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Insert Quarter – Shadow of the Colossus: From Modern Classic to Classic Remake

Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Sony and Bluepoint Games repackaged Shadow of the Colossus and Ico in a “High Definition” bundle for the PS3 in 2011. In addition to promoting the latter with the proper boxart for the first time in North America, the re-release gave PS3 owners a new opportunity to return to the worlds of Fumito Ueda. But with the PS4’s launch looming, Sony had even bigger plans for Shadow of the Colossus, and they wanted to take the famously frustrating game in a brand new direction. (more…)

Posted in Insert Quarter, PS4, Top Story | Tagged

Insert Quarter – Shadow of the Colossus: From Humble Beginnings to Hollywood to Art

Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Sony recently teamed up with developer Bluepoint Games to take Shadow of the Colossus and reimagine it “from the ground up” for the PS4. As one of the first games that could truly be described as “artistic,” it holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. But how did it get there?

Though it was critically-acclaimed from the very beginning, Ico was only a moderate hit for Sony and developer Fumito Ueda when it was released in 2001. But Ueda was thrilled with the game’s artistic ambition, and decided to create something even bigger as a followup. (more…)

Posted in Insert Quarter, PS2, PS3, Top Story | Tagged

Insert Quarter: Who Came Up With National Video Games Day?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Yesterday was “National Video Games Day,” a holiday that’s designed to honors those special video game memories we all have. But I can’t figure out why the organizers of National Video Games Day chose September 12. It doesn’t celebrate the launch of Pong (that’s November 29)… It’s not Ralph Baer’s birthday (that’s March 8)… It’s not even the anniversary of “Mortal Monday” (believe it or not, that’s today, September 13).

So where did National Video Games Day come from? Frank Cifaldi, of The Video Game History Foundation, tried to get to the bottom of it, and his search lead him to stacks of old newspapers, as well as multiple reference books devoted to holidays. But in the end, he succeeded:

As it turns out, there are multiple websites dedicated specifically to explaining the history behind days like this. Unfortunately, none of them had any real answers for National Video Game Day. Not one of these sites could explain the history of the day. One of them gave up mid-paragraph and tried to sell me popcorn instead.

National Video Games Day is so poorly documented that the internet can’t even agree on the date: some sources say July 8th, others say September 12th.

You can read all about Cifaldi’s search at The Video Game History Foundation.

Posted in Insert Quarter |

Insert Quarter: Is Uber’s CEO the Second-Best Wii Sports: Tennis Player in the World?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Whether they’re disrupting the marketplace or reinventing the workflow, Silicon Valley executives love to brag. And Uber CEO Travis Kalanick might be the biggest braggart of them all. Kalanick loves to say that his glorified taxi company is changing the way we think about transportation, but did you know that he also dominates the competition on the tennis court in Wii Sports? To hear him tell it, he even holds the second-best ranking on the game’s worldwide leaderboard.

But wait a minute, you say, I don’t think there is a worldwide leaderboard in Wii Sports. And you would be correct. Such a ranking is completely fictional. So what is Kalanick talking about? Kyle Orland, of Ars Technica, decided to find out.

Orland talked to Kalanick’s business partners to learn the history of the anecdote, and studied the scoring algorithm in Wii Sports to determine if its even possible to be the “second-best” Wii Sports tennis player:

I’ve spent an admittedly ridiculous amount of time looking into this one sentence over the past few days. As it turns out, getting to the bottom of Kalanick’s Wii Sports skill requires delving into the vagaries of human memory, reverse engineered asymptotic leveling systems, and the semantic meaning of video game achievement itself.

Cannily quoting The Simpsons, Orland decrees that Kalanick’s claim is true (“Short answer: ‘Yes, with an if…’ “), but only if you filter out all the gibberish and then completely misidentify the scoring system used in Wii Sports (” Long answer: ‘No, with a but…’ “). But Orland turns it all into a compelling narrative, and it’s a great way to spend part of your Saturday.

You can read the full explanation at Ars Technica.

Posted in Insert Quarter, Wii | Tagged


Insert Quarter: Why Are Indie Developers Embracing the Boxed Retail Release?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Steam has completely taken over the game-buying experience on the PC, and digital storefronts from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are threatening to do the same thing to console players. So why have so many indie developers decided to work with publishers and distributors to launch their games as boxed retail releases?’s Christopher Dring has several theories. For starters, he believes there’s still a lot of money to be made with physical game discs. But many developers also love the idea of seeing their small labor of love sharing shelf space with the big boys.

Last week, Stardew Valley was released in a box, as was Yooka-Laylee. In the coming weeks, Tequila Works is preparing two boxed products for Rime and The Sexy Brutale. There are several businesses that are set up to help indie studios release their games in places like GameStop and GAME, such as U&I, 505 Games, Sold Out and Badland Games. Other publishers include physical distribution as part of their key selling points, such as Bandai Namco, Koch Media, GameTrust (GameStop’s publishing arm) and a stream of others.

Yet it’s a risky area to invest in. Boxed products are costly and lack the flexibility of the digital marketplace. Going through retail also loses some of that direct contact with the customer. So why bother?

Dring spoke to indie developers like Psyonix (Rocket League) and Sold Out (Overcooked) to learn about their experiences with launching a boxed retail release, and he makes his case that more indie developers should explore the practice at

Posted in Insert Quarter, PS4, Switch, Xbox One | Tagged , , ,

Insert Quarter: What Makes the Final Fantasy Franchise Tick?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

After more than a decade in development, Final Fantasy XV will finally make its PS4 and Xbox One debut this September. But how did we get to this point? More specifically, how did the Final Fantasy franchise grow from its humble beginnings on the NES to become the juggernaut that it is today?

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier wants to answer those questions too, so between now and September, he has vowed to replay and reexamine every mainline entry in the Final Fantasy franchise. Is there a certain “feel” to a Final Fantasy game? And do these RPGs still hold up today? Schreier is sure going to find out:

To prepare for FFXV, I’m starting a new project here at Kotaku. For the next five months, I’ll be digging into every mainline Final Fantasy game, in order, and taking a look at how the series has evolved over the past 30 years. Why has Final Fantasy resonated with so many people? What makes it so special? What exactly does it mean for a game to feel like a Final Fantasy?

The full article is available for your perusal at Kotaku.

Posted in Insert Quarter, Retro |

Insert Quarter: What Does the Return of Nintendo’s Red Logo Mean?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

During the Wii’s heyday, Nintendo dropped the iconic red coloring from their logo and switched to a sleek silver shade. Combined with the smooth white of the Wii chassis, the rebranding gave Nintendo an air of cool that is typically reserved for the design-obsessed Apple. But after a while, many fans began to feel that draining the color out of the logo drained some of the fun out of Nintendo.

Nintendo Enthusiast’s A.K. Rahming is one of those fans and he argues that Nintendo’s red resurrection might be a signal that the company is getting ready to bring back that fun-loving spirit with the upcoming launch of the NX:


Nintendo is known for dropping major surprises, but the company’s latest surprise has a lot of folks in the gaming community quite pleased. Nintendo of America has recently done a full re-branding of their logo back to the classic red and white. The whole company transformed to the minimalist gray-white color scheme with the dawn of the Wii and DS era, and this branding went on to continue for the current Wii U and 3DS era (albeit with a little hint of color provided from the logos of both systems).

The full article is available for your perusal at Nintendo Enthusiast.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Insert Quarter, Retro, Wii, Wii U |

Insert Quarter: Inside the (Probable) Failure of Apple TV


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Frustration gripped stock market analysts and game journalists alike as Apple seemed to be uninterested in producing an Apple TV set-top box that could play console-style games. For years, members from each group argued that a gaming-capable microconsole from Apple would be a massive hit. Some went so far as to claim it could possibly topple the console market served by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

These same predictions were spread far and wide when Apple released their revamped Apple TV microconsole last year. With full controller support and a wide array of console-quality titles, the new Apple TV seemed destined for big sales and wide acceptance. But along the way, something happened that made the Apple TV more irrelevant than ever.

With developers dropping support for the device in droves (including Disney Infinity 3.0, the biggest game available at the Apple TV’s launch), Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland thinks the microconsole may never find an audience:

But momentum certainly isn’t on Apple’s side as far as that argument goes. Back in September, in an overall bearish analysis of Apple TV’s gaming potential, I gamely offered that “for a parent with a young child begging to get into the Disney Infinity universe… an Apple TV with its intuitive remote, its suite of easy-to-use media apps, its relatively low $150 price, and its familiar Apple name could look more appealing than the likes of the Xbox One or the PS4.” So far, it seems that even that limited use case has failed to make much of an impact in the marketplace.

The full article is available for your perusal at Ars Technica.

Posted in Insert Quarter, Mobile |