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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

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

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

Content Crash #3: Will New Games Always Cost $60?

Welcome everyone to the Content Crash podcast. I’m your host, Dan Hartnack, and with as always, Keno Eastmond.

Today’s topic… we’d like to talk about the pricing of games. The standard has forever been that a brand new AAA release comes out and it is $60. That happened way back in the 90s with Nintendo and the Super NES. And all the way to today, that number has not changed, for the most part.

But why is that? And will it ever change?


You can subscribe to the Content Crash podcast on YouTube or SoundCloud.

Posted in PC, Podcast, PS2, PS3, PS4, Retro, Switch, Top Story, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |


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Just Dance 2018 will launch for all current consoles (and the Wii) on October 24

I can’t believe it… someone is still producing Wii games in 2017. Ubisoft has announced that Just Dance 2018 will be available on October 24 for all current consoles (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U), as well as the original Wii.

The Just Dance 2018 soundtrack will include more than 40 songs, and Ubisoft delivered a sneak peek at the first 11 as part of the game’s first trailer:

Just Dance 2018 Tracklist… So Far

  • Ariana Grande (featuring Nicki Minaj) – “Side To Side”
  • Bebe Rexha (featuring Lil Wayne) – “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)”
  • Beyonce – “Naughty Girl”
  • Big Freedia – “Make it Jingle”
  • Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
  • Clean Bandit (featuring Sean Paul & Anne-Marie) – “Rockabye”
  • Groove Century – “Daddy Cool”
  • Hatsune Miku – “Love Ward”
  • HyunA – Bubble Pop!”
  • Jamiroquai – Automaton”
  • Shakira (featuring Maluma) – “Chantaje”

Ubisoft also announced plans for an exclusive addition to Just Dance 2018 on the Switch that makes use of the console’s HD Rumble feature. Players will be able to grab two Joy-Con controllers and load up Double Rumble Mode to create “new Double Rumble choreographies that are tied to the game’s vibration system.”

But don’t worry, six players will still be able to bust a move in Just Dance 2018 with the mobile-friendly Just Dance Controller App on the PS4, Switch, Wii U, and Xbox One.

Posted in News, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged ,

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

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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

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…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Xbox 360 | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #56: Ms. Pac-Man

“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.

It’s easy to forget nowadays, but Ms. Pac-Man was actually created by accident. Like Doc Brown’s invention of time travel after a tumble from the toilet, Ms. Pac-Man was created when a group of game developers from MIT attempted to release an unauthorized sequel to Pac-Man known as “Crazy Otto.”

Before turning their sights on the biggest arcade game of the day, the development team, General Computer, first used their programming skills to create an “enhancement kit” for Atari’s Missile Command. Instead of creating their own game from scratch, the enhancement kit hooked into Atari’s code and altered it to provide a new gameplay experience. Essentially, General Computer created the first expansion pack.

Even though the enhancement kit required an original Missile Command cabinet, Atari later attempted to sue General Computer for copyright infringement. But rather than become mired in a protracted court case, the arcade giant and the enterprising college students reached a settlement. Atari would hire General Computer to design original arcade games so long as they agreed not to create any additional enhancement kits without the permission of the original game publisher. The developers quickly signed on, but first they took a nearly complete version of “Crazy Otto” to Midway, the North American distributor of Pac-Man. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged