One of the most impressive traits of the gaming community is its drive to push the limits of its favorite games. Gamers are constantly breaking speed running records and accomplishing seemingly impossible tricks, and every once in a while, even discovering secrets that have been hidden for decades.
Have you ever tried to go back and replay classic games from previous generations? Whether they hold up or not, it’s often difficult to adjust your expectations accordingly, especially when we live in a world where massive, open world games are the norm and the virtual reality revolution is just weeks away.
But the 2D classics of yore aren’t being left behind entirely.
Though the original Super Mario Bros. is arguably the most iconic video game ever released, Super Mario Bros. 3 remains a classic in its own right. The graphics were next-level for the NES and the gameplay itself was and still is incredibly fun and addictive. Even today, a full 25 years after its release, you can fire up Super Mario Bros 3. and gleefully spend hours upon hours traversing through an exciting and frustrating maze of creatively designed levels. If you stroll into any video game store that sells old NES games, it’s a safe bet that Super Mario Bros. 3 will be the most expensive title available.
I’m old enough to remember when Super Mario Bros. 3 was released – you know, back when video games were sold in boxes slightly bigger than your average VHS tape – and can attest that the game was an immediate hit and lived up to the immense schoolyard hype that accompanied its release. Not surprisingly, the title was deservedly ranked as the best video game of all time by IGN. If you’re as fond of the game as I am, well, you’re going to love this little slice of previously little-known video game history.
It’s surprisingly exhilarating to watch someone blast through a video game in minutes that would take a normal person hours to beat. We couldn’t take our eyes off of the ridiculous Super Mario World speedrun last week, good enough for a world record, but just days later we’ve been distracted by another record-setting run of a classic Nintendo game. More →
As a general rule, video games aren’t as difficult as they used to be. In the dawning era of home consoles, finishing a game took hours and hours of practice, requiring memorization of enemy spawn patterns and exceedingly quick reflexes. That’s not the case with most modern games, which explains why a bunch of teenagers would have trouble beating the original Mega Man. More →
Once again, The Fine Brothers’ popular YouTube series in which kids, teens and adults react to something they might have never seen before has skirted into the realm of technology. This week, teenagers are handed the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo’s first home console and the device that heralded a new dawn for living room gaming. More →
Playing classic video game ROMs on the iPhone has typically required jailbreaking in the past, but webNES is a browser-based solution that gives everyone access to their own playable NES libraries. According to TouchArcade, webNES works in conjunction with Dropbox, so in order to play NES games on the web app, you’ll have to store NES ROMs in your Dropbox account and then log in through webNES. Once the files are in your Dropbox, you will be able to select one to play inside the app. You can try it out by navigating to webn.es on your smartphone where the creators have provided a few sample games. Just hit the + symbol in the top right corner of the page to access your Dropbox files. It’s not perfect, but it’s the simplest way to play NES games on the iPhone.
On Friday Nintendo announced that the much anticipated software update for the 3DS — which will deliver the eShop application store, a web browser, and more — will officially be available on June 6th. Anyone who installs the update before July 7th will also get a free 3D version of the NES game Excitebike. Nintendo also announced that it will deploy new content to the eShop every Thursday including Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare titles. The initial Gameboy titles include Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Netflix support in the update, but we won’t have long to find out if that’s a last-minute addition. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
You’re sitting on the shag carpet in your parents’ living room, it’s 1987. You’re wearing Bugle Boy jeans, legs crossed, eyes unblinking. The lights in your LA Gear shoes have stopped flickering and your Gushers have long since melted into the long, fibrous strands of the flooring. The only light in the room is your 19-inch, CRT TV projecting Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, as you enter hour eight trying to take down Mike Tyson with Little Mac. Snap out of it. Fast forward 24 years. You’re approaching your 30’s, you’ve upgraded to Levis, and Mike Tyson Main Event has launched for iOS devices. The best part? It’s free. The rehashed NES and arcade classic lets you take on boxers from around the world as you earn RockCash and build your status among the boxing elite. In the main event, you’ll face Mike Tyson all over again. Are you ready? Hit the jump for a video featuring Iron Mike himself and the iTunes download link. More →
For this week’s installation of Throwback Thursday, we’re going to journey back to the year 1987. A time when the Iran-Contra Affair was front page news, the term “Black Monday” was coined, and Double Dragon was the most popular game in your local arcade. Developed by Technos Japan, Double Dragon tells the tale of two brothers, Hammer and Spike, who are trying to navigate through gang-turf dominated by the Black Warriors (anyone else noticing some racial undertones twenty years post facto?). The brothers are skilled fighters, and determined to accomplish their goal, saving a common love interest Marian (it’s getting weirder). In the arcade version of the game, Hammer and Spike have to complete four levels — beating four different foes wielding a variety of weapons — in order to rescue their damsel in distress. If both brothers survive the trials and tribulations in multiplayer mode, they then must fight each other to determine who will be the winner of Marian’s love. The game was later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System and, in 1994, made into a movie (which currently has rating of 1.5 out of 5 starts on IMDB). Was anyone a Double Dragon master? More →
Last Throwback Thursday, we covered the NES Zapper; a well known and respected Nintendo accessory. This week, we are going to go a little bit more obscure… with the Power Glove. The Power Glove was an accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System that never really took off. Made in 1989 by U.S. toy company Mattel, the Glove was a wearable NES controller that was meant to track the movements of your hand in order to control gameplay. While we never owned a Power Glove ourselves (a little too rich for our 7 year-old blood), we do remember it making a cameo in the 1989 film The Wizard. One of the more memorable movie lines from a 12-year old dweeb with teased hair was: “I love the power glove. It’s so bad.” Oh, and how bad it was. There were only two, count em’ two, titles released with specific Power Glove functionality; although you could technically use any game by entering codes on the gloves keypad. While sales of the wearable controller were — by all accounts — an unmitigated disaster, duality can be seen between the Glove and the current technology used in the Nintendo Wii’s Wiimote. How about it? Anyone have a rich uncle that gifted you a Power Glove? Oh, and we’ve got that awesomely bad clip from The Wizard ready for you after the bounce. More →
Ah yes, the NES Zapper. Your weapon of choice for eradicating ducks, clay discs, criminals, cowboys, and just boring old targets.
The NES Zapper made is North American debut in October of 1985 when it was bundled with the Nintendo Entertainment System and a now infamous game, Duck Hunt. The technology behind the Zapper is painfully simple, although I remember it feeling like science fiction in 1985. When the trigger of the Zapper was pulled it would cause the entire screen of the game being played to go black for one frame. The subsequent frame would have your games target (ducks, clay discs, whatever) appear in all white. The gun would detect this change from dark to light and determine if you’ve hit your target. If multiple targets are on the screen more than one “white” frame is used to determine which target has been hit. The process is mostly invisible to the eye, although, as most people remember, you can see the screen flash when the trigger is pulled (which was cool, because you were shooting a fake gun!). The Zapper truly was a milestone in gaming, but fess up… how many of you pinched off a couple of rounds at the Duck Hunt dog to blow off some steam?
BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear