Nintendo beats to chill by and Quarantinendo to

Through life, there is a constant of in video games with the style of music that Nintendo brings. So many games, beautiful soothing, mood setting tones that can be both epic yet peacefully soothing.

Anyone that’s ever played a Nintendo hit game from the original Super Mario Brothers to the new Animal Crossing, will probably have some tunes stuck in their head from time to time. The most frequent in mine is the Overworld Theme from Super Mario World for the SNES. I probably just put it in your head just now, if you played it as much as I have (a lot!).

There are so many great game track tunes, and variations of such remixed in later editions and by fans worldwide. Thanks to many internet resources, most are easily found. Some are waiting to be discovered. No game needed, just perfect for long moments of solitude, studying, organizing, creative development, and quarantine during a long pandemic.

Here is that time where all the above is relevant, and we could use some Nintendo tunes to sooth our minds. Below is some selections for you. Some you know, some you maybe forgot, some fans know and redid, some with additive flavor. Dig in, and enjoy this curated mix of long mixes!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate – Best Of Music Mix

Chosen because the Smash Brothers brand in its purity, has the best orchestral mix celebrating all that is majestic about the familiar tunes many will never forget.

Zelda and Chill

Lofi hip-hop beats produced by German beat-maker Mikel and mastered by Philadelphia based Dj CUTMAN. It’s a nice mixture, and something different for the series most dedicated fans to enjoy!

Relaxing and Calming Music From Super Mario Series

The Super Mario Brothers is the pinnacle of Nintendo musical poetry, always help setting the mood and giving the mushroom a surreal beautiful tone.

Poke and Chill

Got to catch them all! These are various compositions from past Pokemon games, remixed German beat-maker Mikel and mastered by Philadelphia based Dj CUTMAN (same who did Zelda and Chill). Amazing freakin stuff!

Relaxing Earthbound/Mother 2 Music

Earthbound (aka Mother 2) is one of those games that every video game fanatic should eventually play in life. Its beautiful and wondrous with a little bit of 90s experimental electronic beat thrown in. Some of those tracks have special secrets, giving a little extra dimension for deep listeners.

Ambient Relaxing Music From Metroid Series

Nintendo shows us that even a dark, dangerous world of aliens and space weaponry can be a place for haunting, yet soothing music pulling us deeper into other, stranger worlds.

Donkey Kong and LOFI

Whaaat?! Listen and add it to your favorites. That’s what! A masterful remix from a variety of artists. It’s a real treat for any Kong….bananas for your soul!

1 Hour of Relaxing Animal Crossing New Horizons Music + Rain Sounds

Personally, I never played any of the Animal Crossing crossing. But the music, I hear from gaming radio stations and curated playlists gives a calm, setting tone to which I think adds to the series success. Here’s some relaxing Animal Crossing New Horizons game tracks, but with some soothing rain added.

Enjoy, stay well, and be chill out there!

Treasures of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Part 1

Last weekend, I attended the 2019 Portland Retro Gaming Expo. I had an awesome time there.

The Portland Retro Gaming Expo. remains a show, taking heart in the Pacific Northwest US for its 14th year now. The cultural event grows a little more every year, celebrating older video and electronic games for their history, aesthetic, social aspects, and cultural impact. Vintage games include pinball, arcade machines, console setups, handheld devices, and other related oddities, Throughout many treasures to be appreciated, purchased, played, and discovered.

Here are some pictures and notes to share of my PRGE experience, showing small parts of this grand show…

Many merchants here, with the best colors of our classy consoles on the table!

On one table, a small sampling of rare imports at this PRGE

Some cool rare oddities, including TOPO, the programmable robot from the early 1980s

Playable Atari games at one booth, with old school TVs to match

Another interesting find, an extra violent edition of the original Resident Evil for the PC!

A few cheap treasures from dealers I purchased, with my guide

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Also at PRGE, many creative artists and developers. Some with their own homebrew games, which I sadly overlooked in pictures. But also many just selling print or promoting webcomics and other creative work influenced by retro games. Here’s Spicy (Twitter @SpicySpaceDragn), one of many artists here.

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More merch!

James Rolfe, AKA the Angry Video Game Nerd was a special guest this year. Sorry for the bad picture.

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Also here…console gaming playable for every generation

Arcade gaming all day,, free to play!

Nights into Dreams, an underrated Sega Saturn classic. This beautiful lenticular poster brings back precious memories.

Many, many pinball machines here, both vintage and the newest available for free play/

The music in the free play area was off the hook, and set the mood there to an awesome 80’s arcade glory that made the show more worthwhile

The best panel I went to, a reunion of Nintendo Game Counselors who worked the glory days of Nintendo HQ’s call center. Lots of fun stories, insider tidbits, and history told. Enjoyed every minute.

At that same panel, a surprise guest in the audience… Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris!

Briefly meeting Alexey Pajitnov was a big joy for me. He also signed my show pass.

Another awesome guest at PRGE at a panel, Howard Phillips, a main spokesman and producer of Nintendo of America throughout the 8-bit era. You may remember him in cartoon form from the Howard and Nester comic strips in the early Nintendo Power magazines.

