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.
"In a hotel room in Florida during the summer of 2008, we were given an exciting preview of a "Nintendo Mixtape" by burgeoning rap group, No Question? As we listened, we felt like Mario must have felt during his first ingestion of a fire flower. In other words, we knew immediately that this was some good shiz." [more inside]
The 2009 Super Mario Marathon will kick off this Friday as three gamers from Lafayette, Indiana jump their way through 25 years of Mario games to benefit the Child's Play Charity. The marathon will be broadcast live online and you can track their level progress at the site. Viewers of the event will have the opportunity to win some Mario-themed prizes. If old-school RPGs are more your thing, the Final Fantasy Marathon, also live online, also with prizes, will be kicking off July 17 to benefit ACT Today.
(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.
"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.
At this year's E3, Shigeru Miyamoto told Kotaku (video interview included) and USA Today that the "Kind Code" patent (noticed back in January 2009, and well summarized on Kotaku) will be implemented in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The tentatively named "Demo Mode" was discussed by developers and received early approval from a teacher. With this new, slightly more solid information, feelings are mixed. [more inside]
Wait, what are they talking about? Childish fun with edits and unnecessary censorship at Nintendo's 2009 E3 Media Briefing [SLYT].
Drive a race car, beat someone up, and try on a dress - all from your living room and without any controllers. Microsoft's new "Natal". [video] [more inside]
Reinier van der Ende, an x-ray technician at the largest hospital in the northern part of the Netherlands, decided to combine his work with one of his hobbies and proceeded to x-ray his collection of video game consoles, peripherals and game cartridges. Here are the fruits of his labour. [more inside]
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]
Have you ever wondered how Samus got all her powers? I mean, really, how does a simple back-planet girl learn to use this mysterious Chozo technology?
Wonderful Nintendo art! A deviantArt user has taken action shots from NES games and placed them in real world scenes. Just a few: SMB 3, Streetfighter, and Excitebike. But be sure to check out the whole gallery.
Bought a video game second hand and found it doesn’t have a manual? Or have you been thinking about that great manual that came with that copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past you owned years ago and wouldn't mind taking a look through it again? Well, help is at hand! Vimm offers you heaps of free pdf manuals from retro systems as old as the Atari 2600 and as recent as the N64! Meanwhile Meekeo does much the same, although it mostly looks after current generation systems (including the PC) only. Finally, if you own a Nintendo Wii, DS, Gamecube or Gameboy Advance, Nintendo is offering up full colour pdfs of games they publish(ed) for these systems, as well as manuals for some of their older games.
So you've spent the holidays playing games, but now you have to be back at work. How to get your gaming fix during commutes and lunch-hours, whilst keeping up with that resolution to Learn Something New this year? Well, you could make a Sack-Boy. You can keep your portable games device warm with a Zelda cosy. You can knit up a Pacman scarf or a Space Invaders bag or socks if you're feeling retro. Or you can make a pocket ninja, an invincibility star to get you through the afternoon, a maqgnetic Katamari ball to spring-clean that desk, or a friendly companion cube. (and if you're too cack-handed to knit, you can sew a friendly cube with the pattern here and tutorial here!)
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]
Nintendo Comics System. Full colour scans of most of the Super Mario Brothers comics that many Nintendo fans, such as myself, read back during the 90s. Oh, as well as Legend of Zelda, Punch Out!!, Metroid and Captain N: The Game Master. Further reading, if you dare.
Speaking of robots, here is a trailer for Megaman the Movie, a low budget live action adaptation of the classic NES game. [sort of previously] [more inside]
The Mother of all Wii Hacks: Early on in the life of the Wii, hackers discovered a bug in "Zelda: Twilight Princess" and exploited it to create the Twilight Hack. From that came the Homebrew Channel, a software browser, and even DVD capability. [more inside]
The History of Mother 1 (NES) In honor of the new fan translation of Mother 3 (or Earthbound for the GBA), I've decided to post an article explaining what ever happened to the English port of the first game in the Earthbound/Mother trilogy.
Mother 3 fan translation completed. Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) is one of the most highly regarded RPGs for the Super Nintendo. The game suffered disappointing sales in America, but has since gained the status of a cult classic. A sequel, Mother 3, was released for the Game Boy Advance, but it has never been officially translated into English. After a long development, a fan translation patch has just been released. Trailer. [more inside]
A novel youtube page promoting Nintendo's latest platform game. The page itself adds context as the video progresses.
