jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I'm an Engineer and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.

2390 Posts

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Starting April 18th of this year Konami is going to release three all new retro game collections to celebrate its 50th year anniversary! Kicking things off with an Arcade Classics pack taking them back to their early company roots they are including Haunted Castle, Typhoon, Nemesis(Gradius), Vulcan Venture(Gradius II), Life Force, Thunder Cross, Scramble and TwinBee. Each of these Collections are digital releases that will drop on PS4, XBox One, Steam and Nintendo Switch and the first pack is only $20!

They are continuing the hype train with two more releases in early summer of this year with the Castlevania Anniversary Collection as well as the Contra Anniversary Collection. So far the announced games for the Castlevania Collection are Castlevania, Castlevania III Dracula's Curse, Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge on Gameboy & Super Castlevania IV. That Castlevania Collection is already incredibly good but they also have four more games they have yet to announce and as such I'm sure you have some games you'd like included so let me know what you'd love to see in the comments. The Contra Anniversary Collection is also coming and so far they have announced Contra, Super Contra, Super C and Contra III The Alien Wars and as with the Castlevania Collection they have four more games yet to announce.

If Konami keeps the $20 price point per collection, this might be one of the best retro game digital download values of the year. Castlevania and Castlevania II were included on the NES Classic but I felt like not adding Contra in favor of Super C was a missed opportunity so now you can relive the glory on your PC, PS4, Switch or XBox One!

"In celebration with the 50th anniversary since KONAMI was founded, this Anniversary Collection series highlights many of the iconic arcade games and classic console titles that have been loved by fans throughout the years, and are made available on many of the latest platforms. From the shooters to action, these collections are packed with beloved titles that are simple to play and yet addicting to the core.

KONAMI welcomes everyone, from those who were glued to their CRT TVs or the arcade machines back in the day to first-time players, to enjoy a part of our history. All collections will be digital-exclusive and can be downloaded from the various online stores. We give our utmost gratitude to each and every fan from all over the world for playing our games throughout the years!
"

https://www.konami.com/games/50th/ac/arcade/us/en/
https://www.konami.com/games/50th/ac/castlevania/us/en/
https://www.konami.com/games/50th/ac/castlevania/us/en/


Google unveiled its next gen video game streaming service Stadia today at the Game Developers Conference. The response on social media was pretty standard, lots of jokes about lag and a general "meh" attitude. The "who cares" attitude makes a lot of sense with just some basic information in hand, that said after I watched the above Digital Foundry Stadia spec explanation and comparison of it alongside current generation consoles it seems much more compelling.

Stadia First Generation Machine Specs

The first thing that's compelling to me about Stadia is that Google is focusing the first generation offering on a cloud system spec that blows current consoles out of the water. Whereas it's not hard to get a PC to beat an XBox One getting that to run seamlessly in the cloud is and if Google ties all of it together well, Stadia could be very interesting. According to Digital Foundry the base Stadia specs are 2.7GHZ Hyper-threaded CPU, Customer AMD 10.7 Teraflop / 1495 MHz GPU, 16G RAM & practically unlimited SSD storage.

Stadia Will Stream Through YouTube

Google has said that you can watch a video of Assassin's Creed and immediately click a button to play it in Stadia. Apparently Stadia games will be easy to share and embedded just like YouTube and just as easy to watch on all your devices. It's an interesting concept that you could buy a TV with Stadia embedded in it and play triple A games streaming right to it without any updates right out of the box.

The Stadia Controller Connects over Wifi

The Google Stadia controller doesn't connect to your device over Bluetooth but Wifi so you can play games on devices that don't support controller connectivity such as Google's Chromecast. I've never heard of a controller connecting over WiFi which would impose some lag but also make connectivity as easy as connecting to Wifi.

The Final Countdown & Questions

Simply streaming video games isn't enough to get people to use Stadia but the way Google is approaching it will. After this announcement I was solidly moved from the "meh" camp to eagerly interested in Stadia. That's a big movement considering I love owning video games, films and music and have quite a collection already. I view Stadia a lot like I view Netflix in that the films and games I love i'll still buy but Stadia might offer a great alternative to ownership when you just want to play something for a handful of hours or don't want to invest in expensive hardware.

My only question at this point is how Stadia be monetized? Will you buy games on Stadia just like any other store and then Google streams that game to you for all time? Will Stadia be a Netflix like service where you pay Google monthly fee for all the games you can play?

It's a secret to everybody.

https://store.google.com/magazine/stadia


Avengers Endgame is coming to theaters April 26th (yeah, it's that soon!) and to keep the hype train non-dusted Marvel has dropped a brand new trailer. It's a fun journey through the MCU starting with the first Iron Man and also shows clips of Captain America over the years. The trailer also shows a brief spoiler in that Tony Stark seems to survive being adrift in space.... which makes sense as killing off Iron Man by slowly suffocating doesn't seem like a fitting end to his character. The ending of the trailer has a fun moment you have to watch fresh so I won't describe it here, but it's something you should check out.


To me, Dwarf Fortress is one of the most important pieces of art in our time. The level of sophistication of the game is astounding and Tarn and Zach consider it to be something they will work on... indefinitely. That kind of focus and passion is rare and because of the games lasting artistic impact Tarn is going to hand over the source code to the game to the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) upon his death. I was lucky enough to meet up with him some years ago at PAX and talk to him about Dwarf Fortress as well as possibly releasing Dwarf Fortress as free software (not an idea he supported at the time, he'd rather hand it over to the MoMA). The only downside to Dwarf Fortress is that it's so rich and deep I have very little time to play it and it's a real shame. That said, it looks like it's going to get a lot more accessible to players as it's getting a formal graphical update from it's ASCII roots as well as going to be for sale on Steam and Itch.

To-date Dwarf Fortress has been available to download for free on Bay 12 Games website and this won't change. But if you want an auto-updated version, official non-ASCII 2D graphics and easily installable through Steam or Itch, this is for you. Seems like a big reason Bay 12 is doing this is to raise money to help some family with health issues and I hope this goes over well for them and the publisher they are working with, Kitfox Games.

Read the entire FAQ on Dwarf Fortress coming to Steam, Itch and on working with publisher Kitfox.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xwhi1KKp5QD9R4-euZ0JqRB0vHdNPqdBJXjIgp-yYHA/edit

http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/


Microsoft announced that the Halo Master Chief Collection is coming to PC via the Windows Store and Steam later this year. Frankly, this is very exciting news but nothing I actually thought they would do. Halo is one of the reasons to get an XBox and now that seems to have lessened a bit. All that to say, is this something you are looking to get? I played mostly the original Halo but not many of the other entries, the Master Chief Collection remastered the original games and brought new life to the multiplayer modes which is something I bet PC gamers will love!

"Later this year, these classic Halo experiences will start to arrive on PC via the Microsoft Store and, for the first time in the series - on Steam. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to bring the Halo Universe and Master Chief’s story to a new audience and to offer PC gamers a chance to step into the franchise on the PC platform of their choice.

The Master Chief’s arrival on PC will happen in stages with each title releasing one by one over time - giving the development teams the ability to ensure each one is right, while giving players a chance to jump in right away, rather than having to wait for the entire suite of games to be completed. Our current plan is for this journey to begin with the launch of Halo: Reach – the fictional beginnings of Master Chief’s saga – with the rest of the titles following in chronological order thereafter. Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST (Campaign), and Halo 4 will each be available for individual purchase within MCC as they become available. And each game will evolve and grow over time with community input.

For the team at 343 Industries, the most important and critical element of this project is ensuring that MCC delivers a true “first class” experience on PC. We’re embarking on a journey with our community to build a real PC experience that delivers on PC gamer expectations. The team is passionately committed to ensuring that all the features, bells, and whistles expected in a modern PC title are included with MCC. These features may vary somewhat by title, and we won’t get everything in there all at once – this is a product and an experience that will grow and evolve over time. We are laying the groundwork for PC native features such as excellent mouse and keyboard controls, support for multiple resolutions and aspect ratios, field-of-view sliders, and adjustable framerates, to name but a few. And yes, there will be support for Xbox gamepads and other PC controllers.
"

https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/news/mcc-pc-halo-reach


Even if entirely impractical, I have a special place in my heart for R.O.B. the Robot Operating Buddy. I knew people that had one yet it was so slow and clunky to use we didn't even try to play Gyromite with it. The Gaming Historian makes the case that Nintendo created R.O.B. to get into stores after the video game crash but that they might have been successful without it. It's hard to say ultimately what would have happened if they didn't create R.O.B. but there's not denying how big Robots were at the time and including one with the Nintendo was a huge attractor for young kids.


Retro game esoterica is something I relish and moreso if it's focused on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Gaming Historian has a new video out covering The Aladdin Deck Enhancer by Codemasters the creators of the Game Genie.

"Learn about the history of a unique NES accessory, the Aladdin Deck Enhancer! In the early 90's, the 16-bit war between Sega and Nintendo was heating up. But one company was thinking about the past: Camerica. In January of 1993, they announced the Aladdin Deck Enhancer, a device for your 8-bit NES that played proprietary compact cartridges. Why? Watch the video to find out!"


Chex Quest is a fun PC game oddity from the 90's which was created as part of a pack in promotion for the cereal. Like many of my friends that ate Chex I had a copy but sadly didn't keep it as it's achieved a cult status and is even run at Games Done Quick. Looks like fans of the original are giving Chex Quest an HD remake and started with the games intro cinematic. The intro cinematic is still as campy as the original but this time... IT'S IN HD!

If you haven't seen it, I also seriously recommend Peaches AGDQ Chex Quest speedrun below. It's a good primer on the game and it's a pretty quick watch at 10 minutes.

AGDQ 2019 Chex Quest speedrun by peaches in 10:22:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dXq_BIHGIs


Nintendo recently dropped a Direct that unveiled a bunch of new games such as the Link's Awakening Remake and Super Mario Maker 2 and one that I noticed but didn't think much about was Tetris 99. It released that day for free to anyone that has the Nintendo Online subscription ($20 a year). I'm a big Tetris fan and over the years I've played it in many versions on the Gameboy, NES, Wii (Tetris Party Deluxe) and now Tetris 99 on the Switch. I'll cut right to the chase: Tetris 99 might be the biggest reason to get Nintendo Online but i'll talk a bit more about why below.

Nintendo Online is Actually Much Cooler Than I Thought

Historically I've been a huge PC gamer starting back in the early DOS era to now so playing multiplayer games has always been a big focus and unless it's a MMO, online has always been free. Nintendo has historically had free online too, and it was fun playing a handful of Mario Kart Online matches with friends and others from around the world but I didn't play many online games with my Wii. That said, the big draw of Nintendo systems for me hasn't been online so when Nintendo said it would be a paid $20 yearly subscription that didn't sound like a lot of money but also something I wasn't interested in.

Fun fact, you don't need a Nintendo Online account to play Fortnite on the Switch and I'm glad Nintendo and Epic worked that out. Truth be told I'm not fantastic playing Fortnite with a controller but the relatively small download and getting in and out of games quickly made the Switch the primary way I play it. So, for free, Nintendo has a bit of online play if Fortnite is your thing making Nintendo Online less appealing.

Recently that changed when I was traveling and wanted to play Super Mario Bros. 2 for review on Cheerful Ghost Radio. I have that game in many forms, but it wasn't practical to take my Nintendo Classic so I decided to splurge and buy Nintendo Online. Nearly all the NES games are included in your Nintendo Online subscription and so far, they all seem to play very well on the system. For fun, I downloaded Tetris 99 and gave it a shot.

Tetris 99 Might Be The Best Reason to get Nintendo Online

If you don't love Battle Royale games because shooters aren't your thing you need to try Tetris 99. The game goes just like you think, 99 players battle it out for one winner at the end. You can attack other players by sending them lines when you knock out lines on your game and players can do the same to you. When you lose or win, the score is shown and you can level up as you play. So far the game just supports it's signature mode but I've heard rumblings team mode is coming. If you love Tetris and want to show off your ability or maybe just want to play it again, Tetris 99 is super fun. That said, you can get dumped on by multiple people making the game less fun but I've found that doesn't happen all the time.

The reason why Tetris 99 might be a Nintendo Online seller is because $20 is less that most new games cost and for what you get, it's a great value. Sure there is only one mode but it's well played and matches are filled in a quick minute. I'm not trying to sell you Nintendo Online but with Tetris 99 and the NES library it's a pretty solid value.

I Forgot How Much Fun Mario Kart Online Is

Playing Mario Kart with your friends in the same room is incredible. A week ago we were visiting family and my wife and I were playing with them and it was some of the most fun I've had on the Switch to date. Four player Mario Kart is awesome but playing online with people dials that up considerably. As you can imagine there are some fantastic Mario Kart players from around the world and playing alongside them can give you quite a challenge. After a few races I slowly improving as there are some incredible players out there (Shoutout to Canada and Mexico for dominating some matches).

Nintendo Online might not have been something I was initially interested in but over time it wore me down and I'm very happy I got it. With the NES Classic games readily available and now Tetris 99 it can only get better from here.


If you didn't know you needed an LGR styled SimCity retrospective in your life, here's your moment to fill the void. Clint's YouTube reviews on esoteric PC hardware and old games are some of my most favorite and this one is one of his best. If you were wondering what influences SimCity as well as some information on its various ports, this is for you. Personally, I owned the DOS version as well as my favorite port of it on Super Nintendo.


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