When you have been around for as long as Nintendo, it means that you have garnered a great deal of success and accolades. Coming out of the video game crash of the early 90s, Nintendo was half responsible for making home entertainment as great as it is today. Along that path, bumps in the road are going to happen. That goes without saying that some of the decisions this company made would’ve put others out of business, proving the mettle of Nintendo’s integrity and fortitude, I always just assumed that what they did they intended for it to be a benefit to not only their brand, but for all gaming as a whole. Before I get into some of my personal head-shaking moments, however, I wanted to go over some of the more prominent items of discussion that won’t appear in this for reasons I will provide:
The Power Glove: A very popular jab that millions have already taken at this, yeah, it’s so bad. I was never unfortunate enough to actually try to use this thing, so I don’t feel like I’m qualified to discuss something I’ve never experienced.
The Super Mario Bros Movie: Again, another one that people with more credentials than myself have already shot barbs at this giant flop of a movie. It was a disaster from every aspect; script, the actors’ morale, setting, concept. You know something, I actually enjoyed this movie, not out of spite or going against the grain, I’ve liked it enough to own it on DVD TWICE!! Perhaps it’s because I’m a glutton for punishment, but honestly, when the announcement for a Mario Bros. movie was announced and you saw the trailer, did you really think it was going to be any good? Frankly, I think the Double Dragon film is a bigger travesty to its series than this vehicle. The Lee Twins have been degraded to downloadable content while Mario is still stomping Goombas. BTW, two brothers sampling the same girl?! I need to pick up Rosetta Stone so I can say “EEEWWW!!!” in 20 languages.
The Legend of Zelda and Hotel Mario games on the Phillips CDi: Like the Power Glove, I never owned these games, much less the system itself. Also, I’m not quite sure how much Nintendo had to do with the development of the games since the short-lived partnership between Phillips and Nintendo fell apart prior to these games’ existence. Therefore, I can’t shoot the blame directly at Nintendo for their existence.
Now with that out of the way, here are my Top Ten Nintendo Fails!!
#10. The Super Scope 6: The NES Light Gun (or Zapper) is perhaps the most quintessential prehiphrials in gaming that its iconic. Everybody felt hardcore blowing away waterfowl in Duck Hunt (Or failing to blow away waterfowl, depending on the calibration of your gun), attempting to get the damn thing to work for Bayou Billy, or using it to play spy with your friends and subsequently breaking it. Naturally, when Nintendo made the leap to 16 bits, we expected a much more advanced version of the Light Gun and great library of games to try it out. What did we get instead? The big, bulky, cumbersome Super Scope 6.
This chunky, battery-sucking, waste of plastic set back after I saved my allowance for weeks and the only game that worked well for it was Metal Combat. I couldn’t even get the base games to work for it and to this day, still don’t know why! Top that off with trying to calibrate it was awkward, since it relied on a sensor and not light-based like it’s predecessor. I’ve never liked this thing and if it wasn’t for the fact that the Virtual Boy, I’d consider it a big disaster. Which reminds me…
#9: The Virtual Boy: I almost didn’t include this waste of technology because I still wake in cold sweats at night after having night terrors of endless games of Red Alarm (the first game I got for it. Merry Christmas, indeed.) and Waterworld to the point that I would welcome the flames of Hell instead of being sentenced to play with this visually distorting compost filler. I would actually have to go back and read up some info to find out whose bright idea it was to make the color scheme red and black, because if there is a legit reason for this, I’d like to hear it. Even with its lousy library of games (with the exception of 3), just how could you play this thing comfortably? When View Masters kick your ass in the ease and comfort department, you know you’re a failure!!
#8 No End Labels on N64 Games!!: Even Atari fell victim to this. If I have a shelf full of games on it, I shouldn’t have to pick it up, one by one, look at it, and put it back!!
This is a very good thing. Who decided it was an inconvenience?! Being able to look at the game I might consider selecting while its sitting in plain sight is much more simplistic than having to pick up several games to look at the damn front of them and hope for a surprise! If I wanted a surprise, I’d get a goddamn gashapon! And during the cartridge game era this crap ran rampant. Sega pulled the same shit with the 32X games as well. All of the NES games are properly labeled, with the exception of those unlicensed Tengen games and various other bootlegs. The Super Nintendo kept labels on the ends of their games as well. So what was so special about the next level of gaming that this very simple luxury needed to be removed!?
Did they assume that the new games with its high powered blast processing was too much to be contained by putting an extra several centimeters of paper and adhesive around the top of it? Would that extra paper melt or something?!
HAVE LABELS ON YOUR GAME!!!!!
#7 Starfox Adventures Gets Furry:………………..Why?……….Why did you feel it was necessary? I’m all for equality and I am not one to discriminate, but the very second I saw Krystal in promotion art, I can only imagine the server on Deviant Art crashing faster than Hostess’ stock investments with fan created images. At least Newgrounds didn’t exist back then or its mature section will be filled with interesting ideas. Now I like my share of anthropomorphic female animal characters, Babs Bunny and Princess Sally Acorn to name a few, but it’s sort of come to the point where this just gets phoned in. It isn’t so much that I’m offended by her existence, but rather this was a series that didn’t particularly require it. Like, the reason Starfox Adventures exists in a third person action plain is so you can get a look at her figure. Nope, can’t be a talking head from a cockpit like the others did in the 90s, she has fuzz boobies and fox ass!!! She’s far from just being eye candy, I kinda like her as a character, but her existence and other things in regards to the Adventures game just felt out-of-place. Get back in the Arwings!!
#6. Captain N The Game Master: I watched it. I have it on DVD. I enjoyed it as a kid.
I want to know just how many things could Nintendo slap its logo on, brand it, and shovel it out to an impressionable youth who measured how much their parents loved them by how much shit they bought for them. From a production standpoint alone, this made the Super Mario Bros. Super Show look like Final Fantasy The Spirits Within by comparison. It’s poorly edited, missing frames and backgrounds at times, and the characters move worse than Gumby! And then there’s the characters. While I would say that Mega Man should sue for defamation of character, I think Simon Belmont has a bigger case to make here.
Simon Belmont is one of video games’ original badasses and a staple in not just Castlevania, but throughout 8 bit platform gaming. The Belmonts have been vanquishing Dracula for generations, so you would assume that he would be portrayed as a stoic, sound leader, ready to take on any danger that may oppose them, right? Well, we would’ve got that, but some ran in and said, “That sounds great, but what if we did the complete opposite of that?”. And what we got was a flamboyant, egotistical moron who looked more like Gaston’s estranged cousin if he were drawn by John Kricfalusi.
Great! You just made some money! Now use it to go by a bucket of sand to pour on the floor and kick it into this boy’s innocent face!!
#5 The Destruction of Samus: I’m hoping and praying that the story in Metroid Other M was a Phoenix on the end of one of its lives, hacking and coughing before dissolving into ashes only to be reborn anew, full of life and vibrance. Because if I am supposed to take Samus seriously in this game, then I’m waiting for the punchline. Like Simon Belmont, Samus was a character I idolized, but Other M felt the need to turn what I thought was a seasoned and experienced bounty hunter and turn her into an immature, whiny, codependant moron who did nothing but complain throughout this entire game!! This story wasn’t really all that good, and if a great deal of her personality and history are in manga format, then bring her manga out here!!! On second thought, don’t do that! Anime female characters have gotten really typecast into what Samus was in this game and too much anime has rubbed all over my video games in the last 13 years that once great characters are now adopting the traits similar to the crappy characters in Bleach!! Keep your manga, I’ll go play Super Metroid, you rat bastards!
#4. Educational Games on Major Consoles
We always wondered what Luigi’s first game would be. He’s one of the most recognized sidekicks on the planet. Afterall, Dick Grayson became Nightwing, so what would Luigi’s first exclusive video game be? Mario Is Missing? Well, his name isn’t in the title, but that means he’ll be the feature character! Alright I can’t wait!! What do we get!!?
I’ll tell you what we get. A hastily thrown together education-based game that burrows visuals from Super Mario World and adds puzzle-solving and clue gathering. Same with Mario’s Time Machine, at leat they use the Mode 7 graphics for the crappy surfing mini game. But what is this? How do you justify customers paying $50.00 retail for something that more appropriate for the Macintosh PC? When I turn on my SNES, I want to play Final Fight, F Zero, or Super Castlevania, I don’t wanna learn!! That’s what the back of cereal boxes are for!! Luigi would have to wait for the Gamecube to get his very own game. It was good, but he deserved better, sooner.
