Friday, November 30, 2012

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, January 1992

The January 1992 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment:

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10 Best Videogames Since 2002

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002)

Nintendo’s mainline franchises don’t change very much. Mario and Link are always wearing the same clothes and rocking the same basic moves — jump, slash, fireball, hookshot — on a mission to save some kind of princess from some kind of Bowser/Ganondorf. But the deceptively simple gameplay at the core of Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda belies the games’ strength — they are easy to play but difficult to master. What sets The Wind Waker apart, 10 years after its release, is its eccentric, eerily beautiful cel-shading aesthetic. It’s Nintendo’s last great visual experiment, a remnant from a bygone age before the iconic game company shifted its focus toward redefining The Controller. Set in a gorgeous world halfway between Hayao Miyazaki and Calvin & Hobbes, Wind Waker also looks ahead of its time now: At a moment when videogames were shifting toward cinematic realism, Wind Waker found a raw beauty in cartoonish primitivism.

Half-Life 2 (2004)

Valve’s futuristic first-person shooter deserves a place in the videogame pantheon just for the introduction of the Gravity Gun. That single innovation cemented a change that had been brewing for a long time. The ‘’environment'’ wasn’t just something you walked through while killing people; post-Gravity Gun, it was an organic part of the experience, and it could be the deadliest weapon of all. But Half-Life 2 also set a new benchmark for in-game storytelling, eschewing cinematics in an immersive storyline. (It’s remarkable how few games took the basic lessons of HL2 to heart…and it’s depressing when an otherwise-stellar modern game like Assassin’s Creed 3 ends with what amounts to a neverending poorly animated cartoon.) Best of all, because Valve encouraged players to create their own modifications, Half-Life 2 became a veritable laboratory for user experimentation.

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The Xbox 720 Is Coming Sooner Than Anyone Anticipated

After almost three years without an update, and with Windows 8 sales flailing, Microsoft will release a new Xbox just in time for Christmas next year, sources told Bloomberg’s Dina Bass and Ian King. Last year Microsoft had said that it wouldn’t release a new version of the gaming system “anytime soon,” with other sources talking up a date sometime in 2013 “at the earliest.” This new Christmas launch makes perfect sense for the video-game nerd anticipated “Xbox 720,” as the rumorers refer to it. An Xbox is one of those it toys that gets people lining up at 3 a.m. during holiday shopping craziness. Even the aging 360 console has managed to double the sales of the new Nintendo Wii so far this holiday season, according to numbers from the NDP Group. Microsoft hasn’t put out an entirely new console since 2005, which led to riots during Black Friday of that year.

As for what exactly the gadget will look like, the rumorers say it will be cheaper and smaller than the 360, which retails starting at $300. In addition, it will have an udpated Kinect controller, a quad core processor, 8GB Ram, Blu-Ray, and augmented reality glasses, according to “leaked reports.”

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Game Informer, Issue Number 56, December 1997

The December 1997 issue of Game Informer:

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Electronic Gaming Monthly, Issue Number 86, September 1996

The September 1996 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly:

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Airborne Ranger by MicroProse (advertisement)

Advertisement for Airborne Ranger by MicroProse for the Commodore 64/128 and IBM PC/Tandy compatibles from the February 1989 issue of Run Magazine:

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