In recent years, there seems to be a sort of trend towards putting political messages in media nowadays. We’ve seen it seen it in sequels to classic movie franchises, like Ghostbusters 3. It’s been in cartoons like the recent Powerpuff Girls series.
And well, it’s been endemic in recent Marvel comic books. Where every character is now having their gender/race changed for shock value. Or thinly veiled comments on Trump added to the narrative.
Fortunately for Nintendo fans though, it turns out Nintendo is nothing like this.
Instead (as Reggie said in an interview), they’re trying to keep politics out of their games as much as possible.
Here’s the interview where he confirms it:
As well as his actual statement on the matter:
Making political statements are for other people to do. We want people to smile and have fun when they play our games.
As you can see, it’s a clear ‘put fun first’ message.
And in Nintendo’s case, that’s probably for the best. I mean, what good does trying to be political in your media actually do?
It doesn’t sell games, books or movie tickets. Message pushing movies like Ghostbusters 3 underperformed financially. So the market doesn’t support it.
Nor does it get people supporting you, since only a small minority of your userbase will likely agree with the political messages. We’ve all seen artists get crucified on social media for something they tried to preach in their work.
Really, it’s just a bad business move overall. People have had enough of being preached to in real life as it is.
It’s also not particularly logical when you consider Nintendo games either. I mean, they sometimes make realistic titles. Like… maybe some of the Metroid Prime games or something. Or that Disaster Day of Crisis title on Wii.
But for the most part, the majority of their works are set in fantasy worlds with no connection to reality. Nothing that happens in Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom or Zelda’s Hyrule is all that relevant to real life. Any attempt at a political statement here would just be jarring.
As well as annoying to the fans. After all, people don’t play these franchises for politics at all. No one goes into a Mario game wanting commentary on Trump or Brexit. Or feels like Zelda is the place to talk about religious tolerance or class differences.
It’s just not something they do. The games for escapism and nothing more.
And that’s all they should be. Mario, Zelda, Pokemon… they don’t need messages. They don’t need to make statements about politics, since people play them to escape that stuff.
So there’s no need for political statements here. No one wants them.
Which is something both Reggie and Nintendo as a whole know.
So thanks guys. Thanks for confirming that Nintendo games aren’t about political messages.
Thanks for proving they’re about fun. And fun is all we need here.
It’s a breath of fresh air in such a heavily politicised world.
Reggie on Politics in Game Making (Reddit)
Tomorrow, ARMS officially launches on the Nintendo Switch. It’s been in development for a while now, been present at multiple E3 events and had two Nintendo Directs dedicated to it, but the game is now finished and ready to be played by Switch owners worldwide.
But finished doesn’t mean Nintendo’s done with the game altogether. Oh no, just like Splatoon before it, Nintendo is also planning to release free DLC for the game on a regular basis. New characters, new stages, new modes… all that stuff is apparently coming to the game over time, and will eventually flesh it out in a far more fully featured product than what we have now.
And now we know what the first of these updates will be. Namely, adding Grand Prix champion Max Brass into the game as a playable character! Here’s the tweet from Nintendo confirming his addition:
It’s an interesting announcement, although perhaps one not everyone will be too happy about. After all, quite a few people speculated he was unlockable in the game as is. So to hear that he’s a DLC character may disappoint a few.
But hey, at least you’ll get to play as him soon enough. So don’t worry ARMS fans. Your chance to play as the game’s champion is coming soon!
As anyone who owns The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (or has been watching Nintendo Directs) knows, the game is getting two DLC packs in the near future. One of these adds Hard Mode, the Trial of the Sword and other minor changes, and is planned for the summer. Whereas the other apparently adds a new storyline and dungeon on top of all that, with its release date being sometime in winter this year.
And so to promote said content… Nintendo has shown off more of the DLC in this year’s E3! Here’s their new trailer giving a bit more of a glimpse of what’s to come:
As well as the new artwork provided (god that Lynel looks awesome):
When Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were announced, there was a more than a bit of disappointment among the fanbase. They said the 3DS was dying, and Game Freak were crazy to release a new game on it. They said the Switch needed support, and these games could have provided it.
Heck, in some cases they even jumped to the worst conclusion altogether. That somehow, Game Freak would not release Pokemon on Switch. That somehow, the series would remain 3DS exclusive even as the Switch continued. Like the company were adamantly against new Pokemon games on the platform.
Fortunately though, it seems the doubters were wrong. Why? Because it turns out Game Freak is working on a full blown main series Pokemon RPG for the Switch!
Here’s the video from E3 2017 where they announce it:
Again, there’s not much here. Just a comment that it’s coming and that Pokemon fans will have a reason to buy a Switch soon.
But it’s good news for everyone regardless. For Pokemon fans, it means the days of playing the console on a weak handheld system are finally at their end. So if you didn’t like Sun and Moon’s rough looking aesthetics… well, there’s no excuse for the graphics to look quite as awkward as that ever again.
For Nintendo themselves on the other hand, it’s basically the best advertisement the Nintendo Switch will ever get. Remenber, Pokemon still sells ridiculously well. Like, at around 10-20 million copies per generation well.
