Houston Arcade Expo

Matt and I have had a stressful couple of months and really needed some time away.  This weekend is the Houston Arcade Expo.  We got ourselves a VIP package, which included two all-weekend passes and some swag.  A friend of ours rented a hotel room for us next to the expo and we have been able to forget everything for two days.  It has been great!  It’s all games, all the time.

The expo heavily favors pinball, which is great for me because I’ll take a pinball table over an arcade cabinet any day.  They also have a section with consoles and old computers, which Matt has been enjoying a lot.  There are plenty of good arcade cabinets, though, such as Donkey Kong, Centipede, Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe, Tempest, Joust, Rampage, Mario Brothers, Mortal Kombat and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I play a lot of pinball video games (Pinball FX2 and FX3 are my favorites) and I’ve found that they have helped me a lot with my physical pinball game.  I see the tables really well now and I am able to concentrate on the ball much better.

There are loads of great tables here – Addam’s Family, AC/DC, Ghostbusters, Apollo 13, Harley Davidson, Fish Tales, Bugs Bunny Birthday and The Simpsons, to name a few.  It has been so fun to play through all of these games and so many more.  They are all on free play, so we have play to our heart’s desire.  The expo was open until 2AM last night and is open until 2AM again tonight.  It’s a lot of standing, so we only play for a couple of hours at a time.

This was a great idea, though, and if something like this comes to your town, I suggest you check it out, even if it’s only one day.  I may post a day two post here as we do some more gaming tonight.

 

So much is ruined

Flood 1

I live in Dickinson, TX, which was ravaged by Storm Harvey.  That’s a picture of my house, but that’s not as high as the water rose – it actually rose 30″ inside.  We had to evacuate the house.  Before the water started to rush in, I did my best to move everything up to higher shelves, but many of my games weren’t high enough.  I think I can salvage the cartridges, but so many cases and manuals are ruined.  I’ve put my life into this collection and although it may sound petty compared to everything else we’ve lost, but it really bums me out.

The first time we entered the house after the flood, I went in my office and saw Bravely Second for the 3DS floating in the water.  I left the office after that and didn’t need to see any more.  We have had overwhelming support and a couple of folks worked their hardest to dry out each and every wet game.  I truly appreciate it.  But still, damn.

atari

So a video on the web site www.ataribox.com has surfaced showing a quick, 22 second hint at a new Atari console.  It appears that this may be the real deal.  Insiders say that it’s not going to be a flashback console, but a brand new Atari system.  There is very little known about it, but the CEO of Atari did confirm that “we are back in the hardware business.”

I’m intrigued and a bit excited!  A new player in the console market?  I would have thought SEGA would have come back first, but more competition is good.  They will really struggle to play with the biggins (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo), but we’ll see what they’ve got.  See the video below for more information.

Oldies but Goodies -Bart vs the Space Mutants

Genre:  Platformer
Platform:  NES

The Simpsons have been around for a long, long time.  Along their long history have come some pretty good video games.  One that I played as a kid was Bart vs. the Space Mutants on the NES.  This was actually the first licensed Simpsons video game.

In this game, you are playing as Bart and you’re wandering around Springfield.  You’re just trying to go about your daily business of vandalizing the city when you notice that something is off – aliens have invaded the city!  You are armed with your spray can and x-ray glasses.  Using these, you can identify and deal with those pesky aliens.

Many of the show’s gags make this game, such as Bart’s catch phrases (“eat my shorts!”) and his phone gags to Moe:

bart-1

I don’t remember much else about the game, but I think it was fairly difficult as I never finished it.  I do own this one and will likely pop it in my NES some time.

hr-machine

Genre:  Puzzle, Educational
Platform:  PC

Have you ever wanted to learn how to program computers?  Human Resource Machine (available on Steam) will teach you in a fun and simple way!  You will be having so much fun, however, that you might not realize you’re learning!

In this game, you start as a fresh employee of a large corporation.  You start out where everyone seems to start in fake companies, in the mail room.  You start with a very basic set of tasks – move items from one conveyor belt to another.  You do so by issuing your character a set of commands.  The levels grow increasingly complicated and it can get hard to keep your commands and jumps straight.

This game really does a good job of teaching those without any programming skills, and even those with a low-level of knowledge, the logical thinking which is necessary in programming.  I have a mid-level of programming knowledge and I was just itching for some of the tools that I’m more familiar with (if…then statements, please!), but it is still a really fun game.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn programming but found it too daunting, try this game first.

I Know It’s Been a While…

sorry

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  I am alive and well and have been keeping quite busy.  I’ve essentially got two jobs now, and I can be pretty worn out by the end of the day.  I took a bit of a break from gaming, but I seem to be back in the swing of it now.  I have many exciting things to share with you folks, and can’t wait.  I’ve got my top 25 list to finish, a new animated series/video game, some other game updates, board games, updates to my collection and many, many more things to discuss.  Hold tight, because we start again tomorrow!

angry-birds

Once upon a time, I discovered a cute little game on my cell phone called Angry Birds.  I came to really like it.  I liked it a lot.  I played it over and over until I had three stars on all of the levels.  I was tickled when Angry Bird Seasons came out with a lot more levels.  I was overjoyed when Angry Birds Rio came out (and still think it’s the best of the flock) and played it until I had three stars on all levels.  I tried my hands at Angry Birds space and didn’t like it so much.  Then I took an Angry Birds break.

Cut to a few years later and I recently tried to play Angry Birds and Angry Birds Rio again.  But I couldn’t get much past three levels.  It’s not that I couldn’t pass them – that was no problem.  It was that I didn’t want to go any farther than that.  As you can probably tell on this blog,  I really enjoy older games that I once loved.  I have no problem going back and playing all of my old favorites.  So why don’t I like Angry Birds anymore?

It really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  The game hasn’t changed at all.  It’s still cute and simple.  Maybe I over played it back then.  I’m not sure, but the desire to keep playing is simply gone.  Do you have any games like this?