Donkey Kong Articles RSS Feed | Donkey Kong RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Super Nintendo World Japan Opens in 2021, More to Come Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:49:46 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Super Nintendo World, located in Osaka, Japan, is very close to opening. The park will open its gates on February 4, 2021.

Universal Studios Japan made the announcement in a press event Monday, where media could walk through portions of the park and see some of the attractions.

Bowser's Castle literally dominated the experience. Universal constructed a massive castle full of callouts to the Super Mario games, including grand staircases, emblems bearing Bowser's likeness, and a massive statue of the Koopa King himself front and center.

The castle houses Super Nintendo World's Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge AR ride. Guests, equipped with their interactive wristband, don an AR headset, fire the karts up, and race against a fleet of Koopalings with items from Mario Kart to hurl at other racers.

Universal Creative's Executive Producer, Thomas Geraghty, told IGN the experience is different every time because the game has win and lose states. Geraghty also said Super Nintendo World will take proper sanitary and social distancing precautions to promote visitor safety when it opens.

Reporting for Bloomberg, Kurumi Mori said Nintendo and Universal have even more in store. Construction is already underway for the rumored Donkey Kong area adjacent to Super Nintendo World. While plans for this new area are still under wraps, they do reportedly include a mine cart roller coaster attraction.

[Source: IGN, Video Games Chronicle]

9 Essential Video Game Documentaries You Can Watch Right Now Tue, 01 May 2018 12:53:07 -0400 Ty Arthur


I Am Street Fighter

  • Watch the full series at: YouTube
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If you grew up on the SNES or love the classic arcade fighting series Street Fighter, this is simply a must-watch video documentary series. While opinion is quite divided on the latest entries in the series, early entries like Street Fighter II remain a global phenomenon that are instantly recognizable.


Featuring interviews with developers who have worked on the games, this web series looks at uber fans who have followed the franchise for decades, showing what a huge impact Ken, Ryu, and the rest of the crew have had over the last 30 years.




From the titanic battle between Steve Weibe and Billy Mitchell to games as therapy following a traumatic event, these are the nine best gaming documentaries we've seen so far!


What other interesting or wildly entertaining video game documentaries deserve a spot on this list? Let us know your favorite picks in the comments below.


Second Skin 


Although quite dated at this point, Second Skin was one of the first truly interesting films to look at how real-world relationships develop, and in some cases take major hits, from playing fictional online games.


Focused around World of Warcraft, which was one of the only games next to Grand Theft Auto that the average non-gamer could name due to its media attention, Second Skin is by turns engrossing and sad while seeing people find love and even commit suicide after spending way too much time playing MMORPGs.


GTFO: The Movie


Acknowledged or not, gaming of all stripes -- from tabletop D&D to the casual mobile crowd to competitive PC gaming -- continues to have a misogyny problem. 


GTFO documents harassment female gamers and streamers have received, and while it may be a tough watch, it's a necessary one for our community to become more inclusive.


The fact that comments had to be disabled on the trailer for this particular film should should tell you how much further we still need to go in eradicating this ongoing issue.


Indie Game: The Movie 

  • Rent it at: Amazon (free to watch with Prime, and sometimes found on Netflix as well)
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A surprise hit at Sundance, this look at indie game developers focuses on the lives and development processes of people involved in games like Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Braid.


The film is endlessly entertaining both for gamers and non-gamers alike, showcasing the level of work and dedication required to get a game to launch.


Indie Game: The Movie also accidentally showcases the mentality of many gamers and programmers, holding a mirror up to the community with telling lines like:


"I desperately want to communicate with people, but I don't want the messy interaction of making friends and talking to people, because I probably won't like them."


Word bro, I know exactly what you mean!



  • Rent it at: Amazon (free to watch with Prime)
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While this isn't always true, and there is definite overlap, in the overall hierarchy of the gaming community, the console and PC crowd tend to think of the tabletop gamers as nerds, while the tabletop gamers respond with, "Well, at least we aren't LARPers!"


Live-action roleplaying takes the D&D concept to an entirely different place as players literally take on the role of their characters, stitching together outfits, crafting weapons, and coming up with intricate rules for adventuring out in the woods.


Darkon takes a close look at the groups who take part in LARPing, and specifically at the relationships and social statuses that develop in an insular community that banded together because they don't tend to fit in elsewhere.


As with any group, though, factions break out, leaders rise, and schisms occur. Darkon bizarrely becomes a study in national politics on a micro scale with a bunch of fantasy gamers.


Free to Play

  • Watch the full movie at: YouTube
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If you dig big-budget, high production value-documentaries, then Free to Play is easily the take on eSports you want to watch first. The notion of getting paid to game started as a joke, but now it's an industry that rivals football or basketball in terms of both money and rabid fanbases.


None other than Valve put together this full-length movie following several Dota 2 players (and their families, who aren't always super excited about the situation) as they deal with the obsession of making it to the top and winning those huge tournaments to not just prove themselves, but to make a living.


Thank You for Playing


If you didn't make it to the end of Dear Zachary without bawling, then you should absolutely get your box of tissues out before hitting play here.


Thank You for Playing chronicles the creation of non-traditional game That Dragon, Cancer, a title based around the programmer dealing with his son's terminal cancer diagnosis -- that was coincidentally released the same week that cancer also took David Bowie and Alan Rickman.


It's a beautiful documentary, but don't expect to have dry eyes at the end!


The Smash Brothers

  • Watch the full series at: YouTube
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While Starcraft II, the various MOBA titles out there, and CS:GO might dominate in the world of eSports, there's something to be said for how much Super Smash Bros. Melee brought competitive gaming to the forefront of the industry.


Weirdly enough, it was meant to be a fun party game, but somehow it got people to take competition to a whole new level, both in small-time local events as well as huge national tournaments with money on the line.


For a really interesting look at the history of the game -- and the levels people will go to in order to be the best -- check out this multi-part series that's available for free on YouTube.


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters


You wouldn't think a film about people playing Donkey Kong would be all that entertaining, but The King of Kong is the sort of flick you just can't take your eyes off of for even a second. 


The characters and story line feel like they were made for a summer blockbuster dramedy and couldn't possibly be real, as rivalry unfolds on an unbelievable level for nerds playing retro arcade games.


Billy Mitchell is the ultimate oddball documentary character who just attracts news stories, from his hot sauce empire to standoffish interviews in recent years where he insists he hasn't seen the film ... but can quote things that were said in it.


The King of Kong is in desperate need of a sequel due to developments since its release. Twin Galaxies, the arcade that plays such a prominent role in the film, originally released a statement condemning some of how Billy Mitchell was portrayed, citing selective editing and a bias towards the underdog for the sake of movie drama.


Recently, however, Twin Galaxies actually stripped Mitchell of his title and banned him from competition after an investigation revealed he hadn't played an original arcade cabinet but allegedly used emulation software, issuing this statement:


"With this ruling, Twin Galaxies can no longer recognize Billy Mitchell as the first million point ‘Donkey Kong’ record holder. According to our findings, Steve Wiebe would be the official 1st million point record holder.”


I'm one of those people who spends their Friday nights scouring Netflix and Hulu with my wife for the most bizarre and interesting documentaries available. You know the ones I'm talking about -- where you sit there with your jaw hanging open, wondering, "How on Earth is this reality?"


From the vampire who ran for governor of Minnesota in Impaler to the time a Christian dating site led to murder and exposed utterly insane abuse and fraud in Mommy Dead and Dearest to the European man who convinced a family he was a missing 13-year-old boy in The Imposter to the jaw-dropping insanity of the Steven Fishman depositions, there's a whole lot of stranger-than-fiction docs out there ready and waiting to be viewed.


For gamers, the pickings tend to be more slim, however. The documentaries available are usually either low-budget or cover subjects that will only appeal to a small subset of players.


A few films solidly break out of that trend and are well worth watching, absolutely guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, or scratch your head and question just what in the heck is wrong with our species. In particular, these video game documentaries are all worth your time:


Because movies rotate in and out of services like Netflix so often, in the upcoming slides we list where you can rent these movies, or in some cases, watch them for free on YouTube.

8 Franchises We Want to See Return in 2018 Fri, 22 Dec 2017 18:48:26 -0500 Allison M Reilly

2018 is going to be an exciting year for video games. Many awesome titles have already been announced, including the new Mega Man 11 and Bayonetta 3. Other franchises have announced additions for 2018, such as Yoshi, Kirby, Fire Emblem and more.

2017 was a pretty remarkable year for gaming, so next year certainly does have big shoes to fill. There are a few franchises who don't have games announced for 2018 that would help fill those shoes a little. Here are eight franchises we'd love to see make a comeback next year.

Super Smash Bros.

Every major Nintendo console since N64 has had a Super Smash Bros. game. It's only tradition that the Switch has a Super Smash Bros. game too (and that one of Mario's moves is a hat throw.) Sure, there's Brawlout, but that's not the same thing. A 2018 Super Smash Bros. game that includes both new franchises (thinking Splatoon, Lego, Bomberman) and new characters from franchises already in the series (such as Knuckles, Ganon, the Broodals).

The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came out way back in 2011 and has already had, like, 12 remasters. Yes, Skyrim is awesome, but a brand-new Elder Scrolls game would be even more awesome! Skyrim doesn't need another remaster. If the new game took place in Elsweyr, the land of the Khajiit, or the Argonian homeland Black Marsh, then that would be really cool for the Elder Scrolls series. 

Donkey Kong

It's been a while since we've had a fun, solid Donkey Kong game. The last one was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U in 2014. A new Donkey Kong game similar to Donkey Kong 64 would be awesome. Sure, there's still rainbow coins and such to find in these old games, so maybe it's too soon for a new game. Nonetheless, a Donkey Kong 3D platformer for the Switch would be a great addition to the console's library.


Who doesn't love a good game about vampire hunters? The last Castlevania game was Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 back in 2014, and it's high time this franchise is introduced to new audiences. There hasn't been a Castlevania game in so long that a new title hasn't been released on any of the current consoles. Castlevania games are just cool, and a new Castlevania title in 2018 would be incredibly exciting.


If there's a franchise that could use both a remake and a new game, it's F-Zero. Not only has F-Zero not had a game since 2004, but later games have never had the appeal and the spectacle of the very first F-Zero. And Captain Falcon has gotten way more airtime than the series itself. 2018 is as good a year as any to bring back F-Zero and that fabulous soundtrack. "Big Blue" anyone?

James Bond

The first-person shooter genre needs a game that's suave and sexy, and a James Bond game fits the bill. You know, more stealth and less run 'n gun.

Nonetheless, the last James Bond game, 007 Legends, came out back in 2012. Although it makes sense to time James Bond games with their Hollywood counterpart, I don't see any reason to wait for the next Bond film before making another Bond game. Besides, a new James Bond game would be the perfect opportunity to have Idris Elba star as 007 himself, even if it's only in the voice acting.

Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot got a remake this year, but it's about time the silly critter got a whole new game. Surely, Dr. Neo Cortex hasn't given up taking over the world just yet. It would be pretty neat to get a 3D platformer/Crash Team Racing hybrid next year as the new addition to the franchise. Crash Bandicoot also hasn't seen anything on console for a long time, as many of the most recent games were mobile games. It would be great if the franchise return was also a console return.

Ice Climbers

The Ice Climbers literally have one game, also called Ice Climbers, which came out way back in 1985 for the NES. How have they not had another game, especially since they've been in just about every Super Smash Bros. game? More people have played as the Ice Climbers than actual Ice Climbers by this point.

Because there's only one game, it's arguable that Ice Climbers doesn't count as a franchise. But, if any character is deserving of a return in their own game in 2018, it's the Ice Climbers.


Even without the return of these franchises next year, 2018 will be an amazing year for video games. There's already plenty to look forward to, and a lot can happen in 12 months' time. Perhaps we will see the return of one of the eight franchises mentioned? There's only one way to find out: onward to 2018!

5 Strange Video Game Franchise Cereals of the '80s and '90s Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:54:39 -0500 Allison M Reilly

Video game franchise cereals are all the rage again since Kellogg's and Nintendo announced the new Super Mario Cereal earlier this month. The new cereal may be the first to double as an amiibo, but it's not the first video game-themed cereal by any means. It's not even the first breakfast cereal from Nintendo! Video game cereals were big back in the '80s and '90s and were used as a way to market the games themselves. Here are five strange video game franchise cereals from those good ol' years.

Nintendo Cereal System

If you weren't able to get an NES in its heyday, then maybe the next best thing was the Nintendo Cereal System. The box contained two types of cereal: "Fruity" flavored for Super Mario Bros. and "Berry" flavored for The Legend of Zelda. If you look closely at the box, you'll notice the pictures aren't even snapshots from the games but are instead hand-drawn renditions.

Donkey Kong Jr. Cereal

Okay, the Donkey Kong Jr. Cereal is only strange because it's strange to see Donkey Kong Jr. I don't know if I've seen him since Super Mario Kart. He certainly wasn't in Donkey Kong Country.

The cereal itself wasn't that strange. It featured bananas and berries and was "wild with fruit flavors." Nothing out of the ordinary for a breakfast cereal meant for children.

Pokemon Cereal

The Pokemon Cereal came out in the 2000s, so not exactly '90s but still very strange. First of all, Oddish was one of the marshmallow shapes, and no one really likes Oddish. Second of all, Ditto was also one of the marshmallow shapes. Ditto's cooler than Oddish, sure, but Ditto's shape is distinctive because it doesn't have distinction. If you didn't know what Ditto looked like, then the purple marshmallow doesn't look like anything. It's not the funnest of marshmallow shapes. Third of all, why are Togepi and Marill on the box? First generation, best generation!

Donkey Kong Cereal

The strangest thing about the Donkey Kong Cereal from Ralston is that it didn't have marshmallows. Must be a Donkey Kong thing. The second strangest thing about the cereal is that Mario was on the box, back when he was still known as Jumpman.

The Donkey Kong Cereal consisted of "crunchy barrels of fun," sugary pieces shaped like the small barrels from the game. Fans say the cereal tasted much like Cap'N Crunch.

Pac-Man Cereal

The Pac-Man Cereal is strange because the concept is quite meta. The game is about Pac-Man running around chomping on dots and ghosts. As you eat this cereal, you can pretend you are Pac-Man, consuming all the ghosts and dots and Pac-Man marshmallows in your path. Later on, the cereal even added a power up: Super Pac-Man marshmallows that were bigger versions of the regular marshmallows. The bigger ones gave you extra sugar, though, so they were very important to eat.

It's too bad none of these cereals are available today. Some of them sound awfully delicious! Which one would you most like to try? Which video game character should also get its own cereal? Let us know in the comments!

The World Video Game Hall of Fame Inducts Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II, Pokemon, and Halo Thu, 04 May 2017 11:14:35 -0400 Jonathan Moore

The video game world finally knows which games made it into the 2017 World Video Game Hall of Fame. At a ceremony held today at The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, a panel of video game experts and journalists announced its decision. 

Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II, Pokemon Red and Green, and Halo: Combat Evolved will be joining the ranks of other well-remembered and beloved titles such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Grand Theft Auto III, and World of Warcraft

John-Paul Dyson, director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and VP of Exhibits for the Strong Museum said:

Play is an essential activity, [one] critical to human development, through the world of video games. The [Video Game Hall of Fame] recognizes games of all types ... that have exerted influence and popularity over a long period of time.   

And today, The Strong showcased that vision and sentiment by inducting games that were released over a 30-year span and have greatly influenced both casual and hardcore gamers alike. 

Donkey Kong

Released in 1981, Donkey Kong arcade took the world by storm and introduced gamers across cultures to the most beloved plumber of all time: Super Mario. On top of that, the game spawned a franchise of sequels that spanned the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, where Donkey Kong and his rag-tag group of compatriots embark on zany and endearing adventures The game inspired a generation of game developers to take gaming to new and inventive heights.

Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II revolutionized competitive gaming when it released in arcades in 1991. Through numerous sequels and iterations, Street Fighter II not only made the fighting game genre what it is today, but it was one of the games at the forefront of the competitive gaming scene, and what would ultimately transform into the eSports community. 

Pokemon Red & Green 

Pokemon Red and Green both released in 1996 on the Gameboy and were the first games of the now-beloved franchise to be released to the public at large. Since then, these games have spawned a franchise that continues to take the world by storm via myriad mobile games, such as Pokemon Sun and Moon and Pokemon Go. What's more, the franchise has etched its mark on pop culture history with the phrase "Gotta' Catch Em' All," alongside numerous animated films and television series. 

Halo: Combat Evolved

The release of Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox in 2001 was a watershed moment for the FPS genre. Although other shooters had already begun to eschew the on-rails, corridor-confined designs of titles such as Doom and Wolfenstein, Halo: Combat Evolved took the genre to new heights for a new generation of gamers with its story-driven campaign and frenetic multiplayer combat. Over the years, the game has cemented itself in not only gaming culture but pop culture at large. 


Finalists for the World Video Game HoF Class of 2017 were chosen over the past year through open voting on The Strong's website by thousands of gamers from more than 100 countries. 

Established in 2015, the World Video Game Hall of Fame judges and inducts members based on cultural impact, longevity, game design, and geographical reach, among other criteria. The museum considers all electronic games for induction, including arcade, console, handheld, PC, and mobile games. 

Voting for the World Video Game Hall of Fame Class of 2018 is currently open on the museum's website until February 28, 2018. 

Crazy Video Game Cameos -- Game Characters Edition Fri, 07 Apr 2017 20:00:02 -0400 Ricardo melfi

Whenever you're playing a game and you see a character inside from a different game, it really gets your juices flowing. After noticing how many celebrity cameos have been seen in games over the last 20+ years, we noticed that there are even more cameos from other video game characters. Cue the second part of our issue.

Welcome back to the second part of Crazy Video Game Cameos. Earlier, we covered movies and celebrities which appeared in a multitude of video games. In this issue, we will be taking a look at all the video game characters that have appeared in other video games!

Duke Nukem - Blood & Bulletstorm: Full Clip

The Duke, and his developers 3D Realms, have pulled no punches when they decide to make fun of other video games, so it's only fitting that the Duke cops some insults of his own. Play long enough into 90's shooter, Blood, and you'll find a secret entrance. Continue down this path and there's poor, old Duke. Hanging upside down and horribly mutilated but it's him, no doubt. Hit him enough times and your character will steal Duke's line, "Shake it baby!"

For another (current), weird cameo, the Duke is appearing as a playable character in cult classic, Bulletstorm: Full Clip. Check out the trailer below!

Mega Man- Dead Rising Series

Capcom love to throw characters from other universes in their games. Evident throughout all the Dead Rising games, every protagonist can eventually find Mega Man's outfit and become the titular hero himself. Sure, it may just be a costume that you put on but we still get to act like Mega Man, arm rockets and all. Poor guy... it seems he always finds himself in apocalyptic situations. I'm pretty sure you can find a Blanka outfit too (from the Street Fighter series).

Creepers - Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is a great game full of inside jokes and some very crude humor. With the success and popularity of Minecraft (even so many years later), the developers must have thought, "Ah, f**k it. Let's throw a creeper in as a bad guy." Either that or they were running out of enemy creation ideas. While making your way through some of the mines in this game, you will eventually come across a few block built, familiar characters. A nice little touch. A least they didn't throw griefers in there...

Jill Valentine & Nemesis- Under the Skin

Body snatching sim, Under the Skin, is a novel little piece to play. Similar to Destroy All Humans, this game has you playing as a blue little alien sent to cause as much chaos on earth as possible. At a certain level, you'll notice that it is called Raccoon City. Well, you get to play as Jill and the Nemesis in this level, set with locales from the first two Resident Evil games. Suffice to say, this was enough to get me to play the game.

Claire, Leon & Zombie Cop- Trick N' Snowboarder

Yes, another game that sees cameos from one of the biggest franchise of video game history. Look, it was the 90's and Resident Evil was a global smash, with everyone talking about Raccoon City and the T-Virus. It only makes sense that not so great games tried to pick up on their success, by including certain characters as unlockable players. Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy reporting for snowboarding duty, dude. The developers even threw a zombie cop from Resident Evil 2 in there, just for good measure.

Doom Marine - Duke Nukem 3D

One of those moments in a Duke Nukem game where 3D Realms just couldn't help themselves. With Doom being much more successful than Duke Nukem 3D, they decided to take a jab at the shooter that started all shooters. Get far enough into Duke Nukem 3D and you'll come across a hell-like portal, complete with inverted crosses. At the base of this portal, you'll find the torso of a mauled Doom marine. Guess he didn't have the guts...

Chun Li - Breath of Fire

Timeless RPG, Breath of Fire, by Capcom threw in yet another one of their famous characters somewhere they don't belong. During one of your quests, you meet a master who talks about an amazing fighter. Someone who can kick at the speed of light. Sound familiar? If you thought of Street Fighter alumni, Chun-Li then you'd be correct. Sure, you can't play as her and it's only a 10 to 20 second cameo but it still counts!

Lara Croft & TMNT - Shadow Warrior

Doom and Duke Nukem rip-off, Shadow Warrior, is your average cult classic, FPS. Run around, kill some monsters, blow s**t up. Pretty simple, until you come across a cameo from Tomb Raider's very own, Lara Croft. The protagonist actually mentions that, "She won't be raiding anymore tombs." Nice touch but continue further on into the game and you can find another cameo from 90's sensations, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Dead, but still a cameo.

Spider-Man - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series has always had fun with including random cameos in their games but none stands out more than the web-slinging, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Neversoft could have just used a normal character dressed as the titular hero but I love them for going the extra mile. Definitely the best skater in the game, Spider-Man web slings, flips, and does whatever a spider can while racking up hundreds of thousands of points. I might jump back on after writing this article...

Donkey Kong - Wii Punch Out!

 In the Wii remake to Super Nintendo's, Super Punch Out!, there's a new boss character that you have to take on and boy, is he one of the most difficult! In Wii Super Punch Out!, you don't have to take on Mike Tyson anymore. Now you have to take on a 900 pound gorilla with boxing gloves. Don't be fooled as Donkey Kong is the hardest character to fight in the game. Good luck, it was nice knowing you...

Wesker, West, Marcus & Dom - Lost Planet 2

Mega cameos are starring in Capcom's sci-fi, 3rd person action-shooter, Lost Planet 2. An average game when it was released and unfortunately lost the test of time, this entry had a few cool cameos as unlockable players. Up to four different universe characters appeared to play with, being Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago from the Gears of War series, Albert Wesker from the Resident Evil series, and Frank West from the Dead Rising series. The game didn't change much but being one of these bad-asses sure made me think so.

Scorpion, Reptile, Sub-Zero & Raiden - NBA Jam

Not content with throwing in one of the most powerful, political couples of the time (Bill and Hillary Clinton), Midway decided that they wanted to see what b-ball skills some of the Mortal Kombat roster has. Including Raiden, Reptile, Sub-Zero and Scorpion into the fold made for some pretty awesome basketball games. The only problem was arguing with your friends over who would play as Team Netherealm.

Tanner - GTA III

One of the biggest franchises of the time, Grand Theft Auto, decides to take the mickey out of another large franchise of the time. Everyone remembers Driver,  one of the best driving games to ever come out on the original PlayStation. Well so do the developers at Rockstar, when one of your missions has you dealing with a detective who 'runs funny' and also drives a muscle car. Now they don't ever say his name but the running funny and muscle car part? Definitely a rip on Tanner and his later installments when he has the ability to get out of his cars.

Heihachi & Xiaoyu - Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2

Heihachi has appeared numerous times in a number of different games but who knew the billionaire CEO could use a racket? It seems that when he isn't planning on killing his son and ruling the world in Tekken, he's working on his serves. First time cameo for Ling however, which makes me wonder why they included her and not, say, Kazuya or Jin? The Mishimas could put their rivalry to the side for a few doubles games...

Solid Snake - Evolution Skateboarding

One of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater imitation rip-offs, Evolution Skateboarding was pretty much a simple, skateboarding game. Complete with challenges, time limits, decent graphics, and an amalgam of different tricks to pull off, this game wasn't so bad when you got into it. Unfortunately, the THPS franchise completely overshadowed any skateboarding game that tried to release. One way to put your game on the map is to include a cameo as a playable character. None other than 90's stealth-hero, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid.

Samus & Link - Super Mario RPG

In the 90's, RPG attempt at putting Mario in a genre he definitely didn't belong, Super Mario RPG was a surprisingly great game. Taking on RPG roots, a level-up system, and turn-based battles, this game happened to also include some cameos from other Nintendo icons. In one part of the tavern/inn, Link can be found sleeping in one of the beds. Approach him to try and talk and he will just sing one of the iconic Legend of Zelda songs. Samus from Metroid is also sleeping in a bed but this time it's in the Royal Mushroom Castle, where she lets you know that she is "Resting for Mother Brain." We'll just leave you both there until your game time comes around.

Altair Ibn-La'AHad - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

You wouldn't expect to see it in a serious RPG like The Witcher 2, but it does give you a small hint in the game's title Assassins of Kings. Approaching one of the destroyed barns in one of the towns will have you come across a broken hale bay cart. You even notice a dead person in a white, hooded outfit, so you move in for a closer look. At this point, it's 100% clear who the developers are trying to mock. It seems Altair (from Assassin's Creed) was attempting to assassinate one of the kings in the game but failed to land one of his famous eagle drops correctly. Oh yeah, you know he's dead.


Proving that video games and cameos are a fantastic mix, even when it doesn't make sense at all, cameos are the stuff of much conversation. I hope you enjoyed and probably even learned about some cameos you didn't know where there. Thanks for reading our latest listicle!

So what did you think? Did I miss any major video game character cameos you think should have been included? Don't forget to leave a comment below!

Reproduction Video Games: The Fakers, Makers and Takers Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

Even though the medium of film is over a hundred years old, preservation efforts didn’t start until 29 years ago with the National Film Registry -- you’d be surprised how much we’ve risked losing in video games. Unlike film however, the attention for conserving games within the video game industry is still in its infancy, and as a result, there are a lot of titles out there that are afflicted with scarcity in their numbers -- as a result they have ballooned their value in the market.

Enthusiasts struggle with the grim reality that your wallets are going have to be pretty deep if you’re looking to be a purist, so the alternatives are limited to either official re-releases of the classics, or emulation. The “e” word has gotten less dirty over the years (thanks largely in part to the efforts of Frank Cifaldi) but that doesn’t stop it from being any less salacious -- at least to the people who want to boast about a $75 price tag they got away with on the Twisted Tales of Spike McFang on Instagram.

As the fever pitch for authentic software gets closer to the tipping point, a loophole of artificial software in the form of reproduction titles have recently surfaced, and I find it ironic that this method isn’t subjected to the ethical scrutiny that emulation is.

Why is that? Think about it; when you boot up an emulator and load a ROM on it, you know exactly what you’re getting into there, but when you finally get that copy of Twisted Tales of Spike McFang delivered to you, you’re risking the chance of receiving a costumed donor-cartridge in disguise.

It’s a valid concern, but not one that warrants damnation from the public -- reproductions can exist if we have some more accountability about it.

The Fakers

Generally, when the subject of retro video games comes up, even for the people who are in the know, the topic of identifying what games are real and what’s fake doesn’t garner a whole lot of focus. The perception around the idea is that bootlegs are majorly conspicuous as all hell the moment you encounter one, so there’s no need for a discussion on the analysis on a game’s legitimacy. That’s just not the case anymore.

You can visit just about any retro video game centric convention or swap market throughout the year, spotting more fakes behind glass cases that you can count on your hands, and these phonies are being peddled for the same asking prices that the real McCoy’s are. As such, the Reseller market is flooded with these carbon copies, and the principles used to justify the existence of reproduction commercial titles are blurred by the hardship of accessibility to some particular pieces of software.

More often than I would like to admit, I have to make recurring peace with the fact that I will never be able to defend a purchase of Legend of Hero Tomna for the Turbo-Grafx 16 -- as a reasonable middle-class adult. The IREM-developed side-scroller is currently fetching a cost of $1,300 or more on all secondhand marketplaces, and the PC Engine import valuing over a couple hundred dollars isn’t much better. Sure I can go download the game right now on an emulator, or buy it for $10 on Nintendo’s Virtual Console while the shop channel is still accessible on my Wii U, but I’ll never be able to play the game the way I was MEANT to be played -- unless I succumb to a really irresponsible financial decision.

Enter, a site ran by a group of enthusiasts who share that same sentiment, and want to do something about it without any sort of delusion around the service they’re trying to provide. For the price of $40, your space bucks will earn you a painstakingly detailed imitation of the original HUCard, it’s meant to represent with a finish that’s evidently handcrafted with love. Some of the key differences here in what the people at TG16PCEMods do and the aforementioned resellers is the degree of transparency.

The recreation of the HuCards only extend so far as you’re given the game on a Turbo Chip that’s a wildly different color than what the original was sold on, and then there’s the disclaimer on the back that clearly labels it as a reproduction game in case the point needed to be any clearer.

Pellucidity aside, the argument is still a tricky one to make within the sub-culture around the Turbo Grafx/PC Engine considering that a large scope of their devotion stems out of their pure love for the nuance and design for the original hardware, software, and peripherals of that brand. Selling the idea that anyone can get it on the fandom by means of a facsimile can be a bit insulting to outspoken aficionados. Just imagine an exchange between a married couple who pooled together $5,000 to buy Magical Chase with the dude who casually dropped forty bucks to play it on the Retro Freak they picked up from Play Asia. The suggested elitism that permeated that last sentence alone is pretty intense, and a real life scenario would just be another sad representation of the video game community as a whole.

It’s a really awkward line to draw when you want to advocate for both schools of thought, but I think the tempers from both camps are pared when it comes to reproduction releases that offer a second chance to vaporware, or modifications that reinvent the experience altogether.

The Makers

I personally endorse that one of the most exciting things about retro gaming is getting to expose someone to a game that they have never seen or heard of before; a game that has completely escaped their childhood and introduced to them for the first time as if it were a time capsule. While those moments have led to some really heartfelt moments between friends and family, there have also been some moments where my attempt to bond with someone else over an old game has been less than stellar.

I mean, those moments will happen, and that’s ok, but the reproduction movement has led to some really inspiring creations that have the potential to close some of those gaps.

Let’s remember back to that story about a father named Mike Mika who introduced video games, both old and new, to his younger daughter, and one game they shared a love for in particular was Donkey Kong. It only took one question out a 3-year-old girl for Mike to work on reinventing the conceit of Nintendo’s arcade hit because his little girl challenged the roles of Mario and Pauline played in the fight against the ape. Now, “reinvent” may seem like a really hyperbolic statement considering that it’s ostensibly the exact same game, but it also isn’t; it’s a game where the concept of “damsel in distress”
and all of the archaic implications surrounding it are thrown out in favor of epic born out of the simple human condition known as heroism. Reconfiguring some lines of code, and slapping it onto a new EPROM chip allowed a little girl to celebrate Pauline as a hero, not a victim, and that’s all it takes at times for someone to connect with a game the way people around you did on the same machine.

Another instance is much closer to home, when I recently watched the trailer for Disney Afternoon Collection with my girlfriend. After explaining my love for the games included in that bundle to her, I sat her down and plugged in the original NES version of Ducktales for her to play. She saw the appeal of it, but wished it had some kind of mode that let me play it with her because she enjoys video games more that way. I thought about what she said, and decided to do some digging on the web, and that’s when I came across Ducktales 2 Player: a ROM hack of Ducktales 2 that adds in a cooperative two-player mode where second person can join in as Darkwing Duck.

Someone out there, took simultaneously their fandom of the Disney classic and the NES to a new level (pun intended) by ingeniously ripping the sprite of the Caped Canard from his respective NES game, and adding into the framework of Ducktales with Scrooge and gang in a way that could almost be presented like a DLC add-on.

Needless to say, it’s really fun, and I don’t know if I can go back to playing my original copy of Ducktales 2 now that I have this new way to play it that I never had before.

I can imagine a number of you saying that an emulator could have easily done what I did with a cartridge, and to that I’d say that you’re wrong.

The art of reproduction game is in the very name of it; it’s a super emulator in a sense as it not only emulates the software aspect of the game, but the experience of holding it in your hand on cartridge with its own artwork, that’s capable of running on a console just like any other game in your collection. Reproduction video games can essentially synthesize the same kind of feelings you would get out buying and holding a “real” game.

There are gamers who’re divided on that fact, with some actively celebrating the avenue, and others loudly condemning it, and I personally find myself in the middle. For every bootleg Little Samson, there’s a tribute to Bio-Force Ape—there’s going to be a counterfeit or fake in any hobby you participate in, but not many of them can claim that those same methods genuinely help the accessibility or preservation of that medium as well, just something to chew on.

Yooka-Laylee Is a Callback to Banjo-Kazooie's Precise Platforming -- And Utterly Crazy World Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:20:02 -0400 Jonathan Moore

It was arguably the golden age of the platforming genre. With titles like Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker's Bad Fur Day taking the genre to stratospheric new heights, the mid-to-late 1990s was a time of unsurpassed creativity for the platforming scene. Since then, developers have tried -- and come very close -- to recapturing that lithe feeling of wonder that companies like Rare so effortlessly encapsulated. But none have actually achieved such an end.

Enter Yooka-Laylee, a new (old) type of platformer that inks all the hallmarks of those Rare platforming days to an absolute T. And it makes sense, considering a large majority of Playtonic Games' development team is made up of Rare veterans -- the very developers, programmers, and creative minds that brought Donkey Kong and Banjo-Kazooie to life. 

From the PAX East showroom floor, I ran, swam, and flew through a gorgeous and unique world that immediately took me back to that golden age. Yooka-Laylee played right into the nostalgia I forgot I had -- and I fell completely in love. 

Yooka-Laylee's World is Big -- Like, Really Super Massive Big

In my time with the game, I was only able to see a minuscule fraction of Yooka-Laylee's expansive and dynamic world. But what I was able to get my hands on was unique and diverse. Starting out in an overgrown jungle zone accentuated by a derelict pirate ship, cliffs, and roaring waterfalls, I quickly made my way into the steampunk lair of the game's nefarious antagonist, where I captured my first Pagie (more on that in a bit). 

Next, I quickly found myself in a glacial world, sliding down frozen slopes like an Olympic sled runner. Here, craggy mountains made for some precarious platforming, while frigid lakes held hidden secrets inside dark, bat-filled caves.

Spread over five grand "worlds," Yooka's levels start small and expand at a rapid pace.

Wildly diverse and engaging, these levels are segmented into specific zones. And while you can freely travel between these zones once you've opened them, you'll first need to unlock them by finding the 25 Pagies scattered throughout each world. According to the developers, players will need to find a set number of these pages in order to unlock each zone, and players are able to do so by completing various in-stage challenges, like races and timed platforming sections. 

All in all, Yooka-Laylee's vibrant, colorful world is inviting and full of life. And my favorite thing about the whole experience very well may have been the feeling of freedom with which Playtonic Games has infused the core Yooka experience. Instead of linear progression, there's a sense of adventure and exploration inherently bred into each and every level.

Every world and every level might be treacherous, but every world and every level is well worth the challenge. 

Yooka-Laylee Plays Like Your Favorite Platformer -- New or Old

Getting around Yooka-Laylee's levels is fun and intuitive. As soon as I picked up the controller, I immediately knew how to use all the tools at my disposal. And if you're familiar with most 3D platformers from the last 25 years, so will you. 

Thing is, though, Yooka-Laylee never felt tired during my 45-minute playthrough. I ran. I flew. I swam. Although I didn't get to experience them, publisher Team 17 told me there are other modes of transportation (such as mining carts) in other levels of the game. 

Running & Jumping

Running and jumping is fluid and tight. And whereas some games struggle with camera positioning (arguably the most important mechanic in any platformer), Yooka's camera is a breeze to manage -- and never once proved to be an issue.  

Swimming & Diving

Each world's verticality means that not only will players be jumping across chasms and running along craggy cliff faces, but that they'll also be swimming across bodies of water and diving into their dark depths for secrets and treasure. Here, the camera felt a little more fickle than it did on land, but overall, swimming and diving was easy to grasp and led to some truly awesome discoveries. 

Flying (Kinda') High

So, OK. You can't technically fly in Yooka-Laylee. But you can double-jump, flutter, and then glide from A to B. This comes in super handy when you're trying to beat the clock in some of the game's more difficult platforming sections and Pagie challenges. Overall, the mechanic made sense in our playthrough, and I'm interested to see how Team 17 and Playtonic Games implements the mechanic in more creative (and challenging) ways throughout the game. 

Beating Down Baddies

Combat in Yooka-Laylee is quick, yet full of punch and power. The titular duo has a basic tail-spin-like attack that dispatches foes in quick fashion, but they also have discoverable powers like sonar (which stuns enemies where they stand). This adds a bit of strategy to the otherwise typical platformer experience. Instead of whacking every enemy you come across, you're able to nullify them in different and interesting ways. 

Yooka-Laylee's Story is a Classic Platforming Adventure

Capital B is out to take over the world, and it's Yooka and Laylee's mission to take him down. After one of their favorite books -- a tome that allegedly holds some type of magical, world-altering power -- is stolen by one of Capital B's henchmen, the otherwise laid-back duo is thrust into a world of danger and adventure. 

It's silly and whimsical and everything you'd expect from the developers behind some of the 90's quirkiest adventures. Imagination and creativity run amok through both Yooka-Laylee's world and its characters. Like a fresh painting, personality drips from every vista, every character, and every ounce of story. 

My only real (small) gripe here is that like Banjo-Kazooie, players can't skip Yooka's cut-scenes. And like B-K, each character speaks in garbled, nonsensical soundbites that are just as coherent as the Peanuts parents' drunken gag reel. At first, it's funny and endearing. But as time goes on, especially during the tutorial, it starts to get just a bit grating. It's not terrible by any means -- and if you played any of Rare's titles from the 90s, you're pretty used to this by now -- but the cacophony can sometimes get in the way of reading the subtitles because you just want to get through it all. 


At the end of the day, Yooka-Laylee doesn't feel like a platformer that will revolutionize the genre, but instead one that fondly remembers platforming's golden era. And it does so in swimming fashion -- at least so far. 

Playtonic Studios said that they've focused on style over technicality when it comes to Yooka, and I can firmly say that while this isn't the most technical game on the planet, it's not meant to be. And since Yooka is utterly gorgeous, Playtonic has firmly accomplished their vision. It'll just be interesting to see how audiences react come April 11. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and coverage on Yooka-Laylee

10 Times Nintendo Was an Innovator Fri, 18 Nov 2016 06:00:02 -0500 sknau002


Opinions aside, Nintendo has objectively done so much for the industry. Some may debate that somebody would eventually create a D-Pad, save slots, and a seal of quality, but that somebody was Nintendo over and over again.


The repeated reveal of new ideas and innovations coming from a single company says something about their contributions to their industry. Without Nintendo, gaming would be in a very different state than it is today.


The Seal of Quality

System: NES

The NES was Nintendo's first home console. It was released in America in 1985 and was the major, if not sole reason for the revitalization of the video game industry after it crashed in 1983.


They did this by having a quality product, something Nintendo has always taken serious to this day. Whether you like Nintendo products or not, it's no debate that they put a ton of effort into their products.


It was this seal that set the standard for future video games. The seal meant that Nintendo themselves approved of the games. It currently reads:


"The official seal is your assurance that this product is licensed or manufactured by Nintendo. Always look for this seal when buying video game systems, accessories, games and related products."


It is because of this seal that gaming exists the way it does today, and Nintendo's insistence of excellence made it happen. 


Is there anything we've missed on this list? We know the Nintendo Switch is coming and will probably add points to a future edition of this list, but until then, remember your roots, and give Nintendo props where it deserves.



System: Multiple 

Okay, this one will get some flak, but pump the brakes and give it a deeper look. Many of Nintendo's peripherals didn't take off like we wanted, but they had a few fun games here and there.


The Nintendo Zapper did pretty great for its time, the Super Scope however had barely enough games to warrant it. Everybody looks back fondly at ROB, but nobody really appreciated him back in his day. Lastly, the SNES Mouse? Yeah, you probably forgot that existed.


Where is this going? Nintendo tried things. Not all of them worked, but they did go on to influence other things. It could be argued that all of these cool-in-concept-bad-in-execution devices have probably led to the push towards Virtual Reality that we have today. While we're on the subject, let's count the Virtual Boy in this category too, because even while it was its own console, it was also a contributing factor to things like the HTC Vive and Playstation VR.


Virtual Reality has had multiple attempts in the past, but they never quite came to fruition due to limits in technology, but we may very well be at the turning point for that the become a reality. A virtual one anyway. We may have just left it back in the early 90s if it wasn't for Nintendo and their insistence on breaking the traditional video gaming mold.


Battery Back-up

System: Multiple

Before the NES, games were relatively short and arcade-like. The objective wasn't usually to reach an end-goal, but to rack up points until death. Saving games wasn't a concept until games started to change their goals. Games like Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Kid Icarus suddenly made sense to have save slots. But before that, they didn't really exist.


