Parasite Eve Articles RSS Feed | Parasite Eve RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network FF7R Producer Would Like to See Parasite Eve Come Back Thu, 05 Mar 2020 14:21:36 -0500 Ashley Shankle

It's been a while since we've heard anything about Square Enix's Parasite Eve, as the horror RPG series has been lying dormant for nearly a whole decade.

Main character Aya Brea's last foray, titled The 3rd Birthday, on PSP met critical success and sold well in both Japan and North America despite the previous game in the series being released all the way back on the original PlayStation.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake and The 3rd Birthday producer Yoshinori Kitase stated during an interview on Square Enix's official YouTube channel that it would be "a waste" not to bring Parasite Eve's characters back in this age of horror titles.

Kitase stated he didn't know of any plans to bring Aya Brea back to the gaming space, but he does feel that now is a good time to see her return. After all, Square Enix is currently seeing a boom of RPG remasters and remakes while Capcom is busy remaking key classic entries to the Resident Evil series.

Now does seem the best time to bring Parasite Eve into the collective gaming consciousness once again.

Do you think it's time Parasite Eve saw a comeback, even if in remake form? Let us know in the comments below!

Stay tuned for more on Parasite Eve, which we'll hopefully have more on in the future. Fingers crossed. 

5 PlayStation Collections the Vita Needs and You Want Fri, 07 Apr 2017 12:00:01 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE


The odds of a major title landing on the little handheld in 2017 is slim, but that doesn’t mean that the Vita should be ignored.


There are so many games with collections, like God of War, and Ratchet and Clank that can have plenty of games to arrange into a budget-minded package made to rekindle the same magic that they did when they first came out. The Vita can do so much more, but for now, I’d be happy with the idea of taking some of these potential collections with me on my next flight or road trip on a portable system that doesn’t get enough credit for how awesome it is.


The Yū-Nama collection


I find it strange that Nintendo is the first brand that people think of whenever the topic of weird games come up, especially when Sony has been open to the idea of a game about surviving in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo as a Pomeranian.


The What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? series (part of the The Yū-Nama series) is a prime example, as they focused on the premise role-reversing the traditional fantasy setup where players take the action of a villain who is trying to defend the safety of his lair from the onslaught of adventure heroes who line up in droves to challenge your domain. The strategical nuance is reminiscent of a tower-defense style of game, only you’re given way more liberty in you arsenal to defend the Demon Lord from the defeat of a noble champion with charming tools and traps made to specifically counter distinctive hero-types and powers.


The games never really got a fair break, as they were release late in the PSP’s life cycle with some potential legal conflicts over their original names that they projected to release with, and a rushed port of the third entry hastily dropped on the PlayStation Network with little to no fanfare. Hell, don’t even get me started on the silent treatment the upcoming VR spinoff of the series is getting.


The initial two "Badman" games and No Heroes Allowed, with some of the Yu-Nama puzzle mobile games sprinkled in what could be the niche RPG equivalent of Super Mario All Stars that we never knew that we wanted, yet still deserve to have, and there’s no better system to accommodate the wacky collection that the PlayStation Vita.


The Parasite Eve Collection


It’s strange that the world we live is one where we’re being treated to RPGs that are starting to get a sequel count in the double digits (Persona is HALF-way there!) and yet there are plenty of other properties that only have a handful of titles to their name.


The Parasite Eve series is such a franchise, and while it hasn’t exactly been ignored  by Square, the publisher has done a crap-job at reviving the series by shoveling the originals over to PSOne Classics on the PlayStation Network as a shallow attempt to generate excitement for the release of the third entry at the time, The 3rd Birthday.


The science-fiction horror story of Aya Brea is one that deserves to be told again with an upscaled production effort that would fit right at home on the PS Vita. The mechanics of the game’s combat mechanics and stage design are ideal for a “pick up ‘n play anytime” setup that can be alternated between each other like epic chapters to a grand story. Complete the arrangement with additional content, and some behind-the-scenes access to the development of the three titles, and you’ve got a prospect that’s already exciting in concept alone!


