Man, I’m good at not making friends lately. Let me first say that I’m not going to make this some statement about Nintendo’s consoles. I haven’t owned one since the Gamecube, because none of them appealed to me. The Wii was a gimmick. The Wii U has been a joke. A short-lived joke. To be honest, I just don’t feel the urge to buy a Nintendo console. All of their new games are hooked in with this Amiibo shit. It’s so dumb. Nintendo saw the cash cow that Skylanders and Disney Infinity have been, so they wanted in on the toy craze action, I guess. Add to that the fact that I don’t have a gaming PC, and I see no reason to spend more money for a console that can’t even sell the latest AAA games.
But there is another reason that I feel no urge to invest in Nintendo again, and that’s the subject of this post. I have been following the hype surrounding the latest Legend of Zelda game. Everyone is singing about how it is an open world game. That’s cool and all, but I’ve been replaying Ocarina of Time, and I couldn’t help but notice something – outside of the towns and dungeons, there is this big open area for you to explore at our own pace. Then I played Majora’s Mask, and it was the same deal. The open area was a lot smaller this time, but there were still things to find and people to meet. Then there was Wind Waker. Now we had a huge area to explore! On your ship, you can explore as you see fit. It’s peaceful, but that’s as open world as it gets right there. Hell, even the towns are part of the big open space.
So what about this game makes it so special? The fact that the open world is a lot bigger? I guess that’s cool. But then I have to ask – How does that make it any different? you will have a big open space. There will be areas that you can’t get to, until you get certain gear, I assume. Just like the other games. Or maybe the gimmick is that you can explore everywhere. Still, I can’t help but think that this open world deal is being REALLY over-hyped. At its core, it’s still a Legend of Zelda game. You go through dungeons, all around a big open space, various town hubs, and then stop the evil force. What is so different about that, other than having a REALLY big open space to explore?
This is my problem with Nintendo games – they never change. But I guess that’s cool, for the people who love that stuff. They don’t care if they get the same game, over and over and over again. It’s what keeps Nintendo afloat. That and their appeal to kids. Still, it is the exact same game. Whatever floats your boat? I don’t know.
Thing is, as I get older and more cynical, I find myself liking games that try different things. They can be things with narrative, as in the case of The Last of Us. They can be things in terms of quirky gameplay elements that stick with you, like with Flower and The Unfinished Swan. They can be things in great characters that you can really get invested in, like in my favorite game of last year – Life is Strange. Still, I like games that are giving me something I’m not seeing anywhere else. Or at least is fresh enough to hold my attention. Sure, sometimes I play a game like Devil May Cry to slash things up and get my adrenaline going. But overall, while I’m not one of these hipsters who needs games to be treating them like fucking royalty, I do want games that are at least showing me something I haven’t seen done to death.
Which brings me back to Nintendo – it’s been done. To death. They’ve been banking off their nostalgia for so long that I honestly don’t know if they know how to be original anymore. The newest Star Fox is just a re-skin of older games. Hell, they are bringing ideas back from games in the SNES days. Like that stupid-ass chicken mode with the Arwing. That is fucking retarded. People who can defend that need their head examined. I can’t invest time and money into the same game, over and over. If you can, good for you. Don’t think that this is me attacking people for liking Nintendo’s stuff. After all, if the new Star Wars taught me anything, it’s that people are aching to have their nostalgia stroked to no end.
But I am getting old enough that I am not that person. Nostalgia can be fun, but not when it never improves. Man, I am not making any friends here. Not only did I bad-mouth a game lots of people are looking forward to, but also a film that nerds creamed in their pants over. If you want to chew me out, feel free. I don’t mod comments. Tell me about how dumb I am all you like. But maybe you can see where I’m coming from.
Until next time, a quote,
“Be careful with whose advice you buy. But be patient with those who sell it. Advice is just a form of nostalgia. Fishing the past out of the garbage disposal, shining it up and painting over the ugly parts. Then selling it for more than it’s worth.” -Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen