Hey Harvey!

Posted on Jan 16th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Switch couch coop


It is the 20's and there is time for Kla- er, couch cooperative gaming!


Hi gang, and welcome to 2020!  Wow, it is so weird (when you are my age) to realize we are finally here, and it looks very little like what all those books, movies, and games told us the future would be like.  Some stuff, like VR and autonomous cars, aren't quite where we thought they would be, but we do all pretty much carry around a Star Trek Tricorder in our pockets that we use to look at cat pictures, so there is that.

For my first write-up of the year (or decade, depending on how you decide to measure it, I know the "official" start is next year but we are all going to hear that we are in the 20s now) I figured I'd make a fun little update list of the excellent couch-cooperative Switch games we recently enjoyed.  The Christmas/New Year break gave us some great gaming opportunities and couch-coop is a perfect way to get various skill levels able to play simultaneously.

This list is laughably by no means comprehensive, but does reflect games we play at our place and can personally vouch for. 


Continue reading Nintendo Switch Couch Co-Op Update



Posted on Dec 21st 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Tetris 99


2019 has been an excellent year for great game releases.  Death Stranding, Control, A Plague Tale, Bloodstained, Super Mario Maker 2, Tetris Effect, The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors, Gears 5, River City Girls, and lots of other titles made their way into our collection this year and were greatly enjoyed.  But as the title gives away, the game I give highest kudos too this year is definitely Tetris 99.


Continue reading My GOTY for 2019 is... Tetris 99



Posted on Nov 17th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima


I'm not interested in reviewing Death Stranding for various reasons, but I would like to share some thoughts about it.

Some creative works are impossible to separate from their creators, being indelibly linked by distinctive fingerprints.  Steven Spielberg, the Beatles, Neal Gaiman, Shigeru Myamoto.  Hideo Kojima will always be known as the respected creator of the Metal Gear series, but he has many less popular works that clearly bear his unique mark.

If you are interested in Death Stranding, the best way to judge if it is for you is not likely to be found in typical review numbers.  Rather, I'd start with the question, "Do you like Hideo Kojima's other work?"  And not simply Metal Gear, but the tone and exploration of his work more broadly.  What are your reactions to Snatcher, Zone of the Enders, Boktai, and even P.T.?
That would be the best way to know if his new, ambitious project is something worth your time.


Continue reading Non-Spoilery Thoughts On Death Stranding



Posted on Nov 12th 2019 at 03:47:55 PM by (slackur)
Posted under Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima

I'm not interested in reviewing Death Stranding for various reasons, but I would like to share some thoughts about it.





Continue reading Non-Spoilery Thoughts On Death Stranding



Posted on Oct 14th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under When to call it quits for sanity and enjoyment


image from wikipedia

I'm stuck on a boss in The Messenger.  This little bit of information is unlikely to sway any political elections, and on my own scale of importance from one to five it gets a solid "meh" and a shrug.

What this irreverent trivia represents, however, is a mite bit deeper.



Continue reading Time, Age, Gaming, Difficulty. Sadly Not A Multiple Choice Question.



Posted on Sep 16th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Video Game Depot, Alaska


Somehow they misspelled slackur as C-a-b-e-l-a.  Easy to do.

Summer has been quite the whirlwind for my family.  Two retro game conventions (one debuting a testing table), family vacations, and various projects kept us quite busy.  But the beginning of August held the best event we planned; an Alaska trip for my Beloved and I's 20th wedding anniversary!  What does that have to do with video games?  Surely the frozen north holds little for us gamers, right?



Continue reading When In Alaska...



Posted on Aug 13th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Test Station, CCAG


I promised an update about how the Cleveland Classic Console and Arcade Gaming Show (CCAG) inaugural Test Station went.



Continue reading The Test Was A Success



Posted on Jul 14th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Simulations, Aqua TV, Virtua Racing, Continental Circus, Galaxy Force, Space Gun, Tetris


From the beginning, the conceptual design behind many if not the majority of video games involves some form of simulation.  The original sports game of Tennis for Two and Pong led to our annual Madden and FIFA releases, each reflecting some abstract interpretation of an "IRL" game.  It is this facet of virtual gameplay that brought some critics to declare games like Battlezone and Death Race as kid-targeted military training and violent "murder simulators" long before yellow-pajama-wearing ninjas were permanently curing back pain exclusively on Sega consoles.


Continue reading Simulating Simulations



Posted on Jun 16th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under CORGS and E3 2019


The year is now past the 50% mark.  For our family, we have one annual retro game convention down (CORGS) and one to go (CCAG).  E3 is still fresh on the news, and prep-work is in full swing for the Autism and Gaming Convention.  Our South Korean foreign exchange student has gone from a non-gamer to finishing Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III (quite a few times) before returning home soon.  "Free" time has been spent battling both household illnesses and the massive pile of test systems, cords, and accessories for our CCAG table.  I think it's time to grab a breather and take stock of the situation.



