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Second Quarter 2021 - April May June



After a year of Coronavirus restrictions, many folks think the changing year will bring back arcades and brick& mortar shopping. Just as all the other human-idealized markers didn't hinder COVID-19, neither will the turning of a new year. Stay vigilant. Stay home. Play video games.



2021 Blog Navigation »
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June 2021 Retro Gaming Articles:

June 20, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Epilogue's GB Operator hardware and software plays Game Boy, GBC & GBA cartridges on your computer

Epilogue's GB Operator hardware
From playing games to developing your own, GB Operator is a multi-faceted device linking game carts to your computer.
GB Operator by Epilogue is a clever piece of hardware to enable playing Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges on your computer. From Mac to PC and Linux, you get a clever connection to your old carts.

Epilogue's GB Operator hardware It's not just about playing these carts without the original hardware. GB Operator detects faux ROMs allowing you to verify your game carts are authentic and not reproductions. If you fancy yourself a programmer, GB Operator lets you upload your creations to empty carts. It's like a cartridge slot for your computer!

It uses mGBA as the core emulator which provides controller and cheat support, however you may also use your favorite emulator instead. It will also back up and restore your saves. This can come in handy if you're replacing a battery in your game cart.

You can even insert your Game Boy Camera and finally take a look at those ancient pics on your computer.

GB Operator is a pretty unique and multi-faceted device. At only $50 and shipping world wide, you really don't have an excuse not to get one. Give it a look!

Epilogue's GB Operator hardware
June 19, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As a fan of Adventure Time, I love this BMO stand for your Nintendo Switch

It won't charge your Switch or Joy Cons, so if you aren't sold on the cute-factor, this may not appeal to you.
Adventure Time - BMO stand for Switch Although it's cute, this Adventure Time inspired Switch stand does little more than hold your console in an adorable manner while you play video games. It does not have the ability to charge your Switch. It's simply a lot cuter than most stands.

The stand is hollow and you can access some storage space from behind. It doesn't appear to be designed to store anything in particular, but feel free to shove stuff into it. When not supporting your console, there is a faceplate - with BMO's face - that snaps in to give it a cute look when not holding your Switch.

It's currently marked down to $50 which seems pricey for a plastic stand that's doesn't appear to be "official merch," but if you're a fan of Finn, Jake and the crew, give it a look.

Who wants to play... video games!?!

Adventure Time - BMO stand for Switch
June 19, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Zombies Ate My Neighbors returns to SNES & Genesis cartridges via Limited Run Games

Zombies Ate My Neighbors
The release for Switch and PS4 includes Ghoul Patrol, the sequel to Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
Limited Run Games is offering Zombies Ate My Neighbors for Switch and PS4, but also on game cartridges for SNES and Genesis. Check out their website for all the variations and deluxe packages they are offering.

I remember buying this game for SNES long ago. Before the internet was capable of delivering gigs of gaming info, we were forced to evaluate new games by their box covers and the blurbs on the back. With a title like this one, I knew I had to give it a try.

Limited Run Games is also offering the sequel game, Ghoul Patrol on both SNES and Genesis cartridges.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors for Nintendo SNES Zombies Ate My Neighbors for Nintendo SNES.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors for SEGA Genesis Zombies Ate My Neighbors for SEGA Genesis.

From the Limited Run Games website:
Zombies Ate My Neighbors & Ghoul Patrol on a region-free physical cart for the Nintendo Switch. Includes interior art and a full-color manual. The manual includes a 3D gallery and each copy of the game comes with a pair of Zeke's 3D glasses. This is an open pre-order for a limited time.

The cult classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors and its sequel make their long awaited return in Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Ghoul Patrol! Play these classics from the golden age of 16-bit gaming with new enhancements and never before seen museum features.

NEW FEATURES:
  • Save Feature: Quickly save your progress in either game and continue your adventure wherever and whenever you want
  • Museum Features: Watch a video interview with one of the original Zombies' developers or explore numerous galleries containing game art, previously unreleased concept images and marketing assets
  • 2-Player Mode: Play the game with two player local co-op
  • Achievements: Track your game progress with a set of achievements covering both games
June 18, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

New EP from Hey Violet called Problems. Go check it out!

In a sea of backing tracks and an army of dancers on a glittery stage, Hey Violet is a real band and they're damn good!
Hey Violet band I discovered Hey Violet a few years ago in 2017 just after their first full-length album, From The Outside, dropped. These days, most bands are assembled from Instagram stars and they don't play any instruments. Hey Violed was formed by two sisters who play instruments and are hella talented. Such a rarity these days.

They could easily be the "next big thing" and have appeared on iHeart concerts. They have a great sound and are an actual real band comprised of musicians.

New EP from Hey Violet called Problems
June 18, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Raw Thrills confirmed on Instagram that Crusin' Blast is coming to Switch

Our local arcade has Crusin' Blast, but have it set up for maximum profit.
I occasionally play this at our local arcade, but I've always felt the owners have the setting adjusted for profit, not fun. To continue on, you always have to pay - never a free advance. I'd be more inclined to play if there was a reward to motivate me. Fun game, but I'm more excited to have it at home, even though it obviously lacks the arcade accouterments of steering wheels and pedals.

Crusin' Blast is coming to Switch
June 13, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Microsoft's success with GamePass is leading toward incorporating the Xbox into TVs- just add a controller

Microsoft is incorporating the Xbox into TVs
As digital downloads dominate and console futures are questionable, will TV-connected controllers be the last holdout of video game hardware?
Microsoft is working with TV manufacturers to incorporate the Xbox gaming experience on smart-TVs. As the success of Game Pass grows, it will expand the player-base through streaming on TVs. With an Xbox'd TV all you would need is a controller to play Xbox games on your TV.

I have to wonder if Sony is thinking along the same lines. As a TV Manufacturer, I'd imagine it would be easier for them to inject some PlayStation magic into their high-end TVs than Microsoft partnerships. I'm assuming this woud all entail some form of cloud-based streaming of video games. Are gamers ready to totally ditch physical copies? I need to see if there are any sales statistics for the two PS5 consoles and how the disc-less version is selling compared to the typical console with an optical drive and Blu-ray player. If nothing else, I would think a lot of folks like to watch DVDs on their game console.

I love physical media whether it's music, movies, or video games. At the same time I see the appeal of digital downloads, but it's not for me. Incorporating Xbox gaming into smart TVs seems the next logical step in advancing interest in digital-only gaming experiences. For me it goes gack to my excitement over movie streamers like Netflix who touted massive libraries of movies. Alas, the truth is they have tons of garbage films and rotate the good movies in and out of the service.

I like to have more control over my entertainment and not have to rely so heavily on corporate outsiders who care more about profits than my viewing experience. Finding a game, movie, or CD in my own collection is much more rewarding to me than sifting through online menues only to discover they don't offer what I wanted. My collection at home never fails me. Always there. Always fun!
June 12, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

A Nintendo leak surprises gamers with another Mario + Rabbids video game

Nintendo's official site accidentally posted a page for Ubisoft's Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope, setting off excitement for a sequel
Had anyone expected a sequel from Ubisoft's Mario + Rabbids? Hadn't even crossed my mind, but I'm very excited for this title. When the first game, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, released in 2017 it was an unexpected mash-up of characters and a really fun game!

The page on Nintendo's official site has been taken down, but the cat is out of the bag, as they say. Sometime in 2022, the Rabbids return with Mario in Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope!

Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope
Of course, announcement of the game came quickly thereafter as if the whole reveal was not accidental. Good save, Ubisoft.
June 11, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Props to Ari for her fragrance, but I really wish this was an actual comic book

The packaging for Ariana's R.E.M. perfume gives me a "SeaMonkeys in space" kind of vibe.
Could Ariana Grande be a galactic space adventurer? Sure. Anything is possible in comic books. There needs to be a great scifi story to accompany this image. The 1950's space vibe is strong in this packaging and begs for a comic book adventure. Who's down to crate this literary wonder?

Ariana's R.E.M. perfume
June 9, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I'll tell ya... Lost Level Arcade's Etsy store is the place to get awesome video game shirts, hats, and more

Most of my favorite games from the 80s are emblazoned on shirts and hats. Great place to shop!
Moon Patrol Shirt
June 7, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you like to surf and ski, perhaps the ASS Hat is right for you

When bucket hats were declared the new fashion must-have did Atlantic surf & Ski anticipate this wizardry?
Was this aptly named store registered as Atlantic surf & Ski because they knew it was a hat-selling coup? Who doesn't want an ASS Hat?

Atlantic surf & Ski- ASS Hat
June 5, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Use an Optical Drive Emulator (ODE) to play Sega Saturn games on your Saturn via SD cards

Fenrir ODE for Sega Saturn
The Fenrir ODE for Sega Saturn is sold by Castlemania (and others), alleviating the need for that aging disc drive.
Modern gaming consoles suffer one large problem that doesn't effect older vintage systems. Moving parts. Sure, those optical discs hold a ton of data and the games became epically better looking, but I still play the Atari 2600 my parents bought me when I was twelve. That's not a likely option for newer optical drive based machines.

Moving parts like disc drives suffer from the wear & tear of spinning all the time. They heat up and don't have the lifespan we became accustomed to with video game consoles of the 70s and 80s. but modern technology has invented ways of bypassing vulnerable components and replacing them with digital options.

Got ROMs? Put them on an SD card and this Fenrir hardware lets you remove the optical drive from your Saturn and plug in the ODE (no soldering required) and you'll even benefit from faster load times! It has solutions for both 20 and 21 pin models and works with consoles sold in any region along with all expansion cartridges and the MPEG Video card. As modern game consoles age, this is a great way to play onward into the future!

Priced at around $140, you can breathe new life into your Saturn game console with this kit from Castlemania Games.
June 3, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Born June 3rd, Superbad's McLovin turns forty today

Superbad is an epic "teen movie" that elevated the genre for the next generation.
McLovin's drivers license from Superbad

June 3, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Another holdout of the Video Rental Store era is nearing closure - Family Video

Family Video
Once a large chain of 500+ Family Video stores, they are selling inventory, memorabilia, and merch.
Growing up we didn't have Family Video rental stores in my area, but I spent countless hours in stores just like it. Back in the day, you could find video rental stores next-door to each other. Across the street. You never had to drive far to find one. Alas, the streaming generation has been corrupted into the idea that physical media is a concept of the past.

Family Video gift card People today complain about the horrible menus systems of online streaming options and the constant removal of titles. At the onset, these services promised everything would be easily accessible online. For a while it was, but these services have to pay for the titles, so they have a finite life of return on investment (ROI). Owning is always best whether it is movies, games or your car!

Family Video seems quite unique in that they are far more diverse than just video rentals. They've opened Pizza restaurants next to their video stores (Marco's Pizza). They also tend to own their locations, often entire strip malls, making their neighboring businesses their tenants. Most Mom& Pop video rental stores went under quickly because they had no fallback position.

It's sad to see another large swath of the once great rental era fade away, but the "Family" seem prepared to stick around with their various other enterprises. In the mean time, I recently ordered the shirts below. If you loved this ere, snag yourself a Family Video shirt while they're still available. Long live physical media!

Family Video t-shirts
June 1, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

C4 Concepts has just what you need next time you play Tecmo Bowl

C4 Concepts Tecmo Bowl shirts and merch
We love these pixelated football helmets to go with your favorite NFL & NCAA teams. Your one stop shop for all things Tecmo Bowl
C4 Concepts Tecmo Bowl shirts and merch I found C4 Concepts on Instagram and instantly hoped they had all the teams. They do! I loved this the second I saw the pixelated helmets. This is a great concept behind an NES game that is still played by many.

Tecmo Bowl began as a 4-player arcade game in the late 80 and soon was ported to Nintendo's NES, as a 2-player game. The NES version was the first video game to use actual team and player names via an NFL licensing deal. It was hailed as one of the best sports games ever and has been re-released on X-box, Wii, WiiU, 3DS and Switch in various forms.

Tecmo Bowl is a classic and now you can dress the part whenever you play. C4 Concepts offer designs from the Pros as well as NCAA. Get decked out in style for your next 8-bit game!

May 2021 Retro Gaming Articles:

May 30, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out The Lost Arcade's great selection of retro arcade shirts and merch

The Lost Arcade - retro arcade shirts
Nearly every video game I adored in 80s arcades is available on a t-shirt and other merch. Check them out!
If you're not following The Lost Arcade on Instagram, you should. And if you haven't visited their Etsy shop full of arcade merch, you definitely should! From Atari to Coleco - home and arcade - to Joust and Burgertime, these guys have it all!

The Lost Arcade - retro arcade shirts Atari logo t-shirt.
The Lost Arcade - retro arcade shirts Joust t-shirt.

May 27, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Evercade VS Founder Edition console went on sale at 5am

EverCade VS Founder Edition console
I was stoked to get the Founder Bundle with the extra game carts, but that was an early start of the day.
Being very impressed with the Evercade handheld, having the ability to play these games on my TV was a must-have concept. Evercade has brought new life to a lot of games simply due to their multi-game cartridges. I really wanted the VS console. The Founder Edition came with 2 new game carts (Intellivision & Bitmap Bros) and four from their new "Arcade" series.

EverCade VS Founder Edition ordering timeline The Founder Edition of the Evercade VS was on pre-order this morning from Funstock in the UK. A quick check of time zones meant I had to set my alarm for 5am to get up and hopefully secure one of the 5,000 consoles up for pre-order.

The founder Edition is sold out, but the standard VS console is still available and highly recommended. Dual game ports allow two carts to be accessed, so load up tow faves ad ou can play games on either one. Four controller ports let you bring your couch-mates into the action and you can even use your Evercade handheld as a controller on the VS. Definitely look into the Evercade VS and see if it fits your needs for a retro console.

Funstock - Great Ordering Experience

One thing I really want to mention was the ease of ordering from Funstock. I live in the US and Funstock is in the UK. I've engaged in many online ordering scenarios where it is time sensitive and many people will be connecting to vie for product. So, many of these scenes result in severe lag, server crashes, and a variety of annoyances that ruin the fun of getting a cool game console. Funstock was AMAZING! No problems at all. I was in and out and back in bed in five minutes, stoked to have a VS coming my way in November!
May 25, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Get Mega Man the Wily Years on a Rockman Blue, Genesis cartridge

Mega Man the Wily Years on a Rockman Blue, Genesis cartridge
Play: Mega Man, Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3 in 16-bit SEGA splendor on an actual Genesis cartridge.
Mega Man the Wily Years on a Rockman Blue, Genesis cartridge Mega Man has evolved across a variety of platforms - even some modern ones - but it's extra special to play the 8-bit NES favorite with 16 bits of Sega power. OK, I had to say it, but I've always been an NES fanatic.

Limited Run Games, along with a few other vendors are selling this cool cartridge with box, manual and a stash of goodies. It's a whole retro package containing the first three Mega Man games - never released in North America before.

From the Limited Run Games website:
As a remastered collection, Mega Man: The Wily Wars follows the narrative of Dr. Wily going back in time to stop Mega Man from defeating him. Players create a file and are able to choose any of the first three titles to play: Mega Man, Mega Man 2, or Mega Man 3.

Upgrading from the 8-bit NES to the 16-bit SEGA Mega Drive brought changes to the classic titles with updated sprites and stages, remastered music, and gameplay tweaks. Additionally, Retro-Bit's programmers were able to improve some slowdown issues from the original version.

Those who are able to complete all three titles on a single save file would be able to enter the Wily Tower - four new bonus stages. Along with new Robot Masters to face, this also allowed players to customize their weapon loadout to deal with the Genesis and Dr. Wily once and for all!

