Is “more of the same” Nintendo’s new game plan?

yoshigalaxyThere is no doubt about it: Super Mario Galaxy was one of the best Wii offerings of 2007.  It had great visuals, a great soundtrack, fun level design, and it featured the video game communities favorite little plumber in a fuzzy bee suit.  What more could you ask for.  Realizing this, Nintendo was bold enough to make the safest move of 2009 and announce Super Mario Galaxy 2, or “you know, that game you really enjoyed two years ago.”

As said, Super Mario Galaxy was a great game, and a sequel by the same team would probably be just as good, if not better – so why look a gift horse in the mouth?  I know I shouldn’t, but I’m worried that Nintendo is setting a precedent.  Take a look at this year’s E3 lineup – nearly every first party title announced was a remake, spiritual sequel, or expansion on a previously hot selling ticket.  Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks? Looks an awful lot like another Phantom Hourglass.  New Super Mario Bros?  Didn’t they have a game with the exact same name on a handheld not too long ago?   Wii fit is barely a year old, and already a slight update is being pushed out to replace it – new exercises, balance games, and weight tracking applications are nice, but even Nintendo admitted that it was not a true sequel – it seems more like a patch.

Nintendo fans should be excited about these games – they look great and hands-on impressions are positive. They are fun, worthy additions to your Wii library – but somebody needs to ask – why is the company that set out to revolutionize the games industry plodding along with so much familiar territory when its two major competitors are paving new ground in motion controlled interfacing?