It seems that not a week can go by without some sort of financial crisis, grave statistic or global dilemma cropping up in the news. And with the 'dire economic climate' of recent years threatening to rear it's head again and Christmas fast approaching, it can seem like everyone's trying to rip you off in some way or another. Regardless, it's still nice to know you're appreciated sometimes - whether it's a badly drawn painting stuck on the fridge door, a bunch of flowers or a simple thank you and a smile, or in this case, getting a few reward points every time you buy a Wii U game, that you can exchange for Nintendo related tat.
Much like their name, which roughly translates as 'leave luck to heaven', Nintendo know full well that customer satisfaction is the key to success, and like to reward their loyal customers for sticking with them through thick and thin – which is where their Club Nintendo scheme comes in. As has been the case for a few years now, each and every official Nintendo game you buy for the 3DS/DS and Wii comes with a little red booklet. Scratch off the silver strip to reveal a code, and input it into Nintendo's website, and you'll be rewarded with Stars points – points which you can then spend on all manner of cute game-related merchandise. Kirby frisbees, Mario stickers, a Wii Fit hat, a golden statue of Link from The Legend of Zelda – everything you could possibly want, all as a reward for buying your games on one of Nintendo's systems.
Back in the day, you could only pick up points by buying Nintendo's own
titles – the Marios, Animal Crossings and Zeldas, but not those made by
other games companies. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for
example, Just Dance, and the LEGO games, are all published by companies
other than Nintendo, and so didn't come with codes. Until now. With the
release of their new handheld, the 3DS, Nintendo extended the scheme to
all manner of third party games, and it looks like the Wii U is
following in it's footsteps in giving out codes with every single game you purchase, regardless of who's published it – as we found out when we opened our copy of Funky Barn, which turned
up in the post today, and found one of the aforementioned codes inside.
Which means we'll be one step closer to that Animal Crossing watch come
launch day! Score!
As far as loyalty schemes go, it's fair to say Club Nintendo certainly wipes the floor with the other platform holders, with Sony's scheme being non-existent, and Microsoft's fill-in-a-monthly-survey-and-get-20-Microsoft-Points program not exactly being the most generous. I mean, 16p, or less than £2 a year if you fill in every survey? Oh Microsoft – you do spoil us! No matter how many times you ask me when I plan on buying Kinect, the answer will always be no. At least, not until you throw in a cuddly Banjo bear and a real life Fudgehog.
In other disc related news, the arrival of our first Wii U game also gave us a chance to admire the new boxes, in their fetching blue hue, where we couldn't help but notice quite how solid the box is. While Microsoft has taken to slimming the thickness of the plastic used in certain parts of their boxes, and in the US, Wii U boxes look like someone's taken a carving knife to them (complete with a handy hole right where the disc goes, so anything can poke through and scratch the one item the case is meant to be protecting), the UK Wii U boxes are instead reliably solid - meaning we shouldn't have to worry about anything messing up our discs. Huzzah!
Unfortunately, the Stars Catalogue is down at the moment, presumably while they get it ready for the Wii U's launch on Friday the 30th of November, meaning we have no idea how many points our voucher is worth (we're imagining somewhere in the region of 200 - 250 stars) – but if you do plan on buying a fair few games and/or consoles, it's well worth keeping an eye out for these codes. Free stuff is always good.