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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #38: Tomb Raider

“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.

For better or worse, Lara Croft is the most famous woman in all of gaming. But all her fame might be a fluke, because the developers behind her creation claim it was all an accident.

Formed in the late 80s, Core Design was an unlikely candidate to be creating a wide open 3D title like Tomb Raider. The developer’s biggest claim to fame at the time was Rick Dangerous, a game that could charitably be called an “homage” to Indiana Jones. Other gamers might remember Chuck Rock, a platformer created by Core that starred a dimwitted caveman. But like many British developers of the time, they didn’t think about their limitations and just went for it. This definitely applied to Toby Gard, the artist behind Lara Croft’s original look.

Like Rick Dangerous, Lara began life as a man with no name that bore a striking resemblance to Harrison Ford. Fearing a lawsuit, Gard redrew the character as a woman and began tinkering with a number of different personalities. The artist told IGN in 2008 that the proto-Tomb Raider began life as a “sociopathic blonde” before morphing into a muscle woman, a “flat topped hip hopster,” and a “Nazi-like militant in a baseball cap.” None of these looks fit the game that Core envisioned, but Gard’s final pass at it proved to be the winner. Laura Cruz, “a tough South American woman in a long braid and hot pants,” was born. (more…)

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Video Game History Foundation wants to create a digital record of the industry’s past

Frank Cifaldi is a developer who has worked on Mega Man Legacy Collection and IDARB, but he is also the founder of the Video Game History Foundation, a new non-profit that seeks to preserve and digitize the history of video games.

The Video Game History Foundation launched their first “Digital Collection” yesterday, focusing on The NES Launch in 1985. Cifaldi is also seeking donations to expand the scope of the Foundation, as detailed on their “What We’re Doing” page:

The heart of the Foundation is its digital library, an online repository of artifacts related to the history of video games and video game culture. The ultimate goal is to create a searchable, organized, always-online archive of verified, high-quality material that is accessible to researchers and historians as a public education resource.

All donations to the Video Game History Foundation are tax deductible, and I can’t wait to see what collections they come up with next.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Etcetera, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Switch, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #91: Madden NFL Football (Series)

“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.

A gambler will tell you that they believe Lady Luck will reward them for respecting a streak, and a professional football player will tell you that he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. The former is a wishful thinker, and the latter is a liar.

The sports world is filled with superstitions. As a Little Leaguer growing up, I could show you what a “rally cap” was and explain the importance of never touching the baselines. I understood completely why retired Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to change his underwear during a 12-game winning streak in 2011. I’ve even got strong opinions on what you say to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game. The answer is you don’t say anything, because talking to him at all is bad luck.

For decades, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx served as a well-known precursor to the Madden Curse. Those who believe in the Jinx are convinced that any player who appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated will experience some form of terrible luck, even though a handful of high-profile hits have obscured the long list of players who avoided the Jinx over the years. If the sheer number of cover subjects doesn’t dissuade you (more than 3,000 issues have been produced since the magazine’s launch in 1954), the illustrious career of Michael Jordan should. The basketball great has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record 50 times, and he’s had the kind of career that other athletes dream about… not counting his detour through Minor League Baseball and Space Jam.

But what of the Madden Curse? Although you’ll find a few executives at Electronic Arts who enjoy hyping up the current year’s game with talk of the Curse, most of them like to downplay it. In 2008, the then-President of EA Sports, Peter Moore, said, “I guess when you look back there’s a grain of truth to the Madden Curse.” At the time, he wasn’t wrong. Five of the last six offensive players on the cover succumbed to some horrible calamity. The publishing giant even considered producing a movie based on the Madden Curse in 2010, though that project seems to have fallen off the radar in the years since.

And that’s probably because the Madden Curse is as mythical as a wild turducken. (more…)

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Nominations now being accepted for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017

After inducting Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders into video gaming’s inner circle last year, the World Video Game Hall of Fame is ready to begin accepting nominations for its Class of 2017.

Any game is eligible to be enshrined in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and gamers of all stripes are encouraged to visit the Nominate A Game page to submit any title for nomination that fits the Selection Criteria:

  • Icon Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
  • Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
  • Geographical Reach: The game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
  • Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

All submissions for nominations must be made by March 6, and this year’s finalists will be announced on March 29.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be selected by an internal committee on the advice of an international team of “journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.” This year’s inductees will be announced as part of a special ceremony that’ll be held at The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY on May 4.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |


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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time: An Introduction and The Top 100

Visit our “Best Games” Hub Page every week to find original essays discussing each title from “The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” and their place in gaming history.

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

Is it even possible to select the greatest video games of all time in a scientific way? Do you just throw the question to so-called experts and let them hash it out in a no-holds-barred debate? Or is there some way to create a “Video Game Canon” that the wide-ranging community of developers, critics, and players can all agree on?

Probably not. But we can try.

Since gaming’s earliest days, dozens of publications have tried to sort through the noise and compile their own list of “The Best Video Games of All Time.” By analyzing all of these attempts at ranking the greatest games and combining them into a single list, we can figure out which games can rightly be called “The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time.” (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, Features, Mobile, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

It Came From 19XX: Silent Hill

itcamefrom19xx-silenthill-header

Horror games have changed in recent years. As “walking simulators” like Layers of Fear and hide-and-seek tributes such as Outlast have risen in popularity, old-school survival horror titles have become increasingly scarce. So join us, zombies and ghouls, as we revisit one of horror gaming’s classics in time for Halloween. (more…)

Posted in Features, PS2, PSP, Retro, Top Story, Wii | Tagged

I Am Setsuna, Moon Hunters, Sword Coast Legends, more added to PS Store

Square Enix’s throwback RPG, I Am Setsuna, is now available to download for the PS4. It’s actually quite the busy week for RPGs on the PlayStation Store, so let’s dive in…

Also now available to download for the PS4 is Moon Hunters, a co-op action RPG from Kitfox Games. It’s joined by a pair of RPGs inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, the free-to-play Neverwinter, and the “shared storytelling” of Sword Coast Legends.

Finally this week, Vblank Entertainment has surprise-released Retro City Rampage DX for the PSP. Yes, you read that right. Even four years after its original release, the 8-bit visuals and GTA-like gameplay are a unique combination.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. And a full rundown of this week’s new add-ons and discounts is available at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)

Posted in News, PS4, PSP, Vita | Tagged ,

Nominate your favorite game for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016

worldvideogamehalloffame

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) at The Strong Museum is once again seeking nominations for its World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Class of 2016 will be announced on May 5, but the museum will solicit suggestions from the general public until February 29. Anyone interested in nominating their favorite game should visit the Hall of Fame’s website, and they should also keep the selection criteria in mind:

  • Icon Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
  • Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
  • Geographical Reach: The game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
  • Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

Six games were selected for induction in 2015 (Doom, Pac-Man, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft), and a similar number of titles will likely make the cut in May. That means nine games from last year’s shortlist failed to be inducted (Angry Birds, FIFA International Soccer, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon Red/Blue, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders), but they’ll likely be at the top of the suggestion pool again this year.

This year’s finalists will be chosen by an internal advisory committee from the ICHEG, and will be revealed to the public on March 29. The new class of inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be selected by an international selection committee made up of journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.

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