Nintendo has just entered into one of their most cluttered eras, what with the release of the Nintendo DS, as well as the continued support of the GameCube and GameBoy Advance. While their upcoming schedule includes a new Legend of Zelda game, the rest of 2005 line-up looks pretty bleak with only the often delays Star Fox 2 and Geist rounding out the cast. Multiply this with the fact that they will once and for all have a serious competitor in the portable arena; Nintendo has their work cut out for them in 2005. But why worry about that when haven't even entered December yet? Regardless of what we know now, Nintendo is always good for a few surprises, and nobody is counting them out just yet.
Look and Design:
Perhaps sensing the companies overall cluttered game plan, Nintendo's website is just as chaotic. Although there is quite a bit of information on the front page, it's extremely hard to focus on just one thing thanks to sparse graphics and boring descriptions. The front page does offer a countdown of the top three Nintendo events, but oddly enough the Nintendo DS launch was not the number one until recently. For much of this month the top story was the release of the port of Donkey Kong Country 2 game, a title you probably
Geist sure looks cool, but there really isn't much information about it on the Nintendo website!
remember on the Super NES. Whether this shows Nintendo's priorities or is just more of the media's anti-Nintendo bias is all in your interpretation.
Nintendo has a well crafted guide to whatever Nintendo system you're looking for ... unless you're looking for a system other than the DS, GameBoy Advance, or GameCube. Most of their classic consoles (such as the NES or Super NES) and old school offerings (Virtual Boy) are left with bare bone sites with little to no information. These pages often tend to be ugly and hard to navigate.
Their search engine faired a little better; a search for "Eternal Darkness" brought up not only the unappreciated horror game for the GameCube, but also Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes, which was developed by the same company. On the other hand, a search for "Kid Icarus" found nothing, which doesn't surprise me since Nintendo has completely forgotten about the classic sidescrollers.
- If you're looking for the most up to date news, you're probably going to want to look elsewhere. The truth is, Nintendo's website is the last place to find anything more than gussied up press releases or guides
On the website you can buy the GameCube Modem and Network Adaptor ... bloody good it will do you, though!
to new game/system launches. The current news is a whole FAQ about the Nintendo DS followed by the announcement of a Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and GameCube bundle pack ... not exactly riveting stuff. Granted, there really isn't a lot going on for Nintendo, but their guide to the DS pales in comparison to what you would find on IGN, GameSpot, or any other news site. The information itself is updated very infrequently, and is not the place you want to go when you want the newest Nintendo facts.
On the front page I found a poll that asked the following question, "What level of interest do you have, and how much would you pay for an adapter that allowed you to play N64 cartridges on the Nintendo GameCube?" I thought this was what the Nintendo DS was for, or does Nintendo really intend to release a Nintendo 64 adaptor? You'd think that this would be an era Nintendo would want to run far, far away from ... but maybe they haven't learned their lesson and feel there is still a market for bulky cartridges. What a scary thought that is.
FINAL GRADE: B-
(Important Note: This review was written on November 24, 2004. As is the case with websites things tend to change and get moved around. We've decided to cover major companies who should have a presence on the web for many years to come, but the actual reviews of the layout may not be relevant for more than a month to a year. Having said that, we're hoping this article was still interesting, and if not, at least you go this extra little paragraph of explanation that you wouldn't normally get on the other websites.)