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By Jessica Brown On 7 Dec, 2017 At 04:26 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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So, today I turned 33, which not only means that this is the start of the last year that I can rightly say that “I’m in my early-30s,” but it’s also given me an opportunity to reflect back on a lot of things. One of the things that I’ve thought about a lot lately though has been the evolution of gaming (and technology, for that matter) over the past 30+ years and the fact that while some things have evolved in a massive, almost unpredictable way over the years, other things remain constantly in style.

When I was born, the sun was finally setting on the era of Atari’s reign in home console gaming. The Nintendo Entertainment System would shortly be released in the United States and the way people thought about home games would effectively change forever. While Atari had focused more on short, arcade-like gaming experiences you could enjoy in little bursts, the NES delivered much longer and much more detailed gaming experiences. You could easily write a dissertation on how exactly the original Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda would go on to redefine and revitalize the gaming industry as a whole, but the fact that I could mention this in a sentence and you’d likely know exactly what I was referring to says an awful lot. When I first played The Legend of Zelda I was probably about three years old and I remember stumbling around, trying to figure out where to go and what I needed to do. Sometimes this left me a little frustrated, but I definitely remember being excited every time I uncovered some little secret. Sure, back then I wasn’t good at all and probably died a ton, but the experience was memorable and something I’ll never forget. The original Dragon Warrior was the first real RPG I ever played and I’m pretty sure some parts of it were a bit beyond my reading level at the time, yet part of me thinks that the desire to figure out what was going on in games like it (and later Final Fantasy II on the SNES) really encouraged me to press on and really helped my reading skills improve.

Most of my favorite game series had their genesis during this same time period. In addition to the games listed above, I was very fond of Castlevania, and pretty much all the NES Mega Man games. This is probably why today I am very excited every time I read about a new CastlevaniaZeldaFinal FantasySuper Mario, or Mega Man game. This is true even if sometimes they might be games I won’t get right away, because despite that there’s still this big nostalgia factor that kicks in when I see things like the recent announcement of Mega Man 11 for modern game consoles and the PC.

I didn’t necessarily get every game system that came out as I was growing up, but I did get a fair number of them. I remember getting the Super Nintendo for Christmas the year it came out, eventually getting a Sega Genesis, a Nintendo 64, the original PlayStation, and then later the Dreamcast and the GameCube. I also had other ones too like the Game Boy (and later GB Color and GB Advance), the Game Gear, and the Virtual Boy as well. Later on, in college, I also went out of my way to go back and pick up a Sega Master System (and a bunch of games!) and a Philips CD-i.

Over the years, certain aspects of my tastes in games and what I play them on have changed, though. For instance, when I was in college and had my first really capable laptop, I got a lot more into PC gaming. Part of this also probably stemmed from the fact that when you live in a dorm you have a lot less space to work with, so lugging around a bunch of consoles and games becomes a lot less practical for a while. Still, I usually always had at least one console from each subsequent generation of systems and quite often would favor Nintendo over the others if I were only to get one system. Later on, I came to appreciate the diversity that having a powerful PC would allow, letting me not only play games on very high settings (enjoying modern titles on a huge 4K HDR TV these days), but also serving as a media center, entertainment PC, and work station. This has also certainly been a boon in the past when I’ve been more into media production, such as gameplay videos.

It’s been interesting though to see that home gaming consoles have evolved in many ways into being “small gaming PCs” with some pretty impressive stats backing them up. This was something I predicted a while back, saying that I thought that the lines between a computer and a game console would slowly get a bit blurred. I also remember commenting that I thought the lines between a portable and a home-based console would also eventually start being blurred as technology both improved and shrunk over time, allowing you to fit some pretty impressive hardware into much smaller devices. In this way, the Nintendo Switch has surely met this prediction and in many ways exceeded any expectations I might have had for that kind of technology.

I know that it’s easy to look at an older generation of adults and think that they have become out of touch with the changes in the world around them, possibly because they are already set in their ways and prefer those things that are already familiar to them. In this respect, though, I hope I never stop trying new things and appreciating all the exciting changes that are going on around us. It is easy to get comfortable with what you already know and thus become stuck in a rut, but it’s often very refreshing and exciting to take a chance and try something totally new.

Lately, I’ve been making much more of an effort to actually play and enjoy games because in recent years I was starting to feel like I was more of a collector and appreciator of games than I was a gamer. Often I would buy or get a game as a gift and really be excited about it, but life would get busy and I’d never get around to it or I’d always have one excuse or another for why I didn’t want to start a brand-new game just yet. Now, I see how massive my gaming backlog is, but I’m trying to approach it with a healthy and fresh mindset, aiming mainly to play things because I want to play them and just start enjoying them again.

Anyway, the past decades have certainly seen a lot of changes, and it’s fun to look back on them and reflect on how things have evolved. Thanks for dropping by and spending a little time with me as I’ve looked back on some of these things. Hopefully the coming years will see many more exciting advances that we will all enjoy together!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 7 Dec, 2017 At 02:13 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Reviews, ROG News | With 1 Comment

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Some spoilers for Skyrim will be contained within; you’ve been warned!

The holidays are approaching, and for me that means it will soon be time to light the Chanukah Menorah and eat some latkes. But when it comes to holidays and being a gamer, one has to stop note that sometimes your favourite games have a similarity to a holiday being observed (whether or not the developers intended that to be so). This is the case with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the holiday of Chanukah.

The story of Chanukah is the story of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire to restore freedom, both political and religious to Judea. The empire had imposed new religious laws on the region and a revolt by the faithful was launched; that led to the liberation of the land and the re-dedication of the Temple. Judas Maccabaeus was one of the key figures in the revolt that led to the Jewish people being free, and his name and legacy have been preserved for generations as a figure to look up to and admire. After the revolt, a new dynasty of Jewish kings came to power as the Hasmonean dynasty, and ancient Israel was once again under their own control; Israel was no longer under the rule of a foreign empire that imposed laws religious of religious persecution. Now doesn’t this all sound familiar?

A key part of Skyrim is the Stormcloak rebellion: led by Ulfric Stormcloak, it seeks to renew the land of Skyrim’s independence from the Empire, restore the freedom to worship their patron god Talos. Should the Stormcloaks win the civil war, so the tale goes, one of the first acts they intend do is to restore the shrine of Talos in the temple of the divines; this is not disimilar to the Holy Temple of Israel being rededicated and purified after the Maccabean revolt. This could be coincidental, but even if it is, the similarities are enough that I feel Skyrim’s Stormcloak route truly does re-tell the story of Chanukah. But the similarities do not end there.

The land of Skyrim, as seen in the game, is populated with people who’ve abandoned the Nordic pantheon (for the most part) in favour of the imperial pantheon. This is notable in that the Nords of Skyrim traditionally despised some of the Imperial pantheon such as Arkay. Similarly in the story of Chanukah, many Jews were close to abandoning their traditions in favour of the culture & religion coercively pushed on them by the Seleucid Empire. While Ulfric’s victory is only seen to restore Talos-worship in the game, it would not be hard to imagine that it would eventually lead to a full revival of the Nordic traditions. Ulfric’s restoration of Talos in the temple of the divines is more than just a simple act; it marks the beginning of the return for the Nords to their traditions that were abandoned, or taken from them. So too did the re-dedication of the temple mark the Jewish people returning to their faith and traditions after a period of war, both with the Empire, and with the loyalists.

I noticed these similarities while I was playing the game and while I cannot be sure if they were intentional or not, they stood out to me. Things like this help keep gaming fresh, by showing you that there can be deeper meaning in the games you play. You just need to look in the right places.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The above editorial represents the point of view of the author only, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Dec, 2017 At 05:12 PM | Categorized As Comics You Should Read, Editorials, Featured, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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We often see celebrities try their hand at writing comics and the result is not often good, unless its just them co-writing with an established writer. Umbrella Academy is different however, as Gerard Way, the frontman for the band My Chemical Romance, had been writing for years and his debut in comics happened before Umbrella Academy. He also had experience with working in TV writing, so this was definitely not a comic written by someone who didn’t know what they were doing.

 

The Umbrella Academy takes inspiration from comics such as Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol, but takes things in directions not yet explored. We begin with the finishing blow in a cosmic boxing match, when at the same time 43  infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who hadn’t shown any sign of being pregnant before. Seven of the children were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves alias The Monocle, a space alien posing as an adventurer and entrepreneur. They are to be trained to fight an unspecified future threat as The Umbrella Academy.  But fast forward to adulthood and the team has drifted apart, with one of their number dead, one having gone missing many years before and so on. But with the death of Sir Reginald, the team is called back together, and even the missing No. 5 has returned, having time travelled from the future, but is still a child for some strange reason.

The Hargreeves family is a truly dysfunctional superhero family that cannot get along without going at each other. The various members such as Kraken and Spaceboy soon clash over unresolved tensions but it is not long before the threat that the Monocle predicted starts manifesting itself. What follows is a journey through identity and family, as unresolved feelings are addressed such as feelings of parental abandonment, love and resentment. This is definitely not a typical comic, and the art by Brazilian born Gabriel Ba is truly amazing and I can not imagine anyone else having done the artwork.

Umbrella Academy is definitely offbeat, but in a good way. This is a comic that merges writing and art in an intricate way, and Volume 2: Dallas only upped the ante. We see the fallout from the previous volume, and what changes the characters have gone through. We see more of the alternate history that Umbrella Academy is set in, including that JFK never was assassinated, and the dangerous fallout that leads to. More world-building is done, including of the backstory of Number 5, which was perhaps the biggest lingering question from Volume one: Apocalypse Suite.

To say that the series gets weirder is an understatement, and yet nothing seems out of place or awkwardly done. This is a testament to the skill of Way and Ba that the absurd world that they created feels like it actually makes sense. Dallas sets up more plot threads that will no doubt be explored in future volumes, such as a possible new enemy, and the status of the team.  The characters grow, but not necessarily in a healthy way, which is realistic. And given that this volume has completely insane time travelling assassins wearing oversized cartoon animal heads, that is saying something.

I cannot recommend this comic enough. It is simply one of the best comic works that Dark Horse Comics has ever published!

 

 

 

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Capcom just recently announced a slew of new things in honor of Mega Man’s 30th anniversary (wow, has it really been that long?), including Nintendo Switch ports of Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and 2, new versions of Mega Man X1 through X8 on modern platforms, and something entirely new altogether: a brand-new Mega Man game!

The last mainstream entry into the series was back in 2010 with Mega Man 10. While Mega Man 10 was by no means a bad game (it was actually quite fun, really) and had some neat features to it (Bass being playable in his 8-bit form) it kind of felt derivative to me. In a lot of ways it felt like it was a quick attempt to capitalize off of the success and nostalgia brought about from 2008’s Mega Man 9, but other than a new story and new bosses (seeing the Rockman Killers brought back was really awesome!) the game felt like it had already been done before. Since Mega Man 9 had capitalized on being an NES-style 8-bit adventure, I had hoped that Mega Man 10 might have focused on the SNES style instead. Sadly, they decided to go with 8-bit for a second time.

Mega Man 9 was a lot more exciting for me when it first came out because it was the first real Mega Man game in the U.S. in quite some time. Mega Man 8 had been released back in January of 1997, so other than a Game Boy Advance port of Mega Man & Bass, it had been over ten years since we saw a main series entry. Also, the 8-bit style was perfect in MM9, really tugging on those nostalgia strings and giving gamers a sense of joy when playing the game. The bosses were really unique (with a female Robot Master for a change!), the soundtrack was great, and the game was difficult but fair.

Mega Man 11, which is set for release in late-2018, looks like it’s finally bringing the blue bomber into the modern era with a gorgeous 2.5D style to it. It reminds me of Might No. 9 but…Much better! There’s no word on the story just yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Dr. Wily is up to no good once again.

I’m left wondering if Mega Man 11 will usher in a new era for the iconic robot and his friends. Maybe if the game does well we will have the possibility of finally seeing a Mega Man X9 or at least finally getting some answers as to what happens between the two series of games. Regardless, I’m very happy to see that Capcom is putting its attention to this iconic series once again and that we may finally get some awesome original titles for a change rather than updated collections of previous adventures.

Now, the waiting game begins!

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 Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Nov, 2017 At 06:03 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 2 Comments

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The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s premiere series and one beloved by gamers worldwide. However, there is one game in the series that tends to be poorly regarded. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the first sequel in the series but made drastic changes to the gameplay. Instead of playing from a bird’s eye view like the first game,  Zelda II only uses that for the over world, while using side-scrolling gameplay for towns and dungeons. This brought platforming to the series which made for a very different game. In addition, the game had an RPG style levelling system that hasn’t really be done in the series since. It is definitely the odd one out, but is it a bad game?

I have a confession to make. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, is actually my favourite NES game. In fact, it is my favourite game in the Zelda series altogether ( I could not get into Breath of the Wild at all but I did try). I first played it when I was twelve, well after Majora’s Mask came out. My mother got it for me from a pawn shop, and I spent the summer playing it. Playing that classic game long after I played Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask was quite an interesting experience.

I can see the complaints people had about how different the game was, but I do not agree with them. The game is different yes, but at the time it came out, there was only one other game to compare it to. I actually feel the fact that it is so unlike the other games makes Zelda II unique in a good way. This isn’t to mention that the game actually introduced many ideas that remained in later games, such as Dark Link, names of characters in Ocarina of Time being taken from names of towns in this game, and on that point, towns first appeared in this game and have been a key part of every Zelda game since. Furthermore, the magic system in later games is directly based on the magic system in this one. Zelda II contributed a lot more to the series than people realize.

There are issues of course, mainly the difficulty. The game gets very hard very early on, before most would be ready for it. Getting to Death Mountain means reaching a point of vastly increased challenge and its still an early part of the game. The platforming is not especially difficult due to controls but only when enemies get involved similar to the early Castlevania games. But even then, I don’t feel the difficulty is something that should detract from the game itself. When I think of the game, I just think of fun, because even going back to this game last year, I still got that same sense of joy.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is one of the most underrated games of all time. It has gotten a lot of hatred that is simply undeserved and unmerited. If anything, I would love to see the game get a remake with a modern look, and maybe tweaking the difficulty to manageable levels. The UbiArt Framework would be amazing for such a remake but there are of course other engines and styles that could be used for a remake. It would give people a chance to finally see why this game is truly amazing.

If you have only heard the negatives about the game and have never played it yourself, I urge you to try it for yourself. It may not be a traditional Zelda, but neither was Breath of The Wild. It is a truly excellent experience.

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.