Sure hope I have the right forum for this. If not I'm sure someone will come along and fix me.
Anyway, I was deep in thought today, as I usually am, about gaming, as its usually about, and I got onto the subject of Nintendo, and how they're are going about things in this modern day. Now I won't get into console features or how they should work on making a strong online community (sorry, but fan forums just don't count.)
No, I'm talking about their bread and butter. Their first party games. If you take Nintendos beloved characters and put the in a popularity contest with other, more modern games, you'll see the votes aren't nearly as unanimous as they were yesteryear. Has something happened to the characters that make them less of a joy to play as? Of coarse not. Mario is still Mario, Link is still Link, Pikachu is still Pikachu... but maybe that's the problem. Now I'm not saying go and revamp the series. God knows that usually ends in disaster. I'm not going to suggest something lame like, "Give Mario guns and put him in a Call of Duty game!" Or any of that bullshit. Kids that say that need to find out what cyanide is quick. And put it to use.
I'm talking about changes Nintendo could make that would help them stand up to the more modernized crowd without selling out or following a dumb gaming fad. Though I will be calling on newer games for inspiration, in no way will I be saying they should rip off said game series. Nobody wants that, except for the cyanide kids. So if I may, I'll start off with a big fan favorite:
Nintendo should look to Elder Scrolls and Assassins Creed for Zelda.
Oh God, this guy just talked about not ripping off games or getting into fads, but he just threw Skyrim at LoZ.
Hold your panty liners for a sec kids and I'll explain. LoZ is one of the most respected titles in gaming history, and there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the Zelda series probably inspired a lot of people working at Bethesda when their first Elder Scrolls game was going through their minds. But its obvious that Elder Scrolls had the ambition Nintendo had lost for Zelda at some point. The ambition to evolve. I'm not saying Zelda has stayed exactly the same over the years. (Though if I did I wouldn't be too far from the truth.) But if you play a game in one decade and come back to the series in another, you shouldn't know how every single thing is going to work in the new games.
What is it I am proposing the Zelda titles look to Elder Scrolls for? The amount of stuff to do for one. When you beat a Zelda game its no secret you'll eventually find yourself playing it again at some point down the road. They're just that good. But why put down the controller in the first place after beating the game? Sure, Zelda has its side quests. Fishing, bug hunting, 100-roomed dungeons all for some fairy's stupid tears in a jar. Wouldn't it be great if we can play for hours and hours after beating the main story, still finding out new things we didn't know about Hyrule? All the while being captivated with mini side plots that actually interest us? Which brings me to the next part of it.
DLC quests that make an impact on the world of Hyrule.
So you beat the main story like, three months ago. The side quests are still keeping you occupied and they are great fun and all, but you want that main story feel with all its plot twists and greater challenges and awesome cutsceens. Then you catch wind that, hey, come a few months from now Nintendo is releasing DLC about, I dunno, a powerful Poe controlling the souls of the dead and it sweeps through the kingdom. Or a Hyrulian civil war between the Gorons and the Zora that Link has to settle before it tears Hyrule apart. Frigging eh, sign me up! But, before I forget...
Item customization and, well, some damn constructive hobby for Link to get into besides fishing.
No, I'm not talking about straight up Skyrim blacksmithing and enchanting. Something unique but similar. Nintendo sort of got the series' toes wet with this concept in Skyward Sword, but I would love to see them expand on that greatly into something that will have us occupied for hours trying to improve our equipment. Anyway, onto the Assassins Creed part...
Some of the basic mechanics.
A stamina bar to run, really? What is this? Grand Theft Auto? Link seems like a pretty spry guy, why does he have to get so tired so quickly? Let that guy run his little heart out. You dont have to put him in a dead sprint every time the run button is held down Nintendo, of coarse he cant do that for long. Run to some bad guys. Run to some pots to smash. Run away from the annoying boss and get some hearts from those bushes over there. Run run run, all day long. Cause let's face it, as Zelda gamers we are tired of barrel rolling just to make us feel like we are going faster. (Shut up Peppy)
Also, Assassins Creed got a lot of its platforming mechanics from LoZ, but they do it better. Why? They aren't actually all that different if you compare them, but what makes Assassins Creeds platforming mechanics better? Two things. Fluidity and variety. In AC, the transition from performing one feat of acrobatics to another is instantaneous and satisfyingly fluid. Going from hopping onto a staircase made of barrels, to grabbing a horizontal pole and swinging yourself onto a single board jutting from the side of a building and hoping onto the next one, to the next one, to the next one till you're at the roof, then jumping from rooftop to rooftop, is all natural feeling and leaves you feeling a little bit of pride every time you easily pull together a chain of actions in such a manner. I'm not saying make Link a parkour street monkey, but make the connection from doing one action to another a bit less separated.
Swim. FASTER. Damnit
Maybe I'm just impatient, I mean, I already addressed Links running, but hey, I'm in a hurry. I sort of have stuff to do here. How am I suppose to meet up with the Zora princess to help the village, stop the giant evil sea lizard thing threatening her people and rendezvous back wither her in her shell castle for a late night salmon dinner with wine and some Barry White if I'm having to put up with this weak ass doggy pedaling bullshit? Get that shit out of here. Its called a stroke dude, learn it.
Assassins Creed has the most copied style of fighting mechanics in gamings current era. (Yep, they did it before Batman.) And am I suggesting Zelda follow suit? Eeeehhh, kinda but not really. But am I the only one tired of getting jumped by a bunch of pig goblins and having to focus on one at a time with the lock on system and hoping the others either don't attack me or have horrible aim? By all means, keep the lock on system. That's Zelda thing. But let's improve on that with a little modernization. Which would be really good and original, if someone didn't do it already. Yeah, Sleeping Dogs sort of took Zeldas and AC/Batman's fighting mechanics and mashed them into one. And it worked. Lock on to one enemy and focus attacks on him, but say his buddy behind you is feeling froggy and decides to go for that cheap attack, bam, counter button him and his unfairness all the way to hell. So if you wanna see what a great, new style of battle mechanics could work for Zelda, go see some brawls from Sleeping Dogs.
Well that's all for today. Tomorrow, if I get around to it, I'll dangle some more of my opinions of a Nintendo game over ya'lls heads and act as if they should be law. Cheers.
Okay, a few days late, but here we go.
For Metroid, Nintendo should look to DOOM 3 and Mass Effect
DOOM 3? Really? That seems a bit extreme.
Now calm down. I'm not one to hope to see Samus stranded on a Martian military base fighting her way through hoards of Hells most diabolical demons. (Or am I?) But there are a few things I see when playing DOOM that makes me see the light. That light being what would make Metroid even more badass than it is already. No, I don`t want the Metroid series to turn into a total horror genre (But mad respect to Nintey if they were t do that.) But....
1. Scary is good (And fitting for the games)
Metroid is known for a lot of things, mostly its challenging puzzles. By far Metroid has gotten me stuck on a part or two moreso than any other series I've played just out of those shear, "WTF am I suppose to do here?" moments. But if we take a step or two back in time, (Preferably via Dalorean with the assistance of a quirky scientist and a teenage 80's kid with an attitude) we'll see that it was also known for another thing, it was kinda creepy. Metroid and Super Metroid kinda had that creepy undertone to it. And I'd be lying if I were to say that it wasn't intentional. The develepors did in fact base the game on their inspiration from the Ridley Scott movie Alien, even down to the protagonist being a woman. (Initially, Samus was going to be a dude to keep it from being too much like Alien, but eventually they said F it and gave the hero lady parts)
While making the game they put in some parts to make the game a little unnerving at moments, and some bits, like the feeling of being completely alone and millions of miles away from saftey, lasted from second one of the game to the end. Dark backgrounds, eerie sounds, uncertainty of where to go, creepy silent areas. All of these things were inspired by Alien to give you the feeling of uneasiness. Not down right scary, but to people back in the day, a little creepy.
Now if you've played DOOM 3 and say it isn't spooky, and sometimes down right terrifying at a point or two, you'd be a dirty freaking liar and you'd know it. I say we give Metroid that feeling, but not so much to the extreme that DOOM 3 holds. We still want a younger audiance to enjoy Nintendo titles, right? (Maybe)
Here is a list of DOOMish ways to creep the player out that could be put into Metroid flawlessly.
-Use darkness in a lot of places and limit Samus's ability to see through it
-Every now and then, put some shit in that darkness that wants to kill you, but only when you get close to it
-Use sounds to give people that, "No... I don't wanna go in that room...." feeling
-Make going in that room their only damn option
-Clear a room of enemys, go into the next room, and surprise, somethings coming at you from the room you already left from
-Make creatures like the Space Pirates look frightening
-Limit health pickups to a very bare minimum through the intentionally creepy areas
-Have surprise enemies waiting right behind a door that needs to be opened
-Have some of the enemies generally just do some creepy shit, like dragging the body of a scientist/Galactic Fed soldier into a small whole in the wall or something
-Have shit in a room move or fall for no reason
-Whispers. Whispers are freaking creepy
-Have music get really loud, then just stop right before some scary shit goes down.
Just a thought or two really. But as for Mass Effect...
2. Upgrade weapons and armor. No more of this "I lost my gun power ups so I need to find them all over again" shit
Maybe having a little shooter RPG element to the Metroid series would be a good thing. I'm putting that mildly. It would be freaking awesome. Being able to level up my Samus via experiance points rather than having her look for something she should already have would be fantastic. Before you call foul, I still would like to do some exploration for upgrades and stuff, say like something she didnt have in any of the other games. But going way out of my way cause I know something new for my suit is somewhere over there and it winds up being a freaking missle pack expansion... really? I should be able to just use experiance points to buy that.
3. Choices and their reprecutions
I say we stick to the being alone aspect of Metroid, but at limited times there should be where you engage in being social at a point or two, maybe fnding a survivor of whatever the hell went down on a planet, or having to go to the Galactic Fed base for a brief moment as per mission. And in that, conversations should be open ended, allowing you to choose the best COA (Coarse of action). And your choice can affect things later on in the game.
4. Some controls to an extent
Mass Effect is both interesting to watch and fun to play. From its great story to challenging gameplay. That is what I want out of my Metroid. Including how you fight. No, don't be like Mass Effect and make gameplay soley about firefights. Platforming is a big part of Metroid. I say being able to flawlessly switch from platfroming to a third person shooter. "Other M" some of you say. Well, I said flawlessly, didn't I? Other M undoubtedly had flawed controls, good game though, don't get me wrong. But I would like to have it in standard platforming controls till I like, hold down an aim button and bam, shes ready for combat. Over the shoulder camera style, along with cover system. YES, I said it, cover system. I want cover system. It would only make sense. An expert bounty hunter like Samus doesn't seem like the type to stand around in a firefight only hoping she can dodge all incoming fire, like an amature.
Well I'm almost done with this section, save for one last thing, unrelated to DOOM or Mass Effect. Remember when I said Other M was a good game? I only meant that for some aspects. There were others that I loathed. Like...
5. Don't you ever dare think of ruining Samus's character ever again...
Samus, the most repsected woman in gaming. She's strong, independant, more capable of saving the galaxy than anyone else, man or woman. She's a badass that doesn't need anybodies okay to do anything. She does what she wants and what ever is needed to get the job done. So that brings up two problems with Other M. A: She's totally dependent on Adam. Is obsessed with impressing him and does whatever he tells her to. Even to the point of only using what weapons he allows her to. This is pathetically out of character for Samus. And B: Give her a damn grown woman voice. She sounds like the usual anime girl. Give her a damn Sygorne Weaver tone or something, something more fitting.