Welcome to the Video Game Blog.  I have been talking about video games here since 2005!   From Pong to PS3, everything gets covered in here. 

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Old Video Game Blogs
January 2008 - December 2008
October 2007 - December 2007

June 2006 - June 2007

January 2006 - June 2006
November 2005 - December 2005
September 2005 - October 2005
July 2005 - August 2005
May 2005 - June 2005
March 2005 - April 2005

Phantasy Star Online is coming to the App Store for Apple devices as well as for the Android market.  I am excited as PSO was my first foray into online gaming.  I still remember how much fun it was to play it online with the Sega Dreamcast.  Good to see them breath some life into their franchises other than Sonic the Hedgehog.  I would like to see them update Crazy Taxi and come out with a new version as well as their fishing games.  While they are at it, finally release a worthwhile version of Jambo! Safari for the the consoles.

I received an email from Amazon the other day telling me about some games for sale.  While I did not buy any, I was amazed to find out that Yar's Revenge had an updated version made.  I knew that Haunted House had an updated version but this was the first that I heard about Yar's Revenge.

I was watching an episode of Storage Hunters and they had some guys find an Atari 2600 and a NES unit with a handful of common games in a shed.  They said the system and games were worth thousands.  The final value was $2300.00.  The problem is first they were all loose, no boxes.  Second, the games were common as dirt.  Third, the systems were very used.  If I had to figure a value, I would guess maybe $50.00 total value and that is being very generous.  Gotta love a show that does absolutely no research.  That is why I don't care for reality television, there is no reality to it. 

I am interested in seeing how well the Sony Vita does.  It looks very intriguing and possibly the first handheld that interests me.  For the most part, I have no interest in handhelds as they tend to have too small of a screen for my liking.  But the Vita has a bigger screen and with a touch screen and the dual stick really looks interesting to me.  But I never buy a system early on as I want to wait and see if there is enough software that interests me. 

With the new Ipad out, my wife asked me if I was interested in getting a new Ipad.  Still sporting the original one, the new one has caught my attention.  I had no interest in the Ipad 2 because it offered nothing that was a must have for me.  The new Ipad did add one feature that I wanted, 4G, but still did not address what I think is the biggest problem, the small hard drive space.  AS nice as the new graphics are with the Ipad, I will not upgrade until they make the hard drives bigger.  A max of 64 gig is too small for the Ipad.  With the better graphics, the size of the programs is going to get bigger and bigger.  We are already seeing some programs exceeding a gig in size.  That does not factor in the movies, music and photos that everyone wants to put on their device.

I found a fun show on a channel on the Roku called This Ain't No Game or TANG for short.  It has a man who reviews video game based movies and does a good job of showing how bad most of them are.  The show has made me laugh out loud quite a few times and that is saying something.  I would recommend finding it and watching it.  It is worth it.
Not sure if anyone has played the Naomi emulator, but if you have and can tell me how to work the rope in Jambo Safari!  I would be very thankful.  I have gotten to a point where I can drive the jeep but I have yet to get it to allow me to rope an animal.  Bummer as it is one of my favorite games.

After a long break,  I am getting back into MAME again.  Bought an X-Arcade controller during their winter sale and have been loving it!  I still have a Devestator II controller, but it is so big that it I needed something smaller.  Yeah, I miss the tracball and spinner but there are not that many games that actually use them.  I still have my two joysticks and that is enough for now.

Am I the only one that is getting tired of Angry Birds?  I swear that I cannot get anywhere without seeing shirts or stuffed animals.  They are everywhere.

I keep debating on whether or not to get Skyrim.  I always get excited when a new Bethesda game comes out.  But I usually find myself playing for a few weeks and then pushing it aside.  I have yet to actually finish one of their games.  As intriguing as the non linear story is, sometimes I want a straight ahead story with a set path.  Must think about this one.

I find it interesting how much the games for the Ipad and the Ipod for that matter remind me so much of arcade games in the 1980's.  That was probably my favorite time in gaming with new games coming out weekly and companies trying new and unique things.  Sure there were a ton of Space Invaders and Pacman variations, but there were so many totally unique games coming out.  Classics like Tapper, Frogger, Burgertime, Jungle King and Joust.  It was like anything goes.  You went from battling hot dogs in Burgertime to driving a souped up car full of gimmicks in Spy Hunter to being a police mouse trying to recapture stolen merchandise while jumping on trampolines in Mappy.  Add in games like Q*Bert, Pengo and Crazy Climber and you have a period of originality that will never be equalled.  OK, it may be equalled in the App Store.  Games come out fast and there are many unique games popping up.  Fruit Ninja is proof of that.  A game that involves chopping up fruit is pretty unique.  And it has such a classic game vibe to it.  Granted, you have to wade through thousands of Angry Birds clones and more zombie and fart games than anyone would ever want, but the games are there.

A few more Apps that I have loved are I Dig It!, a fun game where you dig in the ground to collect artifacts.  With the limited gas or air and equipment that wears down, you need to weigh what is more important, getting a few more trinkets or getting back to the top alive.  Another great game is called The Deep.  You are a diver who has to do missions for people.  You meet all kinds or problems like sharks and strange creatures as you dive deeper and deeper. 
Bought my kids an XBOX 360 for Christmas (my wife's idea) and so far they are liking it.  Not alot, but they do enjoy the Banjo Kazooie game.  I did enjoy playing two player Fruit Ninja with the Kinect.  Will have to try the other Kinect games.  At least now I will be able to play Fable 2, Fable 3 and the two Left4Dead games that did not come out for my PS3. 

Still kicking it with Onlive.  Built up a sizable library very quickly.  Have 31 games so far and spent less on them than I did on the XBOX 360 IO bought for my kids.  There was a connection problem with the micro console for a bit but that has been resolved.  Now it runs great!  I like how I can take it and hook it to any television. 

The Ipad is still where I play the most games.  One game in particular, Dungeon Raid, gets the bulk of my playing time.  The game is too addictive.   It has saved me a ton of money as I buy few games since I know I will be playing this game.  But I have picked up a ton of free games and found some gems.  Temple Run is one that I enjoy and the free price was a no brainer. 
As I spend more time with Onlive, I must say that I do like it.  It has its problems, but overall it is a good gaming experience.  And they are adding alot of new games with some great preorder deals.  Where else can you get two games and a console for $50.00 with shipping?  I do like how you can do a thirty minute preview of a game.  This gives you a good chance to determine if a game is worthwhile or not. 

For the first time, Onlive is offering a preview of a game that has not been released yet.  You can play the new Red Faction game now, weeks before it comes out. 

That reverend may not have been right about the end of the world, but with Duke Nukem Forever going gold, it is easy to see why he predicted it.  This is the game that has been in the works for over a decade.  But it is only a few weeks from coming out.  That is one sure sign of the Apocalypse.
I was reading about the Dreamcast 2 game system.  It is a rumored system that is supposed to come out on 12/12/12.  If you look up Dreamcast 2 on Youtube, you will find some videos that talk about how Sega has put in various patents for game controllers and other stuff that could be the makings of a video game system.  Supposedly it will be a HD casual system that competes with the Nintendo Wii and its predecessor.  While I would love to see it come out, I am not holding my breath.  Plus, the Mayans say the world ends in 2012, so that would stop Sega from making a new console.

Now that I spent some time with Onlive, I can give a good review of the product.  I must say that I am mixed about how I feel about it.  On one hand, it is a great and affordable option for a console game.  Where else can you get two games and the console for $50.00 plus shipping?  And if you have a good internet speed, then it is nearly as good as a PS3 or XBOX 360.  I say nearly as the graphics are not up to par.  They have them on lower settings to improve internet speed.  That may change as more and more people get faster speeds.

While you can play the games on your computer or on the console, I will talk mostly about the console.  I feel their best chance of success is with the console.  The computer is fine, but they are going head to head with services like Gametap and Steam and either one of those trumps them.  They do not have enough games to really compete, but that may change as they grow.  But with the console, it is a different matter.  It offers an affordable, compact and fun experience for very little money.  And with the sales they are always having, you can get games cheap.  But there is one major problem with the console.  Too many games in the service require a mouse and keyboard to play, which makes them unplayable on the console.  If you get the Playpass that has 50+ games that you can play for $10.00 a month, you will find that nearly half of them are unplayable on the console.  That sucks as that takes away the only RPGs.  So if you want nothing but FPS and 3rd person action games, then you are fine.  But if you want RPGs and simulation games, you are out of luck.  Hopefully this will change in the future.

Now it appears that Sony will be giving two free games as well as the free month of PSN Plus to all the people affected.  There will be five games to choose from for PS3 members and four games for PSP members.  Now that is much better than just a free month.  Let's hope the games are pretty good. 

Over two weeks and the Playstation Network is still down.  From what I read, Sony is offering a free month of the Playstation Plus for our troubles.  Maybe it is just me, but that seems pretty pathetic.  Lose two weeks and counting and you offer a free month.  Seriously?  My personal info, possibly my credit card are compromised and you shut down the service for a few weeks and that is all you offer?  Good way to send people to the XBOX.

Onlive had a sale back in February that I missed on.  It was where you preordered a game and they gave you a game system and another game free.  So instead of paying the usual $100.00 for the Onlive game system with a game, you only pay $50.00 and get the system and two games.  Well, they are doing the sale again.  This time it is with the new Red Faction game.  So I took advantage of it this time.   I have been wanting a game system for the bedroom and this fits the bill. 

Finally watched the new Tron and I can say that I liked it.  Not as much as the original, but it was good.  Yeah, the special effects were better, but I guess the original just has that nostalgia feeling to it that the new one cannot capture.  Something about the time it came out that made it special.  Movies with tons of special effects are all the norm now, but back then they were as rare as really good Atari 2600 games that were not made by Activision.

