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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

2022 Posts

As part of the upcoming StarCraft remastered release Blizzard dropped an updated version of Classic StarCraft with revamped Battle.net classic support, LAN play and a modern build that works on newer systems. Recently I downloaded StarCraft on my PC and Mac and tried it out and put simply, Blizzard did an amazing job porting this classic game to modern systems.

If you are looking for a version of StarCraft with updated visuals you might want to wait for StarCraft Remastered that is coming this summer. If you are looking for a modern build of the classic game with a streamlined interface that works incredibly well on modern systems for free you should check this out. Many of the old problems with classic StarCraft have been fixed, like needing to tunnel ports to enable classic Battle.net play and Blizzard also removed some strange networking options for multiplayer no one uses (like serial connections). The game is presented in 4x3 and the games original low res art(by modern standards) is kept but doesn't seem to mess up your desktop by putting your computer in 640x480 resolution. It's a nice touch and makes the whole new game build experience really solid and fresh. Blizzard also wrapped the whole new StarCraft install process in a fancy new theme that looks a lot like their modern Battle.net client. It's sad that StarCraft doesn't show up in the modern Battle.net client but one reason why this might not happen is that classic Battle.net games aren't compatible with newer Battle.net and don't have features like cross game chat and the like. That or Blizzard is saving a spot in the new Battle.net client for StarCraft remastered. Not sure which but at some point it might be nice to get all classic Blizzard games in the modern client.

The classic StarCraft game we all love is present and both StarCraft and Brood War campaigns are there for you to play... for free. I really like that Blizzard is giving out the original StarCraft for free and if you want the updated Remastered edition you can get that and both versions will be compatible with each other in terms of multiplayer. I appreciate companies giving these classic games a fresh coat of paint and when they release them for free it's like an early Christmas present.

You can download StarCraft on Windows using the link below:

https://www.battle.net/download/getInstallerForGame?os=win&locale=enUS&version=LIVE&gameProgram=STARCRAFT&id=27575673.1487036775

You can download StarCraft for Mac using the link below:

https://www.battle.net/download/getInstallerForGame?os=mac&locale=enUS&version=LIVE&gameProgram=STARCRAFT&id=27575673.1487036775

If you want to delve a bit deeper into the history of StarCraft development, Blizzard has a very interesting retrospective article you can read below.

https://starcraft.com/en-us/articles/20719767

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Metal Jesus has a new video out about games that made him rage quit. A couple games they mention are Trigger Happy Havoc, Destroy All Humans, Grand Theft Auto Flying Levels & Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival. As I was watching the video one game came to mind for me which is the original Binding of Issac. When I saw the game I thought it was just a really unique retelling of Zelda but when I played it was one of the first rogue-likes I played and as such was very hard and unforgiving. I wasn't sure why you couldn't save your progress and that when you died everything you collected went away. Later on I realized that rogue-likes do that and have come to since really enjoy the game and the genre. Another game recently that made me quit with anger recently was Starbound. I've talked about my disappointment with that games rollout and when it hit 1.0 I decided to give it fresh start. I don't think enough time had passed for me to come at it with fresh eyes because when I saw how many crafting tables I had to create to create basic items I just stopped right there.

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Gwent is one of the latest digital card games by CD Project Red the creators of the Witcher series and GOG.com. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is pulled straight from The Witcher III and is now a stand alone free to play card game available on GOG Galaxy. Recently I got to try Gwent and it's a really interesting take on the digital card game genre. At a high level you need to beat three rounds against your opponent by having more attack power on the board. You can do this in many ways and some rounds you might want to push on so you can win in the later ones making it a very strategic and interesting game.

If you want to try out the Gwent beta hit me up in the comments and i'll hand out beta keys to the first 3 people that want one!

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Rumors are circulating today about Nintendo launching a SNES Classic this Christmas in the same spirit as the NES Classic reboot that was so popular it was later cancelled before I could buy one. It's a great idea and something Nintendo should do but... you know... if we can get one. Hopefully Nintendo will be able to meet demand but if they don't and I don't really hold out hope for that, it should be another strange disappointment ride with a very abrupt end.

