Print

Author Topic: Nintendo's success with the GameCube...  (Read 1361 times)

Mario Maniac

  • Loose buttons
« on: December 17, 2002, 12:56:02 PM »
This editorial was written at Nintendojo.com. I contributed NOTHING to the development of this editorial. IT IS NOT MY EDITORIAL!

Enterprise On The Rise
The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Nintendojo as a whole or any of its affiliates.

Well ladies and gentlemen; it certainly is an exciting time for gamers, especially those who’ve been following the progress of Nintendo’s consoles. With a whole slew of quality games released all in the general vicinity of each other, it seems as if many hadn’t noticed the lack of new news for this second half of the year. However, having released games such as the third party staple Resident Evil Zero -- as well as the phoenix rising from the ashes, the AAA offering that is Metroid Prime -- Nintendo must have deemed the time appropriate to bombard us all with a flurry of exciting announcements.

First and foremost, I’d like to note that these soon to be discussed developments have all come in the wake of Rare’s departure. That would make this the second time (to my knowledge at least) that Nintendo has kept contemptuous fans at bay, prior to a controversial happening of some shock value, a la Resident Evil exclusivity in the aftermath of the great “Celda” surprise. Interestingly enough, the announcement of the former had sort of cancelled out many spectators’ highly voiced disappointment with the latter. It is by that same reasoning that one should expect Nintendo to reveal something to make us all forget about Rareware. This of course begs the question: what in the world could possibly be so huge, as if to make Nintendo’s formerly most prized and publicly significant developer seem petty by comparison? I’d wager that it would have to be entirely “nuclear,” as has been discussed lately, and that this pleasantly surprising flow of news is just a slice to tide us over until the actual “explosion.”

This crazy chain of events began amidst the insipid pool of otherwise lackluster news and generalities that we’re all quite accustomed to. We all knew that after the sell of Rare, as Nintendo had stated, there would be further third party announcements. In addition, it had been known that Capcom had much more up their sleeves than Resident Evil, with Nintendo in mind. Thus, the surprise we all received can be attributed to the sheer grandiose nature of the announcement. It wasn’t just one or two games; but five huge projects were revealed simultaneously for the GameCube. Moreover, all these projects (even Resident Evil 4) appeared to be fresh new ideas, the kind of games that become instant classics for the pure fun factor. I, personally, was amazed by the entire lineup. It’s as if they had probed my (and other gamers’) jaded minds in search of the kind of software we’ve all been eagerly awaiting for the past five years.

Resident Evil 4 appears to be the long overdue overhaul to the series, though still maintaining the intrinsic properties from the games’ roots that made it so wildly popular back in the day. The pre-rendered backgrounds have been done away with for full three- dimensional environments that, amazingly, look as frighteningly realistic as Resident Evil Zero and the successful Resident Evil remake. Also, the game is to be moved at a faster pace, making it easier for newcomers to break into the series.

Viewtiful Joe looks to be an entirely new and creative 2D experience, using beautiful cel-shaded graphics and super hero mechanics to deliver an amusing, wholly original, and utterly entertaining side scroller romp.

Product Number 3, which is huge from the start (as Shinji Mikami’s next big project), has the somewhat hackneyed pursuit of revenge as its story arc. However, it is set in the kind of environment in which this has never been attempted so. Playing as the illustrious heroine, you are to take down your mechanical foes in a deep, dark, shooter. I think we’ll all be surprised to find that this one isn’t inspired all that much by Resident Evil, as should by obvious enough by the limited available media.

Dead Phoenix is yet another great looking project, even as the earliest in development of the five. Who wouldn’t want to fly around an ever-changing world, traversing through huge morphing environments as you destroy baddies with the awesome powers you wield? Possibly a Zelda/Star Fox hybrid on steroids, this one looks very promising.

Lastly is yet another cel-shaded game, Killer 7. The artistic direction of this one is intriguing, as the graphics are very mature and modern in nature. The black borders have been removed from the cel shaded objects, so it’s almost as if your playing in a painting rather than a cartoon. The story sounds like something contrived from the bowels of Hollywood’s cerebrum, pitting two arch-nemesis’ against each other; one in a wheel chair, and the other capable of toppling governments (whatever that is supposed to mean).
I’d keep a watch on this one -- along with all the others -- as we’ll surely know more about them in the near future. Perfectly fit for GameCube, these five are quite the coupe for the Big N, truly a standing testament to the innovative nature of the company and reassurance that new and exciting developments are indeed on the horizon.

