Blogs are the thing
to do on the net. While I have done a similar thing in my newsletters for
years, I thought I would take a shot at a few blogs on this site. I will
start off with one that is strictly about video games and if things go well,
I may try one on comics and possibly just my day to day thoughts. So check
back here and see what the latest is I am writing about.
This blog will deal with all
video games from classic to modern to arcades and pinball. Just whatever I
am thinking about at the time. If you see something you want to comment on,
feel free to
email me. I will try to respond but I am not the fastest in
If you enjoy Tom's writing,
check out these are sections of the website:
Video Game Blogs from March - April 2005
Video Game Blogs from May - June 2005
Video Game Blogs from July - August 2005
Video Game Blogs from September - October 2005
Video Game Blogs from November - December 2005
Video Game Blogs from January - June 2006
Retrogaming Times - The Classic Video Game Newsletter.
Bit Age Times - Video Game Newsletter for the Second Generation.
Just Newsprint - The Comic Newsletter for Comic Readers.
Arcade After Dark - My other
website that features video game comic strips.
KZ Comics - My tribute site to the
comic book company I founded and ran in the 1980's.
I have been playing some Pacland for a comic
strip I am working for on my other site,
Arcade After Dark. I wonder
when they decided to add legs to Pac-Man? I guess it may be the
cartoon show or it could be this game. But I think it is pretty funny
that all of a sudden he grew legs and arms. That should have made
Has Big Boy ever starred in a video game? Talk
about a natural for a video game, Big Boy along with Dolly and his dog,
whatever its name was, would make for a fun giveaway game in the spirit of
the Burger King games. Not sure how popular Big Boys is anymore.
I think his comic finally was cancelled.
I know it would take a ton of work, but I
ain't doing it so who cares. I want a Marvel game that has pretty much
every super hero and super villain in it. You could choose any
character and battle any other character. One that has a true version
of their powers and strength level. And while I am asking for the sun
and moon, let's put in where you can make up any super group and battle any
other group. That would be awesome beyond words. I know it is a
pipe dream of epic proportions, but without dreams what do we have? Oh
Been awhile since I had a really good laugh
from reading emails. Some person offered to do banner exchanges with
me. He was offering three banners on his site for one on my site.
While banner exchanges have all but gone away, what makes this funny is the
guy's sites were porn sites. I cannot think of a more repulsive site
to exchange with. That is worse than the gambling sites that email me
weekly. Needless to say, I did not take him up on the offer. I
marked that email as spam and erased it.
So has anyone done any bobbleheads of video game
characters yet? I don't mean those giveaways of Mario and Starfox, but
actual ones for sale, especially classic characters. I would love to
get a Pac-Man or Q*Bert Bobble Head (not sure how you would do Q*Bert as his
body and head are sorta connected).
If you read this, you probably saw how I talked about
a Nintendo Amusement Park. Well, I decided to put some more thought
into it and did up an article about it along with some of the Geauga Lake
rides that could be renamed and rethemed. Look for it to appear in the
next issue of
Retrogaming Times Monthly.
I decided to join the 21st century.
After a decade of using a CRT monitor, I finally bought an LCD one.
Actually it was supposed to be a Christmas gift that was a little late.
Anyway, picked up a nice 19 inch monitor to replace my 15 inch one. So
much nicer than my old monitor. Now I can look at incredibly old games
on a modern monitor.
Just finishing watching the movie Apocalypto and must
say I was impressed. It had one of the best chase scenes in a movie,
even if it was on foot. I kept thinking how caught up I got into this
chase scene and wondered why a video game cannot capture that same feeling.
What is it about video games that keep you from becoming truly immersed.
I know of games that are captivating, but I have yet to play a game that
completely immerses me like a movie can. What would it take for a
video game to do this? VR helmet? Surround sound? The one
thing I think is missing is the ability to take a game where you can keep
playing it over and over until you beat it and get that feeling of
excitement and terror that movies can convey. Not sure how you could
do it without doing something insane. It is hard to get too caught up
when you know you have another chance.
Maybe my message is getting across. I
have seen a drop in the emails for lame sites and an increase in ones for
cool sites. Here is one that I received today that I find enjoyable
and you may enjoy as well. It is for a top ten list of video game
t-shirts. I have never seen these for sale, but I wouldn't mind owning
a few (especially the Pac-man one and the Nintendo family tree).
Speaking of video game t-shirts, I get emails from
people asking where to find them. A quick google search will yield you
all kinds of sites. But if you want to just drive over and pick some
up, a good place to check is Target. I have found numerous video game
t-shirts there including one that shows a NES controller and says "Gamer",
another one with a screen of Donkey Kong and a couple of cool Pac-Man
shirts. They change them often, so you need to check back every few
months. And they are usually pretty inexpensive.
Like the geese flying south signals the coming
of winter, video games also have their own signal. It is called the
increase in triple A titles being released. After a thin summer, there
are a slew of big hits coming in August, a sure sign of the coming holidays.
Look at this list of coming games - Lair, Bioshock, Tiger Woods, Metroid 3,
Blue Dragon and of course Madden. That is some big time games coming
in August. And it will be nothing compared to September. Time to
blow those paychecks.
I saw how the new Stranglehold game will also have a
John Woo movie, Hard Boiled on the same disc. Now that is a cool bonus
and one that I would like to see them do more often. Sure beats an
interview with the designers.
There is a game coming based on the movie, High School
Musical. I am afraid to find out what the gameplay is like. Talk
about the ultimate gag gift for a friend. Well, unless your friend is
a big fan of the movie. Finding that out could be very awkward.
Why is it that I get more emails when I talk about
something non video game. I have a rant about the french fries at the
Great Steak and Potato company and I get twice as many emails? And it
wasn't about that company. People were sending in their disappointment
with just about every fast food company. I seem to have hit a chord.
Maybe I should talk about fast food more. Naw, that would be boring.
I saw where the cast for the Watchmen movie
has been finalized. Anyone who is a comic book fan knows of the
Watchmen. It is Alan Moore's greatest book (and that is saying
something from a man who wrote many of the best comic stories of all-time).
One must wonder that if the movie is going into production, will the video
game be far behind? While I feel that the comic book could make a cool
video game, it would have to be done by someone who really cares for the
story. That would pretty much eliminate Electronic Arts, who I can see
ruining it. Activision could do a good job, but I am skeptical.
It would have to be a small company that really wants to be true to the
original story. But I don't hold my breath.
Beowulf is being turned into a movie and a video game.
Wonder how many people have actually read the original story? I did
years ago and it was good. But then I went through a phase when I was
reading all the classics from Homer's Odyssey to Dante's Inferno to
Melville's Moby Dick. Wait a second....That could be a good idea for a
video game. Instead of trying to turn one book into a video game, why
not take scenes from many books and make a video game out of it. You
could become some person who could jump in and relive the great moments of
literature. One chapter of the game would have you battling Moby Dick,
the great white whale. Another would have you trying to escape from
the half human/half beast men of the Island of Doctor Moreau. Then you
would be battling the Cyclops in the Odyssey and then off to running from
the Headless Horsemen in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. That could be a
real cool game because it would be a variety of stuff, so you would not just
be relying on the material of one story.
Manhunt 2 has received an AO rating (for anyone who
doesn't know, that stands for Adults Only). The problem with this is
that Sony and Nintendo has said they would not allow a game with an AO
rating on their systems. And I doubt that Walmart, Best Buy and Target
would sell it. So it looks like Take Two is going to have to redo
parts of the game. As much as I am against censorship in video games,
I think someone needs to put that company in its place. They try to
push the envelope too much and the rest of the industry suffers for it.
For my non-video game rant, I must say how one of my
guilty pleasures has been decimated. I used to like to stop at a
shopping mall to get some fresh cut french fries from the Great Steak and
Potato Company. I know they are bad for me, but they always tasted so
good. But I went there yesterday and the fries have changed.
Gone are the fresh cut fries with the skins still on them. They were
replaced by some mediocre fries that I could have bought at a grocery store
and made at home. I do not know if it is just this one location or all
of them. The sign still showed the good fries as does the website.
If it is true, then it will be the end of another of my favorites. It
will join the Rallyburger which has shrunk in size considerably as well as
the Arby's Super which is anything but.
I wonder if there are any charts anywhere that show if
the new higher prices of video games has affected the sales. I know
people talked about how the $59.99 price would make less people buy video
games, but has it really happened? Or have the sales been as good or
better than before? And if the sales have remained good, does that
mean we will see another increase in the near future? What is the
breaking point as far as price goes?
After reading Leonard Herman's descriptive
book on the video game industry called Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Video
Games and the Steven Kent book, The First Quarter: The 25 Year History of
Video Games, that I read all the books on video games. Well, an email
later and I find out there is another book about the industry. This
one is done by Brett Weiss called Classic Home Video Games. The book
sounds pretty cool and now I have something to put on my Christmas wish list
that is not a DVD. If you are interested in checking out more about
this book as well as reading a good video game blog that is updated more
often than this one (then which ones aren't?). Here is the address for
you to check it out:
Time to hype another site. I know that I tell
you how I just delete most of the emails I get from sites. Well, if
you send me an interesting one like these, then I will put it here.
And here is another interesting one. Instead of explaining it, I will
just put the email here for you to read.
"Do you feel like your
console is a floatation device saving you from the
realities of the world? If so, this is the contest for
Tired of the Xbox,
Playstation 3 and Wii, imagine the next
break-through game console! The one that will
be so great that it will render
all your current systems obsolete!!!
The producers of
"Helmet" a Scottish play premiering at the NY
Fringe Festival want to take a peek at those
Simply email your
answers (and more) to the following three
1) What is special
about your dream – just around the corner –
2) What specs &
features would it have?
3) What is it's
There is no fee for entering the contest, and
you can enter as many times as you like.
The top 3 ideas
submitted will be displayed at
www.helmet-wannaplay.com for you to check
The winner will be
announced on August 1st at
The winner will
receive a $100 gift certificate for Game Stop.
The winning idea
will be included in the American Premiere of the
play HELMET by acclaimed Scottish playwright
Douglas Maxwell at this summer's New York
International Fringe Festival."
I know the main prize is
not that big, but still the thought that your
idea gets incorporated in a play is pretty cool.
So if you are feeling creative, then go for it.
Speaking of creative, I
remember one of the game compilations for the PC
that I bought had a Mother mode. When you
turned on Mother mode, you would hear a mother
yelling in the background every few minutes.
She would be yelling about you playing too many
video games and stuff like that. It was
novel and I got a kick out of it. Sorta
reminded me of a DVD I bought that gave you a
Drive-In experience by having a soundtrack that
would play noises of cars driving by and people
talking. It was fun once, but it was
pretty annoying a second time.
Speaking of Drive-Ins, I
was thinking how video games are getting more
like movies. Maybe it is time to add
intermissions to video games. It hasn't
been done since Pac-Man that I know of (I am
sure I will get an email from someone telling me
some obscure Commodore 64 game had it).
Wouldn't it be cool that after you made it so
far in Tomb Raider or God of War, you got an
intermission. They had a little Tomb
Raider cartoon playing and some trailers for
video games for about five or ten minutes before
the next level started? It would give you
a chance to rest your hand and refill your
Dorito bowl. And they could sell
advertising if they wanted. The only thing
is they would have to make it optional to watch
it and give you the option of skipping it if you
I think the computer problems are finally
behind me. Had to clear the hard drive and start over, but I think
things are better now. Here's hoping.
While this isn't directly video game related, I am
going to comment on it. I read about where Sprint dumped a thousand
plus customers who were calling customer service the most. At first
glance, this sounds like bad public relations. You have to wonder
about a company that chases customers away. If you read what they say
about how it will improve customer service because these 1,000 plus people
who were calling an average of 40 times a month are gone. Sounds like
a caring company, doesn't it?
All I can tell you is if you buy that load of baloney, then you gullible.
What it does is cut their amount of calls by 40,000 a month, which means
they can trim some jobs. Do you really think they booted customers
without saving them money? But there is a silver lining in all this.
If you have Sprint and want out of your contract and don't want to pay the
early termination fee, now you have a way out! Just start calling
daily, heck three of four times a day. Ask for help on everything.
Ask what ever charge on your bill is. Ask what number on your phone
comes after seven. Ask what the weather is like in India. Make a
complete and utter nuisance of yourself and you will get out of your
contract with no early termination fee. Is that great or what?
And if you get enough people to do it, watch how quickly they change this
Not only has the price of the PS3 dropped by $100.00,
but you can also get five free movies as well. Granted, none of them
are that great (Chicken Little was a fun movie, but not one I exactly wanted
to own, let alone in Blu Ray), but it is still five free movies. That
deal is getting better and better. Just extend the warranty and you
have me sold.
Know how Sega redid some of their classic games awhile
back? They were mostly cosmetic changes, but remakes nonetheless.
Well, I would like to see Activision do this. I think it would be cool
to play versions of River Raid, Pitfall, Megamania and others with updated
graphics, new levels and new enemies. Now that would be awesome.
Or they could even make them downloadable games on the XBOX or PS3.
Is it me or is Punchout the perfect game to remake for
the Wii? That game is begging to be added to lineup with the motion
sensitive controllers. Come on Nintendo, give Glass Joe a job again.
I am offline for a week with problems and a
ton of video game news comes down the pike. Let's look at the latest.
Microsoft is now giving a three year warranty with
every XBOX 360 system. I applaud a company that realizes there is a
problem with their systems and are doing what they can to help out
consumers. The dreaded rings of death continue to plague the system,
but at least you know if you get a faulty one, you have a solid warranty.
Sony has finally acknowledged what the rest of the
world knew, that PS3 sales are not very good. And they did something
to counter that. They dropped the price of their PS3 by $100.00!
That does make it very tempting, but there is still one thing that keeps me
from biting (besides the fact that I am cheap). That's the pathetic 90
day warranty they offer with their systems. I will not pay $500.00 for
a system that is only covered for 90 days. Right now, I will buy the
XBOX 360 with its 3 year warranty before I buy a PS3. Sure the
graphics on the PS3 are great. Sure it has a built in Blu Ray player.
Sure it can play your old PS2 games (and some PS1 games). But if it
goes bad after 90 days, you are OUT OF LUCK. And with their track
record for bad systems, this is a big deal. Yeah, you can get an
extended warranty, but why bother when you already have one with the XBOX
360. Go ahead and get a three year warranty for your system at Best
Buy and watch the price go up by another $100.00 or more, which pretty much
kills the price cut.
I know people are going to say that Nintendo also has
a 90 day warranty, but the difference is the Wii is half the price of a PS3.
The second point is that Nintendo makes quality systems. I have owned
just about every Nintendo system since the NES and never had any real
problems with any of them. But I went through two PS1 and two PS2s.
Heck, I had a Colecovision that lasted over twenty years before giving up
Received a link to a site that tracks video
game prices. At first I must say I was impressed with how much detail
he went into with graphs showing the prices going down. But as I
looked more, I found he just randomly tracked fifty games over a period.
So while it is a neat read, it doesn't really have alot of use for people
who want to know values of their games. But for an interesting read,
check it out.
My other video game site,
Arcade After Dark,
has been mentioned on Stumble Upon and the hits went ballistic. The
one year old site was averaging 500 visitors a day and after the mention, we
had 14,000 visitors in one day! Pretty cool!
Found a funny You Tube video for the Nintendo
Amusement Park. While not really an amusement park, it is pretty
funny. You have to check it out!
I can now say that I have tried all three new
systems. I must say as far as fun, the Wii is the most fun. But
if you are into graphics, the PS3 cannot be beat. I was playing a
racing game on it and I was floored by the quality of the graphics.
Even though I did terrible, I enjoyed it. And to think they are just
scraping the surface of what that machine can do.
I was playing Lost Planet on the XBOX 360 and to be
honest, it did not look that great. It really looked like an XBOX or
PS2 game to me. Maybe if I saw more of it, I would be impressed, but
so far in the graphics department, I have not been blown away. But it
is getting some very nice RPGs and that is always a deciding factor for me.
Looks like Spiderman 3 is getting some good reviews.
I had high hopes for this game and it is good to see it is not going to
disappoint. Now all I need is a next gen machine to play it on.
Returned from vacation and was hit by a power
surge. A neighbor's ham radio tower was hit by lightning and we had a
surge that fried my motherboard as well as my dsl modem. So I have
been busy getting things back to normal. Add that to a two week
vacation and you have no updates to the site.
I was at a time share condo on vacation and they had
free play at their arcade. It sounds like nirvana as there were 60+
games on free play as well as a Wii with forty games. But one thing I
found in arcades with free play (as I learned at Disney Quest last year) is
that when people can play as much as they want, two things happen.
