What We’re Playing 11/18/2022

John Harris: I’ve been playing a ton of Glitch revival Odd Giants, which I mentioned last month. It’s incomplete but still under development, and the original game was never complete anyway. I might write something more on it in the near future.

Josh Bycer: I just started playing Warriors of the Nile 2. it’s a tactical strategy game with roguelike elements too, a lot of ways to break the game with the right skills and every character has their own abilities and strategies to use.

Phil Nelson: I finally have been playing the recent Marvel’s Spider-Man games and Miles Morales really does kick ass as a game most of the time, but I still run into some bullshit. In a more just world we’d have a proper Spider-Man roguelike.

I like how Josh and Phil are talking about roguelikes, and I’m really into an old non-violent MMORPG with like maybe 100 players. I’ve always got to be contrary I guess.

Set Side B September 2022 Recap

Some of the posts we published last month:

Sept 1: We only had one @Play post in September as other things competed with my time, but it was a good one, on the history of Angband!

I probably was at this locale unveiling! Up in the cloud with an eye on it, in the top-right corner! We could usually only have six avatars physically in a locale back in those days but the robed ones (called oracles) could override that limit.

Sept 6: We linked to the Reno Project, which seeks to preserve information on early and foundational virtual worlds Lucasfilm Habitat, Club Caribe, WorldsAway and its variants and descendants, a matter of which I have some personal experience.

Sept 7: We pointed to Nicole Express’ post explaining NES Mappers!

Sept 8: A true classic of one-person gamedev tools, the Zelda Classic engine and its editor software ZQuest! It originated way back on DOS but is still being worked on today! Amazing!

Can you do it? Can you succeed at the internet’s ultimate challenge? Can you FIND THE SPAM?

Sept 9: I’ve been doing a lot of looking back on old web games personally as of late, and we look at a quick and very dry joke on the formula, probably going back to at least 1994, Find The Spam.

Sept 13: Final Fantasy IV has an unusual bug concerning how it handles doors leading into buildings that we examined, in a post on its Door Stack Glitch.

Sept 17: Sonic Retro’s guide to that series’ physics!

Sept 19: Also to do with Sonic the Hedgehog, did you know that game’s Chemical Plant Zone boss is much easier than it first seems?

GROW is GREAT!

Sept 28: Remember the GROW games, from EYEZMAZE and On?

Sundry Sunday:

Adam West in the PS1 Golden Nugget game! Crash Bandicoot commercials and live-action videos from Japan! Cutscenes from Pepsiman! Strong Bad plays DOS text adventure Vampire Castle, with illustrations made by The Cheat!

This song is an amazing earworm, even if you don’t speak Japanese at all

Josh Bycer’s indie dev posts:

Top games of Gamescom! Demo SpotlightVideo 1Video 2Video 3Video 4

Indie Showcases! 9/129/219/239/28

Zachtronic’s final game, Last CallFashion Police SquadA review of Moonlander’s Steam store pageRogue Command developer interviewGenfanad developer interview

Romhack Thursday, a new feature we began last month:

Advanced NES Rom Utility and Metroid romhack Junkoid

To find more invigorating posts, please look through our well-stocked sidebar. Many of our posts aren’t the sort to spoil, so as we put up more content, you’ll find more there to discover!

Thanks for reading Set Side B through the month of September! We will continue bringing you the most interesting finds from the Flipside of Gaming.

Set Side B August 2022 Recap

A spotlight on some interesting posts from August….

2nd: What are blobbers? Wizardry-style maze games, usually party-based dungeon crawls. How many has there been? At least 48, and definitely a lot more!

8th: A short post, but interesting. I found, from the official Nintendo SNES devguide on the Internet Archive, a list of things that could get a game rejected.

10th: It was all over the internet, but still, we reported on that hidden cheat code in Super Punch-Out!! that let you play it against a friend.

11th: The developer menu buried in arcade versions of Mortal Kombat and its sequels and how to access it from attract mode. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to show this off to multiple people in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and it never fails to impress.

12th: Mamesaver, the screensaver that uses the roms in your MAME folder.

