't even allow people to monetize on YouTube videos if it includes ANYTHING from their games, such as Fable and Halo. They also bought Rare from Nintendo (what was the big N thinking...?), made a few shitty games, then threw them away (And thus Rare is essentially no more, although it's rumored that they might pull together for Banjo-Threeie, but don't get your hopes up). Sony, while less greedy, hogs a LOT of the third-party action. Luckily, they don't produce a lot of the higher-quality exclusives, so they don't have a monopoly on the market like Nintendo once did 20 years ago. These two giants hold exclusive contracts with third-party companies, which leaves Nintendo with very few options.

Avatar image for tellthewind

@KommieSketchie Obviously, quoting an article no longer means you got top marks for reading comprehension. 1) The article that I read did not say that Nintendo needed to discontinue Zelda, Mario, what have you; it said the truth: Nintendo has nothing else. Ruthlessly innovating the same series for years can only get you so much time, and to be sure, Nintendo is doing extremely well on that front. The argument of the article is that Nintendo needs to become more friendly to third party developers because otherwise all of their clients sit and spin while they wait for Nintendo to develop another Zelda. And on the subject of Zelda, in my opinion, their games stopped being FUN TO PLAY upon the release of Twilight Princess. I loved the story, I could write novels on how Midna is quite possibly the best character to ever grace a Zelda game, but I didn't have fun playing it. That is my opinion. The article asserts that Nintendo could seem less ancient if there were 3rd party games around for us to browse on while we wait for the next Mario. And that's a series that always leaves me thinking, "I loved this game so much more when it was Super Mario World for the SNES". 2) You cannot debate a topic and then claim to deny a topic for rebuttal. If I cared to counter your argument for the graphics hardware from these systems, and I shall, that is my right, and there isn't anything you can do to stop me. Your argument is, in essence, that you don't think any other developer uses as bright and diverse of a color pallet as you would like. Opinion. Not fact. I agree with you on that point, but this has no bearing on the graphics capabilities of the various consoles. Also still an opinion. The Gamecube's graphics hardware was not in any way superior or even equal to the graphics capabilities of the PS3 or the XBox 360, and claiming that you like the color scheme on a developer's games doesn't make that argument any more valid. 3) Other M was embarrassing. 4) If you want to appear intelligent, please don't say you're biased or a fanboy and for heaven's sake please don't say you are both. All of your arguments went right out the window when you pressed "send" and that sentence was still in the post. 5) I will tell you exactly why I thought the Wii was terrible, because I liked it much more when it wasn't a slightly upgraded Gamecube with gimmicky motion controls. I already have a Gamecube, I don't need another one.

In closing, you challenge the point of the argument (the author's opinion) by claiming that the author's opinion is false, which is, by definition, not a thing that can happen. You then support this assertion by stating as fact a great many of your opinions and poorly using statistics to back these OPINIONS up. If anybody cared how many mature games came out for each of these consoles, they probably cared a lot less by the time they got to those statistics. Objectively, you have not debated this, you have straw-man'ed it up with the best of them.

For those of you who just want to skip all of the debate:

OP: Article is wrong. Nintendo is awesome.

Me: Opinions are unassailable, stop using your opinions as facts and put the statistics away.

Avatar image for KommieSketchie

Finally, you say they don't branch out, try new things, and yet you criticize them (IN THE SAME ARTICLE) for creating new franchises. They've also revived, re-imagined, and reinvented many series. Ever hear of Kid Icarus: Uprising? A whopping 21 year wide gap where most people hadn't heard of him until Brawl! Kid Icarus went from a backstage 2D platformer, in the shadows of Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda (both being where a lot of Kid Icarus was pulled from) to a household name! Then Nintendo proceeds to evolve and expand exponentially on it's "legend." Enemies have been remade, remastered, rethought to match the modern age. New features, new ideas, changing old ideas, scrapping flaws has never been MORE prevalent than ever before! The Legend of Zelda now features shield durability, save points, mysterious items never thought of until now, a complete overhaul to story. It also now links (ha) all the games together through Hyrule Historia. Show me where Rayman's games have been pieced together so intricately and carefully...... Exactly. Nintendo puts so much effort into expanding and evolving what's already there BECAUSE IT WORKS. Please, tell me how starting twenty new franchises that only have one or two sequels is going to help ten years from now. Sony and Sucker Punch aren't going to keep making Infamous Games for 30 years, the franchise is going to end because it has a specific story. Mario games are disconnected and thus can be made to the ends of imagination and STILL changed and evolved. Because there is no set story, Nintendo has the freedom to remove Goombas, put in and take out Koopalings (which they do... a lot.), and make absolutely ABSURD stories like Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story because they were intelligent enough not to limit themselves with having 100 different series that can only last a couple years - they made series that are unlimited and can be changed back and forth over and over until sales drop - which they haven't - and then put out some 10 series like Metroid which would logically end eventually (Samus Aran would die eventually, she is human!) but can still be changed, like Other M, because they aren't so specifically fixed in story line, like Assassin's Creed 2 thru Revelations where specific things need to be going on. (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing). Aside from that, with so many games being rated E, yet still retaining a very mature atmosphere, they have the widest range of gaming. XBox and XBox 360 are almost one-fifth mature games at a whopping 17.6%! Nintendo doesn't even have 1/20th of their games rated M at 4.28% with only 100 less games than Microsoft at 1707 and 1818, respectively and Sony having a whopping 2434 games with a 14.75% Mature rating.

