Category Archives: In Between Posts

In Between Posts, September 23, 2012

A great game, but perhaps not up to the claims on the box…

Another weekend, another platform or two down in the Leonard 2012 Video Game Olympics. This session we were able to complete the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo Game Boy. Jeff took the Genesis 21-17, and might I add fairly handily towards the end. We will revisit the platform at some point when we play compilations containing Genesis games so this might turn around in my favor eventually. The Game Boy was quick as there were only two games that we competed in: Super Mario Land and Tetris; I took both. Overall, the standings are 93-80 in my favor, but we have hundreds of games to go, after all, we’re only on the Super Nintendo.

Of the many realizations I’ve had during this competition, the one that is forefront in my mind at the moment is just how stellar the SNES/Genesis era generation was. Perhaps it’s because I have a smaller collection for these platforms and they’re more concentrated with quality titles, but there are so many fantastic games we’ve played. I’ll be interested to revisit these platforms in the future.

In Between Posts, September 16, 2012

A blast or a bust?

More Genesis escapades this weekend as the Leonard 2012 Video Game Olympics continue. This weekend my friend and I were reminded of just how great Sonic the Hedgehog is. The game looks and sounds fantastic, and the gameplay! It truly was something different and it’s no wonder it was such a success. Really great game. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 on the other hand… My memories of this game were… wrong.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 looks and sounds fantastic, but it doesn’t play like a Sonic game, at least from the first few acts. In my opinion, the Sonic games were so successful because of the stage design. The stages were conducive to running fast. And the scoring reflected this. Points from defeating enemies were minimal, whereas your time bonus at the end of an act could really bolster your score. Rings are also a big source of points, but even blazing through a stage, plenty are collected. Yes, Sonic isn’t about defeating every enemy and collecting every single ring, it’s about doing a little of both as you blast through a stage. That’s why Sonic the Hedgehog 3‘s first few acts are disappointing.

Rather than having a stage that is relatively flat with enough loops and obstacles to keep the game from playing itself, the first set of acts in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, feature a heavier reliance on slow-paced platforming. Lots of upward and downward platforming that only serves to bog down the pace and highlight Sonic’s poor movement at slow speeds. Not only that, but there’s tons of water! Nobody likes water stages in video games, nobody! The first few stages are almost designed to force players downward into the these pools of water. To top it off, the next set of acts are proper water stages! Because that’s what players wanted when they purchased Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the opportunity to move at a glacial pace as though Sonic had stepped in molasses. But I digress. Perhaps there is more to the game’s stage design that I haven’t noticed yet. Perhaps with more time, I’d be enlightened and realize I simply needed more skill and forethought. Anyways, the first Sonic is still mind-blowing.

In Between Posts, September 9, 2012

What a game!

I cut my teeth on the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and Game Boy. This trio housed my first gaming memories. As such, I grew up a Nintendo kid. Only retroactively did I get to experience the Sega Genesis. My first impressions weren’t so hot. After all, I was a Nintendo kid. Over the years I’ve grown to appreciate the platform although in the past few weeks, I’ve grown to love it!

My friend and I have reached the Genesis as the Leonard 2012 Video Game Olympics continue and currently, we’re about halfway through the fifty games I own for the platform. When another friend moved out last year, he gave me fifteen or so Genesis games, some hailed as classics. This has been my first chance to experience these games and wow!

Games like Aladdin, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, The Lost Vikings, heck, I have half a dozen Madden games for the Genesis and they’re pretty great. I remember growing up throughout the 2000s and knowing that 99% of licensed games were going to be crap. It’s such a mind-blower to play these Disney games and see that what everyone has said about them was true. Great games on a great system!

In Between Posts, September 2, 2012

The SNES saw the bulk of my attention because I decided to stop holding off on purchases unless a game was complete with box and manual. I’ve missed out on many great, cheap games over the years.

Another week with no new posts, but that doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing! This weekend, like last, I actually did a noteworthy amount of game shopping. The largest of the two chains of local game stores had a buy two, get one free Labor Day sale and my friend and I took advantage of the opportunity and visited 4 of the 5 nearby stores. I haven’t purchased games at this frequency in a very long time. Partially I’ve been spurred to do so after reading jsicktheslick’s Sunday Roundup posts for so long. Another factor is the ongoing competition between my friend and I to play every game we collectively own and see who wins the most titles.

Our competition has begun to move briskly now. We completed the NES last week and today we plowed through the twenty Intellivision games and the eleven Apple II games I own. Both of these platforms on the whole were disappointing, but we also began playing the Genesis and man, there a lot of awesome games of that system. I’ll get around to posting results eventually and also, I think instead of talking about a select few titles individually and in a fairly long article, I’ll be switching formats. Rather, each and every game will be discussed in a three paragraph article, succinct and to the point. The first para will be an overview while the second and third paras will be my thoughts and my friend’s thoughts respectively. That way, I’ll be able to highlight each game, produce a veritable amount of content, and bring the other competitor’s views into the fold. I’m looking forward to doing this eventually, as school and work are all consuming!

Anyways, this weekend I managed to pick up many top-notch, or personally interesting titles and I took pictures of them, as well as the few titles I picked up last weekend. I managed to pick up many SNES games for cheap, mainly shoot ’em ups because I like that genre, but I also picked up Super Tennis, Stunt Race FX, Final Fight and Rival Schools: two hopefully great beat ’em ups, ActRaiser: an RPG from Enix, and the Super Game Boy. The more modern games are more visible in the following photo so I won’t highlight those.

I also picked up a handful of random games for a multitude of platforms too!

