Splatoon 3, Mario Kart Pass: Nintendo's new sequels - Lakitu's Pack

Splatoon 3, Mario Kart Pass: Nintendo's new sequels - Lakitu's Pack

Splatoon 3, Mario Kart Pass

Technology is advancing faster and faster. It seems trivial, but it is literally like this: its evolution is not constant, but faster with each passing day. The changes that occurred between the year 1 and 1000 are less significant than those between 1000 and 1500, and those between 1500 and 1850 much less shocking than those between 1850 and 2000. The further we go, the more the times. for a drastic technological evolution, such as to revolutionize customs and habits and lifestyles, they are short. This concept is also applicable to the world of computers and, consequently, to consoles. However, thinking about it a little, it seems that for video games the story is a bit different.

Pong comes out in 1972, Super Mario Bros in 1985. Think about it: from black and white to colors. From a fixed screen to a scrolling game. From an essential one to a simple one with complex dynamics, composed of levels and sublevels, an inertia and a simulated physical system (however basic). Super Mario 64 was released in 1996. The leap is even bigger: polygonal world, three dimensions, movements with the analog control stick, camera rotations. It seems incredible, but only eleven years separate Super Mario Bros. from Super Mario 64. Super Mario Galaxy, to stay in the same series, arrives in 2007. It changes a lot, the graphics are richer, the physics more complex, but there isn't. the gap between Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64 (not even remotely, that's it). Ten years later, or in 2017, Super Mario Odyssey comes out: beautiful, animated better than Super Mario Galaxy, in high definition, but apart from the graphic differences, the distinctions are more conceptual than anything else.

Super Mario Odyssey: it was released in 2017, after ten years from Super Mario Galaxy, more or less the same time that separates Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64. 2017 (instead of 2007), and sending it in high definition, many could consider it more advanced than Super Mario Odyssey, or in any case a little different. In short: it seems that the further we go, the longer it takes, and not only due to development difficulties, to create a game that marks a clean break with the past.

This long introduction will help us to reflect better on ' The main topic of the article, namely the possibility that Nintendo is changing its approach to sequels.

What is a sequel, Splatoon 3

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2: how different will it be from the predecessor? On a logical level, we all know what a sequel is, that is, the sequel to a video game within the same saga. On an intuitive level, however (still today), we project much more into this concept: we expect changes, improvements, additions, differences. Let's think of the difference between Super Mario Bros. (1985) and Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988): more refined graphic style, possibility to go back in the levels, vertical structuring of the same thanks to the possibility of flying, map that connects the stages and gives an immediate narrative context, more numerous power-ups that can be stored in the archive. We are perhaps talking about the sequel par excellence, capable of making an old-fashioned title from just three years earlier on a playful and technological level ... and on the same console, by the way.

In the contemporaneity of sequels such as this are very rare. We would like them all, but we have to accept that they hardly exist anymore. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 will be able to reach higher peaks than its predecessor, the fact is that - like many others before him - it will use the same engine. However, at least according to the short films observed, it will introduce many structural alterations, such as vertical exploration, time inversion, a kind of teleportation into matter.

Splatoon 3: in the last trailer it was hardly distinguishable from the second episode Seeing the latest trailer for Splatoon 3, which will arrive on September 9, 2022, many had the feeling that it was the same as Splatoon 2: not only , already Splatoon 2 gave the impression of being very similar to the first Splatoon. When it was unveiled, it seemed at least that there would be a radical transformation at the narrative, scenographic and setting level, which seemed to tend towards the post-apocalyptic: maybe it will really be so, but in the latest videos shown, unless you are a great fan of the series (and although it is not, the undersigned has dedicated about a hundred hours between the first and second episode), it is essentially impossible to distinguish between one and the other. So is Splatoon 3 a sequel? Yes it is. But his introductions will be - or so it seems - purely content. Going back to the previous example, it would have been as if, instead of Super Mario Bros. 3, Nintendo had continued to create "lost levels", reusing the same engine, the same graphic style, adding only new stages and objects.

We struggle to remember a Nintendo saga that has evolved so little between chapters. Seven years have passed between Splatoon and Splatoon 3, and we bet that an "outsider", someone who hasn't tried or observed them for a long time, would have a hard time separating, watching a movie, between one and the other. It is certainly the fault of the evolutionary "slowdown" we talked about earlier, but it is not the only cause. This is an approach that the company has never had with any other series, more similar to that of EA with FIFA - but with greater temporal distance, which makes everything even more "serious".

Mario Kart 9 ... or not?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: its sales seem unstoppable Let's apply the same argument as before to Mario Kart. Super Mario Kart was released in 1992, on Super Nintendo. Ten years later we had Mario Kart: Double Dash !! on GameCube, totally polygonal, with complex physical interactions between the cars. Twelve years later, Mario Kart 8 on Wii U: a less clear cut, but still great, thanks to the playful dynamics, the graphic quality, the high definition. Ten years later? Mario Kart 8 Deluxe again, which will last at least until the end of 2023, when the additional courses of the Pass will end. And some now think that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe could be, well, just Mario Kart.

As absurd as it may seem at first glance, it makes sense. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a practically perfect game, so much so that already at the time of the original release we realized how difficult it would be to create a sequel. Now not only is it an almost perfect racing game, but also a mammoth racing game: we are talking about a title that, at the end of 2023, will have ninety-six circuits. Ninety-six. A result obtained with some technical compromise, the adaptations of the old-new tracks are not as accurate as the previous ones (we talked about them in our review of the Additional Paths Pass), but still an extraordinary result. The old Mario Karts had sixteen tracks, so to speak. How do you publish something that can compete? The advantages of making Mario Kart 8 eternal are there. Mechanics on the verge of perfection, a huge amount of content. Why would Nintendo try to change it, when it could just (on the next console), improve it graphically, transplant its contents, balance a few weapons, and add new cars and tracks? A problem that Super Smash Bros. also has, to an even greater extent.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: with the Additional Courses Pass it will reach 96 circuits The risks of a "brave" Mario Kart 9 are obvious. It may not "detach" enough from its predecessor, and after so many years it would be a disappointment. Obviously, it would have a lack of content compared to the eighth episode: it is unthinkable that it could be released with even "only" forty-two new circuits. Even if you want, there may not be the technological possibilities - impossible to say now, not knowing "Switch 2" - to greatly improve physics and interaction, as well as appearance. Mario Kart 8 lasted ten years, certainly surprising even Nintendo, which is now aware of the situation. Should it not perpetuate the eighth chapter, it could develop the next one with this in mind, and create a "real" sequel, an "old century" style sequel, therefore with a different graphic aspect and engine, only when there is really a technology so profoundly different as to justify the leap.

There could be positive implications from this point of view. If Mario Kart were eternalized, as well as other sagas, Nintendo could create new ones while updating the old ones. But it is a distant prospect, which would make sense to talk about only if it really happened. The fact remains that this year the Japanese company will publish a sequel very similar to its predecessor, which already was very similar to the progenitor, and will focus above all on the introduction of new content (and modalities?), Petrifying the engine and graphic style (we refer to Splatoon 3, of course). At the same time, when some were expecting Mario Kart 9, it has further extended the life of the eighth chapter, originally released in 2014, to which it will add another forty-eight new tracks between now and the end of 2023. Is this a signal or an isolated case? Mario Kart 9, if any, will give us the first answers.

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