(Disclosure: I’m a Nintendo Ambassador and they sent me an NES Classic Edition to play with. Boom!)
Sup, nerds. It’s been great walking among the people, but the truth is that for years, I’ve been hiding my true identity, and I think it’s finally time you know it.
The truth is, I’m Z-Ro, the last Nintendo Game Counselor. Born in the 80s, honed by playing with power until I bled pixels. By the time the Nintendo Power Line faded away, I had gone into hiding with nothing but an NES and a dream that one day I may use my power again. That day, friends, is today.
There can only be one, baby, and I’m it! Cowabunga!
“No, I know. It sounds weird to me too,” I assured the mother of my son’s friends. “I did just ask if your kids could come over and I could show them Japanese cartoons and take pictures of them. I get it.”
Let’s rewind back to mid-December: my son and I were Christmas shopping, and Nintendo had a game kiosk set up in the mall. Among the games was one called Yo-Kai Watch. My son and I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to it, except that one of the game’s characters was a butt. Like, literally, a butt. A Nintendo rep asked my son if he wanted a Yo-Kai Watch mask. “THE BUTT I WANT THE BUTT,” my son yelped because he’s seven years old and he’s my son and I love him as much as anything could love anything.
But I digress.
Too bad, so sad for a father in Pembroke, Ontario (Canada, y’all) whose son managed to buy almost $8,000 of in-game content in a FIFA game on his Xbox recently.
Lance Perkins’ 17 year old son dropped $7,625.88 CAD (about $5364.86 in USD) on EA’s FIFA game store content, which, assuming he’s playing FIFA 16, consists of “FIFA Points” – an in-game currency that allows you to buy “FUT Packs and Draft Entries” – basically, stuff to beef up your soccer/football/fútbol club. That’s a lot of draft entries; EA sells packs in increments ranging from 100 points — for $0.99 — all the way up to 12,000 points, which will set you back $99.99. Even if Perkins the Younger bought the 12,000 point packs alone, it’d still take him over 50 transactions to hit his total.
That’s dedication to the game, people.
The holidays are a time of family. Awkward family you haven’t seen in foreves. I mean, sure, you follow them on Facebook, but once you’ve covered the catching-up phase, what do you do?
My suggestion: make the holidays a time of family gaming. I think you can, and I think it’s easy. But it’s not a one-size fits all approach. There are plenty of great board games, card games and video games out for folks of all ages – and with a little forethought, you can be the hero that emcees the whole thing.
Here are some suggestions of games you can break out once family starts showing up, and there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Star Wars Battlefront has faced some mixed reviews in its first week; it’s a fun couch co-op game, but reviewers almost unanimously mourn the lack of both more single and multiplayer content. Nevertheless, it’s a really fun game, and even more fun to play with your kids. Just one tip: first, get ’em a fake I.D.
Before you hop in the car and drive to some shady alley downtown, you won’t need a real fake I.D. But it might take some number-fudging and superfluous accounts to get your children playing Star Wars Battlefront online. Keep reading for a step-by-step process to get them online.
Super Mario Bros. 3 is still an incredible game. We thought we’d pay a little homage to it the best way we know how: asking you which of Super Mario Bros. 3‘s powerups best describes your parenting style.
Are you firey? Do you throw hammers? Do you avoid parenting duties by standing still like a statue? We made a graphic that’ll help you decide…
So here’s the thing about Super Mario Maker: you can never go back.There’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. Once you know that you can make Super Mario Bros. levels, you can’t just play Super Mario Bros.anymore. I know this because I tried. For funsies, I revisited Super Mario Bros. 1, and immediately, I sized everything up with Maker eyes:
“It’d be cool if they put an invisible block here…”
“I wonder if a second Koopa Troopa here would trip you up…”
“THIS WOULD KICK ASS WITH MORE FIRE FIRE FIIIIRRRRREEEEEEEE”
You get the point.
Yesterday was the last day of E3 2015. I got a chance to attend and check out some of the really cool upcoming games — Street Fighter V! Disney Infinity 3.0! Mario Maker! — and even got to take selfies with some of my favorite industry personalities. But 10 years ago, I was taking a whole different kind of photo.
2005: E3 has been bubbling up in the early 2000’s and at the show, it’s getting harder and harder to find the games as you drown in a sea of promotional toys and “booth babes.” I’m slowly shuffling forward in a neverending line of nerds, but instead of inching toward a playable demo, I’m — oh, wait, it’s my turn.
I walk up a couple of faux stone steps, and there are three “booth babes” standing at the top. All day, they’ve been posing with men up there. I say “hey, so I’m doing something a little different,” and the second one of them starts to nod, I drop to the ground and slump down the steps. My friend says “it’s okay, this is his thing,” and snaps the picture. The women laugh as we walk away. The next 400 men squeeze between the women and wrap their arms around them, proudly posing for their photo as if they’ve done something other than stand in line for it.