Monday, November 20, 2023

Dai Yakyuu! - The 8-bit Explosion of Japanese Baseball Video Games

Baseball & Famista '94

Baseball (Yakyuu) has had a long history in Japan. Imported from the United States before World War II, Japan built leagues and fielded players that have maintained the popularity of the sport more or less ever since. When video games became accessible to the Japanese in the late 1970s, they tried to mimic a wide range of human competitive activities, not unlike American consoles. Judging by the Famicom's game library, baseball would have been the most popular sport played in Japan by far. Dozens of baseball games were released during the decade of the Famicom's active commercial development, let's take a look at some games and some trends in these titles.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Doctor Who DVD and Blu-ray Frame Rate & Resolution Issues

Doctor Who has had a very lengthy history on optical media.  From the first release of The Five Doctors in 1999 to Series 13 2022 Specials, many, many discs have been stamped of Doctor Who-related content. Not all discs have been error free, and some errors have come down to more subtle issues than a missing shot or misspelt credit.  Frame rate and resolution issues tend to plague the line, and these will be the focus of this blog entry.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

TMNT and Other Strangeness - Revival of the Mutant Animal RPG

On October 31 of this year (2023) Palladium Books announced a Kickstarter for a new edition of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-based role playing game "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness". The Kickstarter campaign was well-timed and shrewdly presented, tapping on a vein of nostalgia that spans at least three generations. The campaign hit a home run, reaching a fairly-modest $250,000 funding goal in four hours and has almost tripled that fundraising as of this writing. Let's take a look at what the original RPG was like and what we might expect from a new revision of the campaign setting.