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super mario odyssey

The obvious points of comparison for Super Mario Odyssey are the latest Zelda game and Super Mario 64. Breath of the Wild in particular pairs with Super Mario Odyssey as a statement game: they’re the most recent entries in Nintendo’s two most important franchises, working together to launch a hugely important console for Nintendo. And […]

focused practice in games

With the addition of Rock Band 3‘s pro mode, there’s quite a bit more to learn when mastering a song; to that end, they’ve added a new variant of practice mode. Rather than simply having you play through the whole song (with options of changing speed and going back through sections), they pull out a […]

super mario 65

The main question that I’d like to understand better in the current Vintage Game Club playthrough of Super Mario 64 is how the game fits into the taxonomy of the genre of platformers. Or, indeed, whether it fits into the taxonomy of that genre: while, at the time it was released, Super Mario 64 seemed […]

super mario galaxy 2

In general I think of myself as the sort of person who feels compelled to complete video games at a narrative and geographic level, following all of the obvious side quests as well as the main line, but not to master their mechanics. And of late I haven’t been entirely comfortable with that state of […]

puzzles in narrative games

Over in the Vintage Game Club forum, Michael posted an interesting question, “Do modern gamers still want puzzles?”: I’m working on a blog post focused on this, but I wonder if puzzles in narrative games are a relic of a bygone era of gaming – or are they a necessary ludic element? Has shooting replaced […]

the evolution of platformers

My current spate of video game playing began in grad school when my friend Wayne gave me his old NES, together with Super Mario Bros.. If I’m remembering correctly, Jordan later found a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 at a yard scale, after which I was doomed to several years of platforming addiction. Not […]

metroid prime 3: corruption

Whenever I start a new Nintendo game in an established series, I do so assuming I’m going to be disappointed. Their core series made the leap brilliantly to 3D, opening up gameplay in ways that I’d never imagined. And then, with one idiosyncratic exception, Nintendo has mined that gameplay in subsequent installments, not adding anything […]

new super mario bros.

I would not be the person I am today were it not for Mario. At some point in grad school, a friend of mine gave me an NES (during the mid 1990’s; I was a bit behind the times), and the original Super Mario Bros. and the third in the series completely blew me away, […]

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