The Great Christmas Video Game Gifts Wish Book Of 1992

Christmas is always a great time. We associate good times with family and friends, holidays, and obviously the gifts (giving and receiving!).

Let’s not pretend though, as kids, we loved Christmas for one thing, the presents! It was also around this time that retailers would bombard us with their catalogues, tempting us to load up our wish-lists with all matter of toys, electronic gadgets and video gaming items. We would pore over these catalogues, circling items and then leaving the catalogues in a prominent spot in the hope that our loved ones would notice.

If you loved (still love) looking at catalogues, then let us take you back to the 1992 Christmas Sears, Roebuck & Co. ‘The Great American Wish Book’ – yep, this catalogue is a 830+ page book!

Let’s see what is inside this hefty catalogue!

We wish for a Game Boy!

Or do we wish for a Sega Game gear?

Ah yeh, of course we wish for an Atari Lynx!

Which console to circle – the NES?

Or maybe the TurboGrafx-16 (aka: American PC-Engine)?

Maybe we should go for the 16-bit beasts, like the Sega Mega Drive?

Or the mighty Super Nintendo!

We also need games!

Lots of games!

Whoa, a new computer!

A new computer will need some software and a few peripherals!

See, we told you the NES isn’t just a games machine! We can learn to play the piano!

Pfft, who needs smartwatches!

Whoa, arcade pinball action!

Oh wow, you could save $200 on the Philips CD-i! What a bargain!

The only way to listen to music while on the move!

If we buy a console, we need a CRT TV to play it on! Circle that too!

For those that want to video record their play!

Lego should be on the list, always!

Reading material is good for Christams

Yeh, why not!

A certain Mr Panek would love this TMNT madness!

Please Santa, I want a Jet Wave too!

 

Top 5 Games Charts: December 1999

Thinking back to the 1999 Christmas season, we were still playing our Nintendo 64 quite a lot, but we were saving up frantically for a Sega Dreamcast. Star Wars games featured prominently in December 1999, but after the massive disappointment of The Phantom Menace prequel released earlier that same year, we steered clear of these games as a matter of protest. It was our loss, as some of these new Star Wars games on the 32-bit and 64-bit platforms were absolute crackers! Other notable games that we loved playing around that time were Driver and Soul Reaver on the Playstation.

Casting an eye over the top 5 December 1999 games charts for each platform, we were mostly looking forward to slicing and dicing in SoulCalibur and shooting zombies in House Of The Dead 2 on Sega’s Dreamcast!

What were your gaming memories from the 1999 Christmas season – tell us now on Twitter or Facebook!

PSX_150x150 1) Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (LucasArts)
2) Driver (Acclaim)
3) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (Activision)
4) South Park (Acclaim)
5) Soul Reaver (Eidos)

 

N64_150x150 1) Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (Nintendo)
2) Star Wars: Episode 1 – Racer (Nintendo)
3) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (Nintendo)
4) F-1 Grand Prix II (Video System)
5) Quake II (Activision)

 

1) SoulCalibur (Namco)
2) Sonic Adventure (Sega)
3) Sega Worldwide Soccer 2000 (Sega)
4) Ready 2 Rumble (Midway)
5) House Of The Dead 2 (Sega)

 

Metal Slug: The Complete History

metal_slug_tDo you know how many games are in the Metal Slug series? Would you believe there are over 30 ‘Slug’ games? Yeah, we are in disbelief too.

Luckily for us all, Daniel Ibbertson from Slope’s Games Room has collated all the information and produced another great ‘Complete History’ video on one of our favourite SNK gaming franchises.

