Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Sega 32X Had the Greatest Infomercial Ever

If you ever wanted to read an absurd amount of words about a Sega 32X Infomercial, I am your man! I wrote about Absolutely Rose Street for the Laser Time podcast website. Check it out!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Phillips CD-i Commercials Starring Phil Hartman!

The Phillips CD-i was a little known platform in the early 1990s that attempted to bridge the gap between a personal computer and a video game console. Several factors led to this not catching on, but they did make an attempt to get some notoriety in the advertising space.

Enter Phil Hartman. Hartman, probably best known for his stint on Saturday Night Live, was a comedian whose life was cut way too short in 1998. He was a special kind of talent and anyone who was familiar with anything related to comedy in the 1990s knows him and his work well. It doesn't surprise me that he would be sought after to bring some life to the flailing CD-i platform. The sale price mentioned at the end of this series of ads is $299 with "$200 in free software" so they must've been pretty desperate at this point.

Anyway, Hartman fits like a glove in these ads, where he dresses up as several different characters (both male and female) and narrates the commercials while the characters act out situations in which they discover the joy that the CD-i platform, the "next generation CD player," can bring to their lives.

Check out all 3 below.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tekken 2 Intro GIFs!

Tekken 2, one of the best fighting games on the PlayStation, saw it's 20th birthday (in the US) over the weekend. To celebrate, I decided to make some GIFs of the game's spectacular opening video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 in the Late 90s!

Before my parents got the first family computer, I had to rely on two things to get any type of information from the internet; the local library and my friends who had the internet. I have fond memories of using the internet in this period. It was so foreign to my young mind, the idea that information about virtually everything was accessible all from one place was insane to me.

I loved digging through archaic websites trying to find any bit of information that I could. Video games and pro wrestling were my favorite things to research online at the time and the one video game website that sticks out in my mind from this period is Game Revolution. The image above is something that has always been I remembered for some strange reason. Thanks to the miracle of, I can look at what the website was like during this time in my life. Let's go!

Nintendo Power on the Internet Archive!

The incredible Internet Archive has uploaded the first fifteen years of Nintendo Power to its website in an easy to read format straight from your browser.

Covering the magazine's peak years and spanning from the NES to the GameCube, the selection of magazines here should keep you busy for some time.

Enjoy Nintendo's propaganda machine at THIS link!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Eight Beautiful Minutes of Sonic Mania

At the San Diego Comic-Con recently, Sega had a special Sonic the Hedgehog anniversary event where they announced two new games. The mainline big budget game seems to be a 3D game in the vein of Sonic Generations, but the thing I wanted to briefly talk about is the other game, a full-fledged 16-bit style Sonic game.

Sonic Mania is described as "what a 2D Sonic game designed for the Sega Saturn would've looked like." The video above, from Polygon, shows off 2 levels of the game. It appears as if the game will feature both new, original levels and remixed versions of levels in previous games. In terms of animation and control, this game seems to feel very authentic to the original entries in the series as opposed to other games in the series that played like garbage (Sorry, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1).

A lot of people who have played games for a long time have been soured on the Sonic franchise for a while. I am not one of those as I feel like a good number of the games released in the series post-Genesis have been good outside of a few real stinkers. So I may be coming at the future of the Sonic franchise more optimistically than others, but who cares. This game looks awesome.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

20/20 was NUTS FOR NINTENDO in 1988

Citing the fact that kids never want to stop playing video games and when they do they "speak a language only they understand," one of the most popular news programs in American history looks to dive deep into why kids are "Nuts for Nintendo."

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bustin' Feels Good with the Real Ghostbusters (Arcade)

With all the talk and media surrounding the new Ghostbusters film that opened today, it has had me thinking about Ghostbusters games from the past. When I think about retro Ghostbusters games, I generally think of the infamous NES game at first. That game is pure garbage and I know it has built up a reputation because of that, but it is important to know that there are good games that carry the Ghostbusters branding!

The Dreamcast Made Me - Part 1

The Sega Dreamcast may not have sold like gangbusters during its short run on the market, but the console itself, the game library and the community built up around it had a strong impact on me in my teenage years and resulted in me making lifelong friends. In this multi-part series I will talk about all of those things. Part 1 focuses on getting the console, where I was with Sega at the time and a particular game I got alongside the console that blew me away.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Being a Sega Game Tester Sounds Like the Worst Job Ever!

A few weeks ago, SegaScream uploaded a 1996 internal Sega training video introducing new employees to the job of Video Game Tester and it made the rounds on several gaming/tech websites. While it is fun to admire the overwhelming 90sness of the video, I think it does something even more interesting; it shits all over the job you just got hired to do!

