So, I finally beat EarthBound for the first time. WOW! What an amazing game. If you’re looking for a review, there are thousands out there on the Internet. Rather than focusing on the gameplay elements, this article will explore just how crazy the world of Shigesato Itoi can get.
*Beware of spoilers!
As I am sure you are aware, the next Xbox console is all but confirmed to be only usable online. Likewise, I am most definitely not the first to tell you that this poses a problem for the many people in the world without high-speed Internet. In the U.S. alone, approximately one third of people lack broadband. However, even if you ignore these figures, requiring an Internet connection to play your single and multiplayer games will still be problematic. Consider the recent SimCity debacle. Now, imagine your entire console game system acting in the same manner. Having trouble? Here’s a picture to help.
Earlier today, at a local pawn shop, I purchased Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Much to my dismay, the game would not work. I even cleaned the connectors four times. This is a very rare problem. Only twice have I seen 100% dead video game cartridges. The other was Kirby’s Star Stacker for the GameBoy.
Instead of chucking the game to the moon, I channeled my frustration into something positive. Using Photoshop, I transformed the shell of a Ninja Turtles cartridge into The Wizard for the NES. Every retro video game fan should know what the deal is with this movie. If not, click here. Below is the label if anyone wants to undertake a similar endeavor. Either print it onto a real label for sticking or follow my cheapo example by covering it with clear packing tape. Now your broken or unwanted NES cartridges can become faux pieces of gaming history.
One of the most rewarding experiences in the Pokémon series is giving your newly obtained companion a good nickname. However, this can often require much thought, to the point of just wanting to move on. To help the creatively challenged (or those with little time on their hands) I have compiled a list of my favorite nicknames for the original 151 Pokémon. Keep in mind that I am only including the fully evolved forms. Lastly, this list is not G-rated. Those who are easily offended may want to steer clear. Now then… The following is a list of some of the coolest and funniest nickames for the first generation Pokémon. I even made sure that they are under the ten character limit, resulting in some intentional mispellings.
I’m sick of people associating dlc with expansion packs. Most of the time, this analogy is like comparing apples and oranges. If the last two sentences describe you, either The Sims has blinded you, or you’re truly out of the loop. Downloadable content in video games is supposed to enhance the experience. On the PC, retail expansions have served the same purpose for years. It is only in the online era that video game consoles have finally gained the same functionality. Continue Reading
If you play games even remotely as much as I do, you know full well that not everyone approves of your hobby. I’m not one to judge. They may even be right in some instances. The problem lies with how the media portrays games. Every day, we are bombarded by news articles about criminals who are “influenced” by the video games that they play. These isolated incidents don’t help matters in the least. This article focuses on a different angle.
“Video game” is an outdated and improper name. It has a somewhat negative connotation that goes back to the arcade days. I dare you to find someone who doesn’t consider movies or novels art, but video games are another story. The classic type of game such as a Pac-Man, is what I would call the electronic entertainment equivalent of an American Pie. It doesn’t need to have a cultural significance, other than being fun. It’s more of a way to take your mind off your problems. With the advent of better hardware comes something that throws new curveballs into the argument. Games like Mass Effect and Catherine surely have plots that are as good as, if not better than most movies. Being involved in a large than life adventure with your own personal choices surely has cultural and philosophical significance.
The problem is that most people today haven’t seen or played games like this. You’d be hard pressed to get a news reporter to sit down and play Mass Effect all the way through, let alone watch someone else do it for only an hour. I hope that one day, as games become more mainstream, this will not be the case. Movies and rock ’n’ roll all had to go through these issues to become officially recognized as art. I hope that my hobby will one day share the same success.
Having just visited a local arcade, I can tell you how different an experience it is to the upscale franchises. Before I moved, the closest thing I had to an arcade was a distant Dave and Busters. All of the independent gaming places had been closed for years.
When I entered the premises of this arcade, I noticed how calm it was. Sure, there were quite a few other groups, including a birthday party, but somehow, the atmosphere was nowhere near overwhelming. The service very reasonable compared to the corporate workers who work at certain other gaming establishments. In fact, “reasonable” is the best word to describe this type of place.
There was a fair amount of arcade games to choose from. The fact that a few were out of order or had minor technical problems just added to the charm of the place. Let’s face it. Dave and Busters is too clean. Sometimes you need to play a game of Tekken on a monitor turned purple, or the Simpsons Game without the ability to move Bart up to realize that in the end, it’s all about having fun.
The fact that arcade franchises try to be perfect is a tad off-putting. I always feel like they are trying too hard. The end result is sensory overload. An authentic arcade does not need to be big or bold. In fact, less is more. The less flashy the arcade, the more you feel right at home. It’s these types of personal experiences that are dying by the dozen. If you still have one, please support your local arcade. Big companies like Dave and Busters may have a good selection, but they don’t have heart.