Joined 01/23/2012

Fuzzy pickles!

57 Posts

I'm going to do something different this week for Retro Tuesday. This week I want to hear everyones stories about your very first video game experience. I'll start off the discussion.

Although it's entirely possible I had played games earlier, my first real memory of playing video games was when I was around 4 years old and my parents bought us a NES, complete with Duck Hunt, Gyromite, and ROB the robot (pictured above). :)

Even by 1987 standards ROB was pretty lame, but to 4 year old me it was "OMG A ROBOT IN MY LIVING ROOM!!!" I was pretty hooked. I think there were only two games that worked with ROB, and as it was I only ever had Gyromite. When you were playing Gyromite you would need ROB to press buttons on the controller to open and close gates for you so you could advance around the stage and avoid enemies. You'd pause the screen (which made the screen turn blue) and then the next button you pushed ROB would mimic the action about 5 minutes later. :P But, still, OMG ROBOT!

Then my parents bought Legend of Zelda, and it was all over for me. :)

Scott Pilgrim vs. Smash Bros.

Captain Falcon is not impressed!

Note: Picture is from Bryan Lee O'Malley's blog. Here was the attached description: "this was drawn specifically for me by Aaron Ancheta, junior assistant on vol 6."

Hey CheerfulGhosters out there, anyone taking part in The Secret World beta test this weekend? I got an invite and will be on at least Friday night if not the rest of the weekend.

Ok so I'm not sure if this game qualifies for "retro" but it is pretty old at this point, so I'm busting it out for Retro Tuesday.

If you're unfamiliar with the Harvest Moon franchise, this series of games usually revolves around working on a farm and turning it from a rundown field of rocks and tree stumps into a profitable ranch, all while trying to get married and make friends with your neighbors. It sounds really lame but the games are actually a lot of fun. It's one of those rare games that is fun without any kind of fighting at all.

This was the first Harvest Moon game I ever played and from what I've read on-line it's considered by a lot of fans to be the best in the series. Growing your crops and raising your animals is surprisingly fun and so is trying to squeeze as much activities into each day before either time runs out or your character collapses from exhaustion. The pacing in this game is really done well. The days are just long enough to let you accomplish several tasks each day but short enough to keep you rushing from one activity to the next and keeping the game moving quickly.

There's also a constant feeling of progression which is nice. Whether your expanding your house, adding more animals to your barn, leveling your tools, increasing your characters energy, training your horse and dog for their respective races. or wooing the eligible ladies in the village you constantly feel like you're accomplishing something to improve your character or your farm. It's also very easy to get wrapped up in the game and not realize a couple hours have gone by.

Unfortunately this game hasn't made it to the Virtual console, so if you want to give it a shot you'll have to track it down on amazon or eBay for the N64. Of course there are other means to acquire the game, but you probably already know that. :)

For my contribution to retro games Tuesday I'm busting out one of my favorite games. On the surface this game actually doesn't look that great. The graphics are kind of lack-luster compared to some of the other SNES games that came out around the same time and the game play is pretty basic. However the game is absolutely dripping with humor and charm. There's a lot to praise about this game and I'd like to point out a few of my favorites. I'll try to do so without giving any spoilers away for the few of you who might not have played this (*cough*Jon*cough*).

The humor in this game is great. The game is not afraid to poke fun at itself or RPG's in general. At times the humor is a little surreal/bizarre but if you can sit through a Monty Python movie then this shouldn't bother you. :)

I love that the game has a modern (well, 1990's) setting instead of the usual fantasy setting. It really made the game stand out and I actually can't think of any other modern setting RPG's off the top of my head. Plus pizza makes a much better healing item than a potion in my opinion. (I also always get a craving for pizza whenever I play this...)

I know I called the graphics lackluster earlier, but actually I really like the art style for the game. Especially the art in the strategy guide. Speaking of...

This game came with its strategy guide and it is amazing. The guide is written like a travel guide and includes news paper articles for the different towns you visit, advertisements for the various shops, and all kinds of special little things that make this, in my opinion, the greatest strategy guide ever. Seriously, if you can manage to track down a copy of this game with the guide and you won't have to sell a kidney to buy it, do so!

Oh, and you can fight New Age Retro Hippies. They even have their owns special theme music!

I could confess my love for this game all night but I'll go ahead and stop here. It's really unfortunate that they are not offering this game on the Wii virtual console or as a DS/3DS port, so if you don't already own the game you'll need to track it down on eBay or find a ROM file for it. Still, if you want a fun RPG from the SNES's prime days I cannot recommend this game enough!

Did I mention that the guide also came with scratch-n-sniff cards that smelt like bosses/characters from the game? 'cause it did!

I actually meant to post this as part of Retro games Tuesday, but I kept getting side tracked so now it's a day late.

This was the first RPG I ever played (unless Zelda/Zelda II counts). Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to pick this up for free when they were giving it away with a Nintendo Power subscription but I picked it up as a used game a couple years later. I loved that you could explore just about anywhere you wanted to. For the most part your only restriction was that monsters got tougher the farther you traveled out.

As a kid I loved this game, but unfortunately it really has not aged well. I tried playing it again a couple years ago and the amount of time you need to spend grinding mobs to level up gets old really fast. But this game brought me many hours of fun as a kid so I can't help but still love this game. Occasionally I'll load up the ROM and play for a few minutes, just for the nostalgia. :)

I never really got into any of the other Dragon Warrior/Quest games. Did any of you guys play any of the sequels? Were they any good?

