Kid Chameleon

Kid Chameleon

An attempt to mimic Mario – in a few ways at least – Kid Chameleon offers something much different to Sonic’s speedy antics on the Mega Drive.

It’s a solid platformer, and for fans of the genre it’s worth investigating.

Kid Chameleon

You play as Kid Chameleon, who must enter a virtual reality arcade machine and defeat an evil entity who is trapping kids within the game itself.

There are several worlds, with each one containing two to three levels.

The game starts off, as so many platformers often do, with an ordinary looking forest level – but even these aren’t as dull as you’d expect, thanks to the title’s main gimmick.

Kid Chameleon

You can collect suits throughout stages by hitting the various P blocks (most of the time they just hold gems), and grabbing masks which transform you into various forms.

These include a sword wielding samurai, a knight who can charge and destroy walls, a Jason Vorhees clone who can fling axes, and – most amusingly – a tank driving skeleton.

Fortunately the costumes aren’t the only entertaining thing here, with the enemies themselves an interesting bunch.

Kid Chameleon

They all pose different threats, including crawling hands who restrict your movement, lava-men who leave a trails of fire behind them, and tiny green slime beasts.

The only surprising thing about the cast of foes is the lack of bosses at the end of each world. They would have been worth seeing if the smaller foes in the game are anything to go by.

It’s a shame then, that the level design itself isn’t up to the same standards of the cast of enemies and power-ups.

Kid Chameleon

Too often the game expects you to somehow understand its strange design quirks, such as the fact you can walk through some walls as they’re in the foreground – even though they look nearly exactly the same as all the other walls.

Other times it can be plain cruel, like in a Under Skull Mountain level, which slides you down ramps straight into pits of spikes. It does this twice as well – talk about unfair.

Kid Chameleon

The game only gets harder as you progress as well, and there’s a lot to get through.

With no save system very few people will see the end, or even want to – despite the game’s admirable qualities.

Despite its problems, Kid Chameleon doesn’t hold up too badly today though.

Kid Chameleon

Its simple graphics can look a little dull if the world you’re in isn’t set in an enthralling setting, but there are enough inspired moments to hold your attention.

It doesn’t stand out in a crowded genre, but it doesn’t disappear out of view from it either.

Princess Peach and the Pooper

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Princess Peach and the Pooper

You have to love the internet and artists for that matter. Who would have ever thought to paint Princess Peach in a bathroom giving you the “Oh my Gosh” look. I mean could you even go to the bathroom with her looking at you like that, the answer of course is yes.

princess and the pooper

All we need is one of Mario coming out of the toilet to make this perfect.

Super Mario Land 2

Super Mario Land 2

Another entry and another awesome classic game! This Mario game really takes me back as it’s the first one I played for the portable handheld. This game reminds me a hell of a lot to Super Mario World and why wouldn’t it as it’s very similar to it. Lets take a look at this gem!

Super Mario Land 2

The music is quite memorable. There are some levels such as the ghost stages that doesn’t have such upbeat music but there are some other ones that are just as memorable! Try reaching the moon why don’t ya?

Super Mario Land 2

The graphics are top notch for the Gameboy title. They had little room to work on but did an amazing job. Mario looks like Mario and the overworld is packed with detail! Of course, you can’t forget about the bad guys and a lot more other things you might have missed the first time. Totally awesome!

Super Mario Land 2

The gameplay is wonderful! It’s a joy to play such an awesome game! You couldn’t expect anything less from Nintendo. As sidescrollers were the shit back then, every other would end up mimicking the Mario titles. Of course, very few were successful in doing so which is why Nintendo and Mario were always on top. Mario has a whole new arsenal of power ups including the bunny ears which works like the leaf from Super Mario Bros 3. Be sure to play through this game till the final showdown against a now famous Nintendo character Wario.

Super Mario Land 2

As mentioned, this game is a wonder to play through. There are hidden stages and hilarious bad guys. There is always a reason to go back to this game and play through it once more. Be sure to pick it up any time you want to play a very awesome side scroller game for a portable handheld. You won’t be disappointed.

Overall, this game offers a lot of amazing gameplay hours. With such a vast overworld, ingenious bad guys, and some up beat music you are bound to be playing this game for hours and hours. This is definitely a must have for your classic portable collection or if you just want to play a well done game. This game does what you couldn’t in Super Mario Land.

Super Mario Bros

Super_Mario_Bros
(Super Mario Bros, October 1985, Nintendo)

Super Mario Bros

Perfection. That is perhaps the only proper word created to describe Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi “Ten Ten” Tezuka, and Koji Kondo’s realized vision of a sequel to the original Mario Bros. When it comes to the “Black Box” titles, none come close to this magical tale that whisked many a young mind away far off into a land unlike any we had ever seen before. Super Mario Bros. Perfection.
Super_Mario_BrosAll hail!

 What some don’t know is that SMB (as I will refer to it henceforth) was actually created as kind of a “goodbye” to the original Famicom system to make way for the Famicom Disk System, which was a huge motherfucker of a contraption that fit in underneath the original Famicom. The Famicom (FAMIly COMputer), for the uninitiated, is the Japanese version of the NES with little differences such as controllers hard-wired into the console and different sized cartidges. Little did they know that this platform/shooter they were working on (yes, a freakin’ shooter!) would become the landmark of a generation. Thankfully, we were spared “Mario With Big Muthafuckin’ Guns” as they could only map the A button to either jump or shoot the gun. Alas, cooler heads prevailed and a-jumping we all went!
Super_Mario_Bros

Who else makes the Mario face with these blocks?

As for the story, when you say it out loud, it sounds like you may have just left the Guggenheim with Tim Leary on enough LSD to kill a rhino. At the base level, it’s two dudes saving a princess from an evil dragon. That’s where the logic ends and the kick-assery begins. Aforementioned “dudes” turn out to be two plumbers who starred in the previous title (Mario Bros, apropos) who eat magic mushrooms, jump like Lebron on a sugar high, and throw fireballs. There were power-ups in games before but one that doubled your size? Another that shot fire out of your hands? One that turned you into an invincible Goomba destroying machine? Never before had anyone seen anything like this and it was just captivating. Every world has 4 stages, with the fourth being a castle controlled by a fake version of Bowser until World 8. The stages are greatly varied with only two stages being re-hashes of the previous ones. My personal favorite is what I called as a kid “The Void” because it was alot like 1-3 but all in black and white. It was the perfect adventure for young gamers, you ran through grassy plains, made your way through dark caves, swam to your next destination, and avoided flying fish and shit-kicking beetles the whole way.
Super_Mario_Bros
My personal fav, “The Void” 5-3

Let’s not forget the music. Holy mother of God, the music. Everyone, and I mean everyone knows the Mario 1-1 Theme (officially known as “Ground Theme”) created by Mr. Kondo. When you think that just his royalties on ringtone sales for that one theme alone have him set for life, it is staggering, considering he also did work on the soon-to-be reviewed Legend of Zelda. No bullshit, and I’ve done this, you can walk practically anywhere, start whistling the Mario Theme and people will follow suit. It is like a gamer handshake. We only think of it as what it is, but if you told me as a kid “Hey, that’s a Calypso beat with steel drums!”, you would’ve been looked at like you just puked on my feet while I was wearing flip-flops. Calypso my balls, that’s simply the Mario Theme.
Super_Mario_Bros

Firework mystery, talk of the playground.

The controls couldn’t be more spot-on. If you died, it was your own damned fault, pick your head up little soldier and try, try again. The magnificent part of it is that at the time, these guys were creating the mold as they went and did so in ways that would re-define gaming forever. Sure, you had Metroid, Zelda, Contra among others that were just as great in their own ways but there is something about Mario that is more than can be described but I’ll give it a go. You are CONSTANTLY doing shit in Mario. In just 1-1 alone, you meet the Goombas, Koopas, Mushrooms, 1-Up, Fire Flower, Star Man, break blocks to find hidden goods, keep watch on your coin counter, make sure you beat the timer, duck on top of every pipe to see if it will take you anywhere, and try to figure out how the fuck you just made fireworks appear after you grabbed the flag. THE FIRST LEVEL!!! That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of unlocking the rest of the secrets that I had to test out after hearing about it at school due to no internet in the early 80’s. Secrets exist like the -1 World, an infinite water stage glitch that I never thought was real until I saw it in Nintendo Power. One of the funniest things I’ve read was an interview with Miyamoto about the Inifinite 1-Up trick at the end of 3-1. He was asked about the glitch and he replied that there wasn’t one. He purposefully put that there and couldn’t believe people found it. Honestly, I’ve done it and the guy that figured it out had to have accidentally pulled that off, I mean, how the hell would you know?

Super_Mario_Bros

Gaming’s first catchphrase!

The only negative I can even possibly find with this game is the 2 player. If you are Mario, you have to die in order for it to be Luigi’s turn. If the person playing Mario was good, go to the store, take a shit, balance your checkbook, develop a written language for Sea Monkeys, and make a LEGO fully functional house and THEN, it might be your turn. In one of those weird “I’d never think anyone else would do this but me” things, I used to boot up 2 player, immediately feed Mario to a hungry Goomba, and rock the whole game as Luigi. Recently, I spoke to two other people who did the same thing. Awesome.

Super_Mario_Bros

Oh, 8-3 how I hate thee.

In what will be I’m sure one of the longest reviews of a game, no other game deserves it more. SMB is the benchmark of the Black Box games to this day is beaten by me at least twice a year. In an era where acheivements were real trophys on your dresser, noone cared which voice actors were used, and “X Box” was more likely to be the name of a seedy porn store on Westheimer, Super Mario Bros was the king. It has been ported and thrown on more systems than any other game besides Tetris and shows no signs of slowing down.
Super_Mario_Bros
The first final boss I ever met. I heart Bowser.

FINAL VERDICT
10/10. No other way this one was going. This game is mandatory to play.
Super_Mario_Bros

THE JOURNEY WILL NEVER BE OVER!!!!!

Special thanks to N-Styles for the info about the gun. If you think it’s bullshit, there are original archived documents from Miyamoto himself! Check them out here:

Yoshi’s Island DS

Yoshi's Island DS
This was a really surprise sequel Nintendo came up with. Yoshi’s Story was a failure and a joke of a game. This however wasn’t bad at all.

Yoshi's Island DS

Unlike Yoshi’s Story, this is more like the original game on SNES.

Yoshi's Island DS

 Except that Yoshi can also work with other Baby characters such as Donkey Kong or Peach. Each one having a different power like super-sprint or hanging on vines.
Yoshi's Island DS
Even though it’s not nearly as awesome as the first game, it’s an acceptable apology after the Yoshi’s Story disgrace.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

 Paper_Mario_Thousand_year_door
The sequel to the fan-favorite and practically only good RPG for the N64 was almost the hit as it was for the system that came before it.
Paper_Mario_Thousand_year_door

With the game-play and story-style almost unchanged, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door did receive a good graphics boost. And when you have a decently fun RPG combat system, there’s not much room to complain when its not drastically different. I think all the Super Paper Mario haters can agree on that one.

Paper_Mario_Thousand_year_door

The second Paper Mario game has an epically long quest with lots of quirky humor (there’s a tranny ghost who has a crush on Mario; I’m completely serious), and interesting characters. Be warned that the difficulty jumps for no apparent reason right at the end. Other than that, I can say that Thousand Year Door is a worthy successor to not only Paper Mario, but Super Mario RPG.

Did you Know: Mario Edition

super mario

Did you Know: Mario Edition

Facts about that world famous plumber, Mario and his games that have lasted for decades that you may or may not have known about. Obviously you can find these elsewhere, but together in one spot is always nice. So let us begin.

Mario’s Mustache serves a greater purpose

Super-Mario

Sure it seems completely normal now and without it our turtle battling plumber would be incomplete, but here is the real reason Mario has a mustache. Perhaps creator of Donkey Kong, Shigeru Miyamoto knew that Mario would become a worldwide hit or maybe he just cared a lot about the details, but when making Mario he wanted him to stand out and be distinctive as possible not just a blur of pixels. Now remember the time, he only had seven pixels to work with when drawing his face so the mustache was added to give him that personal touch not found in many faces in games at the time.

The carpet matches the drapes

Super-Mario

Staying in the world of Mario Bros, in the original Super Mario Bros for the NES the clouds and bushes uses the same graphics. Yes, it is true, sometimes you need to save on artistry so why not turn a white cloud into a green bush (insert you own joke here. I bet most of you never even noticed.

Clothes make the man and the animation

super_mario-smb

So we understand the reasoning for Mario’s mustache, but why the overalls. Well, you might think it has to do with a plumbers uniform which makes sense and I am sure was also a part of the reasoning, but if you also notice, Mario’s arms have different color sleeves. This helps with his jumping animation so it shows up well on our old 8-bit systems. With just a normal shirt or a shirt matching his overalls it would make the animation seem less fluid.

Mario doesn’t use his head

Super-Mario

Many people may know this, but just as many do not. Mario does not break the bricks with his head. I mean, come on, he may be super, but he isn’t stupid. If you look closely, you will see that he uses his fist to break them. This also plays into our previous fact that talked about his overalls and shirt color. It just makes more sense that a tough Italian plumber would break bricks with his fist not his head right?

Three reasons to love New Super Mario Bros 2

new-super-mario-bros-2

Since it arrived on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL earlier this year, New Super Mario Bros 2 has stayed firmly in the top half of the UK top ten. But what is it about this latest entry in the Mario franchise that makes it the next evolution in the series? Here are three things we love about the game.

new-super-mario-bros-2

More Coins

When it was announced that New Super Mario Bros 2 would offer gamers the chance to collect one million coins, it was an incredibly exciting idea. Of course, the reality is that this is damned difficult and you would need to truly master the game to achieve it – but the fact that it’s an option gives us something to aim for!

new-super-mario-bros-2

More team-ups

Though there have been Mario games throughout the ages that have challenged gamers to either pit their skills against each other or team up, the co-operative gameplay of New Super Mario Bros 2 is some of the best we’ve seen to date. As you can both play to save coins in the same account, it also means making that magical million even more of a possibility!

More Content

There is plenty of longevity in New Super Mario Bros. 2 itself that will keep you entertained, but the fact that Nintendo has also made even more course packs available to download gives it an extra level of value for money that is difficult to ignore. These are designed to build on the coin target challenges of the title and can be played again and again until you have truly mastered them.

It’s been a busy year not only for Nintendo but for Mario himself. Not only has the platform legend popped up in a new adventure on Nintendo 3Ds and Nintendo 3DS XL, but he’ll also be helping to launch the upcoming Wii U in New Super Mario Bros. U. Let’s hope he’s up to the challenge!

David Crane speaks on the triumphs and pitfalls of his multi-decade career

David Crane

The first video game boom period of the late 1970s and early 1980s created many superstars that are still known today, from the hardworking Mario to the still-hungry Pac-Man. It also saw a handful of game designers reach the superstar level themselves, including David Crane.

Starting his career with Atari on titles including Canyon Bomber and Outlaw for the Atari Video Computer System, Crane was among the founding members of Activision in 1979. Since that time, Crane has been the driving force behind game titles that made an impact on several generations of gaming, from Pitfall! to NES cult-classic A Boy and His Blob to the controversial Night Trap.

The original Pitfall!, which just reached it’s 30th anniversary, was a literal game changer according to Crane.

“Even during development, we knew we had something special,” he said. “The platformer game genre opened up worlds of new games. In fact, there were hundreds of platform games developed after Pitfall! blazed the trail through the jungle. When the game held the number one spot on Billboard‘s chart for 64 consecutive weeks, a record that I don’t think has ever been broken, we knew the game had legs.”

Today, three decades after it’s release, Pitfall! is among the classic video game titles still found on t-shirts and modern console releases. Crane states that this was not something that he considered the future would hold.

“I would have never predicted the classic gaming movement where people continue to play their favorite games 30 years later and who bring in a new generation by exposing their kids to the classics,” he stated. “Sure, we tweaked the games to a fine point and we felt those games were the best games on the market at the time, but it still surprises me when classic gaming enthusiasts tell me that for pure game play, modern games fail to live up to the standards we set back in the day.”

A Boy and His Blob, Crane’s 1989 title for the Nintendo Entertainment System, began as a tool-using adventure game concept. After recalling a cartoon character creation from his childhood, Crane altered the game’s toolkit into that character.

“When I try to explain the concept and story of A Boy and His Blob people look at me like I have two heads,” Crane said. “As the explanation goes on they become sure of it, ‘So… after collecting all of the underground treasures, the Boy spends it all on vitamins? Then he turns his Blob into a rocket and flies to Blobonia where he vanquishes an evil king with a Vitablaster? Are you insane or just on drugs?’ I assure them that I am indeed sane, and that my drug of choice is peanut M&M’s”

In the decades since Crane’s early success, the video game industry has grown to include various publishing levels. The veteran game designer notes that modern publishers should take notes from the history of the industry.

“In the eighties games were published on ROM cartridges. That was a huge barrier to entry, requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars to publish a single game,” he said. “In the mid-eighties there was a crash, brought on by 30 companies trying to cash in on Activision’s success but without quality games. By 1985 there were 20 bad games on the market for every good game. Consumers were lost.”

“Today there is no barrier to entry,” he added. “Anyone with $99 can pay Apple to publish a game, which explains why there are 100,000 games in the App store. One on hand the optimist will say that this makes it possible for indie developers to make something fabulously new and original. The pessimist points out that there are 1,000 bad or derivative games for every one jewel. Games in the eighties sold for $40; that indie designer who makes the jewel is lucky to net 40 cents on every game he sells. That is not enough to sustain a game development business, so it becomes unlikely we will ever see a second jewel from that designer.”

“The industries of then and now couldn’t be more different,” he continued. “But today’s glut of bad, derivative, or just plain indifferent games has some similarities to the conditions in 1985. Back then that glut precipitated a major crash in the business and it took years for the video game to regain it’s popularity. Hard to say if that will happen again, but those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

Crane recently turned to Kickstarter in an effort to create a new Jungle Adventure game as a follow-up to his 1982 classic. The project failed to catch on enough to reach it’s goal, however, despite Crane’s hope that supporters would like to be part of the game development process.

“Ask any game publisher if they would like the e-mail address of everybody that is going to buy a game before the game is published,” he said. “That could be a valuable resource for those times where the designer is struggling with game options. I suspect that my Kickstarter project didn’t get traction because the masses are not ready to commit to a game until they know what it is. Those that understood what I was hoping to achieve backed it enthusiastically, and went out as evangelists to try and recruit others.”

After 35 years in the video game industry, Crane states that he will continue to be part of it for some time to come.

“I design and program games every day,” he said. “I have been compared to Charles Schulz, who drew the Peanuts cartoons every day of his life for 50 years. By that analogy I have at least 15 good years left. I am comfortable in the fact that I know how to make games fun, and that is what keeps me going.”

Mythbusting six common video game trivia mistakes

Mythbusting six common video game trivia mistakes

Welcome to the return of Know Your History, a feature column that aims to cover proper video game history. Normally, an edition of Know Your History would compare past history to current headlines in an effort to put current topics into proper perspective. This week, however, the aim is to correct a number of video game history facts that I either seen often or have recently run across.

With that said, let us get started with one of the longest running mistakes I’ve seen.

– Pong was NOT the first coin-operated video game.

know your history

A lot of people think and commonly publish that Pong was the first arcade video game. This mistake is incredibly common and with good reason, as I’ve found this mistake printed in video game publications as far back as the late 1970s. While the first successful coin-operated arcade video game, Pongwas not the first, nor was Computer Space, Nolan Bushnell’s first attempt at bringing one to market.

Galaxy Game actually gets the title of being the first coin-operated arcade video game. This space battle game appeared on the campus of Stanford University in 1971, at least two months before Computer Space and almost a full year before Pong.

– The Pac-Man ghosts only have one name each, not two.

know your history

Another long-running mistake is the misconception that the monsters in the original Pac-Man have two names each, such as Character: Shadow, Nickname: Blinky. This is incorrect.

The term of “Character” on these screens is not attempting to list a name but to describe the personality traits of that monster. As top Pac-Man players know, each of the four monsters has a different AI than the others. The “two names” on the title screen are attempting to point that out with one word each, probably losing something in translation.

The original Japanese listings under “Character” paint the picture a little better, with the red ghost described as Oikake (“to pursue”), the pink ghost as Machibuse (“to ambush”), the blue ghost as Kimagure (“moody”) and the orange ghost as Otoboke (“pretending ignorance”).

Compare those “Character” listings to the American versions and they make a little more sense. The character term of “Pokey” (Clyde) is describing him as “a little slow in the head” or something similar.

Make no mistake, the monsters have only one name each: Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde.

– Mario was NOT named Jumpman during production of Donkey Kong.

know your history

Another very common error, despite being easy to disprove with a quick Google search. I’ve heard people tell me that “Jumpman” was the name for Mario in the original Donkey Kong arcade game, with some going so far as to tell me he wasn’t even named Mario until Donkey Kong Junior or even the original Mario Bros.

None of this is quite correct. While it is true that Mario’s working name was Jumpman, and that the instructions on the original arcade version do call him that, the name of Mario came along before Nintendo was even pushing Donkey Kong machines out the door. The original advertising flyer, released at the time the game was released, refers to the character as Mario numerous times.

While Jumpman was almost the character’s name at this time, he was referred to as Mario far earlier than most websites claim and throughout all the merchandising released for the game.

– Sega Channel was NOT the first online console gaming.

know your history

Sega might have claimed this at the time of their short-lived online console service, but to do so would mean ignoring GameLine for the Atari 2600 and PlayCable for the Intellivision console, both from the early 1980s.

– Wolfenstein 3D was NOT the first of the first-person shooters.

know your history

Saw this error listed a lot during Wolfenstein 3D‘s recent anniversary. Numerous mainstream media reports called the classic the first-ever first person shooter, a fact that is nowhere near accurate, as there were numerous others that came before it.

The first is often credited to 1974’s Maze War, which is shown in the slideshow for this column.

– Oh, Guinness Book, how could you make this error?

know your history

I like the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition books, and not just because I’m listed in them every year. I enjoy the great cross-section of gaming that is covered inside.

However, the 2012 edition lists a pretty harsh error on page 202, calling WWF WrestleMania for the NES the “first wrestling video game” in the bottom left corner. How this was not fact checked is a huge mystery, as this 1988 title wasn’t even the first pro wrestling game on the Nintendo console, nor was it the first WWF title to market, either, which would be Micro-League Wrestling.

Numerous popular pro wrestling games came out going as far back as 1983, including Tag Team Wrestling, Mat Mania and Mania Challenge in the arcades and Pro Wrestling on the NES. How did this error make the book?

Then again, this isn’t the only error I noted in the book this year. Page 47 attributes a quote and some information about Galaga champion Andrew Laidlaw as coming from “local newspapers” when, in fact, that quote and information was obtained and first written by me, the person who broke the story to the mainstream media. Click here and see for yourself.

These are just a handful of the common video game history errors out there, but some of the most common. Hopefully this article can go a long way toward helping fix these misconceptions.

Donkey Kong

Everyone in the world knows of Donkey Kong, so there’s not much I could say about the game that you don’t already know. Still, that’s not going to stop me from talking about it a bit.

Arcade Cabinet - Donkey Kong
In 1981, Nintendo popped this gem out into arcades everywhere. One of the most popular, highly rated, and often ported/imitated games, but unless you have the drive and determination of Steve Wiebe, or the hair of Billy Mitchell, it’s actually a difficult game. I think in the “King of Kong” documentary, Billy said that most people don’t get past the 1st 4 screens. That’s probably correct. I can’t imagine the amount of quarters I went through, sometimes just trying to get a sniff of the 3rd and 4th levels that I saw others get to as I watched over their shoulders. That changed for me, of course, as I got older and discovered MAME. Still, I don’t necessarily excel at the game, even today.
The concept of the game is ineteresting and silly at the same time.

Donkey Kong - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot
For whatever reason, a huge gorilla is loose. Not sure where he came from; The zoo? Escaped from a secret lab? Jurassic Park?? All I know is that he is here, and he wants nothing but to kidnap a cute girl in a dress. Instead of calling the police or animal control, the local plumber decides to take it upon himself to rescue her. Armed with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, and assumingly zero ninja skills, he finds her at the top of a steel structure. “Donkey Kong”, as he’s called, which I believe translates to “stupid monkey”, has taken a defensive stand at the top of this structure. As the plumber (from now on called Mario) ascends this structure, Kong starts rolling huge kegs of beer towards him, trying to kill him.

Donkey Kong - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

This seems like the work of a genius (not stupid) simian, possibly one of those in the old Flash comic books. For now, Mario can only jump over the barrels. When some of these kegs reach the ground floor, they have been known to catch fire (obviously from the alcohol inside). The odd part is it seems these firey barrels can actually defy the laws of physics and move upwards and EVEN CLIMB LADDERS! Along the way, Mario does find weapons in the form of an ACME oversized mallet. But, he never seems to use these on monkey, but to crush the barrels and put out the fires. When Mario eventually reaches the girl, Kong quickly grabs her and runs off. That’s a hell of a lot of work for no payoff, that’s for sure.

Donkey Kong - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

Screen 2 has Kong taking her to a factory that makes giant pies. Not only do you need to avoid these pies, but there’s more fire. Didn’t work the first time, but Kong is not giving up. You will find another mallet in which to put out the fires, as well as smash pies, but again cannot be used against the beast himself. Upon reaching the top, Kong will again escape with the girl, making Mario very heartbroken, Clearly he has fallen in love with the girl.
Then, on screen 3, Kong takes her to another steel structure, this one has a lot of missing parts making Mario do a lot more jumping. Kong just stands guard, beating his chest as you try to avoid the fire and a seemingly infinite amount of giant springs that try to knock you to the ground.

Donkey Kong - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

Again, after manuvering through this mad gorilla’s Bondish-like trap, Kong escapes with the girl. This is beginning to smell of BS. I’m not convinced I’ll ever get to rescue her.
Screen 4 is a bit different. A straight-forward steel structure that has 8 “pins” in it. As you walk/jump over these pins, you pull them out. More fire, but this time a blue color, meaning hotter and more aggressive. Again, more mallet-action or avoiding the fire, whatever seems easier. But, as you pull the last pin, the tower of steel collapses, and Donkey Kong falls 100 meters straight on his head. The girl is rescued, and it seems she also loves Mario. All is good!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhFV5-qbbIw[/youtube]

There’s a reason this game is a classic. It looks beautiful, everything runs smoothly, fun as hell, and it’s story of the underdog that defeats the big bully and wins the heart of a girl.

Controls: Arrow keys and space bar.
The game earns a 10/10.

Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land - Gameplay Screenshot
Another pick for this week! This time around we look at the all time portable classic Super Mario Land for the original Game Boy. This is like the Super Mario Bros for the NES. An automatic classic for sure. The game may have some flaws but there are quite a few to stop it from being a great one to add to your collection. Just when the Game Boy was starting its journey in the world of gaming, Mario delivered in an incredible way! Lets take a look!

Super Mario Land - Gameplay Screenshot

The music is quite good. With such memorable sounds that will be engraved on your brain for years to come. I’m sure if you heard the song, you would know which game it came from. Any Mario fanatic would anyways. The sound effects are also quite good. They aren’t the ones for the NES but have their own gimmick to make it memorable especially that weird sound that comes out of the bosses when you throw a fire ball at them.

Super Mario Land - Gameplay Screenshot
The graphics are just what you would expect from an early Game Boy title side scroller. They aren’t the best out there, in fact there are times where there is no background but the levels do look quite enjoyable. The game also does justice by making the enemies and bosses unique.
Super Mario Land - Gameplay Screenshot
The gameplay is quite good. Just think of Super Mario in a portable handheld and that should say enough. You jump, you get power ups and of course you stomp on bad guys. It’s sort of odd that when you jump on a koopa he turns into a bomb….totally odd indeed! Also, what’s with the flower power giving you one ball of fire that bounces all over the screen. I’m guessing they did it on purpose to help keep the gameplay from slowing down. Oh well, good nonetheless.
Super Mario Land - Gameplay Screenshot
With only four worlds the game is quite fun to come back to. There are secrets hidden everywhere so you can always accomplish your goals in different ways. The game itself is fun overall! A 2 player race mode would’ve made it supreme and increased its replay value in masses!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W9ih0ZIcv8[/youtube]

The game is a classic of mass proportions. There are things that could’ve been done to better it even more but this will do for now. A longer game would’ve made the game more amazing and a multiplayer race option would’ve also given it a lot of more appeal. One can’t complain though, getting Mario on your handheld is like part of the Nintendo religion! A must have for sure!

Arcade classic Donkey Kong Junior is turning 30

One of video gaming’s most unlikely heroes is turning 30.

Donkey Kong Junior

Arcade classic Donkey Kong Junior is turning 30

Donkey Kong Junior had some big shoes to fill in 1982 as the sequel to Nintendo‘s first hit game, Donkey Kong. In a unique role-reversal, Mario was now the villain of the story as the son of the original antagonist fought through a maze of jungle vines and moving platforms in an effort to save his father.

According to trademark filings, Donkey Kong Junior first appeared publically on June 30, 1982. The suffix in the title was spelled as “Jr.” in Japan but “Junior” in North America. Later home releases moved toward the shorter version, appearing as “Donkey Kong Jr.” Despite the original longer version of the name the shorter suffix is the most common spelling of the game title worldwide.

Donkey Kong Junior Arcade

“I remember Donkey Kong Junior getting a lot of attention in the arcades,” said Mark Kiehl, the all-time high score champion on the arcade classic. “People were excited about a sequel to Donkey Kong.”

The DKJ arcade unit went on to sell 30,000 machines in North America and see releases on every major home platform of the day. It also saw a great deal of exposure on television as one of the key games in a nationally aired arcade game contest, a breakfast cereal and even a Saturday morning cartoon short as part of the Saturday Supercade series on CBS.

Donkey Kong Junior Mini Arcade

In the later 1980s, Junior was among the list of launch titles for the very successful Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was part of a short-run reissue arcade game from Namco in 2005 included alongside the original game and Mario Bros.

“To this day it’s still a staple game for collectors and retro arcade operators to own,” Kiehl added. “It had a lot of staying power.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1KrrnBJ0Vs[/youtube]

Take a look at the video montage to experience some of the mainstream media love given to young Donkey Kong Junior in the early 1980s and post your thoughts and memories of the classic arcade game below.

Java Based NES Emulator

nes
This post could have been a rant about Nintendo’s censoring policies of yore, focusing for example on the convenient paradigm of Maniac Mansion (for NES, apparently). Of course, it’s not.It’s a simple, albeit glorified, post about a link. A link to a Java-based NES (or Famicom, accordingly) emulator, wisely code-named Andre’s NES Emulator. Visit it and play such classics as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Punch Out, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mega Man and Castlevania. Each one of them a piece of gaming history. Each one of them quite free and without the need for any downloads.

Oh – it almost slipped my mind – here’s the link. Have fun, but don’t break anything.


Site of Last Starfighter, birthplaces of Mario and Lode Runner added to registry

Three new additions have been made to the Registry of Historic Gaming Locations, a project aimed at preserving the stories of locations that have historical importance to video gaming.

The Last Starfighter

The project, which started last summer, now lists a total of 26 locations with plans to add more on a monthly basis.

The newest crop of inductions include:

– Rio Cafe & Grocery in Santa Clarita, CA – The food store where the hotshot gamer in 1984 film The Last Starfighter strutted his stuff.

– Early Nintendo Warehouse in Seattle, WA – The site where the struggling Nintendo of America built the Donkey Kong machines that saved them from bankruptcy in 1981.  This is also the warehouse owned by Mario Segale, the man rumored to be the inspiration behind the naming of Nintendo’s iconic mascot.

– Former Broderbund Software HQ in San Rafael, CA – The place that brought Lode Runner, Choplifter, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Prince of Persia to life.

Some of the other 23 locations previously inducted include competitive gaming birthplace Ottumwa, IA, the original testing locations of classics such as Donkey Kong and Defender, arcade locations featured in films such as Tron, The Karate Kid and WarGames, former headquarters locations of companies such as Atari and Bally Midway and the famous landfill that saw millions of unsold Atari game cartridges dumped in 1984.

In a short time the Registry of Historic Gaming Locations has received press coverage across the world, including recent stories in Japan and Brazil.

The full Registry list, including the newest three entries, can be found at PatrickScottPatterson.com.

 

Bands That Are A LOT Like Aqua

Toy-Box - Best Friend

Aqua is loved and hated by many, but they are often copied! Here are some clones!

This kind of music is called Bubblegum Pop. It”s often found in Dance Dance Revolution games (DDR).

Crispy – In & Out

Crispy – Licky Licky

Daze – Superhero

Daze – Tamagotchi

Hit N Hide – Space Invaders

Me & My – Baby Boy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f3TCIDdXMc

Me & My – Dub I Dub

Me & My – Lion Their gaming suite is unmatched in quality graphics and animation in one of the best software in the Online Casino industry. Eddie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OOiRpVs9h4

Mr President – Coco Jambo

Passion Fruit – Bongo Man

Passion Fruit – Sun Fun Baby (Looky Looky)

Passion Fruit – The Rigga Ding Dong Song

Passion Fruit – Wonderland

Smile.dk – Boys

Smile.dk – Butterfly

Toy-Box – Best Friend

Toy-Box – Superstar

Toy-Box – Tarzan & Jane

Toy-Box – The Sailor Song

XBox 360 passes Nintendo Entertainment System on all-time sales list

Xbox-360-Elite
In the midst of a strong holiday sales season, Microsoft’s XBox 360 has now reached lifetime sales of 62.6 million console units, overtaking the Nintendo Entertainment System as the fourth highest-selling game console ever (not counting handhelds).

Released first as the Famicom in Japan in 1983, the NES first came to North America in 1985 and quite literally brought the American video game industry back from death. Production on the console finally ceased in 2003 when it was finally discontinued in Japan. Through this lifespan, the Famicom/NES sold 61.91 million total consoles worldwide.

The XBox 360 first hit shelves in November 2005 and despite weak lifetime sales in Japan, the Microsoft unit has managed to reach this mark in far less time than the NES, taking only six years to reach this mark.

However, despite toppling the NES in all-time sales the 360 is still the distant second overall in the current console generation, trailing behind lifetime sales of the Nintendo Wii’s 93.4 million units.

The current console generation is likely to see a hat trick in regards to the NES before all is said and done, though, as Sony’s PlayStation 3 is also catching up with the NES sales figures with 59.1 million units sold to date. Even as big as the Nintendo Entertainment System was in it’s day, it appears destined to find itself ranked under all three modern consoles on the all-time charts.

The all-time best selling console (not counting handhelds) is Sony’s PlayStation 2, which shipped 144.45 million units during it’s lifetime.

Patrick Scott Patterson has been a gamer since 1981, acting as a writer, technician and world record holder on several game titles. He has appeared numerous times in the yearly editions of Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition. In addition to writing here, Patterson has also written for Yahoo!, Twin Galaxies, VGEVO and Gameroom Magazine, and is always looking for unique and positive news to report from the video gaming world.

Mario’s Changing Style

Mario KartIf you were lucky enough to have been born in the late 70s or the 80s, chances are you were hit with the video game bug that was gathering up kids by their thousands in arcades and homes across the world. These video games brought with them a host of new characters who would soon become household names: Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and, of course, Mario. The star of the Mario platform video game series and the hugely popular racing series Mario Kart, Mario, is everyone’s favorite stout little Italian-American plumber, but he’s done a lot of changing over the years to get where he is today.

Created by Shigeru Miyamoto whilst he was in the midst of developing the arcade favorite Donkey Kong, Mario was originally known to the designer as Mr Video and Miyamoto had plans to integrate him into every video game he developed. The character picked up his famous name from the warehouse landlord for Nintendo of America, Mario Segale. Segale had been chasing then-president Minoru Arakawa for back rent and as a way of appeasing him they opted to rename Mr Video in Mario Segale’s honor.

Mario’s distinctive look is a product of happenstance more than design. Back in 1981 when he was still Mr Video, Mario was visualized as a carpenter due to the game taking place on a construction site and gave him a large nose as this made his character design more recognizable as a silhouette. When he appeared again in Mario Bros. in 1983, the setting of the game transformed him into a plumber and this, along with his nose, inspired Miyamoto to give Mario roots in New York. The instantly recognizable red overalls, blue shirt and cap all came about due to design issues owing to the limitations of arcade hardware: Mario’s clothing was designed to make him stand-out and contrast against the background, while his cap and mustache were added to get around the problem of having to animate hair, eyebrows and facial expressions.

After his turn on the arcade machines, Mario finally make his first fleshed out, 3D appearance in 1996’s Super Mario 64. From here Mario’s appearance continued to develop and he was given a white and red “M” emblem on his hat, as well as white gloves, and his costume colors reversed to give him blue overalls with a red shirt. This would be Mario’s final form and the one he has gone on to sport ever since.

The rest, as they say, is history and this feisty little plumber has been making that history ever since
his introduction 30 years ago. He may be one of the oldest venerable video game characters around, but he’s still one of its brightest stars.

Dr. Mario

Dr.Mario-NES-Gameplay-Screenshot

Dr. Mario

In 1990, the popularity of the Nintendo Entertainment System had hit fever pitch, with Nintendo’s franchise flagship character Mario becoming one of the most recognizable and iconic figures in world culture, thanks to his astounding success in a series of platform adventure games

It was with an element of risk, then, that Nintendo pursued the idea of using Mario as the mascot for a puzzle game, following the achievement of Tetris, the now-legendary Russian implant. Thus the Dr. Mario title was borne, featuring the plucky plumber enduring a change of career as he donned a doctor’s uniform and was faced with the task of clearing nasty viruses by heaping colored pills onto them, with matching hues resulting in cleared elements.

Would the mustached hero strike storied lore yet again with a puzzler?

Dr.Mario-NES-Gameplay-Screenshot

Gameplay

Much like Tetris, the vertically oriented field of play takes on one block at a time, each pill-like piece entering when the previous is used. These pills come in six different types, representing the possible combinations between three different colors (including double-color, solid-colored pills). Making a connection of three like-colored pill portions in a row cleared those parts, including any like-colored viruses touching them.

Ergo, each level consisted of the goal of clearing all the viruses in the field, with more challenging levels adding viruses at the beginning to forcing the pills to fall faster. The cartridge also featured a two-player mode where two players could simultaneously compete against the other, after choosing a level to begin at (higher-numbered choices representing more viruses to begin with), then racing to clear their field. In the meantime, you could even send viral bits randomly falling onto your opponent’s field and potentially disrupting their efforts.

Dr.Mario-NES-Gameplay-Screenshot

Graphics

Although there is definitely a primary-color emphasis, Dr. Mario still comes off as a delightfully colorful game that truly attains a uniquely different feel and mood from Tetris. Whereas Tetris feels like a carefully calculated game of chess complete with classical compositions, Dr. Mario is more like a frenetic spinning dance-game of whirling, twirling color patterns and medical maladies. The animation of the good doctor Mario tossing each pill into the bottle in one-player mode is a nice touch. Otherwise, the graphics themselves are not entirely spectacular, but mustered fine enough for a puzzle genre entry.

Sound

The effects are fairly standard,

but the background tracks are classics. The player is faced with the choice of choosing the background music before a round, much like Tetris, but with fun names like Chill and Fever. Each “song” has a very distinctive personality, and are earworm-worthy in their capacity to stick in your head hours later. The composer was spot-on with this one.

Dr.Mario-NES-Gameplay-Screenshot

Creativity & Innovation

According to Wikipedia, Nintendo actually received a patent for Dr. Mario and its then-revolutionary style of color-coded puzzle-clearing. Back then, the concept of tying colors so intently into puzzle play was an innovative concept. Nowadays it may seem head-scratchingly simple, but this is truly a title for which you have to appreciate its genius in context. For a puzzle game, it was a refreshing new character on the scene; within the greater gaming pantheon though, it was a minor advance.

Dr. Mario actually spawned a sequel, Dr. Mario 64, which was largely the same, except for one important, super-fun addition: Four-player gaming. For this inclusion alone it is worth mentioning, but all Dr. Mario games aside, the original NES release still stands as somewhat of a classic, and a giant in the history of puzzle gaming. For its competent mix of historical significance and genuinely fun times, Dr. Mario prescribes three and a half stars out of five.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ziH6tVJwEU[/youtube]

Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write  a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.

Console Wars: SNES vs Genesis

snes-sega

Ah, the console wars of the 1990’s it was a time when most people only had one and whichever side you were on you believed it was the best. Either you were a Super NES fan or Sega Genesis fan and both companies took advantage of this, but Sega really played to their fanboi audience.

Remember this commercial:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlulSyBI2aY[/youtube]

Blast processing, it was a marketing term to make you believe the Genesis was completely superior to the SNES, but what SNES fans noticed was graphics. Often Genesis fans talked about how fast games seemed and said Sonic could not run on and SNES. However, we know that the Genesis only had a palette of 512 colors while the SNES had over 32 thousand. Not only that, but the SNES could show you 256 different colors on one screen while the Genesis could only show you 62. The result was the sprites and backgrounds did run faster on the Genesis because they were less detailed, but were much clearer and detailed on the SNES.

Mortal Kombat

As far as sound the SNES won again and again we can use Mortal Kombat as an example. The sounds in the SNES port were much better than the Genesis and the reason is simple. The Genesis had a Yamaha sound chip and a Texas Instruments PSG, with 8K of sound memory between them. The SNES had a custom designed Sony sound chip and Sony DSP, with 64K of sound memory giving it the clear advantage. The result was clearer sounds with more audible tones available to be heard.

Now when it comes to controllers that is more players choice, many Genesis fanbois said the size of the controller were made for men and the SNES for little boys and girls, but most gamers will tell you the SNES was a better pad and Sega original game pad was a ripoff of the Nintendo design.

SEGA_vs_NINTENDO_STREET_FIGHTER_2

The most important contest was in the games department. Now don’t get me wrong, Sega had a ton of great games and even ports like Mortal Kombat that looked better on the SNES were more fun on the Genesis. However, talking classics SNES wins hands down which is why they seem to keep remaking those classics over and over.

Oh and BTW there was a bootleg port of all the Sonic games for the SNES and they ran just fine, so much for blast processing.

Ok maybe this isn’t the best example.

So which side were you on?

Super Mario Bros 2: Ending

 

[youtube id=”r_0KIyCn1bQ” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Super Mario Bros 2: Ending

It’s all about the journey in games, but a good ending is always wanted. Personally one of my favorite classic endings is from SMB 2. Now I know a lot of people did not like the change in SMB 2 and many more hated that the whole thing was a dream. Me, I thought it was cool and a refreshing change in the Mario storyline.

smb2-ending

After you defeat Wart and are praised for you heroism you see Mario asleep dreaming the whole thing. Consider however, that if you did not win Mario would never wake up and there would be no SMB 3 which was one of the best games ever.

The Interview: Mari0

Mari0

Perhaps you have seen the video floating around the internet of our favorite plumber carrying a special tool from another one of our favorite games. Mari0 is a project being work on by a group of programmers over at StabYourself.net. The game brings together the classic Super Mario Bros game with elements from the Valve game, Portal.

Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Sašo Smolej from StabYourself.net about the game:

Tell us a little about Mari0?

Mari0 is what happens when you take the NES classic and add one of the best received concepts in the last few years: Portals. It’s a feature rich, close to original remake of Super Mario Bros. with portals, map editor and co-op. We will also deliver a story with custom maps with the game, and will allow users to send us their maps, which we will host on our server to be downloadable by anyone from ingame.

 How did you come up with the idea for it?

Maurice started working on a SMB clone in January, and in April we came upon Dorkly’s Mario with portal gun video. The original idea before seeing the video was adding the same multiplayer that is found in “New Super Mario Bros. Wii”, but that changed after discovering it. Since the whole code is optimized for multiplayer, it was really easy to add co-op (With any number of players) though, so that helped.

Mari0 - multiplayer

Since this is not a mod, but a full game can you tell us about the process of creating it?

Before we started hammering away on the keyboard, we had to think the concept through, see where problems may arise and what we would have to change in order to keep the game fun. It’s not as simple as “Take Mario and add Portal Gun”. We had to start at the very basics: Level drawing, movement, collisions, controls, all that junk.

It really is a lot of work to recreate a whole game. We’re ripping graphics and sounds as we go, and compare the game a lot to the real thing to make sure we’re getting as close to for example the jumping physics as we can. After we had a solid and playable foundation and thought things through, we started adding Portal logic, as well as mouse support and everything related. This is an example of a trade that we have to make between “playability” and “close to original”, because one the one hand, Super Mario Bros. obviously doesn’t have a mouse, but on the other, having to use the arrow keys to point the portal would be a limiting solution.

We have also decided to break free a little from NES graphic restrictions concerning anything Portal related. Once we’ll be completely done with the Portal gun (we’re close!), we’ll start thinking about the story and level design.

 What made you go with the classic 1985 Mario Bros?

