The Blackwell Convergence


blackwell convergence-screenshot

It has come to my deeply shocked attention that despite the recent Gnome’s Lair reviews of both Blackwell Legacy and Blackwell Unbound, there are still gamers, adventure gamers even, that have yet to try a Blackwell game. How very odd. I mean, it’s not everyday a fully indie, retro-styled, well written and impeccably produced adventure gets made, is it? Of course not. And The Blackwell Convergence is the latest in the Blackwell series, which, as you should have already guessed or known, is an indie, retro-styled, well written and impeccably produced series of adventure games, with Convergence being the third installment.

Convergence, just like the Blackwell games before it and -hopefully- the Blackwell games that will follow, is all about getting the restless dead (in their ghostly form) to actually rest. In New York. Interestingly, New York is as much a character as any of the protagonist duo: Rosa the psychic and Joey the 30s ghost.

the blackwell convergence gameplay screenshot

Now, point-and-clickers that have already enjoyed the previous games in the series, will definitely have to also play this installment, as it feels bigger and more lush than ever, while sporting the best graphics in the series yet and a truly fascinating plot. As for the characters animated portraits, well, they make a welcome return, as does the excellent voice-acting and writing. Oh, and it’s got horror bits in it too.

Newcomers to the series -the genre, even- on the other hand will appreciate the built-in tutorial and the fact that no previous Blackwell experience is required to fully enjoy the delights of Convergence. Besides, its puzzles are very simple and generally enjoyable, and the game is relatively short, clocking in at roughly 5 hours.

Verdict: Oh, come on. You must have guessed that. Blackwell Convergence really is a great adventure game.

From Russia With Love

Most of the Bond-related games over the past 20+ years have been either 1st or 3rd-person shooters, with a couple of 80′s text-based computer games being the exceptions. But, one game jumped out at me, and it’s something I was looking forward to firing up.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
In 2005, EA put out a game called From Russia, With Love, based on the 1963 movie. This is a spoiler-heavy walkthrough/review of a magical day for me:

Opening mission has Bond, who looks exactly like Sean Connery, and is VOICED by him, looking cool at a party. A Prime Minister’s daughter gets kidnapped by OCTOPUS (no SPECTRE license). Fight my way to the roof, where they’re escaping via helicopter.

Many ways to dispatch the thugs. There are a lot of weapons and gadgets that I accumulate throughout the game, even if I just have a Walther PPK to start the game. When I’m too close to shoot, I automatically perform some Bond-ish hand-to-hand move to take them out. Looks cool, and saves ammo. I found a lot of ammo/armor throughout the game, but there are multiple difficulties if you’re looking for a higher challenge.

When I reach the roof, I beat a guy up for his jet-pack, now I’m flying around shooting missiles at the helicopter. After destroying it, a cool cut-scene has me flying through it, saving the girl. I tell her, “My name’s Bond…James Bond”, then fly away.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
Opening ‘movie’ credits start, with actual scenes from the film! This was just 20 minutes or so into the game, and I’m hooked!
Next, I fight more OCTOPUS thugs through a hedge-maze, then I’m KILLED by Red Grant, played by the awesome Robert Shaw in the film. A cut-scene shows “Bond” to be an OCTOPUS training exercise for Red (the game’s main bad guy, working for Rosa Klebb) to practice killing Bond. I also find out that their mission is to trick Bond into stealing something called Lektor (some decoding device), then stealing it from Bond after killing him, which is payback for Bond killing Dr. No. Ridiculously convuluted, but very Bondish.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
After flirting with Moneypenny and getting briefed by M (I’ll be off to Instanbul to meet Russian-hottie Tatiana), I have a training-session with Q and pick up gadgets like the Q-copter (spies through vents and self-destructs) and the rappel-device (you’ll use both a lot).
Kerim Bey is your contact in Istanbul, and brings you your Aston Martin. This chase level is action-packed with guns/missiles/tire spikes as weapons against the evil Russians. Bonus coolness for taking out a tank.
Next level has me rescuing hostages and disarming bombs, capping off with the first appearance of the bazooka, to destroy another helicopter. Time to spy on the Russians.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
More Aston Martin action, then cut through some Russians to steal a boat. I need to get under the Russian consulate to use a periscope to spy.
My eavesdropping learns the Lektor is in a vault, and that the Russians are going to kill people in a Gypsy camp. Karim heads to the camp to warn ‘his” people. After kicking more Russian ass, I escape through the underground tunnels via jetpack. Some awesome jetpack-on-jetpack action!

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
The gypsy-camp was more hostage-rescuing, and I get the sniper rifle for the first time.
Next mission has me saving Karim’s ass again with a lot of sniping. Feels good killing Russians.
I meet Tatiana for the first time. She’s in my bed, of course, and I show her my 007…she’s now in love with me.
We, along with Karim, have to break into the Russian Consulate to steal the Lektor. I think this was probably the longest level.
Another car chase on the way to the train, Orient Express, which is our escape.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
Red is on the train, kills Karim, and tries to kill me. I fight him off, but he escapes with the Lektor while I’m occupied with some ‘roided Russian flunkie. I fight my way to Red, and kill him, his body taken away by a speeding train. I have to inform Karim’s son that his father is dead…now I’m pissed. Red’s assisstant, Eva Adara, has escaped with the Lektor.
I infiltrate an OCTOPUS complex looking for the Lektor. More jetpacks and car chases. Some robot tank comes after me, as well. I take back the Lektor. Blow the base for the fun of it.
Another Aston Martin chase on the way to the docks to steal a boat. have to get out of the country.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
Long boat ride with Tatiana driving and me turretting people/boats/helicopters.
Rosa sneaks into my hotel room and tries to kill me with a huge-ass blade in her shoe. I keep her at bay, and Tatiana help me kill her…good girl.
Last mission is pretty long. OCTOPUS is pissed, so they’ve threatened to nuke. I break into their secret base, and kill a lot of henchmen. Eva tries to kill me with a jet, but I jetpack-missile her dead. After disarming the nuke and setting bombs to blow the base…….I run in to Red. I should have looked for the body.
He’s the final boss, as he’s taken residence inside a 4-tentaculed mechanical robot that shoots lasers, bullets, and grenades. After destroying the mech, I put a bullet in Red for my friend Karim.
Game ends with Bond in bed with Tatiana, of course. Well done, sir.
From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
This game is overwhelmingly awesome, but I’ll start with the few bad points:
It’s really easy, even with the hardest difficulty-setting. There’s not much need for duck-and-cover stealth fighting because it’s heavy on extra ammo/armor health. You can do a lot of run-and-gunning, but I found myself having more fun being sneaky.
Also, as a lot of these 3rd-person games can do, the camera can get “stuck” and get you turned around.
There’s probably 8-10 hours of gameplay, not counting multiplayer, which I never got into.
It looks beautiful. Character recreations are spot-on, and the backgrounds/locations/animations are great.

From Russia with Love - EA - 2005 - Gameplay Screenshot
A lot of cut-scenes. Well done, and a lot re-created from the original film.
The music is perfect. Again, taken from the Bond films and gets your blood pumping throughout the game.
Controls, especially with the auto-lock, are done well.
The fun-factor is off the charts, a Bond fan or just one of the action-adventure genre.


The replayability is there, with multiplayer. But there is scoring in the campaign. A lot of secrets to find buy going back through it. Also, bonus story-levels to unlock.
A ton of gadgets, including sonic cufflinks to stun baddies, and the attache case that has auto-machine gun.
Different outfits for Bond. If you’d rather not get blood on your white tuxedo, go with the black stealth look.
There’s a crazy amount of fun to this game, so if you want to fire up the original Xbox, this is a fantastic game with which to start.

The Bain of stickers on Consoles

I made two big mistakes during my NES time. One was when I threw my controller at the console after losing the code to the original Metal Gear. The second was when I decided to put a bunch of stickers on my console.~J.A. Laraque

The Bain of stickers on Consoles

So you got your shiny new console. For me it was the Nintendo Entertainment System. In fact, you can even read about the ordeal my mother went through in order to get it. Even as a child, I understood that I had to take care of my new game. I knew if it broke, I was most likely screwed. For the first few weeks, I treated the console like a newborn baby. I would clean it and even unplug it and wrap the cords. Yeah, that did not last long.

Stickers on NES

Soon it was just like any other toy and when I had to do all kind of tricks to get it to work, like blowing on the cartridge and pushing it in and then to the side, ( wow, out of context this sounds really bad) I really did not care about giving my NES the white glove treatment.

I made two big mistakes during my NES time. One was when I threw my controller at the console after losing the code to the original Metal Gear. The second was when I decided to put a bunch of stickers on my console.

PS3 Game skin

Today you can find some cool skins for consoles that make them look badass. That is not what my console looked like. At the time, I was also big into baseball cards and some of them came with stickers. I thought it would be cool to put them on the system. For about one day, I thought it was cool and then quickly regretted it. You would think getting stickers out would be easy, but it wasn’t.  I ended up with a much worst system than in the first picture and I did not know any of the tricks to clean it up.

Sadly, I was stuck with an ugly system until I got my SNES and vowed never to do it again. It appears a lot of people did what I did even today. So to help you out check out this video about removing stickers.

[youtube id=”vNEo7ZPUm40″ width=”633″ height=”356″]


Companions of Xanth

Although many people remember Sierra and LucasArts for their incredible adventure games, other companies produced a few gems, too.  Legend Entertainment managed to procure the publishing rights to a slew of literary properties, including Frederik Pohl’s Gateway, Terry Brooks’ Shannara, Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s The Death Gate Cycle, and Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, the focus of this game of the week blog entry,Companions of Xanth.

Companions of Xanth

Companions of Xanth box art

Companions of Xanth was based on the best-selling, pun-filled Xanth series of fantasy fiction by Piers Anthony.  The game was based on – and further fleshed out – one of the books in the series, Demons Don’t Dream.  To emphasize the connection, the softcover novel was included in the box.  This 1993 game followed Dug, a Mundane from Mundania, as he competes in a world-shaking quest thrust upon his shoulders by the demons E(A/R)th and X(A/N)th.

Companions of Xanth

Companions of Xanth in game image

Dug travels Xanth with a Companion who is there to try to keep him out of trouble as he has no experience with the magical dangers that Xanth is rife with.  When you begin the game you are offered a choice from four Companions: Nada Naga, Jenny Elf, Che Centaur, and the Demoness Metria.  Choosing any Companion other than Nada Naga results in a failed game, which irritated some gamers.

Companions of Xanth

Companions of Xanth Companion choices

The game plays as a standard mouse controlled adventure game. You select what action you want to do from a list of verbs, then select the object with which you want to perform the action.  Unlike some Legend adventure games, there is no text input.  Inventory management is controlled by the mouse in a similar fashion, by selecting the object and then the action.  Graphics are crisp at 256 color VGA, with the player touring various scenic vistas of Xanthian beauty.

Companions of Xanth

Companions of Xanth in-game screenshot

The “puzzles” in Companions of Xanth are not terribly difficult, and operate in typically twisted Xanth fashion. Those who cannot turn their hats backwards will find this terribly annoying, and simply won’t understand where they should be searching.  Some scenes are one puzzle wonders, which mirror the one-pun scenes in the novels. It pays to have read and enjoyed previous books in the Xanth series so you know what kind of logic applies.

Companions of Xanth

Companions of Xanth – The Censor Ship (groan)

I quite enjoyed this game as it was fun to adventure in the magical world of Xanth.  It has a different vibe than some games, which can put some people off, but as far as I’m concerned, Companions of Xanth is a retro gaming classic!




While considered part of the Pac-Man series Pac-Land was a completely different style of game that brought us an early look at a gameplay style that would later become common place. Developed by Namco and released in 1984 Pac-Land showed us a completely new world we had never seen before.


Turbo Views, originally premiering on YouTube in December 2008, covers games for the TurboGrafx-16 and Turbo Duo video game system from 1989 – 1993.

The goal of the series is to eventually review EVERY American released TG-16 game as well as numerous on-camera “extras,” home-brew, prototypes and PC-Engine games that never made it overseas.


Cyvern: The Dragon Weapons

Cyvern - The Dragon Weapons - Kaneko - Gameplay Screenshot

This is another in a long line of Japanese shooters that make you want to pull your eyes out at trying to avoid being killed. Cyvern is a little different in that instead of planes, spaceships or robots you take control of three artificially enhanced elemental dragons. After that it is pretty much the same spin, you take on an army all by yourself, good luck.

Cyvern - The Dragon Weapons - Kaneko - Gameplay Screenshot

Cyvern was released in 1998 by Kaneko, which accounts for the higher level of graphics and sound effects in the game. They kept to the traditional overhead shooter roots in that you have your primary weapon and a limited amount of bombs that kill everything in its blast radius, well, except really big enemies and bosses.

Cyvern - The Dragon Weapons - Kaneko - Gameplay Screenshot

Your primary spread weapon has a secondary mode called banish which changes depending on the dragon you choose. You can see your power level in the top right which can be refilled by killing enemies or by grabbing single or multiple power ups that look like bullets. You can also grab additional bombs sometimes and various medals, which are worth points.

Cyvern - The Dragon Weapons - Kaneko - Gameplay Screenshot

The game is hard, particularly the bosses who can shoot so many weapons at you the only way to dodge is to fire your bomb. Beyond that you sometimes just have to take a death. However, skilled players can pick up on the firing patterns and avoid getting hit most of the time.


Overall, a fun game especially M.A.M.E with unlimited coins. There are advanced upgrades to the game including the ability to modify the dragons with special abilities a power gauge for bosses, multiple ending and special “true form” bosses if you have certain items. Check out the video and give the game a try. If you like Japanese overhead shooters you won’t be disappointed with Cyvern.

Video Game Controllers


Having played a ton of console and computer games, I have of course used a ton of different controllers. This is not so much a listing of the best or even all that I have used, but more of a look at some of the controllers I played the most on and my opinions on them.

Atari 2600

Atari 2600 Controller

This was really the first controller I used a lot. At the time, it was perfect as it worked fine for all the games I was playing on the 2600. However, looking back I realized that sometimes it was hard to really control a game where you needed quick moments. The joystick at an arcade has a locked base so you could really move it around or do the in-between the fingers thing. With this controller, it was not really possible. Once games that had multiple buttons came out this controller was dead to me, but it is a classic no doubt.

NES Controller


This was the controller that started me down my path of console gaming because it was my first D pad controller. I remember trying to get used to it playing Mario and even turning the controller along with my body thinking it would help me maneuver. Once I got used to it I thought this was the best controller ever. That was until I discovered how much more comfortable not having a rectangular controller could be.

Super NES Controller


Still one of my favorites, the SNES controller took what I loved about the NES controller and improved upon it. Not having sharp corners to deal with was much better on the hands especially for those long marathon gaming sessions. The six button controls meant you did not have to worry about missing buttons for games and even the top buttons were easy to reach and use.

Sega Genesis Controller


I was already deep into the NES when I got my Genesis and so I felt their controller was not a good fit. Obviously, it was missing the buttons I was used to, but I did find that I liked the D-pad better, especially for fighting games. On the negative side it felt too big, which could be that they were pushing for the older crowd and calling the SNES the kids system.

N64 Controller


I had so many issues with the N64 and the controller was one of them. Seriously, I thought the design was a giant step back; it just seemed big for no reason. Now, having the stick control was nice and from that we got used to it for later consoles including todays, but the button placement seemed like a step backwards as well and that Z button was useless in so many games. I am sure a lot of people liked the controller, but for me I was ready to move on.

Neo Geo Controller

neo geo controller

I only knew one person with a Neo Geo and he was that rich kid everyone hated secretly but was friends with him to play with his toys. I liked the button placement of the controller, but that D-pad did not work for me at all. It was more of a analog stick design to me which at the time I was not used too nor ready for, add to that it felt like a Genesis controller, all be it smaller, I just preferred by SNES.

Turbo Grafx-16 Controller


The TG-16 was like owning a sports car in high school. Most people did not have it, but they wanted one and it looked so cool and had cool games like Ninja Spirit. Now the pad itself had a cool look, but again had issues with the button placement and was pretty much a copy of the NES controller but with turbo switches. Another thing that hurt the TG-16 was not only did it only come with one controller, but you needed to buy a turbo tap to use more than one.

Playstation Controller


This would become my second favorite controller. At first, I felt the extended tips were unnecessary, but later I found it worked for a variety of handling styles and was confortable. The button placement was perfect and worked with all their games and ports. If there was a complaint, it was the D-Pad. I felt for fighting games it was a bad choice, it did not allow for the roll needed for a dragon punch in Street Fighter. Sure, you could play fighting games and get used to it, but if I could but the Genesis D-Pad on this controller, it would be perfection.

Sega Dreamcast Controller


When I saw this, I thought the N64 controller went on an all pizza and Mountain Dew diet and this is what it became. Yes, I understand the little memory card slash game thing that needed to fit inside, but seriously it was way to big even for basketball players. I thought they would sell ad space on the damn thing and then we go back to an older button placement design a bad position for the stick and the D-pad was sub-par. I loved the system, but hated this controller.

Atari Jaguar Controller


I cried when I saw this, it was a mix between the worst of a Sega Genesis controller and a Coleco vision controller. I only played Alien vs Predator on this system and as cool as that game was the controller turned me off big-time. I kept wishing I could remove the telephone pad and just used the controller. However, I did find it funny that instead of a start and select button they used pause and option, it was like they were being different for difference sake and it failed.

Xbox Controller


This controller worked well for me as I got used to not using the D-pad for everything. While I felt the controller itself was a little too big it had decent button placement and once you learned what the white and black buttons were for it all came together. Again, for advanced fighting games it still felt off, the d-pad was ok, but far from perfect and having the white and black buttons be smaller just made using them in games more of a hassle.

Overall, the 360 controller is still my favorite (sorry PS3 fan boys) I think it is a perfect fit size wise with good button placement a good D-pad and analog stick placement. Now we have a new generation coming down the pipe, let’s see how they do on the controller front.


Format: HuCard
Developer: Hudson Soft / Irem
Released: 1988 (Japan) / 1989 (US)
Genre: Shoot’em Up


Irem’s legendary side scrolling shoot’em up is regarded as one of the PC-Engine’s most accomplished arcade conversions. This was (and still is) the PC-Engine’s ‘killer app’.
The game-play is simple, pilot your R-9 fighter to wipe out the evil Bydo Empire.



Your R-9 fighter is equipped with a small gun which can only shoot down the smallest of enemies without firing several shots. But, if you hold down the fire button long enough, you can load up your shot so it releases a massive burst of energy, eliminating all but the strongest enemies in its path.  To assist in bringing down tougher Bydo enemies (and help you get further in this tough game), there are souped up weapons that can be collected along the way, like the diagonally firing lasers and the mega powerful circular red laser. When combined with the homing missiles and orbs that protect you, your R-9 becomes a Bydo blasting behemoth.



There aren’t enough superlatives you could use to describe how great this game is. From the music, to the graphics, the stage layouts, the enemies – they are all perfect in this coin-op conversion. Even the difficulty is spot on (it’s tough) ! This is as close to a perfect horizontally scrolling shoot’em up you can get on the PC-Engine. Do not miss it !


GraphicsAs close as possible to arcade perfect.


SoundYour ears will thank you.


PlayabilityEasy to pick up and play, but tough to beat and master. The difficulty is just right.


LastabilityYou will be playing this for years to come. All side-scrolling shoot’em ups are judged against this game.


OverallIf you have a PC-Engine, this is your killer app. Go and get it !


Shocking Video Collection

Sexy girl striptease goes wrong

HÕFF 2012 trailer – Sexy girl striptease goes wrong!!!

What we have here is a girl dancing in front of a webcam in the eve of the destruction of mankind by UFOs. So awesome! 😀 Oh and it looks like they are the UFOs from Saucer Attack the c64 game! Oh and this hot girl is wearing an OCP shirt, an homage to Robocop!

HÕFF 2012 trailer – Ott Lepland fan sings “Kuula” and horrible thing happens!!

This guy is singing on his webcam while the Zombie Apocalypse starts happening… who knew?


The Starbarians have landed! This is a complete parody of some many 80s cartoons.

Electric Company Easy Reader Song

Who knew that Morgan Freeman was such a cool cat!

Cello Wars (Star Wars Parody) Lightsaber Duel – ThePianoGuys

These are… simply GODS!


I watch Smosh usually every week and they really outdid themselves especially with the Dubstep Twilight Zone episode. ;]

Yelle – Comme Un Enfant (Freaks Remix)

Although some people hate him online I think Nathan J. Barnatt is a dancing genius.

Nicki Minaj – Stupid Hoe (Explicit)

Nicki Minaj is weird but I think she is one of my favorite famous trolls. The Stupid Hoe video will leave the typical watcher saying “WTF did I just watch?” and that’s a good thing considering how much generic shit gets made these days. Sure, it might make you think that we now live in Idiocracy but I think that might be the point.

Top 10 Cagiest Deadfall Moments

This video proves that Nicholas Cage is an acting genius. Sure the movie Deadfall is a piece of shit but who knew that our buddy Nick Cage could turn it into such a great comedy by acting like the Joker and Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color?

Thanks, Smokey!

Beastiality is funny. Oh and HOT. That is all. END OF LINE

Miles Fisher – This Must Be The Place

The best homage I’ve ever seen for American Psycho. This guy is great because he super trolls Christian Bale and also looks like a bootleg Tom Cruise. So much potential for comedy. The song is an homage to The Talking Heads as well.

Transit – I’m So Indie Official Video ft. Geeze

My favorite anti-hipster video by Transit.

Epic Frog (High Quality)

The theme for Requiem For A Dream can turn anything into something epic, almost like The Guile Theme can.

The Problem with “The Demise of Guys”

Video games, especially online MMO’s can improve typing speed and skills. Sure, you have horrible “1337″ speak out there, but you also have people who have improved their typing and communication skills via gaming and believe me those skills are gained in action and often violent games. ~J.A. Laraque

The Problem with “The Demise of Guys”

This editorial is to an article featured on CNN discussing the Demise of Guys.


I think it is time we really start to separate the extreme cases of gaming with general gaming itself. While I understand studies like what was done in the article listed can be helpful, it can also give the wrong impression causing people who believe by reading this that they are now educated to make rash and often wrong decisions.

Sadly, like most discussions where the person is attacking something, the worst of the worst is shown and then the spotlight is pointed at the everyday gamer with an ominous warning that they are a ticking time bomb, but like everything that can be an addiction, you can learn to par take in moderation and still live a “normal” life.

This is where studies can go off the rails when we start wanting to see what is normal. Mainly the problem is regardless of how scientific a study is when you toss in the pursuit of normalcy then the question is, whose definition of normal are you looking to reach.

Let’s take marriage as an example. More and more people are either not getting married or they are getting divorced faster than ever. I am sure you could link many things as reasons why that is including gaming and porn, but this is what you do not read much about. First, many women had no choice but to get married because of the rights women had and how they were treated. Even today many people still believe if you are not married and with kids by 35 something is wrong and this can lead to people jumping into horrible relationships just to meet some goal.

Women have more choices and so do men. Choice brings freedom and people will not only choose not to marry, but to leave a relationship if they feel it is not working whereas fifty years ago they had almost no choice but to work it out. The same goes for relationships in general. You are not confined to meeting people in a bar or at school or church and this changes the relationship dynamic because you might take your time and look around. Also, again, with more choices comes more freedom so if a relationship is not going well you know there are more options than say if you lived in a small town and only fished in the local dating pool.

As far as education, I am sure that video games has caused many to get lower grades or miss a test, but the same could be said for almost any other activity. As an example, a study was shown that more kids ditch school once they can drive. Another study shows that high schools that allow off campus lunches have a higher ditch rate. This is where moderation versus the extreme cases comes into play. You can make a bad call and play Diablo that first night and mess up a school day, which I could believe many had done. The question is, how many people made up for it and day 2, 3 and 4 they did not ditch because they only wanted that first day and pushed the rest of the week so it did not hurt their overall grade.

The same goes for work. If we want to look at video games as reasons for lost productivity then we have to look at the internet as a whole and smart phones and sports and talk radio. Even cigarette breaks which are all but extinct caused lower productivity.

Violence is another one of those issues that again pushes an old debate and gives us a new target to focus on. How many fights and love of war and guns came from playing Cowboys and Indians? How much desensitizing comes from Action News and 24/7 coverage of any violent event? Again, there are links that video games can cause some desensitizing, but studies like this make it seem like a large part of the issue when for most of the population it is an extremely small one. What you expose your children to and when make the difference along with all the other experiences of their life, removing gaming is not the answer just as much as removing television is not. This comes down to exposure in early life and how it is dealt with.

Another thing to remember is just because someone who did a violent crime claims it was because of a game that does not make it so. One, a person can lie. Two, if they did not play a game before the crime, because games did not exist, then it would have been a television show, a movie or music. Again, studies like this gives people the false impression that video games are the root cause and massive changes to games or removal of games altogether would solve the issue. The problem with that thinking is other signs and symptoms are ignored or downplayed and nothing helpful gets done.

We also need to look at what video games have done in the positive. Studies have also shown that video games improve hand eye coordination and stimulates the mind in the positive. Of course, you do not need Mortal Kobmat or Call of Duty to do that, but even violent video games can reduce stress and actually relax people in the end. Now you do not have a 10-year-old playing Gears of War, but an older informed gamer will have no problem playing a violent game and separating that world from reality.

Video games, especially online MMO’s can improve typing speed and skills. Sure, you have horrible “1337″ speak out there, but you also have people who have improved their typing and communication skills via gaming and believe me those skills are gained in action and often violent games.

Going back to communication, video games have improved that as well. Sadly, many of us still live in the past and believe online communication is not real and that real communication can only happen in person. Considering that 50 years ago people were more cut off from each other than now I always found that strange. We are more exposed, for the good and the bad, but in gaming and for the gaming generation this is our Elks Club or bowling night, it is our book club or our sewing circle and the rest of the world has to wake up and understand that.

Even as far as relations, there have been fights and bullying and racism within and caused by games. However, that person who is politically incorrect in a video game is much more willing to befriend someone who is African-American, Hispanic or homosexual than the clubs and organizations of the past. I personally as a black man have made friends with people and ended up meeting them outside of the game and remained friends for a long time to come. In game, we still talk trash and you might even think we dislike each other or are truly against a particular race or orientation, but that is furthest from the truth.

There will always be the extremes and the exceptions. The key is to truly understand the video gaming world as well as our evolving world. We still tend to live in the past and we always look back with rose-colored glasses. Couple that with the fact that because we often make decisions based on what we feel society, religion, political affiliation or family tells us we should do we end up bitter and resentful later in life and look at the upcoming generation as being horrible.

The American dream used to be a wife, 2.3 kids and a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence but the American dream just like America itself evolves and changes and we need to rethink our lives along with that change.  This applies to the gaming debate because people see games and try to put it in terms they understand from the past and based on their beliefs of what we should be doing and the result is they think it is wrong and then they rally against it.

Online dating use to the looked upon as the worst thing to do, as if picking up random people at a bar is somehow better. Today more people than ever use online dating and it is becoming just as normal as the bar scene. The same is with gaming and computers. In the 70’s it was a fringe activity and today everyone is playing something. We need to adapt gaming to our world, today’s world not the world of the past. Take out the extreme cases and look at the everyday man and woman gamer. Only then, will we get real answers, grow as a group and improve upon our lifestyles.

