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Re(4):Rise from your grave and rescue my Zeld
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[QUOTE]How would you makeover these games? For the sake of discussion let's limit the conversation to just Mario and Zelda. What is the difference between a gameplay innovation and something that will be dismissed as a gimmick? Where is the line that seperates traditional elements from tired retreads? How far can you push a game until it no longer resembles the franchise it comes from? [/QUOTE] You raise a really good point-- it's a fine line. And I don't claim to have all the answers either, I just get this sort of 'nothing's new' malaise sometimes. And I should also note (full disclosure) that I do often enjoy retreads, like Castlevania for instance, so I'm not panning them wholesale. Mario at least has Yoshi's Island, which I think of as the very pinnacle of Mario games, although I've heard plenty of folks claim that it's NOT a Mario game, and I can see the point somewhat. What it does do is try and push the Mario-platforming genre genre, at least a little bit, not by removing elements really, but by adding elements that have gameplay implications other than 'hey look, now you have to shake the Wiimote to do a spin-jump!". Don't take that as an indictment of Super Mario Wii-- it's a great game, and it distills a lot of the best elements of earlier games without adding truly stupid things. But it's hardly innovative. Mario games, unfortunately, have suffered from the syndrome of being branded into every conceivable genre, so I think the franchise is stretched pretty thin to start with. Now Zelda is another story. I've already said my piece about its newer games, especially on the DS. I think there is even more room for a Zelda game to innovate without becoming something else altogether. I'd say the only thing you really need are the extremely iconic character and tool elements for it to be a Zelda game. Even in the action RPG genre as it exists there is a lot of room for it to grow. It's already been established that the Link and Zelda characters is archetypes of a sort that are different people across the different games, so that should provide a huge opportunity to change the game up. The problem is, often when Nintendo has tried to do something different, even if it's just graphically, like in Wind Waker, the game gets panned. Although I don't even really know if innovation should come from these kinds of games even. The budget of a Mario game is huge compared to a brand new property, and as such while it has room and budget to try something new, it has little traction to move outside what's already been tried. Then you've got series like Castlevania where they have neither the budget nor the room to innovate, or even to create new assets for gameplay elements, especially. Even then they've managed it somewhat in Aria of Sorrow and (a little) in Order of Ecclesia. I'll shut up and let someone else talk.
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