Two Mature Nintendo Franchises Entered Space World 2000, Only One Left
Posted on Monday, October 7 @ 21:50:03 Eastern by Daniel Bischoff
Check out this video. It's early footage from Nintendo's first development efforts on GameCube, debuted over 12 years ago now at Space World 2000. Space World was a Nintendo showcase, but this video got the diehard fans excited for one key reason. More dark Zelda was on its way and it looked like Link could have been 20+ years old. M-Rated Zelda was on!
At the time there was a huge backlash against Wind Waker, the Gamecube Zelda Nintendo eventually did release. Twilight Princess, the next mainline Zelda game straddling Wii and GCN, veered back towards a darker depiction of Hyrule, but perhaps not in the way fans were still hoping for. Wind Waker certainly wasn't Space World 2000, and cel-shaded graphics were kind of a fad. What the hell Nintendo? Why did you hate Nintendo fans... who hadn't even played the game yet...?
Looking at Wind Waker HD, I find it plain as day why Nintendo chose to make Wind Waker over Link Vs. Ganon: Swords. The developers at Nintendo EAD painted a lovingly vibrant and emotive world. Even the original game holds up as a significant achievement in art design triumphing over brute force by a horde of polygons. Scanning people and things into a game seems trivial compared to the thought that human hands designed every line of Link and his world. And even more hands helped to animate and provide an adventure for players to embark on.
Here's Link's render in the GameCube version of Wind Waker. The game's graphics have come full circle to perfectly match the concept artist's original vision. And everything is so shiny! Read Anthony's Wind Waker HD review for more on why the game is worth your attention on Wii U. Despite the fantasy franchise flipping visual themes, I think It would have been harder to stomach such a 180 with Samus Aran in space.
I think Retro's incredibly mature take on Samus and the Metroids, combined with forward thinking design philosophy and world building softend the Wind Waker blow. Can you imagine if Metroid Prime came out as anything so overwrought and hated (by some fans) as Team Ninja's Metroid Other M? What if Samus had to save some guy, like a Super Mario reversal? Prince Federation Admiral... guy... also what if all the aliens were Goombas. I'm just saying... things could have been much worse. Samus could have been forced to play Blitzball before every mission.
If the GameCube didn't have Metroid Prime... could the onslaught of Mario games and other Nintendo staples have held the platform together in the eyes of mature gamers? Nintendo bet big on Wii and it paid off but Space World 2000 was a pivotal moment for the company. I think certain third-party games came to Samus's aid, including a whole lot of Resident Evil and early work from Suda 51.
While Wind Waker looks even better today, I'm more excited for the future of Nintendo on HD consoles. It'll be incredibly exciting to see the company bring some of their best franchises to Wii U, but I'm even more enticed by things like Miyamoto's brand new concept or the possiblity of an F-Zero or Starfox in HD.
Are you the one fan still sore about the Zelda switcheroo? Sound off in the comments below.
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