Video Game Pricing Through the Ages

No wonder Nintendo has so much money!


#537 – Video games… kind of an expensive hobby, no? Ever wondered if gaming used to cost more back in the day, or if the prices have only gone up? When you take inflation of the US dollar into account, the information is quite interesting!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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When We Were Newbs

Please forgive us for our ignorance.


#502 – Sure, we might LOOK like pros, but we were once a couple of newbs just like the general populous. We did things back in the day that make our more mature-gamer-selves cringe. But at least we’re man enough to admit those past shortcomings! Have you ever been a newb? Sure you were. Hopefully, you can relate to some of the funny stories we share in today’s episode of the Two Button Crew show!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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The Best Nintendo Buttons Of All Time

Maybe one day, buttons will slide in and out of controllers just like Joy-Con on a Switch, and everyone can be happy.


Buttons. Do you like click? Sponge? Analog, or digital? Diamond layout, or some shaped like beans? For every button Nintendo makes, there are a plethora of preferences. Which controllers or handhelds have the buttons that you like most? Do you agree with Scott or Simeon’s picks – or neither?! Let us know in the comment section!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Death of NES Classic Edition + SNES Rumors

Finally, Scott can say that he’s owned an SNES!


You’ve heard all the rumors, right? NES Classic Edition production is being ended, while it seems Nintendo is ramping up for the creation of the SNES Classic Edition. That’s good news; they seem to be starting earlier this year, so if all goes as planned, there should be a lot more Nintendo stocking stuffers to go around this year when they rerelease their “new” retro console. Footage credit: GameXplain

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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Why We Are Nintendo Fans

Because Nintendo does what everywon’t.


When is the last time you stopped and asked yourself the question: Why AM I a Nintendo fan? That’s exactly what we’re doing on the NF YouTube channel today – join in the comments!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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How Switch Combines Past Systems

No idea why they didn’t mention the Virtual Boy at all…


The Nintendo Switch is the product of over 30 years of hardware manufacturing. Its designers learned a lot along the way, and have kept the best features of each console that proceeded it. The result is a Nintendo system that has a little bit of everything!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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Hacking the Mini NES Classic Edition

We forgot to examine the aspect of fun. This WOULD be fun to do.


Nintendo’s recent rerelease of their very first home console has a design flaw… it’s hackable. That’s right, you can hook it up to your computer and load games onto the hardware that Nintendo never intended you to have access to on the miniature device. This is a great opportunity, but it has legal, technical, and even moral implications that must be examined first! Let us do the research for you and then you can make up your mind after this video. Let us know your stance in the comments!

Nintendo’s stance

Game Capture Credits: Philip J Reed | NakaTeleeli | ColeNL112 | arronmunroe

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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Kirby and Well Rounded Powers

This last June, Kirby: Planet Robobot was released state-side, quickly receiving praise from critics and fans alike. Needless to say—being the avid Kirby fan that I am—I jumped on it six months after the fact because I wanted to complete Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam first. What? Grad school doesn’t leave me with much time to spend on getting through my backlog, okay? Regardless, I’d say, without hesitation, that this is the best of the “modern-style” Kirby games that started with Return to Dreamland. Great music, enough of a plot to keep things interesting, lots of fan-service, and a gimmick that actually meshes with the core gameplay instead of being an intrusive pace-killer. And as with any Kirby game, it features new powers! And they…kind of suck, to be honest.

And as with any Kirby game, Planet Robobot features new powers! And they kind of suck, to be honest.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the requisite suck pun out of the way, let’s talk powers. Kirby’s copy abilities were first introduced in Kirby’s Adventure, released in 1993 for the Famicom and NES. These abilities gave Kirby a single attack that imitated the ability of an enemy character. The concept remained much the same until Kirby Super Star in 1996 when most—but not all—copy abilities were given a variety of techniques the pink protagonist could perform based on what button combination the player inputted. Some abilities have traditionally had very few individual attacks, while others let the player revel in a vast array of possibilities. For the most part, entries in the franchise have followed one of the two aforementioned schemes, with the Super Star style being more prevalent as well as what the recent titles use.

So, let’s examine how the evolution of this system effects powers individually and each game’s gameplay as a whole.

