Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Box Art Wednesday Break...again.

Don't worry, dear reader, this actually has something to do with electronic gaming. I was browsing through iTunes last evening and typed in Pac-man just to see if something showed up. Well, it did and it is now apparent that Namco has its own music channel. I was shocked to see that for $2.99 I could have all the sound effects from the classic games, Pac-Man, Xevious, Galaga, and Soulcalibur. I did not buy it. What would I do with the sound effects?

Thanks to Destructoid for this press release:

"SANTA CLARA, Calif., (September 2, 2009) – Leading video games developer and publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., today announced the launch of NAMCO SOUNDS™, an exclusive iTunes music label offering re-mastered soundtracks from the company’s own catalogue of games. In partnership with BANDAI VISUAL CO., LTD, this marks NAMCO BANDAI Games’ debut into the North American music distribution market with plans to create and offer new content for global distribution.

To inaugurate this launch, NAMCO SOUNDS has released tracks from PAC-MAN®, Xevious®, and SOULCALIBUR® SUITE - THE RESONANCE OF SOULS AND SWORDS. Subsequent releases from games past and present will be available on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month.

Only available through NAMCO SOUNDS on Apples iTunes, SOULCALIBUR SUITE - THE RESONANCE OF SOULS AND SWORDS is a special soundtrack that commemorates the September 1 release of SOULCALIBUR: Broken Destiny for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. Performed by the Australia-based Eminence Symphony Orchestra which is renowned for their work in anime and videogames, this soundtrack was an intercontinental feat as directions were given from Tokyo with the performance, conducting and recording taking place in Sydney simultaneously.
Single tracks from PAC-MAN, Xevious, and SOULCALIBUR SUITE - THE RESONANCE OF SOULS AND SWORDS retail for $.99 with the entire album available for $2.97 or $2.99 respectively."

Now I might just have to pick up the Soulcalibur music as I am unashamedly a Soulcalibur fanatic...but these are truly weird times when I can go online and buy the 'soundtrack' for Xevious.

Box Art Wednesday resumed.

I apologize about that earlier posting of the Phantom SyFy commercial but I've warned you readers before that sometimes non-video game items would make their way into these postings. Rest assured I will try to refrain from such frivolous postings like that in the future.

Box Art Wednesday break for the Ghost Who Walks.

I won't lie...I like the look of this new SyFy series...I'm okay with the new 'costume' because unlike that wretched Flash Gordon series it acknowledges the original suit and is pretty funny. So for the moment I'm giving the Phantom a thumbs up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cow Launched!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, it was the year 1994.

Earthworm Jim hit the store shelves and in my case the video store that I worked at and it was as if the very heavens had opened for me and cast a bolt of lightning that struck my close friend's Sega Genesis. I have fond memories of being crowded around an old 13-inch television while two or three of us took turns playing the titular hero.

Developed by Shiny Entertainment and eventually making its way through ports for the Super Nintendo, Game Gear, Game boy, and the original Sega Master System.

The storyline is one of the many things that endeared me to the Earthworm Jim series. A normal earthworm has an advanced "Ultra-High-tech-indestructible-super-space-cyber-suit" fall on him, luckily the neck opening landed over him and the suit transformed the tiny earthworm into the super-hero, Earthworm Jim. Of course you learn later that the suit, designed by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, was intended for the evil Queen, Pulsating, Bloathed, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt so that she could take over the universe. Luckily for Jim when the intergalactic bounty hunter Psy-Crow attacked the rebel ship that was carrying it he failed to stop it from being jettisoned into space where it fell to Earth and into Jim's possession.

Jim soon learns that the evil Queen is planning on killer her sister, Princess What's-Her-Name. An earthworm can only stand by for so long before he decides to do the right thing and rescue the Princess and defeat the forces of evil. Which is where you come in.

Controlling Jim you must combat the forces of darkness through 10 levels of insanity with names like, New Junk City, What the Heck?, Down the Tubes, Snot a Problem, Level 5, For Pete's Sake, Intestinal Distress!, Buttville, and the two bonus missions, Andy's Asteroids, and if you fail that racing game you go to Psy-Crow...which you have to battle until he is forced to fly away.

With such bizarre levels come also bizarre bosses. Chuck and FiFi, Major Mucus, Evil the Cat, and my favorite, Bob the Killer Gold Fish.

There have been numerous sequels to Earthworm Jim but none in my opinion matched the magic of the first title. Supposedly there is a fourth game in the works...but that was announced in 2008 and as of yet no update has been given.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Man, &*%$ the Snorks!

