When Video Games Become Board Games: Part 1

It is important to remember that board games are not video games and neither should be expected to match the other’s total gaming experience. Video games of this era were all about constant motion, quick reflexes and split-second decision-making. Board games, however, are about measured decisions, random die rolls or card draws, and ever-changing strategies based on the play of your opponents. In addition, board games often have suggested ages for players. I have read several reviews over the years from adults who were unable to understand that a game meant for children would have limited appeal to adults (and who scored them based on their own experience of playing them as an adult), or from reviewers who also expected a board game to be a video game.

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Nintendo Color Screen: Game and Watch Table Top

Four Color Screen titles were produced in total. The first two, introduced in early 1983, were Donkey Kong JR and Mario’s Cement Factory, pictured in this leaflet. Later that same year, the range was extended with games featuring Popeye and Snoopy. Even though the Color Screen had a bright (color!) screen, it consumed very little energy. It cleverly used a combination of regular black liquid crystals with sunlight projected through a mirror to create the images. According to this leaflet, it was able to run for three years on two C batteries without ever being switched off. It did not even have an on/off switch.

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Nightmare Busters

The fine folks over at Super Fighter Team have a new run and gun game for the Super Nintendo called Nightmare Busters. The first game made for SNES in 14 years. Works on both SNES and Super Famicom and PAL. The game appears to be pretty awesome. Seems like a mix between Alice in Wonderland meets Castlevania. The colors and graphics are spot on. Play alone or grab a friend to play on the 2 player cooperative mode. Nightmare Busters is available for pre order and is expected to be shipped out 2013. $60 will get you a game cartridge with authentic plastic shell and a full color instruction manual that come inside a sturdy full colored box.

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Worms

This PC version of the game also gained a few extras by way of an updated edition of the game called Worms Reinforcements. This allowed you to add custom landscapes and ‘soundpacks’ (i.e. vocal themes for the worms), and also included a number of humorous FMV intros and cut-scenes and a one-player ‘Challenge Mode’ which consisted of various missions that acted like a (rather harsh) tutorial. Some nice extras for sure, but let’s face it – people play Worms for one reason and one reason only – to try and outwit their friends, and to that end it’s peerless. Everyone knows that already though, of course. The only question I was asking before this review was: how much has this original aged?

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Christmas Nights into Dreams

Perhaps the best definition of a Christmas game, Christmas Nights into Dreams was released as a promotional sampler disc during Christmas 1996 for the Sega Saturn. While labeled as a sampler disc containing only new versions of the same stage the disc itself not only came with a cool Christmas theme but a ton of bonus content that never came with the original version of the game. Honestly, it played more like a standalone game than a demo.

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Keith Courage in Alpha Zones

Our video review of the week features the 1988 Adventure game, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. Created by Hudson Soft, you take on the role of Keith Courage who has to take back the earth from evil aliens that attacked it after earth was struck by a meteor. When fighting underground you gain access to the powerful Nova Suit left behind by your father which gives you additional abilities to succeed in your mission tor reaching the Robo Zone, the 7th Alpha Zone and defeating the Beastly Alien Dudes.

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Midway Arcade Origins

Thankfully I was able to get a lot of enjoyment out a few of the included offerings. Joust and Joust 2 hold up extremely well, as do Satan’s Hollow, Robotron 2084, Spy Hunter, Rampage, and both Gauntlet games (just don’t shoot the food!). Two titles I’d never played before, Wizard of Wor and Bubbles, ended up being my favorites. Smash TV and its sequel Total Carnage also play well with a modern controller, and they still serve as a reminder that most of these games were simply designed to get one more quarter out of the pocket of your Kangaroos. This is certainly a staunch contrast from the “save anywhere, unlimited lives” mentality that permeates game design today.

