Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece of Shit

The Onion News Network posted this over a year ago so it ain't exactly brand new, but with both Sony and Microsoft coming out with new hardware in the Move and Kinect (the artist formerly known as Natal) it seemed timely. But don't get me wrong I'm a Sony fan and will most likely get the Move when it comes out. Video seems choppy in the window so maximize it to full screen to watch.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Dead Space 2 Interview

I just saw this on the PS3 blog - an interview with the creative director for Dead Space 2, Wright Bagwell, to talk about the game which is slated for release on January 25.

Like I've mentioned before I loved the first one so I'm definitely going to get #2. I also read that Dead Space: Extraction will be packaged along with Dead Space 2 in the limited edition of the game and it will be compatible with the Playstation Move and have full trophy support. That's cool but I'm playing Extraction right now on the Wii so this almost makes me want to put it on the shelf and wait for the PS3 version. Wii!!!!!!!!!!!!! (screamed into the sky Khan-style).

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Joystix - Pac-Man Fever Friday

Well this last Friday was the last Friday of the month and that means one thing - a trip to Joystix to play some arcade games!

Joystix has been selling classic arcade games and pinball games in the Houston area since 1987 and I remember hearing about them a long time ago, but the big news for me came a couple of years ago or so when I heard about their Pac-Man Fever Fridays - every first and last Friday of the month you pay a $15 entrance fee and every game in their large showroom is on free play from 9:00 PM - 2:00 AM. I normally focus mostly on the video games, but this place has a ton of pinballs and other miscellaneous games too like pop-a-shot, air hockey, foosball, etc.

And even better - the place shares its space with it's own full-service bar - the 1820 Bar. You can even drink a beer while you are playing the games. This sounded awesome when I first heard about it but in practice it is a little difficult finding a place to put your beer when it's your turn.

Talking in-depth about all the games they have would take way too long so as just a taste of the huge list of games they have I'll just try and list the ones I played this last Friday: Robotron, Centipede, Gorf, Hyper Sports, Carnevil, America's Army, Millipede, Golden Axe, Street Fighter Three, Asteroids, Popeye, Tempest, Gauntlet Legends, Pepper II, Turkey Shoot, Paperboy, Donkey Kong II, H2 Overdrive, Jr. Pac-Man, Rush Alcatraz, Ms. Pac-Man (turbo), Cruisin USA, 720, Arch Rivals, Bubbles, Double Dragon II, Dig Dug, Mario Bros., Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, Punch-Out!, Smash T.V, Space Duel, Star Wars, Timber, WWF Superstars, Iron Man (pin), Spiderman (pin), Medieval Madness (pin), Roller Coaster (pin), Ultrapin (video pin emulator), and Tales from the Crypt (pin). Geez even that short list was pretty long! They also got the new Terminator Salvation video game a while back that I've been meaning to try but I keep seeing old classics that I've never hit and by the time I roll back to it someone is on it.

So anyway, if you are in the Houston area on the first or last Friday of the month and like classic arcade games this joint is a MUST SEE. It is located right across the street from Minute Maid Park. Check out their website for more details:

1820 Franklin Street
Houston, TX 77002-2206
(713) 224-2225

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Retro Uprising

I just came across this website called Retro Uprising which allows you to play all kinds of old arcade and console games through your browser. To play some of them (mostly arcade games) you have to install ArcadeOX which is an application that allows windows applications to be run through your browser - and that sounds like a security risk to me so I didn't risk installing it. And some games were too laggy to play - but some worked well.

I did notice they had a bunch of old Infocom text games on there that you could play if you like and those worked fine. So check it out and run the java games just beware about installing anything.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Project Natal

So you say you like playing the Wii but it just doesn't make you feel quite stupid enough? Well check out how super-cool this uber-white family of 4 looks playing some games with the Natal on XBOX 360. The chick's moves are eerily reminiscent of Elaine's dance moves on Seinfeld and the dude's constant chatter and directions to the kid are less than soothing as well. And come on - like that kid is doing anything but jumping around like an idiot. You can do that for free people just use your imagination!

But this is going to be a totally different experience from the Wii and not targeted at kids like most Wii games - right? Right?!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Adam West on Video Games

1-Up's Retronauts blog featured an editorial about video games that Adam West, yes Batman himself, wrote back in 1983 for "Videogaming and Computergaming Illustrated". Now if I can only find one written by William Shatner that would be awesome! Anyway it was brief and well written so check it out at

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1943: The Battle of Midway

On this day - June 6 - in 1942 the United States Navy defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy in the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II - the Battle of Midway. To me that says - it's time to bring up the arcade shooter 1943: The Battle of Midway on the MAME cab and finally play it through to the end! And of course put it up here for you guys.

This vertical scrolling shooter was released by Capcom in June of 1987 as a sequel to their popular classic 1942 - I guess that's why they called in 1943 even though the historic battle took place in 1942. You are piloting a P-38 off the coast of the Midway Atoll fighting your way through 16 levels of Japanese fighters (complete with boss battles at the end of each level) to overtake and destroy the Japanese battleship Yamato. You have your joystick for movement, one button for firing your main weapon, and one button for special attacks or the trademark 1942 loop-de-loops.

1943 kept all the great gameplay of its predecessor and kicked it up a notch on several fronts - the graphics and sounds both got a little boost of course, but the best upgrades are in gameplay features. In 1942 if you collided with a plane or bullet even once that was it, one of your 3 planes was dead. But in 1943 you get a life bar and each collision or bullet hit takes some of your health off until it depletes to zero and you explode - and there are various opportunities to replenish some of your health by shooting down an entire fleet of red planes and then grabbing the POW powerups that appear. This is a nice improvement in my opinion. And if you are OK on health you can shoot the POW powerup and make it a super-weapon powerup like triple-shot, rapid-fire missiles, scatter-shot, etc. that you can pick up and use as your main weapon until it wears off and reverts back to your normal machine guns. Of course it is tough to mentally scroll through all these strategic options and make the appropriate shots while 2 dozen pissed off Japanese fighters are buzzing around you trying to take your ass out. If you're like me it is more common to just shoot all the red and then just grab whatever happens to pop up as soon as you can.

Another feature that I like is that like a lot of story/level arcade games it allows you to continue by pumping in more quarters but the score resets to 0 with every continue (because artificially inflated high scores from continues are bullshit). And there is absolutely no way you are going to complete this game without pumping in about $20 or so worth of quarters. The action quickly gets more and more hectic and the last few of the 16 levels are just insanely difficult.

AND unlike 1942, 1943 allows you to play 2-player simultaneous so it can be fun for 2-player action too - it's co-op but you each have your own scores so it can still be competitive too. Since this game is played from the U.S. side of the battle and you win if you destroy the Japanese fleet I've wondered how well that was received in Japan (where it was created!). I guess the Japanese kids were OK with that because it was apparently pretty popular there.

So bottom line - an excellent upgrade to a classic game and one you can pick up and play anytime - I just wish it wasn't QUITE so difficult. I give it a 8.7. Click HERE to download it into your MAME ROMs folder and give it a try. If you like it you might want to check out some of Capcom's later 1942 sequels - of which there were like 5! But on the off chance that you don't actually stick with it long enough to finish it (like I finally did today) here is what you would see at the end right before the credits roll:

"In 1943, the U.S. Navy sank four Japanese striking forces in the Battle of Midway and brought the victory in the Pacific War to the United States. It was made possible by two eminent pilots who detected the Japanese fleet during a routing mission." - note how Capcom referenced 1943 instead of 1942 and referred to it as a 'routing' mission instead of a routine mission.

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