Video Games Posts

These 5 Nintendo 64 Games Will Never Get Old

When most 90’s kids are asked about their favorite old video games, they immediately think of their dusty Nintendo 64 console tucked away in the basement. Odds are, this timeless machine still works and ensures immediate nostalgia. Our childhood consisted of horrible graphics, pixelated screens, and rumble packs, but this didn’t stop us from playing ridiculously fun games with our friends or even playing solo for several hours at a time.

nintendo 64 consoleNintendo 64 introduced us to the wildly popular Mario and friends as well as Donkey Kong, Zelda, and more, which have all evolved into massive franchises including endless amounts of games, toys, and collectibles. Although there were hundreds of great Nintendo 64 games, these five, in particular, will never get old.

N64 mario kart 641. Mario Kart 64

“It’s-a-me, Mario Number One!” If you didn’t read that in Mario’s distinguished Italian accent, you didn’t play this game enough. Mario Kart is a classic, and always will be. Not one person can say they didn’t like speeding through Kalimari Desert, and Rainbow Road, and dodging those annoying banana peels and pesky shells. Whether you always claimed Mario or speedy Toad, these characters will remain in our Nintendo-loving hearts forever.

N64 legend of zelda2. The Legend of Zelda- Ocarina of Time

This game was most likely your only shiny gold cartridge and stuck out among all the rest. As Link, it was our quest to prevent Ganondorf from reaching the all-knowing Triforce. With the help of Navi and Princess Zelda, Link embarks on an exciting mission to collect items and weapons, and treks through dungeons to wake the sleeping sages. According to critics, The Legend of Zelda was considered by many to be the greatest video game of all time, and for good reason.

N64 donkey kong 643. Donkey Kong 64

The Donkey Kong rap at the beginning of this game was pretty epic, but the game was even cooler. Donkey Kong 64 was one of the first video games with enhanced graphics and bigger environments, simulating a 3D experience. With the 5 different Kongs to choose from including the classic DK, Diddy, Chunky, Lanky, and Tiny, you could choose to go on a mission to get your golden bananas back from the evil King K. Rool or battle your friends in one of the multiplayer arenas.

N64 mario party4. Mario Party

Mario Party was one of those games that you could play for hours and never get bored. If you were fortunate enough to have four controllers, you and your friends could play up to 100 turns and compete in a new minigame almost every round. The best feeling was beating your opponent to the star, but throwing your enemy off Snowball Summit or eating the most in Eatsa Pizza was super fun too.

N64 pokemon snap5. Pokemon Snap

This one is a major throwback. As Todd Snap, your job is to travel to Pokemon Island to take photos of the various characters throughout the different regions. In order to get the best photos, you could throw apples and pester balls to get the attention of the particular Pokemon. It was always so satisfying to snap a quality picture of Lapras in the ocean or Snorlax lying in the grass. Afterward, you can select your finest photos for Professor Oak, and you’re evaluated on your skills to capture all the Pokemon at the most opportune moment.

Hugada Video Game Database Now on hobbyDB

hugada atari 2600 simpsons video game

Klaus Brandhorst’s first home computer was a bit underwhelming, a simple Commodore 16. “It only had a datasette and it came with one or two programs to fiddle around with, so there weren’t any games,” he said. “It was only black and white on my old TV at the time and BASIC wasn’t so interesting for most 9 year olds. It wasn’t love at first sight.”

Luckily, it didn’t scare him away from computers for life, because Klaus is the founder of Hugada.com, short for Huge Game Database. The name is the only thing short about the venture, as Hugada is a database of over 63,200 versions of 43,700 video game titles. And all of that is coming to hobbyDB.

Back to ancient history… That original C-16 was followed by a C-64, an Amiga 500, then an Amiga 2000. “On the Commodore, we played everything we could get for so many hours until we were thrown out by my parents to see the sun for a few minutes,” he laughed. “We liked games where you could explore and search for easter eggs or hidden rooms, for example the strange ‘Mad Doctor’…  We loved Cinemaware-Games on the Amiga because they looked and played very good but what made them special was the story and the atmosphere. But my all-time favorites are strategy games: “Carriers at War” from SSG, and “Second Front” from Gary Grigsby.”

 dysentery pac man x box commodore 16

The Amiga was followed by a string of more modern PCs. By the mid 1990s, PC games were becoming more advanced and but old video-games became worth collecting. That’s when Klaus started looking back.

