So there's a Nintendo Direct tomorrow. Exciting, isn't it? Always a pleasure to see trailers for soon-to-be-released games. But what you may not know (or have just forgotten) is that Nintendo once took this 'direct' approach to advertising 11 years ago.
In 2002, retailers handed out free DVDs (Officially called the 'Nintendo Preview 2002 DVD') to consumers that contained promotional footage of upcoming Gamecube titles. And I believe there were some DVDs in Nintendo Power issues (I think that's how I got mine). I'm not going to cover everything shown in the DVD because there is a LOT. In fact, for your convenience, here's a YouTube playlist of all the videos.
For this blog, I'm going to cover the trailers that caught my eye when I was a kid. And each game title will have a link to their respective trailer.
I never had the chance to play Vexx, but I remember watching this trailer countless times. It was just amazing. The CG was cool to look at, the gameplay looked really fun (seems like God of War with a touch of Nintendo), and the music... the freaking music, man.
It's a shame. It didn't seem like Vexx got any attention when it was released. From the playthrough I saw on YouTube, it is criminally underrated.
'A real-time game that's happening every second of every day.'
Those are the first words spoken in this trailer. And then they just bombard you with activities to do: Furnish your home, run errands, go fishing, do this, do that. Or don't. Things are always happening whether you're playing or not.
It's like reality away from reality. And who doesn't want to live in a village of cute, talking animals? I mean, come on.
I don't know about you, but I had a lot of fun with this game. Sure, it wasn't the Star Fox we had hoped for, but it was a good game nonetheless.
Except for that Test of Strength that had you mashing 'A' like a madman. Fuck that part.
Anyway, this was one of my favorite trailers. It does get points off for using royalty-free music (the song's called 'The Conquest 60') instead of original music, but if nothing else, it was a really good choice of song. Fit perfectly with the visuals.
Now how can you talk about the Gamecube without giving a mention to...
This was the trailer I watched the most. All because of that music. Just listen to it. It's beautiful. And you can listen to it in its entirety here.
Now what do these trailers have in common? And not just with themselves, but with Nintendo trailers of today?
They show gameplay.
We live in an age where companies are afraid to show what their games are actually going to be like when we're actually going to play them. And what do you do when you're not confident in your gameplay? Announce the game at least a year before release with a CG trailer or target render (or beefed up PC footage), and then promise that the final product will look exactly like that.
And that's what they all are: Promises. Promises just waiting to be broken.
Nintendo doesn't do that with their trailers. They show gameplay running on their hardware and their hardware only, so you can expect one of two things: either the game is going to be exactly like the trailers show, or it's going to be even better.
For that, I am grateful for Nintendo. You should be too.