– 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.)
– Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter has a good, long interview with Darkwing Duck creator Tad Stones, which you can read here. Among the revelations? The show wasn’t a spin-off of DuckTales, as instead, it took place in an alternate dimension. And by the way, check out our DuckTales episode here.
– In a good interview with MCV’s Alex Calvin, Sega’s European boss Jurgen Post admits that the company was pushing out too much crap during the Wii-era.
– From Polygon and other sites, Blizzard’s Chris Metzen is retiring. He was serving as the senior vice president of story and franchise development, and joined the company in the early 1990s as an illustrator and animator. He was responsible for expanding the lore of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft.
– Did You Know Gaming covers Super Mario World this week, via Nerdist.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Animal Crossing came out today in 2002 in North America. It was yet another blockbuster series established by Nintendo.
– Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance was released on Sept. 16, 2002 for the Gameboy Advance. It was fun! It mixed the classic gameplay with RPG elements.
– A Dragon Quest IV remake, Chapters of the Chosen, came out on Sept. 16, 2008. It took the gameplay of the original, but included manual control for the later chapters (yay!), but also gave everyone weird accents (boo!). New this week is a remake of Dragon Quest VII for the 3DS, which turns it into a much better, playable game, per Attack of the Geek’s Dean James.
– FTL: Faster Than Light came out on Sept. 14, 2012. No, it’s not a classic game, but it’s hella good! You definitely need to play it if you like games.
This week in Your Parents Basement, we are playing God as we level fields and destroy Satan! From 1991, we’re playing ActRaiser by Quintet and published by Enix for the SNES. The sweet baby boys are joined by special guest Mike Deeney – a fan of finer things in life, like ActRaiser.
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- 0:00 – Intro, which is the rousing song from the second stage, Bloodpool.
- 51:30 – Emails! The gang talks video game all-nights, jobs in vidya games, and potential games based on musical figures.
- 1:17:15 – Snifferoo. Next week, we’re bad enough dudes to play the most American game of them all for the Fourth of July.
– According to Price Charting, and as discussed on the show, ActRaiser has retained its value pretty well. The original cart goes for $28.50, with the box and manual pushing the price up to $68. The sequel, which is just a straight-up action platformer, goes for a similar price.
– As mentioned on the show, a Kotaku article on randomizing The Legend of Zelda.
– Legitimately cool, but some NSFW text and language: Canadian punk band PUP has a ton of re-purposed vintage video game stuff for its music video of “DVP.” Check it out on YouTube! It’s definitely a must-watch for any old games fan.
– James Trew of Engadget has a cool retrospective on the Atari Lynx, which is one of those obscure systems from the early to mid-1990s.
– Are you in the Austin, Texas area on Feb. 21? You’re in luck! You can attend the NBA Jam Invitational Tournament at Empire Control Room & Garage. Find more details here. Also, from FOX Sports and several other sources, the University of Florida used NBA Jam graphics for a promotion.
– In “WTF Sega???” news, The Worldfolio has an interview with the president and CEO of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., and he said development continues on a live action-animation hybrid Sonic The Hedgehog movie. It’s tentatively scheduled for a 2018 release.
– A hat tip to Friend of the Show Hypermotard, as he passed along this Reddit AMA with Don Rawitsch, one of the co-inventors of The Oregon Trail.
– From the appropriately named This Is Why I’m Broke, it’s a Nintendo console lamp. The price of $95 seems a bit steep to me, but still, it looks pretty cool.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– In 2014, Square somewhat buried the third installment of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning Returns, by releasing it in this traditional “dead” period. The game itself is a bit of a mess, but it has some cool concepts, like the ability to hunt enemies to extinction and the setting of the end of the world. Like a lot of recent Square efforts, it’s undone by some meh storytelling in the third act.
– We typically don’t use Japanese dates for “anniversaries” on the old YPB blog, but for whatever reason, Feb. 11 is a banner day for the genre in Japan. In 1990, Dragon Quest IV came out, and as usual it did major business in Japan. It didn’t hit American shores until October 1992, and it was very much a “niche” title with seemingly only 15 copies released. A Nintendo DS remake came out in 2007 and 2008; it tends to be controversial, because while it cleans up some gameplay and “where do I go next?” aspects, it gives all of the characters ridiculous accents.
– In 1998, Xenogears was released by Square in Japan. It has a strong cult following to this day because of its unique RPG system with martial arts and robots fighting, along with a plot that focuses on religion, psychology and identity crisis. The reaction is still mostly positive, even though the second half of the game falls apart a bit for behind-the-scenes budget reasons.
– Square released Final Fantasy VIII in Japan in 1999. It was the second Final Fantasy game for the Playstation, and drastically different from the preceding game, and as a result it’s somewhat a black sheep in the series. Although it has sold more than 8.5 million copies, it’s been passed over for remakes in favor of VII and X, even though its story and “look” hold up somewhat better. It’s not really a game for Final Fantasy newcomers though, as the battle system takes some getting used to, and exploit knowledge on a second playthrough can let you become an all-powerful character within the game’s first few hours.
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.