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Miyamoto Scrutinizes Mario, Zelda, Hails Portal 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-hail-a-portal-like-you-hail-a-taxi dept.
eldavojohn writes "Nintendo icon Shigeru Miyamoto stated in an interview that 'What I've been saying to our development teams recently is that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was not a bad game, by any means. But, still, it felt like there was something missing. And while, personally, I feel like Super Mario Galaxy was able to do some things that were very unique, at the same time, from another perspective, certain elements of it do feel somewhat conservative. This is something I've been talking to both of those teams about ... hopefully [the next Mario and Zelda] will feel newer and fresher than their most recent versions.' MTV Multiplayer also commented on Portal's mechanics and gameplay, to which Miyamoto responded, 'I think Portal was an amazing game, too.' GameSetWatch has a related article criticizing Nintendo for relying on the Wii's input devices to develop game franchises rather than improving actual gameplay."
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Miyamoto Scrutinizes Mario, Zelda, Hails Portal

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  • Un peu de poids. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sulix (1154971) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:11PM (#25577605)
    Miyamoto is someone who has a lot of weight behind what he says. You can bet that Valve are grinning like idiots and that the teams working on the next Zelda and Mario are breaking a sweat.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by enderjsv (1128541)
      Eh. I don't know. I'm sure Valve appreciates the compliment, but I doubt they'll be gushing over it. Valve's a fairly successfull company itself with a very solid reputation. Besides, you gotta take some compliments at face value. What was Miyamoto going to say, that Portal sucks balls?
      • Re:Un peu de poids. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by binarylarry (1338699) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:25PM (#25577747)

        This guy practically invented video games as we know them.

        I'm sure the people at Valve jumped in the air, simultaneously high five-ing each other after they read that.

        • by Translation Error (1176675) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:29PM (#25579281)
          And then fell to the ground and started cursing up a storm after smashing their heads into invisible blocks.
        • ... and they deserve to do so.

          Compliments from Miyamoto on game design should be taken seriously.

          That said, to honour him properly would be to bow gracefully and say thank-you instead of high-fiving.

      • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:52PM (#25578413)

        Eh. I don't know. I'm sure Valve appreciates the compliment, but I doubt they'll be gushing over it.

        Oh please. There probably wasn't a dry pair of underwear in the whole building.

        • by scubamage (727538)
          Agreed. Miyamoto-san pisses excellence in the video game world - Valve is most likely ecstatic over that simple compliment. Well done guys :)
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        When he was asked about Galaxy's planets resembling those of some Ratchet & Clank game he replied "I haven't heard of that game, is it a PC game?". He also doesn't play videogames much according to interviews. The fact that he played Portal marks it as special already.

    • I thought Zelda & Mario were one-man teams of Miyamoto.
      • Re:Un peu de poids. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Drinking Bleach (975757) on Friday October 31, 2008 @03:10AM (#25580571)

        I've seen so many people actually believe Miyamoto is in control of the franchises he created, I really believe your post to be sincere.

        In reality, Nintendo executives are after profit no matter the cost -- well, actually, not that drastic, it seems that the Nintendo 64 blunder and the lack-luster GameCube popularity changed their minds, somewhat. The Wii was a gimmick with little benefit than a then-unique input method (well, actually, the whole motion sensing thing is nothing new, but it rarely appeared on consoles except for one or two Dreamcast games). They make games based around the input, and out comes Zelda Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy. Not bad games by any standard, but they aren't exceptional. Miyamoto has every right to complain about lack of originality at Nintendo.

        • by Spacelem (189863) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:09AM (#25581719)

          The N64 wasn't really a blunder. It had Mario 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which were both considered masters of the genre, and OoT is still considered one of the best games in the world. This was before people started commenting that the series were getting a little stale. Oh, and GoldenEye, and a whole pile of games done by Rare who were so good that Microsoft bought them after Nintendo were found guilty of price fixing and had to sell them off.

          In fact I'd say that there were a lot of really awesome games on the N64, just none of them were Final Fantasy. Meanwhile, the N64 had a control stick, and managed to pack an awful lot into those cartridges. It was done to prevent long load times, which it managed. I still love my N64. The worst thing I can say about it is that my control stick got a bit crusty after all these years, and some of games had too low framerates, and it didn't help being in the UK with PAL's higher resolution (although that became less of an issue towards the end of the N64's lifecycle).

          The GameCube had the world's most comfortable controller, and I still prefer it to the Wii Remote. It had graphics which were perfectly functional, maybe not as flashy as the other consoles, but I hold that graphics are only a very small part of what makes a game good (proof: if graphics were important, then all older games would suck, and they don't). Nintendo experimented with gameplay, and they came up with some fantastic ideas. They used a very easy SDK, so it was much easier to produce games for the NGC than the PS2, and the X-Box made it too easy to just port PC games.

          The N64 and NGC were successful and good consoles, and Nintendo is still in the videogame business despite the heavy competition they faced, and growing stronger than ever. They'd have never made the Wii otherwise.

          • by Lectoid (891115)
            While I agree with the Gamecube's controller being comfortable. I believe that the Xbox 360's controller wins the title.
          • by Moryath (553296)

            Where Nintendo screwed up on the N64/Gamecube were the storage media and their early treatment of third party game makers.

