Ms.Pacman Articles RSS Feed | Ms.Pacman RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network My Arcade Reveals New Retro Consoles and Peripherals Mon, 07 Jan 2019 13:02:24 -0500 William R. Parks

With the recent success of the NES and SNES Classics, Nintendo has proven just how extensive the market for retro gaming truly is. That said, Nintendo is not the only company offering platforms for fans of classic games to enjoy, and My Arcade has just announced several of its own retro offerings.

The first of these releases is spawned by My Arcade's new partnership with Taito Corporation, a company known for its release of the arcade classic Space Invaders in 1978. Specifically, My Arcade is releasing mini-arcade cabinets, seven-inch tall collectible arcade consoles, featuring Bubble Bobble and Elevator Action

Furthermore, My Arcade is expanding their collaboration with Taito by releasing two traditional handhelds. One of these Pocket Players will give players access to Bubble Bobble while the other will let them play Don Doko Don on the go.

Similarly, the company is deepening their partnership with Bandai Namco with another mini-arcade cabinet and three more handhelds. The cabinet will feature Ms. Pac-Man, and there will be individual Pocket Players for Ms. Pac-ManGalaga, and Dig Dug.

With the release of a number of games solidly established, My Arcade has also turned its attention to releasing a console and a peripheral. The console is called the Retro Champ, and it "breathes new life into retro gamers’ NES and Famicom cartridges without the need for a legacy console."

This console will allow players to enjoy their NES cartridges with mobility, featuring a built-in seven-inch screen and a three- to five-hour battery life. Additionally, the Retro Champ can be connected to a TV via an HDMI cable, and it includes a cleaning kit.

The peripheral is a wireless controller that can be connected to the recently released PlayStation Classic. The controllers that were included with the PlayStation Classic had cables measuring approximately five feet in length, and this wireless option may be a boon for those looking to get further away from their TVs.

Currently, these new products are scheduled for release on My Arcade's website and Amazon before summer. In the meantime, retro gaming fans that are attending CES in Las Vegas can demo them at My Arcade's booth until January 11.

Further details on these items will be available on My Arcade's website.

Five games that copied their style from other games Wed, 16 Sep 2015 10:55:06 -0400 Jason Green

Imitation is said to be the highest form of flattery. Original games like The Last of Us and any one of the Metal Gear Solid games take hundreds of hours of story developing and world building before they see the light of day. Those developers are usually praised for their hard work. However, some try to take the easy way out.

1) The X-Files: Resist or Serve

The X-Files is a one of the scariest shows around. All through the 90s and early 2000s when it was on, parents would make sure their kids were asleep before tuning in. It followed two FBI agents, Mulder and Scully, as they investigated the paranormal, abnormal, and all around weird. 

A video game tie-in would fit in perfectly, in theory, but Resist or Serve was just lazy. Everything about the game screamed Resident Evil clone. From the aiming to the tank controls and inventory system, Resist or Serve was a carbon copy of Resident Evil: Outbreak's gameplay. What makes it feel this way is that it plays like an action game, which isn't to the spirit of the X-Files at all.  If Telltale Games decided to make an X-Files game, it would probably work well because it'd more cerebral, requiring you to solve clues and be quick on your feet. 

It wouldn't be a Resident Evil style, third person shooter. 

2) Angry Birds

A few years ago Angry Birds was everywhere. They've kind of died out in popular now, but for a while you couldn't look at a phone, tablet or TV without seeing these pissed off avians. 

The game is simple, you launch an 'angry bird' using a slingshot at a tower of green pigs. Where ever that bird hits, the architecture of that area begins to crumble and the pigs crash down. Hit it in different ways and it'll fall differently, it's all about angles. 

Angry Birds is actually a copy of a web browser-based game called Crush the Castle. Both games are about knocking down large buildings by launching a projectile from the left side of the screen. Birds uses different birds to launch, and Castle uses different rocks and other medieval things. The two are eerily similar, the pacing before and after the item is launched at their respective towers, the physics in the way they crumble and the point system. Take a look at this video of Crush the Castle and notice how similar it looks to Angry Birds.

3) Guitar Hero

Remember when music games were all the rage? For a few years straight there were about seven Guitar Hero games a year. From numbered GH games, spin-offs, and then Band Hero.

But, Guitar Hero is actually a copy of a Japanese arcade game called Guitar Freaks. Freaks is pretty much the same thing, making Guitar Hero a copy. Hero is a bit more visual, but in Freaks you have a slider with colored dots coming down the screen and you'd hit the corresponding button. 

Guitar Hero has been out of the public eye for several years and is only now releasing a new game at the end of the year. Guitar Freaks has remained relevant in arcades and has gone through several iterations. So, who had the last laugh?

2) Batman Forever

Believe it or not, there was a time when Batman games were bad. Before Batman: Arkham series, the Dark Knight couldn't find his footing in the gaming world. Also, movie tie-ins were a big money-maker. 

