Miyamoto on Nintendo

“We obviously are interested in bringing out new ideas, but at the same time we also have our hands full with trying to bring many of our popular franchises to new systems,” he said. “So, the struggle for us then becomes, how do we find the balance in there and try to deliver the content that people want while also surprising them with something new?” Miyamoto said.

As Jony Ive is to the industrial design of Apple products, video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto is to the games that run on Nintendo’s consoles. He’s created some of Nintendo’s most successful video game franchises and characters, like Mario, Donkey Kong and the Legend of Zelda.

  • Retrobert

    I think they’ve lost that balance. Every new Mario and Zelda game feels like a complete rehash these days. In trying to appease their hardcore nostalgia-addicted fans, they’re turning away an audience that’s looking for something new.

    Just look at the reaction for their Wind Waker remake. The only people getting excited are they ones who already owned and played the original. Why are they so desperate to purchase the same game over and over again? Nintendo’s franchises have become as soul-less and predictable as the yearly Call Of Duty parade.

    • dustinwilson

      They haven’t lost any of it. Call of Duty is a series of games that are exactly the same year over year, and the first game in the series was no different than any game that came before it. First person shooters haven’t changed any in 13 years except with better physics and better graphics. They sell like crazy because there’s a large amount of people who get kicks out of brainlessly shooting other people’s avatars in video games and don’t want that to change any.

      I don’t really see how there’s anything monotonous about Nintendo’s games. Nintendo games aren’t anything like they were 13 years ago, and they’re nothing like what any of the others are doing. Almost every main non-sequel Nintendo game is different from the last. Mario 64 is nothing like Mario Sunshine. They don’t even play the same way. Super Mario Galaxy is nothing like Mario Sunshine or Mario 64. There’s a sequel to Super Mario Galaxy, and while not exactly like its predecessor it’s a continuation of it.

      New Super Mario Bros. is a series of games which are somewhat identical to each other, but each have their own experiences that separate them from one another. They’re designed to be like the traditional 2D Mario games. They’re probably the only somewhat monotonous thing about Nintendo’s franchises, but the point of them are to continue the 2D mechanics that began with the first Super Mario Bros. game; each one adds something new to the mix, and if 2D Mario is your thing the updates to the series are frequent. Meanwhile, there’s a new type of Mario game out recently for the 3DS called Super Mario 3D land which merges Mario’s 3D platforming mechanics with 2D. It’s a completely new game, and it’s received widespread praise. In my opinion it’s probably the best Mario game released in quite some time.

      None of the main Zelda titles released in the past 15 years are similar to each other. Ocarina of Time plays nothing like Majora’s Mask which plays nothing like Wind Waker. Wind Waker plays nothing nor looks even remotely like Twilight Princess, and the same can be said about all of them and Skyward Sword. The only similarities between the games is that the playable character is an elf-like boy named Link who might be a kid, teenager, or adult in each of the games. They’re not even the same character between the games. If the series was so monotonous then the Hyrule Historia wouldn’t have made it to the New York Times bestseller list and wouldn’t have contained a timeline, lore, and game mechanics information about each of the games. There would have been nothing to fill the book up with if everything were the same. Nintendo has never been one to keep any of their games the same.

      Nintendo from time to time releases remakes. The remakes aren’t for us who played the originals. They’re for the younger generation that won’t have the platforms the original games are on. Other studios criticize Nintendo for doing this mainly because they don’t have the catalogue of games to do it themselves. Meanwhile Capcom re-releases Street Fighter in high definition to praise, and Konami has re-released many of their classic games. Where’s the criticism for them? If people want to buy a remake and you don’t you don’t have to. It’s not like the Wind Waker remake is being touted as a new Zelda game. It’s a remake with a new addition to the series coming later.

      There is a nostalgia with Nintendo fans because Nintendo is the one of the only companies left there is any sort of nostalgia with. Just about any video game mechanic since the mid 1980’s started with something in Nintendo games. There’s a culture with Nintendo games; there isn’t really much with anything else. Nine out of ten pop culture references to video games will be Nintendo-related in some shape or form whether it was a Nintendo game or a franchise from another studio that began on the NES. Even most gaming references in other video games are Nintendo-related. If that’s a fault of Nintendo and Nintendo’s fans I’ll be happy to call myself one of them.

      • D Pauw

        I think the implication as far as Zelda is that they’ve been reusing the Ocarina of Time story and mechanics (Twilight Princess and Wind Waker were very similar to Ocarina). You’re using a bit of a double standard by attacking the yearly shooter games yet giving Zelda a pass for largely the same things. Yes, the Zelda universe is much more fleshed out than “go here and have one guy kill everyone” but it relies on reusing the same plot contrivances over and over. No, I haven’t played Skyward Sword yet so I’m not commenting on that one (because it would be silly to comment on a game I haven’t played). The Gameboy/DS games are even worse at reusing the same elements over and over.

        Mario is actually not repetitive, oddly. Yeah, you’re pretty much always saving a princess or something but no one bought a Mario game for the plot. It is probably that very reason that lets them go wild with Mario. A new Mario RPG might get me to buy the Wii U but at the moment I just don’t see anything compelling (yes, I’ve owned the Gamecube, Wii, DS, etc… so don’t go after me thinking I haven’t played these games).

  • Will

    Miyamoto is the greatest.

  • lucascott

    And when will those franchises come to iOS. I want some Mario time in my iPad