Editor in Chief of SUPERJUMP
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The SUPERJUMP team present our top picks from gaming’s last decade

This week is momentous for gamers around the world. The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are launching in multiple territories. In just a few days’ time, millions of gamers will be going hands-on with the most advanced video game hardware ever produced. And we’ll all be getting early glimpses of what the next generation of gaming promises.

Of course, as exciting as new platform launches are, we know that they only offer a small taste of what’s to come. We are now accustomed to multiple waves of games appearing within a single console’s lifecycle. The PlayStation 4, for example, launched with titles like Killzone Shadow Fall but is ending its seven-year run with Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II, and Watch Dogs Legion. …


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How a series of strange clone machines gave birth to the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo is the most famous video game company in the world today. Much like “Hoover” became synonymous with vacuuming, and “Google” with online search, “Nintendo” — at least for a time — was the synonym for video games. The company’s rise as a video game powerhouse is legendary. The iconic Nintendo Entertainment System is generally recognised as a catalyst for the rebirth of an entire industry, especially given its role in helping video games to overcome the disastrous crash of 1983.

But did you know that the famous and much-loved NES is actually not Nintendo’s first home video game console?

In fact, Nintendo took several tentative steps into the field of electronic entertainment prior to the NES’s arrival. …


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Bethesda’s “wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle” experiences are exactly what I need right now

I have been on a Bethesda kick lately. It should be noted that I’m one of those insufferable folks who occasionally complains about a gaming backlog that’s too large to jump over. Re-downloading and starting Skyrim from the very beginning undoubtedly torches any hope I had of clearing said backlog. It gets worse though. Only a few weeks before Skyrim returned to my PS4, I fired up Fallout: New Vegas and started it again from the beginning. Oh, and somewhere along the line I also had another crack at Fallout 4.

I know what you’re thinking. In my own defence, let me just point out that I’d already completed both Skyrim and Fallout 4 long ago. New Vegas is the only game of the three I’d never finished. In fact — for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear to me — I had played New Vegas a couple of times and stopped right as I reached the Vegas Strip. Yes, I know; that’s where the game really starts. …


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It’s time to revive SEGA’s groundbreaking home console

Talk to any Sega Dreamcast owner and you’re almost guaranteed to hear the sermon. It comes in various forms, but the underlying message is always the same: the Dreamcast is an under appreciated console classic. Many gamers would describe Sega’s final game console as their favourite. And it’s not hard to see why. The Dreamcast featured numerous hardware innovations (the Visual Memory Unit attempted to blur the barrier between console and handheld gaming, and the console was the first to ship with an included modem). It is also remembered as being somewhat bohemian, for lack of a better word. …


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The limited-time freebie is a genius remix of the classic Mario formula

There is something truly delicious about nabbing a power star, ploughing through a dozen Goombas, Koopa Troopas, a couple of Hammer Bros., and three Bowsers, only to see them overwhelm my hapless opponent. We were the surviving two (out of thirty-five) contestants in the ultimate test of Super Mario Bros. skill. The last several minutes of our epic clash in the Mushroom Kingdom had resembled an escalating tennis match; a veritable Noah’s Ark of classic Mario enemies flooded back-and-forth between our gameplay sessions. …


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CELEBRATING MARIO’S 35TH BIRTHDAY

Part Two: Knocking on Nintendo’s door

You can read Part One of my story here, which details my introduction to Mario and the massive impact he had on my relationship with my father.

Throughout my entire childhood, Nintendo in general — and Mario in particular — continued to be a powerful force for emotional stability in my life. Dad and I expanded our gaming repertoire (he introduced me to everything from Journey to Silius to Super Castlevania IV). This story could simply end with me saying “and that’s how I became a Nintendo fan”, which would be reasonable enough. …


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CELEBRATING MARIO’S 35TH BIRTHDAY

Part One: A childhood saviour who brought a family together

I don’t believe in fate. The real beauty of the future is that it has yet to be written. The road only emerges as we walk it, and not before. I like thinking about the future this way; far from seeing a linear path disappearing over the horizon ahead of me, I see an endless network of potential futures. A possibility space.

Perhaps we are tempted to think of time as a linear stream of predictable or fated events because of how we regard the present and the past. I’m now 37 years old. I’m sure my life could have turned out any number of different ways. Sheer dumb luck is, of course, the biggest contributor here; I didn’t get to choose my country of birth, or my parents, or my gender, or anything else about myself. Even my innate talents and motivations aren’t exactly chosen by me; they are simply the hand I’ve been dealt. Similarly, many of the pivotal events that shaped my life are — if you really interrogate them — chance moments. There’s absolutely no reason these events should have unfolded the way they did. …


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245 pages of pure nostalgia

I love collecting video game books. Years ago, they were as rare as hen’s teeth. Not only that, but when certain books were released, they never made it to Australia. For example, I only managed to acquire Game Over by David Sheff (which is perhaps the most significant book about Nintendo ever written) because a friend in the U.S. sent me his old copy as a gift. It’s one of my most treasured possessions.

It’s now much easier to import various books in general, but there are also many more being produced every year. I suspect that games have been around long enough that there’s now a sizeable market of folks who are prepared to invest in high-end, premium products that celebrate their favourite franchises. I’m not referring to the resurgence of boutique video game magazines, either; I’m talking about specialty hardcover books produced by the likes of Cook & Becker and Bitmap Books. …


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Let’s take a closer look at the titles proposed for the collection

Reports have been circulating for months suggesting that Nintendo is on the cusp of revealing a massive 35th anniversary Mario collection. You could think of it like a sequel to Super Mario All-Stars, which debuted on the SNES in the ’90s, and contained the first three Super Mario Bros. games from the NES (along with The Lost Levels). In that version, the games were all “remastered” to feature shiny new 16-bit graphics. There is some evidence that Nintendo is working on a new anniversary collection, but folks have repeatedly predicted that it would be revealed in a Nintendo Direct that (as of writing this), hasn’t yet occurred. So who knows if it’s actually happening, or if Nintendo have other plans. …


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A whole new generation of kids is cleaning up virtual poop

POG. Beanie Babies. Tickle Me Elmo. Tamagotchi. These are just some of the memorable toy fads that swept across vast swathes of the globe in recent decades. Of all the things that can drive millions of humans to sudden, collective, impulsive madness, I find toys among the most curious. I suspect it’s because I’m a product designer myself. There’s something intriguing about the idea that a team of people work on something for months (maybe more), unleash it on the world, and then see it flourish exponentially across the planet.

Tamagotchi is notable in my mind because of the way it so expertly fused a digital experience with a physical product. Given that this line of products took the world by storm in the late ’90s, there’s a good chance that at least some of you may not be intimately familiar with the phenomenon. So here’s a quick primer; I’ll be as brief as possible. …

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