Nintendo: it's...you know, for kids!

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Heidegger

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@drachmalius: I think you made the point I tried to make, but more succinctly here. One can find the aesthetics childish, that's a legitimate opinion and position, I think, but maturity or lack thereof is a whole different issue and a weird criticism to base on just aesthetics.

As you said, figuring out what you don't like and breaking down the construct "just for kids" and working backwards will get one to a more accurate, regardless of subjectivity, description of their own position and understanding of the situation.

Thinking about what I wrote last night, I think a more succinct way to say what I meant to offer as a counter-suggestion to the OP's impression was this: I like my gameplay dressed in stories, preferably with some mystery or otherwordliness or emotional undertones. When I was a kid - therefore, technically, more immature than I am now - I was drawn to, undoubtedly, immature games despite their mature imagery (e.g. Resident Evil) because of those elements. This is still true for me, and this is why I keep bouncing off Nintendo games despite a lot of them being really good when it comes to gameplay. A present-day example perfectly encapsulating this difference would be if I compared BotW to HZD. I played the latter first, loved it. Playing BotW, one of my (and my partner's who was watching) reactions to the early plot-scenes was "huh this looks like HZD for kids!" (which, btw, was entirely in good-faith, without any undertone of machismo - that was an interesting take - or accusation of immaturity), because it appeared as a simplified variation of the HZD story in a way. This comparison would aptly apply to exploration and collectables, too: one game offering socioenvironmental and emotionally laden lore on top of gameplay as a reward for exploring and collecting things, the other offering puzzle rooms and rubies. So far into BotW, I think both games are on par gameplay-wise, but HZD would win any day for me, because of my personal preferences that call for what I mentioned previously.

I'm not sure if this conceptualisation is of any help to @heidegger or if it would offer inspiration for reconsideration of their perception of N games towards something more nuanced. At the end of the day, bouncing off the aesthetics of something so hard that you cannot see past it is, I think, a legitimate position, so there's no need to call anyone ignorant for that. Hell, I love the older Star Trek series, but I have friends who CANNOT stomach the aesthetics and the "laser guns" to enjoy the other elements in them. I'm not gonna call them ignorant for that, it's just personal preferences. Nor am I going to take personal offence because of that. Similarly, I have gaming friends who would skip everything to get to the gameplay and give zero fudges about aesthetics, who generally gravitate towards N way more than me. Again, not a question of maturity.

PS: On the topic of hide 'n seek, there's a certain mature-looking game of the previous generation which starts with a hide 'n seek tutorial. I'd be curious what @heidegger thought of that, especially if it didn't result in a similar reaction to Mario Galaxy.

Another excellent analysis! It's why I enjoy such threads, going deep on subjects is its own kind of fun :)

PS - what game is that?

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volemaulder

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#52  Edited By volemaulder

@rahf said:

Nintendo is not for kids. Nintendo is for people whose brains are not eternally wired to "bleak," "misery," and perhaps a dash of "severity and gravitas."

I can't speak for the OP, but Journey or Abzu are excellent examples for adult-themed video games that I would propose are on the opposite spectrum of the Nintendo flagships and neither is bleak or miserable. There is perhaps gravitas in both, and maybe a dash of severity in Abzu's environmental message, but I'm not sure that's what you mean by that last bit. Depression is not the only adult theme one can explore in art. Not that it has been seriously explored much as a theme, but that's a different discussion. Ironically enough, one of the games who has dealt with the theme of depression in the recent past also happens to be a cartoony game with kid aesthetics (hint: it's a jrpg). So games like that can do that, too, if they want, Nintendo just doesn't want to go there.

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Heidegger

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Being for all ages and being for children and/or kids are very different things here. Part of why I enjoy Nintendo and many of their games is they tend to put out more creative and games I find far more interesting and fun to play, unlike 90% of AAA games these days. Part of the reason I enjoy the Switch so much is there are so many indie games(even if they are expensive ports) I can take with me and there is no need for a internet connection if I want to play most of my games.

I do agree with your sentiment, especially on how 'adult-orientated' AAA-games are very samey these days, lacking imagination and conning their buyers into spending more money than the initial release price by way of DLC's and other extras. From that perspective Nintendo is doing a healthy job.

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volemaulder

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Another excellent analysis! It's why I enjoy such threads, going deep on subjects is its own kind of fun :)

PS - what game is that?

Thank you, same here :)

The game's Dishonored.

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Heidegger

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@cikame said:

I am overdue to return to a Nintendo system, my last one was the 64, i'd be getting a Switch primarily to play Bayonetta 2 and 3, but i also can't wait to finally play a Pikmin game when the new one finally comes out.

The reason i don't have one already is because i can't qualify the price for my use case, so much of the cost of a Switch is tied up with its screen, the joy cons, the battery and its ability to "Switch", there are no situations in my life where i need a portable system.

I'm pretty sure if Nintendo made a TV only version they could knock off up to £100, it feels absurd to pay so much for a feature i'd never use.

Unfortunately Nintendo are going the other direction, now there's a portable only version.

What about the Wii U? Obviously I'm not a fan either way, but if you do enjoy Nintendo games I can at least report the Wii U games have good graphics, and also has Bayonetta 2 and Breath of the Wild. Also backwards-compatibility with Wii games. It's pretty cheap on the used market nowadays, probably less than half the price of a Switch.

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redwing42

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#56  Edited By redwing42

A couple quick rebuttals. If you are pushing that animated = childish, then you need to check out something called "Anime."

Also, I wonder what your opinion about the Fire Emblem games is. No, they do not have a realistic art style, but they do have fairly involved plots. While they are not terribly dark storylines (from what I have experienced, anyway... I'm no expert on the series), I would argue that they are at least somewhat mature in nature.

On a side note, I wonder if you are a native English speaker. You keep saying that you are not trying to judge people for what they like, but your aggressive tone is definitely not supporting that. Maybe something is lost in translation?

@heidegger said:

Nintendo's art style is objectively childish. This isn't even an opinion. To objectively understand art we categorise, and Nintendo's art style is categorised thus: cartoony. Cartoons, as an artistic style, is traditionally aimed at children. There are many exceptions, of course, but generally cartoons are associated with childrens' entertainment. It's the exceptions which rather prove Nintendo is...you know, for kids:

South Park/Family Guy/Rick & Morty: cartoons, but include adult themes.

Compare and contrast with Nintendo: cartoons, no adult themes.

Both have the cartoon styles, the silliness, the anthropomorphic characters, but if one doesn't offer adult themes in the narrative, then the only conclusion left is that it's...you know, for kids!*

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Heidegger

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#57  Edited By Heidegger

@casepb said:

Like others have said it's for everyone not just kids. Sure it does have a cute artstyle for most games like Mario, but stuff like Metroid is far from cute. But ultimately ALL video games are viewed as being for kids.

Have to disagree. Metroid is, when comparing with peers like Half-Life, System Shock, Bioshock, Metro 2033, Prey etc...pretty damn mild. While it doesn't feel like it's aimed at kids, it does feel like it belongs squarely in the 'young adult' segment.

Also disagree that video games generally are viewed as being for kids. Maybe from those who haven't caught up with the cultural revolution that was the initial Playstation-era. Look at games like Elite: Dangerous, or what Frictional Games release, or any number of other examples from the last 20 years of gaming (just not any from Nintendo...)

It's pretty much accepted nowadays that gaming is a passionate past-time, a meaningful culture even, for people of all ages.

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Heidegger

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"Saying that...plainly, Nintendo's market is not the mature or discerning one. If you are a mature discerning gamer, then I can't recommend Nintendo at all."

It’s ok to not like cute things but talk about being undiscerning. Most players can easily see there is more to Nintendo than just being cute.

It's the combination that's key, as I said earlier, you can still be a discerning gamer when choosing Nintendo:

mature + discerning = PS/Xbox/PC

cute + discerning = Nintendo

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Heidegger

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@nutter said:

@heidegger: Oh, we’re a few years removed from playing Smash Bros...neither of us play a ton these days.

I’m too busy to get more than 1-3 hours in each week. He’s playing Fortnite when he has time, but spends most of his free time playing in football leagues with other 10 year olds.

We did play through Halo: CE earlier this year. That was fun. It’s cool playing games with your kid. Especially when they get better than you.

Oh yes he's right to play real-life football as much as he possibly can! There's always time for games for those times when he's indoors and bored.

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liquiddragon

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#60  Edited By liquiddragon  Online

@heidegger: That's not what you said tho. You literally said "Nintendo's market is not the mature or discerning one."

The other problem is, you're really just looking at these games at the surface level. A lot of companies attempt cute and kids friendly. Nintendo's considered among the best developers in the world as long as they've been in the game because they know how to make amazing playing games. "Matue" doesn't automatically make everything good. There are just as many games that fail at being that.

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Heidegger

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#61  Edited By Heidegger

@volemaulder said:
@heidegger said:

Just to be clear, this isn't a problem or a criticism of fans of Nintendo. As I said in my OP: I support Nintendo for offering that niche.

