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

Posted on Oct 21st 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under books, sci fi

Books are like video games to me in that no matter how many I own, physically or digitally, I am always looking for more to add to my collections. In the past few months I've been on a sci-fi streak and have made an effort to try out some new authors rather than leaning on my more prolific favorites. This leads me to do internet searches of "sci fi hidden gems" and "underrated sci fi authors" and if I spent as much time reading books as I did hunting more down, I'd get a lot more reading done.

I can't remember exactly where I saw it, but as an animal lover, Greg Van Eekhout's 2018 children's novel Voyage of the Dogs caught my eye and was an almost instant purchase. VotD tells the story of Lopside and his compatriots who are dog astronauts known as Barkonauts. The Barkonauts are assigned to assist the human crew on a long term mission to set up habitat on a distant planet. Unfortunately, something went wrong during the hibernation phase of the voyage and the human crew have disappeared. Lopside and the Barkonauts must figure out what happened and survive long enough to get help.

Continue reading Voyage of the Dogs

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 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 Jun 1st 2010 at 12:25:20 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Game Boy Advance, Books

To celebrate the launch of the Game Boy Advance in 2001, Nintendo Power magazine decided to start a series of quarterly special editions known as Nintendo Power Advance. These quarterlies were significantly more expensive ($14.99) than the monthly magazine, and as you might have guessed -- focused solely on the Game Boy Advance. Sadly for we GBA enthusiasts only four volumes were ultimately released. And though certainly the reviews may have been a bit biased, each issue is actually a really awesome little time capsule of the year that was the GBA's first.

Generally speaking, each issue would feature in-depth walkthroughs and strategy guides for a handful of major releases. Then they would have a "buyer's guide" that would give half-page previews of upcoming titles. Sprinkled throughout would be various GBA-related news, advertisements, tricks & tips. So let us take a journey through the magazines' short lifespan.

Volume 1 (aka: the Premier Issue) (130 pages) was intended to announce the arrival of the Game Boy Advance system. Accordingly, the issue opens with an article entitled Introducing Game Boy Advance which offers an "actual size" picture of the new handheld, along with a breakdown of its specs, features and various accessories that were already available.

The featured games in this issue were:

Super Mario Advance
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Rayman Advance
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon

The Buyer's Guide features:

Earthworm Jim
Super Dodge Ball Advance
Pinobee: Wings Of Adventure
GT Advance Championship Racing
Bomberman Tournament
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
Tweety And The Magic Gems
Hot Potato!
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
Fire Pro Wrestling
Top Gear GT Championship
Army Men Advance
ChuChu Rocket
Konami Krazy Racers
Iridion 3D

Volume 2's (130 pages) cover featured Mario Kart: Super Circuit. It also came with a subscription card that offered "Your Choice Free!" of either a Mario Kart: Super Circuit T-shirt, a pair of Nintendo Power Advance headphones or a  Pokemon Crystal Version Player's Guide. (Note:  If anyone has those headphones, I'd like them for myself.) This issue is of particular interest to me due to the inclusion of a full moves list for the entire roster of Super Street Fighter II, which is easily one my all-time favorite GBA releases.

The games featured in this issue were:

Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Advance Wars
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival
Jurassic Park III: Park Builder
Lego Bionicle: Quest For The Toa

This volume also includes a section entitled Sports Arena which features:

ESPN Final Round Golf 2002
High Heat MLB 2002

The Buyer's Guide includes:

Mega Man Battle Network
Namco Museum
Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor
Final Fight One
Klonoa: Empire Of Dreams
Tang Tang
Lady Sia
Lego Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge
Pac-Man Collection
Back Track
F-14 Tomcat
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Volume 3's (138 pages) cover is dedicated to Golden Sun, Nintendo's very own 16-bit RPG retro throwback. And if that doesn't get your RPG mouth watering, the issue also features a section on the GBA re-release of the SNES cult-classic Breath Of Fire. The issue comes with that same subscription offer (still want those headphones).

The games highlighted in this volume were:

Golden Sun
Wario Land 4
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
Breath Of Fire

Though the issue contained less featured games upfront, it seems appropriate due to the vast coverage required of two RPG's. The issue also added considerably more bulk to the Buyer's Guide this time out which included:

Tekken Advance
Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits
Disney's Donald Duck Advance
Jackie Chan Adventures
Spyro: Season Of Ice
Columns Crown
Tom And Jerry: The Magic Ring
Road To Wrestlemania
Spongebob Squarepants: Supersponge
Rampage Puzzle Attack
Cruis'n Velocity
Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder
Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX
Madden NFL 2002
Monster Rancher Advance
Midnight Club Street Racing
Planet Of The Apes
Mech Platoon
Alienators: Evolution Continues
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster's Bad Dream
Super Bust-A-Move
Hot Wheels: Burnin' Rubber
ESPN Great Outdoor Games: Bass 2002
Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles

The fourth and final volume was unique in that it only featured one game. Volume 4 (130 pages) served as a complete strategy guide to Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2. In fact the first 100 pages of the issue were spent offering in-depth walkthroughs for each level and breaking down the enemies, power-ups and minutia of my personal favorite Mario Bros. sequel.

The final Buyer's Guide included:

Sonic Advance
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go
Razor Freestyle Scooter
E.T. The Extraterrestrial
Puyo Pop
Nancy Drew: Message In A Haunted Mansion
Moto GP
M&M's Blast
Batman Vengeance
The Flintstone's: Big Trouble In Bedrock
American Bass Challenge
An American Tail: Fievel's Gold Rush
Motocross Maniacs Advance
Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars
Salt Lake 2002
NBA Jam 2002
Inspector Gadget: Advance Mission
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Jonny Mosely Mad Trix
Disney's Peter Pan: Return To Never Land
Ecks Vs. Sever
Bomberman Max 2: Red Advance and Blue Advance
Mike Tyson's Boxing
Monsters, Inc.
Planet Monsters
Zone Of The Enders: The Fist Of Mars
Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition
High Heat Baseball 2003
Breath Of Fire II

Sadly there was no Volume 5. Looking back it's unclear why. Perhaps it was the elevated price tag, considering that the same games were probably at least somewhat featured in the far cheaper monthly Nintendo Power magazine? Perhaps there weren't enough people like me who were interested in free Game Boy Advance headphones? Whatever it was, it wasn't a waning interest in the GBA system, as an overload of games would be released for the handheld over the following six years. And these four brief volumes of Nintendo Power Advance serve as a great overview of a year when one of the absolute greatest handhelds of all time was still in its infancy.

Posted on Jan 4th 2000 at 08:00:00 AM by (singlebanana)
Posted under Review, Books, Game Art, Arcade Games, Typography

I thought about doing a top 10 list this year, as I always try to do, but I'm just the latest in a seemingly endless string of writers saying 2020 was unlike any year I've seen in my lifetime. I feel like I have an excuse every year for why I didn't play as many games as I would have liked, but frankly, I feel less apologetic about it this time.

On the bright side, this was a great time to dip into the warm, fuzzy, comfort food of pixel art. I recently came across the book Arcade Game Typography: The Art of Pixel Type and hadn't seen anything like it before. As the name suggests, it highlights early gaming fonts and details the differences from the perspective of someone who is a trained typeface designer. Paging through it was just the kind of happy place I've been going to a lot this year, and I have a feeling it'll spark some interest with this group as well.

Continue reading Arcade Game Typography

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