Where Did They Go
Alright, let's state something I'm sure
at least some of us will agree on: video game companies today are awfully
insulting. We're expected to buy utter dirt and vote it our #1 favorite game of
all time. But video gaming wasn't always like this, after all, if we have
tributes to the NES....well, where did we go wrong? Around the arrival of the
N64? Actually, I believe it might of been earlier, and if you'll listen, I'll
expound to you why I think so.
Nintendo started out small, using what resources it had to make video gaming a successful medium of entertainment. Many of the populace were skeptical at first, but Nintendo and other companies managed to create quality works in sports, adventure, and action games that held people's attention for our beloved NES, Nintendo's earliest brainchild. Nintendo's courage grew, and they gathered more ability and equipment. Soon they were building steam to form their gaming empire. Millions of loving fans in America and other countries gave them their support, and Nintendo realized it had quite a backing, scads of consumers who would wait for the next interesting product to come out, and some who would blindly buy any greyish rectangle that was compatible with the Control Deck. (Even unliscensed games.) Rightfully so, for the NES was Nintendo's first system and they were concerned with pleasing the customers, because this was the only way to reach good sales at the time.
But this way of thinking was not to last. Late in 1990, Nintendo of Japan announced the SUPER FAMICOM! It certainly wasn't long before the Super Nintendo was announced as well. Now, "super" usually is used to mean better than objects without the wondrous prefix, right? So the Super Nintendo was definitely superior to NES. At least that's what Nintendo themselves said. Of course, they had concern for the game quality, but they also had interest in making more money, and this more powerful system was their ticket to doing so. Fancy Mode 7 graphics, larger worlds, and top-loading cartridges! How was the NES supposed to compete? Humans often are thrown into frenzy by "higher-quality" versions of items, and so they couldn't resist buying such a marvel. After conjuring this hole in the NES's sales, though, Nintendo could do nothing to keep the NES from fading out. So, slowly, they terminated its existence. Other companies also decided to ignore the system. At an unnoticeable pace, Nintendo sparsely released games that many people thought lacked the quality Nintendo had begun with. The gamers' enthusiasm for the improved system caused less quality for their old system, so they began to ignore it and then Nintendo judged that they didn't like the now "inferior" system. It was as if the gamers were bad parents who hadn't come to realize that "Oh, no! If we pay too much attention to the SNES, then the NES will get jealous!" Our Control Decks weren't sentient, though, so jealousy wasn't our problem. But Nintendo's opinion was. The popularity of the "super" console was highest now. Thus, Nintendo formulated the idea that "More technical is better!"
The NES was temporarily forgotten in the blitz of the Super-system, but there was no going back now. Nintendo was now content with their current SNES sales. Then, under the ridiculous idea that mostly teenagers played Nintendo (although Nintendo darn well knew that a large variety of people played it), Nintendo resolved to take up more of an "attitude" sales pitch. People seem to want an attitude because it makes them feel tough, and really special. Since this is the general feeling Nintendo wanted to create about their system, this pitch is exactly what they needed. This became rather repulsive to a minority who disliked Nintendo's sneering at them. (Okay, maybe only to me...I don't know.) But Nintendo continued on its course. The main focal point of gaming slowly but surely was becoming "graphics and soundtrack are all that matters. The more realism and movie-feel, the more entertained they are". Nintendo was beginning to forget that video games were just that, GAMES, and not movies.
Nintendo was now making deals for movie-based games and trying to be as computerized as possible. (I watched as many disturbed Nintendo Power readers rejected the techno-age feel and screamed at Nintendo. But Nintendo was too far gone by this point.) Then, something new was announced in April 1994.....Project Reality! A really overdone system with 3-D graphics. All the bells and whistles too. With a company called "Silicon Graphics", Nintendo was forming this monstrosity. People who still had faith in Nintendo dreamed of the great things that could be done. But it wasn't going to happen. Nintendo 64 (when it finally came out) tended to lend its capabilites to stupid 3-D graphics and exciting video sequences, little gameplay, and overall unimaginativity (not to mention a rash of stupid first-person shooters that all repeated each other). Not to mention the fact that anyone who was silly enough to sell out to bad attitudes, blood, and no challenge bought any game that Nintendo / Nintendo Power hyped and ignored any that they didn't. (The only reason I played Mystical Ninja : Starring Goemon was because a nice friend of mine recommended it.)
What was worse, the same inferiority death that the NES suffered was now inflicting the SNES. It wasn't long before the rapture of the N64's dumb-bulb gameplay made people nearly forget about the SNES's existence. (Example of dumb rapture: A classmate asks me if I have Goldeneye 64. I say no, what a dumb game. He says that it's great. When I want a reason why, he gives me : "Because you get to shoot people!" Yay. Now, everyone, why can't we be as intelligent as that?) Now Nintendo and most of the companies produce 3-D drivel with precious little play value, and titles that don't take advantage of N64's capabilities (Did I hear someone say "Yoshi's Story"?). Plus, half of one game is usually the "hidden secrets" which are optional and not even necessary. With both the NES and SNES killed off, and sadly pointless video games being almost all that is turned out for the N64, Nintendo has degenerated and only cares about giving the players a "movie" experience most of the time, no longer about actual gameplay quality.
In summary, here's what's wrong with Nintendo......
#1 - A general feeling that the more programming potential it has, the more popular it is.
#2 - A really bad attitude problem, to go along with the I'm-so-cool feeling they want to produce.
#3 - The gratuitous "buckets-o'-blood" that complement the attitude problem. (Oh yeah! I just blew out your guts! So WHO'S TOUGHER? HUH?!?)
#4 - The idea that it's more fun to run to the end of a level and fight maybe 8 enemies, then watch a huge cinema sequence. Repeat 5 to 10 times and you have a game!
#5 - Oh, and finally...they think that we'll buuy anything that they say is good (which mainly works on the people who haven't woken up from the "Nintendo releases only good stuff" mentality yet).
So that is the state of Nintendo company beliefs today. Maybe if many of us hadn't turned such a ludicrous amount of our attentions toward the SNES, this religion of "attitude & impassiveness" content wouldn't have begun. But I'm sure we never knew it would burst into all this. (Heck, I sure didn't.) We just thought that Nintendo would continue to give us quality. But we ended up giving them the wrong ideas. (Don't you wish time travel were possible, so we could stop ourselves from plunging into the gaping pit that is the SNES?) Nintendo actually does manage to release something slightly enjoyable once in a while, so we should try not to lose our faith. In the meanwhile, there's always Crystalis coming out for Game Boy Color (the NES's rebirth on GBC may be your sole reason for buying it, if you can't find an NES or the games you want). Now excuse me, I've got to go mail Nintendo a petition for Anti-Stupidity. (Yeah, I know....I'm into self-punishment.)
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