Posted on May 14 2009 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
No, that is not a mistype in the title. In writing this, I myself had
to reread the title of this news post several times to make sure I
fully grasped what I was saying. Spirit Tracks is supposedly a title to
satisfy the hardcore Nintendo fan crowd. When will Nintendo learn that
just because it’s a Mario or Zelda title that it does not mean it
actually aims at the hardcore Nintendo crowd? This may not bode well
for the future of the console Zelda’s. Take the jump to find out what
is really going on.
Denise Kaigler, Nintendo of America’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs, recently did an interview at Bitmob and had a few things to say when it comes to Zelda:
”Bitmob: People get excited about Zelda in general, but I
think they wanted more from Nintendo, like a full-on console version of
Zelda, so I think there were mixed reactions. Where’s the big Wii
announcement? Where’s the stuff for the hardcore gamers?
Kaigler: This is a game developers conference,
right? [It was important for Nintendo president] Mr. Iwata, as a
developer, to come here and speak to other developers and to use
stories of how Mr. Miyamoto works as a way to inspire other developers.
We started off [the platform] by asking, “Who are we talking to?” We’re
talking to game developers.”
Talking to game developers. What does Spirit Tracks say to them? It’s the same engine as the last title, and the same controls. As in, I am not really sure how Spirit Tracks is a justification in helping game developers. Be honest here Nintendo, you showed it because you needed something to make people actually pay attention to your portion of the conference. Moving on…
”Bitmob: If that’s the case, why show Spirit Tracks at all?
Why not save that for E3? Or do you feel obligation to show off new
Kaigler: Yes, we read and we hear the shouts out
there about what we’re doing or not doing for the hardcore gamers.
[Since I joined the company] I’ve heard different things about
Nintendo’s offerings, and by announcing Zelda DS to this audience
that is primarily made up of developers, it was a way for Mr. Iwata to
say that, “Yes, Nintendo wants you to know that we are absolutely still
committed to providing game experiences that you care about.”
Commited to providing game experiences that hardcore gamers, and developers, care about. Really? Spirit Tracks? A rehash of Phantom Hourglass’s engine? A game based around what Phantom Hourglass was, a fun casual gamer experience? Come now Nintendo, clearly you say you hear the shouts of the hardcore gamers – but I don’t think you really do. Look at the reaction to Spirit Tracks. Yes, I think it will be a success and be fun, but it’s not what the hardcore crowd wants. They want console Zelda, a more grown up console Zelda. One that not just has those realistic graphics, but the game play and toughness to match it. If Nintendo truly thinks that Spirit Track’s appeases the hardcore Nintendo crowd, then my hopes are not too high for the next console release.
You can read the full interview here.