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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for anyone interested in video games
I read the book cover to cover over a span of 3 days (it's hard to put down). Each chapter stands on its own, so it's easy to read in small segments as well.

Because game developers draw from other titles for inspiration, the book will reference itself as applicable to show how these influences propagated across games over time. There are numerous examples of...
Published on March 24, 2009 by Daniel Chisarick

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but disappointing
I really wanted to love this book, but ultimately found it a bit underwhelming. I don't really have a problem with the choice of games featured, but found the book's execution lacking.

Firstly, the chapters were inconsistent. One would look at cultural impact of the title it was discussing, but not really explain the game sufficiently (not a problem if you're...
Published on January 29, 2010 by Andrew Utting


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for anyone interested in video games, March 24, 2009
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
I read the book cover to cover over a span of 3 days (it's hard to put down). Each chapter stands on its own, so it's easy to read in small segments as well.

Because game developers draw from other titles for inspiration, the book will reference itself as applicable to show how these influences propagated across games over time. There are numerous examples of what did/didn't work, as well as discussion to support these claims. Additionally, several of the supplemental/external references are available over the web, so pursuing areas of interest is easy.

As the title says, the book is about influential games, which aren't always the best-selling games (though they usually inspire a best-selling game if the original work wasn't a hit in its own right). It's a collection of 'firsts', as well as cataloging those that followed (with varying degrees of success).

Ultimately it was a very enjoyable read that flowed very well from chapter to chapter. Certainly it was nostalgic thinking back to when those earlier games were released, but the combination of the discussion and additional insight made it like living those experiences for the first time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Sons Love This Book, February 23, 2010
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
I bought this book for my teenaged sons, who are enthusiastic video game fans and love reciting the history of games and gaming systems. Even they found out things from this book that they did not know. The full-color pictures on almost every page are great and brought back a lot of memories of my early gaming days! What they liked best was how detailed and fact-filled the descriptions of the games were; the authors definitely know their video games.

The other surprising thing about this book is how hefty it is. I expected a lightweight book with a few pages on each game. It is actually a thick book and surprisingly high quality. It is about time a book like this was available, putting all the information in one place instead of relying on "flashback" articles in Nintendo Power or other gaming magazines.

I look forward to your next one!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but disappointing, January 29, 2010
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
I really wanted to love this book, but ultimately found it a bit underwhelming. I don't really have a problem with the choice of games featured, but found the book's execution lacking.

Firstly, the chapters were inconsistent. One would look at cultural impact of the title it was discussing, but not really explain the game sufficiently (not a problem if you're familiar enough with the games, but it could be frustrating if not). Another would describe the game in a lot of detail, but gloss over the history too easily. It would have made for a better read if there was a consistent structure to each chapter - description of the game, history of the developer, precedents leading to that game, impact (culturally and on the gaming industry) of the game.

Secondly, the actual writing felt sub-par at times. Too many times it would introduce a topic, and then literally say "We will now discuss this". Exclamation marks appear a bit too often. A bit of judicious editing would've helped the flow of reading the actual text.

There are numerous images through-out the book, but a little too many of box art and not enough of the games. For example, the chapter on "Pole Position" only contains a single screenshot of "Pole Position" itself (admittedly, not a game that needs many screenshots to get the idea across). The screenshots also don't always focus on things that the text is making a point of saying were important/a major innovation.

A minor quibble is every time a game is mentioned that is has a chapter to itself, the chapter is always mentioned in full after the game e.g. "... a game like Super Mario Bros (Chapter 19, 'Super Mario Bros (1985): How High Can Jumpman Get?') wasn't ...". I understand why this is done, but after seeing it for the 50th time interrupting the flow of the text, it became rather frustrating.

Theres no doubt a lot of work has gone into this, and I discovered a lot of history I was unaware of. I just wish it had been a better read than it was.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for anyone who loves Video Games!, March 20, 2009
This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
A great book for anyone who ever loved or is in love with video games. Most of the games explored in this book I grew up on and I have many memories sitting in front of our small 13 inch tv playing thenm. The Final Fantasy VII chapter is great and just made me relive some moments as a young girl who couldn't put this game down. This makes a great gift and I highly recommend anyone who loves to play video games.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video game lineages, July 17, 2009
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
Bought this title on an impulse and haven't even used the "look inside the book" button here at Amazon. I thought at first that the book would be more game designer centric, dealing with technical, mechanical and structural details of the games. Rather than that the book is focused with the lineage of each game.

By lineage I mean that the book tries to follow the branches that influenced more games later in time. As in biology, some branches were filled with leafs, while others whithered and died.

So each chapter deals with the games that left some heritage after them. Unfortunately some chapters are really less inspired than others. The chapter explaining the roots of the stealth games (Metal Gear and the like) are superbly written while others are less so. Sometimes it feels you're just reading a huge list of titles, with no further contextualization.

Another issue the layout of some pages. The pictures are beautiful and huge, but the text wrapping the pictures has no logical flow. You're reading a paragraph and then the rest of the text goes to the end of another page. Better pictures should be used too. The chapter on racing games really lacks the pictures from the arcade machines they described.

All in all a good work of archeology, but requires a little furnishing to be used as tool for the aspiring game designer looking for the inner workings of the great games of yore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight, March 8, 2012
This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
A good book providing an interesting look at some unforgettable videogames and how different titles influenced each other throughout the years. Some choices and comparisons are debatable but this doesn't detract from the overall appeal of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, March 29, 2009
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Stu George "3x3eyes" (Virginia (USA) + Melbourne (Aus)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
Wow, this is a great book, something I guess people call a real page turner. Glossy pages with full color photos. I love the progression from the begining of a type of game (think say, Karate Champ) to its logical progression. There is an abundance of screenshots (I wont say overabundance, you can never have enough!), and its so cool to see some classic arcade games show.

The chapter 14 / pole position was one of my fav chapters in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful read, June 5, 2014
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Wonderful book on video games. I learned things I did not know. It has some nice pictures related to the chapter and paragraph you are reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitchyness HO!, March 20, 2014
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C. Wheat (Edinburg, TX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
Okay if you like stories about real people, and how they impacted a company or industry THIS IS FOR YOU.

Really that is all I can think to say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, fairly comprehensive, insightful chapter arrangement, gorgeous images, February 16, 2013
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J. C. C. Castro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (Paperback)
I especially like how the chapters are arranged: each is allegedly about one particular emblematic game, but in fact is about the entire genre that game symbolizes, with good coverage of competitors and derivatives, e.g. Pac-Man -> labyrinth games; Space Invaders -> shoot-em-ups etc. Highly recommended read for anybody who's an enthusiast of video games.

Coverage is about equal on consoles, arcades, and home computers. That's nice too.

I do agree with the other reviewer who said they should use less exclamation points, though. But that doesn't detract from the reading.

Paper, print and image quality is absolutely gorgeous. Do yourself a favor and try to get a physical copy instead of *spittake* an e-book.
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