Today I am turning 22 years old! Happy birthday to me! And while I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday with close friends and family, I wanted to share something with you, the readers who come here on 3GEM. If you haven’t already guessed it from my reviews, I am a very pro-Nintendo gamer. Don’t click the X button just yet! I am not the type of “fanboy” who will troll the internet and start flame wars with Microsoft or Sony fans, nor am I the self-righteous knight in gold who claims to be the perfect fan (or at least I hope I’m not). I am just a person with my own set of views. So today, given the occasion that it’s my birthday, I thought it would be a fun way for you, the readers, to learn more about me and my personal views on why I choose Nintendo.
One of the biggest things that Nintendo does very well is being on top of its competition by bringing a fresh look to the gaming world. A major key to their success is not by offering the most powerful gaming systems that have all the social media interactions, but instead being focused on bringing something unique to their consoles. That alone separates them from the competition. I personally do not care if I have the option to share my videos from my console to the internet or even browse the web from the comfort of my couch. Those are items of secondary importance and are not selling points for me. One of the main reasons why I play video games is to get away from it all and have some down time. I already have my phone and my laptop – those take care of my Facebook and Twitter needs. I don’t need all of my devices for that. Yes, I will agree with many that Nintendo is far from having great social services, but again, the main focus is on the games.
While Nintendo has always brought a gaming-first priority with their consoles, they aren’t afraid to try something new. Take a look at the Wii U for example. While the Xbox One and PS4 are more focused on bringing better and stronger hardware the Wii U has a touch-screen controller that gives the players the option to play on the GamePad while somebody watches TV. Something never done before, and for me that’s what got me excited about Nintendo’s new console. It may not have caught on as Nintendo would have hoped, but for those who own a Wii U, you’ll always hear that having what the GamePad offers gives a much more unique and fun field experience. The Wii U isn’t the only console from Nintendo to show why innovation is an important element to the company. Going chronically-backwards, the Wii offered motion control gaming, the GameCube brought forth cordless controllers with the WaveBird controller, the N64 had the joystick, and even the forgotten Virtual Boy brought 3D visuals (at the expense of your head). While I do acknowledge Sony and Microsoft have brought some unique experiences with their past and current consoles, but if you look at the examples I just pointed out, most of the things we take for granted now were only achieved by the ideas that were the selling points for Nintendo’s home consoles.
Innovation will only take you so far though. You need to implement it with the games that go along with the devices and Nintendo does just that, time and time again, the games that come out of Nintendo always seem to have something special to bring them over the edge over the competition. It seems that when it comes to try to sell a game, Nintendo knows how to turn a simple design into something far more creative. Just look at Mario Kart 8. The main feature of the game is having anti-gravity racing and as simple as it may look, Nintendo portrays it as something bold and creative and fans are geared up for the upcoming installment of Mario Kart because of it. Most new games make the graphics of the game the big selling point, but most Nintendo games it’s about the stories, the gameplay, and the new ideas to show why their games are different, and for me that’s exactly what I am looking for. I am not big on super HD graphics or pixel counts, if the game is fun and tries something a little different while doing it thats good enough for me.
There’s no denying that Nintendo has some of the best known franchises in gaming. From Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokémon, and more, the list goes on and on with the great names we know and love today. Nintendo always tries and brings the games to go with their their consoles and made this a company policy to try to bring the best games with the best franchises for their consoles. Their devotion on bringing the best experience possible shows why Nintendo has been successful for so long. They care for the people who buy their machines and want to give them the best possible experience while playing their games. And there are a few I want to talk about.
A franchise that probably burned a hole into every single parents wallets everywhere is Pokémon. Any kid who had a Game Boy has had Pokémon. Both went hand in hand and for me this was the game that brought me into the gaming world. My brother was already big on other games like Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong, but for me and for the longest time, it was Pokémon (Blue Version). I would stay up late practically every night trying to catch them all and a whole lot of effort went into getting all of them besides one a new game comes out, and another, and another. I am not embarrassed to say I still play Pokémon I grew up with it. It’s the game that introduced me to gaming and I wouldn’t be writing this article now if it wasn’t for the Pokémon games.
Some games are more for fun, and some are challenging. And then you have some who are educational. Yes, an education game also helped me become the gamer I am today and that game was Mario Paint. If it wasn’t for this game I probably wouldn’t be able to differentiate any color… or swat flies like a pro, but this game was actually helpful for me growing up. I had a little trouble focusing in class as a kid but Mario Paint made it fun to learn. I also was able to make tricks on learning new things my treating it as a game and I have to thank the people behind Mario Paint for that.
Another game series I want to talk about is Super Smash Bros. You probably all saw this coming, but this game brought me from a casual playable into a hardcore player. Me and my brother would compete for hours on end with sweaty palms and cringing teeth. We had so much fun playing this that we even started putting our favorite toys and trading cards up for grabs who could best the other one in a round of Smash. Most of the times would end pretty evenly, but I always loved the fun we had fighting in Smash Bros., even if we cried a whole bunch in doing so.
Video games are all about having fun, and this is one of Nintendo’s main goals. Trying to make the game as fun as possible. Innovation and the franchises are always great to have but would fall flat if you have no fun to go with the games you provide. The most important part is that you are able to enjoy the games you play. Simple right? Like I said, I don’t care for the amazing graphics or the power of the consoles, if I’m able to sit by myself or with friends and family while playing a game and enjoying myself than I am happy with my purchase.
On a more sentimental note, the biggest reason why I like Nintendo so much is that it brought my family closer, even through troubling times of my childhood. It’s always a shame whenever parents get divorced and it sinks your heart to try to adapt to the different life it brings, especially at a young age. You never really understand why they it happens, but it just happens to be a way of life and you do your best to move on. I found that the best way to cope with this as a kid is to try to forget what’s going on in the world for a moment and get stuck inside your imagination. It’s easy to dwell on things that are negative in life so I would always get lost in my thoughts and try to think of more pleasant things and it was easier to do so with playing video games. I played many games by myself or with my brother that it did make it easier to cope with my emotions at the time and it’s not to say my parents were not supportive.
Even if they weren’t together they still tried their best to give me the best childhood and did a great job in doing so. They always were supportive from when I played hockey, school and even with video games. I still remember as a kid, playing games with my brother and my mom making up stories about Mario and how he would go and save the princess in future games (she was pretty good at it too) or my father who even if he never played Smash Bros. as often as me or my brother did would still find ways to beat both of us or me and my brother putting our favorite hockey or Yu-Gi-Oh! cards on the line in a few games of Smash Bros. (Lots of tears were shed), but I have Nintendo to thank for those memories.
While I may choose Nintendo’s gaming consoles as my gaming devices, I strongly encourage others to choose the gaming devices that offer what suits them best. For me, it’s the creativity in which Nintendo does to bring forth the best out of their consoles and games, as well as the great franchises to go along with it, but most importantly, with all the great advancements and the characters I love to play, it’s the time spent playing the games with friends and family. While going through a tough time in my childhood, I could always get lost in my imagination in any game and forget what is wrong with the world, and I have Nintendo to thank for that. So, this is why ladies and gentlemen, is why I choose Nintendo over all others.
Editor’s Note: The views presented in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of 3GEM Studios.
Written by Jacob St-Amour.