Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Posts Tagged ‘nintendo

GH101 Lecture 2: NES Influence in NA

leave a comment »


Download

We return with a (hopefully) bi-weekly lecture series on a high level overview of video games.  In this returning episode, Fred and Eli discuss how Nintendo rose to such unrivaled influence in North America.  The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was synonymous with the term “video game” through the mid-late 1980s in a way no other console really has since.  In this episode we discuss not only how this happened, by why one company was able to command most of a market for such a distinct period of time.

Songs (in order of appearance):

  • Training Theme – Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (NES)
  • Act 4, Part 2 Level Theme – Ninja Gaiden (NES)
  • Title Theme – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
  • Stage Theme – Karnov (NES)
  • Main Theme – Metroid (FDS)
  • Mission 4 Theme – Double Dragon II (NES)
  • Stage Theme 01 – Gauntlet (NES)
  • Dungeon Theme – Faxanadu (NES)

Written by Fred Rojas

August 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

Posted in Lectures, podcast

Tagged with ,

The Wizard: 30th Anniversary Retrospective

with one comment

The Wizard released on December 15, 1989 and was unsuccessful with both critics and the general public.  Still, it rallied up a hype machine for a company almost synonymous with video games at the time: Nintendo.  Armed with child star Fred Savage from the extremely popular show The Wonder Years, this video game take on Tommy has become a cult favorite for those that were children of the late 80s.  Fred dives into the relevant content and culture surrounding the film that gets close to home if you were born within a very specific time period.

Opening Song: You Don’t Get Much by the Bo Deans

Send Me An Angel by Real Life

I Live by the Groove by Paul Kerrick

Closing Song: Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley


Download

Written by Fred Rojas

December 12, 2019 at 11:00 am

The Minish Cap Game Club

leave a comment »

Fred and Jam close out the ongoing series GH101 (but leave room for one-offs) with a requested favorite from some of our listeners: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.  Released on Gameboy Advance in the mid 2000s, it’s an interesting blend of mechanics from both the Zelda series and a sprinkle of Mario as well.  It was also developed by Flagship and Capcom in conjunction with Nintendo.

Download

Written by Fred Rojas

August 29, 2019 at 11:00 am

E3 2019: Nintendo Direct Impressions

leave a comment »

Click on image to view the Nintendo Direct.

As E3 formally opens, Fred, Andy (42 Level One), and Jam get together to discuss a polarizing Nintendo Direct.


Download

Click here to view all the announcements as a bullet list. 

Written by Fred Rojas

June 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Posted in Gaming History X, podcast

Tagged with ,

Game Boy: Play It Loud

leave a comment »

This week Fred and Jam celebrate 30 years of the Game Boy.  Probably the most prolific portable console of all time, it was more than just a device for delivering Tetris and getting adults into video games, it ushered in a new way to play and design games.  We cover the gaming environment Game Boy released into, the portable efforts before it, a large talk on the library, and of course the many companies that tried to compete.


Download

Written by Fred Rojas

May 15, 2019 at 11:00 am

Nintendo’s Recent Annoucements In Regards to Retro

leave a comment »

Let’s face it, Nintendo has had a pretty crazy 2019 so far.  Whether you are a fan or not, it’s hard to ignore how much has changed in less than 8 weeks into the new year and despite what you may think a large portion of the topics are retro.  I figured it was high time to discuss them.  Let’s break down what’s been announced and the retro take on these changes.

NES and SNES Classic Editions Going Away

Okay, I know, this one came at the end of last year (announcement on Dec. 14th, implementation and shipments on Dec. 22), but one of the biggest changes this year is the phasing out of the NES and SNES Classic Editions.  It was inevitable Nintendo would stop production on these items and once they were readily available the well for demand dried up very quickly.  I’m so on the fence about the mini console craze because it’s clear that all of these items have had corners cut to a certain extent and I’m not convinced most people actually play these things.  On the other hand, the mini things look so cool when you get them into your hands and thanks to hackers you can easily side load any games you want into them so they are much more versatile.  I think of them now as emulation boxes that have the one thing other emulation solutions – like RetroArch on computers or RetroPie on Raspberry Pis – don’t have: they’re easy to make and operate.  As a person who loves tech and is intrigued by a challenge, it’s aggravating that today emulation requires a lot of knowledge and time to set up.  I get it, these are complex emulators that need complex setup, but that doesn’t help the mainstream.  I’ve already heard from several of you that it’s just so much easier to buy one of these consoles and do the dead easy process of hacking in the roms you want.  Lets also not forget that specifically the SNES Classic Edition contains Star Fox 2 in the only official release ever to come out as well as games that contain special chips like the Super FX and SA-1 that don’t work with a majority of flash carts on the market.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

February 22, 2019 at 3:00 pm

2018 in Review Day 3: Nintendo

leave a comment »


Download

The GH101 crew and guests assemble to discuss Nintendo in 2018.

Written by Fred Rojas

December 28, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Ending of Large ROM Sites Should Garner A Different Response

with one comment

With the recent fall of some major rom sites, and others pulling their own hosted files offline as a response, I’ve seen a somewhat trending reaction from the community that concerns me.  My peers are avidly going out and downloading entire collections of games and files from these sites to have on hand should we see the fall of the easy to access rom site.  Not only do I feel this will never happen, but this response is flawed and wrong.  The response you should be having is to start looking into ways to back up your own games.  It’s relatively cheap, free if you don’t need to backup carts, and it will allow you to never worry about losing another game again whether it’s damaged, stolen, or subject to the rare chip/disc rot.  Oh yeah, and it’s also not illegal.

A Little Background

Just under a month ago, web site Torrent Freak reported that Nintendo sued loveroms.com and loveRETRO.co over having open access to copyrighted material.  For those not familiar, Torrent Freak refers to itself as “a publication dedicated to bringing the latest news about copyright, privacy, and everything related to filesharing.”  The web sites in question were owned by an individual, Jacob Mathias, who ran his own Arizona-based LLC that focused on these file sharing sites.  Those who work in rom sites specifically tend to not carry certain games and files specifically for fear that something like this would happen.  While I’d never been on the site myself, the fact that these sites had direct download links to a myriad of roms (files that represent a cartridge based video game) that included Nintendo’s prime catalog is a big mistake.  The one or two sites I used to frequent would pull down specific roms that were re-released such as Virtual Console games and more recently the “Classic Edition” line of Nintendo’s library.  This other site also would pull down any game that the publisher had requested, so if you went to most Capcom titles there would be a note that the game was removed due to the publisher’s request.  Finally that other site would not host BIOS files, which are proprietary software in certain consoles that are required to get certain emulators working, which it was revealed Mathias’ sites also hosted.  Put all of these factors together and these sites had massive bulls-eyes on them for just this kind of response.  Nintendo even makes it a point in the suit to call it out, “The LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites are among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

August 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Blog

Tagged with , ,

Podcast: Jam’s Take on the Nintendo Switch

leave a comment »

Written by Fred Rojas

March 16, 2018 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Reflecting on the Switch’s First Year

with one comment

Fred is joined by Learned From Gaming‘s Chase to discuss Nintendo’s Switch on its one year anniversary.  For the second time in history, Nintendo managed to highly innovate and turn the company’s success around in a very small period of time.  The two discuss announcement, release, success, library, and various other notable topics.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

March 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm