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Nintendo recently held their quarterly investor's meeting, and as they prepare to launch a new console codenamed "NX" in the coming year, it naturally bore an unusually high volume of news—26 stories, to be exact. It's been just over twelve hours since the meeting began, so catching up to all that information can be extremely daunting. Luckily, this article right here is your one-stop shop to catch up on everything that we learned from the long night of news. So head past the jump and read all about it!

There are tons of gaming enthusiast podcasts out in the wild, but almost none of the top-tier podcasts are made specifically for Nintendo fans. That's where we come in! We here at Gamnesia are bringing you a new episode of "Nintendo Week," a podcast made for Nintendo fans by Nintendo fans.

Join the Nintendo Week crew once again as Alex, Ben, and Colin navigate the waters of being a Nintendo fan in these bizarre times. News includes Street Fighter's producer wishing for a Nintendo crossover game, Nintendo's whole new online infrastructure, and the recent controversies around Alison Rapp and her termination from Nintendo. After the break we check in on our recent gaming progress and then take some listener questions for the Mystery House, including subjects like a modern EarthBound game, Pokémon following the Fire Emblem Fates model, and how Nintendo can win back the youngest generation of gamers. You can check out the episode below—or if you'd like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now. And be sure to head inside to get a rundown of all the Nintendo news from the last week!

Nintendo's Virtual Console platforms are an incredible solution for longtime gamers who want to relive their beloved memories as well as younger gamers or would like to go back and see the games that started some of today's most beloved series. The latter, in fact, is exactly what we got from a listener question in a recent episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia. "Say I could only play five Virtual Console games on Wii U or 3DS," Caleb Villa asks, "which ones should I play?"

Check out the discussion video after the jump for our full discussions about these (and more) incredible titles and why you should play each one, or keep reading for our short lists!

Update: Happy April Fools, everyone!

Being a former president of the United States of America gives you a lot of insight that most people don't have. This is, after all, why I am Gamnesia's go-to guy when it comes to politics and national affairs. We don't talk about politics here often, but they do affect all of us, whether we want to pay attention to them or not. Things like regulations and judicial processes affect the day-to-day operations of every game developer and publisher in a myriad of ways, and the people we put in elected office are the ones that write and enforce laws. So, naturally, it stands that even a humble gaming blog like Gamnesia would have a stake in the upcoming presidential election.

With that aside, I would like to take this opportunity to present my endorsement for Donald Trump.

Almost ten months ago, Nintendo filed a patent application for a game controller design that would remove traditional buttons entirely in favor of a free-form touch screen. At the time, few people thought much of it—Nintendo files tons of patent ideas all the time, and the company's always been insistent that buttons will always be preferable to touch screens for traditional console games. A couple weeks ago, however, the idea suddenly resurfaced in the form of a series of faked images.

Of course, because the images are fake, it may seem at first glance that there's nothing to see here—it'd just be the latest in a long line of scam leaks from people who claim to have uncles and coworkers who work at or with Nintendo. But that's not the end of the story. Game Informer editor-in-chief Andy McNamara chimed in, saying he'd actually heard from his own sources that Nintendo was working on a controller without buttons.

Could that outlandish controller concept from the patent actually come to fruition? Why would Nintendo want to make a controller that eschews traditional physical buttons? Jump inside for my thoughts.

The talented team of developers at indie studio WayForward Technologies are hard at work on the crowdfunded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, but first they're giving Wii U owners the chance to catch up on an earlier game in the series. Shantae: Risky's Revenge Director's Cut is out today on Wii U eShop in North America and Europe. Director's Cut features all the content of the original, plus a new map and warp system, improved balancing, HD illustrations, Magic Mode, and more! You can check out the launch trailer by clicking below!

Pokkén Tournament officially launches on Wii U tomorrow, but some lucky players have already gone hands-on with the game for the Early Access Tournament. The winners of local contests held at GameStop locations across the country have journeyed with their pro gamer coaches to the Nintendo NY store for the final showdown. Nintendo is livestreaming the competition finals beginning at 1:00 PM Pacific/4:00 PM Eastern, and you can catch all the action right here at Gamnesia. Click below to tune in for the fights!

There's been a bit of a controversy going around with the release of the latest Fire Emblem, and I'm not talking about that weird "petting" minigame. Basically, Fire Emblem Fates has three unique, full-length campaigns: one easier and tooled for newcomers, one more difficult for veterans, and a third which is something of a mixture. The controversial part, though, is that Nintendo split them into three different, full-priced games: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation. Whichever you buy first costs you $40, and then if you choose to buy either or both of the other two, they're bumped down to $20. The argument is over whether Fates' individual campaigns ought to have been split up like this, essentially doubling their price.

The whole thing's stirred some fun back-and-forth, even here on our own site. Some say the individual titles each having campaigns of unique content roughly the size of the previous Fire Emblem Awakening justifies their full prices, others say Fates is all one game and should be released as such, and neither has particularly solid grounding. To actually figure this out requires a lot more thought and a little bit of delving. It's inspired me to think about exactly what it means to pay for a video game and how the price and value of these products actually works.

See, there's something really interesting about the common argument approving of Fire Emblem Fates' split. "The games are worth their individual prices because each of the three campaigns are about as long as the one of Fire Emblem Awakening," is the generic version, but the true argument therein is that a sizable part of a game's worth can be determined by its amount of content. Unpacking that statement is where things really start to get interesting.

When the new King's Quest was first revealed back at The Game Awards' debut in 2014, I was immediately intrigued — captivated, really. King-to-be Graham ran and leapt across rubble. He explored beautiful woods and the luscious countryside. He descended into the cavern of a dragon. "Once upon an astounding time," rang out the rousing narration.

And yet, when I finally got to play it, the game just felt... empty. Dull, vacuous, lifeless — call it whatever you want, but there was something missing from the world of King's Quest, something that kept it from feeling alive. In searching for the cause, I realized I had to look more fundamentally than just video games: what makes the world of any fiction feel alive? What gives each world its unique flavor and atmosphere?

In finding the answer to that fundamental question, we'll be able to discern how King's Quest, a game which seemed at its announcement like it had so much spirit, ended up so oddly soulless. As it turns out, the answer lies in people, in how we relate to the real world and how we use proxies (characters) to relate to fictional worlds.

A game's introduction and tutorial segments are crucial to getting a player invested in a game's world and story. Players need a solid understanding of the world they're stepping into, from both a narrative and a mechanical perspective, before they can begin to truly immerse themselves in it. Nail the introduction and players will be solidly immersed and prepared as your story begins and challenges come their way. Ruin the introduction and — best case scenario — players are left disoriented by your mechanics and unconvinced by the beginning of your story. Worst case scenario, they quit before the game's even started.

Unfortunately, upon finally getting around to playing one of last year's biggest releases and critical darlings, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I found that it was squarely in that latter, "messed up" category. Don't believe me? Put down your pitchforks for a second and let's examine how The Witcher 3 so terribly failed its introduction.

"Growth of a Gamer" is a series of articles exploring the profound way games and gaming can impact our lives, as told by students of the Interactive Media program at the University of Southern California. They've teamed up with us at Gamnesia to tell personal stories of how a particular game or franchise has molded us into the people we are today, and through our experiences we hope to shed light on the ways that these games have affected all of you as well. We invite you all to share your own stories in the comments below, or by writing your very own series entries through Gamnesia's Journals feature. We love coming together to share in the joys that make gaming so memorable for us all, and we hope that you'll join us!

Head inside for your guide to the entire Growth of a Gamer series, or stay tuned every day over the coming week to see each one highlighted on the main site page!

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Pokémon: Just Another Game."


As someone who's poured enough hours into video games to write several novels, it's funny to think that I fell in love with them purely by accident. My seminal experiences with interactive entertainment weren't particularly memorable. I vaguely recall my dad trying out an action-adventure game on our brand-new Xbox, while my six-year old self observed from afar, perplexed by the incoherent movements on screen. My sparse shelf was populated by mediocre titles such as Superman: The Man of Steel and Zapper: One Wicked Cricket; ultimately, these hackneyed experiences aroused little more than a casual interest in gaming. If you told me that "immersive interactive experiences" existed back then, I'd give you a puzzled look and think nothing more of it.

But there was still a strange allure to the supermarket video game aisles that managed to filter past my decidedly average gaming exploits. I'd wander into these relatively abandoned spaces, enthralled by flashy box art characters that seemed all too willing to snatch me from my reality into theirs. They were quite the motley bunch—among them, a mustachioed Italian plumber, a shorts-touting fox with a ridiculous grin, and a spunky gang of Japanese teens on rollerblades. One of the boxes, Pokémon FireRed Version, caught my attention. I locked eyes with the blazing orange dragon on the cover, and that's when my journey began. Head inside to keep reading!

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "World of Woecraft."


"I_eat_suckas_for_breakfast" was supposed to be the name of the first character I ever witnessed in the World of Warcraft. I remember that afternoon in fourth grade clearly. My friend Max had tried to give that name to a Night Elf Druid, only to discover that underscores were not valid name characters… so we had to settle for "Ieatsuckas."

It was the spring of 2007, and the first World of Warcraft expansion was just released: Burning Crusade. Until that afternoon, the extent of my experience with video games came from a good old GameCube, which had somehow managed to survive four years of being played for several hours a week. Now, here I was in Max’s apartment, watching him as he showed me basic combat on his Night Elf character. I watched, doe eyed, as Ieatsuckas went from zone to zone in this virtual world. There were three whole continents here: Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, and Outland, each with dozens of zones to explore and endless nooks and crannies. As Max retold the events of the first three Warcraft games, my imagination ran wild. For days afterward, I would watch playthroughs and read fan theories all centered around the Warcraft universe. Head inside to keep reading.

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Portal to a New Phase of Life."


For the majority of my adolescence, I only owned Nintendo consoles and was, for lack of a better term, a complete Nintendo fanboy. The Wii was my jam. Never could I see myself owning a non-Nintendo console or playing one of those violent video games I associated with those other consoles. But when I bought Valve’s The Orange Box and played through Portal for the first time, I didn’t really know what to expect—and I loved it. I ended up playing through Portal many times, making it through the AI antagonist GLaDOS’s devious test chambers and Aperture Science’s abandoned research facilities with as much enthusiasm as the first time. Head inside to keep reading!

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Swinging Forward with Spider-Man 2."


Back in 2004, my family was living in Hidden Valley, a small community in Lake County, California. It was like a wet dream for a retired dentist from the 50s; it was a small, quiet town with houses spread sparsely across the valley. Its most exciting features were simply one grocery store, two small restaurants, and a video rental store. Clearly a village so remote is a thrilling place to live for any hyperactive child, but somehow I was not a big fan of it. There were few kids around me that I could play with, and when I could, we were still trapped by the boundaries of our homes. Even when we could escape, I never felt welcome outside. There were a few other Latino families like mine, but the town could never connect with me in a genuine way. The town felt artificial, prescribed, as if to maintain an illusion that the problems of the outside world did not apply to them.

I was abandoned on an uncharted island, and the television screen was my only portal away. I often played games based on the shows and movies that I would watch on TV. But one title helped me escape the confines of Hidden Valley into a new world of possibilities: Spider-Man 2: The Game. Head inside to keep reading!