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

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
Fourth Quarter 2018 - October November December

We're forging onward with a passion for retro gaming and all the astounding things we find in today's modern gaming world with direct connections to games we loved decades ago!

December 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

December 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The holiday NES illuminated cartridge

Get the whole family gaming this holiday!
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy New Year! Although this image is the 2012 holiday NES cartridge, I believe they have been made each year.

The holiday NES illuminated cartridge
December 28, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I used to get excited for films like Aquaman and the prospect of a video game tie-in... no more

I hoped Aquaman's visual effects would at least win me over, but this was devoid of plot, thought, and effort.
I've come to expect little from big-budget films that coast into theaters behind deftly edited trailers. When they look too good to actually be good - run away. Movies like this usually suck and Aquaman exemplified that for me. It had a minimal plot and was rife with tangents leading nowhere. It was reminiscent of the made-for-TV Power Ranger movies, being little more than random footage assembled, hoping for the best. Didn't happen.


Blockbusters used to usher in video game tie-ins that let you play as the lead character and wreak havoc. Aquaman couldn't become a video game unless someone chose to license the IP and concoct some semblance of a story - likely having nothing to do with the original. Thus, what's the point?

Even the toy industry loses out with movies like this. Without Toys R Us, there isn't much a a retail discovery process for movie tie-in toys. Even so, this meandering excuse for a plot doesn't inspire play.

Hollywood has long been on a course of remaking and rebooting known films that previously achieved success. That seems to limit the creativity of the whole project and any tie-in assets. We get homogenized variations of existing films and they don't even guarantee success anymore. No one is going to base a toy or video game on something unknown. Cycles are short. When a hit comes out of nowhere, there's no time to develop a video game before the film falls into obscurity and a video game seems out of place.

Has technology ruined the video game tie-in for movies? I loved them as a kid. From ET to Star Wars, the games supported my passion for the stories in the films. The two mediums supported one another in my young mind. I could be Luke in an X-wing fighter or Indiana Jones adventuring the wild or enter Jurassic Park. Those days seem over to me.

Maybe it's jus the games I chose and the myriad of titles that slip my notice. I just can't escape the feeling that video games no longer let me experience the films I've come to love. Now, it seems we get more films based on video games - like Pixels or Rampage. It's also entirely possible I'm just bitter about wasting two hours and ten bucks on a crappy film that I'm still pissed about - lol.
December 26, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As the holiday season is upon us, Christmas spirit comes to video games and online models

Christmas cheer infects us all from video games to online models.
Taylor does Christmas It's that time of year again. Everyone and everything gets requisite holiday treatment from santa hats on video game characters to sultry red lingerie-clad models posing before flaming hearths and Christmas trees. Holiday spirit in the digital age.

We discovered some Christmas flair in Neuro Voider on Nintendo Switch and the usual trappings added to Clash Of Clans. These seasonal additions are a product of digital delivery and a developer's ability to alter code long after the customer's purchase.

Were settling in for a few days of manic gaming from the Atari 2600 and Colecovision to the PS2, 2DS, and Nintendo Switch. Happy Holidays!

Neuro Voider does Christmas
December 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This H.E.R.O. hack has Santa rescuing ET from the deep mines in Santa Hero ET for Atari 2600

Atari 2600 homebrew hack - Santa Hero ET
E.T. miners are trapped deep in the mines and Santa must come to their rescue in this homebrew variant.
Add some holiday cheer with this hack of Activision's popular H.E.R.O. game for the 2600. The game appears to be a freeware hack as it's dropbox was linked from the Atari homebrew Facebook page.

Atari 2600 homebrew hack - Santa Hero ET

Atari 2600 homebrew hack - Santa Hero ET
December 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Christmas is upon us and we're taking some time off to hang out with Player 2

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We hope you all enjoy the holidays. We're taking some time off to whittle away at our stack of "yet to be played" video games along with some new ones. We know the futility of this undertaking, but as long as we're playing, we'll be just fine. We'll resume posting in the new year.
December 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Have you seen the Holiday Edition of the Die Hard 30th Anniversary DVD?

I've seen a lot of movies re-released with "interesting" new cover art to boost sales, but this is awesome!
Great Christmas movie, deserving of this holiday sweater treatment :)

Holiday Edition of the Die Hard 30th Anniversary DVD
December 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

During the holidays, Trump supporters are privately funding a wall rather than helping Vets, the homeless, or children

It's a unique kind of horrible that enables and empowers such lack of empathy and common decency.
For anyone who doesn't know about ladders... they make walls fairly weak as barriers.

No one with a brain is going to spend billions to put up a border wall. Our man-baby president wants to have at least one accomplishment and since he'd tossed up his Trump Towers around the world, he seems determined to build... something. A wall. Won't happen.

His followers are dumping money into a Go Fund Me campaign. They've thrown away over 6 million dollars in three days! That is a pretty good summation of his base. But there's some irony in all this...

You can't give money to the Government with express instruction or earmarks as to how its used. Typically, organizations who try to exert such specificity with funds are PACs (Political Action Committees) who must follow strict rules about donations. They are limited in how much they can donate. The funding is already way over the amount that could be given to a "wall fund", making this GFM campaign a complete fraud that is continuing to be funded.

Trump supporters are privately funding a wall People who are so desperate to throw away their money should be responsible enough to let that money benefit someone who really needs help. There are plenty of charities that do good things and can help people in need. Building a wall helps no one.
December 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After another year on Instagram, it's kind of interesting to see what your top posts were

8-bit Central's Top Nine on Instagram...
Follow 8BitCentral on Instagram!

op Nine on Instagram
December 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Chiptune punk band, Shoes On Now, is creating slick retro gaming videos to promote their new album

Chiptune punk band Shoes On Now' album Backwards Compatible
With an advent calendar release countdown, get a daily dose on YouTube until The album drops on Christmas eve.
When punk bands disband, the members often go their separate ways seeking the next big thing. These 30-something dads, from former punk bands, united and formed, Shoes On, Now in January 2018. Nearly a year later, their album arrives Dec. 24th and they have a really clever promotional campaign going on.

The album, Backwards Compatible, is a 12-track mish-mash of chiptune, punk, & new wave - dropping on Christmas Eve. This sets up a unique release countdown in the form of an advent calendar - we dig that! Using retro-game themed videos, They're giving fans a look inside their music set to classic video games!

The Shoes On, Now YouTube channel has one video each day as release day approaches. Get a feel for their music and keep up with them on their Shoes On, Now Facebook page.

You will find their album on the usual sites that sell music - keep an eye out!

From Shoes On, Now:
The album itself was recorded in Adam's shed using Ableton Live, BeepBox, a single microphone designed especially for use in a business conference environment, zero amps and a repurposed strimmer that served as both a mic and lyrics stand. Oh, and they played guitar through a Game Boy on a bunch of songs. That was fun...

They initially decided they weren't going to play gigs, but have since changed their collective mind so, if you felt the urge to book them, you could contact them and they could be playing your town before you could say "local support!"
December 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When you're a multimillionaire, you're not bothered by video games costing $60

Kendall Jenner was the highest paid model in 2018
Fobes recently revealed Kendall Jenner was the highest paid model in 2018, earning $22.5 million dollars.
I'm sure Kendall Jenner is worth every penny of that 22.5 million dollars, but it's hard to equate that to real world comparisons. With an estimated net worth of $30 million, she probably doesn't care that video games cost $60. I sometimes have to pick and choose which games I buy so I don't run out of money at the end of the month. My net worth is significantly below Ms. Jenners.

I'm jealous of all the cool muscle-cars she cruises around in. At the same time, I admire her taste in vehicles - no pink Lambos for this gal. Here's another bit of info. Her younger sister, Kylie, has a net worth of $900 million from several endeavors including a makeup line.

Think about that next time you're tell a GameStop employee you do NOT want the $3 protection plan for the used game you're buying.
December 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro-modern space shooter Hyper Sentinel has a physical release for PS4

Hyper Sentinel as a physical release
Strictly Limited Games is releasing Huey Games' Hyper Sentinel as a physical release for PlayStation 4!
Hyper Sentinel is a terrific game with modern touches to a retro style space shooter. I backed it on Kickstarter which garnered me a copy on Nintendo's Switch. Strictly Limited Games is releasing a physical disc for the PS4.

I believe there is also a deluxe edition with a signed book (263 pages) & Soundtrack CD. It's happening soon - check their site for details.

Hyper Sentinel as a physical release
December 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Live music is a magical connection between artist and fan, not a selfie opportunity

Live music is a connection
If you love live music - put your phone down!
Celebrities seem to be no farther than a single tweet away. You can log in and show adoration or hate. You can ask them questions or send them pics of your dog. Accessibility is astonishing, but social media has had a strange effect on people - especially when it comes to boundaries.

In my day, I was stunned to be in the presence of Eddie Van Halen at a concert. The mere thought of him being "right there" was inconceivable!

Memories are ingrained via the experience, not jittery video clips!
I've never had a front row seat, but we'd sneak down front to see how close we could get to the band before security ushered us away. Every second of seeing him up close - RIGHT THERE - was mind blowing for me as a kid. I have the most vivid memories of that concert and seeing my heroes up close. The whole scene is locked in my brain.

I wonder if that happens with kids today. Do they have these indelible moments etched into their memory or do they really need a selfie and four minutes of shaky video with awful sound to retain the experience?

I see these videos all the time on social media and they are awful. Who would waste the opportunity to SEE their favorite band perform and squander that precious time taking pictures and videos on a phone? Holding it up so everyone behind you sees your screen. Concerts today are a sea of phones - up in the air - blocking out what everyone came for! I laugh every time I see a fan turn their back on their favorite celebrity so they can take a selfie. It seems rude. I've been known to snap a few pics at concerts, but to try and capture the whole thing on your jiggly phone is hysterical.

When I look at this pic of the girl looking right at Camila Cabello and she looks right back - that's the moment that fan will remember forever. It sparks a moment that is powerful and emotional. Put down your phone and never leave home without a book!
December 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As music sinks into a song-by-song digital release scenario, why are "deluxe edition" CDs appearing?

Record Store CDs
I love physical media, but why re-release a CD just to add a few more tracks? Put 'em on your next album!
They say CDs are a dying breed and I see the evidence all around me. At the same time I see an uprise in both vinyl and cassettes. As CDs are ushered out, the model seems to be digital releases. Although not a fan, I can see the advantages... but wait! We aren't seeing albums being released. It's a string of single songs. One here. One there.

An artist's curation of their songs on an album is a vital part of the listening experience!
There is no collating the songs into a cohesive "story" or theme on an album. Just a sprinkling of songs. To an old guy, like me, this is a radically different way to release music. But more so (again for the old guy in me) is the notion of all music becoming something of a mix-tape or radio broadcast. Music is distributed digitally, but it's up to us to arrange it.

I can be in the mood for Priest's British Steel or Lez Zeppelin IV. However, I don't often crave one song and rarely a random selection of stuff. I like the choice of an album, curated by the artist, with songs arranged as the artist intended. Sure, I can rock to a random mix-tape now and again, but are albums going away as a way to organize music. Folders suck - gimme albums!

As examples, Dua Lipa released a deluxe edition as did Gwen Stefani and Lindsey Stirling with their holiday albums. If we're going to shift to digital distribution, stop re-releasing physical copies of the same album with a few more tracks. Put these songs on your next CD.

But please keep releasing new music on CDs! :)
December 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out Horizon Chase Turbo - a retro-modern racer for today's consoles with strong ties to it's 16-bit predecessors

Horizon Chase Turbo logo
If you loved OutRun and Top Gear, this game will draw you in and reignite your passion for arcade racers - from the comfort of your couch!
I posted a reviewof Horizon Chase Turbo, but couldn't resist chiming in with my first impressions of Aquiris' Horizon Chase Turbo for Nintendo's Switch. From the control and features to the music, Im loving this game as it feeds my love of arcade racing games

It's fast, fun and feels great. But most of all it captures the way we loved to play games back in the day. A bunch of friends on the couch, each gripping a controller! Horizon Chase Turbe has 4-player split-screen mode. Download this game and invite the crew over - it's going to be a late night :)

Horizon Chase Turbo screenshot

Horizon Chase Turbo screenshot

You can find more info on the Horizon Chase Turbo website.
December 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bella Thorne's honesty is refreshing & she has her own makeup line - Thorne By Bella

When she says it's "Fuck Me Firetruck" - she has a SKU for it!
Bella Thorne is pretty wacky, pretty creative, and she's pretty. But she cruises life in the fast lane with no filter needed. She tells it like it is. She has a new makeup[ line called Thorne By Bella and she took to instagram to tout a red lip stain aptly named, "Fuck Me Firetruck". I doubted that was the actual name, but deep down I knew better.

She's a classic and she can't be stopped. Hey, Bella's flick, Assassination Nation, is coming to DVD soon!

Bella Thorne's Thorne By Bella Bella Thorne's Thorne By Bella

Bella Thorne's Thorne By Bella
December 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This mall-kiosk is selling an NES look-alike console packed with 680 hacked ROMs

This mall-kiosk is selling an retrogaming clone console
You know retro gaming is popular when a pop-up kiosk at the mall is selling a knockoff clone game consoles.
Walking down the main hall of our local mall, I see Pac-Man on an LCD screen at one of the kiosks. My pace hastens. I'm not quite running, but I know there are retro games at a pop-up kiosk and I'm excited to see what they're selling.

As I approach I see something resembling an NES mini, but the font is all wrong and the controllers are a tad off. A young kid is playing one of the games, oblivious that this game is probably four-times older than he is. The salesman sees the gleam in my eye. Sure this is a cheap box with hacked ROMs, but in a matter of minutes I'm playing Dig Dug at the mall. I can't even do that at GameStop. What magic is this?

When I ask the salesman what's inside it, he gives me a vacant smile and tells me it contains 680 NES games. Yeah. I was curious about the guts of it. His smile faded. He showed me the game list which had Chinese characters across the top of the small paper. At $60, my smile faded. For a quick $20, I'd be all over it for the lark. It's a cheap knock-off at a mall kiosk... not the sort of scenario that commands premium pricing - lol

On the other hand, it shows the interest in retro gaming among the average shopper. Lots of folks were stopping by to admire the games they remembered as kids. The power of retro gaming is strong!

This mall-kiosk is selling an retrogaming clone console
December 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

24 hours ago this was the main entrance to Sears from the mall

the main entrance to Sears
From inside the mall, you'd never know Sears had been here, as an anchor store, for decades.
With several external entrances, a large warehouse, and a separate building for car repairs - Sears dominated my local mall for decades. Soon to be filled by Target and Dick's Sporting Goods, currently there is a large vacancy at the end of my local mall.

Sears was my go-to store for so many things. Folks will say I can get all those things from Amazon, but if that's your way of shopping, you're missing out on so many things that can't be reached via keyboards. As a kid, I tried out many Atari 2600 games on their many demo stations while my mom shopped.

I'll miss Sears. It was a unique store in many ways that online retail simply can't match.

The former main entrance to Sears
The final days at my local Sears The final days at my local Sears.
The final days at my local Sears The final days at my local Sears.

The final days at my local Sears The final days at my local Sears.
The final days at my local Sears The final days at my local Sears.

The final days at my local Sears The final days at my local Sears.
The final days at my local Sears The final days at my local Sears.

December 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

AC/DC's Angus Young is getting the Funko Pop treatment

Three versions of AC/DC's lead guitarist will become immortalized as vinyl figures.
Due out in early 2019, the Angus Young Funko Pop figure will come in three variations, some exclusive to specific retailers.

According to Blabbermouth:
Young figures will be made available in three separate combinations of hats and schoolboy outfits: a black suit and cap, or a navy blue suit with a blue hat featuring both an "A" and the "Highway To Hell" devil horns; and an FYE-exclusive variant featuring a red suit and the blue "A" cap, minus the horns.

Angus Young Funko Pop
December 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hey Mtv, if Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club doesn't have an arcade, I'm not watching

A reality show about LiLo's new beach club business really needs an arcade - even a tiny one.
OK, we jazzed up LiLo's updaming reality show pic with Arcade1Up's line of game cabinets. Come to think of it we also changed the name of her show. So, Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club is an upcoming reality show on Mtv in Janary. I wish Mtv would go back to playing music or maybe Sherman can pick me up in the WayBack Machine and take me back to 1982.

Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club Arcade
December 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Alessia Cara wrote a song titled “Nintendo Game”

Alessia Cara  Nintendo Game
It's about our egos getting in the way of our goals and treating love like a video game.
Nintendo Game by Alessia Cara: lyrics:

Alessia Cara Choose your weapon, let's go
Who's gonna beat this level?
I speed up, you slow down
Looks like I'm on your tail now
Another round, do we give up?
This is taking longer than Zelda
Hold on, what I meant was
Is it too late to get a one up?

Baby, baby, baby this is getting too crazy
I don't have the training
Baby, baby, baby this love ain't a game
So we should stop playing

Push and shove, go ahead and take your aim
We better duck, 'cause right now nobody's safe
And we could grow up, but it's no fun that way
And so we treat love like it's a Nintendo game
But nobody wins

(Nobody wins
Nobody, nobody wins
The game goes on)

All the trashtalk is getting reload
I'd rather try my hand at Rainbow Road
I'm focused, play my next move
But you're onto me so it's no use
It's a showdown, a game for two
Pick each other's brains looking for clues
A battle with no objective
Who will be the final one standing?

Baby, baby, baby this is getting too crazy
I don't have the training
Baby, baby, baby this love ain't a game
So we should stop playing

Push and shove, go ahead and take your aim
We better duck, 'cause right now nobody's safe
And we could grow up, but it's no fun that way
And so we treat love like it's a Nintendo game
But nobody wins

Push and shove, go ahead and take your aim
We better duck, 'cause right now nobody's safe
Push and shove, go ahead and take your aim
We better duck, 'cause right now nobody's safe
And we could grow up, but it's no fun that way
And so we treat love like it's a Nintendo game
But nobody wins
December 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Now I totally want a hat for each of my favorite retro arcade games

Gotta represent my arcade passion as a wearable. Hats for the win!
Galaga arcade hat I wish I owned this slick Galaga hat... and many more repping all my favorite games.
December 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was the biggest fan of GI Joe, but my parents never let me have the Evel Knievel toys

I would literally drool in front of the TV ads for these toys.
Almost every afternoon after school, I'd rush through my chores and homework to have time to play with my GI Joe toys. Together we had epic adventures from combat to discovery - armed conflict to scientific advancements. Our TV den was my GI Joe headquarters. Any gift giving occasion brought more accessories for my growing army of action figures.

On a separate tangent was a fascination with Evel Knievel. His jumps in the 70s were legendary and I watched as many as I could find on TV - mainly on Wide World Of Sports, as I recall. To me he was real. GI Joe represented people I'd heard about, but they came to life in my mind and our adventures were born of an active imagination. Evel Knievel was an actual person and his aventures appealed to me on an entirely different level.

He was a hero in a different way for me. I read books about him and thumbed through magazines when I saw him on the cover. When te toy line came out and began advertising on TV, I was hooked. I wanted it all. Alas, my parents didn't see the same appeal in these toys. I don't remember any specific denials or reasoning, but not a single Evel Knievel toy make it to our house. That Stunt Cycle mesmerized me.

This makes me want to ask my son if there's a toy or anything he really wants. Maybe he wants an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle :)

Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle.
Evel Knievel Scramble Van Evel Knievel Scramble Van.

December 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

From Movies to music and TV, I love awards shows, but I still can't enjoy the Game Awards show

The Game Awards
I love video games and The Game Awards are presented on a grand scale, but the show is still has an amateur vibe.
The pre-show began with Dead Cells winning "Best Action Game" along with it's nomination in other categories. Loved it - awesome game! Celeste was another winner and Crash Bandicoot took to the stage with promises of a Kart Racing reboot! It seemed to have many elements appealing to my style of gaming and fondness for retro. Despite this, I simply couldn't watch the whole thing. When Fortnite is the "Best Ongoing Game"... who can you?

The Game Awards - Dead Cells At the center is Geoff Keighley who worked on the former VGA (or VGX) show from Spike TV. Back with his vision of what a video game awards show should be, we have The Game Awards. He hosts the event start to finish with giddy excitement. Perhaps he should produce the show and try another fresh face as the host. His continual reminders that its an "amazing show" seem out of place along with his uneven delivery during the show.

Last year there was a guy dressed as a shaving razor and ran around the crowd before being interviewed. This year three famous faces from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft were on stage together taking turns speaking in single thoughts about the greatness of gaming. They looked so uncomfortable and I wasn't sure if it was stage fright, hatred for one another, or something else, but it was a cringe-moment.

I quickly grew disinterested which is a shame, because I can sit through the Oscars and Grammy's, but not The Game Awards. One thing these other awards shows have in common is rotating hosts. Maybe Geoff needs to let someone else MC the show and see if that has any effect.

The Game Awards - the big three The Game Awards - the big three.
The Game Awards - Crash Bandicoot The Game Awards - Crash Bandicoot.

I'm sure I'll be back next year out of curiosity and to see if I can watch more than thirty minutes.
December 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We need Kim Petras to get that Louis Vuitton purse-beat-down DLC added to Super Smash Bros

You know a video game is blowing up when celebrities post their inner cravings.
Best Buy had a table full of games and Gamecube-style controllers. GameStop had a healthy pile of Super Smash Bros behind the counter. Social media was flooded with folks sharing their game pick-ups. Smash was the game to have.

I was on a different mission. Sega Genesis Classics for Nintendo Switch. M son loves Smash, but I"m terrible at if, so a compilation game with all three Streets of Rage games is right up my alley. I'm sure we'll pick up Smash eventually, but for now it's all about Sega Classics!

Kim Petras loves Super Smash Bros From Kim's Twitter feed
December 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rapper Soulja Boy's “Tech Company” resells knock-off clone consoles seemingly unaware of Roms or laws

Soulja Boy knock-off clone consoles
The original clones, now SouljaGames, were poor systems to begin with. These knock-offs of the clones now have higher price tags.
Rapping is an artform - an expression of creativity, energy, and opinion. Reselling low-quality tech represents none of these things. The SouljaGame Console and SouljaGame Handheld are repackaged consoles at an obscene price point. The entire concept is laughable, if it weren't for the fact that some of his trusting fans will be duped into thinking they're getting a quality product.

If you're a fan of this rapper, enjoy his music, but don't waste money on these clone consoles. The info on the site seems grossly exaggerated, if not outright incorrect. The description on the handheld device states it plays SWitch, 3DS, and Vita games. What!?! This is nonsense. Any gamer can see this stuff is very sketchy. None of these consoles play Switch games - licensed or otherwise.

Soulja Boy knock-off clone consoles

Bittboy Anyone who purchased a SouljaGame Console or Handheld should demand a refund!
December 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Twas the night before Hans Gruber fell off the roof of Nakatomi Plaza

Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza
CNN's Jake Tapper is a pretty cool guy, but this elevates his cool-factor substantially.
I've long enjoyed Jake Tapper's show on DNN. He's tough, fair, and has a good sense of humor. His reporting and delivery are always spot-on. Last year (yeah, we totally missed this gem) he recreated the Night Before Christmas poem to recant the plot of Die Hard with a strong conclusion that this film is indeed a Christmas movie. We knew it all along!

Twas the night before Christmas
At Nakatomi Tower
When our story of homecoming
Begins with brute power

At Los Angeles airport, meet our savior, McClane;
With toys for his kids he disembarks from his plane.
To not see that this tales about Christmas is folly;
Did I mention that Mrs. McClanes name is Holly?

How 'bout some Christmas music? McClane asks of Argyle.
That *is* Christmas music, the driver says with a smile.
To reunite with Holly, his aim is shared with shy laughter;
Twould be a holiday miracle to last ever after.

You throw quite a party, says John to Tagaki-San.
I didn't know they had Christmas in Japan.
John is weary from travel; Holly offers a bed.
While down in the lobby, the guards shot in the head.

In Theo! In Kyle! In Tony, Ed, Fritz!
Into the party the armed thugs run a blitz.
(Argyle still waits; this is long before Uber.)
While havoc is wreaked by the evil Hans Gruber.

John McClane, he escapes. Save the day - hes just gotta;
Without shoes he tracks blood as if bearing wounds of stigmata;
One thug tries to kill him but that Germans too slow;
Now John McClane has a machine gun. HO-HO-HO.

Sgt. Al Powell is told of disturbance;
In response the fake guard feigns a bit of perturbance
Does he hear anything? The answer is no
Except for the song LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW

Merry Christmas, says Powell, not realizing the peril;
Driving off while he sings a beloved Christmas carol.
A corpse falls from above with a clear rationale;
McClane says to the cop Welcome to the party, pal.

Gruber talks to McClane,
or rather he sneers
Survival would be a miracle, he plays on his fears
The policeman is bloodied and in dire need of succor
Yipee-ki-yea, McClane says, mother-f***er.

A woman hostage with child in of its glory
Is also a part of our Christmas Eve story
With Johnny McC traveling great distance
With hope and with love fighting evil resistance

Theo, a wise man, whos also quite naughty
Is stealing the money in spirit quite haughty
Ellis, the Judas, attempts an amenity
By disclosing the cowboys secret identity

McClane gets a bad feeling and asks Sgt Powell
To relay to his wife a redemptive avowal
When things panned out for her, I should've been behind her all the way
He says this thinking that hell never see the light of day.

I got it, says the sergeant, but you can tell her yourself.
In a scene thats as seasonal as a reindeer or elf
I hope so, but that's up to the guy upstairs, says McClane
Whos traveled far for peace but encountered only pain

If Christmas is love, rebirth and a savior
McClane was all of the above in his Die Hard behavior
God was truly with him, the success was empirical
At Nakatomi they experienced a miracle

That Die Hard is a Christmas film
Seems to me just a Fact
I declare this without any holiday tact
But whether you agree or your disapproval wont cease
I wish you a season of love and of peace.
December 5, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

New Bittboy is still cute & tiny and now plays NES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games

With little online description, this version supports SD cards where last year's model was merely suggestive.
I bought Bittboys for my son and I last year and they've been a lot of fun. That model supported 300 built-in games and seemingly had an SD card slot. Technically, the slot was no more than an opening in the case, with no hardware on the internal board. In other words if you inserted an SD card, it would rattle around inside the case until you opened it up to retrieve it.

It's a bit quirky with it's ROMs of unknown origin, but I love it!
This year the New Bittboy model seems to have traded the built-in games for support for NES, Gameboy, and Game Boy Color games via micro SD Card. That's cool. Their website doesn't always clarify all the basic questions one might have, but I think we can piece enough together.

This unit is listed as a 1 GB design. I'll take that to mean it supports a one-gig SD Card. Is it included with the unit? Not sure. The other specs seem to be the same as it's predecessor.

If you yearn for a boatload of unlicensed ROMs, the Bittboy GBN resembles the Game Boy Advance design and offers 400 built-in games, but no SD slot. I'm curious about this model just to see what games come with it.

I've been very happy with my original Bittboy and am looking forward to getting one of the new models. Check them out. Thy are tiny, but provide a lot of fun!
December 4, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The release of Sony's Playstation Classic didn't seem to sell out like the Nintendo mini consoles

Sony's Playstation Classic
The featured games, emulation, and price seem to be the main detractors to this seemingly apt release.
Unlike Nintendo's continued success with their two mini consoles, Sony may have tried to take that success to a new financial height. After other offerings in this somewhat new market of mini consoles, I felt Sony's paltry offering of only 20 games was poor.

Many didn't like the game selections, but I had no real issues with the titles they chose. Where I felt they failed was in quantity. At $100, I expected more games - a lot more. 45 - 60 titles seems more in line with that pricing. Granted they provided two controllers, but that left me with a bad vibe. Oh yeah, there's no power supply - just a USB cable.

Few games and steep price took the Playstation Classic off my must-have list.
Then it came out that Sony opted to use an existing emulator rather than develop their own. That struck me as strange since the PS2 presumably uses emulation to play the PS1 library of games. That being the case, Sony should have a good handle on porting that to their Classic console. Apparently not.

Then it was revealed that several (nine, I believe) games are PAL versions and run slower than their NTSC counterparts. That is just plain strange.

Adding up these factors, I opted not to buy this console. I still stand by the notion that mini consoles are for jolts of nostalgia, not hardcore gaming. AtGames cornered the low-end of the market, but still the minis released from Nintendo and others are designed for the casual gamer who may have fond memories of gaming as a child. Those of us who grew up gaming and never stopped need a better product. Analogue offers the kind of next-gen consoles the hardcore crowd craves. FPGA is the way to go!

Sony PlayStation Classic consoles at Best Buy Sony PlayStation Classic consoles on the shelf at Best Buy the day after they went on sale. 16 remained te day after. We lined up at the crack of dawn to get the NES and SNES minis!
Sony PlayStation Classic consoles at Best Buy Sony PlayStation Classic consoles at Best Buy.

Another interesting facet to these "classic consoles" is their future. What next. Nintendo had two successful years of minis and everyone expected an N64 mini this year - but Nintendo declined. What about the Neo Geo tabletop and Sony's offering. Will Sony release another one next year with a different set of games?

AtGames set a standard of a "new release" each holiday season, but these units take up space and don't offer a lot of games. Is this wave of minis a fluke? A temporary stop-gap as the big boys ready their next major console updates? Time will tell...
December 4, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When your recently played game tiles line up just right

Sometimes the planets align, but how often does this happen?
As Red Dead Redemption 2 grows in popularity, here's another reason to not forget the everlasting qualities of the prior title. Alignment is everything...

Red Dead Redemption tile
December 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Birthday Ozzy Osbourne!

70 and going strong!
Ozzy will headline a special first-time Ozzfest on New Years Eve 2018. Featured performers are Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Body Count featuring Ice T, and Jonathan Davis of Korn. Another second outdoor stage will feature Zakk Sabbath, the Black Sabbath tribute band fronted by Osbournes guitarist Zakk Wylde.

Happy Birthday Ozzy Osbourne!
December 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This Kirby cubby is designed to help you sleep

This is a moderately disturbing way to shelter one's head for sleeping.
This would keep me up all night. I think I'd turn it a bit and use it as a laundry hamper.

Kirby cubby
December 2, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariana, Miley, and Bella put their best efforts forward to break the internet with new videos

Ariana, Miley, and Bella video releases
Three ladies pushing boundaries on their own terms!
Just when you think everything has been done before or worse - everything is just a reboot of ann old idea, along comes a series of videos each with a unique approach and each well tailored to it's creator. In an age where viewers are hyper-critical and love to tear down anything and everything, none of these ladies back down and make a point of using their sexuality by choice.

They teach a valuable lesson for anyone. YOU define yourself, not other people's opinions, remarks, or comments. There's a lot of strength in being yourself and not fearing what others may think or letting their opinions effect you. Everyone should be proud of themselves for their creations, efforts, and perseverance! Never br afraid to stand up for yourself and politely tell people to "Fuck Off" as needed. It's in your right.

When ever you feel alone, remember there are a lot of people just like YOU and we've got your back!

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next music video Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next music video

Every scene includes a nod to four iconic films she likes: Mean Girls, Bring It On, Legally Blonde, and 13 Going on 30, with Ariana playing the lead characters Regina George, Torrance Shipman, Elle Woods, and Jenna Rink.

The video was viewed more than 50 million times in the first 24 hours, breaking previous records.
Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next music video Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next music video

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart music video Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart music video
AMiley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart music video Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart music video

Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson released the brand new music video for their song "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" on Nov. 29. In her former Bangerz style, her lyrics offer several references before the video gets a bit racy ;)

Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart music video

Bela Thorne

Bella Thorne - Thorne by Bella video Bella Thorne - Thorne by Bella video

In her trademark provocative style, Bell introduces her latest makeup line - Thorne By Bella - by highlighting "Sexual Chocolate" in a video.
Bella Thorne - Thorne by Bella video Bella Thorne - Thorne by Bella video

December 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pac-Man Battle Royale game play is pretty slick - I'd love to play the cocktail version

4-player Pac-Man is a really cool variant on the original, but I've never encountered a cocktail table.
I need to track down an arcade with this four-player madness on hand. I was never very good at Pac-Man, but I like the co-op senario in this game. I can see how easily the co-op can switch to everyone-for-themselves as each round progresses. As if it weren't manic enough in it's original format :)

Pac-Man Battle Royale game From the Bandai-Namco website:
Pac-Man Battle Royale is the first four player competitive Pac-Man arcade game. The original Pac-Man game concept has been given a cannibalistic twist: Eliminate your opponents by eating them and the last Pac-Man standing wins the round. When players eat a power pellet, they power-up by doubling in size and increasing in speed. Once powered up, they are now able to eat non powered-up blue players and ghosts.

