With the Xbox 360 hitting store shelves next month and the other companies getting new consoles ready for release in the near future, I would be derelict in my duty as an Internet game journalist if I didn’t provide some coverage and critical analysis of the upcoming hardware. I’m kidding of course — as evidenced by Gamespot and IGN, the duty of the Internet game journalist is to provide endless hype and rave mindlessly about how great these consoles are going to be without writing anything of real substance. This is in stark contrast to print magazines, which have adopted the much more profitable method of simply letting the marketing staff for each console manufacturer write the preview articles for them. In case you didn’t know, most game magazines are filthy rags. Not just any rags though, these are the kind that you shouldn’t store in your garage over the summer because they are probably oil-soaked and will burn your house down.
Every so often, a game comes along that really gets some mainstream publicity, and this public attention can have an impact on our ordinary, non-game related lives. Most commonly, it comes in the form of a game such as Mortal Kombat or Grand Theft Auto III, fueling the debate on violence in the media. But Bad Dudes affected our lives in a much different way. Its plotline (that the president had been kidnapped by ninjas) terrified Americans everywhere, but also made them more aware of the threat posed by ninjas to our democratic society.
When I was about 10-years-old (which dates me back to 1980), I acquired a game for my Atari 2600 Video Computer System that completely blew me away. The name of that game was Adventure, and in the early days of the 2600, there was nothing else quite like it. While other 2600 titles challenged you to achieve the highest score possible with quick reflexes and good hand/eye coordination, Adventure shunned the typical gameplay design of the day and offered something a little more ambitious: A game which challenged the mind (albeit modestly).
As you may or may not know, I used to run a little website focused on the Nintendo Entertainment System called NESfan.com. (Don’t bother looking for it at that address; it’s long-gone and the domain name is being squatted upon.) At the end of the site’s premature death (or long overdue death….depending on your opinion), we were working on a few projects that were quite interesting. One of which, was my exclusive interview with the 1990 Nintendo World Championships winner, Thor Aackerlund.