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Entries Tagged ‘Midway’:

Powet Alphabet: S is for 16-bit

Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.
contra
The sixteen bit era of video games is considered by many to be the bridge between the past and modern eras of video gaming, and there were two kings of the ring: Nintendo’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega’s Genesis. Though there were more powerful systems that sprang up around the time, it would be these two that would outlast and outperform all of them, thanks to their accessibility. This was due not only to the technologies that the two systems boasted under the hood, but also with the library of games that were released for the two. It also gave rise to some of those most heated fanboy wars of our hobby. If you think system wars are bad now, you should have seen how bad it was during the 16-bit days, especially when system manufacturers were openly taking pot shots at each other. However, it was pointless for fanboys of both systems to argue with each other, as both systems not only had an equally impressive library of games (even if many multiplatform releases on the Sega Genesis tended to have inferior audio and visual quality to their SNES counterparts), but they outlasted and outsold the more powerful systems that sprang up around the same period. Click below to take a look back at one of gaming’s most exciting eras.
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Lost Classics: Gauntlet Legends (N64, Dreamcast, Playstation 1, Arcade)

gauntletlegendsYears ago, there was a game known as Gauntlet. Alongside up to 3 other players, you took control of one of four characters and descended through enemy-infested dungeons. You had to work together in order to takeout the monster generators, secure items, and keep each other alive, but of course there were players who shot and destroyed food as well as douchebags who swiped up all the healing and food items. That was one of the best early co-op games, and it helped lay the foundation for co-op gaming as it is today. It’s dungeon crawling also helped to set the stage for future action RPG games such as Secret of Mana and Diablo. Years later, Midway released a modern-day revamp of the game. Although it was given a graphical face-lift, RPG mechanics, and a storyline, it retained all the co-op fun from years earlier.
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Monday Mashups: Dane Boe

Dane Boe of Gagfilms.com knows how to mash. Sure theres a thousand Mugen videos on Youtube, and there’s no shortage of flash junk on Newgrounds either. But these simple and to the point videos are ridiculous fun and have better production values than you might expect.

Watch two more films putting pitting Contra and Sonic against easy targets. [Read the rest of this entry…]

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Maximum Letdown: War Gods (Playstation 1, Nintendo 64, Arcade)

wargodsAfter Midway struck gold with Mortal Kombat, they tried again, again, and again to repeat its success in the fighting game arena, but failed miserably. While Capcom was able to follow up the wildly successful Street Fighter 2 with Darkstalkers and the Marvel fighting games, SNK successfully presented Art of Fighting (along with King of Fighters, Samurai Showdown, and so many others) as Fatal Fury’s successor, and Namco followed up Tekken with Soul Blade, Midway churned out failures such as Bio Freaks and Mace: The Dark Age. They had some potential though, as Bio Freaks had an dismemberment game mechanic and Mace could have been Soul Edge’s evil twin. However, Midway’s most notable attempt (and by this I mean biggest failure) was War Gods. Although it had some promise, it was dragged down by horrid controls, lousy character design, and a frustratingly cheap artificial intelligence.
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Mortal Kombat Parent Midway Being Sued

mortal_kombat1As was reported on some time ago, Midway Games is in the midst of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as well as the possibility of having Warner Bros. buy them out. Well, you know what they say. When it rains it pours. Now it appears, since money is being thrown around, the producer of the two Mortal Kombat movies and owner of Threshold Entertainment – Larry Kasanoff – is now suing Midway to hold onto his IP rights over the movies and copyrights associated, as reported by GamePolitics.com

Kasanoff has stepped forward, claiming that not only were his movies and TV shows the main reason why Mortal Kombat became as widely known as it did back in the 90’s, but also that Threshold was responsible for turning game big-names like Lui Kang and Scorpion into the icons they are today with all the media it produced. Kasanoff’s suit also moves to block Midway’s proposed sale to Warner Bros.

So remember kids, if your ego is big enough and money’s involved, you can pretty much make up any bullshit story you want to in order to protect your “interests”. Lets all get out the rulers and measure just how big Mr. Kasanoff’s reach is.

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Lost Classics: Revolution X (Arcade, Sega Saturn, Playstation, SNES, Genesis)

revolutionxIf there was one band whose name was synonymous with Rock ‘n ‘ Roll, it’s Aerosmith. The Boston quintet’s music has been around for decades, and they have even broken down musical barriers with their collaboration with Run DMC, Walk this Way. For me, they hold a special place in my heart as their greatest hits album, Big Ones, was the very first full length music album I got. Last year, Neversoft and Activision have honored the rock legends with a Guitar Hero game centered around them. However, old school gamers know that that disc wasn’t the first time the rockers have been included in a video game. This goofy Midway shoot-em up put the band in digital form well over a decade earlier.
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Mortal Kombat Team vs Midway: FIGHT!

Kotaku is breaking news that the Mortal Kombat team, that has been delivering games in the franchise for 17 years is looking to split with the publisher. Apparently they’ve been denied the bonus for delivering MK vs DC and meeting sales goals due to the publisher going into bankruptcy protection. Top on that they’re one of the few teams that can deliver a game on time while other projects spiral out of control, and they’ve got a right to be frustrated.

Here’s why this might be the best news this week: They’ll be leaving Mortal Kombat 9 behind. Giving up what work they’ve done will hard, but think about what they can do now.

The MK team will be free to go outside of the universe they built and make a game that doesn’t have to have Scorpion and Subzero. 17 years is a long time to do anything, and if you don’t think mixing it up once in a while and doing something else isn’t a good idea, just ask George Lucas.

Meanwhile, if Midway keeps MK (or sells it), a brand new team will be able to re-invent the franchise. The name is still gold in the industry, selling a million copies to dedicated fans at least with each outing. A new team would have the chance to take a chance and mix up the formula and perhaps take the franchise in a new direction, since the story and game play have been kind of running on fumes for the last 6 years.

My favorite MK game of the last decade had to be Shaolin Monks. Aside from providing a new take on the events of MK2, it showed how much more can be done with the characters and universe of Mortal Kombat. It also showed that the MK team could make a brawler as good as any God Of War in my opinion. 50 talented developers would HAVE to be able to keep making great games in a new house, right? And Mortal Kombat can survive a new style of play, maybe a new art style or control scheme would bring it back to the glory days.

Mortal Kombat needs this. Its too big of a franchise to sink under a failing publisher with a crossover. And the team needs this, they’ve been dilligently making games that sell well while Midway falls. Its whats best for everyone I think.

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$20 Game of the Week: Unreal Tournament 3 (PC, PS3)

Note: This game is also available on Xbox 360, but not for the $20 price tag. It has exclusive maps and characters, but there is no support for user-generated content like in the PC and Playstation 3 versions.

Unreal Tournament was one of the first FPS game to focus exclusively on competitive multiplayer. Offering modes such as Assault, Capture the Flag, and Domination, Unreal Tournament gave gamers more than just the standard “kill everyone else as many times as you can” deathmatch modes seen in other FPS titles’ multiplayer components. Subsequent entries in the series have added more unique gameplay types, far-out locales, and even vehicles. Unreal Tournament’s unique weaponry, excellent graphics, and modding capabilities made the series a hit amongst gamers and critics as well. Unreal Tournament 3 (which is actually the fourth Unreal Tournament game) is no exception, and it has the added bonus of having the awesome power of the Unreal Engine 3 behind it.
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