Human Killing Machine

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“Worst game ever? Human Killing Machine, Capcom. Seriously, look it up. I have a copy of it on disk, given away by Amiga Power, I believe.” @GuyFawkesRetro

Human Killing Machine

The above tweet peaked my curiosity, I boldly replied “Worst game ever? I have a sudden urge to try it.” And so I did. As you know I recently reviewed Yolanda! for review a bad game day, however if I’d known about this one it would have been a serious contender. I actually felt like playing Yolanda! after this, in fact, I felt like playing Rise of the Robots just to wash away the memories.

Human Killing Machine

You play as Kwon, who is apparently strong. You have to knock down (no K.O’s here) your opponent a number of times to win, your first battle is against Igor, once you’ve defeated him you then fight his dog (I’m assuming) which in my mind is just plain mean. I didn’t get much further than that, the collision detection is terrible, the controls unmanageable, and the poor animation lets down the relatively good graphics and backgrounds. At points I had no idea how or what I was doing to hit the opponent as the controls didn’t really match with anything on the screen.

human_killing_machine

A  player comment from Lemon Amiga:

“A clone of Street Fighter. Strangely, they took the Amiga version with its bad animations as reference and not the arcade version. So you got the same gameplay as SF, but executed even worse.”

And another.

“Often described as the next best thing (or something like that…) on many games-mags previews at the time, this soon revealed itself for the unforgivable, unplayable, Tiertex-developed utter disaster it actually was. If you played it for more than 10 minutes and survived, congratulations: that sure was a big task…”

Anyways, if you must see more, see above for the game on YouTube, someone has kindly played through the whole thing. Also good luck to @GuyFawkesRetro on twitter, who is on the search for the ultimate bad game…. (I think you may have found it?)

Sonic Heroes

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Sonic Heroes was a good bit different than the Sonic Adventure games. While those games stopped the furious speed with adventure elements, this game was more true to it’s 2D roots. It was a pretty straight forward platformer with little distractions. ~Adam R.

Sonic Heroes

While Gamecube fans liked the ports of the two Sonic Adventure games, Sonic Heroes was the first original Sonic game for the system. Ironically Sega also produced PS2 and Xbox versions which gave Sonic a home on all the major consoles. Though most critics cite the Gamecube version as the superior edition.

Sonic Heroes - Nintendo Gamecube - Gameplay Screenshot

 Regardless of platform, Sonic Heroes was a good bit different than the Sonic Adventure games. While those games stopped the furious speed with adventure elements, this game was more true to it’s 2D roots. It was a pretty straight forward platformer with little distractions.
Sonic Heroes - Nintendo Gamecube - Gameplay Screenshot
 The game also made use of Sonic’s friends and enemies being forced upon the player. You can pick between four teams of three. So you had the good team (Sonic, Tails Knuckles), the evil team (Shadow, Rogue, Omega), the girly team (Amy, Cream, Big), and the weird team. The last team was comprised of the awful characters from Knuckles Chaotix. I have to give Sega credit for bringing back such strange characters for no reason.
Sonic Heroes - Nintendo Gamecube - Gameplay Screenshot
The game was received well by critics, and fans but nothing compared to the praise of the Genesis generation. I ended up never playing the game myself, but I was very tempted at the time. At least it wasn’t as awful or bizarre as some of the sequels that followed.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Nintendo Cat Ears

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Life is like that. One minute you got nothing, the next you got a game and some cat ears. Thanks Nintendo.~Derek Heinbokel

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Nintendo Cat Ears

The other day I headed on over to GameStop to pick up the new Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. During my visit a Nintendo representative was there and gave me a promotional Super Mario 3D World cat ears with a pin.

Donkey Kong and Cat Ears

Life is like that. One minute you got nothing, the next you got a game and some cat ears. Thanks Nintendo.

Editors Notes:

shippo

You might not have known this but catgirls have been popular in Japan for a long time, they are just cooler than us on some things. It is called, Shippo which means tail is Japanese and this device allows you to communicate using your ears and tail because we need new forms of communication using no sound or text.

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Moho/Ball Breakers

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Even the single player is better than you might expect, with ten prison worlds to play through.~Simon Reed

Moho aka Ball Breakers

Trawling through my local car boot, I spotted a copy of Moho on the Playstation.

Moho - Ball Breakers - PSOne

Actually, judging by the weird font used on the cover, I thought it might be ‘Motto.’

Either way, i’d never heard of it or seen it before, so snapped it up (50p if you’re interested) in the hope that it was rare.

Moho - Ball Breakers - PSOne

It turns out that it’s incredibly common. Oh well. At least it’s not too bad an effort – in fact, it’s above average.

Last week I berated Crash Bash for being a rather tepid collection of minigames. Moho is structured in a similar way, but is a far more successful in nearly every respect.

You might be surprised to hear that Rockstar even had a hand in making the game, and (of less interest) the title was called Ball Breakers in the US. But not when it came to PC, where Moho was used in both EU and the US.

Moho - Ball Breakers - PSOne

But that’s enough pointless trivia.

Starting off with a CGI cutscene, the game sets an odd tone – one that is both brooding and lighthearted. If that is even possible.

You then choose a robot to play as, and are then thrown into individual jail based worlds where you’re set a certain challenges to complete.

These range from last man standing battles (‘last man rolling’), straight out races, collecting all the pick ups in an arena (‘tag’), to ones that set you a goal to reach – piling obstacles and various foes in your way.

There are a few more, but all revolve around one main gameplay gimmick – you’re a robot on a sphere shaped wheel, and therefore you’re fighting against momentum and physics all the time.

Moho - Ball Breakers - PSOne

Instead of being annoying this actually makes the game feel far fresher and varied that it has any right to be.

It transforms what could have been a solid but unspectacular mini game collection into something much more interesting.

In terms of modes the game inevitably has a multiplayer mode, which is as frenetic and competitive as you’d want it to be.

Even the single player is better than you might expect, with ten prison worlds to play through.

Overall, Moho is a solid and reasonably experimental minigame collection that’s worth 50p of anyone’s money.

Cosplay Wars: Tifa Lockhart vs. Samus Aran

There just something appealing about a girl that can kick your ass. These two can do just that.~J.A. Laraque

Cosplay Wars

Cosplay Wars: Tifa Lockhartvs. Samus Aran

This week in Cosplay Wars we have two heavy hitters. From Final Fantasy 7 we have the bounching booby beatdown babe, Tifa Lockhart vs. the Mother Brain buster, Samus “You were a girl all this time and you’re hot!” Aran. There just something appealing about a girl that can kick your ass. These two can do just that. So here is how it works. Team Lockhart vs. Team Aran, 10 images of cosplayers for each team. You vote for the winning team. Now you might notice you have to register to vote. This is because we will be giving away swag we receive based on who votes so we need to know who is voting so if you win we can send you the swag. So spread the word and tell us, which team won?

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Alt F4 Episode 2: Dave Vogt

Alt F4 Episode 2: Dave Vogt

Alt F4 is back for another episode and this week we bring you multiple world record holder, Dave Vogt. Dave holds records in a number of classic games including Castlevania and has been featured on Twin Galaxies and Video Game Score Board.

dave vogt headshot

Obsolete Gamer recently posted his Gamer Profile and it was great to talk to him about his gaming history, the fact that his parents were gamers as well as his wife and that he is passing it on to his children.

J.A. Laraque on Game Talk Live

J.A. Laraque on Game Talk Live

jaon1337loungelive

Obsolete Gamer’s own J.A. Laraque will be on the 1337 Lounge Live’s video game talk show, Game Talk Live tonight during the 5PM PST/ 8PM EST broadcast. He will be talking about his recent article on The Jace Hall Show page, 10 Really Bad Console Knock-Offs. We hope you will tune in.

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Just because we love this video, check out when J.A. Laraque appeared in a promo for his first appearance on 1337 Lounge Live.

What is Game Talk Live

game talk live

Game Talk Live is the ONLY live, one-hour daily video game talk show on the face of the planet — at least as far as our interns could find. We air five days a week, from 5-6 PST, with all of the day’s top video game news, analysis, and jokes…aided by A.I., the artificial intelligence interface we picked up cheap at an NSA yard sale.

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Crash ‘n’ the Boys: Street Challenge

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  All in all, the richness of Crash ‘n’ The Boys: Street Challenge is certainly appreciated, and serves to place it on a level above the usual standard multi-sport fare. Even the introductory cutscene is enough to truly make this cart something special.~Eric Bailey

Crash ‘n’ the Boys: Street Challenge

Developer Technos was best known for their beat-’em-up titles on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System console, including the Double Dragon series and the classic River City Ransom. What would happen when the company tried to take on the multi-sport genre, like the arcade port Tack & Field, straightforward World Games, or distinctively wacky Caveman Games? The result was something called Crash ‘n’ The Boys: Street Challenge.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge - NES Gameplay Screenshot - 1

  This was a sports video game on the NES that actually had a story; basically, our hero Crash Cooney and the Southside Boys are rivals with the rich snobby kids that live up on the Hill. After the Southsiders beat the Hillers in the big track meet, whiny brat Todd Thornley III was a sore loser and challenged the Boys to a street-sports gauntlet of various events with minimal rules, while his family secretly plotted to plant superpowered adults on his team in Thornley’s favor.

