Archive for June, 2015

RETRO: Dazzeloids

Dazzeloids 01

The city of Compli City is under attack! Not by giant monsters, or terrorists, or anything so simple as that, but one of the greatest threats known to man – Boredom! Our only hope? The Dazzeloids!

Dazzeloids was a 1994 children’s CD-ROM created by Rodney Alan Greenblat (better known for his contributions to the Parappa the Rapper series of rhythm games) and published by Voyager. This was before Rodney achieved the level of video game fame that Parappa had provided him, and was mostly known as an up-and-coming young artist with some children’s books and two other PC games under his belt.

Dazzeloids has never achieved much notoriety outside of people interested in Rodney’s more significant works, but we feel that in this day and age a work like the Dazzeloids deserves a special notice.

After the jump, we’ll go in-depth into the gameplay, development, and our opinions on the Dazzeloids. Read On…

RETRO: Sonic’s Schoolhouse

Sonic's Schoolhouse 01

Why the hell did they decide to make Sonic the Hedgehog the star of an educational game for children? Who allowed this to happen? We want names. Who, somewhere in the leadership of Sega, let this happen? Who?

In the mid-1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the hottest video game characters out there. His too-cool attitude and the blisteringly fast gameplay of his games made him the slick alternative to the stuffy Mario. And with how popular he was, this meant there was a bounty of Sonic the Hedgehog branded everything: Sonic the Hedgehog toys, Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, Sonic the Hedgehog canned pasta… The list goes on. It only makes sense that Sega would want a Sonic the Hedgehog game for elementary schoolers, right?

In comes Sonic’s Schoolhouse, a tale of bad branding decisions and corporate failure. Read On…

GAMING: The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo

The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo 01

The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo is a text-based horror game, created by writer Michael Lutz and artist Kimberly Parker. Released on October 15, 2014 to minor fanfare and coverage on websites like Kotaku, it tells a poignant horror story about growing up in the 1990s and the violence that people who love games commit upon each other.

Video games are one of the archetypical boys’ clubs amongst boys’ clubs. The exclusion of women, people of color, queer people, and any combination of the former has been a long ingrained problem within the community. And frequently, these minority people are pitted against each other to prove who is the “truest” fan of video games. Any woman who has even a passing interest in gaming will be familiar with the threat of not being considered a “true gamer”. Women are constantly being forced to prove the simple reality that they consume video games like their male peers.

When women are forced to constantly prove their love of games, it frequently forces them to start questioning other women’s credentials about video games. Women who proclaim themselves to be “not like other girls” and as “one of the boys” frequently exhibit a deep internalized misogyny, thinking that they are better than other women for having somehow successfully proven how much like a man they are. When women start fighting with other women on who gets to play video games, the only winners are the men who dictate them to fight against each other for their approval.

The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo is about this kind of in-fighting. Read On…

RETRO: Sonic 3D Blast

Sonic 3D Blast 01
This is the first article in our new series, Retrospectacles, where we look back at beloved pop cultural sensations and break them down for the utterly cringeworthy things about them. From Sonic to the Catholic church, nothing is sacred from the eyes of dogmatic opinions and random development factoids. Speaking of Sonic, the poor blue hedgehog just happens to be our first target!

Sonic 3D Blast, also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island, was a 1996 platformer developed by Traveller’s Tales and Sonic Team. Published for the Sega Genesis a year before the console’s discontinuation, at one of the worst points of Sonic the Hedgehog’s lifespan as a franchise, there were a lot of things to go wrong here.

After the jump, we’ll delve into the history of the band-aid Sega used to cover up the gaping wound that Sonic X-treme left, touch upon the timeline of Sonic in 3D, find out about birds, and take a trip to Hell! Read On…