Because you know, that's how Nintendo rolls sometimes. The SNES Classic is rumored to launch sometime around Christmas and I am interested in hearing what you think about the prospect?

http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/19/15354680/nintendo-mini-snes-launch-christmas

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If you're a fan of Star Wars you've seen Rogue One and if you still buy films you might be interested in picking it up. Recently I bought up the special 5 disc Collectors Edition at Target and if you are looking for a nice collectors item with some extra special features, it is something you should look into. Disney has worked with a few retailers to bring out a few unique versions of Rogue One and I chose the Target Collectors Edition because it's the only one that came with two extra behind the scenes extras. Personally I love watching behind the scenes special features and generally pick whichever copy has them. When Disney released The Force Awakens last year Target also got the extra behind the scenes version YET the packaging was inferior/not great and the extra special scenes were online only. That caused more than a couple fans to complain as those features were not advertised as digital only so for Rogue One's release this year Target and Disney upgraded the packaging as well as included a bonus DVD disc with the extra features.

The two extra behind the scenes features are "Digital Storytelling" and "Inside the Creature Shop" which give a better look at how the movie was made but I don't feel they are must watch unless you need to watch every bit of behind the scenes footage. The standout part of the Target Collectors Edition is the absolutely incredible packaging that will look amazing on your shelf if you are into that sort of thing. If you watch your movies digitally Rogue One also comes with a digital code to redeem your movie with Disney and push it to nearly any movie store you can think of.

If you're a Star Wars fan and love to collect these films this is something you need to look into ... at least until Disney releases another edition with the conspicuously missing directors commentary, deleted scenes and other behind the scenes features that somehow didn't come out with the first release.

http://www.starwars.com/news/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-arrives-soon-digital-hd-blu-ray

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If you read Cheerful Ghost regularly then you know of our love for FTL and one big part of what makes that game so special is the music by Ben Prunty. Ben just recently released a new collection of music he wrote as part of his live music production Twitch stream called "Music Workbench" on Bandcamp.

"During Music Workbench, I make music live on twitch, talk about my creative and technical processes, and answer questions from viewers. The purpose of the show is to help demystify the music production process, which too often is seen as pure wizardry.

Music Workbench happens every Saturday at 2pm Pacific Time at twitch.tv/benprunty
"

The album is a perfect chill album for working or kicking around the house and starts off with "Retro Punch" a smooth downtempo electronic track that layers on more interesting stuff until it's final ending notes. The next track Colored Lines might well have been an outake on the FTL score and was a fun addition to the album.

You can listen to all of Music Workbench on Bandcamp right now by hitting the link below.

https://benprunty.bandcamp.com/album/music-workbench

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Season 11 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has dropped on Netflix and all 14 episodes are ready to watch for your riffing pleasure. The first episode of season 11 riffs on the 1961 Danish monster movie Reptilicus and it's a great first start to the season! Reptilicus is a perfect "good bad" movie that is interesting enough but bad enough to feel just right for MST3K.

While I can't comment yet on watching the rest of the season I can say that the first episode is a great start that seems to carry on the legacy of the show into a new era. One huge upgrade for the new season of MST3K is that it is now shot in 16x9 aspect ratio. With the original 90's show it was filmed in the 4x3 TV aspect ratio which cut off the sides of the films. The aspect ratio coupled with the low res quality of the original TV shows was always part of the charm of the original show and I wondered if the switch to HD would detract from the campy flavor of MST3K? Watching the the first episode of the show in crisp HD was better than I thought and the hand crafted feel of the sets, puppets and ships really works.

Jonah, Hampton, Barron, Felica & Patton do a great job as the new cast and they feel at home on the show while brining something new to it. The only thing I am still getting used to with the new show is separating the voices of Jonah, Tom Servo and Crow as sometimes they really sound like each other. With Joel, Mike and the bots their voices were so distinct that it was easy to tell the difference between them but the new actors are taking some time to hear separate in my mind when they riff.

I never thought we'd get a new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and after excitedly backing it and now seeing the show I couldn't be happier. The new season on Netflix should bring the show to an entirely new audience and I hope it gains enough popularity to get renewed for a second season because that's something the world needs.

You can watch the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 right now on Netflix.

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In celebration of FEZ 5th birthday today Polytron had a series of Tweets about the game and one mentioning that FEZ will be coming to iOS this year! The reveal trailer above doesn't mention much about how the game will work but if they get the controls just right it might be great.

FEZ is a special game that features one of the best game scores of all time and once upon a time was getting a sequel that was later cancelled. I hold out hope that FEZ 2 might still be coming or will come back in some form but at least we have FEZ, which is one of the best platformers i've played in quite some time.

https://twitter.com/Polytron

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You know Nintendo I get it. The Switch is ultra popular and you want to focus on making those and so when you said you were going to discontinue the NES Classic I understood but it still made me sad. See Nintendo i'm bummed because like many people, I couldn't actually buy one. Sure I could have camped out at 5am at Target for a chance to get one but like many people I just figured you'd keep up with demand eventually and Classics would be plentifully stocked on store shelves for everyone to get one... maybe two each! Because the NES Classic is a great idea! What's not to love about a low cost system with 30 classic NES games included? Everyone loved this thing and the fact that it was allergic to sitting on a store shelf was proof of that. And then you went and discontinued the Classic, which again, I totally understand but means I can't get one which makes me sad. Sad because as a game collector I like owning fun historical notes based on systems I love like the NES. But you know, we've all got our priorities and the NES Classic isn't one for you right which is a real bummer.

http://www.avclub.com/article/nintendo-discontinue-mini-nes-classic-you-still-ha-253679

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Mario Kart 7 came out on the Nintendo 3DS in 2011 and I picked it for the first time this month. I got a 3DS in December and have been slowly picking up some of the best titles on the system so Mario Kart 7 seemed like a good idea. My first exposure to Mario Kart was playing Super Mario Kart at my cousins house back in the 90's. I wasn't very good at Super Mario Kart but it's a really fun game and when I got a Wii and heard Mario Kart Wii was coming out I picked it up immediately. To date Mario Kart Wii is the best Mario Kart game I've played and the best game that released on the Wii. 4 player local split screen, online multiplayer with friends, karts and bikes and a bunch of new tracks that are incredible fun. My only gripe about Mario Kart Wii is that it has some racers and karts that were behind some very crazy unlock gates that I was never able to achieve.

Mario Kart 7 launched after Mario Kart Wii and it is an even further enhancement of a game that was darn near perfect. Mario Kart 7 ditches the bikes and sticks to karts but allows more kart customizations and the ability for each kart to fly. The flying is a fun mechanic that you can strategically use to get yourself a bit further than the other karts if you can manage it and take some very fun track shortcuts. Mario Kart 7 does require you to unlock kart customizations by collecting gold coins during races.

Mario Kart 7 allows for local multiplayer by pairing over bluetooth with other nearby 3DS's. This is made dead simple in the game and I was able to easily link with a friend and go head to head locally. If your friend doesn't have Mario Kart 7 you can beam over a copy for your friend to play making it super easy to play with anyone that has a 3DS. This is a cool feature of a couple 3DS games and something Nintendo doesn't seem to be continuing with the Switch.

Like Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 has online play functionality with your friends where you can race them online or challenge your friends with track time trials. I loved the time trail challenge feature of Mario Kart Wii and it's cool to see it added to Mario Kart 7. That said, you need to magically friend someone in person on your 3DS in a way I haven't figured out so Mario Kart 7 registers that friend in game. So far how to do this is totally lost to us and even after looking online I can't see to figure it out. This is pretty frustrating because part of the fun of Mario Kart is challenging friends to track time trials and playing with them online.

Mario Kart 7 is a great addition to the Mario Kart franchise and whereas it's an old game now if you just got a 3DS or plan on picking it up there is a ton of game here to enjoy and it's not expensive. The tracks it adds are fun and inventive and the game play is buttery smooth. Each Mario Kart game in the franchise is a fairly substantial incremental improvement on the last and Mario Kart 7 builds on the amazing foundation of Mario Kart Wii. I wonder if Mario Kart will take a page from Super Mario Maker and enable some kind of user track creation toolkit in some future release? If Nintendo did that I think that would be the greatest thing to happen to the series but until then Mario Kart 7 is a good addition to an already great series.

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In March 2013 I wrote a post about a upcoming new digital card game Blizzard was developing called Hearthstone. I got access to the beta and thought it was wicked fun and when it later launched on mobile I was absolutely hooked. Like the kind of hooked where you play it every day to grind your quest dailies for gold, follow every expansion closely, read up on strategies online as well as new deck recipes and then create your own web show hooked. You know.... hooked. And I have no regrets about that because Hearthstone has been a nearly free hobby that has simply cost me time and has been an immense amount of fun. It feels like I win more than my fair share of the time and I haven't historically had any huge objection to the game or it's direction. Lately Blizzard has made some changes to the game I think aren't great but those don't really contribute too much to where I am right now. All that said, i've been playing Hearthstone for nearly every day for 4 years(honestly I think i've missed only a handful of days in that time) and i'm thinking about stepping away for a while. At least, I really want to and am trying to figure out how.

I don't think i'm hooked to the point of having a problem. I'm pretty sure I'm not so crazy about Hearthstone that I can't actually bring myself to stop playing it but when you do something so much(like playing a game every day for four years) not doing it feels weird. Or at least thinking about not doing it feels weird. But I think that may be a good reason to stop playing. That and the game is starting to feel like a chore. Gaming is a fun hobby I have, it shouldn't feel like work and when it does I think it's time to think about stepping away for a time. But it's hard to step away from some kinds of games, especially Hearthstone because of it's free to play reality.

To win at standard Hearthstone you need to have good decks. The way to get good decks is to open packs. To open packs you need in game gold or money. If you want to not spend money in Hearthstone and open packs you need to win quests. Winning quests means you need to grind your daily quests. To open the most amount of packs you need to clear your daily quests and not have them stack up which means you, mostly, need to grind quests daily. Doing this and rerolling lower gold quests for higher value ones means you can open about 78-ish packs per expansion which means that if you do that you can have a good shot to get a fair amount of good cards to keep playing the game and repeat this cycle. So far, it's been a really fun cycle but it's starting to feel more grindy and WAY less appealing to me. I don't think it's anything to do with the game design but just something i'm less interested in doing after doing it this long.

Hearthstone did just launch the new Un'Goro expansion that just blew the door open on the amount of legendaries it added to an expansion set. What I mean by that is that they increased the amount of legendaries you can get which means it is no longer reasonable for a free to play player to be able to play with even a modest amount of the power cards in a set. Before, the amount of legendaries in a set that were good was limited therefore it was easier to acquire the good ones. Now that each class has two legendaries (one being a very cool class specific quest) it is harder to get all the fun cards if you play for free. It's even harder(if you can imagine) if you pay $50 for 50 packs for each expansion. Because of the increased legendary count and the fact that the fun class quests are legendaries many people felt the pinch and honestly the only way to get all the legendary class quests is to spend a lot of money on packs.

As a free to play player I never cared about owning all the cards. I really still don't, it's just something you have to live with. But it's sad to see the free to play aspect of the game seem to slip further away. I get that Blizzard might want to make a bit more money with Hearthstone but annoying me and annoying someone that spends $50 each expansion is really different and the latter pays to keep the lights on for the game. I've always enjoyed that Hearthstone has other players that spend lots of money in the game because I never did and wanted to keep playing it so I was happy other people could fund it's development. But I wonder at what people will people feel like it's no longer worth it?

At this point i'm trying to figure out about how much gold I should bank in my account before turning off the lights and taking a long Hearthbreak. The thought is that at some point I might want to come back to play it and having some amount of gold to spend on whatever new expansion is out would help get fresh with the game again. Not to say I couldn't come back and play the game in a month or so but I'm thinking of just stopping for a long period because it just feels like the right thing to do.

And I do want to thank Blizzard for making Hearthstone and up to now it's been one of the best games i've played. It's just time to take a break for a while and see what else is out there.

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In 2015 YouTuber CirclMastr had a dream. Slowly... and I mean slowly... grind to level 99 with Cloud in Barrett in the first reactor in Final Fantasy VII. It's an impressive feat he captured over a recent Twitch stream you watch above as he finally hits level 99 in an hour long stream.

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If you have retro game karts that need cleaning or repair this Metal Jesus video talks all about how you can go about that. Jesus and Kelsey also talk about how you can go about fixing game discs that are scratched to the point that they don't work. They even have some tips on how to get remove someones name they've sharpied on a game kart! Really good advice here for getting longest life possible out of your old games.

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Hearthstones latest expansion Journey to Un'Goro is out and I was able to open 78 packs! Watch to see what I open and stick around to see some absolutely incredible matches. I play with a fun Shaman Elemental deck and take down a Warlock in what could only be described best as a 3 tier boss fight. Plus Dinomancer. Always Dinomancer.

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Jonathan Blow released his follow up to Braid last year called The Witness. The Witness is a Myst like puzzle game that blends incredible visuals, a compelling story and deep puzzle mechanics that garnered rave reviews from gamers and the press. The game initially shipped on PC and PS4 and today released on Mac on Steam and the Apple Store. Recently The Witness was featured in the Humble Freedom Bundle and if you picked it up there on Steam you can now install it on your Mac like I did today.

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