It’s a surprise that Square hasn’t already released a collection like this after continued support of the platform with releases like Dragon Quest Builders and World of Final Fantasy, a Parasite Eve collection could be just the thing to push owners to charge the sleek Sony handheld once again.


The Ape Escape Collection


I don’t know if you guys heard, but 3D platformers are back in style -- like, gamers are straight HOT for these free-roaming scavenger hunt experiences right now. In all the excitement for this nostalgic renaissance though, one particular gem seems to be glossed over by the fact that it wasn’t on the Nintendo 64; Japan Studio’s Ape Escape had you scrambling through dozens of worlds to nab the eponymous simians themselves in a weird, but enjoyable series of collectathon games.


When Ape Escape: On the Loose was first release at the PSP’s launch, critics found the revival to be too ambitious, as it suffered from the limitations that it had with the PlayStation Portable’s button layout and single-stick control, which doomed any possibility for the underrated sequels to get another revision themselves on the new handheld system. The Vita is the new opportunity that franchise needs to return from obscurity; I mean do you guys remember what the last Ape Escape game was that released? Ape Escape Move…a party game focused around the troubled motion-control peripheral, it didn’t even get a physical release in the states.


All Sony needs to do is to get Vita remaster of Ape Escape: On the Loose, and Ape Escape 2-3 from the PlayStation 2 onto one loaded cartridge, and they’ll be able to cash in on the platformer fever with a series that rightfully deserves the prestige that the genre is currently enjoying from the public.


The Clover Collection


Before they were known for their games about sexy, violent Witches, or pulpy action, pen-and-ink brawlers, Platinum went by another name, one that wasn’t simply just another rose, but a Clover instead.


The original Capcom-owned studio helped usher in modern day classics that’re still cherished to this day; classics like Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and God Hand were titles that truly embodied the creative spirit that the team went on to brand themselves with. As acclaimed as the lineup of software is however, they’re admittedly still niche games that are arguably considered to be sleeper-hits than runaway ones, making them all the more ripe for re-releases on an interface that they’re already familiar with.


It’s no secret that the Vita’s touch control options aren’t the most popular among its features, but the potential they hold for the unique dynamics of the Clover trio is something shouldn’t be ignored. Think back to the Wii port of Okami; the transition it made to motion-controls was subtle enough to be fresh without overpowering the purity of the gameplay, it was a move that influenced many to consider the Wii version of the game to be the definitive one.


Speculation aside though, these experiences are one that rightfully deserve another release on hardware that can do them justice, and I can’t think of a better way to do it then to include them all in a budget assortment.


The Patapon Collection


The one issue that the Vita inherited from the PSP was its lack of exclusive properties that made carrying one around worth the investment. Not to say that Sony’s pocket systems never had any killer apps of their own, and a prime example of that was Japan Studio’s Patapon, a rhythm-based real-time strategy game that had you time your beats for some beat-downs.


Timing different combinations to the tune of a jungle drum, players would guide a growing tribe of savages to victory as they would challenge rival tribes for land and posterity in order to regain the honor they once had for their Patapon heritage. Patapon became popular enough to spawn two more sequels with its surprisingly deep and quirky gameplay, and it wasn’t long before the trilogy was considered to be a cult-classic among PlayStation fans, and voyeurs alike.


Strangely enough, two of the three games never saw a Vita port, which was a shame considering how brilliant the touch-screen interface could be for a reimagined control scheme. Then there’s the upcoming remaster of the collection that’s slated to release for the PS4 later this year; a Vita version of that collection with a Cross-Save feature for its console counterpart would make all the sense in the world for Sony to follow through with -- like, an absolute no-brainer even.


Not since the original Wii, has there been a platform that was so “undead” like the PlayStation Vita; a system that was in this weird purgatory where it was considered a critical success among the masses, and yet was still regarded as a commercial failure. Still, we can only hope that the handheld can host a couple more game collections that could use the portable treatment, poetically giving them, and the Vita, a second chance at a new life.


Here are some properties that could use the travel package treatment, considering the potential choice-cuts that’re available for a bundled release.

