PaRappa the Rapper Articles RSS Feed | PaRappa the Rapper RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network PaRappa the Rapper Really Didn't Need That PS4 Remaster Tue, 06 Jun 2017 14:35:31 -0400 daisy_blonde

This may seem a bit like sour grapes coming from a gamer who grew up in the PS1 generation -- but frankly, PaRappa the Rapper did not need a PS4 remaster. 

I didn't get a chance to play the original game back in the day, as the title was rarer than hen's teeth! Instead, I made do with the relatively hard Stage 1 on a PlayStation demo disk. But I finally got the chance to play the whole game at my local museum in April 2014, when a video game exhibition (originally in Melbourne, Australia) came to my hometown in Edinburgh. I loved it, and a few weeks later, I picked up a copy on an online auction site.

The visuals (90s cardboard cut-out) by Rodney Greenblat were funky and irreverent, and the music was zany. As for the story, it was completely off the wall -- and you had to play it to believe it, as it included a chicken teaching you how to bake a cake and PaRappa having to desperately use the bathroom. But at its core, the story was about PaRappa trying to impress a flower-shaped girl called Sunny Funny through the medium of rap.

I then picked up the sequel, PaRappa the Rapper 2on my PS4. Again, I loved the game -- but as far as I could see, very little was added with the new iteration, apart from a reformatting of visuals for modern TV and a trophy system.

The lack of a true upgrade between the original game and the sequel didn't give me high hopes for the remaster -- and as I suspected, the game didn't quite live up to expectation. Its mediocre 62 score on Metacritic tells me I'm not the only one who was disappointed. 

Admittedly, sharing your gameplay and posting about it online is much easier using the remastered version, but little else is added other than a fresh coat of HD paint.

And honestly, Greenblat's unique visuals didn't really need an HD upgrade, so the game doesn't benefit very much from having a better resolution in the same way that titles like Crash Bandicoot or Final Fantasy VII would. It's a bit like redrawing basic Pong visuals on a new console -- it might look a bit crisper, but for the most part it's graphically the same as the original version.

The same is true for the game's soundtrack, which has also been upgraded in quality. It's really similar to picking up an album by your favorite artist on vinyl, then grabbing the same album via an online store. While the online version might sound better in modern-day headsets that often come packed with surround sound, the vinyl version is still excellent as well. And for PaRappa the Rapper's eclectic tracks, there wasn't much updating that could be done without losing the personality that made them so memorable in the first place.  

Aside from the lack of updated visuals and sound design, the addition the trophy system was a nice touch for the modern gamer. But aside from bragging rights, even that doesn't bring very much to the table. (And personally, I find it slightly less satisfying to simply post high scores on social media, rather than taking photos and sending them to magazines like we would back in the day.)


The only real upside to this remaster is accessibility. There's no shortage of copies, since it can be downloaded digitally. So it's great that more people can experience this musical game if they haven't before. But for long-standing fans of this IP, the remaster just didn't do enough with the source material to feel like a satisfying purchase. 

The striking visuals and offbeat lyrics of PaRappa the Rapper set the tone for the 1990s PlayStation era, and the remaster ultimately fails to capture that. I would only recommend picking it up if you haven't played the original.

New Details on Project Rap Rabbit: From the Minds Behind Parappa and Gitaroo Man Tue, 16 May 2017 11:22:43 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

After getting a teaser announcement about a new rhythm game under development by the same minds that created Gitaroo Man, Elite Beat Agents, and Parappa the Rapper, Keiichi Yano and Masaya Matsuura came clean with the launch of their Kickstarter for Project Rap Rabbit.

The new title will take rhythm-styled gameplay into RPG territory, orchestrating combat through dialogue exchanges filtered through rap battles. Inspired by other media like the Epic Rap Battles Of History YouTube series, the hook here is that rap battles are decided in real time through a “dialogue wheel”, which represents one of four specific temperaments.

The wheels will vary, with four types of expression: Coerce, Boast, Laugh, and Joke -- each of these rap-trees will have their own strengths and weaknesses, having specific uses against the enemies you’ll encounter in the game. This will force you to ad-lib your flow like a genuine freestyle rapper. 

The team behind the game is promising that Project Rap Rabbit will be the most stylish game that either Keiichi Yano or Masaya Matsuura has ever released. 


The campaign’s funding goal is about $1.1 million.Stretch goals state that the game was initially pitched as a PS4 console exclusive, but if the campaign reaches $3.1 million, the team will release an Xbox One version of Project Rap Rabbit, and they'll also bring it to the Nintendo Switch if it hits a whopping $4.9 million.

The project has already raised $95,000 on its first day, but it remains to be seen whether or not the team will be able to secure the money they’re asking for. If you want to find out more about the project, you can find the KickStarter for Project Rap Rabbit here.

What's Next With PaRappa the Rapper? Stickers! Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:17:59 -0400 Jaleesa Mitchell

For some strange reason, we are all drawn to stickers. The infatuation lasts longer for some than others, but at one point or another we have all covered a notebook, writing utensil, wall, or a console with a sticker (or a hundred). Why is this important in the game industry? Well, gamelets, PlayStation released a remastered version of PaRappa the Rapper earlier this month. And what's coming out next for this series?

PaRappa the Rapper stickers!

Take a look:

Don't these look fun?

PaRappa the Rapper was originally released by Sony on the PlayStation and PlayStation Portable. Now that the re-master is available on the PlayStation 4, Sony has decided to keep the hype up by releasing the stickers on iOS. Let's hope that Android follows soon!

For those of you who don't know, PaRappa the Rapper is a single-player rhythm game in which the main character, known as PaRappa, must rap-battle his way through the six stages of the game.

There's a "U Rappin" meter that gauges how well the player is following the beat. It rates you as Awful, Bad, Good, or Cool. I'm not going to go into all of the rules for gameplay, but let's just say you don't want to hit that Awful or Bad rating too many times -- it'll probably send you back to the beginning.

To get an idea about what it's like to play, check out the video below.

Will you be buying digital PaRappa the Rapper stickers anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below!

Flashback: PaRappa the Rapper is the world's greatest canine rapper. Fri, 07 Aug 2015 19:52:36 -0400 Larry Iaccio

Every Friday in honor of #flashbackFriday (yes, I went there) I plan on looking back at a classic game that had either a profound impact on my gaming career or impacted the industry in some way. Let's be clear, I AM NOT reviewing these games, but rather expressing how I remember them in comparison with how I feel about them now after having played through them again.  

This week I decided to combine my love of gaming with my passion for music and talk about everybody's favorite rap battling dog, PaRappa the Rapper.

PaRappa the Rapper is a rhythm based game that originally came out for the PlayStation 1 back in the glorious year of 1996.  The game centers around PaRappa who is some kind of an anthropomorphic, rapping, dog-like, thing. PaRappa aspires to be the world's greatest "hip hop hero" while simultaneously winning the heart of his beloved flower friend named Sunny Funny.

So in essence the story is about a dog trying to win the love of a flower through various hip-hop battles.  Alright, so maybe there are some plot holes in the story, but playing a rhythm game for the story is like Donald Trump trying to not make a fool of himself, it could happen, but probably not.

I have to admit, this is one of the first games I remember playing on my PS1 (definitely the first rhythm game I'd ever played), and I was absolutely infatuated with almost everything about it. The eye-popping visuals, the simple yet challenging levels, and of course the incredible soundtrack.  

So did this genre-pioneering game withstand the test of time?

Yes and no.  

Let's start with the yes. PaRappa the Rapper is still an amazing game based solely on the soundtrack.  It is easily one of my favorite video game soundtracks ever (and ranks quite high with many others as well) and the songs are just as catchy and infectious as they were nearly 20 years ago. Nailing the rhythm so the song doesn't skip a beat is just as satisfying as it was back then. Composer Masaya Matsuura took really special care to make each song as unique and fun as possible. The songs are so good because they represent the characters behind them so incredibly well. It gives a sense of believability and purpose to actually rapping while making a cake or learning kung fu. 

Unfortunately for me, this is where the nostalgia goggles come off and I really start to see the flaws that existed within this game.  

In my version (I'm not sure if this happened to everyone), anytime that I would pause the game, walk away, and come back, I would have to restart the level from the beginning which turned out to be quite annoying. The visuals, although definitely unique and endearing, really did not age well and start to look like a pop-up book gone bad very quickly.

The gameplay is not at all as challenging as I remember it and if you're good you can actually beat the game in around 40 minutes.

PaRappa the Rapper is far from a bad game, and is definitely worth playing for anyone who has never picked it up. Regrettably, as an avid fan when I was younger, this title has shifted from what I remember being a great game to more of just being an excellent soundtrack.

The Top 10 Video Game Soundtracks of All Time Wed, 22 Apr 2015 05:55:19 -0400 Shatai Melvin


I hope this list of video game music has helped you. I recommend fans of video games and those who are not fans to listen to video game music. Video game music helps with concentration and doesn't distract the person listening to it. Also, I hope that you recommend this list to someone you know. I know I have enjoyed listening to these songs. 


1. Kingdom Hearts: Simple and Clean

Composer: Yoko Shimomura, and Kaoru Wada.

This game was released in 2002 for the PS2. This game has spawn into several prequel and sequel games. This game is about a boy named Sora who gets separated from his friends Rikku and Kairi when their island gets attacked by creatures which are known as Heartless. Japanese singer Utada Hikaru wrote this and other songs for the game series. This game was created in collaboration with Square Enix and Disney. 


2. Parappa the Rapper: Chop Chop Master Onion Rap

Composer: Masaya Matsuura

This game was known for its songs. Originally released in 1996 for PS1 as a rhythm video game. The main character Parappa had to rap his way through each stage in the game. 


3. Check Yo Self - Ice Cube - Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Soundtrack

Composer: Several musical artists (i.e. Ice Cuba, Snoop-Dogg,and others. )

This game was released in 2004 for PS2. The game is about Carl "CJ" Johnson who returns home to Los Santos once he learned his mom has died. He deals with issues of gangs and cops while trying to find out how his mom died. What makes this game interesting is that the music used is from different Hip-Hop/Rap artists. Different music plays on each radio station. 


4. Super Mario Bros. Music - Ground Theme

Composer: Koji Kondo

One of the most iconic game songs in history. Not everyone has played every type of video game but they have played Super Mario Bros. When this was released in 1985 composer Koji Kondo made this on a small keyboard. 


5. Final Fantasy Series 

Composer: Nobuo Uematsu, Hitoshi Sakimoto,Masashi Hamauzu, Kumi Tanioka and more.

The characters in the game series are known for going on adventures. This game series is known for its iconic score of music. There is an orchestra tour that plays music from the game series. 


6. The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Main theme - OST soundtrack - Dragonborn

Composer: Jeremy Soule

Released in 2011 this game series spans four disks. In this game the main character has to beat Alduin the World-Eater, a dragon who is suppose to destroy the world. The composer of this game Jeremy Soule made the song by using a male choir and writing the song in Draconic, the dragons' native tongue.


7. Pokemon Red/Blue Opening

Composer: Juichi Masuda

This game was released in 1996. It all about a boy who goes on a journey trying to become a Pokemon master. What made this game so awesome was that the score included distorted sounds that were used for Pokemon cries. This game has the infamous Lavender Town theme which sprung crazy and interesting stories. 


