Cosplay wars: Poison vs. Poison Ivy

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Cosplay wars: Poison vs. Poison Ivy

If you’re going to take something deadly you might as well get a double dose and with that in mind we bring you this week’s cosplay wars.

Representing Team one is the mystery of Metro City, sometimes called everything from a bewitching beauty to a new-half the “gurl” with the handcuffs and what might be a Adam’s apple, Poison.

poison_cosplay

On Team two we have the eco terrorist with the nice, err, you know what we can rhyme that with. Oh wait, this is Obsolete Gamer, we don’t give a shit. She got some nice titties, but she is batshit crazy. Don’t kiss this one, this girl is Poison Ivy.

So here is how it works. We searched for various images of cosplayers representing the two characters and selected ten for each team. You look them over and vote with your comments on which team won. Simple enough right?

So tell us, which cosplay team won, Team Poison or Team Poison Ivy?

Alt F4 #3 MK Tom Brady

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Alt F4 #3 MK Tom Brady

In the arena of fighting game tournaments few people have had an impact as large as MK Tom Brady. Whether it is community leadership or stand out competitor Tom Brady has been a staple with in the Nether Realm Community.

mk tom brady

Through his hard work he has earned various spots outside of fighting games as a tester with Nether Realm Studios for games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us and the legendary rebirth of the classic fighting game Mortal Kombat. He’s also competed and won various major tournaments and even competed in the WCG. He also has been a color commentator for MLG during the return of the fighting game season.

Now prepare yourselves for a trip not only into the life of a professional gamer but a living legend who has seen his fair share of blood spilled in the spectrum of Kombat.

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Star Fox 2: The Game We Never Knew

Star Fox 2: The Game We Never Knew

I never realized that a sequel had been made for the SNES until I saw the reproduction cart on gamereproductions.com.

The really cool thing is this isn’t just a couple of levels, this game is totally finished but just unreleased as Shigeru Miyamoto and the guys at Nintendo decided at the last minute they wanted to concentrate more on the N64 system and show what it could do with the Star Fox franchise with the most advanced hardware instead of releasing this title for the Super Nintendo.

Even though this game was complete it was left by the wayside, but once Star Fox 64 was made a lot of elements from Star Fox 2 were reused and integrated into that game, so if you play both you will notice a lot of similarities.

starfox 2 gameplay footages snes

A new improved version of the Super FX chip was used producing an even better looking 3D game.  This game instead of being strictly a flight-based game introduces some real time game play, new types of ships and new Star Fox team members.  When you and your teammate start on the map instead of taking a linear route like in the original game you can freely travel wherever you want, but as you move the enemy will react and also move around the map too.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

Your objective is to destroy all the enemies that are present on the map while trying to defend your home planet Corneria from enemy attacks.  If the planets damage level reaches 100%, you have failed your mission and the game is over.  To protect the planet you will have to destroy the fighters and incoming missiles that are headed toward the planet.  To permanently prevent the attacks you have to deal with the planets with enemy bases that fire the missiles and the battleships that deploy the enemy fighter ships.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

The really cool thing is when you make contact with one of these missiles or planets on the map screen you are taken to an action sequence.  If it’s a missile you came in contact with you will have to shoot down all the missiles on the screen, then if it was a planet you have to open the enemies base entrance by either hitting a switch, defeating a boss or destroying a shield.  Once you get into the base you have to go either fly through or you can transform into a walking tank and destroy the generator at the end.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

Once the generator has been destroyed no more missiles will be fired from that base.  While you are trying to clear out the enemies, more enemies will continue moving on the map and attacking Corneria.  So you may have to leave your battle to quickly intercept the enemies before they inflict massive damage to the planet. So managing your time effectively becomes very important.

starfox 2 - snes - gameplay screenshot

Starfighters from the Star Wolf mercenary team make an appearance, if you played Star Fox on the N64 or the Star Fox game on the DS you will recognize them.  They have captured some planets and if you try to take them back you will have to fight them. After some time passes they may start coming after your Arwings. They aren’t the only ones coming after you though, bosses will also be sent out to chase you down at some point in the game.

If you get a chance to pick this game up I definitely recommend it, but if not at least make sure you play Star Fox 64 on the N64 or 3DS and see how some of the mechanics from this game were incorporated.

Thanks to Yuriofwind for the video breakdown on the cancellation of Starfox 2.

Princess Peach and the Pooper

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Princess Peach and the Pooper

You have to love the internet and artists for that matter. Who would have ever thought to paint Princess Peach in a bathroom giving you the “Oh my Gosh” look. I mean could you even go to the bathroom with her looking at you like that, the answer of course is yes.

princess and the pooper

All we need is one of Mario coming out of the toilet to make this perfect.

The Amiga CD32

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What if? The Amiga CD32

I love What if? scenarios. What could have been if things hadn’t gone a bit pear-shaped for a certain company. This particular scenario though surrounds the question, What if the Amiga CD32 had been a success… would we be seeing an Amiga console today? Equal to the PS3 or X-Box?

There’s plenty of debate on the interweb, schools of thought on the future of Commodore and Amiga. I’ve been dipping in and out of some forums recently and there is certainly a lot of passion surrounding this subject. However, my own personal opinion doesn’t seem to fit in with these particular debates. I’ve always dreamt of an Amiga console, a continuation of the CD32, with Commodore backed and developed hardware, chipsets and designs with the same Amiga enthusiasm for gaming, graphics and entertainment.

amiga-cd32

I look all bleary eyed as I imagine the release of the ‘Commodore Amiga *insert awesome console name here*’, the anticipation as to the specs of this new machine, the controllers, the online game play… I’ve pretty much invented this fantasy console already, it has everything that made the Amiga and its successors the gaming giants they were (and still are in my opinion).

I’ve imagined the specs, it rivals the PS3 and X-Box for graphics and online gaming, it has an entertainment centre for playing Blu-ray and downloadable movies, it has the retro back catalogue of Amiga games and software, all in a glorious online archive of classics from the past… sorry, drifted off for a bit there.

In short, I think an Amiga console would have easily fitted in amongst the latest gaming platforms, having an incredible legacy behind it and a gaming archive for it to include in its package, sitting alongside any of the latest games. Somehow (don’t ask me how) this latest Amiga console would also allow people to develop their own Amiga projects, the software played just as big a part in the history of Commodore and Amiga as the games did and it would be awesome to see that included, and of course backed by a genuine and passionate Commodore company.

amiga cd32_back

Now, lets not forget this is a What if? scenario, I like to dream of what could have been, and of course in an ideal world this is where I would have liked the direction of the company to have gone. The reality of course was a lot more complicated and depressing, and currently, at least for the brand we all know and love, it’s not looking much better.

Check out another blog post on the CD32 over at Last of Commodore: Amiga CD32, it’s a lot more informative and a lot less fantasy (see above). Thanks for indulging my imagination, until my dreams come true, I’ll be playing on my Amiga 500.

Thanks to Gamester81 for the video review.

Did you know: NBA Jam was Rigged?

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Did you know: NBA Jam was Rigged?

We are retro gaming fans not experts so what this means is we are always learning new things and today we saw a post on Reddit about how apparently NBA Jam was rigged against the Chicago Bulls. We had to see if it was true so we searched around the internet and looked at a couple sites and apparently it is true.

nba jam bulls vs pistons

Here is a post from the Huffington Post about it. So if you are not familiar, in the 90’s the Bulls were winning a ton of titles under Air Jordan after finally getting over the hump of beating the Detroit Pistons. Now the lead designer for the game, Mark Turmell was a serious Piston fan and Michigan native. One if the things he did was write in a special code that lowered Scottie Pippen’s ratings whenever you selected him and played against Detroit. But there was more.

isiahvsmj

Back in 2013, Trumell said the following in an ESPN The Magazine interview:

“If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks. There was the big competition back in the day between the Pistons and the Bulls, and since I was always a big Pistons fan, that was my opportunity to level the playing field.”

 

Being from Miami and so many people hating on the Miami Heat I wonder if there is some Indian Pacer fan that might be adding some code in a future NBA 2K game.

Check out the video from the Emulated Gamer for more info.

