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One of the most common and legitimate criticisms against Nintendo's modern business practices is that the company is sitting on a treasure trove of beloved franchises and IPs that haven't had a new installment in years despite the fan demand for them. In scouring the webs, it's fairly easy to find articles, social media rants, Youtube comments and the like demanding Nintendo publish a new F-Zero title, release a "true" Metroid game, or finally create a sequel to Startropics!...Okay, maybe not that last one.Still, it's difficult to ignore the fact that Nintendo has grown increasingly reliant on its three most popular franchises, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon, at the expense of some of their less successful, but equally loved IPs. Yet strangely enough, amidst all this fan demand for the revival of old game franchises, there's one series on the decline that's seldom talked about.Warioware.
Of all the video game characters in existence, Mario is perhaps the most versatile of the bunch. He is essentially the Mickey Mouse of the gaming industry, in that he can be thrown into just about any scenario, and it somehow won't feel out of place. In his 30 plus years of starring in games, Mario has run across ceilings in gravity defying platformers, explored the gut of his arch-nemesis, impersonated a doctor studied hard for his Ph. D., hosted parties and golf matches, and so much more!
Last September, what can be presumed to be the last Metal Gear game to ever be made arrived on store shelves, concluding the story of a series 28 years in the making. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain differed from all of its predecessors though, in that it focused more on having smooth, intuitive and flexible gameplay in an open world than having a compelling narrative. The Metal Gear Solid franchise is infamous for having cutscenes that last over 30 minutes and beat players over the head with story revelations, but The Phantom Pain forgoes much of that in exchange for compelling gameplay.
You'd be forgiven if you weren't aware, but a new installment in the Fire Emblem series is almost upon us! Or well, installments I should say. On February 19th, Fire Emblem fans new and returning alike will be able to purchase Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, two different versions of the same game, that actually have a lot more differences than you'd think. Pokemon Red and Blue this is not.
Youtube, once a small and humble service only truly good for looking up videos of cats, has evolved through the years into one of the most iconic, accessible,and influential websites on the World Wide Web. The ability to easily post video content for thousands of others to see has given birth to many unique channels covering just about any topic under the Sun. As silly and mindless as Youtube videos can be, it's also home to a wide array of meaningful, informative, and interesting content that is often buried under meme filled drivel or popular trends that may not be universally enjoyed. This is especially true when it comes to Youtube content relating to video games.
The video games industry is constantly moving forward. Each day, new games are released, upcoming releases grow less distant, and current hardware and trends slowly but surely approach the point at which they'll inevitably become obsolete. With all the progress the gaming industry is constantly making, it's difficult to find time to look backward instead of forward, and appreciate both the progress games have made through the years, as well as great video game releases you may have missed out on.At the end of every year, most people compile a top ten lists of the best games they played that year which released in that same year. With 2015 now officially behind us, many such lists are now popping up all across the web. Overall, 2015 is widely considered to be a much better year for the gaming industry than 2014, with current gen consoles receiving much needed new releases to make them more appealing to those that haven't taken the plunge. However, as someone who only recently purchased a PS3 in 2014, and a PS4 just a few months ago, I've been far too busy catching up on great games most people played a long time ago, rather than big 2015 releases like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3.
Growing up, I was always enthralled by history, so much so that that I plan on teaching it for a living. To be blunt, I was that nerd you scoffed at for having fun during European History class back in high school. To me history, unlike math and to a lesser degree English, is an extremely relatable field of study. In history, you're not dealing with mathematical formulas most people don't deal with on a regular basis or fictional stories and characters, but rather people that actually lived and events that actually happened.
For the past few weeks, I've struggled to follow through and publish a blog. It's not that I've had a shortage of ideas - quite the contrary actually - it's that it felt like whatever I would manage to publish next wouldn't be satisfactory, given the monumental occasion it would be fulfilling. Y'see, after my good pal TheDarkestLink celebrated a milestone on Game Informer with his 100th blog post, just for fun, I decided to count up how many entries I had published since joining the website in April of 2014 and lo and behold... the answer was 99.
Not all video games "stick" with us. In fact, most video games do not. We play a few rounds of Tetris to kill time on the morning commute, or dash our way through colorful visuals in the newest Kirby game, but over time our memories of these games will inevitably fade until they're all but forgotten. However, there are times when a video game, for one reason or another, refuses to leave our consciousness. Try as we might to forget them, they leave such a lasting impact that they stick with you, and leave an impression in the same way an effecting novel or movie would. The Last of Us is one such game.
2015 has been a bit of a peculiar year for Nintendo. Amidst complains of their various franchises "playing it safe" and offering similar experiences time and time again, Nintendo's been rather experimental with both their existing and new IPs, to varying results. This mentality of "trying new things" has led to the birth of fantastic new franchises like Splatoon, e-Shop hits like Box Boy! and interesting twists on familiar franchises, like the first ever Super Mario level editor in the form of Super Mario Maker. However, this toying with new ideas has also resulted in some middling, and even outright bad games, as Tri-Force Heroes, Chibi-Robo Zip Lash, and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival have all shown us. 2015 has certainly been a strange year for Nintendo, which is why it's fitting that it was the year Nintendo Badge Arcade was localized for Western audiences.
Earlier this evening, Nintendo hosted the first Nintendo Direct since E3. It was the first one to be held in roughly five months, and it was an event that was eagerly anticipated. Many feared they would become a relic of the past after the passing of Satoru Iwata, as they were once held monthly yet no sign of them was to be had after E3 up until this week. Moreover, between the NX console on the horizon, smartphone games in the development, and a new CEO recently being elected, it's clear Nintendo is going through a transitional phase, so the lack of news of Nintendo's future plans through a Direct was baffling.
Gaming Confession Time: I'm not above the occasional impulse purchase. Every now and then, I sift through the Playstation Store or pass through the Electronic section of Target aimlessly searching for something new to play, and often come out with something I didn't intend on purchasing to begin with. It's not a great habit to have, but it has exposed me to new franchises and games that I've fallen in love with that I probably wouldn't have played otherwise.