Hyperkin Super Nintendo Supaboy Version 2 First Look and Impressions

This is an initial look at my new SupaBoy by Hyperkin – adding in some pros and cons – overall super cool and inexpensive way to play portable SNES games.  Overall this system is well worth the money, it might feel a bit budget but the value for the money is well worth the cost of entry.  If you are looking for a way to play your SNES games on the go look no further than the SupaBoy.

Destiny’s biggest shortcoming is its elitist community

“Experienced players only”, “Level 300 required”, Bungies changes to the leveling system hasn’t stopped the community from creating an experience floor, locking players out of content. Since the release of The Taken King, Destiny has found itself back in the good graces of the gaming community and for the most part the general gaming populous. Bungie has made the necessary changes to gameplay that not only enhances what was already a fun shooter, but create story lines that make sense as well as creating a loot system that rewards players with a steady progression as they play the game. Destiny players biggest complaint was the light level system often locked players out of the game’s best content, the raids. The difference between a level 33 and 34 used to have dramatic effect on a players ability to compete in raids or the weekly nightfall content. Participation in these events is required because it provides you with the loot drops (armor, gear) that is most desirable in the game, so of course when a person gets to the recommended light level, they will want to participate in these events. According to Bungie’s in game light level recommendations if you are at the recommended light level you should be qualified to compete, unless the Destiny community has its say.

There are many websites that allow Destiny players to find players looking to complete the same objectives of them, as long as you already have experience with the quest, raid, or bounty you are trying to complete. For example, Destiny has now introduced exotic quests and hidden missions to acquire exotic weapons. One of these weapons is the black spindle, this mission is hidden within one of the daily heroic story missions and pops up randomly. When searching for a team to complete this mission, it become almost impossible to find a group to run with because everyone wants experienced players with light level 300+. But unfortunately there are people that can’t reach light level 300 because they can’t find groups that will run raids and missions with them, so they can’t get the experience that will drop the gear to get to 300. This isn’t a problem with the game; this is a problem with the community.

When I first picked up The Taken King, I couldn’t have been more impressed; the game played better, felt better, and is an overall better experience. I have 3 characters and close to 300 hours into the game, and even though leveling up in the vanilla game and it’s DLC’s were a huge grind I found myself enjoying the experience because of the players I met through these match making websites. Even when Gjallerhorn was the weapon of choice when I didn’t have it, I was still able to find my role in fireteams and successfully complete raid and nightfall’s with groups. Fast forward to my current light level and my experience post Taken King launch. I am now at level 294; time and time again I tried to find groups to run the raid. After a week of trying at a 290+ light level I was able to find a group of people that hadn’t run it before. I was able to get to Oryx with this group, but had to bow out for other obligations. Since that run, I haven’t been able to find another group to run it fresh again. The same applies to trying to get the Black Spindle; everyone wants experienced 300+ players.

I can understand the need and want to run with experienced players after completing the raid. Players want run efficiently and as quickly as possible, but it’s still possible to do this even if you have some unexperienced lower level players on your team. In my opinion what made Destiny great in the vanilla game and its subsequent expansions was the communities willingness to assist other players, it was a group effort in which we wanted each other to succeed, almost to protest against the bad reviews the game continued to receive. In year two, reviews are positive, players are engaged, the game is better, but I can’t help but feel the community has taken a step backwards.

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Witcher 3: A mature game docked points for sexual content

It’s no secret that Polygon has a feminist agenda. It’s not a bad thing; it’s actually a great thing. Women need a voice in gaming journalism that will champion them. One that is loud enough to be heard and tactful enough to be taken seriously. Polygon could be that voice… I’m just not sure they are with their review of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.

While there are problematic gender tropes in gaming and female characters that are portrayed offensively, it doesn’t mean every opinion piece and every review of a game featuring women represents an opportunity to march farther down the feministic warpath. It degrades and dilutes what could otherwise be a strong and incredibly valuable voice for women in gaming.

