You read that correctly.
Star Fox Zero, the upcoming title for Nintendo’s Wii U, will include what’s called an ‘invincible mode’ for inexperienced players that want to play and win, but don’t want to actually have any of the stakes that make a game a game. Director Shigeru Miyamoto had this to say in a recent interview with Time.
We have additional ones for people who like the game but find it too hard to get past certain levels. So for instance there’ll be a way for them to get an invincible Arwing, so that they can fly through and see the levels. But at the same time, we’re also preparing modes for Star Fox fans looking for an even harder challenge, such as a ship that does more damage, but which also takes more damage.
This may sound surprising to some, but it’s par the course for some of Nintendo’s recent releases. Super Mario 3D World for Wii U also featured an invincible ‘golden tanooki suit‘ that would appear for players to equip if they died on a level several times in a row.
This is all subjective of course, but I couldn’t be more adamantly opposed to this kind of feature in games. Maybe it’s because it fundamentally contradicts what a game is supposed to be. Or perhaps I’m just bitter that the games of my own youth didn’t have this sort of thing built in. Of course, I’m also aware of the crowd that exists to mock people that do what I’m doing right now.
I don’t want to get on too big of a soapbox and talk about how easy kids have it these days or sound like the old man who’s upset that every team in his son’s little league gets a participation trophy. Still, at some point, you kind of have to wonder what the point is if these kinds of games just hand success to the player. It isn’t as though Star Fox Zero is going to blow you away with its character building and storytelling. Like almost everything Nintendo develops and publishes, it will likely be gameplay centric. So if there’s no need for the player to master the gameplay, what is there?
It’s frustrating, to be honest. I’m one of those people who’s objective enough not to swallow everything Nintendo gives me, but will defend them for their amazing reputation from the segment of people in the industry that wants everything Nintendo touches to turn up in flames. It’s hard to defend Nintendo from being the ‘kiddy company’ that is out of touch with the modern audience when things like this continue to get built into their titles. Help me help you, Nintendo.