It’s no secret that Nintendo isn’t in the best shape right now. After finding great success with the Nintendo DS, the Wii launched and got the masses talking about Nintendo once again. Then something happened. The Wii’s sales plummeted, the Nintendo 3DS launched poorly, and investors are questioning Nintendo’s direction with their next console, the Wii-U. Nintendo is desperately trying to gain back momentum. What happened to Nintendo’s mojo? Well, Microsoft, the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade all have something to do with it.
To truly understand what’s at play here, we have to first consider why Nintendo has historically been a successful company. Nintendo has always excelled at making games that appeal to the masses. Nintendo makes games that anyone can pick up and play. Mario has been a part of our living room since 1983 because Mario games have always been easily approachable for anyone who wants to sit down and play. Whether it’s you, your little sister, your best buddy or your dead beat uncle, Nintendo makes products for everyone. When Nintendo is succeeding, it has always been the case. So why are the tables turning?
While playing Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team this past week something occurred to me; Xbox Live Arcade is the perfect venue for developers and publishers to introduce players to a gaming universe. Kill Team is a perfect example. Here you have a straight forward old school arcade style co-op shooter set in the Warhammer universe. I bought it because I had always read a lot about the Warhammer universe online and because I’m a fan of shooters. I invited a buddy down, we had our fun with the game and I quickly picked off the last few achievements in Kill Team by myself in the following days to officially “complete” everything the game had to offer.
Some folks out there are currently pulling off insane combos and special moves against opponents in the recently released Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. One character in the game hasn’t been his own adventure in over five years; Viewtiful Joe. His adventures combine the simplicity of a beat-em up with the powers of a superhero that could manipulate time. The story is very Last Action Hero — Joe’s girlfriend has been kidnapped and it’s up to Joe to learn to be a hero and rescue her. It’s the perfect setting for an Xbox Live Arcade game. To bring Viewtiful Joe back in HD would bring in a whole new audience with to enjoy the great gameplay and beautiful, cel-shaded graphics.
Last September, Sega taunted Dreamcast fans by saying that enough interest in Chu Chu Rocket! would be enough to bring the beloved puzzle game to Xbox Live Arcade. Given lukewarm critical and fan response to Sega’s latest XBLA offering, we think the company should do just about anything to make its fans happy right now.