292: The Making (and Unmaking) of a Nintendo Fanboy

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The Making (and Unmaking) of a Nintendo Fanboy

When you see fanboys, you may see surly misanthropes just looking for an argument, but Kyle Orland sees someone eager to relive the joy of their first exposure to videogames - and a bit of himself.

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The PS3 still sucks.

Just kidding, I love it as much as I love my Xbox. Good article, and a nice insight into fanboyism. I hadn't thought if it that way before; I'm generally much more like your group of friends. Definitely worth thinking about.

Actually I went through much of he same situation, although mine started with the SNES and moved to PlayStation. I was always jealous of the kids wih an N64 because they had Super Smash Brothers and Star Fox64.

You haven't received many comments, but I think your article was brilliant.

Breaking away from the company that introduced you to the wonders of videogames is one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

Kyle Orland:
The Making (and Unmaking) of a Nintendo Fanboy

When you see fanboys, you may see surly misanthropes just looking for an argument, but Kyle Orland sees someone eager to relive the joy of their first exposure to videogames - and a bit of himself.

Read Full Article

There are certain Nintendo IPs that have their hooks lodged deeply into my skin, and they can always tug me back like a helplessly obedient marionette. I'm looking at you, Link. As long as Nintendo consoles are the cheaper option, I see no reason not to have one... but if that changes? I just don't know.

We do still have to hand it to Nintendo--they're not afraid to innovate. They're willing to jump out with an unproven technology and do stuff. The other companies will, in very short order, copy (and usually improve) that technology... but I think it's okay to admire that pioneering spirit. But that's never been Nintendo's weak spot. The problem they have is they won't share.

They've become a slave to their own branding. Every game has to have "Nintendo" stamped all over it, so a lot of viable IPs are forced to look elsewhere. It's like those ridiculous rap, hip-hop, and R&B artists that feel that need to say their own names in every song. Yeah, we know, jackass. Your name's on the album cover. (Seriously, do they do this stuff in live shows, too?)

The Wii's game library still reads like a document intended to "show us what the Wii could do." That time has passed. It's time to start doing it. And that means letting developers in on the secrets to effective Wii games, and allowing them to make those games free of excessive branding. And really, that time has passed, too. Maybe in the next generation...

This article brings a tear to my eyes and warms my cold, steely heart. Thank you.

Nice article, a really good read.

Though most fanboys usually are just assholes trying to push their opinions onto people.

I first played the sega (though i was too young to really remember)
my first real console was the N64.
I had no problems saying the game cube and wii sucked, though.

Dastardly:

They've become a slave to their own branding. Every game has to have "Nintendo" stamped all over it, so a lot of viable IPs are forced to look elsewhere. It's like those ridiculous rap, hip-hop, and R&B artists that feel that need to say their own names in every song. Yeah, we know, jackass. Your name's on the album cover. (Seriously, do they do this stuff in live shows, too?)

The Wii's game library still reads like a document intended to "show us what the Wii could do." That time has passed. It's time to start doing it. And that means letting developers in on the secrets to effective Wii games, and allowing them to make those games free of excessive branding. And really, that time has passed, too. Maybe in the next generation...

This is true. While there's pleanty of good-to-great third parrty games on the console, most of them either use the basic "swing to attack", "point to aim", or no motion controls at all. While you can't blame Nintendo for a bad game they didn't make, it would be nice if they shared some tips with anyone developing a Wii game.

This pretty much hits it perfectly. A lot of us grew up in those times. It's hard to resist the pull.

You touched briefly on a subject that I think deserves more attention as an instigator of fanboyishness among the grew-up-in-the-80s sect: Nintendo Power. I think back then a lot of us had that as our only video game magazine, our only exposure to the greater video-game world. And it was squarely targetted at those of us who were too young to understand that it was pure, shameless propaganda. Sure, it had tips and strategies for the games we were playing, but it was Nintendo's house organ, and they pushed games they wanted to push by giving them heavy coverage (*gives Battletoads the evil, evil eye*). Nintendo Power was in-house propaganda on the grandest scale. And it did its job brilliantly on those of us who barely even considered Sega as a competitor. (I actually knew someone with a Master System, a console that I immediately discounted when I discovered the system design was so bizarre that they put the pause button on the console.)

I still refer back to my old Nintendo Powers sometimes, because it's more fun than just looking up GameFAQs. But now I know well enough to look past the shameless pushing, and instead just laugh at how out-of-date the late-80s, early-90s vibe looks today.

I didn't even hear about the Sega Master System until well into the 16-bit era, let alone know anyone who owned one.

The N64 was also the end of my love affair with Nintendo consoles, I took its lack of turn-based RPGs as a personal betrayal. I didn't give Nintendo another dime until I bought a DS last year.

i'm a Nintendo fan-boy on a nearly similar (and a bit eerie) life story. I'v played the NES as a young boy playing it on Christmas and Thanksgiving when my cousin had one, but my best memory of it was saving up allowances and birthday money so i could buy a SNES, I was the happiest kid on earth, waiting in line holding the box, as best I could with my short arms. That memory is why I'll always be a Nintendo fan-boy, even though the GameCube broke my heart.

I loved my old Sega Genesis. Earthworm Jim, Sonic, Comixzone. So many great games that I can't help but think fondly of. Too bad Sega dropped the ball afterward. They never took full advantage of the 32X (which was actually a 64 bit system), the Saturn never really got good support, and the Dreamcast might have been a glimpse of genius, but they were already too little too late.

These days, I look at Sony to give me the bang for my buck. Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Uncharted, plenty of good RPGs, and the one system that has free online play that works, as well as Sony's willingness to take some chances with games adds up to the better experience in my book.

Sorry Microsoft fans, but the XBox didn't impress me. I only bought a few games for it and the ones I had weren't all that good (and that includes Fable). Except for KOTOR. That was good! And then there was the RROD...

So, I think I can understand, and relate, to this article from both points of few. Both the fanboy desperately hanging on to the once good experience and the person looking at what the system does and what I want it to do.

NaramSuen:
I didn't even hear about the Sega Master System until well into the 16-bit era, let alone know anyone who owned one.

The N64 was also the end of my love affair with Nintendo consoles, I took its lack of turn-based RPGs as a personal betrayal. I didn't give Nintendo another dime until I bought a DS last year.

I think the only Nintendo systems I ever had were the Nintendo, the original brick Gameboy (which I guarantee will still work even though i haven't touched it in God knows how long), and the DS.

I think the problem for Nintendo, in my mind, is that they are too kid friendly. I'm sorry, but the Wii has so few games aimed at adults that convincing anyone to buy them over say God of War or Halo is kind of a pointless effort. And then there's the less than quality third party games on the system. The only reason to buy a Wii is for the first party games. Also, as Yahtzee says, Nintendo has basically made the same games for some 20 years. They might add a few gameplay tweaks or new powers, and might be great fun, but they aren't original.

This is why I think that Nintendo needs to create a new IP. They need to put their best in house developers on it and make it a M rated experience. I think that would go a long way to dismantling the image of Nintendo as a kid's system both in the minds of gamers and developers. And taking Nintendo out of it's comfort zone might be a good thing. We might even get a new and original take on whatever kind of game they make.

Before anyone flames me, if you have a Nintendo system look in your game library at what you have and actually enjoy playing. I'd be willing to bet close to half of your games, or more, are Nintendo first party games.

I can relate to this a lot, though for me it was all a generation after.

N64 was my first (real) console. I had a NES well into the era of the super NES and genesis, simply by virtue of having no money, and 20 bucks for the NES and about 8 games was the extent of my gaming budget until the N64 came along. Even then, I had to save up for months, and buy everything second hand. But Nintendo sealed it for me, because every game I got was a winner: Goldeneye, Mario 64, lylat wars, mario kart, Diddy kong racing, and even the obscure blast corps provided more than enough for me for months to come. And then when I finally found Ocarina of time for cheap, it was minted. I was an utter fanboy.

And, in striking parallel, I had the same experience next generation, feeling more and more like I missed out getting a gamecube over the ps2. Though my brother got that as well anyway, so it all came up aces! :D

Now the Wii is collecting dust, Zelda and the mario galaxy games long finished, with nothing on the horizon. I'm only keeping it for skyward sword, which I'm sure will my be favourite game since, well, the last one.

Nintendo frustrate the hell out of me; brilliant first party games (though even those are becoming rarer), but dismal third party, which has been true ever since the N64. Back then it didn't matter, nintendo and rare put out enough replayable brilliant games for me to contend with, and I couldn't afford more anyway. Now, it's just barren.

Great article! I guess I'm a bit younger, and for me N64 came out when I was in grade 5 or 6. But damn did I want one! Playstation wasn't even on the radar for me or any of my friends. However by the time GameCube came out I should have known better and gone with PS2. But no, I got the NGC. And then, why oh why (read: Oh, yeah, price) I picked up a Wii. I now have a PS3 tho and a sweet gaming PC... the Wii? I lent it to a friend in a different city and couldn't care less.

Yeah, Nintendo has failed us all I think.

It must make you feel better that Sega died a death worse than Nintendo? Nothing remains forever, especially true in the computer games world.

NaramSuen:
I didn't even hear about the Sega Master System until well into the 16-bit era, let alone know anyone who owned one.

I did! It was great fun, had a game preloaded into the console (Alex Kidd) and lasted me well into Mega Drive years. I wanted a SNES and later an N64, and eventually got them more out of nostalgia. People used to come to my house to play Sega, and I went round theirs to play Nintendo

The Wii has made me a little bit of a hater on Nintendo. I just can't abide it for full blown games rather than brief party experiences.

But the Cube was so inexepensive and had so many great games, I can't call the console a bad, hate inducing choice. It's just the game choices on the technically inferiour PS2 were so much better. So, if you could only get one gen 6 console, and you got a cube, I could understand the disappointment, but I think most rabid gamers probably came to own at least all 3 major gen 6 consoles as they were so cheap by 2004.

I do offer prayers daily for the continued good health of the PS3, which is trailing sales wise this gen to the Wii... hmmm, mebbe another reason I'm hating on Wii.

8-Bit Grin:
You haven't received many comments, but I think your article was brilliant.

Breaking away from the company that introduced you to the wonders of videogames is one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

It's a lot easier when the company stops making hardware, see Atari.

I believe that deep down, everybody's still a Nintendo fanboy/fangirl. I think that in every generation, everybody's always making excuses for Nintendo. Sometimes Nintendo delivers, sometimes they don't. And to this day, I'm adamant that Gamecube was the most awesomest console ever made because it had Super Smash Brothers Melee. Everybody else is wrong!

What? The N64 was awesome, Nintendo only started going downhill with the Gamecube (and then crashed and burned with the Wii).

Nice article, still don't expect me to stop looking down upon said "fan-boys", anyone that holds allegiance to a BRAND, for whatever reason, needs to simply mature and realize that companies don't see you as a beautiful little child willing to experience the next adventure... you're a walking fat wallet that they want to milk, ALL.OF.THEM. Accept this and move on, is my recommendation.

I understand the nostalgia, the necessity to relive that "first encounter", but it's little more then a childhood fašade, like the day you discovered Santa Claus wasn't real and never had been and that your parents were willing to lie to you because "it made you happy".

I was a Nintendo kid. I have fond memories of a limited edition gold Zelda cartridge I burned endless hours on whenever I could get my hands on it... And I've played on every single Nintendo console ever made with the exception of the Virtual Boy (because nobody would ever want to inflict that on themselves)

Nowadays, though, I only use my Wii for playing Brawl, and my DS for Pokemon. It's been said too many times that Nintendo lacks third-party support and I agree with that sentiment - maybe if there were more people making playable games for the Wii I'd actually use it.

vxicepickxv:

8-Bit Grin:
You haven't received many comments, but I think your article was brilliant.

Breaking away from the company that introduced you to the wonders of videogames is one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

It's a lot easier when the company stops making hardware, see Atari.

or Sega. I never got into the whole Nintendo scene, being one of the few master system owners, then subsequent Genesis / Sega CD / 32X / Saturn. My real horror came when I had to choose between Sony / MS.

It was difficult though, having a son that was also a gamer who demanded the N64 and started the family down the N path anyway (gamecube, GB, GBA, DS, wii). He is also the reason we have a 360 rather than a PS3, despite the PS1/PS2 that are still floating around the house somewhere.

I had two "friends" who fit I thought about when reading the part about riding your bike to a home that had a NES. They were kids I knew from summer camp, and I made the mistake of inviting them over once. They found out we had a NES and for an hour and a half, they sat in my brother's room and didn't say two words to me or my brother. Every time they came over, it was straight to the NES. I remember walking around the side of my house once and seeing them coming around the corner on their bikes. I ducked for cover, made sure the doors were locked, and didn't let them in. After ringing the doorbell ten times, they finally gave up. It hurt my feelings that they didn't want to play with me, but just wanted the system.