First, machines get filled up and stay that way. If something is free,
people will play games they will never bother with and keep playing them.
I am convinced that you can have a game where you smack two rocks together
and as long as it is free, people would play it. The other thing you
find out about free play arcades is joysticks and other parts get worn out.
Nothing is worse than playing Centipede and only being able to move in one
direction. Not alot of fun.
I still remember how much fun I had playing
Baseball Stars. This and Tecmo Bowl were the best of the sports games
on the NES. I can still remember building the stats on my baseball
team and making them quite powerful. What a great game. And
Tecmo Bowl with the best of the NFL at that time. Granted, you could
make Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen run for insane numbers, but it was still
I just missed an awesome sale at Deep Discount DVD.
They were blowing out a bunch of video games, with many under $2.00 each.
And we aren't talking about some PS1 games, but Wii, PS3 and XBOX 360 games.
I tried to pick up some games for my kid's DS but the only one I found to be
in stock was Strawberry Shortcake. I am sorry, but that game is not
worth the $2.00 they were charging. Especially when you only have
Now that I have a new PS2, I am considering getting
some new games for it. A few that I am considering are Shadows of
Colossus, Resident Evil 4 and both God of War. Have to keep an eye out
for some good deals.
I see that Universal Isles of Adventure is adding a
huge Harry Potter section that will debut in 2010. It is cool that
they are adding this and gives me more incentive to go there (never been to
the Isles section). But it still makes me wonder when someone is going
to get smart and team up with Nintendo for some video game based rides.
I have talked about it a few times here and I am telling you it is a
goldmine of an idea. I think Cedar Fair should greatly consider it.
They have an underperforming park in Geauga Lake with a ton of space.
It is only an hour plus away from Cedar Point, so they could turn it into a
Nintendo based theme park and book the Peanuts. I am sorry, but most
kids could care less about the Peanuts. But bring in Mario, Yoshi,
Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Link, Bowser and the gang and you have
some great mascots as well as rides. And that park has a ton of room
to work with. They could make some unique games that take advantage of
the licenses (think games based on Mario Kart, Star Fox, Luigi's Mansion
Haunted House, fun light gun game where you have to catch all the Pokemon
(They could say it is a Pokemon catching gun so the kids aren't scared).
Cedar Fair, listen up and think about it. It could be a huge hit and
turn NE Ohio into a big destination place.
Glad that the website is just about back to
normal. Finally added a new bottom border and will be slowly moving
the ads to the bottom of the page. It may mean less money, but it
makes the site look better. None of my sites are really about money
(if I wanted that I would be doing self help and travel sites).
Not a day goes by when I do not get at least one email
from someone wanting to link up to my site. I rarely link to sites
anymore. It takes a real unique site for me to think about it.
If you site is one of a million that offers the same online games, don't
bother. If you site is nothing but links to ebay ads or amazon items,
don't bother. If your site is just another video game blog or one that
posts news, don't bother. I will only bother with sites that are full
of content or very unique.
One nice thing about the new web host is much more
detailed stats. The stats on my last host were sparse. Now I can
see how many countries I go to, what sites link to this one, how many
visitors and for how long. In a half a month, we were visited by over
125 different countries. Pretty cool!
Time to actually talk some video games. Guess I
am missing out on the online event that is called World of Warcraft.
Over 8 million subscribers and growing! That is amazing. I doubt
my computer could handle it. Right now, my computer is four years old
and was not that powerful to start with. I do plan on getting a new
one this winter, but right now it will have to do. Will I get into
World of Warcraft then? No, I am not too big in these games. I
am more of a solo player than being part of a big community.
So the new Phantasy Star has not sold too well.
Too bad as I really enjoyed the Phantasy Star Online game on the Dreamcast.
Guess when I eventually get an XBOX 360, it should be pretty cheap.
Was at a drug store and saw a portable game
system for $10.00. Normally, I don't even bother looking at them as I
know they are junk. But this one caught my eye. It said it was
the next generation of gaming. I thought the PS3 and XBOX 360 were the
next generation of gaming, but this game system said it was. This
system came with four cartridges, which we all know is next generation.
And it had some truly next generation games like TankGame, FillBlock,
Hitblock and more. And the pixel graphics screamed out 1970's.
There really should be a law against being able to call this "next
Saw a really cool Asteroids shirt on the internet.
The only problem was it was in the UK, so by the time you add shipping and
turn the pounds into dollars, I was looking at a $30.00 t-shirt. Oh
well, it was cool looking.
There is a rumor that the Pac-Man Animated series may
be getting a release on DVD. Not sure if it will happen, but it would
be cool. I have a bootleg DVD that someone sent me and I do enjoy
them. They are not great, but fun. Personally, I would love to
see the Saturday Morning Supercade show that featured Q*Bert, Pitfall and
Frogger cartoons (among others). But I doubt they could get the rights
to all the different shows to get it made.
Picked up NFL Head Coach for the XBOX. I
went to the CompUSA going out of business sale. So it was 70% off of
$19.99. For the math challenged, that is $6.00 plus tax. I was
excited about it as I am more into simming than playing sports games.
But this one was a bit wonky. You can only do certain things at
certain times and are limited what you can do. To give you an idea, if
you want to sign free agents, you can only do it at certain times. And
then you can sign a total of three during this time. Same with setting
depth charts and stuff like that. I guess it is a way to make you play
the whole week, instead of doing everything on Monday and then just simming
to Sunday. And you have these most inane conversations with your staff
and owner. They say the same stupid things over and over. They
are pretty much worthless. Overall, it shows promise, but the setup is
so awful that it is annoying. Too bad as I really wanted to like it.
I think they need a remake to Wizard of Wor.
Granted, it would sell like thirty copies and be a total financial loss, but
it still would be cool. Think of a 3D version of it as you navigate
through the maze and see the wizard in 3D. OK, so Doom and Quake and a
dozen other games did a better version of this. But it would still be
Been slowly adding more and more to my other video
Arcade After Dark. I have a
ton of comic strips, a bunch of video game artwork for you to use in Comic
Book Creator and more. Check it out!
Let's see if it works fine this time. I
wrote one a few days ago and it did not take. Had to rebuild this page
and just put a small blurb (see 05/17/2007) to test it. Hopefully it
takes this time.
Found out that I was the victim of an April Fools
joke. In Electronic Gaming Monthly, they said that Mushroom Kingdom
Hearts was coming out for the Wii. I fell for it hook, line and
sinker. Too bad as it sound like a great idea for a video game.
Cross Disney and Nintendo for an awesome game. Maybe someone out there
in a position of power is paying attention. Yeah Final Fantasy is cool
and all, but 99% of the world has no idea who any of the Final Fantasy
characters are. But alot of people know Mario, Link, Donkey Kong,
Yoshii and other Nintendo characters. It just makes too much sense to
They are predicting a $100.00 price drop for the PS3
this Christmas. Will it happen? Who knows. But it would
take something even bigger for them to hope to catch the Wii.
I was tempted to buy an XBOX 360. They were
offering two free games with the purchase. The only problem is one of
the games was Pirates of the Caribbean (the new one) and the other was a
choice of either Viva Piñata or Fusion Frenzy 2. And from the reviews,
there was no choice as Fusion Frenzy 2 has received horrible reviews.
If they let you choose any two games, then I may have done it. Then I
could have chosen Morrowind and Dead Rising or possibly Crackdown and
Spiderman 3. But when you only offer three games to choose from and
one is Fusion Frenzy 2, you really have no choice.
Good to see another western game coming out.
Call of Juarez is the next western game to join the growing ranks.
Moved the site to a new host and it has caused
a ton of headaches. Been rebuilding pages, fixing links and more.
But the new host is more stable, offers more space and bandwidth and for
I am happy to see that Sega is releasing a
sequel to Nights Into Dreams for the Nintendo Wii. It is one of those games
that was released for the Sega Saturn and largely forgotten. But it is the
perfect game for the Wii controller. Hopefully they will include the
original and the Christmas Nights as bonuses.
The price of the PSP has been reduced. It is slowly
getting closer to a price I would pay. I must admit that it does have a
very nice screen and a very good library of games, but I am still hesitant
about paying $150.00 for a handheld.
Gotta love Microsoft. It wasn't enough to have two
different Xbox 360's on the market, but now they have the XBOX 360 Elite
coming out with a huge hard drive and a few other bells and whistles.
