Eternal Darkness – what would a Nintendo made horror game be like? (pic: Nintendo)
A reader imagines what would happen if Nintendo started making adult-orientated games, such as first person shooters and survival horror.
I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say that Nintendo is the most highly respected video game developer in the world and have been for at least the last 40 years. Other studios come and go and most modern ones only put out a new game every five years or so – so good luck looking forwards to The Last Of Us Part 3, considering Naughty Dog has two new games to make before that.
There are many things that distinguish Nintendo from other developers but one of the less appreciated is how they tackle any and every genre going. Rather than just making platformers they’ve done everything from sports sims to fighters to strategy games and role-players. However, there is one thing that connects them all: they’re all family friendly.
I do not say this as criticism but it does put a limit on what they can do and means that that good old Nintendo magic has never been worked upon survival horrors, first person shooters, or anything with a serious storyline. The reasons as to why are obvious but my hope is that one day they’ll change their mind.
Before you accuse me of being silly it’s worth pointing out that Nintendo has dabbled with these sort of ideas before. It published survival horror Eternal Darkness as a first party Nintendo game and is solely responsible for Bayonetta still being a thing, with both making it into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They also organised a remake of Metal Gear Solid, as well as relatively serious action games like Geist and Disaster: Day Of Crisis.
The thing with all those games though is that while Nintendo published them they didn’t make them and, with the exception of Bayonetta, it’s obvious they all would’ve been much better if they did. But Nintendo themselves don’t make that sort of game and I think that’s a real shame.
My suggestion then is simple: set-up an adults only label for games that are mature rated and clearly made for kids and then allow Nintendo’s developers to go wild. It’d have to be brand new franchises, nobody wants to see GTA: Mushroom Kingdom, but that’s even better as far as I’m concerned.
Perhaps they could make a sequel to Eternal Darkness, I think that could be interesting, but what about a realistic first person shooter that played as well as Splatoon? Or a more serious fighting game by the same team behind Smash Bros., that didn’t feature mascot characters (although the Fire Emblem cast might work).
Or a Zelda style game but with a more realistic setting, even if it’s still fantasy, with a proper and complex story. What would a Nintendo take on a Sony formula third person action adventure be like? No sad dads hopefully, but imagine a serious post-apocalyptic game made to the same quality as Zelda or Metroid.
I guess the most serious an internal Nintendo developer ever gets is Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade games, although they’re still pretty cartoonish even by role-playing standards. But what if they did something that was a bit more realistic, perhaps taking inspiration from Fallout or Mass Effect?
The possibilities are endless and while I have no real hope of it ever happening, I hope one day I’m proven wrong. As games appeal to more and more people Nintendo may realise that they’re actually missing out on a major audience and as long as they think they can keep the games out of the reach of children I think their developers would jump at the chance.
It could be like when Disney set up Touchstone Pictures to publish less family friendly movies, so it’s not like companies haven’t done this sort of thing before. It’s just a dream of mine but I thought I’d share it.
By reader Goodspeed
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