I think this is a good move, Mario will definitely push more sales than Nintendo Land. If there is any game Nintendo could lean on for support it would be NSMBU. They squeezed as many sales out of the standalone game ast they could. And when new owners set up their console and see how much fun people are having with Nintendo Landon Miiverse, they can go out and buy that game at a good price (or get it from the eShop).
@carlosrox I can understand why they try to sell it on its own when it's new. There might be a 3D World bundle eventually, but I can see the logic in including the older games now instead. Plus, 2D Mario will always do much, much better with the casual crowd.
Wii Sports was way better than Nintendo Land. Don't even play. Just look at the difference in the public response to those two games.
The primary problem Nintendo Land has, other than the embarrassing rainbow barf art style, is that most of the games you could play at a party are variations on Hide and Seek. To me, that's not as strong of a foundation as the sports in Wii Sports. I've actually had family and friends play Nintendo Land at two separate parties and both times the reaction was the same - pleasant but not overwhelming. I wondered if they were humoring me after about a half hour or so. Wii Bowling on the other hand, I had people begging to play for months. Tennis, too.
The secondary problem with Nintendo Land is that the deeper experiences - that incredible Metroid game, for instance - aren't online, so organizing people to play it is a nuisance. My wife, sister and brother in law had a great time playing it one night. But that was one night in nearly a year of owning the system. Hard to ask someone to fork over the cash for a Wii U if it's that hard to get people together to play it.
YMMV, of course. Maybe you've got kids who'll play Metroid with you all day. But that's my take on it.
From a marketing standpoint, this move is a no brainer. Mario sells. Nintendo Land doesn't. Still, it's sad to see because, as others have said, these games don't demonstrate the Game Pad in any remarkable way. Nintendo Land at least had that going for it.
That said, Nintendo Land with a different art style and online would have been something I'd have boosted. It wouldn't have been Wii Sports 2, but I'm not certain it would have flopped. I'm sorry to say, it's starting to look like it did flop.
(edited the last sentence to better reflect my opinion)
@carlosrox Because they want to sell copies of 3D World!
@kriswright Public response to something doesn't necessarily determine its quality. BUT... you do have a point. Wii Sports was certainly a better "play with anyone" game.
Still, Nintendo Land is pretty awesome. And although the multiplayer games often revolve around the hide-and-seek thing, they're pretty darn good hide-and-seek games, and there is other stuff too... playing co-op Zelda, Metroid and Pikmin is pretty awesome.
Nintendo Land just doesn't have its "Bowling". The game even your grandma will take a look at and go "Hmm, I think I want to try that..."
Now, a different art style and online Nintendo Land... I dunno. I'm not really convinced that would have changed much. It certainly wouldn't have gotten the Wii Sports crowd more interested.
I think it might be a bigger issue than you realize. Remember all that talk from Nintendo about Wii Sports being simplistic so that anyone could get into it? How it made the games less intimidating and easier to travel across cultures? They said they had studies to prove it and everything.
Then they chucked that all out the window and created the LSD nightmare that is Nintendo Land. What a head scratcher. Result? Wii Sports is the killer app of the generation. Nintendo Land can't even stay in a bundle for an entire year. I think these things are related, personally.
Before anyone thinks I'm trolling, remember, you know me. I like colorful stuff. I like Kirby games. I like Mario. My favorite Zelda is Wind Waker. I still have my Care Bear somewhere. I'm down with colorful. But I truly believe Nintendo Land's art-style was a total misjudgment on Nintendo's part. And I don't mind hurling insults at it, because that awful window-dressing obscures a pretty good game.
My sister asked me when we were playing the other day why they didn't just make Nintendo Land look like an actual amusement park. I told her, "Beats me."
@kriswright Correlation does not equal causation and all that. My bet is that the concepts behind NintendoLand are far harder to market than those behind Wii Sports, because while everyone can relate to swinging a bat or throwing a bowling ball, and will find the idea of mimicking those actions in front of the TV set to be novel, the appeal of playing a game like NintendoLand with a weird-ass controller with a big screen in the middle must seem far more abstract since people don't have a natural connection to that type of thing from before.
Maybe there could have been a better art style to promote the game (even though I think they did a good job with it to be honest), but I don't think that is even remotely the biggest issue with the marketing of the game. Online support apart from the Miiverse integrations could probably have helped, being an extra feature to help promote it, but I imagine the game itself would have been quite different at its core if it were tailored with online multi in mind, instead of the local family-gathering-around-the-telly multi that Nintendo seems so keen on pushing.
Yeah, I think fundamentally the big difference between Wii Sports and Nintendo Land is that everything in Wii Sports is already familiar to everyone*. You stand a "non-gamer" in front of Wii Sports Bowling for 2 seconds, they already know what it is and have a sense of if they want to try it or not. And apparently, to a lot of people, that's a "yes." You stand a "non-gamer" in front of Nintendo Land Animal Crossing or whatever and it's just random chaos to them. They have no idea if it is interesting or not because they have no idea what it is. And many of them won't bother caring enough to find out. After all, they're not video game nerds, and that looks like video game nerd junk.
My 60? year old uncle did play Nintendo Land on his own for a few hours straight though, after I explained to him how stuff worked. I think it could appeal to a lot of people if you sit them down with it, but it just doesn't have the kind of appeal that will make THEM decide they want to try it.
*"Everyone" meaning most people in 1st world nations...
Nintendo abandoned what made Wii Sports and Wii Fit so successful and replaced it with something that was almost the opposite. Instead of selling something that anyone could understand without even being explained what it is, Nintendo sold something that looked more complicated, on a controller that was the antithesis of their philosophy last generation.
Sure, correlation doesn't equal causation. But that doesn't prove these things are unrelated, either. Anyway, I'm not trying to prove a scientific theory, here. I can't prove that the artstyle hurt Nintendo Land. Of course I can't. I never said I could. I don't have access to data like that. But I definitely think it hurt the game, for the reasons I've outlined.
But my original point wasn't about the art style, anyway.
And I don't think they needed to tailor the game to online multi. Just add it to the games that they already created. Yeah, sure, that's extra resources and extra development time but, damn, this was supposed to push sales of the Wii U. It'd be worth it.
I think most everyone in Nintendo's core market can relate to the thrill of going to an amusement park. So... the obvious idea is to make Nintendo Land look like an actual amusement park. Make it look like a Nintendo themed Disneyland. Then, when I show it to people, I don't have to explain why it looks like someone ran over Rainbow Brite. They'd understand right away what was going on. They could relate it to their own experience with amusement parks the way they related to going bowling or playing tennis.
@kriswright I never interpreted what you said as an attempt at pushing your hypothesis as fact or anything, I know you're far too clever to even think about doing something like that. I just think it's not very reliable even as a hypothesis, and especially not since it's based on a subjective opinion about the art style to begin with. My ideas are also far from proven to be true, of course, but I think there is something more tangible about the actual gameplay input and how people can be expected to react to it as opposed to the visuals.
Sure, Nintendo could have merely added online to what was already there, and that would have worked and everything, but I'm saying that Nintendo probably made the different games the way they did out of an idea about creating a certain local experience (like how they talked about making the TV primarily for the on-lookers in Donkey Kong's Crash Course, for instance), and that they probably have different ideas and ways of reasoning they would have implemented if the game were to have online as well. I'm just saying I think NintendoLand would have been a different game if it had been planned with online play in mind from the start, I'm not saying they shouldn't have done it.
@kriswright But the games have nothing to do with the amusement park experience. People won't be standing there at a family party watching you PLAY thinking "that totally looks like something that I want to do!"
Especially if it is one of the weirder games like Pikmin or whatever.
I think we're getting into iffy logic if we start saying that the game itself is a weak game because it didn't capture the Wii Sports crowd. By that logic pretty much every game since Wii Sports is a weak game. It's not like my grandma will ever sit down and play Smash Brothers.
We can say that it failed at its primary purpose, sure... but that doesn't make it a bad game.