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Podcast: Donkey Kong 64 Game Club

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Donkey Kong 64 has got to be one of the most divisive titles to be released both by Rare and on the Nintendo 64.  Depending on how you came to play it, you either love it or hate it.  While Jam had tackled this title back when it released, even getting the coveted 101% completion, Fred had never touched it.  Thanks to listener Blake (jedislurpee) we played through the game in its entirety and go back to dissect the development, gameplay, and key factors of a title that probably gets more hate than it deserves.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Bringin’ It Back – Reboots (Part 1)

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As times change so do video games with developers and publishers scrambling to keep up.  There are several ways to handle a classic franchise presented to a contemporary audience, which is fully covered in at the beginning of the show.  Of the most scrutinized is the reboot.  In this episode Jam and Fred debate the definition of a reboot and then get into the many attempts that have been made in the world of gaming to make what is old become new again.


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Podcast: Genre Study – Platformers (Part 2)

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This week Fred and Jam wrap up the platformer genre study.  They start with analysis the 16-bit era, which many consider to be the pinnacle of 2D platforming, and then move on to 3D.  3D platformers were an interesting impasse in that they marked the future of game technology and design while also making way for a strong batch of platformers that refused the third dimension.


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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.

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Written by jamalais

April 17, 2015 at 11:39 am

Posted in Reviews, SNES, Wii

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Podcast: It’s On Like Donkey Kong

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This week, after talking about the controversial Genesis/Mega Drive Top 10 and getting the community list, Fred and Jam run and jump into the world of Donkey Kong. An unfortunately misnamed ape, Donkey Kong marked another strong arcade property for Nintendo that with the help of Rare evolved into the popular platforming series that still lives on today.


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Written by Fred Rojas

April 15, 2015 at 11:00 am

How Product Design has Transformed the Amusement Industry

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The term “arcade game” these days conjures up images of cutting-edge graphics and sound, combined with innovative and interactive technology that can bring any concept to life.  However, good graphics and interactivity have not always been a necessity for a game that is both enjoyable and addictive. I dread to mention the recent phenomenon of the Flappy Bird app but it is an example of an outrageously faulty and basic game becoming extremely popular. This has been seen in the past with games like Space Invaders, Pac Man, Tetris and Asteroids following very basic concepts and graphics, but still being addictive and rewarding when completed.

The Really Early Days

The first arcade games kicked off at amusement parks and are still present at fairs and theme parks, but there’s nothing particularly sophisticated about them. Ring toss, throwing balls at stacked cans, shooting targets, and other simple challenges have been doing the rounds for hundreds of years and can still draw in the punters to this day. Just don’t go expecting an easy win. Perhaps this is what is indicative of a good game – making it appear simple whilst making it actually fiendishly difficult to win. Make it too hard, however ,and you are left with Zelda II.

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Podcast: Ultimate Play The Game

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Fred and Rob “Trees” discuss Rare titles.  We actually mean the developer Rare as opposed to video games that are considered “rare.”  Originally formed as Ultimate Play The Game, we go over the history and game library of one of the most influential and abundant 2nd party developers on Nintendo’s platforms.

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As promised, here’s gameplay footage of Nightmare on Elm Street for the NES:

Written by Fred Rojas

January 23, 2013 at 11:00 am