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...
We're throwing a hootenanny, and you're invited
Today is the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System's North American debut, and we're celebrating in style. This week, you can look forward to a menagerie of features that hearken back to the olden days of 8-bit glory. Twenty-five years ago today, every New Yorker sensed something magic...
The horror continues
Leon Kennedy's having a tough first day at work. As with every new job, there are new people to meet and new challenges to face – namely, zombies and killing said zombies. Capcom's Resident Evil 2 follows two concurrent storylines: that of Leon, a police officer, and Claire Redfield, who's in town to investigate the disappearance of her brother Chris of Resident Evil fame..
Possibly the best in the series
In many ways, the GameCube remake of Resident Evil marks a return to where it all began. The original PlayStation release popularised the budding horror survival genre, and the events that took place at the mansion were, for a time, at the centre of the series' universe. The moment that gamers boot up the GameCube...
Nintendo gives a round-up of classic moments
Some of these Super Mario Bros. glitches will be familiar to experienced gamers, but some might reveal hitherto unknown secrets about the little plumber's big adventure. Witness a tiny Mario using the Fire Flower, Koopa Troopas walking in mid-air and plenty of other little oddities that may shed new light on a title we all know inside and out.
Notable Christian software seller unleashes its brand of spiritual justice to retro net users
Wisdom Tree is a company that holds a special place in the history of the NES. Born from Color Dreams - one of the first firms to successfully bypass Nintendo's notorious NES lock-out chip - the company made a name for itself by releasing mostly terrible...
Recently revealed report hints at Scrooge-like attitude
As we all know, the Nintendo Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES, in case you were wondering) was pretty damn successful back in the day. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to state that the machine practically created the modern console market - certainly in Japan, at least. Nintendo made a considerable amount of cash off the back of..
It's-a me! Mari- wait, what? Luigi?
Nintendo has always had a dark side. Though it's built up a name for itself as a family-friendly game company, every so often, when it can be contained no longer, its dark side manifests itself in the form of a Super Metroid or a Majora's Mask. But while we expect a touch of gloom and misery in our Zeldas and...
Perfect for those of us that just can't get enough of 8bit
We love 8bit, you love 8bit, we recommend you check this out when you've got some time to kill. Those who decide to take a dip into the world of N8* should come back and let us know what you find. Neverdaunt:8Bit is a free to play Sandbox MMO set in a 8 bit stylized 3D world made out of blocks. Entirely shaped by its players the game world..
You got Franken in my Castlevania
There is some common confusion surrounding the tale of Frankenstein, namely the fact that Frankenstein is not really a monster, but rather the mad scientist who creates the bolted-neck creature. Developer MotiveTime avoids this common misstep in their game by simply combining the scientist and monster into the same character. The end result is a pajama-laden doctor..
Go right back to the start
Nintendo's Famicom is a piece of gaming history. The company's first cartridge-based gaming system, it set the revitalised the industry and set the standard for what was to follow. Satoru Iwata sat down with two of Nintendo's behind-the-scenes heroes for his latest "Iwata Asks" feature: R&D advisor Masayuki Uemura and former manager of the Corporate..
Over 750 games in total
Mario, Zelda, Pokémon: these are all good themes for charity marathons, and have raised countless thousands of dollars for a range of charities. Playing every game in a particular series back-to-back is a big accomplishment, but how would you feel about playing every game available for a single console? If that console's the NES and you're Pat the NE
UK-based retro gamers take note
Those of you with above-average memories will recall that we attended a Retro Computer Museum event a while back, and were blown away by the sheer magnitude of the vintage gaming hardware on display. If you gazed upon our coverage with envy, you'll be pleased to learn that another event is taking place at the end of this month. The venue is once again the sleepy..
The very definition of Boomshakalaka
Released amid a surge in the popularity of professional basketball during the early 1990s, NBA Jam rode the wave along with many other basketball video games. In spite of all the competition, it became a legend in its own time and is still remembered fondly today. Often sport-based games become obsolete a year...
You don't need to be the master of unlocking to access these horror treasures
Boo! It's a regular fright fest in this episode of NLFM as we queue up some of our favorite horror game tracks. BEHOLD! the wonders of mad science gone wrong! GASP! at the children of the night! WONDER! how Chuck D. Head doesn't need more painkillers! RUN! from the Scissorman! Dare you listen? Dare you not? In case you've..
Well, sort of
The humble Nintendo Entertainment System has been everything from a lunchbox to a guitar, but for those who like the classic experience of putting media in and getting entertainment out will be intrigued by this latest mod that turns the console into a fully functioning DVD player. A little more complex than simply putting a DVD player...
