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5 Retro Consoles, 1 HDMI Cable

Hyperkin's Retron 5 hardware plays real cartridges using original controllers from a variety of 8-bit and 16-bit consoles (including the NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy Advance), converts the output to HDMI for moderns TVs, and includes all the advanced options you usually only find in software emulators. It's winning over even the most skeptical retro gamers.
posted by 256 on Jul 21, 2014 - 46 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 - 51 comments

You Died. Again: A Review of Dark Souls by Someone Who Didn’t Play It

To be fair, I did watch someone play most of the game. Many of those moments repeatedly. And if I wasn’t in the room, the plaintive “Nooooo” that would echo from the living area told me that I’d be able to see whatever it was in another ten minutes. And probably again another twenty after that. And another twenty after that.
Kristin Bezio reviews Dark Souls through her husband's gameplay
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 19, 2014 - 86 comments

TRIBES. TRIBES. TRIBES.

Before the release of Tribes 2, IGN interviewed the band Motley Crue about the theme song that they'd been contracted to do: "Then this new game came up, Tribes 2, and it was very up Motley Crue's alley. It was high-energy, very intense. We actually wrote music specifically for the game, as well as taking a few tracks off of the new album, and we're extremely excited about it. Now they're actually going to digitize us and put us in the game." The deal appeared to fall through, and the song was lost to time. However copies still exist on the Internet.
posted by codacorolla on Jul 17, 2014 - 10 comments

Tower of Power

"Brandon Sheffield, Gamasutra editor and director of Necrosoft Games, took to Vine last night to show the world what exactly happens when 13 Sonic & Knuckles cartridges are plugged into one another in a Human Centipede-esque disaster." (Warning: 30 Vine videos playing in one browser window.)
posted by griphus on Jul 16, 2014 - 24 comments

I rode my mountain bike over the continental divide and it was so Galaga

"Galaga" is an excerpt from Michael Kimball's book of the same name about the classic arcade game of the same name. Kimball is also the author of the heartbreaking novel Us and the experimental non-fiction Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard), his selected favorites from which are 45, 46, 51, 52, 54, 66, 70, 75, 86, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 112, 114, 118, 128, 129, 131, 133, 160, 165, 167, 171, 192, 195, 199, 209, 216, 221, 225 and 240. Postcards 54, 75, 98, 114, and 225 feature non-human subjects. 131 is Tao Lin, and 128 is Kimball himself. [Via.]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 12, 2014 - 21 comments

A Tale of Internet Spaceships

A Tale of Internet Spaceships - A crowd funded documentary on the video game, Eve Online. Filmed at the annual CCP FanFest, a look at the unique world of spaceships, spreadsheets, diplomacy, community, and inevitable betrayal.
posted by Argyle on Jul 12, 2014 - 4 comments

Gaming has its own Nikola Teslas

Five Genre-Defining Video Games Forgotten by History (SLYT, 53min.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker on Jul 11, 2014 - 35 comments

Yes, yes, hadouken, but why hadouken, and when?

"How to play Street Fighter: a fighting game primer for everyone" explains the dynamics of how 2D fighting games work and why.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 8, 2014 - 29 comments

Super Pixel Quest

Super Pixel Quest. (By Emmanuel Espinasse.)
posted by archagon on Jul 7, 2014 - 9 comments

"Iconography"

Back in March, the AV Club premiered a new feature called Iconography, which is an illustrated column by Nick Wanserski examining "pop culture's most fascinating objects". Though the updates have been very sporadic since then, here are the first three entries for your enjoyment: The golden idol from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", The spinning top from "Inception", and Link's floppy hat from "The Legend of Zelda".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 2, 2014 - 7 comments

Ken Sei Mogura

"The twist here is that this is not an actual fighting game, it’s a Whac-a-mole title, one of those games where little heads pop up and you have to use a hammer to hit them back into the ground. The whole machine is Street Fighter II themed, the moles are Bison (Vega) characters and the on-screen characters play out a fight based on your performance."
posted by griphus on Jun 25, 2014 - 4 comments

Yo ho ho and a bottle of stimpack reskinned as rum!

Yo ho, matey! Ever get to sorting through Doom mods and think "Wow, that's a lot of techbases and hell castles. I'd really prefer something a bit more Monkey Island-esque"? If so (and even if not), you'll want to check out Pirate Doom, which dresses up Doom monsters as pirates (down the Imps' fancy hats) and sends the player through 18 levels of pirate-demon action! Rock Paper Shotgun has a quick writeup, Doomed has a review of an older version, and here's a video of level 2, "Melee Island", to give a good idea of what you're in for. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 23, 2014 - 10 comments

SERVER SMASH

Waterson and Mattherson, the only two US east coast servers for the MMOFPS Planetside 2, are merging this month. On hearing the news, players from each server began talking smack, smack that quickly escalated to a call for a Server Smash, a 240 vs 240 campaign lasting 2 hours on one of the Planetside continents, to decide the surviving server name. [more inside]
posted by Slackermagee on Jun 19, 2014 - 8 comments

The Kiss That Changed Video Games

On the first day of [the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo], the game’s producers, Kana Ryan and Chris Trottier, watched in disbelief as two of the female Sims attending the virtual wedding leaned in and began to passionately kiss. They had, during the live simulation, fallen in love. Moreover, they had chosen this moment to express their affection, in front of a live audience of assorted press.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits on Jun 19, 2014 - 41 comments

Alderaan Gambit or Mothma Opening?

The complete animations for Star Wars Chess on Sega CD: Rebel Alliance and The Empire.
posted by griphus on Jun 19, 2014 - 25 comments

rising to the occasion

For fans of Team Fortress 2, Valve inside jokes, wacky skits about corpses, animated shorts and bread-based warfare, presenting: TF2 - Expiration Date.
posted by fight or flight on Jun 18, 2014 - 35 comments

How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic

"The concept is a staple of the global culture of fantasy novels and video games, many of which feature a blue bar of magical energy called 'mana.' "But how did this happen? How did a concept from Pago Pago become part of global gaming culture? How did an Austronesian spiritual force come on board the Exodar, and become part of the life of my draenei shaman?" A lengthy look at the history of "mana," from Pacific Islanders to RPGs and trading card games.
posted by jbickers on Jun 17, 2014 - 66 comments

These women fulfill the same function as vending machine beverages

Anita Sarkeesian has released the third video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. It's an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at how women have been used as background decorations in video games for the last three decades. [previously]
posted by Ouverture on Jun 16, 2014 - 208 comments

#womenaretoohardtoanimate

Ubisoft dropped plans to have playable female assassins in the multiplayer mode of the upcoming game Assassin's Creed: Unity.
The studio "had to" cut female assassins from the co-op mode, Amancio explained in response to a question from Polygon's Ben Kuchera, because keeping them in would have doubled the cost of pretty much everything: "it's double the animations, double the voices, all that stuff, double the visual assets—especially because we have customizable assassins."
Once again from Ubisoft, Far Cry 4 will not have playable female characters in multiplayer either:
"...I can guarantee you that in the future, moving forward, this sort of stuff will go away. As we get better technology and we plan for it in advance and we don't have a history on one rig and all this sort of stuff. We had very strong voices on the team pushing for that and I really wanted to do it, we just couldn't squeeze it in in time. But on the other hand we managed to get more of the other story characters to be women... We did our best. It's frustrating for us as it is for everybody else, so it's not a big switch that you can just pull and get it done."
Animator Jonathan Cooper, who is currently with Naughty Dog and has previously worked on the Mass Effect series (whose main character could be either male or female, and whose final installment with multiplayer also featured female playable characters for multiple species including human) has another perspective on how the extra work could be planned for and handled. Twitter, with the hashtag in the post title, has its own perspective. [more inside]
posted by seyirci on Jun 12, 2014 - 142 comments

VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition

Terry Cavanagh's indie hit VVVVVV was an instant success, melding a Commodore 64 look and feel to a difficult but forgiving platformer whose only controls are move left, move right, and reverse gravity. The second edition of the game expanded from Windows and OSX to Linux, and added a level editor which could be used to make and export custom maps. Today, Cavanagh has announced VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition, which contains only the level editor and the ability to play custom levels, and which can now be downloaded for free for Windows, OSX, and Linux.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 12, 2014 - 19 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

Pretty Sure I've Read Most Of These....

The terrible (awesome?) fan-fic crossover story idea generator.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 6, 2014 - 77 comments

Who could ask for more?

ShuffleComp is an in-progress Interactive Fiction competition where all the games are based on a song chosen partially by the intfiction boards and partially by the game's author. While the voting/judging is ongoing, all the games submitted for the competition have been released and are playable now!
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 4, 2014 - 1 comment

>RUN PROJECT 23

Bartek Hlawka & co. present "Another World", a short film based on Éric Chahi's cinematic platform game of the same title (also known as Out Of This World in North America and Outer World in Japan). [more inside]
posted by griphus on Jun 4, 2014 - 16 comments

It's like Christmas morning!

Team Service Announcements is a series of short skits demonstrating basic principles of Team Fortress 2 tactics and strategy.
posted by Pope Guilty on May 30, 2014 - 20 comments

“I thought I was in control of my own destiny,” he said dejectedly.

This is your brain while videogaming stoned.
posted by Sebmojo on May 25, 2014 - 23 comments

The problem is too many games

Indie gaming started out as games written with passion for people who embraced and loved them. Now too much of it is about churning out giant mounds of decent but undifferentiated product to be bought for pennies by people who don't give a crap either way.

It's not sustainable.
Veteran indie game developer Jeff Vogel says the indie game bubble is popping.
posted by MartinWisse on May 25, 2014 - 86 comments

Dismantling and rebuilding someone else's work

Starting up fan localization projects feels much like amassing the cast of your typical role-playing game: a group of random strangers rally around a common cause before embarking on their journey together. In was in this way that Mandelin and Erbrecht found each other — stumbling to create something beautiful and meaningful, and realizing they could make that beautiful and meaningful thing better by working together. — For Polygon, Alexa Ray Corriea dives into the underground world of fan-translated games.
posted by MartinWisse on May 21, 2014 - 7 comments

“Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock n' roll.”

A Short History of Game Panics: [Boing Boing] "Do you know where you child is? Watch out: they might be in an arcade! Jesse Walker of Reason Magazine on video gaming's juciest moral panics." [Previously] [Previously] [Previously]
posted by Fizz on May 15, 2014 - 34 comments

Insert 25 Cents

Revisit the glory days of coin-op goodness with the Flickr pool Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989. (A nice companion to Horace Rumpole's previous post from last year.)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on May 9, 2014 - 31 comments

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ GOOD GAME

Tabletop Simulator is a, well, simulator for tabletop gaming. The trailer shows a number of applications: classics like chess and chinese checkers, RPG campaigns, and games using a standard deck of playing cards. And if you're looking for something with less structure you can set up domino chains. The game supports net-play with friends (video has a bit of cursing), with the option of flipping the table if the game isn't going your way. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 19, 2014 - 34 comments

Dust and Echoes

The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 16, 2014 - 28 comments

This is why we can't have nice things.

"Naturally, the record for the largest and most costly single engagement in EVE history was expected to stand for some time. It didn’t."
posted by Evilspork on Apr 8, 2014 - 48 comments

Indie Ain't Just a Word

Jared Rosen offers a postmortem of GAME_JAM, a failed reality show about game development produced by Maker Studios and sponsored by Pepsi. Contestants Adriel Wallick, Robin Arnott, and Zoe Quinn also offer their perspectives.
posted by gilrain on Mar 31, 2014 - 46 comments

Lemmings not included.

Six games that really get suicide. A very interesting look and insight into six video games with a pronounced realistic theme of depression and suicide.
posted by mediocre on Mar 31, 2014 - 9 comments

"Mortal Combat. Same floor, two doors down, talk to Vern."

Pete Holmes, who was previously highlighted here for his "Ex-Men" sketches, has decided that the one-on-one-interview-with-pop-culture-characters format really works for him, and so we now have "Street Fighter Red Tape" with Ryu, Vega and Chun-Li. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 19, 2014 - 13 comments

Then the game gets interesting again as you will be back to trains.

Crates in video games. (previously) Trains in video games. Birds in video games. Wall art in video games. Luchadores in video games. Foliage in video games. (previously) Logic in video games. Easter eggs (secret content) in video games. Normal eggs (and other food) in video games. Toilets in video games. Improved women's armor in video games (slightly NSFW). (previously) Bears in video games. Mickey Mouse in video games. Love in video games.
posted by Evilspork on Mar 18, 2014 - 21 comments

Race to the bottom in 3... 2... 1...

How clones, fear, sanitisation and free-to-play soured Apple’s iOS gaming revolution
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 14, 2014 - 67 comments

In war, not everyone is a soldier.

The generic war game has come under fire from many sides, prompting more thoughtful games, such as the recent Spec Ops: The Line (previously) and others. However, short of post-apocalyptic zombie-type games, no one has thought to make a game about the civilians - survivors living in the cities that other people battle over. Until now.
In This War of Mine, the focus is shifted away from military operations portrayed in most games. Instead, it is a dark survival game where players control a group of civilians trying to stay alive in a besieged city. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, offering players time to craft, trade, upgrade their shelter, feed and cure their people. At night they must scavenge nearby areas in search for food, medicines, weapons and other useful items. This War of Mine was inspired by real-life events and delivers a message. "This can happen in your city, in your country."

posted by corb on Mar 13, 2014 - 62 comments

A Questline About Thieves Who Never Steal Anything

Shamus Young examines the idea of "story collapse" (the moment where a story reaches a critical point of ridiculousness and causes you to question every other aspect of it) by deconstructing the Thieves Guild quest-line in Skyrim: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Entertaining reading for writers, designers and gamers alike.
posted by codacorolla on Mar 4, 2014 - 90 comments

Female portrayal in video games

QCF Design talks about making their game Desktop Dungeons more gender neutral. [more inside]
posted by arcolz on Mar 4, 2014 - 27 comments

What fire dies when you feed it?

Game of the Year. Some words and a comic on success, depression, insecurities and validations by the writer of The Stanley Parable
posted by yellowbinder on Feb 21, 2014 - 9 comments

Goonswarm didn't get where they are today by "playing it smart."

The first issue of the new EVE Online comic book from Dark Horse comics is now available for free download (free registration required). What's particularly interesting about the "EVE: True Stories" comic series is that the stories are retellings of actual player-driven game events. The first story to be adapted is the downfall of the Band of Brothers alliance, which we talked about previously.
posted by 256 on Feb 21, 2014 - 40 comments

000500

"Well, I did it. This is THE lowest possible score you can finish [Super Mario Bros.] with (without continuing)." via
posted by griphus on Feb 20, 2014 - 36 comments

Steam Tags

This past week the digital game distribution service Steam unveiled a new beta feature: user contributed tags for games. Unsurprisingly, the feature was quickly abused, leading to Steam introducing means to moderate tag usage. The plus side to all of this is that you can now play a game where you match Steam tags to the games they describe! Steam Tags: The Game
posted by codacorolla on Feb 15, 2014 - 31 comments

Archive.org Makes Microcomputer Software Lives Again, in Your Browser

Archive.org is known for archiving a great number of things, broadly classified in terms of the web, written and printed text, studio audio and live music, and video. The most recent addition comes in various realms of software, as outlined by Jason Scott (MeFi's own jscott). But the newest addition is notable because it brings old software back through online emulation - behold, the Historical Software collection, from productivity software like VisiCalc (1979), WordStar (1981 Osborne 1 version), and The Print Shop (1984, NYT review) to vintage games including Eastern Front 1941 (1981), The Hobbit (1982), and Karateka (1984). If you're interested in the way this all works, you can read more on the Archive.org blog.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 13, 2014 - 45 comments

Fierce Moves

Power Couples : Classic Video Games Reimagined as Romance Novels [more inside]
posted by griphus on Feb 12, 2014 - 12 comments

Cube

Cube: A Video About Video Game Graphics
posted by flatluigi on Feb 8, 2014 - 19 comments

Why The Fighting Game Community Is Color Blind

...the fighting game community is one of the only communities out there where you're playing next to somebody — right there. There's no booths, there's nobody playing on the other side of the country or whatever. You're playing right next to each other.
How the [fighting game community's] roots grew the most racially diverse community in gaming.
posted by griphus on Feb 7, 2014 - 26 comments

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