292: The Making (and Unmaking) of a Nintendo Fanboy

Kyle Orland

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The Making (and Unmaking) of a Nintendo Fanboy

When you see fanboys, you may see surly misanthropes just looking for an argument, but Kyle Orland sees someone eager to relive the joy of their first exposure to videogames - and a bit of himself.

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Artemicion

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Dec 7, 2009
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The PS3 still sucks.

Just kidding, I love it as much as I love my Xbox. Good article, and a nice insight into fanboyism. I hadn't thought if it that way before; I'm generally much more like your group of friends. Definitely worth thinking about.

Actually I went through much of he same situation, although mine started with the SNES and moved to PlayStation. I was always jealous of the kids wih an N64 because they had Super Smash Brothers and Star Fox64.
 

8-Bit Grin

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You haven't received many comments, but I think your article was brilliant.

Breaking away from the company that introduced you to the wonders of videogames is one of the most difficult things I've ever done.
 

Dastardly

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Kyle Orland said:
The Making (and Unmaking) of a Nintendo Fanboy

When you see fanboys, you may see surly misanthropes just looking for an argument, but Kyle Orland sees someone eager to relive the joy of their first exposure to videogames - and a bit of himself.

Read Full Article
There are certain Nintendo IPs that have their hooks lodged deeply into my skin, and they can always tug me back like a helplessly obedient marionette. I'm looking at you, Link. As long as Nintendo consoles are the cheaper option, I see no reason not to have one... but if that changes? I just don't know.

We do still have to hand it to Nintendo--they're not afraid to innovate. They're willing to jump out with an unproven technology and do stuff. The other companies will, in very short order, copy (and usually improve) that technology... but I think it's okay to admire that pioneering spirit. But that's never been Nintendo's weak spot. The problem they have is they won't share.

They've become a slave to their own branding. Every game has to have "Nintendo" stamped all over it, so a lot of viable IPs are forced to look elsewhere. It's like those ridiculous rap, hip-hop, and R&B artists that feel that need to say their own names in every song. Yeah, we know, jackass. Your name's on the album cover. (Seriously, do they do this stuff in live shows, too?)

The Wii's game library still reads like a document intended to "show us what the Wii could do." That time has passed. It's time to start doing it. And that means letting developers in on the secrets to effective Wii games, and allowing them to make those games free of excessive branding. And really, that time has passed, too. Maybe in the next generation...
 

SUPA FRANKY

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Nice article, a really good read.

Though most fanboys usually are just assholes trying to push their opinions onto people.
 

Mcface

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I first played the sega (though i was too young to really remember)
my first real console was the N64.
I had no problems saying the game cube and wii sucked, though.
 

starwarsgeek

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Dastardly said:
They've become a slave to their own branding. Every game has to have "Nintendo" stamped all over it, so a lot of viable IPs are forced to look elsewhere. It's like those ridiculous rap, hip-hop, and R&B artists that feel that need to say their own names in every song. Yeah, we know, jackass. Your name's on the album cover. (Seriously, do they do this stuff in live shows, too?)

The Wii's game library still reads like a document intended to "show us what the Wii could do." That time has passed. It's time to start doing it. And that means letting developers in on the secrets to effective Wii games, and allowing them to make those games free of excessive branding. And really, that time has passed, too. Maybe in the next generation...
This is true. While there's pleanty of good-to-great third parrty games on the console, most of them either use the basic "swing to attack", "point to aim", or no motion controls at all. While you can't blame Nintendo for a bad game they didn't make, it would be nice if they shared some tips with anyone developing a Wii game.
 

Sabrestar

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This pretty much hits it perfectly. A lot of us grew up in those times. It's hard to resist the pull.

You touched briefly on a subject that I think deserves more attention as an instigator of fanboyishness among the grew-up-in-the-80s sect: Nintendo Power. I think back then a lot of us had that as our only video game magazine, our only exposure to the greater video-game world. And it was squarely targetted at those of us who were too young to understand that it was pure, shameless propaganda. Sure, it had tips and strategies for the games we were playing, but it was Nintendo's house organ, and they pushed games they wanted to push by giving them heavy coverage (*gives Battletoads the evil, evil eye*). Nintendo Power was in-house propaganda on the grandest scale. And it did its job brilliantly on those of us who barely even considered Sega as a competitor. (I actually knew someone with a Master System, a console that I immediately discounted when I discovered the system design was so bizarre that they put the pause button on the console.)

I still refer back to my old Nintendo Powers sometimes, because it's more fun than just looking up GameFAQs. But now I know well enough to look past the shameless pushing, and instead just laugh at how out-of-date the late-80s, early-90s vibe looks today.
 

NaramSuen

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I didn't even hear about the Sega Master System until well into the 16-bit era, let alone know anyone who owned one.

The N64 was also the end of my love affair with Nintendo consoles, I took its lack of turn-based RPGs as a personal betrayal. I didn't give Nintendo another dime until I bought a DS last year.
 

PunkyMcGee

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Apr 5, 2010
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i'm a Nintendo fan-boy on a nearly similar (and a bit eerie) life story. I'v played the NES as a young boy playing it on Christmas and Thanksgiving when my cousin had one, but my best memory of it was saving up allowances and birthday money so i could buy a SNES, I was the happiest kid on earth, waiting in line holding the box, as best I could with my short arms. That memory is why I'll always be a Nintendo fan-boy, even though the GameCube broke my heart.
 

Saltyk

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I loved my old Sega Genesis. Earthworm Jim, Sonic, Comixzone. So many great games that I can't help but think fondly of. Too bad Sega dropped the ball afterward. They never took full advantage of the 32X (which was actually a 64 bit system), the Saturn never really got good support, and the Dreamcast might have been a glimpse of genius, but they were already too little too late.

These days, I look at Sony to give me the bang for my buck. Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Uncharted, plenty of good RPGs, and the one system that has free online play that works, as well as Sony's willingness to take some chances with games adds up to the better experience in my book.

Sorry Microsoft fans, but the XBox didn't impress me. I only bought a few games for it and the ones I had weren't all that good (and that includes Fable). Except for KOTOR. That was good! And then there was the RROD...

So, I think I can understand, and relate, to this article from both points of few. Both the fanboy desperately hanging on to the once good experience and the person looking at what the system does and what I want it to do.

NaramSuen said:
I didn't even hear about the Sega Master System until well into the 16-bit era, let alone know anyone who owned one.

The N64 was also the end of my love affair with Nintendo consoles, I took its lack of turn-based RPGs as a personal betrayal. I didn't give Nintendo another dime until I bought a DS last year.
I think the only Nintendo systems I ever had were the Nintendo, the original brick Gameboy (which I guarantee will still work even though i haven't touched it in God knows how long), and the DS.

I think the problem for Nintendo, in my mind, is that they are too kid friendly. I'm sorry, but the Wii has so few games aimed at adults that convincing anyone to buy them over say God of War or Halo is kind of a pointless effort. And then there's the less than quality third party games on the system. The only reason to buy a Wii is for the first party games. Also, as Yahtzee says, Nintendo has basically made the same games for some 20 years. They might add a few gameplay tweaks or new powers, and might be great fun, but they aren't original.

This is why I think that Nintendo needs to create a new IP. They need to put their best in house developers on it and make it a M rated experience. I think that would go a long way to dismantling the image of Nintendo as a kid's system both in the minds of gamers and developers. And taking Nintendo out of it's comfort zone might be a good thing. We might even get a new and original take on whatever kind of game they make.

Before anyone flames me, if you have a Nintendo system look in your game library at what you have and actually enjoy playing. I'd be willing to bet close to half of your games, or more, are Nintendo first party games.
 

Outright Villainy

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I can relate to this a lot, though for me it was all a generation after.

