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SORRY, I'M DEAD.

Chronicler of the gross and creepy Bogleech presents a look at the bosses of classic NES weirdfest Monster Party and the sprites recently discovered in a ROM dump from a Japanese prototype cart.
posted by Pope Guilty on Aug 13, 2014 - 7 comments

Mario Kart 8: The Wii U's ultimate power-up?

Could Mario Kart 8 be the Bullet Bill that propels Nintendo's Wii U from its slump? Outstanding reviews, a free game with purchase, plus the Luigi stare of death meme, helped make MK8 the best-selling game in June and boosted Wii U sales tremendously. An arcade version - featuring Fusion Carts - is forthcoming.

Hop over to MetaTalk and share your Nintendo Network ID. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 20, 2014 - 75 comments

There are those who said this day would never come...

A year ago, Microsoft was crucified in the press for the PR fiasco of the Xbox One, with rival Sony winning thunderous applause for its PS4 by simply maintaining the status quo. But after doing a 360 180 on its hated policies, Redmond is attempting to close the gap with the most valuable package deal since The Orange Box. A remarkable feat of engineering, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will feature on a single disc the complete HD-remastered campaigns of Halos 1-4 alongside Ridley Scott's Nightfall, the Halo 5 beta, and the holy grail of Xbox gaming: every last one of the series' 100+ multiplayer maps in a single unified matchmaking system incorporating the original engines, gameplay mechanics, and idiosyncrasies of each. Ten years after Halo 2 (and four years after MS shut the taps), IGN suspects a plan by 343 to rekindle (and data-mine) Bungie's magic for an uncertain Halo 5, while Eurogamer welcomes the return of what it calls online FPS's peak. [More reaction: NeoGAF - Ars Technica - Reddit] Bungie, meanwhile, stood with Sony to showcase its upcoming Destiny, the vaunted space epic that will beta this summer before facing its revamped forerunners later this year. More E3 coverage: Microsoft (5min) - Sony (5min) - Nintendo (airing noon EST) - SW: Battlefront - AC: Unity - MGS5: The Phantom Pain - Evolve - No Man's Sky - The Order: 1886 - Sunset Overdrive - Grim Fandango - Bloodborne - Arkham Knight - Scalebound - Mortal Kombat X - The Division - LittleBigPlanet 3 - Inside - Uncharted 4 - Crackdown
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 10, 2014 - 176 comments

Ridiculously comprehensive overview of the Nintendo GameCube's lifespan

A Dolphin's Tale: The Story of GameCube
The company discovered that many gamers became personally attached to their consoles. They would take their consoles over to a friend’s house to play, or they would move their console from one room to another. Nintendo decided to include a handle on the GameCube to give it portability and a more personal, friendly look.
posted by porn in the woods on Jan 24, 2014 - 35 comments

NINTENDO COMPANY JAPAN

The beforemario blog showcases the toys and games Nintendo created in the period from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s, including: Nintendo Popeye Trump cards, Nintendo Love Tester, Nintendo Ultra Hand, Nintendo Disney Baseball Board, Nintendo Companion, Nintendo Mamaberica baby stroller, Nintendo Monster Copy, Nintendo Bee Hive Game and Nintendo Mister Magician Coin & Stick. Full list.
posted by timshel on Jan 22, 2014 - 19 comments

TOTALLY UNAUTHORIZED

Strategy guides, then. Some were official. Some were... less official. Unauthorized, even, free to explore a game's mysteries without the nagging presence of the developers hanging over them. Of course, being unofficial meant these guides couldn't use official artwork for their covers. They had to produce their own alternate, non-copyright-infringing cover art. Can you see where I'm going with this? That's right, here are some unofficial strategy guide covers and boy howdy are they a mess.
posted by timshel on Dec 23, 2013 - 14 comments

Video games are for boys

Despite a customer base that crosses many demographics, a large part of the video game industry has remained resolutely focused on appealing and marketing to male players in the 18-24 age group. It wasn't always this way. Although early coin-op and console game development was male-dominated, titles in the 1970s were either marketed for entire families or for adults in bars and later arcades. What changed? Polygon investigates.
posted by figurant on Dec 4, 2013 - 135 comments

You are Zelda's...