So by releasing a Switch one, it means the console has practically a 100% chance of success. Heck, even if it does pretty poor by Pokemon standards (like the 16 million copies sold of Ruby and Sapphire on GBA), that means at least 10 million more Nintendo Switch sales. It’ll blow both Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey out of the water on a sales level!
Either way though, it’s happening. We’re seeing a main series Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch!
Well, it’s the game everyone’s been waiting for. After waiting months for more information, Nintendo has finally give us a new trailer for Super Mario Odyssey!
Here it is in case you haven’t seen it:
As you can see, it greatly expands on the game and how it works. For one thing, the new possession gimmick.
What’s that? Well, basically Mario can take over enemies’ bodies by throwing his hat at them! This means you can now play as anything from a Goomba to a tank to a human from New Donk City and even a T. Rex! Yep, dinosaurs appear in this game too. And yes, Mario can take them over and control them by having them wear his hat!
That’s got to be the coolest new mechanic ever. It’s like Geist or Avenging Spirit. Except you know, done really well rather than poorly.
It’s a neat way to expand the gameplay possibilities the worlds bring, and really changes the basic structure of the title and how it works.
As for the structure… well, it seems we know what they mean by back to Mario 64 gameplay.
Basically, there are collectables called ‘Power Moons’, and collecting them lets you move your ship to visit new worlds. This ship is called the Odyssey, and acts like Starship Mario did in Galaxy 2. Nothing much to say there, other than it works like you’d expect. No flagpoles here!
However, there is one neat difference.
You know how in previous games, you left the level after getting a moon?
You don’t do that here. Instead, it works more like Banjo-Kazooie, where you get the collectable and just move on with the level. It makes exploration much more convenient, and avoids wasting the player’s time like 64 and Sunshine did. A really cool touch there Nintendo!
And that’s not the only difference from past 3D Mario platformers either. Oh no, there’s no fall damage here either.
Which for Mario 64/Sunshine fans, is a huge relief. No more worrying about Mario breaking his neck when he falls off a building in New Donk City, it’s only bottomless pits that threaten you this time around. Again, it’s a good change. Something the early 3D Mario games should have implemented there and then.
Health is changed too, though it seems to be decreased to 3 instead of 6. This is made up by a low punishment for dying, with Mario basically respawning on the spot rather than being chucked out of a painting and having to do everything again. Not sure how well this change will work, though it makes up for the trickier platforming in this one.
The themes of the worlds are detailed a bit in the trailer and Treehouse gameplay too. New Donk City for example has a lot of Donkey Kong arcade style platforming, as well as Pauline as the city’s mayor. So hey, Mario’s old love interest appears here too. That’s unexpected!
Which is perhaps not something you can say about the sand world. We know it was based on Mexico, but it seems predictions of the world being part ice themed are true too. Why? Because that’s the gimmick. The Mexico world is being froze over, and you have to prevent it. It’s an interesting take on the Hailfire Peaks setup.
Either way, both these worlds have local and global currency. The purple coins/triangles are local, and only work in their respective kingdom, whereas the yellow ones are global and work anywhere. It’s a neat immersion builder, and reminds me a tad of Mushroom Kingdom Fusion really. That had a similar gimmick here too.
You also buy unique clothes in each world as well. This is so Mario fits in better, but gives the game a bit of a Mario Party 2 feel at the same time.
But enough about that stuff. What about the local missions and themes?
Well, there are quite a few interesting ones in each. For the desert world, there are 2D spaces you can enter (wall murals based on Super Mario Bros 1), which let you do stuff like climbing towers. This is unique, and reminds me a little of how Paper Mario lets you become a retro eight bit Mario at some points.
And in New Donk City… well, it seems the theme is to provide musicians for a concert. This is on orders of Mayor Pauline, and has you scaling buildings and platforms to find them, since some of them are on rooftops and what not.
It’s interesting, and shows just how much this game changes from previous ones.
That’s also the case with the bosses too. Indeed, Super Mario Odyssey doesn’t bring back the Koopalings as Bowser’s minions. Instead, he has the ‘Broodals’, those strange Rabbit creatures shown on Bowser’s airship in the first trailer. They’re not the only oppponents (a weird Egyptian style head was shown in trailer 2, and mecha Wiggler was in trailer 1), but they’re interesting none the less, and shows even more effort on Nintendo’s part to leave Mario’s conventions behind.
Your reward for beating them… a Grand Moon. Since hey, it’s not linear. So instead, the Grand Moon acts like three normal Power Moons, making it rewarding to fight a boss but not necessary to complete the game. It’s a weird cross between the Mario 64 and Galaxy formula, and looks to work well in this title.
Finally, Amiibo are being released for this. These feature Mario, Peach and Bowser (in the same design as in game). So what do they do?
Well, they apparently unlock costumes in game, as well as unspecified ‘assist functions’. What are assist functions? Well, I’m guessing something like in Twilight Princess HD or Breath of the Wild. Where scanning them restores health or gives you special items.
But regardless of how they’re used, it’s just another near aspect in this fantastic looking game. It’s got tons of interesting ideas and mechanics, large, fascinating to explore worlds and really a structure that’s pretty much every a Mario 64 fan could ever want.
This is the 3D Mario game I’ve always dreamed of. Thank you Nintendo for finally making it happen.