Nintendo Fans are Running the Company Scott's Thoughts

For a few years now, Nintendo execs have been talking about passing the torch. Younger developers are starting to take the reigns on new intellectual property like Splatoon and ARMS, as well as helping more seasoned devs shake up existing franchises that have stagnated.

These youthful employees are of a new generation, cut from a different cloth than Nintendo management has typically been made up of.

They’re Nintendo fans.

Kids who grew up a couple decades ago have been playing the company’s games their whole life, learned how to design and code, then landed a job at the Big N itself.

There’s a lot of respect for Nintendo’s stable of franchises, yet, the new employees aren’t as emotionally attached. That distinction allows for more change, experimentation, and advancement than we have previously seen.

When Nintendo fans run the company, you start seeing decisions that make more sense (to us fellow Nintendo fans). Things that we would actually come up with! Like naming a two-dimensional 3DS the 2DS. Like bringing back Star Fox 2 on a Classic Edition. Like reproducing the excellent GameCube controller for Super Smash Bros. 4.

We’re in good hands!

Pokemon on Switch, Huge Splatoon 2 Update


Nintendo just blew the roof off Splatoon 2 by adding in a ton of new content, as well as feature we’ve been asking for since the original’s launch: fast gear swapping. We’ve also got news on the direction GameFreak will be taking Pokemon on Switch, and more! It’s a big news week so buckle up and hit the play button.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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The Happiest Place on Earth

For many Nintendo fans, it is something of a rite of passage to visit the company’s only retail store in New York City. And when I mean “only”, I really mean it. The New York City store is the only retail storefront open to the public for Nintendo fans in the entire world. Every year, thousands of fans make the trek to the Big Apple to visit it. Why?

Because It’s Special

Nintendo New York (formerly known as the Nintendo World Store) is located in Rockefeller Plaza in the heart of the city. Before it transformed into a general Nintendo store, it was a Pokémon Center. For years, fans have made the drive or flight to visit the store. Sure, many come to New York for many other reasons, but stopping here is always a highlight. Some people, like myself, made the trip from Indiana specifically to go to the store, with other activities planned around it.

The store’s footprint is small… but it’s two stories, so the square footage is pretty sizable in the end. But the moment you walk in, you are in instant awe. Besides the eye-popping merchandise that smacks you in the face, the atmosphere and decorations just make you feel good.

Being the only Nintendo store in existence makes it special. It would still be special if others were to open up – which is what some fans are hoping for with the aforementioned renaming from Nintendo “World” Store to Nintendo “New York”. As it stands now, with only one store, it literally is akin to going to an amusement park, and you will look back on your visit there as fondly as if you had been to one.

Because It’s Fun

The Nintendo New York store is like nothing else. It is the hub of Nintendo goodness – one that you don’t even get when visiting the employees-only headquarters in Redmond, Washington, which I did when living in Seattle. If you are a longtime fan like myself, you will spend about a full minute just standing in the doorway with your mouth agape like I did. It is an amazing sight. The store just has a happy vibe to it – a Nintendo vibe, if you will. You are surrounded by beloved Nintendo characters, demo units, games, clothing and more. Much of the merchandise sold here is exclusive to the store. My traveling companion went wild in here when we went – she spent $471 before tax on plushies, T-Shirts, bags and more.

The store regularly holds fun launch events for major games. I was there in May of 2015, the day before the launch of the Wii U game Splatoon, and there was already a long line that stretched down the block in what would be almost 24 hours before the store opened on release day. They make game launches a huge deal with lots of fun, special guests, real life games and contests: they even held a mock fashion show for Style Savvy: Fashion Forward for instance. The pictures that accompany this post are from that time, and the interior has changed since the 2016 remodel.

On the second level you will find a small “museum” section. I believe they change them out every so often, but when I was there they had a section dedicated to the history of The Legend of Zelda with every imaginable game, manual, special edition console and accessories in a three section display case. In front of it was a “History of Nintendo Handhelds” exhibit with every portable console on display – even the obscure ones like the Game Boy Light (previously for sale only in Japan) and the Game Boy Micro. There were also a small aisle with individual cases for each of Nintendo’s home consoles from the NES to the Wii U.

The store is just flat out fun. It is fun to be in. I was in there for three full hours from 9am to just after noon, and it felt like I wasn’t there long enough. It’s a store that invites you to play and have fun, and celebrate Nintendo’s rich history without ever feeling too self-congratulatory. There is no Tom Nook stalking you around to pressure you to spend your bells on anything – you are free to be there as long as you want.

Because You Belong

Going to the store is not unlike going to a convention – everyone in there is a huge Nintendo fanatic, and it feels good to be around them. Your mileage may vary, but sometimes for me, it is tough to admit I am a Nintendo fan among my other gaming friends who specialize in Halo and Call of Duty. Nintendo is looked at as a console for kiddies, despite it being the original home to some of the best M-rated games ever like Eternal Darkness, the Resident Evil remake and Resident Evil 4. Admittedly, Nintendo has lagged behind in sheer hardware power for three console generations now, beginning with the Wii, then Wii U and now the Switch. But the draw of the Switch is its hybrid format of being a portable and a home console. I won’t talk about how awesome that is because if you like Nintendo, you are probably already aware.

But when you walk into Nintendo New York, you feel like you belong. No one will laugh at you for preferring Animal Crossing to Battlefield, or you spent over 100 hours playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe instead of organizing your Destiny clan. And just like going to a Comic-Con, you don’t have to be ashamed of your preferences. The store encourages you to have fun and enjoy yourself, and there is no better place to do it than surrounded by Mushroom Kingdom pipe decorations and giant Bowser statues.

Because It’s the Happiest Place on Earth

Forget Disneyland. The Nintendo New York store is the happiest place on Earth. For all of the reasons I mentioned above – but the bottom line is that it is just fun. It’s like an amusement park without the lines (unless, of course, you are there for a game launch event). The employees are friendly. The shoppers are friendly. The music is friendly. The plushies are all smiling at you, and not in a creepy, Five Nights at Freddy’s way. It is an excuse for kids to be kids, and for adults to be kids again too, because it’s impossible not to become awash in memories of your own childhood when in the store and seeing everything they have to offer.


Eric “Flapjack” Ashley has been a Nintendo fan for almost his entire life! While he also has a special place in his heart for Sega, it is Nintendo that gets him worked up and the franchises that capture his imagination and wonder. Flapjack is hopelessly in love with Animal Crossing. When he is not playing video games, he is a social media guru, assisting numerous organizations with their outreach and promotions, and he is also a big horror movie buff. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @flapjackashley.

What Nintendo Character Am I?

If you ever need your eyebrows slimed, call us first.


It’s popular with the kids and it’s popular with the squids – SLIME! Simeon and Scott are here to play with slime (in a Nintendo-like fashion) for YOUR enjoyment. So play along and see if you can guess the characters that their slimy faces portray.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Nintendo Slime Co-Op Challenge

You could call us “YouTube Trendsetters,” but… you’d be completely wrong.


#553 – Never seen a video like this before on YouTube, have you? We’re playing with Slime, and you can just chalk this up as a Splatoon video, alright? The object of the game is for us to get each other to guess Nintendo related characters, objects, icons and more, simply by manipulating stubborn slime with our bare hands. Should be fun, right?

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Nintendo’s New Approach to New IPs

Over the years, Nintendo’s franchises have continued to grow, but many old games (F-Zero, Ice Climbers) may not see a new entry, and a few games (Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., Captain Rainbow) will likely never get a single sequel. There are a couple new strategies they’ve started using that are really elevating the new IPs right out of the gate.

Free Content

They don’t even call it DLC because it’s not optional. Updating new games instead of asking people to spend extra money on something new and unknown is such a smart move. You can purchase a game at launch knowing you’re getting the full experience… over time. There were a few things that should have been in Splatoon at launch (TEAMS!), but the map and weapon additions every Friday after the game came out that continued for months kept me going back. There’s no way I would have bought all the content in that game (as I tend to like certain weapon types), but giving them to me for free convinces me to try them out and dig deeper into the game. They’ve already confirmed that new fighters, stages, and arms will be available in ARMS following launch, so I know I’ll be throwing punches for a while.

Free content = Ongoing happiness

Tournaments

Splatoon was featured as part of the Nintendo World Championship and now both ARMS and Splatoon 2 have tournaments at E3 2017. This builds so much hype around their games and shows off the competitive side as well. Looking from the outside, ARMS and Splatoon appear to be casual games, and can totally be played as such, but for the gamers that want a deep and challenging experience, there’s no better way to show it off than on a big flashy stage.

Nintendo Directs

Having a Nintendo Direct specifically dedicated to a game has done WONDERS for Nintendo. For the day(s) from announcing the direct until the actual stream, I see Nintendo fans going wild with rumors and speculation of what the Big N has up their sleeve. Showing off new stages and modes plus announcing new characters in ARMS has reignited a spark for that game in a lot of people (myself included). There have been a ton of posts on social media about which fighter is someone’s favorite and planning which arm combos they’ll use with said character.

The possibility of more Reggie is never a bad thing.

Global Tests

Both Splatoons have had a Global Testfire and with ARMS set to have a Global Testpunch this weekend and the following weekend, it’s bound to get even more people interested and talking about the game. While it would be nice to have longer increments to check the game out, I think it’s smart to give people a taste with set times to play. It whets your appetite for the game just enough to sell it to you and makes you want to play the title right at launch to get back into it.

