Someone was kind enough to record and post "G4 Icons: NES" to YouTube. I'm not sure how long this video will be available (I can't believe that anyone involved acquired permission for the file), so you'd better watch it while you can, either at the link or below the fold. While Bill will undoubtedly be able to point out a zillion mistakes, at least they have lots of comments from folks on-the-scene at the time, such as the president of Nintendo America--and there's also interviews with Steven Kent, game historian. There are also lots of nice shots from NES games and Robbie the Robot. While I don't much care for G4's spastic, ADD-style editing, it's an entertaining way to spend 22 minutes--though for some reason the audio sync is off by quite a margin. Nintendo fans will also want to check out 1UP's Ten Great Mario Moments, an outstanding multimedia feature all-about Mario: "It's a look at how the series' influence has triple-jumped from crusty carts to TV shows and home-made videos, speed runs to full theater productions (with Mario and Luigi duetting on the marimba)." It's a bit frightening, but it does demonstrate just how wide an impact Mario and the NES had on American gaming culture (and beyond!)
The folks over at Retroblast are scratching their heads over a recent MSNBC article concerned with the unexpected rise of Big Buck Hunter Pro in hip NYC bars (among other places). Apparently, the game is set to knock even Golden Tee into the sand trap. What's the appeal? Well, it's obvious--the game combines all of the thrills of hunting while sparing you all the grisly details. Besides that, the psychology of cool requires that you occasionally seek out the "uncool" just to be cool. But seriously, folks...
Although we're all avid gamers here who would most likely enjoy playing Robotron or M.U.L.E. as much as the latest first-person shooter featuring humanoids with working pituitary glands, I bet most of us spend next to no time playing Windows pack-in games--those things that show up under "GAMES" on most Windows computers--you know, Solitaire, Free Cell, and so on. Well, apparently we're in the minority--at least according to GamerScore, who claims that Windows Vista's updated in-the-box games are so much better than the originals that even Mac-heads may end up addicted to them. Basically, what we're talking about here are improved animations.
My friend Clancy over at Kairosnews just posted a link to this spoof about gaming on the Mac. It's a spoof of all those "hip" Apple commercials I haven't ever seen because I never watch television, but it's still pretty funny (if a bit unfair). The theme is, "Photoshop isn't a game." I might add, "Boot Camp is not a game, either."
TechEBlog has a post up about the Top 10 Coolest Lego Gadgets, complete with photographs and videos. You won't believe some of the things people are able to do with Legos--a fully functional pinball machine? A Simon Game? Talk about innovation! I have to admit, I have done little more with Legos than build the pre-boxed Star Wars stuff back in the 80s. I had no idea you could do so much more with them! These folks definitely deserve some props for ingenuity. Or perhaps a psychiatrist.
Well, I've seen my share of strange YouTubes, but Game Over deserves a prize for inventiveness. The director has managed to recreate scenes from Centipede, Asteroids, Pac-Man, Frogger, and Space Invaders with stop-motion photography, food, and a great deal of odds and ends he must have had lying around the house. It's actually quite entertaining, but of course, I'm wondering when he'll take the next step and actually remake these games using his graphics. That would definitely make for a surreal experience. Check out the video at the link above or below the fold here.
The BBC has a small report about how the modern game industry is burning out talent. Of course, this is something we've all heard before, particularly surrounding the EASPOUSE public relations nightmare EA suffered back in 04. They actually followed up on EASPOUSE, who has now changed her tune about EA.
Someone calling himself "DeadDrPhibes" has a great post up at The Older Gamers Paradise called The Birth of PC Gaming. The author takes us on a little tour of the earliest days of home PCs and gaming, starting with furniture-sized monstrosities and ending up with the Apple Mac and the Windows PC. He strikes me as a died-in-the-wall TRS-80 man, and spends good time discussing Radio Shack and Texas Instruments' entries in the home computing market (the CoCo, and so on). It's a fun read, even if it seems to be drafted mostly from the author's own experiences and memories. At any rate, it's nice to see a history like this from this perspective, since most "history-lite" like this I've read has focused mostly on the Apple, Commodore, or IBM. Now all I'm waiting for is a great feature on the Atari line of home computers.
A few days ago I was tipped that Wal-Mart's website was a hot place to shop for games and gaming gear, but I didn't believe it until a few days ago. I visited the site to check out their Games under $20 section, and also got a look at their even cheaper PC Games. Within a few minutes of browsing the site, I decided to purchase two games: Black Mirror and Broken Sword: Sleeping Dragon, both published by the Adventure Company (the premier publisher of graphical adventure games here in the US). I paid $20 for the game and $3.50 or so for shipping. And the package arrived the next day.