Tag Archives: snes

If You’re Upset About Nintendo Cancelling The NES Classic, Don’t Buy The SNES Classic

While it’s not officially announced, there are loads of rumours that Nintendo is planning on making and releasing a SNES-version of the NES Classic that was just recently announced to be completely discontinued throughout the world. This is really good news for anyone who grew up with the console, myself included.

Here’s the thing though that is bothering me about it. Ever since this rumour mill started, the whole “I’m mad at Nintendo because they stopped making the NES Classic!” situation has almost completely dissolved. Ever since the SNES Classic story has come out, the backlash about the NES Classic being completely shut down when so many people still hadn’t got one themselves, it’s almost completely gone now, because everyone’s now excited about a SNES-version of the same thing.

Guys…come the fuck on!

This is such a perfect representation of the flip-floppy nature of the internet, where they’re seriously upset about something and then five minutes later something else makes them happy and they forget about it. For your information, the NES Classic is still not coming back. Yeah, that thing you wanted that keeps selling out before you get the chance to buy one yourself? You’re never going to own one. But that’s suddenly okay now because a different item is coming out that there’s a very good chance given Nintendo’s track record that you won’t get a copy of the SNES Classic either. That’s okay now, right?

In my opinion, the idea of people suddenly being okay with the NES Classic’s discontinuation because an SNES Classic is in production is absolutely insane. It goes back to what I’ve said so much before about Nintendo getting a free pass with everyone, that there’s no company in the entire gaming industry that gets away with more than Nintendo. I guarantee you that if Nintendo was in Microsoft’s spot when the Xbox One was a TV box and had online-DRM, the Nintendo fan communities would not have been even remotely as upset as Xbox fans were, not even close! Just like how HALO can get lower review scores and death threats and DDoS attacks won’t happen to those reviewers, but Jim Sterling giving Zelda: Breath of the Wild a 7/10 can warrant that reaction from Nintendo fans. It’s crystal clear that there is no more hostile fanbase and no more forgiving fanbase than that of Nintendo fans.

My stance is very simple. I don’t want a NES Classic, I never did. I don’t want a SNES Classic either, I could have so many other ways to do this, like what I already do with emulators on my computer, which doesn’t cost me anything. But let’s say I did want a NES Classic and I never got one and I won’t get one because of the discontinuation. I would be absolutely pissed off and I should be long after the SNES Classic’s announcement, official or not. I shouldn’t be suddenly changing my mind about something I’m upset about not being able to get just because something else is coming out. I’m a huge hockey fan, if I get mad that the Toronto Maple Leafs trade their upcoming star Auston Matthews, it’s extremely hypocritical of me if I’m suddenly not upset anymore if the Leafs sign John Tavares. If you really like something, you shouldn’t be allowing something else entirely to diffuse all your anger towards that thing you’re losing. You might be less angry because there’s something else exciting you, but you should still be vigilant it criticizing those responsible for what made you angry in the first place.

If you are one of the many people who never got a NES Classic and you claim to be extremely upset with Nintendo for discontinuing it, why are you letting them get a free pass by the chance a SNES Classic will come out? Why aren’t you continuing to criticize Nintendo for what was an absolutely horrendous and downright insanely stupid business decision? And even further, why do you think it isn’t hypocritical to criticize people that are still giving Nintendo flak because of the NES Classic’s discontinuation? If you are someone upset about the NES Classic being gone, it should almost be a foregone conclusion that in response, you don’t buy the SNES Classic, because you’re basically telling Nintendo that it’s okay to take something away, so long as you put anything back in its place.

The SNES Classic whether it’s a thing or not, it should’ve come out ALONG WITH the NES Classic, not after it. There’s no excuse for Nintendo not offering both options for an extended period of time. They have the money to do it, the market is there and the demand is high. For anyone to think that I shouldn’t still be criticizing Nintendo because of this horrendous decision, it’s just insane.

Game Spotlight: Final Fantasy IV

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We got the best Final Fantasy out of the way a few weeks ago, so now that it’s safe for the other children to come out, let’s talk about one of the games in the series that’s still Top 5 for me, but nowhere near as amazing as VI or X.

