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Archive for June 2017

Come Out To Play-yay: How Fighting Actually Ushered In Arcade Camaraderie

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Final Fight by Capcom

The arcade was a diverse place chock full of different experiences.  Looking back at the early 80s it was comprised of single screen experiences, some scrolling and some not, mostly geared around challenging a player’s skill in hopes of consuming quarters in mass quantity.  Conceptually most games were simple but addictive, which is why you see many of the programmers from the classic arcade days transitioning into free-to-play mobile games with ease.  While there were games that involved a second player or massive cabinets, they were few and far between, just another part of the arcade’s myriad of experiences.  Then one day that all changed.  The arcade was about to become a place where large groups formed around a single cabinet and no game was complete without a second player.  Instead of ridiculous challenges leveled against a lone player, it was a machine against whatever talent was walking in the crowd.  It was a taste of things to come and it all started with the basic concept of beating someone up.

Stylized Male Violence

Roger Ebert used the above phrase to describe Paramount Picture’s 1979 thriller The Warriors, itself based upon the 1965 book of the same name by writer Sol Yurick.  In the film, the gangs of New York City assemble to discuss a truce between them so that they can gang up and outnumber the police.  During this meeting, Riffs leader and meeting coordinator Cyrus is shot dead and the Warriors are framed for the murder.  The meeting and murder take place in Van Cortlandt Park, which is located in the Bronx, and the Warriors turf is in Coney Island.  Those not familiar with the five boroughs of New York should note that Coney Island is about 30 miles directly south of the Bronx and therefore the Warriors find themselves a long way from home with every gang in the city eager to kill them.  You follow the Warriors throughout the film as they battle these gangs in an attempt to make it home safe and then clear their name.  The film relies heavily on street gang culture from the 60s and 70s that predominantly involved fists and melee as opposed to guns and knives, although the latter are definitely present in some altercations.  The Warriors has an unquestionable cult status among American moviegoers and expands to a larger worldwide audience.  Of those, a young Japanese game designer by the name of Yoshihisa Kishimoto loosely gets the idea for his 1986 arcade game Nikketsu Koha Kunio-Kun (Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio), which would be renamed in the West as simply Renegade.

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Written by Fred Rojas

June 30, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Arcade, Features

Podcast: Groovy!

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This week is the first part of our series on video game mascots.  Whether or not you feel games are made for kids, there’s no denying that in the 80s and 90s the key to marketing to kids was with mascots, and video games used a ton of them.  In this first part Fred and Jam take the bigger companies that have a series of mascots and talk about their effectiveness and the games attached to them.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

Learning from the Past: The Arcades

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We live in a great time to be a gamer. The quality and quantity of games available is at an all-time high. We can even hop on our systems and play against people in our living rooms or halfway around the world.

This holds even more true for retro gamers. It is getting easier to gain access to older games, whether through the internet, local stores that focus on retro gaming or services like Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Older PC games are making a comeback as well, with Blizzard releasing StarCraft Broodwar for free and services like Good Old Games (gog.com) optimizing the settings for programs like DOSbox so gamers don’t have to fight with it.

There is one experience, however, that will probably never be the same as it was back in the hey days of the 80s and early 90s: the local arcade.

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Written by azrockslide

June 26, 2017 at 11:00 am

Blog: E3 2017 Reflections and the State of Video Game Coverage

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The circus is over, the massive booths have been torn down, and apparently the BET Fan Fest is taking over the L.A. Convention Center this weekend.  E3 2017 was an odd one, not only because the “public” was there – given how many friends and family of industry people regularly show at E3 it’s a bit of a stretch to not put scare quotes around public – but because the industry itself is in a state of flux.  We saw record numbers of attendees, approximately 78,000 compared to the roughly 55,000 we typically see, and with the inclusion of the public came astronomical lines and big ugly neon green lanyards that basically said “avoid me.”  At the same time there was rampant coverage of the show from so many angles instead of a set group of major web sites who are all friends with each other and the public relations reps they meet with that overall cast a much more positive light on E3.  Listening to coverage from Polygon, IGN, and Giant Bomb it was clear that the media hadn’t changed its tune, mostly dogging on a majority of what was shown, but what shocked me most was the take on the public presence.  It was also a turn for the convention as a whole given that the ESA (the entity behind E3) now has to adjust the way the whole show is handled and I think we’ll see the emergence of a large public show to rival GamesCom in Europe or Tokyo Game Show in Japan.  As a person who went with the “pleb pass” (public pass) instead of applying for a media pass, which I’m fairly certain I would have gotten, the whole show confused me.  I’ll come out and say it: I don’t understand where video game media coverage is at right now.  Despite this fact, I have some thoughts on the key topics from E3 2017.

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Written by Fred Rojas

June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog

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E3 2017: The Big Pictures Post

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Fair Warning: A bunch of thumbnail photos are about to load.  Clicking on a photo will give you the full resolution picture.   If you are ready: click “read more” below.

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Written by Fred Rojas

June 20, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog

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E3 2017: GHX Ep. 11 – What Did You Play?

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The biggest split between those that attend E3 and those that watch coverage online is the show itself.  Aside from this year, E3 online usually ends on Monday when all the press conferences happen and the big announcements stop.  For those that attend the show it’s the exact opposite with most missing the press conferences due to lack of invite or decent Internet, but you’ll be able to play many of the games on the actual show floor.  In this “returning from E3” episode, Fred and Jam are joined by guests Andy (42 Level One, Agents of Shieldcast) and Chip (The B-Team Podcast, Agents of Shieldcast, Knuckleballer Radio) to discuss the games Fred actually played at E3.  There’s plenty of discussion to be had and lots of insight on what we’ll be seeing in late 2017/early 2018.  Note: This episode has no audio anomalies and a sound quality on par with what you have come to expect from our podcasts.


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E3 2017: Press Conference Impressions Update

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We decided to take down the Press Conference Impressions episodes from the main feed as they were not reflective of quality you’ve come to expect from GH101.  We did keep them archived, however, and they can be found at: https://gaminghistory101.com/e3-2017-bad

Please be sure to catch our better E3 2017 recordings as they are what you’ve come to expect from the show.  Cheers.

 

Written by Fred Rojas

June 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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E3 2017: EA’s 2017 Press Conference Impressions

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The day has come, it’s officially E3 Press Conferences Day 1 of 3, completely focused on Electronic Arts (EA).  A panel with Fred, Heffe, Jam, and Normii get together to discuss what they saw and what they thought.  At the end they also speak of predictions going into Day 2 and Microsoft/Bethesda.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 10, 2017 at 10:00 pm

PrE3: Sony’s Legacy

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Fred flies solo to discuss Time’s recent interview with Sony’s Jim Ryan, what his statements truly meant about Sony, and what he hopes to see from the company at this year’s E3.  In an interesting hybrid with both a modern and retro show, there’s plenty of discussion about Sony’s legacy, both in games and in business, and how many sites may have been more harsh on Ryan’s comments than necessary.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep. 10: It’s Time For E3!

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This week the schedule is all messed up so it ends up being only Fred and Trees.  They do manage to have a great discussion including putting final comments on last week’s That Dragon, Cancer debate, retro gaming at summer vacation spots, and next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).  Fred will be attending the show and bringing tons of podcast content next week, so stay tuned.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Gaming History X, podcast

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