defender

Defending Charity

Josh posted regular score updates to both the event page for the Defender charity run as well as his own profile. A little after noon, Billy passed the 4 million point mark. A little more than an hour and a half later, he hit 5.66 million. By 10:22 p.m. he passed 15 million points and was still going strong. At 2:17 a.m. Nov. 17, he had achieved 19 million points and by 10:10 a.m. he was at 26.5 million points. Billy continued playing, averaging over a million an hour. At 4:09 p.m., Billy was at 32 million, but then something happened – fatigue set in. [...]

When Video Games Become Board Games: Part 1

It is important to remember that board games are not video games and neither should be expected to match the other’s total gaming experience. Video games of this era were all about constant motion, quick reflexes and split-second decision-making. Board games, however, are about measured decisions, random die rolls or card draws, and ever-changing strategies based on the play of your opponents. In addition, board games often have suggested ages for players. I have read several reviews over the years from adults who were unable to understand that a game meant for children would have limited appeal to adults (and who scored them based on their own experience of playing them as an adult), or from reviewers who also expected a board game to be a video game. [...]

Midway Arcade Origins

Thankfully I was able to get a lot of enjoyment out a few of the included offerings. Joust and Joust 2 hold up extremely well, as do Satan’s Hollow, Robotron 2084, Spy Hunter, Rampage, and both Gauntlet games (just don’t shoot the food!). Two titles I’d never played before, Wizard of Wor and Bubbles, ended up being my favorites. Smash TV and its sequel Total Carnage also play well with a modern controller, and they still serve as a reminder that most of these games were simply designed to get one more quarter out of the pocket of your Kangaroos. This is certainly a staunch contrast from the “save anywhere, unlimited lives” mentality that permeates game design today. [...]

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. [...]

Site of Last Starfighter, birthplaces of Mario and Lode Runner added to registry

Some of the other 23 locations previously inducted include competitive gaming birthplace Ottumwa, IA, the original testing locations of classics such as Donkey Kong and Defender, arcade locations featured in films such as Tron, The Karate Kid and WarGames, former headquarters locations of companies such as Atari and Bally Midway and the famous landfill that saw millions of unsold Atari game cartridges dumped in 1984. [...]

Still Providing Raw Thrills: Eugene Jarvis has impacted over 30 years of gaming

“You start out with all these dreams and hopes,” he said. “Then reality sets in. You can’t do this because the technology isn’t there or you can’t do that because the budget or time isn’t there. Then something doesn’t work how you wanted it to. It feels like being on one of those old wagon trains going across the desert and one of your horses dies. Then you sometimes have your best moments, too, when you stumble across something cool and unexpected to add to the game.” [...]

Totally Tiny Arcade

The main attractions of Totally Tiny Arcade are of course the arcade remakes themselves. Impressively, there are more than 20 of them available, each sporting excellent, chunky, retrotastic graphics and some equally impressive sounds, with each game spanning four levels. The games are inspired from an impressive variety of titles including Space Invaders, Spy Hunter, Pac-Man, Joust, Frogger and even the Atari 2600 version of E.T., though -unfortunately- not all of them are equally good. [...]

What is the best classic space shooter and why?

I can’t help but to re-iterate how significant the first accomplishment was. This was in the days before DirectX, before any abstraction layers, back when Men were Men & Women were Women & game programmers had to write universal binaries for what hardware MIGHT be running their code. That feat is the equivalent of walking into the UN Building and trying each language until you’re talking to everyone. [...]

Gamer Profile: Alex Aguila

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