Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Suikoden Review

leave a comment »

Suikoden has always been regarded as one of those many staple JRPGs that graced the North American Playstation with its presence after Final Fantasy VII paved the way for the genre to become mainstream in the United States.  In contrast to Square’s innovative title, Suikoden is a transplant from the late SNES days and  to a certain extent its 16-bit roots show (and not just graphically).  Couple that with developer Konami being relatively new to RPGs itself and you see why the overall game feels like a dated throwback to the days before even Final Fantasy IV or VI (II or III in the US), but despite these shortcomings there is the foundation of a much stronger title.  Oh yeah, and did I mention that the game has up to 108 playable characters?

suikoden_plotSuikoden is based off of the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan (which basically translates to the same name) that tells a tale of politics, religion, revolution, and social unrest, which is somewhat common of Eastern storytelling in classic literature.  You play as a hero – named whatever you choose – that enters into the posh world of being the son of the empire’s top military officer.  It’s early in your life and no one respects you yet.  When your father travels off to the north to protect the borders, an adventure unfolds that has you not only questioning everything you know, but lands you as the rebel leader for the army opposing the empire.  There is, of course, a lot more to it than that, but for the sake of the review and your enjoyment with the game, we’ll leave it there.  From the very start you can tell that Suikoden is going to throw more characters at you than you may be used to.  Some of the earliest missions you partake on have you hot-swapping up to six characters, many of which will join your party along the way and you’ll be using in battle within moments. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Playstation, PS3, PSP, Reviews, Vita

Tagged with ,

Legend of Zelda Review

leave a comment »

legend_of_zelda_4

The Legend of Zelda series has transcended time and now acts less as a genesis of the 80s and more as one of Nintendo’s long running trains through time.  Like all trains, many have gotten on and gotten off over the decades and thus the original is no longer that paramount flagship title that gave way to action RPGs that it used to be.  In fact, these days I can’t imagine how one not familiar with the game could get started without a guide.  Where would you go?  What would you do?  How long until you eventually enter the first dungeon that read “level one” and would you know that it means first dungeon instead of top level of the dungeon?  On the other hand there are that other half of the gaming populous that is acutely familiar with all of the intricacies of what was our first true digital adventure.  I myself know exactly where every dungeon is (on the second quest too), know exactly where to bomb a wall or burn a bush, and could navigate the lost woods with my eyes closed.  That’s because I’ve done it so many times that the very movements of my average run are more muscle memory than anything else.  It was one of the first games I played and one of the best.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 27, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Life is Strange Episode 3 Review

leave a comment »

life_is_strange_logo

Episode 3: Chaos Theory

The story of lead character Max, her best friend Chloe, and the various people that cross paths with these girls in the small Oregon town of Arcadia Bay continues.  We are now on the third episode of five, which is the time where typically the twist of the season presents itself and the direction for the overall story arc begins to come into view.  I don’t know where Life is Strange is headed – the twist at the end I never saw coming and it only furthered my intrigue – but I am pleased to say that the flaws I was detecting in the second episode are quite absent this time around.  In fact, it feels like perhaps two different teams at Dontnod are programming episodes because Chaos Theory feels more like the first episode and might even be able to get by if episode 2 didn’t exist (save for a plot point or two).  Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed this third iteration, although despite my gripes from episode 2 being resolved, all new ones have emerged that prove there’s still room for improvement on this project.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Community N64 Top 10

with 2 comments

n64_comm_top10

The ballots are in, the votes have been tallied, the insults to our N64 Top 10 have been ignored and now it’s time to find out what you all chose to be the Top 10 Games from the Nintendo 64.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Podbean

You can find the actual top 10 list below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in N64, podcast, Top 10

Tagged with ,

Podcast: Saturnday

leave a comment »

skelsat

It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Sega Saturn.  Originally released in the late spring of 1995 the Saturn was unfortunately surrounded by bad circumstance all caused by Sega itself  The oddity is that from a Japanese standpoint, Sega’s biggest failure in all other regions was its biggest success.  Join Fred and Jam in discussing the early development, releases, and ultimate deaths of Sega’s most intricate home console.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

May 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, Saturn

Tagged with ,

Documentary: The Evolution and Making of Halo

leave a comment »

Sorry Everyone: Due to Copyright Claims we didn’t think we were violating (because we don’t do ad revenue) this video was removed by our editorial team.  We want to continue to offer high quality content to you and we also do not want to violate the rights of any developer, publisher, or business.  We apologize.

