"It's about time you showed up, Fox!" After eleven years, the ace fighter pilot and his team of mercenaries are returning to a home console in Star Fox Zero, and a long hiatus like that creates some major expectations. Surely if Nintendo thought it was time to bring back Star Fox now there'd be some big things in store, right? Well it seems those "big ideas" aren't quite as big as I had hoped.
Across the last few decades, it’s nearly impossible to think of the handheld market without Nintendo. Since the Game Boy’s release in 1989, the company has practically dominated the market. Competition has come forth in the form of the Sega Game Gear, Nokia N-Gage, and more prominently, the Sony PSP, but throughout the years, and especially in a market where mobile phones take an increasing share each year, Nintendo has managed to maintain an edge in producing some of the best and most creative technology the handheld market has to offer. Today, in particular, marks the release of the original 3DS handheld system: A system that arguably changed the way players think about glasses-free 3D.
I had forgotten just how cool The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was as I was replaying the HD remake for this review. The original release being almost ten years ago as a launch title for Wii, it's been a long time since I journeyed through Hyrule as Twilight Princess presented it. I had forgotten how dark some of the scenes get, how completely badass Ganondorf is, and how much this story grips me from beginning to end. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD reminded me of all of it — just as a good remastering should — but this return to Hyrule isn't without its flaws.
When mash-ups endeavor to become something bigger than simple art, it will often go one of two ways. Either things fit together and complement one another or they don’t. Even then, to go about making a mash-up idea into an enjoyable product is a much more arduous process than simply slapping one enjoyable brand together with another. It’s certainly been the source of both good and, at best, mediocre products over the last few decades. That said, who would have thought that back in 1996 around this time, one of the biggest success stories of one of these mash-ups would have come from applying the Final Fantasy RPG formula to the Super Mario universe?
It’s been just about 20 years since the first 151 Pokémon were unleashed on the world. Nintendo is celebrating such a monumental event all year round with events that are revisiting the last 20 years of Pokémon such as releasing legendary Pokémon from every generation every month until the end of the year. Pokemon is also going all the way back to the beginning with their generations TCG booster set that is a reprint of the very first Pokémon Trading Card Game set. It’s only natural, then, that Pokémon would want to go back to the games that started it all--the original Pokémon games: Red, Blue and Yellow (which came a year later).
Three decades ago, Nintendo released a timeless, action-adventure classic that would redefine the video game experience. Link, Ganon, and Princess Zelda have all hit the big 3-0, and to celebrate, we're going to take a look back at this revolutionary game. First and foremost, we're referring to the game's original release on the Nintendo Famicom, the Japanese system that would be converted into the Nintendo Entertainment System when it went stateside.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of the best Super Nintendo games ever made, introducing Nintendo’s plucky plumber to the grand world of the Japanese role-playing game. Nintendo was so pleased with its performance that it has since created two separate branches of spin-offs in Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi that try to emulate that classic feel. Apparently the creative juices aren’t flowing quite as freely at Nintendo as they usually do, as the latest Mario RPG game Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam takes those two spin-offs and simply mashes them back together.
Is the world of Pokémon really all about Pokémon? Certainly to an extent it is, but there’s another aspect of each game that’s arguably as important as the pocket monsters themselves. They’re the gates that test your skill at every major turn in a Pokémon game. They’re the focal point of every city and the checkpoints on the way to becoming a true Pokémon master. It’s not just about raising every available critter you like. It’s about building a balanced team that will meet these challenges head-on. Of course, we’re talking about Pokémon gym leaders. Maybe they’re on this list because they were just too ridiculous to forget. Maybe they’re here because they brought something to the table that the other trainers didn’t. Or maybe they’re here because their ridiculously difficult challenge was the stuff of nightmares. Either way, these gym leaders are the boss battles that have made 20 years of Pokémon a worthwhile series of journeys. These are the 20 Best Pokémon Gym Leaders.
17 years ago, Masahiro Sakurai and his team at HAL Laboratory introduced us to the crossover fighting game that featured Nintendo's most popular characters. In case you've been living under a rock, Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game that features the likes of Mario, Samus, Link, Fox McCloud, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and more. It allowed gamers to settle the schoolyard debates they had in the '90s as to who could win in a fight, Mario or Link. After all those times Donkey Kong kidnapped Princess Toadstool, it was nice to be able to play as Mario and finally punch that ape in the face.
Super Mario Maker’s debut has proven to be so much bigger than anyone could have anticipated, and it’s sparked the creator in all of us. Not only that, but the level of creativity that has emerged outside of just increasingly difficult levels is what keeps the community surrounding this game thriving. Themed levels, gimmick levels, even recreations of other games in Mario Maker all how off the tremendous level of depth the seemingly simple level editor has to offer. Recreations of levels and areas from other games or focusing on one mechanic to create an entirely new experience are just the tip of the iceberg in Mario Maker.