Rantings of a Fanboy: Nintendo Provides the Best Gaming Experience this Generation
Anybody else miss that magical time when games weren’t all these uncanny valley super glossy HD corridor simulators? I do too. Today I wonder if it’s the need to make these "polished" HD AAA blockbuster films, er, games that appeal to the masses that’s to blame for my recent disinterest in the medium. Do you find yourself asking for games that aren’t trying to be flashy instead of fun? Yes, we still have indies, but they can only do so much with what little they have. What I’m talking about is that kind of magic we’ve had in the last few gens, that magic that’s seemingly disappeared. Well, folks, it still exists.
Alright, alright, I’ll cut the BS and stop being vague. What kind of games am I even talking about here? I’m talking all kinds, platformers, RPG’s, action/adventures, strategy, rhythm, and all kinds that break these silly genre borders we’ve placed around ourselves. Plus, there’s a lot more color than grey and brown, and more things to do than shoot guys in the face. Which, hey, maybe that’s your thing, but sometimes we need a little variety in life, you know? So, where can we get it? Get N baby, or get out!
Ah, the nostalgia...
But, Yoshi, you schizophrenic fanboy, Nintendo just keeps remaking the same games over and over again, also Wii Sports, duh! Wrong! Nintendo’s been constantly innovating this gen, from the obvious like the Wii to the lesser noticed like Brain Age, Nintendo’s still weird, wacky, and as brilliant as ever. They’ve brought us some of the best games this generation in the form of Elite Beat Agents, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and plenty others. Hey, one of those is even a new IP.
Oh yeah, Nintendo’s released quite a bit of new IP’s, unfortunately in the midst of Call of Bullets: Stale Joke III the games where overshadowed. Stuff like Elite Beat Agents, Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, the Art Style series, Jam With the Band (Which never even made it to the US due to the flop of EBA), Trace Memory/Another Code, Hotel Dusk, Endless Ocean, Excitebots, Xenoblade, The Last Story, Magical Starsign, Professor Layton, Electroplankton, Disaster: Day of Crises, X-Scape, Art Academy, and more, but like I said, they were overshadowed, heck some of them didn’t even come out in the US due to this climate. A lot of these bombed because people don’t want new things even when they say they do.
Maybe if they put the Elite Beat Divas on the front of the box EBA would've sold better...
Of course, it’s not just new IP’s that people said they want from Nintendo, it’s to stop rehashing the same old game, except, that’s not exactly what they’ve been doing. Nintendo takes crazy new ideas and places them in familiar series, this is how we get gems like Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and yeah, fine, everybody else in the world, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Sure, we also get stuff like the New Super Mario Bros. series, but who can argue with co-op Mario? Oh yeah, that brings me to pointless point number, um, 3 or 4, not sure…
The era of the HD console has also brought with it the era of online gaming which is great if you’re into that sort of thing, but some people are more into playing with people next them. Nintendo hasn’t been perfect at the former, but they’ve been nowhere near as bad as people say. Pokemon, Mario Kart, Metroid Prime: Hunters, and Smash Bros. have provided great online experiences. But, that’s not what I’m here to talk about, no, it’s that feeling of complete disappointment when I pick up a game for an HD console like Red Dead Redemption that promises multiplayer only to find out I can’t play it with my brother because it’s online only. Nintendo does believe in that nonsense. They believe in true social experiences, not this Facebook-style online anti-social stuff. Let me just say that playing through games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl side by side with my brother have been my favorite gaming experiences this gen.
But hey, you’re thinking, at least the HD twins have third-party support! Because everyone knows the Wii doesn’t. Except it has more interesting third-party exclusives than the other two consoles combined, yep, that’s right, I just made a crazy outlandish statement, so here’s a list to along with it: A Boy and His Blob, Adventure Island: The Beginning, Arc Rise Fantasia, the ArtStyle series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold (It’s by WayForward guys!), the Bit.Trip series, Blast Works, Blaster Master: Overdrive, Boom Blox, Boom Blox: Bash Party, Bomberman Blast, Bratz: Gi…okay, I’ll stop it with the Bratz stuff, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templar (Director’s Cut), Castle of Shikigami III, Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, chick chick BOOM, The Conduit, Conduit 2, Contra ReBirth, de Blob, Deadly Creatures, Dewy’s Adventure, Eduardo the Samurai Toaster, Epic Mickey, Dragon Quest X, Earth Seeker, Elebits, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord, Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon, Flip’s Twisted World, Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, Ghost Squad, Gradius ReBirth, the Harvest Moon series, Ivy the Kiwi?, Klonoa, Let’s Tap, Line Attack Heroes, LIT, Little King’s Story, Lost in Shadow, MadWorld, Monster Hunter Tri, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Opoona, Red Steel 2, Rune Factory Frontier, Samba de Amigo, Shiren the Wanderer, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Skate It, The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces, Sonic Colors, Spectrobes: Origins, Spyborgs, SSX Blur, Star Soldier R, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up, Trauma Center: New Blood, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Trauma Team, Ultimate Shooter Collection, We Love Golf!, Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, and Zombie Panic In Wonderland.
