You don’t get the show #26 Podcast

YDGTS

With all the sales on games, toys and electronics this summer we decide to celebrate Christmas in July by looking over the top Christmas toys from the 80’s to today. From Transformers to the BeyBlades, we reminisce about our favorite toys, watch some weird toy commercials and try to remember why some of these toys were popular.

This episode is NSFW, you have been warned.

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Geek Salad 002: Player Unknown Battlegrounds, LateShift, Rick & Morty and more


Randy breaks down Player Unknown Battlegrounds while J.A. gives his thoughts on the FMV game, Late Shift. This weeks board game reviews include Super Dungeon Explore and Rick and Morty Mr. Meeseeks Box O’ Fun.

Geek Salad 001: Mysterium, Terminator board game and NBA Sponsored E-Sports


Our new show featuring news, reviews and commentary from board games to video games and everything in-between.

In our first episode we look at Mass Effect Cards against humanity’s new deck, Terminator the Board Game, the Miami Heat sponsoring an E-Sports team and a review of Mysterium.

Let’s Play BlazeRush: “Good Yab”


BlazeRush is a racing game that’s silly and pure fun, and very much the spiritual successor of old 2D racing games like Rock n’ Roll Racing, RC Pro AM, Super Sprint, Skidmarks, Racing Destruction Set, and Super Off Road.

To see all our BlazeRush videos, click here.

To view more of our Gameplay Videos, click here.

To check out more of our Let’s Plays, click here.

You dont get the show #7: WTF is with this show


We try to have a blueprint for the show even when that blueprint is disturbing, but when we don’t have one things go off the rails as you will see in our latest episode.

We have a special guest host alongside J.A. and Ignacio. We welcome Xexeb the faceless wonder to the show where topics range from sex at the Rio Olympics to how bad we expect the Division movie to be.

Come watch the train wreck!

You found gameplay videos on where now?


The guys were astonished to discover that you can find legitimate gameplay video for many of your favorite video games of pornography websites.

Watch the full show by clicking here.

WoWP The usual pleasure that the tier 8 I-250 fighter is


World of Warplanes:
This is a typical win for me at tier 8 with the I-250. The I-250 uses a dual engine system where it has a propeller engine in the front and an early jet engine in the back. The design is pretty crazy but it makes for some very good boosting. The arsenal is basically 3 20+ mm cannons which although they have a very good range they heat up pretty quickly. The plane is great at high and medium altitudes making it a great heavy fighter hunter.

MUSIC:
song: io2.s3m
title: Io 2: From a Distant Moon
author: gd / s!p (1995)

If you want to play World of Warplanes you can download it and play it for free at their homepage http://worldofwarplanes.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWP Chill sunday night game in the P-43 Lancer


WoWP Chill sunday night game in the P-43 Lancer

World of Warplanes:
This is a typical, chill victory over a late sunday night (it was around 2 AM). The P-43 Lancer is sort of like a mix between an interceptor and a heavy fighter. It has a very good amount of 12.7 caliber machineguns which are decent in dogfights because you can basically almost hold down the trigger since they cool fast. The design is not perfect though as they are mounted mainly in the wings which kills your handling and I’ve found it also affects accuracy.

If you notice in some parts in the beginning there was some lag which is an issue 1.9.2 (even 1.9.0 had it) has. This is a server issue that hopefully will get fixed. I mainly see it more in lower tiers where population is higher.

MUSIC:
song: cloud.mod
title: Cloud Traveller
author: Supernao
from: Ripped by Chaos from R.A.W. #7 from The Spaceballs

If you want to play World of Warplanes you can download it and play it for free at their homepage http://worldofwarplanes.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWP A very epic loss in the P-43 Lancer


World of Warplanes:
The game starts out with somebody saying hello to me and then I obsess over killing them. Probably that’s what caused me to lose this epic game. I did what I could but it was already too late for my doomed team.

The P-43 Lancer is pretty good but if it comes down to being in a furball with dedicated fighters, you’re pretty much dead!

MUSIC:
song: CJ-BRAIN.XM
title: Brains Reflector
author: Cj DiB of R/S (1996)

If you want to play World of Warplanes you can download it and play it for free at their homepage http://worldofwarplanes.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWS Why you should always kill destroyers ASAP in every game

World of Warships:
This video basically shows why you should kill most destroyers as soon as humanly possible in every game you play. The replay is provided by my friend Diode_mA (Diode Milliampere). He basically goes straight for the enemy base and one-shots with his entire torpedo barrage an enemy battleship of a higher tier. He then proceeds to cap the enemy base with the enemy team doing little to stop him. GG!!!

People don’t realize how important base defense is. I blame the enemy destroyers and especially cruisers for costing their team the game.

If you want to play World of Warships visit the game’s homepage and download and play it for free http://worldofwarships.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWP Meet the new awesome American tier 4 P-43 Lancer

World of Warplanes:
Meet the new American tier 4 Multirole fighter, the P-43 Lancer from the new Thunderbolt line! The new line overall seems to be really good at heavy fighter hunting.

As always, I play only with mouse and keyboard with custom sensitivity settings.

Download World of Warplanes here: http://worldofwarplanes.com/

Music from the c64 version of Neverending Story II. Written by Mike Tschogl, published by Linel in 1990.

Don’t forget to subscribe and like, and also leave us some good comments! o7 If you want tips on how to play well, ask me! 🙂

If you want to play World of Warplanes you can download it and play it for free at their homepage http://worldofwarplanes.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWS: A close game in the Tier 6 German Cruiser Nurnberg

World of Warships:
This game was very close. It stayed pretty even during most of the match with most people playing their roles correctly. My Nurnberg is fully upgraded but uses no equipment (I’m always broke). It’s Captain has 4 skills only. No flags were being used.

If you want to play World of Warships visit the game’s homepage and download and play it for free http://worldofwarships.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWP: close defeat in a C-1 Wirraway tier 3 British attack aircraft

World of Warplanes: close defeat in a C-1 Wirraway tier 3 British attack aircraft

A very close game (a defeat) in my tier 3 British gold attack aircraft the C-1 Wirraway. I play using mouse + keyboard with some adjustments to the default controls. I did manage to get an ace and a bunch of good kills but it wasn’t enough! o7

Here are all the details on the Wirraway: http://worldofwarplanes.com/warplanes/gb/wirraway/

If you want to play World of Warplanes you can download it and play it for free at their homepage http://worldofwarplanes.com/

If you like this gameplay and would like to see more gameplay videos check out our channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

WoWS: A disappointingly close loss in the Tier 6 Russian DD Ognevoi

World of Warships: A disappointingly close loss in the Tier 6 Russian DD Ognevoi

No matter how hard we tried we still lost but it was a good effort! o7 My Ognevoi wasn’t fully upgraded either. It was missing the final hull and final torpedo upgrade.

If you want to play this game go visit http://worldofwarships.com/

If you like this gameplay video and would like to see more like it please visit and subscribe to our youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OGobsoletegamer

Gamer’s Take: Girl Games – From Ignorance to Inclusion

Take a look at this image. As a retro gamer perhaps the first thing one might say is that the history of video games goes back much further than 1995, but obviously that is not the point here. The commentary, whether it is just a joke, as some people have tried to state that it is or that it is legitimate commentary. The idea is that women in the past attacked video games and gamer’s and now want those games and gamer’s to cater to them.

Girl+gamers

War of the Roses

[youtube id=”XVAD9qgC-HQ” width=”633″ height=”356″]

War of the Roses 

War of the Roses is an interesting title, because it takes a few chances that generally pay off, makes use of perhaps one of the most popular gaming modes on the market right now, and feels like a game with some as of yet untapped potential.  So what is War of the Roses?  It is an online experience that feels to me like a Battlefield or Call of Duty game, but with swords and bows instead of rifles and machine guns.

War of the Roses-PC

Graphics – 6:

The visuals are not particularly striking.  They do the job, and there are some nice pieces of flair here and there, like seeing your coat of arms show up on your shield for example.  One of my complaints is that the video controls lack granularity in the settings.  My PC ran the game fine, but my laptop was much more of a struggle at more moderate settings, so I had to move the game’s video settings to the most basic. There were areas I would have liked to have tweaked upward, trying to find that sweet spot between appearance and performance, but those controls were not there.  One very positive note however, is that the game ran smoothly for me, even when crowds of fifteen to twenty people were onscreen together in the same general vicinity.

Sound & Music – 6:

Again, nothing here that particularly impressed me but at least the audio did nothing to offend me either.  A few of the songs in the sound track were pleasant enough to bump this up from a five to a six and make this a very slightly above average offering, but none of the tunes really struck me as memorable either. Weapons clank off of shields with a satisfying thud and cries of pain are a constant on the field of war.

Gameplay – 8:

I am among that minority that prefers to play my shooters with a controller over a keyboard and mouse.  In truth the only games I prefer keyboard and mouse on are strategy or sim/builder titles.  This game unfortunately does not have controller support, so what you get is an interesting if sometimes inelegant control scheme using the mouse and keyboard combination.  Movement by keys is what you would expect, but combat is handled in interesting fashion.

War of the Roses-PC
For those using a bow and arrow as their weapon of choice, you click one mouse button to draw back the bowstring and you have to manage a few things at once.  You have to aim your shot – while taking into consideration that the arrow will lose height as it travels any considerable distance.  You have to pull back the string, and hope to release by clicking the other mouse button while trying to time it for a ‘sweet spot’ release where the weapon will do maximum damage.  Hold the string back too long, and you will tire and lower your weapon.

War of the Roses-PC

Crossbow is similar in that it is a ranged weapon, but where longbow is rapid aim and release, the crossbow takes time to load each bolt.  When you first spawn using this weapon, I always load a bolt right away and then go looking for trouble.  It definitely packs a bigger punch, but if you have any melee opponents nearby, you will probably have to switch off to your secondary short sword because you will not have time to safely load another bolt.

War of the Roses-PC

Melee combat also makes use of both mouse buttons as one activates block and one swings a weapon.  Melee comes in a couple of different flavors as you can use larger, two-handed weapons that can be used to block, but have a narrow window for being successful.  On the other hand, that heavier weapon can make for some longer reached and more impactful blows when they connect.  Sword and board gives you better defensive options as you have a shield you can raise – particularly useful if you are trying to close in on an archer – but a lighter, quicker weapon in your main hand.

War of the Roses-PC

Swinging a weapon though, can be a slightly awkward affair.  You press the mouse button to swing and then swipe your mouse to swing your weapon in that direction.  It works well enough when you get used to it, and these combat mechanics are touched on in the tutorial.  That said, I think that this could have been handled in interesting fashion with say, a second analog stick on a game controller as well.

Armor is certainly a factor.  Better, heavier armor generally means you stay alive longer in the scrums.  Some helmets have a visor you can drop down over your face, limiting your field of vision but better protecting you as well.  A nice touch, really.

Intangibles – 8:

So here is where I get back to my initial paragraph a bit.  This game is really only an online multiplayer game with two modes: deathmatch and take the checkpoint.  Some people joke about how Battlefield or Call of Duty should not even bother with a single player mode since they are usually short and the majority of the fans spend the bulk of their time in the multiplayer modes.  Well, Paradox took that to heart in their design here because the only offline mode is a training mode that I found more frustrating than helpful.  There is very little hand-holding going on either in training mode or in the actual game.  Players who have played War of the Roses longer have more levels and more money and therefore better toys than newcomers.  That being said, Death does not discriminate much here – everyone dies quite a bit, though there are certain classes and configurations that do seem more successful than others (horseback and heavy armor are very nice).

War of the Roses-PC

The maps are well made, and with as many as 32 players possible on either team, you can find yourself participating in some very interesting skirmishes.  You have opportunities to aid fallen comrades or to execute wounded enemies.  Both are boons in that you gain experience and the executions can be particularly visceral – from either side of the equation.  These do present some risk versus reward propositions though as you leave yourself vulnerable to an enemy sword or arrow as well.

War of the Roses-PC

So with only one component: online – and only two modes, why give the intangibles such a high score?  A couple of reasons.  One, I simply enjoyed the game.  I had some rough initial impressions.  The tutorial annoyed me, I could not really configure my video the way and wanted and the bells and whistles failed to impress.  I found myself greatly enjoying the game as I waded into combat, fighting side-by-side with my teammates.  Even better was the post-match content, however.

War of the Roses-PC

As you gain experience, and levels – you unlock new classes.  The first four are built in advance, but the next few are fully customizable.  As you dive into those customization options, you can unlock various perks, weapons and pieces of armor for the coins you earned playing the game.  Want to use a polearm as your primary weapon?  Go for it – you will have several to choose from.  Want to play an archer?  Unlock the class, pick your type of bow and then feel free to purchase the perk that lets you hold the string longer.  This part of the game is surprisingly deep and enjoyable.

Overall 7:

I mentioned potential in my introduction, and it is here.  There has been talk that the developers will be adding new contact in the near future, and promise that it will be significant.  I have not yet seen what that will entail – more maps?  more online and potentially objective-based modes?  Perhaps more unlockable items or crest customizations?  That part is unclear at this point.  This game probably will not be for everyone with its essentially lacking storyline and limited number of modes, but for those who enjoy some multiplayer carnage, you can do a lot worse than a title like this that focuses only on that aspect of the gameplay while adding a medieval flavor to the proceedings.

The Obsolete Gamer Show #31 Rose Colored Glasses

J.A. Laraque

We celebrated our first Google + Live Hangout and episode #31 of the Obsolete Gamer Show. We began with Xander Denke from 1337 Lounge Live which is an awesome video game channel now hosted on Twitch TV and brought to you by Jace Hall of The Jace Hall show. We talk about how the channel game about and the process for all the awesome guests who we get to see in the lounge. If you haven’t checked it out you should. See below for the promo they shot when I was on the show.

Next we talked Xbox One with Grace Snoke who wrote about her views on the recent press release that has caused quite a storm within the gaming community. If you haven’t seen it yet you can check out the highlights in the video below. We covered everything from the rumors surrounding paying a fee for used and borrowed games to the controversy surrounding the always on internet connection requirement. While we answered a lot of questions we also created a lot more and in the end we will have to wait till E3 to answer them.

Finally we talked about looking back on games with rose colored glasses. At some time we all looked back on something we did and thought it was awesome only to go back and realize it wasn’t as good as we thought. This happens in gaming as well. We each talked about a game that we had such found memories of, but just did not live up to the hype we gave it.

We want to thank Xander and Grace for coming on and you can either watch the show below or click on this link to view the show page where you can listen to it via Stitcher Radio or Itunes, you can also always get the app for Stitcher to listen to the show anytime and download the show from Itunes for your apple device.

team rubicon

There is also a 3-Day streaming event to raise money for the victims of the recent Oklahoma tornado. You can read about it on Team Rubicon, and watch the stream on their Twitch TV channel.

Gaming Under the Influence

Gaming under the influence

Gaming Under the Influence

As the video game industry and culture has continued to grow, gaming has grown from interactive entertainment to a spectator sport. Numerous leagues and streaming websites now feature live streaming broadcasts of almost any video game in the world, ranging from major competitions to walk-throughs of popular titles taking place in a gamer’s living room.

Gaming Under the Influence aims to change the rules and bring video game competition out of the the living room. Taking place every Friday night from O’Malley’s Liquor Kitchen in ChicagoGUI brings television production quality to the table as participants take part in a combination of video game competition and drinking games.

“A couple years ago, I toyed around with the idea of doing something different than a ‘stream’,” said GUI‘s Jared Hoffa. “I play a lot of games, but I can’t sit and watch someone play games on Twitch. It bores the hell out of me.”

According to Hoffa, it was a trip to another part of the world that helped him put the pieces together for the show that would become GUI.

“I headed over to South Korea for fun and made it a point to see what they were doing in TV and gaming,” he said. “As most gamers know, professional video gaming is serious business over there and broadcasted on two major networks. What you might not know is the studio that makes all this magic is smaller than a high school gymnasium and broadcasted in standard definition. The same day, the executives at KBS-TV showed me GAG, a live, improv show that seats 500 audience members every show. It was unbelievable. With that, I had my motivation.”

Bringing video gamers out of gaming streams and into an entertainment venue was aimed at bringing them to the forefront, according to Hoffa. Several video game personalities, including Robot Combat League contestant Keisha Howard, have already appeared on GUI.

“I wanted people besides hardcore gamers to be engaged and have fun,” Hoffa added. “I wanted gamers to find a new platform to showcase their talent and their personality. Take off the Turtle Beaches and get out of the chairs. Give people a show!”

Stressing that Gaming Under the Influence is not a video game livestream, Hoffa brings years of television experience to the live show.

“I’ve been an on-air personality for NBC Universal’s In The Loop w/ iVillage, and a producer/shooter/editor for ABC, NBC, and WCIU-TV in Chicago,” he said. “As of now, I’m on-air as the witty App-Man on ABC7 Chicago’s Windy City Live. Television is fun, brutal, and unforgiving in every-way possible, but it’s an experience I’d never want to live without. GUI takes an entire production team and a slew of equipment to make possible. All the graphics you see, all the effects and camera changes is happening live.”

The surroundings of Gaming Under the Influence combined with a live broadcast brings an unpredictable element to the show, according to Hoffa.

“Every show we do, something memorable happens,” he said. “I think my favorite show is when a random old guy in a suit jumped on stage and started dancing next to the contestants. It was random, it was hilarious, and it threw everyone off…even our play-by-play announcer.”

Gaming Under the Influence airs live every Friday night at TheGUIShow.com. Viewers can interact with the live shows by voting with the Hot Box throughout the broadcast.

Gamer Parents: Growing up a Gamer

gamer parents - headshot
Photo by Nintendojo

Gamer Parents: Growing up a Gamer

This week our Gamer Parent series continues on our podcast as the group talks about what it was like for our parents dealing with kids who were growing up gamers. We talked about J.A. Laraque’s story about his mother spending x-mas eve searching for a NES and the different types of bargaining we a kids had to do in order to get the games and systems we wanted. Finally we discussed when our parents began to understand our gaming ways and even joined in on the gaming action.

So check it out and let us know what you think and remember, you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

 

Or listen here.

Barbie

Barbie

Overall Rating: 0.5/5 Stars

Barbie-nes

In 1991, Hi Tech Expressions developed a video game for Mattel called Barbie, based on the popular doll of the same name. If someone were to read this review and think, “I have never heard of Hi Tech Expressions,” there is a reason for that: Barbie was a terrible video game. To repeat, for emphasis: Barbie is an absolutely dreadful video game.

Gameplay

In this one-player horizontally side-scrolling two-dimensional platformer with loose run-and-gun elements, precision-jumping obstacles, and item-gathering, the sole controller controls titular protagonist Barbie, a blonde female who embarks on what the game’s opening narration describes as a “glamorous quest full of fun, magic and adventure.”

Barbie-nes

Instead, the player is rewarded with a bore chore full of ineptitude, impossibility, and irreconcilable flaws. The slow-moving, low-jumping Barbie is an enormous on-screen presence, which is quite a detraction considering that every object and being in the universe is trying to kill her. There are harmful elements that are literally impossible to avoid, the first of which is a bouncing tennis ball being batted down at the floor repeatedly by a floating tennis racket possessed by demonic spirits. Actually, it is technically possible to pass without being harmed if you begin walking and time your passage precisely, but the exactness required just to pass under a freakin’ tennis racket is far out of line.

Graphics

Barbie-nes

The title screen is easily among the top ten worst-looking NES video game title screens of all time, featuring a horribly mutilated/pixelated Barbie doll with splotchy, patchy skin and hair and clothes and whatever, it just looks gruesome. The actual gameplay does not get much better, but at least there are cutscenes in which Barbie performs exciting feats like sleep and read books.

Sound

Barbie-nes

The music is not rendered with skill, instead relying on repetitive sound that just thump-thump-thump a rhythm while too-high notes try to sting the ears of players. Perhaps somewhere within the level tunes was a worthwhile melody that merely got butchered by an incompetent development team, but what resulted was merely a notable fast-paced boogie there and a weird techno-pop track here. Players had better like boops and beeps and squealing bubble-gum melodies because Barbie serves it up non-stop.

Originality

Barbie on the NES is not even the best NES video game based on a toy, considering the G. I. Joe games and other examples. Perhaps its only visionary quality is that t could be lauded for being among the earliest video games to feature a female protagonist, even if Metroid could claim that feat three years prior.

Barbie-nes

The true tragedy of this game is that it could have been a championing lightning-rod title for female gamers and girl geeks everywhere, except that it was a terrible game with a shallow message, underworked theme, and bland storyline. The result is a Barbie video game that still gets rightly made fun of, since insulting it is at least a thousand time more enjoyable than actually trying to play it. Being seen as a potential challenge for die-hard NES enthusiasts, and the bizarre quirk of that weird “weapon” you can see Barbie throwing around from the beginning of the game, is the only reason this even gets a half star out of five.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

obsolete gamer

After a long hiatus the Obsolete Gamer show is back and better than ever. In this week’s episode we welcome gamer extraordinaire Fatal1ty to the show where we talk about his life as a professional gamer and the challenges of being one of the best. We also talked with indie game developer Mike Oliphant creator of the mobile game Kung Fu Fight and his experiences of being an indie game developer especially in the mobile gaming market. Finally the panel discusses what we have gained and what we have lost in the advancement of video games.

Remember you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

Or listen here.

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 www.bocamuseum.org.

Independent Adventure Games for the masses

paris
Independent video game developers are like the artisans of yore. They aren’t wage slaves, they don’t exploit anyone else’s work, they are neither masters nor slaves, but creative people who strive for the quality of their product and don’t have to succumb to whatever ridiculous market realities managers can come up with. In short, they are to be supported, fiercely guarded even, as they’re (more or less) involuntary combating dominant modes of consumption and production. Oh, and let’s not forget the fine games the indy/bedroom developers have historically come up with. Games like Another World, Skool Daze, Darwinia, Simon the Sorcerer and countless others that are all the proof you should ever need…

Then again, I simply refuse (i.e. can’t be bothered) to let this post deteriorate into a quasi-political rant with artistic tendencies. We’ll hopefully have time for this at a later date. For now, I think I’ll stick to the news. The indy adventure gaming related news to be precise.

XiiGames

Well, for starters (not that there’s much more on the menu, mind you), xii games of What Linus Bruckman Sees When His Eyes Are Closed, Anna and Spooks fame are working on a brand new adventure game set in a not-so-distant future when a particle physicist’s mysterious and spectacular death sparks a race to find his hidden vault and claim his terrifying new discovery. An indy dream team has already been assemble, but despair not. xii games is still hiring.

Fatman

On to some SOCKO! Entertainment news. Remember them? How about the first commercial AGS adventure ever released, the cunningly named Adventures of Fatman? Ah, lovely, I knew you would (pssst, if not, the game has been released as a freeware memory stimulant; get it here). Well, seems that the seemingly defunct SOCKO! team was just that: seemingly defunct. Behind the scenes they’ve been working on Fatman S.O.S. (Save Our Superheroes) their second game, which they hope to fund by selling a brilliant and particularly deluxe re-release of the original Fatman game. Give ’em a hand.


Five Don’ts of gaming

You are not going for a Twin Galaxies record so when you decide to have a retro game night with your friends do not show how you can beat Super Mario Bros 3 with one life because it will just piss us off and make us retaliate on you. ~J.A. Laraque

Five Don’ts of gaming

dos-and-donts-sign

I can’t stand those 5 or 10 things you should or shouldn’t do articles. Those articles are often so cheesy with advice anyone with half a brain would already know about. So without future adieu here are a list of 5 things gamers shouldn’t do.

Don’t eat while using voice chat

voice chat eating

Seriously, 9 times out of ten, your microphone already sucks and the worst sound in the world is someone chewing food and it coming in over your speakers. For some reason people who eat while voice chatting never use push to talk either. Also, remember to leave voice chat or we might here you going at it to Fappathon and that is just a reputation killer.

Don’t put stickers on your console

stickers

I did this with one of my Nintendo’s. I thought it would be cool to put my own mark on it by adding a sticker and next thing I knew my NES looked like a teenaged girl’s notebook. It got so bad I would cover my NES when friends game over. Luckily, I broke it during a frustrated night of the original Metal Gear and got a new one.

Don’t play a game you own at in front of friends

super-mario-bros-3

You are not going for a Twin Galaxies record so when you decide to have a retro game night with your friends do not show how you can beat Super Mario Bros 3 with one life because it will just piss us off and make us retaliate on you. On the other hand, if you want to school your friends in a game of Temco Bowl go right ahead.

Don’t treat your noob girlfriend like the noob she is

noob

No, this is not a sexist statement. We all know girls can pwn just as hardcore as guys, but we also have many girlfriends completely not into any games. So if you want to introduce your none gaming girlfriend to say Starcraft, go right ahead. However, you cannot attack her for sucking the way you might do a friend because she won’t take it nicely and you will find yourself playing solo for many nights to come.

Don’t play a controller with dirty hands

soap controller

If you want to have that special controller that only you use then fine, but if you plan to let others play your controller keep it clean. One of the worst things in the world is to be handed a controller and its grimy or sticky because we have no idea how it got that way and our imaginations will go while. Break out the hand sanitizer for goodness sakes.

There are many other don’ts out there, but you get the idea. Next time we will bring you some Do’s to make sure you are up to par. In the meantime, if you have some more don’ts to share, let us know.

What is gaming’s ‘Greatest Generation’?

Legendary journalist Tom Brokaw coined the term “the Greatest Generation” in 1998 to describe what he felt was the most important generation in American history.  What generation deserves that tag in video gaming history seems to be up for debate.

video-game_Generation

Over the past several years I have seen and dealt with players who will put the topic up for constant debate.  I have seen classic arcade gamers refer to anything console as “lame” and unimportant in comparison, even going so far as to note the NES as the death of their generation instead of the massive industry crash years before it.  I have seen modern gamers question the loyalty of the classic gaming fans and I’ve seen every generation inbetween sing the virtues of their preferred generations of gaming.

Last Friday’s article noting that all three modern consoles have now surpassed the Nintendo Entertainment System in lifetime sales figures saw some pro-NES fans go on the defensive, even acting as if the statistics were being used to somehow downplay the importance of the NES or claim modern console superiority.   A puzzling yet interesting response that led me to open the floor up for debate on this very topic.

What do you think is the “Greatest Generation” in video gaming?  To help with the discussion I’ve broken down the generations below.

* Pre-History Era (pre-1971) – Games such as Spacewar proved popular on major university campuses, but no consumer video game products existed yet.

* Consumer Era (1971-1977) – Video games became available to consumers in both coin-op form and home products that could be hooked up to television sets.  Few games truly caught on during this time, however.

* Boom Era (1978-1983) – Video games arrived in a big way starting with Space Invaders and went deep into the mainstream in both coin-op and home console form.  Arcade machines set sales records that still stand today.  However, this generation was unable to sustain itself.  After sliding in 1982 the industry began an unstoppable downward spiral in 1983.

* Crash Era (1984-1986) – The video game briefly joins the list of dead fads as most arcade locations close and retailers refuse to carry any video game products.  Personal computer gaming managed to thrive.  The Nintendo Entertainment System came along toward the end of this era and gained some steam…

* NES Era (1987-1990) – Nintendo’s console dominated the home console scene while surviving arcade locations stabilized behind strong titles not yet available for home play.  While the NES manages to more than double the lifetime sales of the Atari 2600, other consoles struggle.  Handheld gaming comes to be, starting with Nintendo’s GameBoy.  Video games are still considered “toys” by the media as the decade ends.

* Nineties Era (1991-1999) – The 16-bit console wars split the gaming audience between Nintendo and Sega but increase the overall scale of the industry.  Arcades see a semi-comeback behind popular fighting and sports titles.  Consumers were unable to keep up with the majority of new console product, however, until Sony’s PlayStation comes along, becoming the first console in history to sell more than 100 million units.

* Millenium Generation (2000-2006) – The PlayStation 2 comes out to product shortages and an eBay frenzy, eventually trumping the lifetime sales of the first PlayStation.  Microsoft’s XBox brings new blood into the marketplace while Sega bows out.  Nintendo finally moves on with the introduction of new handhelds, continuing their dominance in that area but struggling to regain the top spot with traditional consoles. Video games leave consumer toy labels into electronics and entertainment labels.

* Modern Generation (2007-present) – The Nintendo Wii brings the Big N back to the top of the traditional console market with motion control.  The PlayStation 3 stumbles out of the gate but helps Sony’s Blu Ray win the disc format war.  The XBox 360 brings Microsoft ahead of Sony in the console race.  The Nintendo DS blows past the lifetime GameBoy sales numbers while all three traditional consoles reach the top five best selling consoles ever.  Numerous titles break all-time gaming sales figures.

Tips for a Gamer Mom or How NOT to be a Clara

Make sure that everything that needs to be done is on the list before you insert gaming time into the list.  It’s not a bad idea to break up your day by alternating your responsibilities with gaming. ~Jessi Roman

Tips for a Gamer Mom

I’m pretty sure it was just good marketing.  I mean, they can’t really use Jedi mind tricks to push their product, right?  It was actually just the classic drug pushing approach: “The first time’s free.”  They get you hooked and then reel you in.  Even though you say you’re not going to fall for it.  Even though you say you’re just going to play for the free weekend.  Even though you say you can’t justify spending that kind of money for a game.  Even though you say you won’t pay $15 a month just so you can be a “no-lifer”… Even though you’d like to think that you’ve grown and matured since your days of FFXI, where you woke up early and logged in before you had breakfast, then played all day and into the wee hours of the night…  You find out, with unquestionable clarity, that you were wrong.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t you.  Maybe it was me. Actually, yeah… it was.  I fail.

Baby Using Computer

Confession time.  I’m a Clara.  Or, at least I was, about eight years ago.  My oldest son was still in diapers.  I was a stay-at-home mom.  All I did all day was FFXI, and he’d run around barely supervised.  No, I wasn’t quite as inattentive as Clara from The Guild, and he was always safe, but I definitely was not winning any mother-of-the-year awards!  So, I’ve pretty much avoided MMORPG’s since I quit FFXI.  It was putting a strain on my marriage and taking time away from the important things in life (ie. my family!)  I tend towards a hyper-addictive personality type.  When I get “into” something, I get very single focused.  That could be a force used for good, but in this case, it was definitely for evil.

All that being said, I am going to just assume that I’m the only “Clara”, and this list is for me alone.

  • Get Organized.Lists and schedules are your life line.  Make a list of the responsibilities you have.  Make sure you prioritize that list by putting it into a schedule.  Grant yourself a block (or blocks) of time for gaming.  For a stay-at-home mom (or dad), the list might include cooking, cleaning, one-on-one play time with children, crafts, etc.  For a parent who is also in the work place, carving out time dedicated to gaming may be a bit harder.  Make sure that everything that needs to be done is on the list before you insert gaming time into the list.  It’s not a bad idea to break up your day by alternating your responsibilities with gaming.  Obviously if you’re involved in a game that requires large dedicated amounts of time for leveling and missions, you’ll have to get creative.  For some, late night gaming, after the kiddos are in bed, may be the only option.
  • Multi-tasking is Key! ~ Learning to multi-task is one of the most valuable skills a person can develop.  When you’re planning out your schedule, trying assigning more than one activity to the block of time that you have set for gaming.  For example, if your kids take naps, that would be an ideal gaming time.  If they’re too old for naps, try scheduling “quiet time” for them.  Let them have the freedom to choose a quiet activity, like reading, or coloring, that they can do for a scheduled block of time.  If they have chores, you could schedule those during your gaming time.  I have found that my kids do not appreciate me gaming during meal time though.  I’ve tried sitting them down to lunch, and logging on while they eat.  They have begun to request that I sit with them at lunch time though.  
  • Set a Good Example. ~ As easy as it is to get sucked into a virtual world, we have to remain aware that our children watch everything we do.  Often they will emulate our behaviors.  They learn to value the things that we value.  If we put gaming ahead of our responsibilities, then we teach them this behavior.  We should not then, be surprised when they disregard their chores in favor of playing video games.  If we always choose online socialization, over real life relationships, then we should expect our children to prefer gaming over playing with friends, or spending time with family.  If we make them aware of our attempts to balance our gaming with our responsibilities, and teach them the importance of family by taking time to play with them, then they will learn to prioritize appropriately. 
  • Use a Timer. ~ Seriously.  Whatever length of time you’ve scheduled for gaming, set your timer, and don’t go over! Set a Good Example. ~ As easy as it is to get sucked into a virtual world, we have to remain aware that our children watch everything we do.  Often they will emulate our behaviors.  They learn to value the things that we value.  If we put gaming ahead of our responsibilities, then we teach them this behavior.  We should not then, be surprised when they disregard their chores in favor of playing video games.  If we always choose online socialization, over real life relationships, then we should expect our children to prefer gaming over playing with friends, or spending time with family.  If we make them aware of our attempts to balance our gaming with our responsibilities, and teach them the importance of family by taking time to play with them, then they will learn to prioritize appropriately. 
  • Consider – dare I say it? – being a “casual” gamer. ~  Because, let’s face it.  We aren’t kids anymore.  We have kids!  And we alone are responsible for leveling them up!  We have to balance their skill trees, and make sure they’re always up to par for whatever life brings at them.  Ok, yeah, that was cheesy, I know, but it’s TRUE!  If you’re a parent and a gamer, you have got to recognize that your children are more important than your in game character.  When they need your attention, don’t be afraid to upset your party by logging off.  If your kids are more important to you than gaming, let them know by your actions!
I sincerely hope that these suggestions are all obvious and unnecessary.  I really wrote them out for myself.  This will help keep me accountable, but on the off chance that someone out there is a “Clara”, like me, I hope this helps.  Also, FYI, don’t be a Tink!  No caging the babies while you play!

Games & Candy

Personally, I find runts have a most distinct taste than Gobstopper so when you are going for flavor it is a better choice. Again, this is a lower calories and sugar candy than many others. ~J.A. Laraque

Candy

Games & Candy

Most people are trying to be healthier now-a-days and even in gaming, where you spend most of the time sitting, there are things you can do to improve your overall health. However, sometimes you just want to enjoy some candy, and there are some awesome candies to eat during gaming that gives you that sugar rush and sweet taste to deal with even the most annoying wow kiddy.

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

Nothing is better gaming candy than jelly beans and why be stuck with just a few flavors when you can enjoy 40 different ones. Personally, I love butter popcorn, which puts me in the minority, but I also love their bubble gum and cotton candy flavor. When you are headshotting people in Battlefield, and you blindly reach for a bean and are surprised by the flavor, it is like finding a hidden treasure in an RPG.

Gobstoppers

gobstoppers

This candy is great for MMO players because they last a long time and keep you from having to head out to the store for more. They also are one of the less bad for you candies due to having lower sugar and calories. Gobstoppers are just sweet enough and since you cannot bite into them right away, you learn patients which is important during those long MMO sessions.

Runts

runts

The perfect candy for the RTS fan, this candy is like a mix between a gobstopper and skittles because at first you cannot bite it so it lasts longer, but not long after you can break it into pieces and finish it off. Personally, I find runts have a most distinct taste than Gobstopper so when you are going for flavor it is a better choice. Again, this is a lower calories and sugar candy than many others.

Mike & Ike

Mike-and-Ike

I find these are good for console gaming. These candies are soft, chewy, and very sweet, but you can kill a whole box quickly so you need the ability to pause the game and get more. I like the special red box that has flavors like cherry, strawberry and watermelon, but all the flavors are good. Just be careful with this one because the calorie and sugar content is pretty high.

Pal Bubble Gum

pal bubble gum

This is the perfect retro gamer candy. Pal bubble gum has been around forever and I remember buying them for one cent each at the candy story. The good thing about Pal is for a low cost candy the sweet taste of the gum lasts quite a while. You could have a big bag of gum and it could last days or weeks depending. Since so many classic games are harder and repetitive, the gum gives you something else to focus on when you can’t kill that damn bat in Ninja Gaiden.

What’s in your Candy Store?

So I know I missed a ton of your favorites, so what is a candy you like to snack on during your game sessions?

Video Games and Life

I found diversity and acceptance in the gamers I met. We might call each other names and make politically incorrect jokes, but when I needed help they were there.  My gamer friends led me to my jobs, which turned, into my career which lead to my writing and this website and the same happens every day.~J.A. Laraque

Video Games and Life

While not talked about as much now as in years past the idea that gamers or video games leads to antisocial behavior needs to be reexamined. While it may look like someone is alone playing in the room or office the way we communicate has changed and just because you might not see someone face to face does not mean there is no connect.

Red-Eye

As for me personally, I not only met most of my friends from games, but also launched my career. Coming from Chicago to Miami I left all my friends behind, many from childhood. I was already way past the high school years so going down to the local mall to find friends was not an option.

Now to be fair I did not know gaming would lead me to meet friends online and then in person, but today that is a very common story. Just as internet dating was (and sometimes still is) looked upon as weird so was making real friends online, but that has changed. Sure, we can look at Facebook friends and laugh knowing that out of those 3000 you might have met 50, but even if you meet one or two they could change your life.

I found diversity and acceptance in the gamers I met. We might call each other names and make politically incorrect jokes, but when I needed help they were there.  My gamer friends led me to my jobs, which turned, into my career which lead to my writing and this website and the same happens every day.

Interaction is important. I had to make the choice not to be scared and meet these gamers. Now, depending on factors like age and location, you take precautions, but it is about making a connecting, even if it is in a virtual world the bonds are just as real.

For some, that voice over Ventrilo is the only way they can reach people, some might have a disability or for economic reasons and region cannot meet people like them. I have found this among older people who feel ashamed for liking video games at their age. Yet another way of thinking we need to change.

Even during the worst days of Everquest when we would play for hours upon end we would still call each other and meet up for dinner and talk gaming. Just like sports or gossip it captured our attention and entertained us and that is all that we cared about.

Just like any other friend, some were better in game than real life. There were friends that quit playing games and stopped hanging out, but the same happens outside of gaming. However, many remained friends for years and still are to this day.

The great thing about gaming and life is it continues and you know if you are still into games 30 years from now you will find others who share your love and are willing to talk about it. Maybe the next time you want to pull someone away from a game find out more about it first. Many parents ended up strengthening their bonds with their kids over World of Warcraft. Some people meet their future wives or husbands.

I may not be as hardcore as 10 years ago, but gaming is in my blood and I doubt that will ever change. I enjoy my job and my hobbies because it revolves around it. So be it retro or new, pc or console or even mobile the next game may bring you closer to that best friend or perhaps even more.

Retro Games Roundup: Nintendo Legend Reviews #1-5

Welcome to Retro Games Roundup, where we go back through Nintendo Legend’s library of NES reviews and go over them five games at a time, providing a summarized report of the titles and disseminating a lot of information into a more condensed, casual format.

1. Super Mario Bros.

Super-Mario-Brothers

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Blog: Here.
Review: There.

Commentary: The original, the killer app, the world-changer – given the max score of five stars for its tight design, revolutionary vision, imaginative elements, and iconic brand. Could there have been any other choice for the first review? Maybe, but this starts things off right, with a game still enjoyed today, even in competitive arenas such as speed running.

2. Spot The Video Game

Spot_The_Video_Game!_NES_ScreenShot

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Blog: Here.
Review: There.
Let’s Play Video: Where.

Commentary: A quirky, distinctive board game video game that actually stars a licensed character: Spot, the old red-dot-with-shades mascot of the 7-Up beverage. Offers support for up to four human players and a surprising amount of tactical depth; but, ultimately, little else, best for niche fans of the genre or those looking for an offbeat challenge.

3. Captain Skyhawk

Captain Skyhawk

Rating: 3/5 Stars
Blog: Here.
Review: There.

Commentary: A sci-fi shoot-‘em-up with both isometric overhead missions and from-behind dogfights, offers a rich visual along with challenging gameplay as the stages progress. An invincibility code may be required to beat it, but ultimately stands as a decent, if not spectacular, foray into level-by-level scrolling shooters.

4. Racket Attack

Racket Attack

Rating: 2/5 Stars
Blog: Here.
Review: There.

Commentary: A fairly bland sports genre title, left with the challenge of how to appeal to anyone but tennis fans; and, for the tennis fans, how to satisfy their standards. One interesting note, though, is the timing mechanic used to control shot placement, a scheme perfectly prescient of Wii Sports.

5. Demon Sword

Demon Sword

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Blog: Here.
Review: There.

Commentary: Legend Of Kage’s soulmate cartridge and one of those love-or-hate games that some people “get” and some, well, do not. Nintendo Legend seems to like it, emphasizing its high-flying action best expressed in the intensely gravity-defying leaps across the screen, the quick-reflex difficulty of oncoming enemies, and the solid stage progression throughout. Apt movie companion: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Bonus Review: Check out Questicle’s reverent, insightful take of the NES classic epic Castlevania.

Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.

Are video games finally being accepted by the mainstream?

Jimmy Fallon - Batman Arkham City

Any longtime gamer knows of that gut wrenching feeling that comes along when a mainstream media or entertainment source does a video game story.  From news stories that claim violent video games are kid’s toys to Jay Leno jokes that paint gamers as basement dwellers and virgins, it often seems that the industry stats aren’t known by much of what passes as news and entertainment these days.

The facts are hard to deny, however.  The Entertainment Software Association statistics show the average age of a video gamer in 2010 was 37 years of age with 72 percent of American households accepting gaming as a regular form of entertainment.  All said, the US spent $25.1 billion on video gaming last year alone, nearly two-and-a-half times more than they spent at the movies over the same time period.

While there have still been plenty of head shakers in the mainstream this year, overall 2011 has shown many signs that video gaming is finally gaining acceptance as the mainstream form of entertainment it is.

 The release of Batman: Arkham City made the monologue on Conan last week with a parody clip similar to what is typically done with major new films and political figures.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj9BN3WLHLg[/youtube]

 A lengthy television commercial for Google features gamer Brian Kingrey, the winner of the $1 Million contest onMLB2K11.  The clip shows how Kingrey studied and prepared for the contest by doing research on the search engine and speaks to several of his friends.  He also appears briefly in a shorter Google commercial.  Both ads debuted during NFL football games on Sunday.

 NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon regularly features previews of hot new gaming releases and guests from within the industry.  Shortly after the 2011 E3 Expo the show even featured an entire week dedicated to gaming, complete with special opening credits.

 Former Donkey Kong champion Steve Wiebe makes a short cameo as a security guard in hit film Horrible Bosses.  Reportedly, Colin Farrell’s character of Bobby Pellitt was inspired by another former Donkey Kong champ in Billy Mitchell.

 Members of the US Congress and reps from the video gaming industry formed the Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology (E-Tech Caucus) to help continue to foster growth in the video game industry due to its impact on the economy and job market.

 The characters from Angry Birds appear in an ad for Wonderful Pistachios alongside numerous celebrities and pop culture icons.  Costumes from the game are among the most popular Halloween costumes this year as well.

Some 40 years after the release of the video game to mainstream consumers and revenue that trumps the previous kings of the entertainment industry, it appears that gaming is finally taking a seat alongside television, film and music as an accepted form of mainstream entertainment.

 

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

Eugene Jarvis

Odds are high that any person who has put a coin into anything in an arcade over the past three decades has played something attached to the name Eugene Jarvis.

Whether someone is a classic gamer still hooked on Defender or Robotron: 2084, a more modern arcade patron who enjoys Big Buck Safari or Cruis’n World or even a pinball wizard who grew up on Firepower and Space Shuttle, the impact of the Raw Thrills founder and former Williams Electronics employee has been felt.

The arcade success story began with Jarvis’ very first attempt at a video game with 1980’s Defender, a game not well received by trade show critics nor the creator himself.  Despite the low expectations, Defender became one of the biggest hits in arcade history.

“I was shocked as anyone,” Jarvis said.  “It was the first video by me and the first real video by Williams.  We were completely new to the field and just tried to make it the best I could.”

robotron

Before launching, Defender was tested in the famed Mother’s Pinball in Mount Prospect, IL.  According to Jarvis, he tried to avoid this first night until learning of large crowds that stuffed the coin box and even placed couches around the machine.  The success of Defender lead to a Jarvis and his team continuing to develop games for Williams Electronics, including 1982s Robotron: 2084, a title that continues to have a strong cult folowing today.

Robotron seems to be the most popular now,” Jarvis said.  “The cool thing about Robotron was how we implemented the concept in three days.  Then it became ‘Let’s fight ten robots… That’s great!’  It then became ‘Let’s fight 20!  Even better!  Let’s fight 90!  Awesome!  This is intense!'”

While noted for their roles in gaming history, Defender andRobotron are considered by gaming experts and historians as some of the most challenging games in history.  According to Jarvis, this challenge was a part of their charm.

crusin world

“In that era there was this sort of macho hardcore thing,” he said.  “You were almost daring the player to beat you.  The average play time during Defender‘s test run was 33 seconds, yet players kept putting another quarter into the machine to try again.  Maybe it’s time for another game like that.”

While the video game industry has undergone several changes since Defender and Robotron ruled the arcade, Jarvis states that creating a compelling new video game today is not much different than it was 30 years ago.

“The basic challenge is always there,” he said.  “In video you are starting with nothing but a black screen.  There’s no game there.  With pinball you at least start with that basic concept, but not with video.  The challenge of going from no game to something today is only different because you have to create something so damn fun people will pay $1.00 every two minutes to play it.”

In an industry that grosses billions of dollars a year today, more opportunities exist in the industry now than ever before, according to Jarvis.

“It’s probably the best time in history to get into the industry,” he stated.  “There are so many more opportunities today as opposed to in the past.  Video games are ubiquitous now.  From arcade to console to PC to smartphones to Facebook… they are just everywhere.  You got all these shareware and iPhone games, and now anyone can make their own damn game and put it out there.  It’s a massive avalanche of opportunities.  Wide open.”

defender

With the development of the extra layers and platforms for video gaming entertainment, Eugene says the problem has shifted to the same problems that face small-budget films versus major studio movies.

“The problem changed with the industry,” he explained. “Now anyone can put out whatever but so can a million other people.  How do you get noticed?”

Jarvis stated that indie game developers face many of the same challenges that he’s faced in game design throughout the past three decades.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr363UM9D60[/youtube]

“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.”

As Jarvis’ Raw Thrills continues as one of the strongest American coin-op arcade companies of the modern day, he says his favorite moments have always been the same they have always been.

“The great times are when you put a game on location and see others play it for the first time,” he said.  “After all, we are really kind of an entertainer.  You perform for the joy of the audience.”

Family Gamer TV Show Launches August 29th

logo_familygamertv

A brand new online television show will be launching at the end of the month featuring various gaming families. Family Gamer TV will cover games from a family’s perspective and will be filmed in a 15-minute chat show format.

Expertise is provided by veteran gamer Andy Robertson while newcomers are represented on the show by guest families who are getting started with gaming.

The first season of ten shows will be published via Wired.com’s GeekDad blog http://www.wired.com/geekdad/ and on a purpose built FamilyGamerTV YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/familygamertv. These will air from late August and culminated with a Christmas special mid-November.

Each week the show will suggest titles for those new to gaming as well as reviewing the latest releases. It is rounded off by a Gaming Surgery where viewer’s questions are answered by the family gaming panel.

[quicktime width=”600″ height=”300″]http://www.gamepeople.co.uk/tv/fgtv.1.0.big.mov[/quicktime]

For details of FGTV sponsorship and advertising opportunities please contact the show producer via email: editor@familygamer.co.uk.

PlayPlay

New project aims to preserve the history of video game landmarks

The Computer History Museum building

This November will mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the first consumer video game product.

Gaming has seen its highs and lows during this entire period of time, going through a growth period in the 1970s to a boom, bust and rebirth through the 1980s to controversy and new technologies in the 1990s to mainstream entertainment in the modern day.

It’s uncommon in 2011 to not find someone who owns or plays at least some games.  The average age of a gamer in North America today is 37 years old, and it seems that every electronic device released today can be used to play some form of video game entertainment.

Despite the industry finding itself on the same mainstream ground as film, television and music, the sheer lack of locations and artifacts of historical significance to the industry is shocking.

While the efforts of the International Video Game Hall of Fame could change that and the American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot is a fantastic location to revisit a portion of video gaming history, a look around the map finds very few places for those who celebrate the history of gaming to visit.

In May, I travelled to Silicon Valley for a visit to Stanford University to check out a fantastic scientific experiment relating to video gaming (my visit recently aired on Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen and Wired).  While in the area, I decided I would swing by Borregas Avenue in Sunnyvale, CA to see the former Atari corporate headquarters locations.

Former Atari Building

When video gaming hit its big boom into the early Reagan Years, Atari seemed to be the center of the universe.  The Atari name in those days went with video gaming like the Coca-Cola name does with soft drinks.   The Atari name was attached to the clear number one video gaming console and many of the biggest hits in the arcades at the same time.

I had to pay a visit.  I was pleased to see that both buildings are still in fantastic shape, and still look almost identical to pictures and news clips I would see back in the day.  1165 Borregas is empty but very well maintained, and looks almost identical to the photo that appeared in 1983 book Screen Play: The Story of Video Games by George Sullivan (one of the hundreds of books and magazines in my historical collection of the industry).  1196 Borregas looks identical to photos found in many old Play Meter Magazines and a YouTube video clip that I found since the visit.

During this visit I also took a seat in a partially covered break area behind 1196.  I could only imagine the concepts and discussions that might have taken place from Atari-years personnel who’d taken their lunch breaks or what not in this area.

At first I felt very inspired to be there.  It was quiet and peaceful at the time with nice clear skies and a slight breeze.  I began to think about the games and products that were created and developed at these locations and in the buildings surrounding the area and what it must have been like to see it in its day.

That inspiration later turned to sorrow, however.   If anything could be considered hallowed ground in the history of the video game industry I was standing on it.  Many of the most influential and memorable products in the history of video gaming came to be right where I was visiting, but if you didn’t know it already there was no way you would know.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFnmUmMb9os[/youtube]

There are no markers in this area to indicate the video game history that came out of it.  There are no signs.  There are no remnants.  There are no reminders anywhere that say “Hey, you remember Centipede?  Did you know it came from right where you are right now?”

This saddened me, and continued to do so as the weeks passed.  All the photos I snapped of this area have brought me is the ability to compare them to the photos I have from materials from back in the day.   The early history of a multi-billion dollar industry is sitting on an oddly positioned road in Sunnyvale, CA and I doubt even the people working in what is occupied out there has a clue.

That is going to change.   While the efforts of the International Video Game Hall of Fame  and the Videogame History Museum can hopefully  eventually create a destination dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the industry history, there also needs to be something done to ensure the important locations are remembered and marked for their roles in gaming history.

This is why late last week I began a feature on my website titled the Registry of Historic Gaming Locations.  This new project features where these locations can be found and why they are of historical significance to the video game industry.  From the former locations of companies like Atari and Bally Midway to the first test locations for the biggest hits ever, I hope by undertaking this project that I can eventually help create a firm and official registry of locations of historical significance of the industry and possibly gain the ability to mark these locations such to ensure this history is celebrated and preserved.

Presently the project is starting off small with hopes that will allow the idea to gain momentum and support without putting it at risk of becoming lost in a sea of discussion topics between groups of people who seem unaware that time is passing them by.  In time, I hope to have grown this project to the point where these locations can see some kind of permanent marker which notes why it is important to the history of what has become a multi-billion dollar mainstream entertainment industry.

Movies, television, music and sports have similar reminders of their history in place.  Gaming deserves the same.

The first five locations have been listed and four more are currently in the final research stages and will be announced soon.  Check it out at my website link below.

 

Video of the Day: Game Deaths

Classic video game deaths

This video is just to awesome not to share. This video shows death scenes from various classic games to a great remix tune. Enjoy.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ6APKIjFQY[/youtube]

(Dir.: Rob Beschizza, BoingBoing. Music is Rob’s MIDI homage to “Mad World,” by Tears for Fears, and you can download the MP3 here:http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/28/game-deaths-mp3.html and buy their original song here [MP3]: http://tinyurl.com/4wzqgry ).

China Couple sells kids to buy video games

china-internet-cafe

This comes from the WTF desk. In China a couple was arrested for trying to sell their children. Why did the couple try to do this? Well, the couple originally met at an internet café and in a very quick time moved in together. The couple got married and had three children. Their first child was left at home so the parents could go to an internet café to play video games.

After the couple was arrested, they claimed they did not know what they were doing was illegal stating:

“We didn’t want to raise them.  We just want to sell them for some money.”

Apparently, the plan was to use the money from selling all three children to buy more games or gaming time at the café.

Sadly, I am sure the story here will be that video games are bad, not that people should use protection and birth control if you rather play video games than raise kids.

Source

Cryptic Studio Has Moved On But Have Their Games?: Star Trek Edition


For those of you eagerly waiting for this review after the sudden ending of the previous portion of this two-part article, I apologize. I wasn’t having problems with time or just pure laziness. No, I had problems with how to word my feelings towards Star Trek Online and how best to give an honest review without completely belittling the game. I know, I know. You’re used to that kind of response from me but I decided to be a bit more delicate with how I explain the faults and pluses of STO.

So here goes…

It is laughable to think that Cryptic Studios thinks of STO as an MMORPG. While all the big boys in the room strut their stuff with content, gameplay, character growth, and easily defined instructions, Star Trek Online stumbles and fumbles around the room like a drunk teenage girl at a frat party. At the end of the night, the only ones with a grin on their faces are the real MMOs while STO is dabbing off semen from its face with wet naps.


Wow… I feel uncomfortable reading this. I’m going to just-

What could possess me to attack Star Trek Online in such an unrelenting manner? Is it because I could barely give the game a shot beyond level 4? Yes, it is! I got to level 11 in FF XIV and that game is the equivalent of dining on Indian food , beautiful to look at but horrible to digest. I have never been unable to hit at least level 10 in an MMORPG but Star Trek Online managed to prove me wrong.

That sounds horrible, Mr. Khan! Why was it so god awful?

That’s an easy question to answer, Little Timmy. The game’s initial tutorial manages to be not only fast paced but slow at the same time. There’s a ton of jargon thrown around that doesn’t make sense to begin with and there isn’t much of an explanation as to what any of it means. All I got from the tutorial was that I could shoot lasers and photon torpedoes when I’m in my ship and when I’m on a ground mission I can shoot laser beams and “backstab” the enemy when I attack from their blindside. There really isn’t a clear definition in the beginning what role your class plays or what kind of ships you are able to command. I was certain I was limited to Science Ships since I chose the Scientist profession but I later found out from a friend that I could pilot any ship. Oh, that’s fucking fantastic to know.


For those of you who enjoy looking at your character and face stomping the enemy while adoring how badass you made your Vulcan or Custom Alien, sorry to disappoint but the game is lacking in ground missions and you are spending most of your time viewing the ass tail of your ship. How engrossing! Yes, you can customize your ship but the differences aren’t that vast aside from size. The ship customization is as in-depth as the shape variations presented in a Lego Kit. Everything is a block except some are half a blocks! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo!

