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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
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1914 Posts

Retro-bit is brining a brand new retro system to market that plays original Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance games. It has a backlit screen and includes a built-in rechargeable battery for convenience. I like the clean design being an homage to the original Gameboy and it also looks like it feels pretty good in the hand too. That said, I don't love that the L and R bumper buttons for the Gameboy Advance are above the A and B buttons. This might make some Gameboy Advance games really hard to play and I think a better design would have been to the put the buttons on the side of the system or on the back.

If you are looking for a fresh new way to play your Gameboy games the Super Retro Boy will drop in August for $79.99.

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I got a new 3DS this year from Sandy Claws and one of the first games I picked up was Ocarina of Time 3D. Ocarina is one of the few Nintendo 64 games I played a lot of when it came out back in 1998 and spent many a late nights up in my room trying to save Hyrule. Ocarina of Time is a game I come back to every couple years and have really enjoyed each play through but have noticed a few parts of the game that don't hold up as well. Because of the horsepower of the Nintendo 64 Ocarina of Time is capped to 20 frames per second which is a couple frames shy of what we're used to seeing in film. Once your immersed in the game it's not a big deal but it's noticeable when you pair it with modern games that can hit 60 FPS or higher. My other slight grumble, grumble is that the original controls are a bit odd on the Nintendo 64 controller, something I was never a huge fan of. All that said, Ocarina of Time is rightfully considered one of the best games of all time and Nintendo tossing in for a remake was a great idea.

For the Ocarina of Time 3D remastering Nintendo worked with Grezzo a Japanese game developer founded by one of the original developers on Secret of Mana. Grezzo has had a hand in a ton of Zelda games such as Majoras Mask 3D, Four Swords Anniversary Edition and Legend of Zelda Triforce Heroes. All that said the partnership with Grezzo and Nintendo was well suited because the port is top notch and fixes every problem I mentioned above and even goes beyond that. I'm including a link to The Legend of Zelda Wiki that outlines all the differences below but a couple standouts are the enhanced graphics, revamped item system and inclusion of the Master Quest after you complete the base game.

Recently I just made it to the Temple of Time and got the Hookshot from the race with Dempe. Personally I think the first part of the game up to the Temple of Time is the best paced story, gameplay and dungeon parts but if you like more complicated dungeons everything after the Forest Temple is for you. There are a few times in the game where what the game wants you to go next isn't obvious and Google can help a suffering memory when you are absolutely lost on what to do.

One thing that's nice about these remakes is that Nintendo can keep porting them forward on newer systems so if you missed Ocarina originally you might have a chance to play it on the Switch. I hope Nintendo keeps these old games fresh on newer systems and these kinds of remasters make them even more relevant to modern audiences. That said, if you absolutely need to play Ocarina of time in it's original 20 FPS glory getting out your old Nintendo 64 will always be an option.

I've included a speedrun of Ocarina of Time 3D from a couple days ago run at the Awesome Games Done Quick game charity stream so if you are looking to understand more how the remake looks I recommend you press play as the speedrunner Benstephens56 doesn't disappoint!

https://zeldawiki.org/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Ocarina_of_Time_3D

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Wick, the developer of Starship Rubicon which was published by Cheerful Ghost(yep, that's us) has dropped the first trailer to his upcoming game Crescent Loom and it looks great. Wick and I went to Steam Developer Days this year and it was fun talking to him about his ideas for the game and see how great the game is turning out.

"Crescent Loom is Kerbal Space Program crossed with the cell stage of Spore; you wire up neurons into circuits to control your little wriggling beastie and explore an alien world.

There’s so much that goes on beneath our awareness. My heart beats a steady rhythm, pumping blood through my billowing lungs down to my legs as I absentmindedly walk through the forest. I stop to admire a dragonfly glide past, wings working in perfect coordination to dart through a cloud of gnats. The croak of a frog cracks through the air in an atonal melody.

The secret to these rhythms of motion are special circuits of brain cells called central pattern generators. I have this dream of making a game that lets you — in a hands-on way — discover and get an intuitive sense for how this basic piece of our existence works. Crescent Loom is that game.
"

As a big fan of Wicks stuff i'll be covering this game all the way up to the Kickstarter and eventual launch. Curious what you think of that game so feel free to drop your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

http://wick.works/crescentloom/

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The Games Done Quick Speedrunning charity is a week long livestream dedicated to raising money for charities and this year it's The Prevent Cancer Foundation. The start of the livestream was pretty unique as they started things off with a speedrun of Ocarina of Time 3D that was complete a couple minutes under two hours. Usually Ocarina of Time is a huge draw but this is the first year they've run the 3DS version, which coincidentally i'm playing right now(expect a partial review soon).

"The Prevent Cancer Foundation is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy across the country."

You y can watch the stream and donate on the AGDQ site below:

https://gamesdonequick.com/

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"An ancient evil stirs in the ruins of Old Tristram, and a mysterious portal has appeared that leads to the halls of an all-too familiar cathedral. Deep beneath the catacombs, the Dark Lord awaits any intrepid adventurer who dares to challenge him.

For the month of January, experience an homage to the original events of Diablo, brought to you in glorious RetroVision™ and filled to the brim with nostalgia-inducing features. An evocative audiovisual extravaganza awaits you, as everything from familiar enemies to iconic items have been brought to life in the Diablo III engine. Transmogrification rewards, achievements, and a handful of extra surprises lurk in the depths of this perilous, pixelated dungeon.
"

The Darkening of Tristram event has been available for testing on the public test realms since Blizzcon but is finally coming to Diablo III in an upcoming patch for the entire month of January. It looks like a fun way to experience the original Diablo if you are a game veteran or new player. That's not the only thing coming in the latest Diablo III update but it's the most iconic and something I am interested in trying.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/20407579

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This year Valve released an official list of the top 100 best selling games on Steam. I've seen some people chide this list as No Man's Sky is one of the top Platinum sellers and many think that if you consider the returns, No Man's Sky shouldn't be a Platinum Seller. Well, that would be the case if gross revenue didn't automatically adjust for returns, which it does. So... yeah, the list is accurate and I really found it fascinating to read through.

The top Platinum sellers of 2016 weren't to surprising in Fallout 4, CS: GO, Total War Warhammer, Dark Souls 3, DoTA 2, Civilization VI, No Man's Sky, Grand Theft Auto 5, XCom 2, Tom Clancy's Division, Rocket League and The Witcher 3.

Stardew Valley and Doom rounded out the Gold top sellers and the ever continued greats such as Terraria and Age of Empires II HD charted on the bronze list.

http://store.steampowered.com/sale/2016_top_sellers/

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I was really happy to open up the New Nintendo 3DS for Christmas this year as it's nice to own a newish Nintendo handheld. Setting up the new system from boot to accessing the 3DS Nintendo online store wasn't too bad considering I've heard Nintendo's online offerings are pretty abysmal. I wasn't expecting anything fantastic with the online experience but I have been really surprised with how seamless the whole eShop system has been. In fact the whole online connected experience on the 3DS has more than met my expectations. Surprisingly enough the 3DS has the ability to watch YouTube and Netflix even though YouTube is a less than stellar experience. I'm also not sure why you'd watch a Netflix video on it either but it's here and it works well if you need to use it for that in a pinch. The web browser is pretty terrible but i'd sort of blame the lacking horsepower of the 3DS as the reason why these apps suffer compared to the smartphone in your pocket. Speaking of horsepower the 3DS sports 256 megs of RAM an 804 MHZ quad core CPU and a 4G micro SD flash card for storage. Immediately I got a 32G micro SD card for cheap because I planned on downloading a ton of 3DS demos.

The biggest draw to owning a new 3DS is playing Nintendo games and so far I've been very impressed with what I've played. The battery life seems more than adequate to my play style and the controller grip, buttons and action are superb. Makes sense that Nintendo shines here as they've been making handheld systems for years and it shows. I've heard earlier models had issues but I haven't seen any of that in what I have here.

Beyond the mountain of 3DS demos awaiting me I've picked up New Super Mario Bros DS, Legend of Starfy DS, Ocarina of Time 3D, Link Between Worlds and New Yoshi's Island. I've heard great things about the Bravely Default series and am waiting to try my hand at the demos before I decide to pick it up or not. I've also never played a proper modern Pokemon game either so, again, i'll try out the demo before I pick it up. Which, you know, is honestly pretty refreshing to have a demo of a game coming from the PC world. Demos are very rare and if they exist are capped to a very short experience on PC. On the 3DS they are gated to 30 plays which seems like a really unique way to do it. Even with the high accessibility of the eShop my preference is to own the physical game cart of a game I want to play which so far hasn't been a huge problem even though some 3DS games are no longer "in print" from Nintendo such as Link Between Worlds.

New Super Mario Bros on DS is a great game to start with as it is a pretty average difficulty Mario game and hasn't seemed overstuffed with level filler. So far I've spent about 5 hours on the game and just opened up World 6 and the final stage World 8 is up after I complete World 6 so I don't think i'm too far from the end. I've nearly abandoned Super Mario Run in favor of New Super Mario Bros as New Super Mario Bros is essentially the same game but it was cheaper ($8 used at Goodwill) and frankly, is a better game. Like Super Mario Run you can collect three big coins in a stage and go back to replay each level to collect them all. Collecting more big coins allows you to unlock special Toad Houses and shortcuts through worlds. New Super Mario Bros also comes with a Mario battle arena you can use to challenge a friend as well as a myriad of mini games I have yet to try. Since New Super Mario Bros was made for the original DS the graphics aren't as good as Super Mario Run but honestly it doesn't matter much as the base platforming is top notch. I'm not slamming Super Mario Run as they are really different games but if I had a choice between Super Mario Run and New Super Mario Bros i'd personally pick the latter one.

So far I've been really surprised with how great the new 3DS is such that I've begun to think if Nintendo can make the new Nintendo Switch as good or better then Switch will be absolutely incredible. Hopefully the Nintendo Switch will get all the great things from the 3DS and fix many of the limitations inherent with it such and underpowered system and a better online experience. It seems a lot of third party developers are jumping on the new Nintendo Switch hype train so it will be good to see what games end up chugging into the station on launch day. Nintendo will have an upcoming livestream showing off more details about the Switch and you can join the Cheerful Ghost event below if you are interested in talking more about it below.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/events/135/nintendo-switch-live-stream

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I want to thank everyone that voted in this years 2016 Cheerful Ghost Game of the Year Awards. This year Scrypt made us a cool "I Voted" image linked above that you should checkout, print out and stick on your wall if you voted.

This years winners are a very unique mix I am really happy with. I am not sure most sites would have made the choices we all did which is one of the reasons why I think our awards are different.

Triple A Game of the Year: Doom

Runner Up: Overwatch

Indie Game of the Year: No Man's Sky

Runner Up: Stardew Valley

DLC/Update of the Year: No Man's Sky Foundation Update

Runner Up: Hearthstone Whispers of the Old Gods

Mobile Game of the Year: Pokemon Go

Runner up: Super Mario Run

If you want to look into what games took the awards for the last couple years, check out the links below. I am really happy with the games that won in years past as many of them I still play to this day.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/2753/cheerful-ghost-2015-game-of-the-year-awards
http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/2351/the-winners-of-the-cheerful-ghost-2014-goty-awards
http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/868/2012-cheerful-ghost-community-goty-awards

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I hope everyone has a great New Year in 2017! 2016 was rough for many and my sincere hope is 2017 is much better.

As people are waking up from their celebration festivities what are you all doing? Traditionally I have friends over on New Years and we hang out and watch films and this time we'll be watching the Star Wars cartoon The Great Heep and then Star Wars Rogue 2 to see how well it pairs to the recent Rogue One movie.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Heep

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Hey everyone. After collecting all the entries for this years Game of the Year, I have them now in poll form for you to vote on. Thanks to everyone that added games to the list.

Triple A Game of the Year:

http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=58674561e4b0b90e31f33e87

Indie Game of the Year:

http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=58674645e4b0b90e31f33e8a

Update/DLC Of the Year:

http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=586746b6e4b0b90e31f33e8d

Mobile Game of the Year:

http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=58674706e4b0b90e31f33e8e

Please select your top games and the winner will be the highest voted game. I will also list out the others so we all know how it turned out.

Voting will be open today until January 1st so feel free to share this out with your friends!

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It's time for the 2016 Cheerful Ghost Game of the Year Awards Nomination thread. Please drop your nominations for the following categories below:

Triple A Game of the Year

Indie Game of the Year

Update of the Year

Mobile Game of the Year

I'll close nominations on the 30th so get your suggestions in now! If by some happenstance we get no nominations or two or less for one category we will drop it for the year. If you are curious what last years winners were, you can check that out below (spoiler alert Fallout 4 and Rocket League won)

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/2753/cheerful-ghost-2015-game-of-the-year-awards

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"The NES Classic is the hot ticket item of the holiday season and it's currently sold out across the country due to the high demand. Nintendo is working on supplying retail stores with the mini NES, but a full restock isn't expected to take place until after Christmas. Fortunately, there's an alternative for retro gamers seeking an HD 8-bit experience that's more authentic than the popular Nintendo plug & play console. In this Cygnus Destroyer special, we take a look at the RetroUSB AVS."

The Retro USB AVS was all over the Portland Retro Game Expo this year and looks to be one of the best ways to play your NES games on your HD TV. It sports a premium price but ships with a few cool features like built in Game Genie support, online North America Scoreboard, 4 NES gamepads and NES and famicom support.

http://www.retrousb.com/product_info.php?products_id=78

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Recently I was gifted a NEW 3DS for the holidays and with many people that are new to the system I'm not sure what I should get for it. One of my favorite YouTubers Metal Jesus has a great 3DS buying guide that covers all the systems and some of the games you might be interested in.

One of the reasons I wanted a new 3DS is that it plays the newer 3DS and older DS games. I really think one area Nintendo shines is mobile games and being able to start collecting and playing DS games is something i've been wanting to do after the Gameboy and Advance. As we are approaching the upcoming era of the Switch it's a good time to pickup older DS games cheap while there is a fairly high supply and low demand so if you're interested, check it out.

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I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holdays and I hope you spend it with amazing people. Some of us will be opening some presents from Santa so if you get anything particularly noteworthy feel free to share it in the comments.

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A few days ago I posted about a Kickstarter project to make a handheld system that can play retro games built on the Raspberry Pi. If you are interested in building the ultimate retro emulator to hook up to your TV pparently building a Raspberry Pi console isn't too hard and Gizmodo made an awesome video about it. You can even buy a kit that includes all the parts you need right now on Amazon for $70 while we are all waiting for that NES Classic to be back in stock. I don't recommend you pirate all these games but if you want a one stop shop to play all the games you do own, this is a great option.

https://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-COMPLETE-Starter-Black-16GB/dp/B01EKBJ1I6/

Lifehacker also has a pretty good guide below if you need a step by step in text to read.

http://lifehacker.com/the-advanced-guide-to-setting-up-a-diy-game-console-wit-1790381861

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