Classic Video Game Blog of Rants, Raves, News and Info

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
Second Quarter 2018 - April, May, June

Forging onward with a passion for retro gaming and all the astounding things we find in today's modern gaming world with direct connections to games we loved 40 years ago!

June 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

June 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Time Off: Summer doesn't begin until "Player 2" arrives - Summer is here and our vacation is on!

I'm taking a few weeks off to spend time with my son and explore the local arcade scene.
Each time my son visits, I begin planning which retro console we'll delve into this time. We touched on the SNES not long ago, but now we have the Analog Nt and a few new home brews. I've been playing Shaq Fu on SNES and bought the Switch version a few weeks ago.

We've also been fiddling with the Colocovision and this vacation we're amping it up with the Super Game Module and tow recent acquisitions, Joust and Wizard Of Wor. Very excited to dig into these gems.

As I like to preach each time my son visits, if there's a kid in your life who loves Xbox and may not have played the games you loved when you were his/her age, take some time to introduce retro gaming! My son loves the Wii U, Switch, and PS4 - but he never turns down the opportunity for some Asteroids or Missile Command. Even the most dedicated modern gaming kids will find Dig Dug irresistible! Give it a whirl!
June 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo re-released the NES Classic Edition today and the internet seemed happier than the last go round

Nintendo NES & SNES Classic Editions
I never thought I'd see an NES and SNES mini consoles next to one another on a retail shelf!
While Toys R Us wound down and closed, memories of lining up at it's doors for the chance to get one of Nintendo's mini consoles during the holidays came back hard. Today was the re-release of the original NES Classic Edition for those who never had the opportunity to purchase one back in 2016.

I managed to get two consoles for Christmas 2016 - one on launch day and the other at the next re-stocking shipment. Arriving 45 minutes before Toys R Us opened did the trick. But most folks were turned away when it was realized how badly Nintendo under-delivered inventory. Many stores only received three of four consoles per location. Crazy! Everyone seemed to want one.

So, what would the shopping scene look like almost two years later after a much more successful launch of the similar SNES mini?

I didn't feel the manic urgency across social media. Not even as re-launch day arrived, did the internet seem to freak out. Maybe lessons learned and seemingly applied for the SNES release last Christmas would be upheld for this later NES mini release. Or were people just plain over it?

I feel no need to get another one, so I resisted the early morning line ups and visited my local Best Buy after work. Even after the entire day passed, there was an NES Classic Edition sitting o the shelf at Best Buy. Back in 2016 these little beauties never made it to the shelf. You got in line and they doled them out at the register. No need to stock shelves.

I actually got a kick out of seeing both Nintendo mini consoles sitting Best Buy's shelf together. After the craziness of the past, I didn't think these things would ever bask in the calm without manic hands grabbing for them. What's next... N64 mini? Game Boy mini? Will Nintendo keep pace for the next holiday season?
June 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Today was the final day Toys R Us was open for business and all US stores are now closed

Final day for Toys R Us
The night before, 90% of our local store was roped off and the single remaining wall of shelves was nearly bare.
The night before Toys R Us closed it's doors, the once enormous store had been roped off to a small area around the checkout registers. Only a single wall of shelves remained - the rest off-limits to shoppers. Peeking around the corners revealed empty shelves. The remaining inventory couldn't even fill the one last area of shelving.

Customers were coming into the store, taking a quick look and realizing... it was over. There simply wasn't anything worth buying. All the "good stuff" was gone.

Over a decade ago, I bought two PS2 consoles when my original PlayStation failed. I pre-ordered every version of Activision's Skylanders for my son each Christmas. The last version, Skylanders Imaginators, I did not buy when it was first released since my son wasn't as interested in the franchise. A few days ago I bought it for $4 dollars. I also picked up a case of 12 Skylanders vehicles for $3 and a Wii U version of Disney Infinity Star Wars for $1.50.

After all the memories my son and I shared in this one store, it's really sad to see it go. For those who thought TRU was too expensive and don't understand how a premium store operate.... You may develop more appreciation for Toys R Us when you're stuck with the dearth of variety in WalMart's three toy aisles.

Above all else, Toys R Us was a great place for kids (but not the kids who worked there) who loved the adventures inspired by toys. My son was one of them and long ago, I was too.

Empty areas of Toys R Us This empty area of Toys R Us was the gaming area that was overtaken by Toys-To-Life figures from Activision, Disney, and LEGO.
Empty areas of Toys R Us Board games once filled this part of our Toys R Us.

June 26, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With 3 days left to give Atari an even $3 million, lets admit what they are actually good at

Centipede on the Atari VCS
I bought the Joystick, but doubt I'll ever see it. Atari should leverage their iconic past via lifestyle products & apparel.
Last year Atari began stirring the pot with cryptic announcements about new hardware. It began to look like they were planning a new game console. As the meager details came out, the final plan seemed as doubtful as their last few hardware notions. Named after the most successful Atari console, their new console concept will be called the Atari VCS. It's billed as a modern console that also plays retro games via the existing Atari Vault compilation of games.

"Today's Atari" is best suited to soft-goods, not hardware.
We're about a month from the start of Atari's Indiegogo campaign and they have tapped into the nostalgia of over 11,000 fans who have given Atari nearly three million dollars for a console we know little about and has no proof-of-concept or working prototype.

I know Atari wants to bask in their former glory, but that was during an era when the company was run by visionaries eager to conquer the world. Today's Atari should assess their skills and perhaps dial back their expectations.

Hardware is a difficult venture. I've said many times - Atari should become a lifestyle brad. Pump merchandise with the iconic logo and create apparel with art from the huge list of IPs they own. I'd buy a hat or a shirt... and a lot more if it brought back my childhood lust for playing Atari.

I'm kind of bored with android boxes with emulators. Raspberry Pi can do it all and with some really great options. I'd love to see Atari grow within their current capabilities. I've found a few Atari branded hats and shirts at FYE. Here's are some licensed garments at Forever 21:

Atari licensed clothing at Forever 21 licensed Atari apparel at Forever 21. Here's an image showing 1972 on the sleeve and a front view.
Atari licensed clothing at Forever 21 licensed Atari apparel at Forever 21.

Atari licensed clothing at Forever 21
There is an enormous group of consumers who grew up with Atari, still play Atari games, and love to display their passion for the brand. It's still an iconic brand with very high recognition. Give fans an arsenal of branded items from clothing to home goods displaying what Atari was in the 70s and 80s.

Atari's value lies in the amazing past they fostered and grew. Decades later the "new" Atari, under another new management team, should shepherd the value of their numerous IPs rather than trying to live up to the former glory. It's over - work with what you're so fortunate to have. Please don't squander Atari's good name.
June 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser

Die Antwoord's final album, titled "27", has no official release date.
Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser
June 24, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With less than a week until closing my local Toys R Us is finally looking very empty

Toys R Us closes in less than a week
When the liquidation began, they filled the shelves from the warehouse until they bulged. Slowly that overfilled look faded...
Day one of the liquidation sale a line had formed at my local Toys R Us before the doors opened. The signs read "Up To 30% Off." In they went at !0am and they filled shopping carts as though they were stocking up before a big storm. The shelves were packed with product. Never had I seen this store so filled. Not even Christmas warranted this much inventory.

Toys R Us closes in less than a week Items I'd never seen before appeared. It was an astounding sight for someone who'd been droppin in weekly for the last few years. I love finding cool stuff for my son... and I get to play a bit too :)

My local store was overstocked like I'd never seen. However, this wasn't like most liquidation sales. Although touting a 30% discount, I couldn't find a single thing at 30% off. Everything seemed over-priced as usual. This continued through the 50% off phase. alost nothing was actually on sale, but every time I drove by the parking lot was filled well beyond any normal day. Consumers seemed to think they were getting pretty good deals.

From what I saw, I think Toys R Us made a lot more profit than most liquidation sales. The store was packed and they kept refilling it from the warehouse. This went on for more than a month where the discounts were few and far between. Based on other "Going Out Of Business" sales I've attended, I've never seen such high prices for such a prolonged timeframe. Usually, creditors are looking to dump everything and wrap up quickly. Toys R Us seemed to have a much slower rate of price drops and the store was packed with shoppers.

Now that my beloved toy store is in it's last few days of existence, the shelves are looking bare and large sections are taped off and empty. Seeing it's former vibrant overload makes this comparison quite shocking. I had been hoping some white knight would ride in with a wagon of cash and save the day.

Alas, Toys R Us is finished. I'm sure someone will buy rights to it and begin selling online. We might even see a few stores pop up, but like all companies that follow this model, it will be little more than capitalizing on the once iconic name and brand.

Toys R Us is looking very empty in the last week Almost overnight, the shelves really began looking barren. Products from the back of the store was moved to the front as sales eroded the need for space.
Toys R Us is looking very empty in the last week Shelves toward the front of the store are still looking moderately full, but entire aisles are now cordoned off.

Toys R Us closes in less than a week Now large areas are taped off and the space void of any product or shelving. This was the Bicycle and electric car area... now empty.
June 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ignoring several bad reviews, I thought Jurassic Park FK was 2 hours of decent entertainment

Consumers expect too much and love to complain when they feel robbed of perfection.
I wasn't expecting to like this sequel. I'm a fan of big summer blockbusters and dinosaurs "on the loose" qualifies, but I feared it would rely solely on rampaging dinosaurs. It's fun to start the summer with some over-the-top excitement. It's hard to do something brand new and exciting with a franchise like this, but I liked how it progressed. The way they opened up was anticipated, but I liked the way they took time to introduce the characters and motives. It didn't jump right into being CGI overload.

I wish they had done more with Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda. As new characters they started off with some interesting interactions, but much of that seemed discarded as things progressed. They were better characters than their involvement allowed. But we all know better than seeking perfection at the movies. I certainly got $9 worth of fun out of it and thankfully before the end... the ending is ridiculous. But don't fret, there will be more sequels in years to come with opportunities for better endings.

As a Hollywood blockbuster style flick, there was the requisite amount of obvious twists and turns, but I had a good time. If you're looking for a film to stimulate thought, you're best off at an indy theater catering to less mainstream fare.

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom
June 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This Joy Boy Switch concept proposes a Joy Con controlled handheld powered by Nintendo or Raspberry Pi

Joy Boy hardware concept
Gamers want to see their favorite retro games on the Switch, but we doubt Nintendo would be onboard with Joy Boy - but it's really cool!
Nintendo has made it clear that Virtual Console is over. Playing retro games on the Switch will take on a new form once their online subscription service is running. Fans are pissed. To be honest, I've repurchased the same games from the Wii to the Wii U and the 2DS. I'm kind of done buying the same games over and over. However, I did repurchase Donkey Kong for my switch since they finally released it with all the original stages from the arcade game. That's pretty cool!

Joy Boy hardware concept But I think that's the exception. Many of the former Virtual Console games were NES & SNES ports designed to run on the current hardware. Nintendo Life reported on this Joy Con idea, suggesting Nintendo's adoption of a scenario like this for releasing select classics from their past.

The originator of this Joy Boy concept also suggested it as a Raspberry Pi-based handheld, thus giving it the ability to play a much wider array of games via emulation. This seems the more likely route. Is the Joy Con's attachment scheme patented? Could a third party legally create a handheld that could dock with the Joy Con? I'm not sure.

The Joy Cons' small format makes them an interesting candidate as the controller for a device capable of running a myriad of games from many different platforms. I think the Joy Cons have more features thanI'm aware of - even though I've been playing with them for nearly one year. There's a lot of tech packed inside that could make an attached "console" very interesting. Love this idea... we'll have to wait and see if it takes off.
June 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Let's not remake The Last Jedi when that energy could be put toward a better endeavor in the future

Remake The Last Jedi? WTF?
Disney owns Star Wars. YOU can't remake their film, nor will Disney - wake up!
I've been a fan of Star Wars since the first movie my mom took me to see back in '77. The franchise is full of great stories. Some are better than others... such is the nature of stories. Stories have two sides: the story teller and the audience. These are distinct separate entities without overlap.

Stories are to be told and shared, not judged. Telling stories an ancient skill of passing down tales. But I digress. The point is that stories belong to the teller. If you enjoy the story, you benefit and learn from hearing it. If not, move on. The world is full of stories and adventures. However, regardless of how you feel about a story, it belongs to the story teller.

Remake Star Wars?!?

Social media revealed several recently created accounts by someone who is so dissatisfied with Star Wars The Last Jedi, they want to petition Disney and Lucas Arts to remake the film. There's even a website dedicated to a Last Jedi remake. I'm assuming it belongs to a disgruntled fan who pines for a more satisfying story, unaware that amidst great stories are billions of others that are dreadful. The key is to find the good ones and move on.

We've all seen bad movies. A majority of all movies are awful - in my opinion. If I wanted to remake every movie I disliked, I wouldn't nave time to breathe. Certainly the Star Wars franchise is larger and more significant than many, but at the end of the day... they're all just movies.

Perhaps, I should remind you that I love Star Wars.

Remake The Future... Not The Past

Rather than trying to convince Disney into remaking a film (which they won't) I'd like to see this motivation put toward something far better. Waging a campaign to get Disney to remake The Last Jedi is blatantly ridiculous. Fifteen years from now, I'd love to hear about an amazing new sci-fi film that comes out of nowhere and changes the way we look at the future and ourselves.

I'd love to read an interview with the writer or director and discover their motivation to create something astounding came from a dissatisfaction they felt in high school when they saw The Last Jedi. Feeling as though it ruined Star Wars for them, they decided to create something even better. THAT is what I'd like to see. Changing the past is futile. Changing the future is cool AF!
June 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Aladdin's Castle wanted to establish accessible locations while today's arcades turn malls into destinations

Aladdins Castle Arcade ad
Malls used to attract droves of shoppers. Today they are aging, dismissed and need modernization to bring the crowds back!
Malls are in decline. We've seen various forms of that story for the last decade. Retailers who once were the shining examples of modern commerce, missed the boat with e-commerce and didn't even bother to modernize the brick and mortar locations that had previously served them well.

Aladdin's Arcade "Not Just another amusement center"
There are two malls in my area that have undergone major shifts in their offerings. Any one of our local malls have thirty or more places I can buy a shirt. One store sells video games. One store sells books. Two stores sell new music. So... remind me why I'd go to the mall? With no modernization, these hulking complexes look as they did twenty five years ago.

However, some of them - the two I know of - have undergone changes in what is offered within their space. That is to say, these malls are more cognizant of their tenant's diversity of offerings. New retailers are coming to town and they're selling experiences, not shirts. Hi-end go-karts, modern arcades, escape rooms, lazer tag, virtual reality, bowling, etc... Traditional retailers are mixed in with these vendors offering experiences. They've changed the dynamic of the mall and the reason people go back.

New Tenants Turning Malls Into Destinations

The movie theaters offer twelve or more films, so it's easy to find a cool flick to see. Dining offerings have gone way beyond low-budget burger joints and taco shacks. There are still plenty of places to get a quick meal, but there are also many more refined options. I'm always down for an hour at the arcade. Fast go-karts... count me in. I'm not much of a bowler, but I'll dabble in some laser tag. As you can see, these malls offer more than traditional retail shopping.

You can still buy a shirt, but planning a day at the mall actually requires some thought. Go-karts first? Eat before or after the movie? When should we hit the arcade? There's actually a lot to do at these malls. I can always find a good value at Sears, but if that's all the mall offers, I can forgo Sears for any number of other retailers outside the mall.

I've always been a mallrat and love the hustle & bustle and the diversity they've offered. It's getting harder to find an exciting vibe in most malls these days, but keep an eye out and don't give up. Mall owners are getting pretty creative out of necessity. If you avoid malls, drop in to see what changes may have been made. I've been shocked by the changes I've seen!

Aladdins Castle Arcade at the mall
June 17, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Actor Bella Thorne puts her entire life online, including her latest music

Bella Thorne's GOAT billboard
You know the music industry has changed when a former Disney actor releases two hip hop tracks at Coachella. Bella Thorne is hella cool!
From Disney's Shake It Up tv show to movies like Blender and The Duff, Bella Thorne has achieved a lot in a short time. She's a powerhouse of energy and puts an astonishing amount of her life on social media. From glamor to backyard pool parties, she leaves little room for the paparazzi to eek out a living.

So, what's next... she launched her own record label, Filthy Fang Records, during the first weekend of Coachella this past April. Naturally, she is behind the first music to be released and it's as outrageous as you might expect. Her eccentric style is all over both of her singles. She has an infectious type of fun - can't wait to see where music takes her next!

Click the links below the pictures to watch the music videos for GOAT and Bitch I'm Bella Throne.

Actor & singer Bella Thorne Check out Bella Throne's latest single, "Bitch, I'm Bella Thorne".
Actor & singer Bella Thorne Here's a lyric video for Bella Throne's latest single, "GOAT".

