Captain Orion’s bestest video games picks of 2020!

BESTEST

VIDEO GAMES

OF 2020!

2020 was a great year, for video games releases!

A lot of great games were released for this year. Many of them, I wish I got around to or had the consoles including Ghosts of Tsushima, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Doom: Eternal, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and more. We deserved fresh entertainment for this ongoing global pandemic crisis with the quarantines and social distancing shadowing much of 2020. Meanwhile, the interactive industry thrived with consistent sales, new consoles selling out, and plenty of new content for every player of all types.

Many of these fresh screen games set out to be enjoyed alone and/or socially online. We have more advanced gaming technology and means for online downloading, connecting, streaming, social discussing, cheering, and complaining. They all provide great distractions from the current time stresses as we may build upon new and renewed friendships with our shared love of gaming. Or, just pass the time and our best modern remedy for boredom with some single player escapism!

But for me, I’m a little bit of both types. I enjoy gaming alone, and with friends. Such depends on my mood and state of mind. Though, I steered more toward budgeting with big sales in games and freebies. There was plenty out there for those with the thinnest of wallets. I meanwhile, stayed mostly on my PC and Xbox One, no new consoles for me yet. I do want a Nintendo Switch, with time to play the many past games I missed for it.

Anyway, here are the games I personally present as the most important game awards to for 2020!

BEST NEW GAME OF 2020

HADES

Developer and published by Supergiant Games
System: PC, Nintendo Switch

This is the BEST game of 2020, for many reasons that go back decades in what I ask for in a a best-tier video game. Make it challenging, story-deep, visually awesome, sensible controls, gratifying, constant surprises, great music, unique style, and heart. Hades has all of this and more, with aspects reminiscent of other personal favorites – Disgaea, Diablo, Dark Souls, Smash TV. But with Hades, the more you die, the more the game is revealed with more story and gameplay elements. There is so much more I would like to say, but just go play it if you’re into something that feels both old-school but also super modern in its approach and complexity.

BEST COOPERATIVE?! GAME OF 2020

AMONG US

Developed and published by Innersloth
System: PC, Mobile, Nintendo Switch

A surprise that was released in 2018, but earned a huge boost in popularity thanks to its fans, developers, its very affordable price, online streams, and all around fun this game holds; all perfect for this time of mass quarantines and social distancing. Among Us is that connects us, as each game has its own story creating tension on just who Among Us is sus.

BEST KICKASS GAME OF 2020

STREETS OF RAGE 4

Developer: Dotemu, Guard Crush, Lizardcube  Published by Dotemu
System: All the current consoles and PC

HELL YES!!!! I freakin love the old Streets of Rage games for the Sega Genesis (and later mods, fan-made remakes). Streets of Rage 4 is THE damn great, official successor to all of that, including all that made the game great – action, complexity and variance to the button mashing, awesome musical tracks that your fists can dance to. The graphics are perfect with expressive visual style, vibrant colors, detailed backgrounds, and hella fun for co-op action too.

BEST PLAY AND CHILL GAME OF 2020

TOWNSCAPER

Developed and published by Oskar Stålberg
System: PC

It’s not really a game, but it should be someday. It’s hard to explain. Just watch the trailer, and from there, explore the crazy insane possibilities and let your imagination figure out the direction. The more you tinker and discover new aspects of the game, the more more awesome your wierd little world. I love the animation, sound effects, every little detail no matter how small; making Townscaper worth checking out.

BEST VISUAL NOVEL GAME OF 2020

QUANTUM SUICIDE

Developer and published by Cotton Candy Cyanide
System: PC

This particular Japanese anime style visual novel sets itself off apart with a very unique story, and choosy situations that center around mechanics that are very science fictiony, flirty. with deadly sub-games that take a bit more thinking than I would expect. I much enjoyed this all as I watched and chimed in for some very entertaining Twitch streams from a gamer friend that you should follow (twitch.tv/aechonex).

BEST PUZZLING PUZZLE GAME OF 2020

HELLTAKER

Developer and published by vanripper
System: PC

A fun puzzle-adventure with dating and cooking themes game? Helltaker is that and so much more. It’s very unique, with catchy beats, and a whole lot of fun. It’s also free!