Chris Getz and RBI Baseball

Chris Getz

With Gamer Profiles, we wanted to show that almost everyone has classic gaming in the past and Obsolete Gamer continues on that trend by brining you news and tidbits of information with a retro twist. To that end, we all at OG HQ thought it was pretty awesome when we found out that Chris Getz from the Kansas City Royals has the theme from RBI Baseball as one of his walk up themes.

Here is a video as proof.


Now we did reach out to the Royals to see if we can get a comment on Mr. Getz using the theme and if he has a favorite classic game. If we get an answer, we will let you know.

If you have any news with a retro or classic gaming twist e-mail us and let us know.

Bundle In A Box: Adventure Bundle

Bundle in a box

Bundle in a box is a great concept that allows gamers to download a bundle of great independent games.  Obsolete Gamer’s own writer and contributor Konstantinos (a.k.a. gnome from Gnomes Lair &, breaks down the bundle.

1893 A World’s Fair Mystery text-adventure

Bundle In A Box – Adventure Bundle has finally gone live and you can now grab 7 truly excellent adventure games for the price of your choice! Well, almost, as you’ll have to beat a low and constantly dropping minimum price and two of our more intriguing offerings are only available to those who pay above the average, but you get the idea.

Ben There, Dan That!

Besides, by buying our bundle you’ll be supporting both an important charity and the Indie Dev Grant.

On to the games then…

Gemini Rue

We will exclusively debut the whimsical The Sea Will Claim Everything by Jonas Kyratzes and offer six more games: Gemini Rue, Metal Dead, The Shivah, Ben There, Dan That!, Time Gentlemen, Please! and –for the first time ever – the downloadable version of 1893: A World’s Fair Mystery text-adventure (previously only available as a physical product). Yes, we are indeed hoping to further fuel the current Adventure Game Renaissance!

Metal Dead

All games will be available as DRM-free downloads and most of them will also be available via Steam and/or Desura.

The Sea Will Claim Everything

Extras such as the Gemini Rue soundtrack and the exclusive Metal Dead Making Of booklet will also be included.

The Shivah

Besides the seven adventure games and said extras, the bundle will support a charity that’s close to our hearts (The Hellenic Centre for Mental Health and Treatment of Child and Family) and launch the Indie Dev Grant, which we hope will actually help smaller indie devs.

Time Gentlemen, Please!

Bundle In A Box will be using the pay-what-you-want payment model with the twist of a constantly dropping minimum price; Metal Dead and The Shivah will only be available to anyone paying over the average price.

The Downsizing of Star Wars: The Old Republic

We all know from the Sony Online Entertainment spin of the mass exodus of DC Online Universe that the statement above translates into; we took a major hit and have to start cutting our losses. ~J.A. Laraque

The Downsizing of Star Wars: The Old Republic

Unfortunately, most of us who played and followed the latest Star Wars MMO knew that with the issues with the game and lack of positive changes that subscriptions would drop drastically after the first month. Regardless of the PR spin about an “active community” and how there were “millions of subscribers” we all knew that STOR would take a massive hit.


Now word out of Austin is that there were mass layoffs at the studio that developed the game.  Some of the people from the studio were let go while a few others were moved to other projects, but the message was clear.

“We are bidding farewell to some talented, passionate and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make SWTOR a reality,” said Bioware co-founder, Greg Zeschuk. “We still have a very substantial development team working on supporting and growing the game,  and we feel we are in a strong position, with your continued involvement and feedback, to continue to build Star Wars: The Old Republic as one of the most compelling and successful online experiences in the world today.”

We all know from the Sony Online Entertainment spin of the mass exodus of DC Online Universe that the statement above translates into; we took a major hit and have to start cutting our losses.  EA itself in a statement just reinforced the rapid decline of The Old Republic.

“These are very difficult decisions, but it allows us to focus our staff to maintain and grow Star Wars: The Old Republic,”

I think almost everyone has been “refocused”, or know someone that has been and understands exactly what that means. With subscription rates dropping over 23%, most of us can see the coming storyline that will eventually lead to a free-2-play announcement.

Battle Squadron ONE

Battle Squadron - Gameplay Screenshot - Cover

Mobile gaming has not only added new gamers to our world, but also allowed classic games to have yet another platform to be played one. When I first began playing mobile games, I always thought it would be the perfect place for retro games to be played since it would not require much in the way of system resources. Battle Squadron ONE is one of those games that translates well onto the mobile platform giving gamers a great classic game to enjoy on their Apple or Android device.


Battle Squadron was a top down shooter developed by Cope-Com and published by Innerprise and EA for the Amiga computer and later for the Sega Genesis. This version stays true to the retro feel of the game with its classic sound and graphics, but it looks very good and clean on a mobile phone, which is important since you have so much going on and various attacks being flung at you.

The plot and gameplay is classic greatness, your commanders were kidnapped and you have to rescue them by going into the enemy’s base and destroying everything. Oh, did I mention the base is the size of a planet?  The game starts off by tossing you right into the fray and you soon realize you need more than your standard gun to take out the hordes of enemies on the screen. You can upgrade your weapon by collecting the cubes dropped by defeated enemies which makes the game much easier especially with the spread shot and if all else fails you have your bombs which creates an area effect pulse of destruction that takes all enemies near you out.

Battle Squadron - Gameplay Screenshot - 2

Level design stays true to its retro roots where instead of having a stage and a boss and then a new level you instead have a “master stage” where you take out the enemy and then come upon a large crater in the planet. It is at this point you can enter the next stage, or you can continue on. Now if you did not purchase all the levels you will not be able to continue, but you can play the master level over and over. There are also bosses in the game and some levels have two bosses.

Battle Squadron - Gameplay Screenshot

The graphics as said feel like the classic version of the game and the sound is direct from the Amiga version. The controls are easy to use and can be switched between the standard touch and drag controls with onscreen buttons or an analog slider, you can even use motion controls, but I liked those the least. In multiplayer mode, you play using a split screen, which on smaller phones can be a bit difficult, but on a larger device, like the iPad, it works very well.

Overall, Battle Squadron One brings true classic gaming to smart phones and should be in any retro gamers collection. We give this game a 9 out of 10. You can find the App Store and Android version of the game here.

Top Five Alex Kidd Games

Yes, yes, okay, I know – there are only five Alex Kidd games, so how can this be a Top Five? Well, actually, contrary to popular belief, there are in fact six Alex Kidd games – Sega sneaked out another one which never left Japan, but I’ll look at that one in a later feature. This feature, instead of selecting the five best Alex Kidd games, will place his five best-known adventures in order of greatness!

5. Alex Kidd in High-Tech World (1989)

Alex Kidd - HighTechWorld

The well-informed among you could be forgiven for not considering this a true Alex Kidd game as it was actually nothing to do with him in its Japanese form, instead being based on some obscure anime show and being converted to an AK game for its overseas releases. It’s also the game I was most intrigued by prior to this feature as my entire knowledge of it was pretty much restricted to a single screenshot and tiny review in some magazine of the day (C&VG’s Complete Guide to Consoles, as I recall). As it turns out, that intrigue was somewhat misplaced, with the game focusing on Alex’s attempts to find eight pieces of a map to a new arcade which has opened in town. Unlike the other games in the series, this takes the form of an arcade adventure which does involve lots of familiar platforming action but also sees Alex talking to other characters, searching furniture for items which he can use elsewhere, etc. It’s not a bad game I suppose, but it’s not a huge amount of fun and just seems like a bit of a chore at times.

4. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (1989)

Alex Kidd - EnchantedCastle

Commonly believed to be the final Alex Kidd game, Enchanted Castle was actually released shortly before Shinobi World, but it is the only one that didn’t get a Master System release, instead appearing as a launch title for the MegaDrive. Despite some spruced-up visuals and music (only marginally though) this effort very much retains the feel of the MS games which is probably its biggest problem. The Master System is a great console but the significantly greater power of the MD gave Sega the opportunity to do a lot more with their character but sadly they didn’t seize it. It’s not bad and has some nice ideas but it’s also very frustrating, with the merest touch from anything that moves causing instant death. Even for a launch game this was rather average but next to some of the MD’s other platformers, it’s a pretty poor effort.

3. Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (1989)

Alex Kidd - Lost Stars

This was the first Alex Kidd game I played after I borrowed it from a friend many years ago. I swear I have firm memories of playing it through to completion over that weekend (yep, even with it making you go through the game twice, Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts stylee) but since replaying it for this feature I’m not so sure my memory is accurate – it’s harder than ten angry lions! It is also the most surreal of Alex’s games, requiring him to traverse some strange landscapes and battle some stranger foes while trying to recover the twelve Zodiac signs! The object of each stage is simply to reach the end within the time limit. Enemies are just there to get in your way and contact with them takes a chunk out of your remaining time. I have good memories of this game which, while frustrating, is also addictive and features such obscure stages the urge to see what Sega dreamed up for the next one is strong!

2. Alex Kidd in Shinobi World (1990)

Alex Kidd - Shinobi World

Cross-over games are few and far between on any console in my experience so that already makes this game noteworthy, but happily it’s also rather good! I hadn’t played it prior to this feature so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but as it turns out I needn’t have thought so hard about it – it’s quite literally a cartoony version of a Shinobi game with Alex Kidd replacing Joe Musashi. Clearly modelled on the MS version of the first game (it even features arranged versions of the same music), Alex must battle through twelve stages filled with enemy ninjas, soldiers, and bosses, all based on similar ones from Shinobi. Like High-Tech World, this game was not originally developed as an Alex Kidd game but the character suits it well and it’s a superb final outing for ol’ big ears. Ironically, it’s also tougher than Shinobi, but the stages are interesting and well-designed so it’s worth battling away.

1. Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986)

Alex Kidd - Miracle World

To my shame, I failed to fully embrace this game in the late 80’s when my MS was my only console, despite its glowing reputation. I have since made up for lost time though, and can see why it was so revered. Miracle World is perhaps the most ‘normal’ of Alex’s adventures but it’s also the most enjoyable as you help him on his journey to free his brother and father who’ve been kidnapped by Janken the Great. This obviously involves lots of top platforming action but Alex also gets to go swimming and take command of a motorbike and a pedicoptor along the way too! This variety along with the lovely colourful graphics and nice music helps to make Miracle World a superbly entertaining game. It has pretty much always been regarded as the best in the series and although Shinobi World comes close, this is still the champion!

Just like a dumbfuck, I fell into the trap

Just like a dumbfuck, I fell into the trapJust like a dumbfuck, I fell into the trap.

Just like a dumbfuck, I fell into the trap. I was at the office, almost closing time, when the phone rang and it was her crying. Like a twisted knight from the days of old, I tried to run to her rescue.

Two days ago, this piece of jailbait came in to talk to me about how her step father, mega industrialist Jack Roberts, had raped her. She said he was going to do it again soon and that she couldn’t go to the cops as his deep pockets had paid them off for the next decade worth of fucked up cover ups. Little Shelley told me that she wanted to hire me to catch him in the act and either capture video or give him my own personal kind of justice. She said daddy would be back in town soon and that he promised her a good time. Little Shelley didn’t have much to offer me for pay but I knew that many of Mr. Roberts rivals would be interested in seeing him with his pants down, his Mr. Happy missing, or with a trademark bullet greeting right in between his surprised eyes. I would have gotten my bounty either way.

Now here I lay in a dilapidated hotel room lying on a puddle of some blood, my guns missing, and a total probable suspect in the murder of a little girl.

Sega Vintage Collection for PSN and XBLA


More retro gaming from the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis are on their way to both PSN and XBLA. Soon you will be able to play the Monster World Collection, which comes with Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy in Monster World and MWIV on May 23. Next up will be the arcade edition of Golden Axe along with Golden Axe 2 & 3 and the Streets of Rage Collection, which will feature all three games. These collections sell for 800 Microsoft Points each.


For the PSN you get Wonder Boys, Super Hang-On, Revenge of Shinobi, and Alex Kidd in Miracle World on May 22. These will sell individually for $5 each. Expect more retro gaming to be released in the next few months for both networks and as we get the details, we will bring it to you.

Dragon Warrior

Dragon Warrior - NES - Gameplay Screenshot - Box

Dragon Warrior

You take role of a warrior (Elwood?) in order to save the princess and slay the dragon. Dragon Warrior(Quest in Japan and lately here) is the one that started it all in terms of quest style games. If you get a chance to check out the library of games for the Famicom you’ll realize that there are a vast amount of Dragon Warrior(Quest) clones out there. Most of the good ones were translated by true RPG fans while some others might or not still be in the works. Either way, you’ll have your best bet playing this classic of classics as you take a quest in the most initiative way through a realm full of freaks!

Dragon Warrior - NES - Gameplay Screenshot - 1


You(Elwood) take your role and start up as a wimpy warrior and must train hard to turn into a respectful killing machine. It’ll take you a while to reach your goal so you better be ready to sit down and level up by killing the same monsters over and over again. The music might get to your nerves since it’s so archaic (it’s from the 1980s for crying out loud!) So take a chance and plug in your Ihome or stereo and listen to some punk rock, it helps!



Your quest will take you approximately twenty hours to complete for slow pokes like me, but I heard some hardy players have beaten the game in ten hours so go figure. I remember that the magazine Nintendo Power said it could be done in ten hours as well. Don’t worry though, do what you have to do, Elwood will always be there dancing on the same spot waiting for your command.
Till next time adventurer….

VOD: 24 the Game


24 the Game

Today’s video of the day comes from the PlayStation 2 game, 24. The game was released in 2006 and in terms of cannon occurred between Day 2 and Day 3 of television show. The coolest thing about this game was the cut scenes and the voice acting. The voice acting was done by the real cast members and the cut scenes were well done both in visual and sound effects and storytelling.


In the game, you had various tasks to stop critical events from assassination to terrorism to an attack on CTU.  Most of the game was a third person perspective where you controlled Jack or one of the other CTU agents, but there were driving sections, sniper missions and mini-games like hacking into a computer, decrypting a code or interrogating a suspect.


Now the game had some faults, mainly the driving that was subpar and the computer AI was not the best, but overall it was a decent game for the PS2. As far as our video, it features all the cut scenes from the game and has a runtime of just under 90 minutes so make sure you have time to watch it all. If you like 24 it is worth it.

Cosplay: Demon Hunter

How we got to Free-2-Play

Anyone even the least bit interested in the world of MMO’s has seen many games released or converted to free-2-play. Often it is looked upon as a sign that a game has failed when it switches from a monthly subscription to free-2-play, the only exception might be for very old games like Everquest. However, recent reports have shown that free-2-play is a smart business move, not only for those games that struggled with subscriptions, but those who start off free-2-play as well.

So how did we get here, simple, too much product, and not enough people willing to buy it. Remember when Everquest was released there was only one other well-known MMO which was Ultima Online. Once games like, Dark Age of Camelot was released the thought was it would split the player base or some would pick one over the other. Not many, besides wishful sales people and marketers believed a large number would choose to play and pay for both.

As more games were released, many wondered what would be the lasting effect. Since there were still dominant games the idea was that the others would become more niche and could make just enough to turn a profit, but the giants would rule the MMO world. That theory was reinforced when World of Warcraft was released and you still had many other MMO’s on the market including Linage, City of Heroes, Everquest 1 & 2 and more.

It was the Korean MMO’s that used the free-2-play model first namely because there were so many being released and they discovered people were more willing to spend a few dollars at a time then one lump monthly payment. This allowed people to play multiple games and still feel as if they are paying less even though many ended up spending more than a monthly fee would cost in A la Carte selections.

As even more games came onto the market and with so many people playing World of Warcraft more scrutiny was put on new games. A high bar was set and gamers had no problem leaving in mass after the first or second month if a game did not perform the way they wanted or expected. During this time, we saw many games fail and some even shut down, most notably, Asheron’s Call 2 and The Matrix Online.

Many companies needed a way to keep a game afloat if it did not launch well and free-2-play became that way. Just like the 99-cent mp3 or application for your mobile phone sales people realized people would spend if it was in small increments. You might not pay 15 bucks a month for EQ2, but you might play it for free and then buy a horse for 4 bucks here and a piece of armor for 2 bucks there and by the end of the month you might have spent more than 15. Not only that, but by spending real money many people became more attached to their character and stayed longer with a game or came back from time to time to purchase more.

Now we have even newly released games such as DC Online Universe going free to play with many other big name MMO’s following suit. Could we see a giant like WoW turn free-2-play? Perhaps more U.S. based MMO’s will start launching free-2-play. Only time will tell, but the model is here to stay and is working, not only for the companies, but for the players as well and as long as that continues so will the trend.

Now, on with the Cosplay!


Weird Games: Sneak King

If you only saw the title, you would think this is some weird Japanese stalking game. Instead, what you have is a weird and creepy advertisement for Burger King that should have been a web game not an actual game for the Xbox 360.

Sneak King COVER

Sneak King was one of three different games that Burger King offered back in 2006. I think you could purchase then for $2.99 with a value meal or something like that. In this game, the objective is to sneak up on people and deliver Burger King Burgers to them. Personally, I rather sneak up and deliver sausages but that is just me.

Sneak King COVER

The gameplay works like this, you are in what they call a “sandbox”, which is a set area where you can walk around freely. You will see various people walking around and as they get hungry, a hunger icon will appear above their heads. Now I have no idea why you would need to sneak up on a hungry person to give them food, but that is exactly what you do.

Sneak King COVER

Now like in games like Metal Gear Solid the idea is to stay out of their cone of vision. You can sneak up from behind, but the King makes a lot of noise so you have to be careful of that as well. You can also hide in places like garbage cans, (seriously, would you accept food from a guy popping out of a garbage can, what is this Final Fight?) or other such places.

Sneak King COVER

So you can earn points for delivering fast or hiding versus sneaking. Also, the hunger meter starts blue and then turns red. If you wait too long to deliver the food the person passes out for a while. Now why are there hungry people walking around until they pass out, I dunno. Even stranger is if you time your food delivery just before they pass out you earn more points, way to care about humanity, Burger King.


This game has 80 challenges and once you finish them call you get a, Stealth Suit Overall, if you get this game for free or a few bucks maybe the weirdness is good enough to warranty the purchase, but don’t expect great graphics or long lasting gameplay.

Elevator Action

Elevator Action

Released by Taito in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Elevator Action can somewhat be most accurately categorized as a platformer action game. The home console video game was actually a port from a popular arcade game; though it lost some of the bright-and-shiny looks of the arcade unit, the NES version of Elevator Action still played very similarly.

Elevator Action - NES - Taito - Gameplay Screenshot


The player controls a spy character who has infiltrated a high-rise building with lots of doors and elevators, and must traverse from the top floor to the bottom without falling victim to enemy men-in-black characters, falls, or being squashed by said elevators. Certain doors in the building are red, and must be entered and exited before completing the level by getting to the getaway car.

Elevator Action - NES - Taito - Gameplay Screenshot

After completing a level, the next stage is generated, with exactly the same building, but a randomization of red-door locations. Also, the A.I. gradually become smarter and more sneaky in their tactics (for instance, they may vary between crouching and not crouching when they fire at you), against the sole defense of the player: A semi-automatic pistol that can fire three shots at a time, and kills instantly, much like the one-shot deaths the player may endure.


This is a basic, crude little game. Elevator Action for the NES has a cartoony look, to put it nicely and with as positive of a spin as possible. Otherwise, the line drawings are basic, but at least the elements are recognizable. The simple squishing deaths of agents stuck in elevators shafts are even humorous.

Elevator Action - NES - Taito - Gameplay Screenshot


Although popular opinion varies widely, the general consensus is that the background music for this game is average at best, and mind-screwingly horrifying at worst. Either way, it does not make up for the “meh” quality of the sound effects, other than the somewhat satisfying “thud” of an enemy agent’s body hitting the floor.

Creativity & Innovation

Elevator Action - NES - Taito - Gameplay Screenshot

Perhaps unfairly, this video game cannot claim to have too much originality, only because Elevator Action was already an arcade game. Otherwise, the very foundational premise is interesting, forming something of a hybrid between a puzzler and an action adventure.


But beyond all other factors, most visibly prominent, is a cripplingly horrific rate of repetition. Being a high-score, arcade-style game, Elevator Action has no ending, and will only continue generating the exact same building schematic over and over. This truly, deeply hurts its replay value; although it is quirky, possibly interesting, and worth a try, its novelty and fun can only last so long before it becomes boring and stale. Almost single-handedly by this flaw alone, Elevator Actions gets its rating of one and a half stars out of five.

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

Who would win in a fight….Mike Tyson or Mr. Dream?

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

I was sitting around the other day thinking about an old Twitter review I did. It was Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It seems to be a favorite with NES fans over the years, so I fired it up to play a little. I didn’t give it a perfect score, mainly because I played the hell out of the arcade Punch Out!!, and the console version just didn’t measure up. Honestly, that wasn’t a fair score, because I try to rate games compared to the actual system they belong. But, my personal bias allowed me to knock it down to an 8/10 (still a great score). I decided for my punishment, I would allow Iron Mike himself to give me the sound beating I deserved. A couple of right crosses from the man himself will knock some sense into me.

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

So I’m Googling a little information about the game and I realized something that most people already knew…
Nintendo re-released Mike’s game a couple of years later. Either because of the rape conviction or because he had lost his title by then, Nintendo didn’t renew a contract with Tyson, so he wasn’t in the new game. From what I gathered, the new game, just titled Punch Out!!, was exactly the same as the old game except for one thing…they replaced Mike with a huge white guy named Mr. Dream.
Reading some comparative news about the games, I was getting conflicting answers. Most people say the game is the same, while others swear that either Tyson or Dream was more difficult to defeat. While this may be just psychological nonsense, I have to find out if this is true.

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

OBJECTIVE: To end this decades-long debate, and find out who could defeat whom.

The problem is knowing that the two boxing greats will never be put in the same room together, I was going to have to play both games and face both monsters one-on-one.

The gameplay is pretty simple: I play as a small guy named Little Mac. I’ll have to fight through 10 or 12 other boxers to get to the final fight, Tyson or Dream. Each match is 3 rounds of 3 minutes in duration. If I knock down my opponent (or he knocks me) 3 times, it’s a TKO and the match is over. I think it’s possible to win a decision, but I don’t want to take the chance. I need to go for the kill. The 2 controller buttons will throw left/right punches. Holding up or down on the pad will face-punch or block. Left/right will dodge opponent’s punches (I hope).

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot
In typical boxing-crookedness, I’ve already cheated. I’ve been taking PED’s for days, loaded up my controller with brass knuckles, and downloaded game-tips from the internet. DING! DING!

The game starts with a tune-up fight: A guy named Glass Joe, who is really just a punching bag, or practice to get used to the controls.
The graphics look cool, decent sound effects, and Mario is your referee. Between plumbing and rescuing ladies, you wouldn’t think he’d have time for a night job, but good for him living the American Dream.

Glass Joe goes down, and there a huge list of un-politically-correct boxers in my sight.

Von Kaiser, the big German.
Piston Hurricane, the Japanese guy.
Don Flamenco, the Spanish guy who prances around.
King Hippo, the ugly fat guy.
Great Tiger, the dude from India wearing a turban.
Bald Bull, the crazy Turk.
Soda Popinski, the Russian.
Mr. Sandman, huge black dude from Philly with the 70′s hair and sideburns.
Super Macho Man, the ‘roided pretty-boy from Hollywood.
Then, gap-toothed Tyson himself.

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

Mike enters the ring looking like the crazy bastard he is, and I’m looking forward to using the tip and tricks I’ve learned to exploit his weakness and take him down. Mario calls for the fight to start and here I come. About 8 seconds into the match, I realize he has no weakness and I go down and I go down hard. I call for my trainer, the well-respected Doc Louis, to throw in the towel. But the old, deaf S.O.B. can’t hear me over my cries of pain. I reluctantly get back up and try to throw a right body blow that does zero damage. I think it just made Mike more angry, kind of like the Incredible Hulk. Tyson responds to my limp jab with a massive uppercut that actually shook my controller….and these controllers weren’t manufactured to do that like current ones. Doc just sits there offering advice like “Watch his left!” and “Join the Nintendo club!”. Consider yourself fired, sir. I decide to fake like I’m asleep, like I was taught to do if I were ever to be alone in the woods with a huge grizzly bear. Assuming Mike was as dumb as an animal, I thought that would work. Oddly, the Nintendo Gods lifted me upon my feet, and threw me in the path of another Iron-Fist-of-Fury, sealing my fate. A TKO called by Mario, and this match was over.

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

TOTAL TIME: 14 seconds.

I couldn’t just jump into the “rematch” with Mr. Dream. I needed to get a good night’s sleep to heal the injuries. So, off to bed.
A couple of hours later, I awaken in a cold sweat. The nightmares of being mauled by a pack of Bigfoots were just too much for me. I needed to “get back on the horse” and take on Mr. Dream, or I’d never have my life back.

I cheat-code my way through most of the fighters and find my way to the Dream-fight.
Pre-match stats show this dude as 99-0, hailing from a place called Dreamland. Kind of a pretty-boy, but I can’t put enough emphasis on the 99-0.
Match starts and he moves the same way Tyson did, so I’m hoping to use my past match as practice.

Mike Tysons Punch Out - NES - Gameplay Screenshot
I try to stick-and-move, but I got knocked on my ass by a blur…I assume it was a legal punch, but can’t be sure. I notice Doc Louis didn’t take the hint, as he’s still offering crappy advice (they really want me to join that club). I try throwing meat at my opponent, thinking I can distract him long enough to get in at least one punch….didn’t work, as I fall to the mat for the second time. I try to hold my controller pad down, thinking my avatar may stay down for 10 seconds to end this debacle, but he rises again. I start throwing the kitchen sink at him hoping something good will happen, but only got as far as “kitchen si..” when a fist the size as my head sent me through the ground, halfway to China. A final TKO from Super-Mario, and it’s over.

TOTAL TIME: 18 seconds.

I decided to re-score my review.
I grade on a 0-2 scale in 5 categories, for a max score of 10.


It looks fantastic, with a dozen unique fighters, cool fighting motions, and even “flashbulbs” going off in the crowd.

Crowd noise, punches thrown, some voice announcing, even Mario starting the “fight”.

Perfect. An entire boxing match with a pad and 2 buttons. Works very well, very fluid.

It was a blast trying to learn weaknesses of fighters, climbing the ranks, then take your shot at the Dream-title.

You will spend a lot of time on this game trying to beat the big man, and if I ever do it…I’m guessing I’d want to do it again.


Maybe it wasn’t the most scientific of methods, but to answer the question, “Who would win in a fight?…Mike Tyson or Mr. Dream?” My money would go to Iron Mike. But, there is still the chance that those two monsters would still be beating on one another until the end of time.

Pit Fighter

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Pit Fighter


Back in 1990, Atari released Pit-Fighter – the first fighting game to include digitised fighting characters. This animation was created through a “bluescreen” process which was a major feat for the day. It was the precursor to Mortal Kombat..


