B-Tier Nintendo Games and Franchises That Deserve Another Chance

When one thinks of Nintendo, the mind tends to gravitate towards their A-list games. Titles that have either garnered a level of success and critical acclaim that puts them at the head of the pack. Mainline Super Mario games easily clear this bar. So do the mainline Zelda games. While it’s one of the newest franchises, the massive success of Splatoon would put it up on that pedestal as well. Where you and I draw the line may vary here and there, but I think we can generally agree on which Nintendo games are at the top and which ones aren’t on that same level.

It’s not necessarily because these games are worse. Maybe they just haven’t found their footing. In spite of being great since the start, it took Fire Emblem decades of time and like a dozen releases before finding a wider audience. Some franchises sell well enough to still get multiple sequels, such as WarioWare or BoxBoy. Others are meant to be niche products, such as Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball. Though Nintendo probably would like for all of their games to sell in the 10+ million range, I get the sense that they’re willing to make and publish B-tier games so long as they make enough of a profit to justify their creation.

In any case, not every game and franchise in Nintendo’s ecosystem is on the same stratosphere. But with a bit more love, maybe some of them could be. Here are a few of my picks for B-tier Nintendo games and franchises that deserve another shot.

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NBA 2K18 on Switch Impressions

I checked out of the NBA 2K experience a few years ago. Though I was madly in love with it at one point, the lack of meaningful upgrades from year-to-year caused it to fall out of my rotation. Ever since then, I’ve also heard that the game’s microtransactions have gotten so brazen that they drastically hurt the overall experience.

None of that mattered when I recently bought the Canadian edition of NBA 2K18 with Demar Derozan on the cover. Still devastated by my all-time favourite Raptor being traded away, I picked up the Switch version with his box art as a keepsake to that time of #wethenorth prosperity. Since I now own this game, the most curious version of it no less, I put this one through its paces to see what we’d find.

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Rock Band: 10 Years Later

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On this day in 2007, the original Rock Band was unleashed on the world. Having been anxiously awaiting for that day for quite some time, I rushed into EB Games to pick up my band set. The journey I would go on with that series is one that left an indelible imprint on my life. It’s also one that I struggle to see myself coming back to in a meaningful way.

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Jett Plays Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

I blow into the Wii U GamePad like an idiot in hopes that it would move that stupid bag. Nope.


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Using Console Sales to Define Success

Wii Won“I’m holdin’ all the cards and ****** wanna play chess now” – Drake, Pound Cake

In the annals of history, we as gamers have used console sales as a measure of success. Oftentimes, we use that as the primary factor in terms of who “won”. These home console winners include the Atari 2600, the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo, the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo Wii. Gamers always use sales as the primary measuring stick for why the NES or the PlayStation 2 won their respective generations.

Yet when gamers talk about the Wii/Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era, the fact that the Wii outsold its competitors by a wide margin no longer matters. All you have to do is scour through one of many online threads about the matter to find all sorts of creative ways that people will spin the situation in Sony and Microsoft’s favour. The ways in which people always move the goal posts in this argument sickens me.

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Ju-On The Grudge: Haunted House Simulator Impressions

Based on the hit Japanese horror movie that got an American remake, Ju-On The Grudge: Haunted House Simulator is an idea that I think is fundamentally sound on the surface. There’s a segment of casual players that want a scary experience, but don’t have the gamer acumen to take something on as hardcore as Resident Evil or Silent Hill. If put together properly and packaged at the right price, this concept could come to life in a way that most other games in the genre haven’t. After playing a few levels of Ju-On, it’s evident that this falls well short of the mark.

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Just Dance 4 Review

Have you grown tired of cutting a rug with Ubisoft yet? Based on how well the Just Dance series continues to sell, probably not. Just Dance 4 is the recent main-line entry to the series that’s mostly another one of those. However, for fans of the series, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Also, the Wii U version that I’m playing has a few console-exclusive perks that may be enough get you back on the dance floor once again.

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Skylanders Giants Review

Size matters, or at least that’s what Activision wants us to believe with Skylanders Giants, the follow-up to the smash-hit Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. Besides providing gamers with an all-new adventure, some new characters and new figures, it also introduces the concept of giant Skylanders, which are larger figurines that manifest into larger in-game characters. But does the age old ‘bigger is better’ adage apply here?

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In Third Person’s 5 Favourite Nintendo Wii Games

In just a few weeks, the Nintendo Wii era will officially be over. The system’s legacy in hindsight will be a weird one. Sure, it was the best-selling console of its generation, but it became #1 by catering to the once-untapped casual gamer. In the process, Nintendo alienated most of its core gaming community with a system and software lineup that just wasn’t up to snuff when compared to the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3.

With that said, the Nintendo Wii did build up a good catalogue of games that could hold their own against the best on any console. In no particular order, here’s In Third Person’s top 5 favourite Nintendo Wii games.

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Rayman Origins Review

For much of Rayman’s life, he’s suffered from an identity crisis. After his stunning debut outing, Super Mario 64 seemingly made 2D platformers obsolete. Ubisoft felt obligated to move Rayman into the third dimension, which led to a string of mediocre 3D platformers. Eventually, Rayman would find his name slapped on the Raving Rabbids mini-game collections, where he ultimately got out-shined by his insane rabbit compadres.

With seemingly nowhere else to go with the franchise, Ubisoft takes him back to his 2D platforming roots with Rayman Origins. Within minutes of playing this reboot, it’s clear that he never should have left.

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