[[image:mn_081007_clubtendo_spot01.jpg::right:0]]Aside from a new hardware reveal and plentiful software announcements, last week was still a good week to be a Nintendo fan. Specifically, their American arm announced they’d be rolling out a customer loyalty program, their own version of Club Nintendo. Besides sharing a name with several foreign magazines, Club Nintendo is a program that offers exclusive merchandise and even original games available nowhere else. Prizes are exchanged for points, which are earned by visiting a website and redeeming a code packed inside first-party games. See the image to the right ->
These are for the Japanese Club Nintendo, and if you know anything about Nintendo, you already know that the Japanese get it better, because that’s just how they roll. Points can’t be redeemed outside your region, but you can pay exhorbitant prices for these goods on eBay no matter where you live. I have grave doubts that we’ll get anything that cool; my guess is that the US club will offer Wii Points and online extras, similar to the European club. But least we’ll have a head start: according to NoA’s Cammie Dunaway, points will be rewarded for certain games that have already been registered. It’s like Nintendo doesn’t even hate its fans or something.
[[image:mn_081007_clubtendo_spot02.jpg:Game & Watch Collection’s Green House next to the original:center:0]]
In Japan, Game & Watch Collection is one of several exclusive Nintendo DS games. The clamshell design of the DS was inspired by the multi-screen Game & Watch units of the early ’80s, and this collection presents three of those games in glorius LCD fidelity. Each game can also be set to alarm clock mode, and most importantly, the sound can be turned down. The bleeps and boops of the original G&W only have one setting: loud and shrill.
[[image:mn_081007_clubtendo_spot03.jpg::right:0]] Tingle’s Balloon Fight is Balloon Fight with Tingle. You see, they both fly with balloons. This Legend of Zelda character causes fans in the West to convulse with nerd-rage, which only makes me want to embrace him more (uh, metaphorically). Don’t you see!? Tingle is the Every-Elf. He rises on his red balloon, a symbol of hope, ever higher towards his dreams…which now include causing bird people to plummet to their doom in the name of Rupee acquisition. There’s not much to say about the game; the screen area is doubled, but it’s the same old Joust-like fun. There’s a bonus gallery that includes some strange portraits of Tingle by an assortment of artists, though. Something about it and its strange, lackadaisical music that makes me wonder if the Wario Land 4/Rythym Heaven team were involved.