Here’s hoping to the success of ARMS and Splatoon 2. With all the hype that continues to build around them, I don’t see them going anywhere in the near future… but only time will tell.

Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Impressions

At least this is one game that we can say Nintendo gave us early access to! Har har.


Did you enjoy the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire? We sure did! It’s kind of crazy that the game is already in a fully playable state so far ahead of launch. Hopefully Nintendo used this opportunity to spot any hiccups or shortcomings with servers, but our experience was very smooth! In this video we’ll talk about the stages, weapons, and controls of the surprising squid sequel to the Wii U hit original.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Nintendo’s Top-Selling Wii U Titles

Nothing more thrilling than game sale figures, amiright?


You might be very surprised at the sales records that some of the best Wii U games set. While not regarded as a financial success by most, the Wii U platform was home to some of Nintendo’s most polished work. And the sales figures and various attach rates prove that! Come with Simeon and Scott for a walk down monetary lane as they look at some dollars and cents.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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How Nintendo Handles DLC

Season pass used to be a bad word – now Nintendo’s saying it all the time!


Breath of the Wild may be receiving perfect scores from around the industry, but its recent DLC expansion pass announcement was not met with as much enthusiasm. Simeon and Scott take a look at Nintendo’s downloadable content track record today before discussing the promise of added content for Link’s newest adventure. How are you feeling about the opportunity to pay to play more of Hyrule’s open world? Sound off in the comments below!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Why is Switch’s Voice Chat Through A Phone App?

Voice chat – real, true, genuine, actual voice chat on a Nintendo system. Someone pinch me.


The Nintendo Switch is taking a little bit different of an approach when it comes to online voice communications… all of that data is going to be funneled through a new mobile app the Nintendo is publishing later in 2017. This is a strange choice, and isn’t something we’ve seen before in the gaming industry. Will it end up being a positive or a negative for those who pick up the new console/portable hybrid? Ryan is here with a Crew Cut to examine all aspects of the issue!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Switch Games – Remakes/Updates/Sequels?

SplaTWOn, coming to a Nintendo Switch near you, March 2017!


We saw a good handful of games during the Nintendo Switch reveal trailer, but it wasn’t exactly clear which ones were new games and which ones are making a return from the Wii U console. We look at all the clues and present compelling cases for which games are new and which ones are definitive editions!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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R.I.P. Nintendo Wii U (2012-2017)

Play

*Raises lighter and sways*


There comes a time in every console’s life when it’s time to say goodbye. Today we bid farewell to the Wii U and remember fondly it’s brightest moments.

Music: “Wii U-logy” by Ryan Van Liere | Download MP3

Shot by Alex Campbell

Splatoon Showdown

Who is the splattiest of them all?


Simeon and Scott have owed each other a Splatoon showdown for a while! We finally put each other to the test, but one of us might need some more practice…

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Game of the Year Awards (2015)

And the award for most inappropriate advertising goes to… Yo-Kai Watch!


2016 looks pretty promising for Nintendo, but before we get ahead of ourselves, the Crew gives out its rewards for best games this year!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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2015 Game Awards Reactions

Not everyone is special… but we are!



2015 is almost gone, which means it’s award show time. The Crew recaps a few highlights of this year’s Game Awards show.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Confessions of a Smash Bro

Welcome to Crew Cuts, which have absolutely nothing to do with hair and everything to do with Nintendo!

Introducing a new TBC feature – Crew Cuts! Get to know the crew members on a 1-on-1 basis. Today, Scott discusses what he has been playing lately, shows his gaming setup, and looks at his total Smash Bros. for Wii U gameplay timer a year after launch!

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Splatoon Updates with Ryan

~ Oh I can tell that we are gonna be friends ~

Ryan is the third member of the Two Button Crew – our resident streamer and Splatoon expert! Scott and Simeon have some Splatoon questions for Ryan, Mario Maker questions, and details on our Amiibo giveaway – don’t miss any of it!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Nintendo vs. Voice Chat

Nintendo struggles to perform the balancing act of protecting their young fans as well as meet the expectations of adult fans. Voice chat is one of those areas that Nintendo fans may have felt slighted, considering the robust communication offerings on other consoles. In this episode, we took an honest look at the situation and the implications of Nintendo’s recent decisions regarding voice chat. It’s a more serious episode and it was cool to see that the TBC show can be lighthearted and fun as well as contemplative and heavy when appropriate.

The battle between Nintendo and online voice communication rages on. Nintendo has dipped their toes in the water with recent Wii U releases, but completely excluded voice chat in others. What’s really going on with this situation? What do gamers want to see happen?

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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