Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Favorite Video Game Developer

            I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that.  To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and will be writing out entries, hopefully I can get all thirty days without any breaks, and if I manage to do that (since August has 31 days) I will think of an additional entry to write about.  I have done a 30-day challenge before, it for movies, but that was a while back, feel free to read those too if you like.

            Today is day 3 and the topic is “Favorite Game Developer”.
            After yesterday many people are probably guessing that my favorite developer is either Firaxis (makers of “X-Com” and other TBS style games) or Bethesda (makers of the current Fallout franchise and the Elder Scrolls franchise which is massively successful) with possibly a bet on Obsidian (who are big into RPG’s and whose content will be mentioned down the line).  All of these are good guesses and I commend you for knowing enough about video games to know those companies and to have remembered my blog yesterday well enough to make a guess at all with my tastes in mind.  Strangely, it is none of those, and this is going to be weird.
Alright!  Everybody!  1-2-3-Vogue.
            My favorite developer is Nintendo.  Yes, the publisher of Pokemon, a game I damned with faint praise and basically dismissed just yesterday.  But there is a reason for that which runs a little deeper and I can explain why.
            You might be saying, “It is not hard to guess, it is nostalgia.  Nintendo was often a person’s first video game system of choice as it is aimed at younger people, and Nintendo was so synonymous with gaming that many older people don’t even think of Nintendo as a company so much as another word for Video Game.  They saved the home gaming industry in America after Atari’s collapse.  Nintendo is what idiots and losers sputter when they have nothing else to say.”
            Maybe each of those things are a factor.  I am a bit of an idiot who often says the first thing that pops into my head when I have nothing important to say.  And I am getting old.
For a while a NES was my primary system along with a Gameboy, but I owned a Sega Genesis before I got a Super NES (and never owned a lot of games for it).  And I later owned an N64, but I have more memories of Xbox than Game Cube, and Xbox 360 than I do of the Wii.  And I currently don’t own a WiiU, though I would really like to.  Is that enough to be nostalgic?  Maybe my not-constant contact with the company has led me to look on them more favorably than I should.
            But if it is not Nostalgia, why am I picking Nintendo?  Because I know what they are about.  Nintendo is about playing (and milking people’s nostalgia for money with products that could be considered lacking).  They do not allow themselves to get bogged down in the constant one-upmanship of better and better graphics, instead they allow their timeless art design to carry the weight.  They do not allow themselves to get bogged down in dreary story telling trying to illicit a shocked or controversial reaction from the audience, they want to illicite smiles and feeling of accomplishment for having bested a task to fun and lighthearted music.  When they do have cut scenes they don’t go on and on and on.
Nintendo is an entertainment company that makes silly games about cartoon characters.  I like that and I wish they made more games with the GAMEPLAY I am drawn to (though I have no idea what a Fallout game by Nintendo would look like… they are Japanese, which has a complex history with the Atomic Bomb and Nuclear Power; and they do have a zany sense of humor, love of quirky robots, and rarely hesitate to lovingly poke fun at Americana… So maybe it would be the best thing ever.  It is not like they haven’t been able to handle silent protagonists with the fate of the world in the balance before).

They could give the Pip-Boy a grey skin and liquid crystal display so it looks like a classic Gameboy.
From what I can gleam, they do have a single game series that fits my tastes, the “Fire Emblem” franchise looks like just the thing for me, but I do not have money for a 3DS right now, and since there is more of a preset story with premade characters maybe it would not be my thing entirely, but I would still like to give it a go.
So there it is, my favorite game developer is the single most iconic video game company in existence, sort of the Disney of the industry.  Hopefully they stick around for another hundred years trying new things in an attempt to be fun and inviting, even if they do produce mountains of fetid shit in the process.  The game industry needs to be accessible to new people and Nintendo has taken that job and done their best with it.
Feel free to share your favorite developer in the comments.  I would like that.
If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

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