There is something purely nostalgic about classic video games, in all of their two-dimensional glory. Whether it is slinging turtle shells at your sibling to take the final lap in Mario-Kart or saving Princess Peach from Bowser, there is truly something special about video games from the 1990s.
Seizing an opportunity to capitalize on Millennials looking to capture some of their childhood gaming glory, (and jump-start the next generation of video game enthusiasts) Universal Studios recently unveiled Super Nintendo World in Osaka Japan. This comes as part of a three location launch, with other sites set to debut in 2023 (Hollywood) and 2025 (Orlando).
The latest attraction from the theme park giant drops guests into an epic 2D world filled with iconic Nintendo franchise characters. So, why Nintendo?
Stepping Outside the Console: Next-Gen Mario
While the Nintendo brand is easily one of the most recognizable gaming franchises around the globe, market share has been greatly reduced in recent years, thanks to the rise of Playstation and Microsoft. Many see the move from the traditionally conservative company as a strategy to entice the younger gaming generation to abandon their XBox or PS5.
It is worth noting that similar moves by the gaming behemoth have been attempted in the past, with somewhat mixed results. On its own, Super Nintendo World might be moderately well-received, but backed by the power of Universal Studios, a world of possibilities awaits.
For years, Universal has launched attractions designed to tap into childhood bliss. A blueprint was created with the launch of Wizarding World in 2010. The children that grew up with icons like Mario and Luigi are now in a position to spend big bucks to revisit those vivid memories of their youth. And few things are as instantly recognizable as a Nintendo console in all of its side-scrolling magnificence for children of the 90s.
Through the Warp Pipe – COVID-19 and the Universal Studios Launch
COVID-19 has certainly put a kink in Universal Studios’ launch of the three sites (Osaka, Hollywood and Orlando). Osaka opened in mid-March, one year after the initial launch was delayed due to the pandemic. Although it is too early to determine if the park is a success, reviews have been better than expected.
Similar to other attractions, Universal has created the Super Nintendo World as its own sphere within the greater confines of the park. Guests meander down a seemingly auspicious path before entering the attraction through one of Super Mario Bros infamous green warp pipes. From there, you enter a 2D playscape that seems straight out of the cartridge.
Specifics on attractions at the Orlando and Hollywood parks have been more rare than the magic flute or Tanooki suit. That said, most enthusiasts can expect attractions similar to those at the Osaka location as the theme park looks to expand their audience and include more family-friendly attractions, like those found at their biggest competitor, Disney.
Mario Kart: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A
Ok you caught us, there is no Konami code to help you race your child or significant other, but there are some serious improvements to classics that will put you in the middle of the action.
Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge is the main draw, combining augmented reality with the classic Nintendo title as you race around Bowser’s Castle. The pulse-pounding ride ups the intensity, as you throw shells and drop bananas to try and take the final track in the Star Cup.
For those looking for more family-friendly attractions, slower paced rides are available as well as a wide variety of activities that are designed around PowerUp bands that are available for purchase. Similar to the Wizarding World, the area is immersive, designed to pull you in and keep you entertained for hours.
Keep the Dream Alive (We Fix Broken Consoles)
Whether you are booking the next flight to Osaka, or are planning on holding out until the U.S. parks open over the course of the next few years, you will certainly create memories. If you are a gamer, Gadget Genie fixes broken consoles, cracked phone screens and more. Find a gaming console repair company near you… in us! Not local? We also take mail-in repairs. Contact us to learn more.