Dear Nintendo: My Love-Hate Letter To The Video Game Giant

Dear Nintendo,

I am really not your target demographic, yet I can’t quit you.

As an online entrepreneur/husband/father, who usually has very little time for gaming, I nonetheless developed an urge a few months ago to reenter the video gaming world.

I was looking for a handheld gaming experience that had better graphics than what I was accustomed to handhelds having. There had been some good chatter about you, and after being thoroughly unimpressed with the PSVita support, I decided you were my best option.

Coming from a long gaming layoff, and having given up on the Xbox 360 long before the announcement of Xbox One, I was really just looking for a console-like handheld that would allow me to play Ninja Gaiden 3. You fit the bill, but shortly after making the purchase, I found there weren’t many other Rated M titles to choose from.

A tad disappointed, I was able to drown my sorrows in sweet ninja slice-and-dice for a time, but variety is the spice of life and all that, so I knew that I’d eventually need something more. Unfortunately, big game developers aren’t keen on bringing graphic violence to your console.

And not six months after buying what I thought was your flagship system — the Wii U — I find out about this NX business coming soon.

Along the way, I’ve been thoroughly unexcited by your game announcements. I mean, I’m not much into Pokemon and Splatoon. They have a kiddy quality that just doesn’t do it for me. And don’t even get me started on Amiibo. Couldn’t care less.

With this said, you’d think I’d be regretting my decision to hitch my star to your wagon, but I’m not.

See, here’s the thing. While your games are not my cup of tea on paper, I’m finding out that they have one thing going for them that’s hard to resist. They are really, really fun.

Super Mario World 3D was an almost otherworldly experience. I’ve beaten it thoroughly and still have plans to revisit. Your indie developers are pretty awesome, too, at least as far as Trine, Trine 2, and Guacamelee are concerned. (Give me time, and I’ll get to more.)

I wish you could do something to attract more big league developers, but what you do, you do extremely well.

I felt the need to express these thoughts after the bitter outpouring over the Nintendo E3 announcements. No, there really wasn’t anything in there that did it for me. Yes, I understand why some people are angry. But I also agree that in spewing that anger, fans are overlooking what BGR‘s Jacob Siegal said so eloquently in a recent piece.

“Don’t get me wrong — as a Nintendo fan myself, I was incredibly disappointed not to see a new 3D Mario title, an update on the new Legend of Zelda for Wii U or any indication at all that the company hadn’t already invested most of its resources into the next-gen NX console, but here’s the thing: the games Nintendo did announce are really, really fun to play.”

I would add to that that Nintendo games aren’t just fun to play, they have more re-playability than any other game for any other non-Nintendo console that I’ve ever owned.

With Xbox 360, I loved a lot of the games but felt no pressing need to go back to them once they’d been conquered. Nintendo games have me eager to return to them even after all the major hills have been climbed. (And yes, I’m looking straight at you, Super Mario World 3D.)

It brings up an interesting struggle. If you have time for only one game console, do you go with something that is sparser on options but better on game-play? If so, Nintendo has my vote. But what do you think, readers?

[Image via Nintendo E3, linked above]