Rough Cut 7/18 [Video Game Geeks Unite!!!!]

Lets start with a little asian Nintendo beatboxing huh


Thats the sound that restarted the entire video game industry after Atari caused a massive fail with games like E.T. and all kinds of other bad, overly simplified, and terrible games. Along came an Italian plumber chasing after the love of the Princess. I think we all know what I'm talking about. Thats right, Super Mario Bros.



While many will note that Nintendo and Atari had been out prior to this game, this is the game that started Nintendo as a real player in the console market in the U.S. Now a brief history of video games and how they came to be as they are today. I'm not going to go into detail, but I will show the various games and benchmarks that have been set over the years culminating in a poll about what years of gaming you enjoyed most.

So lets start here with Nintendo, Atari, and the age of arcade video games. This time span of the 1980s brought about a collection of memorable and very addictive games unfortunately, it was filled with mostly garbage games that were designed so simply that you could beat them in one arcade sitting, and not the marathon sitting but just one quarter. Games like E.T., the most notorious of them, crashed the video game market as  Atari was the more popular system than Nintendo and they just kept letting so many games based on movies and crappy premises that they eventually went bankrupt, and the arcade business suffered immensely because of all of the crap that no one wanted to play.

Fast forward to the beginning of the golden age of video games. The 1990s, no offense to those who enjoyed the past decade, but the 1990s brought so many franchises and rivalries and fun and beginnings to what we have now that we have to call it the golden age. Kinda like how the 1980s were the golden age of bball, but now even if the play quality is higher, that will always be the start of it. Either way, I digress. I'm sure you all remember the first big rivalry of the 1990s:



This was the beginning of the famed rivalry between Mario and Sonic, who have now patched things up and enjoy competing against each other in friendly olympic spaces. lol. I have been playing video games so I was old enough to comprehend which button was jump and which button was spin. lol, hard to believe we've come so far from 2 and 3-button controllers. So I remember this one well. In this case, I never chose a side. I owned both consoles and loved both games. You also had games like Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, Mario RPG, Zelda, Metroid, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, Virtua Fighter, Prince Of Persia, (1989, but I'm lumping it in here), The original 4 Final Fantasies, Metal Gear, and etc. I could go on and on, but this was a great time for videogames because advancements continued to come out almost yearly in every genre, except FPS which was stuck Doom until the mid-90s.

Then we got to the Mid-90s. After a series of misguided attempts to release 4 consoles in 4 years, Sega greatly diminished their stock and declared bankruptcy, and shelved everything to liquidate their stocks. With Sega in shambles, another competitior to Nintendo arose, Sony. Now, I happen to know that Sony's entire format was a ripoff of Nintendo, except they had the media knowledge to know that cds would be better for the video game medium than cartridges. Unfortunately, Nintendo, whose always a day late on media trends, didn't think so. So then we had the cartridge versus cd wars. Unfortunately for Sony, Nintendo did not take their showboating lying down and released one of the best systems ever.



Now to be fair, Sony will get their picture too.



I am going to sit here in front of you all and call the setlist of games for Nintendo 64 as the funnest most enjoyable sets of games I have ever played. I know that PlayStation had Final Fantasy 7 for RPG buffs and had the better graphics by the end of its life cycle, but I'm just going to list off a bunch of games that I LOVED on the Nintendo 64.

Mario 64 (first 3D world platformer), Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. (One of the first free action fighting games, meaning the players are not killed by losing life, but by throwing them off the stage), 1080 Snowboarding, GOLDENEYE 007 (The prelude to great multiplayer for FPS on consoles, supposed to be re-upped to have online capability now), Perfect Dark (Had better physics and gameplay than GoldenEye, but lesser multiplayer), Donkey Kong 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, Doom 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Pokemon Stadium, Wrestlemania 2000, The original Tony Hawk (albeit the Tony Hawk games played better on PlayStation), Mario Party, Cruisin' USA/World/Exotica, Wave Race 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Bomberman Hero, and more. Basketball games sucked then, but I played NBA Courtside nonstop and I was upset when Kobe's exclusives with Nintendo ended after the rape trial. I mean look at how horrible things were back then, even on the very best of them on these consoles, Live 2001:



We've come a LONG way since then, I won't even get into the gaming physics differences. Anyway, I loved the late 90s for all of these games. I know I'm biased because I haven't listed many great games off of PlayStation, but honestly I'm working from memory for the most part but I'll give it a go.

PS1 had Spyro, Twisted Metal, Final Fantasy 7/8/9, WWF Smackdown (Feat. The Rock of course. lol), Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, Need For Speed, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and etc. I would name more, but I'm starting to realize about the length of this post.

Also during the 1990s, which it shouldn't be menitoned in passing but it will have to do is the Game Boy and its many iterations. Also the only game for Game Boy and Game Boy Color I'm going to say is Pokémon, every single one of them. I know if you didn't play it, you knew someone who did and if you didn't you knew someone who had the cards, and if you didn't well I'm sorry but you must've just been old at the time and didn't realize what all the hype was. Anyways, game boy, game gear, virtual boy, all of those things that were the precursor for teh DS and PSP and iPod games we have now. Yay!!! Oh and another thing to satisfy PC gamers, Quake begins the movement to greater FPS titles and improves greatly on multiplayer online schemes that will be important later.

Moving on to the 2000s, omg and the good only gets better. Except much like the early Jordan years of dominance, the early 2000s were all Sony, with a splash of Nintendo and Microsoft, and a sprinkling of Sega. First of all, to get this out of the way, Sega Dreamcast is one of the most underrated systems ever created and if it had had the knowledge to think of DVD capability in 2000 when it came out, thereby beating Sony to the punch, we'd be having a completely different conversation. Anyway, moving on.





SEGA makes a last ditch effort to make their own nitch in the console market, but due to some much maligned marketing and extremely late pitch, they released the Sega DreamCast to minimal applause as everyone waited with bated breath for the rumors of the PS2 and Nintendo codename Dolphin. Needless to say, Dreamcast had superior graphics to both systems initially, except in the case of a couple early PS2 titles that were fully able to take advantage of the machine. Either way, 2KSports was born on dreamcast with their introduction of NFL 2K and NBA 2K1, graced by none other than A.I. and this was the dawn of the better gameplay experience over EA in basketball, and football although EA now has the monopoly license on the NFL. This is important because the basketball physics improved significantly on those games and looked so much better than NBA Live even back then. I mean I have to make this about basketbll at some point don't I. lol.



Sony released the groundbreaking PS2 with DVD/CD capability and much improved graphics because of it. Any game you can think of has probably been on a PS2 at some point, except for obvious exclusives. Probably the most pertinent of features on this console was the ability to connect it to the internet, even with the extremely slow dial-up of the time. My favorite games on PS2 were Final Fantasy 10, NBA Street lmao, God of Wars come later, umm feel free to help me guys I had a Gamecube and don't remember everything for this system because I played it and owned it by proxy with my friend. The only thing PS2 lacked was an infinite money stream to make sure it didn't fail, even though it was never close to, which is all the next system had going for it.



Microsoft realesed the Xbox to nothing but isses ranging from extreme clunkiness and back troubles from carrying it, to the infamous red rings of death as the system had extreme fan and power issues. While it had superior online play in games such as Halo 1 and 2, the overall buzz around this machine was quieter than the extremely loud fan that ran the machine. It was conveniently scrapped from all shelves by the release of the Xbox 360, getting rid of the evidence of a colossal failure on how to make a video game system.



Nintendo's fourth console in America was a colossal fail on so many parts by Nintendo. They got faster load times and better graphics than the 64, but thats about all I can say about this console before going negative. 1, the controller made for awkward gameplay if one ever got used to any other system's controller. 2, the smaller discs still didn't allow for enough data to stream making even more third-party publishers leave because of the constraints of the medium. 3, while very small and quiet for the most part, the design was just like wtf. 4, this was where Nintendo lost all kinds of 3rd party support and most things other than Nintendo games were terrible on this system. But good things came in the form of some games. Metroid rebooted in 3D was great, Zelda, Mario, Smash Bros., a million Mario sports games, Mario Party like 4-8 lol, Pikmin and all kinds of other great nintendo takes on old classics but definitely a step back in terms of creativity and gameplay for the most part. I still enjoyed the system, but it failed to live up to expectation from 64.

And now we come to the present. I'll start with a small presentation on what the future of gaming looks like via iCarly and some random Microsoft creeper.

Ah, the future doesn't it look exactly like four years ago. lol. Anyway, moving on. The latest crops of consoles have all been great at their own various tasks.



This is by far one of the most talked about things in gaming comparing these two systems. I'll break it down for you to make it easier. Graphics capability goes to PS3 because the best graphically constructed games on the PS3 are brighter, with better depth than 360, but the 360 has better shadow and lighting on its graphics. I'm honestly not that into the difference in graphics, I just have seen both systems and think the PS3 offers sharper images while Xbox offers better contrasts. To break it down even further, Xbox great at everything online especially with online gaming and friends and things of that nature. PS3s entire interface could use a little work, but they have greater multimedia capability over the Xbox and ultimately, its just a matter of preference of the exclusive games. I've never been one to buy a system exclusively for FPS', but Xbox is the system for those if you love to play them. PS3 is good at pretty much everything else and better than the Xbox for Action Adventure games. So pick your poison when it comes to these two. Recommendations for the present. If Xbox, Halo 3, Gears Of War series, and any FPS with online capability to play with friends and maximize fun. If PS3, Uncharted series, God Of War 1/2/3, Little Big Planet, and then just test the waters with different games. And of course NBA 2K10 over NBA Live 10, although it will be interesting to see if NBA 2K11 can live up to their greatest of all time moniker they have across the top of their cover, while Live is completely revamping to NBA Elite. Guess we'll see who wins basketball wars this time around come later this year.



The most dominant current system in terms of sales is the Nintendo Wii for the exact reason in the picture above. Nearly every game on it is multiplayer functional and it gives games more than just people who like to sit and play for hours at a time. The average owner of a Wii fires it up for at most an hour at a time, enough to get a nice workout from Wii Fit or break a sweat from Wii Sports. Its not a lot of time, but it is definitely significant to note that as much as people talk about this machine being shelfed after a few months, four years later other companies are mimicking their gimmick and hoping for the same results. The Wii is the least powerful with the least capabilities and the least amount of good diversified games. There are few games not made by Nintendo that are good on this system, but it does deliver fun unequated for families as I'm sure anyone who has older parents or generations know, they sometimes get up and take a stab at beating their son in Wii Tennis. I mean my mom and sister hate video games, but they put that hate aside enough to play tennis and bowling and other free time games. Don't hate the console, hate the game makers when it comes to this gimmicky piece of hardware, but the fact that everyone is now copying Nintendo has shown that they were right when they codenamed it Revolution.



I'm not real big on playing games on small devices like phones and such, but it has to be recognized that Apple has found their way in making a platform that caters to developers well. I mean people have become so rich off of this platform. iPods, iPhones, iPads, you name it and they have games on them that are playable and some of them are quite extensive. Big name publishers down to small name publishers use it, and they are actually pretty good games and many times you can get cheaper knockoffs of established brands on there. I enjoyed the games I played on them, but I also would rather not stare at that small of a screen for very long again. The Google phones and Android marketplace are coming along as well, but Apple currently commands the most share of this space, especially because of the iPad now. 300,000 games and counting for Apple on their touch Pod/Phone line.

Obviously, some of my Nintendo bias has shown through in this piece because most systems covered here are not as extensively covered as Nintendo products. If you would like more information on any aspects, just ask in the comments below and I can elaborate as needed about any systems drawbacks and greatness. For PC gamers, you will hate this post because I literally don't play PC games and I couldn't begin to start speaking of them. For you all let me say that recently Quake has continued its dominance of the online FPS. Final Fantasy is releasing number 14 as an MMORPG, and World of Warcraft is one of the most popular games ever. Also, The Sims rule the world of PC gaming in terms of sales, and it is incredibly addicting to play that freaking game for me. I don't know why.

Anyway, tell me down below what video games you like that may or may not have been covered in this list. Also, feel free to comment on how PS3 and Xbox 360 compare graphically in your eyes or how the Wii sucks or any array of nostalgia for the old school video games. If you have any topic you want me to cover specifically, such as genres or platforms, or innovations, or even just history (I know must of us are not a geek like me to be interested in this stuff) then let me know and I'll make it happen at some point. Enjoy the nostalgia of the past, comment on the present, and feel free to speculate on the future.

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