In 1983, there was a crash. Not a stock market crash or a car crash involving someone noteworthy. But a crash in the videogame industry. People got tired of playing the figurative whack-a-mole of “Find The Good Game”, with the all too common chance of picking up a bad game, and simply gave up. Videogames to the common people became a fad, and like many fads, it came and went. However this event was mostly situated in North America, and more specifically within the console market. In Japan, videogames were just as healthy as ever. Arcades and consoles saw use and playtime everyday. Nintendo had released the Famicom home console in Japan. But North America would prove to be a different beast to conquer. However once that beast was tamed, it became a formidable ally. On this Retro Weekend, we reminisce about the Nintendo Entertainment System.
During my Livejournal days, I remember talking about this game when this segment was still called Retro Gaming Weekends. However, the way it was brought up was very out of place, out of nowhere, and very last minute. While I mentioned Mario’s 25th anniversary in the initial article, it still feels like I didn’t give it proper thought. So I’m bringing it back here to give it the proper attention it deserves. But why am I giving it this much attention? Well, it holds a very special place in my gaming heart, and for nearly a decade has held the #1 spot in my Favorite Games of All Time list. While many games have come and gone — some being better admittedly than Super Mario RPG— they never had the level of impact this game had on my gaming habits and preferences. So sit back and get ready to take turns as on this Holiday Edition of Retro Weekends, we’ll look back at my #1 game of all time, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s birthday passed yesterday. So I thought going to one of his games would be a perfect fit for the return of Retro Weekends. But which game? Back then he had his hand in many games from Zelda, to F-ZERO, to Donkey Kong, to Star Fox, to Pikmin. But one of his more recognized franchises has to be Mario. And of the mainline platformer games, I’ve played all of them up to Super Mario Galaxy 2, even the original Lost Levels on NES (via Virtual Console). I’m actually leaning on wanting to talk about The Lost Levels. But you know what, let’s tackle a game on a console that I haven’t touched on yet on Retro Weekends. After the break, we’re flying high with Super Mario 64.
In prehistoric times, there were dinosaurs that blew bubbles at toy robots… at least, this is what Taito wanted you to believe. The dinosaurs Bub and Bob became the mascots for Taito, and this was the game that started it all. Combining puzzle elements and action gameplay, Bubble Bobble made its rounds across many platforms and charmed audiences with its bright colors and steady challenge. This weekend, NES MAY gets caught in a bubble. Continue reading
The Native American. A people that have long been the center of government screwing. But in entertainment, they’ve been seen as those guys in Westerns that always seemed to mess up the good guys. But sometimes, the helped out. Other times, the were sidekicks. Native Americans in videogames? Well, they… well, one, was fodder for being raped in front of a cactus by a dead cowboy dodging arrows. Yeah, Natives weren’t quite painted in a positive light. But hey, there was one game that would try and fix that a bit. Whomp ‘Em is the next game in NES MAY after the jump.
For some odd reason, longtime fans of the Mega Man series weren’t too thrilled about Mega Man’s jump to 3D and playing it like an RPG. But there were still fans of the original Legends and, to this day, still talk about it. So Capcom saw fit to make a sequel to it, Mega Man Legends 2, and continue the story that the original left open. The Bonnes have returned to less money, Glyde’s crew is on the rise, and the secret to Mega Man Volnutt’s past is about to be revealed. We continue Mega March with Mega Man Legends 2.
Now that Mega Man X made a memorable splash on the Playstation (and Saturn), it was time for the X-treme blue bomber to make another. But creator Keiji Inafune wanted this to be the last MMX game before moving into the handheld space for the next step in the series. References are made, a new Maverick naming scheme pops up, more armor is made available, the world is at stake, and a fan favorite meets his grim end (again). After the break, Mega Man X5
Welcome to Fighting February! This month, we’ll be covering four retro fighting games. As they say, what’s love without pain. So sit back, relax, grab a loved one, and promptly break up because you’re being a cheap-ass with the hadoukens. Trust us, it’ll make us feel less lonely 🙂
In 2008-09, fighting games became cool again. Street Fighter IV, BlazBlue, King of Fighters, they all made big splashes on the videogame scene. They were there to tell the industry that fighting games were back after nearly a decade. Of Course there were fighting games in that span of time, like Soul Calibur II, Tekken 4, Dead of Alive 4 and Virtua Fighter 5. But it had all fallen into a niche, and only the most devoted of fighting fans were really appreciative of these games. Coming into 2012, this fighting game boom shows no signs of letting up, with Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Street Fighter X Tekken, and Skullgirls keeping that fire going. But before we do, let’s take a moment to look back at the game that started the initial boom in the 90s: Street Fighter II.
I could start this article by simply saying “Classic” and be done with it, but that would be a disservice to the game. Topping many gamers’ lists of best games of all time, Chrono Trigger has stood the test of time for many generations. This was the game that tapped into the imagination of many gamers back in the 90s. It set the standard that RPGs would follow in years to come. It has been released on many platforms, ensuring that you could play this game on something you have. Let’s travel back in time and talk about Chrono Trigger.
In the 80s, Mario was not only the mascot of Nintendo, he was the mascot of an entire medium. Unlike the Pong Paddles, the triangle in space, and whatever the hell Pac-Man was supposed to be, Mario was just a regular man in some strange adventures. He was a recognizable face, and his games revolutionized the industry. SEGA was looking to cash-in and make a name for themselves with their own mascot. The 8-bit era produced nothing major, but that all changed during the 16-bit era. This weekend, we look back at Sonic’s debut in his self-titled game, Sonic the Hedgehog.