Operation Rainfall was started by Nintendo fans, far and wide, a week ago. The mission: to get Nintendo of America to publish localized versions of three great games, Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, by stuffing Nintendo's Facebook page, Youtube profile, and Amazon.com preorder page to the brim with requests and comments. The response from NoA: 'no plans at the moment'. The result? What started out as a shower of civilized banter quickly turned into a bad torrent of acid rain. Barbaric, rude and spam comments began flooding the pages overwhelming the rational expressions of disappointment. Many longtime 'fans' threatened to leave the Nintendo fanbase and boycott their products. The more I skim through the 6000-plus comments left on that fateful Facebook post, the more fed-up I get of it.
True, the Wii is experiencing a quality game drought from now until the launch of the Wii U, and true, it would have been a blessing to be able to get all three games. But the impression I'm getting from all the hateful responses to Nintendo's statement are just the same ungrateful complaints I hear about the Wii almost every other day, as if Nintendo has done absolutely nothing to its core audience over the last five years: 'too much shovelware', 'not enough games', 'quality of 1st-party titles going down' to name a few. It's a terrible stigma attached to Wii that it did everything wrong and did not appeal to anyone, when that was never the case, and I am extremely annoyed by people saying the console is bad just because Nintendo took a risk to bring gaming to a non-gaming population.
From the moment motion controls and minigame collections took the stage, the anti-Wii campaign begun. In 2006, when the console launched, the grouches were 'No 1st-party games, Twilight Princess is boring, bring out another new Mario and Zelda!'. Out came Mario Galaxy and Zelda games on DS. You'd think people would shut up after that, but no. A year or two later, the pattern shifted to 'No 3rd-party games' instead. Out came Monster Hunter Tri, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Trauma Center and Okami, among others. And still people are complaining. In the Wii's final year, the complaints shifted again (after having nothing more to say about bad 3rd-party support) to 'Wii has no HD graphics'. By now this is really getting ridiculous. Would you have bought a launch HD Wii with all the tech specs of the current gen consoles at $600? The launch day PS3 sales can testify to that.
Face the facts: Wii is Nintendo's most successful console in the last three console cycles. The previous two, the N64 and GameCube crashed and burned in sales, limited to just the core fanbase who picked them up to play first-party games. I always thought having more gamers into the fold would simply be a good thing for the gaming industry as a whole, but it turns out 'core gamers' are more individualistic than first thought. What were the main reasons N64 and Gamecube flopped in market? Nintendo was lagging behind in the technology aspect, of course, to keep costs of consoles down, and had no other innovations or gimmicks as a hard sell. Everything that could be done on those two consoles could also be done on competitor consoles which have far better specs and market prospects. So the only way Nintendo can pull ahead is by introducing innovative new ways to play, something to get people to invest in their hardware, which they were always good at. That is also why the Wii U bashing is completely uncalled for- not only do we not know enough about the controller and its functions, we are starting to reject the new idea even before we discover it. Only by creating something new do we advance further into the future. If Nintendo were to create a purely traditional game controller on the Wii U, it faces the same issue of being left behind by its competitors once again. It's 'innovate or die' for them. But with the terrible attitude of most gamers towards Nintendo, they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.
The Wii had ways to appeal to everyone- there were games for the core Nintendo audience and there were lighthearted minigames for the rest of them. The 'core gamer' backlash is akin to shooing everyone away from their beloved hobby, which is quite ironic- isn't the whole point of gaming to be able to share the experience with other people? Nintendo has to think of everyone buying into their hardware, they can't be just thinking of us gamers all the time. It would be like attending a party of 100 guests and expecting the host to entertain you and only you for the entire duration. It's selfishness at its most vile.
To put it into more perspective, the Wii sold well and made Nintendo a profit, while the last two cycles Nintendo were in last place. If we were really fans we would hope for only the best for Nintendo and wish them good luck and success, but no, we spat on their newfound popularity because it was something that threatened our position as gamers. Would we rather Nintendo stayed as failures so they can serve our desires for the rest of time while it's already becoming the laughing stock of the hardware makers? Let's face the hard truth. Although we as Nintendo fans and loyal supporters have been with Nintendo all the way, through thick and thin, 'we' is not large enough a majority to be able to turn the tides on Nintendo's fortunes. They wouldn not have been trailing in the console race for the last decade if we were that large a group of fans.
Also, don't give me any nonsense about the Wii not having any good games, or that it has fewer compared to Nintendo's previous consoles. By the end of the Wii's lifecycle we will have 3 Mario games (not counting the million and one spinoffs including Mario Kart Wii), two Zeldas, two Metroids, two Kirbys, one Donkey Kong, one Animal Crossing, one Smash Bros., even niche titles like Sin & Punishment 2. And that's not counting 3rd-party support either. Look past the mountain of casual games and you will discover that Wii actually has Nintendo's best 3rd-party support since 1996. Fact: The most played Wii game in 2010 isn't made by Nintendo. Those minigame collections released by third parties aren't for you to play- they're for the rest of the public who has not touched a game pad in their life and want something simple to ease them in. No one's forcing you to buy and play them, so just look past, there are diamonds under the rough if you make the effort to browse through the Wii's library for more than ten seconds. Oh, new games aren't your thing? Wii's first party lineup not impressing you? For those who refuse to take off the nostalgia glasses, it still has backwards compatibility to Gamecube, and there's no shortage of ways to play Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or any of the great N64 games for that matter.
To make myself clear, I am not against Operation Rainfall, nor am I pleased with the way Nintendo of America has been handling game localization as of late (it's not just those three games, after all), but I am sick to the core of people acting like whiny brats around Nintendo like they haven't been caring in the least bit for gamers in the last five years. If anything, if Operation Rainfall continues, it should be mostly, if not completely, made up of rational, well-thought out and diplomatic discussions between the fans and Nintendo. Even if Nintendo doesn't pull through, they are more likely to listen to that than a million immature, threatening comments on their Facebook. Nintendo are, after all, made up of working human beings, not emotionless robots, who have to meet deadlines, adhere to company policies and red tape, and try to turn a profit for themselves and their own families. Being a violent activist only shows to the world that Nintendo fans are greedy, selfish brats who can't take even the slightest setback and whose needs and wants can never be met no matter how many games Nintendo and the 3rd parties put out. Seriously, I have never been so ashamed of being a Nintendo supporter as I scanned through the post-announcement protests.
Some of you who know me well might say that I know Japanese and can import all three games as I so desire without many issues, but I guarantee, I would not have rephrased my argument even if I am the kind of person who doesn't even know what 'konnichiwa' means. Look past the Wii's faults and you'll probably see that you have not taken the console ito its fullest potential yet, even if we don't get all the games we want localized. In conclusion, just behave properly around Nintendo and maybe they would behave the same way to us.