zophar53's Blog

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/rfgene2/public_html/PHP/sources/searchnewsfunctions.php on line 254
    

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



Posted on Nov 8th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, Brainscan, movies, video game movies, discussion


As the first entry in the new RF Cinema video game movie discussion, Brainscan made for a great October watch and those who participated in the conversation really seemed to enjoy it. For those who missed it, join us as we recap the film itself and the comments it inspired, won't you?

And don't worry, I'll keep this article spoiler-free.



Continue reading RF Cinema: Brainscan



Posted on Oct 3rd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Extra Life for Kids, Extra Life, Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals, Rainbow Babies and Childrean, charity

Play games and help kids. What could be better?

So, I had a topic for this post planned out a long time ago. I took the pics and was typing it up, but then it hit me. It's that time of year again. No, not Retro World Expo (well, it's that time of year too, and I'm looking forward to experiencing that for the first time). I'm talking about the annual Extra Life for Kids charity event. It kind of snuck up on me this year.

I decided that since my next piece for the site wasn't going to be due until the day of the event, and since I would need to make that post the first entry in our new community movie discussion, this was the last chance I had to write about this wonderful event and why it's so important to me. I know there are some of us in the RFGen community who participate already, and I've participated myself three times now, but I feel that I'm in a unique position this year to make the most out of the event and help more than I've been able to in the past. And so, much to my editor's chagrin, I'm sure, I decided I'd be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to share my story.



Continue reading Why I Extra Life



Posted on Sep 29th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under RF Cinema, movies, video game movies, discussion


One of the first pieces I wrote for RFGen was a love letter of sorts to movies that have video games as a central theme. The article was pretty well received, so much so that a couple of you were in favor of expanding the idea into a full-fledged movie watching club. I liked the idea, but wanted to focus mainly on pure games writing at the time. Well, here we are a year later; I've established myself on the site and with this great community, and I'm ready to revisit the concept. So it's with no small amount of excitement that I'm announcing the debut of the RFGeneration community movie discussion group (RF Cinema for short).



Continue reading Introducing RF Cinema



Posted on Sep 5th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Review, books, Boss Fight Books, Final Fantasy V


There are few video game franchises more well-known or well-loved than Final Fantasy. There are also few franchises with a more interesting history. With numerous remakes, fan translations, and a once-bewildering numbering discrepancy, it's a dizzying series of games to keep track of for all but the most dedicated. The third and fifth entries, in particular, have always been the odd and underappreciated ducklings. However, for those who gave them a shot they've gotten high praise, and are some of the most intriguing in terms of their path to a Western release.

This makes it a perfect fit for the next entry in Boss Fight Books' series of video game reference tomes. As familiar as I am with FFV, I've never played through it myself, so I figured this was a good opportunity to learn a bit more about the game and what makes it so great, why it took Squaresoft seven years to bring it to American gamers, and the lengths to which its fans went through to make it playable here long before its official US release.



Continue reading Boss Fight Books: Final Fantasy V



Posted on Aug 4th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Review, Puppeteer, PS3


It recently dawned on me that I've been writing for RFGen for just over a year now and had yet to write an actual review for the site. I'm not sure why that is; I've written plenty of reviews in my day, and not just for games. So, it's with that in mind that I decided to promote one of my favorite PS3-exclusive games from 2013 that no one played.

Every once in awhile a game comes along that, while under the radar, is so creative, unique, well-crafted, and downright fun that you want to shout from the heavens to anyone who will listen that they should play it. Puppeteer is one such game. Released in the wake of Grand Theft Auto V and Saints Row IV, it's really no surprise it didn't get much attention. Looking back at SCE Japan Studio's history though, you'll find a slew of titles that could be considered quirky and underappreciated, but revered by those who gave them a shot. I'm talking games like Ape Escape, Work Time Fun, LocoRoco, Patapon, Echochrome, and Gravity Rush.



Continue reading Puppeteer



Posted on Jul 3rd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Collection, Missing games,


We've all had that moment. You're reviewing your collection, maybe cross-referencing your database with the games you just pulled from deep storage. Maybe you're taking inventory of games, you're packing up to store in the attic, or maybe you're looking for one game in particular you have an urge to play for the first time in years. All of a sudden, you discover that a game your collection list (and your own memory) says you own isn't where it's supposed to be. Perhaps it's the one you've been wanting to play, or maybe it's the one that should be sitting right next to the one you're looking for, but isn't. To any serious collector, this is a heart-stopping moment of confusion, panic, possibly even rage.



Continue reading Collector Shrink: A Tale of Love and Loss



Posted on Jun 3rd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Music, RF Jamz, Flower, Game music

From the thatgamecompany website

Thatgamecompany is responsible for some of the most beautiful and serene video games I've ever played. Starting with the simplistic, petri dish-esque flOw, and finishing with the desert exploration of Journey, their games have gotten a little more complex with each title, but still maintain a masterful balance of minimalistic controls, stunning visuals, and emotional impact that, in my humble opinion, has yet to be matched. However, while Journey may be the fan favorite, and is completely deserving of every accolade heaped upon it, for me personally, it's thatgamecompany's middle title, Flower, that stands above the others.

With large vistas of lush, green fields and what may be the best use of the PS3's ill-fated Sixxaxis motion controls ever, it remains my favorite game to play when I've had a stressful day and need to relax while letting all my cares melt away, even now, eight years after its initial release. A large part of this is due to its wonderful soundtrack, which I'd like to highlight in our second episode of RF Jamz.



Continue reading RF Jamz: A Look at Video Game Music Vol 2



Posted on May 4th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Books, game books, reading, World Book Day



Pic taken from Nowloading.co

If there's anything I enjoy as much as video games, it's reading. With parents that started reading to me from the day I was born, I took a love to books quite early, and have been an avid reader since before I can remember. Much like games, they can be a source of profound learning, provide a fun, pulpy break from reality, or tell fantastic stories of magical realms. I can think of few better ways to spend one's non-gaming time than curled up with a book in a nice, comfy chair.

Sunday, April 23rd was World Book Day. A celebration of books, book stores, authors, and all things literature, I thought it would be an appropriate time to promote a melding of my two favorite hobbies. So, much like I did with my summer movies post last year, I've compiled a list of interesting books about video games. The selections below are presented in no particular order, and run the gamut from informative non-fiction, to biographical, to riveting science fiction. I haven't read them all, but I've finished most of them, and you can bet the rest are on my seemingly-endless to-read list. I'm also always open to good book recommendations, so if anyone's read any they want to share, or has some thoughts on the titles below, leave a comment and let us know.


Continue reading Let's Celebrate Some Great Game Books



Posted on Apr 4th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Retro Games, Remakes, Adventure Games, Blaster Master Zero, Thimbleweed Park


As I prepare to dive down the Persona 5 rabbit hole for the next few weeks, I've been having a lot of fun dabbling in a couple of recent smaller games that are hitting my nostalgia nerves pretty hard. Specifically, I'm talking about Blaster Master Zero and Thimbleweed Park, for the Switch and PC, respectively.

Both of these titles are taking a similar approach in that they're plucking very specific references from gaming's past and doing new things with them. I'm a few hours into each at this point and am trying to decide how I feel about them. Maybe I can work through them a bit here and get some opinions from some of our dear readers.


Continue reading Two Retro Games For A New Era



Posted on Mar 3rd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Virginia, adventure games, walking simulator, narrative


While the post-holiday game release drought seems like it's getting shorter and shorter every year, I feel like it doesn't provide enough time to catch up on big name titles from the previous year as it used to. Thankfully, even in the midst of the fantastic games we've already seen in 2017, not to mention the fact that the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is happening this very morning, some of the games I wanted to squeeze in were smaller indie titles that I actually have been able to make time for.

One of these was a little gem by the name of Virginia. If you're not familiar with it, it's a narrative-focused, walking simulator-like game similar to something like Gone Home. Sporting a not-quite-cell-shaded visual style and a complete lack of dialogue, I was very interested in giving it a try and seeing how it compared not just to Gone Home, but also Firewatch, which regular readers of this site may remember as a game I had some pretty big issues with when I played it last June. I'm in the minority with my opinions on that game, but I appreciated what it was trying to achieve and was hoping for at least a similar experience from Virginia.


Continue reading Virginia, Where Less Is More



Posted on Jan 5th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Games, Top 10


Rabble rabble rabble, 2016 was a dumpster fire of a year and I'm glad that it's over.

Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I'd rather focus on the positive, because the fact of the matter is that on a personal level, 2016 was actually a pretty great year for me. Not perfect, of course, but one in which I did some travelling, including a nice long vacation to see some family in Phoenix I haven't seen in years, and some road trips for concerts and other things. I had an unexpected career change that has so far turned out to be a wise and vindicating move. I was able to find the time to read a lot more in 2016, which is definitely my other great love aside from games. And finally, I bought a nice, new gaming PC and have been loving falling victim to more Steam sales just to see what games I already own look like on a big, beautiful monitor. I didn't get nearly enough time in for gaming as I was hoping for this year (as I seem to say every January these days), but continuing the trend from 2015, there were a ton of fantastic games released in the last 12 months. As I look over the list of games I had the most fun with this year, there's plenty of older titles not listed here that I only just recently discovered for the first time, and even more that I hope to catch up with in the next few months.

The last thing I think is important to mention is that 2016 was, at least for me, the year VR finally sold me. The software is still trying to catch up a bit in terms of making fun, compelling, long-term experiences, and the high price point isn't quite enough to make me shell out for anything more than a Gear VR just yet. However, between my own limited experience and what I've heard and seen from people I've come to trust, the concept of VR in 2016 is finally coming together. It truly can be as immersive and believable as people say, all we need now is that killer piece of software and a tad more affordability to bring it all together, and I can't wait to see where things go from there. So without further ado, let's celebrate some great games!


Continue reading My Top 10 Games of 2016



Posted on Dec 4th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Holidays, holiday gaming

My friend's Nintendo Christmas tree. I'm more than a little jealous.

Like many of us, I've had a lot to think about in 2016 that hasn't been entirely pleasant. On top of any personal circumstances some may have had to deal with, there's been enough divisiveness and controversy on a macro level throughout the year, and particularly in the last month, to make anyone's head spin. I have no interest in bringing all that negativity to this community, but I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't at least acknowledge the fact that it's affected me deeply recently, to the point where I had a hard time getting into a proper head space to decide what I wanted to write about this month.

Fortunately, and what shouldn't have been surprising, I eventually realized that once I stopped looking back at what couldn't be changed and started looking forward to the weeks ahead, an appropriate topic was staring me right in the face. It's December now, and with that comes holiday sales, time with friends and family, and hopefully for most of us, some time off from work or school to spend gaming. Whether it's trying out a newly acquired gift we weren't expecting, or finally breaking into that special game we've been dying to try out (you know the one I mean; that gift from you, to you for being so good this year), this is a great time to purge the negativity from the rest of the year, recharge the ole mental batteries, and think back on some of the best holiday memories of year's past.


Continue reading Holiday Stories to Bring Us Together



Posted on Nov 4th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Halloween, RPGs, Candy, Trick or treating, Costumes

From the Double Fine website

I'm cheating a bit with this entry, both because Halloween is over, and because I've chosen to highlight a game that isn't a typical spooky game in the traditional sense. But I think I'm justified in doing so since before we know it, we'll be drowning in Christmas decorations and muzak carols. I'm not quite ready to let Halloween go just yet.

As we grow up, most of us either decide we don't like scary things and avoid them as much as possible, or can't get enough and watch all the horror movies we can get our hands on. That's all well and good; I love a well done horror flick or game as much as the next person. However, when I think of Halloween, some of my favorite memories of this fall holiday have come not in adulthood, but from my youth, when the most important things in my life were the costumes and candy.


Continue reading Spooky Plays: Costume Quest



Posted on Oct 3rd 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (zophar53)
Posted under Pinball, Arcade games, expos, events


There's just something about going to a live event that's special. Seeing so many people gather with friends and strangers alike to share their passions, and seeing those passions take shape in all sorts of fun, creative ways, is powerful. It's encouraging and uplifting to be able to step away from the all-too-common toxicity of the internet at large to see the best of what a fan base can be. This is even better when the event is local. I've traveled to shows and expos in the past, and while that's fun and carries with it an added layer of traveling adventure, it can also get expensive. A local event gets you all the excellence of a good con without the potentially prohibitive cost of a flight, gas, and/or hotel room.

So it's with this in mind that I'm going to break from the norm and hold off on writing an October/Halloween post for the time being. Instead, I wanted to share my experience at the 2nd annual Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show I attended a couple weeks ago. I went to the first CLEPIN as well, and I'm happy to say there were some fantastic tables on display this year, making for an even better show than in 2015.


Continue reading Keep the Pumpkin Spice, I'll Fill my Fall With Pinball


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
This is zophar53's Blog.
View Profile | RSS
Blog Navigation
Browse Bloggers | My Blog
Hot Entries
Hot Community Entries
Site content Copyright © rfgeneration.com unless otherwise noted. Oh, and keep it on channel three.