I meant to get this out in January…then February…now it’s May. Life being very, very, very busy has kept me from getting this out in a timely manner, so I’ve been cranking out the simpler meme posts instead.
Thus, some of the links might be a little old, but being old doesn’t change the news, right? I’ll label the months next to the gaming headlines I’d been sort of accumulating so you know how old it is.
If you are new to this thread, we previously ran weekly gaming/tech threads, but it was proving to be too time consuming for me to handle. These are a curated compilation of links and videos that are related to the fields of video games and technology. No, it’s not strictly politics, but life shouldn’t be all politics, all the time. In my humble opinion. Let’s get to it:
[May] The Super Mario Maker 2 Direct – This game is looking like a lot of fun, better than the first.
[May] Rage 2’s Price Already Drops 1 Day After Launch? (NSFW ads at the link) Bonus: Rage 1 Vs. Rage 2 video
[May] Windows 3 Solitaire Joins The Ranks Of The Elite – Boo, Freecell was much better (and Castles of the Winds was the best Windows 3.1 game of all time…OF ALL TIME!)
[May] MicroSoft Becomes The GateKeepers Of Acceptable Trash Talk In Gaming – Take a guess as to what will get you banned
[May] They’ve Found A VHS Full Of Cut Footage From That Atrocious Super Mario Bros. Movie – I actually saw that in theaters as a kid for my friend’s b-day party. We never talked about it again.
[Apr] Capcom Announces The Capcom Home Arcade – Which apparently uses bad emulation, whoops
[Mar.] 40 Cancelled Games On The Commodore 64 – In case you were a fan, here’s some of what you missed
Now Hawt: Mordhaud (PC): This one just popped up on the radar a few weeks ago, and has qucikly been amassing players. I haven’t had a chance to take a crack at it yet, but it looks like a lot of bloody fun; to which you can enjoy the fact that this game will not be showing up in China anytime soon (let’s just hope that Valve doesn’t bow to Chinese pressure and start pulling the same junk):
Google Unveils Stadia With Grandiose Claims – Doomberg ran a post some time ago about Google’s new “the future isn’t a box” gaming project, Stadia. In watching the full Stadia presentation, I got the strong sense that this wasn’t so much a Google game console/service as it is a YouTube one – with Google+ falling flat on it’s face, they are subtly turning YouTube into it’s own kind of social media site with posts. While Stadia will support streaming and the like, it will also have instant tips to help non-gamer game journalists out when they can’t figure out how “B = jump.” Woohoo.
As Doomberg has also mentioned, Google has a pretty uneven track record on things outside of their core search engine and YouTube (remember that they bought YouTube when Google Video failed) – Google Glass, Google Fiber, services like Orkut, then Google+; Google Lively, Google Answers, Google Notebook, Dodgeball, Google Buzz, Google Wave, etc. Granted, they have had success with things like Gmail, Google Docs, and the Pixel phones. They also have oceans of money to throw at something like Stadia, so it can fail and the company will still survive. That said, their constant adjustments to their algorithms as they seek to make advertisers and SJWs happy has resulted in losses for ad revenue.
No games have been announced for this, nor a price point yet. It will be available by the end of the year, with promises to reveal more around E3 time.
This promises to deliver 4K 60FPS gaming on any device are also a tall order to swallow (as the video below gets into). In good part due to that certainly going to use up massive amounts of bandwidth (if you thought that telecom companies were upset over how much bandwidth Netflix was using, imagine if Stadia takes off). I also question the business model here. It should go without saying that Google cannot be trusted – they know ad revenues and data mining, suppressing their political enemies and spying on their users. If you think that they won’t wield that power to throw ads at you (or banning users from the service the moment they show a hint of WrongThink), then I have some incredible oil to sell you that’s made from snakes…
[Jan.] Avoiding The Obvious – Why EA & Activision’s Stocks Were Crap In 2018 – EA and Activision/Blizzard didn’t have a very good 2018, and by this article clickbaiting you with an “explanation,” all they have is the weak sauce of pointing a finger at Fortnite. Granted, to really get at why the big releases for these companies stumbled or bombed would require some feathers to be ruffled, so let’s ruffle away!
In all cases of the delays and poor sales, it was because these companies donned their Social Justice Warrior badges, taking a big diarrhea dump on any customer who dared to “think different.” You want Accurate History instead of Feminist Fantasy Revisionism? TO THE GALLOWS WITH YOU! Express an unpopular opinion (particularly anything a WaPo writer would call “FAR-RIGHT” off-the-web? UNPERSONED!
