You know what the worst part of Nintendo's continued lack of hardcore focus is? For me, it's seeing the games you grew up with getting trodden on.
Take The Legend of Zelda series for example. I was happy with the direction they took up until Twilight Princess.... now i feel that Zelda has become a gimmicky horse, trotted out at every opportunity when Nintendo are trying to 'prove' that they still care about the hardcore gaming crowd. I played Phantom Hourglass but i didn't like it. I felt the game was heartless with no joy or irreverence that was present in the more cartoony entries in the series but it also lacked the grandeur of the more serious entries as well. The difficulty was also severely removed and i hated the touchscreen game mechanic which i had a really hard time being able to utilize effectively.... plus i hated travelling around in the boat.
I'll ignore Link's Crossbow Training as, well, I consider that to be a Zelda game in the same vein as the CDi games. Moving on to today's announcement The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, the sinking feeling that i had with Phatom Hourglass has returned. They've essentially kept the same game engine and mechanics, replacing the 'freedom' of the boat travel with trains..... on a track - as if the metaphor really needed to be underlined so acutely.
Where is the Zelda i like? Where is the grand adventure, the great story or the decent action? It's almost on par with the move from Star Wars eps 1-3 from 4-6 or Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull from the original three.... They take an established franchise and essentially throw out what it was that made it so great.
Initially when Aonuma took over from Miyamoto in the main development of the Zelda series i was quite excited as he stated he wanted to bring the stories together - to make sense of the timeline thus set out and integrate new stories into that..... well, i'm just not seeing this at all. Instead we're getting The Legend of Zelda: Wild, Wild, West.
At least i still have my beloved Prince of Persia... though, the DLC for that was so linear i fear that the open world might be removed in the second game which would be a travesty and reduce the game to exactly what its detractors said it was: a lengthy Quick Time Event (QTE).