Saturday, December 18, 2010

Drinks all around!

I just got back from the Apple Store, and although the Genius Bar employee who met with me didn't know what was wrong with my MacBook (he said it looked pristine inside even though I dumped a glass of water on it a few days ago) he said Apple would take care of it--without charging me a dime.

It's possible the hard drive will have to be replaced (which would mean I would lose some data) but the Apple guy said that was unlikely. Oh, and after the laptop is fixed it'll be shipped directly to our home--early next week. Is that awesome news or what?

(By the way, the Snow White-branded MacBook in the photo above isn't mine--although I do think it's kind of sweet.)

See also: 'Computer says no'

Have a Merry Mario Christmas!

Well, it's almost that time--and what better way to celebrate the "big day" than with this Santa-fied Mario (and a Rudolph-ized Yoshi) created by beyx/demiurgic?

(Via by way of

Friday, December 17, 2010

Miyamoto's cave story

If you've been a gamer, especially a Nintendo gamer, for any length of time, you've likely heard what some like to call Shigeru Miyamoto's "cave story"--the one in which the legendary designer details how he, as a youngster, spent time scouring a small cave near his childhood home in Sonobe, Japan.

You've also likely played the Nintendo-published video games that resulted from Miyamoto's summertime spelunking--namely Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.

Miyamoto's cave story--along with the above-mentioned games--serves as the heart and soul of Nick Paumgarten's recent profile (in The New Yorker) of Nintendo's "playful public face."

If you have any interest in the man--or, honestly, in the history of video games in general--I highly recommend reading it (here) when you have a few minutes to spare.

Also, check out this short follow-up piece, in which Paumgarten searches for the caves that inspired the man who has become, in my mind, the world's greatest game designer.

'Collage of found game imagery'

The words above are used by artist Ashley Anderson to describe his latest creation (below), which appears to be a concert poster of some sort.

The Clap 2010 12-22 Color

Although I generally consider myself to be an über retro-gaming geek, I feel more like a retro-gaming noob when I look at Anderson's poster. I mean, I know the images of Scrooge McDuck near the center of the poster were pulled from Capcom's Duck Tales title for the NES, but that's about the only one I can ID.

Do any of you know the origins of the rest of the poster's images?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

'The Hyrule Fantasy'

The Legend of Zelda is one of my all-time favorite games. That's true for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most telling is that, even 23 years after it was first released, it never fails to pull me into its world of Keese and Octorocs and Stalfos.

Would that still be the case if the North American version of the game had been named Hyrule Fantasy: The Legend of Zelda, as it was when it hit the streets in Japan? I should think so, especially since I've always had a soft spot for the "Hyrule Fantasy" part of the Japanese title.

If any of you consider yourselves to be in the same boat, head on over to and download the full-sized version of the promo poster above. (While you're at it, grab the Metroid one, too--assuming you're a fan of Yoshio Sakamoto's classic.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OK, so I caved

Remember how I mentioned (in this post) that I had pre-ordered and then canceled my pre-order for Super Mario All-Stars: Limited Edition?

Well, I pre-ordered it again a few days later, despite the fact that I've never been much of a fan of Nintendo's 16-bit re-workings of its NES Super Mario Bros. titles.

I changed my mind for three reasons: 1) I wanted the CD soundtrack, 2) I wanted the 32-page "Super Mario History" booklet and 3) I thought the entire package seemed well worth the $29.99 price tag--especially since it's supposed to be a limited release.

Was it worth it? I think so. Hell, I'd have paid $29.99 for just the booklet, CD and embossed exterior packaging (above).

See also: 'Super Mario Extravaganza!'

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Computer says no

I hate to say this, but I likely won't be posting as much as I usually do for the remainder of the week.

Why? Reason #1: I'm really busy with work, and everything on my plate right now has to be completed and turned in before my parents arrive on Monday.

Reason #2: I'm pretty sure I killed my nearly new MacBook yesterday by spilling water on it. (I'll know for sure in a few days--when I try to turn it on again.) Until I know for sure if it is, in fact, fried, I have to use my old laptop--which surely is among the slowest computers on earth.

Don't worry, I'll still compose at least one post a day and I'll be back to normal (whatever that means) early next week.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looks like I'll be buying Final Fantasy IV once again

I'm a sucker for the first six Final Fantasy games.

Over the years, for instance, I've bought the original Final Fantasy for the NES, the PSone (Final Fantasy Origins) and the Wii (via the Virtual Console). Likewise, I've bought Final Fantasy III for the DS and Final Fantasy IV for the SNES, PSone, GBA and Wii. (I've also bought Final Fantasy V and VI for the SNES, PSone and GBA.)

As such, it shouldn't be too shocking to hear that I'm going to be buying Final Fantasy IV once again--assuming the recently announced Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection makes its way to North America sometime next year. (It'll be released in Japan this spring.)

What will make this collection a complete one? Well, it'll combine updated (graphically, at least--see scan above) versions of Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years onto a single UMD, for starters. Also, it'll include a new scenario that will connect the two titles.

Maybe I'll buy the PSP remakes of Final Fantasy I and II in the meantime, since both can be picked up for less than $10 these days.


A Link's Awakening remake would be 'sew' awesome, too

Especially if Link looked something like this:

The plush above was created by Brazil-based animator and illustrator, Xurume, by the way.

Would the brass at Nintendo really give the green light to a Kirby's Epic Yarn-esque remake of the fourth installment in The Legend of Zelda series? I kind of doubt it, but who knows?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

In my dreams: Nintendo would remake Balloon Kid

I'm not usually one to beg for remakes, but that doesn't mean I'm completely opposed to them. For instance, I'd really like to see the able folks at Nintendo release an updated version--for, say, the Wii--of the GameBoy classic, Balloon Kid.

For those of you who have, sadly, never experienced this Balloon Fight sequel, here's the lowdown: It's a flying platformer that was developed by Pax Softnica (yeah, I've never heard of the company before either) and published and released, in Europe and North America, by Nintendo in 1990 and 1991, respectively.

What in the heck is a "flying platformer," you ask? Well, it's a platformer--think Super Mario Bros.--that calls on players to navigate the game's many stages using balloons à la Balloon Fight. Balloon Kid turns the genre on its ear in few other ways, too, such as by forcing gamers to move from right to left rather than left to right and by making the protagonist a girl (Alice) who is out to save a boy (her little brother, Jim).

As for how I'd like Nintendo's developers to remake this gem of a game: In my dreams, they'd make it look like it was drawn with colored pencils--the game kicks off in Pencilvania, after all--à la the masterful Yoshi's Island.

I know the likelihood of either of the above happening is somewhere between slim and none, but I'll hold out hope anyway.

See also: 'Balloon fightin' kid to the rescue!' (at