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jdodson

Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I work for Bonobos as a Engineering Manager and built this video game site.

http://jdodson.org

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Joined 01/23/2012
Ethereal Being 1

2127 Posts

In LGR's latest review he takes a look at the PC benchmark that some consider a game Crysis at it's 10 year anniversary. Crysis doesn't feel 10 years old but apparently Wikipedia seems to think it is so it's a good time to take a look back at how good of a game it was and if it holds up. I never could actually play Crysis as I never had the kind of PC back then that could run it. It seems like a pretty cool game and I didn't know that it was the spiritual successor to the first Far Cry. If you want to play Crysis now LGR notes that you should pick it up on GOG DRM free as the Steam version STILL uses SecureROM and locks you out after 5 installs. That seems really crazy to lock someone out of playing a game after 5 installs but apparently it's still a thing and still attached to the Steam version and it's getting some negative reviews because of it.

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For the next 4 days the Humble Care Package Bundle is running a special 100% charity bundle where the proceeds go to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, GlobalGiving, Direct Relief and Save the Children. For a fixed $30 amount that goes to those charities you get... need to flex my fingers a bit because there are quite a few games here in Starbound, Darkest Dungeon, Minecraft: Story Mode, Stardew Valley, Move or Die, Duck Game, Her Story, She Remembered Caterpillars, Stronghold Legends: Steam Edition, DreadOut, Pony Island, Mighty No. 9, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, Arma: Gold Edition, Grey Goo, Sorcerer King: Rivals, Shadowrun Returns, Kholat, Primal Carnage: Extinction, Lakeview Cabin Collection, The Park, Magicka, Machinarium Collector's Edition, Jump Stars, Fearless Fantasy, No Time To Explain Remastered & Psychonauts.

Darkest Dungeon & Move or Die seem to have limited Steam Key availability so head over to get it soon if you want to pick up those games in this bundle and let me know if you plan on picking this up.

https://www.humblebundle.com/care-package

"Hurricanes in the Caribbean and in Texas. Wildfires in California. Earthquakes in Mexico. In the wake of multiple large-scale natural disasters and the increasing effects of climate change, we humbly recognize our responsibility to the global community. Alongside developers and creators, we are bundling a care package of much-needed funds for emergency relief.

This special one-week bundle features over $385 in amazing games for just $30. 100% of your payments will be split equally between Direct Relief, the American Red Cross, GlobalGiving, Save the Children, and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Humble Bundle will proudly match the first $300,000 raised.
"

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After completing New Super Mario Bros. on the DS I've been wanting to try the next installment on the Wii aptly titled New Super Mario Bros. Wii. At this years Portland Retro Gamine Expo I picked New Super Mario Bros. Wii for $13 along with a raft of other old games and just recently put it in my Wii and have been playing it for the last week. Like Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is an improvement over it's former DS predecessor. It contains the same basic gameplay and the Wii version stacks on the DS version with better graphics, extra mechanics and the inclusion of 4 player split-screen co-op. One thing I noticed right away is that New Super Mario Bros. Wii is more difficult than the DS version, which is a welcome improvement in that's it doesn't feel too punishing.

To add more replayability to the levels occasionally Bowsers minions will capture a Mushroom Kingdom Toad and you can head back to a level you completed to save it. If you do this you can get a shot at a Toad House giving you a crack and collecting items that you can use in the overworld to help you start out better in certain levels. This overworld item mechanic first showed up in Super Mario Brothers 3 and it feels really great to have it come back here. This really makes New Super Mario Bros. Wii feel like a proper sequel to the old NES Mario games and it seems like that's what this series is trying to do. Mario Galaxy and now Mario Odyssey seem like sequels to Mario 64 while the New Super Mario Bros. franchise is keeping the old 2D Mario platforming alive. I hope New Super Mario Bros. continues on to the Switch as it has had a few installments on each system including the Wii U and 3DS that I heard were really good that I plan on picking up at some point.

So far i've completed World 1 and if you've played a World 1 in a Mario game it's pretty similar to that. In fact New Super Mario Bros. Wii sticks to a very similar level format to the DS version in that the first and second worlds are themed similarly. From there the themes verge but if you are expecting a radical departure from past games like Mario 3 or NSMB DS you will be disappointed. There is plenty of level creativity on display here and many times in World 1 I was in awe at what Nintendo was able to accomplish with it's level design. But the bread and butter of a good Mario game is gameplay and enough challenge to be interesting and New Super Mario Bros. Wii has that in spades.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii so far, is a great platformer and if you have a Wii kicking around and want to play a good Mario game you can get this used at any game store or Amazon.

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Back this on Kickstarter!
The Retro Pie community is huge and a big part of that is the fact that you can use the hardware for nearly anything you can think up. Lots of new open and moddable systems have been popping up and many Retro Pie builds feature making your own handheld but nothing makes it easy. Intro the new GameShell Kickstarter that aims to ship a modular portable hackable Linux handheld. It's seriously focused on gaming but it's not limited to that and since it runs Linux you can hack it to do whatever you want.

Many Kickstarter projects don't do well and hardware projects doubly so. I hope this takes off but there is an inherent amount of risk here but I wish GameShell well because if it can ship this system I think it would be pretty special.

"GameShell is the world's first modular, portable game console with a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system. It allows you to play thousands of classic games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, SNES and many of history’s greatest consoles.

GameShell uses the powerful LINUX operating system and every game published on it will be free, open-source and modifiable. We have included two classic games - Cave Story and DOOM1 in GameShell and there will be more free games included in future.
"

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I just watched this news report by John Stossel that was a real eye opener. Apparently this 100 year old Japanese company is using American made computer chips to create a new toy that kids are obsessing over. It's distracting them from homework and creating such a product demand that some adults travel thousands of miles to get the latest toy games! I hope you take this video to heart so you can make sure your kids don't fall prey to this new evil!

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I've been wondering how the new Doom Switch port stacks up to the PC & PS4 versions and Digital Foundry has a great break down video. Doom on the Switch runs a bit under 720p and runs at an uneven 30 fps. All that said, the port looks good and if you want to run Doom on the go I can't imagine a better way to play it.

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Continuing the Bubsy thread from before with this Cygnus Destroyer video reviewing the all new Bubsy game. Looks like it's not too long at clocking in at a handful of hours but looks to be the best Bubsy yet according to Cygnus. That said, the Steam reviews are butchering the game for the $30 price tag and very short playthrough. I can understand why development on the game may have been under budgeted and the end result seemed to suffer. Once this hits Steam sales I wonder how that will do to it's rating?

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Cygnus opens this video saying that Bubsy is one of the most hated mascots in all of video games. I'm not sure about all that but Bubsy 3D is considered one of the worst games of all time and rightly so. When Bubsy came out on the Super Nintendo I rented it and found it to be a really visually fun game but nothing really hooked me so I didn't buy it. It was obvious to me that Accolade was trying to make it's own Mario or Sonic but way more 90's X-TREME and TOTALLY IN YOUR FACE so it felt a bit forced but my biggest critique is that it's fairly derivative. I look back on Bubsy now as a fun historical point in gaming and something that they are trying to bring back now with the recent Bubsy Steam release in Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back.

If you want to know more about Bubsy or want to find out more about the dreaded Bubsy 3D check out the Cygnus video linked above. Cygnus is reviewing the latest Bubsy game and i'll post that after I check it out as a follow up.

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This year my friend Dan gifted me a BlizzCon virtual ticket and I spent this weekend basking in 24/7 Blizzard live stream goodness! I watched a bunch of the BlizzCon panels and tournaments and if you are into Blizzard and want to experience it live I recommend looking into the virtual ticket. Not only do you get a live stream of the events but also a bunch of digital bonuses and some are really compelling(like the Hearthstone golden Legendary).

New Hearthstone Expansion Kobolds and Catacombs

I think one of the biggest news nuggets our of BlizzCon is the new Kobolds and Catacombs Hearthstone expansion. Not only is K&C an all new expansion but it also comes with tiered Single Player content like in the last expansion Knights of the Frozen Throne. Blizzard let us know that they only plan on releasing 3 new expansions per year and with each new set they are releasing free single player adventure boss fights. Not only does Kobolds and Catacombs expansion see a whole bunch of new cards and some new single player content but starting November 6th until K&C launches Blizzard is giving away the new Marin the Fox legendary for logging in. Fear not though because if you miss getting him for free as a login bonus you can get him for free by simply opening one K&C pack at launch.

