Back to Bits
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Artists pay tribute to NES games with a collection of GIFs

Videogame GIFs are one of my favorite things on the internet. Retro game nostalgia less so, but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying the NES game-inspired GIFs that are being showcased on Back to Bits. The website launched today and is a curated animation project created by Washington-based artist Jerry Liu. His reason for putting Back to Bits together is simple: he wanted a way to bring likeminded artists together and to celebrate the games of his and their childhood. a range of different art styles and approaches The GIFs that you can see today were created by more than 40 different…

Nintendo Switch
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The Nintendo Switch wants to be your new, favorite stalker

Cue the establishing shot: a suburban home at night. Its window drapes are open. In the distance, a skyline looms over the horizon like a mountain peak. Inside, a man sits in the dim glow of a television. He’s slouched low, pushed back by the emanations. The marketing rhetoric leans into classic entertainment images: The first 10 seconds of your favorite syndicated situation comedy; The Maxell TV ad of a man getting blown backwards by the cassette tape’s hi-fidelity sound. He’s playing a game. Light strains of composer Koji Kondo’s classic Overworld Theme from The Legend of Zelda (1986) mix…

Nintendo Switch
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Nintendo Switch lets you take games anywhere

Nintendo has finally unveiled its next big console. Codenamed Nintendo NX, today the Mario-faced company revealed the Nintendo Switch with a proper three-and-a-half minute trailer. The “Switch” name refers to the console’s dual purpose. Where there was once a time when Nintendo had separate handheld and home consoles, it has now combined the two. Essentially, Nintendo has created its own entry in the Transformer series, except it has no vehicular form or giant robot fists. it almost feels like a tribute to Nintendo’s history of consoles In its first form, the Nintendo Switch sits in a dock in your living…

MetroidLJG
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Punktendo: The 8-bit punk games you didn’t play

The original Nintendo Entertainment System arrived on US shores during a divided era in American politics. The Iran hostage crisis concluded with eight American casualties in April 1980, marring the end of President Carter’s first term and contributing to a landslide victory for Ronald Reagan. The discovery of AIDS in 1981 preceded an epidemic that was especially devastating within the gay community throughout the decade. When the console launched in North America in 1985, Reaganomics were in full swing, and disaffected youth responded with the rise of hip hop and punk rock. However, early NES titles were yet too primitive…

Pokemon Go Apple Watch
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Apple and Nintendo sitting in a tree …

While the iPhone 7 was the star birthday boy of Apple’s keynote yesterday, there was a shocking amount of news from a once-rival company, Nintendo. To the amazement of everyone tuning in, there was apparently a Snorlax on stage, as seen during the demonstration of Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch. Those presenters were miraculously spared a trampled death. Also worth mentioning is that videogame godfather Shigeru Miyamoto made a surprise appearance for a few hot minutes, consummating the romance that has been blossoming between his company and the omnipotent tech giant over the year. “For the past 30 years, every…

pokemon going
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12 Things You Can Do While Playing Super Mario Run

multitask [muhl-tee-task, -tahsk, muhl-tahy-] 1: (of one person) to perform two or more tasks simultaneously. We’re all busy people. And being busy, we have to multitask. For instance, imagine me commuting somewhere (a rarity—working from home and all), listening to a podcast, and styling my adorable Mii with dumb clothes in Miitomo (just kidding—no one plays that anymore), all simultaneously. “Where are my one-handed games?” I recently asked myself, and from the distant country of Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto heard. He channeled his inner Mario, and platformed his way to the Apple keynote stage to announce a surprise game to solve our multitasking…

NES Classic Edition
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Nintendo’s new mini console relies on your memories of the ’80s

Between Humble Bundles and Steam sales, everyone loves a good collection of cheapo games. In the spirit of bundle-based generosity, Nintendo has announced a kind of physical manifestation of their Virtual Console in the form of the “NES Classic Edition.” The size of a 10-dollar sandwich, the NES Classic Edition will have a fixed library of 30 NES games, 28 of which are currently available on the Wii U Virtual Console. For the first time ever, Bubble Bobble (1986) and Final Fantasy (1987) will be legally playable in 1080p, having only been on the lower-resolution Wii Virtual Console and NES…

Pokémon Kanto/Johto map
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Fear not, Pokémon will save the planet

Pokémon has a complex relationship with nature. It’s among the most explicit and enthusiastic depictions of natural history in kid-oriented pop culture, but environmental educators begrudge its popularity. The series gains species while our planet loses them, and that somehow feels like a bad trade—it leaves a sour taste, though it’s far from obvious that it’s a trade at all. In a sense, Pokémon’s value as an environmentalist work is something we can only see now. Climate change has touched every part of the planet, and economic development in some of the most biodiverse regions of the world is inevitable.…

rhythm heaven
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Whoa, you go big guy! Rhythm Heaven Megamix stealth released

E3 is always full of surprises. Sometimes they come in the form of a C-section-scarred Norman Reedus. Sometimes they appear as P.T.-esque, immediately downloadable demos. For Nintendo, surprises are ushered in a very different way: by straight up releasing a game, Beyoncé style. At the tail end of Nintendo’s all-day Treehouse stream on Wednesday, the quirky rhythm game compilation Rhythm Heaven Megamix was announced as available on the eShop to purchase immediately. When Nintendo embraces its off-kilter, eccentric side, they flourish. The Rhythm Heaven series marries the sweet melodies of prolific music producer TSUNKU♂ (who was one of the primary designers and composers…