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Podcast: Kingdom Hearts, Part One

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Despite not being able to do a live show, Jam and Fred get together and record a massive introduction to the original Kingdom Hearts.  In this first part the two go over the development, gameplay, and presumably first half of the game (they are just past Agrabah by the end of the show).  Sorry for the lack of music, there was something off in the audio file that didn’t make it easy to do, so in the interest of time the show was pushed out sans music.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

Comprehensive Playstation 2 Guide (Purchase and Soft Mod)

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Here’s a batch of guides Fred created to tell you what to look for when buying a game, how to rip discs to your computer, and how to soft mod a PS2 Phat (hard drive) and PS2 slim (USB).

Written by Fred Rojas

August 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in PS2, Videos

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Podcast: Psychic World

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This week Jam’s pick was Psychic World.  An action platformer originally released on the MSX as Psycho World (it was Japan only), this title received wider regard in the West as a Game Gear title and those in Europe may have also played the Sega Master System version.  Fred and Jam dissect the development, gameplay, and version differences between this largely forgotten title by an almost unknown developer.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Community PS2 Top 10s and Mailbag

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We asked you all for community PS2 top 10 lists and boy did you oblige.  In a massive push of lists that takes nearly 2 hours to read off Fred and Jam delve deep into the many games PS2 owners love.  It’s a widespread list and a great celebration of Sony’s sophomore console.  As a result we’ve pushed a few of the scheduled game nights, but a friendly reminder to get started on Kingdom Hearts if you haven’t already for August’s 2-part game club.

The points totals document can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RuNTDd8ZXTQcvXQJu0wbmZMMZBYJ136qRPK2FoWzgi4/edit?usp=sharing


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 3, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, PS2

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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

Posted in podcast, PS3, Xbox 360

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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

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

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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 Technomancer Review

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The Technomancer reminds me of one of those relationships before I got married.  It’s dynamic and I enjoyed it, but ultimately I got to this point where I knew our time would have to end.  Much like those relationships, it probably lasted a bit longer than it should have, but that doesn’t mean that it was a waste of time.  Far from it.  Regardless of your opinion of nitpicks like whether or not the faces compete with modern powerhouse franchises or exactly what genre it should be labeled as, The Technomancer is offering a throwback to the complete package of RPG we saw often last generation.  That wouldn’t have made it stand out were it not for the fact that a title like this is somewhat rare these days.  Sure, everything is going open world, but releases of RPGs that heavily integrate decision and story are somewhat scarce and especially if you’re looking for sci-fi or cyberpunk.  So despite its flaws and not necessarily being able to keep up with its more established peers, The Technomancer is a worthwhile experience.

technomancer_1I’m guessing not many played developer Spiders’ first title Mars: War Logs, which you may be surprised to know is now available on PC and even Xbox One thanks to 360 backward compatibility (also on PS3).  It really is the early version of what would eventually become this title and established the lore of human colonization on Mars and the core of what the technomancers are.  That title was short, the combat was harshly integrated (especially for gamepads), and while I liked what it was doing I couldn’t get too invested.  Having played Mars: War Logs did allow me to appreciate how far Spiders has come in its sophomore effort on the concept, but it’s in no way necessary as a buffer for this title.  Newcomers and veterans alike will be introduced to Zachariah, a graduating technomancer that is coming to terms with his newfound powers and prepared to utilize them in an effort to keep the peace and eventually find a way back to Earth.  He’s not unique, many technomancers work for Abundance, a mega-corp that provides security on Mars and all technomancers are to guard the order’s secrets in an attempt to discover a way back home to Earth.  Beyond that you are free to hit the ground running in an open-world chock full of icons that represent main and side quests.  Along the way you will inevitably face combat, both in and out of hub locations, where your action fighting skills will be tested from start to finish.  I’ll return to the combat in a minute, but it’s important to note that the separation between non-combat zones and combat zones is blurred here, which I don’t often see in the modern world of RPGs that includes MMOs.  It may not be much of a change, but it struck me as somewhat unique.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Playstation 2 Top 10

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40 games enter – 20 from each cohost – and only a fourth emerge in the coveted Top 10.  We have various debate mechanics, odd conversations, and personal bias to get this unique take on a traditional topic.  Don’t agree with us?  Of course not.  Please send us your own top 10 for the community episode in 2 weeks.


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