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Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Smash Bros. Features Trial Versions Of Console Games

January 25th, 2008 by iDunzo

Will the Smash Bros. feature list ever stop growing? The latest in the saga of Nintendo’s oft-delayed all-star fighting game: Trial versions of classic Nintendo titles will be included in Brawl.

Specifically, Super Smash Bros. Brawl will contain, at least, time-limited demo versions of:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Ice Climbers
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Star Fox 64
  • Kid Icarus
  • Super Metroid
  • Kirby’s Adventure

If you want the full versions of these games, they’ll be available as always on the Wii Shop channel.

The Japanese site lists Earthbound and one of the Super NES versions of Fire Emblem, as well.

The former is likely to show up in the U.S. game, the latter not so much, as it was never translated into English.

Source: Smash Bros. DOJO

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The 80s Game Is Totally Tubular

January 11th, 2008 by iDunzo

Let’s be honest: most themed games are junk. They don’t have to be good, because die-hard fans of whatever the game’s subject is– cheese, Pirates of the Caribbean, whatever– will buy it no matter what.

I was expecting The 80s Game With Martha Quinn (PC) to be a lame attempt to cash in on 80s nostalgia by cobbling together a half-assed collection of trivia questions about Max Headroom and L.A. Gear, but it’s actually remarkably thorough, well-researched, and fun. Color me surprised.

Though most of the questions cover the typical pop culture TV/music/movies trifecta, you’ll also find yourself queried about subjects like food (what were Honey Smacks originally called?), newsworthy events (Helmut Kohl was elected chancellor of what European country?) and not so newsworthy events (who won Bud Bowl I?)*.

You start your trip back in time by choosing from one of four different play modes. Each of the 80 different Episodes features questions on a single theme, like game shows, politics, or Tom Cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

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14 Pop Culture References in World of Warcraft

January 6th, 2008 by iDunzo

OK, between Guitar Hero and this, I’m totally outing myself as a geek. Here it is: I play World of Warcraft. It’s not a problem; I can quit any time I want.

Ever since I started playing, I’ve started noticing little references to WoW everywhere.

South Park and The Simpsons have both had episodes featuring the game or in the case of The Simpsons, a suspiciously similar game.

And the more I advance in the game, the more pop culture references I notice in the game itself. I just love sly little mentions that not everyone would catch.

I started doing a little research and there are way, way too many to mention, but I’m going to list a few of my favorites.

I haven’t actually discovered all of these myself, so it gives me something to watch out for while I’m playing… besides murlocs and ghouls, I mean.

14 Pop Culture References in World of Warcraft:

1. The inscription on a couple of weapons (the Finkle’s Lava Dredger and Finkle’s Skinner) says, “Property of Finkle Einhorn, Grandmaster Adventurer.”

Ace Ventura fans will recognize this from the moment near the end of the movie when Ace figures out that Lois Einhorn is, in fact, ex-Miami Dolphins footballer Ray Finkle. “Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is a man!”

2. This one’s also in the town of Stormwind – there’s a traveling salesman who goes by the name Antonio Pirelli.

In both the theater and recent movie versions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, there’s a traveling hair tonic salesman named Adolfo Pirelli. Coincidence? Not in my book.

3. This one’s a little trickier. In one of the large cities in the game, Stormwind, there’s a flower shop owner named Bernard Gump. Florist Gump. Get it?

4. If you head to a town called Lakeshire and train with the fisherman there, you might be getting more of a lesson than you bargained for: the trainer’s name is Matthew Hooper. Richard Dreyfuss played shark expert Matt Hooper in Jaws.

5. More naming fun. In the Eastern Plaguelands, there’s a priest named Father Inigo Montoy, which is just one letter away from Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”)

6. The creators must be fans of The Princess Bride, because the stable master in the town of Southshore is named Wesley. That’s not quite the same as the stable boy Westley in The Princess Bride, but it’s close enough that it had to be intentional. Right?

7. Another movie that gets multiple references is Silence of the Lambs. One quest requires players to get an ogre tannin out of a basket. (No, I don’t know what a ‘tannin’ is.)

The second the tannin is removed, an ogre runs after the player yelling, “It puts the tannin in the basket or else it gets the club again!”

This is a combination of Buffalo Bill’s “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again,” and “It places the lotion in the basket.”

8. There’s a blacksmith in the town of Darkshire who sometimes mumbles about hearing the lambs scream. Her name just happens to be Clarise.

9. Visit the city of Orgrimmar and you’ll have the chance to check out a shop called “Boomstick Imports”. Bruce Campbell would be proud.

10. My favorite category of movies – the horror genre – does not go unnoticed in the World of Warcraft which is only appropriate since it’s crawling with the undead, ghouls, zombies and banshees.

The innkeeper in Undercity is named Innkeeper Norman and the innkeeper of Sepulcher is named Innkeeper Bates… see, Norman Bates, our favorite Psychopath hotel manager.

11. The trick in the bullet above – giving two people of the same profession names that relate to one another – is a favorite trick of the WoW game designers.

Next time you visit Undercity, take notice of the auctioneer there. His name is Yarly. Not something you’d think much of, right? But if you travel to Stranglethorn Vale and check out the auctioneer there, you’ll see that his name is O’Reely. O’Reely and Yarly is a reference to the “O RLY? YA RLY!” owls of Internet fame.

12. There’s a kitty at the start of the Naxxramas instance whose name is Mr. Bigglesworth… AKA Dr. Evil’s cat in the Austin Powers movies.

13. It isn’t just movies that are referenced. The punk movement also gets a little love from the good people of Blizzard Entertainment.

In the Alterac Mountains, there’s a non-playable character named Nancy Vishas. This is likely a nod to Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, whom he stabbed to death in 1978.

14. Finally, not one, but two Homestar Runner references.

First, a non-playable character in the Searing Gorge named Master Smith Burninate…. as in the Strongbad drawing Trogdor the Burninator.

I wonder if there’s a poorly-drawn dragon lurking somewhere that I haven’t found yet.

The second reference is a bad guy named Jorb. This may or may not be a reference to the Homestar short “A Jorb Well done” where Coach Z is unable to pronounce the word ‘job’ correctly.

Those are a few of my favorites. So tell me, Warcraft people, what have you come across that made you giggle to yourself?

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It’s Like Video Ping-Pong, With No Skill Required

November 29th, 2007 by iDunzo

November 29, 1972: Pong, the first popular videogame, is released in its original arcade-game form.

If it seems crude by today’s standards, well, it was crude then, too and it was meant to be.

Pong was the brainchild of Nolan Bushnell, a founder of Atari, who was inspired to develop it after playing an electronic table-tennis game at a trade show.

Nolan Bushnell, having recently designed an arcade game he deemed too complicated because you had to read the instructions before you could play, Bushnell strove for utter simplicity.

“I had to come up with a game people already knew how to play, something so simple that any drunk in any bar could play,” Bushnell said later. The game, actually designed by Atari engineer Allan Alcorn, was Pong. It was indeed a game that drunks could play, and they did.

The first coin-operated Pong arcade game was installed at Andy Capp’s, a tavern in Sunnyvale, California, where Atari was located. It was an instantaneous hit, confirming Bushnell’s suspicions and vindicating, yet again, H.L. Mencken’s famous dictum.

Four months after its appearance at Andy Capp’s, there were upwards of 10,000 Pong arcade games scattered across the land. This caught the eye of Magnavox Odyssey, developer of the game that had inspired Bushnell to dream up Pong.

A lawsuit followed, resulting in an out-of-court settlement in Magnavox’s favor. By then, however, Pong had moved to a home-console model, which was very different from the original.

Bushnell cut a deal with Sears to act as Pong’s exclusive retailer, and the 1975 Christmas shopping season was a lucrative one. This can fairly be said to have ushered in the era of home videogaming.

Source: Wikipedia

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Solid Aluminum Apple iPod Nano Cases

November 27th, 2007 by iDunzo

The Apple iPod Nano is so tiny and light that a chunky hard case would at least triple or quadruple it’s weight, defeating the whole point of the little player, right? Wrong.

Shimura Metal Jacket

The Metal Jacket weighs in at around 35 grams, versus the 3G Nano’s already featherweight 49 grams. The case is internally cushioned, and is hand made.

You can even dock the iPod with its jacket on. Geektastic!

This model is priced at ¥8,900 ($82) plus shipping, and maker Shimura also has models for the iPod Classic, the Sony PSP and Nintendo’s DS Lite.

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CSI:NY Crosses Over Into Second Life Tonight

October 24th, 2007 by iDunzo

Set your TiVos–tonight’s episode of CSI: NY ventures into the world of Second Life.

CSI:NY will be maintaining a permanent presence in Second Life, allowing visitors to take a crack at solving a crime based on evidence found at in-game crime scenes.

Ok, that part actually sounds pretty cool.

The CSI:NY area will be geared more for CSI fans than Second Life enthusiast, and will apparently be far easier to use as a result.

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