(apologies for the split infinitive but it was the only way I could really get the trailing-off feel I wanted for the title)
Okay, I get it, the big, diseased elephant in the room: coronavirus shook everything up. But that only goes so far when you consider two things. The first is that other companies are still pumping out new, major games on the Switch like Monster Hunter Rise, Ys 9 and Subnautica.
But the main reason is that they just haven't hit those notes for me in the past few years. 2017 was amazing, with Mario and Zelda. 2018 had an excellent Smash Bros. 2019 was a little more hit (Mario Maker 2, Three Houses) or miss (Luigi's Mansion, Pokemon Sword/Shield) for me in terms of Nintendo, although granted opinions can vary there and the strong third-party support helped. But 2020 and 2021 had almost nothing from the Big N. We got an overpriced Mario collection, an overpriced Zelda remaster, a fun Mario battle Royale that was nuked, a cool Fire Emblem port that was nuked, and a couple decent-but-not-as-great-as-before new titles in Clubhouse Games, Animal Crossing, and Origami King.
Admittedly, Pokemon Snap did pretty well, but even that was developed by a third-party, Bandai-Namco. And I did really enjoy Mario Kart Live for what it did and appreciate weird games like that and Game Builder Garage. But I dunno, it just feels like a lack of real passion lately. I don't want to be one of those "I used to be the biggest Nintendo fan..." guys, but I've spent way more time retro gaming over the past several months than playing stuff on my Switch (except for Ace Attorney--thanks Capcom!). Has Nintendo gotten complacent? Or perhaps the lack of Iwata is driving the company in different directions? Alpha Dream imploded and I don't know what is happening over at Camelot, but a lot of games lately just seem...worse.
Or hey--maybe I'm just way off base here? I admit that my malaise with games like Age of Calamity and Pokemon Brilliant Whatever might be in the minority. And the ire that ignites within when I see them selling another pair of nigh-identical Pokemon games at full price might JUST be me. But regardless, how've you felt about the last couple years of Switch games?
Things have been a bit slow of late, but I'm still enjoying their output. They're still bringing an appreciable amount of quirk to the table. I just finished the Game Builder Garage tutorial and found it to be incredibly charming. Ring Fit was amazing, as well. I'm really looking forward to Dread and Wario Ware. And Nintendo-branded stinkers are still rare.
I dunno. I guess their output has been a bit low, but there are so many cool indies coming to the system that it doesn't bother me?
Speaking of which, Spelunky & Spelunky 2 tomorrow! Guaranteed to blow away your Switch malaise!!
@Anand Nintendo's output is pretty small right now but there are way too many indies and third party games on Switch for me to care.
Good games are good games. IDC if they're all from Nintendo. As long as the Switch is getting them, I'm satisfied and the Switch is getting more good games than every Nintendo home console since the N64 combined.
I feel as if Nintendo's quality of games has remained consistent. Still all as fun as ever, so no complaints from me as far as that goes.
But y'know? A thought occured to me. It is possible that we are not seeing a large quantity of games from Nintendo not *just* due to COVID-19...but also *because* they only have the ONE platform with which to release titles, instead of the (at least) two from generations past.
Let me explain my train of thought. In previous hardware generations, Nintendo has pretty much always had their home console and portable handheld hardware out at the same time. So they could release games from the same franchise *on two different platforms* fairly close to each other without oversaturating either system. Here are just some quick ones that came to mind:
GAME BOY: Both versions of Tetris (GB, NES) came out in 1989. Could you imagine Nintendo selling two different versions of the same game on the same platform? HA! Also consider each Donkey Kong Land was released inbetween each new Donkey Kong Country. So RARE actually made 6 (!) DKC games in the span of five or six years. Could you imagine 6 "DKC" games on a single platform in that short of time? Madness, I tell you!
GAME BOY ADVANCE: It was pretty cool that both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion came out on the same day back in 2002. Would it have been overkill to put them both on GCN? Remember when F-Zero GX came out, and then less than a year later F-Zero GP Legend came out? No, because no one played GP Legend. But even though those were two VERY different games, it felt like Nintendo was already watering down the F-Zero franchise.
DS: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid Prime Hunters were released within months (well, less than a year) from each other. Wario: Master of Disguise and Wario Land: Shake It! had the same deal. But it didn't feel "wrong" since they were on different platforms. I'm sure there are other examples but that's what came to mind right away.
3DS: This is when things got a bit aggregious. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D came out within months of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. What if OoT got the remake treatment on Wii instead of 3DS? That would have been a LOT of Zelda on a single platform in so short of time. But because it was on different systems...it was cool? I guess? The worst example is the release of NEW Super Mario Bros. 2 being released literally THREE MONTHS before New Super Mario Bros. U - a series (sub-series?) that had already kinda worn out its welcome with the samey-samey graphics and soundtrack. Could you imagine if those had BOTH been released on Wii U? That's even too insane for Nintendo. Buuuuuuuuut...two different platforms. It's cool.
Also: Nintendo's handheld games were always sold cheaper than their console games. So fine, you spent $40-$50 on the console game...and hey, the handheld counterpart is only like, $20-$30. Why not get both? One you can play at home, one you can play on the go. Perfect!
But they can't do that now. Everything is on one system. They can't release two games from the same franchise within months of each other...for a full $50-$60 each.
....right? Anyway, just a thought that was rattling around in my head after reading this thread. Thoughts?
More examples: consider how close the releases were for Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. And also Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (yes, they are different games!).
That actually makes a lot of sense. I do miss having the opportunity for smaller scale or lower budget games. Something like Super Mario 3D Land doesn't make much sense on the Switch alongside Mario Odyssey. I also don't know if something like Kid Icarus Uprising would have gotten the greenlight if it needed to be in HD and justify a $60 price tag. Fire Emblem Awakening was going to be the last Fire Emblem game. Would Nintendo have taken that series-saving gamble if their only option was to put it on the Wii U?
I say that, but then we have cheaper-seeming games like Pokemon and Mario Tennis being put on the Switch for full price and sub-par graphics. At least the 3DS had an appeal to it's poorer visuals. Sword/Shield, the gen 4 remakes, and Mario Tennis just look unfinished. At least visually. Well, mechanically too. Nintendo can be unashamed when they want to be.
@GameDadGrant I think that Nintendo could just shorten/halve the release schedule between franchise entries. But I don't mind seeing a wider array of franchises. Another factor may be that handheld games previously took far fewer resources, in general, so they could push out more games, overall.
I think that Nintendo are getting more comfortable with releasing smaller-scaled games on the Switch, though. At a more handheld-type price point. Actually, they're experimenting with price a lot these days - Big Brain Academy, Game Builder Garage, Wario Ware, Miitopia...
It's a good idea. If they don't ever want to discount their games, they should be priced to maximize sales. Not everything is a $60($70(+DLC)) experience. I like seeing the pricing flexibility.
I also like seeing Nintendo partner with third-parties to release more games, like with WayForward and Advance Wars. (Coincidence?!)
I'm super curious about that deal Nintendo made with Forever Games, too. Are they going to start porting old Nintendo games? What gave them such confidence in that publisher? Some spec N64 remaster, or something?
@GameDadGrant I think that this links to the main source? They're the Polish publisher who made the Panzer Dragoon remake and is making the House of the Dead Remake. And they've also published a ton of random indie games to the Switch.
So maybe it's a deal to port old games or games from other platforms, or something? Or gain a foothold in Europe? I dunno. It's mysterious. Nintendo usually doesn't invest in other companies so easily.
@GameDadGrant Personally, I always have kind of felt like Nintendo was stretched too thin in regards to supporting multiple platforms. Their pacing has always felt off in that regard, possibly by design.
Nowadays, I think their pacing of new releases has been pretty bad, but we don't really have another platform to distract us with. I think Nintendo has been pretty content over the past few years to blast the market with ports and remasters because no one even played these games on Wii U. I think their output of ports, remakes, remasters, etc. has been a bit egregious. I'm definitely happy to see games like Metroid Dread and Wario Ware: Get it Together on this year's release list, and I'm hoping we see more new entries in our favorite franchises soon. At this point, I think they're kind of out of games to port over, so I expect that they'll want some fresh blood in there as they start to get to the back half of the Switch's lifespan.