Speaking of Activision, when are they going to get off their duff and release a compilation pack of their Atari 2600 games for the Ipod and Ipad?  The Atari collection has been selling big time and should prompt others to make a version for the very successful platform.  And an Activision compilation would sell huge.  They have some of the best Atari games (though it would be better if they used the Atari 5200 versions as they have better graphics, but we will take anything).  They could take the format that Atari did and break them into small groups and charge a buck a group or one price for the whole lot.  With games like Pitfall, Pitfall II, Kaboom, Keystone Kapers, Oink, Frostbite, Chopper Command and others, they have a huge selection of great games to choose from.  And they emulated them before, so it would mostly be the effort of making them work with touch controls.  Minimum effort and maximum return.  Sounds like a winning formula to me.

More rumors are coming out on the Wii successor.  Supposedly it will have graphics better than the PS3 and XBOX 360.  It is supposed to have a revolutionary controller like the Wii, only even more amazing.  Since this is the time before E3, the fever is rising for video game news.  Whether or not a new Wii is coming out soon is anyone's guess. 

The Ipad continues to be my gaming platform of choice.  This is even more the case as Atari has released an awesome app.  Yeah, that Atari (even if they are owned by Ubisoft).  It is pretty much a version of their emulator that they released on the PC years ago.  It has 100 total games, with 18 arcade games and 82 Atari 2600 games.  Some of the games take a bit to get used to the different controls, but once you have that down, it is a blast to play.  And they set up an interesting way to buy it.  You get it for free with Pong.  After that,  they have 25 game packs that sell for a buck each.  Each pack has four games.  Or you can buy all of them for $15.00.  While $15.00 is expensive for an app (there are so many great games that are a buck), it is a steal when you consider what it would cost on a console.  And quite a few games have Blue Tooth multiplayer.  I ponied up for the whole thing and feel it is a bargain.

Been enjoying Dead Nation on the PSN (Playstation Network for people who don't know).  Bought it when it was half off for Playstation Plus members.  It is basically Gauntlet with zombies.  You travel around the overrun city and kill hordes of zombies that keep coming after you.  I enjoy zombie games and this is alot of fun.  Gotta try it online with someone else as I keep ending up as Zombie chow.

Just got the new Tron movie from Netflix.  Plan on watching it this weekend.  Been wanting to see it since it was announced, but I am too cheap to go to the theatre.  My philosophy is I can get a month of movies from Netflix or one night at the theatre.  A no brainer for me.  And my floor is less sticky than the theatre floor.

The rumors are starting for the next generation of game systems.  Will Nintendo or Microsoft be the first to launch a new system?  I personally don't see a new game system to next year at the earliest.  All three systems are doing very well.  The Move for the XBOX has really boosted sales.  I am sure all three companies are working on new systems, but now is the time when their systems are the most profitable.  The initial costs are recouped for research and development and the user base is big enough that they are making big bucks from licensing fees that the third party software companies are paying.

My one son bought a 3DS.  He has been saving for it since last year and we had to rush out and get it the first day it came out.  I must say that I am impressed by the 3D.  Haven't played enough to really draw an opinion.  And the really good Nintendo first party games have yet to come out.  Right now he  has Street Fighter and Pilot Wings.

Yeah, it has been ages since I wrote here, but here is an update.  I doubt anyone is reading this anyways, but if you still check it out, send me an email and let me know someone reads this.

I see the IPad 2 is coming.  I have loved the IPad and while I like what I read from about the next version, I will refrain.  The thing I want more than anything is a bigger hard drive.  Maybe they will have that in the IPad 3.

The IPad has me playing more games than ever.  It has so many fun pick up and play games that I just love.  Top games for me are Dungeon Raid, Fruit Ninja, Puzzle Quest, World of GooPoicket Frogs and Hungry Shark.  There are so many great games and most are a buck.  If you are patient, you can get almost any game cheap.  And alot of good games for free!

My wife gave me $50.00 for Christmas (yeah, she isn't the biggest shopper) and I decided to make it last all year long.  How do you make $50.00 give you gaming fun for a whole year?  You buy an annual subscription to Playstation Plus.  It gives me 15 months of free games!  They literally give you 4 or more free games a month.  You get one PS1 game, one full game and a few small games.  You can keep them as long as you are a subscriber.  What happens when the service eventually ends is anyone's guess.  But it is a great deal!
Never was one for getting the latest and greatest thing, but this time I took the plunge.  Bought an Apple iPad and really like it!  Having a son with autism, it makes car rides and waits at doctor's offices much nicer.  He can go on Youtube, look at family photos and listen to his music.  The interface is easy to understand and it runs great! 

Been looking at many of the games on the iPad and it reminds me of the days of the Atari 2600.  There are some really good games and a ton of trash.  I guess that also explains the current market of the Wii.  I mean who would pay money for Tic Tac Toe?  I know there are free versions of Tic Tac Toe, but there are a few that cost $.99.  I get it is only a buck, but it is Tic Tac Toe.  Anyone over the age of 10 should end up with nothing but ties or Cat as they call it, if my memory serves me well. 

It will take a few months for the great games to come to the iPad.  Right now it is mostly ports from the iPhone and a bunch of people pushing out dreck like tic tac toe and solitaire and hoping to make some quick cash.  I know there are people who will argue that solitaire is not dreck, but you can get it for free, there is no reason to pay $2.00, $3.00 or even as high as $5.00 for it.

The big push now is 3D games.  Maybe it is me, but I really have no interest in 3D games.  If done right, I guess it could be good, but with decades of disappointment from 3D movies, I find it hard to get excited about it.  Come on Sony or Microsoft, prove me wrong.  You can't do any worse than Jaws 3 in 3D or any of the other horrible movies I have seen.
Happy Birthday Pacman!  He hits 30 years old!  Hard to believe it was that long ago when it came out.  I still remember when it was first released.  Heck, I can remember when Pong came out.  Man, I am getting old.  Anyway, have a good birthday Pacman!

Amazon has been having a ton of sales on PS3, Wii and XBOX 360 games.  Games are on sale, then they give you $10.00 off your next purchase.  And some even include free MP3s.  If you are in the market for some new games, you may want to check it out.

Speaking of deals, Hollywood Video is having some big sales on their website.  Be warned that traffic is heavy, so you may experience some serious lag times.

The trailers for the Prince of Persia movie looks really good.  Glad to see a video game getting the proper treatment.  And it is even better to see a video game movie not done by Uwe Boll. 

With Prince of Persia being added to the list of video games that became movies, it made me wonder what other video games would make good movies.  There have already been movies based on Super Mario Bros, Doom, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider and Street Fighter, to name a few.  But what games have not been turned into movies that would make great ones?  I know alot of games have been optioned to be turned into movies like Bioshock, but there has to be some gems that have yet to be scooped up.  I feel that Centipede could be a good movie, if done right.  You would need to change it some to make it the story of a man who battles the giant insects that plague his village and the woman he loves.  Or Sinistar with the right script could be interesting.  Crazy Taxi could also be fun if done right.  They would have to add a reason for the cabbie to be driving so crazy.  He needs to race across the city to keep kidnappers from killing his kid. 

Been working like crazy on this site building a huge Video Games For Sale section.  It is links to games and stuff for sale on Amazon, but it helps support this site.  I also made it easier to find stuff as I put all the games together by system and in alphabetical order.  To date, I have put up pages for the following systems - Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Odyssey II, Intellivision, NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis and Sega Master System.  There are literally thousands of different games and systems for sale!  I also did pages for video game t-shirts, toys, dvds and more.  Check it out!

Time to clear out the mail box.  Here are a few emails that I received that I would like to pass on to you.  First off, there is a video game show coming to the Philadelphia area.  I know, they get a bunch of game shows.  Well, if you want a game show in your area, hock in the Subaru and start one.  It's that simple.  Anyway, here is the info on the show.  It is in Reading, PA and is this Sunday (for you not paying attention - that is April 18th, 2010).  Here is a link to the site.  If  you can make it, go and enjoy yourself.    http://www.toomanygames.com/

Next on the agenda is a cool video link sent from Paul at Retrogaming Times Monthly (for people not in the know, it is a continuation of the newsletter found in this very site).  Anyway, here is a link to a really cool video that is video game themed.  Enjoy!  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcv6dv_pixels-by-patrick-jean_creation

The latest Steam game that is taking my time is called Simplz Zoo and it crosses zoo building game with a tetris type clone (you know the match three tiles games that are all the rage).  It was cheap and fun, sorta how I used to describe myself on a date.  But I digress. 

Speaking of dates, when you have a website, you get all kinds of junk mail in your in box.  The latest to make me laugh is one from an adult version of Facebook.  they take face and change it to a word that begins with the same first letter but is not printable.  According to this email, I have a dozen people looking to hook up with me.  Gotta love an email that does not know who I am, what gender I am, my age or anything.  But yet, they have a dozen people ready to hook up with me.  Ewww.  Time to delete that one and go back to reading how I am the heir to a few hundred million.

God of War III was the big seller last month.  Over a million copies in the first month with lots of other games right behind it.  In fact, game sales were up over last year.  Great news, but nothing to get too excited about until they do it without all the massive launches.  I mean, how many months will God of War, Final Fantasy and Pokemon all come out at the same time?

Been enjoying my Steam games.  Still playing Plants vs Zombies and must say it is one of the best casual games I have ever played.  So much gameplay that it will keep you busy for weeks.  Also enjoy a game called Feeding Frenzy 2, which is a souped up version of Shark! Shark! for the Intellivision.  It is the game where you are a small fish and you need to eat smaller fish.  Eat enough and you grow bigger and can eat bigger fish.  But watch out for bigger fish as they will eat you.  The game has great graphics, variety of fish and levels, bonus stages, power-ups and more.  A ton of fun and pretty inexpensive.

On the PS3 front, I have been playing alot of Pinball Hall of Fame and Soul Calibur 4.  The Pinball is fun as each table has goals to meet.  Beat all the goals allows you to unlock a table on free play.  Then you get another set of goals.  Makes the game more fun.

This has been the month for PS3.  With Final Fantasy XIII and Gods of War III out, gamers have nothing to complain about.  And Gran Turismo 5 is right around the corner.  Actually, all of the gaming world has been blessed this year so far.  Games like Dante's Inferno, Bayonetta, Darksiders, Bioshock 2 and Aliens vs Predator are enough to keep most gamers more than busy.  But then you add in the upcoming sports games (baseball and soon after football) and you have a serious year of gaming.  And we are not anywhere near the holiday season.