“People were giving away their old video games like they were worthless,” he said. “I guess they were at the time. One time, I bought an Atari 2600 system with packaging, never used, for about $5 and the owner said, ‘here, this comes with it’ and handed me over a big plastic bag with 60 or more modules, some of them still wrapped and lots of Xenox double enders. I also bought a Vectrex for less than $10, and a whole shoe box of Nintendo games and a watch in original packaging for a few bucks.”  Considering the original cost of home video game systems in the 1980s, and what they sell for now, he got great deals all around.

“Within a few years it was maybe 150 video game consoles and home computers and thousands of games for them. After I brought home a DEC PDP-11 the size of 2 washing machines, my parents became a bit worried what i was planing to do with their cellar.”

Along the way, he started a list on the computer of every game he could find for every platform. Like the basement collection, it too began to get out of control. “It started with a list of Playstation 1 games my friends and I owned where we noted who has which one. It quickly grew with the titles we wanted to have and then with other systems like the Nintendo 64 and also PC-titles. Then, retro-gaming with all the emulators started, so we had to make lists of the games of course…” Before long, Excel wasn’t up to the task, so he moved it to a real database and put it online.

atari soccer Madden xbox

That was in 1997 or ’98, making it likely that Hugada was the first ever online database of video games. “But I soon realized it’s a lot of work to take care of the site. When I went to university, I basically closed the data for the public additions and entered data for myself from time to time,” he said. “I was really only interested in collecting the data, but not so much in maintaining the site and caring for a community and forum.” So he started looking for a partner to take over the project. As luck would have it, one day he asked his uncle to help him sell some extra models cars, and one of them was purchased by Christian Braun of hobbyDB.

Klaus said, “It turned out my uncle had known Christian’s Family for years. When I was young, I had a SIKU model cars collectors guide written by Christian’s brother – the world is smaller than we think.” So he contacted Braun and shortly thereafter, he started moving the data to hobbyDB. “I’m very happy to see all the data I collected over so many years is now available to a big public to be used for what they were being started for: your own collection of video games and consoles.” Klaus has joined the hobbyDB Advisory Board, so he will still be active in maintaining the database he worked to hard to compile.

In the meantime, he is still active in video gaming and also collects other interests. “Mostly model SIKU cars, but also model planes and ships (the latter in 1/700 scale) of which I have over a thousand. I also cannot leave any Lego Star Wars set in the store and let’s better not talk about DVDs and Blu Rays…”

His favorite game system is kind of obscure, the Amiga CD32. “It had a shabby looking and creaking case, bad controllers and only a handful of games and almost all of them were just normal Amiga 1200 titles, only on CD. When it came out, we dreamed of all the fantastic titles we would liked to have – and never came. I guess I’m always for the underdog.”

If you do a search for “Video Games” on hobbyDB, you’ll be amazed at the number of items we’ve added lately. More will be showing up over the next few weeks, so keep checking in. And if you have screen shots or videos of these games in action, please sign in and upload those to make the Huge Game Database even more huge!

Sims, Space Invaders, Zelda Join Video Game Hall of Fame

world video game hall of fame 2016

Courtesy of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2016. Half a dozen games designed for home or arcade use (or in some cases, both) are being added. Each of the entries not achieved huge commercial success, but pushed the boundaries of how video games could look or feel. Here are the latests inductees:

space invaders screenshot

Space Invaders
This was the first colossal hit of the video arcade era, ushering in a new age of digital gaming. The game was easy to learn in theory, but much harder to master and win. It was also one of the first cartridge based home game successes.

the sims screenshot

The Sims
This PC-based game included non-competitive play. The idea was to simply move around, interact, and engage with other characters. If it seems pointless, that was kind of the idea.

grand theft auto gta3 screenshot

Grand Theft Auto III
It might seem strange to start in the middle of a series, but GTA3 was a special game. The graphics engine and complex play presented a giant revolutionary step forward not just for the series, but for an entire genre of games.

legend of zelda screenshot

The Legend of Zelda
Zelda was one of the first games that allowed characters to freely explore their world. Most games at the time required players to follow a defined path while encountering a set list of obstacles and enemies. Zelda players could interact with other players make more lifelike decisions along the way, opening the door for a new generation of adventure games.

sonic the hedgehogSonic the Hedgehog
Sonic was one of the first characters to break out of the screen and become an industry to himself. Much like Mario and his friends did for Nintendo, this rodent anchored an entire franchise of games, merchandising and other entertainment for Sega.

oregon trail you have died of dysentery screenshot

Oregon Trail
There are many ways to die in video games, but only one ever announced “You have Died of Dysentery.” Oregon Trail was a text-based adventure in which players typed in instructions for their characters in response to prompts from the game. It was a pioneer in long form adventures that could take weeks or even months to complete.

