Among PC gamers, the MechWarrior series has always stood out in the sparsely populated "giant robot" sub-genre of video games, not so much for being a more visual representation of the tabletop strategy/role-playing game, Battletech , but for being a pretty hardcore simulation. But, no longer. A free-to-play online version has been available since late 2013, but has since lost it's sim and story-line focus in favor of team-based action. With a tantalizing tease of a new "real" MechWarrior game in the near future, what better time to take a gander at the road that led us here.
Continue reading MechWarrior 2 for DOS
I've been at this for about thirty hours now, and I'm not sure exactly about my goal. I mean, I know what the next quest is that I should be going on (as far as the story is concerned), rather it's my personal goal that's in question. See, as I move around the landscape on my way to someplace, I find myself distracted by literally hundreds of various caves, grottoes, castles, outposts, bandits, camps, giants herding woolly mammoths, and dragons. I've been doing this for thirty hours. And here is another keep, which I (of course) have to clear, for no reason save to get a "clear" mark on my map. Man, is that mountain pretty, bathed in the morning sun with the clouds partially concealing the peaks, yet clearly moving...
Oh, man. Where the heck was I even going?
Continue reading Lost in Skyrim
I don't know about y'all, but in late December, the year 2016 didn't feel very memorable. There were very few games I could even remember playing, so I scrapped the idea of a "Top" list of games and moved on. However, as I reviewed my post on the "Beaten in 2016" thread, I couldn't help but reconsider this notion. Pretty much all of the nine games on my list were awesome, and I was somehow able to finish them, despite my severe lack of time. So, here is my end of year list, but re-written with a new angle - Top Four Games of 2016 I Didn't Blog About (Well, Mostly).
Continue reading Top Four Games of 2016 That I Didn't Blog About - Well, Mostly
If Dragon Quest is your thing, the announcement of the ports of Dragon Quest VII and VIII to Nintendo's 3DS handheld have to be very exciting. They were for me, but for different reasons. For part VIII it is a curiosity, since coming from the more powerful PS2, some sort of compromise or trickery was surely needed to squeeze it on a humble 3DS cartridge. However, for part VII, it was to be a large, graphical upgrade from the PSX original, whose blocky and pixelated look caused it to sell so abysmially outside of it's native Japan, according to many publications. Could a remake, based almost entirely on graphical fidelity, fare any differently outside of it's native country (where it is one of the best selling games of all time)?
Continue reading Dragon Quest VII 3DS - Pure Nostalgia
I don't know about y'all, but November has always been kind of a null month for me. There are a few birthdays to celebrate this month, as well as some holiday events (shopping or otherwise), but nothing that really grabs me or inspires me to write. But, whether I have an inspired article idea or not, the year marches forward. So, in lieu of anything themed, I'll go ahead and drag out an old idea from the stack. So, readers of the RFGen front page, I give you My Two Favorite Schmups.
Continue reading My Two Favorite Schmups
Date : Early Winter, 1998
Time : 2am
Place: The bedroom in my first apartment
It is cold, maybe forty-five degrees Fahrenheit. It's just the way my room is; like a cool spring day in Michigan, nearly all year round. Suits me just fine. But just for once, I want it to be a teensy bit warmer. I've been glued in front of my crappy CRT for close to five hours now, ever since I got off the phone with my fiancee, and my toes are starting to go numb, but I'm not ready to move yet. DOOM, for the Sony PlayStation, has gotten it's claws into me once again, and this time I'm not moving until I see those credits roll.
Continue reading Spooky Plays: DOOM for PlayStation
Back in the day, I managed to beat the overwhelming majority of the video games I played, but there were a few titles that remained above my humble gaming skills, so playing for completion was a hopeless effort (like smashing your head against a wall). Blaster Master was one of those games. I loved playing Blaster Master, but the ending always seemed unattainable, like the summit of the infamous K2 mountain in winter. Now, just over twenty-five years later, and I feel ready to climb that mountain again. Being older and generally less skilled at gaming than in my youth, do I have a chance to finally beat this notoriously difficult game?
Continue reading Blaster Master - The Savage Mountain
Every year, at least once or twice, I get what I like to call "Retro Game Depression." Symptoms include irritability (at overly complex controls), sleepiness (falling asleep while pondering beautiful, yet functionally dead vistas), and short attention span (perhaps from open world game burn-out). The treatment is simple; a barrage of games that both tickle my nostalgia as well as my love of retro gaming. Please join me, my friends, as I embark on a Late Summer Retro Gaming Expedition.
