– Fans are desperate for Nintendo to release some info, any info, on the upcoming NX console. So much so that they’re now speculating a Papa John’s news release could be about the console. Polygon pokes fun at the phenomenon here.
– Nintendo executives and ads sales people might be losing their collective minds though, judging from this (really loud) commercial for new colors on the 2DS. Starring Luigi!
– Gamasutra has a really good blog entry from John Szczepaniak on the dark side of the Japanese gaming industry’s work practices. I found that article in The Game Beat Weekly, which is Kyle Orland’s awesome weekly email about the gaming industry. Subscribe to it here!
– From Geek.com, a Commodore 64 has been running an auto shop for 25 years. Read more here!
ON THIS DAY (OR CLOSE TO IT!) IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– MORTAL KOMBAT! … was released in the arcades on October 8, 1992. The gory fighter from Midway Games was hella popular, thanks to its mixture of Street Fighter 2 mechanics with bloody combat.
– Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber came out for the N64 today in 2000. Quest’s follow-up to their earlier games was a bit more accessible than the originals, but still just a niche title that’s now a cult classic. (And speaking of, Tactics Ogre came out on October 6, 1995 for the SNES in Japan.)
– Celebrating its birthday this week? The Super Nintendo! Aaron Couch from The Hollywood Reporter has a good piece here, which features some good stuff from Blake J. Harris, the author of Console Wars. Over at SB Nation, Marc Normandin and others write about their four favorite sports games for the system.
– Cool graphics from Video Game Densetsu, as they collected some old Sega pixel-making.
– Boing Boing and a bunch of other sites had a link to a hamster finishing a Super Mario Bros. level.
– From a couple different sites, an Epic Donald game was considered at various points.
– Nintendo has acquired JESNET, a console distribution company in Japan, for $46.5 million. It’s seen as a sign of the big N ramping up console production for the NX.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Today was a good day for games. First, Ecco: The Tides of Time came out for the Genesis. It was the sequel to the first game, and the hottest dolphin game of 1994.
– Super Mario Sunshine came out for the Gamecube on Aug. 26, 2002. It’s 14 years old! God, it feels like it came out yesterday.
– As Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett types in his write-up, Sega’s game testing training videos were peak 1990s, right down to Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails background music.
– From Polygon’s Allegra Frank, a remake of cult classic Wild Guns is coming out for the PS4!
– In unnecessary video game movie adaptation news… A Tetris movie is in the pipeline, according to Deadline. And not a documentary about the game’s interested and tangled history, but a science fiction game. A discount film studio has picked up the rights to Atari’s Missile Command and Centipede, also per Deadline. Also, confirming long-standing rumors, Nintendo said it would look to re-enter the ole Hollywood business.
– What was the code name for the biggest heroin bust in Delaware’s history? Operation Duck Hunt, of course. Read more via The Sussex County Post.
– Nintendo Player has an awesome long read on the recently-unearthed Happily Ever After, a Snow White-based NES game from the early 1990s. The game itself is a generic, Nintendo Hard affair, but the story behind it is fascinating. Plus, the ROM has been made available for free online!
– From several sites, a retro 8-bit version of Monopoly, featuring Super Mario Bros., now has a sale slug on Amazon.
– Per Gamasutra and several other sites that got the press release, mod support for older Sega games caused them to sell 350,000 copies on Steam since April 28. For the details, click here.
– For James and Mike Mondays, the guys play Doom 64, which Steve remembers somewhat fondly from his childhood! If you didn’t have a high-powered PC back in the day, it was a fairly easy way to play the ole game. Also from that site this week, Mike and Bootsy play Pinball for the NES!
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– In 1997, Eurocom released the Midway arcade game War Gods for the N64. Because the system was so starved for games at various points, it was hyped for months in Nintendo Power, but it ultimately was just a mediocre fighting game.
– New Super Mario Bros. now isn’t, as it celebrated its 10th year on May 15. (Note: It’s still an awesome platformer for the DS, though.)
– For a brief history in time, people thought they’d get in shape via vidya games. On May 21, 2008, Nintendo came out with Wii Fit and the Wii balance board. Both the balance board and the Wii are now probably in your closet.
– The year after Wii Fit, Next Level Games dropped a remake of Punch-Out!! for the Wii. While it was well-received, it wasn’t the iconic game that the original was.
Hey, it’s some news!
– Marc Deschamps had a fun review, with pictures, of his time spent at a museum with a NES exhibit.
– It was all around the Internet this week, but the original story seems to be from a Huffington Post site: Michael Jackson did portions of the soundtrack for Sonic 3. Read more here by Todd Van Luling.
– PAX South is in San Antonio from today to Sunday. You know, in case you’re in the area. For more info, visit the event’s website.
– From mbgreen78 at DeviantART, it’s video game dioramas! Check them out here.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– The most significant game released was Phantasy Star Online in 2001 for the Dreamcast. It was pretty much the first online console game that had a significant impact, and it makes plenty of “best of all-time” lists as a result.
– Depending on what source you look at, Final Fantasy Tactics came out today or yesterday in 1998. It was a cult classic for plenty of years, thanks to its awesome storyline and neat, turn-based strategy gameplay. Nowadays, it has been re-released for several different (mostly Sony) platforms, and it’s still worth checking out. (And by the way, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is out this week for the Wii U Virtual Console, per Gamasutra.)
– Some guy named Steve Colebert had the Zelda orchestra on. You’ve probably heard about it already, but if not, it’s totally on Youtube.
– From Kotaku, Brian Ashcraft has a re-post of a popular old post that has a tour of Nintendo’s original headquarters in Japan.
– A hardcore Japanese gamer has kept his SNES on for 20 years because he’s worried that his save game data for obscure game Umihara Kawase might be at-risk. Preston Phro of Rocket News 24 has a good write-up here.
– If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, then you still have time to check out the annual Classic Tetris World Championship! It takes place this weekend, Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, at their own yearly Portland Retro Gaming Expo. There are prizes ranging from $125 to $1,000 for top-four finishes.
– Uproxx and plenty of other sites had this item on someone mashing up Kendrick Lamar and Super Mario Bros.
– Per the official Natsume Twitter account and some other sources on the Internets, Nintendo is moving on from re-releasing older games (SNES, Game Boy, NES) on the Virtual Console. Along similar lines, hackers discovered a list of about 70 future online releases by Nintendo.
– Gamasutra’s Christian Nutt has a really good Q&A with producers who have worked with Nintendo before about the process of creating games in conjunction with the company.
– WHO’S A GOOD DOG? Atari is a good dog, and he’s available for adoption!
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver came out 15 years ago for the Game Boy Color. These were the first proper, full sequels to the original blue and red installments, and solidified Pokémon as a phenomenon.
– Wild Arms 3 came out in 2002 for the Playstation 2. It’s a niche RPG series with a sort of Western feel and theme, and worth checking, especially the later games that iron out some of the kinks of the first installment.
– The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released 13 years ago for the Playstation 2. While it received mediocre to bad reviews, this was still way better than the SNES installment that was a past YPB game.
I am Error. Read these news stories.
– In mixed news, depending on where you stand on Square Enix doing yet another remake… Final Fantasy Adventure, which is actually the first game in the YPB-covered Secret of Mana, is getting a remake for the Vita and smartphones. Siliconera has an article here. It is keeping the same story from the original, but upgrading the graphics and what not.
– Mashable has a sponsored story on some racin’ games from the past. Pre-2000, they focus on F-Zero, Micro Machines, Mario Kart 64, Gran Turismo and Crazy Taxi, and I’ve played four out of five of those splendid games!
– From the AV Club, a piece by John Teti on how Super Mario Bros. is the loneliest Mario game.
– There were a bunch of articles released this week about the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. But as Frank Cifaldi points out in an older piece for Gamasutra, the actual release date of the game in the U.S. is up for debate. Time.com also has a cool slideshow on the evolution of Mario’s look.
