Website: Hardcore Gaming 101

Hardcore Gaming 101 is a video game overview site run by Kurt Kalata that is dedicated to cult classics and the obscure. Founded in 2004, it looks at everything from the classics, to Japanese import games, to long-forgotten arcade quarter-munchers, to homebrew, to pure garbage and the utterly insane. The site also takes a broader look at shoot 'em up iOS Games, the output of various companies like Compile, Toaplan, 8ing/Raizing, Nippon Ichi, Irem, Natsume and Sting Entertainment, pre-Street Fighter II fighting games, and the various Licensed Games of Capcom and Konami. The overviews are quite image intensive, and tend to run on to some strange tangents. The site has published a book containing overviews of nearly every Adventure game ever released, and is in the process of pubishing similar books on classic Sega arcade games. It is also one of the few places you'll find someone defending the Zelda CD-i games.

The site updates roughly every week. For real this time. Honest.

Game series and individual games reviewed that have TV Tropes pages:

Licensed Game franchise overviews, and individual licensed games reviewed that only have TV Tropes pages for the source licenses:

500 Word Indies:

Your Weekly Kusoge (brief reviews of "shit" games):

Tropes relevant to the writeups include:

  • Description Cut: The first second thought on the dubious idea of licensing Valis out to an H-Game developer: "Maybe this is respectful. Maybe it's a well-crafted narrative with the sex scenes merely as an aside, like Yu No. Maybe it's..." And then follows a screenshot of a tentacle rape scene from Valis X, with SD Valis sprites as Scenery Censor and the caption "FIVE. GODDAMN. MINUTES. LATER."
  • Gushing About Games You Like: Ys, especially.
  • Lighter and Softer: The site remarks that Dynamite Dux is this compared to other beat 'em ups.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Averted. Hardcore Gaming 101 is probably one of the few classic game retrospective sites out there that doesn't dismiss anything made after 1996 as garbage. Also, if an older game is horrible or a classic game has aged poorly, they have no problem saying so.
  • Widget Series: "To make an analogy, Dynamite Dux is to Double Dragon as Twinbee is to Xevious."