My Retro Gaming Story

Hey all! It’s time for a different kind of post…how did I become a gamer?

I have been asked this question many different times and I always give a different answer. Recently, a company called Man Crates reached out to me asking about my gaming nostalgia. What items from the past got me into gaming? If you asked Man Crates what they would include in their crate? Plenty of candy, a retro 8-bit NES, and two classic NES games. Now the real question is, what games would I bring? If you would like to grab your own  retro gaming crate, feel free to pick one up here. Retro Gamer Crate.

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Now everyone has that exact moment when they become a gamer and get swept up in their own little world or magic and wonder. Alright that last part was a stretch, but you get the idea.

For those of you that have followed my initial gaming adventures here or have continued over at Nerd Bacon, you know that I am a hugely ridiculous fan of RPGs. If you want to nit-pick, my favorite type is a tactical RPG…but that is beside the point. While my RPG gaming addictions began with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, it really peaked once I dove head first into the Ogre Battle universe. Well I could personally leave Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen behind. Tactics Ogre is my game. Easily in my top three favorites of all time. I can’t count how many times I have run throughout the land of Valeria while listening to any number of tracks from Hitoshi Sakimoto’s beautiful score.

When I was younger, one of my favorite modes to play was the training mode. Yes, I know now that I was just grinding through levels, but at that time I didn’t care. Training mode is the only way I could play with an additional player! This most often was my brother, as we were both addicted to the same game (yet I had a better set-up of characters). In training mode, you split your current battalion into two different sides, competing against each other for experience.

On one cloudy afternoon, my brother challenged me to a battle. I needed the experience, so why not? The great thing is that I had an ace up my sleeve, half of my offensive line were skeletons. This was useful since in normal story battles they would draw enemies fire and attacks while my mages and archers would riddle them full of holes. Anyway, the only way to eliminate them is to exorcise them and I controlled the only exorcist as my cleric. The battle ended up in my favor..but at a price. In a fit or rage, my brother smacked me in the mouth with his controller, knocking one of my teeth straight forward. Not out mind you. After traveling to my local dentist, it had to be removed, but the roots were still intact. So what had to be done? The tooth was twisted and twisted until the roots snapped, all without any anesthesia. The good days.

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While I still will pop in my original scratched up PSX port of the game into my PS3, I have since moved forward to the newest PSP remake. You never exactly realize how much fixing the little flaws makes a difference. Alright, that is my story and I am sticking to it!

Now who exactly are Man Crates? They’re a company that creates unique gift crates for men that you open with a crowbar, and now they even have a gift card in concrete you have to smash open! I’ll give you fair warning…some disassembly may be required. Their gifts aren’t just limited to gamers though, as they have a wide variety of gifts for the foodie, grillmaster, or alcoholic (oh I’m sorry, “Potent Potables Connoisseur”) in your family. Thank you Man Crates for convincing me to take some time out of my busy week and tell me story.

Mancrates

 

Video Game Closet: Silent Hill

Hello everybody! On this week’s video game closet we have the survival horror game Silent Hill.

SILENT HILL

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Developer(s) Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Publisher(s) Konami
Director(s) Keiichiro Toyama
Producer(s) Gozo Kitao
Writer(s) Keiichiro Toyama
Composer(s) Akira Yamaoka
Series Silent Hill
Platform(s) PlayStation,PlayStation Network
Release date(s) PlayStation

  • NA January 31, 1999
  • JP March 4, 1999
  • EU August 1, 1999

PlayStation Network

  • EU March 19, 2009 (withdrawn)
  • NA September 10, 2009
  • EU October 26, 2011 (re-released)
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player

At the start of the game, Harry drives to Silent Hill with his daughter Cheryl for a vacation. At the town’s edge, he swerves his car to avoid hitting a girl in the road; as a result, he crashes the vehicle and loses consciousness. Waking up in town, he meets police officer Cybil Bennett, who works in a nearby town, and realizes that Cheryl is missing. Finding that the town is deserted and foggy, with snow falling out of season, Harry meets several other people in the monster-filled town: Dahlia Gillespie, who gives him a charm, the “Flauros”; Doctor Michael Kaufmann, director of Silent Hill’s Alchemilla Hospital; and nurse Lisa Garland, who worked at Alchemilla. He also encounters a symbol throughout the town, which Dahlia claims will allow darkness to take over the town if it continues to multiply. Eventually, this darkness begins taking over the town. According to Dahlia, the girl from the road is a demon responsible for the symbol’s duplication. She urges him to stop the demon, because if he does not, Cheryl will die. Harry soon finds himself attacked by Cybil, who is parasitized by a creature; the player must choose whether to save her or not.

Silent-Hill

Scary Noises were the main reason I wanted to scream and cry while playing this game. As you can see, the graphics aren’t scary. However, you get a radio that emits static whenever a monster approaches. And some rooms just make scary noises to freak you out. The music involves lots of clanking and scary noises and honestly, well done to the sound guys because that’s the primary reason I had to stop playing – scary noise, can’t go on.

This is one of the greatest stories told during the PSX era. I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anything when I say you die in the first five minutes of this game. Or did you? The story is confusing and hard to understand but talking about any of it would ruin the experience. Half of the game you aren’t sure what is real and what isn’t or whether everything is a dream. There are multiple endings and some of them only add to the confusion. Every character introduced has their own connection to the story but don’t expect the game to hold your hand and explain it to you like they do in modern games, there is no big tie up at the end that explains everything.

download (1)kjhgI found the controls of this game really clunky and difficult to get used to. I’m used to a game where if you push left, the character moves to YOUR left. In Silent Hill, Harry (the protagonist) will move to his left. It’s also been a while since I’ve played a game that involves combat – it took me a few attempts to be able to kill these guys (first enemies in the game). This made combat incredibly difficult as it made the game just so much harder.

Many of today’s gamers are never going to understand why anyone could be afraid of anything in this game based solely on the graphics. The graphics compared to today’s standards are atrocious. You can’t make out things because they are so poorly defined, lines that should be straight curve and move, the colors blend and mix, the lighting barely feels like it covers a few inches in front of you, and even the cut scene’s graphics are laughable compared to most game’s normal graphics. The camera angles you see from would never make it in a game today. This is why when they redid this game in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, they couldn’t go for a straight remake of this game.

But what is here, especially if you can put yourself in the position to be open minded, is magic. The camera angles limit you most of the time so you can’t see around a corner, even when you KNOW something is there based on the radio static.

PROS:

  •  Fear.
  • Story.
  • Replay value.

CONS:

  •  Graphics.
  • Controls.
  • Camera angles.

SCORE: 7.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Video Game Closet: Fatal Frame II Crimson Butterfly

Hello everybody! Today on our Video Game Closet we have the second installment of Fatal Frame series, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.

FATAL FRAME II: CRIMSON BUTTERFLY

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Developer(s) Tecmo
Publisher(s)
  • JP Tecmo
  • NA Tecmo
  • PAL Ubisoft (PS2)
  • EU Microsoft Game Studios(Xbox)
Designer(s) Keisuke Kikuchi
Series Fatal Frame
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
JP November 27, 2003
NA December 10, 2003
EU April 30, 2004
Xbox (Director’s Cut)
NA November 1, 2004
JP November 11, 2004
EU February 4, 2005
PlayStation Network
NA May 7, 2013
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc

Fatal Frame II is set in the (possibly fictional) Minakami (皆神) region of Japan. While a dam is being planned for construction in a forest at this location in the game’s present, the site is also home to Minakami Village (lit. “All God’s Village”), a “[l]ost” settlement where the majority of the game takes place. The player learns that Minakami Village was host to the “Crimson Sacrifice Ritual”, the failure of which caused the settlement to vanish—thus earning it the name “The Lost Village”. In the game’s present, there is an urban legend about the Lost Village, where people who become lost in the Minakami forest will become trapped forever in the village.

The protagonists of Fatal Frame II are Mio and Mayu Amakura, twin sisters who are visiting their favorite childhood playspot in Minakami before it is lost in the dam construction. The main antagonist is the vengeful spirit of Sae Kurosawa, the sole Twin Shrine Maiden sacrificed for the failed ritual. She yearns to reunite with her twin sister Yae, whom she mistakes Mio for, and uses Mayu to try and complete the ritual with her. Other characters include the spirit of Itsuki Tachibana, a young man who also mistakes Mio for Yae, but instead tries to help her and Mayu escape; and Seijiro Makabe, a folklorist who visited Minakami Village with a Camera Obscura prototype (the same camera Mio uses in the game) and his assistant, Ryozo Munakata. Makabe later became a temporary sacrifice for the Abyss, known as a Kusabi (?). Although Mio and Mayu’s story takes place after Miku Hinasaki’s, the events of Minakami Village occur before those of the Himuro mansion in the original game.

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Overall, I have to say that Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly has to be one of my favorite games I have played on the Sony PlayStation 2. Are you in the mood for a game that not only screws with your mind and your eyes with some superb graphics and sound? Do you want to dress the scene in your own horror game? Look no further.  All  of the elements worked together to make a cerebral and visceral experience. You can check out a lengthier review over on Nerd Bacon Games here.

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This part is even going to be shorter than normal. I really don’t have many bad things to say about Crimson Butterfly. I really enjoyed the game, except all of the twin imagery. Yes I understand that it is central to the plot of the game, but I could have done without it. Your twin doesn’t really do anything to help you and just gets in the way most of the time. Now shoo Mio shoo! I don’t want you here.

PROS:

  • Art direction.
  • Story.
  • Interesting characters.
  • Horror

CONS:

  • Twin imagery.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.