Video Games Posts

5 Forgotten Super Mario Games That You Should Rediscover

super marioSuper Mario Odyssey is finally here, and it’s well on its way to becoming one of the biggest critical smashes of 2017.  Though there are a ton of Mario games that come out every year, there’s only a handful of core 3D games in the Mario canon. These generally include titles like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, etc. Does that mean the non-core games are bad? Of course not! In fact, there are so many of these games that it’s easy to overlook some amazingly high-quality titles. In light of this, here are 5 Mario games that you might have forgotten about… or perhaps you never even knew they existed at all.

mario teaches typing5: Mario Teaches Typing

Once upon a time, you could actually go to school and play a Mario game without getting into trouble. Sure, it was just a typing tutor with some Mario graphics, but it was still Mario in school!

Mario Teaches Typing isn’t the most complex game you’ll ever play, but it’s still fairly historic for a few reasons. Aside from the before-mentioned novelty of Mario in school, this was one of the first games to ever give Mario a voice actor. It was a few years before Charles Martinet gave Mario his iconic voice, but hey, it was still progress!

mario no photopi4: Mario No Photopi

As a Japan-only title, we don’t expect many of you to remember Mario No Photopi from your childhood. If you do, we commend your (or your parents’) commitment to importing video games during the 90s.

Mario No Photopi is, to a certain extent, a Nintendo 64 spiritual successor to Mario Paint. Players could insert SmartMedia cards into the cartridge, which players would use to import photos to edit and play within the game. Keep in mind, Mario No Photopi is not to be confused with the similar, Japan-only Mario Artist for the failed Nintendo 64DD add-on. What can we say, Mario just really likes to paint.

vs super mario brothers3: Vs. Super Mario Bros.

Gamers of all ages fondly remember Super Mario Bros. for the NES, but chances are, only those of us around during the 80s would remember playing Super Mario Bros. in an arcade!

Vs. Super Mario Bros. was one of Nintendo’s many V.S. System arcade games, but make no mistake, this isn’t just a Super Mario Bros. port. Vs. Super Mario Bros. is a notably harder version of the game, with fewer 1-ups and more difficult levels that would eventually be used in Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. If you consider yourself a Super Mario Bros. expert and somehow find a way to play this, chances are you’ll have a good time.

puzzle dragons mario2: Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition

What’s this, a 3DS game on a list of forgotten Mario games? How could this happen!?

Yes, it’s true. Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition is a combination of the enormously popular Mario franchise with the mega-hit mobile game Puzzle & Dragons. On the surface, this looks like a recipe for success, but in practice, this game came and went with surprisingly little fanfare. Even with the release of Puzzle & Dragons Z bundled with the game for free, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition garnered very limited sales and was hardly talked about ever again. And this is a game that just came out in 2015!

1: Donkey Kong (Gameboy)

This game is not what it seems at a glance, which is ultimately why it is sitting at #1 on this list.

Donkey Kong for the Gameboy — also known as Donkey Kong ’94 — looks like a simple conversion of the arcade classic at first. And to be fair, once you start playing, you’ll be running through the 4 original levels that we all know and love from the original. Except, in one of the best video game twists in history, the game keeps on going after you see what would have been the original ending of the arcade game. In fact, it goes on for a lot longer.

In fact, it has 101 levels! And that’s not all: Mario has a ton of new tricks to navigate these new levels as well. Gamers remember all of Mario’s acrobatic moves from Super Mario 64, but as it turns out, many of those moves actually came from Donkey Kong ’94! We’re talking double jumps, backflips, and more. Who knew such an overlooked title could have such a massive impact on the series?

What is your favorite Mario game, whether it’s handheld, console, online, or at the arcade?

Top 10 Rarest/Most Valuable NES Games

10. Peek-A-Boo Poker

Created by Hacker International in 1991, Peek-A-Boo Poker is one of their three adult titles made for the NES. The other two: Bubble Bath Babes and Hot Slots are unsurprisingly, also extremely rare.

One of the oldest adult video games ever released, it’s rare as the first distribution was limited to a few ‘select’ retailers.

Cartridge Price: £450.00 / $690.00

New / Boxed Price: £981.00 / $1,500.00

9. Flintstones Surprise at Dinosaur Peak

Released in 1994 by Taito, it’s rumoured that this was meant to be an exclusive Blockbuster Video rental game only. As many people had moved onto the 16-bit consoles by 94, demand was low. Due to its incarnation as a rental exclusive, obtaining the box and manual is extremely difficult.

Cartridge Price: £457.00 / $699.00

New / Boxed Price: £801.00 / $1,225.00

8. Cheetahmen 2

An ambitious group of characters created by Active Enterprises on their Action 52 NES compilation cartridge, The Cheetahmen was is known as being one of the worst video games ever made. Active expected Action 52 to be a massive hit, so Cheetahmen 2 came to being.

Never officially released or completed (only 6 of the 10 levels were finished), it looked set to disappear into the ether. But miracles do happen, 1500 copies of it were discovered in 1996 and promptly sold. Such a low figure obviously makes it a must for any retro game collector.

Cartridge Price: £471.00 / $721.00

New / Boxed Price: £841.00 / $1,286.00

7. Little Samson

The little known Samson (see what we did there) is a platformer in the mould of the popular Mega Man titles. Created by Takeru and published by Taito, it’s unique in the sense that there’s no game dialogue (spoken or written – unheard of these days!). It’s considered one of the best games ever released on the NES, featuring graphics that squeeze out the very best from the 8-bit. For reasons unknown, the game sold very badly when released – which seems odd as it was released in 1992 when decent platformers sold incredibly well. For this reason, there aren’t many copies around.

Cartridge Price: £497.00 / $760.00

New / Boxed Price: £497.00 / $760.00

6. Zelda Test Cartridge

Why was the yellow Zelda cartridge ever made? Most believe they were utilised by Nintendo Service Centres to check if the game worked on various hardware and third-party accessories. They contain the same Legend of Zelda game you’d normally find in the original grey or gold packaging. How many of them are out there? Not many, as it turns out.

Cartridge Price: £526.00 / $805.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

5. Myriad 6-in-1

An exact copy of the Caltron 6-in-1 game, with a new sticker plastered over it, this collectable unlicensed game consists of: Cosmos Cop; Magic Carpet 1001; Balloon Monster; Adam & Eve; Porter and Bookyman which all received bad reviews at the time and when you look closely are poor imitations of other popular NES titles.

The Myriad version is extremely rare as it’s believed that less than 100 copies of the game exist.

Cartridge Price: £768.00 / $1,175.00

New / Boxed Price: £3,502.00 / $5,355.00

4. Family Fun Fitness Stadium Events (NTSC North American version)

Although the PAL version of the game is quite rare (achieves around £300.00), the NTSC version is the true jewel in the crown. Only 200 copies of it were ever released to the public for purchase.

Developed by Bandai, it worked alongside the Family Fun Fitness mat, a running accessory for the NES. And you thought the Wii was innovative…

Cartridge Price: £5,424.00 / $8,292.00

New / Boxed Price: £22,960.00 / $35,100.00

3. Nintendo World Championship

The inaugural Nintendo World Championships was set up due to the success of The Wizard (an eighties film based around a NES video game championship). Held in 1990, it toured 29 cities across the United States and featured three games – all packed in one extremely rare cartridge: Super Mario Bros; Rad Racer and Tetris.

Each finalist was given a copy of the custom grey NES cartridge (in addition to other prizes). Only 90 copies were ever made (our friends at VideoGamesNewYork have one if you want to see it in person) and awarded to the tournament winners. Each has a unique number which makes them easier to track.

Cartridge Price: £5,755.00 / $8799.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

2. Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991

As with the original Nintendo World Championships, a similar tournament was held the following year around 60 college campuses in the US and Canada. Three different games featured this time: Super Mario Bros. 3; Pin Bot and Dr. Mario.

One 1991 Campus Challenge cartridge is known to exist which is quite frankly ridculous. It’s only due to the popularity of the next cartridge that this isn’t considered the rarest NES cart of all time. Discovered in a garage sale in 2006, it later went on to sell for over $20,000.

Cartridge Price: £13,148.00 / $20,100.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

1. Nintendo World Championship Gold

Only 26 of these known to exist, the gold Nintendo World Championship cartridge is rightly considered the “holy grail” of any NES collector.

With no tournament involved and containing the same insides as the grey version, only those lucky enough to have won a competition run by the Nintendo Power magazine have it. I know what you’re thinking, yeah, I wish I’d paid more attention to those competitions too…

Cartridge Price: £17,450.00 / $26,677.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

 

This article was originally written for Rareburg, a site that later merged with the hobbyDB project.

5 Retro Video Games That Keep Getting Remade (And We Keep Playing)

If there’s one thing the video game industry loves, it’s modernized remakes of unforgettable retro games. Here are five retro video games that have gotten so many remakes that it’s actually hard to keep track of them all.

Pac-Man

pac manIf you ask anyone about the oldest game they can remember playing, chances are they’ll say Pong or Pac-Man.

Even non-gamers will remember Pac-Man fever if they were around in the 80s, so naturally, the classic arcade cabinet became a poster child for remakes. Not only has the game been re-released on numerous PCs and gaming consoles throughout the years, but Pac-Man has also seen updated rereleases as part of the Namco Museum series in addition to its own standalone title as Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. In a way, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate what constitutes a remake of Pac-Man and not a sequel, which is the only reason this seminal title isn’t higher on this list. That said, when even Google embedded a fully-featured Pac-Man game into its logo on the game’s anniversary, you know this is one title that will keep being reinvented time and time again.

Ys I

ys1 video gameYs is a series that hardcore gamers are probably excited to see us talk about, and others are probably still wondering how in the world you pronounce that title.

Pronounced similar to “ease,” Ys is actually a grandfather of the Action-RPG genre. Released in Japan in 1987, the series has a strong cult following that has grown in the west since the 2010 English release of Ys Seven. Of course, the first game in the series has been released numerous times to appeal to modern audiences, but the number of Ys I remakes almost seems comical when tallied up. Even if we only count English releases, Ys I has seen remakes as Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished for the Sega Master System, Ys 1 & 2 for the TurboGrafx CD, Legacy of Ys: Books I & II for the Nintendo DS, Ys I & II Chronicles for the Playstation Portable, and Ys I & II Chronicles + for PC. Add in Japan-exclusive remakes for the NES, Playstation 2, and numerous PC rereleases, you wind up with a game that just doesn’t quit over 25 years later.

Street Fighter II

street fighterStreet Fighter II turned the fighting game genre into a gaming phenomenon in 1991, and developer Capcom knew they struck gold the moment it came out.

A mere year after its debut, Capcom released Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, and within the same year we saw Super Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. 1993 gave us Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, and subsequently Super Street Fighter II Turbo came in 1994. With this many rereleases in the span of 5 years, it should be no surprise that Street Fighter II would continue to see remakes years later as Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival for the Gameboy Advance, Hyper Street Fighter II: Anniversary Edition for the Playstation 2 and Xbox, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. If there isn’t a special 4K remake of Street Fighter II in the next five years, then consider us surprised.

Final Fantasy

final fantasyThe original Final Fantasy captured the imaginations of gamers worldwide with its original NES released, and the RPG empire it built since then would save company SquareSoft from severe financial hardship. It is perhaps for this reason that its developers continue to remake and rerelease the game all these years later.

After its 1987 release, Final Fantasy saw Japan-only remakes on the MSX home computer and WonderSwan color, both of which featured updated graphics and other minor features. Final Fantasy was then included in the 2002 Final Fantasy Origins Playstation collection, which cleaned up the graphics, featured a CD-soundtrack, and further modified the game to better suit modern audiences. Only two years later, Final Fantasy was released as part of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, which even further modernized the gameplay while expanding its world with new dungeons and boss battles. This would be the basis of a remake optimized for Japanese cellphones the same year, yet in 2007 Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition was released for the Playstation Portable which, you guessed it, featured updated graphics, music, and even more additional content. Though Final Fantasy was unsurprisingly remade for iOS and Android in 2010 and 2012 respectively, it would appear the remake fever has died down a bit since then. Maybe they’re too hard at work these days on Final Fantasy VII Remake, or maybe it’s a sign that the first Final Fantasy will one day go full 3D and be essentially unrecognizable from its original release.

Tetris

tetrisTetris needs no introduction. You know it, you love it, and you might even want to play it right after reading this.

Fortunately, tracking down a version of Tetris to play should be no problem, as the quintessential puzzler has been made available on just about every device known to man. Though originally created by Russian programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, it was Nintendo’s Game Boy version that turned the puzzle game into a household name. The game became a staple title of home computers through the 80s and 90s, with IBM PCs and Amiga systems each receiving unique adaptations of the game to name a few. While it’s frankly impossible to list every version of Tetris here, notable remakes include Tetris PlusTetrisphere, The New Tetris, Tetris DS, and Tetris Party. Modern fans of the game may be more familiar with Tetris Friends and Tetris Blitz, which are social versions of the game for Facebook and mobile devices respectively.

Perhaps the greatest irony about Tetris is that it deserves remakes yet never really needs them. While certain versions of Tetris have gone as far as to add a story mode to the game, it’s the easy to grasp mechanics that still appeal to old and young gamers all these years later. There’s a reason why the Russian folk song Korobeiniki is known as “the Tetris song” to this day, and the fact that any mention of “the L block” can lead a person to think of Tetris speaks for itself. We don’t know if a more universally appealing game than Tetris has ever been made, but its remakes ensure we’ll not be forgetting it anytime soon.

