I waited 23 years for my first Nintendo and it was worth it!
Technically the title of this post is a lie. My first gaming experiences happened with the handheld in the picture controlling “Jumpman” who later became the iconic Super Mario that we all know and love. However this would probably not count as Nintendo in the traditional sense.
When I was about 6-7 years old I remember making my big brother rather anxious when I was hell bent on getting the 8-bit NES. This was at a time when Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in the US) and the Super Nintendo were already out but my friend from school had the NES and I just had to have one. My brother being 6 years older that me of course knew that it was pointless getting one when there were already more powerful systems on the market. He was afraid that I would get my way and derail his plans of getting a Mega Drive. I even entered a cereal box competition campaign to win one. My brother in his deterministic agony was sure I was going to win just so the universe could piss him off. Luckily for him, I didn’t get my way. We got the Mega Drive and it was awesome.
Fast forward 23 years to few months ago, I was listening to Idle Tumbs (a gaming podcast) where I heard one of the regulars being excited about his Nintendo Wii U purchase. Suddenly I got the same urge that I had experieced over two decades ago. At the age or 30, right then and there I just had to get a Nintendo.
Convincing my girlfriend that it was necessary was surprisingly easy. I think she only told me to sleep on it before buying. I agreed with her for an hour and then ordered one that night.
A few days later it arrived through mail and I’ve been a fanboy ever since. Seeing the drift towards more serious topics and tones in games during the last decade or so, I was not aware how much I had missed the design philosophy behind Nintendos games. They keep the core systems extremely simple and polish them to a celebration of visual and mechanical enjoyment. I had a stupid grin on my face for the first 2-3 hours of Super Mario 3D World just for remembering it all again. This simplicity is also the reason Nintendo is still the only completely universally known gaming brand throughout the world. You see, my girlfriend - who’s last game experience was Crash Bandicoot 20 years ago - has clocked ridiculous hours in to both Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and now we’re hungry for more games to play together. Also the UI with the touchscreen gamepad is straigthforward, intuitive and extremely easy to understand to anyone with any smart phone experience making it all by far the best console experience I’ve had in recent years.
I still have Mario Kart 8, Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3 and Super Mario Galaxy waiting to be tackled on the shelf. I just need to get the controller from the hands of the wife-to-be. It turns out my attempts to rationalize the purchase of the Wii U to her were completely unnecessary, Nintendo did it all perfectly by it self.
P.S. Just to be clear. I bought the Wii U with my own money and am not in any way affiliated with Nintendo.