Continue reading Late Summer Retro Gaming Expedition
The left shot is from my last previous article
While it could be said that I like all my video game systems, my Commodore 64 has been my "go-to" system for that quick ten minute gaming session. But the design of the C64 disk drive seems completely against such casual activity, being notorious amongst the C64 community for its lack of speed and unreliability. I myself have four drives, of which only one works, and that is only most of the time. And that says nothing about "bit rot," which is the omega point for every piece of magnetic-based storage media out there. What I offer here today is a solution (of sorts) that being a review of my recently acquired SD2IEC.
Continue reading The SD2IEC - A C64 Disk Drive Companion
Yellowed plastic. Pretty much all game collectors know what I'm talking about, and often blame gets thrown in different directions; from smoking, to sunlight, to just plain dirt and grim. But how do we deal with it? Cleaning doesn't seem to work, and many of us have learned the hard way that some cleaners can even score and damage plastics. So what do we do? We try to remove the yellow, of course. But how? That, my friend, is the interesting part. As odd as this may sound, I'm taking my Commodore 64 to the salon supply store.
Continue reading Taking My Commodore 64 to the Salon
Original image from modthesims2.com
Once upon a time, the most desired trait of any home console gamer was to play arcade ports. In this fashion, one could say that arcades ruled the jungles of electronic video game entertainment. While complete faithfulness to the arcade original was the holy grail, it was certainly not a requirement, though individual interpretation on the quality of the port was certainly in place, especially in the playgrounds and hallways of schools.
Once upon a time, I was among those that desired the "perfect" arcade port, having been a child in the jungle of electronic entertainment. Yet, as I grew in years, complete faithfulness to the arcade original was only a concern, then less of a concern, then finally of little to no concern. Don't get me wrong, I still love original arcade games, it just so happens that in my mind, certain games have been usurped by certain console ports, so that when someone says, "Remember how awesome xxxxxx game was back in the day?" and I say, "Yes," my mind isn't even remotely in the vicinity of the arcade original. Curiosity piqued yet?
Continue reading But I Like Those Ports!
I will be the first to admit I was a stupid kid. Between 1990-92 I made a series of shameful visits to the Toys R Us "budget wall" section, where NES games could be had for a pittance. Or $20, which I guess wasn't a pittance. Some of you may remember an earlier article where I detailed the psychological damage caused by purchasing and playing Hydlide in 1991. Would you believe that I had been burned before that piece of horror, not only from a game on the same wall, but in the same way, while looking for an inexpensive version of another game. With Hydlide I was trolling for a RPG experience. This time - the first time - I was looking for something with some action and adventure in it (an action/adventure game, if you will). But I guess there is no point in delaying, as you have already read the title of the article as well as seen the picture above. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you a tale of disappointment and discovery; Budget Wall Chronicles - King's Knight.
Continue reading Budget Wall Chronicles - King's Knight
You have finished your quest and gained the title of Avatar. You have mastered the eight virtues and successfully retrieved the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom from the horrible depths of the Stygian Abyss, and have been ordered to return to your world and live your life as an example to others. In a flash of darkness, you return to the exact spot of your initial departure, the circle of stones. You return home, realizing that your life has changed forever. But the moongate doesn't appear again, and you go back to the life you had before, not knowing if you will ever see the land of Britannia again. Until one night, you receive a sign that literally drops into your lap. You don your armor, sword, and ankh, and hurry to the old cycle of stones, to the moongate that appears out of thin air, and to a new destiny.
Continue reading A Brief Tour of Ultima: Part 3 - Ultima V: Warrior of Destiny
The Command & Conquer series stands as an early pioneer in the RTS (real time strategy) genre and one of the most identifiable and iconic game series today. Ask any PC gamer and they will likely first tell you which branch is their favorite (the main series, Red Alert, Generals, etc.) and then regale you with a tale of one of their most memorable moments. For many (including this author), it has to do with the power and charisma of the Commando unit. While most single "grunt" type units died a quick and often pointless death, the Commando would wade into battle, single-shot killing enemies and blowing up enemy structures with ease. Because of this, the Commando missions in the first Command & Conquer title were always my favorites, and often over far too soon. Then one day a Westwood employee spoke up at a meeting:
"What if you could be the Commando, but like in Quake? You know, get right down into the action and see things from his perspective. Right?"
Continue reading Command & Conquer - Renegade
The old world has passed away with the death of Mondain, Minax, and Exodus (the villians from Ultimas I-III) and the world has seen great upheaval, literally transforming the very land mass of Sosaria. The Age of Darkness is over. In the wake of this geological event, Lord British has united and consolidated the surviving kingdoms, towns, and villages under his own rule, setting forth with a new vision for law, order, and morality. Gone are the old ways of holding princesses captive and knighting random warriors for slaughtering guards. A new system of governance would be created, utilizing eight virtues, but for it to be fully realized there needs to be a champion, an avatar who could learn and eight virtues to show his kingdom the way.
Continue reading A Brief Tour of Ultima: Part 2 - Ultima IV: Quest for the Avatar