Losing Respect For Nintendo

Alright. That’s it. 3:00. I’ll be waiting for you at the flagpole. I’m calling you out Nintendo. You are deceiving, you lack a clear defining stance in the industry you built, you’re lazy, and you’re not giving me any compelling reason to continue supporting you. Worst of all, you’re taking advantage of your fan base.

What Say You, Nintendo?

I feel as if the Wii has had some bizarre circle of events in proving itself to the masses. Before its release, many doubted its presence in the industry. It practically flaunted its lack of power, its focus on simplicity and appeal to a different audience, and of course – the biggest gamble – motion control. One question remained on the minds of many: Could it prove to be more than just a gimmick? Then it released. We all know what happened. People ate it up. People who never played games before ate it up. It was a hit. Critics came around to the new device and accepted it as another great console from Nintendo. But not me. I wasn’t convinced. And I think this period of having to prove itself will happen once again come the release of “Natal” and “GEM.” Nintendo will have to show the masses why the Wii still matters, and for me, why it mattered in the first place. Upon launch I played the majority of the day 1-release titles, and of course, the much talked about Wii Sports. I had the same feeling with them all. “Hey, this is kinda’ fun, maybe I was wrong.” 15 minutes later I was over it, I was right. I got it. It was a gimmick. A toy. It was the ultimate version of ‘Bop It.‘ To me, it didn’t prove itself.

The Blurry Line Between Gimmick and Console

Now this is not going to be a blatant rip on the Wii, or on Nintendo, but rather a simple observation and realization I’ve come to over the last while. Or should I say an observation and realization I’ve always had, and have yet to be convinced otherwise. Is the Wii a gimmick? Has it proved itself? The peculiar thing about it all is that I’m not even sure what Nintendo would say. After all, it was Nintendo stating that with the Wii they were going in a different direction. That Sony and Microsoft were no longer their competitors. Does Nintendo even consider the Wii a full-fledged console? My one big, shiny piece of ammunition to my viewpoint, (and it serves as the sole reason of my frustration with the Wii), is this: If the Wii is truly a gaming console, rather than a gimmick, why is it that the PS3, and 360 are able to simply add on the exact same thing on their consoles, and not only that, do it better? An add-on. That’s all it is. To me, the Wii is a rumble pack, a VMU. It’s basing an entire console around one idea. It’s like Harmonix releasing a console around the Guitar Hero concept. Then a few years later realizing that anyone can make plastic instruments, add it on, and even add drums, more guitars, and singing, creating a full band that delivers a more complete, better experience.

Lots of Questions, No Answers

Now my position on Nintendo isn’t one of hate. I’m not a Nintendo hater by any means. I’ve always supported them, but I feel they’ve failed to show me a reason why I need to spend my money on them, or feel compelled to even turn the system on. Please tell me it’s not just a fat Italian plumber, a kid in a green skirt, and a giant ape. That’s not gonna’ cut it for me anymore. Those games are slowly losing their shine. They’ve become lazy. New Super Mario Bros Wii may be fun, but it reeks of laziness. They give just enough for their fans to be satisfied instead of going the extra mile. NSMBW could have better graphics, could provide better sound, could go the extra step and create more than just two toads. But they know they don’t need to. I can’t respect that. I don’t like knowing that Nintendo could provide me with a richer experience but are choosing not to. And Nintendo of all developers – the company that spends years between sequels, and is careful about releasing new entry’s of their iconic characters; has the time, but simply does not care.

I get the opposite feeling when playing other huge titles. Epic’s Gears of War for example. When playing those games I can practically see the blood, sweat, and tears that came from the development team. Pushing the capabilities in graphics, sound, and gameplay, – the whole package. Sure, you may not think it’s the greatest game, but at least they’re trying to make it a solid experience in every facet it can. And I know, it’s not all about graphics, and sound. It’s about fun. But that’s just my point. The Wii provides short-term highs. The fun doesn’t last. And the time you’re most invested into your Wii, you’ll find you have a GameCube controller plugged in. What is happening here? It’s at the point now where I don’t care if I’m playing as Link when exploring a dungeon or figuring out how to beat that certain boss. The fantastic and underrated Darksiders gave me just as solid of an experience as the last few Zelda titles did. But what makes Zelda anymore of a quality game? I really don’t know. Again, must be the green skirt.

My Charge To Nintendo

This is just my opinion, but for someone who’s been gaming since the beginning, and has stuck with Nintendo through it all, I can’t help but feel as if I’m speaking on the behalf of many. I feel let down, used, taken advantaged of, and abandoned. So here’s my charge to you Nintendo: Your once flawless first party games are losing their muster. They no longer provide an experience of exclusivity that I can’t get anywhere else. Laziness is bleeding through not only your third party support, but also your first party titles. Your console is underpowered, and at one point that did not matter because you gave gamers a different experience. But once Sony and Microsoft release their efforts into motion-control, I ask this: what’s the point? Why buy a Wii? The 360 delivers a top-notch online experience, an amazing array of titles, and soon a motion controlled experience that as of now seems second to none. The PS3 delivers us an entertainment package like no other, Blu-Ray, and soon motion control as well. Both the latter present us all in one packages, whereas the Wii is left providing one aspect, one experience, and one that is of lesser quality. You’re entering dangerous waters. The success you’ve had with grandmothers is going to your head, and you are forgetting the fans that helped you get to where you are today. Again, this is not hateful; it’s just truly disappointing. I wait the day when I can get behind you again, and recommend buying your product. But for now, you are failing to give answers and reasons to gamers around the world as to why we should care, because you clearly don’t.

