Activision Classic Anthology available now for mobile devices

Retro gamers that like your classic gaming using your smart phone now have more choices for your gaming pleasure thanks to Activision Anthology. Check out the official press release:

Experience the best retro classic games from the 2600 era with the all-new Activision Anthology App for tablets and smartphones! Available for the first time on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices, gamers can play the original games that started it all. Activision Anthology gives gamers KABOOM!™  for FREE and access to 45 Activision and Imagic games including: PITFALL!™, RIVER RAID™, THE ACTIVISION® DECATHLON, BARNSTORMING™, STAMPEDE™, PITFALL II, ENDURO™, DEMON ATTACK, and many more!

activision anthology

Activision Anthology features multiple control schemes so gamers can choose a play style that suits them. Activision Anthology has Game Center and Facebook integration including leaderboards and achievements to share and compete with friends!  Players can also earn digital versions of the renowned Activision game patches offered in the 1980’s. Original cartridge and box art, game manuals, tips and strategies from the original game designers are also included.

Download some Activision nostalgia now!


Activision Anthology is available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android devices for free (includes Kaboom!). Players can purchase four additional bundle packs with 11 games each at $2.99 or collect all 45 games for a special limited-time introductory price of only $6.99.

Activision Classic Anthology

App Store Link:

Google Play Link:

My Favorite Games: Part 10

And so… we finally reach the end of My Favorite Games. As expected there’s lots of games I’m fond of that I couldn’t find space for, and I’m sure as Red Parsley wears on there will be many more to consider, and even replace some of the games already here. Nearly all these games come from my younger days and I enjoyed them all in their prime and continue to enjoy them now, but since the purpose of this blog it to help me discover older games I haven’t previously played, some new lists will undoubtedly follow. Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my lists as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Wiz n Liz – MegaDrive (1993)

Wiz n Liz - MegaDrive

Also released on the Amiga, this frantic platformer is not very well known for some reason, despite receiving decent reviews in its day. That never stopped me from playing it to death on my MD though, and I still do! This is also a good example of how games don’t need to be remotely violent to be great fun – aside from a few bosses there’s not a single enemy in the whole game! The object is to rescue all the rabbits that were stolen from the amusingly-named planet of Pum. Collecting rabbits releases letters and fruits which can be used to spell out and then mix magic spells, and they release various other items too. There is a huge variety of magic spells, each of which has a different effect – some give you bonuses, some are mini-games, others are just for fun. With fantastic graphics and music, this fast-paced platformer is a criminally under-played gem (which also offers simultaneous two-player action) and I can’t stop playing it!

Goldeneye 007 – Nintendo 64 (1997)

Goldeneye 007 - Nintendo 64

Yep, sorry, but I had to include it! This was pretty much the first FPS I played properly and what an experience it was! Being a fan of the Bond films didn’t hurt either. In fact, I had just watched the Goldeneye movie before I first played this and, having been used to terrible movie tie-ins generally, wasn’t really expecting much from it. To my amazement, however, not only was it amazingly playable but it also stuck to the plot of the film too. That was unheard of! This fantastic game represents many firsts for me, notably my first use of a sniper-rifle which was awesome, as well as probably the first game I’d played where stealth and cunning yielded more rewards than charging in all-guns-blazing like a bull in a china shop! Goldeneye is probably more famous for its multi-player deathmatches than for its one-player game but it was the latter that kept me playing this, even when I got stuck in the damn jungle level!

Soul Calibur
– Dreamcast (1999)

Soul Calibur - Dreamcast

Being a big Sega fan, not many games made me prouder of being a Dreamcast owner than this one. Stunning graphics (which actually improved on the arcade game) and a equally stunning soundtrack were the icing on the cake of this ground-breaking game from Namco. It had a lot of flashy moves which weren’t too difficult to perform, a great range of characters, and flawless combat physics, but my biggest surprise was discovering the Adventure Mode which saw you travelling around completing various missions to unlock many treats in the game! Many were hoping for a good conversion of this game. What they got was so much better than the arcade original it defied belief! This is still the finest 3D fighting game I’ve ever played.

Operation Wolf – Arcade (1987)

Operation Wolf - Arcade

Out of all my many visits to the arcades of Hayling Island in the late 80’s/early 90’s, this was the game that received most of my money. It was my first experience of a light-gun game, and it was a hell of an intro! An Uzi with grenade-launcher? Yes please! The force-feedback on the gun made things all the more authentic and I just loved playing this over and over, even if I wasn’t very good at it and never managed to complete it. No game of its type ever ensnared me like this did, until Point Blank of all things arrived! Shooting the helicopters and trucks was always particularly satisfying. Of all the home versions, only the Master System version was much cop, but even that didn’t offer the tense atmosphere of this fantastic original.

Sonic 2 – MegaDrive (1992)

Sonic 2 - MegaDrive

Last and not least… as a Sega fan I can’t possibly leave out a Sonic game, and as most will probably agree, the series never surpassed the second MD game. Released after a MAJOR hype campaign, this was one of the rare games that actually lived up to expectations. It took everything that Sonic 1 started and added a whole lot more – bigger, prettier stages and more of them, a new character in Tails, two-player action, those famous tunnel-based bonus rounds, a bigger challenge… Some of the later Sonic games were good but none of them were ever as endlessly entertaining as this one. Going back to play this makes me sad in a way as it marks not only Sonic’s peak, but arguably that of Sega themselves too. Oh well, let us Sega fanboys remember the good times – even Nintendo fanboys must’ve been jealous of this one!

The End…

Gamers Health: Gaming Injuries

You’d be surprised how hard it can be going from always playing on the couch to competing in a game of video dance off. ~J.A. Laraque

Gamers Health: Gaming Injuries

In our last Gamers Health article we talked about small changes gamers could make to be healthier. This time we talk about some of the injuries and health issues that can occur during or due to gaming. The first thing that came to mind is my friend and Obsolete Gamer writer, Ashley Brito who after years of gaming sometimes wears a brace on his wrist to protect it. Often changing how you game and taking breaks can prevent issues down the line, but sometimes you just have to deal with them after they occurred.

video game injuries

The US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reported that from 2004 to 2009 696 people were injured due to video games. Consider that is the number reported and counted as legit video game related injuries. How many of us have had back or wrist issues or other aches and pains due to gaming? Since then interactive motion games such as the Wii and Kinect has comes out leading to even more injuries not only of gamers, but of bystanders as well.

Repetitive stress injury is one of the most common health issues gamer’s face. Remember playing Mario Bros or Street Fighter for hours till your hands hurt? How about those 24 hour camps in Everquest for loot and your wrist begins to ache? It does not happen to every one and obviously the older you get the higher the chances you can sustain injury, but often simple measures can be taken to protect your body during game play.


Just try comparing a long gaming session to working out and you will be laughed out of the building, but just like an athlete a gamer needs to warm up before going all out in a video game. Stretching the fingers and hands along with flexing the wrist can help loosen your joints. These exercises can also be used during breaks in gameplay to relieve stress.

The same can be applied to motion games. Just because it is a video game does not mean it is not physical activity. If you are playing the Olympic Games on the Kinect and it involves a wide range of motion it is best to stretch and prepare your body for that activity. This is especially true for those who are not normally active. You’d be surprised how hard it can be going from always playing on the couch to competing in a game of video dance off.

For those of us playing computer games posture is extremely important. I remember on a message board people asked for a picture of World of Warcraft player’s computer stations. I was surprised to see people using hard wooden chairs or stools for their desk chairs. When working in an office you might see employers use ergonomic chairs. This is to try and protect the back and neck of employees who are sitting at their desks for long periods of time working. If you are a computer gamer or user of any kind the right back and neck support is vital to prevent pain and other chronic issues that can arise.


Believed it or not video games can strain the eyes. This can occur more frequently if the player is normally in a dark or dimly lit room with a bright computer or television screen. While you do not see it much now people use to buy visors for their computer screen to reduce glare and many swore it helped with eye strain. Today with so much going on in gaming one must pay even more attention to the screen and reading small text messages in games does not help either. However, taking steps like turning down the brightness, adding light to your room and turning away from your monitor to give your eyes a break are all ways to lessen eye strain.

In the past gamers used to talk about Atari Thumb or Nintendonitis. Classic gamers know all too well about getting blisters on their thumbs from playing games specially button heavy ones such as Track and Field. Years later the same injuries occur, but with knowledge we can treat and prevent many injuries and issues. Next time we will talk about the extreme health related issues and risks associated with gaming. Until then, tell us about your video game war wounds.

Alfred Chicken

Alfred Chicken

Overall Rating: 2/5 Stars


In 1993, an 8-bit video game cartridge called Alfred Chicken was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console. It was published by a company called Twilight; which, in retrospect, is not a good sign. The fact that the developer was Mindscape was not the best of signs either.



At face value, this is a two-dimensional, horizontally and vertically scrolling platformer puzzle game, in which the player controls a fowl; in this case, a chicken, through multiple levels in an effort to find certain items, all while engaging in precision-jumping challenges and engaging enemies in both battle and avoidance.

In these respects, Alfred Chicken is astoundingly similar to Kiwi Kraze, although Kraze (also known as The New Zealand Story) was released years earlier and, frankly, is a superior cart.

That being said, in Chicken, Alfred must progress through five stages. In each, the goal is to find and peck (by pressing Down) all the balloons. A count of remaining balloons can be given by pressing Start, which also shows how much time is being taken and how many points have been scored. Alfred jumps with the A button and, while in midair, can go into a corkscrew beak-first dive bomb by holding the Down button, which is his primary method of defeating foes and busting ice blocks. Holding the A button is midair slows his descent.


There are doors to travel through, which access different areas of the stage, usually going back and forth between a “main” portions. Some enemies can be defeated outright, while others, like the black spiky balls that tend to move in a circular pattern around a green thingy, must merely be avoided. There is a definite emphasis on precision-jumping puzzles, with many spikes to avoid, little hops to make, even springs to bound off of with careful timing of another A button press.

But there are also items to find, which is where the already-odd game begins to get truly bizarre. For example, there is a watering can hidden on every stage, which by collecting earns a 1-up if the player completes the stage. Why a watering can? This is never explained, and seems like an arbitrary, even random designation.

In fact, the entire fricking video game seems completely whacked-out crazy random and arbitrary. Each stage has a loose theme in its graphical presentation, but the variance is insane, from a building blocks level to a book-and-boards area to a science-fiction zone. In between beating stages, Alfred may fly through a blue “space” field to gather bonus-point treasure box items, or fight a “Meka Chicken” in a strange static-screen shooter mode, complete with an enemy health bar and the sudden capacity to fire bullets. There are even a couple underwater portions, which themselves include parts where Alfred must dodge robotic miniature whales.

Oh, but do not forget the occasional wall that can be walked through, the spinning pink feather item that must be gathered from a jumping box as the only way to break certain blockades, toggle switches that make certain block groupings appear or disappear for which the player must figure out the correct pattern in certain cases, the egg in a cup that provides a 1-up when touched and hatched, the snails that may fire a cannon from their back or simply transform into a spiky statue, and the growing unease that perhaps this bizarre game is the result of a bad acid trip, meant to be played while very drunk and/or very high.



The visuals are not awful, but they lack a certain polish. In a way that is difficult to describe yet obvious the moment you see it, the art used is very “flat,” lacking outlines or layers, giving the human player a “washed-out” sensation for everything. All this, despite the fact that the game prides itself on not having a big single color for its backgrounds, instead plastering little stars and crap across the canvas of the levels. Another instance: The first stage’s color sample is in a yellow and brown theme, even though Alfred himself is yellow and brown, and the whole event just feels stale and yucky.



The sound effects are barely there, and the music? Torturous. Utterly, phenomenally unenjoyable. The same theme plays throughout each stage, and it seems specifically engineered to be thoroughly upsetting and disturbing. Like a carnival tune played off-key, or a carousel spinning slightly too fast, or a too-young child at his or her first violin recital, the background music is the stuff of nightmares. Stay far away. Your ears will thank you. This is, truly and genuinely, among the very select few NES video games that is actually better when muted.