8. Chrono Trigger

Composers: Yasunori Mitsuda, and Nobuo Uematsu

This game is about the main character Crono who goes to the Millennium Fair in Leene Square. He meets and becomes friends with a girl named Marle. Crono and Marle go see an invention created by his friend Lucca. Marle disappears when the machine reacts with her pendant. Crono uses Marle's pendant that was left behind and goes into the portal to find her. This game was released in 1995 for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. 


9. The Halo Series

Composers: Martin O’Donnell, Nile Rodgers, Stephen Rippy, and Michael Salvatori

Halo was originally created by Bungie and is now developed and managed by 343 Industries. This game series is about a war that is ongoing with humanity and an alien alliance called "The Covenant." Halo is known for its iconic soundtrack.


10. The Legend Of Zelda Series (1986)

Composers: Koji Kando, Akito Nakatsuka Hajime Wakai Kenta Nagata, and many more. 

(NES Soundtrack used here) This game is about Link, who has to rescue Princess Zelda and the town of Hryule from the villain Ganondorf. Supposedly, Link is based off of Disney's Peter Pan, according to the game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.


A video game isn't awesome without a good soundtrack. Having a game with a good soundtrack will not only make the gaming experience more enjoyable it will also help you connect to the game. Enjoy listening to these songs.

The 10 Video Game Consoles Worthy of Putting into a Museum Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:33:16 -0400 mchiu

Now that the National Videogame History Museum will break ground in January 2015, I thought it might be fun to speculate what would be 10 home video game consoles that absolutely should be on display.

In researching this article, it brought back a lot of childhood nostalgia. I remember spending hours in front of the TV playing many of these games, and it was difficult to really sort out which would truly make it into the top 10. I really couldn't rank these against each other since each one is truly unique and groundbreaking, that there really wouldn't be any objective way to say any one system is "better" than any other.

So in the end, I present you with this list, which is not ranked, but rather, is listed in more or less a chronological order of video game consoles that should be included in any respectable video game museum.

1. Magnavox Odyssey

This console is truly the grandaddy of video game consoles.  Released in August 1972, and pre-dating Atari's Pong arcade game by 3 years, the Odyssey did not have any audio, was powered off 6 "C" batteries, (or A/C adapter sold separately) and used translucent color plastic overlays that players could put on their TV screens to simulate color graphics. (Yes, the games back then were only in two colors) It came with 2 paddles for controllers. For you younger folk, "paddles" were game controllers that were nothing more than just a knob that you twisted back and forth. Basically, in those days, game movement was restricted to just left and and right, or up and down. Later models of paddles included a button as an extra input option.

Notable Games

A total of 27 games were made available for the Odyssey by way of printed circuit boards (that were called "game cards") that were inserted into the system, similarly to game cartridges in later systems. Some of the game cards had multiple games on them, so there were only 12 different game cards that were released.

When it comes to the older generations, just about every game is notable since video games were so new at the time. For the Magnavox Odyssey, most of the games were essentially different variations of Pong, with games such as Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer, etc.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

I think this one is a no-brainer. This is the console that started it all, and inspired future generations of video game consoles. The machine did not have any brains, however, as it was lacking a CPU. It wouldn't be until 4 years later until a semiconductor company came up with such a console... 

2. Fairchild Channel F

This is a system that I am willing to bet that most people have never heard of. Released in November 1976, this system was put out by Fairchild Semiconductor, which is better known as a company that produces computer chips, and was the pre-cursor to Intel. (A bit boring of a history lesson, but some of the founders of Fairchild went on to start up Intel, AMD, and other semiconductor companies in the Silicon Valley). The system came with an interesting pair of controllers that were like joysticks without bases.

At the top of the controller, was a triangular "cap" that allowed for 8-way directional control, but could also be twisted, so in today's world, it could be viewed as the analog control knobs, but they could also be twisted. This made it so the controllers were both joysticks and paddles simultaneously. As for audio, it made an improvement over the Odyssey, only in that it did have audio, although it came through an internal speaker on the console, and not through the TV speakers.

