Nostaljourney is a retro gaming podcast that features an new cast every episode. Each episode is based on discussing a particular game or series, then finding people who are nostalgic for it and people who have never played it before. If need be we go so far as to donate all the necessary gaming hardware to the newcomers. We compare the experiences of the two groups to find out how well a game has really aged as well as discuss its history.
For younger community members it may be a chance to learn what gaming was like in the past. For older community members it may be a chance to discover what games are truly classic and what games are not. In general the show exists to evaluate and discuss the nature of nostalgia and for everyone in the community to get to know each other better. Because the show involves giving out free games, it only records once every couple of months.
Recent changes to the game plan will hopefully entail the show recording every 2 weeks.
Wryviews are my personal review series where I try to do things different from the norm by asking myself how well the game achieved its goal, instead of if I liked the game or not. Wryviews are a personal challenge to stay objective and identify who would enjoy a certain game, rather than complain about who wouldn't. I feel that being a good reviewer entails being able to identify each game's audience.
Gemnalysis is a series where I hunt down lesser known or neglected games and make a case for playing them despite the fact that they're older. Instead of flat out reviewing these games I look at them from the perspective of a collector and go over the game's history, and special trivia it may have.
Fatal Impact is a series of community tournaments revolving around SNK fighters; rather, it was. I happen to host the tournaments, but only once in a blue moon when I have the free time. I accept any and all callers, though I am not an entrant. Instead I am a trainer who organizes my entrants and helps to improve their game while introducing them to new and lesser appreciated fighting games.
The Fatal Impact tournaments will likely not continue until SNK releases games with better netcode. With recent promises from Atlus, King of Fighters XIII is likely to become the next big Fatal Impact game.
The King of Fighters Love Letter is a series dedicated to the storyline and history of SNK fighting games. Many people don't know anything about SNK in general, and with King of Fighters XIII on its way I'm going to bring everyone up to speed on the story in the series thus far.
Now that King of Fighters XIII has an actual release date this series may continue beyond the first story arc (Orochi Saga), but it's difficult to find solid information on the series' backstory.
Podsumaki Episode 09: Mortal Kombat Special Podsumaki is a fighting game podcast that I hosted on and organized. There was a lot of random smack talk but it was a fun show. Currently it's on hold and none of the hosts are sure if it will ever come back. Our last episode was our highlight, where we spoke with three of the best Mortal Kombat players in the US and discussed the Mortal Kombat community and the upcoming game. If you were to listen to any one episode of Podsumaki, I'd recommend it be this.
The Top Three Things "Gamers" Should Care About Less Somebody on Call of Duty: Black Ops screamed at me for not being good enough at the game, even though I wasn't on his team. Thanks to that I decided to write an article on some of the biggest problems with the gaming community, mostly their inability to care about things that actually matter.
Tainted Beauty: The Death and Rebirth of a Genre What we have here is an article revolving around the 2D fighting game genre, the path one must go through to become good at the games, and all the obstacles in the way of this that I feel eventually led to the temporary death of the genre prior to the release of games like Street Fighter IV and BlazBlue.
Wry Guides: Goozex Training Manual Wry Guides are a series where I try to educate the people of the community by writing about something that I in particular know a lot about. More than anything else though, it's just me unleashing a bad pun upon the world.
Top 11 Dreamcast Games You Probably Didn't Play In this article I recap my experience as a guy who loved the Dreamcast, because he grew up with it as one of his primary forms of entertainment. The games listed aren't the popular and trendy choices so much as the lesser played B-list and C-list games that only true Dreamcast veterans touched.
Hey, I liked it: Mega Man VII Hey, I liked it was a series where I reflected on games that I'm fond of that weren't appreciated by many people. As opposed to Wryviews which are meant to be impartial, this was a much more personal series. This series might continue some day but I could really not think of a bigger black sheep game than Mega Man VII.
Wry's Dreamcast Homebrew Guide: Pre-Brewed There was a time when I was extremely, extremely into my Dreamcast. I didn't just play tons of regular games that I found on sale, I also researched the wealth of bootleg Dreamcast programs. These days I'm a collector and I'm not concerned with unofficial software. I'm too busy playing games I actually own. Still I created a quick guide to some of the easiest and best programs available for the Dreamcast that can be used with no hassle.
Shadows of the Damned is such a weird, mixed bag that it's hard to even know where to begin. How's this for a start: There's one segment in the game where you use a giant stripper's cleavage as a bridge and one of your weapons is called the "Hot Boner." Yeah, trust me. You're not prepared for how blatantly weird this game can be. A lot of people would like to describe the game's humor as childish and there's definitely an argument for it, but the word weird is more all encompassing. Sexual humor is a dominant theme, but Shadows of the Damned is unusual in general. Unfortunately I didn't love the game as much as I'd hoped. Don't get me wrong. I love the idea behind this game and there will be plenty of people who love it. If anyone has rebuttals feel free to use the comments section to your advantage, but I can't help but feel the game was light on content.
I will say this game kicks off to a pretty sweet start. You're introduced to Garcia "Fucking" Hotspur, and he will carve his name into your flesh before you die. He's a badass Mexican demon hunter covered in tattoos, and he's manly enough to wear a purple leather jacket. He's foul mouthed, angry, and single minded. He's also a bit on the childish side, which is half the fun of his character when he chuckles at something stupid. His companion is a floating skull named Johnson. Johnson is a rogue demon that left the underworld and his body behind. Somehow he's able to transform himself into a variety of weapons and supports Garcia's demon hunting efforts by providing firepower and advice. Johnson is significantly more witty and intelligent than Garcia, but is also extremely dirty minded. These two characters are probably the highlight of the entire game. They're a fun, unique combination.
Shadows of the Damned makes no attempt to produce any serious backstory. All you know from the beginning of the game is that there is a real world, and there is an underworld. There are humans and demons. That much isn't even narrated; it's just kind of obvious. Garcia has killed one too many demons and the underworld has decided to make things personal. Flemming, the lord of the underworld has raided your apartment, beaten you down, and stolen your girlfriend Paula. Flemming makes it very clear that he plans to take Paula as his mistress, just to torment you. Garcia and Johnson chase Flemming down to the underworld, Johnson turns into a motorcycle and you ride the "highway to hell" while some rock music plays and you select your save file. It's a really cool moment. Too bad you never see that motorcycle ever again. It woulda spiced up the gameplay a little.
The story and concept of the game is pretty off the wall, but the gameplay is easy to explain. Shadows of the Damned is basically a straightforward third person shooter, very much so in line with Resident Evil 4. Shinji Mikami was a creative director on the game, so that much is no surprise. There are some light puzzle elements tossed in every once in a while but the game is very action oriented. Until you start getting upgrades there's not really a lot of variety in the gunplay, though. You get three guns; technically 4 if you count the "light shot" that you use to stun enemies and light hallways. You also get a single melee weapon, but its usefulness is pretty limited. Basically you have a pistol, a shotgun and a machine gun. Every time you beat a boss one of your weapons will upgrade itself somehow and by the end of the game your weapons are more interesting, but at the end of the day you still just have a more spectacular version of a pistol, shotgun and machine gun. Despite this the gunplay is absolutely solid. Just consider that this is not an especially challenging or complex shooter.
The gunplay isn't really the main attraction of the game, even if it's well done. There are some cool ideas that go into it, though. Collecting hidden red gems allows you to upgrade your preferred weapons. For example you can upgrade your pistol's ammo capacity five times. There's also this whole light and dark theme going on. Sometimes the game world becomes covered in soul sucking darkness. If you stay in the darkness too long you'll lose health until you die, but sometimes you need to be standing inside of that darkness to hit a switch or hurt a special type of enemy. It's a cool concept that demands you be quick to respond before you start dying.
I'd say this game really shines when it gets away from the gunplay, though. There's a certain spectacle to the game's more unique levels. Even though Shadows of the Damned takes place in the underworld it's not quite what you'd expect. More than anything else you're traveling through a sort of bizarro world. Everything is dark and sullen but oddly enough the demons still have villages, cities, clubs and a bit of modern technology. It's a little jarring because there's no real explanation for it, but it's still kinda fascinating to learn that the demons store light in barrels, that liquor restores your health, and that teeth are illegal. You'll find posters on the walls that give Johnson a chance to explain the underworld's oddities and you'll find storybooks about the game's bosses that Garcia and Johnson read aloud to each other. Because the first couple hours of the game only give you very basic versions of your weapons, learning about the underworld is what keeps the early portions of the game going. I'm a little disappointed they didn't keep it up. After a while they give up on that sort of thing, which is a shame because the game describes itself as a "road trip to hell" and all those little oddities were really interesting. The underworld itself is a little drab since it somewhat mirrors the human world, so without those little touches the setting doesn't feel as unique.
Likewise the game shines when it tosses normal gunplay out the window and tries something different, such as the level that pays tribute to the Evil Dead movies or the "Big Boner" sniper level. In this level Garcia is literally holding a huge shotgun to his crotch and sniping enemies while yelling at them to taste his boner. There's a certain sense of spectacle that you would expect from Shadows of the Damned, and it's specific segments like these that deliver on it. The rest, not so much. Again, the underworld itself is a little drab and Garcia doesn't have a very flashy set of attacks. The game only gets particularly fantastical at certain points, and there's not a ton of them.
Shadows of the Damned is unfortunately a game that I want to love, but would feel irresponsible about recommending too readily thanks to its lack of content. As I mentioned, the first couple hours of the game are fairly basic because your weapons don't become more complex until you start beating bosses. To top this off the game is pretty short. The first couple of hours are probably the first third of the game. The really cool levels are scattered about and do keep the game interesting, but I personally wanted more. The game's concept and setting are what makes it interesting, but it's reluctant to tell you much about it. After a while the underworld as a setting stops trying to weird you out and none of the game's characters ever really develop. Garcia and Johnson like I said are a great duo. I would have said this game is worth buying based on them alone if they'd spent more time interacting with each other to fill in the game's standard shooting sections. You literally learn almost nothing about Garcia, Johnson, Paula, or Flemming. There is actually more backstory revolving around the game's bosses via the storybook segments. The game doesn't even have much of an ending.
Some people like to argue that you weren't supposed to really learn much, but I think adding some more plot to the game would have helped round out the package very much so. Despite that the game does have a really interesting sense of humor and some of the game's more outlandish moments are arguably worth the price of admission. Make no mistake, the game is creative. If you have the money to spend on a relatively short game, I'd say do so just to support this company's attempt at giving us a different type of shooting game in a fairly military-driven industry. If you're a little strapped for cash though, I'd say give this game a rental.