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




Posted on Aug 20th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Physical Oddites, rare, uncommon, Soedesco, Limited Run Games, Nighthawk Interactive



RFGeneration is my favorite Internet site, for many reasons.  The excellent community, the best collection tools available, the great articles, the many podcasts I never have enough time to listen to (sorry!), and of course the Silent Service appreciation.  The few bits of time here and there I have on the web are often happily spent here.



Continue reading PSA: A Fresh Physical Forum For Your Collecting And Playing Interest



Posted on Jul 18th 2016 at 06:23:10 AM by (slackur)
Posted under The New Game Market, Collecting, Modern, Retro, Retail


If you're as old as I am, go take a nap.  Are you back yet?  Sorry, I didn't want you falling asleep while reading, as folks our age tend to do.  I may have yet to hit the big four-oh, but it feels like the world is a different place than in my youth, and it sure is spinning faster these days.  Yeah, when you've been into video games this long, you see quite a few things change over time.

For example, it doesn't seem like too long ago that once a game was released, it was as simple as walking into any major retailer to nab a copy.  Sure there have always been obscure titles with small print runs, but preordering felt like an extravagance, online retailers felt like they had unlimited inventory, and unless you were importing or looking for a game more than a few years old, most relatively modern games seemed pretty easy to get.  Although I do remember the challenge of trying to ask for Katamari Damacy at a GameStop during the week of release (or just explaining what the game was.)


Continue reading Gaming Retail Ain't What It Used To Be



Posted on Jun 17th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under E3 and Life, optimism, pessimism, Tomorrowland, I miss Kevin Butler so much


Really?  You can say no to this man?

I want to talk about E3, but not about specific games.  I want to bring up other events of that week, but not get into an argument.  And I want to make a very important plea.

But first.
Ever see Tomorrowland?

If not, I think you should.  I found it to be a fantastic movie, though I am partial to Brad Bird's work.  But anyway, without delving too much into spoilers, the main theme of the movie boils down to a choice for the future; hope or despair.  Optimism or pessimism.  Fighting for light versus accepting the dark.

Sure, a great deal of media concerns this dichotomy.  It is a near-universal theme.  And while Tomorrowland isn't the first or best representation of this struggle, I watched it directly after this year's E3 so it is the freshest in my mind.  And it does a great job of encapsulating the roller-coaster ride of the few days around E3.


Continue reading Which Wolf Will We Feed?



Posted on May 16th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Video Game Narrative, rants, overthinking, Black Ops III, seriously go play Soma I wont tell you again Yes I will


pic from Bo News

So for the first time, you see this very attractive and interesting person from a distance.  Later you find yourself with the good fortune to begin a conversation with this person, and also find that they are fun to talk to and seem to have some points worth considering.  Things are going great, and you are considering arranging time to hang out more with this new person.  And then, in the middle of the conversation, for no discernable reason, they quickly rabbit-punch you in the nose and continue talking as if nothing just happened.

Blinking, disoriented, and in at least a little pain, you are confused as to what just happened.  But you continue the conversation, desiring to dismiss the random event in light of how well everything else is going.  Besides, maybe it was an accident or easily explained later.  You reinvest your attention into the other person, a short time passes, and your concerns start to assuage, then *BAM*!  Again on the nose.

It doesn't take much more time for you to seriously question if investing in this relationship is at all worth it.  And sure enough, this becomes a pattern, an understood factor to any time you spend with this person: interesting conversation, some fun thoughts, and then sharp, immediate, frustrating pain for no real reason.


Continue reading Video Game Narratives and the Face Punching Problem



Posted on Apr 18th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Mini Reviews, Games and exercise really can go together


Photo from Playbuzz.com, not actually me.  But I'd play it.

It is often argued that the video game industry has both 'grown up' and yet still needs to do so.  I'm not going to bring up any such topics specifically (as that would defeat the point I'm making) and I'm not implying some of these subjects aren't worth discussion and exploration.  I will sadly say that when I read about our industry nowadays, much of the sense of awe, fun, and playfulness of just the very existence of video games genuinely feels thin or absent altogether.   

I miss the reviews from older game magazines.  Nintendo Power, EGM, Game Players, Game Pro, and their contemporaries oozed enthusiasm, passion, and a positive lightheartedness sorely missed in gaming today.  I still rifle through our stacks of these on occasion and it really helps re-center my love of the hobby.  There are stabs of appropriate criticism of course, but the tenor, the joy of video games bounces off the pages.


Continue reading Slackur's Gaming Cycle: Reviews From The Stationary Bike



Posted on Mar 18th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under shmups in the modern era, Pew! Pew!!


Now that, my friends, is box art.  If it can't scare the cat, get a new picture.  (Pic from mobygames.com)

From Space Invaders to Gradius V, the "little ship/guy/thingie dodging bullets and firing back" genre has been with us since the beginning and is just a hair younger than the "Avoid Missing Ball For High Score" genre.  And in the same way that Virtua Tennis is no longer king of the hill, the shoot-'em-up or 'shmup' has gone from expected staple to rare appearance.

