Best of all, Nintendo has always managed to balance this welcoming, deceptive, simplicity with a surprising depth, proving that you don't need to juggle 500 sub-menus and punish players to get your point across. Even Breath Of The Wild - arguably at the deeper end of Nintendo's pool of games - still manages to be open and friendly.
It's one of the reasons why Nintendo is frequently referred to as being the Disney of video games. Like Nintendo, Disney succeeds in being universal, profound truths that use reachable tales as a delivery method. You can dismiss both companies as being overly twee, but even the cutest kitten has claws.
Unlike Disney, however, Nintendo has one exception to the rule: Super Smash Bros., the Nintendo franchise that continues to bewilder me, and annoy me, and banish all goodwill that might've built up over the decades.
And worst of all, it's simultaneously the most Nintendo-y Nintendo franchise Nintendo has ever Nintendoed.
There's a famous poem by Portia Nelson entitled Autobiography In Five Chapters. It goes like this:
I. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk I fall in. I am lost... I am hopeless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
II. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I'm in the same place. But it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
III. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in... it's a habit. My eyes are open; I know where I am; It is my fault. I get out immediately.
IV. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
V. I walk down another street.
Aside from being something that everyone should pin on their fridge door, the poem also manages to get to the heart of my issue with Smash Bros., and how the fault lies entirely with me.
Despite not liking a single Smash Bros. game, I've bought them all, with the exception of the Wii U one. I thought I'd learned my lesson after three disappointments, and didn't even bother reviewing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when it was released last year. What would've been the point? It was just more of the same. I already knew I didn't like it, and fans of the series had already made up their minds the second they read that they could play as Isabelle from Animal Crossing.
But... last Friday I succumbed. I bought Ultimate from the Nintendo Shop, and... it's exactly what I knew it would be. I sort of hate it, and I don't know why I spent SIXTY POUNDS on something that I knew I was probably going to hate.
Please... what is wrong with me!?
I do the exact same thing with the Big Tasty from McDonald's. Have you had one of those? They taste rotten. And I mean literally rotten - whatever that sauce is they put in there tastes like they've scraped it from the congealed rim of a jar of thousand island dressing that somebody has been using as an ashtray.
But I keep getting them, and keep being disappointed, and now there's a new chicken Big Tasty out, and I know I'm going to buy it, and I know I'm going to hate it, but it's from McDonald's and I like McDonald's and it's called a Big Tasty so it surely has to be big and tasty and... and...
...That's the exact same trap I fall into with Super Smash Bros.
I like Nintendo games, and Smash Bros features all the characters from all the Nintendo games, and all the levels taken from 40-odd years of Nintendo history, yet there's a disconnect between that and the reality.
The reality being that nothing about Super Smash Bros. is accessible and casual, and there's no easing you in. Plus, Ultimate is by far the worst Super Smash Bros. game to date, as far as I'm concerned, because it's all the Smash games in one.
The things that Super Smash Bros. fans will love about Ultimate are the things that I despise about it; scores of characters, scores of stages, countless rules and game modes - all of which you can tweak to your personal taste.
It's bewildering, and that's before you even get into the actual game. Even the main menu is a baffling array of choice. Nowhere are you told how to actually play, what the rules are (probably because the rules can be changed if you fancy... but the base rules, the base idea, isn't offered at any point). The whole thing screams "THIS IS NOT FOR YOU", while all the marketing - the roster of characters - suggests that it is. It's a total betrayal of everything I believe Nintendo does best.
It's a game for people who've played other Super Smash Bros. games, a rare example of Nintendo targeting a niche rather than the widest possible audience.
I wanted to play the single-player mode, but for ages couldn't even find it. I'd slid too far down into the menus, and couldn't work out how to get back to the top, and even when I did eventually find my way into the single player mode, it was unnecessarily confusing and weird - and didn't do enough to explain what you were meant to do anyway.
The really stupid thing is that all of these layers of customisation and complexity are in service of a game that is almost insultingly simple. Oh, the hardcore will tell you that the game has loads of depth, but I found myself winning more battles by just mashing the buttons than I did through trying to use strategy and impress myself with special moves. Half the time, I'd try to be controlling the wrong character, and still it made no difference to the outcome.
It's just chaos, and the chaos increases the more characters there are on screen, as the view pulls back, reducing you all to tiny dots, and it's impossible to keep track of. And just to pour salt into the wound, the levels then start morphing and changing mid-battle. There is such a thing as too much.
Furthermore, it's all a shameless rip-off of Namco's long-forgotten arcade game The Outfoxies, but trading on Nintendo nostalgia, and after overdosing on caffeine.
I love Nintendo, I really do, but the only pleasure I take from these games is the novelty of seeing obscure characters interacting with one another. It's like Infinity War, if you were required to fill out a confusing questionnaire beforehand, and there was a hyperactive lunatic sat behind you, kicking your seat and ruffling your hair and barking throughout the film.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - like the games which preceded it - feels like it's being unfaithful to Nintendo's unique spirit, a game that is for the smallest possible audience. The fact that it uses Nintendo characters - plus, of course, characters from Sega and other publishers - is just an insult, akin to, I dunno, using Peppa Pig to advertise cigarettes.
And the worst thing is, I knew all this before I bought Ultimate. Once again, I fell in the hole. And... oh! Wait... is that a Big Tasty on the floor? Nom nom nom nom... vom.
I only have myself to blame.