10 Times Nintendo Games Were Not Family Friendly

Think Nintendo only makes games for kids? Think again.

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Nintendo. They’re a lovely company. Mario, Pokémon, Zelda, Kirby and the like all project a very family friendly image, presenting themselves as being games that everybody can enjoy, and families can play together without having to worry about any risky content.

The Japanese giant has built a reputation on producing these types of games, and has been incredibly successful in doing so. In fact, they’ve done it so well that it has become slightly to their detriment, as some more ignorant gamers look down their noses at Nintendo, seeing them as a "kiddie" company.

Except they're not. Throughout their history, Nintendo consoles have been home to several games that don’t fit with the child-friendly image, often featuring strong language, violence, horror, or all of the above.

With questions being asked about Nintendo Switch's "5-95" target demographic, it seems like a good time to shine a light on 10 games featured on Nintendo consoles that were the polar opposite of Mario’s friendly, colourful adventures.

Let’s dive in to Nintendo’s darker back catalogue…

10. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii)

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“This game plays you as much as you play it.”

With such a cheery warning message displayed when the game starts, it’s no wonder that the first entry on our list is not intended for those of a nervous disposition.

Presented as a “re-imagining” of the original game in the Silent Hill series, Shattered Memories asked the player several psychological questions as they played, then crafted the game around those answers. The effects could be as simple as the colour of a house or a character’s clothing, or can alter which buildings and locations the player is able to visit, and eventually determine the ending that is shown.

Unusually for a Silent Hill game, combat is completely absent in Shattered Memories. However, the series’ trademark nightmarish enemies are not, meaning main character Harry Mason has no choice but to run and hide when threatened. Taking away any sense of empowerment from the player ramps up the horror considerably, making for a whole new experience. This is the most unique entry in the series, and something completely different for a Nintendo console.

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