Samus it ever was
Next month marks the 25th anniversary of Metroid, and dedicated fan community ShineSparkers has just released a preview of remix album Harmony of a Hunter. The OCRemix project contains tracks spanning Samus Aran's gaming history, from 8-bit to today, with styles ranging from electronic to choral. The snippets provided so far certainly sound good, with the full album due for..
Needs to raise $30,000
In the UK, the Retro Computer Museum just moved to a new home, and now the Videogame History Museum over in Silicon Valley needs to raise funds for its own bricks-and-mortar initiative. The non-profit charity needs to raise $30,000 to build itself a permanent building in which to house its classic coin-ops, consoles and gaming...
We love a bit of Nintendo-inspired music, and it's testament to the company's creativity that it inspires artists over a wide range of genres, from Japanese beatboxers to Mario Kart jazz. Hip hop artist Heath McNease is a new favourite here at Nintendo Life Towers, waxing lyrical about Tanooki suits, the Konami code and...
Now that's successful learning
Were you ever curious where Miyamoto picked up his English skills? It turns out the responsible party is Dylan Cuthbert, creator of Star Fox, president of Q Games and one of the best-known Westerners to get in good with Nintendo. When he was featured in the most recent Iwata Asks, he revealed that the two taught each other their native languages when he first started..
Life before Metroid
Before there was Metroid Prime, Retro Studios hadn't had a bona fide hit, and several of the studio's games were cancelled before seeing the light of day. One such title was this unnamed American football game, recently featured by prominent site Unseen64. The animation shown below is undoubtedly impressive, particularly considering this game was intended for release on..
It's not just blasting, you know
Playing the Mega Man series is cathartic in many ways. You get to listen to great music, appreciate the impressively cartoony visuals Capcom wrung out of the NES hardware, and experiment with many unique and varied abilities. But overall, we tend to like it because it's mindless. It's a platformer with clear...
Rooted in Leicestershire
The Retro Computer Museum just recently celebrated its third birthday on Sunday, and along with the anniversary announcement came the news that the museum now has a permanent home in Leicestershire. Now the museum has a fixed address, it should hopefully mean events and exhibitions will be more frequent. The exact location...
We speak to Super Fighter Team's Brandon Cobb about its latest retro resurrection project
If you're the kind of person that appreciates vintage gaming then chances are you're already familiar with Super Fighter Team. Formed in San Diego, California with the express intention of giving long-forgotten games a new lease of commercial life, the group has already successfully localised and published a..
Could have turned out very different yet still familiar
One of the things that we love about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is how easy it is to just take Epona out for a ride; whether it's a quick boost from point A to B, or just making prints in Hyrule Field to past the time, horse riding has now become a staple of main Zelda games. As the...
Game Boy Advance
One of the few good things about being old is that sometimes you can glean satisfaction from being in the right place at the right time, where you were lucky enough to have first-hand experience of something special. Nostalgia is the bread-and-butter of retro gaming and throughout its history there will always be moments that stick in a...
We've gone all-out to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary this week, bringing you Staff Memories of Sonic the Hedgehog, a look at unreleased Sonic the Hedgehog games and Sonic's Nintendo games too. With 20 years of rich history behind him, we want to know how Sonic's affected you, the gamers. What memories do you have of the
We reminisce about the blue guy
Today marks 20 years since the very first time Sonic the Hedgehog burst onto TV screens around the world, kicking off a genuine phenomenon that continues to draw in new gamers to this day. As experienced gamers ourselves, naturally the team at Nintendo Life has plenty of memories of the spiky blue one's glory days, so we invited our staff to share their fondest..
A Rare treat, or will it drive you bananas?
For fans of Nintendo kart racers, 1997 has to go down as one of the greatest years in the history of the genre. Not only did it witness the European and North American release of the iconic Mario Kart 64, but Rare also introduced their own challenger to the karting crown with Diddy Kong Racing on the same...
The second instalment of our look back at gaming's favourite blue dude with attitude
Sonic: The Nintendo Years — Part One detailed the hedgehog's first few years on Nintendo consoles, but by the end of 2005 it was clear that Sonic games had changed very drastically, and nowhere was that more evident than in the next two 'hog-related outings. First...
On 23rd June 1991, SEGA released Sonic the Hedgehog in Europe and America and changed the world forever. The now-iconic hero captured the imagination of millions around the world, igniting the Nintendo vs. SEGA battle for console supremacy. Nowadays the two companies are far friendlier of course. In fact, thanks to Wii's Virtual Console service and backwards compatibility with GameCube..
As Sonic the Hedgehog reaches 20 years old, we take a look at the spiky one's past.
Sonic’s career is as chequered as those famous green hills; since his runaway success in the first half of the 1990s he’s struggled to reclaim those glory days. Luckily if you’re a Nintendo console owner you can play all the best Sonic games extremely easily,...
As you curl around a banked corner, the lip of a large ramp of snow appears in the distance and your mind begins to race at the possibilities for gnarliness that lie ahead. Slamming the boost and tucking your body forward, you scorch towards the precisely constructed mound, pre-winding your hands, arms and shoulders for maximum...
The "Retro Game Master" finally goes English
If you're a retro gaming fan, you might be familiar with Shinya Arino. Part of a Japanese comedy duo called Yoiko, he began presenting a show called GameCenter CX in 2003, in which he attempts to complete one generally difficult retro game in each episode, as well as visiting a different arcade in Japan every time. Recently, Arino has even partnered with..
Good news, bad news?
Nintendo is celebrating 25 years since the very first Legend of Zelda, but whereas last year the company celebrated Mario's quarter-century with the much-maligned Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, the Hero of Time will receive no such compendium. According to the latest Japanese Iwata Asks article (via Nintendo World Report) Nintendo of America suggested a 25th..
Only 1,000 to be made
Next week is an auspicious occasion, marking 20 years since the very first Sonic the Hedgehog blast processed his way into our lives, and SEGA wants to commemorate its hero's two decades of running with a limited edition figurine. The numbered 1,000 model run is so exclusive it won't even be sold in shops, and will likely be used as promotional items and giveaways to Sonic's..
Dude, where's our phone booth?
You leap about the screen avoiding enemies and collecting “fragments of time”. Grab them all and your phone booth appears to whisk you away to the next level. With characters and locations from the two films, Bill & Ted's Excellent Game Boy Adventure sees you travel across several time-zones in this simple but...
We remember why Ocarina of Time is more than just a game
As we move through life, we will at times look back fondly at memories that we hold dear. And, as gamers, many of us merge recollections of the virtual world with those of reality. Some titles simply bring the right elements together in the perfect way, making this feel natural, normal, important. One game pulled this off better than most..
We talk to UK comedian and walking canvas Jim Smallman about his gaming heritage and why Nintendo will always have a special place in his heart
While most gamers show their love and appreciation for their hobby by tirelessly buying up software, hardware and official merchandise, there are a select few who decide to take their adoration a step further. One such individual is UK-based comedian Jim..
Simple in theory, anything but in practice
Nintendo has a brand image that's as solid as a rock, so what does it take for an independant studio to get backing from the company and the opportunity to develop games based on its IPs for its consoles? Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh highlights a few qualities needed to do just that. During a Gamasutra interview, Kelbaugh spoke about how Retro..
No more confusion!
Yes, there is a Zelda master timeline document, but members of Nintendo's inner sanctum will ever likely be able to see it. That hasn't stopped fans from trying to make sense of it themselves, but they were all missing the right tools: a DeLorean, a flux capacitor and a healthy love of all things Back to the Future. Of course, it's not the first time that 1980s movies and Zelda..
It's just wafer thin
You've heard the Mario theme played on a Chipophone. A Japanese beatbox version? Heard that too. But a dude creating the whole Mario theme tune experience on his own, with drums, sound effects and more? That's new. The video is the work of the talented Jack Conte, who takes the tune we all know, bolts on a big beat and lets the...
Forget sore thumbs
The trend for steadily increasing variants of the iconic NES controller is approaching critical mass, as Dutch students have just set a new record for the largest functioning game controller with an NES pad measuring nearly four metres wide. The pad measures 3.6 metres by 1.6 metres, which is around 11.8 feet by 5.2 feet, which...
A wooden good 'un
While we're a Nintendo site first and foremost, we obviously don't mind reporting on other sectors of the gaming universe. SNK's Neo Geo system is a particular favourite (just try and prise our resident Neo lover Corbie Dillard away from his beloved cab, we dare you) and when we reported on Analogue Interactive's amazing wooden...
