The History of Gamecube

January 8, 2014

I may write mostly about science, and from the look of this blog, you might think that is my only interest. But I also like videogames. I mainly play Nintendo games and occasional PC games like Civ V. Anyways, I have found this fascinating article about the creation and lifetime of Nintendo Gamecube. There are a lot of information of the decisions the company made and the reason behind them. Basically, tons of stuff I didn’t know.

If you don’t know, Gamecube was Nintendo’s least successful console, and was mainly a niche platform for gaming. It had some great games, but like all post SNES Nintendo consoles, it suffered long stretches of time without software releases. In the case of the Gamecube, well, nothing could save it. Despite that, it managed to make a nice profit for Nintendo, even if the profit generated wasn’t exactly mind blowing. A lot of people who owned it look back at it fondly thanks to some excellent exclusive games.

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Super Mario Bros. Analyzed

November 5, 2013

I recently found a pretty cool list of articles that analyzes the game design of the original Mario bros. I remember that I never got further than 6-3. Stupid old games and their lack of save points!


Favorite Videogame Music Ever

April 24, 2013

This one is my favorite, Bramble Blast, which is a remix made for Super Smash Brawl of Stickerbrush Symphony from Donkey Kong Country 2:

This is the original Stickerbrush Symphony:


I Learned Programming

March 27, 2013

So, I recently learned the basics of programming due to Coursera. If you want the specifics, I learned Python. Using the template and assets the online class gave me, I made a basic shooting game, which you can check out here.

The controls are:

Space-shoot

Up-accelerate

Left/Right-turn around

Now, having tried out the game, I know what you are thinking. It sucks. Well, yes. First of all, I don’t know how to get around the ghosting effect of the keyboard because I am a noob at this. Second of all, if I had the time and energy, I would have added a bunch of stuff. The highest stuffs in my priority list would have been adding collisions to the rocks, increasing the difficulty as the game goes on, adding the explosion animation (which they were kind enough to give me, but didn’t take advantage of), and adding the start screen. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or the energy, so this piece of software will remain a blot to all of humanity for all eternity.


Penn Jillette on Videogaming

November 24, 2009

I am a fan of Penn and Teller. They do amazing magic trick shows to educate others on our mind and perception, and they generally encourage critical thinking and skepticism. Recently, Penn got in an interview about the episode of Bullshit on videogames. Wow, finally, someone who defends videogame as a legitimate form of entertainment and art! Not that there has never been a defense on electronic gaming and all, but it is usually from the gamers who defend it themselves. Sometimes, I wonder if those people decrying videogames as harmful to society might have some truth to it. Maybe they do, but then, I remind myself that movies have far more violent content, but it has never brought about the downfall of our civilization. Although just like videogames, movies did have its stages in which it was trying to vie for public acceptance, especially those with violent and sexual contents. So did rock and roll, many books, and whatever form of entertainment you can think of. Eventually, movies did become considered legitimate forms of arts. I wonder whether videogames will reach the same status.

Oh yeah, and it is true, Jack Thompson is, I am quoting here, an “a**hole”. Although that particular legal bit of videogaming history is over, as the media is being accepted, and the guy has been disbarred. Of course, you have to be careful of the games you hand out to children, but I tell you, this Jack Thompson guy was going to extremes.


The Spirit of Videogaming

November 9, 2009

I have two interesting links relating to videogames.

The first one is on the status of videogames in my homeland, Venezuela. It seems like the Venezuelan government, oh so benevolent like always, is banning them as if they were weapons. Frankly, I don’t know how the Venezuelan people think while electing all of these people. Perhaps they are all corrupt. From what I have read on Venezuelan history and politics, the situation has always been precarious. I remember those times, school cancelled due to weeks of strikes and marches, or the coup which attempted to overthrow Chavez. And there was the riot which traumatized the country, El Caracazo, which happened before I was born. 

Oh well, not that it matters. Most games being sold in Venezuela are pirated, which I and my brother had a fare share of. You see, buying legal games in Venezuela is completely impractical for us working middle class family, and for the huge poor population of the country. I remember when a Gamecube used to cost 500,000 Bolivares, which is around 250 bucks. Thanks to that, I skipped a whole generation of gaming (around 6 years). Now, consider the huge number compared to the small dollar, though. It means the money is somewhat worthless and so getting that amount is just very expensive. Plus, all dollar transactions in Venezuela is done in the black market, so technically, the money is even more worthless. Now games cost like what, 500,000 and a console is around 1,000,000? That is madness, who would buy those stuffs except for the filthy rich.

The other interesting link is the interview of mainly Miyamoto (whom I admire, being father of videogaming and all) and Iwata, and other creative minds behind Nintendo’s awesome products and games. It tells you a bit about videogaming philosophy, their ideas, and what their thoughts are of the way things are going. Very interesting stuffs, so read up!

Oh, and before I leave, something funny that “explains” Mario’s crazy adventures:

(hat tip gonintendo)

http://gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=103133


Wicked Piano Playing

October 13, 2009

I love videogame musics, even the old ones. So naturally, I found myself searching for people playing videogame soundtracks in piano, which I have shown in this blog before. Recently, I found another really good one. It is from Star Fox back in the N64/playstation era. It used to be one of my favorite games, and I replayed it a lot. One of the soundtrack I really liked is the Star Fox boss battle theme, which is one of my favorite videogame and boss battle music ever. As you can see, she plays the extremely difficult piece very faithfully:

Comparison:

Now, I really want that sheet music, even if I will suck at it. ^_^

Oh, and if you check out her blog, she plays a whole lot more great videogame music.