The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle

Sega Logo

I’ve been reading Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris that chronicles the rise of Sega during the 90’s. It’s a delightful book, full of endlessly fascinating details, such as how Target’s lenient return policy allowed customers to return years-old NES’s in order to get credit towards a SNES. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Nintendo and it led to Target pulling Nintendo products from the stores for a time. I lived through this era and reading the behind the scenes drama that went on has been very enjoyable. My nostalgia bones are all tingling right now. Continue reading The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle

Zombies in Video Games: A Look Back

Zombies have taken over GamerSushi! As Eddy mentioned, a lot of people are getting zombie fatigue, but GamePro was nice enough to take a look back at a history of zombies in video games throughout the years and it’s quite a nice way to get back into the undead spirit.

Personally, Dry Bones from Super Mario Bros 3 didn’t strike me as a zombie, but since they included him, I can’t help but agree. Which leads me to wonder why some Koopa Troopas rise from their graves to torment Mario again and some don’t. Maybe Magikoopa brings them back? Also, Zombies Ate My Neighbors was the bomb back in the SNES days.

Anyway, head here to check out the feature. And don’t act snooty because you know you love zombies, too.

Source: GamePro

Great Moments In Video Game Music: Actraiser – Blood Pool

Actraiser was a SNES game that was so unique that I am pretty sure there has never been a game like it ever since. The game starts out as a 2D side-scroller, like Castlevania, but after completing a stage, the game turns into a SimCity-like simulation where you try to rebuild a town that has been under attack by demons. The action was epic, the simulation addictive and the music, especially this song from the first Blood Pool stage, was tremendous. Truly a hidden gem.

Top Six: Super Mario Games

With the release of New Super Mario Bros Wii for the…uh…Wii, I decided to list my favorite Mario games. Now, this list only covers the traditional platforming Mario games. No Mario Kart (sorry, Eddy), no RPG and no Tennis. I looked at all 13 (including Game Boy games) and this is the list I came up with. It was much harder than I thought, mainly due to much consternation over innovation, originality and replay value. I have already steeled myself for a fan boy beating.
Continue reading Top Six: Super Mario Games

Seething In SimCity

simcity-winceAs newly elected mayor of SimCity (thanks to my Virtual Console) I pledged to finally do what I had never been able to when I originally played this as a kid: create a town with a population of 500,000 citizens. As I write this, I have 460,000 people and things have been running very smoothly…until now.

See, my citizens have developed a case of the dreaded, “We So Stupid” Syndrome. For those of you that don’t know, WSSS is a horrible disease that affects people all over the world, not just in video game simulations. I have used all the land in my city. I have been a decent leader, who built all industrial zones around the edge of town, minimizing pollution. Of course, that didn’t stop the little artificial bastards from bitching about it!

I built all their houses far away, so the only time they would ever enter an area with anything less than pristine air would be…IF THEY WORKED THERE! And if you work in a place that pollutes the air, but rather than get a job at the mall (I built lots of those, too!), you would prefer to blame the mayor for the desecration of the air, which you in fact cause by working there… kill yourself.

No, wait. I need you for the population count. Which brings me to next point: if I build a residential zone, I want houses built there, not schools or hospitals! All I want is to cram enough of these little morons into the limited space I have available to me (apparently, invading the neighboring towns is out of the questions) in order to get to the half million mark to get that damn Mario statue I have always longed for. And these fools decide to build 14 hospitals and 12 schools, including 2 hospitals right next to each other!

Well, I certainly hope there weren’t that many sick or enfeebled people in 13 of those hospitals because I got a little trigger happy with my bulldozer and kinda demolished them all. Course, my little resiliant Sim-tards decided to rebuild one of them right in the same spot. I felt like the Joker in The Dark Knight, walking out of Gotham County General, tapping that detonator. Eventually the mooks learned their lesson. And as for those schools, well…that was just fun. Don’t worry, I left one of them standing. Too bad it’s all the way on the other side of the river! Good luck with that commute everyday!

sim3-winceSpeaking of commutes, when you to a certain point, the Sim-jerks start getting uppity and demanding things. “Residents Demand A Stadium” started flashing on the bottom of the screen. Well, sure they do. But that’s going to raise the tax rate and if it dares hover anywhere over 3%, they start tea bagging each other! I mean, throwing tea parties. Or something. Then they wanted an airport. Now, I am not a cruel leader. I like to think of myself as a benevolent dictator. So I granted them their airport. Hell, can’t be bad for growth and business right?

Wrong. Literally 2 minutes later, a plane crashed. So either I built my airport just before happy hour ended or I have terrorists running around my city, which is a giant problem since I didn’t build any fire departments. And we all know fire departments is how you fight terrorism. So I had to lock the city down for a bit, demolish the nuclear power plants in order to prevent any yellow cake from getting stolen and then I realized I had better destroy any bakeries as well, because I am pretty sure they have yellow cake, too.

Crisis averted, I think. I saw one of our planes take off and fly over the city, so I am going to assume that was my personal army on its way to Borat’s country to deliver giant cans of whip-ass to anyone who speaks a different language. With any luck, I will manage to sardine some more Sim-fools into my city and get that Mario statue and finally achieve a boyhood dream. Wow…games sure do make you feel like a loser sometimes, but God, is it worth it.

Anyhow, what’s the hardest you’ve ever worked for an in-game secret?

Why Do You Love Your Favorite Console?

With apologies to Episode III: Revenge of the Sith…

Console War! Sony and Microsoft are battered by the ruthless onslaught of the Nintendo Wii. There are exclusives on all sides. Fanboys are everywhere!

So even the most non-partisan gamer has a favorite console. I hate the console wars, but I prefer my PS3 to all others. Why do you guys like your console?

Continue reading Why Do You Love Your Favorite Console?

Rumor: M-M-M-Music Breaker!!

Killer Instinct has some of the greatest sound bytes of any game, fighting or otherwise, that I can remember (ultra! ultra! ultra!). In addition, it had some really wicked combos that were a joy to pull off, no matter how cheap they were.

So it’s with some giddiness that I post the story that’s been circling various gaming sites today, namely that a supposed picture has been snapped of Killer Instinct 3 sheet music for the upcoming game. I’m kind of deliriously enthused.

Continue reading Rumor: M-M-M-Music Breaker!!