Voting and Gaming

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Tomorrow is the big day… if you are an American living overseas, then I hope you’ve already voted!  If you are living in the United States and can legally vote, then you really have no excuse… get out there and have your say!  Tomorrow might be the most important election ever!  The world is watching!  I’ve already made it known to my American relatives that I will boycott them if the election doesn’t go well.

Pat the NES punk

Pat the NES Punk

This is my boy Pat, and he’s an NES Punk!  He was one of the first collectors that got me into collecting retro games in his Flea Market Madness series on YouTube.  He seems down to earth and we share a lot of the same views towards other video game collectors.  Pat has been collecting forever, and was lucky enough to complete his NES collection before it became crazy expensive.  I think he has a great TurboGrafx-16 collection as well.  Oh if only I could go back in time and start my collection before it became popular… but then would it have been as fun going on the hunt?  Probably!

Anyways the reason I bring up Pat is that he has a podcast that I occasionally listen to if there is a topic that interests me.  His most recent episode is about the declining prices of rare games… mostly NES which of course is of interest to me.  According to him and his friend Ian, the prices of rare titles such as Little Sampson, Flintstones 2, etc., will be coming down in the next few years.  This is obviously just a prediction, but they make some valid points.  We’ve all seen these games at collector shows… but has anyone actually seen a dude buying the games at the insane prices?!  I did see a guy trade a heap of games for a copy of Flintstones 2, but that was several years ago and felt he gave up WAY too much for this rare, but very lousy game!  I hope Pat is right and that the prices drastically come down for how can I justify paying top dollar for a pretty crappy (though far from the worst) game?!

Pac Man Christmas

I thought this photo was lost forever, but we recently dug out some boxes and it was rediscovered!  This was taken at Christmas 1981 and man did I ever LOVE my present!  I played so much that I remember having trouble sleeping that night due to a throbbing thumb!  Those were the good old days… my mom even let me go to school late one day as I was having a record game… over 58,000 points… not bad for a six year old eh?!  I loved this game and wish I still had it.  I occasionally see it at retro game shows, but I don’t want to spend $100 on it… even if the condition is mint.  Looking at my hair, my mother must have spent a long time blow drying it straight like that… naturally I look more like Ronald MacDonald.  In fact once when my wife and i were walking down the street in Florida one Spring Break, some dude shouted out at my from his car that I looked like a clown.

Logo-NFL

I’ve been watching a lot of NFL football these past several weeks and I must say that overall I’ve profited from my favorite team (the Buffalo Bills) losing so much.  They have an abysmal record, but if you have bet against them at Sports Interaction you could have made some sweet coin… actually I’m down about eleven bucks for the year, but I would have been doing much worse had the Buffalo Bills actually started winning!  They are an embarrassment to Western New York, and I must admit that my stress levels have really decreased since I dropped my emotions for the team in pursuit of greater glory.  In my heart, I’ll always be a Bills fan… but it’s just been too hard.  17 years without a playoff appearance, then we make it, score a lousy 3 whole points, and are back in a rebuilding phase?!  How am I supposed to by loyal to a decades long loser!

I’m really excited by the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs!  This Patrick Mahomes has breathed new life into this team and almost beat those bastard New England Patriots!  I REALLY  hope there is a rematch in the play-offs and that they bring Tom Brady down hard!  Seriously though… Mahomes is super good looking… my wife would leave me in a second for a date with this stud, and I can’t really blame her!

NFL teams

I’ve compiled a list of NFL teams of which are okay to support, hate, and no one really cares about (all in order of most to least).  This is for those of you new to American football and are trying to break into the game.  I’m telling you, the New England Patriots are the most evil team in all professional sports… I hate them, but will always watch their games in hopes that they lose… and they usually don’t lose which is yet another reason I’m often upset.  I mean they are in the same division as Buffalo which means we have to play these bastards twice every season.  That being said, as much as I hate Tom Brady, he is the best quarterback to have ever played the game.  He has a Superbowl ring for each finger on his hand!

Sega flashback

SEGA Corner: This a neat looking product is called the Mega Retro HD.  It resembles the original console, and apparently it works very well to play you old Genesis and MegaDrive games on… but if you have the Retron 5 which plays almost everything (besides TurboGrafx-16), I don’t really see the point?!