It’s a game everyone (or at least everyone 16+) remembers from their childhood, and we love to play with people like that: Give them a familiar environment and then surprise them with a modern twist. We think that’s what gives these games their appeal.

Can you give us an idea of the stories you might explore in the game?

We’re still collecting ideas, thinking of the direction we’ll go. We can’t say anything specific at this point since it will probably end up being completely changed.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtcGiZelPfk[/youtube]

What are your plans as far as music?

We have gotten an offer from a music artist whose work we quite liked, so he will probably be writing the music in a Portal 2 soundtrack style for the Portal levels we will ship with the game. The original levels will use the original music, for nostalgia sake.

What is your favorite classic video game and why?

Maurice: It probably really is the Super Mario Bros. series, especially the third one. It just has so many levels, worlds and side stuff, you can really tell Nintendo went all out on this one to create the best game in the NES library.

Sašo: It’s kind of a hard pick for me since I grew up with the PC, never really having the opportunity to play console games. I think Outlaws and Jazz Jackrabbit would be my pick since they’re the most memorable of the games I actually played. I did of course play games like SMB, but a bit later than most other.

When do you think the playable version will be ready?

I’d love to be able to give you an answer, but since this is a pure hobby we’re making our own times and can’t give you a solid date. We keep telling ourselves “This year” but hopefully it’ll be in about 2 months or so.

You can check out and keep up to date on Mari0 at their official website – http://stabyourself.net/mari0/

Donkey Kong 3

Donkey Kong 3 - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

Donkey Kong 3

This is probably not the best of the three but it still deserves a mention. You can think of this game as the Super Mario Bros 2 of the trio as it’s the odd one of the group. Of course, Donkey Kong jr had Mario as the villain which was already odd enough but this one had a totally different hero. I remember when I was young I used to think this little guy was Mario when he was younger battling against the big ape. I also though that before Mario turned into a plumber, he used to kill bugs. Of course now we know the truth but enough about that, lets get to the game.

Donkey Kong 3 - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

The game is as simple as any of the arcade games back in the 80s. Your main goal is not to finish the game but to accumulate the highest score. Your skills will be crucial to score big in this one. The usual mechanics of the game work as other arcade classics, which means the further levels you go, the harder the levels get. You will eventually have no room for error as you try to dodge and kill the hundreds of bugs coming after you. That’s not all, you also have to worry about the big ape climbing down and once he does, you are toast! But wait! It’s not over just yet, you also have to prevent the bugs from taking away your plants! If you want to score big, you gotta defend your pot.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWdtYW5U9DI[/youtube]

You will have fun with this game for sure. There is not much too explore but there is sure a lot of replay value as you can always challenge friends or yourself to beat the score and become the king of Donkey Kong 3. Be sure to practice practice practice after all, it’s a NES game and back in those days you really needed to have mad skills to be a respectable player. Games nowadays, well they are more entertaining than challenging. That’s all for this week, take it easy!

Donkey Kong

Donkey KongDonkey Kong

Donkey Kong PAL is quite unique in a very specific way. The game contains a level never before seen in the other releases. Not even the arcade version had it so it’s quite a thrill to be able to play it. Of course, with this game as many of you might already know, will get the original three levels. The game plays the same as the original so it keeps the same great gameplay as well. Lets get to the new level alright?

Donkey Kong
The new level brings some never before seen obstacles to the game. The floor on the second floor moves to either left or right and make it very hard for you to move around. It’s best to use your jump technique to get to the closest ladder and move up. As you can see, the fireballs are there to fry your ass and the oil barrel is up there creating havoc for Mario. The level overall is not as challenging as you would think, it’s the second level in the game after all. As soon as you reach the top level Donkey Kong will take the sexy girl up once more.

Donkey Kong
As usual, the ending is the same as the other versions so it’s all good as I never expected a different ending since there is only an added level to the game. This new added made me think though what if they would have added around twenty levels to the game. The development team would have been wise to at least add something more to the game but then again these were times where you would try to get the highest score you could so getting familiarized with the levels would have been a lot more difficult with more of them altogether. It was all about how much and bad you scored!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr-6j87tqcQ[/youtube]

Nintendo Rube Goldberg Animation

Nintendo Rube Goldberg Animation
The greatest artists have mostly been inspired by the grand and perpetual human drama. Be it personal or social, Art has always been about us. Not digital Italian plumbers, or peculiar Far Eastern brand names. Apparently times have changed. A simple, but admittedly quite inspired, YouTube video can prove it:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_4VZOjKRxA[/youtube]

The CD-i

It danced, it singed, it was good for audio, video, Karaoke and CD+G discs, while at the same time (not literally, mind you) it played games. The CD-i you see, oh dear retro-minded reader, had a decent library of gaming and educational software. ~Konstantinos Dimopoulos

The CD-i

It’s really weird feeling nostalgic for a console never actually owned, played or in any way experienced… Still, the CD-i was the second CD console I ever craved (promptly following the equally unsuccessful CDTV). And it was ads like this (via), that spawned my ungodly craving:
cdi-ad
Even though the console was a commercial failure, it was rather an interesting kit of hardware, that somehow managed to become the home of some weird, rare and quirky Mario and Zelda games. Featuring a 16bit 68000 based processor (@ 16MHz), 1.5 whole MB of RAM, a single-speed CD drive, optional MPEG-1 capabilities and dazzling 32k color graphics, CD-i was quite the home-entertainment hub Philips had wanted it to be.
It danced, it singed, it was good for audio, video, Karaoke and CD+G discs, while at the same time (not literally, mind you) it played games. The CD-i you see, oh dear retro-minded reader, had a decent library of gaming and educational software.
Litil Divil - CD-i
Top titles included Burn:Cycle, Myst, Dragon’s Lair, Litil Divil, Mad Dog McCree, Rise of the Robots and a dozen more.
Surprisingly (to me at least), the CD-i failed, and I never got one. Why? Guess it was a money thing. 1up, has more to add to the sad story. As for an emulator… Tough luck. There’s the freeware CD-ice that’s capable of emulating one game (Rise of the Robots, in case you were wondering), and the shareware Cd-i Emulator (free demo).

Both though need the CD-i’s ROM images. Tough luck. Again.


Ads From The Past: Retro Rewind

Street Fighter 2010 NES ad
When Street Fighter 2 was taking over the world Capcom took the opportunity to try to sell a crappy game with its name. Street Fighter 2010 -The Final Fight- was the result. The game is quite difficult and can be very tedious especially if you don’t have any patience. 

 

Classic video game ads
I gotta say I rather enjoy the ads where they showcase a lot more games in just one page especially if they aren’t that good to begin with.
Ninja Spirit ad
Ninja Spirit for the Turbo Grafx is well kinda of bland. I just don’t understand why the Turbo Grafx ads were so unappealing. They deliver a message but why does the background of every ad I have seen so far for a Turbo Grafx game the color white. Where these guys trying to save on ink? I sure hope not….
Nightmare on Elrm Street ad
For such an awesome movie this was such a horrible game. Leave it up to LJN to screw things up over and over again. Enter Nightmare on Elm Street for the NES. The game is at least somewhat playable and beatable if you have the patience for it. I dare you to play through this one!

Konami Handhelds ad

Konami sure took advantage of the handheld craze back in the day. They released many handhelds from their favorite titles. I was lucky enough to find a TMNT handheld to add to my collection but I’ll surely be looking out for these ones.
Toys r us ad
Here we have a nice ad from Toys R Us. They carried everything back in the day. I remember how they used to have their consoles for you to play the latest games on….Those were the days….
Starship Hector NES ad
This one is based on the game Starship Hector for the NES. The game was released by Hudson Soft so you can expect it to be something above average. Hudson Soft always delivered great games you know.

Phelios & Burning Force Genesis ads

Continuing with the Sega trend, we have yet another ad from it. The ad is very simple and has a nice look. The Pac-Man dude helps with giving the ad some attention. As good as the cover art may look, I’m sure these games are just your average Sega titles but I could be wrong.
Pictionary NES ad
Making crappy games interesting was a huge part of video gaming back in the late 80s and 90s and this is just one of the bunch. I’m not saying the game is horrible but it’s not something I would play on a daily basis or in a session of retro gaming goodness. The ad itself portrays it as a game that anyone can pick up and play although if you were smart enough to not buy into the ad, you’ll be good. For the rest of you, run for your lives!
SNK Video Games Ad It mainly shows off some of the good titles from SNK before they dumped Nintendo and decided to go up against them. There is one title on this ad that I think should be in anyone’s list, care to guess? The answer is Crystalis!

Super Mario World

Super Mario World - Gameplay Screenshot

Super Mario World

The game that came out with the SNES release was really something out of this world. If Super Mario Bros 3 took the NES to the next level, Super Mario World gave the SNES a good start. This game is huge and I mean the name says it for itself, “world” is actually an entire world in the Mario universe. Lets move forward to the gameplay. The game is your typical Mario game but there is so much more going on including new power ups. Of course, you have your mushroom and fire flower but this time around you can also get a feather that’ll help you fly something like the leaf power in Mario 3.

 

Super Mario World - Gameplay Screenshot

The game will take you through some interesting worlds like umm Donut Plains??? and some chocolate cave if I remember right….makes me want to eat some sweets. You also once again have to battle against the koopa kids in each section of the world. They are all pretty easy in my opinion. This game was also the debut for Yoshi! Yeah the beloved dinosaur that Mario would hit in the head for him to stick his tongue out….that Mario….

 

Anyways, I won’t give anything more again because well unless you have been living under a tree, you have probably already played this game. If you are one of the rare players that have never played this gem then you are good. Play and enjoy it! NOW!!!

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Fan Q and A

Q and A session

This week on the Obsolete Gamer Show we turned to our fans to answer their questions from our Facebook Fan page. We had our good friend Tom in the studio and was able to get though most of the questions.

Here is a list of the questions we answered.

Why did bloody EA have to buy Criterion Software and shag up the Burnout series?

What is the most unusual game console you ever had the opportunity to play?

How long before sony gets serious about their portables?

What are your favorites quotes taken from games and why?

Which chips challenge do you prefer and why?

What is Batman’s stance on legalizing marijuana?

Who would win out of Sonic and Mario in a Hell in the Cell match?

For those questions we did not get to don’t worry, we will add a question of the day part to our show to answer your questions.

In the meantime, have a listen and leave us some feedback.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Q and A

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

 

A New Challenger Approaches…

Princess Peach Daisy driving
Princess Peach Daisy driving

A New Challenger Approaches

Life can throw you a lot of curveballs. You might find yourself unexpectedly becoming a father, be picked first when people choose their teammates, and even find a million dollars in a duffel bag. The point is, there will always come a time where you will be blindsided. Sometimes it is for the better and sometimes it is for the worse. It could hurt your ego or even boost it. This one event, though, could leave you with a knotting feeling in your stomach. You don’t quite know how to take the news and you don’t quite know if you can accept it.

The event I’m talking about is when someone you hold near and dear to you takes you down a peg. You’re supposed to be their knight, their champion. You’re the one who crushes roaches. You’re the one who walks through the dark hallway unafraid. You’re the one who chain roots a Tauren warrior underwater so that your loved one can flee to safety. You are one who is not fearful but accepts fear for what it is. You are the hero and the guardian.

Then, the day comes when you realize this person isn’t as helpless as you’d think. There comes the time where you are the underdog and the fragile swan becomes the marauding murderer.
I had always thought of myself as an above average gamer. One game I thought myself exceptionally good at was Mario Kart for the SNES. I had played every version of Mario Kart because it always held that great competitive yet joyous multiplayer aspect to it. I was a first place kind of player. Yeah, sometimes I’d get second or third but I was always on that pedestal and more times than none I was the one towering over the runner-ups. I had never met a player who was greater than me in Mario Kart. We were either equal or I burned brighter.

It filled me with great happiness to be as skilled as I was at Mario Kart. Yes, it was a game where I would dominate but it was fun not only for me but for friends and family that played a long side myself. It was simply an entertaining game, one that I especially enjoyed throughout my life.

Then, Mario Kart Wii came out. I will admit, I was there at the midnight release with all the nine year old kids who were dressed as Mario but I didn’t care. Mario Kart was something I had to have in my collection and I bared no shame being the only person with hair on his balls in the line. To my lack of surprise, it played practically the same as the previous titles but had a couple of changes that added some gusto to the mix. I would certainly dominate in this Mario Kart again.

How wrong I was… I was so naive.

This was the first Mario Kart to come out since my wife and I were married and I had never played Mario Kart with her before. I expected it to be the same kind of formula as when we usually played multiplayer games. We’d do a couple of rounds and then she’d get upset that I’m winning and then I’ll do a couple of rounds where I slow down a bit and pretend to fuck up so she’d do better but then she’d bitch at me accusing me of allowing her to win. Shortly after that, she’d give up and never play again. We’ve all been through this scenario, if not with our wife, then with our brother, or sister, or guido friend.

Not this time, though.

After the first trek through Mario Raceway, my wife was first and by a long shot. I couldn’t even catch up. Beginner’s luck, I thought to myself. That’s what it had to be. There is no way she is devastating me this much.

Another race, again same results.

Another race, she is not a speck in my rear view mirror but a speck in my horizon.

Another race, I finally got ahead but wait what is this? Wham, Bam, thank you ma’am. She demolishes me with every weapon known to the Mushroom Kingdom and overtakes me with an enormous lead.

How could this happen? How could she be this good? She doesn’t know about pressing UP when going off a ramp for a boost. She doesn’t know about using a shell or banana as a barricade to destroy red shells. She doesn’t know about popping a wheelie on a straight road to gain a significant speed boost.
So how?! How does she know how to win with such grace?

Pushing my ego aside, I dared to ask. “Honey,” I politely inquired, “How did you do that? What is your secret?” She looked at me puzzled. “I just raced, you motherfucker.” is her reply. This wasn’t sufficient. I had to know. What did she do?

“Do you dodge bananas well?”
“I just drive.”

“Do you conserve your mushroom boosts?”
“I just drive.”

“Do you race directly behind someone to increase your acceleration?”
“I just drive.”

There is no secret. She just drives. But this isn’t good enough of an answer! How did she defeat me, a golden god in my own right?! No matter how long we haven’t played Mario Kart, she still dominates everyone. None are left in her wake.

When I look into her eyes as she plays, I see no determination. I see no enjoyment. I see no past, I see no present, and I see no future.

What I do see is a soulless machination whose sole purpose in life is to sow confusion and hysteria in the minds of those she crushes.

I love my wife. I really do. However, when we play Mario Kart I feel like I should be sporting a purse because she makes me look a bitch. She took one of the most memorable games of my childhood and turned into one of the most terrifying and unexplainable experiences in my life. I am left with a feeling of pride as it is my wife who is destroying my friends in Mario Kart but at the same time an incredible wave filled with unworthy emotions sweep over me. I enjoy playing with her but I also fear those remorseless eyes.

Never again will Mario Kart hold a feeling of pure bliss in my heart. It will forever and onward be filled with a mixture of shriveling self esteem and panic.

Bob-ombs: The Real Threat to America’s Safety?

bobomb
bobomb

Take a good and hard look at that picture, reader.

Since Super Mario Bros. 2, the Bob-omb plague has swept Mario games just like how Beanie Babies swept away the hearts of overweight, unloved women in the 90’s. At first glance, as a child these huggable creatures are adorable with their round cast iron bodies and cute little steps. They parade down towards Mario with an indifferent pace to harm the plumber. How endearing.

BUT LET US TAKE A STEP BACK!

Why does something so cute need a cast iron body? Did you know Mario’s Fire powers don’t hurt them? You want to know why? They are filled with explosives! Yes, they are bombs! But not just any ordinary bombs. Normally, you’d need a remote detonator to set off an explosion or physically be there to light the fuse. Bob-ombs are the future of impersonal terrorism.

“But Umar,” the reader of this article may find themselves saying, “They are just so cute and innocent. Surely they wouldn’t hurt a friend?” And it is right there where your young and liberal mind will get your arms blown off. Bob-ombs aren’t toys. They aren’t Pokemon Cards! They are sentient, living bombs! Their sole purpose in life is to cause murder, death, and ensure the incineration of all bio-organic beings. Do you not see the Nazi inspired design behind the Bob-omb?
1) They Goose-step toward you. If someone greets you with a Goose-step, chances are the encounter isn’t going to be friendly.
2) They patrol areas back and forth just like soldiers.
3) They have a short fuse. This is symbolic because they don’t have the patience to deal with your lesser race bullshit.

Still don’t see how this is true? You still can’t perceive the sinister motives that fuel their mechanical hearts? Just look them in the eyes. Look into those cute cartoon eyes as they lure you in for a hug. Do you know what kind of mind is behind those peepers? A sick sociopathic mind bent on your demise.

Go right ahead. Let him into your heart, into your home, let them sleep on the carpet in your child’s room. I can assure you the moment you touch that Bob-omb, this cute little monstrosity that you fed and picked up their poopies, he will glow an angry red. His glassy eyes will become stern and enraged. A fire will spark not only in his heart but on his fuse and before you know it, you’re gone. All your loved ones will be blown to bits. Your wife and children will be here and there. The dog will have little tidbits against the closet door. And God forbid you survive. What kind of weight will be on your shoulders with the knowledge that you mistakenly trusted this deceitful horror and now your family is gone and you’re are now left to live your life missing appendages? How long will it take before you finally can’t handle the guilt and bite your tongue?

“Umar,” our fair reader may retort, “The pink bob-ombs are nice, though. You can’t discriminate against all of them.” Pink bob-ombs are just the next step in their dastardly evolution. They speak to you, beg you for help, pour out their hearts about the prejudices they face against the other bob-ombs. They deplore you for assistance. They are the good guys, they say.

Really, Pink bob-omb? You’re one of the good guys? Tell me this. Why is it that you bob-ombs glow pink right before detonation? From what I can tell you’re closer to the edge than the black bob-ombs. At least they can keep their cool until provoked or before that bitter moment when they exact their plan. Pink Bob-ombs can’t even keep their oath of silence and become radicals that speak out. No thanks, Pink Bob-ombs. Stay out of America.

Let’s look at the track record of these Bob-ombs. In every single Mario game, they have made it painfully obvious their only true intent is the destruction of a living beating heart. They get involved in Yoshi’s story and even sports based Mario games. And you’d think they’d stop with their vendetta in the Mushroom Kingdom. No, they made their intents international when they appeared in Super Smash Brothers. They’d just randomly pop into a battle and indiscriminately hunt down Link from Hyrule, Charizard from Kanto, and Snake from America! Yes they initiated a global war and have even targeted America on their To-Do list.

Americans, I’m looking at you. Are we going to let this mechanical plague sweep our nation like a renegade brushfire? Are we going to allow our land, our freedom, our loved ones to be abused by these techno-organic racists?

I say no!
I will not give them shelter for their sick and their hungry.
I will not provide them with resources which us Americans harvested on our own.
I will not allow one to move in next door and will not allow my children to play with them.
This is America! Home of the brave, the bold, and the truly living!

Commercial Wars: Best use of Mario Bros – Japanese edition

super mario bros mushroom girls cosplay
super mario bros mushroom girls cosplay

If you don’t know who the Mario Bros are stop reading right now. The fact is like Pac-Man Mario is a video game icon and with over 25 years of Mario Bros featuring many classic unforgettable hits it is no wonder the plumbers are still going strong today. Even when Mario is not fighting against Bowser or trying to rescue the princess many of his games have been entertaining from Tennis to Go-Kart racing. Obviously he has been in a ton of commercials and this week we look at the ones who used him best.

As you know the Nintendo Entertainment System originated in Japan and anyone who has watched any extended amount of Japanese commercials knows they can go from funny to crazy to downright disturbing. Let’s take a look at some of these commercials and vote on who gets the top spot.

Super Mario Bros 2 USA

If you thought Birdo was weird before this commercial from Japan will not make things better. Honestly, they makes things worse. Funny thing is there is an ongoing debate as to whether Birdo is a guy who dresses like a girl or a girl. My question is do you really want to know the answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have the translation for what Birdo said, but man watching him, her, it push that egg out of its snout was just disturbing.

Super Mario Bros: DS

So I won’t lie I just put this commercial here because the Japanese lady is cute and what she says and her facial expression are pretty cool. This was part of a series of Japanese commercials that showcased people acting naturally while playing the game instead of acting out a script. I think it was a winner.

Super Mario World: Super Famicom

I really think Mario could win America Idol I mean just look at his moves and singing style. Do you really need to know what he is saying? I have to say I like the presentation with the animated Mario and particularly the animated Bowser at the end. You have to give it to the Japanese; they know how to roll out a product.

Paper Mario

I swear this commercial makes Mario look like a mix between Barbie and Batman. Mario is just chillin on his own private beach, golfing, playing tennis and then boom, he has to go be all bad ass. Mario was smart and made sure to get all the royalties and now he is the Bruce Wayne of Japan.

Mario Kart: DS

It’s Mario Kart United Nations style. I love how the Japanese portray the American version, lol. I can’t blame them we do it to them.  I wonder why they are called the Hot Mario Bros, sounds like a porno.

 

Be Thankful, Gamer

Be Thankful, Gamer

I know. The title blew your mind. Umar Khan is writing about something he is thankful for rather than venting an apocalyptic hate filled rant? This is impossible, you may think to yourself. But it’s true. While my editorials are usually about me demeaning a genre or writing farewell letters, I am thankful for many things. And while I am in great appreciation for the greater things in life outside of gaming like friends and family and just the general ability to live, I am still thankful for the lesser things in life found in games.

happy-thanksgiving

I am thankful for games that give me a limited aerial arsenal and decide its time for an aerial fight. “Wait, what did he say?!” Calm down, reader! Give me a chance to explain myself. In games that focus too much on ground combat, I find it refreshing to be put into an aerial battle where my arsenal is limited to a single slashing attack. While these fights are repetitious in nature they also make every hit you land as important as the first swing. A force of timing and precision infuse you where the rest of the game left you with the mindless monotony of button mashing. One cannot deny the sheer satisfaction they feel when that overgrown robotic fly careens into the ground, left in a smoldering heap. Was it obnoxious? It sure was but you know when you have that get together with friends and talk about the game you’re all going to say, “Wasn’t the air battle a pain in the ass?” You’ll forge friends in common camaraderie and that is something you should be thankful for.

I am thankful for underwater levels because nothing gets my heart pumping more in a game than knowing there is the potential to suffocate or that hair rising terror that there could be a giant squid monster lurking in the murky depths. The sensation of dread that creeps upon me knowing that there is something dwelling around me in the darkness and one of my few hopes of survival around the crushing pressures of the blue abyss is my limited air supply is invigorating. I feel an unrelenting wave of anxiety as I progress through a game and I begin to notice the foreshadowing scenery getting a bit more coastal because I know, at some point, I will be submerged and I will end up crying myself to sleep like a little bitch that night.

I am thankful for villains who aren’t pure evil but just have differing views that they believe are correct and bode no true ill intent. In some sense you could find yourself relating to their predicament. If I learned one thing from Loghain in Dragon Age it’s that sometimes you have to be a D-bag to get through the day. Sure, the responsibility and knowledge of what you did will weigh heavily upon your shoulders but in order to be a titan sometimes you have to bear the curse of Atlas first. And while I found myself at odds with Loghain, had the tables been turned, had I witnessed the world from his perspective, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to find myself being loyal to this patriot.

I am thankful for in-game prostitutes. They are a great way to gauge your true moral values in life. As a teenager playing Grand Theft Auto, sleeping with a prostitute and immediately killing her for a refund was economical and humorous all at once. As I grew older and prostitutes found themselves leaking into other games, (haha, I said “leaking”) I began to take a more virtuous approach towards these emotionally distraught individuals. Should they keep to themselves as my hero rolled on by, I could see the pity in their eyes, the defeat drawn upon their faces as they simply tried to survive with the education they managed to soak in during their times in high school and the deprivation of their living situation, be it an addiction to drugs or a baby at home they wish to save from this lifestyle. However, should she open her disease-ridden, puss marked mouth and say “Hey, daddy? Want some tenda luvin care?” I kick into crusader mode and begin to purge the barrio from these swindling sluts! Some may say, what a hypocrite! I say, “Fuck you!”

I am thankful for player collision and the ability to grab your partner. Nothing increases the enjoyment of a game like having a cohort. And nothing increases that bliss like being able to nab your partner and toss them into a canyon between platforms. I remember spending more time fighting with my brother in the New Super Mario Brothers Wii than actually trying to complete the level. Constantly jumping in different directions to slam into each other and fall to our deaths, tossing one another into bob-ombs, and bubbling up to lose the level are some of the most amusing cooperative game play elements I have ever encountered. Let us not forget of the grand self-sabotage in the coop mode of Little Big Planet. If you remember, you could grab your partner’s arm and drag them. Nothing in comparison could be funnier than watching a friend run to gain force for a jump and chasing after them. Right before they took their leap of faith, I would nab their arm quickly and tug in the opposite direction, At this point all I had to do was let go, depleting their momentum but leaving them cascading in the air and falling short of the platform. I am so thankful for the ability to interact with your partner in a game. So very thankful for all the laughs and tears shed while with playing with friends.

So, dear reader, there are things out there to be thankful for in games, if you really think about it. They bring memorable times with friends, an opportunity to share a story with your brothers in arms, and a chance to display your true character traits. Right now, some of you are probably in your room, isolated from your family because you have relatives coming over for Thanksgiving and wish to not be bothered. You want to hold your Xbox close to you and whisper sweet nothings into its air vents but remember, keeping your gaming experience to yourself is lonely. Stories are best shared than kept in your head. Get out there, make some friends, drink with your family, have a good time because life is meaningless without people you care about, even if you feel they don’t care about you. It’s only one day any way. Enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Motivational Monday: Game Food

Rat Burger Parasite Eve demotivational poster
Rat Burger Parasite Eve demotivational poster

Motivational Monday: Game Food

No I’m not talking about the cheesy puffs, hot pockets and Mountain Dew you stuff down your gullets while pulling an all-nighter in World of Warcraft. This is about the food found within video games itself. Most of the time food was used in video games to replenish health, but as time went on food gave various power-ups and was even used as a hobby within a game. So let’s take a look at the use of food in video games shall we?

Gauntlet

Gauntlet food
Gauntlet food

Vile and covered in dust and death this dungeon be. The floor is littered with the fallen, of friend and foe. There may be no escape, but that does not weigh heavily on me because my resolve is strong. Even in the darkest night my blade shall shine, but even a great warrior such as I needs replenishment. There, next to the pile of bones bleeding ghosts. Can it be, a ham dinner cooked to perfection with knife and fork. Surely it is a gift from the God’s and not tainted by rot and poison. Next to it lays the remains of a fallen hero, another gift of treasure it must be. I will eat of this feast and take of this bounty and continue my quest because I know not yet of mad cow.

Final Fight

turkey final fight
turkey final fight

So one day my friend’s girl was kidnapped and it was up to me, Naruto color ninja, to save her. The streets were tough but I’m a Street Fighter. After hours of pounding on the Mad Gear gang I was pretty hungry. Thank goodness there was this garbage can sitting inside of the public restroom in the park. With a swift kick I found my price. A fully cooked, ready to eat turkey and it wasn’t even close to thanks giving. Thanks to this meal I was able to make my way to the gold coast and kick an old man in a wheelchair out of a window.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

Castlevania birthday cake
Castlevania birthday cake

Tis a cold night it was in the belly of the dark ones castle. Deep within was the chilling winds of evil and the stench of death surrounding my very being. Why or why did I wear my dress on this adventure? Thank goodness the count did not know of my paralyzing fear of the dark or he might not have setup all these lovely candles for me, vanilla scented if I smell correctly. As the night went on despair came over me. I thought of giving up and then I saw it, under the steps next to some dead rats. The Lord of Death did care, he remembered my birthday!

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros Mushroom
Super Mario Bros Mushroom

They told me I was addicted, but what did they know, they were second stringers at best. I had saved the princess time and time again and did she even once put out, no! So yeah, I sniffed the fire flower and ate some mushrooms, but it gave me power. I was in control; I could stop whenever I wanted too. Then it kept happening. The princess is in another castle, the guard would keep telling me. I’d been there before. I knew I should have just gone directly to castle 8. Finally I slayed the dragon and went to claim my prize once again, but all I heard was laugher. I blackout and awoke days later. Bowser was laughing at me. He showed me the heads of all the mushroom guards. I had killed them while under the influence of poison mushroom. I had failed her. My lust of power-ups lead me down a dark path, one from which I would never escape.

Kotaku: A Look Back at Super Mario Bros

25 years of Super Mario Bros
25 years of Super Mario Bros

We are fast approaching the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros and Kotaku has put up a cool video looking back on 25 years of our favorite little plumber. You can check out the article and video here.

Mario 25th Anniversary
Mario 25th Anniversary

In attrition here is a cool video that looks back at Mario Bros. as well created by the folks over at That Fellow in the Coat.

Happy Birthday Nintendo

NES Console System
NES Console System

One day you’re unwrapping the brand new console you got for Christmas in the middle eighties and the next thing you know you’re twenty-five years older and can play every title on a cellphone. The first NES has given millions of fans countless hours of fun over the last two decades and will continue so for a long time to come and so we want to wish the Nintendo Entertainment System a happy 25th birthday.

Today, October 18th marks the 25th anniversary of the NES being first sold in the U.S. Now some of you gaming history buffs might be thinking “Hey, I couldn’t get my NES until 86.” Well you are right. Originally the Nintendo was only available for limited release at the high-end boutique toy store known as FAO Schwarz. It was at the New York store that you could purchase the NES in 85; you would have to wait a bit longer before you could buy it elsewhere.

FAO Schwarz
FAO Schwarz

When I purchased my NES it cost me around $159.00; however the pricing for what was called the Control Deck ran for about $129.00, it came with two controllers and the combo game of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. I remember repackaging my NES in the original box every night before bed. However, that didn’t last long and soon I was blowing on cartridges and punching it out of frustration, good times.

Gold Zelda NES cartridge
Gold Zelda NES cartridge

The Nintendo Entertainment system had an incredible decade long run in the U.S. From 1985 to 1995 thousands of games came out that won numerous awards and critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. This is the system that launched with titles such as Excite-bike, Baseball and Ice-climber and went on to offer titles like Metroid, Ninja Gaiden and the awesome Golden Edition Legend of Zelda. Not only games, but the NES had awesome accessories such as the NES Zapper, Robbie the robot and of course the power glove.

Powerglove advertisement
Powerglove advertisement

Now our good friend also had some growing pains. First off was the issue with the front loading system on the NES which was prone to come loose over time. Also the spring that held up the cartridge bay would sometimes break after limited use. Then of course there was the blowing on the cartridge thing which had more to do with the connectors than just dust particles alone. In addition to some hardware issues the NES suffered from a ton of horrible third party games and accessories that dragged the system down in its later years. You could find add-ons of one sort or another for the NES everywhere from drug stores to gas stations. Then came the awful games like 1UP 7UP and crash test dummies, not to mention the unlicensed games like the infamous Bible Adventures game.

Bible Adventures NES cartridge
Bible Adventures NES cartridge

However with over 60 million units sold worldwide and the continued success of Nintendo and its core titles there is no doubt that the NES is one of the king consoles of the 80’s. As said the classic games are still played today on phones, via emulators and even on flash game websites. The NES became an important part of many households just like the family television and we at Obsolete Gamer are thankful for the time spent and memories with our Nintendo Entertainment System.

On to the next 25!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1: A Mediocre Adventure Begins!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 title
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 title

It has been sixteen dark years since the last true Sonic game made its debut. Sega ventured on towards 3D adventures with their signature Blue Flash and since then the fandom that followed Sonic slowly converted to Mario or lost interest in the platform genre as a whole. The masses cried out, their faces stained in the salt of dry tears for Sega to remember the past, remember their roots! After witnessing the success of Megaman 9 and 10, Sega’s minds opened up to hope and the prayers of their fans finally fell upon eager ears. Sonic the Hedgehog 4, the continuation of the main 2D adventure line was to be restored! Thousands upon thousands of loyalist creamed their pants at the mere thought of Sonic returning to his true form. Surely, Sega would remember what made Sonic great.

Unfortunately, they didn’t. The return of Sonic is anything but a sequel to Sonic and Knuckles. The developers of Sonic 4 didn’t seem to know what made Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Knuckles stand on their own as epic platforming adventures. All that they remembered was the formula of level design and loops. The game plays like a mix mashed combination of both Sonic 1 and 2.

The first thing I noticed about this game that bothered instantly once I noticed it, was Sonic’s amazing brakes. I remember in the old games that Sonic used to come to a skidding stop. In this iteration of our hero, he just stops. If you want Sonic to stop where you want, he will. Sometimes midair I could just stop moving forward during an initial jump and slide down an invisible wall when all I wanted to do was reduce my jumping speed. The biggest most daunting issue I had with this was when I’d complete a zone with 50 gold rings and attempted to jump into the bonus stage golden ring at the sign post. Most of the time, I’d run right past it and think “Crap!” and try to run back in time as Sonic zooms off screen. As I made the jump toward the ring, autopilot would kick in and Sonic would just collapse like a ragdoll to the ground in front of it and walk away off screen again.

Orbinaut – Sonic the Hedgehog
Orbinaut – Sonic the Hedgehog

Our hero also seems to enjoy walking like a robot because his running animation from start to finish is one of the least inspiring displays of speed picking up I’ve ever witnessed in a game before. His legs stiff up like Al Gore as he slowly walks forward. I seemed to be in top speed during this ridiculous take off as Sonic trudged off with an ungraceful motion due to his lack of kneecaps. Suddenly, his legs would turn into red blurs as he ran at what was supposed to depict top speeds. Regrettably, the robotic movement lacking any fluid shift was already top speed so this animation lacked any real dramatic achievement.

An inclusion to the core game play is a homing missile aerial dash which was introduced in Sonic Adventures. While this attack was a welcome addition to the 3D adventure, its transition to 2D is rather obnoxious. The difficulty of calculated attacks and hitting small openings on enemies vanishes with this ability and takes away from the nostalgia of Sonic. Many menacing old school villains which took clean precision and timing to kill, such as Orbinaut, become trivial obstacles in Sonic’s path with the addition of the aerial assault.

Super Sonic by MRi
Super Sonic by MRi

The tracks in the zone Sonic robotically glides through are lacking any real enemies. Sure a villain shows up every now and then but they are easily bypassed with the homing attack. Most of the perils in the levels are spikes and pitfalls but the track you go by makes these traps seem more like scenery than anything else as most ramps toss you over spikes. Pitfalls can be easily avoided since the levels are set up in multiple tiers and you can go cascading through the air and end up landing on a lower section of the zone. When you do die though from pitfalls, it is a surprise as there are no real warning signs of its upcoming occurrence. 90% of the time you land on something when you fall. 10% of the time there just isn’t anything and the plummet is so stretched you don’t even realize it’s a pitfall until you hear the reminiscent Sonic fatality sound.

Super Sonic makes a return once you manage to collect all the Chaos Emerald in their tilt-a-whirl secret zones. I did mention earlier how the game is mostly comprised of traps, remember? Super Sonic doesn’t seem to really run faster than his blue form and there aren’t many enemies in the way to pummel through. What you end up having is useless invincibility that slowly eats away at your life force. I didn’t find any use for Super Sonic in this game at all since most deaths were instant kills anyway.

Another thing that peeved me about the game was the music. Sonic is known for its memorable songs. I can still remember a few and hum them every now and then when I sit on the toilet seat while reading a book. The musical director for this installment must have been Keyboard Cat as all of the songs use and abuse repetitive keys with a trumpet blaring every so often. I can’t recall a single song in my head right now despite how hard I may try.

The art style in the game lacks any inspiration at all. In fact, most of the zones are just rehashed models of zones from Sonic 1. The backgrounds in the game are bland and look like something found in a free game application on the Android Market. I was reminded of games with a smaller budget and less gameplay like Totemo as I ventured further through the game’s uninspiring scenery. Some of the cogs you were supposed to interact with in Dr.Robotnik’s Lair (Yeah, I said it. Eggman sounds stupid.) seemed to be part of the background because of their dull color and slow almost shuddering movement. There were times I’d be standing around a level wondering what I am supposed to be doing only to realize that the background was actually part of the foreground.

Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog
Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Speaking of the good doctor, he seems to have lost that knack for creativity we had come to know his boss battles for. In each of the four zones, you fight a familiar nostalgic battle with Robotnik. As your heart flutters from your excitement of revisiting these famous bouts, half way through the battle Robotnik changes gears and gets a bit more hardcore. Each of the initial four encounters are pretty easy and Robotnik does his usual fleeing as you free your bunny friends. When you finally reach Robotnik’s space station, Sega decided to pull a Mega Man and have you fight Robotnik again in each of his four forms you battled him in throughout the campaign. The only difference in these battles from the previous skirmishes is that the doctor kicks up his rage a notch. None of his geared up antics were too difficult and are unbelievably forgettable. I just beat the game two hours ago and I can barely remember any of his new antics. To top off the insult of mutilating old battles, they decided to change one of the greatest fights with Robotnik at the end of the game. Robotnik jumps into the colossal robotic version of himself with a jetpack from Sonic 2. The major difference between that battle and this one is that you have a homing jump and there are a ton of openings to hit the suit this time. To say the least possible without ruining the tactics involved in this battle, I didn’t have to think or struggle too hard to end the game.

The game doesn’t stand on its own in the series. Fans who may run for this installment of Sonic’s latest and greatest adventure for scraps of nostalgia will be sorely disappointed and only the most hardcore of Hedgehog fans (Laraque) could find any real entertainment in this game. I, on the other hand, wish I played Comic Jumper instead. It is only the first episode of the Sonic 4 series, and more episodes may add more features but the lackluster experience of Episode 1 has left me with the taste of duran fruit in my mouth, something I never want to taste again regardless of presentation.

Happy Birthday Mario

Mario Peach Demotivational Poster
Mario Peach Demotivational Poster

Today our pipe surfing, mushroom eating, princess saving hero turns 25. It’s hard to believe this iconic figure has been around this long. Mario has appeared in tons of games from sports to RPG’s an everywhere in-between.

I remember first playing Super Mario Bros. on my Nintendo Entertainment System. Before this I had only used either an arcade controller or the Atari joystick. It took me some time to get use to the shape of the controller and even more to the game, but I was hooked from the start.

Everything was fine until I got to world 1-3. I don’t know why but I was scared of falling and strangely enough found myself turning my whole body when trying to control Mario. However, soon enough I was a pro who went on to beat every Mario game up to its reign on the Gamecube.

There’s no doubt Mario is one of the most recognizable characters in video game history, but what about poor Luigi? Maybe we can make his birthday a month apart and give him his day?

Either way, Happy Birthday Mario!

Ode to the Angry Sun

Angry Sun Super Mario Bros
Angry Sun Super Mario Bros

Everyone loves the angry sun from Super Mario 3 and so I give you my Ode to the Angry Sun.

Memories of the Angry Sun by Neslug
Memories of the Angry Sun by Neslug

Memories of the Angry Sun by ~Neslug

Ode to the Angry Sun – By J.A. Laraque

Shining so bright in the desert sky

Your face so pissed off it would make children cry

Not a mind did I pay you until you moved fast

Now I run for my life less you burn my ass

Hot, hot I scream out with you in pursuit

Mushroom kingdom for some sun screen, a fire hose or a boot

Alas fleeing is useless, I must turn and fight

But how does one beat the sun with its fire and might

Quickly I must find a means to attack

Something that is such to give that sun a smack

Koopa, my enemy will lend me his shell

Now I can send this angry sun straight down to hell

With a mighty kick the shell sores toward the sky

Sure was my aim, a direct bull’s-eye

Down went the sun falling far in the horizon

But I am no fool and realize soon the sun would be rising

With the upmost haste I reach the end of the level

Safe, I wipe the sweat from my brow hoping to never again see that sun devil

Killing the Sun by – epyonblitz

P.S. If love Mario vs, The Sun you have to go over to New Grounds and watch the flash animation of Mario vs. Angry Sun by Mr.WeirdGuy.

Classic Gaming Beauty Pageant

Ever hear the saying; “Don’t be fooled by a pretty face”? In this case that “pretty face” can put you in intensive care quicker than a Dragon Punch. ~J.A. Laraque

Classic Gaming Beauty Pageant

We asked our fans on the official Obsolete Gamer Facebook Page which classic gaming heroine was the sexiest. We received a number of responses and now we will showcase some of them here. Let’s take a look at some of the lovely ladies of classic gaming to see if we can find a clear winner.

Beauty Pageant

Princess Toadstool

Princess Peach from Mario

With golden blond hair, big sky-blue eyes and rosy-red cheeks it’s no wonder Mario is willing to go anywhere in the galaxy to save her. As princess of Mushroom Kingdom, Peach takes her job very seriously and is even willing to battle to save her land. Her beauty and grace are unmistakable, she clearly owns the evening gown competition, but she is much more than just another pretty face. Peach is also an avid go-cart racer and excels in golf, tennis, soccer and even brawling. She is clear royalty that brings a lot to the throne.

Ms. Pac-Man

Ms Pacman arcade side

Nothing beats a full figured woman and Ms. Pac-Man carries the perfectly round look better than anyone else in history. While it is true the lovely lady spends most of her time eating she is constantly on the run which balances it out. Her strong suit is the swimsuit competition because she refuses to wear much else besides a pink  pumps, silk gloves and a lovely bow. Don’t get any ideas guys, Ms. Pac-Man is married and has a child. Honestly would you want to date someone who is constantly being pursued by ghosts?

Samus Aran

Samus Metroid

Sometimes a man wants a strong woman, someone who can handle herself in battle; someone who can kick your ass, that woman is Samus Aran. This battle beauty spends most of her time in her battle suit blasting away the badies in Metroid, but there is a softer side to ol’ Sam. When not blowing away anything in her path, Miss Aran loves to read war strategies and weapon tech manuals. She lost a few points for refusing to compete in the evening gown or swimsuit competition but her answer to what would she do if she won the pageant was clear and to the point, she said: “I’d keep doing what I’ve been doing all my life, saving the world.”

Tyris

Tyris Flare Golden Axe

Originally Tyris was not part of the pageant, but when a sword-wielding, red-haired amazon asks to be included you better not say “no”. Brawn and beauty are in perfect harmony with this video vixen. In Golden Axe, Tyris battled against the horde to seek revenge on Death Adder for the murder of her parents. Now Tyris is a swimsuit model and military consultant. That’s an A+ resume.

Princess Zelda

Princess Zelda

This noble beauty believes in the more traditional role of fantasy princesses. Zelda spends most of her time either in a magically induced sleep or trapped in some dungeon waiting for a hero to save her. Being a lady of stature and prestige she refuses to show herself in anything beyond her royal gown, but we still like what we see. Zelda understands the key to being saved is looking good and patience, lots and lots of patience.

Chun Li

Chun Li Street Fighter anime

Ever hear the saying; “Don’t be fooled by a pretty face”? In this case that “pretty face” can put you in intensive care quicker than a Dragon Punch. Chun Li is a competitor be it in Street Fighting or beach volleyball, she doesn’t like to lose. Being the first lady of fighting games has put a target on her head and Ms. Li wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves to show off her silky smooth legs and powerful thighs, but that is just a trap. If you are not careful you will quickly become a victim to her lighting fast kicks. Chun has no problem using her brute force to get what she wants, she rather kick you than kiss you which is why many of the judges are voting 10.

Jill Valentine

Jill Valentine Resident Evil fan art

If you were to date this woman and Valentine’s Day came around it would be in your best interest to give her the world. I mean not only is Valentine her last name, but she kills zombies for a living. You have to love a woman with a gun who knows how to use it and with her lock picking skills you will never run out of ammo. Now some have called her the weaker link in team Resident Evil, but that is far from the truth. Her strengths lie in her versatility. Jill is proficient in many different weapons and her puzzle solving skills are top shelf. Ms. Valentine dazzled us with her numerous wardrobe changes. We asked her, “Why do you love to show off all your different types of clothing?” Her response was, “Do you have any idea what I had to do to get these clothes?”

Lara Croft

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

When out raiding tombs and treasure hunting it is important to have the total package. Lara Croft is the total package. She has the brains to solve the most mind numbing puzzles and the athletic ability to run, jump and swing her away across the most dangerous environments. She is an expert marksman and a Rhodes Scholar and she has a pair of assets that are second to none. Ms. Croft defines pageantry competing and excelling in all categories she is the epitome of classic gaming excellence and beauty. Clearly if there is a winner amongst this fine field of females it is Lara, she would have won even if she did not give us all a share in her latest treasure find.

The Obsolete Gamers – Vol 1

Obsolete Gamer favicon
Obsolete Gamer favicon

The Obsolete Gamers covers the various events experience by Ignacio/honorabili and J.A. Laraque. In Vol one J.A. Laraque and Mark test out the FC Twin which plays NES and NES games.

In Part one we introduce Mark and his new toy the FC Twin

In Part 2 Mark demos some more classic games.

The Bonus footage covers Mark playing the classic F-Zero!