Archive for February, 2012

Hadn’t Expected To See This… Perhaps Ever.

Older gamers will remember what “Pac-Man Fever” was like when it took over the early 1980’s. Oh sure, there’s been similar manias with Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II, Pokemon, Wii Sports, and Angry Birds, but I still don’t think any of them ever really took over like the little yellow ball.

Pac-Man was everywhere: T-shirts, stickers, pajamas, records, bed sheets, garbage cans, restaurant glasses, figurines, TV trays, a top of the Billboard charts song, and of course, the Hanna Barbera animated series, now on DVD.

For those gamers that have never seen the series, it was similar to Smurfs or the Snorks, with the characters saying “Pac” before everything (you know, to differentiate between regular items that you and I use). Pac-Man, Ms. (Mrs.?) Pac-Man and Pac-Baby lived in Pac-Land with their pet dog (Chomp Chomp) and cat (Sour Puss). Pac-Man was essentially security for Pac-Land’s Power Pellet Forest, fending off against Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Clyde, Sue, and their human master, Mezmeron. After a while, they added in Super Pac-Man.

Plots were basically the same, much like the Smurfs: Things started out normal, Mezmeron busts up the happy Pac-Land, Pac and company eat power pellets, turn the tables on Read the rest of this entry

Midway Arcade: Post-Script.

While my opinions of my time working with Midway have been touched upon here, I wanted to get a little more into the history of some of those titles. I always had a soft spot for two major areas of their games: The Mortal Kombat series, and their arcade classics. How could you not have a fond reverence for titles such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Rampage, Spy Hunter and others? Not to mention in 1996 when they acquired most of Atari’s arcade classics like Gauntlet, Paperboy, and Marble Madness. I say “most” because somewhere along the way, Midway lost publishing rights to a handful of these titles, and they reverted back to “new” Atari. I never got the full story of what happened there. One day, we were publishing Asteroids, Centipede, and Crystal Castles, and then one day, we weren’t.

But I loved this series largely because of my fondness for preserving the history of gaming. Certainly, both Arcade’s Greatest Hits and Midway Arcade Treasures highlighted some real gems, but as the series progressed, the already basic interfaces got even more simplistic, and the last compilation just seemed like an afterthought to toss a Read the rest of this entry

Tron: Uprising Trailer.

While the preview may be from last year, it would be criminal of me not to post it here:

Well, I know what I’ll be watching when it debuts….

Nintendo Direct.

There are two things that I genuinely got excited for today from the video announcement.

The fact that I now have 8-bit Legend of Zelda stationery to use, and the fact that The Last Story is finally coming to Wii.

The video itself was very dry. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t exactly get a person hyped up and crazy, either. It did, however, bring up a lot of good things in the mere fact that underneath that dry tone, I got the feeling that Nintendo is finally starting to “get it” in terms of content, online, and direction, with the 3DS leading the charge with what I hope continues on the Wii U (or whatever they decide to call it).

Operation Rainfall has finally seemed to make a dent in NoA’s puzzling and unyielding stance on releasing the RPG titles. I can actually see both sides of it. On one hand, Nintendo is reasonable to be hesitant about releasing RPGs on a system not known for them, no matter how well-received they’ve been. I tend to see the Wii as an experiment as to what might work, and what wouldn’t. Nintendo tested the waters with online, but Read the rest of this entry

Retro Review: Deadly Creatures.

One of the “understood” things about the Wii is how games work on the system. If it’s (by and large) Nintendo published such as the Wii Whatever series, or a dance game, then it’s never going down in price.

Everything else? Just wait a few weeks.

That’s just the way it has always been for the Wii. It doesn’t matter if the game is chock full of features, makes intelligent use of motion (or regular) control, or is just an outstandingly fun title on its own merits, it becomes bargain bin fare in less than six months.

Deadly Creatures, released in THQ in 2009, is one of those titles. And it’s a shame too, as it really was a unique, well done title. But it had two stumbling blocks right out of the gate: Little to no external word of mouth, and I don’t think people could wrap their head around the subject matter.

Arachnids are creepy. Let’s just get that out of the way. They’ve been around for millions of years, and they haven’t gotten any cuter. So when the game asks that players step into the many legs of these creatures, a lot of squeamish Read the rest of this entry

Catalogs Were Almost As Exciting As The Game.

I’m still getting the hang of this new site. Trying to see what I can do, actually attempting to follow through on making my site’s Twitter more, er, “twitty”, and apparently getting feedback from a lot of people who simultaneously love my website, yet seem to feel that I either need to lose more weight, earn more money now, or find an attractive bride from a third-world country.

….

I just can’t seem to please everyone.

But here I am regardless to talk about gaming, and more in this aspect, classic gaming. I’ve focused a lot on modern consoles and upcoming releases, but my real fondness does lie in the realm of classic gaming, and one of those aspects that I greatly enjoy collecting:

The video game catalog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The collage that you see here is actually a small sampling from my personal collection. I’ve amassed a number of these over the years from buying unopened games, eBay, and other classic gaming venues. It’s an interesting look at how early gamers got a taste of what was to come for our favorite consoles and computers before the internet was even a remote factor in our gaming lives.

I would like to say not much has changed from then Read the rest of this entry

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