Nintendo Quest online movie review - Strangely depressing
Nintendo quest is not an all encompassing documentary about Nintendo, the NES, or gaming in general. The description is misleading. There have been many gaming docs, but none specifically about the history of the company Nintendo, so needless to say I was really excited.
Even after I realized that it was rather about a guy building an NES collection from scratch with a few fun facts thrown in here and there, I still kept on watching it, because I do have some old games and still buy them often at flea markets and such, so it was still right up my alley.
This movie is based on an interesting idea that somehow along the way became devoid of fun. So much that in the end I kinda felt sorry for the guy.
I have tremendous respect for his dedication and drive to succeed, however collecting should be fun, and as it is mentioned in the movie, collecting takes a long time if you're doing it right and don't have access to tens of thousands of dollars. You WILL get it done, it'll just take a few years.
The ridiculous project of building a complete NES collection from scratch in 30 days without using the internet is the driving force of Nintendo Quest. That's 678 games in total.
What started out as a dare ended up being a 90 minutes romp across north America, hunting down NES games, following a taciturn collector blowing money in retail stores and on games sold by a few private collectors. It's more or less an hour and a half episode of game chasers with more pressure, less smiles, and more actual drama.
While video games revolve around having a good time, I felt strangely sad watching Jay progressively sink into the depths of everything I hate about video game collecting as a cultural phenomenon : Display queens, overblown prices, and the underlying obsession about the rarity and value of extremely bad games.
The most disturbing thing about Nintendo Quest is that Jay doesn't seem to be particularly enjoying himself throughout his seemingly excruciating adventure. He stumbles from store to store trying to deal with the pressure of failure and trying to work a way around the cost of absolute stinkers like Stadium events and others.
It's not all bad, as the high point of the movie for me was still how Jay repeatedly says that the games he get should have a story attached to them, which is my opinion as well, it's just that those stories shouldn't come from a place of extreme pressure.
There are quite a few superb private collections displayed throughout the quest. Another high point for the movie.
If I was looking to start collecting retro games after all the hype, Nintendo Quest would've been sure to sober me up real fast about the real essence of the chase : Fun.
Still, R.I.P. Spencer, and Jay man, I hope this ridiculous ordeal didn't completely burn you out on gaming, because it sure looked like you had enough of it at the end and was ready to snap.
Wish you well.