« on: October 25, 2004, 11:09:07 PM »
Here's how I think Nintendo could solve their problems:
Nintendo really needs a Halo-like buzz game. The N64 had them in the form of Ocarina of Time and Mario 64, but there have been few of those buzz-games this generation. Wind Waker could have been one but alas, most gamers are, let's be honest, know-nothing jerks who will dismiss something at the slightest excuse. You can argue the day is long that they were wrong to dismiss Wind Waker -- and you'd be right, painfully right. But when all is said and done, they don't *have* to become enlightened enough to find out what they're missing. Unfortunately the coolest parts of Wind Waker were at the end, in that incredible endgame. All you have to do to show a "I am a tremendous clownboat."-spounting know-nothing how actually cool the game is is to let them watch you go down to sunken Hyrule, through the castle, through Ganon's Tower and beat the big bad guy himself with Zelda on support, with those torrents of water flowing all around. It would shut up almost anyone.
One thing Nintendo could do this is to take their shiny U.S. development arm and make a purposely, shallowly trendy game. It's not hard. Something that looks cheap and trashy, probably involving a female protagonist wearing a bikini and with a sword and magic powers or some such, killing demons and committing drive-by shootings or something. It'd at least shatter their family-friendly reputation*. But put some actual gameplay behind it; that's the key. It'd also help if, behind the trashy veneer, there was some sort of subtle commentary on the proceedings.
If the game looks cool enough, people will buy it, and thus the system, just for that. Most people, these days, buy games based solely on how they look in demos and the box art. Most gamers these days are not particularly sophisticated folks. An "introduction" game, made specifically for them, could do wonders for Nintendo's fortunes.
* Yeah, I know Nintendo's not just for kids. I know that Metroid Prime is great, and so is Eternal Darkness. But Eternal Darkness, while very dark, was also not tremendously accessable to Joe Gamer. I loved it to death, but then again I read Lovecraft. Most gamers don't even read ingredients lists.