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The Wisdom of Crowds

For the past three days, the world of streaming gaming has been riveted by an unlikely phenomenon: Twitch Plays Pokemon. Consisting of a live Twitch.TV chatroom hooked up to a classic Game Boy emulation of Pokémon Red, the program is set to recognize a limited number of commands and execute them in real time, allowing an audience of tens of thousands to collectively control the action as they watch. An astonishing amount of progress has been made, including the dramatic last-second defeat of a third gym leader (GIF) and the solution of a notoriously tricky puzzle on the very first attempt. But all for naught, it seems, as Team Twitch finds itself hilariously stranded on the ledges of Route 19 where, as one viewer explained, "they basically have to walk a small path for about ten spaces without anyone pushing down and jumping Red off the ledge," a grim democratic reality the dedicated subreddit /r/twitchplayspokemon has had all kinds of fun with over the last dozen ludicrous hours.
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 15, 2014 - 101 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

Classic N64 Soundtracks

Did you enjoy Nintendo 64 classics from the 90's? How about their soundtracks? Well, I have some good news for you (MLYT).
posted by Evernix on Aug 28, 2013 - 6 comments

Alternate pressing L and R as fast as you can to fluff these pillows.

Downton Abbey for the SNES. (SLYT, sadly not a real game. via tor.com)
posted by gamera on Jan 29, 2013 - 26 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

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

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

A long way to go to lose

Here is a video playthrough of The Legend of Zelda without a sword. It is possible to get right up to the last boss without one, although it requires knowing a lot of tricks. That is exactly what mev1978 does in his playthrough, without dying. And then he does it again in the second quest. First quest (1:61:31) - Second quest (1:13:18) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 26, 2011 - 33 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

Gaming in the Clinton Years

In the mid-1990s, a man named George Wood created a TV show called Flights of Fantasy on a Maryland public-access channel. The show was was dedicated to videogames, and gained quite a few detractors; Wood was not known for his playing skills, research, or good taste, and the production was rather cheap. He would also tend to go off-topic, sometimes markedly so.

It had a small following, being a local public-access show, but would have been lost forever had Wood not joined a video gaming association called NAViGaTR, who archived the entire series, edited each episode, and put them online as Gaming in the Clinton Years.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko on Mar 21, 2011 - 12 comments

It's a secret to everybody.

BS Zelda Retrospective (SLYT). In honor of Zelda's 25th anniversary this month, this is an interesting look at the live-broadcast Satellaview games in the Zelda series, which had some compelling and strange tweaks to the Zelda formula. The beginning is an introduction to the service, and the fun bit begins at 8:50.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Feb 23, 2011 - 13 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

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

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

ROM with a view

By combining speedruns with the large-scale world maps from the VGMaps, these "zoomed out" videos of classic NES games provide a unique perspective on the game world (best viewed in 1080p). Metroid - Mega Man 2 - Contra - Super Mario Bros 3 - Zelda
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jul 9, 2010 - 32 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

Dodongo dislikes wasted blocks

In a revelation that, to some, is on the order of realizing there is (or isn't) a god, it turns out that all the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda were part of the same enormous map. This seems to have some sort of transcendental importance that I can't quite put my finger on. [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Oct 28, 2009 - 91 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

He'd rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in his ear

(NSFW) The Angry Video Game Nerd (taking a cue from seanbaby's lead) has been producing video reviews of some of the most notoriously awful NES games, from Top Gun to Bible Games. (Can't miss: The Power Glove.) Not content to go after one system, he's upgraded his range to take on other colossal failures like the Atari Jaguar, Superman 64, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (the movie). His newest series of videos, You Know What's Bullshit?, takes on everyday nuances like DVD box sets. He may be vulgar and his vignettes silly, but damn straight he's got a point. Enjoy all his archived videos here, spanning five years of obscenity-laced love/hate for his greatest passions.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 23, 2009 - 18 comments

"It's a Secret to Everybody"

"It's a secret to everybody" -- an unbelievably comprehensive blog post about the etymologies of the names of famous (and not-so-famous) video game characters.
posted by empath on Jun 20, 2009 - 26 comments

Vintage Game Club plays Chrono Trigger

Good morning, Crono! (Cf.) Starting this Friday, the Vintage Game Club will play through the RPG classic Chrono Trigger, a game beloved and praised but perhaps not well understood. The discussion is beginning here (little substance so far). [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Mar 17, 2009 - 46 comments

Modern video games covers as classic books

Modern video game covers reimagined as Classic Books.
posted by ColdChef on Feb 4, 2009 - 30 comments

Paper. Rock. Scissors.

