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

Posted on Oct 1st 2017 at 12:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Collecting Goals, NES, Turbografx, Dreamcast, Virtual Boy, SNES, Wii U, PS2, Full Set, Subsets


This could be me soon!


While I eagerly anticipate the arrival of October because of my trip down south to meet up with several rfgen members to once again attend the seminal Retro World Expo, I'm making sure I've got my wishlist in order and ready to rock. This trip gives me the opportunity to delve into the stock of dozens of stores and vendors that I'd normally never have access to while at home. My hope is to be able to find some of the more challenging games to obtain in different sets. Since completing my licensed NES and Turbografx 16 collections, I've been focusing on completing a few other full libraries. Some easier than others.....



Continue reading Travel Prepping for RWX



Posted on Sep 25th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Disposed Hero)
Posted under Review, RPG, Dragon Quest, Square Enix, PS2, 3DS


Despite being a huge fan of JRPGs for most of my life, I had never played a Dragon Quest game until earlier this year, with that game being Dragon Quest V on the DS.  While I did enjoy that game, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would based on all of the praise I had previously heard about it.  One thing that I can say about Dragon Quest V though, and I assume is true of every game in the series, is that it has a lot of charm, and that charm left me wanting to play more games in the series.  So with the recent release of an enhanced version of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for the Nintendo 3DS, the time seemed right to jump into my next game in the series.



Continue reading Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King



Posted on Sep 3rd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under PS2, Consoles,Hidden Gems


We've all been there. You find an untested system at Goodwill, flee market, or the local game store. You bring it home and power it on only to find out that the laser is dead and replacement parts are hard to come by. This is especially true of the PlayStation 2 fat systems whose lasers are difficult to replace. The good news is your PlayStation 2 can play games again with some help from Google, and a couple spare parts.


Continue reading Putting the Play Back in Your PlayStation 2 Fat



Posted on Jul 25th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under world building, analysis, playstation, rpg, konami, ps2


Since the beginning of role playing games, many details have been taken into account by everyone from the top tier game designers down to the dungeon or game master building their first campaign. However, few details are thought about as much as the design of the world the players inhabit. For most gamers, it is nothing more than passing scenery made to make you stop and enjoy the beauty before you move two steps forward and completely forget about it.

In modern video gaming, there are a few different kinds of world designs at play. Most Japanese developed RPGs, from the beginning to this day, are the world spanning epics. No stone is left unturned on these worlds as many are developed without the idea of direct sequels in mind. The juggernauts of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest almost always take place in a completely new world with linearity in mind. Dragon Quest I and II are notable exceptions to this, where the world of the first game is revealed to be just one small part of the full world that is revealed to the player in Dragon Quest II. This is the idea that Suikoden takes, as it will likely never will reveal the full world in one game.


Continue reading Summer of Suikoden: A Treatise on World Design



Posted on May 16th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collecting, Alan Wake, PS2, preservation, video games


Pic from Kotaku and about a million bookmarks

Approximately a million years ago in Internet time, I wrote an article intended as a sort of clarion call about losing our gaming history.  You can dust off the electrons and find it here.

This weekend, two events reminded me of that article.  The first was reading about how Alan Wake, the Remedy developed atmospheric action game, was about to be delisted from digital sale from Steam and Xbox Live storefront due to music licensing issues.  When smaller titles are released in only the digital format, they occasionally disappear and the lost content may be lamented on an equally small scale.  (Not to claim irrelevance, just the level of awareness.)  To have a decently successful IP such as Alan Wake become unavailable for purchase seven years after release may still seem pretty reasonable in our gaming economy.  Every game goes out of print eventually, right? 



Continue reading Saving Games...Continue?



Posted on Feb 4th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Disposed Hero)
Posted under Review, PC, PS2, Xbox, Lost Heaven, Open World, Shooter


I have never considered myself to be primarily a PC gamer, but there was a time back in the late '90s and early 2000s when I did a considerable amount of gaming on the PC.  During this time, I played such revered classics as Half-Life, Max Payne, and Deus Ex, all of which I would consider to be among my all-time favorites.  Many excellent games were being released exclusively on PC, and when these titles were later ported to consoles, the results were often lackluster. 

One such game from this era that I have always remembered fondly is Mafia.  Releasing less than a year after the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto III, it may be easy to dismiss Mafia as a cheap knockoff.  While Mafia may resemble the Grand Theft Auto series at first glance, I have always felt that it was the "anti-GTA" game.  Although both games share similarities with their open-world environments, crime-based stories, and emphasis on driving and shooting gameplay mechanics, Mafia's more serious and less satirical tone, focus on realism, and larger emphasis on narrative rather than free roaming sandbox gameplay sets it apart from Rockstar's juggernaut.


Continue reading Mafia



Posted on Dec 26th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under Dragon Warrior, super famicom, ps2, playstation 2, ds, square enix, enix


Dragon Quest V is one of the most important role playing games to ever be released. Despite this, it has been a near unknown outside of Japan. Enix struggled to establish any sort of long term foothold in the North American gaming market. They were a bit more successful in Europe, enough to keep the doors open through the mid-90s. Translating RPGs is a long, expensive process, and Dragon Quest was the company's flagship series. The first four games on NES were all localized and released, but the process likely started too late. Japan got to see the full, natural evolution of these early Famicom RPGs, while the Western games were jumbled. They released a few years after their initial release as well. Japan originally saw the first Final Fantasy releasing two short months before Dragon Quest III. In the timeline of Western releases, Final Fantasy actually beat Dragon Quest II to market. Being a full game behind made Enix's games look that much weaker once they released internationally.

A big promotion with Nintendo Power got a lot of copies of the first Dragon Quest game circulated in North America, but the sales of each subsequent game in the series just fell. The later games in the series were also hurt, since they were released after the Super Nintendo's release. The early games in the series were like building blocks, introducing more core mechanics with each subsequent game. By the time that Dragon Quest V was getting ready for release, all these pieces were in place, and the focus on telling the personal story of the heroes became even more prevalent.


Continue reading Dragon Quest V: The Lost Masterpiece



Posted on Nov 14th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (singlebanana)
Posted under Playcast, Shadow of Destiny, playthrough, October, 2016, PS2, PSP


Join RF Generation Playcast hosts, Rich (singlebanana), Shawn (GrayGhost81), Floyd (Fleach), and returning special guest Pam, as they discuss the October playthrough, Shadow of Destiny.  In this episode, we discuss some of our favorite Halloween memories, our thoughts on the Nintendo Switch, the new Godzilla flick, recent pickups, Kishi Bashi, and oh yeah.......our game of the month! We dig deep into Shadow of Destiny by discussing its intricate plot and game specific time travel mechanics.  What was our overall impression of this game, which some PS2 enthusiats dubbed a hidden gem?  You'll have to listen to this episode of the Playcast to find out! 

As always, we are happy to hear your thoughts on this games on our discussion page (linked below). We will respond to your comments and are always happy to discuss these games more. We hope you enjoy our show.  Please be sure to rate and write a review of the show on iTunes to help us increase our listenership. Thanks for the listen!

Episode 31 discussion thread: http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=17504.0

Get the show on Podbean:  http://rfgenplaycast.podbean.com/
On iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/...ion-playcast/id1038953364
On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/w...UyD-PNvg&feature=youtu.be
On Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/p...ation-playcast?refid=stpr
And follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rfgenplaythroughs
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/RFGPlayCast


Continue reading Episode 31 - RF Generation Playcast



Posted on Jun 21st 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under collecting, collecting, nes, snes, ps2


It's been quite a while since I gave any love to my actual collection, either in real life or on RF Generation. In fact, after recently moving my entire collection for the second time in just under a year, I noted it to be quite burdensome, and I found myself wondering: "Why?" However, in organizing, setting up, and alphabetizing everything after the move, I realized I truly still love the hobby. Holding items in my hands, which I forgot I even had, renewed the sense that I am in fact curating a library of games and items that reflects my personal tastes and curiosities. The room I'm using in our new place is actually smaller than any I've put my games in before, but I actually think this is the best iteration of my game room yet for exactly that reason. The cozy, intimate setting takes me back to huddling around a garbage-picked CRT dinosaur in my parents' basement playing Super Nintendo with my friends and siblings. Let's be honest, the reason we collect is largely to chase that feeling.

As much as we try to organize, there are always odds and ends that fail classification and confound even the most obsessive collectors. Sure enough, after the move I discovered and took a second look at some of the eccentricities in my game library. I imagine we all have odds and ends like this, and they should be celebrated. They make our collections unique. Here's what I have.   


Continue reading Collection Odds and Ends



Posted on Jun 9th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (singlebanana)
Posted under Playcast, playthrough, PS2, Bully, XBox, Scholarship Edition


Join RF Generation Playcast hosts, Rich (singlebanana), Shawn (GrayGhost81), and Steven (Disposed Hero), as we discuss our May playthrough of Bully, a Rockstar title original released on the PS2.  In this episode, we discuss some of our favorite features and mechanics in the game, differences we noted between the PS2 and 360 versions, the story, music, and give our takes on how this title compares to Rockstar's other releases. If you played Bully with us last month, or if you are interested in possibly adding this title to your collection, this podcast is a must listen. And who knows, if you happened to post on our discussion thread last month, it's possible that some of your thoughts on the game were mentioned!  As always, we are happy to hear any additional points of emphasis on this game, and any critiques on or accolades for the podcast on our discussion page (linked below).  We will respond to your comments and are always happy to discuss the game more.

We hope you enjoy our show.  Please be sure to rate and write a review of the show on iTunes to help us increase our listenership. Thanks for the listen!

Episode 26 discussion thread: http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=17001.0

Get the show on Podbean:  http://rfgenplaycast.podbean.com/
On iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/...ion-playcast/id1038953364
On YouTube: https://youtu.be/CCXyL2x04e4
On Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/p...ation-playcast?refid=stpr
And follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rfgenplaythroughs
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/RFGPlayCast


Continue reading Episode 26 - RF Generation Playcast



Posted on Apr 26th 2015 at 11:57:35 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under sandbox, irem, atlus, ps2, open world, rpg, action, customize


Steambot Chronicles, or Ponkotsu Roman Daikatsugeki: Bumpy Trot as it was originally named in Japan, is a Playstation 2 game developed and published by Irem in Japan, Atlus in North America, and 505 Gamestreet in a few countries in Europe. There is also a spin off on PSP named Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament, and an odd tie-in puzzle game on PS2 and PSP named Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship (one of only four games published by Majesco on the PSP in the USA).

A quick look at the back of the case of Steambot Chronicles shows the game being marketed as an open world RPG, and that is correct in a way. The game starts off as linear as any other RPG that's been made and then opens up. It's similar to the opening dungeon in Elder Scrolls, but drags on much longer. In this long opening sequence, you'll visit all three of the main towns, many of the back areas, and explore most of the world by the time it's completely opened up. Once an area is open, it may be visited at any time afterwards, and as a result, money can be hoarded this way.


Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Steambot Chronicles



Posted on Apr 25th 2011 at 01:32:11 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Game Boy Color, PS2, Movies



April's Together Retro game club pick at http://Racketboy.com was Deja Vu, a classic adventure game that goes back to the early Mac gaming days, and found a bit of a cult-following on the NES. It was later ported to the Game Boy Color, which is arguably the best version of the game out there. Not only are the graphics bright and the command interface refined, but the cartridge also features the lesser-known sequel as well.



