According to Yelp I\’m a regular at what was previously the Nintendo World Store. Am I ashamed of this? Hell no. Every time I step foot inside I\’m flooded with memories of Mario, Yoshi, and all the good times I\’ve had playing Nintendo franchises. The worlds are fun, bright, and safe and the characters are timeless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for mature titles like DOOM and Hitman but there\’s something to be said for the world Nintendo has created. While I\’ve gone back numerous times to replay some of my favorite titles like Super Mairo Bros 3 and Super Mairo 64, I can\’t say the same for other games I love like The Last of Us or Uncharted. They\’re great games in their own way, but they just don’t have that draw Nintendo games seem to have on me.

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From the time I opened my first video game console, an original Nintendo bundled with Super Mario Bros. 3, I’ve fallen in love with the video game medium. And Nintendo has been there every step of the way since that first day. I’ve enjoyed getting my ass handed to me numerous times in Smash Bros and Mario Kart on the DS, GameCube, Wii, and now Wii U. Is Nintendo perfect? No. There have been high times and low times but I feel that Mario and friends need a wider reach, and this remodeled store is a step in that direction. If you haven’t noticed, the store is now called Nintendo NYC (http://nintendonyc.com) hinting that there will (finally) be future stores to come. If I were to bet here in the US I’d say San Fransisco or Los Angeles are next, but who knows. Maybe they’ll start springing up at Universal’s theme parks first since the two mega corporations have a deal for Nintendo themed attractions.

All in all the store is largely similar to how it was before, but more modernized and “cleaner”. I don’t mean that the old store was dirty—but it was a bit cluttered and crammed for space. Originally the bottom floor was all things Pokémon with 3DS demo units and random merchandise while the upper level was all things Wii U and primarily merchandise. The new layout has all new flooring and crisp minimalistic branded signs here and there. There is significantly more walking space on both levels than before, but perhaps the biggest addition (literally) is the fifteen foot gaming screen. Fifteen feet! It’s glorious. I only got into Zelda fairly recently so I missed out on quite a few previous games but hot damn did Twilight Princess HD look gorgeous on that screen! Photos and videos really don’t do it justice. I want one. Bad. Oh so bad. The museum on the upper level has been slimmed down a bit but still showcases every single Nintendo console both home and handled (yes, even Virtual Boy) for everyone to see. The new store layout also has everything categorized by franchises like Zelda and Pokémon as well as by console like 3DS and Wii U.

Other than the new layout and name change the merchandise is largely the same as what was available previously. But to me it’s never been about the merchandise. While that’s cool and all it’s been about the way walking into that store makes me feel. And that, is something that hasn’t changed.

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