So please, get your facts straight and don't fill people heads with lies such as "The company's reluctance to break new ground has made it appear like a tired relic desperately grasping old ideas, and that identity is only going to be harder to shake the longer Nintendo embraces it. Nintendo has the talent and expertise to forge a glorious future. It just has to trust that it can fly without the safety net of nostalgia underneath it." (especially when many are angry with Nintendo for not following said formulas... repeatedly).

Avatar image for supershmo

ugh, no more YARN please

Avatar image for pharomarc

The Wii U is selling a lot less then original Wii and N just cut their sales forcast for Wii by almost 30%. So even with the amazing Wii sales figures third party was not there beyond the first year or so. so we can reasonably assume; considering the even weaker sales Wii U; third party support will be almost none existent. We are seeing the start of it now as Ubisoft is not going to take the risk and make Rayman an exclusive for Wii U, they are even delaying a finished game so they can have one launch for all three consoles, a major B. slap to Wii U owners.

Weak third party support+ last generation graphics+ weak online multilayer support+ weak first party support at launch+ weak customer awareness= Wii U

I know that in a year or two I'll probably buy a used WiiU to play zelda and Mario than sell it back after I'm done with the two games.

Avatar image for KommieSketchie

@pharomarc Last generation graphics and weak multiplayer that is much fixed with the Wii U, not made worse. The graphics are VERY impressive, and they've done a lot more with making it community friendly than Sony or Microsoft.

Avatar image for GSJones1994

@pharomarc Nintendo has lost their edge with the consoles for now. Handhelds? That's a different story however. There is still plenty of 3rd party support for their handhelds since they have owned the handheld market since the Game & Watch days. Nintendo apparently does better with their handhelds. A LOT BETTER. Weird, huh?

-also Ubisoft not making Rayman Legends a Wii U exclusive isn't very suprising. With the exception of Nintendo's handhelds, third party developers have mocked the Big N's consoles since the N64 era. It's all Yamauchi's fault that Nintendo lost 3rd party support for their consoles. He believed CDs were the works of Satan and he paid the price, and a heavy one too. It's his fault that Nintendo lost 3rd party support for their handhelds and everyone should point the finger at him.

Avatar image for Mattygreene

This is a great article and I hope Nintendo is reading. I love Nintendo, always have. I grew up with Mario and Zelda. Nintendo use to be on top. I really hope one day it will return to being number one. I do not own a Wii U and as of now I have no plans to purchase one for a while. Nintendo needs to get back to what they do the best, making good quality games that we have come to love. Please Nintendo we need a new Zelda adventure, bring back Samus, and for the love of God get Mario back in the game.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@Mattygreene This is a classic example of your damned if you do and damned if you don't. On one hand you have people like you and myself who want to see more Mario, Metroid, Zelda etc... and on the other you have people like Tom Mc Shea who would see Nintendo drop its legendary franchises to make new IP's.

I have to question your post. You say you want a new Zelda adventure, bring back Samus, and Mario.
First of all with the Wii we got 2 Zelda games Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, We got 2 Metroid games; Metroid Prime 3 and Other M, We got 2 core Mario games In the form of Mario Galaxy and Galaxy 2.

Mario never left the game; in fact he has had many games to his credit recently. Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros2 all on 3DS. And now New Super Mario Bros U on WiiU.