May 21, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

What celebrity DOESN'T have a tequila brand? Kendall held a launch party for her 818 Tequila brand

Fame and tequila brands seem to go hand-in-hand.
Kendall Jenner held a launch party for her 818 tequila brand. She even has a website full of merch for it. I wonder how long such brands last. One hears about celebrity booze, but the fanfare dies down and the brand seems to vanish as fast. She can't model indefinitely. Something has to pay for the gas in her savage car collection. Tequila? Maybe... who knows.

Kendall's 818 Tequila I can't imagine Kendall delivering her own booze, but here's her delivery truck with "Kenny" vest at an event.
Kendall's 818 Tequila Yeah, all celebrities must be required to have a tequila brand.

May 14, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Randy Rhoads was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nobody understands how the RRHOF arrives at its inductees, but we can all agree Randy Rhoads deserves the utmost recognition.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is still one of the more confounding organizations trying to do something good in music. Their methods for determining each year's inductees is perplexing at best. Every year, we laud many of the inductees, question others, and complain about the omissions. There seems to be no logic in their process.

Their choices seem so random, it takes away from the prestige. This honor feels more like a random participation trophy. We all know the bands that should be in such an institution. No one needs a RRHO to define greatness. We already know!

Randy Rhoads

Other inductees for 2021 include:
Performer Category:
Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go's, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren

Early Influence Award:
Kraftwerk, Charley Patton, Gil Scott-Heron

Musical Excellence Award:
LL Cool J, Billy Preston, Randy Rhoads

Ahmet Ertegun Award:
Clarence Avant
May 9, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

These retro wall plates will add a subtle vintage touch to any classic game room

retro wall plates
Add some yesteryear flair to your game room with these aluminum switch and outlet plates.
When decorating home game rooms, we see the usual lights, marquees and other game-centric artifacts, but few people think about wall plates. Who would? But... a simple element like these retro switch and outlet plates add a great touch in a wonderfully subtle way.

Made of aluminum by Atomic Surplus, you can find these retro wall plates on their Etsy page.

retro wall plates
May 7, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As a kid, Jeff Bezos was a Radio Shack nerd like the rest of us

Jeff Bezos was a Radio Shack nerd
Can we cancel a billionaire who grew up as a Radio Shack junkie?
I lived in Radio Shacks as a kid. I loved the endless aisles or tech. This was long before the chain turned into a phone store, toy store and all the tech vanished as bankruptcy drew ever closer. Apparently a young Jeff Bezos (Amazon mogul) was also a fan of the tech offered by the Shack.

In an excerpt from the book Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos he mentions his mother shuttling him to and from Radio Shack as he turned their garage into a lab of sorts. I remember those days. Long before the interned, smartphones, and wifi, was a world of hands-on fun that garnered our interest, occupied us for hours, and was a starting point for many who took those interests and hobbies into their careers.

Today's kids won't even muster the energy to ride their bike to the corner store. I'm glad I grew up in an era of hands-on fun. The physical world was our playground. I love the convenience of the internet era, but you miss out on a lot when your face is buried in a phone all day. I wish all my early experiences had led to becoming a billionaire, but I've done alright.
May 5, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Remember the controversy and fervor over Flappy Bird? Give Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga a whirl

Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga
Same frustration level. New challenges. Still lots of fun!
Candy Bird - the Flappy Saga makes me smile and reminisce about a time when a similar game (named Flappy Bird) was at peek popularity to the point at which when the developer removed the game from online stores (under strange circumstances), maniacs were paying top dollar for a used phone with Flappy Bird installed. The fun and frustration captivated the masses.

This newcomer to the world of Flap, has the same steep success curve (I rarely achieve double digit scores) and adds a candy collecting element to further draw attention away from the best path of flight. For me it's a brilliant blend between love and hate. I love many things about this game, but mainly it's simplicity. I'm terrible at it and my frustration looms around throwing my phone at the wall - haven't yet - but it's tempting.

Candy Bird will begin playing ads when you bail too many times. This is what once drove the revenue of Flappy Bird through the roof. Give Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga a whirl. We think it's good annoying fun!

Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga lets you tap to flap and keep your bird airborne. Sounds simple, but you'll tear your hair out. But you'll have fun doing it.
Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga Collecting candy is a new distraction as if navigating the Mario-like pipes wasn't difficult enough. Good fun!


Check out Candy Bird - The Flappy Saga for Android mobile.
May 4, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you

Lots of people binge watch one of the trilogies. How about reading one of the many amazing Star Wars books?
Of all the daily made-up faux holidays, Star Wars Day feels legitimate even though we pass by donut day, burger day, and hundreds of other "holidays" of sorts. It's always a good day to delve into Star Wars and catch up with another viewing of one or more of the films. I've discovered a lot of great Star Wars books.

Today I picked up From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars) having read From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars) last year. I love this series as it tells various tales from the movies, but from the perspective of another character. As if told, not from the main story, but how an event effected another character. Good stuff. Read more! Good for your brain :)

Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you
May 3, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I love their retro t-shirts, but how is Radio Shack now selling Jeff's girl-friday, Alexa?

Iconic brands that have gone out of business have an odd way of living on through various buy-outs.
Long defunct retailer Radio Shack closed their doors in 2015, but have had an online afterlife for a while now. I began buying t-shirts with the iconic logo and signed up for their mailing list. They have an eclectic little collection of products from batteries to soldering tools.

But they seem to be branching out. Now they're selling Amazon's Echo Dot. Radio Shack is putting Alexa into homes? It seems as though defunct stores with mass appeal seem to hang on as folks buy up the assets and try to cash-in on the notoriety. They have me as a loyal customer as long as they sell those awesome retro t-shirts, but I'm not sure I'm ready to buy electronics online from whoever owns The Shack these days.

Radio Shack is now selling Echo Dot
May 1, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited Run Games is offering the Castlevania Collection for Nintendo Switch and PS4

Limited Run Games is offering the Castlevania Collection
LRG is offering various collector editions of this Konami classic.
I remember when this was introduced in May 2019 as a download. Definitely stoked to see this release, but I held off because I really wanted a physical release. Two years later Limited Run Games is offering the Castlevania Collection in a variety of collector editions for Nintendo Switch and PS4.

The collection contains eight games (titles listed below) on a single cartridge/disc and is a great way to relive the classics or jump into this amazing platformer across multiple titles. In June of 2019 Komani released the Contra Collection. This one I bought even though it was only a download. Now one has to wonder of LRG will release a physical copy of Contra Collection. Fans are already asking for it!

Castlevania Collection for Nintendo Switch from Limited Run Games Castlevania Collection for Nintendo Switch from Limited Run Games.
Castlevania Collection for PS4 from Limited Run Games Castlevania Collection for PS4 from Limited Run Games


Castlevania Collection games:
  1. Castlevania
  2. Castlevania II Simon's Quest
  3. Castlevania III Dracula's Curse
  4. Super Castlevania IV
  5. Castlevania The Adventure
  6. Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge
  7. Castlevania Bloodlines
  8. Kid Dracula

April 2021 Retro Gaming Articles:

April 28, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Chicken Range is as dreadful as reviews have stated, but it contains a Flappy Bird clone as a bonus game

Chicken Range is dreadful but contains a Flappy Bird clone
I never had a Super Scope or Super Zapper, so this Joy Con wielding sawed-off shotgun will be the first addition to my Nintendo arsenal. Ok, I have a Zapper somewhere.
When I saw Chicken Range at Best Buy, I knew I had to have it, but I resisted. Deeply discounted as a 2020 release, for Nintendo Switch, I suspected it might be awful. I took the time to read some reviews and most of them said it was bad - like do-not-buy-it BAD. However, I stumbled across one review mentioning there was a Flappy Bird clone as a bonus game. Sold! I went back to Best Buy the next day.

