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Gaming History You Should Know – History of Super Mario Bros 3 December 22, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Its Sunday and that means it’s once again time to post another Gaming History You Should Know. In this series, we highlight some of the best independently produced content from across the web focused on the history of gaming. Today, we’re going to be highlighting a brand-new video produced by someone we’ve talked about before, Norman Caruso, better known to the world as The Gaming Historian.

In the late 80s, Nintendo was utterly dominating the video game market and would go on to legendary status in popular culture. In fact, many il-informed adults still believe Nintendo is the only company to ever make video games due to their complete dominance at that time. The NES console, (with its legendary exclusive games like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, Duck Hunt, and Metroid) was selling huge numbers with no end in sight. There was just one problem.

Super Mario Bros 2 released in Japan and due to extreme difficulty and its identical graphics to the previous title, never was released in the United States. However, Super Mario was just as recognizable to young people of the time as Mickey Mouse and it was nearly certain Nintendo could make another hit for their console if they released a new Mario game in the US. Could they do it? Watch the video below and find out!

Special thanks to Norman, The Gaming Historian for doing this video about a game I cared about so much. Most people cite Super Mario World as the best Mario game ever made. For me, Super Mario Bros 3 is not only the greatest game on the NES, it is the greatest Mario game.

Super Mario Bros 3 can be played on the NES, Wii, Wii U, 3DS and Nintendo Switch.

Games I Would Like to See Come to Stadia December 22, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Google sent us a brand-new Stadia Founders Edition last week and we have been enjoying our time with it so far. However, as of the time this article is being written our ability to play games on it is limited due to its current limited selection of games. Let’s be honest, Stadia needs a big catalog of games if it wants to gain more subscribers. That said, the infrastructure is already in place to make that happen, and Google has promised more games are coming to Stadia in the next few weeks. Having our own experience with Stadia, we thought it would be a good idea to give Google some recommendations on current games that might work well on the platform.

So what games do we think would work well on the Google Stadia platform, a game streaming service which does not require downloads or patching? We have plenty of ideas and here’s some we would like to share with Google! Please note games that are already out or have been promised for the Stadia (such as Marvel’s Avengers or Doom: Eternal) will not be included on this list. We’re also not going to include first or second-party Nintendo titles, as Nintendo has made it clear they do not port their platform-exclusives under any circumstances and we don’t see the point of including those on this list. (Ed. Note– That said I would make a vote for Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield). We are also going to keep this list to games released this year.

  • Control – This summer’s hottest game can really swallow a lot of your free time with its Metroid-esque environment and continuous ability unlocks. I would love to see how this game runs on the Stadia. Also, Remedy would be able to regularly drop new patches and game content seamlessly without having to download or update anything on the players end! Who knows, Google’s servers might even be able to support the ray tracing mode meant for PCs That combined with the higher resolution assets that must exist (because Remedy confirmed there will be a next-generation rerelease of the game) could make a Stadia version of Control the best looking game on the platform.
  • Detroit: Become Human – This is actually not a platform exclusive for the PS4 as people are now able to get it on PC. As an adventure style game with an incredible high resolution art style, the game is practically perfect for the Stadia. Button presses for conversations and QTE segments are common player prompts in the game, and the Stadia’s network should have no problem working within a framework like that. If there was one game I would feel could truly thrive in Stadia it would be a David Cage game.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – This game is like GTA Jedi, an open-world environment where players can explore many worlds in the Star Wars universe and be the star of their own new cinematic adventure. The problem is the game currently suffers from very long load times and occasional in-game performance issues during cutscenes due to the cinematics hiding loading screens. Stadia’s servers could provide the processing power this game needs to run at its best and cut the load times.
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan – I have not played the first game of this anthology yet but if Supermassive’s previous title, Until Dawn, is any indication, this game could be just as perfect for Stadia as Detroit: Become Human would be.
  • Death Stranding – Thankfully, this is not a PS4 exclusive, as a PC version is currently in development. That PC version could be reworked for Stadia. This is an enormous game with incredible ultra high-resolution graphical assets. Its multiplayer component allows players to exchange messages and notes, helping each other along the way. This is practically perfect for Stadia, a platform players can drop in an out of anywhere they’d like!

So those are just a few games I could think of that I felt would be a great fit for Stadia. Post a comment below with your thoughts but be aware we intentionally listed games from this year to give Stadia the best chance at showing off the best possible looking games.

Google Stadia Unboxing December 20, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Maniac got a nice Christmas present from Google, a brand-new Google Stadia with a white controller. Let’s take a look and see what we got in the box!

If you had any questions about what content we should do with the Stadia in the future please post a comment below.

PS4 System Software Update 7.02 Released December 20, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Just in time for the holidays, Sony has just released a required system software update for your PS4. The new update, 7.02 includes no new features and it’s patch notes merely references nondescript bug fixes and optimizations.

You must install this new software update to use your PS4 on the PlayStation Network.

Pokémon Go Releases New Buddy Feature December 18, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Niantic has just activated their recently announced Buddy feature to the hugely successful Pokémon Go. Take a look at this trailer to see what we can expect with that feature.

Having a Pokémon partner has been a staple of the franchise ever since Ash chose to take his Pikachu with him on his adventure. I’m sure for many trainers over the generations, they’ve had similar attachments to the partners they’ve trained through their games. Now, Pokémon Go players currently above level 2 are able to use the new Buddy feature. Good luck out there!

Pokémon Go is out now for Android and iOS devices.

I Got a Free Stadia December 18, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Site News, Site Videos.
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Just wanted to follow up with a off the cuff comment I made during my review of The Game Awards 2019. In that review, I mentioned I might or might not have gotten a free Google Stadia for attending that event. Turns out I did.

I didn’t know for certain if I had actually gotten a Stadia due to the fact that the units themselves were not being passed out at the event. Instead, we were given credits to receive them for no charge. I was unsure if I wanted to really make an announcement like “I got a free Stadia” unless I actually had the unit in my hand. Well, I got a free Stadia.

The Google Stadia Founder’s Pack consists of a Chromecast Ultra (capable of 4K streaming), three months of 4K streaming support for Stadia games, and a Stadia Controller capable of connecting to Chromecast over WiFi or a PC over provided USB cable.

Stadia content will be coming to the site soon. As for what that content will be, we currently have a few ideas in mind but post a comment below with all of your own.

Gaming History You Should Know – The Downfall of Star Wars Galaxies December 15, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Welcome back to another dose of Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced content about the history of the gaming industry. Today, we’re going to be featuring the work of the YouTube Channel saintmillion and a video they produced about something that at one time meant a lot to me, what they believe to be the beginning of the downfall of the MMO Star Wars Galaxies.

Star Wars Galaxies was one of the first major Triple-A MMOs. It’s development was so closely followed the mainstream media covered it, and that’s something they NEVER do. At a time when MMOs like Everquest and Ultima Online were making huge money, Sony Online Entertainment (responsible for the previously mentioned Everquest) and Lucasarts announced they were going to release THE MMO gamers all over the world wanted, Star Wars Galaxies.

On paper, Star Wars Galaxies was everything every gamer could have dreamed of. A chance for gamers to create their own original playable character in the Star Wars universe, pick from a series of trades ranging from smuggler to entertainer, and explore all the familiar planets seen in the Star Wars movies! To avoid issues with the ongoing prequel trilogy, the game was set after the events of the very first Star Wars movie, now referred to as Episode IV.

Star Wars: Galaxies had a monumentally successful launch and had some fiercely loyal ongoing customers, but some vocal players found issue with the limitations SOE put on them for the sake of game balance. A different MMO was released in 2004, World of Warcraft, which became a phenomenon overnight and remains the number one MMO of all time to this day. Over time, everything from space travel, to new planets were added as expansions but it didn’t improve the player base count. Eventually, entire gameplay revamps were brought into to the game…which only served to alienate the previously loyal fans. When BioWare planned a different MMO in the Star Wars universe, set during the events of the Knights of The Old Republic timeline, the decision was made to discontinue Galaxies, effectively ending the game.

Why did it fail? Everyone had their own theories. By the time it was shut down the MMO bubble, inflated by copycats trying to compete against the hugely successful World of Warcraft, had started to deflate. However, saintmillion has their own theory and after having watched their video on the subject myself, I am inclined to agree with them. Check it out!

At this day, Star Wars Galaxies and it’s expansions are no longer playable. If you want to get a good picture about how high the anticipation for Galaxies was back before it was released, I recommend seeking out the documentary Avatars Offline directed by Daniel Liatowitsch. I was lucky enough to watch that documentary at a film festival held at the University of California, Irvine back in 2003. This documentary sadly may be a piece of lost media, as even though it received a DVD release, it is now out of print and a Google search failed to turn up any digital distribution for it.

Date Nite – The Game Awards 2019 Double Feature December 14, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Date Nite, Site Videos.
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Cinemark theaters across the United States broadcasted the live broadcast of 2019’s The Game Awards in a double feature with the new film Jumanji: The Next Level! We were there to watch the event and ended up having one of the best nights ever. Here’s our thoughts on the entire event!

PS4 System Software 7.01 Released December 13, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A very minor software update, version 7.01, has just been released for the PS4. The new update is promising improved performance but does not go into further specifics. You can download it right now using your console’s Software Update feature.

It is not currently required to be installed if you plan to use the PlayStation Network, but that can change at a moment’s notice.

The Wolf Among Us 2 Announced December 13, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I have to admit this news brought everyone attending The Game Awards 2019 to its feet. The Wolf Among Us 2 is back!

The game will be delivered episodically in five parts for multiple platforms. It is expected to launch the first episode in 2020.