  Gameplay

To summarize, the Street Challenge consists of five events: 400 Meter Hurdles, Hammer Throw, Swimming (humorously referred to in the instruction booklet as Water Slaughter), Roof Top Jumping, and Fighting Scene. Each has their own distinctive appearance, mechanics, goal, and controls. Gameplay is divided into three modes: Practice, in which the player can pick one event at a time and try it over and over; Short, in which the player progresses through three events; and Normal, in which all five events are attempted through the storyline. This game is also playable for 1-4 people, with alternating controller usage.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

  Once the play mode is determined, the player actually has a choice of four teams to pick from, two of which are the Southsiders from Southside High and Thornley’s school, Washington High. The two others are Lincoln High and Jefferson High, the relational nuances between each of which are awesomely explained in the instruction manual, but the remarkable thing is that each school then has five different characters to choose from, each with their own individual statistical ratings in Power, Speed, and Defense, the usefulness of each of which will depend on the event.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

  Incredibly, and especially so for an 8-bit cartridge, not only is there the tournament of events, but between rounds the player(s) can actually shop for items using both money they begin with and the coins they additionally collect throughout the events. Items can boost stats, heal hit points, or even gain all-new techniques for the next event. This feature definitely adds a level of depth that is not quite seen in other multi-sport titles for the system.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

  Of course, the main attraction is the five events, each of which deviates from the norm and either is not a traditional sport or simply goes for all-out combat in favor of athletic competition. In 400 meter hurdles, the player must tap right on the directional pad to keep up with the opponent, but while jumping or sliding under hurdles, the characters can spin-kick each other or even throw chunks of broken hurdle at the opponent. Hammer Throw is actually Hammer Golf, as the player must throw a heavy weight across a two-dimensional course until getting to the hole in a certain number of strokes, and including trying to avoid hazards. In Swimming, there is not even the pretense of competition, just the goal of trying to kill the other character, and tacking both hit points and oxygen intake. Roof Top Jumping is a fun one, as a mix of tightrope-balancing unicycles and pole vaults is used to traverse rooftops, trying to get to the end of the course.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

  Then there is the Fighting Scene, worth considering on its own for one key reason: This may be the best representation of the fighting-game genre there is on the Nintendo Entertainment System, with the possible exception of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters. Not only is character selection with distinctive characteristics intact, which Mortal Kombat could hardly even boast in its original iterations, but there are even special grapple moves per character in addition to the usual arsenal of punches, kicks, rushes, and jumping attacks. Some of the special moves, earned when reducing the opposing character’s stamina bar more quickly in a grapple, are especially funny and/or brutal.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

  All in all, the richness of Crash ‘n’ The Boys: Street Challenge is certainly appreciated, and serves to place it on a level above the usual standard multi-sport fare. Even the introductory cutscene is enough to truly make this cart something special. However, not all is perfect, as the control schemes can be very unintuitive, inconsistent, and even confusing, as there is no real format that connects each event, a different button may jump from one sport to the next, and there is a learning curve involved as well. The curve is welcome, actually, especially to make one-player playthroughs worthwhile, but it can be difficult to gain initial practice when the computer is in constant “must kill the new guy” mode.

  Graphics

Judging Crash ‘n’ The Boys: Street Challenge on its audiovisual merits is an intriguing endeavor, since those aspects are of unquestionably high quality, given the context of the hardware and comparison to the rest of the NES library of carts, but they are also noticeably recycled. This is a later release than their previous titles like River City Ransom and Super Dodge Ball, so you know that many of the graphics are recycled.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

Yet, this may not be the worst thing, since the Technos style of characterization is largely what gives their games their appeal to begin with. Sprites aside, action proceeds smoothly and the backgrounds are gorgeous (in fact, among the best on the console, and somewhat underappreciated, in this viewer’s opinion – check out the city’s layered skyline in the background of the Hammer Golf event and how it reflects in the water hazard), so maybe Technos should just be given the benefit of the doubt here: This game looks great.

  Sound

It sounds great, too, but in the case of the background tracks and effects, the recycling effect is much more noticeable, and hardly bothered to be disguised as all. For example, the hurricane kick sound effect used in the 400 Meter Hurt-les is the same as used in the game Double Dragon II: The Revenge.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

Other combat sounds are taken from River City Ransom, while many of the same short themes and ditties for the music have been conglomerated from the sporting titles like Super Dodge Ball and Super Spike V’Ball. They at least sound very, very similar, but some samples are definitely repeats. Nonetheless, again, this is likely not the worst thing.

  Originality

Crash ‘n’ The Boys is undoubtedly an original, creative, and innovative game. Fans of the multi-sport NES titles absolutely must give Crash a shot if they have not already. Playing alone is fun already, but multiplayer adds a whole new dimension of enjoyment.

Crash 'n' the Boys - Street Challenge

This is a title where the developers really seemed like they had the player experience in mind, and wanted to make it joyous and memorable. This is a four-star game, a rating out of five.

Karate Blazers Flash Game

Karate Blazers

Karate Blazers Flash Game

Karate Blazer is a classic Beat Em Up game released originally to the arcades in 1991. In the game you choose from 4 disciples of an old martials arts master that was killed. If that was not bad enough his daughter was kidnapped and his special scrolls were stolen. What’s so special about the scrolls? Oh, they just happened to contain knowledge on the secret technique known as the “Killing” blow.

Controls

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move the Character
  • X = Kick/Punch
  • C = Jump Attack
  • X+C = Special Attack
  • To start click on the screen when it asks to insert credits.

Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition Flash Game

Street_Fighter_II_flyer

Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition Flash Game

This game changed how arcade games were played. With Street Fighter, you did not just walk up and play the game. Most of the time you waited for your shot at the current champ of the cabinet. You would place your quarter on the right hand side and watch how they played hoping you could beat them and if you were the champ you knew it was only a matter of time before your spot got taken.

So Capcom released this flash version back when it was promoting Street Fighter 4. The great thing here is the game feels and plays like the arcade even though you are using keyboard commands. This is a close to the real deal as you will get in a flash version and it has the original characters and music.

Controls

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move your Fighter
  • S = Fast Punch
  • D = Medium Punch
  • F = Strong Punch
  • X = Fast Kick
  • C = Medium Kick
  • V = Strong Kick
  • Also you can click on the question mark in the upper right to see the special moves for each character

Popeye

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You control the affable sailor throughout three repeating levels, catching whatever icons Olive Oyl throws your way. While she is dropping either hearts, notes, or the letters that spell out “HELP ME”, Popeye catches a set number while attempting to steer clear of Bluto, who was renamed Brutus here for reasons unknown. ~Mike NESquester Wright

Popeye

One of the most regonizable figures in American pop culture as well as the original premise for the game that became Donkey Kong, today we take a nice, long look at a game that was another arcade port of a Miyamoto smash hit, Popeye.

popeye
Unlike the many revamps other character go through nowadays, Popeye remains practically unchanged from his very first appearance.
Popeye began as the brainchild of writer/artist E.C. Segar. Making his debut in 1929 in the popular Thimble Theater newspaper strip, he was a minor character at the start. Popeye was just a sailor hired by Olive Oyl’s current boyfriend, Harold Hamgravy to captain a ship to an island to thwart an evil casino operator. His adventures were meant to end there, but readers took such a huge liking to the oddball that he was quickly brought back.
popeye
Popeye easily sported one of the most unusual, yet awesome supporting casts. Not just of his time, but ever.

As the years went on, the strip evolved as Olive left Hamgravy for the goofy sailor, a baby named Swee’Pea was introduced, and Thimble Theater quickly became the Popeye show. A plethora of weird shit began debuting as well such as Eugene The Jeep, the Sea Hag, and the burger hoarding Wimpy. The comic strip and the cartoon that followed had little in common as in the funny pages, Bluto was only featured once and spinach was a rare plot device. Both being commonplace for Popeye mythos shows how powerful the medium of television was at the time. The animated version was done by Fleischer Studios, the same crew who also created the most beloved of Superman cartoons right around the same time. Strangely enough, Popeye debuted in that form alongside the famous Betty Boop in 1933. To this day he remains a household name having his unique mug plastered on everything from lunchboxes, t-shirts, and even his own line of spinach. Robin Williams portrayed the live-action version in 1980 and to this day, the town built as the set of the movie stands tall and is one of the largest tourist attractions of the Island of Malta.

popeye

Should it be any suprise that Shigeru Miyamoto loved Popeye? Weird met weird to create awesome in the NES port of a 1982 arcade classic. You control the affable sailor throughout three repeating levels, catching whatever icons Olive Oyl throws your way. While she is dropping either hearts, notes, or the letters that spell out “HELP ME”, Popeye catches a set number while attempting to steer clear of Bluto, who was renamed Brutus here for reasons unknown. Later levels add the Sea Hag, who drops objects to make life difficult as well. Popeye is given a weapon the Marios and Kongs didn’t have at the time as he can swing his mighty fists at anything that moves with the exception of “Brutus”. To take that huge, burly tub of fatfuck down, there is one can of spinach per level that will make our hero red-dog mad enough to knock the big man halfway across creation. The stages are varied enough to stay fun and there is even a cameo by Swee’Pea. The music is excellent and when the third stage is clear, you are treated to the signature song, complete with the toot-toot, which is a nice touch and causes the ‘Quester to smile everytime. It is obvious that Miyamoto loved the source material and wasn’t going to create anything that didn’t have the same feel of the classic cartoons he grew up adoring. As with Donkey Kong Jr, this is another port that could’ve easily been made in 1986 and still been a hit.

popeye
You don’t always need to hide and re-load different styles of guns for a game to rock. A great songwriter said it best. All you need is love.

THE FINAL VERDICT 9/10 If that’s too high, then create your own blog and reviews and feel free to adjust as you see fit, but I appreciate this game even more now than I did as a kid. The graphics and tunes scream out Popeye and the challenge is balanced enough to make me want to play for hours instead of hitting the road block alot of the ports do where it goes from head-ache inducing to requiring the X-gene.

popeye
“That paycheck you cashed on the gorilla game was MINE!!!”

Thanks to Mason V. for seeing my post and contacing me about having a double, thereby saving my ass on this one! Folks like you are the ones I do this for. Fuck you Ebay! (Until you are the only place I am able to run to in the future. I’m an honest hypocrite like that.)

Dark Souls 2

Dark Souls changed the way I play video games.  Every other modern game seems undemanding in comparison, and certainly not half as fulfilling.~Eric Hollis

Dark Souls 2

The original Dark Souls is one of my favorite titles of all time.  Truth be told, I hated it the first time I picked it up.  I couldn’t even defeat the first boss, and in a fit of geek rage I took the game back to the store, vowing to play something more enjoyable. This decision to give up so easily haunted my pixilated nightmares.  Six months later I attempted it again and I’ve never looked back, it’s slowly becoming one of my favorite games of all time.  The main reason: it’s so damn rewarding.  Sure, it’s tougher than leather, but also completely fair, impatience and bad timing are your greatest enemies, not the gigantic bosses who can (and will) demolish your health bar in one well-timed combination. Needless to say the sequel had a lot to live up to.

Dark Souls 2 - Gameplay

Thankfully From Software hasn’t made many changes to the original formula that still feels so close to perfection.  The game is a lot prettier graphically than the original, oceanfront hub Majula is certainly a more visually comforting place than Firelink Shrine, though both areas function exactly the same.  Bosses are consistently brutal and seem to appear a lot more frequently, and normal enemies can still take your souls after one ill-timed blocking attempt.  Prepare to die.  Often.

Dark Souls 2 - Gameplay

Dark Souls 2 also never holds your hand or provides more information than absolutely necessary.  I’ve had numerous friends restart entirely after finding out they were using items the wrong way or making character builds that just don’t succeed in combat.  I even completely respec’d my own character after I realized that a very strong shield was needed to get past a certain boss.  Granted, you can locate tons of information on the internet, but that takes away all of the gratification earned by figuring things out for yourself.  Playing this with a walkthrough will completely rob you of one of the most worthwhile and demanding gaming experiences out there.

Dark Souls 2 - Gameplay

One major tweak that might infuriate gamers is the new health bar reduction.  When you die, a small portion of your health bar is permanently removed.  The only way to restore it is with a very rare item called an effigy; these also essentially replace humanity from the first game.  This new twist on the formula made me a lot more cautious at first, but eventually I just learned to function with half a health bar at all times.

Dark Souls 2 - Gameplay

The other major change is the ability to fast travel from the very beginning of your quest.  The player didn’t gain this ability until roughly halfway through the original and it definitely changes the overall pacing of the game for the better.  I was never faced with conquering one boss to move forward, there were always at least three paths open to me I could utilize at any time.  This overcomes this sheer frustration I felt on the first title when I was stuck in Anor Londo for over a week trying to best Orenstein and Smough.  There are always multiple options in Dark Souls 2, which in a title this exhausting can never be a bad thing.

Dark Souls 2 - Gameplay

Dark Souls changed the way I play video games.  Every other modern game seems undemanding in comparison, and certainly not half as fulfilling.  When I walk up to an unopened treasure chest I always take a precautionary swing.  Always.  Even if I think there is no danger, I do it just in case the chest turns into a toothy monster ready to devour me down to the marrow.  I expect a trap around every corner because there usually is one.  It’s made me a shaky, paranoid mess and I’ve begged for and enjoyed every single second of it.

Dark Souls 2 - Gameplay

Dark Souls 2 is more addictive than pure heroin.  I’ve never done heroin, but I have a few friends that have.  I’m basing this statement on how quickly they were willing to sell me their game collections to obtain more heroin.

Mega Man 9

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If Capcom was so intent in keeping Mega Man 9 in an era of NES classics, why are we paying for downloadable content? All of that work to keep this firmly planted in its roots is wasted if you can unlock secret characters with cash instead of skill. ~Matt Paprocki

Mega Man 9

There’s something wrong with Mega Man 9: It doesn’t fit. That’s not necessarily a knock against the game itself, but purely a poor design call by Capcom. Why have we went back all the way to Mega Man 1 and 2, when the last game was on the PlayStation and Saturn?

MegaMan 9 - PS3

The true 8-bit stylings run deep through this retro revival, in the truest sense. This is a NES game, right down the flicker. The music is phenomenal, the pixel art excellent, and boss design mostly interesting (Galaxy Man looking a little too much like the obscure Japanese monster Guilala).

MegaMan 9 - PS3

Here’s the problem though. Mega Man 9 is hard, and any fan of the series should expect that. However, Capcom has taken that mentality and multiplied it, creating some absolutely absurd level designs that even die-hard masochists will frown upon. While past Mega Man games relied on memorization and precision, Mega Man 9 requires a higher level of both. You can almost hear the level designers laughing at how devilishly difficult certain segments are.

MegaMan 9 - PS3

It’s certainly up for debate whether or not this is an attractive feature or a reason not to buy. Regardless of where you stand, you have to agree that a certain level of fun is still necessary for this game to succeed, and much of the difficulty saps that away.

MegaMan 9 - PS3

Part of the problem is the original 8-bit style, and that means true original 8-bit. Even though Mega Man 3 introduced the slide move and Mega Man 4 brought us the Mega Buster, Mega Man 9 has neither of those. If you can get past the graphical downgrade which doesn’t let this game fit into the timeline, not including these classic maneuvers really messes with your head.

MegaMan 9 - PS3

That’s not saying the visuals are bad. In fact, they’re wonderful, especially just to see the style brought back (the dragon mid-boss is arguably the highlight). The problem is in calling this Mega Man 9, it’s following a 16-bit and 32-bit entry. Making a Bionic Commando sequel that looked like this would have made far more sense given that franchise lived and died on 8-bit hardware.

MegaMan 9 - PS3

Also, if Capcom was so intent in keeping this in an era of NES classics, why are we paying for downloadable content? All of that work to keep this firmly planted in its roots is wasted if you can unlock secret characters with cash instead of skill. This is such an authentic experience, you can’t switch weapons with the triggers. You need to enter the pause menu. Yet, we need to pay more for a complete game.

MegaMan 9 - PS3

From a pure play perspective, Mega Man 9 is fine. It’s the same game any true gamer should have played numerous times before. The platforming is spot-on, as are the controls. The bosses maintain their own attack patterns, acquired weapons do extra damage to the right enemy, and the final castle stage is an absolute nightmare to pass.

MegaMan 9 - PS3

Had this come out and been called Mega Man 7 on the NES, it would have been slammed by critics for being more of the same with nothing new to offer (much like Mega Man 6 was). However, the passage of time has gave way to warm nostalgia, which Mega Man 9 tried to bring back. In most cases, it does, but it more or less limps its way into your nostalgia-fueled mind instead of Mega Busting it.

Batman: Arkham City

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Batman: Arkham City doesn’t really rock the boat, content instead to offer up what is essentially an improved and expanded version of the last game. Apparently, sometimes that is more than good enough.~Aaron Izakowitz

Batman: Arkham City

When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out in 2009, it was a revelation. For decades, gamers had been conditioned to assume that any game based on a licensed property, particularly a superhero, would be at best decent and at worst execrableAsylum ignored all that, vaulting from relative obscurity to become a surprise Game of the Year contender and making Rocksteady Studios a top-tier developer overnight. Now, two years later comes its sequel, Batman: Arkham City, and the circumstances surrounding its release could not be more different. While Asylum had everything to prove, City has the perhaps even more unenviable task of trying to top its exemplary predecessor.
batman-arkham-city
Arkham City more than rises to the challenge, and it does, paradoxically, by taking the safe path. This is the very definition of an iterative sequel, with very few if any changes to the formula that made its predecessor a success. The environment is bigger, you have more tools, the combat has been improved with more combos and more varied enemies, you face more of Batman’s iconic villains, and the Riddler challenges are more numerous and more devious. It is what fans wanted and expected.
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It is also an astonishingly good game; unquestionably one of the best released this year. While this is perhaps more a testament to the quality of the first game than anything, the fact remains that Batman: Arkham City renders Asylum utterly obsolete, and makes it look easy.
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The story kicks off six months after the events of Asylum. Following the total breakdown of order on Arkham Island, the city of Gotham has cordoned off an entire district and converted it into a sort of megaprison, the titular Arkham City, with the megalomaniacal Professor Hugo Strange in charge. Surprisingly, Arkham City soon descends to the state of “wretched hellhole,” with Gotham’s supervillains rapidly setting up rival factions to vie for supremacy in the prison and forward their own nefarious ends.
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At the game’s outset, Bruce Wayne finds himself arrested and framed under ill-defined pretenses (more on this later). Before long he has donned the cowl and cape from within Arkham City and set out to get to the bottom of the mysterious circumstances surrounding Hugo Strange and his own incarceration. The plot, as you might expect, only spirals outward from there, and before long many prominent members of Batman’s rogue gallery have a part to play, including the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, a few others I shouldn’t spoil here, and of course, the Joker.
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While Arkham City qualifies as an “open world” game, it is not really a sandbox. Other than fighting random goons, there isn’t a whole lot to do if you are just wandering around. Rather, it is closest to something like Assassin’s Creed II. You always have a single story objective to work towards, but as you grapple, glide, and fight your way across the city, smaller, quick objectives will reveal themselves. By far the most common of these are the Riddler trophies, which are scattered quite liberally across the city, and many of which are in plain sight but require you to solve some sort of puzzle or riddle to obtain. Beyond these, there are crime scenes to investigate, bullet trajectories to recreate, Riddler informants to interrogate (which reveal the location of trophies on your map) and, for some reason, holographic rings floating in the air to fly through. It can all be a little overwhelming at times, but fortunately it’s all completely optional, and it’s always clear where to go next if you are only interested in advancing the story. Even better, if you see a Riddler trophy that you don’t feel like tackling immediately, you can now tag it and it will appear on your minimap, a very welcome feature.
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Once on a story mission, things become very similar to the first game. Stealth and hand-to-hand combat are both back mostly unchanged, with some added wrinkles. In stealth mode, for example, certain enemies might have a signal jammer which disables your detective vision, or a thermal vision upgrade which allows them to see you even when you are hiding in the rafters, which will obviously influence your plan of attack. Combat sees similar additions. Goons equipped with body armor, riot shields, knives, and stunguns are all in the mix, each requiring a unique approach. Fortunately, your arsenal has also been expanded. The game’s story thankfully does not contrive some reason to strip Batman of all his abilities at the beginning, so you start the game with a healthy range of options, and your toolset only grows over the course of the game.
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Once you complete the campaign, which took me somewhere from 12 to 15 hours with moderate sidequesting, there is plenty of additional content on the disc to keep you coming back. The Challenge modes, both combat and predator, return largely unchanged, complete with online leaderboards. A new addition is what they are calling Campaigns, which have a string of different challenges to be played in a sequence, with optional modifiers to either assist the player, such as regenerating health, or provide an extra challenge, like a time attack mode. There is also a New Game Plus, which lets you play through the game with all your upgrades and trophies unlocked but retools the game somewhat to provide an extra challenge. On top of all this, there is a huge amount of supplemental material including concept art, character biographies, and a lengthy history of Arkham City, all of which are unlocked by collecting enough Riddler trophies.
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Again, in many ways these are exactly the sorts of enhancements and tweaks that we have come to expect from a sequel. It’s true that Batman: Arkham City doesn’t really rock the boat, content instead to offer up what is essentially an improved and expanded version of the last game. Apparently, sometimes that is more than good enough.
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In short: Batman: Arkham City, is really, really fun. It’s so fun you will literally yell in disbelief at how sweet whatever you just did was, and you will do it a lot. It’s so fun you will make your roommate/significant other/whoever walks into the room watch you play it so that they, too, can appreciate just how awesome you are. I can think of very few games that are more satisfying to just play. Simply traversing the city, using your grappling hook to fling yourself into the sky and then divebombing and pulling up to gain momentum, is an absolute joy. The predator sections of the game are even tenser than before, with the enemies’ new gadgets robbing you of what little security you once had. The rhythmic combat system, which at first seems like a button masher but which ultimately rewards careful observation and focus, remains the best brawler that I’ve played, period. Whether you just race through the story missions or take your time to explore all the extra content to its fullest, the game is expertly paced, invisibly propelling you forward. Layered on top of all this is a satisfying progression system, which provides you with a new ability or gadget just when you feel like you have mastered the game.
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As in the first game, Rocksteady has taken a fantasy that, let’s face it, everyone has had at some point in their lives and made it as close to a reality as anyone will ever experience. Every aspect of the game’s design reinforces the notion that you are Batman. His strength is in his careful planning and execution, and if you are impatient or sloppy in Arkham City, you will be punished. You are stronger and smarter than everyone else, but you are not invincible, and few games make you feel so powerful in such a tangible and realistic way.
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This pervasive sense of Batman-ness extends into the game’s presentation. Its world is an alchemic combination of elements from the comics, the animated series, and the various movies (even Joel Schumaker’s monstrosities have something to contribute), creating something familiar, yet distinct enough to stand apart from any of those universes. The new character designs are excellent, Mr. Freeze in particular. The game is not afraid to drift into the fantastical, indeed reveling in it at times, yet the universe feels gritty enough to give the characters’ actions some weight.
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Vocal performances are also generally pretty sharp. Mark Hamill reprises his outstanding performance as the Joker, who finds himself in an unusually vulnerable position this time around.  The Riddler remains incredibly obnoxious, as befits the character, with his constant taunts and boasts. The new characters, for the most part, make a strong impression. Unfortunately, nameless thugs have uniformly terrible dialogue and acting, constantly spouting off lines that no person in the world would ever say, shouting exposition at the top of their lungs for any passing Batmen to pick up on, and yelling ridiculous taunts to Batman as he flies by or hunts them from above. It’s not quite Splinter Cell: Conviction bad, but it does infringe on the authenticity of the game’s atmosphere a bit.
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While the premise and setting are very effective, the actual plot has some significant problems. The most immediate concern is that the game’s writers seem to have forgotten to include a beginning. The central conceit of the game, that Gotham would rededicate an entire district for a prison, run by known madman Hugo Strange, is pretty outlandish, even for a comic book property, and this is only made worse by the total lack of explanation. There is a comic book that comes with new copies of the game that fills in the gaps between the last game and this one, but if you haven’t read it (as I hadn’t, and as I suspect many won’t), or actively sought out information on this game online, then the opening of this game will be very confusing, and indeed many things are never explained at all. The plot’s twists and turns can at times feel a little contrived, like they exist solely to get Batman to a new location, particularly towards the beginning of the game. Some of the characters’ motivations also don’t really make a lot of sense under scrutiny. The ending, while better than that of Arkham Asylum, is a little abrupt, and ends on a fairly lazy cliffhanger.

