The Death of Customer Service – The Better Business Bureau III

Social Media logos
Social Media logos

The internet and almost instant access to information have changed our lives greatly over the last ten years. Today anyone can create a website or blog and connect with thousands if not millions of people. Often when someone feels they were mistreated they will turn to their blogs to tell anyone and everyone about it. In the past this action was mainly ignored by companies, but with social outlets such as Facebook and Twitter many companies created teams dedicated to seeking out issues on the net and solving them before they spread.

In part two of the series we talked about step 3, 4 and 5 from the eight steps important to being a member of the BBB.

  1. Build Trust
  2. Advertise Honestly
  3. Tell the Truth
  4. Be Transparent
  5. Honor Promises
  6. Be Responsive
  7. Safeguard Privacy
  8. Embody Integrity

Moving on to step six, Be Responsive, we devle into one of the main issues with companies and their responses to the BBB. Most of the time if you have an issue with a company, in this case a computer company, and you file a BBB complaint it will be sent to the company and directed to the person or persons in charge of the BBB complaint department.

Many larger companies create templates to respond to BBB complaints, but this is not just to save time. There are certain words or phrases that if sent to the BBB will be accepted as being responsive even if the overall issue was not solved.

For example if your system arrived damaged, but you did not report it within a certain time frame for whatever reason many companies will not be able to file a claim with the shipper. In this case they will tell you that due to you not informing them of the damage there is nothing they can do for you.

If you were to write to the BBB about this all the company would have to do is reply with a canned answer about the policy of the company and the policy of the shipper. They do not even have to reference your specific case. This will be accepted by the BBB and even if you file a rebuttal all they need to do is respond with the same answer and again it would be accepted. This is called ping ponging because this can go back and forth indefinably.

Many companies do not fear the BBB because it is easy to remain compliant which is why if you find a company that has a non-compliance with the BBB you know they have issues. Even large companies that receive many BBB complaints can have one agent answer them all due to the use of template answers. So what can customers do if the BBB fails them?

Originally customer complaints were limited to phone calls, e-mails and in some cases internal message boards. The main goal was to keep issues internal where they could be controlled. As the internet became more wildly used people began to create blogs and websites where they would talk about their daily lives and if they had an issue they would post about it. This was also done in public message boards.

At first these few incidents were ignored, but as some forums became wildly popular some companies created field teams to track down issues on popular forums and engage the customer there hoping to solve the issue and if not that bring the issue back under their control and out of the spotlight.

For the most part forums were happy to have representatives come to their boards because it would bring in more members. As time went on however, many board administrators would limit what these representatives could do. This was mainly done to keep them from posting about new sales or features or derailing topics.

In the end for many companies going out to forums backfired because now their representatives could do nothing to stop members from coming to those boards and posting about their issues. Sometimes information would even be leaked by disgruntled employees. Strong arm tactics aside these boards remained firm and the companies had no choice but to message the members in private hoping to solve the issue quietly.

Step seven, Safeguard Privacy, came into play not against the customer, but against the companies. Often when company representatives would contact customers they would offer free items or discounts to make the issues go away. Some of these members would post the e-mails, personal messages and chat sessions they had with the company representatives after they received compensation. This would lead to other members with issues demanding the same compensation which in turned caused some companies to withdraw from these forums.

When Facebook and Twitter became wildly used an old problem was given new life. Now anyone could easily create a blog, add hundreds if not thousands of friends via Facebook and followers via Twitter and post about ongoing issues with a company. Sometimes if the issue was serious enough other blogs and websites would pick up on the story and share it on their blogs.

This was a serious problem for companies because these complaints spread quickly as they were shared throughout the internet from website to blog to forum. Again teams were create to search out these customers and try to get them to stop posting. Some customers took it to the extreme and create hate sites which were only about complaining about a specific company.

At this point companies began coming up with different ways to deal with these issues. Some would give almost any compensation if the customer agreed to remove the criticism and or post something positive about the company. Large companies decided to abandon the field teams altogether feeling that even responding to complaints would just fuel the fire.

Step 8, Embody Integrity, also took on a different meaning depending on the company. Smaller companies would still seek to help their customer and engage critics on websites where as large companies felt it was not worth it.

It was easier to respond to BBB complaints and keep issues internal and ignore external complaints unless it was picked up by a major outlet. The result was larger companies receiving a lower customer service score, but this would be compared to sales and if the company felt the low score was not affecting the bottom line then no changes would be made.

Today there has been some pushback to larger companies who ignore or mistreat their customers, but as more and more companies merge there are fewer places for customers to take their hard eared cash.

It has become cheaper to cut back on customer service and instead put that money into marketing and sales. The idea is that if you only see commercials and ads you are less likely to see complaints. Some fault is also put on those who looked to take advantage of compensation policies by creating websites or blogs for small issues hoping to get something for free from the company.

Unfortunately the end result is customer service is looked upon even more as a waste of money for companies. This is why most customer service centers are overseas and the few located in the U.S. are understaffed.

The BBB can do little to help the customer and with economic hardships all around us many customers will return to the same companies that mistreated them because they have the lowest price.

The best thing to do is fully research any company you wish to do business with. Sometimes you will need to spend a little more if good customer service is important to you, but beware of some companies offering you “premium support” for a higher cost. These services are the same you would have received ten years ago for free, but have to pay out of pocket for today.

The Death of Customer service series will continue as we move into other aspects of dwindling support and service. If you have any issues you would like to see discussed please contact us via e-mail.

Click here to read part 2 of this article. Click here to read part 3 of this article.

The Commodore 64

Commodore 64 box
Commodore 64 box

The Commodore 64

Who can forget the awesome and sometimes just plain strange commercials of the 80’s and 90’s for computer and console products? Obsolete Gamer is searching the globe to find some of the classics from the Sears version of the Atari 2600 to the Commodore 64.

Commodore 64 Fact #16About 10,000 software titles were made for the C64.

Don’t forget to visit the Obsolete Gamer YouTube page for more videos.

Chris Taylor is NUTS

Chris Taylor talking to his chicken
Chris Taylor talking to his chicken

Chris Taylor is NUTS

No… seriously.

Game development is like raising chickens.

Chris and I were chatting last night about hookers, pr0n, Back to the Future, killing braincells…

I’m surprised the facebook thought police didn’t arrest us.

Nut contamination is not an issue at Gas Powered Games.

No workers are safe.

Melee combat is a hobby.

Just some crazy shit for you to think about every time you fire up any Gas Power games like Supreme Commander, Total Annihilation, etc.

Chris is our hero.

Keep checking up on his insanity at the Gas Power Games youtube channel here.

Bump N Jump

Sometimes there are games out there that you play just because it’s a little different than the norm, for me Bump ‘n’ Jump was that game, released by Data East in 1982 this action racing game mixed Mario bros. style jumps with Spy Hunter-style driving.

Bump N Jump cover

Now I did not know this at the time but there is actually a reason you are racing down a sometimes horribly shaped highway knocking cars off the road and jumping over broken bridges. The drivers girlfriend was kidnapped by a group called the Black Army Corps. (No relation to Black Water)

Again we have another case of a simple goal that is not so simple to execute. Your mission is to get from one level to another by racing down the highway to hell playing extreme bumper cars with everyone on the road. To add to the fun the road looks to have been constructed by my three year-old self because the road is only sometimes straight. Most of the time the road resembles mountain tops with peaks and jagged edges sticking out and if you run into these you are dead.


Luckily your car is equipped with the mother of all hydraulics that would make Snoop Dog go Snig-a-de-dig-a-de. Your car is able to take to the skies with a super jump and come crashing down on your enemies.

The game has a top down or “bird’s eyes” view so as you race you encounter a variety of enemy cars and trucks. These cars you can bump off the road to take them out, the trucks you cannot and sometimes the trucks will drops boulders or other items in your path that if you crash into will kill you.

Jumping does not just crush cars and trucks it is also to jump over the numerous broken bridges in the game. (I told you the stimulus package was necessary) It is also a good way to get out of a sticky situation. For instance when you bump into a enemy car it will give a little push back and if you are coming up fast on one of the out-sticking jagged edges on the road you can use your jump to safely navigate back to the middle of the road where you mainly want to be.


Bump ‘n’ Jump was simply designed but the gameplay was what made it fun. It had a Spy Hunter feel to the road design using simple colors and shapes and since it was also published by Bally Midway it makes sense where the 1983 Spy Hunter got its level design from.

As you go through the levels you are also going through the season. (How long did it take this guy to get his girl back anyway?) The changes in level design are small mostly consisting of color changes. The exception was the winter stage which sported a snow covered design and slippery icy roads.

Unfortunately Bump ‘n’ Jump was another game I wasn’t very good at. Sometimes when that yellow exclamation point would begin flashing on screen and making that beeping noise I would become traumatized and crash. Like Spy Hunter I only made it to the winter level once. (I notice a pattern here)


BNJ was ported to a number of console and computer systems such as the Atari 2600, the Commodore 64 and the NES and has been released under different names such as Burnin Rubber and Buggy Popper.Simple design and fun gameplay was the theme of the 80’s and that is why games like Bump ‘n’ Jump are still played today. Like many games of the 80’s you can find flash versions of them on websites or there is of course M.A.M.E, but I have no idea what that is. =)

Memories of Gaming 1997-2003

3dfx logo - a symbol of quality
3dfx logo – a symbol of quality

Memories of Gaming 1997-2003 by Honorabili

Around the year 1997, I started to go a lot to ebgames to buy a lot of PC games. Rather than go for whatever was the top title that week, I would always check out what games they had for sale in their bargain bin. I did buy hit games like Carmageddon, Fallout 1, Master of Orion 2, and Grand Theft Auto 1 but for the most part from 1997 til about 2003, I stuck to buying cheap games. The bargain bin had a lot of failed games that were either bad or had failed in their marketing and distribution and nobody knew about them or they were simply budget titles that did not have the best graphics but had awesome enough gameplay that they got released.

My criteria for buying these games was that they had to cost usually about $1-10. For me to buy one that was $15, it had to have been highly recommended or praised. This shopping included buying used copies of games as well. I also bought a lot of stuff based on the brands of developers and publishers. Almost anything that got made by Microprose and Interplay was bought for sure. They were my favorite company in those years up until Brian Fargo lost control of the company and Herve Caen destroyed the company. Because I would still play the popular titles at the time but I would also played a ton of obscure and lost titles, I gained a good understanding as to why games and gaming companies fail. As far as Microprose goes, went they got liquidated I remember buying all of their games (multiple copies too) for 25 cents a piece!

Back in 97-03, my life consisted of going to college, hanging out with my friend Bruce and little brother, watching a ton of VHS movies which we usually rented from Future Video or Hollywood video (both are out of business now), playing a ton of video games, and buying video games almost every weekend. Usually Bruce or my brother and I would go and scout out 3-4 stores at a time seeing which ones had the best deals and stock. We would go a lot to The Falls, Miami International Mall, Dadeland, and later Dolphin Mall. I usually had a policy of buying at least one game each time I went into those stores, even if it was a crappy $1-2 game (of which I bought plenty of!). I remember one time that Bruce and I went in to buy what was either Fallout 2 or Carmageddon 2 and we ended up walking out with about $300-400 of cheap games.

After buying a bunch of these games, we would test out a bunch on the crappy LAN we built using our main machines which were initially powered by AMD K6-2’s and our bitch computers usually were a bunch of trade-ins I got from my PC repair/building business that were Celerons or Pentium I’s or 686’s. Sometimes we would just setup multiplayer games of a specific game to see if we could get it to run because maybe the multiplayer component of a game was utter crap.

I remember very well when I tried to run Carmageddon 1 on my AMD 486 DX-4 100 Mhz and the game was a slide-show. Quickly after that I jumped to my AMD K6-2 266 Mhz with 128 MB of RAM and a Diamond Stealth 2000 video card tied to a Creative 3dfx Voodoo 2 with 4 MB of RAM. I got addicted to Glide games quickly… Thanks to my gaming I got a lot of orders for gaming computers which paid for my college and taught me more about the real business world than many classes I took and books I read ever were able to show me.

What I like about 97-03 was that I saw the explosion of graphics acceleration for PCs. We also experienced the graphics acceleration and CPU wars. Some casualties of the graphics acceleration were were 3dfx, S3 and PowerVR. Some victims of the CPU wars were Centaur, Cyrix, and VIA. I remember the race to hit 1 Ghz with AMD hitting it stable with their Athlon and Intel’s 1 Ghz P3 being a complete mess that melted. A lot of hardware that comes to mind of these days are: 3dfx, the TNT 2, Voodoo 2 and 3, AMD K6-2 and K6-3, Pentium 2 & 3, Athlon and Athlon XP, Matrox, ATI vs nVidia, Radeons vs GeForce cards, AMD vs Intel, SDRAM & DDR, PC100 & PC133, introduction of SATA drives, introduction of RAID to gaming PCs.

Around these years we also started to see a differentiation between the kind of gamers that were attracted to PC gaming vs console gaming. I also began to see that for PC gaming some years were good strong years and some years just about nothing good came out.

In these years we also saw a giant growth in the availability of better broadband and the explosion of the internet (and the dot com bubble burst). In terms of gaming this improved multiplayer games and the availability of pirated software and games. We saw stuff like Scour and Napster and WinMX rise and fall. Then came torrents, which are still going strong.

Apart from the usual pirated games, we saw the rise of emulation. Emulation has always been around just about, even in the 60s and 70s with mainframes trying to emulate rival companies operations. Certainly around the time the AMD K6-2 and Intel Pentium II were commonly available we saw a lot of good NES and SNES emulation, as well as Sega Genesis, and even c64 (which doesn’t take much to run) and the Amiga emualators (which took a lot to run when they first came out). Playstation 1 emulators were out, as well as Nintendo 64 but initial performance and availability of these was terrible. Around this time I got to know well sites such as You also saw the growth of MAME and ROMs for all sorts of systems going around.

These years also saw an explosion in video game and computer music remixing. I even took part of this, even killing RKO, the home of c64 remixes. General video game remixing blew up on sites such as OverClocked Remix. I made a lot of good friends at remix64 and micromusic.

Some PC gamers in 1997-2003 were either of the camp that cared only for framerates (FPS junkies) or image quality. Around the late 90s, I felt that 3dfx had the best graphics but lowest frame rates, then came ATI, and with nVidia having highest frame-rates but lower quality renders.

We also saw around these years the rise of the mp3/ogg files. Many games before used proprietary sound formats and also a lot of MOD tracker formats. CD quality audio became a standard for games around this time. Initial games at this time had actual CD audio tracks incorporated into the game CDs.

Other trends include the further increase of popularity of first person shooters in the form of the Doom games, Quake series, Unreal Tournament series, Half-Life, Counterstrike, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, Far Cry, etc. We saw just about the death of turn based strategy games and the explosion of more real time strategy games. Although Ultima Online was around, then came the explosion of Everquest (which made me a lot of money), and other MMOs.


These were great times for gaming for my friends and I because back then we had the time to do it. Later on complications such as girlfriends and wives and shitty jobs and children interfered with our hobby. The equivalent of me getting cheap games these days are the Steam sales and the sales. I have enough old games that I can relive parts of the old days any day I want! (well, except having my old friends to LAN it up with)

Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter
Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter

In the 80’s Spy Hunter was the game to play especially if your arcade was lucky enough to have the full sit-down version of the game that was actually shaped like the car. It had fast driving, a bunch of different weapons and a theme that stayed stuck in your head for months. I loved Spy Hunter; I just sucked really really bad at it.

Spy Hunter showed up in arcades in 1983, developed by Bally Midway you played the role of a spy driving a high-tech sports car. Your mission was to race down the mother of all freeways taking out enemy vehicles which later really seemed un-spy like to me. While it is true James Bond is known for his awesome cars it’s not like all he did was drive around taking out bad guys, but then again maybe that would have been better than Die Another Day.

Speaking of James Bond, the early versions of the game used the theme created by Monty Norman, but because of copyright issues Midway was forced to change the theme to a version of Henry Mancini’s, Peter Gunn. Strangely the theme only plays during certain parts of the game like the beginning and when you get a new weapon beyond that there is no music and only the in-game sound effects.


Now the game itself is not too difficult in principle, you start off on a highway in your G-6155 Interceptor which was modeled after the 1983 Camaro Z28. On the top of your screen you have your score and a timer counting down from 1000. During this phase you have unlimited lives to get use to the game.

Along the route you will run into civilian cars which you are not to destroy even though some of them seem to move into your path or try to bump you. It is truly humiliating when one of the civilian cars blazes by you even when you are driving at full speed. If you destroy a civilian car your score counter stops denying you of points for a while and your weapons truck will only show up once per area to give you new weapons.


Once your “free time” is over you will begin to encounter enemy cars such as ones with blades that come from its tires to slash yours sending you off the road. There are also armor plated cars which you can’t shoot, you have to knock them off the road or use a smoke screen or an oil slick. You also have a limo which will pull alongside you to shoot you in the face with a shotgun and finally a helicopter that drops bombs on you.

To help you out on your “Spy Hunting” your weapons van (which looks a lot like Optimus Prime) will come every so often and give you different weapons including an oil slick, a smoke screen or missiles. All these weapons have limited usage, but can be refilled if you live long enough and don’t kill any civilian cars. Your weapons van (which really is a semi-truck) will give you new weapons and refill existing ones.


The graphics were what you would expect from 1983, it was a top down game meaning you played from an overhead view and the landscape only had minor changes in color and a plant or two on the side of the road. The exception was when you switched to boat mode and fought on the water and when you entered the winter area where the ground was icy.

I personally only made it to the boat twice and the ice level once, this is because I sucked really bad. Also you could have all three weapons upgrades on your car at one time, but again, you had to not suck as much as I did.


The game was very successful and ported to pretty much every computer and console system of the day and a movie was even in the works starting The Rock, but there has been little news of its production of late.

Spy Hunter is classic action even though driving on the highway is not really Spy Hunting and your car is pretty lame at first and civilian cars drive faster than you and the switchblade cars sucked major ass and being shot in the face by a limo blows chunks and the music turned off making the explosion of my car audible to everyone and I ran out of quarters trying to get to the boat level.

You can find this game in its flash version pretty much anywhere and its worth trying out, there are other versions and a Spy Hunter 2, but the original was the best in my opinion and one day I hope to make it back to that icy level.

Global Agenda: Free Trial

Global Agenda logo
Global Agenda logo

Its one thing to get something for free it’s another if what you are getting also happens to be awesome. The high-action FPS MMO Global Agenda is now offering a free trial. All you have to do is head on over to their free trial page and download the game.

What is Global Agenda?

Global Agenda is a massively-multiplayer online third-person shooter video game developed by Hi-Rez Studios. It uses the Unreal engine and is unique because it offers a onetime fee and monthly subscription option. What this means is you can purchase the game and play it on your PC alone and with others that have purchased the game or you can add a monthly subscription to gain access to additional features.

Now the game itself has a Planetside slash Tribes feel. Known as a TPS or third person shooter your main task is advancing your agency (guild) and improving your character. You do this by leveling up; gearing your character and killing other NPC’s and rival agencies.

In the wake of severe global disaster, the political face of 22nd century earth has changed and player-created factions scheme against each other for power. Traditional full-scale wars are a thing of the past, factions must rely on covert agencies, teams of elite special operatives able to seize and defend key facilities. The future of humanity is their battleground, where knowledge is power, technology is a race, and everyone has an agenda.

Now keep in mind this is a trail so you don’t get everything you would if you purchased the game. Here is the rundown from their website:

You can play the Global Agenda Trial as much as you like but you are only getting a taste of the game, and some features are not available in the trial version.

Buying the game one time unlocks most multi-player shooter components of the game, with no subscription required ever. An optional subscription package, called Conquest, unlocks additional MMO features, including the Alliance vs Alliance gameplay for on-going territory control. Conquest is free for all purchasers until Version 1.3: Sandstorm is released.

Now if you download the game and decide to keep it you can purchase the full version on Steam and unlock the following.nd Level 15, unlocking additional devices and skill points.

  1. Use the Auction House to sell and purchase items.
  2. Access high-end PvE content.
  3. Ability to choose your PvP match type.
  4. Receive higher login priority (as a trial member, you may not be able to play if other players have a higher login priority than you).
  5. Join an Agency.
  6. Use in-game mail to send items, credits and messages to other players.
  7. Use voice chat.
  8. Play the subscription-based Conquest content free until the end of April, 2010.
  9. …and more

In addition, if you purchase today, you receive the ability to play the optional Global Agenda Conquest subscription content free until the end of April, 2010. This includes the Alliance vs Alliance Gameplay for on-going territory control.

So what are you waiting for, go get your trial now!

Dan Aykroyd drinks Crystal Head Vodka

I don’t drink a lot of alcohol but when I do I like to choose something unique, interesting and perhaps something with… metaphysical powers. Oh, I also want it to be promoted by actor, Dan Aykroyd.

I drink mother fuckin’ Crystal Head Vodka, bitch.

What is the marvelous piece of artery shown? Dan Aykroyd’s masterpiece – Crystal Head Vodka, of course. Intrigued? Thought so. Let me sum it up without all of the fancy wordage.

The Creation

So, Dan Aykroyd got John Alexander (some fancy art designer) to make a exact glass replication of a human skull. Once they figured out that shit out it took like 2 years for them to construct it correctly by some glass manufacturer in Europe.

Apparently the shape and specifications makes it really hard to create… maybe because it’s a fucking exact replication of a human skull. Dan continues explaining the legend and why they choose this shape instead of a Crystal Glass Penis.

The Legend

Thousands of years ago 13 crystal heads were scattered across the earth. To our knowledge we have 8 actual heads in custody of which mostly are found in museums… except for one that belongs to a women who lives somewhere in he southwest. She claims had to put it in her closet because it started talking to her.

The actual 8 of 13 legendary quartz skulls found so far

Scientists claim that it would have taken between 300-500 years to carve one of these heads from a single piece of quartz. The odd thing is that scientists can’t figure how they were made without being damaged in the process. These skulls are based on the most recent Indiana Jones movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull“. It actually pains me to even think about that steaming pile of shit they call a “movie”.

Fuck you, George Lucas. I only still like you because of Star Wars 4-6.

Cultures like the Aztecs, Mayans and First-Nation Native Americans revered these artifacts with high regards. They were thought to hold “sacred” and “mystical” properties associated with sources of higher knowledge, insight and power. Sounds like Scientology to me. Anyways… what to put in such an important symbol thought to bring you alignment with spirital beings and possibly make your penis or breast size larger. Hmm.. wait! I got it! VODKA! No, not any plain old Vodka. I’m talking like… quadruple(that is 4 you dumb asses)-distilled and triple-filtered through 500-million year old Herkimer diamond crystals, fuck yea.

Totally unnecessary but Dan said so… yeah…

Yeah… this might be totally unnecessary but you can’t deny the fact that it’s cool as hell and impressive. Imagine what you could tell friends. You get the picture. Good luck finding it though, unless you buy it online. Apparently it’s very hard to find in brick-in-mortar stores… maybe if you ask Dan Aykroyd nicely… he might give you some.

That’s right, Dan – Quadruple-distilled, Herkimer diamond crystal triple-filtered Vodka.



State of the Lan Party II

LAN Party 2
LAN Party 2

In case you missed it you can read part 1 here

Originally posted on Direct2Dell Blog.

Thousands of led lights flashing and blinking illuminate the otherwise dark room at the LAN party. At first glance you might think everyone is playing on a uniformed system, but with a simple question; what kind of rig do you have, you will find out how special and unique LAN goers systems are.

Originally you were only cool if you had a self build custom computer. Still today many who build their own system will swear by it and turn their nose up at anyone with what they call a stock system. When Alienware came on the scene this all changed. It can be debated which one prefers, but once Alienware systems started showing up at LAN parties it became clear that you did not have to be a computer building whiz kid to have a sweet rig.

When I was introduced to Alienware I had already built a system with the help of my friends. I was proud of my system and it was pretty awesome. I have to be honest that when I saw the original hydraulic case in purple my jaw dropped. Here was a system just as powerful as mind in a custom color that looked like it was built by its owner. I later came to realize this was because Alienware employees did indeed hand build their own systems.

To be fair, there were those who compared prices and specs in an attempt to validate their own systems, but for the majority it was accepted as a LAN worthy rig. This may seem silly to those on the outside, but to the LAN member our PCs are as important to us as a powerful engine is to a mechanic.

A lot of time and effort was put into system building. Often one would spend days just building it and then do all sorts of tweaks and fixes to it to get it just right for game day. While it was a badge of honor when you did build your own system it was not for everyone. I never bothered anyone about having a store bought rig considering my first LAN system was store bought. This did not stop others who believed you had to build a gaming system and nothing else was good enough.

Today we have systems that can run most of the games we want to play. Many people still build, but with high performance options at reasonable prices like, Alienware this allows gamers of all ages and economic statuses to own a powerful system. Back in the late nineties this was still not the case. The 3D video card market was just taking off and newer games required quite the system resources.

The downside was that to keep up with the newer games and products you had to upgrade pretty frequently, but to the hardcore LAN and gamer this was all part of the process. Alienware allowed those who could not build or did not have time to troubleshoot the opportunity to have a system that had the power to play their games and the ability to upgrade whenever it was necessary. It was no wonder as time went on that you saw more and more Alienware rigs at LAN parties.

Many who built their own systems also owned an Alienware because of its unique look and upgradability. In the end some will always swear by their own hand built rig, but custom company systems have earned their place among gamers and LAN attendees alike.

In part three of the series we will explore how games and game play have affected the LAN party.

You can read part 3 here and part 4 here

Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament 3 Box Cover
Unreal Tournament 3 Box Cover

Unreal Tournament 3 review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“One of the greatest, fastest FPS games out there”

Overall Score:
9 out of 10

Overview & my history with this game:

Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3) is based on the 3rd generation Unreal engine, hence the title. The gameplay of all the Unreal Tournament games are based upon speed, skill, and pure reaction. I could see people getting fatigued from playing this game, maybe explaining why it’s not as popular as some current first person shooter games.

