Scott Ranks his 35 Game Switch Collection Scott's Thoughts

1. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2. Rocket League
3. Thumper
4. A Robot Named Fight
5. Celeste
6. SteamWorld Dig 2
7. Super Mario Odyssey
8. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
9. Bombslinger
10. Splatoon 2
11. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
12. Super Meat Boy
13. Flinthook
14. Snipperclips Plus
15. Cave Story +
16. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2
17. Mega Man Legacy Collection
18. SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
19. Runner3
20. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
21. Rayman Legends – Definitive Edition
22. Graceful Explosion Machine
23. SteamWorld Dig
24. Mutant Mudds Collection
25. Xeodrifter
26. TumbleSeed
27. Pokken Tournament DX
28. Sonic Mania
29. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
30. Picross S
31. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
32. 1-2-Switch
33. Alteric
34. Energy Invasion
35. Energy Balance

Honorable Mentions (have not yet played)
• Axiom Verge
• Cat Quest
• Skyrim
• Stardew Valley

Fate of 3DS Determined Scott’s Thoughts

For some time now, fans of Nintendo have debated what should be done about 3DS:

“Just let it die.”

“Leverage the fanbase! Make more exclusives!”

“KILL IT! KILL IT NOW WITH HOLY FIRE!”

In the March 8th Nintendo Direct, the Big N made their intentions clear:

3DS will continue to receive ports and remakes into 2019.

Absolutely perfect for the younger generation who aren’t old enough to have played the originals.

Captain Toad, Sushi Striker, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario & Luigi, not exclusives. All playable elsewhere. It services the install base but doesn’t lock out gamers who have moved on.

Smash Bros. as a Service Scott’s Thoughts

I expected a port of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in 2018. Smash development cycles are too long, and we would never get new entries this close together… those were my thoughts entering into the March 8th Nintendo Direct.

I was wrong; it’s a brand new game.

There are still skeptics, or fans who are simply being cautious not to jump to conclusions. But Nintendo laid it out plainly for us:

  • The game has a working title (not simply “Super Smash Bros. for Switch” in the Smash 4 branding.)
  • Nintendo chose to forgo the transition used at the beginning of every Smash 4 trailer
  • SmashBros.com has been completely started over from scratch
  • The trailer shows only vague outlines of a cast with fewer than 20 characters, not the entire Smash 4 ensemble waiting to welcome the Inklings

It’s really happening. It’s a new console generation, a new Smash Bros. website, a new series of character reveals (who’s staying, who’s leaving, and who’s arriving?)—friends, it’s a new Super Smash Bros. game.

And the cherry on top? 2018.

It seems impossible. How would Nintendo have time to develop a new title from the ground up? The Wii U and 3DS entries only came out during the tail end of 2014.

The answer: The developers probably didn’t start from scratch. For one thing, this new game could very well use the Smash 4 engine. They finally struck the perfect balanced formula that resonated with casual players and eSports alike (not easy), so Sakurai and his team won’t be quick to abandon the engine.

Smash 5 likely won’t launch with a beefy lineup of 50 characters, either. I think the group of brawlers shown in the trailer was deliberately small.

Super Smash Bros. could easily be sold to us as a service. Think of all the popular games these days that add content gradually—the “Splatoon approach,” if you will.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Smash launch alongside Nintendo’s paid online service in September to help promote the program. I also would not be surprised if Smash, in September, feels like a half a game.

Sakurai could keep the hype train of character reveals steaming along the tracks for—well—years!

P.S. Why didn’t Nintendo save this bombshell announcement for E3? Because it’s going to be the central theme of their booth, and booth decorations are literally impossible to prevent from leaking. We knew about Breath of the Wild and Odyssey before Nintendo decked out their corner of E3 in previous years, and the same will go for Smash this time. The lid is going to be absolutely blown off this game at E3 2018, only months ahead of launch!

