Most Recent: Features

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #66: Mega Man 2

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

The first Mega Man game is a bit of an odd duck, which has become even more pronounced as the years go by. The graphics are simplistic, the sound is tinny, there’s only six Robot Masters instead of the traditional eight, and there’s even a score counter (a feature that was jettisoned from the dozens of sequels that followed). There’s just a smoothness to subsequent games in the franchise that Capcom had yet to master with the first entry.

But like most Mega Man fans, I only learned all this after the fact. At the time, whatever memories I have of the first game were formed by guide writers who described it as an unfairly difficult game, old episodes of Captain N, and the fact that none of the local rental outlets owned a copy (unsurprisingly, Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf was always available).

I finally got the chance to see what all the fuss was about with Mega Man 2, which was also the first game in the Mega Man franchise to be spearheaded by Capcom’s Keiji Inafune. With an expanded role in the sequel’s development, Inafune became known as the “Father” of Mega Man to plenty of fans, and codified many of the traditions and patterns the series is known for. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Features, Mobile, PC, PS2, PS4, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Wii U, Xbox One | Tagged

Kickstart This! The Devil’s Eight and Village Monsters

Games are like any form of art or entertainment… you need to be in theright mood to play them (or at least to enjoy them).

Sometimes I want a game that totally surprises me, bringing me something completely unusual and off the rails that makes me sit up and say “WOW” in big shiny letters. Other times, I want something familiar, a genre that I can soak in like a warm color-bombed bath and a game that just does everything perfectly. This game will usually offer an experience I find familiar, but with something slightly different to keep it fresh, and with lots of little touches that let me know the game designer cared enough to include them.

Thankfully, in the Kickstarter realm, the world is your oyster, and you can usually find both. There are now over 200 games on Steam that started life as a Kickstarter project… some that are wacky and way out there, while others deliver the essentials with a smile.

Which brings us nicely to The Devil’s Eight and Village Monsters(more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story |

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #22: Super Mario Kart

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Even from its earliest days, the personalities behind the video game industry looked to pro wrestling’s combination of spectacle and soap opera for tips on how to behave. This dedication to competition came to a head in the early 90s when Nintendo and Sega engaged in the first “Console War.”

Beginning with the “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” campaign in 1990, Sega began mercilessly picking at their rival over a variety of claims, some provable and some not. But that was just a warm-up for the infamous “Blast Processing” campaign and Nintendo’s eventual reply of asking their fans to “Play It Loud.” The Genesis and Super NES used these advertisements to compete in a head-to-head contest for the love and support of gamers everywhere, but the heaviest fighting actually took place on playgrounds and lunch tables between kids that weren’t even old enough to shave.

No game better symbolized this battleground of friend-versus-friend than Super Mario Kart. (more…)

Posted in Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Wii U | Tagged

PAX West 2017 Notebook: Nintendo’s Nindies Summer Showcase

Nintendo brought a fresh batch of Nindies games into the spotlight today during their Nindies Summer Showcase. Over the span of 22 minutes, a ton of new indie games were announced for the Switch during a rapid-fire, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stream. Luckily, I had my handy notebook ready, so here’s a complete breakdown of the games that were shown. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Features, Previews, Switch, Top Story | Tagged , , ,


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Kickstart This! Lona: Realm of Colors

I like to think I put my money where my mouth is, and this is very true of my relationship with Kickstarter. You could say I have something of a small obsession with helping other creatives get their projects off the ground. I jumped on the Yooka-Laylee bandwagon, funded inverted-planet flyer InnerSpace (which is now getting a console release), and still hold out hope that Knite & The Ghost Lights will see the light of day.

My most recent campaign contribution was to the shiny PELDA Pro battery case for the Nintendo Switch, because, like Gollum, I wants it! That means I cannot really afford to fund any more games. Which is a shame, because if I could, I would be funding Lona: Realm of Colors (even if they do spell “colour” wrong).

Paint brushes at the ready… (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story |

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #100: Pong

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Why were early game developers so fixated on bouncing a ball back and forth?

It’s hard to pinpoint the very first video game, but it most likely belongs to A.S. Douglas and OXO. This electronic version of Tic-Tac-Toe was created by Douglas in 1952 to support his doctoral thesis, Interactions Between Human and Computer. But after that, the only question early gamemakers wanted to ask was, “Tennis, anyone?”

William Higinbotham was probably unfamiliar with OXO when he unleashed Tennis For Two on the world on October 18, 1958. Presented to the public during an open house at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the game harnessed the pulses of an oscilloscope to give players the illusion of a playing field with a net in the center and a ball bouncing back and forth. Unlike Douglas, Higinbotham was trying to wow a crowd with the possibilities of science and add a little pizazz to the BNL’s normally staid event:

“The instruction book that came with the computer described how to plot trajectories and bouncing shapes, for research. I thought, ‘Hell, this would make a good game.’ It took me four hours to design one and a technician a couple of weeks to put it together. Everybody stood in line to play. The other exhibits were pretty static, obviously. The game seemed to me sort of an obvious thing.”

After the open house, Higinbotham’s invention was dismantled, and his status as a game development pioneer was forgotten… until the early 70s when he was dragged into the legal battle between Table Tennis and Pong. (more…)

Posted in Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #71: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

“They say I can’t lose. I say you can’t win!”
– Mike Tyson, to Little Mac, in 1987’s Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

“There’s no one that can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart! I want to eat his children!”
– Mike Tyson, about Lennox Lewis, in 2000

In the 13 years between those two quotes, Mike Tyson went from being the face of boxing (and Nintendo’s best-selling Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!) to becoming a punchline for late night comedians. In between, he was convicted of sexual assault in 1992 and bit off a part of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997.

From that moment on, Tyson would fit right in with the cartoon characters that made up the undercard to his eponymous game. After his retirement from the ring, Tyson would remake himself as something of a gentle giant, constantly tending to the pigeons he kept on the roof of his apartment building. His later decision to act in absurdist comedies like The Hangover and Mike Tyson Mysteries (an animated Scooby-Doo parody where Tyson is assisted by the ghost of the Marquess of Queensberry) just cemented it. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Wii U | Tagged

The Games of August 2017

We’re into the dog days of Summer now, but the video game industry is planning a rather robust round of new releases for the next four weeks. Sure, Madden NFL 18 will officially kick off the end of the Summer as it does every year, but we’re also getting wild new games from Telltale, Sega, Ubisoft, Naughty Dog, and Ninja Theory.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a Sonic game made by fans, an Uncharted game without Nathan Drake, or a Mario game with a gun, then now’s your chance… (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |