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Second Quarter 2018 - April, May, June

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

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April 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

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.
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.
Miley Cyrus wins Easter 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 909 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 Gameboy color and Gameboy 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
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.
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