Nintendo announced not 1 but 2 Zelda games for WiiU; a HD remake of Windwaker with revised controls and new gameplay features and a all new HD Zelda game. They also announced a new Mario game by the same studio responsible for Galaxy, and a all new Xeno title. The only Nintendo franchise we haven't heard about is Metroid. And if I were a betting man I would guess we will see what Retro is working on at E3 and this could very well be a new Metroid game.

I just find your post to be confusing, you state that its a great article and then go on to say you want to see more Metroid, Mario and Zelda. Tom Mc Shea the author of said article would do away with these franchises in favor of seeing Nintendo create new IP's that for all intensive purposes would be a total crapshoot as to whether they would sell or not. You want more Mario, Zelda, Metroid but say this is a great article which basically criticizes Nintendo for more of the same and clinging to its legacy. If you want more of the great games Nintendo is known for I think I would think twice about praising an article that wants Nintendo to eschew the games you love in favor of new IP's that won't sell as well as Nintendo's legendary franchises.

Avatar image for onionking108

I would have to agree with a lot of this article. I have always been a fan of nintendo and probably always will be, but even I have to admit that you can't forge a promising future by living in the past. As much as I love Nintendo's classic IPs, they are the ONLY reason I ever bought a gamecube or wii, for the promise of a new zelda or mario title. These days it's just not enough...I have an family and a full time job, which leaves only a small window for me to play games. So you can bet I'm only going to spend time on the best of the best. Nintendo will probably always be successful, I wouldn't bet against them. But for me personally, I can't justify investing hundreds of dollars on a system that will only provide me with three maybe four excellent titles (and you know they will probably be Mario or Zelda lol). It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Nintendo.

Oh and this is an editorial piece (i.e. "opinion") so calling Tom McShea dirty names is kind of pointless, don't you think? If you love Nintendo, play Nintendo.

Avatar image for Nhoj1983

Nintendo's legacy is why it's still around. Trust me.. the moment this company releases a zelda game made for the wii U.. the system will sell.. heck if they make a 3d mario it'll sell. Nintendo actually has one of if not the strongest 1st party lineup available... I'm primarily a pc gamer and I get 90% of the 3rd party stuff from the west.. in higher def and more detail while getting a better frame rate than anything the consoles can muster. Another CoD will never sell a console to me. Sony got my money this gen because they have the biggest lineup of games that are available ONLY on the ps3. The last couple years of the wii also has brought a few goodies which will probably mean (because of the backward compatibility) I'll be buying a Wii U at some point in the future. Once the system has games... the people will come.. if only because it's one of the few kid friendly consoles left and the mass of people who still love Nintendo's games which are still undeniably brilliant when they try.

Avatar image for Wolflink001

The article sucks just like the editor who typed it. Nuff said.

Avatar image for GSJones1994

@Wolflink001 Why? because he gave SS a 7.5? Gimme a break. He isn't trolling Nintendo, and I have never seen GS ever bash the big n before. GS gives equal respect to all of the big 3 and GS never takes sides with anyone. The only 2 publications that I know who love to bash Nintendo are Game Informer and G4. Also, SS did deserve a 7.5 because that game was broken, plain and simple. Life is unfair. GET USED TO IT. Call me an a$$hole if you want.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@GSJones1994 Skyward Sword was not broken, Tom Mc Shea was proven to be in error. His review had to be corrected because he was in error. During the video review his playing of skyward sword consisted of waggling the remote which was not the way Skyward Sword was designed. Decisive motions are what Skyward Sword was designed on.

"A subsequent video review showcased McShea waggling and pointing his remote at the screen, obviously completely missing the gist of one-to-one motion controls. Nevertheless he stubbornly stuck by his assertion that it was an issue with the game itself and not his own motor functions."

And for further proof here is a video clip of Skyward Sword the way it is supposed to be played.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@GSJones1994 Just because he doesn't like those mechanics doesn't make them a flaw simply because they don't suit his tastes.

Many other games use some of these elements as well. Final Fantasy uses save points, Metroid has always used save points... does that make those games flawed? Hardly.

I would hardly call item storage a flaw either. It allows you to keep items in your inventory that are relevant and makes for cleaner navigation and saves you from having to sift through dozens of items. Skyrim has item storage allowing you to deposit items in chests etc.

And since when do stamina and shield gauges make or break a game? Many other games have durability gauges. In WoW your gear suffers durability damage, in GW2 you have a stamina gauge and durability.

