402: Shmuptroidvanias

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This week! Jonathan Metts from Nintendo World Report’s Radio Free Nintendo joins the fray to chat about games. Topics include the Destiny beta, Club Nintendo Elite Rewards (and surveys), NPDs/Xbox One Kinectless SKU, Jonny’s gaming origin story, Pokémon X and Y, Rogue Leader, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, virtual console recommendations, and playing video games in SPACE.

You can listen to Jonny on Radio Free Nintendo, Box Office Poison and Discover Music Project at crosstawk.com, and @jonnymetts on Twitter.

Thanks and congratulations to contest winner Chuck Rios for the new theme song. You can check out his other work on Soundcloud here and follow him on Twitter @Thoraxes.

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 2:11:26

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401: Pre-Order Bonus

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This week! Phil and CJ are joined by Back In My Play’s Josh Hillyer. We talk pre-orders, Sony contemplating an “Early Access” program, the term “console exclusive,” Vita sales, new-gen button icons, Shovel Knight, Retron 5, X-Men: Children of the Atom, Mario Kart 8, StarFox, Q*Bert Rebooted, One Piece: Unlimited World Red and so much more. Join us, won’t you?

Links to Josh Hillyer – Back In My Play podcast, Train of Thought book on AmazonBonus Star Consulting

Thanks and congratulations to contest winners Tracy Booth and Will Kercheval (shout-out to Toronto WOO) for the new album art and opening theme, respectively!

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 1:54:54

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400: The ‘How in the…What, Really? This Many?’ Special

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This week! Super-fan and super-excellent host Rich Grisham takes the reins for a discussion of the Player One Podcast’s past, present and future. Plus some awesome audio shout-outs from longtime fans of the show. You might be a little confused if this is the first episode you’re listening to, so maybe go back to episode 399 instead. If you’ve been listening for a while, please enjoy!

Be sure to check out the other shows Rich is on – the Press Row Podcast and the Doddcast.

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 1:27:58

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399: A Gross of Hitlers

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This week! Botcon, Shovel Knight, speed runs, Wolfenstein, games we associate with vacations, Retron 5s, Duke Nukem Forever/Last Guardian, the July drought, and so much more. Join us, won’t you?

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 1:26:42

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398: Smoked Salmon

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This week! Mike gives us his thoughts on E3, then we talk about games such as The Wolf Among Us Episode 4, Tomodachi Life, Pushmo World, Mario Kart 8, video game rentals, PS Now, importing games and oh so much more. Please join us!

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 1:25:16

Sweet Sweet Canyon 8-bit

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WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL – MegaRace

Mega Race (U) (Front)Publisher: The Software Toolworks
Developer: Cryo Interactive Entertainment
Release: 1994

I’ve spoken a lot about why I’m crazy about the video game industry in the early 90s, and a big part of it has to do with the exploratory nature of early CD-ROM games. It felt like everyone had different ideas regarding what they should do with all that extra storage, and it was fascinating to see what different developers did with that freedom.

Of course, this lead to loads of multimedia extravaganzas that were long on cringe-worthy acting and extremely short on gameplay. And while some of those games put a smile on my face (I’m looking at you, Sewer Shark), a lot of them are downright awful.

Like MegaRace.

If you owned a PC with a CD-ROM drive around 1990, you most likely played this game at some point. It was all over the place, even as pack-in software for some new computers.

MegaRace takes place in the very distant future, where the television network VWBT (Virtual World Broadcast Television) broadcasts a show called MegaRace, kind of an episodic Death Race 2000. In it “The Enforcer” (that’s you) competes in various races against different Speed Gangs. But the idea isn’t to win by coming first, but by destroying every car on the track within three laps. Do that, and you win the gang leader’s car. Fail, and you die.
MEGARACE001
Except you don’t actually die. The show’s host, Lance Boyle, constantly repeats that all of this is taking place in a virtual world, and so no one is really dying at all. The only real threat is that “dying” in the virtual world apparently scrambles your neurons a bit or something. Really, it takes every last tooth out of the dystopian future storyline. There’s no threat at all. You play until you fail and then life goes on.

The gameplay is horrible. You don’t really steer your car around the track. You move your car left to right in order to hit various power up markers on the racetrack, which is just a looping CG movie of the course you’re on. This is basically a really low-tech rail shooter.
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Lance Boyle – played by Christian Erickson – is the real star of the show, and it’s obvious that his performance and the novelty of all the FMV is the real draw in MegaRace. The game features over 20 minutes of video footage, where this odd, smarmy game show host spouts one-liner after ridiculous one-liner for what feels like an eternity. It’s kinda neat for the first two minutes or so, but the intro alone feels like it lasts well over 10 minutes.

MegaRace was the perfect example of bleeding-edge CG visuals on the CD medium, and on the PC (and, eventually, the 3DO) it was enough to carry the experience. In fact, the game did well enough that it spawned two sequels. But on the Sega CD, with the lower resolution and colour palette, the game’s one selling point is completely lost in translation. It gets boiled down to its most basic gameplay, which is really not worth experiencing.

Posted in Sega, Sega CD, WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Response

397: Vertical Slice Plus Alpha

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This week! A little E3 wrap-up, Greg’s preorders, Project STEAM, Mario Maker, Mario Kart 8, Tomodachi Life, Destiny Alpha, Broken Age, and so much more. Join us, won’t you?

phil

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 1:21:31

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396: Conceptual Gameplay

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This week! Join us for a recap/not-live-snarking and commentary on the E3 press conferences from the big three hardware manufacturers – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

And check out Greg’s web series Generation 16 (Episode 12 now available) – click here. And take a trip over to Phil’s YouTube Channel to see some awesome retro game vids.

Own an iPhone/iPod touch? We’ve got an app for that–the Player One Podcast player app is available now. Play shows new and old, read show notes, access the show Twitter, website, email, and more! Click here to download.

Got an Android device? You can now download our app on the Amazon Android Appstore. Find out all about it here.

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 1:45:40

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Posted in E3, Episodes, No Mike, Video Games | 1 Response

SPECIAL: Interview with Console Wars author Blake J. Harris

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Sega Vs. Nintendo. The video game landscape was dominated by this battle back in the early ‘90s. Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation is a new book by author Blake J. Harris that covers this “war” like never before. It’s a fascinating read and enlightening chronicle of the inner workings of Genesis-era Sega of America and its struggle against not only Nintendo but their Japanese parent company. Greg and CJ had the opportunity to sit down over Skype and speak to Blake about the book and the 16-bit war – here it is for your listening enjoyment. Many thanks to Blake for taking the time to chat with us. (You can follow him on twitter @blakejharrisnyc.)

If you haven’t already, why not purchase a copy of Console Wars at Amazon!

Our regularly scheduled episode will be slightly delayed this week so that we can discuss the major E3 press conferences in a timely fashion. We’ll be recording the evening of Tuesday, June 10. And the episode will hit your favorite podcatcher by the morning of June 11 tentatively, if all goes according to keikaku…(plan, it means plan).

Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/p1podcast.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to visit our new web site at www.playeronepodcast.com. Don’t forget to join our forums if you haven’t already!

Running time: 57:31

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WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL – The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO

KamenRiderZO_MCD_US_Box_FrontPublisher: Sega
Developer: Toei Animation
Release: 1994

When the CD medium was in its infancy, we all heard endlessly about the inherent advantages the shiny discs had over traditional cartridges. Way more memory, no more connectors to clean, the ability for full-motion video, and so on. And, one of the most important advantages for the cash-strapped consumer, the low cost of the physical disc relative to the cartridges we were all used to.

Perhaps that’s the reason that Kamen Rider ZO and other niche titles like it made their way to the US despite the fact that the Sega CD was not a smash hit in this country. I mean, there had to be a spreadsheet somewhere that pointed out ZO had the potential to turn a profit, right? Because, honestly, this game is just too weird to be released in the US otherwise.

The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO is yet another full-motion video game for the system. This one is based on a series of manga and “tokusatsu” films (live action film that uses a lot of special effects) from Shotaro Ishinomori, beginning in 1971. Kamen Rider ZO is based on one of three films in the series released in the 90s.

The Kamen Rider series generally features a hero with an insect motif who rides a motorcycle. There have been dozens of different series over the past four decades. ZO follows the story of a lab assistant named Masaru Aso, who was the subject of an experiment by geneticist Doctor Mochizuki where he attempted to create a Neo Organism. The result is Aso’s ability to transform into the grasshopper-like hero, ZO.

After fleeing into the mountains and falling into a coma, Masaru is awoken two years later with an unexplained urge to find and protect the doctor’s son, Hiroshi. The game chronicles Masaru’s fight with a mysterious cast of monsters who seem to be trying to abduct Hiroshi.
THE MASKED RIDER- KAMEN RIDER ZO01
Kamen Rider ZO plays out like most FMV games in the Dragon’s Lair/Road Avenger style. As the video runs, various commands appear on-screen. Perform those commands in time and the game continues. Screw those commands up and it’s game over.

Actually, it’s not automatically game over. Unlike most of its predecessors, Kamen Rider ZO features a life bar system, where you can make two or three mistakes before “losing” the game. This is something that Sega did with Might Morphin’ Power Rangers as well, and it’s really effective. It’s surprising how much more user-friendly the experience is because of this simple design choice.

From what I can tell, the story and all of the footage are lifted directly from the film. The game is broken up into episodes, mostly consisting of chasing or fighting monsters. There’s a slight twist in that you can choose multiple paths at various points during the story, which is pretty unique for an FMV game in 1994. But still, the replay value is pretty much non-existent.
THE MASKED RIDER- KAMEN RIDER ZO02
The pacing is also very strange. You spend tonnes of time just sitting and watching the video, only to follow it up with an “episode” that consists of a single button press. I appreciate that the producers were trying to make the story just as important as the interaction, here, but it feels really strange when you actually experience it.

One of the Masked Rider series did actually make it to the USA. The ninth series, Kamen Rider Black RX, was adapted for the US and released under the title Masked Rider, which was a spinoff of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Remember, this was when Saban was converting a lot of these tokusatsu series for release in English.

The Masked Rider series in the US actually featured a bit of footage from Kamen Rider ZO as well, so I guess there was a reason to release this game in North America after all.

Posted in Sega, Sega CD, WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Response