This is the ultimate rental game: If you are not a collector, just a player, you will try this only to realize that you would be very okay with not owning it. It is not a staggeringly horrible game; in fact, some of the puzzle design is clever (like the spring that bounces you into instant death on a downward-facing spike on the ceiling if you are not careful), and it is perhaps maybe potentially possibly creative, but it is short, lacks replay value, and just seems to be aggravating, annoying, and bothersome throughout.

The utter randomness, brain-numbingly bad music, and short length combine to make this a slightly less-than-average game. Really, it executes smoothly and clearly plays according to the developers’ plans. But does it have to be so frantically mind-screwy? Again: Kiwi Kraze is better. This one, Alfred Chicken, gets two and a half stars out of five.


Ugh, that music. Forgive my casual, informal, brief first-person rant, but even as a reviewer who does not usually place much rating weight on a game’s soundtrack, usually just seeing it as a peripheral feature and not a deciding factor – if this game had better music, I would rate it a half-star higher. I am not even kidding. The music is bad enough that it makes the game definitively, quantifiably worse. I hate it. Some NES games are already bad, so the bad soundtrack is to be expected, but this, this abomination, this has no excuse that would be as convenient. Argh.

Crystal Castles

I usually praise developers for bringing me something unique, and this game can be categorized as such…or maybe “odd”…”weird”.

Crystal Castles - Gameplay screenshot

A 1983 Atari product, Crystal Castles is a game that stands out. From its crazy-detailed cabinet art to its glow-in-the-dark trackball, you wouldn’t be able to miss this in any arcade. But, how does it play? The “Crystal Castles” are 40 isometric levels given a 3D look. You play as a goofy-looking bear wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers. Throughout the pathways of the castles are scores of gems and jewels. Your mission is to collect them (for points) as quickly as possible. The trackball moves you around and there is a jump button, as well. To reach the different levels of the screen, you’ll use ramps, stairs, elevators, and secret passageways.

Crystal Castles - Gameplay screenshot

To stop you in your mission are a multitude of creatures: There are wormy things that eat the gems, taking points from you. You can avoid them or (only while they’re eating) run into them, which kills them. There are killer trees (that chase you?!?), which if jumped over will freeze them for a short time. Also, skeletons and ghosts, which should be avoided. One of the bonus items you may capture for points is a pot of honey, but you’ll have to watch for the swarm of bees protecting it. Lastly, every so-many levels is an ugly Witch (I think these are her castles from which I’m stealing), who you can avoid, but will probably need to kill because she’s hanging around gems you’ll need to complete the level and move on. So….there’s this silly little hat that you can find and put on, making you invulnerable for a short time…and the only way to kill her.

Crystal Castles - Gameplay screenshot

As you can see, this game is a little f’ed-up, but it has quick, intense gameplay. The levels will be more difficult as you progress (as usual), but there are “cheats” in form of level-warps, if you choose to use them. A couple of neat additions to the game: Whenever you get killed, a word balloon pops over the bear’s head, usually a comic-book curse word (#$^!). Also, the importance of being careful on each level, but still having to maneuver quickly. As you delay, your gems are being eaten, costing you points…and there are bonus points for who/whatever grabs the last gem. If a creature gets it, you’ll go to the next level, but lost out on the bonus.


I do find it odd that the bear’s motivations are stealing money, and the honey is a bit of an afterthought….and why does he need to wear clothes on his feet and head? It’s hard to tell, but he may actually be wearing a thong. Also, why would the Witch ever want to stay at her castles when they’re clearly overrun by ghosts and goblins? There is also an actual ending to the game, which I’ll never be good enough to see (lack of continues). But, if someone knows what it is, please let me know. This was truly a lot of fun, and will always get my recommendation if someone is looking for a “different” kind of retro game.

Overall 9/10

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass

Adventure gaming has covered a staggering variety of themes, plots and characters, has toyed with a multitude of ideas and has come up with some truly wild stories, but has never dabbled with professional wrestling. Well, not until Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass (and admittedly it’s less known prequel) it hadn’t, for the latest Wadjet Eye Game and Icebox Studios release does indeed enter the ring of b-grade professional wrestling (with its eyebrow emphatically raised) and points and clicks its way to gaming victory.
Da New Guys - Day of the Jackass - gameplay screenshot
Now, truth be said, ever since I reached the mature and enlightened age of 10 I’ve discovered that wrestling is simply not for me and moved on. It was far too silly and not funny enough to keep me interested, a fact that makes the achievements of Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass all the more important, as it effortlessly and despite an overburdened schedule kept me glued to the monitor for hours. Also, I laughed.
Being a sequel of sorts to 2004 indie darling Da New GuysDay of the Jackass is a traditional point-and-click adventure sporting some decidedly non-traditional protagonists and a delightfully dry sense of humour. It plays with its plot, distorts its setting and actually comes up with an enjoyable story that serves its gameplay well.  Brain, you see, the worst and most irritating brawler in wrestling has won the title belt and gotten himself promptly kidnapped. It is thus up to his mates, tough-guy Simon and soft-spoken Defender, to rescue him.
This of course is easier said than done, as this game not only looks old fashioned, but actually plays the old fashioned way, meaning that, yes, it is indeed tough. Da New Guys took me hours to beat and, unlike most recent adventures, actually demanded I consulted a walkthrough and even used a pen to note and sketch stuff. It can actually be difficult to the point of frustration and at times overtaxes ones ability for lateral thinking.
Da New Guys - Day of the Jackass - gameplay screenshot
Still, after the first relatively subdued yet difficult act of the game is over, Da New Guys reveals what it’s really made of and that’s a huge variety of taxing, innovative, fresh and fun puzzles. Yes, they are tough, but not all games need to cater to all tastes. What is after all the point of being indie if you are afraid to take a few risks?
As for the game’s graphics, well, they too are a matter of personal taste. They are far too idiosyncratic to please everyone, but they definitely have a certain charm, are very well animated indeed, and do grow on you. Besides, we adventurers do appreciate consistency, depth and production values and Da New Guys is bound to please the hardcore gamer hiding inside you and me reader.
Oh, and it’s got a lovely soundtrack and sports some excellent voices too. The included achievements and unlockable art should also be considered signs of care and affection for a truly unique project.

Verdict: A great adventure game that successfully and hilariously challenges the hardcore point-and-clicker.

Nintendo Power: Reaction to the end of the long running magazine

Reports that Nintendo Power magazine was shutting down popped up like popcorn a week ago, bringing both old school and modern Nintendo fans to reminiscence about the long-running publication.

Nintendo Power Magazine

The first issue of Nintendo Power appeared in the summer of 1988, featuring a miscolored clay model for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. 2 on the cover. The magazine ran every other month for a while, eventually becoming a monthly publication and the best source for news on upcoming titles for the then-dominant Nintendo Entertainment System.

The full-color publication contained a variety of game previews, a section where gamers could request help on their toughest game challenges, tips, tricks and detailed maps for just about every release, contests, game rankings and even a high score chart where the world could race to be the first to max-out the high scores on NES titles.

Nester - Nintendo Power Magazine

I remember these days very fondly. I can still remember reading through that first issue three or four times that first night alone. Back in these days we didn’t have the internet to give us instant news nor were the other video game magazines on the market particularly timely. Nintendo Powerwas a literal treasure trove for a Nintendo-obsessed youngster such as myself, and I miss the feeling of anticipation of each new issue. I couldn’t wait to read the newest previews, try the latest tricks and tips and even to see if Howard ever gave Nester a little respect.

I subscribed to the magazine for the entire first four years and continued to check it out on newsstands ever since. Even though Nintendo no longer held direct control of the magazine in recent years, Nintendo Power still held true to it’s roots and still felt ‘right’.

Nintendo Power Magazine

“The passing of an era,” said New Jersey television producer Dave Bullis. “I remember reading it since childhood. It’s not just the passing of Nintendo Power, but the end of physical print and the closing of a childhood memory. The best memory I have is the Goldeneye issue. It made me really excited for the game.”

Another longtime fan learned of the news just hours after renewing her subscription.

Nintendo Power had a huge impact on my interest in gaming,” said Seattle gaming vet Elizabeth ‘Ebo’ Hanning. “I have roughly a few hundred issues of the magazine dating back to some of the early copies. The best part of Nintendo Power was that the helpline was a local number, so I could call without my parents getting angry.”


Some reports state the publication may be done outright while others state that Nintendo Power may continue as an online-only publication. Either way it is the end of an era, especially for us long-time fans.

Weird Games: Katamari Damacy


Forget the big bang theory or intelligent design, the world was made by rolling a big ball of junk together and creating stars. Well, at least that is how the cosmos is recreated after it is destroyed. Katamari Damacy is a mix between a puzzle game and an action game as you play a prince who has to collect various fallen parts to recreate the cosmos your father, King of All Cosmos destroyed.


How did the moons and stars get destroyed? By binge drinking of course. After this event you have to roll around a magical ball called a Katamari that collection objects that will allow you to create a star once it becomes large enough. The game was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004 and was created as a result of a school project affiliated with Namco.


Along with the main story there is a side story about a family whose father is an astronaut and as a result of the drunken destruction of the King is unable to go to the moon. Meanwhile his daughter can sense that the prince is trying to recreate the cosmos, but in the end they all get rolled up in the Katamari to make the moon. What a twist!


The gameplay is simple, but can get frustrating. The idea is to collect items smaller than the ball, but there are larger objects that can hit the ball knocking off your collected items and slowing your progress. The goal is to collect enough items to grow your ball large enough and turn it into a star. There are secrets to be found in the game as well as a two player mode that has you fighting to see who can collect enough objects first. The game also features a great soundtrack, so as weird as it might be it is worth checking out.




This week’s video review features the 1991 platform game, Cadash. Developed and published by Tatio, the gameplay combines the elements of the traditional role-playing game with that of a platformer. The game features sword and sorcery and is set in a medieval fantasy world where powerful demons and abominations who at one time walked among humans, were banished to the underworld below Cadash. A powerful wizard named Balrog has arisen to take revenge on the humans and return to the overworld.


The Top 5 Sega Genesis Accessories

The Sega MegaDrive - The First Genesis

The Sega MegaDrive – The First Genesis

The rise and rule of the Genesis system led to some nifty accessories.  Here’s five of the coolest accessories that gamers could add to their Sega Genesis:

EA Sports 4-Way Play

EA Sports 4-Way Play

4-Way Play
EA Sports have been making sports-related games for decades, and back in the day Sega Genesis titles were where you went to get your Madden or NHL fix.  But many sports are team games, so Electronic Arts developed the 4-Way Play accessory. This handy little device allowed up to 4 players to play their favourite EA Sports games, so you could have a gamer Super Bowl party, complete with a little pre-game Genesis warm-up!

The Genesis Game Genie by Galoob

The Genesis Game Genie by Galoob

Game Genie
Some Genesis games were hard to beat.  Really hard.  (And some ridiculously easy, but I digress.)  Game Genie by Camerica/Galoob to the rescue!  All you had to do is pop the Genie into the Genesis and insert your game cartridge into it, enter the right code for whatever cheat you wanted, and the game suddenly became a lot easier!  (And you could use the Genie as a country converter cartridge for most games, too – but not officially…)


The Sega Channel by General Instrument

The Sega Channel by General Instrument

Sega Channel
Long before Internet online games, Sega came up with the idea to offer games by download.  This little box attached to the Genesis and to the cablevision line.  Players paid a monthly service fee to get access to unlimited access to 50 or so games, plus limited previews of new releases, as well as special versions of fan favorites.  The service is long gone, but still remembered fondly!


The Sega Power Base Converter

The Sega Power Base Converter

Power Base Converter
Before the Sega Genesis was a hit, there was the Sega Master System.  Although it never reached the market share dominance that the Genesis did, there were quite a few games and consoles sold.  Rather than tossing out the old games (like Phantasy Star!) gamers could pick up the Power Base Converter, which attached to the Genesis and allowed those SMS games to be played on their new Genesis.  8-bit gaming goodness on their new 16-bit gamer powerhouse!  Gamergasm!

Sega CD Accessory - Top and Side Mounts


Sega CD Accessory – Top and Side Mounts

Sega CD
If you had the cash, the Sega CD was a must-have accessory.  It came in two designs, a CD-player style for the older Genesis systems, which stacked on top of each other, and a top-loading style for the new Genesis systems, which acted as a base and the Genesis inserted into its side.  (The Nomad would be released later.) Some of the best games for the Genesis were released on CD-format, including Lunar: The Silver Star, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, and Earthworm Jim.  Now that’s quality retro gaming!

Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories

Yu-Gi-Oh!_-_Forbidden_Memories-PS1-Gameplay screenshot

In commemoration to my return to playing the good old never ending confusing Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, I decided to dig this game up and talk a bit about it. This game is one of the first to be released here in the states when the crazy Yu-Gi-Oh! trend took off. Believe it or not, I though that the rules of this game were also the same rules for the trading card game and I was real wrong. It was funny to play this game for a while and then pick up a deck and play with those rules. It did made things interesting but I guess there was some satisfaction in summoning a Blue Eyes White Dragon with no sacrifices needed. Also, the rule of having five cards at all times in your hand made the game very interesting to play but uneven in many ways.

Yu-Gi-Oh!_-_Forbidden_Memories-PS1-Gameplay screenshot

But enough about old embarrassing memories, the game itself does play in very confusing fashion and it’s nowhere similar to the card game so for those of you who know how to play the card game, forget those rules and listen to this. Each monster contains elements which you can combine to give you advantage over other monsters. It’s like when a type of monster is stronger than the other one like in Pokemon. You have to fuse your cards together to obtain stronger monsters. You can also use magic cards and trap cards. The rules on this game though only lets you use one card from your hand per turn. That means you can either fuse a bunch of monsters together or use a magic card, or set a trap card. This gives you a lot of headaches especially when you don’t know what the effects of some cards are. Believe me, you’ll be as clueless as I am.



To conclude, the game is not that long and it’ll only take you a short time to master these rules and gather the cards you need to create a real strong deck to defeat the pharaoh. You can also add cards from your deck(From the real early sets) To the game and use them in your duels for a great advantage. I suggest getting a Blue Eyes White Dragon in there. Make sure you duel with style because your duels will be measured according to how good you dueled. Overall, this is a very interesting game to pick up for the trading card aficionado, and one for those who don’t care about the card game at all because believe it or not, you don’t need to know the rules to play this game. Until next week!

The SteelSeries Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard Review


Back in 2008, Denmark based computer peripheral company Steelseries acquired American computer peripheral company Ideazon; and with it, most of their products. One of those products was the Stealth Merc keyboard. The Stealth Merc was released in 2007, but it is still considered one of the best gaming keyboards on the market today, and after a few weeks of intense gaming with it, I can see why.

Steelseries has an almost neurotic attention to detail in all of their gear, and the Merc is no exception. From the moment you pick up the box you realize how much this thing weighs, at least five pounds. It’s also on the large side, 21 inches across to be exact, so you will want to make sure it fits on your computer desk.



What makes the Merc Stealth stand out from the competition is the integrated “gaming terrain” located on the left side of the keyboard. There are 34 keys which represent all the keys on the left side of the keyboard (the ones most commonly used for gaming). They even tilted the keys at an 11 degree angle which was found to be the natural position for gaming. It was extremely easy to get used to, and after playing Tribes: Ascend for about 10 minutes I couldn’t imagine going back to the old way.  Also, the W,S,A,D, Shift, Ctrl, and Jump buttons, are rubberized; a nice touch!  The keyboard is backlit with three color choices (Blue, Red, and Purple), with brightness settings. You can also opt to have no illumination, but, you won’t.

To keep the size of the keyboard down, they have integrated the arrow keys, along with other keys normally located in the center of the board, to the number pad. If you want to use the delete key, for example, you have to turn off num lock. That being said, if you are someone who uses their computer for data entry, you won’t be buying this product anyways.

The keyboard is meant to be used hand and hand with their “Z engine” software. Z engine is a program that has preloaded gaming profiles that take advantage of the gaming terrain. There are about 180 profiles spread across three categories; FPS, RTS, and Shooter. I found it very easy to use, and it runs in the background taking up virtually no resources. That being said, even with the new updates, I found the preloaded profiles to be very dated.  Looking over the list, I believe Far Cry 2 was the newest title, and that was released in 2008. This really is not a big deal, though, since the default profile makes all the keys on the gaming terrain a copy of what is on the normal qwerty side of the board. Also, it is very easy to make your own profile for any game you choose. It would be nice to see Steelseries update their software with newer game profiles though.


At first glance, I will admit the gaming terrain layout appeared like a bit of a gimmick and that I would probably go back to using the tried and true WSAD keys after only a few gaming sessions. I am pleased to say that I was wrong. I never knew how comfortable computer gaming can be! Aside from some outdated software, and pretty hefty size, I cannot find a single flaw with the Stealth Merc. It looks great,  and it feels great. I only wish I had this keyboard back in the days of the non-stop 48 hour LAN party. Consider this writer, officially spoiled!

You can pick up out the Merc Stealth Illuminated Gaming Keyboard for $89.99 on the Steelseries website.

Arcade Classics: What happened to them all?

It is easily the most common question I get when I chat with anyone about the classic arcade games of the early 1980s. What happened to them all?


They remember those days just as I do. Video arcades were commonplace and practically every type of business out there had arcade games in them. I remember seeing a Defender in the window of a flower shop, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga machines at the local Denny’s and entire gamerooms in select 7-Eleven stores. These machines were literally everywhere.

Over time a number of these machines have ended up in homes, mostly as an addition to a rec room or something fun in the corner of the garage. A smaller number of home collectors are deeply dedicated, some with dozens or even hundreds of machines. In recent years, arcades and taverns with classic themes are popping up around the country, giving an extent of new life to a bygone era.

Atari Football

What most casual and even many die-hard classic arcade fans don’t realize is that the vast majority of machines from the early eighties arcade boom are long gone from the planet. While games such as AsteroidsSpace InvadersPac-Man and Donkey Kong set arcade sales records that still stand today, most did not survive.

Today I provide some insight into why. While none of this is going to cover things in depth, it is going to touch on the basic answers to that common question.

The Great Video Game Crash

Atari Pole Position

While it is becoming a hardly known legend to the younger generations of gamers, the entire North American video game industry crashed hard in 1983 and 1984. The arcade market and home console markets crashed for different reasons, with the coin-ops dropped off first. Things slowed in the summer of 1982 and went into a free-fall the next year, due in large part to oversaturation of the marketplace and aging equipment.

By 1984, a great number of arcade operators had gone out of business. Those that survived had significantly smaller operations and routes. The vast majority of arcade machines seen in non-arcade businesses were never owned by those businesses but rather by vendors who installed the machines in those locations for a cut of the revenue.

Operators were stuck with huge inventories of machines nobody wanted to play anymore, and with almost everyone forced to scale back operations, most older machines had no resale value or potential buyers. Everyone had enough Scramble and Galaxian machines gathering dust in a warehouse already.


So they trashed them.

Many machines were gutted for useful parts such as monitors and coin doors then had their cabinets smashed, burned or taken to a landfill. Others were left to rot in abandoned warehouses, sheds or fields.

This practice actually still continues today. Me and a friend came across an antique store a few years ago that had obtained a few trailers of early eighties machines. Thinking they had no value they left the open trailers outside and smashed up entire machines until they’d filled their dumpsters. By the time we got there, we found pieces of games such as Donkey Kong Junior andCentipede in the trash and the machines still in tact had been rained on so much they were falling apart.

While there are hobbyists who restore classic machines scattered across the country, it is commonplace for them to use several machines to complete one full restoration, trashing the rest.

Conversions, Multicades and MAME

Mame arcade cabinet

Most classic arcade machines that didn’t end up as scrap were converted into newer game titles, and still are today.

The first successful conversion kit game was Mr. Do! in 1983, starting a trend that helped operators survive at least a while longer. For a far lesser price than a full arcade machine, vendors could purchase kits with new electronics, graphics and sometimes wiring which was used to turn that old Qix or Berzerk machine into a brand new game title.

While most arcade manufacturers resisted this trend as long as they could, they were forced to change with the times and start offering kits to operators. Some, such as Nintendo and Atari, began to produce kits designed to specifically convert their older titles.



This trend continued through the middle of the decade but slowed for a time in the late 1980s. A bit of a resurgence in the arcade market came along with the rebirth of the home console industry during this time, and dedicated machines of newer hit titles began to sell once again. Most converted machines were simply converted again to newer titles for street locations.

The next big period of conversion mania came with Street Fighter II in 1991 and 1992. This game earned so much money so quickly that many operators quickly bought kits for every arcade cabinet they had in storage. Years ago I met an operator that literally converted every remaining early 80s machine he had to SFII when it was hot, and remember locations with classic machines such as BurgerTime and Front Line that they converted at this time.

Donkey Kong 3

In recent years the conversion mania has continued in two forms. Over the past decade an influx of overseas knock off boards often dubbed as “Multicades” have made their way into North America. These bootleg boards contain dozens and sometimes hundreds of games. Many arcade machine resellers have gutted surviving classics in favor of converting them into these multi-game machines in the name of making a buck.

Other home collectors have built arcade machines based on the MAME emulation program. While some of these MAME fans have built their arcade rigs from classic cabinets that were already stripped or converted beyond reasonable restoration, others have posted blogs where they show their process of gutting a surviving arcade machine to build it into a computer-based conversion.

Several arcade conversions have appeared on these popular treasure-hunting television programs in recent years, often without the people on the show seemingly aware of it. An episode of Pawn Stars saw someone bring three “Japanese Arcade Games” into the Las Vegas shop, two of which were conversions from Defender machines. The Ms. Pac-Man machine that appeared on an episode of Auction Hunters was actually a conversion of an original Pac-Man machine, a cabinet that is similar but quite different in many ways as well.

Arcade Passports Required

Ms. Pac-Man

Classic-era arcade machines that weren’t trashed, left to rot or converted may not reside in the country at all anymore. Several people in southern states have confirmed to me in the past that they have shipped and sold entire box trucks of older arcade machines to Mexico.

The current world record holder on Taito rarity Zoo Keeper had his machine shipped to his Australia home from the United States.

Preservation is Key


At the present time it seems that the number of people who’d rather turn a retro arcade machine into a Multicade or MAME machine far outnumbers those who would rather try to restore them into their former glory. It is a long and often expensive task to do so.

However, these machines are pieces of pop culture and video game industry history. Just as memorabilia from films, television and various sports have seen efforts to save and preserve their history over time, video games are finally starting to see signs of a preservation effort.

The efforts of groups such as Southern California’s Videogame History Museum and New Hampshire’s American Classic Arcade Museum should be noted for being among the first in the country to take serious steps in this direction as well as many individual collectors across the country such as New Jersey’s Richie Knucklez and Cat DeSpira in the Pacific Northwest.

In time, such efforts may turn the question from “What happened to them all?” to “Did you see all that are left?”

Hard Driving

Hard Driving

With a plethora of terrible games out there, I thought the decision would be quite easy. Little did I realise, I found myself struggling to come up with one bad game that truly grated my retro gaming nerves. I could write about how terrible ET was for the Atari 2600, but I thought that everyone already knew that. Then, a light bulb went off in my head ! Why not write about a game that promised so much and delivered so little – Hard Drivin’ on the C64. Get your vomit bag out and read on……

Hard Driving - Gameplay Screenshot


Format: Commodore 64
Year: 1989
Publisher: Tengen
Developer: Domark

Don’t be fooled by the “C+VG HIT” on the cover of this game. This game was more of a miss than a hit. Originally released in the arcades in 1988 by Atari Games, Hard Drivin’ was a revolutionary coin-op. It was touted as the world’s first authentic driving simulation. The game featured state-of-the-art polygon graphics and realistic force feedback controls, all designed to offer gamers a sense of what it might be like to sit behind the wheel of a high-performance car. So how do you convert this sense of driving, to an 8-bit system and still make it playable ?

Hard Driving - Gameplay Screenshot

Well, in hindsight, you can’t. This conversion was an absolute catastrophe on the trusty C64. It featured hideous monochrome graphics, and the control system was a joke – any slight pressure on the joystick, and your car would instantly veer out of control.

The other frustrating aspect of the game was the sense of speed, or lack thereof. Driving at 140mph felt like my grandmother could walk faster with her walking frame. Perhaps the speedometer was measuring speed in hours-per-mile.

Hard Driving - Gameplay Screenshot

Did I mention the graphics ! It is absolutely laughable when seeing oncoming traffic – it looks like a flying double bed coming at you at a snail’s pace. Embarrassing as this game is, it was never released as a standalone game, nor at full price ! Perhaps the publisher knew it was a pile of stinking poo.


In a nutshell, this C64 conversion offered the gamer to drive a painfully slow and uncontrollable vehicle around a bland and ugly looking world. This title easily wins the award for the worst C64 arcade racer ever, period !

GraphicsAs close to hideous as possible. Prepare your visual cortex for an ugly onslaught


SoundYour ears will be begging you to stuff plugs in them


PlayabilityNo sensation of speed, bland and utter ugly track design. You will stop playing it after a few seconds


LastabilityYou will turn off this game faster than you can say “This is crap!”


OverallHard Drivin’ on the C64 wins the turd ribbon for being exactly that, a stinking turd


Gamescom Cosplay

This week we look at some excellent cosplay from Gamescom. These are various pictures from throughout the different years Gamescom has been around. What is Gamescom?  Gamescom is a trade fair for video games held annually at the Koelnmesse in CologneNorth Rhine-WestphaliaGermany. It is organised by the Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software).

It is used by many video game developers to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware. Gamescom is the World’s largest games event with 275,000 visitors, more than 5,000 journalists and 557 exhibitors from 39 countries attending the show in its third year. It was first held from 19 to 23 August 2009. Gamescom 2012 is held this year from August 15 to 19. It is held on a 120,000 square meters area.


The Adventures of Lolo

The Adventures of Lolo

Overall Rating: 4/5


Way back in 1988, Hal Laboratories, who would still be churning out quality titles in later decades, released a quirky little cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System called The Adventures of Lolo. The colorful opening scene depicts fun, cartoony characters as Princess Lala gets captured in dramatic fashion and is whisked away through the sky from Lolo.So, as Lolo, the player must certainly control a valiant hero across epic landscapes and use a mighty sword to brutally dispatch of repulsive enemies and enormous bosses, right? Not quite – this title, with its round blue main titular playable character sporting big eyes and a cute little tail, throws a monkey wrench into the traditional adventure game.


Instead of using blades and other violence, Lolo ventures into the dreaded castle and encounters rooms of puzzles. At first, it really seems like it is going to be another box-pushing puzzle game; but the pleasant surprise lies in the fact that this is a true quest, with odd little enemies, environmental perils, and tricks to master and navigate.


As Lolo, the player controls our blue hero amidst a tile-based landscape and has to collect all the hearts in a room in order to open a treasure chest, which opens the door to the room. Even in the first couple of levels, there are enemies to deal with and the controlling person will soon learn that rescuing Priness Lala will involve keen timing, sharp wits, and a measure of diligence.



The elements are rendered colorfully, and definitely stand a step above many NES selections from the time period. The animation is somewhat basic at points (watch a flat fireball listlessly glide across the screen from one of the baby dragons), but it also fits the premise of the game: This is not a flashy medieval warfare epic. This is a puzzle game that just happens to throw some enjoyable action ingredients into the brainy mix.


The music is lighthearted, and even delightful at times, but after a few levels on the same floor of the castle, it can get repetitive. Otherwise, the effects are pretty simple, with little beeps and boops and whooshes narrating the on-screen happenings.

Creativity and Innovation


Even today, this immediately stands out as a brilliant game, a nearly flawless blend of puzzle and adventure. Lolo, at times, has to dispatch of enemies in clever ways, or navigate rocks and rivers and bridges and other level elements. It is not as unabashedly cerebral as Tetris, without offering the mindblowing adventurescape of the first Zelda title released at the similar time.


The true strength of this game, though, is this password feature. Playing through multiple levels, the player progresses through floors of the castle, each floor having several of the one-screen puzzle levels. After the initial handful of lives are depleted, the player is granted a password that can restore them to the same level at a future time. This saves the game from being completely unfun if you had to redo every single stinkin’ level from the beginning to end every time you played.


Because of that obvious replay factor, the unique and original storyline, the sublime melding of puzzle and adventure, Lolo is a fantastic game overall. It does have a weakness or two, primarily concerning its difficulty, in that some portions of the game (new enemies, new puzzle elements) require new players to use trial-and-error methods to figure out, inevitably leading to lost lives in the process. Even given these frustration, it still commands a solid four stars out of five rating.

Dragon’s Fury

Dragon’s Fury (a.k.a. Devil Crash MD) (1992)

By: TechnoSoft Genre: Pinball Players: 1-2 (alternate) Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Sega MegaDrive / Genesis First Day Score: 22,593,300
Also Available For: NEC PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16
Download For: PlayStation Network

Dragons Fury - Devils Crush MD - Gameplay Screenshot

For two years, Devil’s Crush had been thrilling Japanese (and to a lesser extent, American) PC Engine gamers before, unlike its prequel, it finally received a conversion, and it was MegaDrive owners who were the lucky ones to receive it. Handled by Technosoft (famous for the Thunder Force series), it’s a more or less a straight conversion of the Engine game (aside from the unnecessary name change), but there are a few noteworthy differences. Aside from a few small, almost unnoticeable changes, the main table in this version looks pretty much the same as it did on the Engine – everything’s in the same place and everything does the same thing, though the ball feels a little weightier and doesn’t seem to bounce around quite so much.

Dragons Fury - Devils Crush MD - Gameplay Screenshot

As far as I can determine, all the bonuses and scoring techniques also remain unchanged, too. The graphics are slightly different, though. While good in both versions, this version appears less colourful and slightly fuzzier and less defined than the Engine version, and the surface of the table is much brighter here, which makes the colours at least appear to be less contrasted. I actually prefer the graphics of the Engine version by quite some margin but that’s just me. Check out the shots in both reviews and make up you own mind as to which version you think looks better. The music has changed very little during the conversion process, though the sound effects are slightly different (and better) here. Since they are one of this game’s strongest points on the Engine they certainly increase the enjoyment of playing this version, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Dragons Fury - Devils Crush MD - Gameplay Screenshot

One significant difference between the two versions is the bonus tables. There are still six of them here but only two of the ones from the Engine version have survived the transition; the other four are all new. I’m not sure that they’re better but they are probably easier (except for number six which is well ‘ard). Also, this version has an ending! If you can defeat all six bonus tables, you’ll progress to a final table featuring ‘King Dragon’ (or King Demon, depending on which territory you’re in). Defeat him and you’ve completed the game! If you’re like me though, you’ll purposely avoid reaching him in order to achieve the highest score possible.

Dragons Fury - Devils Crush MD - Gameplay Screenshot

Which reminds me of perhaps the biggest difference between the Engine and MegaDrive versions of this great game – the difficulty. This was the version I first played, and it’s the version I’ve spent by far the most time playing, and I’d like to think I’ve become pretty good at it, achieving scores in the nine-figure region fairly easily. This, however, proves a lot more difficult when playing the Engine version. For example, the top section of the table is where high scores can be quickly amassed, and it’s A LOT easier to get there, AND stay there for prolonged periods on this MD version. It’s not that the tables on the respective versions have been designed differently though, nor that this game has been badly converted by TechnoSoft. The ball physics is outstanding on both versions, but, as mentioned briefly earlier, they are slightly different here, which results in a couple of tricks I learnt when playing this version, didn’t work when I started playing the Engine game.

Dragons Fury - Devils Crush MD - Gameplay Screenshot

So there you have it. Both versions are essentially the same. The Engine version is more challenging and looks prettier (in my opinion), this MegaDrive version is easier and louder. Both are amazingly playable, both are as addictive as hell, but this version is the one where I cut my teeth, so to speak, so I’ll always love playing it.


RKS Score: 9/10

The best of Go Daddy Commercials

<img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-7519″ title=”go daddy girl” src=”” alt=”go daddy girl” width=”400″ height=”300″ />

We all know that sex sells, but sometimes you have to wonder what the target is. Sure, you can put a pretty girl next to a car and the image is clear, but what image do you get with sexy girls and a web hosting site? I liked watching the eye candy laden Go Daddy commercials, but it never made me think to go use their services. When it was time to pick a provided I looked up prices and customer reviews and ratings. Maybe the image of a sexy girl is to sit in the back of your mind and when you do think of web hosting or buying a domain it pops out and you go with that company.

Here is a mix of some of the more sexy Go Daddy commercials.


At each Super Bowl, ads are admitted as the sexiest ones, but what the brand does exactly sell ?… Hard to remember. Here is a remix as a reminder before the next Super Bowl…

A US series of commercials produced between 2005 and 2011 for Go Daddy.”s savoir-faire

Where all daddies want to go – USA – 2010. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick. – USA – 2009. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick &amp; Mimi Mayweather. – USA – 2011. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick &amp; Jillian Michaels. – USA – 2010. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick. – USA – 2009. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick. – USA – 2005. A commercial featuring Nikki Capelli. – USA – 2006. A commercial featuring Nikki Capelli. – USA – 2010.

go daddy girl

We all know that sex sells, but sometimes you have to wonder what the target is. Sure, you can put a pretty girl next to a car and the image is clear, but what image do you get with sexy girls and a web hosting site? I liked watching the eye candy laden Go Daddy commercials, but it never made me think to go use their services. When it was time to pick a provided I looked up prices and customer reviews and ratings. Maybe the image of a sexy girl is to sit in the back of your mind and when you do think of web hosting or buying a domain it pops out and you go with that company.

Here is a mix of some of the more sexy Go Daddy commercials.


At each Super Bowl, ads are admitted as the sexiest ones, but what the brand does exactly sell ?… Hard to remember. Here is a remix as a reminder before the next Super Bowl…

A US series of commercials produced between 2005 and 2011 for Go Daddy.”s savoir-faire

Where all daddies want to go – USA – 2010. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick. – USA – 2009. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick & Mimi Mayweather. – USA – 2011. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick & Jillian Michaels. – USA – 2010. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick. – USA – 2009. A commercial featuring Danica Patrick. – USA – 2005. A commercial featuring Nikki Capelli. – USA – 2006. A commercial featuring Nikki Capelli. – USA – 2010.


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Sonic CD

Sonic CD - Main Screen

Of course, this should’ve happened months ago but there are always things that come and go with our lives and other things. It’s finally here though and what better way to reach the one hundred mark than with an incredible game. A personal favorite if you ask me! Lets check Sonic CD out!

Sonic CD - Main Screen

The music of Sonic CD is something to admire. Not even the Sonic 3 soundtrack which was directed by Michael Jackson was good enough to surpass this. There might be different opinions on this matter but the fact is that this game has an incredible soundtrack! Don’t believe me? Just try it out for yourself!!

Sonic CD - Main Screen

The graphics are top notch for a 16 bit Sonic game. The game not only looks beautiful but it also has a 3D view at times especially when Sonic runs through some ramps. The angle switches and almost gives it a 3D look. There is plenty of color to see and lots of graphical beauties to admire. Well done Sega.

Sonic CD - Main Screen

What can you expect from a real good Sonic game? Great gameplay of course. The levels get challenging along the way but not too challenging to make you throw your controller against the wall. The levels stay fresh and offer new ideas which is why this has been one of the more enjoyable Sonic games ever released. You have to search for all the secrets and even try to acquire all the stones. Can you accomplish such tasks?

Sonic CD - Main Screen

The game has a great replay value. You can pick this game and beat it from start to finish and enjoy it every time. This is an example of why these games are referred to as “classics”. They are always a great experience to come back and challenge yourself over and over. Keep this one in your collection for sure!


To conclude, the game is just a gem and probably one of the best Sonic games ever. After years of mediocre Sonic releases, we can always go back to this one and enjoy what Sonic was. Thank goodness for Sonic Generations reviving the franchise! Be sure to pick up Sonic CD to battle against Metal Sonic whenever you get a chance!! A must have!!

Final Fantasy 7: PC Download available today

Fans of one of the best Final Fantasy games ever made can now download the re-mastered PC version of the Square Enix hit.

Final Fantasy 7 Pc download

To celebrate the FINAL FANTASY franchise’s 25th anniversary this classic title will be available exclusively on the Square Enix Store at a promotional price of €9.99 / £7.99*.

“We’re really pleased to offer a downloadable PC version of the much loved FINAL FANTASY VII. It’s a great chance for fans to re-live so many memorable moments and a great opportunity for players who have never played the title to experience why the game has had so much influence on the industry over the years” said Larry Sparks, Vice President – Brand.

This new downloadable version includes a range of new features such as a Character Booster that enables players to fully power up their character, cloud saves, and in-game achievements to encourage players to explore various facets of the game. For full details please visit Final Fantasy VII PC.


Released in 1997, FINAL FANTASY VII was critically acclaimed as the title that redefined the standard for role-playing games. Introducing the now infamous rivalry between Cloud and Sephiroth, it delivered an intricate and emotionally compelling storyline through cutting-edge pre-rendered cinematic cut-scenes, and set in a rich, diverse world.  The game features an acclaimed collection of musical scores and intense 3D battles, and is regarded as one of the most significant entries in the FINAL FANTASY series, and one of the most innovative videogames of all time.

This promotional price is available until September 12th 2012


Waves - Banner
It’s been over a week since the last time I loaded Waves and did thus have all the time one could ask for to calmly look back at the game. Hadn’t I been so wise in my decision to wait before writing this review all I’d be able to come up with would be something along the lines of best game ever, which would frankly be silly. Or at least over the top. Monkey Island 2 hasn’t been bested yet. Neither has Manic Miner.
Waves - Gameplay Screenshot
Besides, I can see clearer now. The destructive addiction is most probably over and I have even stopped dreaming of glowing platonic shapes. I will thus say that Waves is merely the best twin-stick arena shooter I have ever played and, believe it or not, I loved arena shooters ever since I first played Robotron. And have  constantly been reminded of their greatness with a little help from Smash TVGeometry Wars and my favorite single-stick shmups included in the Bundle of Wrong.
Waves, now, was actually good enough when played with the humble mouse and keyboard combo to force me to buy an Xbox (eeerk, I know) controller for my PC; an act bordering on sacrilege while simultaneously trigerring a revelation. Those newfangled console controllers are pretty amazing beasts aparently! And they can make games like Waves even better. They can actually make them brilliant. And elegant exercises in moving, shooting and on-the-fly tactical thinking.
Having played with Waves for over 30 hours (quite an achievement for a game without a single line of plot) I have come to deeply appreciate what Squid in a Box and the ever talented Rob Fearon have managed to pull off. Waves is a beautiful and expertly designed game, sporting excellent controls, intricate yet easy to grasp scoring mechanics, psychedelic graphics, smart smart-bombs, a ton of impressively varied game modes, a brilliant soundtrack and some lovely touches of anarchic humour. It’s even got achievements that will force you to play it in truly imaginative ways.
Oh, and as beating a friend’s high-score can be too enjoyable to be considered healthy, please do join me in having some Waves fun on Steam. You must have by now understood what a fantastic indie offering it really is.

Verdict: A gloriously addictive psychedelic drug without any side-effects whatsoever. It will though give you neon nightmares. Grab it and let it grab you back.

Beginner’s Guide to World of Tanks

World of Tanks Screen Image 6 from 8.0

This guide should help a new player make the correct choices when dedicating themselves to becoming good at World of Tanks.

First things first is figuring out whether you will want to or not spend money on this game. If you don’t plan to, pick ONE country and stick to it. I recommend either USSR if you like fighting up close or USA if you want overall good tanks, although France seems to be the most OP faction (patch 7.4-7.5). With the tutorial completed, which you can pause (it says abort but ignore that) and unpause any time, you will end up with 6 regular tanks. You can eventually have all the highest tier USSR tanks plus if you want you can keep that useless tier 2 USSR gold tank (premium tank) they give you. I prefer to keep it since it will become a guaranteed money maker and tank trainer later on (which you will eventually need).

I sold mine but that was a mistake. It could be worth keeping just to power level your tankers. Just to clarify, a gold tank is a game that is bought using gold which is the real-life-money money in the game. It can only be bought or earned from Clan War matches. Clan War matches is what you should be trying to get into if you really want to get deep into this game. You should also keep your eye open on the main World of Tanks website because they sometimes have promotions or special events that could get you huge discounts or free things.

world of tanks gameplay

The most important rule to know about WoT is that every time you have to do a conversion, you lose a significant proportion of whatever it is you are converting. Crew training on all tanks should be as max as possible, usually spending 20000 credits per crew member is the way to go, especially if you own at least one gold tank. You can convert experience points from gold tanks for gold as well as XP from Elite status tanks. This is time efficient if you have money to spend. Converting gold to credits has horrible returns so never do it.

Always run with consumables on all your tanks and try to buy them especially during the 50% off sales. Make sure that it’s worth using the consumable such as in a game where it comes down to just 2 tanks per side and it will make a huge impact on whether you win or lose. I always run in this order: health kit, repair kit, and fire extinguisher. If a tank you are using is too slow I recommending swapping out the fire extinguisher for high octane gasoline. It will make a world of difference between you hating the tank and learning to tolarate it.

world of tanks gameplay

Getting tanks is really easy in the early tiers but eventually you’re going to hit a wall of either XP or credits. Credits are even more important and harder to generate. Either check with other people or the forums to see what people are currently running to make money. If you will spend money on the game, I found that the Super Pershing is the best bang for the buck for the Tier 8 tanks for making money, if not the reasonable Tier 5 Churchill III. The Churchill III is the cheapest and sometimes the funnest to play. It’s only 1500 Gold most of the time (roughly $7-8 in cost). Myself I spent a good amount of money in the game. I also bought tank slots for every type of branch in the game and I’m slowly making my way there with every class of tank for every country.

Doing this, playing the game like crazy, it takes me about 6-7 hours to do all my tanks, to try to get the daily bonus. As a macro strategy I this saves the most time as opposed to straight grinding, if you want to save the most time AND have everything in the game unlocked. Most people don’t have time to do that every day so although that to me is the most money efficient thing to do (to run all non-gold tanks, every kind), most people don’t have time for this! The other thing to take into account is whether you want to pay for the Premium Account or not. While this is on all tanks yield a +50% bonus to the generation of XP and Credits. Technically if you have Premium and you do the first win of the day for a tank, rather than get the double XP bonus that it gives you would get triple (1.5 X 2 = 3). It’s a huge bonus but I only myself recommend it if you have a LOT of time on your hands, then it’s a great value! Since I started working more in real life, I run a year of premium in World of Tanks all the time, which comes out to about $8 a month to play the game which is an amazing value to me for this game.

world of tanks gameplay

A general thing to know about Gold tanks is that they are meant to generate pure credits and also they can be used to train crew faster for any crew of that specific country and that specific vehicle class. For example you can put a heavy tank crew from a KV1 in a Churchill and they can use it with no penalties. Alternatively, if you want to save money and power level any crew of that country, so long as they are 75% experience and up, you can stick them in anyways but they will perform with a -25% penalty but even then it can still be done effectively so long as you stick to the 75% experience minimum rule. I don’t recommend putting in crews from a different vehicle type because not only will they have the penalty but they will also get an XP penalty.

General combat tips:

Now, look at this video to understand how to position your tank during battle so you don’t die in every one on one fight.

Never EVER use the right mouse button to lock on to a target. It’s useless and dumb and it won’t target specific areas of tanks that you MUST hit. On top of that it’s highly inaccurate and a gateway into being an eternal noob in the game. Since it targets the center of mass of a tank and does NOT lead targets it will miss very often. It is only really useful if you are a light tank doing a carousel move around a slow tank and you need to concentrate all your energy into driving.

If you’re fighting while driving up a hill, I would say that 90% of the time, you’re dead!

If there is artillery in play and you just killed one of their team mates, if you’re standing still you’re very likely to get hit. Try to drive forward for a second, rotate 30 to 45 degrees, and move for one or two seconds.

If you’re an artillery and something just shot at you, you BETTER be moving ASAP if you want to live. Also I recommend moving up slightly with the front so you just all your shots, especially if you are steam rolling the enemy team.

Try to rotate your front always towards the enemy that you’re fighting if you’re pinned down in a slugfest kind of fight!

Aim for areas in the enemy such as the rear of their tank or wheels if you want to stop them from moving.

world of tanks gameplay

Know your role and act like it most of the time. If you’re a light tank, you’re the scout (sometimes). Find as many of the enemies as possible especially their artillery and scouts and kill them (those two, you are not supposed to take on a heavy tank other than maybe to get a lucky shot in their fuel tank). If you’re a tank destroyer fight from cover most of the time since you have less health than a medium tank and almost no armor. If you’re a heavy, you need to “tank” but don’t necessarily be out in the open. If you’re a medium your job is to do everything! If you’re artillery, try hitting all the heavies first. The only time you should not play your role is when the team you’re with is failing so badly that you need to pull a Rambo just to survive!

Map awareness: memorize every map. Try to fight from higher ground, especially if there’s cover but know that a good artillery will shoot all their memorized cover spots in such hills.

Generally, if you’re out in the open and nobody else on your team is around or you’re ahead of everybody, you’re in grave danger!

world of tanks gameplay

Vehicle upgrades: For most tanks always upgrade the gun as much as possible (to me penetration is the most important stat). DO THE MATH – calculate if the new gun can be handled by your suspension. Every ton = 1000 kg and the game provides module weight in kilograms. If you’re a scout or an arty, go for radio first as it will help you relay information more accurately. For scouts I recommend engines (for better acceleration) as well as tracks for better turning, as well as turrets for better line of sight (you see people faster or further).

Teching up: Try to tech up in a straight line down that path to your desired tank. For example, if you are trying to get russian arty maxed out, try to go for that directly rather than the KV-2 path because it will be insanely more expensive.

About ammunition: I find it a WASTE to use premium ammo on anything but tournaments or clan wars. Also, before you enter any match make sure you look at the gun tier of your tank; this is a rough estimate as to what tank tier you are expected to damage with that gun (assume damaging a medium tank of that tier). Should you find yourself at the bottom of the food chain in a match make sure to have brought some HE (high explosive ammmo) because it’s better to shoot a higher tier tank with this than bounce off 90% of your shots and at least you will be able to risk getting a tracked hit on that big tank that a team mate can kill for you. This is especially effective I found once I F2 tag the target then type in chat “I tracked him”. You will be surprised how quickly that tank will turn into the local punching bag.
Well, I hope this guide helps you get better at World of Tanks, let me get back to playing my 30 tanks! =P

Two more NES prototypes hit online auctions

Two more NES prototypes hit online auctions

Two more NES prototypes hit online auctions

In the wake of the prototype cartridge of The Legend of Zelda selling for a record $55,000 comes two more eBay listings for rare production cartridges for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Both items are listed by Mark Nolan, a noted prototype collector of video games from this time period.

The first cartridge is a sample copy of the pack-in cartridge that came with the NES Power Set containing Super Mario Bros.Duck Hunt and World Class Track Meet, a game designed for use with the Power Pad, an early example of a video game motion controller. The opening bid sees a “Buy It Now” price tag of $200,000 with the option to make an offer.

The other cartridge is graded and comes with a certificate of authenticity. It is listed as a prototype version of a cartridge titled Arcadia VI, a multi-game cart. A page on website Unseen64.netshows more about this prototype and confirms the seller as co-owner of the only known example. The “Buy It Now” price for this item is currently $100,000, also with the option to make an offer.

“Just incredible to suddenly see such a treasure trove of rarities start coming out onto the market in such a big way,” said Nintendo collectibles expert Kelly R. Flewin of Winnipeg, Manitoba. “People are going to look double time when going to a flea market or garage sale in hopes they luck out with a treasure like that.”

Both auctions are listed to close early next week unless the “Buy It Now” prices are met or offers made on the items are accepted by the seller.

Did you know: Vol 1


Did you know

There is a lot of random trivia and facts about classic video games. Some of it has historical content while others are just interesting to know. To continue spreading retro gaming knowledge we begin a new series that will showcase random classic gaming facts. Some you might already know, but we hope to surprise you from time to time.

Nolan Bushnell created Chuck E. Cheese

Nolan Bushnell and Chuck E Cheese

Depending on how old you are and where you lived you might know about or have gone to a Chuck E. Cheese. Chuck E. Cheese was a pizza restaurant that featured video games, prizes and a dancing mouse. It was the place to go for a kid’s birthday during its hay day as it featured everything a young child would want. It is no surprise the founder of Atari would create a place that showcase food, fun and video games. I personally went there for my thirteenth birthday and had a blast.

Steve Jobs created Breakout

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

There is a little more to this story. With the success of Pong, created by Nolan Bushnell, he and Steve Bristow came up with an idea to create a single player version of Pong and so the concept of Breakout was born. Steve Jobs was tasked with creating the game and brought on Steve Wozniak to help engineer the game. After a lot of sleepless nights and other adventures the project was done. Now in the end Atari had to do some reworking to Wozniak’s design before the final product was released, but overall that is why Steve Jobs got the credit for the creation of Breakout.

Jack Black Stared in a Pitfall Commercial

Jack Black and Atari Pitfall

Funny man Jack Black long before we ever saw him on screen was in an Atari Pitfall commercial. It was in 1992 that the then 13-year-old Black appeared in the spot. Jack Black is counted among the notable celebrity gamers and here we see his history with classic games went way back.

Porn and Video Games go together

april o neil

For many a gamer, porn and video games go together like Cheetos and Mountain Dew, but did you know one porn star got her name from a video game? Adult actress, April O’Neil got her stage name from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles own reporter and turtle confidant, April O’ Neil. In addition, April loves gamer geeks specially for their video game knowledge. Google search in 3…2…1…

There is an Atari 3600 version of Halo

april o neil

Yes, the classic Xbox shooter, Halo has a version created for the Atari 2600. Ed Fries former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft showed off his creation in 2010 at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. In the game you control Master Chief in an adventure type game where you explore 64 rooms shooting enemies and eventually encountering a final boss. Unfortunately, only about 100 cartridges were made so good luck getting your hands on one.

Just a Taste

There is a lot more history, trivia and weird facts and we will bring you more in the next installment. Until then tell us about classic gaming facts and history you know and perhaps we will feature it in a future article.

Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck - Turbografx-16 - cover

Darkwing Duck

Based off of the Disney cartoon of the same name, Darkwing Duck was created for the TurboGrafx-16 by Radiance Software and released in 1992. In the game Darkwing Duck must stop Steelbeak who has recruited some of the most dangerous criminals in St. Canard to build an ultimate weapon.

Darkwing Duck - Gameplay screenshot - turbografx-16

The gameplay consists of collecting puzzle pieces as clues and fighting enemies. There are also gas guns, cherry bombs and other power-ups Darkwing can use.




Pengo Cover

I probably should have liked this game more than I did. Pengo is an overhead maze-puzzler, and I generally love these games. The ability to use my brains (for once) in a video game, add a little action, sprinkle in some cutesy characters and music, normally would equal “retro arcade goodness”. But, here’s why Pengo didn’t really do it for me:

Pengo Cover
Sega put out Pengo, a cute red penquin, in 1982. I remember this being rather popular, but for whatever reason didn’t give it much of a look. Set in a maze of ice-blocks, the goal is to kill all of these blob-like creatures, called Sno-Bees…even though they could have just used bees, I guess…or called them “Sno-blobs”…not really getting this. Anyway, you push-slide the blocks around, which will shatter when they hit something…preferably a blob. After you kill one (there will be 3 on-screen), another will hatch from an ice block and you’ll continue smashing them until they stop hatching, usually around 8-10. When the level first starts, the blocks from which the blobs hatch will briefly “flash”, allowing you to destroy those blocks, if you wish, before they hatch, making it easier to finish the level… theory.

Pengo Gameplay screenshot
Here’s my problem: The blobs don’t move like the slow-asses I’ve seen in the movies. Matter of fact, it seems like they’re actually faster than me. They melt-through my ice-block weapons on the way to me, and I can’t tell you how many times I was waiting behind a block to shove and they started melting it before I had a chance to use it. I was literally spending all my time running for my life, and just tossing ice randomly. I haven’t panicked this much in a game since the first night of Left 4 Dead. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that have “mastered” the game, but holy shit, it was tough for me. The controls just seemed a bit off, which added to the frustration.

There are a lot of ways to gain points in the game; obviously killing blobs, but also there are 3 diamond blocks on every level. These are indestructable and make for a good weapon, but if you’re able to line the three up, you’ll receive bonus points. Again, I don’t know how you’d ever have time for this…good luck. Also, the quicker you finish a level, the more bonus you receive…capping off with 5000 points if you do it under 20 SECONDS!!!! Christ….
I do love the animation and music, and I’m sure this is a well-loved classic…..but I don’t.

Overall 5/10

The Art of Video Games: Debuts in Florida at Boca Raton Museum

Art of Video Games

From classic arcade games to modern hits the graphics of video games can help make or break a title. There is no debate that there is art in video games from concept art to 3D graphics and now there is a showcase highlighting some of the best video game art from the last 40 years.

The Art of Video Games

The Boca Raton Museum of Art will be the first museum in the nation to host the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition, The Art of Video Games, following its enormously successful presentation in Washington, D.C.

Running from October 24, 2012 through January 13, 2013, the Boca Raton exhibition, presented by FMSbonds, Inc., explores the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, focusing on striking graphics, creative storytelling, and player interactivity. During its stay in South Florida, the Boca Raton Museum of Art will offer a variety of associated programs and educational opportunities for visitors of all ages and interests.

The Art of Video Games

The Art of Video Games 

The Art of Video Games is a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the legacy of video games as a medium for artistic expression. Curated by Chris Melissinos, former chief evangelist and chief gaming officer for Sun Microsystems and Founder of PastPixels, the exhibition will give viewers an opportunity to explore the evolution of video games since they were first introduced 40 years ago. The Art of Video Games focuses on the interplay of graphics, technology, and storytelling.

“Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society,” said Melissinos. “In the 40 years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. Video games, which include classic components of art, offer designers a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences by including a new element, the player, who completes the vivid, experiential art form by personally interacting with the game elements.”

The exhibit highlights some of the best games for 20 gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the Playstation 3. It will feature 80 video games presented through still images and video footage. In addition, the galleries include video interviews with developers and artists, historic game consoles, and large prints of in-game screen shots. Five featured games, one from each era, will be available in the exhibition galleries for visitors to play for a few minutes to gain some feel for interactivity. The playable games – Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower – will demonstrate how players interact with the virtual worlds, highlighting innovative new techniques that set the standard for many subsequent games.

A companion book, The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, written by curator Chris Melissinos, with more than 100 composite images of featured games by Patrick O’Rourke, will be available for purchase in the Museum Store. The book, published by Welcome Books in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, examines each of the 80 featured games, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their development and innovation, and commentary on the relevance of each in the history of video games.

The Art of Video Games is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation; Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins; Shelby and Frederick Gans; Mark Lamia; Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk; Rose Family Foundation; Betty and Lloyd Schermer; and Neil Young. Promotional support is provided by the Entertainment Consumers Association. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Boca Raton Museum of Art

The Boca Raton Museum of Art is one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida, achieving international recognition as a world-class visual arts institution for its dynamic, changing exhibitions from acclaimed artists and distinguished permanent collection. The Museum’s many public programs include artist presentations, family activities, art films, the Annual Art Festival, and more than 100 classes per week at its studio Art School. Museum Auxiliaries include The Artists’ Guild, Friends Auxiliary, and Collectors’ Forum. For more information call 561.392.2500 or visit

Top Ten TurboCD TurboDuo CD Games

Of all the video game consoles I’ve played, the one that holds a special place in my retrogaming heart continues to be that poor doomed also-ran in the Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo Wars: the NEC TurboGrafx-16.

 TurboGrafx-16 with the TurboCD attachment

What makes the TurboGrafx so special to me? Perhaps it is because of my love for a good underdog against the favorite of the great unwashed, perhaps it was the console’s design, or perhaps it was the because of the amazing peripherals NEC offered for their system.  Regardless, it will always be my first choice when heading back to the 90s for retrogaming (yes, I realize it was released in North America in 1989…most of the games came later!) Picking up a TurboCD and a Super System Card was one of my best gaming investments back in the day.  There were some fabulous CD games that I played over the years, some of which I was not able to pick up until a decade later!  Here’s a small list of my favorite TurboCD games, some requiring the Super System Card, some not, but all worth playing!


Loom for the TurboGrafx-16 TurboCD

I’ve written about the wonders of Loomelsewhere, so I’ll be brief: this game is well worth playing. This is a beautiful game on the TurboCD, with enhanced music and gameplay based upon the original IBM-PC diskette version, but with the better graphic capabilities of the TurboCD.  It does not feature any voice acting, but the story and gameplay is wonderful, regardless. After all, this is a LucasArts adventure game; how can you go wrong?

Prince of Persia for the TurboCD


One of the finest platformers ever to grace any gaming system, Prince of Persia for the TurboCD has the same flair as the original, with the added feature of animated cutscenes with voice acting to help propel the storyline.  A little note for those who think Prince of Persia is based on Disney’s Aladdin movie: the original Prince of Persia was released in 1989, and Aladdin hit the movie theatre circuit in 1992.  Hmm…tell me again who influenced whom?


Ys I & II for the TurboDuo

Way back in 1987, a game called Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished was released, and the game was successful enough to not only be ported over to several game systems (including an excellent Sega Master System version), but to also spawn a sequel one year later: Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter. The TurboDuo game Ys Book I & II is a remake of these two games, with better graphics, animated cutscenes, better sound, and, of course, voice acting. Ultimately, the game was considered one of the best games of its genre, with contemporary game reviewers giving it perfect or near-perfect scores. This is another Turbo CD must-have!


Bonk 3 for the TurboDuo

Back in 1993, the TurboGrafx CD system was nearing the end of its product life, and one of the last games released in North America for NEC’s gaming system was Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure. The game was released in both SuperCD and HuCard format, and the game was identical on both, except the CD version had much better audio. Bonk 3 was much like the previous two games in the series, with the added element of being able to play cooperatively with another player – two Bonks for the price of one!

Gate of Thunder for the TurboDuo


In 1992, NEC was selling the TurboDuo system in North America, and to help show off just what it could do, Gate of Thunder was added as one of four games on a “pack-in” game CD.  This was a kind of shooter that gamers dreamed about, with incredible action, switchable and power-up weaponry, the ability to tackle enemies from both the front and the rear, interesting level design and compelling gameplay. If all TurboCD games were like this one, NEC would have won the Console Wars!


Lords of Thunder for TurboDuo

Billed as a sequel to the impressive shooter Gate of Thunder (albeit in a fantasy setting, not sci-fi), Lords of Thunderis a bold testament to the what a gifted programming team could do with the TurboGrafx CD technology.  Seven levels that you can select from at will (with one more final level available when you complete the others!), awesome power-ups, colorful and imaginative backgrounds and unique enemies…plus killer heavy metal guitar licks on the soundtrack all add up to making this an incredible game!


Might and Magic III for the TurboDuo

Once upon a time RPGs were designed so that the player could move throughout the game world at will, either following the overarching storyline or not, and generally staying off the linear express that modern RPGs have become. One such game wasMight & Magic III: Isle of Terra, which was ported to the TurboCD, losing none of its charms on the way. The game was extremely challenging, requiring time spent on outfitting your party, mapping corridors, tracking inventory, and overcoming obstacles, whether those obstacles were monster encounters or difficult riddles to solve, all of which put off the casual gamer. However, those with the gaming fortitude love of RPGs found Might & Magic III: Isle of Terra a game that they couldn’t say “NO” to.

Monster Lair Turbo CD

And neither should you!Some of the marketing decisions that NEC and TurboCD game developers made were considerably suspect. As an example, let me present the North American gameMonster Lair, which would have been much better known (and received) had they used its real name, Wonder Boy III. The Wonder Boy series had its own following, so what possessed NEC to drop the “Wonder Boy” part of the title is a mystery.  Regardless, this game is an excellent platformer, colorful, fast-paced, and imaginative. Another must-have for anyone’s TurboCD collection!


DragonSlayer for the TurboDuo

Falcom, the developers who designed the Ys series, returned to the TurboCD console to create another RPG that has made my Top Ten List: Dragonslayer: The Legend of Heroes. This is a good “pick-up” RPG, in that you can get into the game quickly, but it is also highly addictive – very much in the Final Fantasy realm of console gaming. The game plays quickly and smoothly, and has an interesting option of switching between PSG (Programmable Sound Generator) or CD music files, which can affect the game speed. The only complaint I might have with this game is the voice acting quality, but considering the general state of voice acting in games during the early 90s, it’s well within industry standards of the time!


Dungeon Explorer II for the TurboDuo

The first Dungeon Explorer game was an action-RPG hybrid HuCard, good enough to make the Top Ten TurboGrafx-16 HuCard Games list. Its sequel, Dungeon Explorer II, was even better, with all the gameplay of the original – a simplified combat and magic using system, outstanding inventory acquisition and deployment, as well as the ever-present theme of dungeon delving – but with the added benefit of CD quality sound.  This game was a showcase on how to use music to enhance the mood by altering to fit the location, sometimes airy and light, and sometimes dark and forbidding. The trouble with finding this game today is its rarity; the PAL version is readily available, but the NTSC version fetches hundred of dollars online.

Dracula X Rondo of Blood


I can hear the outcry from TurboDuo gamers: “You forgot the best game of all, Dracula X!”  Well, not really. Dracula X: Rondo of Blood was only an import in North America, and not readily available on the shelves of any retail store.  It is true that it was an amazing game – perhaps the best game of the entire TurboDuo lineup – but as an import, it’s disqualified from the list of best TurboCD games available in North America. Remember, at the time there wasn’t an eBay or Amazon (or even to turn to for your games; you either went to the video game store to buy what you wanted or you mailed away for them. My, how times have changed!

Ultimately, any of the games presented on this list are worth buying and playing, and each well-represents the long-past, but never-forgot, NEC TurboGrafx-16 CD video game system!

Samsung Series 7 Gamer 700G7C-S01 Review With Benchmarks

Samsung 700G7C-S01 laptop notebookLet me just come right out and say that this is the fastest gaming laptop I’ve ever tested and played on. The system is a monster and I like to think of it more like a portable desktop than a laptop. The system has a full sized keyboard, including the number pad, which makes it ideal for gaming as well as work (unless you are used to a funky sized keyboard).

This review took place in August 2012 with version S01 with a review sample that was manufactured in May 2012.

Let’s look at the specifications of the Samsung Series 7 Gamer 700G7C-S01:

Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

CPU/Processor: Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor
CPU Clock Speed: (Max.) 2.30 GHz
CPU Cache: 6MB L3

Display Screen Size 17.3″
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Brightness 400 nit

Standard System Memory 16GB
Memory Type DDR3

Hard Drive Capacity: 1.5TB with ExpressCache™ Technology, 8GB

Graphics Chip: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M Graphics

ODD: Blu-Ray

Speakers: 4 W Stereo Speaker (2 W x 2) sub-Woofer

Web Camera: 2.0 MP

Wireless LAN: 802.11 abg/n
Bluetooth: Bluetooth v4.0
WiDi: Yes
Wired Ethernet LAN: Gigabit LAN

I/O Ports
VGA: Yes
USB Ports: 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 (1 Sleep-n-Charge)
Headphone Out: Yes
Microphone In: Yes
Multi Card Slot: 7-in-1 (MS, MS Pro, SD, SDHC, MMC, MMC plus, xD)
RJ45 (LAN): Yes

Input Devices
Keyboard:101 Key Backlit
Touch Pad: Yes

Kensington Lock Slot: Yes

AC Adapter: 200 Watt
Number of Cells / Cell Type: 8 cell / Li-Ion

Color: Black


Dimensions (W x D x H): 16.1″ x 11.2″ x 1.29″ ~ 1.96″
Weight 8.39 lbs.
Warranty 1 Year Standard Parts and Labor

Since most of our readers are gamers, let’s look at gaming performance!

Samsung Series 7 Gamer

Benchmark tests (performance review for gaming):

I only use benchmarks that are actual games (no Futuremark or games running with FRAPS). First off, I only use free benchmarks that everybody has access to. Also, I don’t believe in testing with games that don’t have a built in benchmark feature because that tests hard drive limits and you are rarely going to be playing your games recording it every single time you play them.

If you would like to know further why I picked these benchmarks read my old benchmark guide here.

Battleforge test settings:

Shadow Quality: Very High
Resolution: 1280×1024
Texture Quality: High
Fullscreen: On
Shader Quality: High
Anti-Aliasing: 8x
MultiThread Rendering: Auto-Detect
FX Quality: Very High
VSynch: Off
Cloud Shadows: Off
Glow: Off

The tests gave us an 69.7 average fps result, a minimum 5.9 fps result, and a 232.8 maximum fps result.

DiRT 3 test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1028
Refresh Rate: 60
Multisampling: 8 x MSAA
VSync: Off
Aspect Ratio: Auto
Gamma: 1.0
Night Lightning: High
Shadows: Ultra
Particles: High
Mirrors: Ultra
Characters: Ultra
Ground Cover: High
Distant Vehicles: High
Objects: Ultra
Trees: Ultra
Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: High
Post Process: Medium (again this loves to set itself to this over and over so just leave it like that)
Skidmarks: On
Ambient Occlusion: Ultra
Cloth: High

Test results were that the laptop got 48.66 fps average and 40.14 fps minimum running the Dirt 3 with the previously listed settings.

Tom Clancy’s HAWX test settings:

Game version: DirectX 9 for legacy compatibility purposes
Screen Resolution: 1280×1024
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Antialiasing: 8x
VSync: Off
Full Screen: On
View Distance: High
Forest: High
Environment: High
Texture Quality: High
Engine Heat: On

On this test we got an average of 181 fps and a maximum 353 fps.

Trackmania Nations test Settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024
Antialiasing: 16 samples
Shadows: Complex
Shader Quality: PC3 High
Texture Quality: High
Max Filtering: Anisotropic 16x
Geometry Details: Normal
PostProcess FXs: On
Force Dynamic Colors: On
Force Motion Blur: On
Force Bloom: On
Water Geometry: On
Stadium Water Geometry: On
Trees Always High Quality: On

The benchmark yielded a result of 79.6 fps.

X3 Terran Conflict benchmark test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024 Fullscreen
Antialiasing: 8x
Ansitropic Texture Filtering: On
Anisotropic Texture Filtering: 16x
Glow enabled: On
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
More Dynamic Light Sources: On
Ship Colour Variations: On

The Samsung laptop got a score of 105.439 fps on the X3 Terran Conflict benchmark.

Samsung Series 7 Gamer

Hands-on Review:

The machine is very comfortable to work with. It does tend to get a bit hot and I recommend using it on a desk or tabletop.

The onboard sound of the laptop is amazing and comes with probably the best equalizer software I’ve ever used. It is made by Dolby Laboratories and includes many sound altering effects. The speaker setup is impressive and loud for a laptop. Using the software you can change the ambiance of what the speakers put out. Certain parts of the keyboard light up and will glow based on music being played on the computer based on your settings (it is on by default).

Since the system has a blue ray player, should you want to watch a high definition movie from a disc, you would be able to as well as enjoy it in HD with the high quality display that is extremely sharp in image quality.

The laptop has a physical knob that can be turned to adjust the different aspects of the performance regarding speed, fan noise, power saving modes, etc. When you switch into gaming mode the laptop does an animation showing a target lock-on cybernetic image that is an attention getter (this is on by default). I think having a laptop such as this one would want somebody to enforce their bragging rights and that cool animation is certainly a way to get people’s attention!

Running full power mode (no power-saving modes enabled) the laptop has a battery life of 2.5 hours for doing work (MS Office) level of applications. Longer battery life times are possible depending on using more power efficient power profiles. Since this is a gaming laptop, the battery life cannot be expected to be too long especially the more complicated a game is. With a system like this, I recommend using it plugged in via the AC adapter rather than running it off battery power.

The wireless card built into this laptop is so strong that it gets about 50% more wireless networks than my current laptop as well as stronger signals all throughout.

As far as the way the laptop looks on the outside, it looks like it’s a serious laptop that means business and I like that a lot. The machine looks sharp, sort of like what I would equate to the Aston Martin of modern gaming laptops.

Samsung Series 7 Gamer


This laptop is ideal for a power gamer and user that needs to be able to take their desktop with them but cannot carry a tower, monitor, and speakers with them. The hard drive is massive (1.5 TB) allowing storage of many file libraries, which is rare on a notebook. The rest of the parts on the system make it a strong performer for nearly any computing need a power user will have, whether gaming, 3D rendering (strong video card), music editing/engineering, etc. The current price $1600-1900 as off 8/8/2012 is what I would expect a laptop like this to cost and is reasonable.

Run-down summary:

-Can run every game that’s out there.
-Speakers sound amazing for a laptop.
-Enough hard drive space to install almost any game collection plus a huge file collection for almost everybody.
-Enough power to seriously game as well as run other operations such as 3D rendering and audio engineering programs.
-16 GB of RAM is more than enough memory for almost 99.99% of users out there to multitask like crazy.
-Super strong wireless card with support for all current wireless protocols.
-Has what I consider to be a real keyboard for a laptop rather than a tiny one that’s the usual punishment in most laptops, making it much better for a power user and gamer.
-Has external lights and knobs that let you manually change the features of what the laptop is doing as well as see hard drive operation activity, etc. This useful for when doing heavy applications.
-Easy to take apart (two simple covers with standard screws make life easier).

-Can get hot temperature-wise. I didn’t have any stability problems even when gaming in a hot room.
-Too expensive for budget gamers, but then again they would probably most likely not be buying a gaming laptop.
-Can be bulky to move around (space and weight-wise), but then again I like to think as a really compact portable desktop.


 [youtube id=”ETqeakFb6bI” width=”633″ height=”356″]


I am so glad I decided to not provide you with review scores reader dear; so absolutely delighted. Summing up J.U.L.I.A. in a simple score would have been utterly impossible. Even deciding on what I really thought about it turned out to be pretty taxing. Better though to start at the beginning.
J.U.L.I.A. is a science-fiction game, casting you as Rachel Mannors, the sole survivor of a space expedition gone spectacularly wrong. Rachel, an awkwardly 3D modeled yet decently voiced character,  is woken up from cryo-sleep by J.U.L.I.A., the spaceship’s AI, only to discover she’s all alone in a malfunctioning ship light-years away from Earth and apparently stranded in a solar system with dully named planets. What’s more, something has gone spectacularly wrong on said planets. Something that eventually led to the death of the rest of the crew and the endangerment of alien life.
gameplay screenshot
Truth be said, J.U.L.I.A., and that’s the last time I bother with these fullstops, has a very interesting, if slightly melodramatic, plot. A proper science fiction story to be precise, that isn’t afraid to touch upon important matters and never fails to be atmospheric. What’s more, JULIA is one of those very rare games you can’t simply describe with a screenshot and a genre categorization. You’ll have to go on and play it (its demo at the very least) in order to fully understand its gameplay; you know, just like back in the old days, when reading a review and looking at some pics in a magazine simply left you bewildered…
At its core though the game can be described as a choose-your-own-adventure styled piece of interactive fiction with an interesting graphical GUI and a ton of mini-games thrown in. Needless to say, the text adventure-y parts of the game are by far the best. They are well written, brilliantly supported by the graphics and cut-scenes and -especially towards the end- by a fantastic map system. The problem though is that these section are pretty short and essentially without any challenge to speak of.
gameplay screenshot
Most of the challenge is to be found in the aforementioned mini-games and, sadly, this is where JULIA‘s main problem lies. The vast majority of mini-games on offer are ridiculously easy and feel largely unconnected to the game’s setting and the situations at hand. What’s more, the difficult ones are usually both too hard and badly explained, making for a gaming experience that ranges between dull and frustrating.
On the other hand, I am really glad I played JULIA. Despite its shortcomings, it’s a very brave, very ambitious and definitely innovative game with a strong focus on telling a story that’s actually worth sharing. I do believe it’s the first step in the right direction; a diamond in the rough, an impressive new way of approaching interactive fiction and an idea that has to be nurtured and supported, if only to give the devs a chance at perfecting their formula.

