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Podcast: Castlevania III Dracula’s Curse Game Club

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This week Jam and Fred do the game club thing with Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse for the NES. This title was popularized due to its technological leap, overall quality, and the fact that it’s really hard to get to work properly on third party hardware. In this episode they dissect the development, concept, and branching campaign.


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Written by Fred Rojas

November 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Silent Evil ReImagined

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Another Silent Evil, another set of games.  This time it’s the reinvention of both franchises.  First up is Climax’s take on the original game with Silent Hill Shattered Memories followed by the powerhouse horror action hybrid Resident Evil 4.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

Policenauts Has Been Translated on Saturn

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A fan translation of the Sega Saturn version of Policenauts has been released.  It can be found here.  There you will also find the original Playstation translation as well, but read on to discover why you may want to go with the Saturn.

We love Policenauts here at Gaming History 101.  You can read a review on it, listen to a game club, and even hear a choice song from the soundtrack in one of our music episodes.  This is significant because the Hideo Kojima title was never released outside of Japan and never officially translated to English.  There was a fan translation of the version on the original Playstation in 2009, but it has some compatibility issues that can arise and the shooting sequences don’t support light guns, making them brutal.  On the other hand, the Saturn version is a bit more of a remake than a port with better graphics and even light gun support.  As of yesterday you can now get an English translation patch for the Saturn version and get to play the most definitive version of this great title.

Fred’s Take: This news is huge to me.  First off, it allows me to play (and hopefully finish) the game on an actual console.  I started a video capture of the PS1 version, but struggled greatly with the shooting sequences.  Upon beating the highway scene at the end of Act 2, I was then confronted with a save bug that I never could figure out how to overcome.  I was able to complete the game thanks to emulation, but it never felt right with a keyboard, mouse, and save states.  Hopefully with the help of my chipped Saturn and trusty Virtua Cop light gun I can finally play Policenauts as intended on original hardware.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Saturn

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Substance Review

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Editor’s Note:  Jam originally wrote this review back in August of 2015 and somehow I missed it for almost six months.  This won’t happen again but I figured we should still show love to a great game and a great review.  Sorry Jam.

Metal Gear Solid 2 was possibly one of my most anticipated video games back in my youth. I eagerly awaited its release in 2002 (a little later than the rest of the world in Europe because game companies hate us). Kojima had been very smart in teasing the hotly anticipated sequel to the PS2 classic with various trailers and that infamous pack in demo with the full retail game Zone of The Enders, which no one played. We just couldn’t wait to play as Snake. On release I’m happy to admit my fan boy goggles were literally set to “Fan-tastic” as I played this game and loved the ever loving hell out of it and not buying in to some of the games criticisms post release. Well I’m older and detestably more mature so its time to return to the title and see how it fairs today. To research for this review I played through the game on the the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on Xbox 360 and PSVita. The game had multiple releases on a lot of consoles but this review pretty much speaks to every version of the game.

mgs2_snakeMetal Gear Solid 2 puts you back into the shoes of the legendary Solid Snake, who has now gone rouge with his new pal Otacon from the first Solid game. They have formed the ultimate bro-mance to travel the world and take down metal gears (those are bipedal tanks if you’re not up to date with the series). Snake ends up on a ship passing through the Hudson River in a scene which is frankly fantastic if you’re a fan of cinema. Snake casually smokes a cig in his rain coat and gradually picks up his pace to then bungee jump off a bridge onto a ship. Re-watching this cinematic is still wonderful and possibly my favourite opening in the series. So you’re all happy playing as your hero Solid Snake. You fight a Russian girl, you take pictures of a metal gear along with sleeping soldiers, and then the game ends. Well, at least your control of Snake ends.  It has become known as the biggest historic bitch slap to the face of gaming history. After playing literally a couple of hours of the game, you are then put into the shoes of the far less interesting character: Raiden. Yeah, Raiden is no Solid Snake.  He has blonde hair, is pretty skinny, and lacks that testosterone appeal that we are used to from the much preferred Solid Snake. So you play as Raiden thinking “no big deal we’ll get back to Snake soon.” Wrong! You continue as Raiden for the rest of the game. So it’s kinda of disappointing but doesn’t completely ruin the gaming, its just not the Metal Gear story we were expecting.

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Written by jamalais

February 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Silent Hill Zero

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Whenever a franchise runs long enough, it’s inevitable that you will eventually see a prequel to the original.  It just so happens that the fifth game in both the Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises happened to be prequels.  This week Jam and Fred welcome back guest host Vos to delve into the development, release, and reception of both Resident Evil Zero and Silent Hill Origins (known as Silent Hill Zero in Japan).


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Metal Gear Solid 3 Game Club

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Metal Gear Solid 3 is significant for many reasons and there are fans that consider it to be the best in the series.  Jam and Fred get together to talk about this third iteration that spawned the Big Boss storyline, which appears to be concluded in the just released MGS V.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

Metal Gear Solid 3: Which Version Should You Play?

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First off the original vanilla PS2 version. I really didn’t care for this game that much back in the day and I deliberately left it until last as I thought playing the four other versions would make playing this easier, nope. The original version of the game runs off a similar engine to Metal Gear Solid 2 which means your camera is super restricted. You can use the left stick to slightly pan the camera, but its pretty useless. You’ll spend most of the time playing this game in a stop start pattern. What I mean by that is if your going full stealth you’ll move forward slightly then stop, go into first person view and check the surroundings and then repeat this process every five steps. Some may argue this makes the game more difficult and stealth but in my opinion this is not fun. Every additional version of this game fixed this problem by allowing you full control of the camera so you can rotate it around and see enemies so much easier. It makes the game just that much more playable and fun with this addition alone. For that reason I say avoid the original PS2 version unless you’re a die hard fan of the game and want to see it’s roots.

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Written by jamalais

September 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Metal Gear (MSX) Review

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No, don’t be confused this is not Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation or the reboot (Twin Snakes) on the GameCube. It’s also not that Metal Gear game on the NES that everyone played in American and absolutely no one played over here in Europe (quick commentary at the end if interested). Nope, this review is for the very first Metal Gear game released for the MSX microcomputer way before the Solid days and back when Kojima and Konami were better friends. This is a game no one had played in America (until the re-release) and was slightly more popular in Europe. This game along with the MSX sequel titled Metal Gear: Solid Snake (not to be confused with the NES sequel Snake’s Revenge, which is not cannon nor Kojima developed) are both available on the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita. They are also available to play on Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence on PS2. For this review I will be covering the PS Vita version but after spending some time with the 360 and PS2 versions, they’re all pretty similar with very minor differences.

Metal Gear puts you in the shoes of a rookie soldier with the code name Solid Snake. Your job is to infiltrate a place called “Outer Heaven,” rescue the hostages, and destroy a new weapon that can launch nuclear missiles called Metal Gear. It’s very likely you’ll be going back to play this game after one of the other titles in the Solid series. So, you probably have some familiarity with the plot and most likely know about the twist at the end. Everything is presented in text and unlike any other game in the series the story sections of the game are short and sweet. Even though I knew exactly where the story was heading it was still interesting to see how it reached that moment.

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Written by jamalais

August 24, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in NES, PC/Mac, Reviews

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Metal Gear Solid 2 – The Misunderstood Entry in the Series

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is the entry into the series that a lot of gamers shudder when they look back on. In this article I’m going to discuss the negative reaction gamers have to this entry in the series and then cover why this game really is surprisingly great today even when held up against other entries in the series.

Just to warn anyone that wants to play the game and hasn’t this article will contain mild spoilers to the plot and direction of the game.

Even for the time this game was critically praised by almost every major gaming magazine but there was a few things that just didn’t sit well with gamers. Lets get the infamous one out the way and that is the character of Raiden. Yes, we all bought that glorified mech demo, Zone of the Enders just to be able play a demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 and replay as our gaming hero Solid Snake. We sunk £40 into this game in Europe ($60 in the US) and yet people lose there minds when Konami releases Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes for £20 ($30 in US) despite you paying for a game that you want to play, but I digress. When you finally got your mitts on the full retail game of Metal Gear Solid 2 – after spending another £40 ($60 in US) mind you, it’s okay Konami you just take my money – your grinning from ear to ear as you play through the game as Solid Snake, but that lasts for what seems like five minutes and then the game forces you to play the remaining ninety percent of the game as this feminine Raiden (insert Mortal Kombat intro music here) character. Raiden wasn’t cool, he was dorky, and lacked that testosterone rugidness we were used to from our main man Snake. Also he didn’t have any special abilities that featured lightening. So people were not too impressed by this, sure Snake was lingering in the background but it just wasn’t as cool as playing as the guy. It was the moment in Metal Gear history where fans thought Kojima had truly lost his mind.

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Written by jamalais

August 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

Stop What You’re Doing Right Now and Play Metal Gear Solid! (on Playstation because meh to the GameCube Remake)

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In honour of Metal Gear Solid season I wanted to kick off what I hope will be a new season of articles telling you by force to play certain games. Boy, do we have a good one to start with. Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation is most peoples first entry into the Metal Gear Solid series. However, if by some bizarre fluke this game has completely passed you by then here are some reasons why you need to drop what you are doing right now and go play this game. If you have already played the game then maybe this article will give you incentive to go revisit it again.

Before we begin this list may contain mild spoilers so if you haven’t already played the game and want to you may want to come back to this later. Also the opinions in this article do not represent the opinions of other writers for Gaming History 101.  With that out of the way, let’s get on with it!

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Written by jamalais

August 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog

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