Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Podcast: The Writer (Alan Wake)

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It’s finally happened, Alan Wake has been taken off the digital marketplace (but you can still download it if you already own it).  This week Fred and Jam are joined by Eric to discuss Remedy’s homage to horror writing.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep. 9 Addendum: That Dragon, Cancer

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After the comments shared on Gaming History X Episode 9, particularly in regards to the That Dragon, Cancer discussion, Eric felt more needed to be said especially from a different perspective.  We feel that all perspectives should be given equal opportunity to speak up, so Fred and Eric delve into the criticisms leveled at the game, it’s religious content, and the developer’s response to its sales.  The conversation goes a bit longer than necessary, but we felt it was worthwhile to keep unedited.  Note: Unlike most episodes, this show does not contain adult language.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm

GHX Ep. 9: Tropic Thunder

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Wolfy joins us again for the second time on GHX and our friend the caterpillar also graces your box art since he’s clearly so beloved.  In this episode the team puts the Zelda debate to rest but starts a whole new one involving the validity of That Dragon, Cancer.  Topics include StarTropics, point-of-view in 3D rendered games, fighting game DLC packs, and the controversial remaster trend.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

Ram Jam Ep. 1: Retro Game Hunter

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Jam goes solo in his own series, Ram Jam.  In this premiere episode he discusses Car Boots and hunting down retro titles.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Friday at the Movies: Alien Covenant Review

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At a certain point, many horror franchises follow a simple formula.  This is especially true of the Alien franchise, which has pretty much followed the same key points since the first.  Ridley Scott, director of the original, returned with Prometheus in an attempt to break that mold, but many fans were displeased with the fact that it wasn’t really an Alien movie.  Well, Scott has done it again.  This time, instead of sending you to a movie not marketed as an Alien film but taking place in the same universe, you now get a flat out sequel to Prometheus with the Alien label.  Not only that, but this film’s actual plot is basically omitted from the trailers, which is why this review is completely spoiler free.

It’s a delicate balance that Scott manages to dance within both the concept of Prometheus and the cannon of Alien without having to make concessions.  That said, for all his clever weaving, Alien Covenant does get trapped into what begins as the basic franchise formula.  Sure, it’s not actually that, but you’ll still be forced to watch nearly an hour of setup that tricks you into thinking that’s what is happening.  This begs the question, does it really break the formula or merely hide behind it?  What results is a tried and true origin story that in areas delves into the philosophical but doesn’t forget you’re here to see a hideous creature rip people to shreds.  On that point, it does not disappoint.

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Written by Fred Rojas

May 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

Seasons After Fall Review

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There is an undeniable attraction to Seasons After Fall.  In what I can best describe as a painting come to life, the striking graphical style draws your attention and the playful orchestral soundtrack keeps you interested.  The game presents a simple premise: a fox, a forest, and magic.  It’s a compelling argument, even before the first true moments of gameplay.  Things aren’t always as they seem with this title, however, as it doesn’t quite play as good as it looks.  Your tolerance to design quirks aside, the value of this title lands solely on the premise that it delivers on what I think games should do: take you to another world.

Seasons After Fall originally premiered on PC last fall during a time that seemed more riddled with open exploration puzzle platformers – I refuse to refer to this title as a “MetroidVania” – including Ori and the Blind Forest and Unravel.  Despite looking similar to these other titles, they are very distinct from one another, but somehow always seemed to be lumped together.  Seasons After Fall now comes to consoles in a direct port, but it’s successfully separated from these familiar looking games.  It’s a true puzzle platformer, best proven by the lack of combat in the game.  Yes, there’s absolutely no fighting, attacking, running from enemies, no enemies at all, and no boss battles.  Nope, this title is as a pacifist as they come.  There’s also no penalty for dying, if you can even call it that since falling into the rare pit results in you simply being brought back to the ledge you jumped off.  Despite these facts, don’t write off Seasons After Fall as a mindless stroll in the woods, because the challenge is in solving the puzzles and as the game progresses there’s a decent incline in difficulty.  It’s at this point you’ll either like how this title attempts to challenge you or hate it.  I might even say it’s impossible to describe your time with Seasons After Fall without mentioning at least a few moments where you are utterly stuck with no idea what to do.

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Written by Fred Rojas

May 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

The Surge Q & A Livestream

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Fred runs through some of the opening areas of The Surge and answering questions in the chat.  Developed by Deck13, The Surge combines the concept of loot drops, builds, and high difficulty action RPGs in a cyberpunk setting.

Written by Fred Rojas

May 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Arcade Top 10

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This week we have a special announcement as well as special guests Eric and Austin to help us debate the top 10 arcade games.  Contrary to what Fred says, send in those community top 10s, we want them all.


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Please subscribe to the RetroActive Magazine YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC21h3St-gJ0LH-ozTHe31Mw

Written by Fred Rojas

May 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep. 8: The Best Time To Be Playing

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This week Fred screws up again and it’s only him, Trees, and Jam.  This doesn’t stop them from a long-winded discussion on modern YouTube videos and commentary from the younger generation.  Additionally there’s talk of FMV titles, Early Access, and the horror genre.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: The Mystery of Wonder Boy

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Wonder Boy is one of those franchises that is probably better known in Europe than anywhere else.  It’s odd to think that a Japanese-developed game that was given wide distribution find a home there of all places.  Fred and Jam delve into the development, crazy naming conventions, and evolution of one of the most versatile franchises ever.


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Written by Fred Rojas

May 3, 2017 at 11:00 am