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

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
Second Quarter 2020 - April, May, and June

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.

June 2020 Retro Gaming Articles:

June 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink perform their new single “How You Like That” on the Tonight Show

BlackPink perform on the Tonght Show
Fallon had them play the Try Not to Laugh Challenge before performing.
Despite a bit of a language barrier Fallon interviewed te four girls and played the Try Not to Laugh Challenge. I want BlackPink to blow up in America. I was certain they'd soon be a household name after their Coachella performance, but they disappeared from the limelight. Hopefully their first full-length LP will bring more attention to them!
June 19, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rumors and leaks continue to suggest Crash Bandicoot 4 is coming in October

Crash Bandicoot 4
If this is true, I'm certain it will also release for Nintendo Switch like the remastered games from a few years ago.
Sony's lovable mascot Crash Bandicoot was a staple of the early Playstation days and made a comeback to other consoles in 2017 & 2018. Nostalgia combined with a new audience apparently warrants more Crash! Toys For Bob is rumored to be developing an original title to be released on October 9th - Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. It seems destined for Xbox and PS4, so one can only hope for a Switch version too.

I'd love to see Crash Bandicoot become more of a staple of the current generation. We have the nostalgia from the N Sane Trilogy, so lets bring him up to PS5 standards and give the wily beast a modern adventure!
June 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After 4 years in the making, the CREEM magazine documentary will premiere this summer

CREEM Magazine logo
“CREEM: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine” takes you from humble beginnings to a nationwide powerhouse of Rock magazines!
Van Halen in CREEM Magazine When I was a kid, there was nothing better than riding my bike to 7-Eleven and picking up CREEM and Skateboarder magazines. The content of each widened my eyes and made me crave more. Skateboarding and rock 'n roll were the driving forces that shaped my world

From the Creem documentary website:
Capturing the messy upheaval of the '70s just as rock was re-inventing itself, the film explores Creem Magazine's humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit, follows its upward trajectory from underground paper to national powerhouse.

Then it bears witness to its imminent demise following the tragic and untimely deaths of its visionary publisher, Barry Kramer, and its most famous alum and genius clown prince, Lester Bangs, a year later.

Fifty years after publishing its first issue, "America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine" remains a seditious spirit in music and culture.

CREEM Magazine covers
June 16, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

BlackPink's upcoming single is titled, How You Like That, releases on June 26

This single was recently announced without it's title as the prelude to a full album arriving in the fall.
It's surprising that Black Pink has reached such a global presence without having released a full-length album. They've released a few EPs and played Coachella last year. I was expecting them to really blow-up big time in the US, but they vanished and this is the first taste of new music in over a year.

BlackPink's upcoming single - How You Like That
June 13, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Former FBI Director William Sessions passed away, leaving his name on many arcade screens as part of an anti drug camapign

“Winners Don't Use Drugs” appeared with an FBI Seal on many arcade screens, in North America, duing the '90s.
Many arcade games between 1989 and 2000 bare the DOJ/FBI seal with the quote, “Winners Don't Use Drugs”. Former FBI Director Willian Sessions' name was attributed to the quote on arcade games imported by the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA).

Winners Don't Use Drugs campaign associated with William Sessions
June 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sony's PS5 has a cheaper version for those who prefer digital downloads and won't be playing PS4 games

Sony PS5 editions
The most exciting feature of the PS5, for me, is it's PS4 compatibility! Digital Edition? No thanks.
The Sony PS5 will be available in two distinct hardware formats. One has an Ultra HD Blu-ray for PS4 and PS5 game discs, the other is a Digital Edition and lacks the drive mech. I've read the savings may be up to $100 for the disc-less digital model. And while the price seems pretty high for a game console, the savings may prompt more folks to switch to digital formats.

I'm a die-hard fan of physical media, so the digital edition is not something I would buy. For those seeking to save some money - I'm all about that - the digital edition will cost less. However, I've very often used my PS4 as a Blu-ray player for watching movies. It's been convenient to not need a separate DVD player for movies. This saves me the cost of a player, the space it takes up, and most important to me - I don't lose an HDMI port to another device. Modern TVs need more HDMI ports!

My first game console as a kid was the Atari 2600. I grew up playing movie tie-in games like ET, Raiders of the Lost Arc, and Superman. While the objectives often mimicked the movie's plot, the graphics were as 8-bit as ever. Today's generation has grown up with consoles that bring the movie experience to a controlled video game nearly seamlessly. I think these two generations have different expectations from a new game console.

The chips get vaster, the graphics are better, and the sound is phenomenal as we march forward. At the same time, I still love a round of Yar's Revenge or Defender. I don't need hyper-realistic gaming. I prefer a great game. A lot of folks forget a bad game will suck just as much on a new video game console.

I'm confident the PS5 will be revolutionary in many ways and do amazing things. I know I will eventually buy one, but as with every Sony console after the original Playstation, I've always bought the next one in it's final few years in production. I'm excited about PS4 compatibility, but great games are what will sell me on this new version. And I definitely need a drive mech!

June 11, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Are drive-in movie theaters the new safe haven, from coronavirus, for seeing movies on the big screen?

Drive-in theater showing Bella Thorne in Infamous Drive-in theater showing Bella Thorne in Infamous
Still mired in the uncertainty of a global pandemic, drive-in theaters seem like a safe way to watch films on large screens.
Just a few months ago, as theaters shutdown due to the coronavirus, Hollywood seemed to take it's entire lineup of Summer films and delay them until next summer, as if no one cared to see any movies for an entire year. Movies are still being released, but they go streaming services... and drive-ins?

Movie poster of Bella Thorne in Infamous It seems just a few years ago, the future of drive-In Theaters was uncertain due to Hollywood's transition to all-digital distribution. Most drive-in theaters didn't want the expense of changing their projection systems to digital since movies were still being distributed on analog reels. When that came to an abrupt end, a fear rippled the demise of drive-in theaters. Sure, some had converted, but most had not and couldn't afford to.

Now we have a global pandemic with no cure or vaccine and the only way to combat it's spread is to avoid other people. It spreads from person to person... so stay away from people. Traditional movie theaters seem like a bad idea with row after row of patrons and their various infections. Might drive-in theaters save the day? We can socially distance ourselves in our cars and in the great outdoors, the risks are lower.

Bella Thorne is a marketing genius and a really gifted actor who stars in the recently released film, Infamous. She's been getting people to hit up drive-in theaters to catch her movie. Great idea. I love drive-in theaters and think it wold be great if they had a resurgence as a safer way to see films on the big screen!
June 10, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro Fighters' Duelist is an improvement on the GameCube controller, for Smash Bros. on Nintendo Switch

Retro Fighters Duelist controller
Sleek wireless and made for Smash Bros., Retro Fighters are reinventing how you play!
Retro Fighters have been bringing their expertise and logic to both retro and modern controllers giving us options we never had and quite possibly didn't know we needed. Their latest update is for the infamous GameCube controller design and brings it to Nintendo Switch's release of Smash Bros. Check out the Duelist Kickstarter for this upcoming controller.

It keeps the GameCube aesthetics in an ergonomic design that is much more akin to a Pro Controller. It gives better button access as well as a new "S" button for your fave Smash or Short Hop attacks. The Duelist will even bring your console out of Sleep Mode without a walk over to the dock.

It's lithium ion battery recharges via USB-C and employs the latest in Bluetooth technology. Check out the larger "A" button. This controller is full of surprises that will become part of your regiment for playing Smash Bros.

Retro Fighters' Duelist controller I first encountered Retro Fighters when they debuted their modernization of the classic boxy NES controller. I was astounded by the options it offered and the way it gave me many new ways to approach each game with a variety of control options. I have since tried their N64 controller and loved it as well. Retro Fighters has a golden touch when it comes to rebooting controllers.

June 10 upudate: Kickstarter campaign cancelled

From the email sent out by Retro Fighters:

While we did surpass our goal of $13,000.00 (thanks to you guys!) we feel that we need to make some modifications and adjustments to improve the overall layout, design and functionality of the Duelist controller. We at Retro Fighters listen to all feedback and constructive criticism and only want to deliver the best possible product with whatever we do, so at this time we will be cancelling the Kickstarter for the Duelist Switch controller.
June 9, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The trailer for Bill and Ted Face The Music sets a Summer 2020 date, but will theaters be open and viable?

Lacorsa  Grand Prix Racing Game
I love going to the movies and usually saw a film every weekend. Post-pandemic... I'm much more hesitant.
As a fan of the original Bill and Ted films, I find it hard to resist another installment, especially after the trajectory of Keanu Reeves' career. Seeing he and Alex Winter come back to the franchise is awesome. I wish George Carlin was still with us. Check out the Bill and Ted Face the Music trailer that dropped today!

But for all the love I have for this hapless duo, there's an external issue we all have to deal with as theaters try to safely reopen. Hs the coronavirus really diminished to a safe level?

While the pandemic seems on a downward trend and cities are beginning to open up select businesses, how long will it take for business to "feel safe" to patrons? Right now, I have no interest in being cooped up with strangers in a restaurant, busy store, or movie theater - even if I get o see Bill and Ted 3!

I'm interested to see how the virus infection statistics change as retail begins opening up and people are no longer required to stay home. Hopefully the downward trend will continue. My fear is the summer season, relaxed isolation rules, and businesses opening will generate an "it's over" mentality and people won't be as vigilant with their behaviors as the were previously.

By the Way... Happy Bil & Ted Day! It's June 9th. 6/9 Dudes!
June 9, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After much delay, Blackpink is scheduled to drop a new single on June 26

Lacorsa  Grand Prix Racing Game
Their previous albums have been EPs, so it's exciting to discover this single comes from a full length album in September!
The title of the new single has yet to be released. I hope their upcoming LP will have a wider release and be more readily available in the US.
June 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Lacorsa Grand Prix Game brings car racing to table top gaming

Lacorsa  Grand Prix Racing Game
While fast paced car racing may not seem like a table top game, Grand Prix is about maintaining first position.
Lacorsa Grand Prix Game is an elegant table top game with a wooden track and cars. I was attracted to it because I haven't seen many racing games in this format. Along with cards and a die, you fight to maintain the lead in each race.

The rules are easy, letting you jump into play quickly and each game can be completed in 15 minutes. For a simple to play game, it has more strategy than luck due to each player holding the same set of cards. Facing off each round, the higher-numbered-card wins, but as you play you know what cards your opponent has played, giving you an edge on what cards may be played next. Of course your opponent is thinking the same of your hand.

As you track which cards have been played, each player also has a red-line card that adds +2 to any card you play. Two to four players can enter a race. Two players can also have a team in which each of their two cars has it's own set of cards to play.

The game can be purchased with the wooden board or as a card-only game.

Lacorsa  Grand Prix Racing Game
June 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sega's upcoming Game Gear Micro offers four colors, each with four games and a one-inch screen

Game Gear Mirco
They look cute, but with a 1” screen is there any reason to play games on a Game Gear Micro?
Sega is releasing four versions of the Game Gear in a drastically small rendition tagged, Micro. There will be four colors of Game Gear Micro consoles, each with a unique set of four games. It is slated for sale in Japan on October 6 at about $50 (US) each. At this time no mention of whether it will be for sale in other territories.

You can charge it via USB or insert 2 AAA batteries which would indicate it has two power sources - alkaline and rechargeable batteries? Thee is a mono speaker and headphone jack. If you're concerned about the small screen, you can buy a bundle of all four colors and Sega will include a miniature version of their Big Window magnifier.

Miniaturization is cool and fun in static form, but when it comes to a playable game console - a one-inch screen doesn't make me want to buy one. I'd gladly snag the black console with Out Run, but what enjoyment will I get from it on a screen that small. I love playing Out Run on my 2DS, but a one-inch screen? Hmmm... no thanks.

These units are priced at $50 and only have four games on each one. There just seems to be a disconnect for me on the value of a nearly unplayable handheld console with only four games. I imagine collectors will love snatching up all four colors.

Here is a break down of the games included on each color of Game Gear Micro.

The black model comes with:
  1. Sonic the Hedgehog
  2. Puyo Puyo 2
  3. Out Run
  4. Royal Stone
The blue variant includes:
  1. Sonic Chaos
  2. Gunstar Heroes
  3. Sylvan Tale
  4. Baku Baku Animal
The yellow Game Gear Micro has:
  1. Shining Force Gaiden: Ensei - Jashin no Kuni he
  2. Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
  3. Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict
  4. Nazopuyo Aruru no Ru
And the red version is preloaded with:
  1. Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  2. Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
  3. The GG Shinobi
  4. Columns
Sega Big Window mintiturized for Game Gear Mirco

May 2020 Retro Gaming Articles:

May 29, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Taylor Swift on Trump

You know you screwed up when you get called out by Taylor Swift!
Taylor Swift on Trump
May 27, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari's mobile game, Missile Command Recharged is available for Nintendo Switch and Steam

I really enjoyed this reboot to Missile Command, on my phone, and am stoked to play on a large TV!
As far as mobile games go, Missile Command Recharged is a lot of fun! Atari has released it on Nintendo Switch and Steam platforms. Being able to play on my switch connected to a large TV is going to be awesome.

Playing Missile Command at the arcades in the early 90 was a wonderfully unique experience with three buttons to select your bases and a trackball to increase your accuracy. It's hard to believe that was 40 years ago. This release celebrates forty years fo Missile Command. If you haven't tried it on your mobile device, give it a try. I'm stoked to download it for my switch!

Missile Command Recharged for Nintendo Switch From the Nintendo Switch website:
Missile Command: Recharged is a re-imagining of the beloved classic with fast-paced, arcade action where players must defend their bases by blasting an endless barrage of missiles hailing from the sky. Launch counter-missiles to protect your base and target powerups to gain an edge at critical moments. Missile Command: Recharged will appeal to those that fondly remember playing the original or its many iterations, and a whole new generation of gamers that are looking for fast-paced, pick-up-and play, arcade goodness.
May 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ben & Jerry have a Nike Skateboarding shoe, Chunky Dunky, and it costs thousands of dollars

I get paying thousands for NES Stadium Events, but a shoe? The sneaker racket eludes me.
Ben & Jerry's Nike Skateboarding shoe
May 25, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Face-mask fashion spreads as Ariana Grande's “Stuck With You” album cover appears on a mask

Ariana Grande's Stuck With You face mask
Despite the awful statistics behind the coronavirus, we all knew that face mask fashion would evolve into an actual thing.
Stuck With You CD single I've purchased a few cotton masks from various companies branded with their logos and I've seen everything from camouflage to zebra stripe. As the uncertainty of this pandemic remains, so does mandatory face masks in public. This will only fuel fashion and merch to expand to this format.

As an example is this face mask with the album art from Ariana Grande's latest single, Stuck With You - an appropriate track in this stay-at-home pandemic time.

From the Ariana Grande merch website:
All net proceeds from this collection will be donated to first responders children's foundation to fund grants and scholarships for children of healthcare workers, emergency medical technicians (emts), paramedics, police officers and firefighters serving at the front lines during the global pandemic. That means that by listening, watching, and sharing - you are helping to support families in need.
May 24, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

RepliTronics miniaturized the vintage “king of boomboxes” into a very cool Bluetooth speaker

RepliTronics Bluetooth boombox speaker
The boombox speaker comes in two sizes. The micro M90 is proportionate to their functional miniaturized arcade games!
RepliTronics Bluetooth boombox speaker These two miniaturized boomboxes are being offered by New Wave Toys (via kickstarter) the folks who brought replica mini arcade games to market not long ago. The M90 Mini boombox feature two 2.5" stereo speakers driving 16 Watts of undistorted sound - even when you crank it to 11. this smaller M90 Micro is sized to fit right in with your RepliTronics arcade games!

You can bring your mui to this speaker via Bluetooth or USB. You can even go old school and plug in your music source via the 3.5 mm AUX port. Your local radio stations can be pulled in via the built-in tuner and dual articulating antenna. It's rechargeable battery provides 60+ hours - yes, HOURS - of battery life!

Just as New Wave Toys released several mini arcade cabinets - even a change machine that acts as a power source - this is the beginning of boombox replicas. They are starting with the King of Boomboxes Kickstarter and will continue on with other models down the road! Keep an eye out!
May 23, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Synthwave musician, See Thomas Howl, goes back to his punk roots releasing Drunken Angel Live 88'

This awesome live recording goes back to a Jersey club where STH's band opened for Danzig!
It's rough and raw, but if you love this genre - you wouldn't have it any other way. See Thomas Howl has established himself as a synthwave musician with several albums. This is a great throw-back to the beginning of his musical career in a punk band, Drunken Angel. The full release comes out on May 29th, but you can pre-order Drunken Angel Live 88 and check out "The Last Day" track!

If you know him from his many synthwave releases, give this historic punk recording a try. We dig the sound and are looking forward to the full release next week! You can purchase all of See Thomas Howl's albums and EPs on bandcamp

From his press release:
A Long, Long Time ago....At a really cool historic club, I was in a punk band that played Live at City Gardens, in Trenton N.J. on Saturday 09/17/1988. We were called Drunken Angel and We were fortunate enough to open up for Danzig when they were touring to support their debut album which released in August, 1988. The album was the first release on producer Rick Rubin's new label at the time Def American Recordings. I'm releasing some demo tracks as well as the actual live set from that very night.

The set list is as follows:
01:03 -- Run With The Pack
04:12 -- A.W.O.L.
06:36 -- Mean Streets
10:20 -- Be With U
14:19 -- Evil Thought
17:59 -- Borstal Breakout (Sham 69)
20:17 -- The Last Day
25:13 -- Goodbye
See Thomas Howl - Drunken Angel Live 88
May 22, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Snag yourself a Flynn's Arcade t-shirt at a great price - today only!

Flynn's Arcade t-shirt
Cool shirt from the legendary arcade!
Flynn's Arcade t-shirt For a limited time, you can get this slick Flynn's Arcade shirt, from QWERTEE, at a great price!
May 18, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 are being rebooted on PS4 for a September launch

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 are being rebooted
THPS has graced many platforms over it's reign and the first two games are being rebooted for modern consoles!
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 are being rebooted When Tony Hawk Pro Skater first launched, skateboarding was about counter-culture and a existed in a hidden world of sports that no one would dare call a "sport". Now that skateboarding is an olympic-worthy endeavor and after decades of X-games, it's hardly the same secret society it once was. But that first game is still the best!

The TPS franchise spawned a lot of skateboarding games on many platforms from PC to mobile phones. It's still a great genre that evolved with Activision and Tony Hawk. I'm excited to snag this release since it's not the original as we played it, but a reboot that captures the original for modern consoles.

I've seen mention of PS4, Xbox One, and PC... but no mention of Nintendo Switch. I'd be very surprised if this didn't release for Switch at some point.

However, due to copyright issues there are a few great tracks that will not be appearing in the rebooted THPS 1 & 2:
  1. Anthrax & Public Enemy - "Bring the Noise"
  2. Suicidal Tendencies - "Cyco Vision"
  3. Unsane - "Committed"
  4. The High & Mighty - "B-Boy Document '99"
  5. Alley Life - "Out With The Old"
May 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The last time I moved, my Atari Lynx disappeared and it took me 15 years to find it

Every time I thought of a new place it might be - no luck. I'm shocked I didn't buy and other one, but I finally found it!
It wasn't a full-on search, but now and then I'd think of another place to search and came up with nothing. I had written it off until I discovered another set of boxes I'd not opened since my last move. So, I break the tape on this box and to my surprise, my Atari Lynx was inside!

I'm aware it's ridiculous to have been searching for fifteen years. One would think there aren't too many places to search in a house. It's a finite space! I thought I'd been through every box in the place and had kind of written it off unless another "hiding place" occurred to me. Each time I'd search, nothing was found.

Randomly going through some stuff in the attic, I came across an unopened box from my last move - fifteen years ago. To my surprise, there was my Atari Lynx in the case I remembered, with the game carts in two attached pouches. Stoked to have it back. Now I have to track down an A/C adapter. The Lynx is a real battery-eater from what I recall.

My missing Atari Lynx handheld
May 16, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

On the prowl for Fish & Chips, I hit up one of my favorite arcades for take-out, Flashback Retro Arcade Bar & Grille

Flashback Retro Arcade Bar & Grille
Ordering to-go food, merch and gift cards is a great way to help support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Forced to close during the pandemic, Flashback is offering curbside pickup from their menu. I paid in advance, drove up and a guy in a Darth Vader costume brought out my food. Gotta like that! It's important to support local businesses these days. We can't play the games inside, but supporting them now gives hope they will bounce back when restrictions are lifted.

The barcade concept ignited a wave of nostalgia for those who grew up in 80s and 90s arcades. Imagine if your favorite bar suddenly added retro arcade games to it's floor! That's the barcade idea and one opened in my area last year. The Flashback Retro Arcade Bar & Grille has a great selection of retro arcade games and although they are a bar, underage kids can play games before 8:00pm, when accompanied by an adult!

I've brought my son here a few times and it brings out the kid in me! We both love playing retro games at home, but it's a lot of fun to share the real experience with him in an arcade setting. The barcade is a wonderful concept. Support your local arcades during these tough times!

Flashback Retro Arcade Bar & Grille
May 15, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The pandemic has closed arcades, so tonight I ordered dinner to-go from one of my favorite arcade eateries

Ten Pin Eatery at the mall, has the To-Go menu flying out the door.
With tough times hitting all the businesses in my area, I try to support some of my favorite ones. Tonight, I'm ordering a curbside meal pickup from the Ten Pin Eatery. They have a huge bar and restaurant coupled with a large arcade and bowling. It's a great destination and they bring in new arcade games quite frequently. Support your local arcades!

As the lousy weather thaws and signs of Summer emerge, I don't get stoked for the beach. I'm dying to have the local arcades open for the season! This year the coronavirus has put a damper on everything - arcades included. It's hard to say if all the arcades I usually go to will open this season. We have some really cool retro arcades in the area.

A large entertainment center opened a few years ago in the local mall. They have dining, bowling, laser tag and a large arcade. It's a frequent after-work stop. Now that I'm working from home during the pandemic, I don't get to play Space Invaders Frenzy any more. I decided to order some take-out tonight. This gave me an excuse to drive by the location and snag some fish & chips.

Each order comes with a free $10 swipe card for the arcade - when it reopens. Can't play any games at the moment, but they make a good fish & chips meal, so I'll have to get by until they reopen.

Ten Pin Eatery Arcade take-out I'm happy to report their fish & chips was delicious! It came with a nice thick dish fillet and nice fat fries. I've never ordered food before, but I'm definitely going back to explore more of their menu. And down the road play some more Space Invaders Frenzy and Cruisin' Blast!
May 14, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jay & Silent Bob Mall Brawl has been released for Nintendo Switch

As a fan of Kevin Smith, this is a must-have... although I haven't bought it yet.
Jay & Silent Bob Mall Brawl From Clerks and Mallrats to Chasing Amy and Dogma, I love Kevin Smith's sense of humor and the way he creates films. When Limited Run Games offered Mall Brawl on a playable NES cartridge, I had to order it. Still awaiting it's arrival, but I'm getting curious to play it.

You can play as Jay and Silent Bob in a pixel-style side-scrolling brawler. It supports single player or yo can play with a friend. Defeat the enemies with combos, attacks, and access an assortment of weapons. Your goal is to fight your way from the mall to the Quickstop.

Jay & Silent Bob Mall Brawl is available on Steam and Switch.. and eventually the NES! Check out the official Mall Brawl website for more info. I hope the NES carts ship soon!
May 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pre-order the physical release of Creature In The Well from iam8bit for Switch and PS4

physical release of Creature In The Well
With an unlikely mash-up of pinball and scifi adventure, you're the last robot engineer on Earth
Released in September 2019, Flight School's Creature in the Well has been referred to as a Pin Brawler. Whatever you call it, this unique game is getting a physical release via iam8bit for both Nintendo Switch and PS4. I haven't played this game, but it's gameplay is pretty cool and I love the pinball elements. Check it out!

From the Nintendo website:
Creature in the Well is a top-down, pinball-inspired, hack-and-slash dungeon crawler. As the last remaining BOT-C unit, venture deep into a desert mountain to restore power to an ancient facility, haunted by a desperate Creature. Uncover and upgrade powerful gear in order to free the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm.

- Pinball with swords: Charge up energy orbs, then bounce and ricochet them to reactivate dormant machinery and stop the sandstorm.
- Defeat the Creature: Escape the many challenges set by the Creature and confront it in intricate, skillful battles.
- Dungeon-crawler: Delve deeper into the mountain as you unlock eight hand-crafted dungeons, each filled with unique gameplay themes, unlockables, and secrets to uncover.
- Over 20 unique items: Customize your playstyle with upgradeable weapons and clothing that change how you play the game.
May 10, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Neon Retro Arcade is selling really cool arcade-inspired face-masks and several t-shirt designs

while most arcades are shut down, help support them through buying their merchandise!
Check out the merch at Neon Retro Arcade. They have these face-masks along with some cool t-shirt designs. Buying merch is a great way to support your local arcade and show off your style. Check out your favorite arcade online and see what sort of merchandise they are selling. Even buying gift cards that you can use later when they reopen can be a help.

