Gaming History 101

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Archive for April 2015

NHL 2002 Quick Look

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Of Fred’s 3 random games he has to cover this month, one was a sports game that apparently was the best hockey game on the PS2.  NHL 2002, developed and published by EA, touts funny announcers, crazy gameplay mechanics, and some of the smoothest action for the generation.  Fred gives it an initial go and if nothing else, exploits the unbalanced nature of the AI on both sides of the difficulty spectrum.  More coverage and a review to follow, but here’s the initial 30 minutes and it ends with a Sum41 song, woo hoo game license cross-promotion!

Written by Fred Rojas

April 30, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in PC/Mac, PS2, Videos, Xbox

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Bust-A-Move 2 Arcade Edition Review

bam2_boxPlatform: Arcade, Playstation, Saturn, N64, Gameboy
Released: 1996-1998
Developer: Taito/Probe
Publisher: Taito/Acclaim
Digital Release? Yes, but only on the Japanese PSN (of PS1 version)
Value: $3.50-$10 (disc/cart only – all platforms), $7-$15 (complete, all but N64)/$25 (complete N64), $30-$40 (sealed)

Bust a Move 2 Arcade Edition was a popular title released on the Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn and N64. While the concentration of these systems was to move gaming into 3D, Bust a Move was a game that kept its feet firmly in the 2D realm, and it still does to this day. All versions are ports of the very popular arcade game and all versions are arguably fantastic ports, bringing that vintage arcade experience home. For this review I’ll specifically be covering the Playstation version.

bam2ae_2I have always enjoyed the Bust a Move series. I have played the majority of the entries on home consoles and arcades. The most memorable game from my younger days was Bust a Move 2. This was literally in every arcade in my area. It ran on Taito’s F3 hardware and could be found in dedicated arcade cabinets and later the Neo Geo cabinets which were becoming increasingly popular. Bust a Move 2 was one of those arcade game where I would literally watch the demo screen over and over again even after I ran out of money to sink into the cabinet. There was something rather hypnotic about watching, maybe because I have always had a fascination with arcade puzzle titles, or maybe its because I’m a utter fan boy for Taito games, especially the Bubble Bobble games of which this series is a spin off from.

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Written by jamalais

April 29, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Podcast: Rocket Knight Adventures Game Club

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rka_post

Rocket Knight Adventures came out during the apex of Genesis/Mega Drive game design. Developed by Konami with roots in the Contra franchise, this cute possum with armor and a jet pack was a charming action platformer. Unfortunately given main character Sparkster’s mascot status and the trends on consoles at the time, this is probably one of the best games you’ve never played. Join Fred and Jam on a journey through a true Sega classic.


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Written by Fred Rojas

April 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

Rocket Knight Adventures Review

rka_gen_boxrka_md_boxPlatform: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Released: 1993
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Digital Release? No
Other Games in the Series: Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 (Genesis/Mega Drive), Sparkster (SNES – yes, it’s a different game), Rocket Knight Adventures (2010 – technically a sequel to Rocket Knight Adventures 2)
Value: $13.51 (cart only), $29.99 (complete), $78.00 (sealed) – per Price Charting

Jam’s Take

Rocket Knight Adventures is one of those games that you’ve probably heard of but never played. Those that did play it generally spoke very highly of the experience and I found most other people say, “yeah, I really need to get round to trying that.” Now I personally have a lot of nostalgia for this game. This was one of the very few games I received for my birthday that was to my knowledge brand new. But more importantly a game for me and not my brothers. I had no idea what to expect when I unwrapped this game. But I immediately popped the game into my Mega Drive, heard that sweet Konami tune and lets just say things just got better and better from there. Now this is our game club for April and its time to revisit and see if it’s just as great as I remember or if it was one of those titles that looked better through my younger gamer eyes.

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Written by jamalais

April 28, 2015 at 11:33 am

Finding the Diamond in the Rough: Sega Master System

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Conker_money

Now for a game console that’s relatively rare and worth some money itself in this country.  In fact, most of the games on this list are worth less than a complete copy of the console itself.  If you don’t have a heavy collection, have a power base converter, or even own a Game Gear, you may want to consider moving this product to collectors for some extra cash.  That said, if you live in Europe, there is a massive library of available titles for this great system.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Mini Podcast: Bust-A-Move 2

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bam2_box

This month we have been tasked with covering three games and Jam was the first into the gate with his Playstation 1 reflection of Bust-A-Move 2.  The follow-up to the original game, better known as Puzzle Bobble in arcades, this was one of the many instances where home console ports began to catch up with and properly port over the arcade experience.  Jam and his special guest delve into their reflections on this classic cooperative puzzle game.


