Archive for the ‘Mario’ Category

Bowser will replace Reggie Fils-Aimé as Nintendo of America president

February 22nd, 2019
Promotional image from a video game featuring plumber Mario being threatened by malevolent turtle Bowser.

Enlarge / If your name is Mario and you work at Nintendo of America, watch out. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

After 16 years at Nintendo of America, president, COO, and famed spokesperson Reggie Fils-Aimé will retire from his roles this year. His last day is April 15, at which time he will be replaced by senior VP of sales Doug Bowser, according to a press release.

Fils-Aimé joined the company in 2003 as executive VP of sales and marketing before becoming its president and chief operating officer in 2006. For years, he has been the public face of Nintendo in the United States at press conferences and online marketing streams, and he has become the personification of the gaming brand for millions of consumers, players, and onlookers. He became the subject of numerous memes, and he sparked the "my body is ready" meme popular on Internet gaming forums.

A new age of gamer memes seems to be upon us, though, because his replacement bears the same name as the primary villain of the company's beloved Mario video game franchise. Doug Bowser has been with Nintendo since 2015, when his title was vice president of sales. He was promoted to senior VP in 2016.

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Posted in bowser, Gaming & Culture, Mario, Nintendo, Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils Aime | Comments (0)

Putting Switch’s 32 million shipments in context

January 31st, 2019

With two full holiday seasons of public sales data now under its belt, the Nintendo Switch continues to help right a company balance sheet that was nearly decimated by the Wii U. Last night, Nintendo reported 9.41 million Switch shipments in the holiday 2018 quarter, contributing to 32.27 million consoles shipped worldwide since the system's March 2017 launch.

Those numbers sure sound big, but they can be hard to judge in the abstract. So, as we have done in the past, we decided to provide some quick comparisons that put the Switch's continued success into the proper context. Use these numbers to calibrate your impression of how well Nintendo's new system is really doing and to adjust your projections of how it may do going forward (as Nintendo has).

(Lifetime sales measure slightly different calendar periods due to staggered release dates through the year, but all include two holiday seasons. Monthly periods rounded up for partial launch months).

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Posted in context, Gaming & Culture, Mario, Mario Kart, Nintendo, smash bros., Switch, Zelda | Comments (0)

Mario Segale, namesake for Nintendo’s mascot, dies at 84

November 2nd, 2018
Jumpman, circa 1981, before the Segale-inspired renaming to "Mario"

Enlarge / Jumpman, circa 1981, before the Segale-inspired renaming to "Mario"

Mario Segale, the Seattle real estate and construction business owner who inspired the name for Nintendo's famous mascot, passed away on October 27 according to reports from The Seattle Times and The Auburn Reporter. He was 84 years old.

Segale owned the business park housing Nintendo's American arcade operation in the early '80s, when the company was busy converting thousands of disused Radarscope cabinets to play Donkey Kong. At the time, Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa and other executives were trying to come up with an Americanized name for the game's player avatar, who was still referred to as "Jumpman" at that point (a name that appears on early Donkey Kong cabinet art).

As the story goes, when Segale came to Arakawa to demand payment for a late rent bill, inspiration struck.

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Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a great introduction to tactical RPGs

August 28th, 2017

Enlarge

It’s a bit odd that Mario’s first completely fresh appearance on the Nintendo Switch isn’t a traditional run-and-jump platform game but a novel foray into the tactical RPG genre. It’s even odder that Mario has to share that debut with Ubisoft’s incredibly annoying (yet ostensibly popular) Rabbids. Oddest of all, Nintendo’s iconic mascot largely takes a back seat to those over-the-top, screaming humanoid rabbits in the game.

Sure, Mario might get top billing in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. All told, though, it feels like Mario and crew were thrown into an existing Ubisoft game midway through the process. The game’s plot, to the extent that it exists, uses a stolen “SupaMerge” device that literally fuses crazified Rabbids with well-known Mario antagonists like Donkey Kong and Piranha Plants, while merging “good” Rabbids with good guys like Mario, Luigi, and Peach to create completely new unholy abominations. There’s also an intelligent Roomba named Beep-o that explains all this with a lot of wordy exposition that the other characters’ wordless vamping for the camera can’t really convey.

While Mario staples like coins and mushrooms make appearances, Ubisoft’s characters and design aesthetic seem to win out most of the time. Heck, the Mario characters can’t even jump without help from an ally, which is practically treasonous in a Mario game. This isn’t really a knock against a title that maintains strong (if silly) visual and gameplay themes throughout. Just don’t go in expecting a Mushroom Kingdom adventure in the vein of the Paper Mario or the Mario and Luigi games.

Take your positions

Anyone familiar with the positional battles in a game like XCOM, Fire Emblem, or Final Fantasy Tactics will recognize the same essential DNA in Kingdom Battle. While there are some perfunctory and simplistic coin-collecting and block-pushing puzzles forced in between the fights, the bulk of the game involves taking turns moving characters around a grid-based map so they’re in place to attack the enemy while avoiding the incoming counter attacks.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Mario, Nintendo, rabbids, Switch, Ubisoft | Comments (0)