Matt Barton's blog

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Atari 800/130/5200 Emulation for your PSP!

PSPPSPIf anyone has an extra Sony PSP sitting around, please consider shipping it to me! Everytime I turn around there's something like this Atari 800/5200 emulator out for it. How cool would it be to play the original M.U.L.E. on your PSP? By the way, if anyone tries out this emulator, let us know your thoughts!

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A Review of "Missing Since January"

Missing Since January: The SKL Network, the in-game homepage.Missing Since January: The SKL Network, the in-game homepage.Missing Since January (MSJ), re-released in 2004 by the Adventure Company, is an American re-release of a game called In Memoriam, developed by the French Lexis Numérique company and published by Ubisoft SA and Dreamcatcher Interactive in 2003. The big gimmick is what I might call a "virtual reality" setup--playing the game requires moving beyond the program itself and doing Google searches. Players will also periodically receive emails containing clues or information, some of which are vital. It's pretty easy to see the problems that could arise from this setup, but it works. Plus, considering the game is now selling for $10 in various retail bargain bins (I got mine at Best Buy), it's definitely worth checking out.

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Mario Kart Mod for Half-Life 2 Engine

Mario Kart Source: A Half-Life 2 ModMario Kart Source: A Half-Life 2 ModIn the tradition of creative and unanticipated applications for game engines, Mario Kart Source is a Mario Kart 64 modding project for Half-Life 2. Judging by the screenshots and videoclips available on their homepage, this project might be something to keep an eye on. Mario Kart was always my favorite multiplayer racing game--good family fun. I'm sure it's also great for folks who bought Half-Life 2 and want to stretch their buck with a good homebrew mod for its engine. Unfortunately, it's unclear how long we will have to wait for the official release.

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Blizzard's Secret Sauce

Don't you wish we didn't have the World of Warcraft? I can't get away from it. Nearly everyone I know who is into gaming these days speaks "WoW" instead of English. I get asked more often about my nonexistent WoW characters than my birth sign! How did this happen? The Escapist is running a great piece called Secret Sauce: The Rise of Blizzard.

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"You're Not Worthy": A History of Over-the-Top Game Ads

Infocom's Brain Ad: But Mom, I asked for King's Quest!Infocom's Brain Ad: But Mom, I asked for King's Quest!Gamesetwatch is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs, if for no other reason than they consistently post great stuff like Game Ads A-Go-Go: Visual Hyperbole, a look at silly game ads that put the hype in hyperbole. What I want to know is why videogames are so prone to over-hyping. Unfortunately, the hype works like a feedback loop, so that every new product has to up the ante with even more hype. The new Madden game? Oh, I guess it's probably even more realistic than actually being on the field...At least Nintendo had the sense to scale down the "Revolution" and go with something a wii bit more sensible.

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Videotopia and Videogame Addiction

Wow! Looks like we hit the motherload today with tons of fresh content that's eminently worthwile. It all starts with Coin-Op TV's interview with Jeff Anderson, curator of the fabulous Videotopia traveling museum exhibit dedicated to videogames. Jeff's an awesome dude! I know you'll be surprised to discover the exhibit's most popular vintage game (hint, it's not Pacman or Pong!). Also on the queue is this absolutely hilarious "vintage" SNL skit about videogame addiction I found on Kotaku this morning (see YouTube clip beneath the fold!). I almost fell out of my chair laughing! Oh, and don't forget to peek at the new Bomberman.

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Lego my SNEX!

The SNEX: If you get SNEX, you can forget about SEX.The SNEX: If you get SNEX, you can forget about SEX.For God's sake, why? Why smush an Xbox and SNES together in a case made out of Lego blocks and post a dozen pictures of the process on the net? Sadly, some part of me--albeit some deep, dark part that also finds microwave hot and spicy BBQ pork rinds fascinating--finds this sort of thing admirable. It's amazing what a crafty individual can do given enough time, Lego blocks, electronics, and acid. Oops, did I say acid? I meant, er, Jello Pudding Pops.

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What can you do with a Sega logo?

SegaSegaA site called Whip Ass Gaming is running a very neat collection of Sega Genesis, Master System, and GameGear games that had a bit of fun with Sega's logo. This is obviously a labor of love, but it is interesting to think how developers can get creative with a company's logo. There are so many here that it's hard to pick a favorite, but if you're a Sega fan you're going to lose a few hours here. It's really nice to see websites going beyond screenshots and doing these "screenplays." The only thing missing here is the sound!

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Granny Gamer: Bustin' the Stereotypes

Break.com has a clip from "The G Hole" that features a stereotype-busting granny gamer. I loved watching this clip because it demonstrates that videogames aren't just for young males. Of course, those of us who grew up during the 80s know perfectly well that games aren't just for boys--I grew up playing games like M.U.L.E. and Wizards of Wor with my family, and my mother was addicted to GORF. Still, this grandma is able to get into games that are "intended" for the "target audience," but she's not letting that stop her. Still, there's something about her cackle that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up...Watch the clip below!

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US Game Magazines Reviewed

Nintendo PowerNintendo PowerGameSetWatch is running a column called 'Game Mag Weaseling': Your Field Guide to US Magazine Racks. The author, Kevin Gifford, takes us on a brief tour of the American game mag shelf, offering some history and commentary about each title. He concludes with, "If I was on a one-way flight to Moscow and I could bring any game magazines I wanted, I would buy EGM, GI, Nintendo Power, CGW, and PC Gamer. Oh, and Computer Games assuming I could find it, which I probably couldn't." He makes some interesting observations about RetroGamer, which is apparently so euro-centric that it's difficult for it to attract readers on this side of the pond.

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