Memes Nintendo? really?!
October 29, 2015
So lately Nintendo have been alarming fans with their strange choice of language and terminology.
Recently I wrote about the inappropriate nature of using the word `spoopy` as a descriptive term for a Fatal Frame trailer. It’s certainly not a funny game which would allow for jokes and meme-ish language. It comes across as a scattershot attempt to appeal to a wider audience of the internet.
Maiden of the black water already has enough troubles to deal with without tumblr-tier memes
This was purely a marketing and PR slip up however, I was thankful for the fact that such nonsense wasn’t involved in actual development.
But there’s a more worrying bit of information to come out of the American release of Tri Force Heroes.
Obviously Tri Force Heroes is a far less serious Zelda title then most and a light hearted script is perfectly apt.
However, compare to the script of any Paper Mario title or even Earthbound. They all have a unique sense of humor without relying on pop culture references or tired memes. Paper Mario’s strength lies in it’s fantastic characterizations and self referential humor.
Got a upcoming list on SNES games and I chose this as my all time favorite.
Obviously this Zelda title cant mimic the style exactly as there’s far less emphasis on characters this time around (instead a more zone-like approach) and fourth wall breaking non requiters don’t gel well with (semi) immersive adventure games.
Multiplayer Zelda titles are far more arcade like in their presentation and design. So naturally they feature a lot less dialogue then the average title in the series. Yet somehow, unfunny and dated memes are allowed to litter what little script there is.
Since Crispysinger based in Scotland, we dodged a bullet here.
Localizations are extremely important to get right. Nintendo already has a cultural barrier to overcome to achieve mass appeal with western audiences. Not to mention they constantly re-release their older titles and they need to remain as timeless as possible. Having rotten memes clog up the game will simply put people off. When people are replaying a older title a decade from now, they wont know what the hell the doge meme is. They’ll think it’s a typo or that the interns cousin wrote the script for a day. It’s sloppy behavior for one of Nintendo’s front and center games this Christmas.
Earthbound had a one of a kind localization. The cultural differences challenged the translators to get extremely inventive and creative to make it work. And today it’s still hilarious and unique. I fear the same wont be said of Tri Force Heroes years from now.