Quick Beats Grant Kirkhope On How Batman Inspired Banjo-Kazooie
"I’ve used [those chords] a gazillion times, it’s in everything I write"
Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival we're speaking to a range of composers and musicians for a mixture of in-depth interviews and shorter, sharper (and perhaps a little goofier) Q&As where we ask just ten rapid-fire personal questions; we're calling...
Feature Ranking The Playable Instruments Of The Legend Of Zelda, From Worst To Best
Link, the one-man orchestra
Our Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival will be coming to an end soon, and we can't think of a better way to send it off than spending way too much time analysing musical instruments in the Legend of Zelda series. Everyone knows and loves the Ocarina of Time, it's true — but it's far from the only instrument the...
Feature Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, Or That Time Mario Got Movin’ To Mozart
The funky rhythm comin’ at ya!
On the surface Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix appears to be the ordinary and obvious by-product of Konami and Nintendo continuing to operate in the same creative space. After all, by the time of the game’s 2005 release, Mario had already been doing non-Mario things for a very long time — he could paint, ride...
Feature Tee Lopes Talks Sonic, Streets Of Rage, And Making Music On A PS1
"Video games were a portal that allowed me to discover music"
Fans of certain beloved Sega franchises should be very familiar with this composer's name by now. Tee Lopes started out on the VGM scene releasing remixed and reimagined versions of some of gaming's most beloved music, with a special focus on one blue hedgehog in particular, and his...
Soapbox The Term 'Indie' Is Losing Meaning, But Maybe That's A Positive Sign
The games industry has come a long way in a short time
Back in the pre-internet / download store days of the Console 'Bit' Wars, the way we bought and enjoyed games could not have been more different. Video games were expensive store purchases, and often you'd rely on renting games that you couldn't afford or couldn't 'commit' to buying. No...
Feature Nintendo Switch Ports We'd Love To See In 2022
Another year, another 12 months of quality Switch ports. The past couple of years we've published a small wishlist of ports we'd love to see come to Switch and, on the whole, we've been pleased to see several games crossover to our favourite handheld hybrid. Last year, for example, we were jonesing for Fall Guys, Outer Wi
Feature Doki Doki Literature Club Creator On Revisiting The Club Members In 'Plus'
"The characters stick with you because they feel like friends"
It's not every day that a visual novel has the chance to shock and awe the world like Doki Doki Literature Club did on PC back in 2017. The game proved to be a hit, but console gamers were left waiting for some way to experience the tale this anime dating sim tells. Flash forward to the...
Feature Ex-Nintendo Employee On 'Holy Grails', Meeting Heroes, And Preserving A $10K Kirby Card
"As a fan, I was mortified at the thought of destroying any of it"
Over the holidays we're republishing some of our best features, interviews, opinion pieces and talking points from the previous 12 months from staff and contributors alike — articles that we feel represent our best of 2021. In them you'll find our usual mix of thoughtfulness,...
Feature "I Feel Like All Of The Emotion I Have Held For 'The World Ends With You' Has Been Released Through This Latest Game"
Speaking to the minds behind NEO: The World Ends With You
While NEO: The World Ends With You seemingly didn't meet its publisher's sales expectations, there's clearly a sizeable fanbase surrounding the series – and we were lucky enough to sit down with the minds behind this captivating universe for an exclusive interview. We spoke to Tomohiko...
Feature The Many Faces Of Donkey Kong, Nintendo's 40-Year-Old Gorilla
Four decades of DK
Nintendo’s monkey of manifold mantles – one Donkey Kong, Esq. – recently turned 40. Forty years young and still so vital, but it could be reasonably argued that the ol’ Kongmeister has been undergoing a bit of an identity crisis for most of his lifespan. The man-ape has turned from heel to face to heel more times than The...
Feature Why Was Among Us Translated Into Irish?
Last week, it was announced that Among Us, the fantastically popular friend-murdering game, was localised officially into Irish. For many (mostly, the Irish) it was an exciting thing; for others, the response was mostly: "But why?" It's a legitimate question — Irish, or Gaeilge, is only spoken by around 40% of the Irish population, and is...
Feature Treasure Games That Need Switch Ports Or Sequels
We’re going on a Treasure hunt
The aptly-named Japanese studio Treasure — in spite of its fondness for focusing on less popular formats and its infrequent and occasionally Japan-only releases — has long been a developer famed throughout all of game-dom for the consistent originality and sheer quality that runs through its work. Formed in 1992...
