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Nintendo Action Games


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Why do people think it is, that Nintendo never sought to replace the gap left by Rare, with a top tier action focussed studio? Be it through building a team from their first party talent or through an exclusive partnership with a noted second party studio, Nintendo have paid very little interest to the whole "action" genre since selling Rare.

 

You could certainly argue that it's hardly hurt them, given the success of the Switch, but games like Goldeneye and Resident Evil 4 were genre defining back in the day and their exclusivity to Nintendo shifted a lot of hardware. I feel that having an internal studio dedicated to pushing the envelope for these sorts of games, would be nothing but a boon to Nintendo's portfolio of releases.

 

With mixed results they have chosen to plug this gap with the occasional exclusive license (Devil's Third, Resident Evil 4) or partnership (Bayonetta 2 &3) and they've even let a few different studios have a crack at Metroid, but they don't have a studio which regularly (well... occasionally then :P) puts all their focus on delivering standout, exclusive action games.

 

The closest they seem to have come is with Platinum, who are busy with Bayonetta 3 and have already delivered the excellent Astral Chain this gen, but why not bring Platinum on board as an exclusive developer? Having all of Platinum's talent focussed on the latest Nintendo hardware would give action fans a very compelling reason to invest in Nintendo hardware.

 

Anyway, I'm not a regular in Nintendo threads, so sorry if this has been asked and answered 100's of times, but I just thought I'd throw it out there. :)

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I guess part of it would be that despite your impression being that games like goldeneye and resi 4 shifted hardware they were on much less popular and successful Nintendo hardware. I think the general impression was that people weren’t going to their consoles for that type of game, and that those games are pretty heavily focused on graphical fidelity which isn’t what Nintendo have been providing since the Wii.

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3 minutes ago, Broker said:

I guess part of it would be that despite your impression being that games like goldeneye and resi 4 shifted hardware they were on much less popular and successful Nintendo hardware. I think the general impression was that people weren’t going to their consoles for that type of game, and that those games are pretty heavily focused on graphical fidelity which isn’t what Nintendo have been providing since the Wii.

 

Appreciate the response Broker.

 

Yeah, you could be right. I thought I'd read that the Goldeneye bundle for the N64 was a genuine system seller though.

 

I think you're right that people don't typically buy Nintendo hardware for that type of game and the success of the Switch certainly proves it's been no impediment to sales.

 

Just feels like they could do more in this area and I often think that Platinum would be a natural fit for them. Especially with all this consolidation going on in the industry.

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Yeah I absolutely agree, and I think with graphics mattering less and less they could easily get back into having FPS games on their systems and it would be a big bonus. Fortnite seems to be massive on Switch, and whilst I get they can’t exactly have a port of COD there’s lots of things that could work. Overwatch is another example of a game that came to Nintendo hardware late but seems to be very popular on their console.

 

I think Goldeneye sold well, but I wonder if those types of games were a casualty of them refocusing investment on things that are proven to not just sell but to make their consoles massive sellers. 
 

Absolutely agreed on Platinum too, they need to snap a few of these studios up before someone else does. That said I don’t think they have much history of buying studios and even their second party slate seems to have dwindled away over the years. Their being able to sell consoles on just their own games is both a blessing and a curse I guess. 

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13 minutes ago, Robo_1 said:

Just feels like they could do more in this area and I often think that Platinum would be a natural fit for them. Especially with all this consolidation going on in the industry.

 

You could always ask Kamiya through his twitter account? :p

 

blockedinsects.jpg

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The short answer is probably sales. Metroids sell a fraction of the quanitity of Marios, Pokemons etc. Same with the racing franchises we'd love to see return, like F-Zero or Wave Race. And I suppose people expect action games to be impressive in terms of visuals and performance, so they can't be done on the cheap.

 

Having Platinum on board is a good solution, but I'm not sure it would help to make them fully exclusive, since they focus on one specific kind of action game, which is already just a little niche. Perhaps having a similar kind of deal with a couple of other studios making different kinds of action game would be a better approach.

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I think Mario Kart and Splatoon are illustrative of the way that Nintendo have decided to handle this kind of thing. They’re lower poly, less graphically intensive takes on the racing and shooter genres that allow Nintendo to create those types of games but with their own spin put on them. 

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'cept both them games look *amazing*.  No one looks at those and goes 'low poly'.  MK8 sales numbers are just ridiculous.

 

Metroid, F-Zero and Starfox are the closest they've come to that genre.  Pretty much everyone is screaming out for a new F-Zero and we know Metroid is coming.  Why they don't do a new F-Zero is anyones guess.

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*checks every sentence of every post to see if Retro studios have been brought up*

 

Nintendo did have a developer capable of action games but chose to put them on Donkey Kong platformers instead? 

 

Platformers which are well loved, I know. 

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F-Zero, as much as I love it, hasn't been a big seller for Nintendo, hence their reluctance to do it. 

 

I'd love a Wave Race using the MK8 engine, water like on Cheep Cheep Beach. Would be amazing. 

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5 minutes ago, Loik V credern said:

*checks every sentence of every post to see if Retro studios have been brought up*

 

Nintendo did have a developer capable of action games but chose to put them on Donkey Kong platformers instead? 

 

Platformers which are well loved, I know. 

Apparently Retro wanted to work on Donkey Kong after they had done the Prime trilogy.

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This thread title reminds me of the old guy in the video shop I used to swap games with. Looked like he'd be at home selling fake designer clothes on an east end market stall. He'd point to the corner of Master System game boxes which would often contain a genre description and praise or denigrate as it suited his needs depending on what you were trying to swap.

 

"Nah, what you've got there is an Action game. They don't go for Action games any more, it's all about these ones, your RPGs. That's what they're after"

 

After much negotiation, and on the brink of a deal, his son would inevitably come barrelling in with shouts of 'No dad, no, you've got to rob him or leave him dad, rob him or leave him."

 

Despite all this, we did quite a few trades over the years. Never without the whole charade though. I think he liked the whole game of it, even though I was about 14 or something.

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9 minutes ago, scottcr said:

'cept both them games look *amazing*.  No one looks at those and goes 'low poly'.  MK8 sales numbers are just ridiculous.


They’re not going for realism like most games in their genres, and they are both extremely low poly compared to Forza or COD. I’m guessing there are a lot of people who look at them and don’t think they look amazing, because that’s not their selling point at all. They look, fine I guess? But Nintendo’s graphical style across its Mario and other first party games that aren’t Zelda has started to look pretty samey and boring to me. When I see a new MK game I’m thinking about how fun it looks, not the minor improvements to lighting and reflections.

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People don't have to repeat Nintendo's capitalistic tendencies, I think we know and Nintendo know a new futuristic racing game isn't going to move them to being a trillion dollar company, but nor is it going to bankrupt them and they're sort of in the business of producing entertainment. 

 

The Mario Karts and Mario Partys are crucial to Nintendo positioning their consoles as family entertainment, it's not just about profit is it. 

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I feel like Platinum are still interested in spreading projects across consoles besides Nintendo's - Nier Automata GoTY edition, Babylon's Fall, W101 Remastered... (and do we even know what Project GG is going to be?) so they clearly see value in not being swallowed by one of the platform holders. Or maybe they just answer to whoever has the biggest cheques :P 

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I think part of it is that once they pulled out of the power race with the Wii then they couldn't compete on with the other consoles in terms of pure spectacle which is something that draws people to big action games on other platforms. We know that Nintendo are capable of making striking looking games but there is no way for them to compete with the likes of Uncharted, Gears of War or the newest Call of Duty in terms of set pieces. 

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7 hours ago, mdn2 said:

Apparently Retro wanted to work on Donkey Kong after they had done the Prime trilogy.

 

I can see that after spending a decade on Metroids. Anyone looks at Retro now though and might think 3 Donkey Kong Country Returns is excessive. And that Metroid Prime 4 will never come out or if it does might be more in the mould of Other M and not as ambitious as we've come to expect from where Retro pushed Metroid Prime to be. 

