Tag Archives: Nintendo 64

Retro Grade: Resident Evil 2

REVISITING SURVIVAL HORROR

Horror Month is here! While you may not gleam this little factoid by browsing my author tag, I love horror games. As the dark, chilly month of October rolls around every year, I find myself increasingly eager to play through titles filled with cheap scares, thought-provoking puzzles, and downright terrifying atmosphere. I’m sick like that. Thus, join me for another review — if you dare! Continue reading Retro Grade: Resident Evil 2

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The Ugliest of the Good and the Bad

Opinions are wonderful, aren’t they? We all have our personal likes and dislikes, and whether we know it or not, some are just downright moronic. So, what better way is there to illustrate that point than to flaunt our own idiocy? Let’s start with some games I’m convinced are good, and then I’ll tell you why that game you love is terrible. Shall we proceed?  Continue reading The Ugliest of the Good and the Bad

My Experience at Shuffle VIII

The scores of televisions, boisterous roar of the crowd, and the simple joy playing video games with random people. These are just a few of the superb factors that made the experience at Shuffle VIII something to remember.  Continue reading My Experience at Shuffle VIII

CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSE-MINDED GAMER

As gamers, we have all made snap judgments about a game or series that we’ve never gone near. Our thoughts may be a little haphazard, though we stick to them nonetheless — but what happens when our flimsy opinions are proven wrong? Well, I’ve got a confession to make regarding just that… Continue reading CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSE-MINDED GAMER

Star Fox Zero REVIEW

THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS

I’m pretty sure everyone in their 20’s has played Star Fox 64 at least once in their life. That was a magical game with amazing starship combat, tight controls, and challenging bosses. It’s still touted as one of the best games of the Nintendo 64 era, and even holds up to modern standards. Unfortunately, it set a high bar that several sequels failed to surpass — but does Star Fox Zero change that? Continue reading Star Fox Zero REVIEW

Is The Future of Gaming Mobile?

The NPD group recently released data that shows 63% of gaming done by children ages 2-17 is on mobile platforms. Consoles clocked in at around 60%, while PCs – which used to be the leading platform in 2013 – are around 47%. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter recently told gamesindustry that the console market has hit its peak in popularity, citing the overall lower sales figures for all three current consoles. He predicts smartphones, as well as set-top boxes, will become the new dominant platforms. Nintendo’s new console currently in development, codenamed NX, is rumored to be an amalgamation of a home console and a mobile platform. It seems that mobile is the future of video games, with the next generation of gamers raised on it, analysts predicting it, and current console manufacturers preparing for it. However, is this actually the case?

We should probably first look at the glaring contradiction to these predictions. The current generation of consoles are selling more quickly than the previous generation. The PlayStation 4 has sold 25.3 million units in a span of only one year, seven months, and two weeks. The PlayStation 2, which is currently the biggest selling console in history, barely reached 20 million units at two years and seven months. Meanwhile, Xbox One, which is currently “losing” the console race against the PlayStation 4, has sold 13 million units in the same amount of time. Its predecessor, the Xbox 360, didn’t sell 10 million units until two and a half years after its release. Both consoles are enjoying bigger sales than any previous generation. While it’s true that sales numbers will eventually deteriorate as everyone who wants a console eventually buys one, these number clearly show interest in these platforms. So how can mobile be the future with this evidence?

This is where I think the whole story isn’t being taken into consideration. The mobile market is currently filling a demand that had been left vacant for around 10 years. Back when I was young, arcades were in high demand. They were these huge cabinets with CRT monitors and proprietary controls that anyone could play as long as they had one or two quarters. One of the reasons why arcades were so successful was because they were so cheap. So those who wanted to play games but didn’t have a lot of money, such as children, had a way to do so. That’s what mobile gaming does now. It’s a cheap entryway for children to get into gaming. Games on phones cost a dollar or five or are completely free with optional microtransactions should you want to make your experience quicker. Arcades are actually partially guilty of this too. More quarters would give you more continues should you die.

Eventually though, arcades died as technology advanced and home consoles became more powerful. My generation moved on to focus on consoles like the original PlayStation and the Nintendo 64, which were offering new, longer, and more complex experiences. This left a void for more simpler and cheaper gaming experiences that mobile now occupies. However, when the upcoming generation grows older, who’s to say that they won’t leave the simpler gaming experience found on the mobile market for the complex ones found on consoles? My generation, which comprised of console and arcade gamers (among others), moved on to the next generations of consoles, as we can see from the sales numbers of the PS4 and X1.

It’s true that as time goes on, smartphones and tablets will become more advanced and bigger experiences will become possible. However, one thing needs to be understood. Sure, smartphones could reach a point where they are just as powerful as a console and can deliver a complex experience that in conjunction with a set-top box and a separate wireless controller can be experienced on the couch as well as on the go. However, at the rate the industry is going right now, no one seems to be interested in doing that. The mobile market is littered with games that you are meant to play for minutes at a time and are only available to play longer if you pay more money. This is on purpose. Not many developers are even trying to create more complex experiences. And why would they? Phones and tablets are made for convenience and simplicity, not complexity and technical prowess. It’s like that by design and to try to fit what works on a console on a phone or tablet is not only missing the point of the format but is also ignoring a market that had just been recently rediscovered.

So is mobile the future of gaming? Well, I think it’ll be part of it. At least I hope so. I don’t know if I would be a gamer if I didn’t have access to arcades, as they allowed me to try different types of games at a cheap price. I’m sure there are a lot of kids today who wouldn’t be into gaming as much if they didn’t have something as accessible and varied as mobile gaming to play. And the same can be said of the children of the future. Maybe people think mobile is the future of gaming because video games are still seen as a children’s’ pastime. They see that 63%, see it applies to children, and assume that’s the only demographic that matters. Of course that is a foolish assumption to make. Just like how it’s foolish to see the console sales numbers and assume that the console market is the only one that matters. Each have their strengths and appeal to different tastes and expectations. This isn’t Highlander; they can coexists. Or maybe the 90s will come back and arcades and virtual reality will dominate both consoles and mobile! We do have a bunch of different VR headsets coming soon!


Esteban Cuevas is an Associate Editor for Middle of Nowhere Gaming and does enjoy playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the first game he ever played, on his Kindle Fire. You can read his insequential brain farts on Twitter, longer insequential brain farts on his WordPress blog, and the occasional stream on his personal Twitch channel.

 

Mario Doesn’t Try Anymore

Super Mario 64 is one of my favorite video games ever. I remember getting my Nintendo 64 a few months after the system was first released and it was my first game. I loved Mario games before that, especially Super Mario World, but Mario 64 blew my mind. The freedom from running around in three dimensions, all the moves Mario could do, the clear blue water. Holy crap, the water looked good! I remember that feeling so well. The joy from a brand new Mario game. Whenever a new Mario game was coming out, it meant something new and innovative was coming. Something that would push the industry into new territory. Whether it was analog control, multiple playable characters with different abilities, or a non-linear world, Mario furthered the industry through design. So it makes me sad that Super Mario 64 was the last time I was truly blown away by a Mario game. Continue reading Mario Doesn’t Try Anymore