Kobolds and Catacombs will be Blizzards third expansion this year making it a really full year to collect Hearthstone cards and if you've been away for sometime stepping back in might seem daunting. K&C is adding a new mode that might be for you in the all new Dungeon Run giving Hearthstone an all new game mode that is entirely free to play. From my understanding the new Dungeon Run mode won't require gold to play or money, it will just be an all new PvE single player mode you can play whenever you want.

"Each time you start a new dungeon run, your deck and character will grow in power as you fight your way through the catacombs. Your goal is to defeat eight progressively more challenging encounters picked from a pool of over four dozen."

I reinstalled Hearthstone on my phone because after some time off as this new Dungeon Run mode seems very interesting to me. Not sure if i'm going to jump back into Hearthstone full time but I do like a new way to play the game and since it's free, might not be bad to give it a shot.

https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/expansions-adventures/kobolds-and-catacombs/

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Is Now Free To Play

StarCraft II has had a free to play version for quite some time but whats different now is that this November 14th StarCraft II's first single player campaign Wings of Liberty, Versus Mode and Co-op Commanders up to level 5 are going to be available for free. This is part of Blizzards larger push to get StarCraft II more players and make the game more accessible. If you enjoy RTS games and haven't yet played Wings of Liberty you are in for a treat. The SCII single player campaigns have been some of the most fun i've had in quite some time and if you are a fan of the old StarCraft and Brood War the single player campaigns do the old game much justice.

https://www.starcraft2.com/en-us/#free-to-play

Prince of Darkness Wins - No New Diablo III News

Diablo III had a pretty good year in it got some big content patches, balancing changes and the all new Necromancer hero. Each year at BlizzCon there is a "whats next" panel for each game and Diablo III didn't have one. It's sad that Diablo III was one of the biggest PC game releases ever and now the game seems ... like it's something Blizzard isn't really focusing on anymore. I figured we'd have another expansion by now but that just doesn't seem in the cards for the game.

I'm not sure what Blizzard has in mind for Diablo III moving forward but whatever it is they didn't say anything about it at this years BlizzCon.

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BlizzCon opening ceremony drops @ 11am PST and will cover all the upcoming Blizzard stuff for the upcoming year. If you have some time to watch it and love all things Blizzard you should click play. Posting this a couple minutes before the festivities hit and I imagine there will be plenty of things to discuss afterward!

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Metal Jesus has a new video with John Hancock where they cover the Super Nintendo, it's hardware and the games for the system they consider must buys. Nearly all of the games the include in their must buys are included in the SNES Classic but a few weren't such as Actraiser, Chrono Trigger, Biker Mice From Mars, NBA Jam & Mario All Stars. I agree with them on nearly every point but i'd personally put in Sim City, Mario Paint, Romance of the Three Kingdoms II & King Arthurs World.

And in thinking more about it i'd also put in Genghis Khan Clan of the Grey Wolf but like I think i'm the only one of the only people in the US that played that one.

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16bitbrit reviews the all new Super Nintendo Classic Playing With Super Power book and it looks to be better than I was anticipating. Not only does 16bitbrit give it two big thumbs up but the Amazon reviews for the book seem to be really solid as well sitting at a 4/5 stars. Looks to be a massive upgrade from the NES Classic Playing with Power but only focusing on the Nintendo games on the SNES Classic.

Let me know if you plan on picking this up and while you are waiting for your shipment check out my review of the NES Classic Playing With Power below.

https://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/3246/it-s-dangerous-to-go-alone-take-this-playing-with-power-book-review

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According to legend, Polybius is arcade game that is so addictive that it can control your thoughts. Polybius was rumored to have been created by a rogue branch of the US Government and in 1981 was tested in an actual arcade. The Angry Video Game Nerd found a Polybius arcade cabinet and in his latest video reviews the game.

Watch it.... if you can.

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If you keep pace with the latest releases in gaming this is an interesting week to be paying attention. Today saw the launch of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Super Mario Odyssey and Assassins Creed Origins. If you count all the other not-quite-new-releases such as Destiny 2, the Super Nintendo Classic and the new South Park game how can anyone play all this stuff? Well if you're me you don't even try and just keep playing Mega Man 2 and Castlevania every night on your NES Classic. Which has honestly been a ton of fun and with a job how would I have time for a 60+ hour game anyway? That said, I absolutely loved Wolfenstein: The New Order so I bet that's something I might pickup if i'm feeling like I need to shooty shoot at some Nazi's.

What are all you playing right now? Is it all NES games or maybe you're playing something a little less 1986? I'd love to know.

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