Episode #38 - Are you sick of handing out candy to a bunch of entitled brats? Then turn off your porch light, pretend nobody is home and join us as we look at the scariest magazine covers of the 1990s. From being buried alive to the ills of drinking soda, this episode of A Brief History of Gaming has to be seen to be believed. Just keep reminding yourself that they are only magazine covers.
Episode #1206 - To celebrate Halloween, Adam Wallace has ignored our repeated warnings and decided to visit Silent Hill. What did he think? Find out when you read his full review of this PlayStation classic.
Episode #1207 - Adam Wallace celebrates Halloween the right way ... by reviewing Halloween. After spending some time with other systems, our resident Atari critic is back with his review of Halloween for the 2600.
Episode #838 - If you can get past the stupid name, you'll find that #killallzombies is an exciting dual stick shooter with a number of fresh ideas. Sure, you've likely seen this type of zombie game before, but the perk system and constantly-changing stage sets this apart from similar titles. It makes a terrible first impression, but #killallzombies ultimately proves to be worth your time.
October 30, 2014
Episode #3 - From going trick 'r treating to egging houses to passing out drunk at a costume party, there are so many fun things to do on Halloween. But what if you don't have any plans and just want to stay home and play games? Come hang out with Defunct Games and win one of six copies of Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror for PS Vita and PC.
Episode #114 - We continue our month-long journey through spooky 8- and 16-bit games with a look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, a bizarre Sega CD game that combined the world of point and click adventuring with one-on-one fighting. Were critics intrigued by this curious combination, or was this yet another terrible game by Sony? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Video Games, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Next Generation for the answers.
October 29, 2014
Episode #11 - Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1995 interview about the state of violence in the games industry. Featuring four of the biggest names in interactive horror fiction, this interview tries to figure out how much violence is too much and where the sub-genre is headed. This is an incredible conversation about the blood and gore that is perfect for Halloween. Enjoy this, the season finale of Interview Reenactment.
Episode #836 - What feels a lot like the spiritual successor to Haunting Starring Polterguy, Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror is a clever puzzle game that puts players in the shoes of a ghost trying to scare away unwelcome guests. The gameplay may be simple, but the level design shines and the 16-bit visuals are charming. Glitchy Pixel's new game proves once and for all that it's more fun to be the ghost.
Episode #837 - The Unfinished Swan hasn't changed much since its PlayStation 3 release, but don't let that keep you from experiencing this incredibly moving story. Unfortunately, many will find the game too easy and blow through the game in a couple or hours. Still, the game's narrative is strong enough to keep you engaged from beginning to end.
Episode #113 - We continue our month-long journey through spooky 8- and 16-bit games with Uninvited, the spiritual successor to Shadowgate and Deja Vu. These point and click adventure games stood out on a system best known for games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. Were critics into this style of graphic adventure, or were they left bored by the slow-pace and emphasis on puzzles? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Power for the answers.
October 27, 2014
Episode #1 - From making deadlines to dealing with online harassment, these are the Adventures in Game Journalism. This is a brand new animated series from the minds behind Bad Advice. Join our resident journalist as he stumbles through the challenges of covering video games online. In this debut episode, our hero comes face-to-face with a fan with a few good suggestions.
Episode #112 - Rick is back for one last 16-bit adventure. Today the Review Crew will be taking a look at Splatterhouse 3 for the Sega Genesis, the final chapter in the side-scrolling saga. Did the ghouls and ghosts haunting Rick make this the best installment yet, or were critics sick of this franchise? We dig through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, Die Hard Game Fan and Mean Machines Sega for the answers.
Episode #111 - After the success of Splatterhouse on TurboGrafx, Namco decided to bring the sequel to the Sega Genesis. Splatterhouse 2 offered more blood, more guts, more weapons and more gruesome boss battles. Sadly, it didn't do much else with the formula. Were critics turned off by the non-stop gore, or did they fall in love with this violent sequel? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Game Informer, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Sega Visions, Mean Machines and Sega Mega Drive Advanced for the answers.
October 22, 2014
Episode #10 - Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1995 interview with Sam Tramiel, who was the head of Atari during the days of the Jaguar. This is not the first time these two met. If you've been listening to each episode of Interview Reenactment, then you'll likely remember our confrontational interview from a few weeks back. This is right before the launch of the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64, and Sam is feeling especially punchy. You simply won't believe this interview.
Episode #834 - Escape Goat 2 proves that platforming puzzles are not just for mascot characters with attitudes. This brand new PlayStation 4 game may use ideas you've seen in other releases, but it still manages to stand out thanks to its wildly diverse level designs, responsive controls and clever puzzles. Fans of N+ and Super Meat Boy will love four-legged platforming hero.
Episode #110 - It's the start of Splatterhouse week here at Defunct Games, and what better place to start than with the original TurboGrafx-16 game. Originally an arcade game, this Splatterhouse port featured almost all of the gruesome bosses and enemies. Were critics impressed with this TurboGrafx port, or were the graphics too much to stomach? We dig through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Computer + Video Games and Video Games & Computer Entertainment for the answers.
Episode #109 - We continue our month-long journey through spooky 8- and 16-bit games with Haunting Starring Polterguy, one of Electronic Arts' earliest horror games. This quirky Genesis release sees players scaring the stuffing out of the unlucky people living in your house. Did critics love this compelling concept, or were they scared away by the repetitive jokes and easy difficulty? We dig through old issues of Mean Machines Sega, Sega Force Mega, GamePro and Computer + Video Games for the answers.
Episode #1205 - Adam Wallace continues his adventure in scary games by taking a look at Midnight Mutants for the Atari 7800. Featuring Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster, this is a quirky action game from 1990. That's right, 1990. This game came out the same year as Strider on Genesis. Find out what Adam thinks when you read his full review of Midnight Mutants on Atari 7800.
October 15, 2014
Episode #9 - Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1996 interview with Eugene Jarvis, one of this industry's true pioneers. You know him best for creating Defender and Robotron 2084, but he's also responsible for Blaster, Stargate, Smash TV Cruis'n USA and a game I truly despite, NARC. This week's interview attempts to figure out if this demand for nostalgia was natural or if these people were simply trying to avoid modern progress. And who better to talk to about this issue than Eugene Jarvis, who has been an outspoken proponent of the retro scene.
Episode #833 - Like the title suggests, Jet Car Stunts sees players take control of an experimental car powered by a large jet engine. Although the platforming puzzles are fun, the experience is marred by loose gameplay and repeating obstacles. And in a twist I didn't see coming, there aren't enough stunts to pull off in Jet Car Stunts.
Episode #108 - We continue our month-long journey through spooky 8- and 16-bit games with Chakan, who many know as The Forever Man. Here's a character who actually wants to die, but that's easier said than done. With its dark atmosphere and intriguing story, this had winner written all over it. But did critics agree? We dug through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Mega Play, Mean Machines, GamePro and Mega for the answers.
Episode #107 - We continue our month-long journey through spooky 8- and 16-bit games with It Came From the Desert, a full-motion video action game for the TurboGrafx-CD. By mixing B-rate horror with mindless shooting sections, some felt this was the future of gaming. Did Turbo Play, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Game Informer and GamePro agree? Find out on this bug-infested episode of Review Crew.
Episode #831 - Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day is an action game and short film collection in one. This PlayStation 3 oddity tells a baffling story that features a seventeen year old girl with an eye patch and a violin-themed sniper rifle on the hunt to kill her father. While the four short anime movies are fun to watch and I enjoyed the game's meta cinemas, the whole thing falls apart when you realize the game costs $40 for only 2 or 3 hours of entertainment.
Episode #106 - We know that critics loved Castlevania on the 16-bit systems, but what about on the Game Boy? In this episode of Review Crew we take a look at Christopher Belmont's second adventure, Castlevania: Belmont's Revenge. Was this as good as the console games, or did the hardware limitations weigh the sequel down? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Power for the answers.
Episode #1204 - We continue our month of scary reviews with a little at Dracula for the Intellivision. Although it has nothing to do with the Bram Stoker book, Imagic decided to slap the Dracula name on the box. Does it live up to the famous name? Find out when Adam Wallace reviews Dracula for the Intellivision.
Episode #832 - Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition not only includes an updated version of the 2012 crime thriller, but also packs in all the downloadable content. While a solid collection, this port is marred by inconsistent frame rate, technical problems and a high price tag. We can argue about whether or not this is enough to warrant the $60 asking price, but there's no debate over the quality of Sleeping Dogs as an open-world action experience.
October 09, 2014
Episode #105 - After wowing critics with both Super Castlevania IV and Castlevania: Bloodlines, the Belmont clan had one last 16-bit adventure. Unfortunately, that game Castlevania: Dracula X, a stripped down version of the import-only Rondo of Blood. Did critics love this final 16-bit Castlevania, or was it too different from the PC Engine version to be taken seriously? We dig through old issues of Die Hard Game Fan, Super Play, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, Game Players, Next Generation and Nintendo Power for the answers.
October 08, 2014
Episode #8 - Welcome to Interview Reenactment, where we recreate some of the greatest video game interviews of all time. Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1997 interview with Jeremy Smith, the managing director at Core Development. This interview takes place just after the launch of Tomb Raider, at a time when Jeremy Smith was hard at work on the sequel. Nobody knew how big a star Lara Croft would eventually become. Not only did she spawn fifteen sequels and spin-offs, but Hollywood's most powerful actress, Angelina Jolie, brought the heroine to life in two big-budget movies. This interview takes place just as Jeremy is beginning to realize the popularity of Lara Croft.
Episode #11 - Today we're looking at the original Castlevania, which was first released in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since then, Konami has gone on to produce two dozen sequels and another ten spin-offs, including a fighting game nobody wants to remember. Today Cyril is going to play through as much of this 8-bit classic as he can in a single life, while also filling in some of the history of Castlevania.
Episode #828 - Originally a homebrew Genesis role-playing game, Pier Solar and the Great Architects has made the leap from 16-bit to the modern age. While the presentation is spot on, the gameplay is marred by combat that seems to favor the enemies. Couple this with obtuse puzzles and an aimless story and you have an adventure game that is good, but doesn't stack up to the best games in the genre.
Episode #829 - Falling Skies: The Game may be a serviceable XCOM clone, but it fails to use the potentially awesome license in any interesting ways. Still, the gameplay is strong enough to make most players forget about the disappointing story and limited character arcs. Fans of the TV show and XCOM will almost assuredly enjoy this brand new PlayStation 3 game.
October 06, 2014
Episode #104 - We continue our month-long look at classic horror games with a week of Castlevania. Today we're tackling Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, the Belmont clan's third and final 8-bit adventure. This was the game that made critics realize that this spooky series was worth taking seriously. What did critics say about Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse in 1990? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Nintendo Power and N-Force for the answers.
October 03, 2014
Episode #103 - We continue our month-long journey through spooky 8- and 16-bit games with Bram Stoker's Dracula, which many magazines deemed the first "next generation" game for the Sega CD. Did this full-motion video/action hybrid deliver the goods, or was this yet another Dracula game that sucked? We dig through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, Sega Visions and Mean Machines Sega for the answers.
Episode #827 - Futuridium EP Deluxe is a sight to behold. It's a triumph of both art and style, with fast-paced gameplay and diverse level designs. The whole thing comes together thanks to the mesmerizing visuals and drum 'n bass soundtrack. It may have a simple premise, but this PlayStation 4 title is one of the most exciting space shooters of the year.
Episode #1203 - From the company that brought you Halloween and Flesh Gordon comes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the Atari 2600. Does this action game live up to the landmark movie? Find out when Adam Wallace reviews this Atari 2600 screamer.
Episode #3 - In a world full of smart phone and compact technology, most portable devices are small enough to go just about anywhere. Assuming you're not wearing the world's tightest pair of skinny jeans, both the Nintendo 3DS and Sony's PS Vita should fit comfortably in your pockets. This was certainly not the case in the 20th century. Back then we needed a video game purse to pack around all eight of those bits.
Episode #102 - It's the first day of October, the spookiest month of the year. All month the Review Crew will be looking at the scariest games for 8- and 16-bit consoles. Today we're taking a look at Devil's Crush, the frightening pinball game for the TurboGrafx-16. Were critics into the demonic theme back in the 1990s, or were they turned off by the pinball theme? We dig through old issues of Raze, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Video Games & Computer Entertainment for the answers.
October 01, 2014
Episode #7 - Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1995 interview with Steve Race, the head of Sony Computer Entertainment of America. This interview takes place mere months before Sony released the PlayStation, their first of a long line of game consoles. Back in 1995, the PlayStation's success was far from a sure thing. Not only was this Sony's first foray into the murky waters of manufacturing a game console, but the titles they had developed for the Genesis, Super NES and Sega CD were far from the quality you would hope for from a first-party developer. How does Steve Race answer these charges? Find out in this brand new episode of Interview Reenactment.