4 Nintendo Games We Need on NES Virtual Console

4 Nintendo Games We Need on NES Virtual Console

When you’re dry on new, innovative games to play, why not go back to the old 8-bit days with the NES Virtual Console? Here are 4 games that Nintendo should make playable ASAP.

1. Tetris (1989)

Tetris is one of the most iconic puzzle games that can stand the test of time. As you move multi-shaped blocks to fit together in a perfect line, the speed that they fall increases. This ups the difficulty, but it’s so addicting that you can’t stop trying. This game has gotten many different variations over the years, including the addicting Tetris 100, but the original is still the best.

2. World Cup (1990)

This may seem like an otherwise simple soccer game, but World Cup must not be underestimated for its fun value. You can play with a friend and control some of the cutest 8-bit characters in any game. However, this game can be incredibly difficult. I definitely cried a few times playing it as a kid. The most entertaining element is the super shot ability, where you can give the soccer ball a powerful kick that goes directly into the goal. Watching your opponents get smashed by the balls and fly in the air is hilarious and satisfying. 

3. Wizards and Warriors (1987)

Not only does Wizards and Warriors have one of the greatest soundtracks of the NES games, it’s also a great action game. You play as a knight who goes on a quest to save a princess from an evil wizard. However, much like Castlevania, you get all sorts of items and weapons that 

can help you on your journey. It’s a whimsical and magical game that provides you with all sorts of secrets for a satisfying adventure.

4. Maniac Mansion (1987)

Talk about great soundtracks! This game is a funky and comical adventure game. Its storyline deals with rescuing a teenage boy’s girlfriend from a mad scientist. You get to play as three teenagers who search through the scientist’s mansion to find a way to save the girl. This is basically a point-and-click game, but you can use different items and abilities to uncover more secrets. Also, you can get different endings based on your choices.   

Nintendo offers some great games on the Virtual Console, but these are wonderful blasts from the past for me that can be enjoyable and new adventures for you!

Guest Author: Gabrielle Muniz

7 Video Game Franchises with Epic Soundtracks

7 Video Game Franchises with Epic Soundtracks

What makes a great game even better? The music! Here are some beloved franchises that contain unforgettable soundtracks.

1. Final Fantasy

Every Final Fantasy game has memorable music. It’s just a fact. Even from the beginning, the music had an orchestral sound that really immerses you into the world of magic and mystery. It’s always an incredible experience, even if the graphics vary in impressiveness.

2. Zelda

Zelda music perfectly encompasses adventure on a grand scale with mystical beings and great battles. It’s whimsical enough to perfectly characterize such a magical world. With over 30 years of games, the Zelda franchise is still going strong, as Breath of the Wild features a wonderful soundtrack. 

3. Mario

Just about every song in a Mario game is recognizable and iconic. These unforgettable tunes can be upbeat and fun, like in Mario Kart or Super Mario Bros. 3. However, Super Mario Galaxy provides truly epic works of art that could be played in symphony orchestra concerts. No one would question it.

4. Persona

Persona doesn’t have just one sound; it has many. Its funky, off-beat sound is a little bit disco, a little bit rock, and everything in between. There’s definitely something for everyone in these games.

5. Streets of Rage

If you haven’t heard music from Streets of Rage, then be prepared to jam out for hours. These games have some of the most danceable songs that sound like they’re straight from an 80’s action movie. It’s perfect for beating down some baddies with a friend.

6. Medal of Honor

You could put this music in a movie and no one would know the difference. In every Medal of Honor game, the music is pure cinema. Composer Michael Giacchino pens the soundtracks as if they are war movies, and you may just shed a tear. 

7. Tetris

From the beginning, the NES version of Tetris had only three options of music, but I could listen to them all for hours. Now, you can get lost in the music featured in Tetris Effect, as the game features ambient, synth music that is hypnotic to listen to.

You already spend hours of your time playing video games. Why not have some great tunes to listen to while you’re at it? These franchises will definitely keep your attention.

Guest Author: Gabrielle Muniz

Health Benefits of Gaming

We may have all been told that playing video games will just “rot your brain” or “will waste your life.” Who needs that kind of negativity when you’re trying to beat Sifu, right? Lucky for us, studies are revealing many psychological, intellectual, and social benefits of playing video games. Here are just a few ways that gaming can improve your overall well-being. 

Improve Cognitive Skills

There’s an unfair stigma against video games that they only promote violence. However, studies show that video games, primarily shooting games, improve cognitive skills. These skills include overall information processing, such as languages, visuals, and overall problem-solving skills. A study of 2,000 children playing video games for three hours a day showed that they had faster cognitive skills than children who didn’t play. You exercise your brain quite a bit when you’re playing Call of Duty. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Promote Emotional Regulation and Processing

Though many people suffer from gamers’ rage, studies actually show that gaming can improve overall emotional regulation. For example, video games can help the brain to process positive emotions, such as joy, more quickly. Also, some games can be frustrating, but losing a game doesn’t have any real negative outcome in life, so the brain can better process accepting these losses. As a result, the gamer can try again and problem-solve until finally beating the level, which is an attitude that can combat depression and lead to an overall positive outlook. 

Create Social Connections

We’re not all anti-social loners. Gaming, whether in person or online, can lead to some amazing friendships. Studies show that gamers can have equally healthy friendships as those who don’t game. Collaborating with others to defeat a boss or finish a level can encourage overall altruistic or social actions towards others in one’s day-to-day life. Personally, I feel invigorated, engaged, and excited when I talk to other people about gaming. It also feels great to help others in online gaming. If you need to be resuscitated in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, then I’m your turtle.

There are definitely some games that will challenge your brain more than others, but overall, gaming is definitely not a no-brainer. By relaxing, having fun, and focusing as much as possible, gaming can actually enhance your life, not hinder it. Take that, haters.

Guest Author:  Gabrielle Muniz

Taunting During Gaming: Is It Fair?

If you’ve got it then flaunt it, right? When you’re gaming, it’s easy to really feel good about yourself when you’re winning. You’re in your element and all of your skills are on point, so you start to get a little cocky about it. Who hasn’t been there before? It’s so much fun to tease your friends when you’re beating them at a game. Maybe you start to lose, so they start taunting you right back. However, when you’re playing with someone you don’t know, is it good to taunt?

It Can Distract Your Opponent 

I’ve had my fair share of taunting while playing Smash Bros. I’m usually a “They started it” kind of person. I won’t start tea-bagging unless they do. But what does taunting really achieve? When it’s done to me, I definitely get angry. I can lose focus and feel bad about myself. When I taunt, I can see that it throws some players off of their game. They get more offensive and open, not defensive. Taunting can be a useful mind game that even pro boxers or MMA fighters use before matches. In that way, gaming is even more like a sport. You not only have to overcome your opponent, but also your own mind. 

It Might Just Be Unsportsmanlike

In some games, you can get reported for bullying, and taunting falls under that umbrella. In games where you can communicate with players, the taunting can get pretty heated. Cursing, insults, and even threats can come out. If it gets to the point where you’re going overboard, you might have to take a step back. Taunting might be a tool to express your anger or even an unhealthy outlet that can signify some abusive or psychological problems. Try to practice surrounding yourself with positive energy. It’s not a game of words; it’s about skill.  

It Should be Fun

In the end, taunting can be fun, but you have to be a good sport. I’ve played against gamers who taunt quite frequently. I’ve even taunted right back after finally defeating them, but then I’m surprised to receive a friend request from them. Even saying “Good game” can keep the mood light. Don’t take yourself too seriously when you game. Just focus on doing your best.

Guest Author:  Gabrielle Muniz

5 Tips to Becoming a Better Gamer

By Gabrielle Muniz

We all want to be the very best. Here are five ways for you to improve as a gamer.

1. Meditation

Gaming can be pretty stressful. There can also be a lot going on, which adds to the pressure and can make it hard to focus and stay calm. By meditating, you can learn tools that will relax your mind and body. Even yoga can relax both the mind and body to bring out the best responses. With some relaxation techniques, you can make a more informed and rational decision while gaming.

2. Eat Healthy

You may not think it, but gaming can take a toll on the body. Since you’re seated for an extended period of time and holding a controller, you’re more likely to develop arthritis and other body ailments. By eating certain fruits and vegetables every day, you’ll be able to get the nutrients that your joints need to stay strong. Don’t just go for the chips.

3. Play Puzzles

It’s essential to keep your mind sharp as a gamer, especially as we get older. What else keeps the mind sharp? Puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and even Tetris can improve multiple aspects of your brain, such as your short-term memory. As a result, your reaction time can improve while you’re gaming.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Watch Playthroughs

Once you think you’re the best, you stop learning. Once you stop learning, you stop having fun. By opening yourself up to finding tips, tricks, online playthroughs, and tutorials, you may discover things you’ve never known about your favorite game. Developers take years to come up with your favorite games, so it could take years for a player to master them. 

5. Listen to Music

This works especially well for anxious gamers and…well, me. If you find yourself getting a sensory overload or becoming too anxious about your game, then try muting your television and putting on your favorite song. Music can help your brain to focus, can improve your mood, and can help you relax. Try out different types of music to see what you respond to the best. 

No matter what we’re playing, gaming is just like any other sport. You have to keep training to keep your skills. With these tips, you can find out just how good you can be. Try to reach your maximum potential!

Guest Author:  Gabrielle Muniz