Friday, May 29, 2009
Thrill to the excitement of bell bottoms and suits while playing Indy 800 back in 1975! Atari did some remarkable things with this here arcade game. It was the first actual full color video game and had mirrors installed at the top of the 'cabinet' so that spectators could see the racing action. Later, Atari did release a four player version, which is what I played back at the Ozark Bowling Lanes in my youth.
Click the picture to make it 1975 size!
Thanks to the Atariage site for the great scans of 2600 box art! While it's awesome that Barnstorming has been signed by its creator, Steve Cartwright, the prize today is a toss up between the D and D like cover of Wizard of Wor and the the craziness of Chase the Chuckwagon.
I'll leave the winner up to you readers.
I'll leave the winner up to you readers.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
In 1985 I first encountered Commando at the One Stop mart in Farmington...it was not in good shape but after a few moments of playing I fell in love with the game. Luckily I found a better kept version at Showbiz Pizza on my first visit! The music for the game by the way is pretty dang addicting so be forewarned if you ever get the chance to play it.
The story is pretty simple. You are 'Super Joe' and it is your duty to wipe out every poor sap that happens to get in your way. You have unlimited ammunition, a handful of grenades, and the will to free P.O.W.'s and get 'em home. You can take on a massive horde of enemies, dodging their gunfire and returning it in full. Hopefully you can dodge their jeeps, this always gave me a problem back in the glory days. After clearing a level you a treated to an enemy dead count and witness Joe taking a smoke break.
Now I've always assumed this 'Super Joe' was the same character from the NES version of Bionic Commando, the guy you rescue, but a little research shows that in the states the Arcade version of B.C. states you are Super Joe and it is a direct sequel to Commando. The best bit of info I could find states that in Japan, Commando is called Wolf of the Battlefield. I like that name better.
An arcade sequel, not including B.C. was released and was called Mercs and just recently a third game was released to the X-Box 360 entitled Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Holy Crow! Space Invaders soap!
These miniature soaps are inspired by the classic game, Space Invaders. Includes 24 pieces (six each of four colors), scented with citrus essential oil blend. Each piece is about 1/4th of an ounce. A fun way to wash your hands! These can also be used in gift bags for parties.
Total weight is more than 5 ounces.
High quality ingredients are:
* Coconut Oil
* Palm Oil
* Safflower Oil
* Glycerine (kosher, of vegetable origin)
* Purified Water
* Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent)
* Sorbitol (moisturizer)
* Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier)
* Soy bean protein (conditioner)
* Titanium Dioxide (mineral whitener used in opaque soaps)
* Color and fragrance
This one is for you, Dax. Little known fact but there is in actuality only one Power Glove known to exist.
It is whispered in the shadowy corners of the interwebs that when a game player proves himself worthy enough, Lucas Barton will appear and present to them a challenge, and if the player proves his mettle he is gifted for one game to don the Power Glove before Barton reclaims it and continues to wander the world in search of new players.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I have found a place online called 1984. It is an arcade in Springfield, Missouri...and sounds just like what I need to go visit. These photos and following text were lifted from a site called Robohara.com: "In downtown Springfield, Missouri directly across from the YMCA lies the 1984 Arcade. On Wednesday, June 20th, my friend The Stranger and I drove from Oklahoma City to Springfield to visit this tribute to the classic arcades of the 1980’s. The 1984 Arcade opened its doors in 2005, and boasts anywhere from 50-60 classic arcade games on the floor at any given time."
A five dollar bill allows you unlimited play with a rotating group of games. They even have a little cafe as you can see named Sinistarbucks...I can only hope they have some guy of merchandise with that on it.
Tron...Star Wars...Moon Patrol...Defender...Scramble...Tempest...Gyruss...Gauntlet I and II, plus a handful of Pinball machines according to Robohara's site. A place where you can play 50-60 classic arcade games, sigh, it almost brings tears to the eyes.
The official site is http://www.1984arcade.com/
I lift my neon lit horn of challenge to my lips...dare anyone join me at some point in the future to journey on this quest to 1984?
Those words above in the title had me scrambling for my shoes as I ran out of the house and began to yell at my father to jump in the car and go pick up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES. Now bear in mind that I had waited for literally over a year for the game to come out, it had been advertised the year earlier in one of the many Marvel comics I picked up that time by subscription.
Myself and John/Brian made a weekly call to the local Kay*Bee toy store in the mall to see if there was any word on the game yet. We got the same answer from the multiple staff there over a year, "Check back next week." Of course this was the before the widespread miracle of the intertubes made release dates much easier to check upon. So we continued to look over the Nintendo Power magazines that would tantalizingly offer new screen caps of the game and hope that it was good as it looked in those photos.
So one Saturday morning in March I dialed the phone # as usual and received that glorious answer I had been hoping for, I was so dumbfound that I asked the lady if she was sure they had the Nintendo TMNT game in stock, this actually made her a little annoyed. I asked how many copies she had and she claimed they had four left. Four left? The store hadn't been open longer than fifteen minutes! I then shakily inquired if she would hold a copy as I would send my father immediately. She would not. I thanked her anyway and hung up the phone and as mentioned above made sonic booms as I sicked my father on the quest for the most achingly longed for game I had known to that point.
Next I dialed John/Brian's # and woke him up, told him the game was in, at which point he had me repeat what I had said. So off he went to Kay*Bee, since he was the only one who could drive at that point which left me to pace the floor, hoping that someone else didn't beat my father to the punch. Luckily John/Brian called me from the mall about ten minutes later to say he saw my father picking up a copy and he was lucky enough to get the last one. All was well in the universe!
