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Which latest Nintendo iteration did the best job of moving the series forward? [poll]
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (15/30 votes)
Metroid: Other M (11/30 votes)
Super Mario 3D Land (4/30 votes)

This poll is focused on Nintendo's 'Big 3' franchises.

As each of these three series continues to evolve, people's expectations about where each one is heading continues to change as well. Some aspects of these games continues to play it safe and stay true to what 'most fans' want, while other aspects have changed quite significantly, leading to division among gamers.

Which of these three games listed has most satisfied you in relation to the series as a whole, ie you are happy with where the series goes from here? This is not necessarily a question about which game is your favorite, though your choice could be that as well.

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Posted: 12/05/11, 07:13:45  - Edited by 
 on: 12/05/11, 07:15:31
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Zelda did a lot of annoying things, but the things it did well were AWESOME. In my opinion, Skyward Sword has some of the best dungeons and bosses in the entire series.

Other M was good, but I much prefer the Prime series. Super Mario 3D Land just feels like Super Mario Galaxy .5.
Posted: 12/05/11, 07:21:04
Interesting poll.

I've only played 2 of the 3, so I won't vote. I just got Mario on BF, but I'm still playing Zelda for the foreseeable future.

I'll start with Metroid. To me, this was a huge step backward for the franchise from the Prime games, but...even as I noted in my review, I thought the potential was there for something like Other M to work. First off, although I get the impression that it's not the popular opinion, I liked the emphasis on story and presentation. It was one of the first Nintendo games that really felt modern to me. It was something that really drove the game. Some of the narration was a little much, but overall, I really liked this take on the Metroid story and its characters.

The problem was that they surrounded it with a pretty clumsily-made game. Watered down Metroid gameplay with a bizarre decision with respect to controls, it just wasn't fun a lot of the time. There were some really weird first-person sequences that just felt out of place and confusing at times.

But overall...I did like the direction that Other M could possibly take the series. It was a bold step for the series, even if ultimately I think that it was a failure. But take that emphasis on story and presentation and build a great game around it -- no goofy control scheme, beat 'em up gameplay, switching from 3rd-to-first and watered-down puzzles -- I think the series would benefit greatly from it. Even a Retroid game that borrows from Other M could be amazing.

Zelda, is kinda the opposite to me. It's what it's always been, another great game filled with great controls, great gameplay, great dungeon and puzzle design. But, the flying aspect was just another in a long line of "special features" that Nintendo includes in each new Zelda to differentiate it from Ocarina of Time, but the series still hasn't taken that next step. To me, it's Ocarina 5, which is certainly not a bad thing. I just don't see Skyward Sword as an evolution of Zelda in any way, much less anything revolutionary. Where Other M strayed off the beaten path, Skyward Sword mostly plays it safe. Ultimately, SS ends up as the far better game, but my opinion on the Zelda franchise is no different than it was after Wind Waker or after Twilight Princess. My gripes with Skyward Sword, by and large, would apply to the last 2 console games as well. The wait between games just keeps getting longer and longer, but the end result is baby steps.

I'd like to see Eiji Aonuma in a non-role for the next game, and I'm tempted to say I'd like to see a different developer take a crack at it. Retro did great things for Metroid, and EAD Tokyo has done wonders with Mario. Zelda is kinda just there, treading water. It's treading water in a pool of greatness, no doubt about it, but I think it's time for some new blood to come in and inject some life back into the series. They absolutely have to quit being lazy and ramp up the production and go with a more cinematic direction and voice acting, as Metroid did. The cutscenes in Skyward Sword feel so dated, awkward and for the most part, ineffective. It's one area in a Zelda game where you say "Wow, they could have done this so much better", and they didn't. There are a lot of these areas in Skyward Sword, and they were present in Twilight Princess and Wind Waker as well.

Overall, I think that Skyward Sword was far and away, a better made game than Other M in just about every area, but whereas I look at Metroid and say "I think they could take what they did with Other M, and make something great with it", I see Zelda and wouldn't mind them going back to the drawing board, completely. Other M wasn't a bad game; I completed the game 100%. It had some really great sections and some well-done puzzles. But so much of it was clumsily made, and I had to force myself to play certain parts of it. And unfortunately, we may not get to see another game like it that "redeems" it because it fell so far short of the Metroid standard. I hope they don't take it as a sign that it was the wrong approach or direction, because I don't think it was. It just needs to be a better game.

I'll have to get back to you on Mario 3D Land.
Posted: 12/05/11, 07:48:54
I haven't played Zelda or Mario. From my research, Zelda doesn't do much to move the series forward apart from motion controls. In many ways it feels like it took a step backwards. They took away features that were great diversions and didn't replace them. Metroid, other M was a big mess of a game. I won't go into detail since I don't want to beat a dead horse but I will say that even though it was the farthest departure out of the three, it did more to set the series backward than forward. Metroid was my favorite Nintendo franchise, but if this is where the series is going (hopefully not since it sold a lot less that any of the three prime games and rightly so) I will never buy another Metroid game again.

As for Mario, being able to judge distances better will always be welcomed in a platformer (not that this was ever a problem in the past). I guess Mario wins.
Posted: 12/05/11, 09:08:13
...Other: M?

Are you fucking serious?!

*Slams door on poll in disgust, rage and general principle*
Posted: 12/05/11, 09:38:51
Easily 3D Land... adding those 2D elements back into the 3D games? Brilliant.
Posted: 12/05/11, 10:11:02
Seriously I think Other M did. Only one that did full voice acting (...regardless of the outcome or what haters say), brought back quick action and a third person view, was cinematic, dead serious in tone, and wasn't safe in any way, shape, or form.

Other M took balls, was an awesome, different, and unique game, and was a great Metroid game. It was also co-developed which showed that they weren't scared to partner up and do something different.

Skyward Sword is a sorta close-ish second. It still played it pretty safe and while moving several things forward, it still took many steps back. I will give full credit to their story telling, music, and motion controls though.

Hmm, maybe it's a tie for the two... I still think Other M was more different though. As an atmosphere whore, Other M skimped on nothing. Other M still gets my pick. I'd love for a refined sequel of Other M.

I'll give Mario some credit for being a great mix of old and new, and it's generally what I wanna see, but it still felt like SMG3 to me.

Posted: 12/05/11, 10:35:11  - Edited by 
 on: 12/05/11, 10:40:29
Only played Other M and Skyward Sword. Other M was just a mess and the hour or so I played it did not make me eager to return to it. So right now Skyward Sword wins by default. I'll hold off on voting until I play Mario 3DS though.
Posted: 12/05/11, 10:52:56
Skyward Sword did what every 3D Zelda does - it improved on many things, but not enough to call it a revolution, and it also took a few steps backwards, so it's not undeniably better than its predecessors. Despite what Miyamoto said before it came out the Zelda formula still shines through this game. The dungeons could've blended with the overworld like Nintendo wanted, because the overworld is so full of puzzles, but playing a cutscene with the same music every time Link enters a dungeon and not being able to go to the sky from them kind of defeated the whole purpose.

I played a bit on 3D Land at a friend's house, I haven't had quality one-on-one time with the game though. So I dunno. It was a fun game from what I played, not as much as the Galaxy games.

Other M tried a lot of new things, some worked well, some didn't. It's the 3D Metroid that feels like the 2D games the most, but that doesn't mean it's better than Metroid Prime. It's the game out of these that innovated the most, but I wouldn't say it necessarily moves the series forward. I don't know if I'd want the following Metroid games to borrow from Other M's template. For being the most daring, though, I gotta give it to Other M.

I'm restraining from voting because of my incomplete opinion of 3D Land, though.
Posted: 12/05/11, 14:05:21  - Edited by 
 on: 12/05/11, 14:07:08
Seems to be only Other M really pushed anything forward. Some people may claim "backward" but it's the only one that at least TRIED to move forward.
Posted: 12/05/11, 15:45:49
Other M, even though it was my least favorite game in the poll. Skyward Sword is basically more of the same (new controls, same old Zelda) and Super Mario 3D Land felt familiar. Other M at least tried to push the series forward in terms of story and gameplay (very different from the Prime games and the most recent 2D games). Whether or not it succeeded is up to you, but it took a gamble.
Posted: 12/05/11, 16:25:23
I guess I'd have to say Other M even though I think there were a lot of things in the game that felt ripped straight out of other Metroid games. From a controls/perspective perspective I think of those three games it was the most to make me go "I think this lays down a foundation for some fresh content" (even if Other M only felt very fresh at times).
Posted: 12/05/11, 17:11:02
Thank god people are actually acknowledging Other M. Didn't expect this. Let it win the poll like it deserves.
Posted: 12/05/11, 18:23:20
Gotta go with Other M as well. Unlike most people, I actually enjoyed the game. I know it has problems but it laid out the series for new ideas far better than the other two choices on the poll.
Posted: 12/05/11, 18:24:49
This thread should be named Negative World: Carlos' Redemption

After months of being denied and ridiculed by the masses, one man steps forth conducting his opinion to change the (negative) world forever.
Posted: 12/05/11, 18:29:49  - Edited by 
 on: 12/05/11, 18:31:03
Here's the thing about Other M--it did try to move the series forward, but it did so in ways that I don't necessarily think are right for the Metroid series. I'll say that I thought the 2-D-ish perspective and controls were actually pretty neat. I didn't have a problem with them and it took a risk that I like to see. Using missiles felt fairly balanced due to their power and Samus's speed and athleticism made using her signature moves quite fun.

But above all else, it axed exploration for linear storytelling, which I feel is sort of a cardinal sin in the series. I've heard rumblings that SS does something similar with Zelda, but I feel there's a ton of things to do in Zelda outside of the main quest, which I could never say for Other M (but could easily make the argument for the other Metroid games). For Other M, the exploration was really cut out of the equation, and while I didn't dislike the game, I feel that many of its additions aren't really what I want to see from the series. It was kinda neat having a Nintendo game with high production values regarding the storyline, but that's hardly an innovation, and it wasn't really handled super-well anyway.

Mario 3D Land is a great game, and a tight, focused one at that. But when you get right down to it, it's pretty much following the mold of SMG1 -> SMG2 -> SM3DL. It focuses on making 3-D arenas blend with 2-D driven gameplay, with some exploration but mostly a tight, linear experience. I think it works very well for Mario but it's not really completely new (it feels a lot like SMG2 in several ways).

I'll vote Zelda. While it didn't completely change the series, there're a number of cool innovations that I'd love to see return in future games:

-The stamina meter: Link is crazy agile in this game. Being able to really book it speeds up the whole flow of the game considerably, and I'd say it even allows Nintendo to make some larger environments without having to worry about the player being sluggish on getting around. There are tall ledges everywhere that allow you to parkour-shortcut and get around in multiple different ways (almost like in Mario in SM64). Moving Link around the world has never been this much fun. I also greatly appreciate the addition of stamina-based challenges, like running up a hill or running away from/towards a fast-moving foe and trying to manage the meter in the process. And of course, there's also the (pre-4th dungeon) Silent Realm challenges, which really test the player's skill in using it effectively.

-1:1 combat: It's not the most perfect control scheme in the world but it feels pretty great for the whole game. Aiming for enemies' weak points with the sword never gets old and gives the combat that extra dash of depth that it needed. I'd be let down if this aspect of the game didn't return.

-Difficulty and balance: Okay, this isn't really an innovation but it feels super-refined. SS has the best economy/difficulty balance since Zelda 1. You actually want to get stronger stuff because the game's fairly challenging, and rupees are desirable since there's so much cool stuff to buy. I also quite enjoy the crafting and bug-catching, and hope that stuff comes back.

-2-D overworld philosophy in 3-D: The Surface areas are rather dense and layered among themselves, similar to something like ALttP. This design philosophy carries through the whole game, and while I'd like a bit more exploration in the future, I think in general, this is a great blueprint in how overworld design should be done.

It just occurred to me that all of these games focus on making the experience tighter and more linear, and less exploration-based. Not sure how I feel about that yet.
Posted: 12/05/11, 18:30:19
Can't properly vote on this one since I haven't played the Mario 3DS game. I would think that one would take this poll but that doesn't seem like the case right now.
Posted: 12/05/11, 18:35:41
Definitely Zelda. The motion controls allow for so much more involvement in the environment and a much more agile Link overall. As various team members have said, including Miyamoto, they can't imagine going back to buttons now.

Other M felt like it was trying to modernize the Super Metroid recipe, but it never reached anything you could call progress, and it lost a lot of the Metroid flavor along the way.

Super Mario 3DSLand is wonderful, but it feels more like an amalgam of existing approaches rather than something entirely new. It brings a lot of new ideas, it's creatively fresh, but not really progressive imo. :)
Posted: 12/05/11, 18:59:51
Super Mario 3D Land makes HUGE strides to blur the line between 2D and 3D platformer. It's a gateway for people who can't play 3D Mario, this is a huge innovation for the Mario series.

Other M deserves props too, it introduces a lot of new elements to Metroid gameplay. However, I doubt it will ever be expanded upon because the game was not well received overall. I think people want Metroid to go back to first person or 2D more than ever, now. So we can't really say it made any significant strides forward for the franchise. I could be wrong, but I predict there will be no Other M 2.

Skyward Sword doesn't innovate too much though it is probably the most accessible Zelda and motion controls are fantastic.

So, the answer is Mario. Good poll by the way!

stephen08 said:
Only played Other M and Skyward Sword. Other M was just a mess and the hour or so I played it did not make me eager to return to it. So right now Skyward Sword wins by default. I'll hold off on voting until I play Mario 3DS though.
I don't think you can call a game a "mess" if you only played one hour (most of which are cutscenes). But, please elaborate on how it was a mess, if you like.
Posted: 12/05/11, 19:07:06
TriforceBun said:

It just occurred to me that all of these games focus on making the experience tighter and more linear, and less exploration-based. Not sure how I feel about that yet.

That's nothing new, or at least not that new. Nintendo has been doing it since the beginning of this generation, think about it - from Corruption to Galaxy and its sequel. Even the new Animal Crossing. Not Twilight Princess, but that's a Gamecube game.

They also seem to like soft, squishy, colorful art styles and orchestral music.
Posted: 12/05/11, 19:12:31

That made me laugh, thanks. But I'm not the only one here who likes Other M. The game has its fans. I wish it had more though. The few people who like Other M are like family to me. We have weekly meetings to discuss the game, in secret.
Posted: 12/05/11, 19:38:45
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