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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 Was Ultra Game Player Magazine’s 1996 Game of the Year

1996 was a great year for Mario. The smash hit Super Mario 64 launched September 29 in North America (June 23 in Japan), and it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. In fact, Next Generation magazine gave it the #1 slot on their list of “Top 100 Games of All Time” before the game was even out in the US (they’d received an early copy for review, so they had played it by then). In their 92nd issue (Holiday ’96), Ultra Game Players magazine called Super Mario 64 “The Best Overall Game of the Year,” and they acknowledged that folks (such as those writing for Next Generation) had already taken to calling it “the greatest videogame of all time.” Ultra Game Players praised its depth, the hugeness of its 3D world, and its clean visual aesthetic, among other things.…
super mario kart snes screenshot

How Gamers Took Screenshots in the 90s

Nowadays, capturing images from video of games is essentially effortless. If you’re using a modern console (or playing old classics on an emulator) the perfect screenshot is just a button press away. In the 90s, however, getting a shot of your favorite game could get pretty complicated. These screen capturing instructions (from the March ’97 issue of Nintendo Power) show just how difficult capturing an image could be: Of course, anyone that took pictures in the 90s knows that these instructions were just the tip of the iceberg. Although digital cameras existed in the 90s, film cameras still dominated the market. If you wanted to show off your Mario Kart times — or any other gaming accomplishment — you had to find a camera with film, keep taking shots until the roll was finished, and then pay to have your film developed.…
Crystal Castles Atari 2600

Comparing the Crystal Castles Arcade Classic with Its Atari 2600 Port

I can’t blame folks in 1983 for thinking Atari’s arcade hit Crystal Castles was incredible. Its isometric viewpoint made great use of its limited resolution, presenting a tangible 3D environment. Plus, you can tell a good deal of work went into its character designs and animations; just look at how much detail there is on the dancing skeleton in the above image or the game’s red-shoe-wearing protagonist Bentley Bear. Its gameplay holds up too. While navigating the narrow pathways can be a little finicky with the arcade cabinet’s trackball, Bentley handles smoothly enough that players will advance further and further into the game as they memorize layouts and practice the required movements. And there’s a satisfyingly crunchy low-bit noise when Bentley collects the gems that are scattered across each level.…
The Super Mario Bros. Fragrance Collection Made Us Wonder What Bowser Smells Like
The Minds Behind the Games
Retrovolve Reviews Books: The Minds Behind the Games by Patrick Hickey, Jr.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
The 3D Platformer: How 1996 Witnessed the Birth of a Genre
Pokemon Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power Predicted a “Pokémon Trade War” in 1998