Monday, December 30, 2013

Retro Gaming New Years Resolutions

Your going to find out pretty soon that I may be a bit behind on a few things. But all I can say is thank God retro gaming is about the past and I have time to catch up, and even learn about the bad stuff without experiencing more of it. Of course keep in mind this all refers to retro gaming.

So here we are two days until the start of the new year. And of course at this time of year everybody thinks about their New Year's resolutions. Sure I could talk about the whole losing weight losing a bad habit gaining this losing that gaining this losing that thing that everybody usually does when to come's New Year's resolutions. But I decided that I would much rather make my New Year's resolutions based upon retro gaming.

Usually one folks make New Year's resolutions it's all about leaving comfort zones. Then again it's not always about leaving comfort sounds sometimes about just completing a list of things that you really want to complete. For instance I know this friend who makes a list of books that he wants to read throughout the year come every New Year's Eve, and he tries to get all the way through that list if you can before the close of the following year. But I really don't know that you're craving is so totally different that maybe the standard rules of New Year's resolutions one exactly apply to that but I'm going to give it my best shot and I'd like to encourage you to make some retro gaming New Year's resolutions of your home and of course yours welcome to follow along with mine.

#1 Play a Final Fantasy game, not necessarily to the finish but just to try to play and get to know it since I've never played one before and I've never had interest to. Everybody rants and raves about the series so I got to give it a try guess.

#2 Finally finish super Mario Brothers 3. I more or less had the game since it was new and all these years later I have yet to finish it. 

#3 Not retro mind you but play and finish Halo ODST

#4 Get an Atari 5200 and 7800.

#5 Play Starfox all the way through

#6 Leave my comfort zone and learn how to play both Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2. 

#7 Find my PS1 and games, if I can't get a new one. 

#8 Attend a retro video game convention

#9 Make my wife come to learn and enjoy retro gaming with me

#10 Keep writing this blog

Okay you have to admit it's nothing totally crazy but I am leaving my comfort zone here and there and I have set some goals for myself. Not only that I made it an even 10 items to do. 

With that being said dear reader do you have any retro gaming resolutions for 2014? If so be sure to share because I think we all like to hear what kind of ideas you have for the type of retro gaming you would like to do next year.

Thanks again for reading and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Podcast of Retro Gaming: Legacy Music Hour

I hope you're enjoying this series and I also hope that you're beginning to listen to some of the podcast that I have suggested to you.

For this particular installment I decided to go with a slightly different type of podcast. It still deals with retro gaming but it's a bit different than the previous two that I have bought to you. Both the Atari 2600 Game by Game podcast,  and The Retro League, are really great when it comes to learning about old-school games and even how to retro game in our modern era.


With this particular podcast you will still learn a bit about retro gaming but not quite in the same sense that you will from the other two podcast. I started listening to Legacy Music Hour, thanks to a suggestion by The Retro League, who often bought up the podcast. At first I never bothered to really look for it until about a week ago when I came across the podcasts while looking for some additional ones to listen to you. I didn't know what I would hear so I decided to give it a try and listen the first episode I didn't think I'd get much further than that. But after the first episode I was hooked and I immediately downloaded three more. Over the course of last week I must've listened to seven episodes. Keep in mind each one of these episodes is at least an hour long.

The show is hosted by Brent Weinbach, and Rob F. both of whom are comedians and musicians out of Los Angeles. The two of them are both funny and engaging, and also incredibly knowledgeable about music, and composition. Combined with their love for video game music of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, they present a podcast that is both fun and enlightening.

Until you listen to this show you never really get a chance to realize the effort, and artistry that goes into video game music. The hosts through their own knowledge and research, combined with special interviews from time to time are able to show us how video game music and writers are able to incorporate different styles of music into early digital formats, and then use that music to set the stage for different scenes and atmospheres within games. On top of that you get a great understanding as to how different sounds are made that closely emulate real musical instruments. The podcast is great for helping someone into retro-gaming learn about how games come together, and the importance of music within them. 

I do need to mention that this podcasts last episode was made on November 15, 2013 so they just stopped producing shows last month. But having been doing this podcast since 2010 Brent and Rob have put together 157 episodes. At an average of and hour each that's a lot of listening till you get to the end. And hey maybe if I get enough of you to listen in and write in maybe they will do more shows.

You can check out there blog at, and down load episodes there. You can also find the show on iTunes as The Legacy Music Hour.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

No post today. Enjoy time with you families and play some games you got for Christmas as a kid, with you own kids. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Retro Gaming Christmas Memories

Ok, we talked about anticipating what may be under the tree, now let's talk about those Christmas Day memories. I know we're a two days away yet, but I don't want to post an article on Christmas and I'm afraid after none of us will be in the Christmas mood anymore.

Christmas 1989
For me there was the Christmas of 1989 when I got an Atari 7800, and a bunch of games (Atari 2600 luckily). It was a total surprise to get the 7800, sadly it didn't work and I bought it back to Toys R Us to get an Atari 2600 Jr instead. This same Christmas my Mom and Sister kept asking me what games I would like for Christmas. I gave them a list and told them "Whatever you do don't buy ET for me it's suppose to be an awful game". So on Christmas Day I got some 2600 games, I can't remember which ones but I can tell you for certain ET was one of them. I don't know if they had already bought it when they asked me or they just wanted to play a little joke one but I believe it is the latter.  

Christmas 1990

One year later also totally by surprise my parents bought me an NES, with Power Pad. Ok, so it was 1990 and I came into the era really late, but for whatever reason we where never over the top video game crazy at my school so it was alright. I remember that Christmas well, and very fondly since it was also the first one my brother-in-law was a big part of.

Christmas 1993
This would be the Christmas I got my PC I talked about it in my last my last post. To say this least it's a pretty good memory.

Christmas 2004
I wanted Star Wars: Battlefront for a long time on the PS2. This year my wife surprised me with it.

Christmas 2010
My wife surprises me with the Constellation add on for Microsoft Flight Sim X, and CH rudder pedals. Not retro or even traditional gaming but a good gaming memory.

So with this basic recap of my past Christmases what are some of your favorite Christmas day memories? Was their a console that you opened that you didn't expect to get? How about a game? What Christmas Day video gaming gifts are burned into your memory? Let's hear about your Christmases. 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Anticipation for What's Under the Tree

Well, another 5 days and its Christmas. Do you remember what is was like to be a kid, how the entire month of December seemed like one big exciting buildup to what would be waiting for you under the tree?

Of course lets also get down to it and say that Christmas has always been a great time for video games. Christmas is that key holiday when a lot of kids got there consoles. I got an Atari 7800 (that ended up not working) and my NES both on Christmas. Not to mention my first real PC, and a gaggle of Atari 2600, NES, Commodore 64, and PC games over the years.

Now my 7800, and NES where both complete surprises to me so I never anticipated them under the tree. The PC on the other hand, hell yeah! No I know a lot of you are saying "a computer, that ain't retro gaming!". Well to me it is since PC gaming back then was so different and so where the games, and how they where presented. 

To me the PC meant access to the internet, and of course flight sims. As you may no from previous posts a lot of my gaming both on Atari 2600 and NES was and attempt to get a flying experience, bit I think we all know Top Gun, and Afterburner aren't exactly flight sims in the truest sense. 

Besides my PC (which was just a picture of it in a small box that day) there where also some great flight Sims under the tree too. F-117 Nighthawk by Microprose, and Strike Commander by Origin-Electronic Arts. In retrospect they where still more video game then flight sim, but the combination of a multi-function joystick, mouse, and keyboard to control the aircraft certainly make it feel more realistic. 

But, this article is about the anticipation right? Even though I was a teenager there was still that optimism and hope for what Christmas would yield that year. "Are they getting me a computer? Is it in the house? Did they get me games? Will I be playing it Christmas evening?", these where all questions in my excited head. Just that pit in your stomach excitement you get as a kid, you know that same feeling that you get as a young man when it comes to asking a girl out? 

This Christmas anticipation is a huge part of our collective retro-gaming experience. We all had it happen at one time or another. 

