Jeremy Parish

Donkey Kong Country Turns 25: Gaming's Biggest Bluff

Twenty-five years ago, Nintendo faced the threat of obsolescence with sheer bravado—and won.

The 25 Greatest Game Boy Games

The Game Boy is 30 years old, and we look at the system's 25 most important and most entertaining releases.

Roguelikes: How a Niche PC RPG Genre Went Mainstream

HISTORY OF RPGS | Mystery Dungeon tackled the daunting task of making roguelikes friendly.

How Ultima 4 and Wasteland Ushered in a New Era of Maturity for RPGs

HISTORY OF RPGS | Inside Ultima 4 and Wasteland, two critical attempts to bring meaning to the genre of RPGs.

How Dragon Quest Inspired the First Big Console RPG Boom in Japan, Both For Better and For Worse

HISTORY OF RPGS | A survey of the innovative RPGs to emerge in Loto's wake.

Yuji Horii Remembers the Difficult Road to Liberating RPGs from Costly Computers With Dragon Quest

HISTORY OF RPGS | The great migration away from just PCs started with Dragon Quest in 1986.

A Bathtub Full of Acid: The Story of How Dylan Cuthbert Went From Making 3D Engines for Game Boy to Star Fox

The Super NES's most impressive tech trick would never have happened without a bit of unauthorized Game Boy hacking.

The Bard's Tale Launched the Second Wave of RPGs

HISTORY OF RPGS | Welcome to Skara Brae, and to the future.

Hajime Tabata Pulls Back the Curtain on Luminous Productions

Square Enix’s latest splinter project appears to be striking out in new yet familiar directions.

How Wizardry Cast Story Aside in Favor of Casting Spells

HISTORY OF RPGS | In Part Two of our monthly series, Robert Woodhead enlightens us about Wizardry's pursuit of systems over story.

How the Ultima Trilogy Took a Genre from Tabletop to Hi-Tech

HISTORY OF RPGS | In Part One of our new monthly series, Lord British shares his perspectives on the process of bringing pen-and-paper RPGs into the digital realm.

New Deer is Blazing a Trail for Western Animation in Japan

How one animation enthusiast hopes to use games to broaden Japan's cultural horizons.

How a Blind Prince is Guiding NIS to a Better Future

With the help of a monstrous princess… and many talented up-and-comers.

With The Good Life, Swery Aspires to Make Life and Games Truly Good

But maybe that's a given in a game where you can ride around on the back of a sheep.

Lumines Remastered Owes Its Existence to Nintendo Switch

Further cementing the system's reputation as the modern-day PSP and Vita replacement.

"We Need More Traps!" Nigoro Speaks on La-Mulana 2's Development and Console Possibilities

Nigoro's Takumi Naramura on challenge levels, creative challenges, and more.

Black Bird Sees a Quirky Creator Bring His Unique Touch to One of Gaming's Oldest Genres

Though it's just as offbeat in action as you'd expect from the man behind No More Heroes.

Astalon: Tears of the Earth, a Friendlier Take on the La-Mulana Experience

Coming to you live from the creator of Castle in the Darkness.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon Could Turn out to Be the Best Modern Castlevania Game

…even if it isn't really a Castlevania game.

With Jupiter and Mars, Two Former Game Journalists Hope to Save the Planet

Walk 100 miles in another dolphin's shoes. Or maybe swim. In their fins.

Cave Story Publisher Nicalis Brings an Eclectic Slate of Games to the West

Nicalis' BitSummit 2018 showing in Japan had a big emphasis on Switch games too.

What's the Greatest Mario Game Ever? Find Out Where Mario Odyssey Lands in Our Updated Rankings!

The USgamer team voted on every Super Mario game ever made. Where does Super Mario Odyssey fit in?

The Past was on Prominent Display at BitSummit 2017, but the Event Feels Like The Future

Look past the loving tributes to retro games and Japan's premiere indie games event feels like the natural, inevitable destiny of video gaming.

Shovel Knight Uncovered, Part 4: Final Thoughts on Shovel Knight

DESIGN IN ACTION | And final thoughts in general.

Iconoclasts Offers the Perfect Combination of Vintage SEGA And Nintendo

Konjak brokers peace for the 16-bit console wars.

Bloodstained Goes Medieval on Players... Medieval Japan, That Is

Koji Igarashi is bringing samurai to Victorian England, and he's dressed the part.

We Don't Need a New Castlevania Game When We Have Brave Earth Prologue

Blurring the line between tribute and clone in the nicest way possible.

Line Wobbler: Finally, a Truly One-Dimensional Game

A highlight of this year's BitSummit demonstrated the appeal of the shallow.

Grounding Introduces Beat Legion, the Secret Successor to Phantom Dust

Microsoft's true Phantom Dust follow-up may or may not ever happen, but in the meantime, the game's original creator has something similar in the works.

Suda51 Returns to his Original Indie Work With The 25th Ward

The Silver Case, which launched Grasshopper Manufacture into the world, get a proper sequel at long last.

Final Fantasy VII: A Six-Part Deep Dive Into Square's RPG Classic

From the role of Midgar to Aerith's famous death, we dive deep into an all-time classic.

Hey, the Creators of Pokémon Released a New Game That You Didn't Know About

Game Freak wants you to know Giga Wrecker exists (and it's pretty cool).

One of Japan's Unsung Developers Makes a Move For Independence

The wizards at Hexadrive want to prove they can offer to gaming more than just tech savvy.

Shovel Knight Uncovered, Part 3: How Shovel Knight Justifies Its 8-Bit Allusions

DESIGN IN ACTION | Plenty of games imitate the classics. Few manage to simultaneously embrace and transcend them.

Splatoon and Bomberman Had a Baby and Named It Mekuru

Over Fence presents: The next Switch game that will estrange you from your three best friends.

Love, Peace, Revenge, and Crowdfunding: Keiichi Yano Raps With Us About Project Rap Rabbit

We talk to Keiichi Yano about his joint venture with PaRappa creator Masaya Matsuura.

Mighty Gunvolt Burst: We Talk to Inti Creates About The Upcoming Sequel

Inti Creates gives Mighty No. 9's cast a shot at a happier ending.

Shovel Knight Uncovered, Part 2: The Further Didactic Adventures of Shovel Knight

DESIGN IN ACTION: How the push-and-pull of iterative challenges invisibly eases players into the game's most advanced platforming techniques.

Shovel Knight Uncovered: Breaking Down a Perfect Introduction Screen by Screen

DESIGN IN ACTION | Yacht Club Games' brilliant platformer called back to the golden age of gaming with a reminder that the best tutorial is experience.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 4: Why A Link to the Past's Dungeons Were Perfect

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | In transforming dungeons from combat gauntlets to complex puzzles, the third Zelda reinvented the action RPG.

"The Greatest Star Wars Game Ever": Dark Forces

It's May the 4th! Here's one of our favorite Star Wars games ever!

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 3: Link's Trek Into Darkness

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The third Zelda's big twist was even better than the original's Second Quest.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 2: A Prologue That Spanned the World

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | Link's journey across the entirety of Hyrule was in fact just the beginning of a much larger adventure.

Two SNES Classic Edition Game Collections We Would Like to See

Bonus: We also imagine a (good) Genesis Classic Edition.

A Link to the Past Deep Dive, Part 1: How an Intro Began Redefining the Zelda We Knew

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | We commemorate the 25th anniversary of A Link to the Past’s release in North America by diving deep into what makes it great.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 6: Can Final Fantasy VII's Premise Pass Muster in a Modern Remake?

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | What happens when the good guys are kinda... bad?

Hajime Tabata Reflects on the Transformation of Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV

INTERVIEW | The trials of transforming Versus XIII, preparing a global launch, and making Prompto popular.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 5: An RPG Gets Existential With Its Central Question: "Who Am I?"