Over-Hyping a Nintendo Direct Scott's Thoughts

It’s hard to resist. When a Nintendo Direct leak or rumor starts circulating, the wish-lists and pie in the sky dreams quickly follow.

Over-hyping a Direct is just asking to be ran over by the hype-train.

How often have you felt that crushing disappointment when your favorite obscure series didn’t get a sequel out of nowhere, or when Nintendo didn’t suddenly adopt Xbox Live and rebrand it?

Here’s the key to contentment as a Nintendo fan: “I will wait patiently for the next Nintendo Direct, and I will keep an open mind. I will probably be interested in a few of the announcements, other games won’t be for me, and I’ll have hopes leftover for next time.”

Balanced Brawl Scott's Thoughts

Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a Wii game that I played to death—I’m surprised the disk never shattered after all the hours I put into it.

700, if you’re wondering.

What can I say! I was living at home with few responsibilities, bonding with friends and family, and playing competitively (for TENS of dollars).

Some people’s skin crawls at the thought of playing Brawl in a tournament setting, and they do have a point. The game was criminally imbalanced and was never blessed with a single patch.

Unless, of course, you count “unofficial” patches, like Balanced Brawl. If Nintendo ever did patch Smash Bros. on Wii, they surely would have blocked this batch of homebrew.

Balanced Brawl was a set of adjustments that could be loaded in via SD card. You could go to the Stage Builder mode and then the screen would suddenly be covered in data that would look like you were hacking into the Matrix. Things loaded for a minute, and then you’d be ready to play some balanced matches.

Meta Knight was hit with a nerf hammer from the heavens. Link could kill with his bow and arrow. All things considered, it was a pretty good effort. Still not perfectly fine-tuned, but it was fun to mod an official Nintendo game.

The Physical Version Curse Scott's Thoughts

I’ve gone on record multiple times defending my decision to buy physical Switch games whenever possible.

For all the big releases, you get your decision: cartridge or download. Launch day. Choose your adventure.

Unfortunately, it’s proven pretty difficult to stick to my guns with indie games, which have complicated the buying process by releasing digitally way earlier that the physical version comes out. This is the case for Axiom Verge, Mutant Mudds, Overcooked, and more.

I want to support developers by paying the higher price-tag. I want the neat physical goodies they’re including in the box. I want the ability to sell my copy if I don’t end up liking it… but that requires a lot of waiting, which has its downsides if you’re a game reviewer that needs to be in on the conversation as it’s happening in real-time.

Matters are made worse when indie companies are wishy-washy about the potential release of a physical cartridge, either saying “we’ll see how it sells digitally” OR just announcing that a physical edition is coming after customers have already downloaded their game (Rocket League). Now I’m stuck with the digital version, and the hours I’ve put into my save-file.

We need Switch developers and publishers to be more forthright about upcoming physical releases, and to close that release date gap.

Games I Refuse to Buy on 3DS Scott's Thoughts

There are a few great games coming out on 3DS lately, which is sad.

Why is it sad that stellar software is being brought to a Nintendo platform? Well—because it’s Nintendo’s “old” platform. The Switch owners’ sentiment is largely we’ve moved on. Bring the game to Switch.

3DS is now a low-resolution, outdated, clunky, extra-device-with-battery that needs to be charged… And I can’t bring myself to buy games for it. Here’s what I’m missing out on:

  • Detective Pikachu (this game isn’t even in three dimensions for goodness sake!)
  • Mario Party: The Top 100
  • Rhythm Heaven Mega Mix (even though it went on sale for 50% off to try and entice me even more)
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2
  • BoxBoy sequels
  • Chicken Wiggle

Thankfully, some of the above items are confirmed Switch ports. The rest, I can only hope.

Mutant Mudds Did it Right Scott's Thoughts

On December 14th, Atooi launched Mutant Mudds collection for $15. It contains the 1) Deluxe version of the original game, 2) the Super Challenge title, and 3) a new puzzle game called Mudd Blocks.

The developer even allowed pre-purchasing during the week leading up to release. Here’s the awesome part, though: the game was discounted for those who purchased the game before launch!

At 33% off, you could get the whole package for $10 by essentially “pre-ordering.” On December 14th, the price went back up to $15.

This is how brands gain loyal customers.

Many other creators will release a game, be disappointed by sales, and slash prices in a few weeks or months. The problem with this (common) method is that it burns those who supported the game, bought early, and paid full price.

Essentially, it teaches customers “don’t buy from me on launch day; prices will be lower soon.”

Mutant Mudds did it right be incentivizing early adopters and loyal fans to get the best deal up front.

P.S. I didn’t take the plunge on this offer. Some fans of the studio waited to pay full price on launch day, and others (like myself) are holding out for the physical version to launch!

Switch Presentation 1 Year Anniversary Scott's Thoughts

One year ago, Nintendo held a live-streamed stage show in Tokyo, Japan. It was a multi-regional effort, with groups of translators working feverishly behind the scenes to help introduce the world to Nintendo Switch… I remember the day fondly.

We had been told the new console was supposed to come out sometime in March, and all we had was a brief video of the hardware being played by a group of attractive millenials—not a lot to go off. We had no idea as to the extent of the Joy-Con’s abilities, which games were going to be launch titles, what would come in the hardware box, how everything would be priced… it was an odd situation to be in as a Nintendo fan, planning to purchase the Switch in two months’ time, but being largely in the dark.

It was good to see Nintendo president Kimishima take the stage. Although he had stepped into the role shortly after Iwata’s passing, this January presentation was truly the first time that the company’s new leader addressed fans directly.
He’s not a showman; Kimishima is more of a down-to-earth businessman. He demonstrated some smart presentation skills by outlining all the important details first: release date, price, region-locking (or lack thereof!), and paid online services were all touched on at the beginning.

I’ve been trained over the years that when Nintendo says “release date March” that it usually means “launching around March 31st, might as well be April” so the earlier-than-expected release date of March 3rd instantly pleased me. The console’s price point was satisfying (though I’m still taken aback by how much accessories cost). Shortly after setting the facts straight, the president stepped aside and allowed developers to take over the show and focus on the fun!

I was on board with Switch from the moment the show began. One of the first things described about the new console is how it was conceived of a combination of elements from Nintendo’s past consoles; a little DNA from all prior systems made its way into the formation of Nintendo Switch. Throughout the show, I was quite surprised how much of the Wii I recognized in the Joy-Con controllers and games like 1-2-Switch.

It was really fun seeing the wide variety of software being developed for Switch. We finally got closure on some of the initial teases with Mario kart and Splatoon, figuring out which games were sequels and which were ports. Nintendo sure dragged out the Breath of the Wild release date, though—clearly having a bit of fun at the audience’s expense. (When the jibing ends with the revelation that we get a gigantic open-world Zelda game at console launch, we quickly forgive them for stringing us along.)

My attention was rapt on the presentation from start to finish. Fellow Crew member Ryan had to work during the live stream, so he entrusted me with his online accounts and payment information in order to snag a pre-order in his absence. I was refreshing webpages like a madman, hoping that Nintendo would allow their retailers to take pre-orders that night and praying that I could go through the checkout process fast enough.

I needed TWO consoles, one for myself and one for my poor friend who had the remainder of a night shift left before he could catch up on the news. Here’s the problem, though: we weren’t expecting the neon Joy-Con bundle to be announced, so now I didn’t know what to pre-order (I couldn’t reach him by phone)! I was even having trouble making up my own mind as to which bundle I preferred.

Best-Buy updated their website with Switch pre-orders and my fingers flew across the keyboard like a blur. Before I let out my pent-up breath, two neon Switch consoles were in my digital shopping cart. Proud of myself for securing the goods, I went to lay down and try to get some sleep after all the wild excitement.
A few hours later, Ryan gets home and starts watching the Switch presentation. I receive a text that reads “Please tell me you ordered the grey Joy-Con bundle!”

Online Infrastructure Scott's Thoughts

Forget my two front teeth. All I want for Christmas is a solid online infrastructure for Nintendo Switch!

Add Friends

Can friend codes please go die in a deep, dark, flaming, sulfury smelling hole? Thanks.
There’s no reason that friend codes should still exist. They’re long, impersonal, impractical, and not used in any other modern technological setting.

See Friends

Nintendo has historically been all about the “couch multiplayer” experience, but it’s time those sensibilities were extended to online play. Their preferences don’t excuse them for providing trash solutions over the Internet. When my friend comes online to play a game, I get a little pop-up in the top left corner of my screen… but that’s it! I can’t tap on it, can’t spectate their session, can’t send them a message… nothing. Nintendo could also bring competitive leaderboard features to the forefront by notifying me when my scores are broken by a friend, even before I pop the cartridge in!

Join Friends

It should be easy to play online with my friends, no matter which mode. It should also be painless to make sure we’re on the same Splatoon team, rather than randomly being pitted against each other. Nintendo has always brought friends together, so let’s write the extra lines of code necessary to facilitate that when we aren’t in the same room.

Talk to Friends

Tools. That’s all we need! We just require the tools to speak to our friends, the tools to monitor or restrict that usage for our children, and the ability to use our own equipment. You won’t catch me dead with that horrid squid dongle with a web of cables running every which way… keep it simple.
It shouldn’t matter if we’re playing the same game, either. System-wide party chat has been solved for a couple console generations, so the Big N needs to jump on the bandwagon.

I’m not being too demanding because Nintendo’s competitors have all of this covered already. This is nothing new.
Nintendo starts charging for online play in 2018, and the ramp-up hasn’t looked very promising with how they’ve handled their mobile app and voice chat so far. For crying out loud, Discord has even gone on record saying that Nintendo could contract them to handle this whole infrastructure! There are no more excuses. They have to get this right if they think fans will subscribe to their service.

Does This Game Bring me Joy? Scott's Thoughts

After multiple articles on downsizing your dusty gaming collection, you’ve probably gotten rid of a bunch of junk, right?

No?

Today’s thought is a simple one, and it can bring you a surprising amount of clarity.

When trying to decide what to keep, throw away, sell, or even what to play next… ask yourself one question:

Does this game bring me joy?

If yes, keep. If no, bye bye.
(Psst… this principal works on movies, clothes, books, pretty much everything. Except living human beings.) Here’s to decluttering!

Which Games are “Perfect for the Switch”? Scott's Thoughts

“That game is perfect for Switch!”

I’ve heard that phrase every day since the system launched. But what does it mean?

What makes a game perfect for Switch? I started getting a little confused when I heard it simultaneously applied to games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Picross. Two completely different, polar opposite experiences.

  • Is the Switch perfect for long, single-player adventures because you can chip away at them whenever you have time, on the go?
  • Is the Switch perfect for bite-sized games that you can boot up and score a quick-win in a couple minutes?
  • Is Nintendo’s new console a match made in heaven for single player games that you can hold up close and personal?
  • Or is it perfect for multiplayer, competitive games in a LAN setting?

The answer, of course, is yes. Yes to all of the above. Nintendo seems to have caught lightning in a bottle and created a piece of kit that’s begging to have every new release, multiplatform game, indie title, and definitive edition developed for or ported to it.

There has never been a home console or portable that draws games toward it with such a magnetic force, attracting a diverse collection of titles at that.

A new phenomenon has started to happen where multiplatform announcements are discussed as “coming to Switch and other platforms.”

For Real Though—The Joy-Con IR Sensor?! Scott's Thoughts

$50. That’s how much it costs to buy half a controller in the Nintendo Switch era.

Don’t get me wrong! I like the Joy-Con. They’re packed with a lot of technology with plenty of inputs, HD rumble, NFC read/write, and weirdest of all: an IR camera.

This useless feature was announced in January, and was shown off with the ability to detect rock-paper-scissors motions.
I don’t know about you, but I can play rock-paper-scissors in real life, and I’m not particularly eager to face off against a computer opponent.

Oh, and I can’t forget the 1-2-Switch implementation in Eating Contest, which totally works and no one is ever frustrated with.

Sigh.

As usual, Nintendo went overboard and had one too many ideas with their new hardware. The Wii Classic Controller clip comes to mind.

Infrared has been used successfully on Wii, for pointer controls, and on 3DS for amiibo accessory connectivity. This is not one of those times.

Prove me wrong, Nintendo! Your move.

Where the Metroid Series Needs to Go Scott's Thoughts

Samus has been all over the galaxy, answering distress calls everywhere from overrun space stations to giant baby bottles.

Her contemporaries (Mario and Link) have had huge shake-ups in their respective series, much needed to avoid fatigue and bring something fresh. Where does Samus need to go from here?

Earth.

Samus needs to land on planet Earth and defend it from invading aliens.

That’s how this series can mature and raise the stakes all in one fell swoop. It’s great that she’s a solitary and silent hero, and I know the Metroid series is lauded for its isolation and atmosphere. But…

We can’t just keep fighting Ridley and Space Pirates over and over, acting surprised when the Metroid race is not extinct (again).

The entire game doesn’t have to be set on Earth, either. She can speed off in her gunship to stop a planetary attack from being launched—that kind of thing!

I don’t expect a monumental shift like this to occur in Metroid Prime 4, because that wouldn’t be a logical way to proceed after the trilogy. However, the Metroid franchise will need to take a big step sooner or later.

Although this series of games was born at the same time that most of Nintendo’s IP were created in the NES era, Metroid titles always sell surprisingly low compared to their peers. The Big N needs to shake things up and attract mainstream attention to this series, or it will probably always exist in a state of sales flux with long periods between sequels.

Metroid could also benefit from dropping the “Metroid” name. It’s weird to have a franchise named after a common enemy (like Goomba Odyssey or Bokoblin of the Wild) and only serves to box in the developers’ creativity.

But now I’m just talkin’ crazy.

Which Nintendo Character Am I? Scott's Thoughts

Today, I endeavor to discover which Nintendo character I identify with. I hope to find the perfect match, one that resonates and rings true. Without further ado…

Mario

I don’t think so. Mario is more like a father figure than an equal. He’s very sporty and multi-talented, which is in contrast to my narrow set of specialized skills. He wears loud clothing (especially in Super Mario Odyssey) and is a brave hero that throws himself into danger without a plan. All around: no. Not at all.

Link

Hyrule’s silent protagonist is a more likely match. He doesn’t waste any breath, which I appreciate, and he is guided by a strong sense of loyalty. Link always tries to do the right thing, and once he has found a noble cause, he applies himself and sees it through. These are all personality traits that I admire and (at least attempt to) share. However, Link is also quite the outdoorsy fellow, and can often be found traversing planes on horseback or scaling imposing mountains. He’s probably too adventurous to be considered my analog.

Donkey Kong

This big brown brute is way too strong to resemble me. He’s bigger, faster, and stronger, too, after all. I am none of those things.
DK is also easily pleased. All he needs is a pile of bananas to be content. First of all, I hate bananas because they make my mouth itchy. Second, I’m not in touch with the “simple pleasures” of life. I require technology, innovation, and the cutting edge. I wouldn’t no what to do with a stack of fruit in the jungle. Donkey kong can keep his lifestyle and I’ll keep mine, thank you very much!