Continue reading State of Play 2019 and a Half: Thoughts on CORGS, E3, and Beyond



Posted on Jun 14th 2019 at 01:16:56 AM by (slackur)
Posted under CORGS and E3 2019



The year is now past the 50% mark.  For our family, we have one annual retro game convention down (CORGS) and one to go (CCAG).  E3 is still fresh on the news, and prep-work is in full swing for the Autism and Gaming Convention.  Our South Korean foreign exchange student has gone from a non-gamer to finishing Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III (quite a few times) before returning home soon.  "Free" time has been spent battling both household illnesses and the massive pile of test systems, cords, and accessories for our CCAG table.  I think it's time to grab a breather and take stock of the situation.



Continue reading State of Play 2019 and a Half: Thoughts on CORGS and E3



Posted on May 14th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Autism and Gaming Convention, CCAG, CORGS


Pic from CCAG's official website, http://www.ccagshow.com/index.php

If you've never been to a video game convention, I can't recommend it enough.  My Beloved and I have been attending a few on an annual basis for about fifteen years, and every time has been exciting and fun.  It is more than coming across some great collection finds; over the years we have forged great friendships, shared fascinating stories, competed (poorly) in competitive tournaments, seen some great cosplay, realized we weren't alone in our passion for gaming, and overall had great experiences unique to every year.  Now, my family has finally decided to plunge into the other side and give back.


Continue reading Giving Back To The Community Via Conventions



Posted on Apr 14th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Labo, model kits, DIY, Nintendo, make sure to spend some time coloring BEFORE building


I've said before and still proclaim that Nintendo is, at heart, a toy company.  What makes Nintendo different, and I daresay special, is that they make their toys into video games.  Oh, there are a ton of physical toys made from Nintendo properties and characters. Yet Nintendo's specialty is making video games that are built first as toys, as devices made more for the sake of being playful, as a first priority over narrative, graphics, or complexity.  There are exceptions, but as a general principal Nintendo games are made first as a chase for that elusive 'fun for the sake of fun' ethos.  This best explains Nintendo's decisions that baffle others in the video game industry.


Continue reading Thoughts On Labo And The Nintendo Ethos



Posted on Mar 18th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under You Mad Bro, Fallout 76, Anthem, I remember gamer rage meant the NES was in I will only blink and hate you mode


Recently I got a call from a good friend asking me to write about how much anger and negativity pervades gaming in our modern era.  I reflected the challenge therein, as many of the factoring instigators of such are outside the purview of our humble and relatively focused collector/gaming site.  Also, I've spilled much digital ink in various articles over the years championing virtues against such negativity.  It is not that more can't or shouldn't be said about the topic, just that there are times and places better suited for conversations that dig deeper into the myriad of problems that are the origin of said negativity.

And yet there are lots of angles about modern gamer anger that can be more readily addressed, if not overcome, by way of analysis and discussion on neutral grounds such as ours.  In fact one angle of discussion in particular came to mind by way of my recent reflections playing Fallout 76 and Anthem.  These two titles, in their design philosophy, problematic constructions, and correlating critical and commercial reception, pretty much embody the various threads into a cohesive strand of something larger, a specific anger-inducing phenomena inherent to our current-gen gaming.


Continue reading Thoughts On Games As Service, Anger, And Modern Gaming



Posted on Feb 18th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Valentines Day



Despite the modern integration of gaming in our daily lives, two terms that still do not tend to share the same sentence are 'romantic' and 'video games.'  While movies, books, and music have genres and sub-genres focusing on amorous pursuits, successful attempts in gaming range from the very specific dating sim category and amateur-at-best forced narratives in action games to lengthy RPG character relationships.  Let's just set aside fan-service in the vein of Dead or Alive and Senran Kagura for the moment.


Continue reading Thoughts on Valentine Gaming



Posted on Jan 13th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Suprises, If I put the game titles here you may not bother scrolling down


Instead of a "best of 2018" list, I figured I'd toss together a much more accurate "games that pleasantly surprised me that I played within the last year" list, even for games that weren't released in 2018.

Before typing any further I will fully admit that my old, feeble memory banks whine like a first generation PS3 when thinking about yesterday, and go into full-out Dreamcast lumber-saw grinding if I even try thinking about last week, so recalling anything from a year ago isn't too likely.  Thus, please forgive me if most of the games on here that came out in 2018 are from the tail end of the year.  Anywho, onward!!


Continue reading Here Are A Few Of My 2018's Best Surprises


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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