Thursday, January 1, 2009

What Nintendo should do in 2009

Happy New Year everyone! It's 2009! Whoo! Time for a fresh start into the new year. As I've stated before, Nintendo made some strange decisions in 2008. I hope in '09 that's not the case, and they decide to do some things a little better. So below I've listed things I think Nintendo should do this year.

Release an equal ratio of casual/core games
I have no problem with Nintendo's Blue Ocean Strategy that includes games like Endless Ocean and Wii Fit. But as long as they release an equal amount of "hardcore" titles. In 2008, this wasn't the case, with Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Wario Land: Shake It! the only core titles (and maybe Mario Kart Wii, but it was a dumbed down version gameplay-wise). But in '09 I'm thinking they'll keep the ratio about equal, since we already know of core titles like Punch-Out!!, Sin & Punishment 2, and the inevitable Pikmin 3.

Put some first-party love onto WiiWare
In 2008 we got quite a few great WiiWare games. But we got very few Nintendo published ones. We saw the small yet awesome Art Style titles, Dr. Mario, and Pokemon Ranch. I hope Nintendo puts a lot more games onto WiiWare this year, especially visits to old franchises such as Excite Bike, Kid Icarus, and Ice Climbers that'd be perfect at $10 as downloads. And why the hell haven't we gotten a 2D Mario platformer for WiiWare yet? It'd be the perfect fit, it'd sell truckloads (metaphorically), and it'd please quite a few hungry Nintendo fans. Make it happen Nintendo.

Up the quality of the Virtual Console
This one I really don't get. We got a several quality games on the Virtual Console last year, such as the long awaited Super Mario RPG, Mega Man, Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3, and Secret of Mana. But the crap far outnumbered the quality this year. Which is something I don't get. Why release games that nobody likes if you want to make money? This doesn't make sense to me. I hope Nintendo starts releasing the good games, because I know there still are a lot of unreleased ones. Maybe Super Smash Bros, Earthbound, and Majora's Mask to start?

Put on at least a decent E3 show
This one I'm pretty sure of. 2008's Nintendo E3 event was by far one of the worst. So I'm willing to bet they'll have learned from their mistakes and will put on at least a decent showing this year. Hopefully with some more hardcore showing of games. Perhaps Pikmin 3 and some other first party title.

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  1. I couldn't argue with any of this. You hit the nail on the head perfectly with all 4 points.

    The VC thing, I didn't understand. Even in 2007, when it had moments where a lot of software wasn't coming out, I didn't find myself caring at all because it was week after week of awesome old-school games. They did a great job of curbing any potential drought.

    They still have a ton of good games to release, and yet it was pretty much only a few weeks in the Fall that got... well, what you described above. There's no excuse for that.

    E3, I have a feeling they "got it" that they can't pull off stuff like that and just expect to be universally praised for anything they do. Being as secretive as they are, that's one moment where it really busted them.

    As for their "blue ocean" strategy, I'm all for balance. that, and they REALLY need to start moderating the titles that come on their system. They do have a "Club Mario", which they can hold, kick out or postpone games if the quality is bad, or there are issues. I'm surprised they haven't been doing that lately.

    Of course I've also learned that if a publisher has a big suitcase of money, things can slide by and get approved a little easier.

  2. Happy New Year!!!! I totally agree with this list. I can't stand the casual crap that plagues the system. It'd be fine if the casual games were decent, like Wii Fit. But most of the crap is just unbearable (Carnival Games).

  3. I don't know how it works in the US, but the Nintendo of Europe website does a good job of bigging-up decent third-party titles and never mentioning the shovelware - a spot on the NoE site is a sure sign of potential.

    All the points you made are spot on, though I'd also slip in a "remakes are not new games" point as well. It seems that - for the first few months of the year, at least - Nintendo are avoiding putting out new Wii content in favour of the GameCube Wiimakes. If this is going to be the case for most of 2009, I can see unhappy fans ahead (though not me, seeing as I never played the GameCube!)

    As a side note, ANY decent N64 title on the VC is a good thing, considering the ridiculously low quantity of them at the moment - my dream additions would be Pilotwings, Rayman 2 and Resident Evil 2, but now I'm just being crazy ;)

  4. E3? Bad for who?
    If you were one of the gamers who think they're still the center of attention (you never were-- you were just fortunate that your tastes and the casual market's tastes were the same in the PS2 generation-- the same generation of hardcores that gave a middle finger to Nintendo), then you got a big wake-up call.