            The N64 had some awesome games, but they screwed themselves by being so scared of "piracy" that they stuck it with consoles. This, compounded with flipping Sony/Phillips the middle finger on the proposed disc-based setup (which led directly to the Sony Playstation) meant that the N64 was competing with an equally-powerful console (PSX) that not only had more RAM (prior to the N64 RAM exp

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by KDR_11k (778916)

              I don't think carts were about piracy, they were because previous attempts at CD-pased gaming (Sega CD, TurboGrafx CD, CDi) were horrible failures. Additionally CDs had horrible load times at the time and the need for them wasn't that big, the game content could still fit on a cart, only the FMVs that started getting used much in games (previously they were only used for crappy "interactive movie" games) and the CD music required CDs, Nintendo probably thought the negatives outweight the positives.

              BTW, curr

          • by e2d2 (115622)

            007: Golden Eye FTW!

            I loved the N64

          • The N64 was not a miserable failure over all but it was nowhere near as popular or well-regarded as its running mates in that generation.

            That said I agree, Rare made the best and most incredible games for the N64 and I played almost all of them. Their later work for the 360 hasn't impressed me near as much I might add.

            Nintendo's own Zelda games for the N64 were also excellent, I enjoyed playing and replaying them thoroughly, although I can't say the same about Mario 64.

        • I don't see why this is modded flamebait. He has a legitimate point. Let's face it, processor-wise and capability-wise the Wii is little more than a slightly improved Gamecube. The whole console was built around the controller, as has every game for the system. This is a fun novelty, for sure (and great for parties). But it would still be more than fair to call it a "gimmick," especially as so many Wii owners are now admitting that their Wii's spend most of the time these days gathering dust (only broken ou
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by notrandomly (1242142)

            Let's face it, processor-wise and capability-wise the Wii is little more than a slightly improved Gamecube. The whole console was built around the controller, as has every game for the system.

            And controller-wise, the other consoles are little more than same old, same old. Why are better graphics better than a new controller exactly?

            But it would still be more than fair to call it a "gimmick,"

            Just like the focus on graphics in the other consoles is just a "gimmick"?

            You have an interesting definition of "g

            • Graphics power isn't nearly as important as processing power, but people have a certain normative graphical level they get accustomed to whether it be on TV or in gaming, and when you don't keep up to par, its obvious and distracting.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by vux984 (928602)

            I don't see why this is modded flamebait. He has a legitimate point. Let's face it, processor-wise and capability-wise the Wii is little more than a slightly improved Gamecube.

            Let's face it, you are essentially trolling here.

            Processor-wise and capability-wise the Wii is more than twice as powerful as a gamecube by any reasonable measuring.

            The whole console was built around the controller,

            What precisely do you think a gaming console should have been built around? Blu-Ray?

            as has every game for the system.

            That

        • by tixxit (1107127)
          No, as a long-time video game player I say, Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy were both awesome games. That said, any publicly traded company's executives better be after profit, otherwise they shouldn't be execs. Profit for Nintendo - especially long term - comes from making great games & consoles that people buy. This is why people like Miyamoto are such assets to them.

          Also, a console is more than just the hardware. Technically, both the Gamecube and the Xbox were better than the PS2, yet who
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by notrandomly (1242142)

          The Wii was a gimmick with little benefit than a then-unique input method

          And the 360 and PS3 were gimmicks with little benefit than HD graphics.

          They make games based around the input

          Wait, like Sony and Microsoft make games based around the capabilities of their respective systems?

          Miyamoto has every right to complain about lack of originality at Nintendo.

          For those games, maybe. But stuff like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, etc. was pulled of very nicely indeed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KDR_11k (778916)

          Miyamoto has full veto power on any game he participates in AFAIK. Still, the recent Zelda games were led by Aonuma instead who seems to be mostly about emulating what Miyamoto did instead of defining his own game. Well, if he's taking it in any direction it's more story heavy, kinda like Final Fantasy with a different gameplay between the cutscenes. This is the antithesis of the new generation gaming the Wii has started (short, hard, instant-fun games you can fit into a coffee break or play all day).

          Super

        • by Golddess (1361003)

          They make games based around the input, and out comes Zelda Twilight Princess

          Zelda:TP was developed (and released, I own the disc) for GameCube. It wasn't until some time in the middle of development that it was decided they would port it to Wii as well.

    • Re:Un peu de poids. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xenocide2 (231786) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:13AM (#25580325) Homepage

      Amusingly, the actual team behind Portal were at DigiPen, a training institute that Nintendo of America is deeply intertwined with. I dare say part of the reason that Portal is that Nintendo is very Japan centric, and unable to fully embrace American innovators, even ones they grew. Valve happily snatched the group up and paired them with talent from everywhere. If you look at their one endeavor to actually capitalize on the eager people ready to work for Nintendo, NST, they're a damn near failure. Every game they make is a derivative or sequel, it's like a list of "all the games you fuckers should have played, damnit!" It's clearly not a matter of talent, so I'm willing to blame management.

      Clearly many people involved with Portal are enamored with Miyamato's games. Seanbaby brings a culture of gaming steeped in the history of gaming, all the way back to the NES. And yet it seems like NoA would have made sure nobody with his edgy cult celebrity status would participate.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Japanese nationalism bit them in the ass on that one. Too many Japanese companies act like it would be beneath them to admit that any Westerner has a good game idea.
      • by BenoitRen (998927)

        Retro Studios is an American company owned by Nintendo that developed Metroid Prime and its sequels.

  • by BorgAssimilator (1167391) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:13PM (#25577623)
    He's always taken a unique view at looking at games, and finding out what makes something fun to play, and he's not worried to look back at his own works and locate things that could be improved upon.

    I know this post could be considered "redundant", since his genius is obvious, but I love him!
    • by FornaxChemica (968594) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:35PM (#25577811) Homepage Journal

      At least he's no Nintendo fanboy, he still has some critical sense left. And it's indeed interesting he's criticizing a little Twilight Princess and Mario Galaxy, both of which have been hugely successful in the press, especially Mario (highest-scored Wii game in most websites).

      I just hope I'm understanding his remark correctly... that he's not actually thinking those two games should have been more similar in spirit to Wii Sports/Fit/Music. Because when you come to think of it, he's quite enthusiastic about those shallow titles.

      • by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:08PM (#25578085)
        Shallow isn't bad. I spent countless hours of my childhood tossing and catching a rubber ball with my friends; I did it for five minutes with my son yesterday. Simple, shallow, but perpetually awesome.

        Or, to illustrate it with videogames; Asteroids is shallow as hell, but playing it is a much purer state of videogame zen than gears of war will ever be.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:40PM (#25578871)

          Asteroids needs achievements. And unlockables.

          • by 4D6963 (933028) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:16AM (#25580341)

            Ha, ironically and as funny as your comment is, it points out what's wrong with some of the nearly systematic modern era game design decisions.

            Who in this day and age would content themselves with designing something as simple without power-ups, boss levels and so forth?

          • by Sockatume (732728)
            And cut-scenes patriots about NANOMACHINES and the WAR patriots ECONOMY. That patriots last about 45 patriots patriots patriots patriots.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jonaskoelker (922170)

          Or, to illustrate it with videogames;

          And as a more modern example, Guitar Hero is just as shallow when you think about it: hit the subset of buttons indicated by the dots when the dots cross the time line up to a certain tolerance. That's all the conceptual "moving parts" in the game; the rest is presentation.

          And shallow with good presentation is good; it's a damn fun game, and it's the first game where I've ever replayed a level I've already completed perfectly just for that level's background music :)

        • by ultranova (717540)

          Or, to illustrate it with videogames; Asteroids is shallow as hell, but playing it is a much purer state of videogame zen than gears of war will ever be.

          And there's no way in Hell that anyone's ever going to pay 70 euros for it.

          Asteroids is an arcade hall game, designed to suck a few coins out of you every now and then. Gears of War is a console game, designed to suck a huge one-time sum out of you. It needs to justify that expenditure by having long play-time, and that means it needs to give rewards along

          • I guess you didn't have Asteroids on your 2600. Long play time, there have been records for the games of that era at over two days of straight play. How long does Gears of War take to finish?

        • by Gulthek (12570) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:23AM (#25581781) Homepage Journal

          That's only because you grew up on Asteroids.

          Similar to the Mega Man 9 effect [penny-arcade.com].

          Shallow is as shallow does, sir.

          • by Toonol (1057698)
            Kids don't toss balls anymore? That's a relic of my shallow, primitive upbringing?
      • by Tyris (1315133)
        Interestingly, Twilight Princess didn't do nearly as well over in Japan (when compared to its success in the west). Fortunately (or otherwise?) Miyamoto is the kind of person who respects pushing the envelope, someone who isn't content unless he create something thats new and not seen before.
        My issue with him is his latest push towards games that are more family focused, or not games at all. The Wii * series are (in some cases) enjoyable "games", they leave serious gamers wanting more... something he used
    • LittleBigPlanet is a game that Miyamoto should have made. It's the Mario MMO. You play as Mario, beating the platforms, or as Bowser, making the platform levels. And you get to challenge friends as if you stole their princess...

  • Great Article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neostorm (462848) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:15PM (#25577649)

    I have a great appreciation of this guy for not being a talking head, and for keeping his critical perspective for his own work and the rest of the industry. He really seems to have a great perspective on games as a whole, and sees where they're at and where they're going (and where they should be right now, which is probably what feeds his criticism of his own work).
    I really disliked Twilight Princess, and though Mario Galaxy was great fun for me, it was really just Mario 64 with a top-down camera most of the time.

  • Fair comments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:19PM (#25577691) Homepage
    He's right on both counts and it doesn't take anything away from either game to point out they could have been better/more adventurous. I doubt that guy got to where he is "settling" for the level of his games. There is always a new level to reach. I own both and from an end user point of view, they were awesome. No complaints.

