Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 15, 2017

Email: Bill Trinen Explains Odyssey’s Design Philosophy

Hey Master Malstrom, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. It may not be the kind of Mario game you’d like them to make, but does it sound like a game you would play?

I was reading that thinking, “Who wrote this tripe?” Then it said Bill T at the bottom. Apparently, I am supposed to know ‘Bill’ on a first name basis. WTF??

I pretty much disagree with all of it. NSMB wasn’t a modern evolution of 2d Mario. A modern evolution of 2d Mario would have had NEW WORLDS as rich and varied as Sub-Con, the worlds of Mario 3, or Dinosaur Land. Mario is an adventure game. We want to go somewhere, not just play ‘level design’ like some puzzle-like scenarios and call it a day. We want an adventure. Nintendo doesn’t understand 2d Mario or why it was so successful. They really don’t.

“Bill” goes on talking about ‘sandbox’ meaning Japanese sandbox. I guess if you spend your life learning Japanese and working in a Japanese company, you would think there is some sort of magic *culture* about Japan. “Bill” probably even thinks Japan invented video games! (They didn’t. They didn’t even invent the JRPG, but more on that later.)

Hey, “Bill”, why aren’t you pushing ‘Balloon Fight’ like you did a generation ago? You know, that game that Nintendo completely ripped off of Joust, a western made game?

Hey, “Bill”, why don’t you tell us how all Nintendo IP comes from Western sources such as Mario with Alice and Wonderland (apparent with the plumber from New York), Donkey Kong (western film), Metroid (Aliens movie series, even the Chozo are such a blatant ripoff of the pilot in Alien), Zelda from western RPGs, Kid Icarus from Western lore (Eastern religions do not have angels), etc. How about anime being ripped from Disney style animation?

No, “Bill”, you don’t mention any of that because it doesn’t jibe with the ‘Japanese culture is full of innovation and rainbows’. Japanese culture is dying. Their economy is dying. Their population is dying. They have a negative fertility rate. But this would be a more adult discussion which macro trends are not to be discussed, but ridiculous japanese small gardens are.

Hey, “Bill”, remember when you used to say that Zelda was about being a ‘garden’ and how all that rhetorical crap had to be scrapped because that concept doesn’t sell? Breath of the Wild is now called ‘world’ just as NES Zelda always used to be. It is so frustrating that Nintendo cannot be honest about why certain products succeed and why they fail (e.g. Miyamoto blaming Virtual Boy failure on the marketers).

There is no ‘philosophy’ with Odyssey. The development came up with some gameplay tropes (e.g. the hat and taking over creatures) and grew the game from that.

3d Mario STILL hasn’t been accepted by the mainstream. But hey, “Bill”, Nintendo doesn’t give a damn. It’s going to make the games they want to make.

And stop trying to sell us Sakamoto again. He went down in flames several times with the biggest one being Other M.

I can’t wait to see Nintendo become super arrogant within the time of months as they forget the Wii U is even possible or ever happened. But Nintendo will become arrogant, and they will collapse once again.

-Sean M.



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