Gaming History 101

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Archive for October 2016

Horror 101 Episode 3: Halloween (1978)

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For this very special day Jam and Fred have a very special episode of Horror 101 featuring the original Halloween from 1978 and directed by John Carpenter.  Our final format has been decided as a commentary to the movie itself, though you definitely don’t have to be watching it to enjoy this episode.  If you do wish to watch as a running commentary, queue up your version to the very beginning and put it on pause, we’ll tell you when to start.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Horror 101, podcast

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Horror 101 Episode 2: The Evil Dead (1982)

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For our second episode Jam and Fred dive deep into the woods with Sam Raimi’s 1982 horror cult classic The Evil Dead.  Whether it was edited, banned, or hated upon, this is one of the earliest instances of a movie too gory and brutal for many audiences.  The original “cabin in the woods” tale about 5 friends who awaken evil spirits and are unable to leave is horror at its best.  Listen to the two discuss the film, and its finer points, for nearly the length of the work itself.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm

The Big Gaming History 101 Halloween Post

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Halloween is here!  This weekend many of us will celebrate by playing games that scare us, watch horror movies, and depending on lifestyle/age either be getting drunk at parties where people are dressed in slutty outfits or taking kids in much more appropriate outfits out to get candy.  To get you in the mood, here are a bunch of items from our archive that you should definitely check out:

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Halloween Rarities: Check out our list of a handful of little known horror titles that we love.  Be sure to click on the various links in the article as all of our links are for additional content only found here on our site.

Great Retro Halloween Games That Aren’t Scary: Don’t like to be freaked out and jumpy all Halloween?  Here are a handful of themed titles that won’t have you up late at night or turning on all of the lights.

Castlevania Retrospective: Are you familiar with the Belmont family and one of Konami’s most beloved franchises of all time?  This article will get you caught on up on the origins, the titles, and even offers sub-articles on each game.

The Countdown Horror Obscura: Jam runs through a bunch of obscure horror titles you may either not be aware of or don’t necessarily consider of the horror genre.  Learn about a bunch of games you may have never heard of.

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Silent Hill 2 Game Club: Fred isn’t great at re-telling this story, as many fans have justifiably pointed out.  Despite this fact, listeners claim this is a great club to listen to because it’s purely from the perspective of a person who had never played Silent Hill 2 and was recounting it’s effective moments fresh and for the first time.

The History of Survival Horror: Learn the roots of probably the strongest gaming horror genre.

Obscure Survival Horror: You’ve played Silent Hill and crushed Resident Evil, but have you ever played Overblood?  This and a handful of other more obscure survival horror titles are accounted.

I Have No Mouse and I Must Scream: We bring in guest Kole Ross from the Watch Out For Fireballs podcast to discuss point-and-click horror titles.

Scared Stupid: Games that scared the s**t out of us.

horror_camera_eyeVideos

Retro Game Night – Splatterhouse: A 2D brawler platformer set in a haunted house where you play as basically Jason Voorhies?  What, there’s also a chibi version for NES?  Check them out.

Retro Game Challenge – Ghosts’n Goblins:Fred tries to beat Ghosts’n Goblins for the NES, one of the hardest games on the console.  Can he do it?

Condemned: Criminal Origins Longplay: See the entire game, commentary free, in 1080p.

Resident Evil 2 Version Comparison: The most popular Resident Evil title is dissected in its many ports.

Let’s Play Michigan: Report from Hell: Developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, led by Suda51, and exclusive to the PS2 only in Europe and Japan.  This ultra rare title has some unique ideas.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth Review

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I remember the first time I read Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft.  I had come to it thanks to the Metallica song of the same name off the Ride the Lightning album, which intrigued me because the song had no lyrics despite being based off of a work of writing.  Some had touted it as a quintessential bit of horror fiction to rival even the strongest authors of today while others made the predictable claim that it was too disjointed from contemporary times to be relevant, let alone scary. I came away feeling a bit of both.  Much of the concepts of the work are for your head to create, but that’s also what made it so horrifying, it was indescribable.  Dark Corners of the Earth tries to bring an author and storyline that has dodged popular culture, widespread film, and of course video games for so long.  It’s one of the first instances where an interactive medium has attempted to bring Lovecraft’s world to life, no easy feat.  It’s not even based off of the main story Call of Cthulhu – although Lovecraft fans are used to the co-branding for various alternative works – but rather the novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth that details a town in New England that has isolated itself from the US.  Ultimately the town is inhabited by sea creatures and ancient beings, which is now brought to life with a twist in an unreliable narrator that wavers in sanity.  While Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth bites off a bit more than it can chew in overall design, not to mention the odd breaking point in the middle where it literally shifts genres, your ability to keep pace with it results in what could be one of the strongest horror video games of all time.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 27, 2016 at 11:00 am

