It all started with the final years of the Wii. I like the Wii. Heck, I LOVE the Wii, even including those "casual" motion-control games like Wii Sports. It's a fun system with a unique set of games. However, I began to have my doubts about 2 years ago when Super Mario Galaxy 2 launched. See, I like the SMG games. I do. They're great. However, it didn't make much sense to me: why would Nintendo make a second SMG game when games like New Super Mario Bros Wii or Mario Kart Wii sold so much more? I didn't understand. Then they began making games like Metroid Other M, and that made no sense at all.
"Okay, Nitendo," I thought. "You're going to make a new Metroid game, but YOU aren't actually making, and it's a 3rd person action/sidescrolling/whatever hybrid with all of the exploration completely gutted from the game? Okaaaaaay".
And then the 3DS was announced. Admittedly, I was pretty pumped. How could a sequel to the DS be a bad thing? The DS is awesome! But then I began to see the games Nintendo was focusing on. Luigi's Mansion 2? Another 3D Mario game? Pilotwings?
I was stumped.
I'm not in charge of Nintendo, but I imagine they like money, and they like being successful. I'm not suggesting that Nintendo should milk the crap out of their franchises, but you'd think that if tens of millions of people are buying such-and-such game (as was the case with Mario Kart Wii, NSMB, and NSMBWii), you would focus on those sort of games, right?
I guess not.
I thought Nintendo got the memo when they announced New Super Mario Bros 2 for 3DS. FINALLY! Another Mario game. Another SIDESCROLLING Mario game. This should be great, right? Well, not so much. While it is a decent game, it feels very recycled. They didn't even make any new music tracks. Pretty much all the music comes from NSMBWii. Huh? And the world themes are all the same: lava, jungle, ice, desert, and so forth. Why couldn't Nintendo put more effort into it? I mean, it makes sense, right? If you have a franchise that has been selling over 20 million games a pop, you would want each and every new one to be phenomenal, right?
I guess not.
NSMB U is the same deal. While I have not beaten the entire thing, and while I am enjoying the time I've spent playing it, the game feels very recycled. I wish Nintendo would invest the same effort they gave to the Galaxy games into the NSMB series.
It's not that Nintendo is making bad games. Their games are good, but the games that they're investing all of their time, effort, and passion into are the WRONG GAMES. Take the Legend of Zelda series as an example. We had Twilight Princess on the Wii (admittedly, a Gamecube carry-over). And then we got Skyward Sword, a game that hasn't even sold 3.5 million worldwide. Then Ocarina of Time was remade on the 3DS, and what happened? No one bought it. And now Nintendo is making ANOTHER Zelda game on the Wii U. You know what, Nintendo? It's obvioous that fewer and fewer people are buying Zelda. Why not try to do a "New" reboot like you did with Mario? Do a top-down "New Legend of Zelda" that focuses on the action and adventure instead of talking to NPCs, doing fetch quests, and solving puzzles. See what happens. The same goes for a lot of these other games Nintendo has announced. Luigi's Mansion 2? Pikmin 3? Okay, those franchises aren't bad, but Nintendo seems to have their priorities mixed up.
In my opinion, if Nintendo keeps this up, they're going to quickly be in troubled waters. While the 3DS is selling okay, it isn't selling nearly as well as it should, considering its cost of manufacture. It's way too early to determine how the Wii U is selling, but it should be obvious (based on the PS3's launch) that the first wave of sales are not indicitive of a platform's success). I don't mind the new games that Nintendo is making. I like them. They're fun, but I wish Nintendo would put more effort into the franchises that are quite obviously selling to a lot more people.
This isn't a matter of "Nintendo should only make what is popular and ignore the lower-selling games". I'm not asking Nintendo to be Activision. What I'm asking is for Nintendo to stop ignoring the 32 million people who bought Mario Kart Wii. We have not seen a new console Mario Kart in years. Obviously, Nintendo feels perfectly fine releasing multiple franchise games on one console. We got two 3D Marios on the Wii. We got two 3D Zeldas. We got two Metroids. Why not two Mario Karts when that game sold more than BOTH 3D Marios and BOTH Zeldas COMBINED? Why did Nintendo phone it in with NSMB U (a game that WAS just going to be a "play as your Mii" cash-in when it was first announced, if people can remember that far back) when it's obvious the NSMB games sell in the tens of millions? I don't want Nintendo to do poorly. I don't want the 3DS nor the Wii U to do poorly. I just want Nintendo to make good games, and they seem to be focusing on the wrong sort of games these days.
Give your thoughts below, but I think that Nintendo is in hot water right now, and if they don't change their focus, the Wii U might be another N64 or Gamecube (which were the dark days of the company).