2020
05.18

The Game-Over Making of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, 25 Years Later

From Playboy.

Cinematic adaptations of video games are a thing we take for granted these days. In this very year so far, we’ve had movies based on Tomb Raider and Rampage, while the last couple of years have seen Resident EvilAssassin’s Creed and World of Warcraft receive the same treatment. Looking ahead, there are plans for Uncharted and Five Nights at Freddy’s movies, and even a Sonic the Hedgehog one, too.

While it’s heartening, in a way, for gamers to see their medium appreciated by a wider audience, a regrettable pattern has also emerged—painfully low review scores. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, of the 34 live-action video game movies theatrically released throughout the world to date, just one has crept above 50 percent (the aforementioned Rampage)—and only by a few percentage points at that. The vast majority fall well below the halfway mark, right down to 0 percent, a dishonor held by the panned Tekken film of 2009. Continue reading “The Game-Over Making of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, 25 Years Later” »

2020
05.17

Nintendo’s Greatest Easter Eggs

From Official Nintendo Magazine. This article originally reached a readership of over 100,000.

Put down that Easter egg. Honestly, you’re going to make yourself sick if you eat any more chocolate. The Day of Rabbit-Themed Confectionery has came and went so, while your blood sugar returns to normal, why don’t we have a look at another kind of Easter egg? By that we mean those from Nintendo games.

Easter eggs are a long-running tradition of game developers placing hidden secrets and sly references within their works. We aren’t talking cheat codes or unlockables meant to reward players, or glitches that were never intended for public manipulation. The eggs in question are little touches that are put there on purpose but have no bearing on gameplay or progression, intended simply as something to bring a grin (or contorted expression of confusion) to a gamer’s face. For instance, did you clock Majora’s Mask hanging on the wall in A Link Between Worlds? Or Earthbound catchphrase ‘fuzzy pickles!’ appearing in Animal Crossing: New Leaf? These mean nothing in the grand scheme of things – just a nostalgic nod to the past for eagle-eyed players. Continue reading “Nintendo’s Greatest Easter Eggs” »

2020
05.17

Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire Preview

From Official Nintendo Magazine.

What? It’s Evolving!

2003 was a pivotal time for Pokémon, in more ways than one. Already well on the way to its current standing as Nintendo’s second-biggest franchise after Mario, it found its mainstream popularity beginning to wane as its main demographic became teenagers and gradually began to surrender the series to the ages. It would eventually regain popularity, partially in a haze of sepia-toned, 8-bit nostalgia, but a current generation growing up with modern versions, while perhaps aware of its historic significance, will never experience the bona fide phenomenon that was Pokémon in the late 1990s. Continue reading “Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire Preview” »

2020
05.17

Maiden of Black Water Will Connect You With Japan’s Morbid Past

From Playboy.com

It was a cold, dark, stormy November night in the heart of the city, days after Halloween. My friend and I were taking shelter at my place, freezing rain beating down on the windowpanes and tree branches casting spidery shadows across the living room, the wind howling like a lone wolf. A late-night beer and Wii U session proved a reliable distraction from the weather, as did one of our chats about the gaming industry. Nothing heavy or particularly insightful – usually just discussing how the last boss in EarthBound is actually a foetus or seeing who can do the best impression of the ubiquitous merchant from Resident Evil 4. That’s about as cultured as we get.

Continue reading “Maiden of Black Water Will Connect You With Japan’s Morbid Past” »

2020
05.16

From BBC The Social.

Since the early days of the medium, speed is something that’s been rewarded in video gaming. Two of its most well-known icons have it woven into their gameplay; the original Super Mario Bros series added your remaining time to your score upon reaching the end of a level, encouraging faster playthroughs, while Sonic the Hedgehog was even born from co-creator Yuji Naka’s attempts to race through Mario’s first level as quickly as possible.

Much like real-life track and field, a certain section of gaming has come to be based around agility; alongside the rise of e-sports – a huge industry centred around public, competitive gameplay – a phenomenon known as speedrunning has emerged, in which players post their quickest times for getting to the end credits of a game. It’s something that’s resonated with gaming fans around the globe, giving rise to wildly popular YouTube channels, charity events and groups who promote the practice. Continue reading “A Brief History of Speedrunning” »