Many of you may know the story behind the original Halo, and for those that don’t we have this trusty podcast from a while back.  It’s one thing to hear it and it’s quite another to see it.  This documentary series shows off the initial MacWorld reveal of Halo in 1999 when Steve Jobs himself introduced what was to become a real-time strategy (RTS) title, the progression to a PC squad-based shooter in 2000 at E3, and the final reveal as a first person shooter on the Xbox in 2001.  After seeing how it progresses we then get about half an hour of developer commentary on the various decisions made in the development process to result in the finished product you know as Halo: Combat Evolved.  This video and the gameplay footage in it are owned by Microsoft and Bungie.

Written by Fred Rojas

May 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Life is Strange Episode 2 Review

leave a comment »

life_is_strange_logo

Episode 2: Out of Time

I was quite taken with my initial impressions of Life is Strangethe episodic game that’s part modern adventure and part Choose Your Own Adventure, but there’s a part of me that acknowledged many works have started with fantastic openings and fall short at the end.  In fact, much of the first episode was probably how the game was pitched for development.  Typically the second outing, especially in the case of episodic titles, give us a much better feeling of what the overall title is going to be like and allows us to gauge how effectively or ineffectively the unwinding story and gameplay goals are executing.  It’s also important to note that almost universally the second episode is hit with the largest amount of criticism and negative feedback, if only because it’s a focused burst of reality on the high hopes of the first episode, but also because it’s an awkward in-between time for the plot.  I wish I could say Life is Strange overcomes this potential hitch, but it does appear that like most of the others it just doesn’t quite pack the punch of the first.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

Retro Game Night: Rumble Roses

leave a comment »

As part of the three game obligation from over a month ago, Fred had to cover Rumble Roses, an all female wrestling game on the Playstation 2.  Just from the box art you can tell that this game is most likely suggestive with skimpy outfits, busty women, and provocative poses.  Well now we play the game, see what it has to offer, and even decide if it’s kusoge or not (explained in the video).  While there is no true nudity or sexual content, you may want to consider what follows to be NSFW (not safe for work), but it is worth checking out if only to see this wacky Konami title from a time where companies took more risks.

Written by Fred Rojas

May 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Posted in PS2, Retro Game Night, Videos

Tagged with ,

Podcast/Article: The Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games

with 3 comments

n64_top10

Due to a video issue and the ever growing challenge of collecting all of the games necessary for a top 10, we’ve decided to go audio only on the debate and reveal.  It’s not all bad news though, we do have the printed version if you don’t want to listen to the nearly 2 hour debate over our top 10.  Also be sure to submit your own top 10 via this comments section, sending an e-mail, or join the Patreon at $3 or more to be entered into a contest for $10 in Nintendo eShop credit.  We want strong community involvement for next week’s response.  The contest ends next Thursday, May 14, at midnight Eastern time.  The text top 10 is below.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 8, 2015 at 11:12 am

Posted in N64, podcast, Top 10

Tagged with ,

Monster Monpiece Review

leave a comment »

monmon_box

For better or worse, my dissection into the world of seemingly perverse games continues.  I’ve already discovered that while HuniePop does have pornographic content in it, the brunt of the game save for a handful of still images deals mostly with a hybrid of a basic dating sim and match three cell phone games.  Now I’m tackling yet another game shrouded in controversy: Monster Monpiece.  This title garnered most of its attention – and definitely everyone’s excuse for not picking it up – based on the fact that it contained scantily clad girls and women that you would touch, pinch, tickle, and even rub in a masturbatory way to level up.  Not the most thought provoking of activities to be sure, and I certainly did not level up anyone in public, but much like HuniePop a majority of what you will be doing in the game is quite tame.  For those hardcore otaku out there the game was also avoided in the West due to the fact that some of the cards were censored or artwork cut completely from the game to satisfy both the ESRB and PEGI ratings boards as well as a digital only release, which were all proactive choices made by publisher Idea Factory.  What resulted was a game that the typical gamer wouldn’t touch and the more perverted gamer no longer wanted (opting most likely for the boxed, uncensored Japanese version) and Monster Monpiece was basically put out to die.  This is only unfortunate because I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer size, options, and depth provided by this decent digital card game.

monmon_card

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

May 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 242 other followers