Why Does Nintendo hate their Fans!? (Part3)

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In my last update on August 4th regarding the SNES Classic, I was less than enthusiastic regarding the upcoming launch of the retro console. Im happy to report even with the seemingly low amount of consoles that reached our local retailers, I had two opportunities where I could have purchased one. However I Opted to get just one so that one more person would get to experience it. Im happy to report that scalpers don’t appear to be getting much more than retail price. On average most units are selling for $110-125 with free shipping.

So after we put our kid to bed, I made a pallet on the floor in our basement in front of the big TV grabbed two drinks and patiently waited for my wife. I was reminded of my parents doing the very same thing when they would put me to bed and it brought a smile to my face. Modern games have advanced in so many ways over the years, greater narrative, brilliant graphics, and the Multiplayer Experience. But there is something to be said about these early Classics, a certain character and quality that make them so admired and memorable.

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Is the SNES Classic worth the 80 dollar price tag? I want to Start with the Negative and then end on a positive note. (because trust me most of what I have is petty.)

 

-Why 2 Kirby games!? Why not include Chrono Trigger or Donkey Kong Country 2? Im guessing it came down to licencing costs for Nintendo, but I digress I have yet to play a Kirby game so I will reserve judgement.

-Why no Expansion capability? While this console does have many of the greats available why didn’t they include a USB slot and later on introduce themed USB expansions with 10 or more additional games. Seems like based on today’s standards most developers are looking for opportunities to extend the shelf life of a game or console as long as possible.

-Why not manufacture in droves? While Nintendo has addressed the failures of the NES Classic and supposedly ramped up manufacturing for the SNES it remains to be seen. It would be nice to see these things pile up like left over Easter candy at retailers. Thus Ending the scalping hopefully.

-Reset button! I love the extra details that Nintendo got right including functioning buttons. However its kind of annoying to have to get up and hit the Reset button to go back to the home menu to load, save or rewind. I have read that the home button on the Wii Classic controller fixes this but I have yet to test it yet.

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All that I have left is nothing but good things actually,

-Impressive build Quality. from the functioning buttons, to the Controllers and feel. This thing feels great to be so small. I swore the eject button in the middle would have worked based on the looks alone.

-Feature Rich:4 Things I loved.

1)The save state function is well done, each game has 4 save slots and its very easy to load.

2)The Rewind feature also comes in handy and lets you rewind up to a minute of footage letting you drop back into the game at any point. This came in handy when trying to beat a tough boss in Link to the past.

3)The Video Filter gives you the option of remembering what its like to play on a CRT TV. This way you if you no longer have one to enjoy you can get a case of nostalgia.

4)I stumbled into the demo mode while waiting for my wife to play Super Mario World. After 60 seconds of inactivity, Mario and luigi begin jumping across the gui jumping on saved states and loading them up to run autonomously . It also will play intros to the various games including the long one for Final Fantasy 3, and its entertaining to watch.

All-In-All Im very happy with my purchase, yes it would have been cheaper to build a raspberry pie, and it would have far more games BUT this little console was very well thought out has some cool features and was well built. And is well equipped with everything you need out of the box. With the overall commercial success Nintendo has experienced lately with the Switch and now this, they are beginning to show that they care about their heritage and are proud of it. Hopefully they will continue to embrace Retro and who knows maybe we will see a N64 Classic this time next year…

 

 

Games Worth Talking About – 2017

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**Just a little foreword: I’m going to be releasing a series of articles about games that I’ve played this year that are really special (to me, at least). I’m slow to write these, with everything else that’s going on in life, but I hope that you enjoy it and will continue to check back for future installments. – RW**


I have fond memories of the Resident Evil series. I’ll never forget the first time that I played the original, it was unlike anything I’d ever played before and sparked a love for survival-horror games, a love that still exists today. When Resident Evil 7 was announced, I was excited to learn that the series was going to go back to the survival-horror roots of the original games. Could this be the return to form that we’ve been waiting for? Yes, yes it is.

