Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Podcast: Project Reality

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It’s been nearly 20 years since the Nintendo 64 (N64) premiered in the United States.  Aside from being Nintendo’s third console, it marked a lot of major changes for both the company and the industry as a whole.  Fred and Jam look back on the console that started as Project Reality and eventually became one of the influential pioneers of 3D polygonal gaming.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 21, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: The Astyanax or Lord of the Kings

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Developer Aicom had a slew of interesting titles in the late 80s and early 90s, one of which was called The Astyanax or Lord of the Kings in Japan.  Oddly enough the game also had one of those infamous ports to the NES that changed and extended the original arcade concept, which Fred loved as a kid.  In this episode Jam and Fred discuss their discovery of the arcade original and a replay of the Nintendo port.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in Arcade, NES, podcast

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Podcast: Gaming Tech 101 Episode 1 (Parts a-c)

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What was supposed to be the first three episodes of Gaming Tech 101 got expanded into a 3-part first episode thanks to everyone’s discussion of and confusion around 4K and HDR.

This first part (1a) covers the era of the Standard Definition Television (SDTV), most notably the CRT.  Fred talks about what the technology does and how it works with consoles.


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In this second part Fred talks about the principle changes to High Definition TV (HDTV) including the formats, resolutions, and options that are most common today.  He also discusses many factors involved in your HDTV that you may not be aware of and may want to pay attention to.


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Now the biggie, Ultra HD or 4K TVs. Fred gets into it all: what’s changed, what is 4K resolution, what is HDR exactly, and why should we all care.  He also adds tips to look for when buying a TV and most importantly, what the new consoles (and PCs) are doing with 4K and HDR.  Note: Already a correction.  Rise of the Tomb Raider does not currently support HDR on either Xbox One or PC, however Crystal Dynamics has claimed a patch is in the works.  As far as I can tell no games on PC support HDR at this time and NBA2K17, releasing Friday, Sept. 16th, will be the first game to support HDR on XB1 and PS4 thanks to a day one patch.  We still won’t know how true that is until it releases.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Podcast: Top Scores, Volume 4

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Wow, another year and another fantastic episode of game soundtracks.  This year GH101 was delighted to get so many listener submissions that it amassed over 30 songs and nearly two and a half hours!  You can find the full playlist at the bottom of this post.


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New Podcast: Gaming Tech 101 (Episode 0)

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There has been much appeal to the hardware side of retro gaming and with so many new products coming out it’s time to get back to basics.  While Gaming Tech 101 will have its own feed and episodes, Fred figured he’d give you a taste over here on the GH101 feed.  In episode 0 Fred discusses what GT101’s intentions are and then delves into the growing world of NES clone consoles hitting the market.  From NOACs to FPGAs and even Nintendo’s own “mini” slated for holiday, it’s all covered in this first preview episode.  GT101 will be a bi-weekly podcast.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Kingdom Hearts, Part 2

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This week we wrap up Squaresoft’s collaboration with Disney in the original Kingdom Hearts.  Fred and Jam wrap up the campaign and then bring in guest Fortengard to discuss the secrets, bosses, and lesser known differences between versions.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 31, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Super Power

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This week Fred and Jam celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in North America.  The duo delve into the design, hardware, regional differences, and of course the games that defined a major portion of the 16-bit generation.  As the show wraps the new game club title is chosen, what will it be?


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, SNES

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Podcast: Kingdom Hearts, Part One

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Despite not being able to do a live show, Jam and Fred get together and record a massive introduction to the original Kingdom Hearts.  In this first part the two go over the development, gameplay, and presumably first half of the game (they are just past Agrabah by the end of the show).  Sorry for the lack of music, there was something off in the audio file that didn’t make it easy to do, so in the interest of time the show was pushed out sans music.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

Comprehensive Playstation 2 Guide (Purchase and Soft Mod)

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Here’s a batch of guides Fred created to tell you what to look for when buying a game, how to rip discs to your computer, and how to soft mod a PS2 Phat (hard drive) and PS2 slim (USB).

Written by Fred Rojas

August 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in PS2, Videos

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Podcast: Psychic World

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This week Jam’s pick was Psychic World.  An action platformer originally released on the MSX as Psycho World (it was Japan only), this title received wider regard in the West as a Game Gear title and those in Europe may have also played the Sega Master System version.  Fred and Jam dissect the development, gameplay, and version differences between this largely forgotten title by an almost unknown developer.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 10, 2016 at 11:00 am