Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hitting the Arcade

A new barcade called Start Bar opened in town in this re-purposed warehouse down by the ballpark.

It's a gorgeous building and the owners did a great job of capturing pop-culture ideas of arcade culture. The restrooms have Space Invaders built into the tiles. There's a huge Andy Worhole inspired collage of Billy Mitchell on one wall. There's neon lights and a price counter hearkening to your favorite roller skating rink.

Even their pint glasses have the Start Bar logo on one side and the Konami code on the other.

They really nailed the right feel

Friday, July 22, 2016


Played on: PS1 emulation on Vita
Released On: October 26, 1999

I didn't understand the appeal of turned based RPGs until I was in my mid-20s.

I was a Sega kid. I wanted fast paced action, flashing lights, killer guitar riffs playing up the attitude. I wanted my Surge cold and thrown at me in a junk yard. I wanted to snowboard down an avalanche. From age 7-12, I was fully invested in the 90s marketing of extreme.

So RPGs didn't really fit that marketing persona I was trying to live up to.

Even though the PlayStation 1 is my all time favorite console, I didn't understand it's greatest strength until I shed my spiked hair, the JRPG.

There's the obvious RPGs like Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon that I've circled back around to, but there were so many RPGs in the decade of PS1 that I missed, it's nearly impossible to get my head around what is worth my time and what isn't. I mostly rely on reading blogs or hearing about them on podcasts.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Doom (2016)

Doom was the game I coveted the most for the PC in the early 90s. I didn't get it until a few years after it had come out when my father got a hold of a CD with something like 40 games on there. I'm sure it wasn't legit, but we finally had Doom and Doom 2.

I played through both games several times, on various difficulty levels, with various cheat codes. I combed every inch of every map, discovered John Romero's severed head behind the end boss, attempted to kill every demon in the final room of Doom only to find that the room itself would kill you. I loved Doom.

Doom 3 didn't grab me the same way. I remember really liking it, but I also remember being incredibly lost. I'd wander hallways trying to figure out what I had to trigger for hours, not making any progress.

But Doom 2016... there's something special about Doom 2016.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Valkyria Chronicles

Played On: Steam
Release Date: April 24, 2008

I like that PlayStation consoles tend to have really weird games come out for them. I would assume it's their greater relationship with Japanese studios who are slightly more willing to take risks on games and embrace Japanese culture in general. They have a legacy though, all the way back to LSD, Vib Ribbon, and Mr. Mosquito for the PS1.

Some of my favorite games of the PS3 generation were ones that had little hype but then landed in a great way. Demon's Souls, Ni No Kuni, and Valkyria Chronicles.

I bought Valkyria Chronicles on a whim and besides Demon's Souls, I don't think another game won me over as much as Valkyria Chronicles.