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Archive for July 2016

Metal Wolf Chaos Review

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If you’ve ever been interested in rare Xbox titles, focus on import gaming, or happened to click on a listicle that talks about the best games to play around Independence Day (guilty) then you’ve probably come across Metal Wolf Chaos.  Developed by From Software (Dark Souls) and only released on the original Xbox in Japan, both the console and game are hard to come by and will run you easily over $200 for the combo.  Even if you do get them, you’ll then need to know some Japanese to navigate the menus and upgrade paths.  Fortunately soft modding the Xbox is a common practice that often doesn’t even involve piracy, and some nice people have released a translation patch that you can add to your copy if you have.  From Software is known for having just about as many bad games as good, so you may be asking whether or not all this work, money, and rarity makes the game worth it.  According to the articles online, yes, definitely.  I happen to disagree.  Metal Wolf Chaos is a fantastic pitch with a rock solid presentation, but when you walk away from the hype and get down to playing it, there’s little difference between this title and most of the Japanese games we slam over here in the West.

metal_wolf_chaos_1In Metal Wolf Chaos you play as President of the United States Michael Wilson, a distant relative of Woodrow Wilson, who is fighting civil insurrection due to economic downturns in the early 21st century.  This results in the development of massive military weapons and tech including his own mech suit called “Metal Wolf.”  In a predictable Japanese plotline, the Vice President Richard Hawk frames Wilson for re-enacting horrible laws like slavery and causing chaos throughout the country in Metal Wolf.  As Wilson you play through a slew of levels in major US cities trying to save the areas from total destruction thanks to the US military, who have for some reason decided to join forces with VP Hawk.  The collusion is made complete with the help of a journalist for a national news network who keeps covering the events and blaming Metal Wolf for everything going down in the country.  In the end the best answer is to obliterate much of the US forces and eventually take down Hawk and reveal him for the fraud he is.  Since this pitch is the basis for why so many people recommend you play it, I have to give From Software huge credit for a hilarious and ridiculous plot.  Despite it having no bearing on reality or the way our government works, it’s big dumb fun on the grandest scale  and you can’t help but laugh about the way the campaign unfolds.  The voice acting is also in English, so much of the plot dialogue is not lost on us English speakers and whether it’s intentionally cheesy or just the result of weaker voice actors, the game is better for it.  Little touches like a drum roll before your assistant reveals the given nickname for each mission and the blatant lack of integrity in every newscast from the US press kept me giggling from start to finish.  In terms of the elevator pitch, this game has it all.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 29, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in Reviews, Xbox

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Podcast: Nier Game Club

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In the first game club for the new format Fred, Jam, and guest Fortengard jump into the ambitious world of Nier.  Developed by dissolved developer Cavia and published by Square Enix, this is one of the oddest titles to appear last generation.  In this episode the hosts dissect the development, campaign, gameplay, and audio/visuals of this divisive cult favorite.

Opening: Snow in Summer
Fishing: Song of the Ancients Fate
Town: Song of the Ancients (Devola)
Open Area: Hills of Radiant Winds
Dungeon: The Wrecked Automatons
Closing: Yona (Piano Version)


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 27, 2016 at 11:00 am

I Have to Accept That I Don’t Like Dishonored

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Sometimes a game comes along that is almost universally loved.  People sing its praises, the critics all give it good scores, you’re called a “troll” if you don’t like it, and the gaming world refuses to accept any other opinion.  As with all games, there will be an inevitable minority that don’t like the game, for whatever reason, and it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in this predicament.  In my case, it’s with Dishonored.  Arkane Studios gorgeous 2012 first person stealth title about a man named Corvo rescuing a girl named Emily was beloved across the board.  Garnering a 90 percent Metacritic and just about the same score across most of the major US and European publications gave little reason to not think this was a masterpiece.  It would go on to win several Game of the Year awards as well as industry awards and had the sales to back up the hype.  There’s no reason not to play Dishonored, no matter what game you’re into.  Except for me.  I am consistently infuriated by this game and it sucks that I don’t like it. I want to like this game, I should like this game, but I just don’t.  Here’s my story as to just how hard I tried to convince myself that I should like this title.  It is not a review.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog

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Extra Credit: Sonic Boom’s 25th Anniversary Edition R Dash

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Sega celebrated Sonic’s 25th Anniversary with a whopping 4 hour livestream for a relatively small amount of content.  The stream was loaded with audio issues as well, so I guess it’s only fitting that a duplicating echo effect is present through this entire show as well, although we feel it’s still good enough to listen to and enjoy.  Fred and Jam are joined by 42 Level One’s Andy and Ali to discuss the blue hedgehog’s upcoming endeavors.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

ChronCD Episode 3

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The high quality version can be downloaded at: https://archive.org/details/chroncd_ep3

ChronCD is the comprehensive coverage of all CD-based console games in chronological order.  Episode 3 collects the first half of 1990 with a whopping 13 games on the PC-Engine CD.

00:00 – 00:42: Opening Credits
00:43 – 02:10: Introduction to 1990
02:11 – 04:43: Nishimura Kyotaro Mystery: Hokutosei no Onna (Woman of the Great Bear)
04:44 – 12:32: Super Darius
12:33 – 16:42: Golden Axe
16:43 – 21:02: Final Zone II
21:03 – 25:57: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
25:58 – 27:35: Cosmic Fantasy: Boken Shonen Yu
27:36 – 30:10: Shanghai II
30:11 – 32:32: Death Bringer: The Knight of Darkness
32:33 – 34:43: Super Daisenryaku
34:44 – 36:52: Ultrabox
36:53 – 39:00: Sol Bianca
39:01 – 42:01: Urusai Yatsura: Stay With You
42:02 – 44:02: Meikyu no Elfine: Faerie Dust Story
44:03 – 45:20: Closing
45:21 – 45:46: Credits
CD player sound effect by user NLM from Freesound.org and used under Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.  Sound can be found here: https://www.freesound.org/people/NLM/sounds/144054/

Podcast: I Got Nothing or New Beginnings

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There comes a time when self reflection begs the needs to switch things up.  This episode is Fred and Jam looking into just that.  For the opening portion of the show they talk about ideas and format changes for the Gaming History 101 podcast (and of course want your feedback).  The back half is dedicated to all the retro gaming news as we begin prep for the new format.  All of this makes more sense if you listen.  Feedback is welcome at contact@gaminghistory101.com


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Let’s Play Metal Wolf Chaos

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Released only in Japan, From Software (best known for Dark Souls) made a ridiculous game for the original Xbox. The president of the United States uses a mech to battle those that have invaded his country alongside the Vice President.  You can find our complete review here.

This playthrough is in 3 parts and the game is not completed at the end.  Our review outlines why and it’s clear by the end of the final stream as well.  

Written by Fred Rojas

July 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

Documentaries: The Making of Resident Evil 4 and 5

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Two documentaries, mostly promotional, delve into the development and production of Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.

 

Written by Fred Rojas

July 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Nintendo Announced the NES Mini and Here’s the Important Details

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Update 09/30/2016 at 12:45 pm: Nintendo has released more information on the NES Classic Edition in conjunction with the announcement of Japan’s Famicom Classic Edition.  The Classic Edition models will contain multiple visual modes: CRT Filter, 4:3, and Pixel Perfect.  CRT Filter adds scanlines, 4:3 presents the game in its original aspect ratio, and Pixel Perfect upscales everything in a perfect square (which seems to suggest 720p output).  In addition you can have up to 4 suspend points that act just like save states in emulators.  You will also get a QR code on the screen with each game that will allow you to access the original manual.  Bob Mackey at US Gamer also just did a write-up that claims the controller cords are short, like 3 feet or so short.  You also have to reset the console to pick a new game, although those of us with flash carts should be used to that.  This probably won’t change your opinion, but it does get closer to finally finding answers to these early questions from the summer.

Update 07/14/2016 at 12:45 pm: A reader (TeenNick) has mentioned that Nintendo Life has reported the device will not support additional games, either in cart form or other alternative forms.  This better explains the list being so strong and varied.  Not sure if this is still going to be of value to me, but for most fans of the NES as a child this is a quick and dirty solution for your favorite classics.

Original Story:

First of all, Nintendo, 5 am?  Really?  Clearly Reggie and the gang are up much earlier than I am – and for the record I work in healthcare so I have a bit earlier of a schedule than the typical games media writer.  Either way, the great news came down with this announcement from Nintendo of America (NOA) that this November we will be getting the NES mini.  I have an NES and I have a lot of games for it, not to mention the 100+ titles I also have on the Virtual Console, and lets not forget that a dozen or so clone consoles are just a used game store away, so why care?  Well, on the surface of this announcement, you don’t.  It’s not until you get the details, which I do have below, that suddenly this is an intriguing endeavor.

Thanks to Gamespot’s Eddie Makuch, who appeared to be equally inquisitive with Nintendo as opposed to most other sites who merely said “mini NES with games, isn’t that cool?” we have some important details.  It will cost $60 in the US, releases November 11, and includes 30 games (the list is below).  From what it sounds like the cart slot will support any NES game you put in there, but I have yet to see that actually stated, however you would hope.  That will also be significant in the next paragraph.  Nintendo confirmed that the console has HDMI out and uses a USB power adapter for AC, which is free and included in the US but not in Europe (and probably not in Japan as we traditionally see).  The controller is a classic NES style and one is included in the box, but more can be purchased for $10 apiece.  These use the classic controller port like we see on the Wiimote.  Also Nintendo confirmed that “suspend points” will be available.  This means a lot of things, so lets break down what this information seems to indicate and why you may want to purchase this, even if you own an NES.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 14, 2016 at 10:24 am

Posted in NES, News

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The Podcast Archive Is Live!

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You asked for it, you got it: we have an official podcast archive with every episode, topic descriptions, searchable guests, numbering of episodes, and stream/download links.  It’s not quite complete, we’ve got everything up to June 2015 and the only missing episodes can be found in the official feed.  You’ll also notice the link to the archive is in the toolbar at the upper right in place of what used to be simply labeled “podcast.”

We hope this makes finding episodes to be a quicker and easier endeavor.  The entire season bundle pack downloads are coming soon, as are the two missing episodes that don’t have links.  Enjoy, share, listen.  Thanks from GH101!

Written by Fred Rojas

July 13, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Posted in News