Hi – nice to meet you and welcome to Benny Kong’s World.
My name is Ben, currently living in Berlin, passionate Nintendo gamer and collector.
While being active on Twitter or Instagram with my dedicated @Bennykong64 accounts (that I set up to fully concentrate on Nintendo topics), I felt that I would like to create my #AllNintendo content in a way, that I can structure and control better. And most importantly: To preserve my content in a format, that is easier accessible for anybody.
Too often I was searching all over the place for a certain post because I intended to have a quick look at it or to follow up on it. So why not publishing content that is relevant to me – on my own website?
With Benny Kong, I’m inviting you to join me on my personal Nintendo journey:
I will share with you which Nintendo Switch physical releases or retro games I add to my physical collection (plus last generation games such as for the Wii or Wii U). I will also post what I think about certain games in the review section and hope to inspire you with my upcoming planned Nintendo Switch purchases that I put on my personal Switch shopping list -the #SwitchList. Additionally I would like to talk with you in about all kind of Nintendo topics in in my blog section: BK’s Thoughts.
It All Started With the Game Boy
As I like to say: It all started with the Game Boy, the Nintendo Switch makes me play and collect like a kid again.
Some day back in my early days when I was in kindergarten or when I started to study in elementary school – but for sure in the very early 90s – the Game Boy was omnipresent. Launched in Europe in September 1990, many of the cool kids had it: It was the super hot gadget in the schoolyard or on the playground, and one of my very best friends, Marco (who used to live in the apartment below ours), had one too. And it’s getting even better:
Marco’s family had a Nintendo Entertainment System that was set up in the living room as well! This is where you could find Marco and me precisely almost every day after school – playing Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Donkey Kong or Nintendo World Cup. Fun times, right Marco?
I cannot exactly remember the occasion, but recall the pre-condition: My parents wanted me to be a straight A student in elementary school first, before they were about to give green light for buying me a Nintendo handheld:
My motivation was a high and at some point I could call myself a lucky Game Boy owner too. Finally. Oh boy, was I happy!
Me and my Game Boy! Everywhere I’d go, my Game Boy was with me. And it was so great lending games to friends.
My very first handheld game was either Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge or The Smurfs. Some of my favorite games to play were Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
I also had a-multiple-games-on-one-cart-collection: It contained basically every major release such as Super Mario Land or Kirby’s Dream Land, booting up from one notorious cart. It came without any box or manual, so I actually never knew, where my parents did get me this game from ….
I can remember it as it was yesterday: My sister and I were Easter egg hunting in our flat (it must have rained that day) and we found something very special hidden in a gap below the living room cupboard:
A Super Nintendo Entertainment System. What a surprise! The SNES was bundled with Super Mario World. And a Super Game Boy that let me play my Game Boy games on the big screen. What an innovation!
The SNES is still one of my favorite Nintendo home consoles of all times and Super Mario World a game that I have finished several times – of course by finding all 96 exits.
Some of my all time classics for the system are titles such as Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island or International Superstar Soccer Deluxe.
The Golden Era
Memorizing growing up both as a kid and teenager with Nintendo consoles, I think I had the most fun with Nintendo video games back in the Nintendo 64 era. I consider the Nintendo 64 era as the golden era, as it was a time period for me personally, in which I could enjoy Nintendo games on a different and maybe even more intensive level:
On top of an unbelievable and game changing catalogue of video games such as Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Banjo-Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64, I was now able to inform myself independently about releases in magazines, buy more and more games from my own pocket money or had the opportunity to get superb Nintendo promotional material on VHS such as:
Who did not use exactly these video cassettes to show parents and grandparents which games are on their wishlist for an upcoming birthday or holiday season?
Due to nostalgic reasons, I’m showcasing the promotional material that was tailored for the German market since I cannot be that certain, which tapes were used as giveaways for other markets such as the US or the UK.
The Nintendo 64 was launched in Europe on March 1, 1997 and luckily I had one close friend that did get the console for his birthday in the launch month. This provided me with the opportunity to already play a bit and to join the new dimension of fun.
Myself, I had to wait a bit longer as my birthday is in October. The first game I got was International Superstar Soccer 64.
For Christmas my parents (oh I mean Santa Claus) surprised my sister and me with Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64. What a holiday season! Christmas 1998, I found The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time under the Christmas tree: My very first Zelda title and a milestone in the entire video game history – until now. And just one year later, Christmas 1999, I was very happy to unwrap a present that contained Donkey Kong 64, which is still to date one of my favorite games of all times.
Fast Forward to March 3, 2017
Also the upcoming three other Nintendo home consoles found their way in my home. I bought the GameCube in 2002, just some months after the launch. In order to have them on launch day, I pre-ordered the Wii and the Wii U. All three consoles provided me with countless hours of fun, endless single-player adventures and challenges, and last but not least: Dozens of sleepless nights when friends stayed over to play some great multi-player titles (Red shell!).
Understandable that as I did get older, the time spent in front of a video game console may have gotten less and less from console generation to generation – but March 3, 2017 changed everything:
The Nintendo Switch Makes Me PLAY Like a Kid Again
Yes, the Nintendo Switch brought me emotionally right back to the start where my Nintendo journey did begin:
Back to the time, where I did hold my friend’s Game Boy in my hands for the very first time. Just before I was about to get my very own handheld. Back to the time where I spotted the NES in Marco’s parents living room or when my sister & I found the SNES that our parents did hide for Easter.
The Nintendo Switch brought back the same magic that I felt when playing for the very time Super Mario 64 at my friend’s house. As I headed for the very first time for the Great Plateau in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild, I suddenly felt the same joy playing a videogame that I last felt back in the golden Nintendo 64 era. The Nintendo Switch brought all that back!
The same magic from back in the day, over 20 years later, that I feel now almost on a daily basis when switching on my Nintendo Switch. Watching the “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017-Trailer” still gives me goosebumps:
Being simply amazed and overwhelmed by the smooth gameplay and the size of a Super Mario Odyssey and recognizing so many similarities to one of my favorite games of all time: Super Mario 64.
Re-visiting the “Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 Trailer” fulfills me everytime with the warm feeling that an unbelieving adventure is waiting for me – an adventure around the world, just like in 1997:
The Nintendo Switch Makes Me COLLECT Like a Kid Again
Back in the day, growing up with Nintendo, I knew that inserting a physical game cart into my Nintendo console was actually the only way to play the game. Today, I still opt-in for the physical release – knowing that there might be a cheaper and more convenient way to play a game: Digitally, by making a purchase via the eShop.
Nintendo made their first digital games on a home gaming console accessible via the Virtual Console for the Wii. The lineup consisted of 17 titles and was available directly at launch of the Wii, in November (NA) and December (EU) in 2016.
Talking on the pro & cons of physical and digital games, on real ownership of games or what happens to the digital library when servers of a platform will be shutdown, is actually content for an entire separate BK’s Thoughts blogpost and won’t be discussed here.
For now, I’d like to illustrate briefly why the Nintendo Switch makes me collect like a kid again.
The answer on this might be very simple:
Because I feel exactly the same appreciation for both the game box and the cart that I felt when I was a kid. This unique feeling of owning exactly this game when having it for the very first time in your hands. This game is mine now: I can lend it to my friend Marco and get a game from him in return. Or the feeling that I had as a teenager when I wanted to play a new game, but had to sell an old one in the first place.
You treated your games with respect, stored them properly in your shelf or commode. When you were surprised with a game as a gift for your birthday or Christmas, the precious game was passed-through all the hands of family members and guests. And you had the feeling that you did get really something special. It was a present that you could touch. Now I’m making these presents mostly to myself – and even on a more frequent basis as back in the day. But the magic still feels the same. I’ll take my time to check the front and back cover as well as the cart – and if we are lucky: There is even some interior art and a manual.
Both the interior art and a manual, that is especially something that we do not find regularly in the box when opening a 3rd party release. But luckily independent publishers of limited print games got us covered here.
A colorful manual is the perfect homage to physical games from back in the day. Limited print releases are the perfect collectors item in your Nintendo Switch physical collection. But here comes maybe the coolest reason why the Nintendo Switch makes me collect like a kid again:
Since Nintendo Switch game carts are not region locked, you can import Switch games from anywhere in the world and add a physical, playable copy to your shelf, although the game was never released in your region. This is such a game changer comparing to collecting Wii, Wii U or retro Nintendo games. You might import games that are not available in your region, but as long as you do not have the appropriate PAL or NTSC console, you are not be able to play the game.
What a great decision from Nintendo to make the Nintendo Switch a region free console. Thank you, Big N!
One of the best features of Nintendo’s latest system, on top of an unbelievable good library of games that put a smile on your face (or even tears of joy when hearing the Donkey Kong 64 Isle Theme being remastered in Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure) is the mobility aspect:
Having the opportunity to play your games seamless when traveling via plane or train or taking your Switch with you when going on vacations, resonates a lot with my lifestyle.
Anytime, anywhere – bravo, Nintendo.
The Nintendo Switch Makes Me Wanting to CREATE Content (Like Never Before)
But not only playing wonderful blockbuster video games where and when you want to (or can) made me falling in love with the Nintendo Switch: The hybrid console made me developing a much deeper interest for the video game industry as a whole.
Nowadays, platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Discord (just to mention a few) give you the possibility to exchange with like-minded people, to be engaged in communities, and to be directly in contact with developers, publishers or distributors of the games you love.
You as the gamer, and we as a community, we do have a voice. We can stream our feedback directly to the creators of the titles we love and the video gaming industry is listening, is open minded to learn what we think. Do do we complain about certain bugs? Are we excited for certain releases? Would we like to see a physical release of a certain game?
If you are engaged on aforementioned platforms, then you may have stumbled across open threads with industry players, in which you were asked to share your favorite title from the respective inquirer or which title you would like to see a physical release for.
Such a wonderful exchange that I experienced in particular over the past six months on Twitter as BennyKong64, made me thinking, how I may capture my Nintendo Switch moments at best:
How can I give back to the community in a way, that other gamers and collectors can benefit from? How can I provide to the video game producing industry an exposure to showcase their content? Content, that I happen to love?
All the information on new physical releases, exclusive region releases, limited print copies, knowledge about games I would have slept on or that I never heard about, Kickstarter campaigns, predicting and speculating together what games might be revealed at an upcoming Nintendo Direct, sharing opinions about patches, DLC’s, the completeness of games on the cart (#CompleteOnCart) , reviews, or just talking about retro games and memorizing the old days, motivated me in my wish to preserve a friction of this content and make it accessible – just a click away via my own website: Benny Kong.
Welcome to Benny Kong’s World!
PS: I hope Benny Kong will contribute to the Nintendo community and you may find it helpful. When you want to reach out to me, just use the comments section below or contact me directly on Twitter or Instagram via my @BennyKong64 handle.