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jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I work for Bonobos as an Engineering Manager and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.

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2279 Posts

World of Warcraft is the king of MMO's and will continue it's reign for quite some time and they just changed something that will keep it on top for the considerable future. In the past if you wanted to get into World of Warcraft you could pay the subscription and download the base game and play. Thing is there have been 7 total expansions for the game post launch and if you want to experience all the content you need to acquire (usually buy) all of the expansions. It makes it hard to get in and play with your friends if you friend new to the game doesn't have all the content but Blizzard just made it a lot easier.

"The Battle for Azeroth pre-patch is here, and with this update we’re making some exciting changes to the way players access to World of Warcraft. Starting today, new players can gain access to all World of Warcraft content up through and including the Legion expansion simply by becoming a subscriber—you no longer need to purchase the original World of Warcraft base game. In addition, all existing World of Warcraft subscribers have automatically been upgraded to Legion at no additional cost."

This is part of a push to get more World of Warcraft players but I wonder what the overall end game is? All other MMO's seem to be free to play and I wonder if World of Warcraft will ever go that route? They make a ton on monthly subscriptions but I wonder a World where you can play Warcraft without a monthly sub? Any case it's a long time coming but I suppose time will tell.

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-gb/news/21952597/subscribe-to-wow-and-play-every-expansion-through-legion

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LGR is one of the more interesting YouTube shows I watch because he covers a pretty incredible topic: old school PC hardware. In his latest retrospective he looks at the Gravis UltraSound a piece of hardware WAY out of my price range for the time. In the 90's I didn't have the greatest PC hardware and remember when I was salivating over a 2X CD ROM so I could play Myst much less a super fancy sound card like the Gravis. Eventually entry level soundblaster cards were standard faire for PC's and we were able to buy a Packard Bell 486/SX 25 that came pre-loaded with Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. Even though great sound become a staple of all computers there was a time where it wasn't and cards like the Gravis set the stage for the amazing stuff we have now built in to our phones.

"Taking a look at the legendary wavetable sound board from 1992! The Advanced Gravis Ultra Sound is still an awesome thing to experience with DOS PC games, assuming you can track one down."

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When I saw that Nintendo was releasing a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus I was very excited. I played a ton of the original Gameboy game and have very found memories of it. I'd argue the original Gameboy title is a good game but doesn't entirely hold up now but there is a lot there that's really fun and a remake seemed like a no-brainer.

I'd describe Samus Returns as the best parts of Super Metroid mixed with a fighting game.... sort of. The reason why the game feels like a fighting game is because Samus Returns includes a melee attack that is essential to progressing through the game. A lot of the time enemies will charge at you and the best way to kill them is to do a melee counter and shoot them. Learning how to do this effectively takes some practice and if you're not in tune with it you can take a lot of damage and die. It's not an impossible skill to learn but it requires focus and if you are rushing and don't time your counter attacks properly the game punishes you for it without feeling too punishing even if you die because of it.

The graphics of Samus Returns look like one of the better 3DS games but i'll admit that the best the 3DS can do is starting to show it's age a little. With that I'm not sure the fact that the 3DS is starting to show it's graphical limits compared to modest PC Indie games or the Switch is a big deal, but it's something I noticed. That said, the art style of the game is top notch and the 3D is absofrickin' incredible. I can't understate how cool the 3D effect on the 3DS is and Samus Returns really pops in 3D.

If you have a 3DS and are looking for a game to buy to put some life back in your handheld get Samus Returns. As Nintendo looks for the best of the Wii U catalog to port to the Switch I hope they consider porting some DS & 3DS titles to Switch too and Samus Returns would be a great contender. I'm strongly hoping that they port Ocarina of time 3D to the Switch too but if they don't I think that further cements the 3DS as a must have system for Nintendo lovers.

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Mega Man X is a well loved Super Nintendo game and as such has a dedicated community and was included as one of the games in the recent Super Nintendo Classic lineup. Because of it's status as one of the better entries in the Mega Man franchise, NES Complex dives in and takes another look in an all new retrospective video. The video briefly touches on the original NES Mega Man games and what X may have looked like if the series creator drew him the way he wanted. Spoiler alert, I like what they went with instead.

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Nathan Fillion stars in this all new Uncharted fan film that's one of the better fan films i've ever seen. It seems like a chunk taken directly out of a Uncharted movie that would be pretty fun to watch. As a lower budget film it has some rough edges but Nathan Fillion brings the charm. It also stars Stephen Lang as Drakes partner who really rounds out the treasure hunting team as Nathan gets the jump on the bad guys. Come for the Uncharted fan love and stay for Nathan Fillion getting punched in the face repeatedly.

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Here's another round of awesome SGDQ runs that you might want to check out. But... Jon why? Read on friends!

Super Mario Bros 3 All Forts Race of MitchFlowerPower v GrandPOOBear in 58:34 This run is embedded above and is not only an amazing test of skill by Mitch and PooBear but it also contains two really unfortunate soft locks. After Mitch's console soft locks the first time they are able to restart the run together but after that PooBear takes the win. It's hard to see this kind of thing happen in a race but both players are cool about it and you can see that in the interview afterward. It was reported that PooBear kicked Mitch's console but that's not quite what happened, it seems Poo stomped the ground as he was getting into the fun of the match and that may have rattled Mitch's console.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures by Zmaster91 in 2:08:59 I didn't know you could play Zelda Four Swords on Gamecube single player but Zmaster91 shows that you can and does it well. It's a really chill run to watch so if you're looking to relax and watch some Zelda, this is it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQvEQK8KMcU

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD by Linkus7 in 1:28:27 Linkus Wind Waker runs shows off just how crazy speedruns can get when the community finds amazing glitches. It's been recently found that if you pause buffer in Wind Waker that you can gain incredible swimming speed allowing you to swim to locations that previously required the boat. This allows runners to skip the first part of the game and other major parts making Wind Waker HD a run you can do in an hour and a half. If you watch anything watch Linkus setup the crazy pause buffering swim glitch then watch the rest because it's awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPLytsTfCcE

Kirby's Dream Land by eBloodyCandy in 12:51 Kirby's Dream Land isn't a very hard but BloodCandy's run adds quite a bit of strats to the game I wasn't aware of. I really love Dreamland and this was a fun run to watch because it's really quick and a fun game to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfQylC7rt2E

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Anodyne was the Indie Zelda-like released in 2013 that was a fan favorite on Cheerful Ghost during that time. I love the game so much we did a couple interviews with the studio that made the game(linked below). They released a follow up to Anodyne called Even The Ocean to great reviews and recently dropped news of an Anodyne sequel Anodyne 2: Return to Dust. It looks to harken back to the Nintendo 64 3D era which really works for the tone of the game and feels like a proper Anodyne follow up.

For me Anodyne wasn't just an awesome Indie game it also contains one of the best game soundtracks around. I listen to it still and the music is so iconic to me it sort of transcended the game itself. The trailer has the main Anodyne theme playing but it's a new take on it and I can't wait to hear all the new tunes and play the new game when it drops in 2019!

https://sean-han-tani.itch.io/anodyne-2

https://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/1557/even-the-ocean-the-upcoming-game-from-analgesic
https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/posts/1019/interview-with-the-creators-of-anodyne

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When the last Hearthstone expansion The Witchwood dropped I opened the free packs and played the single player content. The single player missions were quite fun and if you completed them with the Witchwood quests you could get a few more free packs to open. I didn't open a ton of Witchwood cards but the single player stuff was fun enough to keep me playing daily. Then one day turned into another and I was back playing Hearthstone each day grinding dailies for gold. A while back I left Hearthstone because I was tired of the grind but things seemed fresh and playing it was fun again.

For the last month there was a special time event where they gave everyone a free arena run, made the quests easier and included dust and gold rewards for dailies. That free arena run was the best i've ever had and the deck I made took me to 7 total wins. Since i'm not a heavy arena player I thought that was a really reasonable showing as a perfect arena run is 10 total wins. Throughout the time I was playing Hearthstone I never looked up the current meta decks to see what the best decks to use were. I simply built my own decks based on cards I had and what I liked to play and what was good enough. One of my favorite classes to play is Hunter and I love beast decks so most of the time I was playing with a Beast Hunter sort of mid range deck and did really well with it. I played each day until the special event ended and the old quests came back and the daily grind just didn't seem as fun. I hope they bring back those special quests because, while easy, they changed up how I played the game. It wasn't about winning, it was about winning quests around really fun and stupid stuff like "Play 3 Dragons" and "Summon 20 1 cost minions" or "Summon 20 battle cry minions." Easy sure, but fun and why does grinding for daily gold have to be a chore?

The next Hearthstone expansion has been announced and the game is still just as expensive as ever and I plan on playing the new content but I don't think i'll stick around as long as I did for The Witchwood. Happy to have fun in Hearthstone again but getting back into the game again proved to me that the base grind is still around and still not something I want to do a lot of.

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Rage 2 was one of my most anticipated games out of E3. They teased a Rukus The Crusher talking head and it looks like it's a thing you can buy with the upcoming collectors edition. It doesn't seem to steeply priced at $119 considering it comes with Rukus, the base game on the platform of your choice(as long as it's only three systems) and a steelbook case, a collector’s poster, an exclusive mission, & wasteland wizard cheat codes. There's also a bit more DLC included such as a monster truck, an armor set, and the... BFG. Looks like all pre-order versions of the game get the "Cult of the Death God" exclusive mission, settlers pistol, Nicholas Raine armor, and a monster truck but the Collectors Edition gets a little bit more.

I'm not quite sure how i'm going to play Rage 2 but you can get it for the normal or more... enhanced price.

Rage 2 gets really angry on PC, PS4 and XBox One the Spring of 2019.