The 5 Best Real-World RPGs You May Have Never Heard Of Fri, 01 Jul 2016 12:30:01 -0400 Noor Sami

RPGs are known for their fantastical elements, whether through medieval settings like Skyrim, science fiction worlds like that of Mass Effect, or the recent flood of post-apocalyptic environments like those in the Fallout series. Games set in our modern-day world, however, are much less common. Here are 5 of the best real-world RPGs to date.


The 1994 JRPG for the SNES initially performed poorly in the United States compared to its relative popularity and critical acclaim in Japan. Though the premise of the game involves a journey to stop the destructive forces of the alien force, Giygas, it was unique at the time for its primarily real world setting.

Protagonist Ness must travel the world, across resorts and deserts and boarding schools, to find a way to stop Giygas. Designed to be a satirical portrayal of Western culture, the game eventually gained something of a cult following and was reissued for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013.

The Secret World

This horror folklore-themed MMORPG, developed by Funcom, was released in 2012 to fairly positive reviews. Throughout the game you must fight creatures like werewolves, vampires, and ghosts -- but the setting is ultimately contemporary.

A New England fishing village hides zombies, and Transylvania is home to vampires and werewolves. Despite critical appreciation for the game’s storytelling and atmosphere, it has remained largely under the radar and sold far fewer copies than Funcom expected.

The World Ends With You

Square Enix and Jupiter’s urban fantasy for the Nintendo DS is set in the Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo, and follows Neku Sakuraba and friends as they participate in a high stakes game.

The World Ends With You’s missions and gameplay borrow from Japanese youth culture to lend the game a unique and realistic feel. Critics largely praised the game for its graphics, setting, and soundtrack. However, the planned spinoff ended up cancelled because of a lack of interest.

Costume Quest

This 2010 Halloween RPG follows a child trick-or-treating when their sibling is kidnapped by a monster. For the rest of the game, you must wander the neighborhood in search of tools to help fight the monster, with an emphasis on the child’s costume as a means of battle.

It is available on multiple platforms: Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. A sequel was released in 2014, and both received positive reviews.

Parasite Eve

Square Enix’s first M-rated game was Parasite Eve, a horror survival RPG based on a novel available for the PlayStation. It tells the story of Aya Brea, a New York City police officer fighting to stop a monster bent on destroying humanity.

The game was praised for its graphics and gameplay and went on to spark two sequels and a manga adaptation. Special attention was paid to the soundtrack that accompanied the game, and it was well-received enough that two album releases came of it.

What are your favorite real-world RPGs? Let me know down in the comments!

Top 5 SquareSoft JRPGs that aren't Final Fantasy Tue, 12 Apr 2016 04:28:20 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

1. Parasite Eve

Number 1 is the "cinematic RPG" released back in 1998, which serves as a sequel to the novel by the by the same name. The game marks the first Rated M game developed by Square. It was also the first major title developed mainly in the US. The game stars NYPD newbie Aya Brea as her world turns into a sci-fi horror show overnight. Throughout the course of the week, Aya tries to stop Eve as she learns there's more to herself than she realized. 


Being a very story-focused RPG, Parasite Eve's gameplay mainly focuses upon battle, customization, and exploration only. Aya makes use of firearms in battle that can be fully customized to maximize damage. She also gains access to using spells and battle success requires using all these aspects in unison. 



Parasite Eve is number 1 on the list because nothing is quite like it. It stars a female lead who is fully capable of fighting all the dangerous mutants in NYC alone. The game also possesses an eerie atmosphere that persists from start to finish. 


Square released many games during this console cycle, but few games challenged the standard conventions of the genre. Parasite Eve, like the other listed games, pushed those boundaries with both gameplay and narrative.


Do you agree with this list? Is there a game missing? Let me know in the comments.

2. Vagrant Story

Vagrant Story, released in 2000, is an account of Ashley Riot and his mission to stop a cult leader. Within the first 5 minutes of the game, you'll encounter said cult leader, magic, and a wyvern. Things become more mysterious for him as he reaches the city of Lea Monde. With each supernatural encounter within the city, he regains parts of his memory and grows stronger.


Vagrant Story is an unique mix gameplay features for a real time action RPG. The game has dungeon crawling, weapon crafting, is score based, and etc. The finer points of its mechanics aren't told, but need to be discovered. 

3. Front Mission 3

Front Mission 3, released in 2000, was the first game of the SRPG series to be released in the US. The game chronicles how test pilots Kazuki Takemura and Ryogo Kusama become embroiled in an international incident. The story branches off where you will either become an ally of the USN (fictional North & South America union) or an ally of the DHZ (fictional union of China & Taiwan). 


It plays like most top-down SRPGs. The manner in which pilots acquire abilities is rather unique. Abilities are only learned in real time and triggered randomly. Hypothetically speaking, you could learn an attack or an evasion move that could save your pilot's life. It's very exciting and nerve-wracking!

4. Chrono Cross

Chrono Cross, released in 2000, is the spiritual successor of Chrono Trigger, and as such is partly inspired by it. The game tells the tale of protagonist Serge and his quest to discover the cross-dimensional mysteries surrounding himself. Throughout his adventure, the drama is wrought with themes and messages that continue to ask:  "Are we free to control our own destines?" 


Chrono Cross plays somewhat similarly to most turn based games. Unlike most games, spells and attacks must be equipped for use. Your party doesn't gain levels by experience, levels are obtained from defeating bosses. There's also an element weakness system you can exploit or lose to.

5. Xenogears

Released back in 1998, this sci-fi JRPG follows the journey of Fei Fong Wong and his allies. Armed with Gears (robots), they face their pasts, the origin of civilization, and the dark plots of world leaders. The story has super robot action, martial arts, and drama among a large cast. What's impressive is that the narrative unfolds and makes more sense even as it proceeds to get more intricate. 


Xenogears is a fast paced turn-based game with random encounters. Fights can also be encountered in your Gear. Fighting with big giant robots adds another layer of strategy. 


Final Fantasy wasn't always the bread and butter for Square Enix. And it wasn't always the greatest JRPG in the West, either. Back in the days of the PlayStation 1 Square Enix (then SquareSoft) had developed many JRPGs. 


This list is comprised of notable titles from their catalog that stand out within the genre. And it will focus on games from different series that are not part of the Final Fantasy franchise. Now onward to the list. 

"Who's that girl?" Gaming's forgotten females Thu, 10 Sep 2015 02:30:01 -0400 katlaborde

Honorable Mention: Shantae (Shantae)

The cute half-genie, Shantae, is the star of her own platforming series. Although not as popular as Mario or her other platforming buddies, Shantae does have a unique style all her own.


Although she is somewhat naive, Shantae can take out enemies with just a whip of her awesome ponytail. 


Hey, Nathan Drake can't do that.


Do you have any favorite forgotten female characters? If so, feel free to leave a comment!


Image source: iDigitalTimes

Aya Brea (Parasite Eve series)

Designed by legendary design, Tetsuya Nomura, Aya Brea might be the more well-known female on this list. She's a strong, yet sensible New York City police officer who has some very interesting DNA.


Although Aya is often over-sexualized in the series, especially the recent entry 3rd Birthday in which her clothes tear away through incurred battle damage, she is still one of the more intelligent and strong female protagonists.


Often characters, such as Aya, are criticized for being nothing more than eye candy for gamers. However, the girl is tough. Aya has taken down her numerous share of mutated monstrosities and just happened to look good while doing it.


You go, Aya!


Image source: Game Informer

Vanessa Z. Schneider (P.N.03)

A GameCube exclusive, P.N.03, was Capcom's answer for a unique third-person sci-fi shooter starring the sexy, rhythmic mercenary, Vanessa Z. Schneider. Despite being helmed by Shinji Mikami, the game was a huge commercial failure.


The player controlled Vanessa as she stylishly defeated rogue robots with enhanced attacks from her Aegis suit. If you think that sounds familiar, then you're right. With P.N.03 being failure, Mikami actually reused ideas from this game for the third-person action shooter, Vanquish


Although Vanessa may not have gotten her chance to really shine, it's clear that she served as a source of inspiration. Bayonetta may have even taken some cues from her!


Image source: Game Pop Up

Sarah Bryant (Virtua Fighter series)

To be honest, it is hard for female characters to remain prevalent in fighting games. There are so many series with a lot of characters looking remarkably similar.


Sarah Bryant is the perfect example of the forgotten female fighter. Not only did the Virtua Fighter series itself take a hit against the likes of powerhouses such as Tekken and Street Fighter, but its tough brawlers are often mostly forgotten.


Unfortunately, Sarah never could compete with the popularity of other badass female fighters. However, Sarah as one of the first 3-D fighters ever created along with the other Virtua Fighter cast.


However, Tekken ultimately managed to reign supreme over Virtua Fighter, leaving Sarah to be forgotten unlike her look-alike Nina Williams. 


It's okay, Sarah! We remember you!


Image source: Giant Bomb 

Nilin (Remember Me)

In a recent article, I cited Remember Me as an ironically often forgotten video game title. Unfortunately, the same can be said about its protagonist, Nilin, the skillful and tough memory hunter.


During the events of Remember Me, Nilin is on a search to regain her lost memories. She joins up with the Errorists, an underground group of individuals who are opposed to the artificial creation of memories known as Sensen technology. 


When the game was released, the character of Nilin was praised for being an interesting and original character. The game's creative director, Jean-Maxime Moris, strived to create a character that was not heavily over-sexualized or stereotypical.


Although Remember Me was not a commercial success, there is a possibility we might see Nilin again. Fingers crossed! 


Image source: Cram Gaming

Laura (D, Enemy Zero, & D2)

Laura was actually created by the late Kenji Eno to be gaming's first digital actress. Eno's concept was to have Laura appear in each of his games, but always playing a different character. 


In D, Laura played the role of Laura Harris. She's a college student who is called upon by the police to assist with her father, the director of a local hospital, who has gone insane, killing numerous patients and members of staff. Through a series of mysterious events, the game has the player exploring a dark castle to uncover the mystery of D


The Sega Saturn follow-up, Enemy Zero, has Laura taking on the role of Laura Lewis, a crew member of the space ship AKI. Borrowing a little too heavily from Alien, Eno's sci-fi survival horror has Laura taking charge as she blows away invisible alien beings with her very slow charging gun.


Laura's final role was in D2 for the Dreamcast. Here, she plays Laura Parton, a survivor of a plane crash in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. Of course, things are not all they seem and, as with all Eno's games, things get weird really quickly.


It's unfortunate how Laura is not as well known being as she is the first, and only, of her kind. However, Eno's games have often had a somewhat niche audience. Regardless, Laura is a big part of, not only gaming history, but a huge leap for the female video game protagonist.


Image source: Retroware TV


Fortunately, developers have been better about incorporating female leads into video games. However, not all have achieved the popularity of Lara Croft or Bayonetta. 


With this list, I wanted to highlight some of gaming's most forgotten female leads. Although they might not be as rememberable as others, they all played their part in making women more prominent in gaming.


Image source:

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!

How Aya Brea from Parasite Eve Inspired me to Keep Going Fri, 07 Feb 2014 17:49:38 -0500 [[Deleted]]

Okay, so we all know video games are apparently to blame every time some kid does something stupid, right? They're the current political scapegoat so parents don't have to take responsibility for being irresponsible.

I figure it's about time somebody said 'hey... you know what video games are actually a good thing.'

I'm trying to spread the idea that games can in fact help people by sharing my sad little tale... (Well, I'm still alive so I guess it's a happy little tale, but you get the point.)

PE BoxLet's start with some back story

My father died when I was eight--crashed his airplane, took an uncle and aunt while he was at it. So in 2003 when my grandfather developed cancer, you can imagine life was really rough.

I clearly remember finding Parasite Eve on the shelf in the "Old Games" area at my video rental store (anyone else remember those?). PS2 was all the rage at the time, but regardless I picked it up and decided to give it a go 'round. Not being a fan of horror games, I only played it for about an hour.

Me and Horror games don't usually mix, but somehow Parasite Eve was the exception

Until 2004... When I entered my own horror story

I was about midway though my college year; just as the new year came about, I found myself doubled over in my living room, writhing in pain. One trip the hospital and a few blood transfusions later, I was diagnosed with Idiophatic Hemolytic Anemia.