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More significant problems lie in the game’s handling of Catwoman. She was a major part of its presentation and marketing, and we’ve known for months now that she would be a playable character. This is indeed true, as there are a handful of episodes strewn throughout the game in which you control Catwoman. Unfortunately, these episodes are all very short, and it turns out playing as Catwoman is a lot like playing as Batman but without any of the gadgets that make playing as Batman enjoyable. She has very few combat options compared to Batman, and she gets around more or less just by pouncing really high. Her stealth sections are entirely dependent on her ability to jump up and hang upside-down from chain-link ceilings and then descend on enemies when they are isolated, which…is not a thing that cats do. Also, what kind of building has chain-link ceilings? Beyond that, Catwoman herself is annoying, with absolutely no depth beyond making pointless cat jokes and flirting lamely with everyone she sees.
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There is another, rather ugly, aspect to Catwoman’s presence in the game. In an effort to curb used game sales, Rocksteady (or, more likely, Warner Bros.) have chosen to lock off the Catwoman portions of the game with a code included in new copies of the game. What this means is that the first time you play the game, you will have to enter this code and then download around 250MB of data, just to play a part of the game that was clearly meant to be there the whole time. This is after the requisite patching and, on PS3, installation. If you didn’t buy the game new, you will have to buy the Catwoman DLC for $10. While the Catwoman sections are the weakest part of the game, I feel like their absence would result in some confusion, and it’s disappointing to see what was clearly intended to be an integral part of the game gated behind an anti-used game sale measure. It’s more annoying than anything, but I sincerely hope this does not become a trend.
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Despite all of these problems, the fact remains that Batman: Arkham City is an absolutely stellar game. Its story issues, while substantial, do absolutely nothing to temper the quality of the overall experience. From its thrilling open world traversal to its hair-raising predator sequences to its unparalleled melee combat system, every element of the game reflects dedication to the source material and the talent and expertise of Rocksteady Studios. It’s a tour de force that cements their position at the top of the industry. At the risk of sounding gushy or hyperbolic, Batman: Arkham City is the sort of game that will remind you of why you like videogames in the first place.

Elf Bolwing 1 & 2

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 One of the reasons why it had a faithful following on PC was because it wasn’t posed as a legitimate game. Just a fun little side-project of sorts. It was no challenger to say Half-Life. ~Adam R.

Elf Bolwing 1 & 2

Back in the early days of the Nintendo DS, Elf Bowling 1 & 2 was released. I had no idea the series had a decent amount of popularity on PC. However that wasn’t enough to convince me to get this strange little Christmas game.
elf bowling DS game
 The game is basically about Santa Claus taking revenge on the striking elves at the north pole. How? By striking them down in bowling. Get it? Yeah it’s not funny.
elf bowling ds
 One of the reasons why it had a faithful following on PC was because it wasn’t posed as a legitimate game. Just a fun little side-project of sorts. It was no challenger to say Half-Life.
elf bowling
However it’s crude graphics, bare-bones game-play, terrible music, and weak content was an insult as a DS game. To make matter worse they also made a GBA version too. Both were universally panned by critics and gamers alike.

Alien 3

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Irritatingly Alien 3 has many hallmarks of a top title – but I can’t help but feel some of the design choices have been made purely for masochists. ~Simon Reed

Alien 3

In yesterday’s Lucky Dime Caper entry I rambled on about how I preemptively expect most old school 2D platformer style games to be infuriatingly tough. Alien 3 is a prime example of exactly why I have those expectations. Irritatingly it has many hallmarks of a top title – but I can’t help but feel some of the design choices have been made purely for masochists. The first thing that strikes you as you’re thrown into the game is how clear the design of it all is. Rather than the overly dark and grimy recesses of the film, there’s a pleasing crispness to the game.

Alien 3 - Sega Genesis

You play as Ripley, with your first mission to save a set amount of fellow humanoids who have been trapped by the aliens. To complicate matters you have to escape using a specific door, as well as reach it before the clock at the top of the screen reaches zero. You’re also never told that this is what you need to do, but fortunately it’s a fairly straightforward mission. Still, some instructions would have been nice.

Alien 3 - Sega Genesis

One other notable feature is your large arsenal you have at your disposal. A missile launcher and a machine gun are two of the finest from the selection available to you. These weapons aren’t enough to stop the aliens regularly handing you your ass on a plate though. Instead of going down the slow, tension addled route the game throws aliens at you like they’re going out of fashion. They leap at you so quickly that they can be nigh on impossible to avoid completely. Worst of all Ripley takes far too long to get up once hit – not a good thing when you’re up against the clock.

Alien 3 - Sega Genesis

It doesn’t help that your control of Ripley can feel a little stiff. You feel slower and far more useless than the aliens – this concept works well in the films, but in a game it’s a potent recipe for frustration. The game may be a good looking and reasonably varied in its design – but the difficulty kills it.

Cosplay Wars Battle of the Princesses

Zelda vs Peach Cosplay

Cosplay Wars Battle of the Princesses

This week on Cosplay Wars we have two of the most well know Princesses in console video games. In one corner we have the ruler of Hyrule and often confused with Link, Princess Zelda. In the other corner we have the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom and a woman that has just as many activities going on as, Barbie, Prince Toadstool Peach.

We have great cosplayers on each side with each team consisting of ten members representing their character. You decide which one wins. So who is it going to be, Peach or Zelda?

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Phenomenon 32

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Phenomenon 32 is an incredibly immersive experience, designed to be savored slowly and carefully. It is after all a hard and demanding game, that simply cannot be completed in one sitting.~Konstantinos Dimpoulos

Phenomenon 32

I’ve been meaning to write about Phenomenon 32 for quite some time now, but hurdle after hurdle, combined with the fact that this is an impressively vast game, shamed this very Lair to a belated coverage of the game. Still, better late than ever, eh? After all, the thing is still around, freeware as ever.

phenomenon 32

So, uhm, let’s start with some basic facts first. Phenomenon 32 was developed by Jonas Kyratzes, the immensely (multi) talented, inventive and controversial developer of The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge and The Museum of Broken Memories, and can briefly be described as a black and white, 2D, exploration, platform game, albeit one with quirky RPG and strategy elements. The game can be downloaded here.

phenomenon 32 - PC - Indie Game - Screenshot-2

Phenomenon 32, being Kyratzes’ most ambitious project so far, is much more than the sum of its parts. Besides the beautiful black and white visuals, its atmospheric soundscape and a deeply depressing and simultaneously surreal game world, Phenomenon 32 is an incredibly immersive experience, designed to be savored slowly and carefully. It is after all a hard and demanding game, that simply cannot be completed in one sitting. It also is a game filled with surprises and little touches of excellence, that go far beyond what you might expect from a free game.

phenomenon 32 - PC - Indie Game - Screenshot-3

As for the plot, well, it’s one of the best I’ve ever encountered in a video game ever and a key part of Phenomenon 32. Set in an alternate version of the 70s the game is engrossing, deeply political, truly unique and thought-provoking, and is supported by some quality writing and impressive voice-work. You really have to play it. Really.

Dark Scavenger

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This is flash-driven game that stores its save data in your browser cache.  The game does warn you of this during start up, which is nice – but an odd design choice in my opinion. ~Nick Herber

Dark Scavenger

I will admit that this was a game I had heard nothing about, despite getting mentioned on Destructoid and winning an honorable mention at an indie games convention.  When our friends at Digitally Downloaded asked me if I wanted to review it, I said sure!  Dark Scavenger is a mesh of genres, with a sort of over-the-top sci-fi story presented in a hybrid point-and-click adventure game with a somewhat more traditional RPG combat system.