13th: Revivals of old online services QuantumLink, AOL, and Prodigy. No word about Compuserve though.

15th: Arcade Mermaid visits Vs. Castlevania, in which a hard game gets much, much harder.

16th: Hyrule Interviews, a ton of information that the developers of Zelda games have revealed to the media.

17th: An old video but still fascinating, the last new Data East Jurassic Park pinball machine is opened on camera.

19th: Chasing the world record in Hatetris, a player-hostile Tetris variant.

22nd: NCommander on Youtube on why 3D Pinball was removed from Windows Vista.

27: The absurdly weird and detailed romhack of the prototype of Monster Party, starring Elvira!

29th: The long (in both number of entries and runtime) Youtube series Identifying Luck in Mario Party, which is an amazing detailed look into the internals of those games.

30th: The Museum Monster presents a weird moment in video games: the Cleopatra bonus in arcade Star Force.

@Play: Reintroduction to AngbandPlaying the game

Sundry Sunday:
Lore Sjoberg’s Alt Text: The Five Most Guilt-Inducing Video Games
Old Commercial for Pitfall!, with a young Jack Black
Strong Bad Email #94, Video Games
Cabel Sasser’s Buggy Saints Row: The Musical

Josh Bycer’s indie dev posts:
Store Page Review of Metroplex Zero
Interview with Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games
Interview with independent dev Brian Cronin
Interview with Gideon Griebenow of World Turtles
Store Page Review of Transcendence

Indie Stream Archive from 8/15

Indie Game Showcase:
8/6: Mahokenshi, Gastova The Witches of Arkana, Castle Cardians, Transiruby, Vesper Ether Saga, BackBeat
8/12: Ancient Gods, Critadel, Deiland: Pocket Planet, Monster Tribe, Zoeti, Printersim
8/15: Spellbook Demonslayers, Mech Shuffle, Endling Extinction is Forever. Ginger the Toothfairy, Lightsmith, Myth of Mirka, Supernova Tactics, Fabled Lands, Kokoro Clover Season 1
8/22: Trinity Archetype, Green With Energy, Super Grave Snatchers, The Lightbringer, Happenlance, Timemelters
8/24: Affogato, Rogue Genesia, City Limits, The God Unit, Redshot, Combo Card Clashers
8/27: Evertried, Sands of Aura, The Shore, Infraspace, Rogue Spirit, Ruin Raiders
8/29: Hex of the Lich, So to Speak, It’s a Wrap, We Took That Trip, Eternal Remnant The First Chapter, The Mortuary Assistant

To find more interesting posts, please look through our over-full sidebar. We now have archives that you can browse from! Many posts you find here aren’t the sort to go obsolete, so as we put up more and more content, you’ll find more and more wonderful stuff to discover there.

Thanks for reading Set Side B through the month of August! We will continue bringing you the most interesting finds from the Flipside of Gaming.

Set Side B July 2022 Recap

Favorite posts from July….

1st: Popular Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade passes away.

2nd: The weird “Triforce%” run from SGDQ’s 2022’s TASbot presentation is explained.

5th: Review of games presented in SGDQ’s Silly Block.

7th: @Play: An early level FAQ for Omega. After doing a ton of posts the month before, we took it easy on @Play in July.

9th: Reviving the Ouya.

10th: A rare substantial Sundry Sunday post, a collection of YouTube videos that purport to explain Kingdom Hearts’ legendarily convoluted story.

11th: Arcade Mermaid: Pepper 2, ultrafast maze game from Exidy.

18th: A popular longpost we did about rebus crossword puzzles. Of special note, this is currently the Set Side B post with the most hits, with over a thousand pageviews.

21st: Obituary for Robert Koeneke, creator of Moria, the first non-Rogue roguelike.

23rd: Video review of Zachtronics’ final game, Last Call BBS.

27th: A weird find, GameSurge, a gaming website that hasn’t updated since 2005 but is still on the web.

28th: Scott Adams’ video Q&A about his career and his early parser-based games and company Adventure International.

Indie Dev Showcase archives

2nd: Monster Harvest, Recompile, The Night Is Grey, Space Tow Truck, Fire Tonight, Arboria.

