Saturday, November 28th, 2015 at
Happy post-Thanksgiving, all!
With a stomach full of food and a controller full of games, I thought it would be as good of a time as any to touch upon one of my favorite (if woefully underrepresented) aspects of the last few Nintendo consoles: The Virtual Console.
When the Wii debuted in the Winter of 2006, people flocked to the novelty of motion control as represented by Wii Sports. Being a more traditional gamer, I was interested in the Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros. fare, but the real draw for me was that this was the first Nintendo system that would really explore online. Sure, the Gamecube flirted with the notion, but for Nintendo, entering the online age was like 1995 all over again.
The concept of online play was fine, but the concept of a Virtual Console was appealing. And it started out with strong representation:
The latter choices were unprecedented: Genesis and T-16 games on a Nintendo console? I absolutely took the bait. I understand the purpose of emulation to preserve games that fall into obscurity and public domain and may never be seen again outside of preservationists, but I wanted to “vote with my Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 at
Today is the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.
I didn’t get a NES until 1987. I got the Deluxe Set with Gyromite and Duck Hunt, and also Super Mario Bros. and Ghosts ‘N’ Goblins. Of course, each following Mario had a “story” behind it: I got Super Mario Bros. 2 for Christmas of 1988 from our local Movieland. Super Mario Bros. 3 was from a Dallas trip, and so on and so on. And certainly, I’ve liked Mario when he made the jump to 3D (and yet, I’ve never been terribly impressed by the New Super Mario Bros. series, but loved 3D Land/World). Some have blasted Mario for being “too kiddie” in light of brown and grey FPS space marine titles, but the level design has always been solid.
And now it’s time to make our own Mario.
The user interface is flat-out based off of Mario Paint (another title I could tell endless stories about), and unlike most “world builder” games, this feels like creating art. Using the stylus and gamepad, players can draw, shake, and tap their way into all sorts of levels in all sorts of environments from all sorts of Marios (Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at
While the second iteration of Disney Infinity came out during the Fall of last year, it takes a few months for all of the content and figurines to roll out, meaning that it’s not quite a “complete” experience for a while. And while the final two figures made their reveal a few months back, and talk of the third iteration (Star Wars) is already well underway, I wanted to be sure that I had as “complete” an experience that I could in order to properly review this game.
The focus on 2.0 is the Marvel Super Hero Universe. Everything Marvel (save for two very notable franchises) are present in some form or fashion of the game, now alongside the previous Disney content. Ever wanted to have an adventure with Captain America and Buzz Lightyear? Spider-Man and Stitch? Hulk and Donald Duck? Well, now the option is available, and it’s as goofy and brilliant as you hoped it would be.
Disney Infinity 2.0 is less a sequel, and more an expansion. Everything you liked about the first game (save for playset access) now acts as the foundation for a slew of new content. The Avengers, Spider-Msn and Guardians of the Galaxy now all have Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at
Wow. 500 posts on this blog. I hadn’t even realized that I had been doing posts on this site for so long. But 500 is a big deal, back from when I was posting about Wii, PSP, DS, and Playstation 2. It’s seen the Xbox 360 and Wii, some mobile and PC, retro gaming, and these days, Wii U, 3DS, and Playstation 4.
While I don’t write as much as I used to, I still am an avid gamer. I had actually set down Splatoon a little while ago, and have been keeping up with Witcher 3, Mortal Kombat X, Ultratron, and the occasional Amiibo. Recently, I backed ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove, Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. I look forward to seeing them in the next year or so.
“Grown up” life and day to day responsibilities have made it a little harder to sit down and actually play all of these games these days, much less write about them. It’s not like the old days where I sat tucked into my little cubicle at Midway to play whatever was put in front of me at the time. Doing all the “grown up” things we’re supposed to Read the rest of this entry
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at
It’s weird to think that I have followed the Super Smash Bros. series for 15 years.
What started as a novelty fighter featuring our favorite Nintendo mascots became something a little deeper: Smash Bros. has become an interactive museum for Nintendo history, and a love letter to video gaming in general.
Initially, Super Smash Bros. focused on its most popular characters such as Mario, Link, and Pikachu, but as time progressed, started adding in more obscure characters like R.O.B., Ice Climbers, and Mr. Game & Watch. More time passed, and third-party characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake from Metal Gear were added, along with music CDs, trophies, stickers, and everything else that could possibly be crammed into the game.
Super Smash Bros. For Wii U continues this trend, and perhaps has created its most creative roster to date.
Now added to the character roster are the dog/duck duo from Duck Hunt, newcomers like Shulk from Xenoblade, Little Mac from Punch-Out!!, oddities like the Wii Fit Trainer, and gaming legends such as Mega Man and Pac-Man. Games like Wrecking Crew and Pac-Land get nods as stages, and while not included as playable characters, more third-party franchises such as Rayman and Bit.Trip Read the rest of this entry
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at
Finally, I’m getting back into my blog. It’s been a while.
I have still been gaming, but strangely, not writing as much as I used to It’s for that reason I am heading back into the blog-o-sphere to catch up on a few games and related content. The first of which is this fun little documentary put out over this weekend by Zack Penn and Microsoft Studios, that focuses on the infamous “E.T. burial” in the landfill of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Often reviled as “The Worst Video Game in History”, I remember getting E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial back in the Winter of 1982. I was seven years old. Video games were a very different creature back then, where the line between console gaming and arcades were vast. E.T., when it was released was on par with any Halo, Grand Theft Auto, or Super Smash Bros. release: It was huge. And yet its biggest accomplishment was being credited for single-handedly destroying the video game industry, and causing the “Great Crash of 1983″.
All of this from one little game. Ouch.
Dramatic titles asides, it never “killed” the industry. It simply put the brakes on it. Video games and Read the rest of this entry