I think that talking about adult-themed narratives and settings vs family-friendly mass appeal games instead of mature vs immature is a more refined position, and I don't understand how this can be refuted or even called ignorant or shit-posting when it's as clear as day, with Nintendo and Sony themselves at time acknowledging this difference in their target markets, that Nintendo games, for the most part, are not the former kind.

You're right. This would've been a more mature way of putting it :) My posting style is far from perfect, but I think we've had a few valuable posts in this thread so far, so at least there's that.

Bit off-topic: how good was Twin Peaks Seasons 3, especially episode 8! Ye gods...I'd love a good Twin Peaks game. I hear Deadly Premonition is a bit of a tribute, I need to check that out.

On Clarke, Rendevouz with Rama is another one which would make a fantastic game. There was one from the mid-90's but it's very hard to find, plus will barely run on modern Windows.

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Heidegger

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@heidegger said:

Another excellent analysis! It's why I enjoy such threads, going deep on subjects is its own kind of fun :)

PS - what game is that?

Thank you, same here :)

The game's Dishonored.

Oh haha, I dived right into that without the tutorial. But yeah from the tone it's very different to Mario Galaxy ha!

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Heidegger

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#63  Edited By Heidegger

@redwing42 said:

A couple quick rebuttals. If you are pushing that animated = childish, then you need to check out something called "Anime."

Also, I wonder what your opinion about the Fire Emblem games is.

On a side note, I wonder if you are a native English speaker. You keep saying that you are not trying to judge people for what they like, but your aggressive tone is definitely not supporting that.

I already broached that about cartoons earlier, you even quoted it. Anime often has adult themes, except the ones that don't. Ergo, the ones that don't are aimed at kids. Perfect Blue is aimed at adults. Akira is for teens and adults. Dragonball is for kids & teens. Fairy Tail is for kids.

You see the variety? Key to this variety are the themes of the narrative, rather than any overt graphic violence. Nintendo has a lot of Fairy Tail & Dragonball, but not much Akira & Perfect Blue.

I've never heard of Fire Emblem.

Aggressive tone? Can you quote a bit from me which sounds aggressive? I'd be interested to know.

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Heidegger

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@heidegger: That's not what you said tho. You literally said "Nintendo's market is not the mature or discerning one."

The other problem is, you're really just looking at these games at the surface level. A lot of companies attempt cute and kids friendly. Nintendo's considered among the best developers in the world as long as they've been in the game because they know how to make amazing playing games. "Matue" doesn't automatically make everything good. There are just as many games that fail at being that.

You're right about my initial quote. I meant mature + discerning. I'll edit it now but leave this post here for posterity. I fully accept you can be a discerning gamer and choose Nintendo. I also accept mature doesn't equal good. I'd much rather play classic Mario over many 'mature' clumsy attempts at movie-like narratives which have almost no gameplay like those titles from Quantic Dream or those overworthy walking simulators which pollute Steam.

Key to my argument is choice. Despite that crap, there's a massive choice of mature games which do have great gameplay and skillfully-woven mature narratives. Whereas with Nintendo, there is far less such choice.

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nutter

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@heidegger: Exactly. Games are fun, but nothing beats getting out there and living. 10 hours of practice a week this month...

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volemaulder

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@volemaulder said:
@heidegger said:

Just to be clear, this isn't a problem or a criticism of fans of Nintendo. As I said in my OP: I support Nintendo for offering that niche.

I think that talking about adult-themed narratives and settings vs family-friendly mass appeal games instead of mature vs immature is a more refined position, and I don't understand how this can be refuted or even called ignorant or shit-posting when it's as clear as day, with Nintendo and Sony themselves at time acknowledging this difference in their target markets, that Nintendo games, for the most part, are not the former kind.

You're right. This would've been a more mature way of putting it :) My posting style is far from perfect, but I think we've had a few valuable posts in this thread so far, so at least there's that.

Bit off-topic: how good was Twin Peaks Seasons 3, especially episode 8! Ye gods...I'd love a good Twin Peaks game. I hear Deadly Premonition is a bit of a tribute, I need to check that out.

On Clarke, Rendevouz with Rama is another one which would make a fantastic game. There was one from the mid-90's but it's very hard to find, plus will barely run on modern Windows.

Sadly, Deadly Premonition is a terrible game. You could check out either of the Endurance Runs on this website to get an idea. Maybe with the right company it could cross into the "so bad it's good" territory, but it would take effort. At least that's my take on it, others may disagree. Alan Wake pays homage enough to Twin Peaks and is an awesome game to boot, so, if you haven't already, I'd recommend checking that one out.

