Ben Hopper's blog
By Ben Hopper on July 8, 2010 - 3:50pm.
Capcom's considerable library of excellent 2D fighting games were a perfect fit on the Saturn—not only was the hardware well-suited for them, but the Saturn controller was laid out in a similar configuration to Capcom's arcade control setup as opposed to the less-than-ideal button layout on the PlayStation controller. As a result, games like Street Fighter Alpha 2, X-Men: Children of the Atom and the Darkstalkers sequel Night Warriors shined on the Sega Saturn.
By Ben Hopper on April 29, 2010 - 12:53pm.
I've been meaning to get to this game for a while now. Not because it's been out for some time, but because I really loathe it. Side-scrolling action games for Xbox Live Arcade, Wii Virtual Console and PlayStation Network seem to be the chic thing nowadays, but it's amazing how painfully mediocre most of them are. It's obvious to me that with Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer, the developers were out to make the ultimate side-scrolling shooter.
By Ben Hopper on January 26, 2010 - 9:00am.
It's funny what was once considered portable.
My little brother and I got a Sega Game Gear for Christmas in 1991. At the time, we thought it was the coolest thing ever, despite only having the pack-in game Columns at first. It was the promise of the Game Gear that excited us so much. Sure, our friends with Game Boys had all kinds of great games to choose from, but soon we'd be able to play Sonic the Hedgehog in full color ... in the dark!
By Ben Hopper on December 23, 2009 - 12:20pm.
My wife and I went into Toys R' Us over the weekend to buy some presents for an adopt-a-family program, and of course, also walked out with a present for ourselves—a new Wii! We promptly returned home and spent the rest of the weekend playing it, basically stopping only to eat. We had a blast, and at least for the foreseeable future, I see us spending our nights together not watching Netflix, but playing the Wii.
By Ben Hopper on December 18, 2009 - 12:38pm.
Thunder Force IV is one of the best action games for the Sega Genesis—a platform loaded with great action games. However, it is not a better game than its great predecessor. It really wants to be. It really tries to be. It's surely one of the best-looking games ever released for the Genesis, and its production quality across the board is top-notch. It's in its over-reaching design choices that the game falls short of greatness.
By Ben Hopper on December 15, 2009 - 7:21pm.
One of the frustrating things about video games for me is the utterly lame way we define certain genres within the industry. First-Person Shooter. Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Then there's my favorite genre: Unfortunately known as the horizontally or vertically scrolling shooter; the side-view or top-down shoot 'em up or more simply, the "schmup." That's right ... schmup. You could mix and match any of those words, and it would still make sense to any gamer as to what you're talking about, but I prefer to put them all in the category of Action Game. It's less specific to be sure, but much easier on the tongue and far less nerdy.
By Ben Hopper on December 12, 2009 - 11:03am.
I grew up in Buffalo, NY and attended a small, Catholic elementary school in the working-class neighborhood of South Buffalo, just a couple of blocks from our house. Apart from the crazy nuns who ruled with iron fists and the epic snowball fights that would erupt as we walked home after school, my most memorable times at the school were playing dodge ball during gym class and at Boy's Club on Friday nights.
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