Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

RoundUp 137 – Huge Super Moves

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (50:03)
Guinness Gaming Records – (2:20:19)
Radio Reelers: Silver Ball – (2:24:09)
Chris Wilkins Interview – (2:26:24)
Top Ten Super Hero Games – (3:16:59)
Gaming Trivia – (5:11:52)
It Came From MAME – (5:12:19)
Buckner And Garcia: Goin Berzerk – (5:19:09)
Live News And Listener Views – (5:24:37)
URLs And EMails – (7:14:40)

See the shownotes page.

Vote in our Top Ten Poll and suggest a future Top Ten topic here.

Join our Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter.

Chat with us on Discord.

Donate to the show or support us on Patreon.

Podcatch via the RSS Feeds.

Join us for Live News and watch the unedited Live News Video.

Read the monthly News RSS Feed.

Stream the show 24/7 or listen to RGR Radio.


Playstation Classic LineUp Woes?

Friday, November 16th, 2018

Recently Sony announced their full 20 game lineup for the Playstation Classic.  Many have posted blogs or videos on YouTube complaining about the game lineup, especially since major titles like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, or Castlevania did not make the cut (most of which I predicted would make the cut in my previous blog).  However, while I feel there are a couple clunker titles, the majority I see as fine enjoyable games on the PS Classic.  While the NES and SNES Classics had stronger game lineups, each also had its share of a few weird titles (NES with Ice-Climber and a port of Pac-Man, and SNES with Kirbys Dream Course).  Let’s take a non-partisan look at each PS Classic title, from someone who owned and grew up with this being their main console after upgrading from the SNES and Genesis.

  1.   Battle Arena Toshinden.  This would be one of the clunkers.  This game is memorable for being the first 3D fighter on the Playstation, but was quickly surpassed by the Tekken series.  On a system that includes Tekken 3, something more deserving should have went in this spot.
  2.   Cool Boarders 2.  This game has taken some flak, but is a rather strong sports title.  If you can’t get Tony Hawks Pro Skater due to licensing issues, this is a great choice, and is almost as fun as the skating series.  A fun game well worth your time.
  3.   Destruction Derby.  An early title, it was a huge multiplayer game in the early days of the Playstation.  Many skipped the racing mode and jumped right into the battle mode to see who would be the last car standing.
  4.   Final Fantasy VII.  One of the games that was a system seller.  Still considered today one of the greatest RPGs ever made, and a foundation of Playstation.  Had to be on here.
  5.   Grand Theft Auto.  The series became hugely famous for the third game in the series, but the original was quite fun as well, and merited the sequels that created the huge franchise we have today.
  6.   Intelligent Qube.  An underground cult classic, and expensive to purchase (sells from 40 to 70 on eBay).  A fun and unique puzzle game in a style that hasn’t been done since.
  7.   Jumping Flash.  Mario 64 perfected the 3D platformer, but this game was a close second before Tomb Raider came along.  Played in first person, but featured lots of platform jumping that was fun instead of a chore.
  8.   Metal Gear Solid.  Another system seller, and another foundation of the Playstation.  This game needed to be on the system.  Also has not been re-released or even seen since the Gamecube remake, making this the first legit way to purchase the game in over a decade.
  9.   Mr. Driller.  Another decent puzzle game.  Not a bad game by any means.  Surprising to see it on the list, but a fun title that perhaps should have had something else in its place.
  10.   Oddworld:  Abes Oddysee.  Not quite as well remembered, but this was a huge game when it released.  It had beautiful graphics, a unique communication between the player and NPCs, and made you use your head to make progress.  Was recently remastered.
  11.   Rayman.  The PS1 was not known for 2D platformers, but Rayman was great fun, had a Disney-esque look to it, and got rather difficult in later levels for gamers who preferred some challenge.  A good choice.
  12.   Resident Evil:  Directors Cut.  Another system seller, another foundation game.  Many complain that the second Resident Evil isn’t on the console, but it makes sense for the first game to be the one featured, as it was also hugely popular.
  13.   Revelations:  Persona.  Not the strongest RPG in the popular Persona series, but its inclusion makes for an incredibly cheap way to own this game, as on eBay it sells for a minimum of $150 dollars.  It’s inclusion makes the PS Classic a value right off the bat for any fan of the Persona games.
  14.   Ridge Racer Type 4.  Easily the best Ridge Racer game ever made.  People complain about the lack of Gran Turismo, but there was no way we were getting that game due to the crazy licensing that would have to be done.  R4 is a fine consolation prize.
  15.   Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo.  This is another fun puzzle game that is a bit surprising to see included.  Perhaps something stronger could have been in its spot, especially with two other puzzle games on the list, but its still a fun game.
  16.   Syphon Filter.  I see many complaining about this one, but this was a huge game that released shortly after Metal Gear Solid, and many people went to it after completing Metal Gear.  It deserves to be on here, and was a huge success in the PS1 era.
  17.   Tekken 3.  The best of the PS1 era Tekken games, and also hasn’t seen re-release in ages, including Sony digital marketplace.  I was surprised to see this one over Tekken 2, but it was a good surprise.
  18.   Tom Clancys Rainbow 6.  To me, this is the other clunker.  The game was great in its era on PC, but had a poor port on Playstation.  Likely we are seeing this due to the popularity of the PC version of the game during the PS1 era.
  19.   Twisted Metal.  While the second game is better, the first was a solid vehicular combat title that definitely should have a spot on the Classic.  The game was great with a second player to see who the last man standing was.
  20.   Wild Arms.  Before Final Fantasy VII released, this game was the best RPG on the system.  It has a unique western theme that isn’t seen often in RPGs.


So, the list isn’t bad at all.  A few questionable titles (mostly in the puzzle games), a couple that really shouldn’t be there, and the rest good, solid picks.  I don’t see what all the hate is over.  Also, signs look good that the system will be hackable like the NES and SNES Classics are, since it is using an open source emulator (PCSX ReArmed) and likely is using a skinned version of Android as its OS.  The only worry is if the internal storage only has 8 gigs (roughly the size of all 20 games) or 16 gigs, but I am leaning towards 16 gigs because on top of the games you need room for the OS as well as save states, which means it is likely this thing has around 6 extra gigs of room to add games.  Even if thats not the case, the NES and SNES Classics have ways to use a USB splitter to use a USB stick for extra storage, and I see the PS Classic getting that functionality once the hackers start their work on it.

While there are tons of blogs and videos about people cancelling their pre-orders, I am keeping mine.  This will have a proud spot beside my NES and SNES Classics in my upstairs bedroom.


Speculation on the Playstation Classic and Nintendos response.

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Sony has announced their Playstation Classic, releasing December third of this year.  This system is obviously Sonys attempt to cash in on the lucrative Classic line that Nintendo brought out with both the NES and SNES Classic, and they are releasing during a prime sales period.  Sony has made a very smart decision on the timing of the release, and so far, the five announced games show that they have put some thought into the mini console.  The first five announced games are Final Fantasy VII (a game many claim is the absolute best in turn based RPGs), Tekken 3 (a fantastic fighting title that many thought wouldn’t see re-release due to legal woes surrounding a secret character), Ridge Racer R4 (a strong racing game, likely included instead of Gran Turismo due to licensing issues), Jumping Flash (a platformer I am unfamiliar with, but received good reviews and got sequels made) and Wild Arms (another strong RPG from the era).  The console will be slightly limited by the fact that it uses the original Playstation controller design instead of the significantly better Dual Shock, but this decision was likely made both to save money and to give it more of a classic feel.  This decision will limit possible games on the system, as obviously games designed around analog sticks will likely not be on this system.

Beginning speculation on the other 15 games, I don’t see this system being released without a few seminal titles released on the original console.  Metal Gear Solid strongly influenced the next generation of gaming, and is a must have in a system like this.  Castlevania:  Symphony of the Night is often considered the best Castlevania game of all time, and created the “Metroidvania” genre.  Twisted Metal 2 perfected the vehicular combat game style that was hugely popular during this era.  Resident Evil did amazing things for horror games, and was a system seller.  Parappa the Rapper was a very unique game that also featured a unique graphical style and was very popular in the PS1 early days.  I would be shocked if these five games are not included.

The final ten games are a trickier matter to guess.  The first ten are light on 2-D platformers, so I can see one or two other slots filled in this role.  Mega Man X4, X5, or 7 are all good candidates to be brought over, as Nintendos Classic line all featured a Mega Man game, although we may get a curve ball and see something like Tomba, or something that is 2.5D like Brave Fencer Musashi.  3D platformers are close to nonexistent in the core 10, but it’s hard to imagine a PS Classic without one.  Spyro and Crash Bandicoot are my first choices, but they may not be featured due to recent remakes of both games.  Croc is another well made 3D platform game that has seen little attention in a long time, and is a possible candidate.  Another racer is likely, with the front runners being Wipeout and Jet Moto 2.  Gran Turismo would be preferable, but as previously mentioned will not likely see life on the new console due to licensing issues.  I think it is likely we will see one more RPG on the list.  Chrono Cross has received little attention for quite some time, and I think it would be a front runner as the other RPG on the system.  However, there is a chance we could see something from another company, such as Lunar Silver Star Story.  I also fully expect a shmup game to be included, with the three big possibilities being Einhander, R-Type Delta, or Darius Gaiden.

I don’t see Nintendo just letting Sony release this without some competition down the line.  I fully expect a new Nintendo Classic edition being announced inside a six month window.  The one many of us are hoping for are an N64 mini, which I discussed in a previous blog article.  That being said, Nintendo could easily simply update the firmware of the NES or SNES mini (or both) and come out with a “version two” that has different games on it than the originals, or perhaps even make minis that resemble the second versions of the NES or SNES hardware that were released towards the end of each consoles respective life cycle, this time with different games on each.  There has been speculation on a Game Boy classic, however, I feel that if that happens it needs to be at a lower price point of maybe 50 dollars, and also the game selection has to be very carefully done, especially if they stick with monochromatic Game Boy titles.

Regardless of Nintendos next move, it’s very obvious that the retro game scene is more alive than ever, with two of the three hardware console makers now making mini classic versions, and the third (Microsoft and their X-Box One) making their current console backwards compatible with a huge chunk of its back library from the previous generation, and also including some of their first generation era.  We are also seeing many IP holders of hardware makers long gone getting in the game with a C64 mini, Sega Genesis mini, and previously the Atari and Intellivision Flashback lines.


Striking while the iron is hot, Nintendo needs to make the N64 Classic

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

On 6-29-2018, the NES Classic has been re-released.  This time the mini-console has been released in numbers that allow the consumer to actually just go to the store and purchase one instead of fighting scalpers who want to charge double or more for the unit.  The SNES Classic is still in production as well.  While it seems to be harder to find than the NES Classic at the moment, the system is still restocked in stores, and can be purchased via resellers for either at or slightly above MSRP.

With the runaway success of the first two, Nintendo is likely to eventually release an N64 Classic, which would likely be the last in the mini console series (although I do see the possibility of them releasing a handheld lineup of Game Boy Classic, Game Boy Color Classic, Game Boy Advance Classic, and maybe DS Classic).  However, if Nintendo wants to do this, the time is now,  and a lot of the reason behind that is due to Microsoft.

Microsoft owns Rareware, who is the company behind many classic Nintendo titles, and especially are known for their abundance of quality N64 releases.  Rare was the top third party publisher on the N64, and its hard to imagine an N64 Classic Edition without Rare games on the console.  Now that Microsoft owns them, Nintendo has to work directly with a competitor to get rights to those games.  However, the gaming landscape right now paints the two companies as allies.