Actor & singer Bella Thorne As much as I dig Ms. Thorne and her crazy antics, I have to wonder who's paying $40 for a t-shirt with her name on it. I'd gladly rock one of those shirts for $12 + shipping. See... I even allotted for domestic shipping.
June 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Wendy's 404 Error page lets you play Burgertime... as Wendy

Wendy's 404 Error page
Usually those pesky 404 pages are the result of a broken link. What better way to redirect web traffic than a round of Burgertime?
Fast food chains seem to have a lot of creativity behind their digital front-ends. From social media to their client-facing websites. Today I came across a post mentioning the 404 error page on Wendy's official website. If you alter the url, the server will display a custom error page on which you can play a custom iteration of Burgertime.

But you won't find Peter Pepper. You control Wendy across the maze of platforms and ladders. Give it a whirl and create a pixelated lunch for yourself on the tray beneath the platforms!

Wendy's 404 Error page Burgertime game
June 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hamster releases the original arcade version of Donkey Kong, for Switch, with four levels

Hamster releases the original arcade version of Donkey Kong
Nintendo has largely ignored their original arcade games when it comes to home releases.
Nintendo's 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong, is one of gaming's more recognizable games as it's characters have become iconic across many various titles. Mario and Kong are major focal points of most Nintendo console launches, but the iterations we've seen across all this time, have never faithfully recreated that original iconic game. Arcade Donkey Kong - in fact, most Nintendo arcade games - has never been released in it's entirety... until now. Hamster began releasing classic arcade games in 2017 as part of their Arcade Archives series. Today, they released Donkey Kong with all FOUR levels!

I downloaded it as soon as I it appeared on the Switch's online store. You can rotate the screen to play vertically on the Switch and even invoke scan lines. It's a nice robust release with some interesting options. Once you master the four levels and seek additional challenges, there are speed bonuses you can achieve for extra points.

If you loved playing Donkey Kong in the arcade, you should definitely look into Donkey Kong by Hamster.

Hamster releases the original arcade version of Donkey Kong
June 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Following the success of the Replicade Amusements' miniature arcade games, you'll find them at Best Buy

Replicade Amusements miniature arcade games at Best Buy
What began via crowd funding seems to have found a home at Best Buy beginning this Fall. They're already listed on Amazon.
Miniatures have been increasingly popular in retro gaming as a way of reliving the glorious arcade cabinets we played on as kids. Many of us have carried forth that passion and still love finding a vintage arcade game awaiting a quarter. New Wave Toys had a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year with their replicade Amusements' miniature arcade games.

These 1/6 scale arcade wonders are fully functional and highly accurate from their visual design and artwork to the original arcade ROMs that deliver the games we've loved since the 80s. When we first saw these awesome games the were pictured with a vintage 12" G>I. Joe - he was the perfect size. Gotta love that!

This is going to be a great partnership with Best Buy. As traditional outlets like Toys R Us leave the marketplace, electronics stores, like Best Buy, have an opportunity to broaden their product offering. A popular destination for gamers, Best Buy should do quite well offering New Wave Toys.

Keep an eye out for these classic arcade cabinets at your local Best Buy, with more titles to come!

June 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retroblox → Polymega - Playmaji is back with their modular retro clone console

Playmaji modular retro console
I like the idea of this modular hardware clone console allowing users to buy modules for the game carts they own.
I first heard about this modular console in February 2017. At the time they going by the named Retroblox and were a few months away from launching a Kickstarter campaign. They disappeared and re-emerged as Polymega.

They showed their concept at last year's E3 and again this year - under the name Playmaji. I love the modular concept that lets me buy only the modules I need. I'd love the SNES and anything Atari, but I don't have many TurboGrafX games, so I wouldn't need that module. Pretty slick.

The base module which has a disc drive (unsure what platforms are supported) and one module will cost $250 with each additional module being $60. I'm interested to see what comes of this project. It's a cool idea, but I'm not sure most retro gamers are willing to pay that much for a console. Currently Atari is trying to fund their new VCS console for #300 and have raised over $2.5 million on Indiegogo.

This console has been revised after it's initial showing last year. I'm curious to see more specs. Their social media seems to point at their original Polymega website even though I don't see any Playmaji branding as of this writing.

I'm hoping this project evolves into a retail product as it's another bold step in keeping retro gaming relevant (and possible) in the modern era. As much as we love our aging vintage game consoles, they won't last forever. But a lust for retro gaming is forever!
June 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Our sensible infatuation with Yolandi Visser forges ahead

Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord
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June 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Amidst the flurry of E3 news, Hyperkin opened up pre-orders on the Atari 2600 compatible RetroN 77

RetroN 77 Atari 2600 clone console
Finding a Nintendo clone console is easy - they're are all over. But Atari has been overlooked... until now!
I've tried a half dozen NES and SNES clone consoles and for the most part, they work well. Some of them have multiple cartridge slots allowing one console to play many different game formats. But... what about Atari? The Atari 2600 has a huge game library and there are still a lot of retro gamers who would love to have a clone for 2600 games with HDMI output for modern TVs.

RetroN 77 Atari 2600 clone console Hyperkin has touted an Atari 2600 clone console for several months. today, they announced the RetroN 77 pre-order. One of the more tedious aspects of retro gaming with original consoles is the changes to modern TVs. Gone are the beloved warm fuzzy CRT style TVs with RCA inputs. Some flat-screen TVs still offer RCA ports, but these old consoles look awful. If only there was an easy way to get our dusty cartridges compliant with HDMI. The RetroN 77 bridges this gap.

Outputting 720P, you'll find a 4:3 / 16:9 Aspect Ratio Button letting you fill the screen to your own preference. The RetroN 77 comes with one controller (wired, 10-foot cable), but also works with your original Atari joysticks and paddles.

I'm excited for this console as it welcomes my collection of old Atari game cartridges and gives me options for use on a modern Television. The largest unknown for me is how grippy the cart connection is. Hyperkin's Nintendo clones often have a savage grip on the game carts pcb which can be problematic to the life of the cart over time. That's a pretty minor concern considering what the RetroN 77 offers to retro gaming.

RetroN 77 Atari 2600 clone console
June 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Between the Xbox BattleToads reboot, ihob burgers and the Singapore Summit (w/ Rodman chatter) who has time for Pete & Ari?

After dating for 4 weeks SNL comedian Pete Davidson & Dangerous Woman Ariana Grande inject engagement news into the mix.
Lots of cool news is flowing out of E3 and then we have Dennis Rodman blathering about the Singapore Summit. Let's not forget the burger-war on Twitter as Ihop changes to Ihob to out-beef Wendy's. There's a lot going on in the world! I think Pete and Ariana could have waited for their passion to last six weeks before dominating the news with engagement nonsense.

Call it a whirlwind romance, but until I get BattleToads on Nintendo Switch, I could care less.

Pete, Ari, Kim, Battletoads
June 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

1960s strategy boardgame Twixt is returning via Kickstarter from Lil Cerebral Games

1960s boardgame Twixt is returning
I loved playing Twixt with my Dad when I was a kid. Now, my Son and I play. Great to see Twixt return to living room floors everywhere!
1960s boardgame Twixt is returning I've played Twixt since I was a kid and it's a fantastic game. With an absolute bare-bones simplicity, this game will make you think in a whole new way. You wouldn't think such an easy-to-play game could elicit challenges at each turn.

Insert one peg (stanton) per turn and place a connector (bridge) between any two pegs. Keep at it until you have a connection from one side to the other. Be the first and you win. Simple, right? Not so much :)

This popular two-player board game from the 1960's is relaunching via Lil Cerebral Games for a new generation of gamers via Kickstarter! One difference that has occurred in the time since it's original debut, it the Approved STEM Trustmark. This indicates this game has a lot more educational value and mental stimulation than most games.

Their crowd funding campaign starts in a week, so stay tuned and check out their info when it officially launches. This is a great game and I highly recommend it. I feel it's also important to note that my praise of Twixt comes from a childhood playing Twixt. I hope they are capable of delivering this great game - as always do your homework before committing money to any crowd-funded project!

June 29, 2018 Update:
The Kickstarter campaign was cancelled by the creator due to copyright issues upon trying the sell units to EU backers. It's a shame that this happened, but from what I've read, Lil Cerebral Games may not have had the rights to the Twixt game. Stay tuned to see if Twixt will eventually be re-released.
June 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The self-contained NeoGeo Mini has HDMI and an international version with 14 different games

NeoGeo Mini games
The NeoGeo mini retains an arcade style look and feel, but allows external controllers and displays.
The NeoGeo Mini is powered by USB, but seems to have an internal battery for gaming-on-the-go. For me the real asset is the HDMI output so these games can be enjoyed on larger screens. Complimenting that are two ports for external controllers. Both the HDMI cable and controllers are sold separately. I'm still checking to see if these controller ports are proprietary or if another controller will make use of it.

It measures approximately 5.25" by 4.25" by 6.25", has a 3.5-inch display, and weighs in at a little over one pound. The arcade design features a joystick and 4 buttons.

This miniature arcade cabinet has 40 built-in games tying in with SNK's 40 anniversary. However, it has two iterations and there are 14 different games on each, out of the total forty. These two devices are regional releases: The NeoGeo Mini and The NeoGeo International.

Here are the games to be contained on each:

NeoGeo Mini

NeoGeo Mini games:

  1. Aggressors of Dark Kombat
  2. Alpha Mission II
  3. Art of Fighting
  4. Blazing Star
  5. Burning Fight
  6. Cyber-Lip
  7. Fatal Fury Special
  8. Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  9. King of Monsters 2
  10. Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle
  11. Metal Slug
  12. Metal Slug 2
  13. Metal Slug 3
  14. Ninja Commando
  15. Ninja Masters: Haou Ninpou Chou
  16. Puzzled
  17. Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers
  18. Real Bout: Fatal Fury
  19. Samurai Shodown II
  20. Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusas Revenge
  21. Samurai Shodown V Special
  22. Sengoku 3
  23. Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad
  24. Super Sidekicks
  25. The King of Fighters 94
  26. The King of Fighters 95
  27. The King of Fighters 96
  28. The King of Fighters 97
  29. The King of Fighters 98
  30. The King of Fighters 99
  31. The King of Fighters 2000
  32. The King of Fighters 2001
  33. The King of Fighters 2002
  34. The King of Fighters 2003
  35. The Last Blade
  36. The Last Blade 2
  37. Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy
  38. Top Players Golf
  39. Twinkle Star Sprites
  40. World Heroes Perfect

NeoGeo Mini International games:

  1. 3 Count Bout
  2. Art of Fighting
  3. Blazing Star
  4. Blues Journey
  5. Crossed Swords
  6. Fatal Fury Special
  7. Foot Ball Frenzy
  8. Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  9. Ghost Pilots
  10. King of the Monsters
  11. King of the Monsters 2
  12. Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle
  13. Last Resort
  14. Magician Lord
  15. Metal Slug
  16. Metal Slug 2
  17. Metal Slug 3
  18. Metal Slug 4
  19. Metal Slug 5
  20. Metal Slug X
  21. Mutation Nation
  22. Ninja Masters: Haou Ninpou Chou
  23. Puzzled
  24. Real Bout: Fatal Fury
  25. Robo Army
  26. Samurai Shodown II
  27. Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusas Revenge
  28. Samurai Shodown V Special
  29. Sengoku 3
  30. Shock Troopers
  31. Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad
  32. Super Sidekicks
  33. The King of Fighters 95
  34. The King of Fighters 97
  35. The King of Fighters 98
  36. The King of Fighters 2000
  37. The King of Fighters 2002
  38. The Last Blade 2
  39. Top Players Golf
  40. World Heroes Perfect
To be honest, I'd much rather see this designed like the recent Nintendo Minis. While the "arcade design" is swell, the battery and screen add costs to a device I really don't consider portable. Sure, it's a small device, but it isn't the sort of device you'd bring with you like a Game Boy or3DS. It's not really a portable device. I'd prefer a price-drop and let it be a mini console for TV use.

I know a lot of folks like the tabletop arcade design, but it adds cost to a device I really want to hook up to a TV. it's just a different style of play. Similarly, I'll take out my 2DS after lunch and delve into a bit of Metal Slug, however, I wouldn't put a mini arcade machine on a table in the food court - different play styes :)
June 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hotel Artemis does a great job of letting the audience discover the story as it unfolds

Too Many films are dumbed-down assuming the least of their audience. Hotel Artemis was a pleasant surprise!
Hotel Artemis I never watch movie trailers. They distort and expose things i want to experience within the context of the film. I saw an ad for Hotel Artemis and something about it made me curious. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I really wanted to see this movie.

It's a thrill-ride with a sense of purpose - a smart film. I highly recommend it along with the notion that you should stop watching trailers and experience movies the way they should be; as an unfolding story that could take you almost anywhere.

Hotel Artemis is a clever, taut action movie with an all-star cast playing very bad people on a very bad night. It's also a movie that rewards rewatching, full of clever little references to Los Angeles history and classic cinema.

GQ has a great interview with Hotel Artemis Director, Drew Pearce:
I'm feeling surprisingly sanguine. It's not going to be giant. I made the movie I set out to make. I had this mantra right from the beginningwhen you do those big blockbuster movies, they have to appeal to everyone. But with this, I wanted to make one person's favorite movie. So if you go into it like that, you can't be surprised if some people don't get it along the way.

We're at a moment where everything needs to be loved by everyone, and most of the things I loved when I was younger were not loved by everyone. Like three other kids in my school loved Repo Man. Everyone else thought it was weird and shit.
June 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Bill and Ted Day! It's 6/9 Dudes!

I'm down with it and plan on having an excellent adventure today!
Don't be bogus! Today is the perfect day to head off on an excellent adventure!

This is the first time I've heard of Bill and Ted Day, but I plan on visiting as many arcades as I can. The summer season is upon us and several of the seasonal gaming joints have recently opened. It's time to see who has changed up their floors with new additions to their retro arcade game offerings. I've heard on place now has Asteroids Deluxe!

Happy Bill and Ted Day
And lets not forget it looks like Bill And Ted 3 is going to happen, titled: Bill and Ted Face The Music!
June 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My local Toys R Us is inundated with Skylanders Superchargers and has resorted to selling by the case

Skylanders Superchargers sold by the case
On rows of pegs, in bargain bins, and now they're selling cases of 12. Skylanders Superchargers are tough to get rid of.
My son was the perfect age when Activision launched their Toys To Life game Skylanders. Each Christmas another game was released with another set of figures to buy. After a while it got on my nerves that they wouldn't release more games to go along with the existing base of Skylanders figures. I thought they could have easily released two or three games for each set of figures.

But why bother when consumers keep buying them regardless. They should have given each set of figures a more diverse experience in the form of additional games. So, we bought them all. Yeah - all of 'em. At great expense. So, it kills me now to see most of the remaining super chargers at $2 or less during the Toys R Us liquidation sale.

Apparently, the sale isn't going too well as they have shelves and pallets full of Skylanders Superchargers cases. They have the individual ones on pegs and in bins, but they just aren't moving. Now they are trying to sell them by the case. I guess the toys-to-life era has officially ended.

Skylanders Superchargers sold by the case
June 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ryuu Lavitz puts a lot of creativity into her cosplays

She just hit 10,000 Twitter followers and is active on Facebook and Instagram.
Follow Ryuu Lavitz on IG and see which cons she's attending.

Ryuu Lavitz cosplay
June 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Xeodrifter is awesome on my 2DS, but I'd love to have the PS4 physical release on a big TV

As a kid, I dreamed of games like this on the family's Zenith TV
Actually, as an Atari kid, I couldn't have imagined where gaming would go in the future. Back when I was playing Asteroids, Pitfall, and Yar's Revenge, I had no idea there could be "future" for video games. Retro-modern games like Xeodrifter, Axiom Verge, and NeuroVoider add a special dimension to modern gaming. I love Just Cause, Splatoon, GTA V, but let me also roll with Retro City Rampage and I'm all over retro and modern gaming with vintage consoles and a PS4. What a great time to be gaming!

Ryuu Lavitz cosplay
june 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Our local Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade switched to a one-price free-play all-day model

Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade logo
There's something magically wonderful about quarters and tokens that swipe-cards don't offer, but what about free-play?
One of the more unusual arcades in my area also has a good sized outdoor carousel whirling kids around and around during the warmer months of Summer. Inside are a variety of vintage, rare, and unusual video games along with several steampunk inspired displays and exhibits. Each year they try to add another vintage video game on the floor. A few years ago Joust appeared. Last year it was Tempest - but it broke very early in the season. This year Asteroids Deluxe makes it's debut. It's a fun place, but not without it's issues.

Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade A few years ago, when we first began frequenting Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade their machines used a combination of quarters and tokens which led to a lot of confusion - especially among the kids. Coin slots were often jammed.

But growing pains are lessons learned and I'm excited to see how the free-play model works out. I've never played under such circumstances. I'm always dashing back to the change machine for more quarters or tokens.

