Tag Archives: retro

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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Gaming Anniversaries That Will Occur In 2019

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As usual, I’m starting the year on this blog by looking back at previous years through gaming anniversaries. Maybe it’s not as big in that regard as last year, which was the 20th anniversary of all the stuff that came out in 1998, but there were still some surprises looking back on years like 1999 or 1994. 1999 in particular kind of gets overshadowed by 1998, which is still one of the most influential years for video games. Continue reading

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Zelda Ocarina of Time At 20: A Legacy of Open-World Games

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Like I said in my January post about gaming anniversaries for 2018, 1998 was 20 years ago, and it bore witness to an unusual number of landmark releases. Probably the most critically acclaimed one of all turns 20 this week — The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. By many accounts it’s still the best-reviewed video game ever, and a lot of what’s in modern 3D action adventure games owes something to it.

One game from this year I can’t help but compare Ocarina to is actually Red Dead Redemption II. I see a lot in common between them in terms of both the public perception and the actual characteristics of each game. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Star Wars Dark Forces

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Next up on my list of classic shooters after finishing Hexen was the first Star Wars: Dark Forces game. I went in knowing very little about it, pretty much expecting a Star Wars-flavored Doom clone. What I got was a shooter oddly ahead of its time, incorporating aspects of different eras of first person shooters that would follow it. Continue reading

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Me And Pokémon At 20 Years

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Someone might notice I already did a 20th anniversary post about Pokémon in 2016, which was 20 years after the franchise’s original Japanese debut. Well, people seem to be making a bigger deal out of the 20th anniversary of the North American release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. Sites like Polygon and USGamer are doing a whole lot of features about it. It got me thinking about what got me into Pokémon in the first place, why I haven’t touched it in years, and what it would take to bring me back. Continue reading

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Why Do The Classic Mini Console Games Have To Be Locked Up In More Pieces of Plastic?

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Sony has jumped on the classic console bandwagon with the PlayStation Classic that includes 20 games from the original PlayStation for $99. Look man, I just want to play those same games on the PlayStation 4 already sitting under my TV, I’d happily pay the same price. Or better yet let me transfer the ones I already bought to play on my PlayStation 3 and PSP.

Microsoft is absolutely right to jab Sony with that “Play 500+ classic Xbox games on Xbox One today” tweet, even if it they didn’t perfectly word it. The point is you don’t have to put another plastic box under your TV to play a handful of games exclusive to it. That’s the whole problem with console gaming. At the same time though I see why console manufactures are making these nostalgia consoles and why Microsoft probably won’t, I’m just asking for some more options here, which SEGA and SNK have been happy to provide. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Heretic and Hexen 1

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I’ve been on these games for the last few months but I recently finished the first two parts of Raven Software’s “Serpent Riders” series, Heretic and Hexen: Beyond Heretic. In my journey through old first person shooters, these two feel like an interesting milestone in FPS design. Continue reading

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Console Gaming Has An Amnesia Problem

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I’m very late to post here about the latest discussion over emulation and the distribution of video game ROMs. If you haven’t heard, a little while ago Nintendo sued a couple well-known distributors of pirated classic games — LoveROMs and LoveRetro, both of which are gone now. Soon after that another big one — EmuParadise, decided to shut itself down after 18 years, out of fear of the same fate. Downloading ROMs from places like that pretty much is piracy, and Nintendo is absolutely within its legal right to do what it’s doing, but you may have seen a lot of people recently either defending the ROM sites or criticizing Nintendo’s approach to fighting piracy.

Let me say this: The shutdown of those ROMs sites is such a big deal because the console video game industry is uniquely bad at preserving its history. I say “uniquely” because gaming console manufacturers ignore their history in a way no other entertainment medium or software industry does. Literature, film, music, even PC gaming and mobile gaming, all do a better job than console gaming at keeping legacy works easily available on modern hardware and services. Continue reading

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