Why I love Nintendo

Not just for kids…

I’m the first to admit that I’m not the coolest of game geeks — if that’s not an oxymoron. I played Resident Evil 4 (on the Wii, natch) for about ten minutes before seeing a hut that probably housed a villager who was going to attack me. I panicked, threw my controller at my friend and gibbered “I can’t do it I just can’t do it HE’S GOING TO KILL ME!”Most of the games I play are on Nintendo consoles. This is partially because my brothers were Nintendo geeks so they were the games I grew up with and partially because they’re the kind of games I prefer. Oh, and mainly because I’m a big fricking wimp who had to hide behind a pillow for most of Buried. Nintendo games tend to be a little bit safer. Sure, Zelda gets dark and scary in some places, but it’s never made me burst into tears because a zombie was about to tear my throat out.I get a lot of stick about this from my gaming friends, as you can well imagine. Not just because of my total wimpiness (They were once talking about Silent Hill Homecoming only to look over and see me wide-eyed with absolutely no blood left in my face) but because of my preferred choice of manufacturer. For many of my friends, Nintendo is the lame little brother in the game world. According to my friends and many other gamers out there they have crappy games on their consoles, their graphics are rubbish and they can be happily mocked and ignored.But I completely, totally and utterly disagree.I don’t just play Nintendo because I’m a wimp; I play Nintendo because I absolutely love it.I love Nintendo because almost all of the games it makes are fantastic. I love Nintendo because they publish games like Metroid and games like Professor Layton — so completely different, but both done so well. I love how Nintendo don’t just make things to keep up with everyone else (Their resistance to HD consoles, for example) but because they want to. I love the thought they put into their games. I just love them.People tend to sneer at the Wii and the DS because of the games that are available on them. Companies saw that on the Wii you can have games that involve moving around and so they created motion orientated games. In some cases this worked — The Ravin’ Rabbids series for example. In others, it failed miserably — Big Beach Sports, Game Party and a million other titles that you can probably think of. The DS was marketed as being good for kids and “grey gamers” so you get a lot of Imagine: Fashion Model and Mahjong. And, being blunt, there is a lot of crap available on both systems (I’m looking at you, the Petz series)But forget all those. Forget Ninjabread Man and Chicken Shoot and focus on the games Nintendo themselves publish. Look at Super Mario Galaxy. Look at The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass. Look at Professor Layton and look at Super Smash Bros Brawl. Brilliant games, every one. Even the smaller releases like Style Boutique and Mario Power Tennis are, for what they are, excellent games. The gameplay is intuitive. The look, whilst not HD sharp, is still beautiful. The games are simple enough that you can pick up and play but get progressively harder so that you’re always challenged. They’re crafted and thought about and worked upon. Every game Nintendo publishes is a mini masterpiece.It’s not just the ones Nintendo publish themselves, either. One of my favourite games ever is deBlob, a quirky little game about a blob of water trying to repaint a town. Although the sequel is available on all three of the main consoles, the original is still Wii only. Elite Beat Agents on DS is one of the most underrated games ever. Strange, quirky and wonderful games — and you found ‘em first on Nintendo consoles.Please don’t think for a second that I am saying all games on the xBox 360 and the PS3 are rubbish; I’m really not. I love Fable, Little Big Planet, Batman: Arkham Asylum, LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption just as much as I love Pokemon: Heartgold, (although maybe not as much as I love Super Mario 64 DS). Overall, I just prefer the games published by and made for Nintendo consoles.I like the thought that goes into them. I like the oft-present element of “WTF am I doing?” in Nintendo games, with the magnificent and slightly psychotic Rhythm Paradise being the perfect example. I like how the DS uses its touch screen to make the game play intuitive. I like how Nintendo published Wii games don’t turn the motion control into a gimmick but a natural part of the gameplay.I. Like. Nintendo. They are awesome. And I shall be a Nintendo fangirl ‘til I die.Although I realise there is one game that totally banjaxes any argument I made in this entire piece. That game is Wii Music. But we don’t talk about that. It’s the racist-Uncle-that-makes-inappropriate-comments-and-dances-like-an-electrocuted-jellyfish of the Nintendo family. We just ignore it and hopefully it’ll go away.

Amy Jones

Updated: Aug 01, 2011

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