Travis questions his love for Nintendo for the 634th time

Nintendo is like that badass biker dude who has no care for education and I’m the young goody-two-shoes protagnosit depicted in most teen hearthrob drama movies. I know I should stay away but damn he just keeps pulling me back in in new ways that surprise me. I’ve shared with a lot of people over the last year why I love and why I also find troubling times with the big N and now with production stopping on the NES Classic Mini I feel it is time to talk about Nintendo some more.

I have started and never finished many stories on Nintendo on both this blog and others and I wonder why that is. I end up being a massive hypocrite basically and realise whilst coming to my conclusion that, even though Nintendo might be one of the most problematic companies in the history of video games that I could look back on and shake my head profusly…I just love their video games and franchises. When the NES Mini was announced I thought it was a neat concept and looked pretty cute but, I had easy access to the majority if not all of these re-released games on my Wii U. The big difference was the playing styles such as CRT, 3:4 and HD along with save files that weren’t possible on the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

One Sunday at my old work place I saw a NES Mini and bought it due to my thoughts on this being a very limited item and I wasn’t wrong. Now I am an owner of an original NES and I love it to pieces but I also enjoy the modern copy. It’s quick and easy to use and those save files are a life saver. They save me some money from buying expensive games like Metroid, Mega Man 2 and The Legend of Zelda II. The main issue I had was the cable length of the controller and how I had to sit on the floor to play games…it’s not really an issue but the original controller is nothing like this. The other issue is the 30 games capacity on a box which only has a motherboard inside and tonnes of empty space. I guess it’s because it’s a greatest hits and licening would have amped up the price but obvious hacks have shown how pointless it can be.

Where does Nintendo become a real problem in all of this? Oh it’s the fact that there’s a high demand for their product and they had limited numbers once again. They thought there wouldn’t be much hype and that sounds like they don’t even know their own products. The NES is one of the most iconic pieces of tech that ever existed. To make matters worse is that even now there is and has been high demand for the NES Mini but oh guess what? They cancelled production just like they cancelled production on the Wii U as Breath of the Wild was just around the corner. For a company that still rakes in billions but is also a shadow of the titan it once was is really bad at decision making. Maybe the NES Mini was expensive for the demand but, the fact that a lot of people won’t be able to own it and the capitalisting owners of said console are really exploiting this with outrageous pricing.

Nintendo or sources are trying to make everything sound better by saying “hey remember that other great console we had, yeah you know the one, the Super Nintendo, we’re going to do the same thing with that” and by the sounds of it it’s going to be even more limited. The main appeal is to collectors like myself but as nostalgia is the main selling point of products these days, lots of people who played on the NES and SNES in their hey-day will really want to play them again in an easier way. I imagine this list of games will be featured: ‘Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Mega Man X, F-Zero, Donkey Kong Country, Yoshi’s Island, Kirby Superstar, Super Mario Kart, Contra III, Star Fox, A Link To The Past, Super Tennis, Tetris Attack Super Punch-Out! and Castlevania IV’. These are all solid games and in terms of prices, another £50 pricing is great in terms of physical comparisons of these games. What would really seal the deal would be Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana which aren’t the cheapest.

The Snes list is wonderful and reminds me of why I love Nintendo but jeez I really hope they produce enough because I mean isn’t it all just about money incentives? I get asked daily for Nintendo Switch’s at work and there are so little produced at a time. The demand for Nintnedo is as real as it would have been in Christmas 1991/1992 and we are all suckers for a good time and a good price. I enjoy buying retro but damn I’d even pay out a few more pennies for a Snes Classic Mini. No doubt this will also be hacked and is probably a reason that Nintendo has cut production. It’s hard to blame them when thinking about that but at the same time a lot of people would not do that.

switch3

Before the Switch was released I was writing a 2000 word article on how I’m angry at everything about the console and then guess who buys one of launch day. Guess who is buying Mario Kart 8 again, guess who loves Breath of the Wild on the Switch and the portability aspect and has not yet bought a pro-controller…yet. I mean it’s still not the perfect console but I have a good time with it and Super Bomberman R has also been a pretty sweet game to play on it. This console still needs a bunch of highly and longly requested franchises getting a new game, new ideas for those existing franchises and brand new ones. Splatoon was brilliant and I loved playing it, Nintendo can make so much money from one franchises alone with merchendise like amiibo and new franchises keep everything fresh. Look at Sony and the Playstation 4 for example. I mean console wars are bad enough but they really do give a lot to their fans.

So Nintendo halts production on a popular product that lots of people wants and tries to move on to the next stage in development. They don’t see the brilliant money incentive which video games are about a lot of the time and they shovel out a lot of the same old game. Those games on the other hand are great and I’ll play the time and time again. Their new console has so much promise and E3 really changes everything for its future.

You can’t survive on Mario and Link forever even if they comfort the nostalgia. Don’t be stingy with third parties even if cartridges do cost more for production. Communicate well with third parties for their online games on the eShop to be competitive with Xbox and PS4 (I am Setsuna, Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+). Console launch pricing was fine and obviously peripherals are a bit high and 1, 2 Switch! should have been a complimentary add-on but you can’t win ’em all. (Am I just bitter?)

The big N is a company that could once again claim the gaming world with so many easy alternatives to what they are currently doing and as it pains me to see such a wonderful console like the Wii U fade away and a console like the GameCube not given more time, I finally hope the Switch and other novelties can really shape up the content we are given.

At the end of the day there won’t be another gaming company that makes you feel the way Nintendo does. Maybe Sega back in the day but, both had different genres of games. Mario Odyssey should remind us of that potential.

Nostalgia: Controlling & Influencing

If there is anything that can make us feel humble and send a euphoric shiver up our spines to make us feel like life is incredible for a second it is nostalgia.

I have been pondering for some time that with the growing of the internet it has become more accessible to experience nostalgia. We can see things on a commercial scale that we once adored and potentially have the opportunity to purchase again. There are many mediums on the internet platform that provide us with benefits. Google images and Facebook can let us see images of places we once visited or how our home towns used to look. YouTube lets us watch videos of shows we watched or videos of places we lived/visited and eBay enables us to buy the stuff we threw away because what did it matter back then?

In media we are always seeing what we grew up with return and it can either be welcomed or resented. A movie reboot of a classic series never seems to go down well as it is a real pull on the heart-strings and the developments of cinema and technology damage the originally we hold so dearly. A random band you might have forgotten about might make a return and even record new music. It will never feel the same though (Busted). Time progresses and those things we loved try to keep up and change with the times yet we resent it.

Video games are a major nostalgia factor as they developed from a niche to a mainstream over the last 25 years. That makes those that played video games in the 90’s and whenever before feel very close to games I find. When a game gets remastered it is usually cheered as it reminds us of the simplicity of childhood. Pokémon GO was the perfect example of Nostalgia and last year The Pokémon Company rode the nostalgia train quite proudly. The game series which branched off into everything in the 90’s celebrated 20 years with all kinds of merchandise and a mobile app and new games Sun and Moon that saw a lot of people revisit the creature catching series. Everything about the games was different but it seemed to work for a lot of people. Pokémon GO appeared to be a groundbreaking piece of tech allowing people to hunt for Pokémon as if they were playing the game.

To be fair in that sense it is really nice to give people that opportunity and it was quite beneficial for everyone to get out and communicate. Another issue with this is that Nintendo rode nostalgia in a heavy commercial manner and the same thing appears to happen everywhere and not just in the video game market. It strikes me more as I love video games. Hearing the start-up screen of a Playstation 1 is an incredible feeling and something I hold near and dear.

So why is nostalgia is important? Is it due to all aspects of life and the nihilistic feeling that we’re all just going to die and rot in the ground so might as well hold onto what memories we have whilst also trying to avoid the reality of life and that we’re edging further away from said memories and we are fools for not appreciating our childhoods because of the lack of responsibilities and wonderful things we had? Maybe. Or maybe it is necessary to experience nostalgia as a means of appreciating life and the things we have done because humans will naturally remember more bad than good. Maybe that is an unsatisfying feeling we have where we never get what we want and so the parts of our past that stand out and make us feel warm are the greatest feeling in the world.

If we do not learn from the past then we are to carry it on into the future or at least what we do in the past plays a major role in the present and future and nostalgia is just that for me. A lot of the things I enjoy now in terms of TV, music, entertainment and job prospects are because of what I did in the 90’s or what were in the 90’s. Now I may only remember segments of the late 90’s but, what I felt in those times is better than the crippling realities of socio-economic happenings and being obsessed with a time period I was in stands out a lot more to me than one I wasn’t such as 60’s-80’s. Politics seems to play a major factor in my nostalgia due to studying Britain at A-level and seeing which time periods were better…they don’t look appealing.

In terms of my work I want to write about media such as video games and anime as I watched and enjoyed them as a child and they have stuck with me. I work in a store which I favoured greatly as a child and is really one of the only stores I can remember going to. Working there is a completely different kettle of fish to how it felt in the 90’s but there is a comfort somewhere. You see a lot of nostalgia-referenced stories in media outlets like Buzzfeed’s ‘top ten 90’s toys’ or, look at this catalogue for 1985 Christmas and this helps remind us when we have forgotten what bliss times they were. When a store closes like Woolworths, Virgin Megastores, Gamestation or British Home Stores (BHS) it reminds us that nothing lasts forever and then we wish it wouldn’t go but it is too late and we have to move on with the memories.

While it has its positives and negatives to how it dominates our lives in a sense that we are influenced easily and look to shelter ourselves in the past, it is a wonderful feeling. I find nostalgia to be one of the strongest drugs of them all, a positive hallucinogenic. The show South Park touched on this with the whole ‘Member Berries’ skit and how political frameworks can be based off of ‘it’s not as good as it used to be’ and we all just want to have a good time and experience the tranquility of our personal lives.

This post was merely a ramble about a topic that has been a centre-point for me for the past couple of years and I wonder how relatable people will find it. Nostalgia sells.

Balgenkamera Old Nostalgia Nostalgic Camera