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Friday, August 17, 2012

Alt+Tab: Nintendo, Consoles, and a Skyward Sword Deal

Alt+Tab posts discuss things not directly related to PC gaming. Hey, it's my blog, so deal with it.

Before I was a PC gamer, I was a diehard Nintendo fanboy. I received a Gameboy for Christmas in the early 90's ('91 or '92-ish) and was glued to the thing for a couple of years playing Tetris, Yoshi, Super Mario Land, and Link's Awakening. A couple of years down the road I stepped up to a Super NES and discovered Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, and Super Mario RPG, which is still one of my favorite games of all time. From there I obediently bought each new console soon after it was released, from the N64 to the Gamecube and finally the Wii. I started devoting more of my gaming time to the PC in the late 90's, and by the mid 2000's my consoles were starting to collect dust.

I haven't touched my Wii in years - interpret that as you will. Once you dedicate some funds to a solid gaming PC and start cranking up the graphics on recent games the Wii starts to look like a blast from the past. The last game I bought was Tiger Woods 10 (maybe 11, but I'm too lazy to check); the graphics look like something out of 2004 and ultimately make me sad whenever I look at the TV. The Wii was never cutting-edge in the graphics department, but these long console development cycles definitely haven't allowed the console to age gracefully. The fact that people are usually playing at 480p on a 40-50" TV doesn't help either.

Yesterday I came across a deal at Best Buy that shaved $35 off the price of the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, taking it from $50 to $15. Zelda and Mario games are generally the main reason to stick with Nintendo. Their first-party content is usually ridiculously well-received and their exclusive franchises almost sell the console themselves. I've always justified sticking with Nintendo over Sony and Microsoft because of the exclusive titles; there are a lot of games out there similar to Halo or Gran Turismo, but it's hard finding a Zelda or Mario replacement somewhere else. I do 99% of my gaming on PC anyway, so I'd rather have console games that supplement rather than overlap with stuff on the PC.

Skyward Sword has a score of 93 on Metacritic, putting it up there with some of the best games of all time. The $35 coupon expires tomorrow and can be found by logging into the Best Buy Reward Zone website under the Gamers Club section. I feel like this might be the last Wii game I buy, so hopefully it'll be an appropriate sendoff.


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