– Polygon has released their massive video game gift guide, which is neat to read just to catch up on all of the cool stuff you didn’t even know existed.
– The new Daytona USA game, confusingly called Daytona 3 Championship USA, has some trailers out now.
– To hype the (incredibly hard to get) NES Classic, Nintendo has interviews with the developers of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 here. And hey, check out our episodes for the first and second games of that series!
– In a fun feature, Polygon’s Owen S. Good tallies up how much it would cost to just buy an NES and all of the games on the NES Classic, instead of paying the prices online for it.
– From Motherboard and other sites, a guy is shooting for 2017 for the release of Tanglewood, a new Genesis game programmed on an authentic development kit.
ON THIS DAY (OR CLOSE TO IT!) IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Mentioned prominently in last week’s show was WWF No Mercy, which was released on this day in 2000 by Asmik Ace and AKI. It’s still considered to be one of the gold standards for wrasslin’ video games.
– The ole Xbox was released on Nov. 15, 2001. That old chestnut didn’t sell well in Japan, and ultimately came out behind the PS2 in America, but it established a firm beachhead in console sales for Microsoft.
– Three days after the Xbox came the Gamecube. Again, it finished behind the PS2 in the sixth generation console wars, but it had some very well-received games, like…
– The Metroid series is kind of a big deal in November. In 2002, both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion had concurrent releases for the Gamecube and GBA. The sequel to Prime came out on Nov. 15, 2004. (And hey, check out our episode on Super Metroid here!)
– On November 16, 2004, Valve released Half-Life 2. The incredible FPS was followed by sequels, Episode One and Episode Two, and then NOTHING. The third installment will never come out because Valve clearly hates us now.
– Dragon Quest VIII, the first of the series to drop the “Dragon Warrior” name for an American release, came out for the PS2 on Nov. 15, 2005. It was a solid effort, although not as long and deep as previous efforts from Enix.
– In 2006, the PlayStation 3 came out. It was a swell system, but it ceded the control of the market that the PS2 and PSX had established because of a high initial price and lack of third party support. (And by the way, the PS4 came out on Nov. 15, 2013, so Sony likes to push them consoles out in the holiday season.)
Whew, the weather is heating up just as July is on its way out! But thankfully, there is some good gamin’ news to help you through these miserable temperatures. (Note: Your region may vary.) On to the proper post!
– Ernie Smith of Atlas Obscura has an incredible piece on the Brazilian video game market, where the Sega Master System still sells 150,000 units a year.
– A cool documentary idea: Two guys try to buy as much of a NES collection as they can in 30 days. The film is called Nintendo Quest, and Geek & Sundry’s Robert Workman has an article on it here.
– In other Nintendo news, the company posted a surprising first quarter profit, per Financial Times and many other sites. The gains were attributed to better cost controls and the performance of Splatoon, a new shooter IP for the Wii U.
– Per Wired and other sites, Dragon Quest XI is the first confirmed game for the Nintendo NX, along with the 3DS and Playstation 4, confusingly. In comparison to Square Enix’s other big series, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest games are usually simpler graphically, so the series could be on multiple, divergent platforms.
– The podcast I’m sure everyone was clamoring for: A game-by-game one on the Atari Jaguar! You can check it out here.
– From Wired’s Klint Finley, an article and linked YouTube on the “hot tech rivalry” between Amiga and Atari.
– James O’Malley at Gizmodo UK writes about a poll of British gamers and voters. Conservatives love Candy Crush, whereas Labour voters like that and Grand Theft Auto.
– In 1993, Ecco the Dolphin came out for the Sega Master System. The release date does vary depending on what site you look at, but the general dates are from July 29 to July 31 for the game’s release.
– Pokemon Crystal, a Game Boy color special edition of the gold and silver versions of that game series, came out in North America in 2001.
– And since it is still July, almost nothing else came out. (For the second week in a row!) Womp womp womp.
It’s way too friggin’ humid in New England, but despite the condensation, we’ve prepared only the best news for you to enjoy today! Here are some of the stories about classic games and series we’ve culled from around the Interwebs:
– In last week’s “Four of a Kind” feature on Purple Revolver by James Brookfield, they cover bad celebrity endorsed games. The finalists? Shaq Fu, Chuck Norris Superkicks, Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, and William Shatner’s TekWar, which apparently exists!
– Looking for some classic game recommendations? Nicholas Bitonti of The Detroit Metro Times has some good recommendations. While I don’t agree with all of them, they’re more obscure and interesting than the usual ones you see floating around the web, and cover a variety of systems.
– For the upcoming release of Pixels, Chauncey Alcorn of The New York Daily News has a ranking of his favorite 10 arcade games of all-time. Spoiler alert: Tekken 4 is way too friggin’ high, and while it’s nice to see Virtua Cop get some love, there is no Time Crisis on the list, which is just silly.
– Continuing with controversial #hottakes: Lizzy Finnegan of The Escapist has an article, “When the sequel is worse than the original.” Unfortunately, her examples are The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania, and I’d say that only the latter is actually bad.
– IGN.com’s Cam Shea has a good, longer read on the downfall of the SEGA Rally Championship game series. Warning though, a video autoplays from that link!
– On the Gradius episode, we mentioned that it was seen as Konami’s response to Namco’s classic Xevious. It’s probably for the best that an Atari 2600 port of Xevious never saw the light of day, because the recently unearthed prototype copy is pretty horrible. (Via Kotaku Australia’s Mike Fahey.)
– Again, it’s a fairly crappy day for video game releases, because it’s the summer. The Game Boy Color version of Dragon Warrior III came out 14 years ago. The original was an incredible RPG that featured multiple classes for the first time in a Dragon Quest / Dragon Warrior game, and even better, you could change at-will once you reached a certain point in the game. However, it originally came out in Japan in 1988, and in June 1991 in North America, and didn’t have much of an impact in the states. On Amazon, GBC prices range from $19.99 (used) to $149.98 (new). Want a boxed copy of the NES edition? It’s only $1,499.95, with used copies starting at $47.95.
– One major studio game released in the summer back in the day: NCAA Football 2004, which came out in 2003 on July 16 for the Playstation 2, Xbox and Gamecube. The cover athlete was Carson Palmer, who is now 35, and the game sells for $1 or less pretty much everywhere in the god damn world.