Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

We Are Participating in Extra Life 2018

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Donation Link: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/316569

When

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 20th, because Fred from Gaming History 101 will be participating in the annual Extra Life fundraiser with a 24 hour live stream!  Gaming History 101 has teamed up with Good 4 Gaming (one of the highest contributing teams for this charity) to bring you endless content in the interest of raising money for kids.  The Extra Life charity provides funds for the Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals and Fred is specifically raising for the University of Kansas Medical Center Pediatrics.  This team did an excellent job of taking care of his daughter when she had an unfortunate illness that required hospitalization a couple of years ago.  What does that mean to you all reading this?  It’s time to open up your wallets, earn a tax deduction (at least in the United States), and watch some fun and engaging content on gaming’s past.  The live stream can be found at the top of this post and will remain at the top until the event ends.  Click the link below for more details.

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Written by Fred Rojas

September 25, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Posted in News

Friday at the Movies: The Predator Review

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Please Note: This review contains no spoilers or inferences to the overall plot.  Non-specific themes, however, are discussed.

These days franchise movies like to stay safe in creative decisions.  Often there are no overtly offensive factors, fans are catered to, and the story continues on for better or worse.  The Predator doesn’t play it safe with a drastic shift in tone that is largely humorous, but also gives you plenty of action and violence to remind viewers they’re still watching a movie in the franchise.  If my mentioning a heavy basis on humor concerns you, don’t be worried too much yet.  It’s not Gremlins 2, which abandoned almost all its fearful themes in return for a slapstick comedy for kids, but rather a blend of genres.  As such, The Predator is also not afraid to make some offensive lines that add to the dark comedy vibe of the whole feature, but more about my thoughts on that later.  If you are one of those fans who takes keeping the cannon alive and preserving the brand as your highest priority, you will no doubt have plenty of issues with this film, but rest assured nothing here is more problematic than the damage already done by the two previous sequels.

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Written by Fred Rojas

September 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Friday at the Movies

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GHX Ep 32: Casino Predator

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After some initial tech issues, our heroes speak of upcoming adventures raiding tombs and partying in casinos before eventually getting to video games.  Austin sparks a conversation on the myriad of titles on Xbox game pass, Fred vents about media personalities that have no idea what they’re talking about, Trees gives what he’s been playing, and it all closes on some Spyro 4 fan creation demos.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 12, 2018 at 11:00 am

GHX Ep 31: Random Strange at the Moose Lodge

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Fred and Trees are back!  There’s a lot to catch up on, but they do manage to remain mostly on games including God of War (2018)No Man’s SkyDevil May Cry (2001), Trees gets a Switch, Dead Cells, and the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection.  All that along with discussions of the Analogue Super NT, gamers as game designers, and some recent news.

Also Fred is doing Extra Life this year!  He’ll be set up with prizes and dates soon, but if you’re game feel free to donate early here: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/316569  Donating early does not disqualify you from any prizes.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

Co-Operative Episode 3: Gears of War Ultimate Edition

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Fred and Gren get together to discuss the co-op experience of Gears of War, which quickly becomes a discussion about the changes of the 360 original and the extra content of this edition from a 2 player standpoint.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 22, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Ending of Large ROM Sites Should Garner A Different Response

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With the recent fall of some major rom sites, and others pulling their own hosted files offline as a response, I’ve seen a somewhat trending reaction from the community that concerns me.  My peers are avidly going out and downloading entire collections of games and files from these sites to have on hand should we see the fall of the easy to access rom site.  Not only do I feel this will never happen, but this response is flawed and wrong.  The response you should be having is to start looking into ways to back up your own games.  It’s relatively cheap, free if you don’t need to backup carts, and it will allow you to never worry about losing another game again whether it’s damaged, stolen, or subject to the rare chip/disc rot.  Oh yeah, and it’s also not illegal.

A Little Background

Just under a month ago, web site Torrent Freak reported that Nintendo sued loveroms.com and loveRETRO.co over having open access to copyrighted material.  For those not familiar, Torrent Freak refers to itself as “a publication dedicated to bringing the latest news about copyright, privacy, and everything related to filesharing.”  The web sites in question were owned by an individual, Jacob Mathias, who ran his own Arizona-based LLC that focused on these file sharing sites.  Those who work in rom sites specifically tend to not carry certain games and files specifically for fear that something like this would happen.  While I’d never been on the site myself, the fact that these sites had direct download links to a myriad of roms (files that represent a cartridge based video game) that included Nintendo’s prime catalog is a big mistake.  The one or two sites I used to frequent would pull down specific roms that were re-released such as Virtual Console games and more recently the “Classic Edition” line of Nintendo’s library.  This other site also would pull down any game that the publisher had requested, so if you went to most Capcom titles there would be a note that the game was removed due to the publisher’s request.  Finally that other site would not host BIOS files, which are proprietary software in certain consoles that are required to get certain emulators working, which it was revealed Mathias’ sites also hosted.  Put all of these factors together and these sites had massive bulls-eyes on them for just this kind of response.  Nintendo even makes it a point in the suit to call it out, “The LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites are among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games.”

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Written by Fred Rojas

August 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Blog

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We Happy Few Impressions – Should You Get It?

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We Happy Few releases today after more than 3 years in development and 2 years on early access.  Now PC, PS4, and Xbox One players can play through a fresh new campaign that builds upon the original mechanics.  Assuming you haven’t played We Happy Few or only recall initial early access impressions like this one I previously did, or if you’ve even watched an early video like another I did, this video wraps up what you can expect in the first 8 hours in a mere 8 1/2 minutes.

Written by Fred Rojas

August 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Videos

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The Council Episode 3: Ripples Review

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If you have not read our review containing the previous episodes, it’s highly recommended as it’s not only referenced, but we may not discuss many of the mechanics present in previous episodes.  This was to prevent redundant comments and move directly into the changes in the current episode.  Eventually the link above will serve as the location for all episode reviews.  This review contains no spoilers.

In many ways I consider the third episode of a five episode series to be the moment of truth.  It seems episodic titles are doomed to have weaker second episodes because of the natural arc of plot and character development, but typically you get a twist and/or climax in the third episode that redeems everything.  While The Council definitely follows this formula, it was disappointing to see that while the story takes some drastic new turns, what you actually play is the same old song and dance.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it surely wasn’t yet another trip through the mansion followed by a huge dump of exposition and concluding in a long obtuse puzzle…again.  Regardless of those expectations, that’s exactly what I received, which has me weary of future episodes and frankly a bored in the current one.  I didn’t even play this episode a second time, there seemed to be no need.  If you’re not fully invested in the overall season before going into this episode, it’s probably best you stay away for now.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

God of War is a Modern Masterpiece, and it Broke Me

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God of War came out in April to unanimous praise, and for good reason.  Whether you are a veteran of the series or coming into it the first time, this installment skates the line of accessibility to keep everyone happy.  Not only does this title cater to a much wider audience, but it’s a visual stunner with razor sharp graphics and particle effects abound to really sell you on this magical world.  Although some complained of frame rate issues, I felt that the game held up smoothly in most cases and hiccups never reared their ugly heads during an important battle.  Those who have invested in the premium PS4 Pro system are also handsomely rewarded with a great HDR implementation that further enhanced the gorgeous visuals with bright colors along with realistic lighting that shades the darkest pits and blinds in the brightest lights.  The Pro also allows you to run in either performance mode, which tries to maintain 1080p at 60 frames per second, or a resolution mode that accepts the 30 fps frame rate and gets as close to native 4K as it can while allowing Guerilla’s custom checkerboarding from Horizon Zero Dawn to get the rest of the way.  Regardless of which mode you pick, the more important factor is that you get to pick at all.  Finally this title is a massive open world that allows you to explore as much or as little as you like while also providing a 20+ hour campaign story that takes the franchise in a new direction and adds much needed character development to our favorite Spartan Kratos.  Yep, God of War has it all and should be heralded as a culmination of some of the best parts of contemporary gaming all wrapped into one single Playstation exclusive.  Unfortunately, it also managed to break me down and ruin the experience.

It’s Not A Bad Game In Any Sense

Don’t get me wrong, if you own a Playstation 4 and have even a passing interest in this title, you should definitely give it a try.  While I found Kat Bailey’s points in her piece to be justified, I think she had the most critical view on the game to date despite much of her recent article being praise.  Most people that I talk to delved a bit into the optional content here and there but focused on the main campaign, leaving much of the content I gripe about in this piece to never be played.  There are those of us, the completionists, that can suffer a different fate with God of War: bitter contempt.  This game’s attempts to extend the experience or challenge me felt misguided and exemplifies my issue with modern games.  I put over 100 hours into Fallout 3 and I have completed plenty of “Nintendo hard” games, but none of those titles made me a feel a fraction of the disgust that I felt here.  It bothered me so much that it even ruined my appreciation for the ending.  Fear not, I will not spoil even one moment of this game’s campaign, but I can warn that I will discuss some of the extra content you can embark on and thus can be considered a spoiler.  In the end it’s made me weary of my experience with God of War and even moreso with the types of games that Sony is currently churning out.  With that I have to concede that I don’t think these games should be changed and I think they will continue to sell like crazy as we’ve seen with God of War and Horizon, so my concerns are only for my personal game playing choices.  Enough dancing around it, let’s get right into the areas I had problems with.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Blog

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Screen Splitters: Episode 2

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Note: Screen Splitters Episode One was also Co-Operative Episode Two and incorrectly branded as that.  You can find it here.

Show Notes

Intro Track: Credits – Soleil/Crusader of Centy

02:04

E3 catch up

Me10dys E3 thoughts

Co-op games from E3

15:46

Unravel Two general discussion

36:22

Life is Strange – Me10dys thoughts and discussion (NO SPOILERS)

44:20

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (Contains Plot Spoilers)

59:28

BIG News

Closing Track: Credits – Unravel

Written by jamalais

July 17, 2018 at 11:00 am