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8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

Archive of Classic Video Game Blog Articles
Second Quarter 2022 - July, August, and September



In what has become a barren wasteland of economic chaos, can anyone still afford to play video games anymore? With escalating rents, depleted housing market, overpriced food and oil companies that are shoring up their future demise to climate change... who has spending money these days?

The Republican party has become an evangelical empire capable of crushing anyone who can't afford their membership fees (which equals your live in servitude one way or another). Vote-out these people and I hope you can have a bit of pixelated fun despite these abominable times and changes to the United States and the world.



August 2022 Retro Gaming Articles:

August 10, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

In addition to movies, Netflix has video games you can play... but not on your TV

Netflix video game Moonlighter
Upon hearing Netflix offers video games, I rolled my eyes assuming I'd have to use Comcast's awful remote as a game controller.
Lately I've read several articles about this unknown segment of Netflix that offers video games. Yes, the movie streaming company also offers video games. Back when they rented DVDs through the mail, I wondered why they didn't also offer video games the way GameFly did. There didn't seem to be much of a difference. But it took me until 2022 to discover games on Netflix. The articles I've read estimate 1% of Netflix subscribers ever play games via their movie account.

The notion of playing video games via Netflix confused me. I wasn't sure how one might play - or control - a video game on my TV without a console of some sort. Surely, I won't have to use my lousy Comcast remote control as a game controller, right? Thankfully, you won't. In fact, you won't even be using your TV. These are mobile games accessed via the Netflix app on our phone using your account login.

Don't get too excited There are only 26 games to choose from and they are not all available on both iOS and Android. While this may explain why no one know games exist on the Netflix platform, they are aiming to double this number by next summer. Some games are original to Netflix while others are 3rd party games. Fire up your phone and see it any of these games appeal to you.

Netflix Video Game List

  1. Arcanium: Rise of Akhan
  2. Asphalt Xtreme
  3. Before Your Eyes
  4. Bowling Ballers
  5. Card Blast
  6. Dominoes Café
  7. Dungeon Dwarves
  8. Dragon Up
  9. Exploding Kittens
  10. Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story
  11. Into the Breach
  12. Into the Dead 2: Unleashed
  13. Knittens
  1. Krispee Street
  2. Mahjong Solitaire
  3. Moonlighter
  4. Poinpy
  5. Relic Hunters: Rebels
  6. Shatter Remastered
  7. Shooting Hoops
  8. Stranger Things: 1984
  9. Stranger Things 3: The Game
  10. Teeter (Up)
  11. This is a True Story
  12. Townsmen - A Kingdom Rebuilt
  13. Wonderputt Forever


It's a small list, but they're getting positive reviews and feedback. Who knows... Once the word gets out, this may be a nice offset to your monthly bill.
August 8, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rip Olivia Newton-John

September 26, 1948 - August 8, 2022
Rip Olivia Newton-John - Grease For Nintendo Wii
August 7, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink's latest single Pink Venom

Blackpink's single Pink Venom drops August 19!
Two years have passed since, The Album, Blackpink's first full-length release. In September they will drop their second full-length album, Born Pink, featuring the single, Pink Venom.

Blackpink's single Pink Venom drops August 19
August 6, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ready Player One was a great read, but the film seems to have led Facebook to believe the metaverse is now

Nobody wants to wear VR hardware to be served ads in a cartoon Metaverse world
Can a mediocre software company deliver VR hardware and convince the masses to buy into a fake world, full of ads, that looks like Paw Patrol?
Zuck is all in, spending tens of billions to create a cartoon world he sees as the metaverse in which he can deliver 3D ads to his user-base wearing VR tech. This notion may be the end of Facebook, Instagram, and their pseudo dominance over people's lives. Naturally, Zuck wants to herd his users into this cartoon metaverse and continue the follies of disbelief. Seriously - who wants this?

If you've seen any of Meta's mock-ups of what their metaverse might look like, one person suggested it's a cartoonish world similar to animated children's show, Paw Patrol. Most VR is in a cartoon format since retail hardware can't handle all the complex textures that give better reality to virtual worlds. That doesn't bode well for anyone who expects to spend a significant amount of time in a Metaverse.

As fate would have it spiraling down the drain is a national pastime in America. Nothing it too sacred to be flushed away without a moments notice. Topping the list is intelligence. Being smart is no longer valued or encouraged. Educational institutions teach outdated curricula that meld our youth into obedient workers, perfectly satisfied to give their wages to a corrupt machine that views them as slaves to the wealth elite.

The real demise of Meta is putting all it's eggs in one Metaverse basket. VR is hardly a proven tech like smartphones or television. Many get disoriented and sick from VR helmets.

Facebook Is Not An Innovation Company

They have VR hardware via the purchase of Oculus and rebranding it Meta. They've done almost nothing to improve the hardware and the software library is still quite primitive with some games achieving a PSone look. Even on the software side, Facebook's "improvements" have largely come from acquisitions or outright copying other apps.

The only area they have excelled in is turning their platforms into ad-delivery machines that serve copious amounts of junk to anyone with a login. This is not the type or company that can transition from software to hardware and deliver a compelling reason for users to try it.

While the current GOP extremist party is doing its darndest to revert our society back to the 1950 and force an enormous wealth gap between billionaires & the poverty stricken, who can afford VR hardware to escape it all into Zuck's cartoon land? The likely selling pint will be FOMO, but I think those fears will be low.

August 5, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Timex's T80 Space Invaders wrist watch plays the sounds, but you can't play the game

Space Invaders themed wrist watch by Timex
Granted its a really small screen, but I've seen other game-watches. Why not incorporate the game into the watch?
Space Invaders themed wrist watch by Timex This model T80 watch from Times has a Space Invader's theme around the face and it plays sounds from the game, but it would be cool to be able to play the game. At $89 one can't ask for too much, but I guess it would be much more expensive if it included a playable version of Space Invaders.

The watch comes in black and silver. While it has a few invaders printed around the sides of the watch, Timex really could have done more to incorporate the theme. It has game sounds, but visually, they should have a mode that displays Invaders on the watch's face ad why not incorporate some visuals on the watch band?

For the price, this watch doesn't have enough retro gaming appeal for me. I only wear watches when they have a value beyond telling me the time. The T90 needs a stronger infusion of retro goodness to tempt me into a purchase.

I see ads or this watch on social media. So if you want a watch that plays Space Invaders, this isn't the product for you.
August 4, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

25 years ago today Skynet became self aware and Terminators attacked the human race

Terminator - 25 years ago today Skynet became self aware
On august 4, 1997 Skynet blew a cap and decided to wage war on humans. Had Skynet been successful they would have eradicated the only species capable or destroying the planet the way we are in 2022.
Terminator is one of my favorite movie franchises. I finally bought a blu ray box set of the films and still can't decide my order of preference. They all have facets I really like.

I love T2, but I feel it's even better after watching the first film. Then there's the blatantly scattered feeling of the other films as they relate to the central story line and time line. I often think I don't like the latter films in the series, but every time I see T3 or Salvation, I realize how much I love them.

Several manufacturers have made amazing Terminator toys and action figures - some very realistic. I haven't played too many of the Terminator video games, but they range from Game Boy and NES to arcade games.

Terminator - 25 years ago today Skynet became self aware
August 1, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

America's only rock 'n roll magazine returns from the dead - in print & digital - Creem Magazine

Creem Magazine 2022 first issue logo
Creem covered music in ways the other magazines of my childhood simply couldn't. They were honest in the scariest way possible. Reality is frightening and Creem did it best!
Creem Magazine 2022 first issue cover Coming back in 2022!!

At first it was a merch site and I stocked up on logo'd tees and Boy Howdy stuff over the last year. Memories came rushing back for the magazine I adored as a child. Reading Creem made me feel like a rebel. An informed rebel. So gritty and raw. Music never had a more honest voice and I soaked it all up.

I'd ride my bike to the corner 7-Eleven for a Slurpee, Skateboarder mag, and Creem. It was the late 70s and I'd discovered skating and music. What a time to be alive!

This passion never eft me. Decades later, long after Creem had shuttered - merch showed up an an Instagram account. I bought shirts and reveled in memories. In mid 2022, word of a Creem Magazine resurrection brewed. What could it be?

Coming back in September - get you subs in soonest - as an oversize mag, Creem is making a return in two ways. The quarterly print issues and digital. I love print and magazines in particular, so that was a no-brainer, but the digital offering for a meager $5 per month, is the gold.

As I understand it, you can peruse the entirety of the Creem library from beginning to end! That Is worth gold! I could easily get lost in back issues dedicated to my favorite bands. I'm really looking forward to this subscription.

August 1, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Mtv turns 41 today and their first ten videos illustrate why we still want our Mtv

Mtv's first ten videos
The diversity and FOMO made Mtv so iconic. As we waited for our favorite videos, we were exposed to so many other genres!
Music Television was a dream come true in the early 80s. The music video TV channel launched on August 1, 1891 and captured viewers instantly! Long before Teen Mom and Real World they showcased amazing cinematic accompaniments to our favorite songs from pop to heavy metal. They had some genre specific shows emerge, but it was a vast free-for-all and it exposed it's viewers to a wide swath of the music spectrum. Some songs had famous videos and some videos made obscure songs become famous.

Mtv showed us a lot of variety and we soaked it all up. Today, algorithms discover one thing we like and ram as much of it as possible down our throats. Why do I want my Mtv? For the diversity of music they offered. They didn't go for trends, they went for entertainment and originality (concepts lost in today's homogenous world).

