Old News 2017
12 / 27 / 2017
The upcoming release of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (30 holy shit) made me realize that our coverage of the original arcade games is in a pretty lowly state. So we'll close out the Old Year by bolstering that with Street Fighter (2/5), Street Fighter 2 (3/5) and Super Street Fighter 2 (4/5).
12 / 21 / 2017
A Star Wars Xmas? Why not, what could possibly go wrong?
Our festivus update for this year consists of the forgotten games of Atari's original Star Wars arcade trilogy - The Empire Strikes Back (NR) and Return of the Jedi (2/5). And for the traditionalists out there we have Frosty's Busy Night (C64, 3/5), a surprisingly spiff little competitive platformer. Merry Xmas you filthy wookies.
12 / 16 / 2017
Trolljob platformers with cartoony, scrawled graphics somehow ended up being the theme of the day with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES, 4/5) and Crayon Shin-Chan (Game Boy, 2/5).
12 / 2 / 2017
Taking over the world with an army of Munsters and Robits today with Dragon Warrior Monsters (Game Boy, 3/5) and Robotrek (SNES, 3/5).
11 / 18 / 2017
♫ Woo hoo I'm a rebel with no dick man / Overthrowin' Evil Empires like it's 1996 man ♫ Back in the '90s, the most you were gonna get for feminism in gaming was a busty chick in an improbable outfit slaying monsters instead of a dude. That's pretty much how it goes with Crystal Warriors (2/5) and Royal Stone (4/5) , Sega's Game Gear-exclusive attempts to have their own little Fire Emblem clone series. The first one looks horribly rushed, but the second one regrouped and did a lot better, and really might be the best game on the Game Gear.
11 / 10 / 2017
Let's do the Od -y - ssey! ... hahaha no, I can't afford new game consoles. Let's do Super Mario Land (3/5) and Super Mario Land 2: The Six Golden Coins (4/5) for the OG Game Boy instead.
11 / 2 / 2017
Contributing to the national obesity epidemic today with the blatant soda pimpery of Coca-Cola Kid (Game Gear, 3/5) and Spot (NES, 3/5).
10 / 24 / 2017
Hell O' The Weeners is almost upon us once again, and this year's spooOOoooOOOky update features two classic arcade games. Avenging Spirit (4/5) is a great overlooked platformer from Jaleco, which would be great on its own but is also one of the few games to feature a ghostly "possession" mechanic. Then there's Beast Busters (NR), a light gun clone of Operation Wolf that differentiated itself by just going way over the top with zombie insanity (and was basically an early House of the Dead, but way more frenetic ... it's basically Troma: The Rail Shooter).
10 / 18 / 2017
Pixelly run-n-guns are the order of the day with freeware Action Fist (PC, NR) and Mega Man Xtreme (Gameboy Color, 2/5).
10 / 12 / 2017
A fresh NHL season is upon us, so it's a good time for Ike Ike Nekketsu Hockey (NES, 3/5). This is part of the Nekketsu/Kunio franchise that gave us Super Dodgeball, River City Ransom, etc ... so it's full of wanton violence and not at all realistic, yet it might still actually be the best overall hockey game on the NES due to lack of other options. You can also test your shtoyle against yankii punks with Shin Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (SNES, 2/5), the last belt-scrolling brawler Technos would ever make before closing their doors.
10 / 7 / 2017
Ultimately, life is just passing time until Shenmue 3 comes out.
Doin' that today with the direct follow-ups to two of Yu Suzuki's beloved arcade racers - Turbo Outrun (3/5) and Super Hang-On (3/5).
9 / 30 / 2017
We haven't had a good perv-out in a long time around here, so that's the theme of the day ... Rance 3: Fall of Leazas (PC, 2/5) actually ends up being the only one you shouldn't click on at work, though. Chick Chaser (PC, 2/5) has a salacious title but actually turns out to be more of a romantic comedy adventure game with no real T&A whatsoever.
9 / 21 / 2017
Japan-only NES goodness from Konami is the theme of the day with Gradius II (3/5) and Getsu Fuuma Den (3/5). The first game probably needs no introduction. If you need some enticement to click through the unfamiliar Japanese-ness of the second, however, it's a Zelda II-like action-RPG except set in the Japanese mythology version of Hell, and there's also a full fan translation patch.
9 / 17 / 2017
Got in a barbarian-y sort of mood so we've got Rygar (NES, 3/5) and Conan: Hall of Volta (Apple II, 2/5). I guess Rygar is really more Greek, but whatever. It's a re-working of Tecmo's 1986 arcade game that I posit was heavily influenced by the success of Dragon Quest, while Hall of Volta has the distinction of being the first-ever Conan game.
9 / 7 / 2017
A fresh football season is upon us, and that means blowing a couple hours a week fiddling with various pick 'em contests ... at least for me. While doing so for Week 1 I noticed CBS Sports Franchise Football Manager (Android, 2/5), a freemium title that caught my attention due to the dearth of NFL-licensed games outside of EA in the last decade, and the corresponding dearth of franchise management simulators. Turns out it's really more like a football-themed card game, though! Not bad, but as always the microtransactions-focused nature of it drags it down.
7 / 8 / 2017
So ... the SNES Classic Mini ... is it worth it? We have a sorta in-depth analysis of it. Wish I could say more about the actual hardware but Nintendo is being awfully tight-lipped on that front for a device that's already taking pre-orders and is shipping in a little over two months ... though I loathe giving Polygon clicks they've got one of the few hands-on tests thus far and it's not even of a final retail unit.
6 / 11 / 2017
Hey, speaking of the ongoing article series, let's move toward finishing up the existing Gaming For A Living with new entry Remote Playtesting.
6 / 6 / 2017
Yikes, summer vacation ended up coming early here. Back with the start of a new ongoing article series today, though: The Most Modded, highlighting older titles that still have strong and dedicated fan communities patching the heck out of them and keeping them fresh. Since we're right in the middle of the Stanley Cup Final, why not open things up with hockey games? Like the Gaming For A Living series, these are also "living articles" designed to be added to over time. Good crowd out there tonight boys, let's really try to win this one!
4 / 20 / 2017
Hey, the Punisher is back in the air again after many long years, thanks to this upcoming Netflix series (and also probably thanks to Deadpool). Seems a good excuse to delve into his gaming back catalog. The Punisher (PS2, 4/5) is widely regarded as his best game -- "Max Payne with torture porn" is a fair description of it, but it's better than just that. We also have the 1990 DOS game The Punisher (2/5), which was part of a small early wave of trying to do open-world games on computers that didn't quite work out (see also The Terminator, Robocop 3). It's at least interesting, but it's nothing but a pain to actually play.
4 / 3 / 2017
♫ OHHH YEAAAH! I CAN SLAP A TOMATOOO! I CAN DRY HUMP THE SEA YEAHHH ... ♫ oh, hullo. Rasslin' it up with WWE Day of Reckoning (Gamecube, 4/5) today. Still maybe the best overall character creation, plus the gameplay is a virtual copy of AKI's beloved system.
3 / 30 / 2017
All we are is dust in the wind, dude :/
In honor of the upcoming Bill and Ted 3 we've got Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES, 2/5), which was par for the course as far as LJN's NES output ... also got Yo! Joe! (Amiga, 3/5), an obscure platformer that turns out to be pretty decent.
3 / 26 / 2017
Hey, new reviews finally. Suikoden V (PS2, 4/5) ended up being the last mainline entry in Konami's cult strategy-RPG series, and probably the last Suikoden we'll ever see, although if Shenmue 3 can get released I guess you should never completely give up hope on anything.
3 / 24 / 2017
We're pleased to debut the Startup Screen Power Rankings, because why should ESPN have all the fun? Since we can't do comments here, feel free to argue and tussle over how your nostalgic childhood favorite got hosed over at Facebook instead.
3 / 6 / 2017
Woo, finally, an update! I don't know what it is about the winter months anymore but I always seem to be at my Extra Brokest during this time and the site consequently suffers. Today's a good one though. Remember that Gaming For A Living mega-article I introduced some time ago then promptly forgot about? Well, the great work continues starting today with the latest segment, Professional Competitive Gaming. Learn all the ways you can play in tournaments, leagues and etc. to make your living pwning nubs. Well, if you're like basically a savant at the game anyway and also willing to practice about 22 hours each day. We've dug up some lighter-duty stuff too, though, for those looking for something a little less intense.
