Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

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

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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.


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Written by Fred Rojas

November 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep 19: A Wild Strip Mahjong Appears

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This week we are hurting as technical issues continue to plague our show (mostly edited out), Trees gets injured and can’t make the show, Jam needs sleep at some point, and our guest has to cancel.  Fortunately Strip Mahjong joins at the last minute and what results is an amusing and thought-provoking discussion.  Topics include whether or not gaming is for kids anymore and a love letter to Microsoft’s recent efforts followed by lightning round, Splatoon 2, Mutant Football League, and of course “Just Stop!”


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Written by Fred Rojas

November 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Wolfenstein

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This week features a massive three hours dedicated largely to the Wolfenstein franchise.  Most are probably aware of the more recent shooters and the 90s game from id, but there’s a lot more to tell about this somewhat underappreciated series.  Fred and Jam start with the original title on the Apple II and move all the way to the upcoming sequel this Friday.  Segment 2 is all about community questions and segment 3 wraps things up with some neo-retro gaming from both hosts.


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GHX Ep. 18: Technical Disaster

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This week Fred and Trees return with a new format, but the same great content.  Main topics include games that we return to and Fred’s lack of loot box thrills, followed by 5 of the community’s “lightening round” topics, and then getting to know your hosts.  Don’t think we forgot “Just Stop” because it’s there too.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Psycho Break

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This week Fred and Jam finally reunite to get back to what they do best: talk old games.  There’s a brief intro, a new schedule for podcasts, and a slightly new format (don’t worry, topics are still the first section), but otherwise it’s back to basics.  In preparation for this week’s sequel, they are discussing The Evil Within, or Psycho Break as it’s known in Japan.  The incredible art design, sordid plot, and hodgepodge gameplay are all put under a microscope, as is the game’s origins.  After that it’s some discussions on community feedback and what the boys have been up to over the last month.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

The Mini Console Craze and Why It Can’t Really Work Moving Forward

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Last week Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, aka the “SNES mini,” to the masses.  The launch went well and most people who either pre-ordered or who went out early on the morning of release were able to successfully get their hands on a console.  For those that didn’t, there’s still hope as Nintendo has now promised to keep producing them until the supply has met up with demand.  This comes on the coattails of the debacle that was the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition (NES mini), which last year was nearly impossible for consumers to find on store shelves but countless quantities were available on eBay with a considerable markup.  This has caused both consumers and business to prove, yet again, that they understand nothing of the true demand that fueled these particular consoles and why their interest and value will drop considerably once they are available on store shelves.  Not only does the mainstream not get it, but clearly video game web sites – who should know better – continue fueling the fire by making waste of text articles about their hopes and dreams for future iterations.

Let me come out and say it: there’s little hope for more “mini” consoles in the future, especially if you want anything from the 32-bit era on and anything that used a CD-ROM or larger for its games.  Here’s why.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Top Scores, Volume 5

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Another year come and gone, a hiatus on the outs, and a co-host is now a husband.  Man, a lot has happened this year.  Oh, and we got a whole bunch of great video game tunes to share with you.  Come, relax, and enjoy over 2 and a half hours of our community’s favorite cuts.


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Track List (in order of appearance):

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 4, 2017 at 7:21 pm

GHX Ep. 17: Social Issues

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GHX has returned (and GH101 is close behind).  Fred opens the show with a statement about a certain YouTube streamer, Trees is enchanted by both Disney and a certain portable game, and Fred asks if gameplay mechanics should be protected by copyright.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 26, 2017 at 11:00 am

Let’s Build A Raspberry Pi/RetroPie (Part 1): Building and Installing

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Description from the video on YouTube:

In this video Fred, who has no experience with a Raspberry Pi, tries to set up a RetroPie on the fly. Within the 60 mins of this video he is able to build it, hook it up, and get roms playing. Sorry for the sound sync issues at the end. Not sure what happened. Part 2 will come soon that is all about setting up the customization for a RetroPie.

Links:
RetroPie: https://retropie.org.uk/
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B at Micro Center: http://www.microcenter.com/product/461129/3_Model_B
Accessories Kit purchased on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Raspberry-Pi-3-Model-B-Retropie-Game-Console-Accessories-with-Gamepad-/192273501334
Accessories Kit Referenced on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073VDNR6X/sr=8-3/qid=1505505595

***Please feel free to shop wherever you want for your hardware, I get no kickbacks from these links or any other shopping site. Just giving people the links to where I shopped.***

Written by Fred Rojas

September 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm

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Opinion: My Love/Hate With Nintendo Continues

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I got a press release this morning, like early this morning, from Nintendo.  It wasn’t that long, but still too long for this piece, so I’ll lightly extract the important parts.  “Due to incredible demand for the upcoming…Super NES Classic Edition system, Nintendo plans to ship the retro-inspired product into 2018.”  Oh, it gets better.  The press release then goes on in the third paragraph to say, “Next summer, Nintendo will also bring back the…NES Classic Edition system with new shipments.”  I’ve already had some celebratory readers, all of which I believe were unable to snag either console to date, reach out and basically say, “we did it.”  I’d like to believe these decisions have to do with our combined outcry or even the handful of petitions available to sign online, and either way these efforts have now seen results.  With this news comes new questions, concerns, and potential futures, but for now lets just sip our coffee with a smile on our face.  While the NES Classic and SNES Classic may be the focal point of my intro, I’m taking all of Nintendo to task with both the great and terrible moves it has made in the past few years.

Why The Nintendo Hate?

This shortage of consoles is nothing new.  I think I’ve been waiting for Nintendo products to come in stock for at least 30 of my 35 years on this earth.  In 1987, I was 5, I got an NES for Christmas and wanted to go pick up two games I’d read about in the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter: Castlevania and Mega Man.  You see, my birthday is on January 6 so when I would get a new console or portable for Christmas I could usually purchase a game or two immediately following.  In January of 1988 it was impossible to get those games, but I can’t tell you whether it was the apparent chip shortage that would plague the holidays in late 1988 or some other factor.  This continued with Super Mario Bros. 3 being stealth launched in Summer 1990, frantic shenanigans to get my hands on an N64 (and Mario 64 because the two weren’t always available together) in September of 1996, then similar problems with the GameCube in 2001, and I camped in front of a Best Buy in November 2006 to get a Wii.  This doesn’t even account for the waiting for several first party games, terrible customer service on servicing consoles, woes with portables, and so on.  I’ve been waiting for Nintendo my entire life and I’ve allowed no other company to treat me this way while still getting my money.  To try to make sense of it is an exercise in futility.

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Written by Fred Rojas

September 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm