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
Video game collectors, as a kind of purist rule, don't like emulators...that is unless Nintendo wants to sell us one, then we're cool with it. The recently announced NES Classic Edition will be here before you know it and I suspect that most Nintendo fans out there will do their best to pick one up. Let's take a look at some of the details.
Continue reading NES Classic Edition: The Nintemulator
RetroWorld Expo returns for a second year with a 2 day event. RWX is a celebration of classic and retro video gaming that also embraces tabletop gaming, modern video gaming, homebrew gaming, anime, action figures, comic books, cosplay, arcade machines, and much more.
Continue reading RetroWorld Expo 2016 October 15th-16th Wallingford, CT
Many modern, first person adventure games are labelled as "walking simulators," particularly the ones with a narrative focus. This term refers to a game in which players walk throughout the in-game environment without doing much else like engaging in combat or finding collectibles. It's a label that, while superficially accurate, is often applied to a game because players can't decipher much more beyond the surface characters or stories. However, more often than not that couldn't be further from the truth of what these games offer. Take, for example, Dear Esther; it features the final fleeting thoughts of its narrator as his life fades away. It's true that the gameplay only involves walking from one set piece to the next, but what makes the game substantial is the emotions and memories the narrator presents. The walking simulator is the most effective at allowing players to really get into the head of a game's character.
Firewatch, the first game from Campo Santo, is the latest inclusion in the walking simulator category. The fact is that this game offers much depth of character, narrative interactivity, and even some role-playing which can only be achieved by utilizing this unconventional and divisive genre.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR FIREWATCH CONTINUE
READING AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
Continue reading Firewatch: Not Just a Walking Simulator
Broken Age is a beautiful game. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a piece of art. I'm not going to open up the "Are Games Art?" can of worms argument, but I can say without a doubt that THIS GAME is a brilliant work of art.
Everyone knows the story of this game, but here's a quick recap if you aren't a part of "everyone": Tim Schafer and Doublefine started a Kickstarter asking for $300,000 to make an adventure game. The project exploded and they received over $3.3 Million. The game took a lot longer to make than anticipated, partially because they decided to make a much bigger game than they had originally planned now that they had way more funds than they thought they would. Instead of a delivery date of October 2012, the first half of Broken Age was available for backers to play in January of 2014, with the second half arriving in April of the same year. Along with the game, backers were given access to an episodic documentary of the making of the project. Now that that's all out of the way, let's talk about the game.
Continue reading Broken Age is a Beautiful Game
PC gamers and console gamers have always been at odds, to put it nicely. Could the Steam Link help with the unification of these two long feuding groups?
Continue reading Could the Steam Link be the Missing Link?
As a father of two boys under 2 years old, it isn't always easy to find time for gaming but I have played some great games this year.
I apologize for the quality of the pics, I took them off screen and they didn't all come out as nice as they look on my TV
Continue reading Best Games of 2015 Wildbil52 Edition
As the time counter in my Fallout 4 game crosses from 23 hours 59 minutes to 1 day, I'm examining why huge games like this one might scare people off and what we can do in order to play them.
Continue reading The Case for Huge Games
It has been a long and interesting process. I learned a lot and I am very happy with the final product. Let me show you how I put all of the pieces together
Continue reading Arcade Control Panel Design Part IV: The Final Countdown
What October would be complete without horror themed playthroughs on the retro and modern side? Over the years, we've played some fun and exciting titles including Alan Wake and Fragile Dreams on the modern side and two installments of the Castlevania series on the retro side, Simon's Quest and Symphony of the Night. Next month on the modern playthrough, we delve into another popular franchise with Resident Evil, which for content purposes, the GC/Wii versions will be played by the hosts. Those wishing to play the original on the PSX are still encouraged to play along, but please note that you may miss out on parts of the discussion and may not be able to abide by the same checkpoints. On the retro side, we return to the Castlevania series once again with our playthrough of Castlvania: Bloodlines. This game is an oddity in that it was the only Castlevania game produced solely for a Sega console. Does it hold up to the rest of the series? Let's find out together!
Continue reading Community Playthrough Announcement: October 2015
We have talked about some of the things you should do when you first pick up a cabinet and we have talked a little bit about monitors and working on them. Now we are going to talk about the control panel ("CP"). There are lots of important decisions that go into designing them and if you are only going to have one or 2 machines, you had better make the CP count.
Continue reading Arcade Control Panel Design Part I
If you thought July was action-packed, wait until you see what we have in store for you in August. Get ready for another great month of community adventure as the RF Generation Playthrough Group takes you to Slumberland and Dubai, two once peaceful areas that are now stricken with unrest. Join us as Fleach moves over to the retro side and hosts a very unique, action-platformer on the NES, Little Nemo: The Dream Master. This title was voted on by the community and we hope that you will join us in playing this classic. Disposed Hero hops over to the modern side this upcoming month to host Spec Ops: The Line, a 3rd person shooter with an emphasis on squad tactics and cover. While the game is little talked about, it has an extremely compelling story and won several industry awards, including Best Narrative at Machinima's Inside Gaming Awards.
Continue reading Community Playthrough Announcement: August 2015
This July, join the RF Generation Playthrough Group for some high octane action titles. On retro side, Fokakis79 hosts......hey, wait a minute.....what the??? Yes, some of you may recall that one of the prizes from the December 2014 Donation Drive included choosing and hosting a segment of our playthrough for a month. Fokakis79 has waited patiently for his turn at hosting, and he has chosen the classic Sega beat 'em ups, Golden Axe and Golden Axe II (available on the Genesis, and multiple Genesis collections on various consoles). This series will be co-hosted by singlebanana. On the modern side, join host GrayGhost81 as he takes on an alien onslaught of Orks and the Forces of Chaos in the wildly epic, 3rd person shooter, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine available on the 360, PS3, Steam, and PC.
Continue reading Community Playthrough Announcement: July 2015
Video games are expensive products to make. The multi-million dollar project is not uncommon in the modern game development industry, in fact it's become the standard. It's like proclaiming the cost of production is some kind of bragging right owed to the developer. But now it's become popular to discuss how minuscule a game's team was or how it was made of a six figure budget.
Continue reading Indie is Indie
RFGeneration has long been a place where both retro and nowtro video game players and collectors can come together and share their love of the games. However, there has always been a little bit of overlap into action figures, toys, comics, beer (I'm lookin at you nupoile), and Table Top games. I thought it would be fun to talk about one of my favorites that I am always trying to get people to play with me.
Continue reading Please Play Arkham Horror With Me