Archive for November 2014
Sorry this is going up on Sunday night. Normally Retro Game Night is recorded on Friday and goes up Saturday morning, but we had to delay recording a day and these HD videos take a lot longer to render and post to YouTube. Either way, the video speaks for itself, but Fred got a retail copy of Resident Evil HD Remaster on PS3 that will be coming to the US in “early” 2015 (according to Capcom). Well since there was another option, we grabbed it early. Enjoy!
Video game soundtracks are as varied and nostalgic as the games themselves. Sometimes just hearing a few bars from a classic tune brings the memories of playing that game rushing back. Thanks to the community and a handful of personal selections, Fred and Jam present a collection of nostalgic favorites.
As you’ve probably heard by now we are going to be playing through the entire campaign of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, live streamed on Twitch. Later on I’ll edit it together into a fun little highlight video that’s only about an hour long, but the entire 10-12 hour campaign will be streamed with sarcastic commentary. Here’s the schedule:
- 11pm – 3am Sunday, November 23rd
- 9am – 5pm Monday, November 24th
And if Fred doesn’t see the credits by then we will come back Monday night sometime (he has another podcast tomorrow night) and wrap it up. Stay tuned here for all the info. You can check out our twitch channel at twitch.tv/gh101.
Please Note: Due to the nature of the content in Conker’s Bad Fur Day and the language potentially used in commentary, you will be required to accept a mature content gate to access the stream. This is purely to prevent visitors from unwanted vulgarity. Thank you.
This week Fred goes 16-bit and beyond with his Contra. Having spent literally decades conquering the first two, it appears he doesn’t fair so well into the next generation.
Platform: Xbox 360, PC (Windows only)
Released: 2010 (360), 2012 (PC)
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Digital Release? Yes, this game is available on all released platforms digitally
Price: $8.55 (disc only), $10.00 (complete) per Price Charting
The wind howled violently outside, coupling with the darkness to generate an atmosphere of dread. Had it been raining the scene would be complete. On the other side of the window, a reviewer sat down and began to play a new video game in the dark. While the gentle glow of the television provided just enough light to see around him, it was as if he were transferred to the fictional location of Bright Falls along with the game’s protagonist Alan Wake. What unfolded over the next dozen or so hours was impressive. This game was not unlike others he had experienced in terms of what to do or how it looked and felt, however thanks to thoughtful plot progression and deep character development the reviewer was able to let other faults go. He was repeating the same steps over and over again, the algorithmic nature of the confrontations were drowned out by the need to proceed forward and see where the story went. He wasn’t even sure what was going on anymore because, in truth, the plot was convoluted. It didn’t matter, the experience was begging him to move forward. He hoped it would not end. This was Alan Wake.
This week Fred and Jam chit chat about vaporware (ie: games stuck in development hell) that actually came out. The most obvious example is Duke Nukem Forever, but as the guys prove there are no lack of “is it coming out?” games, some of which are still in the void today.
I’m just a curious soul when it comes to software or electronics, and I’ve always been that way. Now ask me to turn off the water in my house, change a window screen, or heaven forbid lay tile and I’m out. For some reason those decisions and actions, while much more predictable than electronics and software, have permanent consequences and thus I leave them to professionals. On the tech front it’s mostly just money, and I’ve wasted plenty of that to go into most projects all “gung-ho!” On the flip side I try to capture my memories/nostalgia when it comes to gaming so I’ve done such insane things as bring a Pit Fighter cabinet into my house to play MAME (arcade) titles on, lugged a 300 lb 38″ RCA HD picture tube display for classic consoles and light gun games (a personal favorite), and I have a machine that literally boots into DOSbox and then Windows ’95 (it’s an old XP machine) just to enjoy a handful of games like Jurassic Park: Tresspasser and hopefully soon Ripper. I think that’s why capturing gameplay and making more entertaining videos is so fascinating but also a challenge to me. Last week I discussed how to upgrade your visuals for YouTube export but the clear omission was how to do it without losing that classic feel. I don’t want to play my NES on my LED display, I want it on the old tube with composite video because it looks and acts like I remember, but I also don’t want it to look like the color bleeding blurry mess I see when I export it to YouTube either. So now I’m trying