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Random Plays: Reign of Fire

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Random plays is a small change up of the Let’s Play format. Instead of pushing out part after part of an entire game I’ll just post up one smaller, easy to digest video where I go into a game and give a first impression, describe the game and mechanics and how much fun it is.

Reign of Fire is a movie licensed game that was released for the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube. I am playing the Gamecube version for this video.

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Top 5 Finds of 2012

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Title says it all! The best of the best that I managed to scrounge up in the year of 2012. Links mentioned in the video are as follows.

http://tallgrassbeer.com/8bit.html

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Retro Video Game Christmas Commercials: The 90’s

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I am a child of the 90’s, a love child. This was the age of Mode-7, Blast Processing, 3D, Playstation, and encompasses the rise and fall of Sega. So let’s take a look at as many Christmas commercials from the 90’s as we can possibly fit on our monitor.

Nintendo

What exemplifies the early 90’s more than the constant playground war of Nintendo vs. Sega? So it makes perfect sense for retailers to pick one side of the other in this argument or face everybody’s wrath!


Gee, would you look at the time? I missed the memo that I must write in rhyme! When it comes to your games, Sears has them all days. In the front or the back, come buy your new cartridge pack, and play the kiosk in store to curb your hunger for more.

Seriously, Sears kicked ass in the 90’s for gamers. What the hell happened?


This is just amazing, if there is one piece of media that makes me remember what it was like being a kid in the 90’s it is this right here. Entitlement of youth, grungy attitudes, snarky remarks, and a desire to sit down and play video games. I like how the rhyme goes, “South Park will be fine,” as if they’re just settling for it. “Yeah I’ll take it, but I really wanted Mystical Ninja you dumbass parents!”


A nice, generational war, of course. Then as soon as the douchey 90’s teens find out that grandpa likes to roll with some Tetris they decide that old folk aren’t bad. If grandpa’s hearing aid worked he might learn that Tetris was made by a dirty Communist!

Sega

So those were some pretty entertaining commercials from Nintendo’s side of the ring. But does Sega always do what Nintendon’t? Can they top the Big N and encourage people to buy any of the 3 systems they released in the 90’s? How about the add-ons?


Sega advertising at its finest, if you want your kid to be the cool kid on the block then go out and buy him a Sega Genesis for Christmas, then every kid in the city will want a piece of that Blast Processing action.


As a constant follower of Midget Wrestling this is one of the quickest ways to grab my attention, and they have good taste in video games since they just made a ton of money selling the game to Sega, somehow.

Ok, now let’s move away from North America for a moment and take a look at what Sega brought out for their Japanese commercials.


This may very well be the greatest thing I have ever laid eyes on. I am going to perpetuate the story of Segata Sanshiro as Santa Claus to my children, citing this commercial as definitive proof. If you’re unfamiliar with Segata Sanshiro and why he helped the Saturn dominate the Japanese sales charts then just check out this playlist.

Word of warning, the American Saturn commercials are weird as all hell, and incredibly frightening in some cases. Search at your own risk.

Sony
A newcomer on the scene of home video game hardware in the mid 90’s, Sony and their Playstation quickly rose to global dominance and kept its grip firm for over a decade. Is it because their commercials were great?


Yes, yes they were. Oh that sound and the PS logo really take me back, excuse me while I nostalgia-gasm all over my room. Again, this commercial shows what the 90’s was all about, trying to find your own voice, going against the grain, and supporting Bill Clinton.


What’s awesome about this commercial is that everything the singers say about Crash Bandicoot: Warped is 100% factual. This is one of the greatest parodies of a Christmas carol I’ve ever heard, I might start singing it this year. I feel bad for Canadians though, $50 for a new PS1 game and its already $10 off? Man, you guys will hate when I say brand new PS1 games in the States were $40. What was the exchange rate in 1998? Tell me Crabby!

Let’s head back to the Land of the Rising Sun.


Crash Bandicoot and PaRappa walk up to a random guy bearing Christmas gifts, just another thing to add to my list of things to experience before I die. Cosplayers, make this happen!


Kick! Punch! its all in the mind.

Well that about does it for the nostalgic video game Christmas commercials. I will be going on a small hiatus until 2013 rolls around. Until then, please share if you’ve enjoyed this post and my others, comment with feedback, and hit that follow button on the sidebar. SirPsycho out!

Retro Video Game Christmas Commercials: The 80’s

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The 80’s were a much simpler time for video gaming, especially the earlier you go. The same can be said for the advertisements for said video games and their consoles. Since we’re getting so close the holiday that most exemplifies consumerism and capitalism, let’s take a look at what some video game manufacturers and/or retailers aired during commercial breaks and give them a quick analysis.

Atari
These early commercials were just as cliched as other commercials at the time, and as simple as the games they were advertising, maybe a sign of American advertisers and their constant safe bet of mass market appeal.


Oh man, I’m so sorry. I fell asleep watching this because of BOREDOM.


These Atari commercials would be so much more entertaining with Billy Mays. “HI BILLY MAYS HERE AND YOU SHOULD BUY ATARI 2600 VIDEO GAMES! CHECK OUT STAR RAIDERS, SWORDQUEST, MS. PAC-MAN AND OTHERS AT PAY N’SAVE TO GET CRAZY CHRISTMAS DEALS! IF YOU GO SHOPPING TODAY YOU’LL RECEIVE A BOTTLE OF ORANGE GLO FOR FREE!

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!”


We agreed to never speak of this incident again! No seriously I am contractually obligated to never mention ET for the Atari 2600 ever. Screw the contract, this is the most hellish, torturing commercial for any Atari fan that could possibly exist. They should have buried the commercials in the desert with the games! That said its still a boring as hell advert.

Colecovision

Come buy a Colecovision and a bunch of random games from Hills for your lovely Christmas. Also buy Atari and Intellivision games because we love to namedrop and we need to LIQUIDATE EVERYTHING FOR THE HOLIDAYS WHOOOO!

Nintendo
When Nintendo was on the scene the Wild West days of the 70’s and early 80’s was over. There was a new sheriff in town and they weren’t going to let anybody rustle their cattle.


Hi, I’m Target and I paid Aretha Franklin a lot of money to sing a little jingle and appear in this Nintendo commercial. SHOP HERE PLEASE! That said this is much better than the early 80’s fare, Aretha Franklin and her amazing voice keeps my attention and really puts me in the Christmas spirit. I like this one a lot.


Oh man if I was a kid in the late 80’s, instead of being an infant when this commercial came out, I would have made my parents buy so much Pepsi. In fact I should have a new endorsement contract coming out since I ended the other one.

Pepsi can template Crystal Pepsi

Stay tuned later this week to see what happened when the 90’s came into being.

Why Did I Play This? Total Recall

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Movie licensed games are almost always bad, even moreso when they’re for the NES. I’m not even upset I played this game though, not one bit. Why? Total Recall is one of those very, very few bad video games that manages to cross over into ‘so-bad-its-good’ territory. There are countless movies and old campy TV shows like this, but not so much video games. A bad movie can be made enjoyable by a stellar, albeit cheesy performance from the actors, like if I see Christopher Walken in a bad movie I’m still going to watch and enjoy it.

I’m still surprised there’s a movie licensed NES game that LJN had nothing to do with.

A bad video game being enjoyable though? How is that different, and how is it similar? Well bad games are always marred by technical issues, loose controls, bad graphics and music (for its time), and inconsistent and asinine level design among other reasons. But, if a game isn’t entirely horrific in those categories, just has some weaknesses across the board then we end up with a good candidate for an enjoyably bad video game. Total Recall is the poster child of awesomely bad games because of this.

As soon as the game starts the player is already confused and just runs to the right where they’re pulled into an alley to fight purple clothed dwarves. But it gets better, what makes Total Recall so enjoyable for me is just how ridiculous everything looks. The graphics are terrible, and because of this a wall that is supposed to be people punching through holes ends up looking like… well I like to call it The Great Wall of Gloryholes.

What puny little cocks you all are.

 

There is a cool X-Ray effect in the second level (I think its level 2, none of them are labeled). So this shows that the programmers actually knew how to do a few things, just that the level designers were terrible. It seems like this giant X-Ray machine unlocks after a time limit , then Arnold is allowed to work his way through a very confusing subway system. Around this point the game takes on the typical bad video game syndrome, the absurd fun being sucked away by now.

