Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever received a Nintendo console for Christmas? Tell us about it.
With the Wii U launching next weekend, it's worth taking a look back the Power Pad, one of Nintendo's first experiments in motion-based game control.
In this case, the controller (which decidedly lacked a second screen) took the form of a large vinyl mat with enormous soft buttons that one would lay upon the floor and
beat with one's fists stomp with one's feet to simulate running in an on-screen video game.
It didn't work too well, but I personally had a blast playing World Class Track Meet tournaments with the Power Pad at the neighbor's house up the street. I recall playing in improvised teams of two, where one player from each team would stand and run on two of the forward facing buttons, and another player on each team would sit behind them on the floor and pound the rear buttons simultaneously in an attempt to make their character run faster.
This was apparently possible (I'm working from memory here — I haven't used a Power Pad in a long time) because each column of buttons is linked together electronically in the Power Pad, so that a push on any one button in any one column is like a push on any other button in that column. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I can't test it because the Power Pad I happen to have doesn't work.
By the way, I apologize for the uncharacteristically poor quality of the source material here. This came from a particular issue of Nintendo Power that I must have read hundreds of times, literally, so the creases are a natural byproduct of my youthful Nintendo-fueled enthusiasm.
Discussion Topic of the Week: Tell us your Power Pad memories. Have you ever used one?
Discussion Topic of the Week: Tell us about your most novel experience with Mario Paint. Did you make any music or animations?
For me personally, the Super Game Boy (1994) was one of the most exciting video game peripherals ever released. It liberated Game Boy games from that unit's blurry, dark screen, opening up a whole new world of gaming to those who preferred gaming on a TV set.
The fact that it also included a remake / extension of Donkey Kong, one of my favorite games of olde, made it a must-buy. I still remember the day I got it — my family drove to a local shopping mall, and I decided to stay in the car playing Donkey Kong on the Game Boy (even though not in color) instead of going inside. I haven't been that excited about a new game in a long time.
(By the way, I first talked about the Super Game Boy in an early Retro Scan way back in March 2006.)
Discussion Topic of the Week: When did you first get a Super Game Boy? Did you have any Super Game Boy enhanced games for it?
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever felt sick while playing a video game in 3D?
I recently found this cardboard tip sheet for Crystalis in a pile of my old stuff at my parents' house. As you can see, I cut it out of a JELLO Gelatin Pops box in or around 1990.
The tip sheet seems to serve a triple marketing purpose: 1) to promote NES games (specifically Crystalis, in this case), 2) to promote the 1990 Nintendo World Championships, and 3) to promote Nintendo Power magazine.
I love finding tie-in marketing artifacts like this — I'm glad I saved it all those years ago.
Discussion Topic of the Week: Do you remember cutting video game tips out of boxes, magazines, or other paper publications? Tell us about it.
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.
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite E3 memory?