And who is to say what should or shouldn't be? And last I checked you didn't backtrack to the dungeons you returned to previous areas not so much the dungeons at least in Skyward Sword. So you have to back track to earlier areas?

Seems to me Metroid always has you backtracking to find item upgrades etc. And hell Zelda has always featured backtracking to get heart pieces to max out your heart containers or to find gold skultullas that you previously couldn't get before. Or completing the sequence of the trading game to get Big Goron's sword. Backtracking on a game like Zelda is far easier to swallow than playing countless hours on the same maps on Call of Duty's multiplayer. Why do you think they have to come along and release map packs as paid DLC? to keep people playing otherwise they would grow sick of playing on the same maps.

And I find it highly hypocritical of Tom Mc Shea to say that the "old Zelda formula should be left alone"; when Tom Mc Shea in the above article criticizes Nintendo for clinging to their franchises. I quote Tom's article with the following. "Why should we trust Aonuma's claim that he's going to reinvent Zelda when he has failed to do so in every attempt thus far?"

If Tom believes Zelda should remain unchanged then why criticize Nintendo of never changing or deviating from its large franchises? And while Tom Mc Shea likes to make it known that he thinks Nintendo never changes things up...the very things you listed shows that Nintendo is not afraid to try new things. So they added save points they added a durability gauge and stamina gauge, they added item storage. They tried something different. Whether you like it or not is entirely up to you. You may not like them others might while some may not give two shits and play the game because its the next Zelda game and they will play it anyway.

Avatar image for GSJones1994

@goldensunfan @GSJones1994 Yeah, but the score stays the same because he said the "flaws still remain". Here are the flaws:

-Save points. There shouldn't be any.

-Going back to past dungeons. it shouldn't be that way.

-Item storage. there shouldn't be one.

- Stamina and shield gauges. Shouldn't be in the game.

-Nintendo overdid this entry in the series. They added in stuff that did not need to be in this game. Just leave the old formula alone. If it's not broke, don't break it.

Avatar image for DeadlyDonut1985

Nintendo, I will never buy another console of yours simply because you have pissed me off repeatedly. When you guys sucked me in to getting a Gamecube for the Resident Evil games I did not even consider that there would be a lack of great titles. I got your GBA with the talk of a US release of Earthbound and Mother 3......another let down. I had hope for the Wii when it was said at its unveiling that EARTHBOUND/MOTHER would be released for VC!!!!! I BOUGHT YOUR 200 DOLLAR PAPER WEIGHT!!!!! When you pull the curtain off a product and start name dropping games you better be ready to take that to the bank.The Wii U is the console you should have made 7-8 years ago. I am tired of high hopes and broken promises. Goodbye

Avatar image for GSJones1994

@DeadlyDonut1985 the cube had a good lineup of great titles. Also, the reason why EarthBound and Mother 3 won't be ported to VC is because of copyright issues.

Avatar image for bigmikeOK

You know, I used to be a die hard Nintendo fan and while they'll always be apart of my childhood, they have become increasingly less apart of my future. I'm really kind of shocked by some of the attacks from those of you who remain die hard fans. Criticism is a necessary part of life. In some cases it comes from those who hate you and in others from those who care about you. I care about Nintendo but they seem to be disturbingly comfortable with being seen as they game company that puts out sub par technology consoles that cater to casual gamers and children.

I used to wave the Nintendo banner proudly but in the coming months the PS4 and Xbox 720 will arrive and this could spell real trouble for Nintendoland. This criticism offered up I take as constructive criticism and Nintendo would be wise to pay attention to it. Microsoft and Sony have been releasing games with heavy weight attention almost every month and I get that THEY ARE NOT PERFECT but its better than a dry spell that keeps Nintendo fans waiting for months due to the lack of third party support.

The most telling sign is that the sales of the Wii U here in the U.S. has been less then stellar which has been admitted to by Nintendo themselves. It seems as if many gamers have already dismissed this new console as a gimmick that is little more powerful then the current PS3 or 360 consoles. I love Nintendo and I want them to be around FOREVER. Sega and Atari have already lost their places in the console world so I need someone from my childhood to survive. I was hoping for a system that would rival Sony and Microsoft and put them on their heels and instead I'm given the Wii U. With the same old announcements confirming you'll need to have patience because of the same old lackluster third party support. This more of the same approach is a dangerous game Nintendo plays and someday may prove fatal.

