Welcome to Episode 34, everyone! Joining Joshua this week is good friend, fellow fighting gamer and Australia-based friend, Tim Round. The duo discuss such things as working on the railroad all the livelong day, the release of the Amazon Fire phone, U.S./Australia relations by way of Podcast and punk rock, while all the while battling shoddy WiFi and time zones. Also, more discussion of Godzilla Night III and Joshua discusses his and wife Hannah’s upcoming, kaiju-related travel plans.
Origin stories for Nintendo characters tend to be rather ambiguous. Mario and Luigi could be plumbers born and raised in Brooklyn, or two lost children from the Mushroom Kingdom. Donkey Kong has been the son of Cranky Kong, the grandson of Cranky Kong, or just some angry ape that kidnaps Pauline. And don’t even get me started on Link and his mixed up timeline. Amidst all of this confusion, it seems that a certain Nintendo mainstay has yet to get a proper point of origin in the wide world of video games: Wario.
Making his first appearance in 1992 as the antagonist of Super Mario Land 2, Wario was already a full-grown villain with no major backstory. He wasn’t the lizard tyrant of a deposed kingdom. He wasn’t an invader from outer space. Wario was just a greedy guy who wanted a castle so he took Mario’s. That’s it.
After Mario knocked the baddie off his usurped throne and everything was returned to the status quo, Wario became a sort of selfish antihero. For the 17 games that followed, Wario concocted plenty of get-rich-quick schemes to add more treasure to his hoard (normally involving quirky platformers or hyper-odd minigames). Second only to his love for money is Wario’s contempt for his goody two-shoes counterpart.
In Wario’s mind, Mario has had it easy his entire life; getting the glory and riches for nothing and gloating about it all the way. You wouldn’t necessarily hear Wario voice this opinion in video games, save for the occasional snide comment (and constant sneer). The backstory of these two once-best friends was detailed in January 1993, through a comic in Nintendo Power. Continue reading It Should Be Called Super WARIO Adventures→
Is this the last hurrah? We have reached the end of this digital diversion, readers of Geek Force Network. I have shared my favorite comic book video games from before and after the year 2000, so all that remains are those select series that have no dog in the video games fight.
Historically, most adaptations of comic books have come from the big two, Marvel and DC. They have been the movie cash-ins and superhero beat ’em-ups, the fighting game cross-overs and the Lego-based collectathons. Fortunately, the rise of indie games and comics have given way to the rebirth of the point-and-click adventure genre. Studios like Telltale Games have been turning fantastic comics into wonderful video games for the world to enjoy. If it weren’t for their efforts, two of my favorite series may have remained confined to the printed page, never to grace my gaming screens (thanks for Bone and Fables, Telltale). But even with the recent glut of sequential art adaptations, there are still comic books which I would love to see translated to the digital world. Continue reading Favorite Comic Books That Should Be Video Games→
Excelsior, faithful readers of Geek Force Network! I am taking a bit of a break from the usual analysis of comic book adaptations of video games to glimpse some of the better video game adaptations of comic books.
Like most of the writers here on GFN, I have played quite a few video games over the course of my life. Many of these glorious digital distractions have been related to the sequential art I so enjoy. So for the next three posts, I would like to take a selfish diversion and cover my favorite video games based on comic book properties. Continue reading Favorite Comic Book Video Games, Pre-2000→
Sharing my overcrowded space with my beloved classic literature and fictional books are an ever expanding shojo manga collection. The days when I don’t feel like reading a regular book and prefer the company of beautiful artwork to captivate the eyes and get swept up in romance, humor, and adventure I tend to pick up a manga volume.
I have an appreciation for art and beauty in general and it’s no surprise I became a huge fan of the Japanese style of drawing. When shojo manga became popular in the American market, I gravitated to the pretty art style and the wide focus on romance in most shojo manga. As much as I enjoy the shojo manga genre, it’s only in the last few years have I developed more of an interest in expanding my reading to also include American comic books.
Joshua solos another episode, but considering the subject matter, it’s kind of obvious why. This week, he’s discussing the newly released Godzilla movie, the recent Big Wow Comic Fest comic book convention in the San Francisco Bay Area, shaking the hands of Godzilla and Ultraman, upcoming blog events and honestly, pretty much all things Godzilla. Also featured is the return of Incoductalk, this time with Chris Mowry, the writer of the current Godzilla: Rulers of Earth comic by IDW Publishing.
In the early days of video games, developers relied on instruction manuals and promotional material to flesh out a story. The technology of the time simply wasn’t up to the task of mapping out a complex world. Oh sure, players could discern that a mustachioed man needs to run and jump through a world of bricks to save a princess, but the full details of Super Mario Brothers would be delivered through an instruction manual (along with cartoons, comics, and cereal boxes).
These days, the awesome power of technology has provided developers the means to tell a game’s narrative through cut scenes, spoken dialogue, and animated backstories. To the mutual delight and dismay of players everywhere, many games will force the plot through linear set pieces and unskippable moments that ensure the story is properly conveyed. Virtually no details are left out in the exposition-heavy titles of the 21st century. But not every game needs to rely on these methods to ensure a good time. Continue reading The Whole Story→