Number of Attacks

As stated before, the number of available moves in each ability’s repertoire has increased from the copy mechanic’s introduction. In Kirby’s Adventure, each power only had one attack (though one could argue backdrop and U.F.O. are exceptions). This allowed players to easily pick their favorites and avoid those they didn’t like. This also, unfortunately, meant that powers easily got stale and that few, if any, abilities stood out as particularly fun. Strangely, I’d argue that the game made it work; since no one power (or at the least, commonly available one) stood out as “the fun one” the player wasn’t inclined to become attached to what he currently had, meaning he would be more willing to part with it, making for more dynamic gameplay.

And an adorable picture of Kirby being a narcissist.
Kirby’s Adventure only provided one page for it’s copy ability descriptions, most of it flavor text.

Kirby Super Star changed this by assigning multiple attacks to most copy abilities. This drastically changed the dynamic as now each power became far less situational. Copy abilities on average had somewhere between four and seven attacks and a list of them was conveniently provided on the pause screen. I must commend the designers, as most of the abilities are fun to use with only a handful of duds. That said, the expanded move set does mean players are going to find some abilities more fun than others, meaning they’ll be less willing to part with them which ultimately discourages the varied gameplay Kirby’s Adventure had.

Then there’s the current generation of Kirby games. For brevity’s sake, I’m only going discuss the current gen powers featured in Kirby: Planet Robobot (and probably totally not because I’m too lazy to switch cartridges on my 3DS or boot up my Wii). The number of moves for this new set of powers typically weighs in around eight to eleven, with a few of the attacks being variations of or similar in function to others. This produces a state of decision paralysis when trying to learn the new abilities, especially when two attacks are similar. For the majority of new abilities, I would look at the move list and think to myself, “surely there’s a proper time or context for this attack.” Unfortunately, there often isn’t, at least not that I can see. Notably, most of the older abilities are similar to their previous iterations, if not completely untouched. In my opinion, this makes the classics more approachable gameplay-wise as most of them are easier to learn with attacks that have a clear and easily understood purpose. The one new copy ability in the game I genuinely liked, ESP, happened to be the one with the simplest move set.

...which probably means yo-yo will never make another appearance...
Coincidentally, this ability’s costume also resembles one of my favorite powers from Kirby Super Star.

Copy Ability Versatility and Variety

So what does having a wide array of moves do for Kirby’s copy abilities? In short, more moves theoretically increases the versatility of the ability. If one move allows Kirby to easily dispatch a foe in front of him and another move defeats opponents above him, the player is equipped to handle two different scenarios. There are two main factors in determining a copy ability’s versatility: range and what I like to call “angle of attack”, with the presence of a defensive ability making for a third factor of nominal importance.

There are two main factors in determining a copy ability’s versatility: range and what I like to call “angle of attack”.

Range is self-explanatory; it’s simply how far the attack reaches. Short range attacks require Kirby to be near his target to be effective; long range allows Kirby to rain cute death upon his foes from a safe distance. Simple. Angle of attack isn’t much more complicated. Heck, I’ve already given an example of it in the previous paragraph. It simply determines where the opponent has to be for the attack to hit him. In the context of Kirby, there four basic angles of attack: upwards, sideways, downwards, and radius attacks—the last of which refers to attacks that strike in all directions (they’re common enough to warrant their own classification). Of the two, angle of attack has the most influence over an abilities versatility.

As I’m sure you’ve already figured out, the copy abilities in Kirby’s Adventure provide only one angle of attack of set range. High-jump attacks opponents above Kirby at close-range (though Kirby covers a long distance in the process), while spark attacks enemies within a short radius of Kirby. Kirby Super Star expands the role of most copy powers, allowing Kirby to make use of multiple angles of attack with a single ability. That said, most powers are still limited in range or angle of attack, requiring the player to plan around his ability’s limitations or find one more suited for the situation at hand. For the ones that do provide good coverage of all angles, they are usually rare or have some sort of drawback, like yo-yo’s long attack animations.

Here’s where my second issue with more recent copy abilities comes into play: they’re too well rounded. Most of the new abilities include attacks for every angle and often times multiple ranges too. Lacking weaknesses actually makes them less fun, not necessarily because it makes the game too easy (it’s Kirby; it’s always easy) but because they all feel very samey. Even some of the older powers have received similar revisions, like the unnecessary addition of an upward attack to the stone ability’s move list. Admittedly, this is a rather technical complaint and probably doesn’t apply to everyone.

Lacking weaknesses actually makes copy abilities less fun.

Refinement is a Subtractive Process

Despite most of its new powers not being particularly interesting, Planet Robobot actually does adhere to the limited copy ability design that I’m advocating, specifically the robobot powers. Each robobot copy ability has a very limited moveset, and as a result, each one feels unique. And just so it’s clear that I’m not being a nostalgia-blind curmudgeon, I like most the ideas for each ability (leaf and archer were long overdue), and I think if Hal streamlined the abilities so that they fulfilled a unique niche, instead of every niche, they would have some real winners.

I just love the armor's tiny feet! I don't even know why; I just think the suit's proportions are cool.
The robobot armor’s sword ability only has three attacks. Three incredibly satisfying, easy-to-use attacks.

For those familiar with my previous work, these points probably sound quite similar to my second article, The Streamlined Turnabout. While feature-rich games and mechanics are great (especially from a marketing perspective), continually adding ideas runs the risk of producing bloat. Much like cutting and polishing a diamond to make it shine, video games can greatly benefit from the occasional trim.


About the Author: Glen is a lifelong Nintendo fan whose love of video games has inspired him to pursue a career in computer programming. He is currently studying for his masters in Computer Science at Oklahoma State University. His first Kirby game was Kirby 64, which led to a lot of confusion when trying to figure out how to make combo abilities in Kirby Super Star.

Beat it Blind: Dr. Mario (NES Classic)

We’re gonna be so pro by the end of the series! eSports, come at us, bro!


Dr. Mario history runs deep in Scott’s family. Almost enough to where he could beat levels with his eyes closed by himself – but not quite! He needs a little bit of Simeon’s help, and vice versa! Today the daring duo takes on an incredible challenge, to clear away viruses without the use of their eyes and only the guiding voice of their companion to help. Timing is very important in this puzzle game, and colors MUST be matched if success is to be attained. Lend the Crew your power as you watch – and enjoy!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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3 Word Game Descriptions?!

A score of 11 makes us certified Nintendo geniuses!


Are there any video games that you know SO well that you could name them when only a single word is uttered about them? Maybe you could pull it off with a pair or trio of descriptive words about the game? That’s the exact challenge that Simeon and Scott have attempted in this episode. It’s not quite as hard as it sounds, but no proper nouns are allowed. It would make the game all too easy. So, how did they do? You can also play along as you watch – keep track of your score, and post it in the comments section below.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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NES Classic – Super C (Contra Gameplay)

When your BFF gets the machine gun, the bullet spreader, AND then dies right away.


In an effort to live up to his brothers’ reputation, Scott takes the NES controller, plugs its short cord into the NES Classic Edition console, and tried to make some headway in the Contra sequel, Super C. Of course, as always, Simeon joined him for the effort and ironically performed far better than his cohost counterpart. The few attempts are amusing, and hopefully you enjoy the retro nostalgia goodness!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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What?!? Most Surprising Nintendo Plot Twists

This might be the first episode for which Scott just didn’t even try to prepare content.


Simeon has really knocked it out of the park and collected a list of the best surprising story turns in Nintendo history. These are the moments that made you stop and say ‘wow’ as you watched it unfold in front of you on the screen. Nintendo doesn’t often focus on story, but when they do, they write some exciting moments.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Why the NES Classic Edition is Pure Genius

I’ve been playing a lot of NES Classic Edition around the Holidays, and it’s a big hit. I think Nintendo hit it out of the park for multiple reasons, and I’m going to go in depth on each one!

Brand Top of Mind (in Absence of Switch)

Nintendo wouldn’t be kidding anyone if they told us that they didn’t want the Nintendo Switch to be released this holiday season. The November weekend before Thanksgiving is their favorite day to launch their biggest hardware and software, year over year. Yet they couldn’t quite make it in time for the 2016 Holidays, so the Switch will be releasing on their second-favorite slot: March. That left kind of a gaping hole in November, so Nintendo brilliantly filled it with the NES Classic Edition.

