Discussion Topic: What's your favorite RPG on the Super NES?
I've always wondered who made these in-house Nintendo promos/ads for Nintendo Power magazine. Most of them were fairly well done over the years. This vivid promo, featuring Nintendo's early website in 1995, is probably one of my favorites. It also mentions AOL (keyword "NOA"), of course, which was still a big online player at the time.
By the way, anyone who can convincingly explain (with in-world fiction, not marketing) the presence of a poison/toxic waste barrel on this kid's desk wins 10 cocoa points. Even Diddy Kong sitting there makes more sense.
[Update: 02/01/2016 - It turns out that the toxic waste barrel is actually a boss character named Dumb Drum from Donkey Kong Country. Special thanks to etranist for pointing that out in the comments. ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the first video game website you ever looked at online?
Here we see an ad for the Super NES version of Ultima VII: The Black Gate. Apparently, when VII received its port to Nintendo's console, its Roman numeral designation got the axe. As a result, the title became merely Ultima: The Black Gate.
I'm not a big fan of the SNES ports of the Ultima games (VI and VII). In the process of chopping things down to fit in a reasonably-sized ROM cartridge, a lot of content and features were lost (including the Roman numeral in this case). But at the same time, those ports likely gave console fans a taste of the Ultima universe that they would not have had otherwise.
As for me, I was lucky enough to originally play the Ultima games on the PC (and the Atari ST, in the case of Ultima III), so I guess I am spoiled.
Discussion Topic of the Week: In your opinion, what's the best console port of any Ultima game?
The Nintendo Entertainment System turned 30 years old in the US yesterday — well, according to Nintendo, anyway. That date is still a little fuzzy, in my opinion. Still, it's close enough.
This year, I have done nothing to celebrate except scan this NES Zapper. It's a beaut.
Just a few days ago, the designer of the NES hardware revealed that the NES shipped with the Zapper because "Americans in general are interested in gun." Indeed they are!
In 1989, Nintendo changed the dark grey parts of the Zapper to "blaze orange" to meet new US Federal regulations about toy guns. That regulation involved required orange plugs or paint at the tips of the barrels of realistic or imitation toy guns.
The regulation passed because people were robbing banks with toy guns, and the orange plug was supposed to let cops know the difference between a deadly weapon and a hunk of plastic. (Turns out the plug requirement doesn't work as planned. But it did ruin the toy gun industry.)
The Zapper isn't exactly a realistic toy gun, but acting with its usual overabundance of caution, Nintendo went way beyond a barrel plug. Either way, I am proud to say that, to this date, no one has ever been shot and killed by a NES Zapper.
P.S. In January, I scanned a line drawing of the Zapper from the NES manual. You may enjoy that as well.
Discussion Topic of the Week: Do you think someone could rob a bank with a NES Zapper? What about in the 1980s?
This is a rather famous early ad for the Sega Genesis that I have never featured until now. It played upon the dramatic graphical differences between the Genesis and the NES, claiming "Genesis Does What Nintendon't."
It's worth emphasizing that Sega is comparing its console to the 8-bit NES here, and not the Super NES — Nintendo's 16-bit machine had not yet been released in the US, allowing Sega to get a jump on the next generation in the American market.
Discussion Topic of the Week: What year did you first get a Sega Genesis? What were your first games for it?
Discussion Topic of the Week: Excluding Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, what is your favorite Pac-Man-themed video game?
Nintendo released the Virtual Boy 20 years ago today in North America (on August 21, 1995). I wrote an article about the creation of the Virtual Boy for FastCompany, which was just published today.
I hope you enjoy it.
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite Tetris spin-off game?
What a horrible thing. Iwata will be sorely missed.
These days, few large company CEOs rise up through engineering (in this case, software engineering) to take the top spot at the firm. Iwata did exactly that, and that likely contributed a great deal to his success at leading Nintendo.
Nintendo needs a new rudder now. Who they choose to replace Iwata will make or break the company at this point — Nintendo is in a fragile position, poised at the edge of a transition to a new console business model designed to ensure its survival in a mobile/tablet/smartphone dominated world.
What will happen next is anybody's guess.
What happened under Iwata was amazing.
My brother received the IBM PC port of Lemmings as a gift (probably for Christmas) in the early 1990s. It made a distinct impression in my young mind, with its vivid VGA graphics, a playful MIDI soundtrack, and charismatic little creatures that you could bid to do your every whim.
I have never played the Game Boy version, but this ad caught my eye.
When I wrote a feature about the most ported games of all time for 1UP.com back in 2007, Lemmings featured prominently with ports to 28 systems up to that point in time. What can I say — Lemmings is a classic.
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the best Lemmings-like or Lemmings clone game? (Other than Lemmings, of course — The Humans and Baldies come to mind.)