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

 

Classic Video Game Closet: Ogre Battle March of the Black Queen

Hello everybody! Today we have the first game in one of my favorite JRPG series, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen.

OGRE BATTLE: MARCH OF THE BLACK QUEEN

Developer(s) Quest
Publisher(s) Super Nintendo

  • JP Quest
  • NA Enix America

Sega Saturn

  • JP Riverhill Software

PlayStation

  • JP Artdink
  • NA Atlus

Virtual Console
Square Enix

Designer(s) Yasumi Matsuno
Artist(s) Akihiko Yoshida
Composer(s) Hitoshi Sakimoto
Masaharu Iwata
Hayato Matsuo
Platform(s) Super NES, Sega Saturn,PlayStation,Virtual Console
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Strategy RPG
Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution 12-megabit cartridge

At the beginning of the game, the protagonist, whose name, gender, and other characteristics are chosen by the player, takes command of the Liberation Army. Throughout the course of the game, the protagonist is joined by various other characters, such as Lans Hamilton, a knight who served the king of Zenobia until the king’s death; Warren Moon, a wizard with the ability to divine the future; Tristan, the rightful prince of Zenobia; and many others.Twenty-five years prior to the beginning of the game, Empress Endora conquered the continent of Zetegenia. During her reign, a resistance organization called the Liberation Army forms to free the continent from her rule.

After the Empress is slain, it is discovered that she was manipulated by Rashidi, a dark wizard in the Empress’ employ. The protagonist defeats him, but before Rashidi dies, he uses his blood to release Demundza, the king of the Underworld who was sealed away after the first great Ogre Battle. The protagonist and his army manage to seal Demundza away again before he can become too powerful. There are more than one possible outcomes to the story depending on various factors such as the player’s alignment, their reputation, and which character they choose to recruit.

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is the first game released in the Ogre Battle saga, even though I believe it is actually episode four (Atlus kind of screwed the episodic structure up). The game is unique since it has a very interesting story, which was definitely rare for games released around the same time. The story (which you can read a quick synopsis above) caught my attention right away. I wasn’t the only one either, many of my associates (some who have never played/heard of the game before) had their attention grabbed immediately after starting the game. Another major plus for March of the Black Queen is the class system. The game features many different classes to choose from, allowing you to mix and match so you can play the way you want.

The game is definitely fun, but not compared to its successors (the rest of the Ogre Battle saga). Since the game was originally released on the Super Nintendo, the graphics are absolutely horrendous. They weren’t even decent for 1990’s standards. The gameplay can be somewhat drawn out, since the game is not necessarily a traditional tactical RPG like Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis. In March of the Black Queen you fight with squads (containing up to 5 characters/classes) as a single unit. You could easily have 5-10 squads out on the battlefield at one time.This same game play style was once adapted for Person of Lordly Caliber, but to much more success.

Interesting little tidbit, all of the games in the Ogre Battle saga have Queen songs named after them. This game is March of the Black Queen – Queen.

PROS:

  • Interesting story,.
  • First episode of Ogre Battle saga.
  • Variety of classes.

CONS:

  • Game play style.
  • Graphics.
  • Battlefield mechanics

SCORE: 6.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music 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.