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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, Splatoon, and the Nintendo Switch. Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon were examples of times when Nintendo surprised itself with this. There's a reason why there's an industry belief to never count Nintendo out.
  • Broken Base:
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    • 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).
    • 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 broken base grew wider and more severe in the Nintendo Switch era, where while the third party support did improve during this time, the wide gap that remained created a severe rift between people who accept this as a side effect of the Switch's power, and people who do not see the power gap as an issue and blame third parties for not taking more steps even as the system and the games on it sold well. News that the Switch version of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy came about entirely because a single developer of the game took it home for the weekend and ported the first level on his own and showed it to the staff to show it was possible, among other incidents, fueled the anger between fans who see it as an anomaly, and fans who see it as a symptom of a wider problem in the industry when it came to Nintendo systems and the perceived off hand dismissal of them entirely.
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    • Nintendo's two Western branches: Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe.note  Which is better, if either? Originally NoA was unanimously considered better, with NoE riding on their coattails and releasing games much later, or not at all. Then a few years into the Wii era, the two branches started doing their own localizations and just as many games were not released in America as they weren't in Europe, most notably Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower (pre-Operation Rainfall) and the remake of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. Both of their Wii U Virtual Console libraries were equally divisive, with Europe generally getting games earlier but in the inferior 50Hz mode. And when Nintendo of America's localizations came under fire for their overuse of creative liberties and internet memes, some fans turned to NoE's more faithful ones – though those are often criticized for being comparatively bland.
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    • 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 and 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). In the case of Metroid, the fan anger against Nintendo quieted down a little bit when Nintendo revealed at E3 2017 that they were working on an official Metroid II, which would explain why Nintendo had issued a takedown on the fan game.
    • Are the NES and SNES Classic Editions wonderful throwbacks to the early days of Nintendo gaming, or are they overpriced, overrated pieces of junk? Those in support of either Classic Edition note the wide variety of features, such as save states, different view displays, superior emulation quality over the Virtual Console, cheap price (more in regards to the NES CE, at $60 for 30 games), and well-picked libraries. However, detractors often point out Nintendo's constant understocking of the systems, the inability to download more games on them,note  incompatibility with actual NES and SNES cartridges (whereas a similar plug-and-play based on the Sega Genesis can play actual Genesis cartridges) and how they can be replicated via a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, with some of these "NES Pis" even being able to play additional games and/or cartridges.
    • What exactly was the reason for the Wii U's failure? Fans have come up with lots of theories on this topic, but it's hard to boil down just one.
      • The fact that it's even called "Wii U" might have caused confusion. If you didn't know the Wii U was its own separate console, you most likely either thought the GamePad was an accessory for the original Wii, or you thought the console was merely an upgraded Wii, and thought it wasn't worth purchasing (and it probably doesn't help that the console itself looks like a Wii with the corners rounded off). The name is confusing, yes, but some will argue that the average consumer would still want to buy it anyway for the games alone.
      • The lack of games. Sure, there were a lot of Cult Classic titles that came out for it, but most if not all of those games are first party, which can really be said about any console. Third-party support has always been less than stellar on Nintendo consoles, but it was severely lacking here (the reason why is a whole other topic in and of itself). It really says something when the console's Super Smash Bros. entry finally topped the chart of the console's best selling games, and it still wasn't enough to save the console.
      • The console was barely advertised. TV ads for the thing were oddly non-existent, and the few ads that were made for it, well... sucked.
      • The lack of an obvious selling point: Compared to the simplicity of the Wii's motion controls, it was difficult to see what the tablet controller's purpose was - "asymmetric multiplayer" simply didn't have the same appeal, and the concept went underused by even Nintendo themselves. Off-screen play was the most promising feature, but the fact that the tablet still had to have a direct connection to the base station largely hampered it's potential. In hindsight, the Wii U feels somewhat like an unfinished prototype of what the Switch would later become.
  • 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, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Kirby Air Ride) meaning that even Nintendo fans who just wanted familiar Nintendo experiences were out of luck as well. Oh, and it more strongly resembled a purple lunchbox than an actual gaming console, 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's 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 other notable 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 Dark Horse: 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 both franchises.
    • 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:
  • Fandom Rivalry: Mario vs. Sonic is probably the most famous example in the video game industry, though Nintendo and Sega are now on very good terms (as are Mario and Sonic).
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Oddly enough, Nintendo and Microsoft have shown signs of getting along because of the fact that certain games like Fortnite and Minecraft are cross-compatible, but for Sony, that isn't the case.
    • PC gamers, if they get any consoles are all, tend to get Nintendo ones. See the Periphery Demographic entry below.
  • 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). Hopping into the entertainment business is what propelled Nintendo to stardom.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Someone had accurately guessed the NX's real name (Switch) a month before it was revealed.
  • 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.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Mis-blamed: Nintendo gets flack for unfortunate events and decisions beyond their control:
    • 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 and 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 mean that Nintendo is not at fault most of the time.
    • When the Switch launched, people reported problems of the left Joy-Con randomly not responding. People quickly blamed Nintendo for shipping out shoddy controllers. When asked about the issue, Nintendo stated that it wasn't a hardware issue but a manufacture variation problem. This means that the factories involved with the issue built the controllers improperly. Nintendo took responsibility and offered people a quick fix for the issue while also stating that all future production wouldn't have this issue, but a lot of people still believe that Nintendo made defective controllers.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The signature *snap* that accompanies the Nintendo Switch logo. Owners were delighted to discover the sound also played whenever the Joy-Cons get attached to the sides of the console, and jokes started being made about how there was no need for an actual game to entertain them anymore.
  • Nightmare Fuel: YOU CANNOT BEAT US.
  • 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 Eternal Darkness back in 2002 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. Another factor in this is that most of their games run at 60 FPS, instead of the 30 FPS that most modern console games target and that PC gamers despise.
  • 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. The Wii U brought them back down (both in sales and popularity) despite a stronger finish, but the Nintendo Switch was a massive out of the gate success, outselling the Wii U's lifetime sales in less than a year.
  • 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 DS 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, reports of his Genius Programming skills, his work as the development lead for the incredibly popular Switch, and his immense care for Nintendo's audience (and, really, video games at large) as a fellow gamer began to surface. These tied in with how Dead Artists Are Better, and public (or at least the Nintendo fanbase's) perception of Iwata quickly went from polarized to near-unanimously positive.
    • The Wii U seems to going down this route now that it's over and done with. It struggled while alive, with bad advertising, a lack of design focus, and a third party lineup that was weak even by Nintendo standards. That having been said, the console itself is actually good with a strong first- and second-party games library, consisting not only of Nintendo regulars like Smash Bros for Wii U and Mario Kart 8, but also of new titles such as Splatoon and Nintendo exclusives like Bayonetta 2.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the lackluster run of the Wii U, the sluggish start of the 3DS, and Nintendo's heavy secrecy of the Switch (to the point where everyone only knew it as the NX until its reveal, over a year after its existence was confirmed), many video game fans were won over by the appearance of the Switch, praising the ability to carry the system around wherever you want, the simplicity of the Joy-Con controllers, and the strong software lineup so close to launch: Splatoon 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and a variety of indie titles. The love is only furthered by other planned releases like Metroid Prime 4 and a new console Fire Emblem title.
    • The release of the NES Classic Edition also helped, which was a basically a Virtual Console system, but ended up causing backlash due to the absurdly low amount of units Nintendo shipped. The NES and SNES Classic Editions sold out in seconds, with many accusing Nintendo of either being incompetent/out of touch for underestimating demand or malicious for shipping low numbers of units on purpose to drive up demand. However, Nintendo quickly recovered from this when they stated that they would try to maintain a steady flow of NES Classic Editions throughout the holiday season. While initially they would discontinue the NES Classic to begin manufacturing the SNES Classic, leaving many who had yet to attain the console angered, they eventually wised up and announced that both Classic Minis would resume and remain in production into the next year with substantial stock.
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