When the Batman Forever game came out it was literally just side scrolling Mortal Kombat. Batman would scroll down the side of the screen, beating up thugs to eventually get to either The Riddler or Two-Face. Even the animations were the same as Mortal Kombat, everything but the Fatalities. 

1) Ms. Pacman 

This one's a no-brainer, I mean the name PACMAN is in the title. Ms. Pacman, an obvious copy of the yellow munching master Pacman, was made by a small company named General Computer Corp. This team of only a handful of developers saw the potential in the original Pacman as a huge money-maker. 

GCC was able to get some money together and made Ms. Pacman, which came out at a time when video games didn't have licenses, and anything could be made. It was the wild west of the video game realm. Nowadays, that obviously wouldn't fly and Ms. Pacman is thought of as a spin-off, not a copy.


It's weird to think there was a time of movie tie-ins and games that copied one another. But, they existed and now, are quite charming. Copies and other forms of copying probably won't happen again, but it's fun to look back and see what some developers tried to do to succeed. 




Independent Ladies: Strong Female Protagonists of Games Past Thu, 28 May 2015 06:05:12 -0400 GamingGuru


Girl Power


Though it may be true that some games misrepresent females in some fashion, these ladies bravely break that trope and kick some serious butt in the process. Regardless of age, outlook or socioeconomic status, rising above all opposition are what these women do best, and their stories are some of the most beloved in video game history.


The GamingGuru salutes you, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one!


Rynn (Drakan: The Ancients' Gates, 2002)


Alright, before you jump on me for skipping Order of the Flame, hear me out. Rynn truly had earned her "warrior wings" by the time Ancients' Gates came out, and is revered as a warrior by everyone she comes across. There was even a time when a Surdana resident was too scared to enter his home due to a recent invasion by large spiders, which Rynn quickly takes care of.


Sharp-tongued, smart and brave, Rynn bravely enters hostile domains with or without her dragon companion, Arokh, to take on some of the most vile creatures to threaten all of humanity. Necromancers, undead monks, and Giant Yetis are not enough to scare this badass woman away.


Heather Mason (Silent Hill 3, 2003)


The adopted daughter of Harry Mason, Heather is the main protagonist in Silent Hill 3. After enduring a nightmare in the local mall's burger shack, she begins to head home. However, she soon finds herself in a twisted version of reality, where hulking monsters and warring cultists hold dominion.


Unblinking, she brandishes her weapon and plows forward through sewers, an abandoned building, a hospital, and the Lakeside Amusement Park to find out why everything's gone crazy around her! Heather shows true grit, determination, and love despite being surrounded by some of the most horrific monstrosities ever concocted.


Guess no one in The Order ever demonstrated a shred of public service values!


Ms. Pac-Man (1982)


Originally conceived as an enhancement kit for the original Pac-Man called Crazy Otto, Ms. Pac-Man was Namco's "thank you" to the large number of female gamers who played the original title in droves. However, that doesn't mean that Ms. Pac-Man is a simple clone of the original.


The differences between it and the original title are vast, including different sound effects, maze designs, mobile fruit bonuses, and cutscenes. Released in 1982 and even garnering the Certificate of Merit at the 1982 Arcade Awards, Ms. Pac-Man is truly gaming's First Lady that dodged development hell and continues to stand the test of time!


Aerith Gainsborough (Final Fantasy VII, 1997)


First making her appearance in Final Fantasy VII, Aerith stands out because what she lacks in physical strength, she more than makes up for in spirit and positivity. She is first encountered in the slums by Cloud after the bombing of the Sector 1 Mako Reactor, where he sees her cheerfully selling flowers amid the chaos.


Despite all of the disorder she seems to find herself surrounded by, Aerith is always upbeat and determined in demeanor. Not even death can stop her!


Sherry Birkin (Resident Evil 2, 1998)


Despite being overly sexualized in Resident Evil 6, Sherry made her first appearance in Resident Evil 2 as the sorely neglected daughter of scientists Annette and William Birkin. Through this, she has learned to take care of herself and proves to be resourceful and quick-witted.


Even when faced with a rabid pack of zombie dogs, she continues to plow on and even helps Claire secure the Clover Key after running through said dogs a second time. Sherry's quick thinking, resolve, and autonomy are a role model that whiny kids the world over can look up to!


Jill Valentine (Resident Evil, 1996)


Another great heroine from the Resident Evil franchise, a complete playthrough of the original Resident Evil will see her battling zombies, hunters and Tyrant, all while trying to rescue Chris and dealing with Barry's tomfoolery. Jill also makes a return in Resident Evil 3, where she has to dodge the relentless advances of the smarmy, but likeable U.B.C.S agent, Carlos Oliveira.