Judging by the attacks on any criticism dished Nintendo's way I take it most on these boards are very loyal to Nintendo. I appreciate that and I feel you deserve better treatment. You are the last of your kind who remains steadfast in your support for this long history of the big N. Let's hope that they pay attention to you, me and everyone else for future reference.

Avatar image for DeadlyDonut1985

@bigmikeOK Nintendo gives their fans a nice golden shower. They released their new console just months ago and they are riding on year old plus titles. I am fairly certain this is the end of the line for them in the US. I am sure they will still be in Japan but I don't see them competing with the big boys much longer.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@DeadlyDonut1985 @bigmikeOK People said the same thing about the 3DS against the Vita. What happened there? I doubt that Nintendo is in trouble. If anything Sony are the ones facing financial troubles. Nintendo doesn't need to compete, they just need to be Nintendo and do what they do best. Who says they are riding on year old plus titles? Have you seen other console launches? The 360 and PS3 had a meager launch library. The WiiU is getting Monster Hunter, Windwaker HD, a new Xeno game, a new Yoshi game, Aliens, Rayman Legends, Bayonetta 2, Pikmin 3, these are the titles WiiU owner bought the system for. The titles at launch were there simply because they were quick to port to a new console. And I am certain that a good many WiiU owners may not have more than one system so while those games may have already been on another system they are still relevant for WiiU owners.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@bigmikeOK The ironic part is the WiiU sold more systems than the PS3 or 360 did in the same span of time. While its short of Nintendo's expectations of 5 million by march its not horrible.

Remember the Vita has been on the market for a little over a year and a half now and has only just recently reached the 4 million mark. The WiiU has sold 3 million systems in the space of a few short months. When you put things into perspective the WiiU had a decent launch. In fact while the WiiU may not have flew off the shelves like the original Wii it had a far more robust launch library that was mostly 3rd party games. Ninja Gaiden 3, Darksiders II, ACIII, ME3, Black Ops 2. And with the addition of titles like Bayonetta 2, the Wonderful 101, Rayman, and the recently announced collaboration between Nintendo and Atlus on the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei crossover I think the 3rd party support will get better with time. Nintendo said this was just the beginning.

I also think people are not seeing the big picture here either. Nintendo has been actively pursuing collaboration. Its work with Team Ninja on Metroid Other M, and now working with Capcom/Namco or whoever on Smash Bros, and now Atlus with the FE and Shin Megami crossover. Also people seem to forget about Nintendo's partnership with Unity. Unity will appeal to many indie developers. 1.2 million registered developers is nothing to sneeze at. Also Nintendo will allow these indie developers to set their own prices for their own games.

All console's have a dry spell especially after launch and during Jan and Feb. The PS3 and 360 didn't have the impressive library they have now after they launched either. The WiiU is barely a few months old. Rome wasn't built in a day, and a console's legacy isn't either.

Avatar image for Rinslowe_AE

Why on EARTH, would it be a bad thing to try and top ocarina of time???

How on EARTH, has Nintendo wronged us? And who exactly is "US" anyway?

"Nintendo has earned goodwill by periodically reinventing its most enduring properties."

More accurately, Nintendo has earned goodwill by periodically and consistently providing industry leading experiences through immaculately polished video games, which are as fresh as they are nostalgic...

Who the f$ck is Tom Mc Shea in the big scheme of things?

Avatar image for DeadlyDonut1985

@Rinslowe_AE How has Nintedo wronged us?! You obviously never enjoyed the title Earthbound for SNES!!! I have spent hundreds hoping for a re release which has been mentioned several times. They are liars and don't care about their American consumers.

Avatar image for GSJones1994

@DeadlyDonut1985 @Rinslowe_AE EarthBound won't be re-released because of copyright issues.

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@Rinslowe_AE Tom Mc Shea is what some might call a Peon. Small and insignificant in the greater scope of things.

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@goldensunfan @Rinslowe_AE

I think you give him too much credit... lol.

He chooses to provide his servitude to articles on Nintendo, simply to revisit his obvious butthurtedness towards them, that I think is even lower than a Peon.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@Rinslowe_AE @goldensunfan Hmm you have a point he will never rise to the same level of the Warcraft III peon...hard working, and humble to a fault...

Avatar image for PoindeJ

This article illustrates how badly GameSpot fails to understand Nintendo and its fans.

Yes, Nintendo is releasing another 3D Mario, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros. First off, Iwata HIMSELF said these could be "expected" -- which is why he announced titles like Monolith Soft's new game, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, and Yoshi's Land -- which thus far looks similar ONLY to Kirby's Epic Yarn, which isn't even the same franchise. And really GameSpot, if you're complaining about second games in a series coming to a console... I have TONS of Microsoft and Sony franchises to point out to you that appear on their respective consoles with much more frequency.

Secondly, yes -- the characters that appear in many of Nintendo's games remain similar. Is that really all you pay attention to -- what the characters look like? Nintendo fans understand that it's the actual style of gameplay that distinguishes games from each other, which Nintendo CONSTANTLY does -- even in its "safest" franchises. Just TRY to suggest to hardcore Smash Bros. players that Melee and Brawl are the "same old experience". Or that Mario Galaxy is anything like... well, any other game out there. And finally, about Zelda -- we get it that you didn't like Skyward Sword, but how you failed to see how the overall structure and design of the game was different than the previous ones is just mind-boggling. Most of the similarities -- specific items, names and characters, and story elements -- are all cosmetic, which is exactly my point.

As a Nintendo fan I was quite excited after the surprise January announcement. Its timing, Iwata's remarks, and the overall tone suggests they're listening to their fans. That's who the broadcast was directed towards, anyway. I suppose what you want is for Nintendo to branch out and expand the boundaries of gaming by offering new experiences to new people?-- oh wait. It did, and it's called the Wii.

I don't know what you want anymore, GameSpot. I get the sense that you're just not fans of Nintendo nowadays -- which makes no sense, because you purport yourselves as true gamers, and tons of people clearly still are fans of Nintendo. Honestly your personal opinions of Nintendo do not matter much to me -- but if you don't care anymore, either quit all the whining about how you miss Mario being "new" to you personally, or wake up and realize that there are concrete reasons why Mario can always remain "new" for a lot of people. You're clearly not one of them, and the articles expressing how you wish Nintendo would make you happier for your own personal reasons that have nothing at all to do with ME are all getting extremely tiresome while I try to browse your site for news and information that is actually worthwhile.

...Gah. That's what I get for coming back to this site. My fault I guess. I'll just go back to IGN.

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@PoindeJ I hear ya. Tom Mc Shea is a joke. I find IGN's people to be more open minded and less bigoted. The folks at IGN actually are excited about games. Shouldn't that be a great perspective to have as a game critic. When you are grumpy and cynical and feel that your opinion is the only one that matters ( Tom Mc Shea ) you can't remain objective and will always tend to have a innate bias or personal vendetta against a game, franchise or company.

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@goldensunfan @PoindeJ I actually find IGN to be X-Box fanboys. They wrote up a similar nonsense fluff piece about Nintendo as well.

Avatar image for firstclassgamer

I cant wait til Im financially stable I going to get a WiiU F*** what the haters say

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@firstclassgamer Its a wonderful console that has a lot of potential. I also have seen quite a few posts on miiverse from guys that own a 360 or PS3 and they have all been genuinely enjoying the WiiU. Especially in the Black Ops 2 community.

Avatar image for badwedgie00

Got any NEW ideas, Mr. Miyamoto? Anything absolutely new at all, unrelated to any past Nintendo franchise, that you can conjure using that gray matter of yours? If not, I do suggest going totally software, and leave the hardware console landscape to Microsoft and Sony.

Avatar image for GSJones1994

@badwedgie00 Yeah, like that's worked out for Sega, right?

Avatar image for formerroadie

@badwedgie00 Because Halo isn't played out? *facepalm

Avatar image for Rinslowe_AE


Those two points are completely unrelated...

Avatar image for AllyG

Is Nintendo Trapped by Its Legacy? YES! Let the song explain why!

Avatar image for goldensunfan

@AllyG You posted this before and again I question why? The video is biased look at the title PS4&720 anthem. And since when is any parody a representation of the truth? They never have been and never will be.

Avatar image for teknic1200

March 19th, Monster Hunter 3G, nothing else matters. I'm going where monster hunter is.

Avatar image for TRAVISTOUCHD0WN

@teknic1200 not only that but Zelda U windwaker HD new mario kart new mario 3d game some unannounced games and strong support from japanese developers... oh yea they are trapped by a badass legacy ign.!

Avatar image for teknic1200

@Poodlejumper I play to get away from reality, not people.

Bring on more PvE games, co-op is the way to go. Less than two months and I'll be playing monster hunter.