2011: A Year Nintendo and it’s Fans Would Prefer to Forget

As Microsoft, Sony, and to an extent, Apple, went on their merry way in 2011 with their gaming ventures, it seemed like Nintendo sputtered all the way through. As a lifelong Nintendo fanboy and a Nintendo-only console owner up until this generation, it’s tough seeing what Nintendo has done (and not done) in 2011. If you’re a Nintendo-only household and you’re as hardcore into gaming as I am, I feel your pain.

Let’s look at Nintendo’s fronts, discussed what went wrong and their outlook going into 2012.

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Fire Emblem Love Post of Turn-Based Strategic Bliss

To even the most diehard Nintendo fans, the name Fire Emblem means nothing to them outside of Marth, Roy and Ike, who all appeared in various versions of Super Smash Bros. They may not be household names like Mario or Link, but little do they know that those three guys come from one of Nintendo’s oldest and longest-running franchises, which dates back to 1990. Most people also don’t know that the Fire Emblem series of games are awesome. I don’t think I could do my love for this franchise justice in a blog post, but I’m going to try anyway.

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Valentine’s Day Special: Steff’s Top 5 Video Games for Couples to Play Together

 

For the last few days, I’ve been struggling to come up with a topic to write about for Valentine’s Day. I’m no stranger to writing about the relationship between love and video games, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with a Valentine’s Day special. Short on ideas, I turned to my girlfriend Steff for inspiration.

Instead of just giving me an idea, she kind of made the whole thing. She came up a list of her top 5 video games for couples to play together, and we talked through each of her choices, which I’ve included in this post. Without further ado, here are Steff’s choices for the top 5 video games for couples to play together.

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The Unfortunate State of the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console

 

For those with a jones for retro gaming, the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console was supposed to be a dream come true. It was supposed to be the home of every old Nintendo game you could ask for. As time passed, the Virtual Console grew to include the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, Sega Master System, Commodore 64 and arcade games. It’s been almost 5 years since the launch of Virtual Console, and we as consumers have access to over 300 games.

On the surface, that sounds decent. I’ve been able to buy a few favourites, try older games I’ve never played before and even grab a Japanese import game that never came out here (in my case, the very awesome Sin and Punishment). However, that number isn’t even close to representing the full catalogue of platforms represented in Virtual Console. Between the NES, SNES, SMS, Genesis, TG16, N64 and Neo Geo, the Virtual console has only made 10% of their combined catalogue available to consumers. It’s only going to get worse, as the once weekly updates have slowed to once a month, if we’re lucky.

What started out as an amazing idea is fizzling fast. How did Nintendo screw up what should have been a sure-fire win?

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Girlfriend Gaming: Dance on Broadway Review

Dance on Broadway is a very interesting game. When Ubisoft scored huge with Just Dance, there was no question that they would capitalize on that success. What I didn’t see happening though, was Ubisoft creating a dancing game based on Broadway musicals. I’m not sure if there are enough aspiring Broadway dancers that want to live out their Hairspray dreams through a Wii game to justify this game’s existence.

Even my girlfriend, who just so happens to be a fan of Just Dance and musicals, was reluctant to pick this up. With only 20 songs on the disc, it’s not easy to justify picking this up at regular price. Thanks to a Wal-Mart sale that took 50% off the regular price, she now owns it and we’ve strutted and shimmied our way through a number of show tunes. I haven’t played through every song, but I think I’ve played enough to say if this one deserves a standing ovation or whether it should exit stage left.

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Girlfriend Gaming: What We’ve Been Playing August Edition

Ever since she got a Wii for Christmas, my girlfriend has amassed quite the game collection for herself. I haven’t actually taken the time to count our respective game stashes, but if she doesn’t already have more Wii games than me, she’s on pace to surpass me very soon.

We haven’t had too much time to play games together of late, since we’ve been out of town together for a number of reasons. In spite of that, we have spent some quality time with the Wii fired up. Hit the cut to see what we’ve been playing together. Maybe you and your significant other may enjoy together as well.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Love Post of Objections, Spiky Hair and Adventure Game Awesomeness

As much as I love video games, there aren’t many games I truly geek out about. I like Gears of War, but it’s not a game that has any lasting effects on me when I’m not playing it. When it comes to games I truly geek out about, such as the Street Fighter IV, I constantly talk about it, thoroughly analyze it and evangelize it as much as I can. You don’t need to dig very deep into my blog to realize that I am a huge Street Fighter IV junkie.

While I have not said much about the Phoenix Wright series on my blog, that first game is one of those I truly geek out about. It’s not a perfect, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t leave a huge impression on me.
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Thoughts on the e3 Press Conferences

When it comes to the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the main event has always been the press conferences by the major platform holders to start the show. Over the last few years, the major third party developers have begun hosting their own events, which I care little about to be honest. The “megatons” always come from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, so I make it a point to watch the press conferences no matter what.

This year was a bit weird, as I had to “work around my day job” to watch them. However, I saw them all and would like to share my impressions on those conferences with you. Did Kinect connect with the hardcore and mainstream audiences? Did Nintendo abandon the hardcore gamer for good? Did Sony ride its momentum to e3 2010 glory? Hit the link for my impressions.

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Married to the Mob

Before I invested in an XBOX 360, I was starved for core games as a Wii-only owner. I was going through a drought in games to play, and the Wii version of The Godfather was starting to pick up buzz. I had never watched a Godfather movie or played a Grand Theft Auto game before, the promise of being able to point my Wii remote as a gun or beat thugs down with swinging fist motions seemed really cool. Also, when you don’t have that many options to choose from, you’re more willing to step outside your comfort zone for some satisfaction.

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Girlfriend Gaming: How Boom Blox Brought Us Together

Due to the varying interests and skill levels, finding games for my girlfriend and I to enjoy on the same level is difficult. Every now and then she’ll play one of “my” games and I’ll play “her” games, but I can only really think of one video game series that we can really call “ours”. That series, is Boom Blox for the Wii.

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