In response to "Who Cares About Mario?" from The Escapist forums:
I think the author over-projects on a very small sample (two children as evidence of majority is a bit risky as a stats method).
I would agree that Mario is still quite popular and known amongst children. If not my personal experience, then surelly sales figures for New Super Mario Bros. or Mario Kart DS, which still manage to sell strongly after so many years in the market, seem to show that the new generations are growing up with similar experiences like the ones we had as kids.
I really don't see the smartphone scene as a real threat to "traditional" portable gaming consoles. Nintendo has been setting it's "hooks" to youngsters for a very, very long time and it will be hard for parents to get rid of them. If all the kids at school are still playing Pokemon or Mario, then it's a bit difficult to convince your kid to "settle" with playing an app on your iphone.
On the other hand, I don't think the article is completely off the ball. Nintendo seems to be at the end of a "communications cicle". I will also agree with Herman Zindler, that the company has shown the talent to re-invent itself over the years, especially with recent examples like the Wii or Brain Training, or even Nintendo 3DS to some extent.
If anything, their sales figures overall should suggest that they are still on top of their game. Time will tell how many more times they can get away with re-inventing themselves Madonna-style.
In response to "The Perfect Puffball" from The Escapist forums:
The bit about Kirby begging to be drawn immedately brought to mind many an old email with a row of dancing Kirbys across it for no reason (like these! <("<) ^( " )^ (>")> v( " )v) There's far too much truth there...
Kirby exists in that rare spot of gaming where the fun outweighs the challenge (or lack thereof.) I certinaly hope he sticks around awhile.
I recently went on a bit of a Kirby binge, and it helped me to realize just why it remains a popular franchise. It's absolutely not ashamed of what it is or what it does, and it's just filled with little details and polish to it to make it so endearing.
I'd like to get a Kirby plushy doll at some point so I can pinch his adorable cheeks whenever I want.
In response to "The World in a Chain Chomp" from The Escapist forums:
I replayed SMB3 a couple of months ago, for the first time in well over a decade, and was surprised by the number of series staples which first appeared here.
Kinda miss the days when every new release in a series displayed a noticeable evolution of gameplay mechanics.
Reminds me a lot of this article: http://www.significant-bits.com/super-mario-bros-3-level-design-lessons
Once upon a time, a boy named "Link" goes on a quest. He needs to rescue his kingdom from a great evil. Along the way, he discovers magical items that aid him, as well as help from friendly citizens that did not leave like him. Eventually, after much world travelling, he finds the evil that took over his kingdom and vanquishes him. He is rewarded with the title of hero and he goes back home, living happily with his friends and family.
That is the basic story of every Legend of Zelda game. The boy goes on a quest to rescue his kingdom. I know that he rescues the princess, but the actual goal is the kingdom being safe.
Every time the story gets told, however, his adventures become more elaborate each being a different version of the same adventure. In some tellings, he is hopping across parallel dimensions, while others have him travelling through time, In earlier stories, he does not meet the Gorons or the Zora, but later ones have him doing things for them. If an item gets added to the story.
The best way to explain the Legend of Zelda is to use mythology. There are numerous tales of the great heroes, like Perseus, Heracles, Thor, and Gilgamesh. The stories started out simple, but each time a story is told, things get added to it.
The Hercules myth has many known authors to it. Each time an author comes in, he fills in the blanks, adds a few more tales, and embellishes certain parts to make it better. The early versions of the Hercules myth is basic compared to what came afterwards. The same is true with other myths.
Basically, for me, trying to find a continuity to these game and to see where they fit in the overall cannon is missing the point of the series. It is mythic storytelling and a parable for civic duty more than any sort of chronological series of events.