Super Mario Bros. 3

Original version: Super Mario Bros. 3, released on 1988/10/23 for Nintendo Famicom

Recommended version: The WiiU Virtual Console re-release of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, released on 2003/07/11 for Game Boy Advance

After the immense success of Super Mario Bros., it was inevitable that a sequel would be made. Nintendo actually went about this in two different ways. The first sequel was called Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and featured the same gameplay and art assets of the original, but was cruelly difficult. It was meant to be a satisfying challenge for those who mastered SMB and hungered for more. The other sequel was a reskin of the game Doki-Doki Panic with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad being substituted for the original characters. Its gameplay was different from SMB in every way except that it was also a platformer. Both games are technically “Super Mario Bros. 2,” but neither was a genuine successor to the first one. But on one fateful day in 1988 gamers in Japan were treated to a game that was not just a sequel, but a veritable tour de force.

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The Legend of Zelda

Original version: The Legend of Zelda, released on 1986/02/21 for Famicom Disk System

Recommended version: Classic NES Series: The Legend of Zelda for the Game Boy Advance, released on 2004/02/14.

Every legend has a beginning. Some are more humble than others, but what almost all of them have in common is starting with a very rough first draft. The Legend of Zelda, on the other hand, seemed to hatch fully grown. Of course, it was still a first draft in that it established rules and conventions that later entries built upon, but a surprising amount of its structure began here. It seems to have everything: an open world that emphasizes exploration and secret-finding, items such as the ocarina and boomerang, the main cast of characters, and the instantly recognizable theme music that we couldn’t imagine going along with any other game. Let’s take a look at what made this first entry in the long-running series so legendary.

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Excitebike (HONORABLE MENTION)

Original version: Excitebike, released on 1984/11/30 for Nintendo Famicom

There haven’t been many appreciation articles for 1984, and the reason for this is simple: it was the middle of the video game crash. Americans made a few notable games for arcade and home computer, but the console was basically dead. Across the Pacific, however, things were just beginning to heat up. In 1983 Nintendo released their first console, named the Famicom (ファミコン) (short for “Family Computer”) and immediately started putting out a decent variety of games. Let’s take a look at one of the games from their Sports series.

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Tetris

Original version: Тетрис, made in 1984 on the Elektronika 60

Recommended version: Tetris, released in 1989 for the Game Boy

I don’t know what I could possibly say about Tetris that hasn’t already been said many times. It’s considered the quintessential puzzle game and is incidentally one of the best-selling games of all time. It so profoundly affects players that many of them hallucinate in everyday life, seeing blocks falling in front of them. What’s more, Tetris is a perfect game (mirror).

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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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