Sunday, February 11, 2024

Joe Montana Quarterbacks Another Super Game (Sega Visions - Winter 1990/91)

This Sega Visions article is about signing Joe Montana to endorse -- and assist in the development of -- Sega's football video game for the Genesis. In addition to that, I'm adding the Sega Visions review, Sega football ads that can also be found on Facebook and Google Photos, and my annual Super Bowl prediction which I sometimes post about here or sometimes only mention in a "Let's Play" video on YouTube. While I'm not a football expert by any means and am only taking a final score guess for fun, I was actually only off by a point in last year's post (Kenner's Starting Lineup). I have mentioned Joe Montana games in a few other posts previously, and I opted to go with a Montana post here because of the Super Bowl matchup. Montana is, of course, one of the greatest 49ers players and one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. However, late in his career he played for the Kansas City Chiefs as well and appeared on multiple Sega video game covers in the Chiefs uniform.

Sega Visions - April/May 1991

In the early issues of Sega Visions the reviews read more like overviews than an actual review. You won't find much in the way of opinion as Sega was simply promoting Genesis games, its own and those of the third-party publishers, and it avoided being negative. Eventually it did start rating games on a numerical scale. I lightened the green background on this scan which is somewhat difficult to read in the actual magazine with black print against a dark green page.

Sega Ads

Super Bowl LVIII
This year the Chiefs haven't looked like the Super Bowl champions they were in the previous season but they still have the best QB in the NFL which is why they are in the big game yet again. The 49ers have a young QB with less than two years of NFL experience but a good defense and the better all-around team. I'm going to lean toward the better team over the better QB and predict a 31-20 49ers victory.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Sega Champs Square Off in (Not-So-) Sunny Hawaii (Video Games & Computer Entertainment - April 1991)

Yesterday I posted Video Games & Computer Entertainment's (VG&CE) 1990 coverage of the Nintendo World Championships debut in Dallas, Texas. Not to be outdone by Nintendo, Sega hosted its own competition that same year. This three-page article from VG&CE's April 1991 issue details the Sega Genesis World Championship finals held in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 22, 1990. Unlike Nintendo, Sega didn't cater to all ages as the competitors were all college students who earned their spot in the finals by winning events held at American universities. There also weren't any special cartridges created for this event as Sega used the regular Genesis cartridges of Shadow Dancer, Mickey Mouse in the Castle of Illusion, and Joe Montana Football. The top prize was an Eagle Talon vehicle valued at $18,000.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

The Nintendo World Championships: Dallas, Texas (Video Games & Computer Entertainment - June 1990)

In 1990 Nintendo of America held the Nintendo World Championships which took place in 30 cities across the United States and Canada with the finals hosted by Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. That's according to this four-page article from Video Games & Computer Entertainment's June 1990 issue that covers the first stop on the tour in Dallas, Texas. Wikipedia, not a 100% accurate source, states that it was held in 29 U.S. cities with the finals in Universal Studios Hollywood, and makes no mention of Canada other than to say it previously was host to the Nintendo Challenge Championship. I'm going to assume the magazine is more accurate since it was written in 1990 and the writer was at the even in Dallas. Either way, Nintendo's event took place around North America and is still remembered today, largely because of the cartridge used at the event. The cartridge features portions of Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris, and there are both gray and gold case versions. The gray cartridge was given out to finalists in each city and the gold cases were used for the finals which makes it quite rare. In 2015 the Nintendo World Championships returned and were last held in 2017.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Year 8: January Update

The blog has made it through seven years now! I didn't really have any expectations on how long I'd do this when I started and I've slowed considerably over the years but it's been a good run and I'll keep going. If you don't recognize the toys in the image below, those are the California Raisins that were created for an advertising campaign in 1986. They became quite popular which led to a variety of merchandise like the figurines pictured, as well as music albums, clothing, posters, and a comic book mini-series. Capcom even developed a California Raisins game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that was completed but never released.

The video game awards took place in December as they always do. I watch for the unveilings though I really don't care too much about awards for games or any other media. If you're curious, Baldur's Gate III, Alan Wake II, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom were among the top games at the show. Being a Sega fan it was nice to see a trailer showing off new versions of Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Shinobi. Streets of Rage is a bit of an odd choice to bring back and seems unnecessary because DotEmu released Streets of Rage 4 in 2020. I'm not sure what to think about Golden Axe's new look and the last attempt at a modern Golden Axe starring Tyris Flare didn't go over too well. I'm still hopeful though since the original is one of my favorites and a goal this year is to finally post a full playthrough on the YouTube channel. While Shinobi will be side-scrolling, the others all feature 3D graphics. Here is an image from a .pdf file on Sega Sammy's corporate website.

I'm currently trying to come up with a YouTube channel name where I'll upload the commercials that I deleted from the Vault 1541 channel last year. I'll likely put other clips from VHS tapes on there too when I do get it up and running. I have the header image ready which is a Kermit the Frog sitting on a toy chair watching a TV which is actually a Viewfinder-like souvenir. Here is a photo I'm not using where I colored (in Photoshop) the plastic souvenir white on the TV screen. That ET figurine looks perfect for the channel but I decided there were too many characters and that I should make something simpler. 

Back in the April 2023 blog update I mentioned how E3 2023 had been canceled. Last month it was officially put to rest as the Entertainment Software Association stated E3 will not be returning. The second week of June 2023 was still a very busy time for gaming news and will likely continue to be through various digital presentations despite there being no expo to attend. Something that still isn't dead is the Intellivision Amico. In the October update I wrote about the Amico games being released on PC and consoles, and Intellivision has since launched apps for Android and iOS. I'd thought the actual Amico system must be dead, however, the company still hopes to release it. Hard to believe, isn't it?

Thanks for reading the blog and Happy New Year!


Monday, December 25, 2023

[YouTube] Sparking Santa Spinner

This is a spinner toy with a Christmas theme as it has what I believe is a sticker of Santa Claus on the center. It's made of metal and plastic, and requires users to press a plunger rapidly that pushes against a gear to spin the device, eventually causing sparks. I'm not sure when I received this toy but my best guess is late 1970s. The only markings I see on it are Kurt S. Adler Inc., New York and, much to my surprise, it turns out this company, which began in 1946, is still in business today and specializes in holiday products. While it's not the highest quality toy, it does still work, more or less, despite likely being 40+ years old. Trying to use one hand to spin it and the other to take photos of it in action was a bit challenging, and I opted to crop out my blurry hand so you only see the top piece in those pics. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

[YouTube] LEGO Bullseye Dog (2010)

This post is of a product that's newer than I would usually cover but I like LEGO toys and thought it was worth a look during the holidays. It is a 31-piece LEGO set featuring Bullseye the dog from Target store advertisements that was sold around Christmas in 2010. The set was packaged in a plastic case that doubled as a Target gift card.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Gaming Ads: Backfilling #17

Last video games ads post was September 2022  so it has been a while but I do have more and will hopefully continue getting them from time-to-time. One is fitting for the holidays as it's a Christmas-themed Game Boy ad from Nintendo. Two of them are retail ads from Target (Game Boy) and Walmart (Konami handhelds), and the last is a PC controller from Microsoft.