Archive for the ‘retrogaming’ Tag

New Adventures in Hi-Def: iScan VP30 Video Upscaler Review

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

(So let’s make this obvious right off the bat – for as nerdy as this shit gets sometimes, I freely admit that this particular article is gonna get a little out there, so apologies in advance if this isn’t a subject any of you find particularly appealing. I still felt like it was information worth getting out there.)

Thanks to a recent Retronauts episode dealing with the pains of playing old video games on modern-day TVs, I found myself confronting a problem that I’d tried so hard to run from so many times before: I didn’t have a good way to play retro games on my TV.

That isn’t to say I’m for want of systems, by any means – at this point I own god knows how many Famiclones for various purposes and needs, and I’ve recently started investing heavily in Everdrives and flash carts to make sure I’ve always got whatever games I need right at hand.

But…they just never looked that great. My current (and probable future) living situation is fairly prohibitive of me owning a CRT television, or at least one worth any kind of shit. Plugging a non-HD system directly into an HDTV will never not look like pure ass, and while there are a few clone systems out there that offer HDMI output they come with their own unique problems.

So I researched my options and finally did the thing I tried to stop myself doing so many times before: I bought a video upscaler.

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Sometimes I Miss Video Games, You Guys

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

So I’m going to be upfront with you right now – I don’t really know where this post is going to go. As is often the case with me, I’ve had a lot of thoughts and opinions swirling around that I can’t quite express or explain concisely. Maybe the point of this post is to give me the chance to do just that! So, please bear with me, as this one might get away from me at times. Screw it, that’s why people have blogs, right?

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little iffy about modern video games, and occasionally I get a little iffy about old games too (which may surprise you considering how often I write about them on this blog, and elsewhere). It’s just occurred to me more and more that the video games industry isn’t what it used to be (ugh, I know, I’m an old person now) and I’ve felt lately that either it’s losing me, I’m losing video games, or both. And strangely enough, I have The Misadventures of Tron Bonne to thank for this revelation.

tron bonne

Sadly, this wasn’t the first time Miss Tron made me…think a lot about myself. Look, whatever, I was young!

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I Should’ve Played This Sooner: Air Fortress

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

I feel like “space” was a really common setting for many games of the 8- and 16-bit eras. And why not? Everyone everywhere was still kind of coasting on the good vibes of Star Wars and Aliens, and the setting itself allowed for a degree of freedom; not that it really mattered a ton on the NES but making your enemies invaders from the stars meant they could look and act like basically whatever you felt like drawing and programming. I was pretty into space as a kid, but not in a scientific way – being an actual astronaut would be boring as hell, but I was always down for Rad Gravity or Solar Jetman or really any game that gave me the slightest pretense of leaving the chains of Earth’s gravity to launch myself into battle against nefarious invaders/native citizens of other planets who weren’t really bothering anyone.

Due to the popularity and/or wide-ranging gameplay styles of ‘games set in space’ (which, let’s face it, isn’t a super helpful descriptor for anyone), obviously there were going to be a few that slipped through the cracks of my youthful video game times. One, however, stuck with me a bit more than others, and now that I’m a grown up with my own money, I can finally put it to bed. Hubcap, Ironhide, what are we playing today?

WP_20140927_003

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I Should’ve Played This Sooner: Totally Rad

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Look, it’s been a while since I’ve made a post. Nobody noticed, thank god, but it bothered ME and that’s the important thing. So no tearful explanations of my absence or what I’ve been doing in the meantime, back to NERD SHIT!

 

So lately, in addition to my unhealthily expanding Transformers collection (which I can probably go a while without writing about again, lucky you) I’ve been going around buying old games. My problem is that I’ve been sort of scattershot in my efforts; sometimes I spend a month buying a ton of Game Boy games out of nowhere, sometimes I decide I’m all about Genesis and Sega CD titles, other times I remember all the NES games I’ve meant to play for years. And that’s where the idea for this (and future, similar) articles came from: now that I get to decide how I spend my money like a grown up, I’ve decided to go back and find games I’ve read about forever ago, or someone recommended to me, or whatever. There’s way too many games out there I’ve wanted to play and never did, let alone the stuff like Taboo or Pictionary that I’m aware of and won’t play because look at them why would I bother playing Pictionary on the fucking Nintendo who the fuck bought this game this is the worst Christmas ever.

With a song in my heart (The Holy Mess’ “Spencer Reid”, specifically) and fond remembrance on my mind, I want to inaugurate this series of articles with some of the most ’90s shit imaginable. What did our readers win, Swerve and Hubcap?!

The box art looks more like the opening splash from an ill-fated '90s game show, likely involving JD Roth or Mike O'Malley.

The box art looks more like the opening splash from an ill-fated ’90s game show, likely involving JD Roth or Mike O’Malley.

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