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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
Ethereal Being 1

1961 Posts

"Stardew Valley Collector's Edition is coming to retail stores nationwide on April 11, 2017 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One! In addition to the full game, the Collector's Edition includes a Pelican Town Map, Mini-Guidebook by Kari Fry, and a code to download the Stardew Valley Soundtrack!"

Stardew Valley was a game we've all been following on Cheerful Ghost since I first heard about it February in 2013 and has since launched to crazy popular acclaim in the PC world. I love that it's getting a retail collectors edition, what I don't love is that it's only going to come out on PS4 and XBone. I know everyone already picked it up on PC, but I'd totally buy this if it came out on PC for the pack-ins and extra key.

I'm interested if people with modern consoles will be picking this up? Seems like a good way to get it if you haven't already and Stardew Valley Collectors Edition comes out April 11th only on PS4 and XBox One for $29.99.

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The NES Classic launched to such a crazy high amount of demand that it's still hard to get. Nintendo has recently said that it's continuing to build units but there are some parts it's having a hard time getting so it might take a bit longer until we are all able to get one. I've also seen some new hacks making it pretty easy to load fan created ROMS on to the system making it much more extensible than we originally thought. That said, we still have to wait and if I had to guess when I'll finally get one it would be this summer. If you are waiting and want to occupy your time, and bookshelf with something fantastic you should look into the book "Playing with Power: Nintendo NES Classics." It's an homage to the 90's era of Nintendo magazines and provides pretty extensive walkthroughs of 17 games like Ice Climber, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and Mario 3.

It's A Secret To Everybody

I have the cheaper paperback edition I got at Target. When I bought the book I didn't know there were two versions and if I had it to do over again I'd get the hardcover edition. Both versions have distinct cover art and I don't prefer the hardcover editions cover, I just didn't know i'd read the book as much as I did. See, back in the day, I wore down my Nintendo Power issues to the spine. I have a Mario 3 guide that I read so much I had to rebind the spine with packing tape. I still own the book and it's still looking as haggard as ever. So I was really happy to learn that Playing With Power sourced nearly all of it's Mario 3 content directly from the ol' Super Mario Brothers 3 Nintendo Power Guide. It's nice to see them reprinted here and lots of the book contains art and articles from old Nintendo Power guides and articles and the original game manuals.

Playing with Power also contains some really fun technical articles about how the original Nintendo worked and it goes into pretty large detail about it in such a way that I learned quite a bit about the NES and it's game carts. For instance, did you know that to get the upgraded effects of Mario 3 they employed MMC3 to get the stationary menu and smooth dual background scrolling effects? Apparently Nintendo kept upgrading the MMC chips all the way through NES production to keep pushing games further to finally end up at the MMC5 which could address a whopping 8 megs of memory!

Master Using This And You Can Have It

Look, we all have access to the Internet and looking up what to do in The Adventure of Link isn't hard. But, as a collector and someone that enjoys having fun stuff I can say there is something special about reading through a Nintendo guide about awesome games in 2017. If you got an NES Classic and need some help on some of Nintendo titles included with the NES Classic, Playing With Power is something you should look into.

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Recently I went to the Portland Retro Games Expo & Northwest Classic Games Enthusiasts Retro Game Swap Meet. It was a pretty special time as this was the first full fledged video game event I took my son Finley to. He's seven months old and I had him attached to me in a baby carrier the whole time, but i'd like to think he was impressed with all the old retro games and systems. The swap meet was fun and I didn't have as much time as I wanted to due to heading in a bit late because earlier we were at the Portland Women's March. That said, I arrived in the events final hour which was enough time to check out each table and pickup a few games that i've wanted for some time.

I picked up NBA Jam on Sega, Super Mario Land on Gameboy and a box for New Super Mario Land DS to put my game pak inside so I can set it next to the other DS games I own.

Super Mario Land Is a Strange Mario Game

Super Mario Land was one of the launch titles when the Gameboy hit the market in 1989. I remember it fondly because my brother bought a Gameboy and Super Mario Land was one of the first games he had. If you are familiar with Mario games, Super Mario Land is very similar but contains some strange elements that haven't been repeated in modern Mario games. First off the traditional fire Mario super ability is replaced with a super ball variant. Mario shoots the superball and if it doesn't hit an enemy it bounces off walls until it hits an enemy or gives out. This allows you to collect coins in hard to reach areas and occasionally you can bounce a shot to hit a bad guy but most of the time it's just weird. I like that they tried something different and it's possible the super ball power was easier to program back then but I prefer the traditional fire flower power as it's easier to rely on and time the shots of.

Super Mario Land contains the same tight platforming of nearly any Mario game except, at times, I missed certain jumps by falling through a platform. It's rare but since i've never seen it in a Mario game, when I happened I was surprised. Again, I imagine this is due to the early nature of this Gameboy title and it's lack of horsepower even compared to the NES but it's something I noticed.

Super Mario Land keeps up the strangeness in that it also contains auto scrolling levels. You can control Mario in a Submarine and Airplane and beyond the levels being a bit easy they are also pretty fun. Auto-scrollers aren't something you see in a Mario game and having them here is so odd it feels like some kind of extra bonus game.

Even though Super Mario Land contains some gameplay elements not seen in any other Mario game the strangest part of all is the story written in the game manual.

"Once upon a time, there was a peaceful world called Sarasaland. In this world there were 4 kingdoms named Birabuto, Muda, Easton and Chai. One day, the skies of Sarasaland were suddenly covered by a huge black cloud. From a crack in this cloud, the unknown space monster Tatanga emerged to try to conquer Sarasaland. Tatanga hypnotized the people of all the kingdoms so that he could control them in any way he liked. In this way he took over Sarasaland. Now, he wants to marry Princess Daisy of Sarasaland and make her his queen. Mario came to know of these events, and he has started on a journey to the Chai Kingdom where Princess Daisy is held captive, in order to restore peace to Sarasaland. Can Mario defeat Tatanga, release people from his interstellar hypnosis, and rescue Princess Daisy? It's all up to you and Mario's skill. Go for it Mario!"

I picked up the Super Mario Land game manual at this years Portland Retro Game Expo and laughed as I read the games backstory. At the time I did wonder why Bowser and Princess Peach weren't in the game but I figured Mario went on other adventures and maybe this happened while Mario was on vacation? The story seems so arbitrary and whipped up it borders on parody but as someone that loves campy stuff, I also love it.

Super Mario Land is a really unique entry in the Mario-verse and one I don't mind coming back to. I think my most beloved Mario games are some of the strangest and i'd put Super Mario Land up there with Mario 2 as some of the ones I enjoy coming back to reliving over again.

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Bethesda is shipping a couple updates to Fallout 4 next week. PC users are getting a 58 gig download option in the form of a HD high resolution texture pack. If this is anything like the Skyrim update, this should offer up an incredible visual upgrade to Fallout 4! Bethesda has released the recommended specs on the HD pack and i'm not sure I know someone that meets the minimum spec GPU wise.


  • Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Intel Core i7-5820K or better

  • GTX 1080 8GB

  • 8GB+ Ram


Love to hear how well this texture pack works for you on your current rig so make sure to come back and let us know your specs and how it runs. Bethesda is also dropping an update to Fallout 4 on the PS4 Pro with native 1440p resolution, enhanced draw distance for trees, grass, objects and NPCs and enhanced Godray effects. This is a nice bonus PS4 Pro users might enjoy but I wonder how well this sits for people with the normal ol PS4? I wonder how PC-like consoles will get before the next generation or will we simply just make incremental upgrades to this current generation? As seen with Nintendos handhelds it's not a bad strategy and might turn out well for Sony and Microsoft.

https://bethesda.net/en/article/52I2HyPCAowWG2ye8MKGU2/fallout-4-free-updates-high-resolution-texture-pack-and-ps4-pro-support

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As the wait for the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix continues(i've heard rumors of a March release) I am continuing my journey of watching each original episode in order. I just finished season 6, which to date is my least favorite season. All that said it does contains some great episodes like Code Name: Diamond Head, Kitten with a Whip and High School Big Shot. The season 6 finale is Samson VS The Vampire Women and is the last episode to feature Dr Forresters assistant TV's Frank. Samson VS The Vampire Women is a crazy movie and Frank leaving the show adds a more somber tone to the episode. In the MST3K timeline MST3K The Movie came after season 6 which makes sense considering TV's Frank isn't featured in it(always wondered why it was just Dr. Forrester as the single Mad). I just started season 7 which features Dr. Forresters Mom Pearl who later takes over sole Mad duties after Trace Beaulieu(the actor that plays Dr. Forrester) leaves at the end of Season 7.

