jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

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

2381 Posts

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.


To say that I was excited when I found out Link's Awakening is getting a Switch remake is an understatement. I have quite a few more thoughts about that release and I think some clear take aways that I wanted to talk with you about. If you have another take, please drop them in the comments!

The 3DS Moves Out of Focus

I love my 3DS and hope it has a long life ahead of it. I'm not one of those Nintendo fans that want to see the 3DS obsoleted. With that I noticed that the Link's Awakening remake is coming to the Switch with no mention of 3DS. If you look at past Zelda 2D topdown titles they came exclusively to the DS/3DS and Link Between Worlds(the last one on 3DS) had a similar style to the upcoming remake on Switch. Put another way, the Link's Awakening remake looks like it would have been a perfect fit for the 3DS but it's coming to the Switch and so far seems exclusive. Switch is Nintendos future and with that are they now focusing all new development in it's direction?

Will Nintendo Dual Wield Each of it's Properties?

For many years now you have the main Mario franchise focuses on 3D platformers such as Super Mario 3D World and more recently with Mario Odyssey. The second Mario franchise is closer to its 2D platforming roots in New Super Mario Bros that gets regular releases as seen recently with New Super Mario Bros. Wii U Deluxe on Switch. With the recent Pokemon Let's Go: Eevee and Pikachu and Nintendo ALSO working on a new a main series Pokemon game on Switch it seems Pokemon is dual wielding the franchise with games focused on the classic gameplay and the fresh new Pokemon installment coming later.

So this sort of begs the question, will Nintendo dual wield each of the franchises with games focusing on the classic gameplay and some moving forward as with Zelda? Seems so and I wonder what Nintendo franchise will be next? I'd love to see that treatment for Mario Kart and can think of many things i'd love to see in the next installment such as a Mario Maker style track creator.

Will Nintendo Remake All The Best of Gameboy Titles

Metroid: Samus Returns and now the Link's Awakening remake are strongly in the best-of Gameboy camp and I'm curious what Nintendo might be planning next? Frankly i'd prefer ports of Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess on Switch as Nintendo can only remake so many games at one time. That said, if we got a Six Golden coins or Wario remake i'd be totally in on that too.


Rage 2 is the AAA game that tops my anticipation list for 2019. I have a soft spot for iD Software games and was a fan of the original Rage so much so that Rage 2 will be a day one purchase. Rage wasn't the biggest hyped game when it came out and thoughts on it today aren't negative as much as fuzzy memory around it coming out entirely. All that said, I really enjoyed the shooter mechanics, think the game nailed driving around in your car, dug the wingstick and loved the co-op. A new nine minute gameplay trailer dropped today focusing on combat, driving and ... flying. Yeah, it seems that you can fly around in Rage 2 something I didn't know was coming and it looks quite fun.

Rage 2 Looks To Mix Up The Best Open World Games

I don't want to lose the fact that Rage 2 has some very deep callbacks to the original. The shooting sounds and looks like the original, the wasteland looks HEAVILY influenced by the original game with more of a bright neon focus making Rage 2 something fresh. The game really looks to take the best parts of Rage and turns it up to 11 while adding a whole slew of new stuff that makes Doom 2016 look tame.

It seems Avalanche studios has taken open world elements from the modern Far Cry and mixed it up here to produce something really fun. Some people have wondered how far Rage 2 gets to the Borderlands series and it looks from this gameplay likes it's nothing really obvious. Rage 2 has a bombast feel but it looks to pull more elements from Mad Max Fury Road than Borderlands. And frankly, if you're shooting for that post apocalypse wasteland feel you should be borrowing more from George Miller than 2K anyway.

I Am Excite

Not sure I can be more excited for Rage 2 but I am. One big aspect of fun for me with the original was Mutant Bash TV and I hope Rage 2 goes all in on that. There were only two Mutant Bash TV levels in Rage and one was tied up in DLC. Hopefully Rage 2 goes deeper here and Bethesda has stated they plan on dropping even more Rage 2 gameplay and I hope they focus on the ol' Mutant Bash. I know I did.

Riddles In The Dark

So this Gameplay footage is all crazy and great but it doesn't show the games HUD at all. I know that's a work in progress but it gives a bit more open feel than the actual game will have. iD isn't known for bad HUD's I just noticed it wasn't included and wondered what they might land on?

I also really wanted them to show a "(T)alk it out" option in gameplay where instead of punching people to human pulp you can sit down and calmly talk out a non-violent solution. The end of that might not be well but at least you could start things off with something a bit more diplomatic than a hello rocket blast to the face. Still, hello rocket blasts to the face can be fun in video games and watching people debate the merits of water rights might not make the most entertaining time.


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Travis and I have been working over the last two months and finally happy to announce that Cheerful Ghost is in development of it's first game! In 2018 we launched our games BBS featuring the best open source web games you can play as the first step in us getting to the point of creating our own games. Each of the games we launched on our BBS so far are single player games and we think that what makes Cheerful Ghost great is hanging out with other users so each game we create ourselves will be multiplayer at their core.

What Are You Making?

We're not quite ready to drop the full details of our upcoming game yet, but I do want to talk about a few things. Firstly, as I mentioned already each Cheerful Ghost created game will feature interacting with the community as an essential component. I love playing games with friends and some of the most fun experiences I have were playing with them. We're also going to make sure each game we make will be playable entirely from your phone, tablet or desktop browser. I think it makes sense for Cheerful Ghost games to be entirely playable in your browser and means that the way you come to the site is the way you should play our games.

When I think about the most fun games from the BBS era, the ones I want to play the most are games that create a vast world deep in lore but simple enough to pickup and play a couple times over the course of your day.

When Will The Game Launch?

The goal is to have our first game out by the end of 2019 but as with any game development timeline, it's possibly entirely wrong. One helpful piece to hitting the end of the year goal is that our first game is fairly simple as it's a fun homage to the BBS/DOS text game era. That said, things come up and we might not hit that date but we'll do our best.

**update** We've used the "Link holding a Ghost" graphic a couple times and it's _NOT_ foreshadowing the kind of game we are making. Our game will be VERY focused on the BBS/DOS era graphically.


Nvidia focused heavily on its new ray tracing technology during its RTX showcase. When the technology is ubiquitous enough ray tracing will allow some incredibly impressive lighting that until now was limited to show floor demos and a render farm but recently someone modified Quake 2 to support ray tracing and the results are impressive and you can try right now(assuming you have an RTX video card). Since iD Software released the source for Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3, Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, etc anyone can take that source and modify it and someone did to retrofit it to support Nvidia's new RTX tech. As always, Digital Foundry has an analysis video and if you are interested in the future of 3D graphics technology, you should check it out.


I think we were all very excited about the prospect of a Nintendo Classic styled Playstation that contained the best games of that era. When Sony dropped word that one was coming and that one launch title would be Final Fantasy VII the excitement was very palpable. As someone that missed the Playstation era of gaming I was excited to get one and learn what some of the best games from that system were. That said, when the final list of titles was released it was as if the air was let out of the fan excitement balloon and when the Playstation Classic dropped it didn't land well.

I've decided to not write about the Playstation Classic launch until now because I haven't had a lot to say as someone that didn't buy one. Franky none of the reviews game me a reason to pick one up but with the recent release of Cygnus Destroyers Innocent Until Proven Guilty episode, I might. Cygnus gives the unit a fair shake and he notes that at a reduced price point getting one makes quite a bit of sense.


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Nintendo is partnering up with mobile developer LINE to make a new entry in the Dr. Mario series for mobile called Dr. Mario World. We do know that the game will support iOS and Android and be free to play with in-app purchases. As a long-time fan of Dr. Mario this is great news and if LINE can translate the awesome puzzler elements to phones Dr. Mario World could be a perfect fit. I'm still very curious how the Mario Kart free to play smartphone game will turn out that's coming out this year and am optimistic about that but if i'm being honest, Dr. Mario seems like a better fit to me. After the amazing success of Mario Kart 8 and then 8 Deluxe on the Switch a smartphone offering is going to have some stiff competition.