Though they have never disappeared altogether, shmups are definitely now a fringe category.  No longer considered financially viable where less-than-an-hour gameplay is relegated to free or fleeting dollar distractions, new additions to the shmup genre are usually danmaku ("Bullet Hell") or indie homages.  Long gone are the glory days of new masterpieces like Axelay or Einhander.  Or are they?


Continue reading Slackur's Obscure Gaming Theatre: Shoot the Modern Core



Posted on Feb 17th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collecting, PS3, PS4, WiiU, Vita, just buy all the games ever and be done with it

Being a little kid means having lots of free time and an unrealistic understanding of how the world works.  Especially when it comes to money, economics, and practicality.

Since I was a little kid, I had an ambitious goal. 


Not pictured; me or my panicked mom.  Pic from timpickens.com

And once I realized how terrible an idea it was to attach rocket boosters to my bicycle, I got another bicycle and a new goal; the ability to play any video game my nerdy heart desired, be it an arcade machine, home console game, or PC title.

Fast-forward many decades and hoping my back doesn't go out due to whiplash, and I still can't shake that little-kid voice.  Especially after sharing so many games with so many people over the years.  If I see a game for a few bucks that we don't own, my natural inclination is to pick it up for our collection or run through a list of folks I think may appreciate it. 


Continue reading Thoughts And Suggestions About Collecting On Modern Systems



Posted on Jan 16th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Role Playing, and yet, Wasteland 2, Fallout, Mass Effect, and yet


And now I want a Mega Man vs. Fallout game.  Pic from Fallout4.com.

In an interesting sequencing of events, I was planning on writing an article on role playing and Fallout 4 when our own SirPsycho wrote a well-thought out and researched article of his own.
http://www.rfgeneration.c...-of-Role-Playing-3202.php
 
And first, let me say I like the article and it has many points with which I agree, and my own article is not to argue or counter-point.  Rather, I'd like to explore my own thoughts on the matter, some of which parallels SirPsycho and some that go in another direction.

But first please allow me to drone on for a bit in the name of context. Cheesy


Continue reading A Reflection On The Roles We Play



Posted on Dec 21st 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under My thoughts on the stuff of 2015, lots and lots of games sure came out


Image source: imgarcade gallery for Frictional Games (SOMA)

Lists.  Everybody loves lists.  And subjective numbers attached to opinions.  Fun to read and argue over, sure.  But here at RFGeneration, we're cooler than that.  (And more humble!)  So here I'm gonna list some games that aren't necessarily GOTY-type stuff (though some are, certainly.)  But if you're like me, then I'm glad my beloved wife met me first, and also you like to dig through articles to find random gems you weren't aware of or some thoughts on a game that may make you give it a chance instead of otherwise dismissing it.  So here goes, a slackur's suggestions from the last year of gaming good times.


Continue reading Slackur's Two-Oh-One Fiver Gaming Thoughts



Posted on Nov 21st 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Holidays, Gaming, multiplayer, easy to play, fun for all


Pic Source: technologytell.com

It wasn't very long ago that the only hope to get some gaming in during the holidays involved a Game Boy and any time you could snag away from relatives.  Then the Wii came along, followed by smart phone apps, and now 'non-gamers' are about as common as folks who 'don't watch movies/listen to music'.  That being said, there's a huge gap between Angry Birds Go! and Fallout 4, and that divide may make it feel as if there's still no games that everyone can enjoy, now that Wii Sports has worn thin.

Au Contraire, mon ami!  There are many many many great suggestions, depending what you have kicking at home of course.  Given how many collectors hang around RFG, you may already have some of these, but many can be found at reasonable prices (with some exceptions!) and have the potential to become annual favorites.  In fact, there's a good chance a few are old favorites already, and just need to be dusted off and popped in again.  Keep in mind, the following suggestions are based off of two key criteria; playing in a group (generally multiplayer, sometimes score challenge) and ease-of-play (Helldivers is a house favorite, but rather 'hardcore' in challenge and not catered to 'pick-up-and-play.')

So without further ado, if you have these respective systems kicking around, why not fire 'em up and play:


Continue reading Gaming And Holidays; What To Play When Those NonGamers Are Over



Posted on Oct 20th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under SOMA, Scifi, horror, trans humanism, philosophy, humanity, the collective worth of human experience, life itself, seriously no


SOMA is easily one of the best gaming experiences I've had, and I cannot overstate how harrowing, thoughtful, and encompassing I found the narrative.  It is, of course, not perfect and not for everyone, but it comes with my personal highest recommendation.

If you want just the facts and none of the flavor, here goes;

SOMA is a first person narrative-driven game by Frictional Games, makers of the original Amnesia.  It's out on PC and PS4, download only, for around $30.  It has a hard, Sci-Fi theme with heavy psychological horror elements, and contains no combat, mild stealth gameplay, and a handful of fairly simple puzzles.  It's a pretty easy game to complete by design, especially for the genre.  There is thematic gore and (situationally appropriate) language. 

