Should Nintendo Go Back To Cartridges? - Oni no Tenshi Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Should Nintendo Go Back To Cartridges?

Currently, there is talk about Nintendo working on a new system, so I've been starting to wonder if perhaps Nintendo should consider going back to cartridges instead.

We all remember the days of the N64, SNES and NES.  All of these systems were able to build upon one another and brought gameplay to the next level each time a system was released.  Plus the cartridges were heavy-duty!  You could beat the crap out of a cartridge and it would still work if you blew on it.  Obviously, I was very careful about my games due to my parent's rationing them to a severe degree, but I knew people who stepped on cartridges, accidentally had them go through the wash (because they got mixed up in their bed sheets), and my favorite story is when my husband (back then just a friend of mine) was only 15 or 16 and he found a Pokemon Crystal cartridge in a gutter full of water.  It looked like it had been tossed out of a car window or something, yet after he cleaned it off and dried it out, it worked perfectly fine!

Cartridges are amazing.  I have Game Boy games that work just as well as the first time I ever put them into my old gray brick.  And considering that the graphics have improved immensely since the Game Boy, yet the cartridges actually got SMALLER, it shows just how good technology has gotten these days:

I mean, think! This cartridge:

is at least 3-4 times LARGER than this cartridge:

and yet the DS game has more color, graphics upgrades, and gameplay options than the original.

Also, notice other big differences.  You may not be able to read it on these images, but I'll blow it up for you.  While in the past, the Nintendo Seal used to look a lot like this:

it has now been replaced with this:

Notice how they removed "of quality" from the seal?  This unfortunately seems to be a big problem once Nintendo went past the Gameboy Color/N64 generation of games. 

I find myself kind of baffled as to why Nintendo seems to be determined to release a couple of good games, but then allow so many sub-par and altogether awful games to be created for their current systems.

While I understand that most of these games are made cheaply and sold marginally well enough to make the profit margin pretty large, it is obvious to me that games such as Zelda series, platforming Mario games, and well done puzzle series show how much better they are by basically selling astronomically well instead.

So why not just make FEWER GAMES but make those fewer games QUALITY games that could bear that quality seal of Nintendo?

Personally, I think that cartridges might be the first step here.  Look, I know everyone wants disks and graphics and crap, but I think that the cartridge of today could be far superior to the cartridge of yesteryear.  And there is so much bellyaching about how the Wii has abysmal graphics, it really isn't all that reasonable to argue that disk=quality.  I mean come on, if my Game Cube Twilight Princess looks better than the Wii version, there's a problem there.  It basically means that the majority of the disk information is being either underutilized or most of it is going towards control recognition, which is bad form.  When making the game recognize the player's interface takes up more room than actual gameplay, there is a problem.

There is a reason our Wii has been gathering dust and serving as more of a fun place to put my anime figurines than a game system.  It's because largely, either I play GameCube stuff on it, or I might rarely try and put on a Wii game or two but quickly get disgusted at the control scheme and turn it right off.  Heck, I don't even like the majority of games for XBOX (because of the FPS heavy game releases) and I play Beautiful Katamari and IloMilo on XBOX more often than I play anything on my Wii.

This makes me sad.

I love Nintendo in that little, nostalgic place in the lower quadrant of my heart. 

^(Well, maybe not as much as these guys)

I love the DS (I am playing Okamiden and loving it to pieces and will be doing subsequent blogs on some of my favorite DS games because I think that Nintendo has largely abandoned quality in the console market).  But I can say right now that even the 3DS is starting to look like a blatant attempt at Nintendo to cash in on very little progress but simply add enough features (It's SHINY! There are more cameras than you could shake a stick at! And there's a ROCKET LAUNCHER! And you can impress your friends with how expensive it is!) to make it LOOK like they are actually doing something new and different when it's just more of the same with more of a price tag.

So I think that going back to console cartridges might actually be a good thing.  They can put a little hard drive in there, increase the capacity.  I mean, come on, if you can fit a terrabyte in a box the size of a can of tuna (or smaller), then you can fit a huge amount of game information in a cartridge.  Simply construct it so that the hard drive area is in a buffer or cushion of some sort inside of the cartridge, and you've got a great construct.  Not only that, but now you have something to set yourself apart from the crowd-they're all using scratchable "that's-so- 90's" disks, and you're using ADVANCED HARD DRIVE TECHNOLOGY IN A RETRO SHELL!  There's got to be something to say for that, and I think it would probably be awesome. 

Personally, I can't understand why Nintendo keeps doing stuff simply because they want to be "different" than other game systems.  Unfortunately, "different" does not always mean "better" and if you're looking to surpass the other consoles/handhelds, then instead of simply looking to make your console appear to be from the 25th century, where everyone waves around batons to interface with reality, then perhaps instead, the focus should be on fresh game ideas, simple yet effective control schemes (such as using a touch pad interface with multi touch-maybe even creating a plug in or software attachment that allows interface on iPad or something similar), or otherwise doing something that WORKS instead of looking "strange and new" without executing it properly.

So that's my rant for tonight.

What would you like Nintendo to do next? 

Would you enjoy a resurgence of cartridge games in their next system?  How about a game controller that doesn't look like a TV remote (and work about as well at interfacing with the game as one)? 

Other comments (and fiery rants/rebuttals) are welcome as long as there is no personal attack on myself or any other posters (flaming is for fire flowers in Mario, not GIO).

Excuse me, but I'm off to play some good, old fashioned GameBoy Tetris.  Seal of Quality, you weren't lying!

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