Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Everyone loves Nintendo

I was just watching some videos about Nintendos Amiibo thingies and a thought suddenly struck me.

We used to love Nintendo. I know I spent days straight with my nose touching the screen of my gameboy. My hands weren't even big enough to hold the thing properly. Then came the snes and I couldn't believe how world-shatteringly awesome it was. We never had one in the house and yet I racked up some serious hours on it. Super Smash on the 64 was the mainstay of my teens, and was only dethroned by Melee.

But something happened.

I grew up and started demanding more gritty fantasy adventures. Link couldn't spill enough blood to sate my maturing entertainment needs. Metroid couldn't immerse me like it used to. I sought out obscure games in the hopes of something new and different, and found my way to PCs and The Internet.

I hadn't realised, but I had shifted demographics. Nintendos marketing was no longer targeted at me. Microsoft and Sony, meanwhile, were battling hard for my affection. And The Internet was just mean.

Watching these new amiibo videos, the thought finally caught up with me. If I was 6 I would be all over that shit like a jack russel on a tennis ball. I'd be polishing the blades of grass in the front yard to make up pocket money to get at one of those suckers. 6 year old me was always broke as a joke and craving more digital delightment (some things never change). Now I'm not 6 anymore, and neither are you, but Nintendo is still marketing to 6 year olds. That's why link never got too gritty before snapping back into stylized art mode. That's why Metroid will never get Asimov-deep. And I think I like that.

Every gamer remembers Nintendo. We all got crack level addicted to pokemon. Gamers who see a plugged in snes with Yoshis Island lose their collective shit. We grew up on Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Donkey Kong. And we all look back with fond memories.

Now they are pushing a new product, and showing it to new rabid 6 year olds - and they have the advantage that the parents are nintendo-rabid too. The new generation (the ones that haven't shamed themselves yet) is going to grow up on the same things we did. I'll be 78 talking smack to a 26 year old about how bad I could beat his ass in Melee, and he'll know exactly what I am talking about because Nintendo stuck to their guns.

You can slag them off all you like for being 'immature' and 'last gen' but they know what they're doing and they're good at it. The collective nostalgia of the next generation is going to be just like ours: No Items, Fox Only, Final Destination.

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