While the new site is experiencing some issues, I fully expect them to be resolved. I was able to register, using my email address I had used to register for My Nintendo way back in 2003, and it ported over the games I own to the Club Nintendo system.
Much like it's Japanese counterpart, the site lets you earn "coins" to trade in for prizes. Some of the prizes are quite nice, including the legendary DS "Game & Watch Collection" that Japan Club Nintendo members got about a year ago.
To get the coins you need to take a very generic survey for a specific title in your library. Register a Nintendo game, and the survey pops-up on your "to-do" queue. All the surveys have the same questions: "Where did you hear about this game?," "What sources contributed to you purchasing this game," "What was the major factor in your purchasing this game," "Did you purchase a system to play this game," "Where did you buy the game," and "What are your thoughts on the game."
The only question that isn't a radio button or a check-box is the last one. What I find interesting is that in the three surveys I've done so far all my answers now read like reviews.
Example: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
A: 'The game itself was strongly lacking in variety. The dungeon system, 40+ floors in a row, is an antiquated style of game design that is really only appealing to sadists and lazy level designers. The rogue like is not suited to the target demographic of this game, as the very core of the genre is consistent flagellation.'
Seriously, this is not the correct answer to a simple survey. What would someone in marketing even do with that? I think I wrote that one just because I finally had a chance to make Nintendo see what I thought of their game.
To make a contrasting example:
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
A: 'It is refreshing move for the series on the handheld system. The flagship titles were solid Zelda experiences, and should be lauded for their merits, but this felt like a total reboot. It was a welcome change, as both the Handheld and Console iterations of the series had stagnated.'
...yeah? I don't know what happened here. As I was about to submit my survey I went back to check for any glaring errors and it hit me that this is a terrible answer for a simple survey.
I can see letting things get out of hand on the Mystery Dungeon survey. I legitimately regard that game as one of the worst I've ever had the misfortune of playing. But Phantom Hourglass? I don't like it that much. It is a solid 8 to 8.5 effort.
I blame review season. At this moment I have three reviews that are either being written, waiting for editing, or waiting on final approval to post. It gets in the blood.
The review mentality does find its way into games you aren't reviewing. The less said about my thoughts while playing Wii Music this weekend the better.
I hope that all our survey answers can be brought up as a batch. I would like to think that some marketing chap is looking at this and is totally irritated/intoxicated by the over-the-topness of it all.
I'm not sure what kind of marketing data one could glean from such an open-ended question. There's nothing to stop me from just typing random characters in the text field.
All in all I think the Club Nintendo has some promise. I was only able to add four games, which is kind of upsetting since I had many more registered on My Nintendo. My ultimate goal is the 800 point "Game & Watch Collection," but considering I got 30 for DS and 40 for Wii titles it could be quite a while before I accumulate that much virtual bank.
Just to note, in the "where did you buy this," for Mystery Dungeon, I checked "Other" and answered "review copy." It's a very good thing I don't use the site email address, or we'd never get another game from them again.