I sat down to write this editor’s note about Nintendo and mentally ran through a variety of ways to approach the topic – the importance of Nintendo to games, the upcoming console release, some of the huge titles released by Nintendo over the years – but I couldn’t quite do it. Part of this is because our writers this week have done an amazing job of covering most of these areas. The other part is because I cannot talk about this topic without letting my Nintendo Fangirl tendencies show through.
Nintendo is the one who really brought me into the fold. I had played Atari and Intellivision and various arcade games, but it was the NES that did it. Maybe it was the full screen of stuff happening and color (hadn’t seen it before, perhaps I wasn’t playing the right games), maybe it was the intuitive controller, maybe it was the loveable little Mario guy, but something pulled me in. (See what I mean about the Fangirl?)
And now, I still have my old NES and a collection of enviable, though not extravagant size, including some of the old faves, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and the golden goodness of The Legend of Zelda. I have, because I’m a packrat, Nintendo Power copies dating back to issue 1. And most importantly, I have a string of happy memories that trail behind me related to Nintendo.
The NES was a bonding tool for my older brother and me, giving us some common ground and a common goal toward which we could work. The NES was an ice breaker in the college dorm, where it was a little on the old school side, next to the shinier consoles du jour. And since then, the NES has been a lonely weeknight pal, a rainy Sunday afternoon diversion and a funny Friday night get-together activity.
So, for anyone like me, who’s found even a little bit of joy in a Nintendo product, be it a game, a handheld or a console, we have a whole issue of The Escapist for you. And for those of you who are not so sure about that crazy company who’s doing their own thing out in left field, maybe you can find some appreciation for their methods herein. Spanner returns with an interesting look at the rise of Nintendo America and reveals who Mario really is. Allen Varney takes us inside Retro Studios during the making of Metroid Prime. Newcomer John Schnaars discusses the role of Nintendo Power in Nintendo’s rise to fame. And of course, this week we have part three of Warren Spector’s Gaming at the Margins.