[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Iggy's Reckin' Balls

October 15th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Iggy's Wreckin' Balls for Nintendo 64 N64 Ad - 1998Oh to travel by rolling over your face with your spherical body.

[ From GamePro, May 1998, rear cover ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite ball-themed video game? Any balls apply.

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Nintendo 64 E3 Debut

June 4th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Magnavox Odyssey Manual Cover Scan - 1972AOL Keyword: Rotating Nintendo Cubes

If you haven't noticed, E3 2012 is taking place this week in Los Angeles, CA. Here's a Nintendo Power teaser announcement for the Nintendo's E3 event that launched the Nintendo 64 in 1996.

When I see this, I can't help but reflect on what a different press environment we live in today. In 1996 there were no blogs and the public's adoption of the web was limited. Today, we get our news by-the-second from dozens, if not hundreds, of media outlets online.

[ From Nintendo Power, June 1996, back cover ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite E3 memory?

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Broken Tetrisphere Teeth

July 11th, 2011 by Benj Edwards

Tetrisphere Nintendo 64 Ad - 1997Digital Jawbreaker

I don't think I've ever played Tetrisphere. I'm sure I'll try it some day. But the game itself is almost beside the point here. Egad on the broken teeth, man. That is my worst nightmare.

Nintendo crafted this ad to be perfectly in line with the prevailing advertising style of the mid-late 1990s. Look back at a game magazine from that time and you'll see that almost every ad shows someone getting hurt, dismembered, or flagellated in some manner. And if not that, then they were too busy distributing boogers / urine / feces / something gross all over the place to feel left out. The edgy advertising trend started when Sega began purposely assaulting Nintendo's kiddie image in the early 1990s. And it spread. By 1996, even Mario games were advertised this way. Did you Play it Loud?

I covered this phenomenon to some extent back in my Game Ads A-Go-Go column on GameSetWatch in 2006 (especially "Proof that Video Game Companies Want You to Die"). The 90s were a time of growing pains — a sort of "teenage years" for the medium — when the game industry, gamers, press, and lawmakers alike embarked on an entirely new cultural exploration of mature themes in video games. I'm sure I could write a whole article on the subject, so I'll stop now and let you count your teeth.

[ From GamePro, May 1997, p.171 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your all-time favorite version of Tetris?

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