to do the opposite of what I used to: get all of my consoles to export video – both for capture and gameplay – in the best resolution possible without buying the $500 framemeister (that was in last week’s post linked above). This does mean that certain consoles, namely the PS2, Xbox, and Wii (yes, it was pretty much that same gen in terms of visual and output), are un-tethered from my big old tube TV and migrated into the main room for the LED television on account of their 480p/720p capabilities. Along with that came the hunting of component cables, HD AV packs (shame on you Microsoft, the Xbox could output 720p and play DVDs natively but you chose to charge accessories piece meal…just like today), and even a HDMI conversion dongle for the Wii! It wasn’t all that cheap, probably $60 in total for all the pieces, but the results are quite impressive. I had no idea that X-Men Legends or Hulk: Ultimate Destruction could look so good in 720p on the Xbox or that Gradius V really does look much sharper in component even if it’s still a 480i signal on PS2, and I cannot get over how Super Mario Galaxy 2 dazzles on Wii via 720p HDMI upscaler dongle (despite me having still not played that game even though I’ve booted it up dozens of times for visual comparisons). I’m also upgrading my SNES, N64, Saturn, and PS1 for S-Video output to get slightly better captures in 480p on my SD captures, which was like $20 on Amazon for random third-party cables (not as necessary to get high-end when not passing HD through an analog source like component cables on the PS3, for example). This is probably nothing new to many of you out there, but HDTVs were not cheap and these consoles were just dipping their toes into the water when I was a new graduate and didn’t have time or money to figure out how to make an Xbox look fancy. I always knew the option existed, but I was more interested in surround sound back in the early 2000s and never much into graphics. Oh and before you mention it, I’ve had a VGA box for my Dreamcast almost a decade, but stupidly didn’t capture in anything but composite as of late so I’ve truly been cheating myself.
This week, and for the first time ever, we are using emulation to capture a Beats of Rage engine remake, Night Slashers X. This was originally a 1994 Data East arcade beat-em-up that got ported over with extra violence on the open source brawler engine, Beats of Rage. This also marks the first video in full 1080p HD! Watch for more HD videos, most of which should be in 720p or 1080p in the future.
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U
Released: 2010 (360/PS3), 2014 (Wii U)
Developer: Plantinum Games (360), Nex Entertainment (PS3 port), Bee Tribe (Wii U port)
Publisher: Sega (360/PS3), Nintendo (Wii U)
Digital Release? Yes, this game is available on all released platforms digitally
Price: $7.59 (disc only), $11.24 (complete), $14.99 (sealed) per Price Charting
Bayonetta is an anomaly. It succeeds where many before it have failed. Merging a Japanese style video game in every sense of the word, whimsical plot, a female sexually independent dominatrix lead, and incredible gameplay that attracts both Eastern and Western fans alike. It is a true testament to the fact that if you bring a bunch of ideas together, no matter how outlandish, and they all remain consistent with an overall theme then more can definitely be better. The first major release from Platinum Games knocks it out of the park, provided you don’t play the PS3 version.
Bayonetta opens in the fictional town of Vigrid where an endless battle is being fought between light and dark wages on. Representing the light are the Lumen Sages and representing the dark are the Umbra Witches, and right off the bat this game turns the tables on you by revealing that your lead character, Bayonetta, is an Umbra Witch. Not that the light is portrayed in a particularly positive way – all of these “angelic” creatures don halos as well as aggressive weapons, massive sizes, horrific appearances, and an affinity for causing death. As Bayonetta you will trek across areas that vary from natural modern cities to metaphysical interpretations of heaven, purgatory, and hell, all with help from the game’s handful of unique characters that add some spark to Bayonetta’s lone wolf demeanor. That’s not to say you’ll be swapping who you play as or that there’s a multiplayer component – because you won’t and there isn’t – nope, all of these cast members merely break up the monotony of the typical “hero on a quest” formula. It’s all a good fit for an entertaining story, but that’s only the half of it because from both a plot and gameplay perspective Bayonetta herself has plenty of depth.
This week Fred and Jam are discussing the misadventures of Master Chief, at least in terms of the Bungie developed ones. What started out as a Real Time Strategy (RTS) title for the Mac ended up ironically being the launch title for the Microsoft Xbox that has withstood the test of time and is to this day one of the strongest properties in gaming.