Hideki Konno explains the importance of its inclusion
We can't expect franchises to stay the same forever, but when the crowd-dividing Blue Shell was introduced to the Mario Kart series back in Mario Kart 64, maybe not all of us expected it to stay through to the modern day instalments. Hideki Konno is one of the main players behind the series, having served as director for Super Mario Kart and..
Former 1UP staffer fills us in on what he's up to now
The humble fanzine harks back to an era when the net didn't exist and the most bits you could possibly hope for from a games console was 16. It's hard to appreciate this now, but back then these crude pen-and-paper creations were the ancestors of sites like the one you're reading right now; unofficial, unhindered by overbearing publishers and..
In this installment, Gaijin explains their carefully laid plan for game four's runaway popularity, go through BIT.TRIP hell and reflect on the end of the series.
Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of our look at the history of BIT.TRIP and Gaijin Games. EYEBALL REVOLUTION: The team somewhat jokingly chalks RUNNER’s popularity, apart from being very...
A smashing shirt
Around a month ago, Nintendo Life and Donkey Kong world champion Dr. Hank Chien teamed up to challenge you, the readers, to design the official Team Chien t-shirt. The response was overwhelming, but Dr. Chien was able to cut through the entries with surgical precision and pick a favourite. The winning design was submitted by user...
64-bit baby in depth
With Bomberman Hero arriving on Virtual Console today in Europe, the N64 is firmly back in many gamers' minds, while for some it never went away. This month's issue of Retro Gamer magazine is ideal for both, as it's a special collector's edition detailing Nintendo's 64-bit beauty in all its glory. Taking a look through the...
It could make all the difference
Thanks to the wonders of the Virtual Console, many Nintendo gamers have been introduced to the wonders of Sega's Shining Force and Shining Force II games, but sadly the series hit hard times during the Sega Saturn days, causing developer Camelot to part ways with Sega, and the series has never recovered. Several...
What could have been...
N64 adventures Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo Tooie made plenty of fans back in their 64-bit heyday, but they never appeared on the GameCube. A threequel was planned but never released, but now unreleased game-finders par excellence Unseen 64 have posted a short video of the project. Shown off at Spaceworld 2000 before the...
We catch up with Alexis and Hank at the film's Brooklyn premiere
The saga over high scores in Donkey Kong is no longer a tale of two dudes. While most of us came to know the world of modern day Donkey Kongers through the epic rivalry between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchelll, it wasn't long before a third player emerged out of left field. Hank Chien, a plastic surgeon from New York, shattered both of..
An enjoyable and frustrating title
Arriving in 1983 the original Lode Runner was a platform puzzler that appeared on numerous systems of the time including the NES. More Lode Runner games followed on various platforms including Battle Lode Runner for the PC Engine, whilst the Game Boy's entry in the series was Hyper Lode Runner. The aim of the game...
Get a peek at pre-development mock-ups of the first five games
Seeing how games develop over time is always of interest to us here at Nintendo Life, which is why we badgered BIT.TRIP developers Gaijin Games for an exclusive peek at some of their development documentation and how we wound up with these target renders for the first five games. These...
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...
Like a robot
Over the years we've seen people play Super Mario Bros. in some crazy ways: you can play Mario with Kinect, play Mario with your eyes and even, believe it or not, play Mario with your hands, like a baby's toy. They've all required some sort of human interaction, but not this latest Mario-related chicanery, which uses a robot to replace...
Hard to believe
25 years ago this very day, the very first Legend of Zelda game on NES hit Japan, starting one of the most-loved gaming series of all time. Recently, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed the possibility of a Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary collection, though there have been no announced plans to celebrate Link's special day in...
The feel of gorgeous hardware is one thing the Virtual Console can't emulate
Thanks to the wonder of the Virtual Console, we've seen a few choice slices of Neo Geo goodness on the Wii. Titles such as Metal Slug, King of Fighters '94, Magical Drop III and Samurai Shodown II are true classics of video gaming history, and when you consider how...