What’s going to be on every Christmas list? What is going to get brought out at family gatherings? The NES, or even simply, “the Nintendo.”

The brand might not have the benefit of the buzz through their new console this winter, but everyone’s going to be repeating their name thanks to their throwback console.

Nostalgia is Big Right Now

Who knew that 2016 would be such a perfect year to be a ’90s kid? Everything that was old is new again, and gaming, film, and TV industries have all wizened up and they’re repackaging our memories of old and selling them to us all over again. Nintendo is no different. Their stable of IPs is in the top 5 strongest in the world, among the likes of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars (or should I say, Disney, Disney, and Disney).

The NES Classic Edition was a very calculated move. Down to the packaging on the box and each and every commercial, the marketing has been a complete throwback. There’s not a young-to-middle-aged adult alive who wouldn’t want to pick up the perfect replica of that controller. Nintendo didn’t wait too long for this and they didn’t do it too soon – the timing is just right.

It’s Not Just 3rd Parties

Nintendo has been working on this console rerelease for quite awhile. Want to know how I know? Because of all the licensing deals that went into it! They could have scraped together 25 or 30 first-party IPs and shipped it out, but instead they held meetings and struck deals with other companies, allowing third-parties to get in on the action. In my experience, Contra has been one of the most recognizable names on the system (albeit in the game Super C), so it’s a good thing that Nintendo branched out and expanded the library through its partners. The Big N doesn’t get to keep 100% of the profits anymore, but I think it was well worth it. I’m just surprised news of the mini-console didn’t leak with other companies being brought into the circle.

It Has Spot-On Emulation

I didn’t realize just how bad the NES emulation was on Wii U until I saw it in contrast to the NES Classic Edition.

Trust me, if you haven’t seen the difference in emulation quality, you will be appalled. Nintendo didn’t do so hot with NES games on Wii U, but we really couldn’t ask for better than the Classic Edition. With the three different display options and the boost in brightness and clarity over Wii U, it just can’t be beaten.

It’s Literally a Stocking-Stuffer

This thing is so small. I know that the first image Nintendo released of this console, it showed the mini-NES sitting in a model’s hand. Still, my mind didn’t quite grasp the size. It wasn’t until I opened up the tiny box and held the even-tinier console replica that I understood just how small it is! It’s absolutely fun-sized. And I think it could actually fit in kids’ stockings this Christmas. This thing has the potential to be the #1 impulse-buy of 2016, if Nintendo could only just produce enough to fill up store’s end-caps.

Also, the price is perfect. You see that the thing is $60, you see that 30 games are included, you do a little quick math in your head and you exclaim “That’s only $2 per game!” That’s literally every consumer’s thought process. Everyone feels like they are getting a steal of a deal. If there were only 25 games included or if the console was $70, the story would be completely different. Nintendo hit the bulls-eye on this one.


I’m really happy about this product. I’m a huge NES fan and I’ve actually been wanting Nintendo to reproduce the system for many years. I never had the idea of it being miniature and coming with packed-in games, but they absolutely made the right choice with that design. There’s no bulky consoles or rows of cartridges taking up shelf-space, just this little joy of a system. I hope all the TBC fans who want one are able to find a console of their own! Nintendo really needs to stop playing so conservative with their supplies and just make more of these things. But Foxconn is probably busy making Switch parts, and I won’t complain about that.

NES Mario Games on a DDR Dance Pad

Next thing you know we’ll be stomping on actual Gamecube controllers.


There’s really nothing too weird for Simeon and Scott to attempt, so long as it pertains to Nintendo gaming. The Crew is taking it to a new level by attempting to beat classic Super Mario Bros stages using only a Gamecube Dance Dance Revolution dance pad. This challenge was suggested by viewer Glen – thanks for the idea! It’s a blast.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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Nintendo’s Most Generous Offers

On Thanksgiving day, what could be more appropriate than recounting the generosity of Nintendo for which we are so thankful?


