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 2019 - October, November, December

Just when you think there cant possibly be any more innovation in retro gaming, a new creation, concept, or development arises. Even forty-year-old game consoles are seeing products and titles added to their ranks. We love tracking down these gems. Join us and explore the ever evolving realm of retro gaming!

December 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

December 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Here's my list of favorite movies from the past decade

This is what you do at the end of a decade, right? Display some favorite films?
I love movies whether it's on DVD in my living room or at the local multiplex. I try to get out to the theater (and it's arcade) once per week. Weekends feel empty if I haven't taken in the latest movie. I'm a big fan of scifi, comedy, and some dramas. Not so much when it comes to horror films, although "Us" was soooooo good, I love watching it - very unlike me.

I've been collecting DVDs since their appearance in 1995 and love 80's comedies and a ton of films from that era. I'm always down to stay home with a bowl of popcorn and a movie... or two!

So, this list below isn't about "best of" or blockbusters. This is simply a list of film(s) I've enjoyed each year for a variety of reasons, but some are just quirky fun and bizarre.

My favorite movies from the past decade?
December 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With a stellar cast, is Cats the worst movie of 2019 or is this like the lemmings reviewing the ET video game?

Is Cats really be the worst movie of 2019?
It was a bad movie.
These days it only takes a few folks to drive a false narrative. No one cares about facts or truth. there's no time for that, so if we see a few similar soundbites, we take it at face-value as truth.

When poor reviews of Cats appeared, I wasn't surprised. I never really understood the popularity of the Broadway play's long run. So, turning this into a film seemed dubious at best. But to read endless reviews stating it's the worst movie of 2019... that made me suspicious.

The incessant repetition of "worst of 2019" reminded me of all the idiots who still love to say E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is the worst video game ever made. That infamous Atari 2600 game is not a great game, but it's far from being "the worst game ever," but people love to repeat that phrase. I doubt many of them have even played the game. They're just lemmings.

But getting back to Cats...
It's bizarre from tone to costuming, and storytelling. With nearly no spoken words, song is the main element to driving the story and it wasn't like a Disney song & dance flick. I wasn't able to follow the basic story which made most of the scenes frustrating.

I took my son to se Cats as a goof. We were curious to see if it was as bad as the many reviews indicated. Armed with our 2DS handhelds and copies of Super Street Fighter IV, we started our first fight about ten minutes into the fim. As we lost interest in the film, we had more SSFIV fights until the film became background noise to our gaming.

You could argue this is a poor way to processa film's storyline and it is. The story simply didn't come through for us. Love Taylor. Francesca Hayward was fantastic. Rebel Wilson is always kickass. We just saw Idris Elba in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, so his role in Cats was hard to watch.

I thought Cats was full of great talent, but woven into a story that didn't interest me much. It seemed to be a two-hour talent show for some sort of cat-prize. All I can say is I enjoyed Cats much more than 2018's Aquaman film. No, really. Hated Aquaman. Awful film that made me mad. Cats was awful, but didn't anger me. Is this how movie reviews work? Asking for a friend.
December 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Keeping her end-of-the-year promise, Ariana Grande drops a live album, k bye for now (swt live)

Ariana Grande k bye for now
Not many pop stars release live albums, but this one is a love-letter to all her fans!
When I first heard Kiss Alive 1975 I was in awe. It was like nothing I'd ever heard. I was a young kid knowing nothing about rock concerts or live albums. Alive was one of the first and it made a mark on me. I love live albums from my favorite bands - it's such a unique experience after listening to studio albums.

Ariana Grande's k bye for now (swt live) captures her songs and voice in such a different way, adding a personal element you don't get on studio LPs. If you dig her stuff, I highly recommend this live album. It ranks right up there with her studio releases.

December 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We're taking a break to infuse our holiday season with video games and ensuing Christmas folly

Merry Christmas one and all!
Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
December 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With Redbox ending game rentals, all PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games are on sale

No more Redbox video game rentals
Games will only be available for sale at local kiosks until the end of the year.
Likely undercut by less expensive online options Redbox is shedding their game library. Now is the chance to get heavily discounted video games from Redbox. You can buy discounted titles from their kiosks until year's end.

Some have pointed out that buying these games means the copies are accompanied by the generic red Redbox cases, so you won't have the original artwork on the real case. I've never liked the generic cases offered by GameStop, but I'd love to have some of the old Blockbuster cases. In fact, there are folks who seek out VHS movies still stored in Blockbuster's branded cases. Will Redbox have the same iconic status? Perhaps not.

No more Redbox video game rentals
December 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari is ready for indie developers to begin making games for the VCS via Unity or Linux

Atari is ready for indie developers
With no specific instructions and generic builds, why couldn't devs have been making games a year ago with these tools?
Atari's latest development press release invites indie developers to begin creating apps and games for the upcoming VCS game console (that's really just a computer). They say loosely state devs can use standard Unity or Debian Linux tools. The PR also offers links to the main entry to both websites - not an Atari-specific URL with instructions.

This is like announcing, "Peanut butter is now available for consumption." Um... hasn't peanut butter always been available? Pretty sure it has. Atari doesn't seem to be implementing anything proprietary to the mix.

One of the few interesting things mentions was the revenue share. Atari stated they will offer developers 88% royalty on all VCS-exclusive titles. The rate drops to 80% for non-exclusive titles. That seems like a pretty equitable share, but how much demand will there be for titles on the Atari VCS store as opposed to any other digital destination?


Back in the real world where development consoles are needed to ensure software is functioning on proprietary hardware, Atari is giving the green-light to use tools that have always been available for use. They don't mention anything proprietary, so why did indie devs have to wait until this late in the cycle to being developing?

Clearly Atari is advocating development without a need to adhere to any proprietary instructions. They state that apps and games will need to be tested on the actual VCS hardware to ensure everything works with the controllers. Isn't this console supposed to be released to backers in a matter of weeks? Does Atari have any idea how long development cycles can be. This is another puzzling batch of info.

While one tends to think this is good news, it's news that should have come our a year - or more - ago. If this is standard development, without the need for a new Atari VCS console, why wait so late to get devs onboard? They say they've been working with larger devs and that this is an announcement for smaller indie folks... but still, why wait? Atari is a baffling entity to say the least.
December 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arby's has the meats and a fun knock-off Burgertime t-shirt

Arby's knock-off Burgertime t-shirts
What's a little copyright infringement among retro-gaming burger connoisseurs?
Arby's has enlisted an iconic voice to also be the face of their meat empire. Voicing both super-spy Sterling Archer and restauranteur Bob Belcher, H. Jon Benjamin in more often heard than seen. If you've done a double-take when an Arby's ad is on the TV, now you know what he looks like.

If you're really enchanted by Arby's meats, you may have gone to their website to see what sort of Arby's meat-merch may lie within. If you also enjoy playing retro games - Burgertime in particular - you may have found their "burgertime shirt" among other branded clothes and accessories... like a ten-gallon hat.

December 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This PS5 vacuum image has been making the rounds on social media lately.

Various images leaked as "legit" PS5 images. Something was bound to happen.. and this is it!
A casual glance easily lets you see a vacuum advertisement. Closer examination reveals one of the recent images alleged to be a PS5 development console. I love the job they did with this, but wish they'd reversed the living room shot, not the console, so the text wouldn't be reversed. My only question is about the implied "sucking" of a vacuum. I'll assume the console simply looks like a vacuum ;)

PS5 vacuum image
December 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When Sonic asks if “The Rock” is President yet, Dwayne Johnson responds with gaming nostalgia

Good promotion for the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog movie.
Just a short Twitter exchange between Sonic and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Good to know TheRock was a Sega fan in his college years. I'll bet he still plays video games!

Twitter exchange between Sonic and The Rock
December 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When I was in school, we had to decipher the teacher's handwriting on an overhead projector

Technology in classrooms is a delicate balance.
When I see what my son is being taught in school compared to my days in the same grade... I'm astonished. He's learning foreign languages where I was immersed in story-hour with Graham crackers. Times have certainly changed.

Virtual Reality VR in the classroom
December 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Kendall Jenner has all the right brands when showing off a new manicure

Yeah, just hanging in my car...
Our favorite thing about Kendall Jenner is her taste in cars. From exotic super cars to vintage muscle cars, her taste is impeccable! Most celebrities go for such obvious choices, but Jenner has a flair for choosing her unique rides. It benefits her jet-setting super model lifestyle when she needs a Lamborghini logo as a backdrop for a manicure pic on Instagram.

Kendall jenner's manicure
December 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A recent story about counterfeit game consoles, sold at mall kiosks, hit home

Counterfeit game consoles sold at mall kiosks
Appearing last Christmas and again this past summer, these fake consoles returned to my local mall this holiday season - then disappeared.
It's hard to resist stopping at a mall kiosk when Super Mario Bros. or Contra is displayed on a large TV. I dodge the cosmetic kiosks that practically chase and beg you to try their free sample, but retro games... that's a different story. For the last year, a kiosk selling NES-looking game consoles appeared at our local mall.

The oddly stretched games on the HD TV looked a bit odd, but after playing for a few minutes, it became clear these games were fakes, full of cosmetic oddities. The packaging seemed to tread on Nintendo products as did the console's design. The 600+ games consisted of multiple versions of NES games with hacked titles and startup screens. The icing on the cake was the price - $60! Cheap boxes like these are all over the web for $20 or less.

I laughed it off, feeling bad for those who shelled out the money for a nostalgic blast. Even worse is the likelihood of kids unwrapping this crap on Christmas morning. It didn't seem legal, but surely the mall doesn't lease kiosk space to just anyone. Right? Then I read a Nintendo Life story about counterfeit consoles being seized and the boxes looked familiar.

Each time the kiosk appeared, I'd stop in to inquire about the pricing. Each time they said $60. However, when I smiled and declined a few weeks ago, the salesman said he could work with me on a lower price - first time that option was revealed. I declined since they weren't likely to go a low as $20. I guess retro gaming consoles at the mall have come to an end... until the scammers come up with a new pitch.
December 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Revealing a movie clip inside Fortnite seems more like a silo than an expansion of technology and interactivity

If email can still outpace social media, how will advertising inside Fortnite stack up to traditional approaches?
At the Game Awards, JJ Abrams announced a clip reveal from next week's Star Wars film will be showcased inside Epic's Fortnight video game. A special place on the map will guide you to an area for viewing. Anyone who's in-game can attend/view and collect some Star Wars merch.

Fortnite has worked with Disney before (Avenger's Endgame) with in-game exclusives attracting players to an external ad, but this seems to be the largest attempt at reaching a specific audience - gamers. While Fortnight has a lot of players, I wonder what sort of metrics can be delivered to an advertiser in this scenario. Facebook has a ton of users signed up, but how many actually use the platform? It's the same with this Star Wars reveal... how many Fortnite players will want to see a clip less than a week before the film hits theaters? And does this increase ticket sales or toy sales? Have folks run out to snag Fortnight to check out this clip?

Technology is about expansion and inclusion. Silos don't fit that model. I don't doubt the masses of Fortnite players. I question if in-game ads of this sort really tap the market touted by the scenario. Despite the reach of social media, email still has better results. Can a retailer sell more baked beans if they're advertised in Fortnite? I'm not convinced number of players translates into a new age of advertising interactivity. Wanna reach people... everyone has a phone screen in front of their face.

Revealing a movie clip inside Fortnite
December 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Microsoft debuted their XBox Series X console at the Game Awards with an interesting nod to Nintendo

Nintendo captured my heart in 1985 and I loved what Sony did with the PlayStation, so I never went the Microsoft route.
Having worked in Mac and PC environments, I gravitated toward the Apple scene and loved their products and integration. The Windows OS always seemed to be battling against me, hiding it's inner workings, making productivity more difficult. I love my Mac.

When Microsoft came up with the Xbox game console, I immediately recalled my frustration with their former products and chose to stay with Nintendo and Sony, who had won me over years earlier with the PlayStation. Additionally, I didn't want to try and support another game console in the early 2000's. Besides, those Gamecube mini-discs were totally cool! lol

The XBox Series X console does what Ninten-Did
December 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Greta Thunberg is named Time's Person Of The Year and already she's been attacked by Trump

It's taken a determined teenager to get more people focused on the reality of mass extinction.
You've seen post-apocalyptic scifi movies. The earth ends. A hero emerges. Live is restored. Lesson learned.

This is much the same thing, but no credits will roll. Mankind will simply cease to exist. Even when presented this bleak outcome, most people are too lazy to care or act. We discover that corporations and our leaders have been aware of this threat for decades. Many decades. They've done nothing.

Trump comes along and reverses every environmental standard we have. He pulls out of global think-tanks dedicated to world issues. He's the most corrupt person to ever set foot into politics. He's already challenging teen activist Greta Thunberg as though she represents a threat to him.

Greta Thunberg is named Time's Person Of The Year Greta Thunberg began with a hope and a sign. She did something small that enabled her to do huge things.

Too many of us have been trained to sit idle. To ignore the obvious and not rock the boat. This boat is sinking and your leaders do not care at all!
Greta Thunberg is named Time's Person Of The Year After being name Time's Person Of The Year, Greta Thunberg was attacked by Trump. She's a smart person and absolutely correct - corporations and governments will never resolve climate change issues.

They're too mired in greed and corruption. The power is with the people. People like Greta will be the ones to lead a path to survival.

Listening to the GOP defend Trump is like listening to a pedophile trying to sell you on his baby sitting skills. How much money has been promised to the GOP to allow Trump's insidious reign to continue. Follow the money and you'll find out whose really behind keeping him in power. Sure it may be partly the Russians, but I guarantee there's a group of rich while billionaires pulling the strings and cutting the big checks - right here in the USA.
December 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pringles partnered with Adult Swim to create Pickle Rick flavored chips

When you absolutely need a way out of family therapy... become a pickle.
I see some really awful flavors in the supermarket snack aisle. Most of these seem like ideas that got the biggest laugh in Marketing's conference room. the chips get mass produced, taste like cat-piss and stores are stocking the shelves. Along I come with my shopping cart and plenty of room to test a new flavor.

Combined with a Super Bowl ad, the current theory is these Pickle chips will hit retail shelves in February 2020 around the time of the big game. These Rick and Morty chips are a limited release, so grab 'em if you see 'em!

Pringles Pickle Rick flavored chips
December 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Hills set off to play games at the J.R.R.Tokens arcade, but they're down for Y2K compliance testing

The only arcade in Middle Earth?
King of the Hill episode: Hillennium, Boby Hill is bummed to discover most of the arcade games are down for Y3K compliance testing. However, he finds a Whack-A-Mole game that's mechanical and up and running. Hank, enlisting Dale's help, goes to the 24-Hour Computer Heaven next door to buy a computer for Peggy.

The J.R.R.Tokens arcade
December 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

PlayStation in pink - Game on with Aria Haze (NSFW)

PlayStation in pink Aria Haze in a pink Playstation sweatshirt
Adult starlet Aria Haze in a pink PlayStation sweatshirt.
December 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

At this stage of VCS development I wish Atari would showcase games, not assembly line pics

Atari assembly line pics
Games sell hardware. I don't need to see how the box is assembled!
Atari's latest press release came out yesterday and the fan-boys ate it up. Wow, pictures of the assembly line testing. Name another company that touts it's product rolling off an assembly line as a primary selling point?

Cars? No.
Refrigerators? No.
Hotdogs? Nope.

It seems as though most companies find more impressive ways to showcase their products. Cars are fast, powerful, and sexy - regardless how they are made. No one cares about refrigerators as long as they keep the beer cold. Speaking of beer... Hotdogs evoke afternoons at the ballpark with a beer. No one wants to see that nasty machine stuffing mystery-meat byproducts into edible tubes.

So, why did Atari stuff their latest Press Release with tons of assembly line photos? Games are sexy. Logic boards being screwed onto plastic risers is lame. Hey, it's great that Atari is getting their assembly line in order and testing to ensure quality, but I want all these things to fall in line so I can play cool games. It that not the purpose of a game console? Playing games?

Atari assembly line pics
What console has ever come to market without ANY hype about it's launch tittles? No, the Atari Vault collection - said to be built into the console - doesn't count. It's been available for Mac, PC, and Linux since 2016. The only reason Atari refuses to show ay games or real footage is they have no games for this console.

Look at the Intellivision Amico. They're releasing the console next October and are already releasing playable demos (on phones). Atari could show game footage. Amico's Moon Patrol game was less than a minute of playtime, but it gave us a look at what we can expect. Atari has trained us to expect nothing. Just show one new Atari game to demonstrate backers who crowd-funded $3 million will have at least on game.
December 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Caldor was a discount chain of stores that went out of business in the late 90s

I came across this Caldor logo as a t-shirt design and memories came rushing back.
Caldor was a department store chain founded in 1951 by husband and wife Carl and Dorothy Bennett. There were several locations near my home in NY decades ago. In our area, it was the equivalent of Target of Walmart, neither of which did we have in our area. We also had a Woolworths for a while.

Although successful, Caldor ran into financial issues that caused the chain to liquidate all 145 stores and close down in 1999.

Caldor retail logo

Caldor's final logo:
Caldor modern retail logo
December 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink Christmas campaign with Olens

BlackPink Christmas
This is a holiday ad campaign BlackPink did for Olens contact lens .
BlackPink logo
Black Pink Christmas - Lisa Black Pink Christmas - Lisa
Black Pink Christmas - Jennie Black Pink Christmas - Jennie

Black Pink Christmas - Jisoo Black Pink Christmas - Jisoo
Black Pink Christmas - Rose Black Pink Christmas - Rose

December 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari drops a VCS status update that sounds like another delay, but it's not explicitly stated

Atari drops a VCS assembly line update
If they're just getting to initial testing of the assembly line's output, more delays seem inevitable.
Whether intentional or not, Atari has taken a different tact with the latest press release. While laying out many reasons for the new Atari VCS console to be further delayed, they don't ever mention a delay. Many are saying this is good news. I agree - no additional delays would be good news, but Atari has admitted they are in the Engineering Validation Testing (EVT) stage, but have yet to test devices coming off the actual assembly line.

They go on to say they are gearing up to create the assembly line and have a test run of 100 units to then be tested and validated. That's a pretty intensive part of the process. A lot of things (everything) needs to be tested. This is a time consuming process - assuming they are trying to deliver a quality, properly tested product.

While today's press release is laden with pictures and some low-level explanation, I can't help but feel the timeline is lengthening, but being buried under Atari's version of razzle-dazzle. I'm not sure January 2020 is possible given the testing stage they seem to be describing. It also makes that first round of "owners" seem more like beta-testers. The Atari VCS is supposed to hit retailers in March 2020.

It looks as if Atari is trying to release something. Having not shown any game-play footage is odd. Even stranger is the lack of developers discussing this Atari project. If you look at what Intellivision is doing with the Amico, that's the way you work PR during development! Im sure Atari will come around eventually with something, but for everyone who backed this project - most of it is a mystery.
December 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you thought Moon Patrol was Amico's only demo, wait until you see Atari Breakout

Intellivision Amico Breakout
I didn't expect another demo so soon. Intellivision Amico is doing a great job with PR!
First we were able to play a short Moon Patrol demo and now we have Breakout! They have a slick trailer that shows off the savage reboot they've given Atari's Breakout. It looks full of power ups that include a forward firing laser. This game looks astounding and again makes me super stoked to see what comes next and getting the Amico video game console in 2020.

Back in the day, I loved Breakout on my Atari 2600. It was one of the primary reasons, i unplugged the joysticks to swap in the paddle controllers. Warlords too but anyway...

I love what Intellivision is doing with classic games for the Amico. At the outset of the consoles mention, I wasn't really sure what sort of games would be available. The sound and visuals are stunning! Seeing Moon Patrol and Breakout excites me for this console!

From the Intellivision Amico newsletter:
Intellivision is proud to show off its exclusive version of Atari's Breakout only available on the Intellivision Amico console launching 10.10 2020. Although the game will start off in original "vertical mode", it won't take long to utilize the full 16:9 aspect ratio and turn things sideways! Part "block buster" and part 2D side scrolling shooter, you'll only have a limited amount of time to get to the goal and BREAKOUT!

Will the player in the trailer make it to the end on time? They have 4 minutes to complete the task! Players can utilize the vertical touchscreen to control the paddle and (as seen in the trailer) can use motion controls (once a ball is hit) to angle, aim, spin and curve in the direction that you'd like the ball to go! And don't forget, we'll also be adding multi-player couch co-op and versus modes as well!
December 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This glorious Cocaine Santa Christmas Sweater appeared on Walmart's website, but internet outrage had it removed

I thought this "sweater" was hysterical. If you don't like it... ignore it - move on. Vote with your wallet, not your misguided martyrdom.
Target has exorbitant pricing on a few Switch games Social media steals our valuable time daily and we gladly hand it over for the privilege of scrolling through garbage. Yet major companies fear the opinions of unknown users who can wield them like swords. What a strange scenario this is for a hug corporation to fear complaints from social media.

Turn off your phones and read a newspaper. A newspaper. The physical object, not the click-bait headline strewn across online sites. Get real information about the state of our planet and the world around you. Basing you life on how many followers you have and how many "likes" you got it a dreadful existence. Live life in the world, not on your little screen

I's have rocked the Cocaine Santa sweater this season, but I can't. And why? Because Walmart removed it after folks complained. How many complaints did they get? I'm not sure, but when you look at the population versus the number of complaints, I'm guessing it wasn't too many. Still, the product was removed. This mentality of mob-rules is a dangerous metric to make any decisions.

The internet is rife with pornography, much of which can be accessed through a simple Google search. I guess porn is OK, but we can't have Cocaine Santa on a sweater. What a world.
December 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Motley Crue reunites for a headlining tour with Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett

This is going to be an amazing concert!
Four bands uniting for one amazing tour. All my favorite rock bands from the 80s are springing back to put on a killer tour. This should be epic!

Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett on tour together
December 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

8-Bit Central's Instagram Top 9

Another year of posting our arcade, console, and pop culture finds...
Check out our 8-bit Central Instagram account. These are our top 9 posts according to Instagram's metrics.

Our top 9 Instagram posts
December 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Amico Club app is online and Moon Patrol: The Milky Way Chronicles excites me for the new Intellivision console

Intellivision Amico Moon Patrol: The Milky Way Chronicles
The demo, activated by AR via the Amico logo, is fun and gives me great hope for the Amico game console!
The iOS and Android apps are online and titled, "Amico Club." I still have trouble finding the app via search, but the links from the newsletter take me right to it. Quick install, a fun AR experience, and you're off and racing across the Moon. Loving this game and the promise it holds for great games on this upcoming Intellivision console.

Download the demo and check out Moon Patrol: The Milky Way Chronicles. I'm not a fan of most control scenarios on mobile games, but this is a cool update to the Moon Patrol of 1982. This whole scenario has me stoked for the Amico. If Atari was smart, this is what they would have done with their VCS reboot, but that's just not how they operate.

Intellivision Amico is the way to go. So cool. Drop by the Intellivision Amico website and get all the details. Sign up for the newsletter - lots of great info each release!
December 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My local Target marked-up some Switch games to $68

Target has exorbitant pricing on a few Switch games
With GameStop and Best Buy in the same mall, it's hard to know why Target has exorbitant pricing on these few Switch games.
Browsing the video game aisle at my local Target, I came across some pretty outrageous pricing on a few select Nintendo Switch games. i was able to find three games marked up to $67.99. Oddly, they aren't even new games. In fact, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze wasn't really all that new on the Wii U and pretty much the same on Switch.

This Target location is part of a mall that also contains GameStop and Best Buy. Both of these other retailers carry the same games for the most part, but only Target has them marked up to 67.99. Here are a few sordid theories.

Price gouging for the holidays is pretty shady.
Black Friday was a week ago and shoppers were as eager this year as any other to find great prices. Some stores counter-balance lower (or sale) prices on select items by raising the price on others. Neither moral nor legal, it happens. It's sad to think this is a purposeful attempt to gouge holiday shoppers, but stores in the same mall all sell these titles for 59.99!

There is also an even shadier tactic, I refer to as the "Grandparent tax." Little billy calls Grandma to tell her he wants Hyrule Warriors for Christmas. She goes to Target, armed only with the title, and buys it for this elevated price of $67.99. It's a gift. The price will likely not come up. It's a sale hidden from anyone with a knowledge of video games and reasonable pricing. Grandma is not a gamer and falls prey to absurd mark-ups.

There's no way to really find out what's going on at my local target, but these games are priced less (on par with other retailers) on Target's website, but the physical copies on their shelved ring up for the elevated 67.99 price.

I tend to vote with my wallet. Target has very few exclusive products, of interest to me, so it's very easy for me to shop elsewhere.

Target has exorbitant pricing on a few Switch games On the shelf in my local Target is Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze for Nintendo Switch priced at $67.99. It's listed at $49.99 on Target's website.
Target has exorbitant pricing on a few Switch games I found Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition in the video game section of my local Target, priced at 67.99. It's listed at $44.99 on Target's website.

Target has exorbitant pricing on a few Switch games Here is Octopath Traveller for Nintendo Switch, on a shelf at my local Target, priced t 67.99. It's listed at $49.99 on Target's website.

All pricing mentioned/displayed above was accurate at the time of this writing.
December 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision turns 40 and the first Amico demo is Moon Patrol

Intellivision turns 40!
Using the Amico AR app you can play the demo of their Moon Patrol game!
There's a lot of excitement brewing at intellivision. The legendary console turns 40 today and it's in the midst of an amazing modern reboot. The Amico game console will be released on October 10, 2020 alongside modern games with a retro ethic. Designed to bring multi-player games back to the couch and unite people through family gaming. With a reasonable price on the console and games, I think there's a huge market for this. Just look a the popularity of casual gaming.

Intellivision Skiing for Amico The Amico will com with several games with the ability to purchase more. Of the included games, Intellivision announced Skiing as one of the included titles. The games are developed to take you back to simpler times where FUN was the driving force, not trophies, campaigns, or DLC additions. Think back to Nintendo's "family values" in the 80s. A bit of that may be good for gaming and gamers.

Also in the mix is a playable demo of Moon Patrol: The Milky Way Chronicles is playable on your phone with the Amico AR app, available in the Apple and Android stores. As of this writing I am unable to find this app on either store. Hopefully it will appear soon.

Check out the press release for more details about the Amico and what Intellivision has in store as October draws closer. Its been fun so far to see the progress and updates. Atari could learn a lot from the Way Intellivision is handling the Amico development and launch.

Moon Patrol: The Milky Way Chronicles
December 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Birthday Ozzy Osbourne!

From Black Sabbath to his solo career and Ozzfest, Ozzy has given so much to music history.
It's great to see so many of my heroes from the 70s and 80s still in the public's eye creating. From heavy metal to reality TV, Ozzy has done a lot of different things. It's hard to believe he's 71! Long live the Prince of Darkness!

Happy Birthday Ozzy Ozbourne!
December 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pop star Kim Petras turns hateful protest into a bold gutsy photo shoot

This girl is talented in ways we never knew! Petras took the best possible approach to dealing with these creeps. She trolled 'em!
When this renown conservative religious group announced a protest at Kim Petras' concert in Kentucky, she trolled them in the best way imaginable. She turned their hatful protest into a backdrop for a bold photo shoot. Picketers with hateful signs chanted nonsense while Petras took photos and videos that took trolling to a bold height.

Petras has taken over the pop world with an independent strategy, bypassing much of the music industry's bureaucracy. With several digital albums released, she's made a mark as a great songwriter and performer. Her DIY attitude seems to have paid off for her, with a growing career in music and an good role model for the LGBTQ community.

Check her out on Instagram where her performances, personality and humor are spot on.

Kim Petras turns hateful protest into a bold photo shoot Kim Petras live on stage Kim Petras drawing by Lucas David

November 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

November 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Slayer played the final show of their farewell tour at the Forum in Inglewood, CA tonight

After 40+ years of touring, this is the end of an era.
It's hard to think of slayer as a career, but as they wound down their farewell tour, it was similar to winding down a lifetime career. The difference is the band was a public entity, beloved my metal-heads around the globe. And what a job they did. With an epic career on stage, in the studio and playing loudly in the lives of countless fans - Slayer will forever be remembered.

Slayer's final fairwell tour show at the Forum in Inglewood, CA

The Final Show's Set List

  1. South Of Heaven
  2. Repentless
  3. Postmortem
  4. World Painted Blood
  5. Hate Worldwide
  6. War Ensemble
  7. Stain Of Mind
  8. Disciple
  9. When The Stillness Comes
  10. Born Of Fire
  1. Payback
  2. Seasons In The Abyss
  3. Jesus Saves
  4. Chemical Warfare
  5. Hell Awaits
  6. Dead Skin Mask
  7. Show No Mercy
  8. Raining Blood
  9. Mandatory Suicide
  10. Angel Of Death

November 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I had nothing but mockery for Cats on Broadway and now Taylor Swift joins the live-action Cats film

Taylor on acting and owning what you create, in Vogue.
Taylor Swift on the cover of British Vogue Taylor's tweet I can still see the costumes in the commercials that ran years ago for Cats on Broadway. The whole concept nauseated me. Yet oddly I kind of want to see the movie. Part of it because of Swift, but maybe the passing years have made me more tolerant. it was just such a weird idea. But I like weird a lot more these days.

Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Beautiful Ghosts, a new song for the film adaptation of Cats. Webber created it in 1981. The show ran in the West End and on Broadway for almost 40 years (combined).

Sometimes I hate myself for being a fan of Swift, but she's such a unique and great talent. In today's world, she writes her own songs an plays multiple instruments. We've become accustomed to musicians being fabricated from Instagram popularity or YouTube successes. Talent seems secondary, but Taylor is laden with it. I have NOT bought all the Deluxe editions of her latest album, Lover!
Taylor Swift in the Cats movie
November 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Paramus, NJ gets the first of a new type of Toys R Us retail store

The Westfield Garden State Plaza gets a new Toys R Us
The Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall gets a re-imagined Toys R Us that puts emphasis on experiences.
New parent company TRU Kids has opened a new version of Toys R Us in Paramus, New Jersey. Gone are the sprawling 30,000 square foot box stores laden with aisle after aisle of toys. In it's place is a more targeted destination putting more emphasis on experiencing toys rather than a buy-and-go scenario.

From what I heard about the Chicago pop-up store, TRU needs to get this right and then some. The pop-up shop sounded expensive, rushed, and randomly staffed. No ducks-in-a-row on that venture, based on several accounts. Let's hope this Paramus mall store is on point!

Creating a destination full of experiences may fare better than corruption for cash.

Milking The Business Of All It Had

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and closed all US stores in 2018. Under new management (many of the same people, new name) the store opening days before Black Friday is the first foray back to brick & mortar retail locations. Is this a trial run? Will this lead to more locations? Who knows. Well, one more is coming soon to Houston, TX. I'm shocked they got anyone to loan them money and that any toy manufacturers would consider doing business with them.

The former Toys R Us rode that company into the ground with no hope for saving the beloved toy store. The executive team took huge bonuses and granted the same to those riding out the failure at the store level. They squeezed out every dime they could and shuttered the business.

Staging A Comeback

So, now Toys R Us is back... sort of. A new version with a new mission. I wonder if either Hasbro or Mattel will have anything to do with them. Big business is an ugly thing. We want to believe everything is joyful and happy at any toy manufacturer. Alas, it's like any big business. It's full of cut-throat deals and rampant corruption. That's how big bucks are made in modern times. Being the best is a laughable goal. Being deadly is the way it's done.

Attempting to make the new Toys R Us more experiential, might work. Pillaging the company's assets and discarding it didn't pan out too well for most folks - high level executives aside. I grew up with TRU as did my son. Seeing it thrown away by greed was sad. I hope they can right that ship and create a profitable toy store that fills a huge gap that will never be truly filled by Wal-Mart's few toy aisles. More toys, less corruption!

Video Games

If Toys R Us really wants to make a comeback, they need to sell video games. And the gaming aisle needs to have laminated box art with take-away tickets redeemed after checkout in a narrow booth by the door. That's how Geoffrey did it and that should remain!
November 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Tired of Black Friday deals on TVs with door-buster pricing on junk? How about 20% off a Realdoll?

Black Friday discounts aren't always about electronics!
Black Friday deals on Realdolls We all overload on the bizarre number of electronics deals out there for Black Friday. Already my email is full of offers from every retailer on the planet about their door buster deals on everything from 4K TVs to Juicers and game consoles. Fighting the crows at stores is a miserable proposition that most of us don't need to partake in.

Get yourself something fun this holiday season. Use the Black Friday discount to bring a silicone buddy into your home. Wouldn't a Realldoll make a great Christmas gift this year?r

Sure a new PS4 with surround sound on a 4K television sounds swell, but When your friends are too busy to play, whatcha gonna do? A Realdoll is always ready to play with you! Easily shipped to your home and ready to be your special pal. You can't put a price on friendship like that. Well you can, but now she's 20% off! So, what is 20% of $7,000?

Happy Holidays!
Black Friday deals on Realdolls
November 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Wayfair has the Atari Pong Table on sale and they offer free shipping

Wayfair has the Atari Pong Table
Wayfair's TV ads show people buying ridiculously huge sofas, with free shipping. Get that deal on this modern version of Pong!
I'm definitely a stay-at-home shopper when it comes to Black Friday madness. There are some crazy people out there and I'm happy to stay at home with a credit card and computer. I received an email from the folks making the Atari Pong Table saying it was available - on sale - from Wayfair. I have no experience shopping with Wayfair, but I frequently see their ads.

The one thing that sticks out is the free shipping. Unto itself, free shipping quite common, but their ads show folks buying dining tables and couches... with free shipping. These are things that seem too heavy to make it viable for Wayfair, but they do.

Upon seeing this Atari Pong Table on Wayfair, it makes me thing that free shipping alone might make this a good deal. I have no idea about the normal pricing on this game table, but it may be worth checking into if you dig Pong!

Wayfair has the Atari Pong Table
November 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we are thankful for friends, family, and video games!
Happy Thanksgiving!
November 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Even on Thanksgiving, Atari manages to deliver frustration and disappointment with more VCS delays

Atari VCS test consoles
Crowd funding backers eager for a Christmas delivery are told it will be a few more weeks.
I woke up on Thanksgiving Day to an email from Atari regarding the latest (and very anticipated) delay in shipping their Atari VCS game console. After years of delays, Atari chose Thanksgiving to tell us about the next delays in shipping their console.

Indiegogo backers were promised a December shipping date, causing many to have thoughts of delivery by Christmas. That would have been very cool to have it shipped for the holidays. Many of us who are nostalgic for the Atari VCS have childhood memories of getting new game consoles for Christmas. No such luck in 2019. Atari claims the delay will be several more weeks.

Atari's COO tried to put a positive spin on more dismal news.
Atari COO Michael Arzt, is featured in a largely uninformative interview explaining why Atari is again unable to stick to their deadlines. An image of Atari VCS consoles was provided and captioned as being "fresh off the assembly line and on their way to the extensive testing processes." It's November 28 and Atari is seemingly saying they are beginning testing on test units to later be mass-produced! This sounds like they are still way behind schedule.

As manufacturing and testing go, problems are fairly common and tweaks will need to be made. When Atari later says they are on-schedule for a march 2020 retail release and only weeks behind on delivering to crowd funding backers... they are proposing a very aggressive timeline. I don't believe any of their "launch dates" and it makes it seem like the backers who collectively paid $3 million to this project are now little more than beta testers.

Atari likes to claim all the delays are resulting in a better end-product, but when Atari delays for years, clearly they don't know how to bring products to market. They offer minimal non-news as a pacifier to their lack of results. Everyone who backed this train-wreck should be pressing Atari to be honest about their delivery/shipping plans.

Atari VCS test consoles As I always say, I've loved Atari since the 70s, but Their track record over the last several years has been abysmal. I'm in the mix for one of their modern classic joysticks ($30), but I don't anticipate ever getting it. That's the Atari way these days.

November 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision has a slew of great Amico and original logo shirts & hoodies to round out your holiday shopping list

Intellivision shirts and hoodies
If you have a retro gamer on your holiday shopping list, Intellivision has lots of great shirts. Get one for yourself too!
New game console. New website. New merch! Intellivision has done a great job developing their product line and keeping fans in the loop. If you haven't subscribed to the Intellivision mailing list take a moment to sign up and receive their informative emails about the Amico and other cool stuff. These new shirt designs are awesome and right in time for holiday shopping. Check out the Intellivision shop!

Each order includes a special card that gives you exclusive access to Intellivision promotions! This card will be shipped separately from your order and will allow you to experience an augmented reality (AR) game demo and other fun experiences, starting 12/3/2019! The hoodies have a pass-thru hole in the pocket for headphones!

Intellivision shirts and hoodies Original Intellivision logo on a hoodie.
Intellivision shirts and hoodies Intellivision Family logo on a t-shirt.

Intellivision shirts and hoodies Intellivision Rebel logo on a woman's t-shirt.
Intellivision Amico shirt Intellivision Amico logo on a t-shirt.

The Intellivision Amico video game console

The family-oriented retro style gaming console from Intellivision will be released in October 2020. In less than a year, the Amico console will come to market.

Intellivision Amico video game console
November 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sometimes it feels good to put retro gaming into the hands of today's youth

Damn kids today thinking Microsoft invented video games...
Gaming history has many lessons, but we need to show kids the fun they can have with Dig Dug, Tempest and all the gemes that shaped the last 40+ years. Fun is a universal concept and the fun we had with Asteroids is still fun and kids love fun. Show 'em Asteroids, then Missile Command. The fun is endless.

Influencers like Kendall Jenner need to drop the Proactive zit-products and fire up a Colecovision. We love modern games, but so many amazing games were developed over the last 40+ years. Don't ignore them. Play them!

Kendall Jenner Kendall Jenner - fiercely Photoshop'd for this retro gaming PSA.
November 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Strictly Limited Games offers two sets of Darius games, including arcade and console releases

Two sets of Darius games: arcade and console
This is a great combo, offered as a set of all the Darius games or broken up into Console and Arcade versions!
Strictly Limited Games is offering a limited edition of Taito's Darius games, The Cozmic Collection, from both arcades and console releases. Buy both as a combo or individually for arcade or home consoles. This is a great roster of variants from the Darius series of games. Check out the list of included games on each set below... or snag 'em both!

Strictly Limited Games is offering these game on both Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 platforms.

In 2016 another limited edition company, Limited Run Games released an extended version of Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours, also from Taito. I'm looking forward to these releases which I bought for Switch.

Bernie Sanders at an Ariana Grande concert The Darius Cozmic Collection Console contains 6 legendary console titles, from Sega and Nintendo to NEC, in a total of 9 versions:
  1. DARIUS II (Mega Drive JP version)
  2. SAGAIA (Genesis version)
  3. SAGAIA (Master System EU version)
  4. DARIUS TWIN (Super Famicom JP version)
  5. DARIUS TWIN (Super NES US version)
  6. DARIUS FORCE (Super Famicom JP version)
  7. SUPER NOVA (Super NES US version)
  8. DARIUS ALPHA (PC Engine JP version)
  9. DARIUS PLUS (PC Engine JP version)
Bernie Sanders at an Ariana Grande concert The Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade contains 4 legendary console titles in a total of 7 versions:
  1. DARIUS (old version)
  2. DARIUS (new version)
  3. DARIUS (extra version)
  4. DARIUS II (dual screen version)
  5. SAGAIA (Ver. 1)
  6. SAGAIA (Ver. 2)

From the Strictly Limited Games description:
Darius is one of the pioneers of horizontal Shoot 'em up games and was developed by the legendary TAITO Cooperation and first released for arcade machines in 1986. In Darius, the player slips into the role of a spaceship pilot, either alone or in two-player mode, who must shoot and fight his way through enemy hordes with the ship Silver Hawk.

Numerous sequels and portings followed over the years and from the outstanding soundtrack to the unforgettable opponent design and the branching paths at the end of each section, the games set new standards again and again. The Darius Cozmic Collection represents the great 2D history of the cult Shoot 'em up series.
November 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Gahan Wilson's dark humor and wonderful illustrations will live on beyond the brilliant writer

Gahan Wilson passed away at his home at the age of 89.
I just heard of Gahan Wilson's passing. He was such a brilliant writer and illustrator. Nuts was the first of his books I bought, in the late 70s. "The Kid" was always a favorite of mine. Wilson's work appeared in National Lampoon, Playboy, and the New Yorker among many others worldwide.

He had a unique viewpoint and told his tales as though he was an insider to your inner thoughts, taking the mystery out of all the odd things that streamed through your mind.

RIP Gahan Wilson.

Gahan Wilson's Nuts
November 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

TESLA's Cybertruck looks like a combat vehicle from a mid-90's PlayStation video game

TESLA's Cybertruck looks like a mid-90's PlayStation game
Elon Musk's crazy looking pickup truck would fit into any 70's scifi film or polygon-laden PlayStation game from '95
Tesla revealed their new electric pickup truck called the Cybertruck. It has a very angular look like the Pontiac Aztek, sold between 2000 and 2005. For me, it's short life cycle had a lot to do with it's look. The Cybertruck seems to suffer the same fate with a 1970's scifi appearance.

Priced around $40,000 on the low end with a single engine (yeah, you can have up to 3 engines) it should appeal to the budget-centric shopper. Do folks want an electric pickup truck? It can tow up to 7,500 pounds, but only travel 250 mies on a charge and that's probably not including tow weight.

It aslo goes DeLorean style with stainless steel siding and unbreakable windows... that broke during the reveal announcement - causing Tesla stock to fall off a bit. Musk may need to dial back his crazy and take a more conventional approach to expanding the Tesla offerings.

Cybertruck the video game
November 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

CBS' new show, Evil, is full of creepy twists and turns that scare the hell outta me - great show!

Evil is a supernatural TV show, developing interesting characters and scenarios that build week after week.
I'm usually not drawn to shows like this, but it runs multiple story lines that intersect each week and continue from week to week. The characters are interesting and keep revealing more from their personal lives to their paranormal adventures. Heavily steeped in religion - including exorcisms - its a nice backdrop to the story.

Evil on CBS
From the online description:
Skeptical female psychologist Kristen Bouchard joins David Acosta, who is training to be a Catholic priest, and a blue collar contractor as they investigate the church's backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions and other extraordinary occurrences
November 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bernie Sanders showed up at an Ariana Grande concert and now she's on his supporter list

Ariana Grande
Warren jumped on Taylor's cause. Bernie shows up at Ariana's concert. Is Biden destined for Iggy Azalea's next pool party?
I've read several stories about Grande announcing support for Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate. The evidence of this seems to be a single tweet written in Grande's millennial style - a modicum of ambiguity. A celebrity endorsement can mean a lot when it comes to younger voters, but how might it effect other demographics. Our system seems like a giant game of craps. No one knows the rules and winners seem more and more arbitrary. How'd we wind up with a game-show host in the Oval Office?

Celebrity endorsements often strike me as a divide between the candidate's actual views on issues and the celebrity's popularity. Stan for Ari equals stan for Bernie? Who knows. Trump has upended any normalcy in our country's processes. Not long ago Warren came to TaylorSwift's support when she was being censured from performing her past hits at the AMAs.

Let's not forget that fateful night when Bill Clinton joined the band on the Arsenio Hall show, opening the door to political campaigning on late-night talk shows.

Now we see candidates popping up in all sorts of odd places... like pop star concerts. Can't wait to hear Joe Biden's speech when he crashes Iggy Azalea's pool party.

Bernie Sanders at an Ariana Grande concert Bernie Sanders meeting Ariana Grande at one of her concerts.
Bernie Sanders at an Ariana Grande concert Bernie Sanders meeting Ariana Grande at one of her concerts.

Ariana's tweet from her Bernie Sanders meet up:
MY GUY. thank you Senator Sanders for coming to my show, making my whole night and for all that you stand for! @headcountorg and i are doing our best to make you proud. we've already registered 20k+ young voters at my shows alone. also i will never smile this hard again promise.
November 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bringing the cause to her millions of fans, Taylor Swift's former record company changed their tune about the Artist Of The Decade

Taylor Swift - Artist of the Decade
How dumb can a record exec be to pick a fight with the Artist Of The Decade!?!
Trying to control Taylor Swift proved a bad idea when her former record label (Scott Borchetta) and the current owner of her master tapes (Scooter Braun) tried to prevent her from performing a medley of her past hits at the American Music Awards (AMAs). She parted ways with her label and Braun bought the rights to her original six albums. Taylor went public with this plot and the bullies backed off. They returned as the AMAs drew closer and she went public once again. And they backed off.

No one should have to rally their own fan-base to ward off predatory bullying.

Attempting to restrict Taylor from performing her previous work is petty and cruel.

Going after Taylor on the cusp of her receiving the Artist of the Decade award is remarkably stupid.

Larger Than Taylor's Plight

This whole scene has revealed how awful the music industry is and how it is rife with self-centered assholes who will never live up to the self-importance they crave. Each reminder of their failing brings an episode like the one Taylor is enduring. The power-hungry seek a target.

Taylor Swift - Artist of the Decade But it's important to know this issue isn't only about Taylor Swift. It's a problem facing all artists across all genres. Whether you write songs, paint canvases, sculpt, or code video games - your creativity should never be stifled by the selfish greed of bullies.

Many artists have come to her side with support. From Halsey and Camila Cabello to Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid. For the most part, it's been women who have come out to support her.

That sucks because this isn't about a lone incident involving Taylor. It's a cancer within the music industry and beyond. No artist should be oppressed by those in power. Artists should thrive, not have to fight for visibility.

Everyone has to choose their own battles, but imagine how this might have played out differently if more men stuck up for her. What if James Hetfield chimed in? How about Zakk Wylde? What if Travis Barker stuck up for Taylor? Women don't need men to defend them, but the men bullying Taylor would likely re-think their ways if confronted by more men. Women are still fighting for equality in a world stacked against them by petty assholes.

Bullying and purposely trying to cripple an artist is reprehensible and effects both artists and fans. No one should be deprived of art - of any kind - because of small minded giants feeding their fragile egos. This is not relegated to music. No artist or creator should be stifled by those with ulterior motives. I hope Taylor can re-record her albums and cut off the revenue sream on the masters owned by Braun.

After some negotiating, a deal was struck to let Taylor sing a medley of former hits on the AMAs.
November 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you've played an Atari Pong Table at the arcade, get ready for their 4-player Pong Knock Out

4-player Pong Knock Out
This successor to the electro-mechanical version of the age old game now boasts four player action!
We love the 2-player Atari Pong Table and one of our local arcades has one. Lots of fun due to it's very responsive spinner. I recently encountered a four-player air hockey table at Pinz and it was pretty cool. I can only assume four-player Pong will be just as much fun.

The new Pong Knock Out will debut at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) trade show. I'm curious to see how the angles work in terms of sending the ball to an adjacent player not just straight across. You seem to be able to put some spin on the ball to direct it's return. I'm eager to see how this works with four directions.

I'm hoping my local arcade will add Pong Knock Out to the floor!

Original Atari Pong Table at my Local Arcade (2-player)

Atari Pong Table

Atari Pong Table
November 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Maker Matrix has designed a modern Atari 5200 controller in a slick compact case

Maker Matrix's Atari 5200 controller
Looking more like an Xbox controller, this modern controller removes many of the Atari original's problems.
The advent of 3D printing has brought a level of creativity to an affordable level for people to create truly useful items. Matrix Maker's website features a 3D printed case for a PCB that replicates the functionality of an Atari 5200 joystick in a modern looking controller!

Maker Matrix's Atari 5200 controller PCB Available in completed and kit form, this new controller has only undergone one round of shipping to customers. Currently, they are soliciting orders for more rounds of shipping. This strikes me as the kind of product that may be able to graduate to injection molded cases, creating a more robust product.

Within the compact design, this modern Atari 5200 controller accounts for all the keypad buttons, 2 fire buttons, and the Start - Pause - Reset buttons. If you have some DIY spirit, you can buy the case, buttons, cable, and PCB for assembly at home. They also offer a $99 prebuilt controller.

A clever facet of this controller is the cable scenario. Most wired cables are soldiered to the internal PCB. Maker Matrix provides a female controller-cable connection on the front face. Extension cables are a common item for wired controllers (often short on useful length). An extension cable attaches to the Maker Matrix 5200 controller, letting the other end match the console's controller ports. In the same vein, the PCB and case come in left-handed and right-handed versions. This means you can order a controller (or kit) with the thumb-stick on the right or left side of the controller!

I adore the Atari 5200 Super System. It took the foothold of arcade ports for the 2600 and enabled better graphics, sound, and game play. The weakness of the 5200 was it's controllers. They seemed pretty slick after using the 2600 single fire-button joystick, but they broke down fairly easily.

I'm hoping Maker Matrix and the 3D printing revolution will find many ways to extend and improve retro gaming as technology and time march forward. This is the kind of innovation that makes retro gaming a great deal of fun!

Maker Matrix's Atari 5200 controller
November 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Is presidential contender Elizabeth Warren trying to up her game with a Taylor Swift tweet?

Politics drives politicians to strange lengths to seem like "one of us."
If Warren weren't trying to secure the Democratic nomination for President, I'd be much less skeptical of her sudden burst of support for Taylor Swift. At te same time, this tweet isn't really about support for Taylor's situation as it is support for her potential nomination.

Elizabeth Warren sides with Taylor Swift
November 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The latest Charlie's Angels movie is lighthearted fun, offering more action than fluff

I think Kristen Stewart stole the show - she's pretty damn funny and kicked ass!
You can't walk into a Charlie's Angels film and not expect a certain level of fluff. It's what the franchise is about. It's lighthearted fun with enough plot and action to keep movie-goers entertained. Those seeking a cinematic experience... well, in today's movie landscape, I'm not sure how to fill that bucket.

Farrah set the tone and expectations of the late 70's TV show. Times have changed, but must we be serious about everything. Movies can be fun without being comedies, right? This was a fun flick. I enjoyed it for it's near two-hour length. I see so many folks trying to tear it down for all the reasons that make nostalgic seeking patrons drive to a nearby theater for Kristen Stewart and company. Fun film. If you watched the TV show in the 1970s, go see it!

There are a ton of cameos - so many, I was surprised by all the names I saw in the credits. Adding to the empowerment vibe that rises here and there in the film, Ariana Grande has numerous credits from performing to producing the soundtrack. She fronts the title-track (and many others) with Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey. You'll also find Kim Petras on the first track, "How It's Done."

Charlie's Angels movie 2019
November 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Motorola is bringing back the Razr flip-phone, in 2020, as a folding smartphone

At $1,499 and foldability, I can do without it, but I'd love to see another season of The Simple Life.
Motorola is bringing back the Razr Motorola used to be a force in the cellular world. These days the iPhone is all the rage with Samsung repping the house of Android. Gone are the days of cool phones. They're all rectangles full of Tweets and Snaps. Ugh!

Neo's Nokia 8110 slide out from The Matrix had people scrambling. Phones all look the same. Cars all look the same. Movies are all boots. We live in a world devoid of originality and risks. Everyone wants to go with proven concepts rather than take a risk.

There won't be any awards fro originality, but Motorola is bringing back the Razr flip-phone in 2020. For $1499, I'll pass, but some of that cost comes from the "foldability" of the screen. I guess the satisfaction-meter won't hit 100% until I've got a Trinitron in my pocket. Folding phone screens seem about as necessary as 3D tV - and look how fast we wrote that tech off.

Phones today cost more than a laptop, which is hysterical because most phones are crappy computers and equally awful as phones. They're sort of like amphibious cars - they seem great until they fill with water.

There's a growing trend among smartphone addicts that's causing an increase in non-smartphones. Some folks are trying to break the screen-to-face addiction by purchasing an old-school type of phone to use in emergencies, not Tweets and selfies. That's the kind of Razr I'd like to see. Taking a popular model like the Razr and stuffing a folding smartphone inside it kind of ruins the retro vibe for me. Once they kill the blast-from-the-past element, I'm not as interested.

Gimme a 3W bag-phone! Now that wold pique my retro interest! :)
November 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Mike Winterbauer's Clouds of Xeen and DarkSide of Xeen art are part of his Might and Magic Art Prints Portfolio

Might and Magic Art Prints
His Kickstarter campaign is funded - stop by and see which prints you want!
Mike Winterbauer is an artist known for his many amazing works in the gaming industry. He started in the 80s and 90s with his illustrations adorning many computer game box-covers as well as game manuals and other add-ins. Known to pose for his own creations, he takes a wonderfully unique approach to capturing gaming in his illustrations.

Focusing on Might and Magic, Winterbauer has a Kickstarter campaign (already funded) for the cover art from Clouds of Xeen and DarkSide of Xeen. He's offering posters, prints, and art cards with some great stretch goal pieces as well. If you want to add some of his work to your game room or office, check out his Might and Magic Kickstarter campaign.
November 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A recent Sony patent led to speculation about a cartridge for the upcoming PS5

Sony patent for a PS5 cartridge
Though the image circulating the web says “Game Cartridge”, it's likely a way to add external storage to the console.
A patent filing was uncovered and it's been assumed it's a component of the PS5, set for a holiday 2020 release. Naturally, the retro gamer in me wanted to believe that Sony was following Nintendo's lead and reverting back to game cartridges, but that's highly unlikely. It wouldn't be a Sony experience without a 30-minute update of some sort.

It's been said the PS5 will use a solid state SD drive that will hopefully be faster with a longe life cycle. This patent may be part of an external storage system for adding more storage. The PS5 is also said to have a BluRay drive, capable of reading 3-layer discs. This may allow more game-play to remain on the game disc without the need to transfer so much data to faster drives.

It's largely accepted that patents are fairly poor forecasters tools for gaming's future. As more games are developed for launch and the end of 2020 arrives, we will have all the info we now salivate for in the interim.
November 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Disney Plus launched today and speaks to a larger issue than just, Maclunkey

The original film had some odd clarification added to the Han vs. Greedo shootout. And we still have silo'd content and need the cable company.
Disney Plus logo George Lucas has tweaked various elements of Star Wars with each subsequent release, but this one really goes pretty far and coincides with Disney's launch of their new streaming service. If you've subscribed to Disney+ and managed to log in successfully - kind of a rocky launch - you may have jumped right into Star Wars and seen how they changed murder to self-defense with a change in timing and the utterance of "Maclunkey."

The Star Wars universe continues to be a baffling place. These micro-edits are pretty pointless to me. Trying to change a storyline decades later is a strange move. Why bother? It's a beloved series, just leave it alone.

Star Wars edit - Maclunkey

More Than Maclunkey

As for Disney's new streaming service... it seems to me this is just another silo added to the myriad of possible subscriptions. Wasn't the original idea of streaming to cut ties with the dreadful cable TV industry that has drained us of every dollar they can? Ditching cable no longer saves a significant amount of money and all the subscriptions are becoming a similarly tangled mess.

Make no mistake - ditching cable is the right thing to do. They are heartless greedy monopolies eager to bleed you dry. However, many of us still get our internet (that's where streaming services come from, btw) through the very same cable TV companies. We are essentially saving $40 by dumping cable TV, but the cable industry will soon enforce data caps and get their money by overcharging us for internet data.

Has Cutting-The-Cable Cut The Bullshit?

Just because you don't view your TV shows via a cable-box, doesn't mean you've severed all ties with those dreadful cable companies. Their egregious greed will never subside and they will never settle for losing money because you thought getting Netflix was a super-secret move that would go unnoticed. They will get you... but it's worse than that.

We used to be silo'd by device. If you had a FireStick versus AppleTV or Roku, this hardware determined what services you could access. That's changed. Content is king again. Original content often guides which companies we subscribe to. Disney Plus can put Star Wars and Marvel behind their pay-wall, forcing anyone who wants to watch The Empire Strikes Back or Spiderman to pay for Disney Plus.

It's the same crap we dealt with via cable companies. Their pre-defined packages offered some good channels and lots of useless ones. The wider our viewing interests, the more we had to buy (pay). Only difference now is we pay a variety of companies to stream their content, while the cable companies devise new ways to charge more for internet access as opposed to cable TV.

Same game. Same shortcomings. New players. We've gone in a big circle and are desperate to convince ourselves we chose the right route... right back to where we started.
November 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you're in the area, check out Fire Tiger at the Viper Room on Sunset

With original songs and a classic retro sound, this band will take you back to the 80s!
Check out the Fire Tiger website where you can see their touring schedule and buy a CD. You can buy their music as a digital download, but they have such a classic vibe, we're sure you'll want a good old fashioned CD. Physical media rules!

Fire Tiger at the Viper Room
November 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink's DDU-DU DDU-DU video hits one billion views as the group wins three People's Choice Awards

BlackPink's DDU-DU DDU-DU video hits one billion views
They are bringing a whole new energy to pop performances and their awards and accolades are proof of their global expansion!
Earlier this year BlackPink came to America to appear on several TV shows as well as perform at Coachella - which was a huge break for them! They even garnered a US record company representation. This K-Pop group is taking over the world and gaining fans across the globe. It's crazy to see them explode into so many different areas.

They recently won three categories at the People's Choice Awards: Group of 2019, Music Video of 2019 (Kill This Love), and Concert Tour of 2019. Can't wait for their next album... hoping it's a full LP!

BlackPink won three People's Choice Awards
November 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jenny Lewis traveled across the country to “Video Armageddon”, in The Wizard, and later fronted Rilo Kiley

The Wizard staring Jenny Lewis
This film is laden with NES products and mirrors the infamous Nintendo World Championship. It also stars Jenny Lewis who later founded Rilo Kiley!
Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley The Wizard (1989) is one of those classic 80's films that's chock full of nostalgia. It's like a long Advertisement for Nintendo NES products - but in a good way. Never achieving critical acclaim, The Wizard went on to be a cult-classic, loved by gamers and nerds alike.

We still love The Wizard and love to add it to a retro film weekend binge. It's as much fun today as it was all those decades ago. As time passed Fred Savage and Christian Slater went on to other film and TV projects. What about Jenny Lewis who played Haley Brooks and meets up with the boys as they travel to ward California for Video Armageddon?

I should have realized this long ago, but Jenny Lewis went on to front the alt rock band, Rilo Kiley! Not sure how I missed this connection back in 1998 when the band formed. I even have a few of their albums. After disbanding in 2014, Lewis went on to release four solo albums.

I still get a kick out of seeing Christian Slater in Mr. Robot, but it's cool as Hell that Jenny Lewis went on to be a rock star!

Rilo Kiley band
November 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jeff Minter took the cult-level status of Polybius and created a kickass tunnel shooter

If you're familiar with Minter's work, then you'll be stoked to know Polybius is coming to physical media for PS4, via LRG
Jeff Minter's Polybius on physical media From Tempest 2000 on Atari's Jaguar to countless titles under Llamasoft, Jeff Minter's games are amazing. He has an amazing command of his games from code to the screen, creating immersive inspiring games. In 2017 he released Polybius for PS4 and included PSVR support, meaning it's compatible with VR, but doesn't require it.

He often puts in special add-ons, the first I heard of was support for a rotary dial on the Jaguar version of T2K. Neither Atari or third parties ever released a dial (spinner) controller for the Jag, but hackers added them to Pro Controllers and Minter's code gave them life! Clever guy...

Limited Fun Games is bringing this gem to physical media for the PS4. If you have the VR setup, this could be sweet, however Minter never settles which nearly guarantees you'll love the game on the plain old PS4 too! Great music and a fun retro style!

The Urban Legend of Polybius

It sounds sinister, but even the urban legend - never proven nor debunked - is about an arcade game. Polybius was rumored to have appeared in arcades in the Portland area around the beginning of 2000. It appeared much the way games do when being field-tested. I've not heard much about the game's actual content or even what kind of game it was, but it was said to be very addictive. So addictive, that kids were literally going insane - literally.

Fueling the conspiracy theories was mention of men in black coming to off-load info from the game. Some say they were taking the high-score names. With no proof of any of this, the tale has been passed down as a fun urban legend to debate among gamers. Others allege that the FBI raided area arcades looking for signs of gambling. All good legends have bits of truth woven into odd stories.

The only thing we now is the legend still attracts attention and now that there's a slick shooter attached to the Polybius name created by a legendary game designer... well, now there's even more reason to talk about it. Grab a copy from LRG - great game with all the expected wildly vivid imagery of a Llamasoft creation.

Jeff Minter's Polybius screenshot

October 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

October 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited Run Games is putting the Stranger Things 3 video game on physical media

Full of 80s references, the video game follows the show's plot with a mix of RPG and beat-em-up elements.
The Stranger Things 3 video game for Nintendo Switch was originally released this year on July 4th to coincide with the Netflix TV show. It closely follows the season 3 plot. At the same time some say it also feels like it goes beyond. Limited Run Games is releasing the game on physical media for Switch.

Stranger Things 3 video game From the official Nintendo website:
Stranger Things 3: The Game is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series!. Play through familiar events from the series while also uncovering never-before-seen quests, character interactions, and secrets! This adventure game blends a distinctively retro art style with modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist.

Just like in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Fans can team up in two player local co-op to explore the world of Hawkins, solve puzzles, and battle the emerging evils of The Upside Down as one of twelve beloved characters from the show.
October 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Singer Rebecca Black takes on Halloween as David Bowie

Rebel Rebel!
Singer Rebecca Black Singer/Songwriter Rebecca Black gained popularity when her 2011 song "Friday" went viral on YouTube. She was thirteen years old and the internet was cruel to say the least. It wasn't a very good song, but it was a kid's dream to record a song. Still known for "Friday," she's come a long way and deserves to be judged on her adult accomplishments.

She's built up her YouTube channel and released several notable songs. I saw her on that horribly toxic show, The Four, where she sang Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn." Rebecca totally killed it - so good! However, that show's toxic nature isn't much of a stepping stone to anything which is likely why it hasn't been renewed.

So here's Rebecca Black as David Bowie for Halloween and she had a new interview on Billboard today.

Alas, even Billboard can't get it right. They can't let go of "Friday" and grill her about it before moving on. That's a shame because she's released a several songe recently, but Billboard still does a lazy job and simply rehashes the past.

I'd hoped they would be more progressive in their interviews. She's hella cool. Go check out Rebecca Black's music!
October 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Just as Overwatch is released for Nintendo Switch, Version 2 is rumored as a BlizzCon 2019 announcement

As rumors fly about an Overwatch sequel, will it too be released for the Switch? And When? Will we have another long wait for switch?
We play Overwatch on the PS4, so getting it for Switch isn't a real priority, but it makes me wonder if it's sequel will also take years to arrive for Nintendo. Rumor has it that Overwatch 2 may be announced at BlizzCon. With the recent Switch release, its odd timing for a new version.

As far as eSports goes, would a new version cause issues? I've heard they stick to single version games that are updated, but not replaced by complete new releases. I don't know enough about it. I guess the weekend announcements could be interesting.

Overwatch 2
October 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Van Halen's Japanese singles are being released on 7” Vinyl from Rhino

Van Halen's THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984
This collection features replicas of the 13 singles And B-sides previously released exclusively in Japan
Van Halen released 13 singles in Japan between 1978 and 1984 that have been collected in a new 7” vinyl set from Rhino. Each replica single features the original sleeve artwork and they all come packaged in a cigarette-style box. Two versions of THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984 will be available on November 1: a black vinyl version and a limited edition version of 750 copies on red vinyl. Both versions will be released on November 1st with a suggested retail price of $129.98.

THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984 spans the first six albums released by Van Halen. If you love vinyl and Van Halen, this looks like a really nice set of 45RPM records for your collection.

THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984 7” Track Listing

  • Disc One - A. "You Really Got Me" B. "Atomic Punk"
  • Disc Two - A. "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" B. "Runnin' With The Devil"
  • Disc Three - A. "On Fire" B. "Jamie's Cryin'"
  • Disc Four - A. "Dance The Night Away" B. "Spanish Fly"
  • Disc Five - A. "Somebody Get Me Doctor" B. "Women In Love"
  • Disc Six - A. "And The Cradle Will Rock" B. "Could This Be Magic?"
  • Disc Seven - A. "Unchained" B. "So This Is Love?"
  • Disc Eight - A. "(Oh) Pretty Woman" B. "Happy Trails"
  • Disc Nine - A. "Dancing In The Street" B. "The Full Bug"
  • Disc Ten - A. "Jump" B. "House Of Pain"
  • Disc Eleven - A. "I'll Wait" B. "Girl Gone Bad"
  • Disc Twelve - A. "Panama" B. "Drop Dead Legs"
  • Disc Thirteen - A. "Hot for Teacher" B. "Little Dreamer"
Van Halen's THE JAPANESE SINGLES 1978-1984
October 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

AtGames rolls out the Atari Flashback X for the holidays and it links to the Legends Ultimate arcade cabinet

AtGames - Atari Flashback X
This season's variation on the Atari Flashback has 110 built-in games and wired controllers.
It's been a while since I've bought an Atari Flashback. I tried out the Pong Blast HDMI dongle from last season, but the Atari Flashbacks kind of lost their luster for me. Each year it's the same 100 games with a few switch-ups. Sure, they improved the wireless joysticks and added an SD card slot, but their quality has been in question for so long, I just stopped.

I'm not seeing any specs on this model mentioning an SD slot. Makes me think that was a short-lived addition of Flashbacks past. The manual mentions compatibility with original Atari Paddle Controllers for some of the 4-player games. Sam's Club has a model that includes 10 additional games, but the list includes games on the primary game list. I'm not sure what the additional titles are.

This year's mini console has a new cosmetic design, 720P output, wired joysticks, and connectivity with the Legends Ultimate Arcade cabinet (allowing use of the controls and monitor). Upon looking at the game list, I spotted H.E.R.O. and Fatal Run which is pretty cool. I'm on the fence as to whether or not I really need another one of these minis.