You make no mention of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I remember hearing friends at school talk about that and wishing that I had an N64 instead of a PlayStation. Did you not like that game?

I'm afraid I am one of those "rich" people who owns every current console. One of my co-workers was saying how, since I had a PS3, I was missing out on the best multiplayer for Black Ops and how the 360 is simply a better system. I laid out the positives for the PS3, but he wouldn't listen. I simply smiled and said, "Okay, if that's what you want to think." Then, as I was walking away, I turned around and said, "Oh, I have a 360 also. I own them both." That shut him up pretty quick. Fun times there.

Sorry for rambling.

Excellent article... you must be early/mid 30s.

I can say my console history has been an odd one. I grew up a PC gamer, and even then, behind on the times. 5 1/4" floppies in the ninties? damn, old stuff.

Anyways, my first Console was an NES, which went and bricked about 1998. Then, I stuck with PC up until 2002 or so, when I got a Sega Genesis for free. That Sega still works, I may add. can't remember when, but my friend sold me his N64 when he upgraded to PS2, which was pretty cool as well. About the only time I really caught up with the console's was recently, about 2006, when I started working, and therefore bought a PS2. A few short, but sweet, years later, I went PS3.

I could be called a sony fanboy, if you really wanted to, but I've played on all three consoles, and have found that I honestly just don't like the Xbox, more for it's game lineup than anything. Granted, it has several good games (gears of war come to mind), but not enough that make me willing to shell out money to go and get one. I'm also not a multiplayer fan, so that big reason for getting an Xbox doesn't apply to me either.

The PS1 was better for single-player games, but the N64 was definitely better for multiplayer ones. Just look at the consoles themselves: the N64 had four controller ports, while the PS1 only had two.

You know, come to think of it, Nintendo's had a late-bloomer problem the past few entries. I didn't realize the N64 had the issue, myself receiving the system about a quarter into its life cycle, for my birthday. The Gamecube and the DS both had a problem of very little delivery early on, only to gain great selections a little later in their stages. And apart from a few good releases early on, I think we're all pretty aware that only recently has Nintendo started putting high-quality titles on the Wii.

But, I remember getting the N64, along with Mario Kart, and two extra controllers. My dad, my sisters, my friends, we could all play. I had occasionally seen Sony's better picture quality, and the guy who would buy our house commented once on the graphic state of my N64, saying "Wow, that doesn't look too good, why don't you play a Playstation game, where the graphics are better?", but my N64 was all I had at the time, and, to me, it still looked fantastic.

Besides, a little later I had 4 controllers, and that meant I could get three friends together and we could play Mario Kart, Tetris, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Diddy Kong Racing, and even Donkey Kong 64's odd, odd little multiplayer. On the Playstation, at the time I only knew of single and two player games, so the N64 won that round, in my eyes.

Nice article, I had a similar journey. I was obsessed with Nintendo but had to face reality when nearly everything I wanted to play was coming out on the Playstation not my beloved N64.

Nintendo-heads scare me. Just plain, flat out, scare me.

Though I enjoyed my time with the SNES and games like Shadowrun, Secret of Mana and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, I have never understood what makes these die-hard people go absolutely NUTS for Mario and Link and Donkey Kong to the point of crying at a news conference announcing that the newest Zelda game is in the works.

That, and they just creep me out.

I lucked out when I was about 7 and my mom married a guy with a gamer son the same age as me. Well, actually he's two months younger than me, but you get my drift. So with every system match-up, he'd get one and I'd get the other. He got his NES, I got my Master System. He got his Super Nintendo, I got my Genesis. He got his Neo Geo, I got my 3DO. Even now, twenty-five years later, he's more 360 where-as I'm more PlayStation 3, though these days we have to buy both systems for ourselves. But the kicker was we both played both, so life was grand. I had my Wizardry games on his NES just as he had his Streets of Rage games on my Master System. And again, we both played both. Life was indeed grand.

It's funny what your perceptions can do.

I looked at this article and the first thing that popped into my head was 'wow. American Snes consoles are ugly.'. Pointless, but accurate I guess, in a relative sense. (The European and japanese versions are mostly rounded edges, the US version is... All sharp corners.)

Anyway...