Then Nintendo added the battery back-up. Simply, they just soldered it to the inside of the cartridge, no memory cards or extra accessories needed. Unfortunately, these battery back-ups had a lifespan of about 15-20 years and are constantly fizzling out today, but the actual piece itself is relatively inexpensive and replaceable. 


But in their prime, these little devices allowed Nintendo to be more ambitious with their games beyond gaining a high score in Donkey Kong. They could now embark on a long quest to save princesses in Hyrule or destroy Mother Brain.


Rumble Pack

System: Nintendo 64

The Rumble Pack for the Nintendo 64 was a first of its kind. Later controllers had a rumble feature built into the device, but the Nintendo 64 made use of its controller's accessory slot. The rumble pack was big, and even took batteries to use, but it was the first device of its kind for consoles.


Haptic feedback wouldn't be what it is today without the idea of a rumble feature immersing the player the way it did. Controllers used to be cold, non-living bits of plastic, and today they rumble and buzz at different frequencies and intensity to resemble what's happening on screen. Yet again, it's a small thing we don't think of today that was huge when they happened and very much changed how games are built.


Player Controlled Camera

System: Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 broke some major ground for gaming innovation in multiple ways, and is actually featured multiple times in this list. While not the first console to have 3D environments, it was the first to  have a player controlled camera.


Super Mario 64 was mind-blowing when it released in June 1996.  The concept of a player-controlled camera was something nobody had ever thought of in a home console. To soften such a crazy idea of controlling Mario AND the camera, the developers actually made the camera it's own character: Lukitu. He was filming Mario's adventure and you could even see him when you looked in mirrors. While the camera controls are second nature today, Super Mario 64 and its success is mostly to thank for its adaption.


Analog Triggers

System: Nintendo Gamecube 

Fun fact: Many think this achievement would go to the original Xbox. But the Nintendo Gamecube beat it by two months in Japan with their September 2011 release. If this wasn't enough however, it's pretty well accepted that the idea for an analog trigger on a controller came from the digital trigger on the Nintendo 64 known as the Z-button.


The idea behind an analog trigger was pretty groundbreaking, even if we don't realize it today. An analog trigger allows for gradual pressing, making the varying degrees of "squeeze" do something different. This is all thanks to the Gamecube controller.


The D-pad

System: Multiple

Nintendo's well-known cross-shaped design of the D-pad was actually the first of it's kind. Developed in 1982 by Gunpei Yokoi, it was first used for the stand-alone Donkey Kong handheld game. Shortly after, it was refined and used on the NES and Gameboy as everyone knows it to be.


Before this, many systems had joysticks resembling arcade controls. A few even had similar shaped controls like the D-pad but they were disconnected. Nintendo brought the connected, easy to transition Directional pad to the spotlight. 


Many consoles and handhelds have innovated directional input since the D-pad but Nintendo pioneered the mold that is used to this day.


Family Gaming

System: Nintendo Wii

Nintendo had been in the video game industry for a long time when the Wii finally came out. Many gamers who had started on the NES were now late-teens/early twenties. But what about the new generation of would-be gamers? 


Enter the Wii. Many will often chide at the idea of the Wii, calling it "childish" or "not hardcore gaming" but that doesn't stop it from being an innovation. Not only was it aimed at getting new gamers into the community, it also introduced the entire family to a new and exciting controller: The Wii Remote.


Now again, many find motion controls to be a gimmick, but Mom and Dad were suddenly playing bowling games with these new controls. People who didn't usually play video games were suddenly playing them and their young children were introduced to a hobby that was accepted by their parents as well. The Wii is almost unarguably a factor to this new-age Geek Culture we're able to enjoy in the open.


Touch Controls

System: Nintendo DS

Taking a look at Wikipedia's List of Best Selling Game Consoles reveals the Nintendo DS taking first place in the highest selling handheld ever, and is merely second in the highest selling video game system ever.


It's had a number of huge titles on it, but there's one thing people seem to forget in terms of the DS's innovation. The touch controls. 


The Nintendo DS hit the shelves in 2004 with its stylus and touch screen. Sounds like something else in the market today, right? Cue the smartphone. Specifically, cue the first iPhone, which was released in 2007.


That's right. The Nintendo DS pioneered touch screen gaming three years before the mobile gaming phenomena hit. In fact, even if the DS wasn't a direct influence on the iPhone's design, it had to at least have some hand in the inspiration of games that were to come to the mobile market.


The StreetPass

System: Nintendo 3DS

The 3DS, the successor to the Nintendo DS, improved upon the initial design and even with its rocky start, it proved to be a very successful portable gaming device.


Despite the name, the 3D features is not the reason it's on this list. That reason would be the Street Pass.


Street passing is a mode included in several games on the 3DS where the player walks around in public with their device on standby mode (with the case closed) and passes other people doing the same thing. Data is shared between these players for the next time they open their 3DS. What happens with that data is dependent on the games they had.


Street passing is a feature in many games that's often optional, but adds a layer to the game. But the real genius of this is how it gets people talking. The 3DS sparked so much conversation when seen peaking out of someone's back pocket, while the actual addition to gameplay was minimal. It's as if Nintendo wanted to find a way to get people to talk about their product and built a function specifically for that reason, and it worked! 


Nintendo has always been about breaking the mold. Many people often debate what Nintendo needs to do to "keep up" But there have been at least 10 times that they were truly innovators, and arguably ahead of the curve as opposed to behind.


In fact, there are many elements of gaming that have Nintendo to thank for their existence.  Whether it's the invention of the D-pad, or the creation/failure of the Virtual Boy, nearly everything Nintendo has done has shaped the stage for video games.

Nostalgia and Nintendo: Why Old-School Gamers Can't Let Go Mon, 31 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Angelo De Bellis

Whenever rumblings of a new Nintendo console come out, and a stream of delicately planned news follows, I find myself rooting for the next Nintendo runaway success, a point in time when I can take a proud stand in front of all the Nintendo pessimists. This is our time; the Nintendo of old has returned.

My mind rummages through sequences of childhood pleasure from playing a 3D Mario adventure, squeezing the B button just that much harder to get DK to roll onto the next Kremling, and listening to the deep pounding sounds of the soundtrack in the Facility level from Goldeneye. I begin to think back on Nintendo’s rich history as a games company, a hardware producer, an artisan software maker, and an expert at crafting fun.

But, should I temper these expectations? For years now Nintendo hasn’t really appeased its old-school fans, just led the games industry forward without necessarily leaving a trail of the magic it once had in its wake. What if us old-school Nintendo fans, those who experienced the Nintendo of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and the early 2000s, are just holding onto something that was, and continue to blindly expect the best, no matter how many disappointments are had after the initial boon of a departed Nintendo.

I suspect that these expectations aren’t something felt by younger gamers who grew up during Nintendo’s Wii era -- they never felt the resounding success and ubiquity of the Nintendo brand as one touted by core gamers.

With the recent news of Nintendo’s next console, The Switch, I am certainly excited for the new direction taken by the company's fresh president, but I think it’s important that us old-school fans take a step back to ponder why it is that we can’t let go of our first love. We should explore this inability to let go of a past that may never return, a folly on our part that is driven by the hopes of a second coming.

Source: A.V. Club

The Plain Truth

To begin, old-school Nintendo fans are purists. We know what we like, and we know when a piece of Nintendo hardware or software delivers it. The best word to describe that certain je ne sais quoi that Nintendo wields is magic -- the beloved company poured what is known as Nintendo magic into our youthful years. Nintendo has a certain magic about it that is hard to describe, but when a product of theirs has it, we know it.

And because of that sensitivity to Nintendo's magic, we demand it all the time. Yes, it is often argued that one of Nintendo’s greatest shortcomings is that they deliver games that aren’t a part of a new IP, they just resemble and refine old experiences. But then we turn around and lose our overalls when a new Zelda game is teased. Tell me, if Retro Studios announced a new, expansive Metroid game in the Prime universe, wouldn’t we all lose our minds? I'm hard pressed to believe otherwise.

Nostalgia is funny that way. It drowns us in thoughts of what could be and what we hope to be, and measures it against what once was, leaving a mark of anxiety if our longing is not fulfilled. Yet, no matter how many foibles Nintendo may face, we always sit around waiting for the Japanese company to come home. But what happens if it’s moved on a long time ago with few intentions to return? What if we simply can’t muster the strength to let it go.

That’s the difficulty when it comes to feelings that deal with familiarity. We get comfortable with what we grew up with, and we'd do anything to get it back, to feel that same sense of wonder we had when playing Nintendo games.

Like many growing Nintendo fans, I recall running  home from school to play Nintendo games, talking about them non-stop in the school-yard, and developing a culture wholly dedicated to Nintendo entertainment. We were once comfortable with our hardware choice -- I never thought to play games from competitors because I felt at home playing on the devices headed by Super Mario.

Source: IGN

We were once the elites of gaming culture. Our palate for games was the most refined and our thumbs the most dented from countless hours playing our lauded Nintendo experiences.

Today we sit closer to the margins, apologizing for Nintendo’s shortcomings, but secretly cheering on the sidelines for our favorite to make a welcome resurgence. And the trickle of Nintendo games that release with that old-school magic -- Mario Galaxy, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8 -- make it hard not to believe that a renaissance is on its way, perhaps if Nintendo revolutionized gaming like it once did. 

The Nintendo Revolution

Although we are purists when it comes to sitting down with games that don the easy-to-understand but hard-to-master mantra, we also can’t let go of the old Nintendo because it provided us with many of the standards we enjoy today, both in terms of software and hardware.

As one of the very first handheld gaming consoles, the Nintendo Game Boy set the precedent for fun gaming experiences on the go. The Game Boy was so successful that it led to the development of multiple other handhelds with a similar namesake, and to this day Nintendo remains the king of the dedicated gaming handheld market. The Game Boy gave gamers the chance to play games from their favorite series, like Mario and Zelda, while away from home. And, of course, it’s with the Game Boy that we received our very first Pokémon title.

Much like what the monochrome handheld did for changing how we think about the venue for playing games, Super Mario 64 took us by the hand to acquaint us with changes to how games were designed. During the formative years of 3D gaming, Nintendo brought us Super Mario 64, an adventure that opened the Mario universe by allowing us access to cleverly-crafted levels accessed via paintings in Peach’s castle.

Though I can’t personally attest to the impact it left on the populous of gamers at the time, the Mario adventure is categorically known as one of the fathers of the 3D mascot-era platforming games. Just the main hub world provided enough freedom to get a sense of what a Mario game would feel like in an unshackled 3D space.

Source: Gamerbolt

Aside from the awe of the technological feat, it was astonishing how Nintendo took the side-scrolling challenge of typical Mario titles and somehow delivered a three-dimensional experience that melded the platforming challenge and the complexity of exploring open environments all in one experience.

Moving away from the 3D revolution, we learn that Nintendo created and popularized some exciting functional gaming hardware that many likely take for granted today. I’m talking about the Rumble Pack that was introduced with Star Fox 64 and the cross-shaped D-pad that dates all the way back to the Game & Watch.

It’s hard to imagine modern gaming without rumble, and whenever it’s removed -- as with the early days of Sony’s PlayStation 3 -- fans demand it be put back. It has become a common little device that pervades most all gaming controllers, and that's because it provides a palpable response of haptic feedback when it comes to experiences like racing on uneven surfaces, crashing into hard edges, and shooting weapons. Just that little bit of extra immersion makes all the difference.

As for the D-pad, Nintendo’s patented cross-shaped design is unmatched by its competitors. The undivided directional arrows provide input precision like no other pad of its kind, and is the reason for all the spotty thumbs of veteran Nintendo fans. I miss the days of mastering challenging areas of a Nintendo game, areas that leave satisfying perpendicular outlines on your fingers.

Source: Two Button Crew

With these remarkable software and hardware introductions, it's no arduous task to see why the lot of us old-school fans get excited about new Nintendo hardware. With the coming of a generation, follows an opportunity for the possibility of new standards to arise and software to flourish. Perhaps the next shift in hardware engineering is just around the bend. But hardware is merely a well-tailored suit for the software it plays.

The Familiar Faces

It seems that with all of it’s motion control, exponential control configurations, and hardware drawbacks, Nintendo has clouded some of its old ways. The Nintendo philosophy has always been to create software that will sell hardware, and, of course, that much is easy to establish when thinking of the likes of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Metroid titles on consoles like the NES, N64, and GameCube.

But when it comes to the newer consoles like the Wii and Wii U, I struggle to find many examples of games that prove the worth of the hardware.

Take some of my favorites like the Mario Galaxy series or Pikmin 3: these games didn’t need motion control or a secondary controller. Mario Galaxy would have inspired gamers with its anti-gravity level design without the need for waggle to make Mario spin; likewise, Pikmin 3 didn’t necessarily need a map screen to make it the strategic hunt-and-gather real-time strategy game it is.

I think we can all agree that we just want the fun, unadulterated Nintendo games we used to get, and we want more of them. It is sometimes hard to prove the worth of a console if its distinct control methods make the gameplay more obtuse than it needs to be.

Source: Gamespot

Though the Wii and the Wii U sport some heavyweight experiences, some of the company’s most beloved franchises seem to have been omitted, left by the wayside for years. Where is that clever puzzle-ridden open-world Metroid game we all want? What ever happened to the sports games like Mario Golf or Mario Strikers? Why wasn’t the competitive Battle Mode in Mario Kart 8? Will the Nintendo Switch finally satisfy the itch for a 3D Mario game akin to 64 and Sunshine, which don’t rely on a fixed camera?

Maybe you don't agree with my franchise choices and my particular taste for Nintendo games, but the sentiment remains: many successful Nintendo games have been left out in the cold, or mistreated in ways that cause some to doubt the future of the franchises.

The Unscathed Place in Time

I hope a handful of these questions and disturbances are silenced with the coming of the Switch. After all, it's very hard to let go of a bright past that brought us endless conversations with friends, new hardware and unmatched hardware design, and countless hours of fun.

But I’m constantly reminded that I’ve thought this way before about a Nintendo homecoming, in fact, anytime I think about the future Nintendo. It’s the promise of a Nintendo that takes us back to a time when one console is all we needed, a Nintendo that innovates in ways that don’t impede on the enjoyment of contemporary games, and a Nintendo that produces software in line with our stubborn purist tendencies.

Once again we return to the wistful ponderings that dress our thoughts with a past that may never be -- It’s funny how nostalgia pushes us to expect the past out of the future.

We’ve obviously grown and our gaming tastes may have widened, but no matter how much the gaming industry has matured since we were young and in awe of the developing culture, I am confident that leagues of us do want to see the day that a unanimous, gamer-certified Nintendo exists. However, I'm just not sure that that Nintendo of yesterday, the Nintendo with the magic, has grown along with us.

Nintendo: A History In Ten Minutes Or Less Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Joshua Harris

Nintendo has not always been the insurmountable gaming tycoon that it is known as today, the company owes its humble beginnings to the late Meiji era where it began as a simple playing card company. 

A Luck of the Draw

In its genesis in 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi breathed life into the precursor to the modern Nintendo, Nintendo Koppai. The business focused on manufacturing hanafuda cards, a game better known as flower cards. With the goal to complete card suits, the number value assigned to each type of card was arbitrary. As their popularity grew, Yamauchi sought the help of assisstance to mass produce these cards to keep in check with the overwhelming demand. Without a son to continue his patrilineage, Yamauchi passed the torch to his son in law, Sekiryo Yamuachi, in 1929. 4 years later, Sekiryo merged with a second company to form Yamuachi Nintendo and Co. 

Seeking a more effective mode of distribution for his hanafuda cards, Sekiryo created Marufuku Co., Ltd., along with several other brands of cards that Nintendo has inserted into the mainstream market. Following his predecessors suit, he went on to adopt his son-in-law Shikanojo Inaba (later changing his surname to Yamauchi after being marrying into the family). Unfortunately, he did not take over the company because he had abandoned his family. Shikanjo's son, Hiroshi, who was raised by his grandparents took over the company instead of his absentee father. 

The Birth of a New Era

Having left school to take over Nintendo after his grandfather died, Hiroshi Yamauchi changed the name of "Marufuku C. Ltd." to "Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd." In 1953, Nintendo forged its way into the future by becoming the first company in Japan to manufacture playing cards from plastics. 

Following the success of going into business with Disney a decade later, Yamauchi began to extend Nintendo's reach from taxi companies, food companies, and even to selling vacuum cleaners. 

The Advent of Electronic Gaming

Following the rise and fall card playing games, the late 70s Nintendo broke its way into the the new gaming scene via the Magnavox Odyssey who's light gun accessory owed its existence to Nintendo. Far before Famicom systems were even an inkling of an idea, the "Color TV Game 6" and "Color game 15" were the company's first home gaming systems (the number at the end of the titles denoted how the amount of games each console had). Eventually, Nintendo made its way into the arcade gaming circuit with EVR Race. However, in 1981 they developed, with the help of Shigeru Miyomoto, one of the most iconic games in history. 

From Monkeys in a Barrel to a Can of Worms

 With the birth of the 80s came with it an new era for Nintendo and gaming. Donkey Kong burst into millions of arcades across the world ushering in the oncoming golden age of the multi-million dollar company we know and love today. The Game & Watch series along with Nintendo's response the failure of the Atari franchise, the Nintendo Entertainment System, hoped to revitalize a dying gaming economy in the mid 80s. Later that year, the Super Mario Brothers was released in Japan and became a resounding success. Much of today's acclaimed titled were some of the first games slated for the American release of the NES in late 1986 such as Metroid and Super Mario Brothers 2

The Birth of a New Age

The 90s created modern gaming as it is known today; the Gameboy and Super NES were crucial in driving the market for home and mobile gaming. Their successors, the Gameboy Color and the Nintendo 64, were released on September 29, 1996 in America. Classic titles such as Pokemon were released in Japan that same year. The franchise would later prove to be the success that Nintendo required to become a gaming giant again. Two years later, the Gameboy color would be released in Japan with America and Europe  following suit a month later. 

As the millennium broke the horizon, Nintendo made its way into the CD market by introduced the GameCube on November 18, 2002. The handheld side of things maintained its commitment to cartridge gaming when it introduced the Game Boy Advance a year prior to the GameCube release. 

In 2004, the Nintendo DS made its debut, bolstering two screens as its selling point. Although it could conjure 3D graphics, the hardware at the time prevented the system from filtering the graphic properly, which lead to more pixellated graphics than the N64. Along with an improved version of their most recent handheld, the DS Lite, Nintendo released the Wii in November 2016. It would be roughly six years before the gaming giant would introduce their next generation consoles. 

The Right Touch

On February 26 and March 25, 2011, the Nintendo 3DS made waves in the industry by introducing parallax barrier autostereoscopy, a technology allowing them to create a 3D for their consumers without having to prompt the use of 3D glasses. It was not until a year later until the Nintendo WiiU came out that the company created a controller that could be used in conjunction to either function as the remote, or as the screen the system, could thereby project itself onto should the player need to delegate television use elsewhere. The controller also included features such as an accelerometer, camera, NFC, and a gyroscope. 

Looking Ahead

It is unclear as to where Nintendo is headed, little is known about its next generation system codenamed "Nintendo NX". What we know for sure is that the NX will run games from cartridges, a feature not seen since the Nintendo 64 (and its handheld systems). At this point, the only information available is speculation as Nintendo will not release any information other than the system's release in March 2017. 

10 Dumbest Lawsuits in Gaming History Sun, 07 Aug 2016 06:30:01 -0400 Donald Strohman


Edge Games Vs Anything 'Edge'


Mirror's Edge, Edge of Nowhere, Edge Magazine. Oh you're all in for it now! How dare you use a word so common as "Edge" in your name, when clearly Edge Games should own 100% of the trademark and profit off it. Meanwhile, Sony should also own "Let's Play" videos, the the Fine Brothers should hold a monopoly over people's reactions to YouTube shorts. 


Sound asinine to you? Well, it apparently didn't for Edge Games, as in 2010 they attempted to sue Electronic Arts for publishing the game Mirror's Edge. Not because they found it disappointing or anything, but because it contained the word "edge," a word they had attempted to trademark. They also tried to make the words "cutting edge", "the edge", and "gamer's edge" a trademark of their company. An entire game titled Edge had to be removed from App stores, as Edge Games founder Tim Langdell had threatened to take legal action against the game's creators, claiming he owned the world trademark for the word "edge." 


