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Gaming History You Should Know – Donkey Kong Country Dissection July 11, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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It’s Sunday, and this is the long-awaited return of Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced gaming documentaries across the internet. As a person who grew up playing games almost exclusively on the PC, I never owned an SNES or Nintendo 64. Quite a shame, as in the mid-90s, Nintendo was in the middle of a renaissance reinventing what they could do with their classic properties for the 90s. Games like Super Metroid and Link to the Past not just revolutionized the games that came before them, but set a new standard for gaming later games would have to meet. But what do you do when you have a character like Donkey Kong?

Donkey Kong, created by Shigeru Miyamoto, was an arcade game which put you into the shoes of the iconic Jumpman (later named Mario) where you had to tangle with the titular Donkey Kong in a quest to save your girlfriend, Pauline. It was a great game for its time, but by the 90s it would be the character of Mario that Nintendo was known for, not Donkey Kong. To bring DK back into his rightful place of Nintendo’s pantheon, Nintendo needed to create a new Donkey Kong game for the 90s. They tasked the studio Rare, who brought in SGI 3D-graphics workstations that could create a game to win back players’ to the great ape. The game would be called Donkey Kong Country and it would be a tremendous success.

YouTube star MistareFusion, who I’ve been inspired by ever since I saw his comparison of the original Power Rangers shows with the Sentai it was based on, produced this great video about the classic game. He covers it’s history, the technical aspects about the game and what made it so ground breaking for the time. It’s a great look back into the era and I totally recommend giving it a watch.

Donkey Kong Country is out now for the SNES. It can be played on the Nintendo Switch as part of the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Dragon Quest Day – Dragon Quest Island June 29, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Dragon Quest Day, Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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Hope you’ve been enjoying Dragon Quest Day here on the site. Up until this point we’ve been looking at this franchise from a historical perspective, a fan’s perspective, and a technical perspective. Now, we’re going to be bringing Dragon Quest into the real world.

Right now, as I type this, Japan has opened its own Dragon Quest Island. In it, guests can enter the world of Dragon Quest and participate in a whole bunch of fun activities in the real world. The environment, the characters, and the enemies have been meticulously replicated from their 3D counterparts, and now we can explore it on our own.

YouTuber Kelsea Dyer was able to check out Dragon Quest Island and recorded some of her experience in glorious 4K for all of us to see. If you aren’t familiar with her work, she visits limited time pop-up cafes and other uniquely Japanese experiences. Her channel is a great reference for all the cool stuff Japan has done over the years. She isn’t able to show the entire experience, just some of what the environment looks like and some of the quest she went on. Still, this video could bring some long-time fans to tears.

A few years ago, my fiancée and I got to play the game Magiquest at Great Wolf Lodge, and this looks like what you would get if you took the technology from that game and cranked it up a million times.

Dragon Quest Island is located at Nijigen no Mori on Awaji Island. You can visit their official website here. Sadly I couldn’t find an English language option for the site. Fortunately, Kelsey revealed there is an English language option for the experience.

Hope you’ve enjoyed Dragon Quest Day here at GameXcess.net! I’m going to be honest with you all, I intended to feature this in a future Japan Travel Tips article, but when I discovered just how awesome the Dragon Quest franchise is, I felt this one exhibition merited a whole day to this video. Stay tuned as we could do this again some other time, and I’m sure more Dragon Quest news could be on the horizon.

Dragon Quest Day – What Version of Dragon Quest XI Should You Play? June 29, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Dragon Quest Day, Uncategorized.
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Welcome back to Dragon Quest Day, where we are continuing to share some of our favorite independently produced videos about this incredible franchise. Right now, after all this gaming awesomeness, you might be interested in picking up a Dragon Quest game. That’s great, and there is a DQ game you should be able to easily find at your local retail store, Dragon Quest XI: Echos of an Elusive Age. But if you’re a person who owns multiple platforms like the PC, Switch or PS4, you may have questions about which platform you should play the game on. Fear not, there’s a video to help you out.

YouTuber AustinSV runs a channel where he compares and contrasts each version of a particular game on all its available platforms. Honestly, his reviews of Catherine and Final Fantasy VIII went above and beyond the call of duty. Well, he did a re-review of all versions of Dragon Quest XI. Oh and when I say all I really mean ALL. He goes beyond just talking about each platform’s visuals and performance, he covers the new changes and features. Thankfully, his analysis compares the vanilla version and the S-version and the western releases against the version in Japan. If you had any question about which version of Dragon Quest XI is right for you, give this video a watch.

