Otakon 2015 Photoblog

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I don’t really have a big story to go on about coming out of Otakon 2015. The main reason I’m doing this post is really just to share some cosplay photos I took, and there aren’t a whole bunch. Continue reading

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What Is Happening To Portable Fighting Games

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The current fighting game climate and a sale have me trying to do something I thought I’d never do: play fighting games on a mobile device.

It’s just about over as of this writing, but SNK is having a pretty good sale for its iOS games so I decided to grab a couple: The King of Fighters-i 2012 so I could maybe have a good mobile practice tool for King of Fighters XIII, and Garou: Mark of the Wolves because for some reason the mobile version is the only port that exists in the west outside the Dreamcast and Xbox 360. People keep telling me how accurate the mobile ports of so many of these old console and arcade games are, including Soul Calibur, but I still can’t understand people speaking so highly of touchscreen controls. Continue reading

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20 Years Of Virtual Boy (And Red Alarm)

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So the Virtual Boy turns 20 years old in Japan this week and a bunch of websites are doing stories on the history of the machine. I thought I might as well post my own brief experience with the platform. Despite its failure the Virtual Boy did seem really cool for a period of about a week, and to me is one of the most unique grasps at 3D graphics in a time when we were on the cusp of 3D graphics in video games. Continue reading

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Booting Up Modern Games “Naked”

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Things happening in my life have kept me from starting The Witcher 3 despite having acquired it last week, and I probably won’t be able to start it until around a week from now. The process of getting, installing, and booting up the game however has become somewhat nostalgic. I bought a GoodOldGames key, download it (and all the relevant supplementary material) through a browser, installed it, and just booted the game up. In today’s world of perpetually connected games it’s a novel experience to simply install a game and play it, by itself, straight from the Windows desktop without any service or community intruding on the experience. Continue reading

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Fighting Game Season 2015 And The Path For Newbies

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The Evolution tournament this year seems to have turned late July every year into that period when more people than usual start talking about fighting games. It’s kind of like soccer for Americans whenever the world cup comes around. I imagine it’s also the season when a lot of people start talking about how they want to start playing fighting games before giving up a month later.

Capcom even seems to be helping some people along by putting Ultra Street Fighter IV on a free weekend on Steam along with a $10 sale. Sony’s having a fighting game sale on PSN too. If you are one of those people who might get caught up in the net this year I think I can lay out what I’ve found to be a nice path to fighting game literacy. Maybe not competitive-level playing, but just literacy. Continue reading

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What Skyrim Is Actually Good At

I think I’m done with Skyrim.

I mean “done” as in I’ve played all the parts of the game I care about. I’ve spent a total of $80 on Skyrim and its extra stuff over the last four years and even though playing 100 percent of it was never the goal, after 170 hours I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Same thing happened with Fallout 3 (in which I intend to start a new character before Fallout 4 drops) and New Vegas. Anyway, I want to do this post to talk about what I think Skyrim’s and Bethesda’s real strong points are compared to other RPGs and other RPG developers, maybe even why Bethesda’s games have been some of the most commercially successful RPGs of all time.

I’ve actually been thinking about this ever since Skyrim came out in 2011. If you think back, 2011 was kind of a big year for RPGs. At the very least you had three notable ones coming out: Skyrim, From Software’s first Dark Souls game, and CDProjekt RED’s The Witcher 2. Coincidentally the developers of all three of those games are releasing new games this year. More importantly, ever since the release of The Witcher 3 and the unveiling of Fallout 4, some people are wondering if the latter can match up to the supposedly new standard the former has set for open-world RPGs. I think Bethesda and CDProjekt RED make different kinds of games, but not completely different, and each is better than the other in different areas. From Software has its own advantages that when you think about it are almost unique to it in the RPG space. Continue reading

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How Iwata Represented Nintendo

nintendo-half-mast As of this writing I only got the news of Satoru Iwata’s passing about an hour ago, but there’s really only one general thought I want to get out there which underscores nearly everything I’ve said about Nintendo on this blog. Other people will undoubtedly go over aspects of Iwata’s life like his lesser-known programming feats before becoming Nintendo’s CEO. A lot of people will probably also cover the points I’m about to here. I just want to get it out there that I think, as the head of a company, Iwata did a really good job of defining what Nintendo is and has always been about compared to the rest of the video game industry.

Continue reading

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How Much Of A Nintendo Game Is Metroid Really?

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Ever since E3 I’ve kind of avoided talking about all the anger around Metroid Prime: Federation Force but since then I’ve seen a lot more anger recently about what’s happened to the whole franchise. Plus Unseen64 just released some new insights into the development of the franchise. Maybe this is because I haven’t been a fan all the way from the beginning, but I’ve just been like “whatever.” I’m not gonna get mad if Nintendo lays off of the franchises that don’t sell Mario and Mario Kart numbers. Continue reading

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What Happened To Licensed Games?

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I recently went ahead and posted my Steam user review of Platinum’s Legend of Korra game since it’s on sale for around $4 right now. Playing and reviewing a game based on a licensed property for once made me think about how relatively rare they are on consoles these days. Continue reading

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Late To The Party: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

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My quest to no longer suck at 2D Mario platformers continues as I’ve just completed New Super Mario Bros. Wii. This is only the second entry in the “New” brand of the games I’ve played or finished, the original New Super Mario Bros. actually being the first Mario side-scroller I ever beat. From what I hear the games are divisive and I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly their strengths and weaknesses are compared to the classics. Continue reading

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