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It's that time again for a new Hearthstone expansion and this next one looks like a lot of fun and it's called The Boomsday Project. Doctor Boom is an old Hearthstone Legendary card that was one of the most overpowered in the game before he was rotated to wild. He's back and in his own expansion that looks like it fuses explosions with Hearthstone SCIENCE! Speaking of fuses a new mechanic MAGNETIC is for Mech cards allowing MAGNETIC cards to fuse to other mechs giving them the stats and abilities of the MAGNETIC card. It's a lot like Deathstalker Rexxar's Build a Beast ability but for mechs which looks to be very interesting.

A side note... the Hearthstone team is getting really great at making very fun videos showing off expansions and this one is the most entertaining to date. I'd recommend checking it out just for fun even if you don't plan on playing the game.

https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/expansions-adventures/the-boomsday-project

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If you have Twitch Prime head over to Twitch now to collect on all the free games you can! Amazon Prime is a pretty big day and since Amazon bought Twitch it's now partaking in the festivities giving away a ton of indie games for Prime members such as Metal Slug 3, Broken Age, Brutal Legend, Tacoma, Next up Hero and Qube 2.

With all the free game giveaways on Twitch by having Twitch Prime I have an ever growing Twitch catalog. Curious if Twitch is going to position itself as a competitor to Steam, GOG and Origin as it's already ramping things up to become an interesting digital store.

https://blog.twitch.tv/get-ready-for-the-biggest-game-giveaway-in-twitch-prime-history-52e55aba19eb

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Metal Jesus got his hands on the new RetreoN 77 Atari Remake system and put it through the paces. The whole retro console remake market is pretty hot and this system seems to have a nice light footprint starting out at about $70. That said, it's not perfect and it seems RetreoN is having issues with the controllers in the first run. That said if you are looking for a good way to play your Atari games in HD this is a solid option.

"PROS:
Runs real 2600 cartridges (approx 99% compatibility)
720P HD output
Supports original Atari joysticks and paddles
Toggle 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio
Super long controller cable
Looks nice

CONS:
Joystick may break during heavy use
Doesn't support more than 18 ROMS
Slight video/audio lag because of software emulation
"

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This years Summer Games Done Quick was one of the best i've seen to date I think a couple reasons for this is that there are a lot of great new speedrunners running awesome games and the Games Done Quick team is better than ever. This years charity was Doctors without Borders and it's a cool thing to consider that Games Done Quick is the biggest single funding event it has and this year was a blowout with 2.1 million raised! If you want to relive the entire week you can stream it all on the Games Done Quick YouTube page or just check out the runs i'll highlight here. I wanted to talk about a few now and will create a few more posts in the upcoming weeks.

Final Fantasy VI Glitchless 100% Speedrun by puwexil in 6:53:00 The final speedrun that closed the event was by Puwexil and was 7 hours of pure Final Fantasy III/VI awesomeness. Since it's a glitchless 100% run Puwexil runs the whole game as quickly as possible while getting each character. It's worth watching and I know you don't have 7 hours to watch it in one go so piecing it out a bit over time seems like a good way to watch it all.

Video embedded above.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D by gymnast86 in 1:32:35 Majora's Mask is a game on my list of shame and I plan on picking it up to play this year. That said, I watched the first half of the run and it shows off why this game is one of the most beloved in the series. I stopped watching because I didn't want to spoil the whole game but if you've played it before coming back to watch the 3DS port is well worth it as it's one of the best ways to play and watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pejFW9W_yM

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Undead Campaign by CovertMuffin If you haven't watched a CoverMuffin run you should because he's a lot of fun to experience. Later on in the event he was one of the people reading off donations and did a great job doing that. He's a fun personality and his knowledge of WarCraft III is immense. Come of the WarCraft III stay for CoverMuffin's laugh!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhISmAF6ASw

The Legend of Zelda Race of LackAttack24 v beetea v Eunos in 36:20 Last year I woke up early to catch the Legend of Zelda race and this years was just as fun but didn't require me to wake up at 5am. It's a great race and each player is quite good. That said, a clear winner emerges by a pretty impressive time and 36.20 is a great run!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo0LVPu2QIM

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Bingo by Runnerguy2489 in 1:13:06 One new format for running Ocarina of Time that came to this years GDQ was Ocarina of Time Bingo. Basically you start the run with a bingo board and the runner picks a sequence row or column and tries to run it as fast as possible. You need to know the game and all of it's skips and exploits well to get a good speedrun of the format and Runnerguy makes it look easy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVu7WWpjWnU

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Wanted to wish all the stateside Ghosts a very happy Independence Day. Drop off what you’re doing in the comments and enjoy the national feast of hot dogs!

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This might seem like an odd topic for Cheerful Ghost but as we are all lovers of film the discussion seems useful. Cheerful Ghost has a booth at Portland Retro Game Expo each year and as a way to make a few bucks to help cover the booth cost and a stab at doing something a bit unusual we sell VHS tapes. I've been a light collector of VHS for the last couple years and selling tapes at the booth was a natural progression of that. All that said, I recently found a video that takes a second look at the home video format and VHS specifically. It's a great video and I think many of the points are spot on as some films really are better suited to be watched at home rather than in a theater. The video uses the example of Kevin Smith's Mallrats and Clerks and I totally agree.

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