Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Joystik Magazine

Longtime gamers will remember the glut of video game mazines during the early 1980s. Joystik was one of the better offerings of the era. Second in quality and popularity only to Electronic Games Magazine, the mag featured fun articles, psychedelic art, nice screen shots, helpful strategy guides, and informative reviews. Seven of the nine published issues are now available online via PDF format (thanks to Digital Press). Click here to check them out.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Square Pegs -- Now Available on DVD!

Why mention that the early '80s sitcom, Square Pegs, is now available on DVD? Because one episode, "Pac-Man Fever," is centered around a character (Marshall) becoming addicted to video games. His salvation? None other than SNL's Father Guido Sarducci!

Other highlights of this underappreciated series (which was sort of a quirky, new wave take on Fast Times at Ridgemont High) include: appearances by Bill Murray, Devo, John Densmore (drummer for The Doors), and Martin Mull, Marshall booking Johnny's band for a deli counter grand opening (shades of Spinal Tap), and, of course, a starring role for Sarah Jessica Parker, playing a geek years before her iconic turn in Sex in the City.

For a fun, informative review of Square Pegs, click here. To watch the Pac-Man episode, click here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recently published in...

Comics Buyer's Guide #1623, where I review the following:

Franklin Richards: Spring Break #1 (3.5 out of 4 stars)
Dead Space #1 (2.5 stars)
Urban Monsters #1 (3 stars)
Jason and the Argonauts: Kingdom of Hades #1 (1.5 stars)
Mad #488 (2 stars)
PvP #38 (3 stars)
Gotham Underground #1 (3.5 stars)

You can subscribe to CBG, which is "the world's longest-running magazine about comics," here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Complete Boxed Sega Genesis Collection

Now here's something you don't see every day. This guy has amassed EVERY single game ever released for the Sega Genesis, all of them in boxes, most of them with manuals. You can view his incredible collection here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Classic Video Game DVD

Earl Green, one of the recognized gurus of classic gaming, has a new DVD for sale on his website. According to Earl, the DVD contains vintage video game commercials (with restored audio/visuals), footage of rare controllers and hardware, clips of dozens of games in action (with accompanying historical commentary), and more. For further info, check out Phosphor Dot Fossils.

Classic Arcade Photos 1977-1984

Continuing the classic arcade theme, check out these pics. (Thanks to Shertz of Digital Press for finding this trip down memory lane).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Now watching...

Remember Starcade, the game show from the early '80s, in which contestants competed on the latest, greatest (now classic) arcade games? You can now view entire episodes online: Starcade Episodes. For info on the program, check out this Starcade Website.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Now playing...

Super Mario Land!
Mario's first Game Boy adventure, Super Mario Land is similar to the original, ground-breaking Super Mario Bros. (NES, 1985), but Princess Daisy (making her first appearance) replaces Princess Toadstool as the damsel in distress. In addition, Mario throws superballs instead of fireballs, and he commandeers an airplane and a submarine for a little side-scrolling shooter action (as in level 4-3, which is the last stage in the game). There are new enemies as well, such as stone statues and hungry sharks.

The best way to play Super Mario Land (or any other original Game Boy title) is on the Super Game Boy, which is an attachment for the Super Nintendo that plugs into the SNES cartridge slot and plays Game Boy games, in color, on your TV set. It also adds stereo sound to games played on any television with stereo speakers and lets players paint and design their own custom borders. Certain GB titles, such as Donkey Kong and Metroid II: Return of Samus, were specifically designed to take special advantage of the Super Game Boy's added features.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition 2008!

This just in, from the guys at OVGE:

On August 9, 2008 video game collectors and enthusiasts from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and even further will come together at the Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills Hotel in Tulsa to celebrate the history of the video gaming industry. “Before the OVGE, people from the surrounding states had to travel across the country for an event such as this,” said Jesse Hardesty, founder of the OVGE. Doors will open to the public at 9:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m. Cost of admission for ages nine and above will be $3 dollars at the door.

In 1972, the video game industry was launched with the sale of the Odyssey by Magnavox, the first multi-video game system for the home. However, in the early ‘80s an overflow of games and lack luster sales in stores forced many companies to close resulting in drastic drops in prices for their merchandise. Companies still in business could not compete with the low pricing and lost money from their over stocked inventory causing the great crash of the video game industry in 1983. Since the rebirth of the industry in 1985, with the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System, video game sales have flourished. According to the NPD annual statistics the video game industry reached nearly 18 billion dollars last year. These numbers will only grow in 2008.

Still, many video game players are returning to classic video games. With the advanced graphics of today’s video games, why are so many people fascinated with the classics? “Even though modern game systems have amazing graphics and sound, the most important aspect of any video game is that it actually be fun to play. Because classic game systems, like the Atari 2600, had very simple graphics, game designers had to focus on the game-play. Those same games that were fun in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s are still just as much fun today,” stated Albert Yarusso, modern video game programmer and co-founder of

“With video gaming being today’s main form of home entertainment, the history behind it should not be forgotten,” said Hardesty. “The Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition is providing the youth and their parents a chance to visit and interact with that past.” Numerous video game systems, computers, and arcade machines, will be set up for the public to play. Vendors and exhibitors will have memorabilia on display with many items for purchase.

The OVGE is organized by a group of gaming enthusiasts who want to share their hobby and passion for classic and modern video games with the public.

For more information, visit Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Now playing...

Mario Superstar Baseball!

I've always enjoyed fast, arcade-style sports games, and Mario Superstar Baseball for the GameCube is no exception. The kids and I have been playing a lot of Nintendo character-based games lately (Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Sunshine, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and the like), so this fun, lively take on America's Favorite Pastime fit the bill nicely (I'm looking forward to adding Mario Tennis and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour to my collection). You can read a very nicely written review of Superstar Baseball from the good folks at Gamespot here.