Finding myself in Des Moines, Iowa, I discovered Up-Down arcade! But what was I doing right smack in the middle of Iowa?
Who makes video game consoles?
It’s typically the heaviest hitters in the industry, like Nintendo and Sega, or major electronics manufacturers, like Sony and NEC. In the early days it was Magnavox, Atari, and major toy companies Mattel and Coleco. Sure, there will be a lesser-known scrapper in there once in a while, like SNK, but their products typically cater to a more hardcore niche.
But remember, once upon a time back in the early 1980s, Nintendo wasn’t a console juggernaut — they just made and licensed arcade games. They were known for Donkey Kong and Popeye, which they licensed out to companies like Coleco and Parker Brothers to get them on the Atari 2600 or Intellivision. Nobody expected them to suddenly enter the market with their own home console. Same with Sega — I recall thinking, What? The company that made Zaxxon and Congo Bongo has their own systems??
With this in mind over the years, I’ve often wondered what it would be like if some of my other favorite software or electronic companies would throw their hats into the ring and produce new video game hardware. What would happen if, say, Capcom made a game console? Or Konami? Or Hitachi? Turns out, many of those companies not only asked the same question, but actually had plans of their own home video game platforms having reached various stages of completion. Some of them even actually made it to market, and I hadn’t even been aware of them until recently!
So what happens when some of the biggest names in the games and electronics business start kicking around the idea of introducing a new video game console?
I’ve just posted my latest video, in which I take a look at the Elevator Action Micro Player mini arcade game from MyArcade! Check out an unboxing and a level of gameplay, and watch me continue to try to figure out how to YouTube.
If you like the video, please SMASH THAT LIKE BUTTON as the kids are sayin’, and subscribe to the Retro Game SuperHyper YouTube channel! That’s only two clicks, you can totally do it! Thank you!
Here’s a confession: I have loved Godzilla for even longer than I’ve loved video games. It’s true! I actually cannot recall when I first discovered Godzilla — I literally have no memory of a time when I did not watch and love his movies, and some of my earliest memories of watching any TV at all are of Godzilla. It had to have been pre-Kindergarten that I started watching them — maybe my older sister had watched them because she was into horror movies — but I didn’t discover video games until I was five or six, and I know I was watching Godzilla before then.
Anyway, with Godzilla and video games being two of Japan’s most significant pop culture exports, naturally there have been a bunch of Godzilla video games. Unfortunately, as is the case with many licensed properties, many of them are…not that good. And those that are decent are probably most enjoyable only by hardcore kaiju-eiga no otaku.
The problem with Godzilla games is that he SHOULD translate wonderfully into a video game, but he often just… doesn’t.
If you haven’t seen the M2 documentary on YouTube by My Life In Gaming, watch it first, then come back for this article. Also, make sure to hit the Like button and subscribe to MLIG to show your appreciation! If you have seen the doc, read on!
Wasn’t that great?
For years, gamers have raved about the work M2 has done in bringing arcade games to home consoles with amazing accuracy and a wealth of added options, customizations, and assorted bells and whistles. And now, thanks to this new documentary, we know a little more about who is behind all that meticulous work: A bunch of crazy hardcore game nerds, that’s who. My kinda people! …and if you’re reading this, probably yours too.
Continue reading “Let’s Hear It For M2!”
Quite a while back, I wrote a nostalgia piece about the old Coleco tabletop arcade games. While those vintage toys are still cool, there are scads of impressive new mini arcade machines out now, with more on the horizon. While I’ve largely passed them by until now, some recent announcements have rendered some of these minis impossible for me to ignore.
With Nintendo being the protective and litigious juggernaut it has been since the launch of the NES, it seems unbelievable that they would ever allow their most famous properties to be licensed out to other companies. Yet, in the pre-NES days, when their arcade games were what made them famous, that’s exactly what they had to do to spread their brand awareness and get console ports of their games into homes. Continue reading “Nintendo’s Early Licensing Days”
Here’s a piece that I’ve been really excited about: The Dragon’s Lair Trilogy collector’s edition from Limited Run Games for PS4! You all know I’m a sucker for Dragon’s Lair, so I had to pull the trigger on this release, and it sure hit me right in the laserdisc nostalgias. Check out the video to see what’s inside! Continue reading “Dragon’s Lair Trilogy Collector’s Edition Unboxing”
That’s right, you heard right — after a long delay, the second issue of the Retro Game SuperHyper fanzine is finally done, in the can, put to bed, uploaded, out and available to buy RIGHT NOW! Continue reading “Retro Game SuperHyper ‘Zine Issue #2 is HERE!”
For a couple months now, I’ve seen cans of Red Bull with Pac-Man on them. Not being a Red Bull drinker, I thought it was interesting, but didn’t pay it any mind, really. But today my curiosity finally got the best of me, and I really got to wondering: what is going on here, and more importantly, why? Continue reading “Pac-Man gets Bullish”
At the risk of featuring too many PS4 games in recent posts (what can I say, they all have a retro connection or I wouldn’t be talking about them), Sega’s Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise (aka Hokuto no Gotoku) was released in the US this week, to the gleeful delight of combined Fist of the North Star and Yakuza fans everywhere. How wide or slim the overlap of that particular Venn diagram is, I don’t really know. But I’m wedged in there myself, and when this game was first announced, my head almost exploded like one of Kenshiro’s unfortunate opponents.
FotNSLP/HnG (it’s a long title either way, I don’t even know how to abbreviate it for this post) is just the latest in a really long line of video games based on the classic manga/anime property, Hokuto no Ken (lit. “Fist of the North Star”), dating all the way back to the ’80s when the manga was current and the show was actually airing on Japanese TV. Some of the games are good; many are not. And out of the dozens of HnK games released, only a handful were released outside of Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the good ones, shall we? (Perhaps I’ll do another post about all the not-so-good FotNS games someday, and call it “You’re Already Disappointed” or something.) (Don’t steal that, I just came up with it.) Continue reading “You’re Already Having Fun”