A super-sized side-scrolling McVenture
The time from 1990 to 1994 was the golden age of games as starring vehicles for junk food mascots. Few remember, but some will never forget, the convoluted, hyper-caloric brilliance of Yo! Noid, Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool, and Cool Spot. Of the myriad snack-hocking titles, however, the super-sized, special sauce-soaked, Big Mac-Daddy of them all is..
Game Boy Advance
Some things, it seems, never change
In Japan in 1996 a craze started; by the turn of the century, it had worked its way around the world capturing the hearts and minds of gamers as easily as a level 3 Rattata is caught in a Master Ball. That craze was Pokémon: Nintendo’s pocket monster catching/training/battling powerhouse. The two Game Boy...
To think that once I could not see beyond the veil of our reality to see those who dwell behind
When Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was released, there was a glut of Mature-rated horror games on the market from which to choose. Between the endless sequels to Resident Evil, Silent Hill and others, it was easy to overlook this newcomer. But...
Frightful Fridays and Scary Saturdays ahead
As we all know, October 31st is All Hallows Eve, popularly known as Halloween. It's a night when some of you will dress up in your favourite fear-inducing garb and haunt the town, others will dress up as well but instead go to screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and others still will stay home and watch Ernest Scared Stupid. It's also a month..
You won't get board of this one
Although Atlus is undoubtedly best known for its expertise in the field of RPGs, the Shinjuku-based company does occasionally try its hand at other genres. One such example is Snowboard Kids, released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998 in cooperation with Japanese development studio Racdym. Best summed up as Mario Kart on snowboards, it's a cartoony arcade racer..
First 4 Figures continuing its Metroid Gunship Series
If the recent listing of the life-size Samus Aran promotion statue was too big for you to handle, then you might be interested in First 4 Figures' latest model in its Metroid Gunship Series as it's considerably smaller and won't be a nuisance when it comes to vacuuming. The Metroid Prime Gunship, as featured in Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime:..
Top Nintendo designers shoot the breeze
Nintendo's Iwata Asks series has provided us with plenty of fascinating insights into the creation of the company's games, the minds of its creators and the creative spirit that defines its output. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo legends Shigesato Itoi (creator of the EarthBound games) and Shigeru Miyamoto sat down to speak..
"One of mankind's greatest creations," says great man
It's been 25 years since Super Mario Bros. hit the world of gaming, and its influence is still felt widely around the world. Konami legend and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is just one individual whose life was altered by the plumbing adventure. Kojima has said: With the creation of Super Mario Bros., Shigeru Miyamoto not only altered..
It was on this day in 1889 that a playing card company opened up in Kyoto, Japan, headed up by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Its name was the Nintendo Playing Card Company – catchy, right? – that went on to become one of the world's biggest entertainment companies. If you want to know more about Nintendo's history, the excellent The History of...
The original Rayman
A few years before Rayman hit the scene, there was another lesser known platforming hero with floating hands and feet that he could throw at enemies. Created by John and Ste Pickford, two fairly well-known British video game designers, Plok is perhaps one of, if not the best, examples of a cult classic Super Nintendo platformer...
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 enough to put it on our radar, and the amount of..
Orchestral arrangements of classic Nintendo games
If you've not got any plans this Thursday night, then be sure to tune into a live stream of Symphonic Legends' orchestral renditions of classic video games. Produced by Thomas Boecker with Jonne Valtonen taking lead composer duties, the WDR Radio Orchestra will be performing at the Cologne...
Red, blue or yellow up for grabs
North America's Super Mario Bros. 25th anniversary site opened recently, and now Nintendo of Australia has launched its 25th Anniversary competition website offering one misty-eyed gamer the chance to win a brand new DSi XL. If your entry is selected as the best Mario memory, you could win a red, blue or yellow DSi XL as well as a copy of New Super Mario Bros.. Need..
The high score merry-go-round keeps turning
Billy Mitchell, Hank Chien, Steve Wiebe: these men are the giants of Donkey Kong, throwing the world record around like a numerical barrel. Chien bested Mitchell, then Mitchell topped Chien, and now long-time underdog Steve Wiebe has reclaimed the top spot by a whisker. Mitchell's previous best stood at 1,062,800, with Wiebe's new world record reaching..
Auction site sells heroine
Ever wonder what happens to all those amazing life-size statues and installations in game shops after they're taken down? They usually end up on eBay, of course. That's the fate of this Metroid statue created to promote celebrated first-person adventure Metroid Prime, currently on sale for a measly £65. Standing 190cm tall and weighing some 50kg, as you'd expect the..
A bumpy ride for Team Star Fox
Star Fox has an active history on the GameCube, first appearing on the console in the form of Star Fox Adventures back in 2001. It took on a whole new direction and saw Fox McCloud out of the cockpit for the first time in an on-foot adventure across Dinosaur Planet, and while the game received acclaim in some quarters,...
Due to be updated in coming weeks
First a logo, then a collector's edition pack; now the Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary celebrations get even wilder, with Nintendo of America rolling out website for the portly plumber's quarter-century. At the moment there's not really a lot to see other than a trailer and some pixel art, but Nintendo promises to make the website the centre of information for..
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...
Better than Brawl?
We live in a world of advanced communication. We can be sitting in our living room in Columbus, Ohio and play a game of Call of Duty with our friends in Vietnam. We could even put a headset on and have a conversation with them while we do so. We can whip out our Nintendo DS consoles and play a game of Mario Kart against complete...
Not that close, actually
There was no Metroid game on Nintendo 64, Samus Aran skipping the console altogether save for a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Series creator Yoshio Sakamoto has revealed in an interview with UK magazine GamesTM that the heroine's history could have been very different, as Nintendo approached a third-party to develop...
The birthplace of Mario is no more
It's always sad to see something with so much history behind it get demolished in order for it to continue to progress. With the positive vibe that the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. has generated, it's a shame to see Nintendo of America's old Redmond, Washington offices; the birthplace of Mario, get bulldozed to the ground. A reader at CVG sent in pictures..
Video of presenter's home shows sparkly ceiling
Jonathan Ross loves many things, not least of all Twitter and controversy, but he loves gaming as well. As part of this month's Super Mario Bros. 25th anniversary the presenter has thrown open the doors to his gaming lair, showing not only his lack of progress on Super Mario Galaxy 2 but also his pi
Share your love for Mario and enter Nintendo's video competition
Anniversaries are wonderful and joyous occasions to celebrate with loved ones. What makes them better is if you can win prizes in the process too, and that's exactly what you can look forward to as Nintendo celebrates one of the biggest NES titles continuing to entertain having...
Game details, box art, promo video and more
We've been bringing you all the news regarding the enticing yet vague announcement of the Japan-exclusive Super Mario Collection Special Pack, including a posting from an online retailer somewhat obliquely detailing its contents. Now comes the definitive announcement regardin
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...
Score was beaten before he started
Last month, Billy Mitchell beat Hank Chien's Donkey Kong score to reclaim his place at the top of the game's scoring girders. On the same day, he also felt like setting a new high score on Donkey Kong Jr., something we reported on last month. Now it transpires the latter record is not really a record at all, Mitchell's score having been beaten before the bearded..
Most likely coming soon to a retro enthusiast near you
So Super Mario Bros. released on the NES in 1985. We ran out of fingers and toes trying to figure out how long ago that was, but our theory is 25 years. We feel pretty good about this theory in light of a recent trademark filing by Nintendo of this here image. It doesn't say "25"...
Full of audio treats you simply will not believe
The Nintendo Life podcast is taking a break for a little while, but this final-for-a-while show is crammed full of quality items. Terrible accents, anonymous listeners pretending to host talk shows about genitals – yes, really – and the culmination of Sean Aaron's interview with Gaijin Games's Chris Osborn, there's never been a more varied or..
Far less fiddly than magnetic travel chess
As all the cool kids know chess is a centuries-old strategic board game for two players, played on a eight-by-eight grid. You have 16 pieces that move in different ways, and you may have to plan several moves ahead if you are to successfully checkmate your opponent’s king. The Chessmaster offers fans a portable version of the game to enjoy with the..
All you need to know should you attempt to fix one
Why call out a plumber when you can fix the problem yourself? Why buy a sandwich when you can make your own for less? Perhaps more annoying than blocked u-bends and fancy lunches where the bread costs more than the meat is when electrical goods breakdown. Machines are supposed to just work – and when they don't, some of us consumers want to be..
The Bond title nobody wanted but everybody loves
Ahh, GoldenEye 007: so many wasted hours, so many headshots, so many arguments over Oddjob. It all could have been so different had Rare acted on a letter sent by Nintendo that pulled the plug on the shooter. Speaking to British magazine EDGE, Studio Director Mark Betteridge revealed the team's initial trepidation when approached by Nintendo to..
Fan project shines the game up
Zelda: Twilight Princess is knocking on four years old now: a venerable granddaddy in the Zelda line, it's only natural it's starting to show its age. Talented chap AaronLite has injected the game with some virtual Botox in the form of high resolution textures that turn the blurry bridges, grass and rocks of Hyrule into sharp detail. Sadly as the project uses the..
Knitted tops officially licensed by Nintendo
T-shirts of things you like are ten a penny, but what about something a bit more warming? The Teami 2010 clothing catalogue has entered its first season and the range includes some retro-looking Mario sweaters; although the price-tag might having you tugging at your collar. Apart from being officially...