It started with sequencing 8-bit chipsets on Nintendo Game Boys, but the Chiptune scene has now expanded well beyond game systems. Reformat the Planet is the essential introduction to this awesome new genre, and proves it's more than just a blip. This week only you can watch the feature length documentary in its entirety on Pitchfork.tv. [more inside]
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the most popular console of the 80s but the unstoppable march of time and the introduction of more advanced 16 bit consoles inevitably ensured its demise. But you can't keep a good console down and now it's back, thanks to the work of some dedicated mods out there. But it's not quite how you remembered it. I mean, I don't remember the NES ever coming in the form of a belt, do you? Or a coffee table, for that matter. Those insane NES hackers have even gone and put an NES in an NES cartridge. There's also an NES in an NES controller, an NES in a lightgun, a wooden NES, an NES alarm clock, an NES wallet or finally, an NES guitar. Want to see more? Check this out.
Got some time to kill? Well then, maybe you should start exploring the exciting world of papercraft! To get you started, here's a link to 100 free paper models and toys. Once you're done there, you might want to start checking out card modeling, build some skyscraper models, animals and motorcycles and when you get really good, faces of real people such as these. There's even some creative paper modeling websites out there for the kids and people who like Pokemon and Nintendo. And if all those links still aren't enough to satiate your new found lust for papercraft, check out this papercraft search engine for even more designs.
This was not a triumph. I'm making a note here. Epic fail. It's hard to overstate my disappointment. Nintendo. They do what they must at E3 because they can. For the good of all casual gamers except the ones who are hardcore. But there is no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of new games. And the science gets done, and you make some neat pheripheral add-ons for the people who own a Wii.
"We're not building a themed adventure for Mega Man; just kill him!" Where does Mega Man's nemesis get his wonderful toys? How much does it cost to construct big spikes? Can one add ice blocks to the magnet level without violating a building code? It's not easy being in the Dr. Wily business.
In 1989, Lieutenant William “Mad Dog” Rizer was called before the Senate Military Investigations Committee to discuss his statements regarding the effectiveness of military operations in response to the Red Falcon invasion of the previous year. The following is a transcript of his testimony before Congress. The Contra Hearings. [more inside]
Looking for a new musical toy to supplement your current studio setup? You may already have a MIDI-via-WiFi-enabled* sequencer (1, 2)/drum-and-bass groovebox/audio sampler & scratcher/Mod Tracker in your pocket!
*a wired version is also available. [more inside]
*a wired version is also available. [more inside]
Playing Dirty: Greenpeace vs Nintendo, Microsoft, et al. "The Greenpeace scientific report Playing Dirty states that video games consoles have tested positive for hazardous chemicals and materials such as polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, beryllium and bromine." [more inside]
Cubecraft - Stormtrooper, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Iron Man, Mario etc. More (Sonic, Ninja Turtles etc) here.
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]
Easily the most hotly-anticipated game for the Wii (if not ever), Super Smash Bros. Brawl has topped 1 million sales in its first two weeks in Japan (U.S. release date is next month [3/9]). Featuring the addition of celebrated video game characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake to its bloated cast, as well as the ability to record fights, design levels, single-player storylines penned by Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy VII), and the first SSB game to feature online play, it's no wonder the game has delivered on the hype and become only the 7th game in acclaimed magazine Famitsu's storied history to receive a perfect 40/40 score. Watch the Japanese intro, spoil the game for yourself by checking out all leaked in-game secrets, or simply learn more about all the details that went into the game with this chat with the head game developer. Finally, if you're hardcore enough to hang with the big boys, head on over to the Smash Boards and find yourself a tournament to participate in.
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.)
A gallery of images created using Colors! A Nintendo DS homebrew app that makes use of the machines little-known pressure sensitive capabilities.
A presentation at the 24th Annual Chaos Communication Congress convention for hackers in Germany [previously mentioned in MeFi] revealed a proof of concept: the Nintendo Wii's Power PC "Broadway" chip has been completely hacked. (via OMGNintendo)
N, that dangerously addictive and simple flash game (previously # # #) is very close to being available on X-box live[IGN] and soon, on the PSP and Nintendo DS. More news about N and their next project, robotology can be found on their blog. [more inside]
"Okay, I work for GameStop, and in one of the local stores, someone returned Spanish for Everyone claiming it was exceedingly stereotypical." And it turns out it kinda was. It's a game for the Nintendo DS, where the framework involves an accidentally stolen DS which is taken by a kid whose father is in a limo, being chased by the police, going back across the border to Ensenada. Luckily, the kid's aunt (who apparently doesn't recognize him other than vaguely) is here to give him a ride as far as Tijuana, leaving him stranded in the middle of a foreign country where he doesn't speak the language! Fun, and it gets worse from there! Here's The Intro, Level 2's cut scene, level 3's cut scene and the ending, featuring a whole mess of cars, "fireworks" and, ahm, drug running? Of course, this'd just be a pile of YouTube links if it weren't for The lead designer of the game popping in to share his 2 cents on it. [via] [more inside]
"[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]
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
unless you're doing the second quest. Found at the ever-useful vgmaps.com
With the release of Super Mario Galaxy on Wii, now is a perfect time to look back at the History of the Super Mario Brothers.