Sunday, September 25, 2011

Super Mario How Nintendo Conquered America Review

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America
As I walked through Halloween Horror Nights at Universal a few nights ago, I had to take a moment in line tell a friend about the troubled nature between Universal and Nintendo. It eventually led to a friendship that made the movie The Wizard with it's ending being at Universal Studios Hollywood itself.

I knew about these events due to the book, Super Mario How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan. Not simply a guide to the history of Nintendo, but a compendium of insider knowledge of the company and the people who've worked for it.

Jeff Ryan is someone I'd never invite into my house as I'd eventually go to jail for beating his head in for being so negative and rude, also he's from New Jersey. The writer of Super Mario How Nintendo Conquered America goes through a  feat of tracing Nintendo's history from it's start as card company to being the best video game company in the world with what Jeff would call a stingy fat plumber.

One of the hardest parts of the book was how Jeff wrote everyone down as bad apple or miserable, even the fictional Mario. Perhaps the truth hurts as family politics in Nintendo were quite depressing. Or how Nintendo started out so painfully and made some bad decisions (Super Mario Movie).

What Jeff does do is trace and pace the companies history in a ever exciting chapter by chapter story of one plumber's jump to glory. Going over the technical, financial, business and personal levels, yet never staying on one subject to bore, but to fascinate. One moment it's how much it sucked to start with Nintendo to how people had to physically reprogram the machines. From game to game to next iteration of the console.

Descriptions of games and events like a Super Mario on Ice Show makes you reconsider how entrenched Mario is in are pop culture. I mean the clips on YouTube and it has Alyssa Milano, Jason Bateman and Mr. Belvedere. There's a Mario this and that product, also why Nintendo doesn't try more with it's other characters or have a theme park. Poor, poor, Sega.

Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi are dispatched through the pages as the main men who got you to play a game about a small man in overall who can jump. Really think about that for a second. How realistic is that at all to real life? It must be Miyamoto mind that craved that same plumber to ride a dinosaur to which Jeff's says he was dreaming of, but couldn't implement until the Super Nintendo. Miyamoto remains out of the box reinventing whose bad or good like a messed up Santa Claus if you follow Mario's true history.

Other games, get the back seat, forget Link. Jeff might be able to make some sequels with what games development weren't covered. All the games are mentioned, but just like how Nintendo feels about it Mario is the star.

My favorite chapter or section, might have been the rivalry with a certain blue hedgehog, but we all know how that ended.

Well it's game over on this review, but your copy of the book is on another site. Pick up this power-up for video game history and the ups and downs of your favorite plumber.