Category : General

Hello fellow gamers! When I last posted to you all, I was deep in the throws of an obsession with Stardew Valley. I managed to make it through one complete play through, reaching the 3 years of game time where your grandfather’s ghost returns to tell you how well you did (or didn’t do). I did quite well and made my little farm quite successful.

Shortly after completing that, my wonderful Xbox Game Pass suggested I play a game called “My Time at Portia” and it has now become my obsession. Why has Portia now become so time consuming? Well, it is VERY similar to Stardew Valley but with far better graphics. If you have played modern games, you likely have heard of the smash hit “Animal Crossing.” Although the company that wrote Portia is not the same as Animal Crossing, the art style is very similar which means the world and its inhabitants are beautifully rendered in a light and almost pastel world.

So what makes the game different? Well, instead of being a farmer as you are in Stardew Valley, MTAP focuses on your character being a ‘builder’ in the town. You are called upon to take over your father’s old workshop (sound similar?) and take your place as one of the town’s foremost builders. People start out by requesting simple things such as fishing rods and tables but eventually become as complicated as an entire lighthouse, a series of wind turbines, and many other intricate things.

There are some other similarities that are worth noting. First, you don’t escape the ‘mining’ aspect of Stardew because the world of MTAP features several ‘ruins’ that open up as you play the game more. The first ruins are basically dirt pits that you use your trusty pickaxe to break through and try to find ‘artifacts’ (which are basically things from our modern world that have been lost to time) as well as some unusual materials for building things such as engines, pipes, valves, and springs. Some of these ruins feature monsters you must battle to make your way through.

Also, you can choose any of a number of eligible bachelorettes/bachelors from the town to court. But instead of showering them with gifts (as is the practice in Stardew), you actually can have ‘dates’ that start out as play dates and eventually grow into actual dates. The more time you spend with the people you are interested in, the more special quests show up that adds some character development to the potentials. Much like in Stardew, your partner will eventually move into your house (if you court them long enough) and you will see them every day. Some of them will help you with your work, provide you food or gifts, or just talk to you in the morning.

There are some notable frustrations with MTAP such as the lack of character appearance changes (they will literally wear their daily clothes to the wedding and so will their partner), limited capacity for your own character’s growth (outside of completing the quests in the game to learn more about your place in the world), and a sense of repetition. Yes, you get to build specialized things to complete the main game (and some side) quests but beyond that, most of what you are asked to build is mind-numbingly repetitive (Oh great, the school needs a new bookcase! I’ve only made 40 of them already for the school).

At this point, I am almost done with the end game quests so you can safely say I will “beat” it soon. However, much like Stardew, once the main quest line is over, I can still continue to work on projects for the townspeople and have some post-end quests to finish. So if you don’t hear from me for a bit, it’s likely because I am elsewhere engrossed in a game.

Although I DID have a creative flourish recently and used it to (among other things) remix a few favorite video game tracks from my youth. If you’d like to see them, you can follow the links below:

  • Corridors – Remix of a famous track from Chrono Trigger.
  • Luna’s Passage – Remix of “Lunar Whale” (or “Big Whale”) airship from my favorite game of all time – Final Fantasy IV

Stardew Valley Has Taken Over My Life

Hello all! If you haven’t seen anything on here in a while, don’t worry, that was the expected result. I have a few reasons for this. The first reason is that I decided to stop doing streams for awhile because I was finding that I didn’t enjoy it as much because I kept trying to find games that I thought people would WANT to watch streams of rather than focus on games that I wanted to play. When it becomes more of a chore, it’s simply not worth it. Besides, I rarely got more than 1-3 viewers on a live stream.

The second reason is because… Stardew Valley Has TAKEN OVER MY LIFE. I saw this game on a few streams I watch but had never tried it. It reminded me a LOT of an SNES game called “Harvest Moon” that I used to play when I was younger. As it turns out, the game’s creator was inspired by Harvest Moon and wanted to remake it while also learning how to program on his own. The result was AMAZING! In fact, the game is SO GOOD that the original creator of Harvest Moon games actually said that the game is what he wished his games would be.

If you aren’t familiar with the Harvest Moon games (Now called “Touch of Nature”, I think). The game I played was on the SNES and you are a farmer. Yup, you plant crops, water them, harvest them, and sell them. You can later raise livestock, milk cows, get eggs from chickens, etc. There are a few little celebrations in the game and you can spend time with various NPCs, marry them, and have children. That’s basically the game in a nutshell, no real end goal other than to make your farm successful and after 3 years, your parents will visit and tell you how you did.

Stardew Valley takes all of these things and puts them on steroids. You have over 12 NPCs that you can date and marry (Male and Female), not to mention over 15 additional NPCs that are not open for marriage but that you can do various things to build their trust and become their friends. The game features an huge catalog of crops you can plant based on the season, it includes chickens but also adds ducks, roosters, and rabbits in your coop. In your barn, you can get cows, goats, pigs, and bulls. But oh no, it doesn’t stop there! You can create artisan products (such as making milk into cheese, eggs into mayo, fruits into jellies and wines, and many others). The game includes a crafting component where you can take raw things you find in the game world and turn them into everything from furniture to other artisan tools (preserve jars for jelly, kegs for wine/beer, spinning wheel to make cloth from raw materials).

The fact that the creator of Stardew Valley thought so hard about this is pretty surprising but even more surprising is how much extra material he added. There is a mine that you can get access to after a few in-game days where you can mine for stone, gemstones, and other natural resources. This mine goes very deep, well over 100+ levels and includes monsters of various difficulties and the deeper you go, the more amazing the goodies you can find and the more dangerous it gets. There is also a quarry that is opened later with some high level minerals that you normally would have to go deep into the mines to acquire. There is also a community center which includes an entire story line related to forest spirits that have taken it over and you can bring them various crops, foraged items, artisan items, fish, and so many other things in what are called “bundles”. With each bundle you complete, the spirits give you special items and if you complete an entire set of bundles, you unlock a “room” in the community center and get a BIG win (usually things that open an entire new area of the map).

As you can easily tell, the combinations of things you can do in this game are nearly endless so there is a lot of replay value because you can pick to focus more on crops or on ranching, more on mining or fishing, etc. I already have three different games going on with three different characters and three different farm types. So that’s where my life has been going as of lately. If you don’t see me surfacing for a while, that’s why.

After taking a long break from streaming to handle some personal stuff, I finally got back into streaming a few days ago. I first decided to dust off a Ninja Gaiden S2, a game I had downloaded to do a blind play on a few weeks ago, and give it a go. After the initial confusion that always comes with a blind play (controls, story format, etc.) I started to get the hang of it. That is… until I faced the dogs with katanas. But that’s another story altogether! Please enjoy this blind playthrough from my Twitch channel!

Wow! A Year of Silence

Hello RGB fans! Wow, I can’t believe that the last time I posted here was over a year ago. Shows you how good I am at being a blogger (read “not good at all”). I have been gaming just as much but have not had much worth posting about. Recently, however, things have happened that warrant a post. I’ve moved!

You see, I spent the greater part of my life living in the OKC metro area, 15 years to be precise. There were good times and bad times, and I really did learn a lot about life as I matured there. It’s where my wife and I got married, it’s where we almost got divorced, it’s where we became parents – 5 times, it’s where I received my best paying jobs and where I was unceremoniously released from a company that did a major reduction in force (many years ago), it was even the place that I held my father’s hand as he died. But, as the old adage says, “the only thing that is constant in life is change”.

After working for a managerial role for a large university for 3 years, I started to become disillusioned with the place I called home. I watched as the state continued to shrink the funds for education in an already tight budget and witnessed the school in the city where my wife and I had our own dream home be reduced to 4 day school week, once again deny my special needs son the paraprofessional he desperately needed. I saw that my employer was not having any bigger budgets soon so my project would continue to be grossly underfunded and my salary (and the salaries of my staff) continue to stay flat. I started to look for new positions but found that I was making about as much as someone in my career could make if they remained in Oklahoma as no other positions had even comparable salaries. I started to look beyond the borders of my beloved home state and found a few. I was almost given a position in the Western Georgia/Eastern Alabama area. I had been pushed very high up the chain for a position in Pittsburgh. I had been considered for a position in Chicago. I had been considered for a position in Arizona, and even Austin, TX. However, the company that pursued me most actively was one in the Kansas City, MO area. Only 5 hours away from Oklahoma City.

After a few weeks of intense interviews, I decided that the position was the best I could get for the distance I needed to travel. Not to mention, it paid a pretty penny higher than my current role without the stress of the managerial role. My wife and I discussed it, agreed, and everything changed.

We now live in an affluent suburb of KCMO. I have gigabit internet. I have 1/3 of a basement for an office/studio/man cave. My children are in one of the top school districts in the entire USA (and the top one in this area), and we have a whole new city to explore. I wish I could say it has all been easy going but it has not. However, the tide has turned and things are looking good (for now at least). As my family and I get unpacked, organized, and find our rhythm in this new place, I hope to get more retro stuff out.

Some plans:

  • I’m playing Castlevania Symphony of the Night: XBox version so I’ll write a review of it
  • I’ve watched several “Let’s Play” videos on YouTube and may write my own soon enough
  • I am teaching my children how to play the old school games via emulators and my oldest already seems to have quite a flair for getting good at retro games

I also, have stepped down from teaching, at least for a bit. So that means I hope to have more time for my main job and of course… more time for gaming.

Marking off another success in gaming

Hello fans, I know it’s been a long time since I have posted any material. Unfortunately it will continue to be that way for some time. I am working two full time jobs to help pay down debt, raising 5 kids, and only have a tiny speck of time to do much gaming these days. However, I am STILL gaming some, just not anything truly Retro.

What little video game time I have for the last several months, has been spent playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. I know, it’s an MMO and updated recently so it’s not technically retro either. Hence why I have not had much to say on it. I will say that one of the things I really admire about this game is that each individual class on each side (Republic and Sith) have VERY distinct story lines and the choices you make during those story lines can greatly impact what happens. The game is also fully voice acted… that means that EVERY interaction from the most insignificant person all the way up to endgame content is 100% voice acted and you only have to read the text if they are speaking in another language (which does happen). So far, I have a number of characters that I have created. My first is a Bounty Hunter (Sith) who I played as a truly neutral PC, he has just the same amount of dark side points and light side points (or very close). My second was a Republic Trooper (Republic) who is literally a goody two shoes and I have NEVER picked the dark side choice EVER. Then I have my Sith Warrior who’s…well… all dark side and it shows.

In case you don’t know, you reach a certain point (always in the ‘intro world’) where you have a choice to make in a conversation that can either grant you Dark Points or Light Points. Maybe the choice is to take an NPC hostage or to kill them; in that case, if you take them hostage you get light side points (LS) and if you chose to kill them, you get dark side points (DS). The more you pick one side or the other, the more your character leans towards a LS or DS alignment and, the more…well… unique some answers get. One of my main characters is a DS Sith Marauder (Advanced class of the Sith Warrior) meaning they are a warrior-type character with dual lightsabers. I decided to literally make this character evil as can be and I RARELY pick the LS option if ever. Early, one when asked to take a quest to annihilate a camp of enemies, I picked the “I will kill them all” option and my character says “There won’t be a heart left beating.” But after a number of times of picking this, she became..well.. to use the Doctor Who term… bananas. When I picked a similar answer later, she actually said “I can’t wait to gut them and dance in their entrails.” Yeah… she’s pretty cold-hearted. LOL.

My First In-Game Trophy

Anyway, I finally got my original character, Kayserento Karanthos, the bounty hunter (Officially Mercenary as an advanced class) to level 65 and through all of the original game content (there have been about 4 expansions since the game was released). He ended up being excessively wealth (over 2.5MIL credits since he always got lots of money and rarely spent it). He also was a true neutral but has leaned more toward LS than DS because of the influence of his…er… wife. That’s right, you can actually marry your companions in the game and the first companion your character ever gets is a cybernetically enhanced slicer named Mako. She is the ONLY girl companion your character gets in this class. I decided it would be interesting to try and win her over. Unfortunately, she is kind of tricky because she prefers you to do ‘Good’ and earn money (basically the conscience of an otherwise brutal career path). So that means that any time I picked a DS choice and she was with me, she would “disapprove” meaning I lose some influence with her and every time I picked an LS choice, she would “approve” and increase my influence. It wasn’t until I got to about level 35 that the game mechanics allowed me to pick the ‘Flirt’ option with her and the first time I did it, I failed miserably. However, I got to about level 60 and suddenly I had all these Flirt options. In the end, he asked her to marry him and she accepted. All of this RIGHT AFTER I completed the final story sequence of the original Bounty Hunter path.All of this is to say that I have officially completed an entire story for the game (the game does actually keep track of the stories you complete and gives you bonuses as you go) as a Bounty Hunter. Think of this like a trophy option on Playstation or something of that sort.

The Corrupted Bothrium Beast (aka $%*#*$*! die already!)

I did go ahead and complete the first expansion planet missions and ended up fighting A TOUGH boss. Now, MMO’s have been known to make the game easier as it has grown in population and it’s not much different in SWTOR. I NEVER went into a quest on the game fearing for my life… ever. Yes, I died a few times because of my haughtiness, but it was rare. However, the final boss of the first Advanced planet (the evil moon of Oricon) is a monster called the “Corrupted Bothrium Beast” and he basically is like a giant squid that has been shooting random tentacles up through the ground in Oricon (yes, you fight disembodied tentacles in this planet). The beast’s owners (creators?), the Dread Lords of the Sith, say he is unbeatable but I had heard this before (as an MMO hypes you up against certain bosses) and turned them into Swiss cheese (get it…bullets? swiss cheese?). But when I started fighting this beast (with my wife by my side), I noticed that no matter how much damage I was dealing him (think DPS on steroids), he kept healing! I could literally wipe out half of his life in a single barrage of attacks but then I would blink and it would be back at full. I must have fought this dude for 20 minutes and was about to throw my mouse in the floor (hey, it’s on my laptop and I don’t want to just chuck it in the floor) when I finally hopped on my phone and looked up the technique to beating him. This is the first boss I have faced that I actually had to follow a specific pattern to beat him. Turns out that he fires off an ability called “absorb” early in the fight and usually targets your companion (my wife in this case) so they keep getting their energy sucked out and given to him but since my companions are always set to ‘heal’ they never let themselves (or me) die. I had to use my mercenary’s ‘interrupt’ skill (one that I rarely had to use) to kill the Absorb. Then, I had to waylay the boss with damage and kill any tentacles it sprouts (which also heals it but at a faster rate). Yay! It actually worked! But it wasn’t easy. That dude can fire off his Absorb quicker than I can fire off my interrupt attack (5s cooldown on his versus 10s on mine) but I usually managed to get him before he got back to full health. After 45 minutes I finally beat him! The prize? Reputation with the planet’s denizens, a little bit of credits, and the Achievement of “The Beast Below” (twitch, twitch) and that’s when I killed them your honor! (J/K but MAN was that frustrating).

So now you have a taste of what I have been doing for the past several months. I plan on getting through a number of storylines in this game because they are all very good (or at least the ones I have done so far). I started a Smuggler (Republic) yesterday and already got him up to level 10 so he can become the advanced class of Gunslinger and keeping him mostly LS. I still have to get my Sith Marauder, level 41, through the rest of that content, but when I stopped playing her last is when my next quest took me to the planet of Quesh. Why? Because I hate this planet! It’s almost as bad as Nar Shadaa (usually the third planet your Sith visits after they go to the capital of Drumond Kaas and the third one your Republic visits after going to Coruscant respectively) which is ENDLESS and very difficult to get around in. I made it through Nar Shadaa with my Bounty Hunter (leveled him from about 20 to 35 before he left) and yet I kept having random story arcs that would call me back to that place repeatedly. Quesh is usually a place you only have to go to once but I hated the time I spent there because it’s all thick with toxic waste plants, has really powerful enemies just wandering around every. single. road. and the storyline there (at least for my Bounty Hunter) was boring. I will pick back up playing Quesh with my Sith Marauder soon but mostly because her companion Jasea Willsam is also bananas (she’s a LS Jedi companion that you can convince to join the DS and when she does, she loses her freaking mind and becomes a crazy murderous bitch) so watching the two interact with each other is highly entertaining as I will illustrate below:

Quest Giver: “If we cannot stop the Republic from powering the shield generators, the Empire will not be able to maintain control of this planet.

My DS Sith who is pretty evil: “I think we should kill them all.”

Jaesa: “Yes, Master, let’s make their blood rain from the skies”

DS Sith: “Perhaps we can just destroy the plant’s energy cores”

Jaesa: “Why? Then we can’t hear the enemies scream as we kill them mercilessly.”

DS Sith: “Would you enjoy that, Jaesa?”

Jaesa: “Only if I can drink some of their blood, my lord.”

Me (the guy controlling the game): “Holy crap! You need some help Jaesa.”

Yes… this is not EXACTLY what she says in the game but it’s pretty darn close. She is quite the opposite of my Sith Warrior’s other female companion, Vette who tends to be very similar to Mako and always wants her to do the ‘LS’ thing.

If you found this interesting, let me know in the comments and I might do a few more stories about this game. It’s still pretty shiny and new to me (only been playing it for about 6 months) but that interest may also fade in time. We’ll see.

