Nintendo: A Love/Hate Relationship

Nintendo: A Love/Hate Relationship
Nintendo recently announced that they would follow-up the success (depending on your perspective) of the NES Classic Edition. This September we’ll be getting the SNES Classic Edition. As you would imagine, the collectors and hardcore Nintendo fanboys went wild. I do consider myself both in regards to Nintendo, but, come on, we’ve seen these games already on Virtual Console.
How many times have I played Super Mario World? I still have my original SNES cartridge. Kirby Super Star, well that’s the best Kirby game to introduce one to the series and my personal favorite Kirby game. I already have Super Metroid on my Wii U. I can play Donkey Kong Country on-the-go at any time with my New 3DS XL. Street Fighter II… I just picked it up for my Nintendo Switch.

The SNES Classic Edition will include the never before released Star Fox 2.

Initially, the SNES Classic Edition doesn’t look appealing to me. I have all these games in one form or another. I don’t touch emulators. Nintendo has produced some excellent games in years past so of course I want to give them my money. They’ve worked for it. Right? Right? Sure… SNES Classic Edition – I don’t need it.
But smack dab on the front of the SNES Classic Edition box is an announcement that every SNES will come packed with Star Fox 2. Yes, that would be the very same never released, only emulated, fully completed, Star Fox 2. As soon as I saw that notice my brain and heart wanted to jump out of my body. Star Fox 2? Okay, I’m listening. SNES Classic Edition – I need it. Now if Nintendo makes Star Fox 2 a SNES Classic Edition exclusive, and repeats the NES Classic Edition fiasco again, then I’m done. I’m so done. But only for now.
There was a time, a few short months ago, when I had an NES Classic Edition in my online cart on Best Buy. As much as I wanted to smash the Confirm Payment button, I had to stop and think. “What am I doing this for? For the sake of Nostalgia? It’s a tiny NES, but I still have my original.” I decided it wasn’t worth it. Could I have bought it and sold it for triple what it’s worth? Sure, but considering that scalpers are a despicable cancer on gaming, I was not going to do that.
We all know that trying to get your hands on an NES Classic Edition was disastrous. It was hopeless to do it unless you were glued to a keyboard or camped out at your nearest store. If scalpers were the injury, the insult came from Nintendo when they announced a few months after the NES’ release that they would discontinue production immediately. What a burn for gamers.
I began to think of why Nintendo fosters this strange but wonderful relationship with myself and what I’m sure is with many other gamers. How can we love and hate something as huge as Nintendo with such burning intensity on either extreme? Because, love or hate, I think we owe a lot to Nintendo.

Nintendo has pushed the boundaries for decades.

These guys singlehandedly saved the gaming industry from imminent collapse in the 80s. Nintendo was the first to introduce a controller with the D-Pad. The first to include shoulder buttons on a controller. They gave us the ability to explore 3D space by introducing a controller with a joystick. The standard expectation of a rumble feature in our gaming controllers began with the Rumble Pak first seen with Star Fox 64. Nintendo made motion controls a worldwide phenomenon with the Wii. And every time I see a young child playing a game on a 3DS instead of a mobile phone, I hold back a tear of happiness. In other words, Nintendo’s handhelds are responsible for the deaths of every Tiger Electronics Game, the Game Gear, the Atari Lynx, and made a doorstop out of the PlayStation Vita. On top of that, they have created some of the most memorable characters and gaming experiences. This corporation has constantly pushed and inspired the industry. God I love Nintendo.
Yet the very same Nintendo created the Virtual Boy, the Vitality Sensor, and the Blue Spiny Shell. Animal Crossing: amiibo Party. Metroid Prime: Federation Force. They’re responsible for the original price of the 3DS and its botched lineup of games. All the amiibo shortages (Okay, some amiibo eventually got another print. But still). The My Nintendo rewards program (Seriously, just discounts on games we already own?) Selling Rare to Microsoft (My poor Banjo-Kazooie). The Wii U losing third-party support. The NES Classic Edition shortage. Europe getting more attractive collector’s editions. Have you seen the European version of Metroid: Samus Returns?

Club Nintendo was axed in favor of My Nintendo, a rewards program that has been lackluster since its inception.

But my biggest gripe with Nintendo has to be its lack of an online social platform. Xbox Live will be 15 years old this year. Playstation Network launched a decade ago. I know Nintendo will finally be kickstarting their platform in 2018, but why so long? How does a company whose mentality is about the next big thing have to catch up in this regard? It’s been a gaming necessity for years now. I just want to play Splatoon with my friends and communicate by way of the console instead of booting up Skype or a Google Hangout. God I hate Nintendo… or do I?
No, truthfully, I don’t hate Nintendo at all. I love them to 8bits. My relationship with Nintendo is like the relationship between a fledgling parent and their child except I, strangely, feel like the parent here. “I don’t hate you, I just hate your behavior and your decisions.” Because no matter what kind of decisions Nintendo makes, for better or worse, I’m going to be there to enjoy what I can. 
Decades ago Nintendo took a dried up industry and rejuvenated it. Out of a puddle we now have a vast ocean today. You can feel their love and passion for gaming in every Nintendo Direct they produce for their audience. They tend to listen to the consumer. It took a lot of fan outcry, but a couple of weeks ago we learned that we’re getting not one, but two, new Metroid games. Despite their more recent hurdles, Nintendo continues to be a source of inspiration on the gaming industry; one that even big names in software and hardware development look up to.

Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Interactive Entertainment, demos the Nintendo Switch.

I think we’re far too prone to anger when we get something we don’t want from Nintendo; maybe rightly so in some situations. For me, that frustration is satiated sooner than later. So what if I don’t get my hands on a super amazing limited collector’s edition? Well, to confess something to you: that’s not my stance on amiibo. You could call amiibo an obsession for me. Initially, when those figures to life were revealed for Super Smash Bros., I thought I’d just collect my favorite characters at first. Link. Samus. Mario. That’ll tie me over. I soon realized that I wanted all of them. One of each. Because it’s not just the characters. I’m collecting these because of the company that created these characters. More importantly, it’s the games and the experiences we enjoyed with these characters from the company that brought it into our homes and in the palms of our hands.
Today, I have every single amiibo that has launched. My Twilight Princess Link is still on his way, but Skyward Sword Link (thanks to a good friend lending me a hand) and Majora’s Mask Link are sitting in my room. Every new amiibo announced at E3 2017 is already pre-ordered.

Nintendo Switch sales show no signs of slowing down, and that’s a good thing.

If you’re dying to get your hands on the upcoming SNES Classic Edition, I wish you the greatest of luck. Pre-orders have yet to go live here in North America. I suppose when it comes to supreme Nintendo goodies, we all pick and choose our battles. I’ll stick with my goal of getting one of every amiibo… aside from the fact that I scored a European SNES Classic Edition yesterday.
Gaming can be quite fierce, but it can also be quite passionate for some of us. No matter what comes on the horizon between us and Nintendo, I implore you to keep an open mind. No matter what: my body is ready.
Jason Arriola

One of the biggest Star Wars fans there is. When I don't have one of many gaming peripherals in my hands I probably have my nose in a good book, out amiibo hunting, or contemplating (and never deciding) what game to pull off my shelf next!