RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.




Posted on Jun 7th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Brothers, A Tale Of Two Sons, puzzle platformer, modern gaming, current generation, ps3, ps4, xbox 360, xbox one


Image shamelessly linked from the official Brothers website.
This game is available digitally on PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as on Steam,
Android, and IOS. Retail versions are only on either the PS4 or Xbox One.

Once in a while, you play a video game that affects you emotionally.  People my age usually cite Role Playing Games like Final Fantasy VII and the death of an important character, Earthbound, with its weighty "coming of age" story, or perhaps Lunar: Silver Star Story (from my own experience) when Luna gets captured, or worse, when she becomes the Dark Goddess.  Others point to the rise of the survival horror genre, with games like Resident Evil or Dino Crisis, where the chills, thrills, and spills evoke reactions of fear and horror that we may not have previously experienced, save for perhaps with Doom.  These moments helped many of us realize that games could be about more than pointlessly gunning down baddies or butt-stomping walking mushrooms.  These games tapped into a place that early games weren't capable of doing, due to hardware limitations, and forever altered the landscape of what games could communicate with the audience.


Continue reading Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Review



Posted on May 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, opinion, history, legacy


Image shamelessly stolen from USGamer.  This ad really shows the diversity of the
Game Boy game library.  Represented here, we have 2 puzzle games, 2 racing games,
an action/platformer adventure title, an action puzzler, a beat-em-up, a shoot-em-up,
a sports game, a light-hearted action title, and a puzzle/adventure game.

I work in healthcare.  More specifically, I'm an "IT guy," one of those overly geeky "computer nerds" who takes care of all things technology.  I work for a hospital, and we work, in turn, with a local nursing home.  I was visiting that location a few weeks ago, when I was struck by a conversation I overheard.  There was some apparent shuffling that needed to take place of some people within the organization, and the woman who was doing most of the talking stated that they need to effectively "play Tetris" with some people and some rooms.  This woman is probably a few years younger than I am, and she was speaking to another person who is several years older.  Both parties knew what the other was talking about, and the Tetris comment was clearly understood.  This isn't the only gaming-related phrasing or metaphor I've heard from people I wouldn't consider to be "gamers" in the traditional sense, but as I've begun to collect a large number of Game Boy carts, and consumed a lot of related content on the Internet, it got me thinking about the long-term cultural impact of the Game Boy, and the legacy it has created.


Continue reading The Cultural Impact Of The Game Boy



Posted on Apr 12th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Asteroids, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, review, Accolade, Atari


Image shamelessly stolen from GameFaqs.
As with many Atari 2600 games during the console's heyday, sadly,
this Asteroids artwork looks way cooler than the actual gameplay. Also,
is it just me, or does that ship look suspiciously like a Hoth snowspeeder?

The name Atari doesn't have a lot of currency today, but between 1977, after the launch of Atari's Video Computer System (aka the Atari 2600), and it's downfall in 1983, the Atari name had a lot of clout and recognition in the entertainment industry.  This is due, in part, to Atari's home video game console and its dominance of the home video game market, but a large part of their fame was the popularity, and ubiquity, of Atari's arcade games.  By now, most everyone knows that Atari's Pong was a sensation in 1972, and in the years that followed, they scored several hits with other titles like Night Driver, Breakout, Lunar Lander, Tempest, Centipede, and of course, Asteroids.  Were it not for the glut of bad console games and consumer burnout in late 1982 and early 1983, Atari would likely have been held in much higher regard than they have been in recent years.  Alas, twas not to be.


Continue reading Asteroids, 1991



Posted on Mar 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Star Wars, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, review


Image shamelessly linked from GameFaqs.
It's Star Wars, and it's a "Million Seller" - how bad can it be?

I am a fan of Star Wars.  I'm a big fan of the original trilogy of movies, I don't completely hate the prequel films, and even got some level of enjoyment (as a kid, anyway) out of the two "Ewok Adventure" films, and the short-lived Droids cartoon.  Though I didn't get to go see it right away, I did go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and enjoyed it very much.  I plan to go see it again, if I have the opportunity before it's out of theaters, and will be purchasing the BluRay once it's available.  I own at least 3 Star Wars-themed t-shirts and a zipper hoodie, and as of this writing, I own 2-dozen video games set within the Star Wars universe.  I have the final VHS release of the original trilogy (before George Lucas began changing subsequent releases with his revisionist history), I own the "special" edition DVD set, and at some point, I hope to own the original trilogy on LaserDisc.  I'm holding out for a BluRay release, hoping that, at some point, Disney will decide it's worth putting out something equivalent to the original theatrical release (or at least the final VHS/LaserDisc version), though that could be a sticky Wicket (see what I did there?), if Lucas made that a stipulation of his $4 billion sale of Lucasfilm to the Disney corporation.  After all, those of us "in the know" won't settle for a cut of the original film where Han Solo didn't shoot Greedo first, right?  Needless to say, I'm a big fan of the Star Wars universe, characters, and mythos.