Have a bunch of stuff to cover here, so try to keep up.  First off, Atari has re-released the Atari Flashback 2 plug and play game console.  For anyone who does not know, it is a game system that  has 40 built in games.  It is shaped just like an Atari 2600 console and comes with two controllers.  Most of the games are original Atari 2600 games like Centipede and Missile Command, while others are new versions of games, prototypes and more.  If you are an Atari fan, it is a great package. 

I bought a handful of games on Steam, most of which were on sale.  The one game that I really enjoy is called Plants versus Zombies.  The goal of the game is to build your garden of plants to battle the oncoming attack of zombies.  It may sound strange and it is.  The plants are not your garden variety ones.  They are stuff like Peashooter plants, cherry bombs and Snow peashooters.  The game just oozes with personality as you have zombies that come wearing helmets, riding zambonis and carrying screen doors.  Just a great game!

The Classic Gaming Expo is back on this year.  After a year hiatus, it is good to see the show is back and in Las Vegas.  If you are a fan of classic games, you owe it to yourself to get to at least one of the shows.  Great place to play games, meet the people who made your favorite classic arcade and home video games and meet with other fans.  Here is a link to the website for more information: http://cgexpo.com

Finished Afrika for the PS3 and really enjoyed the game.  It had some flaws, like how the jeep handles, but overall it is a great game!  Stunning graphics, realistic animal movements and some fun missions.  I hope for a sequel, but I am not holding my breath.

Merry Christmas!  Hope you have a happy holidays and get lots of games!

I finally put the brakes on my PS3 game buying spree.  Final count is 9 games (I did trade a few in) enough gameplay to keep me busy for awhile.  Goodbye to Rise of the Argonauts (finished it) and to the Ratchet and Clank game (got to a point where I could go no further and said forget that).  So here is my list of games - Elder Scrolls Oblivion, Fallout 3, Afrika, Williams Pinball Collection, Dragon Age Origins, Bioshock, The Orange Box, Conan and the game I imported and paid a premium for - Aquanaut's Holiday. 

The winds outside are making me think about a game I saw where you are a tornado.  It sounded like an interesting concept.  Maybe if I find it for a bargain down the road.

There were some serious deals the day after Thanksgiving.  I did not take advantage of them as I spent all my game money on Aquanaut's Holiday.  I loved the PS1 game and so far I am loving this game.  The story is a bit stupid with singing fish and what have you, but the graphics are great, there is a ton to explore and it is just fun.  I love games where you just explore.

I have been getting emails asking why I did not choose the XBOX 3620 over the PS3.  The biggest reason is that I still hold a grudge against Microsoft because they just pulled all support for the XBOX when they released the XBOX 360.  The games just dried up.  But the Playstation 2 still has games coming out for it.  I just envision a similar scenerio when the next XBOX system comes out and I feel it will be pretty soon.  That and all the problems with the system.

I would like to see a repeat of the rush of remade classic games that happened about 10 - 15 years ago.  You know, when they did new versions of Frogger, Centipede, Asteroids and others.  I think it would be great to see these done and sold on the XBOX, PS3 and Wii game stores.  They would not be hard to do and without the cost of packaging, they could do it on the cheap.

With Black Friday around the corner, the video game deals are popping up everywhere.  Pretty much every system is offering games if you buy it on Friday.  Gamestop has some of the best deals with the PS3 packaged with Gods of War two pack and Little Big Planet.  The XBOX 360 comes with the new Marvel Ultimate Alliance game as well as a few other games.  And they have buy two used games and get one free.  You can do the used games online, but I would not recommend it.  From my past experiences, their games can come scratched and/or without cases or manuals. 

I found for online used games, either Amazon or Gamefly.  I have yet to get a game that was not in great shape from Gamefly. 

It is amazing how last year, you could not find Wiis or Wiifit, but this year they are everywhere and being discounted for Black Friday.  I have seen a Wii at $20.00 off and other places had it come with a game or two for $199.99.  What a difference a year makes.

What is even more amazing is there is no hot game or system this year.  There are popular ones like the Nintendo DSi or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but nothing that is selling for big money on ebay. 

So far the first month with the PS3 has gone well.  I have amassed quite a few games in a very short period of time.  Here is a quick recap of what I think of the games that I have played so far:

Elder Scroll Oblivion - A huge world to explore with great graphics and a ton to find.  Everything I hoped for and then some.  Well worth the money (and now you can find it pretty cheap).

Fallout 3 - I didn't like the beginning.  It was a pain to get out of the building, but once you are out, the game really shines.  Who would have thought a nuclear wasteland could look so good? 

Rise of the Argonauts - This game has more talking than a presidential debate.  But at least the voice acting is very good.  The story is good, not great and the fighting is pretty much a hack and slash.  But for the low price I paid, it is pretty decent.

Bioshock - Waited forever to play this game and the wait was worth it!  Now this is a top notch game. 

Afrika - I know it has its flaws (no dialogue, a vehicle that sucks to drive), but I am having the most fun with it.  I always like the odd game and this one falls in that category.

I cannot go anywhere on the net and not come across an ad for an online game called Evony.  From what I can gather, it is a turn based war game of sorts.  Which is all well and good, but if you ever see the ads, they show nothing of the actual game.  They are pics of half naked women.  What this has to do with the game is anyone's guess.  I guess if you play too much of it, that is as close as you will get to a real woman.  Most likely it is the old adage, sex sells. 

I really need to stop with Facebook.  Yeah, it's fun but I waste too much time playing stupid games that are all pretty much the same.  This time I am a super hero, the next game has me playing a viking or a pirate or whatever.  The gameplay is the same, but I still get sucked into too many of these things.  This is the reason I originally avoided Facebook.

Speaking of wasting time, I finally bought a PS3 and have been enjoying it immensely.  Oblivion and Fallout 3 are both awesome!  Even been enjoying some of the cheap games I bought like Rise of the Argonauts, Conan and Legends of Wrestlemania.

Happy Halloween!  Great time to load up on candy and do an all-night video game session.  It is even better to play some horror games with the lights down low.  Break out some Resident Evil or Silent Hill and have fun!  Or if you are like me, you will break out Illbleed for the Dreamcast.  I still like this mostly forgotten game.

Afrika is finally out and it looks good.  Not sure on how it plays, but it looks good.   Need to do more research into this game.  I like unique games and it is unique.  But after the mediocre safari photo game I played on the PC, I am reluctant. 

Checked out the Best Buy sale this week and while I did not buy anything, I can say that they did not pull their best games like Toys R Us.  They had plenty of the hottest titles out there.

Been looking at alot of NES games lately.  I have been updating the NES box pages (actually I was changing the ebay links to go right to the specific game) and I was enjoying looking at the different boxes.  I still think the NES had the best selection of boxes.  Some of the most unique boxes out there. 

They need a Great Pumpkin video game.  It can be a bunch of mini games like trying to get the most candy (and avoid getting rocks) to trying to get the great pumpkin to come and when he does, run like hell because he comes hungry.  I love the Robot Chicken where the Great Pumpkin comes and eats all the Peanuts.  One of the best ever!

The big hits are coming out fast for the PS3 and XBOX 360.  Games like the new Halo game, Uncharted 2, Brutal Legend and more are hitting the stores.  But there are more games than ever that are being pushed to the first part of next year.  So for gamers who are feeling the pinch in the wallet, you will have some extra time to buy all the hits.

Speaking of hits, I have not heard alot from Nintendo on big Wii hits.  There is the new Super Mario Bros, which is a remake of sorts of the classic game.  But no sign of a real new Mario game.  Or Link game.  Heck, where is Kirby or Yoshi?  There is a Metroid Other game in the works, but you would think a few more big hitters would be coming out.  Aren't we due for a new Super Smash Bros yet? 

One thing that worries me about the Jambo! Safari game coming is it is not the arcade game, but a new game.  Sure, it uses some of the ideas from the arcade game, but Sega does not have the best track record of late, so who knows what it will end up like.  There is already Ostrich races added and some meerkat mini game.  I just hope they throw the original arcade game in there somewhere.

I was at Toys R Us the other day to check their buy 2 get 1 free sale they have every year.  As I looked over the PS3 titles, I could not help but think that they were pulling some games to keep them for after the sale.  The selection was slim to say the least.  You had new games like Uncharted 2 and Fallout 3 game of the year edition missing.  They did have a nice selection of Lego games and games  based on children's movies like G Force available.  Maybe it is me, but if I spent good money to get a PS3 or XBOX 360, the last thing I would waste my money on is games like G Force or Cloudy with a Side of Meatballs.  But then the same could be said for Blu Ray movies.  If I am going to buy a Blu Ray movie, it needs to be something that would benefit from it.  I cannot see getting some movie like a Sleepless in Seattle on Blu Ray. What's the point?  Star Wars, yeah I can see it.  300, definately.  But On Golden Pond, what for?

Why is it whenever a new format comes out, one of the first movies available is The Fifth Element?  It was one of the first DVD movies and Blu Ray.  I have not seen the movie in a long time, but I remember it being pretty bad.  I don't think a higher quality picture will improve it.

One of my all-time favorite arcade games is finally coming to the home consoles!  Jambo! Safari from Sega is making its way to the Nintendo Wii this November.  It was originally slated to come out on the Dreamcast, so long ago.  But like many great games, it was canceled.  But now I will be able to capture animals to my heart's content and not drop a buck a game.  And it will have some new content, so everything is good!

Speaking of Jambo! Safari, one of the best parts of going to Disney Quest (for those who never heard of it, it is a multi-level arcade created by Disney) was being able to play Jambo! Safari over and over!  They had a wall full of them and there was usually one open.  I must have played a dozen games.  But I still could not capture the Sabre Tooth Tiger.  But come November, he will be mine!

Recently signed up for Netflix and I must say that I am more than happy with it!  I used to get all my movies from the library (free is good), but I found alot of stuff I wanted was not available or would never come in.  I have strange tastes (my all-time favorite TV show is Red Dwarf to give you an idea) and the library caters more to the average person.  They do have alot of different stuff, but most of it is one copy that may take months to come in, if the person ever returns it.  But Netflix has anything and everything I could ever think of.