Hint: it's not a hatred of gorillas
Plenty has been written about the ongoing action at the top of the global Donkey Kong leaderboards, but what inspired plastic surgeon Dr Hank Chien to take up the challenge? Chien, whose score of 1,068,000 is just 3,500 points above nearest rival Steve Wiebe, is the subject of a new independent documentary called Doctor Kong, which reveals the Doctor's motivation..
An acquired taste
Way back when Nintendo was putting the finishing touches to Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on GameCube, there were plans for a limited edition controller to accompany the little box's swansong. While the pad never hit the shelves, photos of its prototype design and packaging have hit the net for your eyes to behold. Coming from...
GameBoys, bless them, have been through the wars – literally, in the case of this unit displayed at Nintendo World in New York – but not this unit, which may be the rarest GameBoy of them all. A golden GameBoy Pocket to commemorate the 100th issue of Nintendo Power magazine, it's unknown exactly how many of these machines exist, but...
Go retro this Valentine's Day with these awesome printable cards
Nothing says "I love you" like a dose of romantically themed nostalgia. That's why shop owner Kirakards of handmade and vintage online shop Etsy has created an assortment of 8-bit themed Valentine's Day cards, ranging from a sentimental Kirby sighing "Dreamland would be...
Love is in the air for this Valentine's Day special
Ho ho ho! Happy Valentine's Day, citizens of Earth! Let Nintendo Life be your love muffin this year with a very special NLFM dedicated to all things lovey-dovey-goo-goo. If the music of this episode doesn't melt your ice-cold heart even a little then we'll only be hurt just a tad. 1. Shōgo Sakai — Theme of Love (Mother 3, GBA)2. Sam Hart —..
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..
Game and Watch replica, reversible DS pouches added
The North American branch of Club Nintendo has dabbled in its fair share of trinkets and doo-dads and has only occasionally dipped its toe into offering actual games with the odd downloadable title and a
Zelda, Dragon Quest, Terranigma and more
Didn’t we have some fun though? Remember when the podcast was sliding into the fire pit and I said "Goodbye" and you were like "NO WAY!" and then I was all "We pretended we were going to murder you"? That was great. 1. Sick YG — Ain't That Funny (MadWorld, Wii)2. Miyoko Kobayashi and Masanori Hikichi — Underworld..
FInal Fantasy makes its NLFM debut, along with a sweeping Bionic Commando remix
Gather round, children! Zip it, listen! NLFM is back and bringing the big guns, with a killer Bionic Commando remix, lurvely NES medley by way of PiCTOBiTS, and an almighty power with a huge sword chopping woodland critters. What more could you want? What more??? 1. Star Salzman, Harumi Fujita, Junko Tamiya — Advance..
Link reaches a quarter-century old
Last year, Nintendo's tubby mascot celebrated his 25th anniversary in the form of Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, a collection that disappointed some in its paucity of interesting content. This year Nintendo will get a chance to wipe the slate clean and try harder, as its other ageless hero – Link...
Hank needs your help
If you've ever been one of a legion of fans, you know that the best way to show your pride and look cool doing it is with the power of the t-shirt. Team Wiebe's in the lead with a snazzy design even if their leader no longer holds the record. Now, current champ Hank Chien is looking for YOUR help to remind him who's the boss...
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...
R-Lite: cut-down, but still a cracker
Following its original 1987 arcade release, Irem's highly regarded R-Type was ported to numerous home systems, with this Game Boy version appearing in 1991. For those not in the know (estimates range from 2-5 people living under a rock) the aim of the game is to take your space fighter and blast your way through...
Check out some of our favourite remixes of classic franchises coming to 3DS
We're absolutely killing 2011 with our new weekly schedule, even if we're a little late in the day from time to time. As in every episode so far. This episode we're inspired by the 3DS line-up and looking towards both the future and past by checking out some excellent remixes of classic tunes from franchises headed to the..