Video game violinist supporting Bentley Jones in London
Promotional organiser Japan Underground returns to London this month to bring its eclectic mix of live music and Japanese culture to the capital's nightlife. Japan Underground at The Kingpin Suite at Bloomsbury Lanes, London on 28th May will be headlined by British J-Pop star Bentley Jones, the first British artist to be signed to a major..
Taking the warp pipe
Nintendo fans who've always dreamt of becoming their favourite 8- and 16-bit characters may have their wishes granted soon, as a hotel in Alabama is preparing to combine a theme park with cosplay in July. The Radisson hotel in Huntsville, AL will play host to the strictly unofficial "attraction experience" during PersaCon, a cosplay convention taking place between..
Nothing to do with ordering extra cheese
How many rotund heroes can you think of? Okay, it doesn't actually matter how many you can think of, the only chubby hero that matters for the sake of this article is the one and only Mario, and Shigeru Miyamoto explains why the plumber looked the way he did when he first appeared on our screens. During the Steel Diver edition of Iwata Asks, Miyamoto spoke..
The hitherto untold story of the UK's finest SNES-focused publication
As much as it pains us to admit it, print media is slowly coming to the end of its relevance in the video game industry. Although some pockets of resistance still exist and continue to fight the good fight, the truth is that magazines have been usurped from their position on the...
How two unassuming British programmers succeeded inside the halls of Nintendo
As a nation, the Japanese have gained a reputation of being particularly insular; despite their wholehearted acceptance of many aspects of western culture, they tend to regard their own products, traditions and population as superior. Bearing this in mind, the success of...
Faux wood effect is for losers
Ever wished your video game console would blend a little more effectively with your IKEA home entertainment unit? Or have you long desired to purchase a Neo Geo system that blows away the competition when it comes to aesthetic appeal? Look no further, friends — the Wooden Neo Geo MVS is here. Produced by Analogue...
How to get that authentic retro look from your modern flatscreen TV
Sometimes, outdated technology has a quality which seemingly defies description. For example, those of you that are old enough may harbour a strange nostalgic affection for the monochrome Game Boy’s blurry LCD screen, even to the point of spurning the updated Game Boy Color...
Full disclosure: it's in Swindon
Nintendo fans have a better grasp on handheld gaming than many, but Swindon Museum of Computing in England is about to plot the history of the portable with a new exhibition. The new 'Gaming on the Go' exhibition charts 35 years of handheld history, starting with Mattel's 1976 Auto Race, a game running on a reprogrammed calculator chip with 21 LEDs for a display..
There's nothing it can't do
Forget about actually having the GameBoy turned on to make music; the video below proves that its components can sing in their own right. While we've seen countless Nintendo beatboxers, it's far less common to see the machine itself take centre stage, but that's precisely what's happened here. YouTube user MrSeberi has turned the humble GameBoy into a musical instrument,..
See a classic in a new light
We've already seen hints that Super Mario on 3DS will include the famous Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3. What would the entire game look like in 3D, though? Let user Kevin Zeeff show you. As part of Zeeff's "Game Cubed" series, Mario's best 8-bit adventure has received a retro 3D makeover, and while it's...
The quest for the perfect picture
Getting a pin-sharp, colourful image on a modern gaming console is about as hard as falling off a log. Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 support HDMI output for true HD gaming, and although the poor old Wii is still stuck in the land of 480p, it’s still capable of kicking out a pretty decent image via component...
Surprise, a control port!
Custom consoles are all the rage these days, and the Nintendo 64 is particularly ripe for fan-made hardware revisions. The portable machine below might look oddly familiar to those who've seen the iNto64, but it's got an ace up its sleeve: a controller port. The combination of N64, screen and control port means split-screen...
According to Wesker, things are just warming up
In celebrating 15 years of Resident Evil, Capcom has released a trailer that takes us back to where it all began, as well as where the franchise will be taking us in the not-so-distant future. Narrated by Albert Wesker, the trailer compiles footage of games both old and new. From the upcoming high-definition versions of Resident Evil 4 and Resident..
Minitroid tech demo now available
It must be one of those enigmatic laws of the universe, that if you shrink something, anything, then it instantly becomes cute. Thanks to three Metroid fans, that's exactly what they've done in their interpretation of the retro platforming series. The Metroid Database has unveiled the Minitroid tech demo, developed...
With a twist, or shall we say "spin"?