Players of the same size simply bounce off each other. Players can also be eliminated by running into ghosts if there aren't any powered up players. Eating a piece of fruit or all of the pellets resets the maze with a fresh new set of power pellets.
December 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

History is taught and studied in the context of it's era so we don't apply modern bias

Getting "Baby, It's Cold Outside" banned from radio benefits no one.
Last year I heard rumblings of people trying to insinuate there are predatory vibes in the classic Christmas song, Baby, It's Cold Outside. I even heard a "new" version in which they altered the lyrics. Who is this for? Who benefits from altering the lyrics to a song written in the 1940s?

This year, folks are trying to get the song banned from radio. If you don't like the song don't listen to it. I apply this concept to a huge swath of Country music. Works great - I don't have to listen to any of it!

It's hard to undersand the mindset of a person who want to insinuate a different meaning to song lyrics written decades ago and try to build momentum around their narrow position. Hate groups have anthems - how about getting those songs banned. Taking a holiday song out of context for your own self-interest is frustratingly dumb and makes me wonder if these folks know about the real atrocities happening in the world today.

Pac-Man Battle Royale game We really live in a self-centered era where we have to please everyone all the time... even though we know that's not possible. Instead of listening to a different radio station when you don't like the song, they want the song banned. Folks have risen up to attempt having infamous movies re-made to their liking and the same for video games. Where does this idiocy end? The world doesn't revolve around one singular opinion and even if it did... it probably wouldn't be YOURS!

Live and let live. It's just a song. If you do a little bit of research, you'll easily find songs that deserve banishment.

November 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

November 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My favorite daredevil, Evel Knievel, died eleven years ago Nov. 30, but his achievements are still legendary

His stunts set my childhood eyes wide and I watched all of his jumps that were broadcast on Wide World Of Sports!
The simple linear arcs of Evel's big Harley soaring over cars, buses, and large fountains held an elegance that seems lost on dudes doing tripple backflips at the X-games. Today's version of the daredevil is nothing short of amazing, but I miss the way Evel put on a one-man show that took crowds by storm!

My favorite daredevil, Evel Knievel
November 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Collectively we all love retro games, but our differences are what strengthen that passion

If the only thing I did was play retro games, I'd be a fairly boring person. Our diversity is what makes the gaming bond strong.
As gamers, many of us have found common ground in our passion for old video games. From collecting dusty carts to fixing broken consoles, and rising early for flea market finds, we each have a focus or favorite that draws us to retro gaming. Many of us grew up with Atari's 2600 or Nintendo's NES. As we age, we discover how much we miss those simpler days of playing video games with our friends.

Sharing all your passions makes retro gaming more robust.
When we delve into our social media accounts some of us recall pixel warriors who defend galaxies, rescue princesses, and find hidden doors leading to untold adventures. As I post about my favorite games, fantastic Atari memories from my childhood come rushing back. I smile thinking about the Coleco games my son and I played just a few weeks ago. Next summer I'm still hoping the local arcade gets their Tempest game up and running again. I love detailing these sort of things across Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest.

The people I've met online are full of great info in chat and posting, which makes social media good fun. I like to think our collective experiences help one another to further our retro gaming passions. But it's most interesting to find out about gamer's other hobbies and interests!

When we were kids it was all about playing games. Today our friends are bankers, lawyers, designers, marketers, etc... but when the workday ends, we still steal some time to select one of those old game cartridges and explore a pixelated landscape,s laden with excitement!

Be social on social media. You're more than just a gamer!
Part of that excitement comes from discovering how diverse gamers really are. From looking at social media, you'd think we just game all day. Not the case! One guy builds amazing sci-fi replica guns from classic films. Another is a chef who tries new dishes on his family at home before offering them to customers. One we recently encountered brings his woodworking skills to create amazing gaming items from marquee replicas to coasters in a variety of beautiful woods.

As for myself, I love to read and try to get through a new book each week. I try to get out to see a movie each weekend as well as revel in classic 80's flicks at home. Discovering new boardgames is as much fun as finding my favorite bands on vinyl.

I think diversity adds a lot to social media, so I may post an old vinyl record I found, go off on a political rant, or share my opinion of a recent film. Being a one-trick-pony is no fun, so I like to encourage folks to post more than just gaming pics. You can ignore my political opinions as easily as I can gloss over live tweets of PPV Wrestling events - lol.

We all share a lot of our gaming passions, show us what else ya got!
November 29, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Setting up your kid's game console on Christmas eve is the new “assembling their bike on Christmas eve”

Setting up game consoles on Christmas eve
The Xbox Family Guide suggests setting up your kid's new game console the night before.
Avoid those 3 hour system updates on Christmas morning by suffering through them on Christmas eve. I guess that's sound advice. Apparently, this is one of the tips suggested in Microsoft's Xbox Family Guide, in the UK. My PlayStation once began running a system update when I tried to watch a blu ray movie!

Parents used to assemble bikes on Christmas eve. Now they update game software.
Almost every time we got to play a game on any console, either the game or the console wants to download gigs of stuff. I miss the old days when games were completed prior to hitting retail shelves. Devs today seem to think customers are beta-testers. Having content added over a game's life is nice, but the routine fixes are just annoying.

Giving Game Consoles For Christmas

So what about giving a game console as a gift? What a night mare if your kid is stoked about the new system and wants to fire up a band new game for the first time and that dreaded fill-bar chugs along at a snail's crawl.

Microsoft has an idea for generous gift-givers. Getting an Xbox One for you kids? Why not set it up the night before? Let all those pesky day-one updates churn by the yule log. It's actually a pretty good idea. Your kid wants to play games not update system software.

However,this scenario reminds me of the first bicycle I got. It was for Christmas. I woke up and by the tree was a blue bike with fat tires, ape-hanger handlebars and a banana seat with a savagely tall sissy-bar. It was incredible! My Dad was up until the wee hours assembling it for me because he was an awesome guy and no kid wants a bike in a box. He knew I wanted to ride.

November 28, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'd love to know what Kendall Jenner bought on her visit to GameStop

Kendall has impeccable taste in cars
Is she a Nintendo fan? I suspect she's a PS4 kind of person but plays Xbox with her boyfriend.
Seen leaving a mall with a large GameStop bag, makes me wonder what sort of games does Kendall like to play. Is she a gamer? I have no idea, but the sight of a GameStop bag unleashes a lot of questions that make me re-think how I spend my free time.

From her love of classic muscle cars, might she have a fondness for retro games? Maybe she stopped off to pick up the Genesis Classics compilation game for PS4. I get a kick out of celebrities doing mundane things. Jenner walks the most elite fashion shows, so I don't imagine her walking around a GameStop. She was probably picking up a laptop battery and heading off for a lavish lunch costing more than my car.

Kendall Jenner leaving GameStop Did they buy a console? Games?
TKendall Jenner leaving GameStop Celebrities doing normal stuff kind of fascinates me. Mix that notion with a trip to GameStop and I'm oozing questions about the contents of that bag. lol

Ben Simmons NBA 2K 19
November 28, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Red Bull codes unlock mazes in the Pac-Man mobile app, but 7-Eleven has the game in a full-size cabinet (you can too)

Red Bull Pac-Man
Red Bull has quite a slick display for this Pac-Man tie-in with Namco!
My goal is to drop in on the various 7-Eleven's in my area in search of this whacky Pac-Man arcade game. Looks like fun and I'll bet I can play for hours without getting kicked out as long as I keep buying Slurpees.

Part of the Red Bull Pac-Man promotion with the Pac-Man mobile app. If you enter the code from your RB can, you can unlock special mazes. But more than that, you can also snag a Red Bull in-game and it will give you a special ability. PAC-MAN can eliminate Ghosts in their non-edible form after chomping a Red Bull can, when it appears in the maze.

Go download Pac-Man if you don't already have it and snag a code from your Red Bull can... and chomp some cans to gobble those ghosts!

Red Bull Pac-Man arcade in 7-Eleven

PAC-MAN'S Pixel Bash Chill

PAC-MAN'S Pixel Bash Chill

If you're in need of an arcade/fridge combo in your game room, $3,000 will get this Namco unit delivered, with it's own bottle holder beneath the joystick. The unit isn't just about Pac-Man. It has 32 licensed built-in games.

It has authentic controls, an LCD screen, and a refrigerator. What more could your man-cave need?

The unit includes the following games:
Bosconian, DigDug, Dragon Spirit, Galaga, Galaga 88, Galaxian, Mappy, PAC-MAN, Ms. PAC-MAN Pac Mania, Rally-X, Rolling Thunder, Xevious, Baraduke, Dragon Buster, DigDug II, Tower of Druaga, Gaplus, Grobda, Hopping Mappy, King & Balloon, Metro-Cross, Motos, New Rally-X, Pac & Pal, PAC-MAN Plus, Rompers, Skykid, Skykid Deluxe, Splatterhouse, Super PAC-MAN, and Super Xevious.
November 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Spongebob Squarepants creator, Stephen Hillenburg, passed away at age 57. His stories of Bikini Bottom will enchant for generations!

RIP Stephen Hillenburg
So many kids grew up watching Spongebob Squarepants... with their parents. My son loves this show as much as I do. It's creativity offeres something for all ages. And it's not only the TV show... We love many of the video games.

We have Spongebob Squarepants games across several systems from the DS and PSP to the Gamecube and Wii. Spongebob's Boating Bash on the Wii is our favorite. Lots of fun! Hillenburg created an amazing legacy in the form of a lovable sponge who lived in a pineapple under the sea.

Stephen Hillenburg passed away at age 57
November 26, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sega's Yakuza Kiwami 2 preserves Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtual On in Kamurocho's entertainment district

Sega's Yakuza Kiwami 2
Retro game preservation comes in many forms and we love what Sega has done with the Yakuza series.
I was familiar with the Yakuza series of games from Sega, but had not played them until stumbling across a Kotaku article about a few hidden gems. I began with Yakuza Kiwami 2 because of the game within a game it contains. The main game primarily revolves around a fictional version of Tokyos entertainment district and offers some great side-play.

Within the main game, Club Sega has been offering retro games for quite some time in the Yakuza series of video games. When I read about Yakuza Kiwami 2 offering Virtual On, I was stoked. My son and I play this game at a local arcade in the summers. It's dual joystick head-to-head play is a ton of fun! Versions were released for the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast, but I haven't come across a copy yet.

I like the way Sega has approached this "hidden retro game" scenario. It fits so naturally in the entertainment districts of the Yakuza games. I'd love to see more of this treatment in other games by other developers.

Sega's Virtual On inside Yakuza Kiwami 2
November 26, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Greenday is out of this world and NASA can prove it

"Green Day Since 1986" is now on Mars!
An inscription on a chip that is part of the Mars lander will leave the band's legacy on the red planet for Elon Musk to find when his space-born Tesla crashed into the planet. OK, our trajectories (and basic knowledge) may be off. However, NASA confirms that "Green Day Since 1986" was inscribed on a chip that is now on Mars. Pretty Cool!

Greenday Mars tweet

Greenday is out of this world - on Mars

Greenday is out of this world - on Mars
November 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When celebrities tell it like it is

Alyssa Milano's activism has a uniquely human quality to her passions and beliefs.
Many of us watched Alyssa Milano grow up on Who's The Boss and her continued career as an actor. Along with her many current roles, her activism stays strong. We dig her!

Alyssa Milano tells it like it is
November 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

King Of Kong, Billy Mitchell, returns with a new Donkey Kong high score

Billy Mitchell returns with a new Donky Kong high score
Donkey Kong champ reaches his previously contested (and deleted) scores on live stream.
Under allegations of cheating, Billy Mitchell's scores were wiped from the Twin Galaxies boards. For as long as I can remember, he's been a legend in the World of video games - and hot sauce, if you're into that here's a review. Not long ago, his high scores on Donkey Kong came under fire and were ultimately wiped from the records.

Billy Mitchell high score tweet Then a tweet shows up in which Mitchell has live streamed himself achieving 1,050,100 on Donkey Kong. Is the King Of Kon back? It's the high-schore comeback nobody asked for. Mitchell's flamboyant and brash demeanor separate folks into those who like him and those who hate him - not a lot of middle ground seems to exist.

Some say these new scores validate his former achievements, while others say he cheated before and that's all that matters. I'm not really into this sort of competition. Regardless of one's opinion of Billy Mitchell, they guy has gaming skills. He can play most games longer than I can sleep!.

I'm sure the growing E-Sports sector has strict rules and regulations, but high score games on 80's arcade cabinets isn't regulated in the strictest sense. It's a shame social media drives us toward praise or condemnation, as though every condition can be assessed on a Pass/ Fail basis.

Most folks are ready to judge and convict based on reading a headline. They won't even read the article. I'm not a fan of Mitchell, but I can freely admit he has serious gaming skills. It will be interesting to see where this new high score story goes. Will he be vindicated? Will his past dictate his fate?
November 24, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The new BittBoy GBN has 400 built-in NES games and a Game Boy Advance design style

BittBoy GBN
The BittBoy's GBA styling is cosmetic-only as it's games are NES/Famicom titles.
Last Fall I came across the BittBoy handheld game console and liked it's small size and design. I bought two - one for me and one for my son. Fitting neatly in a shirt pocket with 300 NES games, we both liked this initial version. The authenticity of the included games is sketchy at best, but aside from neither version of Rad Racer playing properly, hacked ROMs can be fun.

One year later and it's back with a BittBoy GBN version sporting 400 built-in games, a larger 2.8" TFT screen, and a new GBA-inspired design. It's a little bit larger than the former Gameboy-design, with dimensions of 4.6 x 0.6 x 2.7 inches. The BittBoy GBN still connects to the TV and comes with A/V and USB cables.

Being a somewhat impulsive shopper, I jumped on it last year only to watch the price fall as Christmas drew nearer. This year I'll wait a bit and see how the pricing goes in the next month or so. We loved the last model and are curious to try this fun-looking new design and see what games it contains!

BittBoy GBN
November 24, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The credits on Big Buck Hunter Pro caught my eye although I prefer Time Crisis and Lethal enforcer style shooters

Big Buck Hunter Pro marquee
I'm not a fan of hunting in forests or arcades, but I was interested to see credits for the Big Buck Girls.
There are several arcade games I've recently seen with scantily clad girls in the game's attract mode or after-play scenes. While most gaming relies on animation, these ladies briefly dominating the screen are clearly FMV. They're actors, not drawn or CGI. Typically these scenes appear in racing games but a segment of the credits on Big Buck Hunter Pro caught my eye.

The Big Buck Girls. Who? Then it dawned on me. The rolling credits on the game named the women from the attract mode. That's pretty cool.

I always stay until the last of the credits when watching a movie at a theater - love those "hidden" extra scenes. I rarely do this when at an arcade... or even playing home console games. In a movie theater's arcade, I coincidentally stumbled onto this set of credits. Shout out to Nicole Gucciardo, Anne marie Pody, Vanessa Uribe!

The Big Buck Girls The Big Buck Girls
The Big Buck Girls credits The Big Buck Girls game credits

November 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

An arcade token left behind in an old game's cash-box originated from my local arcade

The American Classic Arcade Museum occasionally posts tokens found in their incoming games.
If you've ever bought vintage arcade games, it's not uncommon to find a few tokens lurking in the corners of the game's cash-box. There are still a few arcades in my area operating on tokens, but gone are the days when arcades had their own custom tokens minted with their name and logo.

I used to collect such customized tokens and love to see ACAM's Instagram posts featuring tokens they find inside their games. Many arcades have switched over to swipe-cards to maximize efficiency and accounting.

Old arcade token Coincidentally, the token shown below (posted by ACAM) is from an operator in my area - Ryan Family Amusements. Coincidentally, they switched to swipe cards a few years ago as they operate multiple locations. This enables me to visit several of their locations with one payment method that works at all of them. It's convenient as each location has unique games.

I remember when the arcades I frequented in the 80s began switching from quarters to tokens. Considering the pace of technology, tokens lasted a long time before swipe cards became widespread.

Just like my preference for physical media over digital downloads of video games, I love the tactile feeling of a pocket full of arcade tokens. Swipe cards are convenient, but lack the feeling I got from reserving the next play by putting a token against the games glass.
November 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Next time you're recycling, remember these scifi battleships imagined from household items

scifi battleships imagined from household items
Creative inspiration comes from many places. Think about that next time you toss a shampoo bottle in the trash.
This guy's spaceship illustrations are really cool, but seeing their inspiration in side-by-side photos gives this creativity a whole new meaning. Take a look at other pieces on @egeusz's twitter where' you'll find a link to an external gallery site. Cool stuff!

scifi battleships imagined from household items I've peeled hundreds of potatoes and apples, but never would have envisioned anything this cool.
scifi battleships imagined from household items resembling many of the containers in my bathroom, this ship never crossed my mind.

Next time you need a boost in creative inspiration, don't forget the immediate scene around you may be full of great ideas if you know what to look for. If you feel closed-in as though the world around you is drab and boring, try looking with a fresh perspective. This artist's creations really inspire me after seeing the common place some of them were imagined. It's never too late for a new perspective!
November 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Five Below has been offering a lot of cool Nintendo deals from amiibo to shirts

Arcade1Up at Wal-Mart
Stoked to find amiibo at $5, some exploration led to more gaming stuff and Nintendo-licensed shirts.
A dollar store in my area - Five Below where everything is $5 - has been offering some cool gaming stuff. It started with wheelbarrows full of amiibo, but further poking around led me to the Crash & Dr. Neo Cortex figures for Skylanders (formerly $30 at Toys R Us) and licensed Nintendo t-shirts.

With no knowledge of authentic designs and such, I bought the shirt because it had a Nintendo Seal sticker on it and the logo was printed inside the collar where tags would be. It seemed legit, but I wouldn't recognize a knock-off. I just liked the design... and the price.

I wasn't familiar with Five Below, but they seem to be a cut above the other dollar stores in my area. Most of them just have junk - if you need a cheap pen, they've got you covered. It almost sounds cliche to wonder if the $5 price at Five Below enables better product than the traditional $1 stores. who knows. I've been pleasantly surprised so far.

They certainly have more gaming items than I've ever seen in these sort of stores. I'm sure they're bringing out their best stuff fo Black Friday and the holidays, but check them out if you have one nearby. You never know what you might find.
November 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade1Up offers $50 off their Wal-Mart exclusive ¾-size arcade games for Black Friday

Arcade1Up at Wal-Mart
Their ad is confusing as to which models are on sale, however, the Wal-mart site lists all the games at $249.
If you're looking to save a bit of money on Arcade1Up's ¾-size games, you can order online - from Wal-mart - and avoid the Black Friday crowds. This sale may be limited to the two exclusive games they carry. The ad mentions the two games, but the Wal-mart website lists all the games for the $50-off sale price.

Arcade1Up sale at Wal-Mart  for Black Friday I wish Best Buy had a similar deal on their 12-game Arcade1Up arcade cabinet. I'm stil intrigued by this arcade line up, but I'm afraid $50 isn't enough to get me off the fence. Perhaps there will be an upgrade as the line develops. Naturally, they can license more games and release more cabinets, but I'd like to see the next generation of this product. There may be some additional features besides adding games.

An upgrade to the joysticks and controls would be nice, but I want to see how the line matures with more features. It's hard for me to put my finger on what I'd like to see in the next generation, but there's a wow-factor I'm not seeing just yet. Cool product, but I want to see where it goes.
November 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Thanksgiving!

While the visiting relatives are watching football, we hope you have another TV for an afternoon of retro gaming :)
Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Seeking family friendly consumers, Flashback Blast consoles appear on CVS shelves, not GameStop's

Just Dance 2019 released for the Wii
Video game reviewers were snubbed on free review product in favor of more positive reviews from family-friendly blogs.
Most gamers know AtGames' Flashback consoles are really not designed for gamers. Those of us who play for hours on end and salivate over upcoming homebres for the Atari 2600 as much as a AAA PS4 title are not the target audience for AtGames' product line. They seek casual gamers seeking a shot of nostalgia.

This demographic is much more forgiving of the low quality and sometimes awful emulation of Flashback products. Sure, I have enjoyed many of their consoles and am intrigued by the new Blast HDMI-dongles, but these are more toys than video games. They have a place and cater to a specific demographic. Unfortunately, most gamers want to ingest any form of gaming... even if it may be a bit sub-par.

Flashback Blasts offer jolts of nostalgia. Gamers should go to Hyperkin and Analogue to satisfy their needs.
While GameStop is selling Blast dongles online, they won't be sold at the brick and mortar stores. I see no listings at Best Buy either. This coincides with several stories I heard from game reviewers saying AtGames wasn't sending review units to games as muchas they were to family bloggers who will likely take a softer, more casual approach to these game consoles.

The ad in this week's CVS flyer shows three units with prices starting at $14.99. They are the Legends, Activision, and Pac-Man releases. To be honest, it's time AtGames began catering to the right market for these devices. The quality isn't what gamers are accustomed to. These devices are more akin to toys with a hefty dollop of nostalgia for those who grew up with these games in the 70s and 80s. Even kids who grew up a short time later with the NES will expect more than Flashback Blasts will deliver.

I think it's a step in the right direction to try shifting the line from gaming outlets to more family or Mom friendly retailers. Hopefully this will be good for all involved. Gamers can go for Analogue's consoles and wives will snag Blasts to give their husbands a bit of childhood memories at an affordable price with ease of use.
November 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Put down your game controller... Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is on

No holiday is validated until it's Peanuts Special airs!
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving And I picked up a few new comics this afternoon. Scooby Apocalypse has been a lot of fun to follow and I can't resist the retro appeal of Charlie's Angels. Before meeting their demise, Toys R Us had these large Grossery Gang toys on sale.
November 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The tragedy of Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance in a bargain bin compounded by proximity of Nickelback CD

One man's trash is another's gold!
Screaming For Vengence in a bargain bin I found a remastered version of Black Sabbath's Sabotage which I promptly scooped up. Love that album. I adore Priest as well, but I'm not a rescue organization for deserving metal bands.

Best Buy's bargain bin has been kind to me. Since ceasing the sale of new CD's this past July, they've been stocking these bins with some great music from '70s classics to metal gods. It will be sad when they exhaust their warehouse supply of CDs, but until then, I'm all over it!
November 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Just Dance 2019 is still being released for Nintendo's Wii console

Just Dance 2019 released for the Wii
I'd love to know the Wii sales figures for Just Dance '19 as much as I'd like to buy a copy!
Last year I heard Just Dance 2018 was coming to the Wii console and it did. I was more surprised to recently see the 2019 release for Wii at my local Target! Again?!? the 2019 version is still being developed for the Wii? That's crazy... and kind of cool.

Just Dance 2019 for the Wii The original Wii console was released in 2006 and marched boldly until being discontinued in 2011. From there the Wii Family Edition (no net or Gamecube compatibility) and the Wii Mini continued until 2013. So in 2019, Ubisoft is still putting out Just Dance for the Wii! Equally surprising - I saw a copy on the shelf in Target! Surrounded by the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch versions was the Wii version. That begs for questions about the Wii U version...

I suppose when you sell over 100 million game consoles, there must be a considerable install base still in use. Having a Wii reignited my passion for the Gamecube, so we've kept ours hooked up and in-use alongside our Wii U. I'll be honest - I can't dance. I don't like dancing. I don't want to learn to dance. I don't want to Just Dance.

I do however love the idea of buying a new game - from a long standing IP - for my Wii. I don't know... maybe excitement would take over and I'd become a dancing machine until I accidentally punched a lamp with my Wiimote.

Normally, I get excited to see an on-going IP come to the Switch, but I think I'm more exited to by this for my Wii. Damn... there may be dancing in my living room yet.
November 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When you call the Dollar Store to ask about amiibo and they say, “Yes, we have lots”

amiibo at Five Below
I did not expect to find wheelbarrows full of amiibo!
I'm no fan of Black Friday and I haven't gone shopping in an actual store in years and years. However, I'm not averse to chasing a good deal a few days early :)

My buddy called a local "dollar" store after hearing they had just received some amiibo stock. Whoever answered the phone hadn't heard of amiibo an put him on hold to ask the manager. She soon confirmed they had amiibo at which point my buddy asked if they had a lot... She said, Yes!

I headed over after work and discovered Five Below had wheelbarrows full of amiibo - apparently with lots of additional stock in the store room. At $5 each, it was a pretty good day since I didn't have the four they were offering!

amiibos by the wheelbarrow I didn't expect to find amiibo at a local dollar store, so I was stoked to find $5 amiibo.
amiibos by the wheelbarrow When they said they had a lot of amiibo, I didn't expect to find wheelbarrows full of them!

I really wanted to roll the wheelbarrow to the regster and snag them all...
November 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The struggle to find white Joy Cons

I love the Halloween tie-in with Boo and these white Joy Cons, but I can't find them anywhere.
white Joy Cons Having found this swell Halloween-themed set of white Joy Cons, finding the actual product seems nearly impossible. Are they still available? Were they ever available? PhotoShop'd? In the world we now live, "seeing" is rarely equates with "believing".

They may have been a limited release or part of a bundle, but my quandary is equally seated in not finding much info about them. This Halloween packaging is awesome, but the dearth of info makes me doubt their authenticity. It's hard to live in a world of fakery that reaches such heights I can't even believe in a cool set of Boo-themed Joy Cons - lol.

At this time, Nintendo doesn't even acknowledge "white" on their Joy Con Color Picker! If nothing else, this is slick looking packaging and I'd love to won it :)
November 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Night Of The Comet was released on this day in 1984

This is a classic post-apocalyptic flick from the 80's!
Night Of The Comet film
November 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This homebrew of Wizard Of Wor looks phenomenal on the Atari 2600

Wizard Of Wor Arcade for Atari 2600
If you already have the CBS release, you'll still want to check out this arcade version for the 2600.
My son and I play Wizard of Wor primarily on our Atari 800 and Colecovision. It's one of my favorite arcade games and I'm delighted to see it march forward. I love the home console releases including the 2017 homebrew for Colecovision with Super Game Module support. It's a great game with co-op and versus, 2-player options.

Hearing about a new Atari 2600 homebrew is exciting, especially when you see the footage. It has some nice features & fixes and it's fast! You can download a ROM to give it a try and be sure to look for it in the AtariAge Store in April 2019!

The video below has a lot of information as well as gameplay footage. As much as I love the version on the 800, I'm excited to buy a copy. It looks like a fantastic reboot of the 2600 classic!

November 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Helzberg Diamonds believes your wife or GF will let you play video games in exchange for jewelry

Helzberg Diamonds Nintendo Switch deal
Last year it was an Xbox One offer. This year Helzberg sweetened the deal with a Nintendo Switch!
Helzberg Diamonds is letting you spend $1,199 before Christmas eve to receive a free Nintendo Switch. This sort of offer really gets one's mind churning. Would this work? Could I buy a swell necklace or earrings and have unlimited ability to play video games? Significant others aren't always supportive of pixelated activities. But would this deal counter that notion?

While I see the logic, my experience doesn't necessarily substantiate the idea that your significant other will be more forgiving about video games in exchange for some flashy new jewelry. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. Who knows.

Secondly, does this sort of deal really get folks to shop for jewelry? Is there a link between baubles and pixels that I should delve into? Or maybe your Significant other will play video games while wearing the jewelry you bought. Mind churning...

Helzberg Diamonds Nintendo Switch deal Practical thought deems this deal a winner since Helzberg Diamonds doled out Xbox Ones last year, so I'm sure they're duplicating a success. Will it be PSVR next year?
November 13, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I used to play Vanguard every weekend at Nathan's, now I have it on my Switch

Vanguard on Atari 2600, 5200, and Nintendo Switch
Vanguard and Berzerk are the two games I've wanted to see on modern platforms. One down, one to go - via SNK 40th Anniversary Collection!
I loved the Neo Geo X rebooted console as well as the SNK Arcade Classics on the Nintendo Wii. This has been my primary exposure to SNk games along with my passion for Metal Slug. However, I was excited about the SNK 40th anniversary Collection release because of an old arcade shooter I loved in the 80s, released by Centuri - Vanguard!

This compilation game for Nintendo's Switch has some great games fromt he early days of SNK and my beloved Vanguard. I was stoked to find this at Best Buy today and use my Mystery Coupon valued beween $5 and $5,000. It was $5 - go figure. But it got me a few bucks off my quest to play Vanguard on a modern console. And the Switch makes it portable.

The next compilation I'm excited about is Atari's Flashback Classics for Switch, Originally slated for last Friday, It was delayed to late November. It comprises the first two game discs released in 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One, and the third release for those platforms. Thus the Switch version has all 150 Atari games on one game cart for Switch. It has 2600, a few 5200 and a few arcade titles.

The Sega Genesis Collection is coming To Switch in early December. it seems as though the "compilation disc" is coming back! My first love for compilations came with the many discs for the original PlayStation packed with my favorite arcade games. This was followed by Namco Museum's invasion of nearly every game consoles since the mid-1990s. Seeing these treasures emerge on Nintendo's Switch is truly grand. Bring 'em on!

Oh yeah... and this. I would love to see the Metal Slug Anthology on Nintendo's Switch. Just saying... :)
November 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

RIP Stan Lee

An amazing man who leaves behind a legacy of creative genius.
Several years ago I attended NY Comic Con. A long line wound around the interior of Javits Center comprised of attendees picking up badges. A stir came across the entire crowd when a man quickly ran by with a small entourage. Applause broke out. We'd all shared a moment. It was Stan Lee.

I'll miss his film cameos the most. Excelsior!

November 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Huey Games' Hyper Sentinel is now available on iOS

Hyper Sentinel
This Neo-Retro arcade shoot em up, featuring classic shmup gameplay in a cutting-edge game is now available on iOS
We signed up for the Hyper Sentinel Kickstarter as soon as we heard about it. At the time we weren't sure if there would be a Nintendo Switch version, since the Switch had yet to hit retail. But we were able to get a copy and we highly recommend it! You'll find it on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and now on iOS.

If you're familiar with games like Uridium, Paradroid, Nebulus, and Pinball Fantasies - you probably know a bit about Hewson gaming history. Huey Games features Andrew and Rob Hewson and a wealth of experience with 8 & 16 bit games as well as modern titles. Creating Hyper Sentinel involved the look and feel of 0's gaming with modern features running on today's game consoles and computers.

If you don't have Hyper Sentinel on Switch and want another portable option, the game is now on iOS. Check it our!

Huey Games' Hyper Sentinel on iOS
November 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord

This woman is fierce!
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November 8, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Freedom of the press is a core value of the United States. Reporters don't create the news, they report it.

Unhappy being President, Trump aims to become a King. Destroying the Middle Class, constant lies, and invalidating the free press puts him on that path!
Trump's continual use of the term "Fake News" for any information he doesn't like and vilifying the news media as "enemies of the people" creates a very dangerous situation. it's especially troubling considering the instant buy-in from his supporters who seemingly repeat anything he says.

CNN's Jim Acosta challenged Trump on one of his lies and subsequently had his White House press pass revoked. Trump has effectively locked him out of the White House because he can't tollerate any opinion, but his own.

Trump wants to create his own news. He wants people to believe what he says regardless of any facts. What if this trend was extended to all news? Video game news? What if developers gave fake launch dates, lied about game features. What if game developers created shovel-ware and touted it as the next big thing? Facts matter.

I wouldn't buy games from a developer who lied about release dates or delivered laggy games while touting 60-FPS. Similarly, I wouldn't support a politician who essentially does just that. Lies are not facts regardless how often they are repeated. We all know this, but some of us tollerate it from this President. POTUS is much like a glitchy video game.

I stand with Jim Acosta As a kid I idolized the notion of Jeff Spicoli hiring Van Halen to play at his birthday party. While still an ardent fan of Eddie's guitar wizardry, the adult in me would love to have lunch with CNN's Jim Acosta. Real life. Real Heroes. #IStandWithAcosta
November 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This comic cover brought back memories of the '70s sci-fi show I loved - Space 1999

This series aired at a time when I was all about living in a moon base!
Space 1999 comicbook I loved Space 1999 when I was a kid. There was something about their ship - The Eagle - that really drew me in. Seeing this comic book cover online brought back so many memories. This TV series ran between 1975 and 1977 I have 2 sets of the show on DVD, but don't recall how they aligns with the televised episodes.

Seven issues of a Space: 1999 comic book were published in 1976 and seem to still be available for about $12 for each book.

It's crazy to think how far past 1999 we are and what a different trajectory the space program went. No moon bases. And I was obsessed with the idea of living on a moon base!

Space 1999 DVDs And some Space Chase for the Atari 2600 thrown in... even though it's an awful game.
November 6, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After leaving work, back filling my Black Sabbath stash, and snagging dinner... I voted

Despite a strong desire to help bring on the blue-wave, I had to backfill my Black Sabbath collection first... priorities!
Vote! Bring on the blue-wave VOTE!
Vote! Bring on the blue-wave VOTE!

Kim Petras - You guys better vote! It's so important to vote. It's vital to make opinions known and set examples to those in power. We do the same thing all the time with our money. We send messages based on the products we buy.

When we insist on quality by not spending money on junk, it sends a message to manufacturers and retailers. We can vote with our wallets.

Trump said there would be big tax cuts for the middle class coing before election day. Not true. He lied. Again. In a world that seems to revolve around social media, we need to put down our phones and go vote. Show support for who you believe will represent your interests. People need to become involved in our political future, not just by "liking" social media posts favoring their views.

Vote now while voting still has some meaning. Trump's policies are moving us farther and farther from a democratic nation where individuals have rights or power.

Just wait until there are tariffs on video games coming in from other countries. What if games from Japan, the UK and/or Europe suddenly cost $90 due to tariffs? What if games created in the US were banned in China? Voting can help protect everything from civil liberties to video game prices and availability. It's still your right, go vote!

Vote for Pac-Man

Others played Pac-Man...
November 5, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After a rocky start and losing a spice, the Spice Girls are ready to rock the UK in 2019

Spice Girls 2019 tour
As silly as they were, I have to admit I'm down for this kind of reunion. Posh will regret sitting this out.
Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Melanie Chisholm confirmed the details of their upcoming reunion tour in a video. As suspected, Victoria Beckham won't be joining them. The tour kicks off at Manchester's Etihad Stadium on June 1, 2019. The foursome will also hit Coventry, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Bristol, with the last show at London's Wembley Stadium. They will be supported by Jess Glynne.

This definitely sounds like a testing-the-waters sort of tour. Last year Bananarama took to stages on a small reunion tour that seemed to grow into more dates. It should be interesting to see if things go well and they want to do more shows. Can they tempt Posh to join them?.
November 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bowsette has created quite a movement in the cosplay comunity

Toadette's "magic crown" ability made Nintendo fans wonder who else might benefit from a Peach-like appearance and the winner was Bowser!
An inconsequential mention in a Nintendo Direct led the internet to further ponder the magic-crown's ability to effect other characters and the Peach mash-ups began. It just goes to show how careful one needs to be when releasing info to the dementia of the Net. Cosplayers in particular have run with te Bowsette character... which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Bowsette by Ryuu Lavitz Bowsette cosplay by Ryuu Lavitz
Bowsette by Jessica Nigri A Bowsette origin explanation from the IGN website:
Bowsette cosplay by Jessica Nigri So, how did it come to this? It all started with a short segment from this month's Nintendo Direct. During the announcement trailer for New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Toadette was revealed as a new playable character. Then, without warning, a new power-up known as the Super Crown made its first appearance. Touching it as Toadette will transform you into a Peach look-alike named Peachette and the implications of such a powerful item were quickly glossed over. It was a puzzling moment for both the port and the Mario universe as a whole, but nobody could have predicted the absurdity that would soon follow on social media.
November 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

What if the next "classic" mini device wasn't a game console?

We love this VHS idea, but we'd rather see a Betamax Classic!
I laughed out loud when I saw this - it's awesome! Who wouldn't want a mini VHS with 20 awesome 80's flicks built-in? I sure would even though I was much more a fan of Sony's Betamax format.

VHS Classic Here's a list of the MP4's we'd love to see stuffed onto such a device:

  1. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
  2. Star Wars
  3. Better Off Dead
  4. Weekend At Bernies
  5. Smokey And The Bandit
  6. CaddyShack
  7. Weird Science
  8. Lost boys
  9. Die Hard
  10. Heavy Metal
  1. Terminator
  2. One Crazy Summer
  3. Fletch
  4. Apocalypse Now
  5. Beetlejuice
  6. Logan's Run
  7. Meatballs
  8. The Goonies
  9. Not Of This Earth
  10. Cobra

For the uninitiated... this VHS Mini ad is a joke.

October 2018 Retro Gaming Articles:

October 31, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Halloween!

Stay safe out there and play video games before staying up all night watching horror films!
Halloween pumpkin and Atari joystick
October 30, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The headlines said “Ed Sheeran Underwear Auction”, ignoring the classic albums, instruments and 2 GameBoys

Ed Sheeran Underwear Auction
With all the cool stuff in these auction lots, why focus on underwear?
A few days ago, numerous news outlets were running a story about buying Ed Sheeran's underwear via auction. The idea was sufficiently gross that I took a look to see why this was being treated as news. Turns out it was a charity auction and Sheeran donated a lot of albums, various musical instruments and a few clothing items.

This is a pretty unique auction that could land you a rare item with a cool backstory. Some of the albums were pretty cool for anyone collecting vinyl as a fan of Sheeran. How many celebrities would auction off a classic handheld? As a gamer, that's a cool opportunity!

Of course, the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Advance caught my eye. The listing says both handhelds were used by Sheeran when he was traveling on tour. That would be like buying Eddie Van Halen's Atari Lynx or Angus Young's Virtualboy - lol!

Ed Sheeran Game Boy Pocket Ed Sheeran's Game Boy Pocket.
Ed Sheeran Game Boy Advance Ed Sheeran's Game Boy Advance.

October 28, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The complete list of 20 games, built-in to the PlayStation Classic, has been announced

PlayStation Classic
You can't please everyone, so naturally everyone has a gripe about missing games they feel should be included.
A handful of titles were teased this past September for the PlayStation Classic, but today all twenty have been revealed. This device will be released on December 30th for $99. While the PlayStation was a pivotal console, the full game list will likely be a deciding factor for many.

Here are the games included on the PlayStation Classic:
  1. Battle Arena Toshinden
  2. Cool Boarders 2
  3. Destruction Derby
  4. Final Fantasy VII
  5. Grand Theft Auto
  6. Intelligent Qube
  7. Jumping Flash
  8. Metal Gear Solid
  9. Mr Driller
  10. Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
  1. Rayman
  2. Resident Evil Director's Cut
  3. Revelations: Persona
  4. Ridge Racer Type 4
  5. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  6. Syphon Filter
  7. Tekken 3
  8. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
  9. Twisted Metal
  10. Wild Arms

AtGames seemed to have cornered the mini console market until Nintendo came around and did it right with the NES Classic Edition, followed by the SNES model. That success was so notable that other developers began jumping on the bandwagon with their own retro gaming devices for the holidays. AtGames got that part right... lots of casual gamers like to go retro for Christmas.

I jumped on the NES Classic Edition for it's novelty and I suppose the same could be said for the SNES model too, but I feel I'm done with this fad. I have too many HDMI devices craving USB power sources camped out around my TV. With both HSMI & USB switch-boxes, I'm still out of ports. But it's not all about ports and clutter.

There are enough cool titles, but $99 is steep.
These things are creeping up in price. AtGames taught us that Flashbacks would be about $40-$50 before Christmas and could go as low as $25 in the off-season. I was willing to pay more for Nintendo's offerings because they were solid products with good emulation. As time marches on, developers seeking similar success are brushing up against the $!00 mark. No thanks.

Casual gamers - for whom these devices are really aimed - will pay more to dive into some childhood nostalgia. The rest of us can rattle off a half-dozen other ways to enjoy the same games at a much more reasonable cost.

And lets not forget these games are emulated. Nintendo is the king of backward compatibility with their former consoles - all performed via emulation. Nintendo has done a nice job. The PS2 will play PSone games, but that's were Sony's backward compatibility ended, although the PS3 had a brief spell of PS2 love. So how good is the emulation on the PlayStation Classic? At the moment I feel like sitting this one out until more gamers weigh in with their experiences. Considering the price, this is a much different purchase than a console of Atari 2600 games.

Best Buy has partnered with Limited Run Games If this trend continues, I hope these mini consoles will be designed with expansion packs or legal means for expanding the game library without needing to buy another console. I'm surprised the AtGames folks haven't tried to do this rather than issuing a new Flashback console each year.

I wish Sony well with this device, but as a retro gamer, I have most of the PSone games I want. Even if it can be expanded via an inevitable December 4th hack, I'll stick with my original hardware for now.
October 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Best Buy has partnered with Limited Run Games to distribute limited quantities of select video games

Best Buy has partnered with Limited Run Games
Limited Run Games may be able to expand and offer more variety by letting Best Buy into the mix.
Every Friday Limited Run Games offers a unique game for sale in physical formats - no downloads. At 10:am and again at 6:00pm you can log onto their website and place orders for the limited quantity game(s) up for grabs. Get there two minutes late... you might lose out. Night Trap, for example, sold out almost instantly.

I love what Limited Run Games does. So many great games only exist as downloads. Limited Run Games takes asome of these mazing video games for PS4, PS Vita, and Nintendo switch and release them on physical media complete with an official case. This is a great scenario for collectors who want physical versions of their favorite downloads. So how does Best Buy fit in here?

Yooka-Layle via Limited Run Games Apparently Best Buy approached LRG when the physical version of Yooka-Laylee was on the horizon. Seems the retail giant wanted to get into the "limited" game. Before you go into full rage-mode... this may be a good thing for gamers and the growth of Limited Run Games.

LRG made a point of saying they are not selling out to Best Buy. Just as we all clamor of Friday's for a limited supply of games, Best Buy will be in a similar situation. Their stores will only have a handful of copies and they will not be getting all the games. Granted a "few copies" at each store is still a lot of games, they will only be selling select titles.

I think this could work out quite well. I don't see it changing too much about the way I shop on the Limited Run Games site. On might say it puts more copies into the market, thus reducing the collectibility and value as a collectable item, but I don't think it will have much impact. There is also the argument that indy developers will get a fair share of sales because layers of middle-men are not being used in traditional retail. Bet Buy will also give more exposure to LRG and their mission in the gaming industry.

If anything, it will enable LRG to expand and perhaps offer more games or add more platforms as they've recently done by offering Switch games. You may even see games up for sale two days per week. I'm speculating on this, but I feel the stronger they are in the marketplace, the more options we'll have as customers. I dig what they do and look forward to new innovations.
October 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

That time Bloomingdales did a photo shoot at the Modern Pinball NYC Arcade

I'm guessing this sort of fashion shoot is rare in the ranks of Bloomies, but what a great idea!
You can visit the Modern Pinball NYC Arcade in Manhattan at 362 3RD AVE. (between 26th & 27th St.). They're have open play every day from 11am to midnight.

Bloomingdales photoshoot at the Modern Pinball NYC Arcade
October 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Oracle of Outer Space introduces 5 bizarre radio hosts operating the last remaining AM radio station

Oracle of Outer Space
Did video kill the radio star? Not on the last AM radio station broadcasting to the galaxy - Although they may crash into Earth!
Today I came across a photo on Joanie Brosas' Instagram where she cosplayed Arcana Thrice from the animated pilot episode of The Oracle of Outer Space. She's promoting the made-for-tv pilot episode at the Los Angeles Comic Con which includes a cast pannel discussion and showing the episode's rough-cut.

Oracle of Outer Space - Joanie Brosas As Arcana Thrice Not familiar with the title, I dug around to discover I missed both the kickstarter for The Oracle of Outer Space's TV show pilot episode - and the Indiegogo campaign. Both campaigns reached their funding goals, generating about $20,000 for the pilot.

Its created in the style of Adult Swim programming, from creator Carl King and animator Lance Myers. I love scifi, animation, and Adult Swim's insanity. This pilot episode seems to embrace all of these, particularly the craziness of some of today's animated shorts. I love this idea!

As a fan of radio in general and late-70's tv show WKRP In Cincinnati, this is a melding of a lot of things that appeal to me. I also love the cast they've chosen. From Dweezil Zappa to cosplayers Joanie Brosas and LeeAnna Vamp - what a great mix of voice talent! Although the crowd funding took place in 2017, Joanie Brosas's promotion and panel discussion at LA Comic Con leads me to believe the pilot is still being shopped around.

From the Kickstarter page:
The Oracle of Outer Space is an Adult Swim-style animated TV show pilot so-far starring Dweezil Zappa, Mike Keneally, LeeAnna Vamp, Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse & Space Ghost Coast To Coast), Clarke Wolfe, Joanie Brosas, and Ebony Amber -- and created and scored by Carl King. Written by Carl King + HisCheapMoves + Level Nivelo, and animated by Lance Myers (Lead Animator of A Scanner Darkly).

Arcana Thrice, The Polymorphous Space Sorceress Oracle of Outer Space - Joanie Brosas As Arcana Thrice
October 27, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hyperkin's MegaRetroN HD clone console plays Genesis & Mega Drive cartridges

Hyperkin MegaRetroN HD
Here's another way to get better results from your Genesis and/or Mega Drive games on modern televisions.
I love seeing more devices come to market that allow our favorite old game cartridges to better interface with modern TVs. It's an important part of preserving gaming history by enabling continued play on HD equipment.

Hyperkin MegaRetroN HD While many of these consoles bridge the gap to HDMI, few offer an A/V connection. The MegaRetroN HD has both options for connecting to new and older televisions. For modern HD TVs, the console outputs 720p and plays NTSC and PAL carts via a switch mounted on the bottom of the console. Similarly, you can swap between 16:9 wide screen and the traditional (old games) 4:3 ratio.

We recently discussed Analogue's Mega SG offering more cart compatibility options and an FPGA implementation. At $46, Hyperkin offers a more economical solution, but it will utilize software emulation.

There are always trade-offs with competing devices, but its great to see this focus on Sega's Genesis and Mega Drive consoles!
October 26, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Shuttering the FilmStruck streaming service highlights the importance of ownership and preservation of media

Shuttering the FilmStruck streaming service
When the cloud shuts down, all you have is what you own on physical media.
Warner Media's FilmStruck is shutting down next month which makes subscribers to it's unique content wonder where to turn. Every month I see Netflix customers lamenting all the movies that are being removed from the service. When streaming subscriptions were first introduced, we were led to believe an endless supply of movies and TV would be available. Online services did a good job in providing lots of content, some of it original.

As streaming companies grew, it became readily apparent the endless stream of content had a well-defined end. Movies you watched last month, may be gone this month. But what does gone really mean? I guess movies could be rotated back in as time passes, but I'm a physical media fanatic.

My DVD collection only grows. Content never leaves. Granted this collection began as Betamax, some went to VHS while a small portion enjoyed the Laser Disc treatment. Then DVD came along and some content is now on Blu ray. At least I'm not at the mercy of someone else's selection criteria. I buy what I want and I own it.

Shuttering the FilmStruck streaming service

When Streams Stop, What Do You Have?

There are drawbacks to everything, but I feel we are being trained to not own things. We are expected to stream movies, music, and video games. There may be an advantage to not storing all that physical media.

Ask the FilmStruck subscribers how they feel about the demise of that indie, arthouse and classic movie service. It's all gone. No more cloud. Much of it's content is not easily available in physical formats. It was a very unique set of content that is now gone from the stream.

I see kids today who have grown up in the ownerless age of digital streaming. They own nothing and don't seem to mind. Take away my Terminator 2, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, or endless eps of Beavis and Butthead and I'm gonna raise Hell! I love my small collection of movies, music, and video games that are always there for me.

Streams Are Limited and Offer Nothing Toward Preservation

The gradual and seemingly mandated change from physical media to ownerless streams doesn't address preservation. As far as video games are concerned, thousands have already disappeared. Huge amounts of physical game carts are in landfills. Think about all the awesome DOS games from back in the day. Where are those? This is a big issue for all media. How do we preserve it in an era that wants convenience over preservation?

FilmStruck subscribers are getting a reality check on media longevity. In one month all those classic, hard to find films will be gone from an avenue that may have once seemed endless and guaranteed. This is why we need to discuss preservation from the films and media to the devices available to display them. Don't let corporate greed dictate your entertainment choices. Own your media and fight for it's future!
October 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Atari Pong Table evolved from a hobby into an electro-mechanical game of Pong

The Atari Pong table
Without screens or digital software, these two variations deliver an amazing game or Pong via motors, rails, pulleys, and magnets!
What began as a fun idea has become a revolutionary update to one of the earliest video games, Pong! Without the electronics or displays behind arcade games, the Atari Pong Table replicates the fun of Pong with custom mechanical components. This is a whole new way to play this Atari classic!

Imagine a somewhat 3D variation of pong where the flat CRT is simply a black tabletop and the gameplay is more akin to Foosball. At first glance, you might balk at this oddity, but once you see it in action, you'll wonder how this amazing game springs to action. The custom electro-mechanical elements beneath the surface bring Pong to life in a new way that will bring friends together over a fast-paced game. Play against a friend or against the table's AI.

The Atari Pong table The game comes in two configurations- an arcade table about the height of an average coffee table and a taller cocktail model designed for standing to play. The tables are sealed, so you can spill a drink or two without worrying about the electronics.