2 / 19 / 2017
Taking the stage tonight we've got a double feature. For our warm-up act, Comedy Quest (3/5), a freeware tale of the early days of a young stand-up comedian's career. Then for our feature act, Motorhead (Amiga, 2/5)! Except the band will not be playing any of their beloved songs, instead it will just be Munchkin Lemmy beating up randos in Double Dragon style. Enjoy!
2 / 8 / 2017
Waaaaarriors, come out to updaaaate! Beat-em-ups today with the PC Engine (Turbo Duo CD) version of Double Dragon 2 (3/5) and The Warriors (3/5) for PS2.
2 / 3 / 2017
Wee-wees and ta-tas, we got a little something for every taste today with pervy and goofy PC titles Boob Wars (1/5) and Dan Dolme (0/5)
1 / 24 / 2017
Big time classic RPG / adventure update today. Final Fantasy IV for DS (3/5) is the first polygonal remake of the game and has since been ported to the PC as a digital download ... while not bad and mostly faithful to the original, I don't feel like it's a better experience than either the SNES original or the enhanced 2D PSP remake. And all this time I've thought that we already had a review of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES, 5/5) up ... to my surprise we didn't! Nice catch by Steve, and I had a good time playing it through again since it's been over a decade for me and I forgot where most of the heart pieces and optional items were. Finally, we've got Sega's crack at a Zelda-alike, Golden Axe Warrior (Master System, 3/5). The core gameplay is pretty basic and it doesn't really have much to do with Golden Axe aside from airlifting in some enemies, but it's very polished and really pretty good, certainly a must for Master System aficionados.
1 / 19 / 2017
A little arcadey sports action to liven up a dreary Thursday. Battle Soccer (SNES, 1/5) is in the vein of Mega Man Soccer, just with Banpresto characters like Godzilla and Ultraman ... sadly it's nowhere near what it could have been due to control and AI issues. Blades of Steel (Arcade, 3/5), on the other hand, is about as unrealistic as hockey gets yet it's fun if you take it for what it is (and make peace with scoring 20-30 goals every game).
1 / 15 / 2017
Party mang! Party ma-aaang! I happened to catch the original Tim Burton Batman movie on TV recently ... man, has that not held up well at all outside of Jack Nicholson. I was so pumped seeing it in the theater as a little kid too. Little kids have awful taste.
Fortunately, the games that movie spawned have actually held up fairly decently on the whole, spearheaded by Sunsoft's licensed efforts. Even the weirdest one, the maze-chase Batman for the Turbografx (3/5), is actually pretty fun and has nice chiptunes. Unfortunately, our other update today comes from the late '90s and does not fare so well -- I've never seen the Batman Beyond (N64, 1/5) cartoon, but Kemco did a real low-energy job with the licensed beat-em-up they made with it.
1 / 10 / 2017
A double order of fantasy hack-and-slash today, with extra blood and guts. The Astyanax (Arcade, 2/5) is the spiritual follow-up to The Legendary Axe, which had a sequel made by a different team ... the original team was poached by Jaleco to make this game instead! Moonstone: A Hard Day's Knight (Amiga, 3/5) is a cult classic that is basically the Dark Souls of party games.
1 / 5 / 2017
We had a nice long stretch there where it seemed like the cyberpunk vision of the future was an outmoded and quaint relic of the 80s. Welp. Technology is advancing at a breakneck pace, democratic government is on the wane, and gigantic multinationals are getting access to even more power than before ... maybe a good time to give Snow Crash a re-read just in case.
On that theme today, we got the specifically Japanesey vision of the techno-dystopian future with Shin Megami Tensei II (SNES, 3/5), a dungeon-crawler that mixes demons in with your cyberin', and Night Striker (Arcade, 2/5), which is one of the relatively few attempts by any other company to ape Sega's Super Scaler technology.
1 / 1 / 2017
You last night:
You this morning:
We're ringing in the new year with the beautiful bad girl of the Dreamcast library, Jet Set Radio (PC, 2/5) -- aka Jet Grind Radio in the original North America Dreamcast release. Since the snow is coming in and it's that season, we've also got the fun little now-freeware game SkiFree (PC, 3/5), something of a cult Windows classic.