With retail and entertainment almost completely closed, lots of small businesses are struggling. Arcades are one type of business that's been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdowns. If your local arcade (or any arcade you love) sells merch - hats, shirts, gift cards - buy some stuff!

All my local arcades are shut. From the retro barcade with Dig Dug and Joust to the local theater with Time Crisis 4, playing arcade games is not possible these days. Sure, I have all my favorite games on various game consoles and ROMs, but the thrill of the arcade is more than just the games. It has a vibe that is second to none! I hope to be back among the flashing lights and attract-modes soon!

Google's Pac-Man doodle
May 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Google re-published their playable Pac-Man doodle today

Google's Pac-Man doodle
Google's interactive (playable) doodles are often pretty cool creations.
Googles Pac-Man Doodle for the game's 30th "Anniversary in May 2010. Another of our favorite Google Doodles is their UFO game to commemorate Roswell's 66th anniversary.

Google's Pac-Man doodle
Google's Pac-Man doodle game play
May 7, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Galaxy Purple Amico console is on pre-order exclusively at GameStop, for its October launch

Galaxy Purple Amico consol
I'm not comfortable giving GameStop $299 for a product shipping in October, given their poor financial standing and coronavirus impact.
GameStop has been in a financial bind for quite some time. They've tried several tactics to diversify and retain their core business, but stores have been closing for the last few years. Factor in a global pandemic that has shuttered most of their locations and things may get worse. So, where does that leave pre-orders for Intellivision's upcoming Amico console?

GameStop has an exclusive on the purple version, but you have to put down the full $299 price. The console debuts in October. With all the grim news about a resurgence of the coronavirus, I'm not confident GameStop will be here to distribute the console. I have no inside info - my fears are simply based on the company's past performance woes combined with their stores being closed for the pandemic.

I think the Amico has great potential and will do very well due to it's unique blend of retro, family camaraderie, and a great price point on games. I'm not as confident GameStop will be around to push them across the counter. Best of luck to GameStop. I'd miss them a lot if the went out of business.

I'm stoked for the Amico and bought one direct during one of Intellivision's pre-order windows. I was planning on buying one at retail on launch day, but heard the console may not be very plentiful outside of various pre-orders for Intellivision's retail partners. I'm excited about it and looking forward to a new gaming experience.
May 6, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Seeking immortality or endless lives? Perhaps Alexa can help if you tell her the Konami code

Atari Token
At the very least it's kind of fun Amazon's Echo recognizes the iconic Konami code!
I came across this on Tik Tok of all places and yes, a fair amount of embarrassment comes with that admission. So anyway... Super Alexa Mode won't really do anything but Perhaps make you smile. But isn't it nice to know some of the Bezos billions have gone into having your Echo Dot acknowledge the Konami code?
May 5, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Comic books are returning to mass-market at 3K+ Walmart stores

Comic books are moving into big box stores as smaller comic shops succumb to the economic downfall of the coronavirus.
Comic books are returning to mass-market Allegiance Arts & Entertainment is bringing together fan-favorite creators to launch four comic book titles for sale at 3,000+ Walmart stores. Comic books have been relegated to small specialty comic shops for quite some time. I remember reading comics at the grocery store while my mom shopped. I gravitated toward Vampirella!

I see a small selection at Barnes & Nobel, but comic books have all but disappeared in mass market settings. Arkansas' Allegiance Arts & Entertainment is a new company aggregating creators to bring comics to larger retailers. They feel there is a large audience who don't have aaa local comic book shop, but still want comics. Walmart is grossly ubiquitous, so they are a logical choice for reaching a large diverse audience.

I like the concept, but would like to see a larger selection going into mass market. This is a very unique case, so you won't see traditional books found at comic shops appearing in Walmart. Like any test scenario, if it's successful, it may amount to more titles coming to the box-store giant. As much as I dislike big box-stores, this may be a good move for comic books. It will expose them to more people and that's a good thing.
May 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the fourth be with you!
May the fourth be with you!
May 3, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Kids Choice Awards quarantine edition forged ahead with no audience and broadcasted from celebrities' homes

It needed some excitement, so I updated their winner's list with some 80's flare.
In the midst of the global pandemic, everything from concerts and sporting events to movies and dining out has been canceled. Nickelodeon swooped in with the Kids Choice Awards and held the event virtually with a central (remote) host, Victoria Justice. While not as exciting as the actual interaction, they managed to pull it off. However, this can't be the future of television.

They made a valiant effort, but the excitement comes from interaction which they didn't have since the "acceptance speeches" were not live, probably taped in advance. Like many shows from late night to SNL, everyone is trying to deliver to fans. Adapting to this new normal will be difficult. Shows taking steps to forge ahead will lead us back.

Kids Choice Awards 80s edition Even seeing nightly news anchors separated feels odd. We're a social species and our lives revolve around connections and interactions. Removing that is very counterintuitive. We hear of movies being delayed, but what about television? No one is saying much about TV. Will there be a new Fall season of old favorites and new shows? Seems unlikely.

Social distancing doesn't really lend itself to the entertainment industry. Time will tell how much this pandemic will truly effect the entertainment industry going forward.
May 2, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Touting Atari Token as a currency for the delayed VCS console, Atari has a blockchain website

Atari Token
Another Atari project launching with no clear path or benefit.
Like most Atari projects, the facts are muddled with ideas, concepts, and marketing-speak. Solid plans don't seem to be a staple for Atari projects. You can buy Atari Tokens, but it's unclear what you can realistically do with this cryptocurrency. They offer some "ideas," but real-world uses seem quite limited.

Even their own FAQ on the Atari chain website doesn't offer any real world uses.

From the Atari chain website:
What can I do with the Atari Token?
Our long-term goal is to provide as many uses as possible. This obviously will take time.

We first heard about Atari's cryptocurrency in February 2018. Even back then it seemed as though the Atari VCS (called the "Ataribox" at the time) was being ignored as other projects were being announced. We're glad to see Atari grown and diversify into new areas, but they need to do it competently or risk damaging the brand.
May 1, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Trump knew. He ignored the warnings. Called it a hoax. Trump is responsible for every COVID-19 death in the US

He lies about EVERYTHING. Now it is costing lives. People are dying because of his lies and failures.
During the worst pandemic of our lifetime, we are stuck with the stupidest president in world history.

Mega Drive Streets of Rage soundtrack

April 2020 Retro Gaming Articles:

April 30, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Wayo Records releases Mega Drive Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2 soundtracks

Mega Drive Streets of Rage soundtrack
Both are available as digital downloads, on CD with extra bonuses, and full-retro on cassette tape!
The first two Streets of Rage soundtracks are coming to digital, CD, and cassette via Wayo Records. I love that they are being pushed to cassette - apparently for the first time! This sounds like a pretty cool release.

From the press release:
Wayo Records is thrilled to make available the acclaimed Mega Drive soundtracks to Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage II composed by Yuzo Koshiro in digital, CD, and cassette tape formats. The new CD release of Streets of Rage II follows Wayo Records's 2017 Streets of Rage digital and CD release with new commentary from Koshiro and a 17-minute-long megamix by composer Shinji Hosoe.

A digital release of Streets of Rage II will follow in the coming months and both will also be released on cassette tape for the first time ever.

Mega Drive Streets of Rage 2 soundtrack


    SIDE A

  • The Streets of Rage
  • Player Select
  • Fighting in the Street
  • Attack in the Barbarian
  • Round Clear
  • Dilapidated town
  • Moon Beach
  • Keep the groovin
  • Beatnik on the ship

    SIDE B

  • Stealthy Steps
  • Violent Breathing
  • The last Soul
  • Big boss
  • You became the bad guy!
  • My little baby
  • Up & up
  • The Super Threc
  • Name Entry
  • Game Over
  • Rave Dance in the City
  • Skyscraper Night
  • Quiet Insanity


    SIDE A

  • S.O.R Super Mix
  • Player Select
  • Go Straight (Game)
  • In The Bar
  • Never Return Alive
  • Round Clear
  • Spin On The Bridge
  • Ready Funk
  • Dreamer
  • Alien Power
  • Under Logic

    SIDE B

  • Too Deep
  • Slow Moon
  • Wave 131
  • Jungle Base
  • Back To The Industry
  • Expander
  • Max Man
  • Revenge of Mr. X
  • Good End
  • Game Over
  • Walking Bottom
  • Little Money Avenue
April 29, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you're really bored during quarantine, here's a chance to win a robot sex doll

Robot Realdoll
The crew at Realdoll knows how to spice up a global quarantine. They're offering an Ultimate Robot & Fan Experience Sweepstakes
Maybe that Nintendo Switch isn't as captivating as it was during the first week of quarantine - did you get Animal Crossing yet? Maybe you've watched all the Bezos-vision you can take on the Firestick and Netflix pulled all your favorite films. Boardgames, exercise, play an instrument? Been there, dont that? Maybe you need a robot sex doll...

Don't laugh. Well, maybe a bit. Enter this Realdoll contest for a chance to win their AI powered sex robot. She has an assortment of facial movements and will talk to you. Spice up your quarantine with a latex girlfriend who can't infect you with coronavirus! Or you could order the new Animal Crossing - great game.

April 28, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The second run of Phoenix consoles (FPGA Colecovision) have been delayed by the coronavirus

Colectorvision's Phoenix console is delayed
Everything is delayed these days, so no surprise the next run of Phoenix consoles are delayed as well.
The folks at Collectorvision put the word out on their FB page that the second round of Phoenix game consoles was still active, but had been delayed - like everything else on the planet - by the coronavirus. I was beginning to wonder what was up. News had died down. Was the pre-order even open anymore?

An FPGA colecovision console was too good to pass up. I sat out the first round, but when it began to look like there may not be more, I jumped into the cue for the second manufacturing run. Hopefully it will be coming soon as the pandemic wanes for the summer. I love what Collectorvision does and this console is a love letter to retro gaming. Such a great venture!

From the Collectorvision Facebook page:
These days, we see a bunch of people wondering if we have enough orders for the 2nd batch
The answer is YES, we do!
Of course, with all that is happening in our world right now, manufacturing for the 2nd batch is just not currently possible, so there will be some kind of delay until everything gets back to normal.

We'll post more informations as soon as we have updates/news. Meanwhile, thanks to every one of you who bought a Phoenix console.
April 27, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Jinx cosplay by Anaelic

Jinx cosplay by Anaelic
She creates really cool costumes and props from fabric to armor.
Follow Anaelic on Instagram to see more of her creations.

Jinx cosplay by Anaelic Jinx cosplay by Anaelic.
Jinx cosplay by Anaelic Jinx cosplay by Anaelic. Jinx cosplay by Anaelic

April 27, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

In development for nearly two decades, Atari 2600 homebrew Robot City has a new release

Robot City for Atari 2600 by Thomas Jentzsch
Although a work-in-progress, Thomas Jentzsch's game is fun, strategic, and well thought out!
Thomas Jentzsch's homebrew game Robot City began in 2002 and recently received an update in 2020. It's a really good game! Naturally, we'd like to see more frequent updates, but lives become busy and other priorities can arise. If you've tried the game before - or never heard of it - give the latest revision a try! You can download the latest WIP version of Robot City on Atariage.

Robot City title screen Set in the year 2601, Robot City puts you in control of a Hypercopter because you are the last hope as a mechanical enemy takes over. It's you against the iBots (tanks). You can fire on them or trick their A into making them shoot each other.

Each wave is a randomly generated maze, keeping the gameplay fresh and unique. Five levels of difficulty lets you set the right pace in this single player game. Although, while the iBots are automated to hunt you down, plugging in a second joystick lets a friend control them!

Robot City is based on an Odyssey 2 prototype game Robot City written by Graham Thomasson. I highly recommend downloading this game and check it out in your favorite emulator!

Robot City gameplay screen
April 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pick up Fusion No.11 gaming mag in print or PDF

Fusion Mag feartures all types of gaming including Retro, Indie, Current, Handheld, and Table Top
Issue #11 of Fusion Magazine Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11- print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.
Here's a link to Fusion Magazine #11 - print version.

April 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Miley Cyrus was the musical guest on SNL At Home where she covered Pink Floyd

I love Miley's covers. She never picks songs I'd expect from her. She has great taste in her cover projects.
The first Saturday Night Live - At Home edition (last week) seemed like it might be a one-time event, but this week they did it again by tying in the cast from their homes. Of interest was Miley Cyrus as musical guest, covering Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." I love watching her perform. She consistently kills it regardless of the scenario. Her performance was acoustic from her backyard firepit. She killed it!

Brad Pitt was a guest in the episode, delivering a great performance in the opening sketch playing Dr. Anthony Fauci. Oddly, I'm liking Pete Davidson a lot more these days. Maybe the Ariana Grande nonsense soured me and enough time has passed. Funny guy!

Miley Cyrus on SNL At Home
April 26, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Along with new hunts Raw Thrills' Big Buck Hunter: RELOADED! features Terminator Salvation: Delta Mission!

Big Buck Hunter: RELOADED! features Terminator Salvation
Hunting wild animals isn't really my thing, but I'm stoked to hunt down Cyberdyne's finest Terminators!
Big Buck Hunter: RELOADED! arcade cabinet Similar to discovering some of the World's Largest Pac-Man arcade cabinets had a Galaga component, Raw Thrills is bringing the Terminator to Big Buck Hunter: RELOADED! This release celebrates 20 years of the Big Buck franchise. As a fan of the Terminator franchise, this really excites me to play a game I might otherwise ignore.

I'm not a fan of hunting animals, so I rarely play these games at the arcade. Give me a Terminator mission and now I'm excited to play it. That's good marketing! It retains it's traditional hunting visual, but incorporates the Terminator element to draw in that crowd.

Big Buck Hunter: RELOADED! is coming in 2020 and is also available as an upgrade to some existing BBH games. In addition to Terminator Salvation: Delta Mission!, you will also find In Case of Monsters: Lost Island. After this pandemic settles and arcades open their doors, this will be a great game to welcome gamers back.
April 25, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As face masks become a part of life for the foreseeable future, they're also becoming fashionable

Face mask fashion
With a delicate balance between fashion and pandemic, companies are branding face masks making them a bit less daunting.
Face masks have a medical connotation. Seeing them worn outside a hospital setting can make people a bit uneasy. Now face masks are everywhere - and they're mandatory. As the coronavirus spreads, new mandates are being made on everyday life that seem unimaginable. It feels like we're living in a scifi movie, but the credits aren't rolling.

Partly out of retail survival and creating a needed item in a pandemic world, companies are putting their logos and IPs on cloth face masks. They may serve a medical purpose, but they don't need to look like they're straight out of the ER. I'm not sure it's appropriate to label these necessary masks as fashion statements, but as mor companies put everything from logos to super heroes on these face masks - fashion is inevitable. Many companies are also donating masks or portions of their profits to local hospitals.

One of my favorite brands is a local comicbook shop, Newbury Comics. They have a kickass logo (shown above on AC/DC's Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album cover) and bring a unique version of cool to the area. I'd love to see them release a branded face mask. They Had Covfefe buttons on their rack days after Trump's moronic tweet.

Neon retro Arcade face mask Video game and pinball themed face mask from Neon Retro Arcade.
Juice Magazine face mask Juice skateboard magazine is all about pools, pipes, and punk rock... and they put there logo on face masks.

April 24, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you've ever cleaned a toilet, countertop, or window, you probably know that cleaning disinfectants should not be ingested even if Trump thinks it's OK

Don't ingest cleaning products. Trump is a moron
Our president's last job was “Game Show Host”. He has a 4th grade vocabulary and inability to converse. He's weak. He lies. He's dumb.
In a staggering statement during a press conference meant to inform the public about the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump suggested that household cleaners could be ingested or injected into the human body as a cure for the virus. Obviously, this is not something anyone should ever do. These products kill various bacteria and germs on surfaces and will kill you if ingested.

I'm certain anyone who's ever cleaned a toilet knows not to drink the cleanser, but kids may hear what this moron is saying and believe him. I've stopped watching the daily White House briefings because that lying idiot babbles on and on about current events and his ill-informed opinions mingled with lies.

Don't forget, Trump was warned about a pandemic last year and the specifics of COVD-19 in January 2020. He chose to ignore it. Deny it. Called it a hoax. Lied about it's effects. Now he praises his response to the pandemic. He's a sociopath. Do not re-elect him even if you think he'll give you money or a tax break. Trump is a virus.
April 23, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari announce the VCS video game console has entered the mass production phase

VCS is in mass production phase
An initial run of 500 consoles is underway, but earmarked for developers, retailers and testing - not indigogo backers.
After collecting $3 million from Indigogo backers years ago, Atari announced they are entering the mass production phase of their VCS game console project. They are starting with 500 units... none of which are going to backers. These consoles are slated for business purposes, including standard reliability testing. Every step forward seems shrouded in a dozen reasons to give up on this console.

