Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Old School FPS gets a face lift - Hexen: Edge of Chaos

So if you’re around your mid-twenties like I am you should be well skilled in the art of First-Person Combat. Meaning you have sat in front of your PC, Sega Saturn, or N64 day after day honing your skills to be the biggest badass this side of the third dimension. Most of the original FPS games had a simple formula. Get from Point A to Point B. How you achieved this was getting keys . In Doom, Duke3D, and Heretic we had color coded keys. One had to go down narrow corridors, open arenas, and dark rooms to collect the keys to progress to the end of the level. Once the end of the board was reach a simple switch was pushed. Once activated, percentages of achievements would pop up to reveal your stats, Secrets found, monsters exterminated, etc, etc.

Don't be mistaken though. The formula may have been identical but the games were massively different. Each game had its own setting, music, and combat system. For example in Doom you were placed in a off world colony on mars and the monsters were either demons or zombie soldiers. Your weapons consisted of chain guns and shotguns. In Heretic you would fight mummies and flying red imps. Your weapons would be a crossbow or magical gauntlets. Similar yes, but different in more ways then one. Each one had its own personality and style. That's what I think many FPS games have lost today. There own individual persona that sets them apart from the rest.

But then something magical occured. The mold was broken. HEXEN WAS BORN! Now don't get me wrong here. I love all the old school FPS games. I don't have a favorite they are all very good but recognition must be given to Hexen. When I first played this game it was like everything fell into place. I loved the dreary medieval setting, medieval weapons, the monsters, and I certainly loved the puzzles. It was so original compared to its predecessors that one could not overlook its masterful design. I still remember the first time I was frozen in place by ice monsters and broken into 1000 pieces. You just couldn't get that anywhere else! Giant hammers, electric axes, fire gloves, and the crème de la crème.......The WraithWand.......Just imagine if you had a super weapon that sent out an army of ghosts to tear your enemies to pieces. Kind of like having control of the Ark of the Covenant from Indiana Jones.

So why do I write this little article? Well, quite a few months ago I stumbled upon a website called and it seems that the wonderful people their are making a NEW Hexen game mod using the Doom 3 engine! I'm happy the Doom 3 engine is finally being used for something good. From the screenshots and the summary on the website it looks like they will be drawing a lot of inspiration from the first Hexen. Which is a good thing. Not to say that Hexen II was bad. Hexen II was a magnificent game in itself but the original like in many series trumps its successors. The mod's storyline takes place after the Hexen 1 expansion and also touches upon the Heretic storyline as well. This is a real treat for all the old school fans and we applaud the the developers hard work. Please take a look at some of the excellent screen shots and send them a comment of support.

Hexen fans UNITE!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Youtube Episode! This days topic: WAR

Hey all,

2 new episodes on my YouTube page.


One called "Blowing off Steam" where I vent about daily events and a three part special on "War"

Hope you like it

Please comment!

New Dreamcast games in 2008-2009

Isn't it amazing how things work out? In the year 2002 the headlines read. "DREAMCAST DEAD!" but year after year new software, homebrews, and emulations continue to appear for the Sega's last white hope. Its hasn't had an official Sega release in over two years, the last official game was Karous but since then worldwide Independent developers have discovered a soft spot for our little dream machine. On November 5, 2008 Wind and Water: Puzzle Battle was released for the Dreamcast. Developed by Yuan Works and published by Redspotgame, this puzzle game came out first for the GPX2 handheld and was later ported over to the Dreamcast with added content, options, and graphics. The story mode plays similar to Super Mario Bros. 3 but based around a puzzle system. The puzzle mechanics are very innovative and different from other puzzle games of our era. Instead of matching up blocks vertically or horizontally you have to match them up in a diamond pattern by what element they are, Water, Earth, Wind, fire, etc.
* *
Once you have 4 like elements they and whatever similar elements around them disintegrate. Which then awards you points! Some of the combos can be very fun to pull off. Combos such as chains, full, and dual come in handy to stop the press. The "Press" is what your fighting against in W&W. Its a large black waffle-like thing that pushes up from the bottom. One the press reaches the top you lose but you have numerous combo variations to push the press down so it will not menace you.
On the 15 June 2009, YET ANOTHER Independently produced Dreamcast game was released. This time from Hucast. Which is a German indie studio. DUX is a horizontal shooter which draws much of its inspiration from R-Type. The whole game is in full CGI graphics and the music is a cool techno melody. The game oozes futuristic space combat sci-fi action! There are 6 levels to the game all of which are very long and well done. Some have commented on the difficulty but once you get the hang of the soaking ability the game won't be overly difficult but it will still give you a challenge.

Both games are now bundled on or separately on and

Samurai Shodown!

SNK truly hit gold in the early 90's when they designed SAMURAI SHODOWN! In the olden days of arcades, Street Fighter II ruled the dark alleys. Everywhere you went a Street Fighter cabinet was just around the corner. Always tempting you with its loud digitized sound effects and cut scene of some guy cold clocking some other dude then scrolling up a huge skyscraper to focus on a giant Street fighter logo. I dare you now a days not to put in quarters immediately when seeing a SF cabinet in the wild. Go on! I double dog dare you!

All was well for Capcom for a while but soon enough like in many rivalries SNK struck back. First it was Art of fighting and now SAMURAI SHODOWN. This game had everything. All executed with SNK's signature precision. Backgrounds where bright and full of motion, characters were interesting, animation was fluid, and collision detection was near perfect! But the thing that toppled the kingdom of Capcom was two things. When you scored a heavy hit you felt it though the arcade buttons. Each hit created a flash of excitement and an early form of slow motion to accentuate each blow. Then of course, something that surprised each fighter when they landed the final slash was the fatalities. Now a day when we think of fatalities we think of a time at the end of a match after a fighter has beat his opponent a short time is allowed to give the player time to do a complicated maneuver of joystick direction and button combinations. Not in SS! All you needed to pull of a fatality at the end was just hit your opponent in the right way, either with light, medium, or strong attack. Blood would shoot out like geysers or the defeated would be cut in half and fall to the ground. Many a time I stood in front of my TV slack jawed when I pulled off a death blow. SNK GENIUS!

This game was nothing we had ever seen. A different time period (feudal Japan), Weapons (Spears, Daggers, claws, and Swords), and music that didn't draw its inspiration from 80's / 90's rock but Japanese culture. It was a masterpiece and it did its best to shake the ground that Capcom lay upon. As of today there are six 2D Samurai Shodown games all of which were just released on a anthology disc commemorating over twenty years of Samurai Shodown excitement! Certain games were ported over the years to home consoles. All of which met with positive reviews. Today we are treated to ALL 2D Samurai Shodown games contained on one disc. It is a great achievement and a wonderful product. The price for all these wonderful titles is going for no more than $15.99! Probably the greatest deal I have ever seen.

Now your most likely saying to yourself "Why should I pay the cash when I can get it for MAME?"

1. You have a hard copy of the game. Disc, Manual, and box

2. You have all 6 games on one disc that you can play in the comfort of you living room instead of sitting in front of a computer monitor with a PC controller.

3. You can customize the color of your favorite SS character!

4. Extra's such as Art gallery and Endings

5. We here in the U.S.A. can finally play Samurai Shodown 6. The newest and most in depth title in the series.

Is it worth the $15.99???? Well, I would think so. Its a piece of gaming history bundled up and packaged for your gaming enjoyment. All of which are Arcade perfect ports with extra options for each game together for the first time.

Take my advice. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Episode

Hey there,

I put together another three part episode on TheCoolinator1 YouTube channel. In the episode we discuss the meaning of some Renaissance quotes and compare them to present times. We soon discover that there are some startling similarities between them. I hope you enjoy it and please remember to subscribe and leave comments! Thanks again.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is Shenmue the greatest game ever created?

Ok, so I've been pondering about this for over a decade now and I've come to my conclusion.

Shenmue is the Greatest game ever made!

How do I know this? Cause I'm super radical. I don't wear sunglasses at night for no reason. I don't use massive amounts of hair gel and roar my engine at red lights for fun. This is fact.Alright, enough of my credentials. Let’s get back to Shenmue.

Shenmue has a simple format. The call to adventure starts when Ryo comes home from his daily sauntering to find his cool Japanese symbol thing broken. As he makes his way to the backyard and finds his maid on the floor. Now I would say "What are you doing lying around? I don't pay you to sleep lady!" but it seems that she was knocked down by some intruders. After you leave your faithful maid behind you run to the Dojo. This is where things get heavy. Your Dad seems too locked in mortal combat with some evil looking guy wearing some crazy old school threads. I would call him cool if he wasn't so homicidal!Anyway, Ryo's father takes a bad hit and collapses. Note to self: Do not roundhouse kick old people.Ryo rushes to his side and Iwao Hazuki tells his son some parting advice. His murderer AKA Lan Di miraculously doesn't smash Ryo into a wall and end him as well. He grabs the "Dragon mirror" from a hidden spot under the cherry tree and makes his exit. Pay attention people because I'm only going to explain this once. In mythological and allegorical stories this is what we call in the industry "The call to adventure" and is very important to the hero’s journey formula. After a tear jerking scene where Ryo holds his father until he takes his last breath their is a transition and days / weeks seem to go by after the incident. The day starts as usual for a young man who just had his father die in his arms with a horrifying nightmare. He awakes in his room and from then on the player has control of Ryo.Now as you can see there is quite a lot of storyline in this game. If I was to detail the rest of the game it would probably take up the whole website so I'm just going to hit the high points.Shenmue Best Game Ever High Points:

1. everything is interactive. Picture the real world. In your television. You have a phone, you can buy things, you can talk to anyone, you can take care of a kitten, you can take the bus, it’s as close to reality as physically possible. You have a freaking job in the game. A job. People can't get a job in real life. Now you can do a monotonous job in a video game. Forklift driver here I come! Did I mention you can drink sodas and get capsule toys?? Amazing! Soda and Action figures.

2. QTE Battles. Now Quick Time Events happen in most games but back in the year 2000 they were a real rarity. Nothing spells kick ass like hitting one button and sending a drunken sailor into a shelf full of glass bottles.

3. Practice! Practice! Practice! Sometimes in a video game you just want to hang out and hone your super karate attacks. Now you can. When you go into a parking lot, abandoned warehouse, or your very own dojo you can practice your moves at your leisure. This spices things up in real battles because you’re not constantly hitting the punch or kick button. You can actually do some very impressive moves that will throw your enemies for a loop. My favorite is the Dark Side Hazuki throw. Oh, ya! He's not getting up from that one.......

Another great thing they added was picking up move scrolls to enhance your move library. You can purchase them at the antique shop from a cool old man.

4. The most genius part about Shenmue. They actually built in an arcade into the dam game. I'm serious. Not only can you go anywhere, talk to everyone, and buy as much crap as you like BUT now you can actually play video games ......IN A VIDEO GAME. It's a riddle wrapped in an enigma. A paradox that no one can understand. Until now.

Most of the games are old school Sega games like Hang on, Space Harrier, Outrun (Shenmue II), afterburner (Shenmue II) or some unique games they created just for Shenmue. Some of those would be Darts (Which I absolutely love), a simple QTE game where you have to hit the right button in a narrow time limit, or a boxing game that is cool until you lose and then the jerk says "you suck". Which is awesome.

