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Goodbye Club Nintendo

Nintendo have announced the closure of the Club Nintendo loyalty programme.

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Club Nintendo

Nintendo have announced the closure of the Club Nintendo loyalty programme.

In short, no new products will be eligible from April (including the new 3DS models) and all rewards must be claimed by September.

The announcement is bittersweet news. Club Nintendo has had its ups and downs but has run for thirteen years in the UK. It has outlasted the GameCube, the Wii and original DS – a remarkable achievement. So before the it’s consigned to history I thought it would be fun to review my experience with the scheme.

I have registered products with Nintendo since 2002. At that point the initiative was called VIP 24/7 and my first purchases were a Nintendo GameCube console and Wave Race: Blue Storm.

Looking back at the accumulated list of registered products is like going on a Magical History Tour of Nintendo’s recent past. There are reminders of the GameCube era’s software drought, the days when I believed Wii Fit would make me a lean, mean fighting machine, plus those few years where I went download crazy. It’s also a reminder that, whatever you say about Nintendo, their software has been consistently amazing. As a self-confessed fan-boy seeing each and every Nintendo product I’ve owned recorded is both heartening and scary.

In the UK each Nintendo game or console comes packaged with a scratch-card coupon. The unique identifier for each product can then be registered on the Club Nintendo website in exchange for points, called Stars. A game typically earns 250 points, a console between 750 and 1000. Each time you register a product you complete a survey that gives Nintendo a range of demographic data about your playing and purchasing habits. You can also earn Stars through occasional promotions and surveys, or by purchasing games direct though the various iterations of the Nintendo eShop.

So let’s look at what I have registered and then see what ‘rewards’ I have earned in return. It’s a long list and there are some notable omissions from the days when I imported DS titles from the US or Japan. (Hello, Spirit Tracks)

A fanboy’s shopping list

2002

  • Wave Race: Blue Storm
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Luigi’s Mansion
  • Pikmin
  • Nintendo GameCube console
  • Super Mario Sunshine

2003

  • Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
  • Metroid Prime
  • Game Boy Advance SP console
  • Star Fox Adventures
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • F-Zero GX

2004

  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!
  • Metroid Fusion
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Donkey Konga Bongos
  • Donkey Konga

2005

  • Metroid Prime 2 Echoes
  • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
  • Nintendo DS console
  • Super Mario 64 DS
  • Wario Ware Touched!
  • Another Code: Two Memories
  • Meteos
  • Mario Kart themed DS console

2006

  • Nintendo DS Lite console
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Wii Play
  • Wii Sports
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Wii console
  • Internet Channel
  • ToeJam & Earl

2007

  • SimCity
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • WarioWare: Smooth Moves
  • Super Mario 64
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Game Boy Micro
  • Super Mario World
  • Wario’s Woods
  • Everybody Votes Channel
  • Excite Truck
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Lylat Wars
  • Wonder Boy In Monster World
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Alex Kidd In The Enchanted Castle
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
  • Mario Strikers Charged Football
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Bomberman ’93
  • F-Zero X
  • Resident Evil 4 Wii edition
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  • Ristar
  • Dragon’s Curse
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Mii Contest Channel
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Super Mario Galaxy
  • Pokémon Diamond
  • Puzzle League DS
  • Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
  • Super Paper Mario
  • Metroid Prime 3 Corruption
  • Wave Race 64
  • Photo Channel
  • Baseball Stars 2

2008

  • Endless Ocean
  • ActRaiser
  • Wonder Boy
  • Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure
  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Wii Fit
  • LostWinds
  • Nintendo Channel
  • Dr. Mario & Germ Buster
  • My Aquarium
  • Strong Bad Episode 1 – Homestar Ruiner
  • Bomberman Blast
  • Tetris Party
  • World of Goo
  • Art Style: ORBIENT

2009

  • Strong Bad Episode 2 – Strong Badia the Free
  • DSi console
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village
  • BIT.TRIP BEAT
  • BIT.TRIP CORE
  • Flipnote Studio
  • Metroid Prime Trilogy
  • Today and Tomorrow Channel
  • Metroid
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Wii Fit Plus
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • TV Show King 2