It’s not that hard to figure out – go woke, go broke. Because the games industry has wanted to pull a Hollywood, game sales are down for the first time in over 20 years. Keep politics, censorship and witch hunting your own customers out of your games and you’ll do fine. It’s like games are supposed to be fun, or something…when they aren’t, people don’t buy. Speaking of that, GLAAD is here to help you know which games are super woke!
Nintendo Restarts Development On Metroid Prime 4
First revealed at E3 2017, gamers have long been waiting to see something – anything – on Nintendo’s next installment of the Metroid series. We waited…and waited…were disappointed by zero mentions of the game at E3 2018…waited some more…then this apology video popped up on Nintendo’s YouTube channel in January:
Apparently, the development was being stretched across several different teams, with it progressing well in some areas, but doing badly in others. What that means exactly, we’ll probably never know, but the short of it all is that Nintendo took the tough decision of scrapping it all and starting over with Retro Studios.
Despite the disappointment that we’ll have to wait even longer for the game – I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll be looking at 2021 at this point – I haven’t seen anyone complaining about what Nintendo did here. Most companies will simply cancel a game and tell no one; or when word leaks out, they scrap together some corporate-speak “mea culpa but too bad” and move on. Instead, Nintendo is sticking to their guns of rushed games being terrible, owning up to there being some problems and earning a bit of good will in the process for being open about it. I have to imagine that what they had was a dumpster fire; wanting to avoid making MP4 the next Fallout ’76 was a no-brainer.
Mortal Kombat Goes Full Woke – I won’t say much about this as I think it’s been well documented among gaming sites already, but between the game itself going full on real racist, to ramping up microtransactions out the wazoo, to one of the staff coming out as trans (celebrated by the MK creator, Ed Boon) and one of the staff also claiming that he got PTSD from working on the game, and other SJW issues, you can safely say that the series ain’t your grandpappy’s Mortal Kombat, and that’s not a good thing.
Atari “Upgrades” The Atari VCS Just Days Before They Were Supposed To Start Shipping – The saga of a scam continues over in Atari land, with the vaunted Atari VCS console continuing to cause heads to be scratched and memes to be made.
Recall that this console was first mentioned in 2017, with very few details on what it was supposed to be other than something that looks like a futuristic Atari 2600. Then in May of last year, Atari launched an Indiegogo campaign, which has the benefit of not needing to provide any proof that you’ve got a product in hand, and not giving people refunds. Atari pocketed a little over $3 million off of the mock-ups they had (the modern controller was a modified Xbox One pad), no gameplay running from the machine, very few partners and two game announcements of titles that are already available on other platforms.
Then….next to nothing as the months rolled by.
For some backers, they have become quite frustrated at the lack of updates and scrubbing of legitimate questions from the IGG page. According to their IGG timeline, manufacturing was supposed to begin “Q4 2018,” then “Shipping” Q1 2019, with “Pre-orders arriving” Q2 2019. As Q2 officially arrived with the start of spring, they suddenly sent out an email to those signed up to their newsletter about an exciting new delay.
The delay: They supposedly decided that after they should have had units manufactured, that they would upgrade the processor to an unspecified AMD Ryzen/Vega APU. Such a change would mean that the project, which offers no refunds in case you missed it, is now delayed to the end of 2019. Until it’s delayed into 2020, and so on.
For any rational thinking person, they should have realized long ago that this is a scam. I’m not sure what Atari SA hoped to accomplish in promising hardware to a market that is known for becoming exceptionally devoted to a piece of metal and plastic that can play games. But that’s the case when all you see are dollar signs and constantly mention that you hope to be bought out (as I’ve mused in the past, I believe the entire reason they are doing the VCS is to generate enough hype to get bought out by someone else. But as that doesn’t materialize, they scramble)
Willy Wonka Vs. The Black Knight – Things have been heating up in the pinball arena this year, as the two big manufacturers of said machines are flexing their muscles and pulling out all the stops to please collectors and operators. Both games are fully designed & made in the USA, so you can always feel patriotic about playing any new pinball machine.
