Why Many Modern Nintendo Games Begin with Extensive Dialogue: An Analysis

I enjoy playing Nintendo games for the engaging gameplay experiences they offer, such as solving dungeons in Zelda, performing acrobatic feats in Mario, and discovering new power-ups in Metroid. However, I have observed that many Nintendo games developed in the past two decades tend to present a barrier between starting the game and delving into the actual gameplay. Specifically, there is often an extensive amount of text-based dialogue that needs to be navigated before players can begin experiencing the core gameplay. As I typically play my Switch while my wife uses the TV, I tend to gravitate towards games that prioritize gameplay over elaborate storytelling.

Animal Crossing has been a perfect fit for this preference due to its minimal use of text outside of menus and item names. In contrast, certain Nintendo games, such as Super Mario Sunshine, introduce lengthy cutscenes and tutorials before players can fully engage with the gameplay. This disproportionate focus on narrative setup at the beginning of games is not in line with the overall emphasis on gameplay in many Nintendo titles. During a recent playthrough of Princess Peach: Showtime!, I encountered a similar issue of having to wade through an excessive amount of text before diving into the action.

This problem has become more pronounced in modern Nintendo games, as they lack the voice acting and immersive storytelling found in titles like The Last of Us Part 2. Despite this, Nintendo’s distinct focus on fun gameplay and innovative ideas has set the company apart, as evidenced by their recent Nintendo Direct presentation showcasing a lineup of high-profile games. While Nintendo’s unconventional approach to game development is often commendable, the unnecessary emphasis on irrelevant story information at the beginning of their games can be frustrating for players. This aspect stands out as a distinctive quirk that, while not detracting from the overall enjoyment of their games, does present a notable inconvenience.

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