So what about you? Was there a video game, or console that you anticipated under the tree? Did you get it? If so what was it?

Anyway readers Merry Christmas! I will see you again after the holiday. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Returning to N64

About a month ago I wrote an article about how I was majorly pissed after two transactions on eBay; one for an SNES, and one for a N64 went bad.

I am happy to report that I got my money back on both with very little fight and full cooperation from Paypal. But the better news is that through some odd circumstances a co-worker gave me an N64 that was taking up space in his house, with Ocarina of Time. 

I bought the system home the day before Thanksgiving which helped to make the weekend a bit more joyful. On Black Friday we got Super Mario 64 for it as well, and I also picked up Starfox 64 on eBay that week too. 

To say the least my oldest son is really excited to have the system. I am too since as you well know from previous posts I have been trying to build a cool retro gaming collection. With the N64 in place I now have at least one system representing generations 2 through 7 available to me. Of course if I was able to find my PS1 I would have two for Gen 5, but hopefully I'll find it somewhere in my house. 

I have to say I am impressed with the N64, I like the 3D graphics. At the same time though it is a bit disorienting, and on my tiny gaming TV I get a headache after about a half hour of play. So I guess I have to work on getting a bigger TV. 

I'm still looking for a Super Nintendo though. Especially since I have four games sitting on my game shelf I bought after I thought I was getting an operational SNES. In the meantime though Starfox 64, Pilotwings 64 (both of which I just bought) and maybe F-Zero 64 (have to get) will give me the gaming experience I was looking to get with the SNES. 

To see the least I will turn now to you as my readers for some help on what games to get next. Keep in mind that I have the three Star Wars titles, Shadows of the Empire, Rogue Squadron, and Star Wars Racers in the bag already. So what are your suggestions? What games do you think I should get to build my collection further?
Better yet what a game that you love that isn't exactly a regular name in N64 games? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

I Emulate You Man, I Really Do: Out of Left Field

Gaming has taken an unusual and unforeseen turn over the last five years. Although consoles are still strong, no one really could have guessed how cell phones and tablets could change gaming five years ago. Don't worry PS, XBox, WiiU, and there portable counterparts, aren't about to be overtaken by cell phones and tablets any time soon.

What's truly amazing is since the rise of the iPhones and Androids, how powerful these devices have become. It's hard to imagine that a phone and music player is a more powerful gaming platform then our 90's video game consoles, and any computer we owned up until about the year 2005. 

The biggest thing about cell phones and tablets is that they are the realm of the casual gamer. The whole Candy Crush and Bejeweled crowd. But you can read about my rant on that a different time. Even though casual gamers seem to dominate the "mobile" realm, it hasn't prevented video game developers from going after the mid and hard core gamers carrying super-smart phone and tablets with them everyday. This even means that retro gaming emulators have been put out there for our delight. 

The Activision Anthology is by far one of my favorite emulators, anywhere. For $6.99 this emulator app will get you a collection of 45 Activision and Imagic games. Although most of them are tough to play on a iPhone the app is awesome on my iPad. My favorite games in this emulator are Laserblast, and Stampede but there are a lot of great games on this emulator. 

Another great one is the Atari Greatest Hits app. For $9.99 you get 99 games, it's a little pricey for me, but I played it on a friends iPad and its phenomenal. The only issue is that I an more of a Activision fan which is why I went that way first. 

There are also emulators for other systems as well. For instance the there are Sega offerings for Sonic 1-4, Shining Force, Streets of Rage, Jet Set Radio, and more.

For Nintendo you can find Duck Hunt, Mega Man II. For NeoGeo there are offerings from the Metal Slug series. 

Besides emulating the classics there are new retro games being offered all the time. The big talk in the iOS/retro gaming world right now are all the versions of Final Fantasy you can now download and play on you iPhone or iPad. 

So if you want to try emulation and your on the go be sure to take a look in iTunes, or your Google Play store to see what's out there becuase there is a lot of great emulators in the mobile market. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Retro Look at Mobile Gaming

I recently wrote a post about mobile gaming changing the way we game. After giving it a lot of thought I decided I would like to take a look into why mobile gaming is so big and where it came from. 

You see portable gaming has been around for a while with good examples dating back to the early 1980's. But it was about 1990 when consumers began to take it seriously after the Gameboy. Since then we have seen numerous serious contenders fight it out in this market right up to today with the 3DS, and PS Vita on the market.

At the same time though portable gaming really saw contention come out of left field over the past decade. At the time of Nintendo's original Gameboy cell phones where the size of bricks and weighed nearly as much, and only functioned as phones. By the early 2000's the world would change. By the time of the Gameboy Advanced, cell phones and PDA's (the first handheld computers) had began it slowly but surely merge. Cell phones began to have memory modules in them large enough to keep address books, calendars and organizers, and eventually even simple games. 

I have no doubt that technology from the portable gaming industry was able to help spur advancement in phones on and it was not long until phone began to feature color displays which here common by 2001. Games on phones where still simple, until 2003 when Nokia would introduce the N-Gage. The N-Gage was a portable gaming system similar to the PSP, but unlike the PSP, the N-Gage was a fully functional cell phone and PDA. The N-Gage would play games on mini-cd's, much like the PSP

By now though PDA's and cell phones where almost entirely merged and phones like Palm's Treo's existed side by side with the N-Gage. The Treo's features touch screens using a stylus, had upgradable memory with and SD-Card, and had games that could be bought at a online store through the phone, and downloaded to it. Starting to sound familiar? To say the least neither the N-Gage, or the Treo exist anymore. I guess the N-Gage was either perhaps ahead of its time or no one saw the point.

Flash forward to 2008. Apple which had huge success with its iPod products releases the iPhone. The iPhone is a touch based telephone, PDA, iPod, or as they would soon be known smartphone. Initially (as with all iPhone to come) there where a lot of issues, up until the 3G series released about a year later, and we know the story from there. Hot on Apples heal cell phone giant Motorola develops the Android operating system, a knock off of iOS that's more Windows friendly. Well with the iPad and Andriod tablets we know where it goes from there. 

What wasn't expected so much though was the rise of casual gaming these systems bought. Games originally designed to just waste 5 minutes here and there suddenly became a huge market segment. On top of that so did the proliferation of down loadable content DLC, otherwise know as that annoying reminder that for $0.99 you can download this, that, or the next thing that will take you to the next level. 

For mid and hard core gamers DLC is often a huge turn off, since these types of gamers are use to just buying a game and earning powerups through play rather then buying them with real cash. To say the least it's a line in the sand between where casual gamers and mid/hard core gamers. 

The video game industry also tends to see mobile casual gamers and have a mainly female demographic. The basic idea on their part is that women tend to use and check there phone more then men so 5 minute time wasters suit them better then a 15 minute per level action packed epic. You can also see that the more popular games have somewhat effeminate touches as well, look at Candy Crush and Bejeweled for example.   

To say the least mobile gaming has changed the way game and virtually came out of no where to do it. The big question that most real gamers ask is, will mobile gaming ever replace portable consoles? Is there a point when Nintendo stops making 3DS, and Sony the PS Vita in order to become an app? 

I have to say I have my doubts the real portable gaming is in any danger since iPhone and Androids lack game controls necessary for real and intense gameplay. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I Emulate You Man, I Really Do: PS2 the Unsung Hero

Emulation is nothing new, nor is it a phenomenon strictly confined to the internet. In Gen 3 we got a taste of emulation as Gen 2 Atari games such as Defender, and Mario Brothers made appearences on the NES although somewhat modified and/or updated from the original Atari form. In many ways it could even be argued that these where more like ports then emulations.

(Ports or Porting is the process of bringing games from one system to another, but making modifications to do so. Most ports where from arcade games to home consoles, but console to console porting has occurred as well.)

Console to console emulation has more or less always been around especially since Gen 3. In most cases though new consoles didn't see old titles until the consoles where a few years into or even near the end of their lifespan. Logically this would be becuase the money was in releasing new titles and not rehashing old ones. 

Round about Gen 6 though something changed, and that change seemed to focus on the PS2. Maybe it was the popularity of or the prolific sales of the PS2 that made it a good target. Or perhaps it was just the right system at the right time. But whatever reason it was, the PS2 became the benefactor of nostalgia, and one of the first systems to take on the retro gaming movement. 

By 2002 the PS2 began to see a lot of titles like the one above released on it. Video game developers suddenly saw a niche for some of their old titles, as older gamers began to feel nostalgic about thier old games and the simplicity of them. 

Developers loved the idea since the PS2 was a powerful gaming platform and could play the old games smoothly and without the gliches some of thier original platforms couldn't get past. On top of this the developers had the ability to make some additional money off old properties. Even if these game collections averaged about $20, and there where as many as 20 games on them it was still a way of making money off old titles that already had money invested in them long ago.

It wasn't to long until a lot of developers got into the act. The PS2 would see game collections from Namco, SNK (NeoGeo), Capcom, Taito, Sega, Midway, Activision, Atari, and Intellivision. Intellivisions Intellivision Lives title is probably one of the most famous of the game collection series released. 

Other systems in Gen 6 like the XBox, and GameCube would see some of these titles, but for whatever reason the PS2 seemed to become a retro gaming Mecca for this type of retro gaming medium. 

Overall, I would have to say if you own a PS2 you have a great way of doing retro gaming emulation with minimum effort. There are a ton of titles out there and if your will to bargain hunt online a little bit you may find whatever collection your looking for at a good price. When you get it just put it in, select the game of your choice and your retro gaming.  

In Gen 7 gaming systems would become online dependent, and each system would have stores to buy retro games through among other products. But, by now developers learned the value of nostalgia and retro gaming, and games became sold ala carte rather then in collections. 

In many ways the PS2 and it's contemporaries dwell in a strange limbo to where retro gaming enthusiast consider them modern systems. Yet unlike modern systems Gen 6 systems can live entirely offline free from moronic constent updates, and online game stores. It seems ironic that the PS2 would play such a huge role in bringing retro gaming and emulation into the public eye, yet the systems itself meets so much resistance in being considered a retro system. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Podcasts of Retro Gaming: The Retro League

I got into the retro gaming movement with a lot of vigor thanks to Podcasts. It's great to know there is a community out there full of folks who are passionate about this hobby and really willing to share information.

In my first part of this series I introduced you to the Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast which I think is a shining example of a enthusiast sharing his passion. In this part I would like to introduce you to another podcast that is a great example of this; The Retro League

The show is currently hosted by Hugues Johnson and "Jungle Rat" Rob Anderson, but has had additional host and guest hosts in its past. If you are one of my readers and the name Hugues Johnson sounds familiar it's becuase I mentioned and article of his "The Madden Theory" in my piece about the WiiU a couple of weeks back. 

I enjoy this show becuase the host are both informative and funny, although it is a bit of dry humor. I also love that fact the Hugues Johnson is from the Chicago area like I am so he gives some really cool ideas as to where to find stuff semi-locally. Jungle Rat Rob who is currently in Utah is from Wisconsin so its nice for me to get a some Midwestern humor and outlook on things between him and Hugues. 

The podcast has also had a lot of cool series in it as well. One series on launch titles gave great insight as to games introduced with game systems, but also was a great look into the history of the systems up to thier actual luanch. On the opposite end their "Last Days Of" series gave great insight into the demise of certain systems and the final game titles launched with it. 

Hugues and Rob try to follow a similar format in each show as well, such as the "This Day in Gaming History", "News", and "Virtually Retro", portions to name a few. The "Virtually Retro" portion in fantastic becuase it gives some great insight into game re-releases and emulations, I often get the most out if the show from the portion. 

On top of the fantastic podcast you can also watch each podcast on YouTube. In addition to this the Retro League also maintains a great website with forums, This website is a fantastic website for retro gamers, and the forums are a great way to get information and get more involved with the retro gaming community. 

