Throwback Thursdays: Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon

One of the most difficult questions you could ever ask me would be “What’s your favorite video game?” And honestly, don’t ever expect me to narrow it down to a single game. One game that is the essence of everything that I love in the medium—even thinking about it now, the task is daunting. Sure, I’ve waxed poetic about Dragon Age several times, and have expressed my love for various other games, but to say any of those are my favorite? Well, that might be saying a bit too much. It still doesn’t feel right to claim this one as my be-all-end-all favorite either, but looking back, 1998’s Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for the Nintendo 64 is the game that I have the fondest memories of, and the only game I’ve ever cared to speed run. Furthermore, and perhaps more pertinent to this blog, the game really has shaped my so-called aesthetic when it comes to a game’s narrative and use of lady characters. Basically: if you don’t have a musical number by your big bads at one point, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.

Continue reading

On Game Design and Departures, Briefly.

Much of the video game news that I’ve been getting lately has been depressing. Don’t get me wrong, some it has been pretty neat, like the new playable character announcements for Ultra Street Fighter 4, or the first trailer for the new Angry Birds turn-based RPG. But if you’ve been paying attention, maybe you’ve heard that two of the most notable video-game developers in the industry are losing significant talent. Koji Igarashi (Iga), who has designed and produced more games in the Castlevania franchise alone than I care to mention, will depart from Konami after twenty-four years with the developer. Just under two weeks ago, noted game writer Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog, for whom she wrote and directed all four games in the Uncharted series.

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: This One is for All the Streamers Out There

For gamers everywhere this week only means one thing: the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly referred to as E3. At this conference, just about every major game company and developer comes to show off their goods for this upcoming selling season. Be them games or consoles, they show them all (unless you’re Microsoft, in which case you just talk about the Kinect).

However, this series of posts being about web crushes, I can’t in good faith say that E3 fits the bill. But if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s finding loopholes. One eternally frustrating thing about the expo is that it isn’t, and has never been open to the public, only to companies. Luckily, for those of us in the general public (and those who don’t get G4 on their television) there is live streaming! That’s why this week I’m giving my love out to those sites that take it upon themselves to stream the event! Through technical hiccups and embarrassing hosts, you persevere in bringing us gaming fans the news we want as soon as it happens, and for that I thank you.

Although most of the panels are over for this year, you can still catch the floor show where they’ll be testing out some of the new games and peripherals. Or you can catch Nintendo’s 3DS panel at 6:00pm (PST) tonight. I know I’ll be glued to my screen for any mention of Animal Crossing 3DS. You can catch the action here, at Game Trailers or here, at E3’s official stream.