AJ’s E3 2019 Roundup

Well, the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo wrapped up a few days ago and it was definitely a memorable one for quite a few reasons. There was plenty of exciting news from the world of video games, as well as the typical head-scratcher or two. As with most E3s, there were far too many games shown and announcements made to possibly be able to cover everything in a single post, so I went ahead and condensed it down to a more easily digestible dozen for you. So without further ado, here are the top 12 highlights I have selected that were either unveiled or reconfirmed at the event.

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Nine Out of Ten Doctors Say, It’s A WRUP

Well I don't know about where you guys are but out here it's been about as hot as whatever heat related metaphor you'd like to use. And let me tell you it's been kind of miserable to work in when just about 10 days ago it was cool and rainy. Just not really ready for the heat yet I think. But hey, I have friends with pools and beer and that's great. Read more

Stadia? WRUP

So Google Stadia seems like a less than stellar deal. Not that game streaming is itself a bad thing. I do think this kind of service is going to be a real thing in the future, but they're going to have to be something more along the lines of a movie and TV streaming system where you can pick from a library of titles for the cost of your subscription. Stadia is going to work like this: You buy the equipment, which is a Stadia controller and a Chromecast Pro, for ~$130.00. Then you can choose to subscribe to the Stadia service for $10.00 a month and play games at 4k, 60 FPS and enjoy your 5.1 surround sound. Or you can stay on the free service and get 1080p, 60 FPS with standard stereo. Here's the catch though. The games you play have to be purchased separately. At launch the founder's edition paid subscription will include the whole of Destiny 2. Which is okay I guess, but Destiny 2 is going to be free to play on Steam before the launch of Stadia in November. Now, that free to play Steam version doesn't include the whole Destiny 2 collection but it does seem like less of a great deal in comparison. And there is some confusion on whether or not the Stadia version of Destiny 2 will come with your paid subscription, or only with the founder's edition purchase, which is not the same as a normal paid subscription... *Whew*...  I guess we just have to wait and see. Read more

Strange Things WRUP

Starting off with the weather here in June... rain, hail, snow and thunder storms. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying not cooking in the high 90's already, but it's a little weird for this time of year to be getting snow around here. More relevant to the WRUP, there's also news of Sony and Microsoft coming together in some kind of perverse harmony to improve cloud game streaming. What's the world coming to? All joking aside it actually looks pretty interesting. Whether you like it or not. Digital Foundry has a very informative video on the subject that I'll toss in below. Microsoft is even going to be adding some 20 titles to Steam pretty soon here. Strange times we live in. Read more

Review: Team Sonic Racing

There's something you should probably know about me before we dive into this review. I grew up a Sega kid. While my friends were all playing their Nintendos and Super Nintendos, I was cutting my proverbial gaming teeth with the Master System and Genesis. As you might expect, this led to me quickly becoming a pretty avid Sega enthusiast, as I still am today. Granted, as time went on, I came to eventually love Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft as well, but deep down, my heart still beats for Sega.

It should come as no surprise, then, that when Sumo Digital's 2010 masterpiece, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, came out, I consumed it with a ravenous hunger; and it was good. So good, in fact, that I actually consider it to be one of my favorite games of all time. For my money, it beats all others - I'm not just talking about copycat cart racers, the Mario Kart games as well. Some may disagree with that statement, but I will happily and convincingly tell them why they are wrong.

Sumo Digital's 2012 follow-up, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, was also a thoroughly enjoyable affair, but it came nowhere close to reaching the lofty heights of greatness as the criminally-underrated original. It had exciting things to offer, sure (new fan favorite all-stars, amazing new stages, a cool transformation mechanic), but the graphics were lacking a bit by comparison and the gameplay was plagued by some pretty awful rubber-banding that unfortunately couldn't be turned off (unlike in the first game). It just seemed to lack the same level of care and attention to detail as the original. ​Which brings us, now, to the third entry in the series...

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Weird Yellow Console WRUP

Happy Saturday everyone. It's Memorial weekend over here in the states so I'm sure folks are gearing up for the extra time off and planning trips to the lake and weekend warrior projects etc. I, myself, am probably going to finally be finishing a rebuild of the deck here at home. Believe me it needs it, can't even walk on a lot of it any more. And before I let it slide by, from all of us here - Thanks to all the past and present military service men and women who have and still do serve the country. Stay strong out there.

I'll probably be playing a video game or two as well in my free time, and speaking of that - I finally got my rambling opinion video up on the LP channel for Rage 2. Click on this word if you'd like to watch that. Keep in mind it is a rambling video so my commentary is sort of spotty. But you'll get my point I think.

