Author: AJ Amideo

I've been gaming pretty much since I was old enough to hold a controller. I've always been a console guy but I've recently kind of shifted over to Steam (though I'm still not giving up the controller). I'm also absolutely obsessed with arcades.

Hot as WRUP

What's up, Twinstiq folks? Happy August! Here in the northern hemisphere, we are now entering the hottest month of the year, and thanks to global warming, this August will likely be one of the hottest on record. Again. Though I suppose Covid-19 is giving most people a reason not to venture out too much at the moment. So...yay for that, I guess?

Either way, stay safe out there. What is everyone playing this weekend?

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AJ’s (Non-)E3 2020 Roundup

The Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but typical. With nearly every major public event cancelled, it's no surprise that E3 would be among the casualties. Yet, despite there not being an actual Electronic Entertainment Expo this year, that didn't stop the big players from still making their obligatory mid-year gaming announcements. So, E3 or no, I've still got plenty of great information to round up for you.

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What the Actual WRUP!?!

Hello again friends. It's me, AJ. You haven't heard from me since way back in mid-February, when this crazy coronavirus pandemic was only just getting started. You might have thought it would have largely subsided by mid-July; and it actually has, in many parts of the world. But here in the States, where I am, Covid-19 is currently raging out of control like a California wildfire.
 
So what do those other countries have that we don't?  The one thing that truly matters during any large-scale crisis - - competent leadership. First the orange imbecile refused to defer to the actual experts on the matter, then he openly opposed the most basic of safety measures, such as simply wearing a mask out in public, and now he is even going so far as to try and control the flow of information about how many cases there are. At this rate things will only get far worse before they begin to get any better. This is why voting matters, people. Please, please remember to always exercise your right.
 
But enough about that. Let's remember why we come here - - to talk about games. Specifically, what we are all playing this weekend...

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of the 2010s

With the end of 2019, the 2010s also finally came to a close. And now that I've looked back on all the great games of 2019, it's time to take a look back at the decade as a whole and talk about the titles that really stood out as the very best of the best. It may have been a long 10 years, with lots of changes in the gaming world, but it was chock full of gaming experiences that were absolutely second to none. While it may have pained me to narrow so many fantastic games down to only a dozen, I have done exactly that, just for you. Here are my picks for the 12 best games of the 2010s:

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#4if

AJ’s 4 In February: Cinque di Febbraio

Well, January's over which means its time for 4 in February again. I'm sure you all know the drill - - pick any 4 games you wish and complete them before the month is out. Simple, right? Well, not as simple as you might expect. I personally haven't been able to do it yet, in four attempts. And I doubt this fifth year will be much different.

I've still gotta try, though. Nobody likes a quitter, right? Anyway, this year being a leap year means I get a whole extra day in which to do it! Will it make the difference? Maybe. It all depends on the games. So let's take a look at what I'll be playing this year.

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AJ’s Upcoming Gaming Releases Roundup – 2020 Edition

Now that my Games of the Year list is behind me, I can start looking forward to this year. There are a lot of exciting new offerings on the horizon for 2020, some of which will begin releasing fairly soon. A few upcoming titles, however, have already been delayed and may, perhaps be delayed further. But regardless of when they all arrive, this should still certainly be a very entertaining year. As per my usual MO (in case you hadn't caught on yet), I've decided to lay out the top 12 highlights, along with the most current release information I have. Enjoy. Read more

AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2019

Happy 2020! It's a new year once again (and a new decade as well), and that means it's time for another round-up of the best games from the previous 12 months. 2019 was another amazing 365 days of great games to play. So many great games, in fact, that narrowing down my choices to merely a select 12 proved particularly difficult this time around. In the end though, I was able to get it done, and now feel sufficiently confident in my selections. I hope you will too. So without further ado, I humbly present, my picks for the 12 best games of 2019.

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Using the Force: 6 Of My Favorite Star Wars Games

Well, it may have started a long time ago, in this very same galaxy that we are in, but the final episode of the epic, 42-years-in-the-making, Star Wars nonology finally releases today. To celebrate this historic occasion in popular culture, I've decided to take a look back at a handful of games that have made the jump from that universe since then. While there are dozens of releases I could consider from the past four decades, I've decided to narrow it down to just a few that I have particularly enjoyed and/or played the most over that time frame. So, without further ado, I humbly present to you, 6 of my very favorite Star Wars games.

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Happy Hallowrup!

Happy Halloween Twinstiqers! Well, maybe not just yet but there is less than a week to go now! Though personally, I like to get in the spirit all month long. Thankfully, that's been relatively easy this year thanks to the the new movie Zombieland: Double Tap, and new game (re-)releases such as Ghostbusters, Vs Castlevania, and MediEvil.

Don't feel like you have to spend a lot of scratch to enjoy the season though. Sometimes grabbing a candy bar and some popcorn and just sitting down to watch a favorite scary movie works just as well. Whatever you like to do, I hope you've been getting as much enjoyment out of this October as I have. And even if not, just remember that you've still got a few days left to get in on the fun!

What's everybody playing this weekend?

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The Sony PlayStation: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

Well, it's September 9th, 2019, which means its time for another 12/12 console anniversary. Yes, today makes 24 years since Sony's very first PlayStation console was first released in North America. Though Sega and Nintendo pretty much owned the home console landscape at the time they decided to enter the frey, a combination of smart business decisions and key partnerships, in addition to some pretty massive missteps by the competition helped Sony to quickly become the dominant force in the industry. A position they have continued to enjoy for the majority of their console-making career.

​Sony first began their foray into game consoles in the late 1980s when they entered into a partnership with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM add-on called the Play Station for the upcoming Super Nintendo console. The partnership was rocky though, particularly when Nintendo went behind their back to form another partnership with Sony's competitor Philips. At one point Sony even approached Sega with a proposal to a similar partnership to the one they had with Nintendo, but Sega, unfortunately, declined. Eventually, Sony decided to abandon the project altogether in favor of creating their very own gaming system for the next console generation. This, of course, is what would go on to become the PlayStation.

After settling on engineering the console to specialize in handling three-dimensional polygonal graphics, Sony then had to figure out how to get games made for its system. For this, they mainly relied on securing hundreds of deals for third-party games, both exclusive and multi-platform. In addition, they also acquired the British video game company Psygnosis which, along with creating the fantastic wipEout series for them (one particularly excellent entry of which appears on our list below), also had the unintended benefit of resulting in a more economical, dedicated game development system for their new console.

Finally, Sony needed to figure out how to get a jump on the already long-established competition. They accomplished this in two ways. With Nintendo, they primarily did this simply by beating them to market, since their next generation Nintendo 64 console wasn't even ready for release until the following year. And with Sega, they simply found a way to capitalize on their blunders, particularly by undercutting them on pricing. By selling the PlayStation for $100 less than Sega's Saturn, they made it a lot more attractive to otherwise undecided console shoppers who couldn't quite see the additional cost benefit of Sega's offering.

Even with a leg up though, without the right games, the PlayStation brand wouldn't have lasted for very long. But great games are something that every PlayStation console has always had in spades. Read on for our list of 12 of the best ones the original PlayStation had to offer.

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