Now that Disney owns Marvel Comics, maybe we will finally see the Marvel Online RPG game released.  It has hit written all over it, but for some reason, it keeps getting delayed. 

Sony has confirmed that they are re-releasing the Gods of War games in HD.  It makes you wonder what other games should be released that way.  Some obvious choices are the Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet and Clank and the Final Fantasy.  Personally, I would like to see Ico and especially Everblue 2.  That is still one of my all-time favorite games. 

Nintendo has dropped the price of the Wii to $199.99.  Good to see the battle for the holiday sales has begun!  Now I want to see some serious bundles.  The lower prices are great, but we want some games added. 

Glad to see that Brutal is coming out within a month.  It is always great to see games that were cancelled, like Brutal and Ghostbusters, get picked up and released. 

I still remember quite a few years ago, we had a bunch of family over for a birthday party for my kids.  It was when I was big into the Dreamcast and I had Sega Marine Fishing set up on one of the televisions.  It was interesting to watch my father, father-in-law and other people who never played a video game in their life, playing Sega Marine Fishing.  With the fishing controller, it was so intuitive for them to play that I didn't need to sit down and teach them how to play the game.  Just cast and reel, like the real thing.  I remember thinking how incredible this was that Sega was able to make a controller and game that could get non gamers to play.  Fast foward to the release of the Wii and I cannot help but wonder if someone at Nintendo took at look at that fishing controller and thought how they could take that concept and build on it. 

A leaked report has said that Sony plans on releasing all the PS2 games (at least the ones they made) onto the Playstation Network for download on the PS3.  That is for a fee of course.  Did anybody not see this coming when they dropped the backwards compatibility?  Can't blame them for trying to make more money off their old games.  Nintendo has done it for years, as has Sega, so why not Sony?  If the price is right, I may buy a few.

Speaking of backwards compatibility, does anyone really use this feature that much?  I know I barely played my PS1 games on the PS2.  Outside of a few games, I found that I would rather spend my time with the newer games.  But that is just me.  But then I play classic arcade games whenever I see them.  So I am a walking contradiction.

I am still waiting for Burger King to release their next set of games.  The world wants more cheap, crappy games and we demand that Burger King supply them. 

It is funny that every time I wear my Donkey Kong t-shirt, I get asked if I saw the documentary, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.  I didn't realize that many people saw the movie.  That or I just keep running into the people who did see it.  I think a sequel is needed. 

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Sega Dreamcast.  Yes, it came out on 09/09/99.  It is probably my all-time favorite system.  I still play it on occasion and there are a ton of great games for it.  From my first online experiences with NFL 2K1 and Phantasy Star Online to the great multiplayer games like Bomberman, Ooga Booga and Powerstone to the very fun Sega Marine Fishing, there are a ton of great memories on that system.  Too bad it could not survive another year.  There were a ton of games that were coming that would have made it an even better system.  Oh well, guess I have to enjoy what did come out.

The other big news for the day is the release of Rock Band The Beatles.  I do not have Rock Band or I would be buying it today.  My kids have Guitar Hero and it is times like this that I regret not getting them Rock Band instead.  Maybe they will fix that and release Guitar Hero The Who.

Received a link to an interview on CNN Money with the guys behind Harmonix, the makers of Rock Band.  It is a very good read, especially if you are into the music games (and judging by sales, I would say many of you are).  Here is the link to the story.


Speaking of Rock Band, I have been seeing some of their Rock Band The Beatles videos they do.  Pretty clever how they made sure to capture the reason why seeing the Beatles in concert was not that enjoyable, unless you were a young girl.  Something about an audience of screaming women to ruin a concert.  I understand getting excited, but when you drown out the music and give everyone a headache, then you have gone too far.  Easy to say since I was not alive at the height of Beatlemania.  Still, the VH1 videos are pretty clever and a good way to build interest in the game.

Been spending time on Facebook.  It happened by accident, but I found it enjoyable in small doses.  If you want to stop by and say hello, just look me up under my name - Tom Zjaba.  As far as I know, I am the only Tom Zjaba in the world, so I am pretty easy to find.

Haven't talked about any classic games in awhile.  I did post my highest score on Frogger at Cedar Point a few weeks back, over 40,000.  They did give me five frogs rather than the usual three, so that aided the high score.  But it was fun to put up some high scores on Frogger, Ms. Pacman, Berzerk and Gorf.  Granted, there were not alot of people playing them, but it was still fun to see my high score up, even if they would be erased in a few hours.

Been doing a monthly comic strip for Retrogaming Times Monthly newsletter (the one that continued where I left off with my Retrogaming Times).  It is called Laughing Pixels. 

Just heard the huge news of the day, Disney is buying Marvel for $4 billion.  All I can say is WOW!  This has implications on so many levels.  But there are some questions that are worthg bringing up.  First, I didn't know Marvel was for sale.  I know they were in bad shape a decade ago, but then came the steady flow of Marvel movies that filled their coffers (for the people not keep score at home, that is three Spiderman, three X-Men, two Fantastic Four, two Hulk, one Iron Man, one Ghost Rider, one Daredevil, one Electra, three Blade movies and a few I probably missed).  So to say that Marvel is a valuable property is an understatement.  Second question - What does this do to Universal and their deal with Marvel?  The Islands of Adventure part of the their theme park hosts some of their most popular rides (namely the Spiderman ride and the Hulk coaster).  But with Disney being a huge rival of Universal, what will happen with that?  I am sure there is a contract in place, but as we learned in this country, any contract can be broken.  The next question is what does this do with all the movie properties?  Sony  had the Spiderman movies and other studios did other movies.  Will all the movies not under contract all be done by Disney?  Next question - How does this affect the comic division?  It is not the most profitable section of the company, but it is the one that creates all the properties for the rest of the company. 

Back when the XBOX was first coming out, I said that Microsoft should buy Marvel.  I thought it would be a major coup for them to have all the Marvel properties be exclusives on their systems.  I also said they should have bought the Wizards of the Coast (who make Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons) for the very same reason.  Well, they didn't listen.  Instead they bought Rare and we all seen how well that turned out.

I guess that Universal could always grab the DC Heroes license from Six Flags.  With that company headed to bankruptcy court, they should be able to snatch that away.  They could then just rebrand the rides and be back in business.

Didn't take long for Microsoft to respond.  They have dropped the price of their Elite system (the one with the 120 gig hard drive) to $299.99 to match Sony.  Now let's see who has the best bundled games with it.

I am getting one of the new systems this Christmas, but I have not decided on which one.  Right now, I am leaning towards the PS3, but I am still torn.  God of War 3, Ratchet and Clank and Blu Ray capability are three reasons to consider it.  The XBOX 360 has the Fable series, Banjo Kazooie and a better warranty on their side.  At least I have time to weigh the pros and cons. 

I am on Facebook now.  Happened by accident.  Was looking for info on a local musical artist and I had to create a membership to view the page and I made a Facebook page.  Didn't think about it, until I received a bunch of friend requests.  So I decided to do something with it.  Added a picture, some info and have more friends.  It is more interesting than I expected.

I have received a few emails about whether I do gaming blog on twitter.  Sorry, but I do not twitter.  Don't even have a cell phone.  Heck, my websites are done in Frontpage, which last received an update in 2003.  I am beyond obsolete, but then I write about classic games, so what did you expect?

I see that Fable III is under development for the XBOX 360.  It is good to see this becoming a series.  While I only played the first one, I loved the game.  When I finally make the jump to the next level, it is one of the first games I will buy.

Speaking of next level, the PS3 just received a new design and a price cut.  It will now be $299.99.  Time for Microsoft to respond.  This could be a good holiday for gamers.

Word is that alot of games are being delayed until next year because of the glut of games this holiday and the economy.  So we may end up with a glut of games in the first quarter next year. 

Want to bid on a very expensive piece of video game history?  I know that I am making it sound bigger than it is, but for Vectrex fans, it is a must own.  Yes, it is the 3D Imager.  The same one that worked with a handful of games, including one where you are on a roller coaster.  I tried it once and it was interesting.  A bit scary to have something whirling around so close to my eyes, but what is life without risks?  Anyway, if you have money to burn and need one, there is one for auction at the video game only auction site, Chase the Chuckwagon (yeah, like the Atari game that is very collectible, but not so playable).  Here is a link.  Check out some other auctions while you are there.


Here is an interesting tidbit.  Stride Gum is giving $25,000 to an arcade to help save it.  All you have to do is play this online game and donate the points you earn to the arcade of your choice.  Whichever one gets the most points will get the money.  With very few arcades left, this is a great cause.  Here is a link, so go play!


Speaking of arcades, I wish someone would donate money so that Cedar Point could hire someone to fix all the broken arcade games.  They  have a huge arcade full of great classics, most of which are either broken or have some problem.  But I still spend about $5.00 in the arcade, every time I visit there.

I am disappointed with the new G-Force game.  No, not the anime cartoon that was known as Battle of the Planets in the states, but the game based on the movie about the guinea pigs.  You may wonder why I am disappointed with it.  Because it is a game based on a stupid movie and it does not suck.  Don't these programmers know that these kinds of games are supposed to be bad?  We live to make fun of stuff like this.  Thanks for letting us  down.  What's next?  A good Barbie game? 

Maybe it is just me, but I think it is time for a new Beavis and Butthead game.  Been watching them on MTV and I think they could do a good open world game based on the two most immature teens on television. 

Just watched the trailer for the new Tron movie that comes out in 2010.  Called Tron Legacy, it looks pretty good.  Jeff Bridges reprises his role, which is nice.  You can find the trailer on Youtube at the following address:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1IpPpB3iWI

Got an email for a video game show coming up in Philadelphia.  It is called Game Core and it is looking to be pretty good.  Tournaments, live bands and more!  Check it out and if you can make it, let me know how it is.  Here is the link: http://www.gamecorecon.com/

Dusted off the XBOX and decided to get a few new games for it.  Bought Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas off ebay and put a bid on Land of the Dead.  Two games that I wanted, but did not want to pay alot for.  Picked up GTA for $8.99 shipping included.  Will have to see if I win the bid on Land of the Dead. 

I am also looking at setting up  my Dreamcast again.  I have a nice selection of games for it and still enjoy playing it.  It also helps to have two different arcade joysticks, a steering wheel, fishing controller, two sets of maracas and a light gun.  That definitely adds to the enjoyment.  Maybe I will even have another therapy session with Seaman. 

Took my son to Gamestop to spend a gift card I earned doing online surveys.  As he went over the large selection of DS games, I decided to look over some of the games to see what is out.  As I looked over the Wii and Gameboy/DS selection, I was shocked by the amount of garbage.  I swear for every game that interested me, there was at least four games that I would not pay a buck for.  There is a game where you play birthday games.  Yes, a birthday game. 

As I looked over the list of games, I noticed there was not one, but two different games that let you be a babysitter.  I know there is a shortage of games for young girls, but can't they come up worth something better than this?  Japan gives you dating sims, in America you get to simulate doing a low paying job.  What's next?  I Wanna be a Janitor or Burger Flipping Fun?  Oh wait, we already have a bunch of burger games.  At least when I was a kid, the only burger game was Burgertime and that involved running over burgers to build them. 

Want to hear something sad?  I go to Gamestop and immediately I am greeted by an employee looking to help me.  Ditto when I went to Best Buy.  But I go to Lowes to look at refrigerators and we are looking for over 20 minutes without a single person acknowledging our existence.  This includes three girls who walked past us and complained to each other about their hours.  Pretty sad when you can get better service for buying a video game than a major appliance. 

 I was tempted by the XBOX 360 they had for sale at Gamestop.  It was the Elite version that came with two games.  Not just two throw-ins but actually two games I would want.  The games are Halo 3 and Fable 2.  Now that is what pack-in games should be. 

I have been so tempted to buy Bioshock for the PC.  It is one of those games that almost made me buy an XBOX 360.  I have been able to fight the urge so far, but I know I will cave in eventually.

Only a few months left before my Gametap subscription runs out.  And still no sign of them supporting 64 bit systems.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.  I gotta make a mental note to contact them and make sure they don't try to automatically renew. 

I wonder who would win in a fight between the Pink Panther and Chester Cheetah.  Personally, I would bet on the Pink Panther.  He has dealt with all kinds of adversaries including knights, angry plumbers, giant birds and more.  What has Chester battled except for obesity? 

Speaking of crazy fights, what about Mighty Mouse versus Underdog?  They are pretty evenly matched.  If I had to pick one, I would go with Mighty Mouse.  No reason, just a gut feeling.

Remember when those plug and play games were all the rage?  It was a few years ago, when they sprouted up everywhere.  They started with stuff like Pacman and later they made platform games out of every movie license under the sun.  Soon, you could get every Disney, Dreamworks and Nickelodeon license in plug and play form.  Wonder why that suddenly seemed to die off?  Was it the lame gameplay?  That you could download the same games on your Wii, PS3 or XBOX 360?  I don't know but my biggest gripe was no game save.  Without the ability to save your high score, what is the sense in it? 

I am waiting to see if there are any really good deals on the game systems this Christmas.  With the systems reaching a maturation point and a very weak economy, it may be a great time for gamers who need systems and still have some room on their credit cards.  Personally, I am hoping for a double bonus of a price cut and some bundle deals.  Here's hoping!

Is it just me or is a movie based on the video game Wizard of Wor sound like a winner?  Space and dungeons, what a great combo.  Much better than my idea for a Gorf based opera.

Want to know why this recession is going as long as it is?  Because many very healthy companies are using it as an excuse to cut wages, benefits and jobs.  For every General Motors or Chrysler that needs to shed jobs, there is another dozen companies that are doing well, but want to use the opportunity to increase their profits.  If it wasn't so in vogue to screw the American worker, we would be heading out of this recession already.  Just read the news reports and you will see plenty of companies that are showing record or near record earnings that are sticking it to their employees.  If we can get the rest of the companies to do this, we may be able to have an second Great Depression.

Been playing a TI 99 emulator that I received an email about.  It is quite good and unlike some of the earlier ones, will play all the games.  It was good to play a bunch of games that I had on carts from back when I owned a TI computer.  Still one of my favorite games is a game called Sneggit.  It was a simple game where you were a chicken and you grabbed eggs and put them in a nest and tried to keep a snake from eating them.  I used to play the daylights out of that game.  It was also fun to play Anteater, a game I bought for my uncle years ago.   While the TI was not the best game machine, it had enough good games to make it fun.

Actually bought a second computer game, Spore, and I am enjoying it.  Granted, the game is pretty simple and no matter how many times you die, you keep coming back.  Yeah, like an alien Jason.  But it is fun to develop your creature and add all kinds of new stuff to it.  I actually bought it to create creatures to use in comic strips, but right now I am having fun with it. 

Received an email from Circuit City.  I thought this company was gone.  Did a little research and found that a company named Systemax bought the rights to the Circuit City website.  I know it is still a brand name and people know it, but I personally would rather organically grow a brand name than be associated with that company.  I quit shopping there years before they went bankrupt and was not upset by their demise.  Sure, people lost their jobs.  Sure, suppliers took a loss.  But they were a horrible company that pretty much dug their own grave.  Do some research into the company and you can see where the wheels starting coming off.

Been playing more Zoo Tycoon 2.  Had to go into sandbox mode so that I could put my Dodo birds in the zoo.  Takes too long the other way.  Have to build a zoo, do research, raise money and build pens.  Yeah, that is fun, but I want to see my dodo birds. 

I see that you can download the Michael Jackson "Thriller" video for free on XBOX Live.  I guess I should be touched by this generous gesture on Microsoft's part.  Instead, all I can think of is why would anyone pay to download a video on their XBOX?  Go to a site like Youtube and you can watch all the videos you want for free.  To be fair, I think they should offer a collection of Billy Mays best commercials for free download as well.

I see the latest Cash4Gold ad says they are paying 20% more for your gold.  I ask "20% more than what?"  If you are paying next to nothing, does 20% more really mean anything?  If I offer you a few crumbs for dinner, will 20% more crumbs really fill you up?  I am just asking.

With all these classic stories being remade into movies for the umpteenth time, I fully expect a glut of video game titles to follow.  What I am talking about is movies coming based on Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Invisible Man.  If anything, at least it gets people interested in classic stories.  Oh, and they have two movies based on William Tell.  And if I am correct, he has not had a video game based on him yet.

Speaking of classic stories turned into video games, wouldn't it be cool to take a handful of them and turn them into a video game.  Take the biggest scenes from various stories and intertwine them into one game.  You could come up with some plot where you have to chase down some person who is trying to erase the great stories of literature.  You would battle Moby Dick in one level, then go off and help Robin Hood save Maid Marion.  Then you would fight alongside the Three Musketeers and then try to storm Frankenstein's Castle.  Heck, you could make a game just on the stories of HG Wells. 

E3 is over and it was one of the most lackluster ones in recent years.  With the recession forcing many game companies to rethink what to release and what to cancel, things may be a little slim for the next few years.  Of course by slim, it means that there won't be a thousand games released for Christmas. 

I am glad to see that Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising are both getting sequels.  There is never enough zombie games.  You can add zombies to just about any game and make it better.  Trust me, a bunch of zombies would even make those dreadful "Totally Raven" gameboy games better.  Heck, they could even improve the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen games.  Well, only if the zombies ate them.  Now that game would sell.

There are rumors of a drop in price for the Wii.  Talk of it going down to $199.00 in price.  Will it happen?  Who knows.  It is not selling out in minutes anymore, but that doesn't mean it isn't selling well.

The second Grand Theft Auto download is coming for the XBOX 360.  My question is, will we see them bundled with the game when it becomes a greatest hit title in a year or so?  That would suck for the people who paid to download it. 

Another rumor has a new XBOX system coming out in 2010.  I do not see that happening.  They do have motion controllers coming and there is talk of a system upgrade with that.  I think it would be a bad idea.  They already fragmented the system enough with ones with hard drives and ones without.  If they do this, we could see a second coming of the Sega Genesis and all its add-ons.  They already have hard drives you can add, a HD-DVD player to add that is not supported anymore and now they are going to have new controllers.  Just let the system run its course and start planning the next one. 

Been reading some of the news coming from E3 and it is interesting.  I see that at least another 100 games will be made for the PS2.  It is now known as the system that will not die. 

The PSP has  a new version coming out called the PSP Go.  Smaller with 16 Gig of internal memory and more, it sounds good.  Just add a phone and you can be everything the N Gage wasn't. 

They announced ten of the songs that will be on the Rock Band the Beatles.  As I look over the list, I am glad to see "Back in the USSR" on there as I always liked that song.  And playing "I Am the Walrus" will be fun.  Wonder if they will have some trippy backgrounds for it?  I cannot wait to see the rest of the songs.  Here's hoping "Helter Skelter" makes it.  I think it will. 

Hopefully more groups will follow suit and release Rock Band or Guitar Hero compilations.  Groups like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath would be big sellers.  You could do one with Eric Clapton as long as you include his Cream and Traffic stuff. 

Lego Harry Potter just sounds dumb.  Well, it does sound better than Lego Playboy Mansion.  Or Lego Gran Turismo.  Or Lego Pong.  Wait!  That would be redundant.

If you want to know about the upcoming Capcom game, Dark Void, here is a link to a blog about the game.  There is more info about this game than you can shake a stick at!  And alot of exclusive stuff for people who register.  Check it out!  http://community.darkvoidgame.com/blog.php

While I am putting links sent in email, here is one to a site that allows you to make your own games for free.  Don't expect to make Halo or GTA right away, but who knows what you may make.  I want to work on a fighting game that features all the fast food restaurant mascots.  Time to see who is tougher, Ronald McDonald, the Burger King or Colonel Sanders.  Here is the link:


Time for a few non video game rants. 

The first one is the lack of imagination for advertising agencies.  These companies are paid millions to come up with effective and original ads and yet they all sound the same right now.  Everything from cars to clothes to pizzas are touting how they are stimulus packages to save you money.  I must have heard a dozen different commercials that all sounded the same.  Listen corporate America, if you want to save money, just clone the commercials you hear on the radio and fire these bums.  A chimpanzee could do as good a job and they work for bananas.

You know when you go to an amusement park and see the ice cream treat called Dipping Dots?  The one that is touted as the ice cream of the future.  Well, exactly when is this future?  They been selling this ice cream for at least twenty years.  I think the future came and went a decade ago.

The Sims 3 comes out Tuesday and I am psyched.  I have been waiting for this game for quite some time.  No, I don't actually want to play it.  I could care less about living the life of a Sim.  I want it to create characters for a comic strip I want to work on.  With the character editor, I figure I can make a whole cast of characters.

The screenshots for the new Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 looks really good.  Let's hope it plays as well as the first one and we will have a winner.  I look forward to building a team of Thor, Hulk, Juggernaut and Iron Man.  Yeah, Juggernaut is a pre order character, which means the code will be published everywhere to unlock him.  That is unless he is a download.  I always laughed when they had these exclusive levels or characters for different stores.  You know the Best Buy exclusive Mario Golf level or the Target exclusive character.  It is just a code you punch in and you get the character.  It is built into every game, no matter where it is sold.  Go to Gamefaq.com or another site and you can get all those and then some.  But there are probably people out there that really think you only get that level or character or whatever by going to that store.

I see another Wolfenstein game is coming out.  Killing nazis is never out of style.  They are the one villain that you can put in and not get any hate mail.  Except for the skinheads, but who really cares about them.

I am still amazed at how popular UFC is.  I remember watching the original one with some friends and thinking it was pretty stupid.  There were a few cool moments, but most of it was two guys rolling around on the ground, trying to put the other in a hold.  Yeah, jujitsu is deadly, but it is pretty boring.  Now if they can create a UFC that featured weapons, I would be all for it.  I know it would be outlawed everywhere, but a live Soul Calibur would be awesome.  Granted, the fighters careers would be pretty short, but that is the price to pay for good entertainment.

Been checking into the new Punchout game for the Wii and from what I see, it is not that much different from the previous games, other than the motion controls of the Wii.  And know what?  That is fine by me.  I thought the old Punchout games were fine as is.  Unlike Hollywood, it is good to see the game industry realize that you do not always have to completely redo something, when you revive it.

I just watched a trailer for the new Batman Arkham Asylum game and it still has one problem that has plagued fighting games since their inception.  No, not collision detection or having to battle the same bunch of thugs over and over.  It is the stupid AI of the thugs.  I watched as Batman was battling a group of thugs.  And what did the thugs do?  They all battled him one at a time, while the rest stood by and waited their turn.  Have video game developers never been or witnessed a real fight?  I have been in a few fights in my life, including being jumped by more than one person and they never did that.  The only places that I have ever seen that happen is in video games, comic books and Hollywood.  In real life, if Batman showed up, all the villains would be shooting at him and charging him as a group.  That or they would all be running away as a group.  But they would never wait their turn to fight.  No one is that courteous in a fight.  If they were that courteous, they wouldn't be fighting.  They would be have a spot of tea or something more civilized.

Walmart has game trade-in kiosks at some select stores.  Not sure how these work, but if it is automatic, sounds like a great way to dump your crap.  If it really is a machine, then the odds are you would scan the barcode of the game and then insert it.  But the question is how does it check the condition of the game or even if the game is the same as the one included?  My guess is you would use a credit card and when someone inspected the game later, they would credit that amount to the card.  I could be wrong, but otherwise, what would stop people from trading in the hottest new game and putting a blank CD in the case?  Will be interesting to see how this plays out and for how long.  Now to see if they give credit for Super Mario/Duck Hunt carts.

Activision has trademarked the name Jurassic Hunter.  Rumors are circulating about a dinosaur hunting game.  That was done years ago on the PC.  I remember buying it from a bargain bin and enjoyed it.  It wasn't great, but it was fun.  They also had one where you hunted mammoths, sabre toothed cats and stuff like that.  It pretty much played the same, only the graphics were different.  But that is what you get in bargain bins.  Hopefully the Activision will be better and the dinosaurs will be smarter. 

We are one month away from E3.  They want to return to the bigger show of yore as opposed to the smaller, more restrained show of the past few years.  It will be interesting to see if the publishers follow suit.  In this economy, they may want to stay with the smaller, more affordable booths.  But we will see.  Let's hope the booth babes return. 

What will be the big stories this E3?  Price cuts are a given.  Well, at least with the PS3 and maybe the XBOX 360.  It will be interesting to see if the Wii holds tight with their price.  While sales are still strong, they may want to keep the momentum.  Sales of video games are most likely going to go down this Christmas.  Jobless numbers continue to rise and even if you haven't lost your job, you still have to worry about the economy.  There are few safe jobs this time. 

Speaking of Wii, will they finally have a game to announce to get the fanboys excited?  Last year was a bit weak for Wii hardcore games.  Wii Music did not do it.  It would be nice to see another Link or Mario game, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for one.  We will probably end up with another Mario Party.  Whoopee.

It is interesting how fast and how far Crash Bandicoot has fallen.  There was a time when he was mentioned in the same sentence as Mario and Sonic, but now he is becoming more of a footnote.  I see he has a new game out, but does anyone really care anymore? 

I mean to write more, but lately I haven't much to talk about pertaining to video games.  Guess I don't play as much as I used to.  Part of it has to do with not having a PS3 or XBOX 360.  But then I find there isn't as much free time.

I did purchase a few items for me to play.  One is a Playstation adapter so I can use PS1 or PS2 controllers on my computer.  I want to play more games with a real gamepad and this seemed like a better bet than buy a Sidewinder or another controller.  Why buy one that is like a playstation controller, when I can use a playstation controller?  Let's hope it works out fine.  I am only out ten bucks if it doesn't work as I already have the controllers.

Speaking of controllers, I broke out my Devastator 2 arcade controller the other day for some serious Crazy Climber.  Too bad that my old friend, Jim Krych, doesn't make them anymore.  There were great controllers, despite the enormous size and cost.  I had mine for like five years and it still works perfect.  And when it comes to Crazy Climber or Robotron, no controller beats it!  Google it and see for yourself.

I used some gift cards I earned by doing online surveys to buy Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate Collection.  And what is the big reason to buy it?  Dodo birds!  Yes, I must confess that I am a huge fan of dodo birds.  I used to have a dodo bird shirt that I used to wear to Grateful Dead concerts and watch the deadheads just stare at it.  The shirt said "Don't be a dodo" and on the back it said "Extinction is forever."  It was a gift from the World Wildlife Fund for donating money.  That is when I used to donate money to them.  Before they wasted my donation money fighting the World Wrestling Federation over who owns the rights to WWF.  When I heard how the head of the Wildlife Fund was upset because people would confuse the two and decided to sue, I chose to quit giving them money.  Yeah, I am like that.  I want my donations to save animals, not egos.

Anyway, I wanted to get Zoo Tycoon 2 as soon as I saw the Extinction pack.  But to pay $50.00 for the game and then another $30.00 for the add-on was too much.  So I waited for a collection and lucked on a sale and got the Ultimate Collection for $40.00.  It has Zoo Tycoon 2 and all four expansion packs.  Now I can fill my zoo full of dodo birds and be happy!

I also downloaded a version of Dungeon Master.  It is a game that I played too much of on the Atari ST.  It was the first game that I played so much that it began to appear in my dreams.  Heck, I bought an Atari ST to play the game.  I tried to convince myself that I was buying it for spreadsheets and taxes and stuff like that, but the truth is I bought it to play Dungeon Master.  Yeah, I was that dedicated or crazy, depending on your perspective.

I read up more on OnLive and realized that you not only have to pay a monthly subscription, but also buy the games.  Unless they have some mind blowing games, I will pass.  Good luck with that, you will need it.

Long time, no blog.  So here is an extra sized blog to make up for it.

The second add-on to Fable II is almost ready for download.  Good news for all the people who are enjoying this game.  Wonder if they will add these downloads to the game when it hits the greatest hits lineup?

Looks like my days with Gametap are coming to an end.  I can play basic games (ie: old games), but I keep getting error messages when I try to download new games.  I did some fix they had listed, but it did nothing.  So when it runs out in October, I will say goodbye to Gametap. 

I signed up to be a beta tester with OnLive.  Will see if I am selected. 

I am happy to see Phil Harrison is doing some good stuff with Atari games.  He has been making some positive changes since taking over.  Too bad their stock was delisted as I would consider buying it.

The Playstation 2 is finally down to $99.00.  What is more amazing is this system is still selling and games are still coming out for it.  Truly amazing how long that system has gone.

What is even more amazing is that there are still Sega Dreamcast games coming out.  Granted, they are small released games like Wind and Water Puzzle Battles and Dalforce, but they are games.  The Dreamcast was one of my all-time favorite systems.  I was so upset when it died a quick death.

A new online gaming system is coming out that shows alot of promise.  It is called OnLive and will offer new and classic games for play.  It will be a subscription service and will launch later this year.  So far they only mention a handful of games like Lego Batman and Farcry, but it sounds interesting.  Looks like Gametap will have its competition.  The USA Today is talking about how it could be the start of the end of consoles.   I would be for that if it meant the end of the multiple systems.  As much as I like all three companies, the thought that you need to own all three systems (and have over a grand invested in systems alone) to play all the best games is crazy.  I am not going to get too excited until I see OnLive in action. 

Speaking of online services, Gametap is in the middle of their migration to the new service.  I am curious to see how it turns out as I did enjoy the service before I bought a new computer.  But it did have its problems and I for one would like to see a more stable system.

The talk of a price cut for the PS3 is heating up.  They are predicting it will be at E3 or right around that time.  If it pans out, wonder how Microsoft will respond?  Will they also have a price cut, more pack-in games or both?  And will Nintendo do anything?  I could see them adding a pack-in game, besides the one that comes with it.  Maybe a Super Mario Galaxy bundle. 

