Gaming History 101

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Posts Tagged ‘sony

My Weekend With Bloodborne

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I’ve been in a bit of a gaming rut.  I keep trying to play, and enjoy, The Witcher 2 on PC and I just can’t seem to get it to work.  My issues with that game are for another post, but rest assured I see the value of it as a pinnacle of modern RPG gaming and love the branching stories, but due to the complicated keyboard-to-joypad controls and complex battle system I can’t step away for long and come back.  That’s not good for a person like me, who is frequently taking long pauses from games, not playing for long periods of time, and often having to play several retro games mixed into my sessions.  As a father, husband, full time salaried employee (which means I’m working far more than 40 hours a week), and a guy trying to manage a retro gaming site that includes a blog, reviews, podcasts, and video, there’s not much time for modern games in long stints.  Hell, if it weren’t for my partner-in-crime Jamalais, this site would not sustain at the level of quality and measure of content it has now.  Oddly enough as I was trying to figure out what to do about my Witcher 2 situation and considered other games to migrate to, the most unusual title entered my periphery and made my weekend: Bloodborne.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm

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Opinion: The State of Games

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nextgen

Normally we focus on retro here at Gaming History 101, but I don’t think it’s ideal or responsible to ignore the present either.  Despite the handful of modern reviews and the potential plan to re-introduce the Gaming History X podcast, I still think the strength of our site is to remain retro focused.  I still get psyched waiting for E3, seeing the new hardware and software on the market, and reflecting on things to come.  Right now is a weird time for console gaming.  The PC trumps the consoles yet again but I feel this time around there was never a loss of momentum for the complicated pseudo console that has been the PC and from the time of the PS4 and XB1’s release that gap has only grown wider.  Meanwhile Nintendo is this awkward dichotomy of complete control over the handheld market and a niche presence on consoles and some disturbing trends that are exploiting retro fans are emerging.  When you suddenly see the cooperative gaming development, media, and zeitgeist all get together and remember the games of the past to provoke interest, those of us that never forgot may be tempted to get a bit elitist and a bit resentful.  I personally took issue with the concepts of Gex suddenly entering the world of big press podcasts, the fact that IGN is desperately seeking to keep hold of its massive audience while juggling the departure of major talent and the lack of regular game releases of note, and don’t get me started on the people that just plain like to generate revenue on playing emulated games completely without context and making fart jokes over them.  Then I realized I have no reason to care.  Let everyone do what they want to do, besides I’ve always conceded that retro content is something to be shared and not competed against.  Just as there will be indies who give content away for free to the enjoyment of all, there will also be businesses attempting to make a quick buck off of it.  Since we here at Gaming History 101 have no ads, no income, and are not a business, we are in the unique position to have, literally, nothing to lose.  With that in mind I would like to take our retro context and take a look at the state of gaming – consoles, PCs, handheld, mobile, and potentially VR – and give a quick oversight as we approach the 90 day mark to E3.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm

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The Order 1886 Review

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Wait, what?  A modern review?!? Yes, it’s true, we will from time to time be reviewing new games.  It’s not because we got review copies, because we didn’t in this case, and it’s not because we’re changing focus from retro gaming either.  We just wanted an outlet to write reviews on the modern games that we play and frankly, some of the games that were releasing when GH101 started might now be considered retro.  Keep in mind that the site, articles, podcast, and videos will remain focused largely on retro gaming.  

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The Order 1886 is that vapid leggy blonde at the bar.  It’s gorgeous to look at and consistently takes your mind off of any other gripes you may have, but as time goes on you find yourself less and less tolerant of its flaws – keep in mind I’m referring to the game and not the blonde as “it”.  Not only that, but I’m not particularly fond of the game that The Order 1886 is, which is a cover-based shooter, and it seemed to me that Sony went aggressively out of its way to not describe the game as any more than a cinematic experience.  After its brief campaign that seems like a half-finished story you’re left not really wanting more, just hoping that the game evolves in its planned sequel, if we ever get one.  That’s not to say there aren’t aspects to like about the game, but at its core The Order 1886 can’t remain consistent in gameplay type or quality.

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Written by Fred Rojas

February 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Posted in PS4, Reviews

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Now & Then: God of War 1 and 2

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God of War feels like a series that just exploded in popularity but has now been lost in the gaming community abyss. Last year the God of War Collection (featuring the first two games in the series) was released to the Playstation Vita to such a poor reception that a lot of friends were generally surprised it was actually released. Then again the same group of friends were gob smacked that Borderlands 2 also came out on the Vita. Now, it could be argued that this lack of enthusiasm may be due to the lack of interest in the Playstation Vita. But forgotten or not, I’ve played through both God of War games so it’s time to see how they hold up today.

gowhydraI was originally a massive fan of the very first God of War game on PS2. When I was first introduced to the game by a friend I got so into it we played through the entire game together in one single sitting, something that I rarely do with a video game. We spent a lot of the experience just gob smacked by how the PS2 was able to include great graphics and set pieces. Of course a lot of the great visuals are attributed to a fixed camera control and the set pieces being controlled entirely by quick time events (a feature I’m glad has started to disappear in the gaming industry). The game felt like a breath of fresh air. Although the game did not introduce a completely original experience it seemed to take elements that worked with other games like an anti hero storyline, hack and slash gameplay and upgrading your character with orbs. The game was not perfect, even for the time people criticised some of the challenging sections in the game most notably the infamous Hades area where you had to get pass various traps and obstacles. If you were hit just once you died instantly, leading to some massive gamer rage grinding your enjoyable experience to a complete halt. What made God of War stand out at the time was the epic adventure, where you travel into areas no man can supposedly enter (and the game clearly displays this by having dead bodies littered everywhere). You really felt like you were on this impossible quest. Every time you beat a gigantic boss or got pass a deadly trap you really felt a sense of achievement. The bosses were also enormous like the infamous hydra, a fantastic way to open the game and a design feature that seemed to carry over to all future games in the series as well. The game was well received by critics and gamers so it pretty much guaranteed a sequel. The developers seemed confident of this as well as the message “Kratos will return,” appears once the credits have finished at the end of the experience.

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Written by jamalais

January 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

Podcast: U R Not [RED] e

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SONY DSC

This week Fred and Jam are joined by Andy from 42 Level One to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Sony Playstation.  This CD based console is responsible for so much ushering into the next iteration of game development, hardware, media, and game libraries.  It touched each host in his own way and deserves to be celebrated on its second decade of existence.


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Written by Fred Rojas

December 3, 2014 at 11:00 am

Retro Game Night: Fire’n Ice and Skyblazer

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This week the “$130 episode” features the NES sequel to Solomon’s Key Fire’n Ice and the recently featured Retronauts favorite Skyblazer for the SNES.

Written by Fred Rojas

August 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Podcast: GHX – E3 Hype Train

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This week we are foregoing the past and focusing on the future with Pixelated Pints co-host Heffe guesting on the show.  We discuss the Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo press events and what it means for the wonderful world of gaming.  Don’t worry, we’re back to retro next week.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 11, 2014 at 11:00 am

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Podcast: PS3 Retrospective

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PS3
This week Fred is joined by 42 Level One host Andy (@damien14273) and Video Game Outsiders own Matt (@MattoMcFly) to remenisce on the Playstation 3 including the launch, early titles, and myriad of ups and downs that Sony struggled with on its third console.


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Written by Fred Rojas

November 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

Posted in podcast, PS3

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Killzone: Getting Caught Up With the Story

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Normally we solely talk retro on this blog but with the upcoming PS4 I just can’t help but get everyone acquainted with the story of Killzone.  While I’ve been a hardcore fan since the second game (I played the original but didn’t much care for it), most people managed to skip the series due to its long development delays, similar aesthetic to other shooters of the time, and much better marketed titles from both Sony internal (Resistance 2) and competitor Microsoft (Gears of War 2).  It really is a shame because Killzone 2 is quite distinct from other shooters of the generation, but I will get into that later in the article.  The focus of this is to get you caught up with the story and elements of each game in the series, so that you can jump into the latest iteration, Shadow Fall, at the PS4 launch without having to worry about everything that came before it.  Given that Killzone covers three console generations now (PS2-PS4) and almost 10 years, it’s got quite a lineage for a series with three main titles and two portable side stories.  Unlike most game franchises, the Killzone series stays mostly progressive with story and each new iteration directly follows its predecessor in the timelineso Shadow Fall takes place at the tail end of the current franchise.  I have each game listed below along with a story synopsis and notable gameplay elements and updates to each in the order they take place in the Killzone universe.  Without further ado, I give you the Killzone story so far:

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Written by Fred Rojas

November 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Podcast: Gaming History X – Xboned: Microsoft Market Perception

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This week we are trying something new.  Fred is flying solo (just this week) and he’s talking about Microsoft’s poor messaging of the Xbox One, the way it should have been handled, and in true GH101 fashion the myriad of consoles that have failed in the past.


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Written by Fred Rojas

June 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

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