My father came home and tried to trick me, but after telling him that he had been spied he handed over the box, which I remember as all but snatching from his hands and waving him off to go tinker with whatever lawnmower he was rebuilding or whatever groundskeeping chore he had been engaged in.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Ultra Games...shredded the souls of lesser beings. I do feel bad for the younger kids who bought it because I'm sure it might have turned a fan or two away from the series for life. This game has ranked on the top ten most difficult lists for quite some time and for good reason. It is a very unforgiving title. Particulary at the end when you are facing Shredder and he starts zapping you with an anti-mutagen ray...which you can not block nor evade. You literally had to kamikaze the guy with your turtles. I had two blocks of energy left and the Shredder was powering up his ray when I took him down...my Grandmother's entire neighborhood could probably hear my victory whoop.
Then the strangest ending occured. Splinter was transformed back into his human form...then everyone had a victory cheer and the credits rolled. You did kind of expect something a little more than "Good Job! Now please press Start." But at least you had bragging rights!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Ah...the thrilling days when sides were chosen, the hordes of the Hedgehog rallied against the armies of the Italian Plumber. I found the ad above and couldn't help but chuckle, especially now that Mario and Sonic have appeared in a game together just last year.
I like to think I'm a video game connoisseur but this guy's collection put me to shame. Genesis games seem to make up the bulk of the collection but I see 2600 cartridges on the bottom right as well as a pretty large collection of Wii games and that looks to be a Guitar Hero controller in the corner of the picture...not to be confused with the Rock Band version.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It took me a week but I finally have the time to get to my little blog about Activision's Pressure Cooker. Simply put it is one of the lesser known of the Activision catalog and that is quite a shame because while the game play is simple it is incredibly fun and quite addictive.
At this point in the life of the Atari 2600 there wasn't any real game magazines I could get my hands on, the closest I could find was Electronic Gaming and I was lucky if the local Food 4 Less received a copy every other month. So my buying decisions were made by company names, like I've stated before in earlier posts, Activision and Imagic were pretty much sure fire hits.
My Grandmother and I picked up Pressure Cooker at Kay-Bee toy stores, one of those ten dollar bins, and we just hoped that it would help to relieve some of the boredom of the Summer. Well, it did that and more as we both were hooked on the game just after a few minutes of playing, so much so that she and I took turns taking it home, so the one could play it at night.
As I've said the premise is quite simple, fill the orders for hamburgers, making sure to only accept the ingredients sent your way from the vegetable/dairy box to your left that comes flying out at you, if you accept it, you slap it on a burger on a conveyor belt to your right. As you can see from the last picture above, one hamburger needs tomato only, and two need onions only. Of course as the levels progressed there were more and more combos in regards to the ingredients. You were at the mercy of the ingredients though so in higher levels you really had to be on your toes and make sure you didn't drop or miss what you needed.
This game was kind of the precursor to Diner Dash.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I have never heard of this game before in my life. I just really like the box art...the nearest I can tell from my snooping is its a knock-off version of Maze-Craze which has a cop chasing a crook through a...maze. Thanks to Atariage for the heart pounding excitement above.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wizard of Wor that is. I first played this 1980 classic at the Skate Place, I remember being jazzed by the synthesized speech...such as it was, as well as having to watch my back around the other player...1,000 points per slain fellow Worrior is nothing to sneeze at.
It took me a couple of games to get into the swing of it and once I was lucky enough to find another player that wouldn't make me squander my quarter we could survive a couple of levels, mainly by staying in a lower corner back to back to blast the oncoming Burwors and Garwors. Of course when the Thorwor or the Worluk showed up...it was everyman or, Worrior as they are called, for him or her self.
The Wizard of Wor wasn't just a shadowy narrator either, he would indeed pop in around the 3rd dungeon level to blast the crap out of the Worriors but I didn't find him near as panic inducing as I did the Thorwor. Thorwor...that should be a heavy metal band name.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
There was a time that Mike Tyson represented to me the ultimate fighting machine...this was of course before he gained a perverse taste for human flesh while in the boxing ring. I obtained calluses on my right hand thumb thanks to this NES game from 1987. In honor of the next week's release of the Wii updated version of Punch-Out I could think of no better title to reminisce on.
From the fine folks at Wikipedia I dug up this interesting tidbit: "Nintendo of America's founder and former president Minoru Arakawa attended a boxing match featuring Mike Tyson. While watching the boxer fight, Arakawa became so astonished with the athlete's "power and skill", he was inspired to use the athlete's name and likeness in the upcoming port of the Punch-Out!! series to help the game sell well."
I had a pretty long Summer with this game, I never had any difficulty with the boxers until around Soda Popinski and even then you were given the chance with a rematch, but if you lost you went down a rank and if you lost again the game was over. When it came time though to match gloves with Mike Tyson you had one shot and one only. You lost that fight, and you generally did, it was back to that last Password save spot to climb the heavyweight ladder once again.
Tyson was an animal in game, his attacks almost impossible to avoid without a memorization of his pattern, the way his feet were pointing and how his gloves moved, and a whole lot of luck. I remember when I knocked him out I was over at a neighborhood kids house where my Grandmother lives and I believe he was more nervous than I was over the outcome of the fight. But I did prevail and I ran back to my Grandmother's house to report my victory. My Grandmother used to keep a notebook with my record times and the amount of games I defeated, someday I'll try to find it and scan it.
A big thanks to Gamespy for the above pics.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Wow...this game is somethin' else. I rented this NES version of Predator multiple times to finally lay low the alien hunter that had killed my fellow mercenaries...I was found wanting in that task...I could never finish the game. I became stuck in the level where you had to take a mud bath and fire your flame arrow at the Predator.
I know there is a level warp cheat code but I always felt that path lead to darkness as a gamer. Still if you have an emulator and feel up to punching soldiers, scoripions, and a few more scorpions...actually even if you do have the ROM for an emulator, don't play this game.