The first to mention is Willy Wonka, designed by Pat Lawlor (The Addams Family, Twilight Zone, Funhouse, a slew of others) for Jersey Jack Pinball. This is based on the original film and not the Tim Burton take on the concept, meaning that it’s vibrant and loaded with all of the cheese from the movie that you remember. The main toy on it is a spinning Everlasting Gobstopper, and overall the theme should appeal to people of all ages:
Second is Black Knight: Sword of Rage, designed by Steve “The King of Pinball” Ritchie (both of the original Black Knight games, Terminator 2, High Speed, Spider-Man, also a slew of others). He designed the original 1980 and 1989 Black Knight games, making this the third in the series; something that I think is a first in pinball, which rarely gets sequels as it is (due to the licenses not really serving as sequels; Black Knight was an original work). This features music from the lead guitarist of Anthrax; a big Black Knight model with spinning weapon and some other cool features that you can see here:
BTW, since I know there are some Game of Thrones fans around here, I should also mention that GoT was made as a pinball machine by Stern Pinball (and designed by Steve Ritchie), so you might find one at your favorite local pinball parlor.
Homebrew of the Month: Rikki & Vikki (Atari 7800 / PC) – Another item from Atari here, but this one really deserves the attention for just how high quality it is. In development for four years, Rikki & Vikki is a single screen puzzle platformer game for 1-2 players. Your goal on each screen is simply to collect all of the keys, but this is made all-the-more difficult by the clever obstacles, varied enemies and tough-as-nails boss battles. While this won’t look impressive on Steam, it is by far the most impressive game to ever have been released on the Atari 7800 platform, whose lack of official support (and Nintendo soaking up most of the hardware/software development) back in the day meant that the full potential of the system was never seen.
Apple Lying About Battery Life On Their Phones? – A Big Tech company lying about something? No way!
London’s Obsession With Socialism Is Now Seeking To Eliminate Ice Cream Truck – Socialism, the most joyless, soulless way to govern
Chinese Huawei Plan On Introducing The World’s First 5G 8KTV– Now With 5G to better steal your data!
Intel 4004 Processor (Intel’s 1st commercially available CPU) Remade As A Fully Mechanical CPU – Super energy efficient and likely a solution for a Venus probe
So About That Foldable Phone – Samsung has been enjoying another round of embarrassment from a product launch, this time regarding their foldable phone. One would have thought that the R&D people would have made absolutely sure that a foldable screen was ready for the field before launching it, but apparently the QA people were either fired for telling the bosses the truth, they bypassed QA completely to beat Huawei to the punch, or they were incompetent at their jobs. Either way, if you were one of those early adopters of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, headaches have been the way of life since it was released. Click here to read more about it.
When A UK Lab Is The First To Generate Electricity From Americium Element – Ironic that the chaps on the other side of the pond would be the first to make a nuclear breakthrough on an element named after the rebellious colonies 😛 This could lead to high end batteries that would last up to 400 years. Read more about it here.
Synthesizing Speech With Brain Recordings – Synthetic speech has been around for a good, long time, whether it was sci-fi stories pushing the idea or video games of the early 80’s pioneering the tech for the real world. Now, we can take a “neural recording” of someone’s brain and recreate that synthetically. As you can see below, this is not exactly perfect, but give it time and I imagine it’ll be hot stuff for “Deep Fake” videos. This was developed at UC San Francisco:
The Weyland Yutani…err Amazon Vision Of Our Solar System’s Future – First Elon Musk had his fun with Mars, now it’s Bezos’ turn to tell us how the future of space will be. Whaddya think?
Space Pr0n of the…Quarter – Our Only Look At A KBO & The Stars Of M15: Instead of the week, let’s say quarter, although I’m not sure when I’ll do the next gaming/tech thread. Just depends on the ol’ schedule. I thought about doing the black hole image since that was the biggest media deal with space news of the year so far, but everyone’s already seen that. Instead, let’s look at two things, one of which should probably be the #1 story of the year (guess it depends on who you ask) plus a bonus. For that #1, we had our first and so far only look at a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO). Known as Ultima Thule, this tiny object was visited by NASA’s New Horizon’s probe on New Year’s Day, where it not only took some fascinating pics of the strange object, it gathered a ton of scientific data (which was just published yesterday, lucky us).
For another cool thing that wasn’t all over the news, an animated GIF showing the M15 globular cluster and the variable RR Lyrae stars (the ones that appear to twinkle here). This image was put together using “remarkably precise individual measurements of star positions, brightness, and color” by the Gaia satellite. The cluster itself sits a mere 35,000ly away(one of 170 such clusters that orbit our galaxy at the edges), but all of these stars are crammed into a space of about 200 square light-years.