Game & Watch Series [1980-1991] |Game Boy/ Color/Advance| (x/Game & Watch)

Hello, and welcome back to Games Appreciation! Today we will be looking at not just one game, but a series of games created by Nintendo during the 80s, known as the Game & Watch series. Read on after the jump.

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Runners-Up of the 2nd Generation (part 1)

When you have a brand new entertainment medium, there are no rules and the possibilities for innovation are endless. It’s amazing how many innovative titles there were in the second generation–especially in the early 80s! Following the establishment of Activision, the first third-party developer, we saw a huge influx of new and exciting titles up until the crash of 1983. I wanted to showcase some of the titles that weren’t quite excellent enough to warrant their own appreciation article, but are still worthy of being remembered today. From now on I’ll have a showcase for each year (1983, 1984, and so on) but since this is my first one, I’ll include all of the second generation (1977-1982).

So without further ado, here are some of the best and most interesting games of the second generation! Continue reading

Why Games Appreciation?

A Simple Question for a Simple Mind

Back in August of 2011 when I wrote my first Games Appreciation article (Fun fact: I actually wrote Adventure first; I didn’t write Oregon Trail until August of 2014) I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought it would be a cinch to write about the games that held a special place in video game history. By then I had already compiled a list of games I considered the best; nothing to it, right? Well, in 2011-2012 I began intently reading up on the history of games so that I could one day call myself a Video Game Historian–and immediately shush any laughter that resulted–and during my research I found out that some games were overrated, some were sorely underrated, others still were completely forgotten. It became quite clear that my task was about to become a lot more involved. Here’s a sample of what 1982 had to offer.

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Japanese Video Game Industry: A Brief History 日本のビデオゲーム業界の短い歴史

sfiiThis is my semester project for Japanese 301. The first video is the finished product in Japanese, the second video contains an English dub, and the third is my rough draft, complete with grammar errors. Enjoy!

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A Gaming Decade in Review: 1970s

Wow, is it already the end of the decade? It seems like such a short time that I have been covering the games of the 1970s, though a part of that may have to do with me starting in 1978 and then (much) later going back to fill in the previous games. Whoops. Silly me. Silly, silly 2011 version of me. Well, at any rate we can take a look back now and see what has led us to this point. As we welcome the 1980s let’s appreciate the triumphs and (it is hoped) learn from the failures that came to pass.

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Centipede, [1980] |Arcade|

Centipede Cabinet
Refinement has always been as central an aspect to video gaming as innovation. As soon as a brilliant idea comes to the medium, it is edited and polished at such a dizzying pace that cinema seems downright sluggish. Devil May Cry (2001) introduced a semi-fixed camera that was refined by God of War (2005). Stardust (1993) used pre-rendered 3D sprite graphics that were refined by Donkey Kong Country (1994) and perfected by Vectorman (1995). Back in 1980, Dona Bailey was inspired by Space Invaders which created the “shoot ’em up” genre in 1978. Let’s look at her addition to the genre after the jump.

Tempest, [1980] |Arcade|

Tempest Cabinet

No, I’m not thinking of the play by Shakespeare, or the painting by Giogiorne, though both were quite good. I’m talking about the arcade game by Atari. Fresh off their success of Asteroids, Atari once again called upon the sexy power of vectors to make their next space-shooty game. In light of Asteroids’ marked success and the countless clones it inspired, just what makes this unassuming twitch game so special? I mean, aside from the awesomely angular cabinet? Let’s take a look. (Seriously, look at that thing. Atari was not messing around when they chiseled those edges and corners!)

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Missile Command, [1980] |Arcade|

If you were alive during the cold war you must remember the fear and uncertainty that came with wondering how long the arms race between the US and USSR would last. Missile Command was inspired by this very fear and puts you, the player, in charge of millions of lives. Shall we read on?

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