Sure enough, Nintendo emerged shortly thereafter with a little surprise of their own (this announcement technically came first, but wasn’t ironed out until later). It had been rumored months ago that a Zelda compilation disc of sorts was to be released sometime before or after the new “Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.” It was reported to include every other Zelda game, with the exception of the unreleased “Ura-Zelda” for the ill-fated N64 Disc Drive that would never take off. Now, several months later, various Japanese magazines have gleefully reported the existence of a bonus disc that will accompany the new Zelda game for GameCube. For all those who pre-order the game in Japan, they are to receive a bonus disc containing Ocarina of Time, Ura-Zelda, and video previews of Resident Evil 4 and F-Zero AC. Now, while the graphics have not been overhauled for GameCube as they were in the Resident Evil remake, the frame rate is faster and the game a tad sharper in all its other aspects. Ura-Zelda isn’t an entirely new game, but a remix of Ocarina of Time, mind you. However, this announcement helps sell systems, especially when considering the massive legions of Zelda fans out there who never got there greedy mitts on the highly desired “Ura-Zelda.” A clever little marketing ploy, it was only a matter of time before we would find out about the same campaign set for North American launch.

Finally, to round out the announcements of that week, was Nintendo’s happily unveiled Game Boy Player. This baby can play all your Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games on the big screen, allowing you to use the Cube controller or your own Game Boy Advance (with the system link). The perfect little peripheral for Nintendo to market, it inadvertently boosts the library of GameCube games into the realm of the thousands and provides even more of a reason for people to own both systems. Conserve your batteries at home, and have some fun with the portable on the go! It even fits conveniently on the whole of GameCube’s underside. Priced at approximately forty American dollars, there’s no excuse to not pick this one up. But hey, I am sure Nintendo could explain it better here.

After scrunching three such revelations into a relatively short time interval, an un-ending amount of talk and speculation has been surmounting about a certain “nuclear” or “megaton” announcement due out soon. While I now believe something is coming, I don’t think anyone should hold their breath over the more outlandish reports of Nintendo suing Sony for the Playstation brand name, or some grand merger of Nintendo and the other third party powerhouses in Japan. I’m not saying the latter can’t or won’t occur, what with the Rare/Microsoft and the Square/Enix happenings of recent, but the outlook is pretty dim. Companies such as Capcom have reiterated numerous times their multi-platform stance, and likewise Nintendo has been openly disdainful of the outright acquisition of any third party. Then again, Rare’s departure was denied until the very last minute. It’s a matter of some debate, but the front-runners naturally seem to be Capcom, Namco, and Sega.

The other more practical ideas report a couple third and first party software announcements, such as a new RPG by Namco and/or a massive Pokemon project for the GameCube, with the intent to sell systems. If one has been following the sales in the land of the rising sun – as we have – then it is impossible to not notice the explosion of Game Boy Advance sales (and the ever increasing amount of GameCube sales, too). Of course, this can be attributed to the huge success of the two new Ruby and Sapphire Pokemon games. Apparently, the craze never left the country, with both games climbing their way to the coveted million mark. Now, if it was revealed that a similar, fully immersive and three dimensional GameCube game could be played online and/or hooked up to these titles for maximum gameplay and enhancements, it is safe to say the sales of the Big N’s home console would soar. It is of my firm belief that while Nintendo is primed to make some serious gains in Japan, they have a surprisingly harder battle to fight locally. To be fair, one must examine them as they stand now, a year down the road.

In list form, here’s what I’ve noticed lately:

Nintendo is striving hard to deliver their franchises to us fast and have even begun working on sequels, something that didn’t happen much with the N64. Miyamoto has confirmed the existence of another Mario, Zelda, Pikmin, and Animal Crossing for the GameCube, at one time or another.

Nintendo is definitely tightening their third-party relationships, even dolling out some of their own franchises for other developers to work on.

Capcom has been taking the reigns of the handheld Zelda’s it seems, as well as that Mickey game none of you played. Plus, Capcom has that onslaught of their own headed in Nintendo’s direction.
Namco is working on the next Star Fox, in addition to bringing a couple of their own RPG’s to the forefront.
Sega is working on the next F-Zero, in addition to their own quirky Cube games and RPG’s.
Nintendo’s reasoning behind this is so that they can concentrate on creating entirely new franchises and sequels to the aforementioned “core” games. That’s all well and good if these R&D groups created at least *some* games with more mature themes than Pokemon, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, and the like. The gamers that grew up with Nintendo have grown older, and they are the ones with the disposable income to burn on such games. I think the monthly charts are a clear indication of this. This is one of the many stigmas Nintendo has to break for mainstream and core audiences, and although it’s not happening in-house, they have taken huge strides in doing so.


More third-party strengthening has occurred in securing an exclusive Final Fantasy game that will allow four player parties via the Game Boy Advance. This title will be the true showcase of what connecting your systems can do, forcing gamers to truly interact with one another throughout the quest. On a related note, it’s interesting to see the new Parasite Eve appearing on the GameCube too, as this would be Square’s first multi-platform game. It was thought by many that Square Enix’s only Cube game would be Crystal Chronicles and the several announced handheld titles.

Nintendo actually marketed both Metroid titles.

Nintendo has finally started releasing demo discs and being aggressive about advertising future products, more so in Japan than anywhere else. This is a good thing though, as they have to start somewhere and it all begun in the homeland.
If Nintendo continues to take these steps and more actively pursue these companies, as well as strengthen its weak spots; sports and a real online plan, we may see some more positive changes reflected in their sales. Their progress is a bit more apparent in Japan, and rightfully so. For once they recapture their homeland user-base, they can concentrate on winning back the legions of Madden and Grand Theft Auto fanatics that continue to reside here.

More of an update than an editorial, I wanted to provide a sort of positive look before my next somewhat related editorial. Nintendo just needs to keep up the current flow of quality games while they work at it, for that’s what truly counts. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this megaton thingy. For now your guess is as good as mine. If they unveil a detailed online plan, great; should they choose to buy out some talent or announce some high profile software: even better. Lets just hope it’s something that enforces this “Nintendo Difference” and rising enterprise, for 2003 could use some more oomph, after what was a great season of Nintendo fun. Keep it up!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My opinion: I agree with the person who wrote this. Nintendo has had more success with their GameCube in one year than Sony did with the PS2 in the same time! In other words, the first year of GameCube was extremely successful, if you look at the first year of PS2 in 2001...well you get the idea!

I believe that there still is a huge "megaton" announcement that Nintendo will make, soon. Capcom has pledged loyalty to Nintendo by announcing their 5 exclusive games for the GameCube - not to mention making the Resident Evil series exclusive to the system. Also, many of you probably don't realize this - Capcom actually co-developed the Game Boy Zelda games (Oracle of Seasons/Ages, Zelda: Four Swords) with Nintendo. If any big announcement is to be made, it might be that Nintendo is planning on buying/merging with Capcom in the future (it happened with Rare/Microsoft and Square/Enix, so now anything's possible).

Either that, or it might be a potential future with the online gaming service. Though Nintendo has virtually no support for the service now (Phantasy Star Online... ONE GAME ONLY), Nintendo may just be slowly edging us along for a huge online announcement in the future...

What do you think?
People who like video games should also like Nintendo. People who don't like Nintendo obviously don't like video games.

« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2002, 03:43:17 PM »
You know, I always wonder why in the world would anyone wanna buy a PS2 or an Xbox instead of a Gamecube. There are so many better reasons to like the Gamecube better.
 n/a

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2002, 12:40:21 AM »
AMEN!

"Thus has it ever been! Thus shall it ever be!"
That was a joke.

« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2002, 12:44:10 AM »
Dont diss PS2, it's a good console, just not as good as GCN. X Box, I'd rather eat a big ol chunch o dirt than to own that.
I ignored the rules about signatures, therefore I am most likely a spam account.

Print