The Switch has been out for four weeks now and despite Nintendo’s plan to increase production, retailers still expect to have a hard time meeting demand for the remainder of the year. Indeed, the Switch has a shot at being the hottest game system this holiday season if Nintendo plays its cards right. Here’s what Nintendo can do to ensure a strong finish to 2017 and an even brighter future in 2018.
Get the Virtual Console up and running
It’s no secret, Nintendo dropped the ball by not having the Virtual Console ready at launch. Demand for the NES Classic is still high, and scarcity has inflated the cost to well over double the original MSRP of $60.00. While the demand for their older titles is obvious, it’s unclear why they aren’t presently available on the Switch. Perhaps Nintendo is having trouble getting the emulation performing at an acceptable level, or maybe they are spending more time adding online modes to their games. Either way, it’s surprising to not have any official word from Nintendo on when we can expect older titles to hit the eShop.
Hopefully, when the games do arrive, the offerings will be more in line with the original Wii VC, rather than the truncated version offered on the Wii U. Another trickle release of games will just exacerbate any droughts the system suffers. Nintendo needs to put their best foot forward this time and bring back all the old systems that had a home on the Wii VC while also adding newer systems like the GameCube. The Wii U VC wasn’t all bad though, it’d be nice to see them offer games at a discount the first week after release like they did with Wii titles. Likewise, Nintendo should take a hard look at dropping VC prices. Currently, on the Playstation Store, most PS1 and PS2 games go for $6 and $10, respectively. This is a stark contrast to Nintendo’s pricing that puts SNES games at $8 Nintendo 64 games at $10.
Kill the 3DS
Nintendo has quieted down on selling the Switch as the perfect solution for both portable and home gaming now that 3DS sales have made a bit of a comeback. Unfortunately, they need to take the opposite stance and double down on the portable aspect of Switch. As a home console, the Switch is hard to sell when you compare it to the PS4 or XB1 with their similar price point and deep library. The only thing the Switch has over its competitors, other than the first party titles, is its portability.
To really sell the portability factor, Nintendo will have to compete with itself. The 3DS still has quite a bit of support in 2017, including first-party titles like Pikmin and Fire Emblem. Development of 3DS titles should have been moved to the Switch to bolster the launch year, but sadly Nintendo stuck to an aging system. Hopefully, the games already announced will be the end of it. They need to move full steam ahead on Switch development while also enticing all those primarily handheld third-party developers to do the same. If Nintendo can get everyone to focus on this one device, they can pump out enough games to prevent all of the droughts that have plagued their previous consoles.
Get meaningful 3rd party support
No more Mass Effect 3 a month before the trilogy collection is released at half the price on every other console.
No more Arkham City a year after launch, once everybody has already had their fill.
No more Darksiders II with performance issues.
Everybody knows the Big N needs to step up its game with the big third party developers. Unfortunately, being a generation or two behind the graphical cycle of Sony and Microsoft makes that a steep hill to climb. Third parties will go where the gamers are, and currently, there are 83 million of them enjoying their PS4s and XB1s. Straight ports are no longer an option, and third parties are going to be wary about dropping exclusives on a Nintendo console after the Wii U debacle.
Nintendo needs to work harder at securing third party deals that brought the likes of Bayonetta 2 and Zombi to the Wii U, and go over the previous gen with a fine tooth comb to find hidden gems. They can even pitch the console as budget friendly given that developers don’t need to worry about making their games 4K ready. Right now, their glaring weakness is a lack of first and third person shooters. A Singularity or Alpha Protocol sequel with Nintendo assisting on development would bring some excellent diversity to the platform. Who knows, maybe they could even talk Platinum into working on an exclusive Vanquish 2!
