The shape of things to dumb

Ocarina of Time 3D did something I’ve never seen in a Nintendo portable game before: It required a compulsory system update before it would launch. That’s awesome. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, “DS games are nice, but they’d be even better if they had more PSP-like hassles.” And here we are! Nintendo still has a long way to go, though. The update didn’t force me to charge the system battery back up to full, requiring me to wait an hour or two before I could actually play like always happens when I get a new PSP game. Amateurs!

I decided to look up Ocarina 3D’s credited co-developer, Grezzo, whom I’d never heard of before. Turns out the company is run by Koichi Ishii, better known as the main man behind the classic Mana series games. I always felt Secret of Mana was one of the few Zelda-esque games to give Zelda a run for its money, so there’s something pleasantly circular about this collaboration.

Alternately, maybe you could regard it is a sad turn of events that one of Nintendo’s strongest creative challengers is reduced to doing touch-up work on Nintendo remakes. But then, given that I’m currently employed by the company we used to regard as 1UP’s chief rival, I suppose I haven’t much room to snark.

8 thoughts on “The shape of things to dumb

  1. You are the mother… and I am the father… is this the shape of things to come?

  2. One thing’s for sure, you can do much worse than help Nintendo recreate Ocarina of Time. Just look at Yu Suzuki — once a pioneer — now making me-too social games based on a series that effectively ruined his career. So sad, and as a huge fan of his work (Hang-On was the first game I ever played — the SMS card version) it’s almost painful to recite his fall from grace.

    Don’t even get me started on the decision to put Shenmue, Panzer Dragoon and Jet Set Radio on the frickin’ XBOX :-Z

    • Why not put them on the Xbox? It was the most powerful hardware, and those games shine for it. Panzer Dragoon Orta still looks great. The giant airship battle amid the clouds is one of the best levels of that console generation.

      • Seconded! And I loved Shenmue so much that I imported the European version for my Dreamcast.
        Sega’s support for the Xbox may not have been the best decision for Sega, but it was a blessing for Sega fans interested in quality software. For a little while, Xbox felt like a continuation of the Dreamcast’s awesome legacy.

      • The games were great, no question, but the market wasn’t there for unique, Japanese games. If it wasn’t a racer or a shooter, it wasn’t selling on Xbox. All those games bombed and we haven’t heard from those franchises since. It was a terrible decision in the long term.

      • If you’re being realistic, all those games bombed on the Dreamcast/Saturn as well. Shenmue’s failure has become especially legendary. Simply being on the PS2 wouldn’t have made them a guaranteed success.

      • Was it? I wonder. Sega just announced financial gains over the year before. And the one prominent Sega series that has continued over the years appears to be Sonic. And we all know how that series has gone.
        It’s an interesting debate! I, for one, am glad that some beloved series haven’t been milked dry (PD, JSR). And though I would dearly love to see more Shenmue, you could argue that that series gave way to the Yakuza games, which are better in some ways. Hmm!

      • Shenmue done extremely well to sell over a million copies on Dreamcast considering the small userbase. Shenmue II PAL was the most imported game of all time up until that point. Shenmue II Xbox, on the other hand, was like a fart in the wind by comparison, pushing less than 30,000 units in America.

        I’m not saying the PS2 would’ve guaranteed success, but hey, it worked for Virtua Fighter 4. They should have been multi-platform.

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