Secret Life of the American Fanboy


Nintendo has remained as the most recognizable name in video games for over 25 years. I had always had a Nintendo console in my home since as far back as I can remember. The day I had to give away my Super Nintendo because “we couldn’t take it during the move” was the day I lost my innocence and was awoken to the world’s pain. I can still recall my mother battling through a pack of wild bandits on Black Friday, clutching a Nintendo 64 box underneath her arm. The Nintendo 64 was the future and the Playstation just couldn’t compare because Nintendo would remain at the forefront of graphical power and innovation. Isn’t that right, seventh-grade me? What a stupid kid. Though, some of my best childhood memories came from sitting in front of a TV with a Nintendo controller in my hand, playing everything from Sunset Riders to WrestleMania 2000. I thought the joy would never end.

The last few generations of Nintendo consoles just did not grab me like their predecessors. The Gamecube was a great idea but its impossibly cartoonish controller and the constant stream of cute games made it too unapproachable for my violent adult sensibilities. The Wii took motion controls to the next level and debuted as the most affordable home system on the market at the time. However, that price point quickly became a distant dream with the addition of Wii Motion Plus, proprietary controller add-ons, Wii Penis Extender XXXL and whatever extra quasi-mandatory peripheral they could think of to get more of your money. How about focusing on graphics or processing power? Finally, the Wii U…now you can neglect your Nintendo console from up to 30 feet away with the new Wii U Gamepad! Admittedly, though, I am glad that Nintendo has finally stepped into high definition graphics, but I’m not buying until they create a desirable library of exclusive titles.

For as many times as Nintendo has disappointed me with their home consoles over the last ten years, they’ve always been successful at one thing: tricking me in to purchasing each new generation of Gameboy. I have been heard to remark on multiple occasions that I am no longer interested in mobile gaming. I am an adult and I will game in a proper manner when the time is right. Bullshit! I can’t recall the last time that I have dropped a deuce without either playing a game on a mobile device or wishing that I had been. I need a game at my fingertips at all times. The iPad and PS Vita had whetted my appetite, but the little boy inside of me (and the one in my basement) craves freedom and the nostalgia of that classic Gameboy experience. It also doesn’t hurt that Nintendo handhelds were always priced just reasonably enough that I could justify their purchase at any given time. It was only a matter of time before Nintendo would reach out its cold, white-gloved hand and drag me down into the depths once again.

Ok, so maybe it isn't meant to be a penis-mounted peripheral, but that won't stop me from trying!

Ok, so maybe it isn’t meant to be a penis-mounted peripheral, but that won’t stop me from trying!

I resisted the 3DS for quite a while, which was not a difficult task when considering its initial price, ill-conceived form factor, lazy 3D and meager game library.  As is expected with Nintendo, they soon released an improved iteration of the hardware with a larger screen, improved battery life and, thankfully, a matte finish. Nintendo: matte finish should always be the starting point! Now, it just needed games. Pokémon had always been the little bastard that would drag me in to next generation of Gameboy, but Gamefreak was still developing for the DS almost 2 years into the life cycle of the 3DS. It was going to take another blockbuster to get me to the rodeo. Here comes Fire Emblem: Awakening, sauntering into town, just slanging it like it was no big deal. I cannot explain why I want this game so badly, but it is all that I have been able to think about for weeks. Perhaps, it is its resemblance to Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars, or maybe the idea that it is touted as the most accessible installment of a long-running series that I had previously found daunting to explore. The hype surrounding this title is just too much for me to resist. I now find myself researching the game and, of course, the 3DS, trying to figure out how much of my blood I have to sell in order to cover the cost of their acquisition. The answer, for those interested, is “too much.” Why was I cursed to be born without ample pawning blood?! You got me again, Nintendo.

As with all of my handhelds, I know that the next year is going to be a roller coaster of mixed emotions regarding my purchase of the 3DS XL which is currently in transit to my home. Did you really think that my sparse blood reserves were going to stop me from getting my hands on Fire Emblem? There is a little thing called bone marrow and it is worth a pretty penny, my friends. Like the relationship between that one couple from high school, I will love it, hate it, convince myself that I’m done with it and then come crawling back, ready to jam on its analog stick for months to come. You know exactly how to push my buttons, Nintendo. That being said, I will not shell out for that grotesque Circle Pad Pro add-on. Good luck on that one.

With Thomas and I both hopping on to the Fire Emblem bandwagon, you can expect to hear much more about the game as we play through it. We have a standing bet for who can complete the game while losing the least amount of characters to the mighty permadeath. That should make for some interesting reading and, an imminent spiral into alcoholism, attempting to cope with all the loss and despair of our fallen comrades.


Jon Malloy

Jon Malloy

Senior Writer & Editor at What's Jump?
Jon is a writer and co-founder of “What’s Jump?” With a passion for gaming, comedy, and discussion, Jon works to bring his unique views, along with a bit of humor, to his writing. With a background in information technology and development, his interests lean toward the newest trends and technological advancements. Reporting for “What’s Jump?” he is at home both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
Jon Malloy
Jon Malloy

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