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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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Video Game Blog
July - August 2005

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08/29/2005
So far Panzer Dragoon Orta is the only one that I have played.  A very enjoyable game that plays like the original.  Great graphics, ton of action and a fun game.  Worth the $10.00 I paid for it.  Heck, I would gladly pay $12.00 for it. 

Speaking of Panzer Dragoon, when will Sega re-release these games?  I know they have the original one as a bonus on Panzer Dragoon Orta, but how can Sega not bring out a Panzer Dragoon collection?  Panzer Dragoon Saga is considered one of the best RPGs of all time and almost no one can play it because it was released in such low numbers.  It is a crime that it is not available again.  A bargain priced collection of the three games for $19.99 would do well.  Same with a collection of the Phantasy Star collection from the Genesis.

I know that Electronic Arts is doing it, but I still find it hard to believe that the Godfather game will come anywhere near the quality of the movies.  How do you take a movie of that caliber and make a video game of it?  Some movies can translate well, but I do not see that.  But I must admit that it would make a better video game than Three Men and a Baby.
 

08/27/2005
Decided to go on a spending spree yesterday and bought three XBOX games.  Went back to Toys R Us to buy Soul Calibur 2 (wanted to get Red Dead Revolver, but it was gone).  I have Soul Calibur 2 for the Playstation 2, but I almost never play the PS2.  The other two games I bought at the used game store.  One was Panzer Dragoon Orta and a brand new, shrinkwrapped Sid Meier's Pirates for $19.99.  Panzer Dragoon was $10.00 used, but in like new shape.  So for less than the cost of Pirates at retail, I was able to buy three games.  Being cheap has its advantages.  Yeah, I have to wait for games, but I get more for my money.  But I do thank everyone who buys games new and allows people like me to buy them cheaper later.  I salute you!

Being cheap is something that I do not limit to just video games.  The last full price movie I saw was Lord of the Rings Return of the King and that was only because I received movie money for a present.   I only go to the $1.00 theatre.  That way I can see a movie, get a popcorn and a pop for the price of a movie ticket at the first run theatres.  I never rent movies either.  The last time I rented from Blockbuster was about four years ago and that was only because my son wanted to see a certain cartoon movie and was sick.  I rent from the library where it is free.  I don't believe in spending more than I have to. 

It always amazes me at the amount of  crap games for the Gameboy.  Do companies think they can keep releasing the same platform game and just slap a different license on it and people will keep buying it?  From the number of games, I guess they do and the people are buying them.  It just amazes me that the same game has Sponge Bob this year and last year it was Shrek and next year it will be something else.  I am convinced they have a program that all you do is change the main character and a few villains and choose a few themes and it will churn out a game.

Will the XBOX ever get a horse racing game?  It is the one thing that keeps me playing my PS2 (besides a few oddball titles like Everblue 2, Road Trip and Dog's Life).  I do not know why I love horse racing games, but I do.  If there is a new Gallop Racer, I am waiting to find it cheap.  The nice thing is that once a new one comes out, the last one drops in price, big time.

08/26/2005
Went into the closet and brought out the Sega Saturn.  Been wanting to play some Baku Baku (a tetris type game with animals and food they eat) and since it doesn't have sound on MAME yet, I decided it was time to play some Saturn.  I forgot how many games I had for the system.  Also played some Super Puzzle Fighter, Panzer Dragoon and Nights into Dreams.  When are they going to make a sequel to that game?  Sega will keep force feeding Sonic games down our throats, but all the good games never get sequels.

Wonder how long we have until a system offers true virtual reality.  The last system that was attempting it was the Atari Jaguar.  I remember seeing them touting the VR Helmet coming.  It never did and to be honest, it probably is a good thing.  My idea of virtual reality is not wearing some clunky helmet and looking around at colored blocks or people made up of right angles. 

08/23/2005
I read that in the next Kingdom Hearts game, they will have Pirates of the Caribbean as one of the worlds that you will go to.  I think it is good that they are not limiting themselves to just cartoon movies as inspiration.  Disney has alot of other movies to pull from like Herbie the Love Bug and Darby O'Gill and the Little People.  Here are some movies that have not been tapped yet but offer some good opportunities:

    -Roger Rabbit - Toontown would be a hoot!  There is so much you could do here that it could encompass an entire game.  That would be fun.
    -Haunted Mansion - A great ride, a decent movie and could be a fun level.
    -Song of the South - Brer Bear, Brer Rabbit and the rest could make for a fun little level. 
    -Jungle Book - With the jungle setting and the tiger, it could be a scary level. 
    -Mickey's Beanstalk - Going to the house of the giant could really add some fun to the game. 

Saw a job on Monster.com that I would love but could not afford the pay cut.  It is a Sony Rep.  Problem is that it is only a 29 hour a week job and I would also probably have to take a big pay cut.  But it would be nice to work in the video game industry.

While there are quite a few video games based on comic books, you almost never see any outside of Marvel and DC.  There has been a few, Ninja Turtles being the most popular, but few others.  But there are a few out there that could make good games and not just another fetch-em game or super hero game.  Think of how much fun a game based on Bone comics from Jeff Smith could be.  It would probably end up being a bad platform game but there is potential to make alot more.  Another good one would be Elfquest, if they didn't just do a lame RPG.  There are literally hundreds of great comics that could be mined for video games, but they are not popular enough with the average person to be worthwhile.

08/21/2005
Was going to use this space to rant about the horrible experience I had at Circuit City today, but the store is not worth the time.  All I can say is I almost never shop there and today reminded me why. 

Decided to not buy any games at Toys R Us.  While Red Dead Revolver is a game I want, I realize that I have limited time to play video games.  So I will wait for games that I really, really want to play.  The short list right now is Doom 3, Sim Meier's Pirates and Psychonauts.  There are enough other games coming that I want to play like Gun, City of the Dead, King Kong and The Warriors to not buy every game that comes up cheap. 

This is off topic, but so what.  I am still trying to figure out the whole Napoleon Dynamite craze.  I rented the movie from the library and thought moments were funny, but overall it was dumb.  Yet I see t-shirts all over, hear people talking about it and read how it sold over a million copies on DVD on the first day.  What is it about this movie that I am missing?  Am I too old? 

I am getting very tempted to buy a Vectrex again.  I see the prices of systems are way down on ebay.  What used to cost $100.00 for a system and maybe a game or two, you can now get for half that.  I had one in college and greatly enjoyed it.  Picked it up new back in the day for $50.00 and bought as many games as I could find for $5.00 each.  I had it for years but it finally gave up the ghost.  I ended up selling it off (you could even get decent money for a broken one at one time) and over time I came to regret it.  As much as I wanted to play it, I found it hard to get a replacement one for $100.00 when I paid $50.00 for it originally (told you I was cheap).  But I may have to bite and get one.  It is a great system. 

08/20/2005
Went to Toys R Us to get some presents for a couple of birthday parties.  Noticed they are having their 50% off all clearance items.  They have a ton and I do mean a ton of video games included.  I only brought money for the presents, so I could not shop (though I did grab an Intellivision Lives for the Gamecube for my kids at only $5.00).  They had some good XBOX games that I have been wanting but waiting for a low price.  May have to head back for Red Dead Revolver and possibly Dead or Alive Extreme Volleyball.  I know the game sounds stupid, but people I know who bought it, really liked it.  Almost a dating sim/rpg/volleyball/casino game.  And I like oddball games.  Did not want to pay full price for it, but at $10.00, it is tempting.

Have you ever bought the same game for different systems?  There was a time when I had some games like Frogger on a half a dozen systems.  Did I play them all?  No, but I was collecting games at the time.  I normally played the Colecovision version and let the Atari 2600, 5200, Intellivision and whatever other systems I had it for, just sit there.  That was then, but now I only have a game for one system at a time.  I gave up being a collector a long time ago.  It happened one day when I had amassed over 300 Atari 2600 games, almost all the Coleco and Intellivision games and a bunch of games for other systems.  I decided to sit down and play all these games I collected.  After a long weekend, I found that I had no interest in ever playing most of the games.  I found out of about 600 games, there were probably only 50 that I would play with any frequency.  That was when I decided to get rid of the games I did not play and just keep what I played.  There are times I miss seeing my wall of games, but I think of all the better things I have used the money for and it was worth it.

08/15/2005
I was adding some Odyssey 2 box scans to the website and I started thinking, would there be any interest in an Odyssey 2 machine that hooked up to your television like the Atari Flashback.  I know the system is not the best and there is a limited amount of games for it, but if you had a system with games like Pick Axe Pete, KC Munchkin, Killer Bees and Quest for the Ring and it had speech built in, it may sell.  I doubt you could get a company to back it as it was not exactly a big seller back in the day.  But if done right and advertised right, it could be a decent seller.

Of if you are going to do a system, how about the Atari 5200 but with real controllers.  That system had the games.  It featured the best arcade versions and could be great.  The biggest problem is many of the best arcade games on it were not made by Atari.  It could be cost prohibitive to try and secure the rights to games like Joust, Robotron and Space Dungeon.

Wonder if there will ever be an Underdog video game.  As far as I know, there has never been one and this is one character who has a nice rogues gallery of villains to battle.  With the likes of Overcat, Riff Raff and of course Simon Barsinister.  It could be a cool game.  They could even put some apperances in there by Tennessee Tuxedo, Go Go Gopher and Klondike Kat.  There is gold there!

I was a bit bummed when I did not see a new Simpsons game on the list of games they showed at E3.  Every year it was fun to see what game they would ape this year.  In the past they borrowed heavily from Crazy Taxi (Simpsons Road Rage), Tony Hawks (Simpsons Skateboarding) and Grand Theft Auto series (Simpsons Hit and Run).  But I must say that Simpsons Hit and Run was the best of the bunch and actually quite a bit of fun.  They really took some major steps towards making a good game.  There was still some stuff they could have done better, but it was a bit leap forward.  I was looking forward to seeing a new Simpsons game this year, but I guess it will not be.  But here are some ideas that they have not mined yet:

Simpsons Splintered Cell - Follow the covert actions of the Simpsons family as they need to sneak into some of Springfield's most guarded places.  Homer needs to sneak into the nuclear plant to get the donuts he forgot before they go stale, Bart needs to sneak into Krusty the Klown's house to get an angry letter he sent and Lisa needs to sneak into Mister Burns mansion to get proof of illegal toxic dumping.

Simpsons Street - You enjoyed NFL and NBA Street, now play both sports Simpsons style.  Choose from a huge selection of characters from the Simpsons Family to Milhouse to Snake to Chief Wiggums.  Each player has alternate uniforms, unique moves and dunks and talks plenty of smack.  As you beat different teams at different parts of town, you can unlock more courts and bonus players.  And you can also win money to buy all kinds of bling to dress up your characters.

Resident Evil Treehouse of Terror - One of the most popular Simpsons episodes each year is their Halloween one.  Imagine a full game based around Resident Evil, but with a Simpsons feel to it.  Springfield is overrun with zombies and other creatures and it is up to the Simpsons family to save the day.  You have to rescue fellow Springfield residents.  Some with aid you with hints and others will give you items to help you.  Some may even join you for a few battles.  Besides zombies, there are many other monstrosities from giant three eyed fish, undead clown and many demons based on popular Simpsons characters. 
 

08/14/2005
Upon playing more of Pure Pinball (alot more), it does have high scores.  But they have preset high scores that you have to beat to see your name up there.  I can live with it but would rather have it start with a clean slate and go from there.  But another problem has popped up on the game.  There is no multiplayer.  You can only play one person at a time on a table.  By this I mean you cannot take turns like you can on a real pinball table.  You play your five balls (I would also like to see an option to set how many balls you can have, while I grew up on five balls in a pinball game, I have grown used to the three balls that you get today) and then game over.  If someone else wants to play and record their own high score, you need to leave the table and then open their profile and then reload the table.  Very sloppy.

But even with these shortcomings, it is still a very good game.  The tables are well made (though a little too similar) and alot of fun.  For the budget price (retail is $19.99), it is well worth it and with a major shortage of pinball games for the XBOX, it fills a hole nicely. 

One game that I love to play but also hate is Bubble Bobble.  It is a great game, especially in two player mode.  But once you play a few games of it, you cannot get that overly cute song out of your head.  It can take days to purge your head of the song.

I still remember when I first got online back in the mid 90's.  I found a company that made great versions of arcade games.  This was before MAME took off.  But the best part about it was they not only offered a near identical version of an arcade classic, but also an enhanced and updated version of the game.  The company was called Champ Games and they made some of the best games for the time.  The had Pac-Em, Ms. Pac-Em, Champ Kong, Centipedem and others.  I bought Champ Kong and Centipedem and still to this day, I play them.  But the company went out of business soon after a few years with many games listed as coming soon but never finished.  It is too bad as I would have liked to play their version of Frogger and especially Burgertime.  But I feel their games were probably too close to the arcade versions and they were "forced" to close shop.  It is just my guess but from playing their games, I can see where a lawsuit could have happened.  If you want to read more about this company, check out this website that is a fan page.

http://www.champ-em.com/index.htm

Speaking of Burgertime, I would love to see a remake of this game.  Not the Super Burgertime game that showed up at the arcades, but a updated version.  Not sure how I would do it, but it is a game that could be done well.  I doubt there would be enough interest for a public release, but maybe a fan version could be good.  You could go from burgers one level to dropping pizza topping on another to parts of a sub sandwich.  I know there was Diner for the Intellivision, but I would like a more traditional sequel, with different levels, new enemies and maybe some surprises.  Though an updated version of Diner would be pretty good too.

I was happy to see the newer Playboy pinball game arrived on Pinmame.  Two years ago, I took the family to Disney and we stayed at a hotel right next to a place called Old Town.  The hotel was very reasonably priced, close to Disney and it gave you free ride tickets for Old Town.  While we were going around Old Town, we stopped at an arcade that was there.  They had a special that if you bought $20.00 in tokens, you got 50 free tickets for redemption.  My kids are into those redemption games (I hate them as they can sink quarters as fast as those old ladies at the slot machines) and it was a great way to start them off with some tickets.  I gave them their share of the tokens and I went to see what else there was.  I found Playboy Pinball and loved it.  It played great and was alot of fun.  I sank most of my tokens into it.  When I came back the next year and we stayed at Old Town again, it was one of the things I wanted to do.  But this year, it was broke.  And to make things worse, the other pinball machine they had (cannot remember what it was), was gone.  So there was nothing I really wanted to play.  They also did not have the special anymore.  We bought alot less tokens this time.  But now it is on Pinmame, so I can play it and if it is not working next year, I will not be as disappointed.

08/09/2005
Received my Pure Pinball for the XBOX today.  Bought it off Amazon.com from a seller.  It was nearly $7.00 cheaper than anywhere else.  Here are my comments after playing a few hours on it.  First off, the two tables I played - Runaway Train and Hyperspace are both great looking.  And with a ton of stuff to do from targets to ramps to objectives, it will keep you busy for a long time.  Another real nice feature is there are 12 different views you can use.  Do you want to see the whole table?  You have a few choices.  Want to have it scroll from top to bottom?  It's there.  Ever want to get a flipper eye view?  They have that too.  It really allows you to customize your view.  Both tables were alot of fun and I can see myself playing them quite often.  But there is a bad side.  Maybe it is me, but couldn't they have a save high score feature?  They may have one for excessive high scores (you have to challenges and objectives to complete) but I would like to see a basic "Top 10" high scores for each table.  Something that you can strive to improve and give you bragging rights.  Very easy to implement and would really add to the game.  This is a major hint to all pinball and especially arcade collections that are coming out.  Let us put high scores that save, no matter if the real game had them or not.


08/08/2005
I am still amazed at how much mileage Nintendo can get out of the Mario character.  Besides his own games (and there are enough of those), you have the Mario Party series (six of these games and counting), Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and more.  It is just amazing at how they can keep finding new ways to sell the little plumber.  My hats off to Nintendo.

Outside of Nintendo, I wonder which franchise is the most valuable.  Would it be Madden, which is a sure seller each year?  Or maybe it is Sonic and his various games.  Possibly the Resident Evil series, which has been expanding lately.  How about the Final Fantasy, that is a guaranteed seller here and in Japan.  There was a time when Tomb Raider would have been there, but it has long since fallen off the radar.  You can almost say the same for Crash Bandicoot, which was a huge franchise at one time.  One that also deserves to be here is Pacman.  While not the blockbuster it once was, there are still alot of Pacman games being sold.  From compilations to arcade machines (Ms. Pacman was recently re-released at the arcades in a combo with Galaga) to games for cell phones, Pacman is still bringing in money.

Just saw Land of the Dead last night at the dollar theatre (yes, I am cheap with movies as well).  While not as good as Dawn of the Dead (the original, not the remake), I still enjoyed it.  It is good to see zombies as slow moving creatures again, instead of the fast moving ones of late.  Made me think about how it could be a great video game and it built up my excitement of the City of the Dead game that George Romero is helping with.  I think it comes out next year, which is good as I have enough games to buy now. 
 
08/04/2005
I have been seeing more and more Mario shirts around town.  Wish I would see other video games on shirts but it is a start.  I wear my Pac-man shirt around but haven't had too many people comment on it.  I would like a Q*Bert shirt but not one of those counterfeit ones that are on ebay.  I can make that myself.  I want a professional one.