The Big Picture
The Switch is off to a great start, but a great launch doesn’t always guarantee long term success. To keep the future bright, Nintendo needs to focus on three things. First, they have to get the Virtual Console up and it needs to be stronger than the poor effort put forth on the Wii U. Second, it’s time to let the 3DS ride of into the sunset. Keep producing units if the sales are there, but don’t split your development between the two devices. Third, figure out a way to work third parties into the fabric of the console. Don’t settle for lazy ports, aggressively work with developers to breath life into cult classics that will generate a buzz around the system that is sure to attract gamers beyond the typical Nintendo fans. If Nintendo can execute on each of these three steps, we’ll have a system that can stand on its own for the rest of this decade and hopefully a few years into the next.
Recently, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was released for the Nintendo Switch. An incredible game with a huge explorable worlds and tons of interesting things to do, it received universal acclaim from players and critics alike.
In other words? It became the Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo Switch era.
However, as great as the game is, that still leaves one ‘issue’ for Nintendo. Namely, how do you improve upon near perfection?
Because let’s face it, Ocarina of Time left Nintendo in the same daunting situation. And while their follow ups to it were all great games in their own right, they also all felt like they lacked something or another in general. Like Nintendo had kind of missed the point in regards to what made Zelda popular or beloved.
So to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, here are my answers to that question. To how Nintendo can in fact improve upon Breath of the Wild with their next few Zelda titles…
1. Focus on a New Central Idea for a Direct Sequel
Or in other words, you’ve got a great engine now. Time to consider the Nintendo Switch equivalent to Majora’s Mask. Aka a game with the same engine and resources but a new main concept completely different to anything found in Breath of the Wild.
Heck, maybe even bring back the parallel universe gimmick. After all, there are lots of NPCs here that you could put into new roles, and plenty of neat twists you could make to the ideas found within the title in general.
So yeah, start with something simple first.
2. Expand upon the dungeons and bosses
But then move onto improving perhaps the only minor ‘downside’ Breath of the Wild has. Namely, that its dungeons aren’t as interesting or unique as those in past games.
Okay, don’t get me wrong here. The Divine Beasts being huge animal shaped mechs is amazing, and the idea of you fighting them in a boss battle before you can get inside is a really neat twist on the formula too.
So those aspects could easily be retained for one or two of the dungeons.
However, what’s less amazing is the actual inside of the dungeons themselves. Basically, they have too little variety in enemies or puzzle setups.
Seriously, look at the dungeons here and tell me what enemies you remember fighting there. I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘just Guardians and Corruption Eyes’.
And that’s a bit disappointing really. One of the best aspects of the older games was how each dungeon used to have a unique mini boss encounter in it, as well as how the dungeons and setups would be themed around the region they’re in. No, that doesn’t require the game to be linear or the dungeons to be bland item puzzle based setups either. Just look at Link Between Worlds if you need proof of that.
So another improvement they could make in a sequel is to bring back the themed dungeons and greater enemy variety inside, and add them to the amazing world presented in Breath of the Wild.
I also think the bosses could be improved here too. Yeah, they are brilliant in Breath of the Wild (especially in a mechanical sense). And I do like the idea of bosses that act more like a physical battle than a glorified item puzzle, where the player can choose how they take them down. That’s really appreciated too.
But the downside here in Breath of the Wild’s bosses is that design wise, they just don’t look very varied. They’re all Ganon Blights, no exceptions. Which in turn makes them all weird Phantom Ganon like ghosts with Guardian weapons attached.
Hence I feel that visual design thing should be improved upon in future Zelda games too. Make the bosses look as unique as they feel, while keeping the same ‘action’ based setup as in Breath of the Wild. Give us a ton of different looking bosses with the same battle strategies and AI skills as the Ganon Blights. Make the bosses in Zelda both visually interesting and difficult at the same time.
3. Reintroduce some Classic Items and Upgrades
Another thing I feel future Zelda games could do is bring back some of the items and upgrades from past games. For example, the Hookshot could be reimagined to let Link instantly shoot to any land or wall he can climb within a reasonable distance. Or to steal items away from enemies like the Grappling Hook in The Wind Waker.
And the same goes for many other items. Not all of them mind (since many have been rightfully replaced by the weapons system or runes), but enough of them to expand upon the formula a bit. You could bring back the Magic Cape and its invisibility effects. The Dominion Rod could be merged with the Command Melody to brainwash enemies (imagine how cool it’d be to turn a Bokoblin or Moblin against its friends!) The Mole Mitts… well, digging underground seems pretty useful in an open wide title like this one.
The list just goes on and on. But that’s not all that could come back either.
Oh no, upgrades could return to. For example, remember the Golden Gauntlets (or slightly weaker Silver ones) in Ocarina of Time?
Yeah, those let you pick up and move large objects. I think those could make for an interesting rune or magic spell in a Breath of the Wild like game too. After all, we can already fling metal objects with Magnesis or catapult heavy ones with Stasis, why not let us literally throw or swing around even bigger ones with this power too?
Similarly, the boots from Ocarina of Time could make a comeback as well. I mean, we’ve already got sand and snow shoes (to walk at full speed on sand and snow respectively). So why not add in Iron, Hover and Magnetic Boots too? These could let us go underwater/brave strong winds, hover in the air for a few seconds or even climb on metal walls/ceilings like in Twilight Princess’ Goron Mines!
Really, there are so many great possibilities here, and I hope Nintendo looks into some of them for the next Zelda title.
4. Allow for new methods of exploration
Finally, I think Nintendo should consider allowing new methods of exploration and new places to explore in the next game.
What do I mean by this?
Well, at the moment we can go anywhere we like on land via climbing. We can swim or sail anywhere we like providing our stamina holds up/we can find a raft. And with Stasis and some neat tricks, we can do a few more creative things there too.
But we cannot quite do everything just yet. We can’t actually go underwater, minus some recently found glitches. Flight is more like gliding, with no way to gain height in mid air. And while anywhere on the surface can be fully explored and enjoyed, going beneath that is limited to a few caves or Shrines.
So that’s the final thing I think Nintendo should work on in future Zelda games. A way to let us not only explore an open world environment on the surface, but to fly around, go underwater or even dig underground to drastically increase the number of possibilities for locations and mechanics. Take what you learned from Ocarina of Time, Minish Cap and Skyward Sword and implement it into the open world environments of Breath of the Wild.
That’s what Nintendo should do to build on Breath of the Wild’s success. Take what worked well, and add in the few things missing from Breath of the Wild to make an amazing new set of Zelda games for future generations.
But hey, what do you think? Do you feel Nintendo should do the above for the Zelda games post Breath of the Wild? Or is there another direction the series should be taken in now?
Have you ever run out of arrows in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild?
Oh of course you have. This game gives you a million things to hit with arrows, but you actually have to go and work somewhat to actually find and attain them. It’s not like other Zelda games where you can just cut the grass and hope magic refills pop out.
Fortunately though, it seems you’re in luck. Why? Because as the title suggests, a YouTuber called Austin John has found an interesting trick that will let you farm as many arrows as you like without getting hit! Here’s his video showing off the process:
It’s pretty simple really. Just go to the area marked (with the Bokoblins on horseback), then use Revali’s Gale to fly upwards. Upon landing, keep the camera pointed down so you never see the enemies and well… you don’t get hit by arrows any more. Leaving you free to stand still pressing A to pick up all the arrows falling to the ground nearby.
But why does it happen anyway?
Well, I don’t know for sure. But my best guess is that it’s part of Nintendo being nice to the player. Part of a setup that Nintendo has implemented in a couple of games to avoid players being infuriated by attacks they can’t see.
In other words, the arrows never hit because Nintendo thinks it’s unfair if a projectile is fired at you from off screen without you being able to know where it’s coming from. They know you can’t see the Bokoblins, so they simply have their attacks JUST miss in order to get you moving/make you move the camera into a position where you can easily see and avoid them.
