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8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
First Quarter 2020 - January, February, and March

As TVs manufacturers tell us we need 8K TVs (we don't) when I don't even own any 4K movies, gamers are getting many great ways to play our favorite old games on modern TVs. FPGA-based game consoles are playing our old cartridges and firing out pixels via HDMI. We still love our old Sony CRT, but retro gaming is keeping pace with new tech.

March 2020 Retro Gaming Articles:

March 31 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

VIP Pre-orders for Intellivision's Amico video game console began today. Did you get yours?

Amico preorders began today
For a $100 deposit, you can reserve your choice of three colors and get some great discounts and extras!
Available in Glacier White, Graphite Black, or Vintage Woodgrain - the Intellivision Amico is coming to market in October. Today's pre-order only required a $100 deposit to secure a game console. It comes with some great stuff!

  • An Amico console, two controllers, and six pack-in games
  • A $25 RFID Amico digital game store gift card
  • A 25% off online merchandise store discount code
  • A 3D lenticular Running Man trading card signed by Tommy Tallarico
  • Three digital soundtrack albums including "Earthworm Jim Anthology"
In late January, Intellivision offered a Founder's Edition pre-order that sold out in several hours. Now they are offering a second round, called the VIP pre-order. This time I felt the need to have an Amico. To be honest, I really wanted the purple one, but I'm concerned about stock levels at retail for the general public. I'm uncertain if Intellivision will be selling direct or can I get one at GameStop or Best Buy? I feel strongly that this will be a stellar console and don't want any FOMO in October ;)

The trailers and domos they have showed were beyond what I was expecting of this console. Their simple and retro approach will bring back a kind of gameplay missing from gaming. The multiplayer focus brings the "couch" back into multiplayer. I love that!

Amico preorders began today Intellivision Amico in Glacier White.
Amico preorders began today Intellivision Amico in limited edition woodgrain.

I pre-ordered a Graphite Black Intellivision Amico and I couldn't be more excited for this game console! So, now I have several months to wonder about that sixth pack-in game and buying a copy of Moon Patrol - the demo looks really good.

I ordered an Amico
March 30 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Turning off CNN's non-stop doom & gloom programming has made this coronavirus quarantine much more bearable

I believe in staying informed, but CNN's 24/7 coronavirus coverage is too much. Now I mix my time with Bar Rescue marathons, video games, and books.
It feels like a scifi movie. But as the reality of self-quarantine sets in, it feels less like a two-hour romp through a Hollywood blockbuster and closer to a two-month round of Russian Roulette. The facts change faster than most news cycles. By most, I mean daily news broadcasts. CNN, being a 24/7 news broadcaster can bring the latest updates as they happen. But do we really need that? I couldn't take it any longer.

When home I frequently watch CNN - or leave it on in the background - while doing other things. They bring an interesting mix. However, any time there's a major story, they go into 24/7 mode and don't let up as though only one thing is happening in the entire country or world. while I believe in staying informed, the constant barrage of bad news is disconcerting to say the least. So I cut back drastically.

I'm a fan of Jake Tapper's The Lead and Erin Burnett's Out Front. Outside of that, I'm all about the daily morning marathons of Jon Taffer's Bar Rescue. Quitting CNN has made quarantine much more palatable. I'm all about good news, surviving the pandemic and awaiting the re-opening of my local Newbury Comics shop!

My quarantine media mix
March 29 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision announces 5 of the 6 pack-in games for the Amico's October release

The games are a nice balance of genres with something for everyone plus one more to be revealed later.
Pack-in games for Intellivision Amico Originally teasing five pack-in games for Intellivision's upcoming Amico video game console, they revealed the titles, plus one more. That's right, there are now six pack-in games for the Amico.

However, we have to wait a few months to find out what the sixth title will be.

The five revealed game titles are:
  1. Shark Shark
  2. Astrosmash
  3. Skiing
  4. Cornhole
  5. Farkle
The demos and trailers showcase a game console that has put a lot of thought into the big decisions as well as the smaller ones. When you add up everything the Amico will do, I can't help but think it will be a success. The one thing potentially holding it back is exposure.

If you're a gamer, you've probably heard about it. If you enjoy retro gaming, the resurgence of the Intellivision brand has probably caught your attention. But what about Grandma and Grandpa, when they set out to buy a holiday gift for their grandchild? Will they know about the Amico? Will it be on the shelf next to the Switch Lite?

This console won't escape being a "niche item" unless it's presence expands well beyond the gaming community. Gamers follow this sort of thing, but success comes from a much wider audience. That comes down to advertising. The wider the net, the more fish you'll catch. I"m sold on this device - it's going to be insanely fun, but Intellivision needs to reach the masses outside the gaming sphere.

Here's hoping the pull it off, because the modern world needs to experience multiplayer gaming on a couch - and NO headphones!
March 28 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ryan Reynolds may star in a movie adaptation of iconic 80s arcade game, Dragon's Lair

Ryan Reynolds in Dragon's Lair movie adaptation
I loved the originality of Dragon's Lair when it arrived at the Electronic Playhouse in Mt. Kisco. These days, Dexter is the real star of that laserdisc driven video game!
Netflix negotiated for nearly a year to get rights to a movie based on the iconic 80's arcade game, Dragon's Lair, created by Rick Dyer and Don Bluth. Ryan Reynolds of Deadpool fame is in talks to star in the movie.

1983 brought a movie-like arcade game to the entertainment world. Using laser discs, it's interactive story used animated snippets stored on laserdisc to advance the story. It got a bit choppy in places and felt as though the technology wasn't quite there. However, we loved it even though it cost two tokens to play.

I wasn't the typical pixel-based games we played. It was like watching - and controlling - a cartoon. It was an animated interactive game. It was a tremendous novelty in arcades at the time, but it didn't catch on like other games. I wasn't familiar with laserdiscs. I was an ardent fan of Betamax in those days and wan't aware of how laserdiscs would change my passion for movies in just a few short years.

Ryan Reynolds may star in Dragon's Lair, but Dexter is the real hero!
I'll bet Reynolds would be a great Dirk the Daring when Netflix starts filming, but do you know the star of the 1983 video game? His name is Dexter and he's the modern day savior of a variety of laserdisc-based video games.

Dexter is actually a product that replaces the laserdisc player in a Dragon's Lair video game cabinet by supplying the needed video feed from an SD card. Pretty slick! It integrates with the original game's hardware, so it doesn't change any other attributes. It also can provide video for a few other laserdisc games. Terrific innovation!

It seems that movies based on video games are slowly getting a bit better. I liked Detective Pikachu and even thought Pixels was fun. I'll bet Reynolds can do wonders for Dirk in a Dragon's Lair film.
March 27 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari's Missile Command Recharged is a fun reboot of the iconic original from 1980

Atari Missile Command Recharged
Intellivision began showcasing their Amico reboot of Missile Command just as Atari debuted theirs for Android and iOS.
When it comes to mobile games, I'm a very casual player. Atari's Missile Command Recharged is right up my alley. As a retro gamer, it's an irresistible title and reminiscent of the 1980 version. The gameplay is simple to jump into. I can see playing this whenever I'm waiting on line or have only a few minutes to fill.

Tapping the screen launches your retaliatory defense, but it isn't as easy a you might think on a small screen. Too often I focus on one area, missing the incoming onslaught on the other side of my phone's little screen.

Good fun! It's full of modern gaming elements from leaderboards to power-ups. There's also an augmented reality (AR) setting that lets you plop an virtual Missile Command arcade cabinet anywhere you point you phone's camera and projects your game as though you were in an arcade. The game is free to download, but you can pay $2.99 to remove the advertising.

Atari Missile Command art
March 26 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Panzer Dragoon leaps from Sega Saturn to Nintendo's Switch via Limited Run Games

Panzer Dragoon on Switch via Limited Run Games
This was a classic on Sega's Saturn and evolved to other platforms... now coming to Switch!
I was an early adopter of Sega's Saturn video game console and had to buy Panzer Dragoon (1995). Very cool game for it's time. Limited Run Games begins open pre-order for the Nintendo Switch release on March 27th. They describe it as a "visually-upgraded remake" of the classic Panzer Dragoon game. Stop by to reserve your copy.

As you may know, LRG has a deal with Best Buy where they sell a limited quantity of LRG's stock of select titles. I've found several releases at my local store that I'd missed at the initial online sale. LRG says that Best Buy may pick up Panzer Dragoon and offer a case with different artwork. hey say this deal is not set in stone, so it may not happen. I don't consider Best Buy a good back up if I can get a game direct from LRG. Interesting that they may have alternate artwork. Collectable? Higher value? I'm not sure.

If you've enjoyed the game on the Saturn, check out this version for Switch.
March 24 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Albert Uderzo, who drew the "Asterix and Obelix" comics for the past six decades, has died aged 92

The Adventures of Asterix first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote in October 1959.
Albert Uderzo and author René Goscinny created the French comic series about a small village of Gauls who stand up to Roman occupiers. Uderzo, son of Italian immigrants, rose to fame thanks to Asterix.

When I was a kid, I occasionally found Asterix comics and always snapped them up. There was something about those books that appealed to me over the Sad Sack and Ritchie Rich comics I often bought.

Asterix and Obelix
March 24 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The coronavirus has delayed The Pretenders 11th studio album - Hate For Sale - back to July 17

This virus is altering everything from our healthy well being to entertainment. Nothing is unscathed by this new disease.
Originally to be released on May 1st, The Pretenders new album Hate For Sale will slide back to July 17th. This is their 11th studio album. You can check out first single The Buzz online.

I was excited to pick up "Alone" in October 2016 which makes me even more excited for another release. I love that bands I've followed since their beginnings are still making great music. I loved The Pretender's first self-titled album and became a lifelong fan. Stoked for the July release!

The Pretenders - Hate For Sale
March 23 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Animal Crossing New Horizons couldn't have come at a better time and GameStop went all in

Animal Crossing New Horizons
Sales for Animal Crossing on Switch show just how much we needed this game to combat the coronavirus shutdown. Is this why GameStop insisted on staying open?
Sales figures are pretty crazy for Animal Crossing New Horizons. With the current state of the world, it may have to do with folks being quarantined to their homes and desperate for something cool to passy the time. Animal Crossing to the rescue!

While it's been a popular Nintendo franchise, this release for the Switch is beating almost all records for the platform. This makes me wonder if GameStop's defiance of all the coronavirus shutdown orders and zany claims of being an "essential business" was a ploy to get through the launch weekend of Animal Crossing. With their fragile financial status, it wouldn't be too surprising to discover they wanted to capitalize on this popular title at the brick and mortar level. I'm sure Amazon shipped more copies than

I'm working from home, as are many of us. I feel very fortunate to be able to work from home in light of the millions who have been laid off in the wake of this virus. I've loved Animal Crossing on my 2DS, but haven't bought the Switch release yet. Now is an excellent time to have a game like this. It's good naturedness is just what I need in these unsettling times. I'll get it eventually, but wish I had it now!
March 21 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Streets Of Rage 4 has an open pre-order for the physical release from Limited Run Games

As a big fan of the Streets Of Rage series, I'm really looking forward to the 4th installment and the art style they've employed.
Streets Of Rage 4 physical release from Limited Run Games Streets of Rage 4 is coming soon as a digital download, but you want the physical cartridge, right? Yeah, we knew it. You're in luck! Limited Run Games is releasing the physical version and has an open pre-order for the game.

They're offering it for Nintendo Switch and PS4 with a classic and standard version. The more expensive classic versions have a "Genesis" style SteelBook Case case and comes with a few extras.

Of particular interest to me is the hand drawn art style. It's still the side-scrolling beat down you've come to love with a few new abilities.

It's so cool that another entry is coming in this series. It brings back so many memories. Axel and Blaze team up with new sister in arm Cherry Hunter. Order a physical copy soon - the pre-orders end a week after the digital version is released.
March 20 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop's insistence on staying open shows how damaging the coronavirus has been on retailers

GameStop is suffering from virus quarantine
Many of GameStop's stores are inside malls that have closed due to the virus. This hurts an already ailing company.
GameStop is trying to remain in business. The global pandemic is taking a toll on humanity and many businesses. GameStop has been in financial distress for a few years, limping along with acquisitions, store closures, and experimental expansions. They are fighting to stay open, as an "essential business" claiming to sell computer and communication products. The situation being what it is, makes this unsafe. Still they persist with staying open.

It's easy to sink into self-serving pity during the increasing quarantines associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants are closed. Many stores are closed. Movie theaters are closed. Many events have been canceled or postponed. On top of it all, we are being told to stay in our homes. It's an irritating situation. But that's just on a personal level. The business world is going through many changes as well and it will leave many small businesses in ruins.

GameStop is obviously not an essential business and should be closed, but their struggle to defy rules and recommendations shows how much this pandemic is hurting them. Many malls are closing. Many GameStop locations are inside malls - thus closing them down regardless.

No customers means no income which also translates into a very bleak future the longer this pandemic keeps people separated from retailers. Roads are wide open. The streets are almost empty of the large crowds I usually see. This is effecting our daily lives and our economy. They promise this will pass and I'm sure it will, but what will remain after extended shutdowns remains to be seen. Clearly GameStop it teetering on the edge of ruin. A lot of folks are poking fun at them or angry they are forcing their workers to remain in the stores.

Don't lose sight of the difficulties both financially and health-wise that are effecting a great many people. Some are hiding in their homes hoping for the best. Others are hoping for the best in hospital beds. Stay safe. Stay at home.
March 20 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This sums up my feelings on surviving the coronavirus with our moron-president lying and misrepresenting every aspect of this pandemic

This idiot's lies are causing American deaths!
If you think trump's w has your best interests in mind, guess again. His administration is about personal greed and profit. If you doubt the corruption of the president and most of his administration, you can research how many of his cohorts have been prosecuted and jailed within his meager presidency.

trump's former job was "Game Show Host", he has dozens of failed businesses, bankrupted his own casino, stole from his own charitable organization, has numerous outstanding RAPE charges, and is a psychopathic liar. Name another president with that sort of record. Nixon was a saint next to this imbecile.

Warning of a pandemic was brought to light and trump's reaction - to the bad news - was to eliminate the Pandemic Response Team in 2018. Those who predicted this pandemic were fired for doing their jobs. Warnings were again issued Januar 3, 2020. He still ignored the warnings - when there was time to be proactive and do something. He chose to do nothing... except lie to the country.

If the coronavirus doesn't rid us of this orange-idiot, I hope trump will be held responsible for the deaths in the US! What he's done, by ignoring facts and spewing lies, is kill Americans. Every death should be a lawsuit against our moron president.

GameStop is suffering from virus quarantine Dr. Fauci's reaction to trumps stupidity.
March 18, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Mike Winterbauer, the artist behind Power Blade's iconic NES cover art, has a cool tale to tell... and a print

Mike Winterbauer's Power Blade art
If you don't know his work, you may have one of Mike's creations on the cover of your favorite video game!
Mike Winterbauer has created many covers for iconic video games from the 80s and 90s. Those include covers for Might and Magic Clouds of Xeen and Darkside of Xeen, Wing Commander, Solstice, Wolfchild and Power Blade among others. Right now he has a Power Blade print Kickstarter campaign. You can get a print of the cover art along with a behind-the-scenes about the cover's creation. The game came out in North America in 1991 and I found it to live up to the great artwork that sold me on the purchase.

NES Power Blade cart He had a pretty cool technique for creating models to get the right poses for his gaming projects and he'll take you through the process as he re-creates the Power Blade cover. Check out this campaign as you can get the Power Blade print in several formats including a slick limited edition version including the box art and reference photo. He also tells a good story about himself and process.

Back in the Power Blade era, before everything was readily available online, I'd spend hours in Toys R Us browsing the NES box covers trying to discern which game was best. Without online reviews or info, buying video games was nearly a form of gambling as to how good the actual game was compared with it's artwork. Great art = great game, right? Not always.

I managed to use that flawed technique to buy a few of my favorite titles, but also got a few clunkers. It was a great era full of artistic creativity. Check out Mike Winterbauer's Power Blade Kickstarter and visit his website, Mike Winterbauer Arts for a look at many of his other works and projects.
March 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision releases a trailer showcasing over twenty games for the upcoming Amico console

A quick look at 23 games - some re-imagined some brand new. This is going to be a cool console!
Twenty-Three games are on the trailer released today! That's pretty cool. For those who love retro and modern gaming, the Intellivision Amico is shaping up to be a very cool console. The best part is the VIP Pre-order is coming March 31! Check out the trailer below to see some of the old favorites re-imagined and a slew of new games. Get all the details at Intellivision Amico website.

Being a huge Evel Knievel fan, seeing that game in the trailer made my heart leap. I watched many of his stunts on Wide World Of Sports (sponsored by Mutual of Omaha) as a kid. I was obsessed with his flare and stardom and the crazy things he did on a giant Harley... totally not designed to "fly."

I become more and more excited for the Amico as they make more announcements! Tommy Tallarico has his marketing engine finely tuned. The email updates make me crave this system. The last system I rally yearned for was the Atari Jaguar in 1996 (yeah, I still love my Jag!). Very excited for the October release!

Intellivision Amico preview game trailer

23 Game Preview Trailer for the Amico

March 13, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A national emergency was declared over the coronavirus pandemic triggering a run on toilet paper

If you're stuck at home for a few weeks, stock up on food, medicine, and video games!
As large-scale events are being canceled and postponed, schools began shutting down and a sense of reality set in. This feels like a bad scifi movie and we're all the stars. The news showed long lines at supermarkets and the primary item being hoarded was toilet paper. I thought that was odd, but assumed the remote area I live in would be immune to such idiocy. False.

Stuck at home? Buy food and video games, not toilet paper!
Pictures of our local Trader Joe s supermarket circulated around the office. Their shelves were bare - all of them! I became a bit nervous wondering if this scenario was happening in my area. My food supply at home was definitely low, so a run to the supermarket was necessary.

I went to two stores and none had long lines... or toilet paper. Why are people concerned with wiping their butts during a crisis? If you're stuck at home for a few weeks, go buy some new video games!

Toilet paper is sold out everywhere
March 11, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The global pandemic of the Coronavirus is impacting everything from E3 and SXSW to Coachella and pro sports

Coronavirus worries have cancelled E3
This virus is still quite new and unknown in several respects, but many large gatherings from sports and music to business conferences have been cancelled or postponed.
the official announcement was made today about the cancellation of 2020's E3 conference in Los Angeles. As large music festivals and Sporting events are being shut down, E3 followed suit. No E3 in 2020.

Coronavirus worries have cancelled E3 It's been established that the coronavirus can be transmitted person-to-person in close proximity, but it's hard to say if shutting down large events helps or hypes the panic. There are a lot of factors and we're still finding out more about this pandemic.

Several vendors had already backed out or previously decided not to attend for various reasons before the outbreak. It remains to be seen if this helps curb the spread.

This virus seems eager to spread through the population and as more people contract the coronavirus, it will still spread fast regardless of shuttered events.

I hope this won't be the end of E3. Over the years, it's relevance is questioned as major developers bow out. I like having a yearly event to mark all the coming technologies, games, and more. I've never attended, but I love the concept. It would be a shame if this caused enough financial damage to shutter E3 forever. The same could be said for other large festivals like SXSW. Can such large events simply cancel and simply rebound the following year> Time will tell.

The only guarantee is trump will lie about the pandemic's seriousness, in the hope we missed the savage stock market crash. He still says the economy is great. trump cares about one person only - himself. He won't care about the coronavirus until he becomes infected.
March 10, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

It's March 10th... Happy Mar10 Day!

This seems like a good day to get all your friends together for a massive Mario Kart jam!
We encourage you to have all your friends pile onto the couch and play video games all day!

Happy Mar10 Day!
March 9, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Xeno Crisis and Tanglewood are coming to Evercade on a 2-game multi-cartridge

The top-down awesomeness of Xeno Crisis is coming to this really cool new handheld along with an original game, Tanglewood.
Xeno Crisis is a top down shooter much like Smash TV and others in that genre. I'm really excited to see this on the Evercade. Both games, Tanglewood included, were Kickstarted games brought over to the Evercade. I love the diversity of games that are being announced for this handheld. Very excited for this one!

Xeno Crisis and Tanglewood on Evercade From the Evercade website
Xeno Crisis is a top-down arena shooter originally designed for the Sega Mega Drive from Bitmap Bureau. In Xeno Crisis you take control of battle-hardened marines embarking on a deadly mission to confront an alien menace! Run and gun your way through thousands of adversaries, searching for survivors, and ultimately facing the origin of the outposts demise.

A successfully Kickstarted project from 2017, Xeno Crisis has been nominated for awards and delivers a truly excellent retro shooter experience.

TANGLEWOOD is a brand new and original game for the Sega Mega Drive, now available on Evercade cartridge following its successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016. A true 16-bit, nostalgic platforming experience running, that will make fans of gamings golden era feel warm and fuzzy.

Set in a fictional world, the game follows a young creature, Nymn, who is separated from the family pack after the sun sets. Unable to get back to the safety of the underground home, Nymn must find a way to survive the night terrors and get to morning.
March 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Finally caught an episode of Duncanville hoping it would have more of a MacFarlane edge

It's quirky, but not enough. It wants to be much edgier than it is and hasn't really found it's niche.
It's a fun sort of show, but it doesn't fit into a space I can relate to. I feel as though Seth MacFarlane has cornered the market on quirky exploits of awesome weirdness with Family Guy and American Dad. Given time, Duncanville might find a niche to separate it. I liked it, but I wanted to love it.

Duncanville cast
March 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The tale of the million-dollar Nintendo Playstation prototype keeps getting stranger

Nintendo Playstation prototype
The owner turned down $1.2 million, for the rare prototype to sell for much less at auction to a former pet store owner!
The gaming world went nuts at the idea of Sony and Nintendo partnering on a video game console. Nintendo went to Sony to develop a CD add-on for the SNES. The deal fell through, but about 200 prototype consoles had been made. Twenty-five years later, only one of the prototypes is "known." Terry Diebold seems to have haphazardly acquired the unit, in a bin for $75, from some sort of bankruptcy sale - I believe.

The unit was identified and verified, then an offer was made for $1.2 million! In many cases the first offer is probably a low-ball price by someone hoping to get a better deal. Diebold said no, thinking an auction would bring in more money. Heritage Auctions was selected to handle the auction.

At the close of the auction, the final bid was around $380,000. Go Nintendo reports Greg McLemore, the founder of, had the winning bid. Selling his pet company to Amazon left him with enough money to buy stuff like this. His intention seems to be creating a video game museum in which to put this unique prototype on display.

Nintendo Playstation prototype
March 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Raw Thrills has a new FRENZY arcade game on the horizon - Bust-A-Move Frenzy

Raw Thrills Bust-A-Move Frenzy
Similar in layout to their Space Invaders Frenzy and Nerf Arcade, Bust-A-Move is coming to arcades.
Bust-A-Move has appeared in different forms on several Nintendo home consoles. Fitting with Raw Thrills' 2-player seated, cannon games... it's coming back to arcades! It's been officially licensed from Taito, featuring all the bubble-popping you can handle. And it's done with 2-player co-op and the manic FRENZY features Raw Thrills has incorporated into several of their video games.

I find their games to be creative, fun, and they keep me coming back for more. I love that they've chosen to update classic games and give them the Raw Thrills touch via FRENZY in some cases. Here are a few recent games from Raw Thrills. I love that they are releasing so many arcade games. It's changing the landscape of arcades!

Recent Raw Thrills Arcade Games

Yooka-Laylee Impossible Lair soundtrack Nerf Arcade by Raw Thrills.
Yooka-Laylee soundtrack Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade by Raw Thrills.

March 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Materia Collective brings back the Yooka-Laylee soundtrack and the sequel, The Impossible Lair

Both Yooka-Laylee soundtracks are available on the usual digital storefronts.
When buzz began building around the Yooka-Laylee video game, I was excited to buy it as it's one of my favorite genres genre. Hearing there might be a physical release, I decided to hold out and bought the cartridge version for Switch, from Limited Run Games. Check out these options for buying the soundtrack!

Yooka-Laylee soundtrack Yooka-Laylee soundtrack.
Yooka-Laylee Impossible Lair soundtrack Yooka-Laylee Impossible Lair soundtrack.

From the Scarlet Moon Promotions newsletter:
Materia Collective is pleased to present the lovable Yooka-Laylee and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtracks on all stores and streaming platforms for the first time. The first Yooka-Laylee soundtrack was released in 2017 but had recently become unavailable whereas 2019's Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtrack was only available on Bandcamp.

Music label Materia Collective has come to the rescue to bring the original soundtrack back to fans and ensure wider distribution of Impossible Lair. Enjoy both soundtracks with music composed by Grant Kirkhope, Davis Wise, Steve Burke, Matt Griffin, and Dan Murdoch on all storefronts.

Yooka-Laylee is an open-world platformer from key creative talent behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games. Players can explore huge, beautiful worlds, meet (and beat) an unforgettable cast of characters and hoard a vault-load of shiny collectibles as buddy-duo Yooka (the green one) and Laylee (the wisecracking bat with a big nose) embark on an epic adventure to thwart corporate creep Capital B and his devious scheme to absorb all the world's books... and convert them to pure profit!
March 6, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Dua Lipa goes full retro with an 80's workout themed video for "Let's Get Physical" with a faux VHS release

The video for her latest single will take you back a few decades to a neon-colored era of fitness.
Dua Lipa Let's Get Physical video Dua Lipa's upcoming album, Future Nostalgia, is releasing on April 3 and she has a crazy cool video for her single, Lets Get Physical. I've been a fan of hers ever since she was able to sell out stadiums off of her first - and only - album. She's growing as an artist and it's cool to see her milestones. And she did a collaboration with BlackPink... so gotta like that!

Remember the deluge of workout videos, on VHS tapes, that inundated our senses in the 80s? Chock full of bright colors, snazzy music and synchronized dance moves guaranteed to shed those extra pounds. Today it's fad-diets and mysterious pills.

Lipa's video and single are a tribute to these times and on top of that it's a bop! Fun video, full of surprises along the way. I especially love the fake VHS case, giving it the look of any of those 80s workout videos. It'll conjure up memories of Jane Fonda. It's hard to forget her film, Barbarella, but look into the workout videos she cranked out.

Best of luck to Dua Lipa on her upcoming album release. Maybe this video will inspire people to exercise their way into better fitness. Dancing around sounds like a better fitness regiment than replacing food with pre-packaged meals and nasty shakes.
March 6, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My Arcade's Retro Champ plays your NES and Famicom cartridges on it's 7” screen or your TV

My Arcade Retro Champ
It's very big, kind of awkward, and way more fun than it should be!
I've been monitoring the My Arcade website for over a year, waiting to see when this contraption would be released. The Retro Champ is here! I saw this last January and fell in love with it's awkwardly large size, but also it's Famicom compatibility.

I snapped a few quick pictures to post for this article, but they did not come out well. These pics are not an accurate representation of the screen's display. It looks really good on the built-in screen!

With the end of the 3DS and the higher cost of a Switch, I don't see nearly as many people out in the wild with their handhelds these days. I'm dying to chill on a bench at the mall playing some Paper Boy or Contra on this beast! It's always fun to see how people react. :)

My Arcade Retro Champ My Arcade's Retro Champ playing Paperboy.
My Arcade Retro Champ My Arcade's Retro Champ playing Paperboy.

March 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Metallica launches a vinyl subscription to include rare cuts, demos & rough mixes, and live rarities

Metallica launches a vinyl subscription club
The resurgence of vinyl has prompted many artists to use the medium for special edition releases. Metallica joins the club.
As vinyl continues to make a comeback, many artists are releasing their albums on both vinyl and CD, along with the digital versions. Vinyl subscription clubs have become a unique way for artists to release special edition tracks for fans. Metallica has launched a vinyl club consisting of four releases each year. You can choose to receive them on their individual release dates or wait for one shipment at year's end.

Those new to vinyl are most likely accustomed to the 12-inch LPs containing an entire album on it's two sides. Metallica's vinyl club stipulates each release will come on a 7-inch disc, also called a "45" due to the speed it must spin to play properly. The 7-inch format can also be cut at 33⅓. A 7-inch disc was often used for releasing singles. A less popular song was on the second (or"B") side. This is where the term B Side" came from. Sometimes the song on the back of a 45 was better than the single!

The metallica subscription uses the 7-inch 33⅓ format, but specify it as the "small-hole" format. Back in the day, your turntable needed an adapter to play 45s because the hole in the center was much larger than on the larger LPs. The 45s I grew up with (larger hole) cold hold about 4½ minutes of music on each side. I'm not familiar with the small-hole format, but it seems to hold six minutes per side. I mention all this for those who might be expecting a lot more music than this on each release.

Some Of Us Grew Up Before Digital Formats

I grew up on vinyl, so it's interesting to see it come back and reach sales beyond CDs. I loved buying albums back in the 70s and 80s, but the durability and convenience of Compact Discs had big appeal to me (and a lot of other folks). A lot of kids have now grown up in the digital MP3 era in which physical copies and analog are foreign concepts.

Imagine growing up in a digital world where physical media no longer exist - your digital music is on your smartphone! There are a lot of kids who fit this demographic. Imagine being told a large 12-inch plastic disc could be used to store music within the tiny grooves on the disc. Stranger still... listening to these discs involves a diamond-tipped needle (whoa that's analog) resting on a turntable that spins the disc at 33⅓ rounds per minute. Would kids today even believe any of this was possible?

The Metallica vinyl club sounds cool for those looking for unique collectable items for their collection. It's worth mentioning these analog releases also have a digital component for those who want to take some cool Metallica tracks on the go!
March 3, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari is releasing Missile Command: Recharged as indiegogo backers wonder when the new VCS will ship

Missile Command: Recharged for Android and iOS
Atari touts this mobile game as a modern take on the beloved Missile Command arcade game.
Atari announced Missile Command: Recharged, an upcoming mobile game for Android and iOS. This update to Missile Command will be released this Spring to coincide with the arcade game's 40th anniversary. It will be a free download with ads, but a one-time purchase will eliminate the ads. It's gameplay has been updated with power-ups and an Augmented Reality (AR) mode that lets you project it into an arcade cabinet.

I'm glad that Atari is releasing this game, but I wish they'd treat more of their retro IPs to such re-releases. I feel too many of their iconic games are trapped in the past. Love the original versions, but other companies are doing amazing things with your favorite retro games.

Lately, Intellivision has been getting a lot of press-attention with news and demos of some retro titles for their upcoming Amico Game Console. I've been very impressed with their updates to Moon Patrol and Breakout. It shows a unique understanding of what made the original games fun and how a modern console might deliver a modern experience with the fun of the retro version.

I loved Missile command and always played it when visiting arcades in the 80s. Almost 40 years later an arcade near my home has a cocktail Missile Command! During the years in between I've played Missile command in various formats on several Atari home consoles, Game Boy Color, and an interesting version on the Playstation. I'd almost forgotten how nice it is to play the arcade version with a trackball and the three individually controlled missile bases.

This looks like fun, but I'm not sure if mobile gaming will satisfy my Atari needs, having played so many in arcades and home consoles.

Missile Command: Recharged for Android and iOS
Atari's announcement of Missile Command: Recharged comes not long after Atari announced their chain of hotels catering to gamers - Atari Hotel. I'll laugh if Atari can build a hotel in Phoenix before figuring out how to release their VCS game console.