You’ll Love These Valentine’s Day Collectibles

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

February 14 can only mean one thing at hobbyDB: It’s time to share our love of Valentine’s Day collectibles!

Hot Wheels has experimented over the years with holiday-related segments, with mixed results. Christmas cars have been enormously popular, possibly because their mere existence helps solve the gift giving aspect of the holiday. On the other hand, collectors might balk at paying for premium price cars in a series of 4 or 6 models to commemorate a holiday like Mardi Gras. Somewhere in between those extremes lie the Valentine’s Day cars. Presumably the paramour of a collector is supposed to purchase these as a gift, because the collector likely wouldn’t want to give them away, right?

hot wheels roger dodger

hot wheels tesla roadsterNow here’s the sneaky thing… for some years, the Valentine’s cars have included a “To/From” space on the packaging like on this Tesla Roadster. When lovingly filled out, that actually ruined the “mint on card” status of the car. Oops! Such a transgression would likely drive a collector mad, so the only solution was to buy another set to keep fresh and perfect.

The 2014 Sweet Rides series were designed to promote a softer sell on Valentine’s Day with more of a candy-themed promotion. Either way, that’s six more vehicles you needed to collect.

For 2017, rather than a set of several cars, Matell is issuing a series of “Holiday Racers,” one for each special day throughout the year. They’re mixed in with the mainline offerings, and the Rodger Dodger is the one to be looking for today. Keep an eye out for New Year’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas soon as well.

Hot Wheels has also produced boxes of Valentine’s cards, featuring such sentiments as “I WHEELIE like you” or “I never TIRE of you.” They usually come in packs of 24, 28, hopefully enough for your entire class, including one for the teacher.

hot wheels valentine's cards

Corgi delivered their love for the holiday with this Citroen Moving Van… Okay, that might be a stretch. So how about this Minichamps BMW touring car from Team Valentin. That should get your heart racing.

corgi valentine

Long before Tinder, Zoosk, and other dating apps, you could play the Dating Valentine video game. Since online play wasn’t really a thing yet, one can only assume this was an exercise in unrequited gaming. It was made for the iMode Handy, which is obscure enough that anyone using one was probably extra lonely. 

dating valentine game

Kidrobot has gotten in on the love theme in their unusual way… A romantically themed version of the company mascot was released in 2005, and more recently, the Best Friends Forever series of figures included objects that defied the odds to be together, such as a cassette tape and a magnet, or a wedge of cheese and a grater. There’s a metaphor for every type of relationship in the collectibles world.

kidrobot love

Ponder this item: A Snow White postcard, somewhat romantic in nature (although the Seven Dwarfs might get in the way of things). While not specifically produced for February 14, they were printed by… Valentine and Sons.

show white postcard

Milton Bradley’s Mystery Date board game first appeared in 1965, introducing a generation of girls to the art judging boys for their outward appearance instead of what’s inside. (As someone who resembled “The Pest”, aka the supposed dud, I was not in the least traumatized by the existence of this game. Nope, not me!) As a bonus, the 1999 edition of the game featured a hunky kid named Tyler, aka the “Beach Date,” who would grow up to be Captain America. No, really, that’s Chris Evans, who has played Cap in several Marvel films. Seriously, how’s a guy supposed to compete with that?

mystery date chris evans

Even if you can’t find that special someone for Valentine’s Day, you can still find that special collectors item.

Top 10 Most Valuable NES Games

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-41-25-pm A Guest Blog Post by Dylan from ArcadeAttack.co.uk (Retro Gaming Blog)

This article was originally written for Rareburg, who in December, has joined forces with hobbyDB to provide an excellent source of collectible knowhow for the community. Dylan shares with you his thoughts on past favorites and unearthed ‘gems’ alike that are considered to be the top 10 most valuable NES games.

10. Peek-A-Boo Poker

Created by Hacker International in 1991, Peek-A-Boo Poker is one of their three adult titles made for the NES. The other two: Bubble Bath Babes and Hot Slots are unsurprisingly, also extremely rare.

One of the oldest adult video games ever released, it’s rare as the first distribution was limited to a few ‘select’ retailers.

Cartridge Price: £450.00 / $690.00

New / Boxed Price: £981.00 / $1,500.00

9. Flintstones Surprise at Dinosaur Peak

Released in 1994 by Taito, it’s rumored that this was meant to be an exclusive Blockbuster Video rental game only. As many people had moved onto the 16-bit consoles by 94, demand was low. Due to its incarnation as a rental exclusive, obtaining the box and manual is extremely difficult.

