Tag Archives: retro

RetroArch And Emulation On Steam

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In case you haven’t heard, RetroArch is coming to steam at the end of this month. I still can’t entirely believe it — game emulation right there on Steam. It’s kind of a big deal, but apparently it’s also not entirely unprecedented. Continue reading

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Why Intel’s New Integer Scaling Feature Matters

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With Intel’s discrete graphics cards still around a year out and even those being a freshman entry into the market, it feels like nobody is looking at the company as a serious competitor to AMD and Nvidia yet. But this week they announced something shockingly smart coming to the integrated graphics in their upcoming Gen11 CPUs — integer scaling. It probably isn’t gonna be the most widely-used feature, but it’s kind of a big deal for anyone running low-resolution PC games. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Contra Hard Corps

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I played the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the first Contra game, Super C, and Contra III: The Alien Wars for the Super NES growing up, but had actually never heard of the Sega Genesis Contra Hard Corps – which many apparently called the best Contra game, until many years later. I’m only just now learning the myriad reasons it’s so revered that involve what it does for the Contra formula as well as the circumstances surrounding its release.

Playing the game now, I’m astonished at how much it added to the series’ gameplay after Alien Wars. I think it’s officially known as a side game or a sub-series (it got a direct sequel on the PS3 and Xbox 360) but I honestly still think it’s close enough to its forbears to more or less be the “Contra IV” before WayForward made Contra 4 on the original Nintendo DS. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Castlevania (1986)

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Konami this week released its Castlevania Anniversary Collection, containing eight of the earliest games in the series. I guess this would be a good time for me to write about what I thought of the original 1986 Castlevania game for the NES, which I played for the first time last fall. Playing and discussing it with fans begs the question of whether you had to have been there at the time to really appreciate this game. Personally, in 2019, find it to be just alright. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Gunstar Heroes (And 8BitDo’s M30 Controller)

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I’ve been kind of on a run n’ gun game trip since trying out the Metal Slug series, and I thought I’d give Gunstar Heroes another shot as an excuse to try out 8BitDo’s new M30 bluetooth Genesis/Mega Drive controller.

I’d never heard of this apparently seminal 1993 shooter until probably over a decade after it came out. The first time I bought it was on Wii Virtual Console, but I ran into a brick wall at the game’s infamous “Seven Force” boss. Later I bought the PC version of the Sega Genesis Classics collection, copied the ROM out of the game files, and played it on the BlastEm emulator through RetroArch (supposedly the most accurate Genesis emulator yet made). Only just recently did I finally manage to clear the game, finding it to be a really intense but also really unique take on the genre, that likely inspired a lot of what came after it. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Metal Slug

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After spending 80 hours finishing the main story of Generation Zero I wanted to do some shorter games before doing another large-commitment game, and SNK’s Metal Slug has been both on my backlog for years and a franchise I’ve looked at from afar since it showed up in arcades in the 90’s. As of this writing I went through the arcade modes of the original Metal Slug and Metal Slug X real quick and then got through some of Metal Slug 3.

I can clearly see these are still arcade games originally designed to siphon quarters, but they still have fast, precise action with varied level design and beautiful sprite graphics. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Devil May Cry (2001)

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Attention: About a month ago Indie Game Website ran my preview of Project Wingman. It’s come a long way since I first did the blog post on the original release of the alpha.

I don’t actually know when I’ll buy Devil May Cry V, but I thought the run-up to its release would be a good time to finally investigate the original Devil May Cry for the first time. I’d been worried it would feel too obsolete compared to the rest of the “Character Action” genre it created, but a lot about the game surprised me that makes sense considering its place in its own lineage. Continue reading

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Super Smash Bros. At 20: Then And Now

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The first time I heard about the concept of Super Smash Bros. 20 years ago, it immediately made perfect sense: just take all the stuff people like about Nintendo and throw it together in a fighting game. This was despite the fact that I didn’t even really know how the game was played until had the instruction booklet in my hands. Long before then, reading about the available characters and items like the SuperScope or the laser sword in Nintendo Power already had me hyped.

Japan just crossed its 20th anniversary of that initial game this week, with the North American anniversary being April I believe. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a little over a month old, and sales charts are proclaiming it the most successful game in the series just in time for us to look back on it. Continue reading

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So What Is Ace Combat? (LTTP: Ace Combat 04)

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Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown — the awaited return to glory for Namco’s fighter ace franchise, should be coming out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One around the time I publish this post. I’m getting it on PC so I have to wait until February 1st, but I did just complete Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies on PlayStation 2 for the first time and am taking this opportunity to write a post on what the series is about for people unfamiliar with it. I’d already played other Ace Combat games before this one but went ahead and got it out of the way before Skies Unknown dropped. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Resident Evil 3

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With the remake of Resident Evil 2 coming up (the demo to which just came out as I’m typing this), I decided to go ahead and play through the 1999 PS1 game Resident Evil 3 for the first time. I’d grabbed it on a PlayStation Network sale for like a buck a while back and it was the last mainline Resident Evil game I hadn’t played.

We like to think of the older games in this series as more focused on survival horror because of their fixed camera angles and “tank” controls, as opposed to the dynamic cameras and completely action-focused gameplay of the more recent entries following Resident Evil 4. The truth is that trend started with the original 1998 version of RE2, and seems to have continued with RE3. I just don’t know if that was a wise decision with that old control scheme. Continue reading

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