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By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Nov, 2017 At 09:20 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Nintendo has been pursuing collaborations heavily lately, with games like Pokken Tournament, Fire Emblem Warriors, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Hyrule Warriors just to name a few. This has me thinking about other collaborations Nintendo could do.

Nintendo’s collaboration with Koei Tecmo for Hyrule Warriors was considered strange at first. Yes it was a good game, but the fact is that it may not have been the best collaboration for Zelda. For Fire Emblem, it made perfect sense, but Zelda is a bit different. When it comes to the Legend of Zelda series, I feel there is one collaboration that would work more than all others: Hyrule Fantasy. A crossover between The Legend of Zelda and Final fantasy series would be the union of two of the greatest gaming series of all time.

A Zelda crossover with Final Fantasy may seem strange but it shouldn’t. Zelda has dabbled in RPG elements before, as seen way back in Zelda II, and the Final Fantasy series has gone into action at times. This theoretical game could be played as an action RPG similar to the Mana series, or more akin to classic Final Fantasy games. It could combine the series in a variety of ways, either by having the worlds merging elements like in Mario + Rabbids or merge gameplay elements like Hyrule Warriors. Another method could be a Zelda game that is simply much more RPG oriented and has references to Final Fantasy, with some enemies and such appearing, or some of the series staple weapons and abilities showing up. Finally, this could be a new Zelda setting that has Final Fantasy elements already, since alternate timelines and universes exist in The Legend of Zelda series already.

But then the question is, why do this? Well because as I said, these are two iconic series and are often compared strongly with each other. Zelda may not be an RPG series (Adventure of Link’s RPG elements not withstanding) but a spinoff game that delves into the genre would be welcome. Hyrule Warriors has shown that Zelda can work as an action game, and Nintendo’s previous collaborations with Square have shown that a an RPG spinoff game of an existing series can work wonderfully like with Super Mario RPG. In addition, this could be a game that celebrated all of The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy as a whole, maybe even bringing in elements from the more obscure games in both series. Not to mention, the music this collaboration could bring us would be something absolutely amazing.

Of course this is just my opinion on what the best Legend of Zelda collaboration would be. I would like to know your opinions, so please share them.

 

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily represent that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

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Last week, I wrote an editorial about 7 NES games that should get online play on Nintendo Switch via the Nintendo Switch’s online service. However,  in the last few days, I began thinking more about what Super NES games would benefit from getting online play as well. Because the SNES had so many great co-op games, I had to think carefully about which games deserve it the most, and once again I left out licensed games, and/or games that Nintendo will not be able to get the rights to. With that said, let’s begin.

 

 

Number 7

Contra III The Alien Wars

 

The Contra ( or Probotector if you live in Europe) series is a truly amazing run n gun series from Konami, and the third entry is arguably the best. In addition to better visuals, the action is more intense, the weapons are better and everything just has a bigger feel. The game was an excellent co-op experience on the SNES, and with online play it would be a major standout, and enable a new generation to enjoy it with the same wonder gamers did on the SNES. Both the frustration from difficulty and having 2 players and the euphoria of beating the game would be experienced very differently online and that alone makes it worthwhile.

Number 6

Super Bomberman II

I wasn’t sure which to put on this list. Super Bomberman or its immediate sequel. I ultimately picked the sequel after re-watching a video from TopHatGamingMan, in which he talked about the game. and I ended up agreeing with him. Super Bomberman II is an excellent game both in terms of single player and multiplayer, and this is where the series began to take the form we know and love today. Far superior to the original Bomberman games, Super Bomberman II’s multiplayer would truly benefit from online play similar to the later sequel Super Bomberman R. In fact, Konami could actually use this to further promote Super Bomberman R, by showing the roots of the series, since despite being a much earlier game, Super Bomberman II is an absolutely awesome game.