The brief announcement offered no dates and confirmed backers will not be getting andy of the initial manufacturing run of units. They state a larger run of 10,000 consoles will be next. No dates. I think a lot of people just ordered a modern CX-40 joystick (I did). I wonder when that will ship. From Atari or the manufacturer?

Typical of Atari, they offered just enough info to sound like they had news, but without any sort of time frame, what good is this info? Backers have been waiting YEARS for the new VCS. So, now they are mass producing 500 units that are not shipping to any backers or customers. How long does testing take? How soon after testing will the 10,000 units be manufactured? Atari always stirs up more questions than answers. But that should no longer surprise anyone.

I hope they can pull this off and deliver something. I'm in it for a swanky modern joystick,but as a company I'd like to see Atari succeed at something in the modern era. The Jaguar was the last console they released and it made an initial splash at retail, but faded quickly amidst a lot of mediocre games. It would be nice to see Atari successful once again.
April 21, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I missed the noon order window for Limited Run Games' Hot Line Miami Collection

I must have missed the pre-order announcements on this title. 4,000 copies were sold out by 12:08pm.
Limited Run Games' Hot Line Miami Collection I'm not used to Limited Run games having a Tuesday pre-order and consequently missed the Hot Line Miami Collection order window at noon. By the time I sas their "buy it now" email, I logged on at 12:08 and it was already sold out with no other sell window later in the day. Dammit!

As part of a partnership with Special Reserve Games, LRG was selling the Hot Line Miami Collection's physical release for Nintendo Switch with alternate cover art. I would have gone for it. I love their physical releases. I've occasionally found LRG titles at my local Best Buy and am interested to know more about their deal with Strictly Limited Games.

Of course my Best Buy is in a local mall that's shut down due to the pandemic. Once this is over, I'll put on some hazmat gear and venture out for some shopping. At the same time, this pandemic may delay production and shipping of the game for months. I'm still waiting on one title I ordered last year.

There are definitely extenuating circumstances, but I wish they had a process that allowed for quicker turn around on shipping games to customers.
April 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Selena Gomez is suing a Chinese mobile game publisher and UK developer for stealing her likeness

Geico's Ratt problem ad
Clothes Forever - Styling Game apparently "borrowed" the likenesses of several celebrities in addition to Selena.
Singer and actor, Selena Gomez is suing a Chinese video game company for using her likeness in a mobile game, called Clothes Forever - Styling Game. She is suing publisher Guangzhou Fiedong Software Technology and developer MutantBox Interactive Limited for $10 million. I'm sure they figured they could snatch a five-year-old image and get away with it, but at the same time, other celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift.

I'm not sure what success rate one has when suing a Chinese mobile game publisher. Lindsay Lohan tried the same thing with RockStar games over her "likeness" being used in Grand Theft Auto. Her case was much more ambiguous based on the likeness she objected to. It's actually a pose used by every teen girl who has ever taken a mirror-selfie.

Apparently, Gomez was most perturbed over the game's minimization. Prices went up to $99 to buy currency to be used in-game. Allegations of game bugs was also mentioned. Sounds like on of hundreds of lame disposable games that quickly become boring. We'll see if Gomez does better with the legal system than Lindsay. Go buy Selena's album, Rare - great album!

Selena Gomez in Flare Magazine Selena Gomez on the November 2015 cover of Flare magazine.
Selena Gomez in a mobile game The likeness of Selena Gomez mirrored from a magazine cover for the Clothes Forever - Styling Game.

April 17, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Taylor Swift cancels all of her appearances until 2021 due to the coronavirus

Taylor Swift
This includes her two huge shows "Lover Fest East" and "Lover Fest West," supporting her recent album Lover.
It's no surprise Swift would cancel her appearances and performances. Who hasn't, these days? The interesting part is her two huge concerts. Like most musicians, she was going on tour to support her latest album, however she only had two shows. Most tours have several legs spanning many months. Taylor had an East coast show and a West coast show to support last year's "Lover" album.

I'm sure this unique tour was a test to gauge future concerts based on the numbers from this oddly short 2-show tour. It makes me curious to know more about it and how it was structured. Would a full tour launch sometime afterward? What about Europe and other territories? This virus is screwing up everything. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
April 16, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Geico's latest insurance ad features a Ratt problem with Stephen Pearcy and the band

Geico's Ratt problem ad
As a fan of Ratt, beginning in the 80s, I love that this ad is refocusing attention on them today!
Geico insurance have been creating parody ads for quite some time and they're actually pretty funny in most cases. Their latest features a couple discussing a rat problem in their home, but it turns out to be a Ratt infestation with the renowned 80s rock band, Ratt and their hit song, "Round And Round."

The band has undergone several line-up changes and in-fighting, but the current iteration is featured in the ad with original singer Stephen Pearcy, who has put out a few really good solo albums. I believe they were in the process of recording a new Ratt album prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

Geico has had a few other rockers on their ad roster. In 2012, Eddie Money sang "Two Tickets to Paradise" as a travel agent and Europe performed "The Final Countdown" in an office break room. Not to take away from Geico's ad brilliance - I love the 2012 Honda Pilot ad where the family road-trip bypasses the usual songs for an a cappella foray into Ozzy's Crazy Train.
April 15, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

What is Bella Thorne up to next?

Makeup lines, a cannabis brand, dropping music, directing shorts for Porn Hub, a record label, countless acting roles. She fascinates me.
What is Bella Thorne up to next?
April 14, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Minecraft's upcoming RTX Beta promises ray tracing to enhance the blocky graphics

Minecraft RTX Beta
For a game based on blocks, ray tracing seems like a lofty leap to keep players engaged.
The charm of Minecraft seemed to me to be it's adherence to a blocky style of building and creation. However Minecraft's RTX update makes the blocks look better via ray tracing. I'm not a Minecraft player, but my son was obsessed with it and shared many of his creations and strategies with me.

I think it's cool that Minecraft has expanded from mobile platforms and PC onto many game consoles. Quite an achievement! As a retro gamer who's seen the visual changes to video games from the 70s through the PS4, this update with ray tracing seems parallel to part of my past. It's as if Minecraft is trying to shed it's "Atari 2600" image for that of the "NES" (lol).

When I was a kid, each Christmas there was a new video game console with new features that tried to leapfrog the competition. From Atari and Intellivision to Coleco and Nintendo, they all tried to best one another over time. Minecraft is sort of mimicking that trajectory as it adds ray tracing - something I view as a modern facet - to it's blocky foundation. Imagine if Yars revenge was updated in 1983 with a elements that adds lighting effects, shadows and more vibrant detail.

I'm just having fun with this announcement. Not known for amazing graphics, Minecraft is getting a big graphic improvement with six pre-built worlds for exploration and allegedly the ability to import your existing creations into the RTX beta release. Back in the 80's I was hoping I could turn my 2600 into a Colecovision!

Minecraft RTX Beta
April 14, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Voice actor Rick May, who voiced Pepe Hare in Star Fox 64, passed away yesterday

The iconic "Do a barrel roll" line will live on in our hearts and games.
Voice actor Rick May passed away As gamers we focus on the voice of Rick May in video games like Star Fox 64, Team Fortress, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, and more. He also had a long career in theater where he held roles from Artistic Director to teaching performing arts.

Like many others these days, May fell victim to the coronavirus. A stroke earlier in the year led to his stay in a nursing home where he contracted the disease. Next time you play Star Fox 64 remember all the folks who voice our favorite characters, bringing them to life just as programmers do behind the scenes. And do a barrel roll for Rick May!
April 13, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo teams up with Levis for a clothing line of Mario shirts, hoodies, jackets, and more

Nintendo teams up with Levis
If you're stuck inside and need some new Mario gear, try this Nintendo line from Levis!
Levis mario coat for women A month ago, Levis began teasing a clothing collaboration with Nintendo. A few days ago more items were tweeted and there seems to be a lot of cool Mario styles from Levis on their website. You'll find some great t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets for men, women and kids sizes too.

I've always liked the Levis brand. Their denim products are well made and durable. Gotta love a jean jacket, especially if it has a Super Mario logo. I like a lot of the t-shirt designs and hope they can bring back the fanny-pack. Lots of cool styles - check it out. You'll find traditional denim and some funky styles as well.

There's even a pair of overalls just like the ones your favorite SMB plumber wears. This is a cool line because it's more than just a few shirts and a hat. Lots of thought went into this colaboration to make sure the Nintendo designs fit with the Levis apparel.

Levis Mario t-shirt Levis Mario t-shirt.
Levis Mario Jean jacket Levis Mario Jean jacket.

April 13, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Internationally renowned mathematician, John H. Conway, creator of one of the first computer games, passed away

"The Game of Life" (1970) created by Conway, was one of the first video games.
In 1970, mathematician, John H. Conway, created The Game Of Life. It's not like Pong or any of the video games we traditionally think of as firsts, but it is the kind of game a mathematician would create. Based on an initial state, evolution, and a set of rules, it's what you might call a zero-player game as it sort of plays by itself once you set the initial state.

The player chooses an initial set up to which rules are applied to determine the outcome in the next generation. Play continues until one of three things happens: all cells are dead, no cells change from one generation to the next, or the pattern flips back and forth between two or more positions. The initial setup begins the game, which is an evolution of cells on a grid based on Conway's rules - of which there are four:

  1. Birth: Each dead cell adjacent to exactly three live neighbors will become live in the next generation.
  2. Death: Each live cell with one or fewer live neighbors will die in the next generation.
  3. Death by overcrowding: Each live cell with four or more live neighbors will die in the next generation.
  4. Survival: Each live cell with either two or three live neighbors will remain alive for the next generation.

Conway's passing was a complication of the coronavirus pandemic. He was in a nursing home that became a hotspot for the virus' spread. There are still may folks "playing" The Game Of Life and exploring it's theory of evolution based on his four rules.

Mathematician, John H. Conway, creator of The Game Of Life, passed away
April 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

SNL's “At Home” edition offered a purposefully awful Call Of Duty Twitch streamer

Saturday Night Live At Home - Call of Duty sketch
Social distancing to stifle the global pandemic led Saturday Night Live to tape cast skits from their homes. Good effort!
Coronavirus survivor, Tom Hanks, was the virtual host of the April 11 SNL At Home edition. Performing a monologue from his home, he kicked off the show with musical guest Chris Martin. Social Distancing was the common theme of the night as the usual backdrops were replaced by the casts' living rooms.

The highlights for me were Pete Davidson doing a funny mock Drake video and Weekend Update having Alec Baldwin call in as Trump. Jost really should have had a Scarlett Johansson cameo (maybe I missed it?), but Baldwin's one-liners made up for it.

Definitely enjoyed the failing Twitch streamer skit with Mikey Day. This is the main reason I'd never stream myself playing video games. I'd be terrible at every game and trying to carry on witty banter at the same time would never work for me. Funny stuff - especially when he reverted to Super Mario bros and couldn't play that either.

The lack of standard laugh tracks - a symptom on many late night shows as well - really sets a stark awareness of "something different." The world tries to normalize as many things as possible during a pandemic. After weeks in quarantine, we need a taste of "normal" to some degree.

It seems this At Home Edition was a one-time idea and they will continue re-runs until the show can resume post-pandemic. With that in mind, I wonder what other late night shows will do. Many have begun similar home strategies. How long will this last. Will the comic splendor of these shows ever return to television? I hope they will.

Saturday Night Live At Home - Alec Baldwin as Trump
April 12, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Easter!

I'm all about the Cadbury Eggs and video games!
This is the first Easter my son hasn't been able to visit for the week and each chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, and play video games. We don't observe any religious celebrations, but we play games from board games and ping pong to video games from Atari and Coleco to the PS4 and Switch. The coronavirus is lousing up everything.

While many families are Quarantined together, I'm waiting for a relaxation in dangers to have him visit for all the fun stuff we love doing. I hope you all have a good Easter with indoor egg hunts and maybe a few video games. Stay home. Stay safe. Have a great day!

Happy Easter! Atari From dying eggs, eating jellybeans and playing video games, few of us celebrate Easter like a Miley Cyrus Easter!
April 11, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Pharmaceutical TV ad shows a family playing Wii games. Big Pharma pricing precludes that PlayStation purchase

I'm not going to ask my doctor if your random pills are right for me, but I will point out the power of Nintendo's Wii console!
currently, there's one of those random annoying drug ads for some pill that makes your skin clear up as long as you don't mind kidney failure - ok that's not true (yeah, it is) but the ad features a family playing Nintendo Wii games. In 2020. Initially, I thought that was pretty funny, dated, and out-of-touch. Then I remembered how much I still enjoy playing Wii games.

Don't ask your doctor. Just play Wii games!
From time to time, I feel the Wii ges maligned for it's initial overly kid-friendly portrayal in ads and it's unusual controls. Their initial ad campaigns were pretty creepy, but I love the Wiimote and nunchuck. It opened up an entirely new way to interact with video games! I thought it was fantastic. The Wiimote allowed pointing, shaking, and a variety of movements to control your game.

Another reason I love the Wii is for it's game library. Sure, there are a lot of awful games, but the AAA Nintendo titles like Super Mario Galaxy or Kirby or Donkey Kong Country are superb. It also has classics like Metal Slug Anthology and King Of Fighters Collection. And don't forget that GameCube compatibility.

Big Pharma is a calculating think-tank sort of entity. If they think the Wii should be in there ads - it's no accident, nor random decision. Behold the power of the Wii... even Big Pharma knows the power it holds in garnering attention. Don't bother your doctor about random pills. Get your yearly physical exam and live on.

Pharmaceutical ad shows a family playing Wii games

Big Pharma Rant

When regulations tightened on doctors pushing specific medications solely based on kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies, Big Pharma switched gears and began advertising with the slogan, "Ask your doctor if XXXXXXXXX is right for you. So, they conned the general public into asking doctors for these meds themselves. Pure evil... if you ask me.

Stranger still are the side effects the drug companies have to disclose. Apparently most medications cause death and/or organ failure. Maybe I'll just eat more vegetables and hope for the best.
April 10, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Arcade1Up has some printable signs for your game room during the pandemic

A bit of humor and some good sense. These signs are a sign of the times and where we may end up after there's a vaccine.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the folks at Arcade1Up are offering downloadable signs for your game room or arcade. A bit of tongue-in-cheek humor with a reminder of the new way of life where a sneeze could kill you. Wearing gloves and a face mask in the grocery store seems bizarre as though I'm in a sci-fi film. Nope, just stocking up on Fritos & Mt. Dew, and enough food to stay home another two weeks.

When I think about all the things I come in contact with in an average day - that could now infect me - it's astonishing. A downfall of this scenario is the mistrust it breeds. Everyone who's also at the store to get a loaf of bread could be infected and transfer the virus to me. It's an awful way to look at people we would ordinarily pass by with a smile.

After this enduring quarantine will my favorite arcades be able to reopen? Will their finances be in any shape to continue on? Many small businesses have already been wiped out - arcades among them. Will we all need gloves and masks to play in arcades? Will we ever be able to touch things again in public or even in our homes?

Currently, I'm able to work from home. Without any commute time, I have a lot more time to play video games. I'm no where near playing all the games I've never touched, but I'm having fun and encountering old favorites and fun new additions. Being cooped up at home, books, CDs, DVDs and video games have been the saving grace during quarantine. Stay home and stay safe!

Arcade1Up signs for your game room Gamers: Must wash hands before playing in arcade.
Arcade1Up signs for your game room We want you to stay home... and play video games.

Check out Arcade1Up's website for more of these handy signs. Maybe your game room would benefit from these simple reminders to have fun and wash your hands!
April 9, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop has listings for the upcoming Tiger Electronics LCD handheld game reissues

Tiger Electronics LCD handheld game reissues
With a non-specific release date of Fall '20, GameStop lists four titles from the reissued handheld games.
Hasbro is re-releasing four of the Tiger Electronic's handheld LCD games sometime during 2020's holiday season. GameStop has four titles listed with a TBA release date. Requiring 2 AA batteries, these reissued games are "inspired by" the originals. It's hard to say what that really means as a comparison to the ones I recall from the 80s and 90s.

The four titles being released are:
  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 3
  2. X-Men Project X
  3. Transformers: Generation 2
  4. The Little Mermaid
These handhelds, back in the day, were a novelty rather than "video games." Each one usually had only one game and the gameplay was rather odd to say the least. The word 'primitive' comes to mind, compared to other handhelds on the market. Sure, the Tiger devices were far less expensive, but the entertainment delivered was on par with the cost.

I think these reissued Tiger games will appeal to those who owned them in the past or folks who know about them. A lot of sales will be nostalgia driven, but a few of these do look like fun to play now and then. I'm sure one or two will wind up in my stash.

In the '70s, I recall fourth grade as the year that kids I knew began bringing all sorts of crazy handheld video games to school. From Mattel Electronic Football to Merlin the Electronic Wizard, we were all fascinated by these devices. We had no idea this would spawn a genre that would last my lifetime. I adore my 2DS and think fondly of all the odd handhelds I've owned over the decades. Nostalgia is a funny beast. Here's hoping the Tiger Electronics games are good nostalgic fun... or at least close!

April 8, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Stop the presses! The PS5 controller doesn't look like the last 4 Sony controllers - it's DualSense

If you get it right the first time... Don't fix it if it isn't broken... Welcome DualSense!
The Playstation 5 controller was revealed and it has a new look and a few new features. For a company that used a very similar controller scheme for the last four video game consoles, I wasn't expecting all this newness. It features haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, the "Share" button is now a "create" button, and a microphone that may let you ditch your headset.

Growing up with an Atari 2600 and their subsequent consoles, I was very accustomed to each new console having some crazy new type of controller. The Atari 5200 took the former one-button controller and gave us one with 19 buttons! So, I began thinking that the folks at Sony really need to expand their horizons... what's with the same controller each time? OK, they did make changes and add features, but it was pretty similar.

In addition to backward compatibility with PS4 games, it sounds as though the DualShock 4 controllers will work with the PS5 console. That's pretty cool since no one wants to buy another controller instantly just to play with a friend. I love the backwards compatibility PS4 games, but wish the former rumor of compatibility with all previous Playstation consoles was true. We need a new console for all those amazing PS2 games!

I'm excited for the PS5 and hopeful that the games will really be a leap forward in the experience a game console can deliver. I was happy with my PS3, and only upgraded to play newer games. Here's hoping the PS5 takes gaming to a new height.

PS5 DualSense controller The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.
PS5 DualSense controller The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.

April 5, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Intellivision's recent VIP pre-order took in 10,000+ orders for the upcoming Amico video game console

Ten thousand orders is a healthy quantity to sell in only a few days, for a $100 deposit.
I'm pleased and astounded to hear the VIP pre-order for the Amico console took in 10,000 orders! That's a lot for a niche console not coming out until the Fall. Keep in mind the world is also engulfed in a global pandemic. So, Intellivision did very well and hopefully will continue to ramp up for a successful retail launch too.

Venturebeat reports that retailers have placed orders in excess of 100,000 units! I never though I'd see another Christmas with an Intellivision game console. Alas, I doubt we'll ever see another Atari console. That would be an interesting console war to have Atari pitted against Intellivision again!

From the VentureBeat website:
"And that's one of the amazing things about this," Tallarico said. "All this is happening during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression."

Amico garnered 10K console orders
April 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Quarantined at home like the rest of us, Kendall Jenner plays Switch games without pants

It's cool to see Kendall staves off quarantine boredom with her Nintendo Switch and a few rounds of Mario Kart.
I'm a huge fan of Kendall Jenner's car collection. From vintage muscle cars to the latest Ferrari, she has a lot of crazy cool cars. Although obscenely wealthy, she's like the rest of us quarantined at home (a much nicer home than mine) and playing video games on her Switch.

Most of the headlines focused on her green panties. I opted to go the "no pants" route since I'm familiar with gaming, watching movies, and reading books without pants. Kendall looks better in her version of pantsless entertainment, but it's a universal concept.

Kendall Jenner quarantined at home with Nintendo Switch Kendall Jenner quarantined at home with Nintendo Switch.
Kendall Jenner quarantined at home with Nintendo Switch Kendall Jenner quarantined at home with Nintendo Switch.

One thing no one seemed to mention was the odd display of the images. The photos seemed to be mirror-selfies displayed on a laptop screen that was then photographed. Seems like an odd way to post a photo, but who knows the circumstances with all the virus craziness in the world these days. Or maybe there was something he wanted cropped out of the photos before publicly posting them.
April 4, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Comic book titans IDW and Dark Horse join forces to bring Transformers Vs. The Terminator

Transformers Vs. The Terminator comicbook mini series Transformers Vs. The Terminator comic book cover
This four-issue mini series stands to deliver all the raging robot action you've always wanted in comics.
Transformers Vs. The Terminator comicbook mini series Apparently a "what if" idea of merging the Transformers with the time traveling Terminators had bounced around a lot, but never in a serious way. Finally, the idea came around again and IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics went for it. With a good versus evil dynamic in each universe, there's some good overlap in which to make an interesting story.

I've read the storyline involves a T-800 Terminator going back in time to decimate Cybertron ensure his future. The first of the 4-part mini series was due to arrive March 25. As with most dates and timelines these days, we have to mention the global pandemic and it's wrath on every aspect of life... including reading comic books. This series may be delayed or at the very least delivered once stores reopen - if you buy comics from a local retailer.

I still need to purchase the Dark Fate DVD and the tie-in video game for PS4. Hopefully we can all catch up on our entertainment once the coronavirus subsides. Until then, I'm down for a Transformers and Terminator movie night!
April 3, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari VCS console designer, Rob Wyatt, sues Atari for non-payment on six months of Tin Giant's work

Atari VCS console
Those craving an Atari VCS console need to lower expectations due to the pandemic and Atari being sued by their lead architect.
X-box co-creator and lead architect on the modern Atari VCS project quit a while back and we speculated what that might mean. This was back when we thought there was at least a small chance Atari could deliver hardware to market. Having quit for non-payment of over $250,000 dollars, Rob Wyatt has now filed a lawsuit against Atari via his company, Tin Giant.

Between global pandemics and lawsuits, there doesn't seem to be any shortage of excuses for the numerous delays and missed deadlines of this ill-fated video game console project. The original concept was another PC-in-a-box that nobody wanted. It does nothing interesting, exciting, or necessary. There are various single-board computers, like the Raspberry Pi, that will let you play old Atari ROMs and modern games. Slap on an Atari logo and you'd never know the difference. A small group of fan-boys would disagree, but that's for another article.

I've cited numerous times that the current holding company that owns the Atari brand, has tried to release hardware, and other projects, that simply never came to fruition. Atari simply stepped away quietly and hoped nobody would notice. Few did... aside from those invested in these failures. But Atari under Fred Chesnais definitely faults on a lot of projects as if investor don't matter or exist.

Until Atari becomes a lifestyle company and delivers a slick line of shirts and hats - no, not speaker-hats - I'll just be grateful to have grown up as an Atari-kid. Fred's Atari has an awful track-record for delivery and a dubious relation with projects that seem briefly competent. I just want a cool atari logo shirt.
April 2, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari Casino wants you to spend Atari Tokens on their online gambling site and forget the VCS

Atari Casino
From the Atari Hotel chain to online casinos, Atari seems focused on everything but the VCS game console.
Atari announced their latest online casino venture - Atari Casino - with a cryptocurrency. This is as out-of-the-blue and their January announcement of Atari Hotels venture.

Atari Token cryptocurrency Atari tried online gambling in late 2014, partnering with FlowPlay, a company known for online gaming and tech, creating Atari Jackpots. That domain is currently for sale. I guess they were as successful at gambling as Trump was in Atlantic City (he was not successful). In 2018 Atari announced they were developing their own cryptocurrency.

I grow tired of Atari's half-efforts to make a buck and disappear when failure looms. Atari's success ended over two decades ago. While many dislike the Jaguar game console, it was commercially released and had a lot of great games (and some clunkers). But Atari hasn't really had much success since then. Even their mobile games seem to drift off into oblivion. I like their recent Missile Command Recharged mobile game, but it too may fade away in a few months.

Atari Casino

Create An Atari Lifestyle Brand

I've often said, Atari should become a lifestyle brand before they completely ruin the ATARI name. It won't be long before the generation who grew up with Atari is too far removed to care and the next generation has no clue what the name means. As popular as they were, failure is no way to carry on an iconic brand.

Start with a clothing line - both casual and high end. Make something memorable and expand on it. This chronic need to try things far outside their wheelhouse stuns me - especially since they've failed at it so many times. Just make some hats and t-shirts and grow from it. That logo can still sell well, but I don't think we'll ever see an Atari t-shirt for sale in the gift shop at the Atari Hotel in Phoenix. Get real Fred!
April 1, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

April 1st is typically a day to disbelieve everything on the internet, but the coronavirus has canceled that as well

April first
The only fool today seemed to be the lying orange gameshow host we elected President.
I was surprised Atari didn't come out with a release date for the new VCS game console and chalk it up to April Fools' fun.