Bill Loguidice's blog

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Completing the Console Trifecta Earlier than Expected - Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 (also, DS and PSP)

Well, it happened sooner than I thought--I got a refurb Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) in late November 2007, completing the "next generation" console trifecta. With enough time passing now, I thought it would be a good time to provide some insight into my thoughts around this current generation of consoles and handhelds. I'll start in the order of consoles I purchased and then finish up with the handhelds.

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Photo of the Week - Know your History! (07 - Bally BASIC (Bally Astrocade) (1978))

While I've done a few of these informally since the last one, the C-128DCR, which was number 6, I decided to continue the numbering from there since I wasn't going to do anything special at the moment with this other than take a series of photos. The Bally Home Library Computer or Bally Professional Arcade (and several other names over its lifetime), better known by its informal nickname, the Bally Astrocade, was a videogame console released in 1978 with the promise of future computer capabilities. While the full-blown add-ons never made it out from its two parent companies (Bally would give up on the system within a few years and a new company would form as Astrovision, but also never had much success with the technology), the first of two cassette interfaces was released in 1978, which ran at 300-baud. This 300-baud interface consisted of a beefy book, cartridge and interface cables that hooked into the accessory jack and the system's control port number 3 (it had four controller ports). You could then type in programs on the system's 24 calculator-style keys. Yes, people actually programmed on that!

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A History of Gaming Platforms - The Vectrex - Loguidice and Barton

Hey, guys, just a heads-up, the second article in the series from the book, this one on the GCE/Milton Bradley Vectrex, has been posted by Gamasutra: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3117/a_history_of_gaming_platforms...

If you're interested, as a special bonus, here are four images they chose not to include in the article:

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Rare Commodore 64 (C-64, C64) pixel art unearthed!

While not exactly as monumental or groundbreaking as my tongue-in-cheek title would imply, in my small world it's something fun that I wanted to share--original pixel art (much like AA staffer Mark Vasier's wonderful icons that we often use on blog posting headers, like the C-64 icon to the upper left) not seen since the mid-1980's. Without further ado, here's the public unveiling of original artwork done by myself and late friend, Ed Beck, done back in our youth on the Commodore 64, armed only with lots of time, a joystick and crude, but effective art programs.

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Space Patrol now Available for Purchase on Cartridge for the Mattel Intellivision - New Homebrew for 2008!

Beeslife is making available the new Moon Patrol take-off, Space Patrol, for the Mattel Intellivision, along with an updated version of the Tetris take-off, 4-Tris. I've been anticipating the release of Space Patrol for some time, so this is welcome news.

A copy and paste from the release:

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Visual Inventory and Off-the-cuff Timex Sinclair 2068 Observations - Part I of II

Even though it's been in my collection for a few years now, I've had little direct experience with the Timex Sinclair 2068 (1983). It was time to inventory everything since someone wished to purchase one of my spare units.

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Review and Interview for MindRec's Meteor Blaster DX Signature Edition (NEC Turbo Duo (Super CD), 2006)

System: NEC Turbo Duo (Super CD)

Release Date: 2006

Developer: MindRec

Rating: Good

 

NEC Turbo DuoMeteor Blaster DX Signature Edition is the latest and most elaborate version of the long-running series of homebrew games in NEC's Super CD format from author Bt Garner and his company, MindRecSignature Edition is essentially the same Asteroids-inspired product as the other DX games, save for some slight graphical tweaks, a hidden extra ship, a hidden extra demo, an upgrade to the Loop bonus game, and personalization options.

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December Promotion - 50% off Sweetopia now until December 31st plus New Games and Add-ons

SweetopiaThrough our affiliation with PlayFirst, we are able to offer a 50% discount to our readers for the entire month of December for Sweetopia, the hilarious action puzzler from Gamelab that you can also try freely online. The following coupon codes expire December 31, 2007:

PC version - decsweet
Mac version - decsweetmac

In this fast-paced chain-popper, something in the candy factory has gone dreadfully awry. The latest batch of sweets on the conveyor belts has explosive potential and it's up to you and Kate to return the factory to the Sweetopia it once was. Simply stop the Sherbet Sizzlers from colliding before you enter a sugar shock!

Click here or on one of the links below to go to the PlayFirst Website and enjoy!

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Revenge of the Panasonic JR-200U Personal Computer (JR200, JR 200 U) (1983)) - PART 1

As luck would have it, I came across an amazing stash of Panasonic JR-200U (aka, Panasonic Personal Computer or PPC) stuff for about $40 shipped that puts my previous collection for this system to shame. In fact, the only major item not present in this new haul was Wordwatch. There will be no need for me to re-hash what was in the prior "A Long Visual Look at..." as you can just read it for yourself if you haven't already. Since all of the setup stuff is already taken care of, I can get right into this haul and PART 1, which will briefly lead into coverage of one of the interesting games now in my possession (subsequent parts will naturally follow suit in various degrees of detail).

First, here's a photo of the new stash, followed by a few cursory findings, then a preliminary look at the first game:

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Breaking News on another New Leisure Suit Larry Game

I'm sure this is already common knowledge (I haven't researched this yet or have much interest to at the moment), but apparently another new Leisure Suit Larry game is in development. Listening to the Howard Stern show this morning on Sirius Satellite Radio heading in to work, co-host and comedian Artie Lange is apparently doing a recording session today for a character named "Big Al". He didn't disclose what he's getting paid for what is expected to be around 3 hours or so of work, but apparently it's in the range of "what a person in his 20's makes in a year" (go perspective, go!). It was kind of funny to hear how little all on the Howard Stern knew of Leisure Suit Larry (and obviously gaming in general), but at least Howard himself was vaguely familiar with the basic premise of the original classic computer adventure games in trying to "enlighten" Artie and the crew. I'm sure this new one is just like the middling 3D "reimagining" of a few years back for PC and consoles, but it's still interesting to get a mini and unexpected behind-the-scenes-during-the-making-of from an unexpected place...

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