And I believe this because surprisingly, this isn’t the only game where such a tactic works. Oh no, Mario & Luigi Paper Jam did the exact same thing in its papercraft battles. If you can’t see the boss on screen, then the boss can’t hit you at all. Period.
That’s all for the same reason. If you can’t see the boss, having it repeatedly hit you is seen as being cruel to the player. So they simply disabled its attacks until you turned round.
Either way, their kindness is our gain. So go on guys! Go out there and get some more arrows in Zelda Breath of the Wild!
From the minute the Nintendo Switch was announced, people have wondered about the possibility of a new Pokemon game. After all, it’s a handheld with the technical power of a home console! A system that can push out full HDMA graphics and gigantic worlds at a whim!
Isn’t that perfect for a full Pokemon Sun and Moon sequel?
Well, yes it is And guess what? It seems we’ll soon find out exactly what Game Freak has in store with such a game too.
Because as the title suggests, they’re actually advertising for someone to work on such a game right now. Here’s the advertisement on Indeed Japan if you don’t believe me:
3D Model Creator Wanted – Game Freak (Indeed)
As you can tell, it’s pretty obvious they’re talking about Pokemon. I mean, read some of these quotes and tell me what other Game Freak franchise they could possibly be referring to:
We’ll have you work on an RPG that’s popular on a global scale
Which will be release on consoles
With a title that just about everyone knows and that could end up providing you a future career
It’s certainly not Drill Dozer or Smart Ball, that’s for sure. Nope, this is Pokemon. Even the simple comments on it being a franchise that’s popular worldwide doesn’t exactly leave any options.
So yeah, it seems Game Freak are recruiting for a new Pokemon title. However, one thing does stand out as somewhat interesting here. As in, even more interesting than the possibility of a new Pokemon RPG on the Nintendo Switch.
And that’s this comment about it having been ‘released for a long time’. Indeed, do you know what this makes me think of?
Pokemon Stars. You know, the Pokemon Sun and Moon sequels that were apparently coming to the Switch at one point. Having the new Pokemon games be based on generation 7 would certainly account for a familiar development environment and a game that’s been out for a long time.
But hey, what do you think? Could this job posting be proof that Game Freak really is working on Pokemon Stars for the Nintendo Switch? Or are the plans in relation to a brand new Pokemon generation planned for Nintendo’s system?
Post your thoughts on this here (or at the Gaming Latest forums) today!
Back in the SNES era, there was a sequel to Secret of Mana called Seiken Densetsu 3. An incredible RPG with gorgeous sprites, an interesting story and tons of cool features, the game got good reviews from pretty much everyone who played it and is now seen as one of the best RPGs on the system.
There was just one problem with it.
The game was never released outside of Japan. There was evidence it was meant to at one point (like magazine pictures and official statements). And there was talk of naming it ‘Secret of Mana 2’ as well.
But it never happened either way. The rise of the PlayStation and other modern systems meant the game was seen as a poor choice to release in the West, and the cost of localising it made Square reconsider in general.
However, it seems things may be about to change!
Why? Because on the official series Twitter account today, a very interesting tweet was posted. Namely, this one showing the game running on the Nintendo Switch!
And this is interesting for a multitude of reasons. For one thing, the game was never released on the Virtual Console (or other digital download services) to begin with. No, not even in Japan.
As a result, this means that Square Enix is likely interested in releasing it there now. Which given the lack of region locking for the Nintendo Switch, means that people from outside Japan will be able to play it anyway.
More interestingly though, there’s the possibility of the game receiving the Earthbound Origins treatment. This would let the game finally be officially released to those from other regions, would provide another possible classic revival (alongside Mother 3 getting its own possible translation) and please a lot of people at the same time.
Either way, it seems like Seiken Densetsu 3 now might be coming to the Switch at one point. So hey, what do you think? Are you interested in the game now it may be made available again? And what form do you think it’s Switch release might take?
Post your thoughts here or on the Gaming Latest forums today!