DIY Mega Man
“Super Mario Maker's” popularity proved something most people in the ROM hacking community already knew for years: there is a game designer hidden in all of us. Yet most of us do not have the technical expertise to look up code and understand how it works. Level editors are nothing new, of course, going as far back as some games...
Welcome to the Magic Forest
Those of you old enough to have been alive during the NES era may recall seeing adverts for Miracle Piano Teaching System, released in 1990. It aimed to teach kids how to play the piano via the on-screen instructions delivered using the NES itself, but despite its groundbreaking nature, it wasn't the first device of its...
1990 JRPG spin-off includes healthy doses of Ebisumaru
Despite very few and far between official Western releases, Konami’s “Ganbare Goemon” series has quite a following outside of Japan, a deserved status considering that despite a few ninja duds it is a strong and solid series that made its way across several generations of Nintendo...
But your castle is (with)in another castle!
If you fought in the great medieval wars of the 1990s, you might read the headline and wonder what the fuss is all about. After all Atari's "Rampart", a perfect mix of artillery / puzzle game, conquered the arcades and gained quick cult status among gamers; it also had many home conversions, even managing...
Our favourite Italian plumber is saddened
In yet another confirmation that wraps up the final applicable region, the NES Mini has reportedly been confirmed as discontinued in Italy. Following North America, Japan and Australia, this marks Europe as the fourth
No new information on the NES Classic Edition production in Europe
As we reported earlier, the NES Classic Edition has been discontinued in North America. It also appears, via an update on the official website, that the same has occurred for the Famicom Classic Edition in Japan. A message on the site says: This product has ended production for...
No information available for other regions
Earlier this year there was chatter online around the potential discontinuation of the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition (Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe); some retailers in Scandinavia, for example, suggested they'd been told no more stock was coming, but...
Rev Up Your 8 and 16-Bit Engines
Long before Mario and crew jumped into karts back in 1992, they were already quite adept in the racing genre in Japan - Formula 1 to be precise. The popularity of this motorized sport in the Land of the Rising Sun meant that dozens of F1 games were released for both Famicom, Famicom Disk System and Super Famicom with...
Famicom classics on the go
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3tYZUblBmM We recently got our hands on the Famicom Classic Mini and it is truly a thing of beauty. However, it's mighty tempting to sacrifice its innards for the greater good after we watched the video above. The modders over at Kei Studio have seemingly achieved the impossible and...
The NES Classic Mini's Eastern relation
With the NES Classic Mini currently proving to be quite hard to find at retail right now, chances are that the thought of sourcing its Japanese sibling may have crossed your mind. Released at the same time and boasting a design which imitates that of the system that started it all – 1983's "Family...
8bit Music Power Final to contain 18 tracks
The idea of someone releasing a chiptune album on a Famicom cartridge might seem strange if it hadn't happened once already, but that doesn't make the impending launch of 8bit Music Power Final any less exciting or unique. Riki is the developer and Columbus Circle is the publisher, and the cart will hit...
Affordable '80s nostalgia beats everything
Nintendo, it seems, has been missing the trick for years. With clone systems everywhere, and SEGA giving rights to people working out of sheds to produce ROM-filled Mega Drive / Genesis systems (or so it seems based on their quality), Nintendo releases one and the world goes crazy. Naturally Nintendo has...
YOU MUST NEVER FORGET MIND IN EXPECTATION AND THE LOVE OF THOSE DAYS!
As any child of the '80s will tell you, Transformers were amazing. We're not talking about Bay-formers here - we mean Generation One, the series that started it all. We mean toys which actually looked like real vehicles, and boasted just as much die-cast metal in their...
It's better than an NX rumour
https://youtu.be/5IY6B9cOJZg As you're probably aware, we at Nintendo Life are committed to bringing you the biggest, best, and most important news stories every day of the week. This is not one of those times, and so instead we're sticking the NES Classic Edition in as many household objects as we can find. You can...
Dubbed "The Adventures of Musashi Jr."
https://youtu.be/nJiQRznHwn4 From the big pile of JRPGs that flooded the market in Japan after the success of both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy comes this 1990, feudal Japan-themed adventure featuring the son of Musashi and his Tanooki companion, because… well, it's feudal Japan, so there had to be a...
