The yellow dot gobbler that is still chomping away today is turning 33 years old this week.
The original Pac-Man was first tested May 22, 1980 at a Tokyo movie theatre. It released in Japan a few months later and in North America in October that year.
Despite trade show opinions that said the game was “too cute to be successful”, Pac-Man became THE epitome of a hit video game, spawning almost a dozen sequels by the end of the decade. It also became huge as a licensed property, appearing on hundreds upon hundreds of products in a branding boom that no video game in history has ever matched with the present day exception of Angry Birds.
The lasting popularity of Pac-Man continues still today, with a new game and new cartoon series due later this year.
Join in with the video to take a look back at the earliest days of Pac-Man‘s success.
It’s time for everyone’s favorite snarky, sarcastic, tounge-in-cheek-hey-that’s-not-my-cheek look at the latest headlines in the world of video games. Ignore those other articles out there that are claiming the new Xbox will include a built-in George Foreman Grill and SlapChop and read something like this one, which is purposely not taking things seriously… except for maybe one of these.
The infamous “Boss” enemy at the end of a level and/or game has been a staple of video gaming since the heyday of the Nintendo Entertainment System. However, not many realize that they pre-date that era, going back to the mid-70s and appearing in some of the key arcade hits of the early 1980s.
Join in this week in taking a look at some of the earliest, and perhaps not-yet-very intimidating video game bosses. How many of them have you encountered in your retro gaming?
It’s that time of week again. Take some video game based headlines from the past week, sprinkle with some sarcasm and there you go. Keep readin’
World of Warcraft loses more players
According to reports, World of Warcraft has lost 1.3 million subscribers so far this year. This drops the total sub count to around 8 million players, down from a peak of 12 million in 2010, making one wonder how the execs of Activision Blizzard will continue to afford car payments (there’s that sarcasm I warned you about).
While many speculate about the exact reasons for the loss of subscribers, unnamed sources point to an ingredient in that god awful red Mountain Dew that reminds people of the concept of going outside.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – Or perhaps creatures with Mr. T heads freaked people out. I pity those fools, though. I do. I do. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming (Snarky Style): Faux News Host Rants, Star Wars Stuff & More on the $2,600 Banana” »
A common complaint about video games these days is product placement. From sports games to first-person shooters, fans and gamers seem to take offense to the idea of paid branding appearing within their favorite form of entertainment.
Thing is, product placement has existed within video games almost since the beginning. The idea that video games could help deliver a brand message to potential customers has appealed to companies for decades.
In this week’s This Week in Gaming History video, we take a look back at some of the earliest examples of product placement in video gaming, even including beer, cigarettes and a brand of athletic shoe that would later become banned in schools due to gang violence.
Also worth note is an early appearance by Mountain Dew, the super-sugary soda that is a staple in video game sponsorship and product placement to this very day.
Check back every Monday for another look through video game history. I mean it.
Welcome once again to my weekly snarky sarcastic and bombastic rundown of headlines from the world of these video game things. In time, they might just catch on.
EA Sports has confirmed that they will not be releasing Madden NFL 25 for the Nintendo Wii U, marking the first time since John Madden Football ’93 that a title in the endless football game franchise won’t appear on a Nintendo console.
Interestingly enough, this year’s Madden Cover Athlete Barry Sanders was a marquee player in the 1993 edition, perhaps proving once and for all how little has really changed in the series over the years.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – So much for my dream of a Madden telestrator function using that big Wii U tablet thing. ”Lookie here and this hit! Whapp! Bam, a six legged turkey!” while circling stuff like crazy. Oh well.
Gaming news sites posted a bunch of stuff yesterday after the first teaser for Call of Duty: Ghosts was released. It is now confirmed that a new Call of Duty game will release in early November.
These sites, however, have yet to confirm Thanksgiving will also take place this year in late November, but it is also expected. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming (Snarky Style): Katie Couric, Man Loses Savings on Carnival Game, Madden Skips Wii U” »
Minecraft might be more addicting than a Swedish bikini team made of nicotine, but it’s just one of a great many classic video games that involve digging. This edition of This Week in Gaming History recaps several of them, even some that predate Namco’s mega classic Dig Dug as well as others that, like Minecraft, also started on personal computers before hitting consoles.
How many of the games shown have you played? If you missed some of these classics, I highly suggest going back in time and trying them out. You might find several of them are pretty addicting in their own right, and still hold up strong today.
Check back every Monday for another run through video game history.
So much to talk about in gaming this week. The unnamed sources are going wild with gaming headline goodness. Here’s a rundown of it all, according to sources.
Barry Sanders wins Madden NFL 25 cover
An old school player won this year’s Madden cover vote, as the legendary Barry Sanders will grace the cover of the 25th anniversary of the famed and flamed football gaming franchise.
This has brought many to wonder about the status of the “Madden Curse”, given that Sanders is not a currently active athlete. According to sources, shortly after the vote results were announced, Sanders was offered to replace Emmitt Smith as the Just For Men spokesperson.
The curse lives.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – Almost claimed he fell in the tub and broke his hip, but then realized Sanders is only 7 years older than me. Ugh.
A new Call of Duty this year? Shocking
Apparently leaked Target ads ruined the megasupersurprise news that there will be a new Call of Duty later this year, this time called Call of Duty: Ghosts. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming (Snarky Style): Next Xbox, New Call of Duty, and a Pac-Man Pot Bust” »
The most famous cheat code in video game history is celebrating a birthday this week! Hopefully you brought the balloons. No? Well, hell…let’s celebrate anyway.
The famous button combo of Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A first appeared in the home translation of Gradius, which was first released for the Nintendo Famicom on April 25, 1986. The code allowed the player to obtain full power-ups, a must in that damn game.
This original appearance was actually in error, as the code was entered for Konami to have an easier time testing and debugging the game. They simply forgot to remove the code before launch, starting a trend. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Happy Birthday Konami Code!” »
What did you miss in this week’s gaming headlines? It’s time for a totally serious breakdown of it all, and unlike CNN and the New York Post this week, all of this news is actually confirmed!
Earthbound is coming!
As part of their “make my wife insist I buy a Nintendo Wii U” efforts, the 16-bit cult classic Earthbound is finally making it’s way to the Virtual Console. Sadly, the dusty Wii I have near my television won’t be enough to finally snag this classic in the modern day.
I guess that’s what I get for trading the original one into FuncoLand in 1996, huh?
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – True story, sadly. Even worse is that I have no memory what I picked up with that store credit. Ugh. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming (Snarky Style): Rare Goodwill find, SimTeeth and Earthbound is WiiBound” »
Seems that the world of eSports continues to grow each year, but a lot of the League of Legends and Call of Duty pros out there may not know just how far back organized video gaming competition goes. Turns out that a number of tournaments and competitions in the 1980s and 1990s paved the way for what some today are saying will continue to grow.
This week’s video takes a look at some of the spectacle from those early days, including a look at an early arcade competition that send the top three finishers to compete on television, the 1985 North American Video Game Championships, one of the stops on the 1990 Nintendo World Championships tour and a rare look at the MTV coverage of the 1994 Rock the Rock tour by Sega.
While Cheyenne, Rad Racer and Sonic & Knuckles might be light years from the types of games played competitively today, take a moment to note that a lot of the sights and feel of today’s eSports events don’t look all that different from the very footage you see in the contests from the early days.
Check back every Monday for another look into gaming’s past.
What rocked the world of video games this week? It’s always something, right? Here’s my weekly snarky rundown of five headlines that stood out to me. Read up… ya might learn somethin’.
Batman: Origins is coming
The gaming world was thrilled to learn of Batman: Origins this week. Fox News was not among them, however, issuing an alert that “alerted parents” that one scene within the game sees the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents and will encourage people to become vigilantes in rubber animal suits.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – Not really. They didn’t do that. Not yet, anyway. Bookmark this column so you can see the date I said this happened when Fox News really does say this, though.
The Rock to appear on WWE 2K14 cover Continue reading “This Week in Gaming (Snarky Style): CoD championships, EA voted worst company again & Xbox guilty of murder?” »
Legendary film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert have now left the world a legacy of what film critics should be. As video gaming has become a larger and larger part of the overall pop culture, many video game movies came to be.
Therefore, it is only natural that the world of video game movies and Siskel and Ebert would cross paths on more than one occasion. Here are some of the best examples, as the iconic pair review and argue over video game/film crossover “classics” such as WarGames, The Wizard and Super Mario Bros.
Here are just a few of our favorite quoatbles you’ll see throughout the video: Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Siskel & Ebert Review Video Game Movies” »
Wild week in gaming. Just plain nutty. As with every Thursday, I shall now provide a fully interactive and quite serious discussion of the headlines that shape our very lives!
Developin’ Ain’t Easy
Seems like some gaming companies reaaaaaaally tried to party a little too hardy. Among them was Mojang, the studio behind the license-to-print-money game Minecraft. Numerous attendees at their Game Developers Conference stated that there were numerous young ladies there who were “paid to party” there.
In a totally shocking twist, Mojang denies that they paid anyone to party, mingle or otherwise at the event, shooting down accounts from numerous V.I.P. area attendees who first reported otherwise.
The mystery was later unraveled when it was revealed the “party goers” were actually meant for the release party for the adult DVD Moancraft, which was taking place at a nearby hotel. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming: Minecraft Parties, Madden Covered, The Rock and LucasArts” »
It’s that time of year where the WrestleMania streak of the legendary Undertaker is talked about quite a bit. The veteran WWE Superstar has appeared at a record-setting 20 WrestleMania events and come out the victor in all of them.
Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: The Undertaker’s Video Game Streak Hits 42” »
Yes indeed… it’s time for another weekly dose of totally serious not-serious yet serious look at video gaming news from the past week. Watch as I make the internet humor without having to make penis jokes, possibly an internet first.
Best Buy gets an NES
The story of a Best Buy employee’s efforts to save an original Nintendo Entertainment System set went viral this week.
A customer brought in a boxed NES Deluxe Set, complete with original console and the R.O.B. robot, for the store’s “Renew Blue” recycling program, which exists as a green dumping ground for old electronics. How a person who didn’t realize the value of this set found their way into an electronics store was not explained.
Under company policy this meant the set had to be destroyed. The employee refused to allow that to happen, risking his job by doing so, until Best Buy corporate intervened, saving the set to place on display at their corporate headquarters.
Several boxed examples of the NES Deluxe Set can be found on eBay, ranging in price from $250-$400, meaning the acquisition of this set tripled the revenue of the Best Buy chain for the first quarter of 2013.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – Never teach grandma about recycling before leaving her alone with your classic game consoles, folks.
Electronic Arts Aims Again
Battlefield 4 has been revealed, totally breaking the tradition that says first-person shooters are not allowed to have sequels.
“That’s cute,” said Activision’s Call of Duty marketing team.
Achievement Unlocked: 20G – Hate for me that one if you want, but you and I both know which one is going to sell more. Yes, yes… you’ll be part of the reason why, too.
Another Game Studio Guru Steps Down
Yoichi Wada, the president of Square Enix, has stepped down.
In the tradition of the modern-day Final Fantasy games, Wada’s exit from corporate headquarters was linear, only taking numerous hours as he encountered people with long drawn-out stories.
On the flight home, Wada was reportedly confused by the in-flight movie, as it didn’t let him control the characters every 22 minutes.
Achievement Unlocked: 30G – “But I’m the leading man, and you know what they say about the leading man!” Wada was reported as saying on the way out.
Choppy Choppy Your Pee Pee
A minor league baseball park has installed a urinal with a pee-controlled video game installed. To move your snowboarder left… you pee to the left. Want him to go right? Pee to the right. No confirmation yet on if he has to eat yellow snow in the event of a crash.
While much of the coverage of this game has poked fun at it, groups of sexist male competitive gamers rejoiced at the invention of a video game they can truthfully claim to be superior to women in playing.
Achievement Unlocked: 40G – I’ll stick with my long-time favorite pee-game ‘Put a Hole Through the Urinal Cake’ for now.
PAX East took place over the weekend. While many people returned with the flu and a thirteen pound bucket of promotional buttons, Crystal Dynamics Meagan Marie returned with a story. Turns out a member of the gaming “press” thought it was appropriate to ask a sexually-based question on camera during a Tomb Raider cosplay gathering.
Marie’s powerful blog about the experience, and several other industry experiences of it’s kind, was picked up by a number of gaming news sites yesterday.
“Wow, I’m sure glad everyone doesn’t know it was me who made that joke. People would likely have some things to say to me about it,” said a guy with the initials N.W., the person who I’ve confirmed made the weaksauce sexist PAX remarks.
Achievement Unlocked: 50G – Don’t worry, fella… just carefully explain how and why you thought it was funny and I’m sure everyone will totally understand and respect that, right? Yeah. Keep telling yourself that.
Check back every Thursday for more totally serious and hard-hitting video gaming journalism. There’s ways to check up and ensure that you are, you know.
On March 26, 1988, the first Golgo 13 video game was released for Japan’s Nintendo Famicom. Based on a popular manga series, the game later made it’s way to the United States with the subtitle of “Top Secret Episode” and gained a cult following of it’s own. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Golgo 13 Gets a Game, Pac-Man Goes Portable, and Frogger Leaps into Arcades” »
Mainstream Media scared to actually talk to video gamers?
More fun from the “press” this week, as reports on the Sandy Hook investigation apparently discovered the shooter created a spreadsheet of stats from other school massacres. Naturally, this prompted investigators and New York Daily News “journalists” to conclude and write that this Continue reading “This Week in Gaming: EA CEO Resigns, Jimmy Fallon Sings Mario Kart & “Girls” Play Video Games!?!?” »
Still hung over from drinking so much on a holiday you only know for beer and the color green? Too bad… it’s time for this week’s history lesson. Open your books and pay attention.
On March 17, 1981, Konami introduced Scramble, the first game in what most of ya know as the Gradius series. A challenging space shooter, Scramble was licensed to Stern Electronics for arcade distribution in the United States, where it proved to be one of the top earning arcade games of 1981.
On March 18, 1982 a judge ruled in favor of Atari in a legal battle with Magnavox, makers of the rival Odyssey 2 game console. The dispute dealt with Magnavox’s K.C. Munchkin, a maze and eating game that Atari felt was too close to Pac-Man. Given the product Atari produced with the rights to Pac-Man, one must wonder if they spent less time on the lawsuit and more time on the game….
Magnavox later released an altered version of the game.
March 18, 1982 saw the Japanese release of The Goonies II for the Famicom. U.S. fans were later confused as to why they didn’t get the first Goonies game for the NES. It was released in America only in arcades.
March 20, 1995 saw Nintendo totally misunderstand us, coloring the GameBoy cases instead of the screen. The commercial introducing the various colors was part of the infamous Play It Loud ad campaign where Nintendo tried to act really edgy and cool.
That’s it for now… check back every Monday for more video gaming history lessons as many big anniversaries come near.
Sometimes video gaming headlines can be so challenging to sort out and break down. Here’s this week’s totally serious attempt to do so. Totally serious. Really. Even without using “unnamed sources” and stuff.
SimCity is oh so pretty
While some of the people who purchased SimCity can now get it to work, some issues remain. A consumer base upset about the “always” online feature of the game has been told that the game cannot work as a single player game without significant re-engineering of the game.
Sure enough, a player quickly modded the game to work offline, or at least claims to. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming (Snarky Edition) – Nintendo to pay up, Donkey Kong hacked, gamer wrecks a Droid” »