Retro Features

  • Feature Retrofitting Your Console for the HD Age

    How to give your Wii and classic hardware a new lease of life

    While the relentless march of progress ensures that modern gaming consoles — and the televisions upon which they are played — are able to offer pin-sharp HD picture quality, it's worth sparing a moment to consider where this leaves older machines, as well as the humble Wii — which...

  • Interviews Catching Up with Steve Wiebe

    The former champ ain't no chump

    Not since a certain famous gorilla and plumber-to-be squared off for the coveted Pauline has there been a rivalry like that of the Kings of Kong. The film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters brought to public attention the fight for dominance between family man Steve Wiebe and Goliath-like hot saucier Billy Mitchell, and since then New York plastic surgeon Dr..

  • Interviews Dr. Hank Chien, the Current King of Kong

    Doctor Kong tells all

    We recently live blogged former King of Kong Steve Wiebe's attempt to take back the Donkey Kong record, but before last March, we weren't even aware that a new champ was out there. We recently sat down with the New York plastic surgeon to get his thoughts on his rise to fame, competitive playing and more as well as get some...

  • Features NES Characters, Then and Now: Part One

    See how some of your favourite characters have evolved over the past 25 years

    The Nintendo Entertainment System was a system that stimulated the imaginations of designers and gamers alike. Whether it was the smiling, dream-like wonderland of the Mushroom Kingdom, the sprawling fantasy world of Hyrule or the atmospheric depths of planet Zebes, the NES gave birth to some of the most brilliant and..

  • Talking Point Your Favourite Nintendo Christmas Memories

    Gather round, gather round

    For many gamers, Nintendo is as big a part of Christmas as tinsel, turkey and too-tight trousers, the company's magic helping to make the festive season just a little more joyful. With that in mind, we want to hear from you, our beloved Nintendo Life readers, about your favourite Nintendo Christmas memories. Perhaps it was...

  • Features Don't Touch My Samus: Metroid's Controversial Turn

    Why the latest Metroid game's depiction of Samus isn't a complete departure

    Metroid isn't a franchise that is known to rest upon its laurels. While each entry maintains the same basic elements that made the first game successful, one could hardly say that the series has gotten comfortable over the years. Whether it's adding a narrative, introducing...

  • Features Celebrating Super Famicom's 20th Anniversary

    Nintendo's Mode-7 machine turns 20

    For those who aren't aware, the Super Famicom console is celebrating its 20th birthday today. On this day in 1990, Nintendo released the much-anticipated follow-up to its immensely popular Famicom system onto the eager Japanese gaming world. The Super Famicom became an instant hit in Japan and a North American...

  • Feature Slipped Disk - The History of the Famicom Disk System

    We look back at Nintendo's first misstep in the domestic gaming hardware arena

    Given what we now know about add-on hardware for games consoles, the very concept of the Famicom Disk System seems hopelessly flawed. Since this Japan-only system hit the market in 1986 we’ve seen the equally ill-fated Sega Mega CD, Sega 32X and Nintendo 64DD all come...

  • Features Things We Miss About the 8-Bit Era

    It's the little things that count

    Today, the virtual reality experience of the Wii is as immersive as Lawnmower Man director/writer Brett Leonard ever could have hoped, with Mario as real and in-person as an actual member of our family and special effects so vivid that we compulsively hold our breath during underwater levels. Okay, maybe things...

  • Features Reader NES Stories

    You tell us why you loved that 8-bit magic machine

    To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the NES's North American debut, we asked you to send in your favourite memories with that machine, and you delivered. We apologise to those whose letters we unfortunately were unable to find a place for, but whether you made it into the article or not, it's much appreciated. Though some outside of the..

  • Features Staff NES Stories

    Learn our shocking pasts

    To continue our celebration of 25 years of NES, the staff's gathered around the campfire to share their favourite memories of that little dream machine. Not everyone could make it to the party, unfortunately, but we're sure that those who couldn't had good reason to stay home. Join us now as we lay bare our souls to you and open up in a way that the staff of Nintendo Life..

  • Features NES Homebrew Is Where The Heart Is

    How two indie developers are keeping the system kicking after all these years

    It’s nigh impossible to overstate the importance of the Nintendo Entertainment System in video game history: its popularity pretty much single-handedly revived the home game console market in the US, which had crashed a few years before the NES’s October 18th, 1985...