The wonderful thing about Flappy Bird on my Android phone is the savage difficulty. Rarely do I break into double digit scores. Yeah, I flail that quickly, it's really difficult. But the aggravation and frustration kind of make it fun. This clone contained within Chicken Range lacks the savagery. It's much easier. Just wanted to throw that out there for amy hardcore Flappy Bird players. It's a clone and combined in a kids game, so no big surprise that it lacks the challenge of the original. But the game comes with a swanky 17" gun for your Joy Cons.

Most games with gun-controllers are marketed to young kids. They're easily fooled by propaganda suggesting they might like a gun. Thus the game is usually awful, but the kid wants the gun. Alternate controllers are fun and various companies have come up with some whacky stuff. As an adult, I was thinking beer might make this more fun and I love Flappy Bird. It's a win for me. Dumb game with Flappy Bird. I'm all about the Flappy Bird!

In all honesty, this isn't the sort of game that would typically get a physical release, let alone a bundle with a gun-controller. The whole thing seemed so crazy, I kind of wanted it for the novelty. I bought it for $19.99, so it's not such a bad deal with the bundle.
April 27, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I picked up Smugglecraft via Happy Badgers Kickstarter and now LRG is releasing a physical copy

This is a really imaginative quest-based hovercraft game in which your outcome is determined by your choices - good and bad.
I picked this up vai a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 for PS4. It later came out for Switch in 2019, but it's never been a physical release. Limited Run Games has taken care of that There's a lot to this game and from diverse quests to determining outcomes based on your decisions. You have a moral compass of sorts that determines how you fare based on your devious or kind actions.

It's much more clever than my explanation and the outcomes are not predictable as you make choices. Being the good-guy doesn't guarantee a good outcome. The terrain is generated, so no two games are identical and you can't memorize the routes.

Smugglecraft via Happy Badgers
April 26, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Domino's Pizza and Sony mascots are at it again as the Noid returns to taunt, annoy, and battle Crash Bandicoot

The Noid is back to battle Crash Bandicoot
Both mascots ruled for a time in the 80s & 90s and now they've joined forces (maybe) in a mobile game, Crash On The Run.
In crazy times, we need stability and understanding, but it looks like we're getting chaos instead. Domino's Pizza is bringing back their 90's mascot, The Noid. He wound up in his own NES game, Yo Noid, in 1990. I always liked Crash Bandicoot and I'm stoked he's back on my PS4 and Switch. One might think this is a PS5 download, but no.

The Noid is back to battle Crash Bandicoot I was hoping for a console meet-up of these two, but the Noid is joining Crash in a mobile game - Crash On The Run. This is part of Domino's marketing plan for their self-driving pizza delivery vehicles. The Noid will apparently be interrupting the self-driving cars and battling with Crash in this infinite-runner.

Seems to me driverless vehicles are precarious enough without some crazy creature wreaking havoc. This may prompt you to wonder why a company would advertise a new technology of this sort with an age-old mascot known fo causing disruption and trouble. Even Elon Musk has had some self-driving problems. Will Domino's still have a 30-minute guarantee? Will countless lives be lost to runaway pizza vehicles? only time will tell.

Anyway, I dig the Noid and am looking forward to checking out this game even though it sounds like the Noid's appearance is a limited time aspect of the predominantly Crash-centric game.

April 24, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

PiePacker's browser-based system lets you play multiplayer retro games online, even physical cartridges

Play multi-player retro game online with your friends
Play built-in retro games in a browser with your friends or use their hardware to play your own game cartridges online!
PiePacker is bringing modern online features to retro gaming. Through their subscription service you can play retro games via browser with video chat among your friends. In addition to a library of built-in games, they offer hardware, the PieReader, to play any NES, SNES, and Genesis game cart in your browser. Presumably more consoles will be added - vai adapters.

I have to admit the hardware aspect of PiePacker is what stokes me most. The idea of playing three game libraries online with friends on video chat is very cool! Being able to grab on of my game carts and play online with a buddy sounds like a great addition to retro gaming. The hardware looks like a game console, but interfaces with you computer and features adapters for each of the currently supported three consoles. They are also working on mobile, TV, and Desktop apps.