AtGames - Atari Flashback X

Atari Flashback X Game List:

  1. 3D Tic-Tac-Toe
  2. Adventure
  3. Adventure II
  4. Air·Sea Battle
  5. Amidar
  6. Aquaventure
  7. Asteroids
  8. Asteroids Deluxe
  9. Atari Climber
  10. Basketball
  11. Beamrider
  12. Black Jack
  13. Bowling
  14. Breakout
  15. Burger Time
  16. Burnin' Rubber
  17. Canyon Bomber
  18. Centipede
  19. Championship Soccer
  20. Chopper Command
  21. Circus Atari
  22. Combat
  23. Combat Two
  24. Cosmic Commuter
  25. Crackpots
  26. Crystal Castles
  27. Decathlon
  28. Demons to Diamonds
  29. Desert Falcon
  30. Dodge 'Em
  31. Double Dunk
  32. Dragster
  33. Enduro
  34. Fatal Run
  35. Fishing Derby
  36. Flag Capture
  37. Football
  38. Frogger
  39. Front Line
  40. Frostbite
  41. Golf
  42. Gravitar
  43. Gyruss
  44. H.E.R.O.
  45. Hangman
  46. Haunted House
  47. Home Run
  48. Human Cannonball
  49. Indy 500
  50. Jungle Hunt
  51. Kaboom!
  52. Keystone Kapers
  53. Lock 'n' Chase
  54. Maze Craze
  55. Megamania
  1. Millipede
  2. Miniature Golf
  3. Missile Command
  4. MotoRodeo
  5. Night Driver
  6. Off-the-Wall
  7. Oink!
  8. Outlaw
  9. Pitfall!
  10. Polaris
  11. Pong (Video Olympics)
  12. Pooyan
  13. Pressure Cooker
  14. Radar Lock
  15. Realsports Baseball
  16. Realsports Basketball
  17. Realsports Soccer
  18. Realsports Volleyball
  19. Return to Haunted House
  20. River Raid
  21. Saboteur
  22. Save Mary
  23. Seaquest
  24. Secret Quest
  25. Sky Diver
  26. Slot Racers
  27. Solaris
  28. Space Invaders
  29. Space Raid
  30. Space War
  31. Sprintmaster
  32. Stampede
  33. Star Ship
  34. Starmaster
  35. Steeplechase
  36. Stellar Track
  37. Street Racer
  38. Submarine Commander
  39. Super Baseball
  40. Super Breakout
  41. Super Cobra
  42. Super Football
  43. Surround
  44. Swordquest: Earthworld
  45. Swordquest: Fireworld
  46. Swordquest: Waterworld
  47. Tempest
  48. Tutankham
  49. Video Checkers
  50. Video Chess
  51. Video Pinball
  52. Warlords
  53. Wizard
  54. Yars' Return
  55. Yars' Revenge

AtGames Atari Flashback X game list
October 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Chance The Rapper put eSports in a familiar light for many of us, on SNL

Chance The Rapper as an eSports announcer on SNL
When it comes to eSports, I feel like a fish out of water as portrayed by Chance The Rapper on Saturday Night Live.
Chance the Rapper's portrayal of an NBA reporter suddenly thrust into covering eSports was a familiar vibe for me. I'm not much of a sports fan, but I've been to live football games and tennis matches. I enjoy watching tennis on TV, the grand slap matches, but I'm baffled by eSports.

I get the idea of spectator sports, but the notion of watching someone play video games seems a bit foreign to me. Sure, I'll look over someone's shoulder in an arcade, but I don't want to sit in a stadium watching PC games unfold on a jumbotron. Even if it's a game I know, like Overwatch, I want to play. I don't want to watch others play it. The idea is just odd to me, even though some have tried to put it in the context of watching a game in an arcade.

I'm not against eSports. I just don't understand the interest in watching others play. I love playing video games and I'll reference YouTube videos if I'm stuck in a spot for a while, but I don't consider watching video games an event. Is this even a sport?

I know I'm going down a rabbit hole and probably sound like my parents when they tried to understand my interest in video games and computers. When I hear about eSports becoming (is it already?) a mega-billion dollar industry, I smirk and can't really believe it. I swear I don't live under a rock and I like to learn about new things, but I don't get eSports.

Maybe when competitive Yar's Revenge comes on the scene, I'll give it another look.
October 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

iam8Bit is offering the original Aladdin and Lion King games on cartridges

iam8Bit Aladdin and Lion King games
Back in the day, these games were released for both platforms, but Aladdin is on a Genesis cart and Lion King is for SNES.
When 16-bit games first came on the scene, I was into space battles and easily passed over any Disney fare in my quest for shooters. Thus, I missed out on these gems. However, a resurgence in interest has brought them to moden platforms once again. Both Lion King and Aladdin are available for Nintendo Switch. but what about retro gamers? Glad you asked...

Iam8bit is bringing both games back to their former platforms on cartridge. While both were available for Sega's Genesis and Nintendo's SNES, you can purchase Aladdin on a Genesis cartridge and The Lion King on a SNES cartridge.

I love the lion-colored SNES cart and that they went to both platforms for these games. However, the original games are not rare and can be found for about $15 each online. Iam8bit offering these limited release (4,500) of each game for $100 per cartridge. Keep in mind these come with a box and manual and really cool colors :)

If you're a gambler at heart, it's also worth noting that ultra limited versions of each game will randomly be sent to buyers. They say it's a one-in-eight chance of getting Aladdin in Ruby Red or Lion King in Serengeti Sunrise. You can't order these ultra limited versions - it's luck of the draw. It's an interesting tactic, but this is out of my price range, even if they have really cool translucent rares.

Even though pricey, it's nice to see a company giving such games the royal treatment and re -releasing them CIB with some really cool options. If this is the kind of collectible you crave, head over to Iam8bit and check out these cool cartridge-based games on the Iam8Bi website, for Genesis (Aladdin) and SNES (Lion King)!

The Lion King for SNES from iam8bit The Lion King for SNES from iam8bit.
Aladdin for Genesis from iam8bit Aladdin for Genesis from iam8bit.

iam8Bit Aladdin and Lion King games

iam8Bit Aladdin cart in a Sega Genesis console
October 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As we wait for info about the Atari VCS console, we discover Atari doesn't even understand Pong

Atari doesn't really understand Pong
Pong is not like Asteroids. You don't get a high score... you either win or lose. Atari has clearly lost.
Atari has been taking a casual convo approach to social media lately. They don't bolster their development of the new VCS. They don't discuss game titles or developers. Instead, they completely ignore their $3 million backed project - shipping in December - to ask offbeat questions of their social media followers.

Today they asked folks for their high scores on Pong. Pong?!? Yes, Pong.

The best answer was "11." I'm sure there are various iterations of Atari's infamous arcade game, but you don't get high scores! You play to a pre-determined score and whoever gets there first is the winner. Defender has high scores. Berzerk has high scores. Missile Command has high scores. Pong does not. Wake up, Atari!

As funny as this seems, it's an awful reflection on Atari. It would seem Atari doesn't even understand the IPs they allegedly manage. As backers of the Atari VCS console get angry about the insane lack of information, Atari keeps showing signs of ignorance that make one wonder what's going on over there.
October 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm really excited to pop these awesome little carts into an Evercade

There's a tactile aspect to all physical media - from magazines to video games. A download is dull. A cartridge is grand!
When I first heard of the Evercade my first thought was how cool it is to have cartridges with multiple games by renown developers from Data East to Atari and Namco. The carts have between 6 and 20 games from a single developer. Love Namco games? buy the Namco cart for Evercade. I'm excited about this handheld console.

Evercade handheld and game cartridges
October 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A new series of Kiss comics is coming from Dynamite - Kiss Zombies

Dynamite - Kiss Zombies
I still remember buying Kiss' Destroyer album and that feeling of having discovered something amazing.

I always get excited when a new series of Kiss comics is launching. Dynamite is coming out with Kiss Zombies in November and I love the cover art! Mixing in a zombie tale set in post-apocalyptic Detroit and we're off to a good start.

I still remember their publicity stunt in the 80s when the red ink at the printing house was mixed with blood from all four members. As a kid - THAT sold comics. I was so upset I never got those books, but I've made up for it over the years.

Decades after a zombie invasion has made humans an endangered species, the city of New Detroit is under siege. The people in charge have banned music, as the undead are attracted to sound, and have tried to rid the world of evidence that the greatest band in history have ever existed. Unwilling to live this way and take the leadership at their word, a group of teenagers set out on a dangerous trip to find KISS!

From Ethan Sacks (Old Man Hawkeye, Star Wars) and Rodney Buchemi (Death of Hawkman, Uncanny X-Men) comes a story of survival and rebellion in a post-apocalyptic landscape devoid of rock'n'roll!
Dynamite - Kiss Zombies I love the Kiss Zombies "Destroyer" vibe of this premier issue cover.
Dynamite - Kiss Zombies Another alternate cover for Kiss Zombies.

October 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bethesda has launched a $100 yearly subscription for Fallout 76 to drive revenue

For a game riddled with bad publicity, I'm not sure a $100 yearly subscription is the solution gamers seek.
The Internet was quick to remind Bethesda, they don't like their game and are not going to throw $100 at private servers and DLC. Thanks, but no thanks.

Fallout 76 has had it's share of issues, so a lot of fans were a bit irked by the notion of a subscription. Others were quick to point out the subscription is optional. While I'm a fan of voting-with-your-wallet, this game seems an unlikely choice for a stand-alone subscription. As I understand it, this $100 per year only allows access to Fallout 76 content. Most subscriptions tend to offer a bit more than a single game.

Bethesda Fallout 76 subscription
October 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Awesome story about Eddie Van Halen's fan encounter at a Tool concert

A Tool fan asked Eddie to take his pic, not realizing who he was.
While at a Tool concert with his son, Wolfgang, Eddie Van Halen was approached by a guy who wanted his picture taken with Tool's stage inthe background. He could have taken a selfie, but asked some guy. The guy turned out to be Eddie, who didnt't reveal his identity... he took the guy's picture. Wolfgang took a pic of both of them.

Eddie Van Halen's fan encounter at a Tool concert
From Wolfgang Van Halen's Instagram account:
A guy asked my dad if he could take a picture of him with the stage behind him, having no idea who he just asked, and that was my favorite moment from the #Tool show last night.
October 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Game Boy's original Pokemon Red and Blue get a metal Makeover by Ro Panuganti

Metal Trainer
Metal Trainer is a thrashin' metal tribute to the original Pokemon games by arranger Ro Panuganti and Materia Collective
Materia Collective has released Metal Trainer, a thrashin' progressive rock and metal cover album featuring nine tracks from the original Pokemon Red and Blue for the Nintendo Game Boy. Arranged and performed by Ro Panuganti - best known for his game music remix performances on YouTube and past albums dedicated to Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Metal Trainer captures the fierce battles, intriguing locales, and remarkable moments Pokemon's heaviest journey yet.

"Metal Trainer was started as a simpler, more traditional rock album that people could enjoy hearing live and playing on the go, or working out," comments arranger Ro Panuganti. "I quickly got pulled in the nostalgia of those first Pokemon games, and realized that I had to keep things more progressive rock and metal to properly capture that epic journey."

"Some of my proudest arranging happened for 'Lavender,' where most of my ideas came when I just had my guitar in a room with no computer. I played with how that song should go in a story, and eventually wrote some of my proudest, spookiest music yet. I hope that listener's feel that innocent charm of Pokemon's city anthems, that fire in your belly from wanting to beat the intimidating gym leaders, and those ghostly chills that came from traversing Lavender Town."

The nine tracks on Metal Trainer:
  1. Pokemon Master
  2. Viridian
  3. A Wild Encounter
  4. Pokemon Hospital
  5. Mt. Moon
  6. Cerulean
  7. Lavender
  8. Pokemon Mansion
  9. Gym Battle
Ro Panuganti is an active musician, recording and playing in the avante-garde yet remarkable style of progressive rock/metal and more. His skills range from electric guitar to bass, vocal, piano, and a slew of traditional Indian instruments. Influences range from Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and modern prog artists to Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and varieties of musicals and soundtracks.
October 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rob Halford's holiday album, Celestial. injects some metal into your favorite Christmas songs

If anyone has the skills to amp up Xmas, it's Judas Priest's Metal God, Rob Halford!
Judas Priest's Rob Halford just released an album of Christmas songs and they rock hard. I'm not sure if Metal is the right spin for holiday classics, but Halford makes them work. This album should be in your collection to ring out the metal spirit during the holidays!

Once I feel a chill in the air and the summer-arcades have shuttered for the season, I start to feel a need for some holiday music. While I enjoy the classics, I'm not above cranking up some alternate renditions of Christmas music. Among my favorites are Twisted Sister's "Twisted Christmas" and Cheap Trick's "Cheap Trick Christmas".

My new favorite is Rob Halford's "Celestial". He adds some great metal touches to a variety of holiday classics. Among my favorites are "Deck the Halls" and "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". Brilliant metal versions. If you love metal and want to spice up your holiday season, check out Halford's Celestial!

Rob Halford's Celestial
October 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's fitness app, Ring Fit, launched and I want to play Namco Museum with it

I like the concept of Ring Fit, but fear there won't be enough diverse games to keep it fun while masking the underlying fitness element.
I'm excited about Nintendo's Ring Fit. Who's better than Nintendo at concocting crazy control-schemes that turn out to be pretty cool? With the fifth version of the PlayStation arriving with another same-old-controller, you have to admire the variety of controllers in the Nintendo stable.

Nintendo's fitness app, Ring Fit As I see it, Ring Fit can be used as an exercise routine or as a game that helps fool you into following an exercise routine. I fall into the later category. I want to become involved in a cool game that lets me forget I'm exercising. I'm sure there's no universal compatibility, so I can't use Ring Fit to play Pac-Man, but I hope Nintendo will put enough games behind this device to let it grow.

As an example, one of my complaints about Skylanders was they only released one game with each new set of characters. Activision could have easily put two or three games behind each set. Like the Swap-Force characters that were so unique compared with the others. More games!

The Ring Fit pack-in game seems to have some diversity, but if it's the only title supporting the Ring Fit, it'll be in the WalMart clearance area in three months. Thus I'm hoping Nintendo will put enough behind it to entice third parties to develop for it.

If you look at LABO, it's already been clearanced out and I don't foresee any additional games coming out for it. It was fun, but the fun is over... i guess. I still want the VR model. Looks very cool!

