The Obsolete Gamer Show 4

J.A. Laraque and Ignacio/honorabili from Obsolete Gamer

This week the production value on OGS has gone up 100%. The boys of classic video gaming are back with a brand new podcast featuring an interview with Origin PC co-founder Hector Penton.

We started out the show looking back at a clip from the previous week then dove right in to the OGS question of the week which was, “When was the golden age of video gaming.” We weighed in with our own thoughts and briefly discussed the great video game crash of the eighties with our producer Joe Cassara.

Our Gamer profile of the week was from Michael Jorgensen of Zombie studios and his take on XCOM UFO defense and how it was far from the easy mode of many of today’s games. From there we moved onto a developing story within a story.

During Obsolete Gamers gaming profile of Alienware co-founder Alex Aguila he talked about a Tecmo Bowl challenge between himself and current Alienware president Arthur Lewis. After playing the clips it was clear the rematch has not yet taken place and we hope to make that happen soon.

Our first interview was with fan, writer and long time gamer Paul Hernandez. We talked with Paul about StarCraft II and fact that Acti-Blizzard does not allow LAN play for its game and discussed the worth of the collector’s edition.

In our main interview we talked with Origin PC co-founder Hector Penton on his days at Alienware and starting Origin PC. From there the topic turned to gaming where we asked what game he would play if he was sent to hell and could only pick one. All in all it was a great interview with a lot of laughs and some good information to boot.

We will be back next week with an all new show, until then let us know what you think.

Anna Morris: Zoe Mode

Zoe Mode logo
Zoe Mode logo

Name: Anna Morris

Company: Zoe Mode

Profession: Business Development Co-coordinator

Favorite Classic Game: Spy Hunter (on Commodore 64)

Quote: Growing up in a tiny village in the countryside meant very little access to exciting technology. When my brother and I were given our cousin’s old Commodore in the late ‘80s, we were hooked straight away. Spy Hunter was always my favourite (despite being rubbish at it) because of the addictive gameplay and awesome theme tune.

MySpace Interview – Unkle Funkle

Uncle Funkle

So, who are you anyway?

Unkle Funkle, savour of the galaxy. Through the mighty weapon of da Funk I am taking over this planet – dance-step by dance-step.

Describe your sound for us.

I implanted the DNA of the original late 60’s and 70’s funkateers into my hips. That combined with my love for soul and pop music and my undeniably white herritage. As I’ve allways said: There will be a black president in the USA before there will be a white funk-pioneer… Well, here comes the white funk-pioneer!!!

So you rate yourself then?

If I do, it must be X-rated…

Who are your influences?

Prince, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown.

Tell us one of your musical secrets.

…don’t know if it’s a secret, but make music that gets YOU off. Don’t make music you think will get other people off. As soon as I did, I noticed a change in the audience. People started to get off of my music!

What’s in the future?

More fun, more funk, less boring stuff.

What’s your claim to fame?

Actualy I don’t give a funk! I make music that gets me off. When I play live, if there is twenty people diggin it, that’s all I need!

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

A drunken bafoon lying in my jaccuzi (sponsored by my 20 fans:-D) drinking cheap fake champagne.

Myspace or Facebook?

Myspace for music, facebook for friends.

Tom Cadwell: Riot Games

riot games logo

Name: Tom Cadwell

Company: Riot Games

Profession: Design Director. My primary responsibility is to oversee the design, balance and implementations of Champions and game modes within League of Legends.

Favorite Classic Game: Star Control 2

Quote: To me, this was a huge milestone in gaming.  It had a great story, and fantastic combat with really interesting designs where everything had a clear use, and felt great to use.  As a designer, never give power in a game without giving fun.

Fury of the Furries review

Fury of the Furries is a side scrolling platformer with puzzle elements, published by Kalisto in 1993 on Amiga & PC. And a year later on Mac. The main difference between PC and Amiga versions (as I never played the Macintosh one) is the number of colors displayed on a screen. PC uses 256 of these whilst Amiga only 32. They are mixed and matched smartly however, so the difference is bearly noticeable. And in some cases I would’ve sworn that PC outing settled for only 32 as well.

Fury of the Furries PC title screen

The story line is quite dull and doesn’t shine above the early 90’s average for these kinds of games. You’re left in charge of four creatures that look a whole lot like critters. And critters were round, spiky haired, hedgehog like aliens who came to Earth to destroy the life on it in 1986 movie by the same title. It was a mediocre movie, I must add.

The pilot must’ve had one drink to many…

Anyway, in Fury of the Furries unfortunately, you are not mind-bent killing machines from space, but peaceful creatures on a mission to save your king that has been kiddnapped by the so called “the wicked one”, who in this game represents the ultimate evil. The four fur-balls you’re left with, differ in colour and set of abilities, which have to be properly utilised to complete each stage. Does this sound familiar to The Lost Vikings? Well, It should, because apart from being much bigger AND better game, they’re both quite alike.

Watch out for the Homing Bees!

As I was saying Furries you’re in charge of are all unique – the blue one is the only one that can dive and also it shoots bubbles in water. Green one is your friendly neighborhood spider-man. Well, it doesn’t walk on walls but has a line/grappling hook that it can swing on or use to pull objects when necessary. Yellow one controls fireballs of various power and the red one bites the dust – literally.

Another one bites the dust… This time literally!

The further you go the more time you’ll spend planning on how to complete each level since often you’ll find yourself with only one or two of these fur-balls available and sometimes not even through the whole stage but only at certain areas. And in the World of Fury of the Furries there’s many things that can kill you – starting from sharp spikes and pools of acid to mutated bees and other oddly shaped figures of game designer’s sick imagination.

It’s a small World… Not!

And since we’re on the World subject – the adventure takes place in a huge island divided into 8 regions which are then split into seperate levels and many hidden areas. Each region has unique feel and challenges to them, so mastering all will definitely take a lot of time and patience. After completing first two regions you’ll realize that you’re losing lives as often as cattle in an average sized slaughterhouse. Well, at least I did, since the difficulty goes through the roof starting with the third.

Fury of the Jungle… Starting from the third region onwards the game becomes uterly punishing and unforgiving.

Because, Fury of the Furries requires not only clever planning, but also mad gaming skills and in later levels some sick timing, which platform games of the 90’s were well known for. Fury of the Furries is no exception here. And nothing says challenge more than dieing 20 times in one level in less than 30 seconds from starting to play it, each time… Yeah… And that’s only second stage of third region that I’m talking ’bout here…

Why does the shark don’t give a damn about a dude on a surfing board but goes straight for me as soon as I get anywhere near the water!?

Fortunately, the game offers an extra life every 100 coins that you collect and since there’s loads of these in hidden areas, it’s an incentive to look for them from the start. And it’s not unusual for a level to have more than two secret sub-levels hidden behind the palm tree, in a pile of dust or under the shootable block of concrete for instance, so you’ll find yourself checking all possible places looking for those quite early.

Gotta get that money!

As I said before the story is not what makes this game special. The gameplay is. In fact, Fury of the Furries is so AWESOME that once you’ll start playing it, by the time you stop, you’ll realize several hours, days, months or even years have passed, the Earth is a nuclear wasteland, and you somehow missed the Armageddon. OK, that may not be entirely truth, but Fury of the Furries is a top notch game and a one of the best of it’s time and genre.

Spider-man, spider-man, the amazing spider-man…

In my opinion Fury of the Furries is one of those games that aged like wine does, it got better. Actually, it aged exactly like one of those very expensive wines, one that is so good and pricey that nobody even knows how it tastes like. Sadly, the same can be said about this game, as it never got the attention it deserved. When countered with platformers we got to play these days, all being easy, casual games, Fury of the Furries holds a serious challenge and completing it even on the easiest of levels will be time consuming. But also fun and rewarding.

Ripping bubbles in water…

All in all, it’s a great game worth time invested in it and a cheap buy as well. You can get it on eBay for peanuts and running it will require no more than some basic DOSBox skills or WinUAE configuration practice if you settle for Amiga version and don’t happen to have the real one. Like the best game reviewer on YouTube – Gaming Mill – would’ve said – Overall I give it 9 and a half out of 10. So, Thanks for reading, please leave a comment and make sure you give Fury of the Furries a try as it’s gonna be time and money well invested.

This is the end…

On the side note Fury of the Furries as a franchise has been sold by Kalisto a year after it’s premiere to Namco which then released it on SNES, Gameboy and PC (again!) as Pac-In-Time leaving most of the game untouched (in PC version), altering only the way the main character looks like – since there was only one of them in Pac-In-Time – Pacman – and how he accesses all of his abilities. Also if you don’t care much about owning original, Fury of the Furries is considered abandonware on PC & Amiga and can be downloaded from Abandonia & Planet Emulation sites respectively for each of the platforms.

Click here to get the official Fury of the Furries soundtrack.

Frontier (a.k.a. Elite II)


Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

That’s how you roll in style in space…

Well, this quote from the famous Star Trek series, that crippled many of the young geeky minds, can easily be applied to describe the game of Frontier. In fact this and MUCH more! But, let’s get to the heart of the thing while it’s still beating…

Departing from Matthews where dogs bark with their asses…

Frontier was developed by David Braben and released in 1993 by Gametek and Konami on various Amigas, Atari ST & PC. It’s a sequel to Elite hence why it’s often addressed as Elite 2 and predeccesor to First Encounters – which is also known as Frontier: First Encounters or simply Frontier 2.

100,000,000,000 Planets in Frontier sounds unbeliveable but it’s all truth!

But enough of the boring details, let’s spill some blood on this one… Frontier is a game of undefined genre. It’s a wild mixture of simulation, strategy with adventure and role playing elements. And as much as it seems that this kind of mix’n’match would not work out it actually does and the game is no less than brilliant! It’s a true sandbox experience where you have no laid out route to game’s completition and no scripted time or area predefined events. In fact, you can play it as long as you want and how you want. That is until you get killed or die in a far out system left with no hope of survival because you’ve spent the last of your money on slaves instead of fuel aiming for quick and illegal profit…

It’s not only mining colonies and military bases in Frontier, there are some modern settlements here as well…

The game World, or Universe to be more precise consist of just a bit short of 100,000,000,000 (!!) planets and moons. There’s also 82 kinds of missions/services generated randomly, so chances that you’ll run out of things to do and places to go are quite slim. In the World of Frontier you can become anyone you want! There’s many routes you may wanna progress in, like mining, piracy, trade, bounty hunting or working for one of the multi-system organizartions and picking either of the choices does not mean that you won’t be able to follow another if you decide to do so later on.

There’s plenty of random generated missions to go through, ranging from passenger/cargo transport to spying/assasination requests…

Loads of trade commodities, ship equipment, ship kinds and different fraction promotions, provide for a long and exciting gameplay. In fact when you start of you’ll find yourself in a small settlement with a very basic ship equiped with what seems like garbage and only 1,000 credits to spare and will have to take a long and hard route before feeling safe and comfortable in the dark World of Frontier. But this is exactly what makes this game so special – it does not lead you by hand mission after mission, instead it drops you somewhere in the middle of cold and dark nowhere and tells you to deal with it! And you will have to, cause otherwise you’re not a real man (or woman, since I don’t wanna sound sexist here).

Space: The Final Frontier…

That said, Frontier is a truly excellent product shadowed only by the fact that it is not a game for all.

Many people may not appreciate its hardcore „kill or die” approach and difficult beginnings. But those who decide to go through tough initial period usually fall in love with it because it’s an entertaining and deep experience that rewards patience.

Cobra MK I – it’s not a killing machine but I’ve flown worst.

It’s really impressive how HUGE game David managed to fit on one floppy and how well it worked out in the end especially that it is mainly one person’s effort. The game looks and plays the same on all systems yet all of these had some unique and system specific bugs in earlier, unpatched releases. Bugs like famous wormholes that allowed for huge jumps over great distances in Universe using just a tiny bit of fuel or „earning” money by endlessly „trying to sell” a passengers cabin with passengers still in it…

Each “dot” even if it has no name displayed here is a seperate solar system with its own planets and moons.

Frontier is quite cheap on eBay as it was fairly popular in the early 90’s, and hence many copies are still sold for prices that are easy to swallow. Same as with earlier reviewed Fury of the Furries, Frontier is widely considered abandonware and can be downloaded from Abandonia or Planet Emulation for PC & Amiga respectively, and run through either DOSBox or WinUAE.

Apart from these two ships and the crew on this station… In space noone can hear you scream.

As much as I’m a firm believer that any game that let’s you become a Space Pirate and not only blow people to pieces with various rockets, plasmas and lasers, but also trade slaves, drugs and radioactives, deserves an easy 10 out of 10, I won’t give it. I’ll settle for 8 out of 10 because as I mentioned before not everyone will find Frontier enjoyable – it’s a difficult game with no tutorial or hints and can just be a bit too overwhelming for a Sunday player.

Attacking other ships near Space Stations may turn their defences against you, ultimately bring an end to your Frontier life.

UFO: Enemy Unknown

UFO: Enemy Unknown is a turn-based tactical strategy game with managerial and role playing elements published in 1994 by MicroProse Software on PC and various Amigas and later on on Playstation.


I wondered for a while how does one properly explain what ingenious creation like UFO is, compared to other similar games. And found no answer… So I decided to give it a whirl, play it for a while and see how I felt about it after years long brake from seeing it last. That was a HUGE mistake! A catastrophe on an unthinkable scale! I can’t stress how much time I’ve „wasted” playing it, though it was not a waste per se. Well, as you might have guessed by now, the game is not bad by no means. In fact when I started playing it I couldn’t stop until I beat it. And beating UFO takes a lot of time and patience as the game in its early stages especially is quite unforgiving. Going through it however, with all its ups and downs left me with a clear view of what I wanted to share here with you… So, let me get to it straight away…

In the beginning there was chaos…” And there is loads of it in UFO as well, especially for a first time player. There’s tons of screens, stats and settings that may seem a bit overwhelming for a person looking for a quick strategy fix, but if you decide to take your time with it and learn everything that there is to learn about the game it will reward you hundredfold! With long, deep (Oh, yeah, I said it!) adventure, that when completed will leave you disappointed… Badly… Because you’ll instantly want MORE!

UFO or X-COM as they call it in the US is a product built upon the idea that could’ve easily been transformed into three different, smaller games. First of, there’s the strategy – Globe View – in which you build your bases, send intercepting ships to shoot of alien vessels and direct your troop transport crafts to various missions – like alien terror attack, alien bases or earlier mentioned shot down UFOs. Sounds cool? Good, because it is!


Then there’s a micro-managerial – Base View – where you decide on your base’s buildings placement and purpose. Each building has it’s price, time it takes to put up and also provides certain commodities – like living areas, research laboratories, defences, hangars or even alien interrogation rooms, so thinking the layout through is a must. In here also, you buy, sell, research & manufacture various kinds of weapons, ships, equipment & technologies. And this is where you train, equip and prepare your troops before they get sent on a mission that most of them may not come back from.

And last but most definitely not least – Tactical View – where whilst on a missions you’ll lead your soldiers turn by turn to their painful and bloody deaths… I mean to victory against bad and ugly alien invaders, which vary in kind power and abilities! Yes… Well, initially some of your troops are bound to meet their maker in the field of battle when put up against overwhelming alien force. As they progress in game though – earn experience & gain skills, each mission will become more and more bearable until eventually with help of high tech equipment and armor designed by your team of smart bottle-bottom-like glasses wearing scientists you’ll start earning a bit of advantage. I wouldn’t hold on to that hope from the start though as that will not happen until you’re many, many hours into gameplay.


Because UFO punishes the slightest mistakes in tactical approach, you will have to be prepared for some serious losses when playing X-COM for the first time. That is good however as if it was not so challenging it may have not end up being so AWESOME… After all, it is fun to spray long series of bullets through purple coloured alien brains. But what’s even more enjoyable in my opinion is starting your way with your soldiers brains being spread on a pavement and slowly earning your way through the alien horde whilst learning their genesis, weak and strong points and researching means to counter them effectively.

In UFO: Enemy Unknown one can see many influences by the earlier games, games like Laser Squad or Civilization, from which UFO took what’s best and mixed into something even better. Funny enough Civilization was released by Microprose as well and Laser Squad was developed by the same team that wrote UFO. Coincidence? I don’t think so… Anyway, as I mentioned before UFO could very well be three separate, good in their own kind games but instead Microprose opted for mashing it all up into one tough but entertaining behemoth of a creation that takes many evenings to complete and keeps you on your toes through out it until the very last minute of gameplay.


All versions of the game are virtually the same gameplay-wise with only some minor engine differences. Differences like Amiga version having two separate release branches, one with 32 and another with 256 colours graphics (all other systems get 256 only) and a bit better music and sound effects. Playstation outing being least playable out of the lot due to the limitations of pad control compared to the mouse. All that said, any version you manage to pick up will provide you with dozens of hours of fun and challenge, and that’s what UFO is all about!

MicroProse released two continuations to UFO – X-COM: Terror From The Deep & X-COM: Apocalypse. First being direct sequel with some minor gameplay setting tweaks & alterations and second released in high resolution but with reduced micro-management scale from the whole World to one huge Metropolis. There’s been some spin-offs developed as well but mostly were not worth any attention as they fared into different genres, badly I must add. Independent Developers have been craving to shadow the success of original, releasing many similar games, especially over the last few years. Unfortunately none of them came even close to perfecting balance of gameplay and its mechanics, and MicroProse’s original is still King of the Hill when in comes to tactical anti-alien warfare.


It took me two weeks of serious gaming before I beat the game and I only managed to do it on normal difficulty level. Can’t wait to see what happens if I raise it a bit even though UFO was challenging enough the way I played it. Overall I want to give UFO: Enemy Unknown 15 out of 10 but I can’t, so I’ll settle for what’s available at hand…


PC version is still on sale (well, again not still) and can be purchased on STEAM either separately or as a part of the Complete pack where it is sold along with both successors. Alternatively if you still own your original disks they can be easily used to install and run it through DOSBox. As for Amiga outing, the game same as the platform has been forgotten for years and is only available to download as an abandonware at Planet Emulation website.

Kyle Rhône: Tinderbox Entertainment

Tinderbox Entertainment logo
Tinderbox Entertainment logo

Kyle Rhone – Tinderbox Entertainment

Name: Kyle Rhône

Company: Tinderbox Entertainment

Profession: Creative Director

Favorite Classic Game: Earthworm Jim

Quote: As a former traditional 2D animator I think that Earthworm Jim has some of the best character animation I’ve ever seen in a video game.  The visual design is unique and the game play is responsive giving the player a tactile experience.  Unlike most game franchises where the sequels usually get better as time goes on, this IP never really made any thriving sequels.  The first game is still the most popular and still gets ported to new platforms.  EWJ is a solid side-scroller even by today’s standards.

Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight review

Have you ever wondered what would’ve become of a child of Cool and Awesome? I know, I did… And what if that child hooked up with Great and their kid became Rad that in turn done it with Super, getting her pregnant in the process?? Well, wonder no more! What we’d end up with would be an odd hairy & stinky behemoth – CoAweGraDSu. And if the name’s too long or weird sounding to you, let me rephrase it, so it’s more understandable – Cool, Awesome, Great, Rad & Super above all – Moonstone!

Moonstone PC title screen

Yes, Moonstone. A rock that fell of a big, round slice of Cheese that hangs on a night sky bringing all vampires and other darkly creatures to life, or death. I don’t know, I’m not an expert on these… Anyway, what I know a lot about is a video game of a same name & that’s what we’re going to talk of today.

Weird drug-related rituals have been known for ages… And loved for ages…

Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight is an action hack’n’slash game with role playing elements in fantasy medieval setting developed and released by Mindscape in 1991 & 1992 on Amiga and PC respectively. Both versions look and play nearly the same & use the same palette of 32 colors, but PC version seems a bit more radiant & Amiga outing sounds much better… And freezes your computer more often, but that may just be me and not a common case. Anyway…

I guess it was and always will be that the blonde ones are the most popular…

The story unveils you being one of four knights summoned by the old and wise (or drugged as they certainly appear to be) druids to fullfil their request of finding the sacred Moonstone, neccessary to save their land. The story has many twists and turns to it whilst still being simple and enjoyable. In very short find the Moonstone, bring it to druids, save their realm – and most of all stay alive whilst doing it.

Beware of the red bastard that burps with fire and feeds of brains… Or so I heard.

Wether you choose to play alone or with friends, the game involves all four knights with CPU taking control of unused ones. Each starts in a different region of a map, ridden by different creatures and dangers. But all have to go through a same, awesomely BLOODY path to complete the game. How gory this game actually is? Well, let’s say that having an upper part of your body bitten of by a dragon or head choped by rivalring knight is not a very brutal way to die in Moonstone…

It’s not important how many you’ve taken with you if you fell in the end…

Between chopping, stabbing, cutting and running away for your life (yes, this may happen to you as well, especially when followed by a huge fire-breathing dragon) there’s many activities that a knight in the World of Moonstone can participate in. Such fun things as gambling, visiting a seer seeking an in-depth view of your future, shopping or even looking for an aid from a lonely Wizard that lives on top of Abandoned Tower – kind of like Saruman from Lord of the Rings did. All the best things that true knights enjoy doing when not killing, raping or drinking… Or all these in a same time!

Missed me! You blind, acne ridden, bad breath bastard!

There’s many ways casual player can die in Moonstone, but there’s also many ways a careful one can develop in it. The role playing elements in the game are mostly seen through skills developing along with the gameplay and equipment upgrades that can either be obtained by means of trade or by brutal murders. Both equally enjoable, yet only one of them costing you virtually no money. One could argue that it’s not enough to aspire to a role playing game, but that’s fine because Moonstone does not try to appear as one. Instead it stands for what it is – fun, gory and awesomely enjoyable Party Game – if you happen to be twisted and have friends that thrive in surrounding of blood and other inner body fluids. On the other hand if you do, it’s probably good that you and your friends play games and not go out on a killing spree that one would expect you to. ^__^

Go on, son! Go on, son!

Moonstone has that board game feeling to it, with map view played in turn based mode and encounters being more lively real time combat decided purely by player’s own skills and equipment. After few failed playthroughs the game becomes easy. In fact if you died in all possible places in all possible ways, eventually you learn what, when and how to expect in the World of Moonstone. However since the graphics are so polished – beautiful hand drawn sprites and backdrops – and gameplay is enjoyable to the point of bringing Mortal Kombat to shame with its rivers of blood and pain virtually spread all over through the whole game time, Moonstone is utterly fun time killer and a very good Party Game.

Darn Critters! Who would’ve though they can attack from above?

It took me a while to decide what should be Moonstone’s final score. On one hand I think it deserves 8 out of 10 for a single player experience, on the other 10 out of 10 in multiplayer mode… Because nothing says fun more than bringing few friends together just to chop off a limb or two of them, then steal from them and finally leave their still warm corpses to rot in a puddle of their own blood. I’ve made my decision…

Yeah… You sure told me… People did sure know how to swear back then…

Frankenstein Computers Make Little Girls Cry

Family Guy Six Million Dollar Man
We Can Rebuild Him

Frankenstein Computers Make Little Girls Cry

Contrary to how much of a dick I portray myself to be, I am not a heartless monster. Normally when I decide to help someone it is usually to get them to shut up and stop nagging. There are a few occasions in a given year where I actually truly help people for the hell of it. Some of those instances are rather memorable because of the outcome and how good I felt inside from helping someone in need.

Of these far and few times, I remember the night I was asked to create a computer overnight for a little girl who just came from Cuba. She was the daughter of the cleaning crew at my mother’s office, a family struggling to get by during this tough economy. Their daughter had begun school and some way or another she was qualified to be given a computer so that she may do her homework and studies since a lot of textbooks and assignments are now done via software. Of course, when someone is given something for free it is normally a bag of dicks and is made from some E-Machine abomination in the late 90’s. It was only a matter of time before it exploded into a nuclear mess.

The specifics weren’t given but the computer died. I can only assume they spilled Materva on it since that is what I believe little Cuban children sustain themselves on. It could also have been a faulty power supply. I don’t know. I like labeling people. Her school wouldn’t supply her with another computer and her parents couldn’t cover the repairs or the cost of a new one. With most of her work being done on the machine she couldn’t get anything done and was marooned in situation a lot of families nowadays must be experiencing.

Her parents told my mother their sad tale and she decided to tell them I could build them a computer for free. She knew I had junk parts all over the place. It wasn’t a secret that I hoard shinies in the computer chassis in my room. I was involuntarily volunteered to create a new but stable atrocity from the discarded parts in my possession. Normally, I wouldn’t have minded doing this but I was given a single night deadline for some reason. You don’t ask my mother for an extension because she assumes you can find compatible components and install everything in the blink of an eye. She was under the theory that this would only take me a mere two hours to complete. She was so far from wrong.

Grabbing an old Dell unit that used to belong to my sister, I thought this would be an easy task as well. My heart and mind told me otherwise, constantly reminding me that nothing is easy when you believe it will be. I was going to just delete all of my sister’s files, remove her profile, and create a new one. Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma’am. Am I right or what?

No, I was wrong. There was something seriously wrong with my sister’s old computer. Out of nowhere a blue screen erupted forth, the harbinger of ill omens. Being the totally awesome guy I was, I knew it was the memory being a dick so I switched the sticks from some other cadaver unit sitting in my closet. The storm had cleared and the unit booted into Windows. As I began my purging of the registry I noticed there was a virus in the unit. Well, let me rephrase that. There were 28 high risk trojan viruses and I could only remove 14 of them. Normally after running three different antivirus softwares, if you fail it is wise to just reformat the computer since it is the easiest resolution. For this who know me, though, I hate reformatting a computer because it means I gave up on finding a true solution to the problem.

After attempting to remove them multiple times manually, I managed to have only two viruses left that would not go away. I googled many operations I could conduct to remove these annoyances but I couldn’t figure out how to do so. I spent a good four hours trying to avoid the inevitable. I decided to reformat.

It wasn’t until after I reformatted using my own Windows 7 CD that I realized I should put Windows XP on the system and use an old COA from one of my trash units. Unfortunately, I lost my Windows XP CD and this is where I began to curse to the Heavens. Why would God do this to me? Why would he make children in Africa starve and I had to suffer a similar fate by losing my Windows XP CD? What a cruel maker, I thought. The only option was to torrent the Windows XP software and burn it to a disc. As I torrented I began to search for a CD to burn it to. Turns out I ran out of CDs. I made the ultimate sacrifice and burned the operating system onto my Hulk VS Wolverine disc. My heart was shattered and broken.

Once the unit had Windows XP installed, I decided to put in the stable software I normally put into a freshly made computer: AVG, Malware Bytes, Google Chrome, Flash, Open Office and VLC Media Player. As I made my attempt to connect to the internet to install the drivers for the video card, I realized I couldn’t establish connection and that I didn’t know the name of any of the components on the damn system! My blood boiled with rage! It was already 4 am and I began my quest at 10PM! This was a travesty!

Murder filled my thoughts as I traversed the Dell Support site looking for the components that matched this unit. I couldn’t pin point the make and model specifics and I ended up having to mix and match the drivers till I found the correct ones. After multiple attempts at trial and error, the unit began to function. Hastily, I installed all the software and made sure the unit worked.

There was one thing missing though. I forgot this little girl needed a monitor, mouse, and keyboard since her school took her computer and all the components associated with it. Scurrying through my treasures I found an old mouse, keyboard, and an old 17″ LCD I thought I lost. Being the paranoid person I am, I made sure about three times that the system booted up, everything worked, and that all the components were properly functioning. Finally, I turned off the unit and put the entire thing on the table for my mother to pick up and take to her office. It was 6:45AM and I collapsed in bed.

It wasn’t until that night that my mother told me she gave the computer to the little girl. I really didn’t care what the girl’s reaction was. I just wanted to make sure the computer didn’t break or explode or something and all my trials were in vain. Turns out, the family was shocked I actually did it and that it was running better than their old computer. They thanked my mother for being so generous and asked her to thank me for staying up all night to build this perfect abomination for them. I don’t like to be thanked. It feels weird every time someone thanks me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s some crazy psychological thing. Maybe I was molested by Mickey Mouse at Disney World and he thanked me for the feel up which I just blocked out but subconsciously get defensive when I am thanked. Crazy shit man… crazy shit.

Anyway, the part of this story that actually made me feel that I did something positive for this girl was what my mother told me next. She said the girl cried when she received the computer. She wasn’t used to people being so nice for nothing in return and broke out into tears. I felt good inside. Not because I made a little girl cry. I’m not some sick freak that enjoys watching children lose control of their emotions. I felt good because the “thank you” I got from this girl was genuine. This humdrum activity which I thought was more trouble than it was worth actually repaid me in full and I felt good about it.

I never met these people and I don’t really need to. Just knowing that I may have actually changed this girl’s life by showing her not everyone is a communist dickhole is something I will always remember. Sometimes not being a total douche and actually accepting someone’s need for help while not being promised anything in return pays you back in ways you didn’t really expect.

Deprivation Chamber – The new dark ambient artist

Deprivation Chamber is an upcoming dark ambient artist from the Czech Republic. Imagine a sound much like early Delerium, only less restricted by the usual conventions of music. That is to say, expect eerie tones set to a broken rhythm, a rhythm much like the itinerate drip from a basement water pipe.

However, unlike Delerium, the music never strays beyond the periphery. Tracks like The Beauty of Numbers embody just what one wants from this genre. Ambient music should provide a background to which one can sit in contemplation, read, or surf the web without distraction. There is no defined beat prompting you to tap your toes. There are no distinct voices calling for your attention.

On the other hand, one may choose to listen closely and allow the tones to carry one off into the land of waking dreams. Being a dark ambient artist, Deprivation Chamber is considerably less cheery than the more well known Enigma. The focus is less on danceability and more on atmosphere, sounding more like the score to a futuristic horror film.

The artist’s name reflects the music well, not so much in a claustrophobic sense as in a general sense of isolation. A deprivation chamber removes the individual from the phenomenal world. In an isolation tank a person is left with only their own being, seemingly alone in the universe. The music by Deprivation Chamber has a similar effect, helping sever the earthly bonds so the individual can explore the self more freely.

Deprivation Chamber is a return to the very early days of the industrial music scene, a movement more in line with experimentation than pounding rhythms or distorted guitars.  In short, Deprivation Chamber has more in common with Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire than Nine Inch Nails. Expect the debut EP, Urban Decay, some time soon.

Urban Decay as a title truly defines the sounds of Deprivation Chamber. For instance, Crossing the Line features bass wind, an oscillating grind of metal on metal, and the clicking of what could be footsteps on a broken floor. The whole conveys an image of one strolling about an abandoned subway or train station, each sound reverberating off every wall and corridor. In sum, Deprivation Chamber is deeply atmospheric.

Mathew Anderson: Petroglyph

Petroglyph logo
Petroglyph logo

Name: Mathew Anderson

Company: Petroglyph

Profession: Community Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Jones in the Fast Lane (1990)

Quote: It really all started with Jones in the Fast Lane in 1990. I’m a huge Simulation fan and found the game quite ahead of its time. The basic goal is to find food, get a job, go to school, and invest in an apartment and other things. A simulation about real-life… who would want to “play” that? Well, I did…

Defeat the Boss or Drop a Duece?

Final Fantasy IX characters
Now with more characters!

Defeat the Boss or Drop a Duece?

Once upon a time, a boy named Umar was playing Final Fantasy 9 and was about to beat the game. Before embarking on his journey to vanquish Kuja, Umar decided it would be a wise idea to eat lunch. The idea was sound at the time and surely nothing would hinder the ending experience Umar had vanquished so many Tonberries for. It wasn’t until sitting down and unpausing the game to begin the final scenes against Kuja that Umar realized he had orchestrated his own folly. You see, Umar was like a human duck. If he ate, it was only mere moments later that shit will be begging for sweet cataclysmic release. A dire time bomb situation ignited in front of the boy. Should he defeat Kuja or take a shit? Who would purposely prairie dog themselves when there is a toilet twenty feet away? After serious deliberation, the decision was set in stone. Kuja was going to die.

As if his ass began its own Final Fantasy random encounter, his turd became a Tonberry that slowly progressed forward toward the light. Umar knew he had to end Kuja and quick or it was “game over” for his Mom’s carpet. The battle began. Casting his protection and haste spells, war was waged. Sweat began to drip from his brow as he quickly realized Kuja was no pushover. The encounter was going to take longer than 2 minutes and the Tonberry situation grew more grim. Biting down on his lower lip, he unleashed all hell upon the transexual foe of the story. Bubbles were erupting and crying out from within his body, lashing like molten lava waiting to cover the land of Pompeii. His choice began to become a blur and regret began to sink in.

In some situations, it would be wise to ease out a fart at this time. Believing this to be true for this instance, the action was clear. He knew it was a double edged sword but he couldn’t just pause the game and run to the toilet. No, that would be illogical! Slowly, the gas which composes part of Venus’s atmosphere slid out. It was subtle and safe for the most part until an unrelenting quake erupted. “Oh no”, Umar exclaimed as he realized that this big burst could’ve produced a bacon strip on his underwear or far worse. Tightening up, he decided not to check his drawers and proceed to vanquishing Kuja.

Numerous Ultima’s were being cast as this angry reimagining of David Bowie from Labyrinth attempted to wipe out the boy’s party. Zidane entered a Trance which spelled hope not only for Vivi and Dagger but for Umar’s ass as well. Kuja was slain and the ending CGI sequence would begin. “Yes!”, an exasperated Umar managed to mutter as the screen began to fade to black. His toes were now curling up and he had entered a dance that somehow lessened the need to let it all go. As Kuja laid slain, Umar knew he could finally enjoy the climax of the adventure. Then, the unthinkable happened…

Kuja was the penultimate boss. Rather deceitful isn’t it? There was no mention of this Necron individual and now he stood in front of Umar, mocking him and his anus. History was rewritten for this moment. There was no Necron in Final Fantasy 9 at all. Not until now, at least. No one remembers that Kuja was the true enemy at the end of the game because the malevolent Gods of gaming decided to toy with this mortal boy who dared defy them and not run to the toilet while he had a chance. He had come this far and that shit had to wait. It was only Umar and Necron. Only one would walk out alive.

The Gods knew how the tale would end though. The boy was not ready mentally and physically for this obstacle and Necron dispatched him. His party fell in combat like lemmings running toward a cliff. The sound of metal stretching and pulling echoed through Umar’s body as the game over music played. Tears streamed his cheeks. Not the cheeks of his face but his ass for it was sweating holding back the apocalyptic spill it was suppressing. Finally running to the toilet, Umar opened the portal to the mouth of hell as fecal demons erupted forth. The Moon began to bleed and horrors raped the Earth. His failure was the doom of us all. Sitting on his throne of shame, he realized that he had lost.


Have you ever had to make such a dire and overwhelming decision while playing a video game? Tell us about your adventure so that your legend can be echoed in the Halls of Valhalla.

J.A. Cares: The Banned Bachelor

Unemployment is just too much fun which is why there hasn’t been a new post since like forever. However, as the e-mail inbox continues to stack up (all spam) it’s time to get back to work. Since we are in wedding season I decided to try and help (ridicule) someone who is having a problem with a bachelor party.

Laramie Piton from Tea Party, Texas writes:

I’m going to be married soon and my best man wants to throw me and awesome bachelor party, but my girl is insanely jealous and doesn’t want me to have one without her. Isn’t the point to have one last big fun party before you tie the knot? It’s not like I want to cheat or do anything to piss her off, I just want to have a party with my boys. Is that too much to ask? What should I do J.A.?

How many times do I have to tell you? Marriage is like buying an American car, it’s been drilled into you that you should do it, but it sucks and you will regret it in the end. I guess it is too late for that advice, you are getting married, but let’s address what we can shall we?

If you feel jealous something is wrong with YOU?

Why won’t women get that men have to look at other women. First of all it is like the sun is to Superman, it gives us strength and though some men will fly toward it most of us know it’s best to observe from a distance. Every time you flip out on your man over looking it is more likely he will start touching.