Arnold can also crouch down and punch to the side he’s facing, because of the height of many enemies on the main screen this ends up looking the player is making Arnold punch the enemies in the privates. Real classy Acclaim. Its still hilarious to me that a game that can so easily be sexually construed ended up with a Nintendo Seal of Quality. I guess that is just a way to see how little Nintendo actually cared about game quality, and were more concerned with censorship. Oh well, the past is past for a reason.

BOOM! Right in the gonads!

 

Why Did I Play This? Episode 8

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I used to have a bunch of toy Crash Dummies! Oh man I have so many ideas of how to make this a good game, but where to start? Oh screw it, let’s just jump right in and see if this game is everything I hope it could be!

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Psycho’s Gaming History: Top 10 Important Games from my Childhood 5-1

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Welcome to part 2 of my countdown of the most important games that shaped young Psycho!

5 Spyro The Dragon

A dragon voiced by the Taco Bell dog.

A purple dragon with a mean charge, fiery breath, and could glide through the air. This was my first 3D platformer, and my oldest sister and I would play it whenever she was over on weekends. It was because of our team effort with this game, and its two sequels, that helped us beat everything 100% or more. This game blew my mind when I first played it and the original trilogy is still enjoyed every summer for a quick playthrough on those scorching hot days.

4 Super Mario All-Stars

Ah, another good wholesome SNES classic. Sadly during my childhood my experience with SNES games didn’t reach much further than the Mario series. I wouldn’t really begin learning of non-Mario adventures on the Super until the years of the supreme Playstation overlord phase of my childhood. I also would not get the chance to explore many of them until my high school years and current collecting days. But, all that said, when compiling a list of very important SNES games I decided that I would not want to read one, think about my own life, and not have All-Stars be of the utmost significance. Everything, Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, AND 3? And go ahead and toss in the real Japanese SMB2 for good measure? And to think if I would have recieved my SNES much later then Super Mario All-Stars+World could have been the pack-in. Oh gracious me.

3 Gothic II

I bought this game randomly a few months before I bought the video card upgrade to my old PC. This RPG introduced me to the idea of open worlds in a deeper way than GTA2 and GTA3 did. Gothic II also got me interested in the larger world of PC RPGs in general, leading directly to Morrowind and KOTOR leading forward, and back in time to Fallout and even further backwards. Unfortunately, like Final Fantasy I can’t stand the newer releases of this series, but in my mind the first two games are prime examples of how to do open world exploration right and despite being 10 years old, still has more NPC behaviors than Skyrim.

2 Suikoden III

All 3 colored characters are the main protagonists, letting the player see the events of 2/3s of the game from multiple angles.

This game is one of the most important discoveries of my life, and it barely squeaks onto this list. I discovered my favorite console RPG series on a random rental, much like the same day that I randomly rented FF8 and for some reason discovered a lifelong love of the RPG genre period. I rented this game when I was 12, just a few months before becoming a teenager and marking my endpoint of thought for this list. The anime styled intro cinematic had my jaw on the floor and the Trinity Sight System had me hooked as soon as I understood it. Since then I’ve discovered an obsession, and have strong feelings as a fan of this series. This will not be the last time I mention this game or series.

1 Super Mario World & Super Mario Kart

What else should really go here? These two games were the first games that were mine. For a few months they were the only games outside of rentals that I could play. As the first two games for the first system that is mine (and I still own and use nearly daily) this one holds a lot of nostalgic value and just keeps trucking. That SNES has been through many years, and I only hope that it lives alongside me for many more. This well built, rugged Super Nintendo has outlived my first dog, these two carts always nearby for a quick play. Some random days I’ll just pop in Super Mario World and do a quick Star Road speedrun to kill some time. For a bit more of a touching story Super Mario Kart is still the only game I’ve really gotten my dad to play with me, it was never for very long, a race or two on that Christmas day and a couple other times. But, those memories and that bonding will stick with me forever, giving me a good idea of how to be a father to my own children when that chapter of my life unfolds.

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