Despite the lack of Ricky this week, we’re dedicated to not mothballing this place.  It’s about time for the annual fall AAA splashdown to start.  It really gets crazy in November for the holiday season, but there’s always a teaser in September, so this week, we’ve got Destiny and NHL 15 dropping on the 9th, and FIFA 15, Hyrule Warriors, Forza Horizon 2, Disney Infinity 2.0, Tropico 5, and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor all slated for this month as well.  But to hell with AAA titles – we know enough about them.  Anything smaller in scale coming out that you’re looking forward to?  Perhaps Massive Chalice, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Teslagrad, or Defense Grid 2?

Thursday, 5:15 pm – matt

HAHAH excellent list Gavin. While fighting games were never a big thing for me MKII was a very important game in the progression of games to where we know them now. Same with the DreamCast. Its funny you mention it’s a system that came out ahead of its time, and this is the way every fan sums up the demise of the system. How many products can you think of were completely doomed just because the rest of the world wasn’t prepared for it? if the Virtual Boy came out today it would still be considered an abysmal pile of poop, whereas the Dreamcast would pretty much be on par with the Wii/wii-u, and this is a system that came out 14 years ago.

It had online gaming, crazy peripherals and controller inputs (microphones, fishing rods, the VMU mini display), 4 standard inputs for local multiplayer, internet browsing capabilities, VGA support. Plus it was region free so you could play any import with ease.

I miss you dreamcast. holy shit I miss you…

Thursday, 12:00pm – Gavin

The only definitive MKII ranking is as follows:

Terrible characters picked by people who don’t know how to play fighting games:

12. Reptile.  Not only is his invisibility useless, but his projectile is the slowest in the game, which makes it very easy to avoid.

11. Jax

10. Johnny Cage

9. Raiden (what kind of filthy casual puts him at 4?  His moves are slow and avoidable)

8. Shang Tsung. His only move was to toss fireballs and then transform, but you needed a damn eidetic memory to actually remember how to transfer into anyone other than Scorpion.

Decent characters who can win you the tournament:

7. Kung Lao

6. Kitana

5. Sub-Zero

Actual good characters for people who know what they’re doing

4. Baraka.  Baraka needs to be much higher than on that Grantland list because he has an insane reach advantage with his away+high punch combo that knocks people on their feet.  You’ll never throw him or get close to him for any moves because he’ll dice you.  Plus he has a fast-moving (though admittedly weak) projectile.

3. Mileena.  Drop down through the floor, appear in the ceiling and drop-kick. Perfect escape move.

2. Scorpion.  The ability to keep your enemy at bay with the hook was terrific.

1. Liu Kang.  The ability to spam fast kicks and fireballs made him the best player in the game.

MKII is the only game I’ve ever pre-ordered in my life.  I ordered it from Chips & Bits, a company out in California, from a GamePro magazine back in spring 1994.  When it finally arrived, it was an early Christmas.  No approval from my parents, but I did have a sleepover with my friends and we bloodied and beat the hell out of each other for hours.  Wholesome fun.

The Dreamcast is one system I have never ever touched in my life. I knew nobody with the system, and when it came out, I was still mired in SNES heaven.  It’s something that only exists in Wikipedia for me.  I understand that it was a system well ahead of its time and with a devout fanbase.  Alas, such is life.

Wednesday, 12:54 pm – matt

SHENMUE, SEAMAN, POWERSTONE, SONIC ADVENTURE, NBA AND NFL 2K SERIES, CRAZY TAXI, PHANTASY STAR ONLINE, VIRTUA TENNIS, RESIDENT FUCKING EVIL: CODE FUCKING VERONICA FUCKING X, SOUL CALIBUR. man if onoly these titles came out in one year instead of the lifespan of the system it would have won the arms race against Sony and Microsoft.

other note, totally forgot to mention the 20th anniversary of Mortal Kombat II coming out on consoles, and we all know the effect that game had on the industry, hers an interesting article from Grantland:

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/mortal-kombat-ii-20-years-later-an-undeniable-character-ranking/

Tuesday, 7:38 pm – Albert

SEGA DREAMCAST! HELL. YEAH.

I remember playing hours upon hours of 2K2 Basketball! Just killing those threes. That system was so great. I couldn’t tell you what games really stuck out to me besides that one (and Crazy Taxi) but I know I spent a long long time with that console until I went to the PS. What a great system. Sega Dreamcast, you were a console that we deserved.

Upon the topic i’m totally starting to follow in Gavin’s footsteps and not buy an early access game since I end up playing so much of it (Prison Architect, Spacebase D9, etc) and then never really want to go back to the game once it is finished. I’ve also been burnt by this one game (Castle Story) that Ricky and I joined their kickstarter… did not pan out well.

Other than that — DEAD RISING 3. It’s pretty decent and quite crazy. If you’re a fan of the series then I would recommend it wholeheartedly. If you’ve never wanted to wet your feet because the old Japanese controls felt clunky or the saves system or time system got you down… this is the one to come back to. I’ll keep playing and i’m sure i’ll have more to talk about soon!

Tuesday, 4:54 pm – matt

hey there true believers – today is a somewhat sad anniversary; as 9/9/99 marks the original release of the Sega Dreamcast, the final (but perhaps the greatest) videogame system from the Japanese game company. I won’t get into too much details about how much an impact this system had on my game playing years, but also for the industry as a whole. God bless you, the original Xbox…

Monday, 9:46 am – Gavin

The Long Dark was supposed to be released this fall, but it looks like the official release will be delayed.  They’ve released the alpha version on it, and it’s headed towards Steam early access, but I make it a point not to play games until they’re fully fleshed-out.  I don’t want to soil my gaming experience by encountering bugs or glitches.

Anyway, in other news, I finally beat Ocarina of Time 3DS this past week.  I ended up using a guide to get through a couple of places, mostly because I didn’t want to beat myself over the head with the trial and error approach.  All in all, I do get what all of the fuss is about, but at the same time, playing it 14 years after release has afforded me many opportunities to see the natural evolution of what OoT introduced.  Many of the evolutionary aspects are products of technology, but when exploring Skyloft in Skyward Sword, for example, you come to realize that the overworld in OoT is pretty barren, even compared to Link to the Past, which was six years its junior.

In addition to it being a great game, it was worth it to see the origin of many 3D action-adventure tropes.  It’s fundamentally a game of depth, and I’m incredibly impressed at the prescience and artistic vision that went into it.  The 3D was implemented well, but I found it easier on the eyes to just play it in straight 2D.

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