Second we look for several reasons, but a few of the top reasons are because:

  1. She has something you don’t
  2. She’s doing something you won’t
  3. She’s breathing

Number three you can’t help, but if your man likes looking at a firm body then maybe you should firm up. However, this goes both ways guys. If you are looking at a firm body and you are a bowl of jello then you are just window shopping, which is fine, just realize you can’t afford what you are looking at.

The road to failure

Simply put, if your girlfriend is going crazy over a bachelor party then you have a long hard road ahead of you. First off, the bachelor party is a time honored tradition. Honestly it is kind of stupid because you are almost admitting marriage sucks the life out of you which is why you have to enjoy one last night out as if you are going to jail or something.

If younger women dancing around you and causing you embarrassment and a mild erection burns her up inside that much then you have a drama queen on your hand. Symptoms of a drama queen include:

  1. Thinking everything is about her
  2. Keeping you from doing things then doing it herself
  3. Crying over stupid shit
  4. Whining and complaining a lot
  5. Playing the victim
  6. Unrealistic expectations

The last one is killer because in her mind she has already mapped out everything and you will fail to live up to it. This starts with denying you a bachelor party and next thing you know you are having a scientology wedding with a Tom Cruise look-a-like as your minister.

Ball searching

Men have lost the middle ground. We seem to have two levels now, complete pussy and raging abusive asshat. There has to be a middle ground where we make our opinions clear and stand up for what we want. You must search for your balls and even if you find them in her heart shaped box you can still reattach them. If you don’t do this now you will end up hating yourself and her in the end.

On the flipside, don’t be a hypocrite. If she wants to go to Chippendales or whatever then you can’t turn all emo on her. Communication is key, you can do it now or when your divorce lawyers meet, the choice is yours.

Still on Vacation

I hope to help more of you saps, but until Obama kicks me out of his house I’m going to continue chillaxing in his basement. Keep the e-mails coming, I’ll be back in another six months.

Gamer Profile: Alex Aguila

Alex Aguila

There are those who play video games, those who immerse themselves in the video game culture and then those for who gaming is really a part of them. There are millions of fans, but when you truly have a love for all things gaming it sets us apart from the rest. I was honored to spend a few hours with one such person for whom gaming had touched at an early age and stayed with him throughout his life.

Alex Aguila’s love of all things electronic gaming led him to co-founding Alienware, but his love of gaming began long before.  From a very early age he became fascinated with video games, so much so, that after seeing the Atari 2600 in action he saved up money  From there he began collecting games from Colecovision to the Commodore 64. Even before the success of Alienware, Alex had an impressive gaming collection that has continued to grow over the years.

I was able to personally view his collection and it was awe inspiring. It was much more than the sheer volume, but the care he took in preserving them and the joy he had in talking about them. Many older games were still wrapped in their original plastic. Others though opened were in pristine condition and we talked about how classic games had a collectors feel long before expensive over bloated collectors’ editions of games became the norm.

What made me smile like a child in Electronics Boutique was that I could hear in his voice that he truly cared about the gaming industry. There was excitement in his voice when we talked about the past and how in the 90’s a golden age of gaming began when there was so much choice in gaming in arcades, home console systems and the emerging PC gaming market.

Simply put when you convert a shower into a display case for your collection of console systems you know you have a true gamer before you. Besides the normal Sega Genesis and Nintendo Entertainment System, Alex also had systems I was not aware of like the Vectrex which is an all in one video game system that used vector graphics. Alex then showed me an Atari that was unopened and joked about how he posted on Atari Age that he was considering opening it so he could play. He told me many people offered to send him opened Atari systems just so he would keep his sealed.

In addition to console systems Alex also had an impressive collection of handheld videos games. Long before the Gameboy, these simple but addictive games ruled the market. Then I took a look at his clone’s collection. Clones are systems made by third parties that can play games from systems such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Some, like the FC twin allow you to play both Super and classic Nintendo games on the game console. Another cool device was the Retro Mini portable, a device that used the original NES cartridges, but allows you to take it on the go.

Alex is a complete fan of all things electronic gaming meaning that he can enjoy playing the original Atari 2600 using the original cartridge as well as utilizing modern equipment and technology such as emulators. He stressed the importance of those in the community who work to not only preserve classic gaming, but allow new fans to enjoy games of the past. Using programs such as DOSBox allows many gamers to play classic PC games that just won’t run correctly on today’s operating systems.

When I walked into Alex’s arcade room I almost fainted. It was like something out of my childhood dreams except for the large Dallas Cowboys star on the wall. Right away what caught my eye was the M.A.M.E. arcade cabinet next to the air hockey machine. However, something else that caught my eye was the collection of pinball machines. Unfortunately, there seems to be a disconnect between pinball fans and video game fans and it was good to see that Alex enjoyed both.

On the back wall were several classic arcade cabinets including Defender, Joust and Robotron. The systems were all from Retrocade and Alex explained that originally he wanted to keep the classic original cabinets, but it is truly a lot of work dangerous even to care and maintain due to the circuit boards and electronics used in those older systems.


After my tour I sat down with Alex and we talked about his own gaming history from his first console to meeting game designers and developers with Michael Dell. I was even able to instigate a challenge between Alex and Arthur Lewis, Alienware’s general manager.

This began during my coverage at E3 where I was able to talk to Arthur over at the Alienware booth. In addition to telling me about his own love of gaming he mentioned getting together with Alex to play Tecmo Bowl and that they were scheduled to have a game soon.

Arthur Lewis @ E3

Alex tells a story about a classic gaming of Tecmo Bowl against Arthur where the loser would have to walk around the hotel halls in their underwear. Alex lost and believed the underwear thing was just a joke, unfortunately it was not. Alex said that it has been a while since they had played and that if a rematch did come about Arthur would find himself on the losing end. Of course, I plan to press this to see if a rematch will happen though I doubt the loser will have to do anything too embarrassing.

Alex Aguila Interview


Saying goodbye I felt slightly sad to be honest. Being there and seeing someone love video gaming as much as I do reminded me of my summer days of spending hours doing nothing but gaming. On the other hand it is truly nice to find people who continue doing something they love even as they mature and their lives change. My day with a true gamer, Alex Aguila is not one I will soon forget.

Jacob A Stevens: Riverman Media

Riverman Media logo
Riverman Media logo

Name: Jacob A. Stevens

Company: Riverman Media

Profession: Artist and Development Director

Favorite Classic Game: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Quote: Zelda II had a dark and enigmatic spirit that captured my attention as a child and continues to inspire me to this day. I love the warbling, disconcerting soundtrack that sets the stage for falling into graves, fighting severed heads, and even confronting your own shadow.

Aion Assault on Balaurea – Q&A

AION Assault On Balaurea logo
AION Assault On Balaurea logo

Aion Assault on Balaurea

The free expansion Assault on Balaura is set for release on September 7th and those looking for retail boxes containing a exclusive in game pet can find them on select store shelves on September 7th in the U.S. and 10th in the U.K.

In Aion: Assault on Balaurea, the exciting new chapter of Aion, characters have the ability to align together to launch massive counter assaults against the invading Balaur on their homeland while experiencing new and updated instances and zones, an increased level cap, new weapons and items, new skills and added flight mechanics. Characters will not be alone as they explore the new areas, as Aion introduces functional pets equipped with in-game benefits.

Unlike any MMO before it, Aion is a uniquely crafted online gaming experience where flight offers much more than just a way to gracefully explore the landscape – it is a strategic and integral part of combat, quests, and exploration. Players will use flight to dive into battle and plunge through thousands of unique, story-driven quests, all while trying to save and control a world literally shattered in half from centuries of brutal conflict.

While many Aion fans are eagerly awaiting the expansion there are still questions and concerns being raised by the fans of the popular MMO. Obsolete Gamer was able to get some questions answered thanks to Chris Hager, a producer of Aion.

Obsolete Gamer: There are many people that believe the  release date will be pushed back. I am sure like with anything that is a possibility, but as of today does it seem likely?

Chris Hager: I’ve learned to always be cautious when giving a date, especially when it’s the date for a major update or in game event.  The last thing we want to be is inconsistent, and to push dates back, but in the example of our server merge, we felt that it was in the player’s best interests that we make sure a service is 100% before we go forward with it.  That being said, I am extremely confident that the 9/7 live date is accurate, and just to be clear, that is the date Assault on Balaurea will be on the LIVE servers (hint:  PTS will be BEFORE that).

Obsolete Gamer: Will there be a version sold in Oceania(Australia) that matches all the items and codes that will come with the US/EU version?

Chris Hager: We will be having a retail box for Australia that will contain their own item, unique to NA/EU.


Aion screenshot
Aion screenshot

Obsolete Gamer: There are rumblings that the release is an “ace card” move because of troubles with Aion, can you address this?

Chris Hager: If you go back and look at our normal schedules, this release is actually right on pace with our normal release schedule and commitment to getting new updates to the players as efficiently as possible while maintaining the high standards we set with the initial launch.  It also falls into place nicely with our upcoming 1 year anniversary.  There were a lot of factors that went into the Assault on Balaurea exact release date, but none of those factors had to do with perceived troubles with Aion.  It was all about getting the latest and greatest to the players and giving them more of what they want as quickly as we can.


Obsolete Gamer: How do you feel about the current balance issues with Aion and are there any changes or fixes in the works?

Chris Hager: Every MMO that I’ve ever played or worked on has always pursed balance, and I don’t think any of them ever achieved it.  You tweak one thing here, and another thing breaks as a result.  It’s a constant battle, but I think it’s one that we do well.  When we see areas that need more balancing or bugs that need fixing, we respond to it as quickly as we can, and if needed report it directly to the development team if it’s something we can’t fix in house.  The 1.9 build was a good example of identifying balance and game issues our players feel are important, and fixing them.  We’ve continued listening to our players, and identified areas which need further refinement, and that feedback was also incorporated into Assault on Balaurea.  As issues come up, we try to determine how big the issue is, how best to fix it and not affect other areas, and how quickly we can get it fixed.

Aion screenshot
Aion screenshot

Obsolete Gamer: With merged servers do you feel overcrowding may occur?

Chris Hager: When the idea of merging the servers came together that was the first thing we looked at, and was one of many deciding factors on what servers to actually merge together.  When you look at Aion’s core as a game, it thrives on players being in the game to drive the economy and PvP.  For both of those things to happen successfully, you need a lot of players.  Post merge, our servers have a ton of action on them, plenty of groups to find, a thriving economy (lower broker prices, woot!) and a very active Abyss and PvP element.  It is a much more complete game with more players on each server, and I think the community is extremely pleased with the overall effects.


Obsolete Gamer: Everyone will ask “what is next” can you give us any hints as to what is next for Aion as far as content and editions?

Chris Hager: I’d love to tell everyone what I’ve seen is on the schedule for the near and long term for Aion, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy.  All I can say is that there will be some great new additions, some of which players have asked for and some that are completely new but equally great.

Obsolete Gamer would like to thank Chris Hager and the team over at Aion for answering our questions. For more information about Aion and Aion: Assault on Balaurea please visit their official website at

The Obsolete Gamer Show 3

Alienware Breed logo
Alienware Breed logo

You ever watch a tv pilot and the set, the lighting and everything else just doesn’t seem network ready? Then next week comes and the show looks completely finished as if polished and shined to look better. Well that is what we are doing with The Obsolete Gamer Show.

For podcast number three I was finally able to get Ignacio/honorabili to join me and if that wasn’t cool enough we are now recording from a radio station. I always wanted to be a radio broadcaster and after the show I realized I still have a lot to learn.

However, it was a still a good show overall starting with Ignacio explaining how Obsolete gamer came to be and from there we moved on to discussing how our Gamer Profiles feature has grown leaps and bounds in just a few months. We covered our Facebook question that asked if anyone had ever said anything game related during sex which somehow led into a conversation about Lindsay Lohan’s gamer profile.

Ignacio informed us of the reason he has not posted much on Obsolete Gamer. He has had a good time playing games like, Global Agenda, Need for Speed World and Battleforge. We also had a take on young kids coming up playing games such as Pokemon.

After a time it was back to business and we were able to have a conversation with Yusney (Jay) Garay who created the Breed campaign for Alienware and his opening of a new creative studio in Miami.

All in all it was a good effort and we plan to bring you a weekly show with more interviews and less of us going off topic and on a tangent. For now have a listen, tell us what you think and stay tuned for more.

John Graham: Wolfire Games

Wolfire Games logo
Wolfire Games logo

Name: John Graham

Company: Wolfire Games

Profession: Coffee Operations Officer

Favorite Classic Game: Unreal Tournament

Quote: Intense, but well-balanced action, ridiculously fun variety of weapons, innovative gameplay modes and modability, gorgeous graphics for its time (which got high frame rates even on my modest computer), headshots, taunts, the booming voice of the announcer, great soundtrack.

Zack Weddington – Viva Amiga

Viva Amiga logo
Viva Amiga logo

Viva Amiga

Sometimes it goes beyond classic gaming, when we talk about certain companies, they and the products they release, are considered classics themselves. What makes a company a classic is the multifunctionality they brought to the industry and the Amiga computer did just that. It was more than just a computer for many of its fans. Unfortunately, in today’s world either you had one and know exactly how awesome it was from the hardware to the software to the community or you have no clue.

There are websites and fans by the thousands that still discuss and even use Amiga computers today. Perhaps it can be considered a cult following, but like anything truly a classic there will be those who wish to preserve its memory. In the past there have been attempts to create a video documentary on the Amiga computer and its impact on the industry, but in the end they fell short. Zack Weddington and Viva Amiga plan to change that with their upcoming documentary on the Amiga.

Viva Amiga is currently working on a documentary about the Amiga computer and its impact on the industry, the marketplace and even pop culture. The film will cover all aspects of the system from business to gaming and everywhere in-between. One of the most important points that Zack states he is going for is the human factor. It is the real life stories from people who made and used the system.

A great product supported by a great company and revered by an awesome user base is what creates a complete classic and it is the people that make that happen. On the Amiga Film website you will be able to track the progress of the film and submit your own stories and experiences with the Amiga system. Obsolete Gamer is also collecting information on our forums and will support the film in any way we can because we are after all fans ourselves.

In an effort to bring more awareness of this film to fans of the Amiga system we conducted an interview with Zack Weddington from Viva Amiga on the upcoming documentary.

Zach Weddington – Viva Amiga
Zach Weddington – Viva Amiga

Obsolete Gamer: What made you want to do a documentary on the Amiga computer?

Zack Weddington: I had started going to the Vintage Computer Festival East every year with my good friend Mike Lee, where I got to see all kinds of great old computer systems on display. I saw presentations by people like former Commodore Engineer Chuck Peddle who designed the MOS-6502 processor chip which ran almost every console in the 1980’s. I was a huge Amiga fan back in the day as well so I think all that was kinda rattling around in my brain when I was just driving around in my car one night. That’s when the idea stuck me, and I called my friend Mike right away, who thought it was a great idea. He became one of my partners on the film.

Obsolete Gamer: There are still a ton of not only fans, but users of Amiga computers today. Is the film more for them or mainstream even for those who may not have used or even remember the Amiga?

Zack Weddington: The film is being made “for the fans”, most definitely, but we are also hoping to attract viewers who have an interest in technology and geeky topics in general. We think the film will be interesting to people who have never even heard of the Amiga, because it is the stories of the people involved with the Amiga which really drive the film. It’s also gonna have a hell of a lot of eye candy and awesome animation done by me and my other partner, David Kessler, a fellow video artist.

Obsolete Gamer: What is your own background and experience with Amiga computers?

Zack Weddington: It’s a pretty good story, I think. I was a passionate user of the Amiga. Back when I was about 12 or so, I started seeing computer graphics on television. Things like the Dire Straits video “Money for Nothing” with the blocky characters, Crest toothpaste commercials with those bouncing blue toothpaste blobs. I was really entranced by 3-D CGI. I asked my father how those were made and he told me they were done on a computer. From that moment on, I wanted to learn how to do 3-D computer animation. So I begged my Dad to buy me a computer, and he did. An IBM PS/2. A great machine for the time, but of course, you couldn’t do any serious animation on it with just a16 color pallette and no video output of any kind. So I was disappointed.

Months later I was walking through a bookstore in a mall and saw the Amiga 500 displaying a 3-D raytraced animation by Dr. Gandalf. It was a photorealistic animtation of one of those “infinite motion” desk toys with the silver balls that swing. I was amazed by the reflections and shadows in the animation. Here was a desktop computer that could clearly do the kind of animation I wanted to create, and it was even cheaper than the computer my father had just bought me. I convinced my Dad to let me sell the PS/2 and get an Amiga instead. He thought I was nuts, but of course it was the right decision. I went on to create tons of animations with my Amiga and make a career for myself doing this kind of stuff.


Dave Haynie – Viva Amiga
Dave Haynie – Viva Amiga

Obsolete Gamer: Now on your website you state the film is for fans and users of the Amiga and you are looking for ideas and thoughts, how has the reception been so far?

Zack Weddington: The reception has been great. People are very supportive and excited about the whole thing.

Obsolete Gamer: As for user submitted content what kind are you looking for?

I am looking for animations people made, “demo scene” type stuff, music…any kind of media that you might think has merit and think represents what a person could do with the Amiga. Anyone who has content they want to submit should email me at for now.

Obsolete Gamer: Have people in the industry been receptive to your film?

Zack Weddington: The only people that really know about the film right now are the Amiga

community and former Commodore people. I’m still kind of slowly leaking out details of the film. I’ve got some connections with the G4 network that I plan to take advantage of later on, but the film is still in the early stages of shooting. Lot of work to do before I begin plastering the film everywhere…

Obsolete Gamer: When you speak of focusing on the “human side” what is your vision as far as that?

Zack Weddington: People who designed the Amiga, who worked at Commodore, who wrote for Amiga  magazines….people who really cared about the Amiga and what it made possible,

these are the kind of people that appear in the film and tell their personal stories. It’s the stories of the people who made the thing possible as well as the story of the machine itself.


Bil Herd – Viva Amiga
Bil Herd – Viva Amiga

Obsolete Gamer: When do you hope to launch the film?

Zack Weddington: We’re looking at sometime in late 2011 or early 2012. It’s a lot of work.

Obsolete Gamer: What can we as fans of Amiga do to help?

Zack Weddington: At the moment, just stay in the loop and check out the website , blog, and Facebook. I’ll be asking for some favors in the fall.

Obsolete Gamer: As far as gaming, what was your favorite Amiga game?

Zack Weddington: Well, back in the 80’s I was an arcade maniac. I spent probably 8 hours a week in arcades at least, so that’s where my favorite games were located. I was a SEGA fanboy, used to just sit and watch OutRun in “attract mode” just to try and figure out how the amazing graphics were done. Being creative types, me and my friend Josh used to spend hours making our own games with the “Shoot Em Up Construction Kit” on the Amiga. You could design your own sprites and backgrounds for your own vertically scrolling shooter games. It rocked.

In addition to tracking the progress of the film on the Viva Amiga website they also have a FaceBook page where you can leave comments and receive updates. Obsolete Gamer will also be following the films progress as well as bringing you articles and stories on the Amiga. We can always use your input and you can submit questions and comments via our forums.

Fabian Santiesteban: Velocity Micro

Velocity Micro logo

Name: Fabian Santiesteban

Company: Velocity Micro

Profession: VP of Operations

Favorite Classic Game: Mortal Kombat 2

Quote: There is something strange but enticing about fatalities that I loved. I can hear the words now. FINISH HIM! FLAWLESS VICTORY

Obscure Gamer – False Start

Playstation 3
The race to the next generation of consoles may have already started, but how certain are the predictions? First it was David Reeves of Capcom with his suggestion of two to three years. Now Murray Pannel, head of marketing for Ubisoft has predicted a similar time scale.

To a large extent this would make sense. Previous hardware generations have been about five years, and there has often been an advantage for the machine to launch first. However, once the design of a new machine has been started, technology can overtake what has been put together.

There is a very large counter-argument that the next generation is further away, and that is the strategy of both Sony and Microsoft to produce new add-ons for their current consoles. The “slim” SKU’s for both were a stop-gap, a way of improving the quality of the base machine, although for Sony fans the removal of backwards compatibility is a sharp pain that can only be eased by the rumoured “HD Classics” range. But Kinect and Move are both aimed at expanding the potential audience and creating a new wave of software that will last for years.

Sony confidently predicted a ten-year lifespan for the PS2, and that has come to pass. They are now suggesting a similar tenure for the PS3, and it could be to their advantage. This year has been a strong one for Sony with exclusives and good sales on the back of the PS3 Slim, and another good Christmas with interest in Move could push it further. Meanwhile, Kinect is going after the Wii’s audience to a large extent. Microsoft still has the edge in online gaming for many with Live, but the gap has narrowed. Moving on from the 360 may not suit Microsoft either, now that is making good profit and building its user base.

So where does Nintendo fit into this? The 3DS is clearly one important part of its strategy, but rumours of an HD Wii or Wii 2 refuse to go away. Could the big N once again pull a surprise out of its sleeve, continuing its “disruptive” policy? And will the familiar franchises keep the hardcore gamers satisfied alongside the new and expanded audience?

There is another joker in the form of the cloud gaming systems, OnLive and Gaikai. While OnLive has now launched in the USA to a mixed response, the news that games from Electronic Arts will be available on Gaikai is a major coup. These devices will, however almost certainly be fixed technology with frequent updates of the firmware, relying on a fast broadband connection to provide both the data and much of the processing power. It remains to be seen how they cope under the huge stresses of multiplayer gaming.

Whatever, the outcome will be good for gamers. Competition promotes development and innovation, whether it’s the mobile games on the touchscreen of an iPhone or the complexities of a PC strategy game. Next year, or maybe the year after, the real race will start.

False Start

ps3 slim
The race to the next generation of consoles may have already started, but how certain are the predictions? First it was David Reeves of Capcom with his suggestion of two to three years. Now Murray Pannel, head of marketing for Ubisoft has predicted a similar time scale.

To a large extent this would make sense. Previous hardware generations have been about five years, and there has often been an advantage for the machine to launch first. However, once the design of a new machine has been started, technology can overtake what has been put together.

There is a very large counter-argument that the next generation is further away, and that is the strategy of both Sony and Microsoft to produce new add-ons for their current consoles. The “slim” SKU’s for both were a stop-gap, a way of improving the quality of the base machine, although for Sony fans the removal of backwards compatibility is a sharp pain that can only be eased by the rumoured “HD Classics” range. But Kinect and Move are both aimed at expanding the potential audience and creating a new wave of software that will last for years.

Sony confidently predicted a ten-year lifespan for the PS2, and that has come to pass. They are now suggesting a similar tenure for the PS3, and it could be to their advantage. This year has been a strong one for Sony with exclusives and good sales on the back of the PS3 Slim, and another good Christmas with interest in Move could push it further. Meanwhile, Kinect is going after the Wii’s audience to a large extent. Microsoft still has the edge in online gaming for many with Live, but the gap has narrowed. Moving on from the 360 may not suit Microsoft either, now that is making good profit and building its user base.

So where does Nintendo fit into this? The 3DS is clearly one important part of its strategy, but rumours of an HD Wii or Wii 2 refuse to go away. Could the big N once again pull a surprise out of its sleeve, continuing its “disruptive” policy? And will the familiar franchises keep the hardcore gamers satisfied alongside the new and expanded audience?

There is another joker in the form of the cloud gaming systems, OnLive and Gaikai. While OnLive has now launched in the USA to a mixed response, the news that games from Electronic Arts will be available on Gaikai is a major coup. These devices will, however almost certainly be fixed technology with frequent updates of the firmware, relying on a fast broadband connection to provide both the data and much of the processing power. It remains to be seen how they cope under the huge stresses of multiplayer gaming.

Whatever, the outcome will be good for gamers. Competition promotes development and innovation, whether it’s the mobile games on the touchscreen of an iPhone or the complexities of a PC strategy game. Next year, or maybe the year after, the real race will start.

Rob Jagnow: Lazy 8 Studios

Lazy 8 Studios logo
Lazy 8 Studios logo

Name: Rob Jagnow

Company: Lazy 8 Studios

Profession: Founder, CEO, Game Designer, and Programmer

Favorite Classic Game: Dark Castle

Quote: Dark Castle was really ahead of its time.  It had wonderful animations, incredible diversity in its gameplay mechanics and well-tuned difficulty.  It told a great story with very little narration.

Corey Dangel: Detonator Games

Detonator Games logo
Detonator Games logo

Name: Corey Dangel

Company: Detonator Games

Profession: Art Director and Cofounder of Detonator Games

Favorite Classic Game: M.U.L.E.

Quote: It’s hard to choose just a single favorite classic game, but M.U.L.E. stands out because it remains excellent multiplayer entertainment, even today.  Who would imagine that a game of exploration and economic development could be so much fun, but the game is brilliantly balanced…a hallmark of coopetition and a total blast!

Chris Skaggs: Soma Games

SOMA Games logo
SOMA Games logo

Name: Chris Skaggs

Company: Soma Games

Profession: CCO / CTO

Favorite Classic Game: Tempest

Quote: “The pacing in Tempest is just brilliant. You put your quarter in and are instantly drilling flippers. Plus, something about early vector graphics always lights me up. Battlezone is a very close second.”

Weston Tracy: Black Jacket Studios

Black Jacket Studios logo
Black Jacket Studios logo

Name: Weston Tracy

Company: Black Jacket Studios

Profession: Co-Owner

Favorite Classic Game: Metroid

Quote: I love it for the sense of bizarre isolation it creates with the music and endless underground caverns.

Jason Shankel: Stupid Fun Club

Stupid Fun Club logo
Stupid Fun Club logo

Name: Jason Shankel

Company: Stupid Fun Club

Profession: Prototype Developer

Favorite Classic Game: Elite

Quote: Elite is the most, innovative, visionary and above all fun computer game of the 1980s.  It’s a full-3d, open world space trading game with 7,000 unique solar systems to explore.  What impresses me most about Elite is the exceptional quality both of the innovative elements (3d and the huge, expansive algorithmically generated universe that fits neatly into 64k) the gameplay.  The dogfighting and space station docking are very fun, the framerate is consistently high (except when you fly too close to a sun) and the AI is challenging without being obviously unfair.  Elite also has the distinction of having shipped with the most hilarious DRM technology ever developed: The LensLock

Michael Jorgensen: Zombie Studios

Zombie Studios logo
Zombie Studios logo

Name: Michael Jorgensen

Company: Zombie Studios

Profession: QA Lead / QA Tester

Favorite Classic Game: XCOM: UFO Defense

Quote: Lasers, Aliens, Explosions, Jets, Strategy, Tactics, Statistics, Research, everything a budding geek loves.

In a world, filled with “easy-mode” games, where the player is rewarded for every action, XCOM is the counter. Even the EASY mode for XCOM would make Patton or McArthur sweat. Time is almost always working against you. You are constantly fighting, scrambling to get things done, hurrying to unlock secrets, acquire more & better weapons, acquire more & better personnel, build more bases, etc. And the consequence of failure, is the END OF THE HUMAN RACE! From the opening movie onward, you will simply be hooked. Say goodbye to your girlfriend and kids, you won’t be seeing them for a while, XCOM has sucked you in.

Relating to Game Development:

XCOM heralds back to the days, when each component of a game was made by 1 or maybe 2 individuals. You would be lucky if you had a “large” team of 20 people making the game. The programmers literally knew each line of code they had written. You would get a different feel from the different pieces of content, because they had each been given a unique artists touch. What makes this game even more impressive, was the technological masterpiece behind the coding. The game, was literally 2 separate game engines (the geoscape, and the tactical), passing data back and forth. See kids, back when the 286 and dinosaurs roamed the earth, the 640k limit really constrained games. To get around this, each engine would boot, run what the user needed, then pass off to the other engine, and do so quickly that the user never noticed. It may not sound like much, but it would be YEARS before anyone would make something so impressive.

Garrett Brown: Tapout Games

Tapout Games logo
Tapout Games logo
n-Space logo
n-Space logo

Name: Garrett Brown


Company: n-Space / Tapout Games


Profession: Game Designer


Favorite Classic Game: Archon


Quote: Archon was my favorite game as a kid. I liked the mythological creatures, the light vs dark aspect, the strengths and weakness based off of territory, and how it was based off of chess. I think it was pretty ahead of its time.

The Forza Motorsport 3 World Class Car Pack

Forza Motorsport 3 logo
Forza Motorsport 3 logo

The “Forza Motorsport 3” World Class Car Pack, available for download starting today on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, features some of the most stunning 2010 and 2011 production and performance models in the world. Available for 400 Microsoft Points, the pack offers some of the hottest new cars from leading manufacturers like McLaren, Acura, Mercedes, Cadillac, Fiat, Mitsubishi, and more.

This month’s car pack puts you behind the wheel of some of the world’s newest and most sought after vehicles. From the elite McLaren MP4-12C supercar and the luxurious power of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG, to the tuner-friendly 2010 Acura TSX V6 and the agile 2011 Citroën DS3, the World Class Car Pack will ensure your “Forza Motorsport 3” garage is fully stocked and ready to take the competition by storm during the summer racing season.

The World Class Car Pack features 10 new cars that are ready to hit the track or tuning garage:

  • 2011 McLaren MP4-12C
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
  • 2010 Fiat Punto Evo SPORT
  • 2010 Acura TSX V6
  • 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX
  • 2011 Mazda 2
  • 2011 Citroën DS3
  • 2010 Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart

After launching the iconic McLaren F1 in the early 1990s, the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C is the culmination of over a decade of Formula 1 and street car development. Built upon a superlight Carbon MonoCell structure with a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 600hp V8 engine, this latest supercar from McLaren is a must-drive in Forza Motorsport 3. Sample the World Class Car Pack now and download a free 2010 Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart, the hot hatch tuned by the legendary Mitsubishi motorsports division.


Cry Engine 3 logo
Cry Engine 3 logo

Denver, CO USA – July 13th, 2010: Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) and IllFonic, LLC announced today that IllFonic has licensed CryENGINE 3 for Nexuiz, their upcoming XBLA and PSN cult futuristic Arena First-Person Shooter dropping this Winter. CryENGINE®3 has allowed the IllFonic development team to achieve their vision for Nexuiz that will push the limits of what gamers can expect from an AAA digital downloadable title.

“IllFonic firmly believes in bringing the consumer the highest quality games at an affordable price through downloadable distribution channels”, said Charles Brungardt, President of IllFonic. “Switching to CryENGINE 3 has helped us stay true to our vision and build the Nexuiz arenas the way we see it without any limitations.  We are incredibly proud that Nexuiz will be the first downloadable title developed on CryENGINE 3.”

“We’re delighted to have Illfonic join our community of licensees”, said Carl Jones, Director of CryENGINE Global Business Development.  “It’s exciting to see a passionate group like Kedhrin and Charles’ team working with CryENGINE 3 on such a cool title.  Nexuiz is going to deliver a game style that will be a blast for the console audience, matched with the best graphics possible on the consoles.  We’re delighted to offer our engine to teams for XBLA and PSN titles so that gamers can enjoy the quality that CryENGINE 3 can provide, as soon as possible.  Our real-time multiplatform pipeline, Live Create, is highly suited to prototyping and delivering quality for games with shorter development cycles; and you get all the benefits of the AAA features of the engine.  Nexuiz is going to be a lot of fun and we’re glad Illfonic have chosen CryENGINE 3 to deliver it in style.”

“When we were strolling around GDC 2010’s floor we stopped by the Crytek booth. I watched someone show off a few features of CryENGINE 3. Right then and there, I knew I had to have it.  It’s powerful, fast and easy to use,” said Kedhrin Gonzalez, Creative Director of IllFonic. “Crytek has been awesome to work with providing excellent support in a relationship that has really benefited us.”

Nexuiz is a fast paced Arena first-person shooter with competitive game play built specifically for consoles. Featuring the innovative mutator system, players progress through the ranks opening up new mutators that allow players to alter the rules for each match. On launch, Nexuiz will feature multiplayer modes including Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flagcomplete with full competitive leader boards designed for social networking. New games modes, models, and maps will be available as downloadable content post launch.

Nexuiz is set in a galactic war fueled for centuries by the Kavussari and Forsellians. Over time the two races entered into treaties with the Herald Accord, a union between different cultures in the galaxy. Even though peace settled across their planets, the seething hatred between the races kept the fire of war simmering under the fragile truce. Sensing their newest members could spread war throughout the galaxy; the Herald Accord gave the Kavussari and Forsellians a choice. Pit their warriors against each other in the arena rather than on the fields of war, or face total annihilation. The Nexuiz was formed, a series of battle arenas on the home planets of the Kavussari, Forsellian and the desolate planet of Atavirta.

IllFonic will be showcasing Nexuiz using CryENGINE 3 at this year’s PAX Prime in Seattle, WA, on September 3-5.

For more information on Nexuiz, go to or


About IllFonic:

IllFonic, LLC, was founded in 2007 by musician Raphael Saadiq, engineer Chuck Brungardt, and game designer Kedhrin Gonzalez.  IllFonic is committed to delivering AAA games digitally to consoles and PC at an affordable price. IllFonic utilizes many avenues in pop culture to cross brand its products in film, television, sports, music, and clothing. With offices in Los Angeles and Denver, IllFonic has built a team of artists, developers, producers, and musicians that believe providing fun game-play means conveying the highest level of visual awe, an immersive environment and a sick soundtrack. For more information on the company, go to

About Crytek:

Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) is one of the world’s leading independent development studios for interactive entertainment. It is based in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and has additional studios in Kiev (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary), Sofia (Bulgaria), Seoul (South Korea) and Nottingham (UK). Crytek is dedicated to creating exceptionally high-quality video games for next-generation consoles and PC, powered by their proprietary cutting-edge 3D-Game-Technology, CryENGINE®. Since its foundation in 1999, Crytek has created the multi-award winning PC titles Far Cry®, Crysis® (awarded best PC Game of E3 2007 and Best Technology at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards) and Crysis Warhead® (awarded Best Graphics Technology at IGN Best of 2008 Awards).

Sean Vanaman: Telltale Games

Tell Tale Games logo

Name: Sean Vanaman

Company: Telltale Games

Profession: Designer

Favorite Classic Game: Full Throttle

Quote: It’s a murder mystery about rival biker gangs with themes of loss and the ending of eras, set against the backdrop of the American southwest — albeit a bizarre version of it with flying cars. Also, you get to hit guys in the face with a 2×4 while riding a chopper. This type of fantasy is why we play games, and why I got into making adventure gamers.

Repost Rewind: The Art of the AFK

The Avatar of War

You know what’s great about World of Warcraft? Well one is the fact that at any time of the day you can log on and find a ton of others to play with or against. You can immerse yourself in it, for better or worse. The not so great thing about World of Warcraft is that you cannot pause it. Even the most pimp ridden, sunlight deprived, basement dwelling teenager needs to step away from the keyboard. A.F.K., Away From Keyboard, most of the time someone typing that causes no alarm, this article is not about those times.

I’m just as guilty as you are

I’m new here; this is my first post, so before I get all smart-alecky on you I will tell you a story about myself. During my days in Everquest (You know EQ right, the first 3D MMO?) I was in a guild called, Clan of Shadows, ran by its leader, a fowl loud mouth named Mack. He would scream and curse and do everything to grief other players and guilds, good times. By the time I joined I was growing tired of EQ. For those that don’t know EQ had raids that could last eight plus hours, so one could grow tired very easily.

We were in a zone called Kael, after the boss of the zone, King Tormax, aka, The God of War. We had to wait for him to spawn and spawn times in EQ could run from two to twelve hours. This did not keep his guards from spawning so we had to clear them out and keep other guilds from popping up and stealing him. (There were no instances in EQ at the time.)

After about seven hours I was tired and didn’t want to play anymore. My office chair was small and my ass much too big. I sent a tell (whisper) to Mack letting him know I was going to A.F.K for a bit and feign death my shadow knight right where we were to pull the boss. He typed back something I could not make out, but I assumed it was approval so I went A.F.K for just a few minutes.

Four hours later I awake and rush over to my computer to find this.

Just pretend this is the right zone and that Talon Zek guy is The Avatar of War and the arrow pointing to Rulfridah’s corpse is really pointing to my, still alive feign death’d self. I was scared. I knew how crazy the guild leader was, but I figured they wiped either way, that I made no difference. I was wrong.

I scroll through my chat log and find the following:

(Edited for time and content)

Mack tells the guild: Pulling AOW, get ready!

Mack tells the guild: AOW incoming!

Mack tells the guild: Heal me mother f…kers!

Mack tells the guild: I’m turning this fat bastard!

Mack tells the guild: We got him if you f..kers don’t f..k up!

Mack tells the guild: HEAL!!!!

Mack tells the guild: I’m down! Second Tank, Tank that mother f..ker!

Mack tells the guild: You stupid f..ks heal the goddamn tank!

Mack tells the guild: We’re losing tanks like I’m losing hair dealing with you stupid mother f..kers!

Mack tells the guild: 10%, balls to the wall!

Mack tells the guild: 3%, you are about to bust a nut, don’t f..k up now!

Mack tells the guild: 1%, we are out of tanks! Someone tank!

Mack whispers me: Get the f..k up and tank, he’s at 1%!

Mack whispers me: Tank you mother f..ker!

Mack whispers me: Oh my f..king God, are you A.F.K? Tank! Tank! Tank!

Mack tells the guild: We lost because of that A.F.K.’ing mother f..ker Reebo! Everyone send him tells!

Mack whispers me: If it wasn’t for Affirmative Action I would kick you from the guild right now!

So in the end if I wasn’t A.F.K we would have beaten AOW. I felt so bad I had to post on the boards and confess my sins.

Click here to read the full post

In the end I apologized and was spared though mostly because I made videos of our raids that Mack liked that and Affirmative Action.

Seppo Helava: Self Aware Games

Self Aware Games logo

Name: Seppo Helava

Company: Self Aware Games

Profession: Lead Designer

Favorite Classic Game: MechWarrior

Quote: Well, aside from the obvious appeal of running around in giant robots blowing things up, and the at-the-time state-of-the-art 3D graphics, the thing that made the game really memorable for me was final battle. Up against four Battlemasters, you were outgunned by a ridiculous degree – but if you focused your fire on the Battlemasters’ heads, you could blow off the head, disabling the mech. You could then use the giant mechs’ bodies to shield you from the other Battlemasters, and blow off their heads one-by-one. Beating four Battlemasters with a Locust was an incredibly satisfying experience.

It was one of the first instances where I felt like I’d done something in a game that I didn’t think the designers had specifically intended, and it showed the flexibility & diversity of what you could do in a videogame.

Dear Game Industry, Hire Some Real Writers

Dragon Age Origins bitches
Dragon Age Origins bitches

I don’t want to sound bias but do video games lacking story make you want to play the sequel or even finish the game? I think a well-established story can motivate you to playing a game to its full completion. There are so many video games that I have picked up that I just can’t finish because the story and game play are so bad that I don’t even want to bother completing it. Do game companies just think of a good game mechanic and just say “Ya know what? Let’s just build something decent around this engine and hope it sells.” I honestly believe that even a game with a shitty engine could sell well if its story is captivating.

I used to be part the creative team for an online forum text based role-playing game. The game mechanics were simple. Write a 1,000 word role-play depicting what you’re doing that day in your adventure and myself or one of the moderators will come in and grade your writing and let you know how much damage you did if you were fighting, what you would be fighting, or how you should proceed given the options you are left with. Sounds tedious doesn’t it? Writing over 1,000 words just to illustrate what you were doing is a bit obnoxious but we did it this way so we got players to make actual stories and not just “NATHANIEL WALKED INTO DA BAR AND PUNCHED MACARTHUR SO HARD!” and then we’d have to moderate that. Instead we got a short story about the character’s adventure. You may ask yourself why anyone would play this game if it was obviously so tiresome to make a post this long just to advance. Well, compared to other message boards of the same category, we were the largest with around 150-200 active members. What made people keep playing and want to part of this world? It was our story, the world, and the characters within it. It ran for about three years with constant activity until we finally shut it down because we couldn’t handle the work load with our current staff and also come up with more stories since we spent way too much time moderating. The story overtook game play and also made a lot of people much better writers than they were when they first began at the site.

Lets take Final Fantasy for instance. Very few people actually anticipated the sequels to Final Fantasy because they needed their turn-based action. People kept playing Final Fantasy because the story made you want to fulfill the accomplishment of beating the game. You wanted to be that hero with the help of your ragtag group of adventurers, which saved the world. Stories make the game memorable and even make loyal fans keep playing. I still played Final Fantasy 13 even though I thought it was one of the worst stories in any Final Fantasy or RPG ever. I continued to play it because I believed that Square-Enix would turn the story around somewhere and make this an experience that was worth enduring the bland characters and adventure. Alas, ADD addled maniacs wrote it and it ended being a total piece of shit. I did think, though, that the game play was better but not worth the agonizingly retarded story. But you get where I’m going with this? I loved the Final Fantasy franchise because of the story and STILL completed this abomination of a sequel just because I loved previous stories and believed in the game’s track record.

There are games out there with good stories but are horribly paced. Red Dead Redemption has a good story from what I can tell by my six hours of game play that I put into it, however, I’ve had the game for almost 2 months now and I haven’t bothered to keep playing it because it is astoundingly drawn out. I don’t feel I’ve made a dent in the story because of all the “filler” non-sense in between pivotal moments in the game. The initial taste of story you are given doesn’t give you an urgency to want to see what happens next because the game takes so long to introduce you to anything worthwhile and intriguing.

Then, you have games that have a story that is apparently fleshed out but it sounds like a SyFy Channel Original Movie. I know it was a blockbuster game, but Assassin’s Creed’s story was horrible. The game play is atrocious and the story is almost vomit inducing. You know how in the Matrix when they upload the knowledge of Kung Fu into Neo’s head and it only takes a whole 5 seconds for him to be a total badass? Ok, imagine Neo learning Kung Fu but it requires him to deal with some past master’s life over the course of a few hours. That is Assassin’s Creed. The introduction to the sequel had me turning off my 360 almost instantly when they mentioned the word “Templar Masters.” For villains who take place in the modern era, aren’t masters kind of a childish thing to call them? That sounds like something a five year old who couldn’t think of a creative name made up while playing with his action figures. The main character himself looks like a chump and is way too foolish to be a hero, which is what this series is setting him up to be. He has to learn from his French ancestors how to fight better or something but if memory serves me right didn’t he learn how to be awesome in the first game? Apparently not, because he couldn’t even handle security guards who lacked batons or guns on his own. He needed a GIRL to save him. Good job, nerd. A chick had to back you up against rent-a-cops. I lost interest in this game within 30 minutes.

Some games have too much story. Think about Metal Gear Solid 4. Were we playing a game or an interactive movie? From what I recall, I got to sneak around some hallways for 5 minutes before being interrupted by 30 minutes of cinematic and dialog. If you’re going to make a game heavy in story make it interactive so I have something to do while you’re blabbing about your military and science bullshit. You know what I remember about the MGS4 story? Not much at all due to the fact that every single time the game would take control away from me I left the room to make tea or I put a pillow over my face and woke up when I noticed the talking ended. The story became way too encumbering and I only finished it because it was the finale to the series or so it was believed at that time.

If the gaming industry needs someone to look to in order to make games with decent game play but highly engrossing stories there is a little company called Bioware that completely decimates the industry with its captivating stories and player involvement. Dragon Age and Mass Effect are their two hottest franchises right now and it’s hard to argue that either has a monotonous story or boring main character. Commander Shepard is a bad ass and they sway from good or evil but the ends always justify the means regardless of the decision. The nameless Grey Warden leader in Dragon Age does what needs to get done despite the situation he/she is placed under. While I love both franchises, I dislike the villains and I feel they could do more than just have a villain who wants to shit dicks all over the world because they are evil. In Dragon Age, Loghain was a rather interesting character but they didn’t focus much on him. I feel if they did it would’ve been much more difficult to stomp on his dreams and kill him when it came down to it. The game always leaves you thinking that he is possessed by a demon or somehow working for the enemy, but he isn’t. He’s just a man with an opposing view and you aren’t really given a chance to understand his action because you get the option to decapitate him, which any reasonable person will do. Only a total pussy wouldn’t chop off someone’s head if given the option. Do note how I compliment the story so much in these Bioware games but I don’t even mention the game play experience. That would be because it is rather simple and nothing introduced has been revolutionary. It’s the story that kept me playing over and over and over.

So video game industry, this is what I’m demanding from you from now on. There will be no “ifs”, “ands” , or “buts” about this. I want a hero who isn’t a metrosexual and has a beard. Yeah I said it. I want more heroes with beards. I want a villain who has a really good reason to want to do the things they do other than just being a total chode. We need someone we could see siding with if given the appropriate circumstances. I don’t want “The dark forces of” to be part of a story anymore. I’m sick of one-dimensional villains. Why can’t it just be an opposing country or something? Sephiroth wasn’t born evil. He went bat shit when he found out how he was made and wanted to destroy the planet for his mama. See? I can side with that. He loved his mom so much he wanted to make her proud. I’m sick of Ganon being a total dick for no reason. I want likeable party members. I don’t need anymore Wakka’s or Snow’s who think they are hot shit but are incredibly obnoxious. Do the creators even play the games? Do they not notice how annoying these kinds of characters are? Get rid of them. If you want a fun loving side character make him a happy drunk or something. Don’t make the game a movie by leaving us on the sidelines with lack of interactivity. I don’t want to sit through dialog that I have no say in for thirty fucking minutes. If this scene really has to happen make it worth listening to. Don’t get all scientific and shit. I’m playing this game for entertainment, not to learn how to fucking make a clone in real life. This is all I demand from you. In return, I will give you my money if you don’t somehow fuck this up.

Do you guys think that the story matters in a game or are you fine with stories that are as bland as Tetris?

Josiah Pisciotta: Chronic Logic LLC

Name:Josiah Pisciotta

Company: Chronic Logic LLC

Profession: Producer/Designer/Programmer

Favorite Classic Game: X-COM: UFO Defense

Quote: Dynamic environments, Random levels, incredible depth and variety, I still play X-COM once in a while and it is amazing.

Tera Online Q&A

TERA logo
TERA logo

Tera Online

There has been a lot of interest in Tera Online so Obsolete Gamer wanted to answer some questions for those looking to get into it and hopefully some for fans of the upcoming MMO. Some of these are gathered from various websites and message boards and others from the development team at En Masse entertainment. If you have additional questions on Tera Online post them on our Tera Online Q&A section on our forums.

TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot
TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot

Q: Where can I download or how can I play TERA?

A: You cannot download nor play TERA at this time as it is not yet released. However, you may be able to test TERA.

Q: Is TERA available for Xbox 360 or PS3?

A: No. TERA is a PC game.

Q: Can TERA be run using Macintosh, Linux, or Ubuntu?

A: No, Windows only.

Q: What is TERA’s payment model?

A: The payment model will be a retail box product with a monthly subscription. Costs of both are not yet determined.

Q: When will TERA be released?

A: This Winter.

TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot
TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot

Q: Is there a male and female version of each playable race?

A: Yes, there will be male and female versions of each race except Baraka.

Q: Will there be PvP servers where PvP is everywhere as well as PvE servers where you have to flag yourself to be part of PvP?

A: Yes. We expect to have both PvE and PvP servers. PvE servers will still have consensual PvP content such as battlegrounds and duels.

Q: How will I level up in TERA: through quests or grinding?

A: The game will launch with more than a thousand quests.

Q: Are raid bosses going too accessed through instances or the persistent world?

A: This is information is unknown. However you can expect to see both persistent world and instanced raid bosses.

Q: I’m a mouse clicker, can I use the mouse to point and click?

A: The action combat interface isn’t about point-and-click, it’s more about aim-and-shoot. You can use the mouse to aim and attack (shoot, melee, etc.).

TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot
TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot

Obsolete Gamer was able to ask some additional questions to Tera Online Senior Producer Brain Knox.

Obsolete Gamer: What would be the minimum requirements to play Tera Online, will it require a high-end system?

Brain Knox: We haven’t defined the exact system specs yet, but we are using the Unreal 3 engine, which has already helped bring a variety of titles to market. We believe that a gaming PC bought in the last 4–5 years should have what it takes to run TERA. It is important to us that we optimize continuously, so you won’t see the official specs until all of our testing is complete in a few months.

Obsolete Gamer: When you die, how is that handled? Do you lose exp, turn into a ghost, have to retrieve your body? Does it differ in PVE over PVP?

Brain Knox: When characters die in the game, they lose what we call “stamina.” Stamina can be regained quickly by spending gold, or you can heal your character’s stamina by resting near a campfire. Additionally, there is a chance that any enhancement crystals you placed into your character’s weapon or armor might break when you die. Upon death, your character respawns at the nearest campsite in full gear; there is no corpse retrieval or costly experience loss.

Obsolete Gamer:  How often do you plan to add content to the game and will it be in patches, expansions or both?

Brain Knox: Both! An MMO is a living, breathing organism that we must continually nourish. We plan to release content updates regularly after launch through patches, and work toward larger expansion updates as well.

Obsolete Gamer: What day and how long would you expect maintenance to be?

Brain Knox: This is a great question because it seems simple but actually requires a ton of thought and planning. The En Masse team wants maintenance and updates to impact the player experience as little as possible. As of now, we have not yet defined the specifics.

Obsolete Gamer:  Will there be play guides or VIP members on forums and in game?

Brain Knox: We are looking for the best way to involve all of our community members, but we understand that some want to go above and beyond the call. We have some good ideas but aren’t ready to release anything quite yet.

TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot
TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot

Obsolete Gamer: What is your stance on removing loot or changing encounters based on player feedback?

Brain Knox: Feedback helps call attention to areas of need, and for that reason, it is invaluable! Much of the time the game element in question just needs further explanation, but there are times when it is broken or unbalanced. This will just have to be a situational call on a case-by-case basis.

Obsolete Gamer: How long will it take to reach max level?

Brain Knox: Another good question! Most MMOs can throw out a number, but I can’t tell you for sure right now. This is something we are spending a lot of time ironing out in our Focus Group Tests. The journey to max level should be fun, consistent, and never feel like a chore. We talk with the developers constantly about what the right number is for the Western market.

Obsolete Gamer: Going after the big monsters and boss encounters, how long to you plan these to take?

Brain Knox: Again, this is a balance issue we are working on. It needs to be long enough to feel epic and well fought, but not so long that you feel annoyed or bored throughout the encounter.

Obsolete Gamer: Healers in PVP are sometimes considered overpowered because of their ability to withstand damage and heal themselves, how have you dealt with this?

Brain Knox: We’re not looking at each class on a one-to-one basis with regard to PvP. We have designed our game for group PvP encounters, and that is our goal in balancing the classes.

Obsolete Gamer: What is the plan when the best players and groups burn though new content?

Brain Knox: We hope to have enough content for multiple play-throughs with alt characters, but we also hope that our endgame content—battlegrounds, crafting, the political system, and a variety of PvE instances—will provide a great experience for max level players.

TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot
TERA Online E3 2010 Screenshot

Obsolete Gamer would like to thank Brian Knox and everyone else at En Masse entertainment for answering our questions and reaching out to the community. If you have any additional questions post them on our message board and we will see what we can do.

Thomas Riegsecker: Basilisk Games

Basilisk Games logo

Name: Thomas Riegsecker

Title: Owner and Lead Developer

Company: Basilisk Games

Favorite Classic Game: If I had to narrow it down to 1 game (or one series) it would have to be Ultima, specifically Ultima 4.

Quote: Ultima 4 is truly an exceptional example of a near-perfect RPG. It is huge and open, with a “go anywhere, do anything” feeling, and it manages to avoid many of the clichés of the genre. It is certainly one of the top five CRPGs ever made.

Obsolete Intros: Chrono Trigger

[youtube id=”w7Sbd0yZnj” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Obsolete Intros: Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger SNES box

Time travel is one of those plot devices that can be really cool or turn really bad in a heartbeat. Chrono Trigger from Square Soft brought us a great story and awesome gameplay all in one. Released for the SNES in 1995 it became a mega hit in the U.S. and Japan, even today people still play it and one person even proposed to his girlfriend within the game!The role-playing aspect drew fans in and the detailed story which included side quests, character development and multiple endings kept players not only interested from start to finish, but coming back for more. The active time battle system was pretty much like Square’s other hit, Final Fantasy with a few tweeks to improve game-play.

You can still find Chrono Trigger today on the PlayStation and Nintendo DS

Gamer Profile: Chris Tremmel


Name: Chris Tremmel

Title: Video Game Designer and owner of Gamer Cultoure

Gamer Cultoure logo

Company: Gamer Cultoure

Boogerman - sega genesis

Favorite classic game: BoogerMan 

Quote: It’s the first game I ever made, back in the day at Interplay Productions. It was one of the most exciting rewarding times of my life as I was just starting out in the biz!

Super Mario Bros. Wall

[vimeo id=”13118504″ width=”633″ height=”340″]

Super Mario Bros. Wall

Super Mario Bros wall

Sometimes something comes alone that is just way to cool and this is one of those things. Check out the video showing Super Mario Bros displayed on a wall, it is totally awesome.

Super Mario Bros. from Surfap on Vimeo.

All credit goes to Surfap for this video.

My Own Misconceptions of the Word Mature (Warning: This gets mature, guys.)

Super Mario Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Picture is Irrelevant!

Hello all! We are a new guild/community called Satan’s Bastards! We are now recruiting and/or are always looking for more members to join our mature community. Come join us if you are like-minded and looking for a fun gaming experience!

And there is the bait…

It seems online that many gaming communities seem to not understand what the word mature implies. There is also the possibility that I do not quite grasp the definition of this term but before you dismiss me, please bestow me a chance to rant about the latest and past online injustices I have witnessed in regards to the word “mature”.

As of late, I have been playing on a Team Fortress 2 server that is hosted by a community, which advertised themselves as mature. Upon viewing the group’s name I came to the assumption that they were the kind of mature that fit my definition of the term.

When Mr. Umar Khan thinks of the word “mature”, he thinks that there is a group of individuals who are adults and are willing to get involved in adult conversation and don’t scream over the use of foul language. The kind of adult conversation would be one in which you could say a joke you heard on a Comedy Central stand up routine and the use of foul language is used not to insult someone by calling them a “thunder cunt” but rather a shout out to the current situation at hand.

Here is an example of improper use of foul language online:

“You fat slimy cum dumpster piece of shit! Why don’t you choke on cocks?!”

A proper example for the use of foul language online would be:

“Aww, that’s a bag of dicks! I didn’t see you around the corner!”

See how the improper example is a direct insult while the proper example is more of an exclamation of surprise and self-loathing for not being careful? This would be my definition of a mature community. One who doesn’t mind the use of TV-M rated material found on HBO and FX. Unfortunately, time and time again I am proven erroneous in this view.

Giving the server a chance, I decided to join and play some 2Fort with them. After a few minutes I noticed there was one player probably no older than fifteen years old screaming about how no one was helping him on his team. He continued to rant how if he weren’t playing no one would get the job done. The player came to the belief that everyone was not helping him on purpose. As expected online, the admins and tagged members of this community jokingly said that they all banded together just to make his life difficult in this map. Noting that they had a joking demeanor, I decided when I saw an opening I was going to poke fun. The kid began to scream on the mic that a chunk of the wall was missing. I noted that one of the members of the community replied in the following fashion, “Stop being such a bitch!” Finding that opening I had longed for, I retorted to this angry teen that his mother was missing a chunk. It was a simple and mostly harmless joke. That’s what I thought at least. A few brief moments later I was warned to be respectful of other players’ moms. Being the snappy online bastard I am I asked if it was acceptable to state that my own mother was missing a chunk? I was told I would be kicked if I didn’t calm down.

The belligerent child was quiet for a good hour until his scout tried to jump onto our battlements and one of my stray rockets blew him out of the sky in one hit. He replied “Lucky ass crit rocket.” To his defense, he was truly correct in his statement. I didn’t mean to hit him but I certainly did by accident. The admin informed him not to use foul language. It was at this point I began to think about the word “maturity” and how these people seemed to have mislabeled it. The community was named after a very famous villain in the Bible who plagues mankind with bad stuff and they were his “gamers”. To fast forward the story a bit, the kid replied “Ok fuehrer. “ and they banned him for being a racist. Now, a group that advertises itself as mature and goes by the name of something evil isn’t really hitting their mark if by “mature” they actually meant family friendly. I quickly left the server because I knew with my kind of Internet white knight behavior I would’ve been banned at any moment.

I’ve been gaming online for quite some time now and I do have to say that in my journeys across cyber space that I have run into this situation before. When I played Everquest, I had joined multiple mature guilds and ended up getting guild kicked out of most of them because I didn’t know mature meant not to say “ Wow, that is pretty gay!” In World of Warcraft, I found one guild that fit under my definition of mature but I got banned from that one because one of the officers called me a racial slur directed towards a person of Middle Eastern descent and the guild leader didn’t believe me despite screenshots. The only guild I think fit the perfect example of maturity was the guild I found in Warhammer Online. They are the now defunct guild called “Da Lost Boyz”. We could talk as much garbage as possible and still be on good terms with everyone in the guild. We were like some sort of hive mind that all thought alike.

I’m not really sure I am grasping what mature means when someone describes it online but if you’re going to rant at me about being mature while you’re playing a seven foot drooling troll warrior, I think someone needs to step back and re-evaluate their own current situation. If mature means family friendly, then please say so. If mature means you’re willing to handle adult content then I believe you are currently on the right track to advertising your guild/community properly.

What are your thoughts on the definition of mature and how it relates to a guild/community? Have stories of your own where your misconception of the word got you or someone else in trouble? Please share! We want to know all about it!

Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden screenshot
Ninja Gaiden screenshot

Ninja Gaiden

Have you ever known love and pure frustration all in one? I’m not talking about your girlfriend, I’m talking gaming. Ninja Gaiden for the Nintendo Entertainment System was a game I loved, but also one I grew frustrated with, so much so I destroyed my first NES over it.

Ninja Gaiden was released for the NES in March of 1989 after the successful run of the arcade version. Made by Tecmo the action packed side-scrolling platforming game was a hit with fans worldwide and is still acclaimed to this day. You play as a ninja named Ryu Hayabusa who is on a quest to avenge his murdered father. When Ryu arrives in America he finds out there is a plot by a man known as “The Jaquio” to take over the world.

Ninja Gaiden screenshot
Ninja Gaiden screenshot

As said the action is fast paced, but can be horribly hard. Your primary weapon is your katana, but you also have secondary weapons that require spiritual strength to use including throwing stars, windmill throwing stars and a fire wheel that gives you temporary invincibility. You find these weapons along with items to replenish your health, spiritual strength and even 1 ups by destroying lanterns and candles and other items hanging from walls.

Pretty much you are always running and moving forward which means you are constantly slashing at enemies and using your special weapons. Ryu can also climb ladders and can flip of walls to get to higher ledges. This may all sound easy, but trust me it is not. The first problem is like many games on the NES if you scroll from one panel to the next and back the enemy returns. What makes this horrible is when jumping from ledge to ledge and some damn bird knocks you to your death.

Ninja Gaiden NES box art
Ninja Gaiden NES box art

This was what hurt so much, Ninja Gaiden was a great game, it had cool graphics for the time and was fast paced and full of action. In addition it had awesome animated cut-scenes, cool music and a pretty good story, all things we want out of games. Then it had the worst learning curve of any game. Pretty much from Act 3 on you were in hell and when you reached Act 6 you were in hells toilet. It was not just the enemy placement and lack of health potions, many of the bosses were painstakingly hard and if you died it was a long way back to where you where.

Playing NG was like going through war, but once you did you were a better gamer for it and ready for the next installments of the series.

David Warhol: Realtime Associates

Realtime Associates logo

Name: David Warhol

Company: Realtime Associates, Inc.

Profession: President / Studio Head

Favorite Classic Game: Infocom Text Adventures

Quote: Due to the nature of the genre, these games are almost 100% design, as opposed to games nowadays, where based on budgets seem to be say 20% design and 80% graphics, technology, and such.  Plus, they are like playing a novel; the games use the players’ imaginations in a different way than current video & computer games.