From a game with such an absorbing avatar customization, it’s a shame that you spend your time running slow naval circles around enemy space bandits. As far as I could grasp the tactic was to go half speed and adjust your acceleration and deceleration to complete this amazingly slow circle strafe around your enemy to knock out their shields and ass fuck them with photon torpedoes. Combat got repetitive quickly.

The game’s missions were probably the most bland I’ve ever seen in an MMO post 2006. “What was that, Ensign? There’s no one in the quadrant? I guess everything is… Oh my god! Space Bandits out of fucking nowhere!” That was as in depth as the missions got at level 4. They didn’t want to showcase more early on maybe because there wasn’t anything left to show.

The ground missions were probably the worst part about leveling. I should be excited to see my captain running about shooting bitches in the face and parachuting off planet sized drills like in the movie, right? Too bad! I was limited to picking up resources on a planet and randomly getting jumped by “Unknown villain #3” and then transporting back to the ship. Oh wait, I forgot. There were more options. I was able to go to a mining site to speak with a couple of diggers to see how they felt about their jobs and report back to their manager. Yup! They called in the space fleets special forces to settle a dispute about a broken holodeck in the break room.

"Come on, Team! Lets pick up some rocks!"

Now, I understand I have been harsh on the game and there is a reason for that. If STO were a free to play MMORPG, I would dress it with every accolade known in the universe. A free to play space RPG? Sign me up! Let me have fleeting moments of fun!

Unfortunately, the game isn’t F2P. It’s Pay to Play and it’s $15 a fucking month. This game has a huge pair of balls to even consider charging people. Cryptic was fortunate enough that people even purchased fucking the game. It has the depth of a game developed for a smart phone.

STO lacks the environment, quests, gameplay, and depth of games like World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, and even City of Heroes. Quite a bold statement coming from a level 4 Lieutenant, right? That’s why I’m not saying for people to keep away from this game. Play it if you like, it’s your money. I personally don’t see the justification of this game being $15 a month. You’d probably find more fun in Runescape for a cheaper price.

Perfect Worlds purchased this title when they acquired Cryptic Studios. What potential they see in this hunk of shit I will never know. The game is an MMO-abomination and is better served on a free to play model or simply a box sale model like Guild Wars. Then and maybe then it would be worth the time it takes to patch and login. Until that unlikely day comes about, STO will remain uninstalled and far, far away from my computer.

Knightsquire

Knightsquire

Aaaah, yes, summer-time. Beaches, Tequila with a slice of orange, fruit with a slice of Tequila, overheated PCs and the chronic lack of money. Enter Independent Gaming and its brand new freeware find: Knightsquire (and not Knight’s Quest). A brilliant short adventure game that might just help you save enough money to treat yourself to your favorite alcoholic poison.

Knightsquire, lovingly crafted by none other than buloght (?), is apparently a game about a knight and his squire. Make that better a game about a knight, his squire and a door stuck shut. Not very epic in scope, but funny, quirky and touching on the delicate subject of squire-maltreatment (quite the class issue in medieval Europe), Knightsquire is a rather traditional point and click adventure, that’s slightly reminiscent of Gobliins 2 (see Gobliins 2 @ mobygames). Following a long adventuring tradition it lets you pick up , examine, interact with and use a variety of inventory objects, sporting mostly inventory driven puzzles. Oh, and it will entertain you for at least a couple of hours, provided of course you aren’t the ultimate adventure gaming genius.

Knightsquire

Anyway. On to the visual arts front, oh most perceptive and observant of readers, where as you should have already noticed Knightsquire sports brilliant low-res 2d graphics, with a distinct comic-book feel and buckets of color (well 32bits of it actually). Stylish eye-candy I would characterize it, were I not so majorly irritated by Firefox, thus getting all cranky and nasty, thus avoiding any good-hearted exaggerations.

Still, you get the point. It’s beautiful. It’s a precious little gem after all. And it lets you control both the knight and the squire. I swear I even heard of a resident princess!

That’s a (nine) out of (ten).

Feyruna: Fairy Forest

Feyruna Fairy Forest - PC - Gameplay Screenshot
Detailed sprites, a colourful cutesy game character, pure arcade action and fantastic hand-painted backgrounds… it’s got to be another (only slightly) retro Amiga game, right? Well, shockingly, no. It’s Feyruna – Fairy Forest, a brand new PC indy game from Germany, sporting some refreshingly old fashioned game mechanics and lovely 2d visuals. Interested? Good, let me elaborate a bit then.

 

FFF, as Feyruna – Fairy Forest will henceforth be referred to, probably features Feyruna, a fabulous fairy (which could also be the name of FFF’s setting mind you, but really, I like the idea of calling the fairy Feyruna), and is quite frankly an alliteration heavy casual and/or retro gamer’s wet dream. It also is one of the more polished (but less innovative…) indy games I’ve recently seen and one of the few PC offerings with three unlockable mini-games. They might not be much, they might be simple, basic even, but they’re definitely a touch that shows the amount of care gone into the game.

Feyruna Fairy Forest - PC - Gameplay Screenshot

Then again, bonus games are just that, a bonus. The main course of FFF has the player assuming the role of a fairy (you know, the one probably named Feyruna), a decidedly non-slutty female character, and going on to liberate places from the Princes of Darkness in a rather ordinary plot, that certainly doesn’t takes itself that seriously. After all, FFF, just like every other action heavy game before it, isn’t about plot, it’s about fun, and this it delivers in abundance.

The game, a reflex honing experience with slight shoot-em-up tendencies, is surprisingly non violent and thus quite appropriate for kids, families and small orgies. You, the player, the happy lil’ sprite, travel through 60 levels, each comprising of a beautiful screen, enemies trying to kill/stall you, power-ups and glowies (and butterflies and stuff) you must collect, and …uhm… collect stuff and avoid/destroy the baddies. Eventually you’ll have enough stashed glowies to progress to the next level, that will definitely be more challenging and might also add a new enemy, power-up or tactic to the whole experience. Mind you, that even though the gameplay does indeed get repetitive, these constantly appearing new elements do keep FFF an addictive little pass time, while some progressively tough boss battles to spice things up.

Now, have a try for yourselves. Download the FFF demo. Oh, and I suppose…

That’s a (seven and a half) out of (ten).

EQ2 Has The Worst Players On Erf!


Everquest 2, you know I love you girl, but these fools that be playin’ you… damn girl. You are littered with them! Horrible, atrocious, vomit inducing players run amok on the fair lands of Norrath like ticks sucking on, well, their own suck!

Oh boy, here we go! Another biased opinion about a game and the one isolated event that brands an entire community. Go back to WoW, fag! Lolololololol

Shut up, baby doll. Daddy’s talking.

I have played many, many MMORPGs. The kind of person who would rather play solo than mingle with the masses is not how one would describe this guy right here, the Great Umar Khan. Nope. I like to get involved with the community. I like to remember names, experiences, and how well I match with certain people in a team based environment. 1999, fellas! No yearlong breaks from the genre. I’ve slutted my way into many a community with my impeccable social and gaming skills.

You come off as an asshole!

Bollocks, I say!

Back on topic, of all the games I’ve played, loved, and also “hit it and quit it”; Everquest 2 has some of the worst players in any MMORPG. Despite my feelings for EQ2, her only flaw in my eyes are the ones who entertain themselves on a daily basis with her company.

Warcraft has the worst players, you homo!

Quiet, you anti-Semite!

That doesn’t even-

Someone mentioned my name!

I’m not saying that all players in EQ2 are bad. Every game has bad players but EQ2’s players are in a league of their own. Bertoxxulous really outdid himself with his latest plague of stupid and unskillfulness that has infected the playerbase.

 

As a troubadour, should I be out DPSing the wizards? If your answer is a yes with a hint of implied inquiry in the tone then you should understand the absurd level of shock I had leveling my flamboyant bard on the Permafrost server. More often than none was I the top DPS of the group or only outdone by a Shadow Knight tank. Very few came close to my numbers unless I was in the rare group where someone wasn’t busy watching their kids.

House wives, why are they even allowed to be playing EQ2? Shouldn’t they be busy playing Sims and Farmville? They have no place in trying to understand parses and pie charts from ACT. They can barely grasp how a Chocolate Cow in Farmville produces Chocolate Milk. Here’s a hint. IT’S A FUCKING CHOCOLATE COW!

The skillfulness to push buttons in a certain order isn’t even as mind blowing as the level of stupidity that sums up the vastly growing amount of total shit tanks in the level 70 range. How stupid can they be? One occasion I remember better than the others would be of the tank I kept asking to repair. We were at The Estate of Unrest and this gallivanting Berserker of worldly renown (/sarcasm off) had destroyed armor. I don’t know if its because he tried to tank while using a 2handed weapon despite our pleads for mercy or his claims that he could tank Bugaboo notwithstanding numerous attempts ending with the monstrous haunt face planting our tank into an early grave but this underdeveloped Neanderthal stood out like a golden ring at the bottom of a clear riverbed. We were all in the voice chat channel and finally his slack jawed Midwest accent began to wear thin on my patience. Stupidity spewed forth from his mouth like shit from my asshole after eating at Chipotle. How he managed to even understand how to set up his headset astounds me to this day.

“Hey dude, your armor is broken. Go repair. We’ll wait for you.”

“WAH!”

“Multiple pieces are 0%. You can’t tank like that especially when you’re using a two-hander.”

“WAH!”

“Because your durability has gone down the drain. Just go repair. I’ll go with you. I can teleport us back.”

“WAH can’t I tank with a Two-Hander if my armor is broken? I don’t get WAH!”

“Are you fucking with me right now?”

I’m cutting the reiterated blabbering short but to sum it up, I eventually convinced him to go repair after 5-6 minutes.

God, this editorial is getting long and I hope you’re still with me because there is more!

The community in EQ2 believes it to be okay for people to go AFK during a dungeon crawl. I can’t even count with the fingers on my hands and toes on my feet how many times we had an AFK leecher in our group. If it’s a guy, there might be someone bringing up the occasional “lol is this guy coming back?” But Lord forbid if it’s a fucking woman, though! She will AFK the entire session or return right before the boss. She’ll join the fucking group and then say “Hey guys, I’m cooking dinner at the same time. Give me a second.” That second turns to minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, and days into eons! An exaggeration? Perhaps! But a bitch shouldn’t join a fucking group if she has something else to do! “Oh hey guys! What are we doing? Crushbone? Okay I’ll be the healer. By the way, I gotta drive to the corner market for a second! Don’t kick me :)”

Fuck! There are just so many other instances where this category of shit has happened to me in only EQ2 but I don’t think I can get into all of them with my trademark long winded bantering! Fuck it all to hell!

I know I could easily deny myself of these experiences if I only made my own group and wrote off some of these people with my own iron fist ruling. Trust me, I have! I don’t take shit when I’m group leader. I don’t like having my time wasted while someone is eating shit in real life. This is my break before real life kicks in and you’re ruining those precious few hours I have. There are just sometimes where it’s easier to join an already forming group than taking the reins into your own hands.

Some of you may not agree. You might feel that my little experiences are biased and that I must hate women, that I’m a fat virgin. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re wrong. And maybe, just maybe, you’re a cum dumpster too! If that’s the case, EQ2 is the game for you.

Dead Rising: How to murder 60k Zombies

Dead Rising Zombies

Aeropause produced this most impressive of Dead Rising video walkthroughs, designed to teach aspiring undead slaughterers, how to swiftly rid their game worlds of enough zombies to earn them the prestigious Zombie Genocide Achievement. Go on. Watch the video. Gooood… Now, try it out yourself. You’ll make old mother happy again….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNr3qXkRn8[/youtube]

The Unsurprising Incompetence of Sony


We all know what’s going on with Sony. For those of you who don’t know, you either don’t game or you live under a rock. The greatest hacking escapade of 2011 has left the company’s loyal consumers hanging on the sideline while they hope to the heavens that their credit card info hasn’t been sold to the highest bidder. If you haven’t cancelled your credit card, asked for a new number, or put out a fraud alert by now it’s best advised you do so now.

What I really wanted to get into with this article isn’t Sony’s time and time again ability to completely fuck up everything they touch. I want to know why anyone would even remain loyal to this colossal abortion of a company?

Because Microsoft is the devil, Umar!

Microsoft can be whatever you want to call it but Xbox Live has provided some of the best online multiplayer entertainment compared to their other console rivals. True, the Xbox live community is immature at best. Again, it is true, most of the games that come out for Xbox are also available on the PC but this isn’t just about comparing PSN to Xbox Live.

I don’t care about the other consoles. Disregard the Wii, Xbox, or the PC in this decision. Why should someone remain devoted to Sony games or devices? If you can’t get past that, you’re missing the point entirely.

What is the point then, you fat asshole?

The point is, as a customer, why should you remain with a company that can’t protect your CC information? Why remain with a company who has been so crippled by the attack they have yet to restart their service? Why remain with a company that markets with an asshat like Kevin Butler? Why remain with a company that barely has anything to show at E3 time and time again and when they do manage to reveal something it becomes an internet meme?

And this is just with their Playstation portion of the company. They recently announced and moved forward with the shutting down of all Sony Online Entertainment games due to this “intrusion”. That means games like Everquest 2, Everquest… and what other games would be affected by this? Didn’t they seize operations on a huge plethora of their games? I know they have DCUO but how many customers can you upset by bringing that game down? Their ten remaining customers? Big deal. If this assault doesn’t put the nail in the coffin for DCUO then its loyal subscribers are used to be being screwed over and over again.

For a company that is already struggling to breathe in the MMO market, this setback is going to draw more players to WoW, LOTRO, and/or Rift. How can they recoup their losses? Offer a free month for the month they’re already going to lose? Give away 700 Station Points?
Thanks for the piece of mind, Sony. I’ll enjoy these small tokens of your appreciation for my loyalty while some criminal abuses the shit out of my credit.

Face it, loyal Sony fanboys. You’re on the Titantic and you can get off the ship and survive or freeze to death in the piercing icy waters of Hell. You aren’t Rose. No one wants to draw you naked. You won’t live through this.

I know a couple of people who are still riding on Sony’s cock. To them I say you’re a complete moron. Enjoy lubing up your ass with olive oil while this company and its attackers continue to fuck you from behind.

Now I want to hear from you, the reader. I want to know why on God’s green and polluted Earth would you want to stay with Sony?

Retro Love: Buy a Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast Logo

It’s been quite some time since I’ve got my brand new, but also (and that’s quite an oxymoron) second hand, SEGA Dreamcast, and let me tell you, I am as happy a punter as one can be. I’m a 100% converted and a newborn SEGA fanboy (well, not a boy in the full sense, but you get the idea… at least I’m not in my thirties just yet). I’m also rather thankful to the Dreamcast Junkyard for fuelling my DC obsession.

All things considered I’m thankful to dear Mr. Elderly too, for providing this blog’s comments space with a healthy dose of Irish surrealism, but that’s definitely none of your business. All you should focus on is buying a Dreamcast (unless of course you already got one, in which case you should consider buying a second). Why? Well, because…

1) It’s a matter of price.

The Dreamcast is dead cheap. You should be able to buy a brand new one for less than 80$ (that’s 60 euros) over at Lik-Sang (try clicking on the banner at the end of the article to see for yourself), or follow my example and buy a second hand one, either at e-bay or at your local second-hand-store-bazaar-whatever for quite a bit less than 50$. And this is paying for a 100% current-gen console.
Sega Dreamcast Console
the Dreamcast (via)

2) It’s the bleeding hardware

It doesn’t only look smart, it is smart. SEGA’s Dreamcast is miles ahead from both the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation, even though it’s not as powerful as the PS2 or the GameCube. It sports a RISC 128bit CPU capable of 360 MIPS (N64 ~120 MIPS, PS1 ~30 MIPS), a special edition PowerVR2 graphics processor, that can cope with 10 times PS1’s polygons, 16MB of RAM, a 1 Giga “GD-ROM” (aka fancy, fast and easily pirated CD-ROM) drive, brilliant 64 channel audio and a modem. Yes. The first console modem ever. Oh, and European players will apparently enjoy full 60Hz PAL support.

Sega Dreamcast Motherboard

the insides of the beast (via)

3) It’s the brilliant (and admittedly very cheap) games

With more than 300 games, the Dreamcast has something for everyone, except perhaps for us poor football minded maniacs. Most used (and abused) games should be picked up at ridiculous prices of 5-10$ (less in euros, even less in pounds), while published titles include such brilliant gems as Soul Calibur, Rez, Sonic Adventure 2, Rayman 2, Phantasy Star Online, Quake 3 (you might even be able to track down Half-Life), Metropolis Street Racer, Shenmue, Ikaruga, Crazy Taxi 2, Jet Grind Radio and the quite legendary Samba de Amigo.

Soul Calibur - Sega Dreamcast Screenshot

Soul Calibur

 

I could actually go on and mention at least a dozen more distinctive and defining games, but I’d rather mention something else. Dreamcast games are still being produced! Have a look at the 2006 released Under Defeat or the forthcoming Last Hope shooter.

Under Defeat - Sega Dreamcast Screenshot

Under Defeat

4) It’s the innovation and the quirkyness

And I’m talking innovation, beside the Internet connection or the PAL ting. The Dreamcast controller featured a brilliant analog stick, the now-standard shaped triggers and interestingly the Virtual Memory Unit, or VMU. This VMU thingy was far more than a memory stick. It plugged into the controller and used its little LCD screen to display relevant game information or graphics and even was a wee version of Gameboy, as it also functioned as a completely separate portable handheld gaming device (from hell). VMU games can be found right here, but searching and googling around will lead you to quite a few more cyber-stashes.

Sega Dreamcast VMU

the VMU (exposed)

 

As for quirkyness, one could mention the DC Keyboard, the Fishing Rod, the quite new-at-the-time Vibration Pack and above all Dreamcast’s Wii capabilities.

5) It’s the scene

By saying the scene I’m talking of the vibrant DC emulation, demo, homebrew and even amateur journalism community. On the Dreamcast you see, one can play anything from old arcade, to MegaDrive, Amiga, Atari, Gameboy, Playstation or NES games. There’s even a ScummVM port that makes those old Lucasarts adventures of yore DC compatible. Then again one can listen to MP3s, watch DivX videos, see the Dreamcast get pushed to its limits and play zillions of Tetris versions. All of these courtesy of the scene.

To start tasting sweet freeware offerings (you will need DiscJuggler to burn things on CD) try the following links: DCEvolution.net, Dreamcast Homebrew, IGN Dreamcast, Dreamcast @ pout.net.

6) There is no 6

Go on. Buy one! It’s cheap and powerful, but also quite the retro machine. Oh, and the Wii isn’t out yet.