Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Illustrates Why Nintendo Is In Trouble
With all of the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim activity going on in every corner of my life, I began thinking about the various video game platforms and the video game industry as a whole. Going back to this summer when we were playing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which I bought on a whim, caused me to realize something: No one in my household, or in the households of my extended family, takes the Nintendo Wii seriously. It may sell more consoles. The games may sell more copies. But Nintendo has gone from the dominant, to-be-beat system to an also-ran. It still coasts on intellectual property created twenty years ago and has lost some of the major franchises, such as Final Fantasy and Castlevania, that used to be hosted on their platform.
Take Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. It is everything that Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and even the recent installments of Final Fantasy should be. It’s fun. It’s challenging. It has a great plot with a truly epic ending (in the literal definition of the word “epic”). The graphics are stunning. I understand that critics don’t like that some of the things in the game were borrowed from other franchises but, as Sam Walton said, “I borrowed almost everything I ever did from someone else”. Originality is good but flawless execution is better; that is true in business, life and video games.
How could anyone go back to the polygon low-definition output of the Nintendo Wii after experiencing something like that on the Playstation 3? Castlevania, like Final Fantasy and many of the other big franchises today, began on the Nintendo systems but moved to more powerful platforms when the Japanese video game maker refused to keep up with technology. Even the Legend of Zelda, which is a franchise I love, was enormous in scope in the 1980s when it was released. Today, the pathetic graphics destroy any chance of creating the sense of an epic storyline where gods and men clash. The Legend of Zelda should be Skyrim. That’s how large it should have become with the profits from the Nintendo empire funding development.