Tag Archives: retro

My Policy on Save Scumming and Why Rewinding Does More Good Than Harm

nintendo-switch-save-state-rewind

I’ve only recently been playing the NES and SNES games that come with Nintendo Online long enough to really use the rewind feature Nintendo introduced a while ago. On one hand I kinda do think it’s cheating when overused, but on the other hand the level of simple convenience it provides probably outweighs that.

Rewinding — wherein players can literally turn the game back to where they were from a few seconds to around a minute ago, is really just an extension of save states and the danger of save scumming that comes with it. It pretty much just builds a new save state every couple seconds. I’ve actually been playing quite a few ROMs on various emulators recently, and over that time I’ve come up with my own policy on save states that pretty much applies to rewinding too, but rewinding has a lot more uses that I wish were feasible in more modern games. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Breath of Fire (1994)

breath-of-fire-snes-rpg Before my Nintendo Online subscription from that free Twitch Prime promotion a while back runs out (on the same day Doom Eternal comes out actually) I thought I’d try to get through some of the Super NES games included with the subscription, and I just wrapped up the first Breath of Fire game. I’d bought Breath of Fire IV on PlayStation Network for like a buck and wanted to check out its predecessors first. This is the first “traditional” Japanese RPG I’ve completed in several years (since people don’t like to count the Dark Souls games), so it’s let me take my first look back in a while at why my relationship with the genre is so complicated.

JRPGs can be some of my favorite games (my definition being “a role-playing game developed in Japan”). Building a good character or party with good tactics, exploring a vast world, and following a meaty story are the kinds of things I easily drop dozens of hours into. But the ones people include in the most traditional sense of the term — usually turn-based games where you travel from town to town across a world map until you beat the final boss (and even then I keep thinking of games JRPG fans include in the description that make exceptions to it) can be slow, bloated, and repetitive, and are so uncomfortably often. Continue reading

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[Warcraft III] Should Developers Try to Monetize Their Mod Communities? How?

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The recent news about how Warcraft III: Reforged is just the most recent example of a game developer or publisher trying to find a way to get some kind of revenue out of the user-generated content made from one of its games. PC game developers have tried a few different ways over the years and most just result in blowback from mod communities. Continue reading

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How To Run Classic Doom With These Modern Ports

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People have been anticipating the big patch to the latest console ports of the classic Doom games for a while, and they’re here now, but the patch notes also out of nowhere announced the release of what are essentially new PC ports of these games. I started to ask myself why this was necessary, but now I think it might be a boon to people who are new to Doom but want to play it on PC.

It all has to do with simply getting the games up and running. Playing old school Doom on modern PCs can a somewhat complex process. The amount of freedom in what you can do with the game is like an ocean, but jumping in can be daunting. Bethesda’s latest move may or may not change that. Continue reading

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Dreamcast At 20: What Are Its Best Exclusives Today?

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Source: “The 1 Ross” at “The Dreamcast Junkyard” (http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2018/02/dreamcast-hunting-in-akihabara.html)

In 2005 I already wrote what I believe to be my own definitive “Dreamcast retrospective” detailing my personal experience with the console, and I’ve edited and reposted it multiple times since. Last year when the 20th anniversary of the console’s Japanese launch brought up some buzz I did another blog post mostly about its flagship games, the Shenmue remaster among them. Even still, this week, the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast’s famous “9/9/99” North American launch feels like the big one for a lot of people, myself included.

This year, even though I could’ve booted up Shenmue and Jet Set Radio on my PC or even installed Phantasy Star Online on it again, I decided to dust off my Dreamcast and hook it back up to my old CRT. Looking at it now, the big question that comes to me is “what are the best games that you can still only play on a Dreamcast?” Continue reading

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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

quake-integer-scale

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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