Nintendo has no idea what they’re doing

As Wii U’s EU release date is closing in, I decided to check out Iwata Asks if they offered some good info for me to think about. I haven’t really thought of Wii U as there’s nothing to think of. However, the latest Iwata Asks made my blood boil for a moment. This time they were discussing New Super Mario Bros. U (drop the New prefix Nintendo) and this just shows that these people have no idea what the hell they’re doing.

“Iwata; A Super Mario action game is also like a puzzle game.”

DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A PUZZLE GAME? For the sake of everything you hold holy, how the hell is Iwata regarding Super Mario Bros. a puzzle game? Things couldn’t get any worse really.

“Iwamoto: Last time, there was a Free-for-All Mode for lightly playing the regular courses. We decided at the start that we wanted to put in something similar to that. We tried connecting certain courses and playing them through, but it wasn’t very fun.

Iwata: The gameplay was uneventful without surprise.”

It’s your job to design the stages so that they’ll pose a challenge. Gimmicks and different modes do not make good game play. Even less, surprises do not make good gameplay. Iwata obsession to surprises only compares to his obsession with 3D. Iwata doesn’t even understand what makes Super Mario Bros. gameplay and thus calls it uneventful and lacking in surprise. The next thing they want to add is racing because hey, everybody likes racing in 2D Mario, right?

Iwamoto: Yeah. There were a lot of opinions to the effect that simply playing the courses you had played in the story mode was lacking something. Then we tried adding rules, so that the screen keeps scrolling and the more coins you get the faster it goes. It’s slow at the start, but it gradually gets faster and more difficult. That fit Super Mario gameplay.

Nintendo, make that Adventure Island game if you want to make one so badly. You still have the money to buy the license. Not for long thou, this kind of game development will only cost you money with no revenue. NSMBU will sell as much as 3DS Mario games, and those were a sad case of utter failure. This kind of forced movement and mode concentration clearly has taken their attention away from what’s important; content.

“Iwata; So while New Super Mario Bros. U is an action game, you can also enjoy puzzle and racing game elements.”

Nobody will ever buy a Mario game for its puzzle elements unless it’s a straight up puzzle game. It’s like saying that people buy Street Fighter for the story, Metal Gear for the fighting, Puyo Puyo for the action or Muv-Luv for the gameplay. It’s stupid, and from Nintendo’s part it’s both unprofessional and selfish. And Nintendo still wonders why Super Mario Bros. 3 is the one game that everyone will always regard as the shining example for a perfect game. Even in this Iwata Asks they talk about how SMB3 influences them, and yet they admit of doing nothing with it. Just copying the world map.

This makes me sad. I wish I still had some honest to God rage in me, but CAPCOM drained all that from me. They’re talking about modes but not of Worlds, of content. They’re congratulating themselves for making a game that nobody wants. They’re not adding any value on the pre-existing template. Rather, they’re taking away building blocks that made Super Mario Bros. games a success. Literally, blocks. Think back to SMB3 and how things were blocks. Music blocks and all that. They weren’t just tools, they were there to jump on, to break, to bounce off and to kick to enemies. Now Nintendo’s thinking that SMB games are nothing short of obstacle courses you need to run trough. Even with this they’re making the games easier. Having a Big Mario with Fire Flower at the end of the stage was a big deal in the first three Mario games. Now, you have so many lives and powerups that it doesn’t matter. The game’s broken at a fundamental level. The lack of challenge combined with the abundance of lives and powerups just break the game’s challenge completely. SMB3 didn’t allow you to go back to past levels, it always forced you to advance and conserve your power-ups. Not so any more.

I also need to ask this; why did they break the controls? All Mario games prior Super Mario 64 had tight and responsive controls. After we got 3D Mario, all SMB games have had that same unresponsive, feathery floaty controls that barely constitute as working. Why did they force 3D floatiness into 2D Mario? Why they made the controls less precise when people enjoyed those? I don’t feel that I’m in control any more with modern Mario games. They’re going and going and it feels like I can’t make precise jumps or runs. Then I play some SMB1 and find myself making pixel perfect executions.

How much has Nintendo screwed up that I’m fearing for 2D Mario’s future?