N64 was my first (real) console. I had a NES well into the era of the super NES and genesis, simply by virtue of having no money, and 20 bucks for the NES and about 8 games was the extent of my gaming budget until the N64 came along. Even then, I had to save up for months, and buy everything second hand. But Nintendo sealed it for me, because every game I got was a winner: Goldeneye, Mario 64, lylat wars, mario kart, Diddy kong racing, and even the obscure blast corps provided more than enough for me for months to come. And then when I finally found Ocarina of time for cheap, it was minted. I was an utter fanboy.

And, in striking parallel, I had the same experience next generation, feeling more and more like I missed out getting a gamecube over the ps2. Though my brother got that as well anyway, so it all came up aces! :D

Now the Wii is collecting dust, Zelda and the mario galaxy games long finished, with nothing on the horizon. I'm only keeping it for skyward sword, which I'm sure will my be favourite game since, well, the last one.

Nintendo frustrate the hell out of me; brilliant first party games (though even those are becoming rarer), but dismal third party, which has been true ever since the N64. Back then it didn't matter, nintendo and rare put out enough replayable brilliant games for me to contend with, and I couldn't afford more anyway. Now, it's just barren.
 

Wolfram23

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Great article! I guess I'm a bit younger, and for me N64 came out when I was in grade 5 or 6. But damn did I want one! Playstation wasn't even on the radar for me or any of my friends. However by the time GameCube came out I should have known better and gone with PS2. But no, I got the NGC. And then, why oh why (read: Oh, yeah, price) I picked up a Wii. I now have a PS3 tho and a sweet gaming PC... the Wii? I lent it to a friend in a different city and couldn't care less.

Yeah, Nintendo has failed us all I think.
 

Verlander

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It must make you feel better that Sega died a death worse than Nintendo? Nothing remains forever, especially true in the computer games world.

NaramSuen said:
I didn't even hear about the Sega Master System until well into the 16-bit era, let alone know anyone who owned one.
I did! It was great fun, had a game preloaded into the console (Alex Kidd) and lasted me well into Mega Drive years. I wanted a SNES and later an N64, and eventually got them more out of nostalgia. People used to come to my house to play Sega, and I went round theirs to play Nintendo
 

gorfias

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The Wii has made me a little bit of a hater on Nintendo. I just can't abide it for full blown games rather than brief party experiences.

But the Cube was so inexepensive and had so many great games, I can't call the console a bad, hate inducing choice. It's just the game choices on the technically inferiour PS2 were so much better. So, if you could only get one gen 6 console, and you got a cube, I could understand the disappointment, but I think most rabid gamers probably came to own at least all 3 major gen 6 consoles as they were so cheap by 2004.

I do offer prayers daily for the continued good health of the PS3, which is trailing sales wise this gen to the Wii... hmmm, mebbe another reason I'm hating on Wii.
 

vxicepickxv

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8-Bit Grin said:
You haven't received many comments, but I think your article was brilliant.

Breaking away from the company that introduced you to the wonders of videogames is one of the most difficult things I've ever done.
It's a lot easier when the company stops making hardware, see Atari.
 

ThisNewGuy

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I believe that deep down, everybody's still a Nintendo fanboy/fangirl. I think that in every generation, everybody's always making excuses for Nintendo. Sometimes Nintendo delivers, sometimes they don't. And to this day, I'm adamant that Gamecube was the most awesomest console ever made because it had Super Smash Brothers Melee. Everybody else is wrong!
 

MasterChief892039

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What? The N64 was awesome, Nintendo only started going downhill with the Gamecube (and then crashed and burned with the Wii).
 

Arawn.Chernobog

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Nice article, still don't expect me to stop looking down upon said "fan-boys", anyone that holds allegiance to a BRAND, for whatever reason, needs to simply mature and realize that companies don't see you as a beautiful little child willing to experience the next adventure... you're a walking fat wallet that they want to milk, ALL.OF.THEM. Accept this and move on, is my recommendation.

I understand the nostalgia, the necessity to relive that "first encounter", but it's little more then a childhood façade, like the day you discovered Santa Claus wasn't real and never had been and that your parents were willing to lie to you because "it made you happy".