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




Posted on Dec 16th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Contrary Opinion, Fallout 76, No Mans Sky, Dead Space 3, nope not the game.com


Before going further, a note on an apologist: they aren't "apologizing" as we know it (saying sorry,) rather they are "a person who makes a defense in speech or writing of a belief, idea, etc." from the Greek/late Latin "apologia". (Referenced from Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, and a few theology classes many years ago.)

I honestly don't intend to be a contrarian at heart.  I'm not cool enough to be a hipster that only likes what no one else does, and while I often defend the underdog, I still won't stand by them if I think they are wrong.  Ask me what sports team I'm rooting for, I usually say the losing one.  (Why would the winning one need it?  I don't get sports.)

Yet when it comes to video games, I seem to end up as a constant apologist for many a derided title.


Continue reading Thoughts from a Gaming Apologist, Volume 1



Posted on Nov 20th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Nintendo Switch, Arcade, shmups, belt scrollers, arcadey action, I remember having time for RPGs a few decades ago


Lately, even the mighty pull of an incredible new version of my favorite game of all time (Tetris Effect) can't sit me in front of a console for very long.  Oh, I want to plop on our comfy recliner and put in a few long hours into the ever-growing stack of excellent games next to the various gaming systems connected to our best gaming TV.  I really really do.  However with so many daily tasks, back-and-forth travel, and emergency situations happening I just can't block out the time.  (I'd say 'lately,' but when topsy-turvy is more common than normal, topsy-turvy becomes the new normal.)

As in the past, Nintendo has swooped in to save the day with a game machine full of stuff I want to play on a system that can ride along with me.  As I was combing through the library of games to take along, I looked through the excellent popular titles that bring out the best of the system; Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, etc.  Unexpectedly, those have stayed on the shelf lately; the majority of what I want to play these days is a compilation of arcade and retro classics that perfectly fit the few minutes at a time I have to spend.  I thought it might be fun to share my current carousel of cartridge cavorting!


Continue reading The Switch Has Become My Portable Arcade Powerhouse



Posted on Oct 13th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under C64 Mini, Super Nintendo Classic, NES Classic, Atari Flashback, There will never be a PS4 or XB1 Classic Flashback due to all the

Got one of these recently.  Well, the US version.  And I'm really digging it; I grew up with the original beige brick as my first computer/game system and have several years' worth of great memories surrounding it.  After loading the C64 Mini and putting it through its paces, I have a few thoughts to share that extend to the current wave of retro emulation systems and why I moved away from PC gaming.


Continue reading Thoughts on the C64 Mini



Posted on Sep 19th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Hidden Gems, Return of Double Dragon, Sushi Striker, 428 Shibuya Scramble, Bridge Constructor Portal


Pictured: When the best graphics were in your imagination.

I'm going to forgo the endless "winter is coming" jokes about the fall gaming release season, and just get to the point: lottsa big AAA games are here and on the way, and that means many nifty games with a smaller budget are swept up in the crowd and I'm here to champion the under-the-radar releases.  These are the ones that personally caught my eye (OW!) over the last few months and I wanted to bring more awareness.


Continue reading Slackur's Obscure Gaming Theatre: Under-The-Radar II Hyper Fighting



Posted on Aug 14th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collecting, Retro, Sega CD, Turbo Duo, Dreamcast, PS2, parts


Folks on this site likely know the feeling;  You and three 'friends' are in a heated Super Smash Bros. Melee when someone cries out, "My "R" button isn't working!  Hey guys, wait!"  Or that heated Joust versus match with the controller that just doesn't 'flap' as fast, or the time you were excited to show off your rare Sega CD Snatcher on one of the four days of the week that the drive tray doesn't want to work...

If you are a retro gamer that plays as well as collects, you know the effort it takes to upkeep your library.  Vintage video game collecting is like classic car collecting or pinball machine collecting; it's more than just having space for the stuff and the ability to find and pay for the games and hardware.  If it is going to remain playable, there's some know-how and some elbow grease that will become part of the hobby.  From notorious controller wear and faulty optical drives, to analog drift and bad capacitors, every retro player/collector has to get comfortable with just how far down the rabbit hole they are going to go.  Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have a passion for a console that seems immune to all but psyonic attacks (SNES, Game Boy Color) or maybe you've fallen for a glass snowflake (Famicom Disc System, a Turbo Duo with good sound), but either way there is always some basic maintenance needed. 


Continue reading Thoughts On The Upkeep of Retro Game Collecting



Posted on Jul 13th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Repros, Contra Hard Corps

A few days ago I checked-off a bucket list item.  It is a minor one, probably somewhere in the three- to four- hundreds on the list, though it has been there since my early teenage years.  I finally got a decent ending on this little gem:


How this was accomplished makes it an inauthentic accomplishment for some, but it represents an interesting angle on modern and retro gaming and collecting.


Continue reading Thoughts on Repros, or how I finally played through Contra Hard Corps



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


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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