2019 Begins! Funeral for the Xbox One

2019 has arrived, and some time has passed since the last podcast. The VG Boys discuss new pickups from Black Friday and the recent holiday season including what they have been playing recently. An old friend is laid to rest, the Xbox One. Come Join in!

Spring 2018 Update Episode

The VG Boys are more than excited to discuss the latest news, updates, releases and you name it now that spring has arrived! Join the discussion, Get ready for a good time and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button to stay up to date on all the VG Boys latest podcast releases!

It’s the spookiest time of year! Halloween 2017! It’s Time for Super Castlevania IV!!!

Happy Halloween! The VG Boys have always enjoyed the spookiest time of the year… a perfect excuse to play games that horrify us! Or that feature monsters, scares, and in this particular podcast’s case, a whip, skeletons, a vampire lord and lots of fun! Of course we’re talking about Super Castlevania IV for the Super Nintendo! An absolute classic featuring plenty of game play elements that we all known and loved from previous titles in the Castlevania series, but this one featured a return to the original with improvements all around. Since the SNES Classic released a short time ago, this title was included (a fantastic inclusion, we believe) and it was a pleasure to play this title again. An instagram follower “@the_donn_mega” requested we do a Castlevania episode, and this stood out as the obvious choice for episode content! We’re always open to suggestions and love to hear feedback from you the viewers/listeners!
            We also added something new this episode with a trivia portion right at the beginning of the podcast, so if you think you know your Castlevania, tune in and see if you can answer the questions yourself! Any thoughts on what trivia questions you would have liked to hear, or any tidbits of knowledge you’d like to throw in yourself? Please do in the comments below! We love hearing from everyone, and look forward to chatting with you all.
We are big fans of the Castlevania series in general, and will definitely be doing more podcasts in the future covering other favorites, but we hope you all have a fun, safe and scary Halloween and enjoy the podcast! Please like any and all episodes you enjoy and subscribe to the podcast so you never miss a show!

 

The VG Boys are flipping the switch… the Nintendo Switch that is!

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Welcome back! Excited to kick 2017 off with an episode on the much anticipated upcoming launch of Nintendo’s latest and greatest system, the Switch. A home console with portability options, the VG Boys have their eyes on what could be another great launch from Nintendo. In honesty though, Zelda: Breath of the Wild is definitely the real reason we’re hyped for the pending release in early March. Come and join the fun that’s filled in this podcast from the VG Boys.

What are you excited for? While Zelda is certainly the biggest title that everyone is looking forward to, we want to hear what other games you cannot wait to play on the Nintendo Switch. Comment below, on our instagram or tweet us, we’d love to hear from you!

The Pokémon Company Offers Legendary Pokémon in May, 2016

Pokemon 20th anniversary smallAccording to The Pokémon Company , a trio of Legendary Pokémon will be available for lucky Pokémon Trainers Club members come May of 2016 (via newsletter) – Only three weeks away! These Legendary Pokémon, Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres will be available via code in the Pokémon Trainers newsletter. You must have an account with Pokémon.com to receive the codes in your inbox. Sign-up is free. We tested it already.

These Pokémon codes may be used for several Pokémon games available for the Nintendo 3DS system; Pokémon X, Pokémon Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby, and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire.

If you missed our podcast on the “Pokémon 20th Anniversary Celebration!”, check it out HERE.

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What’s Old Is New: A Visit to Gotham City Games (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

By Adam Malmut (VGBoys)

RETRO GAMING DEFINED:

Powered by social media and a video game collector’s community, there has been a recent revival in popularity in what video game enthusiasts would call “Retro Gaming.” What is retro gaming? It depends who you ask. The general consensus from our research would define “retro” as video games that were developed and released up through the 4th generation console era. More specifically, this is when gamers were playing on 16-bit consoles; Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafx-16, among others. Many other game players would include Sony Playstation, Sega CD, and Nintendo 64 as well. As we suggested, it depends who you’re asking. Naturally, this would also include everything that released before these systems. 

Many social media users utilize hash tags to connect with their desired online community. Hash tags such as #RetroCollective and #RetroGamer will land an Instagram user in the midst of a retro gaming photo hull. But some may question the relevance of retro gaming during a time where small handheld technologies like the smartphone exist. Technology has even brought us to the beginnings of virtual reality being accessible and mass-produced. Why look back? The re-introduction of privately owned video games stores may be a sign that new technology may not be enticing enough to keep the attention of the modern video game player.

PRIVATELY OWNED STORES RETURN:

VGBoys.com recently visited with Ralph Pugliese, owner of Gotham City Games, a Brooklyn-based video game store that caters to the retro video game market. We were seeking answers to find out why retro is back. Pugliese says that he knew that retro games would be popular. “It’s nostalgia,” said Pugliese. “We want to re-buy things from our past that brought us joy…games in the 80’s and 90’s were more pure. Just press start and play and figure it out as you go.”

