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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“One of America’s favorite pastimes is covered in exhaustive, enthusiastic detail.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    741
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    157
  • 2 Stars
    32
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    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    32
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Good and Interesting History

Enjoyed hearing about the history behind many if Nintendo's key franchises - especially Mario and Zelda.

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  • Glenn Meza
  • Mountain Home AFB, ID United States
  • 11-12-17

A good story that needs some work

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America is a good recounting of the history of Nintendo of America from its beginning as the distributor of Donkey Kong to today. The story is a fun ride but it's full of inaccuracies (switched Namco and Taito who made Galaxian and Space Invaders respectively), mispronounciations which I'm guessing is typos from the text (it's FamicoM not FamicoN), and just feels like it was typed up in word and thrown through its spell checker. I have a strong feeling this book wasn't properly spell or fact checked before it was published. In spite of its serious flaws I recommend it for anyone that wants to know more about how NoA came to be what it is today.

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If you've ever been a fan of Nintendo..

This is an excellent book. As a fan from a young age, it was definitely worth listening to the story of how my favorite game company became what it is today. Great performance by the narrator as well!

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Great Story With Some Questionable Mistakes

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The narration was great and the story was gripping, but a few problems kept it from getting five stars. Some were minor and insignificant, but others made me call into question how much of the book is true. No doubt there is a lot to learn from this book, but small errors make me question the information I didn't know.

Early on, I noticed errors in words. For example, Konami is at one point called Komani. Things like this happen more than once, even with common words. I don't know if these are typos of the author or a misreading of the narrator, but it is jarring when it's heard.

More problematic are factual errors. At one point the author mentions Bowser being the villain in the US version of Super Mario Bros. 2. He wasn't. The villain of that game was a frog creature named Wart. Later, it is discussed that Square decided not to put Dragon Warrior on the N64, except Square didn't make Dragon Warrior, Enix did. Square wouldn't have anything to dio with Dragon Warrior until 10 or 15 years later when they merged with Enix. Early on, mentions Mario was in Punch-out as a crowd member. Later, it contradicts itself by correctly stating that Mario was the ref. These tiny factual errors are lightly peppered throughout the book.

There's a lot of good information too. The problem occurs when it comes to the stuff I didn't know. With all the small seemingly insignificant errors, how do I know the other stuff is correct if I hadn't already researched it? I washed to give the book 5 stars because I really loved it, however having to question the stuff I don't know really hurts the book.

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Interesting history to a company I grew up with.

I learned a few things I found surprising and enjoyed the history of the games company that shaped my youth. it's interesting now to look back at that time and what drove decisions with adult eyes.

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Good listen

This book is a great one, written well and of course narrated with passion. Thank you

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Worth Your Coins

An intriguing look at a company's perfectionist commitment to quality storytelling. This book explains how a moustachioed bundle of pixels has come to mean so much to the world. A great read for gamers and non-gamers alike.

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  • bogardfury
  • philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 09-30-16

Author cared very little about being factual.

Take everything you hear in this book with a grain of salt. Countless things are either misrepresented or just wrong.

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Insightful look into important history

This book covers the strategy and history of this important global company. It's great conversation material as well as full of insights into gamers and the gaming industry.

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SUPER!

Would you consider the audio edition of Super Mario to be better than the print version?

YES, the narrator does an excellent job telling the story.

Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I enjoy this performance. He's a competent and quality narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I read/listened this. It's a great history of nintendo from its humble beginnings through to modern day.

Any additional comments?

like I said I didn't know what to expect when I first started listening but couldn't put it down. I was engaged/informed and entertained from start to finish. Kudos to author and all the way down the line.