If you’d like to see more of AustinSV’s videos I recommend his comparisons of Catherine, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII.

Dragon Quest XI: Echos of an Elusive Age is out now for PC, Switch, and PS4.

Dragon Quest Day – Dragon Quest Retrospective June 29, 2021

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Hope you’ve all been enjoying Dragon Quest Day, where we are continuing to reveal and showcase some great independently produced videos about the beloved JRPG series. Now, we’re going to highlight another retrospective. The guys over at Nintendo World Report TV have produced some professional-quality retrospectives over the years and the retrospective they’ve produced about Dragon Quest is no different.

In this video, he talks about more than just what makes each game great, he actually included some of the history behind each game. For someone who completely missed out on the history of Dragon Quest as it was happening, this video filled in a lot of gaps. Give it a watch.

If you’d like to see more work from this channel, they did a cool video on the History of Metroid Dread. Sure it isn’t about Dragon Quest but it still is worth a watch.

Dragon Quest Day – sackchief’s Iceburg June 29, 2021

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Welcome back to Dragon Quest Day, where we are featuring some of the best independently produced Dragon Quest videos from across the web. Since I started doing my own independent research on the history of Dragon Quest, one channel kept coming up in my search, YouTube Channel sackchief. His YouTube channel has been an invaluable resource on how to get into the Dragon Quest games and I wanted to share some of my favorites with all of you.

First up, I want to highlight his definitive ranking of the Dragon Quest games. While I admit taste is subjective, his list provides more than just numerical ranking on an arbitrary standard of quality, he talks about what makes each game great and why you should play it. It’s a fantastic video made by a true fan and you should give it a watch.

Finally, this article would not be complete without a discussion about his Dragon Quest Iceburg video. Over the course of this forty minute video he dissects some of the game’s most famous myths, talks about Easter Eggs, and a lot more. Now, let’s take a closer look at the Dragon Quest Iceburg.

If that wasn’t enough sackchief for you fear not, he’s made a ton of great Dragon Quest videos we just don’t have the space to feature here. I totally recommend his video about which order you should play the Dragon Quest games in or his Top 5 DQ games video. Regardless, you can check out his whole channel and watch all of his videos here.

Dragon Quest Day – Did You Know Gaming? June 29, 2021

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Welcome Back to Dragon Quest Day, where we are featuring some of the best independently produced Dragon Quest content from across the web. For years, the YouTube Channel Did You Know Gaming has always produced incredible and tightly edited videos filled with history and trivia about all kinds of game franchises! A few years ago, they produced a video about the Dragon Quest franchise. I know, I’m surprised there was only one too (DYKG is known for putting out new videos over the years covering new trivia about franchises they’ve already talked about) but there’s some great content in this I couldn’t find referenced anywhere else.

This video might be useful for people who would prefer to avoid spoilers, as it mostly just focuses on trivia. A few in-game jokes might be spoiled, but that is all. Take a watch and enjoy!

Dragon Quest Day – Dragon Quest Timeline June 29, 2021

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Welcome to Part 2 of Dragon Quest Day, where we are highlighting some of the best independently produced video content across the web about this classic franchise. If you’re new to Dragon Quest like I am, you might be curious on how the games and their stories fit together, so you’ll have a better idea about which game you’ll need to start with or what order you should play the games in. Fear not, this next video is going to help you.

James Rolfe, who is better known across the internet as The Angry Video Game Nerd, did his own Chronologically Confused video about the franchise. While the guy may call himself ANGRY in the title, the video is reference-quality that shows all the connections between the games, and some of the Easter eggs added in the rereleases that add further connections. It is a must watch for people interested in the series.

Warning: Just be aware, he will have spoilers.

Dragon Quest games are available on multiple modern platforms including Nintendo Switch, PS4 and iOS.

Dragon Quest Day – 16-Bit Gems Reviews June 29, 2021

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Welcome to Dragon Quest Day, where we are going to devote an entire day’s worth of site content to featuring and highlighting some of the best independently produced Dragon Quest content from across the web! I wanted to start this day with a video series that served as my introduction to the Dragon Quest franchise, the videos produced by Clan of the Grey Wolf.

Clan of the Grey Wolf (which we’ve highlighted in the past) produced what I believe to be the DEFINITIVE History of RPGs video as a prequel to their reviews of the Dragon Quest games. If you’re a casual fan of JRPGs or just RPGs in general you’ll want to watch this.

Now that you’ve seen their history video, let’s take a closer look at their reviews. First up I want to highlight a piece of Square Enix history I would have had no memory of without this video. The fact that a demo for Final Fantasy XII was included with the game Dragon Quest VIII, and most fans of the genre have argued it was the superior RPG. Enjoy.

Next up, here’s a look at their reviews of Dragon Quest I and II. These games were released on the original NES under the name Dragon Warrior, but I have to admit Japan’s box art and promotional material looks a lot better than what we got in the US.

Why did he review those last two games together? Watch this next part and find out. Now, here’s their review of Dragon Quest III.

Dragon Quest I, II and III are available on multiple platforms including the NES, iOS and Nintendo Switch. Dragon Quest VIII is also out on multiple platforms including PS2, 3DS and iOS.

Announcing Dragon Quest Day Tuesday! June 27, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Dragon Quest Day, Site News, Uncategorized.
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Play the horns. I know we typically reserve Tuesdays for our feature articles on Japan Travel Tips, but on this Tuesday we’ll be celebrating the definitive Japanese game franchise which set the gold standard for interactive role playing games (RPGs), Dragon Quest.

Created by Yuji Hori, Dragon Quest started life as a game on the original NES where you were tasked with fighting a dragon and saving a princess. I know that sounds pretty standard in comparison to what we can do with games today, but that’s only because Dragon Quest DID it first and has continued to produce high-quality highly-polished RPGs that have sparked the imagination of the entire world. Most recently, Dragon Quest XI has been re-released on Nintendo Switch, PC and PS4. Here’s the game’s opening cinematic.

So, to honor the franchise, and highlight some of the great Dragon Quest content currently out there, we decided to devote an entire day of this website’s content to Dragon Quest. So this Tuesday I ask all of you to sit down, grab a sword, and prepare to battle a slime! We’ll be posting up some of the best Dragon Quest content from across the web all day long. Or at least it’ll be another day to spend time together as we all wait to hear more about the next game, Dragon Quest XII.

Stay tuned and please subscribe to this website to stay up to date!

Japan Travel Tips – Japan’s Museums June 8, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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It’s Tuesday, it’s time for a new look at Japan Travel Tips. In this series, which has been going strong for several weeks now, we highlight some of our favorite independent videos from across the internet dedicated to helping out people interested in visiting Japan some day. Today, we’ll be highlighting some of the coolest, unusual and most important museums Japan has to offer.

First off, and following up from last week’s travel tips, let’s talk about Cup Noodles. Not just a food for hungry gamers who can’t cook, Nissin’s Cup Noodles has always been a staple of Japan’s grocery stores. It is a quick and easy way to eat while on the go, and you can find it for sale pretty much everywhere. Well, if you are a fan of it and want to see more, DancingBacons made a trip to the source of Cup Noodles, and got to make their own! Check it out:

Cup Noodles Factory is located at 2 Chome-3-4 Shinko, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0001, Japan. Check out their website.

Next up, we are looking more artistically. Undoubtably the work of Studio Ghibli and their Master Director Hayao Miyazaki has had a profound effect on animation today. He is responsible for such films as The Cat Returns, The Wind Rises, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro. Now, following what I think is at least his third retirement, a Studio Ghibli museum has been opened featuring his artwork and giving exclusive access to the last short film the master director has worked on. There have been a few videos made over the years about the museum, but we decided to highlight one of the first, produced by the YouTube Channel Always, Ros.

The Ghibli Museum is located at 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan. You can also check out their official website. If you happen to be a subscriber to HBO MAX, you’ll be able to watch most of the movies from Studio Ghibli, as well as some documentaries. I honestly recommend checking out the documentary Never-Ending Man.

This next one…we will need to be in the right mindset for. In fact, I wouldn’t blame you if you skipped it entirely. A year ago, a YouTube reviewer who calls himself Bennett The Sage did a review of one of the most heartbreaking anime of all time, Barefoot Gen. Created by a man who survived the atomic bomb attack on Japan, the anime focused on how life went on after such an event.

Following his review, Sage mentioned his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Museum, which was built to honor those who were lost in the event, and to remind the world of what had happened. I can’t think of a better video to highlight it.

The Hiroshima Museum is located at 1-2 Nakajima-chō, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan. Barefoot Gen is currently available on the RetroCrush service.

This article ended on a difficult note, but still an important one that we felt needed to be addressed. We’re taking a break for next week, but we will be back after that with a new article. Stay safe out there. If you feel we haven’t highlighted a museum you feel we should, comment below with one and we may feature it in a future article!