Thankfully, this didn't go over so well for Edge Games, as the trademark office eventually threw out all five claims for the phrases. Like Paris Hilton trying to market "That's Hot" or Donald Trump trying to trademark all things moronic in nature, Edge Games eventually faded into obscurity once the lawsuit vanished alongside their reputation.


Have a juicy lawsuit we missed? Did someone sue Geico after contracting salmonella from a gecko? How about someone taking up claims against McDonald's for running out of nuggets? Be sure to comment and let us know what your favorite, completely ridiculous, lawsuit has been over the years, whether it's related to video games or not!


Wilson Vs Midway Games


All kids are bound to do something stupid when they're young. Sometimes they learn it from their parents, other times they learn it from watching television. But whatever small mistake they do make is usually harmless. Something that just warrants a simple life lesson and a slap on the wrist, to ensure they'll never do such a silly imitation ever again. That is unless they decide to murder their friend or something. 


Thirteen year old Noah Wilson was killed by his friend Yancy Salazar, who was also thirteen. As tragic as the event was, and as understandable as it is for parents to be grief-stricken, the Wilson family chose not to put the blame on Salazar, but rather the video game Mortal Kombat he happened to enjoy playing. Andrea Wilson, the victim's mother, claimed that Salazar was so obsessed with the game, his reality was obscured and made him believe he was a Mortal Kombat character and tried to perform a fatality move on his friend. The case was dismissed when Wilson's "complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." 


I guess you could say the end result of this lawsuit was a FLAWLESS VICTORY for Midways Games. I'm going to hell, aren't I? 


Jack Thompson Vs Bully


So now it's the third time Rockstar Games' controversy has been mentioned in this slideshow. It also marks the second time Jack Thompson has been showcased as the lawsuit aggressor. I'm sensing a pattern here. 


Released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Bully was immediately met with a whirlwind of backlash from naysayers. While critics and audiences praised the game for it's anti-bullying message and fun narrative, people who hadn't experienced the title immediately claimed it was a game that rewarded bullies and encouraged children to be aggressive. Jack Thompson, once again, filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games, wishing for the game to be banned from store shelves. The judge ruled that the game's "vicious" content was nothing that couldn't already be seen on late night television. And seeing as how Thompson is as mature of an adult as can be, he ridiculed the judge for allowing such a "toxic game" to continue being sold. Freedom of speech is a funny thing sometimes. 


Silicon Knights Vs Epic Games


It's one thing to make a bad game. You just have to pick yourself up, and try something better next time around. It's an entirely different matter, on the other hand, when you blame a developer that had nothing to do with creating the game for your end product being bad.


Too Human turned out to be a pretty big disappointment for Xbox 360 fans. However, instead of developer Silicon Knights admitting fault for their mediocre adventure title, they instead turned around and sued Epic Games for an alleged breach of contract. They even went so far as to claim Epic Games withheld code to intentionally make Too Human doomed from the start. And yet, this lawsuit actually backfired for Silicon Knights, as Epic Games was awarded $4.5 million in damages, all while Silicon Knights was forced to recall unsold copies of Too Human from store shelves. 


Too Human? No, it sounds like Silicon Knights was just being Too Stupid


The Romantics Vs Activision 


I'm sure everyone reading this has picked up a plastic guitar and rocked out to Guitar Hero at one point or another in their lives. And while the games were relevant before their bubble popped, everyone was having a blast with the games. So, of course, plenty of bands and artists wanted their songs to be a part of the games. You would think giving written permission to use your song in a video game would be more than enough of a reminder to not try and sue the developer, but apparently the old grumps formally known as The Romantics had forgotten to take their morning pills. 


In 2007, the rock group The Romantics attempted to sue developer/publisher Activision for including a close cover version of their song "What I Like About You." With the group demanding the song be removed from Guitar Hero titles, a federal judge in Detroit denied the claim, noting that Activision "did exactly what the company was supposed to do" in securing music copyright permission.


Broken and defeated, lead singer Wall Palmar hobbled back home in disgust, where he immediately started planning a new single titled "What I Don't Like about Activision."   


Jack Thompson Vs Manhunt


Hey you, check it out! It's everyone's favorite video game slanderer Jack Thompson! You know who he is, he's the man who continuously tries to ban games he thinks are "too scary" for people, and that parents can't be trusted to decide if their child is mature enough to play a game or not. 


Rockstar Games is no stranger to controversy (please see the first slide if for whatever reason you skipped over that.) However, all that initial controversy seems like nothing compared to the murder of fourteen year old Stefan Pakeerah. When seventeen year old Warren Leblanc was linked to his friend's murder, a copy of Manhunt was found in his possession. So of course, everyone blamed it as the reason Leblanc became a murderer, as it's not like Leblanc should take responsibility  for committing the act or anything. 


Believing Rockstar was wholly to blame, Jack Thompson attempted to have the game banned from American store shelves. Although this lawsuit fell through, it's not like Manhunt 2 fared any better in the wake of controversy. Some feared that the Wii version of Manhunt 2 would have the player simulate stabbing their victims by wielding the controller as a knife. The problem was that said news outlets never realized how inaccurate the Wii motion controls can be. 


It's considered an offense to own a copy of Manhunt in New Zealand. So while everyone else is whining about how Rockstar is trying to corrupt our youth and brainwash them into becoming killers, I'll just go ahead and play my AO rated copy of Manhunt 2 on my laptop, thank you very much. 


No Doubt Vs Activision 


One would think that if you were letting a game studio use your likeness in an upcoming title, you would try to become familiar with said franchise before letting them do so. Said idea must not have crossed No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani's mind, however, as she took offense to her video game character being able to sing in a male's voice (if the in-game song was already sung by a man.)


No Doubt brought up a lawsuit against Activision, and their game Band Hero, just a day after its release. Despite being told from the get-go that in-game avatars would be capable of this after being unlocked, No Doubt still found a problem with Gwen Stefani's image not being restricted to just No Doubt songs. The case was settled out of court with undisclosed terms, and no mention of who was awarded what.


There's No Doubt in my mind that this lawsuit was just plain ridiculous. But Gwen Stefani is "Just a Girl," and must have felt like she was "Trapped in a Box" by her in-game likeness. After all, she didn't want to come off as a "Hollaback Girl" (oh wait, No Doubt didn't make that one, crap...) 


Universal Studios Vs Nintendo


King Kong, Donkey Kong, Konga LinesYou'd think companies would trust us to know the difference, but that's not how Universal Studios saw things.


On June 29, 1982, Universal sued Nintendo over the character of Donkey Kong, claiming it was too close of a resemblance to their King Kong character. And it's not like Donkey Kong was scaling the Empire State Building or anything in Super Mario Bros (unless you happen to look at the photograph and think I'm lying, spoiler alert, that's a joke image,) all you needed to have was a giant gorilla becoming too popular, and Universal was bound to swoop in and take all your money.


What Universal failed to realize was that they had used an argument in a previous court case that could be utilized against them. Universal had stated that the characters and scenarios of King Kong were open to public domain. Meaning, whether Donkey Kong was too close of a resemblance to King Kong or not, it was completely irrelevant as the character couldn't be subject to copyright. Nintendo won the case and was awarded $1.8 million in damages. Universal later tried to appeal the ruling, but the verdict was upheld. 


While it proved to be successful for Nintendo, showcasing to the world they were capable of taking on bigger name companies, this lawsuit just made Universal look like a bunch of baboons. 


The Olsen Twins Vs Acclaim Entertainment 


Every celebrity wants their fifteen minutes of fame. It just so happens that for Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, their fifteen minutes of fame peaked when they were younger than fifteen. Seriously, these two young blondes were everywhere in the 90s'. Television shows, movies, cheap toys made in a Chinese sweatshop, their young adolescent faces were popping up more often than Justin Bieber's mugshot. 


And then their young celebrity bubble popped. So, like the adults they were, they obviously just took note of their failures and tried to take their careers in a new direction, all without blaming anyone else for said shortcomings, right? Well, as it turns out, their line of video games hadn't been doing so well, and they were the first to be blamed for the twins' dwindling fame. 


When Acclaim pulled the plug on the Mary Kate and Ashley series of games, the twins hired a lawyer to sue Acclaim for $180,000 in damages, remarking how the publisher "blatantly abandoned the Mary Kate and Ashley brand and has taken the brand in video games which had flourished and has now run it into the ground." After all, it's not like their acting careers have been driven into the ground since then.


Lindsay Lohan Vs Rockstar Games


Anyone who seems to take pride in their cocaine-ridden public image certainly needs some form of psychiatric help. That, or actress Lindsay Lohan might be desperately trying to raise enough money for Disney to finally make her film memoir Confessions of a Meth Addict Drama Queen.


Grand Theft Auto V was a smash success across the world, receiving praise from critics and gamers alike for its dark humor, open world gameplay, and plethora of missions to take part in. However, Lindsay Lohan, a once fairly prominent actress in her glory days, didn't appear to love it as much as everyone else. That blonde lady on the game's cover art, in-game celebrity Lacey Jonas? Yea, Lohan claims Rockstar Games ripped the character off of her real life, Disney-downfall personality. I don't know what's worse, someone openly admitting that their existence is a close match to a washed up celebrity caricature, or the fact that the lawsuit is still on-going.


There's a reason the Darwin Awards exist; people can be idiots. You know someone, somewhere, at some point in time decided to have a bleach drinking context, because product labels now have to indicate that you totally shouldn't decide to ingest cleaning chemicals. And why did companies decide to start labeling everything as dangerous if not handled properly? Because the same idiots who drank all that bleach decided it was Clorox's fault for not warning them about the satisfying tingling sensation/inner third degree burns that would be laced down their trachea.


Lawsuits are about as common as air molecules Some are genuinely needed by people have been wronged by a party, others are just lawfully invalid and will be thrown out the moment they reach a desk. However, in rarer cases, one lawsuit pops up that is just so laughably insane that every news outlet will be reporting on it. In fact, some of these most ridiculous lawsuits happen to originate from the video game industry itself. So sit back, relax, pour yourself a cup of Clorox, and enjoy learning about ten of the dumbest video game lawsuits that have ever graced the industry. 