There are many different game modes, which keep the game fun and entertaining. The game modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag (CTF), Vehicle Capture The Flag, Warfare, Greed, and Betrayal. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are all about killing enemies, whether as a free-for-all or as a cohesive team. The Capture The Flag modes are about doing whatever you can to enter the enemy base, steal their flag, while making sure they don’t take your flag. You can only score if your flag is planted in your base. Warfare is about assaulting the enemy base and trying to destroy their generator/strategic objective. Greed is about collecting enemy’s skulls for points. Betrayal is a mix of Team Deathmatch and screwing your team mates over (and THEN trying to survive).

The story of the game is pretty generic and what does it really matter since this is designed to be a carnage-fest anyways. Story goes something along the lines that these megacorps that run everything decided to hold contests to determine disputes (like the original Rollerball movie) and also to have it as a show (generate revenue from the show, advertising, bets, whatever). The single player has its own story where your group of mercenaries get hired/screwed by the corps/military to deal with some alien problems. Anyways, let’s get back to the meat of the game, not the b-movie storyline. 😀

You can play the single player campaign, which is like the training tutorial for the real game: competing online against other players. The game uses Gamespy to connect with other players, which to me is not the best system for connectivity, but one has to live with it. A really annoying thing I found with the UT3 Gamespy component is that if you forget your password, you’re pretty much screwed. When you reset your password at the Gamespy website, it only resets your password for entering that website, which has nothing to do with the password you setup for your UT3 account. So my warning is that you write that password down somewhere and never ever lose it, or you will have to buy another copy of the game, like I did.

Continued from Unreal Tournament 2004, UT3 has vehicles, except the ones in UT3 are much sicker than the ones in UT2004. There are some alien vehicles that are a lot like vehicles and robots from movies like War of the Worlds but with much deadlier death rays.

What’s different in UT3 from the previous games is that the speed has gone up and they added a hover board like the ones in Back to the Future 2. You use the hover boards to move faster while you are trying to get to a combat zone but they do make you much more vulnerable to damage.

UT3 is available on PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. The PC version is by far the fastest and you can’t play cross-platform against each other. They are allegedly releasing UT3 also on Mac OS X and Linux but that has yet to happen.

As far as I go, UT3 is one of a handful of FPS games that I regularly play. The Unreal Tournament games since UT99 have always helped me sell a lot of computers. For many years I used them to showcase the systems I built especially since they are designed to run on most gaming hardware and they scale insanely well along with superior components.

Check out this video so you see how hectic the action in this game is:

Fun Factor & Replayability:

Games that inspire and cause epilepsy are a lot of fun to me. So are games that will make you think that you will die at any second but give you enough of a time window to react and counter an enemy if you’re good enough.

I’ve been playing UT since 1999 and I still fire it up often when I need my speed FPS fix. I can’t say that about every FPS game and overall UT is my favorite as far as replayability goes.

Ever since the first game people have been modding the living hell out of these games and creating their own maps. Having a lot of maps is important for an FPS game. They keep the game fresh. It’s almost as important as having new tracks made for a racing game (one of the things that makes a game like Trackmania a classic).

I just have played so much of this game that I give Fun Factor and Replayability both a score of 8 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

UT3 is one of the hardest games out there. It is probably too hard for most players, even for FPS junkies. Most gamers these days are used to easy games so they will probably play this game a little bit and then claim “Oh it sucks” when it’s their lack of skill that sucks.

The game offers a wide variety of difficulties for the bots and single player mode but the real challenge comes in trying to dominate human opponents. It takes a lot of training and losses to become good enough these days to rank high against a group of players.

Because of the variety of difficulties, I give Difficulty Versatility a score of 10 out of 10 because you can customize it really accurately. Difficulty itself is challenging as all hell and that’s a great thing, in the settings I play it at. The A.I. for the bots if tuned correctly will play like a really good player. That’s impressive. Difficulty I also give a score of 10 out of 10. If playing online is too hard, I would say keep it up as much as you can, if not train in single player until you gain enough skill.


The best price at the time of this writing I found is on Impulse which sells the game for $11.99.

To me that’s a really good price for an FPS game that’s a classic that will give you at least 100-1000 hours of gameplay. Value gets a score of 10 out of 10.


The sounds are a very important part of this game. The weapons all have their own unique sound and they are important because they can help you identify what the enemy around the corner might be carrying so you can switch to a weapon (if you’re quick enough) to counter their attack.

The characters in the game have a lot of taunts and insults which help add to the aggressive nature of this game. “Die bitch!” is a very common thing to hear.

I also love the announcer shouting stuff based on how often you kill things: “multi-kill!”, “monster-kill!”, “dominating!”, “head-shot!” It reminds me always of the announcer from Mortal Kombat.

Let’s just say that this is a game which is very loud and is meant to be played at very high volumes. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.


The Unreal Tournament games have some of the unique music in FPS games I’ve heard. They remind me a lot of the music from amiga games, especially UT99 that had music by Skaven. The music in UT3 was composed by Rom Di Prisco & Jesper Kyd Skylab. Some of the songs are remixes of the music from the previous games, which is all great. Some songs will get your adrenaline pumping right away, and others will be more chilled but can still create enough beats to make you want to keep running and shooting.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

The music for all the UT games are among some of my favorite songs for video games in general. I listen to them often, even while working. Music gets a score of 10 out of 10.


UT3 is extremely stable. I have yet to have this game crash on me since I bought it the first day it came out. You can alt-tab to your heart’s content as much as you want and the game will respond well to it. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.


The controls are pretty much the same as all the previous versions except that they added the key for you to pop out your hover board. To me, these controls are standard and not complicated at all. You can customize the reaction of doing double-taps, mouse sensitivity, etc. which is vital. Controls get a score of 10 out of 10.

Unreal Tournament 3 Eye Candy
Unreal Tournament 3 Eye Candy

Graphics & Performance:

Like all Unreal games, the game engine is simply amazing offering both jaw-dropping graphics and flawless performance. UT3 continues with the reputation and legacy of the previous games in that when it comes out it becomes the standard for graphics in gaming. Since the game engine is fast as hell, as well as beautiful, it sets the new standard for what we expect games to look like.

Although I heard that the UT engines are getting more expensive over time, a lot of game developers buy the rights to use the engine for their latest game. I wish Epic Games would still let people use their earlier engines, especially UT99 for a lower cost as this would allow much smaller game studios to still put out great games that might not be able to because of licensing costs.

I vow down to all Unreal Tournament games in terms of graphics and performance, especially. Graphics and Performance get a score of 10 out of 10.


If you like the speed of the previous Unreal games but want something faster, along the lines of the Descent games and the original Aliens vs Predator, UT3 is for you.


Hardcore start menu
Hardcore start menu

Hardcore, unreleased Genesis/Mega Drive Game by Digital Illusions

Hardcore was an unreleased Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game created by Digital Illusions in 1994-1995. The rights of the game ended up being owned by Psygnosis, which Sony owns, and they had by that time killed all development and releases for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.

The game reminds me of the Turrican games and Abuse.

Check out a video of what the game would have been like below:

Thanks to Tobias Sixx Bergeld for the heads-up on this video. sale: Kalypso’s strategy collection 50% off

Commandos 2+3
Commandos 2+3 sale: Kalypso’s strategy collection 50% off

All the Kalypso strategy games sold at Good Old Games are now on sale, 50% off.

The games on sale includes all the three Commandos titles, Imperial Glory, Patrician 1 and 2, Port Royale, Praetorians and Tropico: Reloaded.

The Commando games are great stealth murder games where your team are usually on a mission to blow up a German objective in World War 2 and usually there is a pile of bodies involved on the way to complete that objective. The Good Old Games version comes with the manuals, wallpapers, the Commandos 2 soundtrack, artwork from the games, and avatars for the series.

Imperial Glory is similar to Empire: Total War except that it came out first! The Good Old Games version comes with the manual (36 pages), hi-res wallpapers, the in-game soundtrack, and avatars.

The Patrician games are classic games about being a noble and working your way as a trader. The Good Old Games version comes with the Patrician II manual and wallpaper.

Port Royale is like Sid Meier’s Pirates but with more trading. The Good Old Games version comes with the manual (34 pages) and game map.

Praetorians, I have yet to play but I heard it is a mix between the Total War games and Dawn of War games. The Good Old Games version comes with the manual (38 pages), hi-res wallpaper, the soundtrack, artworks, and avatars for the game.

Tropico: Reloaded is a pack that includes the original Tropico, the expansion Tropico Paradise Island, and the sequel set in pirate times Tropico 2 – Pirate Cove. The Tropico games are essentially games like Sim City except you’re Castro or another of your favorite Latin dictators. The games are filled with humor and are fun as hell. The Good Old Games version comes with the manuals (127 pages) and soundtrack. The soundtrack for all the Tropico games are always very funny Latin songs.

Click here to go to the sale.

Games Coming Out April 2010 For Console

Coming Soon sign
Coming Soon sign

Ah April, the time for taxes and looking forward toward the summer. It’s a good thing game releases don’t take spring breaks because if there is one thing a true gamer wants it’s the next great game to play.

I’m going to change things up this time and create two lists, the A list, meaning its worth your time and cash and the WTF list and if you don’t know what that means look it up. So without further adieu let’s do this.

The “A” List

Splinter Cell: Conviction: April 13th

DRM aside Splinter Cell has been a solid title for quiet some times and as seen in the trailer this game looks to continue that trend by bringing you the stealthy gameplay mixed in with enough action and story to keep you interested.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City: April 13th

What can I say it’s GTA and if you are a fan of the series then you have to add this game to your purchase list. It includes The Lost and Damned & The Ballad of Gay Tony, two complete games in one package. I mean who can get enough of carjacking and hooker beatings?

Super Street Fighter IV: April 27th

It’s Street Fighter IV, but with more butts to kick! What else is there to say, SFIV was pretty awesome and if there is one thing Capcom can do besides make great games is milk them for all they’re worth. However, to be fair there are a ton of new characters, new level designs and features to this game and again, this is nothing new for Capcom or the Street Fighter series. Simply put, if you loved SFIV then you will be getting this game and the ton of downloadable costume packs that are sure to follow.

Dead to Rights: Retribution: April 27th

In my opinion Dead to Rights got it right with their mix of story and action when I played the original it completely drew me in and now with Retribution you get more story, more action, more characters and of course more brutal combat!

FIFA World Cup 2010: April 27th (PSP)

It’s called Football you American dogs! Okay so many of us Americans are not into Soccer, but it is the world’s game and FIFA has always done it right. If you are a fan then rejoice because this year’s version looks great with updated rosters and a new shooting mechanic all on the PSP. Yes, I said the PSP. People do own them!

The “WTF” List

Mean Girls: April 20th (DS)

Remember this movie, anyone? Lindsay Lohan is in it. By the way did you know that Lindsay Lohan tried to sue E-Trade over the baby commercial where they say the line; “and that milk-a-holic Lindsay wasn’t over?” You know from this commercial? Why is she suing? Because she thinks she is the Lindsay they are referring to as a way to make fun of her as if she is the only Lindsay on the planet. Why am I bringing this up? Because it is a hell of a lot more interesting than this game would be.

My First Dollhouse: April 27th (DS)

Oh look another DS game! Hey, check it out, you know how kids use to play with toys and have a real doll house? Well forget that BS if my child wants a dollhouse she can get one on the DS where I don’t have to pick up after her or trip over the new dining room table she got for it. The good thing about this game is at least your brother can’t break that realistic tea set your aunt got you for Christmas, or can he?

Blizzcon 2010 Announced

Blizzcon 2010 logo
Blizzcon 2010 logo

You don’t have to be a fan of World of Warcraft to enjoy Blizzcon, (Though it helps). With games like StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 on the horizon this year’s Blizzcon should be pretty interesting and hopefully informative. You might remember the rumored news that Blizzcon would be hosted in Las Vegas, but alas it was not meant to be. Yesterday Blizzcon 2010 was officially announced and surprise, surprise its back in Anaheim.

Here is the report from Blizzards website:

If you’ve been holding your breath waiting to find out when and where the next BlizzCon would be held, then… you’ve probably passed out by now. But if you’ve just been patiently watching for an announcement, then we’ve got good news for you: BlizzCon will be returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23! Just as in years past, BlizzCon 2010 will feature an exciting mix of discussion panels, tournaments, hands-on gameplay, contests, and much more. Check out the announcement press release, and keep an eye on in the months ahead for further details, including ticketing information.

I am sure over the next coming months more information with be released about who will be appearing and what will be talked about and for you World of Warcraft fans I know there will be some talk about Cataclysm. The Obsolete Gamer team will be there (at least one of us) so we hope to see you there and maybe we will have some goodies to give out. As more information is released I will bring it to you.

You can check out all the current Blizzcon 2010 in here.

Catherine Welch: Game logo logo

Name: Catherine Welch

Title: I am a staff writer for Game which is a site by gamers, for gamers, dedicated to bringing entertaining news, reviews and information to every kind of gamer on every kind of platform.

Gamecasa is a place where people can share, relax, and enjoy gaming goodness and all it has to offer, including reviews on new games and skits about games and gaming, while making friends.

Company: Game Casa

Favorite classic game: MvC2 or really far back Oregon Trail

Quote: Because of the great memories with friends and the catchy intro girl far as Oregon Trail, I loved the hunting..getting kids ready to play Cabela’s Grand Slam Hunting!

Final Fight

[youtube id=”T7z1YpHbn9M” width=”633″ height=”356″]

There is no doubt Final Fight is a classic, from the hot pink wearing Andore to the classic car smashing bonus level it is a game everyone should play at least once. I mean a fully cooked turkey dinner right out of a garbage can! ~J.A. Laraque

Final Fight

The summer of ’89 was a great time for arcade goers thanks in part to the Capcom smash hit Final Fight. FF was one of the best side-scroller beat-em-up games of its time. If you loved plowing through tons of bad guys (and gals) then Final fight was for you.

The first thing any fan of Street Fighter would notice was the game mixed in the style and even some characters of the famed versus fighter. This was not just because it was made by the same company, but originally Final Fight was to be a sequel to the original Street Fighter. It was to be titled, Street Fighter 89’.

Final Fight screenshot

Final Fight was changed to a more Double Dragon style game. Final Fight had six stages which took you on a path through Metro City to save Mike Haggar’s daughter, Jessica from the Mad Gear gang. Before becoming Mayor Mike was a former professional wrestler and street fighter. Along with Jessica’s boyfriend Cody and Cody’s sparring partner Guy, Haggar sets out to bust some heads and get his daughter back.

The game was pretty straight forward you walked throughout the level being pressured to move on by the blinking and beeping hand as you punched, kicked and body slammed your way through tons of Mad Gear gang members. There were a wide variety of bad guys each with different looks and skills and abilities.

Final Fight Gum

Each player also had their own abilities for instance Cody could use the knife over and over where as the others would just through it back at the enemies. Guy was the fastest and deadly with the katana, but Mike was the strongest with his powerful grapples and slams.

Playing was simple as there were only two buttons, attack and jump, but like most fighting games you could pull off a special move by hitting both buttons at the same time. However, in Final Fight using your special move took some of your life. You could also hit attack and the forward direction to grab your enemies and continue your attack or toss them over your shoulder.

For me the various bad guys and bosses made the game. You had your average street punks that would just punch you and then you had knife wielding guys in camo gear named El Gato and fat guys named Cho who would charge at you with their bald heads. Final Fight arcade also had ladies you could lay the smack-down on which was weird and fun at the same time.

Final fight

Strangely enough the women characters were actually transgender, I wonder how the player was suppose to know that. The game was diverse not only in the bad guys, but in how many items you could collect. It seems in Metro city everyone stores items in garbage cans or barrels or phone booths. You would break these open and find everything from jewels to cash to even a full cooked turkey dinner.

A few of the characters from Final Fight ended up in future Street Fighter games including Sodom, Rolento and even Cody. You faced many bosses from the long haired psychopath who appeared in the opening sequence to a crooked cop that you could eat his discarded gum to replenish your health. (yuck!) The boss of all bosses was an old man in a wheelchair named Belger who shot a nasty crossbow that could take you out in a few hits.

When you kick the old man through the window Hagger get’s his daughter back and Cody and Guy walk off like they are badasses. (…and they are) When Jessica shows up I assumed Guy got jealous and decided to pull off a combo attack on Cody before leaving him to be kissed by the lovely lass.

Final Fight Double Impact screenshot

Final Fight was one of those games that after a stressful day at school you could play and release some anger on a horde of bad guys. While the graphics and animation were nothing special it did have some simple sound effects and music that kept you in the game. It also had a great “continue” screen where your character would wake up tied to a chair with a roll of dynamite ready to explode. If you put in a coin and hit start in time a knife would fall out of nowhere and cut the wick and you would magically appear back where you were knocked out.

When Final Fight came to the Super NES it was stripped down nasty style. The changed plenty like turning the girls into guys, removing Guy, which was just a sin, and cutting out any blood and alcohol in the game. I still played it but it wasn’t the same.

turkey final fight

For you XBL and PSN fans good news Capcom has announced that they will release the arcade version of Final Fight to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in a two-in-one bundle titled Final Fight: Double Impact, which will also include the arcade game Magic Sword. A release date is set to April 14 2010 for Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft points and April 15, 2010 for Playstation Network for $9.99.

There is no doubt Final Fight is a classic, from the hot pink wearing Andore to the classic car smashing bonus level it is a game everyone should play at least once. I mean a fully cooked turkey dinner right out of a garbage can!

Games coming out April 2010 for PC

The Ballad of Gay Tony
The Ballad of Gay Tony

Games coming out April 2010 for PC by Honorabili

Not much is coming out this April for PC.

Borderlands Add-On Pack, April 6

This seems to be the DLC compilation all bundled together for Borderlands. Some of the content is already available such as the Zombie Island of Dr. Ned.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, April 13

The PC is always slow to get releases of GTA as opposed to the consoles, although GTA originally is a PC game. Many console gamers consider these chapters of GTA to be some of the better ones. GTA: Episodes from Liberty City includes The Lost and Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony.

Splinter Cell: Conviction, April 27

The trailer reminds me of Max Payne mixed with Splinter Cell with an over-the-top action movie. It might still be a lot of fun. 😀 I myself will not buy it because this does have the Ubisoft DRM that requires an internet connection to play a single-player game.

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, April 28

Serious Sam kind of fills the void for me that Duke Nukem would have filled (sounds sick) but it’s the same kind of game. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have more generic FPS games like this one. Good thing about Serious Sam is that they always sell it at a value price so a lot of people will actually buy it and you will have people to play it with, since this one has co-op.


Well, it’s a short list for April. If you are a game developer and would like your game listed let me know (so long as it’s a game that’s good). It’s also a good time for you to release a game for PC because of the shortage of titles this month. Keep checking these kind of articles because I update them with new release dates and new late-comers.

Interview – Tomas Danko (VO Producer at DICE)

Tomas Danko at studio
Tomas Danko Studio

Interview – Tomas Danko (VO Producer at DICE)

What do you do for your job, where do you work, and what do you like the most about it?

My official title is VO Producer and I work in-house at Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE) in Stockholm where we do the Battlefield and Mirror’s Edge franchises. I am part of the audio team (which makes us all Sound Designers according to the EA matrix), and my primary focus is everything that has to do with dialogue (VO means Voice Over).

Among other things I work with writers and game designers to develop a script/story, cast actors, record and direct dialogue, post edit and design/sound effect all dialogue not to mention all the work needed to implement it in the game (i.e. scripting, logic triggers, mixing and more).

I like almost all of it, although working for a week trying to beat a 500,000 cell Excel sheet into submission is not the most fun I can think of, even though it has to be done at times. I figure I love my job because it makes me do totally different things every month or so. Some examples: One week I record and direct actors in a studio in London, or outdoors in Stockholm. The next week I edit wave files. Third week I design radio filter effects, and then I create Boolean logic tree structures to do automatic triggering of sounds in the game. It never gets boring.

What was your first computer and how did you get it?

My first computer was a Casio PB-100. I used it to program a lot of small games and demos with it, and my math teacher in school had her son (he studied computers at the University) provide me with code problems to solve. My second computer was the Commodore Vic 20, and I guess the rest is history since it steered me onto the glorious path of Commodore computing.

What was the first video game you played?

My memory eludes me, but probably Pong if you exclude all the games I programmed myself on the PB-100 and Vic 20.

What is your favorite video game platform of all time?

It has to be the Commodore 64, of course!

What’s your favorite video game?

There were too many games taking too much time out of my youth to pick just one. However, I spent an awful lot of time playing Paradroid, Pirates, Kickstart, Bruce Lee, Exploding Fist and Rally Speedway among other games.

What’s your favorite story of the computer or video game industry? (could be yours or somebody else’s)

It has to be the little bug in Kickstart on the Commodore 64 where the head of the motor cycle driver sometimes flickered one line or two into the upper border if you managed to jump high enough. Someone (1001 Crew, IIRC) took a deeper look into it and the rest is demo scene history (fully opening the borders).

What do you prefer, the present or past, considering the state of the computer scene?

The past, obviously, as far as the scene. It will never be the same again. The present and future when it comes to making computer games. It is a lot more fun nowadays as opposed to when I did games on the Sega Megadrive and Sony Playstation.

What’s the most influential video game you have ever played, that changed your life?

Tomas Danko playing tabletop games.
Tomas Danko Dice

Kung-Fu Master.

When you were younger, who were the people you considered to be legends in the computer and video game field?

There are too many to mention them all. I’ll just say Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway and call it a day.

What is your favorite old school gaming studio/developer?

It probably needs to be Andrew Braybrook (Hewson Consultants Ltd, Renegade Software).

What music inspired you to follow your career?

Jean-Michel Jarre besides all the ancient heroes making music on the Commodore 64. On the whole, I figure computer music had a more profound impression on my aural aesthetics than anything else.

What do you think the future for gaming will be?

It seems to take a couple of parrallel paths at the moment.
More platforms are moving towards as well as further developing movement based gaming such as the precursor Wii console.
A lot of gamers want to be entertained in a dumbed down way, halfway point and click and get through the experiences of a game without having to work too hard or think too much about it. Hence a lot of “shooting gallery” single player campaigns where everything runs in a linear and tubular fashion.

Finally, and this is the nice part as far as I’m concerned, some people are working hard to push the narrative aspects of gaming further in order to get on par with the Hollywood movie industry in regards to telling a story and giving the player an emotional experience as well. Merging the knowledge and methodologies created and perfected by Hollywood with the non-linear and interactive core mechanics found in games, to give the player a brand new experience in the future. This is where the frontier lies in gaming, as far as I’m concerned.

Do you prefer games that are personalized single player experience or games with a lot of interaction with other people?

I like both, to be honest. From a developer’s point of view, I find the single player campaign to be the most fun and challenging to work on. But some of the most rewarding gaming moments in recent time for me tend to be the in-house multi play tests when working on various Battlefield titles.

What projects are you involved with that you are willing to share with us? (not top secret ones!)

We just released Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and I did some VO and sound design on it. At the moment I’m working as VO Producer on the multi player component of Medal of Honor, other than that I’m working on another Battlefield franchise title and that’s all I can share at the moment.

What advice do you have for somebody that wants to be involved in the video game industry?

Start working with some friends on a small game and release it for free or work with making mods for Unreal engine games. Look into the iPhone platform and business model, and make your own career. Try and get an intern position at a studio.


I thank Tomas for taking the time to answer us and help us get to know better his gaming and computing past, as well as his contribution to the computer and gaming industry.

Günther is a Pleasure Man

They say that Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships. Hogwash. If they would have known about Swedish Pop Singer “Günther” they would have beat the shit out of Helen and created baskets out of her hair weave.


“Ooohh you touch my tr-la-la. Ooohh my ding ding dong”

Günther is the most talented singer in history, ever. Most famously known for “Ding Dong Song”, his 2004 #1 album “Pleasureman” for three weeks on Swedish music charts, perfect mustache and haircut and seductive Swedish accented lyrics most commonly mentioning his genitals. Gunter is a true “Pleasureman” and he lets the ladies know it.

Tracks such as “Enormous Emotion”, “Naughty Boy” and “Teeny Weeny String Bikini” are perfect “pleasure making” songs… hell I listen them to when I’m making my tuna fish sandwiches for work the next day.


I know this makes you ladies horny – admit it.

Facts about Gunther

Fact: Günther can get any women simply by looking at them for .3 seconds (same rules apply for photographs and videos)

Fact: Günther’s mustache is actually is a different living being and is responsible for his mojo. Just like an “Achilles Heel”.

Fact: Günther always wears snap track pants for quick removal for pleasure time.

Fact: Günther’s haircut costs more than USA’s Health Care Reform bill.

Fact: Bono from U2 frequently asks Gunther for advice on sunglasses fashion.

What is my favorite Günther song?

Pfft. Do you even have to ask? Of course – “Tutti Frutti Summer Love”.

Why did she Kick My Ass at Fighting Games?

His name was Erwin and he played with Orchid and was able to pull off a combo from the start of the match and chain it into a finisher so you did not get in one single hit. He taught me that trick in exchange for six bags of Skittles, a Mars bar and my limited edition Cobra Commander with cloth mask.~J.A. Laraque

Why did she Kick My Ass at Fighting Games?

One day when I was a teenager I decided to invite my sister to play some fighting games with me. She was totally not a gamer, hell she didn’t even know how to turn on my SNES. I don’t know why I asked her to play, the last time I got her to try a game was Final Fantasy and she just looked at the screen, then to me and said; “So this is why you don’t have a girlfriend.”

Gamer Girl

Maybe I wanted revenge on her for scaring my ass a child making me believe there were ghosts that shook the house never telling me it was the subway underneath. Perhaps I was bored because my friends were out living life and I was trying to master every finisher in Mortal Kombat.

Mass Shrinkage

So I popped in Street Fighter 2 for the SNES, I figured the first thing I would do was show her who is boss. I had marathon seasons with my friend John who could beat the game on hard with the controller behind his back. (He did this and yet had a girlfriend). He would play Ryu and I would play Ken and thanks to his skills I could kick almost anyone’s ass.

Gamer Girl anime

My sister picked Chung Li because she was a girl and was “pretty”. She didn’t even ask what button did what, but I decided to give her a few moments to get used to the game. After a moment I jumped in expecting to finish her off pretty quickly, and then something weird happened.

I couldn’t lay a hit on her. She was just mashing the buttons and somehow she was kicking my butt. You should have seen her face; she looked like she was wrestling with a rat in her hands. She was blinking wildly and sweating. Even worst she would turn her whole body with the controller as if that helped her. All this and she owned me.

Oh Hell No!

We had about ten matches before I had to take a break to get some air (and to cry). I did get close; she had 10% health and somehow beat me. I could not believe it, 10 and 0, her win. I had to get my balls back so I loaded up the Sega Genesis and popped in Mortal Kombat.

beaten by a girl

MK2 was my game. I played in the arcades and was taught every combo and finisher from this guy who claimed his dad had worked on the coding for the game. I knew every in and out and I was determined to make my sister pay for what she did to me. If I ever hoped to get laid I had to beat my sis at video games. Yes, I see now my logic was flawed.

I picked Scorpion and again my sister went with a girl, Sonya Blade. My sister told me Sonya was a nice name; she nicely kicked my ass again. Don’t get me wrong, with MK 2 I won some matches, but in the end she won more. She even pulled off a finisher and she never played before or even saw the movie!

At this point I was her bitch and had one more game to try.

Balls, missing

Killer Instinct was recently released for the N64 and I had been trained in it by the master. His name was Erwin and he played with Orchid and was able to pull off a combo from the start of the match and chain it into a finisher so you did not get in one single hit. He taught me that trick in exchange for six bags of Skittles, a Mars bar and my limited edition Cobra Commander with cloth mask.

My sister thought the game was very pretty when I loaded it up and to her surprise I picked the girl. My sister was upset, but then smiled when she realized she could also pick Orchid. It was to be sweet revenge because I would beat her with a girl character.

hot girl gamer

It started off well enough. Again, she knew nothing of the game and didn’t ask for instructions. I had her half health when out of nowhere she pulled off a combo breaker. I felt my scrotum shatter as she pulled off her own combo and somehow killed me. I just sat there, my mouth gaping, I couldn’t believe it.

I only played her that one time. I got up without saying a word and left. I think I walked six miles before I feel to my knees embracing the defeat. At that time everything I was evolved gaming and my noob sister owned me in three different fighting games I was a pro at.

You took my balls and I’m going home!

I didn’t play any games for the next few weeks. I started to go out more and play basketball and even met a girl. It didn’t work out, but hey it was a start. In the end my sister helped to break the addition to games. I still played a lot more than a normal kid, but it did get me to realize that what’s important is moderation because if you sister can kick your ass then you might as well not take the game so seriously.

Girl Gamer FPS

I also had an effect on my sister. She got into video games though her type was adventure or horror like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. To no surprise she was very good at those games as well.

I never learned why my sister had a natural ability to own me. I never saw her play anyone else so I don’t know if it was just me or something else. Either way I learned something that day; girls can play games and lay the smackdown on you too. Later in life I made sure to get my girlfriends into games, sometimes they beat me, but in the end I always came out on top. (Lol’s sex joke for the win!)

MySpace Interview – Raíces Torcidas

So, who are you anyway?

We are a death metal band from El Salvador, Central America. We are called Raíces Torcidas, Crooked Roots would be its translation.

Describe your sound for us.

Well, the band is mainly death metal, it has evolved from the first album and the band members have also been changing so the sound is changing, now with a more new school death metal. And the description couldn’t be complete without saying HARD WORK.

So you rate yourself then?

We are THE death metal band from El Salvador, our name as a band is 10 years old now, and we hope our recognition gets wider in other countries now we have a consistent sound and work.

Who are your influences?

Some oldschool death metal, as morbid angel, cannibal corpse, suffocation, some carcass, napalm death, at the gates also but with some new school like aborted. Fortunately we’ve had the chance to share stage with some of them like CC and ND.

Tell us one of your musical secrets.

Basically we have found the actual line-up with the people with the most responsibility we ever had, we rehurse more frequent now and try our best in the compossing of our new songs, trying our best to stand out from all the bands and make our name of respect in and outside our country.

What’s in the future?

We hope we’ll have a new album, we are now compossing right now, by mid 2009. We’d love to tour in other countries we haven’t played yet and keep on working in this shit.

What’s your claim to fame?

Raíces Torcidas just wants to be invited and play as many places we can, to get our music anywhere we can and show everyone what we, the salvadoreans, are made of

Musically, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

The band will be a legend, our legacy to the metal scene in our country will be obvious. Still if we’re playing or not as a band we’ll be turning peoples head to our country and showing all what we can do

Myspace or Facebook?

Myspace is for music.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

It’s the summer of 1989 and if you are an old fart like me you were totally into the TMNT cartoon that began airing a few years earlier. One day I stepped into my favorite arcade and there in the premiere section was the awesome full-sized, four-player game. I remember the first thing I heard was the theme song straight from the cartoon in perfect stereo sound.

Even if you aren’t in your thirties like me chances are you saw the TMNT game in your local arcade because it had a long and successful run. There were two versions, the four-player one and the two-player version. With both you could pick from the four famous turtles, but with the four-player one you could play as the full team.

TMNT was the epitome of beat-em-up games, your goal was simple, beat the Shredder and Krang and take out the Tecnodrome. However, the game starts out with April, the yellow jump suited lady friend of the team being kidnapped and you having to save her.

TMNT arcade screenshot
TMNT arcade screenshot

You start off in a burning building fighting foot soldiers which came in a variety of colors and flavors spouting all types of different weapons from guns, to swords to sonic fans. The idea was to overwhelm you as the foot would try to flank and surround you to attack from all sides.

One of the cool things about the game was you could use the environment to your advantage. You could hit street signs and coin meters to send them flying at the foot. There were also cans that if hit wouldsmoke and then explode. You could also throw some bad guys again the wall where they would smack into it and slowly slide down. The bad news was all this could be done to you as well.

TMNT arcade game box
TMNT arcade game box

In the game you had the choice the four turtles which each had their own unique traits. Donatello had a long range but a slower attack, Raphael and Michelangelo were very fast, but had a short reach and the leader Leonardo was pretty balanced between speed and range.

As for controls it was pretty easy which was good because this was a button mashing boot-camp of a game. You had only two buttons jump and attack, but you could press jump and attack together to do a special move be it a jumping swing attack or like with Raphael a rolling attack. You could also throw the foot over head and if attacking a foot in front of you and another snuck up from behind you could pull of a quick back attack to send them flying.

Back to level one, after making your way through the building and avoiding things like the falling bolder down the stairs and those awful robots, you find April cowering in a room sounded by the foot. After taking out the foot a drill capsule comes up from the ground and Rocksteady, the mutant rhino, attacks. He isn’t too hard to beat with his machine gun and slow kicks, but after you do the Shredder appears to steal April away from you once again.

You continue on into the streets fighting more foot and come across the only way besides beating the level to replenish your health, pizza. Soon after your snack you face Bebop, the mutant warthog which I always found harder with his sonic pulse gun and charge attack. I also found myself falling in the sewer which by the way took a bar of health.

With Bebop down you move to the sewers, but this familiar territory is filled with more foot and biting robots provided by Baxter Stockman who you fight as the levels boss. Then it’s back topside for another street level and then the rematch where you fight Bebop and Rocksteady together. This fight can be tough, but you if you keep your distance and use quick attacks it’s not too bad. Also you can separate them and when you both charge you jump and watch them crash into each other.

With April safe it’s time for revenge which takes you toward the Tecnodrome. On the way you fight a horde of foot soldiers and rocket across the streets in a jet powered skateboard before the turtle van cashes and you find your master, Splinter being carried away.

To get Splinter back you face one of the cheapest bosses in the game, at least in my opinion. The first stone warrior you come across can easily cost you several rolls of quarters. Not only can he trap you in the corner and repeatedly knock you down, but he also can turn your face to toast with his flamethrower. Did I also mention he has a ton of hit points? After you finally lay the smack-down on him you rescue splinter and then it’s off to kick some Tecnodrome ass.

As expected the Tencodrome is packed full with foot soldiers and tons of traps like lasers, freeze rays, robots oh and another cheap stone warrior. However, this stone warrior isn’t half as bad and even though he is sporting a rocket launches he is easily defeatable. Now it’s just you and the two final bosses.

Khang the pink brain of the team comes out from behind an energy screen in his makeshift body firing lasers from its eyes and kicking you if you get close. Stick and move is the key to this fight and soon his robot body will be scrap, but as Khang exclaims while he flies away; “I’m invincible!”

Finally its Shredder time! Shredder is a master swordsman so his sword attacks are fast and deadly. He also has powerful kicked that can send you flying out of your shell. To add to this he can also split into two creating a clone of himself that is just as powerful. Finally he has his mutant ray that can turn you back into a normal turtle effectively one shotting you.

I’ve found the key is to keep them together and take em both out. Soon both their helmets come off and the fight is over. The Tecnodrome is destroyed and you are left to wonder if you will see Krang and the Shredder again, the answer is yes.

TMNT is one of those arcade games that is still fun to play today. It was released for many consoles including the NES though for the NES it was called TMNT 2 because the first TMNT game was god awful and I will not speak on it. If you want to know about it check out this video from the Angry Video Game Nerd.

If you are felling nostalgic you can get TMNT the arcade came on X-box live. Trust me, if you haven’t played this game you need to. TMNT is truly a classic; it had everything a gamer could want. Pure fun, pure excitement, pure turtle power! sale: Gobliiins Pack now available

Gobliiins Pack
Gobliiins Pack sale: Gobliiins Pack now available

All the first 3 Gobliiins games (Gobliiins, Gobliins 2: Prince Buffoon and Goblins Quest 3) are now bundled together for a total of $5.99 by our friends at Good Old Games. The bundle includes the games, their manuals, soundtracks, and hint books.

The games are comical point-and-click adventure games. Click here to go to the sale.

Common Pitfalls of Bumming Money

Looking to make some extra money on the side? Perhaps considering a new career? Every think about bumming for money? It can be a lucrative profession if done right. Unfortunately most people on the streets have a 4th grade education and seen a bit too much of the crack pipe.


Avoid these common pitfalls and you should be on your way to collecting $200 and passing GO in no time.Read More

TRON Movie Review

TRON original poster
Tron original poster

TRON movie review

“Greetings program!”

What’s really going on?

The movie is about a company that’s being secretly run by an A.I. which eats other programs and keeps gaining functions and intelligence. Even the CEO of the company, Dillinger, is controlled by the A.I. called the Master Control Program (MCP). The MCP analyses the internal network of the company, Encom, as well as hacks into other companies’ networks, and government networks, even military networks for the US and the Russians. Think of the MCP as the grandfather of Skynet. The MCP keeps growing more each day. At times it reminded me of Colossus from the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project. The MCP can even talk, like Colossus can, in the later part of that movie.

One of the heroes of the movie is a hacker Flynn, who keeps sending programs he writes to try to infiltrate the company but they keep getting caught and deleted. Everything that we make happen in the real world through computers, has an analogical parallel in the world of computers. Alan, a programmer that still works at Encom is having problems at the company because the MCP confiscated his security clearance and he can no longer work on TRON, a security program that Alan created, which monitors internal and external network activities and transactions.

Flynn used to be one of the top hotshot programmers at Encom but Dillinger canned him after he screwed him over, stealing the copyright to arcade hits that Flynn authored, but Dillinger put his name on. Ever since then Flynn has been trying to hack into the Encom network to try to get the original source code for his games that show his signature on the code, as well as any other dirt on Dillinger.

After getting his access suspended Alan goes to see his girlfriend Lora, which happens to be Flynn’s exgf. Alan tells her how Dillinger (nobody knows the MCP is running Encom, except Dillinger) suspended his security access, crippling his work. Lora convinces Alan for them to go talk to Flynn because he would be able to do more damage from the inside of the corporate HQ as opposed to dialing in through a dial up modem to try to hack the network. Flynn, despite having written many arcade games which made Encom a megacorp, runs his own arcade. After Flynn explains how Dillinger screwed him, he gives Lora and Alan the idea for them to sneak him into the Encom building so that he can forge a new security ID and retrieve the data that would prove Flynn is the original author of those games, as well as would get Dillinger thrown out of the company.

Dillinger is enough of an asshole that you see him arguing with Walter, one of the original founders of the company. The argument ends with Walter saying that “sometimes I wish I were back in my garage”, where he was when the movie was a start-up. Dillinger replies “That can be arranged, Walter” and “Don’t worry about Encom anymore. It’s out of your hands now.”

Lora and Walter both work in a department for Encom that has been developing digitalization. Basically, digitalization entails using a special beam, a laser, which translates matter into data. This kind of technology would allow near instant global travel and shipping. Think about it. Even back then you could call places internationally. Imagine how this would allow global teleportation over the speed of the internet.

Lora sets Flynn up to do his hacking in her workplace, which happens to be in front of the digitizing laser. The MCP tries to dissuade Flynn from his hacking but Flynn just laughs at him. “Remember the time we used to spend playing chess together?” The MCP threatens Flynn that he’s going to put him on “the game grid” buy Flynn laughs again. That is when the MCP fires the digitizing laser and turn Flynn (a user, a god in the computer world) into data in the computer world. See, all the things that get digitized appear into the computer world that I mentioned is paralleled to actions by computers and electronics earlier. This is when the movie starts.

Concepts that will help you understand this movie better:

Users, in other words US, are gods to programs. Programs look like avatars of their authors or users, depending on the story of the movie or whoever uses them the most or has influence on them. The last part I believe the most as a theory, since the Users are their deities. It’s also illegal on the network of the MCP to worship Users.

Video games are all gladiatorial battles for survival. They can represent playing actual video games on this world and forcing programs and pixels to die for us, as well as program battles between different pieces of code trying to delete each other or hack each other across different computer systems. I believe that most programs killed in the video games get absorbed by the MCP.

There’s a religious war and a guerilla war happening inside the Encom network. Believers in the Users are all sent to die in the video game arenas. Non-MCP-approved programs that have been caught spying around are also sent to die in the arenas.

When program die (get deresed [deresolution]) they stop existing, either becoming part of the MCP if they were killed by it or they break apart, freeing up the resources that made them up, releasing energy in the computer world. In the real world, such a death would be freeing up storage capacity (whether floppies, tape drive, or hard drive space, considering that this movie takes place in the 80s) as well as RAM for local systems where they ran and processing power.

The music:

Of electronic music fame and even more so for the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange, Wendy Carlos created an even more unique soundtrack for TRON.

Here is one of my favorite songs from the movie, Sea of Simulation:

The soundtrack is both tenseful and sounds very electronic, which goes along great with the unique atmosphere of the movie and the TRON universe. I loved the soundtrack enough that I bought the original CD for it.

The visuals:

Although TRON came out during the same year as Blade Runner, this movie was the most advanced movie to have pure computer generated visual effects. The feel of the movie is completely unique.

To explain the wonder of how they created this world, I would recommend reading the wikipedia entry.

How the world saw it and its effect:

Many critics did not understand this movie. The typical movie goer did not understand it either. There’s even a joke in an episode of the Simpsons where Homer shifts into a 3D world where stuff looks like TRON. They ask him what it’s like and he says “Has anybody seen TRON?” Nobody understood what he was talking about.

Many techs and science fiction fans did however get the movie back then and as the movie gets older, it’s easier for us to understand it even more because unlike most sci-fi movies, which usually age badly, TRON gets more realistic as time goes on. Sure, the technology might be primitive but most of the concepts of what’s going on in relation of the computer world to the real world make perfect sense today.

Although I didn’t see this movie until around 1988-1989, and I had already considerable interest in computers, this movie further cemented that passion. This has happened to many of my computer friends. This similar like of the film and its vision of the future/present was even shared by avid sci-fi fans that are not necessarily computer people.

The actors:

Flynn is played by Jeff Bridges. He does a great role, playing a much more smartass version of what would later be “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski but with a geeky, hotshot twist to his character.

TRON/Alan is Bruce Boxleitner. He does a great job, especially as TRON. He’s a dedicated warrior on a mission to take down the MCP on the orders from his User Alan. What’s interesting is that Bruce Boxleitner was later Captain Sheridan in Babylon 5, along with Peter Jurasik, which was Crom in TRON, one of the gladiators that Flynn has to duel against. Peter Jurasik is one of my favorite actors of all time, especially for his role in Babylon 5 for his role as Ambassador Londo Mollari. J. Michael Straczynski must have been a big fan of TRON.

David Warner plays the roles of Dillinger, Sark (the lieutenant of the MCP), and the voice of the MCP. He does such an amazing job, especially as Sark. Many scenes in the movie are pretty powerful, especially when things go wrong for Sark and he gets angry and violent. The look of rage in his eyes is really well captured. David Warner has been in a lot of movies and even does voices for cartoons (such as in Batman’s Raz Al Ghul).

Cindy Morgan plays the role of Lora/Yori. Cindy Morgan is just so yummy. Thinking of her as either the geeky Lora in those nerd glasses, coding away, designing lasershas been like my doom, as that would be my ideal girlfriend/soulmate. She even looks super cute with her hair covered as Yori, and a girl without some hair is usually a deal breaker for me. Just thinking of her makes me want to make nerd babies with a Lora/Yori/Cindy Morgan clone! Anyways…

Dan Shor plays a most memorable Ram. Ram is just a poor program which somehow wound up in the Encom network, probably kidnapped by the efforts of the MCP. Originally, he was an accounting program for an insurance company. He’s skinny, and weak, and a really nice guy. Dan Shor does such a good job portraying the best character in the movie.

Tron 2.0 and Tron Legacy:

Although the sequel to TRON, Tron Legacy is coming out near the holidays this 2010, in 2003 a really great FPS game came out on computer by the name of Tron 2.0. See, I was never expecting anything like Tron Legacy to happen, especially since I read years ago that some people in Disney were bitter about having paid to get TRON made. However, Tron 2.0 was made and that was even better than TRON!

I’m sure that the movie studios will just ignore the existence of Tron 2.0, although based on the latest teaser trailer, it does seem to take a bit from it.

I will try to find my original copy of Tron 2.0 and put out a review for you guys. The game is extremely hard to find these days. It’s been out of print for a while and even the pirated version is impossible to get. If you have it, consider its value. If you know somebody that has it, I urge you to play it!

The teaser trailer for Tron Legacy is the following:

The original trailer is better, I think. Click here, since the embedding is disabled, to see it.

Based on the trailers, the main character is probably Flynn’s kid, and Flynn which has been “dead for years” is now the new MCP. Who knows how time differentiates on the computer world vs the real world. Oh yeah, Wendy Carlos is out for this one, Daft Punk is in. Although I like the music of Wendy Carlos, the Daft Punk sound might fit in well, especially since they are probably fans of the original film.


TRON is a milestone sci-fi computer movie. The franchise is coming back to life in the era of District 9 and Avatar. I always think that times of recession are great times for science fiction and horror. Sci-fi makes people think about problems other than their real lives. Horror has the violence that people crave in times of trouble. But enough of my theories… go watch the movie. And look below for some pictures from the movie!

Pictures from TRON:

The trio of programmers in the real world
Alan, Flynn, and Lora
Flynn the hotshot
Flynn the hotshot!
Tron – Evil Sark
Evil Sark!
Tron – Ram my buddy
Ram, my buddy!
Tron and Yori together
Tron and Yori together
Tron – Lora the prototype for a perfect girlfriend
Lora, the prototype for a perfect girlfriend!
Tron – Yori on the Light Sailer
Yori on the Light Sailer
Tron – Cindy Morgan is perfection
Cindy Morgan is perfection!

Left Behind: Alienware’s Legacy Problem

Alienware Dell
Alienware Dell

There were rumblings from the fans base when Alienware was purchased by Dell that everything would change and that the cool, elite name of Alienware would be forever lost. That aside many felt that the support that Dell provided to home users was less than stellar and that level of service would become Alienware’s. There were also those who already felt Alienware support was on the decline and felt this would push it over the edge. For the most part these were concerns that would come up no matter who the company was, but in the end it was not new purchasers of Alienware/Dell that felt frustration it was the old ones.

Any transition is difficult and it is expected that there will be growing or in this case merging pains. You must also understand that in the gaming world it is common to hear many more complaints that compliments. The rule is, if you are doing good you don’t hear about it, but if you are doing bad you will clearly know.

At first the change came with little notice, customers began to see Alienware products on the Dell website and the name Alienware was mentioned more and more alongside Dell. As time went on there were more changes like links on the main Alienware page taking you to a Dell website. Again these were small changes that did not bring much change to the common user.

When the new Alienware systems were launched by Dell they came with much fanfare because they were well built machines and a decent price. Even some of the more harsh critics felt that perhaps Alienware would retain its status and even gain from the acquisition by Dell.

Soon after that, personnel began to be laid off from Alienware’s Miami based headquarters. Word spread across the net that changes were coming to the company as Dell took over more roles from the Alienware team. The question for many fans and owners of Alienware computers was what would become of the service team they were use to working with if Alienware HQ was shut down.

Before that question could be answered a new issue came to light with Alienware Australia. Customers began to report they were not receiving service for systems they purchased from Alienware AU. They stated they called the service line and would never reach a person and send e-mails that would not be responded too. Right away the forums fired off posts that this had to do with Dell and that all support would be moved and Alienware AU was the first to go. In the end, it was the Alienware Miami team that reached out to help the AU customers receive support.

It seemed as if there was a fire burning and at the same time firefighters were being laid off by the truckload. As 2010 came, past customers of Alienware began reporting frequently that they were not receiving support for their systems. They reported that when calling the same 800 number they always have for support they were being connected to Dell agents who could not pull up their information.

It was then the pre-Dell Alienware customers discovered their new title, Legacy. A legacy member was someone who purchased a system before the acquisition. Customers said that the way information was stored and accessed was different from the Legacy Alienware customers and new Dell/Alienware customers. What this meant was the Dell agents only knew how to bring up information on post-Alienware customers.

What became confusing was that the same support number was still in use, so customers would sometimes reach an Alienware agent who could assist them, but more often than not connected with a Dell agent who either could not assist them or had to scramble to help them and sometimes transfer them somewhere else.

Unfortunately, the troubles did not stop there. Fans began to post on popular sites such as Notebook forums, Notebook Review and Alienware Niche that the long time support e-mail of no longer worked. This caused more frustration because service men and women who purchased systems had a harder time contacting Alienware for support.

As for the Alienware, official forums customers stated they no longer received support or feedback from that support line. Many customers said they wrote and posted to the forums, but their posts never showed up. It was believed that the forums were perhaps closed or moved to Dell forums and as one forums member noted there are Alienware subcategories on the Dell forum page, but the Alienware page still has a working link to their forums.

Where does the problem lie? It is unclear. Though there have been complaints about support for the most part when someone did reach Alienware Miami personnel, they reported their issues were solved at least to a satisfactory level. The main disconnect looks to be between the Alienware Miami staff and the Dell parent company.

One thing to note is that those who purchased any of the newer Alienware products made by Dell received a warranty by Dell. Therefore the conclusion anyone can draw is that those under the legacy brand had warranties under the old Alienware banner. Perhaps it is a matter of running out the clock and as those who had old warranties under Alienware legacy fall off the books the problem is swept under the rug.

Now to be fair this issue has not affected everyone under the legacy banner. There have been reports and praise from some legacy customers that they did receive support not only from the Miami HQ, but from Dell agents as well. There are still however those who feel left behind and have resorted to contacting the BBB, writing to online publications and posting on popular forums about their less than satisfactory experience with legacy support.

It is not clear what changes if any will be made. Some legacy customers believe they will be forgotten and once their warranty expires it is over. There as some who have said that support has improved and that calling the 800 number works, but as of this posting, the support e-mail is still discontinued and the Alienware forums seem abandoned.

It is an unfortunate turn for Alienware and for Dell. We can only hope something will be done for the customers who helped turn Alienware into the company Dell wanted to acquire. We also hope this treatment of legacy customers does not further hurt the Dell name which has shown improvement in home customers support and has always had excellent business support. However, you are judged on how you treat all your customers not just the latest ones. We will be watching to see if the legacy customers of Alienware will receive the support they paid for and deserve or if they will be left behind.

Micro Men movie review

Micro Men movie
Micro Men movie

Micro Men movie review

Micro Men is a movie about two rival men and their companies, taking place between about 1978 to 1985 (in the course of the film). The two main characters are Clive Sinclair, played by Alexander Armstrong, and Chris Curry, played by Martin Freeman, which I recognized from the UK version of The Office and the latest movie version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The movie starts out with Sinclair running his electronics company, for which whom he lost a controlling interest in (the British Government bought into in). His company is researching and building different products which are having problems with design flaws and quality control and the government is tightening up the finances of the companies, making it harder for him to operate it according to his vision.

One of his top engineers is Chris Curry, which is like a close friend of his at the beginning. Curry convinces Sinclair that they should start manufacturing personal computer kits because it would encourage enthusiasts and hobbyists, as well as electronics buffs to start learning more electronics, the inner workings of computers, as well as learning to program computers. Basically, Curry tries to offer him some feedback, Sinclair gets very mad at him, and Curry quits to go make his own computer company, Acorn Computers with his Austrian friend (as shown in the movie). Sinclair’s company gets shut down, he sells some assets, and starts up a straight up computer company, Sinclair Research Ltd.

The movie chronicles the war that happens between the companies and other companies as well as the rivalry between the heads of Sinclair and Acorn, in England during the early days of what we now define as a personal computer.

The trailer for the movie is the following:

I recommend watching this movie if you are interested in retro computing, everything 8-bit, computer history, computer businesses, business rivalries, emerging and collapsing markets, business strategies as applied in the real world, business development, and so on. Chances are, if you are reading my site, you will enjoy this kind of film. It reminded me at parts of Pirates of Silicon Valley.

The movie shows what happens when two similar companies take different strategies as how to attack an emerging market. Initially, pretty much Sinclair was selling lower end, cheap computers, and Acorn selling a more high end, faster and more powerful but more expensive machine. We have seen these kind of approaches happen many times in the technology fields. The movie shows the battle of the BBC Micro (Acorn) vs ZX Spectrum (Sinclair), as well as their older and later systems. On that topic, you can even compare within the US the market of the Commodore Amiga vs the Apple Macintosh (during the 80s), two similar machines. Not saying that the Amiga was inferior (I prefer it in fact and was my first 16-bit computer) but it was certainly much more inexpensive.

You can view clips of the movie here.

You can view the first part of the movie here on youtube:

You can watch the whole movie on youtube actually if you follow this link and scroll down.

The movie has a very good 80s feel, especially with some of the music they picked for it.

The movie shows the rise of video games, the flooding of the computer market, the rise and fall of that market.

I don’t want to describe the entire movie in detail because I would rather have you watch it and interpret it for yourself. Parts of the movie have been exaggerated simply for entertainment value. The movie is done in good taste and even has a couple of comical parts.

Overall, Micro Men paints a great picture of those days and reminds me as well a lot of stories similar to the ones found in the book Hackers by Steven Levy (my favorite book about the early computing days).

Don’t waste a minute and go watch it! Leave your comments below, on the Obsolete Gamer forums, or on our social sites. Enjoy! sale: The Longest Journey & Sanitarium 50% off

Sanitarium cover
Sanitarium cover sale: The Longest Journey & Sanitarium 50% off

Two of the most amazing adventure games from the late 90s on sale by our friends at Good Old Games! You can get either one for about $5 each or slightly under $10 total.

Sanitarium is probably my favorite creepy adventure game. You play as a man with a bandaged head that keep slipping further into insanity and hallucinating being in weird places and being weird beings. The voice acting is phenomenal for the game and it’s an unforgettable experience.

The Longest Journey deals with being a Shifter, someone who can travel to different dimensions. In the game the protagonist has to deal with a growing problem in between a world that’s all about magic and another one that’s all about science and technology.

Click here for the sale, if these games sound interesting to you.

State of the LAN Party I

LAN party
LAN party

Originally posted by me on the Direct2Dell Blogs

A good friend of mine asked me what would become of LAN parties with so many people having access to high-speed internet and online games like, World of Warcraft. To answer his question I thought back to when I first arrived in Miami.

I did not know anyone my age, so I asked my mother for a computer; this led to me buying Warcraft for the PC. I did not know much about online gaming so I did an Alta-Vista search and found a site called Dawango.

Dawango, called that because it stood for, “Dialup Wide-Area Network Game Operation” allowed people to dial in and play with other people over their network. The big games at the time were Doom and Duke Nukem 3D.

It was in the Miami channel that I met my first real online friends. Over the next few weeks we played a ton of games together and then one day they told me about a LAN party they were going to start called Red-Eye.

Now I had never taken my PC out of the house and with all the warnings about giving out information to people you meet online the idea of going to some warehouse with my PC to meet people I never had seen in person was just crazy. However, I decided to give it a chance and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

The LAN party allowed me to meet great new people and make lifelong friends. In fact, if it was not for the LAN party I would not have become an Alienware employee. It was at that LAN that I learned how important a person’s computer is to them and where I saw my first Alienware. It was a jet black hydraulic case and had everyone there asking about it.

The LAN however, is more than just gaming and competition. I thought of it as a fraternity for gamers. Often you had people who were more seasoned in gaming or had been with the LAN group longer and so they were looked upon as elders.

You earned your place not only by how well you played, but your rig (computer), your knowledge of gaming and computers and your overall personality. When I showed up I had a small computer I purchased from a discount store and knew little about the inner workings of a computer. Less than a year later, I knew how to build my own PC and how to connect and troubleshoot networks without ever stepping into a classroom.

In part 2, I will talk about how personal a person’s computer is to a LAN member and the debate between buying and building your own. Also I will cover the evolution of the LAN and the friendships created within.

Another World

Another World (Out of this World)
Another World (Out of this World)

Another World review (Out of This World) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“Masterful action-adventure storytelling that set the way for games like Abe’s Odyssey and others.”

Overall Score:
10 out of 10


Another World (Out of This World in the US) is a CLASSIC video game that is a perfect blend of adventure and action. The game is a platformer and plays similar to the original Prince of Persia, except with guns and the later Abe’s Oddysee.

The story goes something along the lines that you were working at a science lab with a particle accelerator during a really bad thunderstorm and lightning hit when you were conducting an experiment and that made a dimensional shift happen that took you into… Another World! As soon as you get there, you are being surrounded by these crawling little creatures that if you allow them to get near you will paw at you with a little venom tooth and it’s pretty much game over. I won’t ruin any more little surprises. This game simply has to be played.

The game needs no dialogue as the ways the characters react was simply amazingly done. The gameplay is fast and fluid. The game has cut-scenes that are really quick and whose animations are really well done for 1991. They’re not like cut-scenes in today’s games for which you might as well just eat popcorn or something else while watching. Another World plays very fast.

The game is available on 3DO, Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, DOS, GBA, Mac OS, Mega-CD, Mega Drive, Mobile phone (Symbian OS), SNES, Windows, Windows Mobile.

The game is from 1991, made by Eric Chahi, with music by Jean-François Freitas.

Here is the intro to the game:

Fun Factor:

Games where everything kills you are a lot of fun for me. There’s parts in this game where you are running for your life and shooting like a real gun fight. It feels more like combat from a movie like Ronin rather than something like Rambo.

The first time one plays this game, the game will most likely blow you away. The fun of exploring a hostile environment plus being a fugitive makes for a great adrenaline rush, as well as having to THINK. Fun Factor gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

Although I’ve played this game many, many times, it’s relatively easy to die. Pretty much everything will kill you in one attack, so you need to be careful at all times. Since the death system is realistic and it will depend on your knowledge of knowing how to react as well as your reflexes, the difficulty is perfect and real. Difficulty gets a score of 10 out of 10, since it’s realistic. I’d say this game is “NES hard”.

Since you can’t change the difficulty, Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 7 out of 10. To make the game easier would take away some of the excitement one gets playing the game. (This isn’t a modern noob-friendly game, so deal with it!)


You can pick up Another World at for $9.99. Their version gives you the game DRM-free, its manual, a bunch of hi-res wallpapers from it, its development diary, a technical handbook, as well as the soundtrack for the game. Considering how much of a classic this game is to me, $10 is a good value (the cost of going out to dinner) for a classic game that one will never forget. Value gets a score of 8 out of 10.


I’ve replayed this game about 30 times so far, although I know exactly what’s going to happen in every scene. I enjoy having the factor that I might not respond fast enough and still die. That makes the action more realistic offering a challenge not found in most of today’s games. Replayability gets a score of 8 out of 10.


The sound is particularly important for this game. It makes up a lot of what make it great and what keep you feeling inmersed in the atmosphere of this game. My favorite sounds are the blasts from the energy gun and the cackle of the lightning and particle accelerator in the intro, as well as hearing enemies die. Sound gets a score of 10 out of 10.


Music is absent from most of the game except during the intro and ending. Although we are used to having most games playing music most of the time, in real life we don’t go around hearing a theme song in the background all the time, which makes the game have a suspenseful atmosphere. The intro music is tenseful. The ending theme nice and very soothing. Overall the music in this game gets a score of 7 out of 10.


For its time, the graphics and animations of Another World were simply amazing. I remember when I first played this game it had made me justify having upgraded to the Amiga for my gaming platform from my c64. Considering how well this game has always ran, how fluid everything looks, and how real the characters act, Graphics get and deserve a 10 out of 10.


This game almost never crashes, except maybe my Amiga version (mainly because my machine had overheating problems, my old Amiga 600). I give Stability/Reliability a score of 10 out of 10 for the version. I give the Amiga version a score of 8 out of 10 because of the rare crashes.


The controls for this game are self-explanatory. The only thing that might get some getting used to, the first time you play, is how responsive the character is to running and shooting. One quickly learns to control the character perfectly. Controls get a 10 out of 10.


This game has always run flawlessly and fast on all platforms. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

This is one of the games I’m most fond of from my Amiga gaming days. The story, atmosphere, and cinematics are unforgettable.

Longplay of the game:

The following video shows you somebody playing the game all the way through. It’s not a super long game but it’s still a classic game that holds a special place in my heart. This is the Amiga Longplay playthrough by cubex55 for Another World.

Leave your comments and feedback below, on our forums, or our social networking websites!

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom screenshot
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom screenshot

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I have to be honest I don’t remember this game in the arcade, but perhaps that is because it was so weird it freaked me out and I have post traumatic distress disorder. As you will see in the video below I had no idea what I was doing even though the game is pretty straight forward, again it’s the weird sounds that did something to me like that song from Battle Star Galatica.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released to arcades in 1985 and was based on the movie. This was the second game released and seeing how it played I have to track down the first. It was the first Atari arcade game to use digitized speech, but it sounded worst that my old Texas Interments learning computer that would yell at me for taking too long to solve a math problem (Your Turn!).

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom box
Indiana Jones Temple of Doom box

So the object of the game is to free the slaves within the temple grounds which includes children, if you leave any behind you get the on screen text “Mola Ram will be pleased” if you save them all you get is a boat load of points.

The second object is to collect the three Sankara stone which you find after freeing the captives, during your search you come across guards, snakes and traps. There are three parts to the game, the mines where the slaves are, the mine cart tracks where you race down the mine shaft in a cart fighting the thugs and parts of the temple where you find the Sankara stones and reach the third part of your goal, defeat Mola Ram.

When you start the game you can choose the difficultly setting and once you accomplish all your goals and defeat Mola Ram you get another boatload of points and start all over on a higher difficultly setting.

Sounds simple right? Well somehow I failed at this horribly as you will see below. This game later was ported to many consoles and computer systems such as the Commodore 64, the Atari ST the Amiga and the NES.

Now please excuse me as I call my therapist.

MySpace Interview – John Dorr

So, who are you anyway?

I’m John Dorr, a solo artist, multi instrumentalist who layers up guitar/vocals on a loop pedal utilizing unusual guitar techniques.

Describe your sound for us.

The overall sound is quite dreamy, generally songs are based around a melody, a beat, a drone or a short vocal phrase which repeats and is added to and layered up to create a hypnotic crescendo.

So you rate yourself then?

Well yes and no, sometimes i have a confidence crisis but generally i’ve managed to get myself to a stage where the music sounds like i envisage it, i mean its taken me 13 years to get to this stage.Plus i suppose you have to have self belief to contantly get onstage in front of an audience who have probably never heard of me and perform solo.

Who are your influences?

I suppose my main influences have to be Jeff Buckley, Bjork, Velvet Underground, Sigur Ros, Nina Simone, Massive Attack, Television, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth.

Tell us one of your musical secrets.

I only play when i’m in the right mood, otherwise i get frustrated and it harms creativity.

What’s in the future?

I have a few things lined up, including two new cds, one is already completed and is a collaberation that features glitchy beats and one with strings and brass which will also feature a video from a polish director.I also have a live dvd and will hopefully be heading out to Europe next year.

What’s your claim to fame?

Well i’ve ridden around manchester in a limo with a radio plugger who totally slagged me off, guess he didn’t think that acappela songs were acceptable for radio 1 ha ha.Also my first e.p manna took a slating too tagged with minus infinity points, claim to infamy maybe more accurate.

Musically, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

God only knows, 2 years ago i couldn’t have imagined playing the music i do now, but it will probably be something different yet similar…

Myspace or Facebook?

I’m new to facebook and tend to use it for me personally, but i think myspace is better for my aims for the obvious reason that you can put songs up.

X-Men versus Street Fighter

X-Men vs Street Fighter
X-Men vs Street Fighter

We can debate if X-Men versus Street Fighter should be considered a classic game, but for fans of the Capcom versus series there is no doubt this game made an impression when it arrived in arcades during the spring of 1996.

Street Fighter versus X-men was the third game to feature Marvel characters. The game pits X-man versus X-man and street fighter versus street fighter in a tag-team battle system. When I first laid my eyes on this game I was hooked and spent many hours and many more quarters perfecting my team of Gambit and Ken.

The game was perfect for the arcade with its fast style, multiple combos and special moves. One of the good things about the game was if you played any of the other Capcom fighting games it was an easy transition and even if you didn’t many of the basic moves and specials were not hard to learn and pull off. However, to chain together moves and perform aerial combos took practice.

Graphically the game was nothing out of this world, by then other games had come along with better looking graphics, but the point of XSF was gameplay. XFS had a comic book look to it from the design of the characters to the animation of the moves and background. The sound was also decent offering remix versions of themes from the Street Fighter series and prior Marvel related fighting games made by Capcom.

During the single player game you would fight a series of teams consisting of both X-Men and Street Fighter characters, when you got to the last two fights you went up again the team of M. Bison and Magneto and then the big daddy boss, Apocalypse. The sad thing about Apocalypse was he was so easy to beat it was a joke he had like three moves all easily block-able or avoidable. His strongest attack was his mega drill which you could super jump over to avoid. After you turned the big A into melted goo you had to fight your partner. What was funny was sometimes that was the hardest fight and to lose to your partner was a series humiliation. (Not that it ever happened to me mind you)

The line up for the X-men was Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Storm, Juggernaut, Sabretooth, Magneto and Wolverine. For the Street Fighters it was Ryu, Ken, Cammy, Chun-Li, Charlie, Zangief, Dhalsim, M.Bison and Akuma.

Some felt there were cheap moves and combos to the game. It was possible to perform some wicked aerial combos and finish off your opponent with a double special, but overall if you learned you character you could do well even with some of the weaker ones like Storm and Dhalsim.

When X-Men versus Street fighter game came to the Playstation it was gutted due to the memory limitations of the console. They took out many of the animations and there was noticeable slowdown, but the worst was the removal of the tag mode which just killed the game. On the other hand the Sega Saturn’s version was pretty much a perfect arcade port.

We all know games like Marvel versus Capcom came after with lots of fanfare, but for me there will always be a warm place in my heart for XSF. When the game showed up at my local laundry I had the cleanest clothes in town for many months.


So I finally got my video setup working so this is me actually playing the game. Don’t worry we will have better videos and intros in the future, but hey, first one!

Gears of War 3 Releasing April 2011

Gears of War 2 screenshot
Gears of War 2 screenshot

Word on the net is that the first teaser trailer for Gears of War 3 will be launched on April 8 and that about one year from then, on April 11, 2011 Gears of War 3 will be released. Where did this intel come from? An unnamed source told Edge that though GOW 3 is currently in development at Epic Games that Microsoft does not want to release it earlier due to the launches of the games Natal and Halo: Reach.

Of course Microsoft remained tight lipped on the subject stating that it does not respond to rumors. On Epic’s side vice president Mark Rein stated that they would not be releasing any games this year choosing to focus on supporting titles made using the Unreal Engine.

More information should be forthcoming at E3 when we will see the trailer of Gears of War 3 and as always as more information becomes available we will bring it to you.

Scambaiter – SandraThompson205 – Part 4

Sandra Thompson is back for round four of our huge scambaiter battle. Who wins? You decide!

am here
am here


am here


how are you doing?

I am good. Just got my computer back
How are you?

am fine
how everything going there darling

I am good. Just got my computer back

ok god

So, I haven’t sent an email, because the bloke next door sold the computer to cash convertors

you dissaponited me

he need to buy a new dog and some heroin.

you need to buy heroin?

no, no.
It’s the man next door. You remember him?
The one who broke the phone.
Sometimes I just want to smash his handsome little face off.

ok i do,
ok i do.
ok lets talk bussiness

ok, ok.
I haven’t got that email address any more
all the things on the computer have gone


and in there place are some rather disturbing pictures
I didn’t know Ladies like Dogs and Horses so much…


right, ok and this is bloke that filled your house with rats?

please try to send
i have to go now ok
take care of yr self
bye for now

sandrathompson205 is offline

I guess it’s time to send Jonny an email at long last. Here goes;


Dear Mr Jonny Emu Obo.

It has come to my attention that you have filled up sandrathompson205‘s house with rats. Now I know she is no oil painting, a little old and rough around the edges but I’ve grown quiet attached to her during our brief and rather demanding chats on the Internet. Also as ex-convict (and a suffer of schizophrenia if you can believe those crazy prison doctors) she’s probably the best I can do.

Now I’m also use to people playing funny jokes on me in my house, I’m sure Sandra has mentioned the man next door and his many hilarious japes (he’s just been crying while masturbating in the kitchen, so it’s not all funny hi-jinks), however Sandra also said something about Rats stealing all her money that her father was going to leave her. I forget the details, but you know women, if you start listening to them the keep talking to you, it’s all nag, nag, nag, stop put drugs in my drinks, nag, etc.

So in summary, Jono, stop fucking about with Sandra or I’ll cut your throat.

Yours in Jesus,


P.S. Why are you named after Emu? Were your parents big fans of Rob Hull?

Let’s see what he comes back with…

Need for Speed World Trailer

NFS was classic racing and now Electronic Arts are working on releasing Need for Speed World which will be an MMO racer based on the NFS series. NFSW will feature single and co-op racing teams and something they are calling “epic online pursuits” which nobody seems to know exactly what that is yet, but we assume it has to do with chasing people across the game world. Nevertheless it sounds pretty cool.

Need For Speed World logo
Need For Speed World logo


The official website has a ton of new screenshots and information, but the real news is the beta. You can head on over to their beta sign up page by clicking here. Now for the trailer which comes to us from the official Obsolete Gamer YouTube page.

Rise of the Triad

Rise of the Triad box
Rise of the Triad box

Rise of the Triad

When I built my 486 with the help of my cousin (he did 99% of it) there were three games he told me to install right away one of them was Rise of the Triad. I had already played Doom and Wolfenstein so when I got my hands on ROTT I was hooked.

ROTT came out in 1995 and was developed by 3D Realms, the story initially was going to be a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D, you can pretty much tell this by the way the game plays and looks. It does have a Wolfenstein feel to be sure which is why so many people liked it.

Like Wolfenstein, ROTT was pretty much killing hordes of enemies and collecting keys to advance, but it was the little things that made the game fun for me. Some of the cools things about ROTT were the fact that you could pick a specific character from the start which had little differences like one would move slowly, but have a lot of health and another would be quick, but squishy.

ROTT had various weapons as well including pistols, machine guns, missile launchers and magic weapons. Of course one of the coolest things was blasting an enemy into chunks and watching eyeballs fly everywhere, now that’s gaming!

Rise of the Triad screenshot
Rise of the Triad screenshot

Another cool addition was the several power-ups in the game such as God Mode, which would make you invincible and Mercury Mode that allowed you to fly. There was also the Dog Mode  that yes, turned you into a dog and my favorite, Shrooms Mode which involved flashing lights and a spinning screen.

The environment was also different than games before it. You had push-able walls and a ton of stuff could be destroyed like plants and sometimes destroying them opened a secret passage and sometimes it was just for relieving stress.

Rise of the Triad screenshot
Rise of the Triad screenshot

There were also a ton of traps all over the place like spin-blades which would quickly lower your health and flame-jets to set your night on fire. What was cool was the enemies were susceptible to the traps as well so you could lead them into them.

One of the coolest things was the use of jump pads. They were devices on the ground that would propel you into the air when you stepped on them. You could just stand on them to fly up into the air or you ran and jumped on them to catapult you diagonally. This was necessary later on to get to many places in the game.

Rise of the Triad screenshot
Rise of the Triad screenshot

In Rise of the triad you played a member of the team known as the H.U.N.T. (High-risk United Nations Task-force). Your mission was on the island of San Nicolas to investigate cult activity at an ancient monastery. After your boat is destroyed you have to fight your way to the monastery and stop the cults plot to destroy Los Angeles.

The game was not easy, even though you had access to guns and missiles and flamethrowers so did the enemies and they loved to use them. The bosses were no joke either; you had to learn about each ones ability and sometimes the most powerful weapon in your arsenal was not the one to use against a boss.

Finally there was multiplayer which wasn’t anything special, but it was fun using the special weapons and power-ups in multiplayer mode. It wasn’t just Deathmatch, you could also play a capture the flag mode and a tag mode.

Rise of the Traid is one of those games you had to play if you were a true FPS gamer. It had the look, the gameplay and the violence that every growing gamer needs. If you haven’t played it before or just wish to reminisce you can pick up a copy from *The version comes with a 30-page manual, game soundtrack and the bonus game levels.

Star Trek Online: Expanding Universe Part 1 Trailer

Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online

Shields up, prepare for the first content update for Star Trek Online titled: Season One – Common Ground. Team Cryptic has released a trailer titled: Expanding universe and we have it on The Obsolete Gamer YouTube Page. Check out STO’s trailer titled: Expanding Universe.

So here is some info on what’s coming with the content patch:

PVP Updates


  • Wargames – Federation players can now participate in PvP against one another to better prepare for the dangers of the battlefield.
  • New PvP Map – Explore “Shanty Town,” a brand new Ground Assault map available for both Klingon and Federation players.



  • Off-Duty Uniforms – Experience DS9 in style! Starfleet officers will have the option to change into off-duty outfits to enjoy more casual attire.
  • New Stances and Hairstyles – Further customize your Captain by changing his or her hairstyle, or adopting two brand new stances: Stern and Relaxed.
  • The Captain’s Log – A web-based application to check in on you and your friends’ Captains and ships.



  • A New Klingon Battle Cruiser – The K’Tanco Battle Cruiser has been made available to Klingon Lieutenant Commanders.
  • Klingon Ship Customization – Use the ship tailor to customize your Bird of Prey, Carrier or Raptor.



  • New Fleet Actions Everywhere!
  • The Big Dig – Available in Romulan space.
  • DS9 Under Siege – The True Way has attacked and boarded DS9. Repel the invasion to save the day.
  • Klingons Can Play, Too – Klingon Captains may now access the Crystalline Entity, Big Dig and Breaking the Planet Fleet Actions



  • Respec Is Here – Unhappy with your Captain’s skill point allocation? Use the respec tool to change things up. (Available both in-game and as a C-store item.)
  • New Skill: Starship Attack Vectors – Improve your ship’s accuracy and critical hit chance.
  • New Skill: Combat Maneuvers – Improve your ship’s evasion and turn rate.
  • New Skill: Starship Battle Strategy – Improve your ship’s critical hit severity and damage resistance.

In The C-Store


  • New Bridge Variants – All new ways to update your Bridges’ look, available for a low price in the C-Store for both Federation and Klingon ships.
  • Federation Ship Variants – New takes on your old favorites, available for a low price in the C-Store.
  • Respec – Unhappy with your Captain’s skill point allocation? Use the respec tool to change things up.
  • Character Slot – Purchase an additional character slot if you’d like to have more than three characters on your account.
  • Rename – Changed your mind about the cool name you chose? Get it legally changed! Recognized across the Alpha Quadrant.
  • New Federation Playable Species – Become a Tellarite, Pakled or Rigelian.

Things an Old School Gamer should remember

To keep it simple we will classify an old school gamer as someone who has been gaming from the time of the Atari 2600 to the release of the Playstation one and all the computer innovations in-between. Personally I believe a true gamer plays both PC and Console so this list will encompass both sides of the gaming coin.

Coaxial cable
Coaxial cable

1: Coaxial Cables

This may be super geek to some, but before the smaller thinner Ethernet cables we use today and long before wireless, people who wanted to network had to use coaxial cables. These were direct PC to PC connections using the cables and only offered 10Mbps of transfer speed, but for the games of the time it was more than enough.

2: The NES Advantage Controller

NES Advantage
NES Advantage

First off it looked and felt like the controllers at the arcade and when the first fighting games made its way onto the NES this controller was perfect for them. The advantage featured adjustable turbo buttons, a slow motion feature (that mostly didn’t work) and you could share it in two player games since it plugged into both ports and you could select Player 1 or Player two on the controller.

3: The Atari 800 Floppy Drive

Atari 810
Atari 810

There was a war of sorts between the Atari computers and the Amiga ones and then you had the snobby Commodore 64 folks. (I kid, I kid) Before I got my Amiga my cousin gave me his Atari 800 computer the floppy drives and a boat load of games, I was in heaven.

The floppy drive used single-sided 5 1/4-inch floppy disks, holding 90K of data on a disk. The data was transferred in serial format at 19200 baud. When this first came out it was priced around six hundred dollars.

4: Sears Tele-Games 2600 (Atari 2600 clone)

Sears Video Arcade machine
Sears Video Arcade machine

Back in the day Sears sold everything under their own name and in 1975 Sears released the Sears Video Arcade. It was identical to the 2600 and you could play Atari 2600 games on it and vice versa. Sears and Atari worked together so it wasn’t anything underhanded. In fact Atari made some games exclusively for the Sears system under the Tele-Games name.

It was often an insult point to attack someone who had the Sears version and not the original Atari 2600, but we were stupid kids. By the way I had the real one so pfffft!

5: Voodoo 2 in SLI

STB Voodoo 2 SLI card
STB Voodoo 2 SLI card

Sure today you can get more than enough gaming power out of a sub one hundred dollar card, but back in the day if you wanted to be a badass you had dual Voodoo 2’s in SLI mode. For those that don’t know the Voodoo 2 was a 3D graphics card from 3dfx interactive. At the time the Voodoo series of cards were the must have for any PC gamer. When the Voodoo 2 came out everyone wanted one and if you had the money you would get two and connect them together in what is called SLI.

It was the Voodoo 2 that introduced Scan-Line Interleave or SLI to the PC gaming universe. When you connected two Voodoo 2 cards together they would each draw half the scan lines for the screen, this meant much more power and better 3D acceleration for your games. However, most of the games at the time it was first released didn’t really take advantage of the SLI mode. There was a difference, but it wasn’t a game changer, but as newer more graphic intensive games came out it showed its worth and power.

Did I miss something?

Oh there is much more to come, this is only a small sample of the things an old school gamer should remember. Stay tuned for the next addition, but in the meantime what do you think should be on this list?