– Of all places, USA Today has a good, long oral history on some of the Playstation’s development, on the anniversary of its launch 20 years ago. It’s by Mike Snider, and you can read it here.
– Speaking of the Playstation, Nathan Birch at Uproxx has a good collection of some of the trivia on the device, like that Crash Bandicoot was hated by the Japanese portion of the company and that the system worked better upside down.
– There are now Sega-inspired kicks, although I agree with the comments, that the boxes look cooler than the shoes.
– Depending on what source you use, Kingdom Hearts was released today or yesterday in 2002 for the PS2. While it wasn’t my cup of tea because of its reliance on button mashing and a stupid AI, the presentation values (graphics and sound) were top-notch for the collaboration between Disney and Square.
– Some game called Grand Theft Auto V came out for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Although it’s only two years old, it’s kind of a big deal, to the tune of 54 million copies and counting.
Man, July is almost over! Where does the time go? Quicker than the final quarter in a game of NBA Jam! Anyway, here is this week’s news post:
– Dave Voyles is a sturdier man than most, since he’s taken on the technical challenge of turning the infamous Night Trap into a playable online game. For more information, check out his post on Gamasutra.
– There is an awesome new documentary project on Kickstarter, called Insert Coin: Inside Midway’s 90s Revolution. If the project hits its goal of $75,000, it plans to cover all the games of the era: Smash TV, NARC, WrestleMania, and of course, NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat.
– On past episodes, Steve has mentioned how much he liked the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris, which really covers the rise and fall of Sega. The Mary Sue’s Dan Van Winkle has an interview with Harris here. (And hey, if you want to buy the book, don’t forget about our Amazon link!)
– From Chris Arrant of Newsarama, details on the deal between Atari and Dynamite to publish items on the gaming company’s deep back inventory of items.
– The latest effort from Honest Trailers? The Super Mario Bros. movie!
– A United Kingdom company is now offering retro game mural wallpaper.
– Via Riley Little of Game Rant, a dad has turned his child’s nursery into one with a Mario Kart 8 theme.
– Business Insider has an unwrapping of the new $500 Nintendo Entertainment System. (Warning: Video will autoplay!)
– David Nield of Motoring Research has a list of the best retro tech of the 1990s, which includes the Super Nintendo and the Game Boy Color, amongst other devices like beepers, point and shoot cameras, and Nokia phones.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– In 2001, Max Payne came out for the PC. According to Wikipedia, the three games in the series have now sold more than 7.5 million copies. It was known for introducing Matrix-style “bullet time” to games.
– And since it’s July, almost nothing else came out. Womp womp womp.
This week in Your Parents Basement, we pew pew pew with our space shootin’ Vic Viper-line ship past flying enemy fighters, sand dragons and giant, pulsating alien hearts. We’re playing the classic side scrolling shooter series Gradius, focusing on its first and third installments, for the NES and SNES respectively.
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- 0:00 – The intro, which is a Japanese commercial for Gradius 3.
- 35:00 – The return of the Toddbitskit!
- 39:15 – Emails. The return of Scooterbutt! Ole Scooty.
- 54:15 – Snifferoo.
– The 30th anniversary of the Gradius series was this year, and Kurt Kalata had a great article on its development for Gamasutra. You can read it here. He gets into how it developed from an earlier game, Scramble, and served as the Konami answer to Namco’s Xevious.
– The lore and backstory for the Gradius series is really quite superfluously wonderful, considering it’s a game about shootin’ down space alien ships. The Wikipedia article on the series gets into it, and it’s also a good source for the tangled naming web Steve mentions on the show.
– There are many, many, many people who can play Gradius way better than us three schlubs on this show. YouTube has many of their speed run videos, which I recommend checking out because they’re ridiculous.
– Wanna buy Gradius for the NES? Loose carts run from $8 to $13. If you want the box and manual as well, it runs from $17 to $30. For Gradius 3, carts run from $8 to $15. Despite being younger, boxes and manuals are rarer for Gradius 3, and prices run from $37 to $53. Various forms of Gradius are available on current generation systems in their online shops, again in the $8 to $15 range.