Review: Formula Retro Racing

It has been a long time since I have been to an arcade.  The concept has been dying out for years now, and it certainly hasn’t been doing any better due the virus.  Granted, before Covid started making it’s rounds, the amount of times I have been to arcades have been few and far between.  Whenever I do get a chance to go to one I check out one of the major staples: racing games.  Unlike the home console games such as Forza or Gran Turismo, arcade racers have a certain charm to them.  No matter if it’s Nascar, Cruisin’ USA, or the Fast and the Furious; arcade racers embrace this spirit of more personalized competition that just doesn’t exist with home console racers.  There are no deep customization systems, there is no fine tuning, it’s just you and a hopefully no sticky steering wheel.  One company hopes to recapture that magic in modern times. Repixel8 is that company with their soon to be released title Formula Retro Racing.

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Xbox Event: My Thoughts

In the first of a series of digital events, Microsoft held an online event showcasing series of game trailers. These trailers were used showing in-game graphic capabilities that utilized the Xbox Series X hardware. This event was approximately one hour long total, with the first 27 minutes displaying a series of trailers while the last half featured interviews with the creators behind some of the games we saw.

The lukewarm affair was met with a slew of criticisms. As much as I love Microsoft and the work they have done in the past, this event is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to building up my excitement for the future of Xbox. My feelings may be quelled for the time being, and in this moment of clarity, I have to say that Microsoft is at least trying to get people excited, and that is much more than what other companies have been doing lately.

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Half-ass Completionist

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A couple of days ago I thought it would be fun to do something I have never done before, because these days all I have is time.  I decided it was time to fully explore the expansive universe that is Kingdom Hearts.  I played the main Kingdom Hearts games when they initially came out; 1,2, and 3.  But the ones in between I missed out on.  Getting the full experience is something I figured I could dedicate time to now. Plus the ending to the third one was lukewarm to me but incredibly awesome to die hard fans who purchased several devices and endured many years of exposition.  So why not give it the old college try? Much like college I discovered something about myself and gained some additional pounds. 

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World of Console-Craft

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It’s been yet another year that I sit back and I gaze upon the internet and see yet again the rumors of the past rear their heads, and the incredible outrage that immediately follows it.  I feel like I can open a lot of stories with this line.  Whenever it comes to bringing PC games to console, a particular crowd seems to become more unruly than usual.  Come to think of it, the same goes for when console games get poor PC ports, or when Epic Games seems to strike an exclusivity deal.  But then there are stories that shouldn’t raise an eyebrow and have no bearing on the community as a whole.  Yet, condemnation still occurs.  Blizzard adding controller support to an otherwise PC exclusive game opens the floodgates for scrutiny, and this begs the question: Will World of Warcraft be on consoles?  Is it even possible?  

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Spoiler Edition

 

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Alright, put the kids to bed, turn off your cell phone unless you are reading this on your cell phone then please keep reading.  Let’s get just cut into the meat of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. There is a ton to discuss and I have a lot of thoughts about many aspects of this game.  I previously reviewed the game and went over some of the more superficial aspects without spoiling the plot. I recognize that there are people who have yet to experience the original title and I felt it was necessary to split this into a two part review for the sake of those who wish to be surprised.  Even as someone who played the original many times over, I am left pleasantly surprised, and eager for more.

(EDIT 4/29/2020 – I have slept on the game more.  I have had conversations with many people about the game and I have come to understand more of it.  It took a while to really let it sink in, but I figured with new information comes new aspects, and I will be changing this piece with my new perspectives.)

Note: Before I go any further I will state that there are plotline spoilers in this article.  I specifically left this whole three pages out of the original review so I didn’t spoil anything for people who haven’t played the original game.  If you have completed the game, and it seems possible that you did by now, then please read on.  If you do not care about certain elements, then read on.  If you are not buying this game out of sheer resentment of Square for not releasing a full game; then you might want to turn back.  Or read on.  Either way, consider yourself warned.

