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




Posted on Jan 3rd 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Top 10, GOTY, Game of the Year


2018 was a weird year for me, with some high highs and low lows. On the broad scale, the world continues to be....what it is. We'll just have to see how things go there. But for me it was a year of rebuilding, one in which I had a plan. Kind of a one step back in order to make two steps forward thing. Thankfully, I was for the most part able to achieve what I'd set out to do. Not necessarily in the ways I'd hoped or expected, and there were some bumps along the way, but the last few months of the year were pretty great, and my efforts were met with reward.

What does this have to do with games, you ask? Well, unfortunately, the work that needed to be done took a toll on some things. I didn't read as much as I wanted, I didn't game as much as I wanted, and in the last month or so in particular I unceremoniously withdrew from quite a lot of things to make sure I ended up where I wanted to be, one of which being the video game golf tournament on this very website. Still, I was able to make it out to RetroWorld Expo 2018, which was a fantastic trip, the RFCinema feature I started was met with success, I had a great time taking part in the Doom 2016 playcast, and I was pretty proud of the content I was able to produce for RFGen. And while my list this year is more of a "Top 8 Games of 2018 and Top 2 Games of 2017 That I Didn't Play Until 2018", I did manage to play some great stuff. And that's what it's all about, getting all the enjoyment we can from the time that we have. So here's to putting a bow on 2018 and making 2019 all it can be! Let me know what you think of my selections in the comments below.



Continue reading My 10 Favorite Games of 2018



Posted on Dec 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Wreck It Ralph, movies, game movies


Wreck-It Ralph was a wonderful movie that took the concept of Toy Story and applied it to game characters in a small town arcade. In the most Pixar way possible, it was well-written, uniquely respectful of the source material, and had a story underneath it all with so much heart that you genuinely cared for the main characters. There was even a small number of real life Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade machines that were made to promote the film. They're pretty rare to find in person, but the game can be played on Disney's website here.

It's been six years since our feels were charmed by Ralph, Vanellope, Felix, and Calhoun, and as the title suggests, the sequel leaves Litwak's humble arcade behind to focus on the entirety of the interwebs. Does the new film manage to keep the personal feel while expanding the adventure? Read on, my friends, for the latest episode of RF Cinema.



Continue reading RF Cinema: Ralph Breaks the Internet



Posted on Nov 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Tetris Effect, Tetris, preview, demo

Tetris Effect turns everyone's favorite puzzle game into an audio/visual feast

While everyone is losing their minds over the latest AAA game from Rockstar Games, Red Dead Redemption 2 (which I hope to play someday, once I get around to playing its predecessor), I'm playing something that couldn't be more different.

If you ask 100 people what the best game of all time is, you'll get at least 30 different answers. But while a "best game of all time" debate could go on forever, I would argue that Tetris is the answer that, while not everyone would choose, almost no one would think that answer to be crazy. It's been ported to every device capable of running it, and I'd bet money 90% of the civilized world has at least heard of it, even if they haven't played it personally. Tetris Effect is a new take on a tried-and-true formula. How does it stack up (pun absolutely intended)? Let's find out.


Continue reading Preview: Tetris Effect



Posted on Oct 3rd 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Spooky Plays, Halloween, October


Ah, October. It signals not just the start of Fall and all things pumpkin spice (for better or for worse), it also rings in the season of scares, creeps, and frights. For most holidays, the way in which I enjoy and appreciate them has changed as I've gotten older. But with Halloween, the reasons I love the season haven't changed at all. As an adult though, I'm able to enjoy all the same things in much more elaborate and fun ways. I'm able to get better costumes, get all my own candy, and find bigger, more intense ways of scaring myself. It's for this reason that Halloween has become my favorite holiday of the year as an adult.

In the spirit of that evolution, I thought I'd put together a history of some of my favorite spooky games over the years. These are in no particular order, and this is by no means a comprehensive list, as I tried to shy away from the most obvious choices in favor of more off-beat or oft-forgotten titles. There are also a bunch of games I'm sure would make the list if not for the fact that I haven't played them. So let me know what you think of my choices below, and feel free to recommend your own in the comments below.


