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Showing posts with the label Electronic Games

Style as Story in CounterSpy

It's time to come clean: most of my recent electronic gaming selections have been inspired by genre discussion threads on the Something Awful forum , particularly explorations into the "Shoot 'em Up"( SHMUP ) and JRPG genres. There are plenty of holes in my experiences with the medium, and I always love to hear people talk about why something does (or doesn't) work for them... especially when their suggestions are already part of my gargantuan game backlog . The most recent one, though, was for a genre I was more familiar with: "Stealth Games." Regular readers shouldn't be surprised here - given how often I bring it up, it should be obvious that my all-time favorite series is Metal Gear , which has defined much of the "stealth" genre. Not only those games, though, but also Tenchu, Hitman, Assassins Creed, and Dishonored , all of which I've discussed before as part of the "assassination game" sub-genre, and well as those tha

Attitude Adjustment: Sonic, Poochy, and an X-treme Conundrum

I admit it: I'm not up to date on the Sonic Fandom . My familiarity with the character is limited to the original Genesis games, although I've certainly known people around my own age for whom the name "Sonic the Hedgehog" meant the animated series, comics, or (heaven help us).. newer video games. There have been the recent movies  keeping the character in the public eye, not to mention Sega embracing fan creations using the old 2D format though Sonic Mania alongside slicker, modern titles like Sonic Forces . Nonetheless, I've been spending a lot of time with the character lately - thanks to a couple of miraculous devices , I have the complete Sega Genesis library at my fingertips and I've been slowly working my way thorough the classics . Things are stressful for just about everyone these days, and being able to quickly pull up a something colorful and energetic for just a few minutes provides great comfort and relief. I beat the first Sonic the Hedgehog

Formatted

In last week's post (" Retrogame Therapy ") Bugsy discussed some ways that  playing “retro” video games are beneficial to us. That got us both thinking about the technology and media formats of these games. Do you go with newer digital formats of your favorite games or strive to consume media through the technology it was originally released in? Certainly, there's an ease of use factor with purely digital consumption, but is there something to be said for taking a more involved approach and adopting Bugsy’s aforementioned hydra of gaming systems? The question doesn't only apply to electronic gaming, either, with digital tabletops continuing to increase. To boil it down to a single specific question: how much does the format matter when it comes to games? -A A : To me, the most obvious argument to me that specific format shouldn’t matter is ease of use. Do I need extra cables, to fiddle with settings, to clean any old components, to find the space and time to get

Retrogame Therapy

By this point, my love of older electronic games should be well-established . I've always been a little out of step with the times - my family didn't have a lot of money when I was a kid, so most things were acquired used through yard sales, thrift stores, and hand-me-downs. Even as an adult, I tend to acquire systems towards the end of their eras, with the exception of the PS2... and one of the reasons I went for that console back in 2001 was the backwards compatibility that made its predecessor's huge library available, with games already starting to show up on "used" shelves and in discount bins. It's been greatly accelerated in the pandemic years, of course: I've rescued all the old yard sale consoles from my parents' house incorporated them into the nightmarish hydra that makes up my desk/music area. This is thanks to a few recent developments that have made old consoles accessible in ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago and

Play It Again, Sam!

Sometimes it feels like people who consume media are divided into two camps, with little leeway in between: one says "I don't keep books/games/movies after I'm done with them, I'm not going to read/play/watch them again," and the other instinctively amasses the things they like in order to access or re-visit  them on a moment's notice. (Anyone who has ever helped me move knows which group I belong to... and I'm very sorry about your backs.) Physical media and its associated benefits and drawbacks notwithstanding, the motivations behind these positions say a lot about the way people engage with the media they enjoy.   With predominately linear formats like books and movies, the engagement process is mostly pre-defined. While one could argue about the way home viewing has changed the cinematic experience by allowing audiences to jump in at any point or to back up and  re-examine missed details, and that printed media, particularly comics, have always had a &

Rewind/Remake (B Side)

It's no wonder most genre fans have an involuntary twitch whenever they hear the word "remake." I don't need to go into examples - if you're reading this, I'm sure you're already thinking of one (or many) that utterly missed the original work's point, or was only tenuously connected, or veered into a more "test audience-friendly" direction. And yet there are legitimately beloved remakes that have largely supplanted their predecessors in popular consciousness: The Thing (1982), The Fly (1986) , Battlestar Galactica (2004), Westworld (2016)... If we include works that respond to, while also recreating, the originals, we can include things like Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020) and The Little Shop of Horrors (1986)... although musical adaptations probably deserve their own category.  With such unpredictable results, why do remakes happen? Setting aside the purely commercial reasons often trotted out as conversation-terminating cliches ("t

Remake/Rewind (A Side)

In the broad scope of media, sequels, prequels, and remakes are all often maligned. This might be less common in gaming, although we do see it there as well. Part of the issue could be the time between between releases, and all the changes that take place across the various industries during the interim. Complain though we might, audiences will still (usually) jump on board to at least get one more taste of a favorite media universe, even if they end up deciding they hate it afterwards. Here at Never Say Dice, we’re no different than any other media consumers - we still long to voyage into our favorite media worlds once again. For this post series, we’re going to venture off the beaten review and commentary path to talk about some sequel, prequel and remake ideas of various properties that we'd like to see... regardless of how likely any of them are happen. For this post, we’ll start off with a few games I'd like to see revisited. One classic video game I 'd like to see rem

Combat Culture

For the past two years, this weekend has seen “ Moments of Silence ” posts, the first in response to the murder of George Floyd, and the second to comment on what had taken place in the ensuing year. This year, the weeks leading up to the anniversary have seen a number of brutal, preventable, man-made tragedies, and, given their nature, the standard litany of finger-pointing -  particularly from those desperate to draw attention from the obvious connection between mass shootings and the ready availability of firearms. In addition to their current favorite targets, both human and conceptual (funny how the blame always falls on the people they were already mad at), and something that can only be described as “architectural victim blaming” (at least Ted Cruz’s comments about doors are being roundly mocked), the old classics were trotted out, including that aging recurring villain: video games. Both of us at NSD were in the same graduating class as the Columbine shooters, so, while we wer

This One's for You, Tapper OR Backyard Brew and Tabletop, Too

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer here in the United States. For many of us, that marks a time full of grilled burgers and cold brews. Previously, we talked about how food might disagree with you, and how to get the help of Peter Pepper at your table top . This year, the focus is on the brew part of the cookout events. While half of Never Say Dice is a teetotaler, that doesn’t mean we can’t all appreciate the strange fun of beer and games. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this year we’re pouring one out for Tapper . We’ll get into a bit of the game's history and its main character. We’ll also put together a Risus version for you to include in your own games. (If you don’t know Risus, fear not! Check out some of our previous Risus posts where we’ve taken inspiration from other classic arcade games, including Gauntlet and Pole Position . (Not to mention out our very own "Introduction to Risus .") So sit back, pour yourself a cold one with us, and enjoy learn