Podcast Watch: Factory Sealed

Factory Sealed is an audio podcast from ManaTank.com which usually features talk specifically of retro games and retro gaming. It can be conversational at times but, that is not a bad thing since the hosts and participants are entertaining. Every episode they agree to play a retro game and discuss their impressions of it on the most current episode. However, it is hard to say when episodes arrive in your feed, recording and posting does not seem consistent as of yet.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/factory-sealed-retro-gaming/id560002368

Main page: http://manatank.com/category/podcasts/factory-sealed/

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50 Attempts at Speech in Early Games

Using digitized voices 20 years ago was a big deal. Once the CD-ROM was introduced to world we saw voice overs more commonly used to enhance an experience beyond wowing the player. Quality increased over time and the technology used for producing the voices improved as well. Early recorded voices were often garbled and hard to understand. Even I wondered what was being said through my TV speakers at times. Although, there were some memorable ones like “Finish Him!” and “Hadoken!” that have had a lasting impact on the industry.

http://www.jest.com/video/201358/50-attempts-at-speech-in-early-videogames

Jest.com provides us with a look back at 50 games that used advanced solutions for immersion in games.

Go right

This spectacular montage consists of many games from Contra to Klonoa to Mario to Castlevania. All of them are very different games stylistically and genre wise but, they all have at least one thing in common: your progression is based upon going to the right. Watch and remember!

Abobo’s Big Adventure

There are lots of tributes to classic gaming out there, like Super Mario Crossover. SMC allows you to play the original Mario levels with different characters from classic NES games like Metroid or Contra and add some graphical changes if you want. Or the tribute might be something more modern like 3D Dot Game Heroes, a PS3 retail game that heralds back to the NES Zelda.

Recently, I stumbled upon Abobo’s Big Adventure, “The Ultimate Tribute to the NES.” This is what happens when you take a really tough enemy from Double Dragon and give him his own game. You travel through many levels of 8-bitdom, see many homages to the era and familiar pixels along the way.

You take the roll of Abobo himself, when your son Aboboy is captured; you go on a steaming rampage to get him back. I have always been a fan of crossovers and if the industry has taught us one thing, some franchises are destined to be mixed up. Abobo’s Big Adventure just happens to encapsulate a lot of them. And very well I might add.

It’s just not that easy

On a sunny summer afternoon, I got home from work ready to sit down in front of the couch to try to finish one of the many games I have failed to complete. When I come home, not even five minutes in the door, my roommate informs me that the PS3 won’t turn on.

I inquire further about the situation, fearing the worst has happened. Apparently, it shut off in the middle of playing a Netflix stream and refused to turn on after that. I go over to the machine to test this for myself and just like she said it doesn’t turn on.

http://ps3authority.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ylod.jpg
"Yellow light of death"

My heart sank to my stomach and I sighed. It died on me. However, I figure all is not lost. It can still be repaired. I start to research around the Internet for solutions to my problem and yes, given the symptoms, it’s a semi-common problem with my model PS3. It’s fixable, that’s what matters.

I search for home remedies instead of having to send it off somewhere. The thought of bringing it back to Sony seemed like a good option. But, reading about the repair process just made me backtrack to the DIY repairs, which I don’t have the tools for. So, I then researched repair shops I could send it to, these sounded like a better idea after some of the things I read about sending it back to the manufacturer. Who can I really trust with my prized system?

Knowing that there is a disc stuck in the drive and my save data hasn’t been back up in a while, I just let my PS3 sit on the shelf. I was fed up with research and contemplating the options … My PS3 has gone weeks without being turned on. I had my Deus Ex: Human Revolution preordered for the system but, had to cancel it since I was still undecided about what to do with only home console.

Now, I was not completely without a source of video entertainment, I still have a pretty decent gaming PC. Even with a PS3, there are still some games I prefer to play with a mouse and keyboard. I opted for buying Deus Ex for my rig. Time went on and I became more and more attached to my PC. It has become a pretty reliable piece of machinery. I have since bought Battlefield 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Windows platform.

In between all this though, I missed sitting in front of my TV, just relaxing with a controller in my hands. There is a certain experience you get in front of a television that you don’t from a sitting a computer chair. The couch is more comfortable but, it doesn’t lean back. Nevertheless, it can feel like a more social experience and more relaxing.

I missed this. Modern technology had burned me. You’ve probably heard the numerous stories of this generation of consoles breaking due to some sort internal malfunction. Did that ever happen in 1986? Probably. Do you have to worry about your Xbox’s hard drive dying? The simple answer is yes.

Putting a different way … A Nintendo from 20 years ago can still play a game pretty much flawlessly but, a state of the art entertainment device can’t even last four years without completely breaking? That’s why I went back. Things were just easier.

http://www.nintendowallpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/wallpapers/NES-Retro-Controller-800x600.jpg

Games didn’t used to load, the controls were simple and you probably didn’t have a melodramatic saga of four games with hour long cut scenes. To me, the industry seemed sane then. Now, you have logins, Gamertags and random strangers from the Internet that condemn for a well-placed headshot.

I just want to press start and have the game work.