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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nintendo- Masters of Innovation

My love of Nintendo pretty much dates back to one simple event in my life- getting my first Game Boy Color. I got a solid purple one, with a crazy-ass rumble pack and a Cobra Magnifier and screen light. That thing was pimped out.

My two older brothers had Game Boy's before me, my eldest possessing the classic gray brick, and my other brother owning a clear purple one, so when I finally got my own, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement. Finally, I could play... well...

That's when it hit me- I had no idea what games to play. I looked through my brothers' games- Tetris, Motocross, Operation C, Pokemon Red (which was off-limits. My brother would have killed me), Super Mario Land... they were all older games, but they gave me something to do while I saved up my money for a new game. Fortunately, that day arrived soon, when I purchased the first Dragon Warrior Monsters. As soon as I began to play that game, I knew that Nintendo had me.

Any way, I admit that I haven't always been playing video games. My first home console was the Gamecube, waaaaaay back when it was first released. I got Wave Race: Blue Storm and Pikmin upon buying it, and one of those is still one of my favorite games. I've sold a hefty amount of my old Gamecube games, but there are still some that I treasure- The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Brothers Melee, 007: Agent Under Fire, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and Underground, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle... the list goes on.

At the time, these were just fantastic games. I played and enjoyed each of them, never really stopping to wonder about the PS2 or the xBox. Then, I heard that the Wii was coming out. I didn't even hesitate to convince my parents to get it. i was so excited for motion gaming- and even more excited to see all the games that would eventually be coming out for this wondrous system.

Now, it's 2011, and I can safely say that my Wii has had a good life. There have been hiccups and there have been great triumphs, but the era of the Wii has come to a close. What I mean by this, is that it is losing steam because of its gimmick. It is a family entertainment system- it possesses a huge amount of games that are kid and adult friendly, has a great overarching gimmick, and a decent developers community. But the Wii cannot stand against the PS3 and the xBox 360, because of one thing- graphics. It's graphics are by no means bad, but they pale in comparison with its competitors. Nintendo has lost support from developers because they have to engineer two games if they want to cover all the systems- one of which is always of lesser quality.

Is the Wii a terrible system? No. It is innovative. The Wii has brought together the hardcore and the casual gamers with its motion sensing technology. It has had a fair amount of excellent titles- there is no doubt that Nintendo is still the best at what they do when it comes to tiles like Mario, Metroid, and Zelda. But it has relied on its motion sensing gimmick for too long, it seems, and now the other companies are catching up, with different and more sophisticated methods.

But if there is one thing that Nintendo does well, it is innovation. The Nintendo DS took handheld gaming to a whole new level, introducing graphics, gameplay, and touch screen capabilities to the world. The Wii showed us a solid form of motion sensing gameplay that hundreds of titles for the system have relied upon. The 3DS has offered an incredible experience with its fantastic hardware and amazing 3D display. So, I wonder- if the age of the Wii is coming to an end, what will Nintendo's next home console be like?

Nintendo sticks to their classic formulas well enough, but they love to introduce new concepts- Epic Yarn, Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime, and Super Mario Galaxy. If they can introduce something that improves upon their classic formula but also takes it in a new direction, they'll be able to capture the hearts of their classic gamers and draw in new ones, as well.

I have total faith in Nintendo's ability to do so- it only makes me more impatient to see what they have in store. Nintendo is my favorite gamign company because they're the ones with the innovation- and they always have their competitors struggling to catch up.

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