Oddcat for AlienLion.com
Note, fanboys, that we have featured an article titled ‘6 Evil Facts About Nintendo‘, which has already been read by thousands of people. It also just so happens that the author of this piece is not their biggest fan, but it’s time to give respect where respect is due. Let’s be honest with ourselves and reflect on the fact that Nintendo has done a ton of good for gaming. They are as important to this industry as McDonalds is to fast food, assuming that they thought of putting cheese in a burger. And also meat. Here’s why:
5. They Gave Us The Modern Console
… And I don’t mean all the bullshit “bells and whistles” associated with consoles these days, like paid multiplayer, mandatory updates, gross DLC practices, Quantic Dreams, etc. I’m talking about the basics: the proper square plastic box, where you can insert games and smaller square proper plastic boxes to control said games. Here’s why that’s a big deal:
While you might not care what shape that thing under your TV takes, as long as it has the holes you care about, you must appreciate the very intuitive controllers we all play with these days, regardless of your system of choice. That’s the part you really have to thank Nintendo for.
Take the D-pad. It might sound like a masculine hygiene product but it’s still an integral part of any self-respecting controller. There had been some takes on it before, on consoles like ‘Select A Game‘ and Intellivision, but Nintendo’s own Gunpei Yokoi created the very first ever “cross” D-pad, when designing a handheld Donkey Kong game:
Source: Probably stolen from eBay
The Famicom introduced the design to home consoles and it stayed there ever since, with occasional dumbass variations. That in itself is pretty significant but that’s not all:
Source: Probably stolen from some gaming site
That’s the controller for Super Nintendo and also the very first appearance of shoulder buttons on a gamepad! Sure, your Xbox and PS might have those pressure sensitive and made of sexy but that up there is the conception.
If you are wondering whether the next Nintendo console controller brought with it yet another innovation, then you are wondering correctly. It took a little time but Nintendo 64 introduced into gaming the very reason you have placed your controller on various random parts of your body (like your neck)… the Rumble Pak, or the very first vibrating plastic toy you keep out in the open.
Source: Probably stolen from Nintendo
Not bad at all, wouldn’t you say? And as you know, Nintendo is also the reason your current console might have motion control functionality but we won’t celebrate that fact too much.
4. They Always Try New Things
You know why Nintendo invented all those great things? Because they have never been afraid of actually trying whatever crazy shit popped into their heads. This is easy to miss about Nintendo because they have always maintained a single consistent tone of happy fun, friendliness, cuteness, and hard drugs, despite any thematic trends embraced by Sony or Microsoft, for example.
Source: The Matrix
But we all realize that Nintendo likes to experiment like no other gaming company out there, which is why we still give a crap about their gajilionth Mario title. Seriously, you name it and if they haven’t invented it, they have at least tried it:
– Handheld gaming: check. Nintendo’s DS is the second best selling console (and the best selling handheld console) of all time, while the GameBoy is third.
– Virtual reality: check. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy sucked red monkey balls, but hey, they tried it and they really didn’t have to. This was when Super Nintendo was still kicking ass while their Research & Development 3 division (R&D3) was preparing to drop Nintendo 64.
Source: Your nightmares
– Motion Controls: check. Nintendo brought motion controls to gaming, after repeated attempts to make it relevant. Everyone remembers the Power Glove, basically for its’ sex appeal, and the Light Gun for that annoying fucking dog. Few might also remember U-Force, which was the 80’s take on Kinect, and yes, it was every bit as terrible as it sounds. Everyone knows about Wii though, the most successful motion gaming console of all time.
Source: deepest pits of hell
– Various unusual ways to play: check. Nintendo did not invent fitness gaming but they sure did plenty to popularize it, first, with their Power Pad, and then with Wii Fit. They have embraced music gaming, with Guitar Hero and Rock Band and the like, but also way earlier than that with The Miracle Piano Teaching System:
– Random shit: check. Here is more: dual screens on a console, 3D without glasses, controllers with screens, goddamn robots who could (but didn’t really) substitute for the second player, to achieve potential for the saddest image of a TV room imaginable. Also this:
Source: Adult shop near you
Goddamnit, a Nintendo title was the very first video game to have a [shitty] movie based on it, and a Nintendo gaming series was the first to have its’ own theme park.
It’s like they never said ‘no’ to a product idea. The most common phrase at Nintendo must be: “Let’s just Mario this shit up and put it out there.” And a lot of this stuff has either failed or brought with it some unwelcome bullshit into gaming for some of us (casual motion controller crap, for instance) but you must agree that without Nintendo’s craziness, this industry would have been a hell of a lot more boring.
3. They Have High Standards of Quality
You know what I do like about Apple? The iPhone might not have that Android feature where it turns into a buxom robot and makes you pancakes in the morning, but the fact is that I’ve never seen a single error pop up on its’ screen (not to say that it never fucks up). Their shit really does just work! Well, so do Nintendo games, which deserves no less recognition.
Source: the dark side of the Internet
In 1983, the video game industry experienced a crash, known as, well, ‘the video game crash of 1983’, or the Atari Shock. Part of the problem was lack of regulation and a massive unrestricted flood of third party games.
This might sound pretty damn awesome, until you really think about it and consider how much vile (and often counterfeit) rotten diarrhea got pumped into the common gaming library. You couldn’t tell a decent game from a turd wrapped into an awesome artwork. I mean, you remember those covers right?
Source: deadly towers
Although the above turd was licensed by Nintendo, the chaos died down when they started locking the shit (pun intended) out of their system and enforcing some goddamn standards. Sure, not every game has been spectacular since (see image above and also google AVGN) and they’ve used this power for evil too, on occasion, but they have not relented in trying to stay loyal to their ideal levels of quality.
This is most obvious with modern games. These days, you might expect to have to download several gigs of patch on day-one for a Xbox or Playstation game, but you can usually count on any Nintendo game releasing so polished that you can pop it right in and play what the developers actually intended (crazy right?). Seriously, if you google “Nintendo game patch” right now, these are the image results you’ll get:
Source: Some store probably
And this is not just about patches. Nintendo puts in the effort every time to deliver a quality game, and it does not rip content out to sell it as day-one DLC or introduc some ripoff Season Passes. I’m sure it’s happened, but at least, it’s not the norm, to be naturally expected from their games. As crazy as this sounds, it’s almost as if someone at Nintendo said “games should probably be as fun and frustration free as possible” (more on this later).
2. They Gave Us The Most Influential Games
Hardware is not the only way Nintendo has influenced the industry. Their games have not just been polished, they’ve been setting trends in the industry like whatever favorite rapper of yours claims to do (more on this later).
Source: Whoever managed to record this shit
From Donkey Kong to Metroid to Pokemon, there is an endless list of weird-ass words, which the gaming industry cannot be imagined without, but let’s review a couple of the biggest.
Super Mario Bros alone has set a standard for decades. It might not have been the first side-scroller (it wasn’t) but it was so bizarrely innovative and thought out that it still remains the blueprint for a fun platformer, today. How weird is it to just up and drop a game with a variety of enemies and types of levels, power ups, secrets inside floating bricks and pipes, level puzzles, and other really trippy shit, which strangely made sense to everyone, all out of nowhere?
Source: Mario’s shroom trip
Then there was the Legend of Zelda, a game that pretty much introduced RPG’s to consoles, in a non-RPG form. By that I mean that it inspired some of the most important console RPG’s, not to mention all the adventure games that still copy it today. It was another title that unlocked a formula for perfection. After all, Ocarina of Time holds the Guinness World Record as the best reviewed video game of all time.
Source: The newest video leak from Rick Ross
One cannot overstate the impact of these now-franchises to console gaming. We still play modern takes on them each and every year but there are countless other cases where Nintendo shook up the gaming landscape and prompted rushed attempts at competition from the likes of Microsoft, Sony, Sega, and others. They have dropped and continue to drop games that often introduce or popularize entire genres, such as the various motion titles, educational crap, crossover brawlers, cart racers, and all those living room party games, just to name a few.
Now, look, we all prefer the mature games, where there is blood and boobs, and the hero is a tortured soul with a scarred six pack, but again, how boring would the industry be without an occasional monkey, named Donkey, beating the shit out of a pair of bongos?
1. They Aren’t Just Suits
Now, keep in mind that all the aforementioned titles came directly from Nintendo or under their close supervision, especially that of its’ upper management, who look like this:
Source: Stolen from your wet dreams
Those people have the Marios and the Zeldas in their DNA, and they are the DNA of the company. Take a moment to appreciate this. Think of a few games you consider to be the pinnacle of gaming and imagine the developers managing a gaming platform. Yeah.
Thankfully, Nintendo realizes the value there, since they actually make Shigeru Miyamoto (the guy on the pic), drive to work instead of biking, for his safety, despite his evident badassery!
Now, let’s change the tone a little…
If you are reading this article around the time it got posted, then you probably know that Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, has recently passed away. The sheer outpouring of love and respect to the man is quite telling:
Source: This site
Iwata considered himself a gamer and had direct input into some of the most important games in Nintendo’s (read “gaming’s”) library, from Smash Bros to Kirby to Pokemon. While I’m not the biggest fan of the Wii, we all have to agree that under Iwata’s command, Nintendo continued to shake things up, never losing the playfulness we all came to expect from them.
People like Iwata are not merely suits; they are developers and gamers, who understand what matters to their fans. Because of this, even if they don’t earn you as a fan, they will rarely lose you. The gaming industry is as close to magic as life gets, and as long as Nintendo is around, with people like this at the helm, the magic won’t stop.