Happy Monday, Avocado games players, and welcome to this Monday’s Weekly Video Games Thread!
Recently, I’ve been playing New Pokémon Snap. It and the original Pokémon Snap are famous for eschewing the satisfying battle system of the Pokémon “core series,” becoming a first person rail shooter photography game. It allows both players and creators to experience a world where the Pokémon (italics for emphasis on the creatures) of Pokémon (italics because it’s the franchise) get to act in different ways – as essentially natural, “living” creatures – than they could in the normal games.
Basically, the game had to switch genres to do something that was arguably needed, to create a perspective that the JRPGs couldn’t do. Though you could also view it through the prism of brand expansion, that Pokémon could now conquer this field of the gaming market. These two demands, the desire to do something new and the desire to become a more commercially powerful franchise, is a big part of why so many big games franchises dip their toes into multiple genres. Look at Mario up there! He’s explored so many different genres, to the point where there are many Mario fans whose appreciation for the character comes primarily, at times even exclusively, through one of his spinoffs. They make him a bigger brand, and they let him and his various developers try totally new things – things that can be sold by a big popular mascot.
Because of that, the prompt here is twofold: I’d love to know some of your favorite genre switches for a game series, and I’d love to know a genre you’d like to see a series explore for the first time.
Of course, feel free to ignore this prompt entirely. And whether you’re thinking about it or not, what have you been playing recently?