Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Podcast: Geralt of Rivia

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There are plenty of RPGs in the world and there are plenty of worlds in the high fantasy genre, but few are as robust and diverse as The Witcher series.  Jam had to miss this week, but Fortengard takes his place to discuss not just the games, but the world of The Witcher and specifically its protagonist Geralt.  Discussions are had on the origins, influences, characters, and of course video games that all stem from a home base in Poland.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep. 13: Previously On…

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This week it’s Fred and Trees again discussing upcoming game releases, hugely priced deluxe editions, and alternative forms of XP before the show even takes off.  Topics include returning to games after major updates and titles we like to watch played instead of play ourselves.  It all wraps with some insightful “Just Stop!” segments.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 18, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

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In celebration of Spider-Man: Homecoming arriving to theaters, Fred and Jam discuss the rocky road of Spider-Man video games.  With humble beginnings on the Atari 2600 as the first comic book video game ever released, ol’ web head would go on to star in games both good and bad.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Top 10 Super NES Games

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After months of people begging us to finally do it, the announcement of the SNES Classic Edition was the final straw.  We can’t very well let Nintendo be more punctual than we are.  Fred, Jam, and guest Andy get together to debate the top 10 SNES games in a very tough debate of games that takes almost 3 hours.  In the end, 10 final contestants are chosen and ranked.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep. 12: Just Having Fun

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This week it’s just Fred and Trees as they ring in American independence.  Listener mail sees a lot of Nintendo Switch talk (and Fred just found one in the wild), but for the most part it’s all about having fun playing the games of summer.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 4, 2017 at 11:00 am

Joust Review

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Joust.  Yes, that ostrich game you may have read about in the fiction novel Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. Well I’m going to talk about it today because the site needs more arcade love and its about time Joust had a review. Full disclosure, I did review this game across a few emulators including MAME and multiple Midway Collections on Mega Drive (Genesis), PSP, and Xbox. This review will feature some brief discussion on the cabinet itself, which I have been fortunate enough to try at retro gaming conventions.

Released in 1982 by Williams Entertainment, Joust is single screen joystick and one button flapping mash fest. You play a knight riding on the back of the magnificent ostrich. With a lance in hand, your goal is simple: take out every enemy rider on screen. Then you repeat that wave after wave until you run out of lives. The single button on the cabinet is responsible for flapping wings of your feathered beast. You have to rapidly press the button to get your bird off the ground, but once you have the momentum going it becomes quite the skill to take down the other riders. You need to be slightly above the other rider and hit them to take them down. Once they are out of action an egg will drop which you’ll need to collect before it re-hatches a new rider and you have to take them out all over again. It becomes a juggle of priorities, choosing to take out the other riders or collect the eggs. The first wave, titled “Buzzard Blitz,” is fairly easy. Just three opponents spawn to ease you into the game, but like with a lot of these Williams games don’t be disappointed if you do loose all your lives on the first wave. It can take a few attempts to come to grips with the controls and figure out your strategy. By this point – back in the arcade days – you would have sunk a decent chunk of change into the cabinet.

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Written by jamalais

July 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

Come Out To Play-yay: How Fighting Actually Ushered In Arcade Camaraderie

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Final Fight by Capcom

The arcade was a diverse place chock full of different experiences.  Looking back at the early 80s it was comprised of single screen experiences, some scrolling and some not, mostly geared around challenging a player’s skill in hopes of consuming quarters in mass quantity.  Conceptually most games were simple but addictive, which is why you see many of the programmers from the classic arcade days transitioning into free-to-play mobile games with ease.  While there were games that involved a second player or massive cabinets, they were few and far between, just another part of the arcade’s myriad of experiences.  Then one day that all changed.  The arcade was about to become a place where large groups formed around a single cabinet and no game was complete without a second player.  Instead of ridiculous challenges leveled against a lone player, it was a machine against whatever talent was walking in the crowd.  It was a taste of things to come and it all started with the basic concept of beating someone up.

Stylized Male Violence

Roger Ebert used the above phrase to describe Paramount Picture’s 1979 thriller The Warriors, itself based upon the 1965 book of the same name by writer Sol Yurick.  In the film, the gangs of New York City assemble to discuss a truce between them so that they can gang up and outnumber the police.  During this meeting, Riffs leader and meeting coordinator Cyrus is shot dead and the Warriors are framed for the murder.  The meeting and murder take place in Van Cortlandt Park, which is located in the Bronx, and the Warriors turf is in Coney Island.  Those not familiar with the five boroughs of New York should note that Coney Island is about 30 miles directly south of the Bronx and therefore the Warriors find themselves a long way from home with every gang in the city eager to kill them.  You follow the Warriors throughout the film as they battle these gangs in an attempt to make it home safe and then clear their name.  The film relies heavily on street gang culture from the 60s and 70s that predominantly involved fists and melee as opposed to guns and knives, although the latter are definitely present in some altercations.  The Warriors has an unquestionable cult status among American moviegoers and expands to a larger worldwide audience.  Of those, a young Japanese game designer by the name of Yoshihisa Kishimoto loosely gets the idea for his 1986 arcade game Nikketsu Koha Kunio-Kun (Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio), which would be renamed in the West as simply Renegade.

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Written by Fred Rojas

June 30, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Arcade, Features

Podcast: Groovy!

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This week is the first part of our series on video game mascots.  Whether or not you feel games are made for kids, there’s no denying that in the 80s and 90s the key to marketing to kids was with mascots, and video games used a ton of them.  In this first part Fred and Jam take the bigger companies that have a series of mascots and talk about their effectiveness and the games attached to them.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

Learning from the Past: The Arcades

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We live in a great time to be a gamer. The quality and quantity of games available is at an all-time high. We can even hop on our systems and play against people in our living rooms or halfway around the world.

This holds even more true for retro gamers. It is getting easier to gain access to older games, whether through the internet, local stores that focus on retro gaming or services like Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Older PC games are making a comeback as well, with Blizzard releasing StarCraft Broodwar for free and services like Good Old Games (gog.com) optimizing the settings for programs like DOSbox so gamers don’t have to fight with it.

There is one experience, however, that will probably never be the same as it was back in the hey days of the 80s and early 90s: the local arcade.

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Written by azrockslide

June 26, 2017 at 11:00 am

Blog: E3 2017 Reflections and the State of Video Game Coverage

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The circus is over, the massive booths have been torn down, and apparently the BET Fan Fest is taking over the L.A. Convention Center this weekend.  E3 2017 was an odd one, not only because the “public” was there – given how many friends and family of industry people regularly show at E3 it’s a bit of a stretch to not put scare quotes around public – but because the industry itself is in a state of flux.  We saw record numbers of attendees, approximately 78,000 compared to the roughly 55,000 we typically see, and with the inclusion of the public came astronomical lines and big ugly neon green lanyards that basically said “avoid me.”  At the same time there was rampant coverage of the show from so many angles instead of a set group of major web sites who are all friends with each other and the public relations reps they meet with that overall cast a much more positive light on E3.  Listening to coverage from Polygon, IGN, and Giant Bomb it was clear that the media hadn’t changed its tune, mostly dogging on a majority of what was shown, but what shocked me most was the take on the public presence.  It was also a turn for the convention as a whole given that the ESA (the entity behind E3) now has to adjust the way the whole show is handled and I think we’ll see the emergence of a large public show to rival GamesCom in Europe or Tokyo Game Show in Japan.  As a person who went with the “pleb pass” (public pass) instead of applying for a media pass, which I’m fairly certain I would have gotten, the whole show confused me.  I’ll come out and say it: I don’t understand where video game media coverage is at right now.  Despite this fact, I have some thoughts on the key topics from E3 2017.

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Written by Fred Rojas

June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog

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