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Breath of Fire III

Gameplay is quite fun and moderate. You’ll have to do lots of leveling up and exploring in this game in order to be able to advance. This is what an RPG is mainly about, you go to a dungeon, level up, and move on. Some enemies can be very troublesome so it’s up to you to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. This is what keeps the game interesting and very rewarding. Like any RPG you’ll want to discover everything there is or if you missed something. Due to the length of RPGs you’ll want to make time for another run as it’ll take you 40+ hours to beat the game. If you are willing to do that, be my guest! You are going to love it either way.

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Atom Zombie Smasher

Killing zombies is part of a gamer’s daily routine, which is all fine and apparently dandy, but I simply can’t stomach another undead infested FPS. Bombing thousands of undead along with some unfortunate not-quite-dead-yet citizens, on the other hand, is another matter entirely and as Atom Zombie Smasher emphatically showed me, a most refreshing and enjoyable, if not downright noble, pass-time. Oh, and it’s a novel way to battle stuff too, though you probably know all about it already, what with Atom Zombie Smasher being a part of the biggest and least humble of Humble Indie Bundles so far.

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Hitman: Absolution

Multiplayer (a first for the series) also feels very adaptable. Campaign levels are opened up sandbox style; any NPC on the map can be chosen as a target and then sent to your respective friends list. Gamers can place restrictions on the assassinations; you can compete with your friends to see who can complete the hits most efficiently based on the parameters dictated by another player. This adds an even greater level of replay to the game, and it also welcomes the creative contributions of gamers. Hundreds of thousands of player-made challenges have already been uploaded, giving play time a durability that previous entries in the series failed to achieve.

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Archon: The Light and the Dark

One other quirk applies. Each side has a magician; for the Light side, a wizard, and for the Dark, a sorcerer. Not only are they powerful in combat, with a very strong projectile attack, but they can also cast a spell on the player’s turn instead of moving a piece. These spells range from Teleport, which moves a piece (of either allegiance) to a different space on the board; to Revive, which brings a previously defeated piece back onto the playing field; to Heal, which recovers a piece’s health, since drops in health do stay in play, unless the piece is allowed a few turns to heal naturally; Summon Elemental, which basically attacks an opposing piece with a one-use powerful being in hopes of earning the kill; and a couple others, all of which are good for one use.

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Animated Nintendo Controller Evolution

Here is a very nicely animated history of some of Nintendo’s controller designs. I remember switching from the classic Atari controller and thinking the NES felt so boxy. Personally, it was the SNES controller that did it for me and to this day it is one of my favorites. The video was animated by Chris Koelsch with music by Heath McNease.

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Legend of Zelda: Pot Smasher

Anyone who has played the classic Legend of Zelda series is used to smashing a lot of pots to find various items including Rupee’s. What we did not know is that Link seems to have an obsession with it. In this awesome video made by the cool dudes who make sweet vids, Freddiew, Link, played by Lindsey Sterling, shows us just how much Link likes to smashy, smashy.

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Memories of Multiplayer

This week on the Obsolete Gamer Show we had a chance to interview Ryan Culver who played Nathan Drake for the PlayStation commercial for PlayStation’s All-Star Battle Royale. The guys not only nails the look for Nathan Drake, but is actually a man of action and adventure himself flying people all over the world. In our panel discussion we talk about our memories of playing multiplayer games be it with a bunch of friend in our homes or thousands of players online and all the good and bad the comes with playing with others.

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World of Tanks 8.2 Review

The T21 plays a lot like the Chaffee. The T71 is comparable to playing the AMX13 75. The T69 is mainly played as a support tank so don’t play it like as if you are Rambo. The T54E1 is a lot like the Patton except weaker and is more of a support tank. The T57 Heavy has the advantages of having slanted armor and a gun comparable to the AMX 50B that reloads faster as well as being more accurate. The low armor of the T57 will make you play as if you are playing a French Heavy tank.

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Seicross

During game play the player rides a hovering motor bike racing through each level, shooting enemies, collecting energy and saving your blue friends. All of the levels are similar as in they scroll right, but there are the “FAST” levels and the “SLOW” levels and you’ll notice the differences. The fast levels have enemies on motor bikes chasing you around while the slower levels do not, but they have a lot more obstacles.

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