Nothing like following in Sega's footsteps and releasing various version of
the same machine. It is starting to look like the Sega Genesis, Sega CD,
Sega 32X and all the different combinations they released back in the day.
Guess the old saying, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to
repeat it." fits here.
Finally bought a new Playstation 2 system. The old
one was getting ready to give up the ghost. I cannot complain as I bought
it in the summer of 2000, so I did get my money worth. I was tempted to
just buy a PS3, but the $600.00 price tag made it easy to say no.
It will be interesting to see the long term
effects of the growing market for downloading games onto your game system.
With more and more games becoming available for download on the XBOX 360,
the Nintendo Wii and the PS3, the demand should grow as well. While it may
not seem like much right now, it can have major implications down the road.
Read on and see where I am coming from.
First off, it is boosting the value of classic games
and other games that were once considered abandonware. It creates a new
revenue stream for companies that in the past got little to no money from
old games. Sure a few companies like Nintendo, Midway and Namco have made
money with compilations and reissues, but they are more the exception than
the norm. There are alot of companies out there that have yet to cash in or
have been slow about it. Sega is one that has a huge back library and it
only has been of late that they really have tapped into it. And they still
only have scratched the surface. There are a bunch of classic games they
could put up for download that would yield alot of money. Arcade favorites
like Zaxxon and Pengo are two that I don't remember being ported. Then
there is the ton of Genesis, Master System, Saturn and Dreamcast games that
can be downloaded. Then there are companies like Data East, Cinematronics
and Jaleco that have large catalogs of arcade games that are not out there.
They could either get into the market or their back catalogs get bought by
What happens to companies that are no longer in
business? I can see a rush for companies to buy up these unused catalogs.
There were a ton of companies that made games for the arcades, older
consoles and computers that came and went. With a good law firm and a bank
full of money, you could easily amass a sizable catalog. I think there will
be some moves coming that will be quite interesting.
Another thing to consider is how will this change
things. In the past, game manufacturers often put in a copy of an earlier
game as a bonus. Will this still happen? Instead, they may give you a
coupon for money off the download. It could be a way for different stores
to gain a competitive edge. Buy your copy of the new Sonic game at Best Buy
and get a free download of Sonic Adventures. Or when the consoles want to
sweeten the pot, they could throw in free game downloads instead of giving
you an actual game. But the Wii before Christmas and get a $5.00 download
card for each Nintendo released game or add-on you purchase at the same
time. So you have a family buy a Wii, two Nintendo first party games and an
extra controller and they could get $15.00 worth of downloads. It costs
pretty much nothing for Nintendo to give them this and it gets the consumer
used to download games. This increases the chances that they do it again.
It will be interesting to see how this download market
grows and what effects it has on the industry. Alot will depend on how
profitable it is. The more people do it, the more games that will be
offered. And that cannot be a bad thing.
Saw a new term used on USA Today. It is
calling adults who own video game systems, Nintendads. Sorta cute in its
own way. Probably better than Playstation Parents, but not as politically
correct. So I am now a Nintendad. Been called worse.
Saw in the latest Electronic Gaming Monthly that the
next Kingdom Hearts game is going to be called Mushroom Kingdom Hearts and
feature the Disney Characters teaming up with the Nintendo characters.
Sounds like a great idea! One more reason for me to get a Nintendo Wii
Went to a local wrestling match the other day. My one
son is a big wrestling fan and since it cost $50.00 to see the WWE and you
end up in the nose bleed section, I took him to see Cleveland All Pro
Wrestling. $10.00 gets you a dozen or so matches and they are quite good.
I did enjoy it. Made me think about how it would be cool if they did a
wrestling game where you moved up the ranks and featured wrestlers from a
bunch of these smaller leagues. I know there are leagues all over the
country (just about every major city has one or two). I'm sure you could
get the rights to most of these wrestlers for little to nothing. Most of
them would love to be in a game would probably do it for free. And since
you are putting in a bunch of local legends, you would probably have good
sales of the game as the fans from the area as well as family members and
friends would want to own the game.
Speaking of wrestling games, I still wish someone
would take over the Legends of Wrestling game series. It was a great idea
and had a ton of great wrestlers, but it was unfortunately done by Acclaim,
so it played like crap. If Electronic Arts or Activision would only pick it
up and do it right, I think it would be a big hit. Or even have it as a
bonus in the WWE game.
The video game industry is funny. You went from no
gladiator game to then having three of them made to now there are none. I
really wish one of those series would have continued. It is a great video
game idea that just needed some more work. I especially thought the one
from Koei had potential. Go figure, they make a dozen Romance of Three
Kingdom games but just one gladiator game. Oh well.
It has been months since I bought a video game for
myself. With the XBOX on life support, there hasn't really been any games
that I want. And I am not ready to move up to the next generation yet.
Still waiting to see how reliable the PS3 is and waiting for a store to
actually keep the Wii in stock.
Once they get through all the fodder and expected
titles, I am hoping that we get some really good downloadable games on the
new systems. I would love to see some of the Sega Saturn games get
released. Games like Burning Rangers, the Shining series and especially the
Panzer Dragoon series are perfect for the download. Panzer Dragoon Saga
would finally be a game that is worth the $10.00 or whatever they are asking
for a download these days. Sure better than another attempt to sell
Took a few weeks off from blogging and the
video game industry goes crazy. Not really, but there is alot of stuff
One of the big news items is how Sony is dropping
backwards compatibility from the European PS3 and all future PS3 systems.
One has to wonder if this will have any effect on the systems out there
now? There is talk that Sony is looking into making an emulator to run on
the system instead of the PS2 chip that is in there now, but we will see.
It is said to save the company about $30.00 a system and with the losses
they are taking, I can understand the move. It is a bummer not to have
backwards compatibility, but most people will not bother with it anyway. It
also opens the market for downloads. Why pay $10.00 to download a PS3 game
when you can buy a used one for $5.00? But now it opens up more money for
them and the third party publishers.
Best Buy is having a major clearance sale today. A
bunch of games as low as $1.99. I didn't bother to go as I found in the
past that there were never many games from the list at the Best Buys around
here. If anything, it is just a waste of time. But if you look on
CheapAss Gamers, you can read all
Glad to see the CGE is coming back this year. For
anyone who does not know, the CGE is the
Classic Gaming Expo and once again it is back in Las Vegas. I went to
it in 1999 and had a blast. Not sure if I will make it this year, but now
that it is in Vegas as opposed to California, the chances are better.
Saw the previews for the new Spiderman 3 video game
and it looks great! Whether the game will live up to the trailers is
another matter, but it really looks like they took the good from Spiderman 2
(the web swinging and open ended city) and added to it. Let's hope it is as
good as it looks.
While I have only seen screenshots, I am intrigued by
the game for the PS3 called Afrika. Not sure what the game is, but the
graphics of the animals are nice and it could be interesting. Is it a
exploration game or a strategy game or a photography game? Who knows but I
I know he is a virtual character and not real, but I
really wish someone would put Sonic the Hedgehog to sleep. Sega has ruined
what was once a great character with a series of really bad games. Someone
please shoot him and put him out of his misery.
Now that Acclaim and 3DO are out of business, who is
the worst game company out there? Somebody had to assume the title. Any
It is funny that everyone predicted that once EA got
the exclusive license to football that Madden would start to stagnate. And
know what? They were all correct. The game is nowhere near as good as it
would be with competition. Gotta hand it to EA for making everyone look
smart. Well, everyone except them and the NFL.
It is 2007 and we still have not had a game starring
Underdog. Talk about a character with a good arsenal of villains. Bet they
could make a better Underdog game than a Superman game and we all know how
awful that franchise is.
It is funny how the Gamecube and the XBOX are all but
dead, but the PS2 keeps chugging on. There are still alot of great games
coming for it including Gods of War 2. I predict another two years minimum
of games for the system. Granted, it will be hard to find them as most
stores are abandoning them, but with the internet, there will always be a
market for it.
The scary thing is there are still a few games coming
out for the Dreamcast. They are Japanese only releases and pretty much
shooters, but the system may outlive the Gamecube.
Finally went to Dave & Busters. Everyone kept
on telling me to go there, it is awesome. Well, I finally experienced the
place and I will say it is nice. A large selection of games to play with a
few classic games. The only thing missing was pinball. I was bummed not to
find any pinball. But I did enjoy playing an Aliens game as well as putting
in a game of Donkey Kong.
Speaking of classic games at Dave & Busters, I was
playing Ms. Pac-Man and it was playing very odd. The ghosts moved at normal
speed, but Ms. Pac-Man was moving at triple speed. It was like she was
hopped up on Red Bull or something. It took a minute to get used to the
increased speed, but once you did, it made the game very easy. Actually it
was really easy on the first three levels, where I zoomed through them. But
later, it became very easy to get caught, especially when the ghosts did not
stay long after eating an energizer. I did rack up a huge score. I usually
get around 45,000 on Ms. Pac-Man but with this version, I broke 100,000.
Must give props to Nintendo for great customer
service. My son's DS quit working after a month and they replaced it for no
cost. They sent out a new one and we just had to send the broken one back.
It only took a few days to receive it and their customer service on the
phone was top notch. I will remember this when we consider a new system
later on. While I have never dealt with Sony or Microsoft's customer
service, I have heard horror stories about Sony.
Read a very interesting article on DVD
Empire's website. They are having a 20% off sale on all their video games
because they are getting out of the business of selling new video games.
While a 20% off sale is a good deal, their explanation about why they are
leaving is even better. Read it, especially if you are thinking of opening
a video game store that sells new games and systems.
Knowing a few people who own video game stores, I can
vouch that what they are saying is absolutely true. There really is no
money to make in new games if you are a small dealer. The dealers I know
would go to a place like Target and sign up for their credit card and buy as
many new systems or games as they could because the 10% discount you
received for signing up for a credit card was more money off than what the
game companies would give them.
I was taking out the trash the other day and one of
the items was a shoe box. I looked at the empty shoe box and it made me
think about how these were the original game holders. Just about everyone I
know put their Atari or Intellivision or whatever games in a shoe box. And
if you had a big collection, you would have a second shoe box for the
manuals and overlays. I thought about how many times I went to a garage
sale or a flea market and saw a shoe box full of games. But these days,
kids have specially made game holders or they use media centers to store
their CDs, DVDs and video games. The poor shoe boxes are now sent to trash
heaps or recycle centers. How things change.
Found a site where they pay you to do what you
do anyway. It is called Game Trailers and you get points for watching game
trailers, news on video games and more. Pretty cool as I was doing this on
sites for free. It takes a bit to get some stuff, but what the heck, you
can save up for a PS3 if you are determined. Check it out at the following
If you sign up, throw me a bone and put me as your referral. The screen
name is tomheroes.
While I was on Game Trailers, I was watching some news about how
Microsoft is turning the XBOX 360 into a DVR. They will have movies you can
download and more. Sounds like a pretty good deal. I know that Sony is
also planning the same thing. Good to see multiple uses for our expensive
My twin sons have created their own website. If you check out my Arcade
After Dark site, you will see there is a section called Little Kid. It was
some strange video game cartoons done by one of my son's Joshua. Well, I
finally gave him and his twin brother, Justin, their own website to do
stuff. If you want to check out what two 10 year old boys would do with a
website, go to http://www.zjabatwins.com
and see. They have video game comics, web adventures, pics, movies and more
Been having alot of fun with the Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2.
They had it for $10.00 at Circuit City back after Christmas and my wife
wanted it. She wanted it to play Sonic the Hedgehog. I have been having
fun with the Phantasy Star games as well as Comix Zone and even Ecco the
Had a strange but cool dream the other day. I
dreamt that I visited a friend of mine and he had this really cool computer
had a database of a thousands of video games and what you did is you would
type in the names of up to five different video games. Then it would search
its database and if they were in it, it would take components of the games
and combine them to create an original game. One I remember is where we put
in Tomb Raider, Pacman, Tetris and Bubble Bobble and it created a game where
Lara Croft was going through a maze and battling Bubble Bobble kind of guys
and had to get tetris pieces to unlock other parts of the maze. The cool
thing was you could keep hitting the same combination and it would create
different games. It was random which games would be which part. It was a
really cool but probably not possible dream.
Decided to do some more checking to see if the PS3 and
Wii were in stock. I went to Circuit City, Microcenter and Target and all
three had PS3 systems in stock. Both the expensive and the really expensive
versions were in stock (I see people call it the expensive and cheaper
version, but at those prices the word cheap does not even enter my mind).
And sure enough all three places were sold out of the Wii. Now the question
remains, is there a Wii shipping problem or is it just selling that much
better? The other question is now that the ebay hype is over with the PS3,
how will it sell? The one thing that is hurting the PS3 is it does not have
a system seller for it. I know Resistance: Fall of Man is a really good
game, but it is not a must have game. The Wii has Legend of Zelda and the
XBOX has Gears of War. If Sony can get Gods of War 2 out soon that could
change. A new Gran Turismo would not hurt either.
Word is going around that the next Devil May Cry will
not be exclusive to the PS3. Capcom is supposedly releasing it on the XBOX
360 as well. If this is true, that is one more blow to the PS3 and its
There has been some life for the XBOX 360 in Japan.
Blue Dragon came out and sold some systems. Not a ton of systems and not
enough to really make a huge difference, but it did get more Japanese gamers
interested in the system. And the interest seems to continue as Gears of
War is also selling quite well over there. While I expect the XBOX 360 to
come in third in that market, at least it may not be such a distant third
like it was with the original XBOX.
Had some website problems but they are fixed
now. So I should have the blogs up a bit more often. Well, maybe I will.
Been busy deleting ads. Goodbye to Amazon ads on this
site. They never really paid anything. A big problem was I have ads for
classic games and not new ones. So it never really paid. Also gone is
Kontera. The ads are annoying and pay practically nothing. I could make
more collecting can than running Kontera ads. I will stick with the tried
and true, ebay and google.
Bought my kids one of those Zizzle pinball tables for
their birthday. For $200.00 (you can get it for that much at Best Buy as
opposed to $300.00 online), I am impressed with the construction. Real wood
body and steel legs. It is made very well. I bought them the Pirates of
the Caribbean one, mainly because they did not have the Marvel Super Heroes
one. It plays pretty good, not as good as real pinball, but then it is a
fraction of the price. I do give it a good review and if you are looking
for some fun pinball at a low price, it is not a bad choice.
While at Best Buy, I noticed they had a big stack of
PS3 systems for sale. I would guess there was at least 25 systems for
sale. When I looked at the Nintendo Wii, there were none. Granted it is
only one store, but it was pretty interesting.
I saw a Deal or No Deal TV plug n play game at a store
the other day. The graphics on the box looked like the game was made for
the Nintendo 8-Bit system. Poor Howie, he deserves better.
Happy 2007! Next month this website will
celebrate its 10th anniversary. Cannot believe it. I still remember when
the site started.
The new Superman game has continued the trend. Yes,
that is the trend of bad Superman games. The flying is alot of fun but
unless you want to pay $50.00-$60.00 for a Superman Flight Simulator, you
may want to avoid the game or wait for it to hit the clearance bins. And it
will be there soon enough.
The latest issue of Video Game Collector is out and
once again I have two articles in it. And my Activision Patch article was
even a two pager. If you want a cool magazine, either go to the website at
http://www.vgcollector.com/ or you
can buy it at just about any Blockbuster, many comic stores and quite a few
other video game stores. The newest one should be hitting shelves soon and
features Mario on the cover (it is issue #7). And there is a great spread
with pics of all the NES boxes. And a fair amount of those scans came from
this site as well.
I hear a new Iron Man game is in the works. I hope
they go with a first person perspective and make you feel like you are in
the armor, but I doubt it. Let's just hope it is good and they use many of
the villains from his comic books. For people who never read Iron Man, here
are a few of his villains - Unicorn, Porcupine, Titanium Man, Mandarin
(would be a great end of the game boss), Blizzard, Crimson Dynamo and
Whirlwind. While not household names like Green Goblin or Joker, there are
some very good villains there and they offer some unique powers. You have
Blizzard and his freeze abilities. There is Mandarin and his different
rings. Porcupine is large, strong and shoots grenades. Whirlwind makes
tornado like winds.
I must start off with a big thumbs up. I must
salute Microsoft for extending the warranty on the XBOX 360 to one year from
the pitiful 90 days. I hope that Nintendo and especially Sony follow suit.
I know if it came down to deciding between an XBOX 360 and a PS3, this would
be a major factor in my decision.
I have not talked about any video game ideas here for
quite awhile. I think they should look into doing a Kingdom Hearts type
game with the Hanna Barbera characters. I am not just talking Scooby Doo
and the Flintstones. I am talking all the characters from Space Ghost to
the Herculoids to the Wacky Races. Imagine a game where you would pop out
of the stone age with the Flintstones and Dino Boy to space with the Jetsons
and Space Ghost. You have heroes like the Impossibles and Galaxy Trio
helping you and even the Banana Splits could show up and help out. Then you
could take to the big city with the likes of Top Cat or head to the woods
with Yogi Bear. And you have a ton of good villains like Dick Dasterly,
Zorak and the Creature King. It would be a cool game and probably do quite
2007 will be a fun year for video games. This is when
we start to find out which system is going to lead the pack. The XBOX 360
will have its big titles coming out. Halo 3 and possibly Fable 2 should be
out and give the system a big boost. The Wii will see the Mario, Pokemon,
Metroid and Super Smash Bros coming out. And the PS3 will have the next God
of War (possibly), Devil May Cry and Gran Turismo. Throw in the next Grand
Theft Auto and you have an exciting year for video games.
Went searching for a Nintendo DS for my son
for Christmas. We looked at some of the package deals and found them to be
a waste. One place had one with two mediocre games (when Space Invaders is
the better game, it is a waste of money). Toys R Us had you could choose
between three games. All the games sucked. Walmart had the best deal with
Pokemon and Nintendogs. But it was $70.00 more than just a system alone.
So it was no deal for the games. I ended up getting a system and buying the
games I wanted. Target had a bunch of good games on sale for $24.00 each.
The moral of the story is that bundles generally suck.
Sony sent me a real nice brochure on the PS3. About a
dozen full color pictures. It looked like the kind of brochure you would
get at a car dealership. Why they are bothering to send this out when you
cannot find the system anyway is beyond me. But it is nice. Maybe I will
I see the price of Playstation 3 are coming down on
ebay. You can now get one for about $900.00, possibly less. Still way more
than I would pay, but if you must have it.
Speaking of the PS3, a local car dealership is giving
away a free PS3 with every Kia car you buy. The sad thing is you used to
buy one Kia vehicle and get a second one for free. So either the PS3 is so
valuable it is worth the price of a Kia or the Kia is so bad that it is only
worth the price of a PS3. I will let you figure that one out.
I still remember what a big part of Christmas in my
childhood was looking through the Sears catalog. I can remember when they
started putting Atari and Intellivision in the catalog. I would look at all
the hot new games listed there and dream. I still remember asking for an
Atari for Christmas. I dreamed of playing Space Invaders and Asteroids and
Pacman (little did I know how bad it was). Well, I got a game system for
Christmas but it was not an Atari. It was an Odyssey 2. While the
selection of games was much smaller (Atari had about 700 or something while
Odyssey 2 had slightly over 50) and all my friends had an Atari (couldn't
trade games), I still had the better Pacman. KC Munchkin was far superior
to Pacman and you could create your own mazes. Too bad they were gone when
you turned it off, but it was still cool. I loved Quest for the Rings,
Great Wall Street Fortune, Monkeyshines and a few others. Was a fun system
and it went belly up soon afterwards, so I got my first taste of bargain
I get numerous emails from people wanting to
talk about this system or that game. While I appreciate the emails, I
generally don't respond to them. I am a hermit when it comes to the
internet. In newsgroups, I tend to be a lurker. I read, but almost never
respond. I have IM turned off. The reason is that I found for every person
who is civil and I can have a good conversation with, there are two who are
immature and act like idiots. My time is too valuable to waste with morons,
so I generally keep to myself. That is why you will almost never see posts
in newsgroups or message boards from me. It is too easy for someone to hide
their identity or change email accounts, so people can act like total jerks
and there is nothing people can do about it. Just read some of the
Playstation or XBOX newsgroups to get an idea. Half the posts are rants,
insults and other negative posts. So if you email me and don't get a
response, this is probably why.
Why do people get so worked up over the new game
systems? Maybe I am missing something, but I have yet to see a next
generation game that is a must have. I think anyone who is willing to pay a
few grand for a PS3 on ebay either has too much money or too few brain cells
or a combination of both. If your kid must have the system, give him an
IOU. Tell him Santa ran out but will send one after Christmas along with a
few games. The less you pay for the system, the less you will get sick when
your kid trades it in down the road and gets $100.00 in trade for it. The
PS3 is only about five years from being obsolete.
Speaking of the PS3, am I the only person in the USA
that is not excited about Blu Ray? I am perfectly fine with DVD. Sure the
picture is nicer. Sure you can put more on a Blu Ray, but I don't see it as
a big leap up from DVD. When DVD came along, it was a huge leap from VHS.
No more rewinding. Easy to skip to the part of the movie you wanted.
Picture didn't get worse with repeat playing like VHS. More bonus
features. It was easy to take the leap to DVD. I could never go back to
VHS. But Blu Ray does not do that for me. Of course when you watch stuff
like the Simpsons on DVD, how much better can it look? Will Blu Ray make
Homer look any better? Can anything make Homer look better?
Went to see all the people waiting in line for
the PS3 and Wii. It sure looked mighty cold out. Glad I wasn't one of
them. Personally, I would wait. I can understand the people who bought the
PS3 to flip it on ebay, but otherwise I see no reason to wait. And I think
the guy that hired the homeless people to wait in line for PS3 for him was
smarter. Some people may call it exploiting the poor, but the guy was
giving them $100.00 a day plus food to do nothing but sit there. I doubt
most of them make that collecting cans or pan handling in a day. I can see
if he made his kids do it or something. But these people had a choice.
If I was a retailer, I would be a little pissed at
Sony. You have to go through the hassles of having people waiting outside
your building. There is the fact that it is a turnoff for some shoppers to
have to go past these bunch of guys sitting around bored in chairs. There
is also the possibility of vandalism, theft and possible lawsuits. And when
these guys go in and buy systems, they are not buying games and extra
controllers. Most are just buying the system to resell. So these vendors
make practically nothing. But on the other hand, the Wii buyers were buying
games. Many were also buying extra controllers and memory cards. I know
that stores will not quit selling Sony stuff, but if I was a store, I would
only sell the PS3 in a bundle pack that insure I sold some extras. If
people didn't like it, tough. They can go wait somewhere else. You have to
remember that most stores only make about $10.00 - $15.00 for each PS3 they
sell. All the money is in selling the games and accessories.
Say goodbye to the XBOX and Gamecube. We should see
the last software for them this year. There may be a few games next year,
but most likely 2007 will be the final year for both systems. The PS2
should have a few years left of software. Granted, most of it will be
Wonder how many of you are out there waiting
in line for the PS3? If you read this blog at all, you know that I am too
cheap to be waiting for one. It does look nice, but not for the price. And
now games have officially hit the $60.00 each level. Maybe it is me, but a
game better be extremely good to warrant the extra $10.00. Which brings me
to the launch games. Most launch games are mediocre. There are always a
few good ones like Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 or Soul Calibur for the
Dreamcast, but generally the games are either slightly souped versions of
games out there or something some company threw together to cash in on the
frenzy of the launch. No one wants to buy a new system and not have games
to play with it. And these companies know this and sell them average games
that may look nice but are not worth the money. This is even more likely
these day since pack-in games does not exist on launch.
Did I say pack-in games don't exist? Leave it to
Nintendo to prove me wrong. For the first time in ages, a system will come
with a pack-in game. Wii Sports will allow owners of the new system to play
games right out of the box without having to buy a game. Granted it is a
bunch of sports games that are set up to show off the new controller, but it
is still better than what Microsoft or Sony give you, which is nothing.
Wonder how many people who are waiting in line for the
PS3 will get in another line for the Wii? Will there be lines for the
system? There is supposed to be enough systems to go around, but we will
see. Call me old, but I cannot imagine waiting outside all night for a
video game system. Guess I am not hard core.
I see that there are Burger King games for the XBOX
available at Burger King. They star that creepy Burger King who keeps
jumping into football games and stuff. Not sure if I want to eat at Burger
King in order to get one, but it may be funny. Wonder if they will be
collectible down the road?
Received a Best Buy gift card from someone and
decided it was time to get a new video game. Add in a $5.00 Best Buy Bucks
from McDonald's and I was ready to get Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the
XBOX. I will get to the game in a minute. First, I want to talk about Best
Buy. Is there a more annoying store in the world to make a purchase at? It
should not take five minutes to buy a game. I have not been asked that many
questions since I bought a car. Here is my conversation with the person who
did not want to let me leave. "Are you a member of the Rewards Zone? No.