Overall I have to tell you to look them up on iTunes and start listening. Between the show and the website there is a lot going on you can learn from so you have to check it out. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who Will Be Left Standing at the End of Gen 8: Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 I took a look at the potential failure of the WiiU and XBOX ONE, in Gen 8. Now it's time to look at one last entrant the PS4.

Let's be honest the Playstation series has been a game changer since it arrived in Gen 5, stepping up to take on the gap left collectively by Atari, NEOGEO, and Turbo Grafix. In era in which console gamers where bailing out to go to PC gaming, gamers needed something new to place them back in front of their TV's, instead of thier computer monitors. I should know I was one of them, and Gran Turismo was one of the games that bought me back. 

In Gen 6 Sony gave us the PS2 an innovative multimedia platform, that sold just as many people on the fact that it was a DVD player, as it did on the fact that it was a video game console. Many consider the PS2 the quintisential modern gaming platform and the system that seperated the old from the new. The PS2 now holds the record as the longest living platform to still have games made for it just edging out the Atari 2600 in mid-2013. But the era of the PS2 also bought Sony's stiffest compitition in Microsofts Xbox. 
The rivalry between Playstation and XBox would only get worse in Gen 7 when Microsofts XBox 360 beat the PS3 into the stores by nearly a year. Sony took this in stride and hoped to repeat part of the PS2's success by adding a Blueray player to the PS3. But compitition remained tight. 

Of course if you know anything about the PS vs XBox thing you will know the PS devotees always seem to have these low self esteem issues, that will remind you of those of Android users. There's always these weird almost childish outbursts of "my system is better then yours" that you get from them. Now with Android users I get it since Android is always playing keep up and walking in the iShadows so to speak. But I always wondered why PS users where that way since PS came  before XBox and Sony has been a major innovator. Then it hit me, "Kinect"! You see Kinect was the decisive blow in deciding the winner if Gen 7. Wii kicked off the Wireless motion control thing, and XBox gave the final word on it, leaving PS3 to catch up by giving PS3 users ridiculous looking Wii style controllers with green balls on top. Trust me if I had been a PS3 user in gen 7 using those embarrassing controllers I guess I'd be childishly lashing out at XBox 360 as well.

So here we are in Gen 8 and Nintendo has taken an odd side step with the WiiU, XBOX ONE is a step forward yet a creepy one at that, and PS4 doesn't look all that different from PS3. Obviously all these systems have improved graphics and smoother game play, and the Xbox and PS have continued to offer more internet techno goodies the systems can do besides playing games. But what exactly does the PS4 have to offer to make it a suvivor in Gen 8? 

Let me sum it up, PS3 lost in Gen 7 becuase it didn't have what XBox has. In Gen 8 PS4 may walk away a/or the winner becuase it doesn't have what XBox has. You see the Kinect has gone from being a cool device that's a lot of fun to play with while making you look like an idiot in your living room jumping around, to a slightly sinister robot eye always on and always watching. Not to mention Microsofts insistence that XBox One must have a connection to the internet at all times for XBox Live has folks a bit worried about X1's Big Brother is watching potential. 

So PS4 may actually benefit from the fact that instead of going over the top as Microsoft has gone with X1, it had almost choosen to make PS4 and more modern and powerful version of the root PS3. But this may in time backfire since in the 6-7 year lifespan of a console generation there can be a lot of surprises much like Kinect was in Gen 7. Microsoft could after feedback allow X1 Kinect to be shut down, and X1 itself to only be online to update occasionally, not to mention Microsoft could also back off on its non-transferability of games issue. Although I think we all know Microsoft isn't keen on listening to customer feedback or admitting it made mistakes. 

For me I think the future looks bright for PS4 in Gen 8, but if Sony wants any kind of chance on gaining in Gen 8 it's going to have to be more innovative, and a leader in innovation at that. After all if Microsoft should get serious as it did in Gen 7, and there is a another Microsoft "surprise", it could permenently put PS in second place in all future genetations. 

Overall I believe each platform is bringing some impressive tech to Gen 8, but at the same time they are also all bringing some impressive caveats as well. I think PS4 will push its way through based on its Vanilla flavor approach of being a system that relatively simple in comparison to its contemporarys. Yet at the same time the techno push and/or gimmicky offerings of PS4 competitors may be a gamble in their favor. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Determining Destiny

I recently wrote article here about the possible outcomes we might see for systems entering the Gen 8 fray. In it I mentioned my concerns about XBOX ONE, and it's weaknesses mainly being in Microsofts rules as far as the systems connectivity, and software sharing. But, I also mentioned that Microsoft could use the XBOX ONE as it's last entry in the home console market, and simply develop games from Gen 9 on.

About two months ago I caught a trailer for a new game set to come out in June of next year named Destiny. If you haven't seen a trailer for it check it out its really cool, and had a lot of potential. But, it does have a Halo type quality to it, even down to the story line. 

One of the reasons this might be is becuase the game is being developed by Halo developer Bungie. In this case though Bungie has partnered with video game great Activision. So in a way we have Halo being married to Modern Warfare. But am I the only one who sees this as being awesome, yet slightly disconcerting at the same time? Especially considering Destiny is going to be available for both XBOX and Playstation. 

I can't help but feel that Bungie is starting to move past its relationship Microsoft. Or that maybe they no something we don't about the XBOX ONE? Is Destiny a sign of Gen 8 gamings destiny? Or of the XBOX's destiny? Who can tell? 

Time will tell about the XBOX, but I still think its funny that XBOX ONE is luanching without a new Halo title. After all Halo is one of XBOX's best known games. I mean I know what your saying "Wait, didn't Halo 4 come out last November?", well yes, but you think Mircosoft would have maybe held it for a year to luanch with the XBOX ONE, or given us Halo 5 as a launch title for XBOX ONE. Sorry that's just me. 

What are your thoughts, is Bungie just branching out with a new multi-platform franchise, or is a sign XBOX's demise? 

Monday, December 2, 2013

RC Pro Am vs Super RC Pro Am

You know a couple of weeks back when I first started this blog I was asked if I was going to do any reviews. I said "well I might", but I was non-committal since reviews aren't really my thing, but I realized that occasionaly the mood would strike me and I would just have to.

My first subject is RC Pro Am. I don't know if you remember this or not but RC Pro Am was always one of those titles you where told you had to own on NES. The weird thing is I was always told I had to get it, but no one I know had it. 

I bought Super RC Pro Am on Gameboy in the Fall on 1991 though, and at that point it was a new release. For me the game would always have good memories  since I bought it the weekend after being in the hospital for two weeks as a kid. And then later in January of 1992, I remember playing it on my 8th grade trip as we made the long drive to Northern Wisconsin with a friend of mine playing Nirvana in the background. So Super RC Pro Am was my only connection to the RC Pro Am franchise for a number of years. I loved the game not only because of the memories that went with it but the gameplay as well. 

But last month well picking up new games for my old systems I finally bought the original RC Pro Am on NES. It was interesting to play this game on the big screen but I have to say I was a little let down. I don't know what it is but it doesn't seem as if RC Pro Am has the same kick to it as Super RC Pro Am on the little classic Game Boy screen. 

With Super RC Pro Am you are constenly upgrading, the music is exciting, and you get into the car combat elements early. RC Pro Am on the other hand seem to take a while to get going. I mean don't get me wrong it's worth playing now and again, but it just seems to lack those elements of Super RC Pro Am. 

To give RC Pro Am its props though the concept was new to gamers at the time. Racing RC cars in a top down perspective, that was really unique. That and those colors too, wow the game was  vibrant and really a pleasure to play because of that. 

And that's the other thing, game play and control aren't too bad. I mean your playing a car game with an NES controller, so you have to expect movement to be angular. But you are playing with RC cars and you have to consider with a real RC controller motion would be the same. The same can be said about the Super RC Pro Am as well since Gameboy control is a lot like NES. 

Of course both games are missing the realistic momentum factors you see in modern games. So you aren't going to see momentum at the wheel here as much as you might in later games like F-zero, and of course further down the line Gran Turismo. 

Overall, I do believe Super RC Pro Am is the better of the two games. However they are both worth having in your collection if you do both NES and Gameboy.