Retro Arcadia Weekly Spotlight #59
Time for our regular roundup of quick-fire reviews and impressions of everything under the spotlight at Retro Arcadia this week, old and new and a bit of both…
The very first game I played this week was Atari’s Batman arcade game from 1990. Side scrolling jumping and beating affair based on the wonderful movie from the year before, with 3D rail-shooting bits between levels in your Bat-vehicles… Sounds a bit like the best Batman game ever but unfortunately I didn’t really click with it like I did a very long time ago with the Atari ST game of the same movie! Its Hollywood presentation just didn’t compensate for some really shoddy platforming and combat, and no amount of fancy distractions are going to turn the main courses into Rolling Thunder in my eyes. Glad I got to finally spend a couple of hours with it after all this time though!
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How One Game Motivated a Decade Long Dislike of Free-to-Play Games
I really do not like free-to-play games. I don’t know that I’d go as far as to say that I hate them, but I certainly hold a lot of animosity toward them. Not blind rage, mind you. I’ve no interest in being yet another furtburgler who decries them as some kind of gaming Satan, but I wouldn’t invite them over for dinner either.
As it stands, I’ve played a fair number of free-to-play titles. Hell, not all them were even bad. One of them was though. It was so bad in fact, that it’s painted my perception of the business model for over a decade now. That said, today we’re talking about MapleStory.
Good lord – you can’t be serious? MapleStory? Really?
I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to play MapleStory. It was my go-to title back in college. It had two major…
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The Best Cards From Pokemon TCG Sword & Shield Vivid Voltage! (Pikachu VMAX, Charizard and more!)
Vivid Voltage is a great Pokemon Trading Card Game set for collectors chasing down rainbow rare Pikachu VMAX. But for players, it’s considered one of the worst for its lack of competitively-viable cards. That said, some late bloomers in the set may force us to reevaluate that stance. Let’s review the best cards from Vivid Voltage!
View the full post to see the video and deck list!
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Revisiting Pokemon Snap | An Overlooked Gem of the ’90s
I remember going to Blockbuster as a kid and seeing the N64 they had in their lobby. Often, I would try and get a few rounds of something in before I was carted back home and sent to bed so my parents could watch a movie without me. However, one day it all became Pokemon Snap stuff.
This mysterious Pokemon game that I had never heard of that allowed you to have face-to-face interactions with the creatures that I had seen in my GameBoy.
I was mystified for a time, but it wouldn’t be until my sixth birthday that I would get the chance to really sink my teeth into it. It took me years to beat because I had a dumb baby brain, but when I did I felt so accomplished for figuring out all the little puzzles in the game.
Seeing as the new Pokemon Snap game has…
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Dual-Type D&D Monsters
Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition loves categorizing aspects of itself, especially in the new OneD&D Playtest, as they are categorizing the classes into groups (like Expert Classes). This makes it so that a spell, feature, or some other rule can affect an entire group of similar creatures, and they don’t have to list them all out. A spell like Turn Undead can affect every creature in the Undead category.
There are 14 categories, with each creature in only one:
Last week, @SpicyEncounters on Twitter tweeted this:
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Vaults of Vaarn is Really Great, Ok?
Joseph Erwin - Freelance Dungeon Master
I’ve been poking around the RPG scene for a while now, and I find the OSR tradition interesting. It’s neat to see how in a gaming culture which is embracing structured RP-based storytelling, there is still a strong desire for rule-governed emergent storytelling in a world whose story doesn’t revolve around the characters.
That said, OSR tends to get a little too “rules-y” for my taste. They get so obsessed with replicating the feel of old crunchy AD&D that they forget to use modern RPG techniques which have been pretty universally accepted, like fast skill resolution or character sheets which have less info than an accounting spreadsheet.
Vaults of Vaarn (DTRPG link) is the best balance I have found. It’s wild and creative, with a few solid rules to give a sense of structure. It’s gritty, but the rules apply to everyone pretty much the same way. Power…
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DungeonMorphs – Sewers Set 5
One of the final stretch goals of the recent DungeonMorphs IV Kickstarter was to include an alternate version of the DungeonMorph cards (2.5″ x 2.5″ cards of the geomorphs) in the style of one of the artists involved in the design. That artist was ME! So I spent a month and change redrawing all the geomorphs from their original artists’ styles to my own.
I’m doing these redraws one “die” at a time. The geomorphs have been assigned faces on the DungeonMorph Dice, and I’m translating them not by artist, but by die. So this is the fifth die of the sewers set. (There are a total of 24 dice in total – sewers, lairs, and crypts, so I’ve got a lot of geomorphs to draw!)
Like my classic geomorphs, these are a 10 square x 10 square unit with entries at squares 3 & 8…
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D&D Diary – The Forge of Fury – Session 6
The adventure ends with epic fights against unique undead, a sly succubus, and the ubiquitous black dragon.
The end of Adventure 2 in Tales From the Yawning Portal. Last time I’ll look at these bored dwarves.
When last we left our heroes, they had finally found the uninspiring Forge of Fury, made friends with the surprisingly not evil duergar, and made mincemeat out of several oddly animated household objects, such as tables and carpets. It’s like the magic castle in Beauty and the Beast but with more murder and fewer song and dance numbers.
They also discovered a new version of an old puzzle that directly links this dungeon with the one from The Lost Mine of Phandelver. It was a good call back to an excellent adventure that my players really enjoyed, even for the players who hadn’t been there the first time around. The puzzle unlocked a…
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Online Petition to Complete and Release Cancelled 4th Edition D&D Books #DnD #4e #RPG #TTRPG @MarkMeredith
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Last week, I signed an online petition. There’s very little I could do that’s dumber than signing and online petition.
There’s no guarantee that each signature comes from a unique individual. I alone have a seemingly infinite number of email addresses through which I could have voted. In the case of political petitions, there’s no guarantee that the signors are from the relevant jurisdiction, but that’s no relevant here. The petition at issue here is requesting that Wizards of the Coast (“WotC”) complete and release four cancelled books from the 4th Edition Dungeons…
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