Do you think Dr. Mario World on smartphones is something you'd play?

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/corporate/release/en/2019/190201.html


The Humble Bundle has released a lot of great game bundles and the latest Playstation Indie Games bundle is a must buy if you own a PS4 and wanted a few more games to play. It's a pretty wide mix of titles such as Grim Fandango Remastered, The Bards Tale remastered, Inner Space, Broken Age, The Talos Principle, Wasteland 2, Layers of Fear, Shadow Warrior 2 and Killing Floor 2 and is $15 to get them all. $15 is a great price for just one of these games and considering some of the proceeds go to charity, even better.


I've only recently discovered The Gaming Historians channel and wanted to share one of his new videos covering the Super Mario Land trilogy on Gameboy. Starting with the offbeat Super Mario Land the Mario Land trilogy is unique and nothing Nintendo has quite replicated recently. I'd love a new take on these old games with the strange mechanics and new characters as Wario was first introduced in Mario Land Six Golden Coins and later featured as the protagonist in his own game.

"The Super Mario Land series was Nintendo's attempt at bringing the Super Mario franchise to the Game Boy. But it was also the first time Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto would not be involved. Learn all about the history of this series and the impact it has left on the Mario franchise!"


In Oregon we are all lucky to have the Portland Retro Game Expo which is a fun event in the later summer for everything awesome in retro games and trading. Cheerful Ghost has a booth each year, which is something you should check out if you haven't yet. In the new year the Video Game Swap Meet is held at the Portland Double Tree and put on by the Portland Retro Game Expo and The GameFather and I wanted to write a bit about the event and some of my pickups. Spoiler alert, Will got quite a few more games than I did.

The Portland Retro Game Expo is a very large event with a wide reach including a huge free to play arcade, game tournaments, retro game vendors, toy collectables, geek swag (think Yeti style shirts) and various game creators and game sites and podcasts like Cheerful Ghost. The Video Game Swap Meet is more focused around vendors selling and trading games and it's a really focused one day event. I really enjoy it because it's easy to take in and go through each booth a few times to make sure you've picked up anything you want. The swap meet had a lot of people there but less folks than PRGE which is a nice change of pace.

I wasn't coming to the Swap Meet with anything in mind to get, I really just like hanging out with the Retro community and I also wanted to handout some of our new Cheerful Ghost branded 1UP cards. If you don't know, 1UP cards are a great way to clean your old retro NES, SNES, Genesis, 64, etc carts without blowing into them. Think a simple two sided cleaning card that has no downside of spitting into your carts, which you should never do to clean them. I've seen branded 1UP cards in the wild and have wanted some Cheerful Ghost cards printed so I contacted 1UP and had some made up. If you want to see what they look like hit the image link below.

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Will and I were one of the first people in line and as such I was able to hand out the cards, some stickers and a podcast handout to the first 10 or so people easily. People seemed to dig the new 1UP cards so I'm going to do a similar giveaway at Portland Retro Game Expo this year as well as sell them at our booth. I'd like to get some Cheerful Ghost shirts printed this year too, but we'll see how it goes.

As to the stuff I picked up this year I finally was able to round out my collection of Just Dance games on the Wii with the original Just Dance 2009 game. I've got the others and it's a fun series and one reason I still have my Wii hooked up to my TV. I also picked up two DS games in Plants VS Zombies and Zoo Tycoon. Both are PC ports that landed in various forms and I've only played a bit of Plants VS Zombies DS so far. I want to do a more formal review of Plants VS Zombies DS but i'd say if you were a fan of the game and wanted to collect a version of it on DS, get it. I aim to collect all the Zelda games and finally added Oracle of Ages and Seasons on Gameboy Color to my collection after finding them both for a good price. I also saw Link to the Past in box and in great shape but I think i'm going to save that pickup for this years Portland Retro Game Expo.


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