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.
Tune in to watch a rusty Pikmin 3 player inadvertently sabotage his crew to the point where they have no food left and almost all of their Pikmin are dead. I will be better next time.
Stick around for the great conversation between everyone that joined the stream though!
And yes, I totally talked about Taylor Swift again and nobody can stop me!
Under Pikmin 3‘s cuddly veneer is a game that is unapologetically hardcore. Standing between your crew and a return trip home is a few key parts to rebuild your ship, the treacherous inhabitants of PNF-404, and the inescapable hand of father time. At first, my poor play and the fear of the consequences that came with that poor play nearly drove me to dropping the game completely. However, after coming to grips with managing my troops and the limited time allotted per day, the stress of survival took a back seat to the joy of exploring this beautiful world with my cute little Pikmin along for the ride.
Recently, I started playing Pikmin 3. Having never played any of the games in the series before, it caught me off guard in a number of ways. For instance, I didn’t expect the little critters to melt my heart with their sheer cuteness. I also found that watching those same adorable creatures die in assorted ways was rather traumatic. Most surprising to me was how hardcore its gameplay mechanics were. Dig past its cuddly exterior and this is a game that can mercilessly rip out your still-beating heart from your chest.