Stand By Your Accessories

January 29, 2004

--Posted by Stray Dog @ 21:53 PST.

There has been a disturbing trend that I have noticed in the recent history, actually the complete history, of Nintendo. Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those guys that are rooting for Nintendo to fail. I like the company's work, generally speaking and I have no problem with owning three consoles. The market is big enough in my opinion. However, I do feel the need to point out fault where I see it. As I do think that Nintendo has put out some great accessories for their systems over the years (some greater than others), they have also done a not-so-stellar job of supporting these items with software.

Example: the e-Reader. Now here is a really cool tool that, so far has been used for a handful of NES ports (not all of them the best that system has to offer, I might add), extra items in Animal Crossing and extra levels and items in Super Mario Bros. Advance 4: Super
Mario Bros. 3. That's it. Then they sit back and watch as the accessory slowly fades to an oddity in the annals of history. Why not write more software for it? Why not give people a reason to own one? Really, how long would it take for a designer to make a set of e-Reader cards that have a brand new 8-bit game, NES style? A week? Less? How cool would that be? I'd buy one if it meant that I could scan totally new games onto it. Or at the least, how 'bout some more NES ports? I know there were more than 10 games that were made even in the early days of that system. How many people are waiting in the wings on the boarder-line of whether or not they should buy this add-on that might be persuaded by a few more reasons?

The e-Reader is not Nintendo's first offense in under-supporting accessories. There have been others. Super Scope 6 for the SNES had only two games, I believe. The Power Glove might have sold more units if it had been useful on more than one game. ROB the Robot . . . Well, maybe Nintendo was right to let him go, but I think that putting him out there in the first place was a bad idea (not that it hurt the NES in any way shape or form).

The Big N is not the only perpetrator of this gross negligence but it is certainly the worse for with other handhelds looming on the horizon (the PSP, not the N-Gage which has already been crushed), Nintendo should be watching its back every way it can. So, Nintendo, if you aren't going to support that piece of hardware, don't release it and spend the money on a new Zelda game instead.

STRAY DOG'S BARGAIN BIN: Twice the game, half the price

Metroid Prime ($20, used)

Today's entry is a game that I didn't think I would like. You see, I am not a fan of first person shooters. I am typically no good at them and the just don' it for me. However, when the price dropped to $20, I could no longer resist the temptation to try it out. I wish I hadn't waited so long.

The game is more a first person adventure than it is an FPS. The controls are vaguely Zelda like with lock-on strafing and the enormous A button used for shooting. While controls will take FPS junkies longer to get used to while they unlearn what they know, to novices, the control feels natural. The game plays out exactly as you would imagine any Metroid game to play: item collecting, map searching (retracing) and huge, epic boss battles. I had a great time with this one and you will too if you give it a chance. At $20 bucks, you can't go wrong.