As a fan of adventure games, I was really looking forward to playing my way through this one. The game borrows heavily from film noire, as you a hard boiled detective who wakes up in a bathroom stall with amnesia. And you don't know that you're a detective, but you feel like you've been drugged. It's up to you to piece this case together and figure out who you are. Sounds like fun, right? Well, not so much.

The problem is the utterly frustrating puzzle element of the game. Much of the puzzle solving in this game is completely infuriatingly unfair. So while the game isn't actually incredibly long, it can last much longer because you'll often need to start over due to some game-breaking situation. For instance in my first playthrough I was going from location to location via taxi cab. Each trip cost me 3 of my 20 coins. Eventually I got to a point where I was out of coins and couldn't leave the location I was at. I was stuck and irritated by the time a fellow forum member told me I could get more coins by gambing in the casino (back in the building I had started in). With this new knowledge I restarted my game. I went to the casino and gambled away all 20 of my coins in a slot machine. Turns out the slot machine on the left is a winner, but the one on the right is a loser. So I had to restart my game again.

So how much trial and error is too much? For me, Deja Vu was far too brutal. Too demanding. Too unfair. I think it's easy to write this off as a matter of "games were just harder back then," but I don't think that's the case. I tend to think that making the game so unfair was an attemt at making it last longer. I've played my way through some excellent adventure games like The Secret Of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, and although I may have found myself stumped at times, I never thought that the solution was completely arbitrary either.

But sadly I couldn't even finish Deja Vu, a relatively short game even when I used a FAQ. You see at the very end of the game you must ditch all of your incriminating evidence in a sewer before bringing your proof of innocense to the police department. But the computer wouldn't let me dispose of my gun. After days of trial and error and scouring the internet it came down to the fact that I had never shot open a certain cabinet. I had collected all of the proof I was supposed to, but I couldn't complete this game without shooting open a stupid cabinet. How exactly would anyone be expected to figure this out? Had they made it as far as I had, and seemed to have solved all of the amnesiac puzzles, how would they know they missed a cabinet that had to be shot open?

I was so disgusted that I just stopped playing. I didn't even care if I beat the game or not. And I was certainly not motivated to start up the second.






Posted on Apr 10th 2011 at 03:50:54 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Fighting, PS1, PS2, PSP




The picture above is my personal Darkstalkers collection. It's a series that I have in the past several months become completely addicted to. My first introduction to the world of Darkstalkers was through Capcom Vs. SNK 2 where I started using Morrigan and realized that her move-set was so intuitive to me that I was just as good with her (or better) than I was with Chun-Li, who had been my standard fighter since Street Fighter II was released all those many years ago. After doing a bit of research (namely on http://HardCoreGaming101.net) I learned that Darkstalkers was essentially the coolest thing ever:  a combination of Street Fighter style fighting and a horror movie theme. I was sold.

When I started collection PlayStation games again this year one of the first games I picked up was Darkstalkers 3 due to a deal I couldn't pass up. The game seemed totally brilliant to me. Using Morrigan, I zipped right through it -- continuing only once. I was now officially hooked. I picked up a copy of Darkstalkers Chronicles on PSP soon thereafter, and same thing. One sitting, one continue. Yes, this was definitely a series that I could connect to in a big way. I quickly started collecting all the releases for Sony consoles. As such, let's take a look at them all.






Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors was released for the original PlayStation pretty early in the console's lifetime. Note the longbox. Although there's some frustrating load times, the game is a pretty great arcade conversion. It looks fantastic with its huge 2D sprites, especially considering Sony's early plan to hype 3D as much as they could with their new system. Of note however is the insane difficulty of this one. The AI is incredibly brutal -- something that separates it from the other Darkstalkers releases. It's also worth noting that the Japanese version (titled Vampire) is worth considering as it features bonus music videos not present in the US release.




Sadly the second Darkstalkers game wasn't released on the PlayStation. Though in 2005 Japan received a PS2 collection of all five of the Darkstalkers arcade games. Unfortunately for we import collectors, this game has a strange glitch that causes it to freeze up whenever a game is selected at the title screen. So unless you've got a Japanese console, the disc is entirely unplayable via normal import-loading methods.






Darkstalkers 3 is pretty much the finest example of the Darkstalkers experience on a home console. Though loading times are present, they're not game-killing. The graphics are gorgeous. The controls are flawless. Since first playing this one, it has become one of my all time favorite 2D fighting games ever. So certainly I've got a level of bias. But considering the fact that it can be had at a reasonable price on the aftermarket (as opposed to even the inferior first game) there's no reason that fans of the genre should overlook this one.






Darkstalkers Chronicles: The Chaos Tower was actually a launch-title for the PSP. Odd considering the lack of mainstream popularity for the series. The game is basically a mega-mix of the first three games. It incorporates all of the characters, moves and styles of each game into one big collection. Though the PSP interface isn't exactly meant for fighting games, this is actually a pretty great release for fans of the series. It looks great, and is certainly playable. An online option would have been a welcome addition though, and sadly the game wasn't exactly a big seller so a PSP sequel is unlikely.




Capcom released two UMD Videos exclusively through GameStop known as Night Warriors Darkstalkers Alpha and Omega. These are actually collections of the anime series that had originally been released on VHS. They look great, and add a bit of background to the characters. And considering their exclusivity through GameStop, they are actually a bit tricky to find these days. Definitely a cool collectible.


Although the Darkstalkers series seems slightly forgotten these days, many of the characters live on in other Capcom fighting games. The Capcom Vs. series has featured many of them (and this blog may touch upon that in the nearish future as well). But Darkstalkers still maintains a cult audience as well. There's a bounty of comic books, cartoons, soundtracks and figurines out there for collectors to delve into. Further proof of what a unique series it really was.



Posted on Oct 17th 2010 at 12:57:36 PM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Castlevania Lament of Innocence, Unloved, PS2, Action, Halloween, Vampires, Platforming, Mystery Labs





Continue reading Unloved #19: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence



Posted on Oct 12th 2010 at 04:00:00 AM by (Ack)
Posted under Extermination, PS2, Sony, horror, Deep Space

Extermination



It's October again!  And that means horror gaming!  While noiseredux is really going above and beyond the call of duty with his excellent blog, with an ongoing featurette for this month covering the console and handheld world of horror, I figured I'd offer him some backup with another entry on that most terrifying of genres.

Extermination has the honor of being the first survival horror title released for Sony's PlayStation 2, beating out Silent Hill 2 by several months and Resident Evil: Code Veronica's PS2 port by just two weeks with its March 8, 2001, NTSC-J release date.  The title was published by Sony Computer Entertainment and created by a team of developers that included several creators of Resident Evil.  Reminiscent of the genre's flagship title and games like Carrier, the game has also drawn comparisons to the films The Thing and The Abyss.



The story revolves around Dennis Riley, a Sergeant in the USMC Special Forces Recon.  Riley is one of a team being sent to infiltrate Fort Stewart, a secret research base in the Antarctic which formerly housed some of the United States' nuclear stockpile.  With the end of the Cold War, the installation was converted into a research & development facility.  As Riley's team approaches Fort Stewart via airplane in an ice storm, they receive a distress call from the base requesting it be the target of an air strike.  But before they can respond, the plane malfunctions and crash lands, spreading the marines across the base.  Riley and his combat buddy Roger Grigman are then forced to sneak into the base and meet up with the team.

While the Marines in the game come off as ballsy bad asses, the dialogue ranges from decent to absolutely terrible, and the quality of voice acting fluctuates throughout.  Riley's voice is particularly bad, and at times he sounds like a whiny high school kid.  The subplot involving his dead friend Andrew and Andrew's girlfriend Cindy also feels tacked on and unnecessary.

Riley must navigate the facility, facing strange mutations and living water puddles with his modular SPR-4, or Special Purpose Rifle.  That weapon represents one of the most interesting elements of the entire game: instead of finding new guns to use, the player instead switches out attachments on the fly, so your weapon can always suit your situation if you have the parts.  And those parts range from a sniper scope to an underslung grenade launcher, a forward grip with flashlight, enemy detector, night vision scope, and much more.  The player can also switch between single round and 3-round-burst firing modes.

The ammunition system is also innovative: an infinite amount of ammo is found in dispensers through the facility, but only a limited amount can be carried, based on the number of magazines Riley happens to be carrying.  If you want more ammunition, find more magazines scattered throughout the base.  But the dispensers will not give ammunition for the variety of modular weapons to attach to the SPR-4, so once you're out of grenade rounds, shotgun shells, napalm juice, or whatever else you're using, you're out.



Adding to the action emphasis, the game features the use of a laser target, four years before Resident Evil 4 would implement its usage.  And while The Ring: Terror's Realm predates Extermination with its laser sight by slightly over six months, Extermination offers far better control.  Players can aim in third person perspective, moving the pointer around until it passes over a creature, generally auto-aiming at that target.  But those that want to go for more precise shots can also enter a first person perspective which doesn't feature auto-aim.  Unfortunately Riley can't move when his weapon is raised, and the sensitivity is too low to make it a truly effective tactic in close corners, but it's a great means for popping enemies from far off.  The game also features two knife buttons, resulting in a slash or a stab, which don't require the weapon to be raised.

While this sounds like a good design on paper, it does suffer from some serious flaws.  First, enemies are bullet sponges.  Though that's not so bad considering there's ultimately infinite ammunition, dispensers are few and far between.  To make up for this, enemies have glowing weak points that can be hit to drop them faster.  Unfortunately they were designed to be hard to hit, and the third-person auto-aim feature does not automatically target them, making it difficult to kill some of the tougher varieties of mutants at close range.  Aiming with the knife can also be difficult, so slashing minor enemies at one's heels can be a pain.

The camera also doesn't help as it can't be effectively manipulated, so the player can't swing it quickly to look around the corner or see an enemy right behind him.  Instead, the player must turn and then either raise their weapon or press a button to center the camera behind them, wasting precious time.



The game's health system is also interesting, though cumbersome.  The player has health, based on a 100-point numerical value, and an Infection rate.  Every time an enemy hits the player, their infection goes up while their health goes down.  And most healing items will not lower one's infection rate.  Instead, the player must use vaccines to bring down infection, and the field-use variety aren't very common.  If Riley's infection rate hits 100%, his max health decreases from 100 to 60, he takes damage over time, his character model changes, he starts taking damage from sources that previously didn't hurt him, and he can only be cured by using the MTS vaccine, which can only be administered at MTS beds...so if you wander too far from one and become infected, you won't make it back.

Extermination also features an unusual save system, revolving around battery power.  Forget the ink ribbons of yesteryear, save stations now require batteries, which can be recharged at special power stations similar to the ammunition dispenser.  And larger batteries will be found throughout the facility, so don't sweat saving.  It's also a good idea to save often, as the game doesn't allow continues.  Die, and you must reload.



Extermination is a decent game with some solid ideas that never really rises to greatness.  Horror fans who enjoy such titles as Resident Evil, Carrier, Dino Crisis, The Thing, or non-horror games like Syphon Filter and Metal Gear Solid will likely appreciate this game more than those looking for experiences similar to Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, or Haunting Ground.  It's something I would recommend to players who have experience with the genre's big names and are looking for something more obscure.  And while its ideas aren't always successful, they are interesting enough to warrant a look.  Another nice perk is the game's low price tag: not including shipping, it can be found on eBay for as little as $2.

For those interested, here's the introduction to the game:




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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