In 1986, most gamers who were lucky enough to own a new video game system at home were playing the original Nintendo. It's launch in 1985, a year before the Sega Master System was launched in the states, allowed it plenty of time become the most popular console in the market, and the game Super Mario Bros. quickly became the best-selling video game of all time (a title it continues to hold, having sold over 40 million copies to date). However, even though Nintendo commanded 95% of the North American video game market at the time and the CEO of Sega made little effort to promote and market it, some people still bought and gave the Sega Master System a chance. Perhaps it was the 3-D glasses or it's unique ability to read multiple media inputs... or perhaps that the original version of the system had a secret game built right into it (and it was unbeatable!). [more inside]
posted by Bageena on Dec 22, 2008 - 52 comments

Super Obama World

Super Obama World
posted by KokuRyu on Nov 17, 2008 - 30 comments

Contextual YouTube advertisement for Wii

A novel youtube page promoting Nintendo's latest platform game. The page itself adds context as the video progresses.
posted by nthdegx on Oct 8, 2008 - 24 comments

Let's go Nintendo

Everything you need to know about playing Nintendo.
posted by dhammond on Apr 10, 2008 - 64 comments

Our 8-bit friends

Pants get in the way of disaster. Playing alone because then it ends when I say it ends. No one is there to pick you up. Don't be delicate; fuck me harder. Adam Mathes on video games "I want them to love me as much as I love them and they can't, so I have to fill in the blanks myself." Nestography [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Mar 3, 2008 - 7 comments

Genocide of the Marios

Remember Super Mario Frustration? Kaizo Mario World is another of those super-hard Mario level hacks, this one of Super Mario World. Someone played through its first level 134 times, with save states, recording all his deaths, then digitally composited them into one trip through the level. The result was Many-Worlds Mario. (For those interested, here's a video of a tool-assisted perfect run of much of the game. Here's the rest. Here's some more.)
posted by JHarris on Feb 3, 2008 - 36 comments

Game Center CX

"[Game Center CX] is comedic, dramatic, even a bit mental, but altogether it’s an unforgettable show about what sounds like a forgettable concept: a guy trying to beat old Nintendo games." [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Nov 16, 2007 - 12 comments

Get ready to octorock

The only interactive Zelda overworld map you'll ever need. (Flash)
unless you're doing the second quest. Found at the ever-useful vgmaps.com
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Nov 10, 2007 - 26 comments

miistation.com for your mii needs

If you're lucky enough to own the Nintendo Wii and are of the left brain variety, have a look at MiiStation.com, where you can submit a photo and have an artist create your Mii - you know, Mr. Potato Head for the console generation. This is real people (in Japan!) sittin' in front of the tube (probably LCDs or plasmas, maybe even OLEDs?), lookin' at your photos and wavin' that Wii wand.
posted by gen on Feb 6, 2007 - 7 comments

STOP DOCTOR MORBIS BEFORE ITS TO LATE FOR THE CHEETAHMEN.

Combining incredible hubris with deep incompetence, Active Enterprises was probably the worst game company of all time. They released precisely two games in the early 1990s. The first was the insanely horrible Action 52, (retail price: $200), which was designed to take advantage of a "silent wave of anti, far-eastern [sic] made products," and featured an unwinnable contest. More amazing, however, was the sequel to the 52nd game in their Action 52 cartridge, Cheetahmen II. Never quite the breakout hit that Active intended, perhaps because it was crippled with bizarre bugs and middle school art, the world never got to see the second issue of the Cheetahmen comic book, nor the planned set of action figures, nor their Action Gamemaster console.
posted by blahblahblah on Jan 19, 2007 - 26 comments

R-Beeeak!

