Friday, September 8, 2023

Nintendo Live 2023: Nintendo Knows What Fans Want

  By Jonathan B
Seattle, Washington, 2023 remembered as the last time Nintendo Live was in the USA before heading home to Tokyo in 2024. It'll also be a strong memory for the kids, fans and families who came out for free to enjoy all things Nintendo for a 4-day Labor Day weekend. We'll break down everything Nintendo had happening at the convention we attended and were in awe of. 
And, just want to have a shout-out as I don't think I've ever been to a friendlier convention ever. These were the nicest folks at every booth and demo station at the event.
We got their just as Nintendo opened up for it's second day of the first ever Nintendo Live, a Nintendo Convention or event I've never seen on the same scale. I've gone to numerous Nintendo pop-ups and special events and even Nintendo's booth at E3, but this was a whole other level.

Where to start? Let's a go, straight into the Super Mario Bros. Wonder game. Myself with three other attendees got to play the timed demo. This game was made for multi-player. I would come back later when the line was lower and play it on my own. But, that's not as fun as playing it with others.

The joy of each of us turning into elephants smashing and jumping through the stages. And, I was a little stinker rushing to the end of each level and yet we still managed to get the Wonder Flower to make each level switch into weird mode or wonder mode as they put it. What could happen next in each level was always a surprise.

The game plays like a dream, perfect for families or for friends and those of course in a college dorm together. Colorful, fun and frantic I'm  sad to have to wait till October to play it with friends at home.
Oh, and of course you got something for playing, actually almost every booth gave you swag you'll see at the end of this report for playing or visiting. I'm sure I didn't collect it all, but it does give you lasting memories of the time spent there. And, you can shove it friends faces who didn't get to be there.

On the corner of the Super Mario Wonder Game demo area was a great place to grab a picture of yourself coming through a warp pipe.

And, right across from it was another photo opportunity, this time for The Super Mario Bros Movie Plumbing van, which I've had no luck finding at Walmart as a cool desk toy.

The only bit of improvement for Nintendo Live might need to be the store and a little more line management. Overall, I think everyone got to try something or had another booth they could go to and not wait for very long. 

However, the line for the store was an hour thirty when I asked about the wait mid-day. Maybe, orders could have been done prior if they knew you were coming, just anything to make it faster, because waiting for that long to buy merch is just obscene.

The line for Animal Crossing's area became a pretty long wait too. No, one was in the way, every line was planned out. Many lines were hidden by backdrops, but unlike theme parks, there was nothing flashy or fun to look at. Maybe some roving Nintendo play booths or TV's to watch the rest of the con/concerts/tournaments while you wait, so you're still in the moment and not just on your phone.

Animal Crossing and Kirby had their own booth for photo-ops.

Nintendo and LEGO went well together with a section devoted to Nintendo builds and a giant animatronic LEGO Bowser you could have video running way from. That thing could move and look like it was ready to eat you or at least lock you in a dungeon.

Music washed over us like it carried Link in from the tide like in Zelda: Link's Awakening. Listen, the segue way worked, just accept it. When the concerts took place, though only in one section of Nintendo Live, you could hear the iconic music all over. Wonderful melodies from Zelda and Mario we're enjoyed thoughout the day I attended. I was told they did them about three times-a-day.

The retro room will set you back. You could take pictures in a place before HD, the before time known as the 80's. Honestly, would have liked if this was a larger section where people could have just chilled and played games together. On the other side of the room you could play all the retro game you wanted emulated on Switch, but not in the same digs. If you you look closely the wallpaper had Mario in it.

Pokemon was there too, showing off the new DLC for the latest game and a history of the previous games.

Splatoon 3 was showing off with a demo station and a fun graffiti wall that could only be drawn on with Crayolas.

You could spot the site's logo unless some wrote over it. Maybe the crayola comes off every day, unless they keep putting up a new wall each day of the convention.

If you attended and were good enough you could compete in the one of the many tournaments at Nintendo Live.

Smash Bros was also represented in tournaments, demo station and mini museum showing life-size props from characters in the game.

A little Nintendo fan scoping out the replicas of honed Smash fighters weapons and gear.

Pikmin, though small had it's own big booth for Pikmin 4.

Same for Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Sharing Link's Master Sword to take photos with and play the game.

Nintendo Live shared a wonderful time with fans. There was so much to do, so much to see, but it wasn't fast-paced or hard to move around like other conventions I've gone too. It was a place you could just enjoy the games you've played. I saw a lot of fans who came from far away and from nearby and always with a smile on their face. 

And, I wasn't smiling only when I was beaten at Mario Maker. I will hate that person forever.

No, not really Nintendo.

If I wasn't going to PAX too, I think I would have slowed down and just experienced more, even with a few long lines there was time to see it all if you stayed the whole day. Plenty of fans to talk to or play along. Maybe, there should have been more lounge areas to play Switch more casually together.

Still you've got to love the swag.

Thanks, Nintendo