BEST FINALLY GOT AROUND TO IT GAME OF 2020

FINAL FANTASY XV

Developed and published by Square Enix
System: All the current consoles and PC

Final Fantasy XV came out a little over 4 years ago and has been in constant development all the way until 2019 with tis final DLC. This open-world game is freakin massive, giving its players much homework into other media for a wider complete experience. I found the 19.99 price for the Royal Edition (main game plus mostly all the DLC) the best I can get for my single-player RPG Final Fantasy loving needs. I enjoyed this far more than expected, delve deep into worldbuilding, and will forever treasure what it brought in this tough pandemic time.

BEST DEMO GAME OF 2020

THE LIFE AND SUFFERING OF SIR BRANTE

Developer by Sever published by 101XP
System: PC for the demo

A surprise treat among I discovered among the PAX Online demos. It’s a visual novel that reads like a lifetime biography, but with choices that do indeed tell a story of about the life and suffering of (you can choose his name). It’s a series of very unfortunate events, where you do your best to make the best out of it, and find deeper meanings though it all. It’s different and worth checking out for visual novel fans, and something to watch out for when it’s fully released.

BEST GAME OF 2021, MAYBE..

CYBERPUNK 2077

Developer: Playstation, Xbox, and PC

The game I was most excited for its delayed release. And, I still am. But after seeing (and laughing) the glitches, problems, frustrations that seem to be a trend for these big, crazy games where play-testing continues with the player after its release…not playing or judging this until the final product is done with enough updates, patches, DLC, whatever it takes to experience as intended. Maybe it will be awesome as its hype. I will remain excited, and wait till the finished product.

That’s all the game awards for 2020 I got. If there was something else I should have played, please share in the comments below!

Nintendo beats to chill by and Quarantinendo to

Through life, there is a constant of in video games with the style of music that Nintendo brings. So many games, beautiful soothing, mood setting tones that can be both epic yet peacefully soothing.

Anyone that’s ever played a Nintendo hit game from the original Super Mario Brothers to the new Animal Crossing, will probably have some tunes stuck in their head from time to time. The most frequent in mine is the Overworld Theme from Super Mario World for the SNES. I probably just put it in your head just now, if you played it as much as I have (a lot!).

There are so many great game track tunes, and variations of such remixed in later editions and by fans worldwide. Thanks to many internet resources, most are easily found. Some are waiting to be discovered. No game needed, just perfect for long moments of solitude, studying, organizing, creative development, and quarantine during a long pandemic.

Here is that time where all the above is relevant, and we could use some Nintendo tunes to sooth our minds. Below is some selections for you. Some you know, some you maybe forgot, some fans know and redid, some with additive flavor. Dig in, and enjoy this curated mix of long mixes!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate – Best Of Music Mix

Chosen because the Smash Brothers brand in its purity, has the best orchestral mix celebrating all that is majestic about the familiar tunes many will never forget.

Zelda and Chill

Lofi hip-hop beats produced by German beat-maker Mikel and mastered by Philadelphia based Dj CUTMAN. It’s a nice mixture, and something different for the series most dedicated fans to enjoy!

Relaxing and Calming Music From Super Mario Series

The Super Mario Brothers is the pinnacle of Nintendo musical poetry, always help setting the mood and giving the mushroom a surreal beautiful tone.

Poke and Chill

Got to catch them all! These are various compositions from past Pokemon games, remixed German beat-maker Mikel and mastered by Philadelphia based Dj CUTMAN (same who did Zelda and Chill). Amazing freakin stuff!

Relaxing Earthbound/Mother 2 Music

Earthbound (aka Mother 2) is one of those games that every video game fanatic should eventually play in life. Its beautiful and wondrous with a little bit of 90s experimental electronic beat thrown in. Some of those tracks have special secrets, giving a little extra dimension for deep listeners.

Ambient Relaxing Music From Metroid Series

Nintendo shows us that even a dark, dangerous world of aliens and space weaponry can be a place for haunting, yet soothing music pulling us deeper into other, stranger worlds.

Donkey Kong and LOFI

Whaaat?! Listen and add it to your favorites. That’s what! A masterful remix from a variety of artists. It’s a real treat for any Kong….bananas for your soul!