The premise starts simple enough with Ethan Winters searching for his missing wife, Mia, and drops us right at the gate of her last known whereabouts, the Baker family plantation. What follows is a 10-15 hour journey through the Baker’s frightening plantation trying to find Mia and get out, but we all know that things are never that easy.

The game is filled with the Resident Evil staples such as mixing herbs, first aid spray, safe rooms and a focus on exploration and inventory management and improves on the old by sporting a new first-person perspective, which adds a terrifying new immersion to the game.

The setting of this game is the best since Resident Evil 4. The plantation keeps you on the edge of your seat as it creaks and moans all throughout its dark, cramped hallways and corridors. Exploring the house takes the series back to its early days as you consult your map to determine which doors are locked and which areas haven’t been explored.

While you spend the majority of the game exploring, combat comes into play more and more as you progress through the game. The monsters that you encounter are more in line with the enemies from the most recent entries of the series, consisting mostly of goo monsters rather than the zombies and hunters from the earlier games. However, the most terrifying of all enemies you face are the Baker family themselves. The family is straight out of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film with Jack, the sadistic father, Marguerite, the lunatic mother, Lucas, the trap obsessed son, and the creepy grandmother who shows up in random spots just to stare at you from her wheelchair. Every encounter with them is tense, creepy and fantastic.

For me, the highlight of the game was the VHS tapes. Once found, you can place them in a VHS player and play through events that happened in the past, such as a group of ghost hunters investigating the Baker house, Mia as she’s being chased by Marguerite and a “Birthday!” tape that is too good to spoil.

All in all, the game is really fantastic and should be played by anyone who is a fan of survival horror games. I hope that Capcom continues with this style going forward and that the next game keeps the claustrophobic feel of this game.

Games that will make you feel like a American Patriot!

Happy 241st Birthday America!

I have to say Im proud to be an American and nothing makes me feel more patriotic than these games…Not even Beer and Burgers. For those of you that are not Americans, that’s OK not everyone is perfect(Bad Joke, Sorry Im in #’Merica mode) No but seriously this list of games are some of my favorite games that in one way or another exude patriotism and American Values. So now you too can experience what its like to have piss poor health Insurance and what its like to be made fun of by the Global community.

So without further ado, these are my Favorite games to celebrate this July 4th in the Spirit.

5) BroForce

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Broforce by definition a crafty side scrolling run-and-gun platformer. But man is it so much more. Its described by the developers as a game in which a player Character or “Bro, a hyper masculine action hero-style Commando Is sent into each may to rescue his bro teammates and Prisoners of War.” Essentially you play as a 80’s\90’s American Movie Action Hero as you blow your enemies to hell with each characters special abilities. You Unlock new “bros” as you progress through the game. Action Heroes include, John Rambo, Chuck Norris, Mr.T, Arnold as both Commando and a T-800 from terminater as well as Indiana Jones and JohnMcClane from Diehard. And that barely scratches the Surface on the many Icons you will be able to play as.  This game is definitely best experienced as either a couch coop or online coop. If you havent played it, do your self a favor and pick it up, its available on Microsoft and Sony Consoles as well as PC.

 

4) World in Conflict (PC)

Im a huge fan of Strategy games, especially the Total War and Civ Games. But recently in the last year or so I discovered a game that slipped completely under my radar. World in Conflict was released for PC on Sept 18, 2007. The game takes place during the Cold War in a world where the Berlin Wall never collapsed. Based on a Novel by Larry Bond, the story starts with the Soviets attacking Europe, while simultaneously attacking the US on home soil.

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Its a very popular scenario used in many other Video games and Movies. The game plays like many other RTS’s, it features a fully relized 3d destructible environments and focus’s on battles rather than resource gathering. Surprisingly the graphics hold up rather well considering the age of the game. This one is definitely worth the purchase and is available on Gog.com for purchase.

 

3) Assassins Creed 3 (PS3 , PC, 360)

This one does not need much of an introduction if you’ve ever played any Assassins creed games in the series you have a general idea of whats going on. The game takes place during and after the American Revolution and follows Connor half English, half Mohawk. This game gives you a wonderful feel for what it might have been like to like in and around Boston, New York and the Frontier in the 18th Century. During the main story you will get to meet and assist many of Americas Founding fathers. The game does stay true to the source material and look of the time from what I could tell. Not the best of the series but the Setting and Characters make up for its short comings.

