Boss Rush Banter: Are Turn Based Games Popular Again?

Turn based combat is a simple, yet complex style of battle specifically in the JRPG genre. In these games you’ll explore an overworld, then you’ll find yourself in random encounter battles where your party will take turns choosing to attack, use magic, defend, or use an item; these are the basics of turn based gaming. These battles seem simple, but tend to be won based on strategy of how you use your attacks and magic. They also tend to make the player grind to gain levels, which I find enjoyable, but it’s a polarizing topic.

The combat system took form early on with games such as Final Fantasy or Earthbound Beginnings, then later started seeing some of it’s best games in Chrono Trigger, Suikoden 1 and 2, and Final Fantasy VI during the 16 bit era. Then along comes the…

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Adventures: Homemade versus Canned

Real Women of Gaming

When it comes to GMing, a lot of time goes into the prep work for an adventure. First off there’s usually a Big Bad, their minions, certain key locations layered with atmosphere, and the loot the players hope they find. Putting all this together in time to run a session can sometimes feel like a full-time job.

Newer GMs may look to a published campaign or adventure. These are perfect for players and GMs alike as they establish the patterns and tropes veterans know and love. But these are not all cut and dry. There’s no guarantee that the writer has put in enough flavor to answer the questions players will ask, or to fill in the paths they choose to take. The best tool in any GMs kit, that I can recommend, is improvisation. Don’t be afraid to add a scene when the players go “off map.” Wing it…

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Getting Started In The OSR: Part 4: Is the OSR Anti-5E?

Grumpy Wizard

The internet is an amplifier for extreme and negative emotions. Human beings have a negativity bias. Because people have that bias, we are more likely to click on something inflammatory. The title of this blog post is a good example.

Algorithms of the various social media sites have one purpose. Keep you on their site as long as possible. If negativity is what gets the job done, so be it.

Because a few prolific bloggers, YouTubers, and OSR designers are very vocal about their intense dislike of 5E, It may seem like everyone who considers themselves part of the OSR is anti-5E.

In the comments to my previous post, commenter Daniel mentioned that he runs his 5E games with an emergent story style and that well known 5E bloggers have given similar advice.

Daniel goes on to ask…

This is where I get confused. A lot of OSR talk I…

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Boss Rush Banter: Do You Need a Guidebook to Complete a Legend of Zelda Game?

Confession time! I have never finished a single Legend of Zelda game. Most of my friends have finished at least the first Legend of Zelda or Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and I used to be too embarrassed to admit it, but I haven’t done finished those. I will say for Ocarina of Time, I went as far as the infamously difficult Water Temple, but that was pretty much it for me. Do I use a guidebook to help me out through Link’s adventures? Most of the time I don’t.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (Image courtesy of Nintendo via US Gamer)

The Legend of Zelda games are known for their amazing and complex puzzles, as well as their mystery. I would even go as far as to say that without these imaginative puzzles surrounding these games, they probably wouldn’t be considered real Legend of…

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Retro Arcadia Game of the Year 2022 – Halfway Hotlist!

Retro Arcadia

It’s somehow halfway through the year, so I thought I’d take a look at some of the movers and shakers we’ve covered in our regular Sunday Weekly Spotlights and see where the top ten currently lies. Before that though, we did do a bit of a look forward to what new games might factor here back when we did our Top Ten of 2021, and of those, the three that have been released so far from there are all present and correct below. Of the other two we mentioned, I’m actually playing a closed beta of Blood Bowl 3 right now, though I’m not sure that’s going to go much further, but hopes are still high for the game of the year favourite, Hollow Knight: Silksong, now we’ve had a new hint that it’s on the way. Maybe this year! Anyway, until then let’s concentrate on what is here…

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Boss Rush Banter: What Video Game Character Should Retire?

We all have our favorite video game characters. We’ve grown up with them, seen them at their best, and suffered with them through their worst. However, there comes a point in time where things start to get weird: they start wearing cowboy boots, their new girlfriend needs steam cleaning, and they claim they have a new side hustle, but you don’t really want to pry too much…

Anyway, sometimes they need a little tough love, and you just have to tell them enough is enough. Out of the entire realm of digital entertainment, what video game character should just pack it up and retire?

The amount of factors that can influence a decision like this means literally every character invented, designed, or even scribbled on a cocktail napkin is eligible. Age can be the biggest factor, as no character gets a 30 year history without making some missteps. Of course…

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In search of a new(ish) summer MMO to play

Bio Break

As July heads our way, I’m feeling the intensifying need to shake things up in my current rut of gaming. LOTRO remains a faithful staple, but I don’t want to place all of my time and focus on a single game. I’ve found that leads to burnout way faster than normal and then I’m left without any alternatives. So I’ve started an investigation to diversify this summer, to either take up a title I haven’t played or played much before, or I need to return to an old staple.

And you know what that means — it’s LIST-MAKING TIME of serious contenders! (hey i like my lists, shut up)


  • Pros: I always love the idea of getting sucked into this involved community. Game is very healthy. I still have all of Shadowbringers and Endwalker to experience. Tab-targeting combat and ability to shift jobs.
  • Cons: This game has proven notoriously…

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Returning to Minecraft

The Ancient Gaming Noob

With the latest update to Minecraft, which I posted about previously, I was reminded that it had been a couple of years and a few updates since I last really dove into the world of one meter blocks.  So I decided to see what The Wild update… and the other two since The Nether update… had brought to the game.

The Wild update arrives

I wasn’t really ready to commit to a rolling up a whole new world, but I didn’t want to play solo either.  So I went and played on the AOKayCraft server, which is run by one of what I consider the extended family of our corner of the blogesphere.

I have, in fact, see the giant recycling center and the hospitality center shown on the site.  I even claimed a room.

And running around there helped get me back into the mood for

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Arcane Waters: PvP now means ‘pirates vs. pixels’

Bio Break

I recently dined well on Steam Next Fest — my first ever participation in this demo event, by the way. I wish I had been more aware of this, because I loved sampling all sorts of indie titles for free. And I knew right away what the first one I’d be trying out: Arcane Waters, a pixel pirate MMO that I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years now.

Character creation was basic — cute, but basic — with a “perk” tab that caught my eye. I guess this is as close to classes as we get here? I like the idea, at least.

The demo’s tutorial isn’t the best — just a series of semi-hard-to-read info boxes (in the lower-right corner, no less), after which the game just dumps you out into this SNES-looking world to fend for yourself. It’s an adorable setting, and the chill music…

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