E3 2015: Nintendo Has Me at a Loss

nintendo e3 muppetsMany GeekParty staffers lost their minds over Nintendo’s E3 2015 presentation, but it left me feeling lost. I’m not the biggest Nintendo enthusiast, sure, but I am a game enthusiast. It strikes me as odd that most of the games I saw completely failed to catch my interest. I’m not sure why I just can’t drink the Kool-Aid and swallow the mushroom.

I want to be clear: there is a Wii U in my household and I had a blast playing Super Mario 3D World. It was occasionally frustrating, and I have issues with the interface and saving mechanics. Still, overall I had a blast playing with my lady.We even spent time replaying each level to track down some of the stars we didn’t find initially. There was a good balance between fun and challenge.

Super Mario 3D WorldNaturally, I went looking for the next great two-player experience, but there were no others were to be found. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze seemed like it had promise, but the $40 price tag seemed a bit much. Since I don’t have a Wiimote, games like Mario Party were off limits as well. I can’t bring myself to spend $20 on a Wiimote when I already had to drop $50 on an extra Wii U controller.

This’s my biggest gripe with Nintendo: they gouge the shit out their consumers so that we can enjoy “experiences” that hearken back to when we were kids. And that’s bullshit, because the games they’re offering are exactly the same as they were — albeit with a few more colors or power-ups — and yet they only increase in price.

nintendo fan tearsI mean, have you seen what they charge on the Virtual Console for games that are now 20+ years old? Games that can just as easily be found on emulators? I love older Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance games, but not for 10 bucks a pop. For that, I could grab an old Game Boy and a stack of games at a garage sale.

People act like it’s a privilege to play these games, like we owe something to Nintendo for making them. But after sitting through their entire E3 conference and seeing nothing that I found even remotely interesting, I don’t get the hype. This isn’t anyone’s fault; my tastes just don’t line up with what Nintendo has on the menu.

nintendo reggie puppetI would kill for a new Metroid game that could rekindle the joy and excitement I felt while playing Super Metroid. I don’t want some arena sports shooter that seems to only be Metroid in name. I want that new Zelda experience promised last year, not a multiplayer 3DS game.

I’m sure some people will have hours upon hours of fun salivating over the great Nintendo and its kind offerings to us kids-at-heart fanboys. But I thought Star Fox looked outdated, and incredibly rudimentary. It looks like something designed for the GameCube that’s being released 10 years too late.

star fox zeroI know, I know. It’s not about the graphics; it’s about fun game play. And that is a true statement. But since it looks exactly like the old Star Fox, I can’t help but feel like I’ve been there and played that. That’s the Nintendo experience in a nutshell. It’s like comfort food; you know what you’re getting and you like the taste, even if you’ve eaten it countless times before.

A lot of people like jump on Nintendo these days, because picking on Nintendo has become a cool, hipster thing to do. Fuck those people. I want to enjoy the Nintendo experience. I prescribed myself a healthy dose of “The N” so that I could be less of a jerk. But I’ve tried the product, and I’m crying foul.

I’m glad that other people were blown away by Skylanders and Nintendo amiibo teaming up to get you to spend even more money on useless items. Or that Animal Crossing is plastering its face on Mario Party to squeeze a few more dollars out of that fan base.

Wii UAs it stands, the Wii U in our living room sits on the shelf below my PS4, collecting dust. That is where it will most likely remain: in the shadow of a far superior machine that consistently offers me a variety of games that, although they may often be iterations of games I’ve played in the past, at least deliver engaging experiences that speak to the adult I’ve become as opposed to the child I was.

Sorry Nintendo; I love you, but this is where we must part our ways.