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




Posted on Dec 16th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under coop, couch, futon, side of the bed, loveseat, lawn chair, kitchen chair, floor, bean bag, hot tub


Another year closing, another chance to get in on some cooperative fun with friends and family!  In between grandma kisses and overloading on sugar cookies, hopefully you can convince some folks to sit down and have some game-time.  For some of us, this is one of the only times of year we can actually get some decent couch co-op going, so hopefully my own crews' countless hours of "testing" these titles can prove useful.  As is generally the case, I tossed together a selection of lesser-knowns along with some popular games that have overlooked multiplayer options.  *Mario Voice:* Here we go!


Continue reading Co-op Gaming Suggestions for the Holidays, 2017 edition



Posted on Nov 20th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under physical media, PS5, XBox Snugglebunny


pic from vg247.  I'd dive in there like Scrooge McDuck.

I remember when eBay was a new thing.  In the wake of a fresh and burgeoning public internet, with dial-up squeals and stilted page updates, the world suddenly felt connected in a new and unprecedented way.  It didn't take long for me to use this powerful collection of advanced tools to finally achieve a feat that had eluded me for what felt like forever:

I tracked down the import Final Fantasy IV soundtrack CD.

Spent way too much, in hind sight.  Didn't we all, the first time we realized we could bid on objects that had tantalized our imaginations?  Or replace that lost childhood toy?  Or prove that yes, Song of the South really exists but only on withered VHS tapes?  Before it became a store, in its infancy eBay felt like an untapped treasure trove, that fabled yard sale where everybody found something they were looking for.

But this isn't about eBay.  It is about what that described moment represents; connecting with a lost treasure, or finding a new one.  Few gamers over thirty wouldn't stop and look at a pristine collection of rare games from a few decades ago, if just to reminisce or wonder about what was never played.  Games back then represented a thing to buy and savor, from mining every secret and technique to staying up with a buddy to beat each other's high scores.  Before they were services, video games were products to own.


Continue reading Are We Past The Golden Era Of Physical Media?



Posted on Oct 19th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under PSVR 2017, VR


Pic from PlayStation Universe

Virtual Reality gaming in 2017 is in a bit of a strange place.  After the Oculus Rift re-ignited VR interest a few years ago, all of a sudden it felt (as least to me) that a once-promised futuristic technology was suddenly right around the corner.  It was as if Toyota announced a flying car that could be purchased next year.  Fast-forward a bit and even your phone can get a goofy attachment and transport you into a limited VR experience.  Along comes Sony whose VR specs notably lagged behind the big PC names, yet it offered a comparative product for a home console millions already owned.   



Continue reading Thoughts on PSVR One Year Out



Posted on Sep 15th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Bwaaaah, Mario, Rabbids, Switch, XCOM, Strategy, turn based, bwa bwa bwaaaaaah


Pic from Nintendo.com and my 9 Year-Old's-imagination


Some creative mash-ups end up working so well they seem obvious in hindsight.  And then there are those that still don't make sense afterward, even if the end result is far greater than the some of the respective parts.  I don't know what is the bigger surprise, that Mario Plus Rabbids: Kingdom Battle even exists, or that it is easily among my favorite games this year.


Continue reading Thoughts on Mario Plus Rabbids Kingdom Battle



Posted on Aug 16th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Downloading Blog Patch 1.3 80 Gigs remaining, patching, Prey, art, No Mans Sky, get off my lawn


The price of high-definition half-tucked shirts.  (pic from PlayStation.blog)

I don't think I know a single gamer that doesn't have some kind of backlog, some stack of games they want to play but have yet to do so.  I only half-joke about wondering why I'd buy any new game anymore, as I know at this point I will never actually play through every game I once intended to.  Strangely, I'm fine with that;  I'm pretty quick to move on to the next game if I'm not getting anything out of what I'm playing at the moment.  Trophies, Achievements, Leaderboards, and other virtual accruements hold no interest to me; I'm blessedly liquid in my gaming interests and can jump from one game to the next without getting caught in anything but interest or entertainment.

That being said, another recent development has made me very glad to be "behind" most of the time when it comes to playing modern games.



Continue reading Thoughts on Backlogs, Patience, and Transitioning Art



Posted on Jul 17th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Gems , Cities Skylines, Jackbox, ADK Damashii, Micro Machines, Cursed Castilla, Little Nightmares


Continuing the grand tradition of pointing out nifty games that can fall under the radar, here's an update of some great and/or lesser-known games I've been playing while my Beloved and our oldest are outside causing traffic to swerve with Pokemon Go.



Continue reading Slackur's Obscure Gaming Theatre: Recent Gems



Posted on Jun 15th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Robots reading Nietzsche, Nier, androids, robots, it is funny how a supposedly male robot with a female voice named Pascal is even a source of arg


She just heard about her game's release window.

Most of us enjoy a good underdog tale and the existence of Nier: Automata certainly fits that description.  It was released alongside two other highly anticipated AAA open world action/exploration games (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn).  That alone would sound a death knell for most games.  In retrospect, it is amazing Automata has gained the attention it has.

While polished, with amazing character design, art direction, and a fantastic soundtrack, it was created on a developer-admitted small budget with noticeably last-gen graphics.  This is shared with the rest of the series, as Automata is an unexpected sequel to the cult-favorite series Nier, itself an offshoot of the Drakengard series.  And like its forefathers, there are a lot of reasons gamers may miss it.


Continue reading Spoiler Free Thoughts on Nier Automata



Posted on May 16th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collecting, Alan Wake, PS2, preservation, video games


Pic from Kotaku and about a million bookmarks

Approximately a million years ago in Internet time, I wrote an article intended as a sort of clarion call about losing our gaming history.  You can dust off the electrons and find it here.

This weekend, two events reminded me of that article.  The first was reading about how Alan Wake, the Remedy developed atmospheric action game, was about to be delisted from digital sale from Steam and Xbox Live storefront due to music licensing issues.  When smaller titles are released in only the digital format, they occasionally disappear and the lost content may be lamented on an equally small scale.  (Not to claim irrelevance, just the level of awareness.)  To have a decently successful IP such as Alan Wake become unavailable for purchase seven years after release may still seem pretty reasonable in our gaming economy.  Every game goes out of print eventually, right? 



Continue reading Saving Games...Continue?



Posted on Apr 18th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Wii U, Collecting, Modern, Retro, Retail


I guess it makes sense that Nintendo.com has pictures that makes me want to buy a third one.

Isn't it funny how we easily get caught in a trap of thinking that, because things have been a certain way for awhile, that is how they will stay?  For years and years and years, Atari games were a dime a dozen at yard sales.  NES games were everywhere, and a copy of Contra was $5 to $10 tops.  Final Fantasy VII and Symphony of the Night were both twenty bucks new everywhere.  Collecting N64 and Atari Jaguar games seemed like a silly idea.  PS2 games were never, ever going away.

And before that a Coke was a nickel and gas was a quarter and yada yada, I get it.  Different times.

My point; How many of us are kicking themselves for not buying that complete Earthbound from Blockbuster, or those last few Saturn games like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Burning Rangers on clearance?  Wish we knew then what we knew now, right?  Queue the classic discussion about time machines and grabbing retro video games.


Continue reading PSA: Now Would Be The Time To Collect For Wii U



Posted on Mar 16th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Rating, numbers, fun

In the last week, I've spent far more hours than I expected firing arrows and using gadgets to overcome humongous creatures.  I've explored dark caves and a vast open world through lush forests and towering mountains.  I've stopped and enjoyed gorgeous vistas, marveled at detailed inclement weather, and slowly learned how to survive in a video game version of the wild.  Wild... where have I heard that before?

Wait!  Not that!  Is that what you though I was talking about?  I mean, that one is great, but I've hardly played it since I've been sinking all my free time (and then some) into this:




Continue reading On the Problem of Quantitative Metrics



Posted on Feb 16th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Video Games, Everything Else


Pic from 123rf.com (stock photo)

I consider our stacks of Nintendo Power, EGM, Game Players, GamePro, and other old video game magazines to be as personal a treasure as my childhood Turbo Duo.  Not just for the inherent nostalgia or dated (but awesome!) art, nor even the chance to remember a hidden gem of a game I haven't played in awhile.  Flipping through these old slices of gaming's past also reinvigorates my passion for our industry in a way that modern sources just cannot do.  Sure, part of it is my love of these older eras of gaming, although I immensely enjoy the current generation of consoles.  But what I think takes me back time and again is the purity of those old video game magazines.  In those magazines there is not universal praise, nor is there a lack of critique or appropriate negativity.  There is a passion, even at times an adoration of the magic of video games.



Continue reading On The Importance Of Neutral Ground



Posted on Jan 17th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Getting along with those other gamers, Switch, Wii U, XBox One, PS4


Pic from technobuffalo.com, puppyface from Nintendo

This is a transcript of an actual text exchange from a friend:

Him: I was in no way excited or have any interest in the Nintendo Switch.  Having watched all the videos and read multiple articles I can confidently say my interest sits at 0%.

Me: Got one reserved, looks like a lot of fun Smiley

Him: I figured you'd be into it.  Pass but have fun Smiley

Me: We do B)


This conversation can be an example of more than just a lack of interest juxtaposed with an expectant happiness.  Here we have a beautiful component of modern gaming; the wide range of options, opinions, and interests spread over a massive and growing gamer populace.  One man's Dark Souls is another's Splatoon.  And our gaming industry is big enough for it all.



Continue reading We Don't All Have To Switch Sides



Posted on Dec 18th 2016 at 08:48:33 AM by (slackur)
Posted under WELCOMETOTHENEXTLEVEL, perspective, forgetting where we came from, video games are still some crazy alchemy of science and magic


So as mentioned by myself and others, 2016 has been a tough year.  But you know what?  (And if you do, why are you wasting your psychic talents on a blog instead of using your superhero powers for the good of mankind?)  2016 has also been a good year.  In fact, as I look around, I get dizzy.  But I also see how my gaming life in the here and now, when taken as a whole, is very much a fantastical realization of so many childhood dreams.


Continue reading In 2016 Gaming Is Something I Could Only Imagine As A Kid



Posted on Nov 18th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Trance inducing without recreational chemicals , Tetris, No Mans Sky, FZero, Pinball, Double Dribble, VR is pretty good for this too


Pic from advancehappynewyear2017.com

For many of us, to say the year 2016 has been difficult would be an understatement on par with mentioning the N-Gage never quite surpassed the Game Boy Advance.  It seems everyone I know had a tough year for several reasons, and I spent quite a bit of it with family members in hospitals or medical appointments.  Many good things happened, but it seemed every week the idea of a return to some 'normal' got pushed further and further out.  I think I see some disadvantages to this whole 'being the adult' thing that never got spelled out alongside the whole cookies-and-bedtime-whenever-I-want setup.  Or maybe it was spelled out and I was too busy drawing plans for my future home, complete with helipad and shopping mall in the backyard.  (Was I the only kid who drew that up?)   

Oh, and I guess some famous family is moving out of a nice house near Virginia and the new family moving in is making the neighbors nervous or something?  We live in a strange country.  And it's not even Canada!  (Although I hear they have some nifty retro-stocked video game stores up there.)  And apparently some Brexfast thing happened and now importing games is all confusing and/or tasty?  Crazy world. 

Most folks on this site likely play games to unwind, unless you play games to get mad, in which case I recommend Carrier Command for Xbox 360.  For the rest of us, it's good to have our go-to games for decompression.*  You know what I mean; those games you aren't necessarily playing to complete, but rather to mentally unfurl and let the stresses of the day process somewhere in the back of your mind.


Continue reading On Video Games as a Processing Tool During Tough Times



Posted on Oct 19th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Thumper Review, PSVR, rhythm, what insects hallucinate on a bad trip


There's something inherently natural about the desire to make rhythm.  Leave a conga drum out in the open, and it's guaranteed to get bopped a bit by random folks passing by.  We may not all have perfect timing, but thumping hands in a percussive manner comes as natural as whistling or toe-tapping to pretty much everyone.

In that sense, the real surprise isn't so much the recent rise and fall of music video games, but rather that they haven't had more of a longstanding presence alongside other classic genres.  We've pretty much always seen some variant; sound and pattern recognition (endless runners like Temple Run), instrument training (Miracle Piano, Rocksmith), exercise and dancing (Dance Dance Revolution, Pump It Up), abstract music integration and layering (Frequency, Amplitude, Rock Band Blitz) and of course, the playful guitar/band sims (Rock Band, Guitar Hero).


Continue reading Spooky Plays: Thumper


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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