In Polygon’s otherwise stunning review of one of the most anticipated games of 2015, the reviewer complains about violence towards women and over-sexualization of its female characters. My curiosity swelled and I looked up the character model of Ciri, whose “shirt is unbuttoned in the middle showing part of her bra.” When I saw the images, I was taken aback. Not by CD Projekt Red but by Polygon.
clip_image002_0001Source: The Witcher official wikia

This is one of the most conservative female character models I’ve seen in a long time. I see real-life young women every day in more revealing attire and can’t imagine anyone, female or male, being offended by this. Ciri is covered in fabric from head to toe with just a tiny amount of skin peeking through just below her chest. It’s disconcerting to think about how afraid of the female form one must be to take arms against this character’s design when you have questionably young female characters actually being over-sexualized and Dead or Alive characters jiggling about in “volleyball” simulators. If CD Projekt Red was so worried about Ciri’s sex appeal and Barbie good looks, why does she have a deep scar maiming her perfect cheek?

Another female character, Zero Suit Samus, was recently introduced to the Super Smash Brothers series as a sexier, spandex-wearing version of a very popular female role model for girls who play video games. She’s strong, prevailing, dangerous and sexy.

clip_image004_0000Source:
playessence.com

A commenter on an IGN message board with a female avatar puts it like this:

“Why can’t someone be sexy and badass? Does sexuality intimidate you? Are you only allowed to respect women if they are stripped from their sexuality? If so, you’re a pig, plain and simple, and your opinions are trash.”

While I don’t agree that anyone’s opinion is trash, I think this commenter hits on an indelible truth and I find it strange that it is Ciri, a mild character in a mature-rated game, who is pulled aside and ridiculed for being overly sexual. Ciri is not represented as being forced to open her shirt for the pleasure of other male characters. She seems to do it of her own volition. And if so, who are we to tell her she can’t? Should she be forced to cover up and be stripped of her choice to control her own sexuality? Should she have to give it up to men who know better what is good for everyone? It just feels like a lazy add-on to Polygon’s one-sided campaign against the Witcher III for over-sexualizing its women.

To be perfectly fair, Ciri was not Polygon’s only example of over-sexualization of women in its review of the Witcher III. I admit there are other females in the game with sexually attractive bodies and revealing attire. But even if there are far more women wearing far less clothing, I don’t find nudity or sexualization of characters to be a bad thing as long as it is done tastefully, and I say characters because I’m talking about both males and females.

clip_image006_0000 Source: incgamers.com

Geralt himself is complete with rippling muscles and a mature, manly face. CD Projekt Red may not be issuing out calendars of his butt, but he certainly isn’t a fat slob with pimples and glasses slaying monsters while echoing the image of the stereotypical gamer.

I didn’t read one complaint in Polygon’s review about the scene where almost ALL of Geralt’s chiseled body is visible and wet as he stands with naught but a towel clinging to his toned waist. Yet the review still frames the issue of sexuality as unfair treatment only towards women.

Maybe I’ll be enlightened when I play the game for myself, but it’s more likely I’ll remain of the opinion that the unrealistic portrayal of male body-types is just as common as that of sleek, skinny females. Take Misturugi and Ivy from Soul Calibur as an example.

clip_image001
Source: forbes.com

Both have outrageous, anatomically-unattainable bodies. Ivy is a scantily-clad woman with large, perfect breasts and thong to augment her derriere. Misturugi is a shirtless samurai with biceps that make basketballs feel like shriveled turnips. However Ivy is considered a sex object to be ogled by men while Misturugi is not perceived sexually – at least not problematically sexual.

And that’s just it. The problem is not with these characters designs, but in the eye of the beholder and how they wish to perceive the human form. I argue that you won’t find many digital heroes, male or female, without equally idealized and impossibly perfect figures. Just take a look at the Justice League or Marcus Fenix.

And let’s not forget. This is a Mature-rated title. It’s supposed to delve into adult themes. It features a dark and gritty fantasy world stripped of pleasure and luxury and filled with hardened characters who deal with very real issues of the medieval era. Artists have a free license to create whatever mature content they want and no one is forcing anyone to play or buy their work.

If we want people to take this art form seriously, we have to let it lead us into places that make us uncomfortable. So if you can’t handle bare breasts and lady butts, washboard abs and massive biceps, violence, torture, gore and drug use, stay away from mature games like the Witcher III.

I have to point out that I have never played the Witcher III and the reviewer has. So I can’t say for sure that it’s not misogynistic as Polygon says or whether sexualization is fairly attributed to both genders. What I can say, and am saying, is that I want Polygon to focus on the problem at hand.

I want them to focus more on the image of female helplessness Princess Peach offers to women in games despite being fully clothed rather than slut-shaming Bayonetta based on her appearance when her character amounts to much more than that. I want them to applaud series’ like Mass Effect, Tomb Raider and Metroid for bringing strong female leads to the forefront. I want them to focus this fight and not dilute it with petty complaints about clothing choices and violence in a game that is targeted towards a mature audience who is supposed to be able to handle mature themes with, well… maturity.

We’re going 8-bit for charity!

Let the games begin! On May 16, we’re going to play a ton of video games for patriots and gamers who want to support our troops.

At 12 p.m. CST, we are taking it to the next level for the 8-Bit Salute! The 8-bit Salute is a charity program that raises money from Twitch stream donations to supply our deployed soldiers with video games, consoles and other gaming goodies.

We’ll play any game of your choosing from our library of ~400 games across almost any console for 24 hours straight, or as long as we last!

Let us know in the comments below and on our live Twitch stream what to play and how to play it. The more you donate to the cause, the harder we’ll try to accomplish your request. And if you are unable to donate, don’t worry! You’re welcome to join us in a chill setting where all we do is talk games, play games and have a great time.

Donate here – https://fundraise.operationsupplydrop.org/fundraise?is_new=1&fcid=458268

YouTube – http://youtube.com/retrogamefix

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Twitch – http://twitch.tv/retrogamefix

Our game library:

Nintendo 64

  • Cruisin USA
  • Donky Kong 64
  • Diddy Kong Racing
  • Excitebike 64
  • Golden Eye
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Nagano Winter Olympics ‘98
  • Perfect Dark
  • Rampage 2: Universal Tour
  • Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer
  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Zelda: Major’s Mask

Xbox

  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Ninja Gaiden Black

Xbox 360

  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Halo: Reach
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

Xbox One

  • Dead Rising 3
  • Forza 5 w/ Thrustmaster Racing Wheel and Seat
  • Forza Horizon 2 w/ Thrustmaster Racing Wheel and Seat
  • Halo Master Chief Collection
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Sunset Overdrive

Playstation 4

  • Battlefield 4
  • Bloodborne
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Destiny
  • Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • Metro Redux
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

NES, SNES, Gamecube, Sega Master System, Genesis, Sega CD, 32x, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PS3, PC

  • Game List Coming Soon
    • Full Sega Master System US Releases 126 Games
    • 80+ NES Games
    • 60+ PS3

Halo marathon three: Crouch on their faces repeatedly

Captain Keys managed to get kidnapped in the most confusingly designed cruiser in the Covenant army, and the Chief(s) set out to retrieve him. Mike tries out the invisibility cloak twice but insists he doesn’t need it, which he demonstrates that soundly by waking up all the grunts. No matter, we’re the Master Chiefs. We have some fun with the Needler and finally escort our helpless captain to safety. Luckily he did not walk in front of our rifles this time and shoot at us for the rest of the level. Seriously Captain Keys, sometimes you suck all the dicks.

Join us as I tea-bag a Hunter, Mike melees everything he sees (including me), and we harm so many Grunts in the making of this video. Their ship’s hallways may be confusing, but they sure make for some wonderful choke points.

Halo marathon two: Do you ever take it off any sweet jumps?

Our lifepod lands on Halo Installation 04 and the Master Chief(s) get considerably luckier than the other marines onboard. We leave the blood and wreckage behind to begin our journey across Halo’s hostile terrain. Watch us as I mow down Grunts with the ‘Hog, pull 360s and run Mike over. Mike manages to run himself over but redeems himself by saving the last group of marines who survived the sinking Pillar of Autumn… until I shot them all.

Two levels in and Mike is starting to realize how much Halo: Combat Evolved is like Destiny; but better. He’s also digging the 2001 graphics which seems fitting for him to experience during his first playthrough.

Gamer experiences 14-year-old Halo for the first time; watch him react!

*Apologies for the chat audio clipping in this first video.

Two Spartans prepare for battle. One crash-lands on an unfamiliar cosmic installation to discover its secrets for the first time; the other wages a calculated, well-rehearsed assault on Halo’s control room.

Every Halo fan knows few things are as brutally satisfying as hearing a Grunt’s childish squeals while his companions fall before him… and that pistol-whipping him as he flees is one of those things. However, my Spartan ally does not. He’s never played a Halo game before.

That’s right. My buddy, Mike, was a PlayStation fan during Halo’s heyday and a fairly recent first-person shooter convert on top of that. He only got behind the trigger when the Resistance games came out, otherwise passing winter nights in front of PlayStation classics like the Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank series.

I, on the other hand, logged countless hours of alien decimation on Halo’s ring worlds alongside my brother and friends throughout high school and college. Completing every mission in Halo: Combat Evolved on ‘Legendary’ is one of my most accomplished feats in gaming. Yes, even the part with the sword-wielding Elites right after being grav-lifted onto the Covenant cruiser Truth and Reconciliation. I hated that part.

Halo 1 is 14 years old, yet I enjoy it far more than many modern games of the same genre. It was a golden egg, an outlier of its time, and it has cemented its status as one of the greatest console first-person shooters of all time (Sorry Taylor Swift, you’ll get ‘em next time). What makes Halo stand above other shooters with great gameplay is its charm.

The game doesn’t just have characters, it has character. It is believable that the fearful bottom-feeder race of grunts is forced into battle by stronger Covenant. The powerful Elites speak backwards English, prompting loyal fans to decipher their barking orders and sneering taunts. An Elite aggressively crouching, shaking his head and snarling ‘wort wort wort!’ was the mark of a formidable enemy.

The Flood is less interesting but still satisfying to fight. I’ll always remember creating packs ‘flood buds’ by shooting off their arms and heads so they harmlessly chased the Chief through the Library. All in all, Bungie created an alien army that felt like an important cast of characters rather than an endless stock of terrorist whack-a-mole victims.

Even the weapons have character. No one can say the Needler is like a slightly reskinned M4, and it took 15 years until the release of Call of Duty Advanced: Warfare to see a new grenade type with the level of ingenuity of the plasma grenade. (Protip: Combine the two for won-ton explosive mayhem).

The human weapons aren’t boring M4 clones, either. The original Pistol rings out with a definitive punch and the Assault Rifle’s gruff blare tears into Covenant with satisfying results. The Warthog’s infinite propensity to fishtail was so unique it spawned constant bickering over who got to drive. It was difficult to master, but those who were good at it wore it like a badge of honor amongst fellow gamers. Warthog jousting, anyone?

Halo also held secrets that have surfaced over the decades. We learned to press X to remain on the Pelican dropship on the Assault on the Control Room and 343 Guilty Spark missions. We discovered horde mode after killing Captain Keys in the first mission. We laughed as the Elite and Sgt. Johnson shared a tender moment before the explosion of the Pillar of Autumn in the secret legendary ending cut scene. We discovered the Grunt easter eggs. Good thing that food nipple’s waiting back at the starship!

Now let’s let our assault rifles growl and our pistols ring out to Halo’s amazing musical score as we spill colorful blood onto Halo’s aged but not aging soil. Let’s begin this fight and find out if Halo: Combat Evolved is as relevant today as I think it is, or if my mind is clouded with logic-trumping nostalgia. Let Mike be the judge as we make our way through the entire Master Chief Collection. Will he wonder why I’m forcing him to play games as old as the Forerunners themselves, or finally understand why Halo is so close to my heart?

Tune in to see Mike’s inaugural journey through John 117’s epic and stay frosty, Spartans. We’re going to finish this fight.

Early access reviews: Fair game or trolling?

Some gaming media outlets are reviewing early-releases and alpha builds on the same scale as triple-A titles and scoring them on the severity of their bugs and broken aspects, potentially harming small indie developers that choose a specific model of funding for development.

Paid alpha releases aren’t about delivering a polished product – they’re about folding the gaming community into the development process.

For example, when you buy a game from Steam’s early access program, you aren’t really buying a game. You’re buying an experience. You’re buying a voice and a venue to have your opinion heard. In short, you’ll have a say in the direction a broken game takes as it’s improved upon.

In fact, early-access games are usually disclaimed to have bugs and be broken prior to the point of monetary transactions. These alphas are certainly worth discussing to inform potential buyers of their varying states of playability, but they shouldn’t be scored against the same standards as finished triple-A releases.

Take the following scenario as an example:

Daybreak Game Company is offering an alpha version of their game, H1Z1, on Steam’s early access program for $20 with the following quote appearing on the description page:

Players should anticipate an evolving feature set, bugs, incomplete content, missing features, and potentially game breaking issues.– Daybreak Game Company, Steam Store

Polygon reviewed, scored and crushed Daybreak’s alpha because it had bugs and was broken, bamboozling me beyond belief.

Do you buy a Gameboy Color and criticize it because it isn’t in 1080p? No, because you knew what a Gameboy was before purchasing one. Have you ever returned a Toyota to the dealer because it wasn’t a Lexus? Life is just too short to be comparing apples and oranges.

H1Z1’s world is sparsely populated and attacks don’t always connect, but that was the point. Without bugs, Daybreak wouldn’t need player investments to develop their game, and players would have nothing to critique and be robbed of the experience they paid for. Daybreak delivered on its promise to include players on the journey of developing the game.

Furthermore, the alpha was apparently scored on the same scale the website uses for finished releases. I’m not even sure how to process such a misplaced score. And if I didn’t bother to read the article? Trust me, that will happen, too.

Some readers will simply glance at the score and move on, possibly shrugging off curiosity for the game. You could argue this is the reader’s fault, not the author’s, but many gaming journalism outlets know scores drive web traffic and employ them for that very reason, even in absurd situations like this.

Polygon argues that if a developer is willing to take consumers’ money for their game, it’s finished enough to warrant a score. I agree that it warrants discussion of the state of the product, but a score carries a distinct connotation to resolute impressions, a final stamp of approval or denial, which just doesn’t make sense for a game that’s liable to change weekly. Daybreak’s H1Z1 could be a five today, a seven tomorrow and a four the next day.

It would honestly make more sense to score Daybreak on its willingness to listen to players’ feedback and its ability to implement changes they’ve requested. But, if the game must be scored, it ought to be scored for what it is intended to be: Broken.

To encourage genuine discussion of games that aren’t ready to be scored, IGN includes a sprawling title with the words ‘in progress’ and no score. And the only reviews I’ve seen are of commercial releases with certain mechanics or features that haven’t been publicly proven outside of test environments.

Polygon took the thorny road, including a small provisional review banner that only shows up after the jump to the article and a large score displayed on the homepage.

What would I like to see in early-access reviews is:

  • No scores
  • Large, visible banners denoting the temporary status of the review
  • A rigorous and meticulously followed update schedule

Are early access game reviews a stroke of genius or a lapse in mental stability? Sound off in the comments below.

Dick Tracy – Sega Master System – Review

Dick Tracy on the Sega Master System is repetitive, but still remains fun and addictive.  It’s certainly not up to par with it’s NES counterpart, but that doesn’t mean this release isn’t worth a play through.  It offers side scrolling fighting mechanics with an innovative way to attack enemies from other areas of the level, IE; across the street.  The graphics are good, the audio is good, and the game is good. 3.5/5.