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Nintendo's Top Ten Worst Moves (Broken)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 14, 2004   |   Episode 54 (Show Archive)  

WALL OF TEXT EXPLAINED: What you're looking at is an episode of Countdown w/ Defunct Games published before 2006. As you can tell, something has gone horribly awry. I won't bore you with the technical details, but it has to do with the old layout being incompatible with the new. Eventually, we would like to retrofit these old episodes of Countdown, but that will require a significant amount of time. As Defunct Games has only a limited staff, we aren't sure when we'll have the chance to fix this article. If you absolutely need to know what this article said, get a hold of us on Twitter or leave a message in the comment section below. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you will enjoy the episodes created post-2006.

#10 The Virtual Boy, for $180!! There's something about the Virtual Boy I like. It's just so completely unlike anything else on the market, it's hard not to want to own one. But certainly not at $180, the price Nintendo charged for it when it was first released. Had it been, say, $100, I might not have a problem, especially for the novelty of it. But at $180 it's going to have to do a lot more than just give me a headache and eye troubles. With next to no third party support, and only a few titles from Nintendo, the Virtual Boy was challenging you to buy it. For a company good at making the most out of their portables, Nintendo just couldn't bring it together for the Virtual Boy. It's great as a novelty gift for $30, but at $180 you've got to be kidding me! #9 Nintendo Is Quick to Abandon Peripherals I don't care what peripheral it is, Nintendo had no interest in supporting it. Just look at the R.O.B., or what about the Power Pad? Should we talk about how many Nintendo Zapper games there are, or how many games were made specifically for the Super Scope? The trend is simple; Nintendo has no loyalty to those peripherals they create. And they have even less support for those peripherals made by third parties, like the Power Glove. You're best bet then, and probably now, is to avoid any of the gimmicky add-ons Nintendo offers. If it doesn't use the control that comes with the system, chances are you don't need it. #8 "Quality over Quantity" This is just one of those arrogant quotes Nintendo is known for, but it's the one most gamers will remember. In the days of the Nintendo 64 Nintendo used this mantra over and over, trying to explain why there was only a trickle of games each month. They constantly claimed that their system was the high ground, because, unlike the PlayStation, the Nintendo 64 was going to have the best games available. Problem is, month after month Nintendo loyalists were giving nothing more than a couple mediocre titles, and a few great games. There were some truly amazing games for the system, no doubt about it, but you had to wait six months for them to come. If there's any reason the Nintendo 64 failed, it's because Nintendo lied up front about how good the games were going to be. #7 The Super NES CD Fiasco Not able to let Sega have all the attention for their CD add on, Nintendo announced a Super NES CD system that ended up biting them on the ass in more ways than one. Co-developed by Sony, the Super NES CD seemed to have everything going for it, including a few big name PC ports. But when it came down to it Nintendo just couldn't deliver. Not only is there no Super NES CD, but Nintendo didn't even release a disc-based media unit the GameCube, a decade later! Sony, on the other hand, took what they were working on and developed a system called the PlayStation that would eventually take over the world. Just imagine how different the industry would be if the Super NES CD had been released as scheduled. #6 Nintendo Edits Mortal Kombat In the early days of video violence Nintendo was, well, the push over of the industry. So worried about looking bad, Nintendo did everything they could to cover up even the hint of violence. They figured that the parents were the key to their success, not knowing that only a few years later the grown up game players would be controlling the industry. In one of the most foolish moves ever devised by a video game company, Nintendo decided to censor the blood and fatalities in Mortal Kombat. In doing so Nintendo struck a blow for video game violence, and in effect sent their loyal customers over to the Sega Genesis version which had all the gore that made the arcade game such a huge hit. Acclaim was able to sell a good number of sanitized Super NES versions, but by and large, the Genesis game sold a lot of systems for Sega. #5 They Never Saw the Need for RPGs Throughout the 1980s Nintendo saw no need for Role Playing Games, since they were expensive to translate and produce for an American audience. It wasn't until the success of Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior that Nintendo finally took notice, and even then it wasn't much. In the days of the Super NES, it looked like Nintendo was the place to be for adventure games, with both Final Fantasy II and III and a number of another big budget Square titles. But then, out of nowhere, Square up and left Nintendo for Sony, and started the great renaissance for Role Playing Games. Nintendo's newer systems are no different, just look at how long it took them to release Paper Mario, the first Nintendo RPG on the Nintendo 64. And how many Role Playing Games can you name on the GameCube? Yet all around you there are great RPGs for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Looks like this is a mistake Nintendo is still making. #4 Nintendo Refuses to go Online The biggest innovation this current gaming cycle seems to involve all things online. Both the Xbox and the PlayStation 2 have solid plans that allow gamers to play with their friends no matter where they live. Yet Nintendo seems to want to take a completely different approach. They released a modem and network adaptor, they have a game that supports it (Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II by Sega), and yet Nintendo sees no need to enter the market with their own online games. They've gone as far as to claim that playing Mario Kart online would take the fun OUT of the game. Nintendo has always been slow to adopt new technologies, but with sales low, it would make sense for them to give the gamers what they want. #3 Nintendo sues Galoob over the Game Genie These days it seems insane for a company to sue somebody over making a device that allows you to cheat, but a decade ago Nintendo did just that. When Galoob released the Game Genie Nintendo contested that it would make games too easy, and that could, somehow, affect the sales of their games. Nintendo had already waged a war against the rental business, and with the Game Genie out there, they feared that nobody would want to buy video games ever again. After a lengthy court battle, Nintendo had to accept that cheat devices were here to stay. Nintendo's numerous lawsuits led Electronic Gaming Monthly to lament that "had Nintendo put as much effort into designing a REAL Super Nintendo as they did suing everybody, we all would be playing S-NES' instead of Genesis." But in the long run, sales for video games have only gone up, and that's with the help of rentals and cheats. #2 Nintendo always stuck to their standard cast of characters Over the last couple of years one could argue that Nintendo has attempted to offer more diverse characters into their games, what with titles like Pikmin, but when you really look back at their games, they always come back to a standard cast of characters. Love them or not, these characters have been the same for almost twenty years, Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Metroid, and more. If these games aren't getting sequels, they are hitting the golf course or racing in a kart. The fact of the matter is, Nintendo has done nothing more than fall back on a group of characters that are way more popular than need be. If Nintendo can't come up with some new faces, they will run the risk of looking like the company who isn't willing to look at the future, but is more content on channeling the past. #1 Nintendo sticks with cartridges No matter if you like the Nintendo 64 or not, Nintendo's power officially shifted when they decided to choose cartridges over CDs. By spending more time convincing the world that CDs had longer load times, couldn't be saved on, and were slower, Nintendo was never able to quite get the momentum they needed to pull out a successful system. For the first time Nintendo sounded like the old fogy who wouldn't have anything to do with "modern" gaming, and ended up alienating their fan base. To this day Nintendo has not been able to move on from this mistake, and has only made it worse by not embracing online gaming, DVD playback, and other features standard with the Xbox and PlayStation 2. Call it what you want, Nintendo's go it alone approach has effectively led them to last place, a place they won't be able to get out of until they change their approach. By printing this top ten list I realize I am opening myself up to hate mail from Nintendo fanboys, but that's alright with me. I write these lists to be truthful, so tell it like it is. If you expect less from me, then you've been coming to the wrong website all along. Well, here's a top five list that should mend some fences. Nintendo's Top Five Best Moves They Didn't Hold a Grudge with Sega In the 1990s Rare and Midway teamed together to create one of the lamest fighting series of all time. Yet even now clueless gamers - either drunk or remembering a far better game - demand that Rare updates it. But this is exactly the type of game I want to steer clear of, it featured generic characters and a combo system that looked impressive, but was actually among the lamest "enhancements" ever to be added to fighting games. Of course, you don't have to be a sucker for those 100 hit combos, you can simply do a combo breaker . but by that time I'm ready to just break the game in two. They brought us Metroid They could have, but they didn't! So now Nintendo loyalists are able to play every single Sonic the Hedgehog game (except Sonic CD). If Nintendo plays their cards right this could be a friendship that could get them a long way! The Gave us Controls with Analog Sticks Not to mention Mario, Zelda, and dozens of other franchises we still look forward to. And isn't it worth it to have Mario Kart?? The truth is, Nintendo is responsible for some of the best games of all time, and we really should acknowledge that. They Gave Birth to both 2D and 3D Platformers! If it weren't for games like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, we would probably not be playing Jak II and Billy Hatcher. Many a gamer has had a love affair with the platformer, no matter how old they are or what kind of animal they like. They Saved the Industry! After the great game crash of 1983 Nintendo single-handedly brought the game industry back to life. And unless you are completely heartless, that should mean for something, no matter what bad decisions they make in the future.


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