Recent Gaming News.

Video Game Addicts Now Have a Detox Clinic – I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ve played games since the late ’70’s with Pong and the Atari 2600. I worked in the gaming industry for over 10 years. I have racked up a lot of video game playing time. And I still do, as time allows for it. My parents helped me cultivate outside interests, and some I maintained on my own, such as drawing, reading, or just going outside. Oh sure, I’d play Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star Online or Donkey Kong Country for hours on end. And while working in the game industry, I’d have periods of logging over 16 hours a day, usually 6 days a week. It was more than I wanted at times, but projects don’t complete themselves.

Do I consider myself an addict? No. No, I don’t.

I think this quote in the article that completely invalidates this story for me:

“Hyke van der Heijden, 28, a graduate of the Amsterdam program, started playing video games 20 years ago. By the time he was in college he was gaming about 14 hours a day and using drugs to play longer.

‘For me, one joint would never Read the rest of this entry

Time Away. Games To Play.

It’s been a busy few weeks for me, as I’ve been to Las Vegas, then had family visit from out of town, but I’ve also had some time to enjoy a few games. Notably, the re-release of Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix for the GameCube, and Jaws: Unleashed for the Playstation 2.

Mario’s romp in the DDR world was a pleasant surprise for me. While not as challenging as other entries in the series, and certainly not using all of the multiple ditties the series is known for, the game does an enjoyable job of implementing Mario game mechanics into DDR play. It includes everything from Goomba stomping, to jumping on the flagpoles at the end of the level, and it works well in combining the two genres. Some of the those moments actually reminded me of World Class Track Meet back in the old NES days (who didn’t pound the Power Pad with their hands in order to beat those harder runners?). I figure as new DDR games make their way to the Wii console, the Action Pad accessory will turn out to be useful for the future. All the same, Metroid DDR might Read the rest of this entry

New Feature.

I’ve thought about adding new “features” (As any good game these days is known to have). One of which being sickeningly huge game rooms from collectors that make me jealous. The other….

For years, I’ve toiled over creating a “Top 100 Best Games Of All Time” list. I never could do it. Something new would come out that would catch my eye, what if I liked a game that was too obscure for only me, I was always afraid that when I finished, something else would warrant a place, and then what do I cut out of the list….

So I’ll do five games a week that really caught my attention, and think is worth someone’s time. This will go from the most popular and established games, to the obscure. From the ’70’s to today. From Atari 2600 to whatever is released. If it’s good, an eye-opener to me, or just something that redeifned how games played, I’ll make nods to various titles. And I likely won’t do all the obvious ones first. And to make it clear, I’m not going to rate compliations. It’s a skewed review. So without further Read the rest of this entry

I Am Truly Envious….

I plan to offer certain topic ideas every week to this blog, but this was sent to me by a friend, and quite frankly, I’m a little in awe:

Peter Hirschberg’s arcade.

The envy flows like fine wine….

E3 2006 Wrap-Up.

E3 2006 has come and gone. As with every year, it offers something new, something different, and this year, it really reminded me of how much of an evolving creature the video game business is. Back in 1996, Super Nintendo, Genesis, Playstation, Game Boy and the “new” Nintendo 64 were the heavy hitters. This year, it’s Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, PSP and the Nintendo DS. As my 9th attended E3, this perhaps was one of the biggest evolutions.

The feel itself it different. It’s not the wild “party” atmosphere is no longer there. The “booth babe”, while still present, don’t look like the strip clubs were raided for dancing girls, with a “oh yes, we have games too” vibe around the booths. Brochures are almost gone. Want to check out their game catalogs? Go online to their press sites. Even the toys, shirts, and everything else free and collectible is a rarity. Namco had some neat Pac-Man toys, and Sony had some downloadable PSP demos (I regret not bringing my PSP).

The games and systems themselves?

If E3 is Disneyland, then Nintendo is Disney. No one celebrates their characters like Nintendo Read the rest of this entry

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