Arts & CultureVideo Games

Gaming Week In Review: Original ‘Starcraft’ and “Brood War” now free, NES Classic production to cease



Gaming Week In Review is a semi-regular column by Mathew Brock devoted to recapping recent news from the video game world each week. Read the previous installment here.

In celebration of the upcoming “Starcraft” remastered release,  you can download the original version for free, right now

The original “Starcraft” and its expansion pack “Brood War” are widely considered to be one of the most influential games of all time, especially in regards to the rising popularity of the competitive eSports scene. The game’s space-opera campaign mode is considered a classic in video game storytelling and its difficulty is the stuff of gaming legend.

The “Starcraft” story seems to have concluded in a rather lackluster manner with the latest installment, “Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void.” But that doesn’t spell the end for the classic real-time-strategy game. Blizzard announced in March that “Starcraft” would be the first game to receive a makeover with a remastered edition coming this summer. They sweetened the deal this week by giving the original version of the game away for free.

The Zerg, one of “Starcraft’s” three playable races, with their new remastered HD designs. (Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment)

Now, everyone has an opportunity to experience this classic real-time-strategy, whether they’re going back for a nostalgia-filled binge or learning what they might have missed out on. Even better, the remastered version will feature cross-play with the old version, meaning you won’t be excluded when the new version comes out.

The original “Starcraft’s” popularity is still felt to this day. Entire genres were created and popularized by games made with the custom map editor, including the Tower Defense genre and the MOBA genre, the latter of which finds its origins in the “Aeon of Strife” map. The eSports competitions that feature “Starcraft II” and its two standalone expansions — “Heart of the Swarm” and “Legacy of the Void” — are some of the largest eSports events featured every year.

Along with the free release, the game received its first update in eight years, which mostly involves some compatibility fixes with modern computers and software, as well as anti-cheat improvements and other modern features like an observation mode and quick saves.

You can find the download on the “Starcraft Remastered” website, where you can also check out all of the planned features for the new version.

Watch the trailer for “Starcraft Remastered” below:

 Nintendo announces it has ceased production of the NES Classic Edition

The NES Classic Edition retail package, an item which Nintendo has announced it will no longer produce. (Courtesy of Nintendo)

Perhaps you’ve heard the legends of the mythical NES Classic Edition, an official plug-and-play console featuring 30 of Nintendo’s best NES games. It has only appeared in stores sporadically throughout the last year and seemed to sell out as quickly as it hit the shelves. Sadly, if you missed it the first time around, your chances of getting one, at least for a reasonable price, have decreased dramatically.

A representative from Nintendo recently provided IGN with the following statement:

“Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that, we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.”

This decision comes as a surprise since Nintendo reported the NES Classic Edition sold at least 1.5 million units in its limited run, with only one more batch soon to be released. Nintendo has also been increasingly criticized for not being able to meet the production demand for its latest products, including the Nintendo Switch Console and its line of Amiibo figures.

So if you’re looking to pick up this throwback to ‘80s and ‘90s gaming, this might be your last opportunity. Of course, there’s always the option of buying the console from third-party sellers on sites like ebay.com, but the price on said sites seem to have soared to around five times the $59.95 retail price.

Interested in more of what the Emerald has to say about Nintendo’s gaming consoles? Check out our discussion of the Nintendo Switch here.

The NES Classic Edition has 30 classic Nintendo games pre-loaded onto the system such as “Castlevania,” “Super Mario Bros.” and “The Legend of Zelda,” most of which are available through the Nintendo virtual console stores for Wii, Wii U and Switch. So if you can’t get ahold of one before they leave circulation, there’s still a way to sate your hunger for old-school video games.

You can watch the retro-inspired trailer for the NES Classic Edition below:

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @MathewQBrock.


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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock