And that's why I don't like cricket.

Shepton Plays Desert Strike

By Shepton on May 22, 2023 in Sheptro

‘sup chochachos. Since I finally got that upscaler I’m doin’ a thing. I’m playing one of my absolute all time favorite games, 1992’s Desert Strike on the Sega Mega Drive.

This game’s fuckin’ FUN and I love playing it. This is one of those games I go back to and play every couple years. The sequels are decent too, but I like Desert the most. S’why I’m playin’ it and even putting my voice to it.

I’m not a performer, so my voice isn’t great, so I’m also putting it out as a long play without commentary. Playlist below. Bonus video coming soon, gotta finish up the audio for that still.

This was all played on original hardware – my cartridge in my own Sega Genesis. Unlike the other long plays I’ve seen on youtube of this game which all have garbled sound or janky emulated visuals. I wanted to put a play through out there that did this game justice and really showed it off as it really is.

A’ight, finished the bonus video as well.


  • Updated with bonus video now that’s finally done.

  • I’d be curious if you could pontificate about FUN in video games sometime. I feel there’s got to be something in core designs that render modern games mostly not FUN. And not just adulthood and modern aspects like microtransactions.

    The game that sparked this for me was Doom Eternal. I simply had to throw in the towel about the Nightmare Master Levels. First time to my knowledge that I had to actually give up like that. But even before I started playing at that level, I’m really struggling to recall it being FUN. Maybe it was cool, but the sheer unreasonable effort to beat the insane and unbalanced stages and AI at the highest levels overrode any positive feelings I had. (we’re talking precog wallhacking type BS. Twist and warp their own model and animations to make sure they hit you type BS.) I never encountered that before either.

    And by all means a game like that, especially with a pedigree and big budget, should have all the trappings of being FUN, so I’m left with the question, “why isn’t it fun?”

    • Eh I think the biggest thing is the simple shift from every game being an individual, self-contained package intended to be an entertaining experience, to pretty much every game being a service.

      Single player or not, every game today is intended as a service. Even stuff that doesn’t have some kind of microtransaction or season pass or dlc package is STILL part of a larger service – for example, something like Spider-Man is serving the purpose of selling the larger service of the PlayStation network, simply through exclusivity.

      Sure, even back in the early days of home consoles, every game produced was trying to sell the hardware platform, too, so that wasn’t really any different. Maybe it’s just my rose tinted glasses but I think it used to seem more simple and innocent before the Xbox 360 era. Now I can’t help but see old rich assholes in suits corrupting every creative decision in every game because of profit forecasts and bullshit surveys.

      Long story short, I don’t think games are just games any more. There’s always a “but” – some extra shit that comes with it, like it or not. It’s why I predominantly only collect and play retro stuff these days. Nobody can collect my data, demand more money, advertise to me, or brick my game or hardware by pushing a bad update, or lock me out of the game if the Internet is down. I just put my cartridge or disc that I own into my console that I own and play what I want, when I want. And I have fun.

      That’s not to say “modern games bad’ though. I play and enjoy plenty of modern games as well. I’d just prefer that they didn’t have so many strings attached.

      • Sorry, I don’t get notifications for responses.

        Do you know a way to delete comments? I’d like to delete some of mine to keep your site clean. Like the 1 sentence comment I left on this page because the service doesn’t allow one to edit posts.

        I like your perspective. It makes a lot of sense and is well put.

        I still think there is something different in core design philosophies or mechanics that make modern games less fun than they were before. I’ve felt nothing but consistent disappointment with each modern game I play. I end up saying to myself, “Why on earth did they do it this way?” Or, “How did they miss/release it like this?” Stories are crap, mechanics are unpolished, etc. I’d like to learn what the physical fun factor is in games because I just don’t feel it much and I don’t think it’s due to me simply going through adulthood compared to the childish hobby this once was.

        But I think you are right too in that shift (service and ‘but’) compromises all the other aspects immensely.

        I just don’t remember getting so angry over BS I encounter like I do nowadays. Like modern devs are just irresponsible or something. Then again, I played Dynasty Warriors 3 on PS2 recently and I wondered how I tolerated all the repetition when I was a kid. Idk.

        And the padding, holy crap games are too big and too long (usually bland too) to the point where it feels disrespectful of the player’s time, Our Most Valuable Resource. Yakuza 7 was this for me. It had okay gameplay and charm, but in service of such a dull grind and artificial length for an abysmal story.

        • You made me realize the comments are woefully feature-free. Installed a plugin to at least allow basic editing and deleting of comments within a set amount of minutes after posting. It’s intended to be 5 minutes but I can essentially make it however many minutes I want.

          I’ll leave it at a crazy timer for now, so feel free to edit or delete your recent comments to your heart’s content, and then in a week or so I’ll set it back down to 5 minutes or something.

          • Thank you very much! That was nice of you. Lol, damn that was a crazy timer.

  • Hey Shepton I was wondering if you knew anything about playing NES games with a joystick on modern hardware? You did that article on Light guns so I was curious if you might have knowledge in this area too.

    I want to play a NES game called Captain Skyhawk with a joystick. But I’m not sure how to do it in the modern era with PCs and monitors. I do have the original stuff in a basement somewhere but I guess I don’t really want to search through hoarder hell to dig it out and try to set it up if it even still works (also without an old tv) just for this.

    Do you by chance know anything on how I might go about doing this?

    • Ah shit sorry man I totally missed this.

      Alright so joysticks aren’t my go-to for general gaming, I really only use arcade sticks for fighting games, BUT arcade sticks are incredible for that authentic 80s/90s arcade feel and in a lot of games can actually be more precise on a technical level as well.

      There are a TON of options these days. Retro-bit and 8bitdo are probably your best options for a plug-and-play solution for emulation. They are both very reputable companies and I own a bunch of their controllers (a lot of controllers they offer have 2.4ghz wireless options that work on original hardware as well as USB for modern consoles and PC.)

      For NES specifically retro-bit has the power stick:

      And 8bitdo has their own arcade stick that’s got more buttons and is more focused on the SNES era and later but will function just the same:

      I can’t speak for either specific controller as I don’t have either of them BUT I can say that both companies have really good, reliable controllers with great build quality.

      I can’t offer any advice for emulation either because I just don’t do too much of it but god damn it is emulation paradise these days as far as software goes. Close your eyes and throw a rock and it’s bound to land on a perfectly acceptable emulator for NES.

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