And oh yes, so much yes, a good modern adaptation of Rendezvous with Rama would be fantastic indeed! One can dream.

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Ry_Ry

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Have you experienced "That Dragon, Cancer"? Try it if you haven't.

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Drachmalius

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@heidegger: Ok, I have a better idea where you are coming from after reading some more of your posts. I have seen the Hudsucker Proxy but its been a few years so I missed that reference earlier. Pretty good movie! I only asked if the topic was in good faith because some people just want to stir the pot, can see that isn't the case here.

I still think you are painting with a pretty broad brush when it comes to Nintendo's output, and not sure I can get on board with this idea of "cultural worth". It sounds like something you could say about games that don't have the quality/depth of storytelling of a classic work of literature or film. That is almost every game in existence. God of War 2018 may be more mature and have a more fleshed out narrative than Yoshi's Crafted World but it doesn't have anything deep or philosophical to say beyond something along the lines of "being a dad is hard" for example.

Something can have value and be critiqued in excruciating depth even if it is only enjoyed on a surface level by most. Look at Matthewmatosis' Youtube essays on the Mario and Zelda series for a great example of the kind of depth I'm talking about. He makes great stuff in general.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S6myWz3Kzg&list=PLdg60-UktzB6jzfCek2tm5sZe2q0_CK_e

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o908SWJ8ulc&list=PLdg60-UktzB7FOxFNrVBmNZN7jqhkQdIu

But yes, Nintendo's style is undeniable more kid friendly and cartoonish on the average. They are branching out of that a little more this generation, I'd recommend Fire Emblem: Three Houses (and most of the series as a whole) as an example of something with a bit more weight to it in regards to story and mechanics. The narrative as far as I've seen in Three Houses is a lot more maturely handled than most other first party console games I've played in recent years, though it isn't perfect.

Don't really have much else to add except that it comes down to a matter of taste and what appeals to the player. Some will of course be turned off by Nintendo's "fun first" approach with more colorful/cartoonish art styles and such. That's fine, since there's never been a better time to be playing video games and there's something for everyone.

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actionshakespeare

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I still cannot believe OP doesn't know what this site is.

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aerithlives

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I would say Nintendo is for everyone. It's certainly the most family friendly, kid friendly of the majors, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's definitely not JUST for kids, and never has been. That is why during the Gamecube era Shinji Mikami moved the Resident Evil series over to it. Because he didn't want Nintendo to be pigeon-holed as a "baby console".

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acharlie1377

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Not to heap more criticism on the OP, but I'm blown away that this is a serious take being leveled at Nintendo, for a variety of reasons. Simple, animated graphics don't make something childish, and dismissing an entire company because their games are "easy" and "cute" is something a cartoon villain would do. It doesn't seem like I'm going to be the one to change your mind, but you're very clearly equating your distaste for these games with an actual lack of quality in them, all because their stories aren't nuanced and complex. Obviously, most Nintendo games are built so that children can enjoy them, but one of the core tenets of these games is to provide an experience that can appeal to all ages. A Mario game's quality isn't predicated on fast-twitch headshots or intense strategy prowess, it's based on the game's ability to instill joy in the player. If something like Mario Odyssey didn't put a single smile on your face, then that's fine; it doesn't mean you're a joyless heathen without a soul. That said, it also doesn't mean the game is only for children, and that any "discerning adult" should pass it by. Different people have different tastes, and just because you don't like Nintendo games doesn't mean they're too childish for intelligent adults.

You compared BotW and Horizon: Zero Dawn in an earlier post, and described your experience with BotW as "it's like Horizon, but for kids." And I can see where your point comes from; BotW's story is incredibly simplistic, the activities you can do across the map are just glorified puzzle rooms, and the combat boils down to button-mashing and dodging. That said, if you're defining BotW by those parts of the game, you're missing the point. The game is all about the world; it's about the feeling of climbing a mountain, not to get to the side quest at the top, but to see what the view is like up there, and to feel the satisfaction of looking back and thinking "I was just there, and now I'm here." It's about trudging through a seemingly endless desert, and suddenly happening upon a ruined statue that you never would have known is there. It's about playing with the very simple systems of weather and electricity and fire and weather, and finding complex interactions that the developers didn't consider. I love Horizon: Zero Dawn, but the systems in that game aren't meant to be experimented with and broken, they're meant to be used in ways the developers designed them to be used in; the world in that game isn't meant to be explored, it's meant to be completed; that tall mountain you're climbing isn't an achievement, it's a path to the next quest objective. Breath of the Wild is organic and alive in a way that other AAA games don't even try to be, and treating it as "childish" because the art is very simplified is a strangely narrow-minded argument.

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Heidegger

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@volemaulder: i played the first hour of Alan Wake and quite enjoyed it, it's on my to-do list once my present Fallout 3 addiction calms down (aye, i'm often very late in discovering games, but this has the benefit of the games not just being very cheap to buy, but i have no preconceived ideas about them due to new-release hype or indeed €60 price tags).

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Heidegger

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@skullpanda1: i haven't heard of that one, mate, the title sounds a bit walky-simulaty. is it a Nintendo game?

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Heidegger

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@drachmalius: thanks drach, and really good response from you there. I especially agree with your last sentiment: we gamers are spoilt for choice!

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Heidegger

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@actionshakespeare: i googled something like 'mature video games discussion forum' and this seemed to be the favoured one. And although i've only been here a month or so i reckon it's been proven correct :)

That's all I know.

Is there anything else relevant I should know about the site?

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Heidegger

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@aerithlives: i think if even the boss of Nintendo is worried his brand is seen as being for young kids then there's very likely a lot of truth in that perception.

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Heidegger

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#77  Edited By Heidegger

@acharlie1377: i do enjoy a good long post, mate, alas i fear you've got me mixed up with a commentary from Vole as i've never played BotW nor HZD, and i believe Vole's point was a little more nuanced. Check it out again, it's at post #30.

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The_Greg

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#78  Edited By The_Greg

I'm going to have to agree. I don't think that there's anything wrong with Nintendo being more child-friendly, in fact they've mastered that part of the market for a long time. However, even the most mature Nintendo offerings are on the kiddy side.

I would much rather give my kid a Switch over a PS4 or Xbox, in the same way that I'd give him a Netflix kids account or only let him watch Disney movies.

I absolutely love the Nintendo Switch, though. I've been playing Xbox and PC for years and it's a fantastic change of pace to play something like Breath of the Wild, where everything is colourful and fun instead of being bleak and grim like Skyrim (which I also love).

People seem to be taking this post way too personally.

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stantongrouse

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#79 stantongrouse  Online

@heidegger"You think there's still that stigma?" - In parts yes. I have worked in adult education in London for a few years now and it is very rare I meet someone in the offices I go to who is over the age of twenty four and 'gets' gaming as a hobby. I've had meetings where I have had to explain the current trending game to senior managers who only have mainstream media outcry as their reference point and are therefore petrified about our learners' minds being warped etc. You wouldn't believe some of the ideas of what gaming is that come up in these meetings. Sure if I am meeting friends they, more often than not, have shaken the stigma, but my experience of the workplace seems to say it's still quite rooted in parts.

Critiquing games, or films, for who their audience is isn't a good stand point in general - better when looking at how well they made the thing for the people they are targeting. In my film history uni days, you tended to critique like for like. So, discussions on Disney would rarely come up alongside Lynch, unless it was about a specific, comparable element - like the representation of fantasy in the real world for example. I don't know, we were taught that a critique is about looking at things and discussing, not deciding what's best but I think that might be an archaic use of the term on my part.

"Yes, but by being more inclusive in that way, they're actually limiting themselves because they're only (or mostly) creating content that must by definition of mass-appeal also appeal to kids."

I don't think this is the case, I'd argue that Nintendo limit themselves more by trying to not put things out that they feel is poorly made rather than who the target audience is. The interactivity of games makes it a very different medium to film in such that a game can be wrapped up in a package that looks like it is targeting a younger audience but has gameplay elements that require a level of gaming experience or skill that might be more common in teen+ age groups. My mum, not knowing anything of games much, thought Super Meat Boy was very cute until I pointed out the graphics were illustrating bloody explosions, not fireworks. After that, she was not so sold on the cute part of it. I think Nintendo are generally great at making games that look 'cute' but offer deep, nuanced gameplay in a way that makes them 'mature' but can also be skimmed along the surface for those that are younger, or don't have the time commitment to delve deeper.

Surely most publishers want mass appeal for the large part of what they put out - they just approach it from a different stand point than Nintendo do. So many games are put in to 'mature' wrappers but clearly designed for an audience younger than the rating systems say should be playing it.

It's an interesting topic to raise though. It would be really fascinating (or possibly terrifying) to sit in on the big publishers' marketing meetings. When a huge game like GTA, is getting ready for release, who do the publishers see as their audience? What to the folks in suits holding the budget think of their target audiences?

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Onemanarmyy

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#80  Edited By Onemanarmyy
@stantongrouse said:

I don't think this is the case, I'd argue that Nintendo limit themselves more by trying to not put things out that they feel is poorly made rather than who the target audience is.

