Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Four Bright Buttons and Two Joysticks!

Some guy in Houston is selling a Neo Geo cabinet with a 100 game board installed on Craigslist for $400 and any time I see a real arcade cab going for less than $500 somewhere I always have to think it over. Haven't ever pulled the trigger yet, but always think it over.

But as is often the case, the starting point of my stroll through the gaming forest is not the real subject of my post. I was googling this 100-game multiboard that I'd never heard of and stumbled across this video tribute to the Neo Geo from ScrewAttack's Keith Apicary. I don't know anything about ScrewAttack, but I dig the video - check it out.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Red Dead's QC Department is Beyond Redemption

I'm still drudging along through Red Dead Redemption, but I think I am nearing the point where I will have to place it in the never-finished pile. I like it much better than its cousin GTA IV, but for me it's still just a mediocre game. As I've been playing I have noticed several glitches - a pile of crates suspended in mid-air, guys running at full speed in the road but not moving an inch, etc. So I jumped online for a quick browse of RDR bugs and what do you know there have been all kinds of crazy things that slipped by Rockstar's game testers. Or maybe they put this stuff in intentionally - I don't know, but it just looks like sloppy/glitchy programming to me. Anyway, I found videos of several of them that I found amusing so...

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Retro Gamer Magazine

Not too long ago I discovered a magazine online called Retro Gamer - it is a magazine published in the UK that is, as the name would suggest, dedicated to retro gaming. I wandered around their website ( for a while and they have some interesting stuff on there if you like old-school games like I do. I even found a few of the older issues online in PDF format so I downloaded them and checked them out to see what the magazine proper looked like and I liked it, but I'm the kind of guy that really needs the real magazine or book in my hand to enjoy it.

Well, last weekend I was in Fry's Electronics and as I was approaching the checkout line something caught my eye - a real copy of Retro Gamer Magazine! I was rather excited to see it in the real world so I bought a copy and checked it out. The main feature of this issue was a retrospective of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider games (and I thought she was hot back in the day on the PS1 - just look at her now!)

It also had tons of retro game reviews, an interesting article on the Atari 7800, a feature on the making of the classic Dreamcast game Shenmue, an interview with Atari legend game developer Ed Logg who created Asteroids, Centipede, Gauntlet, Millipede, etc on the making of the arcade game Xybots (which I hadn't ever even played before but now I see is listed as one of the games at the upcoming Houston Area Arcade Expo). Anyway - I could go on but the bottom line is I think it is a cool magazine that offers unique content you won't see in other gaming magazines. And it is very well made and professionally done. It looks as good or better than any other gaming magazine like Game Informer or Playstation: the Official Magazine.

Being a British publication the magazine is a bit more focused on UK-centric things like the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC computers - neither of which I know much at all about, but they do plenty of material on the games more familiar to the US too. Plus, I found the new perspective (new to me) interesting. This issue introduced me to a British adventure game company called Magnetic Scrolls - I'd never heard of them but apparently they were quite popular in England and competed with Infocom over there. The universe keeps pulling me into adventure games lately for some reason.

The only drawback to buying it is the reason I probably won't be buying it regularly - the high price. It cost $10. $10!  I really enjoyed the magazine but $10 just seems like way too much. Looks like you can buy them from their website for closer to $7.50 but I don't know what they charge for shipping it across the pond.

So check out the website and if you are in a Fry's - or possibly a Barnes and Noble - pick up a copy and give it a once over. You might just like it. I did.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

More Kevin Butler and the Move

Well the Playstation Move is set to release on September 19 and I stumbled across a couple of Kevin Butler spots for it that I hadn't seen before so I thought I'd toss 'em up here. From what I read about the Move it is more accurate and more responsive than the Wii motion controls even with the MotionPlus addition, but with my existing backlog of games and the steep price tag I'm not planning to get it. At least not right away - maybe a little further down the road.  What about you?

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Infocom and The Gallery of Zork

As I've mentioned on several occasions, I was a huge fan of Infocom's text adventure games back in the day. Actually, I should say that I AM a huge Infocom fan because even though it has been quite a while since I've played through an entire game of theirs, they still hold quite a fascination for me.

I won't torture you fine folks by prattling on for 10 pages in this post about how cool I think Infocom is (although I could!). No, I reserve the right to that hero-worship post later, but for now I just wanted to let you know about a cool website I stumbed onto this evening - The Gallery of Zork.

You might see scans of the fronts of game boxes at some Infocom tribute sites, but the guys at The Gallery of Zork really kick it up a notch. Yes, they offer high-resolution scans of the boxes (front, back, sides, and inside), but they also offer scans of pretty much every other Infocom item ever produced - the manuals, flyers, advertisements, Invisiclues books, newsletters, and all the the miscellaneous pack-in "feelies" that Infocom was famous for like the scratch n' sniffs from Leather Goddesses of Phobos, the pocket fluff and microscopic space fleet from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the swizzle stick from Hollywood Hijinx. Where my own copies of those items made off to I have no idea.

But perhaps best of all you can play ALL of the Infocom games online right on their website - and it won't cost you a single zorkmid!  I've seen some websites where some of the games are offered for online play, but it really looks like these guys have all of them! The Java box you play them in is somewhat small which is a little distracting, but that aside it seems to work great. I suppose you could even make the box bigger by reducing your monitor resolution while you were playing - I might try that.

If you want to skip directly to their online playable games page go to They have them all set up quite nicely.

If you would like to take a look at all the goodies for a particular game before you launch into playing it, or if you just want to check out all their other cool stuff, then go to their homepage at and just start wandering around. Lots of great stuff to see there if you are an old school adventurer like me. So don't Z around for more time to pass, head over there and take a L!

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Play Games. Heal Kids.

If you're a hardcore gamer, you've probably logged a few all-night gaming sessions in your day. This October 16, you can use your gaming for the greater good by taking part in Extra Life.

Founded in 2008 by Jeromy "Doc" Adams of Sarcastic Gamer, Extra Life is a 24-hour gaming marathon that raises money for sick kids. In its first two years, Extra Life raised over $302,000 for Texas Children's Hospital. This year Sarcastic Gamer has partnered with Children's Miracle Network so that participants can keep the money raised in their local children's hospital.

The event works much like walk-a-thons and such where you get people to pledge money per every hour that you play. The goal is for each participant to find at least 4 people who will pledge a minimum of $1 per hour to the cause.

Teams are encouraged (MadPlanet's Gameroom Team anybody?), but you can also sign up or donate individually at

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