Happy April Fools’ Day

You got to love April Fools’ Day tricksters. The more elaborate the April Fools joke (or trick), the better.

One games publisher that loved staging elaborate April Fools’ Day jokes on unsuspecting fans was Irem. While in business, Irem always had a joke or two up their sleeve come April 1.

They would create websites that were usually dedicated to promoting something that tended to poke fun at themselves and their own games, like the three “real life” models of the R-Type R-9 unit you could choose to purchase, or their new Irem Zoo, and our absolute favourite, their EXIDNA XAVY console, which was touted as the ultimate games machine that housed a self-propelled folding controller!

Irem had a lot of us gamers going with their elaborate jokes till we realised it was a ruse and in good fun. Here are a few listings of Irem’s sites that had us fooled over the years:

image source: Irem – via wayback machine

 

 

Australia’s Last Blockbuster Video Store is Closing

At the height of renting VHS tapes and video game cartridges for your Sega and Nintendo consoles, it was your local Blockbuster Video Store that you’d venture to for your fix of the latest and greatest films and video games.

Fast forward to 2019 and your bricks-and-mortal video rental outlets are all but dead. Well, in Australia, the last Blockbuster Video Store in Morley, Western Australia was still ticking along, but the owners, Lyn and John Borszeky have announced that their store will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month.

As of March 8, if you are anywhere near Morley, head down to the last Blockbuster store in Australia to grab some stock and/or store fixtures and fittings. So get in there to grab a slice of history, otherwise this will be another box to file in your nostalgic memory.

If you have fond memories of renting movies or video games from your local outlet, let us know about it on Twitter or Facebook.

image source: Community News

[story source: Community News]

Celebrating the Nintendo 64

We love celebrating anniversaries, especially the big milestones like new consoles that were released in Australia!

With that said, on this day [March 1] in 1997, Nintendo officially released the Nintendo 64 in Australia (and other PAL regions, like Europe).

We actually bought the Nintendo 64 on day one and immediately were hooked on Super Mario 64 and the fog-riddled Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Once we played Wave Race 64 and later on, Mario Kart 64, we knew we made the right decision (and our PS1 was quickly packed away in favour of the N64!).

The Nintendo 64 provided many highlights for us, including all-night gaming sessions with friends and family – that GoldenEye 007 was an addiction y’all (and still is)!

We could go on and on about the Nintendo 64, but we would love to hear your memories about Nintendo’s last cartridge based console – hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

CONTRA: Celebrating 32 Years of the Irresistible Force

ContraGryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

 

Console Variations: Rarest Consoles Ever Made

We thought we’d seen every conceivable console variation that has ever existed, yep even the Pioneer CLD-A100 LaserActive that plays Mega Drive / Genesis carts, CDs and LaserDiscs, sadly, we were wrong (in a good way)!

Check out some of these amazing console variants (you may know some or most of them) and then go to the Console Variations site to drool over the rest!

Hyundai Comboy (NES variant sold in South Korea only)

N64 ANA (given away by All Nippon Airways (ANA) in April 1st 1999)

GameCube Panasonic Q (we knew about this one, but still cool to see it)

Nintendo Wii: 26k Gold aka Royal Wii (only 1 made!)

Atari Marlboro Lynx

Game & Car Navi HiSaturn

Sega Dreamcast: Maziora Edition

Sony PlayStation 10 Million (only 1 made)

Xbox Panzer Dragoon Orta

Atari 2600 jr. Black (only released in Ireland)
image source: Console Variations

[story source: Kotaku Australia]

 

Film Review: Easy To Learn, Hard to Master – The Fate Of Atari

The story of Atari has been told many times, from books like Atari Inc: Business Is Fun to umpteen documentaries, but none tell the full and complete story as well as Easy to Learn, Hard To Master: The Fate Of Atari.

Narrated by revered Commodore Engineer, Bil Heard, this documentary delves deep into the Atari history like no other film before it. From Atari’s humble beginnings as Syzygy and the breakthrough of Pong, to the Atari VCS/2600 home console, its subsequent sale to Time Warner and downward spiral to oblivion in the early 80s.

The story is weaved perfectly with many points of view, including former Atari Inc. President, Ray Kassar, who had never told his side of the story prior to this documentary. This is quite important, as stories about Atari had always been told from their former engineers (like Al Alcorn) and co-founder, Nolan Bushnell, so it was refreshing to get management perspective from Ray and Manny Gerard. This is even more poignant as Ray Kassar passed away in December 2017 – making his story even more important when it comes to Atari’s history. Another poignant interview was with old foe, Ralph Baer (Died on December 6 2014), himself a great inventor and the grandfather of video games and the concept of home gaming consoles.

Other notable interviewees include Joe Decuir, Howard Warshaw, Ed Rotberg, Dannis Kable, Dave Rolfe, Eugene Jarvis, Steve Russell, former Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa and former Atarian and Activision co-founder, David Crane, to name just a few. If you don’t know the story of Atari or you would like the definitive history on Atari, then we highly recommend Easy To Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari.

Title: Easy To Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari
Director: Tomaso Walliser & Davide E. Agosta
Production: Junk Food Films

A Rare Look Inside SEGA In The Mid 90s

We couldn’t only feature Nintendo, so to balance things in the universe, here is the follow-up to the series of translations from the French documentary “Otaku”, this time taking a rare look inside Sega, their Sega vs Nintendo rivalry and Sega arcade games from the mid 90s.

Oh yeah, there is ample footage from the 31st Amusement Machine Show (1994 JAMMA Convention) in Japan! Once again, big thanks to Game Escape for the English subtitles!


source: Game Escape