The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was the first console that I have ever owned. I remember jumping on top of Goombas’ heads while keeping a steady pace and trying to beat my high score at the same time, was so exhilarating as a kid. Playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES was something special, something magical. My parents still have old photos of me as a child in diapers, enjoying various games that the NES had to offer — I was a very happy child at the time. Sometimes, my older cousin would come over and indulge on some multiplayer with me , when he babysat me; there was nothing like couch multi-player at that time. It was wonderful, playing games such as: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Duck Hunt, Megaman, and Castlevania . My next console was the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), everything that I loved from the previous console was there, but with upgraded graphics and a much sleeker design for its body and controllers. Then there was: the N64 (Nintendo 64), GameCube, Wii, and the Wii U.
So what is the problem that I have with Nintendo? The problem that I have with Nintendo is that I simply grew up, or more like grew out of love with their games. As a child the only thing I was interested in was just pure game play; story was not needed, and the games for the Nintendo consoles were perfect for that. Sadly, things didn’t stay that way for me. On Christmas morning of 1995, I was introduced to the PlayStation (which would be later referred to as PS1). With the PlayStation I was also introduced to games with compelling stories such as: Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil. It wasn’t like Nintendo didn’t have story driven games of their own, but it’s just not their focus; wasn’t then and it isn’t now. As time went on and as I matured, I felt more of a need to play games that caters stories as a more central part of the game itself; not background noise and afterthoughts.
It seems that Nintendo is still stuck in the same mindset that had when they conceived the original NES. As companies like Microsoft and Sony matured and started producing more mature games, Nintendo has stayed in its adolescent stage and changed nothing to their formula to appease their now maturing audience.
You can only stomp on a Goomba’s head only so many times and different ways, before it becomes such an incredible bore, no matter how pretty the game may look while you do it. Nintendo has constantly released the same iteration of their games, with the only difference being the graphics and some minor tweaks to gameplay. With their newer titles stick the word “new” in front of their titles, e.g., New Super Mario Brothers. Simply put, most of Nintendo games are nothing but glorified remakes. When they have ran out of ideas, they pull something out of the past they we enjoyed playing while we were growing up and improve the resolution of it, in order to sate our need for a new IP (Intellectual Property). Do you remember the hottest selling title for the Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker- HD? Yes? So do I — When I played it on the GameCube more than 10 years ago in 2003, when I was 13. The funny thing is, that they promoted the original release of the with the promise of getting a GameCube port of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a pre-order bonus at Game Stop; which originally came out on the N64. Nintendo loves to pull out the old nostalgia card whenever they get the chance, but that card has been long worn out with me, though to some it may still look brand new. With their newer IPs that their followers take a liking to, Nintendo likes to dull them down and make the games less competitive and/or challenging to appeal to a much more casual audience; e.g., the random tripping during an intense match to give the other player the chance to attack, in Super Smash Bros.: Brawl. I just can’t bring myself to agree with methods such as those. They’ve been doing this for more than 25 years, don’t you think that the time for a change is long overdue?
Wii U is Nintendo’s release for the latest generation cycle of consoles; their competition being Sony with the PlayStation 4, and Microsoft with the Xbox One. The Wii U looks like last generation hardware when it is compared to its more superior competition. Third party publishers are starting to realize that the Wii U is an outdated piece of hardware, and are starting to pull their support for the console all together. A substantial amount of AAA titles like Batman: Arkham Knight, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, will not be making an appearance on the Wii U. I think it’s fair to say that the Wii U is nowhere near on par with its competition. The sales for the consoles are embarrassingly low. The Wii U is at the same point in its lifespan as Sega’s Dreamcast when it was discontinued and Sega Stopped making consoles all together — the sad thing is that the Dreamcast sold more units in that point in time; nearly outselling the Wii U by 2:1. If doesn’t tell you that the Wii U is in trouble, then I don’t know what does.
Nintendo needs to change something, and they need to do it fast. The NES was my gateway drug to a life-long love and dedication to anything relating with video-games; I probably wouldn’t be writing this very article if it wasn’t for that, I am forever thankful and indebted to Nintendo for that, but sadly I’ve lost faith in them. I think it’s time for us to go separate ways.
Let me know what you think Nintendo has been doing right or wrong in the comments!