Samus

Another strong contender, because like Link, Samus doesn’t say a whole lot. This is pleasing to my introverted tendencies. We’re both completely happy with alone time; in fact, this bounty hunter pretty much blasts anything alive until it stops moving. She doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors, and she’s on top of the latest tech. I think we’d get along well.
There’s a pretty big difference that separates us, though. Samus is compassionate, and when push comes to shove, she lets even the most vicious creatures live when it means that their race will be spared. I don’t share that same level of empathy, unfortunately. But she’s currently leading the pack!

Captain Falcon

Captain Falcon enjoys everything I don’t; cars, speeding, rivalries, working out, yelling loudly, taunting people, wearing skin-tight unitards, and I could go on. Suffice it to say: FALCON NO!

Kirby

While I do enjoy eating a lot of food, the similarities end there. I am not round, cute, smiley, or cuddly, and I don’t look like a girl.

Tom Nook

Okay, this is a possibility. I do have an affinity for money, and I enjoy some aspects of business and entrepreneurship. But I hope I don’t match this raccoon’s level of greed, because he’s gone so far as to break child labor laws and employ underage animals at his store. He’s also after your real life $ bills now in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Please tell me that I am not like Tom Nook.

Captain Olimar

He traverses alien planets and commands little living plants around all day (until the annoying timer runs out). I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like this.

Fox McCloud

I’m running out of options here, but Fox is promising. He also likes technology, leads a team, accepts missions and gets them done, etc. He’s got this huge amount of self-confidence and determination though, that I’m not sure I measure up to. Fox also spent a long leg of his life outside the cockpit, galavanting around Dinosaur Planet and acting like a low-rent hero of Hyrule.

However, there was one man (bird) that refused to leave the cockpit…
This guy knows what up. He prefers the air, and that’s where he stays (when he’s not shooting people up in Assault or smacking them silly in Smash Bros.). He has a narrow but deep skillset and can always be relied upon for bombs. He has a quick wit and isn’t afraid to crack a joke even in the face of danger. He appears cold on the outside, but deep down he cares for his friends and is always bummed when they get shot out of the sky. Falco is a loyal, skilled, sarcastic and cool wingman. I am Falco Lombardi!

Switch 2.0 Inbound Scott's Thoughts

I’ve seen the pattern.
Nintendo releases a new console, which is disruptive and revolutionary in the gaming industry (innovate).

Next, they follow it up with a system that refines and advances their previous console (iterate).
Then the cycle repeats.

  • NES: brought arcade-level gaming to the home | SNES: improved graphics, added buttons
  • N64: introduced 3D gaming, rumble, 4-player | Gamecube: improved graphics, added a c-stick
  • Wii: debuted motion control, wireless gaming | Wii U: improved graphics, had some good games

Switch followed in the footsteps of NES, N64, and Wii, changing the way we think about and interact with games.

It’s also experiencing an outstanding amount of success, with a warm reception from core gaming enthusiasts.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Nintendo will continue the trend and stay on the trail that Switch is blazing. Their next console will be a Switch 2.0.

It will be more powerful, will have a few of those features that we wanted but did not get, and will be an easy upgrade. VR is a no-brainer, but time will tell if that’s the main focus.

Mark my words!

The Devolution of Paper Mario Scott's Thoughts

I remember being drawn to the first Paper Mario like a magnet.

It was in a video rental store, and I saw the N64 cartridge sitting on the bottom shelf. I didn’t know why Mario was paper, or why it was turn-based, but I immediately brought it home.

Of course, an RPG like Paper Mario can’t really be explored and beaten during a rental period, so I ended up buying it. I had to! The story, the characters, and the gameplay were so compelling that I had to see the adventure through to the end.

The Thousand Year Door was a beautiful follow-up on GameCube, which I first laid eyes upon at a WalMart. It was one of those demo kiosks where you had to stare up at the ceiling and snap your head backward to see. It continued the wonderful characterizations, thickened the plot, and introduced exciting new transformations for Mario that shook up the gameplay.

