super mario

(Really, REALLY) Old Video Game Review: Super Mario Bros.

Shigeru Miyamoto – the man behind the virtual creation of some of the most beloved video game characters – gave the world Mario.  Who would have thought a mustached Italian plumber would save the video game market?  Super Mario Bros. creation was the saving grace of video game consoles and the rise of Nintendo.  And the brought a beloved franchise to past, present, and future gamers.

Super Mario Bros. originally intended to be a shooter, but eventually the jump mechanics took over and became the game everyone recognizes today.  The colorful 8-bit graphics and tunes delivered something new and unique to gamers worldwide and became a pop culture phenomenon.

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Chrono Trigger

(Really, REALLY) Old Video Game Review: Chrono Trigger

What do you get when Hironobu Sakaguchi (producer and creator of the Final Fantasy series), Yuji Horii ( the creator and director of the Dragon Quest series), and Akira Toriyama (famous for drawing the Dragon Ball series) come together to create a game?  Chrono Trigger, one of the biggest and most ambitious projects at the time and came out to be a critical success.  I consider Chrono Trigger to be my number one all-time favorite game.  Of.  All.  Time.  That is obviously just one opinion and my opinion.  But, let me assure you that Chrono Trigger is still one of the best games ever created.  First released for the Super Nintendo on March 11, 1995 (damn, that’s a long time ago), it has been ported multiple times to systems like the original Playstation and the Nintendo DS.

Chrono Trigger

This game is one crazy ride.

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(Really, REALLY) Old Video Game Review: Mortal Kombat

FINISH HIM!  Who can ever forget those words, especially when you are about to pull off a fatality move on your opponent.  One of the most violent games that came out in the pixelated era.  A game to created to go heads up against Street Fighter.  NetherRealm Studios probably knew Street Fighter was one game that would be hard to knock off of the fighter’s podium, but it can heavily challenge its ways by putting in something extra; something a little different. NetherRealm decided to release this game with a little, flair.  And by flair, I mean blood.  Lots of it.  This is one of the main highlights that got this game noticed in the 90s.  Who can forget Sub-Zero ripping an opponent’s head off?  Or Sonya giving one of the characters a kiss of death?  So many violent, yet memorable moments.  As a kid in the 90s, violence in video games weren’t rare, but they weren’t shown off graphically like the way Mortal Kombat did. Mortal Kombat showed off violence and blood like how Playboy shows off women.  They meant to show as much violence as possible.

Showing up at arcades and video game retailers all across the world on August 8, 1992 (1993 for console ports), games would never be the same.  Ever.  Mortal Kombat heavily borrowed from Street Fighters’ great formula, but they decided to tweak the formula here and there.  The biggest change was the addition of the fatality move.  Usually Street Fighter just ended once one of the player’s health bars goes down all the way in a 2 out of 3 round match. But the developers added the fatality to humiliate your foe’s defeat, in an awesome way of course.  The game was crude compared to Street Fighter’s formula, but it still made the best of it.


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(Really, REALLY) Old Video Game Review: F-Zero

I don’t know about you guys, but F-Zero is for the real “need for speed” freaks out there.  A futuristic racing game that makes you fly at speeds faster than the speed of sound.  Nintendo brought out one of the best racers on the Super Nintendo on August 23, 1991 (over 20 years ago…damn I’m old).  A game that is still remembered to this day, all thanks to the godfather of video games, Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario and Zelda for you ignorant ones).

Just plain awesome.

I loved this game, but for the sheer ridiculousness of speed and simplicity.  Set in 2560, Earth made contact with various alien species and humanity began to grow.  A racing league called F-Zero grew and became one of the biggest entertainment venues on Earth.  Various racers raced in plasma-powered hover cars that were faster than the speed of sound.  A dangerous sport, where racers are faced with various obstacles that not only test their vehicle’s speed, but its durability as well. Continue reading

gran turismo

(Really, REALLY) Old Video Game Review: Gran Turismo

Genesis.  The beginning of the simulation racer genre.  The original and unforgettable game that brought real world cars and racing to the masses.  Who knew, in December 23, 1997, an unknown company by the name of Polyphony Digital is going to make one of the greatest games of all time.  Gran Turismo took the world by storm, by showing the masses what a game can be like on the PS1.  Kazunori Yamauchi, the mastermind behind Gran Turismo, is also a fan of cars and used that to bring his passion to life.  Gran Turismo became a household name, all thanks to this one game.  One of the most beloved racing franchises ever made and the most successful, because there was no competition (until Forza Motorsport came out in 2005!) against this game.

May not be the best car, but then again it was fun to make it go on two wheels.

First off, I didn’t know much about cars before this game came out.  I loved racers, because it was simple like Cruisin’ USA and Ridge Racer, but damn after playing this game, it changed everything.  I learned about car control, weight distribution, car/tuner parts that I never knew existed, and the introduction to cars never seen on the shores of the USA.  I not only learned how to play a simulation racer, but it taught me a lot about cars.  Unless I was playing You Don’t Know Jack, games never taught you anything related to the real world. Continue reading