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Matt Barton's picture

Eclectic Delights Bundle

Stay DeadStay DeadFriend of the show and site Gnome wrote in to tell us about the eclectic delights bundle. If you're looking for some cheap new games to liven up your holidays, this is it! You get 11 games for only $3! (This average will climb as more people purchase it, so act quickly). It's hard to go wrong with this value, because the selection really does live up to its name. There's even an FMV game in there--Stay Dead! There's also plenty of platformers, strategies, and plenty of cool extras like soundtracks and comics. On top of all this, you'll be supporting charity and the Indie Dev Grant. My advice: pop over there now and grab this bundle; perhaps a few for your friends, too!

Matt Barton's picture

A Feminist Reading of Halo 4

I finally got around to finishing Halo 4 last night and the ending troubled me. Not because I thought it was incoherent or unsatisfying, but rather I didn't know what to make of its attitude towards women--or, rather, what assumptions it seems to make about the player's attitude towards them. One thing really stood out to me: clothing and the lack thereof. I looked around the net to see what others had written about Cortana, and quickly discovered I'm far from the only one who has some issues with it. As Jon W of Gamasutra puts it: "It doesn't seem particularly fair to permaban pumped-up teenage boys from acting like immature sexists when that is exactly what the game has trained them to be." Warning: there are some spoilers here.

Matt Barton's picture

Shane R. Monroe on Videogame Preservation

Shane R. Monroe is out with a great new episode of his show Retrogaming Radio. As always, there's a lot of great content to enjoy, but this one covers a subject near and dear to many of us here at Armchair Arcade: videogame preservation! It might sound simple, but have you ever seriously thought about what we should be doing NOW to ensure that we can still play our favorite games ten, twenty, or fifty years from now? While there will almost certainly be ways to play Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros, what about lesser known shareware and public domain games favorites like Scorched Tanks? It's good stuff.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 176: Eye of the Beerholder

Hi, guys! I'm back this week with another fan request: Eye of the Beholder! Produced in 1991 by Westwood Associates for SSI, EOB was an attempt to wed AD&D rules to Dungeon Master-style gameplay. The finished product wasn't the best--apparently the second game is much better--but it's still a fun game well worthy of an episode. If nothing else, you get to watch me flip out about R.A.T.S.!

Download the mp4 here.
P.S. Indie Retro News has a DOS version of EOB with an Automapper and mentions a special Amiga AGA version that also had this feature (who knew?).

Mark Vergeer's picture

Revo K101 demonstration and comparion with the K1GBA - Other handhelds & the future of gaming

This hand-held is a 99-100% GBA, GBC hardware compatible game system. It is 99-100% software compatible with GBA, GBC, GB, NES through loading game files off a SD-card. The form factor and looks of the system can seem familiar as it uses the same case as the Gemei A330 aka Dingoo - but mind you this is not the same system. Compared with the original GBA case the system is about the same size, also the screen is about the same size but of a much higher resolution. The angle of the B and A buttons on the original is less steep than the diamond orientation of the Y X B A button layout on the Revo. The screen is not protected by a layer of glass, just a layer of plastic so you need to be a little careful. Don't put it in trousers but put it in the provided sack or pouch.

The camera I use barfed in this video - footage is very blueish so doesn't do the screen of the system justice - the camera makes it very blue with very little red. That's a camera thing. Just check out how it picked up my Nexus 7 - also quite blue so the camera :(

The system touts PC Engine and SMS, GG compatibility but the PCEngine emulation is far too slow. The GG and SMS games don't run full speed. GBA, GBC, GB and NES does.

Last year a SoC was designed based around the hardware of the original Game Boy Advance. It uses a dual core ARM architecture and instead of relying on software emulation to run GBA games, it is capable of running them natively.

Basically it is a hardware-reimplementation of the original GBA. And as a result it supposedly functions in almost exactly the same way as the original Nintendo hardware.This should provide a higher compatiblity- and accuracy-rate. It is possible to use GBA accesories and link the system up to another GBA, K1GBA or RevoK101. It also features video-out that works on a separate jackplug so the link cable can be used while the system is used on the television. The cable (composite) provides monoaural sound.

The real time clock allows for the Pokemon games to function 100% which is a big plus for a lot of Pokemon gamers out there.

What I wonder is if this system has any more advanced features compared to the original GBA (is there overhead) that allows for the installation or implementation of another operating system that opens up the hardware to more advanced emulation software of other systems. But that may not be the case as this seems to pretty much hardware duplicate the original GBA hardware.

The battery used in the K1GBA (the GBA-SP clone is the same one as the battery used in the original GBA-SP). The battery used in the RevoK101 is a clone of the Nokia BL-5B. Order one of these and you got an excellent replacement for the built-in battery.

Where can you get this system? The price is about $60 (~£40) €50 and for that price you practially can't refuse this.

Well you can get one here:
http://www.k1gbasp.com

The GBA-SP one you can get here:
http://www.k1gba.com

The RevoK101 website:
http://revok101.com

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Matt Barton's picture

CRPGs as Learning Tools

In my book Dungeons & Desktops, I wrote in the introduction that I think CRPGs are the greatest learning tools ever designed. To my shame, however, I did not properly defend that statement--at least, not directly. While I think most of us would agree that the basic mechanics of a CRPG teach us valuable transferable skills like resource management, long-term planning, team management, statistical analysis, and so on, what makes them better than other learning tools, including other types of videogames?

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 175: Lori Ann & Corey Cole on Quest for Glory 5

Hi, guys! I'm back this week with the final installment of my interview with Quest for Glory designers Lori Ann and Corey Cole. In this segment, we chat about the ill-fated Quest for Glory V, focusing on why it wasn't the game it should have been. We wrap up with more juicy details about their upcoming Hero U project, which was successfully funded a short while back. I also sample the beer some have called "The Best Beer in the World."

Download the mp4.

Mark Vergeer's picture

NeoGeo-X hooked it up and took a closer look

Okay I hooked up the NeoGeo-X and played on it. In 'console' form it is less disappointing for me. The experience playing the NeoGeo classics is actually fun. The Arcade joystick is precise and works well - although it does feel cheaper and nor as durable as the real deal. Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

NeoGeo-X Unboxing and first impressions - a faulty unit? Not too happy

I think my expectations of this device were a bit too high and comparing it to the AES is perhaps not fair. But I have some issues with the hardware that may actually be a manufacturing-fault. Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

Vectrex Regeneration (iOS) - a non-scripted first look

Freshly released Vectrex Emulator running on iOS available in the app store. The app itself is free but actual games are available in a pack and that is about 5-6 Euros. The app is available world wide. Sadly no word of an Android version of the app which should be very possible as the Android and iPad hardware really aren't that different and Android tablets should be able to manage something like this well. Read more below...

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