Continue reading Star Wars, 1990



Posted on Feb 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Review, Bugs Bunny, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, licensed game, Kemco


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQS. I'm not seeing much that
screams "castle" here, save for the faux family crest with carrots on
it.  And never once does Yosemite Sam fire a gun in the game.
Not once. False advertising, or just paying homage to a lovable,
idiosyncratic cartoon character from a bygone era? You decide.

Licensed properties can be a tricky beast.  If you pay for licensing rights to a property, chances are, you're not going to have exclusive rights to that property, or your rights won't cross all borders.  Your licensing rights will expire at some point, and you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of paying to continue those rights, or let them lapse.  Sometimes, the window of opportunity for a licensed property is relatively small, and you are forced to come up with a product based upon that property in a rather short time frame.  Sometimes, the results can be less than stellar.  Such is the case with Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle.


Continue reading Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, 1990



Posted on Jan 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under New Years Resolution, gaming culture


What if I told you this was a meme about New Years Resolutions?

I need to start my article with a bit of a confession: I'm not a "New Year's Resolutions" kind of guy.  I tend to think such things are empty promises people make to themselves without any real intent to follow through, so I generally don't make them myself.  I understand why people do so, because they want to make some kind of perceived positive change in their life, and that gives them a goal to strive for.  But, without a carefully laid out plan, a well conceived idea, or something/someone to keep one motivated, it can be hard to stick with such things beyond the end of January.  Be that as it may, I don't begrudge those who resolve to better themselves.  Indeed, we should all aim for such a thing.

Now that I've said that, I'm going to turn the tables and say that I'm making some changes this year, and I hope to stick with them as much as I can.  Call them "resolutions" if you wish, but for me, I just need to do some things differently this year.  I need to deepen my relationship with my wife, and my God.  I need to commit more to my church.  I need to lose some weight - a goal which, as I write this, comes after my first workout of the year (go me!).  And as for my gaming, there are a number of things I want to do differently.  Here's a short list of things that I want to accomplish this year, from a gaming perspective.


Continue reading 2016 Gaming Resolutions



Posted on Dec 7th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy Guru, review, football, game boy


Image shamelessly linked from Adventure Amigos.
"I choose" the realistic offensive strategies, but the defensive strategies
are tough - does that mean they're not realistic? Or are they both
tough AND realistic? Can the game possibly live up to this box art?

I must begin this review with a bit of history, nostalgia, and a confession.  As I write this, I'm reeling from the news that the Kansas City Royals, long the proverbial butt of many a baseball joke, have won the World Series against the New York Mets.  Though I don't consider myself a sports fan, I got a little bit of whiplash with that announcement, and had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't 1985 again.  I was a fan of baseball for many years, as a kid, until the player strike brought the ugly realization that athletes can often be petty, whining oafs that are just money hungry.  Granted, they're not all like that, but the strike certainly gave me a new perspective on things.  So while my love for baseball lasted a number of years, my interest in professional football was relatively short-lived.  In 1985 and 1986, I fancied myself a pro football fan, if only to impress my classmates and the neighbor kids, who all thought I was a giant dork (spoiler alert: I was).  I told people I was into the Dolphins and the Bengals, and that Dan Marino was pretty much the best quarterback on the planet.  Of course, I never really watched any football games, because we had 1 TV in the house, my parents weren't into pro football, and none of my friends invited me over to watch with them.  Subsequently, my neighborhood kids (and kids at school) saw through my petty charade.  Yes, I was destined to be a nerd.


Continue reading Play Action Football, 1990



Posted on Nov 19th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Tennis, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Review, launch title


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
2 out of 5 Game Boy launch titles were sports games.
I'm not sure what that says about Nintendo, but it does
make me wonder why every platform got so many.

