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February 2021

Next End Of Life Milestone Approaching For Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DSI think by now most everyone in the gaming community has made peace with the knowledge that the Nintendo 3DS's best days are behind it as the Nintendo Switch (and especially Switch Lite) has taken over its market in the handheld gaming space.  Now Nintendo is driving the next nail in its coffin with the announcement coming ten years to the day of the launch of the original 3DS that after March 31, the company will no longer offer repair service on the original Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL models due to a lack of replacement parts.  Service for the New 3DS and 2DS models will continue.  Nintendo already announced the end of overall 3DS production overall last year.  Kotaku translates the news

It's a shame to see the 3DS go, as it was a perfectly pocket-sized portable device with a strong library of classic games both new and old.  It can play something from every generation of Nintendo handheld system under the right circumstances.  Virtual Console releases cover the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, members of the Ambassador's Club can play select Game Boy Advance games, and it's backward compatible with the original Nintendo DS.  That's impressive!  Note to self: finish buying any remaining Virtual Console games I want before that service is retired, too.

Super Mario 64 But You Are The Scary Piano

Mad PianoHobbyist ROM hackers and modders have made minor changes to classic video games since the dawn of computer gaming.  Well, maybe not the dawn.  Perhaps the week after the dawn.  When I was first dabbling with console emulation back in the 1990s I saw a glut of crudely changed games clearly altered for shock value such as nude and/or racism-inspired hacks of Super Mario Bros. where all someone did was change a few pixels here and there.  Today that scene has evolved, and while I'm sure there are still young teens making trash for their own amusement, most hacks and mods today focus on quality of life improvements, creating new levels, reviving canceled features left dormant in the game data, and even changing the player character into someone completely different.  For instance, here's a mod for 1996's Super Mario 64 that removes Mario from the equation and replaces him with the terrifying, sharp-toothed piano from the Big Boo's Haunt level.  Once confined to a dingy room, the mad piano is free to explore the world.  Ramming into familiar foes with mighty chompers, the piano seems absolutely unstoppable.  It's somehow able to grab Bowser and swing him around even without arms and can even don wings to fly free.  Go, piano, go!  You've earned it.

(via Platypus Comix)