I doubt i'll finish watching all 10 seasons of MST3K before season 11 drops but I still want to have finished all the seasons this year, which is a quite a feat considering each episode is an hour and a half long.

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The Prey reboot has received a new trailer that showcases a bit of the story as well as the new release date. Apparently you are in a science space station where they are experimenting on aliens and are also a testing subject/scientist. The tone of the game seems very Bioshock, Portal and Alien-esque with a very clean and polished look that is fairly impressive. I'm intrigued by this game but am still not certain i'll be picking this up at launch. To help entice people to pre-order Arkane Studios is offering special DLC bonuses and if you like cosmetic shotguns(oh my!) then you're going to be very happy. I mean, unless you don't like that sort of thing, then it's not a big deal.

But the new Prey might be and if you're going to get this at launch let me know in the comments. Prey comes to PS4, XBone and PC on May 5th.

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As I continue watching the many speedruns from Awesome Games Done Quick I have a couple I wanted to share y'all could watch. The first one above is the Fallout New Vegas run by progamingwithed that took 24 minutes! It uses a strat I haven't seen before in that you can exploit a reload animation to travel very fast and jump incredibly high. If you like pacifist runs this is very close to that as progamingwithed needs to only kill a couple people making this one of the most peaceful Fallout runs i've even seen.

Contra Race

This years AGDQ featured a lot of great races and this one is a must watch. Themexicanrunner and toad22484 complete Contra in 10:40 and I don't want to spoil things with whom won but needless to say, it was a very close race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9WsLufaigE

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It's now 2017 and the Cheerful Ghost Roundtable is here to ring in the new year! We always start things off talking about what we're playing which is a fun mash of the new Nintendo Classic, Ocarina of Time 3D & Let it Die. Moving quickly into the fresh news of the day being the reveal of the full title of "Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi." What does this new title mean, why is the title red and will Jar-Jar be finally revealed as a Sith? Finally we end things off with our discussion of the Nintendo Switch dropping our thoughts on the new system and if we will be picking it up.

This is a special episode in that Scrypt and I stayed on longer at the end to have a bonus discussion about a 2016 sc-fi film Arrival. This episode went way long because of that and I encourage you to watch Arrival before you listen to our discussion of it because it contains spoilers from the top of beginning.

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When Ocarina of Time came out in 1998 it was one of the biggest game worlds i'd ever experienced. As games like Fallout and Skyrim came out Ocarina now seems quaint but Nintendo seems ready to take on the the challenge of building a much larger Zelda game this time around. As you can see in the image above, Breath of the Wild dwarfs previous Zelda games as well as Skyrim. I'm not sure creating a larger game world makes a game better on it's own but having more space to play in will make the game much more immersive.

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One cool thing about owning a Steam Controller is the ability to customize it for each game in your Steam library. Say you don't like the standard controller mapping for Terraria? You can change them it your liking or use a popular community control scheme to suit your needs. The native Steam Controller configurator has been a really cool part of Steam and in a recent Steam update Valve finally opened it up to other controllers.

"Added XBox 360, Xbox One, and Generic X-Input controller configurator support. This allows all recognized controller types to use the advanced mapping features of the Steam Controller Configurator. Note that because X-Input currently lacks per-controller means of unique identification, all controllers of that type will share personalization and configuration settings. As they share the same inputs, Xbox 360/One/Generic controllers will all see each-others configurations when browsing. Automatic conversion will be attempted when loading configurations from other controller types."

Besides a ton of Steam Controller updates the Linux client recently got some love making a few really nice enhancements to systems using Open Source graphics drivers.

"Improved interactions between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries, which should let Steam work out of the box with open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions. If using an older distribution or running into problems, use STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 to revert to previous behavior."

It's nice Valve added this as sometimes the ability to add a proprietary graphics driver isn't obvious to users or not possible using older hardware. This might also be important if Valve is working with partners bringing embedded Steam OS to devices like Televisions or the like where the only available 3D drivers are using an open driver(entirely speculative but a possibility).

http://store.steampowered.com/news/26953/

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Punch Club dropped on 3DS recently and publisher Tiny Build was nice enough to gift me a copy so I could try it out. If you haven't played Punch Club or are unfamiliar with the game it's a fighting tycoon game where you train your character and manage his stats such that you improve over time to rise in the ranks of the local boxing and underground fighting scene. Like all tycoon games that focus on core stats you have to science the right numbers to progress through the ranks to level up your abilities to fight increasingly tougher and tougher foes. The story included in the game wraps the whole game up well and gives you a nice incentive to progress. Ultimately if you like tycoon games focusing on a difficult grind and are a big fan of the Fight Club or Rocky films, Punch Club is something you need to look into.

I've played Punch Club on Steam and now 3DS and the game shines on both platforms. Punch Club is very comfortable on PC with mouse controls and has been adapted to near perfection on the 3DS. Instead of click to move your character you can use the analog stick to control his movements and also where to focus attention. Since the in game fighting, working your job for in game money and training are all passive the 3DS works well there too. I found that you need to use the 3DS stylus to select things on the touch screen as tap to touch doesn't work as well as other games like Ocarina of Time 3D. Using the stylus might be a requirement for optimal control but having the it around never felt awkward to me. Bottom line, Punch Club translates incredibly well to the 3DS and if you are looking for a richer PC game experience on your handheld you should should check it out.

Punch Club is out now on 3DS, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.

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If you are waiting for Super Mario Run to drop on Android soon you might be a bit disappointed to hear it's coming in March. You can pre-register for it on the Google Play store now to get notified when the game finally ships if you are eager to be notified the moment it is available. The Android launch is somewhat odd timing as March is also the month the Switch launches. I'm curious if Nintendo's mobile apps will come to Switch at some point like Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run and Miitomo? Since the Switch has a touch screen it seem technically possible so it's just a matter of porting.

https://twitter.com/Nintendo/status/821859181435027461

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Charity Speedrunning tournament Awesome Games Done quick finally wrapped raising an incredible $2,213,397 for the Prevent Cancer Foundtation. As usual, the streams were great and I am going to focus on some of the best.

Link to the Past Race Featured above this race is one of the best of this year because not only was it of quite possibly the best game of all time, it's really fun to watch. It's really unfortunate how a few frame mistake and put someone so far behind the pack and this run highlights that.

Super Metroid One of the final speedruns is always Super Metroid which is a big part of Games Done Quick. Every year during the week people can donate to save or kill the animals in Super Metroid and this year people voted to save them. It adds a few seconds to the Speedrun but it's a nice thing people can donate extra to that really make the whole event more fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEBbCQ0D1cA

Wind Waker HD Clocking it at 3:49 you should buckle up for a long ride through this cell shaded Zelda paradise. I don't think i've seen the HD version ran before and I really enjoyed it while learning the differences between the original Gamecube title and the Wii U HD version. Wind Waker is a Zelda game I picked up used on Gamecube and haven't played much of but looks great whenever I watch someone play it.

https://youtu.be/dT-0Va0lWqE?t=16m40s

Dark Souls III Bubblesdelfuego is a legendary runner and this Dark Souls III run is superb. Until the game crashes and he has to restart it as a completely different save. Seriously game bugs are the worst but ... he was clipped way out of bounds and I bet that wasn't run through a ton of gameplay testing. Still having the game crash in a run does happen from time to time and bubbles does recover to finish out a pretty incredible run.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ07UO0dubg

Super Mario 3D Land After getting a 3DS this year I spent a bit more time trying to watch streams of actual 3DS games and Super Mario 3D Land was one of them. Has Nintendo honestly ever made a bad Mario game? Even the Mario Teaches Typing had some fun moments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj0pL91H1bI

Castlevania Now that the NES Classic is bringing some older games back into the hands of players watching runs of games like Castlevania game me some ideas on how to play the game better. This race is fun to watch and most of the tricks they pull off to get through the game faster look like something you could do with practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir8oorMJt1E

Batman Forever Batman Forever isn't a good game but that doesn't mean this isn't an entertaining run. I didn't know that Batman Forever was made with the Mortal Kombat engine but after you learn that the gameplay makes way more sense. Again, this isn't a very good game but it's an interesting one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJDMRdy56ek

The Lost Levels I had The Lost Levels on Super Mario All Stars and never played it because the difficulty is brutal. I mean, it's a difficult game unless you are these runners and then it looks incredibly easy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOunTCq1sVY

Battle Clash I enjoyed the ol' Super Nintendo Super Scope 6 and thought Battle Clash was a really great game. Or at least my young mind thought so and after watching this run the game still looks great. This run is pretty memorable because runner scxcr plays the game backward while looking through a mirror to aim. An impressive run at 13.58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM_kixNMooc

Mario Paint Mario Paint included a fairly obscure game called Gnat Attack that until last week I had no idea was something people ran. My Grandmother had Mario Paint at her place and every time I visited her I always played Gnat Attack WAY too much. The runners said the original plastic mousepad that came with the game was terrible and maybe it was but to my child mind it was perfect. If only I knew to replace the pad I might have done better because I always felt Gnat Attack was a really hard game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnXDPHAfeCM

There are a lot of runs I didn't get to watch live that i've queued up in YouTube. If any of those stand out to me i'll post individually about the run or in a follow up post later. If you watched any runs from this year what stood out to you?

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If you love spaceship simulation roguelikes then you’ve played FTL and a big part of what that makes that game amazing is it’s fantastic score by Indie game composer extraordinaire Ben Prunty. Ben has written many other great albums and if you haven’t heard them yet you’re in luck because you can enter Giveaways for 5 of his latest albums: Deep Space Deluxe, Fragments, StarCrawlers, Dead Secret and Cipher! Ben was nice enough to gift us 3 keys for each album so make sure to send him some love on Twitter and check out his Twitch channel where every Saturday at 2pm PST/10pm UTC he makes electronic music live and answers your questions!

https://twitter.com/benprunty/
https://www.twitch.tv/benprunty

You can enter each album giveaway by hitting the link below.

http://cheerfulghost.com/giveaways

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The Nintendo Switch launch presentation just ended and they dropped some pretty important news about the new console. Namely that it will launch March 3rd side by side with Zelda Breath of the Wild. The base system with a Joy-con, docking station, HDMI & included charging cable (yay) will retail in the US for $300 and you will be able to buy it will grey joy-con or blue and red joy-con controllers. The Switch will also launch with region free games, which is pretty unique for Nintendo systems up to this point. They mentioned that online functionality would be free until the fall and then become some kind of paid service afterward. It's not entirely clear what the online service will be yet but hopefully that monthly and yearly fee will go to make it something special.

Nintendo switch will also require a bit of charging as with certain games the battery will last 2 1/2 to 6 hours. That's not too bad I suppose but I imagine Breath of the Wild might run at the 2 1/2 hour battery end. Nintendo mentioned the system can play and charge at the same time so if you are on a flight with a socket, you should be fine.

I'm pretty excited they mentioned that local multiplayer would support up to 8 systems connected together. I bet that would create for an interesting Mario Kart party with people bringing in multiple Switch systems. Something I didn't expect to hear was that the Joy-con also acts as a sort of Wii-mote. This looks to bring the Wii functionality forward to the Switch which looks to create some interesting game experiences. Not sure i'd play many of them all told, but something could come of it that I might enjoy.

Some of the games demo'd were:

Mario Odyssey which looks like an open world Mario game featuring many different planet like areas. Mario’s hat is a character that has some role in the game that seems to interacts with the Switch controller. Mario Odyssey looks like it will come out in the holiday season of 2017. A couple other titles they demoed were Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Dragon Quest 10, 11 (in Japan), Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2, Project Octopath traveler, Skyrim and Splatoon 2.

The presentation wasn't quite what I expected and I wanted more technical details of the system but from what they did show the Switch looks pretty cool and I bet it will sell out come March 3rd. What did you think of the presentation? Are you going to pick up the system or are you scratching your head a bit with the new direction Nintendo is headed?

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