See there are a bunch of compilations coming out for the game systems.  Namco has another one.  Capcom has one.  Midway also has one.  I still want to see a legitimate Sega one.  Not the one that featured Genesis games but one that has actual arcade games.  I would also like to see a few others.  How about one with more of the Atari arcade games.  Forget the 2600 compilations with a handful of arcade games.  Make one with just arcade games.  I want a compilation that has the classics like Missile Command and Asteroids and Centipede but also games like Food Fight and Crystal Castles. 

I always wanted to see a first person video game that puts you into Iron Man's armor.  Imagine where you can fly around town and battle foes with your rays and other weapons.  Think of Spiderman 2 but with Iron Man and from a first person perspective.  Iron Man has enough villains to choose from including Whiplash, the Melter, Porcupine and others.  He has yet to have a decent video game.

07/31/2005
Saw a cute video game related t-shirt.  It had a picture of Mario and it said "I love Italian Boys".  It was clever.  I would not wear it , but it looked good on the girl wearing it.  It always surprised me that there are not more video game related t-shirts.  With video games becoming such a part of pop culture, you would think there would be more.

I was at an outlet mall the other day and I saw Playstation 1 games for $0.99 each.  Nothing I really wanted but I was amazed to see them so cheap.  Most used game stores still charge around $5.00 each for them with only the sports games going for less.  Guess that era is finally over.  I wonder what the total number of different games made for the system was.  I know it had to easily surpass the 800+ US released games for the Nintendo 8 bit.

One thing I need to do since I got an XBOX is check out pinball games.  Pure Pinball is one that I wanted to check out.  I saw it advertised on their website ages ago and waited for the PC version.  I never saw it come but I did see an XBOX version.  Now I see there is also Ultimate Pro Pinball coming out to go with Pinball Hall of Fame.  So there is some nice pinball action for me on the XBOX.  If only they had a pinball type controller to use for it.

07/29/2005
It really has been awhile since I wrote an entry.  Nine days is too long, so here is one.  I hope to have another one before too long.

Wonder if they will ever really create a computer or video game that captures the true feeling of playing Dungeons & Dragons.  I know they keep getting closer and closer, but they are not there yet.  I played a ton of D&D as a kid and loved it.  And I have played a ton of games that are similar to it, but something is always missing.   A big part is the unique nature of dealing with humans instead of computer code.  People do strange things that a programmer cannot think of. 

Is it me or is it getting hard to find Dreamcast games at brick and mortar stores?  Almost all the regular games stores have long dumped them and now even the used game stores are not stocking them.  It is a bummer as there are still a handful of games I want and a few I need to replace.  The Dreamcast still gets a ton of gameplay at my house.

Wonder how the sales of movies on the PSP is doing.  I see more and more titles coming out, so I am guessing it is doing pretty good.  But I still have not seen any official numbers.  I am sure alot of companies are watching and ready to jump on it, if it does well.

I would love to see a fighting game starring all the second rate mascots.  Imagine a game where you could fight to the death with characters like Aero the Acrobat, Gex the Gecko, Blasto, Boogerman and even that kamikaze squirrel.  If it was done well, it could be hilarious.  But it would be hard to get the rights to all the characters.

I have been hearing good things about the Fantastic Four video game.  I have not been hearing good things about the Fantastic Four movie.  I have been hearing great things about the Batman movie.  I have not been hearing great things about the Batman video game.  Makes you wonder.


07/20/2005
I had someone email and ask me what I thought of people who use cheat codes to finish a video game.  Personally, I have no problem with it.  I would rather use a cheat code and finish a game than to never be able to finish it.  You paid good money for the game and why shouldn't you get the most enjoyment out of it?  While I am not one to make a habit out of cheating, there has been a few games that were so ridiculously hard that I resorted to help to finish them.  Does it make me any less of a gamer?  Does it matter?  I don't think so. 

Another question I get asked alot is why don't I offer message boards for people to respond to on my site.  I did them a long time ago and all I ended up doing is spending a ton of time deleting spam messages.  It got to a point that it was not worth it.  Plus, there are too many people in newsgroups and message boards that are just plain mean.  Something about being unknown that brings out the worst in people.  It is a reason why I almost never post in any newsgroups or message boards.  I don't need the aggravation that comes with it.

