I realised yesterday that I’ve been blindly purchasing Nintendo consoles on launch day for sixteen years now. More specifically this has been happening since the Nintendo GameCube came out back in May 2002. However the journey hasn’t always been smooth; I was flat-out disappointed with the Wii and the Wii U spend most of day one installing a system update. The newest addition is of course the Nintendo Switch, and the good news is that my initial impressions are really very positive. With that in mind I though I’d take a quick break from playing Zelda to write about why that is.
Last Sunday I went to EGX, the UK’s biggest videogame show. As someone who likes videogames quite a lot I enjoyed this chance to play all the ones that aren’t out yet, and after a few days recovering from all the free energy drinks I’m just about ready to recount my experience in full.
F-Zero GX was developed by the video game equivalent of a supergroup. Ten years previously the idea of Mario and Sonic developers joining forces to create the fastest and most intense racing game ever made would have been considered about as likely as Sony and Microsoft teaming up today to end world poverty. Oh, and Namco were along for the ride too. The collective genius of these insanely talented people resulted in a unique and masterful game, and twelve years later it’s still at the top of its genre.
In twenty two years the Mario Kart series has changed surprisingly little. Sure, the 2014 entry carries with it the performance boost you’d expect from a console significantly more powerful than the Super Nintendo, but the structure is predictable and the mechanics are familiar. Yet Nintendo has innovated around the game’s core, and this along with the companies ‘better late than never’ approach to DLC helps deliver an experience that doesn’t reinvent the franchise, but does succeed in defining its best modern entry yet.
The Nintendo Wii was a strange console, with experimental motion controls, lots of controllers, and a varied library of games. Overall there was a large rift in the quality of these titles, a divide also seen on the GameCube that was exaggerated by the Wii’s strong sales; the good games were really good and the bad games were really bad. There was also a lot of them, perhaps explaining why a few hidden gems slipped by unnoticed. It’s fifteen of these lesser-know classics that I’ll be recommending today.
F-Zero is one of my favourite videogame series. Like both Mario and Zelda, this Nintendo masterpiece started as a 2D classic and successfully reinvented itself in 3D, transitioning well with the evolving videogame climate. But whilst the other two series include modern titles that live up to their heritage, it’s now been eleven years since the last F-Zero. Will Captain Falcon be returning any time soon? I’m hopeful, here’s why.
This week I purchased the New Nintendo 3DS; an updated version of Nintendo’s handheld with a few notable improvements. Whilst the console itself isn’t launching in Europe till 13th February the ‘Ambassador Edition’ system has already been made available – and it’s this version in particular that I’ll be looking at today.
If you’ve ever tried to plug your old Super Nintendo or Mega Drive into a modern, High Definition television, then it’s likely that you were quite horrified with the results. Without the right set up, and the right cables, retro games don’t look good – especially on new TVs. But working out what kit your need, and what will work best for you, can be more that a little confusing. That’s why I’ve put together this guide, which starts with the basics but also covers all the complicated stuff you’ll need to help get the best picture from your retro games.
What’s everyone’s favourite version of Super Smash Bros.? Mine is Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, although the N64 original is a close second. The game was always well suited to the Cube’s smart controller design, and due to a distinct lack of buttons on the Wiimote this also became the optimum way to play its sequel, Brawl. For the newest game Nintendo have undeniably gone all out, and this includes the option to use the fan favourite controller with the Wii U for the first time. Today I’ve been doing just that, and will look at the items needed to enjoy new Smash Bros. the old school way.
With Halloween less than a week away I’m sure there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind; appropriate games for the occasion. This could be a terrifying horror game, an atmospheric Gothic adventure, or maybe just something with a giant pumpkin boss. Whatever you’re into there’s probably something for you in my list of Halloween recommendations.