Why do I like Nintendo?
May 04, 2006

I feel it’s high time that I came right out and told you all why I love Nintendo. There are a lot of people that theorize about such things. They’re not talking about me, but just Nintendo fans in general. You know the description: Cheetos-loving fattie who lives with his parents. Age is never really mentioned because it’s assumed that if you love Nintendo, you’re either a juvenile at heart or in reality. Well, that’s not always true. As I see it, there are two sorts of Nintendo fans:

1) Kids who are creating memories for the first time
2) Older gamers who never got tired of having fun

I fall into the latter group, obviously. When I was young, I enjoyed the heck out of Nintendo’s games. When other kids grew up and learned that in order to have fun with games, it’s necessary to kill hookers, I skipped class. So I’m stuck in this twilight zone where I don’t play games as a way to express myself, or as a way to act out my violent aggressions without fear of reprisal. I still play games for the most fundamental of reasons, the one that attracted me to the hobby in the first place: fun!

I think you’ll find that most Nintendo fans share that desire. And really, I’m not sure that’s true of every gamer. Some people game socially. Some people do it for the thrill of competition, or the challenge. These are in their own ways admirable reasons to play, but I think they narrow things down too much. If you’re in it for one of those reasons, you can’t easily enjoy a good fun game that doesn’t have a hooker slaughter, or whatever. You can’t enjoy a product if it’s not challenging you. So many gamers have stopped playing just for the fun.

Well, most Nintendo fans don’t seem to be that way. I can identify with other Nintendo fans because when we start talking about games, we aren’t generally talking about polygon counts or even innovation. When you hear a Nintendo fan talking about those things, he’s trying to pander to someone. Maybe it’s the Sony fan who says “Well, my system is better because the emotion engine makes Squall’s hair blow in the wind!”

(Yes, that example is way out of date. I know, I know.)

Well, the Nintendo fan then has to try and talk on that level. Of course it’s going to sound hollow. Because if I say “I love the way they put all that detail in Mario’s butt,” I look like a complete freak. That’s not what Nintendo’s games are about. Nintendo’s games aren’t necessarily attempting to compete directly with every element that games from Sony or Microsoft do well.

This is not to say that those companies fail to do anything worthwhile. It’s just that Nintendo doesn’t always try to mimic it. And you know what? Despite what a lot of Nintendo-hating people will work hard to make you believe, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I don’t need a billion polygons working in perfect harmony to have fun with a game. 8-bit graphics can still amuse me if the game plays right. I don’t need a complex plot filled with intrigue, betrayal and murder. I don’t mind it if the game I’m playing has that, though, so long as the game remains fun. High-definition gaming can go screw itself. Online play is optional. Multi-player mode doesn’t always have to be perfect, and there are times where the reverse is true and I’ll forgive a game with crappy single-player campaigns if it’s fun to experience with friends.

It keeps coming back to that one word: fun. And that’s why I’m a Nintendo fan.

The part of me that never grew up and became self-conscious about my hobby still loves to see a giant mushroom waddling toward me, menacing eyes fixated on my blue suspenders. I remember how much fun I had with such games in the past, and right away I’m interested. That same part can stare across Hyrule Field for several minutes, swept up in the grand adventure of it all, even before the sun sets and skeletons shamble toward me. I’m too busy remembering all the past adventures to care.

And when I play today’s newest games, am I looking for the most innovative experience of all time? Heck no! I’m looking for another trip into the worlds I explored in my childhood. Sure, I expect them to have better graphics. And I like new adventures, but that’s all you have to give me. You don’t have to make things violent to retain my interest. You just have to keep doing what I always found to be fun in the first place.

This is something that Nintendo’s detractors don’t understand. They don’t get how I can sit down in front of the television and wander through some dorky village, picking up chickens and throwing them at nothing, or breaking clay pots with my sword and scooping up the hearts that float about. They’ve moved on. Don’t I understand that I should be like them? Don’t I understand that I’m not having fun if I’m not blowing up a space station or slapping a police officer around?

People bash Nintendo for a lot of things. They bash them for not innovating, which is hogwash but irrelevant in my book. They bash them for recycling old games. Well, guess what? That’s what I want. It’s not me—a Nintendo fan—pretending to want it because that’s all Nintendo is willing to produce. First, Nintendo puts out a lot of new properties (I generally love them), and secondly, I like rereleases of the old classics on occasion.

I guess that’s what makes me a Nintendo fan. If it’s still fun, I’ll play it. I’ll play it even when it’s not high-definition, even when there aren’t amazing online components, even when other people are turned away by graphics or perceived immaturity. I’m not in this for the same thing some people are. I’m in it for the fun, pure and simple. Until Nintendo stops providing that fun—and they aren’t yet at risk of doing so as far as I’m concerned—I’ll remain a fan. A fanboy, if you will. Because sometimes, you have to be a Nintendo fanboy to have any fun with games. Nyah!

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Halon Halon - May 04, 2006 (07:51 PM)
I agree with you that innivation doesn't necessarily mean that a game is great, but the problem is Nintendo simply doesn't produce games that I'm interested in. I don't care for anything on Gamecube (the only Gamecube game that I played that I would give and 8 or higher is Ikaruga and that's out on Dreamcast) and didn't like the 64 and SNES apart from a few awesome games. Sure, Nintendo has made some great games over the years, but there are several other games/companies that I like better.

The Wii, on the other hand is horrible. I don't give a shit about the name; it's the system that sucks. I personally like the way I play games, and I would rather not wave around a remote to simulate Bob Ross. It sounds like one of those toys that is fun for the first ten minutes. In the matter of fact I don't even think I'll be buying a next-gen console, and if I do it will definitely be the 360.
Genj Genj - May 05, 2006 (07:57 AM)
GameCube FUCKING sucked. Its best game (RE4) was ported with minor loading times and barely any slowdown on the PS2 and that version had extra content. Both Metroid Primes and the REmake were great and I liked Wind Waker, but otherwise the console didn't have anything worth buying it for. I mean, Tales of Symphonia was fun, but nothing I'd buy the console for. SSBM is way overrated, Animal Crossing was garbage, and Viewtiful Joe was extremely disappointing. Admittedly I do want to check out Baiten Kaitos one of these days.

I had way more fun with PS2 & Xbox's exclusives: FFX, Chaos Legion, Devil May Cry, Drakengard, Katamari Damacy, Ninja Gaiden, Panzer Dragoon Orta, KOTOR, Jade Empire, Fable, Metal Gear Solid 3, Halo 1 & 2, the GTAs, Riddick, Stranger's Wrath, etc etc. Good stuff!
honestgamer honestgamer - May 05, 2006 (08:11 AM)
I guess I'm different than you, Genj. I don't judge my purchase on the number of games that individually would cause me to purchase a system. I look at the number of games on the system that I will enjoy playing.

A system can have zero games I'd purchase it for and you know what? I'd still buy it if it has a lot of great games. The GameCube did. No, it didn't have a single game I'd purchase it for--not even out of the ones you named--but there were a lot of games I liked for it that I still play.

The truth is this: there's not a game on the retiring batch of consoles that I would've bought one for, just a lot of great games I'm happy to own now that I have the systems. The last time I bought a system because it had one game I just had to have was... hmmm. I guess if you really, really, really stretch it, the Playstation for Final Fantasy VII. That's the closest I've ever come.

Finally, I'd be interested in knowing what games fall under your "etc., etc." blanket, as you included that after naming every worthwhile exclusive that comes to mind for the Xbox and PS2. Me, I have a longer list than you do for the GameCube:

F-Zero GX
Harvest Moon: Magical Melody
Paper Mario 2
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Party 6
All of those you named
etc., etc.

(From what I hear, Fire Emblem is also quite good, but I haven't really looked into that yet.)
Genj Genj - May 05, 2006 (12:02 PM)
I don't mean I'd buy a console for one game (otherwise I'd own a 360 already). I'm saying games like Metroid Prime are the kinds of exclusives that made me want a GameCube after already owning a PS2. Frankly there weren't enough games that caliber that made my purchase feel justified. I probably would have been more content with an Xbox (which I got later) or more games. In addition, I was listing those games saying they were MORE FUN than most GameCube games (i.e. I had more fun playing Ninja Gaiden and KOTOR than Metroid Prime and Wind Waker).

I sometimes wonder why I even bother holding on to my GameCube.
zigfried zigfried - May 05, 2006 (01:32 PM)
I never buy a (current) system until it has a "MUST OWN" game on it.

NES = Ghosts 'n Goblins
Genesis = Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Sega CD = Sol-Feace
Saturn = Street Fighter Alpha
Playstation = Final Fantasy Tactics
Dreamcast = Soul Calibur
Xbox = Dead or Alive 3
PS2 = Metal Slug 3 (this was way before the Xbox port, yo)
Xbox 360 = Dead or Alive 4
GBA = Tales of the World Narikiri Dungeon 2
PSP = Vampire Chronicle

For me, this all ties back into the idea of "fun". Shinobi 3, Ranger-X, Dark Wizard, Arcus 1-2-3, NiGHTS, Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Ninja Gaiden Black, Espgaluda, and Drakengard 2 are some of the most fun and addictive games I've played. There are even more. If I already own all these fun games, why should I even bother buying new systems?

For me, the answer is "must-own games". I *had* to buy an Xbox 360 to play DOA4. If a system doesn't have any must-own titles, then to me that system's existence is pointless. And I'll mock any such system. Relentlessly!

magicjuggler magicjuggler - May 10, 2006 (06:21 AM)
Yet he'll probably sell. You know how Celebrity games sell. Tony Hawk, Mark Ecko's Getting Up, 50 Cent: Bulletproof, etc. I admittedly am interested in doing indie development and am glad to know that at least it supports new content for download (meaning it's not as behind Xbox Live as we anticipated?)

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