Gotham City Games began about five years ago in a garage in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. “I had another job at the time working with my Father’s landscaping company which allowed me to have time off in the winter months,” said Pugliese. “In those 2 -3 months off work, I would seek out video game collections all over the tri-state area, as well as work on refurbishing systems and games.” After building his inventory though garage sales, trading, and hunting down games at local flea markets in Downtown Brooklyn, Pugliese decided to open Gotham City Games at their Brick and Mortar location on January 2015.

How does a privately owned store compete with the mainstream giants of the video game industry? “GCG is definitely different from mainstream video game stores like Gamestop,” Pugliese said. “We have strict focus on used games and accessories prior to the Xbox 360 generation. This helps makes us different… Direct competition with a gaming juggernaut corporation is not a good business plan. Here at GCG we do sell new games, but it is not our primary focus.”

RETRO NINTENDO STANDS STRONG:

Ralph Pugliese tells us that Nintendo 64 and Gameboy are the most popular systems in his shop. “Gameboy batteries last and people love them for their commute,” says Pugliese. “Playing Mario on Gameboy is still way better than most mobile games out today.” When staying at home, Nintendo is still the way to go according to the Gotham City Games owner. “The N64 remains, to this day, the best multiplayer gaming system. I brought mine to college and it was the most played system for me and my friends.” We asked Ralph what draws his customers toward older games when there are so many new games available. “Many games now have long tutorials and learning curves,” said Pugliese. “Not to mention the fact that some have un-skippable cut scenes and so on. In the time it takes to start up Metal Gear Solid V, you could have already played and defeated Shredder in Turtles in Time. ”

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY:

Gamers are a passionate group. If you ask any of the self-proclaimed “Gamers” on social media, most will admit that it becomes a lifestyle rather than a social activity. Gamers connect with pictures of their personal collections, share stories of their gaming experiences, and become impassioned when deliberating over which console is the greatest. It may be such a passion that leads to stores like Gotham City Games to come into existence. “I wanted to open a video game store because I always enjoyed video games and doing something that you love is extremely rewarding,” says Pugliese. Community outreach remains a focus for Gotham City Games. “Our biggest [event] was NYC Comic Con and we are going back this year even bigger.”

WHAT’S NEW AT GOTHAM CITY?

“New items would definitely be the addition of toys, most notably the Funko products, as well as the apparel we have added to shop,” explains Pugliese. “We now carry officially licensed video game and super hero merchandise. Examples are Mario hats and Batman umbrellas and coffee mugs. We also just launched our online e-commerce site and added 200 products and will hopefully have that up to 1,000 in 2 months.”


VG BOYS QUICK-HIT RETRO GAMING TRIVIA (Featuring Ralph Pugliese, Gotham City Games)

  • Q: Choose one – Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter?  
  • A: Tough Call. I’ve enjoyed both and they are probably the top two fighting franchises. I’m going to say Mortal Kombat because I really enjoyed the early ones on the SNES and Genesis.
  • Q: Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, or Pokemon Yellow?  
  • A: Pokémon Yellow, I enjoyed the most because of the TV show. However, I always picked Bulbasaur on Red and Blue and loved them too.
  • Q: In the original Megaman game series, who created Megaman (the character)? 
  • A: I have no idea who created him, but great games – When Capcom was great.
  • Q: What year did original Super Mario Bros. release? 
  • A: I believe 1985 with the system.
  • Q: You’re stuck on a deserted Island with electricity and one console, one game. What is it? 
  • A: SNES, Turtles In Time.
  • Q: What was the most influential game in the retro era vs. modern era of gaming?
  • A: Super Mario 64 (retro), and The Last of Us (modern).

Opinion: Final Fantasy Explorers Rocks!

I have been absolutely loving this game for the 3DS. I’ve always been a fan of handheld gaming, the 3DS definitely being my standard for the past few years. While very reminiscent of the Monster Hunter series, which if anyone has played any title from that lineup you’ll be quick to agree. The very familiar use of staple Final Fantasy job classes certainly show this is indeed a Final Fantasy title. However, this game focuses more on abilities which you have many to choose from and a new feature which allows the player to add special attributes called mutations. An example of this is when a spear is equipped, you can use an ability which can heal yourself and allies, when using the “crystal surge” system which occur through regular combat, certain surges when activated will allow certain abilities, when used during a surge, to potentially mutate with an added ability. This requires purchasing the upgraded move in town and equipping it. So now, as shown below, when certain crystal surges are active and I perform Dragon Heal, there’s a chance it will mutate and gain additional abilities, in this example it has a chance to cooldown quicker than the 20 seconds it requires between uses. 