  • Interviews Brian Provinciano - Retro City Rampage

    Vblank Entertainment's open-world game looks set to hijack your 8-bit heart

    Grand Theftendo may have started out as a pet project of Vblank Entertainment's Brian Provinciano, but eight years later it's turned into one of the most intriguing games slated to hit WiiWare in the form of Retro City Rampage. The novelty of an 8-bit open-world game was...

  • Feature How ColecoVision Became the King of Kong

    How a trip to the toilet resulted in video gaming's greatest coup

    When you think of the early '80s video game scene one name instinctively springs to mind: Atari. This pioneering firm had practically invented the concept of the interactive television experience, and its all-conquering VCS (also known as the 2600) was incredibly popular. Naturally...

  • Features We Want Your NES Stories!

    Tell us your 8-bit bits

    October 18th marks the 25th birthday of the NES's North American debut, then only to a select number of cities, and we're celebrating by bringing you a veritable coin box of features and treats. And we want to make you, our beloved readership, a part of the celebration. We'll be running a feature that puts the spotlight on...

  • Feature The Making of Jet Force Gemini - Part Two

    In the second and final part of our N64-themed making of, we look at the critical and commercial impact of one of Rare's best action titles

    One of the most refreshing aspects of Jet Force Gemini was the way in which the player’s progression throughout the various levels was handled; initially, the only character available is Juno, but eventually other heroes are added to the roster, each faced..

  • Feature The Making of Jet Force Gemini - Part One

    In the first of a two-part feature, we go behind the scenes on what is regarded by many as the N64's finest action title

    Back in the late ‘90s being an N64 owner was a testing experience. Having to listen to your Playstation-owning chums constantly droning on about Lara Croft and Solid Snake was enough to put any Nintendo devotee in a bad mood, but the general lack of quality software towards the..

  • Feature The Making of Star Fox

    We go behind the scenes to discover how a small UK code-house helped Nintendo enter the realm of 3D – and make millions in the process

    In these days of ultra-realistic graphical plenty it’s all too easy to forget that for console gamers, 3D visuals didn’t really become par for the course until the advent of the 32-bit technology in the...

  • Feature The Making of the Nintendo Virtual Boy

    Nintendo's other attempt to crack the world of three dimensions

    Everybody has an awkward secret that they'd rather not share with the world. Be it an old school photo that showcases your crimes against fashion or an acutely embarrassing vinyl LP in your record collection that you simply can't bear to part with, we keep these things hidden from the...

  • Feature The Making of the Nintendo Game Boy

    Last year the machine turned 20, but what was it like to work with? We speak to the developers who made this legendary handheld sing

    Every now and then a product comes along that is so groundbreaking that it becomes synonymous with its function. The Hoover, Cellotape, Pritt-Stik…these names and many more like them have become so intrinsically...

  • Feature The Making of Unirally

    Whoever said two wheels are better than one clearly didn’t experience this wholly unique racing title

    If you consider yourself to be a true artisan then there’s nothing worse that pouring your heart and soul into creating something truly breathtaking only to then be accused of flagrant plagiarism; such an allegation robs you of the unique...

  • Interviews Readers Ask Steve Wiebe

    The King of Kong answers your questions

    You asked, and now underdog star of the 2007 documentary The King of Kong and current holder of the Donkey Kong Jr. world record Steve Wiebe has answered. Before he takes on the Donkey Kong world record yet again at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, see what Wiebe thinks about modern...

  • Feature The History of the Nintendo Game & Watch

    We take a look at the LCD range that sparked a portable revolution

    When you look back on the history of video games it’s not uncommon to discover amusing anecdotes regarding defining moments in the industry. For example, rumour has it that Namco’s Pac-man was conceived when creator Toru Iwatani glanced at a pizza with one slice missing and...

  • Feature Retro GT Clothing Interview

    We catch up with the chaps behind this awesome gaming-related clothing brand

    Video gaming has spawned many iconic images over the years, so its little surprise that many brands have crossed over to feature on various items of clothing. One of our favourite clothing companies has to be UK-based Retro GT, who specalise in custom-made designs that reflect several decades of misspent youth. We caught..

  • Feature The Spooky Denizens of the World of Nintendo

    We run down the scariest of scaries the Big N has cooked up

    We here at Nintendo Life love Halloween. Despite the fact it was originally a time when the dead were believed to cause sickness to the living and damage their crops, but nowadays it's just a good excuse to gorge ourselves on delicious, delicious candy. As part of our All Hallows’ Eve...

  • Book Review Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry

    Game over man

    You won’t find an abundance of book reviews here on Nintendo Life – we’re aimed squarely at providing you the best content from the world of interactive entertainment, after all – but anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of The Big N (or video gaming in general) should read David’s Sheff’s Game Over (or Game Over:...

  • Feature The Making of The Wizard

    We go behind the scenes of one of Hollywood’s most misunderstood classics

    The Wizard is very much a guilty pleasure. When the film was released it was panned by critics and flopped at the box office, yet many people still talk about it in hushed, almost reverent tones over fifteen years after its release. Although many critics will gladly tell you...

  • Features Metroid's Metal Makeover

    How five guys blasted the series' haunting soundtrack into a whole different genre - without sucking

    The trouble with covering beloved music is that it’s so easy to lose something in the translation. Successfully capturing the original work’s intent and mood is atypical; what most often happens when things go south is the heart and soul of the piece are mangled with good intentions. It’s not..

  • Feature Legendary Starfy 101

    A little history lesson on Nintendo's adorable platforming star.

    Since many gamers outside of Japan are not terribly familiar with the Densetsu no Stafi series of games, not to mention the fact that The Legendary Starfy is set to be released in North American on June 9th, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the history of the series complete with some fun facts that might surprise even..

  • Talking Point Copyright and Video Games

    What is stopping us from experiencing the entire history of video games?

    Last year Taito issued Space Invaders Get Even on the WiiWare download service as well as multiple versions of the original game on the Japanese, PAL and North American Virtual Consoles. This was in celebration of the 30th annivesary of the release of Space Invaders in arcades worldwide. Similarly Namco is due to celebrate..

  • News April Fool Jokes – The Dust Settles

    We select our favourite Nintendo-related pranks from the big day

    April 1st is a day feared by regular inhabitants of the internet. It’s the one day of the year when you can practically ignore all amazing and outlandish news stories as rival sites attempt to out-do each other with their attempts at humour. However, putting aside the more pathetic jokes for one moment (anyone here still think the..

  • News Hardware Focus - NEC SuperGrafx

    In 1989 the PC Engine was still selling quite well in Japan, but Sega's 16-bit Mega Drive system was beginning to pick up steam and Nintendo's Super Famicom console was looming just around the corner. Sensing this, NEC decided that they needed a true 16-bit console if they were to have any hope of continuing their success in the Japanese console wars.

    The successor to the PC Engine was originally..

  • Movie Review The Wizard (1989)

    Forget all you've been told. This film kicks all kinds of ass

    In a world where everyone seems to have an opinion and they’re all too happy to force it upon others, it’s worth remembering that when judging something (be it a book, film or videogame) it all depends on your connection with that particular piece of media. For example, watching a...

  • News Castlevania: The Nintendo Years

    Fangs for the memories

    Although Konami’s influential vampire slaying franchise has since gone on to find success on several different hardware platforms, the association with the Nintendo NES is arguably what made the series so famous worldwide. The trio of 8-bit Castlevania titles remain highly regarded by fans and still stand up to scrutiny even by today’s standards. They also laid down the..

  • News 10 Games We'd Like To See On The Wii

    Is it too late to ask Santa for these?

    The runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii has granted many publishers and developers a bit more freedom to experiment with their software. With such a massive installed base of users, software houses can be a little bolder with their ideas because chances are even brave failures will shift a few copies. Here at NintendoLife we applaud fresh and original..

  • News A Brief History Of The Light Gun On Nintendo

    With the imminent launch of the Wii Zapper here at NintendoLife we've gotten a little nostalgic as memories of the NES Zapper and Super Scope are brought flooding back.

    Light guns were around in the 1930’s beginning with Seeburg’s Ray-O-Light arcade shooter all the way back in 1936. The game involved a moving duck which must be shot in order to achieve a point. Arguably this early arcade title..

  • News Hardware Lookback: The Virtual Boy

    Headache-inducing monstrosity or misunderstood classic? Whatever the answer, the Virtual Boy represents Nintendo's biggest cock-up. We investigate the history of this strange console.

    ‘Failure’ is not a word you’d usually associate with Nintendo. Sure, there have been some crushing disappointments in the company’s illustrious history – the...