Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Archive for the ‘SNES’ Category

Podcast: E.V.O. Search for Eden Game Club

leave a comment »

evo_box

There’s just not much like the game E.V.O. Search for Eden.  On top of its ultra rarity that forces most players to use nefarious means, it is a unique title by any definition for the SNES.  Fred and Jam delve into a game that is much more action RPG than the creature creator it’s often associated with.


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

November 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

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

leave a comment »

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

Podcast: Super Power

with 3 comments

snes_post

This week Fred and Jam celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in North America.  The duo delve into the design, hardware, regional differences, and of course the games that defined a major portion of the 16-bit generation.  As the show wraps the new game club title is chosen, what will it be?


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

August 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, SNES

Tagged with

Doom Retrospective

leave a comment »

doom_logo

As I said in a previous article regarding Wolfenstein 3D, “Wolfenstein 3D did it first and Doom did it best.”  The same team, id Software, created both games so it’s less of a competition and more of an evolution.  While I agree that all games are a team effort, the technology that runs these games can sometimes be credited to one person.  In the case of Doom that one person is none other than John D. Carmack.  By this point most of us are aware of John Carmack and what he’s contributed to video games as a whole, but back in 1992 he was the guy creating a new engine for a new game.  That engine was called the Doom Engine.  Carmack claims the name Doom came from the movie The Color of Money in which Tom Cruise describes a custom pool cue as “doom” when questioned as to what’s in his case.  It was created to enhance the first person shooter to include different heights, distances, and even sound effects in stereo for a more realistic type of game.  In truth the hardware of the time couldn’t handle rendering a 3D world so the game is actually all on a flat plane in the code, which is why rooms never overlap and you can shoot a guy on a ledge by just aiming at the wall beneath him.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but in 1993 I hardly noticed.  Doom had positional breathing of mutant men, lighting effects (including dark rooms), a hybrid cyberpunk and distopian Hell setting, and a ton of violence.  It was the rock star of the video game world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Old Console, New Hardware (Part 1)

with one comment

nes_mod_post

We all love old video games, but the frank reality is that as they age our consoles run solely on obsolete technology.  As the basic capabilities of modern hardware increases, so does the ability to mod classic consoles to keep up.  In addition, new accessories also come on the scene to serve needs that were either impossible or too expensive in the past.  This episode covers the earliest cartridge-based consoles and the many modifications and accessories you can get for them.  In part 1 of this two-part series we get a bit technical, but also present the many options you can potentially research.


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

May 4, 2016 at 11:00 am

Clock Tower: The First Fear Game Club

leave a comment »

clock_tower_post

The Clock Tower series has always been a unique horror title since it’s western inception on the original Playstation.  There are no weapons, no fighting, and the main mechanic is hiding from a small man swinging around massive shears that will only result in death if your character is found.  What many may not know is that the series actually began in Japan only on the SNES (and even had a remake of sorts on the Playstation, again in Japan only).  Thanks fan translations, Jam and Fred sit down to discuss this initial outing that we in the West never got and is probably the strongest entry in the franchise.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Written by Fred Rojas

October 5, 2015 at 11:00 am

A Link to the Past Review

leave a comment »

a_link_to_the_past_title

With the departure that Zelda II was from the original, Nintendo wasn’t going to take anymore chances as it began to release beloved franchises on its newest console, the Super NES.  Of those franchises, The Legend of Zelda was one of the first to be rehashed with A Link to the Past.  Instead of trying to create a sequel or something new, Nintendo instead took all the concepts from the original game, added a few enhancements, and made the game that captured so many hearts over again.  To be clear, A Link to the Past is not a remake, it’s just the exact formula of the original utilized in the same world with a different map, different set of dungeons, and slightly altered item list.  Think if it as a remix to the original rather than a true sequel or remake, but one that marks one of the highest points for both the console and the series itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

June 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

May the Fourth Be With You: Super Empire Strikes Back (SNES)

leave a comment »

Here it is, the challenge that spawned from Fred’s mystery game 3-pack in March.  It was brutal, it was frustrating, it was on easy…but Fred has beaten Super Empire Strikes Back and what better time to reveal the video but May the Fourth.  Enjoy.

Written by Fred Rojas

May 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

Donkey Kong Country SNES Review

Dkc_snes_boxartPlatform: Super NES, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance – Note: Portable versions have compromised graphics and performance
Released: 1994
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo
Digital Release? Yes, 800 points on the Virtual Console for Wii and Wii U (optimized for Wii U)
Value: $18.52 (SNES)/$6.51 (GBC)/$10.00 (GBA) – cart only, $38.97 (SNES)/$16.24 (GBC)/$20.00 (GBA) – complete, $80.00 (SNES)/$53.07 (GBC)/$51.00 (GBA) – sealed – According to Price Charting 

Donkey Kong Country (DKC) on the SNES is a game held in high regard by a lot of Nintendo fans. Developed by Rare, who at the time was a second party developer to Nintendo and consistently releasing new and unique IPs, which only got better when it came to the follow up console the N64. Nintendo was quite happy for Rare to develop a game starring Donkey Kong, who up to this point was just sitting on Nintendo’s shelf not really doing a lot (development on this title began before the Gameboy re-hash of Donkey Kong ’94). Rare came up with an idea for a platformer that proved to be very successful and led to two additional sequels being developed on the SNES and then a 3D iteration on the N64.  It is now time to peel back a banana and see if this SNES game still holds up today.

dkc_in_snes

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jamalais

April 17, 2015 at 11:39 am

Posted in Reviews, SNES, Wii

Tagged with , ,

Now & Then: Mortal Kombat 3

leave a comment »

Mk3

Switching It Up

mk3_1A lot happened both in the talent pool of Mortal Kombat players and in the game design overall between the release of Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 (MK3).  For starters there was a mass exodus of on screen talent due to royalty disputes, so almost no one from the original two games returned for the third release.  In addition, Boon and his team were trying to turn Mortal Kombat into a viable fighting game with things no one had ever seen before and mechanics that could compete with the massive rush of fighters in arcades.  The game was completely Americanized, with all hints of Eastern influence including symbols, locales, and the soundtrack completely absent without a trace and instead replaced by urban stages, 90s hip-hop soundtracks, and cyborgs replaced the signature ninjas.  These locations were now composed of pre-rendered 3D backgrounds and the character sprites were almost totally digitized as opposed to the digitized/hand drawn hybrid of the previous games.  Along with it came an overhaul of the controls, including combos and a “run” button to address rightful claims that defensive players ruled the previous title.  It’s all one giant 90s metaphor but that doesn’t change the fact that MK3 (and it’s update Ultimate MK3 or UMK3) stands as the moment I felt the series went into the mainstream fighter territory.  Couple this with the fact that it was on just about every console that existed at the time, still dominated arcades, and had more content than rival Street Fighter II could ever dream to do with its iterations and I see why it’s creator Ed Boon’s favorite.  Mortal Kombat 3 definitely upped the ante.

Read the rest of this entry »