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)
as a child of the '70s I grew up with video games. I loved reading the behind the scene account of the Nintendo company. they have always been innovative and it was wonderful to hear about the process
Say something about yourself!
Jeff Ryan's Super Mario is an ode to the cultural staying power of Nintendo, points made with egregious metaphors and allegories. It starts off with a bang, trekking Nintendo's rise to power and meanders towards the end. Strangely the book is packed with factual errors as Ryan professes the original Super Mario to have 4 levels per level, the Genesis was backwards compatible (failing to mention it required an expensive add-on), Xbox required all games to have online multiplayer, the Playstation 4 cost $100 for online play, all things that can be verified in minutes.
Inevitably I was left to question, "If I spotted these errors, how many other errors are there?" I don't profess to be a gaming expert. It's well narrated and written well enough besides overstated points, and find itself most at home waxing poetic on the nature of Mario. Its unfortunate as I was entertained.
The author is a genius. Great use of words and phrases. Voice actor brings it all to life with his energy and use of tone. A great book that will remind you of childhood, and make you want to pick up a Nintendo controller and play some Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda. I had a smile on almost the whole time, almost cried when he got to 1997.
Mainly a sci-fi, and fantasy junkie who also enjoys horror, whodunnits, and books about animals and sports. I'm also an amateur filmmaker.
I've done quite a few audiobooks about video games, and although I enjoyed this one overall, I'd have to say I liked this about the least of the books that I've listened through.
The book is essentially a history of Nintendo, from just prior to the NES release on through the release of the Wii. The thesis is basically that the Mario franchise made the company.
There is a lot of good and interesting history in there. And unlike the book about Sega, this one focuses much more on the games rather than the business side of it. I think for the most part that is a good thing, but it slants way too heavily towards the Mario games imo, and dismisses the other games way too readily.
Also there are these long passages in the book where the author just "geeks out" on Mario, like enumerating all the different non-videogame products Mario has promoted. That gets old really fast, and really an editor should have stepped in at those points. Also the author will sometimes go into all this gory detail about a particular game, telling us about all the various "characters" in the game, what color this and that is, and in general WAAAY too much detail in some places.
Still, overall I'm glad I "read" this one, I just wish it were edited a bit better and had less of a manic focus on Mario to the exclusion of everything else.
A good read. A few minor inaccuracies, and the reader misprounced a few of the names and terms.
Remove the over simplification of the events covered. Far too often the author makes assumptions based on event outcomes rather then the actual events that lead to those outcomes.
For book that is marketed as an in-depth look at a character, the Author often misses crucial points in the story that lead to the ultimate outcome he is trying to showcase.
Ray did a good job of narrating the book. He is enjoyable to listen too.
Remember how superior "Console Wars" is to this book
If this is topic you are interested in, I would strongly recommend the much superior book of "Console Wars" if you have not read it. "Console Wars" main storyline is about the rise/fall of Sega, but the book is so well researched, that you fully understand the various implementation of Nintendo, Sony, Phillips, and of course Sega in the overall console wars of the 80's/90's. I guarantee, you will get far more out of that book than this one.
Decently balanced, well structured, well researched, and expertly performed. A riveting story even for a non-fan of Nintendo.
Yes! Who wouldn't want too know Mario/Nintendo's backstory.
Who's on the cover? Thats my answer.
No. Sorry cant answer this one.
When Nintendo, through thick and thin never gave up...thats motivation.
This book promises to be fun, and the history of the gaming industry is so full of twists that the author doesn't have to work hard to keep it interesting. And he didn't — or rather it may be that Mr. Ryan in fact tried too hard: sometimes the author's bombastic "voice" distracts from the plot. Each chapter is saturated with goofy comparisons, groan-inducing puns and corny jokes.
That's a small price to pay for such a great story — and you *could* argue that his style suits the subject matter… if you think Mario is sort of a dork.
Porter's narration takes the text at face value and then hams it up even further with seemingly sincere exuberance… this is a bit hard to take when the text itself veers into silly lists of Mario merchandise. But that's not Porter's fault. His performance does justice to the book. (For better or worse.)
i was genuinely interested in learning about the history, and the book was actually very informative — i thought i knew a thing or two before, but there were plenty of fascinating surprises. All in all: a little trivial, but pretty good fun.
Try listening to it when you'd rather be playing Super Mario, but have to do something else instead.
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