Street Fighter Alpha

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Street Fighter Alpha

When I was a kid Street Fighter II was one of the coolest games we had on SNES. The series had seen many editions, spin-offs, and sequels, but this is the first time I really played the Alpha series. Since PSN has classics for the original Playstation, I thought I’d start with first Street Fighter Alpha.
street fighter alpha
Alpha was called Street Fighter Zero in Japan, as it is a prequel. Though it’s really the first real successor to Street Fighter II. It’s also more similar to II than III or IV. You have a fair amount of characters with a couple of stages. Old favorites like Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li are here but new ones like Charlie and Rose join the cast.
street fighter alpha
Overall it plays like a sightly superior Street Fighter II though some of the characters I didn’t care much for. There also isn’t a whole lot to the game either. Just an arcade mode and a versus mode. Typical for a fighting game in the 1990s, but now we expect a tad more.
street fighter alpha
I think Street Fighter Alpha is a great game, though as a fan of the series it does feel a bit like deja-vu. Why I was a bit curious to see what the original Alpha was like, I’m now regretting going to it instead of the the third game. I hear it’s got a lot more characters and improvements than the original.

Street Racer

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Street Racer

Street Racer is still no Mario Kart, but is much better than it has any right to be – just make sure you give it sufficient time to impress. ~Simon Reed

I’m not sure how I haven’t yet revisited Street Racer, as it seems a perfect for this blog. A game that’s slightly obscure and been forgotten by many, but still has elements that means it’s worthy of re-appraisal.

A Mario Kart style racer developed by Ubi Soft, Street Racer could easily be dismissed as a lesser imitation during your opening minutes of playtime.

Despite a rocking opening music track for the main menu and some solid if uninspiring looking cartoon characters to choose from – such as Frank (Frankenstein), what looks like a gold prospector and a beach babe – you’ll struggle to get to get to grips with the actual racing itself.

Street Racer - SNES

The game uses Mode 7 (at least it sure looks like it does) to a near nauseating degree, and tracks spin and warp quite badly.

This makes the simple task of seeing what’s coming up ahead much tougher than it should be. It looks good in stills (see above) but the game is no picnic when in full flow.

What makes things worse is that the fairly loose handling takes a fair while to get used to. You need to slow down regularly here – odd for a cartoon karting game – to get anywhere fast (pun intended).

Especially when you consider that you can’t really make out walls due to the Mode 7 graphics until the very last moment.

Street Racer - SNES

Added to the initial malaise of annoyance is the unclear power up/weapons system.

There are no pick up weapons in Street Racer, only turbo boosts (used with Y). Attacks, in the form of your racer punching, are done with the L and R buttons, which allow you to punch to the left and right respectively. X makes you perform a short jump.

If you can cope with these problems/oddities though – and it’s a big if – the game does get better the more you play it.

The more open tracks, such as a beach level, are easy enough to negotiate around for example, and you suddenly get the extra confidence to be able to weave your way through the pack – which you possibly didn’t feel like you could do before.

Street Racer - SNES

Better still, the game boasts some rather unique little features.

One is that after each race extra points are awarded to the racer who gets the fastest individual lap time, punches the most opponents and collects the most stars scattered around the track.

This is a neat little touch, and adds another welcome layer of depth to races. It can mean you can finish fourth but still accumulate a healthy number of points.

The other interesting part of the game is the inclusion of two multiplayer modes (they can be played in single player if you must) alongside the regular races.

One is a ‘Rumble’ mode, which has you trying to knock/punch off your fellow racers off a small arena. Depending on the difficulty setting you have buffers around the arena that slowly deteriorate when they’re hit.

Street Racer - SNES

It’s a little messy, especially with no real weapons to speak of, but still fun.

What’s even more chaotic is the ‘Soccer’ option though.

It has eight racers on one small pitch all attempting to take a football and thwack it into the one goal. The goal has a pong-esque paddle as a goalkeeper, and it’s as ridiculous to play as it sounds.

Despite it’s problems – it can take you minutes at a time to get the ball – it’s a brave experiment and one, against all odds, that’s still playable today.

In conclusion, Street Racer is still no Mario Kart, but is much better than it has any right to be – just make sure you give it sufficient time to impress.

Games I wanted when I was a kid: The Tomy Racing Turbo

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This thing took four D batteries; does anything even take D batteries anymore? ~J.A. Laraque

The Tomy Racing Turbo

If you read this blog often and you should, you heard me talk about my friend, Jimmy that is/was rich. He had all the toys and was really cool about it in that he was a good friend and would allow me to play with all of them and never was a jerk about it.

There were a ton of toys he had that I never did so I will tell you about the video game related ones in a series of posts starting with the Tomy Racing Turbo. Now in the days of Hi-Def video game racers a gamer like this may seem crappy, but back in the 80’s this was the shit.

The Tomy Racing Turbo

Not only did it have the look at feel of a cool sports car, but the sounds and cool lights to boot and to us kids at the time, it felt like a true driving sim. This thing took four D batteries; does anything even take D batteries anymore?

The video above features a great review of the Tomy Racing Turbo by YouTube member Ashens.

Elven Legacy

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Elven Legacy

Recently I reviewed the game Fantasy Wars. Despite the somewhat generic title, I found it to be a pretty effective turn-based strategy game. A couple of years later, they released a follow-up game called Elven Legacy, which in turn has spawned a trio of expansions: Magic, Ranger and Siege. I picked them all up as a combo pack from Steam and finally had a chance to play them. Since they use the same basic engine, I figure I will review them as a whole here.

Graphics – 7:

Elven Legacy - PC

They’re okay – the environments are bland, and the characters themselves do little to stand out at a distance, though they tend to fare a bit better on their close up. The maps themselves are easy enough to navigate visually. The cut scenes are pretty basic-looking, and in places, ugly if I’m to be perfectly honest. The engine looks very, very familiar to Fantasy Wars, which is a bit disappointing given a couple of years development time between titles. Thankfully, there does seem to be more color and the flying units look better, and the environmental textures are a bit more detailed.

Sounds & Music – 6:

Elven Legacy - PC

The music’s what you expect, but it can be a bit repetitious too. There are not a ton of sound effects, but what is there gets the job done. The voice acting is in fact, terrible at times. What’s worse is the tutorial, which is broken in terms of audio. Overlapping sentences, phrases that get cut off early, these things make the tutorial almost completely useless. The expansions don’t seem to have any voice acting at all.

Gameplay – 8:

The menus and overall interface were very similar to Fantasy Wars, which is to say they are easy to get around once you’re familiar with them, but there is a bit of a learning curve. There’s quite a few units though, and the turn-based tactics are solid. The way units progress is entertaining, and gives you a reason to feel invested in them – but be prepared. Like Fantasy Wars, this game is tough. The Fog of War feature keeps you from seeing what you’re getting into at times, and the enemy is very adept at ganging up on and beating a single unit to a pulp.

Elven Legacy - PC

One returning feature I am not particularly a fan of is the time-based gold/silver/bronze system, where you have a certain number of turns to meet your objective, and it seems like gold in several of these is virtually impossible. When you try to rush to complete objectives, you tend to lose more units and overlook things you might have found if you took the time to scour the map a bit, which is a shame. Still, the rewards for gold completion are usually quite nice – solid gold earning, usually a free troop and it unlocks a parallel mission that does not really affect the outcome, but is interesting all the same.

Intangibles – 8:

Elven Legacy - PC

The games are a bit short – I got through my first run of Elven Legacy in about fifteen hours or so, but there’s plenty of replay value with things like the side missions you can unlock and also a separate mission feature on top of the campaign mode. I also found the story more interesting than what was presented in Fantasy Wars, though I felt it was better in Elven Legacy than the additional packs.

Overall – 7:

Elven Legacy - PC

Technically the games are not great. The graphics and sound/music are average, but the gameplay is challenging and there is a fair amount to do within the game. Like Fantasy Wars, this series of games can be found relatively cheaply (though not quite as cheaply). It’s a bit disappointing that the series did not come a bit further over the two year span, but for strategy enthusiasts there is enough here to keep you busy. The AI presents a good challenge and there’s a fair amount to do.

When Grandparents fail

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By the time I was 10, I had enough plastic army men to take North Korea. ~J.A. Laraque

When Grandparents fail

So this was sent to us from a post on Reddit. Apparently this was given to someone from their grandparent as a gift. It was hailed as the next gen handheld console that all the kids are playing from the person that sold it to the grandparent. Well it is in fact a very cheap little game that costs about 10 bucks on Amazon.

