Archive for October, 2009

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Splatterhouse 3

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Sega Genesis - Splatterhouse 3 Ad - 1993"The kind of game rating systems were invented for."

Splatterhouse 3 is by far my favorite entry in the Splatterhouse series. The other two just don't cut it for some reason. I prefer Splatterhouse 3′s room-based approach to the game, and its controls are pretty good. It incorporates an on-screen map too, which makes it feel more like an adventure game.

Happy Halloween, by the way!

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 1993 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the goriest video game you've ever played?

VC&G's Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2009)

Monday, October 19th, 2009

VC&G's Video Game Last-Minute Costume Ideas 2009Yep, it's that time of year again: time for VC&G's famous Video Game Halloween Costume Ideas — 2009 edition.

This article series is almost an institution now, as we enter our fourth year of providing last-minute costume suggestions to desperate video game nerds everywhere. Each of these costumes is guaranteed to get you candy, or your money back. After you're done reading, feel free to post your own costume suggestions in the comments below.

[ Continue reading VC&G's Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2009) » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Sharp 286 VGA Notebook

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Sharp PC-6220 VGA 286 Notebook Computer Ad - 1990The Sharp PC-6220 Notebook Computer

[ From BYTE Magazine, October 1990 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: In your opinion, what's the difference between a "notebook" and a "laptop" computer?

The Weirdest Video Game Box Art of All Time

Friday, October 16th, 2009

World's Weirdest Video Game Box Art - Deadly Duck - Atari 2600 - 1982

And you thought eatin' shrooms to grow bigger was strange. How about this: flying green crabs dropping red clay bricks on a grinning, toothy duck wearing a cape and glasses with a double-barrel shotgun coming out of his mouth.

At least it's set in a pond, so the backdrop isn't too fanciful.

The game is Deadly Duck for the Atari 2600, a 1982 shooter title published by 20th Century Fox. I've played it, and it's not too bad. It's a vertical shooter, similar to Space Invaders and Demon Attack.

Deadly Duck Screenshot - Atari 2600 - 1982You play as a duck striving to gun down flying crabs that drop bricks on you — actually, around you. When the bricks land, they temporarily impede your movement to the left or right, then disappear in a few seconds.

This is one of the many vintage video game box illustrations that rendered the typically absurd and abstract situations of extremely low resolution games in a very realistic and literal manner. Super Breakout for the 2600 is one of my favorites (it also inspired a 2006 Halloween costume suggestion).

You can find many more examples of this curious art form on the web, including many parody boxes, so watch out for fakes.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Ultima VI

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Ultima VII PC Game Advertisement - 1991The Avatar: crushing gargoyles like roaches since 1985.

[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, January 1991 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: I've already asked you what your favorite Ultima game was. What's your least favorite game in the Ultima series? Which one do you think is the worst?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] TRS-80 Propaganda For Kids

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Radio Shack TRS-80 Science Fair Story of Electronics Comic Book - 1983/1984TRS-80 computers are clearly changing the world.

Growing up in the 1980s, I was no stranger to free educational materials designed to promote commercial products. Here's such an example from Radio Shack: The Science Fair Story of Electronics, a colorful comic book that spares no opportunity to introduce the Tandy/Radio Shack brand to the consumers of tomorrow. (For those who might not be familiar with it, Radio Shack is a chain of electronics retail stores in the US.)

If you click on the picture above, you'll see a two-page spread from the comic that extols the benefits of (TRS-80) computers and briefly retells computer history from a decidedly Radio Shack perspective.

[ From 'The Science Fair Story of Electronics,' Spring 1984 Edition (Printed Fall 1983) ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you owned or used any Radio Shack / Tandy / TRS-80 computers? If so, which ones?