2010

  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • Mixed Messages
  • BIT. TRIP VOID
  • Photo Dojo
  • AlphaBounce
  • BIT.TRIP RUNNER
  • Art Style: light trax
  • Art Style: PENTA TENTACLES
  • Mighty Flip Champs
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2
  • 3D Space Tank
  • Wii Sports Resort
  • METROID: Other M

2011

  • DSi XL console
  • Super Mario All-Stars
  • BIT.TRIP FLUX
  • Nintendo 3DS console
  • PES 2011 3D – Pro Evolution Soccer
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D
  • Pokédex 3D
  • 3D Classics Excitebike™
  • Super Mario Land
  • The Legend of Zelda™: Link’s Awakening DX
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Donkey Kong
  • QIX
  • Nintendo Video
  • Kirby TV Channel
  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Star Fox 64 3D
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
  • FIFA 12
  • Pullblox
  • EUROSPORT
  • Nintendo Letter Box
  • SUPER MARIO 3D LAND
  • Mario Kart 7
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Limited Edition Pack

2012

  • Netflix
  • VVVVVV
  • Mighty Switch Force!
  • Zen Pinball 3D
  • Mutant Mudds
  • Rhythm Paradise
  • 99Seconds
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising
  • Nintendo 3DS XL
  • SpeedX 3D
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Wii U console
  • Trine 2: Director’s Cut
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Nintendo Land
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star

2013

  • Mighty Switch Force!™ Hyper Drive Edition
  • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • Zen Pinball 2
  • Wii Street U powered by Google
  • TANK! TANK! TANK!
  • Marvel Pinball 3D
  • AERO PORTER
  • Super Metroid
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
  • Luigi’s Mansion 2
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Little Inferno
  • Mighty Switch Force! 2
  • Pikmin 3
  • Star Wars Pinball
  • Animal Crossing Plaza
  • SteamWorld Dig
  • Art Academy: SketchPad
  • Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • Wii Karaoke U
  • Wii Fit U
  • Wii Sports Club
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
  • EDGE
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • Pokémon Y
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD
  • RUSH

2014

  • NES Remix
  • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Nintendo Pocket Football Club
  • Game & Wario
  • Wii Party U
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
  • Mario Kart 8
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
  • Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?
  • Tomodachi Life
  • Gunman Clive
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • TETRIS

2015

  • Shovel Knight
  • Bayonetta
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Altogether I registered 209 products over 13 years. I dare not try to work out how much I have spent. So what did my loyalty receive by way of reward?

Rewards, or Treasures, are selected from the Nintendo Stars Catalogue. It has a patchy history, sometimes going for months without an update. There have always been plenty of worthless items available; like desktop wallpapers and ringtones. But, occasionally, there have also been some real gems, such as the replica controllers, CDs and clothing.

The full list of Treasures I have claimed can be categorised in three buckets…

The good

The top-tier of treasures are those that are rare, useful or creative. The quality of these rewards has improved a great deal in recent years. Just last week I ordered a Mario Kart 8 T-Shirt. And last year I received a batch of very nice DS/3DS cartridge cases and a beautiful Super NES themed Wii Classic Controller. Perhaps the best treasure of all was a replica of the first Game and Watch title, Ball.

The bad

Other trinkets I have enjoyed include a Game Boy Advance edition of Bubble Bobble, a Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack CD. I also ordered a stack of Nintendo Points cards. Wonderfully, anything purchased via WiiWare with these cards earned more Club Nintendo Stars. (It’s well worth checking your download history to scoop up any Stars you may have missed.)

The ugly

Finally there are a multitude of worthless treasures, most tied to GameCube era games like Eternal Darkness, StarFox Adventures and Pikmin. These include such ‘delights’ as ringtones, desktop wallpapers, stickers and, rather cheekily, bookmarks and iron-on T-shirt transfers that you have to print yourself!

It has been suggested that Club Nintendo will be replaced with a new scheme that focuses on discounts, probably for digital downloads. While these discounts are appreciated I’ll be sad to say goodbye to this typically Nintendo scheme. The best of these treasures will no doubt become rarities and for that I will always be fond of my thirteen years in the Club.

What was the best Nintendo Treasure you received from Club Nintendo?


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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe.