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Insert Quarter: The History of Music Games


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

Almost 50 years ago, Paul and Art Garfunkel asked, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” in their hit song, “Mrs. Robinson.” DiMaggio would later tell Simon that he hadn’t gone anywhere, even though his playing days were long behind him. Likewise, today’s gamers have probably asked themselves, what happened to all the music games? The conventional wisdom says that they just don’t sell anymore, but who can turn down an invitation to rock out with your plastic guitar out?

IGN’s Chris Reed dug in to the history of the music from its humble roots (1996’s PaRappa the Rapper) all the way through the Guitar Here/Rock Band rivalry and into the future of the genre:

Music/rhythm games have run a surprisingly dynamic path through gaming history. Some genres drift into popularity and gradually fade out as technology and popular taste change. You might not even realize it’s happened until one day you look around and wonder, for instance, where all the 3D platformers went. Music games, on the other hand, moseyed along under the radar for the better part of a decade before taking off like a shot, attaining meteoric success before drying up nearly all at once.

You can read the rest of the article at IGN.

Posted in DS, News, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Madden NFL 15 spikes the competition by outselling all games in August 2014

maddnenfl15-boxEven though his stance said, “stop,” Richard Sherman took it to the house as the cover athlete of Madden NFL 15. While it’s too early to be concerned with The Curse, EA Sports’ latest football sim, as expected, toppled the competition and emerged as the best-selling game of August 2014, according to The NPD Group.

Only a small number of new releases made their way onto store shelves last month and many of them were re-releases of older titles. This tactic helped Diablo III: Reaper of Souls reach the #2 spot as the “Ultimate Evil Edition” is now available for previous-generation and current-generation consoles. And thanks to its PlayStation debut, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare cracked the top ten for the first time at #7.

Joystiq posits that this lack of major releases is the reason why game sales were down when compared to last August. The eighth month of 2013 saw the release of Madden NFL 25 as well as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Saints Row IV, and Disney Infinity.

A full look at the top ten best-selling games of August 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)

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The Last of Us returns to the top of the best-seller list in July 2014 NPD report


In previous years, the best-sellers chart for the month of July would normally be dominated by the latest entry in the NCAA Football series. But EA Sports canceled the series last Fall, so a new emperor is sitting upon the July Throne in 2014. Or rather, an emperor we’ve seen before in a spiffy new set of clothes.

This is a roundabout way of saying that the Remastered re-release of Sony’s The Last of Us (combined with more sales on the PS3) pushed the game to the top of the best-sellers chart. July was a pretty sparse month as far as new releases go, but 505’s Sniper Elite III also cracked the top ten. It was number eight… with a bullet.

You can check out July’s complete top ten list (which includes May releases Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8 hanging tough in the top five) after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo Download: Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, Double Dragon II, more


The Nintendo eShop has been updated on this fine Thursday and Double Dragon II: The Revenge leads a mostly anonymous pack of titles. I spent a lot of time busting heads with the Lee brothers back in the late 80s and early 90s, and The Revenge is as good as it gets. Plus, any game that features a battle inside a flying helicopter with a malfunctioning door is just fun.

Also available this week is Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, the latest addition to Capcom’s “Mega Man August.” As the title makes plain, Battle Chip Challenge is a card battling game set within the Mega Man Battle Network universe.

Over on the 3DS side of the store is Gaiabreaker, a nifty looking vertically-scrolling shooter, and Hidden Haunts: Gothic Masquerade, a hidden object game.

More information on all of these games (as well as a few others) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U |

Nintendo Download: Guacamelee!, Bombing Bastards, Squids Odyssey, more


How can you not be intrigued by a game known as Bombing Bastards? The game, which is an homage to the Bomberman franchise, is now available through the Wii U eShop courtesy of developer Sanuk Games. And it’s joined by another uniquely named homage (this time to lucha libre wrestling): Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition.

Over on the 3DS, players will be able to download Squids Odyssey for the first time. The game is actually an enhanced compilation of two other games (Squids and Squids Wild West) and is described as “a unique mix of an action and turn-based RPG.”

More information on all of these games, as well as many more (including the Wii U release of Mario Tennis: Power Tour), can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U | Tagged

Nintendo Download: Shovel Knight, Castlevania III, Wii Sports Club, more


The time to dispense shovel justice is upon us. Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight is now available to download through the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U and 3DS. The ridiculously retro side-scroller has been available to Kickstarter backers since yesterday, but now everyone will get the chance to slam a shovel down upon the group of evildoers known as The Order of No Quarter.

While Yacht Club strived to make Shovel Knight as authentically 8-bit as possible, an actual 8-bit game is available to download this week via the Virtual Console. 3DS and Wii U owners are now able to purchase Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, one of the franchise’s best games.

If you’re looking for something a little newer, Nintendo also released the final two games in the Wii Sports Club collection: Baseball and Boxing. All five games can be downloaded individually from the eShop, or you can wait until July 25 to purchase the retail compilation.

More information on all of these titles (as well as many more) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U | Tagged , ,

Nintendo Download: Pushmo World, 2048, Super Dodge Ball, more


Nintendo has brought their Pushmo series of puzzlers to the Wii U with today’s launch of Pushmo World on the Wii U eShop. It’s joined by an absolutely ridiculous number of new games including…

  • How To Survive, a survival horror game (whoa, meta) for the Wii U.
  • 2048 (3DS), the mobile puzzler that was inspired in large part by Threes!
  • Super Dodge Ball (3DS and Wii U), one of the few dodge ball games ever to be produced and a stone cold NES classic.
  • Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition (3DS and Wii U), a fancified version of the popular platformer.

And that’s just the tip of this week’s new releases on the 3DS, Wii U, and DSi. More information on all of this week’s new releases can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U | Tagged

Nintendo Download: Street Fighter Alpha 2, Mega Man V, Swords & Soliders, more


Welcome to your weekly Nintendo Download report. This week, Nintendo has added four games to the Wii U eShop, three to the 3DS eShop, and one to the DSiWare Shop. Here we go…

The Wii U eShop is now home to Swords & Soldiers, a side-scrolling RTS; Squids Odyssey, a squiddy RPG; and Fit Music, a dancing/exercise game; and Street Fighter Alpha 2, a classic 2D fighter originally released for the Super NES.

Over on the 3DS eShop, Nintendo has added Mega Man V, the last Mega Man game released for the Game Boy; Turtle Tale, a turtley 2D platformer; and Alien On the Run, an overhead-style puzzle platformer.

Finally, Nintendo has added Lost Treasures of Alexandria to the DSiWare Shop. The game is, as you’d expect, a match-3 puzzler.

More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U |