As part of Nintendo's celebration of the original release of The Legend of Zelda 30 years ago in 1986, the company is posting a series of features on its Japanese site, the latest of which gives a tantalising glimpse into one of the most interesting rooms in its Kyoto HQ. Packed with mint and boxed Famicom consoles,
Say hello to the FC Compact
Japan is getting an official mini Famicom this year which apes the approach taken with the NES Classic Mini, but it's not the only option if you want crystal clear retro gaming goodness on your HD telly. Japanese firm Columbus Circle is launching the FC Compact on November 30th for 7,992 Yen, and it offers bot
The NES Classic Mini isn't the only hardware release Nintendo is making this year - the company has confirmed that Japan is getting its own variant, based on the Famicom. Japanese site Akiba PC Hotline has hands-on photos of the new syst
A little piece of history
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away last year at the age of 55. Beloved by gamers and responsible for seeing the company through one of its most successful periods, Iwata started out as a developer in the early 1980s, joining HAL Laboratory and collaborating closely with Nintendo on Famicom titles. It would seem...
The Gaming Historian (aka Norman Caruso) is back with ever more luscious hair to get us up to speed with the ill-fated Famicom Disk System. Nintendo considered the Disk System the future of the Famicom, and promised bigger, cheaper games through the hardware iteration. To get a better understanding of how the Famicom Disk System came...
We recently reported on the Kickstarter campaign for Bitmap Books' NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium. Part of the publisher's long-running Visual Compendium series - which has previously featured the Commodore, Amiga and ZX Spectrum - the book is intended as a celebration of Nintendo's iconic 8-bit console, a machine which changed the...
And the Famicom, of course
UK publisher Bitmap Books has carved out quite a niche for itself in recent years. Focused on quality coffee table tomes related to video gaming, the company has produced a wide range of retro classics, with the most recent examples being the lavish Artcade and positively lush Super Famicom: Th
Given that Sony and Microsoft are chewing up the column inches with rumours of "updated" versions of their current consoles, it seems fitting that we should take a look at an amazing project by Swedish artist and programmer Arne Niklas Jansson for what he dubs "the NES 1.5" - a console which would have bridged the gap between the NES and...
It's Kaettekita Mario Bros!
The Famicom Disk System (FDS for short) and its diskettes might have not set Japan ablaze as Nintendo had hoped they would but the system still managed to get a decent library of games, and was also responsible for the debut of both the Metroid and Zelda franchises. One unique title was Kaettekita Mario Bros.
Yes, it's still getting games
Japanese artist and programmer RIKI - the same chap who did the brilliant 8bit Music Power "cartridge album" - is bringing his homebrew indie hit Kira Kira Star Night to the Famicom as a physical release. Released in 2013 and shown off to great acclaim at BitSummit back in 2014, the side-scrolling platformer boasts...
It's only taken 28 years
It's amazing that still to this day, quirks and hidden information in the video games of yesteryear are still being surfaced from players around the world. The latest addition to this is NES classic Super Mario Bros. 3. For those accustomed with this title, you'll know that when our heroic plumber becomes Hammer Mario, he...
Complete with realistic recoil system
It's easy to forget just how massive the NES was back in its glory days, but even that system paled in comparison to the near-domination that its Japanese counterpart - the Famicom - enjoyed in its homeland. Simply put, the Nintendo "Family Computer" was the only real game in town if you were a Japanese player,...
In the world of music vinyl is currently enjoying something of a resurgence, with the antiquated audio format coming back from the dead to take pride of place in any self-respecting hipster's living room. While it's unlikely that this trend has anything to do with the release of RIKI's 8Bit Music Power, parallels can nevertheless be...
Hopefully isn't 8-bit sound
A number of the UK-based Nintendo Life crew spent four days at EGX in Birmingham recently, an expo with all of the noise, fun and shenanigans you'd expect. Your humble writer wasn't to be found out in the wilds of the main hall, however, but conducting interviews with plenty of Indie developers; the burden of...
Small device plugs into into your headphone socket
Modern gaming is becoming increasingly focused on digital distribution, with publishers making use of online stores such as the Wii U and 3DS eShops to deliver games directly to consumers without having to produce physical media. With rumours that Nintendo's next console could abandon physical...
