I’m trying to like the Wii. I tried my hardest to love Super Paper Mario. But this image essentially sums up my opinion of the game, the platform, and the other games available, including Zelda. Please, Nintendo. Please. Stop it. Treat me like I have a brain. I’m so tired of “whimsical” being equated to “mythic” and “classic characters” becoming an excuse for poor game play and foolish stories.
Nintendo focuses on babies. Straight up. If they could get the controller past the cervix, they would. Their games are long, complex, and needlessly convoluted, adding little to story or satisfaction. Take the original Legend of Zelda for example. Your mission was to kill Ganon. Fair enough. But what did you have to do to get there? Burn down tree after tree. Push tombstone after tombstone. Bomb walls that didn’t look like they could be bombed. It was all “there,” in plain sight, but the gameplay was muddled by needless and unchallenging complexity. This was fine for the NES, but it’s not fine almost two decades later.
Fast forward to Super Paper Mario. The story is as linear as Half Life but not nearly as compelling. Go here, do this. Go there, do that, come back here, watch some wizard talk for forty minutes, go there. Do that again. The puzzles are obvious to all but the most hopeless gamer — and I consider myself a hopeless gamer — and the side quests, which include card collecting, are about as exciting as watching paint dry. But John! I like those things! you’ll screech. Fine, but I’m pissed.
I played a few dozen hours of Halo 3 with a friend last weekend and I had a good time. It isn’t rocket science, this Halo franchise. A few cool weapons, some cars, some next gen graphics. I do not have time to collect all 500 ants in the Twilight Princess world. Trust me. I have a mortgage. Give me a game that makes me forget I’m playing a game. Give me something with life rather than canned specifying by some poorly rendered stone monsters and annoying kids. I want to advance the plot through my own actions, not through the actions of non-player characters. Give me some good graphics and fun puzzles. Sure, that doesn’t always make a great game — Prey, anyone? — but at least you have the basic pieces in place. If you want to make party games, make party games. Just stop pissing on my fond memories of Mario and Zelda and make a game that doesn’t suck.
Super Paper Mario, It’s not me. It’s you. [IRSerious]