As someone who could use a good excuse to get up and move a bit more - I need to be more active - Ring Fit is quite appealing to me. If I can delve into a game that also gives me some exercise, that's great. Alas, most initial games for experimental ideas... well, they often suck and cause good hardware to go unused and the revenue model falters. I'm stoked to give Ring Fit a whirl!
October 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We only keep up with one Kardashian, but she's technically a Jenner

Kylie and Kendall have jobs.
How does the rest of this family make a living?
Occasionally, I'll watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians and I always come away from that show thinking the Jenner kids are too smart for this crap. Kylie has a billion dollar cosmetics business and Kendall is the highest paid model in the world.

So... those kardashian gals... I can't figure out what they do to make money. They dine out. Fly places. Throw lavish parties. Travel abroad. I never see them work. I wonder if I could adopt this scenario.

Kendall Jenner I'd play a few rounds of Wizard OF Wor with Kendall. It'd be a fun co-op sesh!
October 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Analogue Pocket handheld will play an array of Gameboy carts on a kickass screen to boot

Analogue Pocket handheld
This FPGA-based handheld plays GameBoy, GBC and GBA cartridges with adaptors for additional console compatibility!
Analogue has gone into bold new territory. After modernizing Nintendo's first two consoles and Sega's Genesis, They have brought their renown treatment to hand held gaming. The Analogue Pocket seems to be taking their successful living room devices out on the road. I'm very excited for this!

Analogue has crafted consoles that brought many beloved games into the modern era. Their devices play original game cartridges and offer seamless play on modern flatscreen televisions. And they do it with no emulation! Based around Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), these gorgeous looking consoles use no software emulation.

The Analogue Pocket will play Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance cartridges out-of-the-box. But that's not all. Via adaptors, you'll be able to stuff your Atari Lynx, Game Gear, and Neo Geo Pocket carts into this handheld. This astounding piece of hardware will bring your ofd games to life. It is priced at $199.

It comes with dual FPGAs that provides an extra FPGA for developers to port their own cores. How cool is that? The screen specs seem equally awesome - 3.5" LTPS LCD at a 1600×1440 resolution with 615ppi. It's arrival in 2020 won't come soon enough.

Combined with ruthless enthusiasm from gamers, it's hardware like this that will have dramatic impact on retro gaming preservation. Creating high quality devices to play aging games on the latest televisions gives much needed life to the amazing games we grew up with and more.

Analogue Pocket handheld
October 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Lots of good candidates are up for Rock Hall induction, but it's such a random non-event

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
The nomination process seems pretty loose as if it's just a roomful of aging rock fans picking their faves over a few beers.
I don't really know the process behind selecting nominees - and I'm OK with that - but it doesn't seem to involve metrics or statistical analysis. Should it? I'm not sure, but if there isn't a calculation of some sort, how valid is the process?

Everything in life shouldn't be assessed via mathematics, but no one's coming out to say the Rock Hall of Fame's nominees aren't part of a popularity contest based on random opinions. While I can rant about the blatant injustice of not inducting Judas Priest years ago, I'm not really upset by it because it doesn't matter.

Many bands themselves are quoted as say something along the lines of, "Induction would be nice if it happens, but if it doesn't... life goes on." If rock stars don't care about this odd award, why should anyone else? The Rock Hall seems to be the JD Power of music. If JD power can rate vehicles based on the style of cup-holders, I guess a roomful of self-appointed fans can pick their favorite rocker.

Induct Judas Priest into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
I'd love to see Judas Priest get the recognition as well as Pat Benatar. There are probably three or four others I'd like to see get in, but The Hall has to have some names to toss around next year.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 2020 nominees
October 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

See Thomas Howl delivers the spooky on his first Halloween EP, “Mischief Night”

Mischief Night from See Thomas Howl
If you wanna talk "Holiday albums" in October, you better be offering Halloween mayhem. See Thomas Howl delivers for the 31st!
See Thomas Howl gets it. He knows his holidays and put out a stunning EP a few days before October came about. It's his first Halloween EP and it'll raise the dead and thrash your pumpkin patch. Mischief Night is available on Bandcamp, offering 5 sinister tracks that will delight your nights until its time to deck the halls away in a manger.

lately, I've been on a rant about Holiday music. Whether it's February, July, or October we always take this to mean Christmas music. Now I'm a hug fan of Joan Jett's Little Drummer Boy and Judas Priest's Rob Halford is delivering some metal-infused cheer with Celestial, but let's face it... Xmas is a ways off.

Now is the time to fire up the jack-O-Lantern, make some mischief, and invest heavily in Candy Corn - food of the gods, on my turf. For sonic inspiration while yanking the sloppy guts out of a pumpkin, we highly recommend See Thomas Howl's Mischief Night!
October 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Fortnite's season ended with a black hole that lingered on the game's network and Epic's social media

Fortnite's black hole
Fans were alarmed, children cried, and haters said "Good riddance." Is this a marketing stunt or a spacer before the next season?
It bagan as downtime... thought the many players unable to connect. The black hole was certainly a mystery, then bordom set in and agitated fingers do what they do best and discovered the Konami Code would initiate a rudimentary minigame. If you had no friends, books, or other hobbies you could play this shooter-game while awaiting Fortnite's return.

I don't play Fortnite and was unaffected by this except for the flurry of activity about black holes on social media. OK, I have a bit of FOMO about being a slice of pizza shooting at burger heads, but I'm sure a few YouTube vids can fill that void.

I presume everyone is waiting for the next season to start, but I'm a bit worried about the folks who are just staring at their screens... waiting. If you've stared at it for more than twenty minutes, please go read a book. You should return to normal soon.

I think the best response was a tie between Porn Hub and Lady Gaga...

Porn Hub's tweet about Fortnite's black hole
Lady Gaga's tweet about Fortnite's black hole
October 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out the classic 80s vibe of Fire Tiger's “Way To My Heart” off their upcoming album

We're stoked to get our hands on “All The Time,̶ their third album!
Fire Tiger T-shirt How many of today's top artists play instruments or write their own songs? When I read stories about faltering guitar sales, I need an injection of he good old days and Fire Tiger delivers it all as a retro power pop and classic rock band.

We've loved Fire Tiger's previous albums that bring authentic 80's style to a modern age needing an infusion of solid music. They're a refreshing force of driving beats, incredible vocals, and a sound we crave. If you loved powerhouse pop-rock from the Eighties, Fire Tiger is a band you should check out!

Full of energy and diverse style, they form albums that span various styles while staying true to a classic sound I always adored from the 80's. They create original songs, but aren't afraid to take on covers like “Slide Away” by Miley Cyrus. Check out their new song, “Way To My Heart”, below.

They have a new album coming out - their third release - “All The Time,̶! Check out the Fire Tiger YouTube channel for more great music.

Tiff Alkouri - Fire Tiger
From Fire Tiger's website:
Fire Tiger is a retro power pop / classic rock band from Los Angeles, fronted by contralto singer / songwriter Tiff Alkouri, along with co-writer / keyboardist James Ramsey, guitarist Jordan Lucas, bassist Tyler Renga, and drummer Lorenzo Meynardi.
October 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As you await Hyperkin's "light gun" for HD televisions, you can get the older Zapp Gun for $5 on Amazon

From what I've read this older model is best suited for shelf display.
While it won't work on your moder flat screen HD TV, this older model is raring and ready to shoot ducks on an old CRT television. And it will look swell on your shelf if you like displaying your gaming items.

Hyperkin Zapp Gun for NES
October 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

An artist's creativity should be praised, not dismantled by those micro-focused on their own self-importance

Charli XCX - White Mercedes
All they saw was a burning car and cried out about pollution, oblivious to the care and creativity behind the scenes.
We live in a time where we're entirely focused on being politically correct and shunning anything that doesn't please everyone. Some people can't enjoy anything because they strive to be self-appointed watchdogs for anything even remotely controversial. This rampant behavior trains us to seek fault in everything, under the guise of improvement, when all we achieve is destructive rhetoric.

For example, giving a positive Yelp review to a business is for the weak. However, doling out a scathing bad review is the new sign of intelligence. Only a person who is "truly smart" can find faults. This seems to be the mindset. Thus we see most reviews - across the board - are negative (and largely baseless).

Artists Are Forced To Defend Their Art To Moronic Inquisitions

Along comes mega pop star Charli XCX, who has written many of today's popular hits for other artists, with a music video for "White Mercedes". Seeking opinion from fans, she's met with self-righteous idiots who force her to defend the pollution and toxicity of the car in the background. Fighting pollution is a commendable act, but social media gives morons access to confront all the wrong people. They make lazy allegations based on simplistic thoughts without having done any due diligence.

Charli XCX explained that the car was previously drained of all toxic fluids and the flames and smoke are special effects used in movies. Music videos are kind of like short movies. Get it?

Only YOU can prevent forrest fires, but don't be a moron about it.
Aside from putting an artist on the spot to defend safety concerns, I'm routinely stunned by the public's stupidity. First of all, you can't simply hoist a car on a crane and set it on fire. There are permission and permit issues, many of which are in place for safety. If you've ever seen a fire roll through a field, you may realize you can't hang a flaming car above such a field and expect to live.

People see a burning car - made real through special effects - and assume it to be as reckless as it appears. There's a reason for the term "Hollywood magic." It refers to the realism of such scenes that are safe for those involved. But the moronic public has to assault the artist, forcing them to defend random safety issues.

These ardent trolls can't fathom anyone smarter than themselves and assume Charli XCX hoisted a burning car, shot some film and left. Moron trolls assume no one had accounted for safety concerns and demand answers from the artist. Trolls do zero fact checking, jump to conclusions, and take the lazy route of accusing whoever they can reach with least effort.

Charli XCX - White Mercedes
October 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Erin Gray from the 1979-1981 TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

My Dad was a big fan of Buck Rogers. When I was a kid, we watched this TV series together.
It was about a 20th century astronaut coming out of centuries of suspended animation into our future to become Earth's greatest hero. Alas, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century only lasted two seasons.

Erin Gray from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Star Wars was the catalyst for many scifi creations in the late 70s. Battlestar Galactica began as a theatrical release and did well at the box office. NBC decided to follow that model after Buck Rogers did well in theaters and created a TV series.

The TV series starred Gil Gerard as Captain William "Buck" Rogers and Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering. 70s scifi was pretty cool. We need more of that. I also loved Space 1999. Good stuff!

Buck Rogers Planet Of Zoom for Atari 2600 & 5200
October 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With exactly one year until release, Intellivision's Amico game console has a new website

The Intellivision Amico launches one year from today
With a strong plan and working prototype, the Amico sounds destined to impact gaming for the better. And you can buy a T-shirt!
The Intellivision Amico T-shirt Tommy Tallarico's Intellivision sent out an email this morning to remind us the Amico game console will launch exactly one year from today. What a great email. When I think of all the veiled lies coming from Atari regarding their VCS reboot console, getting Tommy's email was a breath of fresh air. By comparison... Atari is a stale fart.

The Public Relations supporting the Amico is wonderful. They communicate. They reveal actual information. They delight. Atari - take note.

I'm really excited for the AMico because it's different and aimed at family. Back in the day, Nintendo were staunch supporters of family values and wouldn't allow games they felt were too violent. They've let that stance wane quite a bit, but still have a juge selection of family-friendly games. They've broadened... and that's cool.

Amico seems to be taking on that set of values with games designed to bring people together, centered on fun. In a world full of death and destruction it's nice to dive into Animal Crossing where the stress of managing a town is delightful. I think Amico is carving out a great niche with a slick console, great pricing on games, and a unique approach to expanding their game library.

There's plenty of great info on the Amico website. Head over there to sign up for their newsletter and buy an Amico T-shirt while you're there.

October 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When Kim Petras drops a holiday album: it's gonna be lit and Halloween

She's been dropping amazing tracks weekly. Harnessing them all on Turn Off the Light could easily blow your mind!
If you're tired of holiday music, maybe you need to stop focusing on Christmas. So many artists strive to release their personal rendition of Good King Wenceslas as if that hasn't been done before. Although "Bring me flesh and bring me wine" is my kind of Xmas lyric... just saying.

Pop star Kim Petras has her own notion of a holiday album and her holiday of choice is Halloween! More artists need to get off the Christmas wagon and deliver some creepy fun tracks in late October.

Turn Off the Light is a combination of Petras' Halloween release last year and a slew of new tracks for this year. It's 17 tracks that I'd love to see released as a CD! digital can be convenient, but physical media rules!

Kim Petras - Turn Off The Light
October 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After learning it's backward compatible with PS4 games, the PlayStation 5 has many other great features

PlayStation 5 development console
Nintendo has been the king of backwards compatibility in an era when the others shunned it. Glad to see PS4 compatibility onboard.
Not long ago, a PS5 console picture was "leaked" and people flipped over it's crazy "U" shape. Rumors swirled around until it was revealed this odd device was a development console, already in the hands of some developers. This doesn't mean the actual retail version of the PS5 will look like this, but it certainly got the conversation started.

To no one's surprise Sony officially stated their console, arriving with Santa next year, will indeed be called the PlayStation 5. As one might expect, the controller looks very similar to past controllers, but this one uses a USB Type-C connector. It also has additional programable features, like adaptive triggers which allow varying degrees of resistance. They relate this to shooting a bow and arrow, where the bow's tension is felt when pulling the arrow back.

Raise your hand if you would love PS2 compatibility in the PlayStation 5!
I bought the original Playstation on launch day, but waited years on subsequent releases. Each new console lacked the ability to play prior system games and didn't feel the graphic improvements warranted immediate purchase. The drawback is that the new systems are launched before I feel ready to move ahead.

An interesting feature to the PS5 is ray-tracing. This allows for much more complex lighting and sound within a 3D environment. Sony has made a point of stating this feature is achieved via the GPU's hardware. Many feared it would be a software level addition that wouldn't amount to much. IN theory, this should make games much more realistic and vibrant.

