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8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
First Quarter 2012 - January, February, March

March 2012 Retro Gaming Articles:

March 30, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

It's National Cleavage Day! #NCD thanks, Wonderbra

When something as ridiculous as National Cleavage Day is trending on Twitter, our inquiring minds demand more info. Our calendar shows no mention of NCD or similarly themed nationally recognized holiday. Did we miss our town's annual Tit Parade? Is there a "Whip Em Out" email stewing in my spam folder waiting to shed light on the proper celebratory actions for this event?

Wonderbra created National Cleavage Day What the fuck is National Cleavage Day? NCD to you hipster types.

Apparently, the folks at Wonderbra - who we presume have admitted defeat to the cavalcade of winged beauties from Victoria's Secret - created National Cleavage Day in 2002 to celebrate women's power and independence. Breasts seem an odd choice for an iconic stand on girl-power, but they are a bra manufacturer after all.

Anita Meiring, public relations consultant for Wonderbra, explained the event. "It is a day for women to realize that their cleavage is something unique and that they should be proud of it."

This quote from Wikipedia leads us to believe that these are likely the same folks who return to anti-porn rallies after the festivities of National Cleavage Day have subsided. In any event, we hope everyone had a pleasant day and celebrated in an acceptable manner... or not ;)
March 24, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This photo should always be your girlfriend's reply to a "Whatcha doin?" text message

Smartphone technology As technology rolls forward, smartphones are replacing computers for many people who need to be connected on the go. Laptops are too bulky compared to a phone when it comes to quick tasks on the fly.

You can transfer funds, send a tweet or reply to an email while waiting on line in a store. Are you going to boot up your laptop on that line? Hell no!

In a world full of tweeting and texting, brevity has become the norm when communicating digitally. This brevity has even reached the point where common phrases become acronyms, with new ones appearing weekly. Smartphone cameras have improved in quality allowing photos and videos to be delivered as effortlessly as a text message. In some cases a picture can be a thousand words making such communication a vital part of staying connected in our fast paced lives.

So naturally the cellular broadband networks have become clogged with porn. As that becomes the new norm, we feel all "Whatcha doin?" texts to your girlfriend include this photo as the response. Because "standing around looking hot" takes too long to type on a tiny keyboard.
March 23, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jenny from Geekgasm stands up for TMNT & delivers an epic punch to Michael Bay

...right in his mother fucking face!

One might like to believe all this has been an elaborate April Fools prank, but it seems that Michael Bay is hellbent on putting his mark on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He's shortening the name to Ninja Turtles and making them aliens from outer space. Fans of TMNT went balistic in a variety of ways.

However...
few expressed their outrage as succinctly as Jenny Lorenzo from Aggressive Comix's YouTube show, Geekgasm. If Turtle fans worldwide needed a hero to rally around, she's it! check out Geekgasm's "Fuck you, Michael Bay!" episode on Youtube. It's awesome!

Jenny Lorenzo of Geekgasm is opposed to Michael Bay's TMNT interpretation

Changing the name seems like an odd thing to do to a remake that has such a large strong following. Fans know Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so who is benefitted by shortening the name? Secondly, this is a REMAKE which infers there is already a backstory and a history. Changing that is a trite attempt by the studio (or Michael Bay himself) to put their own mark on the film. Fuck that!

Fans want a new TMNT story! How about delivering that? No one needs a new backstory that alters the premise of the Turtles existence. Just make a compelling adventure for them. Why does Hollywood think a classic story arc needs to be changed? No wonder theater ticket sales are down - Hollywood delivers crap!
March 22, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Violence in Video Games Labeling Act: Warning exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive FUN

When you live in a society where people need to be told not to send emails or text messages while careening down the highway at 70 MPH, where do you draw the line? What WOULDN'T you need to tell such people? Hey, don't play the violin while you're driving!

Smithsonian The Art of Video Games exhibition logo

The Violence in Video Games Labeling Act has reappeared to haunt gamers and make people believe that good parenting is the result of legislation. Do politicians really believe they are doing anything good by rallying around bullshit when the economy is in the toilet, unemployment is rampant and questionable foreign nations are threatening to start more costly wars? Of all the truly important things happening in the world, we need to re-brand video games that might cause aggressive behavior?

Is it possible that the minority of dumb-fucks who need hand-holding at every decision point will get special warning labels to coincide with their every action? And the rest of us have to suffer the idiocy because some people can't get their shit together and just play a fucking video game? How many warning labels do we need on video games to help consumers make decisions? I'm pretty sure most people can function on a daily basis with only a mild notion of common sense.

The ERSB won over the right to plaster their ratings decisions on all video games. To some degree I think a ratings system provides some needed clues as to a game's content and age-appropriateness, but one rating or label will suffice. Do we need government to add another sticker telling us what perils may befall us if we are to play these games?

If we really need another sticker on games, then here are 10 other warning labels we obviously need:
  1. Warning exposure to Ex Lax has been linked to aggressive shitting.
  2. Warning exposure to pornography has been linked to aggressive masturbation.
  3. Warning exposure to sunlight has been linked to aggressive squinting.
  4. Warning exposure to stubbing your toe has been linked to aggressive profanity.
  5. Warning exposure to hot dogs has been linked to aggressive stomach upset.
  6. Warning exposure to alcohol has been linked to aggressive vomiting.
  7. Warning exposure to knives has been linked to aggressive bleeding.
  8. Warning exposure to fast-food has been linked to aggressive obesity.
  9. Warning exposure to automobiles has been linked to aggressive accidents.
  10. Warning exposure to idiotic legislation has been linked to congressional impeachment.
March 18, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Removal of GameCube & PSP video game titles at GameStop is imminent

I was stoked to add a few more GameCube titles to my collection from my trip to GameStop today. However, I got a bit of bad news from the clerk...

Smithsonian The Art of Video Games exhibition logo

I was told that many of GameStop's retail locations will cease sales of pre-owned GameCube and PSP titles in the next few days! Remaining inventory will be shipped to larger stores that have more space and better sales figures for these platforms.

I've loved collecting GameCube titles since they are compatible with the Wii. On top of that, I was just getting into the PSP. Oh well...

GameStop locations are few and far between in my area. I'll have to gas up the pimp-sled and venture out to other locations. These titles will be abundant online, but I love the thrill of the chase to see what goodies await. Awaiting the mailman or UPS guy isn't nearly as adrenaline-inducing or fun.
March 16, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Smithsonian declares pixels as objet d'art for The Art of Video Games exhibition

Smithsonian The Art of Video Games exhibition logo I love opening the New York Times and finding a front & center article about gaming. Today was one of those days with the Smithsonian American Art Museum's The Art of Video Games exhibition on the top of the Weekend Arts section.

When I hear "Smithsonian" I tend to think of Apollo rockets, Van Gogh and dinosaurs. On the other hand I attended an amazing arcade gaming exhibition (all games were on free-play) at the National Press Club in DC, so I'm willing to tune in and see what it's all about.

There is also a companion book, The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, which briefly showcases the games in the exhibit.

The Art of Video Games
3rd floor North, American Art Museum
March 16, 2012 to September 30, 2012
The Art of Video Games companion book Sample pages:

Combat

Zaxxon

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Uncharted 2


The Smithsonian American Art Museum let anyone join in the selection of the video games to be included in the exhibition. The 240 games on the ballot were selected by Chris Melissinos, who worked with a wide variety of luminaries from the gaming industry. The games were selected based on a variety of criteria, including visual effects, creative use of new technologies, and how the game fit into the narrative of the exhibition. Online voting was open from February 14 to April 17, 2011. Apparently more than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119,000 people in 175 countries! That's a lot of gamers!

The following games topped the public vote and will be featured in The Art of Video Games exhibition. In addition to the 80 games below, five playable games will be included in the exhibition: Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower.
  • Atari VCS
    Pac-Man (Action), Space Invaders (Target), Pitfall! (Adventure), Combat® (Tactics)
  • ColecoVision
    Donkey Kong (Action), Zaxxon (Target), Pitfall II: Lost Caverns (Adventure), Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator (Tactics)
  • Intellivision
    TRON: Maze-Atron (Action), Star Strike (Target), Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (Adventure), Utopia (Tactics)
  • Commodore 64
    Jumpman (Action), Attack of the Mutant Camels (Target), The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate (Adventure), Pirates! (Tactics)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
    Super Mario Brothers 3 (Action), 1943: The Battle of Midway (Target), The Legend of Zelda (Adventure), Desert Commander (Tactics)
  • SEGA Master System
    Marble Madness (Action), After Burner (Target), Phantasy Star (Adventure), Spy vs Spy (Tactics)
  • SEGA Genesis
    Earthworm Jim (Action), Gunstar Heroes (Target), Phantasy Star IV (Adventure), Dune II: Battle for Arrakis (Tactics)
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System
    Super Mario World (Action), Star Fox (Target), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Adventure), SimCity (Tactics)
  • SEGA Saturn
    Tomb Raider (Action), Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei (Target), Panzer Dragoon Saga (Adventure), SimCity 2000 (Tactics)
  • DOS/Windows
    DOOM II (Action), Diablo II (Target), Fallout (Adventure), StarCraft (Tactics)
  • PlayStation
    Metal Gear Solid (Action), Einhander (Target), Final Fantasy VII (Adventure), Final Fantasy Tactics (Tactics)
  • Nintendo 64
    Super Mario 64 (Action), Star Fox 64* (Target), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Adventure), Worms Armageddon (Tactics)
  • SEGA Dreamcast
    Sonic Adventure (Action), Rez (Target), Shenmue (Adventure), ChuChu Rocket! (Tactics)
  • PlayStation 2
    Shadow of the Colossus (Action), Gradius V (Target), Okami (Adventure), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Tactics)
  • Microsoft XBox
    Halo 2 (Action), Panzer Dragoon Orta (Target), Fable (Adventure), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (Tactics)
  • Nintendo GameCube
    Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Action), Star Fox: Assault (Target), The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Adventure), Pikmin 2 (Tactics)
  • Modern Windows
    Portal (Action), flOw (Target), Fallout 3 (Adventure), Minecraft (Tactics)
  • Microsoft XBox 360
    Bioshock (Action), Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (Target), Mass Effect 2 (Adventure), Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II (Tactics)
  • Nintendo Wii
    Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Action), Boom Blox (Target), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Adventure), Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (Tactics)
  • PlayStation 3
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Action), Flower (Target), Heavy Rain (Adventure), Brütal Legend (Tactics)
*Goldeneye 007 was the winning game in this category but cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions. Star Fox 64 received the next highest number of votes.

If you're in the Smithsonian's neighborhood, this might be cool to check out if for no other reason than visiting a video game exhibition in an art museum. Speaking of which, The Smithsonian is more accustomed to paintings and relics - items that can be enjoyed in quiet sanctity. Video games are loud, bright and demand your interaction (not an interpretive gaze from afar).

Some are saying this exhibit is too staid and lacking the energy that gamers create in their native gaming environments. You can't please everyone, but it's important to note this is not a curated exhibition. In other words, their was no central person/group maintaining a focus or organization of the exhibits. A curator is traditionally a keeper of a cultural heritage. Some are saying the lack of curation shows in the randomness and process of selecting games and then combining them into an exhibition.
March 15, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sharapova energizes to overpower Kirilenko á là Virtua Tennis #bnppo12

BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament 2012 Indian Wells logo Watching Maria lose the first set made me want to whip out Virtua Tennis and engage in a furious Sharapova-induced onslaught against all the virtual players. BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament 2012 Maria Sharapova Pitfall! But I couldn't shut off the match with the hope that she would bounce back and kick some ass.

In tribute to her being a fighter and never giving in we've whomped up (PhotoShop'd) another gaming-inspired pic of Ms. Sharapova with one of our favorite 8-bit heroes.

Maria Sharapova moved through to the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open as she came from down a set and a break to defeat fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in three hours and five minutes.


Sega Virtua Tennis 4 Wii with Maria Sharapova
March 14, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

What was the greatest gaming era ever?

Patrick Scott Patterson posed the above question on the Examiner. I was impressed with the concept and duped it over here as I really liked his breakdown of Gaming Eras.

  • 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 Game Boy sales numbers while all three traditional consoles reach the top five best selling consoles ever. Numerous titles break all-time gaming sales figures.

BTW- the answer is: Boom Era :)
March 13, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Batgirl dons Keaton's rags, gets hardcore & adds a tramp-stamp for affirmation

Taking a smoke break... after taking a bite out of crime.

Batgirl dons Keaton's rags and gets hardcore

The Bat Symbol takes a twist toward permanence.
Batman tramp stamp
March 12, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari never saved the music industry by hot-gluing game carts to 8-track tapes (Double Ender)

Every now and then I encounter this image and wonder why forums occasionally light up with eager collectors seeking this mystical music/gaming item.
Atari 2600 Foghat 8-Track Game Cartridge combo
I'm sure the quest begins with Googling "Tape Barn" in the hopes of chasing down a lead for the Atari Double-Ender. Disappointment must settle in when no such retailer appears. Most searches targeting this rare collectable point to a single page which, while convincing, is part of a site that parodies many things.

For the truly determined I suggest periodically checking eBay. In tough economic times I'm sure someone is willing to part with their Atari 2600-8-track Double Ender wonder to stave off foreclose.

One might even go to an independent gaming store in search of a clerk who might provide clues. Indie shops tend to harbor more retro knowledge. I'd avoid GameStop since their clerks were all born a decade after CD's came to market.

As a last ditch effort you may want to track down the Atari 2600 controller/dildo. Anyone who owns one of these must surely know about the elusive double-ender :)
Happy hunting!

BTW - You can download a trial copy of PhotoShop from Adobe and see what other bands you can add to the Double Ender play list. Don't forget to pick bands that pre-date the retail demise of 8-track tapes circa 1982. Proper fakery is all in the details.
March 9, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Teenage Mutant Naked Turtles show a leaner side to the "Heroes With A Hardshell"

The TMNT of my youth seemed like wholesome heroes eager to battle evil or eat pizza. I never knew they had a female contingency. Click...

March 8, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Frivolous glazed-donut technology should always be bolstered by solid design

Krispy Kreme hot donut alert light app If you don't have the pleasure of living near a Krispy Kreme shop, you're missing out on one of the most decadent donuts on the market. No, Dunkin doesn't come close.

Not long ago I worked near a Krispy Kreme and passed by on my commute to the office. Whenever the "Hot Now" light was lit up on their outdoor sign, you knew they were cranking out a fresh batch of glazed donuts and more often than not they'd give you a free one. If that light was on we'd stop in for a cup of coffee and a donut. At the time I thought this was an amazing marketing tool. We saw the light - we went into Krispy Kreme.

I'm delighted to see that this analog idea of "see sign - eat donuts" concept has crawled up the hill of technology in the form of apps and widgets. krispy Kreme has a suite of iPhone, Android and computer widgets that digitally light up when your local or nearby Krispy Kreme shop is rolling out a hot batch of donuts.

Krispy Kreme hot donut alert light app You can set it for your local shop or have it fire up when you are near a lit sign elsewhere. You can also manually launch it to validate donut status.

The problem with this app - aside from battery drain (I keep the auto alert off) - is it redefines frivolous. No one needs an app to alert them to that baking status of Krispy Kreme. That said, this thing is hella cool! Totally unnecessary, but who cares. Considering it serves no great purpose, it's nice to see that it works. Sure, some folks run into compatibility issues, but who doesn't?

Krispy Kreme 75th anniversary cruiser bus - Glaze the Nation Tour For me, it's a fun app that caters to my passion for Krispy Kreme donuts and it's a clever marketing tool from the KK folks. So many apps are equally useless, but don't even work properly. In light of what it is (no pun intended) its nice to see that both the app and widget work well. It really sucks when an app like this doesn't even have the proper checks to ensure it works. Kudos to Krispy Kreme for scoring some well deserved points with this clever (albeit unnecessary) suite of donut tech tools!

If your behave yourself and respect the goodness of Krispy Kreme, perhaps their Donut Cruiser will roll into your town.
March 6, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

You know you want Dead Island and Angry Birds on your NES, right? Do it with NEStalgia from 72 Pins

Dead Island on your Nintendo NES Angry Birds on your Nintendo NES I wasn't sure what to think when I found Dead Island and NES come up in an unrelated web search. I had to click through to 72 Pins and find out what this was about.

My amazement and confusion surged higher upon finding a whole site full of NES cartridges donning labels from recent PS3 and a few iPhone titles. I was certain that Bioshock did not originate from a 1985 gaming console.

Bottom line: these guys are creating art on NES carts!

But it goes beyond the final product. The designs are geared around currently released video game titles and rendered in a insanely appealing 8-bit fashion replacing the original "label area" of the cart with a retro-modern label. The coolest part is these are actual functioning NES carts. Upon buying one, you never know what game might be lurking on the carts innards, despite the cart being clearly labeled Halo, Red Dead Redemption or Super Meat Boy.

The cool-factor kept rising the more I read about 72 pins - like the name. Who doesn't remember all the tricks for getting NES carts to play when they didn't want to? That 72 pin connector was gaming nirvana's link from a plastic cart to the guts of the NES. And the rationale behind naming this creative venture, 72 Pins. Check out 72 Pins, their stuff is crazy-cool, imaginative and creative.
March 5, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Stop everything! Soak up a technophilic comic-induced gala w/ @JENNIZZLES on #Geekgasm via @AggressiveComix YouTube #JennyDance

If you haven't seen Geekgasm episode 3 on the Aggressive Comix YouTube channel, it's time to get off the babysitter and do something to better your life. If you've never seen Geekgasm, you should head over there right away (pay the sitter first).

Jenny Lorenzo in Aggressive Comix Geekgasm show on YouTube

Hosted by Jenny Lorenzo, Geekgasm will definitely make you smile and quite likely laugh out loud. Full of tech, video game and geek references, the show moves fast so you may have to rewind to fully enjoy tidbits of inspiration such as:
"I don't like being an Ass-tard"

And if you're one of those annoying folks who dashes out of theaters the second the credits appear - sit your ass back down. Acknowledge the talented crew who make Geekgasm a joy to beg, behold and bookmark - then you will be rewarded with another classic Jenny dance.

Then - before you scurry off to hide that tube-sock at the bottom of the hamper - tell all your friends about Geekgasm and implore them to view it as many times as it takes to realize _____________.
(You fill in the blank. We don't know your fucking friends)
March 4, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Popular cosplayer Jessica Nigri won the Search for Juliet contest- Lollipop chainsaw

Lollipop chainsaw for PS3 Lollipop chainsaw for PS3 When you discover a way to bring the "cheerleading zombie killer" fantasy into reality via a mainstream product you can't just let anyone rep the product. You have to get an over-the-top kick-ass rep to drive home the message!

Somewhere among the minds of Warner Home Media, James Gunn and Suda51 Studios- Juliet Starling was created as the blonde avenger of San Romero HS. That's all well & good in the digital world, but someone (someone gorgeous, ruthless and sweet) has to "be" Juliet and rep the product at trade shows, do PR junkets and become Juliet Starling.

But where does one go to find "Juliet Starling"? The internet!

Meet Jessica Nigri - winner of the Search for Juliet contest! Jessica Nigri as Juliet Starling from Lollipop chainsaw for PS3
Jessica Nigri as Juliet Starling from Lollipop chainsaw for PS3 Jessica Nigri as Juliet Starling from Lollipop chainsaw for PS3 Ms. Nigri seems to embody the spirit and look of Juliet Starling. I'm sure she'll do amazingly well at comic cons and PR junkets. What's not to like!

Bit 'O Trivia:
In the Lollipop Chainsaw game Ms. Starling is voiced by Tara Strong, a Canadian voice actress, who has worked with a number of animated children's programs, where she is well-known for providing the voices of male characters.
March 3, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Let there be light! You fucking did what to my Atari 2600!?!

Atari 2600 lamp I love this lamp but I could never make the necessary sacrifice to make it happen. I can only hope it was crafted from a defunct Atari 2600 and extra copies of Asteroids which are fairly plentiful.

I presume the shade was made from scans of the game boxes. They have to be somewhat transparent to function as a lamp shade.

In the end I couldn't use any of my beloved Atari stash to fabricate this lamp. I think guilt would consume me if it were in my game cave. lol
March 2, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:
March 1, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Perceptions needn't be accurate to damage. The 3DS is a serious device, dammit!

I was a little disappointed with the Vita's visual similarity to the PSP. It's a beautiful device, but it sort of had that "been there" vibe to it. Don't get me wrong - the PSP is a hella sexy handheld. It's just that I'd have preferred a look, for the Vita, that was a little more distinguished from the PSP.

From it's capabilities to it's sleek lines, the Sony Vita gives off an air of perfection and sophisticated elegance - titles it deserves. But where does this leave Nintendo's 3D brainchild, the 3DS? Should comparisons be made on looks? Are we really going to dismiss it as "the kid's Mario machine"?

We all remember that dork in elementary school who grew up to become a legendary CEO and the president of the Chess Club who retired at 37 as a successful entrepreneur. None of us saw that coming when we were preoccupied with taunting them.
But we're fucking adults now, right?

Nintendo's 3DS is a serious handheld So the above image arrived in my in-box declaring the 3DS as a "serious game machine". No shit, I thought... then my next conclusion was the thrust of my opening idea that the 3DS is somehow not serious when compared to the visual sleekness of the Vita. I've seen online posts making these same visual comparisons and trying to label these devices based on criteria we should have shed in grade school.

I welcome the tech-savvy discussions about processing power, integration and capabilities, but posts saying a bright red gaming device isn't serious when compared to a jet-black competitor is nonsense!!!

I still love my DS Lite for it's backward compatibility with my Game Boy Advance games, but I'm equally stoked about some of the 3DS titles to recently come to market. At the same time I'd love to delve into a Vita and revel in it's integration with the PS3. There are some delineations between the Sony and Nintendo handhelds, but I think there's a lot of crossover as well.

Go buy em both so I won't feel compelled to publish this sort of adulating drivel. Thanks ;)

February 2012 Retro Gaming Articles:

February 25, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Fashion Forward: Wearing Nintendo shoes with an Atari dress...and not giving a shit

Atari Pac-Man dress I wouldn't claim to have the right answer to this, but we see it as a daring jaunt into "Fuck you. I'll wear what I want to."

But would it be a faux-pas to wear Super Mario heels with a Pac-Man dress?














Nintendo Super Mario womend heeled shoes
February 23, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

OK, I thought Daphne was the hot one, right? What's up Velma?

Velma is a hottie?
My son is a big Scooby Doo fan and I certainly remember watching endless episodes as a kid, myself. But I don't recall Velma looking quite like this.

Understandably, she now dons a laptop, cell phone and perhaps an updated prescription on those glasses she so conveniently loses at the worst times, but I'm skeptical that time has been this kind to her. Daphne - yes. But we always expected her to age well.
Velma is a hottie?
Head Mounted Controller It'll be interesting to see how far the aging process (sexification) will go as the Mystery Gang forges ahead solving new mysteries and de-masking more villans hiding inside increasingly unlikely costumes.

Zoinks! Those darn kids!
February 22, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Emotiv has clearly infringed on the Atari MindLink patent- lol

The similarity is uncanny! :)

Emotiv EPOC neuroheadset Head Mounted PC Controller

From the Emotiv web site:
Based on the latest developments in neuro-technology, Emotiv has developed a revolutionary new personal interface for human computer interaction. The Emotiv EPOC is a high resolution, neuro-signal acquisition and processing wireless neuroheadset.

It uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expressions and connects wirelessly to most PCs.
2012

Atari MindLink Head Mounted Controller
1984

If I had to guess... I suspect both products function about the same. Advances in such technology are likely more fashion oriented than tech-based :)
February 21, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Knitting doesn't always have to result in a really shitty sweater

Awful Christmas Sweater The concept of an "awful Christmas sweater" has become so cliche that some folks go out of their way to wear the most ridiculous one they can find. It must be some sort of honor among fashion-haters who want to send an official "fuck off" to bad wool traditions.

I think the true nature of the "awful Christmas sweater" needs to be taken a little more seriously. It doesn't really count unless a family member knitted it for you and destroys you with guilt if you don't wear it every fucking day in December... and a few days after New Years. Buying a ridiculous sweater at Macy's or Neiman Marcus takes away from the spirit of an obligatory shitty sweater.

On the other hand - knitting doesn't have to result in a demented Christmas scene plastered across an ill-fitting itchy garment. This Contra Sweater is awesome and brings Yuletide tears to my eyes. It restores my faith to know that handmade sweaters can still be placed in the "Kick Ass" category while retaining some holiday savvy.

Contra Sweater

Choke on this shit, Fashion Week!
February 20, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Radio Shack sells gaming consoles? I must have missed that memo

Radio Shack President's Day Sale Radio Shack has always been my destination for audio and video connectors, adaptors, cables, soldering irons and a few other electrical oddities. Their President's Day sale circular wound up in my in-box and nostalgia got the best of me and I clicked to see what scanners and whacky antennas they were hocking these days.

Sony PlayStation Vita at Radio Shack To my amazement, I saw a Sony Vita on the front page! WTF?!?

When did Radio Shack start selling video game consoles? A few more clicks revealed a Sony PS3! Was I in the fucking twilight zone?

Never in a million years would I have thought of The Shack when contemplating a gaming console purchase.

Nothing against them - but their last memorable marketing campaign I recall was that they offer cell phones with plans from the major carriers. And their stores resemble toy stores around Christmas. So when the Hell did they start selling video game consoles? Is this just a Sony venture? I didn't see any Xboxes in that sale flyer.

Sony PlayStation Vita at Radio Shack I venture into a Radio Shack on a monthly basis so I'm a bit phased that I can't recall ever seeing a PlayStation sitting on the shelf. Could I have glossed over such a sighting? Doubtful. That would be like ignoring the firearms section at my local bakery - kinda stands out, right?

So, I dropped into a local Radio Shack to ask one of their employees how long they've been selling game consoles at the Shack. The experience proved that not all clerks are created equal. One woman said they'd been selling them as long as she'd worked there - 6 months. Another Shack rep stepped to the plate offering the same conversion - 9 months. Both clerks seemed confident that they did not sell the games. I'll have to hit up another location in order to score some actual information on the matter. WTF!?!

The only reason I'm curious is that they're now selling the Vita and a few web searches revealed some great sale prices on gaming consoles during the last few holidays. I'll have to keep them in mind if they're offering a kick-ass sale on a needed console or handheld.
February 16, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:
February 11, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

General Mills goes retro with cereal brands, including Cheerios, for Target

Aside from stocking up on Boo Berry, Frankenberry and Count Chocula around Halloween, I don't pay too much attention to the cereal aisle. I'm a staunch fan of Cheerios despite the FDA recently alerting General Mills that Cheerios don't actually cure Cancer. So you think I'd know if Atari was being promoted on a Cheerio's box.

Cheerios with Atari activities Cheerios with Atari activities
I heard about this online and then discovered it's exclusive only to Target stores. I don't have a Target nearby and I tend to buy food at grocery stores since I rarely need tube socks or an oil filter when I'm stocking up on Pop Tarts, vegetables and hot dog buns.

The cereals that are available in Atari-themed packages include Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios, and Cocoa Puffs. General Mills said that the cereal boxes will feature graphics and trivia from popular Atari games, including Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command.

If you have a Target nearby, check out the cereal aisle!
February 10, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:
February 8, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We are totally amped about seeing this GameStop ad for Lollipop Chainsaw- Go Juliet!

Juliet Starling in Lolipop Chainsaw
There's no doubt that a zombie slaying cheerleader in pigtails who wields a chainsaw is going to garner a lot of attention! What's not to like?

Knowing only what we've read and seen in trailers we fully intend to snatch up a copy of Lollipop Chainsaw. We can't honestly give a review or lend any credence to the game's actual quality, but an inner compulsion demands we own this title! Here's hoping it's as good as it looks and people are saying.
February 7, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Just when I thought I'd played Pac-Man. THIS is Pac-Man!

Pac-Mam Battle Royale with 4-player versus play
Officially released in January 2011, Pac-Man Battle Royale, by Namco Bandai, celebrates the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man with single-player and 4-player versus option in which each player has a unique colored Pac-Man that can eat dots as well as opponents.

Official description from their site:
Pac-Man Battle Royale is the first four player competitive Pac-Man arcade game. The original Pac-Man game concept has been given a cannibalistic twist: Eliminate your opponents by eating them and the last Pac-Man standing wins the round. When players eat a power pellet, they power-up by doubling in size and increasing in speed.

Once powered up, they are now able to eat non powered-up blue players and ghosts. Players of the same size simply bounce off each other. Players can also be eliminated by running into ghosts if there aren't any powered up players. Eating a piece of fruit or all of the pellets resets the maze with a fresh new set of power pellets.

At the end of the game, statistics are displayed for each players such as "Won Most Rounds" and "Ate Most Pac-Man", etc. The game is simple, competitive, and highly addictive.
February 6, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Does your girlfriend want a pink 3DS for Valentine's Day... or roses & jewelry?

A Nintendo mailing list I subscribe to sent me a message suggesting I opt out of the roses and jewelry snare and give my loved one a pink 3DS for Valentine's Day. I admire their marketing gumption, but have my doubts as to how many women really want a 3DS for Valentine's Day.

My first reaction was to laugh, but that isn't to ignore the numerous gamer-girls out there who'd be stoked to get a 3DS on the 14th. Nearly all the girls I know would scoff at such a gift and assume - despite the pink color - that it was an attempt by their suitor to retain the handheld for himself.

Pink Nintendo 3DS for Valentine's Day It's a special girl who wants a portable gaming system for Valentine's Day in place of the traditional roses, jewelry and other sanctioned detritus. We heartily admire any woman who craves gaming hardware over flowers and baubles for Valentine's Day.
Pink Nintendo 3DS for Valentine's Day
However if your have to travel the "rose" path, try these Thong-Roses. Each "rose" is a tightly wrapped thong, so it's really a gift that gives a little back to you. If your girl isn't down with thongs, perhaps you'll have to go with the $39 Zales heart pendant that every other chick is getting as a last minute gift.

Here's hoping your girl wants a 3DS - all the ladies want to go 3D for Valentine's Day, right? In the end... if she's the one, you'll get her whatever she wants :)
February 5, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After conquering Hello Kitty, KISS sets video game sights on Angry Birds

Rock band KISS teams up with Rovio Angry Birds
Gene Simmons has set out to put the KISS logo on every single product, service, building, bumper sticker, etc... on the planet. Having recently teamed up with both Archie Comics and Hello Kitty, I've always wondered why there's never been a KISS video game. It seems like the perfect outlet for everything that KISS is!

Think about it - you could play as any of the 4 band members, each having unique powers. The sky is the limit for that sort of thing. It seems like just the over-the-top kind of venture that Gene & company love to delve in. Then I find out they may partner with Rovio's Angry Birds. Huh?

Rock band KISS teams up with Rovio Angry Birds

Yes, the screen above is fake.

I get the fact that Gene's mission with KISS is to make insane quantities of money so I guess Rovio makes financial sense as they are the gaming darling of today's smart phone oriented world. So, am I going to be downloading an app that lets me fling Gene, Paul, Peter & Ace at various structure? Yeah I know Ace & Peter are long gone, but that was MY Kiss back in the day. Destroyer - fuck yeah!!

The problem I have with this is that KISS is a huge brand - mammoth! A KISS video game should be run from six PS3s wired into a force of one and projected on a jumbotron in Times Square. KISS - the brand - seems bigger than a mere smart phone app. Apps are small by nature of the devices they operate on. KISS is fucking huge - too big to be wedged into a tiny screen with poor sound.

I hear KISS is also talking with Sony about gaming. I'm hoping this yields a larger-than-life game fitting of the Hottest Band in the Land!
February 4, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Inexpensive phone games flourish during a bad economy. Will Sony's Vita? Hell yeah!

Sony Vita display at GameStop Upon reading a headline stating that Sony Vita's future was dead on arrival due to the permeation of mobile games for cell phones, I felt a rant brewing. Let me start with: Are you fucking kidding me?!?

I'm always down for some Angry Birds on my Android, I still adore my Atari 2600 and believe the PS3 has more compelling games with each coming year. Gaming spans many genres, styles and functions. Some of these overlap while others are quite unique. Nintendo cornered the market on mobile gaming with it's successive Game Boy products by filling that niche and doing it better than anyone else.

Suddenly cell phones have become ubiquitous and increasingly more powerful and the gaming industry took notice. The floodgates of games opened wide. And what's not to like? Most are free or a few bucks - no big deal.

I'm all for some Angry Birds or Stupid Zombies while waiting on line at a store or if I need to kill a few minutes. Most of the games fit that bill. They're simple and can be played on the fly without much care or investment. When I'm at home and have time to invest in a game, I head for the console or a portable (DS or PSP).

Sony Vita display at GameStop The gamer who will play an RPG for hours at a time isn't going to give up a real gaming platform for a cell phone. That isn't to say there aren't a lot of compelling games for phones, it's just a different experience. A PS3 or Vita can outpace a cell phone in a heartbeat in every way except file size. So, getting back to that article on Vita's certain demise due to cell phone market share seems a bit reaching. If you trade in your DS for a Razr, I'm pretty sure you're more interested in tweeting and texting than gaming.

I love that Atari classics are available on iOS, but I'd rather play them on a vintage console even though the arcade ports may not be as good. Maybe I'm a victim of my own generation. Having grown up on a progression of home consoles - it's just how gaming is done... for me.

Sony Vita's Potential Pitfall

I think the Vita's success is dependent on price point, perceived value of future game titles and extra offerings outside pure gaming. The nearly instantaneous price drop of the 3DS makes me nervous about the initial Vita pricing. Nintendo still has not - in my opinion - released a compelling enough selection of self-branded or 3rd party titles to entice the masses to make the 3D leap. On the other hand, Nintendo offered some interesting non-gaming add-ons that I think the Vita could leverage.

People view smart phones as the end-all be-all of mobile devices. In a way that's accurate, but perception is always dominant to any reality. Adding games to phones makes them seem more valuable. I feel some of the 3DS' non-gaming features made it a more compelling device. The dual lens camera with the merge feature offered some interesting effects as well as the photo-to-Mii tool and StreetPass. These add-ons give consumers the idea that they are getting more than a handheld gaming platform.

I hope the Vita and 3DS flourish as dedicated handheld gaming certainly has a strong hold. I can only hope the economy turns around so more people will feel comfortable investing in these devices. Go Vita!
February 2, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Harper Lee's only published novel will now charge your iPhone

Most of us have read Harper Lee's only published book, To Kill A Mockingbird, at some point. It's warm emotion blankets the more serious issues of abuse and murder in a time of racial inequality.

Vintage book with built-in iPhone charger It's a great story that has become renown as a great work of modern literature. In today's world of high tech gadgets and frantic pace to get by, books are falling by the wayside as e-readers and digital entertainment vie for our time and dollars.

Just when you think everything that can be invented has been... let your literary cravings double-duty as an iPhone charger!

As you lay down Scout's realization of Boo Radley on your coffee table to go send out a few tweets and Facebook updates, drop your iPhone on Lee's work and raise your battery bars.

Stop by this Etsy shop and find your favorite book (lots of available titles) with a built-in iPhone charger. The beauty is that the book is not a hollowed out shell crammed with chips and wires. It's an actual readable tome with the charger tucked into the cover. People seem to like oversized coffee table books... why not get a timeless classic and show off your literary standing while it charges your phone?

Vintage book with built-in iPhone charger

I love the ingenuity of this product, but can't help wondering if this is the only way to get people to read books these days. Go read a good book - even if it won't charge your phone! :)
February 1, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When did removing a cell phone from your belt or purse become such an arduous task?

Long before aural robotic appendages, with Terminator-esque gaudiness, were the norm for wirelessly communicating with your nearby cell phone, I recall my first encounter with this new technology.

I was on a business trip and seeking out some breakfast at the hotel's buffet where I encountered a guy shouting at the food. Naturally, I assumed he was insane or very displeased with the fruit salad. Standing alone, making no eye contact, he was spouting off angrily about something. I didn't want to get close enough to possibly become snared in his lunacy. At the same time, if he wasn't going to move away from the muffins, I was going to have to swoop in and snag one quick - hoping I wouldn't become his next imaginary friend. As I reached for my muffin, I saw the giant ear-thingie and it dawned on me he was "on the phone".

Next thing I know, every douche at the mall is sporting a wireless dongle of sorts and loudly shouting into the air with whomever they decided to call as they gazed around hoping to be noticed as geek-worthy, cool, hip... Who knows, but they definitely wanted the attention of strangers more than a meaningful phone conversation.
Sony smart Watch for Android
So, the precedent has been set that it's far too much effort to take out your phone and hold it to your ear to talk. Of course no one makes phone calls anymore - they fucking text everything. The only time a phone leaves one's belt or purse is to text or play a game. I'm all for wireless headsets for driving safety, but this constant need to yell into open space is fairly disturbing.

The next logical step is to remove that occasional need to glance at your phone by porting morsels of digital info to a move convenient location - like your arm. The smart watch is born!

Now that annoying vibration of cellular interaction can be met with a turn of your wrist to see who texted, tweeted or "liked" some dumb shit on your Facebook page. The technology is pretty cool but is this necessary?

My inner geek really wants a smart watch, but the very notion of owning one takes me back to necessity -vs- curiosity. I'm still OK with having all the bells & whistles of a smart phone combined with the need to actually look at the damn thing. God help us if these smart watches don't have a clock somewhere in the mix!

January 2012 Retro Gaming Articles:

January 27, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Geek chic swimsuits go galactic with Star Wars' R2D2 & C3PO or retro gaming Pac-Man

Star Wars R2D2 & C3PO women's swimsuits Just when the temperatures drop and snow begins to pile up the fashion industry fills stores with their latest Summer creations - swimsuits included. This is the time of year I start thinking, "Shit, I need a fucking hat!" Yet when I go to the stores you'd think it was sunny and 90° outside! WTF!

I guess the time to be hat shopping is in the sweltering heat of Summer. No wonder "fashion" is such a strange business. Odder still, retail stores don't seem to find this at all strange. As you can see I don't do a whole lot of clothing shopping. So, anyway...

Black Milk Clothing seems to be the force behind these galactic and gaming swimsuits. They appear to have come out last season, but isn't every year a good year to geek out? We think so. I guess we got deleted from that fashion-forward mailing list. I'm sure you ladies can find these wonders out there somewhere. And it's worth the look, because showing your geek side, sea-side is a cool as it gets especially if you have an Apple Airbook in your beach bag - way cooler than going Kindle at the beach!
classic gaming Pac-Man women's swimsuits
We're not sure what sort of guys will start hitting on you when they see your Pac-Man classic retro splendor, but you'll be sending a message that will be pleasantly received by those of the Atari and early Nintendo generation. However when you do the math on this set, you might be better off attracting their offspring.

Either way, we'd love to see the ladies exhibiting their inner and/or outer geek by the pool or ocean. Suit up!
January 25, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Save Flynn's Arcade from closing in California's Disneyland- part of ElecTRONica

There is a petition to save Flynn's Arcade.

History can be a fascinating thing as long as it's not part of a 45 minute drudge session in an overcrowded classroom. World leaders and famous battles tend to be boring topics as explained by most school teachers. I remember the days of memorizing the order of U.S. Presidents and renown dates throughout history. Boring stuff in my book.

However... tell me how soon Asteroids came out for the Atari 2600 after debuting in arcades and you have my full attention and interest!

Tron DVD 1982
Tron Legacy DVD 2010

Tron Legacy DVD 2010
Today I received a message urging me to sign a petition to "Save Flynn's Arcade", I drew a blank - save a fictional arcade? (so, much for my knowledge of gaming history). One Google search later and I was suddenly outraged that Flynn's Arcade actually exists and I knew nothing about it. WTF! And it's going to be closed down!?! Fuck that noise!

Discovering there was an actual Flynn's Arcade based entirely on the fictional arcade in Tron got me pretty pumped up. As a tie-in to the 2010 release of Tron Legacy, Disneyland, in Ca, tried to beef up a quiet part of their amusement park with an area called ElecTRONica, complete with a replica of Flynn's Arcade. Game play is 25¢ and comes in the form of custom Flynn's tokens. Awesome! And it's home to the only coin-op version of Space Paranoids, the game from the original Tron film.

I loved the 1982 original and was stoked when Tron Legacy emerged complete with Jeff Bridges reprising his former role! That was brilliant... as was casting Olivia Wilde;) Speaking of brilliant: The Commodore 64 debuted in 1982 and had a Disney tie-in with the original Tron film. So, HOLY SHIT! Disney built a replica of Flynn's Arcade and stocked it with 1980 retro gaming goodness. How cool is that!?!

So upon discovering the existence of this gaming Meca, it seems as though it's outlived it's value to Disney's cash flow and is slated for closure. I remember when my favorite skateboard shop became a laundromat and y childhood arcade was bought out by the furniture store next door. As a kid I felt helpless in losing those treasures.

Just recently the web stood up and told Congress that SPA & PIPA were shit and it seemed to have an effect. I'd hate to see something as cool as Flynn's Arcade vanish. If the petition I was sent could help, I'm all for it. I don't know the whole story behind Flynn's closure, but if this petition will get the powers that be to reconsider - I say sign it! Check out the petition to save Flynn's Arcade.

Tron Legacy DVD 2010


ElecTRONica is a melding between club kids and Sci-Fi fanboys in an effort to create the ultimate futuristic party zone. Combining elements of Tron's visual appeal and alcohol with classic arcade games housed in Flynn's Arcade.

January 23, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Don't throw your feces- Kick some ass Donkey Kong style!

I wish I could remember where I found this pic! Who wouldn't want a pair of Donkey Kong shoes? A few Google searches yielded similar, but not the same shoe. Dammit!
Donkey Kong Shoes
Shoes of this sort are often manufactured with kids in mind and don't come in adult sizes. My recollection was that these came in a full rage of sizes. I'm pissed I can't finde the site I saw them on. Anyone have a source? Give us a shout.
January 19, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Which part of this POTUS Obama at Disney World photo would you guess is PhotoShopped?

Doesn't a photo like this just reek of digital manipulation? I can't believe this is an actual PR photo! Did Chuck E. Cheese bid too low for this opportunity?

POTUS at Disney - Obama does Mickey Mouse

I guess the answer is Mickey Mouse when inquiring, "Who do I have to fuck to get some attention around here?"

POTUS at Disney - Obama does Mickey Mouse

OK, this one looks like it must have been PhotoShopped!
January 18, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Even as a small site we tried to raise awareness about the evil in SOPA

SOPA Strike It was awesome to see some of the internet giants going dark and raising awareness about the evils of lax piracy laws like SOPA that would likely cause more ruin than justice. We feel SOPA is a ruse to allow government unfettered ability to shut down any web sites they feel are "not in their best interests."

Awareness is such a key part of defeating moronic legislature. Until the masses understand the ramifications, there isn't a large enough group of people (voters) to send a significant message to government bureaucrats. With sites like Google and Wikipedia raising awareness via the huge amount of traffic to their sites, more people become knowledgeable of the facts.

Every single person who realizes the dangers in bills like SOPA and PIPA is a win for the cause. As a minuscule site on the web, we can only hope a few folks saw our SOPA page and thought, "Fuck SOPA!"
January 16, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Project Fiona: a Razer gaming tablet or a hot chick with a gun?

As far as PC gaming goes I have to admit I'm a console fanatic. Playing games on a PC never really appealed to me. I never liked the idea of pounding the space bar to initiate a kill. Ya know, I can't lose the functionality of the keyboard because I was wailing on it in the pursuit of zombie kills. And I'm not wild about smudging my phone's screen in an attempt to fling a bird at a pig. But Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) from burn Notice is another story.
Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona from Burn Notice on USA Network
I had to mention Razer's Project Fiona due to the wacky look of it with the dual controller/handle thingies. In theory it was designed to mimic existing console controller schemes so games don't have to be overly re-worked for porting to Fiona. It's geared for gaming but has all the attributes of other tablets in terms of functionality.

Running a hybrid variant of Windows 8 on a third generation Core i7 processor with audio claimed to have been certified by THX it sounds good. But for $1,000 I'm still thinking I'd rather not suffer the perpetual oddities of Microsoft products and go with an iPad shoved into an iCade.

However, if you think about the progression of portable gaming and computing, the iPad has taught us that tablets are here to stay and will only get better. Smart-phones are used for all sorts of things... but rarely making a phone call.

Gaming has taken over the previous pursuit of having a phone/PDA sort of device. You can't game on a cheap-ass phone and you can't call your friends on a Nintendo 3DS. Smart-phones are filling a void we may not have known was void until we saw all these gadgets begin to merge. Rumor has it that Fiona will run PC games effortlessly.

Incorporating accelerometers and a multi-touch screen gives it the ability to take on gaming oddities known primarily on smart-phones - tilting, shaking and getting fingerprints all over the screen. New games will inevitably be developed to take advantage of these more physical factors that will likely reinvent gaming yet again.

Why can't everyone just be happy with Atari classics ported to every new device? Seems cheaper than al this new tech :) Razr Fiona
January 12, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If your gaming-snack of choice is a box of Twinkies or Ho Hos- start stocking up!

If you're in the habit of snacking while playing video games, and your favorite snack is a Hostess product, you may find such things as Twinkies in short supply. A recent bankruptcy filing could leave junk-food aficionados in the lurch when it comes to getting fat in front of the TV. OK, it's not that dire. Hostess will march on, but it's hard to imagine a privately held company of 80+ years failing.

Review A Bad Game Day holiday How many Hollywood disaster-movie scenarios depict massive runs on banks and grocery stores? All of em! So when it comes to getting a fix of Ho Hos or Twinkies - expect the worst. It's been rumored that Twinkies might be one of the few packaged foods capable of surviving nuclear armageddon with a shelf-life of 25 years. More accurate sources confirm that Twinkies tend to become toxic after 25 days. Sorry, survivalists...

Personally, I grew up with stronger tendencies toward chocolate, so my desires tOok me down the Ho Ho path. Now THAT is a damn good tasting snack. I love the way the brittle chocolate covering cracks, when bitten, letting the cake and filling ooze freely. It's not part of any diet plan, but Hostess knows how to make snacks. I love Ho Hos! Who could forget Chief Big Wheels? Hell now I'm thinking about the Frito Bandito - oh shit!
January 10, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Video gaming holiday is coming in August: "Review A Bad Game Day" arrives on the 8th!

Review A Bad Game Day holiday August needs a holiday!
Sure, it's already Summertime, but an official day to commemorate gaming couldn't come at a better time! What else is happening in August?

Participation is simple - in fact all the instructions fit into ta single Tweet which is how the Review A Bad Game Day holiday came to be. Fire up your computer and write a review of a bad video game and have it posted online for August 8th. It doesn't get easier than that!

The date 8/8 likens itself nicely to retro gamers' passion for 8-bit games. Created by Nintendo Legend on Twitter, Review A Bad Game Day evolved from a tweet which garnered the attention of gamers who liked the idea and wanted in on the celebration.

An official press release lays out the full story, conditions and list of participants. Check it out and join in with a bad review.

Tell everyone you know about Review A Bad Game Day! It's a fucking holiday - let the Review A Bad Game Day celebrations commence!
January 6, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Amazon's Retro NES bundle breaks the bank

If you're down for some classic retro gaming, the NES is a good place to start. Ok, we'd advise taking the Way-Back Machine to the late seventies for some 2600 action, but Nintendo is still a winner. Combining this hankering for retro 8-bit gaming with a money saving bundle sounds good, but this one seems a tad pricey for our budget.

Once Amazon began selling underwear and lawn chairs, it was evident that this digital retail giant was poised to take over the web. These days you can buy anything from Amazon and occasionally they have some great deals.

Expensive Amazon NES bundle

The Retro Entertainment System (an NES clone) seems like a fair price at $18, providing you don't have an original, but these cart prices are unreal! Maybe I'm missing something in the realm of rarity, but I can find either cart for around $20 on eBay. I'm wondering how "frequently" Amazon sells this bundle for nearly $1,300!!

At these prices, I'm happy to downgrade the full experience and find a few ROMs to play!
January 5, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Increase your gaming achievements with an insanely comfortable chair. Give your ass a break!

Sumo beanbag chair Although the girl probably isn't included, doesn't this look like an amazing way to chill out with a new game?

I scoff at those "office-style" chairs with built-in speakers that are sold as gaming chairs. Why are they "gaming" chairs - because they have speakers? Not buying it!

Sound is an important element, but a chair deemed a gaming-chair should be ultra comfortable. And nothing is as comfortable as a beanbag chair. I've loved them from my childhood, but today you can purchase gigantic ones in which you can lounge, game and eat! What could be better?

Give your ass a break and get really comfortable in front of the TV. The one pictured here is from Sumo. I'd gladly evict that chick and plant my butt in it and absorb all the delight of sinking into a kick-ass beanbag chair with an amazing video game!
January 2, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Apple's viral marketing plan for iPhone seems to have caught on... backwards in the bathroom mirror

Apple logo's most prolific location - the bathroom mirror What's a great way to promote a product and/or brand? Show it's everyday use and enjoyment by millions of users. I think the next generation of the iPhone should display the Apple logo printed backwards so it replicates properly in it's most prolific location - the bathroom mirror!

Apple's secret viral marketing plan for iPhone - mirror self shot pix Apple logos are appearing in some fairly unusual places. And who doesn't benefit from all these Apple branded self-shot pictures?
Go buy an iPhone!
January 1, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Why did Activision's brilliant Skylander marketing campaign end so abruptly after Christmas?

I was (and still am) awestruck by the brilliance behind Activision's Skylanders game. The idea of adding characters via a wireless portal on which actual figurines are placed, is genius! A welcome change to the traditional "unlocking" of extra characters based on points or achievements. This ensures gamers will adopt the idea from the 3-character starter pack, then flock to the stores to load up on more characters. Seems logical, right?
Activision Skylanders Stump Smash figure
Before Christmas, Toys R Us had BOGO offers on all video game accessories and considered the Skylander figures "accessories". Hence I went nuts buying the 3-packs of figures smiling to myself about the Buy One, Get One Free offer. Yay! I believe I bought all the 3-packs that Toys R Us carried. I'm guessing other retailers were given exclusive rights to other packs to spread the wealth... so to speak.

My son was delighted to be inundated with Skylander figures on Christmas morning. We were able to open all sorts of areas, but lacked any characters from the "Air" clique, so we waded back into post Christmas retail-Hell to see if we couldn't find a few more. To our dismay, every Skylander display we found was barren - no figures to be found. We tried two GameStops, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart. No one seemed to have any Skylanders the entire week following Christmas! WTF!

I was certain we'd find a festive trove of Skylanders at some of the stores, but NO. I guess retailers looked at this "toy" like most others deeming it a "space hog" if it was still on the shelves on Dec. 26. How short sighted! This is the sort of game that motivates folks to crave/buy MORE! I'm sure stock levels will rise in the coming weeks, but I can't help but wonder how many sales will be lost by not being able to expand people's Skylander collections immediately. We live in a world of instant-gratification!

Hope everyone had a great holiday and did at least a little bit of skylanding ;)
January 1, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy New Year! Happy New Year from 8-Bit Central
Happy New Year to all you retro gamers!




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