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 2022 - July, August, and September

In what has become a barren wasteland of economic chaos, can anyone still afford to play video games anymore? With escalating rents, depleted housing market, overpriced food and oil companies that are shoring up their future demise to climate change... who has spending money these days?

The Republican party has become an evangelical empire capable of crushing anyone who can't afford their membership fees (which equals your live in servitude one way or another). Vote-out these people and I hope you can have a bit of pixelated fun despite these abominable times and changes to the United States and the world.

September 2022 Retro Gaming Articles:

September 15, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The first new issue of Creem's revival magazine arrived in my mailbox

Creem Magazine
America's Only Rock 'N Roll Magazine returns to mailboxes around the world.
I vividly remember riding my bike to the corner 7-Eleven to buy the latest Creem and Skateboarder magazines. Seems like just yesterday until I realize how much I miss magazines. They still exist to an extent, but not in the way they did in the 70s and 80s where they were a primary source of information in a pre-internet world. I lived from issue to issue with all the magazines I loved.

Creem was a rock n roll news magazine out of Detroit. It told you the hard truth and reality about what was going on with music in that era. Creem had a hard edge but often delivered a smile with it. Staring in 1969 they carried through until 1989. They had a brief resurgence in the early 2000s, but have just made a comeback in print and digital with a quarterly "delivered to your mailbox" print edition and a glorious online archive one can peruse.

The print mag is kind of pricey, as is everything these days, but the online archive is a rare bargain and worth every penny. The mag is cool, collectible, and full of stories. It brings me back to a time I adored where our world was full of color, diversity, and creation. Today's landscape is dull, conforming, and much of today's music perpetuates that. Creem's new magazine and online archive will take you to a place of mystical intrique, hard reality and a world we won't likely see again.

Dream while you can and expose your kids to the music you loved when you were their age. You'll be surprised how many kids latch onto bands that are now considered "oldies." Screw that. We just haven't had good music for twenty or Twenty-five years!
September 15, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink's Born Pink album arrives in one day

Decked out in PINK!
Blackpink's Born Pink D-1 album poter
September 14, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari email states intention to replace defective XP games within 30 days

The trio of new 2600 games from Atari ready to ship
Shortly after news of the defective cartridges was revealed, Atari wants to swap XP customers for a new cartridge
This is pretty quick turnaround for Atari both in revealing the defect and offering a solution. I bought Yar's Return and it was indeed defective in any type of 2600 or compatible hardware. I'm still not clear on how wide spread the defect was, but all three games (Yar's Return, Saboteur, and Aquaventure) have been depicted in the emails. I hope they get the replacement carts out quickly.

The only part of the process they detail is the swap. Atari wants you to send back your defective cart with a free-shipping label which will accompany the replacement cartridge. Atari XP logo

Below is the email that Atari sent out on Sept. 16:
Dear Customer,

For each Standard Edition game you've ordered, we'll be replacing your cartridge with a new one within the next 30 days free of charge. No action is needed from the customer at this time. We will ask that you return the non-working cartridge via the prepaid shipping label that will be included with your package when it arrives.

We will continue to keep you informed of any changes and will notify you when we send out the replacement(s).

Our sincere apologies again and thank you for your patience,
~Atari Team
September 9, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Whether you have the demo or not, the full release of Splatoon 3 is here

For everyone who dotes on the typical FPS games like COD, I don't undertand why so many of them aren't all over Splatoon!
We loved Splatoon on the Wii U and were stoked by the Salmon Run element on the later Switch release. Our passion for the game has nothing to do with it's non-violent violence. Rather than the typical bloodshed of many shooters, Splatoon has always captured me by it's ingenuity and uniqueness. It's a battle with as much strategy as the next FPS. Go deeper than the paint and you'll discover an amazing video game. A new release is always a thrill.

I've heard about some connectivity issues over less than stellar wifi, but have yet to experience that myself. Most of the quick casual reviews I see online seem to be 5-star ratings from fans who've not yet played the game and -star reviews from trolls who will never play the game. That sums up the majority of the internet.

We suggest you give it a try if you've never played Splatoon and if you have... well, you know so go get the third game!

Splatoon 3
September 8, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink's second full album, Born Pink, will be released next week

Considering all the attention they've received from releasing EPs, their management company provides them limited ability to release music.
Splatoon 3 As excited as fans are for their new album, Blackpink's management group, YG, doesn't seem to give them as much attention as they should receive considering their global success and status as an all-female K-pip group. In six years Blackpink has only released 1 full length album. Now, two years later they are releasing their second album, Born Pink.

They've broken nearly every record for K-pop bands and they were the first to perform live on-stage at Mtv's VMA Awards where Lisa also won the award for best K-pop! That's quite a feat when you realize their only full-length album is two years old.

Coming from a different culture, their music and the way their industry operates is different from the US music business. However, when they came over to play Coachella in 2019 I read they formed a relationship with Interscope Records to facilitate promotion and releasing music in the US - a break-through market for Blackpink.

ONe hopes their Born Pink album will further their success and allow them to release more music. On the other hand, the girls also have the time to act in movies and become brand ambassadors to major brands. They may be perfectly content with their trajectory. We tend to forget they likely have many ambitions outside the needs of music fans.
September 4, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was more excited about Yars Return before Atari emailed me about defective XP game cartridges

Gamestop has ceased being an asset to gamers
Rather than multiple paths to attack the Qotile, I have a screen full of static with meager hints of what the game might look like.
It seems that something went wrong during the assembly process, according to Atari, on some (all?) XP game cartridges. Atari sent out an email, either to a select batch of effected customers or all of them (who knows), regarding defects in the assembly of recently shipped XP video game cartridges for the 2600. I received my shipment from Atari the other day.

There was no mention of what the defect is or how many customers are effected by it. The email contained images of all three games sold late last year - Yars Return, Saboteur, and Aquaventure. My assumption is some or all three titles are not functioning properly.

How Many Customers Are Effected?

I hoped that it was a small quantity of game cartridges suffering the defect and that Atari had sent the email to all their customers to cover themselves. Upon thinking about it, since the email contained reference to all three games, I suspect this defect is fairly widespread across the newly assembled and shipped games. I purchased Yars Return and the cart is clearly defective. It shows mostly static and a slight attempt at rendering something on-screen. I found this to be the case on both my 2600 and 7800. My consoles work fine with any of my other game cartridges.

I'll be interested to see how Atari remedies this and in what time frame. I ordered one game in November 2021 and it took nine months to arrive. How soon will Atari correct this issue? They've also just begun to release a series of ten classic games for the 2600 as part of their Atari 50 celebration. I hope their quality control has improved.

Below is the email from Atari:
Dear Customer,
We have discovered that some of the Atari XP cartridges shipped last week were not assembled to our quality standards and as a result may not operate correctly in your Atari 2600 console.

No action is required on your part at this time. We are working on a solution to ensure you have a working cartridge and you will hear from us soon.
Our sincere apologies.
Atari Team
September 3, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop ceased being an asset to gamers many years ago

Gamestop has ceased being an asset to gamers
These days GameStop, as a dedicated video game store, does nothing for gamers that box-stores and online retailers don't do better.
I used to love GameStop. The idea of a retail store dedicated to one of my favorite passions seemed too good to be true. In my opinion, this retailer has changed from being gaming experts in both knowledge and the business of selling games to a struggling chain desperate to take your money. The problem is their quest to stay afloat in a world of digital downloads and online shopping straight to your doorstep, has led them to cut corners, install bizarre rules & practices, and slowly become a generic reseller with little credibility in the gaming industry.

Instead of doing gaming better than anyone else, they chose to alienate their customer base by pivoting to generic retail. They employ tactics used to trick and confuse customers, lure them into stores, and hold profit above excellence. Today, GameStop does not sell any product I can't purchase from several other retailers. They're a game store with no benefits to gamers. Why does anyone shop there?

I find their inventory to be quite odd. Whenever a AAA game is released, they only have enough copies to cover pre-orders. I've gone to GameStop many times on release day only to find out they have no stock. On several occasions, the clerk wasn't even familiar with the title and looked it up... in order to tell me they didn't have any stock. I pre-ordered Splatoon 3 from Amazon. I probably won't have it on release day, but I also won't have to deal with GameStop's ridiculous policies.

Most Policies Are detrimental To Customers

They've gutted their rewards program. They support return policies that punish gamers for shopping in their stores. They sell "new" games that have already been opened and are visibly damaged. They automatically add their Replacement Plan to every sale and tell you the price hoping you won't pay attention to them saying they've added stuff you didn't ask for. It's like going grocery shopping and having the clerk add a can of tuna fish for no apparent reason. I wouldn't purchase any type of warranty from GameStop. By the time I need it, they'll probably be out of business.

Want to buy a new PS5? Great, it's wildly over-priced and part of a bundle of games no one wants to buy/own. Most of their recent console sales have involved over priced bundles that do nothing but drive up prices for items consumers are not interested in.

Their Gaming Niche Replaced With Generic Retail Practices

Remember the shutdown during the COVID pandemic when GameStop tried to position themselves as a "necessary business" in order to stay open? They were told to shut down, but disregarded the warnings until they'd passed a large release date. They care about money and it shows every time I visit one of their stores. Most of them sell more unrelated fluff products items than video games or consoles.

Most of my visits to GameStop result in poor experiences that make me not want to do business with them. When I ask myself why I went there in the first place, I don't have any good reasons. I can research my purchases online and have them shipped to my house for free. If I could come up with one compelling reason to shop at GameStop - I would. There are many retailers that sell video games and game consoles as well as pop-culture fluff. GameStop does not give gamers any reason to spend money with them either in-store of online. I'm done with them and I feel happier already!
September 2, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Capcom joins Evercade, but only via built-in games exclusively on the upcoming EXP Handheld

Capcom joins Evercade
Excitement rose and then sank a bit upon discovery that the Capcom games will not be for sale on a cartridge.
It's good. It's bad. It's not that bad. Is this any good.

Emotions are mixed with Evercade's announcement of bringing Capcom games to the platform. We cheered, but the excitement wasn't sure where to go when the announcement labeled the games "bonus content" for their upcoming EXP handheld console.

Yes, these games will not be sold separately on cartridges. The Evercade folks nearly admitted this as a "best we can do" scenario by saying that Capcom would not allow the games to be distributed on cartridges. Evercade said they weighed this disappointment in a positive light in that purchasers of the new EXP handheld will find 18 capcom games installed, ready to play, on the EXP.

I'm disappointed as I'd like to play them on the VS console on my living room TV. However, as they put it - it was this or nothing. Perhaps things will change over time and we might get a cart full of Capcom games. One can rarely say "never" in the world of video game licensing. Check out the game list. The EXP console will feature 14 arcade games and 4 home console releases.

Capcom Game List For Evercade EXP

The EXP will have 14 arcade games & 4 home console ones from Capcom
  1. 1942 (Arcade version)
  2. 1943 (Arcade version)
  3. 1944 : The Loop Master (Arcade version)
  4. Bionic Commando (Arcade version)
  5. Captain Commando (Arcade version)
  6. Commando (Arcade version)
  7. Final Fight (Arcade version)
  8. Forgotten Worlds (Arcade version)
  9. Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Arcade version)
  10. Legendary Wings (Arcade version)
  11. MERCS (Arcade version)
  12. Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (Arcade version)
  13. Strider (Arcade version)
  14. Vulgus (Arcade version)
  15. Mega Man (8-bit)
  16. Mega Man 2 (8-bit)
  17. Mega Man X (16-bit)
  18. Breath of Fire (16-bit)
While not everyone will want to invest in the EXP model, especially existing owners of the original handheld, it does come with some nice features. One that will enhance this Capcom collection is TATE mode. This lets you orient the handheld vertically and use the controls on the bottom, thus taking advantage of arcade games with portrait-oriented (tall) monitors.

It's noce to have Capcom come the the Evercade platform. Hopefully more will join and follow the cartridge-model that brings multiple retro games to an eager audience.

August 2022 Retro Gaming Articles:

August 31, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Had I known about the image created by the spines, I'd surely have bought all ten Atari XP games

Atari XP game boxes
It wasn't until today that I saw an image of the XP games lined up on a shelf. They all display the Atari 50 logo!
Atari announced Warlords and Super Breakout as the next in the XP series of re-released games for the 2600. In the email they sent was an image of all the boxes lined up. The spines display the "Atari 50" logo. Why did no one tell me this? Is this common knowledge? Damn, I wish I had bought more of these... sort of.

That's pretty slick. I would love to see that lineup on my shelf, but at what cost? I'll admit it loks like Atari has done a nice job on these re-releases, but each one is $100. So once you have all ten and your shelf looks super-swell... you've spend $1,000 dollars. That seems pretty steep to me. These are simply games released in the early days of the 2600. No updates or added features.

Don't get me wrong, these look like great games in really cool packaging, but its too costly for me to get all ten. I guess I'm really saying I'm sad that I'm too cheap to invest in this shelf-tastic buying opportunity. Some of the titles are already sold out. Get 'em while you can! Check out Atari's XP website and see if these games would suit your collection.

August 30, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The slow uphill trudge may result in the delivery of Intellivision's Amico video game console

Intellivision Amico in red
Another positive update from the CEO states a continued move toward releasing the Amico console.
Another positive email from Intellivision's CEO, Phil Adam. Some folks who backed this project years ago have become angry and cancelled their orders for the Amico console. I was on the fence, but looked at this as a one-time shot and getting this console, so I've held out and waited. It seems that may have paid off.

While doom and gloom seemed to surround this project for quite some time, Bits and pieces of positivity have emerged. I consider today's email one of them. The team identified a problem on the assembly line test tun and have corrected it. They seem to be moving forward. Many assumed they were bankrupt and near shutting down. Emails like this one have kept me going.

Its hard to get a vibe from these emails. Tommy had a very joyful way of conveying his thoughts in writing. Phil - not so much. Perhaps he has that monotone demeanor of a CEO at the helm... who knows. These emails leave me hopeful, but not stoked. No delivery date or any hint at the timeline. I guess we wait and remain hopeful.

Read below for the complete email sent today.
This is Phil Adam, CEO of Intellivision. I had planned to respond sooner with the company status, but the team has been working through some production pipeline bugs that have delayed this update. As I've stated previously, updates from myself will be made when material facts are available and relevant. That being said, here are a few updates.

1. One of the primary goals for the small pilot run was to uncover any issues in the production pipeline before starting a larger production run. Fortunately, we did catch one significant problem. Diagnosing this issue and implementing a solution was a significant effort and caused a delay. The symptoms pointed to a bug in the controller firmware, but that was not the case. The problem was an order-of-operations issue when provisioning the console on the production line with its unique identifiers and security keys. The error manifested on the next reboot in a way that looked like a controller bug. With that resolved, the path is clear to finish the pilot run in the next few weeks.

2. We signed a licensing deal with BBG Entertainment GmbH, the details of which will be announced later. Here is a quote from Stephan Berendsen, Managing Director:

"We are very pleased to have licensed four Amico games and the original game versions from Intellivision. For the past three years we have been working with Intellivision on the development of our games DYNABLASTER and BRAINDUEL for Amico. We are excited about Amico and hope that customers will be as well. We are looking forward to offering the four licensed Amico games and original Intellivision versions on other platforms soon."

3. We have another partnership deal that will ensure that 2 of our most anticipated IPs will be available across multiple platforms as well as Amico. The details of that relationship will be announced at a later time. The target for these IPs is simultaneously (or later) with the Amico release.

Given that we will have a limited number of Amico units initially, these partnerships will get the games into more hands who have been waiting to play while helping get the word out to a larger audience. As stated above, we are doing everything we can to make sure that we have a stable system before starting production. That is a key milestone in moving forward.

I would like to thank you again for your support, and thank you to our internal team and external developers that work tirelessly to create a family gaming experience on Amico that brings people of different ages and skills together in group play.

My main concern is the duration and inflation issues that may change the price. For those who backed this console, I believe we only paid half the cost up front, meaning we owe the balance. I worry that the cost may have escalated over time and due to economic oddities effecting many markets. Can Intellivision still sell it for the original quoted price given to backers?
Keep the faith, we may get this console yet!
August 26, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari sent out an email saying their trio of new 2600 games (XP cartridges) are shipping August 26

I'm hoping these are properly done releases and, if so, Atari continues this trend. Would you buy a 5200 game?
The trio of new 2600 games from Atari ready to ship Atari sent out an email today saying Aquaventure, Yars: Return, and Saboteur are shipping. I purchased Yars Return last October as a fan of the original game on the 2600. It's interesting to see atari publishing actual game carts for a system that fell off in the 80s before being discontinued in 1992.

Citing a supply chain issue for the delay in shipping, Atari offed a code to download all three games from the Atari VCS online store. That's swell if you happened to dive into that three-year waiting game. If you didn't (I only ordered that swanky new joystick) there's also a code for a price reduction on the VCS console itself.

More XP game cartridges coming soon!
To avoid any confusion, the XP game cartridges that Atari is now shipping are for the original Atari 2600 console that launched in 1977. The codes are for the latest release from 2020.

The final bit of news they offered in this email was a "soft" announcement of more XP games to be released in standard and deluxe versions in the near future. The best they did was say stay tuned in the coming weeks. Cool concept. I hope they release more of these and do so on a quicker schedule.

The trio of new 2600 games from Atari ready to ship
August 15, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink will be performing at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28

They are performing at the VMAs, in Newark, rather than piping in a remote performance from another location.
Blackpink will be performing at the MTV VMAs When Blackpink take the stage at the Mtv VMAs, it will be their first American awards show debut. They played Coachella a few years ago and I had hoped they might develop contacts in the US that would accelerate their popularity and album releases here. They put on an amazing performance, but the excitement cooled soon after they left.

Blackpink will be performing at the MTV VMAs

Mtv is still a pretty big platform, so hopefully their performance on the VMA stage will showcase their new single "Pink Venom" that will be on their second full length album in mid September - Born Pink. The group is up for the Best Metaverse Performance and Lisa was nominated for Best K-pop.

Lots of exciting stuff is happening around them including their upcoming world tour to support the new album.
August 10, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

In addition to movies, Netflix has video games you can play... but not on your TV

Netflix video game Moonlighter
Upon hearing Netflix offers video games, I rolled my eyes assuming I'd have to use Comcast's awful remote as a game controller.
Lately I've read several articles about this unknown segment of Netflix that offers video games. Yes, the movie streaming company also offers video games. Back when they rented DVDs through the mail, I wondered why they didn't also offer video games the way GameFly did. There didn't seem to be much of a difference. But it took me until 2022 to discover games on Netflix. The articles I've read estimate 1% of Netflix subscribers ever play games via their movie account.

The notion of playing video games via Netflix confused me. I wasn't sure how one might play - or control - a video game on my TV without a console of some sort. Surely, I won't have to use my lousy Comcast remote control as a game controller, right? Thankfully, you won't. In fact, you won't even be using your TV. These are mobile games accessed via the Netflix app on our phone using your account login.

Don't get too excited There are only 26 games to choose from and they are not all available on both iOS and Android. While this may explain why no one know games exist on the Netflix platform, they are aiming to double this number by next summer. Some games are original to Netflix while others are 3rd party games. Fire up your phone and see it any of these games appeal to you.

Netflix Video Game List

  1. Arcanium: Rise of Akhan
  2. Asphalt Xtreme
  3. Before Your Eyes
  4. Bowling Ballers
  5. Card Blast
  6. Dominoes Café
  7. Dungeon Dwarves
  8. Dragon Up
  9. Exploding Kittens
  10. Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story
  11. Into the Breach
  12. Into the Dead 2: Unleashed
  13. Knittens
  1. Krispee Street
  2. Mahjong Solitaire
  3. Moonlighter
  4. Poinpy
  5. Relic Hunters: Rebels
  6. Shatter Remastered
  7. Shooting Hoops
  8. Stranger Things: 1984
  9. Stranger Things 3: The Game
  10. Teeter (Up)
  11. This is a True Story
  12. Townsmen - A Kingdom Rebuilt
  13. Wonderputt Forever

It's a small list, but they're getting positive reviews and feedback. Who knows... Once the word gets out, this may be a nice offset to your monthly bill.
August 8, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rip Olivia Newton-John

September 26, 1948 - August 8, 2022
Rip Olivia Newton-John - Grease For Nintendo Wii
August 7, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink's latest single Pink Venom

Blackpink's single Pink Venom drops August 19!
Two years have passed since, The Album, Blackpink's first full-length release. In September they will drop their second full-length album, Born Pink, featuring the single, Pink Venom.

Blackpink's single Pink Venom drops August 19

Blackpink's single Pink Venom drops August 19
August 6, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ready Player One was a great read, but the film seems to have led Facebook to believe the metaverse is now

Nobody wants to wear VR hardware to be served ads in a cartoon Metaverse world
Can a mediocre software company deliver VR hardware and convince the masses to buy into a fake world, full of ads, that looks like Paw Patrol?
Zuck is all in, spending tens of billions to create a cartoon world he sees as the metaverse in which he can deliver 3D ads to his user-base wearing VR tech. This notion may be the end of Facebook, Instagram, and their pseudo dominance over people's lives. Naturally, Zuck wants to herd his users into this cartoon metaverse and continue the follies of disbelief. Seriously - who wants this?

If you've seen any of Meta's mock-ups of what their metaverse might look like, one person suggested it's a cartoonish world similar to animated children's show, Paw Patrol. Most VR is in a cartoon format since retail hardware can't handle all the complex textures that give better reality to virtual worlds. That doesn't bode well for anyone who expects to spend a significant amount of time in a Metaverse.

As fate would have it spiraling down the drain is a national pastime in America. Nothing it too sacred to be flushed away without a moments notice. Topping the list is intelligence. Being smart is no longer valued or encouraged. Educational institutions teach outdated curricula that meld our youth into obedient workers, perfectly satisfied to give their wages to a corrupt machine that views them as slaves to the wealth elite.

The real demise of Meta is putting all it's eggs in one Metaverse basket. VR is hardly a proven tech like smartphones or television. Many get disoriented and sick from VR helmets.

Facebook Is Not An Innovation Company

They have VR hardware via the purchase of Oculus and rebranding it Meta. They've done almost nothing to improve the hardware and the software library is still quite primitive with some games achieving a PSone look. Even on the software side, Facebook's "improvements" have largely come from acquisitions or outright copying other apps.

The only area they have excelled in is turning their platforms into ad-delivery machines that serve copious amounts of junk to anyone with a login. This is not the type or company that can transition from software to hardware and deliver a compelling reason for users to try it.

While the current GOP extremist party is doing its darndest to revert our society back to the 1950 and force an enormous wealth gap between billionaires & the poverty stricken, who can afford VR hardware to escape it all into Zuck's cartoon land? The likely selling pint will be FOMO, but I think those fears will be low.

August 5, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Timex's T80 Space Invaders wrist watch plays the sounds, but you can't play the game

Space Invaders themed wrist watch by Timex
Granted its a really small screen, but I've seen other game-watches. Why not incorporate the game into the watch?
Space Invaders themed wrist watch by Timex This model T80 watch from Times has a Space Invader's theme around the face and it plays sounds from the game, but it would be cool to be able to play the game. At $89 one can't ask for too much, but I guess it would be much more expensive if it included a playable version of Space Invaders.

The watch comes in black and silver. While it has a few invaders printed around the sides of the watch, Timex really could have done more to incorporate the theme. It has game sounds, but visually, they should have a mode that displays Invaders on the watch's face ad why not incorporate some visuals on the watch band?

For the price, this watch doesn't have enough retro gaming appeal for me. I only wear watches when they have a value beyond telling me the time. The T90 needs a stronger infusion of retro goodness to tempt me into a purchase.

I see ads or this watch on social media. So if you want a watch that plays Space Invaders, this isn't the product for you.
August 4, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

25 years ago today Skynet became self aware and Terminators attacked the human race

Terminator - 25 years ago today Skynet became self aware
On august 4, 1997 Skynet blew a cap and decided to wage war on humans. Had Skynet been successful they would have eradicated the only species capable or destroying the planet the way we are in 2022.
Terminator is one of my favorite movie franchises. I finally bought a blu ray box set of the films and still can't decide my order of preference. They all have facets I really like.

I love T2, but I feel it's even better after watching the first film. Then there's the blatantly scattered feeling of the other films as they relate to the central story line and time line. I often think I don't like the latter films in the series, but every time I see T3 or Salvation, I realize how much I love them.

Several manufacturers have made amazing Terminator toys and action figures - some very realistic. I haven't played too many of the Terminator video games, but they range from Game Boy and NES to arcade games.

Terminator - 25 years ago today Skynet became self aware
August 1, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

America's only rock 'n roll magazine returns from the dead - in print & digital - Creem Magazine

Creem Magazine 2022 first issue logo
Creem covered music in ways the other magazines of my childhood simply couldn't. They were honest in the scariest way possible. Reality is frightening and Creem did it best!
Creem Magazine 2022 first issue cover Coming back in 2022!!

At first it was a merch site and I stocked up on logo'd tees and Boy Howdy stuff over the last year. Memories came rushing back for the magazine I adored as a child. Reading Creem made me feel like a rebel. An informed rebel. So gritty and raw. Music never had a more honest voice and I soaked it all up.

I'd ride my bike to the corner 7-Eleven for a Slurpee, Skateboarder mag, and Creem. It was the late 70s and I'd discovered skating and music. What a time to be alive!

This passion never eft me. Decades later, long after Creem had shuttered - merch showed up an an Instagram account. I bought shirts and reveled in memories. In mid 2022, word of a Creem Magazine resurrection brewed. What could it be?

Coming back in September - get you subs in soonest - as an oversize mag, Creem is making a return in two ways. The quarterly print issues and digital. I love print and magazines in particular, so that was a no-brainer, but the digital offering for a meager $5 per month, is the gold.

As I understand it, you can peruse the entirety of the Creem library from beginning to end! That Is worth gold! I could easily get lost in back issues dedicated to my favorite bands. I'm really looking forward to this subscription.

August 1, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Mtv turns 41 today and their first ten videos illustrate why we still want our Mtv

Mtv's first ten videos
The diversity and FOMO made Mtv so iconic. As we waited for our favorite videos, we were exposed to so many other genres!
Music Television was a dream come true in the early 80s. The music video TV channel launched on August 1, 1891 and captured viewers instantly! Long before Teen Mom and Real World they showcased amazing cinematic accompaniments to our favorite songs from pop to heavy metal. They had some genre specific shows emerge, but it was a vast free-for-all and it exposed it's viewers to a wide swath of the music spectrum. Some songs had famous videos and some videos made obscure songs become famous.

Mtv showed us a lot of variety and we soaked it all up. Today, algorithms discover one thing we like and ram as much of it as possible down our throats. Why do I want my Mtv? For the diversity of music they offered. They didn't go for trends, they went for entertainment and originality (concepts lost in today's homogenous world).

