What a Wonderful (Super Mario) World


Super Mario Odyssey might be all the rage right now, but Super Mario World was also released this year! On the SNES Classic Edition, of course. Simeon and Scott are taking a trip down memory lane to a game that many still consider the best of its class. Super Mario World changed things dramatically for the Mario series, and introduced many beloved mainstays.

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The Devolution of Paper Mario Scott's Thoughts

I remember being drawn to the first Paper Mario like a magnet.

It was in a video rental store, and I saw the N64 cartridge sitting on the bottom shelf. I didn’t know why Mario was paper, or why it was turn-based, but I immediately brought it home.

Of course, an RPG like Paper Mario can’t really be explored and beaten during a rental period, so I ended up buying it. I had to! The story, the characters, and the gameplay were so compelling that I had to see the adventure through to the end.

The Thousand Year Door was a beautiful follow-up on GameCube, which I first laid eyes upon at a WalMart. It was one of those demo kiosks where you had to stare up at the ceiling and snap your head backward to see. It continued the wonderful characterizations, thickened the plot, and introduced exciting new transformations for Mario that shook up the gameplay.

Super Paper Mario was memorable. Although stripping out the beloved traditional RPG elements, the game introduced a compelling tale of love and tragedy, alongside an interesting 2D-to-3D mechanic.

And then it all went downhill.

Unique, lovable, captivating characters were replaced with gimmicks of stickers and paint.

This image sums it up well.

The modern entries have their own merit, and bring some amount of charm. But along the way, the franchise lost focus. Paper Mario became more about churning out a quick win for sales and marketing than it was about world-building.

It might have been when the father of Mario gave the Sticker Star team these directions:
There were two main things that Miyamoto-san said from the start of the project—”It’s fine without a story, so do we really need one?” and “As much as possible, complete it with only characters from the Super Mario world.”Iwata Asks

Miyamoto was wrong.

Super Castlevia IV – Let’s Whip Some Tail


A pattern is emerging… each week, our Patrons get to vote on which games we stream live. Each week, they pick the hardest ones possible. On this edition of Let’s Play Classics, Simeon and Scott are tasked with conquering the first few levels of Super Castlevania IV on the SNES Classic Edition. Will they abuse the rewind feature? Will they throw their beautiful new controllers in frustration? Find out, and enjoy the show!

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Pokemon Snap 2: Now or Never Scott's Thoughts

Pokemon Snap was an unexpected hit on Nintendo 64. Not only did it gather a cult following, but it went beyond that and achieved mainstream popularity.

It was a really simple game; basically an on-rails shooter with a camera instead of guns. Your “head-shots” were awarded based on how centered the pictures were, and you had items to help lure certain monsters out of hiding and into the frame. A truly excellent spin-off.

Nintendo fans haven’t stopped clamoring for a follow-up since it was released. Between then and now we’ve successfully argued our way into getting Earthbound localizations, Operation Rainfall RPGs, a 2D Metroid sequel, and more. But no sign of Pokemon Snap 2.

The Pokemon Company knows that it’s popular. They have heard their fans. Sun & Moon featured a bare-bones mode that nodded to Snap gameplay, but nowhere near enough to satiate the fanbase.

Look, I want a proper Pokemon Snap 2 as much as the next guy, but if we don’t get it on Switch, you can safely let go of that hope.

This is the generation that Nintendo is listening. They’re hungry and scrappy after the financial failure of Wii U, and they’re putting their best foot forward with Switch to provide gamers the experiences they’ve been asking for.

If Nintendo and The Pokemon Company don’t team up to make this happen in the next few years… I’m sorry, it’s just going to live on as a fond memory.

Now or never, Nintendo. Your move!

Being a Nintendo Fan on a Budget

Some of you, the Crew, may have noticed that I am usually a little behind the times when it comes to my hardware library. If you were to ask me what I have been playing recently, you will probably catch me talking about Smash Bros. or about an older handheld title. It is an interesting dynamic, keeping up on current Nintendo news and zeitgeist, while not updating my Nintendo library alongside other Nintendo fans.

But I know it is not just me that has a hard time keeping up with Nintendo’s ever-expanding hardware and software library. I would like to start a discussion here on being a Nintendo fan on a budget. I want to keep it practical and easy, and I will kick it off with a few of my own tips and tricks.

Manage your Expectations

Before we get to practical application, we have to begin with the proper mindset. As I said before, Nintendo never stops making great consoles and games. It is not possible for pretty much any Nintendo fan to acquire everything they put out, much less spend quality time with each game. Not only can the quantity be overwhelming, but, just like it would be with any other hobby, playing video games is expensive. It may be true that gaming now is more affordable than ever, but that does not change the fact that even (most) gamers have bills to pay.

Also, refuse to get caught up in “must-play” mentality. It is fine to set goals of games you want to eventually play, but, as I have gone on record saying, do not let other people dictate the games you play. Just because a game is “10/10” or a “classic” does not mean you have to play it to be a Nintendo fan. Do not feel pressured into playing a game. It is likely you will not enjoy your experience, and the anxiety to acquire and complete that title is not worth it.

Bum Off your Friends

This is one I do a lot. There are some titles that are worth owning, and you and a friend each have your own copies. Often times with fighting games and other competitive games, you will want a copy for yourself to be able to play and improve at your own pace. Many other single-player ventures, however, can be experienced once through to satisfy your need. In these instances, it is handy to have a friend that can lend you the game and/or system. It is how friendships should work.
(Okay, maybe “bum off your friends” is a little over the top, but it gets my point across.)

Scott has lent me games on numerous occasions, and I have lent him some of my own things as well. Reciprocation is a healthy way to build a friendship. Often Scott will be too busy to play for a month, so he will allow me to borrow a game for that period. Currently, my wife and I are enjoying the SNES Classic. Later on, he just might have a problem that I’d understand. We all need somebody to lean on.

Check Pawn Shops

Now, no matter where you go, new equipment and games will probably cost you a few coins. But, if you have managed to manage your expectations properly (see what I did there?), you will not be driven by your need for the new stuff. This is where you have a decision to make: do you save up some money and/or wait for the new stuff to come down in price, or do you go for the bargain old junk at the pawn shop or eBay? Nintendo has so many classics to explore for the systems that you already own, and they can be more than reasonable in price.

Also, with pawn shops, you never know what you will find. Maybe you will run across a rare gem that would be exorbitantly priced elsewhere, or you might find a game that looks cheesy and bad for twenty-five cents, take it home, and make a new memory of the terrible piece of trash you found. You could even find a reasonably-priced old Nintendo console, allowing you to retread the glory days of your childhood, or see what gaming was like when your parents were kids.

Of course, if you want to get really edgy…

Foray into Non-Nintendo Fare

*Gasp!* Say it isn’t so! Am I suggesting you play something on a non-Nintendo console? Of course! If you have never owned a Sega console, pick one up at a local thrift store or pawn shop. I can recommend several titles, if you need any assistance digging for gold. All sorts of retro consoles wind up in second-hand stores, or in your uncle’s closet; grab one and try it out! Games can be cheap, and it exponentially broadens the field of games you can play. If anyone knows the value of playing retro games (even on non-Nintendo consoles), it is the staff here at Two Button Crew.

I hope this article has been an encouragement to you, especially if you are on a tight budget. You are not alone, and you can enjoy new experiences no matter your financial plan.

Let’s Pretend we’re Good at Contra!


Oh my good gracious. Thank goodness for that 10x life code, or else Simeon and Scott would be up a creek without a paddle! We’re attempting to conquer the Contra game known as Super C, but it’s going to take all our patience and focus to make it past a level or two.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What if Classic Editions were Switch Cartridges? Scott’s Thoughts

“It’s so hard to find the NES Classic Edition! Why can’t Nintendo just put all those games on a cartridge and call it a day?”
It was the same story with the Super Nintendo version.

Nintendo fans and collectors, left baffled by supply issues, often bemoan the fact that these collections of retro games aren’t made available for Switch.

What if Classic Editions weren’t miniature reproductions of the original consoles, but simple game carts or eShop downloads?

Pros:
+ More convenient
+ Cheaper
+ Portable
+ Easier to purchase
+ Less clutter

Cons:
– You don’t get the original controllers
– Only lasts one console generation
– Less of a collector’s item
– Not as nostalgic
– Well… you can’t hack it to add more games.