Notable Games

The system only had 26 games developed for it, and as you might have guessed already, most of the games were variations of Pong. Games on the system included Video Whizball, Bowling, Pro-Football, Video Blackjack, Baseball, etc.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The Fairchild Channel F is the first video game console to use a dedicated CPU inside, as well as the first video game console to use game cartridges. It was different from the Magnavox Odyssey's "game cards" in that the cartridges contained Read Only Memory (ROM) chips that allowed the games to be programmed by software, versus the game cards which were a series of physical jumpers between pins of the card connector. One other important reason this should be in the museum is that due to the use of the CPU, it was able to produce enough AI for players to play against a computer opponent. All previous consoles required two human players.

The Fairchild F was truly revolutionary, but it never really achieved market success. One other reason it was so important to the video game industry, however, was that it spurred the development of...

3. Atari 2600 (aka Atari Video Computer System)

OK, let me just get the biggest elephant of the room out of the way already. Released in September 1978, the Atari Video Computer System (VCS) basically ate Fairchild's Channel F's lunch, and profited handsomely from it. For mainstream America, this is pretty much where home video game consoles all started. Originally named the Atari Video Computer System, after the introduction of the follow-up Atari 5200, the VCS was renamed to the Atari 2600. It shipped with 2 joystick controllers and a pair paddles. The original units also shipped with the Combat game, however, later models shipped with different game titles. 

Notable Games

In the section below, there will be some discussion of the E.T. game that lead to Atari's demise, but other games notable games on the Atari 2600 include titles such as Breakout, Yar's Revenge, Kaboom!, Adventure, 

Why It Should Be in the Museum

While the Fairchild Channel F was revolutionary as the first console with a dedicated CPU, Atari one-upped them by using a more powerful CPU that was cheaper, and thus, able to offer the Atari VCS as a cheaper alternative. 

Although it was not Atari's intention, it also spawned the market for 3rd party developers. Disgruntled Atari game programmers left the company due to not receiving any recognition for the games they created, nor receiving any kind of compensation for the smash hits they produced, and went on to create their own company that solely made games compatible with the Atari VCS. Atari brought them to court, but in the end, the courts ruled in favor of this new company, Activision. In fact, if you looked at the boxes the Activision game cartridges came in, you will notice that it featured a short bio of the programmer.

At the time, the biggest game in the arcades was Taito's Space Invaders, which Atari had licensed and brought to the 2600. This was the tipping point that brought video games to the forefront of mainstream American society, and Atari continued to license other IP to much success, including Pac-Man. Unfortunately, Atari also licensed the rights to produce a game based on the movie, E.T., and the game did so poorly, that it lead to the video game crash of 1983. 


Also, the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man is also widely criticized as another reason for the downfall. At the time, Pac-Man was a hugely popular game, and  had swept all across America, so the Atari 2600 version of the game was highly anticipated, but was a big letdown when it looked absolutely nothing like the original game. 

In the US, the post-crash hangover lasted until 1985, but when the video game market in the US started to pick up again, Atari was no longer the force it once was, and all the other competitors were nowhere to be found. In fact, it took a Japanese company to revive the video game market in the US...

4. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom


Released first in Japan in July 1983 and known as the "Family Computer" or "Famicom" for short, and later in the US in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), this machine featured an 8-bit processor, and used a gamepad similar to the ones that we use today. (albeit, a much simpler version)

Notable Games

The NES was able to bring arcade quality graphics home, which helped bring back gamer's confidence in home video games again. As this is a Nintendo console, the most noticeable game would have to be Super Mario Bros. which shipped initially with every console sold in the US. Other notable titles included The Legend of Zelda, Duck Hunt, (which made use of a light gun) and Kung Fu. (which was the same game as the arcade hit, Kung Fu Fighter)

The NES also had 3rd party titles such as Konami's Contra, which is where we first see the "Konami Code". (up up down down left right left right B A Start) Also interesting to note is that many of the largest video game franchises today all started on the NES. These include games like Final Fantasy, Megaman, Metal Gear, and  Dragon Quest.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

Aside from the fact that the NES resuscitated the then dying US video game market, unlike its predecessors, the NES was able to capture the arcade quality graphics of video games, and bring them home. 

