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 2019 - April, May, and June

Just when you think there can't possibly be any more innovation in retro gaming, a new creation, concept, or development arises. Even forty-year-old game consoles are seeing products and titles added to their ranks. We love tracking down these gems. Join us and explore the ever evolving realm of retro gaming!

June 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

June 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'll be crushed if Yesterday isn't an original film concept. Absolutely loved it!

With nearly every Hollywood film being a reboot or re-make, originality is scarse in the film industry. I hope Yesterday is an original!
Taylor Swift does not own her first six albums
June 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The sell off of Taylor Swift's master tapes is also an interesting lesson in physical media

Taylor Swift does not own her first six albums
The insidious greed of the music industry needs to end. Artists must be treated fairly and equally, having ownership of their own works!
The recent sale of Taylor Swift's master tapes brought several aspects of the music industry to an ugly light. Amidst the outrage from Swift and rebuttals from music executives and fans on both sides of the allegations - the music industry is apparently little more than a greed-driven shit-show. Can you believe Taylor Swift with all her success and power, does NOT own her own music? This came to light as her former record label was acquired by another, thus transferring Swift's back catalog to the new owner.

Swift was quick to jump on social media to give her take on the situation. I have no opinions on who is right or wrong and I have no idea what sort of deviant chaos occurred behind the scenes. The point I've taken from this mess is most artists still don't own their own songs. They were forced to give up those rights for the elusive "record deal," a common trick in the music industry.

Ownership should always be about a tangible product. No streaming. No clouds.
Whether you like Taylor's music or not, she has done a lot for equality in the music industry. Remember when she pulled all her music from Spotify to protest low artist royalties? She's done a lot to benefit all artists, not just herself.

The benefits of streaming come after other means have run their course. Streaming pays so little, it makes sense for huge artists like Taylor hold off on streaming new music and let physical media and other bundles run their course. In the short term the benefits are great for the artists. Once streaming takes over, corporations are the winners - not artists.

A Lesson In PHysical Media

In the case of music, I don't stream. To me it's a commercial hassle that doesn't cater to the way I enjoy music. I still love CDs and the concept of an ordered album. I'm not into the chaotic nonsense of playlists and such. In the case of streaming, the convenience of it primarily benefits the corporate execs behind the service. The artist is left collecting pennies for their amazing creativity. I prefer the Pay Once, Play Forever model that gives me a physical CD and the ability to play it any time, any way I choose. This gives the artist a better return and starves the stream. I love CDs and have never streamed music.

A lot of things can happen to digital and cloud based media. I'm not just talking about music. A lot of behind the scenes things can happen to your favorite movies and video games too. Patches to games often fix things, but sometimes the game is altered in a way that changes your interest in it. Netflix removes movies all the time. We're being taught to like what you're given. No thanks! If I want to watch Fast Times At Ridgemont High at 2:00 am I'm going to do so regardless of Netflix scheduling or my internet providers data-cap.

Can you really own something that can't be held or touched?
When your only claim to ownership is "use," it's more like a lease or rental. Maybe the streaming service goes down or your media is deleted by someone else's authority. When control is taken from you, ownership becomes a whole different concept. You can "own" something as long as it's convenient and profitable for the host (seller).

How many servers have been shuttered for video games you still enjoy playing. I wonder if gaming servers are ever "shuttered" to prompt gamers to buy the newer version of the game or even a new game console. Greed is a dangerous thing. It may have worked for Gorden Gekko, but more often than not, the consumer loses.

I still oen the first CD I bought - Ozzy's Blizzard of Oz. Similarly, I still have my copy of Eraser on DVD that I bought when the first wave of DVDs arrived on retail shelves. I've enjoyed these two pieces of media countless times for the initial cost of purchase. I've never paid any additional money to have enjoyed them for the past two decades +.

Physical media protects what you pay for and doesn't demand more money the second or forty-second time you play it!

Taylor Swift does not own her first six albums Cloud-based streaming does not adequately support artists and robs the consumer of true ownership!
June 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

On-stage and off, Miley Cyrus is a force to be reckoned with

At the Glastonbury Festival she did a Metallica cover, brought out lots of guests, played her new music, and even appears as Ashley O!
You just can't underestimate Miley Cyrus. Bangerz brought out the ultimate end to Hannah Montana, but Younger Now sidestepped that whole vibe and presented a calm collected Miley. That was swell, but the swelling's gone and I was hoping her recent She Is Coming EP would welcome back that wild child from the Bangerz era.

It did. Big-time.

Miley performed several covers from Led Zeppelin to Metallica, offered her POV on the status of Earth, and performed On A Roll as Ashley O, her character from the Black Mirror season 5 episode Rachel, Jack and Ashley, Too. She's an exciting performer and I'm glad she's out raising Hell!

Miley Cyrus at the Glastonbuy Festival
Miley Cyrus at the Glastonbuy Festival
June 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Super Mario Maker 2 has arrived for Switch, but I'm not sure my Wii U experience will garner another sale

I loved the idea of bilding a Mario world, so I gave it a whirl on the Wii U.
Mario Maker 2 released today for Nintendo Switch. I watched the trailer, read up on it's features, but something was bugging me about it.

I'm sure some of you began your quest to build an insane Mario world on the Wii U. My son and I gave it a try and it was fun initially, but building was a bit more of a task than we'd anticipated. It's a uniques style of game - not for everyone.

Space Invaders frenzy advertising mode
June 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Overwatch: The Official Cookbook, has over 90 recipes inspired by Overwatch's heroes and world

Overwatch: The Official Cookbook, has over 90 recipes
I've never wondered what Bastion might eat in his off time, but this cookbook attempts to offer answers.
Author Chelsea Monroe-Cassel has written several cookbooks similar to her upcoming (October 1, 2019) Overwatch: The Official Cookbook. Each one relies mostly on clever naming and descriptions to liken various meals to Game Of Thrones or World Of Warcraft. It's a fun idea if like to cook and have exhausted all other fandoms items. Get a cookbook!

I think my culinary interests might align more with a classic gaming cookbook. But would Joust inspire an ostrich recipe or can we really know what Galagans like to eat? How about all those humanoids running around the cities of Defender - what sort of food do they like while avoiding Landers?

The truth is, I'm not imaginative enough to pull off such a tome. Overwatch: The Official Cookbook sounds like good quirky fun and adds a creative outlet for those trying to pair the perfect snack with their gaming session. It will be out this Fall for about $35 for the hardcover release... keep an eye out.

Below are a few recipes from Chelsea Monroe-Cassel's Overwatch cookbook.

Orisa Sundae recipe Overwatch: The Official Cookbook - Orisa Sundae recipe.
Radioactive Lemon-Lime Soda Float recipe Overwatch: The Official Cookbook - Radioactive Lemon-Lime Soda Float recipe.

June 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Star Wars repros coming to Game Boy and NES, on actual cartridges, via Limited Run Games

Star Wars repro coming to Game Boy via Limited Run Games
They're also releasing Star Wars Bounty Hunter for PS4!
Limited Run Games has partnered with Lucasfilm Games to release classic Star Wars video games on physical media for a variety of platforms. The first of these games are coming to Sony's PS4 (Star Wars Bounty Hunter) and the classic Star Wars game for Game Boy and NES on June 28th.

Not long ago we bought Golf Story's Galf game for the NES on an actual cart from LRG. Lots of fun and we hoped there would be more. Well, here they are.... more, in the form of Star Wars games on carts. I'm excited to see how these repros turn out!

Star Wars repro coming to NES via Limited Run Games Some people have complained that the originals can be found for less than the $40 asking price, but Limited Run Games are releasing them in blister packs, with authentic 9" x 6" card, that preserve the packaging for play and display. There are also some Collector's Editions at
June 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out Lithobreakin' the latest EP from Alpha Chrome Yayo, exceeding the RDA of far out cosmic electro-funk

Lithobraking - to crash a spacecraft into the surface of a body, without measures to ensure survival.
Alpha Chrome Yayo's latest release can be previewed on Bandcamp and the EP arrives June 28. We've given it a listen and encourage you to dash off to buy a needed dose of the wildest synth-laden, booty shakin' tracks to voyage across the funkiverse!

Lithobreakin' is inspired in almost equal parts by the interstellar grooves of Zapp and Roger, vintage Sega Mega Drive title Toejam and Earl, and the surprisingly sexy world of astrophysics. I've pilfered many of ACY's descriptors in my brief mention here, because the dexterity and flow of his music surges forth in the same way his written word elicits your keen attention.

How can you resist? We love what he does and hope you'll check out his new EP Lithobreakin' on Bandcamp.

Get ready the new Berlin album Transcendance Alpha Chrome Yayo is a Belfast-based producer and musician, specializing in axe-laden cinematic synthwave.
June 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you loved Berlin in the 80s and remember 'The Metro' or 'Sex (I'm a...)' get ready for - Transcendance

Get ready the new Berlin album Transcendance
They were such an iconic band for me in the 80s with a vibe that still works today!
I remember cranking Berlin's Sex (i'm a ...) in my buddy's Camero back in the 80s on our way out to conquer the night. Pleasure Victim is such an amazing debut LP! Their iconic songs still give me the chills today. They've periodically released albums in the past, but the band is back for a 40th anniversary tour and a new album! Coming out in July 2019, Transcendance will be the latest addition to their catalog.

Berlin's Terri Nunn In addition to the new album, Berlin will be on tour with The B-52's and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark in August and September!

From the Berlin website:
This Los Angeles-based synth pop group, founded by bassist John Crawford, singer Terri Nunn, and keyboard player David Diamond, made its first national impression with the provocative single "Sex (I'm A...)" from the gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim in 1982. The group was filled out by guitarist Rick Olsen, keyboard player Matt Reid, and drummer Rob Brill.

Berlin's first full-length LP was the gold Love Life in 1984. In 1985, the group was pared down to a trio of Crawford, Nunn, and Brill. Berlin topped the charts in 1986 with the single "Take My Breath Away," the love theme from the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun.

June 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

More Arcades should utilize Space Invaders Frenzy's advertising feature during attract-mode

This game can display up to three different images during attract-mode!
Raw Thrills built a pretty cool feature into Space Invaders Frenzy. With it's large screen, wouldn't you love to be able to use the game's attract-mode to showcase your arcade or advertise a special? You can! There's a page in the instruction manual detailing the specs and settings.

I've seen only one arcade utilize this feature, but all they did was put their own logo on-screen. It's a cool effect on the big screen, but as a barcade with a restaurant, I'm sure there are some meal specials that could be listed!

We have a restaurant/bowling/arcade place with a Space Invaders Frenzy and they could get so many uses out of this advertising mode. They have meal specials all the time as well as events, even live music. That big Raw Thrills screen could be doing a lot of good for the business.

Space Invaders frenzy advertising mode
June 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Stoked that Iggy Azalea is making a comeback with In My Defense and this album cover

Loving her new singles and wish Iggy the best with her upcoming album!
In 2014 I loved her single "Fancy" with Charli XCX. It was such a moment for both of them. I remember seeing them both perform it outside on one of theNational US morning news shows that summer.

I love the mixtape releases Charli XCX has done and am glad Iggy is taking off with her new music. In My Defense drops on July 19th. I'm not into all the Music-wars. I'm just glad to have more songs from artists I enjoy an respect.

Iggy Azalea's new album In My Defense
June 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ozzy Osbourne is voicing the part of Thrash in the Trolls World Tour movie

I want to see how this film opportunity was presented to Ozzy!
I didn't see the first Trolls movie and I'm pretty sure I'll skip the World Tour sequel, but I am interested in the behind the scenes meetings that put Ozzy Osbourne in the role of Thrash. With the films musical theme, I'm sure folks wanted to get some actual musicians into some roles. If you've seen The Osbournes reality show, does that help or hurt Ozzy's chances?

After his long stint with Black Sabbath and his illustrious solo career, he's eminently qualified to be the Troll Kink of Rock. While the movie doesn't interest me, the BTS footage on the Blu-Ray release might be fun if they capture some of the footage that made Ozzy's reality show more fun than it should have been. I'm dying to see Ozzy's audition, although I doubt he had to. Yeah, I'm down for the behind the scenes with Ozzy as Troll King - good stuff!

Ozzy Osbourne is voicing the part of Thrash in the Trolls World Tour movie
June 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariana Grande is the youngest female artist to make $2 million from a single US arena date

Will this revenue be possible when artists shift to streaming singles rather than releasing cohesive albums?
Ariana Grande generated 2 million dollars at one show At The Forum in Inglewood she grossed $2,149,419 with an audience of 14,417 people. This info was posted by Pop Crave on Twitter and IG. Yes, I'm aware this is a gross figure not her personal take for the night. Still, that's an astounding amount of money for a single date on a world tour. Granted she's immensely popular, but... wow!

That's just a crazy amount of money to make in one night! On the other hand, most concert tickets are $100 or more and a single t-shirt usually costs $50, so that might not be the most unbelievable feat when you really look at the numbers. But that's the kind of money I associate with a Rolling Stones tour or U2.

It will be interesting to see how concert tours are put together as more artists adopt the streaming model and stop releasing albums. A lot of them simply drop singles whenever they feel like it, without tying the music together on an album. Ariana's current tour is in support of her Sweetener album. Will tours be as popular when not album-focused. It's a change that I don't think I"m ready for.

Albums Define and Combine Music

I like albums... the concept of grouping songs into a defined frame. The Eagles are doing a tour now and playing their Hotel California album in full. That's a cool concept that a bunch of bands have done. I like the cohesion of songs bound to an album. a string of singles has no era or frame of reference. It feels like a lack of curation to me. I love listening to a new album for the individuality of the songs, but also how they fit together.

I'm way old school, I guess. No streaming. Still love CDs. I like music to fit into a unit like an album or era. A string of singles is a whole different thing to me... Have to see how this all plays out over time.
June 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After 25 years, Digital Illusions' Ultracore video game will be available on a Genesis cartridge as well as Switch and PS4

DICE's Ultracore game for Genesis
Old games are usually re-released for modern consoles, but Strictly Limited Games is also releasing a Genesis version of Ultracore!
Originally known as Hardcore in 1994, this video game by Swedish developer Digital Illusions (DICE) was nearly complete and gaming magazines were running articles about it's release. It was planned for Amiga, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD, but as Sony's PlayStation neared release, the game was suddenly cancelled and presumed lost in the decades following.

DICE's Ultracore game for Genesis Decades later, Strictly Limited Games has resurrected the game and brought it back for both modern consoles and the Sega Genesis - under the name Ultracore! SLG is maintaining the authenticity of the game by developing it with Sega Mega Drive development hardware and then porting it to modern consoles.

I recently purchased R-Type Dimensions EX from SLG and am anxious to see how Ultracore turns out on the Switch. But the truly amazing facet is the Genesis version on an actual game cart. Releases like this are truly a gift to the retro gaming community.

I've also heard Analogue's Mega SG FPGA-based Genesis clone may include Ultracore on it's console.

"Shades of Robocop, Metropolis, Terminator and Little House on the Prairie!" -Amiga Power, 1993
June 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Home ports fueled my childhood passion for video games, but Missile Command demands Alpha Delta & Omega buttons and a trackball

Until a cocktail version showed up at a local arcade last Summer, I'd been playing Missile Command with a joystick for decades!
Both Missile Command and Asteroids surprise me when I encounter the actual arcade cabinets out in the local arcade scene. I've been playing the home ports with a standard joystick for so long, I often forget how different the arcade controls are. Having these games at home on my Atari 2600 was amazing, but over the years, I forget how amazing the originals were with their unique control schemes.

Missile Command on a vintage TV
June 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With very little promotion, I was curious to see Luc Besson's latest film, Anna - and I'm glad I did

Luc Besson's film, Anna
Simply because it's a familiar plot doesn't mean it's not a good movie. It was a fun interpretation of a familiar spy theme.
When ads showed up on my social media feeds for a new movie called Anna, it loked like a film that was right up my alley. I love spy films! A kick-ass female lead? Cool! I found it curious that I'd seen any of the typical advertising one sees for upcoming films. That intrigued me. I'm glad I took a chance on it. Anna was two hours of exciting fun.

However, if you read any of the reviews, you may conclude it's the worst of the worst. Movie reviews are a tragic waste of time. Before I see a film, I have no interest in someone's random opinion. I simply want to know the genre and basic plot.

For Anna, what drew me in was that it was a spy film. Next, I always love a female lead who knows how to fight. That's all I knew when I plopped down in a semi-reclining seat at my local theater.

It was an interesting story. Certainly one that has been told before, but there were twists, turns, and gunfire. Sasha Luss was terrific as the lead role of Anna. She took a beating and doled it out all the same. The story was revealed through a variety of time-shifts that revealed and explained other areas of the plot. Sure, there were a few holes that didn't make sense, but that's true of any movie. It was full of energy and kept me on edge until the end. Friendships become betrayals and it all had me engaged. Go have some fun - its a cool spy film!

Is she a spy, a model, or a killer? Anna has many talents!
Movie reviewers want to harp over the spy theme not being original. Today's movies are almost always reboots of past renown films or direct copies of foreign films. Finding an original movie is nearly unheard of in today's entertainment world.

People can't just enjoy a two-hour story. They have to make comparisons and call out anything they feel will induce outrage if positioned just so. People have forgotten how to have fun. Everyone is caught up in social norms and trying to find faults. Hate is the new existence.

If you want to enjoy movies... don't read reviews beyond finding out the basic genre and never watch trailers. Trailers and reviews ruin movies. It's ten dollars and two hours. It's not like buying a house or investing your retirement fund. It's just a movie. Go have some fun. Escape from the day-to-day nonsense and get lost in a fun story. Trying to find fault - in a desperate attempt to seem smart or relevant - is a waste of time and energy.

Going to the movies should be a fun escape from reality - a place where you can suspend belief and enjoy a story. Have we all lost the ability to acknowledge fun for what it is? Chill out and enjoy a fun film.
June 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out a lot of great cosplays on Anaelic's Instagram

She creates seriously cool costumes and accessories showing behind the scenes of her work.
With an interrest in Love Live and Fire Emblem, Anaelic creates her own costumes and builds great accessories to compliment them. Checkout Anaelic's Instagram for a better look at her creations. She comes up with some really complex ideas.

Anaelic cosplay Anaelic cosplay Anaelic cosplay
You'll find she also posts some non-cosplay pics that show how transformative her costumes can be.
June 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The 25th anniversary of Ill Communication, brings the Beastie Boys' Sabotage to 3” vinyl

The 25th anniversary of Ill Communication
This July, indie record stores will have Ill Communication's Sabotage track on 3" vinyl!
If you're a collector of oddities and you love music... it doesn't get much stranger than a miniature record player that only plays 3-inch records. It's not a child's toy, but a real turntable. This past Record Store Day saw the release of Crosley's miniature turntable, the RSD3. This unusual three-inch vinyl format is also called Triple Inchophone and 8-Ban.

If you're a fan of the Beastie Boys and want a pretty unusual collectable, July 19th may be a good day for you. Check in with your favorite indie record store to see if they can order you a copy of the 3" vinyl release of Sabotage for the Ill Communication album. Good stuff!
June 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The orange tracks of Hot Wheels are getting an official Mario Kart makeover via a new Nintendo partnership

HotWheels Mario Kart
Coming later this Summer, Hot Wheels will offer three different Nintendo inspired track sets and die-cast cars!
Mattel and Nintendo are partnering on a new line of Hot Wheels vehicles and track sets with a Mario Kart theme. According to the news there will be three tracks, that I presume can be combined into an insane layout!

This new partnership will debut at San Diego Comic Con and be available from retailers in the late summer. Initially the die-cast cars will include Mario, Yoshi, Luigi and Bowser. Princess Peach, Koopa Troop and Toad will follow later. The three track sets are named:
  1. Piranha Plant Slide Track Set
  2. Thwomp Ruins Track Set
  3. Hot Wheels Mario Kart Circuit Track Set
My son and I used to create some crazy tracks from our stash of loops, jumps and accessories. We used to spend hours determining which cars were fastest and performed the best tricks. A Nintendo-themed set wold have been so cool. We may have to revert our interests and pretend we haven't out-grown Hot Wheels and test some of these new releases. All the new tracks and cars are compatible with older sets, so the sky's the limit!
June 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop is streamlining operations by shuttering ThinkGeek's website and offering products on one site

GameStop is closing ThinkGeek's website
ThinkGeek's site-wide sale is paring down inventory until items are offered on the GameStop website.
It's no secret that GameStop is in trouble as are many brick & mortar retailers. In an effort to diversify into the collectables market, they acquired ThinkGeek in 2015 and we've all seen their stores incorporate ThinkGeek merchandise into GameStop stores.

All this time, ThinkGeek has has it's own website and presumably it's own commerce setup. In an effort to streamline operations, GameStop is shutting down on July 2nd and will be selling product from the GameStop website.

The part I'm not clear about is how much ThinkGeek merch will be available through GameStop. Will all the merch be available or just a portion? Most of the GameStop locations I've seen are quite small and have very little room for any additional products. It's hard to imagine the average GameStop can offer more ThinkGeek merch at their physical locations. That leaves me wondering how much will be available online. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

As much as gameStop frequently infuriates me, they are quite unique in their used game inventory. A lot of folks seem indifferent about the retailer's future, but I would miss them greatly. While I know there are other outlets for used games, GameStop is quite convenient.

ThinkGeek merchandise
June 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I won't give Facebook my vacation photos, so they're definitely not getting my banking info for Libra currency

Facebook Libra logo
Facebook wants your banking info via Libra, but I'm more interested in why my mall just installed a Bitcoin machine in the food court.
Facebook announced plans to launch a new global cryptocurrency called Libra and the jokes are still making the rounds. Zuck seems to have forgotten that Facebook has been involved in several huge data mismanagement scandals and some smaller ones. Facebook wants to be your friend. They want to help you share your photos and whatnot. In reality, Facebook is just as dreadfully ruthless and deceitful as all the other enormous companies trying to be your pal.

I don't use Facebook for any personal things. I simply have an account from which I can create a public page for 8-Bit Central. If I need to tell my friends about my latest vacation or other news, I call them or hang out with them. I don't post any personal info, text or photos, to my Facebook account.

I have never posted photos of myself or my family. This is how little I trust Facebook. The notion of using their cryptocurrency is laughable. No thank you. It's not for me.

This past May, a CoinMover machine appeared in my local mall's food court. At first I thought it was a glitzy ATM machine, but it lacked the usual security of the standard ATM. Closer inspection revealed a Bitcoin logo and my eyes rolled. I'm not likely to want to buy a slice of pizza with Bitcoin and the machine won't play Space Invaders, so my interest waned.

Of course, I'm not the target audience for such a machine and I wonder if locals or the vibrant tourism industry around here will find this CoinMover machine a practical benefit to the mall.

CoinMover Bitcoin machine People look at it. Some poke the screen. But I haven't seen anyone trading cash for a fatter e-wallet.
CoinMover Bitcoin machine This funky ATM-looking device seems like it would fit in better at the local arcade among the other bright lights, but here it sits in the mall's food court.

CoinMover lets you quickly trade cryptocurrency without a bank account, debit card or credit card with just a crypto wallet app on your smartphone. They support Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), LiteCoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), and Monero (XMR).
June 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari reports they no longer need rendered images of their joysticks, but still won't show a working VCS

So, they manufactured a few joysticks. No renders in sight. Ok... how about functional VCS consoles. Got any of those?
Atari took to their Instagram account to share the good news. They manufactured some joysticks, thus eliminating the need for all those rendered images they kept peddling. They even showed a photo of the accomplishment along with a caption...

"Not a render in sight ;)"

Atari simply doesn't get it. Or do they? They must know. Gamers want to see a functioning console. Atari tries to boast about having created a controller, but don't show it controlling a video game on their VCS console. Are they for real? Is this a joke? Show us a working console! Proof of concept.

I'm sure some dope is going to send me another link to that C|net video that almost (but doesn't) makes it look like Atari has a working prototype. This is like debuting a new car and touting it's tires, but refusing to open the hood - because we know there's no engine!

Atari is in a deep hole, but won't stop shoveling deeper. Promising a console by year's end without a working prototype seems odd. I'm not looking to unearth their secret proprietary secrets. I want a simple demo. Just load Space invaders and move the joystick to the left while showing the canon move left in unison. Just a simple display of it WORKING! The C|net video comes close, but the motions on the controller don't match the action on screen.

Good luck, Atari. I feel you may have a lot of explaining to do in December.

Kendall Jenner at a NYC bodega
June 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Kendall Jenner caught on a NYC bodega's security cam makes me want a Night Trap reboot in that old FMV style

Kendall Jenner at a NYC bodega
I'm down to solve a mystery as we track Kendall's journey through a city's inner world, finding clues and evading unsavory assassins.
When I saw what looks like security camera footage from Kendall Jenner's quick stop in a New York City bodega, I immediately thought of Dana Plato in Night Trap. Now that Night Trap has earned a modern release for PS4 and Nintendo Switch (via Limited Run Games) I yearn for that style of game that took an upcoming technology and dared to put it on an early 90's home console!

Putting full motion video on a home console was a gamble. Creating a game from it was an astounding feat. Night Trap crossed lines and led us down a sordid path that also revealed how far gaming technology could go.

On my Switch, Night Trap is a reminder of an interesting time in Gaming's history. Today's games are closer to movies than games in some cases. Still the FMV style of inserted clips was a cool concept. I'd love to see Kendall branch out into a video game role of some kind.

A mysterious woman trekking through the dregs of the big city. Searching through the rubble in an alley, she doesn't see him approach. When she regains consciousness, she's unsure where she is or how she got there. The monogram on his shirt is the clue. She thought it was a location. It's his initials. She has to get out - fast. Someone needs to put Kendall Jenner in a video game! She'd be totally cool.

Kendall Jenner scarfs pizza Kendall Jenner at a NYC bodega.
June 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Let Alexa add some arcade sounds to your game room via the Arcade Party skill

Arcade Party for Amazon Alexa
Choose and era and fill your game room full of nostalgic arcade sounds from your favorite games!
Alexa will be happy to fill your office, game room or living room with authentic arcade sounds from four different eras. Choose from 1981, 1983, 1986, or 1992.

Arcade Party for Amazon Alexa To get the sounds going, simply say: "Alexa, open Arcade Party."

You can also dive right into an era by including the year, by saying: "Alexa, ask Arcade Party to play 1983."

Not too long ago we discovered Andy Hofle's Arcade Ambiance CDs which contain the sounds provided through this Alexa skill. We wrote a short article about Arcade Ambiance. I don't believe the CDs are still available, but Alexa has no problem delivering the sounds.

Andy's Arcade Ambiance website has a lot of interesting details about the creation of these sound files and various decisions that went into creating this audio history of classic arcades.
June 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

On a quest for a favored music format, I reached self-realization as my kitchen fell to heart-shaped confetti

Taylor Swift CD single of Me
I loved the CD Singles section in Tower Records, so I couldn't pass up a CD-single of Taylor Swift's latest single!
Browsing around Twitter, I discovered Taylor Swift was selling her latest single, Me, as a CD-single. I loved that format and ordered it as a fan of Taylors and the CD single concept. It wasn't to ship for several weeks, but I could wait. When it arrived, I realized I must be pretty far out on the fringe of her fanbase...

I've long had a craving for CD Singles by my fave artists.
Back in the day, I used to scoff at the notion of a Cassingle - one lone song on a cassette tape. It seemed wasteful. Kind of dumb even. However when the digital revolution arrived and CD-Singles came on the scene, I was hooked. My local Tower Records had a whole section dedicated to them. There was something quirky and cool about these singles that captivated me. Whenever a song I liked appeared in this format, I was all over it.

I'm Not Really A Swiftie

As a kid, I quickly realized I loved music that many of my friends were not into. My first love was Kiss, and Aerosmith followed soon after. I discovered Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, AC/DC, and Van Halen. Hard rock and metal electrified me. The heavy riffs and blistering guitar solos mesmerized me. Having taken piano lessons, I was ready to try guitar. I wanted to rock, as Dee Snider was in the habit of saying.

As a teen in the 80s, I was down for all the hair-metal and craziness that came with that era. At the same time, New Wave came on the scene and it had a similar effect on me, but was a much different style of music. Through WPGC, WPLJ and WLIR my musical taste expanded and exploded. Through all the hard rock, Madonna really caught my attention and took me down a pop path that conflicted drastically with my passion for Motley Crue and Black Sabbath, but it all fit in.

As I choked on heart-shaped confetti, it began covering my kitchen! Why Taylor, why?
As I aged, many of my favorite metal bands kept at it. Many groups I loved as a kid are still rocking arenas today! And 80s music has passed the test of time. As Madonna introduced me to Pop, I began to take interest in similar artists (along with Iron Maiden and Ratt). I discovered Taylor Swift when she was still considered a country artist. When she shifted gears with the release of "1989" I was hooked, but still loved the Scorpions.

A Self-Realization

Then my package arrives! I'm stoked to have another CD-single for the collection - from 2019 no less - and from an artist I really like. It was sort of like buying Just Dance 2019 for the Wii. It's out for Switch, but also for the Wii. Had to have the Wii version!

I tear open the padded envelope, reach in, and pull out the two jewel cases. But something is wrong. Like a swarm of insects, it flutters through the air, covering my kitchen counter. All around my feet - it's everywhere. HEART-SHAPED CONFETTI! WTF!!!

Oh Shit! This stuff's gonna clog my vacuum!
My every move sends more of this detritus further from ground-zero where I opened the package. It's not stopping. There's a lot of it. This is a mess. This is going to clog my vacuum. Why did this happen to me? Will it ever stop? Multi-colored hearts are all over my kitchen. It was at this point that I realized how far removed I am from Taylor Swift's fanbase.

I'm sure most of her fans would go nuts over heart-confetti raining down from their new purchase. I went nuts wondering if my shop-vac was still functioning. In the end I was able to corral Taylor's confetti and pleased that Jeff Bezos doesn't do this to me. Still a fan of Taylor Swift, love the new CD-single, and Def Leppard still puts out great Studio albums. The world is OK.
June 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft is everything you would want it to be - great movie

Few things deliver the goods like a classic Sam Jackson performance! BTW- Reviews and trailers ruin films. Ignore both.
Shaft movie Already I'm hoping shaft gets a sequel. I loved that they took the time ro really set-up the scene and the rolled out the family connections.

It's also worth noting that this film more than earned it's R-rating for any number of reasons, but we don't want Sam Jackson restricted by PG-13. Let him go and do his thing!

It's not surprising this movie has received quite a few negative reviews. Ignore them. The real world needs some reality. Seeking perfection in every bit of entertainment media, is counter to the real world in which people live. For me, I see a film like Shaft as an exaggeration that fills a need. The character has always been billed as a "ban Mutha..." Why would he suddenly be polite and politically correct?

Like most entertainment, films deliver a release from the daily grind. Regardless of your background or experiences, films can take you on a two-hour journey. Films are a release from the daily norm. A fun movie can take you to imaginary places or familiar places. There seems to be some sort of contingent our there demanding all forms of entertainment conform to some set of social norm.

Do movie reviewers demand all movies be shiny, pretty and laden with positive role models in order to try to boost their moral fortitude? Movies should depict the reality of the director, writers, and actors binging the story to life. Since when is creativity supposed to follow a set of rules? Movie reviews are 90% garbage purported by writers with self-serving agendas.

I stopped reading reviews and watching trailers about a decade ago. Both are designed to give insight, but both tend to ruin the experience. Movie reviews are ramdon garbage hinged too much on the reviewer's bias. Trailers simply give away the entire film. Their attempt to lure viewers, turns me off by giving u way too much info. It's only two hours. How much info do I really need? Go see Shaft and ignore the reviews.

Shaft movie
June 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari had a suite at E3 to preview the Atari VCS for press, retailers, and content partners

Rear panel of the Atari VCS
If folks have seen the VCS in action, they're being awfully quiet about it. Who saw it working at E3?
Atari has been posting to about the private meetings, at E3, showing off the upcoming VCS video game console. Atari is creeping right up to the edge of saying they were demoing a VCS at E3, but don't quite say it. Last year they displayed a non-functional console design at the GDC conference. This feels similar, although they have a better looking model console.

If they were actually showing off a working console, why not say so? Their inability to give us a good look at a working model makes it seem as though they are way behind on development. If that's not the case, couldn't they confirm this. Wouldn't they want to reassure backers, investors and resellers? They are a strange company.

Today's Atari

Most Atari fans tend to come from it's inception when it was a remarkable company full of innovation. Bushnell left after the Atari 2600 era. For the last two decades, Atari has largely existed as a brand owned by various holding companies. They ceased being a "gaming" company long ago. Nostalgia fuels a desire to hope Atari is still a great company. It is not.

The brand will forever be remembered as a company instrumental to the development of the gaming industry we love today, but modern-day Atari is simply leveraging the iconic IPs they own to generate revenue. It stuns me that they have generated $4 million for the new VCS development and have yet to show a working prototype or games made by third party developers. I wish them well, but have my doubts based on their actions.

Atari VCS What does this caption mean? Was this controller hooked up to a functional VCS?
Atari VCS They posted this movie file to IG. The E3 logo rotates atop a still image. Why doesn't the movie show a short clip of a game in progress?

A video created by C|Net has been making the rounds as a proof of concept asset. I've had a few people send it to me as though it was definitive proof Atari has a working prototype. People are dumb. Only at one point in the video does it show a person manipulating the classic joystick in a game of Missile Command. The actions by the "player" are not in step with the movements on the screen. That tells me everything I need to know.

Six months from launch.. no working prototype. Yeah, I'll just dash down to my local GameStop for an Atari VCS pre-order.

Link to the C|Net video if the embed code isn't working below.
June 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Square Enix will release this crazy blue Dragon Quest slime controller in the Fall for Nintendo Switch

Dragon Quest slime controller for Nintendo Switch
This odd lump of a controller has previously graces Sony systems.Now it's Nintendo's turn.
The Dragon Quest Slime controller is back and this time it's for the Switch. When I saw this thing, I wanted it. Seems like a pretty standard reaction to a crazy controller - Must Have! However, I didn't know it was a thing. It's happened before.

It seems there was a similar Slime controller for the PS2 and again for the PS4. While it is now Switch-bound, it is only confirmed for Japan. Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age is confirmed for North America, there's been no mention of the Slime controller coming this way too. The game releases September 27, so we'll have to wait and see if news of this lump of a controller will come to our Switch as well. It is designed and manufactured by Hori.

Dragon Quest slime controller stand
I love odd controllers. I picked up the wired mini for the PS4 and love the GameCube style controllers for Switch. Of course nothing was more odd than the N64 controller and think about how revolutionary the Wii controllers were - wireless with a wired nunchuk. Crazy cool! So, yeah... the Slime Controller is right up my Alley :)
June 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bella Thorne is so talented! I just watched her in "I Still See You"

Very cool film and Bella Thorne is such a natural. She blends into all the characters she portrays.
I'm not much of a horror film fan. The genre tends to scare the hell outta me. But I had to make an exception for "I Still See You" since it starred Bella Thorne. The film kind of freaked me out, but it was a clever twist on the apocalypse and really well done.

But Bella Thorne is so good! I've seen her in several different kinds of movies and she has this natural way of becoming her characters. I think she is such an underrate talent. From The Duff to Assassination Nation and this slick horror flick, she just rocks. Follow her on Instagram... you'll be surprised at all the projects she takes on. This lady works hard!

Bella Thorne in I Still See You
June 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Konami announces a TurboGrafx-16 Mini console is on the horizon

Konami announces TurboGrafx-16 Mini
Most mini consoles have been hacked and can play tons of games across many platforms. Do we need another one with 25 games?
I'm a big fan of the TurboGrafx-16. It has some great games. It's a console that is certainly worthy of the "mini console" treatment, but I wonder if gamers want/need another mini console. I have multiple HDMI switch-boxes and already I'm running out of space and ports!

The Genesis mini is coming out this Fall and I'm sure the Holiday season is also the prime target for the TurboGrafx-16 Mini's release. We don't yet have a release date or price, so I'm on the fence with mini consoles. I grabbed the Nintendo releases since the quality was so good and the concept was new (outside of AtGames Flashbacks). I passed on the PlayStation Classic due to the game selections, but at $40 - $50 and it's ease of adding a lot more games, I still may pick one up. Essentially, I complain about running out of space and HDMI ports, but buy these things anyway.

Do other gamers feel this way? If you are considering buying the TurboGrafx-16 Mini console, have you bought others?

Konami announces TurboGrafx-16 Mini There will be three models matching those previously release for North America, Europe, and Japan. It was also knows as the PC Engine in some territories. It also sounds as though different regions will get different games.
At this time, six games have been revealed:
  1. R-Type
  2. New Adventure Island
  3. Ninja Spirit
  4. Ys Book I & II
  5. Dungeon Explorer
  6. Alien Crush
June 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Banjo and Kazooie are joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster

Nintendo can now say they have characters from Sony, Microsoft and Sega inside their battle game.
Banjo and Kazooie first showed up on Nintendo's N64 console when Rare was an independent company. Since the Microsoft acquisition, they have bee more prominent on Xbox platforms. And you may recall how much those without a Microsoft console wanted Rare Retro to be ported to other platforms. I was one of them :)

We didn't get Rare Retro, but Banjo and Kazooie are now a DLC option for SMash on Switch!

Banjo and Kazooie join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
June 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The crowd-funded Atari VCS 800 console is available for pre-order at GameStop & WalMart

Atari VCS 800 console
The Atari VCS release date is December 2019 for Indiegogo backers and March 2020 for everyone else.
Atari has again tried to boost interest in their upcoming VCS console at E3. Announcing pre-orders have opened with partners, GameStop and WalMart. I continue to be surprised they can be so close to launch and still have no evidence of a working prototype. Their announcements are accompanied by more rendered images. Scarce video footage shows games from Atari Vault which has been available for years and serves as the built-in retro games for the VCS console.

Proof-of-concept is usually the first step in building confidence in your product. When investors can see your product in action, they are more likely to believe in and invest in your mission's success. Oddly, Indiegogo backers funded the VCS to $3 million without any solid evidence that Atari could deliver. All they had to go on was the abandoned Atari Game Watch project that disappeared with no product or refund for backers.

I opted for their $30 classic joystick on Indiegogo, so I have interest in their success. But perpetuating sales of a product that lacks any proof-of-concept is truly strange. It makes me wonder if people's nostalgic memories have corrupted their good sense or if they don't know that Atari is nothing more than a vintage brand owned by a modern holding company. I hope Atari can pull this off (that's my nostalgia talking) but they are terrible communicators and don't give any reassurances they can bring hardware to market.

There's also a software aspect to this. It's easy for them to put the Atari Vault games on the device, but what else can we expect? Are developers working on games? Is there an online store? What does the Atari VCS connect to for downloading/buying games? Atari has given no answers, but has opened up pre-orders with major retailers. That doesn't make any sense.

Atari VCS preorder Atari VCS pre-order at GameStop for the Onyx Black console.
Atari VCS preorder Atari VCS pre-order at Wal Mart for the Kevlar Gold console.

Atari VCS Retail SKUs and Configurations

Retailer SKUs for the Atari VCS
Atari VCS 800  Kevlar Gold console Atari VCS 800 Kevlar Gold console
June 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade1Up announced Namco and Capcom cocktail-style arcade games, but the price is climbing

Arcade1Up cocktail style Pac-Man arcade game
Pac-Man and Street Fighter are great games, but when WalMart discounts the original cabinets to 50%, how does the price go up?
Arcade1Up has brought an arcade vibe to the home. I loved playing Space Invaders on my Atari 2600, but there was a stark difference between the home port and the game I loved in the arcade. Arcade1Up offers arcade ROMs in an arcade-like cabinet. initially, they were 3/4 size upright cabinets that were too small to stand and play without a riser to bring the cab to a decent level.

I love the concept, but the price seemed a bit high and the quality of the cabinets was "thinner" than I'd hoped. It's a great product, but it's not fo r me, but that's OK. In the right situation these are great games!

To be honest, I was surprised how quickly they were discounted at retail stores. They quickly hit 50% off and still there were stacks of them at my WalMart. I had the opportunity to try on in-store demo twice. Bothe times the poor cabinets had suffered the kind of abuse that only comes from public display. This is no fault of Arcade1Up. However, I found the monitor to be too small for my liking and the cabinet's wood panels were a bit too thin. Each of the demo units swayed when you moved the joystick, which came from total abuse, but still demonstrates the build's potential weakness.

Cocktail Models

E3 has brought us a cocktail style sit-down configuration. This solves the height issues of the first round of upright cabinets. I wonder if it's the same product in a new configuration or if there has been an update to the cabinets/electronics. But then there's's the price...

The Namco machine has 8 games and the Capcom one has 12 games with stereo sound. They even boast a split screen Street Fighter! But all this goodness has a toll. The price tag is $500.Having seen the first run go from $300 to 50% off and then $99... I feel $500 is a bit steep. They've brought a lot of great retro arcade games into homes, but the quality doesn't match the price tag for me.

Arcade1Up cocktail style Pac-Man arcade game
June 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision Entertainment is at E3 showing off the five Amico console colors

Metallic Pearl Intellivision Amico console
I don't believe Intellivision Entertainment has a public showing at E3, but they are showing gameplay to the media in closed sessions.
Intellivision Amico logo Intellivision Entertainment is revealing five launch colors for its upcoming home entertainment system, Intellivision Amico. The colors include Metallic Pearl, Obsidian Black, Vintage Woodgrain, GTO Red with carbon fiber and Galaxy Purple.

The console is slated for an October 2020 release, so I hope we get to see more than just the color options. I'd love to get a feel for the type of gameplay we can expect. Perhaps some gameplay footage will be released.

Galaxy Purple Intellivision Amico console Galaxy Purple Intellivision Amico console
GTO Red Intellivision Amico console GTO Red Intellivision Amico console

Obsidian Black Intellivision Amico console Obsidian Black Intellivision Amico console
Vintage Woodgrain Intellivision Amico console Vintage Woodgrain Intellivision Amico console

June 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Can four players fit around Arcade1Up's newly announced TMNT arcade cabinet without it tipping over?

TMNT arcade game from Arcade1Up
I love the Arcade TMNT games, but an elongated 4-player control deck on these 3/4 size cabinets sounds cramped and tippy.
Arcade1Up announced some cool titles for their 3/4 size arcade cabinets at E3. Their business is bringing retro games into homes with a fairly realistic arcade experience. They released a variety of cabinets each containing about 4 games. Title-wise, I was impressed with the selection, but I questioned the pricing. Initially priced at $299, they quickly dropped to $149 at my local WalMart.

At E3 they are offering TMNT (4-player with extended control deck) and Marvel Super Heroes. These are both great titles, but the extended control deck makes me wonder how easily the cabinet might tip over if too much weight was applied to the outer player positions.

If you've seen/played these cabinets in-store, you know they are light weight and don't hold up well to consumer abuse. Naturrally, store displays will take way more abuse than they would in a loving home, but they aren't as robust as I'd hoped. One day at an FYE, a guy was trying to navigate the crowded store and accidentally gave the Arcade1Up demo cabinet a hip-shot. The cab went sailing and crashed on it's side. It was very telling to me as I looked on in horror.

I'm sure this cab would be fine in a home environment where people would be careful, but I'd still worry about it tipping over if someone put weight on it during normal play.

TMNT arcade game from Arcade1Up
June 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Iconic rapper, from the Houston-based Geto Boys, Bushwick Bill passed away - RIP

His distinctive voice and style helped lead the Geto Boys into new territory, breaking records and expectations, taking rap to new heights.
GBushwick Bill of the Geto Boys As a fan of 90's rap, the Geto Boys immediately captured my attention. Their messages were simple, concise, and not far from other rap at the time. What set them apart, for me, was their energy, aggression, and delivery. Taking lyrics to extremes offended a lot of people, but you couldn't ignore them.

Geto Boys Had a raw energy that came through all their tracks. What he gave to the development and propulsion of rap music had never been seen before and challenged the sensibilities of those at record companies. Geto Boys had a strong message and the way they delivered it caught everyone's attention.

Bushwick Bill, born Richard Shaw recently revealed he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He had a great career with the Geto Boys as well as various solo projects. He recently cancelled a Geto Boys reunion tour when promoters tried to exploit his diagnosis. At the time of his death he was planning a lolo tour called the Phuck Cancer Tour".

Geto Boys and Bushwick Bill CDs
June 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Bill & Ted Day! "69 dudes!"

Here's a great reason to fire up Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey as they head into filming for Face The Music!
This year's Bill & Ted Day has us on the precipice of a new B&T adventure. All these decades later, both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter have returned to film a third installation in the series - Bill & Ted Face The Music. While rumored for quite some time, it's been confirmed that it will begin filming this summer for a 2020 release.

Happy Bill & Ted Day!
June 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When someone mentioned Suncoast, memories of memorabilia and laserdiscs came rushing back

SunCoast had such a unique product line that really hasn't been replicated in the brick & mortar retail scene.
I love movies and in the early 90s the Suncoast Motion Picture Company store was my go-to place for movie memorabilia. They also carried movies and music. Laser discs were often tough to find, but my local Suncoast always came through. I remember when they closed the location in my local mall and the genre disappeared. One might say FYE or Hot Topic took over it's market, but those stores just aren't the same.

They began under another name in 1986, but their history is rather vague and poorly recollected online. I believe they were part of Sam Goody (the music store), but they may have simply shared a parent company. Both stores closed at my mall leaving me to find other sources for their offerings.

Many will tel you that Amazon carries all this stuff... and they're probably right. But if you think searching on Amazon is the same as wandering through a Suncoast Motion Picture Company store, well, good for you.

Suncoast Motion Picture Company
June 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's Switch is going on a Summer Road Trip tour to demo a variety of games

Get your hands-on playtime with some well known video games and some upcoming titles.
You can check the Nintendo Switch Road Trip website for the North American cities on the tour and dates.

Nintendo Switch Road Trip
June 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I understand why conservatives want a pawn like Trump to advance their causes, but why does everyone else tollerate this fool?

The US is allowing a dimwit to force a narrow view upon the entire globe!
I try to keep to video games and pop-culture, but I'll inject some politics... like this:

Conservatives have wanted to abolish Roe vs Wade since it's inception. Under the guise of religion or right-to-life they want to make abortion illegal. Even in cases of rape or incest, conservatives want to legislate what women can and cannot do.

For these lawmakers, it's all about power and oppression. The only "life" they care about is their own. It it were their daughter, you know she'd have an abortion in the finest hospital in the state. Keeping citizens in a position of oppression is an age-old method of control by governments.

But they want to expand their rule beyond the female citizenry. Already we see stricter laws over voter registration making it harder for minorities to get their names accurately on voter registration logs. Laws are being passed allowing healthcare discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Actions like this are done slowly and quietly, in the hope no one will notice nor try to contest them.

All these atrocities are easier to achieve when the President is a pawn with a powerful signature. Even though he lies, cheats, and bullies, the general population seems unwilling to do anything about it, except whine. When you allow an uneducated game-show host to be elected to our highest office, this is the sort of fallout you should expect!

Hyperkin N64 clone console I feel many Trump supporters simply daren't aware how dumb he is. These folks don't watch the news. They don't read newspapers. They don't witness his decisions and actions they way the rest of us do. Some will watch Fox News, who will always paint Trump as a hero and his followers blindly believe it without witnessing or understanding the things he does.
June 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I don't have PSVR, but I still want to buy Trover Saves The Universe

Trover Saves The Universe for PSVR
You can't go wrong with A game from the co-creator of Rick and Morty... right?
Justin Roiland, of Squanch Games, has somehow found the time outside of Rick and Morty to create a bizarre VR game for PS4. Designed for the PlayStation VR, they say the game is playable without the VR gear, although not quite the same experience.

Regardless, I'm sure their will be strong demand from those owning any sort of PS4 console. I think gamers will flock to this the way they did for the South Park games. There's something special about bringing a TV concept to a video game. While Trover isn't a Rick and Morty game, the same comedic vibe rings through it. I'm down for this!

I've seen some hybrid games that work with and without the PSVR, but I feel this one is backwards compatible because of the huge draw of Adult Swim's popular animated scifi show.

From the PlayStation website:
Your pups are missing. The cosmos is at stake. Only you and Trover can save everything in this bizarre comedy adventure! A comedy adventure filled with combat, platforming, puzzles, and morally questionable choices. See how the best intentions can go horribly awry.

Control Trover's movements, but not his mouth. Hes got a lot to say about whats going on in the game. Upgrade Trover AND YOURSELF with new abilities to (hopefully) defeat Glorkon while evading awkward situations. Immerse yourself in weirdness, no matter which display you use. Switch between TV or PS VR* whenever you want.
June 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I think being flipped-off by Kendall Jenner is a bucket-list item

I wouldn't want to purposefully aggravate her, but no one can flip you off like Kendall!
flipped-off by Kendall Jenner If I were to bump into Kendall Jenner in the street and mustered the guts to ask to take a selfie with her... this is the pose. I want the finger and that expression.

If I had 60 seconds to chat with her, I'd have a million questions about her cars. She has immaculate taste in automobiles from Ferraris to '60s muscle cars she has an amazing collection.

Of all the stylized pics of her with her various rides, my faves are the ones captured by paparazzi when she's at a service station pumping gas. She hella cool.
Kendall Jenner pumping gas Porche
June 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rumor has it, Hyperkin is bringing their N64 clone to E3

Nothing seems to be slowing down their ability to bring old games to new TVs!
Hyperkin N64 clone console
June 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Google Stadia charges a subscription fee for the stream and another for each game

Google Stadia details
If Netflix charged for a subscription and then charged for each movie, I'd drop the service. Isn't this what Stadia does?
I love physical media! I'll choose it every day over any form of digital entertainment. Now that i've said that... Google had a public stream about it's cloud-based gaming service, Stadia. The gave a bit more info including price, some games to expect at launch, and some packages with controllers.

The base subscription is $9.99 each month. On top of this you have to buy the games you want to stream (play). There is a bundle that includes some free games, but even that tier requires purchasing games. But what are you buying? The privilege to play?

So, you pay you subscription fee, but that only gets you one game right now - Destiny 2. Subsequent games will be bought - not rented - and Google makes a point of this distinction. But this isn't like Nintendo's eShop where you buy and download a game to your Switch. While I prefer physical media, that eShop download is actually on your console. This is where Stadia differs. Nothing is downloaded. You simply have access to play any games you purchase.

Stadia seems to be selling play-anywhere convenience, rather than a better gaming experience.
I was curious to find out how much games will cost. A lot. Well, that's relative. I'm accustomed to cheaper games on Nintendo's eShop along with the full priced AAA games you'll find on retail shelves. Stadia is a cloud service who's purpose is to port your games to any Chrome-compatible device. Games on Stadia are the same price you'd find them at any other reseller. So, you're paying to stream, not own, games that cost the same as physical copies.

The younger generation is accustomed to streams and clouds. They haven't lived long enough to have their favorite song or movie "removed". Guys like me laugh at the premise of Stadia. One of the touted benefits of digital media was the cost savings that would be passed on to consumers. Didn't happen. If I can't hold it in my hand, you can't charge me for it. Sorry, Stadia... you're not for me.

Physical Media Is King

I feel we're entering an age where we're being trained to own nothing. From music to movies and video games, streaming and downloading is taking over. I have a lot of DVDs, laserdiscs, and CDs that are out of print and not offered on streams. I don't want to be tethered to someone else's media or service. As long as I have electricity, I'm good to go.

Each month when Netflix releases the movies being dropped, I wonder why anyone bothers with this. I have a Firestick and it takes forever to go through it's offerings. It's more of a chore to find a movie on it than pull a DVD off my shelf.

Google Stadia launch

Current Developer / Game List For Stadia

  • Bandai Namco - Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  • Bethesda - DOOM Eternal, DOOM 2016, Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • Bungie - Destiny 2
  • Capcom - TBD
  • Coatsink - Get Packed (Stadia exclusive)
  • Codemasters - GRID
  • Deep Silver - Metro Exodus
  • Drool - Thumper
  • Electronic Arts - TBD
  • Giants Software - Farming Simulator 19
  • Larian Studios - Baldurs Gate 3
  • nWay Games - Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • Rockstar Games - TBD
  • Sega - Football Manager
  • SNK - Samurai Shodown
  • Square Enix - Final Fantasy XV, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • 2K Games - NBA 2K, Borderlands 3
  • Tequila Works - Gylt (Stadia exclusive)
  • Warner Bros. - Mortal Kombat 11
  • THQ - Darksiders Genesis
  • Ubisoft - Assassins Creed Odyssey, Just Dance, Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Tom Clancys The Division 2, Trials Rising, The Crew 2
June 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If this encounter results in Taylor Swift / Marilyn Manson collaboration, fans should be grateful

People freaked out about pics of Swift with Manson and what it might mean. I hope it means an amazing new track!
People don't realize most celebrities travel in the same circles. Marilyn Manson and Taylor Swift may seem like polar opposites, but they probably have more in common with each other than their own fans. Tough pill to swallow, but they are both musicians and derive a living from their artistic endeavors and creativity.

They were photographed together at iHeart's Wango Tango concert in Los Angeles. Reporters and journalists have spun this series of pictures into a variety to tales from friendship to musical collaborations. To be honest, I'd love to see them collaborate on a song. They're both very creative people in different ways.

Avril Lavigne did a track with Manson on her self-titled album from 2013. Bad Girl primarily features Avril, but Manson's mark is clearly there. It's a very strong song and a definite favorite from this album. I wanted Taylor's collaboration with Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco) on "ME" to take a path farther from Swift's comfort zone. I'm pretty sure Marilyn Manson is the man for that job. They could create a killer track together!

Taylor Swift and Marilyn Manson Taylor Swift & Marilyn Manson photographed together at iHeart's Wango Tango concert.
Taylor Swift and Marilyn Manson Fans are wondering if this is a friendship, collaboration, or both! I'd pay to hear any track they created together!

June 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A soundtrack of the first four Hitman video games is coming to vinyl (and digital) from iam8bit

Four killer soundtracks together for the first time and limited to 2,000 units.
If you're a fan of the Hitman video game series or love a unique vinyl release, check out what iam8bit is offering! Four albums representing four Hitman games comes packaged in a gatefold design. This is a really cool looking release!

Hitman video game soundtracks on vinyl
From iam8bit's website:
For the last three years, iam8bit has been covertly collaborating with developer IO Interactive and legendary composer, Jesper Kyd, on one of our most ambitious releases to date. Hitman: The Critical Collection is unlike any videogame soundtrack youve listened to.

It's a cathartic fusion of opera and electronica, weaving together timeless classics with a distinctly modern sensibility that only Kyd could conjure. For the first time ever, the scores from the original four Hitman games (Hitman: Codename 47; Hitman 2: Silent Assassin; Hitman: Contracts; and Hitman: Blood Money) have been expertly mastered exclusively for vinyl.

And as a tribute to Agent 47s distinct fashion sensibilities, weve tailor-fit the 4xLP in a highly custom, limited edition quad-fold package, unlike anything else in your aural arsenal.
June 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

AtGames seems to be testing the waters with a full-size arcade cabinet full of ROMs- Legends Ultimate

Some of their Flashback products have had quality issues with ROM versions and sound. I hope this line is well planned and executed.
AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade game cabinet AtGames recently issued a press release about their upcoming full-size arcade cabinet full of arcade and home console ROMs. Called the Legends Ultimate arcade machine, you may remember a recent Flashback console with the Legends moniker. This seems to be a bigger version - much bigger - again containing a mix of arcade and home console game ROMs.

Much like the Arcade1Up games, this seems similar, having 2-player controls, built-in games, and an arcade-style enclosure. Where it differs is size and number of games. Legends Ultimate is a singular unit containing a few hundred games and is full-size stand-up cabinet enclosure. I've also seen a few posts about wifi connectivity that allows the addition of more games.

I'm not finding a lot of consistent info about size, price, screen size & type or number of included games. However, it seems to be a standard arcade size - larger that the Arcade1Up units and come with 300-400 game roms, both home and arcade versions. Most sites list a price around $400.

Confirmations about the specs should come soon since AtGames will be at E3 and probably wants to show off the Legend Ultimate. They've never created anything of this size!

Legends Ultimate Is A Substantially Larger Product

Each Holiday season, AtGames releases their miniature home consoles full of Atari (and sometimes other manufacturers) games. It's a nice dose of nostalgia and these units are typically in the $15 to $45 range. Last year the Flashback line was released under the name, Flashback Blast and came in a new format- HDMI dongles. The Legends Ultimate is large in size and a much more expensive than prior product lines.

In the past, some AtGames mini consoles have had poor controllers with IR connectivity and the renown Genesis Classic with very poor sound. At the same time, I'm definitely a fan of their Atari Flashback consoles for price, ease of use, and variety of games. This cabinet has the potential to succeed, but it will only take a few cut-corners to doom it. I hope it will succeed. I'm very interested to learn more about it during E3.
June 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Today is McLovin's birthday and it's been 12 years since Superbad premiered in theaters

So, Lets all wish McLovin a Happy Birthday and realize there are those so epic, they require only one name.
Today is McLovin's birthday
June 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision's upcoming Amico console will be at E3 with 22 games

Being over a year from launch, the Amico will be behind closed doors to maximize it's exposure for partners and developers.
Amico will be at E3 A press release was sent out to list-subscribers detailing Intellivision's Amcio game consoles debut at this year's E3 conference. The console is still not set to release for over a year, causing the debut to be a more limited experience than the show floor permits. Thus is will be at a closed-door location to acquaint partners with it's specs.

The press release states working consoles will be available with controllers and 22 games. Twenty two games! That's pretty good for being a year away from release. And these are games created by luminaries in the industry, so one can expect a good deal of diversity in the titles.

Games should fall into four areas of interest:
  1. 25% Classic/Retro - Re-imagined and upgraded favorites (including graphics, audio, modes and of course local Co-Op & Versus modes!)

  2. 25% Original IP's - Brand new games that no one has ever experienced and that shows off the fact that Amico has both a touch screen and tactile controls in a multiplayer environment.

  3. 25% Sports/Recreation - Not only the sports everyone would expect, but also a lot of casual and recreational sports like bowling, shuffleboard, pool, darts, fishing, etc.

  4. 25% Board/Dice/Card/Word/Puzzle Games - Something that most non-hardcore gamers will feel comfortable with and can play with their family & friends.

It sounds like the Amico is a well organized project and gives reassurance that it is progressing toward launch. In other news, the say it will come im five color options. Cool! This is all great news and makes us wonder what Atari is up to with their new VCS console. Intellivision seems to have an edge in this console war :)
June 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

IHOP is at it again and have inserted a cheddar pancake into their burgers, like the Big Mac's center-bun

IHOP's limited run menu item the Big IHOP IHOP Big IHOP
Those who disparaged last year's IHOb name changing campaign will be put on the "Bancake" list, cuz IHOP's all about burgers... and pancakes.
IHOP is determined to make us believe they are a pancake restaurant that sells hamburgers. OK, I'll buy into that. Next they expect us to accept a burger with a pancake in the middle. OK, maybe. This Big Mac-ish contraption is apparently a limited menu item - part of this year's promotion.

You may recall their fake name-change from last year a campaign in which they purported a name-change to iHOB and we were supposed to guess what the 'B' stood for. This was all under the guise that iHOB was to be the new name for the restaurant chain. Um... "burger"?

Regardless what you think of these pancake/burger campaigns, they're attracting attention. Love 'em or hate 'em... they ar engaging a lot of people. Other industries... take note! I kind of wish they had changed a few marquees to IHOb and leave us with a permanent pancake/burger combo. It's fun. We need more fun in advertising.

The stats say it all - the IHOb campaign was a win, with burger sales quadrupling following the promotion. One year after the launch, burger sales remained double what they were prior to the IHOb campaign. And now you can have a cheddar pancake in the middle of your burger... for a limited time.

June 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you're a Cuphead superfan and own it on Xbox One & Switch, you need to buy a Tesla

Godzilla King Of The Monsters
Elon Musk is again porting games to his Tesla's dashboard screens and he chose the most frustrating game possible!
Not long ago, I read Elon Musk was licensing Atari games for the in-dash screens of his Tesla cars. Once he clarified that the games could not be played while driving, it seemed odd, but harmless. I guess the screen is larger than most, making the Tesla's dash game-friendly. Everyone loves a game of Asteroids or Breakout, right?

So, this time, he has chosen to port Cuphead to his car's dashboard. Video games on an automobile's screen seems like an unlikely pairing since most of us also have our phones which are much more immersed in gaming than an off-size dashboard screen. But here's the part I don't get...

Turning the difficulty of Cuphead into road rage!
Airlines tend not to show disaster films on their in-flight entertainment screens. So, why induce road rage by offering a game renown for difficulty and frustration?!? 8-bit Atari games can be frustrating, but they are plenty of titles that are good simple fun. Why potentially irritate a driver when they are more than likely going to be driving.

No one hops in the car to play games. You're there to drive. Travel. Get to a destination. Stay home or pull out your phone for games. This scenario makes me think there will soon be a "Cuphead defense" when it comes to trials involving road rage.

Cuphead is part of a summer update for Tesla Model 3, Model S, AND Model X vehicles.Thanks, Elon.
June 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Godzilla King Of The Monsters was a ton of fun and has me firing up my favorite Godzilla games

Godzilla King Of The Monsters
Kick back for the glorious fun of a mindless romp through destruction, plot holes, and rampant monster battles!
I have a love of Godzilla video games and loved the 2014 movie. Going into a Godzilla movie, you have to suspend belief, dismiss plot holes, and enjoy the fighting & city-stomping. There's no expectation of greatness, craving of formidable dialog, nor education about world species. It's a monster movie! They're big, destructive, and not seeking Oscar nominations.

My son and I love playing these Godzilla games, so the film was a natural fit for our taste! Monster vs monster games are my kind of fighting games. Sure, the traditional fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken are fun, but there's something about choosing a character - that's a gross hulking monster - that adds an extra element of fun. Same with movies. Monster movies don't come along all too often, so when Godzilla stomps into theaters, go with the flow and enjoy the madness.

Enjoy the destruction, Godzilla is good mindless fun!
2019's Godzilla King Of The Monsters film did not disappoint - unless the last movie you enjoyed was a giddy rom-com. There's something unpredictably fun about monster films. If you're a fan of 2014's Godzilla movie, this one should thrill you. At the same time, it's worth noting that the story may be a tad muddled. But tat's expected, right? If you seek sensible dialogue, why go to see Godzilla - lol.

I'm OK with scientists studying these Monsters, but when the film cuts to global political debates about dealing with enormous monsters, my eyes roll and I yearn for another fight sequence. fortunately, the political banter is minimal. Probably the best element of this flick is the diversity - or perhaps quantity - of monsters. It's got 'em all! Good fun, if you like this genre of decadent fun.

I loved this film. It was fun and that's all it's supposed to be. The one question I have is how did Millie Bobby Brown wind up in mindless city-stomping monster flick after all the critical acclaim for her in Stranger Things?

If you've played these Godzilla games, you'lll love the Godzilla King Of The Monsters movie

May 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

May 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After 48 years, New York's rock radio 95.5 WPLJ is going off the air

New York's rock radio 95.5 WPLJ
I grew up in the NYC area and lived between WPLJ and WLIR - two stations that shaped the music I came to love.
I"m really sad to hear that WPLJ in New York City is going off the air. I grew up listening to them. Both WPLJ and WLIR shaped the music that I would love for a lifetime. It's crazy to think that WPLJ was still on the air having rocked through a 48 year stint on NY radio, but just as surprising to discover they have come to an end.

Radio is so different today from the freewheeling days of the late 70s and 80s. I always loved the local feel radio had when I was a kid. It was local. You heard ads for local stores and events. There were updates on which bands were coming to your area. You began to "get to know" the DJs. When I was a kid, DJs were heroes!

Pat St. John on WPLJ

Pat St. John was a legendary DJ in New York who had a 42-year career on New York Radio including nearly 15 years at WPLJ from 1973 to 1987. I listened to him all the time and actually met him in a small electronics store in White Plains. It was a store that my Mom would take me to now and then to buy Atari 2600 games.

One day I went in to see what was new for the 2500 and there was a large guy in a cowboy hat set up behind a small table. I wasn't sure who he was, but he was a pretty daunting looking dude, so I went about my game selection. Then he spoke. Instantly, I knew he was Pat St. John! My eyes went wide and I turned to look at him. I couldn't speak. I was overwhelmed. He offered me an autograph on an 8x10 pic of him.

I left the store with a new Atari game and my hero's autograph. I was astounded by his large presence. Having heard him on air for years, I'd never thought about what he might look like. That day has stuck in my memories. Much love for all he gave and how WPLJ introduced me to so many great bands!

New York's rock radio 95.5 WPLJ is going off the air My WPLJ FM card was used at various record stores for discounts. FM = Free Money. The station was sold by it's owner,Cumulus Media, and will become a contemporary Christian music station called KLOVE.
New York's rock radio 95.5 WPLJ is going off the air My WPLJ FM card with Game Boy Color and One of my favorite rock bios - No One Here Gets Out Alive.

As a kid, I had a potable Panasonic radio. After getting over the initial fascination of being able to tune in to discussions and music on a variety of channels, radio became my link to discovering the kind of music that rocked my world. Living in the NY area I listened to the radio at home and whenever I was in a car. There was something about it's live format that excited me.

The DJs were rock stars and the music they played had such a great influence on me. When I hear about streaming music, I admire the technology and the vast amount of music that's available, but radio is a special mix of the DJ's personality, the tracks they play, and a connection to the local area. Streaming music is like listening to CDs, but at a lower quality.

The beauty of radiois it's free. I'm not sure how that suddenly became the model for music itself. Free music? That didn't seem like a winning idea, but that's what they did. There's no better way to devalue something than valuing it a zero (making it free). Now everyone expects to get music for free. Consumers don't want to buy physical media, so they figure they should get music for free. No disc, no charge, right?

Artists have been robed for decades and streaming was supposed to end that, but instead it perpetuated revenue loss for artists. Changes are being made, but it's a slow process. Originally, radio got us stoked about new music and we'd go buy the album. These days no one wants to listen radio or commercials - they just want free music. Society is circling the drain.
May 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As the Tomb Raider games progressed, I hadn't realized how stark the improvements have been between movies

Tomb Raider movies
The movies are quite different from Angelina to Alicia. We've seen the video games get better, but there are so few films.
It's been interesting to see the Tomb Raider video games progress over the years. The first one I played was on the original Playstation and the latest one I've seen is on the PS4. Lara's adventures have been more frequent on game consoles than the in movies. So, we've seen a very noticeable change in the games over the years, but the change is more stark with a 14-year divide between films.

I loved the first Tomb Raider film from 2001 and was tolerant of the 2003 sequel. It's hard to recall 14 years had flown by when the re-boot with Alicia Vikander hit theaters. There were a few stragglers in between, but didn't chart well in theaters. The later film seems to have amped up the action in a big way. I wonder if this is similar to improvements in video game tech that make this film seem much more vibrant and full of action. With fewer Tomb Raider films, we don't see the many gradual improvements, as with the videogames. it feels like it's all at once.

Seems logical to assume film techniques advance similar to the way game consoles are more capable and afford an improved experience today. I"m sure movie tech has grown vastly over the years that elapsed between Tomb Raider movies. It's an interesting comparison because there have been so few movies, but quite a few Lara Croft games have come to market from console to mobile. It's practically a meme how angular the characters were on the PS1 and how curvy (shall we say) they are in more recent games.

The video games have been fun and I'm glad they kept going and developing despite the films lagging behind. However, the 2017 reboot of the original certainly made up for it. I hope Lara Croft remains a vibrant character in more video games and films.
May 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game, from 2009, is being remastered for today's consoles

End of the Ouya game console
Regarded as a great movie tie-in game, Atari published it, but Terminal Reality and Red Fly Studio developed the various releases.
I own Ghostbusters: The video Game on several platforms and managed to scrounge up my Wii and PS3 copies. It's a really fun game and one of the best movie-based video games or it's time. With voices and likenesses from the original cast, it's a really special game in several respects.

Saber Interactive and Mad Dog Games now own rights to the game and are working to release a remastered version for today's game consoles. Bringing a great game up to modern standards for the next generation to enjoy is a trend we want to see more of.

Games disappear daily. When a console is shuttered and replaced, what happens to all the games from it's former online store? I've found a lot of cool games for my Atari 800 on floppy disks. I'll bet there are hundreds of games from that era that are gone forever.

The number of games that are updated, rebooted, or remastered from days gone by are few and far between. It's a treat to have a game Like Ghostbusters remastered. But when you think of all the games that simply slide into oblivion... we have to protect the games we can. Collectors play a big role in this preservation, but there needs to be an industry-wide focus on video game preservation.

in the mean time, let's rejoice in the remastering of an old favorite - can't wait to get it for Switch!
May 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

You may have thought the Ouya was long gone, but it's official end is still a month away

End of the Ouya game console
It started as one of Kickstarter's most successful campaigns for video game hardware, but the Ouya officially sunsets in June.
You may be startled to realize the Ouya website and store have been in place and functioning since the Android game console came to market June 25, 2013, for $99. Of similar surprise is the fact that Sony Betamax tapes were still in production until March of 2016! Who'd have thought it? A lot of things just keep on going - even when you're not watching. But the Ouya will no longer be one of them. Razor is shutting down it's website, store and associated functionality on June 25. If you're feeling a bit sad about this, check out some Ouya images.

Ouya game console drawing The Ouya had lofty goals and convinced a lot of people that this would be "the people's game console" and would turn the gaming industry on it's head. Didn't happen. By July 2015, Razer Inc. had acquired Ouya's employees and content library and discontinued the Ouya hardware.

They tried to migrate Ouya owners to their Forge micro-console, promising that Ouya content would function on the platform. I opted out of that scenario and decided to use it as a ROM station until it fizzled.

A few days ago, I got an email from the Razer folks saying the Ouya services are being shuttered on June 25. Unfortunately, the Ouya is not like my old Atari consoles that still faithfully play all my favorite games from the 80s.

Most Ouya games use online authentication to verify a game's ownership status. So, shuttering the online elements brings that to a close. There may be some work-arounds, but for most of us - the Ouya is over.

1250 Ouya games

I liked The Ouya... for the most part

For me, the Ouya seemed as though it was going to send a clear message to the big three game manufacturers. It was the first indie game console - i was aware of - to not only make a name for itself, but take a piece of the pie from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. While they launched, delivered and sold games online, the overall experience posed no threat to anyone else in the video game industry.

I found a few games I liked and I thought it was cool that nearly all the games could be tried for free. THAT was a nice feature. Like many Ouya owners, I gravitated toward the many emulators available for the console and began using it as a ROM-station. It easily let me play thousands of games on many different consoles.

But the Ouya had a few drawbacks, the controller being the most prominent. It was awful. Connecting this Bluetooth device was always problematic and took several minutes to actually recognize and function with the Ouya.

Despite the end of the Ouya era, you have to admire Julie Uhrman (Ouya CEO) having the guts to create a new kind of console and build a functional ecosystem from which gamers could try and buy games. That was quite a feat for a brand new niche game console. A lot of people like to disparage the Ouya, without really understanding what went into it and how successful it was compared to a lot of micro-consoles. I firmly believed very few of the haters have ever seen an Ouya, let alone actually played a game on one. It had it's faults, but it was pretty cool for what it was.

If you have any funds remaining on the system, now is the time to do something with them.

From Razer's email, also available online:
OUYA & Razer Forge TV Services Shutdown

Thank you for your loyalty to OUYA Gaming and Razer Forge TV. We're writing to let you know that these platforms will be shutdown and no longer available for usage on June 25, 2019.

Your Account:
On June 25, 2019 your OUYA / Razer Cortex account will be disabled. So, we encourage you to utilize your account funds prior to the shutdown.

After June 25, 2019 continued gameplay will vary depending on the individual game developers, but the games will no longer be available on the OUYA platform. Contact the developers for more information.

We thank you for your loyalty over the years and hope you've enjoyed the service. With the innovations continually happening in the gaming industry, we're looking forward to bringing more great gaming options in the future.
Best Regards,
The Razer Team
May 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bubsy Paws On Fire Soundtrack features Metroid and Steven Universe guitarist, Stemage

Stemage does a groovy take on 32-bit era music.
I've enjoyed Bubsy from the SNES to the Atari Jaguar - and more recently on my PS4 via The Woolies Strike Back. Bubsy Paws On Fire comes out soon for PS4 and at Summer's end for Nintendo Switch. This time around I'd like to get that crazy bobcat on my Switch.

If you're holding out for the Nintendo Switch release, check out the soundtrack on Bandcamp to tide you over! Or you an snag a copy because it's 32-bit awesomeness will bring back a grand assortment of memories.

Bubsy Paws On Fire Soundtrack
From Bubsy's Bandcamp soundtrack page:
Bubsy: Paws on Fire! is the latest and greatest in bobcat-based gaming - beamed out from Choice Provisions (the brains behind the BIT.TRIP series), published by ACCOLADE, and with music composed and produced by Stemage.

The music of Bubsy: Paws on Fire! is a hearkening back to the 32-bit era with more than enough weirdo modern twists to keep you on your hind legs.

Each main character has a separate palette of instruments and a different interpretation of each song. Groove along with Bubsy's race through the village, bob your head to Virgil's computational bit blasting in the UFO Research Facility, or jam with the Woolie's cosmic callings in the Amazootorium.

With musical influences ranging from Jumping Flash to The Cardiacs, the Bubsy: Paws on Fire Soundtrack is a groovy, boppy, genre-bending experiment guaranteed to set your paws on actual fire.
May 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Polaroid has a Stranger Things themed camera with film that displays the show's logo beneath your prints

Interest in instant-print photography seems to come and go, so Polaroid is bringing a marketing effort from the Upside Down.
I just finished watching Season 2 last week, so I'm woefully behind the times with the Third season looming in early July. This Polaroid camera has a slick blue and red color scheme with the logos upside down like the alternate dimension in the Netflix show. All in all, it's a pretty clever tie-in.

Instant photography seems to come an go in popularity. Polaroid went with the Stranger things theme and Fuji's Instax delivered a Taylor Swift themed camera. I guess the market is heating up. Are you into instant photography? Does the Stranger Things model motivate yo to buy a Polaroid?

Polaroid Stranger Things themed camera
May 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

New EP to be released on Friday: Miley Cyrus - She Is Coming

Younger Now was quite a diversion from Bangerz, so I'm hoping "crazy-Miley" is behind this EP!
Miley Cyrus' voice is so powerful, I get stoked for her new music. Releasing an EP is an interesting choice for her now. After "Dead Pets" I guess we can toss standards to the wind. But doing things her way is when she shines.

Miley rocks - stoked to see what her EP offers!

Miley Cyrus - She Is Coming I'll give you what you need
When you give me what I deserve.
Miley Cyrus - She Is Coming Miley Cyrus - She Is Coming.

May 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm looking forward to Colin Quinn's CNN comedy special tonight

CNN has been running promos for Red State Blue State - looks pretty funny
I liked his work on SNL's Weekend Update, but loved the craziness of Mtv's Remote Control with Kari Wuhrer!

Colin Quinn's CNN comedy special
May 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

While at Cannes, Kendall takes to the Mediterranean WaveRunner-style with a bit of H2Overdrive mixed in

Kendall on a jetski
Looks like Jenner's passion for muscle cars brought some muscle to the open water.
WaveRunner arcade flyer Kendall looks like she's going at it hardcore. It reminds me of some of the sit-on arcade cabinets like Sega's Wave Runner or Raw Thrill's H2Overdrive. A local theater has a head-2-head Arctic Thunder for a frozen version.

Wave Runner was released in 1996 as a single-player game, although up to four cabinets can be networked for multi-player. The game features Yamaha Jet Skis since they were a sponsor of the game. I've read that the sit-on portion of the game is an actual Yamaha Jet Ski body.

Adding some crazy to the waterborne games, H2Overdrive was another favorite. Though more of a racing boat game, rather than jet ski, it's cockpit setup with steering wheel and shifter with thumb-button was a ton of fun. Gotta love the speakers mounted behind your head in te seat and the sub-woofer! A local arcade used to have two of these, but they've been replaced with lesser versions of what qualifies as an arcade game.

As arcades phase out fun games like Wave Rummer and H2Overdrive, I'll have to live vicariously through Kendall Jenner tearing up the high seas on a Jet Ski.

Kendall Jenner muscle car
May 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Booksmart was a fun flick, but it sometimes tried too hard to be great

Booksmart started and ended strong, but became a bit muddled in between.
I was really excited to see this flick from seeing a trailer and smirking about the tag line, "Getting straight A's. Giving zero F's". It was a good film, but I think it should have been longer. Too many scenes felt cut short as though they had more to offer to the story. It makes me think they needed to shorten it's length after filming, via editing.

I'll definitely pick this one up on DVD... maybe they'll have an extended director's cut that gives more time to some of the scenes. I recommend seeing it. You'll laugh and cringe (for all the right reasons) at some of their antics.

Mabel ride of Die at the Arcade bia Moto GP
May 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Singer/songwriter Mabel's album, High Expectations, releases in mid-July

Here she is with an arcade interpretation of last year's single "Ride or Die".
Mabel ride of Die at the Arcade bia Moto GP
May 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sonic movie director cowers to internet outcry and delays release three months

Sonic the Hedgehog movie delayed by internet complaints
Altering this movie due to internet complaints sends a dangerous message effecting all creators!
The trailer came out for the "live action" Sonic the Hedgehog film and some folks weren't happy about Sonic's look. This is the same thing that happens when EVERY trailer is released. Look at Terminator - people love this franchise and still complain about the recently released trailer. The internet is full of whiny people with too much free time.

Why complain? Vote with your wallet! If you don't like a movie trailer - don't go see the movie. That's what most sane people do rather than dwelling on things and trying to get Hollywood to re-shoot any film they don't like.

The audience are patrons. They experience, not dictate, the final result.
Personally, I liked the way Sonic looked. I though the design was a good mix of elements for a cartoon image being brought into a live action film. At the same time - even though I'm definitely going to see the film - I don't expect it to be anything above mediocre, like most video game movies.

That being said will delaying the film three months change anything? OK, Sonic may look different, but will the story be better? Will it now be a masterpiece rather than another average gaming-influenced flick? I doubt it.

Danger To The Creative Community

Artists should be revered. Praised. And commended. What they do is very personal. A part of them goes into every project. This applies to film making, painting, dance, music, game development - every creative endeavor! They should be able to work unencumbered in a space that allows their creativity to grow and flourish.

When an artist - or any creator - allows the audience to dictate his works, he is no longer an artist. He becomes a pawn in a game that nobody wins. An artist who believes in his work finds an audience who understands what he has put into the project. The audience doesn't dictate the work, they experience what the artist delivers. When this director gives in to internet complaints, it sends a message to every artist. Your creativity does not belong to you. It belongs to the audience to dictate as they see fit.

If you don't like something, avoid it. Simple. Done. Where did people get the notion that artists should bow to consumer demands? I think it began decades ago when they began giving out participation-trophies. Those kids are adults now (chronologically speaking) and expect to get what they want. Always. They don't know any better. They haven't been taught otherwise. The world has always revolved around them and they expect the creators and artists of the world to cater to their ideas.

We live in a world where artists receive vile death threats from fans who don't like their latest work. The internet has gone from being an infinite source of information to being a megaphone for every jerk with a gripe.

Kevin Smith quote - Filmmaker, Kevin Smith Naturally, creative criticism and personal taste play roles. But I can't think of a time when it was acceptable to tell a director to change their movie and seriously expect that to really happen. Never did I think I'd see an artist who would so quickly sell-out to their audience and set such an awful precedent.

This is just the beginning. The general public is being taught that art will be changed based on internet complaints. If that doesn't scare you, wake up!
May 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Spice Girls tour kicked off in Dublin

This is likely to become an enormous success as they get underway!
Unfortunately, the sound at Dublin's Croke Park was awful. Though no fault of the Spice Girls, fans said the songs were all muffled to the point where the audience couldn't recognize which songs were being performed. Even when they were speaking between songs, it was quite bad. That sucks for an opening night, but hopefully its an isolated issue or will be fixed for the remaining shows.

They were so huge in the 90's and have largely remained in the public eye on individual endeavors. So cool to see them reunite even for a short tour. Spice World 2019 is a 13-date tour over about three weeks. I'm hoping it's success will expand it or become larger next year. Not sure how Victoria Beckham could pass up such a unique opportunity.

Spice World Tour opens in Dublin Photo from @fabriziotarvis via Instagram

Spice World Tour opens in Dublin

Emily Reidel Spice Girl admiration
May 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Playdate is Panic's little yellow game console that's so insanely different, I feel drawn to it

Play Date black & white handheld game console
I love quirky things that are a bit different. Playdate fits the bill perfectly with a B&W screen, wifi, and a hand crank!
Panic announced Playdate their quirky handheld game console and it seems like a love/hate sort of device. It'so bizarre, but in a wonderfully delightful way. I can't help but leap into the 'love' column on this one. A 2.7" black and white screen (400 240 resolution), a few standard buttons... and a hand crank. A hand crank! There's a freakin' crank on the side! And you know it'll be used for more than a random fishing game.

I'm very excited for the sheer novelty of Playdate!
As for the love/hate aspect... it will arrive early next year (2020) with a $149 price tag. That seems rather high, but this also includes the twelve games available at launch. They're new games and created by renown developers like Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman. They seem to run the gamut from short to long and traditional to quirky.

But you don't just get them outright. New games seem to be organized into 'Seasons' and automatically arrive weekly via wifi. I'm getting SpotPass flashbacks! The Playdate comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a headphone jack and USB-C port for charging.

I was not familiar with Panic. They've been around for two decades making Mac and iOS games. This little square console is so odd, I'm really excited about it, but stressed that I'll have to wait until next year. A light illuminates alerting the arrival of a new game. How cool is that!?!

As word of Playdate spreads, I'm hoping gamers will be as tickled by it's eccentricities as I am. All too often different = bad with a lot of people. The novelty of this device reminds me of how I fell for the 2DS with it's slate format and novelty of StreetPass. I'm stoked for Playdate!

Play Date black & white handheld game console
As I read through the usual dimwitted comments from folks who still can't figure out why Mommy never loved them, many more level-headed folks are questioning the price. $149 is steep, but it's worth repeating that 12 games are included in this price. Think about that from a retail perspective. 12 3DS games would make this a bargain. The problem I see is we know next to nothing about the games.

Games sell a system. Great hardware is key, buy load it with awful games and even the best hardware can fail. Panic is taking a coy approach to this and keeping the games "hidden", but for good reason - according to their strategy. They want you to be pleasantly surprised each week as a new game magically appears on your system. I get the concept and think it's pretty cool, but in the cut-throat world of the Net, info is king.

They certainly have some impressive developers lined up, but that alone doesn't guarantee great games or even the kind of games I'd want to play. I'd like to see them showcase several games and let half of them be a surprise. I dig this system, but it if comes with 12 puzzle games, I don't want it. Most of us won't take a gamble on a new un-proven game console when we don't know what games it will play.

Atari is going through the same thing with it's upcoming VCS console. It will play classic games we've all played for forty years, but what about new games. Atari won't say and people are not happy. Regarding Playdate, I'm eager to see how this unfolds as the launch nears. I think we'll get a lot more info - hopefully more about the first 12 games and what to expect down the road. Give it a look!
May 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Another press release from Atari contained rendered images of their upcoming joystick & controller

Atari VCS joystick and controller
Atari's communication has been minimal and they still show no proof-of-concept for their upcoming game console.
Atari is getting a little better at communicating with customers and Indiegogo backers. However, they need to ramp up the information. IF they plan on updating every few months, they need to deliver a lot of quality info. Currently they are still offering vague snippets of info which is a strange tactic for a new game console, already delayed once, to the end of 2019.

Atari VCS joystick It seems clear that the VCS will have the Atari Vault games built-in and playable via the modernized CX-40 joystick from the 70's. I think it's design is beautiful and modernized in all the right ways as a tribute to the Atari games we grew up with. Atari has partnered with PowerA for their controllers.

I'm in for $30 for one of those beauties, so I have an interest in seeing Atari deliver on their hardware promises. At the same time, they have a modern joystick to handle the requirements of today's video games.

One enhancement they mentioned is integration of "paddle controller" functions in the classic joystick. I think that's a great idea, as I love paddle games and would love an easier way to play them without going to another control device.

Additionally, they want to implement a rumble feature, add a second "trigger positioned" fire button, and put the ring of LEDs to better use. Well done, Atari. Lets start building them, so they can be real-world tested. This looks nice on paper, but a lot of limitations don't come to light until the real product is tested and put through it's paces.

At this late date, it seems odd for Atari to be discussing refinements and enhancements when they've not created a working prototype. Why send us more rendered images? Show us pics of people using this fantastic joystick during a round of Asteroids or Missile Command! Their persistence with updates and enhancements over showing physical progress is quite frustrating.

From Atari's joystick press release:
After months of testing, the Atari and PowerA teams have nearly finalized design and feature specifications, and the Classic Joystick and Modern Controller are almost ready to go into final production. That means we can now comfortably share the details on what backers can expect when they receive their Atari VCS peripherals later this year.
This sort of rhetoric makes me think Atari will probably delay this project at least once more. I'm glad they are thinking of all these innovations, but if 7 months from delivery they're still putting together a feature list, what about the console itself? Is it completed? Tested? Is the online store being tested? Does an online store even exist yet?

Some nifty joystick features are swell, but there are other aspects that need attention and communication. Let's not forget, Atari collected over Three million dollars from the Indiegogo campaign. So, uh... lets hope they don't just spend it all on crack & hookers. Backers want a game console. And I want my super sexy modern joystick!
May 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

iam8bit offers Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 on a single SNES cart for it's 25th anniversary

iam8bit offers Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 for SNES
I love this release and a limited edition cow-print cart makes a compelling case for purchasing.
Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 were originally released in 1993 & 1995 and iam8bit is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Earthworm Jim with a combo cart for Super NES. They've put the two games on one playable SNES cartridge with some nice additions in packaging and extras.

The price tag seems rather steep at #135, but it is a limited run of only $2,000 carts. For me, it's the cow-print cart that seals the deal. However, that festive bovine cart can not be directly ordered. It's part of a lottery system. of the 2,000 cartridges, about 1 in 20 of them feature the cow-print design. If you order, you should have a 1 in 20 chance of getting a cow-print cart. If you're a gambling type and really crave that cow-print... do you double your chances and buy two?

Tempting as it is to have the cow-print cart, this deal is too rich for me. You can purchase loose carts of both games for $60 or less, so this is an item for the EJ fan with an affection for collecting video games. If that's you - cool deal!

iam8bit offers Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 for SNES
May 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

What if I told you Dell will ship you a brand new Nintendo Wii console in July?

Dell has a SKU for new Wii consoles
Dell is taking pre-orders, claiming Nintendo is manufacturing brand new Wii consoles.
I'm as dumbfounded by this as anyone. Sure enough, Dell is taking pre-orders on brand new Nintendo Wii consoles. I even ordered one... after having a few chat-conversations with Dell reps. I'll follow up in July if they don't cancel the pre-order first and a box arrives on my doorstep. With free shipping, you can expect a July 23, 2019 deliver date, while more expensive options get the console to your house as early as July 17.

Naturally, I'm in total disbelief that Dell is really selling new Wii consoles thirteen years after it's initial release. I wondered if this was some sort of refurbished console. What's the origin of such a thing at this late date. So, here are some of the things I was told by the Dell folks via chat...

Dell's Wii pre-order is either BS or a very well kept secret.

Info From My Chat With A Dell Rep

They told me they were identical to the ones released in 2006. They have a net port, but do not have GameCube support. I was under the impression that the initial Wii consoles all had Gamecube support until the Family Edition consoles on which it was removed to lower the cost.

Regarding refurbs, they said these were new - and by "new" they meant freshly manufactured. What?!? Yeah, Dell said Nintendo was manufacturing brand new Wii consoles. The image on the product page shows a black console, but the description says the console is white. The rep said this was a "stand in" photo since this is a pre-order and the actual image has not been provided.

I Want To Believe

I'm skeptical. Actually, I don't buy it for a second. I'm expecting my pre-order to be canceled at some point. This isn't like baking cookies and you just decide to make a few more. Production of a game console is a huge undertaking. This isn't something you do so a computer reseller can shovel them out the door to folks who are in the know. If they wanted to relaunch the Wii - as odd as that sounds - Best Buy might be a better partner for product visibility.

After placing an order (out of sheer curiosity) I googled around for a while and found no mention of new Wii consoles being produced. The Dell site comes up in search once "dell" is used as a search term, but I find no mainstream, or vague, mention of this phenomenon. My best guess is these are left over Family Edition Wii consoles that Dell is "getting rid of" at $60 each.

Has anyone else heard of this pre-order offer from Dell?

From the Dell product page:
Wii comes packaged with the iconic game, Mario Kart Wii. Experience the classic franchise that has been around for more than 17 years and played by people of all ages. Wii also comes packaged with the intuitive Wii Wheel for Mario Kart Wii. Also included in the bundle are a Nunchuk and a Wii Remote Plus - the original Wii Remote with Wii MotionPlus functionality built in.

UPDATE May 25:
The page on the Dell site has been removed and now displays either a 404-error or simply links to another product. My guess is either they sold all available Wii consoles or I'll be getting an order cancellation notice.

UPDATE July 17:
Dell had some sort of mix up and sent out Dragon Quest Builders 2 for Switch. Yep, after confirming with two reps at Dell when I placed my order, they sent a Switch game, not a Wii console. This also happened to a friend of mine, so I'm guessing Dell screwed up somewhere and had incorrect info on their site. Worst of all is their return policy. It takes a month to get a refund! WTF!
May 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Champ Games is bringing an amazing port of Galaga to the Atari 2600

Champ Games' Galaga for Atari 2600
This is another example of pushing the limits of hardware with great programming. It's fast and looks great!
Games like Galaga, despite being arcade favorites for decades, have been thought of as too advanced for certain platforms. As a kid I loved the arcade ports for the Atari 2600, but some games never arrived. I'd have loved to play Galaga at home, but it was not meant to be.

Champ Games' Galaga for Atari 2600 Champ Games is changing this perception. They currently have a working demo of Galaga for the Atari 2600 and it's fast. No really. It's savagely fast. Faster than I'd have ever thought possible on Atari's 2600.

They are planning on releasing a demo ROM as soon as a few kinks are worked out and later - a cartridge release. This will be one of those must-have games for the 2600. The detail of the enemies and the scrolling stars in the background are details that make such a port really special, but they're also considering a variety of other additions/options.

Just getting the game to play on the 2600 is a feat, but they've also included all enemies and levels. Still, they have a lot more in store, including 2-player modes, a pause feature, and three difficulty levels. What if you could just play Challenge stages? How about 2-player co-op mode? This is shaping up to be an epic version of Galaga and it offers these amazing options on the 2600!.

Check out the video below for some gameplay footage and follow the progress on Atariage.

Champ Games' Galaga for Atari 2600 Challenge Stage (showing a double-ship) on Galaga for Atari 2600
May 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you enjoyed the first two films, you'll love John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum

There's something I love about those hand-to-hand combat shoot-outs!
I watched the first two films last week - having never seen the second one - to prepare for chapter three in the John Wick series. I've long been a fan of the initial film and adore the choreography of the fighting style with close range head-shots blended with fists and feet.

This fighting style is new to me - never seen it in another movie. Mixing a dozen close-range head-shots with martial arts gives the film a unique feel. If you liked the first two films, John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum won't disappoint!

John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum
May 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Burger King offered some square renditions of menu items for Minecraft's ten year anniversary

While squarely appropriate for the game's anniversary, White Castle has cornered the marked on square burgers!
Minecraft celebrates it's 10th anniversary today and burger King chimed in with some MC-esque menu items from their menu. Tied to the ten0year event, Mojang announced Minecraft Earth, an AR game for mobile devices that operates similarly to Pokemon Go.

Mincraft tenth anniversary
May 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's Game Boy Advance is my favorite handheld console and some of the customizations are way cool

I found these GBA designs by Mizucat along with a cool portfolio of similar art.
I found this customized Game Boy Advance on the Mizucat website. Stop by and see what else she creates.

Customized Game Boy Advance. Customized Game Boy Advance.
Customized Game Boy Advance Customized Game Boy Advance.

May 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

She Is Coming May 30th

Miley Cyrus has a unique way of promoting her new music. Can't wait to hear what she's releasing!
From feather-light to hardcore, Miley has a way of transforming herself along her musical journey. You never really know what you'll get. I love her spirit and her compulsion to do things her way. I've read her latest album is complete, so I hope she's releasing it in a few weeks as opposed to just a single. We shall see...

New music from Miley Cyrus
May 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The next ten games built-in to Sega's Genesis Mini console have been revealed

Genesis Mini console games
Now that we know 30 of the titles for the Genesis Mini, are you more likely to buy it?
As more games are revealed and the launch date approaches, I'm more inclined to buy the Sega Genesis Mini console. Sony's poor planning for the PlayStation Classic turned me off for a while. I was lamenting that maybe it's only Nintendo who knows how to deliver. As time marches on, I have more faith in this system.

