How time flies! It doesn’t feel that long ago that I was writing about celebrating the 6-year anniversary of Miketendo64 and here we are again celebrating its seventh! No matter how far we have come and how we have grown as a website and as individuals, we are still humbled that our community continues to find time to visit our little website.
With so much time having passed and a hopefully bright future ahead for Miketendo64, I wanted to take the time to look back and reminisce on some of my favourite moments over the last seven years. For part one of our special feature, we start off with our first three years of operation from 2015 to 2017.
Year 1 (2015) – Miketendo64 Is Go!
Starting Miketendo64 is probably the most memorable thing we did in 2015. I had recently bought a Wii U and news of Zelda U (later titled “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”) was starting to surface. Trying to accumulate as much information as I could about Zelda U became the main reason for starting up the website but I soon found myself writing about other games and video game accessories.
Soon after launching the website, I enlisted the help of my brother Jack to write for the site as well. Jack had experience as a journalist and had written for several periodicals over the years. He loved writing and had even written a number of books that he had published. I strongly believed in his talents as a writer and I wanted him to have an outlet where he could truly write freely and express his love for gaming as well. To this day, Jack still writes for Miketendo64 and I am eternally grateful to have him by my side as we continue to drive Miketendo64 forward.
Year 2 (2016) – Having A Woo Hoo! Time At Barcelona Games World
2016 is the year Miketendo64 really felt like it was going somewhere. It had progressed from being a small blog that had just under 9,000 views in a year into a proper news site with over 248,000. That was fantastic but what really made 2016 special was it was the first time we attended a video game event and as press to boot! And yet, that wasn’t the highlight. Ooh no. It was coming face to face with one of my childhood icons (more on that in a minute).
As I grew up in Spain, I never had opportunities growing up to attend the likes of EGX, E3, or Gamescom. However, there was a buzz around a huge gaming event making its debut in Barcelona called Barcelona Games World. Around the time of this event, I had moved away from the town my brother, sister and I had grown up in. I saw Barcelona Games World as an opportunity to reunite with my brother and sister and go on a road trip to Barcelona and experience our very first gaming event. We were there for only a few days but the memories we made; we will cherish forever.
We got to try out the NES Classic, Paper Mario Color Splash, Mario Party: Star Rush, Fire Emblem Fates and many other Nintendo games at the time. We even dressed up as Nintendo characters and took a picture on an amiibo podium. The best part of all though was that the voice of Super Mario himself, Charles Martinet was at the event and Jack managed to sweet talk a Nintendo representative in letting us interview Charles. Being able to talk with one of my childhood idols was like a dream come true and it was a dream my brother made happen. What a legend.
Of course, it wasn’t just meeting the voice of Super Mario that made 2016 such an epic year for us, it was also the beginning of Team Miketendo64. For the first year or so, all of the musings on Miketendo64 were written by Jack and myself. In the later half of 2016, we had begun collaborating with other writers in the hopes that we could expand our ranks with talented writers that share the same passion for gaming. 2016 was the year that actually saw the two-man team of Miketendo64 become a team of ten. We had many talented writers who would write for us on occasion like Kuribo of NintendoFigures.net, Mr. Panda, Double Jump, TheManCalledScott, and Nintendobound.
We were all brought together for our love of gaming but over the years, we started to drift apart. IRL stuff and shifted focuses saw our team inevitably disband as one by one, we had to say goodbye to one another. I am forever grateful for the time and effort they put into growing Miketendo64. I like to think of them as the first Avengers or “Mikevengers”. As our coming together was an idea of bringing together a group of talented individuals with unique skills (sound familiar?).
Year 3 (2017) – Switching It Up To The Big Leagues
I think a lot of us Nintendo Fans will recall 2017 as being a year to remember. Late 2016 saw Nintendo revealing the next generation Nintendo Console and March 2017 saw the release of said console, the Nintendo Switch. While Miketendo64 was founded during the Wii U era, we knew that the console was on its way out and the Switch was going to be the new direction for many Nintendo Media sites.
At the time of the launch of the Nintendo Switch, we were no longer a tiny blog but we weren’t quite IGN or Eurogamer, either. I had saved up some money to buy a Switch at launch but I had to make an executive decision. Do I get it for myself and try and write game reviews whilst also trying to manage the many other things that I had going at the time or do I get it for Jack is far better and far quicker at writing reviews instead? I opted for the latter and while I wouldn’t be playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a brand spanking new Nintendo Switch, I could still play the game on Wii U.
That said, a few months later, I had saved up enough money to buy another Nintendo Switch for myself along with the Switch version of Breath of the Wild as well.
From 2015 until 2017, Miketendo64 was lucky enough to get in with up-and-coming indie devs at the time. The likes of Thunder Lotus, Thomas Happ, Image & Form, Zoink Games, and 13AM Games (and many others) gave us an opportunity to review their games. They helped give Miketendo64 a leg up and took a chance on us even though we weren’t a fully established media site. We are eternally grateful to them and we still talk with them on occasion and cover the occasional game when the opportunity arises.
Of course, as we were a Nintendo focused website, what we yearned for most was to be able to review games for Nintendo itself. Things were a bit tricky at first as we had to jump through quite a few hoops before Nintendo would give us the chance. As we are based in Spain, our first port of call was Nintendo Spain. they informed us that, even though we are based in Spain, they couldn’t help us because our website was predominantly English and any review codes they had, could only go to Spanish speaking outlets. We were advised to try Nintendo UK and were given a contact to try there. We tried with Nintendo UK and we managed to get the ball rolling. At the time, the press firm that worked for Nintendo helped us out and got us to fill in NDA’s and added us to the press list. We had finally did it! We finally had some kind of affiliation with Nintendo and all our hard work on Miketendo64 was starting to pay off. Though we would have loved to have got a Nintendo Switch at launch from Nintendo, we did have the opportunity to review other games in their 2017 line up. One of which was of course, Super Mario Odyssey. We missed out on getting a review code but our contact went above and beyond to send us a physical copy of the game all the way from the UK to Spain!!! I will forever cherish that moment (Thank you Rhea).
This wraps up part one of our trip down memory lane of the History of Miketendo64. I hope you found it interesting and will return for part two as we look into years 2018-2020.
Until next time, Keep On Gaming!