Today Nintendo unveiled the rewards that “Platinum” and “Gold” members of its loyalty program are entitled to claim. To the dismay of many of its members, including yours truly, the prizes are quite underwhelming.
Part of the joy of buying a Nintendo-licensed game is the inclusion of unique codes that people can use to accumulate points through Club Nintendo, Nintendo’s loyalty program. With these points, not only can fans redeem them for games (which is actually a rather new feature), but they can also acquire different sorts of Nintendo memorabilia, including posters, T-Shirts, and random accessories.
This is the first year since the program’s over six-year history that no physical prizes are being offered, just downloadable games, and the games are only for use through the Wii U or 3DS. You can download them here if you’re a Gold or Platinum member.
Club Nintendo members who achieved “Platinum” or “Gold” status can claim only one of the following:
- Game & Wario (Wii U)
- NES Remix (Wii U)
- EarthBound (Wii U)
- Dr. Luigi (Wii U)
- Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
- Fluidity: Spin Cycle (3DS)
- Dillon’s Rolling Western (3DS)
- Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Gold Rewards (“Platinum” members can claim these too)
- Ice Climber (Wii U)
- Kid Icarus (Wii U)
- Super Mario Bros. (Wii U)
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Wii U)
- Donkey Kong 3 (3DS)
- Wario Land II (3DS)
- Metroid (3DS)
- Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3DS)
The lineup of games that users can get for free really isn’t all that bad. Sure, it can be better, but free is free–except these are games obtainable by any Wii U/3DS owner at any time. There’s no excuse for Nintendo to not shell out the miniature Mushroom Kingdom statues, soundtracks, or even limited edition posters that I’ve become accustomed to claiming. As a budding game journalist, not only have I already played these games, but I own most of them–heck, a good amount of these area already registered under my Club Nintendo account.
And that’s just considering how “fortunate” I am to own a Wii U or 3DS. What about Nintendo fans that aren’t as fortunate? They won’t be able to download something for a system they don’t have.
Some people can argue that it cuts costs here and there, but hasn’t Nintendo cut enough costs by not having E3 Press Conferences? Haven’t they cut enough costs by making their consoles less powerful than their competition over the last couple generations? There’s a large Nintendo World store in New York that’s actually quite a buzzing tourist attraction. You’d think a store like that can at least spare a few boxes of merchandise for fans that have invested well over $300 in Nintendo games during a calendar year.
Not to mention… have you seen Japan’s Club Nintendo offerings? They’re outrageously better than what we have in North America. I want a Yoshi plush doll!
Of course, we’ll have people continue to argue that free is free, and we shouldn’t complain about it. But let me be one of those people to remind you that both Sony and Microsoft provide their premium members with a couple free games a month via PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. The majority of the games they offered are better than what Nintendo is offering now. Heck, a good number of these came from the $0.30 sale last year, not to mention were monthly offerings members could redeem Club Nintendo coins for.
Please, Nintendo. Come on, Reggie. What kind of excuse do you have this time?
You’re trolling us, right?