Editor's Note: The Nintendo Issue

The Nintendo Issue

Love them or hate them, the industry is a better place because of Nintendo.

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Steve Butts:
Let's say you're one of the strangely expressive minority who have nothing better to do than look for opportunities to criticize Nintendo's games as immature. Assuming for a second that you're actually right, you'd still be wrong to discount Nintendo's considerable influence on the industry as a whole.

#1. Is this a professional game critic calling someone else (ahem, their paying customers, just as a possible example) strange for expressing criticism of a feature of the gaming landscape? I'm looking at your avatar, and I'm just wondering how many times a person can fold irony.

#2. Why does criticism of Nintendo's catalog on maturity grounds get instantly transported into discounting influence? Does this strawperson exist? What if your point is that their "kiddy" style has too much influence on the industry as a whole, just as an example of a reasonable counterpoint?

Just, you know, kinda HAD to ask those.

SaintWaldo:
#1. Is this a professional game critic calling someone else (ahem, their paying customers, just as a possible example) strange for expressing criticism of a feature of the gaming landscape? I'm looking at your avatar, and I'm just wondering how many times a person can fold irony.

#2. Why does criticism of Nintendo's catalog on maturity grounds get instantly transported into discounting influence? Does this strawperson exist? What if your point is that their "kiddy" style has too much influence on the industry as a whole, just as an example of a reasonable counterpoint?

Just, you know, kinda HAD to ask those.

Thanks for asking. I don't object to criticism in general. Unfortunately, the internet (and the smaller fraction of it dedicated to gaming) seems full of people who actively seek out and even distort facts to justify their own preconceptions. It's the difference between latching on to any anecdote or report that supports your claim, regardless of context, and engaging in an open-minded inquiry that uses facts to support the conclusion. I could have just as easily substituted any number of topics for that argument -- PC gaming is dead, anti-piracy measures are evil, the mass market is dumbing down games, etc.

As far as your second point, many of these uninformed positions tend toward extremes. (Those who say Nintendo can do no wrong have found just as great an error in the opposite direction.) I admit the tone of that argument suffers from the "some people say..." weakness, but the truth is some people actually say this sort of thing. If you've never been on an internet forum where someone started with "I personally don't like..." and ended with "It has no value to anyone," then I envy you.

I liked your article. I was a wee lad when I first ventured to my neighbors house to play his NES. Then later the SNES at another friends house. I have never owned a Nintendo system before, but I recently was able to borrow a friends Wii (that will always just sound wrong) and I enjoyed many hours of the two Mario Galaxy games and Muramasa. The Soul Calibur game was just abysmal tho...

I have no problems with rated E for everyone games, and never criticized them for not being Microsoft or Sony. But I must admit, the rumors that the new console will only be slightly more powerful than a 360 have me a bit puzzled. But then again, if anyone has proven they can do more with less, it's Nintendo.

Part of me still thinks the announce at E3 will be for a larger 3DS tho; p

Steve Butts:

Thanks for asking. I don't object to criticism in general. Unfortunately, the internet (and the smaller fraction of it dedicated to gaming) seems full of people who actively seek out and even distort facts to justify their own preconceptions. It's the difference between latching on to any anecdote or report that supports your claim, regardless of context, and engaging in an open-minded inquiry that uses facts to support the conclusion.

unfortunately there are those fanatics in this world that are so closed-minded about certain things they believe that there's no possibility that they could be wrong on their own ideals, and they wont ever stop until they make everyone agree with their naive way of thinking, regardless if they are justified or not. Negative biases against anything are what usually ruin everything, and as for "I personally don't like..." and ended with "It has no value to anyone," i think that just proves it. I dont know about anyone else but every forum i've ever been on about someone disliking a game has always had at leaste five people say "this game is terrible, worst game ever" and in some cases, all because they didn't like that you had to hit the joystick twice to roll. the best thing for the sake of all gamers is for people to accept that different people have different tastes and just because you think something was a waste of money doesn't mean everyone else will.

In the 80s, while all our schoolmates were reading Nintendo Power, my friend and I were reading Video Games & Computer Entertainment, which seemed to be the only industry journal at the time talking about Nintendo's tyrannical business practices.

While I thought the Super Mario games were fine, I never got into Zelda, Metroid, or Kid Icarus. Most of my favourites were the third-party titles, usually by Capcom or Konami. But we'll never know if they would have been just as great (or better) on the Sega Master System thanks to Nintendo's tyrannical monopoly on the industry ca. 1985-1992. It's been hard for me to like Nintendo ever since.

I can't ignore Nintendo's contributions to the industry, but I'll always wonder what would have happened if Sega had the dominant console in Japan and North America. Or if a healthy competition in most markets might have really shook up the industry.

Haven't played the newer Super Mario games, nor any other Nintendo games, so i don't really have any right to comment on it. I grew up playing Super Mario Bros. 2 and that Goose hunt or whatnot. I'm pretty amazed that such stuff actually made it to my country (at that time, my country was fresh out of the Soviet Union). Though, I'm pretty sure that it was just a cheap knock-off, not a real NES. But it did play the games, so that worked out pretty good.

Anyways, the next thingy i could play games on was a PC, so i kinda missed out on several cool consoles. Though, I'm not sure that it was even possible to get your hands on such stuff those days.

Also, the article made me think how wide-spread (in age) the videogame generation has become. And that's awesome.
And why no Mr. Pitts? I actually feel silly since i have a really bad name memory, i though that the editor-in-Chief had changed his signature... Silly, silly me.

Nintendo made me a gamer about 17 years ago with both their known and less known titles alike. For that i'm very gratefull, as you mentioned what would be the industry without the Game Boy and titles like Final Fantasy, Mario, Zelda e.g., what would I be without them, but I'm even more concerned where Nintendo is heading to at the same time.

I remember Nintendos games when i started and i think it already had a pretty wide range, easy games for a younger audience (as i was at that time), games which were able to make you bite your own ass for hours (which actually made me bite my ass some years later or still manage to when i'm getting nostalgic) and titles which tried new things, succeded and managed to become the sieries we still know, while others tried, succeded not that much and are drifting to oblivion by now. With Tetris they even had something like a phenomenon with a range over several generations... though it is not a Nintendo exclusive most connect those with each other and i know people who never played other video games but tried Tetris and even some still playing it on a regular basis. I admit this view may be romanticized.

I don't bother with those "rated e discussions", for me Kirby will always be an adorable game protagonist even if it's games are a bit easy, like they always were, but if i'm looking at Nintendos game catalog now it is obvious that something changed. The more or less "core" games diminished drastically, resulting in fewer titles which are struggling to compete with those from other consoles because of less content and/or performance, while more "casual" titles are flooding the branch. I don't want to call those casual titles a problem in general, bringing games to an even broader audience might be something really good. What bothers me is that espacially Nintendo relys on and throws out those titles, which can be much cheaper to make, at the same charge like all the others, while further cutting content from their core games. At this point i also want to mention the "retroish" titles like "Donky Kong Country Returns" which are fun for sure but for me unreasonable to charge as high as other core titles.
I think this is the actual problem damaging the game industry much more than those low priced titles like "Angry Birds" and pushing the actual "gamers" away from Nintendo.

And at last, if i'm looking at some specific things and titles of the Wii i'm personally disappointed as a gamer:
- Often imprecise controlls with the remote (unless Motion Plus is supported) and a use of the controller which is obviously designed to make the player look horribly stupid... which can be fun but is very uncomfortable most of the time
- Often even the "real" games aren't really challenging any more and have rather small content (few hours to play)
- Worst performance of the three consoles... something i can overlook
- Titles which promotion raised high expectation they just couldn't fullfill, like
- Red Steal as the buying reason turned out to be nothing but a bad joke, while Red Steal 2 fulfilled those expectations... but a bit to late and only because of another expansion wanted to be bought (Motion Plus).
-Mario Galaxy 2, which is nothing more than Mario Galaxy with Yochi... so you litteraly have to pay the full price of a game to get something like a mount in some levels.
- Monster Hunter Tri, starting with a somewhat ridiculous title, as some of the few titles using the WiFi-Connection, which is a good title by itself, but considering that the next in the series for the PSP features about three times the content with somewhat comperable graphics is even more ridiclous
-Cooking Mama... even the existence of this - thing - is a mystery to me

and unfortunately i could go on with this list for some time
i guess the Wii 2 or whatever it will be calle has to show if this actually is where Nintendo wants to go, after all it is a corporation with several changes in their history, but i'm hoping they'll reconsider their position towards "gamers" like me.

Nintendo paved the way for gaming. Without Nintendo, other games wouldn't exist. Even if it means that their new console is about 90% shovelware. Regardless, I'm still grateful that Nintendo exists.

Steve Butts:

SaintWaldo:
#1. Is this a professional game critic calling someone else (ahem, their paying customers, just as a possible example) strange for expressing criticism of a feature of the gaming landscape? I'm looking at your avatar, and I'm just wondering how many times a person can fold irony.

#2. Why does criticism of Nintendo's catalog on maturity grounds get instantly transported into discounting influence? Does this strawperson exist? What if your point is that their "kiddy" style has too much influence on the industry as a whole, just as an example of a reasonable counterpoint?

Just, you know, kinda HAD to ask those.

Thanks for asking. I don't object to criticism in general. Unfortunately, the internet (and the smaller fraction of it dedicated to gaming) seems full of people who actively seek out and even distort facts to justify their own preconceptions. It's the difference between latching on to any anecdote or report that supports your claim, regardless of context, and engaging in an open-minded inquiry that uses facts to support the conclusion. I could have just as easily substituted any number of topics for that argument -- PC gaming is dead, anti-piracy measures are evil, the mass market is dumbing down games, etc.

As far as your second point, many of these uninformed positions tend toward extremes. (Those who say Nintendo can do no wrong have found just as great an error in the opposite direction.) I admit the tone of that argument suffers from the "some people say..." weakness, but the truth is some people actually say this sort of thing. If you've never been on an internet forum where someone started with "I personally don't like..." and ended with "It has no value to anyone," then I envy you.

What, nothing about the Doctor Strange quip?

I get too much respect around here, I tells ya. Too much respect. (adjusts tie nervously)

Great issue, BTW. TY for the setup.

SaintWaldo:
What, nothing about the Doctor Strange quip?

I get too much respect around here, I tells ya. Too much respect. (adjusts tie nervously)

Great issue, BTW. TY for the setup.

By the Hoary Hosts of Hogarth, be glad I chose to ignore your irresponsible mockery of my mustachioed idol, Stephen Strange!

I wish more people could remember the charm of the old arcade. There were lots of video games before Super Mario Bros. and people seem to look back on that time with a sort of disdain. But I think too many people associate that era with the gaming crash and there really was a sort of amazing atmosphere about the old 70s-80s arcade that is sadly lost forever.

Nintendo did good things, I'm sure. Although I think their influence has been a tad overstated. Sega probably would have picked up the ball and ran with it had Nintendo not done so. Lately, Nintendo has really done little to advance gaming. They're a company obsessed with gimmicks, come-ons and recycled IPs.

I do love classic gaming though. And I think it deserves better than to be stuffed in a vault by companies who greedily guard their intellectual properties and by flash games that are less than flattering mimicry of such classics.

 

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