These days, it’s hard to imagine the “Mario” universe without Mario’s fat, cackling, Snidely Whiplash mustachio-ed evil, or at least amoral, counterpart, Wario. He’s managed to insert himself into pretty much all of the spinoff games in the series and make a name for himself with the now long-running “Warioware” series of micro-games which can be completed in about 10 seconds each. But ol’ Wario wasn’t always about zany reflex-testing short challenges. No, just like Mario, he cut his teeth in platformers, though he focused his efforts on the Game Boy.
So I’m in the process of moving. And moving means that I’m packing up my games. It also means that I come into contact with games I legitimately forgot existed for a long time. It’s how I find things like the “Swat Kats” game, based on the, um, hit(?) show I watched on Cartoon Network in sixth grade or “Baten Kaitos” the card-based RPG for the Gamecube. It also reminds me that I actually own Full disclosure: I was a pretty big Nintendo partisan back during the 16-bit era. Actually, Dickinson in general seemed very Nintendo, save for a few random people who had a Genesis.
You may remember, back in February, I wrote about romance in video games. If you want a quick recap, here it is — it’s really hard to do right. Even harder and rarer to do correctly is what happens after the big romantic climax when your characters get thrown together. What happens after Tidus and Yuna? OK, bad example, considering he just disappears. Or what about Lizzy and Darcy? Also, a bad example, considering many, many authors have done their own take on this. In any event, the idea of a video game tackling an issue such as an adult relationship isn’t that common.
Death is one of the most basic plot devices in fiction. It can be effective, desensitize you to the whole thing, or feel like a way to get some cheap emotional heat.
No discussion of series that have inspired more than their fair share of clones, homages or whatever would be complete without the army of “Zelda” clones out there. From copies of the original, like “Neutopia 2” to the Sega version of “Link to the Past” in “Crusader of Centry,” to 3-D incarnations like “Darksiders” to throwbacks like “3D Dot Game Heroes,” there are a boatload of games which take inspiration from Link’s ongoing adventures. If we’re going with which title is probably qualitatively the best, it’s “Okami,” but instead let’s look at one of the more unique “Zelda” clones out there
It’s not really news that we’re in the midst of a kind of adventure game renaissance, thanks in no small part to the telltale episodic series’ which make use of big-time licenses like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones.” It would also stand to reason that adventure games would collide with the current most powerful force in the universe: nostalgia for things popular in the ’90s. Considering that there’s a new “Dragonball Z” series and a live-action “Goosebumps” movie, this seemed like as good a time as any to reboot one of the definitive PC series of the ’90s: Sierra’s “King’s Quest.” A
Lately I’ve been playing “Batman: Arkham Knight.” It’s a big game. A really big game. In fact, it might be too big. In amongst trying to stop Scarecrow, tracking down random street crime and collecting five billion Riddler Trophies, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed. In today’s gaming climate, there’s a pretty noticeable propensity with big-budget games to cram as much content in there so no one can complain that you’re not getting your $60 worth. A few months back, I wrote about games being too short and having no optional content. So don’t get me wrong; I like my side missions.
Lately I’ve been playing “Batman: Arkham Knight.” It’s a big game. A really big game. In fact, it might be too big. In amongst trying to stop Scarecrow, tracking down...
You may have noticed that over, oh, the past 20 or so years, Nintendo has had a problem with getting third-party developers to work on their systems. Ever since the end of the Super Nintendo era, when companies like Square, Konami, and Capcom largely bolted to work on the Playstation, the Big N struggled with outside support. So, in the early days of the Nintendo Gamecube, when the console was largely reliant on juggernauts like “Super Smash Bros.
Over the almost two years that Welcome to Bonus Stage has been around, I’ve covered quite a few of the games, characters and moments that really shaped the hobby for me. We’ve covered “Earthbound,” “Corpse Party,” “Skies of Arcadia,” Anju & Kafei, the opera scene, and Rise Kujikawa. But for me, actually playing the games and experiencing them is only part of the deal. There’s also the collecting aspect. About a year and a half ago, I wrote about the absurd prices that “Nintendo World Championships” cartridges were commanding on eBay.