Talking Point New Super Mario Bros. Is 15 Years Old, And It's Still Fantastic
Celebrating Mario's big 2D comeback on its anniversary
It’s quite funny to consider that the highest-selling Nintendo DS game of all time - shifting in excess of 30 million copies worldwide – is still a title I’d consider to be under-rated. If anything, it’s respected as the formative entry in a divisive series that’s considered to never...
Back Page To All The Low-Level Enemies I've Slaughtered
It's time to kick ass and feel bad, and I'm all out of ass
In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you'd find all the weird goofs that we couldn't fit in anywhere else. Some may call it "filler"; we prefer "a whole page to make terrible jokes that are tangentially related to the content of the mag". We don't have pages on the internet, but...
Feature A Look Back At Nintendo's Long History Of Art, Music And Game Making Software
Over 35 years of programmin', paintin' and makin'
Between the Super Mario Maker games, Miitopia, and now the soon to be released Game Builder Garage, the last decade has seen Nintendo embrace the creativity of its players to produce fun content for all to experience. It’s amazing to see the creativity of the communities that form around these...
Feature The Story Of The Game Genie, The Cheat Device Nintendo Tried (And Failed) To Kill
The cheat cartridge that cost Nintendo millions
Much has been written about cheating in games. The history of which is so old and entwined it's difficult to find its origins. Developers included cheats to aid development, from Manic Miner to Gradius. In computer games, it was possible for players to 'POKE' data values and change things, with old...
Feature The Best Hidden Gems And Underrated Switch Games Of 2021
Some overlooked games you might have missed
The sheer wealth of software coming to Switch eShop on a weekly basis has been hard to keep up with since launch and, try as we might, over time it has become increasingly difficult to review every Switch game we'd like to. In 2021 more than ever, even intriguing-looking titles have had to be passed-over...
Feature From Famicom Disk System To Switch - The Evolution Of Nintendo's Miis
Love Mii do
Ah, the Mii. We remember when we first made our own Miis back in 2006. Back then the most character customisation we had experienced was probably with The Sims, so making Miis of our friends, family and favourite video game characters was a fun pastime. It's a real shame, then, that Nintendo stepped away from their Miis, presumably in an...
Feature 'Arcade Perfect' Be Damned: R-Type DX Is Still Portable Perfection
Bydo To The Future
R-Type may be 34 years old but the beyond-enthusiastic reception for R-Type Final 2's Kickstarter proved Irem’s long-running series is much more than a nostalgic memory held close by a few greying fans, or vintage shmup still hazily respected from a great distance. R-Type can still generate hype and open up wallets; the thought...
Soapbox Nintendo Pocket Football Club Really Needs A Sequel On Switch
Nintendo Pocket Football Club was one of my highlights on the 3DS and it’s about time we got a sequel to ParityBit’s simple football management sim on the Switch. Yes, I’m well aware that Football Manager Touch is available on the Switch, with its real-world players, teams, and leagues, but it lacks the Nintendo charm and more...
Feature Turning 'Peaceful' Into 'Frantic' With Animal Crossing's Speedrunning Scene
Legging it through New Leaf
There’s an entire generation of players who hold dear fond memories of dipping their stubby toes in the coarse sand of Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s beaches. There was a calm warmth that came with the villagers that called your slowly built-up town home. The game was a beacon of creativity where you could let the...
Feature The Origins Of BAFTA-Nominated 'Before I Forget' And Its Approach To Dementia
"One of our goals has always been to tell stories that aren’t often told within video games"
The Nintendo Switch, through its popularity and also its extremely varied and diverse gaming audience, has attracted some fascinating video games to the eShop. The system is a home for experimental and challenging games, and Before I Forget - a title that...
Feature Why Do Games Get Removed From Switch eShop? It's Surprisingly Easy
Ratings are both simple and iffy
This week another eShop game seemed to fall victim to a surprisingly common issue: age ratings. The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark is temporarily removed from the North American eShop, with the developer stating that they hope to get the issue resolved in 'about a week'. A member of the development team...
Feature Developers Respond To The Recent Twitter Furore Over The Definition Of 'Game Dev'
A little more context than 280 characters can cope with
Last week, a Twitter debate broke out over the exact definition of a 'game developer' and to whom that term can be ascribed. Should the title be extented to anyone contributing to the development of the game or be reserved solely for those with direct creative input? Are QA staff 'developers'...
Feature 'The Last Worker' Director - "I Was Actually Inside Jerry Bruckheimer's Office, Accused Of Being A Megalomaniac"
Jörg Tittel on ambitious ideas and striving to do cool things on Switch
Recently, publisher Wired Productions unveiled its own ‘Direct’ in which it revealed a sizeable number of games, five of which are coming to Nintendo Switch. One that caught the eye, in part because its teaser was also visually arresting and rather vague, was The Last...
Talking Point Nintendo And The Industry Needs To Get Serious About Game Preservation
Lots of catching up to do
For those following the general chat around video games, one topic that has generated debate recently has been Sony’s announcement of the upcoming closures of digital stores on PlayStation 3, PS Vita and PSP. As news, it wasn’t necessarily surprising, for reasons we’ll expand upon, but it did bring the whole subject...
Memory Pak Looking Into The Light In Super Mario 64
You know, that level where Mario blinds himself?
My dad used to tell me that, when he was young, the world was in black and white. For a long time, I didn't think to question it - after all, every shred of historical evidence we had from the 1950s and before was in black and white, too. Unfortunately, I grew up, and realised that my dad - as all...
Feature We Worked Out The Best Zelda Game Once And For All, Using Maths
...and it took a really long time
We could argue all day about which Zelda is technically the best. In fact, we often do, especially with the 35th Anniversary of the series this year. But no matter how many times we yell at each other that Majora's Mask is better than Ocarina of Time, or that Oracle of Ages and Seasons a
Feature A Tribute To Bobby "The Nintendo Guru" Pauls
"A truly special person who can never be replaced"
The Nintendo community is a tight community. It is a community of joy that is shared online and at events. One of the community's most loving, energetic, and hard-working members was Bobby Pauls – also known as The Nintendo Guru. After a long-fought battle in the hospital with COVID-19, Bobby...
Talking Point What Are You Playing This Weekend? (December 25th Holiday Special)
So, this is Christmas. And what have you done? Well, not a great deal to be honest — as is typical at this time of year, it's quiet out there in the world of video games as everyone settles down for a well-earned holiday break. We're into the very final stretch of 2021, but a few things have been occurring nonetheless. Not...
Feature Takaya Imamura - The Man Who Named Majora's Mask And Created Nintendo's Coolest Characters
And Slippy Toad
On 20th January 2021, Nintendo artist, designer, producer and director Takaya Imamura posted his first ever tweet announcing that he was leaving the company after 32 years. Imamura isn't retiring — he's only 54 — but his departure signals the end of an impressive Nintendo career spanning the 16-bit era to Switch. While mascots...
Editorial Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays From Nintendo Life
The mood is right, the spirit's up
Ho ho ho! Yes, the most wonderful holiday of the year has officially arrived and it's time to start cracking out the sweetmeats, beverages, and — if you're reading this — video games. It's Christmas! Following on from an all-round miserable 2020, this year has been... well, not a whole lot better really...
Soapbox Retro Nintendo Games Cost Too Much, But Nostalgia Is Expensive
Second-hand Nintendo games are notoriously pricey, but why?
The year is 1999. I'm in a GAME, in Loughborough town centre. The grey carpet is sticky, the awful fluorescent lights are so dim I can barely see, and everything sort of smells like stale sweat. I'm standing in the N64 section with my brother, both of us clutching a small fortune in pocket...
Feature Clammy Consoles, Humid Horrors, And Retro Regrets
Don't try this at home
A few years ago a clever, witty, and shockingly beautiful Nintendo Life writer had to spend a few boring days trawling numerous websites searching for a brand new and eye-wateringly expensive wafer-thin HDTV with which to replace their ageing and sadly then only semi-functional slightly less wafer-thin HDTV. This new triumph...
Feature Game Of The Year 2021 - Nintendo Life Staff Awards
Our team's picks for the year's finest games
As 2021 comes to an end there's plenty of gaming to reflect upon. It was a relatively busy year from Nintendo as it kept up momentum for the Switch, which added the OLED model and continues to be a top-seller. The year started with Nintendo's first-party slate looking relatively quiet, but that was...
Feature "You Have To Rewire Your Brain To Accept The Absurdities I'm Going To Lay Out" - Mat Dickie Talks Wrestling Empire
The legendary developer talks wrestling, Switch and dealing with critics
While Wrestling Empire is no critical darling, sole developer Mat Dickie is used to that reception, having been making his own professional wrestling games since 2000. Despite unusual visuals and unpredictable gameplay, these titles have achieved a cult following – it's not a...
Feature How Takara Brought SNK's Arcade Fighters To The Humble Game Boy
Between 1994 and 1998 Takara Co., Ltd. brought some of SNK's most successful Neo Geo arcade hits — Samurai Shodown, The King of Fighters, and Fatal Fury 2 — to the humble Game Boy via a series of 'demakes'; streamlined and simplified releases of the infinitely more powerful arcade originals rebuilt from the ground up...
Matters Of Import 'Royal Anapoko Academy' From Yuzo Koshiro's Ancient Is A Superior Slice Of Silly Strategy
Where's our diploma in slime-slicing?