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Spoiler Free Review

 

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When I was young and didn’t feel like going to school, I did what every kid would do: try very hard to convince my parents I was sick.  After spending a lot of time putting on the most lackluster performance of someone being sick, I finally convinced them to let me stay home.  I spend the better part of the day laying in bed, playing Final Fantasy VII. When kids worried about their test scores and what Nathan was going to do during lunch, I pondered the events that would transpire after I left Cosmo Canyon.  Ah, to look back on the problems I had when I was young.

Final Fantasy VII was the first game that impacted me on an emotional level.  It was the first game that made me think about what a story consisted of. It introduced me to the concept of storyline twists, what villains were made of, and what it took to become a hero.  It showed me that people change and evolve, and perhaps people that didn’t care about others could become attentive and strong leaders. The game taught me about loss, how to cope, and how to move on.  

I know that I was not the only person to have similar experiences with this game.  Final Fantasy VII became a staple in video game culture to the likings of Legend of Zelda and Mario.  Cloud Strife, with his giant buster sword became an icon, and so did his counterpart: Sephiroth. Seeing an eventual remake of this game was a no-brainer.  But what time is the right time?

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World of Warcraft and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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If you know me then you should know about my greatest addiction to one of the most popular games out there: World of Warcraft.  It’s not crack exactly, but damn near close to it. I am such a devout follower of the game to a point where it has become a part of my personality.  I own stickers, shirts, constantly ask for beta keys to expansions on Twitter. I even appeared on the Playable Characters Podcast as one of the Stormwind Auctioneers.  My history with the game is long and somewhat stressful.   Continue reading “World of Warcraft and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

The Price of Power

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Back in December of 2019 a lot of speculation on the next console for Microsoft was put to rest.  During the annual Video Game Awards, Microsoft revealed the newest addition to their family: The Xbox Series X.  The most powerful console that Microsoft has ever made.  Sure, this is rhetoric that we have heard before, but it’s not necessarily false.  Let’s be honest here, every console they release should be the most powerful console they have ever made.

Several months later and we have all been waiting to hear what Sony was bringing to the table.  With the huge instant success of the Playstation 4, we are all eager to hear more about the Playstation 5.  Will our wildest dreams of next generation power come into fruition?  Will the rumors about full backwards compatibility down to Playstation 1 games hold true?  We had a lot of question, and still many remain unanswered, but as of recently we have a clearer idea of what Sony will be focusing in on with the Playstation 5 (PS5).  Continue reading “The Price of Power”

An Ode to Gamestop

 

November 2006; I woke up early and got my clothes on.  I somehow find myself at the front doors of the Sunrise Mall to see two long lines of people stretching adjacent to the main doorway.  Each line had around 100 to 150 people on them. I went right past them, right into the maw of this monster called Gamestop. I was 20 years old, and already I was a battle-hardened veterain of the retail world.  I went through the travesty that was the Xbox 360 launch, but this was a whole different beast.

To finish the story of that day, Nintendo gave the EB Games and Gamestop store inside the mall additional Wii consoles because the mall happened to allow a giant interactive to rest right at the main doorway.  This interactive had units where people could try out the Wii system before it released. Thanks to this console, it created massive hype, and the most interesting time I have ever worked for a company in my life.  Looking back on it, I have to say it was kind of fun.

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Review: Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

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It’s not often I find a good Star Wars game.  I feel that most titles holding the Star Wars license to be rather dull, uninspired, and a bit cash grabby.  After the situation involving Star Wars: Battlefront II and their lootboxes; it’s very easy to dismiss any games that have the EA (Electronic Arts) logo on it and claim to be a good Star Wars game.  The bad taste that EA has left in our collective mouths is only whisked away by this Respawn Entertainment developed zesty pallet cleanser called Jedi Fallen Order.  Jedi Fallen Order has a lot to unpack and a whole lot more to prove.  Between EA stating that “single player games dead” and Respawn trying to prove themselves as a powerful developer; Jedi Fallen Order seems to be a title that brings balance to the force in so many ways.

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