link love 012712

January 27th, 2012

Link love! All games edition, plus a really creepy story that kept me up last night.

Play this: Abobo’s Big Adventure, the Ultimate Tribute to the NES.

Bookmark this: Game Pitches, the repository for video game pitches and design documents.

Chad Concelmo writes lovingly on the joy of pinball.

Neo Geo Pocket Returns! New officially licensed portable device inclues 20 Neo Geo classics. It looks neat, but we want details! Details!

What if you died at 38 but no one found you for three years?

Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller review & comparison

January 20th, 2012

Wherein the author reviews the newly released Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller and compares it to the OEM Microsoft Xbox Controller and the Razer Onza. The Playstation DUALSHOCK3 is also featured briefly.

In August of last year, Mad Catz announced a series of Major League Gaming branded accessories. While the MLG logo emblazoned FightStick was simply a Tournament stick with new decals, the other product announcement got gamers’ attention: a new controller design with customizable inserts, allowing users to configure the layout according to their own preferences, potentially freeing the gamer from the sloppy and inaccurate clutches of the Xbox 360 dpad (and to be honest, the dpad was 90% of the reason I ordered the MLG Pro Circuit Controller).

Last week, the new controller finally shipped, and I’ve got a few solid days of testing in. How does it stack up against the competition?

First Impressions

Like most of the offerings since the Great & Sudden Mad Catz Quality Turnaround, the MLG controller feels solid and well-built. With the controller packaged in a two-sided flip up container with display windows, the unboxing experience is pleasant, reminding one that yes, I really did just pay $99 for a third party game controller.

But whatever. Kudos on the nice presentation, but is it any good?

Full story, after the jump »

Going dark against SOPA.

January 16th, 2012

On January 18th, many sites across the internet will be going dark for 12 hours to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, the Protect IP Act. This site will be taking part as well.

On that day, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be holding a hearing to examine the impact of DNS and search engine blocking on the Internet community and related industry. The Senate will be voting on PIPA on January 24th. See americancensorship.org for more information on these bills and how to get involved.

If you’ve got a WordPress blog and want to join in, I recommend installing the SOPA Blackout plugin. It’s dead simple to set up, replaces your content for the day, and spits out a 503 so that search engines don’t freak out.

Both SOPA and PIPA undermine the core structure of the Internet, and pave the way for even more nefarious uses of censorship in the future. Contact your representative, and help us defeat these bills!

Update: SOPA has been shelved! Unfortunately, PIPA is still moving forward, so we’re not quite there yet.

link love 011312

January 12th, 2012

The return of link love (and regular content!), two years later edition.

Hey look, Kotaku did a Total Recall featuring my Divers Dreamcast.

The Atari History Book just met its funding goals, but the Kickstarter campaign still has a week remaining. Go back it and help those guys write about our nerd history.

Oh, oh! The 2012 IGF Finalists were announced!

Practical advice on what to expect from your Tumblr.

Battle Royale is finally coming to Blu-Ray in March. Suck it, Hunger Games!

“Eels always look like they just told a joke and are waiting for a reaction.”

CES: Places to get hammered that aren’t casinos, 2012 edition

January 9th, 2012

Newly updated with additions and the must-visit venues that have opened up since the last time I published this piece, here’s your guide to getting drunk in Las Vegas during CES. Seriously, ditch the Strip this year and go check out what downtown and the rest of Vegas has to offer. Remember, there’s no such thing as last call in Vegas.

Note that this list is in no way exhaustive – consider these my recommendations.

Arts District

Artifice (map)

One of my personal favorites and an anchor of the Arts District, Artifice was built by Westwood Studios co-founder and gallery owner Brett Sperry. Cozy and spacious (these aren’t contradicting when applied to Artifice), the bar features great art, a strong DJ lineup, and a friendly crowd.

Be sure check out Bar + Bistro next door while you’re in the area.

Fremont East

Insert Coin(s) (map)

Arcade slash bar slash nightclub, Chris LaPorte’s Insert Coin(s) continues to draw a big crowd, so don’t be surprised to see a line on a busy night. Arcade games and consoles surround a large glowing bartop, with a DJ station and dance floor in the back. Only place I know where the table service might include a copy of Mario Kart alongside the vodka and mixers.

Downtown Cocktail Room (map)

Right across from the Fremont St Experience, near the corner of Fremont and Las Vegas Blvd. Modern decor, moody lighting, and often a DJ spinning house or downtempo. DCR has fancy drinks by actual mixologists, and their Bloody Mary is damn good if you’re the sort that likes salad in your alcohol.

The Griffin (map)

More cozy to DCR’s swanky, but often catering to similar crowds, this is the place where Harry Potter would go to get laid. Brick and leather interior, a nice firepit, and good music, especially if you’re a fan of the band Metric.

Beauty Bar (map)

Yep, we’ve got one here too. Right around the corner from the others listed above, on Fremont. Mmm, hipsters. Once you’ve have your fill of the live music and PBR, walk two doors east and grab something to eat at the newly-opened Le Thai.

Continuing on Fremont East, there’s also Vanguard Lounge, The Beat (great for hangover coffee, too!), Maharaja Hookah Cafe, Don’t Tell Mama, and Azul Tequila.

Downtown

The Lady Silvia (map)

Located in the Soho Lofts just south of Fremont, this new entry brings library chic to the downtown drinking scene. Walkable from the Arts District bars above.

Frankie’s Tiki Room (map)

A newer bar by P Moss (owner of the Double Down), Frank’s Tiki Room is a tiny place just west of Las Vegas Blvd, on Charleston. As the name suggests, it’s wall to wall tiki, with a menu full of custom drinks. Possibly enchanted.

Huntridge Tavern (map)

Wanna get the hell away from the rest of the tourists and see what a real Las Vegas dive bar is like? Here’s your bar. Open all night, the bartenders are friendly and the drinks are dirt cheap. While the HT can be slow during the week, weekend nights are usually hopping.

Central

Double Down Saloon (map)

Happiest place on earth! On Paradise nuzzled right within the closest thing Vegas has to a gay district… kick ass jukebox, and an excellent alternative during CES if the downtown bars are slammed. Always a good vibe, even with Alfonzo and the midget porn gone.

Dino’s (map)

Wondering where everyone goes after the bars on Fremont East shut down for the night? If not bed, chances are they’re at Dino’s. One of the oldest bars in town, Dino’s is known for its Thur-Sat karaoke and cheap drinks. Hit up Tiffany’s across the street for some late night grub when you’re done.

Peppermill Fireside Lounge (map)

It’s the Peppermill, been here for years and years. It has a fountain that is also on fire. Due to it’s Strip location, expect it to be crazy busy over CES, unless you go around 3am (which, to be honest, is really the only time one should be visiting the Peppermill).