I'm pretty sure Nintendo is very adamant about making games that are colourful, uplifting & appropriate for children. Whether that's a limitation or a strength depends on your viewpoint, but there's a reason all their big franchises hit these marks. Whether it's Mario, Zelda, Pikmin, Kirby, Yoshi, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Smash Bros or Splatoon, you immediatly see a shared DNA between those franchises. That makes a lot of sense businesswise though. Look at the crazy sales numbers the top tier Switch games achieve. These games can be bought by anyone that has a Switch. A public that includes a ton of kids. It would be foolish for them to come out with a different type of game that a lot of children & their parents would pass up on. Honestly, that might be one of the reasons Metroid is not getting all that much love from Nintendo. That franchise just doesn't lend itself well for the colourful joyful approach Nintendo aims for.

They diversify the library through 3rd party games that are able to publish their games across multiple systems, but as far as i know there's no evidence of Nintendo trying to diverge from the family friendly formula and ending up with poorly made games that they had to scrap. They have carved their own path in the marketplace & know which games that userbase wants to buy.

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acharlie1377

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@heidegger: Well, I'm dumb! I read a post you were quoting and mistakenly thought it was you. The idea still holds, though; something being simple doesn't make it childish.

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volemaulder

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#82  Edited By volemaulder

@acharlie1377: Yeap, that was a response to my comment. I hear you, all those things that you describe in praise of BotW, I agree on every single one, and that's why I like the game. I even said so that I think in gameplay terms I consider the two games on par. Maybe not point for point, because, as you rightly analyse, BotW is a more systemic game than HZD, whereas HZD has a deeper combat system, for example. And I can very easily imagine myself being frustrated with Alloy's (if that's how her name's spelt) climbing had I played BotW first.

My point, however, was that based on my own preferences, all that exploration and wonder wears or will wear off pretty quickly, because it's not underpinned or supported or dressed up in some kind of narrative or commentary. See, in HZD I may not be able to climb everything to my heart's content and then jump off and glide to wherever my attention is drawn, but where I could climb, I was intermittently rewarded with mechanical flower poems - among other things such as recordings, articles, environmental storytelling (which is a, if not the, biggest unique strength of this medium beside the gameplay itself, in my opinion) - adding to the lore, to the narrative and to the emotional experience of this game. I'm attempting to approximate something similar in BotW, by taking pictures of different things, but it doesn't quite scratch the same itch. This is not to say that I consider one game objectively better than the other based on these elements, I'm merely saying that I perceive myself to fall within what @heidegger attempted to describe as a "mature discerning player", aka - from my perspective - interested in adult-themed video games with narratives embedded in them. Also, let's just say this, too. BotW is hardly the first game to let me climb any mountain I see. I even remember the Duders joking about Nintendo being late to the part with the whole "see that mountain? You can climb it" when BotW was first revealed. At best, it's an amalgamation of elements other open-world games have had for years before it. I've played hundreds and hundreds of hours of Elder Scrolls games and climbed dozens of mountains just to see the view and to look back and say "I've been there". It's cool I can do it in BotW, too, but it's not that significant.

In sum, my comment on BotW being HZD for kids was about the narrative (at least early in the game - the parallels in the backstory are quite striking! It may prove totally off the mark later on and I'm always happy to reconsider my take on such things), not the game systems. I acknowledge and appreciate its systems, I even welcome them as an evolution of the franchise. However, due to my personal preferences, expanded on that comparison I made, I predict that BotW will be less memorable and significant for me than HZD. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with there being an HZD for kids, and that game being a Zelda game. If anything, that's awesome!

Finally, bear in mind that I, as a self-proclaimed "mature discerning gamer" (I should add a "lol" here to convey the tone of this phrase :P), went out and got a bloody console (albeit a second-hand WiiU from CEX mostly with store-credit) to play BotW after playing a few hours of it on a friend's Switch. So bear that in mind as context for my contribution in this discussion ;)

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acharlie1377

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@volemaulder: I will not try to defend BotW's story, because the best word I could use to describe it is "unobtrusive." It's not even a bad story, it's just the bare minimum amount of story to consider having a plot. In the sense of narrative, I will admit that Horizon: Zero Dawn is the far more mature and developed game. I don't think that makes BotW "HZD for kids," though, I just think it makes it a game you don't go to for story. I would make it a comparison between something like Minecraft and Dragon Quest Builders; I won't say either is a better game than the other, but no one's going to say that Minecraft has a better story, because it has no story.

I'm in a weird situation now because my point with BotW and HZD was that BotW can absolutely be enjoyed by adults even with its simplicity, because its systems interact in complex, interesting, and organic ways; that said, my point was to counter the OP's post that Nintendo games are "childish" and not enjoyable by "mature discerning gamers," which I think is a wildly dismissive way to describe games that can appeal to everyone. However, the OP didn't compare these two games, you did, and your point was simply that Nintendo games are more simplistic and childish from a narrative standpoint, which is a point I wouldn't argue against (except maybe in the case of something like Majora's Mask). So I'm disagreeing with you about a point you never made, using an argument that won't work against the person who actually said it, while the whole time I actually agree with the point you were making. That's what I get for not examining these posts more closely, I guess. =P

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Heidegger

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@the_greg: good post, Greg. The Switch does seem to be getting widespread praise, I only had the Wiis myself (that sounds well dodgy).

Re: Skyrim, I agree the initial version was too bleak landscape/graphically-speaking, tho' I've got the PS4 version and they've put some colour into it now...looks gorgeous!

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Heidegger

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@stantongrouse: also good post, Stanton. Tho' I have to disagree on Nintendo's quality control.

Cheap tat aka Wii accessories:

https://www.thegamer.com/wii-accessories-hilarious-actually-useful/

Worst Wii U games (even the narrator bemoans Nintendo's lack of quality control):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i8gzwuPzm5U

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Heidegger

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@onemanarmyy: aye, agree with all that, also on your Metroid Prime point.

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Heidegger

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#87  Edited By Heidegger

@acharlie1377: no, you're not dumb, charlie...when i was on me laptop earlier i sometimes quoted entire posts just to be a Dave Rubin and say "i agree!", so it looks like i wrote the wall-of-text being quoted.

As it happens i do agree with your thesis that 'simple does not necessarily mean childish', tho' that wasn't my argument. My argument is 'overly-cute aesthetics combined with simple mechanics/narrative equals...you know, for kids!'

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Heidegger

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@volemaulder: i recently added Horizon Zero Dawn to my PS4, look forward to seeing what all the fuss is about!

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Heidegger

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@acharlie1377 said: "So I'm disagreeing with you about a point you never made, using an argument that won't work against the person who actually said it, while the whole time I actually agree with the point you were making. "

–-----------------

hahaha! if there's end-of-year forum awards for best comments i'd nominate this gem :)

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Rejizzle

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I personally think that discussions of maturity in games is best left to ESRB ratings. I just don't think its a good descriptor for anything other than gore and profanity.

You can talk about depth of mechanics, the themes tackled by the story, or the target audience of a game but these don't relate to the maturity of the audience.

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acharlie1377

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@acharlie1377: no, you're not dumb, charlie...when i was on me laptop earlier i sometimes quoted entire posts just to be a Dave Rubin and say "i agree!", so it looks like i wrote the wall-of-text being quoted.

As it happens i do agree with your thesis that 'simple does not necessarily mean childish', tho' that wasn't my argument. My argument is 'overly-cute aesthetics combined with simple mechanics/narrative equals...you know, for kids!'

I wouldn't agree with that point either, though. First, I'm not sure what you mean by "overly" cute; sure, Super Mario Odyssey is a cute game, but I don't think there's anything in there that feels gratuitous or unnecessary. The different areas all feel very consistent, and the character designs are simple and aesthetically pleasing in a way that can appeal to multiple demographics. Same with something like Breath of the Wild; the graphics are definitely simpler than a Call of Duty, but that doesn't make them any less impressive or gorgeous, and I wouldn't call anything about the game overly cute.

Second, saying 'cute aesthetics plus simple mechanics/narrative equals for kids" discounts a huge number of games that I doubt anyone would say is "for kids." Minecraft has a very simple and cute aesthetic, and the mechanics are simpler than just about every AAA game, but I wouldn't say it's a childish or child-targeted game. Same with Stardew Valley, Celeste, For the King, Armello, Threes, Holedown, Crash Bandicoot, Hollow Knight, or any of the Steamworld games. All the games I mentioned have a cute to extremely cute aesthetic, and all of them have simple mechanics, simple stories, or both, but I don't think any of them would be mentioned as games that are "only for kids". Nintendo makes games that can be enjoyed by kids, but that doesn't mean they make games that are meant to be played exclusively by kids.

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Heidegger

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#92  Edited By Heidegger

@acharlie1377: i haven't played Odyssey. Galaxy is generally more highly-rated but i could barely stomach the Teletubbies-esque introduction. So much childish twee, even 12-year olds must surely cringe.

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volemaulder

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#93  Edited By volemaulder

Just for the record, I find absolutely nothing aesthetically pleasing in Mario Galaxy (or any Mario game for that matter). Aesthetics are a highly subjective issue, so that's fine, I can accept how others may find Mario and the rest of the ensemble and package pleasing, and that for some reason it has mass appeal. Personally, I find it massively unappealing :P So much so that even though I like the mechanics in Mario Kart, I don't play it much because of how it looks and sounds. I was super glad when Blur came out in the previous gen, because it took the Mario Kart formula and dressed it up in something I could stomach more. I would still play that over Mario Kart on the WiiU if my 360 still worked!

Actually, I'm starting to reconsider the term cute for such things. I find kittens and puppers cute, and that's a good thing, I like kittens and puppers. I don't really find Mario cute as much as I find him cringy and creepy. Cringpy? Anyway, I just thought I'd interject against the claim that Mario is objectively aesthetically pleasing. Carry on :)

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craigieboy

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Not looked at every post but it seems there are a few false equivalences being used in the basis of the discussion. Hypothetically if I was told to make a game that is solely designed to be desirable to kids only I would have a had time trying to make a concept, not because I couldn't think of something kids would like but because I'd struggle to think of something that everyone else would dislike. What is really the huge difference in hobbies and interests between an adult and a kid? Most of my interests as an adult stem from what I got introduced to as a kid.

Obviously a murder gore fest game rated 18+ isn't something you'd let kids play (that said I'm sure a few people here, me included did find ways to play those mature rated games like GTA when we shouldn't have) but why would that suddenly depict anything measurably less gritty and violent as "kiddy". Preferring that aesthetic is a perfectly genuine opinion to have but that is what it is, a preference.

Basically I think having such a distinct boundary of "this is for the kids" and "this is for the adults" doesn't really work and implies kids are fundamentally different to adults which they are certainly different, but we are all people at the end of the day. Sorry if most of that has already been mentioned before but that's my 2 cents on this.

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Sahalarious

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Haven't seen a take this bad since my days on gamefaqs in the 2000s. Grow up and have some fun. I can somehow simultaneously enjoy Mario, RDR2, beer, candy, Citizen Kane and forgetting Sarah Marshall.

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Heidegger

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@volemaulder: creepy indeed! Princess Peach is portrayed as being about ten years old yet Mario is a grown man with a moustache...

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Heidegger

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@craigieboy: It's probably more common for adults to develop other interests than those they had as a kid.

Kids ARE fundamentally different to adults, at least until the grey/crossover area of puberty during which kids slowly (very slowly in most cases) morph into adults.

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Rahf

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@volemaulder: I feel you're leaning heavily on one side and perhaps missing some of the forest for the trees.

When I mean bleak and miserable, I mean any game where the overall tone and mood is dire. There's a lot of washed-out colors, angry faces, and most people--barring the protagonist and/or their entourage--are either suspicious or antagonistic.

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Pezen

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Even the interests I have now that I found as a kid, my preferences within those interests as an adult has shifted a ton. Not only does aging change your overal perspective through experience, but what is novel is harder to come by. While superficially I can see a Mario game and appreciate it's colorful visuals, there's nothing there for me because it's a known quantity. While I play other games that are also known quantities in mechanics, they are novel in their story, setting or other. I don't really understand the general sentiment to disregard the idea that certain things have kids as their target audience just because an adult finds entertainment from it. I can watch a bunch of cartoons from my childhood, they are certainly made for kids. But because of nostalgia they trancend that for me. However, I don't find enjoyment in contemporary kid's cartoons because to me they read more like I am certainly not it's target audience and I get nothing out of them.

I don't doubt games work the same way, I can still play and enjoy old NES Mario games, but I haven't seen a modern Mario game (or most Nintendo first party titles in general) that appealed to me in such a way that I could ignore the feeling that I would be playing a game meant for a very young audience. I have nothing against doing it, but I also don't feel the need to defend the idea of playing such games if another adult doesn't find them appealing due to their kid focused nature.

Also, if games target at kids can be enjoyed by adults, why are the people enjoying them trying so hard to dispute the idea that those games are made with kids in mind? It just seems counterproductive. Either everyone can enjoy the same games despite it's target audience or people are trying really hard to argue against the idea that Nintendo's games have kids as their target audience because adults, despite their best efforts, don't like to be associated with consuming kid-focused entertainment.

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ikwal

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Yes, you're correct. Sold my Switch because I didn't enjoy any of the games for it. Honestly I don't think anyone actually enjoys the switch. People get so excited for 5 year old games (that was barely good when they was new) get announced for the Switch. That says a lot about the original games for the console..