Have You Played Atari Today... with Ariel Rebel?
Back in the day when you were sitting on the living room floor blasting asteroids on your new Atari 2600, who was Player #2 - Ariel Rebel? HIghly unlikely, but also highly desirable! She's a hottie, but she was born 8 years after the 2600 debuted.
The unmistakeable Atari joystick in this picture is actually attached to the newer Atari Flashback. It won't play your old 2600 VCS cartridge-based games, but it has enough ROMs onboard to keep you smiling and reliving the wonder years.
Ariel often Tweets about games she's playing, so she's definitely a gamer. Gaming needs more cool gamer-pornstars, to combat the troves of geeks that often dominate the ranks.
Go girls - play hard!
December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
If you didn't get the game you wanted or some one bought you an Xbox when you wanted a PS3 - it's because they hate you. Go to your fave game store and swap out the crap for what you really wanted. Don't forget, store clerks love you as long as your wallet is packing credit!
December 16, 2010
Entenmann's and Midway Fed My Gaming Cravings
Food goes with many activities - gaming being one of them. We all have our favorites, but every now and then the planet's align and the perfect combo presents itself. I stumbled onto a copy of Midway's Arcade Treasures 2 for PS2 and nearly fell over upon discovering Wizard of Wor was on it.
I pumped innumerable quarters into the Wizard of Wor cabinet in Mt. Kisco, NY's Electric Playhouse arcade. I found copies of it for the Atari 5200 & Atari 800, but neither one worked properly. The main reason I own more modern gaming consoles is to play my retro favorites in better detail.
My local grocer hadn't stocked Entenman's Holiday Pop 'Ems or Cupcakes for quite some time - then they filled the shelves with a motherload of holiday goodness. I wound up with 2 boxes of Christmas cupcakes. Never to be without a bottle of wine... this is where the planets aligned.
I decided to play a marathon session of Wizard of Wor while scarfing Entenmann's Christmas Cupcakes and some wine. After a glass, it seemed reasonable to hit up Twitter to let my followers revel in my caloric good fortune.
So, I sent the following tweet, demonstrating my enthusiasm with a "fuck yeah!" at the end, assuming no one would actually see it. The following morning it appeared that someone over at Entenmann's saw it and decided to reply!
Next time you think its not classy to drink wine and eat cupcakes while playing video games: you're wrong! Fuck Yeah!
Atari's Greatest Hits on Nintendo DS
Words can't describe my passion for Atari - even the Jaguar. But they have released an amazing collection of 2600 and arcade tiles on this Nintendo DS cart.
ATARI 2600 GAMES
Air Sea Battle
Atari Video Cube
Fun with Numbers
Math Gran Prix
There are a lot of retro compilation titles out there, but most are simply dumps of popular arcade classics onto the platform of choice.
Atari's Greatest Hits was quite well thought out and included some original art and other features that make it a strong release. I wish it would come to the console platforms so these gems could be enjoyed on a big screen.
November 12, 2010
Make.Believe $299 is a Good Price for PS3
With Wii and Xbox chiming in at $199 offering a variety of bundles and promo gimmicks, what makes Sony believe that adding $100 makes the PS3 a fair competitor? Oh yeah, the Blu-ray capability. Sure, That's a unique feature now, but as Blu-Ray becomes more pervasive, that advantage will disappear quickly.
I get the math - $200 for the game console and $100 for the Blu-ray. That adds up to $300, but what if I already own a Blu-ray DVD player and don't need one where my PS3 will be hooked up? Then I'm just paying for features I don't need. I own the original PlayStation and upgraded to a PS2 when my beloved original shit the bed. [Btw- my Atari 2600 from 1978 still works just fine.] However, I have never played a DVD on either one. Having bought a Sony DVD player for $35 why use the PlayStation when I'd rather the use & abuse befall a unit that is replaceable for only $35?
I've been a PlayStation fan since it's inception, but the price tag and lack of backward compatibility makes it a poor choice for me. Hating Microsoft and having a young son made the Wii a far better choice, but Daddy is still a gamer, so "What gives, Sony"?
I loved Namco Museum on the original PlayStation, so I had to get a PS2 when it died to keep playing some of my favorite classics. With no backward compatibility on the PS3, I'm having a hard time figuring out why I need one. Seems as though I don't.
November 1, 2010
3D TV Kind of Blows
3D movies have been all the rage for quite a while. For 2 hours in front of a gigantic multiplex screen I'll endure those cheesy 3D glasses that never really delivered a very crisp image. It seemed like a novelty rather than something I'd go out of my way to view. Now #D wants to invade my home? On a relatively small screen?
Conceptually I don't understand why I would want 3D on my home TV. At the movie theater I'm trapped in the dark with nothing else to do but watch the film. OK, I could whip out my cell phone and piss off everyone around me, but there aren't too many options at the multiples aside from watching the movie.
At home I rarely sit still in front of the TV for any great length of time. I love watching TV and movies at home, but the experience is much different from a theater. From pizza delivery and bathroom breaks to flipping through a magazine or surfing the web, I don't sit stationary in front of the TV the same way I might at the movie theater.
I'm sure wireless glasses exist (or soon will) but being tethered to the TV is horrible. Sometimes I'll have the TV on and glance over every now and then. Don't need glasses or 3D for that. Didn't we recently go out and buy HD TVs to better fit the newer aspect ratios of broadcast TV and movies? Now I'm to upgrade again, for even more money, to have shit pop out at me? What am I, fucking 3 years old!?! Having gone from Beta » VHS » Laser Disc » DVD » Blu-Ray... Won't it be fun to buy another copy of the same fucking movie so it will be in 3D? WTF?
I'm doing a fair amount of bitching at the conceptual level. So let me share my distaste for this technology from a little first-hand experience.
3D In-Store Demo
My first 3D TV experience was on a Sony TV at Sears. At first I thought it was a colossal failure until I read the fine print on the display unit about turning on the fucking glasses.
OK, that worked a lot better. They had a video game demo of an off-road Jeep raging down a path. The 3D effect was pretty good and captured my attention for quite a while. Video gaming being interactive as a format held my attention much longer than the football game that came on later.
At first, the football game was OK. It was definitely in 3D with the foreground players extruded outward for the effect. After watching for a few minutes I noticed something didn't look right. It was extruded in 3D, but something seemed wrong.
Here's my biggest issue with 3D TV. Each player who seemed to pop off the screen had no depth. It looked like a 2D image was being extruded in 3D. Kind of like a 3D version of Street Fighter. There was no depth at all to the extruded images. This football game looked like a bunch of 2D paper dolls running up and down the field. Each 2D player was well set within the whole 3D realm, but the lack of depth to these extruded portions made it look like an old-school attempt at 3D. I'm sure this technology will improve, but for $3,000 those improvements need to be here now!
Lastly, lets not forget that pornography drives many new technologies. Until the XXX studios start churning out 3D T&A, this isn't likely to be a big seller.
October 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
October 31, 2010
NES Halloween Costume for your Wii Controller
Lately I've been bitching that I couldn't find a copy of Nintendo Power on news stands. Just as my rage peaked, I found a copy at Borders and snatched it up, eager to read about the upcoming Donkey Kong Country game for Wii.
As it turns out, there was a static overlay packaged with the mag that gives your Wii controller an NES look. Just in time for Halloween. So now my Wii controller is dressed up for Halloween.
I'm pretty sure the jist of this pack-in marketing blitz was to get you to buy 2 copies of Nintendo Power so both Wii controllers will have NES make-overs. Um... fuck that noise! This is a pretty clever blast-from-the-past idea. Who didn't love the Nintendo Entertainment System?!?
After my inital Atari phase, I went Nintendo until Sony came out with their console. I was hooked on the Playstation and upgraded to the PS2 when my original one died. I loved SSX and some other faves, but loosing Midway's Greatest Hits and Namco Museum discs was unacceptable! I had to play them somehow. PS2 to the rescue.
I've never had a good thing to say about Microsoft and I'm certainly not going to pay $300 to explore the shortcoming of bits n pieces of Windoze cramping my game console. Fuck no!
I have to say I love hearing that Jenna Haze is a gamer. Just the thought of her playing Mario Kart makes me want to watch Jenna Haze Dark Side again!
October 15, 2010
Arkeg Incorporates Quality Arcade Games and Beer
Billed as an iPod for your video games that also serves up cold, frothy brew, this arcade cabinet with a built-in beer tap seems like an interesting concoction. It includes 69 of the most popular Arcade games from Atari, Midway, Capcom, among others. They seem to have som esort of convention for adding more games and music via retail purchases or downloads.
Their format of choice tfor games is the ROM format. I've had plenty of problems trying to config ROMs to work with various emulators, so I don't have my hopes up for getting a DL'd ROM to work on a beer tap with a CRT.
The Arkeg website doesn't go into much detail, but this beast seems based on a PC running XP which gives it the ability to store a lot more than what is preloaded. I'd be curious to know what format the ROMs have to be in. I've encountered all sorts of conversion apps for Mame, Stella and so forth. I can see this turning into a very expensive headache if you really wanted to add more games to it.
69 Preloaded Games:
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest
Mortal Kombat 3
Mortal Kombat II
Rampage World Tour
Spy Hunter II
Super Street Fighter II CE
Wizard of Wor
It's an interesting idea, but for the $3,999 price tag, I don't mind dragging out the 2600 and a six-pack.
September 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
September 20, 2010
Backyard Space Invaders for IPhone
You knew that camera in the iPhone had to be good for something in the gaming world, right?
This alien shooter lets you create your own backdrop for the invading aliens by pointing the camera at a worthy target. Now you can fight aliens as they descend onto your neighbor's house, your local WalMart or that chick sitting in front of you in Math class who won't give you the time of day.
Just aim your iPhone camera at your desired target and watch the alien ships attack.
September 13, 2010
Mario Turns 25
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Japanese release of Super Mario Bros. While the Mario character has appeared in arcade titles prior to this date, Super Mario Bros. is what brought us the plumber's land of green pipes, koopas, goombas, and mushrooms.
August 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
August 29, 2010
The Wii console began it's life as a family-friendly devise with a slew of games catering to young kids. Nintendo has gone to great lengths to shake that image and ensure older gamers that the Wii is aptly capable of more mayhem than the average Mario game. I doubt this latest accessory (not from Nintendo) was conceived to lure more mature gamers. In fact it's a Wii dildo. Here's an online excerpt...
The Mojowijo is a teledildonic accessory for the Nintendo Wii remmote, which is somewhat ironic given the console's family-friendly reputation.
The device, currently in private beta, is very simple: You hook the hardware components to two Wiimotes. Wiggling and thrusting on the first remote are detected and sent via Bluetooth to a nearby PC (you don't need the actual Wii itself).
From there, your movements are sent over the internet and reproduced by a vibrator on the other Wii remote, allowing a remote partner to enjoy your stimulations. Amusingly, the product page touts these teledildonics as just one possibility: the others are sharing the game with someone in the same room.
August 14, 2010
Gaming Sound Is Crucial
Sound, particularly music, can be a powerful medium within a game. I can hear a song and remember an event or place in time when that song played a strong role in my life. Video game sounds can do the same. I had no idea until years later when I heard sounds from a few recent games that brought the memories flooding back.
When I bought New Super Mario Bros. for Wii, I was stoked to hear the same familiar sound when he or Luigi descend down into a tunnel. Similarly the updated version of Rampage for Wii still maintains the same sound when your life ends. They even have you shuffle away naked. Good stuff!
July 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
July 11, 2010
Minions Are Rabbids!
After seeing Despicable Me (which wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped) I wonder if the film makers were aware of how blatantly they ripped off the Rabbids from the Rayman series of video games.They're movement, mannerisms and sounds all seem obviously Rabbid-related.
I've read many other posts with the same reaction, but have not seen any response from anyone on the Universal Studios side. They can't really deny it without all sorts of legal issues cropping up, but I'll bet someone is shitting their pants about the similarity and copyright infringement poitential.
