Bad Miyamotor Skills
Shigeru Miyamoto. The man is a God. Why? Nobody is quite sure.
Of course, the man did pioneer the side-scroller genre and create one or two of gaming's best known characters, but who hasn't done that, right? I bet dollars to dogbiscuits that nobody remembers the name of the guy who created Pong. And where is all the praise for the Russian guy who made up Tetris? The first truly deep puzzle game ever? I bet you didn't even know it was a Russian guy. Some people actually think Nintendo created Tetris. Miyamoto, to be exact.
This is exactly what ticks me off. The meritless credit this man recieves for work he doesn't do. Sure, he deserves praise. But so do countless others and not nearly to this extant. Some websites idolize him spelling "he" with a capital H when speaking of him and give every game he makes near-perfect scores without logical backing. Lets not talk about them, though. Lets talk about the games that Miyamoto actually has made. His most recent benchmark. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (note: he was not as heavily involved with Majora's Mask and although it was better than OoT, it got lower scores). With OoT, Miyamoto pioneered everything, right? He re-invented a genre and successfully updated it for a new generation. This earned the game a 10/10 rating and, of course, elevates Miyamoto above normal men with normal job titles and makes him a "Game Creator" instead of developer, designer or what have you. But guess what. There were two-hundred people working on Ocarina of Time. TWO HUNDRED. Where are all the other names? Why don't they get a pedistal and a special candy? Because apparently Miyamoto is better than them. Guess how many people, in turn, worked on Banjo-Tooie, a game that got 9.4? Thirteen. Thirteen people. Who, on average did more work here?
N64.com : You said before that Super Mario 64 used 60% of N64’s potential, how much does a new game like Star Fox 64 use?
Mr. Miyamoto: Between 70% and 80%.
N64.com : When will we see one employ 100% of its power?
Mr. Miyamoto: Probably when Nintendo’s next hardware system turns up [smiles].
-Miyamoto predicts tha launch of Conker's Bad Fur Day
So as you can see, idolizing Miyamoto is not exactly a fair thing to do. Yet, it's done quite a lot in "the biz". In fact, Miyamoto is now used as an unofficial "barometer" to judge the rest of Nintendo by. Here's an example from our dear friends at IGNCube back from April 2K:
"When we asked Miyamoto-san to tell us the percentage of projects he has planned for Game Boy Advance versus Gamecube, he thought about it for a moment, and then admitted that 70% of his teams are working on next-generation Gamecube software. The remaining 30% of internal teams, meanwhile, are split up between Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64. And we think this alone says a whole heck of a lot about the company's real focus."
See that? The man has whole teams. Sure- Miyamoto created Donkey Kong and we wouldn't all be here at this site if it wasn't for him, but Bell invented the phone and people don't bring him up with the release of every new Nokia. But Bell invented the phone and died a happy man. He didn't try like hell to make sure nobody used a phone without thinking of him. It can be argued that the same can not be said about Shigeru Miyamoto.
As we all know Rare ltd. has tried and clearly succeeded in upstaging Miyamoto at every turn, yet the public is in denial. Apparently it is only Miyamoto and his big, round Mario license that can innovate. This becomes apparent when we look at the score "Blast Corps"- a completely original game and genre- recieved, 9.0 and compare it with the 9.2 pocketed by "NBA Courtside 2: Featuring Kobe Bryant". How many identical basketball games have we seen over the years? The number kajillion bajillion comes to mind. Blast Corps was a lot more entertaining. But Miyamoto wasn't behind it so...oh well.
Sometime I have to realize that I am merely repeating what I did ten years ago.
So has Rare failed? No. Some think that Rare has Miyamoto a bit flustered. When it became apparent that his character- Donkey Kong- was doing a lot better in Twycross than he had back hope in the land of the rising sun, Nintendo quickly bought up 20% of Rare so that any success was instantly associated with them. This also made Rare a Nintendo-only developer. Something of a safety net. But this still wasn't enough.
Now we come to today and the contraversy surrounding "Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet". This game was originally scheduled for release on the N64, where it would have blown Zelda out of the water and once again levered Rare head-and-shoulders above Miyamoto. So what did he do? Used his leverage as "demi-God" and attached his own characters to the game, as well as delaying it for Nintendo's next console. What will people think of when they hear the title "Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet"? Not Rare. They'll think of Star Fox and, as a result, Miyamoto. Without doing any real work, he sits back and collects.
Of course, the internet is rumor central when it comes to anything and DP is no exception. Online scans of the SNES Star Fox manual apparnetly reveal a mention of the planet Fortuna being also labeled "Dinosaur Planet". Did Rare draw its inspiration from Nintendo? Unlikely. This, if true, may have been one of the things that set Miyamoto after Rare's gem. It would make no sense for Nintendo to have been planning this from the beginning, because on the N64 Fortuna is a desolate ice-world. Not a Dinosaur in sight.
But, then again, Miyamoto has never been the king of continuity. Just to keep sane Zelda fans have had to split their characters into three generations- something Nintendo has both accepted and denied. The Mario games always center around the same exact plot- Peach's kidnapping by Bowser. And it happens over and over with no regard for previous games. At least Rare know the merits of continuity which include having characters that matter to the player and make them interested in whats actually going on on-screen.
I'm not telling you that games that have Shigeru Miyamoto involved are evil. They're usually great. It's just that sometimes he's barely involved, if involved at all. And I don't think that the DKU needs his name attached to it. Nor does it need to be measured on the Miyamoto Meter. It's sexy enough on its own
Send things to Andrey.