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Support our new book: Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Japanese Video Game Obscurities Aug 3, 2017

We're crowdfunding a brand new, gorgeously printed hardcover book covering 101 weird, obscure, historically important, and just plain cool Japanese video games with Unbound, but we can only many it happen with your pledge! Check out the project page for more details!

The Adventures of Darwin Sep 30, 2017

Adventures of Darwin might seem like a budget-priced Pikmin knock-off, but at its heart, it's more of an action-adventure; like Zelda, if Link had 20 mini-Links following him around.

Kathy Rain Sep 26, 2017

An indie point-and-click adventure, grounded in the Twin Peaks weirdness of small town Americana.

Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden Sep 22, 2017

Quite possibly one of the most brilliant parodies of Japanese RPGs ever created.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 63: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Bassin's Black Bass, The Oregon Trail Deluxe [Patreon Only] Sep 10, 2017

Join the HG101 New Jack Swing Groupies as they talk prisoner's dilemmas and fishdar. Patreon bonus for this episode is Oregon Trail Deluxe. Donate at Patreon to get this bonus content and much, much more!

Now available! HG101 Presents: The Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System Sep 17, 2017

The Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System includes reviews of every single title in the Famicom Disk System library - all of the classic Nintendo games (including their unfortunately overlooked adventure games), cult classics by Konami, revolutionary oddities like Otocky, many Zelda clones, numerous tie-ins with late 80s Japanese celebrities, and a large number of subpar licensed games from Bandai. Also includes a look at the many unlicensed titles, a history of the system, and its accessories.

Now available! Verb/ose: A Personal Analysis of the Graphic Adventure Game Genre, By Duncan R. Piasecki Sep 17, 2017

The adventure game genre goes back to the late 1970s, but what makes a good one? This book is a critical essay of the various conventions of the genre, examining their interfaces, puzzle designs, and narrative devices. Along with this is a particular focus on classic adventure games from the likes of Sierra (King's Quest), LucasArts (Monkey Island) and Cyan (Myst), as well as how they apply to more modern games like Thimbleweed Park.

Tobal Sep 13, 2017

Dream Factory's duo of PS1 3D fighting games, known for their crazy Akira Toriyama character designs and unique quest modes.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 62: Far Cry, Super R.C. Pro-Am, Duke Nukem 3D [Patreon Only] Sep 10, 2017

Join the HG101 Semi-Pro Toy Car Drivers as they talk oil-slicks and Jeep theft. Patreon bonus for this episode is Duke Nukem 3D.

A House of Many Doors Sep 10, 2017

Released two years after Sunless Sea, A House of Many Doors might at first glance look like an unimaginative clone, but ultimately it might be an example of a student becoming better than the teacher.

Supercharged Robot VULKAISER Sep 7, 2017

This doujin shoot-em-up from Astro Port is a love letter to 70s mecha anime.

Retronauts Micro 68: Dragon Slayer Sept 7, 2017

Fresh from Long Island Retro Gaming Expo, Jeremy and Bob yield the floor to Kurt Kalata and Rob Russo from Hardcore Gaming 101 to explain the history of Falcom's Dragon Slayer series ・just in time for the PS4 debut of the latest spinoff, Tokyo Xanadu.

Retronauts 114: Gradius Sept 7, 2017

HG101's Kurt Kalata and Rob Russo (aka Xerxes from the Top 47k podcast) join Retronauts to delve into the history of Konami's legendary Gradius series. From its prequel (Scramble) to its most recent spinoff (Otomedius), we blast our way through the span of the entire series!

Populous Aug 27, 2017

Bullfrog's legendary sim that effectively coined the "god game" subgenre. This article is a work-in-progress and covers the first two games in the series (as well as their expansions and ports).

Bushido Blade Aug 27, 2017

Squaresoft's innovative swordfighting game proved a substantial alternative to the other 2D and 3D fighting games of the PlayStation era.

Kaikan Aug 24, 2017

A simple yet incredibly fun freeware doujin shoot-em-up, inspired by the likes of Battle Garegga and Fire Shark.

Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure Aug 21, 2017

This fairly decent (for a licensed game) brawler/platformer for the GBA is one of the rare titles based on the original Dragon Ball rather than Dragon Ball Z.

Your Weekly Kusoge: Nerves of Steel May 18, 2017

There are oh so many poor first person shooters from the mid-90s that are probably better left forgotten, but here we are anyway, for history's sake!

Snakebird Aug 15, 2017

A fun puzzle game from Noumenon Games, based on Snake, and with some very pretty visuals.

Puyo Puyo Box, Puyo Puyo 7, and Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary Aug 11, 2017

Our extensive coverage of the Puyo Puyo series is finally nearing its end with the coverage of the unique PS1 puzzle/RPG hybrid Puyo Puyo BOX, as well as the traditional titles, Puyo Puyo 7 and Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary. Next up: Puyo Puyo Quest and Puyo Puyo Tetris!

Beast Busters Aug 6, 2017

SNK's zombie-killing light gun shooter, which actually predates Sega's more popular House of the Dead series, has seen a few different incarnations, including an overhead shooter for the Neo Geo Pocket Color and a mobile game.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 61: King's Field II, Bloodborne, Super Meat Boy [Patreon Only] Aug 6, 2017

Join the HG101 Underground Mutant Bomb-Worshipers as they pretend to care about things that are stupidly hard and frustrating. Patreon bonus for this episode is the stupidly hard and frustrating Super Meat Boy.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 60: Deadly Premonition, Forbidden Forest, Hotline Miami [Patreon Only] Aug 3, 2017

Join the HG101 Elder Statesmen of ROCK as they talk about hunting skeletons to their imaginary friend in a car. Patreon bonus for this episode is drug-fueled murder-fest Hotline Miami.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 58: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) Rising Zan - The Samurai Gunman, Broforce [Patreon Only] July 30, 2017

Join the HG101 Eco-Protectors as they talk samurai gunmen and the blackest of black sheep in the hedgehog genus. Patreon bonus for this episode is tongue-in-cheek indie run-and-gun Broforce.

Catherine July 30, 2017

Atlus' hybrid of an action-puzzler and a visual novel attempts to address gender and societal roles, in ways that don't always succeed.

Streets of SimCity / SimCopter July 25, 2017

Released after the immense success of SimCity 2000, these two games allowed you to fly and drive through 3D renditions of the cities you'd created.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 58: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire July 22, 2017

Join the HG101 cash-in hungry sellouts as they get all serious about acronymns and capitalism. Patreon bonus for this episode is the final part of a special dispatch on retrogaming in Japan today. Games:

Hi no Tori July 22, 2017

A duo of games from Konami, for the Famicom and MSX2, (very loosely) based on Osamu Tezuka's manga, also known in English as Phoenix.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 57: Mischief Makers, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor July 19, 2017

Join the HG101 dorkmobile pit crew as they talk about two oft-overlooked gems of Treasure's game-trove. Patreon bonus for this episode is part one of a special dispatch on retrogaming in Japan today.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 56: Wizball, Guardian's Crusade, Arkanoid July 19, 2017

Join the HG101 funny nickname-havers as they talk wizardly balls and knightly babysitters. Patreon bonus game for this episode is Taito's Arkanoid.

Binary Land July 17, 2017

This adorable puzzle game from Hudson is most well known for its Famicom release, as you guide two penguins simultaneously with the same controller to guide them to a common goal.

Zombie Virus July 13, 2017

Of the many rip-off concepts of the Simple 2000 PlayStation 2 series, this one is basically "Crazy Taxi plus zombies".

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 55: Dance Dance Revolution 3rdMix, Dynamite Cop, Mortal Kombat July 7, 2017

Join the HG101 BBQ banditos as they bust sick moves and save an entire boat from "modern day pirates." Patreon bonus game for this episode is none other than Mortal Kombat (AKA "Moooortaaaallll Koooombaaaaaaat!!").

Torment: Tides of Numenera July 10, 2017

After some delays, the successor to Planescape: Torment was finally released earlier this year, and while it certainly tries, never quite lives up to its fabled legacy.

Time and Eternity July 7, 2017

This ambitious PlayStation JRPG from Imageepoch seeks to create the dream of a truly interactive anime, but falls apart on almost every conceivable level.

Top 47,858 Games of All Time Episode 54: Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Faxanadu July 7, 2017

Join the HG101 carnival folk and special guests Derek and Grace from Stop Skeletons From Fighting as they tackle two Falcom classics. Patreon bonus game for this episode is Capcom's 2014 reboot of Strider.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves July 5, 2017

A far cry from the usual licensed side-scrolling platformers, this movie tie-in with the early 90s Kevin Costner vehicle is a fun action-RPG that mixes genres, has varied quests, and lets you relive the movie in 8-bit fashion.

Pokémon Mini June 29, 2017

An expansive article on Nintendo's oddball handheld console, and all of the games released for it...all Pokémon-themed, as one might wager.

Now available! HG101 Presents: Contra and Other Konami Classics June 19, 2017

Let's attrack aggressively! Contra and Other Konami Classics includes a complete rundown of all of the games in Konami's classic Contra series, ranging from its arcade and NES roots, to its modern day mobile incarnations. Also included is an extensive look at the very popular (in Japan) Ganbare Goemon / Legend of the Mystical Ninja series, as well as many of Konami's 8-bit Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System releases.

Now available! Retro Game Super Translation Selection June 13, 2017

Retro Game Super Translation Selection examines 101 lines of dialogue from classic video games, compares how they were localized, and includes some explanation for the business or cultural reasons surrounding such changes. Originally authored by a professional video game translator, this is a localized version of a doujinshi released at the Game Legend retro game event in late 2016, and features a unique perspective rarely seen in the English speaking world! More info here.

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Essential Reading








Might and Magic

Cinematic Milestones

Alone in the Dark

Prince of Persia

Another World

Fighting Games

Virtua Fighter

Fatal Fury

King of Fighters



Konami Shooters



Monkey Island

Gabriel Knight

Leisure Suit Larry

Side-Scrolling Action

Ninja Gaiden

Mega Man



Space Harrier

Golden Axe



Bionic Commando


Final Fight



Moon Crystal

Holy Diver

Super Famicom

Gunple: Gunman's Proof


Rendering Ranger: R2

Japanese PS1

Panzer Bandit

Harmful Park

Gunner's Heaven


Tracing the Influence

A History of Korean Gaming

Japanese Artwork of Western Games

Franchise Profiles


Donald Duck

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles