Let me begin this by saying, “I’m a Nintendo fan-boy.” I cannot deny it, so I won’t even try. Though I rarely speak for games and systems I have never played, that does not stop others on gaming sites from belittling my tastes. Fellow Nintendo fans know the feeling, I’m sure. I know Nintendo has its faults (what company doesn’t?), but I just can’t get enough of my favorite franchises. Many people will argue that Nintendo’s library isn’t diverse enough, and though I have my own opinions on the matter, what I really want to write about is the commonly raised complaint:
Nintendo’s franchises aren’t diverse within their own series.
I believe this is completely untrue. I have a hard time saying that A Link to the Past is the same as Ocarina of Time is the same as Majora’s Mask is the same as Skyward Sword. I have a hard time saying Kirby’s Dreamland is the same as Epic Yarn is the same as Canvas Curse is the same as Mass Attack. In fact, I could apply this same line of reasoning to almost any major Nintendo franchise (except maybe Animal Crossing, Pikmin and some other smaller properties).
If you really dig deep, you can find some of the most unique experiences on Nintendo platforms. Ace Attorney, Elebits, Electroplankton, Elite Beat Agents, Rhythm Heaven, The World Ends with You, and Hotel Dusk come to mind. Actually, the reason I thought to write this article is because I just recently imported the sequel to Hotel Dusk, which was never released in the states (shame on you, Nintendo). As I was playing this game and reading comments that made ridiculous claims like, “EVERY MARIO GAME IS EXACTLY THE SAME!!!!,” I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool if Nintendo would incorporate this gameplay style with an established franchise?”
At first I figured Metroid could make a really interesting point and click adventure. She does a lot of environment scans in the Prime series, so what if she could use that to help her track down a bounty? She could still occupy the same types of environments, but the story would have more of a narrative and puzzles to solve.
All of a sudden, I started thinking of some of these other crossover games: Pokemon Conquest, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, and Hyrule Warriors. What would an Elite Beat Agents-style Starfox game be like? Or how about a Legend of Zelda JRPG? Kirby needs a cooking game, Captain Falcon needs an open-world, GTA-style game, and Nintendo would make a killing with a Pokemon/Animal Crossing crossover.
At any rate, these are the crazy ideas I come up with as a Nintendo fan. What do you think? Do you have any far out there ideas for franchise genre-swapping? For those of you that think Nintendo is stuck in a rut, would any of this change your opinion?