Nintendo Sacrosant

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After seeing this post, I get the feeling that I’m going to have to ask this here as well:

Why is Nintendo so fondly thought of by mainly americans?

I don’t mean that in a negative sense. I ask because it seems that a lot of americans (it’s mainly americans), be they reviewers or general gamers alike, seem to have a soft spot for old-school Nintendo systems and games.

I ask because to be honest, I’m not sure what to make of it. Nintendo systems were (and continue to be, for the most part), reasonably rare over here (New Zealand), thus most people I knew didn’t grow up with them. We all had PC’s though, because A) I grew up in a farming community, thus everyone had a PC for book-keeping; B) Consoles were (and frustratingly continue to be) obnoxiously over-priced compared to other appliances; and C) Money was tight due to massive economic reforms dubbed "Rogernomics".

I get the feeling that Nintendo love may just be a cultural thing, though I’m not certain that would explain all of it.

Maybe someone can enlighten me in this regard.

(I.e. What’s with all the Nintendo love emanating from the states?)
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Without Nintendo America wouldn’t have a Game Industry. They brought us out of the great crash of 84’. That endeared them to the American gaming culture.
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archestereo
…well, personally I grew up on the Sega side of the console wars.

However, even I could list various reasons Nintendo’s so highly favored.

Mario literally saved the industry from the crash single-handed with his first game in the arcade, and later also helped make the NES pretty much the biggest thing since the Atari 2600.

The SNES usually sported arcade ports superior even to it’s biggest competitor, the Sega Genesis.

Mario revolutionized games again in Mario 64, when he made 3D environments something worthwhile. (It’s one of my personal favs.)

…and those are probably some of the bigger reasons you could name without analyzing the merits of individual games. As I said, I’m a Sega nerd, so someone who actually grew up on the other side could probably better explain the appeal.

EDIT: Apparently I type too much.
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The games themselves had more strict quality control in terms of content, so parents were more inclined to purchase Nintendo games and consoles for their kids. (See also the Mortal Kombat "Sweat" debacle)
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@Ebalosus
How good is the standard of living in New Zealand? I keep hearing that it is "utopia-like", but almost no video games?


The US gaming culture also spilled over into Canada. Whatever they get, we get.
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@archestereo

I type too much too, thus I’m thinking of outsourcing to Verbose :P

All Joking aside, I too thoroughly enjoyed Mario 64. A shame that I only borrowed a 64 from a friend (I was a PSX/PC gamer at the time), thus can’t actually go back and play Mario 64 anytime I have an inkling too.

@SeraphimDawn

It’s generally pretty good now, all things considered. The time between 1988 and 1999 though were pretty hard on people, since we went from European-style economic management to Hong Kong-style economic management, thus the loss of the massive welfare state was pretty hard on everyone. That’s a story for another day though.

As for videogames, well…they’ve basically stuck at the "around NZ$100" for mainstream releases for 15 years now. When for 12 of the 15 years the NZ$ traded for the US$0.50, that price was pretty fair.

Now that the NZ$ trades for US$0.85, it isn’t. This means that games and game consoles cost between 33 and 50% more here than they do in the states. When you take into account shipping and taxes, the games and consoles should really only be about 15-20% more expensive…yet they aren’t.

My 360 cost me in 2007 NZ$1200, which is about (at the time) US$700. If the new Xbox’s rumoured price point of US$500 turns out to be true, then I can guarantee you that it’ll cost US$1000 here >:(

This is why me and a lot of people I know are moving away from consoles. Not because of the games, but because PC gaming is cheaper and more fairly priced.

Hell, when EA’s Origin service is more fairly priced than most of the stuff sold at Gamespot here, then you know there is something wrong with how games and consoles are priced over here
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@Ebalosus
Console are a bit overrated IMO. PC gaming has more possibilities.

NZ$ trade at %0.85US. CAD$ fluctuated around $0.97 – $1.02US, its pretty much fixed to $0.98US right now, now that’s crazy.
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Palinor
My love for Nintendo’s older consoles is quite easy to understand. They formed my love of videogames, without them I would not really be the same person I am right now. From side-scrolling platformers, those great console RPGs (or as recent years call them, JRPGs), and even FPS since I first played Doom on the SNES. Yes, I could have definitely picked up the same love on other consoles, but it can’t be denied that NES and SNES had a good library of games. Perhaps all these games would have been created completely without their existence, but would they have been on one console? Would it have been feasible to have all the consoles needed for me to play those pillars of my gaming self?

I think the chances of me turning into the same gamer would be lower, and so I have a respect for Nintendo on that level. I like who I am, and even though I would probably like who I would be I don’t feel the need to put that kind of idea to the test. Besides, I still play many of those games and enjoy them more than a good number of recent games. Not because of nostalgia, but because the mechanics don’t usually get in the way of me just having good old-fashioned fun.
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@Palinor
i love the fact that those old console games almost always play consistently, the way you expect when you buy from the store. No need of those clumsy online features, like in those xbox 360s.
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Palinor
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Not to mention that most bonus features would have simply been unlocked in older games. Fighting games for example, bonus characters. You’d unlock them by doing specific things rather than paying $15 for a character pack. Makes it feel less special.
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