Wii U eShop / NES
It's undoubtedly a good thing when Nintendo starts releasing older titles on the eShop that are otherwise fairly difficult to find or play. But does VS. Excitebike, originally only released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan in 1988, offer enough extra content compared to the original to justify a purchase? As the core of the...
Should have a steady job and a mortgage by now
Here's one to make some of us feel old - the Famicom is 32 years old today, released in Japan on 15th July 1983. It was, of course, the system that would be revamped and remodelled as the NES in October 1985 in North America. Famicom was the shortened name for Family Computer; a key difference of...
We talk about the soundtrack’s history, future projects, and much more
We recently reported on the Kickstarter campaign that has been launched with the goal of giving the Mother Original Arranged Soundtrack a western release. In just four short days the campaign smashed its funding goal and is now well on
Video games have often been twinned with education to create fun, interactive experiences which both entertain and enlighten, but one of the oldest examples has to be Fukutake Publishing's Studybox, a tape drive peripheral for the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES) which ran tape-based games that featured actual recorded audio. Using...
We are Family (Computer)
31 years ago today, Nintendo Co., Ltd. released the Famicom console in Japan, an event which would herald the beginning of the firm's wildly successful relationship with home video games. Hitting store shelves at 14,800 Yen (around $145 / £84 / 107 Euros), the system wasn't an instant hit with the Japanese public. Sales...
Celebrating the Zero fans have always wanted
Many of us caught the bus with Shigesato Itoi's quirky RPG series through EarthBound, but well before that came his first game, Mother. Also known as EarthBound Zero, Mother was released July 1989 in Japan and, unfortunately, nowhere else officially since. Not one to dismiss a reason to celebrate their...
Too bad none of them are real games
Japanese game store Meteor has been running its "My Famicase" art exhibition for the past few years, and each year the entries go above and beyond our expectations. The idea is that artists create "fake" Famicom cartridge labels which are in keeping with the designs of the '80s and ''90s, but have a modern vibe...
$499 price point and colour options revealed
Seattle-based custom console manufacturer Analogue Interactive has spilled the beans on its upcoming Analogue Nt, a sexy aircraft-grade aluminium NES/Famicom we reported on back in March. Set for a release this summer, the Analogue Nt is now available for preorder through the company's website with a base...
A one-two nostalgic combo right in Japan's childhood
NES Remix was a pleasant surprise when suddenly announced for the Wii U eShop, and the appearance of its slightly more mature cousin NES Remix 2 is a good sign that this particular brand of retro carnival play is taking off. It may come to the delight and/or great envy of others, then, that Japan...
Because some of you will just never stop blowing into them
The idea has been sitting right under our noses (where our mouths are) the entire time: we blow into cartridges; we blow into harmonicas. Why not merge the two together? Finally, we have the technology — or at least someone creatively wily enough to use it. The gadgeteer(s) at Ugoita...
The Famicom Clone To Rule Them All?
The concept of clone retro hardware isn't anything new — in fact, we've already covered the likes of the Retro Duo V2, RetroN 3 and SupaBoy here on Nintendo Life — but as time goes on these cheap and cheerful systems are becoming more and more desirable. Older machines are either failing as
Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and Go! Go! Ackman all feature
Namco Bandai is bringing a compilation of Famicom and Super Famicom games known as J Legend Biography in Japan. The games included in the collection are Dragon Ball: Mystery of Shenlong, Go! Go! Ackman 3, Saint Seiya: The Golden Legend, Saint Seiya: The Golden Legend Final Chapter and...
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...
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...
The system that started it all
At the time of writing it may still be 14th July in many countries, but it's 15th July in Japan — that means that the Famicom has now turned 30 years old in its homeland. It would eventually make its way to the West, redesigned, as the iconic NES. Of course, Nintendo had been a Playing Card company in its earliest...
500 Yen a pop
Nintendo has confirmed that two new 8-bit titles are coming to the Japanese 3DS eShop next week. The excellently-titled Nuts & Milk was in fact the first third-party game for the Famicom, and launched way back in 1984. It's a curious puzzle / platfomer hybrid which involves linking up Milk with his girlfriend whilst avoiding the...
Remember when console designs actually mattered?