While I've seen some argue that it is just being honest about how awful that job is, and while that is true, you've never seen a job training video tell you "You are about to hate this phase of your life" in so many ways.

Time to list some of the wonderful/awful things in this video.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anti-Drug PSA Where Mario Says You're Going to Hell!

If you lived through the 1980s or 1990s in the United States, there's almost no chance you made it through that time period without hearing about the "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign. It was a huge PR move from the federal government at the time and it eventually became a phrase you couldn't escape. When you went to school there would be "Just Say No" flyers everywhere, when you went home you'd see public service announcements and TV specials involving your favorite cartoon characters repeating it ad nauseam. Your parents were saying it, your teachers were saying it, the President and First Lady of the United States were saying it. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Muppet Babies were saying it, the Flintstone Kids with popstar Michael Jackstone were saying it.

Wherever you went, you'd find someone there to tell you not to smoke crack or freebase.

There's a lot to be said about the Just Say No campaign, but I basically just wanted to use this as a preface to share a very short PSA from a person who played a video game character on TV.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Silent Hill Music is Otherworldly

At one point, Silent Hill was considered to be one of the most important and influential horror franchise in the video game industry. Silent Hill 2 would likely make it to a list of my favorite games ever made. Its emotional storytelling interwoven with horrific imagery and unsettling locations makes for one of the most unforgettable experiences I've had. It went far beyond the expected tropes of "Here are some scary monsters! Better run/fight!" and got under your skin. It wanted to find out what really scared you.

Overtime the series has slowly disappeared. Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro were working on what looked to be an exciting return to form for the franchise, but it appears now that Konami hates video games and would rather their most talented employees be janitors, but that's another story entirely. Today, we are going to listen to some Silent Hill music.

Lots of melancholy and YouTube links await!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

RGD on Twitch!

Today I wanted to throw up a quick post announcing that I have started playing classic games on Twitch periodically.

If you are into Twitch, please head over to my channel and give me a follow. Right now I don't have a set time for when I will be streaming, but it will likely be on the weekends. Overtime I should fall into a groove with things. This is new territory for me, so be patient!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pixels & Powerbomb Highlights, Episode I

Pixels and Powerbombs is a side project in which I attempt to play almost every pro wrestling video game ever made. Periodically, I will highlight a few games here on RGD. Check out two of them here!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nintendo Customer Service Training!

Do you work at a department store in 1991? Are you tired of customers trying to abuse your return policy? Let Nintendo of America guide you to prosperity with this video that teaches you how to deal with skeevy customers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Love Letter to 90s Shooters

I know what you're thinking.

“Tim, this game came out like a week ago. Why is it on a retro gaming website?”

That's true. It is a brand new game, but the reason I want to talk about it is because if you were to release a game like this on the PC in the late 90s, it would've been right at home. Doom (2016) embodies arena shooter mechanics in a way that so few first-person shooters have done in the past decade plus.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Batman Returns for NES is a Forgotten Gem

When almost anyone thinks of video game adaptations of the film Batman Returns, most immediately imagine the Super Nintendo game. A good with reason, too, It keeps in line with the atmosphere of the Burton film in tone, graphics and its music. The biggest reason, though, is that it was the "current" platform of the time. Releasing in 1992, with the SNES being well-established at that point, it was the "main" version of the game. Of course, Konami also realized that even though the NES was many years old at this point, it had an install base of tens of millions of units. That wasn't money they were willing to leave on the table.

Check out the rest of the article for more on this game.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Reflections on Sega Channel

In the mid 1990s, the Fox affiliate station in my area held what was called the "Fox Kids Club Expo," which was an event that had several kids activities and things to promote TV shows on at the time. The year was likely 1995. I've searched thoroughly online about this event but can't find any evidence that it happened, so I'm trying to piece things together with my murky memories.

The drive to this show was about an hour away from where we lived, which was a big deal. But my brother and I were able to convince my dad to make the trip to take us. It was awe inspiring. The biggest selling factor for me was a chance to meet the pink and red Power Rangers. Ultimately though, the thing that stuck with me the most all this time was seeing the Sega Channel in person for the first (and only time).

Read on for more.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Let's read Sony of America's website from 2000!

The year is 2000. The Sony PlayStation has been a massive success and it's next great platform, the PlayStation 2 is looming ahead. Let's see what SCEA's website looked like at this time and laugh at ugly old websites from 16 years ago!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Introducing "Pixels and Powerbombs"

Hey, all!

Today I am happy to announce a new project under the Retro Game Dad banner, a blog called "Pixels and Powerbombs!"

