Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Archive for July 2015

So I’m Getting Into Chrono Gaming

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On the most recent episode of Retronauts (Vol. IV, Ep 43), the retro team had on a special guest who goes by the name Dr. Sparkle, the founder of the Chrontendo blog.  Chrontendo videos are a project set on analyzing the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System in chronological order from the month of release in order to get some insight on game development, trends, and even development studios maturing over the course of the console.  It’s known as “chrono gaming” and there are plenty who have attempted it and far fewer that have succeeded in these lasting projects for archival purposes.  For better or worst, I have decided that I want to cover early CD consoles, starting with my favorite and dearest gaming console friend, the Sega CD.  When you set out to cover a large number of games, especially in chronological order, there’s going to be a great degree of tedium and tempation to get lost in rabbit holes, that’s why I have decided to limit myself off the bat to the Sega CD.  Unfortunately the list of releases and release dates are poorly documented, however Dr. Sparkle has provided me a thorough spreadsheet (no idea where he got some of this information, but a massive thanks to him) that I will use as a guide while I attempt to cover the entire Sega CD library in order.  Most are probably content with this explanation, but for those of you like me who wonder how I plan to do it, what I’m going to use for capture, and the format, I have your answers in the following paragraphs.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 13, 2015 at 11:42 am

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Has Died

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I remember seeing all those death announcements of celebrities in the last few years, especially the (real) ones that make it to Facebook, and cannot understand the majority of people that claim to be sad.  It’s the negative side of me that thinks they are doing that just for attention and want to add the “me too” mentality to the loss of a person we’ve seen on TV or the silver screen.  Whether that is true or not is irrelevant because assuming at least some of these people are sincere, I now know how they feel.  Satoru Iwata is an important man in the realm of video games and it is with the deepest regard that I discuss his death briefly.

It’s mind blowing to me given his young age, 55.  That’s almost twice mine but I do not intend to only live to 55, so on a selfish level it humbles me to think about the frailty of life.  More importantly, Iwata represents what we should all want of our company presidents.  Working his way up from a programmer and producer at HAL Laboratory (Adventures of Lolo, Kirby) right out of University and eventually rising the ranks to be President of Nintendo is just about the dream of any gamer and developer out there, so he should be commended.  We will be doing a show to honor him much like we did with Hiroshi Yamauchi in the upcoming days (and Jeremy Parish has already announced a HAL episode of Retronauts to honor him as well), but it’s just too sad and sudden to jump into it now.  I’m not crying or anything, not that he doesn’t deserve it, but because I’m still trying to process it all.  I can assure you that if Iwata-san were able to communicate with us he would want us smiling and happy of his release as opposed to saddened, but I just feel a large sense of loss.  He was a great man who did great things and regardless of how you feel about Nintendo’s current state there should be no doubt that the company was significantly better thanks in part to his efforts.  I don’t want to ramble on or add more sentiment to this Sunday evening so I leave with a fantastic quote from Iwata that Bungie recently tweeted:

On my business card, I am a corporate president.  In my mind, I am a game developer.  But in my heart, I am a gamer.” – Satoru Iwata

Rest in peace.

Written by Fred Rojas

July 12, 2015 at 9:06 pm

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Capcom Releases Resident Evil 0 Comparison Video With N64 Prototype Footage

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Normally we don’t like to report much on what is basically marketing for the upcoming 2016 Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster, but it includes previously unseen clips of the original N64 prototype (where the game was originally going to release).  For that reason, and the 5 minute run time, we’ve decided to put it here for all to enjoy.

Written by Fred Rojas

July 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Posted in News, Videos

Podcast: Survival of the Fiercest

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To continue the discussion began in our previous episode In Games No One Can Hear You Scream Fred and Jam delve into the world of the Predator and Aliens vs. Predator games.  While you may only think of a couple, there is a robust library of very different games from talented studios.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

History in the Making: SNES Playstation Found

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We here at Gaming History 101 were of the many who reached out to Dan Diebold after he posted some photos Thursday night of his father’s apparent SNES Playstation console, a console that was never released and all prototypes were thought to be destroyed.  Polygon appears to have gotten the interview, and did a fine job at that, so instead of having that coverage Fred delves into what this is, what it means, and what could be on those blank media that came with the console.  Sadly since it doesn’t have a power cord we won’t know for a while.

The Birth of the Playstation episode of Gh101 can be found here.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in News

Extra Credit: Top 10 Xbox Games

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xboxMicrosoft’s big clunky box from 2001 may have been laughable at first, but whether you were aware or not it hit like a limited interest storm that holiday.  From a certain shooter to the catalog of Sega and a myriad of PC ports, there’s no denying the Xbox started to bridge the gap between console and computer.  Fred and Jam duke it out once again with 40 more of their favorite titles to see which 10 remain in this month’s Top 10 Xbox games.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, Top 10, Xbox

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Parasite Eve Review

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Parasite Eve was born from the JRPG rush that flooded onto the original Playstation in the West after the success of Final Fantasy VII.  During this time we see many new franchises that never left Japan coming over to the West as well as several franchises from the days of the 16-bit era coming over as enhanced ports on the PS1.  Square Enix, one of the top developers and publishers of JRPGs, decided to create a Western-focused action RPG that was developed by Americans working closely with some of Japan’s top talent.  The result is the survival horror and RPG hybrid Parasite Eve, that doesn’t quite capture the hearts of either fan, but is an undeniably unique title.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Podcast: Parasite Eve Game Club

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It’s not quite a survival horror, but not quite an RPG.  It’s not quite developed in Japan but hardly a sole USA product either.  Needless to say whether you’ve played it or not, there aren’t really other games with the development history or style of Parasite Eve.  Beloved by those who played it back in the late 90s, this Squaresoft RPG with action elements that hit during the PS1 JRPG boon has its place among Square’s robust catalog.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 1, 2015 at 11:00 am