I can't wait for my son to come up for the summer and invade all the local arcades with me. Free-play isn't something either of us have experienced. Unlimited Joust? All day Tempest? Asteroids Deluxe late into the night? I can't fathom the potential awesomeness.

When I was a kid, I loved the arcade ports for the Atari 2600. I knew they were nowhere near as good as the arcade games, but I loved being able to play at home. So, with free-play at Wackenhammer's... it's going to let us play endless retro arcade games from dawn to dusk. This summer is looking up!

Tempest at Wackenhammer's Clockwork arcade Tempest at Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade
Asteroids Deluxe at Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade Asteroids Deluxe at Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade

june 4, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Schwinn's '71 Grey Ghost Stingray bicycle is returning as “Mike's Bike” from Stranger Things

Stingray bicycle
Absent from my childhood in the 1970s, I promptly bought two Stingray bikes upon their re-issue and the Grey Ghost is back again!
I've loved chopper bicycles since seeing one as a kid. While not the most practical rides... is that really the point. Not at all!. Once you've ridden one and see the looks you get, it's an irresistible bike. At my age the looks likely come from disgust with my childish infatuation with a kid's bike.

I recall buying mine in the late 90s or early 00's. The Hit Netflix show Stranger Things is yet another element of pop culture to drive retro madness into modern times. In this case Mike, played by Finn Wolfhard, rides a Schwinn Grey Ghost Stingray bike and it's apparently coming back onto the market in some limited release. In a world where old things are the rage, they couldn't have picked a better bike. I've loved the smaller wheel and spring-loaded shock absorber on the front forks.

If you love retro bikes, Stranger Things, or want a slick weekend ride, look into this classic reissue from Schwinn. they probably won't last long, so if you feel inclined to upscale your bike collection - take a lok at this one.

Stingray bicycle
June 2, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When capturing your retro gaming footage always use GE Performance TVs and Video Recorders

I can remember when these enormous relics were high-end cutting edge technology.
Our first color TV was a Zenith, but it wasn't a piece of furniture. We never had a multi-level TV with a VCR. Actually, we didn't have a VCR until the mid 80's.

GE Performance TVs and Video Recorders
June 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

West Of Loathing is a wild-west comedy adventure for one player, with a lust for puns

New Atari VCS game console
If you like minimalistic games, West Of Loathing has the genre nailed!
I like quirky games that are distinctly NOT like all the others. West Of Loathing for Nintendo's Switch for Nintendo's Switch is such a game. Full of amusing stick figures with more charisma and jest than imaginable, you set off on an adventure in the old wild-west. I love the use of humor as you advance your quest. Fun stuff!

Traverse snake-infested gulches, punch skeletons wearing cowboy hats, grapple with demon cows, and investigate a wide variety of disgusting spittoons.

Talk your way out of trouble as a silver-tongued Snake Oiler, plumb the refried mysteries of the cosmos as a wise and subtle Beanslinger, or let your fists do the talking as a fierce Cow Puncher. Explore a vast open world and encounter a colorful cast of characters, some of whom are good, many of whom are bad, and a few of whom are ugly.

This game kind of reminds me of Duke War by thatgamecompany. It's another minimalistic game (created in a 24-hour jam competition) and offers stick figures and a good deal of humorous game play.
June 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Keeping Up With The Shenanigans- Don and Kim play Ataribox

Ted Nugent must be pissed he didn't get an invite but they only had two joysticks.
Kim was challenged to a game of Missile Command to allow Donny some needed practice in negotiating nukes with that other Kim.

Keeping Up With The Shenanigans- Don and Kim play Ataribox
June 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord

Pretty in pink!
Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord
Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord Yolandi Visser Die Antwoord

May 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

May 31, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Day two of Atari's Indiegogo campaign for their VCS console reached $2 million

$2 million is an impressive achievement, but they have very little time to bring it to market by July 2019
Can Atari delver a game console to 8,000+ people in one year? They've been very coy - bordering on secretive - about showing the console or real game footage. They did not even attempt to show a functional console at the Game Developer Conference only three months ago in March.

If they don't have a prototype... how can they bring the VCS to market by their posted delivery date of July 2019? Do they even have proof-of -concept at this point? I opted to try and get one of the retro-modern joysticks for $30, so we'll see if Atari is indeed dedicated to this project or if they go dark again for months at a time.

Atari VCS campaign Incidentally, Kickstarter has more stringent policies about hardware developers having a prototype. This is why the ill-fated Retro VGS (aka Coleco Chameleon) switched to an Indiegogo campaign in 2015.
May 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

By lunchtime, Atari racked up 6,000+ backers contributing over $1 Million to the Atari VCS campaign

New Atari VCS game console
Are these sales driven by past nostalgia or do these backers know something about this device the rest of us do not?
Today is the launch of Atari's new VCS game console on Indiegogo. As the page loaded and the Indiegogo logo appeared I saw the campaign was set for a "flexible goal" meaning Atari gets all the funds even if they didn't reach their goal. This brings up an interesting quandary. Atari only asked for $100,000 and easily achieved it in an hour.

Atari VCS joystick One might ask if Atari was fearful they might not reach $100,000 in thirty days. One might assume this entire campaign is simply to gauge interest in the product. At the same time, $100,000 is nowhere near enough to develop a game console. How did they arrive at this figure? Who knows...

They have the obligatory video that is supposed to induce sales. It spends three minutes letting various folks discuss what Atari means to them. It provides no additional tech or marketing info that I would want to know before spending $200 or $300 on a game console with no controllers. yeah, either way you have to shell out more money for an Atari controller. Although most wireless controllers should function.

Atari VCS joystick Like the Flashbacks, the new VCS has built-in games. They apparently have loaded Atari Vault onto the system so you can play those arcade/2600 titles immediately. With the same vague verbiage we've grown accustomed to, there will be some sort of online store offering classic and new games. They won't list wither titles or developers. The OUYA ran into some issues in this area and they seemed to have a lot of devs onboard when their Kickstarter launched.

Outside of a few arcade classics, it sounds like it only contains built-in games from the 2600. On a "cutting edge" device... that's rather lame. There are plenty of great games outside the initial 2600 console. I guess you can load emulators and play any atari game, but I can already do that on many devices I already own.

Atari VCS joystick They say games will be available for download or stream and that Tempest 4000 "will be there". Where? It launched on PS4 at the end of March... for a few hours until it was removed from the online store. They say it is still "coming soon" for PS4 and XboxOne and now the new VCS. Right now they seem to have a handful of devs onboard, but no game footage to show.

Right now, I don't see the Atari VCS having any capabilities I don't already have on my computer. The premise of new games is nice, but the list is too shallow now to justify the cost of the VCS. $300 seems much better spent on a Nintendo Switch or PS4. A small investment in a single-board computer, like a Raspberry Pi, will give you much the same functionality - minus the swanky Atari logo.

Poor History of Delivering Hardware Recently

Lets also take into account Atari's recent track record of delivering hardware. The last console was the jaguar in 1993 - long before the Fred Chesnais era that currently seeks to release the new VCS. The Game Band and Atari Smartwatch are recent crowd funded products that have not delivered any product. A Game console is a much larger complex endeavor with many components internal and external to the device itself. I see no evidence they can meet the 2019 deadline or deliver product at all.

Atari VCS joystick My lust for atari's greatness in the 70s & 80s might prompt me to sign up for that slick looking 2600 modern joystick, but that's as far as I'd go. If this project is one day successful and delivers a cool niche product, I'd consider picking it up at a Best Buy - if they're still in business. But dumping money into a crowd funding hole, just doesn't seem smart based on prior deliveries and actions by Atari.

I Ordered A Joystick

My passion for Atari and the general awesome design of their retro modern 2600-style joystick overwhelmed me. I had to order one. So, as much as I'd love to add this to my collection, I"m anticipating it may never see the light of day. I'm hopeful, but also realistic. Now I have a vested interest in the success and completion of this project.

For all the negative comments I've had for the past year, I'm in this with you - although only $30 deep - so we'll all have to see how this hardware venture pans out as 2019 looms. Will Atari be social? Will they go dark for months at a time? I'm excited. I really want this joystick!!

Atari VCS menu screen

Atari Vault Game List

If the new Atari VCS simply uses the Atari Vault collection as it's "built-in game" source, here's a list of the titles we might expect to find...
  1. 3D Tic Tac Toe - 2600
  2. Adventure - 2600
  3. Air Sea Battle - 2600
  4. Asteroids - 2600
  5. Asteroids - Arcade
  6. Asteroids Deluxe - Arcade
  7. Backgammon - 2600
  8. Basic Math - 2600
  9. Basketball - 2600
  10. Black Widow - Arcade
  11. Blackjack - 2600
  12. Bowling - 2600
  13. Brain Games - 2600
  14. Breakout - 2600
  15. Canyon Bomber - 2600
  16. Casino - 2600
  17. Centipede - 2600
  18. Centipede - Arcade
  19. Championship Soccer - 2600
  20. Checkers - 2600
  21. Chess - 2600
  22. Circus Atari - 2600
  23. Code Breaker - 2600
  24. Combat - 2600
  25. Combat 2 - 2600
  26. Concentration - 2600
  27. Crystal Castles - 2600
  28. Crystal Castles - Arcade
  29. Demons to Diamonds - 2600
  30. Desert Falcon - 2600
  31. Dodge-Em 2600
  32. Double Dunk - 2600
  33. Fatal Run - 2600
  34. Flag capture - 2600
  35. Football - 2600
  36. Golf - 2600
  37. Gravitar - 2600
  38. Gravitar - Arcade
  39. Hangman - 2600
  40. Haunted House - 2600
  41. Homerun - 2600
  42. Human Cannonball - 2600
  43. Liberator - Arcade
  44. Lunar Lander - Arcade
  45. Major Havoc - Arcade
  46. Maze Craze - 2600
  47. Millipede - 2600
  48. Millipede - Arcade
  49. Miniature Golf - 2600
  50. Missile Command - 2600
  51. Missile Command - Arcade
  52. Night Driver - 2600
  53. Off the Wall - 2600
  54. Outlaw - 2600
  55. Pong - Arcade
  56. Quadrun - 2600
  57. Race - 2600
  58. Radar Lock - 2600
  59. RealSports Baseball - 2600
  60. RealSports Basketball - 2600
  61. RealSports Boxing - 2600
  62. RealSports Football - 2600
  63. RealSports Soccer - 2600
  64. RealSports Tennis - 2600
  65. RealSports Volleyball - 2600
  66. Red Baron - Arcade
  67. Return to Haunted House - 2600
  68. Save Mary - 2600
  69. Secret Quest - 2600
  70. Sentinel - 2600
  71. Sky Diver - 2600
  72. Slot Machine - 2600
  73. Slot Racers - 2600
  74. Sword Quest Fireworld - 2600
  75. Space Duel - Arcade
  76. Space War - 2600
  77. Sprint - Arcade
  78. Sprint Master - 2600
  79. Star Raiders - 2600
  80. Starship - 2600
  81. Steeplechase - 2600
  82. Stellar Track - 2600
  83. Street Racer - 2600
  84. Stunt Cycle - 2600
  85. Sub Commander - 2600
  86. Super Baseball - 2600
  87. Super Breakout - Arcade
  88. Super Breakout -2600
  89. Super Football - 2600
  90. Surround - 2600
  91. Sword Quest Earthworld - 2600
  92. Sword Quest Waterworld - 2600
  93. Tempest - 2600
  94. Tempest - Arcade
  95. Video Cube - 2600
  96. Video Olympics - 2600
  97. Video Pinball - 2600
  98. Warlords - 2600
  99. Warlords - Arcade
  100. Yars Revenge - 2600
May 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

President of Intellivision Entertainment, Tommy Tallarico Joins Original Intellivision Team for new console

Atari VCS launches next week
Desiring to bring family fun back to gaming, Intellivision Entertainment wants to release a new video game console.
With the popularity of mini condoles and retro clones, this project feels similar, but with a fresh approach. Admitting up front that this in no way competes with the Big-Three hardware developers, Intellivision Entertainment is planning a console that emulates classic Intellivision games while supporting new games.

You may know Tallarico as a musician who leads Video Games Live, a concert company that travels the world playing orchestral music from video games for live audiences. He recently bought the rights to Intellivision with plans to launch it as a retro brand.

It sounds as if the former Intellivision, relaunched as Intellivision Entertainment, wants to bring the simplicity of early 80's gaming to a familiar platform to play old Intellivision games as well as new ones. Full details are promised on October 1, but they hint at a redesigned joystick. They mention wifi capability and an online store.

I'm intrigued. This is what I hoped Atari was trying to do with their new VCS. I'm interested to see what they plan to create. You can find their initial presse release on their site.
May 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm dying to know if Atari reveals any useful info about their VCS console at tomorrow's launch

Having teased this product to the point at which they've spent an entire year offering very little useful information... who's in? lol
I love what Atari was back in the 70s. Cool. Hip. Fun. Daring. Inventive. Creative. Innovative. This is so contradictory of what they seem to be now. Secretive, shady, and coy.

Tomorrow is the big day! Their Atari VCS Indiegogo campaign begins May 30. The real test for me is to see if their campaign is set up so they keep all the contributions regardless of reaching their goal.

New Atari VCS game console
As for the "Collector's Edition with Wood Front"... I feel this is similar to George Carlin's take on "real Lemon flavor".

"Do you know what real lemon flavor means?" he asks the audience with a wry smile.
"No fucking lemons!"
May 28, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Wow, I wanna get my Zombie Strike Super Soaker and play with Kendall!

This looks like a fun afternoon!
These ladies need an opposing team of Zombie STrikers!

Kendall Jenner Super Soaker
May 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro-bit brings back Irem's Holy Diver, released in Japan, for your NES

Almost 30 years after its original release in Japan, Retro-Bit is resurrecting Holy Diver for the NES.
Do you have what it takes to find the Five Crimson Emblem Seals to defeat the Black Slayer? The Holy Diver cartridge has been resurrected, nearly 30 years after its original release in Japan. Published by Retro-Bit®, the Holy Diver Collectors Edition is loaded with exclusive collectibles and available for a limited time only.

The first 1,000 games sold featured a white game cartridge,but those have sold out at this time. After watching a few videos, this looks like a fun game with plenty of exploration. It also comes with a fair amount of goodies as part of the "Collector's Edition". Check it out at Retro-Bit.

Holy Diver
Dio - Holy Diver While on the topic of Holy Diver...
Let's not forget Ronnie James Dio and his version of Holy Diver from 1983! It doesn't get much better than this!

Holy Diver is the debut studio album by Dio following vocalist Ronnie James Dio's stint in Black Sabbath.
May 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hyper Sentinel From Huey Games is available on several platforms including Nintendo Switch

Become a decorated Hyper Sentinel pilot with 60 challenging medals to complete.
Hyper Sentinel is a face-melting, pixel-pumping, Neo-Retro arcade shooter featuring awesome power-ups, epic boss battles and spectacular effects at a blistering 60fps. It features an interesting array of visual mods with multiple graphics options, including the nostalgia inducing Spectrum, C64 and CRT filters.

Blast through hordes of Alienoids in Arcade Mode, tackle endless waves of invaders in Survival Mode and battle epic level guardians in Boss Run mode.

>Hyper Sentinel From Huey Games
May 26, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

It's Saturday Morning! Why not order Saturday Morning RPG from Limited Run Games?

They are taking pre-orders for a physical copy for Nintendo's Switch!
Limited Run Games is offering a pre-roder for Saturday Morning RPG for Switch

Saturday Morning RPG is a Japanese style turn-based RPG set in world heavily inspired by 1980s Saturday morning cartoons and pop culture. Players take the role of Martin 'Marty' Michael Hall, an average high-school student who has just been granted an incredible power - a power that ultimately leads him to attract the ire of the world's most notorious villain, Commander Hood!

Satruday Morning RPG
Satruday Morning RPG
May 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Belinda Carlisle is on the Retro Futura Tour in addition to a Go Go's 40th anniversary tour

Each year Retro Futura brings together several artists from the 80's for a summer tour!
This year Retro Futura features: Go Go's Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English, Tony Lewis from The Outfield, Kajagoogoo's LIMAHL, and Bow Wow Wow's AnnaBella.

Belinda Carlisle is on the Retro Futura Tour This summer, the original five members of the Go Go's will also launch a mini tour that coincides with their 40th anniversary. The group has announced three concerts over the 4th of July holiday at the Hollywood Bowl, where theyll be performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Go Go's 40th anniversary tour
May 24, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari sent out emails to remind us they are launching their $300 mystery console next week

Atari VCS launches next week
Um... yeah. Good luck with that.
I'd love to buy that swanky modern looking Atari joystick, but the Atari VCS system itself seems little more than a nifty idea scrawled on a bar napkin. There's no proof-of-concept, game footage, or any viable information. It's like a blind-box for game consoles. Might be good. Might be junk. Atari, in the modern world, has a lot to learn about marketing and bringing products to market.

Today's reminder email from Atari:
Pre-Orders Open in Less than 1 Week
Hurry! This is your last chance. Sign up at to lock in your exclusive launch-day deal before May 30th.
Atari VCS pre-orders open Wednesday, May 30 at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET.
May 24, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Space Goat Productions' Terminator boardgame Kickstarter project appears to be a scam rife with fraud

Space Goat Productions' Terminator boardgame appears to be a scam
After extending the delivery date an additional 365 days on the eve of it's alleged completion (Dec. 2017), Space Goat announced another delay today prompting calls for refunds and legal action!

I was excited for a Terminator boardgame. It sounded like a lot of fun. I backed this wonderful sounding project on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, Shon Bury's company Space Goat Productions has seemingly dissolved amidst financial mismanagement and allegations of sexual assault.

Last December, on the date the completed game was to ship to Kickstarter backers, Space Goat Productions announced a ONE YEAR DELAY on delivery of the game. In the meantime, they had already launched another Kickstarter campaign for another boardgame. Both projects have gone undelivered with no recourse from Space Goat.

Today, Space Goat Productions sent this message to Kickstarter backers of the Terminator boardgame:
Dear Backers -
With the apparent failure of the equity crowd-funding campaign, we have taken a step back to regroup and consider a number of options. Some paths forward have been presented to us. We need a few weeks to find the best path forward. As soon as we find that best path forward, you all will be the first to know.
Sincerely, Shon Bury

After a few failed projects, Space Goat tried some sort of equity crowd-funding to attain more money. Over 2,000 backers had already given this dreadful mess of a company over $200,000 dollars for the Terminator game and a similar amount was raised for a failed Evil Dead game.

Shon Bury seems to have squandered nearly a half million dollars with nothing to show for it! Legal issues are in a gray area as far as deliverables based on crowd funding. However, it seems Space Goat may have been launching new Kickstarter campaigns to try and fund past failed campaigns. I believe that is fraud.

This is the dark side of Kickstarter. They always say it's fun to get in on the "ground floor" and help shape a new product. The truth is we rarely know anything about the project creator and simply have to hope for the best. As usual, I'm becoming far more strict about backing projects. Needless to say, any company or resurgence or Space Goat will be avoided like the plague!

Here is the failed Terminator boardgame Kickstarter project.
May 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

SEGA Genesis Classics has over 50 games for your PS4

SEGA Genesis Classics for PS4
We loved the Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 3 and can't wait for the additional titles on the PS4 release!

SEGA Genesis Classics - Game List

  1. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  2. Alien Soldier
  3. Alien Storm
  4. Altered Beast
  5. Beyond Oasis
  6. Bio-Hazard Battle
  7. Bonanza Bros
  8. Columns
  9. Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  10. Comix Zone
  11. Crack Down
  12. Decap Attack
  13. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  14. Dynamite Headdy
  15. ESWAT: City Under Siege
  16. Fatal Labyrinth
  17. Flicky
  18. Gain Ground
  19. Galaxy Force II
  20. Golden Axe
  21. Golden Axe II
  22. Golden Axe III
  23. Gunstar Heroes
  24. Kid Chameleon
  25. Landstalker
  26. Light Crusader
  27. Phantasy Star II
  28. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  29. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  30. Ristar
  31. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  32. Shining Force
  33. Shining Force II
  34. Shining in the Darkness
  35. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  36. Sonic Spinball
  37. Sonic 3D Blast
  38. Sonic the Hedgehog
  39. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  40. Space Harrier II
  41. Streets of Rage
  42. Streets of Rage 2
  43. Streets of Rage 3
  44. Super Thunder Blade
  45. Sword of Vermilion
  46. The Revenge of Shinobi
  47. ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  48. ToeJam & Earl
  49. Vectorman
  50. Vectorman 2
  51. Virtua Fighter 2
  52. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
  53. Wonder Boy in Monster World
Fifty-three games is music to our ears! Covering multiple genres and eras from the SEGA Genesis, the SEGA Genesis Classics for PlayStation 4 is going to be awesome. Some games are carried over from the PS3 release, but this one has a great selection along with some modern additions.

You can save your game progress at any time - as often as you want. There are online achievement boards as well. But check out this game list! I'm dying to play so many of these titles!

Sure, I'd rather pop a cart into my Genesis console, but there's something nice about having all these games at your fingertips and displayed properly on a modern TV. You can bolster the retro vibe with the included double-sided poster featuring Streets of Rage on one side and Golden Axe on the other.

Get ready - it's being released on May 29th!

Ensuring The Future Of Retro Gaming

Game releases like this are vital to the preservation and future of retro gaming. The ability to play these games on modern systems is a good thing. Yes, I'm aware of emulators, ROMs, and Raspberry Pi - thanks for asking. Most importantly, it puts these games on the same shelf as the big AAA titles. Those browsing for games will see this on the shelf and that's worth more than you may think.

Retro gaming isn't just for old guys like me who grew up playing these titles on game cartridges with a CRT. These games represent a part of video game history and kids who think Microsoft invented video games should have the option to easily play great titles like Streets of Rage, Vectorman, and Toejam & Earl on their modern consoles.

My son loves modern games, but we always have time for Missile Command or Wizard Of Wor. That's what gaming is all about. It's the most fun you can have exploring history!
May 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Didn't Elon leave Trump's Tech committee because Facts matter? Billionaires are such crybabies

Musk wants to set up a "ratings website" to monitor journalistic integrity... powered by toxic trolls who love shit like this!
Musk wants popular oppinion integrity polls online It's fun to see a guy who can launch the cars he built into space on the rockets he creates slip into a tantrum because the media didn't write the story he wanted. I guess being disgustingly rich isn't as much fun as it looks. Even Billionaires have problems. Who knew?

Odd how he thinks the solution to integrity and truth in the media has any correlation with the personal opinions of the public. Facts are facts, even if popular opinion believes otherwise. Science and math are not based on random popularity as found on open polls.

Ask any restaurant owner if they think Yelp properly represents their restaurant. Popular opinion isn't truth and bears no impact on facts. Let's shelve that Pravda idea...

May 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Let them enjoy their nunchucks on World Turtle Day

May 23rd is a day to be responsible toward animals whose habitats are being destroyed by selfish/greedy humans.
Very often our small actions create big problems for turtles. Be aware of your environment - respect and care for it. We've seen our government destroy what little habitats exist for animals today. They thrive on greed and will anything, including humans, who get in the way of their wealth mongering atrocities.

So, its up to everyday people to do the right thing and occasionally do something for an animal, like a turtle, who needs a helping han. Do a good deed, then play some video games. You're guaranteed a high score!

May 23rd is World Turtle Day
May 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Super Burgertime for Nintendo Switch enhances the original with new power-ups and co-op play

Super Burgertime for Nintendo Switch
I'm a huge fan of Burgertime, but the 2-player co-op option sold me on this sequel! Use your Spatula, Pepper, and Frying Pan!
As a fan of Burgertime, I was stoked to hear of Burgertime World Tour for Wii back in 2011. At the time I wasn't aware of the actual arcade sequel, Super Burgertime (1990). In fact I'd not given it much thought until I heard this elusive sequel was coming to Nintendo's Switch... with 2-player co-op play!

Flying Tiger Entertainment has released this Data East classic on the Switch with other platforms to follow. It''s the fourth title in their Johnny Turbo's Arcade series of Data East releases. Staying true to the original, Super Burgertime features competitive co-op play (introducing Peer's bother) with a host of new weapons, new enemies, power-ups, a larger play-field, and updated graphics.

Priced at $7.99, this game seems destined for downloads. Check it out on the Nintendo Switch e-shop.

Super Burgertime for Nintendo Switch Super Burgertime for Nintendo Switch
May 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Upcoming game, Streets Of Steel, brings video game brawling to a side-scrolling board game

Streets Of Steel boardgame
Players brawl their way through baddies in a 1980's-esque, pixelated, post-apocalyptic, degenerate cityscape!
Streets Of Steel boardgame In tribute to 16-bit brawlers, this upcoming board game from Wild Power Games will take your memories from the tube to a side-scrolling board on the floor. It's like Streets of Rage with miniatures and dice. Steel City has fallen into disarray. You and your crew must clean up the streets.

This project is being crowd funded on Kickstarter and has already met it's funding goal. Head over to the Streets Of Steel Kickstarter page to get all the details on backing this project. 1 to 4 players can engage the enemies and finish a game in about an hour. You can gang up on the baddies and roll dice to wipe them out as well as finding resources by breaking crates. Sounds like a video game we know!

Fight filthy Punks, hot-headed Firebugs, and elusive Killgaroos (yup, ninja kangaroos) in order to take down the big boss, Super Mutie.

Streets Of Steel boardgame
May 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

An 8-bit Royal Wedding with a tribute from Billy Idol

Rachel Zane marries a Prince with full coverage on every network in the galaxy, making today a good day to take in Deadpool 2.
Anyone down for a Suits marathon or spinning a few Billy Idol LPs?

The 8-bit royal wedding
I didn't get swept up in Royal fever and bailed on the whole thing to catch Deadpool 2 and play some games in the theater arcade. I even missed this spectacular Billy Ido tweet where "White Wedding" simply had to be mentioned. This dude rocks!

The 8-bit royal wedding
Yes, It was a nice day for a white wedding...
May 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yo-Landi Visser

Head down to your local record store for a dose of Yolandi Visser via Die Antwoord!

Yolandi Visser
May 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

8 Bit Boutique creates really cool arcade art including shadowboxes and 3D arcade miniatures

 Bit Boutique arcade and 3D miniatures
I've always loved miniatures, especially when it comes to designing the ultimate arcade. These miniature arcade cabs look great!
If you like 3D miniatures of your favorite retro arcade games and 8-bit pixel art, you should check out the 8 Bit Boutique website. You'll find everything from stand-alone arcade cabinets to 80's inspired arcade dioramas.

If you would rather your art hang on a wall, you'll find plenty of shadow-boxes and arcade game-screen inspired works. Also check out the 8 Bit Boutique Instagram for more pics!

 Bit Boutique arcade and 3D miniatures Arcade diorama by 8 Bit Boutique featuring Donkey Kong, Karate Champ, dig Dug, and Track & Field.

 Bit Boutique arcade and 3D miniatures this pinball arcade was created by 8 Bit Boutique.

 Bit Boutique arcade and 3D miniatures Asteroids arcade art by 8 Bit Boutique.

 Bit Boutique arcade and 3D miniatures Defender arcade game shadow-box by 8 Bit Boutique.

May 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Cartoon Network is bringing back Thundercats, but they have a tendency to drastically alter the classics

Cartoon Network Thndercats Roar
From Teen Titans to Scooby Doo, The Cartoon Network likes to put their own mark on the creation of iconic characters.
Cartoon Network is bringing back Thundercats as... Thundercats Roar in 2019. Similar to the storyline of the original series, Lion-O and the ThunderCats - Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wilykat and Wilykit - narrowly escape the destruction of their home planet of Thundera. They crash land on the mysterious planet of Third Earth, setting out to make it their new home. Sounds good, but how will it... look?

When you're at a carnival and pay someone to draw your caricature, you expect it to be a humorous exaggerated likeness of you. That's why it's called a caricature, not a sketch, and it won't resemble a photograph. When it comes to iconic established cartoon characters, changing their visual look isn't as welcome as those funny caricatures you love to waste money on.

Cartoon Network has a long history of rebooting well--known shows and changing the appearance of all the characters. The teen Titans seemingly turned into the Teen Toddlers when the "Go" version of the show launched. The same thing happened to the Mystery Gang when Scooby Doo made a new appearance on the Cartoon Network. Oddly, their original series like Uncle Grandpa or Clarence didn't follow this same style. The whole notion baffles me as to how they render original characters versus iconic ones.

Upon comparing the original Thundercats to the promo for CN's Thundercats Roar, it seems evident that Cartoon Network is up to it old tricks. I always seem to adjust to the radical changes they make, but it always catches me off guard and makes me wonder what happened to my beloved characters.

Original Thndercats on Blu-ray DVD
May 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Great things are happening in retro gaming hardware and this FPGA-based Colecovision would be awesome

FPGA-based Colecovision
This project would modernize the Colecovision console while allowing original controllers and carts for a very retro experience.
When I encounter projects like this, I realize I may have chosen the wrong career path. If I had the ability to code a game console and port it's guts into an FPGA, I'd never stop! It's projects like this that give me hope for the future of retro gaming. Check out this original Colecovision project on AtariAge.

As much as we all love CRTs and dusty old game consoles, the world is changing and it will leave retro gamers behind eventually unless we change a bit too. I grew up with an Atari VCS and my buddy had an Intellivision, so I have mad passion for original equipment. My son and I still play regularly on the VCS I bought when I was 12.

I get it. Retro is cool. Original is best, but... the world is moving on. Hardware emulation via FPGA with HDMI for modern televisions is a vital component to playing Wizard Of Wor 50 years from now. Think about the world 50 years ago. Perspective and a rational outlook are needed if retro gaming is to live on in pixelated beauty!

The folks at AtGames released a Colecovision Flashback in 2014 for the holiday season. It sat alongside the Atari versions, but I'm not sure it was as popular. Imagine the possibilities with a new console that accepts all your Colecovision game carts and displays properly on a modern TV. Sounds good to me! Keep an eye on this project. I don't know of it's timeline, but the creator seems to want to sell this to the retro community

The finished product will include:
  • 1 FPGA
  • 1KB RAM internal
  • BIOS internal
  • VDP with VGA output, scan-lines can be disabled
  • VRAM internal
  • 1 slot
  • 1 keyboard matrix
  • 1 arcade stick
May 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jami Gertz is trending on Twitter for repping the Atlanta Hawks at the NBA draft lottery

Jami Gertz represented the Atlanta Hawks at the NBA draft
Her name brings back so many memories. Loved her in films like Quicksilver, The Lost Boys, and Less Than Zero.
Jami Gertz represented the Atlanta Hawks at the NBA draft Jami Gertz was trending on Twitter and just the mention of her name brought back so many memories. She was in quite a few films I loved back in the 80s. I haven't seen her name in some time.

Surprisingly, her name was trending in relation to the NBA draft. She was listed as the owner of the Atlanta Hawks. I was expecting a new film project or some Hollywood-related event, but her husband owns the Hawks and she represented them at the draft lottery.

I definitely need to watch Lost Boys again and if you haven't seen Quicksilver, it's a good film with Kevin Bacon.
May 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jimmy Fallon shows his Nintendo enthusiasm & musical chops via LABO and puts Ariana Grande on vocals

Ariana Grande with LABO band
I think LABO is clever and beautifully precise in it's execution. Call it cardboard, but it's pure genius!
Ariana Grande and Jimmy Fallon seem to be in frequent company with one another on the tonight show. She's popular and charismatic, but I'm thinking there's a long line of celebrities seeking the show's promotional value. But Jimmy is a longtime fan of video games and seems to have a soft spot for Nintendo. So, when you need a singer for your cardboard LABO band, can't get much better than Ariana.

Ariana Grande with LABO band Jimmy's a kooky sort of guy, so why not tie-in a musical guest with nintendo's musical offering in it's new LABO creativity product? With The Roots and Ariana Grande, Fallon and company put on a fun rendition of Grande's No Tears Left To Cry single on the May 14th Tonight Show. As much as this is likely staged and controlled, I have to say I was pretty impressed with the performance.

She has a great voice and Nintendo was able to back her vocals with a slew of cardboard creations intermingled with various Switch components. I suspect there was a bit of added "magic" of sorts to pull this off, but it was a great performance and promo for Nintendo's LABO!

Hopefully, this sort of promotion will convince folks that there's more to LABO than just cardboard. Much of the appeal is bonding over the creation process. It's a great project for kids to gather around with friends and/or family. Multi player gaming should involve your friends sitting on your couch or floor, Now there's another way to get together over video games. Never stop creating!

Ariana Grande with LABO band

Check out the video:
May 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The NES & SNES Classic Edition consoles will be returning on June 29, but not at Toys R Us

The SNES launch seemed successful and we hope the new supply of NES minis will be plentiful unlike last year.
Another run of Nintendo's Classic Edition mini consoles is coming on June 19th. While we won't be able to line up at Toys R Us to snag one, we're excited that they are making a come-back. The initial NES model was drastically under-stocked and sent outrage through the retro gaming community. Promised a unit for Christmas, the low inventory levels didn't come close to fulfilling that fantasy.

Nintendo seemed to learn from the atrocious NES Classic Edition launch and had much more inventory available when the SNES model launched. Presumably, this summer we'll see good stock levels for both consoles. One can only hope. It seems as if they'll be available for at least six months, but does this offer any clues about the holiday season? Will we see an N64 or Game Boy Classic edition?

NES & SNES Classic Edition consoles returning
May 8, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The third movie seems to be a go! Bill and Ted Face The Music

I love the idea that Bill & Ted are back after all these years!
We'd heard recent rumors of a completed script for a new Bill and Ted film and buy-in from Reeves and Winters, but this confirmation is fantastic! This is the kind o movie that is timeless and can be rebooted any time. After 25+ years since we saw Wyld Stallyns on the big screen, you have to love the original actors are back as well. It's a shame George Carlin is no longer with us. Rufus was a classic!

Bill and Ted Face The Music
May 8, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

These ladies are going to have an amazing summer - Taylor Swift Reputation Tour

Camila Cabello • Taylor Swift • Charlie XCX
Taylor Swift Reputation Tour
May 8, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Coleco's tabletop Evolved Mini Arcades have an 80's vibe and are available via Kickstarter

Coleco Evolved Mini Arcades
Many of us remember the original Coleco tabletop arcade games and have been awaiting their return!
The owner of the Coleco brand has hinted several times about releasing products from the brands illustrious past. Finally, they are announcing two tabletop arcade-stye tabletop games that look similar to the ones we loved in the 80s. They have produced Rainbow Brite and Robotech.

Similar to Atari, Coleco is not the original company you may recall from the Colecovision era. The brand is owned by a company hoping to leverage it to deliver a profit. With this in mind, the first two (hopefully there will be more) tabletop arcade games are being crowd funded on Kickstarter. You'll find a lot of info about each of these games on the Evolved Mini Arcades Kickstarter page.

As of this writing, the campaign has over 260 backers and is nearly reached it's $30,000 funding goal with nearly a month to go. If you were a fan of the Coleco tabletop arcade games back in 1981, definitely check out this campaign. If you love handheld or miniature games, we think you'll love these!

Coleco Evolved Mini Arcades It's worth noting that the brand-owner of Coleco was briefly involved with the failed Retro VGS game console project that was renamed the Coleco Chameleon. The project was highly suspicious and made several attempts to dupe backers after proof-of-concept failed miserably.

Coleco was quick to sever ties with the individual behind the project. It would be easy to say it tarnished the Coleco brand, but I believe Coleco acted quickly and responsibly to protect the company and it's customers from fraud. Their handling of that fiasco demonstrated a commitment to excellence and quick resolution - very impressed with how it was handled.
May 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord

Our healthy obsession with quirky musicians forges onward...
Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord
May 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This slick Atari VCS hoodie from Merchoid almost cries out "Real Wood!"

This wood-finish hoodie design even sports a zipper making it exceptionally retro!
Atari VCS hoodie I need another hoodie like a "hole in the head" as they sometimes say, but this VCS hoodie, from Merchoid, is different. THIS is the kind of Atari product (licensed from Atari) I can get behind. Forget mystery consoles with dubious fulfillment expectations. Atari should be a lifestyle brand. Definitely a gaming brand with respect to their past achievements, but they should be about the iconic brand.

Offering nostalgia to a niche group via ambiguos hardware promises tarnishes the brand. Atari could be such a successful (and once again iconic) company it they would stop trying to one-up past achievements by former owners. Frederic Chesnais isn't going to be the next Nolan Bushnell, but I'm confident he can produce some T-shirts and hire someone to develop a lifestyle offering.

Atari still has a huge following of loyal fans who grew up with their various video game consoles. In a world flooded with random Android boxes, we don't need another. Capitalize on those nostalgic memories we have for a company we love. On their current trajectory, the new Atari is on a path of continual disappointment. Their recent hardware efforts have resulted in no viable products despite all the crowd funding. I've never been disappointed by a hat or shirt with an Atari logo. Go lifestyle.

In the mean time, Merchoid has some cool looking gear!
May 6 , 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Disconnected morsels of info hint Ratt might reunite which would be pretty cool

Ratt reunion?
I loved Stephen Percy's latest solo album and would welcome the original Ratt lineup putting out music again.
Last year's release of Smash by former Ratt vocalist Stephen Percy really got me thinking about a potential Ratt reunion. I really got into this album - it's damn good! Too often we see aging rockers struggle to remain relevant simply by placing their name on another release. This is not the case with Smash!

I haven't followed Ratt or Percy since their peak in the late 80s. There are a lot of bands that left my radar and they're still around and it kills me that my interests drifted elsewhere. Saxon just released a new album for example. Time to catch up!

Regarding Ratt, I've heard several of the members are on good terms, despite some legal battles over the band's name rights. Percy has consistently releas music and I love Smash. I'd love to see this energy come to a Ratt reunion. There are lots of tidbits of hope in various articles, so I hope this could all come together! So many great bands from my teen years are still going strong - Judas Priest is unstoppable! I'd love to hear Ratt in today's music landscape!
May 5, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariana Grande's recent obsession with Jupiter and Neptune did not go unnoticed by NASA

She has fans everywhere... even in governmental space agencies.
Ariana has fans at NASA
May 5 , 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you took part in #MayTheFourth and #FreeComicBookDay, don't stop now... It's #DerbyDay!

Last night we watched The Last Jedi. Today we hit the local comic book shop. Now we're playing Atari SteepleChase!
Don't let the party stop just because you exhausted your collection of Star Wars movies and read all your free comic books. Today is Derby Day with the Kentucky Derby tonight! We're getting in the mood with Steeplechase on the Atari 2600.

Steeplechase gives you a great excuse to hook up your paddle controllers for a 4-player romp through gaming's earlier days. Ge down to the video arcade stables and saddle up the thoroughbreds. Steeplechase looks like a simple game, but it's six game variations give it more diversity than you may expect. Give this one a whirl, but don't forget to fire up the real deal Kentucky Derby for the most exciting 3 minutes in sports! :)

Atari Steeplechase
May 5, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was super stoked to find a Tank Girl title on Free Comic Book Day

Tank Girl title on Free Comic Book Day
Among a lot of great comics, A Brief History Of Tank Girl was the standout title for me!
I should probably pay more attention to things like Free comic Book Day. Each year I visit my local comic shop an see what interesting titles are being promoted. Each year I find great stuff, but when it comes to Tank Girl we have some strong opinions!

As I waited on line for my shop to open, I heard there was a Tank Girl title available. I was shocked! Tank Girl!?! Has she become this mainstream that she makes an appearance on Free Comic Book Day? How cool is that. With a bevy of art styles including a cover by original Tanky artist, Jamie Hewlett, this book should ignite outrage and a manic craving for more. Alan Martin has dastardly skills with pen-in-hand and had kept my favorite comic book heroine alive and kicking for decades!

If you haven't visited your local comic book shop, stop by today and hope they still have copies of A Brief History Of Tank Girl! If not, have them order the upcoming series, Tank Girl All Stars!
May 4 , 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Cosplayer Raychul Moore shows off her D.Va with classic Donkey Kong arcade flair

From Gaming and writing about gaming to cosplaying her favorite gaming characters, Rachul does it all.
Cosplayer Raychul Moore
May 4 , 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I didn't understand the appeal of SmartWatches, until they incorporated the Super Zapper Recharge

Do I really need a device on my wrist to tell me what's happening on the phone in my pocket?
Tempest arcade face for the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch I've always thought of smartwatches as an extension of one's smartphone. While your phone is in your pocket, the watch can alert you to events. To me it seems like an expensive item that simply tells you what's up in your pants-pocket. I'd rather fish out my phone than have to charge another device every day.

I used to wear a watch, but carrying around a phone has replaced that need. there's only so much stuff I really want to cart around where ever I go. The watch shown hee is the Samsung Gear S3.

None of the tech or apps have really swayed my opinion on smartwatches, but along comes a Tempest arcade clock-face and I suddenly reassess the entire concept. Wow, maybe I really do need a smartwatch. The sad truth is there was once a time when I'd gladly have forked over the funds to put a Tempest-looking watch on my wrist

Thankfully, I'v wised up over the years. While this is insanely cool, I still don't find enough utility in smartwatches to warrant the price and hassle. If the Apple Watch didn't catch on... well, that speaks volumes to me and I'm an Android user!
May 4 , 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When the local drive-in movie theater goes big on opening weekend

Gotta love an Avengers Infinity War and Black Panther double feature!
Avangers Infinity War and Black Panther double feature
May 4 , 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

May The Fourth Be With You...

It's May 4th... Happy Star Wars Day!
May The Fourth Be With You. Happy Star Wars Day!
May 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm stoked to pick up DK Tropical Freeze again even though I've played it a lot on the Wii U

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze for Nintendo Switch
Even though Donkey Kong has changed dramatically over the decades, Nintendo has kept this game as iconic as ever!
I've loed Donkey Kong from the first time I played it in an arcade to the blocky home console port for the Atari 2600. It's been interesting to see the game morph into different variations over time. I live near the arcade I played at during Summers when I was a kid. They still have an original DK arcade cabinet and I often wonder if it's the one I played decades ago. You never know.

I'm glad to read the Switch version of Tropical Freeze isn't simply a port of the Wii U game. You can now play as Funky Kong and he comes with several cool options like unlimited underwater swimming and hovering over obstacles on his surfboard. It's good to see this IP come to Switch. Everyone needs some Donkey Kong!
May 2, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Double Kick Heroes soundtrack is an onslaught of metal mania backing a unique zombie slaying game

Double Kick Heroes soundtrack
Race through an apocalyptic world in your Gundillac as you crush zombies with the power of heavy metal! Hell yeah!
Double Kick Heroes is a kick-ass pixel-art video game with a chiptune infused heavy metal soundtrack. It's like someone carefully procured all the things I love and mashed them into a salable package of awesome! A diverse metal soundtrack of varying styles. Retro chiptune chirps and blips. A Gundillac raging through an apocalyptic world. Killing zombies... with heavy metal! This is too good to be true! Check out the Double Kick Heroes soundtrack on bandcamp.

Double Kick Heroes soundtrack Every now and then the internet works it's magic and delivers a wealth of good information. In a modern world where news is routinely questioned and social networks steal and profit from your personal info, it's rare that any good info shines through the murky sludge of surfing the web. Today was different.

Scarlet Moon Promotions emailed a press release that instantly piqued my interest. An album cover depicting a band thrashing hard in a slick drop-top with mayhem erupting in the distance commanded my attention. I listened to the soundtrack. It rocks! I watched video clips of the video game. It's crazy cool!

Double Kick Heroes has a cool website, active social media, and I love everything about it. Like today's intersection of info in my browser, the genius behind Double Kick Heroes' soundtrack is no accident. Composed by Frédéric "Elmobo" Motte its heavy metal guitar ranges from contemplative and moody to upbeat and spunky, mixing in retro chiptune sounds throughout.

Motte is quoted in the press release:
"I was born a metalhead, and this game is giving me the chance to pay tribute to the music that fuels my life. I'm trying to cover as many metal genres as possible. Heavy, black, death, industrial, stoner, thrash... and I took the opportunity to invite some the incredible musicians I've worked with at Conkrete Studio to sing and play on some of my tracks. When listening, you'll inevitably notice references to Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Meshuggah, Faith No More and even Babymetal!"

We suggest you snag a copy of this soundtrack and game. From the pixel art and metal soundtrack to shooting out the back of the Gundillac with a zombie-killing melodic cadence... what's not to like? Give it a look!

Double Kick Heroes video game

About composer Frédéric "Elmobo" Motte via the Scarlet Moon press release:
Elmobo's music takes its roots in the early '90s Amiga demoscene. After scoring games like Fury Of The Furries or Fascination, he was recruited by Kalisto Entertainment in 1993, and worked on Nightmare Creatures 1&2, Dark Earth, Pac In Time and many more. In 2001, he left Kalisto to go freelance again, and started composing music for Nintendo handheld consoles, for game licenses like Fievel, Popeye, Totally Spies, Bakugan or Battleship.

Besides game music, Elmobo is also a bass player, and has been playing in various bands over the years, notably with Plug-In and Bumblefoot. In 2004 he opened a recording, mixing and mastering facility dedicated to metal bands. Conkrete Studio is now one of the top metal studios in France and has been involved in the making of more than 130 albums. In 2016, Elmobo joined the Headbang Club, an indie development studio responsible for the metal rhythm game Double Kick Heroes.

Double Kick Heroes video game
May 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After a disastrous misuse of personal data, Facebook decides to capture more via a new dating feature

Learning nothing from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook will capture even more personal data while their atrocious algorithm sets you up on dates.
I have a Facebook account, but I don't use it. The whole notion of sharing my "life" on a social app seems creepy. I set up the personal account to enable our 8-Bit Central Facebook page. Regarding friends... I like to hang out with mine or chat on the phone or Skype. The idea of plastering personal stuff on a timeline is not a good way to maintain a friendship.

The problem with Facebook is most of their users would consider themselves, clients. Facebook users are the product. Everything you do is monetized by Facebook and used at their convenience. How does this benefit you? It doesn't.

What seems like a bad joke unfurled at Facebook's annual developer conference. Mark Zuckerberg announced a new dating service, called "Dating," that will exist within the Facebook app. Now you can really give Facebook a good dose of your really personal info. Zuck doesn't care if you find true love - he just wants to sell your info.

Putting any personal info online is a bad idea. Assuming Facebook will be respectful of your data is hysterical. No, really. It's funny that anyone would think Facebook's algorithm is the solution to finding a date. That awful batch of code populates your timeline with clickbait garbage while denying pertinent content that hasn't been boosted (paid for) by it's owner. You'd be better off randomly dialing phone numbers to find a date. Don't give Zuck more of you personal info!

Facebook Dating
May 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Iam8bit and Capcom are collaborating on two 30th anniversary Mega Man cartridges

30th anniversary Mega Man cartridges for NES & SNES
While quite expensive, these Mega Man 2 and Mega Man X anniversary cartridges look great!
These two packages look really nice and Iam8bit always deliver a quality product. Each game comes on a custom cartridge, with a dual-fold box and manual. For a fleeting moment, I thought I could get both games for $100, but this was not the case. At $100 for each game, they are priced out of my range.

However, they have an interesting lottery system in the mix. Each game is limited to 8,500 units, but 1,000 are translucent glow-in-the-dark cartridges. These unique carts are blindly packaged and randomly sent out. This translates into a 1-in-8 chance of receiving the special cart. While that may not offset the cost of these games, it's a nifty way to sweeten the deal.

Mega Man 2 30th anniversary NES cartridge Mega Man 2 30th anniversary NES cartridge from Capcom and Iam8bit.

• Limited Edition of 8,500*
• Brand-New Playable Cartridge
• Dual-Fold Box w/ Foil, Gloss & Embossments
• Premium Instruction Booklet w/ Foreword by Author Salvatore Pane
• Retro Pack-In Surprises
• Package Design & Restoration by Jango Snow Art & Design
• Manufacturing by Retrotainment Games + Infinite NES Lives
Mega Man X 30th anniversary SNES cartridge Mega Man X 30th anniversary SNES cartridge from Capcom and Iam8bit.

• Limited Edition of 8,500
• Brand-New Playable Cartridge
• Tri-Fold Box w/ Foil, Gloss & Embossments
• Premium Instruction Booklet w/ Foreword by Jirad "The Completionist" Khalil
• Retro Pack-In Surprises
• Package Design & Restoration by Jango Snow Art & Design
• Manufacturing by Retrotainment Games + Infinite NES Lives

Mega Man 2 30th translucent glow-in-the-dark anniversary NES cartridge Mega Man 2 30th anniversary translucent glow-in-the-dark NES cartridge.

Mega Man X 30th translucent glow-in-the-dark anniversary SNES cartridge Mega Man X 30th anniversary translucent glow-in-the-dark SNES cartridge.

April 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

April 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari will soon begin taking pre-orders on their new VCS game console via Indiegogo - buyer beware

Atari VCS game console and controllers
I am eager to purchase Atari's new console... when I see it on a retailer's shelf with a generous return policy.
Atari has gone above and beyond to withhold information and offer ambiguous info about this console. They continue down this path as they announce an upcoming pre-order. On May 30, Atari plans to roll out an Indiegogo campaign which they are referring to as a "Pre-order" event. Crowd funding and pre-orders are two different things.

Over the past year, Atari has beaten every ounce of excitement out of me. From sparse info to the ridiculous VCS "reveal" in a hotel suite at GDC. They treat their potential customers as though they were morons. Honesty and disclosure are the hallmarks of a viable product introduction. Atari's recent track record with hardware combined with the vague info they've released leads me to extreme skepticism. I should be excited, but I'm holding my wallet close until proof of concept is released. I'll bet some of you are still awaiting delivery of your GameBand...

I'm a huge Atari fan, but the Atari I love ceased two decades ago. I took a 2-hour lunch from work to buy an Atari Jaguar on launch day and still play that console to this very day.

There are still a lot of Atari fans who don't realize that Atari is only a holding company that owns rights to the brand and it's IPs. Those folks are going to put money into a crowd funding campaign that may not deliver a tangible product. If I see the Atari VCS on a reputable retailer's shelf, I'll buy it in a heartbeat!

To date, Frederic Chesnais' Atari has not put forth any marketing initiative to give credence to their ability to bring a hardware product to market - even on a limited crowd funded level. The Retro VGS (aka Coleco Chameleon) also began as an Indiegogo campaign and was removed as was Coleco's support when it was determined there was no viable product behind the campaign.

That scenario seems akin to the Gameband and Atari Watch. Anyone ever get one... or a refund? Atari has not convinced me they are anywhere near releasing a game console of any kind. Their crowd-funding campaign seems more likely to be gauging interest and further funding a future release of some sort. I wish them well. I hope they are successful. I look forward to buying an Atari VCS at a local electronics dealer or GameStop in the near future.

Atari VCS game console and controllers The Atari email sent on April 30, 2018:
Atari VCS Pre-Sale Opens May 30th on Indiegogo!
Featuring The Limited Atari VCS Collector's Edition
Special Retro-Inspired Wood Front and Certificate of Authenticity

Early Bird packages Start at $199 for Atari VCS Onyx
Updated Classic Joystick and Modern Controller Also Available to Order
Enjoy the Linux-powered Atari VCS to play, create or port your own games and multimedia content.

Many popular modern titles will be playable on Atari VCS.
As an homage to our past, every Atari VCS includes
the Atari Vault of more than 100 classic games.
Play all-time arcade and home entertainment favorites like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Breakout®, Missile Command®, Gravitar® and Yars' Revenge®

A completely modern connected device, the new VCS was designed in California by Atari. The company is partnered with AMD, who provides the VCS custom processor with Radeon Graphics Technology. The Atari VCS platform will offer support for 4K resolution, HDR and 60FPS content, onboard and expandable storage options, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as USB 3.0 support. A complete list of Atari VCS product specs will be posted at the time of pre-sale.

Atari appreciates your support and intense curiosity about VCS games and content, hardware specifications, production timelines and other key information. We're confident that we are putting the right pieces in place for a successful product and launch!

Atari VCS game console and controllers
April 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Avengers Infinity War is breaking box office records and driving up the price of the Defender handheld video game

Defender handheld video game
Groot seemed to have an affinity for the retro handheld and it's price is rising on eBay.
If you are adamantly against any and all spoilers, you may want to leave, but I'm not sure a cup-topper really divulges a whole lot of info. But I'll leave that up to you.

Defender handheld video game Reagal Cinemas had a few perks for Avengers movie-goers from a printed booklet to a cup-topper with Groot. I saw pics of the cup-topper and he was in an odd pose - definitely holding something. After viewing the movie, we discover Groot has an addiction to a handheld Defender video game. So, I'm assuming that's what he's holding in the topper pic. I love that tie-in!

Much like the recent surge in Adventure video game cartridges for the Atari 2600 due to it's inclusion in the Ready Player One movie, this Defender handheld is getting pricey on eBay. Nothing like a celebrity endorsement to make any product suddenly valuable... even when a CG tree takes to an old handheld video game.

From Screen Crush (spoilers):
Throughout the entire film, Teen Groot is obsessed with a handheld video game. In a brief cutaway, we see that he's playing Defender, an Atari classic where your job is to protect Earth from alien invaders. Obviously the game is an allusion to the plot of Infinity War, but the name defender also evokes the Defenders comic which, unlike the Netflix series, traditionally features Infinity War characters like Doctor Strange and the Hulk.

Defender handheld video game Defender handheld game.
Defender handheld video game I found some great pix of this classic Defender handheld game on the Junk Save website.

April 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Finally got out to see Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War
I'm not a huge fan of Super Hero movies, but when the whole gang gets together... I'm down.
I'm always down for a Spiderman movie and loved Guardians Of The Galaxy and Antman, but in general... I've found Super Hero movies kind of hit or miss. I tend to look at them from a different perspective since I don't follow DC or Marvel comics. Give me some Tank Girl comics and I'm all set!

As for the latest Spiderman, Zendaya as MJ was awesome. I wished her role was larger, but I assume she'll be back for the next Spidey flick.

I'm easily turned off by hype. Avengers Infinity War had so much hype, I almost decided to catch it on DVD later this year. But my son saw it and raved as much as the online reviews, so I gave it a chance today. Spoiler... well, not really- Stay to the very end of Infinity War, post credits :)

Side note: I'm still stunned that most of the folks in the theater were tapping on their smartphones - even during the coming attractions - and only put their phones away when the main feature started. Then the phones came back out as soon as the credits rolled. Unreal!

Where's Chibi Robo?
April 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Miley Cyrus' confidence and DGAF attitude is inspiring

I wish I had the courage to do things my way more often.
Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus has this ability to do things her way and make it seem so effortless. I'm sure she endures hardships like anyone else, but she has such a cool vibe. Her attitude needs to be captured and bottled.

There were several video games tied in with Hanna Montana, why can't we get a Bangers video game? Miley's kind of crazy and her enthusiasm should be a Switch game!
April 28, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you don't Pass The Pigs... are you even in the game?

Pass The Pigs is one of my favorite ridiculous tabletop games that's easy to play in only a few minutes.
Replace dice with pigs and you've got a far more entertaining way to play. I've loved this game for a long time and it comes in a convenient carrying case. There's no excuse not to kill time with Pass The Pigs when you have a few minutes to spare. If you're down withPigs, try the "Giant" version!

Pass The Pigs
Pass The Pigs for Nintendo DS While not a must-have game, Pass The Pigs can be even be played on the Nintendo DS. Take the Pigs along...
April 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The new self-titled album from chiptune artist 8 Bit Weapon taxes a Gameboy's cpu with magnificent results

8 Bit Weapon's self titled album
Treat yourself to some fun electronic dance music made from gameboys and Commodore 64s!
The beauty of independent music is it's freedom. The artists make the rules. When you embrace this freedom and your instruments of choice are vintage computers and video game consoles, the results are pretty amazing. 8 Bit Weapon has a solid history of creating chiptune music and have released well over a dozen albums in a variety of different styles.

Their latest self titled album, 8 Bit Weapon, uses a Game Boy and Commodore 64 to achieve a driving beat across the album's seven tacks. I love this album's intensity. It takes my love of chiptunes and melds it wonderfully with a beat that makes me want to get up and dance (presuming I dance - I do not), but it's a great album.

This is an exciting release and I marvel at 8 Bit Weapon's ability to generate music from my favorite game consoles. Where I button-mash and hum a theme song, they extract the coolest sounds, turning them into a powerful album. We highly recommend buying a copy of their self-titled album 8 Bit Weapon at Bandcamp! Support independent music!

From the 8 Bit Weapon website:
This new album is the result of sound experiments created via Classic 1989 Game Boy that began in 2015 and ended in March of 2017. We sought to explore the outer reaches of the Game Boy's 8-bit CPU/4-bit sound chip, especially it's dynamic wave channel sound manipulation capacity. Towards the end of the production cycle we added Commodore 64 synth bass and other sounds to round out the albums sound. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor!
April 24, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The mall arcade has blossomed into The Tenpin Eatery - an epic entertainment destination

The Tenpin Eatery - an epic arcade entertainment destination
With nine bowling/arcade locations, they partnered with a local restaurant to create a new space offering untold quantities of fun!
Arcades ruled my childhood in the 70s & 80s. Each one was similar to the next, but each was wickedly unique in it's own right, from services to the games themselves. We'd drive from arcade to arcade dropping quarters into the early hours. There's been a resurgence of interest in arcade games from that era and retro gaming in general.

Cruisin Blast I'm lucky to live in an area that fosters a lust for the classics with a desire to bring the arcade experience to the masses.

There are a few independent locations with everything from Donkey Kong and Space invaders to Joust and Virtual On. However, Ryan's Family Amusements are the largest and are continually growing their business through clever partnerships and the latest amazing arcade games. While I love the dusty old classics, I welcome the chance to play World's Largest Pac-Man, Space Invaders Frenzy, Crusin' Blast and Jurassic Park - to name a few.

In addition to their many bowling locations with game rooms, their games can also be found at local mini-golf courses, indoor water parks, and outdoor inflatable parks. Ryan's has injected their brand of fun into some great venues and locations.

The Tenpin Eatery Is Open

The Tenpin Eatery - an epic arcade entertainment destination Their latest feat is a partnership with a local restaurant to create a massive entertainment destination at the Cape Cod Mall. We've all heard stories of declining retail at malls, but this new partnership between Ryan's and Chapin's, The Tenpin Eatery, is stirring up a lot of excitement and the exquisite implementation is going to bring a lot of folks to the mall!

World's Largest Pac-Man As a purveyor of physical media, I frequently stop by our local mall for books at B&N, CDs at Newbury Comics, and video games at GameStop. My shopping trips were always capped off with a few games at the former Ryan's Amusements.

The new Tenpin Eatery makes my shopping ventures all the more enjoyable. I'm excited to see the mall flourish and grow. I'm certain more stores will clamor to be a part of the dining/gaming experience.

If you're in the area, I highly recommend stoping by. The music is pumping, there's a great vibe in the air, and there are plenty of things to do from bowling and lasertag to a great meal followed by endless arcade games. It's more upscale than the mall's food court, and these guys know how to have fun!

The Tenpin Eatery - Space Invaders Frenzy
April 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I didn't choose the Dug life... The Dug life chose me

The Dug life
April 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Another bit of Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord

The obsession is real. If you haven't seen Chappie, pick up the Blu-ray.
Yolandi Visser
April 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We love Crash Bandicoot, but at $40 he should charge your Switch at the very least

It's neat. It's kinda funny. It needs a substantial boost in utility.
Crash Bandicoot Cable Guy Coming in June - according to Amazon - this officially licensed Crash Bandicoot Cable Guy figure stands 12" tall and holds... stuff. He can hold your Nintendo Switch, tablet, PlayStation & Xbox Controllers, or smartphones. I'm pretty sure he will also be capable of holding a banana, a Harry Potter wand, or your favorite Slayer CD.

I wonder why Crash wasn't granted a bit more utility than simply something to lean stuff on. Why can't he charge your Nintendo Switch? OK, I guess you can plug in your Switch as Crash gently cradles your device.

I'm sure fan-love for Crash will sell plenty of these hilarious device stands. For forty bucks, I'd rather buy a new 3DS game. But that's just me. I'm frugal, practical and angry that this isn't a $14.99 item! :)
April 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As we yearn for the latest Tomb Raider flick on DVD, cosplayer Megan Golden gives her take.

Cosplay adds an amazing element to comic and pop culture conventions across the globe!
You can check out more of Megan Golden's cosplay adventures on her Instagram account.

Megan Golden cosplay
April 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

On Record Store Day, I was much more interested in getting this AC/DC cassette

Record Store Day
This year, amidst the many vinyl special releases was a re-issue of AC/DC's Back In Black on cassette!
Each year I become more and more interested in the resurgence of vinyl, but Record Store Day feels like an event for the youth who've never relied on this medium to listen to music. for them, it's a lark. Having gone from Beta to VHS to LaserDisc to DVD and from vinyl all the way through CDs - I don't want to duplicate another collection on a medium from my childhood.

But I don't say this in a bad way. I love vinyl, as much as I still praise the quality of my Betamax, and am excited to see a new generation delving into it's crisp vibrant sound with today's modern bands. I'd never have thought that Metallica or TaylorSwift would ever be available on vinyl these days.

I grew up buying vinyl, just as 8-tracks were fading away in favor of cassette tapes. Even as a kid, I loved the vibrant sound of vinyl and recognized that pre-recorded cassette tapes did not sound nearly as good.

AC/DC Back In Black on cassette This realization led me to continue buying my favorite bands on records and treated my vinyl as archival treasures. Each Kiss, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and AC/DC album I purchased was played once. During that playing, I recorded it onto a cassette. The sound quality of a good cassette was fine with me and this preserved my beloved albums. If a tape failed or was "eaten" by my stereo, I'd re-record another one from the vinyl.

As I reached driving age, car stereos were a big deal. Everyone seemed to want a custom install with a big equalizer, power amp and a trunk full of big speakers. For me and my group of friends, we needed to crank Van Halen on the way to the arcade.

AC/DC On Record Store Day

A month or two ago, I discovered AC/DC's Back In Black was going to be re-issued on cassette for Record Store Day. Suddenly, I was excited about this vinyl holiday! I have all the albums I bough when I was a kid, so the cassette option sounded pretty cool.

I got up early this morning to head down to the local record store and seek out this treasure. A small line had formed by 7:50 am, but I was confident I could get a copy of Back in Black. they only had three copies, but I left with one of them along with a free RSD tote bag and pin. They even had a faux Derek Smalls record sleeve. Cool deal.

I don't know if I'll ever wind up playing my Back In Black cassette, but it brings me back to a pivotal era in my youth when this album swept through our school and everybody was crazy about this band.

I knew of a small record store that sold a lot of import albums and I was one of the few kids in school who owned all the AC/DC albums prior to Back In Black.

The Mall's New Arcade Prepares To Open

My craving for Back In Black on cassette took me down to the mall a few hours before any stores were open. With no way to control crowds, I took a walk around the dark silent mall that is usually full of energy... and lights. It was kind of creepy, but also wonderful! For months the arcade has been in the process of renovation to become a dining, lasertag, bowling, arcade destination - The Tenpin Eatery. Just days from opening, I noticed the barricades that had hidden their progress for months were down. The arcade was in full view!

I dashed down and ran into one of the owners, who I'd previously met through my job. He invited me in for a quick tour! This place is insanely awesome and I can't wait to resume capping off my workdays with a dose of arcade action!

Tenpin Eatery opening in the mall
April 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After procuring Night Trap for the PS4, Limited Run Games is releasing it on Switch this Summer

Night Trap for Nintendo's Switch
Will Night Trap for Nintendo Switch bring another huge onslaught of customers or will fans be able to easily buy a copy?
Last Summer, word of Night Trap's release for PS4 travelled far and wide causing a shortage when customers went to Limited Run Games' website. I lucked out and was able to buy a copy later during a surplus sale. I'd love to have a Switch copy, but we'll have to see how rabid the crowds are this Summer. Fingers crossed!
April 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Dropping her latest single between Coachella weekends put #Arichella on a desert stage

Ariana Grande at Coachella
Ariana sang No Tears Left to Cry in a surprise appearance at Coachella.
Ariana joined Norwegian DJ Kygo during his Coachella set where she sang Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing and her new single No More Tears Left to Cry live for the first time. It's a pretty cool song with an uplifting message we could all use in today's turbulent times.

Ariana Grande at Coachella
April 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Adult actor April O'Neil found a few pinball tables at Coachella

She even got a hight score on a Star Wars Pinball table #AO!.
April O'Neil playing pinball at Coachella April O'Neil playing pinball at Coachella.
April O'Neil playing pinball at Coachellar April O'Neil playing pinball at Coachella.

April 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's LABO is on retail shelves and far more clever than the moronic “cardboard” jokes

Nintendo's LABO display
If you compare Nintendo's strategy with their competitors, LABO is pure genius.
Nintendo's LABO is not your average Nintendo product and certainly a departure from most things gamers have come to expect from a game console. LABO is about building and creating. Sure, you ultimately get to prove your creations in a variety of mini games, but the journey is where this product shines.

The Trolls only see cardboard. Gamers see new opportunity in LABO!
When the concept was initially introduced by Nintendo, it was obvious that LABO had a very specific audience. Those outside that audience made it clear that they were highly intelligent, superior to all, and do not pay for cardboard. Those of us who think and live outside the box smirked at their stance knowing how innovative LABO woud be.

The trolls called it cardboard and tried to impress us by stating that they would not be paying for a box full of cardboard. LABO enables "video games" to enter into a broader area. You don't simply insert the game cartridge and sit on the couch battling foes and solving puzzles. It's an experience.

You have to build physical things from the cardboard templates. You must think and explore. The cardboard templates seem daunting but, combined with detailed instructions on your Switch's screen, each project takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete.

The engineering accuracy of the templates is inspiring!
Along the way the instructions are as much a learning guide to the device you're building as they are assembly instructions. The wonderful thing about LABO is how encompassing it is. This isn't the game you run off to play in quiet solitude. LABO is ideal for a family gathering or a bunch of friends. The more people the better. Ideas begin to fly as the group tackles each project. It's a very unique experience I've never seen from a game developer.

I think LABO will unite groups and let then discover the satisfaction of problem-solving in a group dynamic. Good fun for all. And just because you've completed the build... get out the markers and stickers to customize your creations!

LABO's Clever Tact

After the Wii U was derided and removed from the marketplace, fear set into the gaming world as gamers and Devs wondered if Nintendo's days were numbered. When the Switch was announced, there was trepidation. It sounded innovative - being a handheld and living room console - but it was unproven. The haters instantly jumped on it's stats and said it was underpowered like most of Nintendo's consoles. Yes, like other Nintendo consoles that were phenomenal successes, but haters don't think things out too far.

Nintendo's LABO piano After a year, the Switch's dominance and success is nearly unparalleled. Those Devs who were overly cautious are dying to get their games onto Nintendo's Switch. All those articles about it being underpowered, being a toy, have dried up. Most articles herald Nintendo's return from the Wii U's demise. But what have Sony and Microsoft done? They've done a lot, in fact.

Sony released the PS4 Pro with additional horsepower to drive their VR headset and growing game library. That gives us tow PS4 models to choose from. Microsoft went a similar direction and released a substantial processing upgrade to the Xbox One resulting in the Xox One X. Looking back at the confusion consumers seemed to have between the Wii and Wii U, how are Sony and Microsofts newest consoles fairing at retail?

While the other two went with hardware/processor upgrades, Nintendo opened the Switch up to an entirely different use. Piggybacking on the STEM movement, LABO brings a whole new way of thinking and building to video games. Groups of friends and family can join in to create the various buildables. Without altering any part of the Switch, Nintendo has given it an entirely new way to be used - from screen to Joycons. This is a very clever batch of cardboard.
April 17, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Dynamite Comics is taking you back to the 70's with Jill, Kelly and Sabrina for Charlie's Angels

Coming in June - The Angels are back!
Dynamite Comics Charlie's Angels Travel back to the swingin' 70s, and revisit the butt-kicking, crime-fighting, mold-breaking lady detectives who took 70s TV by storm, ready to do the same to comics 40 years later! Break out your bell-bottoms, feather your hair, and jump back to a era of peanut-farmer presidents, gargantuan gas-guzzlers and foxy female detectives... for a globe-trotting adventure that's simply too big and epic for the 70s-era boob tube.

It's written by Eisner winner and solicitation-writing former-superstar John Layman, and with art by Joe Eisma. I'm hoping this will bring back the spirit of the TV show!

April 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Here's a cool way to display your comic books, gaming mags or books

We've all seen comics in spinner racks, but have you ever thought of having one of your own, to display YOUR comics?
Classic Comic Book Spinner Rack Spinner Rack Several of my local grocery stores sell comics via spinner racks. We've all seen them in comic shops. they're those vertical metal racks that spin around holding numerous wire bins for comics or other printed items. Dontcha want one of your own? Jim Demonakos, founder or Emerald Comic Con, thinks you might and has a Kickstarter you should check out.

Classic Comic Book Spinner Rack I've never really looked into such a display rack, but I'm loving the idea of a commercial rack in my house. What a great way to display some of your collection!

Evoking a great feeling of nostalgia, the Classic Comic Book Spinner Rack Kickstarter offers a sturdy, well-constructed storage device. They mention extra-large ball-bearings to ensure a smooth spin, and it comes in either black or white. It's already funded, so sit back an await your storage rack.

I'm so accustomed to seeing such racks in stores, it never occurred to me that it would be a great juxtaposition in your game room or office. It fits a variety of sizes, so It seem capable of displaying gaming magazines in your game room. Lots of possibilities. Seeing such an iconic display outside it's typical haunts strikes me as a grand idea.

At home, I can see this as a wonderful conversation starter that doubles as an organizer. I'd love to put all my recent purchases into such a a rack making them easy to find and read unti they go into more permanent storage of sorts. Check out the Kickstarter campaign and see if this spinner rack would be a good display option for your comics, gaming mags... or both!
April 17, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

David Bowie metrocards are in demand as a NYC subway station is transformed into a clever tribute

Music fans flocked to the participating New York City subway stations to collect the various metrocards.
David Bowie metrocards Limited edition David Bowie Metrocards are in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum's David Bowie Is exhibit. They are available at at the Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker Street stations in Manhattan. The Broadway-Lafayette station was rife with Bowie images in large and small formats featuring some very clever installations.

Get them while you can since they only printed 250,000 cards, featuring 5 iconic images.

WDavid Bowie metrocards WDavid Bowie metrocards
April 17, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I love Wild Guns Reloaded on PS4 and I'm psyched to have it on Nintendo Switch now

A '95 SNES favorite that has had a wonderful multi-platform resurgence.
Wild Guns Reloaded for Nintendo Switch While randomly stumbling through social media, it came to my attention that Wild Guns Reloaded is available for Nintendo's Switch - and it seems to be a physical release! With new weapons, new stages, new characters, and two new game modes - exclusive to the Nintendo Switch - I don't feel as guilty for already buying it for PS4.

I suspect I'll be able to get over it. The Switch version sounds like it has enough add-ons to differentiate it from former releases.

The Switch e-Shop has Wild Guns Reloaded, but there is a lot of conflicting info about the physical release date. I suppose I'll have to trudge over to GameStop and see what they know about this. It'd be swell if it were sitting on the shelf awaiting my arrival, but we shall see.

It's funny how cautious devs were when the Switch was first release. Now, they can't move fast enough to get their games onto the Switch. The Wii U really poisoned a lot of folks, making the Switch's growing success so much sweeter. I'm glad to see Nintendo bounce back. with that said, I want Wild Guns Reloaded on a cart!

Wild Guns Reloaded for PS4 & Switch
April 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Iconic songs of The GoGos are featured in “Head Over Heels”, a musical comedy coming to Broadway

Previews of this Broadway musical, set to the GoGo's, begins in June.
I love the GoGos. They have so many feel-good songs that take me right back to the 80's! Coming in June is a Broadway musical, Head Over Heels, set to their iconic tracks. None of the band members are part of the cast or production, but that's a pretty cool honor.

Head Over Heels From the official website:
HEAD OVER HEELS is the fearlessly fresh new musical comedy from music legends The Go-Go's and the award-winning visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Next To Normal, American Idiot, Spring Awakening and Avenue Q.

An inspired mash-up of posh and punk, HEAD OVER HEELS is an unpredictable Elizabethan romp about a royal family that must prevent an oracle's prophecy of doom. In order to save their beloved kingdom, the family embarks on an extravagant journey where they are faced with mistaken identities, love triangles, sexual awakening and self-discovery.

Set to the iconic pop music of The Go-Go's-including the hit songs "We Got The Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Vacation" and many more-HEAD OVER HEELS delivers an experience unlike anything you've ever seen.
April 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Nickel World Arcade charges $2.50 admission with all games costing a nickel or set to free play

Nickel World Arcade
At 5 cents, you can't do much better than that at an arcade.
I saw an online mention of the Nickel World Arcade in Rockford, Il. Their 5¢ deal caught my eye along with the family-friendly ethic. It's nice to know such arcades still exist out there. While barcades are bringing back retro gaming arcades, these games need to be available to kids who might otherwise grow up thinking video games began with Microsoft.

Like most arcades, they need a slew of redemption games to keep the lights on, but they advertise over 20 video games and there are a few pics showing some of their classic games. I haven't visited Nickel World, but I get an old-school vibe from it that reminds me of arcades I discovered many (many many) Summers ago.

Whenever you can, support smaller establishments that are preserving an excellent part of arcade history. Such places can offer a quick jaunt into a time when video game arcades ruled the lands!

Nickel World Arcade games
April 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Isle Of Dogs is a wonderfully bizarre movie dedicated to a very specific sense of humor

There's too much going on to appreciate in one showing - see it twice!
Isle Of Dogs Some will watch Isle of Dogs once and be satisfied. Others will want to see several showing because there is so much going on... too much to appreciate in a single viewing. From Japanese to english and an interpretation of why we can understand barking dogs, the cast of humans and dogs interact spectacularly, each defining their character and place within the films overall plot.

The film's voice cast includes so many great actors: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Fisher Stevens, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Bob Balaban, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Frank Wood and Yoko Ono.

A young boy, Atari, is in search of his missing dog. Banished to Trash Island, dogs are no longer allowed on Japan's mainland. Famine and disease has not been kind to these animals, but they persevere.

Atari lands a plane on the island and Director Wes Anderson takes us on a stop-motion adventure that rigidly adheres to strict rules of humor. Deadpan doesn't begin to describe the adherence to this style of humor and storytelling.

Check it out - it's a lot of fun!

Isle Of Dogs - Atari Isle Of Dogs
April 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ninja I & II homebrew games, for Nintendo's NES, was successfully funded on Kickstarter

A 2-in-1 cart consisting of multiple events that challenge your reaction speeds, button mashing, and precise on-screen timing.
This game looks fast and fun. I'm mad I miscalculated the timing on their Ninja I & II Kickstarter campaign and missed it.

Ninja I & II, for NES
April 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With no relevance to retro gaming, you can never have too much of Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser

While pretending I'm not a wee bit obsessed with Yolandi, here's a pic that captures her larger-than-life stage presence.
Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser
April 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rampage isn't your typical “video game movie,” it delivers a fun action film

Rampage isn't your typical video game movie
The movie's villains have a Rampage arcade cabinet in their office, but there's no mention of the game itself. Just a fun action flick!
Rampage arcade game Video game themed movies have created a genre of film with very low expectations. Some are much worse than others, but the general feeling is pessimism at the outset. A common element to many of these films is their focus on gaming itself.

Rampage differs in that it takes the general storyline we know from the arcade game and delivers it as a movie. At no time does Dwayne Johnson need to drop a few more quarters to "get to the next level" nor does he require "power-ups". Johnson tweeted his conficence in Rampage and he was right!

Rampage is a fun action film. A bit over-the-top. A bit heartwarming. Good guys and villans. Monsters. It's not at all laden with lame video game references by Hollywood morons who've never been in an arcade.

The initial setup of the story is pretty cool and introduced the premise really well. They took time to introduce the characters without delving into a computer-generated atrocity. Having played (and loved) Rampage in arcades, it was fun to see the story unfold on the big screen.

Scenes set in the villain's office often gave quick glimpses of a Rampage arcade game in the corner. This was a nice subtle touch. Overall, I really enjoyed the film and I know this is one I'll watch often once it comes out on DVD. Give it a try - I think you'll find it atypical to most "video game" movies.

New Rampage Arcade Game in 2018

ew Rampage arcade game Apparently, Canadian arcade dev Adrenaline is creating a movie tie-in game that is rumored to be a Dave & Busters exclusive. There is little info about it other than it being a rail-shooter with a joystick and a button. More details will follow once the game is more widely released.

Adrenaline is known primarily for redemption games with moderate appeal. Behind the large screens and vibrant setups, the games are often more glitz than gameplay. However, we'll keep an eye out for it. Come on... it's RAMPAGE!

(Image via ArcadeCrusade on Instagram)

Play The Arcade Game Online

Rampage online I haven't seen a Rampage arcade game in the wild for quite some time... years and years to be honest. I'm a big fan of Rampage Total Destruction for the Wii with some interesting control features via the wiimote & nunchuck. Midway's Arcade Treasures features Rampage among others as well.

However, the easiest way to play is through the Rampage movie's website where they let you play Rampage online!
April 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

SEGA will be releasing a Mega Drive Mini console in Japan this year commemorating it's 30th anniversary

SEGA Megadrive Mini console
Known as the Genesis in my neck of the woods, it's unknown if/when SEGA's mini console will be released in other countries.
This article has been updated - see below.

Amidst recent rumors that SEGA wants to re-enter the hardware market, a mini console (similar to Nintendo's recent minis) will be released in Japan, as reported by Polygon and others. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Mega Drive (aka Genesis) the device takes a departure from the similar devices licensed to AtGames.

The AtGames Genesis console, typically caters to casual gamers seeking a nostalgia boost and contained about 90 games built in to the unit. Unlike AtGames Genesis console, the SEGA mini has no cartridge slot for playing original Genesis game carts. SEGA's mini console replicates the look of the original console, but lacks the cartridge slot, making it quite similar to Nintendo's recent mini NES & SNES models.

At this time we don't know when it wil be released in other countries, nor what games may be included. This seems to be a very preliminary announcement since we don't even know how many games it will contain. AtGames devices have trained us to expect 80 to 100 built-in games, but Nintendo's minis delivered far fewer titles. Nintendo's success may change the standard and incline SEGA to release a mere 20 or 30 titles too.

There's a fair amount of mystery considering how the press is touting this as a SEGA announcement. A device of this kind, would ordinarily come with a lot more info, especially if it will be ready to ship in Japan in 2018. One would think more info would be available at such an announcement.

Stay tuned. More info has to be forthcoming and we're confident the big media outlets will beat it out of SEGA. This could be an interesting Christmas if Nintendo, SEGA, and AtGames all push consoles to market. Many of us purchased Nintendo mini consoles and will likely be eager to try SEGA's new entry. Where will this leave AtGames?

SEGA Megadrive Mini console Updated a few hours later:
AtGames chimed in via twitter stating their "technology" will be driving SEGA's mini console and that it would see wider release toward the end of the year. Regarding the background technology (presumable the emulation) they hint at a new technology stating it will be used in AtGames consoles as well. In a follow-up, AtGames said other versions will have a cartridge slot, despite the lack of one on the Japanese release. The Holiday season is looking more and more interesting!
April 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sandlot's 25th anniversary reunion without Wendy Peffercorn... is not a reunion

Sandlot's 25th anniversary reunion
It's pretty cool that all these guys got together 25 years later... but they needed Marley Shelton!
Naturally, I missed it, but the Sandlot reunion seems to have been the brainchild of the Today Show who assisted with the reunion. It seems the reunited cast did the reunion tour with a variety of news and entertainment outlets.

I discovered it through a batch of Twitter posts which led to a reenactment of the "pool scene" by The Chive. recalling that scene makes me wonder where Marley Shelton was during this event. Wendy Peffercorn was certainly a significant role in this 1993 classic! It makes me think about other reunions I'd like to see... and few I could do without ;)

If you feel like reminiscing, check out the new collector's edition DVD and Blu-ray of "The Sandlot", released in honor of the film's 25th anniversary.

Sandlot's 25th anniversary reunion

The Chive's Sandlot pool scene reenactment

Popular website, The Chive, remade the "pool scene" and it's a pretty convincing reenactment with a convincing "Wendy". But you may want to overlook the middle-aged guys making up the rest of the cast. But they did a nice tribute to a scene that almost rivals Phoebe Cates in Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

April 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Alyssa Milano has used her celebrity to become an effective activist, having created Hactivist

It's refreshing to see a celebrity actually doing something to effect change rather than simply complaining.
Alyssa Milano - activist I'll always remember Alyssa Milano from "Who's The Boss" and "Charmed", but her activism is something I'm enjoying in much the same manner. She's a powerhouse and seems full of good ideas that she's successfully rallied people around and made significant impact.

After her Hactivist graphic novels came out, it seemed to release her own inner activist. The first came out in 2014 followed by volume 2 in 2016. Was she testing the waters for her own desire to make a difference? It's an odd coincidence, but I'd guess she was heading down a path and took a creative approach to experimenting in activism. Great books - buy 'em!

Then there's the stark reality the the President of the United States finds it appropriate to slander someone with the best school-yard slang he could muster. Everything he says and does shows how uneducated he is. Between Mueller and Milano, I hope his days are numbered! Follow Alyssa's ideologies on her Twitter account.

Alyssa Milano - activist
April 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The UK sets an example for repurposing abandoned Toys R Us stores... after-hours raves

Alas, the police arrested several people and confiscated their sound system.
Two weeks ago, some enterprising folks, in West London, decided it was a shame for an abandoned Toys R Us to go unused. They thought it was a great location for an after-hours rave. I have to admire their thinking. All abandoned buildings should be used as such.

I'd love to attend a rave in an old Toys R Us, but I have selfish reasons. In the late 90s we were still able to find boxed Atari 2600 games on TRU shelves. We'd cozy up to an employee and kindly ask if they had any more of these "old games" in the store room. Very often they did!

I'm sure all the Atari product that once existed in Toys R Us inventory is long gone, but I would definitely hit up a TRU rave if it gave me access to the former store room. I wouldn't be able to pass up the chance to strike Atari gold in a forgotten corner of the back room. I'll miss Toys R Us for many reasons going back to my childhood and forward to my son's. Finding old Atari games was grand!

After-hours rave at an abandoned Toys R Us
April 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

I guess we're going to see a lot of selfies with the inclusion of a grilled cheese sandwich.
Yet another faux-holiday that leaves me wondering why? I don't ned an excuse to fire up a grilled cheese sandwich and I don't really take comfort in knowing many others are doing the same. I'm actually cooking chicken for dinner and plan on playing a few old Atari games. Enjoy your celebration!

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!
April 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GTA V is not only the most profitable video game... it's the most profitable entertainment product ever

Grand Theft Auto
I didn't get into GTA until the last few years and tend to forget how many consoles and computers it has spanned.
Grand Theft Auto has been a huge success for Rock Star Games. It has been released on every Sony platform starting with the original PlayStation in 1997. Early on it found it's way onto Nintendo's Game Boy color and Game Boy Advance. With the meteoric rise of the Switch... might it end up on Nintendo's new hybrid console? Microsof has also hosted the game on both Windows an Xbox platforms.

