There’s an ancient and oft cited survey floating around the web that claims that Mario is more popular than Mickey Mouse. Sure, sounds believable. Even if the source of the poll has gone unaccredited since 1990. So, in order to present the following article in terms our audience can understand: Mickey is basically the Mario of everything else.
The internet is often thought of as a well of information, but that’s a flawed metaphor. It’s much more like a worldwide network of networks, if you follow my logic. And as the internet ages, it’s becoming littered with servers, and those servers are becoming littered with old data.
Licensed games come and go, so most of us don’t bat an eye when titles based on movies and TV shows fall into obscurity. Today, they’re ephemeral by nature, seemingly designed with an expiration date only as far off as the coinciding property’s DVD release date.
We’ve all had our fun spotting recurring elements in games. So many kidnapped princesses! So many spiky-haired antiheroes! But why the constant repetitions? Are developers that lazy? Or could games, in their transition from high-score one-upmanship to narrative medium, have tapped into the basics of mythic tropes?
It could be the first game you bought after escaping the bonds of your parents with your very own driver's license, or the first game you bought with money you earned from your first job. In other words, what was the first game you acquired without having to beg for a Christmahanaquanzika present?
We decide the winners of 27 years of system rage, so you don't have to.
We recently took issue with the claim that “gaming has not yet had its Citizen Kane”. As you can see, we managed to find 25 games that qualified for that title – and you had plenty more suggestions besides.
We’d have had no trouble whipping up a counter-list of dismal flops.
North American gamers have it pretty good. We pay less for our games and often see them on store shelves earlier than our European and Oceanic counterparts. We’re spoiled, really. But despite our privileged geographic position, we always want more. We envy Japanese gamers, the ones who play the real thing on day one and don’t have to wait for the localization of highly anticipated titles like Final Fantasy XIII.
They (whoever “they” are) say you should never meet your heroes. The logic behind that tidy parcel of wisdom is that if you get too close you'll see how human and pathetically ordinary your heroes actually are. But things are quite different in Japan. Meet the oddest Japanese videogame heroes and you won't be underwhelmed or disappointed: instead, you'll be hypnotised by some podger's perpetual hip gyration dance and ripped to
In the mid-‘90s console scene, everyone knew that importing games from Japan was where the real action was at; because of the prohibitive cost of publishing games in the US, tons of great games stayed in Japan, apparently because they were just too awesome to find audiences outside of its borders.