The Wii is easily worth the asking price for this alone.
Yeah, that’s one hell of a block of text, don’t worry, I assumed most people quit reading before they got to that point anyway. So, yeah, that list is a non-shovelware garbage version of the Wii Exclusives list, and I cut out amazing stuff like No More Heroes, Dead Space: Extraction, and LostWinds that got ported elsewhere. There aren’t any first party gems there either. Which would make the list even more of an indecipherable mess, but there are a lot of forgotten first-party games as well like Rhythm Heaven Fever, Wario Land: Shake It!, and Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. Put the two together, and boy, the Wii seems to have the most variety available on any current gen console…
Well, it appears this post has just become a pointless list thread, but I could start posting some Metacritic scores too! I know everyone loves those! Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, let’s address some of the ol’ common complaints about this gen instead:
Yo’ dawg where my JRPG’s at?
Well, you can get your JRP…er, I’m sorry, let’s not offend certain parties dedicated to the preservation of role-playing here, you can get your fix of stat-based adventures on the DS. Classics like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV, Pokemon Gold and Silver, and Lufia II await you in new remade versions. While new adventures like Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Pokemon Black and White, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the Etrian Odyssey series, Radiant Historia, Dragon Quest IX, and, er I better stop before this gets out of hand again, await you! Yeah, that Segway in the middle of that sentence really ruined the flow, but whatever.
Square-Enix sucks now, you play Final Fantasy XIII?
Yeah, I did, it wasn’t that bad, but anyway, Square-Enix has put out some amazing gems on the DS like the aforementioned Dragon Quest IX and quite possibly my favorite game of this generation The World Ends With You. Honestly, that right there gives them enough goodwill from me to make up for any missteps that may have been made this gen.
Seriously, this Squeenix game actually made me LESS emo!
Everything is all brown and grey now and all you do is shoot people.
Yeah, I know man, I like that sometimes, but I get tired of it too. There’s barely any of that over in Nintendoland, and while that may mean "KIDDY GARBAGE" to some people, well those people can screw off, because I like my colorful games that are actually fun thank you very much.
Consoles are just trying to be PC’s nowadays.
Nintendo isn’t, they don’t really give a damn about hardware power. People said the DS and Wii would fail because of that reasoning. They didn’t, instead we got amazing new ways to control games.
Motion controls suck.
They do when implemented incorrectly. Maybe you should try some LostWinds or Metroid Prime Trilogy? Heck even the more tacked on experiences with it like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess can be fun.
Games are way too violent these days.
Now, video game violence isn’t really an issue with me, but let’s be honest here, it’s kinda gotten out of hand. I mean, look at the reception The Last of Us got at E3, people started cheering right after a man on screen begging for his life got his brains blown out. That’s a little bit discomforting, yeah, I realize they were cheering for a game they thought was cool and not the killing, but it’s the context of the thing, you know? Well, Nintendo doesn’t really specialize in violent games, for some people this is a major issue they have with them, but for others like myself, it’s a breath of fresh air.
There's only so much hacking and whacking one can take...
I don’t like fun.
Your problem not mine…
I guess this is the end of the line, yeah, I know, I typed so much, but explained so little. There’s a reason for that, in order to truly articulate the experience of gaming, one must experience it, it’s the only way to really get these feelings across. You have to pick up a controller for yourself and see if these games are right for you, so maybe Nintendo isn’t right for you, maybe Microsoft isn’t right for me, maybe Sony is another choice. But, that’s what makes gaming so great, there’s a multitude of options and flavors. Japanese games aren’t terrible because people with Western tastes don’t like them, nor are Call of Duty games terrible just because the dudebro got drunk and crapped on your lawn last week is into them. Well, all that and I can't write anything without it becoming a completely incoherent rambling mess...
So, for me, Nintendo is amazing, and maybe they aren’t amazing for you, but you never know until you try. I guess until then, the console war wages on when we should all be waging our battle against the real enemy, Angry Birds. Okay, fine, for the five people who think Angry Birds is a genuinely good game and not just something they do because it’s been marketing like crazy, we’ll wage our war against Zynga. You all hate Zynga right? I heard Kotaku doesn’t, let’s go vandalize that place! Fine, whatever, you’re all no fun…