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The Late Movies: Nintendo Preview Music Jam

Tonight on The Late Movies, an important historical document of the early 1990s: Nintendo Preview Music Jam. Although there are only three volumes online, they give us three hours of video game AND hip hop nostalgia, rolled into a nice package. What's going on here? Basically, it's somebody playing Nintendo games while a professionally mixed hip hop soundtrack grooves on in the background. These videos were available on VHS in 1991, and I distinctly remember seeing one of them in middle school.

There's something very weird about watching video of somebody else playing Nintendo games...while listening to a fairly rad DJ mix of hip hop...from twenty years ago. Um. Enjoy, my fellow nerds!

Volume 1

This starts a bit slowly -- jump to 8:20 if you want to hear the mix deftly cruise into "Nasty Boys" as we watch someone play Street Fighter 2010. The unlikeliest highlight is "The Humpty Dance" backing up Wizardry (around 49 minutes in).

Volume 2

"It is the nineties and and there is time for... KLAX." ?!

Volume 3

This one starts with "The Humpty Dance" and Mega Man II. I think they were running out of ideas.

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If you like these, you might enjoy the Game Player's Gametape series -- corny instructional videos showing how to get through NES games. Heck, I'll embed one here:

(Via GameSetWatch.)

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"American Mall," Bloomberg
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Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Mario Kart Is Coming to Your Smartphone
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iStock

Nintendo had a lot to boast about during its quarterly financial reports this week. The company’s latest console/handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, has already sold more units (14.86 million) in its first 10 months than its previous console, the Wii U, did (13.56 million) during its entire five-year lifespan. That news was bolstered by the company revealing its two heavy-hitters, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, were massive commercial successes, with 6.70 and 9.07 million copies sold, respectively.

That’s great if you’re a shareholder, but if you’re just a gamer, the real news came when Nintendo revealed that Mario Kart will soon make its way to smartphones. Titled Mario Kart Tour, this will be the company’s fifth mobile endeavor, following games like Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, as well as the soon-to-be-defunct Miitomo app.

Since debuting on the Super Nintendo in 1992, Mario Kart has been one of the company's most reliable franchises. Even on a system that flopped like the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 managed to sell 8 million units on its way to becoming the console's top-selling game. And when that same title was ported to the Nintendo Switch, it moved another 7 million units. For both Nintendo and its fans, the mobile version is a no-brainer.

So what’s actually known about Mario Kart Tour? Well, it’ll be out in the fiscal year, which ends in March 2019. Other than that, you’ll just have to wait for Nintendo to release its patented slow trickle of news over the next few months (though you can expect it on both iOS and Android, like the company's other mobile titles). Until then, you’ll have to dust off that old copy of Mario Kart: Double Dash or splurge on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to get your fill of blue shells and errant banana peels.

[h/t The Verge]

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