The Men Who Made Zelda — Staff Interview
The Development of A Link to the Past
Early Screenshots

posted by timshel on Nov 26, 2013 - 25 comments

Please defeat Wart and return Subcon to its natural state

I write about Super Mario Bros. 2 a lot, I realize, especially considering that the game is now twenty-five years old. I suppose that results from the combination of it being especially surreal, even by Super Mario standards, and me having encountered it at the perfect age to be asking “Hey, why is that?” I actually still ask “Why is that?” fairly often. One of the things that had always bugged me about the game is its level structure. Super Mario Bros. makes sense: four sets of levels each composing a world, and eight world altogether. It’s all tidy and even. Super Mario Bros. 2 isn’t so easy: It has seven worlds, but an irregular number of stages.

“Hey, why is that?” [more inside]
posted by timshel on Nov 23, 2013 - 18 comments

Cat Power: Super Mario 3D World preview

"Meow." He forms his hands into claws and performs a slow cat-scraping motion. To his left and to his right sit the esteemed producer and the director of Super Mario 3D World. "Meow," they both say, before also demonstrating the clawing feline action. Shigeru Miyamoto on Super Mario 3D World, arriving next month on Wii U. Copies are beginning to show up in reviewer's hands: Super Mario 3D World is shaping up beautifully. It's a visual stunner, with gorgeous effects and lighting that take Mario graphics to an entirely new level, certainly showing greater flair than the 2D New Super Mario Bros. U. There are some attractive textures at work, with the art style flourishing with powerful hardware, alongside a rock steady and terrifically fluid frame rate. Eurogamer offers a look at 5 levels [part one | two | three] • Previews from Nintendo: E3 2013 Developer Direct | October trailer | Gameplay trailer • Nintendo Minute: Multiplayer | New Power-Ups
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 26, 2013 - 55 comments

1DS, 2DS, 3DS, 4...

Nintendo, already no stranger to customer confusion over its consoles' names, "will be launching a new portable gaming system in October. It's called the Nintendo 2DS. It's a 3DS without the 3D, and it's shaped like a thin piece of cake." [more inside]
posted by ArmyOfKittens on Aug 28, 2013 - 108 comments

Fuck the Super Gameboy

"Fuck the Super Gameboy": Why the Super Gameboy was awesome and why it crashed and burned. By Christine Love, creator of Digital: a Love Story and Analogue: a Hate Story. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 21, 2013 - 54 comments

For years I played as white characters.

Because New Leaf’s tanning doesn’t seem to happen in real time, and because it seems to take days instead of hours now, trying to get a particular mid-level skin tone is more precarious than maintaining a pale complexion. Not only is the outcome hard to predict, but someone who wants the default skin to stay only has to bring a parasol around with them in the summer sun. They literally have access to tools and methods I don’t. It is very hard not to just write “DO YOU GET IT?” over and over again. I don’t have a tanning booth, or tanning lotion. I certainly don’t have a way to lock in my current tan level.

The other implication is that it might be the case that tanning is a disincentive to overplaying. I hadn’t realized it until my friend with the cobblestone roads pointed it out. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’ve kept your game running for five straight hours for some odd reason. You might notice that your town’s other villagers will greet you with an admonishment. You look tired they say, you should take a rest. You should stop playing. There is a strange, formal parallel between this directive and tanning. Both come only after hours of uninterrupted play. The same activity results in both outcomes. Coupled with the fact that players are outfitted with ways to prevent, but not cause tanning, it’s hard not to draw some connections.

My argument isn’t that Nintendo has gone out of its way to be racist, it’s that the question of race seems to have never been brought up to begin with, and that has its own problems.


Me, On The Screen: Race in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
posted by timshel on Jun 18, 2013 - 55 comments

Actual game disc sold separately!

MOOOOOOM, WE'RE BOOOORED Didn't I buy you that Mario Kart game for your Wii, like, two years ago? Five? YEAH, BUT WE'RE BOOOOOORED But kids, didn't it include something like thirty tracks? YEAH, BUT WE'RE TIIIIIRED OF THOOOOOSE Well, I didn't want to do this so early in the year, but I've got a Christmas present for you that I've been holding on to. You know how you've been saying how you wanted 184 new tracks for Mario Kart Wii? YEAH! WE WERE REALLY SPECIFIC ABOUT THAT NUMBER Well, bust out that Mario Kart Wii disc and an SD card, because Merry Christmas, kids!
posted by DoctorFedora on May 14, 2013 - 30 comments

plez donnut stel

Superb merbio bros. gr8 game 4 nintendy entertainment cycstem. u buy now! all copyroughts to nintendy corp. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 13, 2013 - 35 comments

Now You’re Playing With Paper!

"These two Nintendo store binders provide an interesting look into the retail side of the gaming industry." [more inside]
posted by griphus on Feb 28, 2013 - 18 comments

NEW KINTOBOR VIDEO: DECLARES HIMSELF ROBOTNIK

The intention of making this film was for it to be a spec film, with the primary purpose being to show how a Sonic the Hedgehog film, in a live action environment, can be executed. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 11, 2013 - 48 comments

You got your MIDI Maze in my Virtual Boy!

Thought you knew everything there was to know about the Virtual Boy? YOU WERE WRONG. [via] [more inside]
posted by griphus on Jan 3, 2013 - 31 comments

THANKS A MILLION. PRESS START TO REPLAY

For Zelda Day, some points of interest regarding Zelda II, the black sheep of the Legend of Zelda series of video games:
posted by JHarris on Dec 26, 2012 - 62 comments

The Extraordinary Quest to Put All the Super Mario Games On One Timeline

Stephen Totilo of Kotaku tries to determine the correct chronology for all the games in the Super Mario canon.
posted by reenum on Sep 9, 2012 - 23 comments

Looking Back With Virtual Boy Tinted Glasses

Do Go On - A tumblr celebration of totally rad 90s video game magazines [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 4, 2012 - 42 comments

They later attached strings.

Gamemaster Howard Philips (previously) found a ca. 1984 brochure for the Nintendo Advanced Video System, a pre-NES marketing prototype, and shared it on Facebook: The cover. Pages 2-3. Pages 3-4. Medium-res photo of the whole brochure. And a bit of oddity from the past. (Non-FB link)
posted by griphus on Aug 30, 2012 - 33 comments

Rap It Up!

Ars Technica broke the news and Nintendo confirmed it. The 24-year run of propaganda rag and childhood staple Nintendo Power will end in December 2012. Kotaku has a eulogy from published Super Mario Bros. high-score holder Cliff Bleszinski. Here's another high scorer you may have heard of. And remember when a 15-year-old J. Scott Cambpell was featured in its pages? Meanwhile, the Penny Arcade Report credits Nintendo Power with introducing the JRPG to the West, Slate picks their favorite letters, and Tiny Cartridge reprints a bittersweet note from a 76-year-old gamer. Over on YouTube, Patrick Scott Patterson compiled a tribute video featuring an interview with beloved Nintendo employee, Game Master and president of the Nintendo Fun Club, Howard Philips. You might remember him from his starring role in Nintendo Power's comic Howard & Nester. Are you getting all nostalgic but your parents threw out your back issues ten years ago? Community scanning project Retromags has the hookup.
posted by griphus on Aug 23, 2012 - 47 comments

Classic Video Game Ads

This great Flickr album of classic video game advertisements is a nostalgia overdose for those of us who read video-game magazines in the 80s and 90s. From classic ads like the "Genesis Does What Nintendon't" ad to ads for Pac Man, The Simpsons, Super Mario Brothers 2 and ye olde Atari Lynx, this helps you relive the glory days of the medium, when even the ads were entertaining. And for those of you who never got to experience gaming magazines in their heyday, check out this entire copy of the first issue on Nintendo Power (PDF) from way back in 1988. And then get off my lawn.
posted by Effigy2000 on Aug 16, 2012 - 26 comments

How to Acquire Nintendo PowerFest 94

"Two days ago I purchased one of only two Nintendo PowerFest 94 cartridges known to exist. The purchase took 74 emails, 27 months, 6 phone calls, 5 failed meeting attempts, 1 sack of cash, and some additional twists and turns to finally complete."
posted by gilrain on Jul 19, 2012 - 42 comments

Zelda Flipnote

Flipnote Studio lets you create animations with a stylus on Nintendo's DSi handheld console. Nintendo had a contest to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Zelda, and the quality of submissions was high (higher than this, anyway). Personal favorite: Michi from Japan's Duck Amuck homage. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 23, 2012 - 4 comments

The Realm of Blade

The Realm of Blade: Why Nintendo Will Always Rule.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 20, 2012 - 35 comments

Saving Zelda

Tevis Thompson writes about Nintendo's video game series The Legend of Zelda. Specifically about how it's gone downhill since Ocarina of Time. (via Kotaku) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 22, 2012 - 113 comments

Still waiting for a minimal score run on Mario Golf

Super Mario World Minimal Score Run (half-hour SLYT, NES version previously) [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 on Feb 15, 2012 - 26 comments

Not changed: the Spread Gun is still ridiculous.

Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 is out! An expansion on the original game, which let you play as various NES characters transplanted into Super Mario Bros., but using the rules and abilities of those characters from their original games, version 2 offers more special abilities, more characters, and your choice of audiovisual "skins" based on four Mario games from the NES, SNES, and Gameboy, along with one based on Demon Returns. There's even instructions for playing with a gamepad! For more information, see the Super Mario Bros. Crossover Wiki or watch the exciting Super Mario Bros. Crossover trailer! [Previously]
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 12, 2012 - 15 comments

The Earthbound Journal

The Earthbound Journal is the Mother of all fan projects; a labour of love that took journalist Armand Kossayan over 150 hours to complete. And it's amazing. Armand describes it as "a retelling of the game’s plot from the point of view of primarily Paula and Jeff, with some smaller parts from Ness and Poo." Did I mention it's free. Go get it!
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 2, 2012 - 12 comments

NOW IT IS BEGINNING OF A FANTASTIC STORY

Here are fan-translated Game Center CX (previously) Episodes on YouTube: #1: Atlantis No Nazo, #2: Challenger, #3: Ghosts 'N Goblins, #4: Konami Wai Wai World, #5: Metroid, #6: Solomon's Key, #7 & #8: Prince of Persia: Part 1 - Part 2, #9: Mega Man II, #10: Super Mario 3. Much more after the break.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 28, 2011 - 32 comments

The Princess is a Lie....You Monster.

Mari0 is a Super Mario Bros and Portal mashup currently under development. Previously, the same developer made Not Tetris; a faithful reimagining of the original game, but with the addition of realistic physics and geometry.
posted by schmod on Sep 1, 2011 - 21 comments

Super Gandhi-o Bros.

These days, any old fool can beat Super Mario Bros with a record-breaking number of points, or in the shortest amount of time. This guy managed beat the game with the lowest number of points possible. He ran the clock down to zero on each level, always landed at the bottom of the flagpole, collected no coins, killed just one goomba, and somehow managed not to die once during the entire process.
posted by schmod on Jul 28, 2011 - 68 comments

When I was a kid I just drew these things in margins of my notes for math

ROM hacking, the act of modifying the "cartridge" data for a video game played in an emulator, has been covered before (and before). What you may not know is that intrepid hackers have been at work on more modern systems, producing a wide array of new takes on old classics. New worlds for Mario to explore (also, also, also). A new adventure for Link. Goldeneye levels that are a bit... different. A whole new universe of classes and challenges in Final Fantasy Tactics (gameplay). And HD texture packs for games that haven't aged as well as others. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 19, 2011 - 23 comments

I Draw Nintendo!

I Draw Nintendo! A Nintendo fanart blog by Zac Gorman.
posted by chunking express on Jun 26, 2011 - 16 comments

The Game Preservation Crisis

Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.

These are just some elements of game creation that are gone -- never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we've played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.

As a community of video game developers, publishers, and players, we must begin asking ourselves some difficult but inevitable questions. Some believe there is no point in preserving a video game, arguing that games are short-term entertainment, while others disagree with this statement entirely, believing the industry is in a preservation crisis.

