State of the Game: Retroism

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a State of the Game post, and it has to do with the fact that that series of posts I did about my Gamer To-Do List managed to encompass what I would have said. Doesn’t really matter what title you put on the post, if the content is the same it shouldn’t be repeated. At least, not without something new to add.

Anyway, the subtitle here is Retroism, and though I thought I was being clever and coining a term, a quick Google search will show you that I was dead wrong. There’s a service much like the bundle sites we all know and love called Retroism.com, so yeah, I was beaten to the punch. Either way, I have been on a retro gaming kick, be it true retro games or those styled as such or even just in game play mechanics. I think it was a combination of talking about some of my favorite PSOne games, playing a bunch of Nuclear Throne for the last couple of months, along with having purchased some games that are retro-inspired and then playing some remakes in recent months. Playing games that are updated from their past versions, compilations of old classics, or new indie titles that are clearly throwbacks to the 8 and 16 bit generations are great fun, and in some ways I am feeling like there are some superior experiences in older titles. Some that deserve a brand new sequel or envisioning too. We talked about much of this during the new Couch Podtatoes episode, though I’ll be touching on different games here.

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I’ve mentioned Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection a few times in the past, mainly because the Genesis was one of my favorite systems of all time and the collection contains many of my old favorites. Lately I had been craving an old school RPG experience, and though I’ve played those old 16-bit titles many times throughout the years, I still wanted to play Shining Force again. I mentioned it is one of my Evergreen games, and I meant that. I started playing it a couple of weeks ago again, and it’s been a blast. I can also say that it’s been long enough since the last time I played it (probably via Wii Ware) that there’s parts I’ve forgotten and so it’s been a fun playthrough. I’m almost done with it, and I intend to play its sequel as well.

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I played Columns the other night too, and I was breaking the game. I had to let myself lose shortly after taking this picture because it wasn’t getting anymore challenging. I remember the game being more difficult when I was a kid. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is definitely more challenging in comparison.

As I mentioned, I played through the Gears of War remake with my friend, but I also got to check on the Rare Replay that had been announced back at E3. It’s a collection of 30 games from the now defunct publisher Rare. Honestly, it’s not a compilation that I would have bought, as sampling a handful of the games lead me to this conclusion. Battletoads is still remarkably hard and poorly designed. RC Pro-Am was a game I loved but is plagued by being developed for an 8-bit system (NES) with limited graphical and audio capabilities. It’s sequel fairs little better. Most of the titles were released on Nintendo or Microsoft platforms, both of which I didn’t really own during their development run, so I had no real fondness for anything included. I may sound biased here, but I simply enjoyed more games on the Genesis collection, and the same goes for other compilations of old Midway or Atari games. Rare just wasn’t a company that did it for me.

I’ve also been playing a bunch of Nuclear Throne, and though I haven’t been posting daily anymore (I managed 46 days in a row counting the tail end of July through Sept 12th) I am still doing the Daily Runs and have been enjoying it. I am still posting the videos to YouTube, so if you’ve enjoyed those, head over to my channel and subscribe so you don’t miss a video if I happen to skip posting. I’m falling back into my old pattern of posting several times a week but not every day. Some days there just isn’t anything to say, I didn’t game much, there’s no news, and I don’t want to force out content just for the sake of content. However, I’m going to try and keep as close to daily posting as possible, so you can still expect regular content to read. I just reserve the right to not post if I don’t feel like it. It’s not a question of whether or not I can post daily, rather a question of feeling like it or having something worthwhile to share. So yeah, Nuclear Throne videos daily on YouTube. Here’s today’s run:

I’ve had several new pickups lately, and they’ve been solely free games or super cheap on Steam. Stuff from the Weeklong Deals that post on Mondays is typically a bunch of crap, but there are hidden gems sometimes, and I’ve found a few. The other day Steam gave everyone a free copy of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and I’ve heard good things about the title, but I have yet to play it. Origin on the other hand, gave away Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 + an expansion. I haven’t played it yet either (nor did I play it back in 2000 or so when it released) but I’m looking forward to trying out a classic RTS to keep up with this whole retro thing I’ve had going. One of the games that I picked up this past week for a whopping $0.15 is called Terra Incognita, and though it’s in early access it looks like a PSOne JRPG and those have always been pretty enjoyable. Hoping for good things from this one.

So that’s about it for this edition. Time to go play something.

I Know That Feel

Writing that post the other day about the Sega Genesis titles got me feeling rather nostalgic. I’ve written about nostalgia recently, along with dedicating a significant portion of last week’s podcast to the topic. Regardless of whether or not nostalgia worked well or not is besides the point. What the point is, is that I ended up searching for a particular PS3 title that could sate my desire to play some Sega games. My brother-in-law picked up a copy of said title a few years ago, and I did play it a bit back then, but realized that I hadn’t really dug deep enough into it. I wanted a copy of my own. The game? Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection.

A collection of almost 50 games, this package was worth it’s original asking price (whatever that may have been), but the $18 I paid for a copy at Gamestop yesterday was even better. Not only does the collection have many of the games I listed in my recent post, it has other titles that I still enjoy but didn’t include. I thought I’d make a list of the games for those of you who are curious, with a small amount of commentary:

  1. Alex Kidd
  2. Alien Storm
  3. Alien Syndrome
  4. Altered Beast (+ arcade version)
  5. Beyond Oasis (on my list)
  6. Bonanza Bros.
  7. Columns
  8. Comix Zone
  9. Congo Bongo
  10. Decap Attack
  11. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  12. Dynamite Headdy
  13. Ecco the Dolphin
  14. Ecco: Tides of Time
  15. ESWAT
  16. Fantasy Zone
  17. Fatal Labyrinth (on my list)
  18. Flicky
  19. Gain Ground
  20. Golden Axe (on my list)
  21. Golden Axe 2
  22. Golden Axe 3
  23. Golden Axe Warrior
  24. Kid Chameleon (on my list)
  25. Phantasy Star
  26. Phantasy Star II
  27. Phantasy Star III (on my list)
  28. Phantasy Star IV (on my list)
  29. Ristar
  30. Shining Force (on my list)
  31. Shining Force II (on my list)
  32. Shining in the Darkness
  33. Shinobi (arcade)
  34. Shinobi III
  35. Sonic the Hedgehog
  36. Sonic 2
  37. Sonic 3 (on my list)
  38. Sonic & Knuckles (on my list)
  39. Sonic 3D Blast
  40. Sonic Spinball
  41. Space Harrier
  42. Streets of Rage
  43. Streets of Rage 2 (on my list)
  44. Streets of Rage 3
  45. Super Thunder Blade
  46. Vectorman
  47. Vectorman 2
  48. Zaxxon

There are a lot of good games here, but then there’s a lot of crap too. Some of the games that made this collection I can’t help but ask, why? Others make sense and I owned most of them at one point or another. I have a lot of fond memories of many of the titles, but the ones I absolutely adore made it on to my other list. Last night I didn’t play as much as I would have liked, but I was in the mood for some puzzle-game action, so I played Mean Bean Machine and Columns. The former was a lot harder than I remembered, the latter was still super easy, to the point that I just shut it off because I was at level 50 and didn’t think I’d lose any time soon. I also fired up the first Phantasy Star game because I had never played it before, and it was on of those games that I just don’t see myself ever playing. It is a conversion of a Master System (8-bit) title, so it’s really dated and I just couldn’t handle it. Phantasy Star II (another that I hadn’t played) felt a bit better, but was still annoying. Having played IV the most, and it being the best of the series made the others fall flat. I still need to dive into some of these other games, but now that I own them all, there’s time.

That’s it for today. Been a busy day, I still have podcast editing to do, and I wanted to meet the deadline (which is fast approaching). I have something planned for tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll get it posted earlier in the day. Until then.

#segagenesis #blaugust #retrogaming