Verdict: A flawed but unique gem.

The Simpsons Arcade Game

It’s the Simpsons Arcade game as the pick of the week. I fell in love with this title back in the arcade era in the late 80s and early 90s and now that it’s available in the PSN network, I had to have it. Lets kick back and check this wonderful adventure!

The Simpsons Arcade Game - Gameplay Screenshot

Can anyone not have the music of the Simpsons engraved on their head? I know I do! Not only is that wonderful sountrack in the game but also a lot of remixes using it. What better way to enjoy a Simpsons game than to listen to such a wonderful soundtrack! The sounds are also very cartoonish like and best of all, Simpson voices! You’ll hear Homer yawn, Bart swear, and the others!

The Simpsons Arcade Game - Gameplay Screenshot

The graphics are amazing for its time. The game looks just like the cartoon so in a way you get the feeling you are in the cartoon itself. There is no other way to have made this game possible! All the characters look like the ones from series so you won’t have any problem recognizing them. There are of course some characters that only appear in the game but you get the picture.

The Simpsons Arcade Game - Gameplay Screenshot

The gameplay is so much fun you’ll be replaying it with all your friends over and over! The game is quite simple. It’s a beat ’em up which means you have to beat everyone on your path. The game is seven stages long and packed with lots of traps and foes so at points it can get quite challenging. Overall, there isn’t any problem since you don’t need quarters anymore.

The Simpsons Arcade Game - Gameplay Screenshot

This is an arcade game so it obviously holds replay value! It’s always fun to go at it alone and let people join along the way or start a new game with three online peeps and enjoy the journey together. It’s such an awesome masterpiece and totally worth it!


So there is nothing much to say except, get it! It’s a must have, you’ll have a blast ! Online randomness? Yes! Simpson humor? Yes! What more do you want? That’s all for this week!! By the way, it only costs 9.99, runs away”

Legend of Zelda prototype sells for $55,000

Legend of Zelda prototype sells for 55000

Legend of Zelda prototype sells for $55,000

prototype version of the all-time classic The Legend of Zelda grabbed many headlines over the past week. Now it looks to have grabbed a record price for a Nintendo game collectible.

The eBay auction for the rare cartridge has ended with the accepted offer of $55,000, setting a record for the highest sale price ever for a Nintendo Entertainment System title. According to seller Tom Curtin, the offer price was not the only factor in his choice to sell.

“I care about the collecting community and giving it a good home was important,” he said. “I feel as though that was accomplished. It was also important getting prototype video game collecting into the news. It is amazing what is out there in released and unrealesed protos.”

According to Curtin, he is under a non-disclosure with the anonymous buyer, who obtained the item for just over a third of the original listing price of $150,000.

“I am satisfied,” said Curtin. “Do I think it’s worth more? Yes. There was no way I was taking less than the previous world record. The fact that it remained in tact over the last 25 years is amazing. The legacy of this cart and how it came into the hands of the previous owner is incredible.”

While the prototype Zelda cartridge may now reside at a new address, Curtin says he is happy to have owned it while he did.

“Amazing to play something that was in the hands of the Zelda dev team,” he stated. “I simply cannot describe it. I played this with my brother as a kid, for hours and ours as many of us did. To own the cart that brought this to America was a dream.”

Curtin also wished to express his gratitude for those who have worked to preserve these unique pieces of Nintendo history.

“I definitely cannot thank Jason Wilson, Mark Nolan, and Matt Nolan enough,” he added. “They had the foresight to go after these prototypes years and years ago. They preserved important pieces of gaming history. I think between this and the release of Ecstasy of Order the video game community is getting some much needed love. We are not a bunch of geeks sitting around glued to the boob tube, we are normal everyday people celebrating something that makes us happy.”

Yo’ Bro

Yo' Bro

Yo’ Bro

This week we bring you the video review of Yo’ Bro for the Turbo Grafx-16. Release in 1991 by Camp California, The city of Los Angeles is being invaded! Only Lil Bro’, Camp California’s rad skateboarding dude, can save it. The evil Ratz gang is unleashing a barrage of killer creatures and devices. Find incredibly cool weapons to fight back. Wipe out their earthquake machines and nasty man-eating plants with rocket grenades. Fight off wicked space aliens and launch your bonus attacks. It’ll take everything you’ve got to send the Ratz packing.


Zelda Music used during Olympic performance


Elsa Garcia Rutina

Zelda Music used during Olympic performance

We have seen classic video game music used in sports before like Chris Getz using R.B.I. baseball as his walk-up music. This time music from Zelda showed up in this year’s Olympics during Mexican gymnast Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas floor routine. The music was specifically arranged by violinist Lindsey Stirling. Unfortunately, Blancas ended up ranking 35th, but it was cool nonetheless.

[vimeo id=”46818272″ width=”633″ height=”340″]

Here is where the arrangement comes from:

[youtube id=”b3KUyPKbR7Q” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf

SNK developed this classic striker in 1988, and that would be about the same time I discovered it.

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf - Gameplay Screenshot

My brother was in college during that time, and he and his college buddies were addicted to it. In fact, I don’t remember them ever playing another game.

The Masters got me thinking about this game, although ironically, Lee never won that tournament, his only Major fail. But, I put a lot of time into it back in the day, and like real golf, you find you never really master it.
LTFG is a 4-player game, with only 4 characters playable (conveinent). There’s Pretty Amy, the accurate-conscious lady in the pink skirt; Miracle Chosuke and Super Mex (Lee’s happily-embraced racist nickname), who have a good mix of accuracy and power; and my favorite, Big Jumbo, who has the pop in the club, but has a 3-click meter that runs faster, making it more difficult to hit the perfect shot.

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf - Gameplay Screenshot

The game is pretty simple, just 2 courses (US and Japan), 18 holes each. Nothing too intracite like today’s games; no leveling up, buying new clubs and outfits, no cash prizes. Just grab your bag and start swinging. There’s definitely something too the retro-styled golf where you can just pick up and play.

Typical Nintendo sounds ae in full effect here; an opening musical-title piece, the high-and-low tones when the ball is rising and falling, the positive reinforcement tune when you birdie, and the negitive “thud” when the ball hits the “super rough” (words that still pain me to this day).

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf - Gameplay Screenshot

Graphically, typical 8-bit sprites for the players, but there are multiple camera angles…a nice add for this era. There was the overhead shot of the hole, so you could play in your head how you would manuever around the bunkers and trees, as well as deciding if you could the wind to hit the far fairway (if only you could hit the perfect shot, Big Jumbo!). The common camera behind the shot would switch to in front when the ball was in descent, a very nice touch for 1988 NES.

There are also enough little touches to give this game a high replay score; the wind being a factor, and the changing slopes of the greens (arrows pointing the way home).


There may be better golf games out there for the NES, but I haven’t played one. So for now, this gets my highest recommendation for the console. With only a few flaws (4 golfers, 2 courses), you and your buddies will probably find yourself addicted…and according to guys I know, probably never buy another game.

Overall 8/10

World of Tanks: Update 7.5

Fans of the tank based free 2 play MMO have been looking forward to the latest patch, here are the details:


Wargaming today announced that Update 7.5 for its free-to-play action MMO World of Tanks is now available in Europe and will go live in North America on August, 2nd. Update 7.5 features new Tier 10 medium tanks and tank destroyers, premium vehicles, battling arenas, as well as new medals and titles.

The American tech tree has been updated with the E3 and E4 modifications of the T110 destroyer, as well as the M48A1 Patton III medium tank. The Germany Tank Destroyer lines have also been strengthened with the mighty JadgPz E-100 and the E-50 Ausf M, which now occupies the spot as the nation’s most powerful medium tank. The heavy destroyer Object 268 and the medium T62A joined the ranks of the Soviet tech tree, while the French have received the Tier 10 Bat Chatillon 25t medium tank and the AMX 50 Foch 155 tank destroyer.


New premium vehicles now featured in the game include the German Dickermax TD and the American T26E4 Super Pershing medium tank.

In addition to new tanks, the game has also been updated with three new maps, each taking place in North America: Port, Highway and Serene Coast.

The Secret World: Free 2 Play Weekend

The Secret World

The supernatural MMO, The Secret World will be free to play this weekend. The offer is to celebrate the first full month of the game and will including a special in game t-shirt and bonus points for solving missions. Players will also receive 15 fireworks that they can fire off during the event. The offer is available from August 3rd at 4pm GMT to August 6th at 7am GMT.


Star Wars: The Old Republic going free to play

star wars the old republic

I remember looking into our official Obsolete Gamer crystal ball and seeing that DC Superheroes Online was destined for the free 2 play route and it came true. After playing Star Wars, The Old Republic for a weeks, sadly, I knew it was headed that way as well. When we reported that SWTOR were downsizing and then offering free 2 play for up to level 15, it was inevitable.

EA sent word via a press release that The Old Republic will indeed go free to play this November. In addition, the game will cost only $15 starting next week and will come with a free month of gametime. Now as expected, there will still be a subscription service for SWTOR that grants you access to additional content and features of the game. For the free to play model you can level all the way up to 50 and enjoy most of the features of the game.

Here is a breakdown of the two options for Star Wars:

Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.

Free-To-Play – The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.

Check out the chart as well:

star wars the old republic subscription vs free features

We will spare you the PR spin on the upcoming change. We all know the game had flaws and in today’s market gamers are not going to continue paying for something they feel should be free. Just like with DC heroes, the people left in mass droves after the first month and the spin began, but in the end it went free to play and SWTOR has followed suit.

Is this a failure for Bioware and EA, will you find yourself playing the game once it goes free to play?

PC-Engine: Must have games

The PC-Engine console, a collaboration between Hudson Soft and NEC, was released late 1987 in Japan and mid 1999 in North America. NEC changed the name in the US to the TurboGrafx-16. The US unit also had a facelift, it was bulkier (and uglier) compared to its smaller, sleeker Japanese counterpart.

PC Engine


If you were one of the lucky ones to have this cult retro console, or one of its variants, here are 5 must have games you need to add to your collection:

Gomola Speed:


Play as a segmented caterpillar-like creature that has to encircle food in order to exit each level. As you work your way around each area, you pick up new body segments which makes you longer, and have the ability drop bombs that attract the enemy bugs which are then stunned. This is a superb title that mixes strategy with puzzle elements to great effect.



 Parapsychology students, Rick and Jennifer, set out to investigate paranormal activity at West Mansion. This arcade conversion remains faithful to the gloriously gory coin-op. The American version was sadly censored upon release. The Japanese version is the one to get.



Irem’s legendary side scrolling shoot’em up is regarded as one of the PC-Engine’s most accomplished arcade conversions. This was the PC-Engine’s ‘killer app’. The premise was simple, pilot your R-9 fighter to wipe out the evil Bydo Empire. R-Type was split into two HuCards – so if you want the complete game, you will have to buy both.

Gekisha Boy / Photo Boy:

Photo Boy

 This is the most original and innovative game on the PC-Engine. Photo boy is a budding paparazzo tasked to earn points by taking photographs of newsworthy happenings throughout several different environments. Using the on-screen crosshair, you must take snaps of various objects and events while avoiding obstacles. Think of Paperboy with a camera and you have Photo Boy.

PC Genjin / PC Kid / Bonk’s Adventure:

Bonk’s Adventure

Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic. Although not as famous as these two, NEC had PC Genjin, or as he was known in different regions,  PC Kid or Bonk. You play a cave boy going through prehistoric lands head-butting dinosaurs.

Some notable games that just missed out (and I do mean, just !) on making this list: Parasol Stars, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Bomberman’94 and Devil Crash.

If you have never played on the PC-Engine do yourself a favour and hunt one down – or find someone that does, and give these games a whirl.