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | How an RPG put a new spin on a classic literary concept.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 4: Sephiroth Skewered Our Expectations for RPG Villains... and Our Girlfriend, Too

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | Final Fantasy VII's big bad wasn't all that big, but he was definitely bad.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 3: How a "Rotting Pizza" Defined the Plight of Final Fantasy VII's World

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The oppressive megalopolis at the heart of a classic RPG.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 2: How Materia Completed a Role-play Reversal

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The ultimate evolution of Final Fantasy's game design philosophy amounted to an inversion of RPG tradition.

Final Fantasy VII Deep Dive, Part 1: The Dramatic Opening That Thrust Players into an RPG Revolution

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | But was it really so unprecedented?

The Last Guardian: The Mysterious Castle

DESIGN IN ACTION: The Last Guardian's background story proves to be as enigmatic as its gameplay is predictable.

Design in Action | The Last Guardian: The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Yes, it plays an awful lot like a 15-year-old game... but there's a reason for that.

Design in Action | The Last Guardian: How to be Trained by Your Dragon

Or: How the players got played.

5 Essential SEGA Soundtracks On Spotify

SEGA just dumped a huge collection of game soundtracks on the popular streaming service. Here's where you ought to start.

Our Dreams for Virtual Console on Nintendo Switch

As well as more grounded speculation about the form it's actually likely to take.

Design in Action | Building a Masterpiece, One Detail at A Time

We close out our in-depth look at Castlevania classic Symphony of the Night by exploring the cumulative power of its brilliant little details.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Deep Dive, Part 3: The Metroidvania Lie

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | Such a convenient word, but not the most accurate one.

Switch: No Country For Old Men, Old IPs

Nintendo is leaning on its legacies with Switch, but not to the degree you might expect.

Switch's Greatest Threat Could be Handheld Chauvinism

Can Nintendo convince the world that its new console is a console, not just a beefed-up portable?

Opinion: Switch Isn't for Everyone, But It's Definitely For Me

From concept to software, Nintendo's new console hits all the right notes for at least one USgamer writer.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Deep Dive, Part 2: A Classic's Sublime Structure

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE| How Konami created a new and different Castlevania by building on, and creating contrast to, what had come before.

The Handheld's Last Stand

2017 in Preview: The final days of 3DS and Vita herald the end of an entire way of gaming.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Deep Dive, Part 1: The Story of the Ultimate Sequel

CLASSIC DEEP DIVE | The first entry in a new weekly column kicks things off by exploring the inner workings of a video game classic.

The JRPG is Doing Just Fine, Thanks

2016 IN REVIEW: The year's roster of excellent import role-playing options suggest rumors of the genre's death have been somewhat premature.

Letter from the Editor: A Big Change Ahead for USgamer

Let's talk about what's in store for USG in 2017, shall we?

In Praise of the B-Game

2016 IN REVIEW: As triple-A game design grinds to a stagnant halt, the unexpected return of mid-budget console software keeps things lively, if flawed.

The Last Guardian Won't Change Game Design — But It's a Revolution in Character Design

Fumito Ueda's greatest creation is the creature Trico, not the bog-standard adventure it stars in.

Six Ways Nintendo Could Make Everyone Happy With Super Mario Maker for 3DS

Yeah, the new level-design tool port definitely has some serious shortcomings. Fortunately, we can think of a few easy fixes.

Let Retronauts Fill Your Ears With the Futuristic Sound of FM Synthesis

Jeremy explores one of classic gaming's most popular and iconic audio formats (as seen on TV, via SEGA Genesis!).

Thanksgiving is Over as Retronauts Explores Terrible Games of The ’80s

A look at the dicey boom-era games of ’80s Japan and the vanished studios that made them.

Giving Thanks: Two New Books on a Cult Classic Embody Gaming's Rich Culture

20 years ago, no one cared about SNES RPG EarthBound. Now it's a cottage industry, emblematic of the medium's continued maturation.

As Nintendo Wii Turns 10, So Too Do Retronauts' Complaints About Virtual Console

A decade of lamentations for a potentially brilliant service that never quite lived up to its promise.

On NES Classic Edition and Playing Hard To Get

Why Nintendo keeps partying like it's 1985... and 1996... and 2006.

Will Final Fantasy XV's Big Twist Ruin The Game?

Early details about about FFXV's endgame have emerged, to much consternation.

Nintendo's Animal Crossing Update Turned Out to be Perfectly Timed

Who could have guessed a week ago how precious the dream of civil civic government would become?

What's Next for the NES Classic Edition?

Nintendo's mini-NES seems likely to be a hit... and the first in a long line of inexpensive standalone retro consoles.

Now Even the Retronauts Podcast Is Retro

Our latest classic games podcast collapses into itself in singularity of oldness.

Final Fantasy XV Travel Diary, Final Day: Stray Thoughts and Observations

There's still plenty to see and do in Duscae, but it's time to close the book on this massive RPG (until November 29).

Retronauts Gets Kooky, Spooky, Altogether Ooky

The ghost of Bob Mackey returns to tell us the haunting tale of an unbeatable (?) NES death gauntlet: Fester's Quest.

Final Fantasy XV Travel Diary, Day Three: Authentic Road Trip

The greatest strength of this Japanese RPG just might be how perfectly it captures the experience of trekking through the American hinterlands.

Nintendo's Switch: Last Bastion of the Mid-budget and Niche Game?

The upcoming console may be the console market's last hope to prevent what was once its core product from migrating entirely to Steam and mobile.

We Rank the Games of Nintendo's NES Classic Edition

The USgamer team weighs in on the 30 titles included with the upcoming miniature NES, from crummiest to coolest.

How Will Nintendo Switch Change Our Favorite Games?

Nintendo's next system will play host to lots of familiar series. We speculate how they'll take advantage of the unconventional hardware.

Final Fantasy XV Travel Diary, Day Two: Force Your Way

An in-depth look at Final Fantasy XV's combat system, and how it's improved from the early demos.

Red Dead Redemption's Curious 8-Bit Origin Story

How 2017's Western juggernaut can trace its family history all the way back to the frontier days of 1985.

What Does Nintendo Switch Mean for Virtual Console?

Classic games have been a key component of Nintendo's console strategy for a decade, but will that remain true for its new system?

Final Fantasy XV Travel Diary, Day One: Against All Odds

Jeremy goes hands-on with six hours of Square Enix's troubled RPG and finds all that time and trouble have happily paid off with an excellent new take on Final Fantasy.

This Week's Retronauts is Like Lovin' an Elevator

A look back to that brilliant but rarely seen mid-'90s arcade classic, Elevator Action II.

Retronauts Looks at Preserving Game History—Not Just Games Themselves

The founders of the Video Game History Foundation discuss the passions and challenges behind the establishment of their new non-profit organization.

Paper Mario's Evolution from RPG to Adventure Game Draws a Line to a Forgotten Corner of Nintendo's Past

The series' gradual genre shift may be unpopular, but it's not unprecedented.

At 30, Castlevania May be Dead, But Its Influence Lingers Beyond The Grave

Happy anniversary, Simon Belmont! Too bad your bloodline is as deceased as Dracula himself.

Oasis Games' PSVR Lineup Demonstrates the Texture of VR, if Not Its Breadth

By working in only two genres, Oasis' first four PSVR titles demonstrate the range of possibilities within VR applications for familiar game types.

Does It Hold Up? Super Mario Maker

A year on, Jeremy looks back at Nintendo's excellent level-design tool and asks, "Does it still seem excellent?"

If Sonic's New Games are Half as Good as Their Marketing, We're in for a Treat

Who knows if the Sonic Cycle will ever be broken, but at least our social media will never be dull.

Blog: Breaking With the Consensus (and Being OK With That)

So, you fell in love with a game that everyone hates. Does that mean you're broken and empty inside?

Retronauts Explores the Slow-Burn Strength of Dragon Quest VII

Conventional wisdom holds that DQVII's enormous size and glacial pace undermine the experience, but is that really true?

Shriek With Childlike Delight for This N64 Episode Of Retronauts

It's like Christmas in September!

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