Finally game consoles make the move to SSD hard drives. The access time for these solid state drives is much lower than traditional drives.But this makes them quicker in more ways than one. From a programming standpoint, there has been a lot of duplication of elements to form data-blocks that can be accessed faster. However, the toll is having multiple instances of the same thing. For example some assets in the Spiderman game are duplicated up to 400 times!

So the SSD drive saves time and space. There's even talk of allowing gamers to choose which elements of a game to install. Non interested in multi-player - don't install it. Sounds cool.

The user interface has always been a bare-bones affair. That sounds like another area of improvement on the PS5. I haven't seen any hint of this, but many are saying it is a much more robust display going forward. My only enhancement to the UI was a holiday sweater background that plays a Christmas song.

Backwards Compatibility

All the new stuff sounds grand, but my primary interest is in the PlayStation 5's backward compatibility. Good news. It's got some. The PS5 wil play PS4 and PSVR games, however, it will not go any farther back. You'll still need your old consoles to play any games prior to the PS4.

While this is good news, I often wonder if Sony is aware how much passion still exists for it's PS2 game library. If the PS5 went back to the beginning with backward compatibility, I'd buy one on Day One for sure! As is my customary habit... I may not need one until 2023 or thereabouts.
October 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Thief steals 43 new games and sells them to GameStop for a total of $336

At first I thought this story was a meme, but GameStop did give the thief $7.81 per game :)
A break-in at Valve's Bellevue office resulted in theft of $40K in various merch. From controllers and collectables to laptops and games, the thief used a rolling cart to move the items from the office. The police discovered he had sold games to GameStop.

Once it was revealed there was a GameStop trade-in component, the comment section turned into meme-central. lol!

loot stolen from Valve
October 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari works diligently to put a better spin on their VCS project labeled as a “Shit Show”

Atari VCS fail
“pre-production” can't be underway if your prototype is less than 30 days old! WTF!
This morning, Atari sent out a message to their email subscribers stating the VCS was in re-production. This seems to be in response to an article quickly circulating online claiming Atari only received the VCS prototype motherboard, this past September. Yes, less than 30 days ago.

I'm astounded by the idiocy surrounding the Atari VCS. An article from The Register details the exit of the lead architect, Rob Wyatt, who quit for lack of payment and reveals the prototype board was only received by Atari this past September. They've had the prototype for less than 30 days and they claim to be in Pre-Production!?! Shouldn't proof-of-concept come first?

There really aren't words for this whole project - described off the record by a developer, as a "shit show." And the ardent fans are the worst. Atari says they're in pre-production and they eat it up as though the consoles are being loaded on a truck for delivery. I will be stunned if this console is ever delivered to any indiegogo backer. And you will never see an Atari VCS on a retail shelf. NEVER!

It's Hard To Be A Fan After This Failed Campaign

It still pains me to be this harsh on Atari, but the game company I fell in love with in the 70s is long gone. The new owners are ill-equipped to maintain Atari's former glory and have tainted it's name. As much as I complain about the mismanagement of this project from tech to PR, I'm in it too. I'm backer #6,383 having backed the project for one of their funky new classic joysticks. I hope they can deliver, but all signs point to the same dismal outcome as their former hardware offerings. Abandoned upon failure.

Atari VCS board
From Atari's email about the VCS' status on October 8:
Hello Backers, Fans, and Followers!

Things have gotten really exciting around the Atari offices and in the Atari VCS engineering lab. We know people are talking about our big Antstream Arcade announcement, but the PCB board photo we shared triggered plenty of its own conversation and speculation as well. While we definitely have plans to follow-up the Antstream partnership with more news about games and content, we will now shift the conversation back to the status of the Atari VCS hardware. Jump over to Medium and check out our newest Atari VCS Developer Blog to find the latest on the development process as we rapidly approach mass production. We have lots of new photos and illustrations to share, and hope that you find the latest peek behind the scenes interesting.

We can't believe we need to say it again, but backers please complete your BackerKit surveys! There are way too many of you who still need to do this. Save yourselves the frustration; find one of the many emails from BackerKit or just go to and request your survey. Your survey and backer profile is the single best way to ensure that the right products get sent to the right place at the right time. Please do not confuse this with your Indiegogo profile, which is different.

Thanks again for your ongoing support!

- The Atari VCS Team
October 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game is back, remastered, and exclusive to GameStop for physical copies

AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine
The favored game from 2009 returns to consoles and PC, tiding you over until the 2020 movie.
I have Ghostbusters: The Video Game on Wii, PS3, and PSP... and I'm excited to buy it for my Switch. Yes, the Switch version (also on PS4, PX and Xbox) is a remaster of the 2009 video game, launching October 4th. With a new movie coming out in 2020, some may wonder why not create a brand new game based on the new film. I can see that, but the original game is very special to the franchise.

For starters, both Dan Akroid and Harlod Ramis wrote the script for the game and all four actors (including Hudson and Murray) voiced their roles in the game! Other actors from the movie also reprised their roles, giving the game a real connection to the beloved film.

Physical release of the 2009 game is exclusive to GameStop.
I liked the 2016 reboot with the female Ghostbusters. It revived and reminded us of this amazing franchise that hadn't seen much attention since the 2009 video game. The splendor of that game nearly served as a third Ghostbusters film with it's likeness and attention to details. I'm excited to see what the 2020 film will bring. Too many films have dreadful tie-in video games. These games seem thrown together at the last minute.

Remastering this game breathes a new life into Ghostbusters with more universal appeal than the 2016 film. It's interesting to me that they decided to go with GameStop as an exclusive retailer. This applies only to the physical release. Those seeking to download the game can do so from all the usual places.

I'm sure the exclusivity benefits Gamestop by briefly staving off the competition, but how long is their exclusivity? I'm guessing Target, Walmart, Kmart, and Best Buy will have physical copies in a week or two. Exclusivity is often short lived.
October 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Best Phone case ever: Commando

Phone cases have become fashion accessories. Are they even protective anymore... aside from having a rocket launcher?
Arnold Schwarzenegger phone case As soon as I saw this phone case, I smiled. This image of Arnold Schwarzenegger is perfectly aligned to let the phone's camera blend into the rocket launcher seen in Commando. Every now and then, something THIS good comes along. As fun as this "case" looks, most phone cases are fashion accessories designed to highlight an aspect of our personality.

Every time I upgrade my phone, I buy a protective case for it. As phones become thinner an cases are designed to be less invasive... do they even protect your phone? I usually buy my cases online and buy a plain black style that looks protective rather than decorative.

Phone Cases Have Become Fashion Accessories

I see those stores at the mall that only sell phone cases. No phones. Just cases. I often wonder how they stay in business. Do people need that many phone cases? No, they don't, but that rarely stops our consumerism.

I can see getting a case with my favorite band's logo or pic, but I love a lot of different bands. Should I buy a phone case to represent each one? Now I see how those case stores stay in business. It would be fun to have an AC/DC phone case, but I'm too annoyingly practical for that. I want to be able to accidentally drop my phone and not need to buy a new one.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Commando Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film, Commando
October 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Technos comes to the Evercade handheld with an 8-game cartridge full of retro games

Technos Collection 1 for Evercade
It's exciting to hear about more developers coming to the Evercade handheld!
The Evercade is an upcoming retro gaming handheld console that utilizes proprietary cartridges for it's gaming content. The interesting facet, besides being a cart-based retro gaming console in 2019, are the multiple games on each cart. Arranged by developer, the Evercade has Namco, Atari and Data East among others. Technos has just signed on with an 8-game offering.

Technos' first collection of games (on one cart) brings: Double Dragon, Double Dragon 2: The Revenge, Super Double Dragon, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, Renegade, Super Spike V'ball and Crash 'N The Boys: Street Challenge.

I'm excited about this device. It's new. Retro focused. And soliciting companies to bring forth their best games on cartridges. It feels like a wonderful step backwards - in a really good way! I love the multi-game format and the idea of collecting carts for it. I really dig this idea.

They are located in the UK and will be selling through Amazon among other retailers and claim it will be available globally. They are selling the handheld for $80 with one cart and $100 with 3 carts. Individual game cartridges are $20. Looking forward to it!
October 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro Fighters have released a modern controller for the new Genesis Mini console, Switch, Mac, and PC

Retro Fighters BrawlerGen USB
With a ten-foot cable and all the amenities of a modern controller, you'll love your Genesis Mini even more!
The mini console craze extending from the NES to the Genesis and soon the TurboGrafx-16, gives gamers a nice jolt of nostalgia. We all remember our favorite games from childhood and these mini consoles fill a void for some of us. However our memories of beloved games don't always come with fond memories of the controllers we had to use way back then - compared to today's ergonomic controllers.

Retro Fighters have created the BrawlerGen USB, a modern joystick compatible with the new Genesis Mini console as well as Nintendo Switch, Mac, and PC. As much as those original controllers may delight you, the two that accompany the Genesis Mini are the 3-button variety. The BrawlerGen features six buttons, D-pad and analog stick.

From personal experience, I can say Retro Fighters makes phenomenal controllers. I've use their modern controllers on my NES and N64, On both consoles they change the way I play. It's amazing to discover new ways to play due to their modern layout and control options. I imagine this Genesis controller adheres to their high standards as well. Being able to use it on Nintendo's Switch and computers is an added bonus!

From the Retro Fighter' website:
  • Compatible with the Sega Genesis Mini, the Nintendo Switch, PC & Mac
  • Ergonomic and comfortable modern design
  • High quality, responsive D-pad
  • Comfortable, responsive analog stick
  • USB connector supports both D-input & X-input
  • Added "L" & "R" shoulder buttons
  • Extra long 10' cord
October 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jay & Silent Bob's Mall Brawl is coming to the NES and now you can buy the soundtrack on vinyl

A game set in the View Askew universe only gets better when you can crank the soundtrack!
Head over to Limited Run Games to snag a copy of the Mall Brawl soundtrack on vinyl. If you act fast, you can still snag a copy of Mall Brawl for the NES. It comes in three different colors on a playable NES cart. I never imagined we'd get such a retro helping of Jay & Silent Bob!

AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine
October 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nancy Wilson rocking through Barracuda at iHeart's Music Fest showcased what rock and roll is all about

Nancy Wilson rocking Barracuda at iHeart's Music Fest
Nancy Wilson's performance at iHeart is exactly what made me crave a guitar!
Last night I watched the first night of iHeart's Music Festival and I was very pleasantly surprised. From De Leppard to Miley Cyrus covering Pink Floyd, it was full of great performances. Many dug back in their catalogs for a great retro feel. Of all the performers... Heart really killed it with Barracuda!

Nancy Wilson was phenomenal! Her guitar ripped through everything else and gave the song a savage edge that she totally put forth. It was the kind of performance that sells guitars - thousands of guitars. Hearing that kind of performance was what made me crave the guitar when I was a kid.

Last night I wanted to pick up my guitar and rock out! She was that good and then some.
October 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A few years ago Kanye West wanted to name his next album, "Turbo GrafX 16"

Kanye kept missing his release dates on Yandhi. We suspected he was looking to tweak it into the perfect TurbboGrafX-16 for the masses.
A few years ago, Kanye West said he wanted to name his next album Turbo Grafx 16. I attributed this to being another of his quirky oddities that makes him easily forgettable. But hey... if he did name his album after NEC's video game console, I'd pay a bit more attention to him and even consider streaming a song or two.

I guess his NEC concept album will have to wait - maybe a Taylor Swift colab - as Yandhi dribbles into streams.

AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine
October 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Who saw Debbie Gibson on the Mixtape Tour this past summer?

Classic games go hand-in-hand with classic tunes.
A local arcade had a stand-up Chase HQ cabinet that was a ton of fun to play. Over time the cabinet deteriorated until it was simply a reminder of days gone by. This past summer it was gone.

It's sad to see such a treasure disappear after playing it for the last few years. The same arcade had a Deluxe Space Invaders which they sold. This venue may be coming to a close as far as retro arcade games are concerned. At the same time a arcade recently opened with some freshly shined up retro games from the 80s.

I'll have to fire up Super Chase HQ on my SNES and crank up some "Shake Your Love." Did you catch Debbie on the Mixtape Tour?

AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine
October 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Will multiple lawsuits impact AtGames most ambitious product - the Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine?

AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine
350 games in a full-size cabinet is tempting, but AtGames has been plagued with tech issues in the past and lawsuits in the present.
I was excited when I first heard some solid info about AtGames' Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine with 350 games and a full suite of controls from 6-button clusters to trackballs and spinners. The main drawback for me was AtGames track-record with come of their smaller Flashback-style consoles.

The Sega Genesis model has been plagued with issues from color accuracy to faulty sound. It was all traced back to their emulator, but it was never fixed over all the years they sold the console. So, what issues might this new Legends Ultimate cabinet have?

I'm a stickler for build quality in the cabinet and having robust buttons and controls. This is not an area where I want to see a company trying to save a few dollars. Speaking of dollars, AtGames has become involved in two seemingly large lawsuits this year.

It began with claims of trademark infringement with Bandai Namco over Ms. Pac-Man and more recently with Walgreens claiming breach of contract over returns on the Blast HDMI dongle consoles

Regarding the impact of these lawsuits, my main concern stems from the lack of info in recent weeks. The Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine was mentioned in a press release last October and moe recently in June/July. However, there seems to be no news lately. I'd love to know which retailers will carry this machine and when it will go on sale. The dearth of info makes me nervous in light of the Walgreens lawsuit.