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

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
First Quarter 2019 - January, February, and March

Just when you think there can't possibly be more innovation in retro gaming, a new invention, 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!

March 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

March 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Swapping AtGames for M2 makes the Sega Genesis mini console a better contender in September

Sega MegaDrive/Genesis mini console
While I'm excited about M2 coming aboard to deliver a Genesis mini, Sega Genesis Classics was released for modern consoles in 2018.
Sega announced a September release for their MegaDrive and Genesis mini consoles. Much like the ones Nintendo launched a few years ago, the popularity of these devices seems limitless (unless you're Sony and do it wrong). The Genesis Mini Console will be release on September 19, 2019. For $80 you'll get a replica console about half the size of the original Genesis, along with 40 built-in games, two 3-button USB controllers and power and HDMI cables.

The best news is that M2 will handle porting of the games. M2 has ported several games for SEGA AGES series and SEGA 3D Classics Collection. As much as I liked the Flashback consoles full of Atari games, the Sega releases had poor emulation from visual oddities to awful sound reproduction. If you saw the new Flashback Blast dongle-consoles, you probably noticed the lack of Sega titles - all Atari. It would seem the partnership between AtGames and Sega is over - which is probably best for all involved.

As popular as mini consoles are, I recently purchased Sega Genesis Classics which was available for Switch, PS4 and Xbox One in 2018. Most of the first ten games revealed for the mini, are on this compilation disc. Sure playing on a modern console doesn't allow the replica controllers, but I'm curious to see the remaining 30 games and see how many of the Mini's games are already available on modern consoles.

Genesis Mini Console - first 10 Games Revealed

Sega is going to hold back some of the game titles to build excitement for the console. Here are the first ten games revealed.
  1. Sonic the Hedgehog
  2. Ecco the Dolphin
  3. Castlevania: Bloodlines
  4. Space Harrier 2
  5. Shining Force
  1. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  2. ToeJam & Earl
  3. Comix Zone
  4. Altered Beast
  5. Gunstar Heroes
Sega MegaDrive/Genesis mini console
March 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When a claim was made that each Tetris block has a name, I went to my instruction manual

Tetris blocks have names grayscale version
My manual omitted this naming convention, but it may be from an early-release or special edition version - or a complete hoax.
About a month ago when I heard the seven Tetris blocks each had a name, I took a look at my game manual. I'd heard these bricks (each consisting of four blocks) referred to as tetrominos, but actual names? Would I find Fred, Olivia, and Ned? Tetris blocks have names!?! Could this be true or was this another PhotoShop job? This story fascinated me.

Only one picture seems to have traveled around the internet in support of this naming convention. Everyone seems to have latched onto this pic, but no one seems to have photographed their manual showing these names. It seems to have originated from this Tetris Tweet.

I looked through my official Nintendo Tetris manual as well as the Tengen one. Online, I sifted through a slew of Tetris "manual files" looking for this elusive page 12. No names. What gives? I found the preceding page (from the photo) of the trick to getting a piece to nudge sideways at the last minute... but no names.

So what is the origin of Orange Ricky, Blue Ricky, Hero, Teewee, Cleveland Z, Rhode Island Z, and Smashboy? I"m wondering if this may have been an early version of the manual or accompanied a special release of the game. I want this to be real, but I can't find a manual containing this info.

Official Tetris manual My conclusion is this is a hoax, albeit a fun one. Who'd have thought to claim the Tetris blocks have ridiculous names? Genius! I draw this conclusion from the lack of additional photos. If I found Cleveland Z in my manual, I'd definitely have posted a pic of it!

If nothing else, this should serve as incentive to do your own research. Trump may have coined the "fake news" term, but there's plenty of fake stuff all over the web. Good journalists have citations (links) to corroborating info. Good readers are skeptical and do their own investigating Being lazy can lead to all sorts of things... like Orange Ricky.
March 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Offering voter registration at music concerts is exactly what this country needs

While registering to vote isn't what I'd expect at a concert, Ariana Grande is doing a great thing with #thankunextgen!
Ariana Grande Sweetner concert The old adage about teaching old dogs, new tricks is surprisingly realistic. Change is often the result of a new younger generation growing up in a new era with new ideas. Changing minds is a hard uphill battle. Letting a kid grown up under different circumstances is far more successful.

Young pople are smart and attuned to many of today's causes, yet getting them to vote is still that same uphill battle. Amont other things, kids are accustomed to convenience. From streaming music to shopping online, youth avoid hassles... like registering to vote. What if you could register quickly while at a music concert? That's the kind of convenience that will hopefully get more young people involved with our horrendous political system.

Ariana Grande partnered with Headcount to be part of their initiative to register people to vote at concerts. Even if they're too young, it sets up good awareness and lets them set a reminder to register when they turn 18.

voter registration at Ariana Grande concerts
From the CNN site:

The 25-year-old artist has partnered with HeadCount to allow concertgoers to register to vote during her Sweetener World Tour. The nonprofit organization works with music artists to set up voter registration booths at concerts and runs other programs to promote civic participation.

"Together, we designed #thankunextgen, a program to help Ariana's fans make their voices heard," the organization said on Twitter.
March 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

WalMart's arcade-themed metal lunch boxes feature Defender, Joust, and Gauntlet artwork

Defender arcasde-style metal lunch box
Back in the day, lunch boxes always came with a matching thermos. Newbury Comics did it right. Thermos!
I grew up in an era when school lunches weren't as ubiquitous as they are today. I brought my lunch to school every day. Each year, in late august, my Mom would take me shopping for school supplies. The only two items I cared about were a pencil case and lunch box.

Each of these items were always Peanuts themed for me. If it didn't rock Charlie Brown and Snoopy - I didn't want it. I love metal lunch boxes and I know this passion goes back to taking my lunch in a cool metal lunch box every morning.

WalMart is selling a few metal lunch boxes with vintage arcade themes! They are part of a Midway Classic Arcade series. My searches on their website uncovered Defender, Joust, and Gauntlet versions. My complaint is the lack of a thermos. It's a lunch box! Sure most folks will put these on a shelf in their game room, but doesn't authenticity count anymore? The matching thermos when you open such a lunch box is the crowning element of it's awesomeness.

"Not awesome, Walmart!" The thermos is what makes it a lunch box. Who doesn't want a cold beverage with their sandwich?

arcasde-style metal lunch box Arcade-themed metal lunch box with Joust artwork.
arcasde-style metal lunch box Arcade-themed metal lunch box with Gauntlet artwork.

Newbury Comics Metal Lunch Box with Thermos.

When we saw this lunch box in a Newbury Comics store, we knew we had to have it. As much as I'm a collector of such things, my son loved the design and insisted on using it daily. He took this Newbury Comics lunch box everyday with his favorite juice in the thermos. That was about ten years ago and we still have it along with my Peanuts lunch boxes fromt he 70s!

Newbury Comics has high standards, so it doesn't surprise me they would include the matching thermos. All their used media is in pristine condition - not the beer-coaster experience with all of GameStop's used inventory.

Newbury Comics metal lunch box with thermos Newbury Comics metal lunch box with thermos. It got a lot of use and a lot of love! More than just a sandwich holder :)
Newbury Comics metal lunch box with thermos Newbury Comics metal lunch box with thermos.

March 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariel Rebel's Big “O” Guide To Video Game Success

Ariel's “Big O” sequence seems to also correspond with the phases of playing video games!
Ariel Rebel's Big O Guide To Video Game Success If you don't follow Ariel Rebel on Twitter, you're missing her morning cereal bowls of coffee and other wonderful quirks, including a slew of cooking tips. She's a fun follow.

She posted this Big O tweet, but I'm pretty sure she's holding a controller and fighting her way through Doom... but you decide.

Ariel Rebel's Zesty & Spicy cooking tips
Ariel Rebel's website (NSFW).
March 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yoshi's Crafted World is available on store shelves, will you be buying it from a brick & mortar store?

Yoshi's Crafted World
Will you be downloading it, awaiting delivery at your door, or visiting a local store to browse the shelves?
When new games come out, I'm chomping at the bit to get to a store and snatch a copy fresh off the shelf. Holding that find in my hands is part of the experience I like. It does not escape me that this is an out-moded manner of shopping. I like retail stores (OK, I hate them too), but I love discovering products the shelves. It's like an odd ritual for me.

I rarely pre-order games at GameStop unless I know its a real niche game they'd never stock. Ordinarily "the general public" and "the retail experience" irritated me, but I find shopping for a specific item - CD, DVD, book, or video game - an experience I look forward to. Each Friday, I'm stoked to pick up a new CD release. Same goes for books on Tuesdays. I will admit grocery shopping is pure drudgery.

I find Amazon fast & efficient and buy some things for the sheer convenience and pricing, but there's little satisfaction in the whole process. As for entertainment media, I find downloading/streaming a very empty process. I"m not the guy wandering down the street with headphones plugged into my phone. I'm the guy who still has a CD player in the car and loves big living room speakers. And I love album art. It's part of enjoying music, for me. The covers bring back memories almost as much as the music itself.

I rarely buy video games from GameStop when they only offer a generic case. I want the art, the inserts, and the occasional printed manual. I love watching an 80s flick on DVD and watching the "coming attraction" trailers that auto play. So many long-forgotten trailers for games of the same era.

I don't mean for this article to drift into the battle of physical versus digital media - I do love the retail experience. As a kid I looked down the Toys R Us aisle full of G.I. Joe figures and vehicles. It was mesmerizing. Part of that was childhood wonder, but part of that magic still registers with me when shopping for a cool new release in a store. The search-bar on a retail website is void of this magic - as is hearing an Amazon box drop on my front steps. It's like cooking... preparing and cooking a meal can be much more satisfying than a takeout bag, even though less convenient.

I know everything is heading digital/online, but retail stores still have an opportunity to be relevant and deliver curated experiences as destinations rather than only a selling opportunity. Anyone else out there like visting a real brick & mortar store on release day?
March 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari's latest “update” has not inspired much confidence for the release of their VCS game console

Atari VCS production update
There was great detail about the color of the "power on" light and redesigning the plastic case.
I smirked when I saw the email subject line,"Atari VCS 2019: More exciting hardware news to report!" I was certain we would be treated to a lengthy diatribe of words amounting to - no news.

They acknowledged the chip update, passing it off as "previously discussed, and went into the delivery timeline and industrial design changes to the case. Regarding delivery, everything will be delivered at the same time. So, folks like me who only ordered a joystick (for pure nostalgia) won't get it earlier than someone who paid for the whole package. Thus, we will all be simultaneously disappointed when the process drags on for years and is finally ruled "unfeasible."

I do not believe Atari will ever be capable of delivering this console.
From the email, they direct us to a new blog post that drones on about the plastic case. Plenty of computer renders are presented in place of any actual prototype.

They moved two USB ports to the rear of the console. Somehow this change prompted them to remove the SD card slot entirely. Aren't they a bit far into the development phase to be figuring out what ports to provide? Then they provide updated dimensions of the console only to say these new dimensions are "approximate."

Last time we heard from Atari, they spoke of a new chipset for the Atari VCS and a delay to the end of the year on delivery. Months later, they have approximate dimensions of the plastic case. This is ridiculous and worse still is that Atari disseminates this info as though it were anything other than drivel.

If Atari was serious about delivering hardware, they's be working closely with the chip manufacturer to ensure they were on track to have the latest tech implemented at their delivery date - not switching it up at the eleventh hour. To be toying around with the case at this stage is pretty strange. Lets hear how this tech will change things for game developers working to deliver titles for this console. Does Atari have anyone lined up or are the Indiegogo backers expected to play asteroids for the first year and a half? BTW- all the built-in retro games are just the Atari Vault product that has been available since June 2016.

Atari VCS production update

I Love Atari's Innovation of the 70s ad 80s

I love Atari's accomplishments and developments, in the 1970s and 80s, that enabled the game industry to become bigger and better. The current incarnation of Atari is nothing more than a shell company with rights to the former company's IPs.

I feel if Atari is to be successful in the future, they must focus on softgoods (shirts and hats) and forgo the notion they can develop and deliver any type of hardware. I'll say it again - I love Atari (the company from the 70s, 80s and 90s).
March 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Axiom Verge is an amazing indie game and it's coming to Wii U via Limited Run Games

Axiom Verge for Wii U by Limited Run Games
I can't imagine why LRG would choose the Wii U for a physical release of Axiom Verge, but we'll take it!
Limited Run Games has some cool games coming out. Bomb Chicken looks like a lot of fun, but I'm looking at Axiom Verge! It's a terrific game and we've enjoyed it on PS4 and Switch... and now LRG is bringing it out for the Wii U. Just when my mind absorbed the oddity of Just Dance 2019 coming out for the Wii, here comes one of our favorite indie games... on the Wii U!

Maligned and battered, the Wii U is getting an amazing release.
This version is coming as an open pre-order, so you don't have to type at breakneck s[eed to get a copy. The same can't be said for Bomb Chicken. This is a great opportunity to get a fantastic game for an equally great console.

I wish Developers would have made better use of the gamepad as a second screen. I thought that was one of the Wii U's best assets. Wouldn't it be cool if Axiom Verge was retooled for a second screen experience? Not sure how that would be implemented - and it won't - but I'm stoked to see this game on the Wii U.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released simultaneously for the Wii U and Switch in March 2017. The odd thing was the Wii U was seriously scarce at that time - actually, it was hard to find few months earlier. There was no wind-down or "lite" model. It simply stopped shipping and disappeared from store shelves. Prices skyrocketed on eBay and it seemed that Nintendo simply pulled the plug as the Switch launch neared.

The funny thing is so many Wii U games wer ported to the Switch and sold quite well. People just didn't understand the Wii U. It was an odd era in Nintendo's history. But we're stoked to see an excellent indie title come to this seemingly forgotten ame console.

Axiom Verge for Wii U by Limited Run Games
March 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Def Leppard is not the first band I think of when Hearing the phrase, "rocked Good Morning America"

I like to think GMA has turned a new leaf and we'll see Judas Priest, Metallica, and Body Count take their stage.
Come on... let me dream a little. I've loved Def Leppard since Pyromania's tracks were all over the radio. What a great time to be alive.... Arcades on every corner and reasonably priced Trans Ams!

Def Leppard on Good Morning America
March 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Alpha Chrome Yayo is back with a new track that seeks the speed of the open road and racing thrills

Alpha Chrome Yayo, Cerberus 3000 (Killing Time) The right music sets the mood and can change your outlook in seconds. Check out Alpha Chrome Yayo's single, Cerberus 3000 (Killing Time) on bandcamp. It's the kind of track that will alter your mood and steer you back on course.

Getting to work in the morning is a mad dash down the highway - an unsatisfying manic race to the office. Going home is a different story. It's relaxed and smooth. Too smooth. But it affords reflection and introspection.

It leads to an obvious conclusion. I need a few rounds of OutRunners. And that tight steering on Sega Racing Classic. Maybe drop into the bucket-seat of Final Lap 2. It's one of those days you let the music blare and feel the pixels sail by.

We recently posted an article about Alpha Chrome Yayo's In Time cover with a slick Bill & Ted tie-in. Buckle up and check out the racing vibe on the newly released Cerberus 3000 (Killing Time)!
March 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Bella Thorne read an excerpt from her upcoming book at Carnegie Hall. What did you do today?

I am routinely astonished at all this woman has accomplished!!
Bella Thorne read from her book at Carnegie Hall Bella Thorne at Carnegie Hall Bella Thorne is everywhere and doing everything. She was in four movies last year. Just saw her on an episode of Speechless. She started a record label. Released a makeup line. Now she's reading an excerpt from her upcoming book, "The Life of a Wannabe Mogul. This isn't even the first book she's written!

Every time I feel too lazy to do something, I have to stop and wonder how some people achieve so much. I can't even get through the pile of unplayed video games by my TV.

The two-hour show included renowned cellist Nina Kotova, who has performed at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles, and pianist Valentina Lisitsa and was sold out with nearly 200 attendees.
March 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When you don't buy a new $1,000 iPhone every year, other revenue streams are necessary... introducing Apple Arcade

Announcing Apple Arcade
Apple announced a slew of goods and services today including their subscription-based gaming platform, Apple Arcade
While Google is pushing their new cloud-based gaming platform, Stadia, Apple fired back with Apple Arcade - with all games playable offline. Some games will support controllers and all of them can be played across Apples phones, tablets, computers, and even via AppleTV.

Announcing Apple Arcade This new era of "network" games are seemingly steering us away from our console addiction - or trying to do so. As I mentioned (complained) about Stadia's anti ownership stance these services or subscriptions are leveraging strengths of Google and Apple at the expense of gamers. Both these companies have infrastructures conducive to cloud-based services. Assuming gaming fits the model may be premature.

Lots of folks like mobile games. I've found a few I enjoy very much, but when I think of video games, it's all about consoles, controllers and a myriad of games sitting on my shelves. Games I own and can play anytime I wish. I rarely stream music or movies. I'm not interested in games that flow down om a server farm.

I'm not old school or stuck in the past. I like the reliability of a game console. It delivers a standard of play. I'm not convinced the average internet connection will deliver cloud-based game play. When the selection of games is beyond gamer's control, those games can be removed. Each month Netflix adds films and removes them. Gaming will follow the same model. I've loved Missile Command for decades - Asteroids too. I can play them on various consoles any time I want. What if such games were purged to leave room for newer titles?

Cloud-based services are touted as a convenience, but it's also training us to accept a lack of control via non-ownership. I can listen to any of my CDs, DVDs, and games anytime I want. If may favorite entertainment is removed from streams... what then?

As these new servies go live, it will be interesting to see how well they work and how accepting gamers are of this new way to play...and pay. Its a bold new world out there with a lot of new ideas. Some may be good, while others not so much. I will never relinquish my entertainment media that I own on physical media, but I'm willing to embrace elements of this new era.

Announcing Apple Arcade
March 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Us is everything you want in a scary movie without the typical nonsense, stupidity, and jump-scares

Peele's comedy is so smart and crafted, I hoped his movie "Us" would be this terrific! Don't miss it!
I'm glad I visited the theater's arcade before the show, because I left the theater with a million thoughts swirling through my head. I love Peele's comedy and hoped that same sort of craft would guide Us - it did. It's not scary in the traditional sense, but it's very creepy. It's wonderfully introduced and every event draws you in deeper. Truly a superb film!

Us is a terrific horror film
March 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Add an FPGA platform to your JAMMA cabinet for 18 additional arcade games

Mom & Pop video stores were awesome
The BitKit is an 8-bit FPGA platform for accurately playing arcade classics in any JAMMA compatible cabinet.
The CraftyMech BitKit is a small PCB that allows games to be added to JAMMA arcade cabinets, via a USB port. It supports an additional 18 games with a menu system for selecting games, using the Player1 controls, as well as settings for each individual title. You can also direct boot into a specific game, bypassing the menu system and offer a free-play option. There is a screen-flip option for cocktail compatibility. It's a clever product!

For the usual legal reasons, the BitKit does not come populated with games and is intended for home use only. Adding and changing the set of selectable games appears to be as simple as updating the ROMs via the USB interface. This is also how you would upgrade firmware and updates. Additional expansion options come

When I encounter products like this, it makes me wish I had a better grasp of electronics knowledge. Such devices are such labors of love and make the retro community a better place.
March 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Scrolling through choices on my FireTV's menu pales next to the days of vibrant video rental stores

Mom & Pop video stores were awesome
The selection process at a Mom & Pop video stores was as much fun as the flick you wound up renting!
Blockbuster brought organization to the video rental scene (perhaps some homogenization too), but the chaotic randomness of the small Mom & Pop video stores was an amazing experience. There was no limit - or family-friendly restrictions - on what you might find on those rental shelves. From rare documentaries to long-lost cartoons, inventory was not relegated to the latest big-budget films. When I think back on some of the crazy stores I used to rent from, it was an odd amalgamation of recent releases, porn and the option of VHS or Betamax.

Remember the thrill of finding a great game or movie at the rental store?
Regardless, the idea of going to a video store on a Friday night was a treat. It was an experience. I was exposed to so many titles I'd never heard of and wanted to watch. Being a movie-buff or cine-file in the age of video rental stores was grand! These days, you click on one horror film and you're served nothing but horror. What kind of logic is that?

Our perception of convenience has been betrayed. Sitting on your butt and let everything come to you robs you of a myriad of experiences brought on by a bit of social interaction. Is Amazon really the way you want to buy EVERYTHING?

Video rental stores were awesome Has going to the store become an online-only experience? When will you turn down a vacation on a beautiful beach because you can look at beaches all day in Google-Images? Get out there. See for yourself what's going on in the world around you.

I love retro games and playing all my favorites at home is lots of fun, but I love getting out to see what titles are on retail shelves. There's a buzz at local game stores - even GameStop - that offer incites and info. You shouldn't be in a bubble. It's important to widen your horizons and interact with people with your human skills, not a keyboard.

While gaming on my couch is fun, I like getting out to local arcades for a more modern experience or a barcade catering to all my 80's favorites. Get out and live life as though your entertainment depended on it! It kind of does... :)

Think back to all the amazing discoveries one could find in the Beta aile of an early 80's video store. Put your phone down and see what wonders await your discovery in the retailers of today. I still love finding VHS movies and music cassettes at thrift stores. It drives me to keep an eye out for all the cool stuff sitting on shelves in the real world.

Video rental stores were awesome
March 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I loved Jolt Cola - Where'd it go?

All the sugar and twice the caffeine!
Jolt Cola logo Jolt Cola was a staple of my diet back in the day. Not the tastiest beverage, but there was something about it's amped up potency and packaging that did the trick for me. Released in 1985, it was one of the first carbonated energy drinks.

It wasn't that long ago, I could find Jolt Cola in convenience stores. Now it's pretty much Dollar General or Amazon mail order.

I've never cared for modern "energy drinks" there seems to be a ton of stuff in them that's not readily identifiable. I can live with twice the caffein, but the odd stuff in today's energy drinks is kinda scary. I assume two of them lead to heart palpitations. Just gimme some food old Jolt Cola.

Jolt Cola ad
March 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Motley Crue's 2001 biography, The Dirt, released on Netflix as a film adaptation

I was infatuated with 1983's Shout At The Devil, but how is 2019 a good time to rehash Motley Crue's atrocities?
This is clearly not an era in which to celebrate bad behavior. We all heard rumors of Motley Crue's antics during their glory days and some may have read the 2001 biographical book, The Dirt. Releasing it as a film seems like a bad idea. This is 2019, where we're seeing the wrath of those coming forward with past allegations.

Rather than attempt to glorify their past, Motley Crue might be better served by becoming better people than exemplified in the flick. If you've seen Stereogum's damning review it would be best for The Crue to be thankful they aren't in court or prison. Loved their music, but times have changed.

Bella Thorne attends The Dirt Premiere I'm curious to know Bella Thorne's opinion of The Dirt, given her recent revelations.
March 22, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

is releasing digital sets of some of it's most iconic games from Castlevania to Contra and arcades

Konami's 50th anniversary game sets
I have to applaud Konami for releasing three unique sets each paying tribute to their history.
There are so many "old games being released on "modern" consoles. Konami enters the fray with three collections of games in conjunction with their 50th anniversary - Konami 50th Anniversary Collection. From arcade classics to Castlevania and Contra, we're about bo be inundated with some amazing titles. I love that the two collections focus on single IPs with additional titles to be revealed. Very cool way to celebrate 50 years!

As of this writing, all the games are cited as being "Digital Only" and by early summer will be available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In addition to a great collection of games, each set comes with an e-book with additional info about the included titles.

Konami's 50th anniversary Arcade Clasics The Arcade Collection contains eight games: HAUNTED CASTLE, TYPHOON (A-JAX), NEMESIS (Gradius), VULCAN VENTURE (Gradius II), LIFE FORCE (Salamander), THUNDER CROSS, Scramble, and TwinBee.

This set of games will be released on April 18 for $19.99.

Konami's 50th anniversary Castlevania Collection The Castlevania Collection contains eight games: Castlevania (NES), Castlevania III Dracula's Curse (NES), Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy), and Super Castlevania IV (SNES).

Konami's Castlevania Collection is designed to be a completed collection of the origins of the franchise. Four additional games are listed as "coming soon." Hopefully the additional titles will be released soon!

Konami's 50th anniversary Contra Collection As much as I want to play Scramble, this Contra Collection should be awesome. Like the other collections, this one contains eight games: CONTRA, SUPER CONTRA, SUPER C, and CONTRA III THE ALIEN WARS.

Like the Castlevania release, the Contra Collection has an additional four games to be revealed at a later date.
March 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Now that Disney has merged with 21st Century Fox, the changing entertainment landscape puts a new slant on... everything

Agent Scully is definitely my favorite Disney Princess!
Foremost on my mind is the fate of shows we used to watch without a second thought. Will beloved favorites be captive behind a Disney pay-wall? Will I need to subscribe to a Disney streaming app to watch Modern Family, Family Guy, The Simpsons, X-files? Disney has become quite a bit more powerful - if that's even possible.

The Disney-Fox merger changes everything Agent Scully is my favorite Disney Princess!
March 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves confirm summer filming of Bill and Ted 3 with a 2020 release

There's something magically wonderful about Bill and Ted. Another movie, thirty years later, can only be a good thing.
In front of the Hollywood bowl - a place you will not see Wyld Stallyns - Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves confirmed (sort of) summer filming for Bill and Ted Face the Music with a 2020 release. I loved Excellent Adventure. The sequel... not as much, but the whole concept works. I'm stoked to see Face The Music.

Many on the internet are quick to speculate a "thirty years later" attempt to capture the magic of Excellent Adventure in a sequel will fail. All I can say is watch Excellent Adventure and then watch any 10-minute segment from John Wick. Next, peruse YouTube for the many fan-encounters with Keanu. Bill and Ted Face the Music is going to be great.

Winter is creative as hell and Keanu is an astounding human in many ways. If B&T3 is bad, it's YOU, not the film! :)

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves confrime Bill and Ted Face the Music
March 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was very jealous of Cuphead's exclusivity, so I'm excited for it's release on Nintendo's Switch

The vintage cartoon style and savage difficulty will make this an epic frustration that I'll love!
April is looking to be a good month for those who've been eyeing Cuphead wondering if they should buy an Xbox One. Apparently, good things come to those who wait. Microsoft is releasing Cuphead for Switch on April 8. It makes one wonder if a Nintendo/Microsoft partnership is brewing. I didn't hear anything about a PS4 release...

While the initial release will be a digital download, it sounds a s though a physical release will occur once the DLC has been released digitally. That's great news! People seem very eager to have this game - I know I am. But can I manage to wait until the physical game arrives?

The game has some great specs. There will be a new content update that includes the ability to select characters as well as animated cut-scenes. There's no release date for the physical version at this time.

Cuphead for Nintendo Switch
From Nintendo's site:

Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game heavily focused on boss battles. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era: traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings.

Play as Cuphead or Mugman (in single player or local co-op) as you traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves, and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to the devil!
March 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm stoked to see Riverdale's Heathers-influenced episode

Fans of Archie and Heather's are in for a cool mash-up tonight!
Riverdale's Heathers-infuenced episode
March 20, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Google's Stadia is the next phase in cloud-based gaming where you own nothing tangible

Google Stadia announcement at GDC
I love collecting physical video games, but still have some games on SD cards. Stadia is pure stream. No physical copy or ROM file.
Google announced its new gaming platform, Stadia at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC). It is a cloud-based service allowing games to ge loaded via Google's Chrome browser and streamed to any Chrome-compatible device from smart TVs and Laptops to tablets and phones. Games would stream in high definition up to 4K and 60fps, with the ability to scale up to 8K and 120fps.

That's a bold claim considering most cable providers charge additional rates for "fast" internet and not a lot of Netflix content streams at the high end.

But there's more to just the gameplay of the cloud model. For me, I will miss the amazing artwork that exists outside the game as well as owning the game itself. Streaming totally throws off my sense of ownership.

Google Stadia logo

Streaming Games = Questionable Ownership

Even a downloaded game resides on your console's storage. Streaming gives you nothing. For me this would be like dining out three meals every day and never having any food in my home - you wouldn't even need a kitchen, right? I love eating out, but I love gaming snacks too.

The streaming model takes the download model one step farther where you have nothing tangible but playing the game. No disc, cartridge, or ROM file. It's eerie to me. I like the tactile feel of a cartridge in my hand. Retro gamer at heart.

Playing Is Only Part Of Gaming

To me there is more to video games than playing them. I feel the same way about music. I could never put on Judas Priest's British Steel album without thinking how cool the cover art is and how it jumped out at me in a White Plains record store - launching me into a lifetime passion for Priest.

Same with games. They are full of visuals within the game, but there is so much external to the playing experience. Box art sets the tone. A graphic manual lends to the game's storyline. There is beauty to physical media that vanishes when it beco=mes a download to an SD card or worse - a data stream.

Connecting Stadia

If you have a net connection capable of streaming 4k at 60fps... what is the connection point? Stadia is a console-killer, not a console. The games are managed by Chrome. Most of us are accustomed to streaming to a console with a controller linked via Bluetooth to the console. With Stadia, the controller is another device on your wifi network. Chrome manages the game on your device and the controller must "pair" with that device over your wifi.

New generations embrace radical change. I want physical games. Millennials want less clutter.
The controller is very similar to modern controllers, but incorporates a Capture feature that dumps your gameplay onto YouTube. It aso has a Google Assistant feature allowing you to get in-game help. This sounds like a bit too much. Do you really want to consult Google Assistant to get through a game? Or perhaps, I'm not down with this sort of tech... I'd sooner ask Alexa how to get out of a bind :)

It's an interesting scenario, but I feel it will be greatly dependent on your internet speed. In Google's world of "fiber in every house" it may work well, but it seems quite exclusionary. I'm also not a fan of losing all semblance of ownership. Maybe I'm too strict about physical copies, but the frequent hacks we hear about makes me wonder how easily it may be to have your entire game library vanish without a trace.

Google seems to be planning a late 2019 launch, so this summer things should ramp up and more info disseminated. Stay tuned.

Google Stadia announcement at GDC
March 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

MySpace losing 12 years of files shows the Internet is a poor preservation tool for music - and video games

MySpace loses 12 years of files
“Once it's on the Internet, its there forever.” Maybe not. This kind of loss could easily wipe out large swaths of video game history!
I used MySpace many years ago and moved on, as did most of it's members, when more enticing services appeared. But that didn't stop the site from being resold several times and reinventing itself as "music" site of sorts. I've lost track of it's purported purpose, but it is still a functioning entity.

As folks moved from friendster to Myspace and on to Facebook and Twitter - what happens to all the photos, commentary, and files that may have inhabited those accounts as they become dormant? Does the content live on forever as we are taught to believe? Doubtful. Storage costs money whether it be a physical storage locker at Sam's Self Storage or an account on a server farm. Thus, paring down the size of storage is almost always a cost-saver.

Preservation is a great concept, but feels more like a myth.
Recently, MySpace went through a server migration that ended in the deletion of most files prior to 2015. They say perhaps 50 million songs were deleted. Think about that. In one instant - all that is gone. Hard to say how such a thing happens, but it's a great reminder that the internet does not offer a safety-net of "forever".

Think of all the video game history that has inhabited various nooks of the Internet from inception to right now. From scans and photos to written works, there's a lot of valuable info out there. But where? Those who've written countless gaming articles for now-shuttered web zines, discover their written works gone. Nothing but 404 error pages where intricate articles and research has once exited.

Anything we create - physical or digital - needs storage... and curation. Google will direct us to a great many things, but it won't tell you about things it can't find or things that no longer exist. Search engines live in the here and now. If Google can't find it in a matter of nanoseconds, it's probably not worth finding. Right? Tell that to a Smithsonian employee or librarian.

Museums house things from fine art to dinosaur skeletons. The notion of video game museums comes and goes. There are some great collections of games out there, but it's mostly private efforts by those who loved the pixels that made up their childhoods.

Buying old game cartridges and consoles is getting expensive. That goes hand-in-hand with scarcity. Scarcity escalates with time. Where can you find the largest collection of video game history? In Landfills. Yes, the town dump. Garbage trucks have moved more video games products than any single retailer.People move on and things get "thrown away." It's sas, but true... and much too convenient. Even GameStop throws away historic gaming items every day.

You may find that hard to believe, but people almost always take the path of least resistance. As easy as it is to give your old NES or 2600 to a friend or neighbor, it's still easier to toss it in the trash. Lots of people do this, which is why landfills contain the greatest stockpile of gaming's illustrious history.

Nothing is forever. We want to believe that museums will store things forever. Websites will archive things forever. But forever is a misleading and misused concept. Climate change is probably the the most sobering example of "forever" being a myth. Your awesome gaming articles and copy of Stadium Events won't outlive our planet's demise.

If you think most of the "lost" music at MySpace is probably already on SoundCloud or doesn't matter, you're part of the problem. We need to change our ways. A landfill should be the last resort for nearly everything!
March 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Original Mtv VJ and radio executive J.J. Jackson passed away at age 62

Jackson helped bring a brand new entertainment format to television in an era dominated by radio.
Jackson spent five years with Mtv defining the "VJ" role as when it launched in 1981. The initial line up of VJs played such a pivotal role in developing an entirely new form of television show. Radio was the dominant force in music, adding a visual component was a big risk - especially when trying to build an entire channel around a new unheard of way to present music.

JJ had a big smile and seemed at ease in his role of bringing music legends to a fledgling TV channel. His warm manner and interview style made him such a valuable and memorable VJ. Its sad to hear of his passing. Trailblazers like Jackson have so much to offer. While Mtv seems to have forgotten their roots in music, people like Jackson are instant reminders of that amazing era. Thanks for turning my TV into a whole new form of entertainment, JJ! RIP.

Atari delays their new VCS game console launch
March 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari delays their upcoming Atari VCS game console launch, citing faster chipset upgrade

Atari delays their new VCS game console launch
Perhaps Atari should explain why they've been developing for years for an existing (old) chipset.
When Atari laid out a July 2019 delivery date for the new Atari VCS game console, I was certain that date would come and go - no console. The "Fred C era" of Atari has a poor track record for customer service and hardware production. Did any of you get a refund on the Atari Band smartwatch?

Last June (2018) when they wrapped up their $3 million indiegogo campaign, eleven months seemed like a ridiculously aggressive delivery timeline.

Today, Atari released a press release delaying delivery until the "end of 2019." I'm not surprised for a number of reasons, but I'm more concerned about the stated reason for the delay. They want to use a better, cooler, faster chip. Sounds good - I'm all for it! But anyone familiar with hardware development (or project management) knows you don't develop with a 2-year window on a standard that exists at the time dev began!

You don't save up to buy an old game console. You're saving for the latest greatest one.
Alleging development from 2017, having chosen AMD as a partner, one expects that partnership involves steering them toward the end-goal and being able to take advantage of the best hardware available. Time changes everything - EVERYTHING!

Thus Atari wouldn't be developing for an existing chip and then cite delays because they are switching chips only four months before their promised delivery. That's not how it works, if your goal is to deliver the best cutting edge solution. Guess what? With this logic, there will probably be a etter chip available at the end of 2019. Will they delay again?

Atari seems to be ignoring the entire premise behind the partnership with your component manufacturers. They know what will be possible down the road and will help guide your project towards that goal. This way your product launches with the best possible hardware and the manufacturer has you onboard to tout the advantages of their latest efforts. It's symbiotic... unless you're Atari and have an aversion to doing things correctly.

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

From the outset, I've said this game console will never come to market. Even if it did.... would you want it? Let me explain. Keep in mind I backed this project for $30 to get one of those modernized CX style joysticks. I'm in it with you!

For retro gamers there is a selection of built-in Atari games on the VCS. This is nothing more than the existing game compilation, Atari Vault, which has been available to play across multiple computers/devices since March 2016. Keep in mind we've been playing most of these games for nearly forty years when they were first released!

So, in addition to these treasured classics, what else will the new Atari VCS play? Has anyone seen any game demos? Third-party software developer lists? Dev kits? Is ANYONE working on games for this box? I doubt Railroad Tycoon will satisfy the 11,000+ backers from the crowd funding phase.

The Atari VCS has no disc or cartridge slot, so it must connect to some sort of online store. What is the status of the store? Is Atari even developing a store to rollout when they deliver their hardware? Even the Ouya had competent online store from which their backers could buy games. Good luck, Atari.
March 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No parades for me today... just playing video games!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
March 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

From the helm of Thrasher to the pools & pipes, Jake Phelps loved skateboarding with all the passion in the world

RIP Jake Phelps 1962 - 2019.
Here's a great article that personifies one of skateboardings true legends - Jake Phelps.

From The California Sunday Magazine:
An unwillingness, or inability, to stop is perhaps the defining characteristic of Phelps's career. He's been the editor of Thrasher since 1993. The magazine occupies such a privileged space in skateboarding's collective imagination that it's difficult to know what to compare it to. Skaters call it "the bible," but we're prone to hyperbole. Maybe it's Vogue, but for degenerates, and Phelps is skateboarding's Anna Wintour.

Phelps likes to think of himself as the Thrasher brand personified, and in many ways, from his caustic wit to his encyclopedic knowledge of the sport, that's true.

Jake Phelps loved skateboarding with all the passion in the world
March 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Interesting.... Apparently Beto O'Rourke was a hactivist in Cult Of The Dead Cow, as a teen

Beto was in Cult Of The Dead Cow
Outside of Twitter, I don't get the impression Trump knows anything about using a computer.
I came cross an interesting Reuters article about Beto O'Rourke's involvement with Cult Of The Dead Cow. I can see how some of that influence shaped his ideology. Excerpts in the article are from an upcoming book, Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World.

There's just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you're doing it, O'Rourke said. I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that.
March 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Like the Power Glove, the LaserScope is way more fun to wear than use as a video game controller

Konami's LaserScope let your voice (along with random background noise) interact with certain games.
All these crazy accessories look awesome and it's hard to resist the temptation to potentially enter into a new realm of video game control. A wave of your hand. The sound of your voice. What mystical future had we landed in?

But the truth, for those of us who bought into these fads, was they were awful controllers. As kids we yearned to own such futuristic gear, but the reality was a harsh awakening. These devices sucked. But then we grew up. Became adults. We saw the world differently.

Suddenly game control wasn't centric to these once gloriously futuristic devices. Vacuuming the house wearing the LaserScope or drinking a beer wearing the Power Glove was exactly what these devices were meant for. Enhance the mundane lives we'd sooner forget.

Gaming is grand, but the LaserScope and Power Glove enhance the daily grind in ways we didn't understand as frustrated children trying to get these devices to play our games. Once you have a cold beer in your hand and raise it for a toast as the NES cable dangles from your Power Glove, you've achieved the purpose behind outlandish game controllers. And once in your life you need to put on the SuperScope when a cop pulls you over....

National Pancake Day
March 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I have my Bisquick and my son's rocket-spatula ready for National Pancake Day

Almost all of our morning gaming sessions are held over pancakes!
National Pancake Day
March 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Get a full set of cases for displaying Virtual Boy games via Custom Game Cases' Indiegogo campaign

Custom Game Cases for Virtual Boy games
If this project reaches funding, it would be a great thing for Virtual Boy collectors lacking a good display option.
The Virtual Boy was deemed a failure by all counts, but for $179.95 in 1995, I was eager to buy one! It was the strangest, quirkiest game console I'd ever seen and had to have one. I bought one quite soon after launch and was fascinated by it. Then the reviews came in/

I'm fairly certain most reviewers had never touched a Virtual Boy, but were content to say they hated it's red display and gave them headaches. I loved virtual By so much, I bought a few of them when EB was blowing them out at huge discounts. But how do you display the games? they came boxed, but we all love clam-shell cases. You're in luck...

The folks at Custom Game Cases are in the mist of an Indiegogo campaign for Virtual Boy labeled cases. These cases are red and hold the game cart either with or without the dustcover over the end of the cart. Since the Virtual Boy only had 22 games, you can buy the whole set with labels for each game.

Now for the details. I love this idea and hope it comes to fruition. It may seem steep at $15,000, but keep in mind this is the first run and this cost includes the steel injection mold that will lead to additional production runs. This campaign is set up as a "flexible goal" meaning al funds will be collected even if the final goal is not met. Many of us are more familiar with the Kickstarter model in which funding is not collected if the goal is unmet.

Incentive for Virtual Boy Collectors

A nice facet of these cases is the custom artwork that comes with each one. The campaign has several tiers to get only a select few (your choice of game artwork), but there are also two "complete" type sets. I'm loving this option as it motivates me to collect missing titles.

The first set, for $30, consists of 16 Red Virtual Boy cases. 14 of them make up the entire officially released NTSC titles that came out for the Virtual Boy. You also get 2 un-released titles - Faceball Remastered & Bound High!

The second set, for $50, includes 33 officially released cover designs. This includes 14 NTSC covers, 3 of which Japan did not get. You also get 19 Japanese covers, 8 of which were exclusive to Japan.

If you're as manic about those small red screens as I am, check out this cool display option for Virtual Boy games!
March 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A limited edition, Best Of Hannah Montana is coming to Urban Outfitters on “PSP-purple” vinyl

Purple Hannah Montana branded PSP
3,000 purple records will be available online and in-store for those who can't wait for M7.
I'm a fan of Miley Cyrus for her voice and her attitude. She does things her way and that's really cool. We live in a world of social media followers where originality is scorned. Conformity is the new normal. We need more people who will shake things up. Miley is a shaker.

For all the crazy things Miley did to distance herself from her Disney-image, how funny is it to see her "Best Of Hannah Montana" album coming to vinyl? You can nab a copy of this vinyl oddity at Urban Outfitters stores on April 26 and pre-order now at Urban Outfitters online.

I dig the purple vinyl color. Anyone remember the "Hanna Montana" Sony PSP of the same shade...

The Best Of Hannah Montana Track listing

Side A
Purple Hannah Montana branded PSP 1. The Best of Both Worlds
2. If We Were a Movie
3. Who Said
4. I Got Nerve
5. Pumpin' Up the Party
6. The Other Side of Me
7. This Is the Life

Side B
1. Nobody's Perfect
2. Rock Star
3. True Friend
4. Life's What You Make It
5. One in a Million
6. We Got the Party
March 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

SNK's infamous shooter returns via Ekkorr as an idle RPG - Metal Slug Infinity for Android

Metal Slug Infinity
Going from the manic run & gun model to an idle game seems an odd choice, but I'm curious to see how well it adapts.
I love the Metal Slug Anthology on Nintendo's Wii console. It offers a wide selection of games from the series and If you translate all those "continues" into quarters, you'll see how difficult those games really were in arcades. Thus this upcoming mobile release as an idle game will likely be relegated to simple screen-tapping with troop management/deployment of sorts.

While the trailer looks like any Metal Slug game from the franchise, the limited controls of mobile gaming necessitates altering it.

You'll have to build up and deploy your army to defeat the enemies and clear out each area. Along the way you will also free POWs. Eri, Fio, Marco, and Tarma have been confirmed as playable characters. If you ever played Battle Cats, you may remember some of the Metal Slug additions they offered.

It boasts all the characters and slugs from the franchise as well as adherence to the sound and visual style. As a licensed title from SNK, I want to check it out from sheer passion for the IP. I've not seen any release dates, but there is a current open registration for Android with iOS to follow (as I understand it).
March 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Mar10 Day!

What games are you going to play today?
Video games are like books. There always seems to be a stack of them we haven't gotten to yet! We hope everyone has a great Mar10 Day!

>Happy Mar10 Day!
March 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Silk's retro and contemporary hand-drawn art bring back the style of '84s “Lords of Midnight” in an upcoming RPG

Silk Sandbox RPG and Adventure Game
Both the storyline and visual style will take you back in time in an adventure game set in 200AD - The Silk Road.
Silk is an RPG and Adventure game that lets you explore and make choices regarding Advisers and travel that impact your fate. I love the lo-fi approach to the game's visuals. It's a style rarely seen these days and will delight those who've played adventure games or want to experience a unique style of gaming you won't see in modern games.

For those who've ever debated the Commodore vx Spectrum, you'll want to delve into the wealth of info about the game, including detail and images along with gameplay videos, on the Silk Kickstarter page. New developer, ihobo Games is crowd-funding Silk via Kickstarter. They are a new indie game developer from International Hobo, the team behind Discworld Noir, Ghost Master, Heretic Kingdoms and others.

I remember playing similar looking games on my friend's computers. By today's standards they are simple and lack the hyper-realism so many gamers demand. But for many retro gamers, games like Silk offer a new adventure in a familiar style that takes us back to an era when run & gun was think & plot. Take a look at their campaign page and see if it doesn't tempt you back to 200AD.

Silk Sandbox RPG and Adventure Game From Silk's Kickstarter page:
With a lo-fi visual aesthetic and a lightweight interface that delivers endless engaging decisions, Silk is an innovative role-playing adventure like no other. Rise into glory by running your caravan from the Roman Empire to war-torn Three Kingdoms China. Defend yourself from bandits, sandstorms, and rebellions by hiring Advisors skilled in everything from battle to wayfinding. Fall in love with your own unique party of Advisors and the enchanting world of the Ancient Silk Road in 200 AD.

Each game begins by choosing a Heroic Destiny - will you be the first traveller to cross the entire length of the Silk Road and back? Or will you forge a trading empire that spans the world? Or will you raise an army and overthrow the Parthian Empire, or build your own kingdom?
March 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Captain Marvel was pretty good, but I was more excited for another round of Time Crisis 4

Movie theaters with arcades will always be my first choice when choosing movie-watching venues.
Every time a superhero film gets promoted, I reignite a belief that I enjoy superhero movies. I love comic books, but have never gravitated towards superhero comics. With that in mind, I'm not sure why I keep going to see superhero movies.

Of course I loved the Stan Lee cameo that we've all come to expect in Marvel films. His final cameo should come in the next Marvel film.

I loved the AntMan films. Logan was cool. Definitely like the Spiderman films - especially Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But such films are the exception. Captain Marvel was good, but it didn't really excite me or stoke me up. After the mid-credits scene I went back to the theater's arcade for some Time Crisis 4.

Captain Marvel was pretty good
March 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Add a bit of Zoso to your logo with this Led Zeppelin generator

After 50 years, I'd rather see a cool box-set, but this is kinda neat.
To celebrate Led Zeppelin's 50th anniversary you can "Zoso" your favorite string of text with this web-based Led Zeppelin generator.

Led Zeppelin generator
March 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Actor, Jan-Michael Vincent's passing in February was just announced

Widely known for his role in Airwolf, he rose to fame in many 70s and 80's era TV shows and films.
RIP Jan-Michael Vincent.
Of all his roles, I have vivid memories of watching him as Stringfellow Hawke in Airwolf in the mid 1980s. He passed way on February 10th, but the news was not released until today.

Jan-Michael Vincent in Airwolf
March 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Kirby's Epic Extra Yarn is available and I need this game ASAP

Delighted by this game on the Wii, I'm dying to have it on my 2DS!
This single-player port of the wonderful Wii game has arrived for the 3DS. I loved it's soothing exploration and soft manic moments. The Wii version had a fun co-op mode which I don't believe exists in this new version, but I'm excited to relive this soft new world with Kirby!

While much the same as the original, there are some enhancements like "Devilish Mode" that boosts the difficulty via a little Lucifer who follows you around attacking Kirby. In addition to the job at hand, you'll have to fight off the devil who will soon return to pester you.

Kirby's Epic Extra Yarn From Nintendo's website:
One ticked-off sorcerer just banished Kirby, warping the poor puffball to a yarn world in need of saving. The twist? Having a yarn body is epic! Kirby can transform into knitted wonders like tanks and flying saucers. Plus, his new ravel abilities mimic his classic copy abilities, adding something new to every stage of this action-adventure game!

Ravel abilities allow Kirby to drop buttons like bombs or wield a wire like a sword. And that's just the beginning of all the makeshift magic. Dead end? Unzip a secret passage. Too dark? Unbutton the night to shed some light. Boss blocking your way? Unravel its face!

As you play, you'll collect decorative treasures for Kirby's Pad. Show yours off with the StreetPass feature! If story mode isn't tough enough, see if you can earn more collectibles in Devilish Mode. In this harder mode, you must survive without invincibility as devils obstruct your path through each stage. There are also all-new minigames starring Meta Knight and King Dedede!
March 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I've never encountered an audio-book on vinyl... leave it to Bella Thorne to innovate

The special edition of her upcoming poetry book - The Life of a Wannabe Mogul - includes an audio performance over music, on vinyl!
Bella Thorne does things her way. She is a creative powerhouse. She is fast, clever, and goes big. Seemingly out of nowhere she's releasing her own music. Then she has her own record label. Hold up - now she's selling her own makeup line. This woman is driven!

She's written books before (her Autumn Falls series) and now she's crafted a book of poetry that sounds like a reflective look into her mind. It seems to be her introspection on depression infused with the kind of abrupt honesty that peppers everything she does. Titled The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: A Mental Disarray, you can pre-order the special edition.

I think this will be a very cool book and the idea of her performing parts of it over music on vinyl is such a cool idea!

The Life of a Wannabe Mogul by Bella Thorne From the Rare Bird book site:
The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: A Mental Disarray, Bella Thorne's collection of illuminating and inspiring poems chronicles her personal struggles, relationships, and wild-child lifestyle, all with her trademark wit and wisdom. This signed limited-edition vinyl features Bella performing several of her favorite pieces on top of a musical soundscape composed by none other than Mod Sun.
March 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Legend of Zelda Rocks Again With Helmarock Metal EP

Legend of Zelda Helmarock Metal
This is a follow-up to 2017's Octorock tribute to The Legend of Zelda.
This five-track EP has a melodic metal feel to it's songs spanning several Zelda games. You can find Helmarock: Zelda Metal Vol. II on bandcamp.

From the press release:
Materia Collective is pleased to present Helmarock: Zelda Metal Vol. II, a follow-up to 2017's Octorock tribute to The Legend of Zelda. Helmarock is twice as heavy and double the runtime of its predecessor, featuring selections from Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess by guitarist and producer Joel Kent.

Helmarock revisits key moments from across the franchise with tracks like "Title Theme" from Ocarina of Time, "Song of Healing" from Majora's Mask, and "Ganondorf Battle" from Wind Waker with guitar riffs and heavy metal shredding aplenty.

The track list for Helmarock: Zelda Metal Vol. II:
  1. Title Theme (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
  2. Hyrule Field (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
  3. Kokiri Forest (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
  4. Song of Healing (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)
  5. Ganondorf Battle (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)
March 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

At an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting, Trump called Apple's CEO "Tim Apple"

Tim Cook is widely known in business circles, but not those familiar to Trump.
This isn't a new thing for Trump, just an other funny instance of his inability to take the time to prepare for meetings. On the fly, he simply makes up manes. I think he just doesn't care enough to learn the names. After all, in his mink, he's the king.

Trump called Apple's CEO Tim Apple
March 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When nostalgia hits hard I want to send postcards and take Polaroids

Sometimes a quick game of Berzerk or Zaxxon does the trick as well...
Sometimes you have to put a record on the turntable, fire up the Atari 2600, and commemorate the moment with a Polaroid. I get the urge to send a postcard now and then. Old stuff isn't bad stuff... it's just not new stuff. And that's OK!

When nostalgia hits hard I want to send postcards
March 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With a shop on every corner, does Starbucks need Ariana Grande inspired Cloud Macchiatos?

How about dialing back the wifi and putting a few arcade games in the corner? Coffee-cade?
There's a Starbucks in my supermarket... about thirty feet away from the coffee aisle. Their business model fascinates me. Do consumers not now the cost of a small bag of coffee beans - already ground and ready to go?

I understand convenience (and being lazy), but I brew a good cup of coffee in my kitchen and that lets me fritter away my pocket money on Slurpees - which probably contain a similar health risk as over-surgery coffee. Ariana has a nice voice, but I'm not going to become a Starbucks convert.

Ariana Grande inspired Cloud Macchiato Ariana Grande inspired Cloud Macchiato drink features a special Cloud foam recipe and includes egg whites combined with espresso and a caramel drizzle.
Ariana Grande inspired Cloud Macchiato Starbucks teamed up with the recent Grammy winner as its newest brand ambassador and unveiled the Grande-inspired Cloud Macchiato beverage.

Cloud Macchiato coffeeCade She's an unmistakable talent, but if you want to lure me into Starbucks, sprinkle each location with arcade games. Defender and Gorf are more likely to attract me than a $7 cup of Cloud Macchiato.
March 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The BittBoy handheld is on a steep trajectory of improvements, now supporting GBA and arcade ROMs

The BittBoy handheld supports GBA and arcade
Starting with NES, the next rev included Game Boy and GBC and now they've added Game Boy Advance and arcade!
I bought a BittBoy about 18 months ago and love it. It's the one with 300 built-in NES games. It's a bit quirky, but it's very compact and has a nice color screen. This past year a V@ model came out that ditched the built-in game (legal issues?) and gained Game Boy & GBC compatibility along with an SD card slot.

But it keeps getting better! A few weeks ago they announced Game Boy Advance compatibility. Super - sign me up! Days ago, there's mention of arcade compatibility on the BittBoy Instagram. What!?! Is this some sort of MAME compatibility? The updates are being announced, but the website is rather confusing. Different info exists on their social media accounts and the BittBoy website.

They say these fantastic updates can be flashed onto the V2 unit, but there's no time table or any specifics. Perhaps they are moving fast to get the updates tested, but communication is an important aspect to such development. I'm confused, but I want to believe. It looks like GBA support is imminent, but arcade ROMS? where does that fit in. The Instagram post also lists PS1 support. Ok... details?

The BittBoy handheld supports GBA and arcade I love where BittBoy seems to be going, but they need a PR person who can coordinate reality with their various social media accounts. I'm onboard for this new model, but I want to buy into it with reasonable expectations both in terms of the platforms it can emulate and the steps needed to facilitate each platform on the BittBoy.

Full steam ahead... but keep us in the loop! :)

March 5 Update:

There had been casual mention of SNES compatibility, but one day later it seems pretty clear the BittBoy V2 will support SNES ROMs. The image below was posted on the BittBoy Twitter account.

The BittBoy handheld supports SNES
March 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Everyone wanted Dylan's cool-factor and Fred's strength & compassion. Luke Perry brought their best to life and he won't be forgotten

RIP Luke Perry.
I got into Beverly Hills 90210 when it debuted. it was the bright shiny show of the 90's. Something about the characters and scenarios drew me in. I remember when Dylan McKay was introduced and his cool-factor was pretty insane. There was a bond between all these seemingly disparate characters and they gelled in a good way. It's hard to believe 90210 ran through the 90's and made it into 2000.

Since I was a did, I was a fan of Archie comics and spent Summers collecting and reading them. Discovering Luke Perry was coming to Riverdale was really cool because they were turning all the characters upside down from how they were portrayed in the comics.

Luke Perry did an outstanding job as the loner teen in the 90s and the strong doting father in Riverdale. It's hard to believe he's gone so soon. I was excited to see where he would go as his career grew. He seemed like a great guy and I always knew I should have grown sideburns.

Luke Perry
March 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Coinciding with Bill & Ted's 30th anniversary, Alpha Chrome Yayo has a cool cover of "in Time" from the soundtrack

If you love Bill & Ted and synth tunes, check out this cover!
1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is one of those films that combines so many crazy elements, there's something in it for everyone. You have to like it! Can you believe it's Thirty years old?

It also has a cool soundtrack from which Alpha Chrome Yayo covered Robbie Robb's track "In Time". Get festive and revel in 30 years of Excellent Adventure with this slick cover track on Bandcamp! You'll also find it on Spotify, iTunes, and the usual places.

ACY is self described as: Axe-laden synth sounds, from a dude in Belfast city. Influences include fast cars, smoke-filled arcades, noise-polluted skylines and late-night VHS tapes. Gotta like that - give him a listen!

Alpha Chrome Yayo cover of in Timee
March 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was convinced The Jetsons were created to encourage children to dream big and create an amazing future

The primary result of our march toward the future has destroyed the planet.
It could have been great. The future didn't have to turn out as it has in 2019. With doomsday clocks forecasting our demise. Species meeting extinction daily. Temperatures rising. Food shortages looming.

We're living in the reality of all the apocalyptic movies Hollywood has churned out. If you thought people would be beter off and living in a world of luxurious comfort, you may have fallen into the same trap I did, thinking the Jetsons were the future. They could have been, but greed is far more powerful than common sense.

Next time you ask Alexa to turn on the coffee pot, don't marvel at the convenience, think about what real achievement could be.

I was convinced The Jetsons were our future
March 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

See Thomas Howl delivers a savagely cool sci-fi vibe of electronic music via Star Stryke Six

Unravel his story through the track titles and let it echo through your game room!
I'm terrible at reviewing music. I don't know the industry terms or proper descriptions. I know what I like and promptly turn off music that falls short. See Thomas Howl has released music that often accompanies my passion for old video games.

If I'm fighting invaders, darting across galaxies or shooting UFOs via an Atari product, See Thomas Howl's music makes an excellent accompaniment. I love gaming sounds, but adding music sets the mood.

Don't miss out! You can get a copy of Star Stryke Six on Bandcamp.

See Thomas Howl - Star Stryke Six
March 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Not sure if this fits the K-Pop ethos, but now I want to see BlackPink drop an AC/DC cover at Coachella

Is Jennie from BlackPink an AC/DC fan?
Jennie from BlackPink wearing an AC/DC tshirt Known for wearing a variety of rock band T-shirts, Jennie from BlackPink caught my attention with this AC/DC shirt. Not long ago, Kendall Jenner was called out for wearing similar shirts, when fans didn't believe she was a fan and simply using these bands as a fashion statement.

People need to mind their own business and focus on things that are important. Whether Jennie or Kendall are fans of these bands seems like minor point that SJWs use to justify their need for pseudo-outrage. All I know is I want to see BlackPink cover AC/DC's Bad Boy Boogie at Coachella!

From Rolling Stone:
BlackPink had a huge 2018! Their Top 40 EP, Square Up, broke a four-year-old record for highest-charting Korean release by a female act on the Billboard 200. A hit collaboration with Dua Lipa, Kiss and Make Up, has 125 million Spotify streams and entered the Hot 100 singles chart. They created one of the biggest 24-hour debuts on YouTube with Ddu-Du Ddu-Du earning more than 36 million views in its first day out.

BlackPink spent the year making significant mainstream inroads that led to signing with U.S. label, Interscope Records  all without spending a minute promoting in America or singing in English.
March 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When you rock pink Jigglypuff thigh-high boots, you rule the world- Just ask Kim Petras

I'm no judge of footwear, but these are pretty cool boots and not everyone can pull off this look.
German-born pop singer/songwriter Kim Petras set up shop in Los Angeles and has seemingly taken the world by storm. She's built a large fanbase after independently releasing her debut single in 2017, "I Don't Want It at All." This track did very well, topping several charts on Spotify, leading to more music and fans.

She's gone on to release her third EP, a Halloween inspired set of tracks Turn Off the Light. I dig her style and courage to do what she does in her own way. It doesn't hurt that she also talks video games now and then. Clearly, she's no stranger to Jigglypuff.

Kim Petras wearing Jigglypuff boots Kim Petras wearing thigh-high Jigglypuff boots.
Kim Petras wearing Jigglypuff boots Kim Petras wearing thigh-high Jigglypuff boots.

March 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade1Up released a Limited Edition Space Invaders cabinet with an urgency to get it while you can

Arcade1Up Llimited Edition Space Invaders cabinet
With only one version of Space Invaders for the full $299, this seems unrealistic... even if it's touted as Limited Edition.
Arcade1Up Llimited Edition Space Invaders cabinet "Get it while you can" seems to be the under-current to Arcade1Up's Space Invaders release. It's a Walmart exclusive and goes for $299. I was under the impression that the recent Holiday Season taught us the price was too high. I've seen their cabinets marked down at several retailers.

On top of this, the previous cabinets had multiple games (often four) on each cabinet. They refer to it as the Space Invaders 40th anniversary cabinet, but I'm not sure what that means in terms of the product.

On home consoles, I've seen many variations of Space Invaders. Even ones that mimicked the colored overlays seen on some black & white versions to add color to the descending invaders. Offering only a single game seems peculiar considering how the product line was initially launched with multiple games per cabinet.

For Casual Gaming

These 3/4-sized arcade cabinets with 17" screens give a pretty good arcade experience compared to an AtGames Flashback console where the physical gameplay is quite different from the arcade experience. While recent Flashbacks have fewer 'arcade" versions of the games, I liken these two companies in that they both offer gaming products for casual or nostalgic gamers.

I've owned several full-size arcade games at home and they are much different from Arcade1Up's products. 3/4-inch beaverboard makes a much more robust cabinet and the typical 24" monitors are noticeably larger than the 17" screens in the Arcade1Up. There is also the lighted marquees of the original games that offer a lot of visual flair along with the various attract-mode sounds.

If you're shopping around for an Arcade1Up cabinet, do some research. You'll find many of the previously released games reduced to $149. Paying $299 for one game seems counter to the trend. I suspect this is why they are trying to amplify the "Limited Edition" status. Making them seem scarce will drive the price up. These smaller cabinets deliver a lot of arcade fun, but know what you're getting and do your homework on the various options and prices.

Let the hunt begin! Get our limited edition, 40th anniversary Space Invaders cabinet now! This is a limited quantity model for all of our collectors out there. Get it while supplies last. Online, only at Walmart.

February 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

February 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I've never watched RuPaul's Drag Race, but add Miley Cyrus as a guest judge and I'm there

Miley is crazy cool and has a larger-than-life personality that blends into so many different scenarios!
Whether she's Hannah Montana, rocking the stage with Billy Idol, dropping albums, or a judge on The Voice, Miley Cyrus seems unstoppable.

Miley Cyrus was a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race Miley Cyrus was a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race
Miley Cyrus was a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race Miley Cyrus was a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race

February 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink had a big interview in Billboard Magazine and are on the cover - in five variations

These ladies are taking over the world and their start in America is huge.
With a huge interview in Billboard Magazine, BlackPink also made the cover. there is a group photo and four alternate covers each featuring one of the members. You can order the whole thing with all five issues and posters from Billboard as a Box Set.

BlackPink on the cover of Billboard Magazine
February 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Never hop into bed without your Super Mario Bros. PJs from Peter Alexander Sleepwear

This Australian designer started small and quickly went BIG with cool designs and pop culture.
When it comes to pajamas and bedsheets, I'm all about pop culture. Acting your age in bed is ridiculous.Bedtime should inspire fun - all sorts of fun from the carnal to the cartoony... if you get my drift.

I'm not afraid to rock some Star Wars bedsheets and TMNT PJs as part of my sleep ritual. Whenever I see pop culture bedsheets in Queen or King sizes, I know I've stumbled across a kindred spirit. Flintstone bedsheets are not just for kids, they're for anyone with the Yabba Dabba Doo spirit! The same goes for my favorite cartoons on a set of Men's PJs.

Stop being boring and stop caring what anyone else thinks. Most people don't think. So rock some Donkey Kong PJs when you slip into your Teen Titan bedsheets. Go big. Smile Big. And let the haters sleep on white sheets, wearing NFL lounge pants!

We saw these fantastic Nintendo PJs, from Peter Alexander (Men's styles too), on the Ausretrogamer website, so go give him a visit for more retro gaming coolness.

Peter Alexander Sleepwear
February 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Coleco Chameleon debacle to be detailed in a must-read book, Smoke and Mirrors - The Rise And Fall Of A Serial Antipreneur

The Coleco Chameleon book, Smoke and Mirrors - The Rise And Fall Of A Serial Antipreneurs
A legendary scam in the history of video gaming is heading to a book store near you.
I'm very excited for the release of Mike James' book about the Coleco Chameleon's short-lived attempt at becoming a game console. Smoke and Mirrors - The Rise And Fall Of A Serial Antipreneur looks at Mike Kennedy's attempt to fool the world into believing in a non-existent product.

I Wanted To Believe

When I first heard of the Retro VGS, I thought the concept was genius - almost too good to be believed. It was re-imagined as the Chameleon after a licensing deal with Coleco. But something just wasn't right...

Mike Kennedy was know in the gaming world from Game Gavel and Retro Magazine. His brilliant idea began sliding into oblivion. Was he in too deep? Had he mortgaged his life to make this happen? Would he stop at nothing to keep investments alive? It became clear there was nothing he wouldn't do to keep hope alive. Hope died long before the project met it's demise.

The best worst scam in video game history!

It Was Not Believable

Skepticism about the console's progress and viability was met with wild lies, fake images and a Super Nintendo board hidden inside a Jaguar case. The fakery was epic. the lies were bold. This is gong to be a great book!

Author Mike James, first experienced gaming in the late 70s and is the co-founder and co-host of the Retro Gaming Roundup podcast. He's written a 340-page book chronicling the Chameleon's epic failure - a book that was ten years in the making, two years of writing, and based on twenty-three hours of interviews. I can't wait to read this book!

The Coleco Chameleon book, Smoke and Mirrors - The Rise And Fall Of A Serial Antipreneurs Smoke And Mirrors book
February 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink is storming the world and got a nomination on Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards for "Favorite Global Music Star"

Award shows are fairly dreadful, but I still get caught up in the moment.
I've lately become a fan of K-Pop group, BlackPink. Their act is new and different from the mostly stale pop scene in the US. It's also kind of exciting to see a group becoming a success and expanding into new markets. This year BlackPink was invited to co-headline at Coachella and they appeared on The Late Show and Good Morning America. With a limited US tour this Spring, it's cool to see them reaching more and more fans.

I like award shows even though they often turn out to be awful. They offer an interesting look into celebrity. Now that BlackPink is expanding into new countries, they're becoming part of our award show scene. It should be interesting to see how that pans out.

Stoked to see BlackPink's mention in the Kid's Chice awards, I couldn't resist seeing what the categories are. I fear for today's youth.

Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards
Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards
Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards

Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards
Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards

Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards
Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards

February 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The BittBoy handheld video game console has evolved to supporting Game Boy Advance games too

BittBoy supports Game Boy Advance games
The next update to the BittBoy will bring Game Boy Advance compatibility via SD card.
BittBoy supports Game Boy Advance games The second iteration of this crazy little game console has no built-in games this time around. Instead, they've implemented the formerly non-existent SD card slot, letting you add ROMs to your heart's content. Right now the Bittboy supports NES, Game Boy , and Game Boy Color ROMs.

An update is coming that will allow you to add Game Boy Advance games to the device - no soldering. The update is added via SD card. This is an upcoming update. I'm not sure about the timeline for it's delivery.

The small screen on the original BittBoy was really nice. I'm hoping the 2.4" IPS screen on the V2 model will be I bought a BittBoy about a year ago and love it. It's tiny, with a great screen, and stuffed full of 300 (most likely pilfered) NES games. It's a blast, but al the games were bilt in.

It has what looks like an SD card slot, but there's nothing on the PCB for it... just an open slot. Drop in a card and it will rattle around inside until you get out a screw driver and open the unit to retrieve your SD card.

I'm stoked to pick one up once they get the GBA stuff implemented. It fits in a shirt pocket and is more fun than allowed by law.
February 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Looks like the rumors of a Van Halen 2019 tour were misplaced... try some Converse EVH high tops instead

Eddie Van Halen 1978 High Top shoes
No tour. No Album. Soothe your sadness in these stylish EVH 1978 inspired Converse high tops.
Let's face it, The Van Halen brothers don't seem interested in extending their legacy. Eddie releases a signature guitar now and then. They released "A Different Kind Of Truth" in 2012 and reissued their first few albums n 2015 along with a live recording. However, there never seems to be any ongoing momentum.

I'm thankful for each morsel, but each little bit makes me want more. Seeing some of their recent live appearances, Eddie looks stoked to be on stage. So, anyway... You can snag a pair of Eddie Van Halen Converse high tops from the EVH store.

Eddie Van Halen 1978 High Top shoes Eddie Van Halen 1978 High Top shoes feature a live photo of Eddie from Van Halen's first world tour.
Eddie Van Halen 1978 High Top shoes These Eddie Van Halen 1978 High Top shoes commemorate Van Halen's debut album.

The description on the EVH Store:
This commemorative shoe, the 1978 High Top, honoring the occasion of Eddie's groundbreaking debut to the world stage with the release of the first Van Halen album, some 40 years ago. Adding to the growing collection of footwear offered by the EVH brand, the 1978 High Tops are a black and white classic high-top sneaker. The outer side features a live photo of Eddie Van Halen playing guitar on the first world tour, and the inner side of the shoe has 1978 prominently displayed in a circular badge.

The Eddie Van Halen logo appears on both the tongue of the shoe and on the back sole, and the back panel features his signature white with black striped pattern.

Pick up a Shark Guitar while you're at it.
February 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Brian May looked so stoked to be rocking the 2019 Oscars stage

You can't please the Internet, but Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are great films!
I hadn't paid much attention to the Oscars and didn't know Queen was opening the show. By chance I tuned in and caught Queen's set. It was awesome to see how stoked Brian May looked to be rocking out.

I grew up listening to Queen starting with News Of The World. Such an epic band - there's nothing like them these days. Great to see them take the stage.

Queen rocked the 2019 Oscars
February 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

West Of Loathing's simplistic fun made it a great candidate for a physical cartridge release

West Of Loathing
We fell for this humorous game from the first stick-figure!
We jumped at the chance to snag West Of Loathing as a physical release on a cartridge. Limited Run Games came through with this release and offered pre-orders which concluded at the end of August 2018. Fast forward to February 2019 and the cartridge finally arrived ready to play.

An interesting facet to it's release is the delay. Very often LRG Games don't ship immediately as they would from a standard online retailer. They need to reach quotas and finalize a lot of details before the games are even manufactured to cartridges and/or discs. In the case of West Of Loathing, by Asymmetric Publications, there was a significant delay as the developer encountered a personal issue he had to deal with first.

While the delay was frustrating, it shows that not all great games come from large AAA developers. LRG is known for releasing small indie games on physical media, but we don't always realize how small some devs are. In today's gaming landscape, it's important to know that great games can come from lots of smaller places and have the same impact as the "top shelf" at GameStop.

Don't discredit indie games! While we wait for more Nintendo Switch exclusives, delve into the eshop and discover the vast number of indie titles that are an absolute blast! Gaming is about fun and fun comes in all sizes!

West Of Loathing
February 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's icon, Reggie Fils-Aime, retires as Doug Bowser becomes President of Nintendo America

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime
Reggie became the company's most visible employee at Nintendo's annual E3 press conference in 2004!
Reggie Fils-Aime came aboard Nintendo in 2003 as executive vice president of sales and marketing,, later becoming president and chief operating officer in 2006. As president of Nintendo America, Reggie oversaw the launch of the Wii, 3DS, Wii U, and Switch platforms. He will step down as President on April 15th.

