E3 09: Mario Galaxy 2 sums up Nintendo's wrongs

Token gestures to its original fan-base have become Nintendo’s calling card over recent years. We’ve been drip-fed a basic roster via an attitude of “Give them just enough and not a thing more”. Remember when Nintendo was “All about you!”? It couldn’t lavish enough upon its fans. But now it looks like even the mighty Mario may have succumbed to minimal effort syndrome too, with a retread instead of the customary mind-blowing new surprise we've come to expect after a two year gap.

If our worst fears are true, then it’s a massive indictment of the short-sighted management philosophy the current Nintendo employs. Even when being brutally objective, its perception of its customer base looks naïve. Fanboy outrage doesn’t even come into it. The company has made a packet off the casual market, but the factor that makes that market so appealing is also its greatest danger.


Above: Galaxy 2 will be awesome. But the familiarity is very worrying in context. 

That type of consumer has the mindset of an entertainment magpie. It will eagerly jump on exciting new fads with wild enthusiasm (see also the iPod), but by nature of that easily-swayed outlook it has a total lack of brand loyalty. As soon as a cooler, newer toy comes along, fad-loving consumers are gone. With Microsoft’s amazing Project Natal and Sony’s ultra-responsive Wiimote equivalent on the way, Nintendo may soon regret putting its trust in that market.

Its solution to its possible impending consumer break-up? More token gestures. The company isn’t stupid. It is rapidly realising that casual buyers need to be fed with a steady stream of new stimulus. After the Wiimote, WiiFit captured the casual mindset perfectly. But now? A gadget that makes the Wiimote work like it was supposed to and bit of heart rate pressure monitoring kit that can be found in any hospital.


Above: Nintendo looking tired? 

The former is too little, too late, given the impending opposition. The latter just feels like a desperate attempt to keep the WiiFit-obsessed health market interested with anything new. Given that its barely-existent practical gameplay applications – as we see it - all revolve around doing as little as possible, it’s like Nintendo has lapsed into self-parody. Ironic or not, the company looks to have exhausted its current direction, and possibly soon its current audience.

The cause of it all? A similar willingness to jump onto exciting new fads as that exhibited by its audience. It’s just that Nintendo’s current fad is its audience. The runaway excitement of success and the runaway excitement of a new direction seem to have combined to make Nintendo complacent and hedonistic, thinking only in the immediate here-and-now while its competitors have cleverly and dynamically crept up on it. Maybe even beyond it by now. You get back what you give in the entertainment business, and Nintendo’s give/take ratio has just been out of whack for far too long.

Here's hoping it's not too late for a turnaround.

E3 09: Why the amazing new demos prove motion control can't work in hardcore gaming 
Nine games that could break our hardcore gamer hearts

Nintendo's worst-case scenario for E3 2009
Nine games that could break our hardcore gamer hearts


  • masterjoe123 - July 4, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    This article is so wrong in retrospect that it's hilarious.
  • robbiejc85 - June 10, 2009 10:03 a.m.

    EXACTLY. I'm glad someone finally said this. Nintendo's recent efforts - Wii Sports aside -have been so lacking in originality they border on the edge of incremental updates Wario - standard 2d platformer Punch Out - yeah it looks great but its near identical to the original and, ironically, ignores proper motion control Sin and Punishment - ANOTHER on-rails shooter! SMB2 Wii - fun but absolutely no effort even to make the graphics look better than the DS version Mario Galaxy 2 - brilliant I'm sure, but i've already got the first one and its got plenty of replay value. Nintendo seem to have forgotten that those HUGE, fantastic games are the ones that win out. All my non-gamer friends love Halo, Golden Eye 64, Street Fighter, even Perfect Dark 64. They love Wii sports not cos its motion-based, but because its fun. They're not hardcore gamers, they just like awesome games. As do I funnily enough. SEGA are doing their bit as are High Voltage and EA (mostly). The new Silent Hill looks ace aswell. Come on Nintendo.
  • RadarQJD - June 7, 2009 12:31 p.m.

    My only comment is.....: I didnt see any complaining about Gears of War 2, Halo 3,Fallout,Generic shooters,etc. Just because a game isn't a complete re-haul from it's prequal doesnt mean it's a "terrible omen" .
  • disturbedanomaly39 - June 7, 2009 2:46 a.m.

    oh gawd, its hard to stay sane during all this bullshit with ninty, and i was prepared for the worst from the press confrence ive been a hardcore ninty and mario fan since super mario world and still own all the non-spin off mario games and mario kart. i also own all the zelda games. wether david is right or not, i will still buy it at least miyamoto is trying to make hardcore games again. weve seen NSMBW and Metroid:other M so be thakfull for that
  • charley235 - June 6, 2009 3:36 p.m.

    anyone whos against a new mario galaxy is a fag. really, your all bitching about a game thts gonna be really fun, and nintendo will mix things up and add a buncha new levels. by the way, they are making a new kirby for wii, i forgot if its coming next year or this year
  • wiigamer024 - June 5, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    hmm... it does kinda look the same, but hows the difficulty? OH WTF! if the first one was great, then, God damnit, i'm buyin the second one! wiether its good or bad! (COME ON! it's Nintendo for God's Sake!)
  • NadaNuff - June 5, 2009 4:51 a.m.

    Galaxy 2 is to Galaxy as Majora's Mask is to Ocarina of Time.
  • Mittenz - June 5, 2009 4:48 a.m.

    About comparing Super Mario Galaxy 2 to Gears of War 2, the reason they were worried is because Mario games like that come out with wide time gaps always with new features, engines, and generally 1 per platform, they are simply stating that they are worried that Nintendo is intrested into making main Mario games into major cash cows. DO YOU WANT NINTENDO TO TAKE MARIO DOWN THE ACTIVISION PATH!?!?!?!
  • PS360Rulez - June 5, 2009 3:55 a.m.

    Look this article may have been a little extreme but I do feel bad for Wii owners. You guys are excited about 2 good titles being announced? Wii: Metroid: M, Mario Galaxy 2. Here ill throw in Red Steel 2. 360: Halo:Reach, Forza 3, Alan Wake,Crackdown 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Mass Effect 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Project Natal. PS3: GOW 3, the last guardian, FFXIV, MGS 5, Uncharted 2, Agent, MAG, Mod Nation Racers, and a new Ratchet and Clank. PS360: Alpha Protocal, Assassains Creed 2, Battle Feild Bad Company 2, Brutal Legend, Crysis 2, Dantes Inferno, Dead Rising 2, DJ Hero, Just Cause 2, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, MODERN WARFARE 2, Red Dead Redemption and The Sabateur. Suddenly Looks like harcore nintendo fans got fucked doesnt it. Hope those three games can hold you through out the year.
  • Ezekiel17 - June 4, 2009 10:43 p.m.

    I'm dissapointed with Nintendo. Showing off a new Super Mario Galaxy when the 1st came out just 2 years ago? Oh, and a co-op rehash if New Super mario Bros? *shakes head and sighs* Atleast that new Metroid game looks cool, to bad it doesn't come out till 2010. :P
  • Squander - June 4, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    that article expresses exactly what I feel - Nintendo seems to be burned out by its own success...
  • adielo12 - June 4, 2009 4:04 p.m.

    well come on, what do we expect, it's a sequel. It's obviously gonna look the same but I bet there are alot of new features and a different storyline. This game hasn't even come out yet so we don't know all about it yet.
  • pimlicosound - June 4, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    I don't understand the comparison to the iPod. Most people who buy iPods go on to buy other iPods and other Apple hardware. Apple fans are notoriously brand-loyal. Furthermore, the iPod is synonymous with portable MP3 players, whereas the Wii is not synonymous with gaming.
  • solidocelot - June 4, 2009 4:02 a.m.

    how is it living and not liking anything?
  • Vagrant - June 4, 2009 3:26 a.m.

    This seems a perfectly reasonable and accurate article. Can't really argue with it.
  • MGS4SolidSnake - June 4, 2009 3:18 a.m.

    if anybody wanted to be a hardcore gamer with hardcore games y would they buy the wii...the wii is for little kids, families, and stupid people who are so obsessed with super smash bros. that they waste money just to play one game...nobody get pissed cause u know its true
  • Soadogsownz - June 4, 2009 2:30 a.m.

    @AssBurgers Tell me one way shovelware being on a system changes the quality of the good games? Judge a console on it's amount of good games not what percentage of its games are good that actually makes no sense at all. Do you hate the PC too? Ridiculous.
  • TrollSlayer - June 4, 2009 1:50 a.m.

    Wow this arctile is the most conjecture filed, contrived and biased diatribe of baseless bullcrap I have ever read. It's pretty low how some have sunk just to twist things, put a practically baseless spin on things just to bash Nintendo. This irrational and contrived b.s. is amazing laughable. I'd expect this crap from Anti-Nintedo Trolls but from a "professional" game news site is just really sad.
  • tobo - June 4, 2009 12:10 a.m.

    this game will be a ton of fun and only a major jack a** will avoid it. it's the first sequel since the nes right? Im 32 yrs old and have owned every nintendo system . this game will be worth the 50 bucks
  • noblehouse - June 3, 2009 11:21 p.m.

    The problem with Gamesradar is that its a hardcore gamers site. Nintendo have moved away from constantly competing for the best graphics and most realism. GET OVER IT ALREADY! With the superb graphics and realism available on 360 and PS3 why keep berating Nintendo about their change of direction?

Showing 1-20 of 73 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000