All Galleries are Updated!

Hello! Thanks to having a small amount of down time here and there, I have finally completed replacing all the galleries with the WordPress 4 compatible galleries. You will find the SNES Final Bosses, SNES End Sequences, NES Final Bosses and NES End Sequences are fully updated and available as of now. If I beat another final boss or game, I will update the gallery accordingly. For now, enjoy!

Zounds! Some Updates

Fans, I know it has been some time since my last real post. The reality is that life with twins plus becoming an online professor at a university for part time employment on top of my other requirements has made time really difficult. There have been a few updates, however.

First of all, I discovered after updating to the latest version of WordPress that my flickr embedded galleries no longer work. As a result I have rebuilt all but my SNES End Sequences using the new WordPress gallery tool. It’s a bit more particular to update the gallery than it was with Flickr but I have worked out the kinks and it’s smoother this way. The SNES ends will be up soon but you can still find them on Flickr.

Second, on a whim I did a one-shot play through of the NES version of Dragon Spirit and managed to beat it. It was pretty challenging, even in the NES format. I will hopefully scrape together a review for it soon. However, you can see the final boss and the End sequence right now if you head over to the Gallery.

Otherwise, enjoy the new year and keep checking back for the new reviews. After Dragon Spirit, I am thinking of tackling good Ol’ Earthbound. I guess we’ll see.

Final Fantasy V is Under Play.

If you check out the Retro Hit List, you will see that I have updated it. I was working my way through Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past for a bit but I got bored with it because of its dungeon-crawler like activity and limited storyline (outside of Gannon got Zelda and is trying to take over the world). I realized that I had never reviewed Final Fantasy 5 even though I very much enjoyed it when I played through it. I also realized that I kind of forgot most of the storyline since the last time I played it other than the main bad guy X-Death (yeah that is his name). So I decided to replay it.

I am now about 3/5 of the way through it (perhaps a bit further) and I am reminded of some of the cool things that made me like it (and some of the reasons I disliked it). As soon as I finish the game, I hope to have a yummy RGB review for you to enjoy. Until then, you ought to check out what is happening on my Music Blog as I have been very busy there. Enjoy! RGB out!

Updates! Updates! Everywhere!

Hey RGB fans! There has been lots of activitiy on the RGB site now that I am done with my Masters. I am still busily working at my review of Chrono Trigger and hope to be finished soon. But here are some other things that you might like to know!

1. A New Domain

After a lot of thought, I decided to move this site out of the darkseas subdomain and give it its own domain. Within the next few days, you can reach this site by going to You can still access it by the old URL but giving the site its own domain will make it more of a standalone blog instead of just a hobby blog. Hope you all meet me there!

2. Ask RGB

You guys will notice that I mentioned having a  request from Ask RGB about what my favorite game is. Well, that was from a different website that a friend of mine mentioned my site on. However, I have made it much easier to do that now! You can go to the Interactive menu at the top and select Ask RGB to ask a question.  You might see your question become a full blog post!

3. Get Social

Another thing you will find under the Interactive menu is the “Find RGB” page. This is pretty simple right now but will eventually get more detailed. This site has a link to follow my personal twitter account (might make a new twitter later). It has an email and some other things. Check it out.

4. The List

The last thing to check out is the “Hit List” under the Interactive menu. This shows you a list of games I am currently playing and whether or not I want to review them. If you asked me to review the game I will usually play it fresh so I have a fresh idea of the game in my mind. If you see it on my Currently Playing section or my Queue, that means I will get to it.

That’s all for now! RGB is outta here!

Unintentional Delays

Hello retro gamer folks. I do sincerely apologize for the amount of time that it has taken to update. On Feb. 15, my wife and I began fostering a newborn baby boy a then on March 25, we took in a second foster baby (slightly older) boy. Since then, my life has revolved around bottles, diapers, feeding, burping, and all the other things that babies require has zapped most of my time to make posts.

On the plus side, I did manage to squeeze a few hours out of my Saturday to replay the classic Beat-Em-Up Capcom game “Knights of the Round”. I sliced and chopped my way through it and faced the final boss Garibaldi. I have beaten him many times but I never remembered to snap a photo of him. However, this time I managed to do a screen cap and he has been added to the final boss gallery. I am not entirely sure if it warrants a review but I will consider it later on after I complete some other posts (namely the rest of my Captain N posts).

In the meantime, stay tuned, we’re not dead… just resting!