Among the best of the show, this gaming history exhibit showcasing Nintendo history focused on the anniversary of the Game Boy and Nintendo Game Counselor service. I will share more pictures on that experience, in part 2 of my PRGE adventure (posting soon!).

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New Game Trailer – Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 – Beat Them at Their Own Game | PS4, PS3, PS Vita

  • Release Date: September 15, 2015
  • Publishers: Deep Silver, Development:  Comcept USA, Inti Creates
  • Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, 3DS, XB1
  • Official Site: www.mightyno9.com

Synopsis:

“Classic Japanese side-scrolling action, evolved and transformed by Keiji Inafune, an all-star team of veteran Mega Man devs…and YOU!.”

Original Kickstarter campaign, as it was successfully crowd-funded.  Mighty No. 9 is the spiritual successor to the original Mega Man X side-scrolling game classics, and the creation of Keiji Inafune.  Inafune, is best known for his work as the original co-character designer of the Blue Bomber, and designed many other characters throughout the Mega man and Mega Man X series, while as producer to many throughout the series. Mighty No. 9 is his personal project from his own company, Comcept.

Personal Thoughts:

I am a huge die-hard fan of the Mega Man X and Mega Man: Zero spinoff games, as I have played many times over the years. Now, those games feel further distant as classics from a past age. Since then, I felt the side-scrollers of our modern era have slowed down. Yes, there have been good games..but nothing comes to mind matching that action packed intensity, dynamic control, and the music/visual feel of the magnificent Mega-Man X series.

I couldn’t put my finger on why we have not, until I saw the first looks of the Mighty No. 9 game via the Kickstarter, last year.  I see the heart and soul back from the Mega Man games, via the return of Keiji Inafune, who put his imagination and vision from that, into this. I see it all, plain as a summer’s day…but with awesome robot-on-robot action all around.

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It;s all back, with the dashing, high jumps and pew-pewing. The crazy power-ups and special upgrades, I see. The crazy enemy bosses, with some unique angle of sophistication in their design and environments. And those designs, still that classic inventive touch by Inafune. I see again, that combination of vibrant colors, sharp edges; brought together with childlike wonder and imagination.  The hyperquick smooth control of the character calls me back, with the true extent of what platforms must bring (not just the nostalgia), and beyond. To me, this thrill of good side-scrolling action is like going through a comic-book, but sped-up with uncountable pages. Panels, screens..same difference..right?

Overall, Mighty No 9 is a brave new world in wait for its new fandom, without the convoluted burdens of the old history of Mega man. I can’t wait to press start, and see how many years will the whole gameplay experience take me. This is Inafune’s own child now, to own to raise and grow. Best of all, it’s with the fans, of the old and new; who together helped make it all possible.

– Orion T

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Game Trailer – Evoland 2

Evoland 2 Official Trailer

  • Release Date: Summer 2015
  • Publishers: Shiro Games
  • Platform: Windows, probable others in the future.
  • Official Site: www.evoland2.com
  • Notes: Sequel to the first Evoland game. It is schedule to be released for the summer of 2015, hoever can be preordered now from the Evoland 2 official site.

Synopsis:

“Evoland 2 is the spiritual successor to the original Evoland with its graphics style changing as you travel through time and it’s gameplay evolving as you move along the storyline. It is also a much bigger game and a classic RPG at heart, with a complex scenario based on time travel, dozens of characters with their own backgrounds and ambitions and vastly different gameplay styles that are linked to the story and the player’s actions. Full of humor and references to classic games, the aptly named Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder will bring a truly epic and extraordinary adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever played before!.”

– Official site, http://www.evoland2.com

Personal Thoughts:

I enjoyed the hell out of the original Evoland, though it was short and easy for this experienced player.

The original was more than the quirky premise of the many past console RPG games since the mid 1980s. The gameplay contained much on reverential humor, poking fun at tropes and overused plot devices. Players like myself got the frequent snark, especially at some cumbersome elements (yes, village music is terrible), as it just went ahead and reused them anyway (argh, not another random encounter!). The main characters (Kaeris, Clink) were often parodies or tributes (pick one), of one or more beloved gaming icons.  The gameplay was solid and good, accompanied by a good soundtrack.

However, all was short and very limited. The land, very small and the changing elements of the game from classic to modern was too few, for being such an original concept that added to this game’s uniqueness. The ending felt rushed, and unfulfilling. All that was left, were hidden dungeons and some mundane side questing. This was acceptable for the price I paid, but I wanted more.

And now, we get more in Evoland 2. The trailer reveals much, and more into the history of gaming. I can tell the original creator (or creators), put a lot more into this. I see fighting games, shooting games, puzzle games..all no doubt are accounted for in the similar humor-filled homage-filled tone of the first. I also see a bit more of what the changing style of the original, hopefully not following a chronological order and adding to the story itself. The game is also likely bigger than the first, as all sequels should. I can also hope for some ridiculously overly expansive and contrived story development, that will expand upon the overly simple script of the first. Also, I have no doubt the gameplay and soundtrack will be just good, perhaps better than the first.  The new challenge elements look good, especially the side-scroller play. I look forward to all this nostalgia, with hopefully more meta humor added in.

Yes to Evoland 2.  I look forward!

– Orion T