As I sidled up to the sofa for yet another hour of Sony's MLB 14: The Show for the PlayStation 4 yesterday, it dawned on me how, despite the obvious sports trappings, it really is the ultimate action Role-playing Game (RPG), setting a standard that the more typical fantasy-themed games in the genre would do well to emulate. Now, don't get me wrong, for the most part, MLB 14 is a standard sports videogame, one obviously themed to the well worn game of professional baseball. However, it does have among its cavalcade of modes, Road to the Show, which is as much of an RPG as any RPG that ever RPG'd (or something like that).
Road to the Show lets you create a baseball player from scratch. You have a pool of stats to distribute over a wide range of abilities (hitting, throwing, running, fielding, etc.), determine physical characteristics, design the player's features, determine preferred position, decide on the player's age, etc. In short, you can mould exactly the type of character you want to play, albeit only a male one (you can thank Major League Baseball for that particular restriction), right down to the name, which can even be spoken by the announcer who calls the games if you choose something common enough (my first name was there, "Bill," but not my last, so I chose a nickname of "Train," as in, "freight train - look out!," for my last name (don't judge me!)). (Read more)
It seems legendary comics paying clever homage to past videogame dalliances continues. Hot on the heels of Jeff Parker doing so on Wizard of Id back in January, Garfield's Jim Davis, did something similar on a Sunday strip for July 20, 2014 (Joel D. Park, on the thread he started on AtariAge, is the one who pointed it out).
AtariProtos.com has excellent coverage of the ultimately unreleased 1983/84 Garfield game for the Atari 2600 that the comic header clearly mimics. While there is some speculation in the AtariAge thread about how Jim Davis "re-discovered" the 8-bit art, it seems to me that, based on the AtariProtos.com piece, in granting permission to release the ROM image, he was certainly aware of its existence, and relatively recently at that. Considering the near exact replication, it's likely he was working off of screenshots in his possession rather than a random Web search, and did so quite deliberately. Regardless of whether or not you're a fan of Garfield, if you're into videogames, it's hard to deny it's a cool move.
AtGames has authorized the exclusive release of the game list for the 2014 edition of the ColecoVision Flashback, which hits major US retailers like Toys''R''Us, Dollar General, and Sam's Club in October.
The 60 game list that appears on the ColecoVision Flashback is as follows:
The 92 game list that appears on the Atari Flashback 5 is as follows:
AtGames has authorized the exclusive release of the game list for the 2014 edition of the Intellivision Flashback, which hits major US retailers like Toys''R''Us, Dollar General, and Sam's Club in October.
The 60 game list that appears on the Intellivision Flashback is as follows:
AtGames has authorized the exclusive release of the game lists for the 2014 editions of the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console (which accepts cartridges) and Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player (which accepts an SD card), each of which hits major US retailers like Toys''R''Us in October.
The 80 game list that appears on both the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console and Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player is as follows:
Gravitas Ventures has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to our documentary film, Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution. Gravitas specializes in the aggregation of entertainment content by connecting independent filmmakers, producers, and distribution companies with leading cable, satellite, telco, and online distribution partners. In the last five years, Gravitas has released more than 2,000 films on Video on Demand (VOD). Through its relationships with studios and VOD operators, Gravitas can distribute a film into over 100 million North American and one billion worldwide homes. At present, Gravitas is working with the creators of Gameplay to translate the film into more than half a dozen additional languages. Additional details to follow.
Our friends over at The Retro League have posted their latest podcast episode, 240, entitled, "Extraordinary Games Require Extraordinary Evidence." They cover their usual breadth of topics on the show and even took time to comment on a brief editorial I posted, "Is the retrogaming community too entitled?." Check out the episode here.
After spending quite a bit of time recently on various discussion forums on AtariAge and Facebook, it has really struck me more than usual how incredibly demanding our retrogaming community (and gaming community at large) is, and how entitled, as the title of this blog post states, some people come off as. This is of course nothing new, going back to the days in the late 1990s when MAME developers would get criticized or even threatened when someone's favorite game wasn't properly emulated, as if the monumental task of emulating what is now thousands of arcade machines, for free, wasn't stressful enough, or otherwise rewarding for the end user. It was the one game that was the deal breaker among the countless other games and the incredible accomplishment in and of itself.
Of course, this kind of criticism has continued since. In my reviews over the past few years of the Atari Flashbacks 3 and 4, Sega Classic Console, and other similar devices, the negativity around those releases from viewers was often frequent and loud. Whether it wasn't getting the sound quite right in the Sega stuff, or missing a personal favorite game in the Atari stuff, the vitriol flew fast and furious. This included statements like, "No game x? It's a fail," or "The sound isn't quite right so I couldn't possibly use it." That's fine - individually we can dislike things for any reason we so choose - but then going on to state that people are idiots for buying it, or why would anyone want it, etc., and then going on what seems like a personal crusade to criticize said device at every possible opportunity (and, as we know, the Internet provides lots of opportunities) shows a remarkable lack of perspective. Take the examples in this paragraph. You're talking devices with say, 80 built-in games and original style controllers that typically retail for just $40. Can't we consider that maybe it might be OK to accept a few trade offs for something so low cost that offers relatively so much? Not for some, because apparently that one missing game is a personal affront or that tinny sound makes it completely worthless. [Read more]
We're happy to announce that our latest book, My Xbox One, published by Que, is now available. You can check out the book, including sample content (which includes the front matter, Prologue, Chapter 3, and the index!), by going to the Pearson/Que Website (here). They have both the ebook and paperback versions available, as well as special bundle pricing. Of course, both formats are also available at booksellers everywhere, including Amazon, though it may be a few more days before the paperback shows as in stock (be sure to use the Look Inside and send a sample to Kindle features on there as well). As for the book, think of it like the missing manual for the Xbox One, providing visual, step-by-step guidance and tips for getting the most out of Microsoft's latest and greatest game console and media/entertainment center powerhouse. Let us know what you think, help spread the word, and, as always, thank you for the support!