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2) Freedom Fighters (PS2, PC)

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This is one of those games I never heard about prior to picking it up at Block Buster, It features a ever so popular alternate reality similar to World in Conflict. You play a plumber in New York city on a job when he is attacked and his brother taken away by Soviet troops invading the US. You quickly get thrown into a renegade group of Freedom Fighters taking the fight to the Soviets. Its a third person shooter that brings nothing innovative in the game play mechanics but I really enjoyed the Narrative and premise last time I played it. Im not sure its aged very well though to be honest.

 

1) Company of Heroes (PC)

Easily one of the Greatest RTS games of all time, and my Favorite WW2 game. The game features very cinematic historically accurate story beginning with D Day and weaving its way through some of the most important Battles. From a gameplay and Mechanics aspect the developers had built a new feature called  “Advanced squad AI”, this allowed for soldiers to use the environment accurately including taking cover and advanced tactics. The Environments were stunning and everything in the environment is destructible adding another layer of complexity as the environment changed from time to time. If you somehow missed this one, there is a newer version that was released a few years ago  (COH2)that features a Russian Campaign.

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I hope that you enjoyed my list and no matter your nationality, that you get to experience freedom in some regard. If you have your own list share them in the comments below I would be happy to read them. Thanks!

Fighting Games for people who suck at Fighting games

Let me start by saying, I generally suck at fighting games. Whether it’s learning the many move sets, or trying to figure them out without having to look them up. I remember during the 16-bit era fighting games were all the rage. Finally a console could match up to a similar quality you found in an Arcade cabinet. Some of the first games that I can remember playing with my Brothers and friends were the Street Fighter 4 Championship edition and Primal Rage on the Sega Genesis and Mortal Kombat 2 on the SNES.

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On Street Fighter 2 I tended to Gravitate toward the Characters that were nimble or had great reach. That meant that I used Sagat, Vega and of course I spammed Dhalsim like crazy. That’s ok though typically my little brother would pick Blanka and sit in the corner using his electric move defensively every time I pressed the attack. While back then I would scream “Cheater!” and how cheap he was for using it. I see now that he was young and the idea of memorizing moves was not common for either of us. Primal Rage, God help us was an even bigger mess and resulted in a large sum of button mashing and trying to hit the Cave men running around in the background. Neither of us had a single move we knew outside of striking back and forth.

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After that I took somewhat of a long hiatus from fighting games, I remember going to a friend’s house who had gotten a PS1 for Christmas and the game Tekken. I was blown away by the Graphics and the attention to detail in the game. Also it seemed to have a wide variety of character types, even some with weapons!  And while I was no better at this game than one in the past, it felt different like you didn’t have to know Special moves if you figured out how to chain combos and dodge/block. This game I could actually stay somewhat competitive with.

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A few years later another friend of mine received a Sega Dreamcast for his birthday along with two Arcade style fighting games Soul Caliber and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Soul Caliber I throughly enjoyed, it had a similar play style to Tekken combined with a focus on using weapons rather than fists and feet. And while I wasn’t good enough to beat my friend, I still really enjoyed it. Marvel vs. Capcom on the other hand I really loved, it had the best cast of characters ever in a fighting game as far as Im concerned. However…I was absolutely horrid at it. I had a hard time beating the CPU most of the time. My friend Chris however was the master of fighting games, he could pop off every move for every character at a moment’s notice. So where did I go wrong, why is it I could just never get the hang of it? For me it came down to a few things I think,

  • I always played the Aggressor, let’s just say I never knew which button was block.
  • I never stuck with a character long enough to learn their strengths and weaknesses and how to cater to those.
  • I got discouraged if I couldn’t pick a controller up and dominate out of the gate, like I could with RTS’s and Shooters.