Dark Scavenger

Psydra games pulls together a mostly static, but bright and colorful art style as you move around maps and click on items that then generate events.  Sometimes you simply find a resource, sometimes you initiate a fight with something or someone, and other times you wind up with branching dialog.  Some of these dialog pieces present puzzle-like elements as well, where you can leverage items you have in your inventory.

Now, speaking of inventory, this is really where the game does most of its heavy-lifting.  Your goal as you move around from one map to another is to pick up and find resources for the rest of your motley, Dark Scavenger crew.  When you move on to a new map screen, you are given a chance to turn your resources into one of your three crew members.  That resource is then turned into a weapon, an item or an ally.
These new inventory items degrade with use – so your tRUSTY sword may run out in 7 uses, whether that be as a puzzle use or in combat.  Combat takes place with a sort of traditional enemy-facing-you approach with some limited combat animations occurring.  You can combine items and weapons in some instances, which is a big help.  My favorite was the ‘big red button’ – which then allowed your single-hit weapon to strike every enemy on screen (particularly helpful during a tougher-than-average fight with a three-headed brute late in the second chapter, for example).

Dark Scavenger

You get the usual number-crunching that takes place in this kind of combat behind the scenes.  For example, the wolf-like creature you are fighting may be vulnerable to your static gun’s electricity damage, but resistant to another type.  Or maybe your weapon and item combination can stun the creature, forcing him to forfeit an attack that round.  You do have a health bar, which can be replenished with items as well, and can be diminished by not only combat, but as a result of how you interact with certain environmental puzzles as well.
Dark Scavenger
Working through the environment itself is a pretty straightforward affair.  If you can interact with an element, your mouse will cause that element to glow with a red outline if you hover over it.  You can then left-click on it to interact.  Pretty basic, but it does the job.
This is a largely text-driven game.  There is very little in the way of animation to discuss here, and I will be honest – by the end of the game the menu-driven combat and heaps of dialog were starting to blur together.  What started relatively fresh and interesting had lost its sparkle during the last leg of my 5-ish hour session (it may not have helped that I sat there and literally played it straight through over the course of an afternoon only getting up to use the restroom or grab a soda).
Dark Scavenger
So, what did I think of the game?  It was alright.  I always have a tough time with indie games, because they are generally lower in production value (usually by a significant margin) than more polished games, and because their distribution tends to be a bit more limited (Psydra did say that Gamersgate plans to carry this title as well), they might not feel like as good of a bargain for what you get.  Dark Scavenger rings in at $10.  Given the very unique nature of this game, I would strongly suggest giving the demo (which gives you a limited taste of the first chapter) a try if you are considering purchasing, and their site can be found here.
Dark Scavenger
Scoring this game?  I’d probably say a 7/10 – it’s a decent indie effort, and I don’t feel like my time was ill-spent, but it’s not a game that’s going to overtake the Mass Effects or Final Fantasy titles I play either.

The Next Evolution in the Golden Age of Board Games

I think this partnership is a great idea as it helps to support two local businesses instead of just one. I believe that it is great that local businesses can come together like this to help one another out as it helps to grow the sense of community. ~Randolph Chacon

Golden Age of Board Games

Knight Moves Board Game CafeIn one of my earlier articles, I mentioned that I totally agreed with the idea that “we are in the golden age of board games”.  We can say this because in the last couple of years, the amount and variety of board games released have increased, the amount of video/blog reviewers have tripled and also, the amount of board game kick starters have been on the rise…so, the question is what’s next? Where is this trend going and how is it evolving?  And the answer is: Board game cafés.

This idea just clicked in my mind after watching a few video blogs, one of them being Watch it Played in which they went to a board game café called The Board Room located in Halifax, Canada. In the video they showed the layout of the café as well as the game shop that the owner runs out of it.  When I saw this video I thought to myself could a person really run a business like this?  Would people actually be interested in going to a place that has board games that they could play?  The more I thought about it the more it made sense. I mean, if Starbucks could get away with selling 5 dollars cups of coffee and have people just hang around, why couldn’t a board game café work? After doing some research, I found out that there are very few board game cafés in the U.S. Luckily, I recently moved to Boston and learned about Knight Moves, a board game café opened not long ago in Brookline, and the first of its kind in Boston. As you could imagine, I was really excited to go because I wanted to have a firsthand experience of what it is like to spend time and play at a board game café!!

From the moment my party and I walked into the café we were greeted by the owner, Devon Trevelyan. He gave us a nice tour of his café. While I was looking around in awe, I saw people from different ages just hanging around having fun playing different games. I thought to myself “this is awesome!!” then, he brought us over to his huge collection of games and said “feel free to grab any one of these to play.” He then asked me if I had any questions on the rules, and I said with surprise “you know how to play all these games?” In turn he replied to me “Why yes, yes I do” with a huge smile across his face. At that moment I knew that he was passionate about gaming and wanted to share his passion with other people. I also realized that it is people like him that could help this next evolution of board games keep growing as they attract more and more people into board games. Devon is just starting in his business, and I know that if he could get this café off the ground, that more and more people would see what a great hobby board gaming could be.

So, my wife and I chose a game and sat to play. As the night was falling, we noticed that more and more people kept coming into the café and join in on some games. At one point, there were so many people that came in that they ran out of tables and people had to wait to play! Since that day, my wife and I have gone back several times to play and it is a delight seeing so many people (especially on weekends) at one place having wonderful moments of fun together. I think board games are successfully gaining more adepts but, I also have to give credit to Devon, as he is very friendly and he truly cares about his customers; he will solve/explain any question about the games that you could have.

board games at knight moves board game cafe

If you are wondering about pricing, well it depends on what you would like to do, for example, if you just want to go and hang out at the café, drink some coffee while working on your computer then, you don’t have to pay anything. If you are a casual gamer or if you would like to try a game only one night (or day) there is a small fee you need to pay but it is worth it, because you can play as many games as you want (and he has a great variety of games you could choose from). However, if you are a gamer and would like to hang out there more often, then you could check out the packages that involve a membership to the café and that entitles you to a cup of coffee as well as a discounted rate to play the games.  In addition, if you end up liking a game so much that you decide to buy it, Devon has worked a partnership with Eureka (a board game store located one block down from the café) for you to get a discount towards the purchase of the game. I think this partnership is a great idea as it helps to support two local businesses instead of just one. I believe that it is great that local businesses can come together like this to help one another out as it helps to grow the sense of community.

Overall, I feel that the price for everything in his café is great and you get such a great value out of it considering you can try out a bunch of games that you may be interested in without having to buy them and then return them; but most importantly is that you have a place where you can go with friends, eat, drink coffee, and meet new people to whom you share the same hobby: play board games, now that is PRICELESS!

[Knight Moves: Board Game Café]

If you live in Boston I highly suggest checking out this place which is located on 1402 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA.  You won’t be disappointed.  I hope that Devon’s café gets more and more popular to the point where he has to think about expanding it because his place is a great example of how someone with great passion for a hobby can introduce it to multiple people.

Until next time my friends go out, play more and new games and most importantly, have fun will ya!

Super Metroid

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Of course, hardcore players like me don’t need strategy guides (“Ha! I laugh in the face of your pathetic guide of weakness!”), and I blitzed my way through this enormous and complex game with nary a moment’s pause. OK, maybe I peeked at the guide a teeny weeny bit, but only when I was really stuck. Honest. ~Lewis Packwood

Super Metroid

Format: Super NES Genre: Adventure Released: 1994 Developer: Nintendo

Metroid Prime on the GameCube was a strong contender for the list, but in the end I decided to go with Super Metroid as my most fondly remembered Metroid game. If you’ve never played it, I urge you to download it from the Wii Virtual Console with all possible rapidity – it really is an absolute classic, reflected in that fact that it’s still knocking around the top of the Game Rankings ‘All Time Best‘ list.

Super Metroid - SNES

The thing that always stands out in my memory about Super Metroid is the bloody great big box that it came in – bizarrely, Nintendo decided to ship the European version of the game with an enormous strategy guide detailing every last corridor and secret item in the whole game. I don’t think this kind of marketing tactic has been attempted before or since (correct me if I’m wrong) and you’ve got to admit that it’s a bit of strange decision. It’s as if Nintendo were about to launch the game and then suddenly thought:

“Ooooh, maybe it’s too difficult for them? What if they get a bit, you know, frustrated? I know, let’s tell them exactly how to do everything in the entire game. That should do it.”

Super Metroid - SNES

Of course, hardcore players like me don’t need strategy guides (“Ha! I laugh in the face of your pathetic guide of weakness!”), and I blitzed my way through this enormous and complex game with nary a moment’s pause. OK, maybe I peeked at the guide a teeny weeny bit, but only when I was really stuck. Honest.

The highlights of Super Metroid were undoubtedly the bosses – particularly the screen-filling Kraid (see screenshot below). He (I presume he’s a he anyway) doesn’t seem to learn though. Put it this way: if I was entirely invulnerable except for a weak spot in my mouth, I would probably keep my mouth shut the entire time, rather than periodically unleashing reptilian screams of fury then wondering why I kept getting hurt.

Super Metroid - SNES

However, I think the overall reason that Super Metroid was so successful was that it constantly drove you to see what was around the next corner. Every few screens you’re presented with some sort of barrier to your progress – perhaps a seemingly impassable lava pit or a platform that’s just out of reach – and one of the game’s joys is collecting a new item or ability and then backtracking through the game to see what new areas it will open to you. In fact, Super Metroid engendered an almost compulsive urge to explore every nook and cranny of the game world in the hunt for elusive weapons and upgrades, and the triumphal music that accompanies the discovery of each item is right up there as one of the most pleasing game sound effects of all time (possibly only beaten by the music accompanying the opening of a treasure chest in Zelda: Ocarina of Time).

Super Metroid - SNES

You could argue that its excellent graphics and inspired shift to 3D make Metroid Prime the instant stand-out game of the Metroid series, but in terms of gameplay there’s very little Prime does that Super Metroid doesn’t.

Excluding duplicated games, Super Metroid is currently at number 8 in the All Time Best games list – which is frankly not high enough in my opinion. Buy this game now: you won’t regret it.

[101 Videos Games]

Track and Field 2 Flash Game

Track and Field 2

Track and Field 2 Flash Game

In 1988 Track & Field II was released for the NES by Konami following up the success of the first game. The game improved on itself by allowing you to choose a country to represent in the Olympic-style contests. There are a number of events from Fencing to the Triple Jump all controlled with the directional pad and the A and B buttons found on the classic NES controller.

Controls

Fencing:
A – hit up
S – hit down
D – block
Arrows – walk

Hurdles:
Right Arrow key – run
M – jump

Swimming:
K – start swimming
Up Arrow – swim, increase speed
X – grab oxygen
Arrow Keys – walk

Xevious Flash Game

xevious

Xevious Flash Game

Namco released the space ship shooter, Xevious in 1982. In fact, it was one of the first forward scrolling shooters and one of the first games to have a television commercial. Your aircraft is called a, Solvalous and you must use it to fight an army of enemy aircraft and strangely enough, you are doing this mostly over the country of Peru.

Controls

  • Mouse click to start.
  • Z key to fire
  • X key to bomb
  • Arrow keys to move

Prince of Persia Flash Game

Prince of Persia Flash Game

Prince of Persia Flash Game

In 1989 Broderbund brought us the classic computer game, Prince of Persia. The game is set in ancient Persia where the sultan is away fighting a war his vizier, Jaffar seizes power and locks the princess in the tower. His plan is to force her to marry him so he would rightfully control the kingdom, but she is in love with our young hero. You play the young hero who is captured and thrown in a deep dungeon. You must use speed, agility and sword fighting skills to escape in time to defeat Jaffar and save the kingdom.

Controls

  • Use the Left and Right Arrow Keys to Move
  • Use the Up Arrow Key to Jump
  • Use the Down Arrow Key to Crouch

Puzzle Bobble Flash Game

Puzzle Bobble Flash Game

Puzzle Bobble Flash Game

Created by Taito in 1994 this arcade puzzle game features the dinosaurs from Bubble Bobble. This time you are match up the different colored orbs and once you get 3 or more of the same color they break and you move on. You have to use aim and strategy and be a little quick as the orbs being to drop towards to Space Invaders style and if they reach you it’s game over. Click the ‘push 1p to start’ flashing text to start. Arrow keys to move and space bar to fire bubbles.

Controls

  • Click the ‘push 1p to start’ flashing text to start.
  • Use the Arrow Keys to move
  • Hit the Space Bar to fire bubbles.

Quake Flash Game

Quake Flash Game

Quake Flash Game

In 1996 Quake made its way to computers everywhere after the mega success of Doom. Also created by Id Software, Quake has that same sci-fi style that Doom had except this time you are facing alien hordes not demons from hell, but the weapons are just as badass and the enemies are just as dangerous.

Controls

  • Use the Arrow keys to move.
  •  Hit the Space bar to open doors.
  • Press the Esc key to see menu during game.
  • Hit the Ctrl key to fire.

Doom Flash Game

Doom Flash Game

Doom Flash Game

The game that killed office productivity, Doom was released in 1993 by Id Software. It is a first person shooter where you play a space marine who find himself fighting hordes of invading demons from Hell. The good thing is you have a ton of different weapons and power-ups as well as health to help you along the way. The bad news, you’re all alone.

Controls

  • Press space bar to activate the Menu
  • Press the Space bar to open doors.
  • Use the Arrow keys to move.
  • Use the Number keys change weapons.
  • Hit the Ctrl key to fire.

Cheats

Type in IDDQD for invincibility.

Type in IDKFA for all the weapons.

Commando Flash Game

Commando Flash Game

Commando Flash Game

Released in 1985 by Capcom, Commando is a run and gun arcade game where you control a soldier named, Super Joe. You have been dropped off by a helicopter in a jungle and have to take out an entire army, by yourself. At least you have a sub-machine gun with unlimited bullets, but you don’t have unlimited grenades. Good Luck!

Controls

  • Press the Space to start
  • Use the Arrow keys to move
  • Hit the Z Key to Fire you Gun
  • Hit the X Key to Toss your Grenades

Bomb Jack Flash Game

Bomb Jack Flash Game

Bomb Jack Flash Game

This action platform game was developed and published by Tehkan in 1984. In this classic arcade game you control, Jack, a superhero who can jump and glide and you will need those skills to collect bombs left at famous tourist sites before they explode. Luckily for you, all you need to do to defuse them is touch them.

Controls

 

  • Press the Space bar to jump
  • Use the Arrow Keys to move

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

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If you are not a big internet user and do not play a lot of games online then perhaps a more traditional wireless router would be your speed, but hardcore gamer or not, when it comes to the internet, speed counts.~J.A. Laraque

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300 (DGL-5500)

When it comes to gaming, online bandwidth and speed are extremely important. In some of our other reviews the question was if a specific device was good for the casual gamer or the hardcore gamer, but when it comes to your internet, a good router is needed no matter what type of gamer you are.

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

The first thing you need to remember about PC Gaming is you are going to require the internet to get the most out of it. For the most part, PC games are going to be played online and require patches, content downloads and the ability to look up information or connecting with gaming community. If you are into multiply games or MMO’s, then a good internet connect and router is even more important.

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

The D-Link Gaming Router is designed to give you control over bandwidth, but give specific aspects of your online life a speed boost. The first way this is done is with StreamBoost from Quadcomm which uses Traffic Shaping.

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300 Traffic Shaping

So what is traffic shaping, here it is in a nutshell. You control the flow of data to your online sources. Think of it like a river and you control where the water flows and how much flows to a specific area. So if you are playing a game like Diablo 3, and you are also downloading a video game demo while your sister is watching NetFlix and your mother is listing to music on Pandora, with traffic shaping, you can make sure your game won’t lag while also making sure the video and audio streams are interrupted and slow the download of the demo as it may not be a high priority.

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

Now beyond control is speed and this I tested with different devices like my tablet and phone as well as my laptop and desktop. I did notice an increase in speed when watching shows on Netflix even if patching a game and downloading demos. This comes in handy if you are a serious multi-tasker like me. I often have ten or more browser windows open while streaming music, updating Steam or BattleNet and playing an online game. Keep in mind that this works with multiple devices in your home so if you have a lot of users connected to your wireless network this can help insure your game does not suffer crippling lag.

Now some people did not like the shape. I like to read the reviews of people who purchased the product on places like NewEgg or Amazon and while some of the comments and low scores are unwarranted based on issues such as shipping, there were some based on its “Coffee Grinder” shape. Personally, this doesn’t bother me at all, but I do know some of my friends who stack all their network devices on top of one another so I guess in that case it could be an issue. I also like the two green LED lights that tell me when the unit is on and when it is connected and the ports in the back are lined up fine.

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

As far as specifications, speaking of ports, there are 4 ports for 10/100/1000M, these are wired connections and one for WAN to connect your modem. It offers IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n with wireless data rates up to 867+450Mbps and a frequency band of 2.4GHz/5GHz. This means you will be able to connect using the different networking options you may have available by your ISP or specific types of connections you specific devices will need. Pretty much all the current connection options are there. Another complaint was the USB 2.0 port because people felt it should have been USB 3.0 and I have to agree with them there.

D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

Another good thing is setup. The D-Link Gaming Router AC1300 comes with the main unit, an Ethernet cable, power adapter and a quick install guide. Trust me, this is a simple setup, and pretty much you plug it in, run the software and you are good to go. Now some people have talked about not using the StreamBoost and as a result you do not get access to some of the features in the UI interface. The interface is reached by entering the IP of the router and setting up your login and password.

Now if you don’t use StreamBoost then the network map that shows all the different connected devices and how much traffic each is receiving won’t be there. I read up on people who said that having the StreamBoost did not work for them in anything or that it even slowed them down. Now I did not notice my download speeds change, but updating games and streaming video I saw a real positive difference.

There were reviews that talk about the system not noticing some types of streaming so I tested it using different types from Netflix to Hbo2Go, Xbox 360 Videos, Twitch and Youtube and the software detected it correctly.  I also tested steaming on other devices like my Android phone and an Apple Ipad. I did this because of reports of it thinking a stream from NBA league pass online was general internet traffic and not a video stream. What this would mean is if it was not device or application aware, it would not properly designate what should get the proper bandwidth.

 D-Link Gaming Router AC1300

Now the important thing here is the price. At prices ranging from $150 to $179, a router at this price range could turn away those who might look at this router as only for the hardcore gamer the way you would be weary of purchasing a pair of $300 wireless headphones. However, here it is not just about gaming, it is about all your devices that use your bandwidth and if you have a lot of connected devices then going beyond the low cost option is worth it. If you are not a big internet user and do not play a lot of games online then perhaps a more traditional wireless router would be your speed, but hardcore gamer or not, when it comes to the internet, speed counts.

Overall, I am pleased with the D-Link Gaming Router and I noticed a big improvement with video steaming and updating and running of games. If you are a heavy internet user and a gamer then you should seriously consider getting this router. The system is easy to setup and get running and while the price point may be a little high, it is the additional features and performance boost that makes it worth the cost, totally not Obsolete.

M.A.M.E of the Game: With Great Power

x-men the arcade game

We are back with another episode of M.A.M.E. of the Game. In episode two we looked to superheroes for our inspiration and theme for the show. J.A. Laraque and Joshua Laus commentated on this episode titled, With Great Power where you can find gameplay from the following games.

Games we Played

 

Captain America and the Avengers

X-Men the Arcade Game

Superman the Arcade Game

The Punisher

Spider-Man the Arcade Game

We had a lot of fun bringing you this latest episode and we hope you enjoy it. As always we look for feedback and ideas for future episodes so leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

About M.A.M.E. of the Game

Mame of the Game takes something old and mixes it with something classic. The show will feature various gameplay footage from classic games on all platforms. Sometimes we will take a theme like Street Vigilante and feature a few games like Streets of Rage, Double Dragon and Final Fight. Sometimes we will feature on game in-depth. We don’t discriminate, so you will sometimes see footage from modern games and even previews.

Space Invaders Arcade Flash Game

space invaders

Space Invaders Arcade Flash Game

Developed by Taito, Space Invaders was released to the arcades in 1978. The game consisted of a laser cannon being controlled by the player whose job is to shoot down the attacking aliens. You can move from left to right and also hide behind barriers that protect you from the enemy’s fire. However, the barriers can be destroyed in time and one shoot from an invader kills you. The aliens themselves move side to side and will slowly move down and the more you kill the faster they go. You either kill them all or they kill you or they reach the ground and it is game over. There is also a UFO that flies across the very top of the screen, if you kill it you get bonus points.

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move

  • Hit the Space Bar to Fire

Q Bert Arcade Flash Game

Q-Bert Arcade

Q Bert Arcade Flash Game

Developed by Atari, Q*Bert was released to arcades in 1982. The game has a 3D look to it, but it is a 2D platform game which mixes puzzle solving with an action-type chase game. You control Q*Bert by jumping from cube to cube changing its color and once you change all the cubes color you advance. However, there are enemies that try to stop you and you cannot kill them, you can only run from them and use the flying discs on the side of the board to travel to the top of the pyramid. There are also balls that drop from the top, a red one kills Q*Bert while a green one stuns all the enemies on the board.

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move

Ms. Pac-Man Arcade Flash Game

MsPacMan Arcade

Ms. Pac-Man Arcade Flash Game

Developed by Bally, Midway and Namco, Ms. Pac-Man is the follow-up to the arcade hit, Pac-Man. Just like the original you guide Ms. Pac-Man through maze eating pellets as she is chased by Ghosts. You can eat the few power pellets that are around the maze to power you up and eat the ghosts that will then retreat to their home in the center of the maze to regenerate. You can also collect fruit and travels around the screen for additional points. Once you clear all the pellets from the board you move on to the next stage.

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move

Joust Arcade Flash Game

Joust Arcade

Joust Arcade Flash Game

Developed by Williams Electronics, Joust was released to the Arcade in 1982. You control a knight ridding a flying ostrich and you use your controls to take out other jousters. You hit the button to flap the ostrich’s wings to get height which is the key to taking out the other knights by flying into them, dropping on top of them or somehow getting them to fall in lava. When you take out a knight then turn into an egg which you can collect for points, if you do not it will turn into a knight after a time.

  • Use the Arrow keys to Move

  • Hit the Space Bar to flap your birds Wings

Frogger Arcade Flash Game

frogger_arcade-

Frogger Arcade Flash Game

Developed by Konami and published by Sega and Gremlin, Frogger was released to the arcades in 1981. You play as a frog trying to make its way home by crossing a busy street and a river. You can avoid dead by moving to avoid cars, jumping on logs and using power ups for speed.

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move

Duck Hunt Flash Game

Dunk Hunt

Duck Hunt Flash Game

Developed by Nintendo this light gun shooting game was released for the NES in 1985. You play a hunter who is out hunting ducks. You dog scares the ducks into the air and you shoot them with the light gun. If you miss your dog laughs at you. You cannot shoot the dog.

  • Move the mouse to aim

  • Hit the Space Bar to Fire your Gun

BurgerTime Arcade Flash Game

BurgerTime Arcade

BurgerTime Arcade Flash Game

Created by Data East, BurgerTime was released to the arcades in 1982. You play the role of, Chef Peter Pepper who I swear must be having a nightmare about being chased by various food items. All you can really do is run and use the few pepper shakers you have to stun the enemies. You can drop burger makings on the food to take them out and once you build all the burgers you move on to the next stage.

  • Use the Arrow Key’s to Move

  • Hit the Space Bar to use the Pepper Shaker.

Berzerk Arcade Flash Game

Berzerk Arcade

Berzerk Arcade Flash Game

Berzerk was developed by Stern Electronics and released to the arcades in 1980 before being released for the Atari 2600 in 1982. You play as a human fighting his way through a maze of robots who can kill you with one shot. If that wasn’t bad enough you have a smiling face that can also kill you but you can’t kill it, this is to speed the game along.

  • Use Arrows to Move

  • Hit the Ctrl Key to Fire

Arkanoid Arcade Flash Game

Arkanoid_Arcade

Arkanoid Arcade Flash Game

Developed by Taito, Arkanoid is the enhanced version of Atari’s Breakout where you play a space ship called, Vaus. Your goal is to prevent the ball from leaving the screen while taking out the bricks and collecting the power-ups. In the end you go up against the boss named, DOH.

  • Space bar to start

  • Arrow Keys to move

Infinite Crisis What Do You Fight For?

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Infinite Crisis – What Do You Fight For?

A few of us have been playing the Infinite Crisis MOBA and I personally have to say it is fun and interesting if you are into games of that type. Right now the Open Beta is starting for Infinite Crisis and with it comes a new trailer, What do you Fight for? I admit, anytime I have an excuse to show off some comic book related fighting I am all for it and as usual, DC doesn’t disappoint. Here is the official press release for the new Trailer and Open Beta.

Whether you fight for peace, hope, justice, mayhem or chaos – get ready to dive into the DC Multiverse, because Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Turbine have just launched the Infinite Crisis OPEN BETA. Fans can sign up now, and gain instant access to the game!

Infinite Crisis is the highly anticipated, free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with a robust lineup of DC Comics Champions, including Batman, Superman, The Joker, Wonder Woman, and more. With Open Beta, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Mecha Superman join the cast of characters that fans can choose to play.

In Open Beta, players will be able to test their skills on three different maps including the recently announced “Gotham Divided,” a tri-lane map where two universes collide and players can battle across Gotham City and its Multiverse variant, Gotham by Gaslight. Since the beginning of Closed Beta in 2013, Infinite Crisis has gained an enthusiastic fan base and dozens of Champions have already been revealed, offering bountiful choices to players of all skills and styles.

Players can sign up now and play for free at www.infinitecrisis.com.

Cosplay Wars Mario Versus Sonic

 

Cosplay Wars Mario Versus Sonic

With the launch of the update website we are bringing back Cosplay Friday’s with a twist. We will be picking two video game characters from random games and search the internet for the best cosplay images for those characters and then put them head to head. There will be two teams and you decide which team had the overall best cosplayers for that character. If you have suggestions for teams or cosplayers to be in them just contact us or post a comment. Enjoy!

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So, which team wins?

Million Point “Mario Off” on 1337 Lounge Live

Million Point “Mario Off” on 1337 Lounge Live

Steven Kleisath and Stephen Boyer

Our friends over on 1337 Lounge Live are having yet another classic gaming event and we are happy to help promote it. On Friday, March 14th from 6PM to 1AM PST you can watch Twin Galaxies video game trading card members and Mario Bros champions, Steven Kleisath and Stephen Boyer go head to head live to see who can get the most points in the classic arcade game, the original, Mario Bros.

Now if you don’t know about 1337 Lounge Live you should:

1337LoungeLive is Jace Hall’s premium celebrity gaming channel on Twitch.tv which features weekly programming that spans game tournaments, new release showcases, and celebrity gaming events. In addition to classic gaming record holders, professional gamers and game developers, the channel has hosted events featuring such illustrious guests as legendary Marvel comics creator Stan Lee, Jon Heder, Kelly Hu, Roger cross and other cast members from “Arrow,” Dean Cain, Katrina Law and Dan Feuerreigel of “Spartacus,” Michael Rosenbaum from “Smallville,” Michael Jai White from Spawn, and more.

In addition, recently a number of record holders and champions in classic gaming have been appearing on the channel competing in marathons and other events. The cool thing is you can turn in and chat while watching and even Skype in with video and talk, so you should check it out.

Time Pilot Flash Game

Time Pilot Arcade

Time Pilot Flash Game

Time Pilot was one of those flying games that just kept me interested as a kid. It had the feel of Sinistar without the heart attacking inducing, “Beware I live!” You could fly in any direction you wanted taking out bad guys while traveling through time to rescue your fellow pilots. Now you can play the flash version right here in the Obsolete Gamer arcade.

  • Click on the Game to Activate
    Use Your Arrow Keys to Move
    Space Bar to Fire and to Warp

[Our review for Time Pilot]

Super Mario Galaxy

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Reviewers did have some minor complaints with “the spring suit”, a power-up which at times proves difficult to control and the occasional niggle with the auto-camera. ~The Elderly Gamer

Super Mario Galaxy

We’re going back, back in time, back to November 12th 2007 and the release of
the game that saw the Nintendo hero take the ultimate step … out into space.
Now available for your Wii at a bargain bin near you.

super-mario-galaxy-wii
The game follows
the protagonist, Mario, on a quest to rescue Princess Peach from the principal
baddy “Bowser”. Levels are galaxies filled with minor planets and worlds, while
gameplay is updated with gravity effects and power-ups. The game also features a
co-operative two-player option called “Co-Star Mode”.
super-mario-galaxy-wii
The 9th best
selling Wii game to date, with 8.84 million copies sold as of May 2010.  At the
time the game was hailed by several gaming websites as one of the best video
games of all time even managing to pick up it’s very own BAFTA.
super-mario-galaxy-wii
The
game’s soundtrack won numerous critic awards, which belies the story behind
the composition of the astonishing 81 tracks featured on the Platinum Edition
CD.
super-mario-galaxy-wii
Reviewers did have some minor complaints with “the spring suit”, a
power-up which at times proves difficult to control and the occasional niggle
with the auto-camera.
super-mario-galaxy-wii
A sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2 was released on May
23, 2010, many reviewers claiming that it is even better than its
predecessor.

The game Scored a staggering  97% averaged from 73 critic scores on
Metacritic.com.

super-mario-galaxy

Quotes of the Review
bunch

“It will frequently hug your inner child,
evoke tears of joy and tug at the heart.”
NTSC-uk

an astoundingly brilliant
game. It’s filled with wild new ideas (that work), is huge, looks brilliant and
should be taught at game design courses.” Gnomes Lair

Reviews Summary:

It is as if the boundaries of the genre have become
transparent, allowing a unique light to shine
forth.
A bravura piece of design that pulls off stunts no
one else has even thought of.
May feel a little too easy
for most gamers
Nintendo can still make something old feel
new again
Generates a consistent level of excitement that
few games can replicate.
Gameplay, visuals, sound,
presentation and overall value and fun are off the
charts
Not as technologically pioneering as its
grandfather
Level for level, more fun to play than “Mario
64.”
The only word to describe fighting Bowser with an
orchestral score in the background is “badass.”
After 25
years he’s still fat, still round, and still bouncing on the ground. And still
the greatest.

Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

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Red Dead Redemption is a game that really is unparalleled when held up to any other current title. It is more vibrant and alive than any game, including GTA IV. ~Geoff Calver

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is an awe-inspiring game. From the get-go, Red Dead Redemption fascinates with its unique characters, witty dialogue, deep storyline and beautiful game world.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot

Red Dead Redemption begins, appropriately enough, in the small city of Blackwater, a town at the edge of the wild west. As John Marston, the hero of the game, gets off a boat with two federal agents, a car is lifted by a crane from the ship onto a dock. A newspaper boy calls out headlines and a train waits at the station, ready to carry passengers into the wilderness beyond.

