Category Archives: Reviews

The Grandia Series and my JRPG Journey

I’ve mentioned recently how I’ve gotten into playing classic JRPGs.  That actually started by accident in a couple of ways. First, I made two games (here and here) in RPG Maker, which makes JRPG-style games by default.  As I was making them, play-testing them, and eventually playing through those finished games, I realized that I […]


Ah yes, it’s time to talk about this well known video game, “Yakuza Fury“, which busted onto the gaming scene on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Nah, of course not.  This is about the long-running and widely acclaimed video game series published by Sega that everybody knows in the West as Yakuza.  I remember I […]

Black Sabbath

You may have heard of this band. I’d put them in the top five most influential bands of all time, and many people would put them number one on that list.  But it’s taken literally decades for that recognition to come.  Most people now recognize that Black Sabbath was the band that did most of […]

Golfyssey 28 — PlayStation

Holy crap, remember The Golfyssey?  My lame-brained attempt to “review” a bunch of console-based golf video games and spew forth my uninformed opinions on the hardware on which they were to be had? Good times, good times.  Except for that shitty black and white abomination for the Atari 5200, and the shitty full colour abomination […]

One 2 One — Sal’s Birdland — Artificial Joy Club

Being a teenager in the ’80s in Canada, I got a lot of my music from the music video cable TV station MuchMusic.    One of the pop acts I remember was a duo called One 2 One.  I remember them primarily because I thought the singer was hot, and she had a great and unique […]

The Mikeification of INXS

I am a big fan of the music INXS released during the first seven years of their existence.  That would be from around 1979 to 1986.  It’s good, energetic pop-rock.  I like some of their later stuff too, some of the stuff they made while they were international superstars, but I’ll get into that later. […]

A review of PlayStation emulators

Emulation can get a bad rap sometimes.  I think that mainly comes from people who don’t really understand what they’re talking about.  I also think it comes from people who are just opposed to the very concept of emulating a video game outside the original hardware for which it was intended. Since I discovered the […]

Quizicality 04 — Odyssey²

As you may or may not know, the Odyssey² was a home console that included a full Qwerty keyboard.  The few quiz games available for it take advantage of this setup. Math-A-Magic! (1980) Yes, another math quiz game.  But this one is probably the easiest out of all of them to play because of the […]

Quizicality 03 — Apple ][

Though the hardware was released a few months before the venerable Atari 2600, the Apple II computer was capable of a few more tricks than that console.  I chalk this up mainly to the fact that it’s a computer with a keyboard and the fact that it’s hardware was expandable.  The graphics are nowhere near […]

Quizicality 02 — Atari 2600

Among the Atari 2600’s vast and vastly inconsistent library of games are a couple that qualify as quiz games.  And yes, they are both math quiz games.  We’re not going to see anything so astoundingly complex as words just yet. Basic Math (1977) This launch title for the 2600 (when it was still known as […]

Quizicality 01 – Channel F

Back in 1976, video games were still a very new phenomenon.  The Fairchild Channel F was not the first home video game console, but it was the first one that allowed for interchangeable game cartridges.  And even with the rudimentary tech inside the console, the game library shows signs of creativity beyond just Pong. Math […]


It’s time for another batch of video game reviews here on Robotman’s blog.  This time, I’ll be focusing on the exciting, engrossing and exhilarating world of quiz games.  Hang on to the edge of your seat, because nothing gets the blood pumping like a round of 20 Questions played on your old 8-bit computer, am […]

LSD: Dream Emulator

That LSD stands for Lovely Sweet Dream, don’t you know.  Or one of many other things like in Limbo the Silent Dream, in Life the Sensuous Dream, in Logic the Symbolic Dream, in Leisure the Sonorous Dream, in Laughter the Spiritual Dream, in Lunacy the Savage Dream, in Linking the Sapient Dream, or one of […]

Video Carnage 36 — The Checkered Flag

My Video Carnage reviews have all wrapped up, and I’ve done the circuit from console to console, all the way from the lowly Odyssey to the Xbox.  I’ve stopped in with some computers along the way to check out the driving there,and all told, I reviewed 99 games for 33 systems.  Now it’s time to […]

Video Carnage 35 — Road Rash (Part 2)

I’m back with the second half of my Road Rash series reviews.  The first five games I reviewed can be found here. Road Rash 3D (1998) This was the second Road Rash title I ever played, and it was one of the first games I bought when I first bought my PlayStation 2. In fact, […]

E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial

Despite what you might have read, this is not the worst video game ever made. This is definitely a terrible video game, and I do loathe it.  I can find no enjoyment in playing it.  But the story of E.T. is historically important, and it’s interwoven with the story of Atari’s fall from the top […]

Mother Gong – Robot Woman

For years and years now, I’ve been searching the old Googles for images of robot women.  Some of these searches have been quite fruitful. And other’s not.  But there is this one album that kept popping up whenever I searched for the term “robot woman”.  Since I’m a music fan too, I tried to find […]

Video Carnage 34 — Road Rash (Part 1)

Now that I’ve gone from Odyssey to Xbox and burned chronologically through all the console hardware I own and emulate, I’m just going to focus on one series of racing games in particular for these next two posts. There are many popular and well-known racing game series that have come out for various consoles over […]

Video Carnage 33 — Xbox

No, not the Red Ring of Death Special.  I’m talking about the original Xbox here, the one released by Microsoft in 2001.  My spellcheck wants to change Xbox to bijoux.  Ha! Selling only about 16% as many units as the PS2 sold, the Xbox is seen by many as a failure in the console market.  […]

Video Carnage 32 — Game Boy Advance

We’re back into hand-held territory, and that means a step back from the realism of the sixth generation consoles like the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast.  Here we trade those features in for considerations of portability. The Game Boy Advance was really nothing to sneeze at though.  It was a 32-bit hand-held, though to me, most […]

Video Carnage 31 — PlayStation 2

If you’re reading this, I bet you owned or have played a PlayStation 2.  That’s a safe bet to make with the best-selling home console of all time.  What can I say about the PS2 that most people don’t already know?  It was birthed on the frozen fjords of ancient Viking Scandinavia by Legendary Feared […]

Video Carnage 30 — Sega Dreamcast

Dreamcast, oh, Dreamcast. My beloved Dreamcast. I’d better get my fanboy raving out of the way early. One of the most revolutionary consoles ever to be released, right up there with the likes of the Atari 2600 and the NES.  While those two were phenomenal success stories with equally phenomenal lifespans, the Dreamcast’s life was […]

Video Carnage 29 — Game Boy Color

Handheld game consoles sacrifice power and features for portability.  Comparisons are less and less acute these days, but back in 1998 when the Game Boy Color came out they were pretty stark.  We’ve gone from 64-bit computing and 3D polygonal rendering back to 8-bit low-res bitmap graphics for these reviews.  Oh, and kiss analog steering […]

Video Carnage 28 — Nintendo 64

I didn’t say a whole hell of a lot about the Nintendo 64 when it popped up in The Golfyssey, so I’ll rectify that now. Coming on the heels of the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation, those two systems were its main console competition.  Please don’t make me laugh by mentioning the Atari Jaguar.  […]

Video Carnage 27 — Sony PlayStation

If you were a console gamer in the mid to late 1990s, chances are you did your gaming on a PlayStation.  It wasn’t just competitive, it didn’t just outsell the other consoles, it dominated.  There were two big reasons why this was. Reason number one was the ease of programming and developing games for the […]

Video Carnage 26 — Sega Saturn

I really like my Sega Saturn.  I was a young man just out of my teens when this console was released here in Canada, and I was living on my own and dirt poor, so I didn’t buy one.  But I always wanted one, and nine years after it came out, I got one. I […]

Video Carnage 25 — Sega 32X

When I think of the 32X, I almost invariably think of it as one of the reasons that the Saturn failed.  Lesson: If you fuck over your game developers and your customers, you might jeopardize your future endeavours.  And since the 32X was dead on arrival and given only token support, its game library is […]

Video Carnage 24 — Atari Jaguar

Oh boy.   You know you have one craptacular shitfest of a console when you’re forced to resort to infomercials to sell it because no one wants to buy the damned thing.  I bet a fucking ShamWow can display better graphics than the Atari Jaguar.  This was purported to be the first “64-bit” console, but only […]

Video Carnage 23 — Sega CD

The Sega CD had some disappointing offerings when I reviewed golf games for the system.  It’s often looked back upon as Sega’s first hardware blunder, and if you look into the history of the Sega CD, you will find the story of a good idea botched by bad management and poor timing.  There are loads […]

Video Carnage 22 — Super Nintendo

I’ve always wondered why Nintendo stuck such a crappy processor into the Super Nintendo.  It had roughly half the processing power of the Sega Genesis, and it really left Nintendo’s 16 bit console crippled.  When I talked about the SNES in The Golfyssey, I didn’t fully realize that some aspects of the SNES hardware were […]

Video Carnage 21 — Neo Geo

From four colour low-res 8-bit portable racers, we now swing to the other end of the spectrum and check out the high-end home arcade system that was literally a home arcade system. The Neo Geo had its share of racing games, though it’s library is more well known for the awesome fighting games that SNK […]

Video Carnage 20 — Nintendo Game Boy

And now on Robotman’s blog, it’s time we put away our fancy, expensive home consoles and television sets and pick up a handheld system.  Put on those pea-soup coloured glasses too, because it’s time to revisit the original Game Boy. Our specs are lowered again for this post.  Not only are we going back to […]

Video Carnage 19 — Sega Genesis

It’s time to check in with Sega’s fondly remembered 16-bit powerhouse, the Genesis.  This is one of my favourite retro consoles for many reasons, and I can even overlook the frequently maligned sound chips.  There isn’t much else to say about this console that I didn’t say in my golf video game reviews, so let’s […]