Super Paper Mario was memorable. Although stripping out the beloved traditional RPG elements, the game introduced a compelling tale of love and tragedy, alongside an interesting 2D-to-3D mechanic.

And then it all went downhill.

Unique, lovable, captivating characters were replaced with gimmicks of stickers and paint.

This image sums it up well.

The modern entries have their own merit, and bring some amount of charm. But along the way, the franchise lost focus. Paper Mario became more about churning out a quick win for sales and marketing than it was about world-building.

It might have been when the father of Mario gave the Sticker Star team these directions:
There were two main things that Miyamoto-san said from the start of the project—”It’s fine without a story, so do we really need one?” and “As much as possible, complete it with only characters from the Super Mario world.”Iwata Asks

Miyamoto was wrong.

Nintendo’s Job ≠ Parents’ Job Scott's Thoughts

I grew up with three parents: Mom, Dad, and Nintendo.

My mother and father were great—kept me out of trouble, let me earn trust, and gave me some slack on the leash.

Nintendo, on the other hand, has always been the stereotypical helicopter parent.

And still is.

When I moved out of my Mom and Dad’s house, I took my Nintendo games with me. Along with them, I brought some overbearing restrictions along for the ride.

I got my own place to live, my own car to ride, and my own job to cover my bills. That’s what we call “adulting.” Unfortunately, I still feel like a kid when I try to play online and use the limited internet services built into Nintendo systems.

This company from Japan thinks it’s their job to raise me. It’s not, and it never was.

If Nintendo wants to provide a parental control app—great. The one for Switch has some neat features. That needs to be the end of their responsibilities, so parents can do the rest.

It would sure be nice to talk to my friends… or even my competitors if I want to!

Innovation vs. Iteration Scott's Thoughts

Innovation: to revolutionize, change, transform, or evolve.

Iteration: to repeat, improve, patch, or expand.

Historically, Nintendo is a very iterative company. Most of their characters and concepts came from the mid-80s, when the company created its first batch of games for NES.

For many subsequent generations, they’ve followed the formulae, making a Mario game. A Zelda game. A Metroid game. Sequels got marginally better, improving upon past issues.

They’ve been honing their craft. Perfecting.

The only problem with this tradition is that it’s not very exciting. People start saying things like “if you’ve played one, you’ve played them all,” and “they keep recycling the same story over and over again.”

Nintendo Wii was the company’s first major hardware innovation in a long time—and they knew it, naming it codename “Revolution.” We were starting to see a brand that was ready to transform the gaming industry. Funny enough, the console’s success caused the console-maker to follow up with a safe “half-step” successor, but the masses weren’t listening anymore.

The good news is: innovative Nintendo is back, and that culture is seeping into their most beloved franchises. Breath of the Wild and Odyssey took a big leap in evolving the gameplay front. Next, we’ll see bigger shifts in story and presentation.

Buckle up! Your responsibility is being open to the change.

Nintendo Fans are Running the Company Scott's Thoughts

For a few years now, Nintendo execs have been talking about passing the torch. Younger developers are starting to take the reigns on new intellectual property like Splatoon and ARMS, as well as helping more seasoned devs shake up existing franchises that have stagnated.

These youthful employees are of a new generation, cut from a different cloth than Nintendo management has typically been made up of.

They’re Nintendo fans.

Kids who grew up a couple decades ago have been playing the company’s games their whole life, learned how to design and code, then landed a job at the Big N itself.

There’s a lot of respect for Nintendo’s stable of franchises, yet, the new employees aren’t as emotionally attached. That distinction allows for more change, experimentation, and advancement than we have previously seen.

When Nintendo fans run the company, you start seeing decisions that make more sense (to us fellow Nintendo fans). Things that we would actually come up with! Like naming a two-dimensional 3DS the 2DS. Like bringing back Star Fox 2 on a Classic Edition. Like reproducing the excellent GameCube controller for Super Smash Bros. 4.

We’re in good hands!