Storms can't hold this podcast back
Your eyes doth not deceive you: NLFM is back with another episode a mere week after the last one. And man, did we almost not make it thanks to an impending snowstorm and travel arrangements. But lo and behold, here is a delicious ear scoop for you. We couldn't bail on our weekly promise one week after making it, now could we? 1. Yuka Tsujiyoko — Fire Emblem..
Game show tie-in, come on down!
Remember all those old TV shows based on your favourite video game franchises? Whatever happened to those? Oh, wait. They disappeared into the mist of time either because they were instantly forgettable, or television networks grew tired of them. In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of one of video gaming's most...
Today at 3:30 PM CST, we'll be bringing you live text updates below of Steve Wiebe's Donkey conquest to take back the title from Dr. Hank Chien. We'll be live at Chicago, IL's Logan Hardware bringing you to-the-second updates on the schoolteacher's climbing score. Will he reach a kill screen? Will he top Dr. Chien's 1,068,000 points? Will Billy Mitchell send an ambassador with a mysterious..
Join us as we bring you live coverage
Round and round the high score wheel goes, and yesterday it stopped once more on New York plastic surgeon Dr. Hank Chien with a barrel-blasting 1,068,000 points, besting Wiebe's September record by a cool 4,000. However, this Saturday Wiebe will attempt to take it back again, and you can tune in to Nintendo Life as we cover the event with a live blog at 3:30 PM..
New year, new podcast
Changes are a-brewin' with NLFM this year as the show enters its second season. First of all, we're shrinking and growing at the same time. Is your mind blown yet? Tell the rest of the goo in your skull to stay calm, as what this means is that while the average episode will shrink in length, we're ditching the whole monthly schedule shenanigans and going weekly. Yes, weekly..
Being a nerd has never looked so fashionable
There are many ways to show your appreciation for gaming's illustrious past. One is obviously re-living classic titles via Nintendo's popular Virtual Console service, while another is seeking out original hardware and software for that authentic experience. However, here at Nintendo Life HQ we've been...
Early 3D experiments under the microscope
Nintendo's history with 3D goes back years before the 3DS was ever announced: the GameCube was 3D-compatible with an LCD accessory, Satoru Iwata still has a 3D GameBoy Advance in his sock drawer and of course there was the much-maligned Virtual Boy. But the love affair goes back still further, as discussed...
The rotund plumber is faster than he looks thanks to an emulator-assisted speedrun
Video games are a wonderful way to show off best times and high scores after spending countless hours in attempting to achieve them, but when orthodox methods aren't enough to impress, gamers (and obsessives) must think outside of the box. A group of speedrunners have...
An all-around tragedy
Last Saturday, on the morning of Christmas Day, Bradley David-McCombs, Jr.,17, was killed when he lost control of his sports utility vehicle on Route 553 in Cherryhill Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. During the public viewing on the following Monday night at the Rairigh Funeral Home in Montgomery Township, Jody Lynn...
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..
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...
Spot the cultural references in this film parody
Back in 1993, Hollywood tried to convert one of the biggest video game franchises into a live action motion picture... and it wasn't that good. What was wrong with Super Mario Bros. the film, wasn't the on-screen talent, but the writing and the concept itself. Nothing wrong with throwing in a bit of...
A spectacular sidescrolling sequel
When it comes to underrepresented genres on the Nintendo 64, the humble 2D platformer is perhaps the most neglected of all. Despite forming a cornerstone of the 16-bit generation, the genre suffered a spectacular loss of popularity as the N64, Sega Saturn and PlayStation ushered in an exciting new revolution in the...
Bonk's most enjoyable adventure yet
If you've ever owned a TurboGrafx-16 or PC Engine, chances are you're quite familiar with our little caveman friend Bonk. Once these systems began to lose ground to Nintendo's Super Nintendo and Sega's Mega Drive (a.k.a. Genesis), Hudson decided to bring their prehistoric hero to some of the more popular platforms...
