Monday, August 15, 2011

Classic Home Video Games, 1989-1990

Classic Home Video Games, 1989-1990: A Complete Guide to Sega Genesis, Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16 Games is finally available. You can order yours via AMAZON. Don't let the cover dates of 1989-1990 fool you, EVERY game for the systems featured are included in the book, regardless of release date.

Here's a description of the book:

The third in a series about home video games, this detailed reference work features descriptions and reviews of every official U.S.-released game for the Neo Geo, Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16, which, in 1989, ushered in the 16-bit era of gaming. Organized alphabetically by console brand, each chapter includes a description of the game system followed by substantive entries for every game released for that console. Video game entries include historical information, gameplay details, the author’s critique, and, when appropriate, comparisons to similar games. Appendices list and offer brief descriptions of all the games for the Atari Lynx and Nintendo Game Boy, and catalogue and describe the add-ons to the consoles covered herein--Neo Geo CD, Sega CD, Sega 32X and TurboGrafx-CD.

Here are accolades for my previous books:

Classic Home Video Games, 1985-1988:

"This is a great book...information is spot-on...100% accurate...a must-own"
--Video Game Trader

"A great tome of reference...excellent...a must-own for any avid 8-bit collector"
--Retro Gamer

"Valuable...great...succeeds with flying colors...vivid commentary and descriptions...will save you time, money and frustration"
--Nintendo Age

"Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 offers exactly what you want in a collection of capsule reviews: well-written text that is clear and to the point...this is the current gold standard for video game reference guides."
--Retro Gaming Australia


"a labor of love...comprehensive...recommended"
--Library Journal

"a great-looking new book"

“thoroughly researched”
--Game Informer

“a must-read...both fun and informative, a highly recommended purchase”
--Video Game Collector.

"Brett Weiss knows his video games, and this book is a must for all fans"
--Bart Bush (former editor of Larry Bieza's Pinball Price Guide)

“Weiss’s deep familiarity with his chosen subject matter is an asset of the text, and as a writer he conveys information clearly and without pretension...Weiss’s reviews of obscure games make the book a treasure...impressive and fun book...valuable...the breadth of coverage here is astounding...a fun read and a nostalgic trip supreme...undeniably smart, historically valuable and wide-ranging in coverage”
--GameCulture Journal

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pac-Man Collectibles -- Book Review

Pac-Man Collectibles
Schiffer Books
Deborah Palicia
2002, 160 pgs.

A good looking book that would make a nice addition to anyone’s game room library, Pac-Man Collectibles begins with an earnestly told and at times informative introduction. However, said intro does contain its fair share of shortcomings. For example, the book mentions that the arcade classic Pac-Man (1980) was created in Japan by a Namco designer, but it doesn’t refer to him by name (Tōru Iwatani).

Further, in a section called “The Creation of Pac-Man,” the author states that “The game is thought to be the first that did not center on fighting in video outer space but rather introduced the maze.” Wrong and wrong. A little rudimentary research will turn up numerous non-space games that predated Pac-Man (such as Midway’s Gun Fight and Atari Football), and Head On, a driving game released by Sega/Gremlin in 1979, featured a top-down maze in which players drove around tracks to clear dots from the screen.

Fortunately, the bulk of the book consists of pictures of merchandise featuring Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and their pals. There are 415 full color photos of various and sundry items, including puzzles, pinball games, party napkins, cereal boxes, glassware, records, candy, lap trays, a trash can, a lamp, animation cels (from the cartoon show), and much more. I remember seeing many of these items in stores back in the day, but there are quite a few I don’t recall, making for a nice blend of nostalgia and discovery.

Anyone with their finger on the pulse of 1980s pop culture will enjoy thumbing through this book. It was published in 2002, so some of the pricing is out of date, and the author admits there are many Pac-Man collectibles not pictured, but it’s a fun conversation piece and a good resource for collectors looking to add to their array of Pac-Man swag. Without this book, for example, the average collector probably wouldn’t know to look for Archie’s Double Digest #5 and the 24th Annual Hot Rod Show World Magazine, both of which feature Pac-Man covers.

Ordering information: Pac-Man Collectibles.

Publisher Website: Schiffer.

Monday, August 1, 2011

John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli, organizers of the annual Classic Gaming Expo, have launched the Videogame History Museum – a 501©(3) non-profit charity dedicated to preserving and archiving the history of the Videogame industry. Currently the group is seeking initial working capital using the unique crowdfunding business plan offered through their project on the kickstarter web-site ( The initial goal is to raise $30,000 to help finance additional fundraising activities and also to better mobilize the museum’s collections for exhibit at various industry trade shows.

The enormous success of their display at the recent E3 trade show was evident as they garnered several “Best of Show” nominations from the gaming press along with positive testimonials from show-goers. “The videogame industry is double the size of the music industry and while there are several music “halls of fame” and museums, there isn’t a single dedicated, all-inclusive videogame museum”, said Joe Santulli. “We’re taking the necessary steps toward creating a physical museum, research facility, and reference library to honor and archive the history, hardware, software, events and people of this industry.”

The Museum has the support of many of the legends that helped create the industry and their Board of Advisors is comprised of some of the most recognizable names in the history of gaming. David Crane, one of the founders of the first third-party software publishing company (Activision), and the sole programmer of the original Pitfall and many others says: “I have always wished [the Classic Gaming Expo guys] success in finding a permanent home for [their] collection, which I consider to be the most comprehensive repository of videogame collectibles and memorabilia in the world.”

The Videogame History Museum’s collections are based on the popular Classic Gaming Expo museum which is comprised of over 20,000 artifacts ranging from games, hardware, memorabilia and prototypes to a vast digital archive containing magazines, design and developer notes, company press kits, back-ups of unreleased games and much more. Founder Sean Kelly states,”The Videogame History Museum is the natural extension of the work we started over 20 years ago. The museum we envision promises to be all-inclusive, comprehensive and interactive. Unlike some of the other efforts in recent years which have a limited focus, our intention is to cover it all: every game made for every system, every piece of promotional material made for each game, every revision of every console with specific notes as to the differences, the design progression, and so on.”

To get more information, watch their video, or to donate and become part of the movement to make this all happen, please visit the Videogame History Museum website:
Videogame History Museum