Hardcore Gaming 101 – Go There, Love It, Buy the Book

I don’t really have anything to gripe about today and I didn’t play any Resident Evil last night, so…time for a link! But a really, really awesome one.

Hardcore Gaming 101. It’s all right there in the title. Looking for a twenty-five volume encyclopedia’s worth of information on new and retro games–especially really obscure ones? Here you go, fool.

The place is operated by a very cool dude named Kurt Kalata, and along with a lot of other great contributors, he’s created a truly staggering resource. Whole series and genres of games that I’ve never even heard of are dissected, analyzed and compared at great length. It’s the ultimate place to go if you’ve always kind of wondered about what some particular game/series was like but never knew the details.

And that’s exactly how I discovered the site, actually. I happened to stumble across their comprehensive write-up of the entire Megami Tensei series and was pretty much floored. Before that, I had been kind of impotently floundering around the Internet, trying to wrap my head around the impossibly complex relationship between all those damn games…and, whew, HG101 really saved my bacon! They lay out the whole series from beginning to end, detail how they all relate to each other and highlight which ones were best, which ones were localized, and the differences between the versions. Very impressive.

More recently, I was reading about game composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, approximately 1000 other games) and wanted to know more about his first game, Revolter. Even Wikipedia didn’t have an entry on this freaking thing, but–lo and behold–a Google search for “Revolter Hitoshi Sakimoto” brought up an HG101 article as its first result. Well no shit, I said to myself. I should’ve just gone there first.

In addition to the scope of it, the writing itself is all really strong and likable. It’s not some flashy New Games Journalism stuff or anything like that, just clear, reliable, concise work with absolutely no pretention whatsoever. I find that so, so refreshing these days.

They’ve also got a great blog and excellent features, including the recently compiled 1000 best video game songs of all time. And no, that’s not a typo there. One fucking thousand. I think that’s a pretty good representation of the the overall content on the site, haha.

They recently put out a book, too! It’s all about adventure games, which is a topic near and dear to my heart, but even if it wasn’t, I would have bought it out of respect. Hell, if it wasn’t so big (over 750 pages!!!), I would’ve bought two just so I could wear one around my neck.

Anyhow, check it out. Do make sure you have some free time on your hands, though. I’ve only seen…I’m guessing…one percent of the content on this site, and honestly, I feel a little bad about recommending something so strongly when I haven’t explored all the content, but…I mean…I’ve got a day job, here!


About djsharpecheddar

Have you seen a little girl?
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