Monday, June 14, 2021

My Sole Problem With Nintendo Games: Continuity.

December 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( I love Nintendo games. They’re easy to pick up with little need for in-game tutorials because they rarely change the formula that works. When there is an in-game tutorial, it’s rarely ever lengthy to the point you’re like “Maybe y’all should’ve left these mechanics out if I need this much tutorial.”

That stems from Nintendo being active during a period when everything you needed to know was in the instruction manual. Yes, I’m ready to play the game, let’s play it! “We understand that—and you will play! However, let’s go through 15 or 20 minutes of tutorial. There will be shorter tutorials as more stuff is unlocked.” What?

Nintendo isn’t without fault though. As straightforward but challenging Nintendo games are, there is one thing that has always bothered me: continuity in storylines.

Nintendo and Super Mario’s Continuity

I’ve been playing Ninty’s games for years. The original Nintendo was my first console and Castlevania was the first game I ever played. I can honestly say that I’ve rarely been disappointed by their games. However, I’m fan of lore and continuity between games.

When a developer drops another game in a franchise, I’m expecting there to be links to the previous game. The last story you played should have some impact on the next game’s world.

It’s just keeps everything flowing and has me coming back for the next title. Nintendo games tend to scrap this idea in the main titles. The main culprits are the Super Mario and Zelda games. For Super Mario, I can see how the company figures standalone adventures work.

Mario is a massive franchise and if you’re new to it, you don’t have to worry about playing the previous games to dive in. It’s a contained story and you’re in for a fun time without the commitment.

That said, I can only imagine if Mario and Luigi moved through large adventures that were impacted by their last battle with Bowser. Or how Bowser has to step it up each time the Mario Brothers come rampaging through his territory, wrecking shop.

The Superstar Saga games usually fixed my need for this but the main Super Mario games will introduce characters, not really continue the story from there, and there’s that character: hanging out in the Mushroom Kingdom. Geno from Super Mario RPG is the odd exception but he’s more of a Square Enix character.

The Legend of Zelda’s Continuity

Things get even more annoying when you factor in The Legend of Zelda which has a dedicated story each game but each game is largely independent of each other. If a new Zelda drops and you’ve never played it, you have zero to worry about since they’re not linked—no pun intended.

It’s a bit of a shame because the series would likely work if Link had new threats each time and Ganon returned every now and then after Link vanishes him. Instead, you’re fighting a Ganon in different dimensions and timelines. That’s another thing, there’s is a timeline as laid out in Hyrule Historia but it’s a bit of a mess. This is because the games weren’t released in canonical order and were pieced into place.

Even then, the Legend of Zelda games just vaguely reference each other with a few things being stock such as Link, Zelda, the Master Sword, and Ganon. I will say that it’s understandable since each game adds new stuff and places that weren’t in previous games.

My intent with things being in canonical/chronological order aside, one thing that both series are consistent with is the fun factor and challenge of the adventures. The gameplay tends to always be ridiculously tight to match the challenges and that’s enough for me to ignore order issues in the moment.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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