March 1, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

When I found Llama Loops cereal at the supermarket, I thought of Jeff Minter's Llamasoft

Llama Loops cereal - not a Llamasoft creation
There must be people out there collecting cereal boxes... I might be one of them. I couldn't resist Llama Loops!
I keep an eye out for odd stuff like this. My craving for off-beat cereal comes from a childhood love of Boo Berry cereal every Halloween, along with the other monster cereals they release. There's even a Monster Cereal board game called Monster Crunch! It's a fun game... yeah, I bought it :)

Lately, I've seen several Star Wars cereal boxes as well as Quisp and Capt'n Crunch holiday variations. I admit to collecting, but I'm starting to think I may be a cereal box collector.

Llama Loops cereal - not a Llamasoft creation

February 2020 Retro Gaming Articles:

February 29, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The complete Jetman comic strip from CRASH magazine is being compiled into one book

Jetman comic strip from CRASH magazine
Based on the hero of Jetpac and Lunar Jetman games, The Collected Adventures of Jetman is available in paperback and hardcover.
Did you play Jetpac or Lunar Jetman video games? Did you read Crash Magazine and follow Jetman's adventures in their monthly comic feature? He's back! Chris Wilkins of Fusion Retro Books has a Jetman Kickstarter campaign, that's fully funded, to bring The Collected Adventures of Jetman back in one tome!

I love projects like this. There are several magazines I remember from the 80s that featured a single-page comic strip in each issue. It wasn't necessarily the highlight of the mag, but it was always there and I followed those stories each month. As time marches on, such comics become forgotten or disappear. That's what makes this project so important and wonderful

This book is full of great art and stories in color and black & white. You'll also find some cool additions to some of the backing tiers. If you love off-beat comics from the 80s, this may be the coolest thing you buy all year!

CRASH magazine with Max Headroom CRASH magazine (#26 March 1986) featuring Max Headroom.
CRASH magazine with Max Headroom The Jetman comic featured in the March '86 CRASH magazine featuring Max Headroom. Now imagine a full book of this amazing art style.

February 29, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pie and a movie with Stuber on DVD and Mrs. Smith's apple pie is much simpler than online streaming interfaces

Stuber and apple pie
Stuber is an underrated comedy with plenty of action, goes well with pie, and DVD is a better experience than streaming!
While the majority of people I know churn through poorly designed user interfaces on their televisions, I look through my DVD collection and chose a recent purchase, Stuber. Paired with apple pie, my night is set. Now and then, I hear of a Netflix original and feel a bit left out, but overall, I find the online entertainment experience restrictive and difficult to use in a timely manner.

I like the convenience of shopping with Amazon which led me to get a FireStick and Prime which gives me access to a decent amount of options. The problem is - discovery. If I have a specific show or movie in mind, I can easily find out if it's available through my FireStick, but if I just want to browse for something interesting, it can take twenty minutes or more to find nothing I'm interested in watching!

Convenience is lost when there are too many streaming services.
That DVD I pulled out... I spent five minutes looking through my movies and then grabbed Stuber. As a passionate fan of the weekend Blockbuster experience, I love sifting through my DVD collection. I've been adding to it since buying Twister, one of the first titles offered in 1997. Sure Amazon offeres many more titles than I own, but my collection is tailored to my interests. The FireStick gives access to tons of garbage I'd never want to watch, but I have to sort through too much garbage to find a good flick.

I added the FireStick in an effort to add more new movie options. I love watching my favorite DVDs multiple times, but it's nice to see something new. I prefer owning my media (video games, music, movies) and I'm glad I do because finding a good film to stream is pure frustration. Still I wanted some access to things outside my DVDs. I loved Sneaky Pete, but I knew about it and it was easy to watch the seasons.

Every month I see a list of films being removed from Netflix. My DVDs are always available! I'm biased toward physical media and owning my entertainment media, but I see the convenience of streaming. The problem is there are dozens of streaming services.

The physical media you own is available 24/7.
It used to be as simple as adding Netflix. Now, when you tell your cable company you no longer want their TV service, you don't save money because there are ten different streaming services you'll need to get all the content you want.

Each of these services has it's own awful user interface. What used to be one service from the cable company (yes, all cable companies are dreadful) is now in silos from the myriad of streaming companies. To find something to stream (watch at home) you may have to navigate through a dozen different interfaces provided by each of the services you subscribe to.

Entertainment content in silos with non-uniform interfaces across multiple delivery services. Is this more convenient? Is this saving you time? Does it make watching a movie a better experience?

It may not be Blockbuster in size, but I love my DVDs and all the music and games I have on physical media! And Mrs. Smith's pies are insanely easy to prepare.
February 28, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Analogue is taking pre-orders for the final run of the Nt Mini, NES clone

Analogue Nt Mini Noir
If you have the means, buy one! Analogue makes a phenomenal product that is robust and well designed.
Analogue, maker of emulation-free game consoles introduced the Nt in 2015. It was a flawless clone by nature of using the original Nintendo CPU and PPU. They later released a more compact model, the Nt Mini in January 2017. It retained the facets of the former model, but was 20% smaller and based on an FPGA. Both consoles were extremely expensive - in the $500 range - but were equal parts works-of-art as well as NES/Famicom compatible game consoles.

The Nt has been discontinued and Analogue has just announced the final run of the Nt Mini Noir which has a few enhancements over the previous Nt Mini and is anodized in gun metal. We own the later Super Nt console which is much more affordable and love it. So, we recommend the Nt Mini as owners and customers of Analogue products.
February 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of the famous Konami Code, passed away at age 61

Konami Code
The legacy of Kazuhisa Hashimoto's code lives on in many video games!
There is often some disagreement as to the purpose of the Konami Code. Some say it was a development tool allowing testers to navigate the game more easily as they QA'd the game. Others say it was a mechanism to make difficult games easier for gamers. One could say both are true, but I've always heard it was a development feature.

Some folks counter this by asking why the "code" was left in the final version of game if it was only to be used for development and had no function for consumers.

Game development today is worlds apart from what it was back in the cartridge days of the 70s and 80s. There was a finality to a game as it went to market. Once it was on store shelves, that was it. There weren't any online online updates or fixes. The final state of the game was how it live on forever! OK, maybe that's a bit dramatic.

Code was often "delicate" shall we say for lack of a better term. Thus when it was deemed complete and ready to ship, the last thing you'd want to do is alter the code. Removing the Konami Code would be such an alteration. Removing the ability to use the code, for cheating or otherwise, might cause an issue somewhere in the game. The smart thing to do was leave it alone once the game was signed off on.

There are many codes similar to the Konami Code and they all have a common element. They are long and complex - not the sort of thing one might accidentally enter. No one ever expected gamers to find these codes, but times change and tools allow for a lot more intrusion by almost than anyone.

Originally used in the NES version of Gradius, the Konami Code is most known for it's 30-lives in Contra. I first heard it called the Contra Code. As time passed, gamers were amazed to discover this magical code worked in several games and it took on the name, Konami Code. Kazuhisa Hashimoto legacy will live on forever in the beloved titles carrying his dev tool, that's helped many gamers get farther than expected in some really tough games.
February 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

JIF Peanut butter released a limited edition GIF jar in an effort to settle the pronunciation debate

JIF Peanutbutter's GIF jar
I'm all about Skippy Super Crunch and that file format is pronounced with a hard 'G'
Jif Peanut butter printed up these limited edition jars with Jif on one side and Gif on the other. This was a promotional stunt - the limited edition jars sole out in minutes - was based around the pronunciation of the abbreviation for "Graphics Interchange Format" - GIF. There's been a debate about the "G" being a hard sound like in Graphic or soft as in Jif Peanut butter.

This is a pretty creative and fun campaign. Being a tech nerd and lover of PB&J sandwiches, I was down for it. However the news coverage seemed not to understand the decision rendered by Jif, who said...
"WHEN IS IT OK TO CALL A GIF A "JIF"? NEVER," the peanut butter maker protested. "Jif is peanut butter. GIFs are looping animations."

I agree with this - Gif is pronounced with a hard "G" as written on the mock peanut butter jar. However, news outlets like CNN seemed to think the Jif Peanut butter folks followed along with Graphics Interchange Format creator, Steve Wilhite, who says it's a soft "G". Then all the other outlets, who blindly copy and paste from one source, all began saying Jif sided with the soft "G". Untrue, but lemmings are designed to follow.

Since Jif had their pronunciation printed on the jar itself, it's kind of hard to misinterpret that. Here's their Tweet to clarify. Alas, as I said above, I'm a fan of Skippy and Reeses, so I admire the clarification and clever ad campaign, but I'm sown with my Super Chunk!

JIF Peanutbutter's GIF tweet
February 14, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Valentines Day! I'm taking some time off to hang out with my son for the school vacation week

We hope to play a ton of games from the Atari 2600 to the PS4!
Enjoy Valentine's Day. We hope your significant other likes playing games with you as this is the obvious thing to do on such a joyous day. Game on! Keep it retro! Enjoy playing with someone special.

If they won't play games with you on Valentine's Day... they're not that special!

Happy Valentines Day We're looking forward to school vacation week and video games!
February 11, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

How is THIS not an impeachable offense?!?

This dope of a president hasn't learned anything. He still thinks he's above the law!
trump can apparently sway the justice system by posting a tweet. What kind of spineless garbage lets this effect a DOJ case? He's going to pardon every criminal on record come the end of his term. God help us if his moronic followers re-elect him.

criminal trump
February 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Analogue is selling the Mega SG adapters for Game Gear, Mark III/SG1000, and MyCard compatibility

Analogue Mega SG adapters
As they've done in the past for NES and SNES, Analogue's Genesis clone opened up threefold.
When Analogue began taking pre-orders in the Fall of 2018, the FPGA-based Mega SG was going to bring to the Genesis, what they'd delivered for NES and SNES. With an FPGA architecture the primary difference was a set of adapters, enabling a much wider game library. In addition to the Genesis game library, the Mega SG now plays Game Gear, Mark III/SG1000, and MyCard games.

Check out their website to order these adapters.
February 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's Virtualboy was such a crazy cool console, like no other, I couldn't resist buying one the first week

Nintendo's Virtualboy
Sandwiched between the Saturn and PlayStation, the naysayers came on strong with stories about headaches and too much red.
Game consoles had been defined. From handheld to living room, consoles played typical games and gamers weren't ready to have Nintendo bend the rules with a tabletop tripod-mounted... thing. Lots of red and allegations of 3D gameplay. It was too much for gamers. They couldn't take it at face value. It wasn't accepted for the innovation it was.

It didn't look like Sega's saturn and Sony had spent a lot to define the PlayStation as the next big thing. Nintendo's Virtualboy didn't look right or play the right games. It was one of Nintendo's larger forays into doing things their way.

I loved everything that made Virtualboy different. I bought one right away and loved it. When I discovered there was a Waterworld game, I flipped out. I loved that movie and a tie-in on Virtualboy was the best! I've always loved seeing something unique and different in gaming. Its what sets it apart. If every gaming company came at it the same way, we'd lose the unique products that have made real strides and differences in gaming. Don't follow the leader. Be the leader and go to new places, not the ones everyone else goes to!
February 5, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As human-garbage goes, trump is little more than a convenience to the GOP as they shape the tragic future they've dreamt of

criminal trump
It's rare to see so many grown men supporting a man who is clearly a criminal, unintelligent, and a chronic liar. Makes you wonder what they get out of it.
Today we learned that crimes are no longer illegal... at least for the President. trump lives in a deluded world where his statements are the only "truth" anyone needs. Congress seems to support this notion.

The first thing I noticed about trump was his inability to speak. His fourth-grade vocabulary combined with a lack of understanding about nearly everything, makes his speeches sound like a schoolyard bully desperate to be the center of attention. Eager for power, yet having none. It's his angry tone and cadence that make him sound moronic as his lies make up the substance of all his speeches.

When you see the GOP so ardently defend him, you should be scared. It isn't about trump. He's simply a timely dupe to have befallen POTUS at a time when Republicans are set to dispense their wrath on the American citizenry. Now is a time that old white men see an opportunity to proliferate through the removal of all others. Minorities are being removed from the voting lists in droves. At the same time, healthcare is being denied to the widest group in humanity's history.

Wealthy old white men are seeing to it that the wealthy thrive while everyone else slides into the oblivion of poverty. Having a figurehead president who dispenses racism and hate, makes their job so much easier. The dopey President takes the blame as this country sinks toward an unrecognizable version of it's former self. Rich people used to be fairly dumb. Now we have ultra rich people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk. These are not your traditional billionaires. They made their money by being intelligent. Most of the wealthy have inherited their wealth and screwed over anyone who got in their way. The GOP isn't accustomed to intelligent wealth.

So why do so many folks support trump? They share a lot in common with him. They want to get away with the things trump does. He's one of them and they wan to be just like him. They want to get away with lying, cheating on their wives, letting their racists views define them. They're little versions of trump. He thinks he fixed the economy. They think he did too. Strategies developed by the Obama are carrying forth and resulting in a better economy. trump takes credit for this and calls the previous administration losers. trump followers love name-calling. It feels as good to them today as id did in middle school, just a few decades ago. Like trump, they haven't progressed and still love being bullies.

After the failed attempt t remove our moron President from office via impeachment, the breadth of his corruption becomes more evident. The GOP is desperate for him to be re-elected so they can continue their cleanse of America. If you think republicans care about people, just you wait. If re-elected, this country will become an unrecognizable pit of poverty surrounded by extreme wealth. You'll find cities full of untold riches surrounded by abject poverty as far as the eye can see. What seem like petty differences today, will be the fodder of localized wars tomorrow.

This is the result of destroying news organizations, the arts & culture, and a new norm where those who hate the most will survive the best. The GOP has its work cut out to ruin America to this level, but another four years of trump and his insipid followers will aide the job tenfold. Keep voting for corruption and see it that puts you on top. It won't. It will put you just where the GOP wants you... top of the trash heap outside their thriving white cities.
February 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari unloaded another ambiguous press release full of factory pics and no launch info

Development consoles in the Atari VCS factory
With no discernible plan, Atari continues to tell us they're tweaking things for the next wave of development consoles.
Not long ago, Atari was hoping to deliver the VCS to backers in December 2019. Then, they said they needed a few more weeks. So, on February 4th (a month later), they are tweaking things for the dev consoles. If you know anything about development and timelines, this just doesn't add up. Theres no way they could deliver in "a few weeks" when they have yet make a commercial run of consoles.

Everything about this project is rife with conflicting information. They say they showed off a working Atari VCS console at CES, but no one has reported playing a video game on an Atari VCS. They're never quite ready to launch because they're making improvements. But these "improvements" go on and on for months. Is this thing ever going to reach a state of completion? They show no interest in delivering this hardware.

Atari offers their fans very little to get excited about. Who uses assembly line photos to showcase progress? I don't want to see how mufflers are put onto Mustangs. I want to see that car put power to the pavement and use every ounce of power to jump off the line. Excite me! Don't bore me with assembly pics. Show family's playing games. Show gameplay footage. Show off some apps. Do something sexy and uniquely Atari!

I find it interesting they can't even get their own Atari Vault software to run as built-in retro games on each console. They have a special version of it that you stream via Antstream - who provide most of the retro offerings via subscription. Atari needs to get serious about this project. Do you know what that means? It means they'll walk away from the VCS and pretend no one is watching as they gloat about Atari Hotels.

Red PCB in the Atarri VCS
February 3, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As Animal Crossing comes closer to launching on Switch, Nintendo is getting it's website in order

While this isn't the first console release of Animal Crossing, it will be my firt time playing on a big screen!
As some consider the Switch to be Nintendo's current handheld, I've only played Animal Crossing on my 2DS, making Animal Crossing: New Horizons my first time playing on a console and large screen. I have to say I liked the handheld vesion and the ability to "visit friends" via local connection or internet. It will be interesting to see it all unfold on a large TV.

I've really not used the handhled-to-TV feature. I can see Animal Crossing: New Horizons filling that gap. I can see wanting to jump in on the go and connecting to my living room TV for longer sessions. I'm excited for this release! Keep up on Ninendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons website.

Animal Crossing on Switch

January 2020 Retro Gaming Articles:

January 30, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The franchise has taken some abrupt turns, but I'm still excited to buy Terminator Dark Fate on Blue-Ray

Terminator is one of those franchises that always lures me in. Regardless how many time-shifting oddities occur.
I till remember seeing the first film in the theater. It launched a life-long interest in the movies that followed. The first two seem to be the favored stories of the franchise, but I always find things I love in each film. Who thought Linda Hamilton would ever return to battle the Terminators?

There's also a TErminator Resistance game that sounds a lot like the "Salvation" game on the PS3. Loved that one. Hoping Resistance will emerse us in another dark world of survival and kickass weapons!

Terminator Dark Fate on Blue-Ray
January 29, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My local arcade removed their Atari Pong Table citing it “too confusing for customers”

My local arcade removed their Atari Pong Table
Pong is one of the earliest video games to start the gaming frenzy. I refuse to believe modern man is stumped by Pong. Pong rules!
The original Pong game was quite rudimentary, but it was a lot of fun. Modernizing such a game could go several directions. The folks who created the Atari Pong Table took a bold turn and made na electro-mechanical version of the game. It has a ball, paddles, and spinners. Everything you need to play, but it has no screen. No pixels. The ball and paddles move via a system of rails and cables beneath the game top.

It sounds crazy, but the spinners were super smooth and the action was great. It took a game from the 70s and breathed new life into it! it was great fun. They've even released a deluxe model featuring four players. This is a hot game that isn't resting on it's laurels. They're making it better.

I know it's difficult to manage an arcade floor. Games have to perform to certain standards, but when they underperform, I wouldn't be too eager to remove the game all together. Too complicated? Add some instructions fo those who don't get it. Give the game price break and entice people to give it a try. It's Pong! You don't give up on Pong!

My local arcade removed their Atari Pong Table
January 29, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Get a full-length chiptune album on an NES cartridge - Goofy Foot: Power Chiptunes

2,600 limited edition woodgrain Founder's Edition Amico console pre-orders sold out
You can download the files, but when you're listening to chiptunes played from an NES cartridge... on your NES - that's how chiptunes are done!
Check out this Kickstarter for the sickest way to crank up some awesome chiptunes! Goofy Foot: Power Chiptunes is a compilation of 15 synthwave/chiptune artists, presented on a fully functional NES cartridge. No games - just chiptunes! This is a limited run of 100 hand-numbered NES carts, playable on your Nintendo Entertainment System.

This seems to be the beginning of more cart-based releases, but this one kicks it off with translucent green cartridges. You also get a digital download of the album and the Audio Expansion Adapter from Infinite NES Lives. Pretty sweet deal!

A unique & authentic way to enjoy a full-length chiptune album!
If you love chiptunes and playing NES games, this is a unique way to use your game console as a stereo. I grew up playing arcade ports on my Atari 2600. When the NES arrived, the first thing I noticed was the sound. There was music!

It's sound capabilities were amazing compared to the consoles I'd owned. Goofy Foot: Power Chiptunes is all music, so you get authentic sounds and music reminiscent of games you've played. But there's no game code. It's all music - fifteen full tracks of chiptunes.

This could be the coolest album you've ever bought! Check out the kickstarter and order soon to get a low number from this limited edition release of 100 cartridges!
January 28, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

2,600 limited edition woodgrain Founder's Edition Amico console pre-orders sold out in five hours

2,600 limited edition woodgrain Founder's Edition Amico console pre-orders sold out
With a woodgrain finish and 2,600 consoles up for grabs, it's a fun jab at Atari who are attempting to reboot their VCS from the '70s.
Intellivision and Tommy Tallarico have done a great job promoting and developing the Amico console. They had an open pre-order for a limited edition of the Amico console and it sold out in five hours. They sold two thousand six hundred game consoles in five hours! That's pretty cool!

They sold 1,000 units in the first ten minutes! That's a remarkable number and it seems that Intellivision has plenty of time to widen the campaign's reach. They need to get folks outside the hardcore gaming circles to add an Amico to their households for great family fun.

I think the pace and quantity of pre orders show the Amico can be successful at retail. Atari had managed their project behind closed doors, revealing very little info. Intellivision has showcased the Amico with demos, videos and a website full of info. They have great potential to reach a huge audience, nostalgic for classic video games, yet seeking something for the whole family. I'm stoked for this release!

Founder's Edition Amico console pre-order tweet
January 27, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari relies on their successful IPs from the 80s to launch gaming hotels - Atari Hotels

Atari Hotel concept
If you're wondering why Atari couldn't deliver a game console in 2 years with $3M - worry not. Atari Hotels break ground in 2020.
A press release today announced Atari Hotels. Yes, pack you bags and stay with Atari in a gaming themed hotel. They break ground this year in Phoenix, AZ. Don't worry, they also plan locations in Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose. This and more info can be found on the Atari Hotels website.

From the Atari Hotels website:
Atari, a trailblazer in the gaming industry, is pioneering an exciting new concept: a unique lodging experience combining the iconic brand with a one-of-a-kind video game-themed destination. Atari Hotels level up hotel entertainment with fully immersive experiences for every age and gaming ability, including the latest in Virtual and Augmented Reality. Select hotels will also feature state-of-the-art venues and studios to accommodate esports events.
I'm trying to get Atari to ship me one $30 joystick from a 2-year-old multi-million dollar indiegogo campaign. Why am I reading about a string of Atari Hotels? What is this. Hiltons often have an arcade somewhere near the pool or gym. What does Atari bring to the hospitality industry?

Hotels are not destinations. When I travel, I stay in a hotel so I have a place to sleep an keep a change of clothes & a toothbrush. Travelers typically don't go to hotels to spend much time inside them. Vegas is an exception, but Atari gaming hotels won't have the same draw as Vegas.

Atari Hotel concept Can an Atari hotel be profitable? How does a gaming-themed hotel make money in a world of Trivago and Folks are searching for great deals, not expensive destinations with in-house esports stadiums.

When I want to be immersed in gaming, I'll go to Fun Spot in NH or Galloping Ghost in Chicago. And I'll probably use a website to find the cheapest hotel rate. Finding a hotel with a giant Atari logo doesn't enter the equation.

I understand this is just another licensing deal. Atari has no ability to build or operate hotels. They're putting their name on it for a fee. Donald trump does the same thing. He can't afford to build luxury buildings, so he licences his name. That's why you see trump Towers all over. His name used to have credibility - so did Atari for that matter. After their failed Game Watch and similarly missing VCS game console, Atari has a pretty questionable track record on things outside of t-shirt sales.

Atari would be so successful as a lifestyle brand. I'm still rooting for the Atari VCS and hope they will eventually get that project on track.
January 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision released awesome footage of Night Stalker, re-imagined for the Amico game console

Original version of Night Stalker on Intellivision
The way they are rebooting retro classics is really astounding. They retain so much, yet create beautiful modern interpretations.
Released alongside news of a special edition Amico console opening for pre-sale, gameplay footage of the rebooted classic '82 Night Stalker game was posted. Check out Intellivision's YouTube account for info about the upcoming Amico console.

Night Stalker on Intellivision Amico
From Intellivision's YouTube site:
Designed originally by Steve Montero and released in 1982 , the original Night Stalker game on Intellivision was one of the most popular and biggest selling games for the original system. So much so that it was ported to other consoles including the Atari 2600 (aka Dark Cavern) as well as the Apple II & IBM PC (1983).

Our Amico Retro Re-imagined version is being done by the incredibly talented and award winning developers at Other Ocean & Digital Eclipse while personally be programmed by retro legend and historian Mike Mika. Aside from single player, you can play with up to 4 players. Including Co-Op (as seen in this video) or Versus modes.

Although Amico's broader appeal will cater to families and casual gamers, we also have games to be enjoyed by more serious gamers who are looking to enjoy the challenges of couch co-op and in person versus modes at a little higher level. Night Stalker is such a game.

Please note: This is only a small unfinished sampling of what the game will ultimately be like. Many more surprises on the way! This was recorded and played directly from the Intellivision Amico system.

Night Stalker gameplay footage recorded from an Amico console:

January 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Alienware Concept UFO is a handheld Windows 10 gaming PC looking a lot like Nintendo's Switch

The way they are rebooting retro classics is really astounding. They retain so much, yet create beautiful modern interpretations.
Shown at CES, this switch-like device runs Windows 10 and is clearly set up for gaming, not spreadsheets. Currently existing as a concept device ("Concept" is actually part of it's real name), it's goal is to create a handheld device without the typical mobile architectures that ultimately make such devices very un-computer-like. The idea is a handheld PC for gamers.

Much like Nintendo's Switch, the UFO had detachable controllers and a dock, allowing it to connect with a standard monitor. The specs may come to light if the UFO comes to market, but Nintendo may hav a few thoughts about that...

Alienware UFO
January 24, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision Amico pre-orders begin January 27 for the limited woodgrain Founder's Edition console

Intellivision Amico pre-orders begin
The Founder's Edition Amico is limited to 2,600 units with a great selection of special bonus items.
If you've seen some of the cool colors available for the Intellivision Amico, check out the woodgrain Founder's Edition, available for pre-order on January 26! With a fully-refundable deposit of $100, you can reserve one on Monday!

When I see how much Intellivision is investing in this console's release, it creates an electrifying excitement in me. I have a small investment in the new Atari VCS, but I know the Amico is going to be the console to have this Fall. The Amico game demos are stunning and beyond what I had expected on this upcoming platform. Intellivision Amico logo

The email sent out today from Intellivision was full of great info from the pre-order to the Founder's Edition and Night Stalker demo. Intellivision and Tommy Tallarico understand what it takes to create new hardware, deliver excitement, and keep the momentum going. Very stoked for this console. Go Amico!

The email sent out today contains a list of what will be included with the Founder's Edition Amico video game console:
The Founders Edition package is a $400+ value but we are offering it to you for just $299! It's our way of giving something very special and unique to all of our most loyal fans. But please don't delay! We are only making 2600 Founders Editions available.

  • A Vintage Woodgrain Amico, hand numbered and signed by Intellivision CEO and Amico visionary, Tommy Tallarico.
  • An exclusive $50 RFID golden ticket gift card, to help you load your Amico with tons of great games.
  • An exclusive Founders Patch, commemorating the launch of the new system.
  • An exclusive Founder's pin, perfect for showing off your Intellivision pride.
  • An exclusive lenticular poster, signed by the entire Amico development team.
  • Rock out retro-style with physical CDs and digital downloads of the Earthworm Jim Anthology album and Tommy Tallarico - Greatest Hits Volume II.
  • You'll receive early delivery of this edition BEFORE Amico hits store shelves! You will literally be the FIRST on your block to have one!
January 24, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

In the midst of impeachment, trump releases the Space Force logo he stole from Star Trek

Space Force is the dumbest thing imaginable considering the real issues facing our lives and planet. Who elected this dope?
Roads and bridges are falling apart in the US. Why is Space Force on trump's mind when he's being actively removed from office? Sure the GOP is afraid to put their cash-cow (literally) out to pasture, but it this pussy-grabbing liar really worth the effort?

trump's stupid Space Force logo Starfleet Command logo

As if his delusional nonsense weren't enough, his Space Force logo looks an awful lot like the Star Trek seal. trump isn't very good at anything.

He has a fourth grade vocabulary and a lot less incite. He's a failed businessman who proclaims to be wealthy when he's terrified to show his tax returns that likely showcase his demise, not wealth. Seems like the NY Attorney General has a cell all ready for the orange buffoon. No wonder he's trying to get re-elected. Running the country is probably a better gig than jail. So, yeah. Go Space Force! What a dope.
January 23, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Planters killed off their debonair mascot, Mr. Peanut

Conspiracy theorists assume some sort of nutty rebirth will occur during Super Bowl LIV.
Planters is nuts - figuratively and literally. When their mascot died at age 104, just weeks before the Super Bowl, it stands to reason the nut company has put up $5 million for a commercial that explains it all. I have to admit I'm baffled as to how Wesley Snipes wound up in the peanut's demise. In fact, why was he in the Nutmobile with Matt Walsh? Spoiler alert... I don't care, but I find it odd he was killed off and we don't even get a new Blade movie - or do we?

I have no interest in the Super Bowl. I'm just in it for the commercials. So, if I can learn more about the demise of a peanut mascot, that's a win for me!

RIP Mr. Peanut
January 23, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The folks behind the Evercade handheld are stepping up the hype and I'm excited for this cart-based console

A brand new handheld video game console featuring multiple retro games, from iconic developers, on cartridges. I'm stoked!
I"m beginning to see a lot more posts on Evercade's social media sites. It's looking better and better. The Evercade is coming out on April 9 if you believe the info on Amazon's pre-order page for the Evercade. I've heard a few additional game carts may be available at launch. So excited for this!

Evercade handheld
January 22, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop's Deal-Of-The-Day ads appear so often in social media it's a bit worrisome

GameStop is in financial trouble and everyone knows it. This campaign feels like another attempt to stay afloat in the retail world.
GameStop's Deal Of The Day ad I have mixed feelings about GameStop. On one hand they are one of the few stores in my area that sell used games in a manner in which I can walk in and pick up the game I want to buy and inspect it. I prefer this to receiving a package in the mail only to discover the eBay seller has sent me garbage.

This isn't to say GameStop doesn't have it's shortcomings with used items. Many of their game discs look like they'd been retired as a beer-coaster and traded in towards a new game. I've selectively purchased many used games from them and been satisfied with the transactions.

Daily Deal Or Cry For Help?

So what's this new Deal Of The Day all about? I see these ads so often I get a feeling of desperation from GameStop. Might all be in my head - who knows. Their stores offer a mix of what's available online. These daily online deals give folks a good price on games they may not have seen in their local store.

People give GameStop a hard time, often it's deserved, but other times it is not. If they go out of business, I'll miss them. I don't buy new games very often, so they've been a good source for better pricing via used video games. Another personal preference is shopping at brick & mortar stores. I like to see, hold, and touch things before buying them. Online retail is convenient, but it doesn't satisfy many of my needs. GameStop isn't perfect, but they exist and serve a need I have.

Dumpsters Full Of Gaming's History

On a larger scale, i'm sure GameStop is responsible for putting a vast amount of gaming's history into landfills. There are few dumpsters worth diving more than those behind a GameStop. They seem to consider anything that is not a cartridge or disc as garbage. Game cases, manuals, original boxes - all trash to GameStop. Look in their dumpsters. You'll be astounded!

There are pros and cons to everything. Some things GameStop does benefit me, while other things drive me up the wall. It's the nature of retail and life - you can't please everyone. I'd miss the ease with which I can find used games, but they are also responsible for a lot of gaming's demise as valuable items are discarded. It's an ugly world we live in. You have to choose your enemies carefully. lol
January 21, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Polymega beta testing has been opened up to those who have already paid for a unit during their pre-order

Polymega beta testing
I've never heard of beta testing being restricted to those who've paid for the console already.
The Polymega retro gaming console is very unique and enticing, but it has dragged on for quite a long time. They take a modular approach. You buy a base unit and then buy "console specific" hardware modules for the games you want to play. This way, you purchase only the hardware you need. Have NES games, buy the NES module. TurboGrafX games? No problem - buy the TurboGrafX module. That's a very cool approach.

It's a great concept... if they can bring it to market and reliably add additional hardware options for more consoles. Today I heard they are opening up beta testing. I'd love to see this amazing concept in action. Alas, their beta testing is restricted to those who have already pre-ordered a Polymega unit.

I've never heard of that. Testing is supposed to be impartial, which is why manufacturers typically provide beta units free-of-charge. The other oddity is that I hadn't heard about pre orders until Polymega pre-orders in September 2018/ That was over a year ago!

I really think Polymega's modular approach is innovative and a great way to take retro gaming tech in the modern age. There's a lot of benefits to not melding "everything" into one expensive device. Letting users choose modules is awesome. I wonder if they are a big enough operation to attract venture capital to move things along. I hope they can bring this concept successfully to market.

Polymega beta testing
January 20, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Possibly delayed into 2021, Cyberpunk 2077 has a character voiced by Grimes and a transgender poster

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 is backed by some great star power with a lot of diversity.
Cyberpunk 2077 is shaping up to be an interesting game for a variety of reasons. Getting Keanu Reeves as the central character Johnny Silverhand is pretty slick with all the John Wick and Matrix hype for the upcoming movies. Additionally, Grimes is contributing 4AEM to the soundtrack - first played at the 2019 Game Awards - and voicing the character, Lizzy Wizzy.

Cyberpunk 2077 Then there was the question of an image that appeared as an example of Nvidia's ray tracing capabilities. We're all for inclusion, but weren't expecting a transgender character to be visually depicted in a static ad for ChroManticore. I'd expected trans characters to be introduced via the storyline as opposed to a skin-tight costume in a static ad. I think this image was unfairly pushed into the spotlight for shock value, without any context.

'm sure they'll have a cool mix of characters. Grimes has a new album dropping in February and Keanu is returning in two action flicks as well as a triumphant return in Bill & Ted Face the music. It's an exciting year in entertainment!
January 19, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

AMC is running a Breaking Bad Marathon for the next 5 Sundays leading up to El Camino and Better Call Saul

This is the third or fourth Breaking Bad maraton I've watched. I can't resist this show!
When Breaking Bad first premiered, I ignored it. Massive fanfare followed. I scoffed. At the time, I was growing tired of hype. Everything was hyped. Good things. Awful things. Everything was hyped. I didn't watch the show during it's original run. Not once. I felt defiant and wise.

I missed out on an amazing show.

AMC is now running another Breaking Bad marathon over the next five Sundays. Check it out! It's a marvelously captivating show. Not your average TV show.

Breaking Bad Marathon on AMC
January 18, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari released a blog seemingly overstating their presence and accomplishments at CES

Atari VCS selection screen
Strategic partners had Atari VCS consoles at their booths, but no one reported playing any games.
Atari is seemingly desperate to convince folks they were at CES and that Atari VCS demos were at several booths. While some of their partners did have consoles at their booths, no one has reported playing a game on an Atari VCS. This is the second year, Atari has appeared without functional hardware. There are hints they are closer to a working model, there are still too many clues to how far they are from a realistic launch.

A reviewer stated this was running on a living room style set up of the Atari VCS Atari released another press release on Medium about their CES experience. They speak of demos, yet NO ONE has reported or tweeted having played a game or launching an app on Atari hardware. Their definition of "demo" seems pretty loose. Generally, a demo allows an end-user to get a reasonable feel for a game or app via hands-on use.

I'm calling bullshit on this. Having never demonstrated simple proof-of-concept, how can Atari be claiming to have demos of their hardware at CES when no one could really try anything?

Atari has been much too secretive about every aspect of this project for us to believe any of their claims at face value. They have given us very little reason to believe any of there hardware was behind the screens they displayed.

This recent press release even states they are still "in the process of creating an updated version of the Vault, optimized for the Atari VCS." They go on to say "CES guests had fun playing Atari favorites using the Atari controller, including Asteroids, Centipede, Crystal Castles, and several others."

I've heard of no one who attended CES and was able to play an Atari game on an Atari VCS. Has anyone else heard from an attendee who played Asteroids or Centipede?

It would clear the air and remove all doubt if Atari would allow a reviewer to go through the set-up process of attaching a VCS to a TV and playing a game on it. Seems like a simple request.
January 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Evercade is posting a lot on Instagram and I'm stoked for this cart-based handheld

The Evercade cart-based handheld
It's really the multi-game cartridges that excite me most. I hope this console is really cool!
We discovered the Evercade last Fall and loved the idea of a new console with custom cartridges. With 6 to 20 games on each Evercade cartridge and vendors looking to put more games toward this system, it could turn out to be really cool. They already have several collections from Atari, Namco, Data East and more. There's more info on the Evercade website, check it out.

They list a variety of retailers in different territories. In North America (and others) Amazon is currently taking pre-orders with an April 9 ship date. I'm really excited for a new cartridge-based handheld game console.

The Evercade cart-based handheld The Evercade handheld console.
The Evercade cart-based handheld Game collections for the Evercade handheld.

January 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Kim Petras performed “Icy” on Good Morning America, in NYC

Kim Petras performing Icy on GMA
This is going to expose her music and name to a whole new fan-base. She goes non-stop and keeps hitting new highs!
As an independent artist who doesn't follow the rules of the music industry, Kim Petras is forging her dream career as a pop star. She is a constant hit-maker, putting out great tracks on a regular bases... often weekly! Check out some of her songs online - she rocks!

Kim Petras performing Icy on GMA

Kim Petras performing Icy on GMA
January 16, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has great allure, yet disappoint every year via process and results

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
“Rock” needs to be changed to “Music” to reflect the diversity housed within their museum, representing more than rock & roll.
While many rock bands have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it's worth mentioning how much of a misnomer "Rock" really is to what the Hall wants to achieve. Their Cleveland location is more a a museum of music than anything specific to rock and roll. Yet their public face is all about rock music. Every year I become angry with the process and outcome of each year's inductees - as do many of us.

Mix tapes were fun because they broke the rigidity of albums. Now we have no albums.
The issue for me is rock and roll is fading. Bands are becoming scarce. Gibson Guitars nearly went out of business. When Green Day plays an iHeart event, the audience looks confused and unsure how to properly wave their glow-sticks. Rock and roll needs a boost. It's a genre many of us love and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems disinterested in aiding rock's decay.

Bands today very often don't play instruments. Their "band" is a rack-mounted box. Solo artists distinguish themselves largely by their voices alone. The music behind their voice is moderately generic. Remove the vocals and you're left with very little. No power chords. No guitar solos. No hooks. There are no defining elements to many of the songs on radio or the digital charts.

This leads to a financial loss in the industry. Where a hit song once inspired the sale of a $15 album, cassette, or CD, today's hit songs are downloaded for $1.29 each. Want to explore other songs from that artist. Good luck. All they do is release "singles" without any thought to the cohesive and defining elements of a complete album.

Playlists are the new "album." but feature a mixture of artists. But playlists are created by listeners or worse Music Companies. The artist simply uploads their $1.29 piece of the puzzle and algorithms try to arrange the best return on investment. My enjoyment of music is not hinged on music execs wealth goals.

Every song is a single and there's no cohesion or definition. Just a jumble of artists' songs.
When I think about how many B-sides were really great songs, it's sad they no longer exist and that no one remembers what a B-side is any more. The digital age doesn't help music as much as some folks seem to think. I can browse a book store for hours and leave with a stack of great reads. I used to do the same in record stores. But searching Amazon to discover a great read or CD is nearly impossible for me. Even the scanned pages of books and sound clips don't really help. Looking through video games at GameStop is much more productive than various console-related e-shops.

Sure, part of it is me and my disdain for digital media. Enjoying a book, video game, or music has many tactile elements lost in the pixelated world. I loved reading liner notes for my favorite band's releases as much as I like the teasers on the inside of book covers. Manuals used to be my introduction to any new game. All gone in this digital era. Reading is about holding the book as much as listening to music is about sliding the album out of a sleeve adorned with artwork. To deny this is to ignore a lot of what makes reading a book and listening to music a pleasure.

So, T.Rex made it into the Hall. Judas Priest did not. I feel the induction aspect is simply a lure to get bands to come and play an exclusive concert. Admittedly, these concerts are quite unique and involve a great melding of personalities and talents, but each represents such a small segment of worthy bands. It's a gimmick, but we have to realize Pat Benatar deserves to be inducted, but when she is... everything that made her worthy has nothing to do with halls of fame. She rocked as have many others and her legacy, like others, will be part of rock and roll's great history!

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame's only irrefutable accomplishment was getting I. M. Pei to design their swanky lake-front clubhouse.

Judas Priest
January 15, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

It's #NationalHatDay. I'm not really sure what this is, but I know I can't only pick ONE hat

Social media has really trained us in ways we should continue to ignore so we don't realize how sad a hat-holiday is.
Are these faux social media holidays ever repeated? Will National Hat Day happen next year on Jan 15? Every time one of these things pops up in a trending list, I feel like its the first time I've heard of it. Is there an Assistant Manager at Lids trying to make his sales quota by inventing a viral faux holiday? WTF?

National Hat Day Atari and Intellivision hats. I love the red "Blocky" hat, but I never wear it because trump's MAGA bullshit has ruined all red hats.
National Hat Day In-N-Out Burger and Burger World hat from Beavis and Butthead.

National Hat Day PlayStation logo hat and A Donkey Kong Hat.
National Hat Day Just picked up Joker on Blu-ray and who doesn't have a Batman hat? right? maybe? Ok.

January 15, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Wanna buy a monster? Eddie Van Halen's “Striped Series Frankie” is an affordable version of his iconic guitar

It's best to remember that looking like Eddie Van Halen is not the same as sounding like EVH!
I love to pick up a guitar and bang out a modest rendition of Unchained's intro. It's fun! Might be more fun with Eddie's Frankenstein guitar, but when it comes to this level of emulation. If you buy that sexy-ugly red white and black striped monster and an EVH Amp you have to remember there's a secret to getting Eddie Van Halen's sound...

The best way to sound like Eddie Van Halen is to be Eddie Van Halen!

Eddie Van Halen's Striped Series Frankie
January 14, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Streets Of Rage 4 is getting a physical release via Limited Run Games

Streets Of Rage 4
Info is scarce, but SOR4 wil hit the major platforms in the first half of the year.
We first heard about Streets Of Rage 4 back in August 2018. Today we heard about a new partner with the project. Limited Run Games made a brief announcement that they will be releasing the game on physical media. My first thought was the game was only going to be dropped as a download which flies in the face of this awesome franchise that deserves a physical release.

We still don't have a release date, but the SOR4 Facebook page says the game will be released in the first half of this year. It will be available on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The artwork looks amazing! It's all hand-drawn and animated by the studio behind Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. Check out the trailer for a look at the action and art style.

Streets Of Rage 4 Gameplay Trailer

Streets Of Rage 4 - Cherry Hunter Streets Of Rage 4 - Cherry Hunter
Streets Of Rage 4 Streets Of Rage 4 - Adam Hunter

January 13, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BLACKPINK played Coachella last year, appeared on North American TV, got support from a NA record label... then dropped out of sight

I was convinced BLACKPINK was set to make a major impact on America, but they went home and the momentum halted. WTF?
January 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

In a drastic turn from the Flashback emulation consoles, AtGames is taking pre-orders on a full size arcade cab

AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade cabinet
The Ultimate Legends arcade is a curious product from a company known for miniature home consoles emulating 8 & 16 bit games.
AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade cabinet AtGames Ultimate Legends is a full size arcade cabinet with 350 built-in games and a variety of controls on the deck for two players. It contains a mix of console and arcade games from a limited selection of developers with connectivity for streaming PC games from Steam as well as arcadeNet. For $600, it seems pretty limited in terms of the games it will play.

Looking at AtGames history of emulation, they've been renown for cheap consoles with poor emulation. While the Legends Ultimate cabinet looks impressive with joysticks, spinners, and a trackball, if its full of janky ROMs like past products - gorget it. I originally thought these were going to be a $300 product and was surprised to see $600. The game list does not support this price and I'm not sure the USB compatibility and Internet connection make up the difference.

Every time on of these multi-game products come along, I remember the annoying call of the "Raspberry Pi Guy." He's the one who always suggests a Pi solution to every product known to man in online forums and comments. Sure, on occasion a Raspberry Pi does the trick, but that dude is so irritating. But in this instance, I'm thinking a Pi arcade with a ton of MAME ROMs would put me in heaven. The Legends Ultimate doesn't have nearly enough of my favorite 80s and 90s era arcade games to keep me interested.

Legends Ultimate Game List

As I look over this list, the omissions are what really gets me. Sure it has 350 games, but so many seem to be lame console games no one wants.

  1. 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe - Console
  2. 64th Street - A Detective Story - Arcade
  3. 8 Eyes - Arcade
  4. Act-Fancer Cybernetick Hyper Weapon - Arcade
  5. Adventure - Console
  6. Adventure II - Console
  7. Air Cavalry - Console
  8. Air-Sea Battle - Console
  9. Aladdin - Console
  10. Alphabet Zoo - Console
  11. Antarctic Adventure - Console
  12. Apocalypse II - Console
  13. Aquattack - Console
  14. Aquaventure - Console
  15. Argus - Arcade
  16. Artillery Duel - Console
  17. Asteroids® - Arcade
  18. Asteroids® - Console
  19. Asteroids® Deluxe - Arcade
  20. Astro Fantasia - Arcade
  21. Atari Baseball - Arcade
  22. Atari Basketball - Arcade
  23. Atari Football - Arcade
  24. Atari Soccer - Arcade
  25. Atari Video Cube - Console
  26. Avalanche - Arcade
  27. Avenging Spirit - Arcade
  28. Backgammon - Console
  29. Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja - Arcade
  30. Basic Math / Fun With Numbers - Console
  31. Basketball - Console
  32. Battle Wings / B-Wings - Arcade
  33. Best Bout Boxing - Arcade
  34. Big Run - Arcade
  35. Black Widow - Arcade
  36. Blackjack - Console
  37. BlackJack / Poker - Console
  38. Bloody Wolf / Battle Rangers - Arcade
  39. Boogie Wings - Arcade
  40. Bowling - Console
  41. Brain Games - Console
  42. Brain Strainers - Console
  43. Brave Battle Saga - Console
  44. Break Thru - Arcade
  45. Breakout® - Console
  46. Brutal Sports Football / Beastball - Console
  47. BurgerTime - Console
  48. BurgerTime - Arcade
  49. BurgerTime - Console
  50. Burnin' Rubber - Arcade
  51. Burnin' Rubber - Console
  52. Canyon Bomber® - Console
  53. Canyon Bomber® - Arcade
  54. Captain Silver - Arcade
  55. Carrier Aces - Console
  56. Casino - Console
  57. Centipede® - Arcade
  58. Centipede® - Console
  59. Chameleon - Arcade
  60. Champions World Class Soccer - Console
  61. Championship Soccer - Console
  62. Checkers - Console
  63. Chess - Console
  64. Chimera Beast - Arcade
  65. Choplifter! - Console
  66. Circus Atari® - Console
  67. City Connection - Arcade
  68. Cluster Buster - Arcade
  69. Code Breaker - Console
  70. Combat® - Console
  71. Competition Golf - Arcade
  72. Congo's Caper - Arcade
  73. Cosmic Avenger - Console
  74. Crude Buster - Arcade
  75. Crystal Castles® - Arcade
  76. Crystal Castles® - Console
  77. Cybattler - Arcade
  78. D-Day - Arcade
  79. Darwin 4078 - Arcade
  80. Dash Galaxy In The Alien Asylum - Console
  81. Demons To Diamonds - Console
  82. Desert Assault / Desert Storm Gulf War / Thunder Zone - Arcade
  83. Desert Falcon - Console
  84. Desert War - Arcade
  85. Destroyer - Arcade
  86. Disco No.1 - Arcade
  87. Dodge 'Em - Console
  88. Dominos - Arcade
  89. Donald In Maui Mallard - Console
  90. Dorke And Ymp - Console
  91. Double Dunk - Console
  92. Drag Race - Arcade
  93. Dragonfire - Console
  94. Dragonview - Console
  95. Drakkhen - Console
  96. Dual Assault / Liberation - Arcade
  97. Dunk Dream 95 / Street Slam / Street Hoop - Arcade
  98. E.D.F. Earth Defense Force - Arcade
  99. Edward Randy, The Cliffhanger - Arcade
  100. Eliminator Boat Duel - Console
  101. Evolution - Console
  102. Exerion - Arcade
  103. Express Raider / Western Express - Arcade
  104. Facemaker - Console
  105. Fatal Run - Console
  106. Fathom - Console
  107. Field Combat - Arcade
  108. Fighter's History Dynamite / Karnov's Revenge - Arcade
  109. Fighting Fantasy / Hippodrome - Arcade
  110. Fighting Ice Hockey - Arcade
  111. Fire Truck - Arcade
  112. Fix-It Felix, Jr. - Arcade
  113. Flag Capture - Console
  114. Flipper Slipper - Console
  115. Football - Console
  116. Formation Z - Arcade
  117. Fortune Builder - Console
  118. Frantic Freddy - Console
  119. Frenzy - Console
  120. Frog Pond - Console
  121. Full Throttle - All American Racing - Console
  122. Gargoyles - Console
  123. Gate Of Doom / Dark Seal - Arcade
  124. Generals Of The Yang Family - Console
  125. Genesis / Boomer Rang'r - Arcade
  126. Golf - Console
  127. Gondomania - Arcade
  128. Gourmet Sentai Bara Yarou - Console
  129. Gratia - Arcade
  130. Gravitar® - Arcade
  131. Gravitar® - Console
  132. Gun Ball / Nitro Ball - Arcade
  133. Hachoo! - Arcade
  134. Hangman - Console
  135. Haunted House® - Console
  136. Heavy Barrel - Arcade
  137. Home Run - Console
  138. Homerun Nighter '90 The Pennant League - Arcade
  139. Hostages - Console
  140. Human Cannonball - Console
  141. Iga Ninjyutsuden: Itsushin No Kaku - Arcade
  142. Iron Commando - Console
  143. Jaleco Rally Big Run: The Supreme 4WD Challenge - Arcade
  144. Jim Power - Console
  145. Joe & Mac 2: Lost In The Tropics - Arcade
  146. Joe & Mac Returns - Arcade
  147. Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja - Arcade
  148. Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja - Console
  149. Judge Dredd 95 - Console
  150. Jumpman Junior - Console
  151. Jungle Hunt - Console
  152. Kamikaze Cabbie / Yellow Cab - Arcade
  153. Karate Champ - Arcade
  154. Last Mission - Arcade
  155. Legend - Console
  156. Legend Of Makai - Arcade
  157. Liberator - Arcade
  158. Little Lancelot - Console
  159. Lock 'N' Chase - Arcade
  160. Lock 'N' Chase - Console
  161. Lucky Poker - Arcade
  162. Lunar Lander - Arcade
  163. Magic Girl / Spell Damsel - Console
  164. Magical Drop / Chain Reaction - Arcade
  165. Magical Drop III - Arcade
  166. Major Havoc - Arcade
  167. Maze Craze - Console
  168. Meikyu Hunter G (The Real Ghostbusters) - Arcade
  169. Mermaids Of Atlantis: The Riddle Of The Magic Bubble - Console
  170. Metal Clash - Arcade
  171. Metal Mech - Console
  172. Midnight Resistance - Arcade
  173. Millipede® - Arcade
  174. Millipede® - Console
  175. Miner 2049er - Console
  1. Miniature Golf - Console
  2. Missile Command® - Arcade
  3. Missile Command® - Console
  4. Mission X - Arcade
  5. Monte Carlo - Arcade
  6. Montezuma's Revenge - Console
  7. Moonsweeper - Console
  8. Motor City Patrol - Console
  9. MotoRodeo - Console
  10. Mountain Bike Rally - Console
  11. Mountain King - Console
  12. Mr. Bloopy - Saves The World - Console
  13. Ms. Space Fury - Console
  14. Mutant Fighters: Death Brade - Arcade
  15. Naughty Boy - Arcade
  16. Night Driver - Console
  17. Night Slashers - Arcade
  18. Night Star - Arcade
  19. Nightshade - Console
  20. Nova Blast - Console
  21. Off The Wall - Console
  22. Oil's Well - Console
  23. Omega Race - Console
  24. Outlaw - Console
  25. P-47: The Phantom Fighter - Arcade
  26. Parallel Turn - Arcade
  27. Pepper II - Console
  28. Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory - Arcade
  29. Pinbo - Arcade
  30. Pinkie - Console
  31. Plus Alpha - Arcade
  32. Pong® - Arcade
  33. Pool Shark - Arcade
  34. Pop Flamer - Arcade
  35. Power Piggs Of The Dark Age - Console
  36. Power Punch II - Console
  37. Pro Bowling - Arcade
  38. Pro Soccer - Arcade
  39. Pro Tennis - Arcade
  40. Psychic 5 - Arcade
  41. Psycho-Nics Oscar - Arcade
  42. Pyramids Of Ra / Scarabeus - Console
  43. Quadrun - Console
  44. Quest For Quintana Roo - Console
  45. Race / Indy 500 - Console
  46. Radar Lock - Console
  47. Radical Rex - Console
  48. Realsports® Baseball - Console
  49. Realsports® Basketball - Console
  50. Realsports® Boxing - Console
  51. Realsports® Football - Console
  52. Realsports® Soccer - Console
  53. Realsports® Tennis - Console
  54. Realsports® Volleyball - Console
  55. Red Baron - Arcade
  56. Return To Haunted House - Console
  57. Rod-Land - Arcade
  58. Rolloverture - Console
  59. Rootin' Tootin' - Arcade
  60. Saboteur® - Console
  61. Saint Dragon - Arcade
  62. Sammy Lightfoot - Console
  63. Saturn - Arcade
  64. Save Mary - Console
  65. Scrum Try - Arcade
  66. Secret Agent / Sly Spy - Arcade
  67. Secret Quest - Console
  68. Shackled / Breywood - Arcade
  69. Shoot Out - Arcade
  70. Side Pocket - Arcade
  71. Side Pocket - Console
  72. Sir Lancelot - Console
  73. Sküljagger: Revolt Of The Westicans - Console
  74. Sky Diver - Arcade
  75. Sky Diver - Console
  76. Sky Fox - Arcade
  77. Slot Machine - Console
  78. Slot Racers - Console
  79. Soccer Kid - Console
  80. Soldam - Arcade
  81. Space Duel - Arcade
  82. Space Fury - Console
  83. Space Panic - Console
  84. Space War - Console
  85. Spinmaster / Miracle Adventure - Arcade
  86. Sprint - Arcade
  87. Sprint Master - Console
  88. Squirrel King - Console
  89. Squish 'Em Featuring Sam - Console
  90. Stadium Hero - Arcade
  91. Stanley: The Search For Dr. Livingston - Console
  92. Starship - Console
  93. Steeplechase - Console
  94. Stellar Track - Console
  95. Street Racer - Console
  96. Stunt Cycle - Console
  97. Submarine Commander® - Console
  98. Super Action Baseball - Console
  99. Super Action Boxing - Console
  100. Super Action Football - Console
  101. Super Baseball - Console
  102. Super Birdie Rush - Arcade
  103. Super Breakout® - Arcade
  104. Super Breakout® - Console
  105. Super Bug - Arcade
  106. Super Burger Time - Arcade
  107. Super Doubles Tennis - Arcade
  108. Super Football - Console
  109. Super Magician / Elf World - Console
  110. Super Pool III - Arcade
  111. Super Real Darwin - Arcade
  112. Super Real Darwin (Darwin 4081) - Console
  113. Super Star Wars - Console
  114. Super Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi - Console
  115. Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Console
  116. Super Cross Force - Console
  117. Surround - Console
  118. Switchblade - Console
  119. Sword Of Sodan - Console
  120. SWORDQUEST® Earthworld - Console
  121. SWORDQUEST® Fireworld - Console
  122. SWORDQUEST® Waterworld - Console
  123. Takeda Shingen - Arcade
  124. Target Renegade - Console
  125. Telly Turtle - Console
  126. Tempest® - Arcade
  127. Tempest® - Console
  128. Terranean - Arcade
  129. Tetris® - Console
  130. Tetris® Plus - Arcade
  131. Tetris® Plus 2 - Arcade
  132. The Astyanax - Arcade
  133. The Gadget Twins - Console
  134. The Heist - Console
  135. The Humans - Console
  136. The Immortal - Console
  137. The Jungle Book - Console
  138. The Lion King - Console
  139. The Mutant Virus - Console
  140. The Way Of The Exploding Fist - Console
  141. Threshold - Console
  142. Thunderbolt II - Console
  143. Tinhead - Console
  144. Tomarc The Barbarian - Console
  145. Top Racer - Console
  146. Top Racer 2 - Console
  147. Tournament Pro Golf - Arcade
  148. Tournament Tennis - Console
  149. Trio The Punch - Never Forget Me... - Arcade
  150. Tron - Arcade
  151. Tryout - Arcade
  152. Tumble Pop - Arcade
  153. Valtric - Arcade
  154. Venture - Console
  155. Video Olympics - Console
  156. Video Pinball - Console
  157. War Room - Console
  158. Warlords® - Arcade
  159. Warlords® - Console
  160. Warpspeed - Console
  161. Water Margin - The Tale Of Clouds And Wind - Console
  162. Wing War - Console
  163. Winner's Cup - Arcade
  164. Wizard - Console
  165. Wizard Fire / Dark Seal II - Arcade
  166. Wonder Planet - Arcade
  167. World Grand Prix Pole To Finish / Al Unser Turbo Racing / Turbo Racing - Arcade
  168. World Trophy Soccer - Console
  169. Yars' Return - Console
  170. Yars' Revenge® - Console
  171. Zaviga - Arcade
  172. Zaxxon - Console
  173. Zero Tolerance - Console
  174. Zippy Bug - Arcade
  175. Zombies Ate My Neighbors - Console

I've enjoyed several of the Atari Flashback consoles and I wish they had branched out to offer more variations of the Colecovision and Intellivision Flashbacks. Those two seemed to be one-off deals unlike the many Atari and Sega Genesis versions. I liked the concept of the Blast HDMI dongles. I've got enough mini consoles that sort of look like etro consoles. Just give me the guts so I can play some cool games. Thats what Blast was to me.

It shall be interesting to see how the Legends Ultimate does especially in an era of Arcade1up cabinets. Retro gaming is getting pretty popular these days!
January 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Playdate handheld console is on schedule with a newly designed hand-crank

Retro Fighters Striker DC controller for Dreamcast
It's hard to imagine a more unique game console with such charm, stark elements, and whimsical oddity.
We heard about Panic's Playdate game console last Spring. We recently got an email update saying this unique handheld with a black & white screen and a hand-crank is on schedule. Yep - a hand-crank. Don't worry, it also has a D-pad and buttons, but nothing differentiates your product from competitors like a hand-crank. Check out the Playdate website for more info and sign up for their email newsletter.

It's got a hand crank and you know you want that!
If you question this, not all the games use the crank, but some do. Some have questioned the B&W screen, not really knowing what that really is and comparing it to the original Game Boy. Nintendo's Game Boy used a 4-color grayscale screen. It looked yellowish-green and the images didn't stand out well.

The Playdate's screen is black and white which delivers very sharp imagery. We think it's unique and will offer a stark view of your games, unlike anything you've ever seen - in a good way!

The Playdate still ships with 12 games for $149. It releases games in seasons. Season One's 12 games are delivered with the console. Thus, you can buy new games as part of "seasons" which are made up of twelve games, released one per week. So, the uniqueness of Playdate extends from it's look and feel to the way you buy and play games.

With games coming from multiple developers, everyone will have their own perspective on creating games for this device which should yield a vast diversity in the types of games offered. This little console is very exciting on several levels. Get ready to buy a Playdate!
January 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro Fighters are bringing their modern controller design concepts to the Sega Dreamcast

Retro Fighters Striker DC controller for Dreamcast
Pre-orders begin soon for Spring delivery of The Striker DC controller.
Now coming for the Sega Dreamcast, Retro Fighters have done wonders for bringing modern controller design to retro video game consoles. I began with their JAB NES controller which gives a stunning array of options to the original square controller. You wouldn't think shoulder-buttons would benefit an NES game, but once you have them, along with all the other controls, it's hard to go back. It really changed the way I play NES games for the better.

Modern controller designs boost retro gaming possibilities.
Next I tried their Brawler64 for the Nintendo 64 and loved it for the same additions it brought to the N64 game library. Having had two great experiences with their controllers, I'm confident the Striker DC will be another great controller.

For anyone listening, I'd love to see a modern controller design for the Atari 2600 Joystick that would bring standard and paddle controls to a modern grip. As the Atari 7800 uses the same DB9 port, it would be great to have one amazing controller for both consoles!
January 11, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's funky Joy Con colors are fun, but GameCube Joy Cons are the best Joy Cons

GameCube Joy Cons
All mods are not the same. Some are simple while others are mind-blowing works of art, both visually and electronically!
@ShankMods on Twitter is known for sophisticated video game mods and has done a variety of complex projects. This one was months in the making. He blends both artistic and electronic knowledge wielding a soldering iron as deftly as a carefully tempered spray finish.

If you like what you see here, it's important to note these beautiful Joy Cons go way beyond eye-candy. They're impressive, amazing... gorgeous even, but they are also functional! This isn't a photo-op. These GameCube Joy Cons offer all the functionality of Nintendo's standard Joy Cons. They attach via Nintendo's rail system, support amiibo, and work wirelessly for 2-player madness, complete with those odd little L&R shoulder buttons on the rail's edge.

The effort and careful detail that went into this project is amazing from the overal look to it's replicated GameCube controller "feel" and all the minor little things most of us would ignore, but make this an extraordinary achievement. If you love Super Smash Bros., this is the way to go :)

GameCube Joy Cons GameCube Joy Cons attached to the Nintendo Switch.
GameCube Joy Cons Detached GameCube Joy Cons

GameCube Joy Con Creation Video

The process he went through is fascinating. Check out the video below.

January 9, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ulala and Space Channel 5 are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a soundtrack release

Space Channel 5 20th anniversary soundtrack
Sega's dance classic makes a virtual reality appearance and drops a dual-disc soundtrack!
Sega originally released Space Channel 5 in December 1999. Over the years this title has appeared on multiple platforms, the latest (expected in Spring 2020) being Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! for PSVR. The game's main character, Ulala has crossed over into a variety of games from tennis to cart racing! Definitely a popular game.

So, it's no surprise, the soundtrack is being offered by iam8bit as an exclusive two-disc, Japan Import, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the franchise, It will include a variety of tracks from old favorites to a few from the new VR game. Adding to the fun, the soundtrack also contains snippets, remixes, and soundbites!

