Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Podcast: Jam’s 2017 in Review

leave a comment »

Written by Fred Rojas

January 9, 2018 at 11:00 am

Community Question: Regarding Your Speech…

with 2 comments

Since we don’t necessary have a podcast coming up and a really good question was asked, I figured I’d answer it here.  It comes from Andrew and it reads:

Hello again, whoever is hosting this time. This one goes to Fred, but, whoever you are, read anyway; Fred will listen to this.

First, I do admire more effort being put in research and actually playing the games covered on the show. That is always a welcome change. However, there is ONE teeny problem. I am very much against the “GAMES ARE SRS ART THAT WILL EDUCATE US AND ELEVATE HUMANITY TO A NEW LEVEL OF SUPERIOR EXISTENCE” crap. The very moment you start taking fun seriously, you lose your ability to enjoy it. Do you really want to go there, Fred? Do you want to kill the fun, and treat games like some boring obligatory chore for mature adults such as yourself? I will be blunt: the moment you forget how to have fun and enjoy things without ruminating on the serious socio-political implications of “the experience” immediately after, will be the moment I stop listening. I am surrounded with enough mature adults who forgot what fun is already.

With that out of the way, I will sadly not be able to contribute any articles to the site. I am very picky, and only play games that I really love, meaning my personal knowledge of games extends almost exclusively to titles I played. I will not be playing anything I do not like because I have to. I could join you on a potential Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, or Sly Cooper episode, I know everything you need (and don’t need) about those series….. es. There is nothing else I can help with. Other than sending you soundtracks if you ever need them.

Well….. bye?

P.S. Thinking your perspective on a game is a fact is not rare, most people are like that.

My response is below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

January 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Blog

Podcast: Fred’s 2017 in Review

leave a comment »

Fred reflects on the past year’s releases, trends, and hot gaming topics.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

December 31, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in extra credit, podcast

Top Scores Xmas Special

with 2 comments

Happy Holidays to all of you retro readers and listeners out there.  Jam here, with a special Xmas Top Scores I cooked up while enjoying the holiday.  We hope it enhances your enjoyment of the festivities.  Heck, play it at your holiday parties!


Download this episode (right click and save)

Track List:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jamalais

December 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

Podcast: The End Is The Beginning

leave a comment »

Here it is, the big one, the final podcast that Fred and Jam are doing on the regular.  It by no means signifies an end to this show, these hosts, and especially the content.  Instead it’s GH101 taking a stance that properly covering games requires time and consideration, especially when it comes to picking the best medium (audio, video, article) to cover a game or topic.  The rest is in the hefty 3+ hour show, so we’ll just let the hosts explain it.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

December 20, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Episode 21: Trial Separation

with one comment

On the final week of regular GHX episodes Trees and Fred get together to talk about the big issues.  Topics include Street Fighter’s 30th Anniversary (and Capcom’s as well) in addition to the way video games look to the mainstream.  Your big questions regarding future episodes are answered and the final GH101 livestream is also given a date.  A prize awaits after the ending music.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

December 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: How Rude

with one comment

This week Fred and Jam talk about toilet humor in video games and eventually overall comedy in games.  There is an announcement at the end, so be sure to stay tuned all the way up to the conclusion.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

December 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

Unearthing Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, Now on PC

with one comment

2003 was a fascinating time for video games.  Playstation 2, Gamecube, and Xbox were all capable of running most third party games, the main differentiation being your platform of choice.  As a result, developers were getting more liberal with the offering of releases and it would be easy for certain titles to fall through the cracks, which is exactly what happened to Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy.  Despite being highly praised by enthusiast media, sales barely touched over half a million units across all platforms, which is a failure by any account. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy was in impressive company – Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time just to name a few.  There were other greats that were criminally underappreciated such as Beyond Good & Evil telling me it was just a rough time to be an unknown franchise. Fast forward to 2017 where thanks to the embrace of HD remasters and the strength of a digital publishing platform, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is being given a new lease on life for the PC.  While I wasn’t sure how the adventure would hold up today, I was impressed with stunning new visuals and an unexpected time capsule of what game design was like two generations ago.

If you’ve never touched it before, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is a linear adventure where two protagonists explore dungeons, one fighting and one puzzle solving.  You’ll probably hear it compared to Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker by both contemporaries and reviews at the time.  I disagree personally and fall back on this title being compared due to incidental parallels and the fact that the two released within six months of one another.  The same thing happened when Prototype and inFamous were released around the same time, so unrelated titles sometimes get lumped together for better or worse. I won’t disregard the similarities: delving into dungeons, solving puzzles, and even the lack of voice acting instead of text, but some fundamentals of this title differ heavily from Nintendo’s franchise. For starters, you get to control the camera with the right stick allowing for a flexibility that was much more cumbersome in Zelda titles. Since the camera is free form there is also the removal of “Z-targeting” or the ability to lock on to a character you fight.  As a result the combat is loose and can be frustrating in the 3D environment, but I was able to easily tolerate it in Sands of Time and the same holds true here.  There are also two protagonists, one that can’t fight and instead solves puzzles (Tutenkhamen aka “The Cursed Mummy”), and one who is more of a fighter than a thinker (the demigod Sphinx).  The separation of gameplay in levels may be divisive, but at least you know what each section of the game expects from you.  Finally this game is linear progression as opposed to the massive open world of Wind Waker.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

December 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm

GHX Ep 20: Bunny Trail Chase

with 2 comments

This week Fred and Trees are joined by Chase from Learned from Gaming to talk about video game parenting, gaming traditions, and making old games look their best.  There are some technical issues and the group go off on many random tangents, but the conversation flows like wine.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

December 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: The History of Visceral Games (aka EA Redwood)

with one comment

This week Fred and Jam discuss the surprisingly large library of games developed by Visceral Games, formerly EA Redwood.  Recently closed in the production of an unnamed Star Wars title, the studio was responsible for far more than the handful of titles everyone knows.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

November 13, 2017 at 11:00 am