Number 5

Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders is a beloved arcade classic run n gun game that received an excellent port to the Super NES, with all the characters intact. The game had amazing visuals and fun gameplay that was unlike any other before or since. A Wild West shoot em up that incorporated the best of the arcade era, combined with small amounts of platforming and a lot of awesome music, Sunset Riders was in a league of its own. Giving the game online play via Switch can actually be done in two ways. It could allow two player co-op or could go for full 4 player co-op since all for characters were available on the SNES version. Regardless, this one deserves a new audience.

Number 4.

Mortal Kombat II

Surprise! I didn’t pick the obvious choice of Street Fighter II for this list. While Street Fighter is a great series, I feel it would be almost a cliché to pick. Mortal Kombat doesn’t really get acknowledged for its history with Nintendo except for the disastrous port of the first game. However, inlike the SNES port of the original game, which was a disaster, Mortal Kombat II on SNES was almost arcade perfect. Not only that, the fighting itself was far improved over the original Mortal Kombat, as something many forget about the original game was that the fighting was actually pretty bad aside from the fatalities. Mortal Kombat II though, improved on every last detail and was where the series truly got good. The fact that the SNES version was amazing would allow for some great online fights as well.

Number 3

Saturday Night Slam Masters

I did not leave Capcom off the list though. Saturday Night Slammasters was one of their most underrated titles, but a truly excellent fighting game. This was Capcom merging their fighting games like Street Fighter, with the wrestling world and it came out beautifully. This was also Mike Haggar’s debut in a fighting game long before the Marvel Vs Capcom series, as well as being home to several other colourful characters. This was so different from Capcom’s usual fare and deserves more spotlight. Giving this online play on the Switch would show just how amazing the game was, as well as make Capcom realize they have some great fighting games they haven’t used in years. Plus it had art from Tetsuo Hara, co-creator of Fist of the North Star, so it has that going for it also.

Number 2

Secret of Mana

An RPG with multiplayer was almost unheard of for the SNES but Secret of Mana showed it could be done. This game has had its praises sung already, so I will just mention that enabling online play for it on the Switch would allow a feature that was missing from later ports to finally be used again. Who wouldn’t want to play this gem with their friends? And to do so online would be an excellent addition!

Number 1

Super Mario Kart

It was always going to be  Super Mario Kart at Number 1. This was the game that kicked off the Mario Kart series, as well as kart racer games in general. Fans have made mods that enable online play in emulated versions, but an official Nintendo release that adds online to the original game would be nothing short of incredible. Add in support for 8 player online racing and this will become one of the most popular games Nintendo can bring to their service.

 

 

 

 

This is just a small list of what could be done. Let me know what you think of this list though and what suggestions you have.

 

Thanks again to TopHatGamingMan, check him out on twitter here

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Nov, 2017 At 11:19 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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It was 12 years ago today that wrestling fans received horrible news: the legendary Eddie Guerrero had passed away at the age of 38 due to heart problems. Eddie had touched the lives of so many and overcome so much in his own life, that it just seemed cruel for him to be taken in his prime. His death hit the industry hard and is still felt today.

Eddie Guerrero was the youngest son of Gory Guerrero, one of the best heels in Lucha Libre. He was born into a wrestling legacy and soon found himself getting into the business. Trained by the best and soon proving why he was the best, Eddie made a name for himself in countries like Mexico and Japan and developing friendships along the way with the likes of Art Barr, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit.  Eddie got married to his wife Vickie and their daughter was born soon after. But hardships came just as much as the good did.

After some time in ECW in the United States, Eddie was signed to World Championship Wrestling where things took a turn for the worse. Eddie’s troubles piled up, augmented by the already turbulent nature of WCW, where wrestlers were essentially put into castes and the backstage environment was not a healthy one. Drug and alcohol problems got out of hand and Eddie pushed himself too far. Eddie’s relationship with Vickie and their now two daughters was growing shaky due to his growing problems, but it all got worse after Eddie was in a major car accident and came back to work too soon afterwards due to WCW’s policies.  He was unhappy in WCW where he was treated poorly but could not get out of the company yet.

As stated, Eddie was one of the best wrestlers of all time. He could make anyone look amazing in the ring and had such natural charisma that it rubbed off on even the most bland individual he was working with. He had matches that were the highlight of every show and was such a star in Mexico that promoters continued his gimmick long after he left.  However, they could not replicate the results without him. In WCW, the better he did, the more the higher ups seemed to dump on him and it took a toll along with everything else in his life at the time.

Eddie, along with Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and his longtime friend Dean Malenko, eventually jumped ship from WCW to the WWE and things turned around for the better. Eddie was suddenly given a chance he wasn’t afforded in WCW. He quickly won over fans and higher ups liked what they saw. But his demons were also getting stronger. Addictions to painkillers and alcohol  had wrecked havoc on his life,. His marriage was ruined and he was spiraling out of control and eventually it got to the point that Dean Malenko had to inform WWE what was going on, because he feared finding Eddie dead in a hotel bed one day.

Eddie was given the choice to go to rehab and was eventually fired by WWE. But that was not the end of his story. Eddie did rehabilitate himself and rededicated himself to God. He cleaned himself up and began working on the independent scene for a while, including with talents like CM Punk. He also began to repair his personal relationships, eventually winning back and reuniting with his family, and WWE took notice. Eddie had turned himself around and was brought back to the company in a big way. Latino Heat had been his nickname for a while and now he showed just what Latino Heat was capable of. In his tag team with his nephew Chavo Jr ( they were nearly the same age), Eddie wooed fans like never before. He lied, he cheated and stole in his matches and the fans went crazy for him. He was the wiliest figure in the ring and no one could outsmart him.

Eddie eventually impressed WWE so much that he was given a run with the WWE championship and represented the company and title with pride and honor. He became and example of redemption in wrestling, and it was not just an act. Former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas told a story in his book, The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee, about how a young fan in a wheelchair had waited after a show to meet Eddie and wasn’t able to. Jimmy went to Eddie, who was in the changing room and immediately took the WWE belt and went to meet the fan because he wanted to make him happy. There were stories about how Eddie would encourage people to tip waiters and waitresses better because a good tip could mean all the difference to them in terms of their money for the month. He would read the bible frequently and discuss his faith with those interested. He never tried to push religion on anyone, but simply was willing to talk about it. He was willing to talk to others going through the problems he had, and would offer his guidance.

Sadly, 12 years ago this day, Eddie passed away. He had overcome his demons but the damage had been done. His substance problem had caused heart issues and he was found dead in his hotel room bed by Chavo and Dean. Eddie was lionized afterwards and rightfully so. El Santo may have been called the Saint of wrestling but Eddie had a good claim on the title also. He inspired wrestlers to do better, both in the ring and in life, and later to take care of themselves. He showed that one could bring himself back from the bottom and come to the top.

Eddie is gone but will never be forgotten. He is the inspiration for positive changes in the industry, including how smaller wrestlers are perceived. A hero to may, Eddie will always live on in our hearts and minds.

Viva La Raza!

By Jessica Brister On 12 Nov, 2017 At 04:09 PM | Categorized As Books, Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWhen looking at epic fantasy series, many times a first book can be a little slow, typically concentrating on a lot of set-up for later books.  Initially, when I heard about The Way of Kings, the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series, the most talked-about feature was the one-thousand plus page length.  When my husband brought home the hard-cover edition, I took one look at that thing and immediately put the title on the back-burner.  I went through Sanderson’s Mistborn series and liked it, but I thought that I was going to have a hard time getting into a first book that long.

I was totally wrong.

