Tag: Nintendo

The Nintendo Entertainment System: A 3×12-Year Retrospective

In 1984, the video games market was virtually non-existent in the West. While Atari and it's competitors had been making money hand over fist just a few short years earlier, a steady stream of poorly made and wildly unpopular titles, coupled with the rise of personal computing alternatives, led to the infamous video game crash of 1983. Many believed that the dedicated video game console was merely a fad that had already passed and would never turn a profit again. Meanwhile, in Japan, Nintendo had found great success with the release of their new 8-bit Famicom system, actually managing to reach the number one spot in game console sales in a still-thriving Japanese market. This newfound success, in addition to the complete non-existence of any would-be competition in the West, gave Nintendo the confidence to see if they could reignite game console sales in that market as well.

Nintendo first decided to test the waters with their newly-created Vs System, arcade cabinets housing slightly modified, localized versions of already existing Famicom titles. In addition to generating additional revenue via the arcades and giving Nintendo a way to gauge the popularity of various titles, this strategy also had the added bonus of creating buzz and fostering awareness of those titles ahead of the console's launch. Furthermore, when it came time to release the console, Nintendo opted to start out with a limited test market launch, first in New York, and then in Los Angeles, in order to make certain that the system would in fact sell. Nintendo's strategies paid off, and on September 27th, 1986, they finally released their rebranded Nintendo Entertainment System nationwide in America. The video game console was back and here to stay.

In order to help restore consumer confidence and avoid another flood of low quality titles on the market, Nintendo also enacted strict controls on product approval and game licensing for their console. This was made famous by their official seal of quality that could be found on virtually all game cartridges produced for the system; and the NES had quality titles in spades. In fact, it was mostly thanks to its strong stable of games that the system was such a spectacular success. Here are but 12 examples of the best titles that the Nintendo Entertainment System had to offer:

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2021 (Late to the Party Edition)

Well, 2022 is already 2/3rds of the way done, and now that the "new" generation of consoles (that came out nearly two years ago) are finally starting to become easier to obtain at the suggested retail price, it seems that the time is finally right to discuss the best games from the prior year. Assuming you can still remember that far back, 2021 was actually another decent year for gaming. Even though the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 remained next to impossible to obtain at sane prices, they both saw the release of some great new titles and even the occasional exclusive (although in the case of the Series X, the term "exclusive" may be somewhat generous). There were also a number of big releases for the Switch and PC as well. Please read on for a list of the best games of 2021, according to myself:

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2009 – A 12-Year Retrospective

Well, it's a new year and I'm back again with another best-of retrospective. This go round, we'll be taking another 12-year look-back, at the best games of 2009, and unlike with the last one, I'm happy to be able to deliver it in a more timely, and thus, sensible fashion. 2009 was another great year for games. But really though, aren't they all, just about? Let's just say, it wasn't any slouch. Please join me as I take a look back at some of the following reasons why.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2008 – A 12(+)Year Retrospective

As you might have noticed by now, I have kind of a thing for gaming retrospectives. I also love anything having to do with the number 12. For those reasons, I've decided to debut a new retrospective series where I take a look back at the best games from 12 years ago. In the case of this particular article, the year 2008. Now you may be thinking, "it's 2022, shouldn't this article be about 2009 or even 2010?" And the answer is, you got me. I meant to post this nearly a year ago. My bad. Maybe I'll do one for 2009 next month. Just go with it. 2008 was a special year for gaming that saw a number of truly exceptional titles grace the various consoles of the day. Please join me as I look back at what I feel pretty good about saying were 12 of the absolute best.

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Knocking It Out Of the Park: 6 Of My Favorite Baseball Games

It's that time of year again! No, I'm not talking about Halloween (this time). I'm talking about the World Series! After some particularly fiercely fought and exciting playoff battles, we've finally come to the main event. The AL vs NL matchup that will determine who is the best team in all of baseball. This year, I am particularly excited to watch because my Atlanta Braves have made it for the first time in 22 years! Here's hoping they show Houston what's up.

