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The Art of Video Games: A Celebration of Forty Years!

It is no secret that Video Games have become part of our culture.  From their humble beginnings they have evolved into masterpieces of art.  Their stunning visuals can be envisioned in a gallery, and their captivating storyline could sit alongside the classic novels of yesteryear.  Let’s not forget the enchanting musical scores that provide the backdrop.

In the past video games were not taken so seriously as an art form, however the Smithsonian is aimed to change that.  Their exhibit entitled The Art of Video Games is scheduled to reside on the third floor North of the Smithsonian American Art Museum from March 16, 2012 through September 30, 2012.  The display will celebrate the forty year evolution of video games.  The focus will be on graphics, technology and storytelling, and how they interact.  The systems featured will cover the Atari VCS through the PS3 and will, span about eighty games.

The exhibit will also feature playable games such as Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Myst, Flower, and The Secret of Monkey.

The eighty games that were features were selected, by the public, from a list of about 240 games.  The original 240 games were chosen by Chris Melissinos.  Chris worked in an advisory group consisting of Game developers, designers, industry pioneers and journalists.  There were multiple criteria used to decide on the list including Use of new technologies and graphics/effects.

The exhibit is scheduled to hit the road after the initial dates have completed.   Dates and locations for the traveling exhibit have not yet been released.

 

Do you feel that Video games have evolved into an art form?  What games do you think deserve to be immortalized in a museum alongside the Mona Lisa, or the Scream?

Essel Pratt 18.01.2012 On Jan 18th 2012 with with 0 Comments
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Supaboy: Handheld Super Nes system!

Do you miss playing you old Super NES games?  Do you wish you could play them on the go?  If so, check out the Supaboy!  The portable system packs a 3.5 inch screen and handles a standard size SNES cartridge.  The handheld can also plug into your TV via an AV cable so you can play your favorite games on the big screen.  If you want to play multiplayer games, you can plug in your favorite SNES controllers.

Don’t have any of your old SNES favorites?  Head on over to www.nintendosforsale.com and browse their selection of games!

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

Original SNES controller design
Screen size (diagonal): 3.5 inches
2.5 Hours battery life
Measures: 8.5 x 4 x 1.5 inches
Weight: 11.5 ounces
Includes 2 Ports for wired controllers
Stereo sound
AV Out
Headphone jack
Adjustable volume control
Launch Date: December 1st
SRP: $79.99
Available at Amazon.com

Essel Pratt 09.01.2012 On Jan 09th 2012 with with 2 Comments
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Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition: Release Date Announced!

Mortal Kombat fans will be excited to hear that Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition has been announced by Warner Brother’s Interactive Entertainment.  The newest addition to the Mortal Kombat Series will be available on March 2nd, 2012 for the Playstation 3 and the XBOX 360.  The game is described as a “content rich” version of the 2011 release.

Mortal Kombat Komplete will contain all download content that has been released to date.  The content will include Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain as well as the infamous Freddy Krueger!  It will also include fifteen classic skins and three of the classic fatalities.  The official Press release can be seen below:

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition delivers the critically acclaimed game, all previously released downloadable content (DLC), plus digital downloads of the 2011 release of Mortal Kombat: Songs Inspired by the Warriors album with a bonus track, and the 1995 Mortal Kombat film on the PlayStation®Store or Xbox Live Zune. The DLC includes fan-favorite warriors Skarlet, Kenshi and Rain, as well as the infamous dream stalker Freddy Krueger. The game also offers 15 Klassic Skins and three Klassic Fatalities (Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile). Mortal Kombat: Songs Inspired by the Warriors is a collection of electronic music inspired by the game and is executive produced by JFK (of the DJ/ production duo MSTRKRFT and Death From Above 1979).

Developed by NetherRealm Studios and led by Mortal Kombat co-creator and creative director Ed Boon, the game will be available February 28 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

The 2011 release of Mortal Kombat was a triumphant return to the game’s original mature presentation offering over-the-top fatalities and cringe-worthy X-ray moves. Going back to a 2D fighting plane, this latest iteration in the franchise introduced a number of new gameplay features including Tag Team, Challenge Tower, and a deep story mode. Players can choose from an extensive lineup of the game’s iconic warriors and challenge their friends in traditional 1 vs. 1 matches, or take on several players in the innovative online King of the Hill mode.

For more information about Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition, please visit www.themortalkombat.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mortalkombat or on Twitter @MK_Mortalkombat

Mortal Kombat was originally released on August 8, 1992 by NetherRealms Studios (formerly Midway Games Chicago) as an arcade game.  The game was originally based on Jean-Claude Van Damme, but the idea met its fatality.  Shortly after the game was transformed into the Mortal Kombat we all love today. If you are looking into reliving the beginnings of the series, please click HERE to buy pre-owned versions for your old systems.

Are you excited about the upcoming release, why or why not?  Who is your favorite character, and what finishing move did you use the most?

Essel Pratt 09.01.2012 On Jan 09th 2012 with with 2 Comments
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For the Love of Platformers

There sure have been a lot of platformers released lately, haven’t there? Super Mario 3D Land, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, Sonic Generations, Rayman Origins…not to mention various downloadable titles.

Ah, the platformer – one of gaming’s purest genres. It doesn’t get much simpler than platformers. Simply run and jump your way to the goal while collecting coins, rings, food, etc. along the way – easy, right? Well, not always. Sure, the concept is simple in nature, but platformers continue to be some of the most diverse games on the market, as well as some of the most challenging. In this gamer’s opinion, you’re not nearly “hardcore” until you master the art of timing jumps onto a series of moving platforms filled with enemies that kill you on contact.

Honestly, how many of us grew up playing platformers? I’m willing to bet a hell of a lot did. Mario, Kirby, Sonic, Kid Icarus, Ice Climbers, Castlevania, Donkey Kong – the list goes on and on. Franchises that introduced a generation of gamers to their passion with their simple premise and punishing gameplay are still going strong even now in a world saturated with M-rated first-person shooters. It always warms my heart to see a child toting a Nintendo DS around, takin’ out Koopas and Goombas with a stern look of determination on his (or her) face.

And determined he (or she) better be because platformers aren’t for the faint of heart. That Mario game you’re playin’? You’ll want to chuck it out the window once you reach World 9. That Kirby game? Hope you enjoyed the cuteness and bright colors because things are gonna get ugly if you collected every hidden item. I’ll admit, I never completed any Sonic the Hedgehog game as a child. Those things are freakin’ insane! And don’t even get me started on Braid.

It’s this “easy concept/difficult and varied gameplay” duality that’s allowed the platformer to survive. A genre that by every right should have gone out of style years and years ago keeps churning out classics that not only hearken back to the good ol’ days, but forge entirely new paths with varied gameplay that builds on established conventions (Prince of Persia, anyone?). Even action-oriented, third-person shooters like the Uncharted series have platforming elements, and that’s sayin’ something. Platforming is everywhere.

They’re the games that anyone can pick up and play but not everyone can master. They’re invitingly simple, yet enticingly complex. Their influence can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Casual and hardcore gamers alike love ‘em. Never forget your roots, and remember – keep on jumpin’!

Michael Fletcher 15.11.2011 On Nov 15th 2011 with with 0 Comments
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Review: Jurassic Park for the SNES

“Welcome to Jurassic Park”

That is the first thing you hear when you start the game known as Jurassic Park on the SNES and you won’t forget it that quick either because this game will keep you occupied for at least 2 to 3 hours if not longer. It took me about 5 hours to beat this game because it involves a lot and I mean a LOT of back-tracking.

This is where hell begins

If you never played this game before then chances are you’ll get lost in a matter of minutes. You basically get thrown right into the game without any info whatsoever. The only info you do get are from little checkpoints that look like lamp-posts, but even these hints are very vague and basically help you  about as much as a 5 year old would in a Zombie fight. You get told to turn the power back on so you can restart the Mainframe which allows you to unlock other gates and also restart your motion-tracker which is pretty much useless half the time.

But here is the kick you have no idea where you are supposed to go, you don’t have a map system and there aren’t any in game maps. I’m not sure if you got a map along with the game if you bought it originally but that would have helped seeing as the game is pretty big, for SNES standards.

Anyway if you are anything like me you’ll probably just wander around, picking up eggs (which seems to be an objective) and walking into buildings trying to find as much crap and help as you can. Now as I mention the buildings I also have to mention the 1st person mode. Each time you walk into a building it starts the 1st person mode, which is kinda cool on one hand and massively crappy on the other here is why.

Going up?

The controls are horrid, you move ultra slow, turning around takes about half an hour, trying to walk into a door so it opens and then past those said doors is harder than anything you will have done in your entire life. But to add a little to the fun factor you get to kill dinosaurs…which is very easy seeing as they mostly just stand around if you aren’t close enough, thus giving you an easy opening to just blast em. What the FP-mode really would have needed is a strafing option, this way you could easily look around corners, but with the controls that the game has it is beyond hard and also a Map system would have been fantastic since every building is a maze thanks to every room looking EXACTLY THE SAME. Remember is said it was kinda cool though to be in the FP-mode? Well there are two redeeming factors, one you can play the FP-mode with the SNES Mouse and second, you can get infinite 1-Ups, Ammo and Health Regenz. All you need to do is just enter, pick up, leave the building, enter and the items have returned.

I’m gonna wrap this up because there’s not really much to say about this game other than it is very hard and can become tedious. There was a point, right before the end of the game where I didn’t even care anymore, I felt like just turning off the SNES. I was sick of the backtracking because 9 out of 10 times it meant I had to go back into one of the buildings, which was gonna take up another 5 to 10 minutes of my life, thank you Ocean.

I actually had to use a Walkthrough for this game, which I am glad I did, if I hadn’t I might have gone insane, no joke.

If you are a fan of the Jurassic Park series, it’s worth looking into it just so you can walk around and shoot some dinos, but in all honesty if you really want a good Jurassic Park game you should go pick up Jurassic Park 2 on the SNES, which is kinda like Contra, which is good, but you should know this, especially by now.

Oh and the T-Rex….well he can kill you with one hit, you can’t kill him and you’ll see him maybe once or twice in the game IF you are lucky, though his music is kinda kick-ass.

OM NOM NOM NOM!

 

Anyway  thank you for reading my review of this “piece of art” comments and such are always appreciated. This has been Chaotic and I’ll see you next time.

 

Buy Jurassic Park for the SNES Here

Chaotic 10.09.2011 On Sep 10th 2011 with with 0 Comments
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