Continue reading Spooky Plays: Anthology Edition



Posted on Sep 3rd 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Xbox All Access, Xbox, subscriptions


I was browsing through my Twitter feed during a slow moment at work, as one does, and came across a piece of news that was both unexpected, and intriguing for its potential to change the way traditional console games are acquired.

Last Monday, Microsoft announced the introduction of something they're calling Xbox All Access. Most of the info about All Access is easy to find at this point, but there's some interesting nuances that are worth digging into.


Continue reading Could This Be A New Business Model for Console Gaming?



Posted on Aug 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Backlog, Pile of shame


With each passing year, my game collection grows, and with it my gaming backlog. I used to think I would eventually make time for all the games I wanted to play, but the older I get, the more my thinking changes. The most recent of these evolutions has been to start thinking about making some tough decisions. I'm starting to think I may have to let some games go, at least for the foreseeable future, in the interest of making it clear which games really matter to me. Part of the reason I find it daunting to hack away at my backlog is simple choice paralysis. So to help make those decisions and to cope with a certain level of resignation, I've decided not to make this yet another "oh whoa is me I'll never get to my pile of shame" post, but to instead work through some kind of prioritization process. At the very least, I'm hoping that thinking through it will make me feel like I'm actually doing something about it. Also, maybe by doing this in a public forum it'll motivate me to make time for some of the most egregious of these blank spots in my gaming history.



Continue reading This Is Me Starting To Prioritize My Backlog



Posted on Jul 3rd 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Distant Worlds, Music from Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy, orchestra, symphony, events

Cleveland Play House's State Theater

Walking into the theater lobby, it was pretty obvious this was no ordinary stage performance. It wasn't quite the crowd one might see at a con, but it was close. Some were in cosplay, some were wearing tshirts proudly displaying their love of what we'd all come to see. Part of me felt a little overdressed, but thankfully, I wasn't the only one who'd dressed up for the event. I'd thought about trying my hand at some cosplay, but this was theater, and I'm of the mind that theater should typically be dressed up for. Besides, considering I don't have many instances in my day-to-day life when I have a reason to be all fancy-like, I tend to do so when an opportunity arises.

Started in 2007, Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy wasn't the first FF symphony performance to come together, but it's by far the longest running. And so, me and about 3400 other fans decended on the Cleveland Play House to watch conductor Arnie Roth take us on an orchestral journey through some of the most beloved music in all of gaming.



Continue reading My Second Musical Journey Through Distant Worlds



Posted on Jun 3rd 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Nostalgia


I've been thinking a lot about nostalgia lately. It kind of came to a head in the wake of watching the Ready Player One movie, but the kernels of my thoughts go back to the last handful of years. It's undeniable how fascinated people are with the concept. Every remake, re-release, prequel, sequel, and reference, we eat it up. Whether it's converting Tron to blu-ray with "never before seen" interviews, making a miniature NES that's effectively a Raspberry Pi with a few ROMs on it, or filling Ready Player One with every 80s pop culture reference Ernest Cline could think of, history has proven that people will buy into the phenomenon, but why is that? More importantly, what does nostalgia mean in a digital age where nearly every piece of media ever is available at our fingertips anytime we want it? Does the way we think of nostalgia need to change?



Continue reading What is Nostalgia in 2018?



Posted on May 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, Rampage, movies, discussion


Hello, fine movie-lovers! Today we continue our look at recent blockbuster game movies with the second of three for the year, Rampage. Starring Dwayne "Walking Slab of Meat" Johnson and....a bunch of other people, it tries to do what the Battleship movie did and make a film out of a game that really had very little plot to speak of. Does it succeed where Battleship spectacularly failed? Let's find out.



Continue reading RF Cinema: Rampage



Posted on Apr 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Final Fantasy, movies, discussion


Final Fantasy VII was released over 20 years ago, but to many it's still heralded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Personally, I feel the sacred status some have heaped upon it is a bit overblown, but I won't deny having a big ole soft spot for it. For its time, it was an incredible experience and Square Enix (then Squaresoft) exploited its popularity with spin-off games and merchandise. And despite nearly bankrupting itself with the unmitigated disaster that was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the Japanese developer saw fit to make another movie, this time based in the world of Midgar and featuring Cloud Strife, and everyone's favorite villian with an absurdly, impractically long sword. So how does Advent Children hold up? Let's find out together.


Continue reading RF Cinema: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children



Posted on Mar 30th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Game development, careers, programming


I'm willing to bet I'm not the only member of this community who, when they were a kid, wanted to make video games when they grew up. Kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up pretty much their entire lives by their parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and teachers. Heck, when I got to high school there was a long survey we all had to take that spat out individual printouts of what careers would be good fits for each of us. I don't remember what mine said, but I certainly remember my apathy at reading a machine's assessment of what I should be doing with my life. I knew what I wanted to do, and no one could convince me otherwise. So what happened?



Continue reading What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up



Posted on Mar 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, The Thirteenth Floor, movies, video game movies, scifi, discussion


This month I wanted to take a look at one of the movies that got a lot of positive response the first time I bought it up. The Thirteenth Floor was pretty overshadowed when it first came out, seeing as it was released the same year as The Matrix. And it's a shame too, because while the latter movie became a huge scifi jauggernaut for its philosophizing about people living in a simulation (and rightly so), the former takes this concept to an arguably more realistic and grounded level. Looking at it now, in a post-Oculus and Amazon Alexa world, and without the threat of humanity being wiped out, it's much more of a detective story with a scifi twist.



Continue reading RF Cinema: The Thirteenth Floor



Posted on Feb 4th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, Indie Game The Movie, movies, video game movies, documentaries, discussion


Happy Super Bowl Sunday, and welcome to another edition of RF Cinema! This month we're looking at our first documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, from 2012. This wasn't the first documentary about video games, but it was one of the first that gained huge popularity by focusing on three of the most well-received independent games at the time, Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Fez. Just as indie games were starting to become more noticed by the mainstream media and their quality was starting to improve, it was an insightful look into what it takes to make a video game with a small team.

This is a movie that really doesn't have any spoilers. Most gamers are familiar with these games, their developers, and the success they achieved, so there's really nothing to spoil. But I figured I'd mention it all the same.



Continue reading RF Cinema: Indie Game: The Movie



Posted on Jan 5th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, How To Make A Monster, HTMAM, movies, video game movies, discussion


I hope everyone had a great holiday and new year's. To close out 2017, RF Cinema has been given the gift of its first user request, in the form of 2001's How To Make A Monster. To recap, this may be the "worst" movie on the list so far, but it was described to me as so bad, it's good. Does it meet that expectation? Does it stand with other great terrible horror B-movies? Read on, my friends, and find out.

As usual, I'll refrain from spoilers in the article, but the discussion thread here may include them from this movie and any others we've featured to this point.



Continue reading RF Cinema: How To Make A Monster



Posted on Dec 4th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, Mortal Kombat, movies, video game movies, discussion

Fun fact: the theme song to this movie actually became fairly popular in the dance club scene in the 90s

For our second entry of RF Cinema, I wanted to go with one based on an actual video game, so why not go with one of the best? Released in August of 1995, less than a year after Mortal Kombat 3 was unleashed in arcades, the Mortal Kombat movie hit theaters at the height of the series' popularity. Millions of young gamers, myself included, couldn't get enough of the dark, bloody fighting that Ed Boon and John Tobias had cooked up. I distinctly remember making friends at my local Aladdin's Castle and pouring over cheat sheets we'd made to remember each character's moves, fatalities, and combos. We even started selling them to other arcade-goers, promising free updates as more and more of the move combinations were discovered.

The movie couldn't have come at a better time. My friends and I met up at the arcade and all carpooled to the theater to watch the cartoonish violence brought to life. It was dumb, it was ridiculous, and it was amazing.



Continue reading RF Cinema: Mortal Kombat


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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