A Mario game from Capcom? That's what Japanese arcade gamers will be playing, although it's not exactly what you would expect. Capcom has announced its medal machine New Super Mario Bros. Wii Coin World has hit arcades in Japan. Based on New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the cabinet supports four players and the object...
One pastiche you don't want to mess with
When the trailer for the fictitious film The Brothers Mario was released, it gave us a good chuckle at how many video game and cultural references were crammed so beautifully into the space of 5 minutes. How might a sequel turn out? The Country Club shows us how. Another exclusive from The Game Station, The Brothers Mario 2: Kong Country depicts previous..
Not with a whimper, but a bang!
So 3DS is out in places other than Japan now, hooray! But just because its successor is stealing the spotlight, that doesn't mean the DS is content with resting on its two-dimensional laurels. Why, it's not even April yet and it's already seen at least five fantastic games this year with some fantastic music to go along with them. In this episode, we celebrate those..
Road to joy?
On rare occasion, a game so revolutionary will appear that not only will it receive the usual much deserved critical acclaim, it’ll become responsible for the creation of an entirely new genre. Take Super Mario Kart for instance — the title single-handedly responsible for the birth of the console kart racer. Following its huge...
We recap the event and sit down with "the most important person in video gaming right now"
In the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Steve Wiebe travels to FunSpot Arcade to put a stop to all the naysayers disputing his record-setting Donkey Kong skills. To the amazement of everyone watching, he achieves the first ever kill screen...
Game & Watch titles included
Fans of the old handheld games like the ones in the Game & Watch series are in for a treat when they find that several in said series ― as well as others not related to Nintendo ― have been "digitised" and put on the Internet for all to enjoy. Games like Donkey Kong Jr., Mickey & Donald, Merry Cook (also known as Chef), and Space Bridge are just a..
3DS's granddaddy featured
You might be getting all geared-up for the new 3DS, but it's not the first dedicated 3D console from Nintendo: that honour belongs to the good old Virtual Boy, the now notorious machine that launched in the mid 1990s. Now is the perfect time, with 3DS just around the corner, to revisit the machine's creation, games and its...
Missed weeks? What?
Remember when we said NLFM was going to be weekly? Well, we kind of fudged that for the past couple of weeks. Sorry! But we're back with a fiery fever in this episode, where gangsters are punched, pianos diddled and dinosaurs remembered. 1. MONSTER! MONSTER! — Penny Arcade2. Yuzo Koshiro — Go Straight (Streets of Rage 2, Genesis/Mega Drive) 3. Naoki Kodaka — Aflorious..
The doctor, the teacher and the saucier go head-to-head
1,090,400 points. That's the record to beat, set by the cheerful Dr. Hank Chien just last week. Now the New York plastic surgeon joins the double-decade champion and hot sauce tycoon Billy Mitchell and the mild-mannered schoolteacher who toppled his throne, Steve Wiebe, to duke it out for Donkey Kong dominance. What will happen today at Richie..
NES classic gets sequelised
NES brawler River City Ransom is showing its age a little now, though it's still a fun little title, with fans of the game no doubt hoping the newly-announced sequel will feature the same quality playability. Miracle Kidz has proudly announced River City Ransom 2 is in development for home consoles this summer, with a...
Join us for live coverage
You've seen the movies. You've read the interviews. You've designed the shirts. You've cheered for the former champion. And to top it off, the bar just got raised by 20,000 points. This weekend is what it's all been building up to: The Kong Off.
We investigate the troubled genesis of one of the finest SNES RPGs in existence
We're big fans of pen-and-paper fantasy role-playing games here at Nintendo Life. In fact, we were the first to pour out a little liquor when the legendary Gary Gygax passed away not so long ago. The reason for our love comes not from every human's natural attraction to...
The high score just got higher
To be the best you have to beat the best, even if that means beating yourself. On 27th February, current Donkey Kong champion Hank Chien did just that. Nearly a year after he originally broke the record for the highest score on a Donkey Kong arcade machine, the New York surgeon has surpassed his best score, making...
Every English-language game to get its own custom artwork
With the extensive catalogue of games that the NES has to offer, the collectors out there understandably try to get themselves a copy of each and every title. For artist Campbell Whyte, his mission is to paint every single one of them. Based in Perth, Australia, Whyte is in the process of producing one painting a day in his 8 Bit Dreams art..
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,...
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 —..