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4.4 out of 5 stars18
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2013
Picked this up on an impulse the other day after seeing the cover, and I'd consider it a tenner pretty well spent (bought it in a bookshop - the cheaper Amazon price is even better value). The prose extremely straightforward and easy to read, resulting in the book being a pretty quick read - my guess is that the writer is a journalist or blogger day-to-day. There's some great stories about Nintendo, especially the stuff about some of the most important people in the company's history such as Yamuchi, Arakawa, and Miyamoto which rounds them out nicely as people rather than names. On the negative side though, the writer skips or glosses over parts of the story, such as the impact of Mario 64 or the whole GBA/Gamecube era, as well as several Mario titles, leaving the book feel a little empty in places. Also, there are some random stories inserted randomly, making it seem like he had stuff he wanted to include but no logical place to insert it.

That said, really enjoyable read and I devoured it in a matter of hours, and would easily recommend to anyone who is a gaming fan.
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on 16 August 2013
This is a really good book, with tons of information about how Nintendo built itself into the company we see today and I would have given it 5 stars if it had been proofread properly.
Throughout the whole book, the author refers to the Japanese NES as the Famicon, but it is called the Famicom! For a book charting a company, it should really get the product names correct.
There are many other mistakes, such as using the number 0 instead of the letter o, using a person's name twice in one sentence and spelling it wrong one of these times, and at one point the book talks about the company Phillips but then starts calling them Panasonic! Things like this make parts of the book hard to read and will have you reading a page over to try and work out if you have lost the narrative at some point.
Also the authors use of brackets and commas to go into a tangent is not always elegant and you may find yourself again needing to re-read a section to get back on track from the tangential information.
That said, if you are interested in video game history, the book is well worth reading.
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on 10 June 2016
This book disappointed me. I'm not 100% sure why but I think it's the dryness of the prose. Sure, it was never going to be a laugh riot but it seems more a collection of facts and you can almost see the timeline in your head, marked out at appropriate points with the bits of information the author has chosen to focus on. That's not a problem but it is pretty much that. It's a "this happened, then this happened, then this happened" kind of book rather than being in any way written like a piece of entertainment. It also seems to miss out on massive chunks of popular/well known Nintendo lore but I suppose ultimately these were probably extraneous to the actual title of the book, which pertains to how nintendo got their foot in the door of the USA as a trading company. The "tie up" at the end of the book does seem a tad "out of nowhere", too, and it is, as with other digressions in the book, a point that is very much "the authors opinion". He does go off at times and talk about how he thinks things should have been done and these could well have been good points to inject a little humour and to spark up the tone a little bit but no, they remain as deadpan as the rest of the book. I believe this to have been very well researched (and his meaty bibliography at the end proves this) BUT a book like this could have been a joy rather than a condensing of freely available facts. It does, to an extent, read a bit like a wikipedia article. Perhaps that is too cruel a criticism of the author but I was looking for more from this book and, considering the subject matter, expected it to be a little more jaunty. Recommended for hardcore Nintendo fans, perhaps, were it not for the fact that you almost certainly would know all this information, anyway.
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on 6 March 2014
This is a truly brilliant read. I couldn't put it down and finished it in three days. The author has been very passionate with his words. As a consequence the book is very well written. Its relevant to mention the author is a well established gaming journalist, hence why his sentences flow together rather elegantly.

Theres a few issues I have with it. Firstly I understand the book is called 'How Nintendo Conquered America'; yet I would have enjoyed a more comprehensive examination of Nintendo's European success, not simply America and Japan. This book covers Japan and North America extensively, yet I would have liked some more research into other regions, especially Europe. The other thing is that this book is simply black and white text. I would have also liked the option of a fully coloured hardback edition. For a book like this, I felt that text alone dosen't do the narrative justice. I would have loved to have seen pictures of Super Mario Bros. 3 super smash launch around the world, or images of Nintendos' consoles innards. The author describes hardware specifications at some points, yet without images its difficult to contextualise what he means. For example he explains that the console nomenclature (bits) refers to an exponential output in power, not cardinal. Thus I would have liked maybe a few diagrams to demonstrate this point more clearly.

Aside from that, I would say this is geared to anyone with an interest in the history of the games industry. However... To me this isn't just a book about Nintendo. Its a book that delves into the resilience of the human spirit. I felt very emotional at points in the book reading about how the team at Nintendo defied all expectations. How every failure made them stronger. Theres one point in the book the author describes the launch of the original NES console. The president of Nintendo (at the time) took one gamble... he decided to pack Super Mario Bros. with every NES console. It was his ace in the hole. It was magic to read about these pivotal moments in Nintendo's history, where one wrong move could make or break the company. This book is excellent. The only reason I awarded 4 stars is because its not enough, this story deserves photos and full colour in hardback, but for £7 the paperback is definitely a worthwhile read.
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on 19 April 2015
Don't get me wrong. The book is funny and entertaining. But it lacks the depth knowledge of the systems and the situations that the author is describing. It is not like other titles as 'Console Wars' where you can feel the author has gone the extra mile interviewing the main players of the book and knowing things that are not available in Wikipedia. I paid £7 for the kindle editions and it seems a little bit pricey for what I got.
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on 3 June 2013
This is a really good book. I recommend this book to Nintendo fans. During long train rides I read this book and it kept me entertained very well. An extremely good book. Even though it is expensive it is well worth the money.
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on 2 June 2016
While bought as a gift for an avid Nintendo, it is important to note that this is not just a summarised history of the gaming phenomenon that Fusajiro Yamauchi founded. It has clearly been researched to provide novices and die hard collectors (who this was bought for!) both something to enjoy.

Crammed with interesting anecdotes and tidbits about the company without the nitty gritty of company politics (Nintendo has had its share after all) this book is a great nostalgic trip down memory lane for older readers and a powerful reminder how important gaming culture was/ is and will be.
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on 17 February 2015
I liked this book. Provides a great insight into nintendo's history and now I know more about nintendo than I probably should. It does run out of steam towards the end but never the less a brilliant geeky book.
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on 30 May 2014
Bought for my son, who just loves this book. So much information and history that he's read it many times.
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on 4 November 2014
Had useful information about Mario's origins, including what he was inspired by.
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