 The Way of Kings is one of the best fantasy books that I have ever read.  Actually, it is probably one of the best books I have ever read period, and I don’t say that lightly either.  As a former English teacher, I have many wonderful titles on my list of must-reads.  I have to say, though, The Way of Kings really is a fantastic read.  Here’s why:

Despite the epic length of The Way of Kings, the story is extremely fast-paced.  Sanderson is an expert at dangling little pieces of information at the right points to make the reader want to keep reading, despite the daunting size of the text.  The story revolves around a handful of characters living in the inhospitable land of Roshar, a land of storms and stone.  This book focuses on Kaladin, a former soldier turned slave, as he struggles with his purpose in life and the group of slaves he adopts as his own.  They truly are dealing with horrific conditions as the kingdoms of Roshar battle a mysterious enemy who killed their High King.  But as Kaladin tries to keep his men alive, he begins to realize that they are not much more than cannon fodder, and the righteous war that they were supposed to be fighting is beginning to turn into nothing more than a petty political scheme.

The nobility of the kingdoms in Roshar are obsessed with money, power, and Shardblades and Shardplates—extremely powerful weapons and armor from a different era, one which is lost in the echoes or Roshar’s distant history where the Knights Radiant protected the land from true horrors.  One book that recounts some of the former glory of these guardians is The Way of Kings, a text that Brightlord Dalinar Kholin is obsessed with.  The brother of the slain king, Dalinar believes that the book has some secret meaning that may affect the future of the kingdoms.  Not everyone around him is so sure, since many doubt Dalinar’s sanity.

Meanwhile, in a seemingly irrelevant but extremely important side story, a young woman named Shallan must figure out a way to steal an enormously valuable item from Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah, in order to restore her family’s position in society.  While getting close to Jasnah, Shallan soon discovers that Jasnah’s research may hold the key to the Knights Radiant and the real reason behind the war.

The Way of Kings covers everything from political intrigue to the horrors of war to racism and inherent bias.  There’s something for everyone.  Despite being such a lengthy novel, there’s not any filler.  Everything is important and as the story unfolds, the details masterfully build upon each other.  The story is also beautifully written.  Sanderson is an accomplished writer who creates prose that is truly an art form.  I do not say this about many contemporary authors.

One of the best aspects of The Way of Kings is the setting itself, which has a unique feel from most standard fantasy novels.  Roshar is a weather-beaten land where plants retract in and out of the rocks and most typical animals are crustacean-like beings with tough shells to withstand highstorms, which are fierce hurricane-like tempests that will destroy anyone and anything in their path.  Cities and towns are built specifically with these storms in mind, and travel can be a quite rough.  The lore and history as well as the cultures and people of Roshar are fascinating and add depth to the marvelous world Sanderson has created.

The main characters are memorable and relatable.  I happened to really connect with Kaladin, and I ended up learning a few things about myself through his eyes.  All of the main characters have multiple flaws but also many redeeming qualities, making them believable and realistic.  The reader is drawn in to their plights and is concerned for their well-being, wanting them to succeed.

There are multiple conflicts: some from other characters, some from the war, and some that are internal struggles, which creates a well-rounded story line.  Yes, it might be a hefty read, but everything pulls together so nicely that most readers probably won’t mind.  I certainly didn’t.  In fact, I felt a bit lost after finishing it.  I got that let-down feeling after I finish a book when it is so good that I never want it to end, and when it does end, I get depressed.  The Way of Kings did that to me.  Luckily, I was a little late to the game when I read it, so it didn’t take me very long to get my hands on the second book, Words of Radiance (review coming soon).

The Way of Kings did come out in 2010, so this review may appear to come out at an odd time, but don’t forget that the third book of the series, Oathbringer, will be out November 14, so this is a great time to play catch-up if you haven’t started on this series yet.  I cannot praise these books enough.  They really are the next great fantasy series of our time.

Oh, and those who enjoy listening to their books, the book tape version of The Way of Kings is amazing.  I did one read through and one listen through of the book and cannot say enough about the production of the audio book.

