How do you feel about Nintendo at the moment? Probably not too great, we'll wager. It's okay. We understand. All of us who witnessed that now legendary E3 press conference share a pain which bonds us as brothers for life.
But now that the tears have left our eyes and the screams have left our throats, we've had time to properly reflect on just how bad the future might be for the dedicated Nintendo fan. And we've found that things may not actually be so bad at all. Of course, it required a little creative thinking around the issue, and we're still certainly not satisfied with Nintendo's 2008 line-up, but there are most definitely still reasons to be cheerful.
Don't believe us? Read on. We'll get through this together, people.
#1. Nintendo still has Miyamoto, and his work slate is now clear
Oh Shigeru, how we've missed you. Of course, Nintendo's resident genius has never gone away; in fact he's been at the forefront of the Wii's push to world domination throughout. But while the grinning pixie of games design has been instrumental in endearing the Wii's concept to the world - Come on, Wii Sports IS fun, however uncool it is to admit that these days - his output has been rather different to that of old.
He has however, still got it. He might not have had the same directorial role on Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy as he has had on those franchises in the past, but his touch can still be felt throughout both games. And the best news? He's finished his initial run of Wii games. Those misinterpreted quotations pertaining to Miyamoto's lack of ideas? They just meant that the initial concepts he came up with to show off the Wii's capabilities are all done and he's now moving on to other projects. We already know about Pikmin 3, and he's talked about a theoretical Punchout!! as well, so hopefully he's moving in a more hardcore-friendly direction now that everyone knows what the Wii is about.
#2. First-party WiiWare is happening, and that has massive potential
While WiiWare has been a bit of a mixed bag so far - LostWinds FTW, Star Soldier R FTNotsomuch - but Reggie has quietly confirmed that Nintendo is definitely working on more in-house downloadable titles. The obvious potential of this? New 2D Mario and Zelda games.
Mega Man 9 and Bionic Commando: Rearmed have already been met with immense love from fans and press alike, so Nintendo would be insane not to add to the glorious return of 2D. Let's face it, that kind of material made the company, and nothing would be more reasurring to the hardcore than the release of more of it. We seriously wouldn't be surprised to see this happen.
#3. Wario Land: Shake It!
Okay, so it might not be Kid Icarus or F-Zero, but just think about what the new Wario Land represents. It's a straight sequel to one of Nintendo's most loved hardcore franchises. It's that most staple of old-school, hardcore Nintendo game styles, the 2D platformer. And it's got the presitige factor of coming out as a major retail disc release. All of that means that someone at Nintendo seriously has the right idea. With this kind of thinking going on behind the scenes, the old Nintendo is far from lost.
#4. Nintendo happily employs a 55-year old man who behaves like this
#5. Third-party developers are seriously getting their shit together
So Nintendo doesn't have a huge amount of hardcore material on the way that we know of, but forget the old "Third-party Wii support sucks" cliche and look at the reality. Madworld, Fatal Frame IV, Dead Rising, Overlord, The Conduit, Mushroom Men, Deadly Creatures, Spore, Facebreaker, Sam & Max, Tenchu... They're all coming to the Wii, more than a couple of them are exclusives designed specifically for the hardware. And none of them are mini-game collections. The tide, it finally does seem to be turning...