Monthly Archives: July 2009

King of NES

Errrmember those Top Ten game lists I made for various systems in the Spring of last year? Yeah, those lists sucked and some of them even surprisingly earned the scorn of hundreds of anonymous visitors. The truth is that even though I’ve nerded my way through many video games, there are really no particular systems on which I’ve finished enough games to really be an expert regarding that system’s library. So, the resulting Top Ten lists were somewhat shallow and featured a lot of expected entries.

Well, I decided about a month ago to become an expert on the NES library. This is no small feat as the library is pretty huge but I’m a trooper, goddammit! This doesn’t mean I have to play through every game or anything stupid like that. It doesn’t even mean I have to play every game at all. It just means I’m trying to determine exactly which games qualify as good NES games.

My efforts over the last month have been very Capcom specific. I played through Mega Man 1 through 6, Ducktales 1 & 2, and Gargoyle’s Quest II. I also took a shot at Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, Darkwing Duck, Little Nemo: The Dream Master and Destiny of an Emperor but I decided they just weren’t that great.

I’ve also been playing Earthbound (Zero) which has had its ups and downs. Sometimes I really get into it but the escalation in enemy power is really steep from one part to the next, which results in some tedious grinding. When I become a real NES master, I’ll make a new list, maybe a Top Ten, Top Five, or just ‘Great Games’, and then the world will shake! Oh, and I’m sorry, Scott, but I still just can’t get into Blaster Master.

Begging Ryan Meier

Ryan Meier, I’m begging you: please watch a minute or two of this video and I believe you will agree that it’s the best basketball video game ever.

PS3/X360 Castlevania

Weeks ago, Konami announced a new Castlevania game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titled Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.  The big news is that it’s a “reboot” of the series, has big stars like Patrick Stewart doing voice work, and is being co-developed by Hideo Kojima’s studio at Konami.  Some people were really going bonkers at this news but I feel pretty ho-hum about it.

For one thing, Kojima’s team is basically only good at making Metal Gear games.  Their other efforts of the past decade have been just okay, according to critics/reputation.  Second the other half of the co-development team is a studio called MercuryStream, who so far have only made pieces of shit, namely American McGee’s Scrapland and Clive Barker’s Jericho.

I suspect this will just be a God of War wannabe just like the PS2 Castlevanias were Devil May Cry wannabes.  I’ve been thinking that it was time for a change in the Castlevania series for awhile now but this is probably not the way to go.  A dude named Koji Igarashi and his team have basically been in charge of the series for the last 7 years, producing 6 great handheld titles and 3 mediocre console titles.  The problem with the handheld titles is that they kept following the ‘Metroidvania’ format without fail – a design that can become overly familiar after awhile.

I’ll reserve judgment until 2010 but I’m not getting my hopes up!

Mario Family Tree

it looks as if i’m taking over matt’s specialty section of the blog today.

here’s another nerdy video game post:

some amazing person made a mario games family tree.

check out the full tree via geekologie

scott

Nintendo Championships 2009

JJGames.com, based out of denver, just re-created the nintendo world championships and nintendo campus challenge in their “retro games championship”. i guess the owner of this company has the elusive gold cartridges from both competitions, and used them as reference for the competition. (as an aside, these cartridges cost him a total of $31,500) 

duplicate carts were made based on the ROMs, and they set them up on 10 screens for the competition. 5 screens for the world championship, in which players had to get 50 coins in super mario bros., finish a special rad racer track, and get as many points as possible in tetris before the time reached 6:21, and 5 screens for the campus challenge (based off the 1991 competition), where players had to get 25 coins in super mario bros. 3, 100,000 points in pinbot, and highest score in dr. mario also before the 6:21 time limit.

sounds like fun! maybe next year they’ll include re-creations of the star fox: super weekend and nintendo powerfest ’94?

JJGames.com | Retro Game Championship 2009

scott

National Game Registry 1985: Rush’n Attack

RUSH’N ATTACK
aka Green Beret
original platform
arcade
developer/publisher
Konami

A lone commando armed with a knife invades a Soviet base to rescue his comrades.  The perfect Cold War game and something of a predecessor to the run and gun genre.

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Rush’n Attack was inducted on July 17th, 2009.

Return to the National Game Registry to view more inductees.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 12

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DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI

From Wikipedia:

David Mazzucchelli (born September 21, 1960) is an American comic book artist and illustrator. His early work was in superhero comics for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, although he later embarked on a series of acclaimed alternative comics projects.

Mazzucchelli received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and started working in comics in the early 1980s. He started at Marvel Comics where, after a few various issues, he became the regular artist on Daredevil. He developed his skills working with writer Denny O’Neil and culminated his work on this title with the popular and critically acclaimed Daredevil: Born Again story arc, written by Frank Miller (now collected in graphic novel form). Mazzucchelli began as a traditional superhero artist but over the span of his time on Daredevil, his work gained in confidence and employed expressionist techniques.

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Mazzucchelli’s first Batwork was featured in World’s Finest #302 from 1984. This page showcases his earlier art style which, as mentioned above, is much more in keeping with the superhero comic look of the time. After completing Daredevil: Born Again, Mazzucchelli’s style had developed from that displayed above into the dynamic minimalism that would come to characterize his work from then on, as seen in Batman: Year One.

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Written by Frank Miller and serialized in Batman #404-407, Batman: Year One chronicled the first 365 days of Bruce Wayne’s war on crime, as well as the future Commissioner Gordan’s struggle with corruption in the ranks of the Gotham City Police Department. Year One became an instant classic, thanks in large part to David Mazzucchelli’s sophisticated artwork. Its seen as a seminal Batman story, both in its own right and as a precursor to Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and was a huge influence on the film Batman Begins.

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Year One would also be the last time Mazzucchelli would draw Batman and his universe, apart from the two Who’s Who entries below:

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And, aside from a story in Marvel Fanfare #40, that was pretty much the extent of Mazzucchelli’s mainstream career; in 1991, he began his creator-owned Rubber Blanket and from then on his work could be found sporadically in publications like Zero Zero and The New Yorker. This month his graphic novel Asterios Polyp was published, and has been garnering rave reviews.

Oh, here’s the almost-obligatory Black And White statue….

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G.

P.S. More Mazzucchelli here.

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