“Blue Ocean” is all about getting new gamers to try new games. It’s all about opening the horizons of the medium and attracting new players. For many, this involves playing conductor, sword-fighting, and bowling. But there’s more to Blue Ocean than just that.
What I want you to do is — and this will surprise literally no one — remember the NES. Oh, and pronounce it like “Ness” from Earthbound and Super Smash Bros. Now, what’s one thing that stands out about that system? Well, for one thing most of our beloved Nintendo franchises started out there. Stuff like Mario, Zelda, Metroid– you know. Those games moved units like nobody’s business, and it wasn’t just by controlling them differently, although we certainly did that at first, since nobody’d heard of a plus-shaped directional pad you used with your thumb back in the day.
But these franchises also had something that drew players to them, something that turned them into lasting hits, and despite what critics may say, still make them relevant today. And let’s be honest, we never really get enough, do we?
So, to that end, I’m ready to go back. This is the thing about WiiWare and such. It makes smaller, less memory-intensive games easy to distribute and far cheaper to produce. Plus, since we’re talking about Nintendo first-party franchises, here, there’s no worries about whether the price of being distributed on WiiWare (or DSiWare) would be too high. Meaning for the developer, not for us.
But I wanna play some serious new stuff. New Super Mario Bros is great, but I don’t really need to play a 2.5D version of it. Give me some good old fashioned sprites. Especially since the Wii does 2D fantastically. Look at Muramasa. Or Wario Land: Shake It! Or A Boy and His Blob. Now, we can’t realistically expect every downloadable game to look this good, but World of Goo proves some good-looking stuff can come out on the service.
Yes, we have had some Nintendo franchise downloads available on WiiWare and DSiWare. Most of them are individual Electroplankton or Clubhouse Games downloads, save for the March of the Minis content. Oh, and True Swing Golf. I want Nintendo to follow in Capcom’s footsteps and get me some new 8-bit love.
Doesn’t have to be Mario. How about some new Balloon Fight? That’s possibly the most underrated NES game of all time. Kid Icarus is getting its update, so that means it’s time for one of our other Nintendo Wasteland friends to get a chance. I wouldn’t mind seeing another balloon-based side-scrolling adventure like the Game Boy’s Balloon Kid. And, no, Tingle’s Balloon Fight does not count.
Basically, if there’s one thing about downloadable games, it’s that they’re cheap, and a retro-style game would theoretically be even less expensive to develop than a more advanced-looking game. I want my old-school franchises back, and fast! Let’s get ‘er moving.