Friday, May 20, 2022

Building a Better World (Video Games & Computer Entertainment - December 1989)

This 1989 article from Video Games & Computer Entertainment is a discussion about the game Populous with its designer Peter Molyneux. Populous was developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts across many platforms, including PC (DOS and Windows), Mac, Atari ST, Amiga, Super NES, Sega Genesis, and even Game Boy in Japan. Japan also received a TurboGrafx-16 version while Brazil and Australia surprisingly saw Sega Master System releases. Although I own the Genesis version and it is fun, I expect it's much easier to play on a computer, especially as the difficulty increases through 500 levels. Players act as a god and lead people to victory by eliminating the opposition through combat and world manipulation, such as raising and lowering terrain, causing floods, and triggering earthquakes. Molyneux would later found Lionhead Studios where he helped create Black & White (2001) which has similar themes and gameplay to Populous. To the right is the magazine's Amiga review of the game that appears in the same issue. 


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

[YouTube] Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Pop-Up Book



This post is a lot like the previous one except it's based on the second Star Wars film rather than the first. In the video I flip through the book that was  published by Random House in 1980 and read what little text there is. Based on The Empire Strikes Back, it doesn't feature the whole movie, just a small number of select scenes and, as I mentioned in the previous post, Han Solo is nowhere to be found, outside of the Millennium Falcon at least. Perhaps a carbonite scene would have been too negative for a kid's book. Lando Calrissian was also snubbed even though there is a page at the end that would have been perfect for him as he could have popped out of the Falcon's hatch to rescue Luke but for some reason Luke leaps onto the cockpit. I don't own a Return of the Jedi book so this will be the last of the Star Wars pop-up posts. May the 4th be with you!












[YouTube] Star Wars Pop-Up Book


This is probably my first post about a book and it will be followed by another post about a book. Both are "pop-up" books about Star Wars as today is May 4th, also known as Star Wars Day. In the video I flip through the book that was published by Random House in 1978 and read what little text there. Based on the first Star Wars film, it doesn't feature the whole movie, just a small number of select scenes and one is out of order as there is a two-page spread of X-wings dogfighting TIE fighters outside of the Death Star ahead of Luke rescuing Leia. Although we see the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo doesn't make an appearance here or in The Empire Strikes Back book. The images are a mix of scans and photos since I can't scan the items popping out of the pages. May the 4th be with you!










Saturday, April 30, 2022

Year 6: April Update

As I mentioned in the 5th anniversary post, I wasn't going to keep up with monthly updates this year but would do one once in a while. Not a whole lot has been happening the first four months of the year though; I've not played many games or made many videos. I mentioned LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga video game a few times over the past couple of years and it did finally release. I've not had a chance to play very much yet, just the opening level of the three available episodes. From the start you can choose  to play A New Hope, The Phantom Menace, or The Force Awakens while the other six need to be unlocked. It looks great and considering how much content is here, if you like LEGO games and Star Wars this is a must play. One negative is there is no online option, only local co-op for two. Here is some gameplay footage I took for one of my other YouTube channels: LEGO Star Wars.


In video game news this year Microsoft is attempting to acquire Activision, Sony purchased Bungie, and now there are murmurs of Ubisoft potentially being taken over. E3 2022 has been canceled and supposedly will return next year bigger and better. Some companies might still hold events that week regardless, such as an Xbox and Bethesda showcase on June 12th. The Intellivision Amico is still in limbo and might never see the light of day at this point. One surprising bit of news is that Atari purchased the Mobygames video game database for $1.5 million. That database is primarily driven by user submissions and I'm not sure what use Atari has for it.

I came across a cool toy recently that released last October from Playmobil. It made an A-Team toy featuring the iconic van and all four characters. Like LEGO sets, Playmobil toys aren't cheap and this one is priced at $89.99! If you're interested in this awesome TV show from the '80s you might want to check out my 2018 blog post here: The A-Team


May the 4th is just days away so I might have a little Star Wars coverage coming soon. I'm also contemplating a video on The Incredible Hulk, similar to the Batman and Superman/Wonder Woman posts. Thanks for your continued support!

-Jonathan