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Feature: The History Of The Famicom

The History Of The Famicom

As Nintendo's iconic console turns 30, we chart the rise of a legend

Nintendo may be a company with a history that stretches back over a hundred years, but it has only enjoyed its current level of fame for the past thirty or so — and that’s largely thanks to a remarkable 8-bit console which launched in its native Japan three decades ago this...

Talking Point: The Famicom Was the Beginning of the Modern Gaming Era

The Famicom Was the Beginning of the Modern Gaming Era

Solid building blocks

We recently shared the landmark news that the Famicom has celebrated its 30th Anniversary, having launched in Japan on 15th July 1983, over two years before the NES made its way West. The latter version is that best known and most commonly cited, yet it was the original model's release — Nintendo's first dalliance with a...

Feature: The Making Of Pilotwings 64

The Making Of Pilotwings 64

The N64 launch title which soared to new heights

In recent years Nintendo has made a habit of aligning itself with external studios in order to complete notable projects. We've seen fruitful unions with the likes of Sega (F-Zero GX), Capcom (The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap) and more recently Team Ninja (Metroid: Other M), Next Level Games (

Feature: When it Comes to Games, What's in a Name?

When it Comes to Games, What's in a Name?

Quite a lot, if you're fussy like us

The latest major 3DS release to hit Europe is Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros., except in our review we took to calling it by its North American name, just plain-old Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. It arrives Stateside around a month after Europe, but the shorter title seems like a better fit; that "Bros."...

Feature: Taking A Look Back At The Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak

Taking A Look Back At The Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak

The little peripheral that shook things up in a big way

Nintendo has always been a video game manufacturer renowned for innovation. From revitalising the video game console industry with the NES back in 1985 right through to opening it up to the mainstream with its Wii and DS systems in the mid-2000s, the Japanese company has continued to have a...

Feature: A Virtual Tour of Pilotwings 64

A Virtual Tour of Pilotwings 64

Come fly with me

When it was released in 1996, Pilotwings 64 was praised for its incredible visuals and vast, open landscapes. Even now, the attention to detail is astonishing — as we pointed out in our recent Pilotwings 64 review so much so that we felt compelled to explore it. To save you the effort of having to dust off that old N64 and unlock...

Feature: The Humble Origins of Animal Crossing

The Humble Origins of Animal Crossing

How an obscure little N64 title grew into a hit franchise for Nintendo

The hype and excitement for Animal Crossing: New Leaf across the web is reaching a critical level. Hitting North America on 9th June and Europe on 14th June, it begs the question whether some people might literally explode as a result of not being able to contain their...

Feature: The Making Of Street Fighter Alpha 3: Upper

The Making Of Street Fighter Alpha 3: Upper

How the GBA’s best fighter doomed the company that made it

We’d be willing to bet that if you quizzed any games developer, they’d admit that pushing a system to its absolute limit is one of the most satisfying parts of the job. Taking a piece of hardware and making it do things it really shouldn't be capable of shows incredible talent and...

Feature: A Brief History of Pokémon - Part One

A Brief History of Pokémon - Part One

Contracting Pokémania

In the mid-nineties, an epidemic spread across the world. First discovered in Japan, it soon spread across the pacific, consuming vast areas of America. We were powerless to stop it. No cure was to be found. Before long, it broke America's shores and hit Europe with similarly devastating effect. The worst affected were...

Feature: Celebrating Ten Years of The Wind Waker

Celebrating Ten Years of The Wind Waker

A decade under the ocean

This week marked the 10th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s European release, a title that’s equally one of the most beloved and controversial titles in the entire Zelda franchise. Launched on the GameCube between 2002 and 2003 worldwide, The Wind Waker had a troubled launch, due largely to a...

Feature: Nintendo Battle - Game Watch: Super Mario Bros. 3 vs. Star Fox

Nintendo Battle - Game Watch: Super Mario Bros. 3 vs. Star Fox

The power's on the wrist

These days we take gaming portability for granted. We may kill time playing a bit of Angry Birds on our smartphones while waiting for the next bus to arrive or waiting for our dental appointment. Back in the early ’90s you could carry around a Game Boy or Atari Lynx, but neither was particularly pocket friendly. The...

Feature: Nintendo Life's Staff Favourites - Super NES

Nintendo Life's Staff Favourites - Super NES

Doubling the bits for Super power

We think it's safe to say that the past two generations of Nintendo home consoles — Wii and Wii U — haven't overly concerned themselves with raw graphical power; now its all about concepts and experiences. It wasn't always so, with Nintendo responding the the SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis — which enjoyed a spell...

Feature: Ten SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis Games We Want on the Wii U Virtual Console

Ten SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis Games We Want on the Wii U Virtual Console

They skipped Wii VC, so now their time has come

Earlier this week we were rather pleased the share the news, based on a couple of sources, that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse looks set to come to Wii U. It's unclear whether it'll be a straight-up re-release (on the Virtual Console) or a remastered port, but whatever the case it's a SEGA...

Feature: Nintendo Life's Staff Favourites - NES

Nintendo Life's Staff Favourites - NES

Let's begin at the beginning

One thing you may have noticed, if you're a regular visitor to Nintendo Life, is that we're more than happy to wear our retro-enthusiast, rose-tinted spectacles as often as possible. A merger with VC-Reviews in April 2009 is an important part of our history, and we often share entertaining blasts from the past and wax...

Hardware Classics: NEC PC Engine

NEC PC Engine

Emotion Engine

It's a common misconception that the Nintendo Super Famicom and Sega Mega Drive were close rivals in their native Japan. In reality, Sega was in fact third in the pecking order, and it was NEC's PC Engine which fought so bitterly with Nintendo for domination of the sales charts. A collaboration between hardware manufacturer NEC an

Remake Request: Captain Blood

Captain Blood

Clone alone

The medium of video gaming has arguably witnessed some of the most ridiculous story lines in the history of humankind. Let’s face it, if you went to a literary agent with the concept of a portly Italian plumber giving up hunting giant apes and travelling to a land filled with talking mushrooms to save a princess from the clutches of...

Round Table: Let's Talk About the F-Zero Franchise

Let's Talk About the F-Zero Franchise


With SNES classic F-Zero coming to the end of its spell as the 30 cent/30 pence Famicom Anniversary promotion on the Wii U eShop, some of us in the Nintendo Life team thought that it was the perfect time to talk about the franchise. With just four main releases — include the GBA title but discounting the arcade unit — it's not been...

Remake Request: Langrisser


Fire Emblem's old rival deserves a second chance

As you dig yourself into Fire Emblem: Awakening’s monstrously addictive campaign, spare a thought for some of the other turn-based strategy RPGs which haven’t been given the chance to impress an entirely fresh generation of players. Like Langrisser, for example. Chances are, unless you really...

Hardware Classics: Sega Mega Drive

Sega Mega Drive

The genesis of Sega's superstardom

It's fitting that the first non-Nintendo entry in our Hardware Classics series should be the Sega Mega Drive. This sleek 16-bit powerhouse remains Sega's most commercially successful console, having shifted around 40 million units globally. Famous for being the first console to challenge Nintendo's dominance in...

Hardware Classics: Nintendo Super Famicom

Nintendo Super Famicom

Still super after all these years

To many, it's the greatest video game console ever made. The Super Famicom — or Super Nintendo Entertainment System as it is more commonly known outside of its native Japan — is host to some of the finest pieces of interactive entertainment ever made. It was on this console that Nintendo refined so many of the...

Feature: The Wonderful World of Multiplayer Add-Ons

The Wonderful World of Multiplayer Add-Ons

The lengths we go to

If you want to play a bit of multiplayer in most games nowadays, and you don't have a friend nearby, it's as easy as selecting a menu and waiting for strangers to appear as competition. Online multiplayer can perhaps be a bit more personal than that, of course, with the ability to meet up with friends and have a blast, as we...

Hardware Classics: Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite

This is how you redesign a console

Let's be brutally honest here — the original DS design was ugly. Quite what Nintendo's designers were thinking when they came up with it we'll never know, but the dumpy, two-tone casing hardly got pulses racing, even back in 2004. It felt like a system that was rushed out of the door purely to meet a deadline,...