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Archive for December 2015

Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours Review

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When you think of space shooters, the Darius series is probably not the first one you would think of, so it came as a wonderful surprise to to see this title come from out of nowhere and single handedly brought about what could be the renaissance of the space shooter series.  Dariusburst Chronicles Saviours (DBCS) is a love letter to the Darius series as well as anyone who has nostalgia for the shoot-em-up (shmup) genre. This series first started all the way back in 1986 and was infamously known for its merginging of space and the ocean. By this I mean that enemy ships all look like mechanical fish. It has an incredible design to it that you’ve just never seen anywhere else. Although the Darius series has not seen recent titles in the West, it has been living on with a lot of popularity in Japan on the portable and arcade scene.

The DBCS concept is pretty simple: you’re in a small space ship flying through various environments and your goal is to unload bullet hell onto any fishy looking space ship that happens to disturb your casual flight. The main hook of this game is the “burst” feature, which is a super charged cannon and unloads a devastating beam of death once you have acquired enough charge. It’s an essential feature to use against the gorgeous looking boss battles which range from giant mechanical crabs, lion-fish, and swordfish. It felt like quite the trip to the mechanical aquarium for me as I used to be quite the enthusiast of fish in my younger days and seeing some of creatures recreated in this game brought a smile to my face. What I love about the boss battles in this game is how you’re presented with a giant “WARNING” sign before each foe appears, you have this feeling something sinister is around the corner. Despite seeing this screen hundreds of times it never got old for me. If you’re skilled with the cannon, you can time it just right for when the boss decides to give you a stream of its own beam of death, which you can counter and land an even bigger beam of destruction back at the baddie. This moment when I was clever (or lucky) enough to pull it off was one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve had in gaming for quite some time. Its not all burst beams though, ships come in different fins and shells and you can pick up power-ups to upgrade your ship along your level.

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Written by jamalais

December 31, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Podcast: 2016 on the 5s and 10s

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In a slightly early episode this year, we are ringing in 2016 as we always have: by celebrating the decades and half decades of gaming history.  This year we are celebrating years ending in 1s and 6s and covering everything from Nintendo becoming a toy company to the release of the Commodore Vic-20.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 30, 2015 at 11:00 am

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Extra Credit: Knights of the Old Republic

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Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR for short), is notable for many reasons.  Developers BioWare and Obsidian not only created a new plotline, in fact part of a new history, of Star Wars, but managed to also do so with RPG elements.  From the moment development began to the release of the sequel, KOTOR is definitely an influential part of the video game universe of Star Wars.  This episode delves into development, mechanics, and release of both titles in the series.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 24, 2015 at 11:00 am

Twas the Night Before Xmas, Part 4

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For the first time ever, Jamalais joins in a Christmas episode with Fred and special guest Fortengard to discuss Christmas stories, memories, and the holiday releases of 1998 and 1999.  This amazing art comes courtesy of listener SieOne.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

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Extra Credit: Battlefront

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There were two main franchises we couldn’t get to in our Star Wars episodes: Battlefront and Knights of the Old Republic.  Both have significance not only to the fan base but to the world ofStar Wars gaming because they are excellent examples of how to take the license, think outside of the box, and run with it.  First up is Pandemic’s Battlefront series hosted by Jamalais and documenting one of the more addicting early online console franchises.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

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Gaming History X: End of 2015

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In a special episode about modern games, Gaming History X, we tackle our views of your questions about gaming today as well as make some special announcements.  Enjoy.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm

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Lost Treasures of Gaming: Remember Me

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This week’s Lost Treasures of Gaming is near and dear to my heart because I got to review the game upon release. Probably the most unappreciated game of 2013, Remember Me is the first game from studio Dontnod. It fuses combo-based brawling, cyberpunk, and the unique “memory remix” features to create a unique and gorgeous title.

Check out the Lost Treasures of Gaming podcast at http://www.omgnexus.com.

Written by Fred Rojas

December 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Retrospective: Rebel Strike (Rogue Squadron III)

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In order to understand why Rebel Strike even exists and why reviewers were so harsh on certain aspects of it, it’s important to understand where the series roots begin in the Star Wars video game universe as well as the significance of developer Factor 5.  As most gamers are aware, the mid-late 90s was a rough time for video games as games went from sprite-based 2D experiences to polygonal 3D experiences with extremely varying degrees of success and failure.  During this time Star Wars was ramping up for some new content beginning with the 1995 announcement of the Special Edition Trilogy that would remaster the original films and bring them back to theaters.  At the time this was all good news.  My friends and I were mocking the transparent snowspeeders in Empire, laughing at some of the effects in A New Hope, and reveling over the cool new things that were teased in the trailer (like the ronto in Mos Eisley).  These days there are clearly sour grapes with the Special Edition Trilogy and far more edits have been made for the Blu-Ray releases of these films than what hit theaters in 1997, but again before those films had even come out it was time to ramp up on Star Wars console games.  Couple that with the announcement of the upcoming Prequel Trilogy set to release in 1999 and Star Wars fever hit.  It should be noted that Star Wars games would consistently release during most of console gaming’s life, but most of the variety was found only on PC and the more traditional action games were found on console.

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Written by Fred Rojas

December 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

The Phantom Podcast

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On the week of The Force Awakens release, we decided to go ahead and finish our Star Wars video game series with the most controversial and feared topic of all: the games based on or released around the time of the prequels.  It’s not so bad and it leads to a discussion on the impressions and impact of the prequel films before the Internet changed our minds.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

Tomb Raider Anniversary Review

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The original Tomb Raider was more than just a 32 bit title that launched a strong Playstation franchise, it was a cultural phenomenon.  For those that have ever played it, especially if you’ve recently gone back, it’s rather difficult to appreciate that game without the amazing strength of nostalgia.  Fortunately when Crystal Dynamics took over for the franchise with Legend the company’s second project was to remake the original.  As the following reviews will attest, it was a good faith effort to not only switch up the mechanics and polish the weaker points of the first game, but ultimately the need to keep many of the levels and designs intact tarnish the experience.  Crystal Dynamics played it safe with how little it tweaked of the original formula and what resulted was a game that feels so updated and tight at some points and so sluggish and archaic at others.

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Written by jamalais

December 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm