I was lucky enough to have been able to go to New York for Christmas and spend some time with my family out there. New York at Christmas is pretty much as crazy as you might think that it would be, and we got to see quite a few of the sights and take a number of things in while visiting. The one place, though, that I really did want to stop and visit was the Nintendo World Store, which is just a block south of Rockefeller Center.
For those who aren’t familiar with the World Store, it is essentially Nintendo’s flagship store and it is fairly sizeable. Whenever they have big launches of new systems or games they will usually have events there and various developers and other Nintendo bigwigs will generally show up to interact with fans. I had been to the store once before and really wanted to stop in again, just to see what cool and unique items they had in stock, and to see the little Nintendo museum.
After stopping at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and skating rink, which is as impressive as seen in movies or on tv, we went to the store. As we got inside it was pure pandemonium. There were children everywhere with their parents, other parents talking to the staff about games and young couples picking up the latest games and various plush figures. It was easy to see that everyone there was having a good time and enjoying all the familiar Nintendo characters all over the store. I am pretty certain that Nintendo could open up a theme park, or a section in Disneyland and it would prove to be quite popular indeed.
I walked around the main floor for a bit, and was especially enthralled by the framed paintings that they had based on the new 3DS game, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. There were a few of them that were gorgeous and looked great in their frames and would definitely look great on a living room wall. There were plenty of great collectibles there and that was the problem; there was just too much there! It was definitely a Nintendo overload.
I made my way upstairs where there were more games and pictures of Mario and Luigi all over the walls, but on the second floor is where the little museum sits. It’s nothing too over the top, just a nice collection of pieces of Nintendo’s past, things such as old game cartridges or action figures, and a number of great Pokemon collectibles as well. One of the main standouts though is an original Gameboy that survived a bombing during the Gulf War! It’s definitely impressive that it’s still running today, and you can read more about it here. I took it all in and thought back to 25 years ago when I was first introduced to the mushroom collecting world of Mario and the joys of the NES, and it brought a smile to my face.
As a lifelong gamer I have owned a number of gaming systems and played far more games than I can remember, but it’s always the Nintendo games that I go back to. There is something timeless and classic about a number of their franchises, from Mario to Metroid, and Legend of Zelda to Pokemon. While it seems that they rely too heavily on their franchises from time to time, they still make incredible games and you can’t argue with that. I have enjoyed these games for decades and look forward to playing them with my son when he is old enough.
After looking at the various items in the display cases and taking one last look around the store I headed back out. Stopping into the store was a highlight of a great trip and helped to remind me of the role that Nintendo plays in the gaming industry. They make games for everyone and that is what they are best at and continue to be the best at. I’m looking forward to the next time I can stop into the Nintendo World Store and for now I will gladly play some old Nintendo games and reminisce about the gaming classics.
Featured image belongs to Nintendo.