Personally, I’m really glad Nintendo chose to recreate the consoles. I’ve been wanting NES to return to store shelves for a decade, but I never predicted the genius of shrinking it down to the size of your palm and preloading it with games.

I can also now say that I own an SNES, which is the only console I missed while growing up.

It’s easy to beg Nintendo to make things more convenient and cut some corners, but the experience just wouldn’t be the same.

Donkey Kong Country: To Hate, or Not to Hate?


Simeon and Scott are trying to give Donkey Kong Country a fair shake here, even though they’ve never touched the game because of its graphics. Spoiler alert: they end up having a lot of fun and discovering some really challenging parts of the game. Extra spoilers: mine carts are involved. Beware the mine carts.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Are We Any Good at Star Fox 2?


Star Fox 2 is a divisive game. Media outlets tried scoring it, but that was met with much strife over how a cancelled SNES game should be scored in 2017. Let’s put all that aside and actually play the game, shall we? Scott actually makes it way farther than he expected to in this run. Thoughts on the game? Comment below.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Next Classic Edition: Gameboy Vs. N64


We were amazed and surprised by the NES Classic Edition. We were relieved and glad for the SNES. Now… what’s next? Gameboy or Nintendo 64? Time will tell, but Two Button Crew is here to stack up the pros and cons of each and determine which is more likely! Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mega Man X – Newb Vs. Pro


In our previous Mega Man Trivia episode, we proved that Simeon is a master of Mega Man knowledge. This video, today, is here to prove that Simeon’s got just as much skill in-game as he does outside. And for your comparison pleasure, we have Scott, who will contrast Simeon’s awesomeness with pure newbishness.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What Does “8-Bit” Mean?

Ah, pixel art…Nothing says “video games” quite like a 32×32 pixel sprite. Retro sprites are a fascinating art form: unlike many other mediums, the conventions of pixel art were born of technical limitations, not creative freedom. While the nuances of the medium are often lost on modern developers, who see the limitations as an excuse to churn out overly simplistic animations, classic games would often feature impressively detailed animation frames. To this day, even single frames of these animations are downright iconic and instantly recognizable to fans around the world, something that few other animated works can boast!

Pop quiz! Which of the following are 8-bit images?

Probably should've added some negative space to the top and bottom...
Please excuse the fact that these aren’t in chronological order.

Believe it or not, only the second one from the right is 8-bit. “B-but, but the NES and the Gameboy were both 8-bit systems!” you say. Yes, well, maybe it’s time we actually examine what exactly “8-bit” means.

In Computer Imagery

Let’s start with what bits mean for pictures. There are two basic ways of composing pictures: color channels and indexing. In a picture that uses color channels, each color is represented by a mixture of primary colors with each primary color composing one of the image’s color channels. These colors are red, green, blue, and sometimes an additional “alpha” channel that represents opacity (i.e. how much you can’t see through it). Every pixel in the image is a combination of these channels.

The number of bits dedicated to each pixel is known as the image’s color depth. As you may know, bits are binary digits, hence the name (binary digit). Because of this, every sequence of bits can represent 2n values (where n is the number of bits used). That means an image with a color depth of three—which is to say one bit per channel—can have two shades of red (fully black and fully red), two shades of green, and two shades of blue, which combine for a total of eight (23) colors. In today’s day and age, most images either have a color depth of 24 for plain R.G.B. or 32 for R.G.B.A., dedicating eight bits (one byte) to each color channel. That means R.G.B. images these days can contain up to 16,777,216 colors. Any more than a byte per color channel results in diminishing returns.

The number of bits dedicated to each pixel is known as the image’s color depth.

As you can imagine, three bytes per pixel adds up quickly on a console that only has 2 kilobytes of video R.A.M. While it’s easy to forget in this age where most computers typically have four to sixteen gigabytes of R.A.M. and terabytes of storage, space—both memory and long-term storage—was a valuable commodity back in the 80’s and 90’s. That’s where color indexing comes into play. Instead of storing color values per pixel, indexed images have a set of color values stored in a lookup table (i.e. the palette) with each pixel being represented by a single number that refers back to a position in the lookup table. For instance, if the color in position 5 of the table is red, then every pixel with the value 5 will be displayed as red. While this would limit the number of colors in an 8-bit image to 256, that’s 256 out of any of the thousands or millions of 16-bit or 24-bit colors available.