Minecraft gets a lot of love on this site (and rightfully so, that game is great) but I thought I'd bring up another, somewhat similar game. I picked up Terraria last summer during the insane Steam sales that were going on after a friend recommended it. I've heard some people call this game a Minecraft clone, and they do share similar themes, but really they are two very different games.

Terraria plays like a 2D action/RPG/platformer with a heavy emphasis on combat and crafting. While overall I like Minecraft better, there's a lot more "game" in Terraria. In Terraria as you build houses and meet certain criteria NPC's will move into your village. For example: Once you amass a certain amount of money a Merchant NPC will move into one of your houses. In addition to adding new NPC's to your village, you also have to defend it from monsters. Monsters spawn during day or night, but the enemies at night are stronger and more dangerous. Every once in awhile you'll also have a "blood moon" where waves of Zombies will invade your village and can even break through doors to get to you and your villagers. I've also read that after certain conditions are met you can have a Goblin army invade, but I've never had that happen yet.

There's also a fair amount of character progression. As you explore you'll find better armor and weapons as well as items that increase your health and magic reserves. You'll also find specialty items like a grappling hook which is basically the hook-shot from Zelda. Your character also persists between worlds unlike in Minecraft, so if you start a new world anything in your inventory carries over with you as well as your health/magic levels. You can also find a piggy-bank that can be used as a multi-world storage to transfer other items between your worlds which is a nice touch.

The crafting is very simple too. Whenever you open your inventory there is a list of all the items you can currently create with the items you have and if there's any crafting items near by (such as a work bench or furnace). Just click on the item you want to make and you're done!

There's also some pretty crazy boss battles. So far I've only fought one boss character and that was after I summoned him by accident. The boss, which was a giant flying eyeball, pretty thoroughly kicked my butt several times before i finally took him down.

The weakest parts of the game for me are the creative and exploration aspects. Because the game is 2D even the biggest most grand castles or houses feel, well, flat and kind of boring. Exploration is, well, I dunno why I didn't really like the exploration that much. There is a lot of stuff to find in the game and there's treasure everywhere. Navigating underground is kind of a pain until you find the hook-shot because it's pretty easy to get stuck in a hole or cavern that you have to dig/build your way out of. Also, enemies constantly respawn so you have to keep clearing them out while trying to look around and after awhile it can feel a little bit like a chore.

Overall the game is great though, and the graphics and gameplay give it a fun retro feel. I've never played it with anyone else, but like Minecraft you can set up a multiplayer server and play with friends. And last but not least, the game is also pretty cheap on Steam and I see it go on sale pretty often (I paid $10, I've seen it as low as $5 though). I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who liked Minecraft but didn't like the combat, or for anyone looking for a good retro action/RPG experience.

I got this game for Christmas and I finally convinced some people to sit down and play with me. (Side note: It should really not be that hard to convince people to try something new!)

This game is awesome! We had so much fun even though it was our first time playing and we lost pretty bad lol.

The premise of the game is that four diseases have broken out in different parts of the world and the players work cooperatively to treat the diseases and eventually find the cures for them. On the players turn they have 4 actions they can spend either moving around the map or treating cities that have been infected. Your objective is to discover all four cures before one of the various losing conditions are met. Each player is also randomly dealt a special "role" for the game, which grants them a special ability or trait. For example: you need 5 cards of the same color to discover a cure, but the Scientist only needs 4.

After a player has spent all their actions and drawn their player cards, they have to take on the role of the Infecter before the next players turn. First you draw a number of infection cards based on the current infection rate, which increases as the game goes on. Each card drawn adds one disease marker to that city. If a city already has 3 markers on it then an "Outbreak" occurs and that disease now spreads to all the surrounding cities. This is where things get crazy, because this can set off chain reactions with the surrounding cities if they also have three disease markers. This is how we lost our first game. :)

Hidden in the player cards are a certain number of Epidemic cards (you choose how many to put in there depending on how difficult you want the game to be). When one of these cards are pulled it increases the infection rate and also immediately places 3 disease markers on a city. You then have to shuffle the infect card discard pile and place them back on top of the deck.

It's game over if one of the following occurs: You need to place a disease markers but are out of that color, you have no more player cards in the deck, or if a total of 8 outbreaks have occurred.

Once a disease is cured, it becomes easier to remove markers from the board. If a disease is cured and you successfully remove all the markers of that color, the disease is eradicated and you no longer have to place any markers of that color on the board.

What originally got me interested in this game is the cooperative nature of the game. Either all players win or all players loose and it really does take a lot of coordination among the players to keep the various diseases in check while trying to find cures. All the different roles the players can be assigned work very well with each other and create a sort of synergy with the players if used right.

The games seems more complicated than it really is. No one in my group had ever played this before but we all picked it up pretty quick. All in all we had an awesome time playing this game. It's very intense and things spiral out of control very quick, but in a good way. :) I would highly recommend this to pretty much anyone who likes board games, but especially someone who wants a very different type of board game. I give it a big two thumbs up! d (^.^) b


EA was just voted the worst company in America by the Consumerist. Way to go EA! You're so bad people actually hate you more than the cable companies and banks.

Some games are just timeless. This is still just as fun to play now as it was when I was 4 years old and my parents got our first NES. :D

My favorite memory about this game though happened just this year. My oldest daughter is 3 and a half and I made the decision to pass my Gameboy SP down to her. One of the games she plays is this one (it was re-released on gameboy). She can now successfully complete the first level all by herself and she always gets so excited every time she reaches the end of the stage or any time she successfully squashes a goomba (she even knows they're called goomba's!) It's awesome watching her play!

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