Mickey's been epic for years
This December many Wii owners will be delving into the world of Disney Epic Mickey, taking a moment to appreciate Mickey's animated past with 2D platforming sections in that game which allow you to play through his classic cartoons. However, 16 years ago UK developer Traveller's Tales pre-empted Warren Spector's game by...
Demo out this Friday
Have you ever wished that Super Smash Bros. had seen the green light of day on the original Game Boy? Here to prove that wishes can sometimes come true in some form or another is Super Smash Land, a decidedly not-endorsed-by-Nintendo take on the fighting franchise that aims to condense all its mechanics into just two buttons...
Take a sneak peek at the final BIT.TRIP, sigh at simians, sneak along with a secret agent and get into the spirit of the season
We look to the future here at Nintendo Life. Why, take this episode of NLFM, the little ol' chip and game music podcast we've got going: it's got an exclusive first listen of the soundtrack to Gaijin Games' upcoming BIT.TRIP FLUX and goes simultaneously back and forth in..
Why the latest Metroid game's depiction of Samus isn't a complete departure for the series
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...
So says Sakurai
Super Smash Bros. Melee holds a special place in the hearts of many Nintendo fans, but creator Masuhiro Sakurai regrets aiming the game so strongly towards hardcore gamers, saying it's a mistake he wouldn't repeat again. Claiming to have created Smash Bros. to counteract the industry-wide move towards making the fighting game genre...
The UK has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Western Europe, and each county council has a role to play in educating its citizens in the best way to bring these numbers down. Leicestershire's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy has decide the best way to do this is with an educational video set in the world of 8-bit video games. Check out the edited sprites of Mega Man, enemies from Dr Mario and..
Of Mice and Mystery
Isn’t it strange that the same creatures that carry disease and caused the rapid spread of the Black Death in Europe back in the 1340s eventually became the world’s most iconic and recognizable characters? Clearly Walt Disney was doing something right when he thought up Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Capcom was doing just as...
Never get up off the couch to swap a cart again
Although the Virtual Console caters for the vast majority of Wii-owning retro gamers out there, it would be churlish to deny the fact that many, many people still choose to indulge in a spot of emulation every now and then. Modern personal computers (and some mobile phones) have gotten to the point...
The course we've all dreamt of
If you're separated from your beloved Super NES and Super Mario Kart, there may be another way for you to get your fix of its speedy charms by following the example of anime association Motsukora. The Spanish group built a real-life Mario Kart circuit for its remote controlled cars to boost around, displaying it at a...
The second model in the Twilight Princess "Master Arts" series
About two months ago, First 4 Figures released the first model from the Twilight Princess "Master Arts" series in the form of a 1/4th scale statue of Zant ― the antagonist from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Now, the officially-licensed maker of video game figures has announced that the second model will soon be..
Bad news for Europe
If you've been crossing your fingers for Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition in the expectation of it receiving a PAL-optimised conversion, you can unbend them and start using them to type vitriolic comments now – the package will not be 60Hz compatible. Below is the response reader XD375 received when enquiring with...
Bride and groom go head-to-head
Sure, you all thought that Donkey Kong music video we posted the other day was about as cool as moving images could get, but we've unearthed an absolute gem of a video from the mists of time which beats it hands down - heck, it even features a cameo from the great ape himself. The story goes like this: developer Gregg Tavares got wind that one of his pals was getting..
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...
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...
Now this is technology
The GameBoy Advance belongs to a simpler time, when buttons were king. That's why it's so great to see a video of GBA title Rhythm Heaven played in a way we're fairly certain the developers never considered. The video below shows a simple circuit involving a laser pointer, a prosthetic finger and, of course, a Japanese sword...
From Kirby to 80's synthpop chip covers, this month's episode is all encompassing
Variety is the spice of life, and thanks to the insane variety of this 10th episode of our chip and game music podcast NLFM you'll be feeling that spice for hours after consumption. It's so spicy that we think we've got flavor for every mood, whether you're in the market for bathroom fisticuffs, looking to revisit the..
Stacking blocks good for you
Anyone who's played Tetris – i.e. everyone ever – can attest to its soothing qualities as they stack block after block aiming to create those lovely lines. Now a new study suggests that playing the game isn't just good for fun, it may help to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Scientific journal...
Is it a-you?
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros. and the North American debut of the NES, we ran a competition to give away a free 500-point NES title for Virtual Console to each of twenty-five winners, the selection of the game being their choice. Almost a thousand users entered, so we'd like to congratulate the 25...
So emotional even the cake was in tiers
Nintendo's flagship New York store recently re-opened with a brand new Mario-themed design in honour of Super Mario Bros.'s 25th anniversary, and to celebrate it hosted a huge party with two very special guests. Reggie Fils-Aime and Shigeru Miyamoto made appearances at the event to meet fans, cut the cake and revel in the atmosphere only a plumber's birthday..
The hunter becomes the hunted
Following their release of the first Super Nintendo Addams Family game, Ocean Software’s programmer, James Higgins, gave an interview to Super Play magazine to promote the development of their second, Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt. He highlighted the fact that the arcade platforming feel of this sequel was initially...
Game Boy Advance
Choose your own survival horror
A popular release for the Playstation in 1999, Silent Hill saw players take control of Harry Mason – following a car accident, he awakens to find that his daughter, Cheryl, has disappeared. Naturally, Harry sets off to find her, but it soon becomes apparent that there's something strange about the surrounding town. This is also the set-up here, but as the name..
Fun portable Bondage
As an MI6 agent with a license to kill, James Bond has obvious video game potential. One option is the first person shooter, as seen with the Nintendo 64's Goldeneye 007, but that's not the only choice. Released not long after Rare's classic, the simply titled James Bond 007 is a very different game, but there's still a lot of...
What the macabre sixties sitcom were they thinking?
Uncle Fester of the Addams Family has to save the world from aliens in this cheap cash in on a beloved franchise. So, why is Fester's Quest so terrible? The reasons go on and on. This will remind you to go enjoy a nice day outside, play a board game or clean your kitchen. Any activity you could...
As part of our celebration week for the 30th Anniversary of the Famicom system, we'll highlight some key retro reviews to highlight the best of what the 8-bit system had to offer. Today we have DuckTales, and don't forget to click the Famicom banner on the homepage to see our content for this special occasion. Isn't it great when a...
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...
The Mushroom Kingdom was very different back then
We've only just recovered from the bombshell that Super Mario Bros. nearly had a shoot 'em up stage, but prepare for more shocks as original design documents show the path the plumber nearly took. Part of the History of Mario booklet contained in the Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, the documents reveal Mario's moveset was originally..
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..
The Legend of Addams
When anyone drops a mention of licensed games, it's generally appropriate to tune out. With very, very few exceptions, almost every single game based on a movie, TV series, comic or what-have-you is mediocre at best, and frequently completely terrible. There are exceptions – everybody knows about classics like DuckTales and GoldenEye 007. One series of titles that is not..
Morticia's marooned in a maniac mansion
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Manchester-based Ocean Software became synonymous with movie licensed games and established themselves as the go-to developer for Hollywood. They delivered their software on the home computers that were flourishing at the time and handled a huge list of movie licenses, with standout titles including Robocop, Batman:..
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..
Before fireballs came bullets
You might know enough about Super Mario Bros. to win our 25th anniversary competition, but did you know a shooting stage was planned for the game? A Famitsu interview with Shigeru Miyamoto reveals that using Mario's original controls, pressing Up would jump, with B to dash and A to fire bullets, before the team settled...
Cutesy client makes Twitter a game
We can all agree that Super Mario Bros. has made a big influence on gaming, but social networking? Not so much. Until today that is, with a new Mario-inspired Twitter application now on the iPhone. The bunny-hopping Super Twario client launched on the App Store today, turning the social messaging site into a...
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...