In the USA, today is the wonderful Holiday of Thanksgiving! So in a reflective episode, we take the time to think back on the times that Nintendo has been the most generous. Sure, we understand that they are a business and they have to make money in order to stay afloat and continue to provide us with great experiences… Yet! This video contains some great examples of Nintendo going out of their way to make customers feel valued and important, and for those we are very thankful.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Classics Never Age

With the release of the NES Classic Edition just a couple days ago, I can’t help but reflect on what makes classic Nintendo games so special. Since those 8-bit days years back, technology has advanced an exponential amount, but yet, we keep going back to the hits of yesteryear. Why is this? In the present day and age of 4K television sets, Nintendo is releasing a system with games over 30 years old. This seems very ironic, and at the same time, it just seems right. For those who don’t know, the NES Classic will include 30 classic NES games, all in HD. It could, of course, be a Holiday filler for Nintendo in what otherwise may be considered a drought, but nonetheless, it’s something I am personally pumped about!

I have to admit that I own 95% of these games already, most of them through virtual console and the ambassador program. That being said, I am still getting an NES Classic. Maybe it’s the fact that all of the games are in an incredible looking shrunken NES, or because you can experience them with a replica NES controller, or maybe because I am way too quick to throw my money at Nintendo. Regardless, this is such a great way to appeal to seasoned gamers who can never get enough, and new gamers wanting to experience these games for the very first time.

These titles never really seem to age, and when I say “age,” I mean go out of style. Once in a while I go back to a Nintendo 64 game and the frame rate is just so bad that I have to stop. But NES games (most of them) don’t seem to bother my eyes as much. On top of that, the 8-bit style seems to be trending; that is, it’s cool again. I feel like the classic style is viewed as an art form today. Not only the graphics, but the music as well. Whenever I play a really old game, I always admire all of the limitations that the developers were up against, yet they still managed to provide a fun experience. Some developers are still taking advantage of this. Yacht Club Games recently developed Shovel Knight. I can’t even begin to describe how much I enjoyed my experience with that game. Despite all of the advances in game development techniques and top notch engines, they made Shovel Knight with a very classic feel, sound, and challenge. It sold well – REALLY well. This just supports the argument that graphics are not everything, and in fact, I view them as secondary (but that is a rant for another time).

Not only do these games capture an art style that never gets old, they provide a level of challenge that almost goes unmatched today. I can’t even count the number of times that I spent 40 minutes trying to get through a stage in Kid Icarus and collecting as many hearts as possible to power up, while missing the final jump in a level by a pixel and falling to my death (I’m finished!). The games can be relentless, they can be mean, they can make fun of you, and they can even be unfair. But I feel like this only adds to their personalities. I will never forget the feelings of accomplishment that I achieved when I first defeated Medusa, Mother Brain, and Ganon for the very first time. You have to WORK for it. If you are having a tough time beating a level, there will not be a character pop up to offer help. You have to get better, or there will not be any progression. I understand that Nintendo has to appeal to a much broader crowd now days, and I have absolutely no problem with the helping systems they put in place, but sometimes it’s nice to play a game that respects one’s level of skill.

Nintendo knows that they are sitting on a gold mine of classic games. In my opinion, the NES Classic Edition is a fantastic idea, despite the fact that most of these games have been released countless times in the past. It’s something that old and new gamers alike can enjoy. These games are like wine and cheese. They only get better with age.

All Nintendo Console’s Final Games

Depper. Large. These are the words you must put in the title of your game if you want it to be a success in Japan.


Some games get the honor of singing the sweet swan song for their console as it passes into history. We’ve found each game that Nintendo and 3rd parties published last for every console – enjoy!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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What to Do About NES Classic’s Short Cords?

This may just lead to the NES-eyeball epidemic of 2016.


The NES Classic Edition is afflicted with short cords. We’re talking 3 feet long controller cables. What is a gamer to do in this situation? We’ve got three options for you.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Famicom Classic Edition – All You Should Know

Well, the controllers are attached, but at least they are miniature sized! …Wait…


Japan is getting their own miniature version of the classic 8-bit console, and we’re here to discuss all the important differences between the NES Classic Edition.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Beat it Blind: Super Mario Bros. (SNES)

We went for twice as long, but got no further. It’s tough to give no for an answer.


Can the Crew meld their teamwork power together in order to pass World 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros? Watch and see!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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