Hot Air: Rebirthed

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

By Aaron Roberts. Posted 06/09/2010 23:17 Comment on this     ShareThis

Hot Air

Ready for a shake-up?

Things have been changing around here, lately, and I want you to know that I’m not going to be an old stick in the mud. I know that you all are expecting the same old… um… sigh… Hot Air… as always, but I’m going to try to change things up and throw you a few surprises on occasion. I promise.

We’ll Believe That When We See It

I know, this is a big shift, and it’ll take time for us to adjust. More time than you think, because we’ll still have kinks to work out, and there’ll be new features, new styles, new columnists — like our friend Nester64x — and new ways of looking at old things, like how we cover news. As we know, adaptation is the key to survival for any living thing, and certain game characters are better than other at adapting. Let’s take a look at characters who excel at evolution and those who are less successful.

Mario: Mario is perhaps the king of rebirthing, as it were. No other game is character is more capable of reinvention and innovation than Nintendo’s main hero, who coincidentally got his start as the actual plumber in Nintendo of America headquarters — look it up! — and has probably been in more genres than any other game character. Plus, he is responsible for the advent of 3D gaming as we know it, and possibly for another type of 3D gaming in our handheld future.

Mega Man: While Mega Man has unquestionably been successful in multiple series, he doesn’t always adapt as well as he should. Specifically, once Mega Man has achieved success in a particular genre or series, that series is methodically hammered into the ground with release after release until even the most hardcore fans come to dread the next installment. Except for myself, of course, but not everyone is quite as die-hard as I am.

Final Fantasy IV - Chocobos

Chocobos: The Final Fantasy series has found a home for itself on virtually every system since the beginning of the millennium. Since there are different characters in practically every game, the series mascot has become the little (or large) yellow bird that appears in nearly every installment. Not only does Final Fantasy appear on multiple systems, but in several different game styles, as well. Don’t believe me? Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Final Fantasy: Dissidia, and Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light are just a few of the most recent releases on several different systems.

Alucard and the Belmonts: While Castlevania games have been and remain popular, the series has never been successfully able to transition beyond 1997, when Symphony of the Night set the new template for how a Castlevania game would act. With several less-than-spectacular forays into 3D, including Lament of Innocence, Curse of Darkness, and Castlevania 64, the series has yet to make a name for itself on modern consoles.

In conclusion, some game properties do better than others when it comes to adaptation and… wait for it… rebirth. This also largely depends on the people behind development as well, of course. Whether our rebirth results in a Mario brother-type adaptation or a Belmont-type one is yet to be determined, we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out. See how I tied it all together there? Yeah!

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