23rd: Hack or Die, Batboy, Citizens Farlands, Alina of the Arena, Remnants of the Rift, Itorah.

30th: Moons of Ardan, Terror of Hemasaurus, Hex of the Lich, Firekeep, Aztech Forgotten Gods, and Tactical Galactical.

Developer Interviews

The Dark Heart of Balor

Chris Knowles

Videogame Fables

Sundry Sunday

Pixel Orson Welles Disses Game Characters, Summarizing Kingdom Hearts, Mario Frustration, Take Me Home Mario, Classics of Game

To find more interesting posts, please look through our well-stocked sidebar. We still need better archive browsing, I recognize, as we work to fill Set Side B full to overflowing with interesting and entertaining video game news and information on a daily basis, and most of our posts do not have an expiration date.

Thanks for reading Set Side B through the month of July! We will continue bringing you the most interesting finds from the Flipside of Gaming.

June 2022 Recap

Chrontendo #60 covered Final Fantasy III, by the Japanese numbering! Dr. Sparkle thinks it may be the best Famicom RPG of all!

Some favorite posts from the month of June….

4th: Arcade Donkey Kong Romhacks

11th: Baba Is You XTREME

18th: Fixing E.T.

21st: The Looker

24th: Chrontendo #60

30th: How Retro Games Have Taken On A New Life

and

Sundry Sunday: Eleanor Rigby/Pokemon Battle Theme, Nintendo Says “You Cannot Beat Us,” Mornal’s Phoenix Wright animations, and There’s Something About Zelda: Breath of the Wild Speedrun Animation.

@Play, on Omega: firstsecondthirdfourth

Indie Dev Showcase: on the 5th, 11th, 12th, 16th, and 18th, and

Best of Next Fest: on the 19th, 22nd, 24th, 25th, and 28th.

To find more interesting posts, may I direct you to the Useful Tags link in the sidebar?

Thanks for reading Set Side B through the month of June! We will continue bringing you the most interesting finds from the Flipside of Gaming.

Welcome to Set Side B!

Our Mascot

Please watch your step, the floors have just been waxed….

We’re a new daily (we hope!) blog devoted to what I call the “flipside” of gaming: indies, retro and niche.

“Indies” are typically games made by small teams, but it matters less who makes or publishes them than how interesting their ideas are. A good example of a game that I consider indie that was put out by big names is Pocket Card Jockey for the 3DS; it was made by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, but its style and gameplay have that independent spirit we’re looking for and adore.

“Retro” games are older titles. The meaning of retro keeps expanding: nowadays, Dreamcast, Gamecube and even PS2 games could be considered retro, but it still seems to best fit that era when hardware sprites were the norm.

“Niche” refers to those side genres that have relatively small numbers of fans whose dedication makes up for their lack of size. Shmups, dating sims, visual novels, builders, roguelikes, pet sims, interactive fiction, all kinds of weird and fun amusements that remind us of the wide range of things that a video or computer game can be.

Of course, we’re far from the only blog these beats. For others, please consult our rather luxurious sidebar and links page. We will happily link to lots of things that other people have written. Spread the love, spread the word. Still, we hope to provide a wide enough range, and an engaging enough voice, that you’ll come back to us many times. Not that you have to visit us to read us: please avail yourself of our RSS feed, that can be found at setsideb.com/feed.

We were inspired to start this blog by the passing of the old blog GameSetWatch, which covered much of this same territory from around 2005 through 2011 or so. It still hung around in archive form until its current owner, Informa, custodian of the Game Developer nee Gamasutra family of properties, deleted it during a recent site reorganization. It can still be found on the Internet Archive’s ever-helpful Wayback Machine, for however long that survives.

Speaking personally (rodneylives, aka John Harris), GameSetWatch is where I wrote a series of articles for awhile, the roguelike column @Play. I will be resuming that series here and on our sister site RetroStrange.

A few other contributors should be showing their faces in the coming days, so please keep your eyes open for them!

We’re still getting some things settled so the look of the site may change a lot in the upcoming weeks. But for now, welcome to Set Side B!