Topic: What Nintendo games are considered to have well written Stories?

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I've been thinking about this and I'm just wondering, what games has Nintendo made where they really focus on story?

The games that I can think of with great story are.

1. Thousand-Year Door
2. Phantom Hourglass
3. Superstar Saga
4. Bowser's Inside Story
5. Fusion
6. Zero Mission
7. Super Metroid
8. Earthbound

Beyond that makes me wonder. Does Nintendo ever focus much on story more than gameplay? I understand that if Nintendo doesn't want to do too much of story to weaken the gameplay, they rather just do gameplay.

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...Well Sticker Star and Color Splash had their stories removed completely...soooooo...maybe they're tired of writing.

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Monolith Soft's two Xenoblade games maybe? I mean there are people that would disagree of course but I think that you can't overlook them. Though story isn't really 'the thing' about Nintendo games and why people like them, probably more than 90% of their most revered and successful games don't have a 'good' story, mainly because it was never in the developers' priorities. You're better off elsewhere if you want 'well written' stories, though in my honest opinion, the fact that David (Jason!) Cage's games are held in such high regard by many in this area showcases that peoples' standards for good stories are low, at least for videogames. Because David (Jason!) Cage can't write. At all. I think it's more than just Nintendo whose story writing capabilities have lowered recently, I can probably predict a good part of the plot of say Uncharted 4 for instance before I even play it, and that will go down as the best narrative driven game of the year in all likelihood.

Edited on by Shinion



Nintendo's core teams (like the former EAD, SPD and so on) definitely have a reputation for gameplay over narrative, but as a publisher, they've got such a huge portfolio that there are plenty of games with solid stories to choose from. Here are a few off the top of my head (and again, I consider "Nintendo games" games published by Nintendo).

The Mother series. To me, Itoi is kind of a like a sweeter, more nostalgic Japanese Kurt Vonnegut. The games that he's been involved with have some of the best dialogue and most well-handled thematic content of any I've played.

It's been a bit since I've played it, so I can't speak for how it's aged, but Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem really impressed my college-aged self with its narrative. Certainly a solid riff on Lovecraft. Also in the GameCube era, the Baiten Kaitos series offered some neat twists on traditional RPG plot threads.

In the Wii and DS era, their collaborations with Cing (Another Code and Hotel Dusk) were all really engaging pulp mysteries, and Xenoblade Chronicles had a fun JRPG tale with a lots of heady religion-oriented twists (it's all a little convoluted and preposterous, but I feel like that's to be expected with JRPGs). I also thought that the narrative setup of Pandora's Tower was really unique.

There hasn't been much great, Nintendo-published narrative on the Wii U — I enjoyed the detailed world-building and character webs in Xenoblade Chronicles X, but the game's core "story" is pretty thin. I thought what I played of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water had potential — I was surprised by its themes of suicide and body consciousness. Of course, their 3DS RPG library has a lot of story-oriented games (especially if we count publishing partnerships with Square and Level 5), but I'd also mention Kid Icarus: Uprising just for it's reallly fun, well-produced Saturday morning cartoon style.

Finally, though they're light on story content, I consider both Super Metroid and Metroid Prime near perfect examples of how to get your audience involved in your story using a visual, interactive format.

So, yeah, there's a couple.



@TheLastLugia:'re probably right....Maybe Nintendo really isn't into making great stories but rather focusing on gameplay and I'm fine with that so long as they don't do something like Other M where story is more than gameplay.

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NintyMan wrote:

I think Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door's and Super Paper Mario's stories are pretty elaborate, especially for Mario games. There may not be a Mario game with a large story like those again.

That's about it really!

Nintendo don't 'do' stories, for better or worse.

Mario saves the Princess, Link saves Zelda, Samus defeats Ridley or Mother Brain and flys away; it is all very simple and straight to the point. I play Nintendo games for the gameplay and journey, although it would be nice to see them try one day.

Eternal Darkness and Geist has two fairly good stories however, they were both developed by other developers - Nintendo did the publishing deeds for those two.



I'd say Kid Icarus: Uprising. Although the story itself is fairly clichéd, the presentation and characterisation are excellent, and the story is told in a way that really complements the gameplay.

Edited on by HunterLeon

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Fire Emblem Awakening & Fates were well written imo but I'm sure some people will disagree.



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Nia doesn't have feelings. I turned her off before I even began fighting. I wish I could turn her off co.pletely so she would shut up in all the menus

I get sick of her on and off. Why is she proud of herself when you lose? No, I am not battling for fun I'm battling to keep my 100% on Chandelure!!!



Pandora's Tower has a really fantastic story. Nintendo needs to work with Ganbarion again.

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For me personally, Fire Emblem 7, Path of Radiance as well as Link's Awakening and Majora's Mask.

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iKhan wrote:

Pandora's Tower has a really fantastic story. Nintendo needs to work with Ganbarion again.

I like the way you think.



Nintendo is weird in that they tend to not focus on stories, yet have a few of my favorite stories in all of video games.

As a lover of JRPGs it pains me to say this, but stuff like Majora's Mask and the Thousand Year Door is so much better than most JRPGs in terms of story and especially writing. It's so weird to say, yet it's true. And Mother 3 is still a masterpiece in this regard. And Link's Awakening still bizarrely has one of the best romances in gaming.

Xenoblade is obviously great. The better Metroid games. I'd have to play them again but I remember the first 2 Golden Sun games being good at this too. Probably the rest of the 3D Zeldas honestly (in terms of just the writing, every Zelda outside of like, the original 3 or a couple of spinoffs).

Kid Icarus: Uprising is literally one of the best and worst written Nintendo games but in terms of being a game equivalent of an action comedy anime, the story's actually done super well and fairly accurately.

I haven't played all the Nintendo stuff that had story. Wonderful 101 is objectively the best written Platinum so there's that (though that's not saying a ton).

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Xenoblade Chronicles has to be the best story in a Nintendo game. It's certainly the deepest and most epic.
It has some incredibly bad parts (most of the final third) but it also has some brilliant parts (most of the first two thirds).

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