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

Posted on Oct 7th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Review, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Solar Striker, shmup


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
I love classic video game box art like this. It symbolizes
the imagination many artists put into the artwork. Imagination
that unfortunately, rarely ever captured the true look and
feel of the game. Still, it gave us hope of the contents within.

One of the video game genres that I've been a big fan of over the last 20 years or so is shoot-em-ups.  No, I'm not talking about "shooters", those fast-paced, first-person games where you brandish a firearm of some sort and snipe guys at 300 feet, reveling in every headshot.  I'm talking about the scrolling shooter, one of the staples of what we now know as classic, or "retro" gaming.  You see, from the early-mid 1980's, until around the mid-late 1990's, the scrolling shooter genre evolved tremendously, from humble beginnings like 1942, Vulgus, Star Force, and the like, to highly sophisticated games with deep, complex scoring systems like Battle Garegga, Dodonpachi, Radiant Silvergun, and many more.  While I appreciate the complexity and replayability of games like that, give me a simple "shmup" (a term, coined by Zzap!64 Magazine) with twitchy game play, a simple control scheme, and solid action any day.  While there's room in my heart for "danmaku" games (aka bullet curtain, or "bullet hell" shooters), I generally prefer classic shoot-em-ups to their more grown-up descendants.


Continue reading Solar Striker, 1990



Posted on Aug 29th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy, Review, Data East, Nail n Scale, Game Boy Guru, Platformer, Puzzle


Image shamelessly linked from Game FAQs.
Flying lizards, giant bugs, robots, and dragons as
enemies? Count me in! Wait, what's with the nails?

The mid-late 1980's, and early 1990's were a magical time.  Forget Iran-Contra, forget Black Friday, forget the rampant materialism of the Baby Boomer generation, forget "yuppies", and forget the Gulf War.  During that period of time, we had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Karate Kid, G.I. Joe and Transformers, Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!, and so much more.  And we had video games.  If you're reading this, you're likely either from my generation, and have fond memories of the 80's and early 90's, or you're experiencing them for the first time, something I often wish I could do, as I approach 40 years of age.  For those in the latter camp, I envy you.


Continue reading Nail 'n Scale, 1992



Posted on Aug 8th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy, Game Boy Guru

I am a bit of a dichotomy, as a gamer.  I consider myself to be reasonably knowledgeable with regards to video games, gaming history, and in general, gaming culture.  I will fully admit that I'm not up on the latest thing in today's gaming scene, but from the standpoint of "retro" games, I have a pretty broad base of information.  That said, I know that I don't know everything, and there are definitely some gaps in my knowledge.  There are consoles I've never seen or played, games I've not heard of, and experiences I lack as a whole, that prevent me from being the "be all, end all" of video game know-how.  I'm a student of life, like anyone else, and I'm always learning.

Bearing that in mind, why would anyone who admittedly doesn't know everything call themselves a "guru?"  Why would I want to subject myself to the level of scrutiny that comes from identifying oneself as a "guru?"  What is my motive for elevating myself so much, other than to draw attention to myself?  Am I crazy enough to think that I know enough to even refer to myself with such distinction?  Do I deserve to even be calling myself by such a title?


Continue reading The Guru Inside: A Clarification on the Use of the Term



Posted on Jul 20th 2015 at 09:16:44 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Baseball, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Review


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
"Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd..."

I'm not a sports guy.  Truth be told, I never really have been, though I did have some relative interest in sports as a kid.  I was sort of into football, I was sort of into basketball, and I had a passing interest in a couple other sports.  The sport I was most interested in, like many other red-blooded American youth, was Baseball.  Yes, America's pastime was my preferred sport, in part because of the strategy, and in part because that's what my dad was into.  My team was the Kansas City Royals, in part because of their proximity to where we lived, and my favorite player was the pine tar king himself, George Brett.  Needless to say, as a chubby nerd of a kid, I played exactly one summer of little league and played poorly enough that I didn't feel like playing a 2nd year.  Once the player strike happened, I quit collecting baseball cards and pretty much lost all interest in the sport.  I guess I had no sympathy for guys who made more money in a month than my dad made all year, and them whining about not getting paid enough.


Continue reading Baseball, 1989



Posted on Jun 6th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Super Mario Land, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Review

Before you begin to dig into another fine GameBoy article by MetalFRO, I would like to take a moment to congratulate this author on his acceptance of a staff writing position. We've been happy to promote some well-written articles from his personal blog and we are looking forward to many more great articles on our front page!


Image shamelessly linked from Museum Of Play.
Just look at all the cool stuff on the front cover - Mario is
obviously in for a big adventure this time around!

It's quite timely that the 2015 edition of Review a Great Game Day is happening as I begin to cover the Game Boy library, especially since I'm trying to get the 5 North American launch titles out of the way in relatively short order.  Not that there's anything inherently wrong with them; far from it.  In general, the launch library was a demonstration of the baseline for what the Game Boy hardware could do.  Ultimately, many subsequent games released for the Game Boy would far and away eclipse the launch titles in terms of scope, size, graphics, sound and gameplay, as we'll discover together through this journey.  As most gamers know by now, however, the technical wizardry is only window dressing.  If the game isn't fun, it doesn't matter how pretty it looks or sounds.  Super Mario Land is a complete package - it looks good for its time, sounds good, and is loads of fun.


Continue reading Super Mario Land, 1989



Posted on May 17th 2015 at 10:46:12 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Tetris, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Review


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
This was a game even your grandmother could love.

Every video game console has at least one game that defines it.  One title that, above any other, people associate with it.  For modern consoles, it's often a launch title that soars above the rest in quality, or a later game that is exclusive to that system.  Usually, it's a great game that is universally hailed as something special.  For early consoles, that game often happened to be the pack-in title, i.e. the game that came with the system when you bought it.  In the case of the Game Boy, that game was Tetris.


Continue reading Tetris, 1989


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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