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  • 100% agree. Fantastic article.

  • Heartbreakingly true. The DS is actually better than the Wii. Think about that – it can’t really do 3D, the graphics always look dated, it’s a HANDHELD device and it’s half a decade old. It still has better hardcore and softcore games, a more consistent online functionality and is the only N “system” remaining inventive with it’s classic titles (Zelda and Mario). Sick hey?

  • Kyle

    I couldnt have said it better myself. STOP SUCKING NINTENDO! What happened to the awesome experience I had the first time I opened my N64?

  • I agree. Honestly, Nintendo is still going to sell BECAUSE they are Nintendo.

    People will still want Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon, etc. As long as they own those IPs they aren’t going anywhere.

    Those “die hard” fans don’t even really care about the quality of the game… as long as the characters from their youth are still there and playable.

  • I applaud Nintendo for the guts to revolutionize video-game controls with their Wiimote, because video-game controls (and subsequently video-game design) had started to get REALLY stale. But now they need to step up their console’s hardware to remain competitive with the 360’s Natal and PS3’s GEM.

  • I completely agree – What nonsense Nintendo has regurgitated continually when they’re ever prompted to answer for themselves about this very topic. Reggie & Iwata both are just gargling nonsense.. I hate to say it, but I think Hiroshi Yamauchi had it better when he was angry at Square[soft] (at the time). That was possibly his biggest boggle.. And now we get lil drops of heaven that sour in our mouths all too quickly. At least Yamauchi’s reign had great games.. Oh my GOSH awesome games – – <– and that's not just nostalgia talkin'.

    I can say, imo, that Miyamoto has the right idea but doesn't do enough to do anything about it. Iwata takes out his whip and says " make original games, and I will ensure that they aren't quite perfect…"

    /end rant..

    Kudos to the article.

  • PeterBlood

    Really? PS3 and X360 have developed motion control devices capable of IR pointing, with rumble functionality, an independant audio speaker, and a separate secondary motion control/analog controller with additional trigger buttons? I must have missed that announcement for Arc and Natal. But since you claim that the HD twins “are able to simply add on the exact same thing,” it must be true.

    As well, seriously? You’re judging the games by “the majority of the day 1-release titles …upon launch?” Because everyone knows that all the best games that maximize a systems strengths and have been worked out past the release tweaks and bugs come out in the first month of launch. Everything released after that is garbage. You keep bringing up Link…from a game that actually released for the GC prior to Wii launch and was ported to the Wii…as a comparison to games like GOW. Let’s wait for the next Zelda later this year to see if Nintendo flexes it’s capabilities.

    It’s obvious that graphic/gadget whores are never going to be satisfied with (or even appreciate) what the Wii offers, based mostly on the simplistic approach to gaming. Could NSMBW had better graphics, sounds, and diff characters? If you’re asking this then you aren’t playing the game, because the graphics, sounds, and whomever you’re playing as means SQUAT when you’re immersed with, yelling, screaming, and laughing at the others playing with you.

    Then there’s games like the Conduit, which could have had better graphics, sound, and (my beef) length. But, for me, this game represents a stepping stone to maximizing the Wii’s capabilities. The use of pointing, motion control, analog movement and every single button on the wiimote and nunchuk give you a great immersive experience and WILL NOT be able to be duplicated with the HD motion controllers unless all the functions in my first paragraph are addressed.

    So if 1080p, 5.1 sound, movie playing capabilities, and the ability to be player #168 of 256 online are your only priorities, then avoid the Wii. If you want immersive gaming that’s hugely fun (yes, the fun factor has increased since those 1-day launch titles) and look forward to some of the more exciting titles the Wii has in 2010, then maybe articles like this will make you scratch your head in wonder.

  • Seriously

    I mean really ift’s fan like the ABOVE that kept nintendo down. When nintendo was no longer a slave to it’s fans it was allow to make new ones. If you want to be mad then be mad at your industry for not supporting a console that kids and familys can afford. Be mad at the hardcore and developers abandoning nintendo when they where pushing the tech boundaries. Look at your peers if you dont like nintendo now. Also If you can not enjoy how the prefected the game play of mario kart of mario 5 then your not really a fan anyway. The last time i looked mario kart sold 10 million and counting casuals did not buy it so did brawl. Yet maybe your just ashame of playing colorful games as an adult. Gaming is for nerds and people that want to have fun thats what it is going back to it was never cool to trendy teens or adults so maybe you should to stay with HD gaming which is going the way of the PC pretty soon.

  • Andy

    Mostly agree with PeterBlood, Nintendo managed to success in a closed market with a low specs platforms, because they had idea behind the hardware, remarking that the graphic doesn’t make a game.

    Not being a no-profit association, they are now just collecting money, while working on the next project that will rumble the market once again, with some cool idea that M and S will will need years to cope with.

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