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Showing posts from August, 2023

SimCity: The OG city simulator still rocks

When I ordered an Analogue Super Nt to begin collecting and playing SNES games, I knew which game I wanted to play first: SimCity. This game hasn't been rereleased since the Wii Virtual Console in 2006! Analogue Super NT SimCity was created by Will Wright as a PC game, published in 1989. Nintendo worked with Maxis to have it ported to the Super Nintendo for their new console's launch. The SNES version is a huge improvement over the original, with better graphics, pop-up advice screens from Dr. Wright, and, most importantly, gifts. But let's start at the beginning. SimCity was the first ever city-simulation video game. Your goal is to build up a city as successfully as you can. You can play however you like, as it is not possible to "beat" the game, but the main achievement is reaching a population of 500,000, at which point your city becomes a "megalopolis." The maps are fairly small (and some have a lot of water), so the only way to achieve this is to h

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: 30th anniversary

Happy 30th birthday to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening! This fantastic game brought the adventure-fun of the Zelda series to the monochrome Game Boy! It's such a strong game that it arguably surpassed the original as the best 8-bit Zelda title, and it's the only Zelda game to be remade for  two different systems: Game Boy Color in 1998 and Switch in 2019! Link's Awakening adapts many of the conventions, items, and monsters from the Super Nintendo game, A Link to the Past . Link explores an overworld with eight dungeons. He collects numerous special items and weapons, such as the bow, bombs, hookshot, Pegasus Boots, flippers, and Mirror Shield. One nice thing is that you can set the A and B buttons to whichever two items you want. You don't need to keep the sword on A all the time or even have it equipped. Unfortunately, two buttons aren't enough; it gets tedious constantly changing items, but the Game Boy doesn't have X, Y, L, or R buttons. Dungeons r

Super Mario Bros. 2: The great American Mario sequel

I began my retro-video-gaming quest two and a half years ago with Super Mario Bros. To celebrate this, my 100th review, I've chosen Super Mario Bros. 2, one of my all-time favorite NES games. Super Mario Bros. 2 is a reskin of the Famicom Disk System game, Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic . Howard Philips, the PR face of Nintendo of America in the early days, rejected the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2  ("The Lost Levels") for American release because it was too difficult. Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, helped develop Heart-Pounding Panic. Its creative use of both vertical and horizontal side-scrolling made it the ideal candidate for a Mario sequel. This was a stroke of genius, as it is far superior to the Lost Levels. Its deviations from the Mario formula should not be held against it, because there was no Mario formula back then! Among the many differences from the original Super Mario Bros. is the fact that, at the beginning of each stage, you choose whether