Cartridge Price: £457.00 / $699.00

New / Boxed Price: £801.00 / $1,225.00

8. Cheetahmen 2

An ambitious group of characters created by Active Enterprises on their Action 52 NES compilation cartridge, The Cheetahmen was is known as being one of the worst video games ever made. Active expected Action 52 to be a massive hit, so Cheetahmen 2 came to being.

Never officially released or completed (only 6 of the 10 levels were finished), it looked set to disappear into the ether. But miracles do happen, 1500 copies of it were discovered in 1996 and promptly sold. Such a low figure obviously makes it a must for any retro game collector.

Cartridge Price: £471.00 / $721.00

New / Boxed Price: £841.00 / $1,286.00

7. Little Samson

The little known Samson (see what we did there) is a platformer in the mould of the popular Mega Man titles. Created by Takeru and published by Taito, it’s unique in the sense that there’s no game dialogue (spoken or written – unheard of these days!). It’s considered one of the best games ever released on the NES, featuring graphics that squeeze out the very best from the 8-bit. For reasons unknown, the game sold very badly when released – which seems odd as it was released in 1992 when decent platformers sold incredibly well. For this reason, there aren’t many copies around.

Cartridge Price: £497.00 / $760.00

New / Boxed Price: £497.00 / $760.00

6. Zelda Test Cartridge

Why was the yellow Zelda cartridge ever made? Most believe they were utilised by Nintendo Service Centres to check if the game worked on various hardware and third-party accessories. They contain the same Legend of Zelda game you’d normally find in the original grey or gold packaging. How many of them are out there? Not many, as it turns out.

Cartridge Price: £526.00 / $805.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-3-20-31-pm

5. Myriad 6-in-1

An exact copy of the Caltron 6-in-1 game, with a new sticker plastered over it, this collectable unlicensed game consists of: Cosmos Cop; Magic Carpet 1001; Balloon Monster; Adam & Eve; Porter and Bookyman which all received bad reviews at the time and when you look closely are poor imitations of other popular NES titles.

The Myriad version is extremely rare as it’s believed that less than 100 copies of the game exist.

Cartridge Price: £768.00 / $1,175.00

New / Boxed Price: £3,502.00 / $5,355.00

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-3-33-41-pm

4. Family Fun Fitness Stadium Events (NTSC North American version)

Although the PAL version of the game is quite rare (achieves around £300.00), the NTSC version is the true jewel in the crown. Only 200 copies of it were ever released to the public for purchase.

Developed by Bandai, it worked alongside the Family Fun Fitness mat, a running accessory for the NES. And you thought the Wii was innovative…

Cartridge Price: £5,424.00 / $8,292.00

New / Boxed Price: £22,960.00 / $35,100.00

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-24-18-am

3. Nintendo World Championship

The inaugural Nintendo World Championships was set up due to the success of The Wizard (an eighties film based around a NES video game championship). Held in 1990, it toured 29 cities across the United States and featured three games – all packed in one extremely rare cartridge: Super Mario Bros; Rad Racer and Tetris.

Each finalist was given a copy of the custom grey NES cartridge (in addition to other prizes). Only 90 copies were ever made (our friends at VideoGamesNewYork have one if you want to see it in person) and awarded to the tournament winners. Each has a unique number which makes them easier to track.

Cartridge Price: £5,755.00 / $8799.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-38-50-am

2. Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991

As with the original Nintendo World Championships, a similar tournament was held the following year around 60 college campuses in the US and Canada. Three different games featured this time: Super Mario Bros. 3; Pin Bot and Dr. Mario.

One 1991 Campus Challenge cartridge is known to exist which is quite frankly ridiculous. It’s only due to the popularity of the next cartridge that this isn’t considered the rarest NES cart of all time. Discovered in a garage sale in 2006, it later went on to sell for over $20,000.

Cartridge Price: £13,148.00 / $20,100.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

1. Nintendo World Championship Gold

Only 26 of these known to exist, the gold Nintendo World Championship cartridge is rightly considered the “holy grail” of any NES collector.

With no tournament involved and containing the same insides as the grey version, only those lucky enough to have won a competition run by the Nintendo Power magazine have it. I know what you’re thinking, yeah, I wish I’d paid more attention to those competitions too…

Cartridge Price: £17,450.00 / $26,677.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

About Arcade Attack

We love retro video games! We love to write, we love gaming and this is why Arcade Attack is in existence.