Un-Real Tennis part 2: the emergence of Japanese developed tennis games

To mark the end of the US Open, I present the second part of my short history of tennis video games. The first part can be found here. Foreign coaching In the first part of this history, I discussed how the early years of arcade and home-console gaming were dominated by ‘Pong-clones’. It’s fair to… Continue reading Un-Real Tennis part 2: the emergence of Japanese developed tennis games

Little worlds within themselves, part 2: islands as introductory segments within games

Amongst games that feature islands as parts of more diverse settings, there are some which utilise them to stage the setting off point of the hero’s journey. For a basic example, let us return to Yoshi’s Island in Super Mario World (1990): forming the smallest part of the continent of ‘Dinosaur Land’, it acts as a… Continue reading Little worlds within themselves, part 2: islands as introductory segments within games

Little worlds within themselves: the use of islands as setting and structural elements within games, part 1

Today marks the last day of the festival week held on the small island where I was raised. In honour of this, I’ll be writing a mini-series on the use of islands as settings and gameplay structures in various games. Titles that have utilised islands range from cartoon-platformer Crash Bandicoot (1996) through fantastical adventure-JRPG Kingdom Hearts (2002)… Continue reading Little worlds within themselves: the use of islands as setting and structural elements within games, part 1

Symphonic Odysseys Part 1 – Impressions from the pre-show talk with Nobuo Uematsu

Last Tuesday, the Barbican played host to “the first ever UK concert dedicated solely to the music of Nobuo Uematsu”. For those unaware, Uematsu is a Japanese composer widely regarded – along with Nintendo’s Koji Kondo – as the godfather of video game soundtracks. What perhaps distinguishes Uematsu most from his peers is the regard… Continue reading Symphonic Odysseys Part 1 – Impressions from the pre-show talk with Nobuo Uematsu

Expert opinion: development of taste in gaming from an intergenerational view

A few weeks ago I briefly corresponded with Peer Schneider, the General Manager of gaming news giant IGN who is perhaps best known as the foremost figure in the ‘Reaction Guys’ Internet meme. Peer is a regular contributor to IGN’s podcast Nintendo Voice Chat, on which he often references his experiences and views as a… Continue reading Expert opinion: development of taste in gaming from an intergenerational view