Would you like to join? No. You could be earning points with this purchase
and get special discounts only for members. Not interested. Are you paying
with your Best Buy credit card? No. Gift card. Would you like to get a
Best Buy credit card? No. Do you want an extended warranty on your game?
It protects it for a year in case it gets broken or damaged.?" No. It's
only $3.49 (or whatever it was). Not interested. We have free magazine
subscriptions today for the following magazines (insert list that is read at
light speed). Which ones would you like to sign up for? None. But sir,
they are free, wouldn't you like to try one? No. Your total is ..." I can
honestly say that unless I get a gift card or they have a sale that is
amazing, I have no interest in ever shopping there again. I can understand
asking one question or maybe two, but four questions is too much. And
please, the word no means no. It does not mean keep trying. I know the
cashiers are doing their job and are forced to be this annoying, but I do
not want to be stuck at a checkout line for five minutes when I should be
done in a minute so you can push all your crap on me.
Now onto Marvel Ultimate Alliance. A cool game.
Pretty much the Marvel equivalent of Gauntlet, but still alot of fun. I
like how you can create your own team and switch members throughout the
game. I only wish they really worked together. It would be cool if there
were combo moves. Have Iceman freeze someone in place and then the Thing
would smash them. Stuff like that. But from what I can tell (I have only
played it for a few hours). It is just four people going along and
fighting. Substitute arrows for flames and you go from the archer in
Gauntlet to the Human Torch. Still fun and there are a ton of other Marvel
characters who pop up.
If you want to play classic games from the
1980's for free, here is a site to check out. Enjoy it while you can as I
can see Nintendo closing them down soon.
Do be aware that they games appear in small windows, loading is slow and not
all have sound. But they are still fun.
Sad to see Lik-Sang close its doors. If you do not
know, it was a great game importer. I ordered from them a few times to get
games never available in the US like Crazy Climber 2000 for the PS2. But
they were sued by Sony and were forced to close their doors. Another
example of the big guy destroying the little guy.
The XBOX 360 has reached 6 million sold units
worldwide. It is building a pretty good lead for the next race. But it
will need to have a big Christmas to really position itself. It does have a
good chance with the shortage of PS3 and some very good games coming. Oh
and getting Rockstar to not make Grand Theft Auto exclusive to the
Playstation for a period of time and now to get Assassin's Creed to also be
multi-platform will help.
Here is a funny article about the Fifty Worst Names
for Video Games. I agree mostly but there are a few I would put in the
list. Check it out and see what you think:
The annual Toys R Us sale is upon us. The
famous Buy Two Games and Get One Free. Normally, I take advantage of this
sale for Christmas presents for my kids but there really isn't any Gamecube
games they want. I am too cheap to buy any XBOX games though I am tempted
to get games like Justice League and Marvel Alliance.
Speaking of Marvel Alliance, this is the one new game
that I am excited about. The thought of creating your own super hero team
out of a pool of 24 different heroes sounds great. It is good to see
publishers trying something new. I just hope it lives up to the hype.
Added another $5.00 game to my XBOX collection. This
time it is Lord of the Rings Third Age. I like RPGs and I like Lord of the
Rings so it sound like a winner to me. Sure, you don't get to play as
Aragon or Gandolf, but so what. How many RPGs have characters you know in
them before the game comes out?
The demand is building for the new systems. Only a
few weeks away from the next generation war going into full tilt. I do
think that Sony gift wrapped this holiday for Microsoft with the severe
shortage of PS3 systems. But before you hand the crown to the XBOX,
remember the same thing happened with the PS2 and the Dreamcast and we all
know how that turned out. Before you start sending hate emails to me, I
will say the XBOX 360 will do way better than the Dreamcast ever hoped to.
It already has a hundred games out for it and it is getting more third party
support, where the Dreamcast saw the third party support evaporate after the
Want to hear something funny? I am a huge arcade fan
and I have yet to go to a Dave and Busters. There is one about a half hour
from my house, but I have yet to go there. I have gone to a similar venue
called The Boneyard that is a few minutes from my house. My kids love it
with all the games but there is little I want to play. Not a single classic
game. There is a good selection of Sega games like 18 Wheeler, Sega Marine
Fishing and House of the Dead 4, but not one single Ms. Pacman or Galaga.
It is funny how every so often you will read about
someone who is predicting that Sega will get back in the console business.
I just laugh at their wishful thinking. There is no way that Sega would
jump back into that field. They had their butt handed to them last time and
now the industry is tougher than before. It was one thing to battle Sony
and Nintendo. It is a whole another thing to battle Sony, Nintendo and
Gears of War is almost out and it is slated as the big
title for the XBOX 360. I have seen the screen shots and I am impressed.
Will the gameplay be as good? Probably. I know Microsoft is betting heavy
on it. Especially with Rare putting out one lame title after another. Talk
about a waste of money.
I still wish that the game BC would have been made.
It was the other game besides Fable that Peter Molyneux was working on but
was shelved. Too bad as it looked real good.
I am curious to what Turbo Grafx games will be
available for download on the Nintendo Wii. Devil's Crush pinball and
Military Madness are must haves. The Bonk games are pretty good too. It
would be nice to play these games again, hopefully the price is not too
I wonder if Mario ever feels bad about all the
turtles he has jumped on and kicked over the years. Maybe PETA should be
after him. There are probably kids out there emulating him and hurting
I have not heard anything about it, but I think a
Nintendogs game for the Wii would be a good idea. Think about the things
you could do with the controller. Fetch, tug of war, there are numerous
things you could do. The Wii is all about playing games differently and
playing different games and that would fit.
Have read about Fable 2. I really enjoyed the first
game. Sure, it did not meet with all the lofty expectations that came with
it, but it was still a great game. I know people out there have complained
about how Peter Molyneux hypes the world and does not deliver. But the
bottom line is he really tries to create the game he hypes. He may fall
short, but I would rather have him try and not do it, then to just take the
safe road and churn out the same stuff everyone else does. It is people
like him who have made the industry great.
Continued my affordable XBOX game buying. This time
it was Dungeons & Dragons Heroes. Picked it up for the low price of $5.00.
I know the reviews weren't incredible, but I have been a big fan of Dungeons
& Dragons since the 1970's. So I think it will be fun.
Finished playing Gun. A very good game with a
lame ending. The final boss was a royal pain. Not that he was tough but
more because it was alot of hit or miss to figure out what hurt him. But I
beat it and that is all that counts. Too bad there is most likely not a
sequel. I would have enjoyed playing a longer game with more stuff to do.
Was playing Sid Meier's Pirates for awhile. A very
fun game for a few hours. Then it gets to be too repetitive. Every town
you go to is the same. You soon learn that instead of shooting your cannons
in a battle, you just need to ram your ship into another and then swordfight
against the other pirate and beat him to win. And I am so tired of dancing
the waltz or whatever that mini game is. It was a fun few hours but after
that, I really don't have much desire to play it anymore.
Now I am playing Farcry Instincts. So far it is a
really fun game. The graphics are great and the sound is extremely good.
Haven't gotten too far into it, so it is too early to give it a thumbs up or
down. I do wish you could save anywhere.
If you are looking for cheap XBOX games, visit
your local Toys R US. They have a ton of XBOX games on clearance, with some
as low as $5.00 (granted it is Triggerman or whatever the game is). But
there are some mighty fine games for $10.98. I bought Farcry and Half-Life
2, both on my most wanted list. There were a ton of games under $20.00 and
many were really good games.
Went on a video game buying spree! Besides the two
aforementioned games, I also picked up Mortal Kombat Deception. It was on
clearance at Target for $10.44. I have wanted this game for awhile but I
rarely see it cheap. It is always the other Mortal Kombat game that is
cheap. I wanted this one for the puzzle fighter, the chess game and even
the Konquest game. Mostly for the puzzle fighter and chess game.
Speaking of games, I am about 3/4 finished with Gun
and really enjoying it. Been playing alot of the side quests to build up my
stats and make the game last longer. Most are fun, a few are stupid.
Overall, the game is great! Nice graphics, wonderful sound and enough
variety of gameplay to keep you interested. And the story is quite good.
Makes me want to hunt down Red Dead Revolver and play it.
