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This review is from: Super Mario (Paperback)
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.