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Why Did I Play This? Episode 11: Capcom Fighter Power Stick

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When it comes to retro arcade sticks there are a few which everybody knows about, the NES Advantage, Super Advantage, Sega’s Genesis Stick & Saturn Stick, and then the Capcom Fighter Power Stick. But, it has been 20 years since this bulky controller has released so does it hold up?

You’ll just have to stay tuned and find out!

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Psychotic Reviews: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

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Right then, we’ve all had our fun with the ol’ point ‘n click right? Well we’re not going to monkey around ‘ere and take a good, wholesome look at Discworld, released for almost everyfin’ out in ’95. You can find this ol’ game for DOS, Mac, Playstation, and the Sega Saturn (if you live in Europe or Japan).

Ok, I’ve had my fun trying to act like I have an unspecified English accent, my fake accent is better in person I swear, you twat! Since the game is based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels you can expect the same writing from the books. The plot is mostly based on the novel Guards! Guards! but Rincewind is the main protagonist of the game. No complaints in the writing and story department.

Already puzzling just to leave the room!

I recently found the Playstation version, which was only ever pressed and released in the old longbox form in the USA. This is an incredibly early game in the Playstation’s lifecycle, but it was primarily developed for DOS. Even though the game is 2D the optimization for the PS1 is not smooth, and slowdown occurs seemingly whenever anything of note happens, even if it repeats constantly.

Saving and loading is annoying in this game, to save the game you have to reformat the save seemingly randomly, which erases the file, just so you can save another file. Its strange and just too many steps to save a game to a memory card. Loading is also stupid, you have to let a new game start, open the menu, then load the game from there. This just shows how poorly optimized the game is, but since its one of the first PS1 games ever can it really be blamed? I say yes.

I will say that the voice acting in Discworld is amazing. The game was developed by British companies Teeny Weeny Games and Perfect 10 Productions, and published by future Sony studio Psygnosis (RIP). The British is strong with this one, and the cast shows its brilliance throughout the game. Rincewind is (mostly) voiced by Monty Python alum Eric Idle, who is a great fit for the humor of Pratchett’s writing style.

He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

Like any point and click adventure you will be charged with solving many puzzles, both large and small. Some of these puzzles are insanely easy, the item to use will be glaringly obvious, other times you’ll have to really sit down and go through your entire inventory to exhaust all your options before you come across the correct answer. If you’re a fan of Pratchett’s work you may enjoy this game if you have any bit of love for point and clicks, if you can’t stand the genre at all then this game could become quite the nuisance and annoy you.

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that despite its technical problems I still find the PS1 version to be quite playable. The bad news is the price. If you’re going online to buy this the cheapest and easiest option is to buy the Playstation release. The price could still run you $30+ though if you’re wanting the box and manual, and its sequel is not far behind. If you luck out like me and find it in nice shape, and complete, for $5 at a thrift store then take that sucker home!

Now I’m really in the mood to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Happy 2013 to my followers! Here is my gift to you while I go watch the full movie.

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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Quick Ideas

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I’ve been doing some thinking lately and have been wanting to make more text reviews. Why Did I Play This started as text based blog posts before I started doing videos. I’m not planning on ending the videos just moving to a schedule where I will post a new video every 2 weeks and between the videos do some text based review, whether a full on Why Did I Play This, or bringing back a spinoff I tried early Why Didn’t I Play This Sooner, mixing all of these with more traditional reviews.

 

Any thoughts or other ideas from my small community of readers?

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