Hey, did you guys this silly black and white hand held console from Panic? Read more

Rage 2 – I Suppose So – A Review From Scroo

So I'm actually one of the rare few who actually liked the first Rage. It had it's issues, yes, but it still told an okay story and had a fairly cool premise. When I saw Rage 2 in the works I was kind of excited. I tried not to get too hyped but it stayed with me and I picked it up very quickly after release. I decided I'd make a first impression video for the LP channel and it's since turned into more of an opinion, or postmortem video. Keep an eye on the channel if you're interested in seeing it. It may still be a little while before it goes up. As for this written review, stay with me and I'll tell you my thoughts on Rage 2. Read more

Back in [WRUP]

There's me at the Gravity Bar on top of the Guinness Storehouse

What's up everyone? It's me, Scrooloose and I'm back. I took a trip to Ireland and it was epic. My sister treated us to this trip as a christmas gift and we had a great time walking around Dublin drinking loads of beer and driving through the country side seeing the history of the place (not at the same time of course). There were museums and parks and castles and ancient monastic cities and everyone we met were the friendliest people you can imagine. And of course the Guinness Storehouse. It was also great to go because my family, like lots of Americans, are Irish by heritage. I highly recommend taking a trip there if you've never been, treat yourself because it's in amazing place to be.

Now, to the reason we have WRUP... games. I've picked up Rage 2 myself since being home and it's okay. I'm working slowly on a first impressions video, been hard to get it recorded and rendered with all that's been happening since being home so be patient with me please. I know it's been ages since we've had any content go up on the Youtubes. Have you guys seen, A Plague Tale: Innocence? What a great looking stealth title that is. I'm hearing nothing but good things and I really want to check it out. Let us know if you've played it yet and what your thoughts are. Same goes for anything you may have played, as always. I also finally got a start on the newest Grim Dawn expansion, Forgotten Gods. As usual, Crate seem to have knocked it out of the park with their typically deep lore and a whole new experience with tons of new items and quests and so on. Read more

The SEGA Saturn: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

The Sega Saturn was an important chapter in the history of game consoles, mostly for not doing much of anything right. Though it was a technically sound piece of hardware that theoretically should (and could) have gone toe to toe with Sony's disruptive PlayStation, a series of monumental errors on the part of Sega caused the Saturn to wither and die a tragic and somewhat untimely death at retail. Since that time, it has been all but forgotten by the majority of gaming culture but it's worth remembering for the lessons that can be learned from its various associated blunders, as well as for the few things the console did have going for it.

Sega's failures with the Saturn were manifold and they arguably began before the system was even conceived of. In the early part of the '90s, in order to compete with NEC's recently released TurboGrafx CD (as well as Nintendo's rumored upcoming Super Nintendo CD add-on (which is what essentially went on to become the PlayStation) Sega decided to develop and release their own CD drive for their popular Genesis console. Later, Sega would also release an additional, more powerful, cartridge-based add-on for the Genesis - the 32X. Both of these peripherals were largely over-priced failures that mainly served to fragment and frustrate Sega's previously growing fan base.

Despite the fact that backwards compatibility has never been much of an industry standard, the lack of it in the Saturn's case certainly didn't win it any supporters. Sega's newest console included a CD drive and a cartridge slot, yet could play neither Sega CD discs, nor any of the two previous generations worth of Master System, Genesis, or 32X cartridges. Adding insult to injury, the Saturn was announced at a price point of $399, $100 more than Sony's PlayStation. Many fans balked at the prospect of having to pay more for Sega's hardware, after having already shelled out for supefluous add-ons and media that were no longer being supported.

Finally, Sega had initially indicated that the Saturn would launch on Satur[n]day, September 2nd, 1995. However, they decided to be clever and try to get a jump on the competition. At the (very first) Electronic Entertainment Expo on May 11th of that year, they surprised everyone by announcing that it was already available, that very day, at select stores. Unfortunately, the plan backfired. Key retailers that were not let in on the surprise were more than a little upset with Sega. One store chain even responded by dropping Sega's wares altogether. To make matters worse, most of the launch games were still scheduled for release in September, leaving the Saturn with few titles to choose from during the first several months of its life. By the time the PlayStation was released, not a great deal of gamers had opted to pick up a Saturn and Sony's console quickly and easily surpassed the sales of Sega's offering.

Sega may have inadvertently sealed the Saturn's fate before (and even on) the date it came out, but that doesn't mean the console was totally worthless. To the Sega loyalists who were still willing to buy one when it launched, or the more cost-conscious fans who waited for the price reductions that followed soon after, the Saturn was still the best place to play fantastic new titles that could only be found in the arcades (if anywhere else). The games are the biggest reason why, despite all of its numerous failings, the Saturn is still viewed with a modicum of respect, and a good bit of nostalgia in certain circles. So, as a way to honor it on its 24th birthday today, we would like to present you with 12 such examples of the Sega Saturn's said sole saving grace.

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