The Difficulty of Jeopardy! Makes It Fun

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Playing Jeopardy! on the Playstation 2 is like writing poetry; it’s challenging and difficult, but that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Also, like writing poetry, you never know if you’re actually any good at it. I’m exceptional at Jeopardy! when it comes to categories like history, science and movies; I’m not bad at sports as a category either. But playing the Playstation 2 game gives me no indication of how I would actually perform on the television show.

I’ve never seen the same categories or answers come up twice after years of playing the 2003 game. On the case, it says “Over 5,200 answers!” I believe it.

1 to 3 players can play the game. I enjoy playing solo against two other contestants. There’s a lot of pressure to spell out the right question with your controller. You watch the countdown nervously as you’re trying to spell out the correct question. I’ve always been pretty good at clicking in first to answer. If I was on the actual hit show, I have no idea how fast I’d be able to use my clicker. That’s an important factor in being able to perform well over the course of the game.

image source: psxplanet

The game has sample contestant exams, but I’ve never tried to take one. Maybe I’m a little intimidated? And a game is supposed to be fun; the thought of taking an exam when you put the disk in the system doesn’t sound like fun. Playing the game against two simulated players is in a way an exam. It’s certainly a challenge that can become addictive.

At times, I’ve played Jeopardy! for hours. You can play a complete game in about 30 to 40 minutes; it depends on how long it takes you and your opponents to give the correct question. And just like the show, a player can take over the categories if an opponent’s answer is incorrect.

Selecting a Daily Double is a bit nerve-racking. If my score is over $10,000, I get conservative and bet very little. If my score is under that amount, I go for it and bet as much as I think I can get away with. There is nothing worse than missing Final Jeopardy! because you’re busted.

First-person shooter games and sports games can sometimes feel repetitive and tedious. Jeopardy! never gets boring and it keeps you guessing. The game is a challenge that never disappoints, and you can learn something.


Infographic of the Most Popular Consoles and Games by US State

Guest Post By: Evan S from JJGames

From the original Zelda games on the NES to GoldenEye 007 on the N64 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PS2, we take a look at the consoles of choice for retro gamers across America.

You never forget the first time you completed Super Mario Bros. You also never forget the first time you held one of those iconic Playstation controllers or when the best way to troubleshoot a game was to blow in the cartridge.

Times have changed and new consoles have come and gone, but there’s still something to be said about those iconic gaming systems that we were raised on. Their games have a unique charm that no amount of fancy graphics can make up for, which is why we turn to emulators and why original NES games still in their boxes go for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

To celebrate the release of a new infographics, which digs into the favourite consoles by state and favourite games by states, we thought we’d jump on in and take a look at the data.

NOTE: The infographics are based on the number of units sold for each game/console on from 1999 to 2019. More than 2.5 million games sold.

[Click on each infographic to see a larger version]


Tetris 35th Anniversary Silver Coin

Last year’s NZ Mint commemorative Space Invaders 40th Anniversary Silver Coin totally blew us away. Luckily for us, there is another classic video game anniversary this year which NZ Mint will help us celebrate and commemorate with one of their beautiful and special silver coins.

35 years ago, a puzzle game was born from the imagination of computer programmer, Alexey Pajitnov. That puzzle game was Tetris! Inspired by Alexey’s favourite puzzle board game, Pentominos, Pajitnov created an electronic version that let players arrange puzzle pieces in real time as they fell from the top of the playing field. The resulting design was a game that used seven distinctive geometric playing pieces, each made up of four Tetriminos. The genius of Tetris is in its simplicity which hooks you in immediately, but to master it you need the precision of a skilled surgeon and the reflexes of a cat.

Tetris was dubbed the first ‘killer app’ when it was bundled in with Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld system. We easily spent thousands of hours playing Tetris all those years ago and the passion to play it till this day still burns brightly as the first time we made four lines vanish on screen! That fun little puzzle game from 1984 has been responsible for hooking people into playing video games.

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Tetris on June 6, NZ Mint has released a limited edition 1oz silver coin. The silver coin features the Tetris game’s iconic Tetrimino shapes on a chequered, proof background, arranged in a way to make it appear as if they are falling, much like in the game itself – very clever and iconic! The coin is housed inside a specially designed Tetris-themed arcade cabinet and includes a colourful image of the Kremlin, paying homage to the game’s Russian origins. The cushioned black felt base which holds the coin can be slipped out by lifting up the arcade cabinet, revealing the gorgeous coin. The entire package, from the coin, the felt cushion and arcade cabinet housing oozes quality and gets the nostalgic juices flowing.

If you are a coin collector or you loved (and still love) playing Tetris, then the Tetris 35th Anniversary limited-edition silver coin is the perfect memento for you.

Disclaimer: NZ Mint kindly provided the Tetris 35th Anniversary silver coin for this article.


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.