The Horror Obscura 2016: Part 2

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Rise Of Nightmares

The Xbox Kinect 1.0. Yes I’m talking about Microsoft’s first attempt at motion controls on the fantastic Xbox 360 console. The device actually sold pretty well to begin with people seemed to buy into Microsoft’s marketing for the device for about 5 minutes and then people left it on the side lines only to pull it out from the dusty corner of the living room when a new entry in the Dance Central series released. Then Kinect 2.0 happened and no one cared, so the real horror here is Kinect’s failure to capture an audience. Of course you’d have seen the title and you know that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No horror fans, today we are going to talk about the reason I kinda wanted to buy a Kinect for the Xbox 360 in the first place a little Sega title called Rise of Nightmares.

Rise of Nightmares to me is House of the Dead for the Kinect. Now I know that’s an incredibly bold statement to make since the House of the Dead series is just light gun zombie shooting bliss and Rise of Nightmares, well its a Kinect game and that just makes people just groan generally. We’re gamers right? we don’t like standing up and flailing our arms around we like to sit on sofa and be lazy. Unless of course your like Fred and you stand up to play games anyway in which case buy this game and enjoy.

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Written by jamalais

October 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Silent Evil ReImagined

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Another Silent Evil, another set of games.  This time it’s the reinvention of both franchises.  First up is Climax’s take on the original game with Silent Hill Shattered Memories followed by the powerhouse horror action hybrid Resident Evil 4.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

Retro Game Night 10/14/2016 – Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines

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A title with a massive cult following, Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines was plagued with bugs thanks to rushed development. Once it was finally patched to good working order, the game didn’t seem to play nice with Win7+ operating systems until a recent final patch came along that makes the game easy to run and play. You can find that patch here if you own the game on Steam or GoG: http://www.patches-scrolls.de/patch/4647

Fred jumps in, makes a character (Nosferatu), and proceeds to play the opening missions. This is a quick look to get a feel for the game and was originally broadcast on our Twitch channel. This is to become a regular series with a different class character as Fred discovers the intricacies of this forward thinking title.

***NOTE: I know I suck at the game and I know Nosferatu is not a good starting point if you’ve never played. This was discovered after the fact but clearly hinted while we broadcast. A new series of Let’s Play videos will be coming with a new character class.***

Written by Fred Rojas

October 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Horror Obscura 2016: Intro and Part One

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Introduction

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Back by popular demand the Horror Obscura returns for another series of terror. This year, as well as discussing some horror titles you may not have heard of, I also wanted to revisit some games which are not necessarily considered horror but have horror elements portrayed in them really well. I’ve always been quite the fan of horror. When I was 5 years old one of my parents made the big mistake of allowing me to watch Stephen King’s It. Pro Parenting tip: Don’t let a 5 year old watch It they will think Tim Curry is terrifying, Home Alone 2 to me is terrifying with his inclusion (full disclosure I’m currently not a parent). Regardless of this experience I always held a kind of fascination with horror and think deep down we all sort of do. Whether its watching a scary film, playing a scary game or doing something scary like falling in love. Okay, I know this is a gaming blog not a life lesson but I feel we all sort of find horror even if its in media that doesn’t contain a monster as my first entry of the Horror Obscura 2016 will begin with.

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Written by jamalais

October 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

Horror 101 Episode 1: The Monster Squad (1987)

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For our premiere episode Fred and Jam are discussing The Monster Squad from TriStar Pictures in 1987.  Directed by Fred Dekker and co-written by Dekker and Shane Black, the elevator pitch is five pre-teens up against five of the Universal Monsters.  While it never quite caught on and lives today in cult status, The Monster Squad is a great contemporary way to get acquainted with those classic creatures from the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  Each episode is in two parts: one main episode on the movie and a feature-length commentary track. You can find the commentary track here.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

Horror 101 Commentary Episode 1: The Monster Squad (1987)

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In this first commentary, Fred gives you a feature-length rundown of The Monster Squad filled with industry info, background info, and some often overlooked moments in the film. Each episode is in two parts: one main episode on the movie and a feature-length commentary track. You can find the main episode here.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 14, 2016 at 10:59 am