Saturday, November 30, 2019

Gaming Ads: Turbo Technologies

I'm re-posting some of what I had written for NEC and am updating that post as there was some confusion when I uploaded those ads which included a couple from Turbo Technologies, Inc. (TTi). 

Hudson Soft teamed up with NEC to create Turbo Technologies in 1992 which replaced NEC Home Electronics USA as the North American marketing division for the TurboGrafx-16. At this time the company released the TurboDuo, a console that combined the TurboGrafx-16 and its CD-ROM add-on into one unit. However, the price was $299.99 and a rather odd decision was made to use the same controller ports as the PC Engine which differed from that of the TurboGrafx-16. The TurboDuo can also play the Super CD format that have more RAM over the standard discs. Overall, 94 HuCard games, 21 CD, and 23 Super CD games were released. Although not very successful in the U.S., the console fared much better overseas where it sold around eight times as many units. TTi ended support for the platform in 1994.







More ads can be found at Facebook: Turbo Technologies

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Year 3: November Update

As I write this I've not made a new toy video this month, sorry! They are very time consuming and the last two I attempted didn't work out because the items I chose are broken. One is the Hot Wheels set Wipeout where the foam pads in the car launchers are crumbling and can't launch the cars strongly enough. The other is for a game called Electronic Detective that sometimes turns on but the audio is not working at all. I may do brief blog posts about one or both without a video since I already set up the Hot Wheels track and took photos. My next idea for a video will probably be about Star Wars.

Speaking of Star Wars, which I do often, I've been playing the new game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It has received very high praise from the press and I like it but I'm not quite as high on it. The game looks great and the sound effects are Star Wars which means it sounds great as well, and lightsabers are always cool. However, I'm having a hard time caring about the story or the characters. I believe I've mentioned before I'm not a fan of having digitized actors in games which this game has. I'd rather see a more original hero or be able to create my own. Also, the majority of the settings thus far are in remote locations where there are typically a lack of other characters, aside from Imperial troops and creatures.


The game play is more comparable to an Uncharted or Tomb Raider game, with lots of climbing, swinging, shimmying, wall running, and crossing beams. You do get action sequences in between the exploration and minor puzzles but no space combat and after 15+ hours I don't expect any. Of course, it's more fun once you get all the Force powers but that can take a while and the game sends you back to the same areas multiple times. It's more than possible I'm a bit burned out on games right now and don't want to be negative, and certainly do appreciate having a single-player Star Wars game. Also, it's tough to take good action screenshots on the PS4 as they tend to blur.


In the past I've mentioned The Toys That Made Us a few times. It's an original show only on Netflix though the first two seasons are available on home video. I bring it up since the third season debuted this month. Unfortunately, I do not subscribe to Netflix or any service actually so I cannot see it but if you can you should. Of course, since I don't subscribe to anything I also can't watch The Mandalorian (more Star Wars!) which debuted this month exclusively on Disney+. Since I didn't say enough about Star Wars yet, something I did see recently is the first season of the animated show Star Wars Resistance. It's first and foremost a kid's show so don't expect it to be Rebels. The main setting is a somewhat boring station surrounded by water which I'd say is the worst aspect. However, the way it ended makes season two appear as if it will be more appealing, and I think overall it's fun for kids. Most of the characters are new though Poe Dameron shows up once in a while and BB-8 is in it a bunch. The second and already final season is airing now.



Okay, that's probably enough Star Wars. Not too much else is going on other than just trying to find time to get everything done. I did post about Shenmue and plan to start Shenmue III next. That Shenmue post doesn't look like much but when you take into account having to flip through magazines, scan them, edit, and put the post together, that was around an eight hour project. I've got the rest of the ad posts written which consists of 12 more. After that I'll backtrack a bit to fill in some publishers I now have ads for and then post ads under some other gaming categories. Maybe I will also get the ads uploaded in another location too. Otherwise, the ad posts will be ending in a few months which means I probably won't be posting too often next year.

Enjoy the upcoming holidays and shopping season if you're into that, and thanks for reading!