Which Metal Slug game is your fave? Tell us now on Twitter or Facebook.


source: Slope’s Games Room

Happy 25th Anniversary Blizzard Entertainment!

blizzardGood Game’s Goose Mangus did an awesome story on the history of Blizzard Entertainment on this week’s show to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary (25 years – can you believe it?!). Check it out below:

gameplay-first

The games
rpm-racing-1991

rock-n-roll-racing-1993

the-lost-vikings-1993

warcraft-1994

blackthorne-1994

the-death-and-return-of-superman-1994

warcraft-ii-1995

diablo-1996

starcraft-1998

diablo-ii-2000

warcraft-iii-2002

wow-2004

starcraft-ii-2010

diablo-iii-2012

hearthstone-2014

heroes-of-the-storm-2015

overwatch-2016

Source: Good Game on YouTube

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

A Brief History of Virtual Reality

With the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR well and truly on the way to our living rooms, virtual reality (VR) is the biggest news in gaming right now. But let’s rewind the clock some two and a half decades, back when Sony was working on the Nintendo Play Station and the inventor of the Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey, was still in his diapers.

vr_segavrimage source: Gizmodo

In 1991, SEGA announced its SEGA VR virtual reality headset for arcade games, promising immersive gaming via its head-mounted display (HMD) unit with inertial sensors tracking and reacting to a user’s head movements.

While SEGA was talking about VR, the Virtuality Group went one better by launching its stand up Virtuality pod enclosure system (the 1000 series) – the first mass-produced, networked, multiplayer location-based VR entertainment system – all powered by Amiga 3000 computers. These Virtuality pods featured a stereoscopic head-mounted display (the “Visette”), an exoskeleton touch glove to ‘feel’ objects in the virtual world, and a ‘fast track’ magnetic source built into the waist-high ring with a receiver which tracked the player’s movement in real time within the enclosure – a truly immersive VR experience. Virtuality later introduced joysticks, steering wheels, and an aircraft yoke for control.

vr_virtualityimage source: DVD Fever

With the VR craze gaining mass consumer attention, it was inevitable that the technology would find its way into the lucrative home video games market. In 1993, SEGA was working hard to port its SEGA VR arcade HMD to its hit Mega Drive/Genesis console, but due to development difficulties, the console SEGA VR headset remained only a prototype, and was never released to the gaming public.

To fill the void, VictorMaxx entered the market with the world’s first consumer VR HMD, the StuntMaster (VM1000) – the technology being developed under license from Future Vision Technologies. The StuntMaster was released in 1993 for USD$219.95 and came with assemblies to connect to both the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo consoles. The StuntMaster sported a tracking stem on the head unit which had fast response times and accurate positioning, but the low resolution, lack of VR specific games, and prolonged use causing motion sickness meant that the StuntMaster never caught on with gamers.

vr_stuntmaster

By 1994, home consoles became exponentially more powerful than the previous generation, meaning that VR could finally realise its full potential in the home. That year, Atari jumped on the VR bandwagon by signing a deal with Virtuality to design, develop, and produce a VR HMD for its 64-bit Jaguar home console. The Jaguar VR HMD was slated for a Christmas 1995 release, but financial woes at Atari caused the program to be abandoned, resulting in the Jaguar VR HMD being thrown on the already full failed VR scrapheap. To recoup its losses, Virtuality sold the Jaguar VR HMD technology to prolific Japanese toy manufacturer Takara and the huge electronics giant Philips.

vr_dyno_alexboz

vr_jagvr

In 1996, both companies raced to have a VR HMD on the market, with Takara producing and releasing the TAK-8510 Dynovisor HMD and Philips its Scuba Visor. These units sported the Pupil Projection System, which had a (then) ground-breaking 120-degree field of view (FOV) display using Sony’s TFT LCD (thin film transistor LCD) screens. Coupled with the display was stereo sound and Inter Pupil Distance (IPD) focus adjustment – perfect for any user personalisation. The Dynovisor and Scuba could be used with any console that had composite video and red/white analogue audio ports (the PC version of the Dynovisor also came with a custom VGA PC interface). Neither units had motion tracking, hence their relatively low retail price (¥38,800 / USD$320). Like their contemporaries, they failed due to a lack of VR specific software and causing many a headaches after prolonged use.

vr_dyno_1

vr_dyno_pce

Having recently experienced 1990s VR via Takara’s Dynovisor HMD, we can vouch that it won’t make you sick like the Virtual Boy, but that may be down to the unit having no motion tracking. After playing countless platform, driving, shoot-’em-up, and fighting games, we reckon that racing games are best suited for playing on an old VR HMD – but not for too long! These units came with a warning to rest your eyes after 30 minutes of play, and this is all for good reason.

Playing on these old-school VR HMDs is like having an IMAX screen two inches away from your eyeballs – there is a lot to take in – which works well, thanks to the 120-degree FOV. But after 30 minutes, your eyes will be begging you for a rest from the visual onslaught. Of course, none of the old games played on the unit were designed to take advantage of virtual reality, so the experience lacked the full VR immersion – a shame.

vr_cybermaxximage source: eBay

On the PC front, it was VictorMaxx’s CyberMaxx model 2.0 HMD that provided the VR ‘hit’ PC gamers had been craving for. With higher resolution and improved optics than its previous 120 model (released in November 1994 for USD$499), the CyberMaxx 2.0 model also had dynamic stereo sound, focus adjustment for each eye, and real time yaw, pitch, and roll head-tracking, providing 3D stereoscopic images via compatible software. Released in August 1995 with a suggested retail price of USD$889, the CyberMaxx 2.0 didn’t take off, with management concluding that its headset was not likely to gain widespread consumer acceptance at its suggested retail price. By the end of 1996, VictorMaxx exited the consumer electronics business, thus ending the future of the CyberMaxx VR product line. However, there is hope that the legacy of the CyberMaxx will lead the current (promised) VR products to good stead.

Walking through the 1990s VR product graveyard, a common headstone could summarise the reason for their failure: “Here rests a product which caused severe headaches, induced motion sickness, lacked great software, and was a concept ahead of the technology available at the time.” Fast forward to 2016 and we have our fingers crossed for the imminent VR products to hit the market, and hope that they will deliver on the promises of their predecessors. Viva la VR!
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MrAlexBozVRAlex Boz, Editor-In-Chief / Video Game Historian
Alex is a collector, arcade extraordinaire, pinball tragic, an Atarian and a C64 lover. Alex has been gaming since the early 80s when the weapon of choice was a joystick with a single fire button.

Follow Alex Boz on Twitter

 

 

This post originally published on Push Square February 17 2016.

 

Splatterhouse: The Complete History

splatterhouse_hdrHalloween may be over for another year, but that didn’t stop Daniel Ibbertson (Slopes Games Room) grabbing the Terror Mask and entering the West Mansion for a look at the complete history of everyone’s favourite slash’em up, Splatterhouse.

Daniel’s video looks at every single game in the franchise, Namco’s struggle against Nintendo and every movie reference found in the series so far. Go and grab some popcorn, leave the light on, and press play now!


source: Slopes Games Room

 

Double Dragon: The Complete History

doubledragon_historyIf you have been following our exploits here or on social media, you’ll know that we are massive fans of Technos‘ brilliant 1987 beat’em up arcade game, Double Dragon.

What’s there not to like, two brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, set out to rescue Billy’s girl, Marian, from the Black Warriors gang by kicking ten-shades out of every baddie that gets in their way! This co-op game also gave the player the opportunity to grab strewn items, like a whip or baseball bat (among others) to easily dispose of the Black Warriors members.

We could go on and on about this awesome game, but we thought we’d spare you and bring your attention to Double Dragon: The Complete History by Slopes Game Room’s Daniel Ibbertson. Insert coin and enjoy!

Ah, many a coin were pumped into this machine
doubledragon_arcade

Double Dragon was converted on myriad of home systems. Let’s not talk about the C64 version *grumble*
doubledragon_history_conversion

The NES conversion was one of the better ones
doubledragon_history_nes

Even the Atari 2600 conversion was better than the C64 debacle!
doubledragon_history_a2600source: Slopes Game Room