The story of Nintendo’s rise and the beloved icon who made it possible
Nintendo has continually set the standard for video game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape.
The saga of Mario, the portly plumber who became the most successful franchise in the history of gaming, has plot twists worthy of a video game. Jeff Ryan shares the story of how this quintessentially Japanese company found success in the American market. Lawsuits, Hollywood, die-hard fans, and face-offs with Sony and Microsoft are all part of the drama. Find out about: Mario’s eccentric yet brilliant creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, who was tapped for the job because he was considered expendable; Minoru Arakawa, the son-in-law of Nintendo’s imperious president, who bumbled his way to success; and the unexpected approach that allowed Nintendo to reinvent itself as the gaming system for the nongamer, especially now with the Wii.
Even those who can’t tell a Koopa from a Goomba will find this a fascinating story of striving, comeuppance, and redemption.
©2011 Jeff Ryan (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“One of America’s favorite pastimes is covered in exhaustive, enthusiastic detail.” (Publishers Weekly)
I'm a twenty-something year old guy who loves science, space, and knowledge.
I grabbed this book as my first free book on my free trial and I was not disappointed. I learned so much about a company I previously didn't think much about. Now I have such a great deal of respect for them. This book is a well constructed, witty biography of the life on Nintendo and it won't disappoint you.
Learning about how Nintendo got started in the video game industry, and how they gained a monopoly for almost all of the early years in videogaming.
I felt he had a real connection to the material, making it a pleasure to listen to.
Yes, I didn't want to stop listening.
This was a nice little book. I took a star away because some of the information was wrong, but overall it was entertaining. Most of the focus of this book concerns the history of Nintendo beginning with the arcades through the N64. There is some history of early Nintendo and some history of the gamecube and Wii era's but the bulk is what's in between. Overall it was a fun little book, if you were into games in the 70's - 90's you'll probably enjoy this book.
Great story about the ramp up to success for Nintendo. There were some interesting strategies in the early days of the "table games." Good strategy, coupled with a little luck, evolved into a company that measured unit sales in the 100+ million range. Solid narration too.
A must read for any pop culture geek! Although I'm a Mario fan, I didn't expect this book to be as fascinating as it was. Ryan presents an excellent contextualization of video games in Japanese and US culture. The writing is witty and the narrator's timing was simply superb. Such a fun read!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I really thought that this book was all about Nintendo, but it's all about the plumber, "Super Mario." Nintendo Golf was the only game that I can play with my toes. I probably spend unlimited of hours playing that game. I got so pissed at Mario for not hitting the ball right. Funny now, but if you asked a 12 year old, getting a hole in one was the only thing that was on his mind.
I am from the Nintendo generation. I dug Super Mario and dug it even more in Mario Cart, as I kicked off the controller in a rage that I lost the race each time. Nintendo was so popular that that they made a lot of special controllers for better access. Like larger buttons or a joystick. Nintendo was unique. They granted game play to everyone, no matter what your limitation was.
I've always been curious about the history of video games and especially that of Nintendo. Once upon a time, books dealing with the subject were limited to small press items like Seth Cohen's Zap! The Rise and Fall of Atari or read more like press releases. Starting with David Sheff's Game Over, there have been many books approaching video games seriously. Though it's been a while since I've read Sheff's book, it kept coming back to mind with listening to this one as Sheff's book was really the first, and maybe still definitive, book to cover Nintendo in the west. There isn't much, if anything at all, in Super Mario, that hasn't been covered thoroughly in Sheff's book and many others.
Additionally, Super Mario is packed with errors that just shouldn't have happened. The biggest one happens during the telling of the Super Nintendo/Playstation partnership and split, the third party, and inventor of the CD-i, switches from Philips (correct) to Panasonic (incorrect) and back. Other errors, such as claiming that the Tandyvision was a unique system (it was an Intellivison clone) or that the Intellivison version of Donkey Kong Jr. was arcade perfect (nothing could be further from the truth), are annoying but with the information so easily available and so much of this book coming from other sources, there's little excuse for them.
Unfortunately, I don't think Sheff's book is available in audio form yet (and it was last updated in 1999, I believe), so this may serve a purpose. Just keep in mind, if you want to read this same information covered better, stick with Sheff's Game Over.
Very nice production covering the history of Nintendo and its Mario story. Love it! If you liked Ready Player One, you will surely enjoy this book. Ray Porter does a fabulous job of narrating. I had a big smile on my face through the whole wonderful listening experience.
It wasn't a bashing of all the other companies that created video games, instead it was a great history of video games themselves. Yes Nintendo is the main focus, but honestly it should be. I learned a lot of information I never knew while also reliving many times in my life that video games played a role in. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever picked up a game controller or pushed a coin into an arcade case.
Fresh, fast, and fun.
I think the ending was more than I expected. I did not think a book about a video game company was worth listening to, but this one is worth the listen.
I liked his performance. He reads this book just like a gamer should. When hearing this read, I could remember my gaming years.
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