Archive for July 2015
In the past I have had quite strong opinions about emulation, going so far as to say I prefer not to use it. My basis was clear in the article, but to sum up I don’t like the screen tearing and framerate issues that often happen with emulation, I hate not using a console’s native controller and the potential of input lag, and of course my ongoing aggression toward piracy. Since I boldly declared my stance almost four years ago (yep, we celebrate our fourth anniversary in October), a lot has changed. First of all, many of our readers and listeners have brought to my attention circumstances involving distribution, bootleg, and socioeconomic factors that force them into utilizing emulation, which as a middle class American I don’t have much experience with. In addition, rarity has become a big reason why I see the value in emulation (or flash carts/burned discs on original hardware, which is the same thing to me). I don’t think that people who want to experience Snatcher, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Michigan: Report from Hell, and so many others should pay a random dude hundreds of dollars that the publishers and developers will never see for this “privilege.” Those transactions are for the collector, who wants the tangible item, but for the player I think access should be made available and if the business of games does not support this then skating the line of the law is a personal decision each player can make. Also my experience on Twitch lately has been hilarious because I tend to play on actual hardware and I appear to be one of the few, so my choice to avoid emulation is more of an old man theory than a crusade against piracy and authenticity.
This week Fred and Jam are joined by special guest Vos from the Future Monkeys podcast to discuss the topic of LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered and Queer) characters and themes in video games. Some may be surprised to know that while not common, they have been around for just about as long as games have. Our panel identifies and discusses the instances that have occurred over history.
Fred has never played Operation Raccoon City and after it was mentioned on the most recent Silent Evil Episode, he finally decided to join veteran to the game and co-host Jam for a co-op session. This is the result.
Warning: This video contains adult language and graphic violence. The chat language is quite offensive as well.
Authors Note: The circumstances surrounding my having seen this movie early and my review having been written months ago are explained at the end of this review.
Here we go again, another video game movie. That’s all I seem to think about whenever I see anything like Pixels advertised, so needless to say I went into my initial screening with very low hopes. Couple that with the fact that the starring roles belong to Adam Sandler and Kevin James, two actors of which I despise most of their work, and you basically have a formula for what I assumed would be a disaster. Thanks to some lighthearted implementation of some of gaming’s first arcade titles (Pac-Man, Centepede, Donkey Kong, etc.) and the assistance of great supporting cast members Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage, this 80s nostalgia flick just became yet another in a sea of big dumb fun summer blockbusters. If you over think it, this movie falls apart, but if you just go in with zero expectations and want to enjoy two hours, you might be pleasantly surprised.
A lost art from the 80s, 90s, and the early 00s is the brick and mortar used game store. Before GameStop and Game took over US and UK respectively, cornering the market, there were plenty of independent owners offering up cash and trade for used games. Fred and Jam (along with members of the community) share their fond memories of those long lost local shops.
I’m sick of hearing the phrase, “nothing is coming out,” in relation to video games. That’s not true, so many games are coming out on a consistent basis that we cannot even have a single day of the week they all release. What I feel most people mean is “there’s nothing coming out that interests me.” That’s a much more fair appraisal. Depending on your interests or tastes in games, this summer can either be chock full of great releases or a barren wasteland with nothing new to experience. Personally I am enjoying Batman Arkham Knight, Godzilla, looking forward to cracking the seal on Onechanbara Z2 Chaos, and of course the Mega Man Legacy Collection and Rare Replay retro efforts soon to hit. Aside from perhaps Batman, the rest of these games fall into a specific category that has grown a lot of steam lately: niche gaming. Niche gaming, much as the title suggests, caters to a dedicated but specific audience – not one unlike the audience here at GH101 I might add. It’s easy to scoff at niche titles, especially when you consider that they often have frequent sequels that don’t appear to iterate much. It’s good that these games exist because they are essential to keeping the experiences of gaming as a whole strong, not to mention they’ve been around as long as gaming has.
I remember hearing constantly about Resident Evil 2 fan remakes in the last couple of years. Time has been kind to other members of the series, including the HD Remaster of the Gamecube remake and the “elite” 1080p version of Resident Evil 4. Now it appears, thanks to a recent Eurogamer update, that the fan created (and free) Unreal Engine 4 remake of Resident Evil 2 is only a couple of months away. This version takes the over-the-shoulder style of Resident Evil 4 and brings back the classic sequel we all anticipated for two years on the original Playstation. No word yet on what Capcom has to say about it – clearly it has remained silent on the topic – but if you really want this game you will want to grab it the second we post the download link.
Fred’s Take: I fear this is going to be one of many titles that’s probably best left in the creative memory of what it used to be. That said, I will gladly pick up this free version of the game (and possibly even donate some money provided it’s the stellar effort in this video) and see how I feel. Who knows, perhaps it will be the breath of fresh air I’ve been waiting for from Resident Evil.
On July 11, 2015, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away suddenly at the age of 55. Many of us are familiar with Iwata-san thanks to the fantastic Iwata Asks series and his consistent appearances on Nintendo Direct videos, but there was a lot of legacy behind this man as well. This podcast honors Nintendo’s late leader with the story of his life and climb from an unpaid intern at Commodore Japan to the first non-family leader of a video game powerhouse.
Special guest Vos joins. Resident Evil and Silent Hill are known for the canonical tales in the numbered storylines, but amidst the biological warfare and haunted towns lies a lesser appreciated series of tales. Enter the “gaiden” or side story. These are the titles on the lesser known consoles, portables, and even mobile phones that surprisingly create unique gameplay and plotlines that, while not as appreciated, are welcome additions to the library.