Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Hawk Has Landed

In 1999 Activision published Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (THPS) for the original PlayStation console and it was an instant hit. Developed by Neversoft, the game received a sequel just one year later aptly titled Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Arguably the two best skateboarding video games at the time of their release, it heavily influenced the video game scene in the early 2000s as numerous other extreme sports received video game adaptions. Over the next 20 years the series would receive many more sequels and spin-offs but this Friday Activision is going back there where it all began as it releases the first two games rebuilt from the ground up in a remastered collection for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It's developed by Vicarious Visions which has worked on the series previously, often responsible for the handheld equivalents. While all the original content with new graphics is here, there are also new tricks, secrets, challenges, and online multiplayer modes. Create-A-Skater and Create-A-Park have been upgraded too and much of the original soundtracks will be in the game as well, plus 37 more songs. This post isn't exactly about the remaster though and if you're familiar with the blog you probably know that magazine scans are next.

I went through my video game magazines and was able to find some preview and review coverage of the first game and two reviews of the second. Most of the scans are from the Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine and Next Generation (NextGen), with a preview from PSM and a N64 review from Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM). The Dreamcast magazine is over-sized as is at least one of the Next Generation issues so the scans got a little cut off on my scanner but all the relevant text is here.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

PSM - July 1999
NextGen - July 1999
NextGen - March 2000

NextGen - November 1999
NextGen - May 2000
EGM #129 (April 2000)

Dreamcast Magazine #6 - July/Aug 2000

Dreamcast Magazine #6 - July/Aug 2000

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Dreamcast Magazine #10 - Holiday 2000

Dreamcast Magazine #10 - Holiday 2000

NextGen - December 2000

Monday, August 31, 2020

[YouTube] LEGO Star Wars Landspeeder (1999)


Released in 1999, this Star Wars Landspeeder (#7110) is among the first Star Wars-themed LEGO sets. It cost $5.99, is 47 pieces, and includes two mini-figures: Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (with lightsaber). A 163-piece Landspeeder (#8092) with five mini-figures released in 2010 at a price of $24.99 and LEGO put together yet another Landspeeder (#75271) edition in 2020 that is 236 pieces plus three mini-figures for $29.99.

The video audio is not the greatest since I was looking down at the table most of the time and probably mumbling a bit rather than projecting toward the microphone. I scanned all the paperwork included though the manual scans are a little sloppy. Also, I didn't notice Obi-Wan's hair was slightly off when taking the photos but no time to redo them, sorry!

Instruction Manual

LEGO System Catalog

LEGO Mania Magazine Offer 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Year 4: August Update

This year now feels as if it is flying by. Much of the year initially seemed quite slow while working from home and hardly going anywhere but with September a week away the end of the year will be here before we know it  September is also when Facebook is forcing its new version on every user which I hope will improve photo albums. As of this past weekend it was impossible to change the album order so I went back to the classic version and fixed the gaming ads order, and hopefully uploading images won't cause them to shuffle on the new version though I've not tested that. Blogger recently made a number of changes too. I'm not a fan of the new label system and maneuvering images can still be a pain. However, there are more sizes available for images which is good.

There has been quite a few video game stories since the July update. Last month I mentioned a G.I. Joe game which at the time had very few details other than release date, price, retail platforms, and publisher. A trailer has since released and the official website is up with many details. It's a third-person shooter for 1-4 players in competitive or cooperative local split-screen action. There is a campaign with 17 missions split between playing as the Joes and Cobra with six playable characters per side. The developer is IguanaBee which is a wildcard here as it hasn't developed many games and nothing like this game. Also, I wrote to publisher GameMill to get clarification on a PC version and was told it is planned but currently the date of release is to be determined.


Intellivision Entertainment posted an 80-minute Amico presentation in early August where a six-month delay was announced. Some of the games shown look fun and some don't but it's hard to say if the good games will be enough to help the console turn a profit. While the pandemic is the biggest reason for the delay, with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 looming it would have been good to move it back even if it wasn't necessary for any other reason. Speaking of the next generation, we still don't have firm launch dates but Microsoft did confirm November as the Xbox launch month. Today Sega announced the release date for Yakuza: Like a Dragon as November 13th though it said the Xbox Series X version, which is a launch title, is to be determined. I believe Sega has a good idea of the date so although it cannot say, my assumption is the Xbox won't release before the 13th (9/9 UPDATE: I was wrong; it is releasing November 10th). Most likely it will be within a week of the 13th with November 15th being my best guess as that is the day the very first Xbox console launched. Microsoft lost its biggest launch title as Halo Infinite was delayed and Sony lost one of its third-party timed exclusives this year with the delay of Deathloop. 

This past weekend DC FanDome took place which was an online event covering comic book, movie, TV, and video game products. Developer Rocksteady released a teaser before the event that indicated it has been working on a Suicide Squad game subtitled Kill the Justice League. A trailer was shown off on Saturday that states it won't release until 2022! I've guessed in some of my E3 predictions that a Superman or Wonder Woman game was likely, and while those characters might appear in the game as enemies under Brainiac's control, I was way off. WB Games Montreal also has a new "Batman" game that does not star Batman. Instead players can control Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood in solo or co-op play. It is targeting a 2021 release for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and PC.

Is there a new Star Wars LEGO set every month? There just might be. Unveiled last week is the Bespin Duel set that launches August 27th exclusively on Target.com. It looks cool and at $39.99 the price isn't too steep but then it is on the small side.

The other day I stumbled across an online post indicating new Masters of the Universe toys are out. It appears they released exclusively at Walmart in June with the action figures priced at $14.99 each and there are some vehicles too. Designs are similar to the toys from the '80s though they are more detailed and have elbow, knee, and wrist joints.


That was a fairly long update and as I say just about every month this year, I've no idea what I'll be able to get done for the blog the rest of the year. Game releases are picking up now and it will be a busy few months for my 2020 game project. I've got one gaming article ready for next week and nothing else started, unfortunately. 

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Gaming Ads: Computer Soft/Hardware

This is one of the random groups of ads I've got and I'll have a few more by the end of the year. It's a mix of computer software (not games) and hardware (not controllers), as well as computers (not Commodore). Lots of "nots" here as games are in the individual publisher albums and controllers are as well, plus I'll have single company controller ads in a future album. There is some Commodore third-party hardware but Commodore itself received its own album primarily because it gets special treatment having inspired the blog name and color scheme.

 More ads can be found at Facebook: Computer Soft/Hardware