Tag Archives: Anniversary

Ico After 15 Years, Last Guardian Expectations

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As we head into fall 2016 we head into the 15th anniversary of fall 2001, which was a pretty major year in video gaming. Two console launches, and the absolutely monster lineup of exclusives for the PlayStation 2. One console will probably never again get so many major exclusives in such a short amount of time. One of the first of these anniversaries seems to be Ico. Continue reading

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Five Years Later, Does Anyone Really “Get” Dark Souls?

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The first Dark Souls is five years old, director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said some things about his future projects, the first piece of downloadable content for Dark Souls III is coming up, and I just realized I’ve talked almost not at all about Dark Souls III here since before I started playing it.

I think I’ve said enough in previous posts about why I like Dark Souls or the “real” reasons why it’s good beyond just its unusual difficulty. I think this post and the last part of this one are the best summations. The only thing I can really say about Dark Souls III in particular is that it is a consummate video game. That may sound like a bland thing to say, but I think that actually makes it unique among the big releases we get these days. When I say “consummate,”I mean it in the most classical way possible for traditional Japanese console action games. Continue reading

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The Gamecube Turns 15

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The Gamecube turns 15 in Japan this week and will turn 15 in North America in November. I don’t think I’ve ever gone in-depth about my experiences with the system: why I bought it, what it was like owning one as my only console during that time, and how that formed my opinion on why it couldn’t wrest any market share back from Sony (and in fact lost some to Microsoft).

In the years prior to the Gamecube’s release I only owned an N64 during its life cycle. I spent a lot of time looking from the outside in at all the neat third party games that made the original PlayStation as appealing as it was. People back then (and today) complained about Nintendo not making enough “mature” games, but the real problem was always a lack of support from the third party developers who would make those kinds of games for a more varied library. It’s why N64 owners ate up C-tier stuff like Quest 64 — there were basically no other RPGs on the system. I followed up the N64 years with a brief but unforgettable time with the Dreamcast. When it became clear the Dreamcast was on its way out in 2001, it was time to decide what would be the one console I would be able to afford that generation. Continue reading

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Late To The Party: Quake

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This one is quite late for Quake’s 20th anniversary, but some things happened, and here we are. I tried to pitch a “first-time Quake player” anniversary article and couldn’t really sell an angle on it, so I guess I’m just gonna put down some of my general thoughts on the game here.

I’ve been trying to do my classic first-person-shooter odyssey more or less in release order to get a good sense of the technological progress that occurred. I had to skip a few planned games (to which I plan to return) when the Quake anniversary came up. Nonetheless I was still interested in seeing why this game seemed to be revered as one of the top FPSs ever made. Continue reading

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Sonic Mania And Sonic Fan Cynicism

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For the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog SEGA at Comic-Con announced its latest attempt to revive its mascot franchise. While recognizing that we Sonic fans are going through the Sonic Cycle again, we also have to admit that Sonic Mania is probably the company’s most earnest and promising attempt yet. We want to be excited, but hate ourselves for getting wrapped up in this mess again. Continue reading

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Nintendo 64: Living With The Underdog

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The first time I walked into an AAFES Sight & Sound that had a Nintendo 64 kiosk with Super Mario 64, I took one look at the game and one look at the analog stick which I had never seen before, and immediately understood why it was there. That is the level to which Nintendo, when it launched the N64 with that game, had shifted people’s perception of playing video games. Continue reading

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Why Sonic Is Still Important to Me After 25 Years

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I probably noted it when I charted all the major gaming anniversaries of 2016 back in January, but this wave of anniversaries caught me by surprise. This week saw not only Quake and Super Mario 64 hit major anniversaries, but also Sonic the Hedgehog. I feel like I have to type something about Sonic because it was a pillar of my childhood. Continue reading

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Super Mario 64 After 20 Years

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The original Quake turns 20 today and everybody’s celebrating that. I do want to write something about that but I’m still trying to figure out those plans. However, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the original Japanese release of Super Mario 64 — another of the originators of modern 3D video games that emerged in the mid 90’s. Of course that would also mean it’s the 20th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 itself, but I think I’m just gonna wait until the US release anniversary which I believe is in September. Continue reading

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15 Years Of Game Boy Advance: Personal Memories

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According to my search function I haven’t gone on at length about the Game Boy Advance on this blog yet. I guess the system’s 15th anniversary is a good time. I’m not gonna do any huge retrospective, just talk a bit about my own memories with the system and maybe some of its overall significance. Continue reading

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10 Years Later: Final Fantasy XII Should Have Been The Future Of Console RPGs

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So Final Fantasy XII is 10 years old (in Japan). I usually don’t say a lot about the anniversaries of individual entries in game franchises, but this one stands out for me. FFXII is easily my favorite main Final Fantasy game, and the first point where I made a legitimate effort to get into the series. More than that though, I look back on it as a critical turning point for where console role-playing games could have gone in contrast to where they actually went. Continue reading

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