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Monday, August 12, 2013

How Many Times Can You Call it New?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Four times now. And counting.

The New Super Mario Bros. series has been beaten up a few times here on KoopaTV. This is going to be one more time (and it won't be the last). We all know that, in America anyway (and that's all that matters sales-wise), there was Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Meanwhile, we've had New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U. So do some counting. Three Super Mario Bros. games on one Nintendo console, and FOUR New Super Mario Bros. games on four different consoles.

When the jump across consoles was made, the series (in America) was rechristened Super Mario World instead of... what it was in Japan, as "Super Mario Bros. 4". Meanwhile, we've been getting "new" for over seven years now. When the hell does it STOP? WILL it stop? By comparison, that's the time from Mario Bros. to Super Mario World.

This looks like shit.
This looks like shit too, but at least it's DIFFERENT.

How do you think Super Mario World would be received if it kept the SAME graphics, engine, plot, and MUSIC as the Mario Bros. arcade game? ...Well, not as fondly remembered as it is today. 20 years from now, no one is going to fondly look back at the New Super Mario Bros. series representing their childhood and bringing NEW fantastic experiences.

It's so bad that while looking for screenshots I had to try really hard to tell which game was which. Obviously the one with the touch screen is the DS version.

Now compare Miyamoto's folly to the greatness of Retro Studios. Retro has inherited Rare's mantel of the Donkey Kong Country series. In three or so years Rare made Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2, and Donkey Kong Country 3. Three games on one system. Not counting remakes, Retro has (or is making) two games across two systems: Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in three or so years.

Now notice something subtle there.

If it were Miyamoto working on it, he'd call Tropical Freeze something like "Donkey Kong Country Returns 2", "Donkey Kong Country Returns Again", or "Donkey Kong Country Returns U". Point is, he'd keep the "Returns" part. ("Returns U"? I don't want to be returned!)

Retro, unlike Nintendo EAD, recognizes that something isn't "new" forever. Just like you can only "return" once in a certain time period.

Actually uses a different engine than the Wii version!

Similarly, Kirby's Return to Dreamland is referring to how long Kirby has been away from console platforming since Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. He'll only make that return once, I expect.

I actually feel bad about never getting Returns to Dreamland.

Basically, Nintendo needs to stop reusing the same assets and trying to fool people by branding it "new". David Wise is composing an original soundtrack for Tropical Freeze! That's NEW. Meanwhile, New Super Mario Bros. 2 has almost nothing "new" about it, period!

The only thing new here is the attempt to redefine grammatical standards.

Ludwig hates everything related to the New Super Mario Bros. series. Go check out the Miiverse tag for "Ludwig's Clockwork Castle" to see how much the community hates him back!

There are more times you can call it New and still get away with it, but with diminishing returns. It's called fatigue.


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