The First Ten Videos Played On Mtv in 1981

  1. The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
  2. Pat Benatar - You Better Run
  3. Rod Stewart - She Won't Dance With Me
  4. The Who - You Better You Bet
  5. PH.D - Little Suzi's On The Up
  6. Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Anymore
  7. The Pretenders - Brass In Pocket
  8. Todd Rundgren - Time Heals
  9. REO Speedwagon - Take It On The Run
  10. Styx - Rockin' The Paradise
Programming of a different sort began to invade the format until it became a wasteland of poorly crafted reality shows, abandoning the music video format that once launched them into stardom. Oddly Mtv has kept up their tradition of a yearly music video award show, despite having ditched music decades ago.

When you hear of folks lamenting the demise of Mtv and the way that "I Want My Mtv" moniker is still around it shows how powerful their influence once was. But what does it mean? Do we want to watch music videos again? I don't think that's what we miss or want again.

Mtv's first ten videos Mtv initially flooded the airwaves with music. All kinds of music. Punk. Pop. Metal. Rock. A myriad of styles expertly mingles into a TV network. As we waited for our favorite videos, we listened to a lot of music that may have evaded our ears for a lifetime.

Mtv was about diversity and exposure. I grew up loving rock and metal, but developed a strong interest in new wave and pop. One doesn't normally go from buying Judas Priest albums to Taylor Dayne and Debbie Gibson. I even grew fond of Tiffany and her Mall Tour - appearing in actual shopping malls!

It was a great time in music history and Mtv dispensed the music we loved and expanded our musical horizons. Hard to imagine they's soon stoop to Jersey Short and 16 & Pregnant as viable viewing options. However sad their future became, it rested on a solid brand that still invokes excitement for music.
August 1, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sony fears a Microsoft acquisition of COD could influence gamers to the Xbox platform

Sony fears a Microsoft acquisition of COD
Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard makes Sony think gamers could be led toward Xbox hardware to play COD.
I've read a few articles about Sony's woes that gamers might defect to Microsoft consoles to play COD and it makes me think some folks have too much money. I'll admit I've never played COD, but I've gamed a lifetime and I've never bought hardware based on a game title. I've sought out the best hardware and assume the games will follow. I know lots of gamers have multiple consoles, but would you spend upwards of $500 to play a game that migrated to another platform?

No, not me.

I understad the importance of COD and it's stellar reputation - still haven't ever played it. However, at the "gamer in their living room" level, would they buy an Xbox simply because COD became a Microsoft product via business acquisition? I look at it through my love for Nintendo's Splatoon. I think it's a masterful game, but if it were available on Xbox, I'd enjoy my Nintendo Switch and not care.

What if the situation became more dire? Suppose Splatoon 3 became an Xbox exclusive... Would I buy an Xbox? Nope. I'd have to find an alternative game. Perhaps this paints the difference between lust and obsession. I'll give you an example of an arcade game I loved and how much I wanted an arcade accurate home release.


Vanguard - the amazing 4-way space shooter distributed by Centuri in 1981.

I played Vanguard every time I went to Nathan's Hot Dog restaurant. Then there were times I went to Nathan's just to play Vanguard. A version came out for the Atari 2600 and then the 5200, but It wasn't arcade accurate and the 5200 controllers were too unreliable. I craved that game. No, really craved it. Such a good game.

It came out on a few other platforms, but I didn't own them. So I waited 2018 when SNK 40th Anniversary Collection was released for Nintendo Switch... containing an arcade version of Vanguard. Yes, I waited 37 years for this game. No, I'm not going to buy an Xbox for COD, if the merger goes through.

July 2022 Retro Gaming Articles:

July 31, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Fictional Spaceman George Jetson was born on this day in 2022

The epitome of future style, the Jetsons came to TV in 1962 as a futuristic version of the Flintstones.
George Jetson was born in 2022 Determining George's age took a bit of sleuthing as it was never directly revealed. However, dedicated fans applied enough logic to nail down the year and then seemed to agree upon a date.

The original show was set 100 years in the future, according to marketing materials, putting the family's antics into 2062. An episode in season one revealed he was likely 40 years old. Some mathematics led to his birth year being 2022.

His actual birthday was harder to arrive at and seems to have been mutually agreed upon by fans. So, it's July 31st.
July 30, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited time remaining to order Atari's 50th anniversary editions of Adventure and Missile Command for 2600

Check out these collector edition games for Atari's original 2600 video game console!
These Atari XP cartridges are Limited Edition releases of Atari's popular 2600 games - Adventure and Missile Command. These games are the original releases with updated packaging and a slew of extras for collectors.

The packaging has a cut-out displaying the cartridge's front with a flap that folds over the face of the box. Of note is the acrylic top of the cart glows when inserted into a 2600 game console. I dig that - nice touch! A full-color manual and along with a twill-woven embroidered patch and enamel pin are included too. You'll also get an acrylic cartridge stand for all the photos you'll want to post online lol.

This offer will be gone soon, so don't delay if you want these cool glowing-top limited edition game carts for your trusty old Atari 2600.

Atari 50th anniversary Adventure game for the 2600 VCS Atari 50th anniversary Adventure game for the 2600 VCS
Atari 50th anniversary Missile Command game for the 2600 VCS Atari 50th anniversary Missile Command game for the 2600 VCS

July 29, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Analogue announces their developer program openFPGA and the inclusion of Space War

Analogue announces their developer program openFPGA
Intent on video game preservation, Analogue's dev kit allows developers to support legacy media.
Using their Pocket Gameboy console, Analogue has announced a development environment called openFPGA. It's purpose seems to be creating a way to adapt legacy video games to an open platform where they can be in a future-proof environment. FPGA (Field Programable Gate Array) is a technology that allows hardware to play video games without the original hardware. A game cart could contain the info for the FPGA to "become" an SNES in order to play the SNES game on the cart/software.

Analogue announces their deeveloper program openFPGA The ill-fated Coleco Chameleon attempted to use this principal although the project was laden with intentional fraud and dismissed as a scam. Analogue is far above that and has created a viable and proven hardware system, with their Gameboy Pocket and this new dev environment for creating a wide array of games. This is a great project to keep an eye on as it's the first (I believe) to use FPGA technology in an open manner for video games.

Space War

Space War has been dubbed the "first" video game... like ever. It hails from 1962 and was played on a PDP-1 at MIT. The PDP-1 was not a gaming system, but part of the fun of access to a university computer is seeing what else it can do. It was able to play a home brew space shooter. It even used a controller box, that could be thought of as the launch point of controllers for later video game systems.

Despite the academic potential of the PDP-1, the MIT students who created S[\pace War were setting a precedent for future games. Not knowing this venture would inspire legions of video game developers, they created a criteria for games.
  1. Games should demonstrate and tax the resources and capabilities of the device it is played onGames
  2. Games must avoid routine and be a different experience each time
  3. It should be fun
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell played a lot of Space War and created the first commercial video game, Computer Space. With the majority of gaming's history already in landfills and games vanishing due to age, server shutdowns, and discontinued hardware, Analogue's openFPGA might be a good starting point for your game development career.
July 28, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you crave a Clash Of Clans cereal, Walmart has Barb's Choco Boom Booms online

Available online only, Boom Booms seem like an unnecessary sugar bomb of toxicity.
Some folks collect cereal boxes. I've been known to have a stash of Boo Berry boxes, but I have to draw the line somewhere. Video game tie-in for Clash Of Clans is past my line. I'll buy anything with an Atari logo, but an online exclusive at Walmart doesn't really excite me. If I saw the box in-store, I might snag it, but the filling out of online forms just isn't my jam, in this case.

I'd be all over a Metal Slug breakfast cereal!!

Walmart has Barb's Choco Boom Booms online
July 23, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink debuts Ready For Love with another in-game Pubg collaboration event

Blackpink x Pubg Ready For Love
Blackpink is pulling out all the stops with this digital avatar collaboration.
Even though Blackpink has collaborated with Pubg in the past, the relationship between these K-pop superstars and global battle royale game seem just as unlikely today. Obviously there has been some success as their colabs are rising in sophistication and duration. When Fortnite was offering concerts by Travis Scott and Ariana Grande, it was hard to imagine this as the new way to market music. But Blackpink is entering these new channels of exposure.

The music industry is going through immense changes due to both new technologies and social media's stranglehold on marketing new tallent. Social media has stolen so many formerly personal face-to-face experiences that today's music all sounds the same. Thankfully there are still creative artists who can get to the front of the line with original creations.

Blackpink's hit songs usually resonate with me due to catch riffs multiple languages and intricate dance routines. But in the music world, they've put out very few albums (only one full-length release). Their solos are often a single track and the rest of the catalog consists of EPs. Perhaps the girls are content with this, but considering they've recently taken the world by storm, their management company os strangling their success. They could blow up so huge if they weren't one of many acts managed by YG. Someone dedicated to the further success of Blackpink would have a runaway train of amazing releases.

So, anyway... go check out Blackpink's new song, Ready For Love, on Pubg.
July 22, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out Atari's 50th anniversary t-shirt

50 years of pixelated fun!
Buying from Atari is always a fickle scenario that often drags out over months or years, but if you have the tenacity, you can order their 50th anniversary t-shirt.

Analogue announces their deeveloper program openFPGA