In order to regain consumer confidence in video games, Nintendo had also set up a strict licensing system that allowed it to approve video games for use on its system. Before the 1983 video game crash, there was no quality control, and video game advertising and box art greatly exaggerated the actual graphics of the game, and set up false expectations. Nintendo wanted to have more control over this, and game developers were subjected to a strict approval process that is still used today by all the game console manufacturers, as well as by mobile phone app stores. 

Finally, Nintendo was the first game console to use copy-protection, that made it difficult for pirates to steal developers' IP and resell them without authorization.

Besides, it's fun to have in a museum and to see kids' reactions to what a real NES looks like.

5. NEC TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine


The NEC TurboGrafx-16 (PC Engine in Japan) had a bit of a confusing name. This console was released during the era of 16-bit game consoles, yet it used an 8-bit CPU, but did feature dual 16-bit GPUs. The Japanese version, PC Engine, was considered to be the world's smallest game console with the dimensions of 5.5"x5.5"x1.5". This console also featured a gamepad similar to the NES, and used a very thin cartridge that was just slightly thicker than a credit card, that it called "HuCard."

Notable Games

Although not as popular as other game systems of its time, there were some popular game franchises that made their debut on the TurboGrafx/PC Engine platform. The two most notable would be Bomberman and Bonk's Adventure

 Why It Should Be In the Museum

Aside from the fact that it was an extremely compact system, the NEC TurboGrafx-16 was also the first console to feature a CD-ROM peripheral. The CD-ROM also lacked region lock, so US gamers could play CD titles, though the HuCards had different pin assignments between TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine.

Also, later on, NEC released the TurboExpress, which was a handheld version of the TurboGrafx-16. It featured a 2.6" backlit, active-matrix LCD, stereo sound, and the same CPU, however, it's main draw was the fact that it could play the same HuCards that were used in the home version. 

 6. 3DO

The 3DO Company did not actually manufacture any consoles, but instead, licensed out its hardware design to 3rd parties such as Panasonic, Goldstar, and Sanyo. It featured a 32-bit ARM processor and internal CD-ROM drive. (this was revolutionary in those days) 

Notable Games

Since 3DO did not do very well, part of the reason is that it was missing an exclusive title that warranted someone to want to go out and get the console. Since it was slightly cheaper than buying a full-blown PC at the time, if someone really wanted to play PC titles such as Myst, Star Wars Rebel Assault, Doom, or Alone in the Dark, maybe a 3DO machine made more sense, but obviously, that really didn't happen, or maybe it was too niche of a market to grow out.

Why It Should Be In the Museum

I decided to include 3DO in this list simply because I feel that it should be an example of how not to launch a video game console. While it did generate quite a buzz in its day, it was riding on the "multimedia wave" that was going on in the PC world by providing games on CD-ROM. Unfortunately, due to its business model of licensing out its hardware design to 3rd parties, the price of the consoles were upwards of $599, which were double that of its competitors, namely, the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.

The company felt that since it had a very advanced system, the public was willing to pay a premium for it, despite the fact that competitors such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis already had a strong foothold in the US already. While it was ahead of its time, it wasn't that far ahead, and it was more of its arrogance that lead to its demise.

7. Sega Genesis/MegaDrive

Released in Japan as the MegaDrive in October 1988, and subsequently in the US as the Sega Genesis in November 1990, this console was probably the only successful console from Sega. In Japan, it did not do well against its competitors, Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine, but it did acheive success in the US and Europe. This console was a 16-bit machine, and like the rest of the consoles at the time, used game cartridges. 