Yeah, things like this happen, and often it's what happens if you can't afford more than one choice. (or aren't allowed to have more than one).

Some personal experiences are somewhat ironic though; All my memories of early Playstation games weren't positive at all.

They had fun concepts, but in my opinion, horrible graphics (lots of pixelation, to be precise; No real texture filtering), I hated the controller, and by extension, most of the games felt like they were difficult to control, and I had a hard time dealing with waiting 5 minutes for things to load. (something I got used to later on because it started to happen on PC's as well.)

On the plus side, it did seem to have more elaborate content in games, voice acting, better music... All stuff that can presumably be traced back to the CD capacity compared with tiny cartridges.

I'd hazard a guess that it's a large factor in why anyone considers playstation games to be better looking too. There's simply more scope for highly diverse and detailed environments which would be difficult to cram onto a cartridge.

Cartridges have their advantages, but they have a tiny capacity, and they're very expensive.

I recall hearing that the cartridge for an SNES game cost about $26 dollars to make, while a CD cost's about 10 cents...

You can see why they went out of favour.

Thankfully, modern console wars aren't as annoying as the ones back then. I've only ever owned Nintendo systems, but that's always been a financial thing; Even back in the SNES days I would probably have gotten more than one console if I actually had the money. (Though ironically, I doubt I would have gotten a playstation when it was launched. That console really just does not sit well with me. It only became a temptation later on when it had a huge number of games, and the dualshock controller had been created.)

Great article. I can relate to being the kid with the SNES and playing Mortal Kombat. Punching a dude only to see sweat come flying from his mouth was sort of a let down, until I played the Genesis version and tried to use that kooky A-B-C button configuration. After the SNES, I switched sides and got a Playstation, and I've stuck with them. However, I have since then purchased an Xbox 360 and a Wii, because each console has such great titles, it's hard not to have your cake and eat it, too.

That was a great article. That sounded a lot like my time growing up as a late 80's baby with a super Nintendo controller in my hands, not buying a non-Nintendo console until the "white playstation 1" thing.

That's more or less the exact same path I took. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Fester's Quest and Zelda II may not be considered classics, but as my introduction to a two-decades old hobby they were to me. As time progressed through the 16 and 32bit eras, it's amazing how much I fell for the propaganda of the console specific mags, conveniently ignoring the more prolific and better titles offered by the "GreyStation" whilst telling myself loading times mattered.

Oddly enough, once Goldeneye was released, a lot of my GreyStation owning friends switched over to the N64, though I think we were more the exception rather than the rule.

I continues my staunch refusal to accept facts into the Gamecube era, though with Super Mario Sunshine, Tony Hawk's 3 + 4, Wind Waker, Monkey Ball, Metroid Prime, Timesplitters 2 and Eternal Darkness to keep me going, times weren't quite as lean as some of the darker N64 days. Chameleon Twist and Top Gear Rally are forgotten for a reason.

I got a DS, but the Wii was a step too far for my loyalty. I'd still like one for Super Mario Galaxy, DKC Returns, Zelda and a few others, but made the executive decision to move to Sony.

Even though I don't play their games as much now, I still take some delight at the manner in which Nintendo, who for almost a decade saw their market share plummet, their decisions ridiculed, managed to outsmart the others and dominate gaming (at least from a profits point of view) once again. I'll always want them to "win" so to speak, so I guess I'm still a fanboy at heart.

I'm not a fanboy, I owned consoles from every manufacturer, NES, Genesis, PS1, PS2, Wii. But I will defend Wii against the brown shooter, sports franchise, halo bros who deride it as a kiddy system.

My only regret is genesis over snes. 3 buttons just weren't enough for the evolving gameplay I wanted.

What I like about Nintendo is that the number one overriding factor is fun. The cartridge vs cd decision was made in part because they decided that waiting for load times weren't fun.

Battle Arena Toshinden sold me more than anything else on the potential of ps1. However I extensively borrowed a friend's n64 to play the iconic goldeneye, mario 64, perfect dark, ocarina of time. There were a lot of hidden gems of that gen such as Jet Force Gemini and other non-goldeneye/pd RARE games.

For PS2 vs gamecube the backwards compatibility (and dvd play) is what sold me. The

And I defend Nintendo in this gen because they still aim for the most fun. And as an adult with family responsibilities the amount of fun/time invested in a Wii beats anything the competition has to offer hands down.

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