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Written by jamalais

April 24, 2015 at 11:00 am

Finding the Diamond in the Rough: NES

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Conker_money

We’ve had quite a few articles about game collecting lately, most notably the process of how to find and get games from various locations with little to no issues.  One thing that was not as highly discussed is knowing how much items are worth/cost, especially because games’ values vary depending on re-releases and upcoming releases.  At the Midwest Gaming Classic 2015 I got to see first hand how that works and factors you may have never imagined can jack up the value of random items.  For example, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the 3DS was readily available when the game launched in 2011 at the retail price of $39.99.  These days it’s worth quite a bit more at $50 for a loose cart and $65 complete – I’ll get to these price trends in a sec – due to the fact, according to many of the booth vendors I spoke to, that in January of this year the carts became extremely rare on store shelves and it spiked a bit more when the Zelda Wii U delay was announced.  Looks like Nintendo decided to go more digital as the game can be easily purchased on the eShop for MSRP, but if you’re a tangible collector that game has outlived its apparent welcome.  Also it appears that gamers have begun to want that game back in their collections because of the delay of the Wii U title so they have something to be all nostalgic about until that game finally arrives.  These are things I neither knew about nor cared about, but they are important.  A while back I wrote an article on knowing the difference between different games and what games fetch high value, well today I decided to get a little more specific and show you some of the coveted titles that fetch a large sum of money on retro consoles.  Keep in mind this was written in April 2015 and a lot can happen with each passing day as of the writing of this article.  Please keep in mind all prices are based on Price Charting, a US-based price guide that compares eBay, Amazon, and third party sites for what games actually sell for as opposed to what they are listed for.

Note: Due to the size this article has become, I’ve broken it up into several articles that will go live throughout the rest of the week.  I will also feature each article under its appropriate console(s) for easier access.  So lets kick this off with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES):

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Podcast: Nintendo’s Double Ds

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64dd_post

This week Fred and Jam talk about Nintendo’s random and rare add-on for the Nintendo 64 that only released in Japan, the 64 DD. A compression disk drive that allowed various forms of software and accessories that were quite forward thinking when announced in 1995 but ultimately was anitquated when it finally premiered in 1999. With some of the most versatile and interesting software of the late 90s, the 64 DD is not simply an add-on to display on a shelf (although that’s what most do with it).


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Written by Fred Rojas

April 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

Everything is Better in 3D!!! Right?!?

gunstar_heroes_3D

So how many have you own one of the remastered 3D games on your 3DS, whether its an NES title or Mega Drive game? Me neither, I have none. I almost brought Streets of Rage in 3D just for the hell of it but decided I just was not going to be “one of those guys,” you know the ones that download every version of a game you love (Fred). Well looks like I might give into temptation this September as Nintendo is bringing three more Mega Drive classics in remastered 3D to the 3DS. Those games are:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Gunstar Heroes

Sonic 2 is practically available anywhere, I just won’t be buying that game again (unless it comes to my fridge, maybe). Streets of Rage 2 is one of my favourite games of all time so I’m probably sold there but the one that I’m really keen on is Gunstar Heroes. I really don’t give a crap about the 3D but the thought of having a classic game like that on a portable sounds very tempting. The price is believed to be about £4.49 (approx $6 US) for each game which is fair. So there you go, more Sega goodness coming to the portable in 3D! Will you be buying into this? Will you be “that person”? Let’s hope this trend continues and we continue to see more classic games coming to the eShop on 3DS, with or without 3D. Lets also hope someone finally ports Doom to my damn microwave keypad already.

Written by jamalais

April 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in News

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My Weekend at the Movies

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nda

This weekend I was allowed to see an advance screening of an upcoming summer movie.  I did tweet what the film was prior to going to view it, but when I got there a very specific NDA (non-disclosure agreement) has me not wanting to give any more information.  There still is a point to this post, I assure you.  The thing about NDA’s, for example, is that they are vague and pretty much don’t want you talking about anything, but yet I often feel compelled to follow them provided certain circumstances.  I was not brought in to see this movie because of this site or any affiliation, in fact I’m betting the production company doesn’t know or care that this post exists provided I leak no information on what I saw, including the title of the film or my opinion.  I also want to point out that while this site does receive review copies of games from time to time, there is no connection between this film and games directly and thus there’s no fear of retaliation associated with my compliance.  While quite rare on the Internet, I intend to respect the NDA because it’s the right thing to do.  Rest assured I am writing the review while the film is fresh in my mind and it will release when I get the permission to do so.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Blog