Notable Games

The Sega Genesis had a huge library games for it, with many of them being arcade translations. Some of the best known games include: Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Battle Toads, Phantasy Star series, Mortal Kombat, Streets of Rage.

Edit: A friend just informed me that the Phantasy Star series started on the Sega Master System (the predecessor to the Sega Genesis) however, it was also a popular title on the Genesis nonetheless.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

In the US, the Sega Genesis was the main competitor against Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Its marketing was geared towards being like the "older brother" of Nintendo with games that were geared towards a more mature audience. While there was controversy over games such as Mortal Kombat, Sega allowed blood to be shown in the game, while Nintendo went on the more parent-approved version of showing no blood in the game. This eventually lead to the creation of the Videogame Rating Council, which was the predecessor to the ESRB ratings we see today. 

8. Sony PlayStation

Released in Japan in December 1994, and in the US in September 1995, the PlayStation was a CD-ROM based console that also used gamepads, however, the gamepads now featured shoulder buttons and four buttons. Later versions of the gamepad included analog sticks and "Dual Shock" force feedback.

Notable Games

At this point in time, we begin to see that in the market, titles on one platform may also appear on another platform. Certain games are available exclusively only on one platform, which makes the console even more popular. For the PlayStation, here are some titles that were exclusive at the time: Final Fantasy VII, Parasite Eve, Parappa the Rapper, Gran Tourismo, Metal Gear Solid, and Crash Bandicoot. 

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The Sony PlayStation kickstarted the 32-bit revolution, and the modern video games we see out today. It was also the first mainstream console to use optical media to distribute games, compared to the cartridge system used before. With CD-ROMs, and subsequently with DVDs, games could be distributed and stored in a thinner form factor, and contain more data for higher quality graphics and audio. The Dual Shock controllers and analog sticks brought a whole new level of play into the mix, as players could have the feedback in their hands through vibrations for explosions, or when they are doing some right or wrong, as well as having more precise control of movements.

Sega soon after introduced the Sega Saturn which also featured CD-ROM, but this is the classic case of the first-mover advantage, where Sony overtook the market. 

9. Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii was unveiled at the 2006 GDC in San Jose, where it was originally codenamed the "Revolution". This console featured a new type of controller that was not only wireless, but also had a motion sensor to allow players to use gestures to control the action in the game.

Notable Games

The Nintendo Wii shipped with Wii Sports, which showed off the capabilities of the Wii, but unfortunately, it did that so well that for the first few years, sales of other titles did not fare well until the novelty rubbed off. Afterwards, other titles started getting more attention such as: Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Epic Mickey, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The controller, known as the "WiiMote" brought a whole new dimension to gaming. While Microsoft and Sony were battling it out with their graphics capabilities and pure horsepower with their upcoming Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, Nintendo realized that it would not be able to compete on this end, and instead, chose to focus on revolutionizing game play. 

At his keynote during GDC 2006, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata noted that in designing the Wii, they wanted to create a system that a young child could easily pick up and understand how to play, as well as something that would not be foreign to an elderly person. The "WiiMote", as the name implies, was meant to look and feel like a remote control, however, it could be used as an extension of the hand, and with a little imagination, could be viewed as a tennis racquet, a sword, etc. while being waved in the air. 

After its initial release in November 2006, the Wii was constantly sold out, and subsequently caused both Microsoft and Sony to come up with their own gesture-based controllers in the Kinect and the PlayStation Move.

10. All Current Generation Game Consoles

At the time of this writing, the current generation game consoles would include the Nintendo Wii U, the Microsoft Xbox One, and the Sony PlayStation 4. These consoles represent the latest and greatest of gaming technology today with some of the most advanced graphics capabilities, as well as the ability to play and purchase games online.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The current generation of the game consoles should be featured in any video game museum simply to show how far along we have come along. With each generation of home video game consoles come with it a slew of advancements that set a new standard for all future consoles. 

Only the Top 10? Honorable Mentions:

As I was writing this, I realized that limiting to just the top 10 would be impossible. There are so many great video game consoles that were left out of this list that truly deserved to be showcased in a video game museum. If I could have an infinite number of consoles to feature, here are some of the others that I would also include to showcase in a video game museum:

  • Intellivision
  • ColecoVision
  • Atari 5200
  • Vectrex
  • Sega Master System
  • Neo-Geo
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System / Super Famicom
  • Atari Jaguar
  • Sega Saturn
  • Nintendo 64
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • Sony PlayStation 2
  • Nintendo Game Cube
  • Microsoft Xbox

... and this is only the beginning. On top of this, there are also the portable consoles and their predecessors in the handheld game genre, which I have been a big fan of, and have been a bit of a collector. Maybe this would be something to write about in the future.

The home video game console market has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 1970s. As we now cross into this new generation of consoles, and with the advent of cloud computing and virtual consoles, I wonder what's in store for us 5-10 years down the line. Will game consoles still exist as they do today? Will consoles themselves just turn into brands and apps that we can access on our Smart TVs while all of the computing horsepower is done on the carrier side? Buckle up everyone! I think it's gonna be a wild ride!

Gaming's Greatest Guilty Pleasures: The Songs You're Embarrassed to Love Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:33:51 -0400 Rocky Linderman

We all have our favorite songs from our favorite games that we know is weird, goofy or just plain terrible, but we just can't help liking it anyways. Here's a list of some of my absolute favorite guilty pleasures from some of my favorite games. 

1. Kingdom Hearts: "Simple and Clean"

Coming from a game that features a Disney character/Final Fantasy character mash up, it should be no surprise that the music is equally insane. This song has some of the most amazingly bad lyrics I've heard in any song, but I don't care! The absurdity of it only adds to the charm. 

Biggest offense: 

Don't get me wrong, I love you,

but does that mean I have to meet your father?

2. Parappa the Rapper: "Chop Chop Master Onion Rap"

The premise of this game was that you are a rapping dog that lives in a magical world where Onions can be karate masters. It's a game chock-full of absurd music but this is the one that stands out the most to me. I know it's a horrible song but I can't help but want to get down when I hear that bell at the beginning of the track. 

Biggest offense: 

Don't get cocky, it's gonna get rocky,

We gonna move down to the next ya jockey now

3. Phantasy Star Online: "Burning Rangers" 

This was a hidden disk you could find in Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube and Dreamcast that changed the music for any level you were currently playing through. Nothing made shooting countless numbers of helpless Rappys more fun than jamming out to this big band/rock song while you were doing it. 

Biggest offense: 

Repeated use of the song's title in the lyrics, "Burning Rangers!" and the fact that it was 6 minutes of the same thing over and over again.

4. Guitar Hero 3: "Through the Fire and Flames"

Guitar Hero 3 is known for its amazing soundtrack, but there was one particularly large blight on its otherwise great lineup. Featuring cheesy lyrics that seem to be ripped from the pages of a Tolkien wannabe, Dragon Force's "Through the Fire and Flames" is without a doubt one of the more absurd songs written. But every time I hear those crazy guitar riffs I can't help but bang my head in celebration of one of Guitar Hero's technically brutal songs ever featured in the franchise. 

Biggest offense: 

So now we fly ever free
We're free before the thunderstorm
On towards the wilderness
Our quest carries on

Far beyond the sundown
Far beyond the moonlight
Deep inside our hearts and all our souls!

5. Metal Gear Solid 3: "Snake Eater"

In a franchise that's known for its absurdities this song takes the cake. Done in the same format as one of the classic James Bond songs of old, this song earns the top spot on my guilty pleasure list because it's just impossible to not hear the singer's sultry voice and belt out the lines, "Snake Eater!" with her. 

Biggest offense: 

Someday you go through the rain
And someday, you feed on a tree frog
This ordeal, the trial to survive
For the day we see new light!