#3. The Wii U Wait List: This disaster probably lost Nintendo some serious ground in terms of trying to keep pace with Sony and Microsoft in terms on revenue and sales. While I believe the hardware will be fine from a development standpoint, this was one of the worst console launches I’ve ever seen.
Without inventory to fulfill outlet shelves for major retailers this last holiday season, GameStop and other stores like Best Buy and Target resorted to handing out Wii Us in a first come, first serve deal. It was like handing out survival rations for 70,000 people to the entire population of India! I spoke with GameStop clerks who looked discouraged about this whole arrangement and I saw customers walk out of said stores livid that there’s wasn’t in yet. I had my name on the list, but decide to just buy the games I reserved instead and waited until a full stock was guaranteed. I have been appalled by how a company like Nintendo would let something this sloppy happen. I don’t know how much damage they did to themselves with this, but with a lacking library of launch titles (Tank Tank Tank!!) Rehashings of game people already own with mild extras (Batman Arkam City and Assassin’s Creed III), and delays to really anticipated games (Ray Man Legends), topped off with this mediocre splash, the Wii U might set itself up for a 1-2 knockout from the PS4 and XBox 720. I don’t want to see Nintendo go the way of Sega, who should still be making consoles today, because that would be the last outlet of my gaming childhood crushed under what I consider hype machines that the PS3 and 360 are.
#2. Mario Characters Never, EVER Needed to Talk!!
I guess it was inevitable, but the single, worst, most annoying thing that I hate about the Mario games nowadays is that I have to hear them speak, or do whatever it is their vocal cords do to produce such irritating noises. It makes Jar Jar Binks sound like Josh Groban. I can tolerate The Legend of Zelda, because it’s mostly just grunts, winces, and screams (I’ll even take Link from the cartoon) these characters aren’t trusted with actual words. But with Mario and Luigi I have to hear the worst Italian stereotype voices ever in the history of dubbing shout crap like “Eeer We Goo-ou!!” and “Mamma Mia!!” over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, AND OVER, AND OVER, AND OVER, AND OVER, AND OVER!!!!!!!! For the love of all that is good and decent, will somebody shut these magpies up!! “Yay HAY, Luigi Time!!!” What the hell does that even mean!!?! Your talking and dialog makes me want to get stabby!! I loved the Brooklyn Mario so much from the Super Show, why didn’t they ever do that again!? For the kids!? I was a kid and the only talking Mario I got was played by Captain Lou Albano, and he was damn fine at it!! This talking has to stop. They sound worse than Disney characters, and it’s bad enough that my RPGs have Troy Baker and Vic MicEggnog in them, but these talking Nintendo characters need to be euthanized.
And #1. Yoshi is Starting to Piss Me Off!!: You had a good run, but you are becoming a liability, my dinosaur friend. there once was a time where you were a welcome commodity to my gameplay, often times an extra meat shield so I can keep my fire flower, but I would journey to Star World and acquire one of your brethren, each with their own unique ability. The Yoshi mount was such a success that other games under Nintendo’s own umbrella thought it was a good idea to have a cute animal mount to aid the heroes on their quest, like Bomberman and Kirby.
But now that the fame has gone to your head, including starring in that Super Mario World cartoon (the very worst of the Mario cartoons, might I add), you’ve started acting like a dino dick ever since. Now, you have this weird, floating, running, double jump thing that I guess is supposed to aid me further, but I always assume I missed the jump. Then you start kicking your feet, leaving me to believe I can make the jump by floating a little more, but your extra float boost only lasts for 1 second, tops. I wind up dying anyway, thanks to the false hope you have provided me. You are useless in Mario Kart, yes, your acceleration is among the best in the game, but you get beaten off the road by any other driver remotely bigger than you! Now in more recent games like Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Brothers U, you don’t even stick around after I acquire you! I no longer acquire the power up after you swallow it, instead I have to spit it out and then walk over it. You know, like I would do if I didn’t waste my time picking up your useless ass! And the baby Yoshi’s in U? I thought that they would become big Yoshi’s with unique powers after I ate a certain number of enemies, but NOOOOOO, it’s a balloon-like add-on that I have lug throughout the entire stage! You hear that, you’ve become carry-on! I should stuff you in my overhead bin, because I have no reason to waste my time on you anymore. Congratulations, you’re simply a formality in a series that has begun to show some chinks in the armour. You are now at Chocobo status!