Video Carnage 18 — TurboGrafx-16

It’s time to revisit everybody’s favourite 8-bit system!  I mean, the 16-bit system with the 8-bit system feel! (EDIT: The TG-16 actually has an 8-bit CPU.  The graphics processors are 16-bit.) I ragged long and hard on the TurboGrafx-16 when I reviewed some golf games for it.  A lot of TG16 games really don’t hold […]

Video Carnage 17 — Atari 7800

Oy.  Here we find ourselves in Underwhelmsville again, population 7800.  Like I mentioned before in The Golfyssey, the Atari 7800 was shelved for two years before it was released in an attempt to compete with none other than the legendary NES.  The graphics are shitty, regardless of how many terrible-looking sprites this system can handle […]

Video Carnage 16 — Amiga

Even though the Amiga first came out in 1985, the games I’ll be looking at today were all from the 1990s.  The Amiga was already ahead of its time, but now we’ll be looking into the future for one stop on our journey through console and computer hardware. If this unsettles you, don’t worry.  Our […]

Video Carnage 15 — Sega Master System

Sega not only had better hardware specs in the Master System compared to the NES, but they also had a history of making successful and critically acclaimed arcade racing games like “Hang-On“.  It is because of these factors that when you compare the game libraries of the NES and Master system, you will find the […]

Video Carnage 14 – Nintendo Entertainment System

The NES has a massive library of games, so I don’t have to go scraping the barrel for racers.  I’m happy about this because I really don’t like having to play through bad racing games just to tell you all what you already can guess. Excitebike (1984) You can tell from that iconic box art […]

Video Carnage 13 — Commodore 16 & Plus/4

As I skip along my merry, chronological way through consoles and computers passed in these reviews, I sometimes feel like I’m taking a step back or two.  When I played that stinking Vectrex racing game, I could have sworn it was belched forth from the bowels of the 1970s.  This happened when I did the […]

Video Carnage 12 — Sega SG-1000

When I talked about the SG-1000 before, I mentioned that it had more potential than the games library would lead one to believe.  It looks to me to be about as powerful as the ColecoVision, and I actually use the MEKA emulator to play games for both systems.  Unfortunately for Sega, that potential was rarely realized, […]

Video Carnage 11 — Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 computer had dozens of racing games, and they ranged widely in quality.  I played a fair amount of these as I was growing up, and only a handful of the ones I remember really stand out as great games. Motor Mania (1982) Ah, the joys of loading games from cassette!  Who wouldn’t […]

Video Carnage 10 — Atari 5200

Recently, I rediscovered the Atari 5200, thanks to an emulator that fixed the console’s horribly flawed non-centering joysticks.  Being released shortly before the 1983 industry crash, this system had a short life, so there weren’t many games released for it.  Only one racing game was released, and it is a port of an ultra-popular arcade […]

Video Carnage 09 — Vectrex

The Vectrex is weird.  At first glance, it looks like a rather bad idea.  A self-contained video game system that plays games only in black and white.  If you wanted colour, you had to use the coloured translucent overlays that came with the games.  When this came out in 1982, most people probably looked at […]

Video Carnage 08 — ColecoVision

A great, powerful system that was also bunged by goofy telephone-joystick controllers, the ColecoVision was another high-profile victim of the 1983 video game market crash.  This console had some serious power packed inside, and it could handle most arcade ports better than any other home console back in 1982. And then the crash, and Coleco […]

Video Carnage 07 — Arcadia 2001

Well, I haven’t exactly been looking forward to this.  Have you even heard of a video game console called the Arcadia 2001?  There isn’t much to say about it, other than: rushed, badly programmed rip-off games dead-on-arrival for U.S. release terrible graphics and even worse sound Emerson got sued by Atari for making clones of […]

Video Carnage 06 — Intellivision

Let’s check in with that console that really should have had a longer lifespan, the Intellivision.  The main things that caused an early demise for this system are of course the Video Game Crash of 1983 and those god-awful controllers.  Things were more powerful under the hood than many people realized, and later games released […]

Video Carnage 05 — Odyssey²

The racing games for the Odyssey² were both pack-in games on the same cartridge.  I mentioned them before, and there really isn’t a whole lot to say about them.  The Odyssey² game library contains some surprisingly good and memorable games, but these to ain’t really among them. Speedway! (1978) The idea behind this game is […]

Video Carnage 04 – Apple ][

Another 8-bit machine from the 1970s – the Apple II – had its share of driving games.  Prepare not to be blown away by amazing displays of graphics and sound. You know, if I could stretch the boundaries of what I consider to be a racing game by wide enough margins, I could call “The […]

Video Carnage 03 – Atari 2600

Many game collectors and classic gaming enthusiasts start with the Atari.  And for the most part, this is where home console gaming really began.  But this system has some truly terrible games.  Thankfully for us, it also has some extremely fun games that were programmed by early masters of the art. Indy 500 (1977) This […]

Video Carnage 02 – Channel F

Something else happened in 1972… the same year that the Odyssey had roused just about as much interest in this new “video game” phenomenon as it could have on its own.  Atari invented Pong. Well, Nolan Bushnell kind of stole it from the Odyssey’s game “Tennis”.  That’s okay because everybody else in the mid ’70s […]