Gamespot recently reported via the NPD group today that New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS was the fourth best selling game last month. Number one was Madden NFL 13, while number two for that month was Borderlands 2. This list, which I'll post below, makes me laugh for a simple reason:
1. Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita) - Electronic Arts
2. Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
3. FIFA Soccer 13 (PS3, X360, PS Vita, Wii, 3DS, PSP) - Electronic Arts
4. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) - Nintendo
5. Guild Wars 2 (PC) - NCSoft
6. NHL 13 (X360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
7. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (PC) - Activision Blizzard
8. NCAA Football 13 (X360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
9. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (X360, Wii, 3DS, DS, PS3, PS Vita, PC) - Warner Bros. Interactive
10. Battlefield 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
They are all sequels!!!
In that same article a YouTube review for NSMB2 is embedded which makes the case that the Mario franchise has gotten stale. I will agree that not much changes about the Mario Brothers franchise: you still save a princess, you still fight Bowser and you still end up taking all the glory away from Luigi. You can attach the same argument however to any of the games the NPD group listed as best selling last month.
On message forums, blogs and even regular news sites, there's an increasing notion that Nintendo somehow will fail with it's new Wii U system. The first reason is that it's overpriced, the second is that it will be behind Xbox 720 and the next Playstation and the third is that Nintendo still refuses to create games for the young adult males who are too chicken shit to actually go fight a war.
Nintendo makes family-friendly games. To change up Super Mario Brothers into some Christopher Nolan-esque wet dream may strike the interest to those who would normally turn away from it, but why cater to them? Let that demographic continue to think Nintendo is a piece of crap and that Mario is for kids.
I still love everything about the franchise: the catchy music, the still-stuck-in-the-1980s sound effects and the interesting assortment of levels. A child can grow up to be a reasonable individual perhaps with these games because they bare no mirror to what is in the real world. You can't jump up and stomp someone without much effort, nor could you shoot flames out of your hands by eating a flower or grow big from eating a mushroom.
Can fans of such franchises of Call Of Duty say the same thing? Could you really hand a game like that to a young child without considering their emotional development? I'll wait.