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At the end of the day, it's still the gameplay that matters. And not just to the new Nintendo mass-market of supposed 'casual gamers'. Forget the novelty of the waggle, it's the immediacy of the experience that is capturing the hearts of gamers old and new. Defiant in the face of Sony and Microsoft's race for progress, Nintendo still stands for everything I love about traditional videogames. And that's a strange thing for me to say, as I was a Sega fan as a child. Nintendo was my sworn enemy! But the big N has won me over because the values it demonstrates in its first-party software are appealing to me.
You know what? That's why No More Heroes, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros Brawl are so great. We still like things that go beep. We like being told we got a high score. We like playing and competing with our friends. We like power-ups and bonus stages and yes, dammit, if you boil it down to its very essence, we like cool things to happen when we press a button.
Don't load a disc into your machine, at least for a few days. Instead of buying Generic Shooter 5: Team Squad Platoon for £45 on Xbox 360, check out Metal Slug 3, Sonic 1 or 2, Geometry Wars, Rez HD, Street Fighter II, Alien Hominid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on Xbox Live Arcade. PS3 owners are advised to try Super Stardust HD, Pixel Junk Monsters, Blast Factor, Lemmings and (when they're released) WipEout HD and Dark Mist.
Above: Super Stardust HD is a pure videogame and a bargain to boot
And instead of spending £30 on another brain-training Wii game, we suggest some Virtual Console classics like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros (or World), Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong Country 2, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, Streets of Rage II, F-Zero X, Sonic 3 or Gunstar Heroes.
Don't get us wrong, there's a lot of crap on all these download services too - every console has its share of donkey droppings. But have a look at what people are talking about in the retro section of our forum, check out our own recommendations, then have yourself the best gaming of your life. The adventure starts here.
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