-Jonathan

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Gaming Ads: Triax, Triffix Entertainment, and Trimark Interactive

All three companies these week have a small number of ads. Triax, sometimes Triax Controls or Triax Technologies, made game controllers for Nintendo and Sega's 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. It called its controllers Turbo Touch as there was no D-Pad to push, only a surface to touch. There is currently a company called Triax Technologies that is unrelated.

Triffix Entertainment was a Canadian publisher based in Montreal. It released only three games, games, all for Nintendo platforms in the early '90s. I've got two ads, one for Castelian (aka Tower Toppler) and one for Space Football. The third game it published is Dream TV.

Trimark Interactive was founded in 1993 and was a subsidiary of Trimark Holdings, which was part of the television and film company Trimark Pictures. It appears to have published five games before being closed. I've only got ads for The Hive and a game that may not have released in North America.





 More ads can be found at Facebook: Triax, Triffix Entertainment, Trimark Interactive

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Shenmue!

The third game in Yu Suzuki's epic adventure is finally upon us and so, of course, I scanned what magazine coverage I've got on the first two games. It's been 19 years since the first game released for the North American Dreamcast and 20 years since it debuted in Japan. Then, while the rest of the world played the sequel on the Dreamcast in 2001, U.S. fans had to wait until 2002 to continue Ryo's journey on Xbox. These are two of my favorite games as I enjoy the settings, characters, and story, plus the combat is fun though the quick-timer events can be hit or miss, literally. I really want to give the first two another go before the new part but I simply cannot find the time so I'm likely going to jump into the third one this week. From what I've read Shenmue III doesn't complete the story -- let's hope we get a Shenmue IV!

If you are a Shenmue fan and missed my coverage for the North American Dreamcast's 20th anniversary you might want to check this article (scroll way down) to see some Shenmue press materials (flyer, press release, trading cards, t-shirt). There is also a post about the Dreamcast magazine here that has a couple pages of Shenmue information with a Yu Suzuki interview. The scans below are from a few different magazines with the first game's coverage being from the Official Dreamcast Magazine (ODM) and Next Generation. For Shenmue II I scanned articles from ODM, Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), GamePro, and Xbox Nation (XBN). Also, I spotted a glaring error in a Next Generation preview crediting Sonic Team as the developer (it's AM2) and a couple spots where Ryo Hazuki's name is incorrect (EGM refers to him as Hazaki and ODM calls him Ryu). Something else you may notice are screenshots of Shenmue II in a Shenmue preview. I'd have to assume it wasn't known at the time if or where the story would be split between multiple games.

SHENMUE

Pre-Release
ODM #2
ODM #5

ODM #5
ODM #5

ODM #11

Next Generation - April 1999
Next Generation - March 1999
Next Generation - March 1999


Next Generation - October 1999

Next Generation - October 1999
Next Generation - October 1999

Next Generation - October 1999
Next Generation - October 1999

Reviews
ODM #8

ODM #8
ODM #8

Next Generation - December 2000


SHENMUE II

Pre-Release
ODM #10: Shenmue II is coming
out in 2001! Isn't it, Peter Moore? 
GamePro #159


GamePro #160: Shenmue II
canceled on U.S. Dreamcast.
GamePro #161: Peter Moore
apologizes.
EGM #159















Reviews
EGM #161
XBN #5

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Gaming Ads: Treco

Treco was a subsidiary of Sammy Corporation based in California that published seven games on the Sega Genesis between 1990-93. It was also known as Treco USA and American Treco, and that's about all there is to say about Treco. I've got ads for six of the seven games (nothing for Twin Cobra) plus a canceled one.




More ads can be found at Facebook: Treco

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gaming Ads: Tradewest

Founded in 1985 (or '86 depending on the source) by John Rowe (of SNK), Leland Cook, and his son Byron Cook, Tradewest was based in Texas. It started out as a manufacturer of arcade games but within a couple years it moved to publishing console games. In 1987 it purchased Cinematronics (Dragon's Lair) and renamed it The Leland Corporation which is a name you can see in the fine print of some of the ads, and on later ads it's called Leland Interactive Media. WMS Industries acquired Tradewest in 1994 and renamed it Williams Entertainment. Tradewest published a lot of well known games, such as the NES version of Double Dragon, Battletoads games from Rare, and the arcade ports of the Super Off Road series.





More ads can be found at Facebook: Tradewest