In Between Posts, August 26, 2012

With my first full week of school completed and my work week over with, I felt the urge to scout out some local game stores Friday night, hoping to pick up some new, cheap games that my friend and I could play in our competition. Goal accomplished. I returned home with nearly a dozen titles and only out twenty bucks. This type of activity used to be a common routine of mine – how else could I have accumulated a collection of 1,000+ games? I haven’t done it in a long time, and it was very fun. My friend and I had a good time driving around and discussing the finer points of classic (and sometime not so classic) video games. I was very pleased with my haul; I picked up a handful of games that are either well-regarded or interesting to me and I spent less than twenty dollars, I’d call that a success.

R-Type Command for the PSP: a tactics game that I picked up for under three dollars.

In Between Posts, August 19, 2012

School’s back in session! This will be my final semester no less. Discounting the fact that I will continue taking classes in the future, but likely at a lessened pace. My courses this semester will prove to be entertaining useful. I’m enrolled in Investments, Auditing, Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, and Business Policy which acts as my capstone course, requiring me to use all that I have learned to succeed. Truth be told, I’m pretty happy to be back in school. I’ll miss my free time no doubt, but school presents the opportunity to learn something new and develop skills and practices that can be reused in the future; plus, it’s a positive avenue to focus my attention on. Looking forward earning my Bachelor’s!

In Between Posts, August 5, 2012

These past few days, as I’ve been researching the Atari 2600 games I’m writing about, I’ve really gotten into the stories and developers behind them. Information about the stories behind their development are fairly prevalent and this information is helping me to develop a real appreciation for the platform. I’m reaching the point where I almost want to research all of the 2600 games I have.

I don’t know if I’ll follow through on that though because watching the Olympics has been consuming more of my time than I’d anticipated. This is the first Olympics that I’ve actually payed attention to and I’m enjoying it, especially beach volleyball. In other Olympic news, my friend and I are nearing the halfway mark with the NES. We got a couple gameplay sessions in this past week and played a variety of games. Most notable games from last week: Dr. Mario, Dragon Warrior, Duck Hunt, and Final Fantasy.

Sean Rosenthal makes a save with Jacob Gibbs in the background at the Olympics.

In Between Posts, July 22, 2012

My friend and I have competed in about a dozen NES games thus far in the Leonard 2012 Video Game Olympics. The NES round has been front-loaded with a large amount of sports games. Last time we competed we played one golf game, three baseball games, and one hockey game. We played Baseball – a stinker, Bases Loaded – an improvement over Baseball with solid gameplay, and Bases Loaded 3 – a further improvement over Bases Loaded, mainly in the graphics and soundtrack; we we wound up mixed on which was the best baseball game, split between Bases Loaded and Bases Loaded 3.

I’m excited to get back to the games but this is my final week of my online class and I’m afraid my time will be consumed by it for the first half of this week. I did make time for fun last week though. I completed Red Dead Redemption and was stunned! It is so very good. I also attended the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. Likewise, it was very good and I was stunned!

In Between Posts – July 15, 2012

I got a promotion this past week and I’m pretty happy about it. I’ve begun assisting the head honchos at the grocery store I work at with accounting and clerical work. The company is expanding pretty quickly and their workload is increasing. I’ll get a raise, but it’s a far cry from what I could earn with my accounting degree. Although, thanks to help from my parents, I’ve been able to remain free of school debt so I can afford to be less ambitious right out of the gate when I graduate in the fall. I figure I’ll stay on for at least a year or two in the hopes of working my way into corporate, and then I’ll see what happens around then. Regardless, I’ll be getting crucial experience that will be a boon going forward.

My summer class is still going on although it’s more than halfway done. I have a few more weeks of my business and ethics course and then I’ll have a week or two break before my fall semester begins.

And on the video game front, I managed to get a little progress done in Red Dead Redemption, and my friend and I have made an important step forward in our Olympic Games. I previously thought my Mattel Intellivision would remain unplayable for this event thanks to its outdated TV output – a coaxial cable or sorts. However, I always thought the TV output on my Atari 2600 looked strange and it turns out this is because it had an adapter on it that transformed its coaxial output into an RF output – something I can make work. Sure enough, I was able to remove it from the 2600, hook it up to the INTV, and voila! It was the first time I’ve ever played the INTV and we only got a couple of games to work. Still, it was a hell of moment when Burgertime popped up on the TV.

Have a good week!

In Between Posts, July 8, 2012

Well it seems I’m feeling better. My fatigue left me towards the end of last week and I got back into the groove of things proper by working my tail off in the produce department, completing research and homework, and playing video games. I’m seeing The Amazing Spider-Man later tonight so I’ve got something to look forward to. Afterwards, I’ll be neck deep in homework relating to business ethics and the environment. I tell you what, nothing will make you think the phrase “business ethics is an oxymoron” like reading in-depth about business practices and how they relate to the environment. On the bright side, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Red Dead Redemption has eluded me the past couple of weeks thanks to my increased focus on school. Still, the few hours I play it here and there keep me wanting more and continue to enlighten me of the impressive talent housed at Rockstar Games. When talking about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda Game Studios was given massive praise and rightfully so. One comment that stuck out to me (and it could’ve originated internally) was that the worlds they created were done so well, they were essentially the main character. Indeed, Skyrim was an impressive area in it’s totality. Playing Red Dead Redemption, I can see a glimmer of the same awesomeness in the massive environment they’ve created, but truly, Rockstar Games’ skills lie in the narrative – specifically the characters. They’re multidimensional personas that are not simply out to kill someone. The journeys I go on with them, where I’m giving a heaping helping of dialogue, fills me in on their motivations, goals, and personalities to such a degree that it’s almost pathetic comparing other games to Red Dead Redemption. Needless to say, it’s engrossing.

Also, I must give enormous congratulations to my best friend and his wife for their newborn daughter. They’re two of my favorite people and I wish all three the best.