Pit-Fighter has three fighters to choose from: Buzz, the ex-professional wrestler; Ty, the kick-boxing champion; and Kato, the third degree black-belt expert. Each fighter has their own fighting style, strengths, weaknesses and super moves.The premise of the game is to take your fighter through 15 different fights, with grudge matches (bonus rounds) every three fights. You become champion once you defeat the Masked Warrior.



Pit-Fighter has some interesting twists amongst its gameplay. Firstly, it has sly spectators that get involved in your fights by knifing you. They lurk amongst the crowd, so watch out ! The game also has weapons and objects to use, like: barrels, crates, knives, spiked balls, oil drums, sticks, bar stools and even a motorcycle ! But, beware – these weapons and objects can also be used against you ! If things weren’t interesting enough, there are power pills in later stages that can temporarily make both your fighter and opponent more powerful and difficult to hurt and ultimately, defeat.


Pit-Fighter hasn’t really aged too well, but it does offer nostalgic value with its digitised fighters and interesting gameplay, with crowd involvement and outrageous weapons/objects to use. So, if you want to relive the daddy of digitised fighters, throw in a few coins into Pit-Fighter.

Pit Fighter - Gameplay Screenshot - Arcade Cabinet

Manufacturer: Atari
Year: 1990
Genre: Fighting
Number of simultaneous players: 3
Maximum number of players: 3
Gameplay: Team
Joystick: 8-way
Buttons: 3 (Punch, Kick and Jump)
Sound: Amplified Mono (single channel)

Versus: Games for the Ages

versus - A Compoetition for the ages
I know you know dear reader, but I simply had to blog this. I do love pretty screenshots, outrageous indie game mechanics and TIG Source competitions you see. Versus, the latest competition of the sort, the one cunningly subtitled Games for the Ages, is all about crafting games that pit at least one human player versus another human player. What’s more all the entries have been uploaded to the compo site and are freely available for you to download, enjoy and -should you feel so inclined- rate.
versus - A Compoetition for the ages
There are 81 wildly innovative (and plain wild) games available to try, including the incredible AGI Combat for the trigger happy adventure gamer, the rather unsettling A Cure for Friendship, the deeply spiritual Jesus vs. Dinosaurs and even the particularly silly Macig – The Gambling. Expect surreal genre mixes, visuals any indie gamer would love and some truly frightening sounds; all in glorious multiplayer!
versus - A Compoetition for the ages
Here are a few screenshots to spice things up:
versus - A Compoetition for the ages

Diablo III Hardware Checklist

Diablo 3

A whole lot of you are gearing up for the release of Diablo 3 tomorrow so besides calling out sick, ditching your date and neglecting your hygiene you want to make sure you have all the necessary items to play, undisturbed in the best possible way. Here is a list of items you just might need or can use for your upcoming day of gaming.

The EON 11-S from Origin PC


Let’s start with hardware, yes, obviously you need a gaming system to play D3 and if you have to be at work or at school why not take your gaming with you. The great thing about this laptop is it small, but powerful enough to run the game the way it’s meant to be played and you just might trick your boss or teacher into thinking you brought it in for other reasons. Check out our breakdown of the EON 11-S.

The Diablo III headset from SteelSeries


The last thing you want during your game time is distractions and outside noise. The Diablo III headset is ultra-comfortable and keeps external noises out so you can enjoy only the sounds of the game. With its retractable microphone, you can chat with people in game or using a voice program and not miss a beat. Finally, it just looks cool and its Diablo branded, who wouldn’t want this. Check out our review on the Diablo III headset.

The X-Rocker Pro-Series Game Chair

X-Rocker pro series Gamer Chair

One might think sitting on your ass all day is easy, but it isn’t. Especially for us 30+ gamers you want to make sure you can stay seated for long periods of time without hurting your back or your tailbone. Just like your grand-pappy, perhaps being able to rock back and forth will keep you from catching a clot as you lay the smack-down. Check out the stats on the chair here.

The 30 Widescreen monitor from NEC


Diablo III is like stepping into a movie and just like you want the best movie screen you will also want a top notch monitor for your gaming pleasure. The PA301W features a 2560×1600-resolution screen with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. The screen also features an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on lighting conditions lessoning eyestrain from prolonged use, which is perfect for the marathon gaming session you will be putting in. Check out the monitor specifications here.

Game On

Now you have the gear and you have a nice quiet place to game. You will want to keep the area cool and clear and have a big waste basket around for all the food wrappers and if possible some recycling because it’s just a good thing to do. Set your phone to vibrate, your instant message status to, “Leave me alone noobs I’m pwning Diablo 3” and leave reality behind. Just don’t end up on the news because you neglected your kid or your house burned down with you in it.

Know Your History: Call of Duty critics should note the Pac-Man run of 1982

Welcome to the first edition of Know Your History, a new regular feature in this space.

know your history

Consumer market video games have existed for more than 40 years now, and with such a milestone comes a great deal of history.  Many of the current topics in video gaming can be compared to events of the past but are often treated as if they are first-time happenings.  This column aims to draw on the history of the industry and culture as it relates to current hot topics in the gaming world.

With the recent announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, critics of the best-selling CoD series have been quite vocal.  They state that a new Call of Duty game each year is simply too much and that each game doesn’t bring enough new material or changes in gameplay.

30 years ago there was a popular game series that drew the same criticisms in time.  Eager to follow up on the record-breaking success of Pac-Man, Bally Midway brought not one, not two, not three but FOUR new Pac-Man games to the arcades of 1982.

Ms Pac-Man 1982

Ms. Pac-Man started the march of sequels.  Released in January 1982, this first Pac-Man follow-up added more colors, moving fruit and multiple mazes to the popular Pac-Manformula and took the top of the arcade earnings chart with ease.

Super Pac-Man

Super Pac-Man was the first Namco-produced sequel and came out later in the year.  Adding gates and keys, bonus rounds and a super pill to the maze chase concept, Super Pac came on strong at first but quickly slid off the earnings charts.

Pac-Man Plus

Pac-Man Plus was an upgrade kit for existing Pac-Manmachines in need of an earnings boost, released by Midway after pressure from arcade operators who were facing legal action for installing “enhancement kits” from other sources in order to twart the patterns players had developed for the original game.

Baby Pac-Man Pinball

Baby Pac-Man rounded out the 1982 Pac-Man games by attempting to merge a maze video game with a small pinball machine.  The game failed to make much of a splash and is difficult to locate today.

Call of Duty critics might point at this and note that frequent sequels is far from a new concept in the world of video gaming and has actually moved far faster in the past.  Two more Pac-Man-related arcade titles came out in 1983 as well.

Also worth note is the fact that historians blame Super Pac-Man‘s quick fade from popularity to be due to the massive changes in the basic Pac-Man gameplay concept.  Ms. Pac-Man, however, changed little to the basic concept of the game and simply added new screens and features while running on the hardware of the previous game.  Ms. Pac-Mansold a record number of arcade machines in the United States and continues to hold the record to the modern day.  Ms. Pac-Man machines can still be found in many locations across the country, the only one of the four 1982 Pac sequels to do so.

While annual releases to popular game titles may seem like a topic of note to the gaming world of today, it doesn’t mean it is a new concept when one knows their history.

Sporting Events own Couples

couples shirt fail

I am sure everyone knows the story about the Astro’s fan who bails on his girlfriend allowing her to get hit by a foul ball. If not here is the footage.

In this video the foul ball decides to attack both the guy and the girl, I still don’t know who got the worst of it.


Seriously couples should be wary when going to sporting events. Not only can you be hit by balls, but you can end up being dumped on.

The worst thing you can do is set up a cheesy marriage proposal and have it fail miserably.

My advice, just go watch and enjoy the game and leave the rest of the crap for reality tv.

Captain Tsubasa 2

Captain Tsubasa 2 - Famicom - Gameplay Screenshot

One of the most incredible games for the Famicom which combines two genres together is none other than Captain Tsubasa 2. I’m sure this game is something you have never seen before, well just think about it, the game combines RPG elements with sports which is something that has been seen in very few games. The story is simple, you are this kid who joins a soccer team and well you are pretty good at playing soccer and you want to win it all! Of course, you start up in a sucky team, in fact you are the only one that can score for the team so everyone is depending on you to score a hat trick in every match. The controls are simple, once you meet an opponent on the field you will have four options which is usually to pass, dribble, team pass, and shoot. The one I use the most is team pass because you can pass it to your team mate and avoid getting tackle. Of course these options are only when you are holding the ball but when the opponent is coming towards you well you have other options. You can tackle and injure that asshole, or you can try to take the ball away from him “cleanly”. You can also just let him pass.

Captain Tsubasa 2 - Famicom - Gameplay Screenshot

The difficulty of the game increases greatly and keeps you coming for more. If you loose a match you will be sent back a game so you will need to replay that match and then the match that you lost. In the end, this helps you out because your team levels up according to their performance in the match so next time you meet that team that kicked your ass, it might have a different result. Moving on, the storyline gets very interesting as the game goes along, too bad I don’t know how to read Japanese or I would probably have had a bigger attachment to the game. The cut scenes are very well made for a Famicom game, at some times you must have felt like if you were watching a movie….yeah they are good… The music is also very very good and keeps you on the edge of your seat or couch or wherever the hell you play your video games.

Captain Tsubasa 2 - Famicom - Gameplay Screenshot


Overall, the game is a must have for anyone trying to find something different and retro to play. The game doesn’t go for that much, usually ten dollars on ebay. Be sure not to pick up part one as it’s very inferior to the sequel. You will have a better time playing this one. That’s all for now, till next week.



One last thing, the game is packed with super moves each of the characters has but remember not to use them that much as it’ll take a big chunk out of your stamina.

The Interview: Amanda MacKay – Battle for Everything

battle for everything

Battleship will be in theaters in just about a week and leading up to the movie Coke Zero has launched Battle for Everything, which is a tower defense game that you can play for free and earn rewards. We had a chance to chat with the GTTV host about Battleship, Battle for Everything and even classic gaming. Check out our video below.


Battle For Everything is a tower defense game packed with unique twists and alien battles by sea, land and air to save planet Earth. It was created by Coke Zero as part of its sponsorship of Battleship, which hits theaters May 18. Gamers can use My Coke Rewards points to access additional levels and upgrade weapons for the chance to win exclusive prizes, including Coke Zero coupons, movie tickets, concert tickets, dream vacations and more. My Coke Rewards points can be found on 12-, 16- and 20-ounce bottles, fridge packs and 24-packs of Coke Zero and other Coca-Cola products.

Check out Amanda’s Gamer Profile.

You can view the latest Battleship trailer and play the tower defense game at Battle for Everything dot com.

Gamer Profile: Amanda MacKay

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Super Mario 3 was huge for me. I was the first person in my family to finish that game. I can still feel the triumph that I felt over my cousins that day. (Another) classic game that may not be at the top of everyone’s list but that I loved was Paperboy. We actually bought it for my little brother for Christmas but he was young enough not to know so leading up to Christmas we would take it out of the pack and play. (Also) The Legend of Zelda, amazing, I think about it right now so I will always come back to those three. ~Amanda MacKay

Amanda MacKay

Favorite Classic Game: Paperboy, Super Mario Bros. 3 & The Legend of Zelda

Amanda MacKay’s Video Gamer Profile

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 Game Trailers/Spike TV

Be sure to check out our other celebrity gamer profiles.

Make it Rain

make it rain game

Make it Rain

A friend of mine showed me this cool mobile game that is in development right now. In fact if you head on over to Rocket Hub you can help support the project. So, Make it Rain is not a mini game for Everquest Druids (if you get the joke give yourself 500 points). In this game, you play the role of strip club patron with too much disposable income and a need to attention. Your goal is to rain money onto the dancing girl making sure most of it falls directly on the stage.

Check out J.A. Laraque’s video review:


You can check out the game and play a preview at Main it Rain Game dot com.

Twilight 2000

When you ask a retro gamer about who their favorite game companies, names like Sierra On-Line, LucasArts Entertainment, or Origin Systems often come up.  Less likely, but deserving of a look is the little known Paragon Software, the company that brought The Amazing Spider-ManMegaTraveller 1: The Zhodani ConspiracyThe PunisherSpace: 1889, and X-MEN: Madness in Murderworld, among others.  Paragon Software was also responsible for bringing one of my personal cult RPG favorites to the PC in 1991’s Twilight 2000.

Box front for the 1991 PC Game Twilight 2000

Box front for the 1991 PC Game Twilight 2000.

First, some background story.  Twilight 2000 was set in a future wherein the border tensions between China and the U.S.S.R. escalate and events unfold in Europe which draws NATO and the Warsaw Pact into direct conflict.  Conventional warfare is followed by the use of chemical weapons, which leads to tactical nuclear strikes, and finally a “limited” nuclear war engulfing the globe.  The result is widespread catastrophe and the near-collapse of civilization.  Resources are scarce and enemies are around every corner.  Warlords rule individual city-states, and the countryside is ruled by whoever has the most armament.  Your team finds themselves in what used to be western Poland, under the thumb of Baron Czarny, a despot who finds no atrocity to atrocious to commit.  Having enough to deal with without a nutbar making life even more difficult for them, a consensus is reached that the mad Baron needs to be dethroned – and that’s where the game begins.

Boris Yeltsin to the rescue!

Boris Yeltsin to the rescue!

The Twilight 2000 PC game was based on the pen-and-paper RPG of the same name, first published in 1984 by the Game Designer’s Workshop (GDW).  It was a game of its time, with the Cold War raging and fears of nuclear Armageddon permeating the international consciousness.  Players assumed the role of soldiers trapped in Europe after the final offensive and counter-offensive between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The game had a cult following, but with the close of the Cold War, the appeal of the game began to wane.  A modified history was presented in the 1993 version of the game that attempted use the attempted coup against Boris Yeltsin, then President of the Russian Federation, as the focal point of an alternate history, but never quite caught on.