While we are on the subject of Nintendo, gotta love a company that is so into recycling.  I see they are re-releasing Pikman and other games for the Wii.  Yeah, the very same games they released on the Gamecube.  The only differences from what I can gather is the controls are made for the Wii motion controller.  Look for them to release more games like this.  I cannot wait for the re-release of Hey You!  Pikachu. 

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!   Time for some green beer and green gaming.  Can't think of any green games?  Just put in an Incredible Hulk game and you are covered.  Or if you don't have a Hulk game, what about a Star Wars game?  There are plenty of green characters in there.  Greedo, Yoda and others.  Or pull out the old Genesis game, Boogerman.  Green in a gross way.  Or if you want to go classic, what about Frogger? 

When I first heard of the Six Flags game for the Wii, I was like "Cool, another amusement park game."  Little did I know that it looks to be more of a collection of mini games than building rides.  Just what we need, another collection of the same games in new packaging.  There was a game called Carnival that did this before.  With Six Flags so willing to put their name on anything, no wonder their stock is at 16 cents a share.  Yeah, that's right, you can buy five shares of Six Flags for a buck and get back change (not counting the broker fees).  Heck, a McDonald's cheeseburger costs a buck. 

With the success of God of War, I cannot figure out why no one hasn't rushed out and did a similar game, but with Thor as the main character.  Not the Marvel character, but the Norse God.  Contrary to what people think, Thor was around way before Marvel made a comic book about him.  With the richness of Norse mythology and the various villains (Loki, Midgard Serpent, Fenris Wolf), you have the basis of a great game.  Someone needs to jump on this goldmine of an idea.

In the "I completely missed this" news note - Midway has filed bankruptcy.  Will be interesting to see if they can come out or if they get bought up by another company.  They still have some good franchises.

Want to sell your games, but are too lazy to go to a store and sell them?  Feel left out because the people selling their gold jewelry get to just mail in their stuff?  Well, now you can also mail in your games and get cash.  Amazon offers this service to you!  And unlike the cash for gold thieves, they will actually tell you what they are paying up front.  Granted, it is not much, but it is something and you can be lazy and just mail it in and wait.

We all know that Microsoft paid a very pretty penny for the original content of Grand Theft Auto on the XBOX 360.  At the time, it seemed like a major coup.  But in this economic climate, I wonder if there is any buyer's remorse?  I'm sure it sold well, but did it do enough to warrant the high price tag?  Will it push enough systems to make it a good deal?  The final outcome may have major implications on future deals. 

Rock Band is having an expansion that is dedicated solely to the Beatles!  Talk about a major coup for the Rock Band camp.  Let's see, Guitar Hero gives you one based on Aerosmith and Rock Band gives you The Beatles.  Makes me want to get the Rock Band guitar package at least.  Now we need to see if someone comes out with a Led Zeppelin one.  I say they should keep these band specific expansions coming.  As long as we don't end up with the Flock of Seagulls one.  But I would be all for a Weird Al expansion with an add-on accordion.  Now that would rule!

I was sent a list of the ten most rarest XBOX games from the website Video Game Price Charts.  Here is the list, do you have any?

The top ten most expensive Xbox games are:
01. Marvel vs Capcom 2
02. Steel Battalion with Controller
03. GTA Trilogy
04. Halo Triple Pack
05. Sniper Elite
06. Star Wars Jedi Knight Academy
07. Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Super Monkey Ball Deluxe
08. Jurassic Park Operation Genesis
09. Fatal Frame
10. Airforce Delta Storm
As I look at this list, I cannot help but wonder what is the problem with Marvel vs Capcom games?  The one for the Dreamcast is also among the rarest games.  
Does Marvel have a clause in their contract that says their games must be rare or what?  I do know the Jurassic Park game is really cool.  Had it for the PS2.
Gametap sent me an email where they are overhauling their whole system.  They will even have a 64 bit option, which I am excited about.  Add on the fact that they added Fable and I may end up
keeping it after my time runs out.  I was going to let it expire, but I will have to see in two weeks how it is.  Here's hoping.

My son and I teamed up to make a stop motion movie starring peeps (yeah the ones you get for Easter).  Check it out and let us know what you think.  It is only his second stop motion animation.  Here is the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr7LTrjpQYQ

Time for the laugh of the day.  I read an article about people who sent gold jewelry to those companies that offer to give you cash for gold if you send in your unwanted gold.  In the article, one man sent in an estimated $300.00 worth of gold and received $0.16.  Yeah, that's sixteen cents!  I laughed so hard when I read that.  I know it isn't nice to laugh at other people's misery, but the man has nothing to complain about.  If you watch the ads, they say that they will pay you cash for gold.  Nowhere do they tell you how much cash you will receive for your gold.  And the guy did receive cash for gold.  Next time, maybe he will just drive up to a legitimate jeweler and see what it is worth.  When scams like this can do well enough to have a commercial during the Super Bowl, you know our country is doomed.  It is not hard to realize why we are in the financial mess we are in.

Want more proof that fools and their money are soon parted?  All you have to do is look at the diet industry.  Americans spend billions upon billions on diet pills, patches, drinks, books and every other thing you can think of.  I even saw one called the Cookie Diet.  If you are dumb enough to spend money on a Cookie Diet and expect to lose weight, then you deserve to be broke.  People, it is real simple.  If you want to lose weight, you need to do two things.  First, you need to eat healthier and by healthy, I don't mean diet cola and lowfat chips.  I mean fruits, vegetables (and french fries do not count), nuts, grains.  You know the stuff that is good for you.  Second, you need to exercise.  Take a walk everyday.  That is it.  Do these and you will lose weight.  Or you can keep buying into every diet fad and they only thing you lose is money.

Once again, I veer far off course.  So let's take a look at some upcoming video games and see what looks good.  God of War III is shaping up to be an incredible game.  It can be one of the games that really helps the Playstation 3 out.  And it needs it as it is in a distant third place.

I see a new Sonic game is coming.  Sonic and the Black Knight.  Is it me or is there already more than enough Sonic games?  I guess Sega is going to beat this horse to death, revive it and proceed to beat it some more.

And what else is coming out?  A new baseball game.  It is the second best time of the year for video game sports fans (after the fall with the new Madden and NCAA football).  I must say that baseball has really improved over the last few years.  No longer can you hit pretty much every ball that is thrown to you.  And every pitch is not a strike anymore.

It is one of those times when I actually wish I had a PSP.  The new Phantasy Star game looks really good.  Much better than the stack of DS games that are coming this month.  I mean, would you rather play Phantasy Star or Gardening Mama, My Horse and Me 2, Flower, Sun and Rain and the game that really is the clincher...Imagine: Family Doctor.  I kid you not, these are all DS games.  Yeah, Nintendo has no standards at all.  Anyone can make a game for the DS and apparently they are.  I think I will get working on Patty Cake Wars.  The game has sh...I mean hit written all over it!
I am not sure how I feel about the Watchmen game coming out.  I loved the comic and cannot wait to see the movie, but the video game does not interest me.  It could be good, but most likely it will end up as a bad beat-em up starring Nite Owl and Rorschach.  I  hope I am wrong.

Remember when a new Rampage game was all the rage?  Actually it never was, but I remember how there was a new one every year.  Wonder what happened to that trend?  Oh yeah, people quit buying the same game over and over.  How about a 3D Rampage?

Speaking of old games, I used to love playing Rampart.  I would love to see an updated version of that game made.  Don't overdo it, just spruce up the graphics, add some new challenges and keep the price low. 
With all this bad news in the economy and the video game market, it is good to see there is some good news.  Gamestop stores are doing better than expected business.  They are one of the few stocks that is going up.  Guess with the costs of everything going up and people in panic, buying a video game for entertainment is a pretty good idea.  Unlike going to a movie or a sporting event, you have something you can use for months and get something in trade when you are done.

Speaking of events, I have personally decided to not go to anymore concerts.  My wife still likes them and has bought tickets to the Eagles and Billy Joel/Elton John, but I have no desire to go to anymore concerts.  Its not that there aren't any good concerts to see, but it is Live Nation and Ticketmaster themselves.  You go online immediately to buy tickets and all the good ones are gone before you can even buy them.  And then a few weeks later, they send you an email offering to sell you the good tickets you could not purchase the first time, for insane mark-ups.  I spent over $100.00 a ticket for Eagles tickets that are a distance from the stage and considered good seats.  I tried to get the great seats, but they were gone before the sale.  But they offered to sell those to me a few weeks later for $1200.00 a ticket.  Yeah, the price it would cost me for an XBOX 360, PS3, Wii and a few games.  There is no musician I would pay for $1200.00 to see and that includes the Doors with a living Jim Morrison (one of my all-time favorite music groups).  It is greed like this that should be illegal.  They should at least have to put a big disclaimer saying "All good tickets are not available to the general public.  If you want tickets where you can actually see the group, understand that you will need to pay an absurd amount of money for them."

Speaking of musical groups, I hear that Led Zeppelin may be touring this year.  But the problem is Robert Plant does not want to tour or so they say.  Maybe it is me, but I could not see going to a Led Zeppelin concert without Plant.  It would be like seeing Queen without Freddie Mercury.   Oh wait, they are trying to do that.  It would be like seeing the Doors without Jim Morrison.  Oh wait, they are trying that as well.  Maybe it is me, but I would not want to try and fill Jim's shoes.  Being the singer who replaces him is like being the guy who dates a woman after she dates John Holmes.  You are just going to come up short.

I do wander off subject, don't I?  Let's get back on track.  I saw the newest commercial for the Grand Theft Auto download for the XBOX 360 and I was impressed.  It got my attention and I am not one to pay for extra content.

I am in the mood for a good collectible card game on the computer.  But I don't want one where you have to keep buying more cards.  Anyone have a good suggestion?

If you are like me, then your wardrobe is made up partly of video game t-shirts.  There was a time when this was considered pretty geeky, but now that video games are in fashion, we can proudly wear our hobby.  With this in mind, I added a section on the website where you can purchase video game based t-shirts and books. So you can wear your Mario shirt and get all the princesses.  Unless they are in the next castle.  Click here to check it out.

When I was at Gamestop awhile back, I saw one of their faux boxes that really are an ad for an upcoming game.   You know what I am talking about, the game box that says "Coming Soon" on it.  Well, it was for a game that caught my eye.  A new version of Legends of Wrestling.  If you read the old blogs here, then you will know that I thought the old Legends of Wrestling games were a great concept that were not executed properly.  Let's hope this time that it is made well.  There is a ton of potential here, we just need a wrestling game that does not suck.  And the old ones sucked.

There are so many war games coming out these days, that you would think they would do a few of the lesser wars.  We already have a ton of World War II games, your share of Vietnam and Civil War, but what about Granada?  Or the Falkland Island Invasion?  Or if you want bigger wars, what about the French/Indian War or the War of 1812.  Give these other wars some time.  And make a Korean War game that is not about MASH.

Add Electronic Arts to the list of companies that are cutting video game jobs.  They cut 1,100 jobs as they posted losses.  Now we are waiting to hear cuts at Activision and Nintendo.  You know that copying each other is not limited to just game types.

One of the games that I really enjoyed on the XBOX is getting a sequel!  Red Dead Revolver, the game that Rockstar picked up and released is finally getting a sequel called Red Dead Redemption.  It was one of two western games that came out at at time when the only western games you could find were poker titles.  Now let's hope that Gun also gets a sequel, though I really doubt it.

I pay for a service like Gametap and I cannot get it to work on my new computer.  I buy a game like Oblivion and it does not work on it, but I download a few free games from Amazon.com and they work perfect.  Go figure.  If you want some free game downloads, check out these links and enjoy! 

    *Build A-Lot
    *Jewel Quest II
    *The Scruffs
    *Big Kahuna Reef

For more deals like this, check out Slickdeals.  Great site!

I don't know about you, but the amount of spam is getting insane.  It almost all goes to my spam bin to be thrown out, but I like to look at some of the titles for a laugh.  My new personal favorite is one that reads "Dumb and Poor?"  If you are thinking, "Yeah, that describes me!" then maybe you should not be on the internet, let alone answering emails.

I was talking about the companies laying off people in the video game industry awhile back and I forgot one.   Mike over at the Red Ring of Trite told me that Midway also laid off a bunch of people.  Guess a job in the video game industry is not as wonderful as those commercials make it out to be. 

Found a link to a site with one of the coolest, albeit useless items.  They are mini arcade machines that you buy and assemble.  You cannot play them, they are for decoration only, but if you are into miniatures or want something on your desk to get people talking, then this is it.  They also have mini pinball machines as well.  The price is very affordable and they look so cool.  Here is a link for you:  http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/ArcadeGames/ArcadeGamesMain.jsp

What is is with Will Wright games?  Everytime he makes a game, it ends up spawning sequels like a couple of rabbits.  His latest achievement, Spore is spawning four new Spore titles.  Soon the world will be filled with Spores, much like it was filled with Sims.  You have been warned.

I was in a retail store the other day that has muzak playing overhead and heard Pacman Fever.  It was cool, even though I was probably the only one dancing to it.  Hope that video doesn't show up on Youtube.

Speaking of retail stores, I was in a local discount store and saw one of those plug and play games that were all the rage a few years back.  The games were bland and nothing to speak of, but something caught my eye.  It was made by a company called Coleco.  Yeah, someone is using the Coleco name again.  I looked at the box to make sure it wasn't a collection of Coleco games (they have one of their handheld games), but it was not.  I smiled to see the name out there again.

I am remembering why I don't bother with PC gaming.  I picked up Oblivion for the PC to play on my new computer.  But I found it does not work.  Loads up well and everything, but when it comes time to play, I hit the button to start the game and it acts like it loads and then nothing.  I looked all over the net and downloaded patches and checked for solutions, but no luck.  I can play it on my old computer, but it runs terribly.  And we all know that you cannot return opened games.  Guess I have a game to donate to the Salvation Army.  First, Gametap does not play on the computer and now this.  I specifically bought a Dell to not have problems, but they are here anyway.

I am still surprised that no one else tried to do a Kingdom Heart game with another license.  I thought a Hanna Barbera or Sid and Marty Krofft game would do well, but I guess I am in the minority.

Two video game based companies just announced major layoffs.  Both Sony and Microsoft announced huge layoffs.  Sony is losing money for the first time in a long time, while Microsoft is still make ungodly profits, but it is in the vogue to cut jobs, so they don't want to be left out.  Let me say that I would love to see the end of Wall Street.  If there is anything that is killing our economy, it is Wall Street.  I know all about how it is a way to raise capital for companies, but it has changed and now every publicly owned company out there cares more about the stockholders than they do their own employees, their customers or anyone else.  I miss the days when it was considered a negative thing to cut jobs.  I miss when companies like IBM and UPS would brag about never laying anyone off.  But now if you make a penny less than Wall Street expects and it is time to slash jobs.

Time to get off my soap box and talk about games.  I keep this up and I will end up blogging about the fall of America in an abandoned bomb shelter.  Anyway, I cannot remember a video game series that has become so vogue for advertisers as the Guitar Hero series.  I am seeing it everywhere in commercials.  It is like if you want to reach the younger generation, you need to have Guitar Hero in your ad.  Guess it is better than Hannah Montana.

Speaking of Hanna Montana, I finally got around to watching an episode of that show.  I still cannot figure out what the draw is?  The acting is so wooden that it's flammable.  The jokes are terrible and the writing is painful.  Guess if I was a ten year old girl, I would understand it.  I know the stuff I watched as a kid wasn't exactly Shakespeare Theatre, but at least Happy Days is considered a classic.  We will see if anyone cares about Hannah Montana in a decade.

Man, I am sounding like a bitter old man.  Next thing you know, I will be yelling at kids to stay off my grass.  Time to get some happy pills.  Pac-Man, can I borrow a few?

I still cannot believe the Hard Rock Park only lasted one year.  It looked like a cool amusement park and I was planning on visiting it this year.  Someone really dropped the ball on this one.  What is more amazing that after someone spent $400 million to build it, no one wanted to pay $33 million to buy it.  If I had the money, I would have bought it and made my Nintendo Amusement Park.  And they refused to do payments. Darn.

Bought a new computer because I found that with three teenage boys, I was not getting any time on the computers.  If you look at the lack of updates on the sites lately, you will see what I mean.  So I should be able to do  more updates on the websites.

I did find one problem with the new computer.  It is a 64 bit computer and Gametap does not support anything above 32 bit.   I talked to a person there and they said they do not know of any plans to update the system.  All I can say is that almost all the new computers are now 64 bit.  So they are severely limiting their future customers.  But then maybe this is a sign of the future of the service. 

I did buy a game for the computer.  Now that I have a computer that can handle it, I bought the Morrowind Oblivion.  I know the old computer could never handle it.  But the new one can.  The joys of having more of everything.  More memory, more hard drive, better graphics card.

I see that Barack Obama is making an appearance in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man.  I think it is amazing how many people are trying to capitalize on his presidency.  I fully expect an Obama video game appearance soon.  Maybe he can help battle aliens in an upcoming Halo game or fight terrorists in a Tom Clancy inspired game. 

With a new year upon us, let's take a look at some of the most exciting new games coming this year.  Granted, some will be delayed, but we will assume they will all come out this year.

First up, you have the dynamic duo coming from Blizzard.  No, not Batman but the powerhouse one two punch of Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.   Both are scheduled for the PC, but I think it is safe to say a console version will follow.  As someone who has played both series, I can say that I am excited about both games.  I am especially excited about Diablo 3, but I know that I will need a new computer if I want to enjoy these games.  My old computer most likely will not handle them.  It struggles with Minesweeper.

Not sure if God of War 3 will make it out in 2009, but after finishing the first two, I must say it is a game that may sway me to jump into the Next Generation.  But then I said that about a few other games as well. 

A few other games that are interesting if they come out are Ghostbusters and Brutal.  Both have been released and picked up by new companies.  With Brutal Legend or whatever it is called these days, it is a Tim Schafer game and that s
Happy New Years!  I think it is safe to say that.  Though there is probably someone who said the world would end last year and is wrong.  Don't worry, you have another year to rant.  Don't these people know the world is ending in 2012.  All you people out there with balloon payments, set them for 2012 and you should be fine.  But if the Mayans are wrong, don't sue me. 

My kids got Guitar Hero World Tour for Christmas and been having a blast with it.  They also received a bunch of gift cards to Gamestop and Best Buy.  Glad the relatives were forward thinking and didn't get them gift cards to Circuit City.  It is one of the few gifts that is worse than getting a gift card to a mall.  You know the ones that should come with an expiration meter, so you can watch your card's value go down.

Speaking of gift cards, gotta love the racket Visa and the others have going.  Buy our gift card and you can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.  And for that privilege, you only have to pay $4.95.  Or if you want the prestige of a American Express gift card, you only have to pay $9.95 or something like that.  What a racket.

Back to video games.  One of the games my kids bought with their Gamestop money was Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.  What an awesome line-up of song!  Paint it Black,  Barracuda, The Seeker, School's Out, Rock n Roll All Nite, talk about a great line-up of songs to play.  We just need to get another guitar and do some serious gaming.  Good thing we have a bunch of gift cards left.

Speaking of Guitar Hero, if they haven't done one yet, they should really do a Country Music version.  I know the purists are rolling their eyes, but there are some serious guitar jamming in country.  Maybe they can even do a fiddle instrument, so you can do Charlie Daniels Band "Devil Went Down to Georgia".  I still think the Devil won that contest and should have dragged Johnnie down to Hell.  But that is just my opinion.

With Sony falling to a distant third in the console wars, will they do a drastic cut in price or will they be the first to release the next system?  My guess is look for a big price cut this summer.  But it may be wishful thinking on my part.

Still playing my Gametap.  But I have found that numerous newer games I downloaded will not work.  Not sure if it is their service or my terribly antiquated computer.  I mean come on, my Vic 20 should be able to handle these games.


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Tomorrow's Heroes
Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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