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Comedian Adam Blank and his guests reminisce about their favourite retro video games


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**Game Talk starts around 18:40**

I have no idea where Metal Gear Solid 2 sits in the history books of gaming. Is a Playstation 2 classic? Forgotten gem? Is it the worst game in the Metal Gear series? The best? Overrated? Underrated? If you look it up online, you'll find every single one of these opinion floating around. 

What do I think? You'll have to listen to the show to find out. Nice try. 

I associate this game almost as much as any other with the PS2. It was one of the first games I remember buying for the second Sony console, and man oh man was I excited to get my hands on it. After playing (and quite enjoying) the original Metal Gear Solid, I couldn't wait to play more. The hype was real, but what was one of the most anticipated games of all-time became one of the most controversial once it got released into the wild. People would debate the creative decisions Kojima and friends made for years to come. 

What couldn't be debated was the games sales numbers. MGS 2 ended up selling over 7 MILLION copies. We got Metal Gear Solid V recently, and the Metal Gear games have sold a combined 49 million units. So the Metal Gear series is alive and well. But there are gamers out there that abandoned the series at this title. Was I one of them? Was my guest Bradley McCue? Did we like Raiden? What about Snake?

Does this game suck?? No, it doesn't. But do we like it? Have a listen and find out. 

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**Game talk starts at 13:50**

I can't believe it took us 72 episodes of the show to cover Mario Kart 64. I mean, it's Mario Kart freaking 64! If you're listening to this show, you've played this game. 

I'm a Nintendo fanboy through and through, but the Nintendo 64 is admittedly, not one of my favourite systems. I don't think games from the 64/Playstation era have aged particularly well, and a majority of them just irritate me when I try to play them today. But not this game. The memories I (and I'm sure most of you) have of multi-player MK64 is the stuff gaming nostalgia is made of. 

Super Mario Kart was fun, but Mario Kart 64 is the reason this franchise is still so massive over twenty years later. The tracks are bigger, the characters are cooler (Wario!!!!!!), Battle Mode is better, and you could play with four players at once. Just that last fact rocked my socks. This game featured some insane tracks; Toad's Turnpike is still to this day one of my favourites in Mario Kart history. Add in Wario and the fact that you could listen to Toad yell "Wooo hooooo!!", and it was the perfect package. 

I legit smile just thinking about all the good times we had playing this game when we were kids. I would (and hopefully will) buy a Nintendo 64 Classic someday just for this game. Forget your Ocarina of Times and Super Mario 64's; Mario Kart 64 is the king. I love this game. So does my pal Miklos. Have a listen and let us remind you why you probably do too. 

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** Game talk starts around 14:44**

The original NES controller was a brick. It was practically indestructible. Need proof? Ask anyone that played Ninja Gaiden back in the day. 

This game was designed to make you want to throw your controller against the wall. You would die and start over, and over, and over, and every time you did, you knew you would inevitably lose and slam your controller against something else. You'd swear (quietly), maybe walk away for a couple hours. But you always came back. And that's the great thing about Ninja Gaiden. Despite it's ridiculous difficulty and rage inducing mechanics, it was always fun to play. It might be the "best bad game" on the NES. 

(And to be clear, I don't think it's "bad" necessarily. I just think it's too hard. Call me a bitch, I don't care.)

The enemies re-spawn if you so much as think about turning around after you kill them. They come out of nowhere, and quite often they show up where you need to land after a precise jump. They can be impossible to avoid. Which leads into the second problem. Every time they touch you, you bounce back half way across the fucking screen. If there's a pit behind you, landing in it is a guarantee. Or you'll bounce into another that just re-spawned, and they'll bounce you into the pit. And then you'll start over, and you'll know it's coming, but they'll get you again. And then you'll finally get by them only to die because you dropped down to the next screen instead of taking the ladder. And that'll be your final life, and you'll start over and bounce into a pit again and WHAM!!!

That was your controller hitting the wall.

This game drives me insane. But I can't stop playing it. My buddy and guest Bradley McCue knows the feeling. We'll tell you all about it on this week's podcast. Enjoy!

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**Game Talk starts at 16:05**

Oh Ghostbusters...

I love this damned franchise. Ghostbusters and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were my life as a kid. I had the action figures, movies, cartoons, clothes, books, toys, halloween costumes, and of course, video games. This was one of the games I rented over and over again. Pretty well every time my brother and I convinced our Mom to let us rent games for the weekend, Ghostbusters found it's way into the pile. We refused to admit it wasn't good. 

Well, I'm thirty-five now. And it's time to face the music. The horribly repetitive 8-bit music. Ghostbusters on the NES is not a good video game. I'm sorry, Mr. Aykroyd...

(Many people have said that versions of this game on other consoles, such as Atari, Commodore 64 and Master System are a little better. I've never played any of them, so we're sticking to the NES version.)

I actually beat this game for the first time this week, prepping for this podcast. No cheat codes, turbo controllers, nothing. Just a little patience. OK, a lot of patience. The entire game is one boring grind to save money to buy gear  to beat a boring level where you do nothing but climb 23 flights of stairs. Then you get one fun boss fight, and then the most infamous end screen in gaming history. 

If you just read that and thought, "why the hell would anyone play this??", you get it. We don't know why we played it. But a lot of us did...

I wanted to cover a scary game for Halloween, and seeing as this is a nostalgia podcast, I saw this week as a perfect opportunity to review not only a treasured game from my childhood, but a "scary" game as well. The ghosts won't scare you in this game, but it'll still give you nightmares. 

I'm solo this week, and I hope enjoy this trip down memory lane as we look back at the Walter Peck of NES games; Ghostbusters

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**Game Talk starts at 14:10**

Over the last 69 (nice) episodes of this podcast, we've stumbled across a couple forgotten franchises, and it's really made me sad that they seem like they're just destined to wallow in the obscurity that is video game history for the rest of time. Franchises like BattleToads, Earthworm Jim, and now, Twisted Metal.

When I think OG Playstation, I think of the heavy hitters like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. But I also think of the Twisted Metal series. I really liked these games. My fondest multiplayer experiences with Sony's little grey box were with wrestling games and Twisted Metal. They're the reason I have Rob Zombie music on my phone to this day, and for my money, Twisted Metal Black is still one of the best games on the Playstation 2. 

And dammit, these games were cool. Twisted Metal was the first game I played on my Playstation that really made it feel like a more "grown up" console, compared to my beloved Nintendo 64. It was the first system I bought with my own money, the first non-Nintendo console I ever owned, and Sweet Tooth and friends really made me feel like I hadn't wasted my cash. 

We approached this episode the same way we tackled the original Tony Hawk games. I don't feel like there's enough meat on the bone to give each of the original 4 titles it's own episode, so we're just looking back the original quartet as a whole. My buddy Andre likes these games as much as I do, and we had a hell of a time cracking open a cold bottle of nostalgia this week. Enjoy the show!

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**Game talk starts at 12:40**
I can't believe how many people played this game back in the day. It's awesome, but it's also kinda nerdy, even by video game standards. It's slow, quiet, there's no bad guys (except the ridiculous crime rate that will inevitably plague your city). It doesn't seem like a game kids would be interested in. But man oh man, we were. 
Almost everyone I knew that had an SNES had Sim City. The fact that it was a launch title for the Super Nintendo probably helps, because after Super Mario World, there weren't too many options. Sim City was my first trip into the simulation/city planning genre of video games, and I loved it. I played the hell out of this game. My brother and I would spend hours just staring at the TV, not even doing anything because we were out of money and waiting on our taxes to come through, and it was still a blast. 
Sim City is responsible for sparking my love of this genre of video game, and it's funny because I still adore them today, but I rarely play them. As an adult in a fast moving adult world, I rarely have the time to just sit down and spend an hour designing a virtual city anymore. These types of games are endless, and when I get a gaming session in these days, I feel like I have to get closer to the end of a game to enjoy myself. Which is stupid. This game is fun, and that's all gaming should be. I wish Nintendo would re-release this game somewhere so we could dink around with it again...
It would be perfect on the Switch, in case you're reading this, Nintendo. PERFECT.
Anyway, Sim City is rad. My guest David Rae agrees. We didn't expect this episode to be as long as it was, but once we get rambling about sky-high crime rates, people whining about their taxes, and Bowser attacks, we couldn't stop. Enjoy this week's show!
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**Game Talk starts at approx. 17:20**

We all know that Nintendo has this weird hobby of taking their phenomenal catalog of older games and making it as hard as humanly possible to play them. That's precisely what they've done with Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. It's available on the Gamecube, if you buy a Gamecube, a memory card, and a copy of the game somewhere (which isn't cheap these days). It's also available on...oh wait, that's it. 

Much like many of the other great Gamecube titles, TTYD has been left in the past. And that really sucks, because this game is so, so good. The original Paper Mario (Nintendo 64) was a great concept. This game takes it's predecessor's charm, battle mechanics, gameplay and obviously it's graphics, and polishes them even more. It's plagued by a little more backtracking than I would like to see, but that's a minor hiccup in an otherwise brilliant game. 

You obviously control Mario - er, Paper Mario - and you're on a mission to collect the seven stars that control the seal on the thousand year door. You also have to save the Princess again (surprise). Bowser keeps showing up, too,  but he's the comic relief this time around instead of the villain, and he's legitimately funny in this game. You make friends with a bunch of odd characters, including a shy Koopa Troopa, a know-it-all Goomba, and an old Bob-omb pirate, and it's the way they change not only your battle strategy, but the areas of the over-world you can access that keep the game moving. This game has hints of Metroid-Vania in it, and that's usually all it takes to hook me. 

I originally was going to break down the combat and villains, too, but then you'd have no reason to listen to the episode. Longtime show supporter, first time guest Bradley McCue joins me this week, and we set a new Remember The Game? record for episode length this time around. There's a lot to talk about here, so quit reading and get listening!

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**Game talk starts at 14:05**

Whenever I talk a Genesis game on the show, I feel like I'm doing my part to help re-build the bridge that Nintendo and Sega kids burned down in the 90's. And honestly, I'm really enjoying most of these Sega games. It's like discovering a treasure trove full of retro games that I've had a chance to play, and it's been really fun to try some of the games Genesis kids grew up obsessing over and considering the best that their console of choice had to offer. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is at the top of that list. 
I've always been torn on Sonic The Hedgehog. I love the character, the universe, the look. I collected the comic books, watched the cartoon show (Steve Urkel voiced Sonic, if you didn't know!), but I never got super into the games. Primarily because I didn't have a ton of access to them, but also because I just wasn't sure if I thought they were fun. The speed concept was cool, but I found it semi-gamebreaking. You want to go fast, but when you are you don't always have time to react when an enemy pops up. If you go slow, you have time to deal with the bad guys, but it feels like you're playing wrong. I always thought maybe I just didn't understand how to play Sonic.
Well, I played quite a bit of Sonic 2 on the Sega Classic Collection package that came out a couple years ago, and it was the first game I jumped into when I hooked up my Sega Genesis Mini. Not necessarily for this podcast, either. I just loved the graphics, liked the music, and found myself wanting to play it over and over again. And really, that's the best thing you can say about a video game, isn't it? Much like Super Mario World, Link To The Past, and Donkey Kong Country, I just find myself never getting sick of playing Sonic The Hedgehog 2. It's just...fun!
My buddy Miklos thinks so, too. He's one of the biggest Sega fans I know, and this week, we're continuing to tear down the Console Wars wall by talking about Sega's poster child. Everyone should play Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and we'll tell you why on episode 66 of Remember The Game? Enjoy!
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**Review starts at 14:05**

If you didn't grow up playing the Sega Genesis, is the new mini adaption of it worth your money? That's the question I set out to answer on this week's podcast. 
Not only did I not own a Sega Genesis, I hardly knew anyone that did. I honestly didn't even realize Sega's little Sonic Station was as popular as it was until I was an adult and started to get into game collecting. I've played the original 3 Sonic games, a little NHL, and some Lion King. When Sega announced the Genesis Mini, I was intrigued. This could be my chance to play the few Sega games I remember from my childhood, right?
Wrong. Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and the Lion King aren't on it. Neither is a single sports game. Unlike the SNES Classic, most of the games we associate closest with the Genesis didn't make it into it's miniature counterpart. If you grew up loving the Genesis, and you know all about their other titles, like Phantasy Star IV, Shining Force, Ecco the Dolphin, and Gunstar Heroes, then I could understand why this thing would have you excited. But what if you didn't? 
Are these games worth playing in 2019 if they don't trigger those warm and fuzzy nostalgic feelings? Is the Sega Genesis Mini Sega's answer to the SNES Classic? Or is it another Playstation Classic? *shudder* Should you spend your hard earned money on this thing? Have a listen and I'll tell you.
I'm solo this week for the first time in the history of the podcast, and I actually did some homework this week as well. I feel I've put together a very entertaining, thorough, and honest review of the Sega Genesis Mini from the viewpoint of someone that grew up considering the Sonic Squad to be the enemy. I'm proud of this week's episode, and I hope you enjoy it. 
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** Game talk starts at 15:30**

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Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Shinobi III moving forward, that title is too long) is what retro gaming is all about. The graphics, the music, the gameplay, the difficulty. It nails it. I played this for the first time in my life almost 26 years after it released, and if you told me it was a retro-inspired indie title that just came out this year, I'd believe you.

It seems to me like Shinobi was Sega's answer to Nintendo's Ninja Gaiden series. You play as a bad-ass ninja, running from left to right, wall jumping and killing bad guys. You die a lot. But admittedly, I never really felt like the deaths were cheap. Ninja Gaiden has caused a few controller throws in it's time, but I don't know if Shinobi III has. The game is hard as fuck, but there weren't too many instances where I felt my deaths were cheap. It nails, for better or worse, that classic 90's "play it over and over until you can beat it" model.

When I think of the Sega Genesis, I think of Sonic, sports games, and Disney. I think most Nintendo kids feel the same way. But that little black box has some phenomenal games in it's library that I feel have been passed over undeservedly. This game is one of them. I had a fucking...blast...playing through this game on my Switch, and I'm pretty excited to talk about it on this week's podcast. If you've never played it, give this episode a listen. We may just convince you.

I say "we", because as always I'm joined by a fellow nerd. This week, my buddy Miklos returns to the show. You may remember him from our "Sega vs Nintendo" and "Shining Force" episodes. Mik was a die-hard Sega kid, and I owe him a great deal for helping to open my eyes and show me that the Genesis had more games than just crappy over-rated platforms about a little blue rat. (I kid, I kid...mostly). Enjoy the podcast!

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