Robert Hampton

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30th December 2010

Twenty Ten – again

What a year 2010 was! It had twelve months, each consisting of at least 28 days. On some of those days I made blog entries. Here are the highlights.

I began the year in January fretting about an alleged Crystal Maze remake starring Amanda Holden. This story fortunately turned out to be utter bollocks. Ginger people again proved that (yours truly excepted) they have no sense of humour or perspective. Britain experienced a deluge of snow, and Merseyrail impressed everyone by soldiering on throughout, a feat which they would surely repeat next time we experienced awful weather… right?

I finally joined the Wii owners’ club, just as the console stopped being cool. My rekindled love for video games did not result in me getting rickets. I also celebrated my first Twitterversary and cautiously welcomed the iPad.

I also took time to blog at length about a US comedian no-one has heard of over here, illustrating my post with YouTube clips which have now been removed for copyright infringement.

In more serious matters, the Haiti earthquake occupied people’s thoughts as a humanitarian catastrophe unfolded in the devastated country.

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15th November 2010

Any port in a storm

Nintendo has earned a reputation for rehashing its classic titles in an attempt to extract the maximum revenue from its back catalogue.

It’s not an entirely unfair comment: the Game Boy Advance was launched with an enhanced remake of Super Mario Bros. 2, and by the end of the handheld’s life, all the classic Mario titles had appeared in one form or another. The Classic NES series, also for the GBA, presented pixel-perfect emulations of Nintendo’s best 8-bit games to a new audience.

It’s hard to blame Nintendo for milking its old games for all they’re worth. The games are absolute classics — immensely playable even two decades later — and it’s not a bad idea to introduce them to new games players. Retro-gaming is a massive business these days – can you blame Nintendo for cashing in? Is 500 Wii points really too high a price to play for games on the Wii Virtual Console?

That said, check out this upcoming release for the Wii: Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition.

Super Mario All-Stars Box Art

It’s a straightforward emulation of the old SNES game. It comes with a commemorative booklet and soundtrack CD, but the game itself is unaltered from the original 1993 release.

So Nintendo are expecting us to part with money for an unchanged 2010 port of a 17-year-old remake of games originally released between 1985 and 1990?

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m still going to buy it.

13th January 2010

Wiis release me

So I finally bought a Wii. I realise that everyone else got theirs two years ago so I’m a bit late to the party, so forgive me if I wax lyrical about stuff that everyone else already knows.

First impressions: I love it! The motion control is marvellous and used to great effect in the bundled games (Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort) are great fun. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is an amazing game, taking the classic Mario formula and adding a really enjoyable multiplayer mode. I’m looking forward to building up my catalogue of games.

The Wii is the console that might get me back to gaming full time. The last full console I owned (as opposed to a handheld) was a SNES. For some reason when the consoles went 3D, I lost interest. That, and I had no money. Me and video games went our separate ways, until now.

Still haven’t tried the Virtual Console feature, but I will do soon — I really fancy playing Pilotwings again.