Final Fantasy IV holds a special place in my heart as it’s the first game in the illustrious series that I ever played. At that time of course it was still labeled as Final Fantasy II in North America as we were jipped the actual second and third games for a long period of time and Squaresoft at the time thought that they ought to make it more complicated for us too. Not that I had a clue back then.

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I look at Final Fantasy IV as the best example of the classic Final Fantasy formula, it’s a fantasy world, there’s no real huge gimmicks in either its world or the gameplay, such as the Esper system in VI, Materia in VII, Sphere Grid in X, things like that. The fourth installment of the series is simply a classic JRPG at its finest, it’s just a great story with interesting characters in a world where you just go out and grind away at until you get to the end.

The story’s pretty basic as well. You’re a Dark Knight at the start of the game, simply a loyal soldier for your King, but you are beginning to question the decisions that your King is making. You’re getting more violent in your attacks on other towns, you’re stealing and pillaging rather than maintaining order, something isn’t right. So when you travel to a town and unknowingly release a collection of Bombs (the monster not literal bombs) on them, that’s when you really start to realize something far worse is going on behind the scenes and your real journey begins as you try and right the wrongs you’ve done.

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The cast of characters aren’t crazy unique personality wise, so much as they are in terms of their looks and abilities. Unlike past and later Final Fantasy games, these characters are lone wielders of certain abilities. You only have one summoner in Rydia, one dragoon in Kain, one monk in Yang and others as such. The only multiples are black and white mages, but at no point do you ever have more than one of them at the same time. The party constantly changes over the course of the game, there’s over ten different party members, but throughout the story you have only five at a time through various plot points that cause many of them to disappear or just be out of action for a little while. It’s very interesting how the game manages to keep the game so well held together while maintaining all these different characters coming and going.

The story itself isn’t overly spectacular, but there are moments where things get very good. Edward’s story arc is a very sad one, the twins Palom and Porom have one of the most memorable scenes in a Final Fantasy game of all time and of course the first real moments of terror from the main villain Golbez is a fantastic moment for a villain in a JRPG. But in terms of a story, it’s not remotely the best one in Final Fantasy history.

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There are a few things I can nitpick about the game. As with some Final Fantasy games, the end just suddenly comes out of nowhere and doesn’t quite resolve the conflict the way we all wanted to see. I also did not like how your mages either did little damage with rods and staffs, or virtually no damage with bows cause they’d never fucking hit for me! And lastly…fuck that demon wall boss. Hated him when I was a kid, I could never beat it, so I never actually finished the game until I replayed it later on in my teenage years.

But the game is still solid and like I said, it’s a classic edition of the series. For those looking for a gimmick-less JRPG from the past, this is the marquee one to play, without a doubt!

…But seriously, fuck you, Demon Wall.

Game Spotlight: Super Mario World

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Out of all the Super Mario games that are memorable to me, it’s pretty much all the Mario games before the Gamecube era with Super Mario Sunshine. Everything from Super Mario 64 and before it have made a much longer lasting impact than any of the more recent games have made, not to say the Galaxy games aren’t good, that the Wii U Mario games aren’t good, but they just don’t have the same staying power that the NES and SNES games have had and that’s not just because they’re older and have had more time to create nostalgic value with me. They’re just better overall games that will stand the test of time better.

Out of all the older games, it was really tough to pick which of those games I’d give the Spotlight treatment to first, but in the end, I picked the one that I actually owned and played on a consistent basis, Super Mario World for the SNES. I never owned an NES so any time I had with the older games was at a friend’s place. I also never owned Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, so that wasn’t ever an option for me either. So with me also never owning Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, the first SNES classic Mario had nothing but time with me to make an everlasting impression on me as a kid.

