Gaming History 101

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Posts Tagged ‘nintendo

Opinion: My Love/Hate With Nintendo Continues

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I got a press release this morning, like early this morning, from Nintendo.  It wasn’t that long, but still too long for this piece, so I’ll lightly extract the important parts.  “Due to incredible demand for the upcoming…Super NES Classic Edition system, Nintendo plans to ship the retro-inspired product into 2018.”  Oh, it gets better.  The press release then goes on in the third paragraph to say, “Next summer, Nintendo will also bring back the…NES Classic Edition system with new shipments.”  I’ve already had some celebratory readers, all of which I believe were unable to snag either console to date, reach out and basically say, “we did it.”  I’d like to believe these decisions have to do with our combined outcry or even the handful of petitions available to sign online, and either way these efforts have now seen results.  With this news comes new questions, concerns, and potential futures, but for now lets just sip our coffee with a smile on our face.  While the NES Classic and SNES Classic may be the focal point of my intro, I’m taking all of Nintendo to task with both the great and terrible moves it has made in the past few years.

Why The Nintendo Hate?

This shortage of consoles is nothing new.  I think I’ve been waiting for Nintendo products to come in stock for at least 30 of my 35 years on this earth.  In 1987, I was 5, I got an NES for Christmas and wanted to go pick up two games I’d read about in the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter: Castlevania and Mega Man.  You see, my birthday is on January 6 so when I would get a new console or portable for Christmas I could usually purchase a game or two immediately following.  In January of 1988 it was impossible to get those games, but I can’t tell you whether it was the apparent chip shortage that would plague the holidays in late 1988 or some other factor.  This continued with Super Mario Bros. 3 being stealth launched in Summer 1990, frantic shenanigans to get my hands on an N64 (and Mario 64 because the two weren’t always available together) in September of 1996, then similar problems with the GameCube in 2001, and I camped in front of a Best Buy in November 2006 to get a Wii.  This doesn’t even account for the waiting for several first party games, terrible customer service on servicing consoles, woes with portables, and so on.  I’ve been waiting for Nintendo my entire life and I’ve allowed no other company to treat me this way while still getting my money.  To try to make sense of it is an exercise in futility.

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Written by Fred Rojas

September 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Podcast: Eternal Darkness Game Club

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Fred and Jam sit down and dissect Silicon Knights’ 2002 Gamecube title Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.  After discussing the lineage of Silicon Knights and it’s history, the two delve into the campaign of a game that literally messes with you.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: U Didn’t Play Next

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The Wii U was Nintendo’s follow-up to the widely successful Wii, but amidst an overall lack of interest to gamers it was met with mostly resistance.  The slogan “How U Will Play Next” was far from accurate and thanks to a lack of consumer understading of what the console on top of the scruitiny leveled against the library it was never much of a success.  Still, Fred has fond memories and he takes you through the journey of the Wii U from announcement to today.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep 3: Online Personas Only

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Fred and Trees are joined by Wolfy of overclock.net’s podcast.  The episode is chock full of discussion involving the Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild but there’s also plenty of room for other big and indie games along with plenty of fun discussions.


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Written by Fred Rojas

February 27, 2017 at 11:00 am

Version Comparison: Metroid II vs. AM2R

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Back in our 24 hour livestream, Fred did an impromptu episode of Version, our video series that compares the different versions of video games.  This time he delved into Metroid IIReturn of Samus and compared it to AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), the fan created and now taken down remake.  This has also been added to both the Version and 24 Hour Livestream playlists.

Written by Fred Rojas

January 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

Cross Talk: Nintendo Has Completely Lost Touch With Retail, Black Friday Proves This

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This sign was in several store windows on Black Friday in the KC metro.

This sign was in several store windows on Black Friday in the KC metro.

Nintendo is on somewhat of a rebound this year.  After putting the Wii U to bed both with a lack of releases and acting as if the console didn’t exist after the fall, Nintendo came out with the announcement of the Switch – its newest console slated for a March 2017 release – and a long Direct that detailed several other projects to release until then.  Of those products one of the bigger announcements was a Black Friday only limited edition 3DS in both black and white colors that would be available at all major retailers for the low price of only $100.  For those who haven’t pulled the trigger on the New 3DS but still want one and all those parents still glaring at the then $200 price point of the portable, this was a godsend.  $100 is that sweet spot for many families in the gaming world where an item becomes a potential Christmas present.  The fact that it would be so widely available and that the smiling faces of Nintendo as a whole indicated anyone who wanted one could have it this holiday season was great news.  For most, however, it’s become a freaking nightmare.  Why?  Nintendo issued so little stock of these items that they sold out in minutes across the country on Black Friday and for most retailers I asked in the Kansas City metro, has become the bane of both customers and retail employees this holiday season.

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Written by Fred Rojas

November 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Podcast: Mario Kart 64 vs. Diddy Kong Racing Game Club

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Two notable racers on the Nintendo 64 are always compared: Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing.  While more than 6 months separated the games in the US (and even more in Japan), they basically came out together in Europe and have always been compared.  Jam and Fred discuss the development and gameplay of each before jumping into the dangerous waters of comparing the two.

Click here to read Drew’s original post comparing the two.


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Written by Fred Rojas

November 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

Donkey Kong 64 Review

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If Nintendo and Rare had an agenda through subliminal messaging then I present to you the game that is the king of repetition: Donkey Kong 64.

As always I like to delve into my personal history with this game. I got the N64 for my birthday as a surprise present from my two older brothers and I was a happy camper. It came with Banjo Kazooie and I was quite smitten with this game. The 3D levels and exploration where just fascinating and I had a fondness for the weird repetitive noises the characters made when their dialogue boxes appeared. Banjo Kazooie turned out to be a very evil game maybe even worse than smoking because it was probably my first venture into a collecting style game. Where in order to progress in the game you have to collect multiple items to get further and further until you finish the game and then you are left to go cold turkey, cold and shivering in the corner. Where do I go from here with my life? Why am I here? Sorry, I got distracted. So these collecting games were huge especially on N64. Mario 64 did this (even though I didn’t play this till a lot later). Over on the Playstation the Spyro series did this (very well in my opinion go listen to that podcast and read the review, please). Rare worked on Banjo Kazooie and I think they must have thought, “how can we take collecting to the next level?” and “what can we do with that Donkey Kong fellow?” Well along came Donkey Kong 64 which is a game that took the collecting concept and turned it up to the max and beyond. I brought this game (with the required expansion pack) and was expecting a nice casual collecting experience. Instead I ended up getting a monkey rap song in my head, which still leaves an imprint on my consciousness to this day and venturing on a collecting journey which took me well over a year to finish in its entirety. I left the cave that was my room with my first fully grown beard ready to return to reality and life again having never looked back since, until this game club. Now jokes aside I actually really liked this game a lot back in the day and it wasn’t the only one I played throughout the year. This was actually a common pattern for me oddly with N64 titles. Even Orcarina of Time took me over a year of on and off playing, I was just that type of gamer then. Donkey Kong 64 felt like a title I really got my moneys worth, not only because it was long but because I got the expansion pack which enhanced some of my other games like Turok 2 (any excuse to mention this game). Sadly I lost my N64 collection to one of my brothers who probably went on to sell the collection so I lost my original copy and my 101% save file. So to prepare for this Game Club I decided to go for the WiiU virtual console version and bravely start from scratch and try to finish this game in a month instead of a year. But that’s enough excessive babbling about my history its time to review this game today.

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Written by jamalais

November 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in N64, Reviews, Wii U

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Podcast: Donkey Kong 64 Game Club

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Donkey Kong 64 has got to be one of the most divisive titles to be released both by Rare and on the Nintendo 64.  Depending on how you came to play it, you either love it or hate it.  While Jam had tackled this title back when it released, even getting the coveted 101% completion, Fred had never touched it.  Thanks to listener Blake (jedislurpee) we played through the game in its entirety and go back to dissect the development, gameplay, and key factors of a title that probably gets more hate than it deserves.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Project Reality

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It’s been nearly 20 years since the Nintendo 64 (N64) premiered in the United States.  Aside from being Nintendo’s third console, it marked a lot of major changes for both the company and the industry as a whole.  Fred and Jam look back on the console that started as Project Reality and eventually became one of the influential pioneers of 3D polygonal gaming.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 21, 2016 at 11:00 am