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)
This was a really great listen for a lot more details of Nintendo's history that I never knew. When it gets into the more recent history it gets a little weird with commentary and what may come next because this was written years ago... some of the things have come true, and some comments are off. Overall worth it though. I do wish, however, that someone had gone over pronunciations of character and business names with the narrator, some are pretty bad. "oobasoft" for Ubisoft? Ugh.
From a non-gamer this is A super fun, fascinating look into the world of Mario. I feel like I know more about the gaming world than I ever thought possible.
First , if you grew up in the 1980's and 90's, be prepared for a lot of nostalgia. This book read like a tour of my childhood, from gaming to cartoons to films, all the while also delivering a great corporate history lesson.
And in that corporate history there was another story: how design and paying close attention to the user experience created one of the world's great companies and icons.
I couldn't stop listening to this. Finished in about 3 days. I would have finished it sooner, but those pesky responsibilities get in the way.
Excellent book, and phenomenal performance.
There are so many points throughout this reading that the pronunciation is painfully incorrect. Couple this with a bunch of strange anecdotes and made up facts, and it makes for a pretty terrible read.
I like the style the author uses. It can get a little too pop-culture at times and sometimes the volume of references can dilute the content but overall I liked it.
Some flaws with the information here and there. This should be viewed as a brief history of Nintendo from a fan's perspective. Some reviewers are too critical because this is not intended to be a scholarly work but simply an ode to Nintendo.
The vocal talent was good. He read it with the intended lightness and fun in which it was written.
I thought i might enjoy this book, but it far exceeded my expectations. I'm 32, and this book was like listening to the history of the businesses of my childhood. A mix of nostalgia, trivia, business insight and philosophy, i got way more out of this book than i was expecting.
This book is a good account of Nintendo's history and Mario's upbringing. It's clear, interesting, and well-paced for the most part. Ray Porter's narration is quite good as well. The only real complaint I have with the book is the author's injection of his personality into the writing. After a while I found myself groaning out loud as another uncreative personal quip was plopped into the writing, such as "nobody puts Baby Mario into a corner." I feel like the narrator struggled with this as well. These come up quite a lot, but if you're really interested in a major chunk of Nintendo history and you can get this book as a Daily Deal, I would still recommend checking it out.
An okay listen but it seems a bit detached from gaming culture. Jeff Ryan did good research but he just doesn't seem to be a gamer from what I heard. Also some game titles were butchered .
A fascinating look into the history of Nintendo, viewed mostly through the prism of the various roles Mario has played for them. The book starts very strong with Mario's formative years, sharing a lot of insights that belong just as much in a management book as one about video games. But, as the tale moves toward the modern day, the thesis just gets rehashed and the insights get fewer and further between. Still, a nuanced performance by the narrator makes this an enjoyable listen to the end.
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