I didn't own a Genesis during it's reign on retail shelves. I was a Nintendo fan and didn't buy a Genesis until years later. I mention this because I have no nostalgic feelings for Genesis, the way I do for the NES and SNES. But as I become more familiar with the console and game library - dying to get Analogue's Mega Sg - the more I want the Genesis Mini. I have the compilation discs for Switch and PS4, still I want to play the Genesis Mini!

The third reveal of 10 more game titles.
  1. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  2. Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition
  3. Ghouls 'n Ghosts
  4. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  5. Beyond Oasis
  1. Golden Axe
  2. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
  4. Vectorman
  5. Wonder Boy in Monster World

Genesis Mini console games

The second set of ten games were revealed about one month ago:
  1. Earthworm Jim
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  3. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  4. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  5. Contra: Hard Corps
  1. Streets of Rage 2
  2. Thunder Force III
  3. Super Fantasy Zone
  4. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  5. Landstalker

Genesis Mini console games

We posted about the First set of games for the Genesis Mini back in March. Take a look!
May 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Gotta like starting the Summer season with The Goonies and Beetlejuice at the local drive-in

As the weather begins to warm up and we come out of our game caves to see what wonders the new season has to offer... What better way to kick it off than an 80's dollop of films at the drive-in? Drive-ins are an amazing wonder and being lucky enough to live fairly close to one is a blast in the Summer.

We're just beginning to warm up and the idea of chilling in the car with a big screen showing of The Goonies and Beetlejuice is too good to pass up!

Nothing beats a good double-feature at the drive-in!
Delta Airlines tries to stop unions
May 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This Space Invaders board game adds strategy and integrates a deck of cards to help battle invaders

Space Invaders board game
This game has some interesting elements that make it more engaging as a competitive game of survival.
Back in the 80s the tidal wave of video game craze saw a wide array of awful tie-in products seeking to cash in on the success of iconic games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. This even resulted in simplistic board games. Recently I've tried a few video game inspired board games and they just don't have the allure of other board games I enjoy.

612 Entertainment looks to be creating an engaging board game that plays like a board game without trying to be a video game. They are crowd funding a board game based on Taito's iconic video game from 1978 - Space invaders, on Kickstarter.

Substituting the video game's manic speed for strategic gameplay.
The frantic fun of video games can't be captured in a board game, but that isn't to say the essence of Space Invaders can't be captured and expanded in different ways to become an engaging board game.

Using a combination of familiar elements to the video game, a deck of custom cards are introduced to let players gain intel on the approaching invaders. Already this game is more sophisticated than many video game board games.

I get a good vibe from the gameplay description and how the cards are used to enter a nice strategic element. This sounds like a fun game and this Kickstarter version will apparently one of the last product granted the "40th Anniversary" logo by Taito. Browse their kickstarter campaign and see if this is a project you'd want to support.
May 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Delta Airlines tried to convince workers to spend union dues on video games and beer

Delta Airlines tries to stop unions
Unions have traditionally been very beneficial to members, so the thought of forgoing union dues in favor of buying video games and beer is preposterous!
When I saw these Delta posters fostering the notion that union dues would be better spent on video games, I thought it was some sort of joke. The notion that a company would use such a dimwitted tactic to denigrate union membership is shocking.

One hopes the average worker won't fall for these ridiculous ideas. For some segments of the workforce, safety in numbers is still a necessary strategy to keep oppressive corporations from steamrolling their employees. It's a way for the little guys to have some power.

One Delta poster tells employees, "A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union."

The benefits unions offer their members is vastly more valuable than buying a PS4 and a couple of games. Play your cards right and history shows your salary will rise and healthcare costs will be leveled. This will enable you to buy video games and beer. Son't be fooled by greedy corporations.

It's sad to see how little Delta seems to value their own employees. This tactic should send a clear message to all employees: Start looking for a job with a reputable employer! This is more than enough for me to never fly Delta Airlines again.
May 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Disney's decision to cut back on Star Wars releases sucks, but it's nice to see posters for December's releases

The new Star Wars movie schedule shows new releases every two years.
I loved the idea of a new Star Wars film each Christmas and alternate story in the spring. Reaction to past films seems to have caused Disney to dial back (way bak) the release schedule of future Star Wars films. Can this really be in reaction to responses to the last few films? Star Wars seemed like a cash-cow that could do no wrong. I loved the epic stories coming out so frequently. It was a dream come true! What other franchise put out content like this? NONE! So, what gives?

The sad truth is no one hates Star Wars more than their own fans. The new mentality of being the center of attention and having everything tailored to their individual needs is such a vastly different mindset from my generation. We were eager to experience the next tale. It was exciting to see where the story would go next. These days, fans want their story.

Today, cowards on social media send death threats to artists of all mediums when these deranged fans don't like something. It's sad to see what fandoms have become. Everyone wants to spread hate. People are just dreadful these days. Who wants to coddle or cater to a bunch of man-babies who feel the story didn't go to their liking? Human destroy everything... even the planet. Grow up and just be glad any artist is still willing to create in this atmosphere of self-centered idiocy.

Happy Mothers Day!
May 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms who played video games with us when our friends were away!
When I was a kid, most moms didn't play video games. Most moms didn't like video games. But the good ones saw how important it was to us. They saw our friendships bond over these seemingly dumb games.

When our friends were away and they saw us playing alone, some moms offered to play with us. They may have wondered if that was important.

It was the best of times and meant the world to us!

Happy Mothers Day!
May 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I grew up reading J.R.R. Tolkien and enjoyed seeing part of his origin as an author in this biopic film

I knew little about author JRR Tolkien and really enjoyed this biopic film.
After reading The Hobbit, I was hooked and dove into the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I also loved Terry Brookes' Shannara series as well as Lloyd Alexander. Fantasy books became a passion that led me to Stephen King because good writing and good stories is an unbeatable combination.

Tolkien was the first author to motivate me to love reading and my desire to read expanded well beyond fantasy. Reading is one of the best hobbies a person can have. Reading makes you thing differently, write better, and be more inquisitive about things.

Kids should always have a book to read. This produces adults who read, which in turn reduces the number of dumb people controlling the world. Books are important. Go see the Tolkien film!

JRR Tolkien biopic film
May 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Detective Pikachu was more fun after they moved us to a theater with functioning sound

Detective Pikachu movie ticket
Unsure what to expect, Detective Pikachu was an entertaining film, but don't expect any similarity with the traditional game series.
Detective Pikachu Last week I picked up a copy of Detective Pikachu for my 2DS. When I first heard of this title it seemed like an odd concept. A live action movie? Absurd! I've played a few Pokemon games in my time, but in a casual fashion - not really knowing what I was doing. I wanted more info before tackling Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu.

The movie followed the game quite a bit. The game is unlike any other Pokemon release as you may imagine since he's a detective. You follow a linear story, that pulls you along if you stray, and collect clues to the whereabouts of Tim Goodman's father.

I'm not a huge fan of puzzle games, but solving this mystery felt more like an old school adventure game where you feel you're exploring, but you're really being led around. It's a fun game, and was a good prep for seeing the film. I like Ryan Reynolds, but each time his voice took a sarcastic tone, I'd see Deadpool, not Pikachu.

The flick began with sound problems that escalated because all the coming attractions were silent and then the film began - in silence! It was finally resolved by letting us go to the next showing which was beginning about the same time they gave up trying to "fix" the sound. On the plus side, each ticket purchased came with a Detective Pikachu card pack.

Folks like to classify films and being a "{Pokemon" film, it tends to be lumped into the Video Game category. I disagree with this. It seems more like a gritty fantasy flick. There are no gaming elements and Pikachu and the other Pokemon have no connection with the traditional game franchise. It's fun, but once was enough.
May 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I loved finding interesting titles on Virtual Console - here's a ZX Spectrum game for Switch

Clive Townsend's Saboteur! for Switch
Collaboration with Clive Townsend brought about a remastered version of Saboteur! available for Switch.
We recently saw mention on Ausretrogamer's website of a Speccy game for Switch! The Wii was the first console I used to download games. The Virtual Console often had some interesting titles from other platforms from Commodore 64 and TurboGrafx-16 to Sega's Master System and Genesis.

So I was pretty stoked to find out Clive Townsend's award winning 1985 video game Saboteur! on Nintendo Switch. It's been out since Nov 2018, so it's new to me... and worth mentioning. SimFabric worked with Townsend to remaster the original mission and add more levels and enemies. The mission from the original game can be can be played as ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, You'll find nine retro consoles graphic modes for the entire game!

I've always loved the ZX Spectrum's visual look it's as distinctive as early NES games were to me. Seeing that graphic style is really cool and Saboteur! was an award-winning well-reviewed game. Saboteur! is currently selling for $8, although I've heard some very enticing sale prices. Check it out!

Clive Townsend's Saboteur! for Switch
May 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Polymega modular console got off to a rough start, but they're back with a pre-sale and good reviews

Polymega begins another pre-order
Back with a faster processor and state-of-the-art emulation, the modular approach to retro gaming is ready for pre-order.
I love the modular approach of Polymega's retro console. You can purchase the modules you want for the games you own. If you have a lot of SNES games, buy the SNES module. Not a fan of TurboGrafX... skip it. It's a cool model for a retro gaming all in one unit. It begins with a base unit to which you attach console specific modules with an appropriate cartridge slot and emulator.

However, in a sea of hardware-based Field Programable Gate Array (FPGA) consoles, the Polymega largely uses software emulation. While it was rumored to be a hybrid between FPGA and emulation, i'm not finding a lot of info about any FPGA modules. While this isn't a deal breaker, emulation often gets a bad name from bad emulators. From what I've read, they've licensed the best of the best emulators and folks who have independently tested it come away happy.

I recent'y bought Analogue's SuperNt console and love it! With that experience, i'd hoped Polymega would follow the FPGA route. I've read some good reviews of it lately and their pre-order opens today.

Last September they tried a pre-order that failed when their site went down for a few days and the launch was seemingly canceled. They look to be in much better shape for this launch and it sounds like the Polymega will be delivered this Summer.

Reserve your system a la carte starting at $299 USD, or get a discount bundle with four modules for $499. Love to see it succeed. Are you pre-ordering?

Polymega begins another pre-order
May 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Huey Games' Droid Assault is coming to Mac & PC with all the fun of an 8-bit arcade shooter

Huey Games Droid Assault
Huey Games' Neo-Retro series selects retro-style games for physical release on their unique Collectors USB Cassette format!
The Collectors USB Cassette of Droid Assault is an exclusive physical edition of this classic game for PC and Mac (DRM-free), designed to slot seamlessly into your retro gaming collection. This unique format allows space for a lot of additional features including soundtrack albums, artwork, retro archives and more. I have a similar USB Cassette from their release of Hyper Sentinel and it's pretty cool!

The game play is described as reminiscent of 1984's Paradroid and reminds me of Neuro Voider on modern platforms. It's a tactical arcade shooter, with the fun addictive gameplay of 8-bit classics. You can see a few play-through videos on their campaign site. This game release on USB Cassette is being crowd funded via Kickstarter.

Take a look at the campaign page for more info and see if this is a game you'd like to back. The Hewson's have a long history of game development. Andrew Hewson founded of 8-bit videogame publisher Hewson Consultants (Uridium, Paradroid, Nebulus) and 16-bit publisher 21st Century Entertainment (Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions).

We love Hyper Sentinel, also released for modern consoles including Nintendo Switch and are excited to see Droid Assault. Will it make it to consoles? We have no info on that, but time will tell.

Huey Games Droid Assault
May 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I hoped Game Winner would take the Kentucky Derby, but even the winning horse lost

With a name like Game Winner, how cold an avid gamer not put all their money down? I'm not a gambler,but I was rooting!
I know very little about horses and even less about horse racing. Still, I can't resist the most exciting tow-minutes in sports. Imagine all this training and effort comes down to two minutes. That alone makes it exciting and it's the start of that wishful feeling for a tripple crown winner. Each year I get into the revelry of the Derby.

Each year I find some logic in selecting a favorite to win. Not based on any knowledge, I try to find a hook. This year Game Winner was the obvious choice. With a name one might associate with video games, he was an obvious choice for me. And like every other year, I'm glas I placed no bet as he lost. but it's a fun event to watch.

Game Winner in the Kentucky Derby
This is the first time in Derby history for the "winning" horse to not cross the line first! So, what happened to cause the first horse across the line to be disqualified?

From the Kentucky Derby website:
Maximum Security led all the way home in Saturday's 145th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs, but Country House was declared the winner after jockey Flavien Prat lodged an objection.

Repeated replays showed Maximum Security drifting off the rail in the final bend and floating other rivals wide. Following a long stewards inquiry, Maximum Security was disqualified and Country House crowned the winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
May 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Saturday's triple threat - Free Comic Book Day, Star Wars Day, and the Kentucky Derby

Free Comic Book Day
So many weekends pass without much excitement, then we have three events in one! I need more balance!
My day began with an early morning run to my local Newbury Comics shop for Free Comic Book day. I found a few books of interest to me. They instituted a maximum pull of three books. I went for Stranger Things since I love the series, Vampirella which is a longtime love, and I grew up with Casper comics. A good start to my day.

I have the original Star Wars trilogy ready with a strong desire for The Force Awakens. We'll see how much I can watch before tuning in for the Kentucky Derby. It's known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, but the coverage begins hours before and kind of sets the mood. Maybe this will be Star Wars Weekend!

Free Comic Book Day For me, Free Comic Book Day yielded Stranger Things, Vampirella, and Casper.
Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you. Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you.

May 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The “Welcome To Arcadia” documentary chronicles arcade history from the turn of the century to today

Welcome To Arcadia documentary
From the team that created the retro-computing film, Viva Amiga, comes another film - this time revealing a detailed history of arcades.
Welcome To Arcadia documentary logo Welcome To Arcadia, from director, producer, and filmmaker Zach Weddington, examines arcades from the turn of the century to modern times. Too many documentaries like this begin in the late '70s or early 1980s. This misses so many amazing mechanical games that are just as important to arcade history as Defender and Street Fighter.

A notable element of this documentary is it is truly a 100-year history of arcade games. You'll be surprised at the games that led up to all your favorites from the boom of the 80s. I'm excited about this film and craving more info.

They have a Welcome To Arcadia Facebook page, but the most timely updates seem to be on their Twitter account.

Featured in this project are two heavyweights in the gaming preservation and collection arena. Jon Torrence is renown in the antiques industry with a huge collection of antique coin-op amusements. In the pixelated world of gaming is Doc Mack, the owner of Galloping Ghost Arcade near Chicago. Galloping Ghost has become the largest arcade in the world with over 600 games and a new & growing pinball offering.

We're excited to watch the progress as production continues and see the final product. It's scope alone makes this an exciting project created from a love of arcades and the games that made them incredible destinations!
May 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Actor Peter Mayhew has passed away at the age of 74

Beloved original Chewbacca actor, Mayhew played the role from the original 1977 Star Wars to 2015's The Force Awakens.
Actor Peter Mayhew has passed away
May 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Burger King gets edgy with a line of “Real Meals” based on moods (they should add a Nintendo toy)

Burger King gets edgy with a line of Real Meals
This is no Happy Meal, but is a DGAF Meal the way to take a swipe at McDonalds during Mental Health Awareness Month?
I watched Burger King's video that accompanied the limited release of boxed Whopper meals, called Real Meals. There's nothing happy about it and maybe that's the point of this new boxed meal endeavor. Focused on a #FeelYourWay slogan, may not be the best way to engage mental health awareness while selling burgers.

Are we color coding our moods... with a side of fries?
These Real Meals come in a variety of packaging options based on moods. You can purchase a Pissed Meal, Blue Meal, Salty Meal, YAAAS Meal and "DGAF" Meal. My first reaction was finding this campaign a strange advertising tactic, but I totally want a DGAF Meal! But before getting too excited, these odd boxes are a limited offering in a few select cities (Austin, Seattle, Miami, Los Angeles and New York City).

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it seems BK partnered with an organization to advance an idea via Whopper meals. The video is pretty hardcore for BK considering the typically goofy ads they've used with that creepy guy in the "King" costume. I guess awareness is part of the solution, but I'm not sure a burger joint is a great fit for expressing moods or helping you #FeelYourWay.

I'm pretty sure Happy Meals don't inspire happiness (unless it comes with a Nintendo-themed toy) any more than Burger King's Real Meals will bring awareness about our moods. It's a personal thing. At the same time if a Pissed Meal helps you deal with your frustrations or a Sad Meal brings you together with someone to talk to - that's a good thing. But before the King gets any humanitarian awards, lets remember you can only get a Pissed Meal in five cities... while supplies last. Should have had toys. Nintendo toys.
May 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The original Earthworm Jim dev team has united to develop a new game for the upcoming Intellivision Amico

A new Earthworm Jim Game for Intellivision Amico
While new game consoles for retro gaming is niche, a new Earthworm Jim game will eventually be ported to other platforms.
Earthworm Jim is one of those iconic games and characters that gamers love to see make a comeback. Intellivision was once a competitor of Atari's 2600 game console and is making a return via a new game console, with a retro gaming focus, the Amico.

An interesting component to news of a new Earthworm Jim game is the platform on which it will launch. The Intellivision Amico. A video game console that doesn't presently exist. I grew up with an Atari 2600, but loved playing sports games on my buddy's Intellivision. Seeing a part of that era make a hardware comeback is as exciting as it is improbable.

Amico news will flourish as development progresses, but how cool is the Earthworm Jim news. While you may have reservations about a new un-proven game console, a stellar title of this nature, coming from the original dev team, is awesome news! I hope they can make a success of the Amico and launch this new game. But we all know the reality...

Earthworm Jim will be ported to other modern platforms. It may begin as an Intellivision exclusive- as it rightly should- but it will come to other consoles. If Cup Head can come to Nintendo Switch, you can bet you will also have Earthworm Jim on your Switch too!

From Intellivision's Earthworm Jim press release:
IRVINE, CA, May 1, 2019 - In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Earthworm Jim, Intellivision Entertainment is proud to announce it has gathered together and reunited the original Earthworm Jim team to create a brand new video game adventure exclusively for the upcoming Intellivision Amico home video game console. Ten of the original programmers, artists, audio team and level designers are taking part in bringing back the uniqueness and humor of the Earthworm Jim series.

To celebrate the reunion with the fans, a 20 minute live interactive simulcast streaming event will take place on Saturday, May 4th at noon pacific during the first Earthworm Jim design meeting with the original team. As part of the live simulcast, the team will engage with fans to hear their new vision firsthand, multiple original art pieces will be hand-drawn by the artists, signed by the entire team and given away to people viewing the live stream. In addition, 50 brand new posters will be signed and numbered for live chat prizes.

