Monday, 1 June 2015

Nintendo's Expansion into Other Genres will Save the WiiU

I often see comments saying that Nintendo consoles aren't doing well because they don't have games like COD and Skyrim. Obviously this is bullshit from people who haven't even exploded beyond a very select amount of games. But it did get me thinking about one of Nintendo's biggest legitimate criticisms, the fact they like to play it safe.
This is even more evident with many of the WiiU's games. Despite Mario Kart 8 and Smash 4 being some of their best and most popular games ever, they are without a doubt some of their safest games. Nintendo worked hard perfecting these games, but they made sure to not strive off the standard formula. Even Pokemon X&Y fall victim to this. Both incredible yet safe. They play to the Pokemon formula better than any previous generation. For fans this is not a bad thing, they have made a lot of people happy who enjoy these games. But at the same time it does make me wonder about future versions of these games. Mario Kart 8 is "perfect", all they ever need to do from now on is add more courses, Smash just needs more characters and arenas. Will Mario Kart 10 be forced to strive from the path just to keep people interested?

However, what some people do miss is Nintendo's current attempts to expand into other genres. Splatoon is the best example of this. It's only been out for one weekend yet it's already marked it's self as a new fan favourite. Splatoon is a family friendly FPS*. With the colourful characters, ink and all, it's a ton of fun. Where as FPS games have their history rooted in zombies and war zones, Splatoon gives them a new environment and opens the genre up for even more players.

Another new genre Nintendo might be getting in on is fighting games, with Pokken Tournament. Although it's only due out in Japanese arcades at the moment, it is highly likely going to be ported to WiiU for us westerners. By using the Pokemon IP Nintendo can introduce a whole new generation to fighting games. Fighting games don't seem to have a home lately beyond arcades. Sure you can find them on Playstation and Xbox, but still the best place to get them is going back to old games or PC. They seem more at home on Nintendo than they do the other two and I think many fighting game fans would agree.

Last game for now, would be the new Zelda Game for the WiiU. This might just be the hype talking, as there's not been much news on it yet, but they're putting a ton of effort in to make sure it's excellent, that's why it was delayed. Though not sneaking off into another genre, this new Zelda game might give those Skyrim lovers what they're wanting. A vast open world Zelda game would give the franchise that epic step forward. This is actually a lot like their current formula, in that it's going to the general idea for Zelda yet "perfect" but at the same time it's much more ambitious than some of the other WiiU titles.

Nintendo games have the fun, cartoonish looks and charm. This is being mixed in well with new genres in such a way only Nintendo could pull off. I have high hopes for this formula. It'll bring new customers to Nintendo and will bring new players to different genres. A win on both sides.

*note: turns out Splatoon is actually 3rd person not an FPS, but the point still stands, being a shooterand all.