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Archive for October 2016

DoDonPachi Resurrection Review

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For whatever reason, the West gave up on the scrolling shooter genre back in the 90s.  Sure, games came and went after the 32-bit generation, but for the most part series that had existed for decades like GradiusDarius, and even R-Type ceased development.  In Japan, however, the shooter – sometimes called shoot-em-up or the divisive shorthand of shmup – has evolved along with new franchises and coveted developers.  Otaku, weeaboo (foreigners obsessed with Japanese culture), and shoot-em-up fans like myself remain aware and hungry for the new and challenging titles that come from the East.  Of those modern franchises, there are few developers more notable than Cave and there are few franchises more recognizable than DoDonPachi.  The name is a pun on both the literal meaning, angry leader bee, and the fact that “don” is onomatopoeia with bullet fire in Japanese.  The story is somewhat irrelevant at this point, mostly because we never saw a release of any of the DoDonPachi series outside of limited release in arcades, but suffice to say it revolves around fighting various human fighters under the control of a large bee set on world domination.  The “don” is fitting as well because your ship will be putting out literally hundreds of bullets every second and a sea of bright pink and blue bullet-fire will be coming back at you in retort.  This sub-genre is known as danmaku (“bullet hell”), which is a fitting name given the minute-by-minute gameplay.  Why does any of this matter?  Because we’re finally getting a Western release of DoDonPachi DaiFakkatsu (aka Resurrection) on Steam that is part of an impressive resurgence of the genre for this region.  DoDonPachi Resurrection is gorgeous, brutal, and feature packed to the point that both the veteran shooter fan and newcomers can find plenty to do and enjoy every potentially frustrating second.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth Game Club

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There is no writer quite like H.P. Lovecraft and there’s definitely not a whole lot of games like Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.  A divisive title that is seen by some a tiresome game of pointless challenges while others revere it as the quintessential horror video game.  Fred and Jam delve into the design, development, and campaign of this unique horror title.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 12, 2016 at 11:00 am

Retro Game Night 10/07/16 – Laplace No Ma (English Patch) and Shadowhawk (Prototype)

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For Fred’s triumphant return to streaming with Retro Game Night with two games you’ve (probably) never played.

First up, in honor of horror and October, is Laplace no Ma (loosely translated to Laplace’s Demon) that is a hybrid survival horror and dungeon crawling RPG.  Developed by Group SNE and published by Vic Tokai on the Super Famicom, this is a unique 16-bit follow-up to the concept first started by Sweet Home.  Thanks to a fan translation, it is now playable in English.

To wrap up the show, Fred takes a look at the recently unearthed prototype cart of Shadowhawk, based off the Jim Valentino comic of the same name.  Originally planned to release on the SNES in the early 90s, this 2D side scrolling platformer was lost to time and lack of a publisher only to be discovered nearly two decades later.  You can find this ROM here and it is playable in emulators or on actual hardware via flash cart.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

New Podcast: Horror 101 – Episode 0

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What is Horror 101? Why it’s the new horror movie podcast from Fred and Jam of Gaming History 101. This show will be a separate format, topic, and feed from the traditional show, but what better way to give a sneak peek than a brief introduction on the main feed? In this first episode Fred introduces you to the format, why the show is happening, what you can expect, and a brief history on the types of horror that existed each decade until the flood gates opened in the late 70s/early 80s.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 7, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Horror 101, podcast

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Policenauts Has Been Translated on Saturn

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A fan translation of the Sega Saturn version of Policenauts has been released.  It can be found here.  There you will also find the original Playstation translation as well, but read on to discover why you may want to go with the Saturn.

We love Policenauts here at Gaming History 101.  You can read a review on it, listen to a game club, and even hear a choice song from the soundtrack in one of our music episodes.  This is significant because the Hideo Kojima title was never released outside of Japan and never officially translated to English.  There was a fan translation of the version on the original Playstation in 2009, but it has some compatibility issues that can arise and the shooting sequences don’t support light guns, making them brutal.  On the other hand, the Saturn version is a bit more of a remake than a port with better graphics and even light gun support.  As of yesterday you can now get an English translation patch for the Saturn version and get to play the most definitive version of this great title.

Fred’s Take: This news is huge to me.  First off, it allows me to play (and hopefully finish) the game on an actual console.  I started a video capture of the PS1 version, but struggled greatly with the shooting sequences.  Upon beating the highway scene at the end of Act 2, I was then confronted with a save bug that I never could figure out how to overcome.  I was able to complete the game thanks to emulation, but it never felt right with a keyboard, mouse, and save states.  Hopefully with the help of my chipped Saturn and trusty Virtua Cop light gun I can finally play Policenauts as intended on original hardware.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Saturn

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DoDonPachi Resurrection Quick Look

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DoDonPachi Resurrection will premiere on Steam October 14, a title previously exclusive to Japan.  Here Fred takes a look at the initial stages and describes basic gameplay.  This footage was captured at 4K/UHD resolution (3840×2160) and then downsampled to 1080p.

This quick look was originally posted on The B-Team Podcast (www.thebteampodcast.com) and have partial co-ownership with this site.  This is re-posted with permission.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm

The Silver Case Now Available in English on Steam

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Suda 51 (Goichi Suda) is a developer who, as his name suggests, thinks outside the box.  His notable titles include Killer 7No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and Lollipop Chainsaw.  I am also personally a big fan of Michigan: Report from Hell and Sine Mora as well.  One of the first titles he wrote and directed was a visual novel/mystery title called The Silver Case that released on the Playstation.  Unfortunately it never got localized (or fan translated) and thus has never been available in English, until now.  I’m told the gameplay is similar to Snatcher or Policenauts (without shooting sequences) but that Suda’s distinct sense of style and crazy plot are present.  It also has a fantastic soundtrack, which is also available on Steam.

This localized and overhauled title is available now on Steam with a retail price of $19.99 (and 10% off for an initial block of days).  There is a free demo available and we hope to get you a quick look in the upcoming days.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Pocast: Licensed Horror Games

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Horror video games are definitely abundant, but in the grand scheme they can be seen as somewhat niche.  As a child we used to think licenses would enhance games, which most of the time didn’t work out.  Fortunately it’s not all bad news for licensed horror games so Fred and Jam tackle the different titles that came out.


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Famicom Classic Edition’s 8 Exclusive Games and How They Compare to the NES Classic Edition

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The Famicom (Family Computer) Classic Edition is Nintendo’s Japanese version of the NES Classic Edition mini console. It contains 30 games as well, but eight games are exclusive to the console. Fred briefly delves into those region specific games and then briefly compares the list to the NES Classic Edition.