Whoever concocted the Minions must have played Raving Rabbids - AND- hoped no one else had!
July 10, 2010
Toy Story 3 Dumbed Down for Wii
After picking up Toy Story 3 for Wii, I read that the Wii version is somewhat crippled compared to other platform releases. It seems that the Toybox mode is the worst off having had much of the customization removed for the Wii version. Its always irritating to find out these things after the fact. [not that I was going to buy an Xbox or something just for one title].
My son didn't mind and is probably not aware of what's missing, but it kind of sucks to discover that this version isn't as robust as other platform releases.
I recently bought a PS2 so I could play my old PS1 Namco Museum games and other retro collections (my PS1 died & the PS3 is too expensive). I refuse to buy anything made by Microsoft so that leaves me with the Wii version for now. I can't really complain - I dig the Wii and think they did a very nice job with the controllers and integrating a lot of functionality other than just making them wireless. Clever design!
June 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
June 10, 2010
Rampage for Wii is Pretty Kick-Ass
I'm a little surprised at the number of bad reviews I've seen of Rampage Total Destruction for Wii. Many of these reviews say the 3D Wii version is clunky compared to the old arcade version. OK. Did you notice that 2 original versions are on the Wii disc?
I love finding retro versions on modern systems. I'll haul out the Atari 5200 to relive the glory days, but I'm also content to play my favorite old versions on newer more reliable equipment. Not to mention that most of the "home" versions of arcade games lacked all the arcade features. Once slapped onto a Wii disc, I can play the arcade version at will as it was in the arcades of the late 80's.
June 5, 2010
Sports Resort and Burgertime
My son was eager to buy me a birthday present so we set out to find something for me (something he would enjoy too). Our quest led us to Game Stop as we'd been given a high recommendation for Wii Sports Resort. The airplane game is awesome and the archery is inventive as hell!
Whenever I'm in a game store I always look around to see if there's some hidden gem that I rilly rilly need to own. And there it was - Burgertime on the Wii! Sitting on the used shelf was Data East's Arcade Classics for Wii. Along with 14 other games I could care less about (and hadn't really heard of) I had a copy of Burgertime for Wii.
My son loved Sports Resort and I thought it was worth every penny - even including the updated motion sensor. When I popped in the Data East disc, my son was enthralled with the idea that he could run around this Donkey Kong-esque maze and make hamburgers. Having schooled him well in the art of Food fight, Galaga and Berzerk, he took to Burgertime with fervor and zeal.
Today being the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man, the folks at Google did their customary "logo swap" to represent the occasion while still spelling out "Google" on their home page. Google has done this fairly often with major holidays and some not so well known events.
Someone at Google must be a retro gamer, because they took this logo-swap one step further. They changed one of their buttons to "Insert Coin" which actually lets you play this version of Pac-Man. A nice surprise - pretty slick!
It was such a success that you can play Google Pac-Man at a permanent location on the Google site.
May 8, 2010
Galaga For All... Platforms
I have a compulsion to buy Namco's Museum for every console I own. I love the old 8 bit games - even on newer consoles. But it's not just about the array of games on the Museum carts and discs. It's really all about playing Galaga! As a sequel to Galaxian, Galaga hit the scene in 1981 from Namco/Midway.
From old copies for the Atari 7800 to Nintendo's first GameBoy, Sony's Playstation and now the Wii, I can't get enough Galaga. Fortunately my son shares my dementia for this game and has become quite adept at it.
Galaga "no fire" Cheat
Want a high score the easy way?
On the first level let all the bugs get into formation without shooting any of them.
Then shoot all of them except for 2. Don't shoot either bug in the far left column, on the bottom 2 rows.
Move your ship to the right side of the screen a few inches from "far right".
Leave your ship there and you won't get bombed.
Take a 10-15 minute break and let the bugs do their thing.
You'll notice they stop dropping bombs.
Now, shoot the 2 bugs and none of the other ones will fire at you!
