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

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

Posted on Sep 15th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Expectations make us weird., No Mans Sky, BioShock 2, Monster 4X4, Happy Feet Two, I actually thought BvS was alright.

If you have yet to play it, you probably know No Man's Sky for two things.  First, for the gigantic expectations surrounding it.  And two, if you believe a collective online mantra, an apparently gigantic let-down.

I'll be direct; if you are caught up in the first, you may fall into the second.  Not because No Man's Sky is not worthwhile, but because that's just how expectations tend to play out.  Considering four out of five members of our family are hooked on No Man's Sky (and the fifth is too young to play, so he just watches) it is safe to say our house has an incredibly positive opinion of the game.

But I'm not writing this to repeat Crabby's excellent article about enjoying a game despite a common antagonistic theme against it.  And anyway, No Man's Sky is doing well and already has some ardent defenders.  I'd like to write about what my boss said when I asked if he had yet played No Man's Sky:  "Yes," he sighed, "Way too much.  I've spent so long playing that game already.  I don't know why I keep playing it."  He's also said the same of his time in World of Warcraft and a few mobile games he plays frequently.

Continue reading I Don't Know Why I Play This: How Modern Gamification and Groupthink Change Our Play

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.
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.


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

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