My name is Reggie. I'm about kickin' ass. I'm about takin' names and we're about making games.
When we think of the management teams of any large company... how many of them can you name? How many could you pick out of a photo? These high-up officers often seem so far removed from everything, we don't think about them much at all. Reggie was very different. He was visible. He put himself out there for everyone to see.

To me, most corporate officers - those whose titles take the C** format - tend to make millions of dollars and have no meaning to anyone beyond stock holders and board of director members. Reggie broke that mold in Nintendo. He appeared at gamer conferences, on social media, and Nintendo Directs. Gamers knew who he was.

Another facet of many presidents and CEOs is their limited utility. It is often said, folks of this upper echelon have ONE big moment or accomplishment before they are handed millions in bonus pay to simply go away. Reggie oversaw the launch of three very popular Nintendo Game consoles and was a public face in their promotion. That's no small feat.

I'm sad to see him go, since he took such a lead role in PR. I hope he has paved the way for his successor, Bowser (still funny) to have the same gamer-facing role and usher in new innovations in fun! We need more Presidents who aren't afraid to put on a smile and say they're about "kickin' ass!"
February 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you share your hobbies with your kids, share your time too

Share your hobbies with your kids
Spend time, not money. Our week-long staycation brought back some old classics and a few new games.
Every time my son comes to visit, I realize how similar we are in many respects. He's taken on some of my interests, but he always teaches me a few things as well. He's at an age where he has his own Nintendo Switch and chooses games he finds interesting. My influence may be there, but he has a unique taste in video games, which is very cool to see.

I introduced him to West Of Loathing, Horizon Chase Turbo, and Smugglecraft, while he presented Ultimate Chicken Horse, Drawful 2, and Super Smash Bros. We had a blast and this included Paperboy on the NES and Wizard Of Wor on the Atari 800 computer.

Recently, I bought a new rechargeable battery system for Wiimotes - included 2 rechargeable batteries and a charger for two wiimotes. This renewed our interest in the Wii and we promptly dug up Rampage Total Destruction and a slew of Gamecube games. A few false-starts got us back to our favorite Super Monkey Ball game for Gamecube and we were both reliving a great time we shared a few years back.

Its fun to think my son already has gaming memories of games we once loved and now come back to. Mine date back to Yar's Revenge on the Atari 2600 and his go back to his first gaming console - the Wii.

The lesson I learned is sharing hobbies with your kids is great, but combine that with your time. Share your time with your kids. Regardless what you do together, they'll love it more if you spend your time with them. Time is the one thing we can never get back. Spend it wisely :)
February 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Who's The Boss and Soap Actor Katherine Helmond passed away at age 89

Katherine was so good as Mona on Who's The Boss.
It's hard when legends pass. It's hard to watch her various film sand projects knowing she's no longer here. Her legacy will live on. The picture below is from a recent Who's The Boss reunion.

Katherine Helmond at a recent Who's The Boss reunion
February 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Matching a phenomenal milestone with the Beatles caused the Internet to state that Ariana Grande is not The Beatles

Um... OK. In this era, it is not possible for someone to achieve success and enjoy it.
When Ariana Grande's songs held the top three spots on Billboard's Hot100, Billboard pointed out it was a milestone not seen since the Beatles achieved this in 1964. immediately, the Internet lit up with folks complaining that this milestone somehow made her an "honorary" Beatle... or something. People just got enraged.

You don't have to like her music. You don't have to like the Beatles either. But you really can't be mad at either of them for achieving the same Billboard milestone in the ratings. Her success doesn't detract from the Beatles. It's completely separate, but the internet at-large doesn't seem to see it that way.

People need their own space in which to be happy. There's plenty of space for everyone to smile. Don't be a dick! If you're unhappy, bringing someone else down won't change your situation. It just makes you a dick. Again, don't be a dick.

She should drop a cool cover of "Strawberry Fields" :)

Ariana Grande Billboard milestone
February 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My son and I are spending school vacation week catching up with our favorite video games

One week. Too many games. Wish us luck!
We hope everyone has a great week. If you have the week off, we hope you get to a fantastic destination. Perhaps you're staying home like us, in which case... who doesn't love a stay-cation? Play hard and have fun!
February 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I admire Disney's flick, but after "Shake It Up", how can they make a live-action Kim Possible without Bella Thorne?

As a fan of the cartoon, I'm digging Disney's live-action Kim Possible flick!
It is the third Disney Channel Original Movie based on the series, following the 2003 television film A Sitch in Time and the 2005 television film So the Drama. Sadie Stanley and Sean Giambrone star in the film's lead roles. It premiered February 15, 2019, on Disney Channel.

Kim Possible needs an R-rating and Bella Thorne
February 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The GoodBoy Game System teaches Fido chew on his Game Boy... and yours

GoodBoy Game System for dogs
I love dogs, but if my dog chewed my Game Boy... I may be inclined to switch to tropical fish.
My first thought was, "Hey, I'm a gamer. That looks like a fun toy for my dog." The logic is there. You want one more thing in common with your pup. Hey we both like "Game Boy". Yeah.. OK.

So, you're sitting on the couch playing Metroid on your Game Boy and Fido is siting next to you chewing on his BoodBoy Game System chew-toy and the photos coming from this are Instagram gold. You have a Game Boy. Fido has a Game Boy. You're getting likes. Follows. Great comments. One you tag the manufacturer and why not include the guys a @Purina? It's gold and you need to keep up this gaming-dog theme. The Net is loving it.

You're training your dog to eat your game consoles.
Then I began thinking. This is the conversation discussed around the conference room table when the marketing guys met with the production team and everyone was sold on this "gaming dog" concept. People love video games. People love dogs. Lets do this!

Next thing you know, you're buying this thing at PetSmart.

Here's the reality. Remember when you were a toddler and you had a Fisher Price Tablet, just like Daddy's iPad. You felt that bond, but you knew what you really wanted. Your tablet is nifty, but you wanted that iPad. Fido is the same. Your dog knows he got the lame end of the Game Boy scenario.

Sure his is fluffy and sometimes you hide treats in it, but he sees your Game Boy. Your Nintendo Game Boy.... and one day you're going to leave the house and Fido is going to seek out YOUR Game Boy. That fluffy one leaves fuzz in his mouth and the one you have makes way more sounds.

That fun dog-toy you bought did nothing but train your dog to ea your Game Boy.

GoodBoy Game System for dogs The GoodBoy Game System for dogs.
GoodBoy Game System for dogs The GoodBoy Game System for dogs.

February 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited Run Games has a physical release of Oddworld Stranger's Wrath for PS3

Oddworld Stranger's Wrath for PS3
This Xbox original has graced many platforms and now comes to PlayStation 3 as a physical release.
Oddworld Stranger's Wrath for PS3 If you missed this game on the Ouya... now's your chance! Yes, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath appeared on their once functional online storefront. But have no fears, Limited Run Games is bringing a physical version of the game to PlayStation 3.

I love what LRG does. Bringing indie digital games to those of us who love the tactile permanence of physical video games is a labor of love. When I discovered them, they were catering to the PS4 and Vita platforms. Switch was added and I was delighted. Now they are taking an interesting turn and releasing a PS3 game.

I've done a bit of digging around and I can't figure out why this is a PS3 release when when it's spanned so many platforms. It has not had a PS4 digital release, so perhaps the reasoning is to go ahead and release the physical version for the PS3. At the same time, I believe the manufacturers actually create the game discs.

Does Sony still want to make PS3 games? This seems like a pretty small run for an older platform when Sony is busy confusing us about PS5 backward compatibility scenarios. So, anyway... Drop by the LRG site if you want a physical copy of Oddworld Stranger's Wrath for your PS3.

Wikipedia game description:
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is an action-adventure video game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox. Music for the game was written by composer Michael Bross. It was released on January 25, 2005. The game details the adventures of Stranger, a fearsome bounty hunter.

The premise of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is that the player's character, called the Stranger, must capture wanted outlaws, dead or alive. The game utilizes both third and first-person perspectives. In third person, the player controls Stranger when travelling long distance, platform jumping, rope climbing, and melee combat; and in first person, ranged weapons are used.
February 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
No jewelry. No flowers. Just video games!
February 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

An hour after today's Nintendo Direct, it's nice to see so many Nintendo topics trending on Twitter

Toys R Us resurgence by former management as TRU Kids Brands
I'm liking the co-op fighting in Astral Chain and the demolition derby option in Realistic Racing.
Nintendo Direct trending on Twitter Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019 • Nintendo Direct: February 13, 2019
February 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Monday's press release touts a Toys R Us resurgence by former management as TRU Kids Brands

Toys R Us resurgence by former management as TRU Kids Brands
Even if they pull this off, you'll only find retail locations in select areas. Being huge takes time and money - lots of both!
Toys R Us resurgence by former management as TRU Kids Brands After tales of Geoffrey's Toy Box pop-up shops in Krogers and other locations, I began to wonder what a Toys R Us resurgence would entail. I can think of a half-dozen Starbucks within a mile or so of my job. I live in a fairly remote area that isn't often the target of retailers setting up shop. None the less, we did have a local Toys R Us.

Apparently the new company, TRU Kids Brands, rose from former properties and trademarks of Toys R Us with right to develop new stores. Headquartered in New Jersey, a recent press release laid out TRU Kids Brands as a parent company to Toys R Us and Babies R Us, among others. They slyly hint at a "comeback" by next holiday season. We shall see.

Even if they bounced back tomorrow, building out retail stores would be a long process.
In the months after going into bankruptcy, I felt the management team did very little to save the company. They approved large "retention bonuses" for key players and let the company fade away. I think they let it go to shed some baggage in order to restart. So, it's no surprise that previous management are part of the new TRU Kids Brands.

Not The Toys R Us You Remember

Over the last few years, the former TRU built up a lot of bad will among toy manufacturers who went unpaid as the product they had shipped to TRU was sold for pennies on the dollar during liquidation. That was a liquidation of over 700 US stores. And now they're back?

Even if this comes to fruition, you're not likely to see a TRU Kids store in your area. Expansion would be slow. My area would likely not see a location open up for years. I loved Toys R US. I grew up with them and so did my son. This resurrection is alluring, but I wonder if they can come back and still offer a wide breadth of merchandise. Their wide array of toys was what kept my attention. I doubt this new incarnation would offer such breadth.

Despite skepticism, I'd like to see them return in a profitable and beneficial manner. However, we heard the same news about Kay Bee Toys and then... nothing. Time will tell...
February 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pat Contri's “Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library 1991 - 1998” was funded day-one on Kickstarter

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library
This book documents the SNES game library much like it's predecessor, showcasing NES games in a similar format.
As a defining console of the 90's it's cool to have a visual resource for every game that makes up that era on the SNES. Books like this are equally important from a preservation and historical perspective. Containing info about each game with reviews/opinions, it becomes a valuable addition to retro gaming!

Browse through the sample pages posted on the Ultimate Nintendo kickstarter campaign and see if this is something you want to add to your Library. It's available in digital formt and hardcover book. The NES volume is available on Amazon if you missed it.

From the Ultimate Nintendo Kickstarter:
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library 1991-1998 is the follow-up to the acclaimed Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 1985-1995. Like that first book, this sequel will examine the game library of a legendary Nintendo console - the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This 450+ page book will cover the nearly 800 games officially released in North America and PAL territories during the console's lifespan.
February 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ava Max gets sweet but psycho at the arcade

Ava Max with NBA Jam and a Pac-Man multicade at a vintage arcade.
American singer/songwriter Ava Max's breakthrough hit was "Sweet But Psycho" released in August 2018. Citing influences from Fergie to Britney Spears, her sound and lyrics seem destined to bring success. Can't wait to see a full length album from her.

Ava Max at the arcade
February 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is a Belgian-style beer likely to pair well with retro gaming

When the onslaught of descending invaders get's to be too much, here's a brew to restore your retro gaming valor.
From the Shorts Brewing website:
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is a Belgian-style Double IPA brewed with Australian Galaxy hops. The nose is an impressive dank blend of citrus aromas reminiscent of guava and lemons, very green and fresh with subtle Belgian yeast esters. An intense clean bitterness dominates the flavor profile with little malt character to compete with. A slight, fruity yeast sweetness is noticeable in the finish alongside a resounding bitterness.

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster beer

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster beer
February 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro Fighters continue innovating the way we play video games, with a modern Sega Dreamcast controller

Retro Fighters Sega Dreamcast controller
Their modern controllers for vintage game consoles brings an amazing update to how we play!
No sooner had my Retro Fighters N64 controller appeared... I discover they've been hard at work on a modernized Dreamcast controller. They just rolled out their latest Kickstarter campaign and it's already funded! Expect a new way to interact with your favorite Dreamcast games.

I own their modernized controllers for the NES and N64. Both are rugged, well-built controllers than enable me to play longer and alter the way I want to play individual games. The ergonomics alone are impressive when I think back on all the various third-party controllers I've tried over the years. I'd jump on any controller they develop!

Their attention to detail often takes a small facet and makes it better. For example,s the controller cord now comes off the top of the controller. It's the little things that add up to a big win! Check out their Next Gen Dreamcast Controller Kickstarter campaign for all the details. See if this modern ergonomic controller is right for you.

Retro Fighters Sega Dreamcast controller
From the Retro Fighters Next Gen Dreamcast Controller Kickstarter:
We wanted to make a new ergonomic controller for one of our favorite consoles of all time, the Sega Dreamcast! We changed some things to make the Dreamcast controller more ergonomic and comfortable in design. The controller features a more modern two handle grip.

The shape of the controller is very comfortable and fits naturally in both hands with easy access to all the buttons. We added NEW additional shoulder buttons (perfect for fighting games) and triggers, so you can adapt controls according to the game you are playing. Very responsive and comfortable larger sized D-pad. We also added an ultra fast Turbo function to help get you to the next level!

Full functionality of the Visual Memory Units (VMUs) and Vibration Packs (Jump Packs).
February 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you missed the Toejam & Earl Kickstarter campaign, Limited Run Games will get you Back In The Groove

Toejam & Earl Back In The Groove
There are two sets of release dates regarding Toejam & Earl Back In The Groove.
We recently noted that Toejam & Earl was heading for a March 1 release - and i still is. However, I believe that's for the Kickstarter backers. I'm not sure if that is a delivery or the day they begin shipping, but they seem firm on March first. But what about the rest of us? We want it too!

Limited Run Games has your back! They are offering an open pre-order for the standard Switch and PS4 games and a limited run of Colector Editions. Get ready for Feb 15th if you missed the Kickstarter campaign!

February 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Those angry at Grammy "In Memoriam" exclusions miscalculate how many musicians passed last year

Super Game Module 2 evolution
The Grammys website lists 753 deaths, but can't give each of them TV time.
Social media rage lit up this morning as metal fanatics were angry about Vinnie Paul's omission from the "In Memoriam" segment of the televised Grammy awards show. Metal and Rock and Roll have always had a tenuous relationship with the Grammys - the genres are almost completely ignored while many other diverse genres of music are celebrated. But when it came to ignoring the great Vinnie Paul... the net wasn't having it!

However, these metal maniacs with good intention, neglected to realize how many people we really lose each year. It's staggering! The show tries to highlight some and scroll through the names of others, but it's not possible to give tribute to each one.

Claims that the Grammys ignored or didn't care were unfounded if you look at the listing of names on their website: Recording Academy Remembers Those We Lost | GRAMMY In Memoriam. When you see the listing of 753 music industry deaths over the past year, you see why they can't include them all during the televised broadcast.

At the same time, it's the responsibility of the Grammys to represent the varied genres of music, not dictate them. There's plenty of room to represent rock and roll and Heavy Metal!

