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




Posted on Jun 17th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under collecting, nostalgia, retro gaming, physical media, Pengo, what I would give for the 8 player Pengo Arcade cab


This is in its own way a companion piece to the reflections in Zophar53's recent article, What is Nostalgia in 2018?  I wanted to respond and take the conversation in a personal direction but I realized I needed the room to let my thoughts breath, so here we are.

Many of our collections, video games and otherwise, are initially based off some form of nostalgia.  Mine is no exception.  As I've referred to in past write-ups, it started with a simple childhood dream to own every video game so that anyone at our home could play any video game whenever they wanted (myself included!)  Many years and a family of my own later, that has transformed into the desire to use the medium of video games integrated in our lives as ways to connect socially, unwind mentally, and develop conversations culturally.  I am very pleased to say it has been generally successful.  That said, of course there are games and systems I have a special fondness for due to my earlier time spent with them.  Over time my greater connection has come from games I played with friends that I now keep in memory after their passing, and I imagine that to continue.  I also have no doubt our children are building their own nostalgia from specific titles our family enjoys together.


Continue reading Why Do We Collect Video Games In 2018?



Posted on May 16th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Pinball, FarSight Studios, Zen Studios, Pinball Arcade, Pinball FX, no kidding Doom is a surprisingly addictive table


It is pretty amazing, when you think about it, that video games can present practically as many universes as our imaginations can conceptualize.  Race car drivers, ancient warriors, formless deities, abstract observers, mustachioed occasional-plumbers, the possibilities go on and on.  We tend to settle into comfortable niches, as is human nature, but really any medium so tethered to artistic expression can as open as our desire to explore.


Continue reading Thoughts On My Time With Virtual Pinball



Posted on Apr 16th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Missile Command, Board Games


I think it is fair to say that translating video games to board and card games has been overall more successful than video games to movies.  Yet sadly these video game based board and card games are far less popular.  I only make that point because while I have enjoyed certain video game based movies, they are always in the position of having to be defended; board and card games based on video games often don't even have that luxury or visibility.  They tend to barely blip on the interest radar, just curiosities that may be picked up or gifted and then shoved to the 'board game' shelf behind known classics that never get to be played. (With the occasional groan-inducing holiday exception.)


Continue reading Mutually Assured Destruction Makes For A Fun Board Game



Posted on Mar 14th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collecting



"Collections collect collectors.  It doesn't work the other way around.  A certain object misses its own kind and communicates that
to some person who surrounds it with rhyming items; these become at first a quorum, then a selective, addictive madness."

-Allan Gurganus

iPhones are less than a dozen years old.  A type of device that is now ubiquitous to modern civilization is so young that the speed of its transformative power marks a definitive "before and after."  Indeed, now it is impossible to imagine a world without smartphones, yet those of us old enough to remember a world before them have watched how quickly and completely they entrenched upon daily life.

Similarly, folks who grew up on Atari and the NES often now have PS4s and Switches, and video games are so culturally embedded that it is a challenge to find someone who doesn't spend some of their time playing a form of one.  Culture critics and historians are in a race to reflect upon transitions that happen so fast, they are hardly known (and certainly not fully understood) before the next one stacks on top of it.


Continue reading Thoughts on Collecting and Legacy



Posted on Feb 18th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Obscure Oddities, uncommon, PS4, XBox One, Switch


Well, this Dragon 32/64 game is certainly off everyone's radar, but I don't have a Dragon 32.  Or the Cassette Drive.  Or British.

Being in video game retail for so many years now, I can easily say one of my favorite parts of the job is finding and recommending obscure titles to customers who had no idea such games existed.  I love digging up and collecting gaming oddities myself, and every time I find a list of such titles I bookmark them to compile and search for later.  When I thought I'd have the time to keep it up, I originally started a forum to track these, but it turns out I can't get to it nearly often enough to keep it relevant. (Sorry!)

Hopefully I'm not alone here on this, so in that spirit here's another list for those interested: 


Continue reading Slackur's Obscure Gaming Theatre: More Recent Under-The-Radar Goodies



Posted on Jan 19th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Gaming Philosophies, Cooperative, competitive, Sim City, Fortnight, Tetris, no more it is your bedtime yes it is look what time it is


This game taught me far more than urban planning.

When I first played Sim City, I wasn't much older than my first-born is now.  I was an even more genre-blind gamer back then, playing anything I came across.  The concept of a city-builder wasn't the most immediately appealing game concept to my pre-teen mind.  Still, I'd already played through text-based adventures, CRPGs, dungeon-crawlers, and other complex time sinks, so it wasn't an intimidating idea.  It was a video game and therefore by definition I'd give it a shot.

I will always remember it as the game that taught me a self-awareness of my addictive personality.


Continue reading Discussing Respective Gaming Philosophies With My Eleven Year Old



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


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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