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

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

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

Posted on May 11th 2015 at 09:16:25 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collecting, multiplayer, hunting for video games in the wild is the best MMO

Oh well.  Back to Words with Friends.  (SlackurJes, if you ever want to play.) Pic source: lazygamer.net

Folks spend their money and time on what they want or what's important to them, gamers included.  Ah, but it's never that simple, is it?  There are as many stories about collections as there are collectors, and probably half as many assumptions about both that are mistaken for various reasons.  In the same way that a person's income, background, religion, appearance, and other factors often lead to very inaccurate assumptions about an individual, often anyone who owns more than a few video games can be labeled quite incorrectly.   

Continue reading A Collection Story

Posted on Apr 10th 2015 at 09:23:45 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Bloodborne, Bloodborne, Castlevania, challenge, southpaw, I now heart Sony

photo source: vg247.com

**Warning: light spoilers concerning the setting and philosophical implications of Bloodborne, and also some pics may be considered offensive to cat lovers.**

When it comes to Bloodborne, much digital and printed ink has been spilt in praising the game while warning the unaware about the intense challenge it unapologetically presents. As a result, I see no need to repeat this common narrative of which I happen to agree.  If you've played any of director Hidetaka Miyazaki's games, you know what you're getting into, and Bloodborne is both familiar in this regard while being tweaked enough to have its own identity.

Continue reading The Blood That Bore Bloodborne

Posted on Mar 9th 2015 at 09:46:21 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Unless it wants to be Daikatana of course, Evolve, The Order, Five Nights at Freddys, light gun games, not every game should be GTA

Remember when it was immediately obvious, even before you saw a screenshot, how a video game would play?

Because when I think of card games, I think of rainbow assaults to the face while 70's ghost woman haunts my Technicolor hand.

Continue reading Let The Game Be What It Wants To Be

Posted on Feb 9th 2015 at 12:08:11 PM by (slackur)
Posted under Perspective, Worldview, Destiny, Battlefield, Tetris, conversations in a hipster coffee shop at 3am, freedom of expression, Dinosur T

When we were little kids tossing a football or shooting a basketball, we rarely stayed ourselves for long.  Even if we didn't know any popular athlete's names, we were the star of the game; kicking the ball through the defense, knocking out the winning home run, slamming the puck into the net in our imagination.  If we weren't pretending to be Michael Jordan or Arnold Palmer, we were a superior athletic version of ourselves, making all the right moves and showing off our skill to the crowd of our mind's eye.

Even for sports-challenged adults, such as I, a good book or movie takes us to a different place or time, our thoughts vicariously transporting us somewhere else for awhile.  The potential benefits of such mental journeys extend well beyond escapism and can be informative, reflective, inspiring, even transforming.

Being the newest media on the block, video games embody much of the potential and problems of its siblings.  As technology grows in leaps and bounds, so too grows our toolsets to create previously unheard-of experiences in the interactive entertainment realm.  And yet, we can still use many of the same methods of examining our perspective as in other media.

Continue reading Gaming the Perspective

Posted on Jan 10th 2015 at 10:21:24 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Unplugged, board games, books, amiibos, puzzles, what do you mean FIFA is not just an EA franchise

Suffice to say, even those who don't game online likely hoped for coal in the stockings of the grinches that took down XBox Live and PSN over Christmas of 2014.  The DDoS attack created an outage that lasted a few days and kept owners of Sony and Microsoft's consoles from playing online, buying digital games and even locked out many single player experiences that required some online verification.

It's easy for us retro enthusiasts to roll our eyes, straighten our bifocals, and shake our canes as we brag about the obvious advantage of older consoles that weren't affected in the least.  That doesn't change things for the many gaming youths who had just acquired a new toy and were unable to use it during their vacation time, or we older gamers who looked forward to unwinding through the holiday bustle by nabbing a few flags or finally getting in a raid.

We can prattle on about the obvious flaws of online-required gameplay and the lack of security and bandwidth in multi-billion dollar companies, or how it was a good thing that little Jimmy actually had to engage with the relatives instead of being glued to that headset, or how I assumed I was finished with Destiny and Plants Versus Zombies: Garden Warfare until forced withdrawal made the cravings start up again.

In Bungie's defense, this offline multiplayer version of Destiny does have universal group chat.  (Found these at https://www.etsy.com/list...ng?ref=shop_home_active_4)

Continue reading Gaming Unplugged

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