Battle Royale: The Last Generation Of An SNES-CD Saga

In retrospect... you're right. 2016 was rough but it's not 2020 rough. I had a strange feeling this year wouldn't be great, I didn't expect my expectations to be exceeded by this much.

On the other hand, this world isn't better or worse than ours. (Okay, better in regards to video games like SimSociety being a thing and Schala being playable in Chrono Trigger and Patrick Stewart voicing Julius Caesar in Civilization IV and...)

Corpus Christi is a city ITTL that has benefitted significantly from over two decades of butterflies at this point. Selena not dying in 1995 was particularly helpful in that regard.
Correct, Corpus Christi has basically become the Latin Nashville thanks to Selena. It's a lot more touristy and more international. It's actually leeching some of the growth/weirdness/population that Austin got IOTL (not all of it, but a good fraction of it).

Thing is he’s only focusing on the biggest games ITTL and devs seem to be better run than IOTL. We’re not seeing giant falls from grace like BioWare or Rare (though Everwild at least looks fun). Which makes sense because TTL has big companies like Nintendo and Sega avoid the massive blunders. To use a Pokémon comparison we have the Chaos Timeline while Nintendo and Sony working together is the Order Timeline.

I’m curious to see if we’ll be getting games where critics and fans are very split like The Last of Us 2 or Mass Effect 3. Critics adore these games but there’s a huge fan backlash to them, may have missed if there’s any games like this but critics and gamers seem to agree more often here.
Correct, we're only covering like... 20 percent of the total console games? Only the significant ones, so most of what we're covering are baseline "good" games. Also, I haven't been too great keeping up with studio names, but I assure you that there have been a couple Bioware-esque studios, original TTL, that have collapsed or will collapse. It's happening, we just haven't been covering it in lieu of other stories. Also, we're seeing a lot of direct funding of developers, especially by Apple and Google, so there are less studios than IOTL. As for critical/fan splits, actually yes! Pixelworld is actually fairly polarizing. Cyberwar 4 actually got a decent amount of gamer hate (They don't like Lucy/Netizen X). Miraculous Ladybug is somewhat polarizing. R.E.V.O. got a decent amount of dislike. Silent Hills was a bit polarizing. Dream Garden has a decent amount of haters. Surprisingly, Thrillseekers avoids it for the most part (the Rule 34 helps), but Thin Air drew aggro from some people despite its high review scores, and Syrene is an intensely polarizing character.

I’m willing to bet shovelware is very concentrated on Android and Steam ITTL. Steam I don’t see anything indicating they’d be better about shovelware than OTL. With mobile being even more viable for gaming than OTL, it feels like the best place to put shovelware and I see Steve Jobs being much stricter on what gets on iOS since Apple’s so much more involved with gaming than OTL. Google on the other hand probably doesn’t care what goes on Android. I see how they handle YouTube
The Nexus has a Wii-like level of shovelware, which is one of the things hurting it. You're right about Apple/iOS having a lot less.

Speaking of Clowney. What happen ITTL to a few other great Gamecocks? Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery, Connor Shaw, DJ Swearinger, and Ace Sanders.
Lattimore is actually doing really well on the Cowboys, which is one of the reasons they've bounced back so quickly. Alshon Jeffery is also doing okay on the Colts.

If Dallas Green's acoustic cover of Alexisonfire "Boiled Frogs" is not in Dead End Job, I will be highly disappointed.
Mmm, sure, it's in there.
Nope, because early scandals in 90's rozelle was put out and that change everything..i can't recall who is the current one but Willie Davis was the one during the michael vick scanda
I would like to see someone like John Madden, Terry Bradshaw, or Howie Long take the reigns.
Winter 2016 (Part 2) - A New Indie Star New
Laser Star

Laser Star is a digital (later physical) indie game for both consoles and handhelds, as well as Steam and other digital stores. It's a run and gun shooter/platformer done with a retro 16-bit graphical style, and can somewhat be described as Gunstar Heroes meets Shovel Knight. It tells the story of a young man named Solar who battles his way through hordes of enemies to liberate his planet and rescue his girlfriend Lily. Along the way, he acquires a huge variety of weapons and power ups designed to help him stand a chance against waves and waves of enemies and bosses across 24 levels (which expands to more than 50 later on with DLC). Laser Star is as pure a run and gun as it gets, very little in the way of puzzles to slow players down, while the platforming isn't all that terribly difficult. The game's true challenge lies in the various enemies that Solar encounters along the way, ranging from small Goomba-like blobs with tiny lasers on their heads, to massive screen spanning bosses with dozens of moving parts that create a bullet hell-like environment for players to navigate. Solar's weapons range from basic blasters (of which the player can select from four at the start of the game, with different attributes for different playstyles) to enormous cannons that can fire huge bursts of projectile energy. There are a total of 71 different weapons (expanding to over 100 in the DLC), which are divided into about eight different tiers of power, though players still have lots of choice about what kind of weapons to use, and it's also possible to take a part of one weapon and attach it to another to create special hybrid weapons, with many thousands of possible combinations. It's possible to equip four different weapons at a time, with no differentiation among weapon types, so players are encouraged to find four weapons for a variety of situations. As is par for the course for bullet hell run 'n gun games, Laser Star can be quite difficult, especially in terms of the game's boss battles, and memorization and strategy are key. However, unlike in the run 'n guns of the past, which give players a limited amount of lives and send them far back when they die to a boss, in Laser Star, checkpoints are plentiful, and you're only set back at maximum about one or two minutes of progress when you die (most of the time it's much less than even that). There is a special "classic" mode with checkpoints and save starvation more reminiscent of classic games, for truly masochistic players who want to experience classic run 'n gun difficulty, but most players will play on default mode with more forgiving checkpoints and saves. Solar also gains more health and shields as the player advances through the game, becoming more powerful as bosses do, and can equip two "accessories" as well, which can give him greater attack power, a higher jump, a special parry, or other different perks that give players more choice about what works best for them. Graphically, the game features a 16-bit style with some 32-bit effects, giving it the appearance of an SNES-CD, Mega Charger, or maybe even an early Saturn game: a slick but distinctly retro feel, with excellent sprite art and some gorgeous animation. There's no voice acting, but plenty of dialogue via on screen text or cutscenes, with dozens of different characters, both friend and foe, each with their own distinct personalities. Solar is friendly and brave but a bit of a doofus, Lily is mostly demure and sweet but with occasional moments of toughness, the game's villain, Captain Eclipse, is somewhat of a cross between M. Bison and Skeletor, and there are plenty of side characters that add a lot of fun to the game as well, with each individual boss getting their own personality (for the most part, some bosses are mindless androids or creatures). Speaking of bosses, they're EVERYWHERE in Laser Star. Most of the game's 24 levels has at least one midboss, with some levels having several, and each level ends with a boss fight, each with its own distinct gimmick or attack pattern. Some bosses are simply human-like people (though some of these humans are very very tough), other bosses are larger vehicles or creatures, and some, as mentioned earlier, are enormous, including a gigantic bull robot that charges back and forth across the screen, a giant orb from the sky loaded with cannons, a giant butterfly mech with an extending tail, a huge robot with two massive swords, and at least one Power Rangers-esque machine. The game's soundtrack is a mix of atmospheric and energetic tunes, and a bit of a throwback in its own right to the old Genesis soundtracks. The game's plot is a fairly simple "hero repels invasion and saves the world and his girlfriend" plot, at least at its surface, though beneath the surface there's a lot of character based humor and mini story arcs playing out across numerous stages, with running gags and some interesting plot twists here and there, including betrayals and surprise alliances. Solar is at first considered the so-called "hero of destiny", tasked with saving the planet, but it's later revealed that he actually took the armor from the real legendary hero, a man called Mathus, to impress his crush Lily, and Mathus later becomes an enemy, but then decides to forgive Solar and team up with him. There's a woman called Arcturia who helps Solar out at various points, and it turns out she has a sister called Calamita who defected from the planetary defense force to team up with Captain Eclipse, creating conflict between them. Lily tries to escape a couple times and fails, but in her escape attempts, Solar is inspired to be a braver person, pretty much admitting he'd probably just stay captured and not try to get anyone mad if he was caught. Captain Eclipse has an entire "bad guy squad" who has a variety of motivations, all of which aren't entirely evil, with some coming to the side of good but others dying over the course of the game. The average new player will probably take 10-15 hours to beat Laser Star, maybe longer, but the game can be speedrun in a much shorter time, and has modes specifically tailored toward speed running, with online leaderboards for individual stages, individual boss fights, and the entire game, along with a huge variety of medals and achievements.

Laser Star is released in February 2016, for the Reality, Virtua, Nexus, Gemini, Connect, PC, and Macintosh, and would later even get a mobile version. The game gets outstanding reviews at the time of its release, perhaps the best ever for an indie game up to this point, praising its gameplay, retro graphics, soundtrack, and battle system. Released for $29.99, it becomes a best seller on nearly every digital storefront at the time of its release, outselling most of its big studio contemporaries during its first few weeks of release. The game would develop a substantial fandom as well, with fanart, fanfiction, fan videos, and memes all devoted to the game. It becomes an absolute indie sensation, and a legitimate Game of the Year contender. It's released at a time when lots of other solid indies are being released on the various platforms, with most of them being multiplatform rather than single platform like many of 2015's indie hits. Games like Grove, in which players explore a forest with no landmarks or HUD, but simply using context clues and some dialogue to find their way, and Nightbellow's Court, a sort of first person RPG in which the player must fight their way out of a demonic underground mansion, also achieve significant success at this time, though not to the same degree as Laser Star. Run and gun games are fairly common indie titles, but many run and guns released over the next couple of years would take cues from Laser Star, with big bosses and outlandish sci-fi motifs alongside 16-bit graphics becoming a lot more common. Laser Star proves to be one of the year's most influential games, and instead of making a proper sequel, the company would instead expand upon the original title with three major storyline DLC installments, along with more than a half dozen bits of minor DLC additions including a combat arena, different playable characters, and different costumes, with a full edition containing all the game's DLC finally coming in 2019. The game's production company, called Elderberry, would eventually work on other games, and their profits from Laser Star ensure that future titles will see significantly larger budgets.