Obviously all of these features hinge on the PiePacker system that currently runs in the browser. One hopes they will grow and expand the offering, but it could also fail and render the whole experience null and void. Think of it like the online multiplayer games today that require logging into a server to play. As long as the server is "up" you can play. When servers are shuttered in favor or newer games, gamers lose out. This is similar to how PiePacker works.

Play multi-player retro game online with your friends You can find info on the PiePacker website and back their project on PiePacker's Kickstarter campaign.

April 22, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Evercade's handheld will release a cartridge compatible console for your TV in November

Play your Evercade games on your big TV
Using the cartridges you've already collected, the Evercade VS console enables four players to enjoy these games on a TV!
With four players and two cartridge slots, the Evercade VS console lets you play your existing game cartridges on the television via HDMI. Coming in November, this game console based around 2020's coolest new handheld game console will bring multiplayer fun to it's unique multi-game cartridges.

You'll be able to use your Evercade handheld as a "controller" on the VS as well as many USB and wireless controllers. They purport to output your favorite retro games at 1080p with its Quad Core 1.5 Ghz processor. With an updated interface, you'll have both save and load states which are slated to be added to the handheld version via the same interface as the VS.

Play your Evercade games on your big TV To keep costs down, the VS console will not ship with an HDMI cable nor a wall adapter for the micro USB power cord. On the other hand all of the images have shown it with two controllers, so it seems likely you'll get two in the box.

The Verge reported on an interesting compatibility issue. While all the carts you bought for your handheld are compatible with the upcoming Evercade VS, some licensing agreements preclude the games from the VS console. The Namco collections were mentioned as only licensed for the handheld.

If you own the handheld Evercade, the VS console seems like a natural progression... at least for us. We love a good handheld, but a big TV is king. On the other hand, a surprising number of Switch gamers say they rarely connect to the TV and that's with the feature built-in! We love the dual cart slots and ability to play their retro gaming collections on the big screen. Keep an eye out for pre-orders!
April 9, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Taylor Swift's re-recorded Fearless album comes in a beefy double-cassette format

I haven't seen these fat double cassettes since Kiss Alive II & Ted Nugent's Intensities In 10 Cities.
I feel as though I've collected nearly every music and movie format since the days of albums and Betamax. We're starting to see a resurgence of vinyl as well as cassettes. The "download generation" seems fascinated by analog media these days. This fascination has led to many artists releasing new albums on cassette as well as streaming digital.

Having seen formats come and go since the early 70s, digital streams are the first format I consider inferior to it's predecessor. Each time I was forced to buy my favorite entertainment on a new media format, I saw advantages. Now having digital files on a phone with a blu tooth connection to a single speaker, seems like cheating the customer. I don't want a jpeg of album art or a text file with liner notes. Reducing so many elements of music to digital formats cheats the customer out of many analog and tactile facets of enjoying music.

Sure, a lot of folks just want the hear the song. They don't care about art or any background info and that's fine, but for those who are accustomed to such things in the price of music, spending a dollar on an MP3 file is a tragic turn for music.

This turned into something of a rant. As a fan of Swift's music, re-recorded "Taylor's Version" releases offer a new look and feel to her old music as well as songs from the vault. It sucks that her music was seemingly stolen from her, but I think this will end well for her. Good stuff, check it out!

Fearless Taylor's Version double cassette Fearless Taylor's Version double cassette
Kiss Alive II double cassette Kiss Alive II double cassette

April 3, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Still getting this error in Cyberpunk 2077

Each time this appears we have to restart the game. It doesn't seem to corrupt or lose anything.
For all the complaints 've heard about this game, this is the only error we get. Happens very infrequently, but it causes the game to need a restart. It would seem that each restart takes us back to the last save-point. I'm sure one of the innumerable updates will eventually fix everything.

Error in Cyberpunk 2077
Yes, those are Xmas lights reflected on the side. Our Xmas tree is long gone. I simply haven't taken a new pic of this error screen.
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