SOMA is, by the end, more interested in the conversation it has with the player than it is about complex gameplay.  There is more direct involvement than say, a typical visual novel, and more gameplay than purposefully limited exploratory narratives like Dear Esther or Gone Home, but everything is streamlined to the point of interaction-for-the-sake-of-exploring and world-building.  It has obvious faults, including somewhat poorly implemented stealth and a jarring art style for character pictures and human models, which feel more like placeholders than artistic choices.  Some have complained about the voice acting, but I found it to be very well done.

If you have the means and ANY interest whatsoever, please stop now, get the game, and slowly ingest it, preferably with no lights and excellent headphones.  Take your time, as most of the story is in small bits scattered about.  Done?  Great.  Breathe.  Onward.

[MAJOR SPOILER TERRITORY FROM HERE ON, PLEASE ONLY READ IF YOU WILL NOT PLAY THE GAME OR HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED IT.  LAST WARNING.]


Continue reading When a Game Asks Big Questions: Time With SOMA



Posted on Sep 24th 2015 at 08:44:37 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Bias, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, corporations, none as good as the ngage


Good thing it told me.  Source: Jeremysaid.com

Let's be honest here for a minute.  You WHAT?  I'm... sorry, I think I have to call the police.

Er, let's start over.  If we're truly honest about it, people tend to be pretty picky, and that includes gamers being picky about their games.  And that's fine!  After all, we're dedicating our most valuable resource; time, and usually at least some of our income toward a leisure activity.  It only makes sense that we are discerning about how and what we play, and cater our playtime to match our preferences, as we do most other things.


Continue reading Good Thing My Bias is the Right One



Posted on Aug 21st 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under CCAG, conventions, 2015, awesome, best date for a gamer couple


So THIS is how you capture a bunch of gamers in a giant net.  Photo from the official CCAG Facebook page.

If there is anything that annually rejuvenates my enjoyment of video games beyond our little basement 'o fun, it's Cleveland's own 'Classic Console and Arcade Game Show'.  Sure, CORGS (a similar event in Columbus, Ohio) is awesome in its own right, but my beloved and I have been CCAGing for almost a decade, and there's still a sort of homegrown friendliness to the show that just resonates with us.  Maybe it's the vendors, many of whom immediately recognize us every year with a happy wave and plenty of stories to exchange.  Or the atmosphere, which is more laid back, friendly, and trusting than most larger conventions.  Perhaps its the incredible deals, such as the CIB Aquarius (practically sealed) a friend picked up for $25, or the complete Wii system with Motion Plus that another friend nabbed for $11.  It could also be the fascinating creativity some folks display, be it mods, custom arcade cabs, or handmade gaming items.


Continue reading CCAG 2015, as reviewed by a giddy fanboy



Posted on Jul 14th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Sequels, Halo, Gears of War, Battlefront, Metal Gear Solid, Rock Band, Guitar Hero


The Rainbow apparently tastes like Master Sword and waaaay too much Green Apple.  Bring back Lime.
Source: thatsnerdalicious.com, artist: mattmcmanis-d34vqd8

As Hobbes' young companion once noted, mothers are the necessity of invention.  And in the gaming industry (and by industry I of course mean business), innovation means something fresh for the gamer and risk for the publisher.  We gamers are known to clamor for something new, different, interesting, and creative.  Ours is a tech-driven hobby, so naturally we want the newest, shiniest, most feature-packed thingee that's plowing ahead, breaking new ground, and showing us something we've never quite seen before.  Right?

And it's all those suit-and-ties in board meetings that are stifling and ruining our business (and by business, I of course mean industry.)  Their money-grubbing, tight-fisted pea-brains keep them from seeing the vision of artists, and instead they play it safe with brown-colored shooter release #57.  So, we just keep getting rehashes and sequels, with the occasional off-chance (often from our here-to-save-the-industry/business from itself indie sector) of shaking things up and giving us a much needed breakthrough in a Minecraft or Angry Birds.

That's our reality, yes?


Continue reading Comfort Food



Posted on Jun 12th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Local Coop, Diablo III, Helldivers, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D Land, Mercenary Kings, Magicka 2, Minecraft


Game System and cat hair not included.  Source: Chicagoagent.net

So let me assure you, I don't want this to be another "oh, just Slackur going on about multiplayer games and how much fun they all have, blah blah."  After reading previous comments and discussions, I want to emphasize that I enjoy writing about local co-op, not to brag about all the fun we have, but because I want to encourage others who would enjoy it.  I hope to encourage readers to keep at the long-term work it requires to start up this type of gaming and keep it going, especially in our weird, modern, always-connected-yet-lonely world of adult responsibilities.  I know I'm not the only one that misses human interaction as compared to social media. 


Continue reading My Favorite Feature on Current-Gen Consoles is the Couch


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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