I will say that I'm a little sad my other team, the San Francisco Giants got knocked out early. I would have loved seeing how they stacked up against the Braves in the postseason. That's right, I have two baseball teams too. I didn't always live in Atlanta, you know. At any rate, I've been a fan of both baseball organizations for years and I've loved playing the sport probably longer than that, even digitally. There have been a great number of baseball video games over the years and in honor of (one of) my team(s) making it to the final round this year, I thought I would share 6 of my favorites.
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AJ’s 2021 E3/Nintendo Direct & September PlayStation Showcase Roundup

Sorry for the delay in posting the usual June E3 news but I (like so many others) was waiting on Sony to get with the program and give the fans at least some idea of what they can expect to get excited about over the next year or two. Well, a year later Covid-19 still wouldn't take a hint and kindly flock off so this year's E3 event still wasn't the typical show everyone is used to. It was back, though, online only and rebranded as the "Electronic Entertainment Experience", but I'll always take some kind of a show over no show at all.

Microsoft and Bethesda got things going with their first E3 press conference as one singular industry titan. Followed shortly after by Nintendo, who did their now-standard E3 Nintendo Direct presentation. Sony, however, decided it was too cool for school, skipped E3 altogether and waited till just this month to hold their own upcoming releases showcase. But now that we've heard from all 3 players, I can finally round up the highlights for you.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2020

It's so nice to be out of 2020. Between the pandemic and a multitude of various other reasons, it was surely a year most people would sooner forget. But that being said, 2020 wasn't actually a total loss. Despite several titles having to see their release dates pushed back due to the challenges of working through social distancing and quarantines, it was overall a pretty fantastic year for video games. Don't believe me? Well, just read on and see for yourself as I recap 12 of the very brightest spots in an otherwise pretty dark year.

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The Nintendo 64: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

For over 10 years prior to the launch of their N64 system, Nintendo sat fairly comfortably as the top dog in the video game console market. That all began to change by the mid-90s, however. Following Sega and Sony's (then) next-gen console face-off throughout much of 1995, Nintendo somewhat controversially opted to wait until the following year to release their own competing hardware. One of the main reasons for this decision was so that they could allow enough time for a sufficient pipeline of software titles to be ready to support the console (and not wind up in the same embarrassing predicament Sega had with their premature launch of the Saturn). While the delay did likely hurt them a bit with regard to potential sales lost, it also ensured that the N64 would make a strong impact when it did finally arrive (the lack of which for the Saturn no doubt contributed to that console's early demise).

​While the official US launch date for the Nintendo 64 was intended to be Sunday, September 29th, 1996, as advertised, the vast majority of retailers broke that release date and began selling them before the start of the weekend. Following its successful launch, the Nintendo 64 achieved modest success throughout its life. The decision to stick with cartridges in the age of the compact disc, along with a slight lack of third-party support, would cause Nintendo's system to be pretty handily outsold by Sony's PlayStation console. However, the Saturn's early departure from the field, combined with an absolute wealth of outstanding first and second-party titles, still solidified the Nintendo 64 as both an unquestionable success for Nintendo, as well as an object of great affection for Nintendo fans, and gamers, everywhere.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of the 2010s

With the end of 2019, the 2010s also finally came to a close. And now that I've looked back on all the great games of 2019, it's time to take a look back at the decade as a whole and talk about the titles that really stood out as the very best of the best. It may have been a long 10 years, with lots of changes in the gaming world, but it was chock full of gaming experiences that were absolutely second to none. While it may have pained me to narrow so many fantastic games down to only a dozen, I have done exactly that, just for you. Here are my picks for the 12 best games of the 2010s:

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2019

Happy 2020! It's a new year once again (and a new decade as well), and that means it's time for another round-up of the best games from the previous 12 months. 2019 was another amazing 365 days of great games to play. So many great games, in fact, that narrowing down my choices to merely a select 12 proved particularly difficult this time around. In the end though, I was able to get it done, and now feel sufficiently confident in my selections. I hope you will too. So without further ado, I humbly present, my picks for the 12 best games of 2019.

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