Friends, the only thing this sticker has going for it is an arcade game where a Snork is trying to kill other Snorks. I hate the Snorks.

That is a big Joystick.

Such a small monitor hooked to it though.
At least you could have a good game of X-men on it with your friends.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Supercade break.

Steve Wiebe making a case for the Stride gum, Save the Arcade competition. Just FYI here are the current scores.

402,180,375 points
Arcade UFO

398,382,150 points
StarBase Arcade

120,367,975 points
Star Worlds

46,599,600 points
Game Galaxy

StarBase can still win this!

Some more Saturday Supercade.

I have never seen this Star Wars game in my life. I am assuming that, thanks to the gun, this is prototype cobbled together from another game. Aces?

Still Saturday still Supercade.

Why are we not wearing these?

Saturday Supercade.

Meet your new mouse pad. Though you might want to order it quick before Disney sues them so hard they will have to serve out their sentence on the game grid.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flyer Friday.

Align Center

Click to make 1986 size!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It must be Thursday.

What more can you say?
Except perhaps, Good God!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Box Art Wednesday.

Continuing the tradition of shining the white hot spotlight of mediocrity on these NES shelf warmers back in my youth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It has to be has Beethoven.

I am not sure about the rest of you, dear readers, but I've played Phoenix mostly at a skating rink and at convenient stores. It seems that perhaps a deal was made and arcades would only want Galaga and the poor Phoenix was shunted off to the seedier locations.

Phoenix was released in 1980 by the Amstar Electronic corp. for Centuri games in 1980, Amstar was located in...Phoenix, Arizona. Perhaps this game is the true history of the state?

The gameplay itself is similar to that of Galaxian in the first two rounds, waves of bird/ships assemble at the top of the screen and then three at time descend to try to bomb you or crash into your ship. Phoenix allowed the player's ship to shield itself though you couldn't move while doing so and you needed five seconds to recharge your shielding.

Starting on the third wave you found yourself trying to shoot floating eggs before they hatched, if they did hatch you found yourself facing larger birds and had to shoot them in the belly to vanquish them. You could strike a hit on a wing but it would grow back. This wave would last for two rounds.

On round five you faced the mothership. Phoenix is the first game to include a 'Boss' level. You had to fire up into the mothership, wearing away it's shielding until a clear shot was available and you could hit the alien in the middle of the vessel.

Gameplay would start back at the first wave but obviously at a higher degree of difficulty. There are two pieces of music throughout the game:

1) Romance de Amor
2) Fur Elise

It is unknown who composed Romance de Amor but Fur Elise was by Beethoven. I'm not sure he would like that his music was in a video game.

According to Twin Galaxies, Mark Gotfraind holds the official record for this game with 987,620 points recorded on the 17th of March 1983

Also of interest is when the Atari company purchased the rights to create a port of Phoenix it ended up suing Imagic for their game Demon Attack, the case was settled out of court and it is not know how much Imagic ended up paying Atari.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Supercade break.

My fellow Templar sister takes care of one of the great evils.

Care to see where your path lies with the Initiation test?

Still Saturday Supercade.

Nice quilt but there is no elevator stage.

Still Saturday Supercading.

I guess Dig-Dug needed some extra money?

Saturday Supercade.

These kids are doing it right.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flyer Friday break.

Remember when you could see a commercial for an arcade game on television?

Flyer Friday.

Click to make 1978 size!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It Must Be Thursday.

What more can you say?
Except perhaps that this is probably one of the biggest Equus Caballus racing games you'll ever find. I cannot tell if these players are actually racing the horses or if they are merely betting on which the computer says will win.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Box art Wednesday.

Click the pictures above to enjoy in Atari 2600 size!
That guy on the Othello box art will never be your friend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


In 1983 at Showbiz Pizza I discovered not only a game but a band that I quite enjoyed, Journey. Until inserting my token into the coin slot I had never even heard of Journey but considering my musical taste was still firmly set on the Beatles and the Monster Mash I'm not surprised.
The story for the game is that the band's instruments have been scattered to five different planets and you take on the role of each band member as he attempts to secure his instrument. A new feature for the Journey game was that each band members face was digitized and placed on a video rendered body. The technology had been originally designed to take pictures of the high-score holders for an entirely different arcade game...but it was scrapped when a female player flashed the camera.
After collecting up all the band's instruments you took on the role of a roadie who had to stop the screaming masses from storming the stage and stealing the instruments again. Not an easy task. Another nice feature to the game was that is played midi versions of Journey's hit songs.
Looking at Twin Galaxies scoreboard tells me that the world record holder is Joe Maurizi with a total of 10,000,125 points and it was set on 07/07/1983. He also holds the record for Journey: Escape for the Atari 2600, a marathon record of 83 hours and 16 minutes. Cripes!

"Become one of a band of super warriors!"

Dig the 90's Barbarian woman hair!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Just a bit of info for you this morning:

1,566,960 points
Yasuhiro Oda

441,780 points
Jason Cram

1,232,250 points
Steve Harris

Crazy Climber
487,150 points
Jim Wright

Star Wars: Trilogy
3,612,600 points
Ken Towne

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Supercade Break Continued.

This arcade, Playland, looked to be my kind of place.

Saturday Supercade Special Break!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Press Release) – Sep 11, 2009 – A newcomer to the world of competitive video gaming has gained perhaps it's most sought after prize. 40-year-old David Race of Beaver Creek, OH has become the 6th gamer in history to gain a perfect score on the original Pac-Man video arcade game. Even more noteworthy is the fact that he's done it in faster time than any gamer in history, putting him at the top of a short list of gamers who have acheived perfection on the original arcade machine.
A perfect score on Pac-Man requires a gamer to eat every dot, bonus prize, and blue ghost across all 256 levels before a glitch in the game code places the player into an impossible to complete stage. The perfect score of 3,333,360 was first done officially by Florida's Billy Mitchell in 1999 and followed up upon by other gamers in years after that, including Canada's Rick Fothergill, Florida's Chris Ayra, Minnesota's Tim Balderramos, and New Hampshire's Donald Hayes. The previous fastest time to a perfect Pac-Man score was acheived in early 2000 by Chris Ayra.
This feat, once coined by Mitchell himself as the truest test of the best Pac-Man player, now stands with David Race at 3 hours, 41 minutes, and 22 seconds, a time and feat that requires perfect execution throughout the game. Most gamers that can reach the last stage of Pac-Man take almost 5 to 6 hours on average. Twin Galaxies made the announcement of David Race's accomplishments on Friday morning, September 11.
Twin Galaxies, founded in 1981, has tracked Pac-Man since it was the top game in the arcades, and continues to do so alongside scorekeeping and tracking record scores for modern day games for the XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3 into it's database. Race's submission to Twin Galaxies was verified by referee Eric Akeson of Washington state and reviewed again by Chief Adjudicator David Nelson of New Hamsphire. Pac-Man, released in the United States in November 1980 by Midway Manufacturing and licensed from Namco, sold 100,000 coin operated units in 12 months of production.
This sales figure still stands to this day as the second best selling arcade video game in US history, behind only it's sequel Ms. Pac-Man, which sold 119,000 units while in production from January 1982 to June 1983. The original title and it's many sequels still appear as popular downloads for cell phones and XBox Live. Race has no plans to rest on his accomplishments as the fastest Perfect Pac-Man player ever. He has already stated to Twin Galaxies officials that he plans to better this fastest perfect run of the game to ensure he stays on top of the official rankings.

Some more Saturday Supercade.

A very nice birthday cake, err, cakes. Though there are far too many ghosts here to be a true representation of the Pac-Man arcade game...did I just type that?

Saturday Supercade.

Pardon me while I pull out my credit card and start ordering this game cabinet. All joking aside, two things I've noticed about this picture:
1) If you look above the kids hands you'll see pictures of I assume this has multiple games on it.
2) There is no way this kid would be playing Pac-Man.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flyer Friday.

I never had the pleasure of playing Galaxy Ranger but I can tell you I sure love that cabinet design for it. I've actually seen a Circus Charlie game and it was at an gas station in Little Rock in my youth, though I never had the chance to play it. Booby Kids...
Click of course to make 1984 size!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It must be Thursday.

What more can you say?
Except for this game was never released for the Atari 2600...perhaps the tests group didn't like the fact you could hook Mr. Bill's dog for fishing?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Box Art Wednesday.

More NES box art that were constant shelf warmers back in the days when a video store would employee me. I will say though that I played many an hour on Archon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dolly Parton!

Boy howdy! If there are two things that go better than Dolly Parton and Bally pinball I sure as shoot can't tell you what they are.
In 1978 Bally released the Dolly Parton pinball game because at that time Dolly Parton was just the top of the charts with her Heartbreaker album. So I guess while I was playing with my Luke Skywalker and Micronauts there were people in bars and bowling alleys playing this game. I never even knew this game existed so I have to give a big thanks to K.L.O.V for the tip.
I was a little surprised to find that there is a video on Youtube of a guy playing the game...dig those sounds from the machine!