Going into modern gaming, cross-play is becoming a major feature, since most AAA titles are released across multiple platforms.  Recently, we have seen the release of Fortnight on the PS4, X-Box One, and Switch.  Nintendo and Microsoft have allowed cross-play between players on their two consoles, allowing them to play against each other.  Meanwhile, Sony has locked players to only playing against people that own a PS4.  Nintendo and Microsoft have even released a joint video touting their cross play teamwork.  Soon to support cross play is the mega hit Minecraft.

Since the two companies are working in tandem, Nintendo should take this opportunity to try to make a deal for publishing rights for some of RareWares N64 hits for usage in the N64 classic.  Titles such as Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie, Conkers Bad Fur Day, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct Gold, Diddy Kong Racing, and Blast Corps will not be on the N64 Classic unless Nintendo can strike a deal, and it’s hard to imagine an N64 Classic without at least a couple of those titles on the console.  While it is possible for Nintendo to release the system without Rare titles, the lineup would likely be a lot weaker.  As an example, lets assume the console will have 20 games on it.  Here is a potential list of best-of games, leaving off Rare titles.

  • Super Mario 64
  • Star Fox 64
  • Zelda:  Ocarina of Time
  • Zelda:  Majoras Mask
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Mario Party
  • Mario Kart 64
  • F-Zero X
  • Paper Mario
  • Cruis’n USA
  • Yoshis Story
  • Mega Man 64
  • Castlevania 64
  • Space Station Silicon Valley
  • Battletanx
  • Mystical Ninja
  • Harvest Moon 64
  • Vigilante 8
  • Bomberman 64
  • Kirby 64

Honestly, that’s a fairly strong list of games that features a very strong Nintendo with some of the better third party games as well, with 11 first party Nintendo games and 9 third party releases.  That being said, it would be easy to improve that list by removing Kirby 64, Vigilante 8 and Battletanx and replacing them with Killer Instinct Gold, Perfect Dark, and Banjo Kazooie.  Just those three games instantly move the console up a tier in terms of solid games (although Kirby 64, Vigilante 8, and Battletanx are among some of the best N64 titles as well).

In my opinion, there is no better time to get the N64 Classic on shelves, because right now Nintendo has the best chance they have had in years to form a strong lineup of titles for an N64 classic.  They would also get the added bonus of being able to have all 3 Classic Consoles on store shelves at the same time to give newer games a great introduction to Nintendos cartridge era of video games, and to see how the game industry developed over time firsthand, using authentic controllers but made for use on modern televisions.


Competitive Gaming scandals, and the need for an overhaul of the system

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This article contains multiple embedded videos and hyperlinks to prove the statements made within.

In the past month, a couple of prominent members of the gaming high score community have been caught falsifying information and results in their top gaming scores.  Both Todd Rogers and Billy Mitchell have undisputable evidence against their claims in Dragster and Donkey Kong, respectively.


Let’s start with Todd Rogers.  The man has made claim that his fastest record in Dragster is 5.51.  In Dragster, you play as a drag racer, and the lower the time, the better the score.  Unfortunately, a 5.51 is literally impossible to achieve.  Using a tool-assisted setup which allows a computer to enter every possible controller and button combination, the fastest time one can make is actually a 5.57.  The prolific hardware expert Ben Heck actually built a setup specifically for testing this game.  The best score was 5.57.  Even worse, any proof of the original score has already been destroyed, and people who have seen the original evidence before it was destroyed claim that the score was smudged.

However, it’s not just one score that he has falsely reported.  In the above video, Pat and Ian from the CUPodcast find evidence of Rogers scores being higher than the second place holder by a factor of over 100.  Posts were made months ago on the Twin Galaxies official forums, but in many cases were denied as being valid.  One of the few that were proven even before the scandal was in Barnstorming on the Atari 2600, a flying game where obstacles on the course affect your speed, and hence your score.  In Barnstorming, it was proven that even removing all obstacles and flying straight would result in a lower score than the score that Rogers posted, proving it was impossible.  That one score was removed, but none of the others were even investigated.  He claimed a score of 99,999,990 on JJ and Jeff on the Turbografx-16, a score that would literally require 80 hours of gameplay in order to accomplish.  Other scores (that Twin Galaxies tried to claim were confirmed legitimate) were found impossible due to the digits end in a 8, when the game only scores in segments of 5 or 10.  A large (but not complete) list of games where Rogers score was either impossible or incredibly unlikely can be found here.  What is scary is that in the case of Dragster, Twin Galaxies actually ran a front page article stating the games creator (David Crane) said he has no doubts that Rogers score is legit.  It seems that the site was attempting to manipulate public opinion and discredit legitimate claims and concerns.


If it were only one person, it might be able to be written off as a coincidence, but even one of the “rock stars” of Twin Galaxies, one who many recognize immediately along with Walter Day, was proven that at a minimum, he misrepresented the hardware he was playing on.  While Mitchell has many legitimate records (his play in Pac-Man is bar none some of the best seen), and his Donkey Kong play is also incredible, it would seem that competition pushed him to lie about how he was playing.  In a pivotal moment in the King of Kong documentary, Steve Wiebe takes the high score for Donkey Kong (after having previous high scores rejected due to claims his hardware might be subject to tampering).  Hours after this, Mitchell sends a pre-recorded tape in that beats Wiebes score.  The tape was subject to much controversy due to looking like it could have been sliced in some areas, and was later rejected a few days after being accepted.


Mitchell claimed that he recorded using a direct feed from the machine, which at the time only a few machines even had set up since it is incredibly difficult to capture a live video feed from a DK machine.  However, the way the arcade game loads screens is different from how Mame (a popular arcade game emulator) loaded games during that time era.  A post at the Donkey Kong Forum shows the differences in how Mame loads, how an arcade machine loads, and also has a sample of a direct feed capture.  Mitchells tape loads in the same fashion a copy of Mame of that era would have loaded the game.  Not only would this make video capture significantly easier, it would also make cheating much more easier either by savestate or by altering the games code to allow more blue barrel drops, which give more points when busted by a hammer than a brown barrel.

When Mitchell claimed innocence, claiming the video proof of his game should be at Twin Galaxies and the tape whistleblower Jeremy Yonng used as evidence was an altered version of the game he played.  Jeremy fired back, giving multiple reasons why Mitchells claim was preposterous.

In closing, it would appear that many of our “gaming heroes” of the 80’s have been holding on to their spots by false scores and having friends in judges places.  It throws the entirety of the judging community of Twin Galaxies into question, since two of their “golden boys” are now proven frauds.  There either needs to be a changing of the guard over at Twin Galaxies, or a new community needs to rise using legitimate methodology to confirm scores.  In closing, I have one more video.

Above is a player who is very good at a number of games, and wanted to document his scores.  At the 9:30 time in the video, he brings out that not only did Twin Galaxies want to charge him in order to look at his score, they STILL would not consider it until he had participated in their forums on a regular basis.  A score is a score, no matter what the financial or social status of a player is.


Billy Mitchell has appeared on an interview on the East Side Dave show.  This is a very awkward video to watch, as it appears that the hosts were coached to agree with Mitchell about everything, and the hosts making insane claims such as “Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft would not be here if it weren’t for Billy Mitchell”, which is ludicrous to anyone familiar with the history of gaming.

Even worse, there are now reports coming out that Billy has threatened judges at Twin Galaxies in the past if they did not perform exactly as he requested, and also proof of him not using proper PCB arcade boards during a dual record attempt.  The video attempts to show the boards being switched, however, people familiar with the PCB layouts have shown that the same board that left the machine went back in the machine.