Game Boy: A Retrospective

One of the best-selling consoles of all time, the Nintendo Game Boy is a unique beast in the gaming landscape. It wasn’t nearly as powerful as its competitors, the screen was about as awful as a screen could be (even in its heyday), and the games… there was a lot of garbage developed for it. Yet with nearly 119 million units sold in the Game Boy line, from the original gray brick in 1989 until the final Game Boy Color rolled off the assembly line in 2003, the 8-bit juggernaut was a console that couldn’t be ignored, even when it was being absolutely overlooked.

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Greetings from Quarantine: Game Time

I’ve purchased, reviewed, inherited and been gifted so many games over the years, I have some to spare that haven’t been given the time of day. Tiny curios from my trip to Akihabara over ten years ago, Xmas gifts from well-meaning relatives, the odd RPG that sounded neat but “it was never the right time”… if I’m not able to leave the house for more than a grocery trip or an ER visit (which hopefully doesn’t have to happen), now would be the time.

It’s time to play the game.

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Shusse Ozumo (Or Why I Love Digital Marketplaces)

I understand that I’m not the average gamer anymore, but have evolved Pokémon-style into a curmudgeon. I don’t give a rat’s ass about how pretty a game is, how “enhanced” the tech gets, how many polygons a piece of hardware can push, any of that. Maybe I’ve aged out of the main age group of gamers… I know I’ve disconnected just enough that my finger isn’t as “on the pulse” of the industry as it used to be.

In short, that means mostly Overwatch these days, the occasional RPG (Persona 4 Golden is still a classic), a moment with one of the various classics collections (the Sega Genesis Classics version of Altered Beasts won’t play itself, y’know). But that doesn’t mean I don’t still, occasionally, enjoy a new release with all the promise that brings.

This (and all screenshots) taken by my from my personal Nintendo Switch.

Like how I just downloaded Arcade Archives Shusse Ozumo, an arcade game previously exclusive to Japan, released in 1984, and made available to me here in the US on July 11th, 2019.

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NISA Press Event 2017

©NIS America

I haven’t missed the NIS America annual press event since I started going in 2010 or so, and yesterday I spent my evening mulling over video games, musing over cocktails (well, ginger beer in my case) and pizza, and listening to professional nerds tell me about their upcoming products. It’s my favorite event of the year simply because they produce the types of games I’m personally interested in most: dungeon-crawler RPGs and Disgaea.

Disgaea is love. Disgaea is life.

Last night, they were showing an obscene number of titles for the modestly-sized company they are – 19 in total, up from the 8 they showed in 2016 – ranging from visual novels like PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness, to their powerhouse murder-mystery series Danganropa, to the afore-mentioned Disgaea 5 Complete for the upcoming Nintendo Switch. The biggest news was that all of the titles they named would be released at some point in the 2017 calendar year, but that only matters if the games are any good, so it’s worth taking a look over the full list.

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Nintendo’s “NX” Is Now “Nintendo Switch”


When Nintendo’s WiiU was initially announced, I thought that the built-in screen would be used to play games on the go. There was a battery, the thing was bulky and a tiny bit heavy (for long-term travelling use, anyway), analog sticks and buttons and everything that reminded me of a Ben Heck portable build. In short: I was excited. Think of the possibilities! Not just a portable Nintendo console, but a fully-fledged Nintendo console on the go! As much as I love my 3DS, it’s not quite the experience of sitting down through a cutting-edge Mario or Zelda title!

When I heard for certain that it still needed the plugged-in box to actually play, I wasn’t devastated per se, but I was a sad panda. Even with the touch screen capabilities (which were fun and interesting, BTW) I couldn’t justify for myself buying one. Partly because of being broke, but also because I’ve been focused on enjoying my portable consoles over the past few years for my personal fix. So when I watched the trailer for the Nintendo Switch this morning, I started getting really excited.

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November Sixteen: “Them Vidya Games!”

Update time! These seem to be getting slightly later and later every time I write them, but… no matter.

Word Count: 23,576
Page Count: 58

That’s a net-positive of 2,165 words and five pages to the manuscript. This kind of admittedly-pathetic progress is why people make fun of their friends when they ask “so… how’s your novel coming along” sarcastically. And sometimes, like it has been over the past week, it’s been well-deserved.

Still, progress is progress. And in my time not-writing I’ve had the ability to binge-watch some history classes through Crash Course, catch up on some games I’ve wanted to dig further into but haven’t had the time, do a little reading here and there, play a little poker.

I feel like I’ve been kicking back more lately, but feel both more and less pressure to get certain work done – I’m between reviews right now which is kind of nice. It gives me more time to think, to appreciate games I genuinely adore and haven’t given the attention they so rightfully deserve, and less time to play games I may end up despising for one reason or another.

If you would like an example of the latter, I direct you to my last review, which was bad enough to hurt my feelings.

I need to get my ass in gear, so as a goal, I’ll shoot for at MINIMUM five thousand words until my next update on either Sunday or Monday (my two regular days off). That would put me around the 28,500 mark, so while 5K is the minimum, I’ll shoot to break through 30K total. Maybe it’ll help to think about it as “as soon as THIS story is written I can start in on a new one”, but since I have multiple fully-realized concepts in my head (some of them mapped out either in the beginning stages or already laid out in some fashion) that’s enough of a challenge for another night.

Or maybe a punishment… if you can think of a worthwhile-yet-not-TOO-painful punishment for not having 5,000 words of fiction written in a week, do let me know in comments. If there’s a good one, I’ll shoot video and upload it to YouTube for your sadistic enjoyment.

Stand Tall, and hopefully your own writing is a bit more concrete and focused than mine has been!

Coming Full Circle

About a week ago on Game Revolution, I shared before E3 2015 a few of my stories from previous events. These stories weren’t exactly the most flattering for me I admit – poking fun at a celebrity, calling another out for cutting in front of me in line, and crashing the cabana of yet another famous and talented person (I tend to only make a TOTAL ass of myself in front of famous people, like Alex Borstein of MadTV and playing Lois Griffen on Family Guy). This year, in surprising fashion, I was actually able to confront the celebrity I had directly addressed, and in turn, make an ass of myself in a mutually-assured deprication.

This time, it was Kevin Pereira.

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April Torrents

There haven’t been many showers lately here in California (April or otherwise), but I know I’ve been involved in a torrent of content from the beginning of the month, and it ain’t over yet. I’m not complaining, I’m thoroughly enjoying writing the stuff, but it HAS kept me away from the blog and the book for some time, and that’s a little disappointing. But in case anyone was wondering, no this blog hasn’t been abandoned, I’ve just been… busy.

That’s my common statement when I can’t get to updating The Taller Eight on my own time, business. And lately, having to think up and write two articles a week has scratched the itch of “typing faster than my brain can think, then editing the crap out of what I just wrote to try to keep it coherent”. I’m nowhere near the fastest typist in the world, but I once did clock in at about word per minute (my resume says 65+), and that would beg the question: does your brain EVER just shut the hell hell up?

No. No, it doesn’t. And thankfully for me, otherwise I’d be screwed in thinking up and writing eight articles so far this month – six features and two reviews – or else I’d be in some mental anguish.

Dankey Kang
Oh, silly Dankey.


But now that I’ve found a little time between pieces, I thought I’d share with you just what I’ve been up to lately. Yay, it’s a catch-up post! Everybody likes those (I hope)!

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Better Than Favoritism

If you’re a gamer, whether a professional in the field or a casual player, you’ve likely experienced one question above all others from any other gamer in the vicinity:

“What’s your favorite console/game?”

Those two are interchangeable within the question, so I’ve included both up there. And it comes up in so many conversations when meeting a new gamer for the first time, even more prevalent than, say, the more interesting and direct question of what you’re playing currently. And I know I’ve given a hundred different answers over the years for both platforms and games, including the NES, Game Boy, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Super Mario Brothers 3, Tetris, The World Ends With You, and others.

But recently I was rooting through my storage and rediscovered my DS Lite (which has been one of the answers before) and rooted through my DS/3DS protector’s pocket of loose carts, and it’s brought me back to a troublesome time in my life, which not only is the reason I have this blog right now, but acted as a saving grace that, quite possibly, saved both my pride and my life during a rough patch. Two consoles, and two games that kept me going. And I’d like to tell you about them.

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