April 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
April 26, 2010
Nintendo DS From WalMart
I resolved my earlier rant about WalMart being unable to process my online order for a Nintendo DS Lite. I placed my order and am anxious to get the DS Lite as it seems to be the last in the Nintendo portable arsenal to be backward compatible with GB Advance games. this will be my first DS unit so I'm not sure what to expect with the dual screen and so forth. As long as I can play my Advance retro game carts, I'll be happy.
April 24, 2010
Finally got a Wii
I was torn over the Wii when it first appeared on retail shelves. All the initial ads made it seem like a children's party-game console, yet I was very interested in the controllers and the multi-player aspects. I've always liked Nintendo, but held off on buying a Wii. After all, what the fuck is a Wii?
Having introduced video games to my son, he progressed to wanting a Wii. None of his friends had heard of his favorite games - Food Fight, Berzerk, Donkey Kong or Dig Dug. When I hear him taliking about how much he liked Rabbids Go Home, it seemed like he should have a Wii!
When I discovered it played all the GameCube games, I was sold - and already had a good library of games to play on it when/if my GameCube fails. Gotta like those $3 used GameCube games.
So far it's been a lot of fun. I'm hoping the novelty doesn't wear off too quickly.
April 20, 2010
Walmart Can't Process Online Orders
After some research into my lack of Nintendo DS ownership, I concluded that Walmart could ship me the color I wanted at the best price. Ordinarily I detest everything box-stores like Walmart stand for, but a good price can't be argued in this crappy economy. So, I go onto their site and select all the stuff I want and try to check out.
No luck. They can't validate the code on the back of my credit card. Fuckers! Every other online vendor can figure it out. What's Walmart's problem? Fuck 'em - I'll get it somewhere else. I'm sure they won't care.
April 12, 2010
DS Compatibility with GameBoy Advance
Flipping through a copy of Game Informer, I stumbled on a short blurb stating that the Nintendo DS is backward compatible with GameBoy Advance. Holy shit! I'd been kicking myself for not buying an extra Advance handheld just in case mine broke. How cool is it that the GameBoy Advance plays ALL GameBoy carts? That is one hell of a great concept. Most new systems orphan everything you previously owned. Go go Nintendo!
I really want to snag a DS Lite so I can play all my Advance games. I wonder if DS also plays the really old GameBoy carts. The other reason I want a DS is to play Space Invaders Extreme and Extreme 2.
March 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
March 21, 2010
Two Player Berzerk - Atari 800
My son and I started playing Berzerk on the 2600, but grew tired of the lack of 2-player mode and voice effects. Having played 2-player games of Food Fight and Donkey Kong on the 7800, I knew it was time to fire up the Atari 800 and see if that old beast would still put out a signal. It did!
As soon as the TV belted out "Chicken fight like a robot" I knew that 1980 was close at hand.
March 17, 2010
Space Invaders Tip for Atari 2600
Space Invaders for the Atari 2600 has an undocumented feature. Normally you only get one missile shot at a time. The missile must go off the top of the screen before you can shot another one. If you hold down the 2600, 2600A or 2600JR Reset switch/button when you first turn on the 2600 console with the cart installed, you will now be able to fire a second missile before the first one goes off-screen. When you turn off your 2600, this procedure must be done again.
January 2010 Retro Gaming Blog
January 1, 2010
Classic Gaming Re-ignited
What better day than New Years to dive back into 8-bit gaming? When shopping for some toys for my son, I came across one of those all-in-one joysticks that has several classic games on it. I'd seen them before and ignored the concept as I owned all of the games on various systems.
However, this time I stopped and really thought about it. All my classic consoles, games and misc crap was in storage and I hadn't seen it for a few years (marriage can do that). Suddenly a cheap joystick that would let me play Pac-Man, Galaga and Galaxian on my TV seemed like a good idea. Ten dollars later I was in classic game heaven.
When my son came to visit, he saw the joystick (which I had not planned to show him, and asked what it was. He was immediately interested and couldn't believe what he saw on the TV when we plugged it in. Galaga became an instant hit!