A First Look At The Super Mario Bros. Super Show

MarioNintendo felt it was burned in the early 1990s when it licensed Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda out to Hollywood for film and animation projects and didn't like the eventual end result, but for a while there the company really was trying to make it work.  1980s powerhouse DIC turned both games into the animated/live-action hybrid syndication smash The Super Mario Bros. Super Show in 1989 and Nintendo Power was there to promote it.  After all, what better way to spread awareness of the new program than through the game publisher's own in-house publicity publication? Over on Twitter, @VGArt&Tidbits has a scan of the single-page tease from the July/August 1989 issue. 

The main piece of art doesn't represent the visual style used on the cartoon at all, but I remember seeing it on licensed products such as TV trays and notebooks back in the old days, so I don't know if it's just an unrelated piece of art used here as filler or cartoon concept art that changed direction.  Either way, it's an interesting look into the past.  Who's that white-haired Mario ancestor in the photo on the wall?


New Bethesda Pinball Pack Sure To Please Fans

DoomI love what Zen Studios has accomplished over the years with the Zen Pinball 2 / PinballFX 2 suite of pinball tables, but while there are many properties that I know and love that become tables, sometimes the company takes me into unfamiliar territory.  The latest release in that style is a triple pack of new tables built around popular properties from Bethesda featuring DOOM, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  Everything I know about DOOM I learned in DOS back in the 1990s and I've never been interested in the latter two franchises, so I went into this new pack pretty much blind.  I don't know anything that's going on here, nor do I fully understand how the tables work.  The fun references and continuity nods are lost on me.  I still enjoyed myself just the same as you'll see in these quick videos of me experiencing the DOOM and Fallout tables for the first time, learning the ropes and trying to figure it all out.  I expect that Bethesda fans will get more out of this pack than I do, but I suppose part of the fun is learning something new.



Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Coming To PS4, Xbox One, And PC With New Features

Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3Sony and Capcom surprised everyone today with the announcement that one of last generation's best brawlers, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, is coming to the Sony PlayStation 4 today.  Marvel followed that up with an announcement of their own that gives more details on this re-release; while the PS4 version is available on the PlayStation Store today, Microsoft Xbox One and PC versions will follow in 2017. 

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is being re-released for current generation systems; with the PlayStation®4 digital download version available today and the Xbox One® and Windows PC versions coming in March 2017. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for current-gen systems includes a new gallery mode, is packed with all previous DLC, and features an improved 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. The re-release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is being offered as an individual download title on all systems for $24.99.

No extra DLC, no season passes, everything is included, and there are new upgrades and a new mode too all at a reasonable price.  Now that's how you do a re-release.  UMvC3 has been lost in the mists of time for a few years now ever since the license between Marvel and Capcom expired.  The original PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita versions are long out of print and are unavailable on digital marketplaces.  Even if you do own the game, you can no longer buy the DLC, so no extra costumes or characters for you.  Bringing this game and its content back for modern hardware is a wonderful thing and despite owning it three times already (original PS3 release, Ultimate PS3, and Ultimate Vita with all DLC thanks to the end-of-license fire sale), I'll end up buying it again for PS4.  It's just such a well-constructed game and while I have high hopes for the upcoming Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, the lackluster debut and first year of Street Fighter V's software-as-a-service model is already making me pine for the days of a predominantly complete base game.


Anticipating Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite's New Characters

Marvel vs Capcom InfiniteEveryone is excited about the announcement of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite coming to the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC in late 2017. While Ryu, Mega Man, Iron Man, and Capcom Marvel are announced as playable characters so far, I know I have a few characters in mind on both teams that I'd like to see join the fight.  Just as I did when Marvel vs Capcom 3 was announced, I've put together a brief list of Capcom and Marvel combatants that deserve a shot at glory alongside Marvel and Capcom's greatest heroes and villains.

"It's not about the size of the artillery. It's about choosing the perfect bullets. Storm, Iron Man, Reed Richards... they all know their own teams inside and out, which is critical--but limiting. I got this job because I'm good at mixing and matching. At studying everyone's strengths and weaknesses and thinking outside the boxes labeled "Avengers" and "Masters of Evil". Remind me to tell you sometime how Quicksilver could kill the Hulk if he wanted to." - Phil Coulson, SHIELD Vol. 3, #1

Capcom

Sigma

Sigma

The leader of the Mega Man X Mavericks deserves a chance to shine.  I want to see him brought back to his original form from the original Super NES game as a base appearance, red cape and all.  His Wolverine-like claws made of electricity would make him an excellent successor for the X-Men favorite if the rumor about the emphasis on Marvel Cinematic Universe characters over the X-Men and non-MCU characters hold true.  Let his later overly complicated forms and ultimate battle bodies appear as devastating super combos and ultimate attacks.  Maybe his robot dog, Velguarder, could tag in as an assist character.

Continue reading "Anticipating Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite's New Characters" »


MST3K Meets PlayStation

MST3K on PlayStation UndergroundIn a match made in cross-promotion synergy heaven, the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the creative folks at video magazine PlayStation Underground once teamed up to create an exclusive segment featuring Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot riffing on old Sony PlayStation commercials and outtakes.  Released in February 1998 just before MST3K's ninth season season (its second on the Sci-Fi Channel) on PlayStation Underground, Issue 2.1, this clip has been floating around the Internet for years and I somehow never got around to sharing it here.  Allow me to remedy that.  You could use a laugh and, depending on your age, a little nostalgia.


