pac-man Archives

Wreck-It Ralph Review.

Tonight, I got to see a preview of Wreck-It Ralph in 3D.

If you want the short of it, it’s now one of my “Top 10” Disney animated films.

The long of it, however, is best explained for a number of reasons. And you can start with the poster:

Basically, this is Toy Story for video games. What happens when the arcade closes for the night?

This movie has a TON of cameos, making Captain N: The Game Master look pale by comparison. You can spot dozens of games in the 30 year time progression of the arcade, from Star Wars to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to a virtual “Who’s Who” of classics. That’s nothing to say of the cameos of characters running around in “Game Central Station”. These two scenes alone are going to cause a lot of frame by frame scanning when it comes to home video. One cameo moment actually shocked me how “true to character” they were. I won’t reveal anything, but there are a few delightful nods. Surprisingly, however, is how devoid of Nintendo this movie is. Yes, Bowser is in there, and there are two other nods, but Nintendo was Read the rest of this entry

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

R.I.P., Gary Garcia.

On November 17, Gary Garcia, one half of the Buckner/Garcia team that brought Pac-Man Fever to the radio waves, passed away.

I actually was lucky enough to get the album in the early 1980’s as a record (think of it as a large, black colored CD for you younger folk), and played it as endlessly as I poured over the record jacket memorizing Pac-Man patterns. To me, the album was great fun as it had the actual arcade sound effects instead of the wimpy “bonk bonk bonk” noise of the Atari 2600 version. The arcade always sounded more exciting.

In the late 1990’s, the duo brought the same album to the CD age by remastering the album, so I got that as well as the photo listed on the duo’s above-listed webpage.

Pac-Man Fever is one of those many footnotes in how deeply Pac-Man had ingrained himself in the public consciousness. Outside of Mario, no video game character has ever truly taken gamer and non-gamer alike in a rush of cartoons, bedsheets, breakfast cereals, T-shirts, pajamas, toys, games…. You had to have something of the actual “Pac-Man Fever”, and the song only played into that moment of a pop culture Read the rest of this entry

Pac-Man Fever.

Aggh, I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since my last update, but there have been a few good reasons for that.

Mostly family and friend visits, in addition to getting ready for said family and friend visits, and honestly, I haven’t had much time to game lately, which makes it a little hard to pontificate on the subject when you haven’t picked up a controller all that much.

But I do take that back to an extent. There was a Pac-Man Championship DX tournament at Insert Coins last week, which I made a point to enter. The hard part was that a week before, I pulled tendons in my gaming hand the weekend before that, so my electronic interfaces of any sort were limited. Even now, typing isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world.

For a busted hand, I did alright. I scored 1.3 million, which put me in the Top 5 of the tournament. I had to wait my turn, kept my hand from getting too sore, and then my moment arrived.

I started out well, practicing from weeks before, but my thumb went screwy, meaning that I died early in the first few minutes. But Read the rest of this entry

General Gaming Update.

This is not so much a post about any news in specific, as it is more of a what’s been going on in my world of gaming.

I’m still getting used to the Lynx. Actually, I took it upon myself to disassemble the unit and clean it. I really don’t like doing things like this, as it feels like some terrifying experiment that could go horribly awry, but there were some fairly sizable particles of dust on the inside of the screen, and they weren’t going anywhere. Fortunately, I found this guide, and it helped to ensure that I did everything properly. Not something that I hope to do again in the near future, but it was effective. Now, to find a way to better buff out some of those screen scratches. If anyone has suggestions, I am willing to listen.

Playing Atari games actually made me think of the old arcade days, and how different a time it was for gaming back then. You really don’t see arcades like those in the 1980’s-1990’s anymore, even ones that are still around today. They still lack something. As I played S.T.U.N. Runner on the Lynx, Read the rest of this entry

Pac-Man Toys at Wendy’s.

Sure, the 30th anniversary nod to the little yellow guy was last year, but that hasn’t stopped Wendy’s from starting a new toy promotion this week.

I got four of the five (they didn’t seem to have the maze game at the store I visited), but how often does Pac-Man get his dues as a fast food toy these days? The 1980’s passed a long time ago for this level of “Pac-Man Fever”.

And just so you know, yes, you can buy the toys separately without buying the food….

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