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Nintendo, I’m Disappointed in You and Your Dwindling Creativity

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I’ve been in denial for a while now, and I think a lot of us have been. Some people choose to turn a blind eye to Nintendo’s shortcomings, but I just can’t anymore.

I didn’t want to believe that Nintendo has lost its charm, even during the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe—all Nintendo did was add more courses, characters, vehicles, and marketed it as a “new” game. It all came to a head at this year’s E3 conference, where Nintendo did nothing but showcase the blandest group of games I’ve ever seen.

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Nintendo’s Slow Loss of Originality

I’m so close to losing interest in Nintendo’s games. Classic games like Earthbound, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario Bros. actually became classic because of their pure originality. At the time, no one had seen games like these, and I’m starting to think that we never will again.

There’s a reason why I prefer to play Nintendo’s retro games over the newer ones: the older games actually have engaging storylines, simple and intuitive gameplay, and amazing music. Nintendo has done some amazing things in the past, like making waves in the gaming community by releasing a console that requires motion, and developed some of the most memorable games of all time.

But ever since Nintendo released the Wii U, they’ve been spitting out nothing but copycats and repeats. The Wii U served as an omen to the terrible pattern of games to follow. The Wii U was a copycat in itself—Nintendo just took the Wii, slapped a “U” on it, and added a GamePad.

I enjoyed the Wii U, but I think Nintendo could’ve done better in the creativity department. Not to mention that the game selection for this console was always sparse, and it was hard to find decent games.

I tried not to expect much when the Switch came out, but I figured it might be an improvement. Unfortunately, it seems like nothing improved. The Switch is just an evolved version of the Wii U, with the main difference being its portability. I’m just not impressed, especially with the games. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are the only Switch games I’m relatively interested in, and here’s why:

Nintendo’s “New” Games

When was the last time Nintendo released a game that’s actually new? By new, I don’t mean the continuation of a series or a remake—I’m talking about a game that has a brand new idea, concept, premise. The last innovative game I remember from Nintendo? Splatoon, which was released all the way back in 2015.

Nintendo has a terrible habit of milking its franchises. Yes, I love Legend of Zelda and I can’t get enough of it—but why does Nintendo have to exploit that? At this year’s E3, Nintendo announced the “new” Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening along with a sequel to Breath of the Wild. There are so many things wrong with this.

Both of these games piggyback off of games from the past. I long for a new Legend of Zelda story that hasn’t been done before, like when Nintendo took a huge risk with Twilight Princess. It’s almost as if Nintendo doesn’t have the time to develop fresh ideas now.

Unfortunately, Nintendo knows that its fanbase will gobble up anything that has to do with its most famous franchises. So they’ve gotten lazy. If you were the head of a huge video game company, would you use your creativity if you didn’t have to? Nintendo’s currently stuck in this limbo and hasn’t been penalized for it, but it’s bound to backfire eventually.

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Outshining Nintendo Is Easy

I feel like Nintendo knows its newer games suck. I mean, why else would they add so many non-Nintendo games to the eShop? The eShop is riddled with games from competitors, including Diablo, Doom, Minecraft, and more. Which raises another questions: why would I want to play these games on the Switch in the first place?

Nintendo is way behind other gaming companies. They’re relying on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to carry all the weight. In reality, not only do Nintendo’s games fall short of their competition, but so do Nintendo’s consoles. The Nintendo Switch has some of the worst specs out of all the newer gaming consoles. It lacks 4K graphics and comes with only 4GB of RAM. With these specs, I might as well go back to playing the Wii U!

I’m Sorry, Nintendo

I love you, Nintendo, but you need to change. At E3, you basically announced your unoriginality. Maybe you can redeem yourself with the sequel to Breath of the Wild, but it better be good.

If you’re curious about some other non-Nintendo games on the eShop, check out our list of the best Switch games ported from other platforms.

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2 Comments

  1. There’s a thirteen year span between your picks showcasing Nintendo originality. Their last brand new IP, that I can think of, wasn’t Splatoon, it was ARMS that came out not long ago in 2017. How often do other developers come up with new IPs while maintaining existing successful properties? Or are you pitting Nintendo against the entire rest of the market?

    Nintendo itself is unique because they publish and develop games on their own console. A console which probably is probably the most unique on the market. Even the change from the Wii to the Wii-U was a more dramatic hardware change than anything Xbox or Sony has ever done. Plus it’s the only major console that’s actually mobile, that’s a great reason to want competitors games on their platform, you know, besides the part where they make money off it.

    Even this article shows that the only real thing you can compare Nintendo to is Nintendo from another era, but it’s not clear on what exactly you are comparing. You mention Smash Ultimate, Xenoblades 2, and Twilight Princess as positives, but they fit the very description of what you’re complaining about. Is a lack of new IPs the problem if you don’t even seem interested in them? What’s this really about?

    1. That’s very true. I did forget to consider the recent release of ARMS. Nintendo has done a great job maintaining its popular game series like Zelda, Pokemon, etc., however I think that they should stop re-releasing old games and marketing them as “new”.

      On top of that, they’ve been putting a huge amount of non-Nintendo games on the eShop as well. It’s just disappointing to see a company that was once full of unique ideas rely on its older games, as well as games from other consoles. Nintendo has so much potential, and I feel that they’re just wasting it on remake, sequels, and ports. I also agree that Nintendo has been very innovative with their console designs, however they are a bit behind in the graphics department compared to the Xbox One and PS4.

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