So what have we learned here? We learned today that Shenmue is the greatest game ever created. It’s a work of art that will live on forever. It's in the world records book for being the "MOST EXPENSIVE GAME EVER CREATED”, now that’s an achievement! Shenmue lives in the hearts of gamers all over the world. Its spiritual successor would be Yakuza. They share a similar gaming engine but in my opinion it lacks the innocents that Shenmue had. Furthermore some people have hinted that Shenmue 3 will be a Massive Multiplayer game. I hope not. What I want and I hope I speak for many a Sega fans out there is a new piece of Sega hardware that has Shenmue 3 as an exclusive. It wouldn't feel right kicking Lan Di off a building if it wasn't on a Sega made console.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I was somewhat rushed in writing it.

See ya at the arcade!

I am now a Youtube Celebrity!

Yesterday I finished my first three part episode on Independence, Income, and Quality of Life. Now I know your probably saying to yourself, "WHY ISN'T IT ON VIDEO GAMES!" and Yes, they are one of my favorite hobbies but there are so many YouTube videos on them that I wanted to do something different. A serious issue that effects all our lives.

Fair warning, Since Part 1 was my first attempt in my opinion its somewhat boring. Part 2 & 3 are much more action packed.

Once again. To find me on YouTube just type in TheCoolinator1


After work today I may be doing a Dreamcast console commentary and I will remember to plug a lot of blogspots and YouTube channels so if you want me to plug your site / channel just leave me a comment on this post.

See Ya around!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's the deal with Retro-Gaming?

So, I've been noticing a very interesting trends these past few years regarding the Retro-Gaming Scene.

What it looks like to me is that all the gamers of my generation AKA The Cool generation have rejected the new games that are out today. Now your probably going to say "What you talking about Willis? People be buying games like day be hot cakes" and Yes, I know that sales are always good but people have been complaining constantly about the quality and style in which gaming has ......errr....evolved. And I'm being nice here.

Lets just go down the check list shall we of what genre's have been destroyed in the pursuit of quick cash for horribly developed software.

FPS - The First person Shooter Genre has been completely and utterly destroyed by a steady stream of mediocre titles and sequels. Every time you look over your shoulder you see another FPS coming out of the birthing chambers ready to snatch the money from your hand. I will say however that there has been small victories here and there.

Honorable Mentions: BioShock, Call of Duty: World at War

Real Time Strategy - Remember the times playing Command & Conquer: Red Alert over your 56k modem? Remember the wonderful campaign battles you used to have playing Starcraft and Warcraft? Well, Those days are over and they have been over for a long while. The only thing that saved this generations Real Time Strategy fans was Warcraft III and even that got stale "DAM NOOB TEAMMATES!" "STOP HIDING IN YOUR BASE YOU TURTLES!".

We need something new.

Will Starcraft II be our saving grace since the Command and Conquers have gotten so played out that even Jenny McCarthy couldn't save them?

Platformers - Is it me or is Sonic the Hedgehog the last platformer mascot alive? Even with Sega's constant milking of their kiddy cash cow we need a little more variety and I don't mean WereHogs. Give us something new, brightly colored , and simple and give it to us NOW!

Sorry, I just had a Veruca Salt moment.

Survival Horror - back in the good old days you used to be able to be spooked out by one Resident evil game after another. Now a days when you play a surival horror its more like an episode of the A-Team! Whats the deal? Where is the spooky atmosphere? Where is the horrifying enemies? Where is the shock value? Where is the parts in the game where you look at the door your suppose to go through and say to yourself "Man.......I really don't wanna know whats behind there.....Did I save?. .....Oh, we go"

Now its like.....whos got the grenades.....hey man did you see me totally use the chain gun on those slow moving almost identical enemies....ya that was sweet.


We want little or no ammo, a knife that is strictly for decoration and to take up one spot in your very low inventory, Bad guys jumping out of windows, bad guys jumping at you threw walls, impossible bosses, impossible puzzles, cut scenes that make you want to yell "Heck ya!".

Not this RE: 4 clones all over the place. Yes, RE: 4 was great but its over. Time to move on or get back to your roots.

Anyway. My examples are somewhat weak but I'm winging it. It still doesn't change the fact that people in hordes have completely lost all interest in the gaming market. Its almost like they buy a new console now just to have it other than to play the games on it. I mean most of the stuff you can download on XBOXLA and Wii: VC you probably already own and if you don't its your own fault for trading in all your games for the newest system.

Your probably asking yourself. "OK, So? Ya, People like retro games, can't they just buy them on EBAY for a marked up price that will make you have to take out a loan on your house?"

No! There are numerous affordable new and old retro games on the market.
Sega has just officially licensed three new hardware items that are coming out for sale this month!

Sega FireBox - New Sega Genesis console that has 20 games already installed and a new port for downloadable content.

RetroGen - A Nomad clone that is able to play old school Genesis cartridges and downloadable content. May have 20 games included.

Hand Held Plug and play Megadrive - 20 games, can support downloadable content

Amazing right? This is what we call in the industry "blowback" meaning that when you dish out bad quality products (AKA Present day games / consoles) and you receive a backlash from the public.

We see a retreat back into the good old days when games were games and skills were skills. Not a $60 dollar half made movie where you get to play another guy with the over the shoulder view.

Its Official!!

I just created my own YouTube channel! (cheers) (cheers) (applause)

All right, settle down now! Lets not get too excited. I only have one video on it and its just me droning on about the comparison between independence and income. I'm going to use it to blow off some steam after a long day of serfdom.

If you wanna find me on there my account name is TheCoolinator1

Oh! and please don't mind the way my channel looks. It seems that I clicked on the most basic channel design and it looks like a 4th grader designed it.

If you come by please send a comment just to tell me how awesome I'm doing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

YouTube is the greatest

Like many people out there I'm a YouTube addict and I have stumbled across the whole spectrum of what Youtube can dish out. We got video gamers giving reviews, we got people jumping over stuff on bikes and cars, we got aliens , and sea monsters. NO JOKE! Its freaking on there triple pinky swear!

So anyway, a few days ago I was doing my usually boycott of cable television and surfing Youtube for some entertaining stuff and Ka-blam! I found the coolest stuff this side of the hemisphere. Let me dish it out for all you philistines.

Super Cool Youtube Sites!

Classic Game Room - In my opinion one of the most professional YouTube Channels I have ever seen. Great editing, great commentary, the works.

Happy Console Gamer - I must admit he is somewhat new at the game but this guy has a rockin' video game collection and some knowledge to boot. Also, he seems like a super cool dude cause his name is "Johnny Millenium" and his sidekicks name is "Rob Man". Now those are some pretty cool names.

Spoony / The Spoony Experiment - This guy is not just the run of the video game reviewer. He also does movies too! Excited yet? Well guess what, this guy has to be some kind of film student or something cause he gives the most indebt movie reviews out there. He really gets in touch with how good or ........terrible some of the movies he sees and he doesn't mince words either. Hes a straight shooter and that makes me want to buy him an iced coffee!

Cambo - This guys name is Cambo with some numbers at the end I can't really remember too well. Eitherway he posts these radio shows on his site by this guy called Webster Tarpley who is some kind of super genius. I kid you not dear friends. TheCoolinator would never lie. Ya, some of the stuff that he talks about are way over the heads of many people but who cares! Hes like a good Lex Luther or something. Check him out.

Nathan Barnatt - This guy is an excellent physical comedian. He has numerous acts that he brings to the table. A nerd guy name Kieth Apicary, a crazy candy lover names Trale Lewous, and some dude called Simmins Dupont that has a kickin' moustace!

Check these guys out. They are good peoples!

Until next time!

Welcome to the Coolinator's Lounge!

Hello all!

This is our first post here at the lounge and some of my associates have instructed me to break the ice by just saying hello to all the ladies and Gentlemen out there that need a little brisk pick me up after a long day of drudgery.

Relax your mind and plant yourself on one of our many comfy sofas and grab yourself a tasty beverage. Its time to chill out with some superb commentary is always intriguing.