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December 11th, 2009

Retro extravaganza!

Atari Force

Download all 21 issues of DC Comics’ Atari Force, one of the more ah, interesting Atari licensing deals of the 1980s. The original pack-in issues (telling a previous story) are also available.

Scott Evans, curator of AtariGames.com, recently uploaded the CAX 2009 Atari alumni discussion panel. Available in 5 parts, Arcade Heroes has bundled them all into a single post.

The birth of an industry: Ralph Baer and His All-Purpose Boxes.

For the ZX Brits: 25 Years of Crash.

Top Ten Favorite Games

November 24th, 2009

Industry Gamers asked Cliff Bleszinski about his top ten games. Nick Chester linked to the interview and posed the same question to Destructoid readers (with a bunch of Dtoid staffer and community answers in the comments). Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

Rez HD
Okay, the rest are in no particular order, but Rez sits firmly at the top with its perfect mixture of simplicity and depth. Whenever I want to just zone out and play a game, this is the game I go to.

Mail Order Monsters
Probably the first game to really hook me, and a franchise I’d love to revisit as a designer. I still have a handful of monster disks around here somewhere.

Myth: The Fallen Lords
While the sequel was the better game, Myth: TFL led the way, and I do prefer its soundtrack (introducing me to the fine works of Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori) over Soulblighter. Amazingly, the series is still strongly supported by developers in the fan community.

TRON
One of my earliest arcade memories is of walking into the Starcade at Disneyland and witnessing the overbright glow of multiple TRON cabinets, each with a spectator monitor mounted on the top. The experience burned something right in my brain, and I’ve been a huge fan of the franchise ever since.

Cave Story
Character, music, style, gameplay… Cave Story has it all. It still blows me away that Daisuke Amaya was able to create this entire game single-handedly, and I’m eagerly looking forward to Nicalis’ upcoming WiiWare release.

Herzog Zwei
Growing up as an Atari kid, I discovered the Genesis late, and Herzog Zwei even later. To this day, I don’t think anyone has done RTS on the console better.

Valkyria Chronicles
Lacking the polished veneer of nostalgia, recent games are always rarer on these lists. Valkyria Chronicles, flaws and all, was a breath of fresh air this year, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Magical Drop
I’ll take any of the three in the series, really. Magical Drop is perfectly enjoyable as a single player experience, but the game really shines in versus play. Most frantic puzzle game ever.

Rampart
Back in school, I used walk through the student union at UNLV between classes and play a round on the (usually vacant) Rampart cabinet. One of the first genre-mashup games (see Puzzle Quest, etc), the alternating segments of arcade action and puzzle building strategy hooked me.

Halo: Combat Evolved
When Halo was announced at Macworld 1999, I was blown away. Halo was the title that sold me on the original Xbox over a PS2, and Halo LAN parties are some of the most fun I’ve ever had gaming.

So that’s my list. What are your top ten favorite games?

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November 17th, 2009

Whoa, almost a month since the last link love.

Jason Scott Sabbatical

Two excellent Kickstarter efforts met their goals this week: Computer historian Jason Scott‘s Sabbatical project and video game art mag Kill Screen. While Kill Screen fundraising is complete, there are several days remaining on Jason’s project… go give the guy a few bucks and let him keep doing what he does best.

The Making Of Tapper. Hey Edge, can we get an RSS feed just for the Making Of series?

The Running Man: behind the sketchbooks of Adam Saltsman’s Canabalt.

Highlights from Christmas 1977.

November 3rd, 2009

KLOV forum member Empire found a Montgomery Wards catalog from 1977, and has been uploading scans of the choice bits.

Video Games:

The newest development in full-color electronic TV games!
1977 was the tail-end of the dedicated console era, and most of these didn’t have long to live. By the time kids got down to circling their favorite items in the catalog, the Atari VCS would have already been released.
Telstar Galaxy
Bally Arcade
APF 4-player gun game
Telstar Combat

Toys:
Shogun Warriors
1977 was also just prior to the three and three-fourths inch action figure explosion, started by Takara (in response to higher plastic costs due to the oil crisis), and dominated by Kenner’s Star Wars line.
Superheroes and Space:1999
You just dumb, son. You just dumb.
Redd Foxx

Housewares:

Beer can collections must’ve been a back East thing.
Show-off Beer Can Rack

Hm. Guess that’s pretty accurate for a 1977 fridge, except I don’t see any cigarette cartons in the freezer.
Meat
More meat

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October 16th, 2009

If you’re local, don’t forget: Max Brooks will be speaking at the Clark County Library tonight at 7:00pm.

Giganta

Playgrounds from the 1970s. I was thinking the other day that designing a series of dinosaur jungle gyms would be a lot of fun… apparently there’s at least one already out there. Also, we had the generic t-shaped gym when we were kids — five of us would climb into one at lunch and be Voltron for the hour. [via MAKE]

Heather Anne Campbell’s Demon’s Souls review. I’ve been chipping away at the game all week… it’s tough, but fun tough.

A Gamasutra Q&A: Parsing Fumito Ueda’s Creativity.