The last few years I’ve played a lot more fighting games and have discovered that many of them very much now cater to folks that maybe are a lot like me and can’t help but do the things I said above. So these are the games over the years that I’ve played, bought or revisited that are very accessible for fans at any Skill level.

1)Super Smash Brothers (WII)- While not a traditional fighting game, Smash bros brings a lot to the table. It’s the third installment to the series and had the best cast of character’s to date. The Object is to knock your opponent off the screen or at least do enough damage so that something in the environment does. I had a great time playing the Single player or better yet some couch Coop.

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2) Mortal Kombat 9(PS3) Nether Realms did a fantastic job of so many things on this game. It went back to its 2d roots of course using 3D rendering on characters as well as the environments. It was much easier to pull off the unique moves and very easy to perform your fatalities and they were quite imaginative. The X ray mode was pretty a slick addition as well.

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3)Injustice :Gods among Us(PS3)(excited for Injustice2)- I am a hug Comic fan, so when I heard that a game featuring the core Heroes and Villians was coming, and that it was made by Netherrealms I was all in. To date it’s the best Single player story in a fighting game that Ive played.I Can’t wait to play Injustice 2.

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Outside of the Injustice 2 game I’m really excited to play the new remake of Street Fighter 2 on the Nintendo Switch.

SNES Classic Wish List #1

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So Nintendo in their infinite wisdom cancelled the production of the NES Classic and also announced that a SNES Classic will indeed be coming out later this year. (here’s hoping I can actually snag one this time) So I though it would be fun to list 10 games that would be on my must have list for the new SNES Classic.  So here they are in no-particular order…

1)Chrono Trigger:

Now this is an RPG I would gladly play through again. It has one of the best array of Characters in a RPG ever, along with a Fantastic story and 13 different endings. Which was unheard of when this game came out.

2) Star Fox:

Before Peppy ever told you how much you looked like your father or Slippy annoyed the piss out of you there was Starfox for SNES. One of the Best Flight Sims of that time and a game that translated 3dimensional sprites very well to be in 16bit.

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3) Donkey Kong Country

An instant classic and easily one of my favorite platformers to date. The character models and back drops were gorgeous, and the animals you got to ride made this game very enjoyable.

 

4) Mega Man X

The Best Mega man game hands down for me. It took the formula from the NES and really built on it. It had the Mega Man Pedigree, but did so much to advance the series.

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5) Super Mario World

How do you follow up Super Mario 3…..I guess by perfecting the platforming formula. What can I say this was easily on of the best Mario games to date for me.

 

6)Super Mario Kart

I believe this was the first racing game on the SNES I played and I was hooked , it paved the way for future installments.

 

7) Zelda Link to the past

One of my Favorite games of all time and my personal fav Zelda game I need not say anything else.

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8)Final Fantasy 3

One of the First in depth RPG’s I ever played, I remember getting lost a lot and wondering how long this game was! Would love to give it another shot and finish it.

9)Earthbound

I unfortunately never played this game on the SNES and it fetches a very large Sum if you own it. I played it much later on a PC ROM but I really liked it

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10)Castle Vania 4\Metroid:

I couldn’t just do 10 choices it was too hard,on one hand I played Super Metroid and loved it. On the other hand I never played Super Castevania and Would love an opportunity to play through what many consider to be one of the best Castlevania’s in the series (hopefully both will be on it)

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Why does Nintendo hate their fans?! (Part2)

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1)What was your First Nintendo Console you ever remember playing? And what were some of your favorite games

it Started with the Original NES, my parents had bought the NES for my older brother in 86 the same year I was born. I can remember at an early age watching my Brother play “RAD Racer” and “Skate Or Die”. Oddly enough I can remember waking up to my parents rushing downstairs to play Mario and Jaws after putting us to bed. I think what drew me in was being able to interact with something that told me a story, I was used to playing with my toys and dreaming up who my characters were and what they were doing. This was something that told me the story, one in which I did not know the outcome. The games that I loved the most were often games that I could enjoy with my Brothers, like Ninja Turtle: Manhattan Project(my Fav Turtle game), Mario 3, and Tecmo Bowl. Me and my younger brother would play Final Fantasy and I would tell him he was controlling 2 of the 4 characters and all he had to do was hit “A”, worked everytime! MegaMan 2 and Mike Tyson’s Punch out were the first games that I beat and truly felt rewarded and accomplished.

