You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet around here lately. I only made one post in November. Yikes! Where does the time go? I’ve had a lot of “real-life” nonsense going on, so I haven’t had much opportunity to write. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been toying with some other ideas. Continue reading “Dabbling”
I have long held the belief that Atari’s Haunted House for the 2600 is a keystone in the foundation of adventure and horror video games. So what better day to talk about it than on Halloween? Continue reading “Haunted House: the Origin of Survival Horror!”
Last month’s announcement of the 17th catalog release from British video game soundtrack vinyl specialists Data Discs was an exciting surprise: Policenauts, Konami’s 1994 graphic adventure game, directed by Hideo Kojima. Available on multiple formats, beginning with the PC-9821 computer, then ported to the 3DO, Sony PlayStation, and Sega Saturn consoles, this spiritual follow-up to Kojima’s classic, Snatcher, never actually got an official release anywhere outside of Japan. Despite this, Policenauts has still managed to gain legendary status among import game enthusiasts and Kojima fans alike.
I’ve read a lot of books on video game history, and I’ve heard a lot of the same stories told several times. Therefore, rare is the story I haven’t heard yet; and here we have a book — the first of three massive volumes, no less — that is absolutely packed cover-to-cover with things I didn’t know, things I didn’t know that I didn’t know, and things I didn’t even know that I wanted to know, but it turns out I’m really glad I know them now.
At the risk of featuring too many PS4 games in recent posts (what can I say, they all have a retro connection or I wouldn’t be talking about them), Sega’s Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise (aka Hokuto no Gotoku) was released in the US this week, to the gleeful delight of combined Fist of the North Star and Yakuza fans everywhere. How wide or slim the overlap of that particular Venn diagram is, I don’t really know. But I’m wedged in there myself, and when this game was first announced, my head almost exploded like one of Kenshiro’s unfortunate opponents.
FotNSLP/HnG (it’s a long title either way, I don’t even know how to abbreviate it for this post) is just the latest in a really long line of video games based on the classic manga/anime property, Hokuto no Ken (lit. “Fist of the North Star”), dating all the way back to the ’80s when the manga was current and the show was actually airing on Japanese TV. Some of the games are good; many are not. And out of the dozens of HnK games released, only a handful were released outside of Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the good ones, shall we? (Perhaps I’ll do another post about all the not-so-good FotNS games someday, and call it “You’re Already Disappointed” or something.) (Don’t steal that, I just came up with it.) Continue reading “You’re Already Having Fun”
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has finally been released in North America. For many of us, this is the first “proper” new Dragon Quest game we’ve gotten to play since the 2010 release of DQIX on the Nintendo DS, as the online installment, DQX on the Wii, wasn’t released over here. That’s eight years we’ve been waiting!
DQIX was a great game, but I absolutely loved DQVIII on the PS2, having sunk over 100 hours into it, and I’ve been waiting for another experience like that. I haven’t played enough of XI yet to determine if it lives up to my memories of VIII, but so far it’s headed that way.
The thing I really love about Dragon Quest, and the reason I’m writing about it here, is its solid connections to the past.
When I set off on my day-long arcade adventure to visit three arcades in the Chicago and Milwaukee vicinities, I was just expecting a fun day off filled with video games and food, and I figured I could maybe get a blog article out of each place I visited. However, on my way home from the last arcade, late at night, drained of energy and running purely on coffee, I came to realize that although the posts I would write about those three arcades were individual entities, there was also a fourth post asking to be written, relating all three places to each other.
See, what I realized after visiting Galloping Ghost, Level 257, and The Garcade is that there are many ways to approach arcade gaming in 2018, and while all three venues share the common bond of being public video game centers, they each provide a totally different experience. Continue reading “Arcade Road Trip Roundup”
This is the third in the series of Arcade Road Trip 2018 blog entries about a day-long trip I took to three modern video arcades in the midwest on August 2, 2018.
Located in Menomonee (that’s pronounced men-AH-muh-nee) Falls, Wisconsin, which is a suburb of Milwaukee, The Garcade is a relatively new joint opened in July of 2017 by local arcade collector Gar Nelson (hence the name). And it’s everything you could want in a classic arcade. Continue reading “Arcade Pilgrimage: The Garcade, Menomonee Falls, WI”