I refuse to explain to you who Shigeru Miyamoto is. Knowledge of this man is a REQUIREMENT for being on this website. Or at least this particular blog... *cough*
I had an urge to title this blog "The Death of the Miyamoto Approach" but felt that would be way too dramatic. I also couldn't forgive myself if someone misread the title as "The Death of Miyamoto". Oh god I don't even want to think about the day he dies... LET'S GET ON TOPIC.
Ok so after Nick's recent Lara Croft review
I started down a line of thinking. You see this particular Lara Croft game come out without any online co-op. It will eventually be patched and I think that the reason they released it in such an incomplete manner was in order to be a "Summer of Arcade" title.
I was explaining why I hate this sort of attitude in the comments of that review when my mind ended up using this term it suddenly came up with: "The Miyamoto Approach". I used it to express what I believe is a far better attitude to game making. This idea is based off of this quote from Miyamoto that I can't find but which went something like
"Eventually no one will remember that a game was delayed... but they will remember how good it was."
This really stuck with me. Think about a game such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
. Today it's considered by many as one of the greatest games of all time... but nobody really cares that it was delayed. Maybe at the time they did but by now it is something forgotten... a tease lost to time. But everyone remembers the quality of the game.
You may be thinking about how this relates to a game like Duke Nukem Forever
. I don't think I need to remind you just how ridiculously delayed THAT game is. That is not in the same line of thinking as Miyamoto however. He knew the difference between putting out a product that truly needed more time and continuously building upon a game till the end of time. How do I know this?
My one and only exhibit.
You see at the time of Super Mario World
's release Miyamoto was not pleased with the final product. I on the other hand believe this game to be the absolute best in 2D platforming. If you can play the game at the highest level... if you can play it in such a way as to take advantage of everything the game has to offer you can achieve amazing things which really elevate it above any previous Mario platformer. Yet Miyamoto was disappointed with it. Still, he released it cause he knew it was a good game. Perhaps he wanted to implement the type of art style shown in the game's sequal, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
. Now instead of delaying the game in the same fashion that Duke Nukem Forever
has been we were able to enjoy two amazing games. Each special in their own way. Miyamoto knew the correct balance to take with this approach.
This brings me back to my original premise... "the death" of the Miyamoto Approach. I don't feel comfortable calling it a death, but there is definitely less emphasis on this approach today and I feel that as time goes on it will get worse. We can see it in the constant patching of today's games. Imagine if Modern Warfare 2
came out at a time when there was no such thing as patching. Every single copy of it would contain the same exploits and bugs for everyone in the multiplayer community to use. The same exploits that were there at day 1 exist today. Imagine how frustrating that would be. I know that many older games also had glitches but not nearly at the amount seen today, and I do admit that part of that has to do with the ever increasing complexity of modern games. However there is a minimizing of what is to be expected when any problem can be patched.
Now we are seeing games like Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light
being released with entire features left out. It is essentially a game that is incomplete
. It may be a fine game regardless of the online co-op but it is incomplete nonetheless. As I thought about this I realized that game-makers today do not need to follow this Miyamoto Approach. At least... not as much.
You know I honestly won't care if it comes out with a few bugs Valve... honest.
Of course the developers will still want to put out a relatively good game that will come out to good reviews. However they can withhold things that will be promised later. Perhaps a few multiplayer maps or game modes will be missing. This seems to be the case with Red Dead Redemption and their first set of DLC. Originally the free DLC, Outlaws to the End
, was meant to be in the final game but needed to be cut in order to be released in time. In this sense we can see that this new way of developing games isn't too
bad after all.
My purpose is not to say that the diminishing of the Miyamoto Approach is necessarily a bad thing... although it can be in certain aspects. At the end of the day we can only hope for the developers [patch: make that "the people who are in charge of the creation of the game"] to make the right decisions and to know when to keep the right balance... kind of like Miyamoto did.