Space Channel 5 for PSVR

Space Channel 5 20th Anniversary GyunGyun Selection Track List

    Disc1 side:ARAKATA
  1. Mexican Flyer (Original)
  2. Option: The Reporter From Sch5
  3. Opening Jingle:Swinging Report Show
  4. Coco tapioka:The Huge Dancer
  5. Space Ship:Strut
  6. Space observation deck (Drama)
  7. Asteroid Belt:Go! Go! "Astrobeat Jr."
  8. Mororin!monroe!: Rapid Geminis In The Monitor
  9. Space Channel 5:Getting The Truth
  10. Giant Evila: Space Dogfight!!
  11. Ending: Pala Paya ... Lounge Musique
  12. "Swinging Report Show"
  13. We are known as the Rhythm Rogues!!
  14. Space teacher and student
  15. "We've reached fountain square!"
  16. It's me, Pudding! (Drama)
  17. Dueling guitars!
  18. The Space BirdMistress
  19. Space Police in the sky
  20. Pine's theme song (Full)
  21. "Space channel 5!"
  22. Space Japanese course (Drama)
  23. Insect name (Drama)
  24. Public bath (Drama)
  25. "Space channel 5!!"v
  26. Jagur's theme song
  27. Pala paya 78
    Disc2 side:TOMOARE
  1. 1 "Swinging Report Show Special"
  2. Space Diver
  3. Go! Go! Cheerleader!
  4. Cheerleader geek (Drama)
  5. Singing Fusion Bot "Purge the King"
  6. Mororian and Pudding (Drama)
  7. Strobe action
  8. Battle of the Bands!
  9. Who is who
  10. Purge's theme song (Full)
  11. This Is My Happiness
  12. Ulala dance & Taihei Neji (Drama)
  13. Go! Go! Rescue Heroes
  14. Theme of Pine (Sort of Soul Mix)
  15. Title TBA (New track from VR Edition)
  16. Title TBA (New track from VR Edition)
  17. Title TBA (New track from VR Edition)
  18. Title TBA (New track from VR Edition)
  19. Title TBA (New track from VR Edition)
  20. "Stay tune"
  21. Title TBA (New track from VR Edition)
  22. Making of S.C.5 Mix
  23. This Is My Happiness (Tom Jones A - Go Go Mix)

Space Channel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash! info from the PlayStation website:
Your power is dance and the mission is to protect the earth against invading aliens. Alongside our heroine Ulala you will travel through the music filled world of "Space Channel 5". Master a series of life saving dance poses while dancing to funky beats that made Space Channel 5 one of the most beloved SEGA franchises. More poses you strike, more viewer ratings you get, and the more heads you can turn as you dance til you drop and save the Universe!
January 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hyperkin rolls into CES with the Retron Jr. playing Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges

Hyperkin's Retron Jr. for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance
This console puts three iterations of Game Boy on your TV via HDMI at 720P!
Previously displayed a few years ago as an April Fools prank, the Retron Jr. is at the Hyperkin booth at CES. This Ouya-reminiscent cube has a slot for all your Game Boy carts and uses emulation to output them on your modern TV. It's bundled with an SNES-style controller.

Another interesting facet is the inclusion of Game Boy's original Link Port. Tetris comes to mind, but there were a bunch of games that supported "wired" 2-player action between two Game Boy consoles. As I understand it, Hyperkin isn't sure if the multi-player features will come with this port or if it will be used in some transfer capability.

Hyperkin's Retron Jr. for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance When such a console becomes a reality, we all wilt a bit at hearing it uses emulation rather than an FPGA. At the same time, an emulator keeps the price lower. If you have deeper pockets, Analogue's Pocket is a portable system that plays the same games via FPGA and has cartridge adapters for other systems like Game Gear and Atari Lynx.

I've heard negative things about the Retron 5, but I have the Retron 77 and love it. Hyperkin creates great concepts, but at a more budget-conscious price point. Being cheaper has it's pros and cons. I appreciate their ingenuity and affordability.

I'm sure much more info will be forthcoming after CES - like the price - but for now I'm stoked about this little cube and the ability to play some beloved games on a large screen!

I love Nintendo handhelds and this seems like a great way to breath new life into them via modern TVs. These three early handhelds were plagued with screen-visibility issues. If they were moded with back/front lighting kits, they're great. Otherwise, the view is moderately horrible. Playing these games on a big TV may be just what you need to bring some new fun to an old console.
January 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Terminator Resistance launched and I'm convinced I'll enjoy hours of shooting at Cyberdyne's finest bots

Terminator Resistance for PS4
Amidst luke-warm reviews, I'm hoping for the best it satisfies my inner need for Terminator video games.
Launching January 7 for PS4 and Xbox One, Terminator: Resistance is now available. The game is for one-player only, but has some interesting options as you progress through the game. Choices seem to play significant roles in the game's final outcome. I'm not sure if this means it has more replay value or if these choices are minor to gameplay in-that-moment.

I'm curious to play it, despite the negative reviews. I think many reviews tend to compare games to other games that may be more robust, while still in the same genre. My tolerance for poor games is pretty high. I love the Terminator franchise and would love to see more games feeding on this lore. At the same time, I'm pretty forgiving of lousy games as long as they cater to a genre or topic I like. I'm certain, I'll like Terminator: Resistance a lot more than most reviewers.

Terminator Resistance for PS4 I enjoy hearing other's stories and playing through them in-game. Terminator is such a rich and dark IP, I can't resist a new game with scads of metal robots to shoot at. Yeah, I think I'll like this game just fine. I am inclined to wait for it to hit a new price point in the bargain-bin.

Terminator games are fairly scarce compared to vast film franchise. I wish there were more games. The last one I played was Terminator Salvation on the PS3 which was a 2-player game leading through the movie's basic plot. While not a stellar game, I like it. I'm down for a new Terminator video game. It's an exciting franchise and I don't need the tie-in game to rival COD or any other modern shooter. Just gimme some evil Cyberdyne robots to battle against! I still love Berzerk - bring it on!

Terminator Resistance for PS4
January 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Gaming philatelists get ready to amp up your collections with video game stamps from the Royal Mail

video game stamps for the Royal Mail
The final set of stamps each feature a classic British made video game screenshot.
Bitmap Books partnered with Supple Studio to create video game stamps for the Royal Mail, each one celebrating iconic British video games from the 1980s and 1990s They will be released on January 21.

video game stamps for the Royal Mail Sensible Soccer - 1992
video game stamps for the Royal Mail Lemmings - 1991

video game stamps for the Royal Mail Wipeout - 1995
video game stamps for the Royal Mail Dizzy - 1987

video game stamps for the Royal Mail Micro Machines - 1991
video game stamps for the Royal Mail Populous - 1989

video game stamps for the Royal Mail Worms - 1995
video game stamps for the Royal Mail Tomb Raider - 1996 - 2013

January 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Here's a great stash of Van Halen's best work on cassettes

This is an awesome display of what retro is all about and brings back great memories of arcade road trips!
Non-functioning Atari VCS at the Kingston booth - E3 Having discovered Van Halen in high school I collected their album on vinyl. I loved the sound of vinyl and recorded all my albums to cassettes, keeping the records as "masters" in a manner of speaking. When in in-dash stereo ate Diver Down - no prob - get out the album and make a new tape.

We never made a weekend trek to the arcades without a serious stash of Van Halen. They offered a unique brand of rock n roll and everything Eddie played was revered by us all as we headed out for Defender, Wizard Of Wor, Berzerk, Galaxian, Moon Patrol and countless others.

As time marched on, I abandoned cassettes in favor of those shiny new CDs. Over time re-purchased all my favorite music on those shiny discs, never stopping to think I'd one day yearn for the rattling spools of tape that blasted David Lee Roth though the car. I still pick up cassettes now and then, but I always have some Van Halen nearby!

I found this pic on Facebook and would love to give credit, but the app refreshed and sent his amazing post off into the ether.
January 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari touts invite-only VCS software demos in a hotel suite near the buzz of the CES trade show

Non-functioning Atari VCS at the Kingston booth - E3
Like last year, Atari is not on the E3 exhibitor list, but are nearby demonstrating the Atari VCS dashboard GUI and software.
Skirting the fact that they are not attending CES as vendors, Atari is "in Las Vegas" probably in a hotel suite across from the convention. This year it sounds as though they have slightly better demos than last years non-working examples of what could be. Their press release, on Medium today, is so vague, it sounds as though the dashboard GUI demos will not be presented on an actual VCS unit. They say they are showing the dashboard, Atari Vault, Antstream Arcade, and Sandbox PC Mode.

It sounds like this is a computer-based demo. You'd think they'd want to showcase it running on their new VCS, but that's not the vibe I get from the press release. They separately discus the software demos and the VCS units. As usual, they show no proof-of-concept. No mention of release dates either.

Non-functioning Atari VCS - E3 With the working functionality of the Atari VCS up in the air, they go on to say they have consoles located at the booths of strategic partners and invite attendees to search for them, Easter Egg style. Great idea. Make them hard to find! How excited is anyone to go hunt for an over-priced Linux box bundled with Atari Vault games from 2016... that isn't yet funtional?

No mention of playing a game or getting a hands-on session with a VCS console. If these things were working, I imagine Atari would want folks to know about it. It's this kind of veiled truth that has plagued this project from the beginning.

"Atari VCS appearance models will be on hand to show everyone how the finished Atari VCS hardware will look."

We know what it will look like. Atari has been showing pictures for two years. I'm thinking it's about time to show the working prototype. If they start showing their software offerings on a random laptop at CES, we can pretty much assume this project is another six months to a year behind schedule. At which point it will likely become another "Gameband" and vanish without any acknowledgement.

From everything I've read, Atari has no working consoles at or near CES.
They seem to have all the bits and pieces on-hand to view at CES, but no mention of "Stop by and play some Asteroids or Missile Command." If I were at CES and saw Sony's electric car and folding phone screens, it would be fun to relive some nostalgic memories with a round of Breakout. And wouldn't it be fun to do so with a modern controller attached to a re-envisioned Atari VCS console/computer? Yes, it would, but Atari won't have any of that.

They want us all to marvel at their semi-funtional mess of a project. It's akin to cutting out paper dolls at an origami festival. Or bringing your soapbox racer to Le Mans. Atari loves to build hype around possibilities, thinking they will never have to deliver actual results.

After years of work, they can't even show basic proof-of-concept at a trade show. Kids at school Science Fairs show more promise and results. People have compared it to another recent disaster/scam, but lets not liken the Atari VCS to the Coleco Chameleon which devolved into criminal deceit. Atari is simply inept. Although they did take $3 million from backers... maybe there is a crime or two lurking around Atari's HQ.
January 6, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sony's CES 2020 reveal of the PS5 logo would be more exciting if this wasn't pretty much what we all expected

trade shows are still used to showcase big announcements and the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is no different. With a new console on the way toward the end of the year, Sony revealed the PS5 logo. There's a P and an S. These are followed by a 5. Wow. Yep.

We admire the hard edge on the 5. Otherwise we may have forgotten the previous four consoles as we lined up this Fall to be the first owners of the new PSS console.

Sony PS5 logo reveal at CES Maybe it's majestic glory was more apparent on the big stage. Ok... maybe.

Sony PS5 logo reveal at CES
January 6, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Japan is getting a savage compilation of Space Invaders games in March - the Space Invaders Invincible Collection

Space Invaders Invincible Collection for Switch
Space Invaders is loved around the globe. We hope this collection is soon released for the world to enjoy!
This March Taito is releasing two editions of a Space Invaders compilation for Nintendo Switch - the Space Invaders: Invincible Collection. At this time there is only info about the Japanese release, however, I'm confident this game will be globally released as Space Invaders is such an iconic franchise.

There will be a Standard Edition with 8 games and Special Edition containing three additional titles. The chosen games are by no means comprehensive, but rather a selection of games from 1978 arcades to 2017 smartphones. It looks to be a pretty eclectic amalgamation of titles.

Space Invaders Invincible Collection - Standard Edition game list

  1. Space Invaders (1978, Arcade) - Original Version
  2. Space Invaders (1978, Arcade) - Color Version
  3. Space Invaders Part II (1979, Arcade)
  4. Majestic Twelve: The Space Invaders Part IV (1990, Arcade)
  5. Super Space Invaders '91 (1991, Arcade) - Overseas Version of Majestic Twelve
  6. Space Invaders Extreme (2018, PC)
  7. Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE (2018, Real Event) - Supports Four-Player Co-op
  8. Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders (2017, iOS / Android)

Space Invaders Invincible Collection - Special Edition (Additional titles)

  1. Space Invaders DX (1994, Arcade)
  2. Space Cyclone (1980, Arcade)
  3. Lunar Rescue (1979, Arcade)
Seeing a genuine Nintendo Switch case makes me hopeful that this amazing collection will get a physical release. I loved Konami's Contra Collection, but was disappointed is only arrived as a download. Games like that and this Space Invaders collection come from an era of game cartridges and should get the same treatment. Here's hoping Taito will release a physical version!

Space Invaders was my gateway to arcades. After discovering a lone cabinet at a local bowling alley, I was infatuated with it and dropped quarters on a regular basis. This led to a lifetime of seeking out arcades containing my favorite titles and discovering new ones along the way. Forty years later I found a local Space Invaders Deluxe and the cycle began again with my son!

Space Invaders Invincible Collection Trailer

Taito dropped a trailer for the Japanese versions today. Check it out...

January 6, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

More proof that arcades are the perfect backdrop to any photo shoot

Indiana Massara at the Moonlight Rollerway's arcade
Indiana Massara at the Moonlight Rollerway's arcade in Glendale, CA
Now and then we find a photo shoot with an arcade backdrop and wonder why there aren't more of them. Arcades are great places with all sorts of themes. Sometimes they have an associated roller rink. Endless possibilities!

Indiana Massara and Casey Baer appeared in a few Instagram pics at the Moonlight Rollerway in front of an Aliens Extermination video game cabinet. No sign of skates, but we love seeing the illuminated quarter-slots which are becoming a rarity around my area in favor of swipe cards.

I first heard of Indiana Massara last year when she dropped a great cover of Tiffany's version of "I Think We're Alone Now" about the same time Tiffany herself dropped a reboot of the song that made her famous on her 1987 debut album. The original song was written by Ritchie Cordell and performed by Tommy James and the Shondells.

Indiana Massara and Casey Baer at the Moonlight Rollerway's arcade Indiana Massara has appeared in a few TV shows and webisode productions. She's been releasing singles as a singer since 2017. Her latest single is 2019's "Say It Back," available in all the usual places.
Indiana Massara and Casey Baer at the Moonlight Rollerway's arcade Pop recording artist Casey Baer hails from Los Angeles and her latest single, "Ghost" can be streamed from all the major sites.

You can follow both artists on Spotify as well as the usual social media platforms.

If you're out in Glendale, check out the Moonlight Rollerway to skate a few laps and drop a few quarters amidst your favorite disco tracks. It's located in a historic building, formerly built in the 1940s to manufacture airplane parts for the war.

It was later bought and converted into Harry's Roller Rink in 1956. A longtime employee bought it in 1985 and maintained the ambiance of it's era -and the no-nails tongue and groove flooring - allowing it to be featured in TV, movies and music videos!
January 5, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I didn't back the new Atari VCS console on indiegogo, but I did go in for one Joystick

Despite Atari's weakness in delivering viable hardware in the last decade I couldn't resist this slick modernized CX40!
The simplicity of the Atari CX40 Joystick, popularized by the Atari 2600, allowed us to play hundreds of different games with a single fire-button. That's pretty impressive considering the vast layout of buttons, sticks and trigers on modern controllers. Sure, modern games offer an equally vast array of actions for these controllers, but Atari showed how simple it could be.

The new Atari VCS joystick's design is gorgeous!
When Atari launched crowd-funding for their new Atari VCS video game console, I was most interested in how they modernized the old CX40 from the 70s. A grand tribute to the original joystick. They neglected to mention, at the time, there would also be a modern controller for more advanced games. All I saw was that sleek Atari joystick.

With USB connection, it connects to the Atari console for the retro games built into the system (via The Atari Vault collection). I've heard you can even twist the "stick" to allow it to work with what we traditionally called "Paddle games."

The next question is will Atari be able to deliver this gorgeous gaming tribute? With numerous delays on the console's completion - currently slated for January delivery to Indiegogo backers - I'm not sure the $30 I put in will result in owning this beauty. It's been a long stumbling project that frequently rose to attention only to announce more delays. Since it's made by a third party, I'm hoping that will make it all the more viable for actual manufacture and delivery. Who knows...

modernized CX40 for the new Atari VCS game console If Atari does manage to deliver the VCS to backers - and I hope they do - I'd hate myself if I didn't get one of these beautiful modernized joysticks, at the very least. I have my doubts about a full retail release of the new VCS, at GameStop or WalMart for example, but I hope they do the right thing for the backers who put forth over three million dollars to launch this project.
January 5, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Namco Museum for the PlayStation was one of the first compilations bringing arcade games to my living room

Namco Museum for the PlayStation
I played arcade ports on early 8-bit consoles, but they couldn't replicate the games on that hardware.
When I discovered Space Invaders at a local bowling alley, I was in heaven. It was the only machine they had, but it gave me hours of fun and made my younger self aware of arcade games. Soon I discovered a local arcade full of these games and I was in heaven.

