Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

4.3 138
by Jeff Ryan
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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,See more details below

Overview

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 was considered expendable.

* Minoru Arakawa, the son-in-law of Nintendo's imperious president, who bumbled his way to success. * The unexpected approach that allowed Nintendo to reinvent itself as the gaming system for the non-gamer, 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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Mike Musgrove
Nintendo did not, alas, cooperate with this author. As a result, some of Ryan's anecdotes are left with an asterisk hanging by them in the reader's mind. Without a doubt, however, Super Mario is packed with enough strange—and confirmed—nuggets to please most fans…For the most part, the pages here turn as quickly as any of Mario's platform-jumping adventures.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The history of how a Japanese video game featuring two Italian brothers became one of America's favorite pastimes is covered in exhaustive, enthusiastic detail by video game reviewer Ryan. The author takes readers through Nintendo's early business machinations; the story of Mario's eccentric creator, Shigeru Miyamoto; and the game-changing emergence of Nintendo's motion controller for the Wii, with a breezy journalistic style. At times the tone slips into the white hat–black hat morality employed in most video games, often painting Nintendo's business competitors or detractors with broad reductive strokes—"hardcore gamers sneer at Wii"—and paeans to new Nintendo releases get smattered with exclamation points, so that some pages read like Nintendo promo material. All of this is distracting but not fatal, and the book is a thorough history of Nintendo's victories, written by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews

A gaming journalist retraces Nintendo's unlikely shaping of video-game history through a pudgy Italian plumber named Mario.

In his debut, Ryan chronicles the surprisingly riveting history of Japanese video-game empire Nintendo, from their early coin-operated arcade-game days to recent innovations in game-system technology. More specifically, though, the author follows the professional career of Nintendo's mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto and the often-riveting story behind the genesis of now-legendary pixilated plumber Mario, and the improbable success of Mario's star-vehicle, Donkey Kong, whose oddball name came about from a happy accident in Japanese-to-English translation.For anyone who grew up in the '80s with quarter-arcade games like Donkey Kong, the first half of Ryan's book is an endlessly fascinating nostalgia trip. Placing Miyamoto's creation in its cultural and chronological context, the author not only gives Nintendo's full history, but also a detailed accounting of Nintendo's early field of competition, especially with one-time giant Atari and later Sega, with its irreverent anti-Mario stance. Nintendo's rise to importance would also be marked by big lawsuits, namely by Universal, who claimed they owned the rights to King Kong, and thus, Donkey Kong. It's this historical element that Ryan thrives on, as well as the biographical aspects of Nintendo's eccentric Japanese founding fathers. The author drives home the notion of Nintendo's success being mostly due to its uncanny sense of resourcefulness. In the later chapters, however, the narrative slows, as Ryan gets too caught up in gamer shop talk. In his coverage of the '90s and beyond, the author seems more concerned with the technological minutiae behind every new gizmo that Nintendo is responsible for and can't retain the dramatic buildup that had given such heft to earlier chapters.

Late stumbles aside, an effective and entertaining overview of the video-game industry's history and Nintendo's essential role in shaping it.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101517635
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/04/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
114,073
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >