Posts Tagged ‘ history ’

Book Review: All Your Base Are Belong To Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

That is a really long title. I was at borders looking at the D&D books. On the shelf below them were strategy guides that i have found little use for since i discovered that all that information is on the internet anyway, albeit without most of the pretty pictures. Stashed next to them was this book with a really long title. Any gamer worth their controller should get the reference to a poorly translated Japanese videogame, but i really thought that the first portion of the title was unneccesarry, because the important part that got me to buy and eventually read the book was the history aspect of it.

I already knew the bare bones, about the video game crash of the mid-80s and how that funny Japanese guy from Nintendo Shigeru Miyamoto made sure they survived, but I didn’t really know the specifics. I wanted to learn the specifics though, which is why I picked up this book. It starts out with a short bit about what the author suspects is the first videogame created, and procedes chronologically from there.

To be honest, i lost a bit of interest when i started chapter 6: The Rise of Electronic Arts. Yes there were great things like the Sim games that they made, but they also made the most annoying games: Madden. However, i kept reading and gained an appreciation for it, seeing as the great amount of money they gained from Madden and other sports games, allows them to make Sims and Dragon Age, games I do find great enjoyment on.

After that the game becomes less chronological and more focusing on impactful games like the rise and fall of Everquest, the good and bad of Rockstar sandbox games, and the awesome artistic aspect of Bioshock, aswell as many more. I would recommend this book to Gamers, but really to anyone that would like to understand the history and evolution of games.


Pokemon: A Look Back

Pokemon Black/White came out today, and in a spurt of whimsy and nostalgia, I thought I would make a post about my history with Pokemon.

The year was 1998, and i was in junior high. I had been a long time subscriber to Nintendo Power magazine, and over the summer they sent me a video that heralded the coming of an all new game and TV show called Pokemon. A game where you would fight and capture creatures that you would train to fight for you and the fun surprise that if you train them enough, they would evolve into a whole new creature that was a more powerful version. Now, if you have heard anything about pokemon, most of what I just said isn’t news, but it was something new to me and a new concept. Yes, in previous games you could make a party and level up characters, but this was something where there were 150 characters to use, and things to consider like weaknesses, and strengths of each of the classes or types as they were known as in this new game. For me, I obsessed over the game, because in addition to the video (which i watched over and over enough times to memorize the theme song before the anime was actually aired in the US) there was a five part strategy guide that was sent in the issues of Nintendo Power, most of which were released before you could even play the game yet. When the game actually released, I played it all the time, and even got my sister into playing it, once I got a gameboy color, and we could be playing at the same time. I also watched the cartoon (looo0ooong time before I even knew what anime was) all the time, and soon discovered one amusing thing: Ash was a terrible trainer….which in hindsight was probably to encourage the children that weren’t all that good at the game. “Don’t worry kiddo, training pokemon is hard. Even the ‘great’ Ash Ketchum is terrible at it, but do you see him give up? No sirree.” Another thing that the show seemed to spawn was the Pikachu worship. I like electric Pokemon, and Pikachu was the earliest electric that one could get, but I ditched him as soon as I could get my hands on a Jolteon (fave Pokemon btw, because in addition to electric it learned Bug and Fighting moves).

This brings me to Pokemon Yellow, or Pokemon Special Pikachu Edition, which was more modeled after the anime. As a part of the story, one had to start off with Pikachu, and he would follow you around, but don’t you worry, because you still get all of the other starter pokemon from the previous games as a part of the story. This was the first game that really started to incorperate the idea of pokemon happiness. Keep Pikachu happy because it will effect his expression if you bothered to turn around and look at him. I’m not sure if this had any effect in battle, but certain character would notice whether pikachu was happy or not.

Then along came Pokemon gold/silver for the Gameboy Color, and with it the addition of an all new region and 100 new pokemon to capture and because of the also new baby form of many pokemon, there was introduced breeding. This added an extra complication to the game, and because i wasn’t actually interested in catching all the pokemon in the first game, i did a play through of this one, and didn’t really touch it afterwards, and didn’t really bother with the crystal version.

Then on another whole new system: Gameboy Advanced, cane Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, which I got in my senior year of highschool. Being a senior, i didn’t have the time or dedication to bother with capturing all the legendary pokemon like i had in previous games, but i did play through Sapphire and Enjoyed myself.

After that was college, and me with no money and no job, when Pokemon Leaf Green/Fire Red came out, they passed me by, after all, I had already played and beaten that game. Initially, same was the case with Pearl/Diamond, because i didn’t have the DS needed to play. When i did eventually get a DS, Diamond was one of the first games I got for it. Unfortunately, once again, I wasn’t as dedicated as I once was. I also found it annoying that most the time when i was playing it, it was evening or night time, which meant i was missing out on morning Pokemon. And with the new system more able to connect to other systems via wifi, that was a big part of the game. I have a wireless router, but for some reason my gameboy couldn’t connect, and i didn’t want to fiddle with it to make it so it could….and i think that’s why i never really finished it.

But, with the release of this new system, and a glance at the guide that I got at work before the games release, i felt inspired to pick up the game, and the habit once more. So, with my copy of White, I make my Journey to become a Pokemon Master once more.


Gamer, dork, nerd, geek, I wear all these titles with pride. What is this blog going to be about? I don’t quite know yet, but It’ll likely mostly involve me talking about movies and games, seeing as that is the main focus of my entertainment.

As for a bit of back story, i grew up in the 90s, and even though my cousin had a Nintendo, it didn’t ever have one, but i do still have my Super Nintendo and original big-ass gray Gameboy, and all my games and because they’re both Nintendo products, they still work. I played the crap out of my SNES, but i mostly remember playing RPGs, my favorites being Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III (or FFIV and FFVI as they were known as outside of the SNES) Secret of Evermore, Chrono Trigger, and Earthbound. When I wasn’t gaming, I enjoyed watching TV and Movies, but aparently not enough to remember my favorites other then the TV shows Star Trek TNG and Voyager and the Star Wars movies, and The Matrix. Sensing a theme here? Oh, I also read a lot in Junior High and High School authors being Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, R. A. Salvatore, Terry Goodkind and a whole lot of Star Wars books.

Coming up to present day stuff about me. The only current gen system I own is a PS3 that I got just last year, but I play a lot of games. So much that even though i have only had it for a year and am lvl 12. To put a bit of perspective on that, i have trophies in 66 games. There are a couple of other games I have that don’t have trophies like Saints Row 2 and Lego Star Wars Complete Saga, but there aren’t that many. Now, that doesn’t mean that I am skilled, just that I play a lot. It also doesn’t mean that I buy a lot of games, I just rent a lot. On that note, I rent a lot of movies. I don’t see them in theaters often but I rent most of the big title movies when they come out on DVD/Blue-Ray. This being the case, i can and will likely talk a lot about movies and games, although i will also likely talk about tv shows, anime, books, tabletop RPs, or anything else I find interesting to talk about.

If this interests you please subscribe, critique, or question, i like them all.