Agp x-system

Sadly this happens a lot not just to older people put to people who do not know a console from a cheap piece of plastic or a Nintendo Wii. For years growing up I was a victim of the relative that either had no idea of how to shop for a kid for Christmas or a last minute shopper who bought me plastic army men from the gas station on the way to holiday dinner. By the time I was 10, I had enough plastic army men to take North Korea.

Now this buy was bad, but it can get worse because many people are fooled by knock-offs. You can see a number of them on our Monday Motivation post about them. In Miami, we have a ton of flea markets where you can find these and the sales people are more than willing to trick unsuspecting shoppers into buying a Gamecast for only 69.99 that has 180 built in games that your 16 year old will absolutely hate.

Do us all a favor, stick to gift cards.

All Atari Consoles and Computers

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All Atari Consoles and Computers

You can never get enough information and pictures of Atari computers right, am I right guys! Well here we have Imgur user zadoc with a information and images on all the Atari console and computer systems. It’s like porn for classic computer geeks like me!

Here is a sample.

1975 – Home Pong

Home Pong

Pong has a long history going back before the 1972 release of the arcade version which popularized video games. “Home Pong” is a game changer in the home console market, previously occupied by only the Magnavox Odyssey. Unlike Odyssey, this game has a microchip; it’s a computer and can keep score. Pong was ready to go in 1974, actually, but Atari could not find anyone to sell it. People thought it was too expensive and no one would want to play it.

After a year Atari agreed to let Sears sell it through their sporting goods catalog. That’s why the first version of Home Pong carries the Sears Tele-Games brand. In 1976 Atari was able to release it under their own brand, and that’s the version pictured here. Between 1976 and 1977 several variations of Pong consoles would be released by Atari.

Pong Doubles, Super Pong, Super Pong Pro-Am, Super Pong Pro-Am Ten, Ultra Pong, and Ultra Pong Doubles. All are variants on Pong, some are up to four players. It would not only be Atari to release a slew of Pong consoles.

Aside from 1972’s Magnavox Odyssey, the entire first generation of video game consoles would be almost nothing but dedicated consoles. Magnavox made a slew of Odyssey models, Coleco made numerous models, as did APF, and dozens of companies you’ve never eve heard of. The craze ended in the first video game crash, as everyone got sick of these things and it became apparent that “programmable” consoles were the future. We’ll look at non-pong dedicated consoles that Atari released, but not every single Pong variant.

Check out the rest here – All Atari Consoles and Computers

 

Knights of the Sky

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The great thing about Knights of the Sky was that you felt completely vulnerable throughout every mission – even just a few direct hits with a machine gun could send you spiralling to a fiery death, which led to some tense dogfights. ~Lewis Packwood

Knights of the Sky

Format: Amiga Genre: Flight Simulator Released: 1991 Developer:MicroProse

I was playing a demo of Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. the other day. The graphics were superb – the representation of Rio de Janeiro was almost photo-realistic – but the game itself was deathly dull. Like pretty much all modern flight sims, it basically amounts to lining up your sights over some plane or tank that’s so far away you can’t actually see it, waiting for a lock on, then pressing the fire button. *Yawn*

knights_of_the_sky

 

Unfortunately, it seems that as real-life planes rely more and more on flight computers to navigate and select targets, the computer games based on them become less and less enjoyable. Perhaps by the time we reach Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 10 you won’t even need to do anything – you could just step outside for a cigarette and let the game play itself.

Thank heavens then for Knights of the Sky, a blesséd antidote to all this modern fly-by-wire, fire-and-forget, head-up-display, ensure-contents-are-piping-hot nonsense. Here’s a simulation where top speeds rarely climb into triple figures, where fire and forget equates to lobbing a hand grenade out of the cockpit and hoping for the best, and where your head-up display mostly consists of a petrol gauge and a compass. Welcome to World War 1.

knights_of_the_sky

 

The great thing about Knights of the Sky was that you felt completely vulnerable throughout every mission – even just a few direct hits with a machine gun could send you spiralling to a fiery death, which led to some tense dogfights. Pretty much every mission I attempted would end with me coaxing a critically damaged plane back to my home base after a few too many close encounters with the enemy. The wings would be practically falling off, the petrol gauge would be virtually on empty, and I’d be wrestling with the joystick to just keep the plane going in a straight line… Most of the time I didn’t make it, but on the rare occasions where I somehow managed to land my charred mass of wood and canvas back on friendly soil, I’d be practically dancing round the room in excitement. And, to my knowledge, there are very few flight sims that can inspire dancing.

knights_of_the_sky

 

By far the best aspect of this game was the two player mode. There were surprisingly few Amiga games that you could play over a link cable, but these games were among my favourites, and most of them are (or will be) on this list (I’ve already covered one of them – Stunt Car Racer).

Knights of the Sky just came alive in two player mode. As much fun as it was having my plane shot to pieces by nameless Germans, it couldn’t even come close to the sheer thrill of having my plane shot to pieces by my Amiga-500-owning mate who lived round the corner. As I said earlier, dogfights were tense in Knights of the Sky, but they were a good deal tenser when playing against a friend, especially if he unplugged your joystick in the middle of a loop-the-loop (thankfully, the computerised Germans never learned that little trick).

knights_of_the_sky

 

Actually shooting down your opponent’s plane was surprisingly hard – the view from your cockpit was incredibly restrictive (most of your view was taken up by instruments and a bloody great big wing in front), so it was really difficult to keep the other plane within your sights. Also, because the planes were so slow, actually turning round to try and get on the tail of your opponent was a constant struggle. And any slightly more advanced manoeuvres were a risky business – the planes could only fly at low altitude, so if you went into a steep dive there was a good chance you’d end up ploughing into the deck, and climbing steeply would generally cause your plane to stall. In fact, participating in a dogfight was kind of like watching two valium-addled geriatrics wrestling each other for the last Werther’s Original. In slow motion.

knights_of_the_sky

However, the very fact that the planes were so completely rubbish was what made Knights of the Sky so exciting. Because it was so much of a struggle to fly your plane – and even to find, let alone shoot at, your opponent – winning a dogfight created a palpable sense of achievement. Especially if you could do it without unplugging your opponent’s joystick.

 

Of course, the game is not without its faults. The graphics, for example, could be politely described as ‘uninspiring’, and they look positively Stone Age by today’s standards. Also, the single player campaign could become a little dull after a while, and there wasn’t really enough variety to hold your interest for extended periods of time.

But for the two player mode alone, Knights of the Sky more than deserves to be on this list, if only because it proves that flights sims can be exciting after all.

Video Game of Thrones: Super Mario World

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Video Game of Thrones: Super Mario World

Why not cross over the Mushroom Kingdom and Westeros. There have been a ton of classic crossovers many featuring the iconic Super Mario Bros so it is not surprising to see Game of Thrones get an Mario-Style intro and I must it is pretty awesome.

super mario game of thrones

This was created by Youtube user, NicksplosionFX, not only did they use the 8-bit graphics from the NES, but also a specially made chiptune to recreate the GoT title sequence. Also check out the side-by-side comparison.

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The OTHER fake gamers

The OTHER fake gamers

I remember going to my friend, Jimmy’s house. His dad made commercials and he was showing us this glass of what I thought has ice and Pepsi in it. Funny thing was it had neither.  The ice cubes were a specially made plastic and the liquid was designed to look even better than real Pepsi. A piece of my childhood died that day and that was before he showed us all the other fake food they show us in commercials. He was kind of a buzz kill.

they are not really having fun

This picture is setup perfectly which leaves so much wrong with it. I mean first of all, they are playing Mario Bros and the Mario Bros cartridge is sitting outside so I guess they got two of them, one to play and one so you can see what they are playing, nevermind that there is the television and all.

Second of all, no parents as old as the ones pictured are that interested in any video game, yes, even the Wii. Finally, will someone tell that poor kid in the yellow and black that he is not really playing? I am sure his life is sad enough, don’t torment him any further.

Best Buy Owned

Best Buy Owned

Sadly this is more truth than just a funny picture and a joke. I have been to Best Buy a number of times and beside either never finding help or being hounded to buy a service warranty on a toaster they just don’t have the selection that gamers really want.

Best Buy Owned

Now for last minute people who think they are buying a gift for a gamer and end up giving you some crappy game you won’t even bother installing, Best Buy is for you.

The Immortal

 

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The first thing you noticed when playing The Immortal was that you tended to die a lot. ~Dan Epp

The Immortal

The plot of The Immortal revolved around a young magician intercepting a call for help meant for someone else from his master, Mordamir, located deep within a labyrinth.  Since you – as the young apprentice – were the only help available, you set out to rescue Mordamir.  Once there, the young wizard discovered that  things are not as straightforward as they are presented by Mordamir, and many plot twists unfolded.  The dungeon was home to warring clans of goblins and trolls, whom you interacted with throughout the game, mostly through combat, but you could ally somewhat with the Goblin King for quests, information, and treasure.  There were other allies to be found in the game, but not everyone had altruistic reasons for giving you aid.  And there were other creatures living underground that considered you a possible tasty treat, as well as a variety of traps, so it was necessary to stay alert!

 

The Immortal
Anyone have a can of Spider Kilz I can borrow?

Much of the back story was given in the form of dreams that came when the young apprentice slept (on little piles of hay conveniently located throughout the dungeon levels).  The information these dreams contained was absolutely integral to surviving the quest, especially in the final sequence when Mordamir’s young apprentice had to make a choice of which powerful being he must ally with, and thereby end their stalemate.  I don’t recall a game that used this kind of lucid dreaming game mechanic quite as well as The Immortal, though opinions may vary.

 

The Immortal
Having a nap in The Immortal

The first thing you noticed when playing The Immortal was that you tended to die a lot.  Some players forgot they weren’t playing a buff warrior, but a magician’s young apprentice, so they forgot that running headlong into combat isn’t the wisest move for even an experienced wizard.  The trick was to either avoid combat (if you could!) or keep dodging around until your opponent tired themselves out, and then move in for the kill.  Sometimes this was easier to say than to do, however.  To make things more difficult, if your character didn’t die during combat, there were always the myriad traps for him to trigger.  Learning to navigate a room could result in many, many reloads, which is why The Immortal was considered a very difficult game to finish.

 

The Immortal
Successful spore attack in The Immortal

The next thing you noticed while playing The Immortal was the sheer level of violence. The combat screen graphics were fairly detailed for its day, and the level of gore they contained was a little over-the-top, which culminated with Mortal Kombat-style “finishing moves” with similar graphic details, such as decapitations, exploding skulls, eviscerations, and more.  For an early 1990s game, The Immortal was pretty intense.  (Oddly enough, the MS-DOS version wasn’t nearly as bloody as the Apple IIGS or Commodore Amiga versions.  The Nintendo Entertainment System version had much of the gore removed, but the Sega Genesis version might be the goriest of the all.)

 

The Immortal
Under the wizard’s attack in The Immortal

The game played in an isometric perspective, and an argument could be made for claiming The Immortal as the forefather of Diablo in its style.  It certainly taxed the system specs of the day, with particular attention paid to the death scenes (as mentioned above).  Did Blizzard find inspiration for their epic click-fest from memories of playing The Immortal?  Play it and decide for yourself!

 

The Immortal - IBM PC - Gameplay Screenshot -5
Under a death attack in The Immortal

 

 

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel

The Fatal1ty Show

If you ever had someone tell you do stop playing games and just “grow up” maybe you should tell them about Johnathan Wendel, better known as under his gamer name, Fatal1ty. We had a chance to talk to Fatal1ty from Las Vegas and first off let me say I was very jealous of his awesome view of the Vegas strip. For those of you who might not be very familiar with Fatal1ty here is the rundown.

Johnathan Wendel

Johnathan began playing professionally in late 1999 mainly in FPS games and most notably known in Quake. He had won a ton of championship titles and about half a million in cash and prizes from professional competitions. Beyond that he has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes and MTV.

Not only is Jonathan a professional gamer but an entrepreneur as well. He began his own company Fatal1ty Inc. which sells a number of gaming items including motherboards, power supplies, mouse pads and sound cards.

Fatal1ty has been a great friend to Obsolete Gamer first giving us a Gamer Profile and then following that up with a full Interview. He has appeared on the Obsolete Gamer before in our podcast format which you can still listen to. For this episode of the Obsolete Gamer Show we talked about his gaming career, his upcoming product lines and the road from being a gamer with a dream to building an empire.