We hate to keep going on about it, but Microsoft revealed the Xbox One to the world this week. We're obviously biased, but we happen to think it looks a little underwhelming in purely physical terms — Nintendo Life Operations Director Darren Calvert said it best when he described the console as...
A retro reminder every day
So, who is it says that the Japanese market gets all of the coolest limited edition Nintendo hardware and accessories? Well, lots of people, including us at Nintendo Life — because it's often true. The latest example is the pictured Famicom skin on the way to lovingly cover Wii U GamePad controllers in Nintendo's...
Colour choice "due to an order from the company's president"
The original Famicom — which would be branded as the NES in the West — remains an iconic example of Japanese hardware design. That's not to say it was perfect, with one notable feature being that the controllers were hardwired into the system — it's easy to see why that idea was...
Big in Japan
Naxat Soft's Recca seems destined for a 3DS eShop release in the west. The game — which is a vertically-scrolling shooter from 1992 — has just been given a rating by the Australian Classification Board. Also known as Summer Carnival '92: Recca thanks to the fact that it was used in Naxat Soft's "Summer Carnival" shooting game...
Give the dog a bone
The Nintendo Entertainment System — or NES, for short — is arguably the console on which Nintendo's current lofty status was built. Launched in Japan as the Famicom, the 8-bit platform is home to an almost endless list of solid-gold classics, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid,
Fresh from Japan
If you watched last week's Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation you'll know that at the end there was a special GameCenter CX segment featuring none other than Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. For those of you that don't know, GameCenter CX (known in the west as Retro Game Master) is a TV show starring Shinya Arino, who plays...
Nobody says you shouldn't
You might remember some of our previous coverage of Famicase, where artists create stickers for fictional Famicom games. A Game By Its Cover (AGBIC) takes this concept to the next stage, inviting developers to create games based on the stickers. The competition runs from 17th June until 18th August and is open to anyone...
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...
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..
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..
October begins with Virtual Console and DSiWare
WiiWare's alternating weeks continue, but at least there's the Virtual Console to keep Wii owners happy – even better when the releases include classic arcade games! The DSi has a trio of actual games for a change with nary a lifestyle download in sight. Virtual ConsoleCommando (800pts Arcade, Capcom) – This is the first VCA release from Capcom..
It'll make sense soon
You might remember a story back in May about a Japanese art project where artists created fictitious Famicom cartridges to display their work. Here we are, three months later, bringing you news that some enterprising developers took the cartridges as inspiration to create games. Taking in cat-touching adventure Neco Touch, sloth simulator Namakemono – translated as..
Rare machine up for grabs
Back in 1980s Japan, Nintendo's Famicom was doing the business, but the company wanted to get more gamers to experience what it could offer. The answer was the FamicomBox, a machine used by retailers to allow customers to try out a selection of Famicom games, with some models even featuring a coin slot to allow gamers to...
Famicase project shows off 2010 line-up
The humble Famicom cartridge may not seem like the perfect canvas on which to create art, but every year Japanese game shop Meter hosts Famicase, a project aiming to prove just the opposite. Artists are asked to create artwork for a fictitious game and display it on a Famicom cart, and predictably the results range from the brilliant to the bizarre. If you're..
Koei's latest Warriors game is Wii-exclusive and includes a Nintendo-related bonus mode.
If you're not familiar with Koei's popular franchise you shouldn't be too surprised - The only game released on a Nintendo platform, Samurai Warriors: Katana, was a spin-off which was not that well received. All is forgiven with Koei's latest announcement however - The newest game in the series, Samurai..
Fifty-eight artists and designers craft imaginary Famicom game carts
The art on game boxes and carts from the 8-bit era was generally pretty crap. A lot of it is still crap today, but back then gaming was still considered largely a kid's thing so people gave even less of a **** on whether or not the box art looked good. Japanese retro games shop Meteor is behind the My Famicase exhibition, which..
Shame we don’t know how to use a soldering iron...
The stuff these crazy modders seem to dream up never fails to surprise us, and this latest endeavour is totally off the chart in terms of sheer genius. Modder ‘goteking’ has taken a business card holder shaped like a Famicom cartridge and skillfully inserted a media player with a Famicom emulator installed. The result? Portable pleasure and..
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