The First Ten Videos Played On Mtv in 1981

  1. The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
  2. Pat Benatar - You Better Run
  3. Rod Stewart - She Won't Dance With Me
  4. The Who - You Better You Bet
  5. PH.D - Little Suzi's On The Up
  6. Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Anymore
  7. The Pretenders - Brass In Pocket
  8. Todd Rundgren - Time Heals
  9. REO Speedwagon - Take It On The Run
  10. Styx - Rockin' The Paradise
Programming of a different sort began to invade the format until it became a wasteland of poorly crafted reality shows, abandoning the music video format that once launched them into stardom. Oddly Mtv has kept up their tradition of a yearly music video award show, despite having ditched music decades ago.

When you hear of folks lamenting the demise of Mtv and the way that "I Want My Mtv" moniker is still around it shows how powerful their influence once was. But what does it mean? Do we want to watch music videos again? I don't think that's what we miss or want again.

Mtv's first ten videos Mtv initially flooded the airwaves with music. All kinds of music. Punk. Pop. Metal. Rock. A myriad of styles expertly mingles into a TV network. As we waited for our favorite videos, we listened to a lot of music that may have evaded our ears for a lifetime.

Mtv was about diversity and exposure. I grew up loving rock and metal, but developed a strong interest in new wave and pop. One doesn't normally go from buying Judas Priest albums to Taylor Dayne and Debbie Gibson. I even grew fond of Tiffany and her Mall Tour - appearing in actual shopping malls!

It was a great time in music history and Mtv dispensed the music we loved and expanded our musical horizons. Hard to imagine they's soon stoop to Jersey Short and 16 & Pregnant as viable viewing options. However sad their future became, it rested on a solid brand that still invokes excitement for music.
August 1, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Sony fears a Microsoft acquisition of COD could influence gamers to the Xbox platform

Sony fears a Microsoft acquisition of COD
Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard makes Sony think gamers could be led toward Xbox hardware to play COD.
I've read a few articles about Sony's woes that gamers might defect to Microsoft consoles to play COD and it makes me think some folks have too much money. I'll admit I've never played COD, but I've gamed a lifetime and I've never bought hardware based on a game title. I've sought out the best hardware and assume the games will follow. I know lots of gamers have multiple consoles, but would you spend upwards of $500 to play a game that migrated to another platform?

No, not me.

I understad the importance of COD and it's stellar reputation - still haven't ever played it. However, at the "gamer in their living room" level, would they buy an Xbox simply because COD became a Microsoft product via business acquisition? I look at it through my love for Nintendo's Splatoon. I think it's a masterful game, but if it were available on Xbox, I'd enjoy my Nintendo Switch and not care.

What if the situation became more dire? Suppose Splatoon 3 became an Xbox exclusive... Would I buy an Xbox? Nope. I'd have to find an alternative game. Perhaps this paints the difference between lust and obsession. I'll give you an example of an arcade game I loved and how much I wanted an arcade accurate home release.

Vanguard

Vanguard - the amazing 4-way space shooter distributed by Centuri in 1981.

I played Vanguard every time I went to Nathan's Hot Dog restaurant. Then there were times I went to Nathan's just to play Vanguard. A version came out for the Atari 2600 and then the 5200, but It wasn't arcade accurate and the 5200 controllers were too unreliable. I craved that game. No, really craved it. Such a good game.

It came out on a few other platforms, but I didn't own them. So I waited 2018 when SNK 40th Anniversary Collection was released for Nintendo Switch... containing an arcade version of Vanguard. Yes, I waited 37 years for this game. No, I'm not going to buy an Xbox for COD, if the merger goes through.

July 2022 Retro Gaming Articles:

July 31, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Fictional Spaceman George Jetson was born on this day in 2022

The epitome of future style, the Jetsons came to TV in 1962 as a futuristic version of the Flintstones.
George Jetson was born in 2022 Determining George's age took a bit of sleuthing as it was never directly revealed. However, dedicated fans applied enough logic to nail down the year and then seemed to agree upon a date.

The original show was set 100 years in the future, according to marketing materials, putting the family's antics into 2062. An episode in season one revealed he was likely 40 years old. Some mathematics led to his birth year being 2022.

His actual birthday was harder to arrive at and seems to have been mutually agreed upon by fans. So, it's July 31st.
July 30, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited time remaining to order Atari's 50th anniversary editions of Adventure and Missile Command for 2600

Check out these collector edition games for Atari's original 2600 video game console!
These Atari XP cartridges are Limited Edition releases of Atari's popular 2600 games - Adventure and Missile Command. These games are the original releases with updated packaging and a slew of extras for collectors.

