jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2696 Posts

Right now, my 6 year old son and I are re-watching the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon bit by bit. The show starts incredibly strong with a first season that is basically a mini-series origin story that is way better than it has any right to be. After that, season 2 keeps incredibly strong and now I'm in season 3 which is where the shows writing, animation and such starts to really wane. It's a great show still, but the quality has backed off considerably and even many of the original voices of the Turtles change from episode to episode. This original cartoon show was the base for how we look at the Ninja Turtles now and nearly all the games in the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection pack of classic Turtles games.

The Cowabunga Collection features 13 classic Turtles games but for the sake of this review, I've only really focused on two games. The original Ninja Turtles arcade game and the Capcom NES Ninja Turtles game. To me, both are retro classics and the NES game being hard as hell and the arcade game being of the best brawlers of all time that served as the base for last years Shredders Revenge.

Firstly, the presentation of the Cowabunga Collection is top notch. Each game is easy to flip through on the main menu, I just wish the game had the system the game was from listed with the game. For instance, there are two versions of Turtles in Time for the Arcade and SNES. I get that the 4 player version is the Arcade version but a tag saying that could help clean up any confusion.

The emulation used is perfect and I noticed no input delay or lag when I played the game. In playing the original Capcom Ninja Turtles NES game, the emulation keeps the original NES lag when they are too many enemies on the screen and they also offer an option to hack the game to fix all of that. That said, the games feel perfect and that's not something we can always get with these re-releases.

I picked up the Cowabunga Collection on Switch and X-Box and so far I've only played it on Switch and it's damn near perfection. Getting these classic games collected all in one place is really awesome if you want to re-live these with friends and don't have 50 bucks in quarters and a local arcade handy. Now if they just release all the old Simpsons games on one pack, including the Arcade game I think I'll be all set.


After the jingle of the bells quiets down the fresh new year is upon us. As part of the glow of the new year I always think a bit about the previous year. As part of that, it's fun to consider what things I enjoyed that bubbled to the top of the rest and since lists are fun, here we go. It's not a top 20 gaming list(as in I don't have 20 things), not sure I played that many games but a list of all the stuff I enjoyed in the book, movie, music and game space.

Feel free to drop your lists in the comments.

Andor: It seems Star Wars life is now lived as a series of Disney+ TV shows. Most of them have been fine, some have been pretty good (Obi-Wan) but one show punched out to be incredible and Andor is the show. It's a very emotional show and the way it highlights the grey area in how rebellions in space can be born is superb. If any show makes Tie fighters and Storm Troopers menacing, it deserves high praise and Andor does just that.

Storm of Swords (Audiobook): Game of Thrones is a massive cultural empire right now and I started in 2022 listening to the Audiobooks. I'm currently listening through book 3 - Storm of Swords and I finally understand why everyone is nutty for Game of Thrones. I've never seen the shows, so I can't comment, but the books as read by Roy Dotrice are next level incredible. The series starts our creating a good character in Ned Stark and shows you immediately that good people don't win with high minded and lofty morality.

FutureNever: I'm a reasonable Silverchair fan so I decided to give Daniel John's new album FutureNever a spin and I love it. I feels thematically like a later album Silverchair follow up that marches on to newer territory while looking back more than a couple times.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 13: They are officially off Netflix and hosting themselves on The Gizmoplex and I can say this is the strongest reboot season they've done yet. Doctor Mordrid, Santo and the Lost Treasure of Dracula, Munchie & The Christmas Dragon make this season one of the most eclectic mix of films yet and their riffs make them sublime. After The Christmas Dragon series finale they confirmed Season 14 and I can't wait. The idea they had to spread out the episodes and livestream them each month to fans as we chat and watch them together was an inspired choice. It turned each episode into an event and I can't wait for next years slate of incredible movie riffing!

Marvel Snap: A free to play card game that doesn't require money to win? Holy shit kids sign me up! Ever since it launched I've been playing it daily and I see no signs of slowing. I've unlocked all the base cards and the game is a bit slower to grant me new cards but I'm still having all the fun. The nice thing about free to play games are they are easy to bounce off of and this one in particular as I won't lose anything and they don't have any silly "all your cards will expire on X date for the new card set" limitations. I was initially sad the core Hearthstone developers left to do this but after playing it I honestly wish they left sooner.