 

2) What Set Nintendo Apart from the Competition?

It comes down to the Classics, Nintendo truly built their consoles around the games. They had so many AAA First-Party Games, I bought their consoles not because of its Features or its Bits(power) but solely on its high quality titles. And that trend went on all the way to the Wii. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Genesis but looking back on the games I truly loved for it pales in comparison to Nintendo’s library.

I bought their consoles not because of its Features or its Bits(power) but solely on its high quality titles

3)What are some of your fondest memories with a Nintendo game or Console?

Well in the days before the internet the only real way to learn all the game secrets was to wait for a Nintendo power magazine that published an article on that title,Or wait till you got on the School bus or Recess. I learned the proper order to beating all of the MegaMan 2 Robots thanks to the School Bus ride in the morning. I also remember learning about the location of the 2nd Flute in Mario 3 from Recess. Other fond memories come later during the N64 days. It was the first console that my Brothers and I could actually play together at the same time. We would take our favorite controllers and go to friend’s houses and wear them out in Golden Eye and Mario Kart, don’t even get me started on Smash Bros.

Games that really changed my perspective on what gaming is and how it could be a passion for some people and not just a hobby would be Legend of Zelda: A link to the past. This game was full of some many new ideas for me, it had a strong Narrative that told a story that was both Exciting and Sombering. It featured a light and a Dark world that you could later move freely between. It had an amazing array of items and weapons to have at your disposal and it featured some of the first Puzzles I ever played. Also one thing I really appreciated was that once you beat the game the developers cared enough to let you know the outcome of the characters you met along the way.

 

4)What was the last Nintendo Console you owned and what caused you to stop supporting Nintendo ?

The Last Console I bought was the Wii, I have to admit I was working for Game Stop at the time, we received extra consoles that were not reserved and I really wanted to play Zelda Twilight princess so I decided  to pop on it and play Zelda. I was originally very excited for the console during the days it was refereed to as the “Nintendo Revolution” It seemed to offer so many new ideas, something Nintendo wrote the book on. However after getting it home and playing Zelda for hours, it felt somewhat disconnected.

Sure the Motion controls were neat and the concept quite unique but it was the first Nintendo console that I really felt let down on. It came out in a time in my life were Graphics became a huge deciding factor in the console and games I played. The Nintendo magazine that broke the Story on Redsteel really gave me hope, it looked like such a good idea to put the player in control of a Japanese Katana and hack and slash fools. But it to was a let down. I will say the Wii did have some pretty clever and unique games I did enjoy(Wii Sports,Mario Galaxy) but overall it left much to be desired.

 

5) Where do you feel Nintendo has had its biggest failures? And what would you do if you were in charge ?

The major issue here is Nintendo lost focus on what’s important to fans and the consumer. And instead of focusing on building stellar first party and third party games they found themselves chasing after Innovation.

Innovation in of itself is a good thing you don’t want the same console regurgitated over and over with a slight performance increase. But it can never be at the expense of the one items that makes a video game developer real profit…the Games.

For me if I was President of Nintendo tomorrow my first thing I would correct would be to listen to the fans, we do a great job of telling you what we like and dislike especially in the Era of Social Media. I would say lets get back to Basics back to what Made Nintendo the King, Great, fun and memorable games that appeal to both the “Core” gamer and new comers alike. Don’t be afraid to give the fans what they want, a new Metroid, Star Fox, Mario, Donkey Kong, or even Bomberman. Give parents the opportunity to share the same characters that we loved as kids with our very own children.

The major issue here is Nintendo lost focus on what’s important to fans and the consumer

6) What do you want to see from Nintendo in the future and how can they turn this around with the Switch?

The Switch looks promising but I hope it’s not another Gimmick with a lack of games or third party developers that cant design current generation games on it due to its limited hardware.

Id love to see them bring in a new Virtual store and resale original or remastered versions of many of their classic games throughout the large library they have. I would be happy to re buy games in a digital format that I have not played in years. I’d also love to play games that I missed out on from the Gamecube and Wii U libraries like the Metroid and Zelda Skyward Sword.

Here’s to hoping Nintendo figures this out so that they can continue to make consoles far into the future.

Why Does Nintendo Hate their Fans?! Part 1

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1)What was your First Nintendo Console you ever remember playing? And what were some of your favorite games.

NES was my first Nintendo console, actually, it was my first console period. It came out the same year I was born (two weeks after my birth in North America) and we got one in the year following. I wasn’t actually playing until 1987 or so, but I still remember those times playing games with my brothers. Besides the obvious classics like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros, my favorite games were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle II The Arcade Game, Skate or Die, Mega Man 2, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Ducktales and Contra.

2) What Set Nintendo Apart from the Competition?(Sega ,Atari)

During the NES era, Nintendo had more advanced games than what Atari had. In the SNES era, Nintendo had a better, more diverse catalog of games than Sega did. Super Mario World was better than all of the Sonic games released on the Genesis. Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger were better than games like Phantasy Star. It always came down to having better games, because in the end, that’s all that matters.

   

3)What are some of your fondest memories with a Nintendo game or Console? (Maybe a game you and your friends would play, or one that changed you)

   Playing games like Contra and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 The Arcade Game with my brothers and friends stand out as fond memories. Chrono Trigger changed my perception of games. I got attached to the characters in a way that I never had before, and the fact that the game had so many different endings depending on various decisions was mind blowing at the time. 20 years later and it remains as one of my favorite games of all time.

“It always came down to having better games, because in the end, that’s all that matters.”

4)What was the last Nintendo Console you owned and what caused you to stop supporting Nintendo ?

Nintendo Wii was the last Nintendo console that I owned. The best way to explain why I stopped supporting Nintendo is through a classic Star Wars quote “You’re going down a path I cannot follow!” Starting with the Wii era, Nintendo decided to follow a different path from it’s “next-gen” counterparts. Instead of being interested in graphics, online functionality, and story, they became interested in gimmicky motion controls. I mean, this approach definitely worked for them. Shortly after the launch you found that parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all playing the Wii. While this was amazing to see so many people interested in gaming, people like myself were craving more of a traditional gaming experience. I was grown up, I wanted mature games that told a compelling story, I wanted to talk and play with friends online, and that just wasn’t what Nintendo was going for anymore.

 

5) Where do you feel Nintendo has had its biggest failures? And what would you do if you were in charge ?

Nintendo left behind the gamer who made them what they are. By focusing on gimmicky motion controls and family centric games, the gamers who had followed them for all the NES, SNES, N64 and Gamecube years were giving up and Nintendo, seemingly, didn’t care. They depended on Mario and Zelda to keep that audience around, but releasing one of those games every 3-4 years wasn’t good enough when other consoles were offering multiple exclusive games a year.

“Nintendo left behind the gamer who made them what they are.”

If I was in charge, I would be looking at the competition and actually competing. I would look at the online services provided by Playstation and Xbox and I would make one similar. By offering that kind of service, I could attract all of the Indie releases that those platforms get, which would complement the decades worth of classic Nintendo titles being offered on the Virtual Console. I wouldn’t have let third party support fail. I would have had the power to have the same Call of Duty and Battlefield offerings available on the platform. I would invest in new IP’s to complement the Mario and Zelda franchises and most importantly, I would make Star Fox great again.

What do you want to see from Nintendo in the future and how can they turn this around with the Switch?

I think the Switch looks great, but I still see some examples of Nintendo being Nintendo. Things like the dreaded friend codes are still around (though not as bad as they were before), the storage in the system is laughably bad, gimmick motion controls are still around, and the accessory prices are too high. The system itself looks very innovative, but in order to survive, they need to start looking at the other consoles to make their online services better and they need to bring on the games because once everyone has finished Zelda, there isn’t really anything compelling for some time..

Special Thanks to Reid Whittle for his perspective on this topic.