“Retro” video games are just about on the verge of becoming a marketing tool, instead of an artistic choice, where games are crafted to sell specifically to certain audience’s tastes, instead of developers making interesting games. Fortunately, we aren’t there just yet, as 8-bit graphics and chiptunes are still a hard sell to a lot of gamers out there. However, the relatively new “Bit.Trip” franchise that just released its third game this year that should be at the forefront of changing gamers’ minds about retro style. The most recent release “Bit.Trip Void” continues to proves what many old school gamers already knew; that you don’t need to have realistic gameplay to be fun. [Continue Reading]
Last year, when the service launched, “LostWinds” was one of the groundbreaking WiiWare launch titles. It proved that you didn’t need to be a major publisher to produce something that people wanted to play. Additionally, it validated the potential of WiiWare early on, and set the bar high for indie games on the platform. Well, since it’s sequel was released only a few weeks ago, you may left wondering if it was a worthy follow up, or if it was just more of the same. We’re here to help. Check out our Play Theater which features some extended gameplay footage from “LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias” and perhaps you can figure out if it’s game enough for your Wii points. [Continue Reading]
Every once in a while, there’s a game that comes a long that revolutionizes the video games landscape, and without a doubt, the original “Super Mario Bros.” is the best example of that, ever. It, single-handedly, pulled the video game industry out of the rut that it had dug itself into by the mid 1980s, and turned it into the thriving business that it is today. There’s something simple and amazing about that game that many have tried to replicate, but none have ever really been able to achieve. Now, almost twenty five years after the original hit the market alongside the NES, Nintendo has released a Mario’s first 2D console game in almost fifteen years, “New Super Mario Bros. Wii.” It’s a game that’s created in the same style as the original, but takes it to a whole new level for this generation of gamers. [Continue Reading]
Sometime in the late 1980s, my parents went on a trip to Jamaica without me. I assume they had a good time, and completely understand them not wanting to drag me, a seven year old, and my brother, we’ll say thirteen at the time, around a tropical island with them. I get that. So, when they returned, seven year old me was only really concerned about what they brought me back. Much to my surprise, my parents seemed to have gotten something right, and they brought me back a Nintendo game, instead of some lame painted rock… or at least that’s what I thought until I started to play it. The game was the NES port of the Epyx “classic” “Winter Games,” and God, was it bad. Okay, maybe it wasn’t bad, but it was boring, and I could never really figure out the controls, especially for figure skating. Fast forward to the present day, and if my parents were to head to the Caribbean this holiday season, and bring me back a winter games themed video game, namely “Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games,” I think I would be singing a slightly different tune.
Comparing “Mario and Sonic” to “Winter Games” is like comparing apples to oranges, in that the only two things they have in common is that they are both comprised of a collection of winter themed games, and that they are both, in fact, video games. It stops there. “Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games” just has so much more to offer. [Continue Reading]
“3D Dot Game Heroes” is coming stateside courtesy of video game saviors Atlus. It’s just one more reason to make sure you have a PS3 by next year.
It usually takes a small army to create the video games that we play, and, most of the time, all of the focus gets put on the game itself, and not on the people that came together to make it. Our Dev Box interview series takes a look at some of the unsung heroes that have committed their lives to entertaining all of us. In this week’s expanded Dev Box we are letting Blitz Arcade’s Design Manager Ed Linley provide us some insight into who he is as a gamer, and how he ended up working in the game’s industry.
Name: Ed Linley
Title: Design Manager
Company: Blitz Arcade
Job Description: I oversee the design teams working on Blitz Arcade titles, giving various levels of support, from managing manpower to creating game design documentation and gameplay feedback. I’m involved in the pitch process for Arcade titles and also give design advice to the participants in the Blitz 1UP programme.
First title worked on: “Test Drive: Off Road” (PC/PSone)
Most recent title worked on: “Encleverment Experiment” (Xbox LIVE Arcade)
What game has most influenced you, and why? [Continue Reading]
No matter how you slice it, Mario is best remembered for his 2D adventures that he first appeared in so long ago. However, for some reason, up until this week’s release of “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” he had not seen a 2D console release since 1990’s “Super Mario World.” Sure, Nintendo’s handhelds have gotten a ton of 2D love from Mario, but the consoles had been left in the dust. It’s been almost twenty years since our red plumber friend has run back and forth on a TV screen, and a lot can happen in that span of time. For example: [Continue Reading]
It goes without saying that living in NYC has its advantages, especially when it comes to gaming. One of the biggest things that New York has going for it, in terms of games at least, is the Nintendo World Store, home all things Nintendo – from Mario to Zelda, and this past weekend, the store played host to the “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” launch event. Fans of Mario, and his adventures, were offered the opportunity to check out the game, get their picture taken with the man himself, and even take a tour of some of the weird licensed products that have bore Mario’s mustachioed face over the years. One lucky gamer even got to go home with the ultimate bragging rights, beating out hundreds of other players in the “NSMBW” tournament.
Check out some of the photos of what Nintendo had going on, and some of the fans that braved the elements this weekend to check out “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” in the middle of Rockefeller Center. [Continue Reading]
The city building genres has grown a bit stale. The settings for those kinds of games usually fall into two categories: A medieval period where the rules of logic don’t apply, or a modern era where you always have to deal with residential, commercial, or industrial areas. The “Tropico” series of city building games takes place in the Caribbean during the 1950s, where you’re starting population starts at less than 100, getting paid five bucks a month is the norm, and juggling between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. is essential to your island’s survival. “Tropico 3″ keeps most of the roots from the original “Tropico,” only improving on the basics, as well as adding small new features to this single player game. With all these improvements, is “Tropico 3″ an island worth visiting or should you vacation elsewhere? [Continue Reading]
What more can I say? (No that Jay-Z track is not in the game… yet) The track list for the first iteration of “DJ Hero” (c’mon you know this is a franchise) is jam packed with 93 mixes of different songs that will definitely get your head bumping. However, of those 93 unique mixes, a few of the tracks have repeat songs heard in other mixes. Tracks such as The Aranbee Pop Orchestra – “Bittersweet Symphony” gets duo love when mixed with 2Pac’s “All Eyez on Me” and LL Cool J’s “Rock The Bells.” Now I’ll leave it up to you to say which one was best, but I’m rolling with DJ Jazzy Jeff’s “Bells”.