Adding to the Back Catalog Project

From PC Gamer, a new list: the Best Cyberpunk games on PC.

By Release Year:

  1. Beneath a Steel Sky (1994)
  2. Syndicate Wars (1996)
  3. Blade Runner (1997)
  4. Final Fantasy VII (1997)
  5. System Shock 2 (1999)
  6. Deus Ex (2000)
  7. Anachronox (2001)
  8. Uplink: Hacker Elite (2001)
  9. Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011)
  10. Gemini Rue (2011)
  11. Binary Domain (2013)
  12. Shadowrun Returns (2013)
  13. Remember Me (2013)
  14. Transistor (2014)
  15. Technobabylon (2015)
  16. Neon Struct (2015)

I actually own many of these games, and some of them have served as inspiration for my own game development projects in recent years. In the Back Catalog Project I made the policy of not including PC games, because I felt it would be overwhelming to add my Steam (and later GOG) accounts to the fold. But I may have had a change of heart, seeing as how the console-only list is already overwhelming as it is.  I am still maintaining my rule regarding no 90s games since that would probably double my back catalog.  So I guess I would have to start with Anachronox (I’ve beaten Deus Ex many times…).

Like most people at the time I had heard very little about the Ion Storm game, which would turn out to be the last one released before the infamously troubled studio shuttered its doors for good. From what I’ve heard it’s something akin to a Chronotrigger for PCs, which from a storytelling and design standpoint would have been a remarkable achievement. I’ll add it to my 2001 list and give it a whirl after I knock off a few more titles.

Back Catalog Project: Paper Mario

After yesterday’s post I committed to start chipping away at the Back Catalog list. The first game is Paper Mario, which began life in the late 90s as a sequel to Super Mario RPG on the SNES, a quirky Nintendo-Squaresoft collaboration. Since Square had left Camp Nintendo for the greener PlayStation pastures they obviously were not available to work on a follow up game. So it fell to Intelligent Designs.

The game was released in February 2001 in North America, and was one of the final Nintendo 64 games. I ended up picking it up mainly out of nostalgia; I had missed out on the the Mario RPG and had recently gotten a copy so I wanted to make sure I got the most out of the series. I also wanted to complete the cycle: I had supported the n64 since launch day and wanted to close out with the system. As it turned out though this was a particularly difficult time for me in college so I didn’t have the time to play any video games, and by the time I started paying attention to the scene again most of my attention was on the pending release of Metal Gear Solid 2.

I didn’t remain obsessed with that game or anything…

So here it is, working on scratching off the first game on my Back Catalog. I’ll be recording the gameplay as soon as I can get a decent recorder, and posting some sort of video review on YouTube once I complete it. I did in fact get the Wii U virtual console version of the game at a nice discount ($2.00 total) probably since I already own the Wii virtual console version.

Wish me luck.

Another look at the back catalog

I’ve been spending some time organizing and storing a lot of the video game collection of late. So I decided it was time to give another look at the back catalog. I started compiling my games from 2011 and 2012, which incredibly has added another 25 games to my list. There have been a few additional titles for previous years, which I’ll get to when I update the page. And of course there’s still 2013, 2014, and 2015 to get on the list too.

I might have a collector’s mania.

I’ve been looking for a new capture card, along with some old equipment for the youtube channel (launching in the future). I prefer to play the authentic games rather than emulated copies but in the interest of video quality this may be unavoidable. I’m not that comfortable opening up and soldering an RGB connector for my venerable n64. It’s probably a better idea to get the Virtual Console version of it and record that.

A bigger problem is acquiring the ridiculously expensive GameCube component cable, which on Amazon is going over $300 from some sellers at the time of this writing. One of the enduring mysteries for me from the last 7 years has been the disappearance of this cable. Well over 10 years ago I did buy one from Lik-sang when they were still reasonably priced (around $85 IIRC), but in the course of several moves it’s become lost. Nintendo – in its infinite wisdom – decided to remove the progressive scan capability of the GameCube relatively early in it’s life cycle. To make matters worse, the cable itself contains a proprietary chip and was produced in relatively limited quantities. Scarcity of the product and the fact that it’s not an easy hack has made for quite a nice profit margin for those who had the foresight to buy these cables when they were readily available.  Long story short, if I want to get high quality captures for the GameCube games and by extension all the GBA games via the GBA Player, I’m going to have to cough up the cash for this cable or miraculously find my original cable.

It’s tough being a retrogamer some times.