originals\ Mar 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Nintendo: The Bad and the Ugly

The good's coming next time, I promise

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Nintendo clings too hard to their family image.

Tharja's ButtStandard swimsuits are too racy for American teens.


Nintendo has a reputation that's as wholesome as orange juice, Wheaties, and mom's apple pie. Unfortunately, the vast majority of gamers seem to prefer blood, gore, and wanton violence. Nintendo is obsessed with clinging to an image that is no longer as important as it once was. Hell, Disney now owns a ton of mature content thanks to their purchase of Marvel. Just make a new brand, call it Nintendo Black or some other terrible name, and use it to publish the M-Rated stuff.

The result of this desire to maintain a squeaky clean image in America is an absurd level of censorship, even over the most trivial things, and a reluctance to show support for M-Rated content. Nintendo isn't as bad about forcing third parties to adhere to their family friendly standards these days, but that's only because Sony crushed them in humiliating fashion during the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 eras.

It hasn't stopped Nintendo from shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to censoring their own games though. Remember when they censored Tharja's swimsuit for no good reason? The change ended up making it look as if some pervert was peeping on a naked woman through a curtained window. Maybe they should have just left the swimsuit uncensored, because it's a swimsuit at a beach themed piece of DLC.

Not only is their censorship laughably bad, but it seems to be entirely at odds with targeted age demographics and shows how fucked up their priorities really are: Nintendo published an M-Rated game about finding a missing gravure idol in a suicide forest filled with ghosts that met horribly graphic ends. At one point a teenage girl unwillingly slashes her own throat with a blade (NSFW), but Nintendo was on the ball: They sprang into action and saved us adults from being exposed to...the swimsuits.

Not that they saved very many though, because nobody knew about Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water since Nintendo did their best to bury it. Who would want to properly ship and advertise an M-Rated horror title released in the Halloween window? That's just a fool's game. After all, M-Rated games don't sell...on Nintendo consoles.

Actually, it's not that M-Rated games don't sell on Nintendo's consoles, it's that Nintendo doesn't do enough to sell M-Rated games. We'll come back to this.

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About The Author
James Wynne GameZone's freelance color commentator. Obsessed with recapturing the magic of 90's gaming. Find me on twitter @JamesAdamWynne, or check out my attempts to recreate 90's gaming magazines.
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