Gaming History 101

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Archive for April 2014

BBC Tackles the Dungeons & Dragons Fear in the 80s

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D&D

As the article implies, there are plenty of things that parents have to be scared of in terms of what content comes in contact with kids today.  This is nothing new.  In the 50s it was rock & roll, in the 90s it was video game violence, but in the 1980s the seed of evil was none other than D&D (Dungeons & Dragons for those not familiar with the pen-and-paper role playing game).  I am always fascinated by the counterculture of what parents fear and what kids get heavily involved in.  Of course, like all other concerns of the past, as time moves forward all world-ending plagues on the youth come off extremely tame in hindsight and this is no exception.  The wonderful people at the BBC have documented the rush of D&D fever in an article aptly named The Great 1980s Dungeons & Dragon Panic and I highly recommend anyone who’s interested in the stories behind pop culture check it out (link in the article title).

Written by Fred Rojas

April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

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Retro Fridays: Unreleased Games

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This week for Retro Fridays we are playing unreleased games.  The Sunsoft canceled NES title Sunman, which was really a re-skin of a Superman game. An ultra violent PS1 game that was deemed too violent to release named Thrill Kill.  And finally the stolen never released SNES sequel to StarFox, StarFox 2 (of which most of the gameplay was integrated into StarFox 64).  All of these games were captured on actual hardware, no emulation (and we tell you how to do it too).

Written by Fred Rojas

April 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Podcast: Finding An Analog

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interactivevision

When video games started invading toy store shelves the industry was stunned by a product that not only buried traditional products but dominated at generating revenue.  Secretly they all wanted a piece of the pie and the hope was that the dominant video medium, VHS, could be the gateway.  Enter the failed consoles of the Action Max, ViewMaster Interactive Vision, and canceled Hasbro Control-Vision (codenamed NEMO).  Oddly enough these consoles did have roots with some very top people in both toys and gaming in addition to creating the building blocks of the Full Motion Video (FMV) game.

Tetris on a skyscraper video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUFwDqrSI5s

Action Max gameplay vids: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=action+max

ViewMaster Interactive Vision Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1L81ahLRzf4xIIHIjgAs2w

IGN’s fantastic NEMO article *MUST READ*: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/12/25/finding-nemo-the-story-behind-hasbros-nintendo-killer


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Podcast: Extra Credit – Last Best

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On the first episode of our new Extra Credit series Fred goes solo to answer listener Matan’s request to discuss the strong games that emerged from the end of console generations.  Often times a console’s most fun and technical showpieces emerges when everyone has moved on – this show celebrates those games.

Music Credits:
Intro: Main Theme – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
First break: Stage One – Batman (NES)
Second break: Main Theme – Quake II (PC)
Third Break: Main Theme – Tempest 2000 (Jaguar)
Outro: Hills of Radiant Winds – Nier (360/PS3)


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Written by Fred Rojas

April 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

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Retro Game Night: Super Metroid

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In honor of the April game club, Fred’s giving Super Metroid a try for the first time ever.  Regarded as easily one of the strongest titles on the SNES, if not of all time, I get started to see what all the fuss is about with the title that is responsible for the “Metroid” in “MetroidVania“.

Written by Fred Rojas

April 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Posted in SNES, Videos

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Podcast: Shmup Game Club

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shmup_post

This week we are joined by listener Jason (@albirhiza) to discuss our Shmup Game Club: Giga Wing 2, Velocity (Ultra), Radiant Silvergun, Power-Up, and Sine Mora.  Campaigns, tactics, high scores, and more are covered as we dissect some of the more contemporary additions to the genre.


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