Read an article about the upcoming King Kong game in the latest Game Informer.  Now I want the game even more.  Too many great games coming out.  I will need a second job to afford them all and then I will not have any time to play them.  Must look into cloning.

07/18/2005
The biggest time of the year for sports fans is coming, especially video game sports fans.  NCAA football is already out and Madden is right around the corner.  The NBA and NHL is right around the corner.  This is a big year as it will answer the questions that many gamers have about the upcoming crop of video sports games:

    1. How much will the exclusive deals affect the quality of the video games?  Will Madden keep improving the gameplay or will they lay off since there is no competition?
    2. How much will the exclusive deals affect the costs of the games?  Will they remain at $49.99 or will they go up?
    3. With no Hockey season last year, how will this affect the video game version?  How will they know who will benefit from the time off and who will suffer due to it?  It will also be a season of big change on many teams with a salary cap to contend with.  Will this make it into the new games or not?
    4. Will the new NBA minor league make it into the upcoming games and how will it be used?
    5. How will the non licensed NFL games be?  Can Take Two and others find a way to overcome not having the NFL and the players licenses?

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.  I know there are alot of people who are watching closely to see the games will be.  It is one of the most exciting as well as fearful crops of sports games ever.  The best advice I can give is to read as many reviews as possible before buying any game.

I made my kids watch a special on Shigeru Miyamoto G4.  It was an Icons special.  Since they are such fans of Mario and the Legend of Zelda series (and to a lesser extent, Donkey Kong and even Starfox, all creations of Shigeru Miyamoto), I figured they should know the history of the man behind the games.  They did enjoy it and watched it all the way through.  I think it is important that kids learn a little about the history of video games.  They should know about people like Shigeru as well as Nolan Bushnell and Ralph Baer.  They should learn the history of the Pacman game, the meaning of Donkey Kong's name (it was meant to be stubborn ape - with donkey meaning stubborn and kong meaning ape).  They should learn about the rise and fall of arcades.  It is up to us to make sure they learn some of the history.

07/15/2005
I am still amazed at how far music has come in video games.  I can still remember not too long ago when you would have a song loop on endlessly during a game.  Some games had music so bad that you had to turn the sound off or go insane.  But now you have games with full soundtracks.  Heck, some like Grand Theft Auto have multiple stations with commercials, news and more.  A long way from the "bloop" sound from Pong. 

The one thing I want to see as far as soundtracks and stuff go in video games is interactivity.  Think of a game where you would get news bulletins that talked about things you saw or did.  Think about if you stole a truck on GTA and caused a big pile-up of cars and then you heard about it on the radio.  Now that would be cool.  Maybe they can do stuff like that in the next generation of systems with the extra space and faster processors.


07/10/2005
I had the best of all worlds when it came to video games as I was growing up.  I owned an Odyssey 2 and later a Colecovision.  My cousin had an Atari 2600 with a bunch of games.  My best friend had an Intellivision.  So we had access to all the best games.  It was alot of fun going from house to house and playing games like Asteroids and Adventure on the 2600 to Boxing and Utopia on the Intellivision to Pick Axe Pete and Quest for the Rings on the Odyssey 2. 

Speaking of the Odyssey 2, I had a friend who was a gambling addict.  He was so bad that he would bet me on games of Football on the Odyssey 2.  Since I owned it, I could beat just about anyone on it.  Talk about easy money.  After a half dozen losses, he had enough of it.

While I loved Utopia on the Intellivision, it is one of the games that I rarely play on my Intellivision Lives collection.  The game really needs an Intellivision controller and an overlay to play.  You cannot get that with a computer or a PS2 controller.

07/07/2005
Went to update the blog on the 5th and found out they were upgrading the web server.  Took until today to get it back up.  The website was here, but I could not access it.  So I am back now with more video game talk.

I still remember how I learned a valuable lesson.  One piece of advice I will impart on you is to never, ever buy a video game without reading a few reviews.  The last time I did that, I learned the hard way.  I wanted Legends of Wrestling in the worst way.  I am not a big fan of wrestling games but I really did enjoy wrestling back in the day.  A game that featured all the popular wrestlers sounded like a dream come true.  It wasn't.  It was a nightmare.  The game played poorly and turned out to be a typical Acclaim released game.  You know the kind that quickly makes it way to the bargain bin and is still ignored.  So before you buy the latest game, no matter how good it sounds, wait for a few reviews.  And with the internet, you can have reviews in a matter of days.  Don't learn the hard way.

What is it that makes me want to buy a game that received bad reviews?  My guess is nostalgia but it could be a gluttony for pain.  I really enjoyed playing "Defender of the Crown" from Cinemaware.  I thought Cinemaware was one of the best companies of all-time.  Then I saw they were remaking this game.  I was excited!  But I waited to read reviews of the game and they were not good.  Not terrible, but not good either.  So I waited for the game to get cheaper.  I have seen it as low as $10.00 but I still have not bought it.  Always find something better to buy.  Maybe when it hits $5.00.

Maybe it is just me but I think G4 needs some better programming.  I find most of the shows to be annoying at best.  I really enjoy Icons and the X-Play show has its moments.  But the rest seems like they try to hard to be cool or hip or whatever the terms are these days.  It is all fluff with little substance.   Curse MTV for starting this trend.

07/04/2005
Hope everyone had a safe Fourth of July (for the American readers) or a Canada Day.  For people who want to enjoy fireworks but do not want to go out or fear blowing their fingers off (it happens, I knew someone who lost a few fingers that way), you can always play Fantavision for the Playstation 2.  It is a mix of Missile Command and a fireworks simulator with a little Tetris added.  I picked it up for $10.00 years ago and still play it from time to time.  You could probably get it for less than that now.  Fun little game.

Was making a list of games I wanted that are finally getting cheap.  Games like "Bard's Tale" that once sold for $50.00 but now you can pick up for $20.00 new and even less used.  The list is getting pretty long.  I noticed that Oddsworld Stranger is pretty cheap now.  And I still need to get the Pikmin games.

Now that Acclaim is history, will we see the last of the Legends of Wrestling games?  I always thought the concept of the game was great and the selection of wrestlers was amazing.  But somewhere in the execution of the game, Acclaim screwed up.  Bad controls, no physics (pretty much anyone could bodyslam people like King Kong Bundy and Andre the Giant) and just a bad game.  While I am glad to see Acclaim gone (when Acclaim and 3DO went belly up, the quality of the video game industry as a whole went up), I liked the concept of Legends of Wrestling.  I would like to see another company take over this franchise and do it right.

Ever been tempted to buy a game that you know is horrible but it is so cheap and you want to see the train wreck?  I have been tempted by a few games like that.  The first is the Aquaman game for the Gamecube and XBOX.  I know it is horrible but I want to play it.  I sorta liked the comic book character and his cartoons were enjoyable (gotta love the giant sea horses he rode around on).  I have seen it for $5.00 used and was very tempted.  The other game is Celebrity Death Match.  Nothing screams out waste of money like this game.  But the thought of fighting some of these characters is enough to make me want to fork over a few bucks for a few laughs.  Must fight the temptation.

07/03/2005
Stopped over at Circuit City to see what deals they had.  Last year, they had a bunch of $5.00 games and I stocked up.  Bought a bunch of games for myself as well as some that I put away for Christmas presents.  This year, they had $10.00 clearance games.  Looked over the selection and did not see a single games I wanted.  Maybe other Circuit Cities had a better selection of I came to late but all the games were not even worth $10.00.  Oh well, probably better to save the money.

I need to hook up my Sega Saturn.  It has been awhile since I played it.  I don't have alot of games for it and I am missing a few I would really want (like Panzer Dragoon Saga but there is no way I am paying $75.00-$200.00 for a game), but I still enjoy it.  Baku Baku, Virtua Puzzle Fighter and Nights are all worth it.  I wish Sega would re-release some of these great titles as either a compilation or as unlockables on other games.  They put the first Panzer Dragoon on the new game but not Saga, the one that people really want to play.

I cannot believe that I am tempted to buy an Atari Flashback just to play Food Fight.  I love the game and it is one game that I cannot get to work in MAME.  The big problem is that Atari Flashback 2.0 is coming out soon and I really want that one.  Again, I want it for one big game, Save Mary.  You may ask, what is Save Mary?  It is a prototype that was never released but I really like.  I first played it at Cincicon and really enjoyed it.  Now I see it is on the Atari Flashback 2.0 and I am excited.  I also want to see Adventure 2 and Return to Haunted House, two sequels that were never released and were done by Atari fans as homebrews.  I know of the Adventure 2 that is being made for the Atari 5200 (and looks awesome) but I did not know it was coming for the Atari 2600.