Saturday, September 26, 2020

Gaming Ads: Online Services

These ads all involve early online services that tried to attract game players to sign up. I'm not sure how DWANGO worked but in most cases the ads involve companies that provided access to the world wide web rather than simply being a game hub like which I posted ads for in the SegaSoft album.The Facebook album will be a bit different and not be labeled as a "Gaming Ads" album. While it will feature all of the ads I post here, it will also include a variety of general ads from the likes of CompuServe, GEnie, and Q-Link.

Online Service albums: Facebook - Google Photos

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Year 4: September Update

Another slow month around here as far as new blog posts. I did do a small LEGO build on camera at the end of August which mostly went well. My plan that may or may not happen is to try and do a G.I. Joe week in early October in relation to the new video game. I'm also trying to take a mini-vacation of sorts within these busy months. It's been 2.5 years since I took more than one day off in a row from work and that was mostly for an important family obligation aside from the quick stop at Funspot. Next week I will be taking two whole days off! I'll be making a lengthy drive to do some hiking so it's not extra time to spend on the blog or videos.

Quite a bit has happened in the gaming world since August. We now know the Xbox Series X releases on November 10th alongside a lesser model named the Xbox Series S. I'm not so sure a Series S is necessary as it cannot even run Xbox One games with the enhancements they receive when played on Xbox One X. It will likely confuse consumers too but it does cost quite a bit less with the Series X retailing for $499.99 and the Series S at $299.99. Sony countered with a release date of November 12th and a price of $499.99 for the PlayStation 5 (PS5) while the digital version (no disc drive) is priced at $399.99. The new PS5 DualSense controller is $69.99 with Xbox controllers staying at $59.99. 

As expected, more next generation games are listing for $69.99, though I am surprised at the types of games hitting this price point. The PS5 launch titles Demon's Souls and Demolition AllStars are both $69.99. When I first wrote about likely game price increases I thought it would be for the big open-world style games, not remasters, arena combat, and sports titles (NBA 2K21). The games getting those prices feel as if they should be $59.99 or less. There is an ultimate edition of Spider-Man: Miles Morales that includes a remaster of the original Spider-Man game for $69.99 as well but the standard edition is only $49.99. Fortunately, the Miles Morales game will release on PlayStation 4 too. That's the only first-party launch title I'm interested in and I believe all the third-party titles I'd like to play are available for the current generation so thus far I'm not feeling the excitement for new console launches. 

On Monday huge news broke from Microsoft when it announced that it had reached a deal to acquire ZeniMax. If you're not someone who follows the game industry closely maybe you aren't familiar with ZeniMax and are thinking who cares. ZeniMax happens to be the parent company of Bethesda, id Software, and a number of other skilled developers that work on popular franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein. Microsoft is going to have a very strong library of role-playing and first-person shooters that does make the Xbox brand more appealing. It's possible not every single game from this deal will remain exclusive to Xbox (and PC) but one has to expect they will all launch first on Xbox and likely with bonus content.

I finally saw the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. It's not great but it is watchable despite a fair amount of weak humor. I'd expect it is more appealing to younger audiences than the adults who grew up with the Genesis games. That's about all I have for this month, or at least all that I can remember. Thanks for reading!


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