"We have been talking about this moment for many years, it's a dream come true to finally get the entire team back together. We're looking forward to sharing a small part of our reunion and initial design meeting with fans from around the world," said Tommy Tallarico, Intellivision Entertainment CEO/President and original Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 composer and sound designer. "Intellivision Amico is designed to bring friends and families together and we are excited for fans and those just being introduced to the series to get a first look as we kick-off the design of the game."

Earthworm Jim is just one of the many new titles that will be coming to Intellivision Amico. Voted "GAME OF THE YEAR" in 1994, the last time the Earthworm Jim team worked together was in the follow up award-winning hit sensation Earthworm Jim 2 (released in 1995). Original team members including Doug TenNapel, David Perry, Tommy Tallarico, Nick Bruty, Mike Dietz, Tom Tanaka and Joey Kuras all went on to create their own highly successful companies, technology, video games, TV shows, comic books, albums, movies, graphic novels and world touring live events.

About Intellivision Amico: Intellivision Amico, launching October 10, 2020, is a home video game console designed to bring social fun back to the living room. Amico is the Italian word for "friend" or "buddy" and Intellivision Amico encapsulates this meaning fully with a home entertainment system that has multiplayer, togetherness at its core. All new games as well as reimagined classics coming to the system invite up to eight to play using easy to use controllers and even mobile phones. Designed to appeal to a broad audience from nostalgic gamers to families, all titles will be rated E for Everyone or E10+ making it a great addition to everyone's home. For more information, visit
May 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

THIS is the way to see Avengers: Endgame - at the local drive-in

Drive-ins offer a unique way to enjoy a movie, especially if it's three hours long!
It's still a bit cold out here at night, but I would have gone to the Drive-in for Endgame, but I didn't know it was already open. That means summer is just around the corner. And all my favorite arcades pen for the season too!

Avengers: Endgame at the drive-in

April 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

April 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jim Carey will likely be the highlight of the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog movie, but it looks kind of funny

Sonic the Hedgehog movie
I was prepared to roll my eyes and hate the trailer, but I found it funny. Jim Carey is a pro. I'm down for this!
Sonic the Hedgehog movie As one might expect, the Internet is outraged by a live action Sonic The Hedgehog film. They also have complaints about his teeth. Yes, his teeth. WTF. Regardless, he's coming to te big screen with Jim Carey as Dr. Ivo Robotnik and Ben Schwartz voicing Sonic.

To be honest, I can see this plot line much clearer than Ryan Reynolds solving crimes with Detective Pikachu. Yeah, I saw the 3DS game, but Pikachu is a detective? So, as far as unlikely plots, Sonic has this one nailed - and I'm a full-on Nintendo fan.

I went the NES and SNES route, forgoing Sega consoles until the Saturn arrived. Mario movies make more sense to me even though they're dreadful.

This may be a great opportunity for Sega to boost Sonic's rep in the larger entertainment industry. Can a small-town cop help sonic evade the evil doctor and the government goons who want to capture him? Find out in November 2019!

April 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Indian Army bolsters tourism via Makalu-Barun National Park Yeti speculation

Yeti footprints
Something that looks like Yeti footprints is likely something else. Try Far Cry 4's Valley of Yetis DLC for all your Yeti thrills!
I saw this story on Twitter and it seems that some part of India's Army found large footprints with an enormous stride in the snow. As a child, I was fascinated by Yetis each winter until the season warmed upa n I switched back to Bigfoot.

Yeti footprints As an adult I wondered how many seasons of Finding Bigfoot could be televised without finding any evidence of anything. Animal Planet was able to broadcast 90 episodes (an astounding quantity) over nine seasons, thus proving the stupidity of their viewers. They never found anything even remotely conclusive.

There are a number of technologies used on satellites that would easily "notice" a large lone warm-blooded creature bounding through the snow. Fantasy is fun. That's why shows like The X-Files have large followings, but Mulder and Scully were not part of a documentary.

While the foot prints are mysterious, the best explanation from a trained military group should be a bit more sophisticated than, "it's a Yeti." Tumbling snow chunks from the mountains have created similar impressions in snow with a rhythmic cadence of footsteps. Let's consider that before an unknown beast.

It's worth noting that something you liken to "footprints" may actually be something else and doesn't instantly classify them as actual footprints. Envision something logical before announcing discovery of a snowbeast.

Yeti footprints tweet Fire up your PS4 and let Far Cry 4's Valley of Yetis DLC tame your need to believe in nonsense.
April 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Taylor Swift had an RPG-like Easter Egg hunt across social media, in the weeks preceding 4/26

Taylor Swift's TS7 clues
Taylor Swift leaving clues throughout social media kind of suggests the Switfies need an RPG on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
Is Taylor Swift super-clever or are her fans all about a good conspiracy theory? I get the feeling TayTay and a couple of Swifties could defeat an Escape Room in a matter of minutes.

Taylor Swift's TS7 clues The lead-up to April 26 - when she released her latest single, Me - involved clues or stuff or suggestive imagery about an upcoming event. The length of "The Story of Us" is 4:26 (April 26?) is the seventh song on her Speak Up album and the only song on Spotify without the unique background image. There were seven palm trees. Sitting on the seventh stair. Are Mulder and Scully deciphering any of this?

This is so close to an RPG requiring the pink key on level 4 to open the red door on level 26. Her game played out into a variety of wild speculations from a new album to a wedding. Her fans clearly enjoy deciphering her every move in search of morsels of information.

Other celebrities have stared in video games, where's Taylor's Revenge for PSVR? Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus (as Hanna) have their own games as well as all the DDR, Guitar Hero, and Just Dance titles arranged around multiple bands. Even Journey had "Journey Escape on the Atari 2600 back in 1983!

It's time Taylor's fans get some sort of manic code-breaking, collection game. And we're not talking about a simplistic mobile game cash-grab. Lets see a real console game. After the hunt that occurred to figure out what the 26th had to offer, there needs to be a quality puzzle game set in Taylor's world of cats, snakes, and defeating Kanye. Better hurry devs... Black Pink might dominate gaming as part of their global take-over!

April 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Even at three hours, I was ready for at least another hour of Avengers Endgame

This film hit all the marks for me. It was a lot of fun and engaging from start to finish!
** No Spoilers **

I've said several time I'm not a fan off super hero movies, but Avengers Endgame was great!. Over the years, I've seen a few that I absolutely loved, but it's not my thing. Hearing that this film was three hours long was another strike as far as I was concerned.

My son was visiting and he was eager to see it, so off we went on opening night. I'm more of an early Saturday matinee movie goer. Where I live, you may encounter one or two others at the first showing - and I like that. Thursday night was the busiest I've seen this theater in a very long time. By the time it ended, it didn't feel like three hours and I wanted more. Great flick. Go see it!

Avengers Endgame April 28 update:
The global weekend gross for Avengers Endgame was $1.2 billion! This is the first film in history to cross the ! billion mark on an opening weekend.
April 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Easter

My yearly quest for Jelly Beans begins.
Happy Easter 2019
April 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With Easter vacation approaching, we're taking the week off to explore the local arcade scene

We have some new games and a new arcade to share with my son!
Every time I pass by an Air Hockey table, I wish my son was visiting so we could play. Easter week affords us a lot of time to play together. At the mall arcade, we now have the new Halo cockpit cabinet and an electromechanical Pong game table. Dying to try out both and mix in some Space Invaders Frenzy!

As if that weren't enough, a new retro barcade has opened up nearby. While it has the adult offerings of a liquor license, they allow kids (accompanied by an adult) to play retro arcade games up to 8pm. They have Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, and a slew of other cabinets. This will be a fun time!
April 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bella Thorne reveals her browser history and BTW her latest book is a number one best seller

The number of project she undertakes is astonishing. Her success is no surprise. She is very underestimated. She can do it all!
Bella Thorne reveals her browser history Bella Thorne has an insanely quirky sense of humor that seemingly comes out of left field. At the same time she'll star in four or five different films, within six months, and absolutely kill each role.

She over-shares like a madman on social media. She and her sister started a record label. She's written another book. I think she is constantly underestimated.

Bella Thorne is a jack of all trades and it's exciting to see her branch out. Dying to see what she does next.

Author, Bella Throne - The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray Author, Bella Throne - The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray
Author, Bella Throne - The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray wil be released in July.

April 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Birthday to actor Tim Curry

I still love watching 1995's Congo!
Tim Curry's character in Congo is awesome. It's such a mediocre movie, I find it irresistible. Once I've heard, "Stop eating my sesame cake," my night is complete! Fun movie!

Tim Curry in Congo
April 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Trump's "I'm Fucked" quote speaks volumes about the uneducated con-man he tries to keep hidden

If being a disgusting human weren't enough, he's unable to speak in sentences and has a very stunted vocabulary.
Every President has a great quote (or quotes) that inspire, move, and speak to the kind of person they were. Trump is a tiny little man afraid everyone will see behind the curtain and realize he has lied about everything. His wealth, school record, his businesses. He's lived a fraud and thought he could continue his charade in the White House.

Sadly, many Congressmen see him as a pawn for pushing through legislation to benefit their personal greed. Follow the money and you'll discover everything you need to know about corruption in Washington, DC. Trump needs to go. Impeach!

Another embarrassing Trump quote Don't listen to the ultra-right-wing nuts or Fox News. Use your brain. If you have to be told things, stop and wonder why you don't seek your own information. The Mueller Report did not exonerate Trump.... it laid out the path for congress to do it's job and remove him.
April 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When Nolan Bushnell accepts your Linked In invitation, chances are he pushed the wrong button

Linked In is a strange network, but it sure is full of interesting people!
Nolan Bushnell accepted my Linked In invitation One time I was checking a message in Linked In and was going through the multitude of screens where they try to trick you into inviting more folks into their network. Accidentally, I clicked "Invite All" rather than dismissing the whole thing to get to that pressing message from someone I don't even know.

Lets just say I'm well versed in pushing the wrong button and regretting the lack of a confirmation screen. Shouldn't there be a confirmation screen when potentially adding 70 people to your network? WTF!

I'd seen Nolan Bushnell's name pop up a few time in my list of folks similar to me. I'm not sure how he fell into that category. He co-founded Atari and I sat in front of the TV loving his Atari VCS and numerous arcade games.

One day I decided to click the Invitation button - what the hell, why not? Then this happened. He accepted! I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he deletes me, but this screenshot will live on until I forget to pay my hosting fee. I'm sure random gaming nuts hit him up regularly. I doubt I'll start a conversation, despite Linked In's suggestion. lol.
April 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari chimes in to gloat about AMD acknowledging their game console project

Atari gloats about AMD chips
Atari is employing a sexy new chipset, but still hasn't mentioned any developers who are onboard to make Atari VCS games.
With AMD announcing its new Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC, Atari seemed thrilled to be mentioned in the press release. They sent out an email about it. In typical Atari form, there was no real news about the Atari VCS game console. We already knew about the chip upgrade - last email from Atari discussed the 7-month delay on the console because they were switching chips.

From the AMD Press Release:
Customers like Advantech, ASRock Industrial, IBASE, Netronome, Quixant and others are already working on Ryzen Embedded R1000-based products. As well, Atari is using the high-performance Vega 3 graphics and 'Zen' CPU architecture in the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC to power the upcoming Atari VCS game system.
At this late stage, they still don't seem to have a working prototype or new games for the system. Nor have they mentioned any developers who might be creating games for the console. I presume this new AMD chip isn't needed to play 1980's Missile Command. Atari really needs to reassure backers that there will be some modern games at launch - in addition to Roller Coaster Tycoon!

Atari could do very well for themselves as a lifestyle brand with a creative soft-goods line. Buying the Atari name doesn't make them game developers any more than buying a potato makes me a farmer. Stick with what you're good at. I'd be all over some cool Atari merch.
April 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Tiffany brings “I Think We're Alone Now” into 2019 just before the MixTape Tour hits the road

It feels like 1987 again!
With New Kids On The Block's MixTape Tour hitting thee road in early May, Tiffany has released an updated version of her 1987 hit, "I Think We're Alone Now".

Tiffany brings back, I TThink We're Alone Now Coincidentally, the original song was recently covered by Indiana Massara, of the Chicken girls web series.

April 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sony begins releasing info about the PS5 and one begins to wonder about the upcoming price tag

Ariana Grande's 7 Rings at Coachella
8K, solid state hard drive, BiggerBetterFaster, and backwards compatibility with PS4 discs.
After Microsoft and Sony extended their current consoles with the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro what does the next iteration have in store. Will it be another update to old faithful or will they re-imagine the way we play video games. Sony responded today with info about the PS5.

Four years in the making, it seems the PlayStation 5 will be a substantial beast of a console and it retains optical media and PS4 compatibility! Its not slated to hit retailers in 2019, so we can only speculate on it's actual release date, but I suspect most will jump on a January 2020 launch. Ugh.

I'll admit that I didn't find a spectacular difference between the PS3 and the PS4. When I look at the games I've purchased for it, I'm not even sure why I bought it. I began with the two Atari Flashback Classics discs and went pretty retro the whole way. At least I'm consistent.

With that in mind, it's no surprise I'm excited for the PS4 compatibility. I'd heard rumors of total PlayStation compatibility from One to 4. That seems doubtful at this point, but I love the games I've purchased through limited Run Games and I'd hate to lose those titles with the PS5. Apparently, I won't have to.

An faster CPU and GPU ad an array of features to the visual and audio capability. Considering I play a lot of SNES-style pixel games on my PS4, I'm doubting the bells and whistles will benefit me too much. My son on the other hand, will love these additions to some of the modern games he enjoys.

Devs Will Catch Up With The Hardware

This all sonds good -a partly because we don't know the price - but hardware is only part of the equation. Most new consoles launch with games that don't fully take advantage of what the new hardware has to offer. As developers learn the tricks and hooks of the new console the games get better. So, when we hear of all the amazing things the PS5 will do, we may have to wait until the devs can create games to take advantage of everything it can do.

That's typical of all new hardware, but this sounds like a big leap forward. While we may have to wait for really stellar games, when they come, they should be amazing. For me, I'm all about the backward compatibility. None wants to orphan all their favorite games because of a new console release. Sounds like we can play our favorite PS4 titles as the PS5 ramps up. Sounds cool, but how much will it cost?
April 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Every “Coachella Weekend Highlight” article neglecting BlackPink missed a spectacular performance

Ariana Grande's 7 Rings at Coachella
New to the Coachella stage and North American audiences, BLACKPINK killed it and secured a place as headliners!
As I browsed various articles highlighting the first weekend of the Coachella Festival, the mentions of BlackPink were surprisingly scarce. Ariana bringing *NSYNC on stage got a lot of coverage and was a cool colab/reunion. But the fact is - BlackPink is just beginning to develop a strong following in the States and the girls were phenomenal and put on a 50-minute set to a cheering crowd.

As relative newcomers, BlackPink performed like headliners. They were personally invited to perform and given very high billing. They took this opportunity and turned it into a win for K-pop and for themselves as future headliners. They embark on their first US tour at the LA Forum before their second weekend at Coachella, continuing into the end of May.

BlackPink are going to be huge global stars and I'm stoked to catch their second weekend at Coachella... on YouTube.

BlackPink at Coachella
BlackPink at Coachella
April 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A farewell to Reggie Fils-Aime... and his mii head

We learned earlier in the year of Reggie's departure from Nintendo and the day has come.
A farewell to Reggie Fils-Aime
April 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After repeatedly reading about Wii U games at Five Below, I finally found some

As a five-dollars per item "dollar store" these StarFox bundles were only $5 at my local Five Below!
I'd never visited a Five Below store until they began advertising wheel barrows full of amiibo late last year. For $5 each, it was a pretty good deal. Lately I've read numerous posts of people finding Wii U games at Five Below. On several Occasions I stopped by to check this out and left empty handed. No Wii U games.

On a lark, I stopped by today and discovered a few copies of StarFox Zero For Wii U. I already have this game, but it was the bundled version, in a cardboard box, along with the StarFox Guard game. I'd never seen this bundle before and scooped up two of them - one for my son. It had been nagging me that I wasn't finding games at my local Five Below, so today's venture felt good - lol. I love a good price!

StarFox Zero bundle at Five Below
April 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Too many fake Tony Hawks make it hard for real Tony Hawk

Only the real Tony Hawk can rent a car
This speaks a a whole new TH video game franchise. I'm thinking Tony Hawk Pro Car Rental with a "Crazy Taxi" meets "GTA" format. Who's in?

Only the real Tony Hawk can rent a car
April 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Avengers actors, Scarlett Johansson & Chris Evans, prove real friendships involve head-to-head retro gaming

I think we all knew that friendships evolve faster with head-to-head gaming!
With the approaching Avengers: Endgame film, it's hard to believe how long cast members have been together bringing the Avengers to life. This pic shows Johansson and Evans playing Game Boy with a link cable. Some have speculated they are playing Tetris!

However, this image also raises the question of stance. When playing Game Boy, do you hold the console comfortably like Scarlett or intertwine your fingers like Chris?

Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans play Game Boy Mark Ruffalo originally shared this pic on Twitter of Evans and Johansson bonding on set.
April 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Zen Studios' Star Wars Pinball is coming to Nintendo Switch with a slick vertical mode

Zen Studios' Star Wars Pinball
Most pinball video games always make me want to turn my HD RV on it's side!
Zen Studios' Star Wars Pinball for Nintendo Switch Zen Studios is releasing all nineteen of their Star Wars pinball tables for Nintendo's Switch. This collection will be available for download on September 13th and will also offer a physical release on a cartridge. I'm not sure if the physical release coincides with the digital release.

Zen's various tables have been released on other platforms, but I don't believe they've appeared as a single collection and the Switch release is the first physical release.

I always get excited about pinball on game consoles until I remember they are often using the wrong aspect ratio. TVs are wide - pinball tables are long. Too often we find the height of a table crammed into the lesser height of a standard TV.

Fortunately, this game will support vertical orientation when playing on the switch's internal screen. You can tak advantage of that amazing space when holding the console vertically. the game will also make use of the Switch's rumble feature. I'm excited to see this collection as a fan of both Star Wars and pinball.

Here's a breakdown of the Star Wars pinball tables from Polygon.
  • Adaptations of the films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One and Solo.

  • Adaptations of TV's The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

  • Character-specific tables Han Solo, Darth Vader, Calrissian Chronicles, Boba Fett and Droids.

  • Star Wars: Battle of Mimban (the mud planet from Solo) and Star Wars: Ahch-To Island (Luke Skywalker's hideout in The Last Jedi)

  • Star Wars: Masters of the Force (a Jedi-vs.-Sith theme, with all the major stars of both factions) Starfighter Assault (Imperial Fleet vs. Rebel fighters) and Might of the First Order (based on The Force Awakens).

April 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

While Milla Jovovich is always a delight, Hellboy seemed like a dull 120-minute fight scene

It was moderately dreadful, but still better than Aquaman.
For a big guy with insane strength, I grow tired of films that can't go beyond presenting larger guys with more strength as adversaries. It felt like a pointless fight scene that led to more of the same until the credits rolled.

The R-rating was misplaced as was the language. I'm all for well-placed F-bombs, but when creatures from Hell begin swearing, it felt misplaced and a bit silly. The attempts at humor were equally misguided. Good sarcasm is a wonderful thing... when it's good.

On the positive side, I liked David Harbour's role and the visuals of Hellboy. Folks were wondering if he could replace Ron Perlman. I think he did a good job, but deserved a better script.

Hellboy movie
April 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink hit the stage at Coachella with a simulcast on Times Square's hi-def screen, “The Beast”

BlackPink on the stage at Coachella
As the first all-female K-pop group performing at Coachella, BlackPink are poised for global stardom!
Debuting at Coachella having almost no live exposure in North America is no easy task. The anxiety alone would stifle me, but BlackPink (Jenny, Lisa, Rose, and Jisoo) proved they are worthy of the big stage and belted out an amazing hour-long set in the desert. They had a prime time-slot and high billing on the marketing posters. Their stage presence ranged from bad-ass to endearing, cementing a place for themselves with ease.

Lisa from BlackPink on the stage at Coachella As K-pop boy-band BTS prepares for a Saturday Night Live appearance, BlackPink was simulcast - live - on the enormous screen in Times Square. At eight stories tall and spanning the block from 45th street to 46th St in New York City, it's high resolution suited BlackPink well!

The majority of their vocals are Korean with some interspersed English. As their popularity rises in more territories, it will be interesting to see if English creeps further into their performances and album releases. It's exciting to see a group like BlackPink gain momentum and reach out globally for more fans.

The reaction at Coachella was very positive, although they lost some momentum when the backing band took over as the women re-grouped backstage. They came back with the high energy of Kill This Love and the enthusiasm returned. BlackPink has a great live presence and I can't wait to see them grow.

BlackPink on the stage at Coachella
April 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The trailer for “Star Wars IX - The Rise Of Skywalker” is now available to be torn apart by fans

Star Wars IX - The Rise Of Skywalker
History has shown us that no one is more critical of “Star Wars” than those claiming to be fans.
Star Wars IX enters the social media fray with the release of the first trailer. This is the phase in which fans excitement runs wild... until it doesn't. It won't be long before ardent "fans" begin to turn on the franchise and begin their petty gripes, planting the seeds for their soon-to-blossom hatred and derision.

Star Wars IX - The Rise Of Skywalke trending With the release of the trailer, all things Star Wars began trending on Twitter. The whole trending column was filled with the Force and such. Apparently Haagen Daz ice cream didn't get the galactic memo and tried to persuade us to buy their latest product.

Passion For The Big Screen

I love movies and try to get out each weekend to take in a flick on the big screen. Star Wars is near and dear to me since it's a franchise I've enjoyed in theaters since 1977. They're fun movies with relatable characters and each film expands the story arc.

I like that, however, we live in the social media era in which hate and disdain are regarded as hallmarks of reason and knowledge. Only the smartest among us can leave a scathing Yelp review of a hamburger that had one too many pickles under the bun. People are morons and their movie habits show it across all social networks.

I thought Aquaman was the worst movie I've seen in the last ten years. Two things that surprised me are I usually like the movies I choose to see and I was shocked that this stinker received acclaim from the vast majority. I've mentioned this once or twice on social media, but I have NOT gone on a tirade, threatened the director, send foul messages to the cast, spewed vile anger at all things Aquaman. I simply didn't like the movie.

Socail Media Is Dreadful

In a world where everyone has a voice on social media, a simple outing to see a movie can turn into an online tirade about the price of movies, the dearth of original films, dislike of plot, angry about the cast... It never ends. A ten dollar movie is escalated to a national crisis with outrage and threats.

We see the same behavior with video game releases. Nothing is good enough for fans. These people only have one venue for attention or being heard - social media. They complain... loudly and frequently. It's all they know. Their hate rallys follows and likes and that's what justifies their sordid ways.

Star Wars IX - The Rise Of Skywalke Rey It's just a move. STFU!
Worse still - many of these whiners haven't even see the film they're so angry about.

Most movies aren't amazing. Many of them suck. But they cost $10 and only last two hours. It's a small sacrifice. If I can survive three hours of Aquaman's seaweed battles, fans should be able to endure Star Wars.

Again, people are morons. I'm stoked to see Star Wars. If it's not your thing, stay home or find a movie that appeals to you. but for the sake of all of us, stay off social media.
April 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Antstream is a streaming service for retro gamers now crowd funding via Kickstarter

Antstream- streaming retro games
If they offer diverse platforms and enough unique games, I'm in. Don't bother with the typical retro top 10!
If you felt left out by the offerings by newcomers Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, perhaps Antstream for retro games is more to your liking. Crowd funding on Kickstarter, they want to bring retro games to a variety of devices via streaming from the cloud. I like that it's retro focused, but it seems like a very niche service - despite the popularity of vintage games.

Promising an initial array of 400 games at launch, they also promise to add games regularly with a user-based voting system to determine which games are released first. This gaming service will first launch in North America and Europe on PC, Mac, Xbox One, and mobile devices. My concern is the lifespan of such a service. I presume they already have funding and are using Kickstarter to gauge interest. Launching such an endeavor takes a lot more than $35K from a crowd funding campaign.

Will You stream retro games or do you prefer cartridges & cases?

Deliver Unique games, Not Mainstream Top-Ten

Catering to retro games naturally interests me, but when I think how infrequently I play the Nintendo Online games on Switch or the games stuffed onto the Nintendo Classic Edition consoles, how will Antstream remain enticing when there are many other ways to play retro games. Emulators alone can play an astounding number of games, even though they rely on largely illegal ROM files.

For me, a retro game streaming service interests me solely on the diversity of available platforms. There seems to be a great affinity for NES and SNES games -which are great - but I'd love to see games from the TurboGrafx, Spectrum, Commodore, and Amiga. A stream of games that were largely outside the standard fare would be of great interest to me. I don't need another way to play Dig Dug or Balloon Fight. Expose me to games on platforms I only dreamed of owning... then ya got me. I'd love that :)

I still Prefer Physical Media

Up front I'll state my passion for physical media (games, CDs, DVDs) and question the rationale for trying to remove ownership of physical media as an improvement or benefit. It's happening from Spotify to Netflix and gaming is now finding similar avenues for game delivery without any physical media or ownership. As easy as it may be to access games from the cloud, it's just as easy for those games to be removed.

We're in a transitional phase as we see new ways to "own" and play video games. Old guys like me love having shelves full of game carts while the younger generation grew up with download scenarios and don't mind digital collections that exist externally to the device they are played on.

Change is inevitable and I wish the Antstream folks success with this idea as it further propels discussion about the future of gaming. If you like the idea of streaming access to a lot of games, check out the Antstream Kickstarter campaign and see if this is a project you want to be a part of and support.
April 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My Arcade's line of Pocket Player handheld game consoles is expanding next month to include Galaga

My Arcade Galaga Pocket Player
The green Galaga handheld also contains Galaxian and Xevious.
While I"m really stoked to get my hands on their Retro Champ handheld, that plays Famicom and NES game carts, My Arcade is keeping the Spring busy with the release of it's Galaga Pocket Player next month.

With only three games, it has a few nice features like powering either via four AAA batteries or micro USB. It has a 2.75" backlit color display and a forward-facing speaker with volume control and a headphone jack. While it goes for a seemingly high price of $35, if the build quality is like others I've seen from them, it may be worth it.

You also get Galaxian and Xevious built-in as well. Other devices in the Pocket Player line include multigame devices featuring Pac-Man, Bubble Bobble, and Dig Dug (which also features Dig Dug II). I'm accustomed to the $15 plug 'n play models with a dozen games and connects to your TV, so I may not be assessing it properly.

A few years ago, I found some My Arcade handhelds at Toys R Us and they were dreadful little devices full of no-name Flash games. I'm hoping their future releases offer more quality and curation of games.
April 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Like CDs & DVDs, game cases provide marketing space for cover art and protects the media... or the DL code

Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood ships for Switch with a DL code in the game case
Wolfenstein Youngblood is the first high-profile Switch game to ship in a standard case containing a download code - no physical media.
An alarming trend seems to be gaining traction in game retail. Retail shelves may soon become confusing to games seeking physical versions only to be confronted with game cases containing no game. No physical media. Instead the game's case will include a download code for the game. This has happened a few times, but July will deliver Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood - a high profile game - via this odd code-in-the-box release.

This seems to only effect the Switch release. The PS4 and Xbox One versions seem to ship with physical discs. Such a strange way to release a game. How many returns will there be as gamers open these cases only to discover a code - no game cartridge. Collectors like to display their games, but an empty case seems like a hollow representation of ones game library.

Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood ships for Switch with a DL code in the game case

Mega Man Legacy had a SWitch DL Code For Second Set

When the Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 + 2 was released for Nintendo Switch, I was annoyed to discover the game cartridge only contained the first set of games on the cartridge. If you didn't read the sticker on the box art, you may have missed the fact that the second set of games were "included" as a download code. Thee's plenty of room for all the games on a single Switch cartridge, but Capcom decided to split it up.

Naturally, conspiracy theories swirl through my mind. Is this an attempt to stimulate e-shop sales? Might this be an hidden ploy to sell more SD cards? I doubt there's a nefarious plot, but it's just plain odd to include half the games!

I'm a big fan of physical media for games, music, and movies. Streaming/digital downloads is ruining the physical artwork of these products as well as defiling the artistic intent of a traditional music album. Songs are curated for the album. MP3s are jumbled all ove a hard drive.

As far as video games are concerned, downloaded games have no monetary value once downloaded. They can't be sold or traded. Each month streaming movie services add and remove titles. What happens when your favorite movie goes offline? How about the latest update to a video game that alters a feature you really liked? What happens when the cloud goes down or your internet? Hey, that cloud company could go out of business.

A lot can happen out in the world. I recognize I'm one catastrophe away from losing my media collection, but I can live with that over randomly losing media to corporate planning.

We live in a changing world. I do my part to cling to the games, movies and music I adore. I still have a laser disc player, CD player and my original Atari 2600.
April 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If I were an archeologist, dinosaur bones wouldn't excite me as much as this Blockbuster Video relic

Branded items like this are so cool! I don't even have my old BV membership card. #terribleArcheologist
My eyes lit up when I found this image. I wish I remembered it's origin as I'd like to credit the original person who posted it. In retrospect, I would make a lousy archeologist. But aren't things like this grand?

Hoarders get a bad rap from that insane TV show. Collectors can get a bit out of control, but I totally understand the necessity to keep this old plastic popcorn bowl. It's awesome!

Blockbuster Video popcorn bowl
April 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Featured on Just Dance 2019, BlackPink's new video, Kill This Love, already reached 100 million YouTube views

BlackPink's Kill This Love
These women are going to blow up and become huge global stars.
Each new release from BlackPink seems to bring on a new achievement. This time out with Kill This Love, they already reached 100 million Youtube views. Their impact is just beginning. As a fan of rock and roll, music today is stagnant. It needs to be shaken up. Greta Van Fleet and Hey Violet are two bands that are blowing up and releasing great music.

On the pop front, everyone talks about Ariana Grande. She has a beautiful voice and tons of talent, but I find many of her songs monotonous and lacking real stand-out moments. "it all sounds the same" is a phrase I use to describe much of today's music.
BlackPink's Kill This Love
BlackPink is new and exciting. Hailing from Korea, they do things a bit differently than what we typically see in North America. From powerful lyrics to insane choreography, its a new take on things and they are beginning to fit into high profile places.

Playing Coachella is huge and following it up with a North American mini tour. BlackPink will solidify their brand across the nation. Who else is doing that these days? Anyone?

They are poised to dominate. After Ariana put out two albums in six months, BlackPink needs to release a full-length album, but I thing their unique style will cement them as an American fixture rather than a passing fad.

BlackPink on Just Dance 2019

Back In My Day...

As a music lover who developed my passion from a portable Panasonic radio in the 70s, I'm a bit depressed about the state of music in this day and age. I love rock and roll, metal, and more pop than I like to admit. My most prominent discoveries in my musical development was Kiss in the 70s, Judas Priest in the 80s, and Britney Spears in the 90s.

The music I love has a diverse range. From insane guitar solos to a rumbling drum beat, the music I love has style and uniqueness to each song. Music today is very homogenous. A majority of "musicians" don't actually play an instrument. Backing tracks seem like an afterthought to the vocals. Anyone who knows vocals can attest to the power and precision of Judas Priest's Rob Halford and they have such diverse music in that mix. Pop stars seem to rely solely on vocals.

My diatribe today really comes from a feeling that the music world needs a shake up. I think BlackPink's version of pop music will do that. I'm dying to see fan's reactions to their Coachella show. We need something different, energetic, and driving. These ladies deliver.

Halsey may already be onto this having just released a collaboration with BTS on "Boy With Luv." If you follow Babymetal, you may have seen how integrated they've become in the metal scene. Times are changing and it's about time!

BlackPink on Just Dance 2019
April 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Toys-To-Life genre ended, but Ubisoft attempted to bring it back via Starlink - now canceling the toys

Ubisoft tried to revive toys-for-life with Starlink
Ubisoft's Starlink is a cool game, but didn't need the physical figures and now they've canceled the toy portion of the game's future.
Even putting Starfox into the mix for Nintendo's Switch couldn't save the previously shelved concept of toys-to-life. Ubisoft persisted with their 2018 release of Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Ubisoft has jus announced they will stop creating toys for the game. It sounds as though the game will sill receive updates, but the coming toys have been cancelled.

I think parents and gamers around the globe are relieved by not having another game to collect for. To be honest, I felt Lego was too late to the game when Dimensions came out in September 2015. It was cancelled two years later. Skylanders created the genre and did very well with it - and knew when to jump ship.

My son and I dutifully collected all the Skylanders to unlock their upgrades and stomp our way through the levels. We loved it. He was the perfect age for this franchise when it came out in 2011. By the time it was winding down in 2017 - he was over it. By this time Disney Infinity was over as was Lego's entry Dimensions.

The 2018 holiday season saw Ubisoft bringing Starlink to market. It seemed to be a revival of the toys-to-life genre, but it was getting a lot of hype. I rushed out and bought it at great expense (big mistake). By the time Christmas arrived it was slashed to half-price and below. The good news is it's a good game. The figures accompanying it seem rather unnecessary, but the game is good fun.

Give this game a try. The starter pack with the game and initial figures is heavily discounted.

Ubisoft tried to revive toys-for-life with Starlink
April 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Initially an April Fools joke, this Virtual Boy book is now on Kickstarter as a legitimate campaign

Begun as an April Fools joke, this Virtual Boy book is on Kickstarter
The Virtual Boy gets so little respect, I'd love to see a book commemorating it's limited run and vibrant homebrew community.
The idea of a Virtual Boy book apparently began as a joke that became less funny and more serious. Now as a short-running Kickstarter, the Complete Virtual Boy book has met it's funding goal and looks as though it may reach another stretch goal. If you owned and loved a Virtual Boy or wish you had one, this unique book should be an amazing tomb.

The book sounds as though it will focus on game reviews for all the games as well as homebrews. There is a section reserved for gamer stories and testimonials.

Author Jeffrey Wittenhagen, of Hagen's Alley Books, has written several other gaming anthology books with specific focus. Each one, funded via Kickstarter, has gone well above it's funding goal. Even though it began as a joke, I think there's a serious effort behind this campaign with a genuine desire to create a 100+ page book that will commemorate the stark redness of the Virtual Boy. It had a short life, but it was so insanely unique, I couldn't help but love it!.

I'm excited about this book's potential. If you're curious to know more about this game console, check out the Kickstarter campaign and see if this is a project that appeals to you. We're stoked!

Begun as an April Fools joke, this Virtual Boy book is on Kickstarter
April 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As Punch Out is announced for Nintendo Switch Online, Mike Tyson wants in

So, does he want representation or royalties?
Nintendo Switch Online subscribers have three more NES classics coming this month. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, and Star Soldier will appear on the subscription service April 10. Mike Tyson got wind of this and is certain he should have been contacted.

He's probably right - what a great marketing opportunity. Alas, it's not a "new" version of the game... in fact, this is the Tyson-less version of Punch Out.

BlackPink is poised to release their next EP
April 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

New photos were released from Terminator: Dark Fate, opening later this year on November first

The first photo released earlier this year enraged the Internet who immediately assumed it was a female-cast reboot. Dumb people are funny.
I'm as excited about this film as any of the prior releases. It's cool that James Cameron is back, but I've enjoyed many aspects of all the films. I love that Dark Fate follows T2 as it's my favorite of the franchise, but each film has it's merits.

The thing we've learned from Star Wars fans is that no one hates Star Wars more than it's own fans. Go figure. Terminator is a great franchise with many rich stories. Adding another with original cast members is really cool!

Terminator: Dark Fatee Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Dark Fate
Terminator: Dark Fate Linda Hamilton in Terminator: Dark Fate

April 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A good arcade will captivate you and engage you until you're too exhausted to play another game

What is/was your go-to game at the local video game arcade?
There are many games that had a captivating effect on me, but Vanguard and Wizard Of Wor were my go-to games.

BlackPink is poised to release their next EP
April 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink is poised to release their next EP as they gain fans across new borders

BlackPink is poised to release their next EP
The four women in this K-pop group are redefining the boundaries of global stardom.
They're released=ing another EP in a few days, with Coachella this Spring and a short North American tour. They are going to blow up big in the US. They bring an intense energy and offer a much different performance from the US pop acts we're accustomed to seeing. I'm excited to see them grown and begin releasing more music with less focus on the performance.

BlackPink is poised to release their next EP
April 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you've seen the 2011 film Hannah, check out the Amazon series of the same name

Just as exciting and adventurous as the film, Amazon's series can delve deeper into her world.
I was excited to hear of Hanna becoming a series. Some movies touch on subjects and you wish they could have gone a bit deeper into various areas, but there's only so much you can do in a 2-hour movie. A series, on the other hand, can explore many facets unable to appear in the film.

Esme Creed-Miles plays Hanna to perfection, from a girl exploring a new world to her ability to easily fend for herself. I highly recommend this series and suggest you check ou the original film as well.

Hanna series on Amazon Prime Video
April 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

It's April Fools Day, so lets not believe anything we read online for the next day or two :)

Despite the irony of this faux holiday, some businesses still make real announcements rather than waiting.
Over the years, I've seen some amazing announcements on April first and have to calm down and remind myself everything that sounds too good is fake. Some folks are quite clever, while others are desperate to participate despite not planning anything. Many years ago, a reboot of Burgertime for the Wii was announced on April Fools Day.

This year I saw a fake Kickstarter for an all-inclusive Virtual Boy game-by-game book. It was a joke, but I think the response was so good they're going to do it.

April Fools Day