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I compare the intros to Blaster Master (on the NES) to Blaster Master Zero (on the Switch), two games with decades of technological advances between them.

Also, I know that Blaster Master is a localized version of the Japanese Famicom game, Chô Wakusei Senki Metafight. This localization likely explains the problems with the NES story. Still, I’ve got to go with what’s given to me.… Read the rest

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I’m simply too excited to Yooka-Laylee to sit idly by and not direct that excited energy into something. So, I bring you another episode of 6 Degrees of Pixelation. This time I connect Yooka-Laylee with Amanda Palmer (and I never once mention that Amanda Palmer plays the ukulele! I’m either an idiot or a king of self-control).

Like many other episodes in this series, I’m basically taking things I like and trying to find a way to make them exist in the same universe. If you don’t like the things I like, that’s okay. I still love you.

You know that social theory that everyone on earth can be connected to anyone else by no more than 5 intermediaries? They call that 6 Degrees of Separation. I do the same thing here, except I connect video game topics in strange ways using 6 Degrees of Pixelation.

Click here to access the Google Doc with the script and sources.Read the rest


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Welcome to The One Thing, a video game review series that does something a bit different. Rather than try to touch on all the features that make a game great, I attempt to distill a game down to a single element that I believe is integral to the experience of the game. This may not be the only thing that makes a game great, but if someone asked me to tell them why Shantae works, specifically games 2 and 3, I’d start with The One Thing.

What is the one thing? With Shantae, it is the consistent attention paid to retro platformer details while respecting the modern gamer. The game plays well, has great characters, oozes charm, and encourages exploration–all very important to platformers of my youth. And while doing this the game also embraces modern elements such as a refreshingly gradual difficulty curve, plenty of save points, unlimited lives, and bosses that aren’t so much Nintendo-hard as they are I’m-an-adult-and-don’t-have-much-time-to-play-games-easy.… Read the rest

I had an idea for a podcast. So I made a test episode ready for your listening pleasure. Behold, episode zero of the Gamer Strangers Podcast.

Some background info: In a hunt for Kansas City area gamers, I stumbled upon a group of people, two of which (NSA_iswatchingus and PairedRabbit) host the gaming podcast The Titled Gamer Podcast. This lead to me participating in episode 50 of their podcast which in turn opened up the opportunity for Nick (NSA_iswatchingus) to indulge me in a podcast idea that, selfishly, is meant to introduce me to more KC area gamers.

Welcome to episode zero of the Gamer Strangers Podcast, a podcast that brings together two otherwise strangers based only on their mutual love of videogames. We scour the online and IRL videogame communities to find people that don’t know each other personally but do know that the other person loves video games.… Read the rest

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I’m no doctor, but…like all people who begin a statement with “I’m no doctor” I’m plenty qualified to project an unearned sense of expertise about medical conditions. I’ve read a lot of WebMD and each night before bed I read a chapter from The Color Atlas and Synopsis of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

I can prove I know a lot about medicine. Last week I fell into a pit full of rusty nails and the resulting wound now smells like almonds. Which, based on my expertise, means I probably actually just fell into a pit of almonds, which explains the smell. It’s honest confusion. I’m no carpenter. I don’t know what rusty nails look like….I smell toast. What does that mean?

And like normal people, gamers need a doctor to help define our problems. This is where I come in, to use my non-doctor degree status to educate you on 7 gamer syndromes, compulsions, and other medical things that we gamers share.… Read the rest

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I recently read an article in issue #283 of Game Informer that prompted me to think a bit more about a topic from the book Console Wars, which I also recently read. What happened with Sonic the Hedgehog and how can he come back into the mainstream, if he can come back into the mainstream?

It’s hard to overstate how integral Sonic the Hedgehog was to the pop culture fabric of the early 90s. To many gamers today, Sonic is at best a novelty, and at worst a joke. But there was a time when he was perhaps bigger than–definitely as big as–Mario. I know that’s hard to believe, but you’ll just have to trust me.

Part of what inspired me to offer my thoughts is that I’ve long been interested in fads in general, and more specifically whether or not the cultural context that allows a fad to thrive can ever be recreated.… Read the rest

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Hi future Caleb…

You are probably watching this video because you’re old and have forgotten if, back in 2016 when you first read this book, it was good or not and you’re considering giving it another read. Maybe you’re retired, sitting on a beach–but you’re still in Kansas, because climate change has turned your Kansas City suburban split-level home into an island paradise. So you’ve got nothing left to do but read books and die. That’s okay. With great books like Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation sitting dusty on your bookshelf, dieing doesn’t have to be simply the poorer choice from a selection of two poor choices. No, it’s strikingly worse than reading.

Future Caleb, you’re thinking “What? But I thought this channel was about video games!” Don’t worry. Dementia hasn’t destroyed your brain to the point that you’ve forgotten your entire 30-something youth.… Read the rest