Maybe there are rules against this. Maybe it's been done before, or there are threads like this on the forums. Maybe you've already heard of all of these. If so, I apologize, but, if I help anyone discover some great retrogaming blogs, it's cool with me.
First off, I want to talk about Chrontendo. Holy shit. Chrontendo: http://chrontendo.blogspot.com/
If you consider yourself a big fan of the famicom/NES, stop what you're doing. Go watch a bunch of Chrontendo.
For the uninitiated, Chrontendo is a "chronogaming" blog (perhaps the most successful), which aims to play through every famicom/NES game ever made. Every. Single. One.
Every single Japanese pachinko game. Every platformer. Every Dragon Quest-clone. Every shitty mish-mash of 2d platforming and RPG mechanics. And it's wonderful.
The blog itself is really just an addendum to what really counts: the video series. He has already made 43 ~hour long videos discussing every single famicom/NES release from 1983 through March of 1989. Of course, he still has a long ways to go, but, already, it's a stunning achievement. Not only is it an incredibly informative series, but it's entertaining. Dr. Sparkle (as he calls himself) is funny without being distracting, and manages to combine dry humor, documentary-style narration, and obscure pop culture references in a way that just -works-. Every game gets at least a few minutes of coverage (with the exception of some of the aforementioned pachinko games and a few other meaningless releases), but big releases tend to get quite a bit more attention. In fact, his coverage of major releases tends to be comparable to what you'd find from most decent articles that just focus on these games. The fact that they're couched in the greater series and contextualized really just adds heaps of interesting information on top of everything else.
In addition, there's quite a lot of "bonus content." He includes large, in-depth specials on the history of adventure games, arcade games, PC games, and more. He also has chronogaming projects going for the Turbografx 16/PC Engine (Chronturbo) and the Sega Master System (Chronsega). It's thought that he'll add the Genesis to the list in the near future, although that has not been confirmed. In any case, if you enjoy any of these systems or retrogaming in general, check this website out. Crème de la crème.
Second, Hardcore Gaming 101: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/
Unlike Chrontendo (and a few other sites I'll talk about), this is not a chronogaming blog. Basically, it's a retrogaming website that contains in-depth articles on lots of retro games and series. And.. when I say lots.. I mean it: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm
Don't care for my (relatively inept and shallow) summary of Langrisser? Here's four pages of in-depth information (probably the most in a competently arranged, accessible format in English on the entire internet): http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/langrisser/langrisser.htm
Always wondered what was up with the Ghosts'n'Goblins series? Here is 6 pages of in-depth discussion: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/gng/gng.htm
Ever curious what fighting games were like before Street Fighter II? http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/fighters/fighters.htm
- Enjoy. By the by, there are 31 (!!) games covered here.
I mean, sure, Wikipedia is great, but, for the games covered, this is goes much, much deeper than Wikipedia.
Third, CRPG Addict: http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/
Do you like computer/western* RPGs? You should definitely check CRPG Addict out. Like Chrontendo, this is a chronogaming project, but genre specific (RPG) and for the PC rather than the famicom/NES. Also unlike Chrontendo, the CRPG Addict attempts to play each and every covered game through to fruition. He also avoids reading FAQs or walkthroughs and tries to figure them out the way a young'un in the 80's would've had to. He also follows pretty strict rules (especially regarding saving and system abuse), and he writes several in-depth blog posts detailing his progress and thoughts. In the end, he reviews the game and places it in CRPG history. Cool stuff.
Already, he has (pretty much) fought his way up to 1989, which is damned impressive. True, despite his intentions, he hasn't beaten quite -every- game, but he really puts up a herculean effort even when he fails. In any case, it's an incredibly impressive project, but, beyond that, you can learn more about CRPG history through his blog than through just about any other source. Highly highly recommended.
The CRPG Addict has been so successful that he has spawned a number of followers. Probably the best of these is the Adventure Gamer's blog: http://advgamer.blogspot.com/
. He follows pretty much the same rules and standards that the CRPG Addict follows, although with PC adventure games rather than RPGs. Despite starting far later, he has already made it to 1988, although a lot of the difference is due to the relative ease of games in the two genres. Absolutely nothing faced by the Adventure Gamer compares with, say, Rogue. Still, he's quite active, and his posts are entertaining. If you like adventure games, check it out. There are other good CRPG Addict followers as well. However, the Adventure Gamer is probably the closest in terms of quality and quantity.
There are also a number of sites that follow the AVGN in terms of approach, but do so with a different set of games. Of particular note are the Clan of the Gray Wolf (http://www.clanofthegraywolf.com/
), which focuses on 16-bit games, especially RPG's; Pat the NES Punk (http://thepunkeffect.com/
), which is perhaps the closest to the AVGN in terms of style and approach; and Turboviews (http://buccisarcade.com/turboviews/
), which tends to have a bit more documentary-style narration. Spoony of the Spoony Experiment also does some absolutely great game reviews, although I'm guessing most of you have heard of him.
Another interesting blog is Brad Hates Games: http://bradhatesgames.wordpress.com/
. Brad Hates Games sort of merges the tendencies of the AVGN-style sites (which tend to focus more on humor) and chronogaming sites (which tend to be encyclopedic in their approach and coverage) without really being of either type. The main "series" running at Brad Hates Games is entitled "Revoking the Seal of Quality." Basically, the writers decided that most games on the Genesis did not actually deserve the "Seal of Quality," and they make light-hearted, humorous posts where they "revoke" the seal from various games. Not all games have their seal revoked, however. 50 Genesis games were allowed to keep their seal, and the site had a long March Madness-style tournament revealing the top 50 games on the system. Following this, they wrote longer, in-depth entries on each of these 50 games, in order. Considering this has been going on for about four years, there's actually quite a lot of content to take in here. They've also recently expanded the revocations to the SNES and the Dreamcast. In the last couple weeks, they've also started a similar countdown for Mega Man robot masters. They also have some random posts with a bit of meatier content. For example, they interviewed one of the creators of 'Rings of Power,' while doing their top 50 review. Overall, it's a site that has a lot of content, is genuinely funny, and also gives a lot of information to those who love retro games.
I'll stop there. Hopefully, some of you will enjoy these sites.
*I prefer the terms "western" or WRPGs and "Japanese" or JRPGs, but that's a whole debate onto itself.
LOOK WHO CAME: