Sorry folks…I was sick last week, hence no column then. This one may be short, but I’ll try to get straight to the point.
I’ve touched on this before. We’ve got Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mega Man X Command Mission, Crash Team Racing, Sonic Shuffle, Metroid Prime, Link’s Magic Turdwaffle…the list goes on and on. Beloved video game characters and franchises, stuffed into genres they were never originally a part of. While I understand the industry’s desire to branch out and “innovate,” they should never do so at the cost of the original. When was the last time you saw an original Mario platformer? Most franchises still manage to squeak out “original-style” games (i.e., Metroid Fusion), but they seem to be pushed to the wayside while other genres are heavily promoted. For example: whatever happened to the original Mega Man? Sure, we’ve still got Mega Man X platformers being released, but a) the last few have sucked, and b) gamers still wanna know what the hell happened to the original Blue Bomber! Besides, Capcom’s main focus is with the Mega Man Battle Network series now, which are RPGs.
See, even the spinoffs are starting to get more sequels than the original games…that’s just plain ridiculous. We’ve had four Mario Tennis and Mario Golf titles, but only two semi-platforming games over the past few years? And no original Mario platformers on the GBA? What the hell’s going on here?!
There’s really no reason why original genres should be abandoned or relegated to smaller roles. Multiple franchises have stood their ground, and released plenty of sequels that did quite well. Stick with it, guys!