I hope everybody had a great Christmas, I finally got (in addition to few other things) the killer apps for the 3DS, Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7. They are great games to be sure, classic examples of a near perfect formula Nintendo has been relying on for decades, but it also is a fairly blunt reminder that they haven't really tried anything truly new for awhile. Mario Land 3D is classic hop-n-bop play, but aside from some nifty 3D effects, it isn't any huge leap forward. Mario hasn't really had a huge leap forward since Super Mario 64. Galaxy was a refinement of that, and 2 was even more of that. Great games, but nothing truly new. This one actually takes a step further back by re-introducing a time limit on levels that actively discourages really playing around in the areas and exploring. Granted the areas aren't that big, but it's still annoying.
But Mario Kart 7 commits far bigger crime. Again it's a good game, a very fun game, but it's also an incredibly lazy game. The cast of racers is pretty small, the long overdue customization options fairly limited and the new tricks like gliding and going underwater don't do anything. I got Mario Kart DS 6 years ago and still play it to this day, it is arguably the best iteration of the series. Now it's always hard to top the high point, but this one doesn't even try. When Nintendo with "7" for this title, most people's reactions amounted to, "it's only the 7th game?" meaning fatigue was setting in and this title has done nothing to even really try and stop it.
Now these aren't bad games, far from it, but they are really showing Nintendo's reluctance to actually try new ideas. If they can't learn to do this, people will stop buying the same game with a new cover at some point, and they won't have any clue how to fix that...
That's all for today, I should have another post up in the next couple of days. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Prometheus