Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

GHX Ep. 36: Couple Sega Fanboys

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This week Fred and Trees open with a discussion about The Quiet Man before moving on to online retro gaming hunts and the joys of recapturing your childhood.


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Written by Fred Rojas

November 14, 2018 at 11:00 am

Hellsign First Look

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There’s a new early access game that premiered this weekend called Hellsign, which is an isometric action title that’s part shooter, part investigation, and part role-playing game (RPG).  You take on the role of a hunter who’s working freelance jobs to make ends meet, build up your character, and get better gear.  Fred takes a look at the opening areas and gives a quick feel to the game.

A preview code was provided by the developer.  Hellsign can be purchased in Early Access for $14.99 on Steam for the Windows OS: https://store.steampowered.com/app/606500/HellSign/

Written by Fred Rojas

November 11, 2018 at 4:39 pm

GHX Ep. 35: Auction Sites on Halloween

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Fred and Trees are joined by guest Chase from the Scarcasm podcast to talk about the spookiest, best day of the year.  What starts off as a round robin of horror games ends up in a lengthy discussion about the just released Call of Cthulhu game.  Eventually Trees gets to chime in and down the rabbit hole everyone plunges as the discussion of high demand retro games is had.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

Call of Cthulhu (2018) Review

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The works of H.P. Lovecraft are a great source for horror with the cold American East Coast being a predominant backdrop for the mysteries of the sea, secret cults, ancient gods, and of course the fragility of the human condition.  I’ve always felt these works lend themselves to the written word much better than other media due to the way Lovecraft tends to portray things with suggestions of the indescribable and the subjective way a person’s perspective can twist reality.  This is also why in gaming form I find the pen and paper RPG Call of Cthulhu captures the essence of these works because the entire game is much like its source material: interactive works of written (or scripted) fiction.  The challenge faced with video games the challenge of taking the themes of Lovecraft and turning them into a form of gameplay that is both realistic and enjoyable.  While a few attempts at Call of Cthulhu – a name that is used more for its notoriety and less for an actual connection to the short story – have been made, no studio has really been able to nail the gameplay part.  No matter how much I respect the old Infogrames adventure games or Dark Corners of the Earth, all of the Call of Cthulhu titles require caveats when recommending them.  As much as I had hoped developer Cyanide’s Call of Cthulhu game, based on Chaosium’s aforementioned pen and paper RPG, would break the mold it fails to overcome the gameplay challenge yet again.  Fortunately it oozes the dark and twisted world that is so unmistakably Lovecraft that you may excuse the gaming faults for overall experience.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

Horror Obscura 2018: Dark Castle (Mega Drive/Genesis)

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In the past Horror Oscura I have explored games which are focused around horror and the use of horror in games you would not class as a horror title.  This year I wanted to go back to my childhood and re-visit one of my biggest horrors: Dark Castle on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in North America).

Back in my childhood I was scanning the cheapest of the used Mega Drive titles in the retailer “GAME” on the South Coast of England when I came a came across Dark Castle. This was back in the 90s, I saved up my cash long and hard to treat myself to a video game. At a young age I was drawn to dark themes and games that just weren’t well known so Dark Castle, matched that category. Looking at the box now though one may question what I was thinking. The front of the box has a gargoyle on it stuck like old Clip Art on a background of a castle entrance. Not particularly appealing. The back of the box quotes, “climb the ramparts of the Dark Castle and dethrone the Black Knight.” An interesting quote but not a lot to go on. Keep in mind in the UK the back of the box often had a very short description of the game in multiple European languages. The instruction manual also included translation for 6 European languages. Flipping the back of the box over I guess it was the screen shots that appealed. Pictures of a eyeball creatures with hands, zombies looking monsters. Back then the game cost me £12.99 (the price sticker is still on my copy to this day), some may consider that a horror to itself.

So what is this game about? Dark Castle is a 2D adventure platformer. The game is presented as single screen levels most of which you just need to reach the end to survive. Some will require you to solve some head scratching puzzles. As young Duncan your objective is pretty simple: defeat the Dark Knight. However, to do this you need to complete three quests as outlined in the instruction manual titled “Trouble,” “Fireball,” and “Shield.” Completing the latter two will give you a item that will help you in your quest, more on these later. When you begin the game you are literally presented with four doors. Two doors have a “?” the other two “BK” with a shield. BK of course stands for Black Knight. If you are brave enough you could just attempt to take on the Black Knight and finish the game super fast, this goes against what the instructions advises but it can be done. Not so easy if you choose the Hard difficulty setting though. If you go in blind in the game you just have a choose a door and hope for the best.

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Written by jamalais

October 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

24 Hour Extra Life Livestream Video Playlist is Live

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Each video contains game data, how it was captured, and schedules for when various games/levels happen.  This was recorded on Oct. 20 originally, enjoy!

GHX Ep 34: Stupid Fun and Horrible Clothes

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This week Fred and Trees are talking a lot of racing games, including Forza Horizon 4.  Sprinkled in are other recent releases such as Dragon Quest XI and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 17, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Council Episode 4: Burning Bridges Review

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If you have not read our review containing the previous episodes, it’s highly recommended as it’s not only referenced, but we may not discuss many of the mechanics present in previous episodes.  This was to prevent redundant comments and move directly into the changes in the current episode.  Eventually the link above will serve as the location for all episode reviews.  This review contains no spoilers.

Going into episode 4 of The Council I had absolutely no expectations.  The story was stagnant, the character development was marred by writing away plot holes with twins and the supernatural, and the gameplay was almost flat out boring.  I had grown tired of Louis and this fun alternative take on history because it seemed like the development team was out of ideas.  What started as an experiment in alt history along with a modern take on the adventure genre had become a series of fetch quests surrounding a main, but rock solid, puzzle with all plot points stressing answers to “a mystery.”  I didn’t think there was anything developer Big Bad Wolf could put in as an explanation that would live up to this fabled mystery.  In that regard, I will admit I was wrong, because Episode 4 throws you a massive curve ball and begins to answer questions left and right.  Events transpire at a lightening pace compared to what we’ve seen previously and some major events are given out like candy.  It also was apparently a good time to introduce a whole new mechanic that seems to heavily null some of the old mechanics, and the confrontation system has become a minefield for your usable resources.  The whole game was dialed up to 11 and it all seemed rushed out, which I’m betting it was.  While I have to admit I enjoyed playing through Episode 4, it’s frantic attempt to get things back on track came at the expense of it’s largest asset: the previous episodes no longer matter.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 1, 2018 at 11:00 am

Splatterhouse (2010) Livestream Tonight! Come Join!

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It’s almost October and it’s high time to get scary, gory, and horror-iffic here at Gaming History 101.  Fred will be sitting down with the 2010 reboot of Splatterhouse on the Playstation 3, complete with some discussion on the rough development of the title.  It all starts at 11pm Eastern/10pm Central/8pm Pacific in the player above or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRysadqwVjI. See you there!

Written by Fred Rojas

September 28, 2018 at 1:56 pm

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GHX Episode 33: Done with Summer

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This week there’s plenty of discussion about Fall, which leads to Halloween, which always leads to horror movies when Fred’s involved.  Once jumping to video games things shift to the Extra Life 2018 fundraiser, then Trees’ casino nights and video games, and finally a discussion on the Playstation Classic.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 26, 2018 at 11:00 am