By Clinton Nix / November 16th, 2012
This article is a reflection of the writer’s opinion and does not reflect Oprainfall as a whole.
I have to be honest, I’m pretty excited for the Wii U. It’s been six years since the Wii launched, and I’ve been drooling over the idea of Nintendo’s famous mascots in high definition. My brain goes crazy over the thought of seeing Link, Samus, Mario, and the rest in their new adventures. It was in 2007 that we saw Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii, which proved that Nintendo still does in fact have the magic when reinventing its old mascots. I am also among those who loved Nintendo’s take on motion controls in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which was released at the end of 2011.
Last generation, Nintendo also took a ‘new’ approach to reinventing Mario…in bringing him back to the older, side-scrolling days of his legacy by releasing New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS. Let’s get something clear right away: I have no problem with this idea. The truth is, it is an interesting proposition and provides longtime Mario fans a taste of nostalgia wrapped in a nice new package. The problem lies in the the number of times that Nintendo has repackaged this same idea with a different coat of paint. The nerds in us are all too joyous to play a new Mario experience, which gives Nintendo an excuse to continue to repackage a less innovative product while laughing its way to the proverbial bank. New Super Mario Bros. U, which is releasing alongside the Wii U, will be the fourth game in the ‘New’ series.
New Super Mario Bros. Times Infinity
I’m sure many gamers are aware of the infamous Iwata and Miyamoto ‘It Prints Money!’ meme. It has been used in many ways, and I believe it started with the success of the DS, but also caught fire especially with the surprise success of the Wii. When the Wii was released, the console simply couldn’t stay on the shelves. This, however, did not translate into a big variety of games despite having a huge user base. While this is another topic entirely, it’s also obvious that the New Super Mario Bros. series is a huge seller. And when I say huge, I mean HUUUUUGE.
According to this list, the original New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS sold 29 million copies worldwide. That is in fact more than any other platforming Mario title except for the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES. The second ‘New’ series release, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, isn’t far behind with 26 million copies sold. This is fine and dandy, I mean, success is good, right? Well, the fact is that a ‘new old school’ styled Mario game is selling better than the more thoughtfully developed mainline Mario titles. Sales for Super Mario Galaxy? Just under 11 million. Super Mario Sunshine? 5.5 million. Even the classic Mario 64, which some hail as the revolution of 3D platforming design, sold just over 11 million.
It has become painfully obvious to see that the New Super Mario Bros. series does in fact ‘print money.’ At this rate, why should Nintendo even bother putting heavy focusing on a more original mainline title like Mario Galaxy? Sure, those types still sell well, but when a simple throwback title sells almost three times as much, it makes you wonder about where Nintendo is headed.
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