When a friend got an Atari 2600 with Space Invaders, I was hooked. I had to have a 2600. I begged and pleaded with my parents until my Mom took me to an appliance store to buy one - no GameStop stores back then! I was astounded. Playing Space Invaders at home was life-changing. Then I bought Asteroids, Missile Command, and Defender.

Arcade ports for home game consoles rocked my 8-bit world!
I loved these games since it brought much of the arcade fun home for me to enjoy any time. I still went to arcades since they provided the real experience with sharper graphics and superior controls. You really need a trackball to play Missile Command.

Then Sony came along talking about games. As far as I knew, Sony made TVs. But the name PlayStation spoke to me. That name was genius in my opinion. From an advertising perspective, I was consumed by a "Station for Play." It made perfect sense to me and I wanted one! The Enos campaign excited me. It's coded meaning blew my mind.

Shiny Discs With Tons Of Storage

As CDs were coming into my world of computer use, I was aware of their massive storage capacity and the kind of games that could be delivered by such a medium. It hadn't occurred to me that computer hard drives were fast and CD drives were awfully slow. none the less, I needed a Sony PlayStation!

The PlayStation offered actual versions of my favorite arcade games!
I felt like I was venturing into the future of gaming with this new console. It was different from any console I'd played before. Suddenly, game cartridges seemed old-fashioned (even though I'd love them for a lifetime) and shiny new discs were ushering in the next level of the expanding video game industry.

When I thought about the capacity of a game disc, I thought about it in terms of the larger size of games. It didn't dawn on me that this medium could also be used for multiple game titles. My world changed upon discovering compilation discs like Namco Museum, Arcade Greatest Hits: Williams, or Arcade Greatest Hits: Atari.

These were the arcade versions of my favorite games and they played seamlessly in my living room. Nothing could ever replace the actual arcade experience, but for a kid who loved Space Invaders on the 2600, these compilation disc were a dream come true!

Namco Museum PlayStation Game Lists

    Namco Museum 1 - July 31, 1996
  1. Pac-Man (1980)
  2. Rally-X (1980)
  3. New Rally-X (1981)
  4. Galaga (1981)
  5. Bosconian (1981)
  6. Pole Position (1982)
  7. Toy Pop (1986)
    Namco Museum 2 - September 30, 1996
  1. Super Pac-Man (1982)
  2. Xevious (1982)
  3. Mappy (1983)
  4. Gaplus (1984)
  5. Grobda (1984)
  6. Dragon Buster (1985)

    Namco Museum 3 - January 31, 1997
  1. Galaxian (1979)
  2. Ms. Pac-Man (1981)
  3. Dig Dug (1982)
  4. Phozon (1983)
  5. Pole Position II (1983)
  6. The Tower of Druaga (1984)
    Namco Museum 4 - June 30, 1997
  1. Pac-Land (1984)
  2. The Return of Ishtar (1986)
  3. Genpei Toma Den (1986)
  4. Ordyne (1988)
  5. Assault (1988)
  6. Assault Plusdagger (1988)

    Namco Museum 5 - February 26, 1998
  1. Metro-Cross (1985)
  2. Baraduke (1985)
  3. Dragon Spirit (1987)
  4. Pac-Mania (1987)
  5. Valkyrie no Densetsu (1989)

January 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari's former headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA

Where Nolan and Ted started it all.
This appears to be 1265 Borregas Ave., the address of Atari's first headquarters in Sunnyvale. This past summer, in 2019, Google bought several buildings near this one that were formerly Atari properties back in the day.

I'm no expert - this could be Pottery Barn Corporate in Reseda.

Atari's former headquarters in Sunnyvale I love this photo I came across on @atari_kid Instagram, who trekked out to Sunnyvale for some cool pics.
January 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A TMNT episode on Nickelodeon shows the Turtle's video gaming passion includes the Intellivision

Will a TMNT game be on the Intellivision Amico?
We hope the Turtles are excited to add the Amico console this Fall!
A viewer of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show posted this image of the Turtles with an Intellivision video game console on their table. As fans of pizza and video games, it's nice to see they have an affinity for Mattel's Intellivision!

Will a TMNT game be on the Intellivision Amico? The folks at Intellivision reTweeted the image suggesting they would like to work with Nickelodeon on a game. Could this mean a TMNT game may come to the Intellivision Amico? Sounds like Intellivision is for it. Based on current demos and videos, it would be an epic TMNT game!

They seem open to expanding their new platform to wide array of game possibilities. You really need to see how they approached both Moon Parol and Breakout. They retain familiarity, but take it to amazing new heights. From what they've shown so far, the Amico could really become a big deal this fall!

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles play Intellivision

If It Isn't Nintendo, Sony Or Microsoft - It Must Be An Ouya

The Ouya is often the reference point for any smaller or failed game system. Some folks expect consoles like the Amico to be a similarly niche device with less support and consumer interest. While the Ouya came to market with an online store and numerous developers, it simply didn't sell well beyond the Kickstarter backers. Without substantial retail sales, it's hard to justify the system's continuation.

I loved my Ouya from it's performance to it's design. It was a wonderful little cube of gaming. Alas, it came and went. But this happened in an era of folks deriding anything they could confine to the definition of "Android box." This term was coined as a negative stance toward anything not created by the Big Three in the console business. This negative term reached far beyond devices using an Android OS.

The Amico should NOT be confined to any previous definition. It's development and positioning has been nothing but professional and exciting to follow. Everyone should keep an eye on this console. I feel it will be a game-changer in more ways than one!

Amico Can Become A Retail Contender

I think the Intellivision Amico has real potential to break through at the retail level and be a contender on store shelves. They have a long way to go in terms of spreading the word, but everything they are doing is astounding from the system itself, explaining it's game standards and showing examples of upcoming titles. They are keeping fans well informed and maintaining excitement around the Amico console's October launch.

When you see what Atari is doing regarding launch of their updated VCS console, there's no comparison. The Ouya has seen more success than the new VCS. Atari likes to be mysterious to the point of creating doubt about proof-of-concept regarding their new hardware. No games. No game footage. Their strategy fosters more questions than answers and they want to launch to backers this month (January 2020).

Intellivision Amico is letting people know their system is for families. They're getting folks to hang out together on the couch and play video games together again - no shouting into headsets. It seems like a dream console to me - everything I'd want in a new console that has great retro vibes. However, Intellivision needs to make the Amico known to a wider audience than gamers who follow such things. They need widespread advertising - web, print, TV. New systems can't rely on gamers alone. It has to be more mainstream than just a gaming audience. It needs huge buzz!

I hope they succeed, as they've done everything right and they deserve success as much as we deserve a fantastic new console that understands the modern and retro gaming audiences.
January 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord

Yo V
Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord
January 3, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The weekend lineups for Coachella 2020 were released today

The weekend lineups for Coachella 2020
Last year we were stoked about newcomers BlackPink at Coachella. This year we're hyped for Kim Petras!
Weekend 1 is already sold out and the second goes on sale soon. Kim Petras has risen so high in the pop world and done it her way! She didn't pander to the music industry's tactics. She stayed independent and owns her own work. Featuring collabs with Charlie XCX, she's really taken off. she's Hella cool. Check her out!

BlackPink took K-pop to new heights with last year's performances. It really sucks their management keeps them tethered, unable to expand and blow up like they deserve. With an American record label to support them here, they seemed poised to break out and grow in the US the way BTS has. I'd love another US tour with Coachella on the roster, but that didn't happen.

Lots of great musicians this year. No women are headlining. Can't please everyone all the time. Gotta love Rage Against The Machine headlining Fridays!

Coachella 2020 Artist Lineup (alphabetical):

  1. (Sandy) Alex G
  2. 100 gecs
  3. 21 Savage
  4. 88rising's Double Happiness
  5. Adam Port
  6. Alec Benjamin
  7. Ali Gatie
  8. Altin Gun
  9. Amber Mark
  10. Amyl and the Sniffers
  11. Anitta
  12. ANNA
  13. Anna Calvi
  14. Ari Lennox
  15. Aya Nakamura
  17. Banda MS
  18. beabadoobee
  19. Beach Bunny
  20. Beach Goons
  21. Bedouin
  22. Big Sean
  23. Big Wild
  25. Bishop Briggs
  26. black midi
  27. Black Pumas
  28. Black Coffee
  30. Calvin Harris
  31. Caribou
  32. Cariño
  33. Carly Rae Jepsen
  34. Cashmere Cat
  35. Channel Tres
  36. Charli XCX
  37. Chelsea Cutler
  38. Chicano Batman
  39. Chris Liebing
  40. City Girls
  41. Code Orange
  42. Conan Gray
  43. Crumb
  44. Cuco
  45. DaBaby
  46. Damian Lazarus
  47. Daniel Caesar
  48. Danny Elfman
  49. Daphni
  50. Dave
  51. Denzel Curry
  52. Detlef
  53. Disclosure
  54. Dixon
  55. DJ Koze
  56. DJ Lord
  57. Doja Cat
  58. Dom Dolla
  59. Duck Sauce
  60. Duke Dumont
  61. Ed Maverick
  62. ela minus
  63. Ellen Allien
  64. Emo Nite
  65. Emotional Oranges
  66. Epik High
  67. Erick Morillo
  68. Ezra Collective
  69. Fatboy Slim
  70. FKA twigs
  71. Floating Points
  72. Flume
  73. Fontaines D.C.
  74. Frank Ocean
  75. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
  76. Friendly Fires
  77. GG Magree
  78. girl in red
  79. Giselle Woo & the Night Owls
  80. GRiZ
  81. Guy Laliberté
  82. Hatsune Miku
  83. Hayden James
  84. Hot Chip
  85. IDLES
  86. Inner Wave
  87. J.I.D
  88. Jai Wolf
  1. Jayda G
  2. Jessie Reyez
  3. Joji
  4. Kim Petras
  5. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
  6. Koffee
  7. Kruder & Dorfmeister
  8. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
  9. Kyle Watson
  10. Kynda Black
  11. L'Impératrice
  12. Lana Del Rey
  13. Lane 8
  14. Lauren Daigle
  15. Leningrad
  16. Lewis Capaldi
  17. Lil Nas X
  18. Lil Uzi Vert
  19. Lost Kings
  20. Louis the Child
  21. Luttrell
  22. Madeon
  23. Malaa
  24. Mannequin Pussy
  25. Mariah the Scientist
  26. Marina
  27. Masego
  28. Matoma
  29. Megan Thee Stallion
  30. Melé
  31. MIKA
  32. Monolink
  33. Mura Masa
  34. NIKI
  35. Nilüfer Yanya
  36. Noname
  37. Olivia O'Brien
  38. Omar Apollo
  39. ONYVAA
  40. Orville Peck
  41. Pabllo Vittar
  42. Paco Osuna
  43. Peggy Gou
  44. Pink Sweat$
  45. Princess Nokia
  46. PUP
  47. Rage Against the Machine
  48. Raveena
  49. Rex Orange County
  50. Rich Brian
  51. Roddy Ricch
  52. Run the Jewels
  53. Sahar Z
  54. Sama'
  55. Sampa the Great
  56. Sara Landry
  57. Sasha Sloan
  58. Satori
  59. SebastiAn
  60. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
  61. Skegss
  63. Sleaford Mods
  64. slowthai
  65. Snail Mail
  66. Steve Lacy
  67. Summer Walker
  68. Swae Lee
  69. Tchami
  70. Testpilot
  71. The Chats
  72. The Comet Is Coming
  73. The HU
  74. The Martinez Brothers
  75. The Murder Capital
  76. The Regrettes
  77. Thom Yorke | Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
  78. Tiga
  79. TNGHT
  81. Travis Scott
  82. Viagra Boys
  83. VNSSA
  84. Weyes Blood
  85. Whipped Cream
  86. Yaeji
  87. YBN Cordae

January 2, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I bought a Roll & Rocker as an alternate "controller" for skateboard games on the NES

Roll & Rocker NES controller box
First time I hopped on this death-trap to play 720, I nearly put my head through my parent's TV!
I thought this was going to be the end-all-be-all of controller options for skateboard, snowboard, and surf games. On the shelf at Toys R Us, the Roll & Rocker looked like it would change gaming for me and insert me into the action in a way a standard game controller could not.

This terribly conceived device< from LJN Toys, plugged into the Nintendo NES controller port and allegedly took over the duties of the D-pad. By standing on it and tilting it in a manner similar to the D-pad. On one side of the Roll & Rocker was a port to connect an actual NES controller. You could use the standard controller to start and select games and use the A and B buttons. Between your hands and feet, you had all bases covered, right? sorta....

It looked fun, but it's practicality was near zero!
With a rounded bottom and questionable stability and functionality, I was stoked to shred at a new level. It seemed as though there may be some sort of gyroscope inside the Roll & Rocker to register your movements and send it to the game console. It's hard to say what mechanism was inside, as the unit rarely worked properly... if at all. Even games made by LJN Toys failed to react correctly with this device.

It's real problem was more akin to geometry. The rounded ball on the underside was strangely tall. When standing on it, there was a great deal of "travel" as you tipped it with your feet. Much more travel than you'd find on a skateboard, even with really loose trucks. Thus, when you made a quick maneuver, your body could work up a lot of motion that enabled this plastic disaster to easily launch you across the room in a stumbling tumble to the floor.

You wanted to believe it was a learning curve. Like a real skateboard, you need to get accustomed to it's lean. The Roll & Rocker was binary. You either stood next to it or it was catapulting you off of it. A nearby table or lamp could be your ticket to an ambulance ride to the ER.

It looked fun, but it didn't really work well even if you were able to maintain balance and not get tangled in cables when you slammed onto the floor.

Roll & Rocker NES controller The Roll & Rocker seemed large enough until you stood on it and realized the standard stance on a skateboard was much wider than what this controller allowed. It was a catalyst for in-home injuries.
Roll & Rocker NES controller box It looked fun. Really fun. The kind of fun no one had ever experienced with a video game. I loved the NES Sk8 games from 720 to Skate Or Die. No longer would I be "on the couch". The Roll & Rocker would bring a whole new dimension to these games. It did not. Poor functionality and physical instability made it best as a "collector's item."

The real tragedy of the Roll & Rocker was that I owned one and then I didn't. It was an awful controller, but a wonderful keepsake of failed gaming controllers. And then it was gone. Did my parents throw it away? What happened to this glorious atrocity? I'll never know, but I remember the fear that filled me as it threw me tot he floor for the first and only time before I retired it and went back to the couch.
January 1, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

2020 began with an odd Y2K-like affliction shutting down WWE 2K20 rendering it unplayable

2020 shut down WWE 2K20 rendering it unplayable
New Year's Day wasn't fun for those seeking to play WWE 2K20
For a day, WWE 2K20 was nearly unplayable. Reports across social media indicated all play options crashing upon selection. Folks began likening it to the Y2K scare twenty years ago.

A patch was made available - if you figured out how to download it before the game crashed - later in the day. Some gamers reported the crashes after the time changed the date to 2020. A few reported setting their console's clock back a day resolved the issue.

I remember the uproar surrounding the Y2K fears in late 1999. Folks were certain the world as we knew it would cease as time crossed into the new century. Some even proposed it could take us back to the stone age with failing infrastructure among financial organizations, electric utilities, and communication.

I stayed up watching one of those dumb New Year's Eve TV shows curious to see what would happen. I thought there may be some brief interruptions. As the ball dropped in Times Square, I was pleased to see the power did not fail and it was a non-event for the most part. Some said it was never an issue, while others said diligent coding updates made the transition uneventful.

This issue with 2K's game was an interesting reminder of late 1999's tech hysteria and the incessant playing of that Prince song.