This opening scene segues into a train ride. As Marston looks out the window, we, the gamer, see plains turn into desert plateaus. As the sun sets, John Marston listens to ladies describe the savages who live in the west and a preacher explains to a young woman that only through an acceptance of God into their lives can people reach heaven.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot

These opening scenes set the tone for the game. The car arriving represents the onward thrust of modernity into a west that, in 1911, was still very wild. The land of Red Dead Redemption is one of liars, thieves and murderers. But it is not a soulless world, and that is something that lends the game a stark beauty. Amidst the gorgeous yet savage setting, there are people with good hearts who need saving but who also, frequently, offer help to Marston.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot-

Marston is a former outlaw tasked with bringing his old comrades to justice. The newly formed Bureau in Washington, DC has taken his wife and child hostage in order to force him to help bring law back to the wild west. And in his journeys, Marston meets a huge variety of characters.

A small sampling of the characters would introduce you to a well-educated, well-grounded young woman who prefers ranching and lassoing wild horses to civilization and banking; an old woman who is waiting by a church for the man she intends to marry, unaware that he died 20 years ago, madly in love with her, and is buried in a cemetery nearby; an enterprising swindler with a flair for histrionics and musician who sleeps with whores and who implores with you to convince his wife to stay with him. Some of the characters are downright evil and some who appear evil at first are shown to have a soul after all. And that isn’t a coincidence, as Marston himself is a reformed outlaw, forced back into a life he wanted to leave behind.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot-

The characters in Red Dead Redemption are truly human, and that is a high compliment, because most games feature wooden characters who drop one liners and stiff discussions with pregnant pauses. The characters in Red Dead Redemption are unique, expressive and wonderfully voiced. They come to life, and with them, the world of Red Dead Redemption is made vibrantly real as well.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot-

Red Dead Redemption’s most prominent feature is simply it’s landscape. Spread over a huge area, Red Dead Redemption encapsulates the American west. Great plains give way to huge, snowcapped peaks which transition to wetlands, mesas, deserts and canyons. There are hidden treasures in the landscape. Caves, waterfalls, lakes and small chapels nestled in the hills. Striking through the middle of the game world is a large river which separates the United States from Mexico, which is equally gorgeous with its scorching, hot days and star-filled nights.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot-

This is a believable world. Animals chase each other through the wilderness, lightning flashes in the distance as a storm approaches. The light of late afternoon is harsher than the light of early morning. Characters request your assistance on the side of the road; some with intentions, some with bad. Travelers halt their horses to relieve themselves in the woods before continuing on their journeys and every once in a while the sounds of a shootout carry on the wind.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot-

Red Dead Redemption is a game that really is unparalleled when held up to any other current title. It is more vibrant and alive than any game, including GTA IV. It’s landscape is diverse, huge, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It’s analysis of the retreat of the wilderness is simple and elegant. It’s characters are more alive than any that have come before them, and the sheer amount of things to do in the world of Red Dead Redemption is nearly endless.

Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360 - Gameplay Screenshot-

Red Dead Redemption is a game that I heartily recommend to everyone. It is a Rockstar Game, so it isn’t intended for youngsters with its violence, seedy characters and stark portrayals of life in the west, but it is an essential game in that it truly represents a step from interactive medium to an emotional, involving, beautifully created experience that truly blends the line between cinema, game, and art.

Feel like throwing a tantrum, there’s a Game for that

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Super Table Flip costs about 100 yen or a little more than a dollar to play and considering the reports of worker frustration in Japan I can bet this game is a hit.  ~J.A. Laraque

Super Table Flip

You know in time I think they will figure out a way to let criminals run around in a world of their own and commit crime, well we already have GTA and the little criminals on Xbox and PlayStation, but anyway…

Taitos super table flip game

You ever felt the need to pound on a table to get someone’s attention. Have you ever flipped over a table? Do you want too? Well Taito has a game for you and it is from Japan, surprise, surprise! The game is called, Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! Which translates into Super Table Flip (It had to be super right?).

This is the game. You have various scenarios like Dad and the Kids, Bride at a Wedding and one of my favorites, Frustrated Office Worker. So you can pound on the table and knock things off the shelves and cause damage which not only sets a very bad precedent but scores you points. As the timer runs down you grab the table and flip it. Well, not really since it’s attached to the machine, but the feeling of tossing over a table is there.

This game costs about 100 yen or a little more than a dollar to play and considering the reports of worker frustration in Japan I can bet this game is a hit. I could think of a number of additional scenarios we could add for American audiences like tossing over your desk at school, frustrated arts and crafts table cross and horrible OK Cupid date at chain restaurant.

If you think this game is crazy check out the other game we review that dealt with Spanking People.

Running Battle

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Not much can be found on the internet about this game, except that it was developed by Opera House in 1991, famous for porting to home consoles from Arcades like Midnight Resistance, Rastan Saga 2, and Captain America and the Avengers. Those games were somewhat decent at least. ~David Kudrev

Running Battle

The SEGA Master System 2 was the first home console I’ve had. It was a new experience in gaming for me as I was used to the arcades and Game & Watch games prior. I still don’t remember why we went for the Master System over the NES at the time. Might be the cost factor, as I did enjoy the games on the NES at the department stores when trying out which home console to go for. Although one thing about the Master System, was even though it had a large library of games, a lot of them were quite bad. This is one of the worst. Enter Running Battle.

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

Not much can be found on the internet about this game, except that it was developed by Opera House in 1991, famous for porting to home consoles from Arcades like Midnight Resistance, Rastan Saga 2, and Captain America and the Avengers. Those games were somewhat decent at least..

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

So the storyline in short: The Dark Zone, which is the name of your town, has been taken over by gangs and crooks, you play as Detective Gray, a cop who’s partner was gunned down by said crooks, and you’re avenging the death of him by plummeting yourself into 5 levels of fighting through monotony and cardboard cut-out characters to defeat “M”, the big boss of said town.

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

Okay, first off, the graphics are what you’d expect from a game on the Master System. Simple, yet effective for the given hardware there (granted I’ve seen decent graphics pulled off nicely on a Master System, I mean look at Sonic Chaos for example, or Fantasy Zone even! They’re very colorful games, Running Battle tends to go for blander colors.

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

The music in this game is the only thing that shines, when I first hired the game in 1991 and sat there playing it. The music was what stood out. Oh sure forget that this game has horrible animation in the characters, kind of like waddling a piece of cardboard across the screen, except cardboard doesn’t flicker/disappear when moving..

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

Forget that the collision detection in this game is beyond arse.. as in you can’t even get close enough to the thugs with your fists or kicks. Thankfully you do get some power-ups, like a pistol, rifle, super strength (one hit and the thugs are dead.. if you get close enough to hit them), and then there’s 5-second invincibility.

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

And forget the storyline and character development, you just fight 5 bosses, defeat the end boss and then greeted to a one-screen, one sentence, one picture end sequence.

I honestly don’t know what happened when this game was developed, whether it was meant to be a tax write-off? There were some great titles in that time on the Master System (Sonic 1, Asterix, Strider, Castle of Illusion) as well as it’s other competitive consoles (Battletoads and Star Wars on the NES).

Running Battle for the Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

If you see this game in the stores, grab it for the music. But don’t expect anything to pull you in and keep you playing for hours on end..

1.5 out of 5

Pros:
– Music
– A great party game to piss friends off with

Cons:
– Graphics and animations are bland (and at the time other games did better)
– Controls are way too hit-and-miss
– Not much in the way of story

Super Mario Bros Crossover

[youtube id=”Qsr366dk14I” width=”633″ height=”356″]

We love this kind of stuff and it is one of the main reasons we began Obsolete Gamer, to find projects like this. ~J.A. Laraque

Super Mario Bros Crossover

Now you have to bear with me because though I love retro gaming, recently I haven’t had the time to keep up on everything going on so you will have to excuse me when I talk about something like it has just come out even if it has been available for a long time.

Super Mario Bros Crossover title screen

I recently ran across this Super Mario Bros Crossover flash game made by the folks over at Exploding Rabbit. Now this game was created by fans and has been released since 2010, (which makes me feel even worst that I just found it now). You can read all about it on the Super Mario Bros Crossover Wiki. Currently they are on version 3.1.2 which you can play right now in our Obsolete Gamer Arcade Room.

So the game plays just like the original NES game, but as you can see in the trailer, the characters and levels are different such as being able to play as Ryu and Link and using special abilities from the different characters.

The overall goal is the same, you go from left to right making your way through the worlds and defeating the enemies until you get to the fourth level of each world where you face Bowser. Now the levels have been tweaked and changed since different characters have different abilities to add more challenge and re-playability to the game.

Exploding Rabbit Banner

We love this kind of stuff and it is one of the main reasons we began Obsolete Gamer, to find projects like this. Now as we said this game has been released for 4 years now and is constantly worked on which is great to see. Also, they allow you to download it and embed it on your site which is awesome and exactly what we did, but we wanted to give full credit and let everyone know about this game who, like us, might have missed it.

So give it a try and let us know what you think. Also visit Exploding Rabbit and check out their other awesome games, videos and projects including their YouTube page.

Super Action Squad

Also if you love this kind of great work as much as we do please consider supporting the Super Action Squad.

Super Mario Bros Crossover Flash Game

Super Mario Bros Crossover title screen

Super Mario Bros Crossover Flash Game

So the game plays just like the original NES game, but as you can see in the trailer, the characters and levels are different such as being able to play as Ryu and Link and using special abilities from the different characters.

The overall goal is the same, you go from left to right making your way through the worlds and defeating the enemies until you get to the fourth level of each world where you face Bowser. Now the levels have been tweaked and changed since different characters have different abilities to add more challenge and re-playability to the game.

  • Left: Left
  • Right: Right
  • Up: Up
  • Down: Down
  • Jump: Z
  • Attack: X
  • Special: C
  • Pause: Escape
  • Select: A (Tab prior to 3.0)

There are four buttons in the game, plus start. The following setup is recommended if you’re using a Super Nintendo controller as a reference.

  • B – Jump (Z key)
  • Y – Attack (X key)
  • X – Special (C key)
  • Select – Select (A key)
  • Start – Start (Enter key)

These can be changed from the options menu to suit a player’s preferences.