 

Are the DKCRs that intensive? Was there no way to hire more staff and have 2 teams working on different games like how Rare operated? I've never thought about this and don't care really, but as much as DKCR might have been a welcome change of pace for the developer maybe some of that talent involved in the Primes didn't find it as engaging and moved elsewhere. I only say this cos I find Metroid Prime and Echoes that extraordinary and wonder if there was an avenue for pursuing the same ideas as in the Primes without being constrained by the ip. Metroid Prime was originally a lot darker and even Autechre post Confield were contacted to do the soundtrack, they still won't talk about it because of an nda but are thanked in the credits! 

 

I hate how games, because of rising budgets give this impression of a constant identity crisis. It's nice to know that genres continue to exist and flourish while the passion is there to do it, even stuff I'm not interested in.

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8 minutes ago, Loik V credern said:

Metroid Prime was originally a lot darker and even Autechre post Confield were contacted to do the soundtrack, they still won't talk about it because of an nda but are thanked in the credits! 

 

Wow, I never knew this. I imagine they didn't get as far as making anything for it, but would be amazing to hear if they did.

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30 minutes ago, Quest said:

 

Wow, I never knew this. I imagine they didn't get as far as making anything for it, but would be amazing to hear if they did.

 

Yeah I thought everyone had heard about this but then even on wattm people were surprised so I thought I'd mention it again. It came up in the long ask Autechre anything thread and they wouldn't discuss it which does annoy me because it's been so long and it's not like they're talking about being shown around Roswell or anything. Same with any company they talk to about hardware though, they won't go there. 

 

Also Andrew McKenzie of halter trio is named before them. Sean in the AAA was being as honest and demystifying as possible so it's not likely he'd be having everyone on by saying 'we signed an nda we can't' rather than just saying there's nothing to it maybe they're fans. Ridley Scott makes Alien which inspires Metroid, Autechre make Confield which inspires Metroid Prime's developers. Not as much, but still...i like to think so. Parhelic Triangle, Eidetic Casein and Uviol to me are as alien as it gets. I don't really get the praise of Qebrus' music being alien. Uviol is like waking up in a beehive on some planet. 

 

My impression of Metroid Prime's development was that it was fraught, producers checking on staff and seeing designers watching Star Wars on another monitor as they worked, falling behind schedule, the art style too dry and not being in line with Metroid, Nintendo feeling the need to apply their wholesome bright colour palette to something still meant as otherworldly and scary. 

 

Echoes being oppressive and dark probably makes sense. A lot of the game is like that electronic track that assaults you with ugly confusion. Like...Bine.

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4 minutes ago, Blunted said:

The NDA is the most intriguing bit. If they didn't get round to doing anything, why is there an NDA?

 

I'm sure it was Sean who answered. 

 

The AAA is 161 pages long...I can't seem to search in the thread. I'm going through it now. They both couldn't be any more honest in their answers, the idea seemed to be about demystifying the process everyone finds so mysterious and magical. 

 

okay reddit has it:

 

rekosn - wanted to ask about Metroid Prime. where you involved in it? also does the "Autechre" track still exists? will it ever see the light of day?    

 

Sean - sorry we signed an NDA

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52 minutes ago, Loik V credern said:

 

I'm sure it was Sean who answered. 

 

The AAA is 161 pages long...I can't seem to search in the thread. I'm going through it now. They both couldn't be any more honest in their answers, the idea seemed to be about demystifying the process everyone finds so mysterious and magical. 

 

okay reddit has it:

 

rekosn - wanted to ask about Metroid Prime. where you involved in it? also does the "Autechre" track still exists? will it ever see the light of day?    

 

Sean - sorry we signed an NDA

 

Yeah, I've read it before. I was trying to make the point to @Questthat if they hadn't actually done anything, what would they need an NDA for?

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13 hours ago, chris on the moon said:

What's an action game? Are mario and zelda not action games?

 

Yeah, it is a bit of a clumsy title / phrasing. I guess I'm thinking of FPS / TPS style shooters and fighters. The sorts of games where shit blows up, haha.

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