Isometric exploration screen for Twilight 2000.

Isometric exploration screen for Twilight 2000.


Twilight 2000 combines tactical gameplay with RPG elements.  Your task is to complete missions with up to 20 soldiers.  Each of your team has different attributes, languages that they speak, and special abilities, all of which you set to make their unique personality.  Each personality will determine how your soldiers respond to your orders, so it’s important to choose wisely to avoid messy situations (not unlike the pen & paper version!).

Driving screen from Twilight 2000.

Driving screen from Twilight 2000.

The game unfolds in a variety of styles: there is a top-down map display; isometric tactical screens; front-on inventory screens; even a first-person 3-D driving mode (which was a bit ahead of its day, with polygon graphics and lighting effects based on time of day).  One of the more frustrating limits of the isometric display is that the game world, although continuous, requires new screen loads when changing locations.  This leads to frustration as you can miss an important item as it’s not on the current screen, but in gameworld terms, is only a few feet away.

Equipment screen from Twilight 2000.

Equipment screen from Twilight 2000.

The equipment screen shows off an impressive array of weaponry, armor, and general use items available to your soldiers.   Everything from Kevlar vests, various types of grenades, flashlights, thermal goggles, M-16s, Uzi’s, M9 pistols, even M203 grenade launchers!  This was the Diablo of the post-apocalyptic game genre, with something for everyone.  Yee-haw!

Map screen from Twilight 2000.

Map screen from Twilight 2000.

All in all, Twilight 2000 is a good PC game.  It’s certainly not perfect (and needed a few patches after its initial release), but it provides some decent gameplay in a well-crafted gameworld.  Pick up a copy and let the post-Apocalyptic good times roll!


You can download the game here

Bomber Raid


Bomber Raid (1988)
By: Sanritsu Denki / Sega  Genre: Shooting  Players: 1  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Sega Master System  First Day Score: 78,100
Also Available For: Nothing

Bomber Raid - Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

As much affection as I have for the Master System, it didn’t really fare too well anywhere except Europe (and Brazil), and its paltry but loyal core of proud and loyal owners were enveloped by the congealing mass of NES owners in Japan and the US. A testament to its failure in the two most important markets is the fact that this very game represented the final official release for the console in Japan, and at a time when the system was only just becoming established here in the UK! Bomber Raid was released exclusively on the Master System too so there’s a good chance a lot of American and Japanese gamers missed out on it altogether, but did they miss much? And perhaps more importantly, was it a fitting farewell for the lovely little console in its native territory?

Bomber Raid - Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

Taking its cues from Capcom classic, 1942, and a few similar games to a lesser extent like Flying Shark, Bomber Raid is a WWII-set vertically scrolling shmup which takes place over both land and sea. It’s interesting that the front cover of this game depicts an SR-71 Blackbird dropping a load of bombs as the actual game sees you piloting a far older and less sophisticated plane and any bomb-dropping you do is restricted to the three ‘cluster bombs’ your aircraft is equipped with! The game takes place over five stages, or ‘missions’ (you’ll receive a short briefing before each), all of which are filled with enemy aircraft, tanks, boats, submarines, and other associated vehicles, including of course much larger and more powerful bosses at the end of each stage.

Bomber Raid - Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

Amidst all the usual military-type enemies, you’ll frequently encounter spinning pods which release power-ups when shot. These include speed-ups, upgrades for your feeble main gun, and can also see smaller drone planes join yours and produce fire of their own, although they are just as prone to enemy fire as your main aircraft too, and you can also unleash the aforementioned cluster bombs which are screen-clearing smart bombs as you might expect. No, the arsenal isn’t particularly huge or impressive but even with the pretty limited resources available here you should make pretty good progress through the stages. The difficulty curve is just about right and there’s few overly tough parts that you’ll get stuck on.

Bomber Raid - Sega Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

In fact, probably the biggest challenges offered by the game, at least initially, are a result of graphical issues! They’re pretty good, if lacking a little in variety, but the enemy fire is small and moves fast so it’s often hard to spot it, and the same can be said of some of the enemies themselves. Your own bullets, too, are practically invisible to start with making the acquisition of power-ups even more of a necessity! There’s also a bit of slowdown and flicker now and then too but aside from that, this is a decent enough looking game, and indeed a decent enough game generally. It was actually one of the MS games I always wanted to play but I never got around to buying it, so this is my first encounter with it, and happily it’s been a good one. It’s not perfect and it’s certainly not the best vertical-scroller on the Master System (Power Strike retains that crown) but once you get used to the slightly confusing visuals it proves to be an enjoyable and addictive blaster, and a decent farewell for the Japanese incarnation of this great console.


RKS Score: 7/10

The Interview: Robby Zinchak: 8-Bit MMO

8-Bit MMO - logo

A few weeks ago, we showed you the awesome indie game, 8-Bit MMO. Well I had a chance to talk with Robby Zinchak, the brilliant mind behind 8-Bit MMO about the game and the development process.


So in your words describe your game?

8BitMMO is a construction sandbox game, which essentially means you can build anything you want in a massive, persistent, retro-styled world.

What made you go the 8-bit route?

Nostalgia!  I grew up on 8bit & 16bit games.  I explored every nook and cranny of them.  It was at that age where the line between reality and fantasy hadn’t 100% cemented yet, and it felt like those worlds were infinite.  Those places felt real, like you could move in and become a part of them.  With 8BitMMO, I’ve tried to capture that feeling from my childhood and create a 8bit world where you really can become a character in the game.

8-Bit MMO - origin

Can you tell us about the character customization and being able to change so many things?

The project is an ongoing work in progress, and character customization is one of the areas that is in the works.  I just rolled out the first few items in character customization, including being able to change your color, or to choose a non-human race to play.  The first non-human race is the Zombie, which you can use to infect other players with Zombieism!  I’m also planning additional non-human races, as well as wearable clothing, for the near future.

Many people know the term “Sandbox” because of the game Minecraft can you tell us about the “Sandbox” aspect of your game?

In the game you’re free to build constructions of whatever you want.  Many players build houses, castles, even whole cities.  Often times players come up with new and interesting ideas – like building pvp arenas, or gauntlet courses.  It all takes place in one massive, persistent world.  Even just wandering around and checking out all the cool creations can be a lot of fun.

8-Bit MMO - town2

Now was this game made completely by you, can you tell us about the process and experience of making the game?

I started making the game around 2001, and have restarted development several times.  Most of the intervening time has been just me working on it on & off in my spare time, but late last year I left my day job to work on the project full time.  Before last year, I had experimented with a lot of different visual styles and engines, before settling on the current setup.  I like that it can now be played in browser, because it means many more players are willing to try the game since they don’t have to install anything.

Having the freedom to create and destroy is awesome in a world of MMO’s that make you march in line with everyone else. However, are you worried people can cause trouble in the game  as well with such freedom?

Fortunately, the town system greatly limits troublemaking.  When players create a town, they effectively own the surrounding area, and it cannot be tampered with.  The player can allow specific friends to build in their town, but otherwise they are safe from griefing.

8-Bit MMO - npc dialogue

With a lot of free to play MMO’s there is often al carte items that you can purchase that gives you an advantage. It is good to see there is no money advantage with this game. Did you consider adding special items that you could pay real money for?

There are several purchase-only items in-game, but they don’t give you any combative advantage over other players.  Players are able to enjoy the game without having to purchase anything — of course, I hope they will consider a purchase if they want to support development 🙂

Can you tell us about the NPC’s or Non Player Characters?

There are several NPCs in-game that will teach you the basics of how to play, or give you quests.  RobbyZ will teach you the basics of how to play.  Draco the Architect is a dragon who likes to build, and he’ll teach you how to use the construction system by giving you various quests.  Tutorial Zombie is a mercenary of sorts, and he’ll give you contracts to go out and kill the nefarious LawyerCats that plague the wilderness.  I am planning additional monsters & quest NPCs in future.

8-Bit MMO - edge shading

I asked earlier about giving people freedom and the possibility of griefing, however, there would be social consequences in the game if that happened correct?

Yes.  Griefers generally don’t have much success in their trolling, and they are generally shunned away from towns.  So it behooves players to be nice to others, or they’ll likely be playing alone.

Can you tell us about your video gaming background?

I’ve been in the industry for around six years now.  I got my start at Midway, then moved to Capcom, and then Microsoft.  I enjoyed working on some great titles with very talented folks while I was in the traditional industry, but I’m excited to now be a full-time indie.  It’s fantastic to be able to work on my own vision and interact directly with fans.

To play 8BitMMO, visit

Raptr’s Minecraft Give-a-way for XBL

raptr logo

Raptr is giving away 2,500 copies of Minecraft on Xbox Live for the Xbox 360 as part of their Raptr rewards program. Mojang’s award-winning game Minecraft will be available on Xbox 360. The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the game features an innovative new crafting interface, natural controller movements, a full tutorial mode to teach the basics, and an all-new split-screen multiplayer mode on Xbox LIVE.  It will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade on May 9, 2012 for 1600 Microsoft Points.


So if you are signed up make sure to log into your account on May 10th 2012 and check out the rewards section. If you are not a member of Raptr join today because the rewards will be offered on a first come first served basis.


Eligibility to redeem rewards will be based on games played and ranks earned on Raptr; ranks are determined by time played and achievements unlocked. The Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition reward is available in all Xbox LIVE regions listed at the following link:.  All rewards will be offered on a rolling first come, first served basis. More details about the reward and who is eligible to earn it, will be available on May 10, 2012.

Wolfenstein 3D Browser Edition

Wolfenstein 3D Browser Edition

Any PC classic gaming worth their keyboard knows and has played Wolfenstein 3D and to celebrate its 20th anniversary you can now play W3D in a browser. Here is the official press release:


We’re marking the 20th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D, the original, and now legendary, game that launched the first person shooter genre by releasing a free-to-play browser version of the game. You can now play the classic PC game directly in browser at: or on the Wolfenstein Facebook page at

Check out J.A. Laraque playing some Wolf 3D.

While you’re on the site, check out our Bethesda Podcast video featuring John Carmack, technical director of id Software, as he shares his insights into the creation and the development of Wolfenstein 3D while playing the game.

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Later today, (Bethsoft) will also be offering Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum, available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, free for a limited time. To download Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum from iTunes visit: this link.

Cool World

Cool World

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was an 8-bit home video game console that played host to dozens of licensed titles; that is, cartridges based on pre-existing licenses, such as movies or cartoon shows. These games were usually of sub-par quality, since the developer was typically just trying to turn out a quick game in order to profit on the fleeting popularity of the license itself. In this case, the developer was Ocean and the license was a movie (starring a young Brad Pitt, oddly enough) called Cool World. This NES video game was released in 1992, near the end of the console’s official supported life cycle.



The player controls protagonist detective Harris, who needs to collect five pieces of a map that shows the connection points between the real world and Cool World, a cartoon-infused weird doppelganger of Earthly reality. He is after a sultry woman named Holli, whose actions may cause the destruction of both realms. In order to do this, the player must play through four selectable stages in order to unlock the fifth, a tower in Las Vegas on which the Golden Spike is located, which has the power to save the worlds. Or something like that.

Harris is a monochromatically rendered little guy that jumps with the A button, moves as entered on the directional pad, and can use weapons by tapping the B button, but holding the B button makes him crouch. This is as silly as it sounds. The Start button pauses, and the Select button cycles through an on-screen selection of the weapons, such as the Pen, which has to be found in each level and can suck up enemies; the Eraser, which can be thrown in order to eradicate one enemy (and turn it into a life-restoring candy cane); and the Bomb, which is a special weapon that differs in each level, and is needed to defeat the boss.


The play control is not good. Harris is remarkably focused and cannot do two things at once. Three examples: He cannot use a weapon in mid-air while jumping; he cannot move diagonally at all, requiring movement in a cardinal direction at all times; and he cannot even use the Select button except when standing still. Thus, rather than create a fun, fast-paced, fluid gameplay experience, the entire ordeal is slow, stilted, and made more difficult than it really needed to be.

The level design is also very questionable. Some require puzzles to be solved, like on Main Street when the player needs to enter the Slash Club, but has to figure out that he has to blow the lid off a green trash can with a bomb, then push it to the left in front of the bouncers, in order for the smell to drive them away from the entrance. Another level is an unforgiving skateboarding level, with lots of one-hit kill opportunities, slightly reminiscent of that aggravating Great Wall of China stage from Bart Vs. The World. Yet another level has a latter part consisting of an enormous, vertically oriented straight-down tunnel that has to be relentlessly navigated. Often, a hidden room must be found; if it is not, then by the time the player reaches the boss, he or she will not have gained enough of the special weapon to defeat the nasty foe.

Overall, Cool World is an intriguing challenge at best. But the most damning aspect of this game is poor design, as though every development decision is made with no further thought or consideration of how it would actually play out. This is not among the all-time most difficult NES video games ever made, neither is it really among the very worst, but it is both hard and bad. In other words, it bads real hard, a phrase which makes just about as much sense as the premise of Cool World itself.



The year is 1992. Nintendo Entertainment System video games have been being produced for several years now, and have come a long way in their complexity, stylism, genre breadth, and overall general discoveries of how to stretch the console to its hardware limits. Cool World looks okay visually, and its graphics may actually be its highlight, but it is nothing outstanding for its era, and actually can be seen as evidence of Ocean’s laziness, given the potential for something more striking. Perhaps items like background repetition, palette-swap enemy types, and mindlessly drawn environments can be forgiven, though, in the face of such imaginative surroundings; then again, they were inspired by a movie, and stand merely as a meager attempt at capturing the spirit of the film, which itself was a below-average result.



The sound effects are lame and minimalist. Look no further than the mind-numbing “kssh” effect of the bartender’s bottles hitting the floor, over and over, in such dismal, monotone, uninspired fashion. Then there is the background music, which is amazing in its ability to sound like it has so much potential, yet end up only ear-grating. In all seriousness: Portions of this game sound as though they were actually, purposefully intended to annoy the player. Some of the tracks utilize that same annoying echo-synth layer used in titles like Micro Machines, which seems to only cheapen the quality of the music, not enhance it. A few quick piano-like ditties would usually add some respectability to a soundtrack, but not here, where they only serve as crescendo to an auditory world of hurt. The music never delves into any real depth, and ends up more of a nuisance than an enhancement.



The game is based on a movie, so the concept is not original. Some of the play scheme is interesting, like the item-switch function, yet is executed rather poorly, given the many superior iterations of the same function in prior games. Perhaps the most creative function is Harris using a pen to suck up enemies (yeah, it seems counter-intuitive, but there you have it), then finding empty ink vials to dump the ink into, which restores an amount of life respective to the number of enemies that were sucked up.

Overally, though, this is simply a poor game, and not fun, only worth a play-through for those seeking a quirky retro challenge. Cool World draws one and a half stars out of five.

Need For Speed The Run Review

Need For Speed The Run Shelby Mustang

Need For Speed The Run Review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“Need For Speed, Michael Bay Edition”

Overall Score:
8 out of 10
The Good:

– Pure action
– Think of this game as Gumball Rally and Cannonball Run meet Ronin.
– Music keeps the action pumping.
– Most cars that you would drool over are in this game; the problem is that many of them require a little grinding to unlock them. I enjoyed my 2nd playthrough more as a result of this since I had unlocked just about everything.
– Super customizable difficulty that you can change on the fly per race. Hardest difficulty is even challenging.
– Pure will make your computer and eyes orgasm eye candy.
– It actually feels like you are racing across the United States.
– Every girl in the game looks like a slut.


The Bad:
– Not the most realistic racing game.
– Most of the driving in this game would get you killed in real life, like instantly.
– Damage engine? Never heard of it other than super wrecks where there wouldn’t even be a finger left from the crash.
– Many races don’t make any sense. Yes, a Nissan 240Z would NEVER beat an upgraded Nissan GTR Skyline (the newest one), no matter if you drop over a million dollars of parts into it, in an open road race. YES, an Audi R8 will always beat a piece of shit Nissan 370Z. The list goes on…
– Ridiculous Nitro system where the more dumb shit you do the more Nitro you regenerate from air.
– Storyline written by porno writers.
– Quicktime events don’t belong in games especially racing games. This isn’t Dragon’s Lair!


Finally a Need For Speed game that’s as much fun as Need For Speed Underground (1).

The Interview: Tortured Hearts

Obsolete Gamer is always on the lookout for great upcoming games. We recently had a chance to look at the Tortured Hearts project. Here is information from their official press release.

Tortured Hearts logo 2


Zoltan Gonda, and Csaba Foris, both well known for the legendary Commodore 64 RPG “Newcomer™,” have teamed up once again to bring PC gamers another RPG which brings back the story and gameplay that won’t let you sleep until dawn. Supported by Lenore Hoehl, the team has already produced the full story in a development environment, including a crafting system, character development sytem and many more. Currently the team is at the funding stage via Kickstarter to move the project further on with the graphics, music and sound effects, voice-overs, and combat system.

Tortured Hearts™: Or, How I Saved the Universe. Again. is an epicly epic, satirical RPG, dedicated to the proposition that most RPGs take themselves far too seriously. Since almost every imaginable plot scenario and character has already been used and overused to the point that cliches are unavoidable, Tortured Hearts™ instead revels in pointing out that the life of adventurers is one endless heroic cliche, some sort of existential trap created by the gods of RPG worlds.

Tortured Hearts - Screenshot

Tortured Hearts™ is set in the unique custom world of Eupherea, where things are different. For example, the gnome race hasn’t yet been written out of the Big Picture. Celestial bureaucracy, which functions much like ordinary mortal bureaucracy, has a hidden hand in the affairs of things and especially in the lives of adventurers.

The PC is one of many seasoned and stereotypical adventurers seeking their fortune. But it bothers the PC to be a stereotype; he doesn’t want to be identified as another loot jerk. He’s jaded by the same old dungeons and fetching quests. Yet, wherever he turns, there are still the inevitable rats to kill, puzzles to solve, errands to run. He seeks thrills, but the thrill is gone. His own quest is to get a thrill out of life again.

Some quick facts about the game:

–          About 100-150 hours of gameplay.

–          200 areas

–          Over 500 NPCs / Over 100 quests

–          Single player game, with 8 possible companions.

–          Six playable races: human, elf, half-orc, halfling, dwarf, and gnome.

–          Character skills and abilities can be developed freely. There are no predetermined classes with built-in limitations, only trends which you can follow or not. A similar system was used in Newcomer, now perfected.

–          Combat will be turn-based

–          Highly replayable: Because many NPC interactions involve choices, there are many possible ways to get through the world.

–          Graphics: 2D/3D style compareable to animated cartoons.

–          A crafting system which will create saleable items and buffs.

–          A variety of companions who contribute in an interactive way with the PC, the NPCs and each other

Obsolete Gamer reported Jorn Asche had a sit down with the team behind Tortured Hearts.

Tortured Hearts - GUI_Mockup3

Please introduce yourselves a bit to our readers, not everyone might be familiar with the projects you’ve been in so far:

Zoltan Gonda – Lead designer and writer—has been making games since 1990. An early project was Newcomer(TM) for Commodore 64, which is still around. He worked for Digital Reality and Stormregion, game developers in Hungary, on several strategy games. He made two of the top community mods for NWN 1, Tortured Hearts I and Tortured Hearts II.

Lenore Hoehl – Writer and producer – Worked with Intension Games of Hungary and later with Zoltan Gonda to make several casual games. Lenore also worked with Zoltan Gonda on the NWN modules.

So there are lots of RPG’s out there. What are the main aspects of Tortured Hearts that makes it different from all the other games out there?

It is more intricate in its choices and plot progression. You cannot do all the quests in one play through, for instance. You will not be able to see all the responses of any one group of henchmen. There are multiple outcomes to quests as well as to the game as a whole. The art and the world are unusual and detailed.

Tortured Hearts - 3D Concept

Which setting did you choose for your game? Will it be more a fantasy setting or can we even expect elements of the real world in the game?

The game starts in a fantasy world of Eupherea and progresses to more fantastic locales. But the behavior of people individually and socially is understandable and like behavior everywhere; for instance greed, and stupidity, and hope are the same and expressed as they are in the real world.

The subtitle of the game is “Or how I saved the universe. Again.” Which role does the main character and his companions play in the game and are there several different endings of the game?

The protagonist and his companions are all very experienced and professional adventurers. They have “saved the Universe” any number of times because that’s what heroes do. Yes, there are several endings.

Does the world of Tortured Hearts “live”? Do people have a special time frame when they go to work, sleep or anything of that sort?

No, we tried that in the 1st NWN mod and it was too hard for all but the most dedicated hardcore player. However, the NPCs are walking around, talking and interacting with each other and objects, so areas look alive. Sometimes the NPCs will be “out” for the PC until a condition is set.

Tortured Hearts - 3D

On the Kickstarter page a turn-based combat system has been announced. Can you give us some details? Will there be boss-fights as well?

Of course there will be boss fights. Initiative in fights depends mostly on stats with a small random factor. The party grouping can be controlled by the player and their inventory accessed during combat. There are personal traits called Tactical traits which are taken on creation, including the companions, and these are either offensive or defensive, so a different party group will have a different mix of these feat-like qualities and this will make combat a little different in every game. In combat, the player can let the companions fight through AI or control them individually.

What will the character system look like? Will it be depend upon experience points or will there be event trainers in the game who you’ll need to progress further?

Characters will have skills and abilities and one tactical trait. The skills and abilities are dependent on experience points, abilities costing more than skills. Crafting depends on skills. One craft, Junk Art, requires an NPC to complete.

Will there be also a possibility to automate the character development for all those who would like to focus more on the fights and the story of the game instead of character development?

It could be done, although it seems like it would crippling rather than helpful. We can do anything on popular demand though.

Tortured Hearts - Screenshot-2

How many main quests can be solved and how many sidequests are in the game? How long will it take to complete the game?

There’s really only one main quest. There are more than 100 side quests, most of them optional. It will probably take a minimum of 30 hours to do the essential side quests that advance the plot, and over 100 hours to do as many as possible (some will be mutually exclusive, see #2)

How far has the game been already developed? What needs to be done next?

The story has been worked out. The areas have been laid out and the connections between them mapped and transitions planned. Simple convo cut scenes have been programmed. The conversations between the PC and NPCs, between NPCs, between companions have all been done and programmed. The quests have been written and programmed. Characters and items have been created. We are now working on the GUI. Next we will model the areas and import them to the game engine, then put in the placeable items and NPCs.

How much time did you invest in the project?

At least 6000 man hours over four years.

How can the costs for such a project be calculated?

By taking the jobs to be done times the cost of man hours to do them. This project will take more than 10 people working full time for at least eighteen months.

Tortured Hearts - 3D Concept 2

Can you give us a example of a similar project so we can relate the costs? I think many people might be curious first when they read at Kickstarter that you’d like to have $300,000.

Games are like movies, the cost can be very high for a studio. I don’t know how to answer that except to say that it’s often in the millions for a big game, and this might be underfunded at $300,000. On Kickstarter, you should also remember that all the money will come in a lump sum which in the US would be subject to between 25% – 30% tax if not offset by the end of the year; if it weren’t offset the total would be cut by that much, so collecting from Kickstarter at the end of your fiscal year could be a big, even ruinous, problem.

Also Kickstarter and Amazon take a 5% cut of the pledged amount, each, so there’s another $30,000 gone. Also, Kickstarter requires rewards, and pledgers like tangible rewards, this is a big cost to the developer too. Even if we only gave away digital rewards, like a game, at a low price, it would cut into our future market by giving the greatest fans, the ones most likely to buy it, a special low rate.

What will you do if you don’t get the money in the time between?

We are going to very thriftily use what money we have from other work to make a playable demo, which we think will convince people to support the project.

Tortured Hearts - Enviornment

Which versions of the game will be available? Are there plans for a special edition with printed map etc. ?

At the moment we are only planning for a digital release, due to the cost of tangible boxes and maps. In a future Kickstarter we plan to have things like maps as digital rewards; unless we get overfunded, tangible maps and books would be a huge expense. We might sell them from our website.

Are there special races that can be played and can you tell us somehing about the way it changes the gameplay?

The races are very typical: human, elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling, half-orc. No half-elves. The different races start with different attribute stats as in D&D. After that they can develop by XP in whatever way the player desires.

You can few their website here.

Also check out their Facebook page.

Here is a link to their Kickstater page.

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons - Intellivision - Gameplay Screenshot

Although the original Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) “board game” is designed to be played with paper and dice, it’s a natural fit for the world of video games. Its randomized encounters, tedious mapping, and turn-based combat practically beg to be computerized. Many old video games tried to capture the D&aD formula with varying degrees of success, but this Intellivision gem practically nailed it. A fast-paced, easy-to-play adventure, AD&D effectively conveys both the combat and exploration aspects of the original dice-throwing game.

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons - Intellivision - Gameplay Screenshot

Your journey begins on a sprawling map screen complete with mountain ranges, walls, forests, and your final destination: Cloudy Mountain. It looks like something from Lord of the Rings! As you traverse the wilderness you’ll stumble into a series of monster-infested dungeons. These caverns are randomly generated and contain oddly-shaped rooms – something you don’t see in old games. I love how the dungeons “draw in” as you roam, auto-mapping your progress. While searching for key items, you’ll encounter bats, spiders, rats, snakes, blobs, demons, and dragons.


It’s a shame these creatures are all really, really tiny. The demons resemble aliens (complete with antennae) and I mistook the dragons were bears! Another problem is how you can’t see an approaching monster until the thing’s practically on top of you. Be sure to listen for sound cues that signal when danger is near. You can shoot a limited supply of arrows, and it’s great how they actually ricochet off the walls! You’ll want to take advantage of this technique in winding hallways – just be sure the arrows don’t bounce back at you! AD&D’s controls are responsive, and you can even run one way while shooting another. Five difficulty levels are included, and even the easiest is no cakewalk. If one element of the original game is missing, it would be the complexity. There are only a few items, no treasure, and no magic. Still, AD&D is a fun, arcade-style quest that will probably surprise a lot of gamers.

The Video Game Critic rates games compared to other titles for the same system. The main criteria is how fun the game is, although control, graphics, and sound are also taken into account. You can view his other articles and review on his main website.

Trials Evolution

The much anticipated Trials Evolution has finally been released on XBox Live.  The sequel to the very popular 2009 title Trials HD, fans had high expectations for this motorcycle stunt game and will be pleased to learn it is everything it needed it to be.


Trials Evolution finds the perfect balance between rehashing the same formula from before and remaking the game to the point it loses the charm of the original.  The game instantly feels like the original in your hands but quickly stuns with amazing new graphic detail and personality.  Very few video games have ever successfully managed to make such a deep improvement while retaining everything that made the original popular as well as this one has.


Perhaps drawing inspiration from some of the user-created levels of the original, Trials Evolution uses obstacles and environments in far more creative ways than the original.  Even the earliest tracks have a more “extreme” feel to them while later tracks add elevators, moving cars and over-the-top explosions like never before.


Those that missed the original Trials HD will find quick tutorials to help them pull off various moves.  The Single Player levels increase in difficulty in a balanced manner and should provide players of all skill levels a fair level of challenge throughout.


The level editor mode has grown by leaps and bounds and comes in two flavors:  a basic mode and a more advanced editor.  Both versions allow for an exponential amount more than the original Trials HD editor did while somehow still managing to be easy to learn and use.  This feature alone makes the purchase price of 1200 Microsoft points a bargain.


The multiplayer mode provides the only real issue thus far.  At the time of this review, online matchmaking was taking several minutes at a time and would fail altogether on many attempts.  Once in a game, however, it ran flawlessly and could easily become a serious competition for many XBox Live fans.  Be aware if you lag behind the rest of the pack the camera will turn toward you once the race has finished, putting all eyes on your efforts to complete the track.  Hopefully the matchmaking issues can be remedied quickly.


All in all, Trials Evolution is easily the best XBLA game released in quite some time.  Such a deep gaming experience is rarely seen in a downloadable title and should provide hundreds of hours of play.  A must-buy for all gamers.


Mr. Gimmick box

So here it is, I was finally able to get a physical copy of this wonderful game and even though it doesn’t contain the special sound chip, I was able to enjoy the gameplay of a game like no other! Gimmick! is one of a kind and it’s the pick of this week!

Mr. Gimmick - Gameplay - Screenshot
The game is very simple. You are this toy, you can move, therefore you must beat the levels! At least, that’s what I could make up of it har har har….the game is not your average platformer. The game showcases the NES/Famicom graphics at its best. Sometimes you think you are playing a SNES game believe it or not. They bring the NES/Famicom to its limits and in some ways opened up new ones(sound chip).


The game tends to start very easy but after level three or so, you will be wanting to break your head open with its difficulty. I haven’t managed to finish the game myself even though my copy of Gimmick! starts you up with 30 lives. By level 3, I have already wasted half of those. I think I just need some practice.



The game is a treat to look at and will make you showcase the best of your skills all the way to the end so it’s highly worth it for hardcore retro gaming fans. The game is also very expensive so be ready to spend the big bucks for it or just be a cheap bastard and play the rom. Either way, pick it up and play! it’s Gimmick!


Cosplay: Avengers Assemble

This week’s Cosplay is dedicated to the awesome Avengers movie, if you haven’t seen it yet, go, it’s awesome. By the way, all these characters were in the Avengers comics at one time or another, trust us we looked it up to be sure.

You need to Grow Up

The title is fitting in a post titled, “Fappathon”, but this is about the idea that those who play games past a certain age need to grow up. Now with more and more people playing some form of games you do hear it less, but there are still many who see anyone past their low twenties playing a game and think that they need to grow up.

Sure, there are those who take it too far. If you are skipping work, neglecting your hygiene or health or your kids or education then fine. For most of us it is the same as watching television, talking on the phone or building a model airplane, (Do people still do that?).

Games are a form of entertainment just like anything else and one should not give it up because the reach a certain age. I think far too often we think becoming an adult means following the herd. Perhaps you were not made to be married with three kids, a crappy job and an angry wife by age 30. Maybe you will work in your office job playing PC games in your spare time and hopefully live a happy life.

No one should tell you how to enjoy your own time, again, unless you are hurting someone by doing so and I mean really hurting them. Your crazy girlfriend who thinks you should be spending your game time walking her pet cat Mr. Whiskers does not count. However, always remember to play with the pussycat or you won’t have a girlfriend for long.

Hold on to your balls my gamers and this goes for the girl gamers too who has that, one in a million weird boyfriend who hates on you for being a gamer girl. Dump him and call me, I co-own a gaming website. Seriously, though, everyone deserves to have the time to do what they enjoy and for many of us that is a video game. You don’t have to completely understand why we like it, we will never understand why you love Jersey Shore, but we hold our nose as we go in the next room so do us a favor and just do the same when we load up Diablo 3.

Now, on with the Fapp.


Panzer General

By the 1990′s, turn-based strategy war games had become highly specialized with a very thin customer base.  Most required a grognard’s ability to juggle multiple battle statistics at once, and had a limited visual appeal.  Then, in 1994, Strategic Simulations Incorporated (SSI) released Panzer General and the wargame genre transformed into a mass market product.

Panzer General game box

Panzer General game box.

Unlike real-time strategy (RTS) games, turn-based strategy games permit the user time to ponder their next move without having to press the pause button.  The drawback is that once you’ve committed your resources you must watch your turn – and your then your opponent’s – play out.  To state the obvious, chess is an example of turn-based strategy.

Typical combat screen in Panzer General

Typical combat screen in Panzer General.

Panzer General offered players both single scenario play, in which they could assume the role of an Allied or an Axis general, as well as a Campaign Mode, in which the player attempts to win World War II for Germany.  The campaign runs from 1939 to 1945, and as units gain battle experience, they become stronger, and the player (as general) gains access to upgrades and reinforcements – assuming they are victorious, that is.  If the player achieves their scenario objectives with five or more game turns to spare, it is considered a “Major Victory,” which unlocks further game elements.  Major Victories enable the player to alter history, such as invading Britain on the heels of victory in France, or even landing an invasion force in North America to capture Washington, D.C.

The invasion of Malta in Panzer General

The invasion of Malta in Panzer General

The game was published across several platform, including versions for the Panasonic 3D0 system, MS-DOS and Windows based computers, Sony PlayStation, and for the Macintosh.  It also spawned a plethora of sequels, including: the 5-Star Series (Allied General, Fantasy General, Pacific General, People’s General, and Star General), Panzer General II, Panzer General 3D Assault, Panzer General III: Scorched Earth, and Panzer General: Allied Assault.  Clearly gamers enjoyed wargames once again!

Furious combat in Panzer General.

Furious combat in Panzer General.

Panzer General was both well-reviewed and well-received by the gaming public.  Besides receiving high review scores from the critics, gamers just kept playing the game.  To this day, there are sites on the Internet devoted to this game, with hundreds of scenarios, new units, and even new features.  Mods are the fountain of youth for classic games, and Panzer General was no exception, as they managed to keep the game fresh and interesting years after its release.


Ultimately, the game’s fabulous gameplay coupled with its genre-changing aspect make it a classic retro game that every retrogamer needs to play!

Guerrilla War


Guerrilla War - SNK - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

Ah yeh, Guerrilla War, released by SNK in 1987, was the first game I played with a rotary joystick. Unlike Ikari Warriors where you had the joystick to move side to side and shoot, Guerrilla War allowed you to move your fighter and at the same time, rotate the gun to shoot in 8 directions !  This rotary “gimmick” seemed to work, as it was used on other games, notably, Heavy Barrel and Midnight Resistance.

                        Guerrilla War - SNK - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

The game is a 1 or 2 player survival shooting game, in the mould of Ikari Warriors. Play can be simultaneous or either player can join in at any stage during the game. The players have machine guns to mow down baddies and grenades to lob at them. Along the way, the players can also get into tanks and cause maximum damage (and get further into the game). There are bonus weapons too, when certain enemies are killed.

                        Guerrilla War - SNK - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

The freedom fighter, and communist leader connection was due to the original Japanese version of Guerrilla War, titled, Guevara. The Japanese game was based on the exploits of the revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the Cuban commy leader, Fidel Castro. Fearing extreme anti-Communist sentiments in the West, SNK did a regionalisation of the game’s dialogue and instruction manual for its US and European releases.

Guerrilla War - SNK - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

The game’s description was changed to: The country is struggling against the cruel domination of the king. The guerrilla leader and his comrades attempt to secretly land on shore, but the king’s military is waiting for them. Fight your way inland and attack the fortress.


If you want to play a superlative Ikari Warriors rip-off, then this is your game. The rotary joystick is a godsend, as it allows you to walk and shoot in all directions, causing absolute carnage. Go on, throw a coin in the slot, and play some Guerrilla War.

 Guerrilla War - SNK - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot - Cabinet

Manufacturer: SNK
Year: 1987
Genre: Vertical Scrolling Shooter
Number of Simultaneous Players: 2
Maximum number of Players: 2
Gameplay: Joint
Joystick: 8-way Rotary
Buttons: 2 [Fire and Grenade]
Sound: Amplified Mono (single channel)



King of Fighter I 2012 on the App Store

King of Fighters I 2012

Check it out retro gamers, you can pick up King of Fighter I 2012 for your iPhone on the App Store. Here is the official press release:

KOF-i 2012’s controls allow players to perform special moves and combos, and the game features a multitude of modes for thousands of hours of enjoyment and intense battle. In addition, game play experience is enhanced with the addition of new fight rules, previously available only in the PS3 / Xbox 360 version.

Along with the 20 characters in KOF-i, four new teams of characters are now available, including ‘ART OF FIGHTING’, ‘PSYCHO SOLDIER’, ‘KIM’, and ‘IKARI’ team, bringing the total number of playable fighters to 32. The game also includes six bonus background stages, including popular console stages Plaza of Snow and Blue Sky Open Café.

king of fighters i 2012- gameplay screenshot

In addition to multiplayer over Bluetooth, ‘Versus’ Battles in KOF-i 2012 can be enjoyed via Game Center, both in ‘Rank Versus’ mode, in which player ranking varies depending on the total number of victories and losses, and in ‘Friend Versus’ mode, where the player’s ranking is not reflected. Also new in KOF-i 2012, a new ‘Time Attack’ mode is available where players must win 10 matches as fast as possible, as well as additional features like ‘Ending Movies’ for each default team, new challenges, trading cards and illustrations.


THE KING OF FIGHTERS-i 2012 App is available for $6.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at Additional characters, including ‘NESTS-Style KYO’ and ‘IORI with the Power of Flames’ are available for $1.99 each through In-App Purchase.
For more information on theTHE KING OF FIGHTERS-i 2012, please visit the official site located at For more information on SNK PLAYMORE USA, please visit the official web site at

Neo Drift Out

Neo Drift Out (1996)
By: Visco Corp  Genre: Overhead Racing  Players: 1  Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: SNK Neo Geo MVS
Also Available For: Neo Geo AES & CD, Arcade (variation)

Neo Drift Out - Gameplay Screenshot

From around the early to mid-90’s the stagnating genre of overhead racing games suddenly saw something of a revival when lots of rally-based variations started appearing. Many companies made offerings but credit for this sub-genre can largely be given to Visco Corp. Their 1991 game, Drift Out, though frustrating and tricky to play, was one of the first games of this type and swapped the traditional overhead racing game viewpoint for a zoomed-in perspective which allowed for much more detail and longer, more complex courses. It wasn’t hugely successful but sufficiently so to give rise to two sequels. The first of these had the superb idea of shifting the viewpoint further still to an angled-overhead perspective and the game was much better as a result but it still had its problems. I’m hoping this sequel, using Neo Geo hardware, would attend to them.

Neo Drift Out - Gameplay Screenshot

One of the additions Drift Out 94 made to the original game was the inclusion of an official license for the available cars. While this game retains that license it unfortunately has fewer cars to choose from with your options being limited to the good old Evo, Impreza, and Celica. Each of them differs with regards to their speed, control, and body but it doesn’t really make a dramatic difference which one you go for. After you’ve selected a car you’ll get a short practise stage to race on before beginning the game proper. There are six courses in all – European, African, Snow, Southern Hemisphere, Scandinavia, and Great Britain – and they’re set over the kind of terrains you might expect to find – tarmac, gravel, dirt, snow/ice, and sand.

Neo Drift Out - Gameplay Screenshot

As with the prequel, each course has to be completed within a pretty strict time limit in order to qualify for the next one and they are arguably more testing than before too with regard to the sheer frequency of harsh corners. It seems every other turn here is a hairpin, right-angle, or chicane, and there are numerous short-cuts and obstacles as well. For example, the snow stage features slippy ice patches and course-encroaching snow drifts! Fortunately your car is more than sufficient for power-sliding around most of them, but impact with any obstacles or trackside objects knocks it around costing you speed and therefore time. Luckily nothing effects it too severely though. Much like real rallying, you’re racing against the clock rather than other cars directly but it is possible to catch up other racers (or be overtaken) if you’re good (or bad) enough!

Neo Drift Out - Gameplay Screenshot

The first Drift Out was fairly innovative for its time but it did have pretty frustrating gameplay. Luckily Drift Out ’94 did a lot to improve the basic formula of its predecessor but both were memory tests, and that remains the case with this Neo Geo update. That’s about all it is too, really – an update. Graphically things haven’t changed much, for one thing. In fact, I think I’d even say that the last game has slightly superior visuals to this one but there’s really not much in it. The previous game has a little more detail in its scenery but this game is noticeably faster which actually doesn’t make it more difficult, surprisingly, since the course designs here are a little more straightforward. The short cuts add some variety to each race too, but the accompanying music and sound effects are nothing special once again. Neo Drift Out is basically a faster version of Drift Out ’94 with less cars but different, and slightly less-confusing course designs, which basically means it rectifies none of its predecessors faults but creates no more either. It’s great fun though and is probably the most playable of the three Drift Out games, but not by enough to get an extra point!



Aquaria screenshot
Not every game can win an IGF Grand Prize (actually only one game per year can, and that’s ..uh.. not many games and definitely not every; yes) and only one game ever managed to grab the 2007 version of said illustrious prize. It was none other than Aquaria and happily this indie masterpiece is available, meaning you too, and yes that does indeed mean you, can grab a fairly priced copy here or download the incredibly hefty demo there.
Aquaria screenshot
Now, before going off downloading and/or wisely buying stuff, before even enjoying the sheer beauty of Aquaria‘s video teaser, better read a bit of the official word:

Aquaria was the winner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 2007 Independent Games Festival, features over 175 strange and wonderful creatures (including several massive and ancient “bosses”), 8 magical forms with unique abilities, 50 original music tracks, and over 2000 pieces of hand-painted 2d artwork.