Category Archives: Video Games

Dirty Thirty Punk Rock Band

Cheers to Bad Religion who are celebrating their thirty year mark as a punk rock band.  To celebrate, the band offered a free download of live material this past week.  If you did not get it I was able to find this link that may help.  The live CD is incredible and is just a simple testament to all that even after three decades of being a band, they have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.  To prove that point Bad Religion are currently in the middle of recording an all new album.  Can you say The Awesome?

If for whatever reason you can not download it, head over to Spinner where they are streaming the album in it’s entirety.

You know what else is awesome and turned thirty?

The little yellow chomping head that eats ghosts after popping pills turns the big 3-0 on Saturday.  This will always be one of the greatest games ever created.  It was simple and to the point.  I remember when my father decided to take me to Randal Park Mall one crappy Cleveland winter when I was just a toddler and picked up the game.  If I am not mistaken he dropped about $70 on the 2-bit cartridge.

The version we got was for the Atari 2600 and it was nothing like the arcade version but we all played the hell out of it regardless.  I blame that game for starting my addiction to video games and still play it every once in a while.  The nostalgia that game brings is like no other.

Here, play it for yourself and bring back some memories…

Watch This: Pixels by Patrick Jean

This video is for all you old school gamers out there…if you have not seen it already

Check out Patrick Jean’s latest creation where he has 80’s video game characters take over NYC.  Simply amazing to watch.  I loved seeing Arkanoid incorporated in the video – one of my fav NES games of all time.

Like it?  Head over to One More Production to see some more insane videos.

1Up For The Kids

During a time of the year where people are buy-buy -buying things for everyone on their list sometimes we forget about the true definition of the holidays.  It’s easy to get sucked up into all the chaos also know as the shopping season.  I myself have had enough of the retail wars that go on and spite people out there who buy things just to buy.  Take that wasted money and put it towards something meaningful, like a donation.  Uncle Buck does not need a Sham-Wow or a Snuggie…seriously.  Imagine donating money that will go towards a gift for a sick child that will not only make their day but also help ease the pain they are going through.

My pal and yours Kevin found this great website where a simple donation can really make a child’s day.  During this holiday season try to forget about all the big sales and unnecessary gifts for a moment and think about what the reason of the season is all about.  (Mom, calm down, I am still calling it Jesus Day…)

Take it away Kevin and Happy Holidays everyone!

Childs Play Logo

I’m sure that many of our readers have dabbled in a little video game geekery in their days.  You may have experienced the Tetris burn while trying to go to sleep after an eight-hour bender.  Maybe you feel the real measure of a man is in his achievement points?  Yeah, you know how awesome all of that is.  Admit it.

There are many folks out there that would think that gamers are a blight on society with their lack of social skills and appreciation for violence.  Gamers are good people who would just rather spend their free time with pixels rather than a putter.  You might be a little tired of video games getting a bad rap.  They’re just good old fun.  The creators of the webcomic Penny Arcade, Gabe and Tycho, felt the same way.  From their countless hours involved in the gamer community were aware that the caricature that was drawn by news fluff pieces and congressmen were not the people they knew.  Gamers are a good, generous bunch.  This inspired them in 2003 to start a toy drive for Seattle’s Children’s Hospital.  From that toy drive the Child’s Play charity was formed.

I first heard about Child’s Play about 2 years ago on digg.  At that time they were pretty much in hospitals in North America.  Now, Child’s Play is currently partnered with almost 70 hospitals, (and growing).   It was one of those charities that made so much sense.  These are some really sick kids that are stuck in a hospital who can’t do much outside–many of them can’t stray far from a bed.  Why not give them the fun of playing a game, or possibly interacting (with the permission of the parents I assume) with other people on PSN (Playstation Network) or Xbox LIVE?  I’m not trying to slight these kids, they’re pretty hardcore.  They have done no wrong in their short lives to anyone still life seems to be socking them in the gut.  Maybe the work of Child’s Play will let them know that the world isn’t totally evil.  It may be a bitch, but even bitches can be sexy.

These guys are all about the giving.  They’re an international 501(c)3 entity, so they’re legit.  Also, they keep their administrative costs at a bare bone 2-3%, so that means just more good stuff goes to the kids.  If you want to give there are a few ways you can go about it.  The easiest way is to go to the Child’s Play website to make a PayPal donation.  If you want to help out your local hospital, you can also click on a location on the interactive map on the Child’s Play main page.  You will then be redirected to your chosen hospital’s Amazon page.  That Amazon page lists all of the books, toys and games requested by the hospital, the quantities received, and still needed.  Find something on the list that you’d like to donate, and check out as you would with any Amazon purchase.  Your order will then be shipped right off to the hospital of your choice.

This is easily one of my favorite charities.  You know that as much of your dollar as possible goes right to making as many kids in rough situations a little happier.  You really can’t go wrong with that.

If you would like to make a donation CLICK HERE and select the state you wish to donate to.

I Want: DJ Hero

I’m not into video games like I used to be.  This realization almost hurts the geek in me because there was a time when I was more than obsessed with picking up a controller and losing my mind for hours.  Video games have surrounded my life starting with Atari back in the late 70’s.

Back when I was just a small child my folks brought home an Atari 2600.  I would play that system until the controllers would break.  At the time it was the greatest thing ever.  I was able to take a square figured guy and side-scroll him while dodging scorpions and alligators.  Sometimes I would fall into the holes and sneak past the harder parts.  (Yes, I speak of Pitfall)

Throughout my video game years I’ve saved the Princess thousands of times, took the Browns (or Cleveland equivalent) to the Tecmo Bowl, defeated a creepy fat mustached villain thanks to a blue hedge hog, and saved Zelda a bunch after recovering the Tri-Force.  I’ve beat countless countries in Super Dodge Ball as well as even once TKO’d Mike Tyson after he beat me thousands of times.  I’ve won races, done impossible skateboarding tricks, killed a robotic Hitler, and even round the reverse world on Super Mario World.

“Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Select Start” actually means something to me and is not just some random group of commands.  I am a video game junkie, I know this.

The systems just got better and better as I grew up.  My eyes would open wide with excitement when I would hear about new systems being created.  My folks tried their best and not cave in and buy every system that came out but between my brother and I begging them as well as saving out pennies we did good.  Nintendo, Turbo Graphix 16, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis – yeah, we had em.

Obviously as the years passed the gaming systems just got more insane.  The first time I saw the graphics on a Nintendo 64 my mouth dropped open.  Remember Goldeneye?  What a game…  That and Perfect Dark.  I remember playing Twisted Metal on my friend’s Playstation for the first time. Then there was the first time I saw someone play Tony Hawk Pro Skater – I am sounding like a complete nerd now.  Deal.

I remember these things and it freaks me out sometimes.  Why did I get so excited and further more how is it that many of my memories revolve around video games.  I remember when I was 16 I played Super Baseball 2020 at my friend’s father’s condo in Strongsville.  People are not supposed to remember things like this!!!

I guess one of the reasons I never grew out of video gaming and loved it so is because it was around me all the time.  Video games were not just eye hand coordination, they were escapes from reality.  Once Grand Theft Auto came out it was turning into a violent stress reliever.  Halo took away many hours of my life but I have no complaints at all, I was having fun.

Xboxs, PS2s, 360s, DSs, Gamecubes, Wii’s…  They got better and better and my money was well spent on them.  True story – I have waited in line more than once for a Nintendo product.  I was #101 for the Nintendo Wii when it came out in 2006.  I waiting in the cold at a Best Buy just so I could be one of the firsts to have it.  Why?  Because video games rule…  I also waited in line for the Gamecube when it came out as well as waited in line on 9-9-99 for the Sega Dreamcast.  Call me what you want, I am aware I was a video game junkie.

Forget the fact that sometimes there is a layer of dust on the Wii or the 360 some days.  I am a busy person and don’t get to play the systems like I used to.  In fact I have at least a dozen games I keep telling myself I need to play/beat and I never get to them when I have a day off.  I really just need to drop everything and play those games but then things won’t get done around the house…  UGH – I am turning into an adult.

I have the systems here at the BHP ranch for when I have time to drop a couple hours in a virtual world on rare occasion.  I prefer the 8-bit games usually because of the nostalgia and perhaps the simplicity of the game but I still like some of the games on the newer systems.

One game in particular is Guitar Hero.  I tried avoiding that game as much as possible but got sucked into it.  It is funny to imagine me, a 32 year old, standing in front of my tv and playing this game.  As if that is not funny enough, imagine the thoughts going on in my head as I play it.  There are moments I feel like I am the Guitar Hero, a rockstar.  Who cares if there are no strings on the plastic child sized guitar?  I don’t, I just rocked out to a Coheed & Cambria song and got 98%.

Still even Guitar Hero gets repetitious and I sometimes just put the plastic Les Paul down for months on end.

I have not been intrigued over a game for a while.  I have not played Madden in years, have no idea what players are in Tekken, and to this day have not tried the newest Grand Theft Auto.  Some of me tells myself that I’ve played them before and it is nothing new.  I guess I am bored with it.

Then comes DJ Hero.

This game looks AWESOME.  I want.  I want.  I want.

I love the art of spinning and scratching.  It amazes me and now thanks to a video game once again I can pretend I am something I am not and love it.

I have not caved in yet and purchased it mostly because the price of the game is $120.  That is a lot of money for me to be spending on something that quite possibly may pick up dust in the near future.  Still, I want this damn game.

Why?  Because it looks fun and Daft Punk is in the commercials and I can pretend I am a amazing DJ and so on and so on…  The game really does look well created.  I really should go to a store and try it out but that would be a huge mistake and if I did like it as much as I am thinking I will, it would come home with me.

Looks as if I still am a video game junkie after all…