When you're not playing, the coffee table model lets you display a clock on the scoreboard and it has four USB ports for charging your devices. The controls can be hidden behind panels to make it blend into a table rather than gaming table. A bluetooth speaker lets you bring your own playlist to the game. It has a lot of features that would make it perfect in your home! One model even sports a few cup-holders!

At this time, the manufacturer is focusing on commercial locations for both models of the Atari Pong Table. Each one has a coin mechanism, making it less suitable for home use... although you could!

Face-To-Face gaming Brings People Together

I grew up in an era when multi-player gaming meant your friends were sitting on the couch next to you. Even arcades featured co-op scenarios offering simultaneous play with your friends. Whether it was on my Atari 2600, at the arcade, or a Stragtego board on the living room table, playing games with your friends is the best!

It's a scenario that simply can't be replicated by modern networked gaming, even if you're playing with a dozen or more friends suited up with headsets. Face-to-face interaction adds a unique and vital element to all kinds of gaming from tabletops to arcades.

I love arcade games like Joust and Rampage that offer co-op play so you can team up or be adversaries. I was never any good a Foosball, but I love SuperChexx Bubble Hockey. Just add fun. In a similar way, the Atari Pong Table brings face-to-face interaction to this new way to play the classic game of Pong. This Pong Table would be a tremendous asset to an arcade, entertainment destination, or your living room. Check it out!

The Atari Pong cocktail table
October 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Did AtGames actually swap arcade ROMs for NES ROMs on their Bandai Namco Flashback Blast?

Reviewers were excited about the games on the review units, but consumers found NES versions at retail!
Did AtGames swap arcade ROMs for NES ROMs I've bought a bunch or those plug-n-play video game units with funky shapes and a dozen retro arcade games. They're easy to set up, portable, and give a nice dose of nostalgia. AtGames new HDMI dongles are similar, but quite compact by comparison. But some gamers ar citing a game-swap problem.

Early in the cycle, reviewers were given review-units to put through the paces. When it came to the Bandai Namco version, they found the typical arcade games I've come to enjoy on the endless supply of plug-n-play devices. However, consumers in WalMart (they sell an exclusive version) reported finding NES versions of the games, not the original arcade games!

How does that happen? I guess the question would be how can that happen accidentally? I don't think it can. This reeks or a bait-and-switch trick that generates reviews of one device, while another is sold at retail.

It's also quite possible that AtGames was a bit too eager and sent out review units without having the proper licensing for the games. But in that scenario... were they denied the games? What about the Legends console and Legends Ultimate Home Arcade? Are these products with similar arcade versions of games properly licensed?

This scenario opens up a lot of questions that need answers. While I've read that AtGames attributes the mix-up to a shipping error, but that seems unlikely. When your Chevy is delivered with a Honda engine, you know that's kind of deliberate. AtGames' shipping claim needs a proper resolution. If there was an error, consumers need to know which version of the game is actually licensed for sale.

If these Flashback Blasts make their way into holiday gifts, we need to know what we're buying. No one wants a Christmas stocking full of NES ROMs when they expected arcade versions ;)
October 23, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The changing product line of AtGames seems to now include a home arcade cabinet with 400 games

The changing product line of AtGames
A recent press release hints that the Legends Ultimate Home Arcade product is quite similar to the home arcade cabs from Arcade1Up.
As the cooler winds blow in and Halloween is just around the corner, might it be time for the latest Atari Flashback from AtGames? No. Not this year. Already we've seen the new Flashback Blast HDMI dongles containing a variety of retro games, but the expected Atari Flashback full of 2600 games seems absent from this years marketing collateral.

In it's place is a similar (identical to their Sega Genesis product) console called the Legends Flashback. Even the Atari 2600 compilations for PS4 and Xbox One are gone. Well, AtGames seems not to be releasing the third installment - Atari is doing that. I've not heard any news, but it seems as if licensing deals may have shifted a bit between the two companies. Granted there are some Atari games on the Flashback Blast devices, but no where near the number on last year's Atari Flashback console.

To further diversify the typical AtGames holiday offering, a recent press release indicates a partnership between AtGames and The Tetris Company. Along with the Legends console that's a plug-n-play device, At games will also soon release a full size arcade cabinet with 400 games. While the Arcade1Up 3/4 size cabinets seem similar, this clearly competes directly with it.

Arcade1Up has gone the distance to license games and artwork for it's product, AtGames claims much the same. Time will tell how the AtGames Legends Ultimate Home Arcade stacks up. With 400 games, it sounds enticing, but the usual Raspberry Pi pundits will emerge. I'm curious to see what develops with this.

Having seen great interest in companies releasing mini consoles with 20 - 30 games, will consumers now want a more realistic "arcade experience" with joysticks, trackballs and a stand-up style cabinet? Are the 80's coming back full swing? Innovation is an interesting thing.

From the Tetris Company website:
The Legends Ultimate Home Arcade features 400 built-in arcade and home games, including Tetris and other legends from iconic publishers. As a full-sized home arcade machine, the Legends Ultimate Home Arcade offers a gameplay experience like no other. Each game plays just like at the arcade thanks to an authentic control panel that features a matching set of premium joysticks and six buttons for two player fun, as well as a professional trackball controller.

The built-in, low latency, high definition 21.5" LCD monitor features HDMI inputs so you can display content from other consoles and media players on the same great machine. The built-in software is similarly impressive, with scan line filtering, an intuitive menu system, save and resume game functionality, and the ability to rewind a game in progress to recover from a play misstep.
October 22, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

An Atari 2600 core has been added to the Coleco Phoenix console, now on Kickstarter

Coleco Phoenix now has an Atari 2600 FPGA core
I believe this would be the first FPGA-based Atari 2600 to come to market. That alone is a huge deal!
The original Colecovision console had an expansion module that provided an Atari 2600 cartridge slot opening the system to the large Atari game library. The recently kickstarted Coleco PHoenix now has the same capability, although it utilizes an FPGA core and ROMs on an SD card. With a large goal to meet via kickstarter, it seems the Coleco folks are trying to widen the appeal of their FPGA-based Colecovision clone.

We really liked their original offering - it's a great deal! Adding the Atari 2600 core makes it phenomenal! Based on it's included benefits, we recommend this campaign for anyone who loves the Colecovision console or wants to get into the Coleco homebrew market and take advantage of the games requiring the Super Game Module. Phoenix is a great way to expand the enjoyment of Coleco gaming or expand into a great gaming platform that may be new to you.

In all honesty, I'm more excited about the Phoenix with an added FPGA core for 2600. This would be a huge boon to the Atari community who would love a scenario that brings those games to modern TVs without software emulation. The Phoenix is stil a niche console, but widening it's appeal to Atari fans certainly can't hurt.

At the same time, It would also widen it's appeal if it shipped with a modernized Colecovision controller - or any controller. This system relies on your aging Colecovision controllers via the original DB9-style controller ports. There is also a backer tier that includes a compatible SNES controller. I never liked the Colecovision controllers, so the decision to omit an updated controller is disappointing. That aside, this is a great idea and I hope the final product lives up to their goals.
October 21, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The 2020 release of Intellivision's Amico 2D game console will play retro games in a modern manner - in two years

Nintendo's Switch is starting to include Fortnite as a downlaod
It will play Inty, Atari, and Imagic games with modern controllers, internet store, and family friendly appeal.
I Wasn't paying attention to the calendar when Intellivision began teasing October 20th for a big announcement about a new game console. Falling on the anual Portland Retro Gaming Expo - a natural place to announce a new retro gaming console.

The arrival date is being listed as October of 2020 with a price between $150 ad $180. That all sounds reasonable until you read about the controllers. They will be wireless and dock with the console for charging and each will have an 3.5 inch color touchscreen. that doesn't sound economically feasible unless component prices drop over the next two years. But who knows, they might pull it off.

A lot can change in 2 years, but Amico sounds innovative, although a bit niche.
Most of the info I'm seeing is secondhand, so I'm eager to hear from Intellivision themselves. Some interesting features are emerging...

Amico is being billed as an online system with games being supplied by an online store. It doesn't sound like it will have a cartridge slot and certainly not one able to accomodate you existing Intellivision game carts. Games are said to cost between 3 and 8 dollars with a family-friendly atmosphere allowing only games rated "E" or "E10+".

Only original games will be sold - no ports. Any games based on former titles must be redesigned to include multiplayer. I've also seen reports that Amico will be a 2D gaming system, not meant to compete with the Big Three, attractive to those buying Nintendo's Classic Edition consoles.

I'm sure better info will flow shortly, but we'll have to wait two years to see what the Amico will actually become.
October 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser

I am your butterfly, I need your protection, Be my samurai.
I am your butterfly, I need your protection, Be my samurai
October 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Lacking a pack-in game at launch, Nintendo's Switch is including download codes, currently for Fortnite

Nintendo's Switch is starting to include Fortnite as a downlaod
As far as I'm concerned, inclusion of a pack-in game with a console is a basic human right! Physical copes - not DL codes!
I was outraged at the lack of a pack-in game when I bought my Nintendo Switch. No game console should be sold without the ability to play a game right away. Initially, I wasn't a huge fan of Combat for the Atari 2600, but I've had pack-in games since my first console at age 12! What's the deal today? Are companies so profit-conscious that they force an extra $60 expenditure before their game system can be enjoyed?

To be honest, I don't consider a download code to be the same as a pack-in game. I want the game to be included, complete-in-box. I avoided the Wii U with a DL fr Splatoon 2 because I wanted the game, not a code. Downloaded games take up a lot of storage space and I like to have a physical copy. Many gamers feel this way, yet we're getting stuck with lame codes that erode large swaths of hard drive space.

A Kid who buys a new game console should have a game to play
I know times are different, but conceptually, I think it sucks to sell a console that can't play right away. Forcing the sale of a game to even begin to use the console is a stingy move and goes against all precedents. I thought 1-2-Switch would be a great game to include with the Switch to demonstrate many of the joy con's abilities. Charging $50 for this game is a joke. I'd pay $20 for a new copy.

I realize I'm being petty, but I think of it from a kid's perspective. A kid gets so stoked over a new system from buying it, going home with it, and setting it up. Imagine the disappointment when all that eager energy descends into the realization that there is no game to play. Mom & Dad need to pony-up another $60 for a game. Not cool! Kids deserve better than that. Don't design your profits to exclude the fun every kid expects when they fire up their new system.
October 19, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yui is leaving Babymetal

Yui wrote a note to fans, suggesting she may embark on a solo career as Mizuno Yui
With the release of Babymetal's newest song "Starlight," the pop-metal act has also informed fans that YuiMetal is no longer a part of the group. She had been absent form the group due to undisclosed health reasons. It seemed as though she wanted to return, but then news hit that she may be seeking a solo career.

Yui of Babymetal Babymetal
October 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Dragon's Lair Trilogy, a collection of three legendary arcade games, comes to PS4 via Limited Run Games

These laser disc classics came to the Wii and now they're being updated for the PlayStation 4.
Dragon's Lair Trilogy is a collection of three legendary arcade game: Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, and Dragon's Lair II. Limited Run Games is bringing back this classic along with it's sequels.

I remember when Dragon's Lair came to the Electric Playhouse in Mount Kisco around 1983. We'd never seen anything like it and it cost 50¢!

Dragon's Lair Trilogyon PS4
October 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari announced its affiliation with NASDAQ International under the symbol PONGF on the U.S. OTC market

Atari announced its official affiliation with NASDAQ International
The "NASDAQ International Designation" offers a quality seal and improves the visibility of foreign equities for U.S. investors.
Just as I'm wondering if Atari will pull together and make a game console, they appeared across the web with news of a NASDAQ designation to help them be more visible to US investors. At this time, they are actually a French company - I tend to forget that. So anyway... Atari scooped up $3 million through it's Indiegogo campaign to create the rebooted Atari VCS video game console. Their timing is uncanny.

Since the successful completion of their crowd-funding campaign they've offered no information to the numerous backers who contributed $3M to the effort. So, now they ring the morning bell at NASDAQ and splash their logo BladeRunner style and those seeking status on the VCS are still in the dark. They really would benefit so much from keeping customers in the loop. What's going on with the Atari VCS?

At least we know they're still in business...

Atari's company profile on the NASDAQ business page:
Atari is an interactive entertainment company. As an iconic brand that transcends generations and audiences, the company is globally recognized for its multi-platform, interactive entertainment and licensed products. Atari owns and/or manages a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, including world-renowned brands like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Pong® and RollerCoaster Tycoon.

Atari S.A. is a French corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972, currently by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, S.A. ® Atari has offices in New York and Paris.

Atari announced its official affiliation with NASDAQ International
October 18, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure is a cool homebrew platformer coming to your NES

Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure fur NES
This sequel to Eskimo Bob has 90 levels and a lot of nice surprises to explore as Alfonso goes looking for his pal, Bob.
Last year we backed Tomas Guinan's prior game Eskimo Bob and loved it! You can never have too many inventive, fun platformer games for your NES. We're excited to back the kickstarter for Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure.

Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure fur NES It seems as though this sequel had taken the concept much farther with a world map, four playable characters, and secret exits and branching routes. With Eskimo Bob as a measure, we're stoked about Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure.

The game is now complete and fully playable. This is the same scenario under which his prior game was kickstarted and shipping was very prompt. I have a lot of confidence in Guinan's ability to deliver a high quality product. It should also be noted that this kickstarter has already met it's backing goal - i believe in the first 24 hours!

The kickstarter aides with physical assembly and shipping of the game carts. Definitely check out the campaign page and see if this looks like a game you'd back.

From the Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure Kickstarter page:
In Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure, you take the role of Alfonzo on a quest to find your missing best friend, Bob. Knowing that Bob's favorite food is fish, you decide to collect as many fish as you can while searching for your friend. With your trusty stick by your side, travel through over 90 levels filled with puzzles, traps, and enemies around every corner.

Luckily, you aren't alone on your adventure! You will meet new friends along the way, each with different abilities to help you on your quest. These include the power-punching Magnus, the near-invulnerable Fenwood, and the sword-wielding Girl.

Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure characters
October 17, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pound Technologies' HD Link Cable upscales your PS2 for modern TVs

Analogue's Mega SG
Available through Limited Run Games, the Pound Technologies cable enhances both PS1 & PS2 games on the PS2 console.
I'm a fan of products like this from the standpoint of enabling retro games and consoles to better interface with modern televisions. This is just one way to bring favorite games from the past along for the ride as new technology distances itself from our retro devices.

Sold through Limited Run Games, the Pound Technologies' HD Link Cable for PS2 interfaces with the RGB signal on your PS2 and upscales it to 720p with a 16:9 ratio.

Of course such products have their pros and cons. AT $30 this is a great way to upscale your PS2 console with an HDMI interface. Additionally, it also works on PS1 games when played on the PS2. On the downside is the aspect ratio. Early PlayStation games were quite happy at the somewhat square ratio of 4:3, but modern HD TVs prefer those snazzy movie theater screens and opt for 16:9. Thus your games will be a bit stretched with the HD Link Cable.

It's also worth noting the cable doesn't support 480p s a condition of maintaining the PS1 compatibility. Some have said PS2 games take on a slightly darker tone via this cable, but has no such effect on PS1 games. While there are some tradeoffs, this seems like a solid product for the average gamer looking to play on an HD television.

The HD Link Cable targets gamers who want a simple solution to getting a good image on a modern TV. There are more sophisticated solutions, but you won't find them anywhere near Pound's $30 product. You can pre-order at Limited Run Games.

Pound Technologies HD Link Cable upscales your PS2 6' cable length with breakaway design.
Pound Technologies HD Link Cable upscales your PS2 Pound Technologies' HD Link Cable

October 17, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Adult Web-star Ariel Rebel posted this "Big O" photo

However, I made this exact expression the time I got the high-score on Defender! Pretty sure I felt the same way too!
Adult Web-star Ariel Rebel You can check out more of Ariel's work at Rebel Mayhem (NSFW). Marquee for Williams Defender
October 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Big day for releases with Arcade1Up arcade cabinets and the new Flashback Blast HDMI dongle consoles

I was stoked to pick up the Blast Pong from AtGames and hoping to find a floor model of the Arcade1Up cabinets.
This new type of HDMI dongle-based Flashback is pretty cool. I have yet to test it, but I like the concept. I'm hoping the wireless will work well with these remote consoles.

I was hoping to find a demo model or at least one that was set up, so I could get a better feel for the size. Neither Walmart or Best Buy had floor models. This is the ideal product for a demo. A flat box doesn't create much excitement or desire to purchase. Marketing 101... show of the product. Help customers understand the product.

AtGames Flashback Blast Pong My local Walmart had four of the new AtGames Flashback Blast games in stock today. I was interested in the Pong version with the wireless paddle controllers. They had two on the shelf - only one now :)
Arcade1Up arcade games Walmart had 3 of the Arcade1Up arcade games flat-packed in their boxes.

The folks at Best Buy were unfamiliar with both of these releases. I know the Arcade1Up is an online only sale for them, but how can you sell them if you can't show them off? This is a product I really want to see, touch, feel, and size up in it's assembled state.
October 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The President of the United States publicly calls someone "Horseface" as his wife chairs an anti-bullying campaign

This man is a never-ending demonstration of why it's important to be educated so you don't ebarass yourself every time you speak.
Our president pays off porn stars, cheats on his wife, cheats on his taxes, dislikes minorities, lacks any empathy, lies continuously, and seems to get away with it. The majority of his political team has been indicted for various crimes. The sad truth is that his supporters have found a hero in this despicable man. Perhaps they wish they could get away with all the things he does.

Today he referred to Stormy Daniels (he misspelled her name) as "Horseface." What kind of President does that? He's an angry toddler in a tirade.

Trump tweet about stormy daniels
October 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Genesis and Master System fans rejoice - Analogue is taking pre-orders on their Mega SG

Analogue's Mega SG
Having released the Super Nt for SNES fans, the Genesis gets the same well-crafted FPGA treatment.
Analogue has made it's mark on retro gaming with both technical and artistic strides. Their real-wood SNK AES console was a functional thing of beauty, but when they crafted an NES from a block of aluminum, we all took notice. These beautiful consoles came at a premium price, but later consoles have become much more affordable.

I bought their Super Nt, SNES clone, last year and love it's versatility, game compatibility, and modern TV features. At it's core is an FPGA (Field Programable GAte Array) programed to simulate the SNES so well, your game arts won't know the difference. This concept is becoming more prevalent as opposed to onboard emulation within clone consoles. Analogue does it well - so well!

Don't be fooled by less expensive Genesis Clones. Analogue is vastly superior.
Analogue has announced their latest FPGA console, a Sega Genesis / Master System clone, called the Mega SG! There are a few Genesis clones already on the market, but they often have awful sound replication issues that render them nearly unplayable. The Mega SG cures this issue by recreating the Yamaha YM2612 sound chip completely in FPGA for superior sound. It outputs video at 1080p HDMI.

Like the Super Nt, the Mega SG does not include controllers, but it retains the same 9-pin port from the original Genesis, allowing you to use original controllers. Wireless 2.4 GHz controllers are available at purchase. Another nice facet is a new modular approach to this console. Adapters (some sold separately) will allow games from Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG1000/1000II, and SC-3000 consoles. The Mega SG ships with a Master System adapter - pretty slick!

Based on my experience with the Super Nt, I'd jump on the Mega SG without hesitation. The multi-game adapters only sweeten the deal, bringing so much Sega to one console. Check out their site for all the details and pre-orders are open for an April 2019 release date.

Analogue's Mega SG and Super Nt There's no console war here. Analogue has you covered with FPGA consoles for both SNES and Genesis!
October 15, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

On-Demand & Streaming services rob you of the best aspects of watching serial TV shows

Charmed reboot premier's tonight with new cast
Getting snacks and going to the bathroom used to be executed with daring precision during brief commercial breaks. That's TV!
A Twitter post today posed the question of who grew up with the better television scenario - the dividing line being before and after On-Demand and streaming options. I can see the convenience of watching anything at any time, but there's a whole different experience when forced to wait for each weekly episode. This is the best way to indulge TV :)

My Kind Of TV

My passion for TV came from Saturday morning shows like Hong Kong Phooey and my afternoon fix of Speed Racer. These shows turned that square box into a source of infinite stories, action, and adventure. I still loved riding my bike and skateboarding, but TV had a technology side that fascinated me.

TV is best enjoyed in metered measured chunks :)
As I grew up, my tastes shifted and my dad and I began watching The Six Million Dollar Man and Quincy each week. When these shows were on, we dropped everything and sat down for an hour of edge-of-your-seat entertainment! In my youth, that's how TV worked. Shows were broadcast as set times and you could determine those times or see what else was on via the TV guide in the daily newspaper.

Our next phase was Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice. We loved the weekly dramas that sometimes continued stories from one week to the next, but over a season we saw our favorite characters morph and change. I loved watching their tales evolve. Cliffhangers were frustrating, but in such a good way. And don't even get me started about season enders!

Today's Viewing Options Remove Suspense

My son likes Stranger Things and was excited to tell me about the first season. When the second season was released, he and heis fiends binge watched the whole thing the day it was released. I was shocked! The whole second season was released at once and viewers were able to watch it all immediately. That whole concept was foreign to me.

I love to binge watch shows like USA's La Femme Nikita with Peta Wilson or the original Charlie's Angels from the 70s. But I've already seen them, so it's a refresher. I can't really fathom watching an entire new season at once. No weekly episodes? No fridge-runs during commercials? Not my style :)

I want the suspense of waiting for next week's resolution!
I've never had a DVR and back in my Betamax and VHS days, I recorded a lot of shows, but I almost always watched them while they were recording. I love being in the moment. It's exciting to watch an episode reveal and then have to wait seven days for the next chapter or resolution. This made specific nights really cool. I remember when Friday nights were the absolute best. Miami Vice was on Fridays. During college we'd party, but when Vice came on - we watched Crockett and Tubbs - then the party resumed. We grew as we watched the show grow. No way we'd miss an episode, even on a Friday night!

Trying to use the bathroom, get snacks or prepare a meal during commercial breaks was an art form. Who can forget dashing across the house to get back to the show as the last commercial faded? Sure, we were forced to watch in this manner, but I liked the suspense and how different shows gave each night unique. And when you miss a night... you're screwed.

These days you can watch your favorite show any time on a variety of devices from computers to phones. I get the modern convenience, but think I'll always like watching shows broadcast in the moment and dash to the kitchen when the commercials come on. It makes TV the way TV is meant to be. I'll still binge watch Orange is the New Black or Star Wars, but I love the cliffhangers on Fox's new show 911. It's a good weekly indulgence!
October 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When your laundromat is also an arcade you mount Area 51 in a washing machine

The Sunshine Laundromat gets your clothes clean and properly entertains you with beer and pinball.
Charmed reboot premier's tonight with new cast We first learned of the Sunshine Laundromat a few years ago when they had integrated pinball and clean clothing. It's an unassuming place in Brooklyn and have only grown more popular as a laundromat and late night entertainment.

It seems they have further expanded into a laundromat barcade with a liquor license.The true awesomeness of this establishment is neither element is for show. If you have laundry to do and an aching to try some of the best pinball tables available, Sunshine handles both like a champ.

If you venture in - and you really should - you'll find a bunch of pinball machines and the bulk of the laundry operation. Bring your clothes and pinball enthusiasm. Be sure to venture to the rear of the laundromat and go through the secret dryer door and you'll find a terrific bar and even more pinball tables representing many eras of gaming!

While it may sound like it harkens to the days of speakeasies, it's all legit and lots of fun. Check them out online then visit with a pocket full of quarters!

Charmed reboot premier's tonight with new cast
October 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'll give the new CW Charmed a try, but its not the same without Alyssa, Shannen, and Holly

The reboot of Charmed premier's tonight with new cast.
There were cast changes over the years, but I don't understand how they can call it a reboot and not employ any of the former cast! What's the point? It's like a new form of lazy. Plenty of supernatural shows have aired... make a new one. Don't steal the entire premise and pass it off with a new cast.

If done well, new audiences will enjoy it, but those who watched the original show may have reservations about it. Holly wood needs to take risks and do new things. Even a show "inspired by" Charmed would be better than simply recasting it and assuming no one cares. I loved the original. Here's hoping the new version doesn't suck. But, lets be clear: Charmed without Alyssa is not Charmed!

Charmed reboot premier's tonight with new cast If it's really awful, you can catch the original series on Netflix :)
October 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Just Dance 2019 features songs from Britney Spears to BLACKPINK

Just Dance 2019 features songs from Britney Spears to BLACKPINK
Just Dance 2019 has an eclectic listing of built-in songs including the girls of K-pop's BLACKPINK.
Just Dance 2019 is the tenth game in the Just Dance series coming to all the major platforms and the Wii U in October. From the list of included songs, they span an eclectic array of bands/singers. I love that BLACKPINK is included. Very cool!
October 14, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you don't like the Nintendo Switch Online service... don't buy it

Nintendo Switch Online service
Everyone is allowed opinions, but too many pro-Nintendo websites devaluate the service because it lacks their favorite games.
I know fans of other gaming systems like to poke fun at all-things-Nintendo, but i'm tired of alleged pro-Nintendo websites complaining non-stop about Nintendo Switch Online. No it's not a replacement for Virtual Console. No, It's not as robust as Sony's offering. Your Chevy isn't a Ferrari. Grapefruits are bitter. Get used to disappointment. Nintendo doesn't owe you a participation-trophy for signing up.

If you don't like it, don't buy it. The incessant complaints are largely based on personal preference. They want more games. Different games. N64 games. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when you are part of a Nintendo fan website, you can't say Nintendo Switch Online sucks because your favorite game isn't included!

NES Joy Cons for Nintendo Switch Online

I Bought It Solely For Splatoon 2

Ordinarily, I wouldn't purchase it, but my son loves Splatoon 2 (as a fan of the Wii U release) and the game now requires Nintendo Switch Online. It's only $20 per year and after a long session of DKC Tropical Freeze or Dead Cells, it's fun to fire up a game of Balloon Fight. So, I find value in it and like many of the included games. There's also the opportunity to play games I've never played.

Different people come to these offerings with different backgrounds. Not all gamers are the same. I don't recall this much discord over the games selections on the Classic Edition consoles. As Nintendo adds more games, to the online service, it will become better.

Half Full or Half Empty = Free Forever?

Then there are those who feel the service should be free since Nintendo didn't previously charge for it. Nintendo said all along a pay-for-service scenario would come. Rather than being thankful for the 18-month grace period, gamers want to complain it isn't free forever. As I've stated, everyone can have an opinion, but I hate seeing major Nintendo websites using petty preferences to downplay Nintendo's online service.

Under different circumstances, I'd be wary of the service, but none of these publications offer substantial detriments or shortcomings. Many published reports indicating Nintendo would instantly delete your cloud-saves if your subscription lapsed. That proved untrue and shows how eager they were to deride the whole service. We go to these sites for opinion, but any opinion has to be backed up with facts. A blanket statement saying something sucks is lame. Stop being lame. Opinions are valuable, but facts are invaluable.

Nintendo always does things their way. Very often they are right - not always - but most of the time. And it's been this way since the NES in 1985.
October 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

VR has tried to gain a foothold in consumer acceptance, but the price and content are still problematic

VR seems interesting, but can we back a technology so casually discarded by Archie Andrews?
This World Of Archi comic book from 1996 sums up consumer interest in Virtual Reality. There are plenty of other tempting attractions, far more accessible and affordable by the masses.

VR needs a "killer app." It needs that one experience or game that everyone wants. But which platform does a consumer buy? Oculus? PSVR? Viv? These are all proprietary devices and do not share software. Remember when HD and Blu-ray were fighting to become the next DVD format? Toshiba released their first HD DVD player in 2006. If you bought into HD, you lost out when it folded in 2008 and Blu-ray became the next upgrade path. Same could be true in VR. Will there be a dominant winner?It's a mess for consumers trying to make the best decision.

I'm with Archie. There are plenty of great experiences outside VR. Perhaps Virtual Reality will one day become affordable and offer a standard that all manufacturers can adhere to. Until there's a standard, its hard to imagine confusion in the marketplace to be a big factor for consumers.

World Of Archid comicbook from 1996
October 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Princess Eugenie's royal wedding highlight was Cara Delevingne in a suit and top hat

Cara Delevingne in a suit and tophat
Cara rocking a top hat like a badass is the best news I've seen all day!
Cara Delevingne, who's a friend of Eugenie, showed up to the wedding wearing the most legendary outfit. In fact, every other wedding guest may as well just turn around now and go home. Cara's stolen the show.

Cara Delevingne in a suit and tophat
October 12, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Today I discovered my local Sears is closing on December 9th

Our store was one of the well-kept organized ones and it's closing in less than one month.
Days ago, rumors of an imminent bankruptcy filing flew around the web. An upcoming debt repayment was fast approaching and the inquiry into bankruptcy gave everyone a pretty good idea that Sears was ending it's long run. I assumed the shoddy stores that are half-empty would be the first to go. To be honest, I thought upper management would sacrifice K-mart to keep Sears going. I guess that isn't happening.

As news stories appear online, the comment sections are filling with retail-novices saying Amazon is the culprit. A modest amount of research negates that idea. Amazon is only a minor disruptor to the faltering of retail giants. Our changing economy is the main cause of brick & mortar demise. Folks aren't spending as much as they used to. Aging stores with outdated retail experiences and poor online shopping tech are suffering.

The old model of stores being distribution points for goods is stale. Stores need to be destinations offering experiences, not just product. In the case of Sears, there has been gross mismanagement in upper management for many many years.

I grew up with Sears and that amazing 600-page Christmas catalog! Wow, those were the days. From Atari games to clothing, tools, and appliances... I've relied on Sears and have really loved their products over almost all of their competitors.

my local Sears is closing
October 11, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Is Atari's request for backer info a good sign or an Indiegogo formality?

Atari reached out for VCS backer info
I was briefly excited when Atari reached out for shipping info regarding their new crowd-funded VCS game console.
I'll reiterate my overall skepticism about Atari's ability to deliver their crowd-funded VCS game console. Garnering over $3 million dollars seemed inLine with nostalgia-fueled mania for a piece of hardware many have serious doubts about. I have no need for another emulator-box, but I love the futuristic sex appeal of their re-imagined single-button joystick. On the off chance they come through, I opted in for one joystick.

The holding company owning the Atari brand and IPs is good at soft-goods (t-shirts, hats, swag) but have an awful track record on hardware. Anyone ever get that gaming smart-watch they crowd-funded in February 2017? So, anyway...

Today I got an email from Atari requesting shipping info for the Joystick I ordered via their Indiegogo campaign this past summer. I was initially excited that the product might be ready to go. Would they be shipping soon. Will this sexy joystick soon be displayed on a shelf in my game-room? Then reality caught up with me.

Keeping with Atari tradition, they offer ambiguous tidbits of info and disappear for 6 to 8 months providing no contact with their customers (indiegogo backer). I hoped this email was a sign of good things to come, but I'm beginning to accept that Indiegogo probably triggers these emails at a predetermined time, based on Atari's given delivery date. I gave up my info and hope that they come through.

But why don't they ever communicate with customers? It's the strangest way to do business. They disappeared with THREE MILLION DOLLARS and go silent - no communication. Very odd.
October 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As Sears ponders bankruptcy, they were once home to Atari, Nintendo, and the Kardashians

Sears Video Arcade via Atari
Mismanagement and greed has finally caught up with one of our oldest and largest department stores that once took catalog sales to a thriving brick & mortar scenario!
Sears has been one of my go-to stores for decades. From buying Atari games as a kid to filling out my wardrobe without breaking the bank, Sears has been a staple of Malls and my shopping routine. I bought a washer and dryer there just a few years ago and replaced our old fridge not long before. Say what you want, but it's a great store.

It's a great store, but like many other aging stores, it hasn't changed with the times. he sears in my area is always well stocked and organized quite well. Many others look like thrift stores. The chain is aging and upper management is riding the greed-train to the bitter end.

Sears Video Arcade via Atari

Sears Likely To Seek Bankruptcy Protection

News flew around the Internet today about Sears hiring advisors to examine bankruptcy procedures. A large looming debt payment is right around the corner and the money isn't there.

Experts say Sears could file for bankruptcy as soon as the end of this week. Still, today Sears emailed me a coupon for $11 off a $15 purchase. Clearly a few disconnects between Marketing and Finance.

I have vivid memories of checking out Atari 2600 games at one of the "stations" at Sears. I recall several 2600s bolted down to the counter with a game cart inserted. Play-testing was the best way choose new games! Sears was also the first retailer to offer Nintendo's NES console nationwide.

Long before the internet delivered every single piece of gaming info known to man or beast, there were things called newspapers. Of course by the time you saw a game ad in the paper, the game had been out for weeks. Instant gratification was an unknown concept in those early days. I'd go to Sears while my Mom shopped and I'd check out the Atari stuff hoping she'd let me buy a new game. Good times!

Sears Lost Its Luster

Having sold off many of it's most valuable assets like Whirlpool and Craftsman, there's not much left. Even though my local Sears is in quite good shape, its the one part of the mall where few cars park. Five or Six salesmen chat in the appliance department hoping someone will venture in for a sale. Ready to answer customer questions, these poor guys don't seem to know the Internet provides all the info consumers need. Does upper management even know this? It's a sad state.

I love Sers and really like a lot of what they carry, but even my store shows it's age in staffing and technology. It doesn't seem like the place that sold me the latest hot video games and offered styles by the Kardashian clan (even Kendall had Sears Style).

Target already had plans to take over the space my local Sears now occupies. Sears had planned to downsize and move select brands to a smaller location. The bankruptcy news makes it unclear if there is any possible salvation or if corporate greed sealed the deal.

Sears style with the Kardashian sisters
October 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:


October 10, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

#WorldMentaHealthDay reminds me how important music is when I need to calm my anxieties

All mental health conditions are important and should be explored and respected.
Music is a medium that can take me away from the anxieties that can rise up. Whether playing guitar or listening to music, #MetalHealth is an important element to my #MentalHealth.

Quiet Riot's Metal Health
October 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Taylor Swift performed at the AMAs and took home 3 awards including Artist Of The Year

In her AOTY acceptance speech, Taylor reminds us to vote so we have fewer idiots like Trump in office!
I think Taylor Swift held back on her final speech when she urged everyone to register to vote and to go to the polls. I think her restraint said more than any speech would have. Classy move and drove home a good message!

Taylor Swift at the AMAs
October 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

NKOTB's Mixtape Tour will feature 80's icons Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Salt-N-Pepa and Naughty By Nature

The Mixtape Tour will be kicking it off in North America in 2019
The members of New Kids on the Block, who celebrated the 30th anniversary of their hit album "Hangin' Tough" last month, were joined by fellow late-'80s acts Salt-n-Pepa, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Naughty By Nature in Rockefeller Plaza to announce their 2019 Mixtape Tour, on the Today Show.

This is a really cool group of bands for anyone who grew up in the 80s. With a mixture of genres, this is going to be a great summer tour. They will hit 53 cities next year on their Mixtape Tour, beginning May 2 in Cincinnati.

NKOTB's Mixtape Tour
October 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Recently announced as the new Batwoman, here's Ruby Rose in costume

Ahead of an Arrow-verse crossover event, The CW network released an image of Ruby Rose in the Batwoman suit.
Ruby Rose's Batwoman costume was designed by award-winning designer Colleen Atwood, who was also behind the spandex creations for Arrow, TheFlash and Supergirl.

Ruby Rose as Batwoman
October 9, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

CollectorVision's Phoenix is an FPGA-based ColecoVision console with great features, now on Kickstarter

CollectorVision's Phoenix logo
With built-in F18A video support and Super Game Module compatibility, the Phoenix is a really good value for $200.
The Colecovision didn't have a particularly long life cycle, but it was hailed as one of the leading consoles of it's era. Compared to other systems it had the best arcade ports and its games were admired by those who didn't own one and even more by those who did. Despite a vibrant homebrew community, the games have had to comply with the original Coleco hardware. Until now...

Collectorvision has created a prototype console based around an FPGA chip and a slew of features and enhancements making this clone console a very appealing item. While more expensive than other clones, one has to factor in the additions that come with the $200 price tag. It has a cartridge slot for all your old (and new homebrew) games along with a lot of cool technology.

One of the more recognizable expansion modules has been the Super Game Module that affords more complex games to run on the Colecovision. This technology is built into the Phoenix along with the F18A improved video. When you add in modern TV compatibility via HDMI, this is a very exciting project. The CollectorVision Phoenix Kickstarter is now live and offers a lot of info about the system.

CollectorVision's Phoenix is an FPGA-based ColecoVision console One of the drawbacks is you will need to supply your own controller. The good news is the console provides DB9 ports that accept your original Coleco controllers as well a SNES controller compatibility. A facet I was looking forward to was a modernized Colecovision controller since I don't like the Coleco controllers. On the other hand it comes with a Pack-in Game (Sydney Hunter & the Caverns of Death) along with ten built-in homebrew games and an SD card slot from which to play ROMs.

It may seem pricey, but there is a lot of great value in this console. Definitely check out their Kickstarter page for all the details. This is a cool creation, but it is also an important step in lengthening the Colecovision's life span and the homebrew community. So few consoles get a second chance to re-invent themselves for the next generation, I hope the Phoenix project is a success!

CollectorVision's Phoenix is an FPGA-based ColecoVision console
October 8, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you criticize Taylor Swift for voicing her political opinion, you're probably afraid of her reach

Taylor Swift releases a statement supporting Democrats
Celebrities have a voice that reaches outside traditional channels and shows those listening how important it is to pay attention to politics.
Taylor Swift is a celebrity we don't hear too much from outside her wheelhouse as a music mega-star. Her sudden backing of a Democratic candidate and roasting of his opponent was a new political boldness she's not put forth before. Debate began swirling around regarding recent jumps in voter registrations. Some attribute it to Swift's political endorsement on Instagram. While she has 112 million followers, one would expect an increase as registration deadlines quickly approach. Either way, I applaud her statements.

While many tried to be dismissive saying her teenage fan-base isn't old enough to vote, they need to realize that behaviors are often changed generationally by targeting youth. It may seem like e lost cause today, but the change will come in the future. There are fewer smokers today because programs reached kids who have now grown up to be non-smokers.

Our online culture is toxic at best and goes downhill from there. So, when Swift made a political statement on IG, many complained and even more offered threats. Even the President had derogatory comments about her politics, saying he liked her music 25% less. Whatever that means.

As we see social media users clash over politics, they all seem to revere the political process as something worth fighting over. I think our system is outdated and was never devised to serve the public. Many voters are anxious to vote Republicans out of office over their horrible and rushed farce of getting a radical conservative on the Supreme Court. They saw an opportunity and steamrolled toward it as if their lives depended on it. They do.

They don't care about the longevity of their political careers. Being voted out of office means nothing to any of them. Swinging the balance of the highest court in the land earns them life-long (and beyond to their children) privilege within the walls of our countries largest companies. From board appointments and untold wealth, those who forced Kavanagh past rape allegations to a court appointment are now set for life. Follow the money. No one in Congress knows anything about the greater good. It's a breeding ground for greed.

From Taylor Swift's Instagram:
I'm writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I'll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I've been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.

I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry.

These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway.

So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!
October 7, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With Mega Man 11 on retail shelves, it was a weekend full of platformer bliss

it's really cool to get a brand new game in a decades-old franchise and love it!
Mega Man 11 for Switch
October 4, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The prospects of a Toys R Us revival seem hinged on a pop-up shop strategy, Geoffrey's Toy Box

Geoffrey's Toy Box
Positioned inside another retailer, like Target, the shop would be similar to the Coffee shops seen inside such stores.
Rumors of a Toys R Us comeback have folks hoping the vacant storefronts will suddenly come back to life... full of toys. Alas, the business world does't move that fast... or that way. The lenders now want to fill the void left by the toy-giant's demise.

The most prominent theory travelling around the web is Geoffrey-themed pop-up stores - aptly named Geoffrey's Toy Box - some situated inside larger retailers. This would be similar to the way Starbucks exists inside many Target locations. Starting small sounds good, but what should a new TRU really be? Few knew what they were formerly.

The Misunderstood Premium Model

Toys R Us was a premium toy store. With plentiful locations featuring massive stores full of a wide variety of items, they were unlike anyone else. Their stature separated them from the competition. When I was a kid, TRU was the only place to go for the enormous variety. Such an offering is not inexpensive. It takes a lot to maintain such a lavish inventory.

When I was a kid, this model held up and allowed TRU to rule the toy sector at retail. In today's economy, folks will drive to the next town to save a nickel. Price is the guiding factor. Many "toys" have become commodity items, sought after based on the lowest price. Forget quality. Dollars are the target. This is why so many folks think the two toy aisles at Wal-mart are an adequate replacement for Toys R Us. Big vox-stores can pull this off with drastically lower prices, and the a very narrow product line.

Geoffrey's Toy Box

A revival will have to start small, drop TRU's formerly high pricing, and become the toy experts, not just retailers. Wal-Mart can sell toys, but their expertise falls flat. They only command price. The big box-stores selling toys have no character or purpose beyond selling product. Geoffrey's Toy Box has to be similarly low-priced while not focusing entirely on selling. These locations have to be a destinations. I can order toys from the comfort of my home. To get me into a brick & mortar store you have to offer what Amazon can not. A dynamic experience demonstrating expertise and knowledge.

The old Toys R Us can not come back. It was a behemoth. Geoffrey's needs to act like a nimble start-up not a continuation of TRU. They need to reinvent as a small focused company that can bring TRU fans back and retain them by being a surprisingly different experience that curates an offering and atmosphere the big box-stores can never pull off.

I don't need TRU to come back. I need toy stores to be a viable business. I don't want to wade through tube socks, tennis balls, and household goods. I want access to interesting toys with an experience that showcases them. Toy stores are important and Geoffrey's Toy Box must showcase that in a dynamic destination-oriented experience. I have faith in Geoffrey!
October 3, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

October 3rd is Mean Girls Day and this year it's on a Wednesday- on Wednesdays, we wear pink

Mean Girls cast
Based on dialog from the 2004 movie, Mean Girls Day revels in the wrath of The Plastics and wearing pink on Wednesdays!
Catch up on this classic film from 2004. Mean Girls captured a very relatable teen scenario in which cliques clash over the their differences, not realizing how insignificant the petty gripes really are. Many of us can remember kids from high school just like The Plastics and all the petty trouble they caused.

Some of the dialog has been co-opted to create Mean Girls Day and it has an added benefit this year, since October 3 falls on a Wednesday. Fire up your DVD player and chill with Cady and Regina & her Plastics. It's a fun flick!

Mean Girls Day is October 3rd On October third, he asked me what day it was. It's October third.

Mean Girls Day is October 3rd On Wednesdays we wear pink.

If you have the Mean Girls Nintendo DS game, this is the ideal day to fire it up! If you live in New York, you can hit up the August Wilson Theatre on 52nd for Mean Girls Showtimes. These shows often tour, so maybe it will appear in other cites. Or buy the soundtrack. I dig the movie soundtrack, curious to hear the Broadway rendition.

Mean Girls on Broadway

So fetch!
October 2, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

AtGames series of Flashback Blast! video game dongles has an official website with game lists

AtGames series of Flashback Blast video game dongles
These HDMI dongles are a new way for AtGames to deliver the mixtures of games we've seen on the Flashback mini condoles over the years.
AtGames Flashback Blast logo AtGames is changing up the way they deliver retro gaming collections. Their new product line of FlashBack Blast devices are dongles that attach directly to your TV's HDMI port.

These small-size HDMI dongles remind me of the the all-in-one joystick-shaped controllers that had around 10 arcade games built in. Unlike theFlashback's usual 80 to 100+ built in games, these smaller units perhaps filled another niche.

Branded as Flashback Blast! the "console" is the size of an oversized USB drive and attaches one of your TV's HDMI ports - and that's it. Or course HDMI is not a powered port the way USB is, therefore you will still need A/C power for each Flashback Blast dongle.

Pair up the wireless controller and you're playing! Of course these dongles have no ports the way the flashback mini consoles did. Thus you can no longer use your trusty old atari joysticks in the DB9 port. Here's hoping the AtGames controllers are robust and reliable.

It seems as though the mini-console concept is still alive with AtGames and the Flashback product line. We're accustomed to their Atari and Sega offerings, but they've also released Intellivision and Colecovision versions. This year there is a Legends mini Flashback console with a mix of Arcade and Atari 2600 games. This is an interesting change.

Bandai Namco Flashback Blast! from AtGames

Bandai Namco Flashback Blast!

This device has 8 built-in games with a slight variation of offerings on the Wal-Mart exclusive version of the Blast! unit.

    Standard Version
    Game List

  1. DIG DUG
  4. MAPPY
  5. PAC-MAN
  6. SKY KID
    Wal-Mart Exclusive Version
    Game List

  1. DIG DUG
  4. MAPPY
  5. PAC-MANIA *
  6. PAC-MAN
  7. SKY KID

* Alternate game found only on one of the two consoles.

Legends Flashback Blast! from AtGames

Legends Flashback Blast!

This device has 12 built-in games with a mix of video games from arcades and the Atari 2600.

    Game List

  1. BurgerTime
  2. Burnin Rubber
  3. Escape It!
  4. Front Line
  5. Jungle Hunt
  6. Lock n Chase

  1. Miss It!
  2. Polaris
  3. Shield Shifter
  4. Space Invaders
  5. Space Raid
  6. Strip Off

Atari Flashback Blast! Vol.1 from AtGames

Atari Flashback Blast! Vol.1

This device has 20 built-in games from the Atari 2600.

    Game List

  1. Centipede
  2. 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe
  3. Air-Sea Battle
  4. Bowling
  5. Desert Falcon
  6. Dodge 'Em
  7. Fatal Run
  8. Golf
  9. Human Cannonball
  10. Millipede

  1. Miniature Golf
  2. Radar Lock
  3. Save Mary
  4. Sprintmaster
  5. Swordquest: Earthworld
  6. Swordquest: Fireworld
  7. Swordquest: Waterworld
  8. Tempest
  9. Yars' Revenge
  10. Yars' Return

Atari Flashback Blast! Vol.2 from AtGames

Atari Flashback Blast! Vol.2

This device has 20 built-in games from the Atari 2600.

    Game List

  1. Adventure
  2. Adventure II
  3. Asteroids
  4. Atari Video Cube
  5. Championship Soccer
  6. Crystal Castles
  7. Double Dunk
  8. Gravitar
  9. Haunted House
  10. Maze Craze

  1. Missile Command
  2. Off The Wall
  3. Realsports Baseball
  4. Realsports Tennis
  5. Secret Quest
  6. Sky Diver
  7. Submarine Commander
  8. Surround
  9. Video Chess
  10. Video Pinball

Atari Flashback Blast! Vol.3 from AtGames

Atari Flashback Blast! Vol.3 (Wal-Mart exclusive)

This device has 20 built-in games from the Atari 2600 and they all use paddle controllers. Wireless paddle controllers, included with the unit.

    Game List

  1. Backgammon
  2. Blackjack
  3. Breakout
  4. Canyon Bomber
  5. Circus Atari
  6. Demons to Diamonds
  7. Night Driver
  8. Steeplechase
  9. Street Racer
  10. Stunt Cycle

  1. Super Breakout
  2. Video Olympics: Basketball
  3. Video Olympics: Foozpong
  4. Video Olympics: Handball
  5. Video Olympics: Hockey
  6. Video Olympics: Pong
  7. Video Olympics: Quadrapong
  8. Video Olympics: Super Pong
  9. Video Olympics: Volleyball
  10. Warlords

Activision Flashback Blast! from AtGames

Activision Flashback Blast!

This device has 20 built-in Activision games from the Atari 2600.

    Game List

  1. Atlantis
  2. Beamrider
  3. Chopper Command
  4. Cosmic Commuter
  5. Crackpots
  6. Decathlon
  7. Dragster
  8. Enduro
  9. Fishing Derby
  10. Freeway

  1. Frostbite
  2. H.E.R.O.
  3. Keystone Kapers
  4. Megamania
  5. Pitfall!
  6. Pressure Cooker
  7. River Raid
  8. Seaquest
  9. Stampede
  10. Starmaster

October 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Capcom's Mega Man 11 comes out tomorrow for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One

The new game features 2.5D design, giving a more rounded look to the traditional 2D platformer we grew up with.
From what I've read, Mega Man 11 retains much of the gaming style we've grow accustomed to, with a few additions. Weapon-wise you can overcharge your weapons for different attacks with more firepower. Effecting the entire game's world is the ability to slow time to land jumps, dodge enemy fire... the uses are many.

I'm excited to pick it up. Did anyone get the amiibo bundle version?

Mega Man 11 for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One
October 1, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Which game becomes so frantic, you begin moving closer to the TV?

Burgertime always brought out a sense of manic urgency once those condiments convened on me!
When I was a kid we dat on the floor in front of the TV when we played video games. Maybe not this close... but close. No chairs. No recliners or fluffy couches. We sat on the floor for hours, delving as far as we could into the games we loved!

As the action ramped up we'd begin to lean in toward the TV. Before we knew it we were inching ever closer to the CRT as the dull blue-ish glow filled the room and time disappeared after Mom and Dad made up promise to go to bed soon.

Mega Man 11 for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One