So, knowing this, where does this leave the NES’s graphics? An NES sprite consists of four colors, three visible and one transparent. That makes NES sprites 2-bit sprites. Don’t look at me like that, it’s the truth!

Now I’m sure some of you are thinking, “well, just because the sprites are only 2-bit doesn’t mean NES graphics aren’t 8-bit. The NES could produce way more than four colors at a time!” Okay, while we’re stretching terms a bit (or more accurately, crumpling them up and chucking them into the fireplace), I’ll be generous. The NES used the YpbPr palette, which consisted of 64 colors. So if we were to hypothetically classify the NES’s graphics in regards to the total number of colors available, that would mean the NES has 6-bit graphics. To add insult to injury, only 54 of the bits are useful, as many of them are identical shades of black. That said, the NES did include an additional three tinting bits (one for each primary color). While this increases the theoretical number of colors to 432, the tint is applied globally, meaning all sprites and tiles on screen were tinted at the same time. So, in actuality, it really just had 8 sets of 54 colors. What are we at now, 9-bits?

Note the conspicuous lack of yellow. No wonder Sakurai wanted Kirby to be pink!
All 64 colors the NES could produce prior to tinting.

What Does 8-Bit Really Mean Then?

So why is it we call sprites from the NES “8-bit” when they’re actually 2/6/9-bit? Simple, they were from games released on an 8-bit console. Of course, that begs the question: “what’s it mean when we say a console is 8-bit?” The number of bits ascribed to a console refers to its central processing unit. The NES used a Ricoh 2A03 processor (or its counterpart the 2A07, used in P.A.L. consoles), which is an 8-bit processor.

Looks kind of like one of those "Hexbugs" I see on TV.
The CPU of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

So what’s makes an 8-bit processor an 8-bit processor? When someone says a processor is “X-bits”, they are referring to the processor’s word size. In computer science, the term word refers to the standard computational unit of a machine. That means an 8-bit processor has a word that’s eight bits long, which in turn means that the C.P.U. processes eight bits in one operation.

My System Has More Bits Than Yours!

Just how important is a system’s word size? These days, manufacturers don’t even mention their consoles’ word size, but back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was a major part of a platform’s marketing. The logic was if a system had a 16-bit C.P.U., it could process twice as much data as a console that only had an 8-bit C.P.U., right? Unfortunately, the reality isn’t that simple.

While technically a 16-bit C.P.U. processes twice as much data bit-wise as an 8-bit C.P.U. per calculation, we need to keep in mind what that data is actually representing. Consider the following binary numbers:

  • 00011001

  • 00000000 00011001

Both the 8-bit value and the 16-bit value equal 25, with each representing the contents of one word for an 8-bit and a 16-bit system, respectively. Notice how they appear identical save for the number of leading zeros? Words can be thought of like boxes: if the number placed inside is smaller than the box, then the excess space is filled with packing peanuts… or, zeros. This way, the processor doesn’t have to worry about how long the number’s binary representation is and instead just performs whatever calculations are needed on the entire word. All of that is to say that unless the calculation in question requires numbers that exceed the maximum value that can be represented with the number of bits in the system’s C.P.U., there isn’t actually any speed boost.

That said, when the largest number you can handle at one time is 255, those extra-bits really do make a difference, so maybe the 8-bit and 16-bit divide isn’t the best example.


In the end, the reason we call sprites from NES games “8-bit” isn’t because the graphics themselves are 8-bit, but because of a sort of linguistic cross-contamination. The systems of the 80’s and 90’s were advertised by exploiting consumer ignorance to turn technical terms into marketing buzzwords, resulting in the systems having much of their identity tied to these terms. Because of that, anything associated with the consoles from that era is going to be collectively referred to by the one unifying descriptor available: 8, 16, 32, or even 64-bit. In the end, it’s ultimately harmless; these terms have an understood meaning and are thus perfectly descriptive in the context in which they’re used. Really, the only real confusion this causes is that I’m somehow okay with it; normally I’m the type go on a long rant whenever anyone says “Ethernet cable” when they really mean “Cat-5”.