    I hope this means there will be another Mario game for Wii. It has been a disappointing feature of the latest Nintendo consoles, that only one Mario is released per generation. With the absolute crap that is mostly coming out for the Wii, they really need to step up and rely on the strong franchises to maintain interest.
    • Re:Fair comments (Score:5, Insightful)

      by enderjsv (1128541) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:40PM (#25577853)

      "I hope this means there will be another Mario game for Wii. It has been a disappointing feature of the latest Nintendo consoles, that only one Mario is released per generation."

      You know what, I actually kind of have to disagree with that sentiment. I mean, I guess I really wouldn't have anything against a new Mario, but in truth, I really just want to see something new from Nintendo. Looking at the games they've released for the Wii, you have a lot of sequels: Metroid, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Zelda. I don't have anything against sequels, as long as they're good (and they are), but also I'd really like to see them expand into new IPs.

      I'm aware that they have some new IPs, like Wii Fit, Wii Music and Wii Sports, but these are really just novelty IPs, not quite the kind of games I'm into.

      I love Mario. Always will. But sometimes, Mario should sit it out.

      • Re:Fair comments (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:26PM (#25579259) Homepage
        That is the problem though - Desires aside, there are not enough actual, proven decent titles coming from the wii catalogue. In a previous post I'd mentioned the realisation that there are very few Wii games reviewed with 85% or higher (compared to other consoles). Something that became increasingly obvious as I checked in bi-monthly to see if there is anything worth playing.

        Someone (some awesome individual) then did a bit of stats and posted a very good summation of the situation (deserved to be modded up but too late, I guess). Read these stats and think about how many of the actually good games are franchises.. I will repost it here:
        http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1009873& cid=25545311

        Ok, let's use Metacritic...

        Wii First available: November 19, 2006
        Scores 80 and above: 36 games
        Scores 85 and above: 13 games
        Source: http://www.metacritic.com/games/wii/scores/ [metacritic.com]

        Xbox 360 First available: November 22, 2005
        Scores 80 and above: 122 games
        Scores 85 and above: 47 games
        Source: http://www.metacritic.com/games/xbox360/scores/ [metacritic.com]

        PS3 First available: November 11, 2006
        Scores 80 and above: 79 games
        Scores 85 and above: 34 games
        Source: http://www.metacritic.com/games/ps3/scores/ [metacritic.com]

        PS2 First available: October-November, 2000
        Scores 80 and above: 319 games
        Scores 85 and above: 149 games
        Source: http://www.metacritic.com/games/ps2/scores/ [metacritic.com]

        Nintendo DS First available: November, 2004
        Scores 80 and above: 64 games
        Scores 85 and above: 25 games
        Source: http://www.metacritic.com/games/ds/scores/ [metacritic.com]

        "Good" Game per Month (GGPM) Ratio Since most consoles were released in November, lets round up their ages by year. And assuming the score of 80 qualifies as a "good" game: - Wii: 36/24 = 1.5 GGPM
        - 360: 122/36 = 3.39 GGPM
        - PS3: 79/24 = 3.29 GGPM
        - PS2: 319/96 = 3.32 GGPM (*)
        - NDS: 64/48 = 1.33 GGPM

        *) The PS2 probably doesn't have many new games anymore in the past few years.

        It seems the NDS and Wii are filled with a lot more family and kids-friendly games, and these games tend to not favor the critics, and possibly most hardcore gamers.

        I think, given the quality and innovation of SMG, there is enough room for further elaboration on the Wii.

        And if you truly actually want decent titles on the Wii rather than noveltyware, right now, you're worried about the future of this console. Very little quality stuff is coming out. It's a complete contradiction to the perpetually sold out status of the console. I'm surprised more people are not complaining about how poor the catalogue is. As it stands, more often than not if I go browse the Wii shelves, I'm standing next to a family who are buying a game on cover alone (and promised novelty mechanics that rarely work). If that is the majority market, I can see why publishers don't give a shit, just turn out turds and watch the dollars roll in :-)

        I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a "gamer". I just make informed decisions on whether to buy something. Strangely, whenever I check whether I should, I'm confronted with a fairly resounding "nothing to see here" regarding new stuff coming for the Wii.

        • Re:Fair comments (Score:4, Insightful)

          by enderjsv (1128541) on Friday October 31, 2008 @04:51AM (#25580887)

          I don't know how much blame to put on Nintendo for that. Honestly, Nintendo is one of the best game developers in the world. Despite the fact that they seem to rely a lot on established IPs (as I mentioned earlier), they still manage to crank out good games at an alarming rate. I honestly can't think of any other developer as successful as they have been.

          The problem, obviously, is the same problem Nintendo has had ever since Sony went CD format with the PS1, and Nintendo stuck with its proprietary cartridge format. They are unable to attract 3rd party developers willing to make good 3rd party games. It's something that they've never been able to truly come back from.

          So what's the problem? The Wii is a very successful system, outselling the Xbox and the PS3 significantly. Why are the 3rd party developers so weary? Well, I can think of two reasons.

          1. The system was made and is still being marketed towards the casual crowd. The casual crowd is much less discerning than the core gamers. As such, a 3rd party developer really has little motivation to spend time and money developing something good, and instead can shovel some cheap mini-game, perhaps with some movie license attached to it, and rake in easy dollars. That kind of thing doesn't fly as well on the PS3 or Xbox 360.

          2. The system is significantly underpowered when compared to the other two systems. This means that when a developer is choosing which systems to design their games for, they kind of have two options. Develop it for the Wii, or develop it simultaneously for the 360 and the ps3. Even if the Wii matched the total sales of the other two systems combined (which it doesn't), any game would still probably reach higher sales figures if it was released on two platforms instead of one. In fact, now that I think about it, the Wii is kind of competing with the PC as well. Not many games for the wii are released simultaneously on the 360, the ps3, or the PC, but I can think of several games that have come out on all three of those platforms and missed the Wii entirely.

          It's been two years, and the Wii is still going strong. I think we've gone past the point where we can wonder if the Wii is just a fad. Apparently, the casual gaming market CAN sustain a system. And sustain it they have. Who'd have thought? But until casual gamers become more discerning, I don't think the Wii is really the system of choice for more prevalent gamers like myself. Or, maybe the casual gamers will grow bored of it, and then Nintendo will be forced once again to appeal to the core crowd. Who knows?

          • If Nintendo (for some insane reason) decided tomorrow to stop manufacturing Wiis, and let them sell out, they would still stand a good chance of winning this generation (which will probably only last 3-4 more years). They're that far ahead.
        • Re:Fair comments (Score:5, Interesting)

          by The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) on Friday October 31, 2008 @05:30AM (#25581015) Homepage Journal
          It's striking that DS has a similar GGPM rate to Wii, and that both are lower than the other consoles. I think the explanation for the discrepancy is Nintendo's target audience. First, a lot of people who buy Nintendo consoles buy them specifically for Nintendo games: Mario, Zelda, etc. Compare the top selling games for the different consoles [wikipedia.org]: almost all of Wii's are first-party, whereas Xbox 360 and PS3 have more variety in their publishers. So the target market for Nintendo is mostly interested in first party titles.

          The other thing is that Nintendo's target market probably buys fewer games per console. How many games does the average Nintendo customer buy a month? I'm not talking about "hardcore" gamers, I'm talking about the average person with a Nintendo console. I would be hard-pressed to say its more than 1 a month.

          For the other consoles, you've got more "hardcore" gamers that buy games more frequently, but that can't be expected to buy the same games as each other. As a rough example, 9.53 million Mario Kart Wii sales [wikipedia.org] per 30.55 million Wiis [wikipedia.org], vs. 3 million MGS4 sales [wikipedia.org] per 16.84 million [wikipedia.org] PS3 sales. Put another way, about 1 in 3 Wii owners bought Mario Kart, but less than 1 in 5 PS3 owners bought MGS4. (I realize there are some important differences, but this is just to give a rough idea.)

          This would explain why Nintendo puts out fewer quality games. Their target audience only wants so many games per month, and they can be expected to buy the same quality games as each other. By comparison, the other consoles have to put out more diverse quality games because of the more diverse and frenzied appetites of their target market.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            The other thing is that Nintendo's target market probably buys fewer games per console. How many games does the average Nintendo customer buy a month? I'm not talking about "hardcore" gamers, I'm talking about the average person with a Nintendo console. I would be hard-pressed to say its more than 1 a month.

            I'd say its way less than that. I'm a somewhat casual gamer (I enjoy the AAA games, but have little play time so only buy a few and they last me forever) looking back over my last 4 or 5 consoles, I'd say I buy 10 to 15 games per console LIFETIME (3-4 years?). Anecdotal of course, but I think 1 game a month is quite a bit.

        • "Good" Game per Month (GGPM) Ratio Since most consoles were released in November, lets round up their ages by year. And assuming the score of 80 qualifies as a "good" game: - Wii: 36/24 = 1.5 GGPM

          What this tells me is that if you have a gaming budget under $75/month, the approximate cost of one and one half retail titles, there are enough good games available no matter what platform(s) you own.

          Of course, it also depends on whether we agree on your definition of "good game". I don't put much weight on the a

          • In short, a console should be judged based on whether *I* enjoy the experience it offers, not whether people who may be entirely unlike me do. By that measure, my Wii is a great console.

            I agree, but he's trying to make an informed buying decision, presumably without spending the money on renting all the consoles to try them for himself. I don't think an analysis based on game ratings is completely accurate either, but I do think it gives a good ballpark. When you have aggregate ratings showing that Wii h

      • I love Mario. Always will.

        I prefer Princess Toadstool.

  • Question- (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moniker127 (1290002)
    Why do gaming companies have to make 100 versions of the same franchise? I loved zelda, sure... infact, I still have the gold cartridge for it. But, its not the 80s anymore. Come up with something else.
    • Id like to add that I don't mind sequels- they continue the story. But, I don't like games that are just released and released, and released... over and over the story resets to 0 and you do something similar in a different story line.
      • by MrMista_B (891430)

        Then don't buy them. Do you really think Mario and Zelda are they only games Nintendo makes?

        Of course not.

        Wii Fit, for example, Wii Music, and others.

        The same with other companies - Capcom, for example, makes more than Megaman, and even EA these days is making new games (Dead Space, for example).

        It's a tired argument that's never been true, and frankly I'm tired of hearing it.

        • I think there is truth to it. Making the same game over and over gets stale. I know some people still love it, and consider my talk treason, but even the inventor of the IP is starting to think they're lame now. I just think the gaming companies would be better served (or, more accurately, the gamer community) by getting new content.
          • Re:Question- (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Tjebbe (36955) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:15PM (#25578137) Homepage

            While I do agree with you, I must say I think that the Zelda and Mario franchises are bad examples, at least in the earlier iterations. Mario 1, 2, 3, and 64 were completely different games, as were the Zelda's up to and including Ocarina of Time.

            IMHO staying within the setting but building a completely new game around it is no problem at all.

            Repeating the same game but with fancier graphics or two added gimmicks is a whole different thing. And that is where the newer versions probably went wrong. Although I still liked them :p

          • Making the same game over and over gets stale.

            But that's not what happens with Mario and Zelda. Mario 64 is completely different from Mario 3 is completely different from Mario 2 is completely different from Super Mario Bros. And Mario Sunshine is completely different from 64. Galaxy is something completely new again.

            The same goes for Zelda, for the most part. 1 and 2 were completely different. The SNES game was completely different from Zelda 2. OoT was 3D, obviously very different. Majora's Mask looked

      • by Goaway (82658)

        So you basically care mostly about the shallowest characteristics of the games, like their names and the characters used, and don't care that the gameplay is radically different between the various games?

        • Re:Question- (Score:5, Insightful)

          by enderjsv (1128541) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:17PM (#25578151)

          The gameplay is radically different? Which game are you referring to?

          Mario Galaxy radically different than Super Mario Sunshine?
          Mario Kart Wii radically different than Mario Kart DS?
          Metroid?
          Zelda?
          Smash Bros?

          I guess it's a matter of opinion, but to me, the radical changes to Nintendo IPs mostly happened during the N64 era, and to a lesser extent, the Gamecube era, when games were making the switch from 2d to 3d. All of the games I've mentioned above share quite a bit in common with their N64 and Gamecube counterparts.

          Finally, I ask, what's so wrong with wanting original IP's? Why do some people get so defensive when this is asked for?

          • Re:Question- (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:33PM (#25578803)

            Mario Galaxy radically different than Super Mario Sunshine?

            Yes, absolutely. Although I see your point with the others. (I say this despite personally having a lot of affection for Twilight Princess.)

            Finally, I ask, what's so wrong with wanting original IP's? Why do some people get so defensive when this is asked for?

            It was this line: "Why do gaming companies have to make 100 versions of the same franchise?"

            Nintendo in particular is pretty darned good at making a compelling sequel. In a world where the vast majority of sequels are, at best, expansion packs of the original game, Nintendo still finds ways to keep them compelling. I never would have thought I'd prefer a Tetris game over the original Game Boy version. But Tetris DS came along and blew me away. Multiplayer Tetris, over the internet, on a portable system. Suh-weeet. Mario Kart DS? Same deal. Zelda? Do a search for GameTrailers Zelda Retrospective. The epic scale of that franchise is mind-boggling. Compare all that to say Grand Theft Auto. Now, I love Grand Theft Auto. I've played the heck out of all the non-portable versions, even before it went 3D. But when I look back, yeah the sequels were fun, but honestly I don't see that big of difference between them. The stories are different, that's what keeps me coming back, but fundamentally we were given a few trivial upgrades to the original premise. I won't be waiting in line for the next GTA game anymore. Even Bully could be considered an unofficial GTA sequel. It's just so... tried and true. It's hard to look at a series like that then criticize Nintendo for their sequels.

            Even then, I really don't have a problem with criticism of Nintendo's games. Not every game works with everybody. But you wouldn't seriously say that Nintendo doesn't try new things, would you? Wii Fit? Wii Sports? (The best selling game of 2007 and it's.. bowling?!) Brain Age? Strikers? Seriously man, when you say things like you did, it sounds like somebody who read the title and jumped to conclusions about what the game is. You're going to receive criticism for that by people who know better. It's like saying: "I don't like vegetables because I hate spinach, give me something original." I'm not sure what else you'd expect, honestly.

            • I'm not sure you can count Wii Sports as the best selling game of 2007... didn't it come bundled with the Wii? (I'm not sure, I don't own one)

              But a few posts up someone posted his "Good Games Per Month" thing. The Wii/DS have very few games that are actually worth picking up. The Wiimote, most of the time, seems unresponsive and it's used way too often as a novelty product. All it does is make you look like a fool playing a game.

              As for Twilight Princess, I own it for Gamecube. I don't think we can cal
              • I'm not sure you can count Wii Sports as the best selling game of 2007... didn't it come bundled with the Wii?

                Wii Sports was not bundled in Japan, and still sold by the bucketload.

                The Wii/DS have very few games that are actually worth picking up.

                I'm afraid you are wrong there.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                You don't see a reason to own a Wii? My wife is not a gamer by any means, but I have a Wii because my wife wanted one after playing it at a friend's house. This is why they are selling. Nintendo figured out that "looking like a fool" while playing can actually be fun for non-gamers. The Wii is in high demand in senior citizens homes, for pete's sake, because using the controller is so simple and natural that even your grandma can see the appeal.

                To make this platform successful Nintendo doesn't need a huge n

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by jonaskoelker (922170)

            what's so wrong with wanting original IP's?

            For one, you could only use them to communicate with 30 other hosts.

            Thank you, I'm here all week. Try the v6 ;)

            See http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1.txt [ietf.org]; destaddr is five bits; 00000 is unused [says Peter Salus, I didn't read the whole rfc and I don't remember this bit].

          • Finally, I ask, what's so wrong with wanting original IP's?

            Nothing. But apparently you've missed things like Wii Fit, Animal Crossing, Nintendogs, Wii Music, Pikmin, etc. It's not like Nintendo never comes up with something new.

            Why do some people get so defensive when this is asked for?

            They get defensive when someone wants Nintendo to ditch known and loved characters. I want to experience a new Zelda game, based on new technology which can bring new parts of the Zelda universe to me.

    • Re:Question- (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:15PM (#25578135) Homepage

      Meh. As long as they keep making games in the same genre, I see no reason not to keep making games for that genre be part of the same franchise. I still love the Action/Adventure genre as much now as I did in the 80s when The Legend of Zelda basically invented it, so what purpose does it serve for Nintendo to make a new action-adventure game that doesn't use the Zelda brand?

      Beyond Good and Evil is an action/adventure that I recommend to friends by calling it "a better Zelda that Zelda", but that wasn't because it didn't feature Zelda characters. It was because it had excellent gameplay in exploration, combat, and sneaking sequences, tightly integrated dungeons, and a lack of time-killing hunt-and-find quests. Okay, the story was also significantly better than your average action-adventure too, but there's nothing that says a Zelda can't have a good story either (and some do).

      If StarFox Adventures had been whatever it was before being getting slapped with the license, would it still have been a piece of crap? Most likely, though getting to play as the female character for more than an intro sequence as originally planned might have taken the edge off the suck.

      Mario Kart would be an ever better example for a genre where having it be the same franchise makes little to no difference to me.

      So, I guess my point is... As long as I like the genre, I don't mind a franchise in that genre. Of course it's very nice when they inject originality into the franchise... But honestly, did Twilight Princess disappoint Miyamoto because the Zelda franchise locks the developers into certain cliches of gameplay (which are equally well cliches in nearly all other games in the genre), or because coming up with completely original gameplay is hard regardless of whether or not you call your game "Zelda", and the dev team just failed to be creative enough?

      • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker AT gnu DOT org> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:12PM (#25579147) Homepage

        but there's nothing that says a Zelda can't have a good story either (and some do).

        They all do! For one,

        SPOILER WARNING
        In Twilight Princess, Ganondorf kidnaps princess Zelda.
        SPOILER OVER

        See?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Chris Burke (6130)

          Ha, touche. Well, in The Wind Waker, Ganondorf kidnaps Zelda, but she kicks some arse on your behalf in the final fight. Such a shame that the final battle comes only after a ridiculous time-wasting search-and-find quest, because it's one of the best end battles in any game anywhere and I think a lot of people never got to it.

          Besides, what's an action/adventure game without someone to rescue? Even in Beyond Good and Evil (yes, I love that game), you end up rescuing a friend. What creative twist are you g

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ultranova (717540)

            Besides, what's an action/adventure game without someone to rescue? Even in Beyond Good and Evil (yes, I love that game), you end up rescuing a friend. What creative twist are you going to put on the formula that's so unique, yet at the same time compelling?

            You get to play as Ganondorf, and your objectives are to learn to use your l33t magic powers (which of course requires finding ancient manuscripts from various dungeons and realizing their true meaning when almost dead in a previously hopeless fight aga

        • This is my biggest complaint about Twilight Princess. For 90% of the game, we have a brand new villain and a brand new side kick in Zant and Midna. They are interesting, have cool back stories, and all around fresh for a somewhat stale Zelda universe. Then all of a sudden, it's like the writers had some kind of epiphany that Zelda and Gannon HAD to be in the game and if they didn't play their stereotypical, cookie cutter roles we've seen 10 times before, the title wouldn't be worthy of being called Legen

    • People do come up with something else. I will buy every new version of Zelda, however. You can blame it on me, don't waste your money if you're not interested.
    • No, please don't ditch characters like Mario and Zelda. A lot of people have an emotional attachment to these characters. I want to play as Mario and Link in the future. Familiar is good.

      And as for coming up with something else, don't Pikmin, Nintendogs, etc. count?

  • by 7Prime (871679) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:32PM (#25578255) Homepage Journal

    While I applaud his candid response, I wouldn't have had anything against him saying, "well folks, we've put out the two best games in their respective series"... because I feel both were. Twilight Princess combind the timeless epic quality of Ocarina of Time, but gave it the drama and heart that I feel that the series has lacked. Mario Galaxy may not quite beat out Mario 3 in my book, but both felt eerily similar in their inspired quality, and I think that Mario Galaxy is the best game since Mario 3. Now, all I feel they need to do with Zelda is do to TP, what Majora's Mask did to OoT, ie: fuck with it, do something out of left field that's not "normal" for Zelda. MM was my favorite game in the series until TP came along. TP is now probably my favorite game... period.

    Portal was wonderful, don't get me wrong. However, it didn't present me with a full emotional and gameplay spectrum the way that Zelda or Mario do... it was a short vignette of a game, a very perfect one, for that matter. Don't know why I can put ICO at the top of my list but not Portal (similarly short), but something keeps Portal from reaching that high eschellon for me.

    • by Cocoa Radix (983980) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:25PM (#25578725) Homepage

      You forget that Miyamoto is VERY into innovation. Pikmin, Nintendogs, Wii Fit (among others): those are all his, and all are/were pretty innovative ideas. Portal was innovative, too, and it's obvious why he really likes it.

      I thought that Twilight Princess was an excellent game, as well, but while I played Mario Galaxy from start to finish -- and enjoyed it thoroughly -- its linearity kept it from being either challenging or exciting.

      Remember Mario 64? How you pretty much had free reign over fifteen large worlds? In Mario Galaxy, there are some large worlds, sure, but depending on which objective you're on, you're really only allowed to visit certain parts of each world, and to progress from celestial body to celestial body, you just walk from point A to an obvious point B -- there's never any guesswork or exploration involved. For me, that's what made Mario Galaxy way too easy and predictable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Remember Mario 64? How you pretty much had free reign over fifteen large worlds?

        Arrrrgh! Twice [slashdot.org] in one day!

        You are given free REIN! A rein is used to control a horse, and when you relax your grip and relinquish control, you're giving him "free rein." How exactly would you give someone free reign? Abolish the constitutional monarchy and re-establish divine right, for $0? That right there is retarded, and it's not what SM64 gives you, anyway!

        Oh god, I'm having a grammar nazi aneurysm! ARRRGH! *dead*

        • You're absolutely right. My apologies. I've always considered myself a grammar nazi, but you're shattering my world right here!! =)
        • How exactly would you give someone free reign

          I don't know, but the ability to have free and total control to do whatever you feel like without any restrictions does kind of fit the term, whether or not that's the correct spelling.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I dunno, I'm playing through Mario 64 currently. The levels seem pretty small, but that's a good thing. Otherwise you'd just be looking for stars forever. But you know, after playing the same level over 3 or 4 times, I get kind of tired of it. I just don't feel motivated to play through yet again to find the last few stars I couldn't find the first time through. To some extent, linearity prevents you from wasting your time, getting lost in a part of a level that won't help you progress through the game.

    • Oddly enough I thought Mario Galaxy was awesome but Twilight Princess was trash, although I probably would have liked TP if I played it on the gamecube instead.

      • by macshit (157376)

        Oddly enough I thought Mario Galaxy was awesome but Twilight Princess was trash, although I probably would have liked TP if I played it on the gamecube instead.

        I never played TP on the wii, so I don't know how it was affected by the different controller, but I can confirm that TP is an excellent game on the gamecube. Besides the moving story, fun gameplay, and engaging characters (the sidekick, Midna, was great, probably the best NPC in any zelda game to date), the controls on the GC were utterly spot on. It was also graphically very well done.

    • by Zebedeu (739988)

      Don't know why I can put ICO at the top of my list but not Portal (similarly short), but something keeps Portal from reaching that high eschellon for me.

      If you loved ICO, you will probably love Shadow of the Colossus even more (if you don't know about it yet). It's a kind of sequel to ICO while not really being a sequel.

      This is coming from someone with more or less the same taste in gaming, though I would certainly put Portal up there with the masters.

  • when he's such a great game designer, he should be able to come up with some new franchise that tops mario and zelda. after all, these are the things he's famous for: inventing new stuff. now, taking a franchise and turn the already developed characters into some new game is one thing (if the game is great that's good), but the real genius comes up with a new theme. do it. now.

    and, tbh, just *talking* about game design and what needs to be done is lame, at least for a guy like him. don't talk, do.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think that his reply would be: why? Whether a game is good or not depends on its gameplay, not what franchise it's associated with. It doesn't matter if a game has Mario or Zelda games in it as long as it's a good game, so if you're making a new game, why not re-use existing, popular characters if they fit into the game's style?

      Oh, and some of Nintendo's newer "franchises" include Animal Crossing and Pikmin.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430)

      What the hell are you talking about? Ever heard of something like Wii Fit? Wii Music? The entire Wii console?

      You have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by wzzzzrd (886091)
        yea, nice fancy stuff, but that is technology, not game design. wii fit, nice, but not as revolutionary as the first mario or the first zelda. it's as revolutionary and new as the iphone is. i'm just saying he can do more than *that*. see what impact mario had? in 10 years the wii will be remembered as the macbook of consoles. creating new universes is a whole other thing.

        You have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

        you're right, i usually don't. that's why i post on slashdot ;)
    • He has come up with new franchises. Pikmin, Nintendogs, most of the Wii titles, like that new music game, but, despite their success, they don't get remembered the way Mario or Link does. It's hard for one successful game to compete against a series that's been successful for decades.
  • The Wii versions of Zelda and mario are excellent (Mario more so) but while they're enjoyable, worth buying and feel quality they do feel a bit like someone who's played the same character for decades and is just going through the motions.

    They're lacking a bit of the excitement you used to get from the series.

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