N-Europe Turns Twenty-Five
Posted 07 Jan 2023 at 23:53 by Sam C Gittins
It's that time of year again. N-Europe is Twenty-Five years old, if you'd like to know a bit about the site's history, then you can check out the Twenty-Second celebratory article, which was posted three years ago. You can check out our article from last year here. And yes, I did nearly forget again, as N-E's creation date is so close to the New Year, so I remembered around that time, then forgot, and here we are.
Fortunately, our previous N-Europe Editor-in-Chief; Ashley has made a thread to commemorate this day on the forum, where you can check out all of our thoughts on the past double decade-and-a-half of Quality Nintendo Coverage.
Here's a little bit about the site's history, in any case, for the benefit of anyone checking out N-Europe for the first time in 2023...
Back in 1998, Tim Symons and Gerben Stevast started N64-Europe to celebrate their love for Nintendo's revolutionary console. Over the years, the site would change names, first to Cube-Europe, and then briefly to Revo-Europe, before finally settling on N-Europe. At the time, we didn't really want to be called 'Wii-Europe', although the general aversion to that console name obviously faded, and someone suggested something much simpler: N-Europe.
And here we are, still reporting news, sporadically posting reviews, and even creating the odd feature here and there, though the latter two of these have been occuring less in recent times, but there's still a community of gamers on our forum, many of whom still play games on Nintendo consoles, plus every other gaming platform you can imagine.
It's worth highlighting what activity and content there is, rather than focusing on what could be perceived as lack, as everything takes energy. The folllowng sections outline where you can find most of our creative energy these days, in addition to my own personal musings about games and life...
There have been plenty of games played over the course of the last year, you can find out what many of us have been playing in the Your Gaming Diary 2022 thread, created by forum member drahkon, which has at least a few hundred posts about many games which have been played through last year.
Of course, many games are being played this year, and with many more still to follow, you can keep up with what everyone on the forum has been playing in the Your Gaming Diary 2023 thread, also by drahkon, which is at least off to a start, and we're only a week into this year. If you want to contribute, you could also consider signing up to our forum, to tell us about what games you're playing or plan to play this year.
If you're anything like me, and you enjoy Nintendo games, but you grew up playing more Sega, then you may wish to check out Cube Tries to Play (Almost) Every Sonic Game, which shows our very own Dean Jones... well, playing almost every Sonic game. What did you expect? Check out his own website where he has an ever-growing history of Sonic the Hedgehog games, as there may be some Sonic games on there which you might not have been aware of.
When you've been playing games for a long time, sometimes you can start to question if certain games are worth your time. Personally, I've found that I spend a lot less time playing the majority of modern games, instead choosing to play a couple of games on the Switch every week; namely Mario Kart 8 DX and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with regulars from the N-Europe community.
Aside from that, most of my time goes into playing Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II on the Nintendo GameCube, which is played on original hardware, including the official Broadband Adapter, an ASCII Keyboard Controller, and it's all played online via the fan-run Schtserv private server. This is where I play alongside game journalist Retro Faith, console modifier and video signal specialist hdRGB, plus others who also enjoy playing the game, including Gunbladelad, Lawrence, and Mickey. Playing this way has given the game a new lease of life for me.
So although I don't play that many games now, the games I do play, I definitely enjoy the community aspect, in addition to the core gameplay mechanics. If you find yourself losing interest in almost all games, or games entirely, I'd advise going with it, as it can make you reassess what's important to you. Or perhaps games haven't been a staple in your life for a while, and you're looking at how to incorporate them into your life in a positive way, I believe it all comes down to your frame of mind of how you feel when playing a particular game.
If you can maintain an energetic posture of 'enjoyment' and 'fulfillment' from a game, then it can be rewarding, whereas if you only have negative associations with playing particular games, then maybe gaming won't be as energetically profitable for you. It doesn't have to mean 'Game Over' though, just that it might be better to change what lens or aperture you view your gaming hobby through. Does it enrich your life, or detract from it? Only you can decide.
What does the future hold? Nobody really knows. Though we may relive the past, cleverly distracting ourselves, all we really have is the present moment. It's good to be aware of where our energy is going. For that reason, in recent times, I cannot ignore how much I used to put into this site, and how much I put into the site now. There is definitely a difference, and while I'll post news stories when I find them to be either interesting, relevant or just current, it has to fit in with everyday life.
You'll likely continue to see news articles posted by myself and Josh, though beyond the Nintendo eShop New Releases, Nintendo Direct Roundups, and general press releases, I really can't say how much content you'll see on N-Europe in 2023 and beyond.
If there are any reviews, you can be certain that they will be created with passion, as our current 'policy' on creating anything is, if it's worth the energy, and if you have enough to create something, then the site is grateful for it. But if not, then maybe it's not meant to be written. There are many other sites creating Nintendo content out there, though they are mostly funded from some outside source. N-Europe is still independent, and any funds which do come in through our Patreon which we are very glad of, all goes back into running the website.
Perhaps future reviews and articles might be leveraged more from the forum, this could lead to more published content on the main page. There are many hypothetical possibilites, but the main constant is the site being updated sporadically, with our forum being the source of more regular general updates. It's a good thing that we still have a running forum in this modern age as well, as while a lot of the traffic goes elsewhere, it's still a place where you may find valuable interactions and information, or just something which may make you smile on occasion; which is certainly something we should value.
"Thank you to anyone, and everyone who has ever put any energy into N-Europe, be it the main site, or the forum, either as a site visitor, forum member, or as a member of staff. It's strange to think that many of us have been visiting this site for decades, and although many people who know of N-Europe almost expect it to be here, we frequently have past members of the forum who haven't seen the site for a long time, come back to us, just to see if we're still here, and are always pleasantly surprised to see that we still exist.
Perhaps that's all we need to be right now, just here, and present. For others to see, hear and most importantly, witness. There's a lot of history here, but there's also mystery, which is crucial to keep alive. We can't say if this site will still be here or not in another Twenty-Five years, but the essence of what made it is still here in spirit, right now, as I type this.
We still have a community, it might not have the same members as it used to, and for a time, many may leave for a number of reasons, some will likely return, others possibly won't, but the site and the forum are still here, and will likely still be here for whoever remembers that we still exist.
It's everything that happens outside of here which is equally as important though, if not more so. If the old Nintendo advertising slogan from the GameCube era is indeed true, and it's the case that 'Life's A Game' then we owe it to ourselves to enjoy the best game that there is, make every moment count, witness each other completely and either enjoy or endure it in equal measure, in order to build our own character as much as we possibly can."
Sam C Gittins
Do you have any fond memories of N-Europe from the past decade and a half? Are you still as attached to gaming as you once were, or have you noticed a shift in where you attention goes? What insights would you like to share about life or gaming? What would YOU like to see on N-Europe?
For more details, check out the discussion on our forum.