So this is Tennis, the final of 5 launch titles for the Nintendo Game Boy.  The 2nd of 2 sports titles in the launch line-up, Nintendo of America must really have been banking on the popularity of sports games, because the launch line-up included 2 games, much like the Japanese launch included Yakuman, a mahjong game.  In the same way that every video game console ever released in Japan has likely seen a mahjong game (or thirty), every game system ever released in North America is generally peppered with sports titles throughout the console's life span.  The Game Boy was no exception, and it received both Baseball and Tennis.


Continue reading Tennis, 1989



Posted on Nov 7th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Review, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Radar Mission, puzzle


Image shamelessly linked from Game Oldies. Once again, I find myself in awe of late 80's,
early 90's box art. The cool fonts, the excellent, hand-drawn artwork,
and blatant overstatement of the actual product. Ah, nostalgia.

I love playing games.  I love video games, of course, because, if I didn't, writing this blog would be pretty silly of me, wouldn't it?  But I also love other kinds of games, because I grew up playing board games and card games with my family.  I can rock a game of Klondike Solitaire any time, and I rather enjoy trouncing my family in a rousing game of Scatergories.  Yes, I love a good tabletop game.  So do a lot of other people, I'd wager, which is why we see so many conversions of popular card, board, and other tabletop games onto video game systems.  The Game Boy was no exception to this, and received a number of relevant titles.

Radar Mission, on paper, is the very definition of taking a board game and turning into a video game with enough added content, feature/functionality, and substance, to make it worth playing over and above the source material it shamelessly copies.  In this case, it's the venerable classic Battleship.  Yes, the game that invented the catch phrase, "You sank my battleship!" that nearly every North American child in my generation could pull out of the air.  During almost any commercial break for after-school programming, or Saturday Morning Cartoons (RIP), a commercial for some iteration of the game was inevitably aired.  However, the difference with Battleship was that many versions of the game came with more than just plastic pegs, plastic ships, and a nice custom game board.  Some versions came with lights, sounds, and gripping nautical warfare action!  Okay, so maybe I'm channeling the commercials from memory, but the truth is, as a property to translate to the video game medium, Battleship had already transcended its pressed cardboard and plastic game piece brethren, and was therefore going to need more than just pictures on the screen and cutesy music to spruce it up.


Continue reading Radar Mission, 1990



Posted on Oct 7th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Review, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Solar Striker, shmup


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
I love classic video game box art like this. It symbolizes
the imagination many artists put into the artwork. Imagination
that unfortunately, rarely ever captured the true look and
feel of the game. Still, it gave us hope of the contents within.

One of the video game genres that I've been a big fan of over the last 20 years or so is shoot-em-ups.  No, I'm not talking about "shooters", those fast-paced, first-person games where you brandish a firearm of some sort and snipe guys at 300 feet, reveling in every headshot.  I'm talking about the scrolling shooter, one of the staples of what we now know as classic, or "retro" gaming.  You see, from the early-mid 1980's, until around the mid-late 1990's, the scrolling shooter genre evolved tremendously, from humble beginnings like 1942, Vulgus, Star Force, and the like, to highly sophisticated games with deep, complex scoring systems like Battle Garegga, Dodonpachi, Radiant Silvergun, and many more.  While I appreciate the complexity and replayability of games like that, give me a simple "shmup" (a term, coined by Zzap!64 Magazine) with twitchy game play, a simple control scheme, and solid action any day.  While there's room in my heart for "danmaku" games (aka bullet curtain, or "bullet hell" shooters), I generally prefer classic shoot-em-ups to their more grown-up descendants.


Continue reading Solar Striker, 1990



Posted on Sep 10th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Gaming, Cooperative


Here are my 2 older nephews and one of my pastor's kids jumping into LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.

Here at RF Generation, I've become very comfortable with the group of relatively active members on the forums, and have enjoyed reading all the various blog posts and articles that come out most every day.  I'm not a big reader, so I count it a plus that I can snack on these bite-size morsels of text to get a little bit of a vicarious gaming fix. Sometimes I take them in while on a short break at work or in the evening as I wind down for the day, when I have only a few minutes to spare before heading to dreamland and not enough time to ACTUALLY play a game.  It is with some anticipation that I look forward to new articles on the site, and am checking every 2 or 3 days to see who has new blog posts, and what new information said posts may hold for me.  Truth be told, I've become a minor addict to the RF Generation blogs.

