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For Video Games, 2015 Felt Like 1995 All Over Again

In 1995, Seinfeld aired its 100th episode. Coolio topped the charts with “Gangster’s Paradise,” while the Misfits reunited for the first time in over a decade. Amazon sold its first book, Yahoo! launched the world’s first search engine, and some guy named Valeri Polyakov spent a record-setting 438 days in space. But none of that mattered to me, because I was too busy playing video games. If you weren’t of gaming age in 1995, it might be hard for you to comprehend the magic of that time. It wasn’t just that there were tons of great games; it was that every game released felt fresh and new. The 16-bit era was coming to an end, and the 3D era was just beginning.…
These Damn Jackrabbits Are Growing Horns

Half-Glass Gaming [Episode 4] : These Damn Jackrabbits Are Growing Horns

We decide to dial the vitriol knob back several notches for this episode and just talk about our favorite games. Obviously, that can’t be done without extensive conversations about Mother and Final Fantasy, but there are a few surprises mixed in as well. Also, Nate spots a jackalope, Josh shoots a jackalope, and Mandi sciences a jackalope. Get the goods right freakin’ here: Keep the conversation rolling by telling us about your own favorite games on Twitter. Josh (The Defender of Modern Gaming) Rev. Nate (The Defender of Retro Gaming) Julian (The Moderator) Mandi (The Research Assistant) And stop back to get new episodes every Wednesday. You can see a full list of games we mentioned in this episode at the official Half-Glass Gaming website.…

This Game Stinks: How Nintendo’s Marketing Failed EarthBound

Like many beloved niche titles, EarthBound — known as Mother 2 in Japan — was ahead of its time. The game’s cutesy graphics and unabashed weirdness belied its dark and meaningful storyline. At a glance, it’s no great surprise that it initially failed to find an audience. But when you look closer, you’ll find that EarthBound had everything it needed to be a success. A dedicated localization team ensured that every offbeat cultural reference was translated perfectly. Moreover, it had an impressive marketing budget, with ads for the game appearing in most major gaming magazines. Unlike most obscure gems, EarthBound was favorite of Nintendo superstar Shigeru Miyamoto. Prior to the game’s release, he had never completed a single RPG on his own.…
pokey minch

Pokey Minch Was Eric Cartman Before South Park Existed

EarthBound‘s Pokey Minch is a conniving, calculating coward. His taunts are incredibly childish, and his actions are unbelievably evil. He thinks nothing of sacrificing others, even if it doesn’t benefit him in any substantial way. If that sounds exactly like South Park‘s Eric Cartman, it’s because Pokey pretty much is Eric Cartman. They’re villains cut from the same piece of cloth, substituting brooding and angst with astonishing levels of jerkitude. Other jerks came before Pokey, but those pricks lacked potency. Pokey was annoying, but he was also an actual threat. He was at his most dangerous when he was at his most obnoxious. Cartman took that formula and refined it to a science. Pokey kidnapped a member of your party and attempted to use them as a human sacrifice; Cartman gave one of his best friends AIDs.…
earthbound flying men graves

The Flying Man Song From EarthBound Might Be My Favorite Piece of Video Game Music

Video game music is what I listen to when I want to get pumped. There’s a long list of songs that have moved me to tears, and a longer list of tunes that put a smile on my face. But there’s only one piece of game music that really makes me think. That song is Louis Philippe’s “Flying Man,” a tune that’s technically never appeared in a video game. It was recorded for Mother, but it never plays in the game itself. If that catchy melody sounds familiar, it’s because it shows up in EarthBound — twice. One version is every bit as happy as the song above, albeit lyric-less. The other rendition is slightly more somber. To understand the significance of “Flying Man,” you have to understand the Flying Men themselves.…
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