Unlike some virtual, online-only halls of fame, this one exists for real as part of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. 2016 is only the second year for this particular exhibit, and nominations are already open for next year. There are many interactive exhibits at The Strong including the larger and more established National Toy Hall of Fame.

What was your favorite classic video game? Let us know in the comments, and if it’s not in the hobbyDB database, would you mind adding it?

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Blow on Nintendo Cartridges

blow on nintendo cartridge

We all did it when we were kids. We’d put a game into our Nintendo NES, we’d see all the glitchy pixels appear on the screen, and then we’d take the cartridge out and blow into it. Boom, problem solved! Now you can help Mario can save the day!

It’s one of the most well known and longest standing rituals of retro gaming. In fact, even people who have never ever played video games seem to know about the magic of blowing into a game cartridge. We always assumed we were clearing the dust out of the game by doing this, but let’s be real, did any of us really know why it worked? It was just something that everyone did, and if the results were there, why bother questioning it?

Well, now that we’re over 30 years removed from the NES’ North American debut, it turns out that we probably shouldn’t have been blowing on our games this whole time. In fact, if you’re a retro game collector or know someone who is, you definitely shouldn’t blow on Nintendo cartridges. Here are the three primary reasons why.

blow on nintendo cartridge

1: It can damage the game.

As you should already know, you usually don’t want to pour water all over your electronics. While blowing into game cartridges isn’t quite like that, there still is moisture in your breath that’s probably damaging your circuitry.

Modern science and unofficial tests have all but confirmed that regularly blowing on game cartridges leads to rusting and corrosion, even if you’re trying your best not to technically spit into your games. Sure, maybe this hasn’t impacted your ability to play your favorite games, but what about 10, 20, or even 40 years from now? Besides, check out what a corroded retro game looks like. It’s just gross.

blow on nintendo cartridge 2: Nintendo literally tells you not to.

Believe it or not, Nintendo’s official website still has general information about their classic game systems, and even they don’t want you blowing into your games anymore.

According to this support page, Nintendo advises “Do not blow into your Game Paks or systems. The moisture in your breath can corrode and contaminate the pin connectors.” So yes, this is basically the same point as the above, except now it’s like hearing your parents telling you not to do something instead of some stranger trying to give you advice.

Besides, Kirby says it’s sticky. So don’t do it.

blow on nintendo cartridge

3: It doesn’t actually work.

Bit, it always worked when we were kids. How could millions of kids over the course of many years possibly be wrong?

Well, there are a couple explanations, actually. The first being that it wasn’t actually the act of blowing into the games that made them work, but rather just taking out the cartridge and putting it back in. To avoid too much technical talk, removing a game and putting it back in creates a new chance for the pins in the cartridge to connect to the system, which could fix issues that prevented the game from starting to begin with. The other explanation is much more basic: it’s a placebo effect. If you always blew on a game when it stopped working, and it always eventually worked after doing that, then your brain starts to form a correlation between the two events. In reality, the connection is just luck or coincidence.

It is possible that the moisture in your breath might increase electrical conductivity between the game and the system. But even if that was the case, this brings us back to damaging games and making them look gross. Instead, just use a Q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol to clean out the pins of your cartridge for less harmful, yet more effective results. It may not be as fun as blowing on your game cartridges before slapping them back in but trust us: your game collection will thank you.

28 Year Old Easter Egg Found in Nintendo Punch Out!! Game

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Normally, when you find an old Easter egg, you are probably better off just disposing of it because no one likes rotten eggs. In the case of video games, it’s a fun thing.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! game was a humongous hit for Nintendo in 1987, pitting the player against increasingly difficult (and larger) opponents. Over the years, players found a few hints buried in the game that could help you advance to new levels, but one had gone undiscovered until recently.

Nintendo Mike Tyson Punch Out

If you look at the image above, there is a bearded man in  the front row towards the left side of the screen. As you play the game, members of the crowd move around a bit here and there, but this particular guy is the key… when he nods, it’s time to land a perfect knockout body blow. You can see it in this video. No work on whether he is aware of some kind of fix, or if he is just extremely prescient.

You can read more about the discovery here. Anyone out there know of additional Easter Eggs in old games? Let us know in the comments!