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It’s a little bit of a read I know, and slightly confusing at first but with a couple trial runs it becomes second nature. And if you realize you made a mistake on a skill and want to re-spec it, it’s as simple as equipping the basic skill and starting over mutating it. I’m loving it, my current class of Dark Knight has a buff which will normally up movement speed, but with mutations allows a chance to activate re-raise, life regeneration, haste and the added bonus of any of those bonuses that activate will last longer thanks to duration up bonus. I’m loving the game and hope to post some gameplay footage on our YouTube channel. I highly recommend the game to all!  Tons of monsters to fight, including summons which the series has rebranded Eidolons are the major bosses scattered throughout the world. Weapon/Armor crafting, quests and the much loved multiplayer both locally and online make this worth your time. Check it out if you have the chance!    —Sean

FFE4 FFE3                            

VG Boys Episode 6, Halloween Special! Courage, Don’t Leave Me!

VG Boys Episode 6 – Halloween Special!VGBoys

It’s certainly the scariest time of year, and nothing helps put the VG Boys in that proper spooky mood than the right video game to put them on edge! We are very excited to talk about the games of our youth which used to scare ourselves and/or friends as well as reminisce about other titles which may not be spooky in nature or purpose but have moments worthy of mention. You can expect plenty of Castlevania(s) mentioned as the series is definitely one of our favorites. The VG Boys hopes you all had a thrilling, fun and safe Halloween this year, and would love for you to join us in our spookiest episode yet, enjoy!!

                What titles do you think were left out of our mention? What’s YOUR favorite scary game, or do you have a favorite moment in a game which chills you to the bone? Tell us about it below! We love hearing parts from games we may have forgotten, or maybe need to investigate for ourselves! As always, if you liked the episode, please like us on iTunes and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode!

VG Boys At New York Comic Con #NYCC

This year, New York Comic Con took place October 6 – 9, 2015 at the Javits Center. That’s in New York City, of course. My comic con experience took place on the fourth and final day of the event, on Sunday. I actually didn’t plan on going, but a good buddy of mine texted me Saturday night at the 11th hour and shortly said, “You’re coming with me tomorrow.” To which I politely agreed. My only regret was not being able to go the prior 3 days. It took about an hour to find parking down near west 34th street with all of the construction taking place. But lets face it – Who would expect to find parking quickly anyway on a weekend and major event taking place? A couple of fools, that’s who. Anyhow… We arrived a little late, around 1pm and walked in with the place already buzzing for hours. To my surprise everyone seemed to still have a ton of energy left. People were glad to be stopped by parents of little kids who want to take pictures with their favorite super hero or comic book character. The cool thing about comic con is that the event goers are the show itself. People dress up in elaborate cosplay costumes of their favorite hero or villain. They’re pretty good at it too.

The first order of business was to check out the main floor where all of the vendors and corporations set up their amazing shops and promotional stations. Capcom set up a pretty cool tournament- style booth so that gamers were able to demo the new Street Fighter V release, set to hit consoles in 2016 (Playstation 4, Xbox One).

Lots of people lined up to demo Capcom's Street Fighter V

Lots of people lined up to demo Capcom’s Street Fighter V

Opinion: From my view, it seemed as if people were enjoying the one-on-one arcade style matchups. This is the traditional setup for any fighting game, let alone of the most memorable fighting franchise of all time, Street Fighter. The gameplay seemed smooth with plenty of combination maneuvers for each character. So form what I saw, I would expect a product similar to Ultra Street fighter IV with newer fighters and stages but the same classic fun and game play. But like with any new release to an established franchise, there’s always surprises and something new. When there’s a company that’s been in the business as long as Capcom, improvement should be no surprise.

The Top-5 Most Noticeable Award Goes To (in no particular order):

  1. Ban Dai was there with actors promoting their Dino Charge program. Additional photos of this booth can be found on our Instagram: @VGBoys.
  2. Disney’s Star Wars. Lucasfilms is a monster whose presence is always felt. As per usual they never let down. There was full size interactive R2D2 unit that visitors were posing with as well as a sizeable museum area consisting of character busts and figurines. Separate vendors had some very cool figurines available at different sizes and quality. The characters were appropriately new and old – from Kylo Ren to Darth Vader.
  3. Chevrolet must have dropped a nice dime to be there because they took up a sizeable area to demonstrate their new upcoming vehicle models. They were the ones giving away the sponsored New York Comic Con obligatory free T-Shirts. We are not complaining.
  4. Square Enix was there representing for themselves with demo’s of Lara Croft Go, Life Is Strange, Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe And The Blight Below, Just Cause 3, Final Fantasy Explorers, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided, and Hitman (PS4, Xbox One release).
  5. The Cosplayers. I don’t care which company storms in on a huge budget. You can not take anything away from all of these crazy yet lovable human beings who dress up like your favorite characters and pull it off to the point where it’s an art form.

Overall, we had an absolute blast. There was a Goosebumps (the movie) panel on Sunday, but unfortunately we missed it. We did end up seeing a lot of sights, though, to say the least. Thanks for visiting VGBoys.com and we will have plenty more news, stories, and podcasts coming your way. For now, I’ll leave you with a gallery of pics from Day 4 of #NYCC2015.

Game on!

-Adam