What’s Gotta Happen with Mario Party?

Maybe Mario party 15 will finally be good at this pace!


#591 – Mario Party is a floundering series. Numerous sequels hit store shelves in regular intervals, and Nintendo has been experimenting lately with its formula, hoping that the next game would be the one to solve the series’ declining popularity. Unfortunately, Nintendo has yet to strike gold since basically Mario Party 3 on the Nintendo 64. Simeon and Scott are here to diagnose the problems and figure out what Mario needs to do in order to get back to partying in earnest!

Footage credit: NintendoMovies | TheRunawayGuys | SullyPwnz | WiiLikeToPlay

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Is Multiplayer Mario a BAD Idea?

In a word: yes.


#587 – We haven’t seen the New Super Mario Bros. games in a little while, but is that such a bad thing? Nintendo was leaning heavily into the multiplayer aspects of these games, but many gamers found it surprisingly frustrating to share the screen with their friends. Maybe Mario just isn’t a well-suited series for multiplayer. Let’s discuss it! Footage credit: TheRunawayGuys, WiiLikeToPlay

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

BWAAAAH! (“History of Raving Rabbids”)

Mario + Minions: IP Battle


#585 – Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle hits store shelves (and eShop) today! To celebrate this monumental partnership with Nintendo, we’re looking back on where the Rabbids came from. Their humble origins started with an Ubisoft launch game on Wii, and they’ve skyrocketed to success ever since. Come for a trip down memory lane with us!

Footage credit: Bryce Games

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Are Classic Editions the New Virtual Console?

We will be attending Classics Anonymous.


“Virtual Console” isn’t a term that we hear much these days, especially compared to all the buzz surrounding the SNES Classic Edition and the NES version before it. We’re wondering: Are these special retro consoles here to stay, while VC takes a back seat? Will we ever see Virtual Console on Switch? Let’s discuss!Footage credit: Polygon

Footage credit: Polygon
“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

#GamesExplainedBadly

As you can see, we are full of original ideas.


#583 – When you take a game too literally, you come up with some pretty hilarious descriptions! Our job today is to make you laugh by giving you terrible explanations for games. For once, we’re trying NOT to be helpful. And we think you’ll enjoy the results.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What’s the History of Mario’s Design?

Heh. Tom Selleck. Heh heh.


#581 – The man, the myth, the mustache… Mario himself. Did you know that Miyamoto originally wanted to use Popeye as a mascot? Do you know who Mario is named after? Prepare for your mind to be blown – we’ve got all the details!

Footage credit: Kotaku

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Best Nintendo Boss Fights

This episode is TOTALLY different from our Best Villains episode – trust us!


#580 – Baddies – can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Today, we’re talking about the chiefs of all baddies, the Bosses. But we’ve already featured our favorite villains in a previous episode of TBC, so today we are focusing on the best battles themselves – the conflicts that were memorable for their setting, challenge, build-up, or conclusion. Enjoy!

Footage credit: PunkDemonNeo, Boss Fight Database, Hazey A, AquaChannelerChris

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The Golden Age of Gaming

Remember the good old days?

Longtime fans of Nintendo will often reference the past fondly, maybe even going so far as to say that the company has since lost its way.
Look, I get it. We named this brand “Two Button Crew” out of our nostalgia for Nintendo’s first game console and its simple controls.
But before we continue focusing our infatuation with what has been, I’d like to pose a question: What if the Golden Age is actually now? Have you stopped to wonder if we could be experiencing Nintendo’s best efforts currently?
I think so. Allow me to prove it by examining each era individually, and by the end, you might just agree!

NES

A strong case can be made for Nintendo’s debut home console. It made arcade-worthy experiences accessible in the home; revolutionary at the time. The hardware and controllers were simple and intuitive, and developers used the limitations of the day in creative ways. The resulting game library was expansive, full of memorable games that were easy to pick up, but difficult to conquer. We owe the NES generation for nearly all of the franchises we continue to enjoy.

SNES

The Super Nintendo period was one of refinement and perfection. Just as the console received a “Super” upgrade, so did each of Nintendo’s tentpole series. The Holy Trinity of Super Mario World, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid is a trifecta of “Best Game Ever” contenders. Titles like these succeeded by taking the formulae of previous games and maturing and enhancing them.

Nintendo 64

How we played video games was forever changed. Dimensionality increased by 50% with the introduction of polygonal 3D, and with the help of the analog stick, we were invited into Nintendo’s imaginative worlds with an all-new plane of immersion.
Another innovation must be credited to the 64: Group gaming. Yes, multiplayer modes existed previously, but this console fully realized the idea by including four controller ports and bringing people together with games like Mario Kart 64, Super Smash Bros., and the Mario Party series.

GameCube

This era was all about modernization. Nintendo’s competitors were beginning to steal the spotlight with their specs, and the Big N didn’t want to fall behind. However, they still wanted to provide the affordable alternative, so the resulting console suffered a bit of a hardware identity crisis. The upgrade from N64 was similar to the one seen between NES and SNES, where the approach remained largely the same but games improved alongside technology.
Nintendo was not afraid to experiment with software on GameCube, bringing us fresh experiences like Luigi’s Mansion, Pikmin, and Animal Crossing. Many classics from this era like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Metroid Prime, and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door are viewed as best-in-series games, and are begging to be played to this day.

Wii

Nintendo’s brand awareness exploded. A video game console with two letter i’s became a household name overnight, and Nintendo wasn’t ready. Production of the motion-controlled units couldn’t keep up with demand, and the company had to reevaluate their target audience on the fly. Development and marketing efforts were split between catering to core Nintendo fans and the newly-tapped blue ocean markets. It was great to see Nintendo topping the charts, but some of the decisions came across as tone-deaf to longtime Nintendo fans, like their focus on casual experiences during gaming press conferences.
Certainly, some strong titles were released during this era like Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Excite Truck (don’t look at me like that!), but the console was crippled by its outdated, low-res graphics and weak online support.

Wii U

The misbegotten console. In a clear attempt to capitalize on Wii’s success, the branding stayed along with attempts to appeal to the casual crowd. What Nintendo did not anticipate was how sharply those users would pivot to mobile gaming. By the time Nintendo shifted their focus back to their faithful followers to deliver core titles like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Mario 3D World, and Star Fox Zero, it was too late. Slow sales lead to a lack of 3rd Party and Indie games, leaving fans to wait for 1st Party releases while Nintendo delievered the best games on its more successful 3DS handheld.
Wii U’s GamePad controller was useful for (spatially-limited) off-TV gaming, but its other implementations often got in the way of fun by splitting players’ attention across two screens. Solid software attempts weren’t enough to save Nintendo from the lack of buzz around their system. This console generation firmly knocked Nintendo off their pedestal and left them hungry.

Switch

At present day, Nintendo has launched their new console/handheld hybrid and are following it up with a stream of top-notch software. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild paired with the sleek hardware made an enticing match. Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brought the best experiences from Wii U to where more gamers could enjoy them. A level of hype surrounds Switch that hasn’t been seen since the Wii days over a decade ago, only this time… Nintendo fans are the ones generating the noise. Nintendo appears to be pulling out all the stops to support Switch with mainline entries in their top IP, from Super Mario Odyssey this holiday to Metroid Prime 4 and a Pokemon RPG in the future. If this is how the first few years look, imagine what we’ll be talking about in half a decade.
Indies love the platform… 3rd Parties are coming into the fold… Nintendo hit a real home run with this one, having crafted a console this a joy to play, feel, dock, and reconfigure.

I declare the Golden Age of Gaming… NOW!
We’re living it today, The momentum that Nintendo has entered into this console generation with is insane.
Many people “got it” the instant they watched the reveal trailer. Some critics doubted it at launch, but in the time since, the console has earned its way into the hearts of many unsuspecting fans.

And I believe it’s here to stay. We will likely see more iterative updates for Switch hardware, in line with what Nintendo has always fone with their handhelds. Joy-Con XL, anyone? Switch VR Headset?

Grab yourself some games and enjoy them with friends! Nintendo’s going all in on Switch, so do the same.
Enjoy the Golden Age of Gaming.

Embrace the good new days.