That’s all for now.  Get out there and vote!

Nintendo Joe

 

 

A Blast From the Past

When I was a kid growing up, I was obsessed with Pac-Man and anything Pac-Man related.  I lived, breathed, and dreamed of Pac-Man.  Also I was pretty darn good at it… at least for a six year old!  We are talking about 1981 here and this was “the” game to play.  I suppose there was also Donkey Kong, and my other favourite Galaga that were also in the arcades, but Pac-Man was played by far the most frequently.  Anyways while visiting my parents, I came across some old drawings that I did in school and thought I would share them:)

Pac Man 1 Pac Man 2

I have to say… not bad (remember I was only six).  I don’t know what mark I received for these works of art, but I remember my teacher being really mean and forced me to draw something else…

Galaga

… so I gave her Galaga.  Again, not too bad, though this was all from memory and I didn’t have time to colour it:(

Pac Man

I also found this manual at my parents house.  I had this game when it first came out and I absolutely loved it!  In fact during one lunch hour I was scoring so high that my mother actually wrote me a note saying that the reason I was late going back to school was because I was heavily invested in this game!  Unfortunately I don’t know what ever happened to this game and all I have left is the manual:(  Someday though I’ll find another one of these in good shape to put into my collection.

Anyways just a short note this week as I’ve been really busy cutting boxes/covers for the rest of my NES collection.  That will likely be what I post next:)

Nintendo Joe

 

Donkey Kong and Misc.

Before we get started on this weeks blog, I feel I need to give a special shout out to the MartianOddity for commenting on this blog.  The Sega Dude has commented before, but if truth be told I know him quite well so it doesn’t really count.  Thanks MartianOddity and I hope to hear from you again soon:)

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The bounty from our trip to Value Village this week was a nice addition to the Nintendo Museum… A Donkey Kong figurine from the Mario Kart series along with a Gameboy Advance copy of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for $8 in total.  A good find, and I’m excited to play Baldur’s Gate, but not nearly as cool as what I found on Craigslist.

Shigeru Miyamoto was the creator of the original Donkey Kong which was released in the United States in 1981 by Nintendo which had a love triangle between Mario, Pauline, and a gorilla… loosely based on the Popeye, Olive Oil, and Bluto relationship for which Nintendo failed to get a license to produce.  This was also Nintendo’s mascot Mario’s first of many appearances.  One thing I’ve always found it interesting was

DonkeyKong_Animationhow Donkey Kong received his name.  Apparently Miyamoto thought “Donkey” was an English translation of “Crazy”, and Kong was from the 1933 movie King Kong.

The original Donkey Kong (DK) was an instant arcade classic, and there is currently a war going on between Steven Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, and the current DK Guiness world record holder Hank Chien with 1,064,500 points.  The last time I was in Hollywood Florida I stopped in the restaurant that Billy’s family owns.  I asked if he was around so I could meet him, but sadly he was not:(  I was hoping to get an autographed picture of myself and the former champ and will attempt to again when I visit Florida again for spring break.  Now that would be a nice piece of history to have in the Nintendo Museum!  Billy, if anybody can beat Hank’s score it’s you.  I’ve tried to dethrone him and failed miserably!  Have faith in yourself and I know you can do it!

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Billy Mitchell

Steven Wiebe

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Hank “the King of Kong” Chien

Wow did I ever get off track!  Last friday on Craigslist I purchased a 1981 arcade-mini version of Donkey Kong  made by Coleco (Nintendo didn’t have a home system yet).  I’ve always had a place in my heart for these little guys as when I was 6 years old for Christmas I got a Pac Man arcade-mini.  I became obsessed with it.  I wanted to be the Pac

IMG_3286Man King.  I’ll never forget the time when I was doing really well at the game that my mom wrote me a note to give to my teacher explaining my lateness… I was getting my best score ever at around 58,000 points!  While not of Billy Mitchell’s calibre, for a 6 year old this is an awesome score.  Billy Mitchell by the way has a perfect score in the arcade version of Pac Man.  I’m not really sure what a perfect score means, but it sounds ridiculously hard!  Anyways I played my Pac Man machine so much when I first got it that I eventually had to stop playing because my thumb hurt too much.

Well this is a huge find, and one that likely won’t be topped for a while to come.  I’m in Value Village at least once a week, and lately the spoils have been quite nice.  I guess when it rains it pours.  This DK arcade-mini will go nicely with the remake of the Frogger I picked up for $5 earlier this year.  I would love to get the original, but it is’t every day that you come across these.  I know a guy who has a Ms. Pac Man and is selling it for $100 but will let it go for $75.  Is it worth it?  What do you think?  I mean there are several other arcade-minis that I need to complete the collection…. Donkey Kong Junior, Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, the original Frogger, Galaxian (am I missing any?).  My sister in-law actually has a Galaxian arcade-mini which hopefully she will give me or “lend” to me indefinitely.

Oh, the guy who I bought the DK machine from asked if I was interested in some NES games.  That was a no brainer… and nearly was the $2/game price he wanted.  How could I go wrong.  So we added Caveman Games, Ultima: Exodus, Overlord, Deadly Towers (a really crappy game!), Wrestlemania, Mad Max, and a not-so-great shape copy of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.  That brings the collection of NES games to whopping 237… or 28.87% complete!  A long ways to go and probably impossible to complete, but that’s partly why I got into this in the first place:)

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Pac-Man the Musical

11319-5770-PAC-MANIn October of 1980, a yellow dot with a big mouth was about to hit the North American Market.  Pac-Man was an instant hit with all age groups; both the young and old alike were struck with the yellow fever and became obsessed with going through a maze like board, eating little pixelated dots and scarfing down a variety of delicious fruit.  The only thing standing in the way were four hell-spawn ghosts named Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde, whose evil was matched only by Adolf Hitler, or perhaps Joseph Stalin… by the way, has anyone ever met anyone with the last name Hitler?  Did everyone with Hitler as a last name change it so as to not be associated with that turd?  Anyways, our antagonist ghosts hand only one goal; to sink their teeth into our puck shaped hero and deprive him of his life!

I was 5 years old when the game came out and was instantly hooked!  I would literally beg my dad to take me to the arcade so that I too could attempt to clear board after board of delicious dots while evading the hellish nightmare ghosts.  The thing is, I was actually good at it.  People thought that it was cute that a 5 year old was better then grown adults at the game, and would give me free quarters so they could watch me play.  Oh those were the days!

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Anyways, I have a birthday coming up, and my mother-in-law gave me a present that I’ll always cherish.  I am now a proud owner of The Amazing Adventures of Pac-Man (the album)!…on a record.  I don’t know who that wolf is on the cover, but considering he keeps company with those bastard ghosts he just cant’ be good news.  I admit that I’m a little confused.  Besides the wolf, the cover shows the moon and has given him eyes and a HUGE mouth.  Is the moon some how related to Pac-Man… perhaps his papa?  What’s even more weird is that the moon seems to be chasing a frightened blue ghost.

If you look closely at the house in the background, we can sea red ghost (I believe it’s Blinky) to be amassing a stockpile of fruit.  Is there a backstory that I’m missing here?  We weren’t really given much information.  Just a fat yellow blob (his name was Puck-Man in Japan) who had a serious drug problem with an addiction to yellow dots who was being chased all over town.  Was the wolf the mastermind behind this operation?  Or was it the moon?  How did Blinky end up with so much fruit?  Was there a fruit shortage in Pac Land?  So confusing.  Perhaps there are clues in the album.

Actually all is revealed when you look at the back cover.  “When a gang of ghosts steal all the fruit in Pacville, it’s up to Pac-Man to get it back and return it to the rightful owners.”  This information would have been nice to know as I entered the arcade.  It would have made playing the game even more emotional.  What kind of sick *%$# steals fruit and thinks they are going to get away with it?  Thank goodness Pac-Man is around to right this terrible injustice.

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The best part is… Pac-Man has a soundtrack to go with it.  I really wish I had a turntable so I could play the record.  With hits like “Take the Fruit and Scoot”, or “I Hate Fruit Blues” one can’t help but wonder what star musicians they got to play these songs.  Rumour has it that Eddie Van Halen did some of the guitar while Neil Peart of Rush did the drums.  It is kind of like Cream of the 1980’s.  Once I find a turntable to play this gem on, you can count on me to let you know all the insight that I’m sure this album will reveal.  There are definitely perks to following mynintendodimension.com!!!