Members of the music community who we lost in 20182019

  1. José Antonio Abreu
  2. Theo Adam
  3. Rusty Adams
  4. Graciela Agudelo
  5. Andie Airflix
  6. Joel Alanís
  7. Xiomara Alfaro
  8. Maartin Allcock
  9. Marty Allen
  10. Paul Allen
  11. Sammy Allred
  12. Barbara Ann Alston
  13. John Amirante
  14. Bill Amonette
  15. Eddy Amoo
  16. Clarence "Casey" Anderson
  17. Roberto Angleró Pepín
  18. Rayburn Anthony
  19. Khaira Arby
  20. Neil Argo
  21. Gerald Q. Arthur
  22. Robert Arthur
  23. Lys Assia
  24. Charles Aznavour
  25. Roy Bailey
  26. Winston "Shadow" Bailey
  27. Kenny Baker
  28. Balabhaskar
  29. Marty Balin
  30. Kaye Ballard
  31. Tommy Banks
  32. Rim Banna
  33. Dale Barclay
  34. Mamane Barka
  35. John Perry Barlow
  36. Yigal Bashan
  37. Stu Basore
  38. Richard Bateman
  39. Gary Beach
  40. Howell Begle
  41. Cody Belgard
  42. Delia Bell
  43. Max Bennett
  44. John T. Benson III
  45. Tim Bergling aka Avicii
  46. Franz Beyer
  47. Arun Bhaduri
  48. Vicente Bianchi
  49. David Bianco
  50. Roberto Bianco
  51. Edwin Birdsong
  52. Shane Bisnett
  53. Big Bill Bissonnette
  54. Mike Blackburn
  55. Troy Blakely
  56. Santos Blanco
  57. José Andrés Blanco aka Blanquito Man
  58. Paul Bloch
  59. HAimet Bluiett
  60. Steve Bogie Bogdanovich
  61. Jack Boles
  62. Ponty Bone
  63. Greg Bonham
  64. Shirley Boone
  65. Inge Borkh
  66. Neal Boyd
  67. Scott Boyer
  68. Harold Bradley
  69. Glenn Branca
  70. Nick Breed
  71. Allan Bregman
  72. Fletcher Bright
  73. Alex Brown
  74. Maxine Brown
  75. Reuben Brown
  76. Brian Browne
  77. Jason Browning
  78. Colin Brumby
  79. Anshel Brusilow
  80. Alexander "Blender" Buchanan
  81. Rolf Budde
  82. Gary Burden
  83. Bill Burkette
  84. Jim Burns
  85. Roger V. Burton
  86. Blanche Burton-Lyles
  87. Don Bustany
  88. Henry Butler
  89. Ariel Bybee
  90. Montserrat Caballé
  91. Bill Caddick
  92. Jim Caine
  93. Tony Calder
  94. Tim Calvert
  95. George Cameron
  96. Tony Camillo
  97. Carmen Campagne
  98. Dorothy Campbell
  99. Doug Campbell
  100. Eddie C. Campbell
  101. Ace Cannon
  102. Tito Capobianco
  103. Jim Caradine
  104. Mary Carlisle
  105. Jeff Carlton
  106. Roy Carr
  107. Judy Carrier
  108. Mike Carroll
  109. Dawn Carter
  110. Jorge Casas
  111. David Cavanagh
  112. C. Gil Cawood
  113. Ndugu Chancler
  114. Tim Chandler
  115. Carol Channing
  116. Kak Channthy
  117. Don Cherry
  118. Jerry Chesnut
  119. Siva Choy
  120. George Christie
  121. Barry Chuckle
  122. Brandon Church
  123. Frank Cipra
  124. Stelvio Cipriani
  125. Roger Clark
  126. Roy Clark
  127. "Fast" Eddie Clarke
  128. Eddy Clearwater
  129. Dan Cleary
  130. Laurence Cleary
  131. Buzz Clifford
  132. Paul Clipson
  133. Angelica Cob-Baehler
  134. Lorrie Collins
  135. Hubert Cooke
  136. Nelson Cooke
  137. Ray Cooper
  138. Bruce Corbitt
  139. Jack "Mr. Bongo" Costanzo
  140. William Wirt Courtney
  141. Johnny Cowell
  142. Peter "Mars" Cowling
  143. Steve Coy
  144. Anthony Cruz
  145. Pete Cummings
  146. Larry Cunningham
  147. Paul Curcio
  148. Ben Daglish
  149. Jeffrey Lee Dalton
  150. Vic Damone
  151. Windu Andi Darmawan
  152. Akilah DaSilva
  153. Arthur Davies
  154. Ivan Davis
  155. John Davis
  156. Little Sammy Davis
  157. Nathan Davis
  158. Emanuel Dean
  159. Merle Debuskey
  160. Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet
  161. Michael DeFosche
  162. Refugio "Cuco" Del Cid
  163. Del Delker
  164. Mike Denneen
  165. June Denny
  166. Carlos Denogean
  167. André Di Cesare
  168. Evio Di Marzo
  169. Tom Diaz
  170. David DiChiera
  171. Matt Dike
  172. Dennis Dixon
  173. Ken Dodd
  174. Kim Dong-yoon
  175. Larry Keith Doolittle
  176. Lorna Doom
  177. Bob Dorough
  178. John L. Downs
  179. Patrick Doyle
  180. Oliver Dragojevic
  181. Daryl Dragon
  182. Saul "Sy" Dresner
  183. Ronald Dunbar
  184. Paul Lustig Dunkel
  185. Jim Dunlop Sr.
  186. Edward Easter
  187. Dennis Edwards
  188. Nokie Edwards
  189. Gene Eichelberger
  190. Shawn Elliott
  191. Jody Ellis
  192. Harlan Ellison
  193. Roy Ember
  194. Geoff Emerick
  195. Phil Emmanuel
  196. Lenore Engdahl
  197. Scott English
  198. Yvonne Ervin
  199. Terry Evans
  200. Nanette Fabray
  201. Brien Fain
  202. Harold Farberman
  203. Helen Farmer
  204. Jimmy Farrar
  205. Josh Fauver
  206. Jordan Feldstein
  207. Grant Fell
  208. Brian Ferriman
  209. Helmut Fest
  210. Alvin Fielder
  211. Lin Folk
  212. Claudia Fontaine
  213. D.J. Fontana
  214. Dean Ford
  215. Mark Ford
  216. Rob Fortney
  217. Sonny Fortune
  218. Mark Fosson
  219. Clarence Fountain
  220. Rick Fowler
  221. Hardy Fox
  222. Richard Frank
  223. Jerry Frankel
  224. Aretha Franklin
  225. Kevin Fret
  226. Andrew Frierson
  227. Dominic Frontiere
  228. Mikio Fujioka
  229. Bob Fuller
  230. Irwin Gage
  231. Renaud Gagneux
  232. Sarah Gaines
  233. France Gall
  234. Lucho Gatica
  235. Jeremy Geffen
  236. Mark Genfan
  237. Bonaldo Giaiotti
  238. Richard Gill
  239. Norman Gimbel
  240. Harold Goad
  241. Pete Goble
  242. Andy Goessling
  243. Jonathan Gold
  244. Otoniel Gonzaga
  245. Jerry González
  246. Marcelo "Chino" González
  247. Pedro "Perico" González Lino
  248. Jimmy Gonzalez
  249. Freddie Goodhart
  250. Lorraine Gordon
  251. Ron Grant
  252. Ben Graves
  253. Paul Gray
  254. Urbie Green
  255. Don Grierson
  256. Ross Grierson
  257. Jean Guillou
  258. Bonnie Guitar
  259. Enoch Zu Guttenberg
  260. Gary Haisman
  261. Carol Hall
  262. Dave Hall
  263. Rick Hall
  264. Bill Hamel
  265. Charles Hamlen
  266. Earla Harding
  267. Duane S. Hargis
  268. Roy Hargrove
  269. Barbara Harris
  270. Gary Harris
  271. Larry Harris
  272. Neil Harris
  273. Mike Harrison
  274. Freddie Hart
  275. Marc Hauser
  276. Al Hawkes
  277. Edwin Hawkins
  278. George Hawkins Jr.
  279. Eric Haydock
  280. Hairl Hensley
  281. Oli Herbert
  282. Héctor Everzon Hernández aka Samurai
  283. Kelso Herston
  284. Bill Hicks
  285. Jacques Higelin
  286. Bob Higgins
  287. Theresa Hightower
  288. Tony Hiller
  289. Jimmy Hills
  290. Algia Mae Hinton
  291. Jon Hiseman
  292. Richard Hoopii
  293. Chas Hodges
  294. Irwin Hoffman
  295. Bret Hoffmann
  296. Leonard Hollifeld
  297. Joseph "Jo Jo" Hoo Kim
  298. Jeff Hooker
  299. Brian Henry Hooper
  300. Katherine Hoover
  301. Jerry Hopkins
  302. Yvette Horner
  303. Seth Howard
  304. John Hsu
  305. Alfred Hubay
  306. Sid Hudson
  307. Ronn Huff
  308. Richard Hundley
  309. Tab Hunter
  310. Scott Hutchison
  311. Søren Hyldgaard
  312. Madalena Iglésias
  313. Dan Ingram
  314. James Ingram
  315. Navid Izadi
  316. Joe Jackson
  317. Al James
  318. Hank Janney
  319. Jill Janus
  320. Joseph Jarman
  321. Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett
  322. Boyd Jarvis
  323. Ricky Jay
  324. Gloria Jean
  325. Brandon Jenkins
  326. Terry Jennings
  327. Marian Jewell
  328. Jóhann Jóhannsson
  329. Nick John
  330. Billy Johnson
  331. Dennis Johnson
  332. Pamela Joy Johnson
  333. Michael Wayne Jones
  334. Mickey Jones
  335. Spencer P. Jones
  336. Theodore Jones aka Young Greatness
  337. James Jordan
  338. John Joubert
  339. Nikolay Kaufman
  340. Brian Kellow
  341. Mike Kennedy
  342. Ed Kenney Jr.
  343. Brooks Kerr
  344. Kato Khandwala
  345. Ras Kimono
  346. Clydie King
  347. Ed King
  348. Morgana King
  349. Ralph A. King
  350. Tony Kinman
  351. Danny Kirwan
  352. George Klein
  353. Johnny Kline
  354. Nick Knox
  355. Tom Knox
  356. Oliver Knussen
  357. Iosif Kobzon
  358. Steve Kocour
  359. Takehisa Kosugi
  360. Beth Krakower
  361. M. William Krasilovsky
  362. Leah LaBelle
  363. Bert LaBour
  364. Francis Lai
  365. Jake Landers
  366. Tim Landers
  367. Honey Lantree
  368. Dona Ivone Lara
  369. Felipe de LaRosa
  370. Denise LaSalle
  371. Billy Ray Latham
  372. Trent LeClaire
  373. Mike Ledbetter
  374. Stan Lee
  375. Mike Leech
  376. Ted LeGarde
  377. Michel Legrand
  1. Leslie "Lazy" Lester
  2. Miggie Lewis
  3. Polly Lewis
  4. Stan Lewis
  5. Tommie Lewis
  6. Shaun Lewis aka Stormin
  7. Collins Leysath aka DJ Ready Red
  8. Les Lieber
  9. Horst Liepolt
  10. Devin Lima
  11. Dionisio Lind
  12. Erik Lindmark
  13. Michael Lindsey
  14. Siegfried Linkwitz
  15. Wilma Lipp
  16. Roberto Livi
  17. Didier Lockwood
  18. Jeff Loeffelholz
  19. Pat Long
  20. Alan Longmuir
  21. Ellen Joyce Loo
  22. Jesús López-Cobos
  23. Garry Lowe
  24. Reggie Lucus
  25. Stewart Lupton
  26. Jason "J-Sin" Luttrell
  27. Rebecca Lynch
  28. Alfred Lynn aka Allah Real
  29. Galt MacDermot
  30. Wade Macey
  31. Craig MacGregor
  32. Craig Mack
  33. Suzanne MacNary
  34. Johnny Maddox
  35. Arthur Maia
  36. Dominick Maita
  37. Jean-Claude Malgoire
  38. Robbie Malinga
  39. James Mallinson
  40. Jim Malloy
  41. Hansjorg Malonek
  42. Stephen A. Mandell
  43. C.K. Mann
  44. Ellie Mannette
  45. Angela Maria
  46. Rose Marie
  47. Kenny Marks
  48. Matt Marks
  49. Gustavo Marquez
  50. Raúl Marrero
  51. Eric Marshall
  52. Penny Marshall
  53. Josh Martin
  54. Vince Martin
  55. Debi Martini
  56. Eddie Mascolo
  57. Hugh Masekela
  58. Draylen Mason
  59. Andrew Massey
  60. Joe Masteroff
  61. Joseíto Mateo
  62. Timmy Matley
  63. Joseph Maus
  64. Michael Mavrolas
  65. Jan Maxwell
  66. Mayra Mayra
  67. Marin Mazzie
  68. Robert "Kooster" McAllister
  69. "Big Tom" McBride
  70. Lisa McCay
  71. George McCeney
  72. George McCormick
  73. Malcolm "Mac Miller" McCormick
  74. Pilar McCurry
  75. Hugh McDowell
  76. Christine McGuire
  77. Don McGuire
  78. Ted McKenna
  79. Tom McKinney
  80. Van McLain
  81. Allyn Ann McLerie
  82. Jon James McMurray
  83. Trevor McNaughton
  84. Big Jay McNeely
  85. Victor Mecyssne
  86. Sam Mehran
  87. Fabio Melanitto
  88. László Melis
  89. Heather Menzies-Urich
  90. Floyd Miles
  91. Blue Miller
  92. Clarence "Count Prince" Miller
  93. Seo Minwoo
  94. Linda ProKid Mkhize
  95. Liliane Montevecchi
  96. Thom Moore
  97. Carlos Morean
  98. Wilson Moreira
  99. Patricia Morison
  100. Audrey Morris
  101. John Morris
  102. Alfred Morris III
  103. Johnny Mosby
  104. Oliver Mtukudzi
  105. Colin Michael Mulhern
  106. Brian Murphy
  107. Matt "Guitar" Murphy
  108. Willie Murphy
  109. Melton Mustafa
  110. Janka Nabay
  111. Queeneth Ndaba
  112. Buell Neidlinger
  113. Joe F. Neil
  114. Madeleine Yayodele Nelson
  115. Charles Neville
  116. Calvin Newborn
  117. Steve "Grizzly" Nisbett
  118. James "Nick" Nixon
  119. Jalal Mansur Nuriddin
  120. Russell Nype
  121. John O'Daniel
  122. Jackson Odell
  123. Kenny O'Dell
  124. Abi Ofarim
  125. Liam O'Flynn
  126. Ayub Ogada
  127. Baba Oje
  128. Herb O'Mell
  129. Jahseh Onfroy aka XXXTentacion
  130. Dolores O'Riordan
  131. Geoffrey Oryema
  132. Joe Osborn
  133. Mike Owens
  134. Hisashi Ozaki
  135. Cano Ozgener
  136. Bert Padell
  137. Cyril Pahinui
  138. Marlene Palmer
  139. Aldo Parisot
  140. Gaile Foote Parks
  141. Rebecca Parris
  142. Floyd Parton
  143. Vinnie Paul
  144. Kyle Pavone
  145. "Sunshine" Sonny Payne
  146. Alan R. Pearlman
  147. Danny Pearson
  148. Maurice Peress
  149. Francisco Jesús Pérez Cuevas aka Paco Luna
  150. Tom Perryman
  151. Stacy Phillips
  152. Steve Phillips
  153. Pat Pipolo
  154. Eugene Pitt
  155. Robert Plotnik
  156. Billy Poe
  157. Augusto Polo Campos
  158. Anca Pop
  159. Royce Porter
  160. Peter Posa
  161. J. Lyman Potts
  162. Maria Dolores Pradera
  163. Terence Prejean aka Big T
  164. Carlos Puig Premión
  165. Ronnie Prophet
  166. Felton Pruett
  167. Frank "Killjoy" Pucci
  168. Rico J. Puno
  169. M. Awal Bani Purbani
  170. Charlie Quintana
  171. Mowzey Radio
  172. Charlotte Rae
  173. Melvin Ragin aka Wah Wah Watson
  174. Joe Rainey
  175. Randy Rampage
  176. James Randolph
  177. Tom Rapp
  178. Liza Redfield
  179. Rusty Reed
  180. Maurice Reedus Jr. aka Sax Man
  181. Eddie Reeves
  182. Russ Regan
  183. Herb Remington
  184. Burt Reynolds
  185. John Reynolds
  186. Kenneth Reynolds
  187. Wes Rineer
  188. Jerry Riopelle
  189. Steve Ripley
  190. Jimmy Robinson
  191. Perry Robinson
  192. Richard Robinson
  193. Jim Rodford
  194. Norm Rogers
  195. Philip Roth
  196. Zeno Roth
  197. Glen Roven
  198. Dave Rowland
  199. Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  200. Chuck Rubin
  201. Arthur B. Rubinstein
  202. Roswell Rudd
  203. Otis Rush
  204. Rukmana Ujang Rustam
  205. Ira Sabin
  206. Chingiz Sadykhov
  207. Hideki Saijo
  208. Daniel Sais
  209. Albert Saladin
  210. Billy Sammeth
  211. Ronnie Samoset
  212. Fredo Santana
  213. Ralph Santolla
  214. Leo Sarkisian
  215. Conway Savage
  216. Ray Sawyer
  217. Sherytha Scaife
  218. Harvey Schmidt
  219. David Schober
  220. Heinz Jakob "Coco" Schumann
  221. Glenn Schwartz
  222. Caleb Scofield
  223. Randy Scruggs
  224. Les Sears
  225. David Sebring
  226. Curly Seckler
  227. Wayne Secrest
  228. Elisa Serna
  229. Albert Serrano
  230. Gretchen Serrao
  231. Walter Settles Jr.
  232. Whitey Shafer
  233. Ntozake Shange
  234. Preston Shannon
  235. Ben Sharpa
  236. Eddie Shaw
  237. Carole Shelley
  238. Pete Shelley
  239. Mark Shelton
  240. Gayle Shepherd
  241. Noam Sheriff
  242. G.G. Shinn
  243. Jon Sholle
  244. Herman Sikumbang
  245. Greg Sill
  246. Tara Simmons
  247. Lowrell Simon
  248. Neil Simon
  249. Edward Simons
  250. Bill Sims Jr.
  251. Samina Sindhu
  252. Daryle Singletary
  253. John Sippel
  254. Milan kampa
  255. Jahvante Smart aka Smoke Dawg
  256. Hazel Smith
  257. Joel Smith
  258. Mark E. Smith
  259. Glenn Snoddy
  260. Russ Solomon
  261. Steve Soto
  262. Don Sowards
  263. Sridevi
  264. Tomasz Stako
  265. Yvonne Staples
  266. John "Jabo" Starks
  267. Lovebug Starski
  268. Dave Stein
  269. Jacqueline Steiner
  270. Jonathan Sternberg
  271. Guy Stevenson
  272. Jimmy Stewart
  273. Buster Stiggs
  274. Steve Stone
  275. Joseph Stonestreet
  276. Alan Stout
  277. Bruce Nelson Stratton
  278. Neil Stretcher
  279. Johnny Strike
  280. Peter Stringfellow
  281. Joe Sullivan
  282. Richard Swift
  283. Jay Switzer
  284. Sanford Sylvan
  285. Rachid Taha
  286. Tony Taño
  287. Cecil Taylor
  288. Joe Taylor
  289. Lonnie "Lil Lonnie" Taylor
  290. Mike "Beard Guy" Taylor
  291. Moriss Taylor
  292. Glen Telford
  293. Ernie Thacker
  294. Phil Thomas
  295. Ray Thomas
  296. Fay Jennings Thompson
  297. Sonia Thompson
  298. Billy ThunderKloud
  299. Steve Thurman
  300. Wesley Tinglin
  301. Pat Torpey
  302. David Tower
  303. Doreen Tracey
  304. Michael Tree
  305. John Trout
  306. Jabulani Tsambo aka Hip Hop Pantsula
  307. Chris Tsangarides
  308. Dan Tshanda
  309. Bill Turpin
  310. Nitin Vadukal
  311. Jorge Valenzuela
  312. Alexander Vedernikov
  313. Pedro Ramírez Velazquez
  314. Joseph Vella
  315. Marlene VerPlanck
  316. Rita Vidaurri
  317. Rafael Viera
  318. Leana Villarreal
  319. John Von Ohlen
  320. Jeff Vonn Hooker
  321. Roger Vorce
  322. Bill Wagner
  323. Marcin "Valeo" Walenczykowski
  324. George Walker
  325. Frances Walker-Slocum
  326. Larry Waltman
  327. Lawrence Waltman
  328. Gene Wardell
  329. Harry Warner
  330. Pam Warren aka Pam The Funkstress
  331. Thayer Washer
  332. Bill Watrous
  333. C.J. Watson
  334. Ensayne Wayne
  335. Dean Webb
  336. Herman Webb
  337. Earl Webster
  338. Ron Weed
  339. Michael Weiley
  340. Charles Weldon
  341. Linda Westbrook
  342. Randy Weston
  343. Paul Whaley
  344. Billy Wheeler
  345. Lari White
  346. Tony Joe White
  347. Wesla Whitfield
  348. Brendon "Alias" Whitney
  349. John Wicks
  350. Freddy Wieland
  351. Jerry Wiggins
  352. Oki Wijaya
  353. Wanda Wikomirska
  354. Dick Williams
  355. Harless "Tootie" Williams
  356. Jody Williams
  357. Patrick Williams
  358. Betty Jane Willis
  359. Eddie Willis
  360. James Calvin Wilsey
  361. Chris Wilson
  362. Nancy Wilson
  363. Olly Wilson
  364. Sam Wilson
  365. Les Woodie
  366. Jimmy Wopo
  367. James "Big Jim" Wright
  368. Roy Wunsch
  369. Izzy Young
  370. Pegi Young
  371. Reggie Young
  372. Todd Youth
  373. Craig Zadan
  374. David Zard
  375. Jimi Zhivago
  376. Igor Zhukov

On a lighter note... the duet between Dua Lipa and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) was a cool highlight.

Dua Lipa and Annie Clark
February 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Opcode Games bridges the upcoming Colecovision Super Game Module 2 with their Omni game console

Super Game Module 2 evolution
The next update to the Super Game Module has a new-format cartridge slot!
I just signed up for Opcode's Super Game Module 2 Early Adopter newsletter and received some pretty cool insights about the upcoming module. I signed up via a Facebook mobile post, so I don't believe it's the same as the sign up on their Opcode website. As of this writing, the site doesn't seem to have been updated since 2017! They seem to be handling news via email newsletter and selling games on the AtariAge store. Not sure about the status of their website.

Super Game Module 2 diagram I've had a Super Game Module for about a year and the games are terrific. I can play my existing Colecovision games or SGM enhanced games in the colecovision's native cartridge slot. This changes with the second iteration of this hardware.

The SGM 2 has three components: The SGM 2 module (with unique format cartridge slot), SGM2/OMNI game cartridges, and the Super Game Controller. Development of the SGM 2 seems concurrent with the OMNI game console.

The big change is two-fold. The SGM 2 has a unique cartridge slot designed for SGM2 and OMNI games. The SGM 2 uses the same game carts as it's upcoming Omni game console. This means you can purchase the SGM 2 for your existing Colecovision console or buy the new OMNI console to play those same games. Keep in mind the older Coleco games will not play via the SGM2 or OMni.

This is an example of forward compatibility as far as the SGM 2's relation with the OMNI. Any SGM 1 games you own will play properly with the SGM 2, but of course you'll place those games into the Colecovision's cartridge slot, not the SGM2.

Super Game Controller

I've equally disliked both Intellivison and Colecovision controllers. The integration of the keypad and position of firing buttons is what ruins is for me. Side-mounted buttons don't agree with me. The OMNI will have a custom controller, as on would expect. The cool factor is it can also be used with the controller port on the SGM 2.

From what I read, the same controller works on the SGM 2 and OMNI, however the SGM 2 requires a different connector. It would stand to reason a new console would employ SB-style controller ports, but why not put that kind on the SGM 2?

Maybe there's just an adapter you need for the OMNI controller to attach it to the SGM 2. My other question is about the number of ports... does the SGM have 2 controller ports? More details will follow from Opcode as the system progresses.

It looks like the OMNI will be going through it's final paces of completion in late Summer 2019. More info coming in their next newsletter.
February 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

In a sea of candidates, only one stands out from the crowd - vote for Beavis & Butthead 2020

Let there be TP for everyone's bunghole!
Elect Beavis and Butthead 2020 If you're as fed up with politics as we are, this t-shirt may appeal to you. In a world of broken promises, only one candiate can guarantee TP. You can snag this t-shirt at The Dude Tees.

The presidential election is nearly two years away and already we're mired in candidates, controversy, and criminal indictments. The jailing of Trump's closest allies is outpacing the number of Democratic entries into the fray. It's enough to solidify the notion that politics is a gig best suited for bottom-feeding scumbags.

For the most part this seems true, with some notable exceptions. Political life is rife with corruption - both big and small. It's incredible that no one seems capable of creating a government that doesn't foster crime of all kinds.

Maybe the way to escape the madness is to remember past times when the humorous simplicity of two kids made more sense than the majority of elected officials.
February 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

James Cameron's follow up to T2 has a working title - Terminator Dark Fate

We're fully stoked for this movie despite the internet's strong desire to hate everything.
The upcoming Terminator movie go a working title - Terminator Dark Fate. The next chapter in the Terminator franchise will take us back to the original Cameron storyline from Terminator to Terminator 2, where Dark Fate will evolve.

I have yet to encounter a Terminator film I didn't like. Some are better than others, but I've liked the deviations they've taken with the story. As with any Terminator release, I'm hoping it will be loved and adored and thus generate a toy line and video game tie-in. It's been a while since we've had a Terminator video game. We need this to change. Perhaps Cameron at the helm and the promise of a storyline following one of the best movies in the series will do the trick.

Terminator Dark Fate
February 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I picked up my Limited Run Games' release of Super Meatboy through a Best Buy pre-order today

Super Meatboy for Nintendo Switch
Unable to fit Super Meatboy into their release schedule, LRG let Best Buy fulfill the orders. That seemed to work well.
Super Meatboy is the follow up to the original Flash game made in 2008. So, Meatboy has been around for quite a while and has appeared on several platforms - Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, and now on the Nintendo Switch.

Brought to market by Limited Run Games, they weren't going to be able to deliver it in a timely manner due to other games they are working on. Having made arrangements with Best Buy to sell some of their titles, they let Best Buy fulfill Super Meatboy orders. I got an email from my pro-order and went to my local store to pick it up!

Super Meatboy for Nintendo Switch There were a few Copies of Super Meatboy left on the shelves. I'm interested to see who they sell. Five copies of Golf Story are still on the shelf after a month or so. I also see a slew of Yoka Laylee games. I'm surprised these gems aren't flying off the shelf. What's up with that!?!

It's exciting to see a popular indie game come to retail shelves in physical format. A lot of gamers find the convenience of digital downloads outweigh the benefit of a physical game media, but there's something enthralling about holding a cartridge like Super Meatboy in your hand and seeing it's case on your shelf.

Modern gamers may scoff at that, but they've experienced gaming through a headset, while others of us sat next to our friends on a couch playing hours of Mario Kart! With fond couch memories of multi-player gaming, it's cool to see a game like Super Meatboy come to Switch as a real cartridge!

February 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink's US invasion includes performances on the Late Show and Good Morning America

BlackPink is the first K-pop group to appear on a nationally televised US morning show.
I think BlackPink is poised to take over America. If Babymetal's acceptance into the realm of heavy metal (for the most part) is any indication, the novelty of BlackPink should make audiences rabid for their stage show. Cultural differences make a lot of subtle nuances to how k-pop groups perform versus Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande.

I believe they only have one EP released - Square Up - so, it will be interesting to see what else they add to round out their performances. I'm also curious to see how much english is put into these US appearances. I think they're going to impress audiences.

BlackPink appears on the Late Show
BlackPink appears on Good Morning America
February 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Strictly Limited Games is releasing a physical collector's edition of R-Type Dimensions EX for Switch and PS4

Strictly Limited Games R-Type Dimensions EX
Two amazing side-scrolling shooters are coming to Switch and PS4 in physical releases!
Not long ago, I picked up Retro Bit's R-Type Returns on an SNES cartridge and it is a spectacular trip to the past! So, news of IREM's R-Type Dimensions EX coming out for Switch (and PS4), via Strictly Limited Games, is equally amazing.

The collection contains the stunning 2D versions of 90's side-scrollers, R-Type I and R-Type II. This gem will be available, in physical format, on February 24th on the Strictly Limited Games shop.
February 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

You know how some elevators don't list a 13th floor...

I guess "Now That's What I Call Music 69" was inevitable.
The Otis Elevator company estimates about 85% of the buildings using their elevators do not have a "listed" 13th floor. Couldn't Custom Marketing Group have employed a similar idea and perhaps jumped up to #70 for this release? Or did they feel this one would be a big seller for the novelty of it? lol

Now That's What I Call Music 69

Now That's What I Call Music 69 Track List

1. Breathin - Ariana Grande
2. Happier - Marshmello feat. Bastille
3. Taki Taki - DJ Snake, Selena Gomez, Ozuna feat. Cardi B
4. This Feeling - The Chainsmokers feat. Kelsea Ballerini
5. Electricity - Silk City feat. Diplo, Dua Lipa & Mark Ronson
6. Promises - Calvin Harris, Sam Smith
7. Body - Loud Luxury feat. brando
8. Close to Me - Ellie Goulding, Diplo & Swae Lee
9. Thunderclouds - LSD feat. Sia, Diplo, and Labrinth
10. Lost In Japan - Shawn Mendes
11. Better - Khalid
12. Consequences - Camila Cabello
13. Shallow - Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
14. Tequila - Dan + Shay
15. There's No Way - Lauv feat. Julia Michaels
16. broken - lovelytheband
17. Shotgun - George Ezra
18. Slow 3 - Jack Samson
19. Heavy Flag - The Accidentals
20. Older - Sasha Sloan
February 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Grace VanderWaal should to do a metal cover with this Dean ukulele

Grace's signature Fender ukulele looks slick with their classic Strat headstock, but how cool is this Dean ML uke!
Grace VanderWaal does not make the kind of music I usually listen to, but her voice is so uniquely wonderful, it's hard to resist. From her original songs to her covers, I love her sound! She even has her own signature ukulele made by Fender. She had them design it with a Strat-style headstock.

It's pretty cool looking, but I think she needs to cover an obscure metal band with this Dean ML ukulele! Check out some of Grace's albums.

Dean ML ukulele My first guitar was a Dean ML that I bought around 1982 - still have it. I knew nothing about guitars, but when browsing around Sam Ash and saw that iconic headstock, I knew I had to have it!
February 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

HB Vision is another Colecovision project along with collectorvision and Opcode game consoles

HB Vision Colecovision console
I wish there was more info online. I hope this is still an active project.
HB Vision logo
A lone Facebook post mentioned a Colecovision clone project I'm not familiear with. The HB Vision website offers little info along with a few images in chronological order. I don't know if it's standard emulation or an FPGA project. The last entry on the website was May 2018, so I'm not even sure if this is an active

If anyone has info on the status of the HB Vision Colecovision console... drop us a line!

HB Vision Colecovision console
February 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Neon Puma's remix of Side To Side uses a Nintendo NES motif and misspells Ariana

I'm often puzzled by the things I find on SoundCloud
I can appreciate the Nintendo vibe, but I'm wondering if the "alternate spelling" is a legal tactic or just an oversight.

graphic for Arianna Grande remix of Side To Side

SoundCloud graphic for Arianna Grande remix of Side To Side
February 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Lets go back to when Beavis and Butthead's Butt Bowl was the Super Bowl alternate halftime event

Mtv Beavis and Butthead Butt Bowl
I saw 5 minutes of the Puppy Bowl and quietly wished Mike Judge would make it go away.
It's a shame good things have to come to an end... even bad things depending on how you look at it. Beavis and Butthead made the 90's awesome! They helped launch bands from obscurity and were the funniest morons on TV.

for a while they were even on tap to save us from the typically awful Super Bowl halftime shows that seemed larger than life, but failed to satisfy. Nothing satisfies like some well placed moronic mayhem which the boys delivered during halftime from Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 to Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.

Mike Judge's 1992 short film, Frog Baseball, brought the boys to center stage thanks to airing on Liquid Television. The Beavis and Butthead series ran from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997 with another valiant attempt in 2011. Long live Beavis and Butthead!

Mtv Beavis and Butthead Butt Bowl II Mtv's Beavis and Butthead's Butt Bowl II

Mtv Beavis and Butthead Butt BowlIII Mtv's Beavis and Butthead's Butt Bowl III

Mtv Beavis and Butthead Butt BowlIV Mtv's Beavis and Butthead's Butt Bowl IV
February 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Renegade Game Studios' Ghostbusters The Card Game is a simple points-based collection game

Ghostbusters The Card Game
If you can't wait for the 2020 reboot, here's a fairly simple Ghostbusters card game to dive into.
Ghostbusters The Card Game Gather 2 to 5 of your friends and see who can wrangle the most ghosts in Renegade Game Studios' Ghostbusters The Card Game. You can even enlist help of your favorite Ghostbusters.

This is a fairly straightforward family-friendly game. Use action cards to move the Ghost Trap into position and determine how you will go about capturing ghosts. Each round lasts until all of the twelve ghosts are captured. It's a pretty fast game but it's speed depends on the number of players.

As you collect ghosts you get points based on the value printed on teach card and additional points for having the most ghosts of a particular set and class, but beware of ghosts covered in slime. This is a simple game for ages 8+ that may be best suited to introducing folks to a card collection style game.

It looks pretty fun and who doesn't like Ghostbusters?
February 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Allegedly past it's various delays, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove should arrive for Switch March 1st

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove  arriving on Switch
Beginning it's journey in 2015, fans are hoping the funky alien duo will deliver some 90's style fun next month!
ToeJam & Earl came to the Sega Genesis in 1991 and made a lasting impression on gamers and critics alike. It had a few sequels and the original was on the Wii's Virtual Console. Today, many games from the past are making a resurgence on modern consoles. Some games are even getting new releases on classic consoles from their heyday!

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is coming to Nintendo's Switch and PlayStation 4 after a long development cycle stemming from a Kickstarter campaign - listing a November 2015 delivery date. So, years later with a few missed release dates, Nintendo and Sony sites confirm the game is coming to Switch and PS4 on March 1st!

The game's co-creator Greg Johnson started HumaNature Studios to develop games, but fans soon began requesting a new T&E game. This turned into a Kickstarter campaign for Back in the Groove which would bring the characters back in this new adventure. Fans are hoping for the classic humor and some modern accouterments. On the modern front, there will be online play as well as local co-op for two players.

Sounds cool... dying to know if there is a physical release.

ToeJam & Earl on kickstarter From the ToeJam & Earl website:
ToeJam and Earl have crash-landed back on Earth in ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove!, a funky fresh rogue-like adventure infused with old skool hip-hop and jam packed with awesome throwbacks to the 1991 classic. Original Funk Lord (and co-creator) Greg Johnson is back at the helm with the sequel that ToeJam and Earl fans have been waiting for!

The iconic '90s duo is back in the groove with all-new presents to help them navigate this wack planet ""Earth"" and retrieve all the lost pieces to the Rapmaster Rocket. Team up for co-op play to discover secret locations, hidden presents and new friends as you make your way through a constantly changing and unpredictable world!

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! is a mash-up of the very best features of the classic console games with a ton of fresh improvements. Grab some homies and get ready for a blast of funky nostalgia as you help ToeJam and Earl return once again to Funkotron.
February 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arizona's roadside attraction, Bedrock City, closes favoring Raptor Ranch over the Flintstones

Arizona's roadside attraction, Bedrock City
Few things will ever be better than the Flintstones (possibly the Jetsons), maybe.
Bedrock City coupon Just south of the Grand Canyon, Flintstone's Bedrock City was a roadside attraction in Arizona, located by Valle at the junction 64 & 180, it was an ideal destination for those visiting the Grand Canyon who wanted a bit of nostalgia mixed in. Alas, all good things come to an end. Bedrock City has closed with it's sale to a new owner keen on a much different kind of destination - Raptor Ranch.

When an age-old tradition shuts it's doors, it makes one reminiscent of simpler times. Piling into the family station wagon to tour the sites across the country used to be something people actually did for vacations.

An on-site RV park and camp grounds let you extend your Flintstones infatuation across multiple days, complete with a diner and gift shop. A cool facet of this venue was official Flintstone licensing. They had official items in the gift shop and permission for the various attractions around the 30 acre site.

As Bedrock City is raised for the new owner's Raptor Ranch, it's a reminder to enjoy things while they last. I love the Flintstones and would have loved strolling around Bedrock. In fact, I'd probably enjoy that more than sightseeing at the nearby Grand Canyon.

Arizona's roadside attraction, Bedrock City Arizona's roadside attraction, Flintstones Bedrock City
Arizona's roadside attraction, Bedrock City Arizona's roadside attraction, Flintstones Bedrock City

The new owner plans on keeping a few relics of Bedrock City as part of a playground at the new attraction, however the licensing was not part of the sale. It's all raptors from here on. Relive some nostalgia on your Game Boy Advance with The Flintstones Big Trouble in Bedrock.
February 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

People act as though watching a movie takes 3 weeks and costs thousands of dollars

Consumers find one thing to complain about and then tout their superiority by NOT seeing the movie.
Society has been poisoned by social media. When abject hate and outrage is used to bolster one's perceived intelligence, something it wrong. I went to see Miss Bala and play Time Crisis 4 in the theater's arcade. I love Time Crisis and Miss Bala was an average flick. After reading online reviews, I'm astounded at the faults people find with the film and how these faults are of paramount importance to them. They get ruffled by trivial nonsense and pretend it's vital.

Get over yourselves. If you don't like a film's subject matter... stay home or see a different film. Why take the time to post online tirades about it. It's two hours and costs about $9. If that's too large an undertaking, find another type of entertainment for yourself!

I see lots of films that are mediocre at best, but rarely have regrets or a need to rant online about it. OK, I did post a blog about Aquaman - I thought it was the worst film I've seen in a decade and it's made a ton of money. But when you read the comment section on posts about Miss Bala, the comments are bizarre and quickly descend into anger. Then there are the ones who've not seen the film and made rash assumptions in an effort to seem "smart" for not seeing it. I'm stumped.

Intelligence is honed and earned through experience. Deciding not to see a film doesn't make you smarter. In fact, it doesn't mean anything. In a world where the most ardent critics of Star Wars are it's own fans, you have to wonder why anyone bothers with reviews when they are little more than mini segments of personal outrage over nonsense. I'm sorry you hate hamburgers, but please stop sharing on Yelp.

Played Time crisis 4 int the movie theater arcade before watching Miss Bala
February 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Dr. Mario is on-call and coming to your smart phone this summer in Dr. Mario World

Dr. Mario World for mobile
With a tenuous start to mobile gaming, Nintendo seems to be learning and expanding their footprint on mobile devices.
You may have played Dr. Mario on the NES or as part of the NES Remix game for Wii U and 3DS. Now it's coming to your phone and tablet as Dr. Mario World. Arriving summer 2019, this mobile game will be free on Android and iOS with in-game purchases.

Not much info was given aside from it being a puzzle-style game. Perhaps some iteration between Tetris and Candy Crush (wow, that sounds awful), but I'm sure it will surpass both, coming from Nintendo. It will be interesting to see how it differs from it's 1990 NES roots.

Preceding it are Nintendo's other mobile titles - Miitomo, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and then there's the upcoming Mario Kart Tour (now delayed). I'm not a huge fan of mobile gaming and having experienced decades of Nintendo on consoles, I have a tough time enjoying their offerings on mobile. To be honest, I'm a big fan of the 3DS Tomodachi Life and liked the similarity of Miitomo's social elements and mild gaming.

Super Mario Run was the next game of interest to me, but it was a large departure from my Mario experiences... not a fan. I think it's a good game, but just not my style. I'm a console addict, so pleasing me on mobile is not an easy task. But Nintendo has a long history of bucking the odds and I'll keep trying everything they come out with. Can't resist :)
February 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Whether it's really their final Farewell Tour, Kiss know how to market themselves

Kiss Farewell Tour 2019
Kicking off their world Farewell Tour in Vancouver, Kiss have laid the groundwork to let the world know they're touring.
I've seen Kiss perform a few times, both the Ace Frehley era and Tommy Thayer. These guys put on an amazing show. Kiss is a machine and they do it with insane precision. Overall, they put on a fun show. After 45 years, they know how to entertain.

Kiss was the first band that captured my fascination as a kid. I'm still a huge fan and wish they would put out another album. They did a great job of capturing their classic sound on Sonic Boom.

Kiss appearance on the Gamers Choice Awards KISS performed the opening number of the Gamers' Choice Awards show which was televised last year on December 9th.
Kiss appearance on The Price Is Right With the upcoming 2019 Grammy Awards, "The Price Is Right" is dedicating a week of shows to various genres of music. Each day, the show will be themed as a different genre, and they're kicking off day-one with rock 'n roll, featuring KISS. This episode was filmed on December 3, 2018.

January 2019 Retro Gaming Articles:

January 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I know we're supposed to believe streaming from the cloud is best, but... No

Blockbuster made renting cool
Stalking the shelves at Blockbuster on a Friday night only got better when we could also rent video games!
I began in Mom & Pop video stores in the early 80's as they often rented Beta tapes - the best format ever. The porn revolution arrived and deemed VHS the winner which was an awful fate for the superior quality of the Betamax. I went through several of them before I had to relent to VHS. At this point, Blockbuster became my weekend destination.

Renting was such a great concept. If I were to buy a movie, it had to be good. Better than good. It had to be awesome. But those standards went out the window when snagging a weekend flick off the shelf at Blockbuster. Even crappy movies were fair game and met with excitement. Couple that with an N64 game and all standards were scrapped.

If you relish simpler times, discard the tech that's dragging you down!
Sure, we'd spend an hour looking through movies and games, even though we'd settle for anything with awesome box-art! Those were the days. Blockbuster made renting cool! I'm not sure how they did it, but my innate need to own things just didn't kick in when browsing their endless aisles and wondering how they managed to have forty copies of the latest hit film. Crazy days.

Technology Should Put Empowerment Over Profit

Today we're stuck in our homes with hundreds of channels full of garbage. We can talk to our remote in a desperate effort to navigate all the junk. Then you remember that awesome flick you rented as a kid and sift through all your apps and channel guides only to discover that sick flick was removed from the stream last month. Screw the cloud!

As Hulu and Netflix vie for my dollars, I have a grand stockpile of DVDs that I can watch 24/7. My arsenal also includes video games from the Atari 2600 through the PS4. I can appreciate modern technology, but I feel we are being force-fed a lot of useless tech offering little more than bells and whistles. Are we benefiting from this.

Social networks strand us from personal interactions and technology is about big businesses maximizing profits with paltry benefits to their customers. I'd rather browse a book store than Amazon. I'd rather spend an hour at Blockbuster than sift through crowded viewing menus. Chose your tech wisely. Use what benefits you, not what big business says you should use. You know best and i you like the cloud, go for it. If you miss Blockbuster, you're not alone!

January 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We hope everyone found their code from Nintendo to unlock the Piranha Plant in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Piranha Plant in Super Smash Bros. Ultimae
I'm terrible at Smash Bros., across all available platforms, but my son loves it and enjoys giving me a beat-down!
Piranha Plant in Super Smash Bros. Ultimae The DLC for the Piranha Plant character got a bit complicated when folks tried to register for it, but didn't realize Nintendo was sending the DL codes in an email. Finally we all figured out how it was working and you should have your fighting plant now! :)

For those who pre-ordered the Piranha Plant amiibo, it should ship on February 15th. Although I'm not a SMash fan, I ordered an amiibo because it seemed pretty cool. And my son can give it a whirl.

I'm excited about a new amiibo even though it's for my son. It seems like interest in these festive trinkets sort of fell off a cliff. The excitement for amiibo seems drastically less these days. Maybe the Piranha Plant amiibo will spar new interest.

January 30, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With the Wii Shop Channel closing today, have you thought about where all those games go?

Wii Shop Channel is closed
After 12 years, we hope you spent all your points and have all your purchases downloaded... because they're all gone now.
The Wii was the first console I've owned that had a digital store. I've always preferred physical games, but I was delighted by the games offered on the Wii and some were from smaller developers who couldn't do physical releases.

I found a lot of great games on the Wii Shop Channel and still fire up my Wii to play them. As much as I feel reminiscent of great times, shut-downs like this are also a good time to strike up a conversation about video game preservation.

More games than you may realize become extinct daily whether physical or digital. GONE!
They say once something is on the Net it's there forever. Maybe that goes for embarrassing Facebook photos or those lewds you put on that forum a few years ago. The bottom line is preservation must always be at the forefront. Game-specific servers close down after time. Online stores are shuttered over time. What happens to the games?

The gems I downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel will be playable until my Wii fails, then those games are gone. I can't recover them or re-download them. They will be gone. Preservation isn't a one-time event. All digital-only media can become "at risk".

The Myspace social network used to be a storage site that gave you online space to save or store files. Then it became a social network and was later ousted by Facebook's popularity. I wonder what happened to the files that were once stored there? I'll bet they are all gone. Maybe the owners were able to retreive their files before shutting down... maybe not.

Back to my SD card full of Wii games... I can move them to my Wii U, but that's where they end. There'sno upgrade path for these games on the Switch. The bottom line is MANY games have a finite life span. While they may last twenty years on my Wii, the console could fail tomorrow and the games are gone as far as my ability to play them. This happens often and great games are simply gone.

Think about it next time you're physically throwing something away or deleting games from your hard drive to install a newer title. Nothing lasts forever and, as a society, we seem to be OK with that... until we want to play that game we loved ten years ago.
January 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When he loves video games more than you, Volkswagen has your escape vehicle

Volkswagen Tiguan ad
Once he's lost in a virtual world, it's time to move and VW's Tiguan can help.
This Volkswagen TV ad showcases it's Tiguan as the sort of vehicle one might like when it comes to moving into a new place. The woman is shown putting her stuff into the car. Looks big. Fits all her stuff. Super! What could go wrong? Jeff.

He loves video games. She wants a man who owns furniture.
Apparently she's moving in with her boyfriend, Jeff. Upon arriving at their new place, Jeff is immersed in Virtual Reality, his face buried in a VR headset. She mentions something about Jeff failing her "test" and she drives off!

Did she just dump Jeff? What happened here?

I've never owned a Volkswagen, but every time I've moved, I went to Ryder or Uhaul and got a big truck! From arcade cabinets to game consoles and boxes & boxes of video games, that Tiguan isn't going to cut it. I need a truck. Moving requires a truck. So, here's what I think happened with Jeff...

He rolls in with his truck, brings in a few boxes and immediately has to set up a system. His PSVR was in the first box, so he set it up. You have to. We've all been there. It's a natural reaction to the new house. How does it game. Gotta know.

But then she shows up with her nine worldly possessions in a VW hatchback. He's gaming. She wants to "move in" together. Jeff is killing it at BattleZone. So, she hops in the car and takes off. Call me crazy, but Jeff will always be single, but he likes it that way.

Volkswagen Tiguan ad Jeff's got his VR rig set up and is waiting for his girlfriend to show up. Blinded within the headset, he becomes immersed in the game.
Volkswagen Tiguan ad Jeff's girlfriend arrives and realizes he owns no furniture and is flailing wildly within the game he's playing. Suddenly she realizes she wants to move in with one of her friends.

Off she goes in her Volkswagen Tiguan as she escapes a relationship relegated to getting high scores and downloading DLC. The Tiguan is her escape from that world. She'll play Super Mario Bros on a Friday night, but that VR thing is a deal breaker. Sorry Jeff.

Volkswagen Tiguan ad
January 27, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If a Wallcade is a less expensive bar-top version of the Arcade1Up ¾ arcade games, I'd be quite interested

Wallcades from Arcade1Up
While I feel the current line is ideal for casual gamers, this smaller mountable / bar-top version may widen it's appeal.
The folks at Arcade1Up made a curious post on social media regarding a seemingly smaller version of their ¾ scale arcade cabinets. The Wallcade doesn't appear on their website yet, but it seems to be a smaller version, suitable for bar-top or wall mounting. It sounds like there may be less construction involved for customers.

For me the original line-up was too small to be used as a stand-up arcade, but too large to be tucked away. I'm a fan of full size cabinets with rock-solid arcade hardware. The demo units at WalMart always seemed broken and complaints ran rampant on social media. For $300, I wasn't convinced it was the right product for me. As a bar-top game, with a lesser cost, I would give it another serious look.

I'm excited to learn more about Wallcades and see if they are closer to the home arcade experience I crave. I like their product line, but it just isn't right for me. I'm eager to see the specs and pricing for the Wallcade line from Arcade1Up!
January 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Billy Idol gets a Funko figure and what's up with ReVitalized?

Billy Idol ReVitalized
I love the original Vital Idol album, but this 2019 remix goes a much different direction.
Hong Kong Phooey I'm not a huge fan of Funko figures. I feel they all sort of look alike. But I might change my mind for this Billy Idol Funko figure - pretty cool! I had the opposite reaction to ReVitalized!

I've loved Billy Idol' music and persona since discovering him in the 80s. He exuded something I'd never seen in music and I loved his sound. I'm still stoked Steve Stevens is still playing guitar with Idol. AFter buying his albums, Vital Idol came along and with the addition of Mony Mony, it was an amazing remix of his hits.

Imagine my excitement over ReVitalized in 2018!

Alas, as amazing as the original was in 1985, this new version took a whole new approach to the "remix" concept. I was eager t buy this CD, but listened to the tracks first and was horrified. Each track is barely recognizable. It's as if each artist tried their best to mask the original and make whole new songs.

1. White Wedding (CRAY Remix)
2. Dancing With Myself (RAC Remix)
3. Eyes Without A Face (Tropkillaz Remix)
4. Rebel Yell (The Crystal Method Remix)
5. (Do Not) Stand In The Shadows (Moby Remix)
6. Flesh For Fantasy (St. Francis Hotel Remix)
7. Catch My Fall (Juan Maclean Remix)
8. One Breath Away (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
9. To Be A Lover (DJDS Remix)
10. Don't Need A Gun (Shiba San Remix)
11. Hot In The City (Shotgun Mike Remix)

BONUS TRACKS [Digital version only]
12. Mony Mony (Idol/Stevens Remix)
13. One Breath Away (Paul Oakenfold Extended Remix)
14. (Do Not) Stand In The Shadows (Moby Remix) (Half Time Version)
15. Save Me Now (Lost Dog Remix)
January 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was the biggest fan of Hong Kong Phooey as a kid. What's your favorite 70s cartoon?

My passion for Hong Kong Phooey was so great, I didn't realize it only lasted one season.
When I found the Hong Kong Phooey series on DVD, I was shocked to discover it only had one season between 1974 and 1975. I have such vibrant memories of the stories and actually viewing them, it seemed as though I'd watched it for years. I guess not - lol

Hong Kong Phooey
January 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Birthday Eddie Van Halen!

Eddie Van Halen Shark guitar
At 64, Guitar-God Eddie Van Halen releases the EVH Shark guitar, based on his '78 tour model, during the 2019 NAMM.
Born in Amsterdam in 1947, Eddie Van Halen celebrates his birthday on January 26th. Having inspired so many guitarists, we hope more kids will want to learn to play an instrument rather than using Instagram as a steppingstone to the music industry.

Legendary band Van Halen has amazed me since the late 70s. Like most old-school fans who grew up during their early days, I'm partial their DLR era. However, I was stoked at the perceived rebirth with Gary Cherone and the release of the Wolfgang guitar. A buddy of mine and I both ordered this model with the drop_D tuning hardware. I've always been a terrible guitarist, but love the thrill of a new ax and cranking up an amp!

Share your favorite childhood bands with your kids!
In the early 80s I was exposed to Diver Down when it arrived ata friend's house via the Columbia House Record Club. I went to his house after school and there it was. We dropped it on his turntable and I was in love with Van Halen again. In the pre-internet age, we had no idea when new albums were dropping. It was a complete surprise!

Compare this to the day my son and I went to a local music store to pick up the remastered Van Halen CDs including a recent live concert. introducing him to Eruption felt like "passing a torch" to a generation who've grown up in an era were solo-singers who don't play instruments rule the charts. While today's solo-singers crank out hits, my son discovered AC/DC, Queen, and others. I try to share my favorite bands with him - from def Leppard to Cheap Trick. Share your favorite music with your kids!

It seems a majority of today's chart-topping artists don't play instruments. Solo-singers have taken over the music world, as stories about the "death of rock n roll" are regurgitated across social media. I still adore and regularly listen to Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Kiss, Quiet Riot, Devo, and countless others from my childhood. Many of my favorite bands are still making music! Power to them! We need more kids growing up with rock n roll dreams and an avenue for success.

Eddie Van Halen Shark guitar - back From the EVH website:
One of those guitars became as iconic to Van Halen's sound as tapping was to Eddie's playing. Aptly named the "Shark," Eddie took his angular offset axe and sawed a chunk out of the body, leaving jagged edges in the wood that resembled teeth. After applying a coat of silver paint, Eddie added tape in his famed striped pattern and then grabbed a rattle can of burgundy Schwinn bicycle paint to finish the job.

The final striped creation was initially seen live during the first Van Halen World Tour in 1978, but became more widely known and adored by fans after appearing on the back cover of Van Halen's 1980 album, Women and Children First.

Grab some EVH shoes to go with that wicked axe!
January 26, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm excited to check out Alita Battle Angel featuring Dua Lipa's "Swan Song"

An epic action-adventure from producers James Cameron & Jon Landau, and director Robert Rodriguez!
Alita Battle Angel Alita Battle Angel BAlita Battle Angel is coming February 14th! Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in.

As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.

The "Swan Song" music video follows Dua Lipa as the singer wanders around the scrapyards of Iron City. However, It seems this one won't wander onto the movie's soundtrack. The soundtrack, by Tom Holkenborg, seems to be the orchestral tracks from the film. Lipa's song may appear on her upcoming album... maybe.
January 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Metroid Prime 4 stops development to start over under Retro Studios' direction

Add arcade games to your Super Bowl party
The developer behind the previous three Metroid Prime games is taking over the Nintendo Switch sequel.
Dissatisfied with the various team's coming together on the Metroid Prime 4 game, Nintendo halted production, opting to start over with Retro Studios, who developed the original Metroid Prime series. This is the sort of setback that takes a 3-month release widow and turns it into years.

This decision initially creates insane disappointment, one can only hope it will result in a great game, rather than a mediocre release this year. The video game industry is very similar to many other businesses, they all run into issues that create scenarios we'd rather avoid, but have no control over.

As much as I'm tempted to bitch and moan about this, I glance over at an enormous pile of games I've yet to play. And suddenly, I realize how strong my desire to complain really is. I should just go play some of the amazing games in that pile!
January 25, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade1Up suggests adding some arcade fun to your Super Bowl party

I can't argue their logic since video games go perfectly with everything!
Are you really all set for your Super bowl party?
So you've got burgers, hot dogs, tacos, pizzas and beer. You think you're ready for Super Bowl LIII, but Arcade1Up begs to differ!