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I still have fond memories of World 1 with Yoshi’s Island. probably one of my favourite Mario worlds of all time. Even today, it’s still a joy to play through. Other worlds like the Donut Plains, Forest of Illusion and the insane concept of Star World to me as a kid was crazy. A world that I could access through secrets (imagine how blown away I was when I discovered Special World as well!) in various levels, which in turn would sometimes offer secondary paths to the end of the world with new levels, all of the Star World/Special World related stuff blew my mind as a kid. When you’re so used to seeing ahead of time the levels you went to and that was it, the idea of secret paths to finish levels and whole secret worlds was crazy to me.

There was also a ton of cool new content in the games, specifically though with the introduction of Yoshi. Being so used to just vanilla Super Mario with power-ups, the idea of another character in the game that can stack on top of what Mario is running at that point was so cool to me as a kid. Being able to eat enemies, spit some of the Koopa shells out, the red ones becoming a fire breath attack, it was so refreshing and cool to have something else to do in these games, as if the secret levels and the many switches you could activate over the course of the game weren’t enough.

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And then there’s the Ghost House levels, Nintendo’s trolls to players and possibly some of the most fun levels the Mario games have ever offered. They were just so different from your normal, average Mario level, there was a bit of a maze-like design to the levels and chalk full of secrets, whether it was pathways, switches, hidden areas, all that jazz. Also the times where there were a ton of Boos and Giant Boos lurking around make the levels even more frantic, the number of times I died from falling or jumping into Boos were quite high.

The castles/fortresses were also really cool, in particular the boss battles, I really enjoyed them especially with the little bit of complexity they had with the ones on the rotating platform where you had to knock them into the lava. A lot of bosses were always “hit them three times and it’s over” but this time it could’ve been a ton of hits before you’d finally win the fight. And the final boss with Bowser is also tremendous…and I sucked at it as a kid. Like really badly. Like…20+ lives in a save file and having to reboot the file several times before I finally beat him. Yeah…

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The game has a special place in my heart in terms of nostalgia in video games, just like the NES Super Mario games. But for me (and with a slight bias with it being a game I owned) Super Mario World for the SNES is the game of the series that stands out the most as an overall masterpiece, a legendary game. It took what already made the series great, added Yoshi into the mix which changed the game a ton and then introduced more secrets, more cool level designs and boss fights, it was just a badass game!

Fuckin’ Ghost Houses though, man…I hated those as a kid.

Video Game Spotlight: Final Fantasy VI

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NOTE: Fuck the newest version of the game released, it looks like a shitty RPG Maker game, we’re talking the SNES and GBA release!

Note #2: Also, there are massive spoilers for a 22 year-old video game, so heads up!


I’ve been doing this weekly article for over two months now (6 months if you count the This Week in Sexy Games articles) and you’d think that at some point I’d remember the whole being 28 years old and playing games older than the PlayStation era by now. But it took me this long to remember that oh yeah! I played a ton of games on the Super Nintendo, Game Boy/Game Boy Advance and SEGA Genesis back in the day, maybe I should do some games from that era too!

So with my memory finally kicking in, I figured it makes perfect sense to start with my favourite pre-3D era game of all-time, Final Fantasy VI (or Final Fantasy III when it was first released in North America).

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Right from the very start with that opening cutscene I knew I was in for a real treat. I had come off of playing (but not quite finishing, stopped at the moon) Final Fantasy IV and loved the hell out of that, so when I saw the sequel on the shelf of my local video rental store, I grabbed it and I was off to the races. I’d never seen something like the Magitek armor and man did I ever feel godly fighting as such. Being that young, I was dumb enough to think I was gonna be fighting in that power armor the entire game, so I was slightly disappointed by that, but it didn’t last long as the game progressed.

The first bits of the game with Terra and Locke were already enough to have me completely sold on the universe and keep in mind the only world I knew was this dirty, snow-ridden town of Narshe at the time and some caves, I was yet to see the amazement that is Figaro Castle. The two of them alone were interesting enough to have me invested in the story as is, the idea of Terra being an enslaved villain from the start of the game is super interesting and actually isn’t talked about much. We all were shocked when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had the “No Russian” mission, but at the beginning of Final Fantasy VI, you are essentially killing innocent soldiers (and dogs) just trying to protect the civilians in the town and when you also account what you learn later on about the Espers, you’re a horrible villain at the start of the game, regardless of whether you’re being brainwashed or not. It’s a very curious start to the game so by then I was already hooked and ready for the meat and potatoes of the game.

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By the time your story really begins once you’re working with the Returners (and eventually get split up), you’re already introduced to a strong cast of four characters in Terra, Locke, Edgar and Sabin and we’re only at about 30% of your party members, 14 in total. And while some shoot above others, none of them are exactly “set them aside” types. Terra is your heroine, a curious girl with high magic ability and a certain affinity with another race later on. Locke is the hilarious thief–I mean treasure hunter with a tragic and I mean tragic backstory. Edgar’s the womanizing King of Figaro who can fight with chainsaws and other tools. Sabin is a crazy martial arts musclehead. Celes is another Imperial soldier than joins you later on and apparently has a fantastic singing voice. Cyan is your cliche stoic soldier that turns into a massive vengeful swordsman. Shadow is a fucking badass assassin with a cool theme song. Gau is just…fucking weird, that’s the best I can say about him other than the fact he lived in the wild his whole live. Setzer’s another flirty guy, except instead of a castle that sinks into the sands below, he has an airship and throws cards at enemies like he’s Gambit. Strago is an old fuddy-duddy, but don’t take it from me, take it from Relm, the tiny girl that paints her enemies and causes them to get hit with their own attacks, a really cool gimmick. Gogo is essentially a mime who you never learn anything about his/her identity, Umaro is a yeti and Mog is a fucking Moogle, need I say more?! Needless to say, there’s an extremely diverse cast of characters in your party alone and we haven’t even started talking about the villains.

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First off, there’s Ultros. He’s an octopus, an octopus that can’t keep his mouth(?) shut during battle, often screaming if you light him on fire because he hates fire. He also has a love for cute girls, which as I just said, doesn’t shut up about. He’s a recurring boss throughout the game and later brings a friend in Typhon along with him to make things harder and a little more infuriating. He’s clearly got some staying power though not just counting how many times you fight him in the game, he’s been a boss in several other Final Fantasy games, including FFIV: The After Years, FFXIV and a DLC boss in FFXIII-2.

Other bosses like the Phantom Train (which I wish I knew about GameFAQs back when I was a kid playing this, so I would’ve known about the whole Phoenix Down way to win instantly), the Atma Weapon just before the world is destroyed (getting to that) and the Shiva/Ifrit battle in the factory are other great examples of fantastic and sometimes frantic boss battles that made the game consistently interested as the story progresses.

But it’s not until the halfway point of the game where the world is literally torn asunder.

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You cannot talk about this game without talking about Kefka, the game’s end villain and quite possibly the mot horrifying villain in video game history. This is a man that was originally looking like comic relief, a jester for the evil Imperial Emperor Gestahl, a guy that was a giant pushover or at least looked like it. Then as the game progresses, we start to see that there’s nothing funny about him.

Everything he does (especially in an SNES game) is extremely horrifying. Let’s start off with perhaps the most vile and disgusting thing he does, shall we? This falls into Cyan’s backstory as he was a samurai in the kingdom of Doma. The Empire seeks to take over Doma and Kefka is among them with General Leo, who seeks to win this battle with Doma with minimal casualties, but Kefka likely just because of sheer boredom has a better idea. Even with Empire soldiers imprisoned in Doma, he poisons the water and kills all but two people in the entire kingdom, Cyan and another soldier. Even worse, Kefka is musing to himself about the screams of those dying from the poison. It’s a horrifying sight to watch so much death so fast, especially in a game that you wouldn’t anticipate such a dark moment. Not long after, he also violently kills Leo, hating the man and just waiting for his chance to kill him. He also kills a ton more Espers at this point, stealing their essence in Magicite form and continuing to grow more powerful.

But it’s when the party reaches Gestahl and Kefka on the Floating Continent that things take the darkest possible turn, something you would never anticipate happening in an RPG of this style. After Gestahl even admits he’s gone too far, trying to destroy the world not conquer it, Kefka has the Warring Triad (three magical statues) kill Gestahl and he simply kicks his corpse off the Floating Continent like a piece of trash. It’s then that he messes with the alignment of the statues and causes the magic power to go haywire, in the end causing the entire world to shift and decimate town after ton and killing a massive amount of people. It’s a truly horrifying scene in gaming, watching men, women, children die. Watching children as they watch their parents and then themselves falling to their deaths into the crevasses of the splitting lands never is a comfortable scene for me to watch and I’ve played through that moment at least 10 times over the course of my life, it still pains me to watch today. It’s a moment I will truly never forget in gaming, a moment where the villain actually succeeded at destroying the world and forcing us to watch. Kefka truly is one of the most vile, disgusting, horrifying and in a way, successful villains in all of gaming, as far as I’m concerned.

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There’s so much more I could talk about with this game, but I’m already at 1500 words, so I’m gonna put a stop to this soon. So I’ll quickly brush over the few things I want to gush about. The music in this game is some of the best, perhaps THE best game soundtrack of all-time, so many good tracks ranging from “The Decisive Battle” to “Metamorphosis” to the end boss “Dancing Mad”, there’s a ton of fantastic tracks in the game. I loved the Esper system as it creates the opportunity for you to shape each character how you want them, or you can just have them learn every possible spell and ability, your choice. The Opera House scene still remains one of the most unique moments in JRPG history as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never seen anything like it since. And most of all, that game hooked me on Moogles for the rest of my life. How can I possibly not mention that?!

Final Fantasy VI is a legendary game, perhaps one of the greatest games of all-time, in my opinion. It’s definitely the best overall game I’ve ever played, not quite my favourite but I have to admit that without bias, it’s the best made game I’ve ever played and may ever play. And that’s saying something given that this game came out in 1994 and still holds up today, though the Super Nintendo has just become a timeless console, the graphics still look good today. I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted games from that console would still hold up in 20 years. Back to the game, like I said it has one of the best stories I’ve ever played through with a ton of interesting characters and perhaps the greatest video game villain of all-time, not in terms of popularity but in terms of being the most evil and vile human being in gaming history.

There’s so much to love about this game and with so many re-releases of it on various entertainment devices, there’s no reason for you to have not played this game. If you somehow have still let this game pass you by, you need to play it. Like right now! Drop whatever you’re doing, find a copy you can get, whether physical or digital and play it! You won’t regret it!

The Nintendo NX Should Be A Current-Gen SNES

The (New) Legend of Zelda; now pushed back to 2017
The (New) Legend of Zelda; now pushed back to 2017

With the revealing of the Nintendo NX’s March 2017 worldwide release (pending any more delays), we are now fully aware of a new console generation beginning, Nintendo once again starting it off. However this generation will be starting so early, it almost feels correct to actually consider the Nintendo NX the company’s second console entry into this current generation.

The Nintendo Wii U did, let’s be honest here, poorly. I don’t think there’s anyone questioning that, as sales were nowhere near the Wii’s numbers, they at no point ever came close to catching up to the #2 spot, let alone challenging the PS4 for the #1 spot in sales for this current generation. And there’s many reasons as to why this happened, they didn’t release enough third-party games, their main franchises didn’t have many major entries (still no Metroid game) and if they did, they were released so sporadically. But the most indicting reason in my opinion was the tablet gimmick the console had with the Wii U Gamepad.

Which is why I firmly believe that for the Nintendo NX to not only succeed but challenge the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it has to be released as a console with zero gimmicks. I think the NX has to be the 2017 version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

SNES-Mod1-Console-Set
Super Famicom or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

What does every game from the 90s remember about the SNES? It’s not some cool controller, it’s not some gimmick like the Light Gun or the Virtual Boy. It was the games, the mecca that is and was the Super Nintendo library.

Just to hammer the point home, here’s just a few games that were released on the SNES:

  • Super Mario World
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Super Metroid
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Final Fantasy II & III (aka IV & VI)
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Mega Man X
  • Earthbound
  • Star Fox
  • Secret of Mana
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Street Fighter II

That’s just 15 games, folks. 15 games on a console that you’d struggle to pick a top 50 out of its library. But why did that console have so many classics on it? Well for starters, there weren’t any gimmicks to build upon. No motion controls, no second screens. Admittedly, the only gimmick the NX will have to pay attention is online play, something that during the SNES era, game developers were years away in thinking about that. But when it comes to a good chunk of their games that won’t use online, at least not as a core gameplay mechanic, having no other gimmicks will give developers less to worry about and more time to just focus on the game they’re building.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Let’s take The Legend of Zelda for example. I know many people loved it, but I could not stand Skyward Sword. Not because it was a bad game, but because of the controls. When I’m playing a Zelda game, I want to play it and get lost in it for hours, it’s not as easy to do that when my wrist is getting sore from all the waving and shaking it’s doing with the Wiimote.

And with the Wii U, the Gamepad is freakishly huge and not the kind of controller you want to be playing with for hours on end. I’m aware of the Wii U Pro Controller, but why should I be shilling out more money for a more comfortable controller, should that not be released with the console?

The gimmicks worked for one console in the Wii, it’s very clear that the casual marketplace that all stood in massive lines at WalMart during the holidays were not planning on spending another $300+ on a new console so soon. Nintendo reached on another crazy idea, but this time it didn’t pay off so well. So instead of taking another shot at a crazy idea, why not try an even crazier idea and not pick another crazy idea?

Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime

Take a game like the Metroid Prime series. Could you not imagine this game in 1080p glory on a console like the PlayStation 4? It’s a first-person shooter, it makes perfect sense to be on a non-gimmicky console, perhaps that’s why the only Metroid games lately have been on the 3DS, they just do not work on the Wii U Gamepad, it makes no sense. Going back to the basics allows the games to flourish on their own merits, not because the game “immerses” you further by making you move with the game a la motion controls or the more recent VR additions to gaming. You enjoy the game because it’s a good game, not because the motion controls are actually solid with this game compared to others. I got pretty sick and tired of review scores ignoring the bad motion controls just because almost every Wii game had bad motion controls. If the controls are bad, they’re bad!

Other major players in Nintendo’s library don’t need the gimmicks either. Mario doesn’t need it (although I’ll say the motion controls worked pretty well for Mario Kart), Smash certainly doesn’t need it, Zelda doesn’t need it, Pokémon doesn’t need it unless it’s a new Pokémon Snap, there’s a lot of major games that would be perfectly fine and probably even better if there weren’t any gimmicky controls added into the mix. Why are games like Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Smash Bros. Melee so highly regarded? Because they’re well-made games, plain and simple. There’s no crazy gimmick that brings you in like a Wii Sports or Red Steel, the game is just that damn good. It needs no gimmicks.

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)

We still don’t know much about the Nintendo NX or what its real name will actually be, but as far as I’m concerned, the console absolutely has to go back to basics and just be a gaming console. Not a family entertainment center, not a motion control showcase and especially not a virtual reality console. The Nintendo NX, whatever it may be, must be the second-coming of the Super Nintendo. It must be a console with a consistent run of good games with many classics to boot. And yes, they can rely on the older games in the early running, absolutely have all the old classics available. Better yet, have a limited edition (or make it full-time if you want) classic SNES controller to play the old games on, looking a lot like the old controller, that would be awesome!

Nintendo has become a walking gimmick since the Wii and while it worked in the early going, it’s very clear that time has run out on it. It’s time for Nintendo to revert back to the time they were at their very best, making a constant barrage of instant classics. Most importantly, with the console being far simpler and without crazy gimmicks to add into every game, they will most certainly get back some third-party attention. Games like Assassin’s Creed would have had their game on the newest Nintendo console for sure if not for the gimmicky controls, the developers didn’t want to waste any more time than they had to on their games, do you really think Ubisoft would pass a chance at more sales unless they had a good reason? If the Nintendo NX is a lot easier to develop games on, aka being able to just straight port it from Xbox One/PlayStation 4 onto it, they will do it, it’s more sales for not as much work.

The ball is in your court, Nintendo. Make it happen. Let’s see the good ol’ days return!