The packaging has a cut-out displaying the cartridge's front with a flap that folds over the face of the box. Of note is the acrylic top of the cart glows when inserted into a 2600 game console. I dig that - nice touch! A full-color manual and along with a twill-woven embroidered patch and enamel pin are included too. You'll also get an acrylic cartridge stand for all the photos you'll want to post online lol.

This offer will be gone soon, so don't delay if you want these cool glowing-top limited edition game carts for your trusty old Atari 2600.

Atari 50th anniversary Adventure game for the 2600 VCS Atari 50th anniversary Adventure game for the 2600 VCS
Atari 50th anniversary Missile Command game for the 2600 VCS Atari 50th anniversary Missile Command game for the 2600 VCS

July 29, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Analogue announces their developer program openFPGA and the inclusion of Space War

Analogue announces their developer program openFPGA
Intent on video game preservation, Analogue's dev kit allows developers to support legacy media.
Using their Pocket Gameboy console, Analogue has announced a development environment called openFPGA. It's purpose seems to be creating a way to adapt legacy video games to an open platform where they can be in a future-proof environment. FPGA (Field Programable Gate Array) is a technology that allows hardware to play video games without the original hardware. A game cart could contain the info for the FPGA to "become" an SNES in order to play the SNES game on the cart/software.

Analogue announces their deeveloper program openFPGA The ill-fated Coleco Chameleon attempted to use this principal although the project was laden with intentional fraud and dismissed as a scam. Analogue is far above that and has created a viable and proven hardware system, with their Gameboy Pocket and this new dev environment for creating a wide array of games. This is a great project to keep an eye on as it's the first (I believe) to use FPGA technology in an open manner for video games.

Space War

Space War has been dubbed the "first" video game... like ever. It hails from 1962 and was played on a PDP-1 at MIT. The PDP-1 was not a gaming system, but part of the fun of access to a university computer is seeing what else it can do. It was able to play a home brew space shooter. It even used a controller box, that could be thought of as the launch point of controllers for later video game systems.

Despite the academic potential of the PDP-1, the MIT students who created S[\pace War were setting a precedent for future games. Not knowing this venture would inspire legions of video game developers, they created a criteria for games.
  1. Games should demonstrate and tax the resources and capabilities of the device it is played onGames
  2. Games must avoid routine and be a different experience each time
  3. It should be fun
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell played a lot of Space War and created the first commercial video game, Computer Space. With the majority of gaming's history already in landfills and games vanishing due to age, server shutdowns, and discontinued hardware, Analogue's openFPGA might be a good starting point for your game development career.
July 28, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If you crave a Clash Of Clans cereal, Walmart has Barb's Choco Boom Booms online

Available online only, Boom Booms seem like an unnecessary sugar bomb of toxicity.
Some folks collect cereal boxes. I've been known to have a stash of Boo Berry boxes, but I have to draw the line somewhere. Video game tie-in for Clash Of Clans is past my line. I'll buy anything with an Atari logo, but an online exclusive at Walmart doesn't really excite me. If I saw the box in-store, I might snag it, but the filling out of online forms just isn't my jam, in this case.

I'd be all over a Metal Slug breakfast cereal!!

Walmart has Barb's Choco Boom Booms online
July 23, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Blackpink debuts Ready For Love with another in-game Pubg collaboration event

Blackpink x Pubg Ready For Love
Blackpink is pulling out all the stops with this digital avatar collaboration.
Even though Blackpink has collaborated with Pubg in the past, the relationship between these K-pop superstars and global battle royale game seem just as unlikely today. Obviously there has been some success as their colabs are rising in sophistication and duration. When Fortnite was offering concerts by Travis Scott and Ariana Grande, it was hard to imagine this as the new way to market music. But Blackpink is entering these new channels of exposure.

The music industry is going through immense changes due to both new technologies and social media's stranglehold on marketing new tallent. Social media has stolen so many formerly personal face-to-face experiences that today's music all sounds the same. Thankfully there are still creative artists who can get to the front of the line with original creations.

Blackpink's hit songs usually resonate with me due to catch riffs multiple languages and intricate dance routines. But in the music world, they've put out very few albums (only one full-length release). Their solos are often a single track and the rest of the catalog consists of EPs. Perhaps the girls are content with this, but considering they've recently taken the world by storm, their management company os strangling their success. They could blow up so huge if they weren't one of many acts managed by YG. Someone dedicated to the further success of Blackpink would have a runaway train of amazing releases.

So, anyway... go check out Blackpink's new song, Ready For Love, on Pubg.
July 22, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Check out Atari's 50th anniversary t-shirt

50 years of pixelated fun!
Buying from Atari is always a fickle scenario that often drags out over months or years, but if you have the tenacity, you can order their 50th anniversary t-shirt.

Analogue announces their deeveloper program openFPGA



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