Nintendo Classic Mini - NES coming November 11th Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:22:27 -0400 Anthony Pelone

For American and European audiences comes the Nintendo Classic Mini - NES, a reproduction of the beloved 8-bit console that's arriving November 11th. While it doesn't use cartridges, it comes installed with 30 different games for the price of $60. The game list is as follows:

Balloon Fight
Bubble Bobble
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Dr. Mario
Final Fantasy
Ghosts n' Goblins
Ice Climber
Kid Icarus
Kirby’s Adventure
Mario Bros.
Mega Man 2
Ninja Gaiden
Punch-Out!!  Featuring Mr. Dream
Super C
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.  2
Super Mario Bros.  3
Tecmo Bowl
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Also packed with the system is a NES Classic controller, which as the name implies is a replica of the original controller. These will also be sold separately for $9.99, and can be compatible with NES VC games on Wii and Wii U when connected to a Wii Remote. Wii Classic Controllers and Wii U Classic Controller Pro can also be used with the system.

To further capitalize on the nostalgia, it'll also come packaged with an AC adapter; however, a HDMI cable has also been confirmed to arrive with the system. No trailer was accompanied with the announcement, so we'll have to wait to see how these retro games are enhanced via HD.

Finally, each game will allow for numerous save states, so you won't have to rely on annoying passwords to continue your game -- though assume you can still use them if you want.

We'll keep on eye on more related news as the Nintendo Classic Mini - NES nears its release date. In the meantime, you can check out the amusing press release here.

Are you excited for this NES reproduction? Let us know in the comments below!

RZA To Collaborate With Atari For Album Composed With 8-Bit Sound and Songs Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:27:45 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

RZA, one of the founding members of the legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan, is teaming up with Atari to make a new album that uses sounds inspired by classic 8-bit games.  

In a press release with Billboard about the upcoming album, RZA stated, “I’m so excited to work on these iconic games to deliver what I believe will be one of my best albums. I am going to invite some of my friends to join me and it will be Game On with the first beat!” 

It will be interesting to see how the man who produced albums like Liquid Swords transitions into a project that seems to be so much different than the music that he is known for.

RZA is no stranger to working with Atari, as he provided voice work for their 2006 title Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. 

Lets just hope that the album ends up better than some of RZA's more recent endeavours, Man With The Iron Fists, and unfortunately, Man With Iron Fists 2, because those movies were kind of awful.

Vans x Nintendo Collection is Now Available for Purchase Mon, 06 Jun 2016 07:39:20 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Nintendo’s partnership with Vans was announced just a week ago, and unveiled the new shoes and other apparel made to appeal to fans of Nintendo’s many franchises. The day has finally arrived and now the Vans x Nintendo collection is now available for purchase.

The collection features 8-bit artwork from Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Duck Hunt, and Donkey Kong, as well as artwork inspired by the NES. This collection has more than just shoes. The collection also consists of backpacks, hats, socks, bags, and Co-branded tees. Both the shoes and tees are available in both adult and children’s sizes. The prices of adult sized shoes range from $21 to $75, while the kid’s shoes are $42 to $50. Shoes for toddlers are $37 to $40, and all other apparel ranges from $10 to about $60 depending on the product. The Vans x Nintendo collection is now available to all customers around the world both online and in stores.

Source Images [Zelda Vans, Header Image]

Donkey Kong Country 3 and Two Other Titles Now Available in Nintendo eShop Thu, 02 Jun 2016 18:10:25 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2 on the NES have been in the Nintendo eShop for quite some time now. These titles have brought nostalgia to fans of the series and the trio of games is finally complete.

Nintendo of America tweeted today that Donkey Kong Country 3 is now available on the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS alongside Metroid Prime Hunters and Kick & Fennick on the Wii U. Donkey Kong Country 3 focuses on Dixie Kong’s quest to find Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong while babysitting her brother, Kiddy Kong. The Nintendo website also reveals that this title will only be playable on new Nintendo 3DS systems. The Virtual Console title can be purchased in the 3DS eShop for $7.99.

Metroid Prime Hunters was originally released on the Nintendo DS back in 2006. In the game, Samus is challenged by six bounty hunters from across the galaxy to claim ancient relics. The Wii U GamePad is required to play the game and can now be purchased in the eShop for $9.99.

Kick & Fennick is an Indie platforming game and the final title released today in the Wii U eShop. The game centers on a young boy, Kick, waking up in a desolate world. Here he meets the small flying robot, Fennick. When they find out Fennick’s battery is broken, the duo embarks on an adventure to the Core Tower to find a new energy core for Fennick. The Wii U GamePad is required to play the game and is compatible with the Wii U Pro Controller. Kick & Fennick can be purchased in the Wii U eShop for $10.49.

Source Images [Nintendo eShop Header ImageMetroid Prime Hunters LogoKick & Fennick Picture]

Nintendo and Vans go retro with new footwear Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:39:05 -0400 Anthony Pelone

Any NES fan looking for new shoes may be interested to learn that Nintendo is collaborating with the VF Coporation to launch retro-based footwear. These shoes, which are under the Vans brand, feature four different classic games:

  • Super Mario Bros. on a Tie-Dye design featuring the entire class (as well as a second color-up starring Princess Peach)
  • Duck Hunt, featuring both dog and duck on a digi-camo backdrop
  • Donkey Kong, which will be for the "Authentic" brand of Vans
  • The Legend of Zelda, exclusive to the Classic Slip-On.

The NES console itself will be referenced in a trio of Sidestriped shoes.

In addition to footwear, this collaboration will also include apparel and accessories --  hats, backpacks, socks, and tees for both genders. Kid-exclusive items will also take inspiration from Super Mario and Mario Kart. All these will be avaliable in US and international stores beginning this Friday, but consumers can also visit the Nintendo section of the Vans website to shop online.

Are these NES-inspired shoes up your alley? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Source: BusinessWire

There's A Vans x Nintendo Party, And You're Invited! Sun, 29 May 2016 07:25:12 -0400 Austin Katz

Vans just announced they will be holding a launch party for the recently revealed Nintendo-themed Vans, from June 2nd to June 19th at the House of Vans in London.

The event is free and open to the public, with a special private event which includes a Mario Kart competition for fans who RSVP in advance. During this time, the House of Vans will be transformed into an oasis for gamers and shoe enthusiasts alike. Vans said there will be Nintendo consoles from each generation for attendees to play, with games picked from various popular franchises such as Super Mario World, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Duck Hunt. If that is not enough of an enticement, Vans said there will be Nintendo memorabilia and game tournaments spread throughout the exhibition.

For people who are not interested in the video games, Vans said they will provide carnival games for their guests. Vans did not say if there will be a similar launch party around the world, but these Vans will be available for purchase in June.

For more gaming wear, check out this article where fashion and gaming intersect.

(Photo courtesy of Vans)

Wes Copeland breaks Donkey Kong Arcade world record Mon, 09 May 2016 08:18:31 -0400 David Fisher

Very few games can be beaten with a perfect high score. But as of May 5th, 2016, Wes Copeland has achieved as close to a perfect high score as anyone has come for the 1981 arcade classic: Donkey Kong.

The video above features a 3-hour long video of the record-breaking feat with a final score of 1,218,000 points. This is 47,500 points more than Copeland's previous score of 1,170,500 points, and 45,900 points more than the previous record holder, Robbie Lakeman, with 1,172,100 points.

While many players have played Donkey Kong on re-releases, the arcade version is actually unique in that it actually has an "end" in the sense that a coding error results in a kill screen after a certain amount of repetitions. As a result, a maximum high score is possible with the original machines.

In an interview with IGN, Copeland told them that his latest high score was partially the result of luck.

“It could conceivably be beaten with a lot of luck [...] [...] I think that's what it's going to come down to. I've stopped playing because I think if I sat down and played every day for the next five years, I still don't think I'd be able to beat this score. It's the equivalent of playing poker and being dealt 10 royal flushes in a row.”

The aforementioned 'luck' aspect likely has to do with the game's random generation of obstacles. While stages and traps remain the same, the obstacles Donkey Kong throws at Jumpman -- as well as powerup spawns -- are at least in part randomly generated. As such, the score of 1,218,000 points may never be reached again.

That is... until someone decides to try to match it.

Most Adorable Baby Gaming Outfits Thu, 31 Mar 2016 08:23:22 -0400 _Glitchchic_

For all those gamer fans with little ones back home, check out these cute baby outfits -- because who says babies can't be trendsetters in micro-fashion!

Below, I have provided a series of cutesy apparel options for your younglings and links to the places you can purchase them. It's time to gamify your mini me. 

Donkey Kong Bib

 $14 - Etsy


Remember the good ole days of Atari? Your kids probably don't, so why not bring up some old memories with this? This handmade Donkey Kong bib fits 4 months to 2-year-olds and will definitely remind the classic gamer of this retro thrill. It is designed to be placed over the head like a shirt, and it's fitted with arm holes in order to keep it steady to catch those impending food drips. 

Loading Diaper 

$16.51 - Etsy

Every gamer knows lag and loading bars well, so why not spiff up your baby's wardrobe with this comical addition? It fits babies from 3 months to 2 years old, and is handmade in Canada. It comes in 4 colors (red, blue, white, pink) and is 100% deluxe cotton. 

Star Trek TNG Uniform Bodysuits

$19.99 - Thinkgeek 

Yes, there is hope that all your children will know the original Star Trek series and why you shouldn't wear the red shirt. Not that you shouldn't get the red shirt from here, because it is stinkin' adorable. This item comes in gold, blue, and red. Perfect for the next generation! 

Game of Thrones Onesie

$10.99 - Etsy


For newborns to 24 months. For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, we have the perfect, John Snow sanctioned, baby onesie. It comes in 12 different colors including red, turquoise, white, black, and royal. This piece is also handmade using ring-spun combed cotton. 

Togepi Baby Bodysuit, Pokemon Baby

$14 - Etsy

Here's a friendly face from an old favorite. Your baby is Gonna Catch 'Em all with this adorable piece available at Etsy! Made for newborns up to 12 months. 

S is for Star Wars Kids' Tees

$14.99 - Thinkgeek

As I said, we must think about the younglings. What child wouldn't want to have a shirt with R2-D2 or Chewy? You can pick from the ones shown here at ThinkGeek. There is a Star Wars character to match everyone's personality and favorites!

Space Invader Inspired Baby Shoes

$17 - Etsy


Now what about the footsies! My mother always told me that the best way to warm toes is by using pixelated space aliens. At least, I think that's what she said... either way, you can get these on Etsy, too!

Do you have any other baby gamer apparel that you enjoy? If so, post the links below and show us, or tell us what you think of these!