Nintendo Outlines Vision For Universal Studios Attractions

Mario and friendsNintendo and Universal Studios announced a partnership a while ago to bring the former's beloved characters to the latter's theme parks and resorts.  Today the two companies released a teaser video in which Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto and Universal Creative's Mark Woodbury outline what they expect to accomplish at the Universal Studios parks in Osaka, Orlando, and Hollywood.  It looks like a Super Mario attraction is up first!

The creative visionaries behind Nintendo’s legendary worlds and characters are working together with the creative teams behind Universal’s blockbuster theme park attractions. Their goal: to bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks. And to do so in new and innovative ways that capture what makes them so special. All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you – in breathtakingly authentic ways.

It's easy to get carried away with dreams about an F-Zero rollercoaster and an interactive Kid Icarus quest, but let's be honest: the big guns will be out first.  Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon have to be on the shortlist of Nintendo properties to develop.  As much as I want an EarthBound ride or a Chibi-Robo adventure, the company has enough trouble selling games based on those properties that I doubt they're willing to sink millions into a flashy theme park debut for them right up front.  I would expect to see them represented elsewhere in the experience though much the way that the Walt Disney parks hide instances of Mickey Mouse in rides and attractions.  Either way, I can't wait to visit the Nintendo area of Universal Studios and see what the teams create.


Original Mega Man Cover Paintings Revealed

Mega Man Soccer

While the online gaming community talks a lot about preserving original game code and assets, we don't often hear much about the boxes the old cartridges came inside unless we're talking about how having one boosts the value of the game in question.  All of that fancy art on the cover had to come from somewhere, and today's modern case covers usually spring from the minds of artists directly into Photoshop.  Back in the old days of the 1980s and 1990s, however. publishers commonly had to commission artists to paint actual canvas paintings for the cover.  Protodude's Rockman Corner has a nice exhibit of several of those paintings that were used for the covers of games such as Mega Man 3, Mega Man 6 , and Mega Man X.  Of the paintings on display, my favorite is Mega Man V (for Game Boy) because the character design style is what I always imagine for Mega Man when I think of the series, but I admit I'd love to have the Mega Man Soccer painting on my wall in a nice frame for the sheer "what the hell?" factor.


Power Button - Episode 224: Hilarity Ensues

Power ButtonVideo games are often held up for their action sequences, set pieces, and visuals, but how often do you hear someone remark about hilarious writing?  On this week's episode of Power Button, Blake Grundman and I spend an hour and a half discussing our favorite funny games.  From Portal 2 to Saints Row IV to Maniac Mansion and beyond, we have some hilarious moments to share.  Before that happens, however, Blake takes us on a sidequest with Pokémon.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


More Proof That Wario And Waluigi Are Knock-Off Mario Brothers

Mario and Wario hats

Nintendo has never revealed much about why Wario and Waluigi feel the need to copy Mario and Luigi, but there are plenty of signs that the duo are pretenders to the throne of great plumbing.  Their unkept mustaches and parodic physical appearances are one clear indicator that the two are not to be taken seriously, but did you know that this philosophy extends to their clothing as well?  And not just the inverse colors.  Thanks to high resolution character artwork for Mario Party: Star Rush, observant folks at Tumblr have noticed key differences in the fabric used to make Mario's hat versus Wario's hat.  It's some very interesting attention to detail.

The Mario Bros. and Wario Bros. hats are made out of completely different materials. While the Mario and Luigi have the embroidered emblems with sewn on borders, Wario and Waluigi have these felt-like patches, and it appears to be glued on instead as there is no stitches and the fabric is slightly raised.  The even stranger detail is that their hats are a different texture to the Mario Bros. With their caps being a fuzzy material, while the original hats are made out of a more a cotton twill. Overall the Wario Bros. hats feel cheap and newer, which is very suiting.

You'd think that with all of the gold that Wario has greeded away over the years, he could afford to have a decent hat made for him.  Nintendo's attention to detail is so important because it shows us smaller elements that contribute to the personalities and backstories of their characters. It would be easy to just apply the appropriate colors to the hats and call it a day, but not only did Nintendo's artists add textures that many people will never notice when they look at the artwork, they used the opportunity to choose appropriate textures for a minute detail like hat fabric and stitching.  Or, as my professional tailor/seamstress girlfriend says, "Costume detail: gotta love it!"


Dr. Wily: Portrait Of A Madman

Dr. WilyI know that hindsight is 20/20 and all, but when I see the gradual mental decline of Mega Man villain Dr. Albert Wily laid out in image after image, I think we should all have realized early on that the erratic scientist was not to be trusted and was very likely become a larger threat to us all.  Just because a man can create Robot Masters does not mean that he's well-balanced.  Take a look at this series of official Capcom character artwork that spans the classic Mega Man series from Mega Man (1987) through Mega Man 8 (1996) and you'll see his physical behavior and manner of dress start to show signs of the troubled soul within.  We really should have found help for him sooner beyond sending Mega Man in to clean up the mess again and again.

Continue reading "Dr. Wily: Portrait Of A Madman" »