1 Hour of Relaxing Animal Crossing New Horizons Music + Rain Sounds

Personally, I never played any of the Animal Crossing crossing. But the music, I hear from gaming radio stations and curated playlists gives a calm, setting tone to which I think adds to the series success. Here’s some relaxing Animal Crossing New Horizons game tracks, but with some soothing rain added.

Enjoy, stay well, and be chill out there!

Treasures of the Portland Retro Gaming Expos, Part 2 (Nintendo Power!)

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(Continued from Part 1 of my adventures through the annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo, 2019)

This next part is dedicated to an awesome featured part of the PRGE, its video game history room. This mini-museum is presented by the Video Game History Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preserving interactive entertainment’s past. Their focus for this show was the 30th anniversary year of Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld, and Nintendo’s pre-Internet game counselor service. 

So, many amazing treasures on display here, I took some pictures, of which I am proud to share below…

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A display of company jackets worn by the Nintendo Game counselors…

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Just who were these Game Counselors? Well, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, players could call via their telephone, and speak to a human being on getting through the hardest part of their video games.

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The game counselors had a variety of aids, handbooks, demo copies, whatever it took to deliver that awesome service with a smile.

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And more interesting Nintendo treasures from within

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An example of a game counselor station, which in its prime had over 400 ready to take calls.

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One of many subtle touches to build company pride, among the service.

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Many counselors had their own maps, some hand-drawn and their own notes to help callers

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And there is the Game Boy portion of the PRGE history museum. Lots of ads and posters, showcasing its past aesthetic.

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More past relics, and merch tie-ins

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And of course Tetris, which helped make the Game Boy a smashing success.  it’s main launch title which initially came with the Game Boy.

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But before the Game Boy, Nintendo had other handheld products which helped paved the way for company success.

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The Nintendo Game Boy had more than just games!

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Including a sewing machine peripheral.

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Overall, this was an awesome experience for fans of Nintendo and game history. Check out www.gamehistory.org for more on the Video Game History Foundation.

Treasures of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Part 1

Last weekend, I attended the 2019 Portland Retro Gaming Expo. I had an awesome time there.

The Portland Retro Gaming Expo. remains a show, taking heart in the Pacific Northwest US for its 14th year now. The cultural event grows a little more every year, celebrating older video and electronic games for their history, aesthetic, social aspects, and cultural impact. Vintage games include pinball, arcade machines, console setups, handheld devices, and other related oddities, Throughout many treasures to be appreciated, purchased, played, and discovered.

Here are some pictures and notes to share of my PRGE experience, showing small parts of this grand show…

Many merchants here, with the best colors of our classy consoles on the table!

On one table, a small sampling of rare imports at this PRGE

Some cool rare oddities, including TOPO, the programmable robot from the early 1980s

Playable Atari games at one booth, with old school TVs to match

Another interesting find, an extra violent edition of the original Resident Evil for the PC!

A few cheap treasures from dealers I purchased, with my guide

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Also at PRGE, many creative artists and developers. Some with their own homebrew games, which I sadly overlooked in pictures. But also many just selling print or promoting webcomics and other creative work influenced by retro games. Here’s Spicy (Twitter @SpicySpaceDragn), one of many artists here.

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More merch!

James Rolfe, AKA the Angry Video Game Nerd was a special guest this year. Sorry for the bad picture.

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Also here…console gaming playable for every generation

Arcade gaming all day,, free to play!

Nights into Dreams, an underrated Sega Saturn classic. This beautiful lenticular poster brings back precious memories.

Many, many pinball machines here, both vintage and the newest available for free play/

The music in the free play area was off the hook, and set the mood there to an awesome 80’s arcade glory that made the show more worthwhile

The best panel I went to, a reunion of Nintendo Game Counselors who worked the glory days of Nintendo HQ’s call center. Lots of fun stories, insider tidbits, and history told. Enjoyed every minute.

At that same panel, a surprise guest in the audience… Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris!

Briefly meeting Alexey Pajitnov was a big joy for me. He also signed my show pass.

Another awesome guest at PRGE at a panel, Howard Phillips, a main spokesman and producer of Nintendo of America throughout the 8-bit era. You may remember him in cartoon form from the Howard and Nester comic strips in the early Nintendo Power magazines.

Among the best of the show, this gaming history exhibit showcasing Nintendo history focused on the anniversary of the Game Boy and Nintendo Game Counselor service. I will share more pictures on that experience, in part 2 of my PRGE adventure (posting soon!).

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My post-E3 2019 gaming impressions…

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So video game fans, another annual Electronics Entertainment Expo show, (aka E3), just passed through again.

As a fan of video games since the days of the original NES generations, news and previews of such have kept me engaged in the workings and developments of what’s to come, I have been following E3 for nearly 20 years now, attending often in the early 2000s. Eventually, much changed for the better with less of public emphasis on booth models and dumb PR stunts now. Though there are flashy lights and outrageous booth displays on the exhibit floor, it’s still a private-access expo that focuses on the promotion and elevation of digital games across all possible platforms.

I remain interested but not the most excited as I am for PAX and gaming events focused more on the players. This year at E3 however, is one for subtle changes and lessons learned in the industry, at least based on my observations of its coverage on various channels. Less tolerance for play-to-win mechanics, buggy releases, hardware gimmicks, have all effected forthcoming projects pushed by big companies.

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Again with the stage shows…

The most awaited of E3, are still the big announcements on large stages by the biggest companies. Sony (Playstation) and Microsoft (Xbox) still feel about the same, being of similar abilities, target audiences, and weird promises. Hey Microsoft, what the hell is Project Scarlett? I get that there’s a more powerful processor with higher SSD tech and can do more stuff, but it’s referred to as a “console experience.” It’s very vague, but I am far less impressed by graphics and colorful hyper-realism these days. Meanwhile the eventual PS5 will likely have similar impressions, but with news on its details just as vague this year.

Meanwhile, Nintendo wins the stage war with no need for a new console push. It’s got plenty for their dedicated fans with new revelations. You want video games with immersive gameplay, challenge, and deep internal world soon ready for exploration and adventure?!! Well, Nintendo has you covered with new announcements/previews for  a Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel and remake of Link’s Awakening (!), new Pokemon games, Luigi Mansion 3 (!!), new DLC for Smash Bros Ultimate with Dragon Quest characters and Banjo Kazooie (!!!!)..pretty much all that you love about Nintendo with more of that added, feeling like a reward to its faithful fans.

Bigger, better, badder?!

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Are we impressed as we used to be with this E3 as we used to be? I suppose yes because that’s usually where we look to the video game industry’s best and brightest to lead us into the next generation of interactive entertainment with new announcements, new consoles, new peripherals, and whatever else is trending. But something feels wrong.

I see the big trend this year, for continued fanfare through nostalgia on times when new games felt fresher and original. We have new Borderlands, a Final Fantasy VII remake, new Monster Hunter game, new Pokemon, 2 new Zelda, new Star Wars (with a very Star Wars: Unleashed vibe), a new Avengers game, etc, etc.

Pretty much all taking center stages with some great reactions, but powered by fans familiar with the franchises and brand recognition. Less originality new material on top announcements, and that’s a bit sad for what takes the big headlines.

But there are some hopes for what’s coming, with a little more on Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding…a game a longtime in the making and probably worth it. But, still vague and puzzling towards the overall premise of what a “stranding” game is (according to Kojima). I look forward to whatever may come from this.

Cyberpunk 2077 is perhaps the biggest attention-getter, for its visual appeal and throwback to the old school vibes of gritty cyberpunk and future urban decay in a capitalist dystopian fever dream, now presenting Keanu Reeves in game and in person at e#. Smart move, given the man’s charisma and dedication to making any product he gets involved in a most worthwhile look. But again, appeals are made to our nostalgia for both Reeves and it’s style; not a bad thing but I will be sad if this game disappoints upon full release.

Meanwhile, there are some indie games by tiny companies, which I am excited about; especially platformers including Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy, Valfaris, Unto The End. I am pleased on advancements in development are being applied to the this never forgotten format, and look forward to artistic and creative thought being put forth.

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That being said…

The E3 for now remains a mixed bag of repackaged nostalgia, corporate trends, an appeal to privileged folk to buy next-gen games. Whether this pays off will not be up to those investors and PR agencies involved in setting the show up, but the fans and creative minds who connect through the next round of gaming; which is previewed through E3. What happens next remains continuous.

My favorite video games of 2018

Captain Spirit

2018 was a year of many small, yet very shiny gaming gems.

Which, I think is something the industry needs, for just being good games without a ton of DLC, loot boxes, virtual currency, adware, and other deceptive practices disguised within what would appear to be a good game. For me, such as a big turn off. I just want to play a good, challenging game with maybe a story or some visual element I can get deeply involved in.

Still, I did play some games in 2018, but also avoided the popular overly large-world games like the Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, God of War. I hear those are good, but I didn’t time to get deeply involved. And, much of that involving additional currency to enhance the game, ended in a huge turn-off.  I also avoided the newer mobile games and multi-player out there for much of the above reason.

Meanwhile, I did have time for some especially great games that made its debut this year. So, here are my favorites for 2018, and the special awards I give them…

BEST ART DIRECTION IN GAME OF 2018

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GRIS

Developer: Nomada Studio    Published by Devolver Digital
System: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Mac

I played this at PAX West and was instantly captivated. Not just with the gorgeous hand-drawn, animated visuals but with the fluid poetic gameplay. It feels like every moment is a work of art, backed an amazing soundtrack. Gris made its recent release debut, and I now find myself falling into its allure all over again.

BEST ROLE PLAYING GAME, and BEST SHOOT-EM-UP of 2018

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CROSSCODE

Developer: Radical Fish Games    Published by Deck13
System: Linux, Microsoft Windows, MAC

It’s a role-playing game, and a shooter, and a puzzler sometimes. It’s a beautiful game with old-era graphic done with heavy care and attention, and a fun story added in. While much of it feels like a throwback to the RPG games of the early 90s with anime influences and a large cast of characters, its approach of being a fast-paced shooter throughout gives the style a fresh approach.

BEST RETRO STYLE THROWBACK of 2018

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THE MESSENGER

Developer: Sabotage    Published by Devolver Digital
System: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Here is a little throwback to the classic Ninja Gaiden run and slash games. The pixellated graphics remind me of the later NES games which really pushed what it could do back in the day, making it feel timeless, and lost for a time (tired of some “retro games” looking to retro). The Messenger brings that back with some classic gameplay and 8-bit music as well, but with the more solid challenge for aged game players.

BEST NARRATIVE GAME OF 2018

Captain Spirit

THE AWESOME ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SPIRIT

Developer: DONTNOD Entertainment    Published by Square Enix
System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Cool little free game with no strings attached, set in the Life is Strange universe. You play the role of a young boy living out his superhero fantasy while dealing with real-life problems. Lots of decisions and some moral questions are raised. There is no need to familiarize oneself with the Life is Strange games, which is nice. I will get around to eventually.

BEST EXPLORATION GAME OF 2018

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SUBNAUTICA

Developed and published by Unknown Worlds Entertainment
System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

I played a little bit of this and fell in love with its gameplay, story, deep world that feels like an awesome dream, mixed with tense moments. The underwater feel, playful colors, and use of deep ocean physics has me coming back, looking for more and discovering interesting things at a pace I can control.

BEST REBOOT OF A CLASSIC HERO in 2018

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MEGA MAN 11

Developed and published by CAPCOM
System: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

It’s the comeback we long-time Mega Man fans deserve. With fluid animations and modern designs without losing all the best parts about the classic games. I love the bosses, silly voice acting, the Double Gear gimmick. It’s awesome, the game is way too short in its final stages. Still, it did well and I hope this will be the standard for more Megaman games to follow.

BEST FIGHTING GAME OF 2018

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SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE

Developed and published by Nintendo
System: Nintendo Switch

Of course! It’s almost cheating with a roster and winning formula updated with the power of the Nintendo Switch.

THE OTHER BEST FIGHTING GAME OF 2018

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Lethal League Blaze

Developed and published by Team Reptile
System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Wow, what a crazy reinvention of the fighting game genre, where much of it revolves around dodgeball like physics. Add some crazy music beats, wacky character designs, and wickedly fast, unexpected gameplay and this is a game that will gain more notice and respect in time.

BEST RESTORATION OF A CLASSIC GAME

Zone of the Enders 2nd Runner: M∀RS

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ZONE OF THE ENDERS, THE 2nd RUNNER: M∀RS

Developer: Cygames   Published by: Konami
System: Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows

A beautiful re-render of Hideo Kojima’s awesome PS2 game that doesn’t have Metal Gear in the title, and far more polished than the HD Ps3 version, and also formatted for virtual reality. The story, characters, mech-designs, physics is full of originality and brings out a special uniqueness for those looking for more than great gameplay. The original I feel still isn’t appreciated enough, and now it’s built better for a new generation to enjoy, while fans can enjoy it further.

That’s all the freshness for 2018 from me. If there was something else I should have played, please share in the comments below!

Treasures found at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo

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Back in mid-October, I attended the Portland Retro Gaming Festival, for some looks back of video games past among its dedicated fandom.

The Portland Retro Gaming Expo is a non-profit gathering since 2006, sharing the appreciation for the classic era arcade and old school physical media-based games inside a large convention center. A good amount of panels, special guests, dealers, and creative people show-up. Also, lots of restored games with a chance to relive classics and join with other fans.

My attendance was encouraged by local friends, coming back from the show in recent years. I didn’t expect much than the usual small convention. The show exceeded expectations, with a lot of surprises, and much more shopping than I intended.

The biggest highlights are some amazing treasures on display, and for sale. Some of which are featured below in pics I sporadically took.

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I have never seen a R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy) accessory for the original Nintendo Entertainment System until now. What a strange little relic, perfectly representing the odd mid-80s robotics craze.

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I sadly never experienced the cult hit of the early 90s that is Sega CD’s Night Trap, starring Dana Plato. But, it’s fascinating weird part of history and a turning point in gaming. Here is an original import edition, for the truly hardcore fan.

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The Nintendo Knitting Machine, perhaps the most obscure and rarest of Nintendo peripherals, allowing its user to use its gaming console to sew! This never entered the market, but some tech demos like this one does exist,

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An original copy of the classic PC game, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? here and complete with its own handy encyclopedia!

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Lots of weird handheld odds and ends, kind of cheap.

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One table full of Sega games, showing off the beautiful box art on those hard cases.

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One of many tables in the showroom. Check out Sega’s Activator, a peripheral for the short-lived Sega Mega Drive and Sega System 32, allowing very limited body- motion control for some games. Not nearly successful from its launch in August 1993, and would take another 2 decades for such an idea to truly catch on.

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My favorite waste of time, one of the tables where you take a bag and fill it with whatever for $5.00. See anything interesting?

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Lot so oddball import games of old, well-preserved.

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Another rarity, the Panasonic Q, a hybrid DVD player, and Nintendo Gamecube, sold only in Japan for a brief time.

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Some earlier treasures from the Radio Shack era of PC gaming.

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Some earlier rare consoles. Not sure on these, but I like that the old monitor had plugs in the front for connection.

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The very rare NES TMHT (!) edition for European release.

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And here is just one table part of the separate Nintendo mini-museum. Chock full of pieces of Nintendo’s golden era of game-related merchandising.

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Pre-NES era Nintendo import toys..

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More Nintendo electronic rareness, pre-NES times..

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More earlier Nintendo oddities…

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From the Nintendo World Championship 1990, including the rare and most expensive game cart. Only 90 copies exist, at a price that has gone for over $100,000 on eBay in 2014.

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A rare poster signaling the coming of Tetris…

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And that’s the last Nintendo relic goodness.

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That’s all from the show for this year in pics. Next year’s Portland Retro Gaming Fest, I plan to attend, look deeper into the aisles and presentations, searching more for cool treasures of gaming past.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords – Legendary Edition manga set for summer release

Viz Media recently announced its fifth deluxe edition of the Legend of Zelda manga series, based on the Nintendo property franchise, set for this summer. This latest edition shall come forth on July 11th, as The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords – Legendary Edition.

In Four Swords, Link finds himself broken into four different versions of himself – Green, Red, Blue and Violet Link – and pitted against a fifth, the malevolent Shadow Link who has kidnapped Princess Zelda. The Links must find the Four Sword, the only thing that can combine them so that they are strong enough to stop Shadow Link and save the princess – and the world!

The Legendary Editions adapt Akira Himekawa’s 10-volume manga series based on the classic Nintendo role-playing, puzzle-solving, action video game into a line of deluxe omnibus 2-in-1 editions that each feature new cover art and color illustrations. The earlier Legend of Zelda legendary edition includes the Ocarina of Time, Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages, Majora’s Mask/A Link to the Past, Minish Cap/Phantom Hourglass. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords – Legendary Edition is the fifth release in the Legendary Edition series.

The Legend of Zelda manga series is created by Akira Himekawa, which is the pen name of two women known simply as A. Honda and S. Nagano. The pair created the manga series, inspired by several games and story arcs in the Zelda video game series. Currently, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the latest and ongoing manga series based on the beloved Nintendo video game, with story and artwork also by Akira Himekawa.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: Legendary Edition manga is rated ‘A’ for All Ages and will carry with a MSRP of $17.99 U.S. / $24.99 CAN.

Awesome Cosplay Groups from the 2017 Sakura Con

The 2017 Sakura-Con in Seattle has come and gone, over a month ago. The event was fantastic, with tens of thousands of fans in attendance.

We posted about the grand gathering, about the event, and the cosplay.

But there was more yet shown from SW, with the large group gatherings of the cosplay. Sakura-Con did well with their scheduling and app in coordinating and spreading the good word for the fan gatherings. Many gathered in short times, for lasting moments in pictures and memories. I checked out a few choice gatherings in my spare times, of which I share in the pics below.

So, here are gatherings of cosplay clusters for Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, DC Comics, Final Fantasy, Sailor MoonStar Wars, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and some Nintendo Power.

 

Nintendo reveals new ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ DLC details

Nintendo recently unveiled new details on its summer downloadable content pack for its critically acclaimed Switch game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

(See new artwork and screenshots further below)

There are two DLC packs coming, for which are planned for release this summer and the 2017 holiday season. The first pack, called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials, launches this summer.

Here is a breakdown of details for “The Master Trials”:

  • Trial of the Sword: By accessing this location, players can challenge the new Trial of the Sword (previously known as “Cave of Trials Challenge”), where enemies appear one after another. Link starts without any armor or weapons, and if he defeats all of the enemies in the room he can proceed to the next area. Trial of the Sword will include around 45 total rooms for players to complete. When Link clears all of the trials, the true power of the Master Sword will awaken and always be in its glowing powered-up state.
  • Hard Mode: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already considered one of the most thrilling games in The Legend of Zelda series, and fans looking for a challenge are in for a treat with the new Hard Mode. In Hard Mode, the “ranks” of enemies in the game are increased (i.e. Red Bokoblins change to Blue), and players might even encounter higher-ranking enemies they wouldn’t find through normal play. Enemies will also slowly recover health in battle, forcing you to defeat them more quickly. They will also more easily spot Link as he approaches them, making these enemies tougher to sneak up on. In addition, floating planks held aloft by balloons will be scattered around Hyrule. By successfully reaching these planks, players can battle enemies and collect treasure.
  • Hero’s Path Mode: Exploring Hyrule is exciting, but with such a large world it’s sometimes hard for players to remember where they’ve been. To help with tracking progress, the new Hero’s Path Mode will document every step players take, and mark their path in green on the map. The route taken will be tracked for the player’s last 200 hours of play time, with an included slider to track footsteps on a timeline. This even works retroactively, so players that have already put many hours into the game will be able to see where they have traveled. This feature will help in identifying the locations they haven’t visited in this vast world, and may help players find those Shrines they haven’t encountered yet.
  • Travel Medallion: There will be a new treasure chest somewhere in the game world which contains the Travel Medallion. With the Travel Medallion, players can create a temporary new travel point on the map where they are currently standing. Link can then transport himself to that point at any time. Only one travel point can be registered on the map at a time.
  • Korok Mask: By finding the new Korok Mask, players will have a much easier time finding Korok locations in the game. When equipped, the mask will shake, indicating that a Korok is hidden somewhere nearby.
  • New Equipment: Eight new pieces of equipment inspired by previous characters and games in the series will be added to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after downloading the first DLC pack. Once discovered by the player, they will yield equipment themed after fan-favorite games and characters such as Midna, Tingle, Phantom and Majora’s Mask

More information about the second DLC pack will be revealed in the future. All DLC is available for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game. The two packs are only available as a bundle for a price of $19.99, purchased as an “Expansion Pass.”

For more information about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, visit www.zelda.com/breath-of-the-wild.

ARTWORK, SCREENSHOTS (click on each to enlarge):

 

 Artwork, screenshots © 2015 Nintendo.