So the Nintendo Wii will start out at $250.00. That
should move some units, especially with the extreme shortage of PS3
systems. And the fact that it comes with a pack-in game is great! If it
wasn't for the fact that I have no plans on waiting for hours in line to buy
one, I would be tempted to get one this Christmas. I normally never buy a
new system the first year as I want to see what problems crop up. But
Nintendo systems are different as they rarely have any major issues. I must
give props to Nintendo on making reliable systems.
One of the funnest times of the year for a
gamer is beginning. The countdown to Christmas! Not only do you have two
new systems coming out this year, but you also have a ton of games coming
out. And many places have been clearing out their old stock to make room
for all the new games. There are plenty of bargains to be found if you
look. Every week, some place is putting a stack of games on clearance.
The first big game of the season has arrived in
Madden. Like the geese flying south, Madden is a sure sign the holidays are
coming. Within the next three months, the vast majority of the video games
will be released. The drought is over.
The other fun thing about this time of year is the
facts and rumors that begin to fly about the new game systems. Word is that
Sony is limiting the number of PS3 to 500,000 for launch. 100,000 to Japan
and the rest to the USA. The Blu Ray is supposedly the culprit. The Wii
still has not announced a price or how many will be available for launch.
But they have said it will be very small.
Patience pays off! I waited and waited as the
price of Gun dropped from $49.99 to $19.99. But my cheapness said to wait
longer. Well, the wait is over! Circuit City had the game for $4.99 and to
my surprise, they actually had some in stock. I am now the proud owner of
Gun for the XBOX for only $5.00! Now I just have to wait for King Kong to
Saw a guy wearing a Dead Rising shirt. It was pretty
cool in a minimalist design. But it is still cool to see a video game
shirt out there. I need to find some good sites that sell quality video
It still amazes how Game Informer reviews always have
to have almost identical scores. I never understood the idea of having two
people reviewing the game if they always come up with the same scores. Is
it a rule that the scores must be within a few points of each other or is
the review team made up of clones? I can see it happening sometimes, but
every game? While I like the magazine (and the cheap price is a nice
bonus), I would never trust their reviews for this reason.
I see there is a Justice League game coming and it
sounds good. It is good to see quality super hero based video games coming
out. We definitely need more as there is a ton of material to work with in
the game industry. I still want to see a really good Avengers game, one
where you pick your team.
In case you haven't checked out my other video game
website, Arcade After Dark, you
have been missing. With a ton of content and the hits growing at an amazing
rate, you will find a ton to enjoy. I must admit that I do spend more time
on that site than this site but that is because this one is so big now and
established where that one is still growing. Oh and my third site,
KZ Comics is coming along well also.
Don't know how it escaped me so long but I
found that Next Generation, my all-time favorite video game magazine has a
website. So while the magazine has been defunct for quite awhile, I can
still read it online. How I miss that magazine, it was the best video game
magazine for adults.
I see the video game stores are starting to put a stop
on preorders for PS3 and the Wii as they are unsure of how many will be
available for launch. Bet they are among the most popular presents this
Went to Kennywood and had a great time. While
I was cooling off in the arcade, I played a game of Moon Patrol. Had my
best game ever while in there. Made it all the way to the letter W. Also
played some Asteroids, Zaxxon and Ms. Pac-Man while there. Someone put up a
score of 145,000 on Ms. Pac-Man, which is way higher than the 40,000 score I
I see that Microsoft is allowing people to create
games on the XBOX 360. They have the tools that can be downloaded for
free. What a great way to build interest in the system.
Another game I was interested in is off my
radar list. The Electronic Arts Head Coach game really caught my interest.
I am not one who cares for the actual playing of a football game. It is
alright but I find that the computer is either too easy or too hard. And
online is a joke. Last thing I want to do is go online and get schooled by
people who do nothing but play the game. I found that online players who
have a life are at a serious disadvantage. If you need to devote your time
to stuff like work or a family, you will not have the time to become a great
player. So I avoid online play like the plague. Anyway, Head Coach
interested me because I like building a team and doing things like signing
free agents, drafting players and trades. To me this is more fun. But Head
Coach is getting bad reviews. Not as bad as say Jaws, but not very good
either. Guess I will have to pull out the original Head Coach game that
came out for the PC (and before that the Atari ST) a decade ago.
It is pretty sad that there are no games on the
horizon that I have to have. I remember this time last year and I was
looking forward to Gun, King Kong and quite a few other games. But now
there is nothing I must have. Granted, I never bought Gun or King Kong, so
I guess I could get them but part of the fun of video games is anticipating
the upcoming titles. But with the XBOX market dying and no desire to spend
$400.00 for an XBOX 360 and absolutely no interest in spending $600.00 for a
PS3, there is not much to get me excited. The Wii intrigues me but there is
not a must have title for me yet. And I am not a fan of handhelds, so I
have little interest in the PSP or DS.
Been playing alot of Tempest lately. That is still
one of those games that I can always come back and play again. Just a great
I saw a story about how Walmart was not going
to prosecute shoplifters who stole under $25.00 in merchandise. It was a
way to save money. It made me think about how there are no shoplifting
video games. This screams out as a bonus game in a Rockstar game. You have
to go into stores and try to steal select items. As you get better you can
then move to more upper class stores with better security. You would start
in a dollar store or something and work your way up to some lavish store.
Or if you want to be politically correct you could be the store detective
and try to nab people. The more you stop from being stolen, the higher your
score. It could even be a fun two player game where one person is trying to
steal and the other is trying to stop them. I know I will get some
complaints about this, but considering they have you stealing cars, killing
people and picking up ladies of the night, this seems pretty tame.
I watched a show about Iran and they were talking
about the Iran/Iraq war. They mentioned that Saddam could have won it but
he quit advancing. They said he had zero skills as a military strategist.
Guess if he would have ordered a few computer war games and practiced,
things may have been different. Heck, a game of Risk may have helped him.
I am bummed. I really wanted the Jaws game that has
recently come out. But with reviews that are terrible, I guess I have to
pass. Even at a low price, I just don't have time to waste on bad games.
There is barely enough time to play good games, let alone bad ones. Add it
to the Land of the Dead game that also received terrible reviews.
One thing that makes me leery about getting an XBOX
360 is how quickly they pulled the plug on the XBOX. I understand they want
to put their resources into the XBOX 360 but would it hurt to give the
original XBOX a few more games? Sony is still making games for the PS2 and
even Nintendo is giving a few more games to the Gamecube. A new Paper Mario
game is coming for it and that is way more than Microsoft is giving to the
Read a report in the business section of the
newspaper about how Sony is working on copy protection that would make it so
that a video game could only be played in one machine. It would have a part
on the game that would be written once it is inserted in a system and they
it would only play in that machine. So you could not sell your game or lend
it to a friend or rent one from Blockbuster. And if your Playstation system
would break as they are so prone to do, then your software library would be
worthless. If there is any truth to this, then I may be done with new video
game systems. I understand companies wanting to protect their investment
and all, but there is no way I am going to rebuy all my games every time my
system dies (and in Sony's case, it can be quite frequently). It is enough
they have the awful 90 warranties on their $300-$600 machines, but now
this. Right now it is just in development, so there is no guarantee it will
ever be used or when it would be implemented. But it is enough for me to
seriously consider the XBOX 360 or the Nintendo Wii for my next system.
Heck, I can buy both for the price of a PS3.
Wow, it has been a bit since I blogged. Here
is a bit to talk about. First off, I watched a video on AOL about the top
11 weirdest games of all-time. While I think there were some weirder games
in the classic era, it did feature some odd games. Games like Katamari
Damacy, Seaman, Tying of the Dead and Wario Ware Inc. The sad thing is I
played and owned all but two of the games on the list. And a few like
Typing of the Dead are among my favorites.
Speaking of weird games, I wonder how good Viva Pinata
will be? An interesting concept but it has potential to be really cool or
really awful. Guess we will have to wait and see.
Guess I should be happy that the video game industry
seems to have gotten its naughtiness out of its system. We had that rush of
adult games like the new Leisure Suit Larry, The Guy Game and Playboy
Mansion. But since then, about the worse we had was Rumble Roses. Guess a
bad game with nudity is not a guarantee to sales. Glad to see gamers are
smarter than that. Or the stores are better at carding the people who these
games are aimed at, the under 18 set.
Why is it that Mario can get a dozen different kind of
games (sports game, RPG, party game, fighting game) but Pac-Man seems to
just get the same lame platformer over and over. I think Pac-Man needs a
new agent as the one he has sucks.