Sunday, July 25, 2021

Year 5: July Update

Unfortunately, I've not done a toy video since the end of June and I'm not sure when I'll get another done. The new Masters of the Universe cartoon debuted on Netflix a couple days ago so I played the Intellivision game Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man for the YouTube channel last weekend. Neflix also recently made an announcement that it is adding mobile games to its movie subscription service at no extra cost. Earlier today I posted an article about Epyx from Commodore Magazine and hope to get videos up of the developer's Summer Games II and The Games: Summer Edition during the Olympics but I might fail.

Playing the Commodore 64 (C64) games depends on a couple things, one is if I get an adapter I ordered months ago or if I take a chance on using Sega controllers without said adapter. I've used Sega controllers on the C64 for thousands of hours without incident but then some comments on YouTube warned me of possible damage so I sought out a solution. I ordered an adapter for Sega controllers from which is run by a guy in Australia and that's why I haven't received the item yet. The problem is the pandemic which has impacted international shipping quite a bit. Australia Post put shipping of certain types of packages on hold so after a couple months of waiting for it to lift the hold I decided to upgrade the shipping and as of July 22nd it is in the U.S. Tracking stops in Los Angeles though and at this time I don't know where it is.

Nintendo finally announced a new Switch version, however, it's not the upgrade that was rumored. It has a seven-inch OLED screen, enhanced audio when outside of the dock, 64GB of internal memory, and a wired LAN port on the dock. There will be two colors available on October 8th at a price of $349.99: black dock with blue and red Joy-Cons and a new white dock with white Joy-Cons (pictured above). In other game news, GameMill is publishing a "Gold Edition" of G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout for $29.99 at GameStop that contains previously released digital items (soundtrack, art book, character and weapon skins) plus a couple outfits from the Snake Eyes movie that hit theaters last week.

That's all I've got this month, thanks for reading!


All About Epyx (Commodore Magazine - August 1989)

With the summer Olympics just underway in Japan, I scanned this article about Epyx from the August 1989 issue of Commodore Magazine. In my opinion, Epyx made the best Olympics-themed computer games of the 1980s and possibly of all-time. Its early efforts did not carry the official Olympics license though a couple of its games do. These are all part of the "Games" series that includes Summer Games, Summer Games II, Winter Games, World Games, California Games, The Games: Summer Edition, The Games: Winter Edition, and California Games II. I've played all of those except for the sequel to California Games which was the last of the series to release and did not appear on the Commodore 64.

The article is a series of interviews that discusses the employees, company business, and a range of games. Unfortunately, despite the article giving the impression that Epyx is riding high in 1989, it declared bankruptcy later that year. It remained open for a few more years after layoffs and selling the rights to its in-development handheld system that would become the Atari Lynx. Also, some of the scans might look like the paper could be wrinkled but that's actually the design as it is meant to look like sand. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

ASCII News: Summer Issue 1991

This is the summer 1991 newsletter from ASCII Corporation which in North America consisted of its two subsidiaries: ASCII Entertainment Software and Nexoft Corporation. The main feature in the newsletter is the merger of the two subsidiaries to form ASCII Consumer Products. After that the Nexoft name did disappear but games and hardware continued to use the ASCII Entertainment name on the packaging. There is also a page about Wizardry from the guys at Sir-Tech Software, details on many ASCII products, and even a brief entry listing role-playing games from other publishers.