They are "killing" classic 2D gameplay because it's been obsolete for over ten - no, fifteen - years. At least in major console titles. And it's not coming back.
Well, we know that 2D Mario gameplay isn't obsolete because it not only sold far better than 3D Mario but it also reversed the Wii hardware decline, a feat only matched by its other arcade-style titles like Wii Sports Resort and Mario Kart Wii. And as for Zelda and Metroid, quite frankly you are in no position to call them obsolete so long as Nintendo refuses to test the market by releasing such games.
All the arcade games you love will be found in the virtual marketplaces. And there are some great ones - some ever better than most SNES titles. Arcade gaming is not dead. It's getting a nice little renaissance, even. But you're looking for the 2D experience in all the wrong places if you expect to see it in any major modern title. Play Bastion.
There are some modern 2D games that look enjoyable enough but they ultimately lack a big part of what made the original games so exciting. In the 80s and 90s, arcade adventure games didn't wear 2D graphics or game design as a "retro style". They were purely functional and the end result is that those games did a better job of immersing players in the fantasy worlds. Even cartoonish games were very immersive by virtue of the direction that developers took with the game design. Developers who now make 2D games as "retro style" games do themselves a disservice because their games look fake. I mean, could you imagine if a game like Skyrim or Uncharted 3 was given early Playstation graphics and game design in order to be "retro"? You wouldn't like that development. You'd hate the games' fake style because that's not why you buy adventure games, let alone the earlier games in the series.
And the same point goes for 2D games being artsy like Kirby's Epic Yarn (and Bastion). Strange art designs don't look inviting, they just look fake. Just like they look fake in 3D games. Compare trailers from the intentionally "artistic" Skyward Sword design and the more functional Xenoblade Chronicles and you'll get the same picture.
NSMBWii, DKCR and Kirby's Return to Dream Land are the closest any big developer has come to replicating the classics because they were designed as if 2D gaming wasn't a retro pastiche or a student's college project. And even then I think games can do better than those three examples. None of them gave us new world themes, after all.
Also, classic Metroidvania gameplay WAS repetitive. So even if Other M sucked, that isn't a false statement. Also not a false statement that Zelda is repetitive. It's been "wander from dungeon to dungeon" for a good many years now. The only thing that changed was the methods of wandering. That's what turned me away from the series more than anything else. It got tedious.
Aonuma didn't say that Zelda's structure was repetitive, he said the combat was repetitive. Likewise, Sakamoto was referring to the gameplay itself, not the overall design, as repetitive. Why is this a problem? Because this repetition is fun for players. The actions performed in the classic Nintendo games tap into human nature. And human nature never changes. The games never get boring no matter how many times you play and replay the games. One thousand years from today, people will still be playing games like Super Mario Bros. just like people today still play card and board games devised over a thousand years ago.
By setting out to destroy the gameplay, Nintendo is setting out to destroy the franchises themselves. If the trend is still continuing in ten years time, 3D Mario, Zelda and Metroid will be unrecognisable from even the latest games in their respective series. Mario 3D Land is supposed to be set in the Mushroom Kingdom but does it look like the Mushroom Kingdom? At all? All I see is a void of random blocks and retro references. Even when NSMBWii repeated old world themes, at least it had world themes.
Nintendo's problem is the gimmicks - either based on motion control technology (Prime 3 remains the only game I thought it felt natural in) or on yet another legendary item thing. They don't give Zelda any proper facelifts. They just do superficial changes to mildly distract you from the fact that it's still "dungeon to dungeon grabbing mundane objects in order to defeat the bad guy just like you did in all the other games." Zelda arguably suffers from this more than any other big Nintendo franchise. Despite your disdain for them, I like the 3D Mario games. Metroid also got a much needed, beneficial update with the Prime games. Though whether they retain that in future games is anyone's guess after Other M.
Zelda.... is kinda just the same thing, even with all the art changes and different abilities.
I personally think Link on an Odyssey-type quest would be fun. Desperately trying to get back to Hyrule after questing in a far-off land, facing perils along the way. Never staying in the same spot. Always traveling, exploring, an acquiring new items along the way until you finally get home. Hunted by some elusive foe.
I can at least agree with all of this.
Edited by Raien, 03 November 2011 - 05:06 PM.