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Nintendo's Department of Redundancy Department
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 28, 2002   |   Episode 26 (Show Archive)  


Over the last couple years I have amassed a rather large collection of GameBoy Advance games, some good, some bad, and many I'll probably never play again. But one thing all of them have in common is a small logo on their boxes. If you were to look at any GameBoy Advance box, new or old, you would notice an "ONLY FOR" logo crowding the top left corner.

But what's it there for? After all, the GameBoy Advance really has no competition, so there's no way games like Wario Wares, Inc.: MEGA MICROGAME$ or Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow could ever find their way on to other portables.

Since these logos are indiscriminately placed on every single GameBoy Advance game sold in the United States, it sometimes conflicts with actual video game facts. Like, for example, games like Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, or even Final Fight. While Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts is fun (and super hard) on the GameBoy Advance, it is clearly NOT the only system the game has been on, in fact, it's the third (counting both the Super NES and Sega Saturn). Yet the game clearly reads ONLY FOR on the box, as if the game is brand new. Perhaps the game is "currently" ONLY FOR the GameBoy Advance, but you have to admit that it's extremely misleading.

Perhaps even more troubling is how Nintendo clearly states that some games are GameBoy Advance exclusive, when they actually appear on a whole list of other platforms. In the case of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Activision actually released the game on a number of platforms, including the PC, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, so for Nintendo to claim the game is ONLY FOR the GameBoy Advance is somewhat misleading. Furthermore, Nokia has a brand new version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater being released for their N-Gage portable, so even if Nintendo is claiming the game is only for their "portable" it's technically a lie.

On the GameCube this identical logo makes sense, after all, Nintendo actually has some competition to deal with and wants everybody to know what their exclusives are. That's not a bad idea; Microsoft has decided to do the exact same thing, and reports that it has helped sell Xbox exclusives.

Nintendo has a major collection of first party titles that should be advertised as ONLY ON the GameCube. Big titles like the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Super Mario probably need no label (even if they get one), but new franchises, like Pikmin or Eternal Darkness, should be pointed out, if only to help sell a few more units.

But that doesn't really explain why Nintendo has this logo on every single GameBoy Advance box. I can't say it looks any better, and really just clutters the box up. Perhaps Nintendo was expecting another company, like Sony, to release a portable to compete, and use the logo as a pre-emptive strike. Or maybe, like everything else, I'm just putting too much thought into it.


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