Easter holds a special place in my childhood. In between sugar comas and egg hunts that usually ended with one of my cousins getting stitched up (my family rolls hard during egg hunts), there was always time for all of us to come inside and play some Nintendo. Whether it was arguing over whose turn it was to fail at beating The Legend of Zelda II or die playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we had a blast. So, in honor of those hallowed days of controllers being snapped over knees and as a counterpoint to my last list on Nintendo commercials, here are the Top Ten Nintendo Commercials. As always, feel free to share your own selections and be sure to have a good day whether you’re celebrating the Easter Bunny’s egg-hiding ability or not.
Here are the rules for the list.
1. The game doesn’t have to be a first or second-party developed title, but it has to be/had to be a Nintendo exclusive.
2. As always, this is completely based on my opinion.
With that out of the way, let’s get on with the list:
10. Super Mario All-Stars
What better place to start the list than everyone’s favorite plumber? What i like about this commercial is that it sums up the most common explanation for why Bowser never stays defeated and Mario and crew keep doing similar routines: they’re just actors and the games are just their jobs. Outside of that, they all just hang out and even go the premieres of their games. I like that we get to see all of these popular game characters in one place just hanging out. Really, if the Super Mario Bros. movie didn’t make an appearance, this might have ranked higher.
9. Kirby Mass Attack
Oh Whispy Woods, even when you’re up against normal children you still get your ass kicked. This is a fun commercial: it has a fun image, explains the game’s premise and shows just enough gameplay to let you see what the actual game is like. As an aside, Kirby Mass Attack is awesome.
You know, I think this commercial undersells the sheer epicness of Banjo-Tooie and the massive adventure you could set upon by playing it, but it also has Banjo taking an epic fall from a great height, which is both hilarious and a huge improvement over him killing people in the woods.
7. Metroid: Zero Mission
While the “Play it Loud” campaign of the 90s ultimately fell flat with most gamers, the “Who will you be” campaign was actually pretty enjoyable, creating a host of memorable commercials for Game Boy Advance titles. This example show what it must happens when you unleash some Chozo taught athletics on the gymnastics mat. Is this what will happen if you play the game? Well… no, but it is a nice mix of humor and badassness.
6. Secret of Evermore
I’ll be honest, Square has never been good at making commercials for its products. The best ad campaign it ever ran was probably for Final Fantasy seven and that was probably more memorable for the image of Midgar and the cutscenes they chose to show off. Secret of Evermore is something different. Much like the game itself (Squaresoft of America’s only game), it stands out among the pack. The cartoon playing between haunting chants of the title looks to be high quality and uses a healthy amount of 90s EXTREME while also showing off the game’s first boss and the fact that your dog could transform. The commercial also makes good use of gameplay footage, showing off the true appearance of the first boss, some peeks at later parts of the game, and even a look at some sweet mode 7 effect for the graphics fans (oh who am I kidding, Mode 7 blew my mind back in the day). All in all, it was a great commercial for an underappreciated gem.