In short: no one knew what was wrong with me.

creepy bloodMy red blood cells were breaking down at a fairly rapid pace, and there was no rhyme or reason to it - other than sleep deprivation, stress, and (of course) hunger.

I was going to college full time, working full time, and pulling double shifts on the weekend, leaving me with enough time for about one meal a day and about three or four hours sleep.

"The worst foe lies within the self"

Creepy blood? Yeah, I get that.

While on two weeks bedrest, the tagline "The worst foe lies within the self" came to my mind and my new-found fascination with Aya Brea and Parasite Eve became my salvation. With a cancer ridden grandfather, my family was already in shambles, so I kept it all to myself. I felt isolated.

It would take me eight years from that day before I told anyone in my family about my condition.  I went for blood tests and transfusions when I was 'going to a friend's house to play Halo' (thanks for the cover Master Chief); thanks to client privacy and being over 18, my doctor wasn't allowed to spill the beans.

I played Parasite Eve over and over again.

I related to Aya; we were in fact going through some pretty weird internal body struggles... although just, you know, she got super powers while I coughed up blood on a regular basis (I kind of feel like I got the short end of the stick on that one).

However, Aya always pushed forward and this small horror story protagonist struck a chord with me, and inspired me to do the same.

And so, my way of saying thanks is this

PE Car

Aya Brea may have well saved my life, without the inspiration she gave me I may have very well thrown in the towel

I did a half wrap in reflective vinyl on my Ford Edge, sporting the tagline that randomly popped into my head while laying in bed feeling like crap. 

I will always be thankful to several game characters for giving me inspiration, or comfort when I couldn't turn to family or friends for help.

Aya Brea may have well saved my life; without the inspiration she gave me, I may have thrown in the towel. Instead, I graduated in graphic design, got sick of web design, and somehow wound up very respected in my area for doing vehicle graphics, signs, apparel, ect. 

For those of you wondering what ever became of my crazy blood disorder, well, you'll have to ask the doctor. I started a gym routine, eating better, quitting more jobs than I'm willing to admit when they got just stupid. In short, I put me first and it's paid off. I haven't needed a transfusion in over two years and overall I'm in the best shape of my life. FFXIII's Lightning helped me deal with my grandfathers passing, but that's another story for another time, and another vehicle wrap. 

Game Prices Rising & I'm Still Buying Fri, 23 Aug 2013 00:02:10 -0400 Critley Lynn King

We all know video games are expensive nowadays. It takes around $60 to buy a single game for the PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii U. Even handheld games for the PS Vita and the 3DS will take about $40 your pocket.

Wait, There's More!

On top of that, you have the downloadable content, which is becoming increasingly popular (and gives game companies another chance to milk some more cash out of a single game). And if you are like me and want to experience every little part of the game you love, this downloadable content will cost you somewhere between $1.00 - 20.00 (usually downloadable content is offered for action and arcade games).

Dedicated and Cash Poor

As a college student, I will freely admit I do not have the fattest wallet. But gaming is my hobby, my habit, my addiction, and my vice ... so I still tend to spend a bit of cash on my games (I'm doing better, it has been a month since I last purchased one). Recently to cut down on the amount I was spending, I have been playing some games that I had loved but had never taken the time to beat. But back to what I was talking about ... money.

Quality = Reason

If a game is really good and is something I have wanted, I will pay a pretty high price to get it. Such as last summer--I was playing a classic Square Enix game, Parasite Eve. After completing the first game, I wanted to play the second. I found the game for around $65 at my local used game store. Because Parasite Eve 2 is rare, and I wanted to finish the story I was invested in, I was willing to shell out the cash. If this had been a game that was new to me, or I had not known anything about it, I might not have been as willing.

Give Me More

Recently, I finished playing Ni No Kuni, the latest video game by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli. I can not even tell you how much I loved that game. After completing it I actually felt a little sad that it had come to an end. So it is no surprise that if downloadable content were offered I would be all over it, even if it packed a steep price.

Summing It Up

So my thoughts about today's rising game prices: sure I wish games (and consoles) were more affordable, but as long as fans are as dedicated as I know we are, games will still fly off the shelf or be downloaded no matter how much they cost.