Arcade games make all gatherings better! I got an email from the Arcade1Up folks suggesting a run to WalMart to pick up a few game cabs for the party. I can't fault their logic and the prices have dropped. Instead of that 80" TV you had your eye on for the big game, give your guests the gift of Asteroids, Defender, and Tempest!

Add arcade games to your Super Bowl party From Arcade1Up's email blast:
If you are down for a halftime arcade session, do your homework before that trip to WalMart. These cabinets are pretty cool, but they are 3/4 size and aren't as robust (nor as durable) as the ones we played in the 80's.

As you gear up for the big game, don't forget that a good halftime party can make or break your night. We know the food will be flowing and the drinks will be chilled but those commercial breaks and halftime shows will leave your guests twiddling their thumbs.

Instead of being bored, put those thumbs to good use and start a healthy challenge amongst friends. Get creative and even craft your own teams and dual it out just like the athletes!

Head to a Walmart near you and take your Super Bowl party to the next level ;)

If you are down for a halftime arcade session, do your homework before that trip to WalMart. These cabinets are pretty cool, but they are 3/4 size and aren't as robust (nor as durable) as the ones we played in the 80's.
January 24, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Debbie Gibson's album, Electric Youth celebrates it's 30th anniversary today #ElectricYouth30 (and Skid Row)

EY is Debbie Gibson's second album released on January 24, 1989
Despite being an avid metal head, there was something pretty amazing about the New Wave bands getting rotation at WLIR. The introduced me to a whole new world of music and as the pop wave hit, Debbie Gibson was a trailblazer. Mtv was still playing music videos back then and her songs dominated the popular time slots.

As the 90's loomed, music was changing. Pop was evolving and there was something infectious about Debbie Gibson's Out Of The Blue and Electric Youth. I was beginning to appreciate a different style of music which enabled me to discover many more rock bands. I'm still an avid fan of 80's music and Debbie's songs are very often part of the mix on my commute to work!

They also get cranked to 11 on our TMNT CD boombox!

Debbie Gibson Electric Youth

Skid Row's debut album It also came to our attention that Skid Row's debut album was released on this day (30 years ago) as well! I first saw Skid Row when they opened for Kiss at Jones Beach. I wasn't too familiar with them prior, but they rocked so hard, that I had to buy some of their CDs. At this point,

I'm wondering how many folks have both Electric Youth and Skid Row - lol.
January 23, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My Arcade's Retro Champ is a large portable NES/Famicom console that plays all your favorite cartridges

My Arcade's Retro Champ
Debuting at CES, this beast of a portable will go hand-in-hand with my enormous Instax camera!
Sure this thing is huge, but that's a lot of it's appeal to me. For far too long we've gone to extremes to reduce things to the tiniest measurement possible. I remember when cell phones became ridiculously small (before the advent of smart phones) and now everyone wants a big screen! I dig My Arcade's Retro Champ! It's super-sized like the Instax SQ6 camera.

This beautiful hunk is coming to market in June 2019 for about $80 and it plays both NES and Famicom cartridges. It's 7" built-in screen gives you around 4 hours of play time on it's rechargeable battery. While playing Bionic Commando on the bus sounds better than realizing you have to take the bus, you'll likely want to play on your TV. Your NES/Famicom does... And so does the Retro Champ. It has an HDMI port for connecting to your TV. My arcade also sells (separately) a wireless controller that's compatible.

I'm interested to see how well the lefthand button-set functions. Ordinarily, you'd find a D-pad here as found on the NES controllers. I guess it will come down to conical tops sloped toward the center and how easily one's thumb can glide across them - simulating a D-pad.

The Retro Champ won PC Mag's Best Gaming Gear of CES 2019. It's crazy big and so cool. I'm dying to get one! The question I have is about it's charging port. I'm wondering if it can be plugged in and run off AC when playing on a TV.

How About Some Galaga On The Go?

My Arcade is also coming out with this portable Galaga - GALAGA POCKET PLAYER. It should be available in april and alson includes Galaxian and Xevious. Ordinarily, I steer away from handhelds offering only a few titles, but it's Galaga. Gotta at least mention it... right?

My Arcade's Galaga handheld
January 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Promotional poster for the Buenos Aires SciFi Festival by Flavio Greco Paglia

Heavy Metal featured this image on their Instagram
Poster design for the 19th edition of Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre (BARS), an international film festival oriented to independent productions and devoted to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy. Discover more of Flavio Greco Paglia's work.

Retro Fighter's BrawlerGen 2-in-1 controller
January 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro Fighter's BrawlerGen 2-in-1 is an upcoming controller for both Sega Genesis and Saturn consoles

Retro Fighter's BrawlerGen 2-in-1 controller
Their NES controller astounded me and I'm waiting for their N64 controller to ship - love what these guys do!
With Analogue's Mega-SG coming to market later this year - an FPGA console - I've been looking at controller options. Today I discovered Retro Fighters is coming out with a combo controller that will work with the Sega Geness and Saturn. I've been using their NES controllers for about two years and love them!

I know some folks use old Genesis controllers on their Atari 2600 & 7800 due to the matching DB-9 connections. As a side benefit, I'm hoping to be able to use these with my old Atari consoles and my Retron 77. Might even work on the Colecovision!

They are available for pre-order on their site and are slated to ship on June 10. Every time I turn around, Retro Fighters is revolutionizing game-play on my favorite old consoles.

Retro Fighter's BrawlerGen 2-in-1 controller
January 21, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

21-year-old Frances Tiafoe reached the Grand Slam quarterfinal! Why has tennis disappeared from video games?

tennis player, Frances Tiafoe
EA keeps churning out sports titles, year after year. What's happened to tennis!?!
As an unseeded player, reaching the quarter finals at the Australian Open is an amazing accomplishment. Doing so on one's birthday, makes it all the sweeter. Tiafoe's post-match interview was classic :)

"It means the world. I worked my ass off, man," he said after the match, On my birthday, I would have been mad as hell if I'd lost."

When an unseeded kid comes into a grand slam tournament and wins his way to the Quarter Finals, how can game developers resist the allure of bringing tennis back to video games? They used to be so plentiful and recurring. I never considered Pong to be tennis, but I played my first tennis game on the Atari 2600 and was delighted by Jimmy Connors Tennis on NES and even Snoopy Tennis on Game Boy Color. I prefer the realistic games like Top Spin and Virtua Tennis which took off across multiple platforms, then faded away.

Bigben Interactive's World Tour Tennis Tennis World Tour was announced for Switch, but received poor reviews. Nintendo's Mario tennis met a luke-warm reception, but I yearn for the games that had rosters of actual players from around the globe. You could even re-create famous matches pitting specific players against one another.

EA keeps churning out sports titles, year after year. What's happened to tennis!?!

I've been complaining about the disappearance of Tennis Video games for two years. I miss the additions of new players and the realism that Mario Tennis doesn't cater to. Similarly, I don't want to bounce around d the Mushroom Kingdom as Roger Federer. Aside from Bigben Interactive's World Tour Tennis, it's a forgotten sport in the world of pixels. Maybe it's cyclical and tennis will re-imerge in years to come. Time will tell. In the mean time... developers... how about a tennis game! :)
January 19, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Congressional newcomer, AOC knows how to drop a meme unlike elder statesmen baffled by simple tech

AOC All your base are belong to us
When 45% of Republicans approve of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you know All Your Base Are Belong To Alexandria!
Congressional newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a savvy lady who seems as bright as she is fierce. In Trump's world of disinformation and confusion, it's nice to hear of someone in politics that isn't dumb and not in it just for the kick-backs.

I was stunned to see her drop the All Your Base line in a tweet today about how much of the Republican base supports her ideas on taxing the wealthy. But having used this popular video gaming meme opens up a ton of nerd questions.

Does she play video games? What's AOC's favorite console? Favorite game? Pac-Man or Call Of Duty? We need answers!! lol

AOC All your base are belong to us
January 18, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'm excited about Ghostbusters, but lets not forget how many planets aligned to make the first flick a classic

Ghostbusters 2020
All signs point to a continuation of the popular 1984 Ghostbusters film, but can't we just hope it's a fun movie?
New Ghostbusters? Summer of 2020? Hell yeah! I feel the excitement. I've been infected with a bit of the manic craving for what made ghostbusters great in 1984. Alas, in 2019, duplication is paramount to creativity. While basing the 2020 version on the initial film's "universe" sounds promising - I liked the Melissa McCarthy variation - too many folks are getting their hopes up for a recreation of the "feel good" vibe of the '4 flick.

You have to remember the first Ghostbusters film involved four outstanding comedians coming together and ad-libbing a lot of the script. THAT is what gives us a great film. The human factor is the key and that can't be randomly duplicated despite Hollywood's desires.

Besides... Hollywood has lost it's mojo. Most films are based on proved plots - meaning retakes on existing stories. So few directors want to I hope the 2020 film is great and a cool extension of that storyline. There's no way I'll miss it, but I get irritated by those trashing the 2018 reboot and assuming the new film will cure all their woes. It's a movie. Go enjoy it. Worst case... you lose two hours.

January 17, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade Challenge: How many games will you add to your game room with a strict budget?

Mix and match titles and pricing to see how many arcade cabinets you can purchase.
Here's your challenge... You have a game room set up at home and the opportunity to add a few cabinets comes up, but you're on a strict budget! Oh No! You know you want them all, but will you go for quantity or will you spend heavy to get a favorite title?

Each price group offers four titles, each of which goes for either $50, $40, $30, or $20. Mix and match, but you can't exceed one hundred dollars at check out!

How many games will you add to your game room? Let us know which games you went for!
January 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Billy Idol and Steve Stevens are hitting the road as a duo for an Unplugged tour

His acoustic 'Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged' tour includes classics, covers, and spoken-word interludes.
This sounds like one of those small and intimate tours where everyone feels like they're in the front row. I'd love to see Billy Idol in this format. He and Stevens have rocked together for so long, this is a terrific pairing for a tour.

It kicks off March 3 in Vancouver and wraps April 4 in New Jersey. The idea of some spoken-word portions makes my mind reel. He must have some great stories and to hear them infused with his hits is an astounding idea!

Billy Idol and Steve Stevens are hitting the road
January 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell, is back in gaming with an Alexa-powered board game

Nolan Bushnell is back with an Alexa board game
At the Alexa Conference in Chattanooga, Bushnell gave attendees a glimpse of the voice-activated games he's releasing this year.
"Alexa... tell us about the St. Noire game."

Nolan Bushnell has a long history of success from his days with Atari and merging gaming with pizza via Chuck E. Cheeses. In fact he is something of a serial founder. He starts companies, brings then to success and finds a new challenge to undertake. His ideas have branded more things than many people know.

Appearing at the Chattanooga Alexa Conference, Nolan Bush, presented his latest foray into gaming with Amazon's Echo voice assistant. Promising several games to be released this year, the first is St. Noire - a voice-activated murder mystery game that challenges you to solve a murder by interviewing a full cast of characters by chatting with Alexa (Echo).

St. Noire is Bushnell's first Alexa board game I've played a few "choose your own story" type games where Alexa tells the tale and you direct which way to venture when offered a fork in the road. They're fun, but if you play one, the novelty wears thin on the next. It's sort of a one-trick-pony. But it's a good horse ride. Fun stuff.

St. Noire is designed to work with the visual capabilities of Echo Show, but will work similarly with an audio only model. I'm a bit surprised they went with the Show model as I doubt its install-base is terribly substantial. The game seems quite similar to the traditional Clue board game. You travel around interviewing characters as yo whittle away at the mystery.

Bushnell sees games and movies at opposite ends of the scale with an interesting immersive experience in between the two. With five games slated to release in 2019, they will range from kids and families to games for adults. St. Noire should be available in March. I'm sure you can order them all via Alexa.

January 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Trump invited the Clemson University football team to the White House for cold junkfood

We all know that food gets cold fast without those magic red heat lamps that crap sits under all day long!
Soggy fast food is no way to show appreciation which is what White House invitations are all about. It's to commemorate something. Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King, and pizza? Why would anyone go the White House for that?!? The common man can eat that junk any time they want.

And lets not forget that the day after, Burger King trolled Trump for not knowing how to spell hamburger. Hamberder? This is our president. Hope you're pleased with your vote.

junk food at te White House
January 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Iam8bit brings Donut County to PS4 as a physical release

Donut County for PS4 on a physical disc
Raccoons have taken over Donut County and you're one of them - controlling a hole - dying to get bigger.
Iam8bit is offering a limited quantity (5,000 physical copies) of Donut County on a nice shiny disc. If you have a PS4 and think you can steal more trash than the other raccoons, you may want to sharpen your hole-moving skills and snag a physical copy of Donut County! With a crazy premise and interesting mechanics, you swallow the surrounding landscape and solve puzzles that come your way.

Donut County was developed by Ben Esposito and published by Annapurna Interactive. In the game ( as a Raccoon, you control a hole in the ground and manipulate it to swallow everything in sight. This makes the hole increase in size letting you swallow up more real estate - literally.

As it garners praise, I'm wondering if we'll see a physical release for Nintendo Switch too. If you don't mind a digital download, Nintendo's e-shop can hook you up as well. But we all know physical releases are so much better! Check out Donut County, but be prepared to explain to the local residents why they're stuck down in a hole... Uh oh!
January 15, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Dynamite Comics is bringing Ms. Peterson to a new comic series, The Shape Of Elvira

Dynamite Comics - The Shape Of Elvira
The Mistress of the Dark. is getting good reviews on this four-part comics book series.
Dynamite Comics - The Shape Of Elvira Dynamite Comics is bringing Cassandra Peterson's Elvira to a new comic book series, The Shape Of Elvira.

The Mistress of the Dark lands the leading role in a touching art film about human/gill monster romance, but there's something decidedly fishy about her costar. Is there an Oscar(tm) in her future, or is director Billy Bullworth interesting in spawning something more than an Academy Award-winning movie?

Dive into the first issue of this special four-part miniseries, by writer David Avallone and artist Fran Strukan. Nothing says award season like a little gill monster romance.

January 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariana Grande's Pokemon passion runs deep... beneath her skin with Eevee

When celebrities admit gaming addictions, it makes them seem real
Ariana Grande's Pokemon passion runs deep Thought I'd end up with Sean
But he wasn't a match
Wrote some songs about Ricky
Now I listen and laugh
Even almost got married
And for Pete, I'm so thankful
Wish I could say, "Thank you" to Malcolm
'Cause he was an angel

One taught me love
One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Now, I'm so amazing
I've loved and I've lost
But that's not what I see
So, look what I got
Look what you taught me
And for that, I say

Thank you, next (next)
Thank you, next (next)
Thank you, next
I'm so fuckin' grateful for my ex
Thank you, next (next)
Thank you, next (next)
Thank you, next (next)
I'm so fuckin'

Spend more time with my friends
I ain't worried 'bout nothin'
Plus, I met someone else
We havin' better discussions
I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon' last

January 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

It was aliens...

Yeah, definitely aliens...
space invaders aliens
January 14, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My parents once owned a station wagon with woodgrain side panels

The memories are coming back...
Check out the Bittboy mini handheld game console. They have a few models to choose from. I've had a blast with mine. Lots of hacked ROMs, but good fun lurks in the mix :)

Bittboy handheld game
January 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If Aquaman earned One billion dollars worldwide, I need to see it again - I must have missed something

I'm down for a superhero flick. Loved Aquaman comics as a kid. Did not like this film at all!
I liked the beginning of the film and the way they took time to introduce characters and the story, but 20 minutes later fish-people were starting random fights as other story lines went on short tangents to nowhere.

It reminded me of those straight-to-DVD Power Rangers movies - chaotic with no storyline. After making $1B... I must have missed something. I'll have to catch it again when it's streaming.

Aquaman earned One billion dollars worldwide
January 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Betty & Veronica -VS- portable video games

How would Nintendo's Switch hold up in this test?
Betty & Veroica -VS- portable video games
January 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Amidst all the mini video game consoles on the market, I'd never heard of a 3-inch vinyl record format

3-inch record turntable
Crosley seeks to bolster the rare 3-inch format turntables, also known as 8-ban, on Record Store Day.
As a kid, I had a hefty stack of 45rpm records with a hit song on one side and unknown mystery tune on the B-side (sometimes a rare gem). But 8-ban turntables won't play 45's. They play a 3-inch vinyl format closer in size to CD singles on 3" CDs or those cute little GameCube games on mini DVDs, also 3 inches.

Known as 8-ban, these seemingly mini turntables play these mini records. At 3" they are limited to only four minutes of audio.Popular in Japan, it's easy to see why such a format would be niche at best. Most commercial songs exceed the 4-minute limit, making it hard to comply with. Jack White of the White Stripes has issued his songs on 3" records as many are less than four minutes... and he's a quirky kind of guy. His Third Man company sold the format.

Cruiser portable turntable Vinyl has made a big comeback in the age of faltering CD sales. From curious Millennials to those who appreciate vinyl as a beautiful analog format, many new releases are coming to the vinyl format. Crosley Radio has aided the cause with $80 (and up) portable turn tables. Many of their portable turntables are sold next to newly stocked bins of LPs.

Crosley wants to reinvigorate the 8-ban turntables on Record Store Day with the release of an affordable turntable geared toward playing 3' records. Their 8-ban turntable was shown at this year's CES. It's powered by USB or battery, with an Audio-Technica cartridge, pitch control and a dust cover. Third Man and Epitaph will be pressing music for this format to extend it's interest beyond the one-day event of Record Store Day.

I'm not sure if 8-ban is ready to shed it's obscurity, but this is certainly an interesting idea and Crosley seems intent to the point of selling the requisite hardware. I like quirky things of this sort, but will enough folks, outside the usual audiophiles, jump on this? Look for this format on April 13th - Record Store Day.
January 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Soldier 76 joins Tracer as an LGBTQ character in Overwatch

Character details and story lines don't factor into the gameplay as much as it adds dimensions to the characters you choose to play.
Tracer is a prominent character in the games visual display and Soldier 76 is the character used in intro training and tutorials. This makes both characters quite prominent in the game's hierarchy. Character backstories and details have little or no role within the gameplay. Personal stats, traits and stories occur in media external to the game itself.

Some have called this LGBTQ revelation purposeful rather than a chance mention at this point in the game's lifecycle. As a multi-player shooter, I question how much personal detail is needed to construct a great game. Adding backstory elements over the game's lifecycle simply allows gamers to better identify with the group of selectable characters.

Adding diversity to a game of this type creates a very human element to a fast-paced game with little time to ponder such details while in-game. It gives players more to consider when not immersed in the games frantic pace. Labeling this as strategic or coincidence seems petty. Everything needn't be met with skepticism and distrust. Enjoy the game and give props for non-requisite character development.

Soldier 76
January 12, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Britney Spears' debut album, ...Baby One More Time, was released 20 years ago, spawning Britney's Dance Beat

Not initially loved by critics and reviewers, the album eventually took off selling over 25 million copies and a few video games.
Britney Spears' debut album, ...Baby One More Time I remember when this album dropped and Britney's video began airing. Everyone loved the video and replicating her dance moves seemed to take over teenage lives. I thought it was a catchy song, but it makes me feel old to know it's twenty years old today. Feels like it came out much more recently :)

If you were really into Britney's dance moves, you could fire up Britney's Dance Beat on Nintendo and Sony game consoles and even PC. Versions of the game were released for Game Boy Advance on March 25, 2002, PlayStation 2 on May 8, 2002, and PC on June 19, 2002.)

Featuring music and video from Spears first albums, your goal is to pass auditions to become one of Britney's backup dancers. It's kind of mindless, but tie-in games were often rushed to coincide with various events. Some of them are quite good, but we don't expect too much from this genre.

Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 - Box art, front.
Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 - Box art, back.

Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 and debut CD
January 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Just downloaded Out Run to my Switch and I'm loving every second of it

Out Run with Horizon Chase Turbo is an outstanding combo of racing games for Nintendo Switch!
Just downloaded Out Run to my Switch I've loved having Out Run on my 2DS. I just downloaded it for Switch and I'm ecstatic! I adore this game! Sega Ages has done a great job bringing titles to Nintendo hardware. This version features new motion controls, a few new music tracks, and a ranking system.

Combined with Horizon Chase Turbo, my racing needs have been met! We have a local arcade that opens each summer with a 2-player Out Runners cockpit setup. It's a dream! My son and I play it each time we hit this arcade after mini golf. They also have a Donkey Kong cabinet!

Having the best retro and retro modern racers between these two games is the best. My Switch feels like a brand new experience. Sounds crazy, but the right game really unlocks my enthusiasm.

I highly recommend both games! Just downloaded Out Run to my Switch
January 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nolan Bushnell checks out the Atari Pong Table at CES

It stands to reason the founder of Atari should take a peek at a new take on the classic Pong game.
The Atari Pong Table is an electro mechanical version of the classic digital "tennis" game. Using pulleys and a lot of smarts, this tabletop version of Pong is fast and looks like a lot of fun. No wonder Nolan Bushnell stopped by at the CES trade show.

Nolan Bushnell checks out the Atari Pong Table at CES
January 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A physical release of Super Meat Boy is coming to Switch by way of Limited Run Games and Best Buy

Super Meat Boy for Switch
Super Meat Boy began on Xbox 360 and PC, but spread to Sony's platforms and the Wii U. Now it comes to Switch on a game cartridge!
The partnership between Limited Run Games and Best Buy is becoming more and more lucrative as time passes. I picked up Golf Story as a physical release a few days a go from Best Buy. Now LRG is releasing Super Meat Boy via Best Buy to get the game to fans earlier than their internal schedule would allow.

Super Meat Boy An attempt to release Super Meat Boy fell through last year, so Limited Run Games stepped in to get the game released. Being last minute, it didn't fit into their schedule until the Spring, but the game would be ready much sooner. They decided to let Best Buy release the game in early February. This is a pretty slick option and is a win-win for those seeking a physical release of the game.

You can pre-order Super Meat Boy on Best Buy's website and have it shipped or pick up your order from the closest Best Buy store. This partnership is already benefiting gamers and allowing LRG to release a cool platformer while staying on schedule with their other releases. Seems like a smart move all around.
January 10, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade1Up is showing off more arcade titles at CES

Arcade1Up at the CES trade show
After overcoming some growing pains with the initial games, Arcade1Up seems to have four new cabinets coming soon!
I think it's cool that Arcade1Up is forging ahead and adding new titles to it's line of 3/4 size arcade cabinets. Casual arcade buffs can now add more vintage titles to their mancaves and game rooms.

I haven't seen an official game list, but from the Arcade1Up website and around the Net, one can make some fairly conclusive guesses about the upcoming titles. The feature titles of each of the new cabinets are Mortal Kombat, Final Fight, Golden Tee, Space Invaders, and Karate Champ.

While the initial lineup of games offered two to four titles. These newer ones seem more game centric with variations of the feature game. The Mortal Kombat cab seems to have severa different versions and the same seems true for the Golden Tee cabinet. Space Invaders seems to include a few SI variaitoins - not sure on that one. The Final Fight cab seems to have 3 other titles unrelated to Final Fight.

Keep an eye on the press releases coming from the CES trade show for all the latest info!

Arcade1Up at the CES trade show Arcade1Up at the CES trade show.
Arcade1Up at the CES trade show Arcade1Up at the CES trade show.

The initial units we saw in stores during the 2018 holiday season, drew a fair amount of controversy among gamers. Many longed for an "arcade experience" at home, but didn't want to spend $3,000 for a real single-game cabinet. Arcade1Up offers a casual gaming experience that should satisfy the casual gamer who wants to relive some of the childhood memories of playing in arcades. Sized to be played from a seated position on a 17" monitor, clearly they were not competing with the arcade games we played in arcades of the 80's.

Like AtGames and their game consoles with built-in games, these devices are not meant to replace the real hardware. Not even close. These companies deliver a cool jolt of nostalgia... and that's not a bad thing. I feel too many retro gamers wanted these devices to replicate their memories and experiences, but that's not what these companies deliver. At a reasonable price-point (compared to actual hardware) the casual gamer should be delighted.

Consumers - mostly retro gamers - put desire ahead of function. They so desperately wanted an arcade experience, they ignored what they were actually buying. I owned several full size game cabinets in the late nineties and they were between $300 and $800 each. Today, all the games I once owned sell for over $3,000 each! Arcade1Up delivers a slick casual experience for a descent price... as long as you realize they cater to casual gamers. The hardcore gaming folks will be disappointed. If you seek a Ferrari, don't start off at the Chevy dealership.
January 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I love this retro-styled analog Instax camera... Why is there a Taylor Swift edition?

retro-styled Instax camera Taylor Swift Edition
I'm not sure I need the "Taylor Swift Edition", but this instant camera is savagely huge and looks like a ton of fun!
I've use Polaroid cameras - I guess they're called instant cameras now - but never owned one. I think that's about to change. I like the cost-effectiveness of digital photography, but this looks hella fun! Maybe a few "printed" pics would be kind of cool... useful even.

The SQ6 model camera looks big and clumsy, but that's what I like most about it visually. It gives it a very retro styled appearance.

retro-styled Instax camera Taylor Swift Edition retro-styled Instax camera Taylor Swift Edition
retro-styled Instax camera Taylor Swift Edition
I'll admit to being a Taylor Swift fan and I think it's pretty cool that they branded a camera after her Reputation tour. However, I'm more of a metal and classic-rock guy with a penchant for retro games. Thus, the Blush-gold version seems more my speed.

I believe this is the first Instax camera to use square format film. This means the printed images will be more reminiscent of the old Polaroid format. It uses a fairly non-standard battery.

These days we're accustomed to everything charging via some USB scenario. No the case here. the SQ6 requires two CR2 batteries. So, you won't be giving it a quick topping-off by plugging it into your laptop. Keep extra batteries around.

I don't always think things through. I love the style of this instant camera, but I'm a digital guy. What am I going to do with a bunch of printed photos? I'm still working out that part the my infatuation. I can't believe I can't find some fun use for printed pix of classic arcade games. Maybe? This camera is really cool. I must find a good purpose. Instant photography is back :)
January 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Insanely cool Wii-title, Kirby's Epic Yarn, is coming to the 3DS in March

I love this game and I adore my 2DS - win win in March!
Kirby's Epic Yarn was one of the must-have games of Nintendo's Wii console. Hearing that Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn will be released for the 3DS on March 8th is great news! I sounds like it is mostly a port of the Wii game, but promises some new features and two additional modes of play.

At the moment the number of players is labeled, "To Be Determined". I'd love to see some sort of local/internet co-play options.

Kirby's Epic Yarn for 3DS
January 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When April rolls around and the tracking number for your Atari VCS ROM box hasn't arrived, ask this guy

I feel confident saying I flushed $30 down the toilet by ordering the Ataribox joystick, but one can hope, right?
Ottoman Empire Indiegogo sent out a "we need your info" form a few months ago under the guise of shipping me a new Atari VCS joystick in April (I didn't buy the console). Following their standard crowd funding strategy, Atari collected a ton of money and ceased communication with backers. Oh wait, I did read the lead hardware guy is suing Atari, so there has been some news.

This time Atari made off with Three Million Dollars! Think about it. Backers will be pissed! Probably more pissed than the folks who still didn't get their Atari Gameband smart-watch.

So when April looms and you still think Atari is able to make hardware, drop a line to Atari-Fred (Frederic Chesnais) and I'm certain he'll get you that tracking number. If you can't wait and want to play all the built-in games, buy a copy of Atari Vault and you can enjoy all 100 games without an Ataribox VCS.
January 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Despite the myriad of clickbait headlines, Nintendo is not shifting away from game consoles

Ottoman Empire
Nintendo suddenly shunning game consoles is like saying Chevrolet is shifting away from cars... Wake up folks. Read the article!
People don't read. It's true. They don't read books. They don't read instruction manuals. They don't even read tweets. People are so adverse to reading they will ask in the comment section about the content of an article they admit to not having read. They even go so far as to have a cute acronym for it - TLDR. Too Long Didn't Read.

So when an article comes along with a headline suggesting Nintendo is leaving the game console market... aren't those reposting it, curious why Nintendo might say this? Or did they just steal the headline and move on to the next assignment? Maybe we're not inundated with Fake News, but rather Dumb Journalism. If they'd had an iota of curiosity about the facts, a quick read of the article would reveal Nintendo's stance. Almost any company might make the same statement.

Founded during the Ottoman Empire, did you think Nintendo was making game consoles for the last 100 years?
Nintendo President, Shuntaro Furukawa, was quoted as saying they might shift away from consoles from the perspective that Nintendo was founded during the Ottoman Empire, but has only been making game consoles for a little over three decades.

Nintendo is a diverse company and has focused it's efforts where it saw the highest chance of success. Nintendo has moved through several other business models before gaming became the rage. They know how to change and retain an advantage.

The misleading headline is simply reflecting that, while game consoles are the core business now, changing technology may alter that and Nintendo would follow suit and change with the technology.

No one today wonders why cars aren't sold with buggy whips. Transportation has outmoded them - there's no market for them. If video game consoles change to another technology, Nintendo, as always, would modernize their approach to stay ahead of the curve. Nintendo is a thoughtful company whose success is no accident. When you've been in business for over 100 years, you tend to be familiar with "change" and how it is achieved and how it impacts.

If you're a TLDR person, please sign up for a library card. Use your mind. Challenge yourself. Reading is taught in first grade and bares utility throughout life. Give it a try and stop passing around misinformation simply because being lazy is easy. Thanks!
January 8, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blondie's Debbie Harry in front of CBGB - then and now

Cool time-shift photo. It must be fun to live like a rock star!
Original pic by Bob Gruen, this pic by Steve Birnbaum.

Blondie's Debra Harry in front of CBGB
January 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

We'd love to chill with Ariel Rebel and play video games

Keeping her banana theme, we're down for some Donkey Kong on any platform - Atari through Nintendo!
Donkey Kong with Ariel Rebel Catch more of ariel on her Rebel Mayhem site (NSFW)!
January 7, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited Run Games made a deal to sell through Best Buy, where today I found 6 copies of Golf Story

To be honest, I was surprised to find this many copies since we live in a fairly remote area.
Today I found six copies of Limited Run Games' release of Golf Story for the Nintendo Switch. Ordinarily LRG sells direct to consumers, but not long ago. Limited Run Games announced a curious deal with Best Buy.

Golf Story on Best Buy Shelves This deal involves selling LRG games in Best Buy stores. Naturally, this caused outrage among those who said it violated the "limited" notion and the quantities sold through a large retailer devalued the limited number available. It seemed like an odd pairing.

At the same time, it's a way for LRG to expand and expose more folks to their creations. LRG said the big retailer would not get many copies. I recall a quantity of 2 or 3 per store (which is a lot when you consider there are 1,500 locations in the US. It is also possible that expanding through Best Buy enables LRG to order larger quantities that may benefit them in the deals they have with Nintendo and Sony.

I'm Naturally Suspicious

Here's the part that makes me question the quantity I found at my Best Buy. Six isn't very many, but it is more than I expected. The unique thing about my area is we are very "off the beaten path". The closest WalMart and Target are an hour's drive away.

We have Best Buy and a dreadful Kmart. So, finding 6 copies way out here makes me wonder how many are showing up in big-city locations. More? Maybe. Who knows?

When they said a few, I expected to never see a Limited Run Games logo in my Best Buy. But I found six. That doesn't make a metric, but if they sent 6 here, one can easily surmise they sent even more to larger locations in more populous areas.

It's All Good

I could be wrong and I'm certainly not faulting LRG or their partners. As a fan of physical copies of games, I love what they do. I may be a bit bent out of shape knowing all those manic 10:00am sessions on their website to secure precious titles nets the same result as a trip to Best Buy. I know that'snot the case, but I'm a simple sort of guy!
January 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

FRIENDS versus FAMILY ended with "Team Friends" winning the latest Splatfest

Splatoon is an amazing franchise for Nintendo and gives them a family-friendly kill-em-all style game without bullets.
branded Radio Shack shirts
January 6, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I miss Radio Shack's stores, but dulled my pain with these cool branded shirts

branded Radio Shack shirts
I have no idea who currently owns the Radio Shack brand, but if they keep delivering soft-goods, I'll always buy them!
I relied on Radio Shack for decades and loved their quirky products and all the insane connectors they sold. Everyone says you can find everything on the internet, but it's not the same as being able to hold it in your hand and make sure you're getting the right thing. I loved Radio Shack and miss them terribly.

Like all iconic brands, when the physical form leaves, the brands tend to live on via new ownership. Bands like Circuit City, Polaroid, and Atari still exist, but they have new companies behind the brands trying to leverage them as best they can.

I began seeing t-shirt ads from radio Shack during the holidays and decided to risk a purchase with the unknown owners. I picked up these two shirts from radio shack online. They have a few other designs from the battery club to TRS-80. Check it out!

Radio Shack shirt Radio Shack shirt.
Radio Shack brand Realistic shirt Radio Shack's Realistic brand shirt.

January 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Neonwall with PSVR Mode comes to Limited Run Games' first-come first-served sales scenario

Friday is their standard day, but Limited Run Games go to Wednesday for VR offerings.
I love my PS4, but was put off by the PS4 Pro release for VR ans It confuses the market and gives developers - FR or otherwise - a better set of specs to design for. Sony says all standard games must play on the original PS4 console even if optimized for the PRo model... but we all know how that story ends. Devs gravitate toward the best horse-power to run their games. Why wouldn't they?

I love Limited Run Games' mision and their expansion into Switch games is great and I hope they have success with VR titles. I'm not familiar with Neonwall, but it is one of those hybrid games that includes a VR Mode. LR is labeling it as a VR game and will be for sale on Wednesday.

I believe this is their fourth VR title, so I'm curious to see how it does. Videos I've seen don't seem to do the game justice compared with the favorable reviews I've seen. I'm dying to know how many PSVR owners are down with LR and seeking physical copies of games. VR hasn't ever taken off as technologists predicted (hoped), but I'm interested to see how VR titles perform.

Golf Story's minigame, Galf, on an NES cartridge
January 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Golf Story's minigame, Galf, arrived on an actual NES cartridge with a box, manual, and styrofoam

Golf Story's minigame, Galf, on an NES cartridge
Limited Run Games sold this NES version of Galf, programmed by Eskimo Bob creator Tomas Guinan.
If you've played the RPG golfing game on Switch - Golf Story - you may have encountered the mini game called Galf. Limited Run Games released the mini game as a playable NES game cartridge. Only 1,500 cartridges were made of which 1,050 are grassy green and 450 are golf ball white. We miraculously managed to snag a green cart for our collection.

this NES game was coded by Tomas Guinan, from Spoony Bard Productions, who has successfully Kickstarted two cool NES homebrew games, Eskimo Bob and Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure.

Like many video games - even golfing games - you have foes. The Galf manual advises you avoid strange degenerate like the nudist crab, lady crocodile and flightless bird. Unlike the mini game within Golf Story, Galf on the NES has a 2-player version. it's a lark, but if you've played it on the Switch, playing Galf on the NES is much more fun and takes you back to simpler times.

Golf Story's minigame, Galf, - shrink wrapped box Galf is designed as a complete package complete with a shrink wrapped box.
Golf Story's minigame, Galf, on an NES cartridge Galf has all the CIB components including the styrofoam insert.

Golf Story's minigame, Galf - box The front of the Galf box.
The back of the Galf box The back of the Galf box shows a few of the nine holes.

Golf Story's minigame, Galf - cartridge sleeve The Galf cartridge comes in a traditional game sleeve.
The dark green Galf cartridge The dark green Galf cartridge.

Golf Story's minigame, Galf comes on an NES cartridge with a manual
January 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Before TV broadcasting offered quality stereo sound, FM simulcasts brought dynamic life to specific movies

FM simulcasts
This tweet took me back to simpler times when home theater-like sound came from an FM broadcast!
I randomly came across a tweet with an image from an old TV guide listing. Channel 9 was touting Elvira's Movie Macabre, but the tweet was referencing a showing of the original Star Wars that referenced an FM simulcast.

The tweet asked why anyone would want to listen to a movie on the radio. The answer is - no one. But the author was likely not old enough to remember when broadcast television was not in stereo and only emanated from the TV's small built-in speaker. This even predated sending an audio signal through your receiver to listen via hi-fi speakers.

Simulcasts provided better audio to accompany the movie broadcast to your TV.
With no simple bridge between your living room TV and the high quality speakers that were part of your stereo system, better quality sound needed another entry point. Your stereo's FM receiver was the solution. While you could watch and listen to Star Wars on your TV, a simulcast was synched with the TV broadcast enabling you to listen to robust audio via your stereo's FM tuner.

It sounds like a bizarre way to watch a movie at home, but if you ever suffered from the meager sound of a 3" TV speaker, filling the room with quality sound brought an amazing new experience to watching a movie at home. These days we're spoiled by connectivity that lets your phone turn on the coffee pot each morning. Back in the day, simulcast brought a new life to a broadcast movie. Home theater has come a long way, but it wasn't always that way!

Simulcasts were also used for other purposes including alternate languages before captions were available. Some sports events were simulcast in Spanish for listeners. It was part of television's growth that spurred better and better solutions. Think about that next time you're streaming audio with out having to own the album or a CD player.

FM simulcasts "The Raven" was featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre, episode #49, on September 25, 1982 - the likely date of this Star Wars showing with simulcast on KWST FM 106.
January 5, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Today is National Bird Day #NationalBirdDay

No one puts the Bird in "National Bird Day" like Kendall Jenner!
It's easy to imagine the life of a millionaire. Think of all the things you could do. Any time. Any where. It sounds pretty cool. Now imagine a dozen people following you with cameras, documenting your every move without your consent. It's hard to imagine a life without privacy, until you have none.

National Bird Day On National Bird Day, flip off everyone who thinks you exist for their benefit. Do your own thing. Don't let anyone define you. Give 'em the bird!
January 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The day I bought Bionic Commando For my NES, I finally understood video game addiction

Before the Internet, finding really good games was a hit-or-miss ordeal.
Without online ratings, reviews, and game play videos, it was difficult to discern a good game from a bad one. An indy electronics shop in White Plains let me try out Atari 2600 games, but in the aisles of Toys R Us, I was on my own.

If you shopped there in the NES era, you likely encountered their game aisle full of box art. I could literally stalk the NES section for hours looking at box art and trying to interpret the descriptions on the back when you flipped the tab up. These two-sided box displays were all I had to go on when it came to buying a new game. The Internet has made that ordeal much more palatable.

The price of games back then was fairly steep, so I always tried to choose carefully and make educated guesses about each purchase. There were good days and bad. I discovered a lot of great artwork adorned the boxes of dreadful games. However, the day I picked up Bionic Commando, I commended my selection skills and sat down to play a game that would delight me for decades!

As I sat mesmerized on the floor in front of the TV, this game took hold of me and I couldn't stop. Even today, it's mechanics are great and it's a ton of fun to play. So few games have this effect on me. It was a good day at TRU when I opted for this game!

Bionic Commando for NES What game did you buy back in the day without any idea if it would be good? Do you still play it?
January 4, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited Run Games has partnered with Pound to distribute their HDMI adapter for Nintendo SNES

Limited Rum Games has partnered with Pound
If you want to get your original SNES on the fancy wideScreen TV, this HDMI up-scaling cable may be for you.
Pound's HDMI adapter for Nintendo SNES Limited Run Games has partnered with Pound to sell their HDMI cable For SNES game consoles. This looks like the quick & dirty way to get a reasonable image on an HD TV. The cable only works on NTSC setups (PAL coming soon) and forces an up-scale to 720P at 16:0 ratio. They say you can force 4:3 via your TV's controls. At $30 you get a solution, although I'm not sure if you'll get much more than you're paying for.

It works with both the SNES and Famicom models, but not with the later released SNES Jr. That makes me think it may not work properly with older clones. On the other hand Analogue makes a very nice FPGA-based SNES clone, The SuperNt. It delivers a great image to my TV, can be flashed, and is compatible with all your favorite game carts.

While the SuperNt is the gold-standard of SNES emulation, the Pound cable is significantly less expensive and likely gets the job done. I really wish the site's description didn't try so hard to downplay it's image quality. I'm sure it's just find for a $30 upscaler with HDMI output.

This uninspiring description of video quality comes from the Limited Run Games site:
Please note that these cables upscale and convert an analog output - they do not produce crystal clear images, but they do outperform similarly priced options (and are a step-up from the standard composite output on an HD display). There are more expensive options out there in the $60 - $200 range that can produce better video quality, but they may require additional hardware to utilize.
January 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I grew up waiting 7 days for a TV show's next episode and binge-watching occurred long after a season ended

Stranger Things 3
The click-bait headlines about the Stranger Things 3 release date makes me wonder if people no longer want weekly series.
The headlines were relentless. Identical. Irritating. "CLICK HERE" to find out when Netflix will release Stranger Things Season 3. Are people really that desperate for this info? I recently bought the ST2 DVD set and have yet to watch it. I loved the first season and am excited to see where it went in the second season. As for the third season - coming out on July 4th 2019 for those who've yet to CLICK HERE - again it will all be released.

July 4th is not the premiere or first episode of season three. It's all of the episodes comprising the entire third season of Stranger things. This concept still takes me by surprise. Sure, I"ll binge watch a season of X-Files, Miami Vice, Burn Notice, or La Femme Nikita. It's fun to relive the episodes in a consistent stream. But the fun of that comes after watching each week in real time with all the cliffhangers and season-ending mysteries.

Binge watching robs us of the time to enjoy and ponder cliffhangers!
I still watch TV in this manner. I don't time-shift with DVR or apps. I grew up with the 7-day wait for the next installment. Folks at work and friends would discuss plot lines and share theories until the next episode aired. That was fun. It added an element to the show. In today's internet connected world, we seem to want everything right now! Why? We no longer take time to think about things - impulse is the new normal.

Watching shows when they are broadcast forces a bit of discipline. I've been watching Sneaky Pete on Amazon. i missed it when it first aired, so I'm catching up. Sure, I find myself watching a few episodes at a time, but as I do this, I notice I lose the sense of suspense and don't thing as much about all the elements of the show. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, but there's an instant solution as the next ep plays out. That ruins it for me. I want to ingest and ponder my favorite shows.

When you change the viewers experience, you change their perceptions.
I'm all for modern tech and change, but I still get the impression that a lot of the changes we're seeing are "because we can" without any greater good being met. Certainly how one watches TV is immaterial and trivial, but when you look at how a simple change in release strategy effects the product - it's worth more thought.

Don't do things because we can. Do them because it makes sense or adds value. I like to have time to think about things - ramifications and the like - we need more of that and less impulse-driven decisions.

Waiting a week before the next installment of a show isn't "old fashioned" it makes you really think about the story, characters, and motives. Thinking is good even if inspired by a dumb TV show. Regardless how you consume entertainment, make sure books are a large pat of your entertainment menu!
January 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariana Grande is headlining Coachella, but BLACKPINK will make their US debut in the desert as well

With a desire to branch out into other markets, BLACKPINK is the first female K-pop group to play Coachella.
I love that BLACKPINK is performing at this year's Coachella festival in April. From the list of participating artists, it also looks like they are in the top tier billing, just below the main headliners. That's pretty cool for a female K-pop group looking to extend their fan-base in North America!

I've read that Coachella founder, Paul Tollett, went to South Korea last year to personally invite them to be part of the lineup. I was recently able to track down a copy of their album, Square Up. Bands like BabyMetal and BLACKPINK shake up the traditions of their genres. It's nice to see them be recognized and invited to expand in the US and other territories.

Are you going to Coachella this year?

BLACKPINK is on the Coachella artist list
January 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ditch your power brick and fire up your Colecovision console via the ColUSB alternative

ColUSB power alternative
Power supplies go bad. They can be expensive. Get rid of your Colecovision's power brick with this USB-C solution!
External power bricks are bulky, heavy, and expensive to replace. If you have a working Colecovision, stow the brick and try this USB-C power alternative. The ColUSB provides all three required voltages and fits into the power port on the back of your Coleco game console - providing a USB-C port. The adapter has an up-converter as well as a voltage stabilizer.

It's been tested with Colecovision variations and moded consoles, along with other accessories. You need to supply the USB-C cable and 2A USB power adapter - the ColUSB only provides the adapter itself. I'm more of a fan of all-inclusive products, but if you already have these parts laying around, it will save you some money.

I love the ingenuity of this adapter. Coleco power supplies can be expensive and elusive. This seems like a clever alternative to powering a Colecovision. I've found tow places that seem to sell them - one may be a distributor. I'm still researching where to purchase it, but am looking forward to this device.

I've found the ColUSB available from two sources: Console5 and Dragonbox in Germany. I believe Dragonbox is the manufacturer and Console5 is a US distributor, but I'm still researching their roles and deciding who to purchase from.

Happy New Year 2019
January 2, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

ICE founder and builder of Chexx Bubble Hockey, Ralph Coppola passed away at age 70

Super Chexx Bubble Hockey
In addition to the legendary Super Chexx Bubble Hockey games, ICE also made well over 100 arcade games!
Ralph Coppola, the founder of Innovative Concepts in Entertainment, died on December 28 at the age of 70. Known as ICE, the company was founded in 1982 when it introduced Super Chexx Bubble Hockey.

ICE operates in a state-of-the-art factory in Clarence, NY, where it still builds bubble hockey games and arcade games that are placed in family entertainment centers around the globe.

Super Chexx Bubble Hockey is an electro mechanical hockey game that reminds me of the simple joy of gaming. As a fan of pinball, air hockey and video games, I'm always down for a game of bubble hockey. Three arcades in my area have Super Chexx games on their floors. It's a great game that will live on as a staple in any worthy arcade!
January 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ring in the New Year with a physical copy of Celeste on Switch or PS4 via Limited Run Games

physical copy of Celeste on Switch or PS4
The heralded pixel-platformer has received great reviews for both it's game-play, difficulty, and storyline.
I'd been wanting to buy Celeste, by Canadian video game developers Matt Thorson and Noel Berry, for nearly a year, but held off upon hearing Limited Run Games would be releasing a physical version. The day has come - Celeste can be purchased for Switch and PS4 as a pre-order. There are also some limited edition versions to peruse.

Naturally, there will be a delay until the physical elements are created and ready for shipment. But I love physical releases, so I'll deal with the waiting.

If you haven't seen Celeste, check out the video below to get a good sense of the game play and it's difficulty. I like difficult games. OK - they piss me off, but they are ultimately much more fulfilling than casual games that one can breeze through. Celest seemingly takes the platforming genre to a new level. With simple controls allowing jumping and dashing, you may have to try several times to figure out how to make your next leap.

Celeste began as a game-jam entry that was later expanded into a full game. As you explore, each error is fatal, but keep at it and you'll discover a really wonderful story as Madeline navigates up Mt. Celeste.

January 1, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy New Year 2019! people are remembering that Blade Runner took place in 2019

When engrossed in SciFi films and books, we marvel at how far in the future these films seem to be set... until those dates arrive!
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy new year in which to find more retro gaming gems! In addition to Blade Runner, Akira and The Running Man were also set in 2019.

Happy New Year 2019