Ancient — the family company of VGM composer Yuzo Koshiro and developers of everything from Sonic The Hedgehog’s debut Game Gear outing to Gotta Protectors for the 3DS — released Royal Anapoko Academy in Japan on 16th December 2021. Like much of its output in recent years, this light-hearted RPG is an...
Feature Best Nintendo Switch Ports Of 2021
Our picks of the 10 best ports on Switch this year
Another year down, and another set of games making the unlikely jump to Nintendo's diminutive hybrid console. We say 'unlikely', but at this stage we're well aware that practically anything is possible given the appropriate time and resources — although those two commodities are typically in short...
Guide Best Nintendo Switch Camera Games - Photo Modes And Photography In Switch Games
Photo modes are so hot these days! But, well, not so much on Switch. Search "Best Photo Modes" and you'll get a bevy of PlayStation and Xbox games, probably — like The Last of Us, God of War, or Death Stranding. And sure, those games are lovely and pretty and photorealistic... But you don't need a fancy 4K game console to take good...
Feature Nintendo Switch Year In Review - Our Stats And Most Played Games
That's a lot of hours
Just recently Nintendo gave us an insight into our gaming years on Switch; it provided a reminder that Mario is always watching when we play, and that we've devoted many days of the year to this lovely hobby of ours. Depending on region you get a neat page of information that covers your most played games, handheld / docked...
Feature 9 Switch Games Guaranteed To Get You On The Naughty List
Definitely not sugar, spice, and all things nice
It turns out there can be such a thing as too much Christmas cheer, especially during the week before the big day when we’re sick of the sight of the cute snowmen shops have been hawking since October and rag-tag bands of singers are prowling the streets, vocally murdering every carol you thought...
Talking Point What Are You Playing This Weekend? (December 18th)
Because it's cold outside...
Another week finished as we get very close to the holidays. This week's highlight was undoubtedly the latest Indie World showcase, the Analogue Pocket got some retro gamers very excited, Super Mario Bros. 3 still has some secrets,
Soapbox Pokémon Journeys Is Like The Original Series, But 151 Times Better
Ash made a friend his own age!
Life's been difficult lately. As much as I want to catch up on all the heart-racing tension of all the TV shows that everyone else is watching — Squid Game, Succession, the new season of The Witcher — I just don't have the energy for it. If I only have an hour or two after work, I don't want to spend it on edge,...
Random These Bot-Generated Pokémon Might Be Better Than The Real Thing
This is what happens when the Pokémon nozzle gets clogged
You know we love bot-generated content. We've used various bots to create front-page stories, and to write a better Ace Attorney script than Shu Takumi, but we haven't dabbled too much in the wild and wonderful world of Pokémon. But Max Woolf has. Woolf is a data scientist at Buzzfeed, and...
Reminder What's The Best Switch Game Of 2021? It's Time To Rate Your Favourites
Switch GOTY 2021 incoming soon!
Update: Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! We'll be publishing the full top 50 soon, but there's still time to rate your favourite games of 2021. And yes, Chicory fans, we have a review in the works, but you can still rate the game now by heading to its game page (click the title above or use the search...
Soapbox Nintendo's Game Awards No-Show Proves It Simply Doesn't Need Anyone Else
More Direct-to-you than ever before
Last week was The Game Awards 2021, an event organised and hosted by Geoff Keighley that's supposedly designed to bring together the entire industry for a general celebration of video games — and some awards, too (after all, it's there in the name). Opinions will vary, of course, but perhaps for Nintendo fans...
Talking Point What Are You Playing This Weekend? (December 11th)
Ever feel like you're in a loop?
Another week down as we roll towards the holidays. This week we've seen a bunch of games, a few performances, and even an award or two at The Game Awards. Elsewhere, Paper Mario came to the NSO Expansion Pack, some wag hacked Chris Pratt's voice into
Talking Point What Did You Think Of The Game Awards 2021?
Hours of games
The Game Awards — Geoff Keighley's pet project that's a bit like the Oscars and a lot like a three-hour advert with the actual awards hastily shoved in the cracks — took place last night, and although a lot of things happened during those three hours (plus the 30-minute pre-show), not much of it was destined for the Nintendo...
Guide Best Nintendo Switch Soulslike Games - Games To Play If You Like Dark Souls
Git gud games
When Dark Souls launched back in 2011, it ushered in a new era of lore-filled and inscrutable combat-focused games that gave players the freedom to follow their own path and play style, but steadfastly refused to 'go easy' on them. Every encounter in FromSoftware's series, no matter how minor, has the potential to end in tears; if you...