Tag Archives: Nintendo

1

Thought Bubble: Club Nintendo’s Regifting Problem

July 25, 2014

club-nintendo

Club Nintendo works like this: every console or Nintendo-published game comes with a code. Register that code to your account and you get a set number of coins. You can exchange those coins for cool rewards like digital game downloads and exclusive items with a limited print run, including Kirby stickers, gold Wii Nunchucks, or a gorgeous set of traditional Hanafuda playing cards hearkening back to the time before Nintendo made video games.

So when Nintendo announced their end-of-year prizes for Club Nintendo members this week, some fans were disappointed to learn that the free loyalty rewards were downloadable games instead of the unique prizes offered in the past.

Many club members already have several – or even all – of the games offered as rewards. Club members receive a free gift if they accumulate 300 coins, or a Platinum gift for 600. Games are worth 10 to 50 coins depending on retail price, so it’ll probably take a few hundred dollars’ worth of Nintendo purchases to reach the coveted Platinum level.

If you manage to accumulate that many coins, it’s quite likely you’ve already bought all or most of the games on the list (or at least the ones you wanted). Congratulations. Your end-of-year prize is your second choice from six months ago.

In the past, the advantage of Club Nintendo was that the awards weren’t just free products. I’ve been a member since 2008, when it launched in North America (it debuted in Japan five years prior to that). Over the years I’ve exchanged my coins for digital games, as well as some nice year-end gifts. I usually end up with a small Nintendo-themed calendar. Last year, I received a great soundtrack from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

Those Nintendo calendars aren’t revolutionary, but they were just for members, like the old mail-order toys you would get from exchanging the points you clipped out of Kool-Aid packets. The toys or prizes you got were often kind of weird – that Wonder Bread He-Man was particularly strange – but you were the only one that had it.

Making digital games the sole reward yet again shines a light on Nintendo’s lackluster digital games service as a whole. If I’ve spent three hundred dollars to get a $3.99 copy of Metroid, I’d sure as hell like to be able to play it on every Nintendo device I own instead of just the 3DS.

Meanwhile, the gifts for Club Nintendo Japan have drawn frothing growls of jealousy from fans stateside (or province-side, I guess). They manage to out-do the North American prizes in every way, ranging from classy (Super Mario 3D World soundtrack CD) to wacky (Super Mario-themed packing tape) to fan-service (check out that Yoshi plushie!).

Only in Japan

Only in Japan

Measured against similar subscription services such as PlayStation Plus – which offers members free games every month – there’s a startling gulf when looking at Club Nintendo’s “pick one” approach for the year, even if it’s not an entirely fair comparison. Club Nintendo demands a bit more of your time and metadata (filling our surveys and personal reviews gives you extra points), and is separate from other services like online multiplayer.

Still, longtime fans are bound to feel disappointed if they’ve been members in prior years when Nintendo offered something more special as a reward. Exclusive prizes may not mean a lot in the long run, but they had a VIP feel, as though you were finally getting your ring from the Stonecutters.

This year, you’ve won a retail product in exchange for buying hundreds of dollars’ worth of retail products. “Thank you for your loyalty,” the Nintendo’s prize page reads. The “L” word stings more than it really should.

Please Like Dork Shelf on Facebook




Cool Articles From Around the Web:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
1

Following in Thor’s Footsteps

July 18, 2014

In the spirit of Thor, here are five male video game characters that would benefit from a change of gender. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1

Thought Bubble: How Nintendo won E3

June 26, 2014

Nintendo skipped the press conference and went straight to the audience with a memorable E3 presentation. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Review

March 6, 2014

In Donkey Kong’s latest, you’ll bounce through a number of islands, subjugating the local fauna on the way towards reclaiming your rightful throne. You’re like a furry, 500-pound Daenerys Targaryen. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Valentine’s Day:
Your Biggest Game Heartbreak

February 14, 2014

As memorable as your first game love is, so too is the one that devastated you. We had to know: what’s the game that broke your heart? Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thought Bubble: Flappy Bird, copyright and ‘rip-offs’ in the app market

By Megan Patterson
February 14, 2014

Did internet sensation Flappy Bird rip off Super Mario Bros.’ iconic green pipes? Was Dong Nguyen right to remove his game from the online market? Was it because of intellectual property concerns, or something else? Megan takes apart some common misconceptions about IP and how it applied to the latest viral flap-up. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review

December 15, 2013

Can you enjoy A Link Between Worlds if you haven’t played A Link to the Past? The answer is a definitive yes – although the chatter surrounding the dozens of Easter eggs and call-backs you’ve doubtlessly missed may rankle you. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
1

Super Mario 3D World Review

November 27, 2013

Super Mario 3D World is worth buying a Wii U for, all on its own. It’s a superlative platformer and might be the best Mario game to date. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1

Thought Bubble: Where’s the Buzz…zzzz…zzzz (Nintendo 2013)

November 21, 2013

Nintendo is falling behind with a holiday lineup that nobody will be talking about, writes Eric. Is its consistency worth the predictability? Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Thought Bubble: Pokemon Is Still The Master

By Megan Patterson
October 17, 2013

After witnessing a launch event for Pokémon X/Y packed with fans young and old, Megan looks at why the series has endured for more than 15 years. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , ,
1

Interview: Legend of Zelda Symphony producer Jason Michael Paul

September 4, 2013

Dork Shelf chats with Jason Michael Paul, executive producer of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, which makes its return engagement at Toronto’s Sony Centre this Saturday. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1

Thought Bubble: Sony’s Irrelevant E3 Victory

June 27, 2013

The verdict is in. Sony won, Microsoft lost, Nintendo stayed the course and we can all go home because Jack Tretton dropped the microphone. If only it were that simple. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

April 27, 2013

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment hopes to answer fans’ burning questions about who would win a straight-up fight between Superman and Shazam, or the Joker and Bane. The answers are about as satisfying – and silly – as you’d expect. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2 Review

April 12, 2013

While the simple elements remain faithful, do mysterious alterations to the Bit.Trip formula betray its uncanny predecessor? Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dork Shelf Presents
An Ode to LucasArts

April 4, 2013

Following the news of Disney shuttering LucasArts’ internal development, Dork Shelf’s game contributors get nostalgic about their favourites of the publisher’s titles. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate Review

March 20, 2013

The latest ‘Vania installment is a welcome addition to the series, but does the litany of technical problems mar the return to Dracula’s Castle? Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

News Shelf: 25/01/13

By Dork Shelf
January 25, 2013

And now, all the film, game, and comic news that’s fit to print. Star Wars Episode VII finds a director, THQ auctions off big name game franchises, Nintendo unveils new Wii U titles, The Sixth Gun gets an NBC pilot, and Rob Liefeld writes a screenplay. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

News Shelf: 18/01/13

By Dork Shelf
January 18, 2013

And now, all the film, game, and comic news that’s fit to print. Gremlins might be getting the reboot treatment, Cuarón’s Gravity gets a release date, Dead Island: Riptide offends with crass Collector’s Edition, fan campaign gets JRPG localized, the X-Men become an all-female team and the internet loses its shit, and DC Comics cancels a boatload of titles. Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,