I love Nintendo, who doesn't? If you play video games of any sort at some point or another you've probably played a super Mario game. Everyones favourite podgy moustached plumber has the best selling game in video game history and I don't think that'll be changing anytime soon. The guy has been in a near constant state of innovation, branching off into different genres, tweaking fine points in others and becoming one of the best loved video game characters of all time if not 'THE'.
However over the last couple of years, I've had the feeling video games as a general are going through the motions, sequels after sequels, standard sports franchises adding on years for what it is essentially a roster update. E3 shows just don't have the surprise and wow factor of previous years, we know all about the games that are going to be shown before hand. The three different consoles were very different when compared several years ago, now they are very much the same though offering motion control gaming of and recent presentations like the Xbox smartglass left a lot of people unimpressed or just plain confused.
This isn't to say great games aren't coming out, I'm a big RPG and platformers fan myself and i've been spoilt for choice when it comes to both lately, particularly with the wii RPG wise, but none have reached a popularity anywhere near close to suggest a lasting franchise could be built. The surprise hits have come from indie developers, gaining critical acclaim, offering cheaper great games and the respect of the video game industry and fans alike (No easy feat at all!)
So why am I picking on Nintendo? Well I guess its because Playstation and Xbox have a large amount of video game icon protagonists regardless of exclusivity for either side. Nintendo? They'll always have Mario, but Mario needs a hand. The Playstation and Xbox both have a huge couple of months big name games coming out and Xbox alone has Halo4 (Can't Wait!!!)
The formula for Mario I doubt will ever change, he'll always collect coins and stars, jump on goomba's, rescue Princess Peach, and the Kart, Party and sports games will continue to be released too. Time will tell but its highly unlikely he'll be recast as a badass Italian cop seeking redemption and revenge via an FPS genre, will we ever get tired of the same sort of Mario games? I don't know.
I'm not forgetting of course the Zelda and Pokemon franchises, and of course Kid Icarus which made a spectacular comeback after over 20 years since his last release. But its the time in-between these kind of games getting released that NIntendo needs the most help, new franchises, new ideas and new idols. Nintendo is probably in the best position of the 3 companies with the wii being seen as the most family friendly console, the wiiu coming out very soon and the gaming industry is a media that is finally being taken seriously, and deservedly so.
So as my 3DS gathers a little dust on the shelf (another great console, despite the shocking battery life) A final question, how many wii and 3DS games have you bought this year?
I'm Richard, and you're awesome for reading this.