Having said that, I have found a number of articles to be very informative and inspirational.  In particular, I found a recent article by RF Generation member 'slackur' to be very inspirational.  He wrote about culling a large collection of games, but in a purposeful manner, in hopes of sharing that collection with friends, family, and coworkers, as a means of extending the life of those games, and to keep many of them from languishing on the shelves.  Indeed, it made me long for the days of early adulthood, when I lived in a bigger city, and could easily find a half dozen people within a stone's throw who would want to come over and play video games with me.  Where do the years go?  But, I digress.  In my more aged state, I find myself in a small town, surrounded by farmers and ranchers whose gaming experiences are all but a thing of the past.  I'm a relatively lone gamer in a sea of non-gamers.


Continue reading Family Gaming Night!



Posted on Aug 29th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy, Review, Data East, Nail n Scale, Game Boy Guru, Platformer, Puzzle


Image shamelessly linked from Game FAQs.
Flying lizards, giant bugs, robots, and dragons as
enemies? Count me in! Wait, what's with the nails?

The mid-late 1980's, and early 1990's were a magical time.  Forget Iran-Contra, forget Black Friday, forget the rampant materialism of the Baby Boomer generation, forget "yuppies", and forget the Gulf War.  During that period of time, we had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Karate Kid, G.I. Joe and Transformers, Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!, and so much more.  And we had video games.  If you're reading this, you're likely either from my generation, and have fond memories of the 80's and early 90's, or you're experiencing them for the first time, something I often wish I could do, as I approach 40 years of age.  For those in the latter camp, I envy you.


Continue reading Nail 'n Scale, 1992



Posted on Aug 8th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy, Game Boy Guru

I am a bit of a dichotomy, as a gamer.  I consider myself to be reasonably knowledgeable with regards to video games, gaming history, and in general, gaming culture.  I will fully admit that I'm not up on the latest thing in today's gaming scene, but from the standpoint of "retro" games, I have a pretty broad base of information.  That said, I know that I don't know everything, and there are definitely some gaps in my knowledge.  There are consoles I've never seen or played, games I've not heard of, and experiences I lack as a whole, that prevent me from being the "be all, end all" of video game know-how.  I'm a student of life, like anyone else, and I'm always learning.

Bearing that in mind, why would anyone who admittedly doesn't know everything call themselves a "guru?"  Why would I want to subject myself to the level of scrutiny that comes from identifying oneself as a "guru?"  What is my motive for elevating myself so much, other than to draw attention to myself?  Am I crazy enough to think that I know enough to even refer to myself with such distinction?  Do I deserve to even be calling myself by such a title?


Continue reading The Guru Inside: A Clarification on the Use of the Term



Posted on Jul 20th 2015 at 09:16:44 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Baseball, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Review


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
"Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd..."

I'm not a sports guy.  Truth be told, I never really have been, though I did have some relative interest in sports as a kid.  I was sort of into football, I was sort of into basketball, and I had a passing interest in a couple other sports.  The sport I was most interested in, like many other red-blooded American youth, was Baseball.  Yes, America's pastime was my preferred sport, in part because of the strategy, and in part because that's what my dad was into.  My team was the Kansas City Royals, in part because of their proximity to where we lived, and my favorite player was the pine tar king himself, George Brett.  Needless to say, as a chubby nerd of a kid, I played exactly one summer of little league and played poorly enough that I didn't feel like playing a 2nd year.  Once the player strike happened, I quit collecting baseball cards and pretty much lost all interest in the sport.  I guess I had no sympathy for guys who made more money in a month than my dad made all year, and them whining about not getting paid enough.


Continue reading Baseball, 1989



Posted on Jul 8th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Opinion Piece, Gaming Culture, Gaming Fun


If you're reading this article, there's a high degree of likelihood that you like video games and think they are fun.  There's a good chance you own one or more video game consoles or platforms, with more than a dozen games to play.  It's more than a little plausible that you've spent hours pouring over your favorite video games.  If you're in my age bracket, and grew up during the 1980's and early 1990's, you might have spent a lot of time reading Nintendo Power, Sega Visions, Electronic Gaming Monthly, or any number of other magazines dedicated to video games.  It's also possible that, now as an adult, you've spent a considerable amount of time and money on video games over the years.

But the question I want to ask you is this: Have you had fun?  Have your experiences, in total, added up to what you would call "fun"?  How does one quantify fun, and what does that look like?  Is fun simply a series of feelings, or is it more than that?  While I can't claim to have all the answers, they are important questions to ask, in light of one's experiences with gaming.


Continue reading Video Games Are Supposed To Be Fun...Aren't They?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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