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Something that often doesn’t get mentioned a lot when discussing Nintendo Switch’s online service is that some games will have online play. While we do not know how this will work just yet, we can make some guesses. If the games do allow online co-op or other such multiplayer, then here are seven NES games that truly need online play. (Note, there will be no RARE games or licensed games on this list)

 

Number 7: Bomberman

Okay, Let me just say that yes the NES Bomberman is very basic compared to later entries. It didn’t have many of the series staples that would come later, but it is still a very fun game. Bomberman has always been a great series for multiplayer and either of the NES Bomberman games would be very much worth having with online play. It is still fun and challenging and would make for a great time.

Number 6: Tecmo Bowl

An all time classic, Tecmo Bowl is a football game that is easy to learn and quick to get the hang of. That being said, it is still challenging and in 2 player mode, the game requires strategy as well as timing.  This was in spite of its seemingly simple inputs that quickly showed themselves to have a lot more to them. Obviously this would continue to lack the NFL license due to EA having that exclusively, but that doesn’t matter. This is a sports game that just works!

Number 5:Double Dragon II

Beat Em Ups are awesome, we all know that, and Double Dragon II was one of the best available for the NES. Improving on the original in every way, including finally bringing in co-op mode, Double Dragon II is an all time classic about getting revenge for a loved one, and kicking ass while doing so. The enemies are iconic, the sound effects are memorable, and the fact is that this is a game that is a must for 2 players.

Number 4: Ice Hockey

Nintendo’s Ice Hockey is a deceptively awesome game. It seems bland with its generic title, but then you get tot he gameplay and it is amazing. This is pure arcade style fun, and the game offers so many options for variety. You can speed things up to insane levels, or alter the character sizes, just for two examples. The game is a classic example of easy to learn but difficult to master, and it is one of Nintendo’s best NES games.

Number 3: Life Force

I had to include a space shooter on the list and Life Force was the best choice. This game offered unique gameplay, great power-ups and excellent co-op. It also was one of the first NES space shooters to switch perspective between horizontal and vertical during gameplay. The game holds up well all these years later, and I feel that a new generation will love it also, especially if they can play online with their friends!

Number 2:Contra/Super C

This one is a toss up as Konami seems to only re-release Super C instead of Contra 1, but that is besides the point. The Contra series is an absolutely legendary run n gun series, that only gets better with two players. Two players running through hordes of enemies while trying to not get hit. With online play, players from around the world can team up and take on the enemy together, which would only make a Contra game even better. The series is just better with two players and online would make it even more awesome.

Number one: Bubble Bobble

There was no other option. This is one of the best ( and arguable THE best) co-op games on the NES. Its gameplay is still as great today as it was back in the day, and multiplayer is a major part of the series. In fact multiplayer is needed if you really want to get the game beaten. This is the perfect example of a co-op game on NES that would benefit from having online multiplayer added in, and no one can deny that. It would make an all time great even better and show why this game gets the praise it does.

 

But this is just my list. What suggestions do you have?

 

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Disclaimer: The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Nov, 2017 At 09:57 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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BlizzCon 2017 has come and gone, and with it another great round of gaming excitement. BlizzCon is one of the best parts of the year for me, not just as a fan of Blizzard but as a fan of gaming in general. BlizzCon has always felt to me like nothing else in the industry. E3, for all its glitter, is a tradeshow and is always meant to be that. BlizzCon has always felt different than that.

Whether it is discussion of Blizzard’s games or just interacting with the fans, BlizzCon has always been a standout event. It isn’t so much for the reveals, and indeed Blizzard doesn’t always do major reveals but more discussions of their games and that is appreciated. BlizzCon is an event by a company for its fans and less of a big business production the way E3 is. There is a more casual atmosphere and a friendlier nature. It isn’t the perfect event and issues do happen but they are far more rare.

But the reason BlizzCon matters the most is that it serves as an example to the rest of the industry on how a company can interact with fans and the media. The only one that comes close is QuakeCon and even QuakeCon still feels somewhat more impersonal than BlizzCon. BlizzCon feels like a fan appreciation event at times, whereas QuakeCon, as much as I love it, still feels too corporate.  Just looking at BlizzCon shows how the fans are truly excited to be there in a way that is not done at other events. The sheer brilliance of BlizzCon cannot be denied and it sets an example that all other companies should follow. BlizzCon is an event that truly matters to the industry and should be treasured for what it is.

 

 

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The above was the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 4 Nov, 2017 At 09:51 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Opinion, ROG News | With 1 Comment

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Last week I wrote an editorial about when it is appropriate for games to be political. Today I want to look at another side of the debate, namely if Nintendo is playing things too safe when it comes to politics.

 

To begin with, Nintendo obviously should not put politics into a game like Mario, as it is just a poor fit for that series. However, Nintendo has several other series where politics would make sense, such as Fire Emblem for example. Nintendo has said that they do not want political statements in their games, but some can argue that is a political statement in itself. Nintendo has actually dabbled into deeper messages in games like Pokémon at times, but not very deep. Is Nintendo truly trying to keep things for everyone, or are they just playing things far too safe politically?

A game like Advance Wars for example, would be a good place to discuss deeper issues of war and society. Nintendo has made a darker and edgier entry in the series, but it isn’t exactly what I mean. The thing is, a political message doesn’t need to be beat over someone’s head over and over again, but can be told subtly and through actions. Nintendo could also go deeper into themes previously seen in the DS era Pokémon games about the nature of the world of Pokémon and how the relationship between people and Pokémon can be cruel  at the hands of certain trainers, while others are truly good people.

Again, Nintendo should obviously not put politics into things like Mario and Splatoon, and even Zelda doesn’t feel like a good fit. But Nintendo’s RPGs and games like Fatal Frame ( Which Nintendo co-owns) are a good place to discuss deeper issues. Fatal Frame in particular is a good place, since horror games are a good place to discuss themes of humanity and darker issues. Even Metroid, if it should follow up on the plot of Metroid Fusion one day, will need to delve into more serious issues alongside the game. Given that story in a Metroid game is a controversial issue in itself, it would need to be told via log entries and such, but it could be one of the most interesting games made.

Obviously Nintendo is in a difficult position given their Japanese roots, but given their audience in America, and that many games are made with a western audience in mind, some might argue Nintendo has an opportunity or even a responsibility. In the end, I leave it up to you all to decide if this is something Nintendo should address. Do you feel they should tackle these issues? Or should they stay the path they are on?

 

 

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Disclaimer: The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

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Nintendo has made so many great games over the decades, that have grown into established series. We all know Mario and Zelda, and to a lesser extent games like Golden Sun, F Zero and Star Fox, but there are games that Nintendo has made that have not been touched in an extremely long time. I have looked back at some of these games, and there are 7 that stand out as games that should be revived for Switch.

I only had two criteria for this list. It had to be a game that was only in the NES or SNES era before falling off, and it had to be either a Nintendo IP or an IP of a company that works exclusively with Nintendo. With that said, let’s begin

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling was one of the first NES games and is widely regarded as a true classic. It was very basic but still fun and the game’s developers did work on future wrestling games but not in this series. It would be amazing if Nintendo could find a team to revive the IP as a cartoonish wrestling game similar to Ultimate Muscle on the GameCube. To me, the best choice would be Next Level Games, who were developing a game with wrestling elements using Mario characters which ended up cancelled. A game that is a pure wrestling game with its own characters and some cartoonish over the topness would be great for Nintendo and the Switch.

 

Startropics

 

Startropics was a rare thing on the NES. It was a Nintendo developed game made for the western market and not Japan at all. The games are similar to Zelda but with more variety at the time and a modern modern feel.  A reboot of this IP would be great as an action adventure game with a sci-fi focus, maybe with marketed more to the west than other games. It would also be something different and that is a good thing.

 

Gyromite

Gyromite was another early Nintendo game, and one that utilized R.O.B. the robot. Obviously I do not expect a new game to use R.O.B. again, but rather I think Gyromite could be a great eShop download game with a  local co-op focus. Nintendo has other games like Snipperclips that are based on local co-op, and with the JoyCons, Gyromite would be a great fit.

 

Ice Hockey 

 

Ice Hockey was another early NES game but it has held up incredibly well. It is an over the top hockey game on the NES that didn’t bother tryin to do realism in any way possible at the time. Nintendo does not have a lot of sports games and this is one they could use. It could be done as Nintendo Ice Hockey and made as either a small download game with a cartoony style and online play, or it could be a full retail experience and modelled after the classic Midway arcade sports games. It would be something different, both for Nintendo and for the video game market in general.

Urban Champion

 

 

I can hear the booing now but hear me out. Urban Champion was terrible in every sense of the word, but a revival could be interesting if done as an In Name Only revival. It could be a neat fighting game if a company such as SNK was hired to work on it and make it a smaller project. Nintendo has been getting into fighting games more as seen with Arms, so why not Urban Champion? This would be a hard sell, but worse games have been remade as great games so it could work.

 

The Mysterious Murasame Castle

 

The Mysterious Murasame Castle was a Japan only Famicom game that played very similar to Zelda 1. It was far more action oriented and this is what interests me for a possible revival. The Mysterious Murasame Castle starred a samurai named Takamaru who fought demons invading Japan and that would make an excellent action game from the likes of Koei Tecmo or Platinum Games. There was a sort of remake on the Wii but it was more having Takamaru appear in Samurai Warriors and get a mode for himself that recreated the game in Samurai Warriors, and thus not a true remake. The Mysterious Murasame Castle could be the definitve action game for Nintendo that they are looking for.

 

Arcana

 

This one was made by HAL but as they work solely with Nintendo, I am counting it. Arcana was a unique game that combined the dungeon crawler RPG genre with more traditional JRPG elements and new ideas such as a card system. It was unlike anything before it or since and I feel it was truly underrated gem. Admittedly it had its issues, such as poor pacing and some ideas not meshing well, but with the resources available today, and years of experience and hindsight, Arcana could be done again  and be a true masterpiece. heck, Nintendo could have Camelot work with HAL on this to iron out the issues and ensure it would be one of the best RPGs ever made.

 

Well there you are. Seven Retro Nintendo Games that should be revived. What do you all think of the choices and what would you choose?

 

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The above was the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 3 Nov, 2017 At 11:26 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Halloween has just passed, and among other things made for the holiday was Wayne Brady recording a 30’s style jazz cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

 

 

I had been listening to Jackson’s music and re-watching his music videos for a while now and watching this cover made me appreciate Jackson even more. It also made me realize just how there will never be someone to equal Jackson ever.

Michael Jackson wasn’t satisfied with just doing the same as others and did everything better. His music videos were unlike anything before or since. His video for “Thriller” was less a music video than a short musical film and it pushed peoples’ expectations for what could be done with music videos. His collaboration with John Landis helped elevate music videos to true art rather than just an accompanying video for a song.  The dance scene is often imitated still to this day, and has shown up in everything from South Park to the Japan exclusive Splatterhouse nes/famicom game. It is a  shame most people today like to only reference it as a meme, as it is a video that other musicians can only aspire to come close to.

Jackson’s dancing was on another level as well. His moves in “Smooth Criminal” and “Bad” ( another music video that pushed expectations), were the stuff of legends. Whereas musicians are a form of artists, Jackson was one of the few musicians to be a an artist capable of multiple forms. His music was excellent and engaging, his dancing unmatched and his input into music videos helped change what was expected. He invented new styles of dance and music and constantly reinvented himself., and like any true artist he was never satisfied.

 

 

A lot of people view his music as inoffensive, and he was called the King of Pop, but the truth is that there was a message in his work. He often touched on racial issues even if many ( mostly white people) didn’t realize it. “Black and White” was the most blatant with this but “Bad”, also touched on this, though most people don’t seem to have seen the full video, but rather the shortened one. The full version touched on more serious issues as well as issues that were considered to be uncomfortable by some because of the racial message. In truth Jackson was talking about society in all its ways and it was a message that needed to be heard.

 

Jackson had to deal with repercussions of fame as we all know, and he even turned some of the problems into his music. Billie Jean was a legendary song and only Michael could have done it the way it was done.

 

Whatever stories there were about him are not relevant to this discussion. I am speaking of Jackson as an artist and one who brought everything he did to new heights. Thet ruth is that Jackson was a global superstar on a level that had simply never been seen before. His talent was unequalled and though many have tried to bill themselves as his successor, none will ever succeed. Jackson was a once in a lifetime phenomenon, a living legend. You cannot recapture that talent ever, and it is a shame that young people will never know such a global star in their lifetime. That being said, Jackson’s music is still here for people to listen to, and his videos and recorded concerts can still be watched and viewed in awe of his talent. If you will excuse me now, I need to listen to some more of the King.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 31 Oct, 2017 At 01:51 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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In recent years, politics has become a major topic of debate within video games. More specifically, the debate over whether or not politics belong in video games or if games should be apolitical completely. Some say they just want games to be escapism while other feel everything is inherently political and video games are not immune to that. I have thought this over and wish to share my thoughts on this matter.

I believe that when it comes to video games politics do and do not belong, depending on the game. With games such as Metal Gear Solid, politics is woven into its narrative to a large extent and it makes sense there. Likewise, Wolfenstein has received controversy for of all things, having Nazis as villains, and while that controversy is ridiculous, the fact is that Wolfenstein is political by nature by virtue of  being an anti Nazi game. The thing with these games however, is the context and identity of the politics and games, since as mentioned, having a game where you fight against Nazis to take back America cannot not be political.  Games like Metal Gear Solid and Deus Ex involves politics as part of their storytelling and would not be the same without them, but in those cases politics is involved from the very beginning. It is not the same as injecting politics into a game later on, where the politics were not part of the game originally

Other companies have made it clear they do not want to bring politics into their games. Nintendo has stated ( as seen here) that they do not wish to bring politics into their games, and that they want them to be for fun and escapism. This is an equally valid approach, because while people can read politics into something like Mario and Donkey Kong, Nintendo did not intend those games to be political games .  While their games can touch on social issues as seen in Fire Emblem, Nintendo and others wish to remain a company that is accessible to all and to not alienate an audience. If one were to make a Mario game that got preachy on political issues, Nintendo would have many upset customers. A Zelda game could touch on it briefly but to make it a major point would again alienate longtime fans because that is not what they have always known the series to be. To claim everything is political is to ignore the fact that many games are simply based on escapism and adventure. Yes they have grown epic in scale and have much larger storylines, but injecting politics into these games would just seem foreign.

But is this debate about politics in video games focusing on something that is truly recent? Many Japanese games such as some of the Japan only Goemon games, touched on the Americanization of Japan. When Poland’s video game industry was really getting started, many games had a political bent such as the sadly unreleased strategy simulation Solidarnosc (Solidarity). The game was based on the solidarity movement that acted as a resistance to the communist authority and would partially be based on resistance leader Lech Walesa. Indeed many former Soviet Bloc countries produced games with an anti-communist message in that time period, which makes sense as the people had just come out of rule by an oppressive communist government. And thi

s isn’t even mentioning American games such as Command and Conquer which would fall into the first category of games that have politics intertwined with their narrative from the beginning.
So what can we conclude from this? Politics are a part of video games, but only when they make sense. To inject politics simply because it is something you believe in, is not a good idea if politics wasn’t a major part of the game originally. Conversely, if the game was political by nature then it makes perfect sense to make political statements. Essentially, context is key for everything. Context and skilled writing will allow any message to get across but it needs to be in the right place as well or the message will simply fail.

I will continue to play games like Wolfenstein and Mario and enjoy both for what they are. I hope you all will do so as well.
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The above was the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.