Month
August 2012

Activision Classic Anthology available now for mobile devices

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! [...]

My Favorite Games: Part 10

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! [...]

Gamers Health: Gaming Injuries

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. [...]

Alfred Chicken

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. [...]

Crystal Castles

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. [...]

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass

Being a sequel of sorts to 2004 indie darling Da New Guys, Day 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. [...]

Nintendo Power: Reaction to the end of the long running 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. [...]

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. [...]

Cadash

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

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

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. [...]

The SteelSeries Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard Review

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. [...]

Arcade Classics: What happened to them all?

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. [...]

Hard Driving

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 ? [...]

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 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. 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

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. [...]

Dragon’s Fury

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. [...]

The best of Go Daddy Commercials

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. [...]

Sonic CD

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. 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? [...]

Final Fantasy 7: PC Download available today

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. [...]

Waves

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. [...]

Beginner’s Guide to World of Tanks

Know your role and act like it most of the time. If you’re a light tank, you’re the scout. 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! [...]

Two more NES prototypes hit online auctions

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. [...]

Did you know: Vol 1

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. [...]

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. 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

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. [...]

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

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. [...]

Top Ten TurboCD TurboDuo CD Games

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! [...]

Samsung Series 7 Gamer 700G7C-S01 Review With Benchmarks

The Samsung Series 7 Gamer 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. [...]

J.U.L.I.A.

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. [...]

The Simpsons Arcade Game

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 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. [...]

Legend of Zelda prototype sells for $55,000

“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

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

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. [...]

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf

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. [...]

World of Tanks: Update 7.5

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. [...]

The Secret World: Free 2 Play Weekend

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

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. [...]

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. 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: [...]