Fortnite: You know, this game isn't new but I play it regularly and it's still fun and I think it's worth noting. Another free to play game that doesn't require money to win and I'm still here for it years later. Earlier this month Fortnite upgraded on my XBox with the new engine and it looks incredible on my Series X. It's fun these live games can make serous updates and don't lose any of the performance and move forward well into the future. Love you Fortnite.

Retro Game Scene: Quake, Diablo II, Doom Limited Run Games Release: I think this is more of a shotgun entry in that there were a ton of retro game re-releases that I loved. Night Dive remastered Quake which was one of the best, if not the best re-release of all time. Blizzard dropped Diablo II and I thought was was incredible and it might be on par with Quake but I felt Quake is a bit higher in that they kept the original pixel art relatively untouched and Diablo II went a fully other direction artistically.

Doom got an incredible box release with Limited Run Games and I stupidly didn't get the top of the line box which I'm still kicking myself about. I didn't think it would matter to hear the Doom music, but when my friend Will showed it to me in person I realized I made a mistake. I have a good version but my box no makey the music.... oh the woe, the misery!

Shredders Revenge: A new Turtles beat-em up that is incredible? It came and it kicks shell! For a beat-em up it's pretty lengthy but that didn't stop folks from complaining anyway (the original arcade games were shorter kids!). If the developers previous beat-em ups are an example, they will release a DLC pack that should add new content and I'm very curious what that would be? Either way, what we got is in my opinion an instant classic and something I'll always come back to with friends.

Cowabunga dude!


Risk of Rain Kickstarted back in 2013 and at the time I called it "An Interesting New Platformer" and since then Risk of Rain became on of the most popular Indie Rogue-likes and got a sequel that was published by Gearbox. Since then the Risk of Rain devs have sold the IP to Gearbox and have recently dropped the news that Risk of Rain is getting a re-build / re-master / re-release.

"Carefully designed, beautifully remastered, and loaded with new ways to play—Risk of Rain is back and better than ever! This remake of the classic Risk of Rain packs enhanced visuals, an updated codebase, and tons of new content.

No two runs in the iconic roguelike are the same, and that has never been truer. Risk of Rain Returns brings new and enhanced Survivors, customizable Survivor abilities, fresh items, monsters, and a brand-new game mode. The game’s difficulty increases the longer you play, so prepare to fight through hordes of monsters that threaten your continued existence, collect and combine items to enhance your abilities, and scale your power to godlike levels.
"

Firstly, this isn't an update to your existing game, this will be an entirely new game. I appreciate this as it means the original game you love should be untouched and you should be able to go back to it and play it as you remember. I think this is important because some folks may not love a remastered game or some might want to go back in time to play what the game was before. Either way, we're more than a fresh coat of pain on Risk of Rain and I'm here for it.

https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/632360/view/3501014738163460155


Earlier this year Vampire Survivors blew up on Steam due to it being a fresh take on the Rogue-like that feels incredible on the Steam Deck. Since then it's been ported to all the XBoxes and recently came to iOS and Android phones and tablets. I've played Vampire Survivors on the Steam Deck and it shines in that format but when I played it on the Deck I wondered if it would work on a phone. Needless to say is that it's a great phone port but It's not quite as good as playing on the Steam Deck but it's still a great way to play. Vampire Survivors is currently free to play on mobile and if you want, you can watch an ad to get a few more gold than you obtain normally in the game. So far, that's the only free to play mechanic on mobile and if you want, you seemingly can avoid those ads entirely.

If haven't heard, Vampire Survivors is a game where you try and avoid waves of enemies while collecting gems to upgrade your character to survive as long as possible. The crazy fun part of the game is when you unlock more and more abilities to last longer and longer. Vampire Survivors is a fun game but it's not one of the Rogue-likes that feels soul crushing. The game seems fair and sometimes you are incredibly overpowered and seeing things die around you so fast is a great thing to behold.

If you don't like playing games on your phone you can also head to Itch.io and try Vampire Survivors for free in your browser or buy it today on Steam or XBox.

https://poncle.itch.io/vampire-survivors


Apparently there isn't any world where there are too many video game documentaries about video games I love. Video Game Historian is back with a nod to the history of Mario Kart and you should click play. You know, in between Andor, House of Dragons, The White Lotus, Wednesday, Handmaidens Tale, Yellowstone, 1899, Willow, Warrior Nun, Tulsa King, The Peripheral, Pepsi Where's My Jet, Walking Dead, The Crown, The Tim Allen Santa Clause Show, Manifest and that billion dollar Lord of the Rings show on Amazon.


Looks like the biggest update to Broforce is coming in 2023 and while there aren't a lot of details surrounding the announcement, I'm still quite excited. Yeah, the game came out almost 8 years ago but it's still incredible and plays well on everything it's on (I've got it on Switch).

"The Biggest Update to Broforce Yet: New Bros, New Missions, New Freedoms - Coming Early 2023"

New freedoms, hell yeah, now let's high five an Eagle while we wait for 2023.


Marvel Snap launched last month to quite a bit of press and accolades and I'm here to say it's fantastic. Yeah, yeah it's free to play going heavy on cosmetics but none of that is annoying, in fact I think it nails the free to play curve.

Second Dinner is the development shop that created Marvel Snap and it formed up a few years ago from former Blizzard employees that made Hearthstone great. Hearthstone at launch was one of the most refreshing digital card games that later went so heavy into free to pay to play that caused me to go from a long time player to a former player. Marvel Snap changes the digital card game format by making the matches faster and removes nearly all the pay for power aspects. Some cards you can unlock FASTER by paying for the season pass but if you want to wait, you can unlock them normally through the card upgrade mechanics later.

The basic game premise is fairly simple, there are three lanes and you focus on winning 2 out of the 3 lanes to win the match. Each lane has a Marvel effect that changes how you can win it such as doubling the strength of your cards or lanes you can't play cards in at all. How you approach these random lanes can really mix up the matches and they keep adding new lanes all the time really changing how the game works.

If you want to you can buy gold to unlock new cosmetic cards (essentially card skins) or power to unlock other cards faster, but there is a daily limit to the amount of cards you can upgrade this way. So even if you unleashed your credit card to buy everything, you'd still need to play daily matches to unlock all the cards quickly.

With a quick yet fun base game and progression system that doesn't, to me, feel excessively grindy, Marvel Snap is the game I now play daily. I don't think I'd ever NOT buy anything in game, but at this point, I'm not sure what the point would be. I'm content playing free to play games like Fortnite without buying cosmetics and Marvel Snap seems like a perfect game for that. In fact, you can earn enough gold in game to buy cosmetics and I've just been hording mine for the perfect card skin or ... something else.

If you are interested in playing Marvel Snap, as I said, it's entirely free and available on Android, iPhones, tablets and PC on Steam. When I tried the Steam port it had a phone aspect ratio but at some point the developers will add proper widescreen making the PC version better.


According to some, Super Mario World is one of the best platformers of all time. For me and my family, this game sold us the Super Nintendo. My parents were really impressed by the 16bit graphics and I think that convinced them to buy us one that Christmas.

If you love Super Mario World or have yet to play it, the Gaming Historian has a great video all about the game and it’s historic creation.


Wanted to wish everyone a very Happy and safe Halloween this year. Also wanted to share the latest Angry Video Game Nerd episode covering all the classic Doom ports. We’ve covered the basic Doom port history before but the Nerds review is fun and worth watching.


DF Retro interviewed Randy Linden, the programmer behind the Super Nintendo Doom port. The interesting part about that console Doom port is that it was created to run on the Super FX 2 chip and was one of the better Doom console ports. It's still a bit framey, but was one of the best non PC ways to play Doom for quite some time. The DF Retro interview is incredible and Randy talks about how he miraculously ported the game to the Super Nintendo.


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