Ibu’s 2 Cents #1 – Changing Times?

The General removes his cap, wipes his forehead whilst looking upon seemingly thousands of men all from different nations across the globe, on the way to war, his soldiers, his people, his children, they are aware of what they need to do. You see this is an example of togetherness, something the UK games scene is missing, this is why small British Development companies are in severe, no should I say Dire Straights?

Take a look at Japan for instance!

Sega as a company is slowly recapturing its former strengths, Nintendo though, if common word would have you believe is in a slow but downward spiral – it seems to have lost that unique spark, it has lost that niche that made it famous as the pioneer and the master of many gaming genres for over 15 yrs. It seems to be disappearing at an alarmingly fast rate.

There are mumblings of discontent from gamers, they feel the franchises they love have begun to lose that innovation with no great advances or gaming evolutions other than the enhancement of graphics. Many feel the same old idea’s are being rehashed and recycled because the respective companies have lost they’re inventive imagination when creating new episodes in gaming series. Nintendo have felt the brunt of this with regards to there last two major releases Super Mario Sunshine and Zelda: The Wind Waker, while both are excellent games, they have been victims of a backlash by many fans of the series who admitted they enjoyed the games although they felt that they were not done justice are where not made as wholly and convincingly as they might have been done.

Because of this Nintendo and Sega silently, yet unofficially joined together and mixed all their little Japanese quirks and inventiveness into a pot to co-create one of the first party games for both the GCN and the Arcade market, now maybe this isn’t a big deal to most games players but to me who has seen these two companies go from rivals in the console wars to Japanese friends arm in arm. It shows just how Sega have had to adapt to the changing climate in the video games world, and is now taking Nintendo with them. You see after the cataclysmic world wide demise of the past two Sega consoles (the Sega Saturn 1994-1997 and Sega Dreamcast 1999-2001 in the UK at least) the company had to change its plans and immediately withdrew from the hardware market and instead concentrated on releasing fairly low key titles multi-format to recuperate some of its losses suffered under the Dreamcast failure. It was only in 2002 on the release of the GCN when Super Monkey Ball accompanied the launch did we know Sega was back and meant business. They had changed they’re marketing strategy they were now all format but unlike Nintendo they had adapted to suit the market, when Nintendo noticed this new relationship could pay off good dividends for both they communicated and F-Zero AX is the off-spring of this new found working relationship.

While Nintendo is lucky (some will disagree but it does show they are about more than fancy polygons) to have not jumped on the bandwagon and follow the graphics dwellers, they are instead going back to the root of gaming history as it used to be, Innovation and Something Fresh, will they continue this? We don’t know but we know they have learned valuable lessons from working with Sega. Maybe Change Is Good?

This is the route the games industry of the UK needs to take if this steady decline carries on, we have lost the talents of too many UK DevCo’s over the past year and this decline must be halted, they all need to make a change just as Nintendo have.

Anyway I don’t want to go too far off point, but did I mention I saw Mario and Sonic on Sunday playing on linked up Gameboy Advance SP’s, I stopped astonished and just looked now my face had turned to bewilderment. Mario sensing someone watching turned around smiled and waved… he says “See I can change too, you see we are no longer enemies in fact we are buddies”, he then turned around unpaused his game then carried on… I looked down he was wearing a pair of red and white stripe trainers…

TRAINERS???

Times do change!