Blaster Master... Solid NES Gold. Those who remember the game do so with fondness. Though critically lauded on release, and later spawning several sequels, the game was never as big a hit as its its spiritual predecessors, Metroid and Legend of Zelda. Like Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic, Blaster Master was based on an obscure Japanese game, in this case Chōwakuseisenki Metafight although the differences in this case are limited to the story. Blaster Master was also the first (and only "canon") book in the Nintendo Worlds of Power series, in which various authors novelized third-party games using the pseudonym "F.X. Nine." Download the Blaster Master book here (MSWord zipped, "enhanced" by a fan). Lastly, some bonus links: one, two, and three (!)
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Oct 24, 2006 - 36 comments

Now you're playing with power.

Relive your roots at NESplayer.com. This site is a huge repository for all kinds of NES stuff - it has an extensive sprite gallery, a rather comprehensive list of all NES merchandise and accessories available through the years, NES ads from comics, shots and clips from Nintendo-based TV shows(no episodes- I know - but when was the last time you thought of Captain N or the Super Mario Bros. Super Show?). There are shrines, guides, interviews, this guy who paints NES scenes... in short too much to list here. Go now, be fruitless. It's Saturday.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Apr 8, 2006 - 8 comments

Bob Ross Video Game

A video game "based on Bob Ross' creative, unique and easy to learn painting techniques and TV show properties" is coming to the next-generation Nintendo system.
posted by AloneOssifer on Apr 5, 2006 - 31 comments

Good enough to cease 'n' disist

Mario Adventure - SMB3 hacked into an entirely new high-quality game
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 17, 2006 - 20 comments

Who needs network television?

GameLife Video Game Review Show Episode 1
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 9, 2006 - 29 comments

xoc - SMW

SMW - The complete soundtrack to Super Mario World, covered by one man using dozens of instruments. Roughly in game order, faithful to the originals, with some bizarre artistic license thrown around. A private hobby made public. Dedicated to Koji Kondo.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Aug 13, 2005 - 20 comments

A Gamers' Manifesto

A Gamers' Manifesto
posted by Tlogmer on May 23, 2005 - 40 comments

Bare NESessities

I am 8 bit is a celebration of the pixelated graphics of 80s videogames, at LA's Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight. A hundred artists have produced paintings, sculptures and designs inspired by the two-dimensional imagery of the pre-PlayStation era. The exhibition runs from April 19 until May 20. More information, including highlights from the gallery, appear at Game Informer. It remains to be seen if the other ninety-nine artists can match the quality of Sean Clarity's exceptional reworking of the cover to NES classic Excitebike.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 3, 2005 - 18 comments

more retro video games, online

EveryVideogame.com... many retro videogames (arcade, nintendo, gameboy, sega) available for online play via a java applet.
posted by crunchland on Feb 24, 2005 - 20 comments

Super Mario Bolsheviks

Was Mario some Communist propaganda? "If anything can be said about Mario, it is that he seems to wear quite a bit a red . It’s on his name, it’s the color of his suspenders, his super mushrooms, his flag, even his hat." He does kinda look like an 8-bit Stalin, but a more important question must be asked: "Is Mario a drug pusher?"
posted by StephenV on Dec 24, 2004 - 20 comments

Two screen handheld

Nintendo announces two screen handheld console. More details expected at May's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). It's due for release at Christmas, around the same time as Sony's PSP.
posted by MintSauce on Jan 21, 2004 - 23 comments

Super Mario Bros. 3 in 11 Minutes!

Mario in the News A Japanese person (cannot translate the name, sorry) has completed the classic NES game Super Mario Bros. 3 in just over 11 minutes. Fortunately he recorded it for posterity. (uses Windows streaming video.) Speed runs have been gaining in popularity lately. What game would you like to see abused in such as fashion?
posted by patgas on Dec 2, 2003 - 18 comments

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