Where Games Go To Sleep: The Game Preservation Crisis [more inside]
posted by timshel on Feb 9, 2011 - 44 comments

IT'S A SECRET TO-- oops, I mean OVERLOOK IT JUST THIS ONCE

Merry Christmas from lostlevels.org: An unreleased beta of The Legend of Zelda! Videos showing it off: 1, 2, 3. Cutting Room Floor has documented the differences from the release version.
posted by JHarris on Dec 26, 2010 - 10 comments

The New Yorker profiles Shigeru Miyamoto

There are generally two approaches to thinking about games: narratology and ludology. The first emphasizes story, the second play. The next time I played Super Mario, on the Wii (you can order all the vintage games), I found myself in a narratological mode. Mario reminded me of K. and his pursuit of the barmaid Frieda, in Kafka’s “The Castle,” and of the kind of lost-loved-one dreams that “The Castle” both mimics and instigates.

The New Yorker profiles the father of modern video games, Shigeru Miyamoto. (via Kotaku)
posted by incomple on Dec 13, 2010 - 37 comments

Chrontendo plus

Chrontendo is a video podcast in which a guy systematically described and discusses every Famicom/NES game released. Currently up to 33 episodes and counting, and covering hundreds of games. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 1, 2010 - 23 comments

But this addiction doesn't kill you

A long moment passes. "Watch yourself," he adds finally. "Our family's got a gene in them, that addict's gene. I'm just happy you never seemed to get it." Thoughts on gaming and addiction.
posted by BurN_ on Oct 8, 2010 - 29 comments

Happy 25th to the SUPER Mario Bros, Peach and Bowser

September 13, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the original Japanese release of Super Mario Bros, featuring the return of everyone's favorite sailor, Popeye. That's not right, he's the Italian carpenter, Mario. Wait, now he's a plumber with a brother (named Luigi Mario), and they're not normal, they're super! And they're fighting to save Princess Peach Toadstool from an angry ox king, who became the stubborn but cute turtle Bowser. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 13, 2010 - 58 comments

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

Retro video games have come back into the public consciousness. (See previously) [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 10, 2010 - 18 comments

Ooooohh a turbo!

A new cheat code for the GameCube's (internally developed) launch title Wave Race: Blue Storm has been discovered. What does it do? Make the race commentator a complete bastard.
posted by griphus on Sep 2, 2010 - 49 comments

My eyes! They do everything!

Nintendo's latest handheld console will display images in 3D, without glasses (and also without burning your eyes out. Again.) How? Jeff Grubb explains. [more inside]
posted by griphus on Aug 12, 2010 - 55 comments

"Bio Force Ape" Meets "Bean Ball Benny"

Sure, you've played Final Fantasy VII, but what about Final Fantasy Extreme? You've played EarthBound, but what about Earth Bound (two words). You know all about Dragon Quest VIII, but are you familiar with Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mystery Dungeon? There's a whole world of forgotten, canceled games out there just waiting to be discovered. Let 1UP's Jeremy Parish and Frank Cifaldi be your guides in an exploration of The Best Games That Never Were. (Previously)
posted by Servo5678 on May 27, 2010 - 30 comments

Spend 600 Nintendo fun points to use a Warp Pipe!

If Super Mario Bros. Was Made in 2010
posted by Artw on May 7, 2010 - 50 comments

Not pictured: line of five other kids

Pictures of toy store video game console kiosks! via
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 25, 2010 - 11 comments

Play 5,000+ classic video games in your browser

TheSmartAss.info's suite of Java emulators allows smooth, in-browser playback of literally thousands of old-school video games: 517 Atari titles, 148 for DOS, 636 Game Boy games (and 410 for Game Boy Color), 2,019 (!) NES titles, 238 GameGear games, 802 Sega Genesis titles, and 284 for the Sega Master System. Highlights include Space Invaders, Frogger, Galaga, Pitfall!, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, SimCity, Zero Wing, Duke Nukem, Sonic the Hedgehog, Aladdin, Earthworm Jim, Pokemon, and Metal Gear Solid. Use the search function to find your favorites! You can also register an account to save games on emulators that support it. Make sure to check the purple bar below each game for control info and links to alternate emulators in case the default one is buggy or slow.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 30, 2009 - 54 comments

The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion

Douglas Crockford, who oversaw the porting of Maniac Mansion to the NES, would like for you to know how the game changed in the porting process and why.
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 8, 2009 - 59 comments

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