It is Sonic's 20th anniversary this year. I used to love the Sonic the Hedgehog games as child. However, these days most of the Sonic games are pretty bad. I hope Sonic Generations reproduces the good old days of speed and fun platforming levels. Here is some fan art to celebrate this Sega All Star and his friends.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
I used to love Nintendo, they were so good in the 1990s. Now days it is all casual games and shovelware, with a first party game coming once or twice a year. It sucks to be a Wii owner in 2011. Here is my (kinda crappy) video that seeks to inspire others to speak out against Nintendo of America and their dubious track record of localizing pretty much nothing (I miss you Mother 3.) Come on Nintendo, bring on the good JRPGs!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) Nintendo 1990
Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the best games ever made. The title screen above speaks volumes about the quality of this sequel. Nintendo gave players a colorful and comical introduction to their much anticipated game by demonstrating a new leaf power-up and giving Mario some personality (noted in his impatient face as he waits for the leaf to drop in the screenshot.) This is the Mario game that showcased what the old Nintendo was truly capable of, and introduced flying, secret levels, and the Koopa Kids. If you are interested, the movie, The Wizard, is like a two hour commercial for Super Mario Bros. 3 starring Fred Savage, who went on to do pretty much nothing with his life.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Metal Slug 3 (Neo Geo) SNK 2000
Metal Slug 3 was one of the final games made by SNK before they sold out to Playmore and Eolith. This final effort represents the finest Metal Slug game in the series. Vehicles are aplenty, boss battles are very original, and the difficulty is hardcore. The screenshot above highlights the final boss to one of the longest stages in an arcade style run n' gun game. You literally go through a jungle pursuit, into space, onto the alien mothership, into a cloning facility, and finally a dissent into Earth's atmosphere to battle the ugly behemoth shown above. This battle has excellent heroic sounding music, and simply feels really cool as you battle a huge alien in the sky. Honestly this incredible fight should have been the closing for a great series. However new Metal Slug titles continue to be released, yet every post-SNK Metal Slug game has ranged from merely forgetful to completely horrid.
In the 1990s, Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat had quite the rivalry. This commercial highlights the competition between the two games, with Street Fighter 2 trying really hard to look more brutal than a game that allowed players to rip characters' heads off. Note how Blanka's hand comes out of the box to scare the shit out of an elderly patrolman. Pure awesomeness.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Vanillaware's new game is called Dragon's Crown, and its basically the long lost sequel to the Capcom Dungeons and Dragons games. The trailer looks beautiful. This is the best looking game I've seen come out of E3 so far, and may end up being the sole reason I buy a PS Vita. LONG LIVE 2-D!
Dear Square Enix,
My name is Lee, and I am an American fan of your company. I grew up playing your amazing games like Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 7, and the Dragon Quest series. These days I continue to hear troubling news concerning your company's earnings and the shock waves this is causing for your investors and fans. What happened?
As a person who studies the gaming industry and trends as a whole, all signs seems to point toward delivering undesirable sequels like Final Fantasy 14 or lackluster new intellectual properties like The Last Remnant simply because there is a level of nativity concerning modern game development on the level of the captain of the Titanic believing his ship was unsinkable. Westerners and outspoken Japanese developers cite a general level of stubbornness in Japan's gaming industry toward innovation or the idea of allowing younger employees to head up design teams. This isn't Square Enix's problem alone, however as a person who believes in your company, I would like to provide some insight into how you could turn things around.
First let us examine some recent failures and why they occurred:
- Final Fantasy 14 changed almost everything that fans loved about Final Fantasy 11. This was completely unnecessary. There is an old American saying: “If it's not broke, then don't fix it” which basically means for an online MMORPG, fans really only expect better graphics, great music, and expansions that create new level caps, create new quests, and possibly new classes.
- The Last Remnant was designed with a look and feel that Westerners would embrace, but then it failed miserably. Square Enix needs to truly study Western RPGs that have done well such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age, and understand what makes them great. How can you hope to rival these games without understanding their approach to story telling? The answer is simple: You cannot.
- Chrono Trigger did not sell well on Nintendo DS, and many speculate that this is the reason there has been no sequel announced. Many fans hold a special nostalgia for Chrono Trigger. However, it was re-released as a straight port of the SNES game with an added dungeon tacked on. Many younger gamers never played the original game, therefore they do not hold any nostalgia for Chrono Trigger. To draw them in, updated graphics should have been added. Also the original price point was an insult to fans when most Nintendo DS games were selling for less at that point in time.
- Gun Loco was canceled, which was a good move. However, this game should have never been “green-lighted” in the first place. The character designs looked really bizarre and the game play shown really speaks to the fact that Square Enix seems almost oblivious to what fans truly want to play.
Now that we have examined some reasons that Square Enix is doing poorly these days, allow me to suggest a few ways your company could improve their fiscal results and once again become a leader in the gaming industry:
- Announce a sequel to Chrono Trigger, and assemble the design team behind the original game. This will take some work on your part, but fans and the gaming press will love you. Your company could use the positive press, and this announcement could go a long way toward restoring your credibility among your investors and your customers.
- Speed up production on Final Fantasy XIII Versus, Dragon Quest X, and all future titles. Waiting five years for a game is really starting to annoy your fans, especially when developers like Bioware and Epic Games can create incredible sequels in half that time period.
- Work hard to understand next-gen systems. Also do not over-specialize your employees in one specific area. Over-specializing only breeds weakness.
- Give your younger talent a chance to shine, as they are aware of what modern consumers want from your products. Everyone loves Nomura Tetsuya's work, but it is getting ridiculous that he is still Square Enix's “young talent” when he achieved fame thirteen years ago with Final Fantasy 7. Every gamer remembers Square and Enix's golden years in the 1990s. These golden years were the product of young men with high aspirations. Allow young men's dreams to revive your company.
- Collaborate with Vanillaware on a 2-D RPG. This will please your hardcore fans, especially if it is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics. Also try collaborating with a Western developer like Rockstar on a future title, this could avoid another mess like Gun Loco.
- Pachinko games, cellphone games, and social network games will not save Square Enix, they will only delay the inevitable collapse.
I have poured my heart into each and every suggestion that I have given in this letter. I sincerely hope that Square Enix rebounds and becomes a shining beacon of hope for the Japanese gaming industry. I will continue to support your products and I deeply appreciate you taking the time to read this letter. Please do not take my criticism too harshly as it merely comes from a concerned fan with the best of intentions.
I wish you the best!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Many people hoped the Mega Man Legends Prototype would be released tonight with the grand opening of the Nintendo 3DS download store. However, the release has been delayed, possibly forever. I really hope Capcom releases this game and the prototype, its pretty much the only reason I want a 3DS at this point. Anyway, I collected some cool Mega Man Legends fan art to cheer myself up. Enjoy.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Zero Wing (Mega Drive) Toaplan 1991
An old internet meme, made this screenshot famous for it's horrible yet comical mistranslation. Zero Wing was originally an arcade game, but it was later ported to the Mega Drive and PC Engine. For the Mega Drive port, a nonsensical intro was added to give the game a plot. However, when the game was released in Europe (it never saw a US release) the game's intro was hilariously mistranslated into total Engrish. Much later, around 1999, people started to talk about Zero Wing's intro, and suddenly every geek worth their salt knew, " All Your Base Are Belong To Us." Aside from the crappy intro, Zero Wing is a mediocre shooter with nice music. The later PC Engine port did not use this intro for obvious reasons.