Over at the website on Tumblr, which you can find here, I describe Pixels and Powerbombs as "a project in which I will attempt to play almost every professional wrestling video game in existence that I am able to get my hands on." I have identified well over 150 pro wrestling games from the past 30+ years that I want to play and document in one place. I will mostly provide screenshots and relatively short impressions on each game to fit along with what works on Tumblr.

I still plan on publishing on Retro Game Dad at the same rate I have been over the past several weeks, but I wanted to expand upon my love of professional wrestling games in its own space. I'll likely provide periodical highlights from P&P here on Retro Game Dad, but the bulk of that content will be on its own website.

If you like old games and professional wrestling, please check it out!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What Happened to Jet Moto?

Jet Moto was a flagship franchise for Sony as the PlayStation platform rose to dominance in the late 1990s. From October 1996 to August 1999, we saw the release of three entries into the Jet Moto franchise. The first two entries in the franchise became "Greatest Hits" for the PlayStation platform, meaning that the games sold relatively well. On a personal level, the first two games made quite the impression on me when I was a pre-teen.

Three sequels in a three year window is a lot of Jet Moto. So why did it sputter out so fast? I ponder on this question and the quality of the series overall after the break, so click through whydontcha?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Square Soft on PlayStation Collector's Video from 1997!

In 1997, Square Soft released Final Fantasy VII, a supremely popular and influential RPG that still inspires discussion and debate today. It has been a topic of discussion pretty much the entire time since its release almost 19 years ago. It will continue to be in the public eye as its oft-demanded remake releases on the PlayStation 4 in the coming years.

But for this piece we are going to look back at the hype machine generated by Square Soft prior to the release of FF7. For years RPG fans poured over articles and blocky screenshots in magazines and soaked in every detail they could find. Eventually, a VHS tape was released by Square themselves to excite fans further in the final months leading up to launch.

Square Soft on PlayStation Collector's Video not only included clips from Final Fantasy VII, it had interviews with key players in the development process about the game and the creation of it. To make the video even more exciting, it included trailers of a handful of other great-looking Square Soft games coming out in 1998.

All of that stuff is great, and I'll go into some of it, but there is one thing in this video that stood out to me more than anything else;

They spoiled one of the biggest plot twists in the history of video games very casually in pre-release promotional material.

Click through for more!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Nintendo's Booth at a 1994 Trade Show Starring Perverted Donkey Kong!

In the 1990s, the Video Software Dealers Association would hold trade shows for the entertainment industry to promote their products with elaborate displays, giveaways, etc. The expo held in 1994 was no different, and Nintendo was one of the companies advertising their current & upcoming products to the masses.

The video I'm discussing was said to be a video recorded by Nintendo themselves to document the event. Everything starts out innocently enough, featuring a few minutes of video documenting how Nintendo's booth looked and the games they had on display, but eventually the video essentially becomes nothing more than evidence documenting the floating head of a gorilla sexually harassing every woman that comes within eyesight.

Click through for the TRUTH!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Awesome Retro Game Magazine Ads, Vol. 2!

In this edition of Awesome Retro Game Magazine Ads, we look at an American football icon, some deals, third party peripherals and a big ass eyeball!

Click through for more!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is Weird and Amazing

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker for Sega Genesis is based on the 1988 film of the same name, which serves as an anthology film featuring several of Michael Jackson's music videos promoting his album Bad. The game was released on several platforms, from the arcade, to several variations of home computers (including DOS, Amiga, MSX, C64, etc.) and the Genesis and Sega Master System.

I don't think anyone needs to tell you this, but Michael Jackson was kind of a big deal in the 1980s and 1990s. Millions obsessed over his music, his style and his charisma. He was a supremely talented musician and it showed. One of those people obsessed with him was a young version of myself.

When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. Not only did I listen to his music constantly, I would watch music video channels for hours waiting for his music videos to come on so I could hurry and record them to a VHS tape. I had tapes filled with music videos, documentaries, and even that made for TV movie that VH1 played constantly in the 90s, The Jacksons: An American Dream. 

Combine a kid's Michael Jackson fandom with his obsession with video games and Moonwalker is pretty much perfect. It is a fascinating and strange game.

Click through for more!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Five Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Commercials!

After a 2 month sabbatical because life tends to get in the way, Retro Game Dad is back and this time we are going to follow up on a previous post regarding Super Nintendo television commercials. This time, we want to give the Sega kids on the playground some debate ammo when the Nintendo fans come at you with their whack arguments!

Click through for more!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My First (PlayStation 1 Edition): Destruction Derby 2!

In this series, I plan on examining the first game that I owned on a specific platform. The first console that I want to look at is the PlayStation 1.

Instead of getting our presents on Christmas morning like many children do, my siblings and I often got our visit from Santa late on Christmas Eve. We would "go to bed," meaning that we laid there uncontrollably giddy while "Santa Claus" got on the roof above our house and walked by our bedroom window ho-ho-hoing. After he left my parents would rush into our bedroom and announce that Santa himself had just left and he had dropped off our gifts!

Things were not different on the Christmas of 1996, which to this day remains one of my most vivid Christmas memories. When we walked through the hallway into the living room, my brother and I saw it the thing we had been begging for; a Sony PlayStation! The PS1 had been around for only a year or so in the US, but it was continuously growing in popularity and any self-respecting 10 year old at the time had to have one.

I remember we got three games on that Christmas; Madden 97, Mortal Kombat Trilogy and, the game I am discussing today, Destruction Derby 2!

Click through to read more.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Awesome Retro Game Magazine Ads, Vol. 1!

Anyone who read video game magazines in the 1980s and 1990s probably have specific memories of a few game ads that they saw. Before promotional resources were dumped into online advertising, one of the most effective ways to reach your audience was through print. In the first chapter of this series, I want to take a look at some great ads.

Let's look! Click through to see what we have.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Starfox 64 Promotional VHS from Nintendo Power!

One thing I loved doing as a kid was collecting video game promotional VHS tapes that were sent out to magazine subscribers & at request to advertise for upcoming video game releases. Unlike today, where a game can reach a lot of eyes through social media, gaming websites, YouTube, etc. video game advertising was limited to print and television commercials. These VHS tapes allowed publishers to target their audience more specifically and provide more detail than could be shown in a 30 second TV spot.

One of my favorites to this day is the tape sent out by Nintendo Power promoting the upcoming release of Starfox 64, a hugely significant game on the platform. This ad has it all; espionage, gameplay footage, kidnapping, console wars, torture and more!

Read on for more!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Royal Rumble for Sega Dreamcast

The Royal Rumble is a special event in the eyes of professional wrestling fans. It begins the "Road to Wrestlemania," the build-up to the biggest show of the entire year, Wrestlemania. Traditionally, the pay-per-view (PPV) event is held every January and features a 30 person over-the-top-rope battle royal match in which the winner earns a shot at the top title in WWE.

This match type is generally in every WWE game in some form, from the arcade classic WWF Wrestlefest to the recently-released WWE 2K16. But in 200, THQ published a game for the Sega Dreamcast that was built entirely around the premise of the Royal Rumble match. On paper, this sounds like it could be a blast! Unfortunately, being the wrestling connoisseur I have been for a good portion of my life, I actually played it.

So while you get ready to watch the 2016 Royal Rumble event later this evening, please proceed with caution if you decide to hype yourself up for the event by playing the game based on the event.

Read on for more.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Great Video Game Music: Snowed In Edition

Where I live it is forecasted that we could be getting up to 20 inches of snow by the end of the weekend. The thought of snow makes me want to bundle up and listen to great winter/snow-themed game music, so lets do it! in 1996!

The year is 1996. Bill Clinton was just elected to a second term as president. Christmas is just around the corner. And what are you doing? Browsing in the local library! Let's see what gems we can find!

RGD Reads... EGM #1!

In this series, we will go through retro gaming magazines to enjoy old games press through the glorious lens of hindsight.

First up in this series, Electronic Gaming Monthly issue #1 from May 1989!

Mega Man 2! Ultima! Bad Dudes! Bubble Bobble!

Let’s take a look.

Five Super Nintendo Game Commercials!

There's something magical about watching television commercials from the past. If you take the time to watch some commercials from a particular time period you'll be able to get a feel of what pop culture was like at the time.

When you watch these five SNES commercials, you'll be able to learn one thing about the early 1990s.

They were weird.

Welcome to Retro Game Dad!

Welcome to a different kind of gaming website.

When I began to think about making the jump into creating a gaming website, I tried to think about the types of websites that are currently out there. Out of all of the types of content that is available pertaining to video games and the written word on the internet, I would wager that “reviews, news & editorials” are likely the most prevalent.

In making the decision to actually create a website, I wanted to do something that was a little different from the standard “gaming website” containing current day reviews, editorials, etc. so I opted to make the focus on retro gaming.

The internet is filled with archives of gaming media from the past, including endless gaming commercials, magazines, promotional material, etc. and those items are things I’ve found to be fascinating. They take me back to my childhood almost like playing the actual video games do.

On this website, expect to see reviews of promotional VHS tapes, old gaming magazines, magazine ads, old game websites and whatever else regarding retro games that comes to mind.

At the core, I want Retro Game Dad to be a chronicle of the world in which the games of my childhood existed.

I plan to do a lot of things with this website in the coming months. I hope you’ll have as much fun with it as I expect to.