Critic Quote: “I Hold Nintendo Games to a Lower Standard”

This guy is THE pioneer in the world of video games, so he deserves our utmost respect.

This guy is THE pioneer in the world of video games, so he deserves our utmost respect.

Before we begin, let’s offer this important disclaimer:

As everyone involved with VGRHQ is a long-time industry veteran (check our combined experience on the About Us page), we all have a profound, even borderline religious respect for Nintendo. We grew up with Nintendo. We will always love Nintendo for the singular joy that company brought to our lives, and for starting us down a path we continue to follow.

It’s critical that readers understand this before passing judgment on one of our team’s quote.  You see it in the headline:

“I hold Nintendo games to a lower standard.”

As we all remain anonymous at VGRHQ, this critic will not be named, but the statement is well worth discussing. In the world of video game reviews, analyses of new Nintendo games are always a hot topic among gamers, and there are several reasons for that. But for this one critic, his explanation is simple:

Games like these are well-designed and well-produced, but are they a little...light?

Games like these are well-designed and well-produced, but are they a little…light?

It’s because there’s just less to evaluate in most Nintendo products, and they don’t stack up favorably with the competition (these days, productions on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One).

But rather than describe it, we’ll let him expound:

“Look, here’s the deal: When you’re evaluating a AAA, big-budget game these days, there are tons of factors to consider. Many of those factors include things like voice acting, writing, choreography, the ‘believability’ of realistic environments, narrative quality and construction, the depth and immersion based on complex character advancement mechanics and massive, fully realized virtual worlds, etc.

But when I’m reviewing a Nintendo game, many – if not all – of these aforementioned factors aren’t even part of the game. What does this mean? It means there are fewer aspects that you can evaluate. Sure, a new Mario game has awesome level design, control, imagination, creativity, etc. But does it have any of the aforementioned traits we almost always find in competing AAA games on Sony and Microsoft’s side? No.

Therefore, I have to hold Nintendo to a lower standard. If I don’t, if I put a lot of those Wii U games on the same plane as PS4/Xbox One games, I couldn’t possibly give out anything over a 3 to the Wii U titles. It just wouldn’t make any sense.”

Cute, cuddly, and members of some classic, amazing games. No doubt.

Cute, cuddly, and members of some classic, amazing games. No doubt.

Of course, not all of us agree with him, even if we understand the point. One thing we should add: With fewer factors to consider, there are also fewer ways to deduct points. For instance, in a pure platformer basically devoid of character development, story, acting, writing, and much of what we consider “depth” these days, we really only care about a few elements. And if all those are great, then the game gets a high score, right?

It’s actually a more complicated issue than one might think.


P.S. Yes, we do love Nintendo. All of us. Even the person who made the argument outlined in this article.

8 thoughts on “Critic Quote: “I Hold Nintendo Games to a Lower Standard””

I don’t see what’s so wrong about what he said.

Nintendo games are lagging behind the times. We all know this. Some can argue it’s a more “pure” form of gaming or whatever, but the bottom line is that it’s just not as advanced as games we see from Sony and Microsoft.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. But he’s right: You can’t review all the games with the same standard, because that wouldn’t be fair to Nintendo.

Well, what he says makes sense.

I guess it just matters how you view simpler games. Nintendo isn’t the only company to produce simple games; what about all those indie developers who make games that aren’t comparable to cutting-edge AAA productions? Those have to use a different evaluation standard as well, don’t they?

That’s a good point. What’s the difference between a little indie game like Thomas Was Alone and some of Nintendo’s games?

I guess Nintendo’s “AAA” games just don’t compare to the “AAA” games on the PS4 and Xbox One.

It’s not a ridiculous assessment, but I do think there’s always a place for Nintendo in this industry.

Honestly, I wish they’d just step up their game a little bit (pun intended).

It’s a legitimate argument but I wonder how this critic feels when reviewing Nintendo games. He says “lower” standard while I’d just say it’s a “different” standard.

It almost sounds like he’s EXPECTING Nintendo games to be of a lesser quality, or something like that.

Nintendo’s demise in the console market will be their own fault. The fact that this is a topic of conversation at all is depressing.

Yeah, I know they’re not targeting the same audience anymore but even so…depressing.

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