Nintendo is stuck in a creative rut

Nintendo Switch had a powerful start. Right off the bat, the company released banger after banger after banger of a game, each delivering that Nintendo-branded sense of recreation on a well-designed fantasy playground. It was almost overwhelming walking through the fantastic world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, master the gripping combat in Arms, to follow each delicious Splatoon 2 update. Soon after, fans would celebrate the arrival of Super Mario Odyssey in all its strange and splendid glory.

This method of flooding the area worked. Four years later, the Switch is one of the best-selling consoles of all time, at 85 million units. But over the past year or so, it’s been hard not to notice that the water level has dropped and fans are no longer floating on top of a wave of Nintendo knockouts. Although Nintendo is still releasing big games for the Switch, and in 2022, the highly anticipated sequel to Breath of the wild– many of these games since the start of 2020 have been marked by a strange dullness. Too often, they fail to invite gamers to this fantastic playground that Nintendo fans adore.

Disappointment, for me, has set in at different points in a game’s lifecycle. First of all, of course, there’s always the hype: for the new Hyrule Warriors, new Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. Nintendo has a comprehensive archive of fan favorites to draw from. Nostalgia – “I love that at the time! —Generate the momentum to spend $ 59.99 in the eshop. Then the inevitable obstacle arises: New Pokémon SnapThe shallow gameplay quickly becomes monotonous. The jump in Paper Mario: the king of origami feels bad. (How !?) Even though (Unlike me) fans sank comfortably into Animal Crossing: New Horizons“The island’s sweet vibes, many have become frustrated with its limited content updates.

Nothing condemns these games to filth, for the most part. There is usually something to enjoy, whether it is witnessing New Pokémon Snapthe huge Meganium crosses the landscape for the first time or visit your friend’s island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But overall, at least for me, the last year of games released by Nintendo can be summed up in one word: lackluster. Despite his extraordinary combat designs, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity‘s performance was irregular. It was the same with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. Mythopia on the Switch is adorable but, in the end, a generic role-playing game for children.

Four years into the Switch’s lifespan, we’re not in a dry spell; we get games. They’re just a little more self-referential, a little less whole, than I expected from Nintendo. There is no easy recipe for the company’s secret sauce. It requires a delicate balance from polish to playfulness to nostalgia. Recently, these games have relied heavily on nostalgia while easing the gas on polishing or gaming. Nintendo could forever build on past successes and still remain at the top of the gaming world. company thrives when it publishes games that tickle everyone’s imagination, not just the sentimental memories of its biggest fans.

On Tuesday, the company previewed some promising Switch games during its 40-minute video show at E3. Most of the delicacies hit longtime (read: older) Nintendo fans the hardest: Advance Wars 1 + 2: Restart Camp, 2D Metroid Thu Terror Metroid, and a compilation of Mario partythe first mini-games of Mario Party Superstars. Nintendo also announced a new WarioWare game – an exceptionally weird, whimsical and well-designed franchise. The highlight, of course, was the footage from the next Breath of the wild sequel, which was mostly kept secret. It looks very good. (We also know that next year we will have Splatoon 3 and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, complete with an open world setting; and finally, we will see Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonet 3.)

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