Sun, 30 November 2014
It's been a long time coming, but the first episode of Metroidvania Chronicles is here. We begin before the beginning, turning back the hands of game design to 1977's text adventure Zork. What does a text-based adventure have to do with Metroid-style platform action games, you may well wonder, and this episode aims to answer that question in as interesting a fashion as possible, given how deeply unsuited to video the text adventure genre is.
Direct download: 001-Zork_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT
Tue, 25 November 2014
The first part in what will probably end up being a tragically lengthy series of analyses of Final Fantasy VI, the 1994 Super NES classic (by way of its 2007 GBA remake). We look at the techniques its creators used to relay its story and draw players into its world and systems, beginning at the very beginning.
For more dry dissections of classic video games, consider subjecting yourself to www.anatomyofgames.com
Direct download: Anatomy_of_FFVI_01_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT
Sun, 23 November 2014
Suddenly we jump ahead to 1992! Well, kind of. Mindscape's Battleship (based on the classic tabletop game) arrived in the U.S. in December of 1992, but the same game appeared three years earlier in Japan under the title Kaisen Game: Navy Blue. Was it always meant to be Battleship, or did Mindscape simply make use of a Battleship-like existing creation as a shortcut once it acquired the Battleship license? You'll find no answers here, but boy howdy do I ever speculate wildly!
Direct download: 021_Battleship_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:00am EDT
Tue, 11 November 2014
Game Boy gets its first-ever fighting game, and its first-ever licensed title based on a manga/anime property! And... it's not very good. But that's just par for the course with Fist of the North Star, which lends itself nicely to video games, but not necessarily very good video games. Still, it's an interesting artifact, especially since it was one of the first games with an anime license to make its way to the U.S. with its original property intact. History is written by the winners, but sometimes it's made by losers.
Direct download: 20_Fist_of_the_North_Star.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 7:43am EDT
Mon, 3 November 2014
The third Japan-only Game Boy release, and the third based on a very Japan-specific pastime. Coincidence? Ummm... no. Shogi presents the classic Japanese counterpart to chess in about as stripped-down a format as possible, with barely adequate visuals, no music, and hilariously lethargic artificial intelligence. It does the job, but please don't lie awake at night weeping that we missed out on this one. You are going to be OK.
Direct download: 019_Shogi_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:19am EDT