YMMV / Nintendo

Nintendo has earned a lot of opinions over the years. Here is a partial list of them.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Nintendo has managed to surprise and amaze a skeptical public many times in its history, and at times even surprise themselves with how well something does. This includes, but isn't limited to, bringing the NES to North America, the Metroid Prime Trilogy, the Nintendo DS and the Wii, and Splatoon. Super Smash Bros., and Pokémon were examples of times when Nintendo surprised itself with this.
  • Breakthrough Hit: Donkey Kong. The story goes that after ordering several thousand machines of a game called Radar Scope, the game simply didn't perform very well, and Nintendo of America was on the verge of going under. Their parent company in Japan sent over a machine with Donkey Kong on it, and Nintendo soon converted all the Radar Scope machines into Donkey Kong machines. The game made obscene amounts of money, and NoA was saved.
  • Broken Base:
    • Whether if Nintendo's franchises are too stagnant or whether if they should stay to tradition (basically Nintendo has a known history of both They Changed It, Now It Sucks and It's the Same, Now It Sucks over the years).
    • The late Hiroshi Yamauchi Vs. the late Satoru Iwata: Who was the better leader for Nintendo? For Yamauchi's credits, he was a brilliant businessman and is one of the reasons why the NES and Super NES did so well. On the other hand, Yamauchi is known in some circles as the reason why the N64 didn't as well, namely because of his controlling nature, which is also why Nintendo still has trouble with third parties. For Iwata's merits, those who praise him say that he's responsible for making Nintendo a lot more innovative and a lot more profitable thanks to the Wii and DS consoles. Then there are those who hated Iwata's leadership for Nintendo's recent increase in popularity for "all the wrong reasons" and made Nintendo's games a lot weaker and more casual as a result. In addition, despite all of the profits Nintendo's been making, their 3rd party support is still lacking.
    • Even Shigeru Miyamoto is becoming a case of this. Any backlash against him was unheard of for years until The New Tens, when fans hated what he did with Paper Mario: Sticker Star — citing its weaker story line and diminished gameplay (compared to previous installments) — and blame him for the Super Mario Bros. franchise becoming stagnant, as well as almost everything that held back Star Fox Zero. While there are still plenty of people who love Shigeru and easily forgive him for a few certain issues about him, there are those who wish he would just retire so his franchises will actually get to thrive with less archaic constraints.
    • Nintendo's role in ending The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 thanks to the NES, is the idea of Nintendo saving the Video Game Industry with the NES an absolute fact and reason why we should always appreciate Nintendo? Or is Nintendo been given a little too much credit in ending the crash and its not that big a deal? (Those who believe the latter often point out on how the crash was only in the North American game console market as the Computer Industry and the Game Industry in other places such as Japan were just fine at the time.)
    • Most of the time when Nintendo shows a Nintendo Direct, fans will usually be divided over whether they liked what was shown, or disappointed that they didn't show what they wanted.
    • The May 20, 2014 closing of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, a service that allowed people to play certain Wii and DS games online. Some of the base understand that the service had to end sometime, even if most agree that the timing seems a bit too soon. The other remaining base fractured greatly, split over numerous things that include, but are not limited to: seeing this closure as another sign Nintendo is doomed, that Iwata needs to be fired over this closure, this closure being a scam to force people to upgrade to Wii U and 3DS and the Nintendo Network, and people trying to plead to Nintendo to not end Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. This can reach ridiculous levels because it wasn't a decision by Nintendo but a matter of GameSpy being shut down as the Mis-blamed entry below reveals.
    • Nintendo's often weak or non-existent third party support. While no one argues that it is a problem, people are split over who's at fault for it. Some blame Nintendo's strategies for creating consoles that aren't similar to the rival PlayStation and Xbox lines or for not courting them enough, while others blame third parties for constantly delaying or gimping ports to the Nintendo systems due to believing third-party titles can't sell on Nintendo platforms, and using lazy ports to prove it. A few even blame both sides for all the above reasons.
    • The NX. Anything about the NX's strengths, release date, and its format set Internet forums ablaze, just from the rumors. Palutena knows how bad it will get when the NX is fully revealed....
    • Nintendo's theme park partnership with Universal Pictures was met with some division among certain bases. There is a rather vocal base who likens Nintendo to Disney in terms of franchise and character appeal, something Universal doesn't quite have, and feels that licensing the characters to that company would make more sense than licensing the characters to Universal. There are also those who feel such a licensing deal with Universal is incomprehensible as the studio had tried to pull Donkey Kong from the arcades decades before, and such attempts should have made relations between the two irreconcilable (although the studio making the Merchandise-Driven Nintendo vehicle The Wizard in 1989 may have helped warm the relations up overtime). On the other side, there is a base who fears that a theme-park partnership with Disney would culminate in Disney buying Nintendo given the former's track record of partnerships-turned-acquisitions (though given Japan's strict corporate laws, such a prospect would be impossible), and there are also those who feel Disney would not care about Nintendo since it's not their property and as most of Disney's attractions at Disney Theme Parks are largely sourced from Disney-owned franchises or are original rides designed entirely by Disney (with the upcoming Pandora-The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom being one of the few exceptions), they would not put that much effort into the Nintendo attractions (something Universal is willing to do as seen with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). And then there are those who feel Nintendo should partner up with both companies, and then there are those who feel they should have partnered with neither company.
    • As the internet's become increasingly larger and more prominent in our everyday lives, there's been a significantly larger amount of legal action from Nintendo towards fangames, ROM hacks, emulators, etc., usually in the form of cease & desist notices. Some people argue that Nintendo has every right to do this, as they have to protect their IPs in order to continue business, but others see it as a blatant example of Disney Owns This Trope, especially since a lot of the fangames and ROM hacks that get taken down are original derivative works. The debate started to quiet down a bit when a rumor emerged stating that a large amount of the takedowns were being issued by a troll impersonating a Nintendo of America lawyer, but after the shutdown of Another Metroid 2 Remake was proven to have been Nintendo's own doing, the arguments flared up even more. Not helping is the fact that Nintendo's former rival SEGA has worked with fangame developers multiple times in the past, most notably on the iOS ports of several Sonic the Hedgehog games and Sonic Mania, with many detractors of Nintendo using this fact to shame the latter company (despite SEGA themselves having taken down fan projects several times in the past).
  • Cash Cow Franchise: The games they publish (especially the Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon series) as well as their systems. Nintendo itself is seen as a Cash Cow Company.
  • Critical Research Failure: It's practically "Common Knowledge" that Nintendo rarely puts out new franchises and titles. This is even believed by some major video game publications. While that may be true for Nintendo EPD (formerly Nintendo EAD and Nintendo SPD), Nintendo itself has many other development teams and produces new franchises on a fairly regular basis, possibly at a faster rate than most others that almost never get such allegations thrown at them.
  • Dork Age: Just about every console generation since the SNES has been called this in some form at some point in its life. Many of these of course, end up Vindicated by History as newer generations of gamers discover these games in hindsight:
    • While known today for its revolutionary first and second party titles like Super Mario 64, GoldenEye, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, many agree the dork age for Nintendo began in 1996 with the launch of the Nintendo 64. With the decision to stick with cartridges, games were very tough to develop with the medium's limitations in mind. This led to a lot of third-party developers to jump ship to the first PlayStation, with most famous example being Squaresoft, who went on to develop 1997's killer app Final Fantasy VII for the PS1. Also, developers were starting to get sick of Nintendo's censorship policy during the NES and SNES days, leading them to jump to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, systems that had more lax censorship policies and were marketed towards teens and adults from the get-go. Even with third parties sticking on board, the complicated development led to fewer games in general for the system. For example, at the peak of era, the PlayStation was seeing at least ten games released per week while only about three Nintendo 64 games were released per month.
    • Once upon a time, the GameCube was ostracised for generally not following the Rated M for Manly and Real Is Brown elements that games were starting to pick up. The lack of much third party support was also a contentious issue, as well as the many deviations in formula of Nintendo’s own flagships (such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Star Fox Adventures, Super Mario Sunshine, and Kirby Air Ride) meaning that even Nintendo fans who just wanted familiar Nintendo experiences were out of luck as well. Oh, and it also looked like a purple lunchbox, which made it look silly.

      Nowadays the GameCube era is praised as a time when Nintendo was very daring to be original and innovative with its software, especially with the company later tendency to go down the "safe" route with these same franchises (more on that below).
    • The Virtual Boy and all of its infamous shortcomings are considered an all-around bad case of everything (except maybe for Virtual Boy Wario Land) that's often glossed over in Nintendo's history. Despite the generated hype at the time, it was a huge failure; it was classified as a 'portable' but it was oversized and clunky, it only generated images in an excruciating palette of red and black, and actually caused unanticipated headaches in users leading to its eventual discontinuation after just one year. Very few look back on it with fondness (except, again, for the Wario Land game) with it it mainly seen as a joke or, at best, an example of 'good concept, bad execution'. Fortunately, the concept would be resurrected years later with the 3DS to much better reception (and clamouring for a port of that Wario Land game).
    • 2006 and the launch of the Wii are often regarded as the start of one of these for Nintendo ushering in casual gaming and Waggle controls (leading to them being shoehorned in games that otherwise didn't require nor benefited from). This was made worse by the Wii essentially collapsing in 2010 due to lack of support, leading to the rushed developments of the 3DS and Wii U (causing both systems to have rather rocky starts).
    • The Wii U started out as one of Nintendo's lowest points. Many critics at the time called for Nintendo to go third party and/or go mobile, leave the video game industry all together, or just fire Iwata and all senior management in hope new blood would help Nintendo "get with the times" even if any changes are just short term gains with long term risk of failing. However, the system made a slight turn around in 2014 beginning with the releases of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, with a few othernotable titles churned out in the years following. Nowadays, despite the Wii U being far from a success, it is still seen as a worthy member of Nintendo's family of hardware.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite not selling as well as Mario, Zelda, or Pokémon, many fans have been begging for the return of Metroid, and F-Zero. Such a thing eventually did happen with Star Fox.
    • Golden Sun and Wave Race also come up a lot as fan-favorite, low-selling franchises that fans demand to see the return of.
  • Face of the Band:
    • Among most people, Shigeru Miyamoto is the only employee of Nintendo. Only among hardcore fans do developers like Satoshi Tajiri and Masahiro Sakurai even get noticed.
    • Satoru Iwata was the company's president before his death, Reggie Fils-Aimé delivers kickass speeches, and Miyamoto's the one that actually makes the games. All of Them.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Mario vs. Sonic is probably the most famous example in the video game industry.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: North America (specifically, the United States, including Puerto Rico) is by far the largest market for Nintendo games, with particular franchises that are moderately popular in Japan being hugely popular in America (The Legend of Zelda and Metroid being the most notable examples). Even games that are exceedingly popular in Japan still do much better across the Pacific; the first Super Mario Bros. sold an impressive 6.8 million units in Japan, but a whopping 29 million in North America.
  • Growing the Beard: Let's face it, not many people remember the Hanafuda decks, toys, and other ventures Nintendo tried before they got into video games (the Love Hotels notwithstanding).
  • Internet Backdraft: The Nintendo Creators Program for people making Let's Play videos on YouTube, where Nintendo has restrictive terms over how much revenue they will take (which can fluctuate at any time) and what games they can play. More prominent Let's Players have since said that Nintendo is either much lower priority on their lists of considered games to play or blacklisted altogether. However, considering that Nintendo said that they are having difficulties keeping up with registrations, this could be a case of a Broken Base instead.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Nintendo's critics regularly accuse Nintendo of releasing the same franchises with nothing new, despite regularly coming up with concepts that could serve as new franchises in their own right and rebranding as part of an existing series to reduce risk. For example, Kid Icarus: Uprising was just supposed to be a game focusing on land and air combat, but Sakurai and Iwata realized Pit would fit perfectly for the game, and Xenoblade was initially Monado: Beginning of the World before Nintendo changed the game's title to honor Tetsuya Takahasi. This may change with Splatoon, which ended up being a massive hit though.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America President. Watch out, his body is ready!
    • Nintendo's games themselves have historically been of this reputation; the company itself is the Trope Namer for Nintendo Hard.
    • Nintendo's systems also have this reputation; see Tonka Tough.
  • Memetic Mutation: Several examples.
    • The Wii/Nintendo DS: It prints money!
    • Nintendoomed: The constant internet commentary that Nintendo is doomed unless they do X.
    • Several related to the major faces of the band, including Iwata's 'Please Understand' and Reggies 'My Body Is Ready'.
  • Mis-blamed: Nintendo (including Iwata) was not responsible for their Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection shutting down in late May 2014. GameSpy was bought out by Ziff-Davis who later sold off the part of GameSpy that was responsible for running multiplayer servers for many games (including Nintendo's NWFC). Glu Mobile bought this key part and they shut down all of GameSpy's legacy servers with the final servers going off-line in mid-2014. This was because Glu Mobile wanted to use the servers for its own properties.
    • The release of amiibo Festival as a Wii U Animal Crossing game instead of a proper one earns this as well: Fans generally blame everything from the looming NX to amiibo for it, but really the Animal Crossing development team had just finished making Splatoon at the time and thus could not have worked on a full Animal Crossing experience.
    • Nintendo may be the subject of this when it comes to a string of cease & desist orders towards fan works and emulations that have popped up in recent years. It is believed that most of these notices are being filed by a troll impersonating a lawyer from Nintendo of America, which would that Nintendo is not at fault most of the time.
  • Older Than They Think: The company goes as far back as 1889, when it was just selling hanafuda playing cards. Hanafuda cards still get referenced by the company from time to time, and can be obtained from Club Nintendo in some regions. Also if you think selling Love Hotels count as this.
    • One can almost hear the world gasp in shock whenever Nintendo releases a game with sexual fanservice, or God forbid, a curse word, no matter how many times they have done so already. People were confused and astonished that Nintendo would publish something like Bayonetta, even though Nintendo has been publishing M-rated games since Perfect Dark back in 2000 when the company was even stricter.
  • Periphery Demographic: There are many adults that willingly play games made by this family-friendly game developer.
    • It also is the most popular console maker among PC elitists, due to the wide range of titles that are not available on PC.
  • Popularity Polynomial: Zig-zagged. Ever since the SNES/Genesis rivalry, Nintendo has had an up-and-down relationship with popularity. When the Genesis hit the scene, it made Nintendo "uncool" due to Nintendo's censorship policies with the SNES at the time, which eased with monster exclusive SNES titles like Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Chrono Trigger and later the arrival of the Nintendo 64 and games like GoldenEye (1997) and Perfect Dark.

    Then when the GameCube hit, Nintendo was once again painted as "uncool" and "kiddie" due to the system's design and going up against the original Xbox and PlayStation 2, which had many "hardcore" titles compared to titles for the GameCube. However, Nintendo would later recover with the Wii, despite its weak architecture, and it enjoyed four years of dominance on the market making kid/casual games cool again. Nintendo once again is on the wrong end of popularity by the Wii U era. To sum that up, people just don't know about it or view it as "uncool". Nintendo's lack of mainstream marketing in favor of Viral Marketing doesn't help.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: There's a lot for individual Nintendo consoles. To save space for this wiki, just check the Headscratchers for each Nintendo console, and you can see what fans and non-fans dislike about the consoles. For example, Friend Codes used for the Wii and the 3DS initially are often cited as the main reason why Nintendo wasn't well versed into online gaming.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: When the critics aren't complaining about "rehashing," they complain about how Nintendo's not staying true to the roots of a certain franchise, whether the complaints are justified or not:
    • The Legend of Zelda series gets this reaction like clockwork (see the YMMV page for that series) and is easily the most notable due to the games each usually sharing very little connections to each other outside a few recurring elements.
    • Super Mario Sunshine is often considered the Oddball in the Series for the 3D Mario games with the reasons as to why usually falling under this category word for word.
    • Whenever Nintendo feels the need to incorporate a new gameplay mechanic to replace an established one (such as with every Paper Mario installment except the first two) the fanbase either gets used to it or complains.
  • Vindicated by History: The Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube are so loved by twenty-something gamers today that it might be surprising for younger gamers to learn that both systems had about a third the market share of their contemporaneous PlayStation competitors. In addition, a good amount of games that were initially commercial flops later garnered prominent followings over the years, with EarthBound being the most notable example.
    • The late Satoru Iwata is a case of this as well. During his presidency, he was a very controversial figure for his blue ocean strategyDefinition  that led to Nintendo's expansion into casual gaming via the Wii's motion controls. As noted on the Broken Base section above, gamers were split between those who saw Iwata as an innovative genius who finally brought Nintendo out of the slump that the N64 and GameCube caused and those who saw him as a gimmicky hack who didn't care about the hardcore market. When the Wii U failed to beat out the PS4 or the Xbox One, there were even calls for Iwata to resign. Following his death, however, revelations of his Genius Programming skills and his immense care for Nintendo's audience as a fellow gamer began to surface, and tying in with how Dead Artists Are Better, public perception of Iwata quickly went from polarized to near-unanimously positive.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Nintendo