Lately I've seen several articles touting the GTA V release as the most profitable entertainment product ever, not just best selling video game. That's big! Debuting in 2013 it has been estimated to have earned $6 Billion since its release! No book, movie, album, or video game has achieved this and analysts revealing these figures don't see this title slowing down. GTA V is a hit!
April 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Mega Man Legacy Collections are coming to Switch, but still as two separate games

Mega Man Legacy Collections for Switch
Certainly both collections could have fit on one PS4 release, but the Switch release will be one cart and a DL code.
I was excited for Capcom's Mega Man Legacy games when announced for the PS4 and promptly bought them both. At the time I wished they were all on a single game dic, but I understood the profit implications of two games rather than one. I can't be surprised to see a similar release strategy for Nintendo's Switch. The first volume will be released on a cartridge with a download code for the second volume. I'm sure this will spike sales of SD cards.

Mega Man Legacy Collections for Switch I was late to purchase a PS4, but still wanted to check out the next level of gaming available on the platform. I soon discovered there were many retro games available for the platform. I began by buying the 2 Atari collections from AtGames and several offered by Limited Run Games.

As my PS4 game collection grew, I had far more retro titles than modern games. I'd bought the console to experience the latest tech, but wound up buying the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy, Bubsy, and Shante - among others. I've enjoyed the console, but rumors of a PS5 release make me hope there's still a few years left in the PS4 lifecycle.

The Switch has certainly proven itself over it's first year, but after the Wii U failure, initially it wasn't a sure thing. Now, everyone wants to have their game on the Switch. Those complaining about processor speed and frame-rates have faded away and are eager to put their games on the platform regardless of specs. It's laughable to see the change in stance once the Switch began to dominate. Now that so many retro-style games are coming to Switch, I should stop buying them for PS4.

I"ll try to focus my PS4 purchases on modern games and keep my retro-inspired purchases for Nintendo's Switch. We'll see how that works out as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy sets to release in the Fall.
April 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I could go for Denny's Bacon Cheddar Tots and a pack of Solo trading cards

Denny's is offering packs of Solo trading cards along with collector-cups and menu items inspired by the film.
Denny's Solo trading cards It was Star Wars Episode One that last had me snatching collectibles from local fast food restaurants. I kinda miss those days, but I also have more than enough pop-culture clutter festooned around my house. But Solo: A Star Wars Story trading cards? They don't take up much space :)

I love toys and ramdom merchandise associated with huge movie releases. It stirs up the fun and I'm a sucker for this sort of stuff. There are 12 cards in total created by Topps and are sold in packs of 2 with an included coupon.

I don't have a Denny's anywhere near me. If I did, I'm certain I'd be ordering up packs of these dards and sucking down Blaster fire Burgers and Bacon Cheddar Tots. If you have a Denny's nearby, stop in for some trading cards or take a look online at Denny's Website.

Denny's Solo trading cards Denny's last foray into space was with Atari and a number of mobile games - Hashteroids for example.
April 8, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Attempting crowd funding since 2013, the OTON game console persists and now you can buy a t-shirt

Oton game console mock-up
Now called the OTON Infinity, this console has been floundering and scamming for years evolving into bigger better non-existant hardware.
Back in 2013, I was unfamiliar with Engeniux and their OTON game console. Touted as a console that could self-create it's own video games, I likened it to a Salad Shooter rather than game development. It was later described as having a "floating orb" that would hover over you as you played games. In short, it became very silly, very fast.

OTON t-shirt Enveloped in marketing palaver, there was almost enough info to make it seem feasible, but never seemed to get beyond rendered images. It's claims are so huge it often seems as though they think over-the-top specs and claims will supplant the need for a prototype or proof-of-concept.

"Trust us... it w'll work" Um... OK. No!

So, now they have t-shirts and hoodies with the OTON logo. It's called the OTON Infinity Apparel Collection. Go to the store. Click a button and they begin with obtaining your credit card or PayPal info. I guess you can select your size... later? That seems odd. I don't have confidence they could sell me a t-shirt let alone a deep-thinking game console.

Even the "text" on the website isn't actually text. All their textual info are resented as images - PNG files displaying the text. That makes it harder to record and share. Its just another oddity arising from Engeniux's one-man-shop who touts amazing claims of technical brilliance without proof. His ideas sound great, but this isn't a scifi novel, its his marketing plan... or is it?

I'm fascinated by his perseverance because it indicates someone is willing to put money into this project. I can create a computer/game console overnight with a Raspberry Pi. Why are folks following the OTON when it continues to not deliver a prototype or actual games. Has anyone successfully purchased a t-shirt?
April 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As my local arcade transitions into a new dining & gaming destination, the old location looks bleak

The arcade will reopen nearby in a few weeks, but right now it's hard to see it empty.
Having an arcade at the mall has been great. While primarily catering to redemption and modern games, they still have a great selection that keeps me bouncing between Time Crisis 3, Jurassic Park, Space Invaders Frenzy, and a multicade full of retro titles. I can't resist stoping in when I'm in the area or shopping for something. There's always time for a game or two!

They rotate new games into the mix and change up the floor plan often to keep it fresh. It's well run. They partnered with a local restaurant to create an eatery with bowling, laser tag, and the arcade. With lavish plans for a true entertainment destination, they had to close down the current space to move the games to their new home... across the hall.

A Reminder From The Past

Even as my favorite childhood arcades closed, I never saw the stark difference when the lights and sounds from dozens of attraction modes faded to an empty space. As much as I hate to see this former space looking so bleak, I know it will soon be resurrected in a bigger better format. That's quite a change from when arcades were going out of business on a weekly basis. This is a reminder of times gone by with a much better outcome when the arcade springs to life again in a few weeks.

This scene below was very common when my childhood arcades closed down. Finding an arcade today with any sort of retro gaming is rare. I'm lucky to live in an area with a pretty good selection of classic arcade games. I can hardly wait for the new location to open it's doors!

My local arcade transitions into restaurant and entertainment destination Last week...
My local arcade transitions into restaurant and entertainment destination
April 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ready Player One has brought out the e-Bay scammers touting Atari's Adventure game as a rarity

Ready Player One has renewed interest in Atari's Adventure
Don't believe the scammers - Atari's Adventure video game is not rare!
Ready Player One offered a useful lesson about video games that has eroded as gaming changed over the decades. When I first discovered Space Invaders at a local bowling alley in the late 70s, I was delighted to see how far I could get on a quarter. This led to more quarters. Video games rode a fine line between engaging gamers to drop more quarters and frustrating them. Games back then didn't end. You didn't beat them. We all knew death was certain.

Sears Tele-Games version of Atari's Adventure Sure some elite pixel warriors could achieve insanely high scores, some of which caused the actual game to fail and generate infamous kill-screens. Most of us we tried to have as much fun as we could until our lives were no more. We didn't mind dying all the time - those games were addictive and insanely fun.

Today, most games have endings. You beat the game and move on to the next. While I enjoy many modern games, I can't imagine beating games like Missile Command, Berzerk, or Defender... and never playing them again! Hell no! These games were tough, but they were so much fun. And they're still fun today.

Gaming Should Be Fun!

Ready Player One drove home the notion that video games should be about the joy of playing the games, not bragging rights after beating a game. While it is satisfying to beat a game, one hopes the journey provides a lot of enjoyment and that the game will still have re-play value.

Ready Player One used Atari's Adventure game to highlight the joy of playing games despite the outcome. This has brought the Aventure game to the front of people's minds and e-Bay is full of opportunities to buy the game. While the Sears Tele-Games release of Adventure is harder to find the cartridge most of us see sells between $5 and $10. Some e-Bay sellers dispute this with pricing from $30 to over $100!

If you simply want the cartridge for nostalgic satisfaction, shop around and don't let scammers tell you it's super-rare or that Ernest Cline licked the cart. He didn't and it's likely worth $5.
April 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Later this Fall, the Nintendo Switch is getting The “SNK 40th Anniversary Collection” of 80s arcade classics

The SNK 40th Anniversary Collection
I can't wait for a dose of SNK's 1980s arcade games for Switch!
News came today at Pax East from game publisher NIS America of an SNK compilation game cartridge for Nintendo Switch - SNK 40th Anniversary Collection. Due out in the Fall, this compilation will consist of more than a dozen SNK arcade titles (some console versions will be included with the arcade originals) at 1080p along with a history lesson via SNK Museum.

This sounds like a great collection of games that may grow bigger as it's release date approaches. We've already seen some later SNK titles on Switch from Hamster. This is a great addition and I love that it's coming to Nintendo's Switch! Retro gaming is so vibrant these days and It's great to see amazing titles from decades ago coming to modern consoles.

  1. Alpha Mission (console/arcade)
  2. Athena (console/arcade)
  3. Crystalis (console)
  4. Ikari Warriors (console/arcade)
  5. Ikari Warriors 2: Victory Road (console/arcade)
  6. Ikari Warriors 3: The Rescue (console/arcade)
  7. Guerrilla War (console/arcade)
  8. P.O.W. (console/arcade)
  9. Prehistoric Isle in 1930 (arcade)
  10. Psycho Soldier (arcade)
  11. Street Smart (arcade)
  12. TNK III (console/arcade)
  13. Vanguard (arcade)

I have to say of all the games listed - with the premise of more being added before the Fall launch - I love that Vanguard is included! Before I get my hopes up, I'm already seeing some discrepancies beween various game lists and which arcade games also have their console ports included. The news came today, so I'm sure the specs will be ironed out soon. Please let there be Vanguard :)

There is also a Limited Edition of the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection. In addition to the video game, it includes the "Nostalgic Music Collection" Soundtrack, "40th Anniversary Art Collection" Hardcover Art Book, and a Collector's Box.

The SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Limited Edition
April 5, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

These OverWatch hoodies from Jinx are pretty slick - all characters to be included in 2018

These Overwatch hoodies look pretty sharp!
We're big fans of Bastion, so It's very cool that Jinx is bringing out all the characters! I'm a big fan of burly heavy-weight fabrics when it comes to hoodies. Too often I see thin flimsy garments dumped on the market for quick money - which cheats the fans. These hoodies from Jinx look heavy and feature a zip-up front. I'm hoping they're as heavy duty as they look.

OverWatch hoodies
April 4, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Long ago, this Los Angeles realtor was the girl behind The Knack's “My Sharona”

There really was a Sharona
There really was a girl named Sharona behind the megahit song on The Knack's debut album!
Sharona Alperin I love that song. My Sharona. Actually, The Knack's 1979 debut album, Get The Knack, was a great album. It's full of memorable songs, but My Sharona from it's beat to that mysterious name, was epic. I remember listening to it decades ago when everyone was listening to it.

The Knack's lead singer Doug Fieger wrote the song for Sharona Alperin, a teenager who would later become his girlfriend. Their relationship didn't last, but they did stay in touch over the years up to Fieger's death in 2010. She became somewhat of a celebrity in her own right, but not everyone knew it. She is the model on the cover of the single "My Sharona" wearing the iconic tank top and jeans,with the album under her arm.

Today she is a realtor in Los Angeles. In an interview she recalls the first time she heard her name in that infamous song. So, if I were in her shoes, I'd have that song playing in the background - everywhere I went - everywhere. Always. How cool is it that there really is a Sharona behind that song!?!
April 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As liquidation continues, Toys R Us shuts down their e-commerce, suggesting shoppers visit a local store

This was inevitable as the process of closing draws closer.
I went to my local Toys R Us last week and the prices were still obscenely high and have decided I don't need to go back. The whole process is sad, but there's an undertone of greedy executives cashing in on a bad situation.

Toys R Us shuts down their e-commerce website
April 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When Heston rounded the corner and saw Lady Liberty, my mind was blown... and here we are in 2018

The fall of the toy giant brings a similar sense of disbelief as I realize all those good times are just memories now.
I love this meme. The shock I felt the first time I saw Planet of the Apes and realized what it meant - mind blown. As an adult, I can feel the sam sense of disbelief as I pass by Toys R Us and see "Liquidation Sale" signs posted in all the windows.

Toys R Us Planet Of The Apes mashup
April 2, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Thimbleweed Park is coming to Nintendo's Switch as the first release via Limited Run Games

Thimbleweed Park
Having released many amazing games as physical discs for PS4, Limited Run Games now has their first Switch release on cartridge!
I love what Limited Run Games does for game collectors. I love game cartridges from my Atari era. In today's modern era of gaming, physical games are on the decline. From books to music and games, I want my own physical copy. I've discovered a lot of great games from indie game developers who can't afford full physical releases. Limited Run Games has been releasing these gems for PS4 ad Vita (predominantly).

Thimbleweed Park is their first game release on the Nintendo Switch! They've releases some great titles on PS4 from Xeodrifter to N++ and Night Trap. I'm really looking forward to the games they will now be bringing to the Switch!

About Thimbleweed Park from the Limited Run Games website:
October 15, 1987. A dead body is rotting under the bridge, but the 81 (sorry, make that 80) inhabitants of the once proud town of Thimbleweed Park have bigger concerns. The town's founder recently died under mysterious circumstances. The hotel appears to be haunted. A giant slice of pizza roams the streets. And something sinister is going on behind the locked gate of the burned-out pillow factory at the edge of town -- something that could consume us all.

Five people with nothing in common have been drawn to this weird, rundown place. They don't know it yet, but they're deeply connected. And they're being watched.

If you love games on carts and discs, check these guys out. I've bought several games and the quality is great and they are prompt and reliable. I'm really excited to see what games they'll bring to Switch!
April 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hyperkin chimes in on April Fools Day to say they're not joking - the Retron77 is coming

Hyperkin's Retron77
Who knows why Hyperkin would choose April Fools Day to reaffirm the coming Retron77 console.
Hyperkin's Retron77 I've been pretty excited about Hyperkin's Retron77 - an Atari 2600 compatible game console. The primary features are HDMI output for modern TVs and a cartridge slot for your old game carts. For all the clones in the marketplace, the 2600 has all but been ignored, so this would be an amazing addition to the retro gaming community.

In all the info I've seen, this seems to be only compatible with ATari 2600 games. The main selling point of the Atari 7800 was it's backward compatibility with 2600 carts. It seems odd that Hyperkin wouldn't follow suite and offer 7800 compatibility as well.

I suspect they are using an emulator, as opposed to an FPGA. This would limit them to 2600-only gameplay. Either way, it's exciting to hear from Hyperkin and know that they have an email list to alert customers when the Retron77 per-orders are available.

As odd as the April Fool's Day timing seems to be, I still signed up. Gotta have one of these! Check out the Hyperkin website for sign up info.
April 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Even though books are always better than their film adaptations, Ready Player One was a lot of fun

Ready Player One
I really liked Ready Player One and thought they did a nice job bringing it to the big screen.
I recently re-read Ernest Cline's Ready Player One novel in preparation for the film release. As an avid Stephen King fan, I know that good writing always bests a film adaptation, but Cline's book seemed a great fit for a big-screen adventure. Spielberg did a great job with this film.

Like the book, the film is full of 80s references and pop culture. Even the soundtrack looks promising with bands from Van Halen to Twisted Sister! The screenplay was written by Cline and Zak Penn who you may remember from the Atari landfill documentary, Atari: Game Over.

Ready Player One scoreboard
April 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With a spec script written, another installment of Bill & Ted should be Hollywood's top priority

Bill and Ted
I'd love to see another Bill & Ted Movie, but I wish it had been accomplished before George Carlin's passing.
I think we all deserve to know the final fate of Wyld Stallyns and the only way to do it justice is to make another installment of Bill & Ted. Both Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves seem to be onboard. These guys need another excellent adventure! It seems as though a third Bill & Ted movie is closer to reality than ever.

Bill and Ted 3

Bill and Ted A third installment of Bill & Ted would have to be accompanied by a new video game! Previously Bill & Ted games were released for the PC, Nintendo Game Boy & NES, as well as the Atari Lynx!

Imagine what the San Dimas dudes could do in an adventure unleashed on the Switch or PS4
April 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Easter is no exception for Miley Cyrus' desire to always do things her way

Miley Cyrus wins Easter
Miley Cyrus wins Easter with this Vogue Magazine photoshoot!
As a fan of Miley's music and attitude, I've always admired her ability to do things her way and not conform to a world full of standards. She's no follower!

Miley Cyrus wins Easter Miley Cyrus' Easter photoshoot with Vogue Magazine
Miley Cyrus wins Easter Miley Cyrus' Easter photoshoot with Vogue Magazine

Happy Easter to one and all!
April 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

New York state's highest court says Lindsay Lohan is no Lacey Jonas from GTAV

Lindsay Lohan still thinks she's Lacey Jonas
It's hard to believe Lohan has pursued this nonsense since 2014, taking her claim to higher courts.
Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, pursuing the deranged motion that a character in Grand Theft Auto 5 constituted an unlawful use of her likeness, has ended in New York state's highest court. But we're sure she'll find another court to pitch her case.

This dumb story keeps popping up each time a court tells Lindsay Lohan to stop wasting their time. Months pass ans she continues to find ways to put her ludicrous claims before another judge.She started this odd lawsuit back in 2014!

My favorite part of this odd tale is the photo we always see of the "incriminating" likeness. It's a cropped photo of Lohan. If you see the original, she's wearing an ankle-monitor from one of her other legal altercations.