Jill would go on to greatness in later titles, but her early roles cemented her as a strong, loyal, and determined protagonist who continues to bounce back regardless of the circumstances.


Claire Redfield (Resident Evil 2, 1998)


Claire Redfield first made her appearance in Resident Evil 2, and despite having to put up with some sexist treatment from the Gun Shop owner ("don't you worry, girlie"). She is able to traverse the dangerous ruins of Raccoon City, rescue Sherry Birkin, and take out her freakazoid mutant father, William, in an epic showdown.


What makes Claire awesome is that she is not only tough, but also maternal when it comes to rescuing young Sherry from the zombie menace. Her strong sense of emotional IQ, coolness in the face of adversity and sheer grit make her a force to reckon with.


Samus Aran (Metroid, 1987)


When players first delved into the world of Metroid on the NES, they had no idea that they were playing as a woman throughout their entire journey through the desolate world of Planet Zebes. Why? Because it didn't matter! Samus is able to take out Kraid, Ridley, the resident Metroids and Mother Brain single-handedly.


The big reveal comes at the end of the journey, only if the player completes the game in 3 hours or less. Samus carries the illustrious honor of being one of the bravest protagonists of all time, shattering the supposed trope of damsel in distress!


All of the possible endings for Metroid can be viewed here.


Even though some games fall way under the mark when it comes to social equality, there have been continuous efforts to undermine the so-called "established formula" of females always being "damsels in distress" or otherwise unfairly represented. Every single one of these ladies has broken the mold, and every franchise they represent has gone onto greatness.


In truth, greatness can be found in all facets of life, and it doesn't know perceived barriers. I salute these great ladies, and everything that they've accomplished. Now, onto the list!

Pinpointing the Game That Made Me Love Video Games Sat, 27 Sep 2014 21:33:43 -0400 mchiu

As far as I can remember, I have always loved video games, but after writing several historical pieces about video games, it got me wondering whether I could pinpoint which game made truly love video games. I thought that this was going to be a relatively easy article to write, but after remembering about all the games I have played since childhood until now, it proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated.

During different points of my life, I have been on and off with video games, primarily due to the ups and downs of the video game market in its early days. So in writing this piece, I decided to look at the different generations and phases of video games I went through instead of trying to find one particular game that got me to love gaming. 

In order to set up the criteria for myself in determining which games to feature, I looked back at games that gave me such a rush that I was practically addicted from the start, and continued to look for more. That is what the following games have done for me.


The year was 1975. I was about 4 years old. I went with my parents to a pizza parlor, and next to a few pinball machines, was a lone, yellow box with a TV screen inside of it. I walked over to it, but I was too short to see what was in this big box. My dad held me up so I could, and I immediately wanted to play. Eventually, my dad took out a quarter and dropped it into the machine, and we played against each other. I don't think I ever returned a ball on that first game, but it was the most awesome thing ever! The fact that I could control something on TV by just twisting a knob was the greatest thrill of my 4-year-old life. Ever since then, I kept wanting to go back to that pizza parlor to play that game. Going back to that pizza parlor never happened, since the next day, we moved from the Silicon Valley to Oregon.

Eventually, my parents got the Pong home console that was sold through Sears, and I was always pestering either of my parents to play with me. But having the attention span of a 4-year-old, I eventually got bored of it, and didn't really see a video game again for a few years.


Fast-forwarding in time, I came back to Silicon Valley, and video games were taking over America by storm. Arcades were all around, and they all had to have Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Frogger. It was around 1982, and although I had an Atari 2600 at home, I really preferred playing arcade games - they had much better sound and graphics. Nearly every week, my mom would take me with her to Safeway, and I would beg her for quarters to play games. For those of you who didn't grow up in the 80s, major grocery stores, pharmacies, and 7-11s in the US had arcade machines in the corners. 

During this particular time, the machines in rotation included Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, and Defender. Then, one day, a new machine was wheeled in that drew my attention: Tron. The first time I saw it, I did not know what it was, but it had a funky translucent blue joystick that had a trigger button, and a dial on the side. Later I realized it was a game that went with the Disney movie, and it made more sense.

This was no ordinary game. Aside from the new controls, the machine featured four mini-games inside of it. When you first put a quarter in the machine, you were presented with a map where you could direct the joystick to one of 4 areas, where each area represented a mini-game. You only had 3 lives, so if you could make it out alive from at least one of the 4 areas, you could play all 4 mini-games. ("Light Cycles" was my favorite.)

Overall, this game got me excited about video games again, since I could play 4 different games, and along with the movie tie-in, it presented an interesting and fun storyline that worked well in conjunction with the video game.


During most of high school and college, I continued to play games, but started losing interest in favor of pursuing girls. Back then, it was only the geeks and nerds who played video games. (Geeks and nerds weren't cool, either.) So I was a bit of a "closeted gamer" back then. I would still visit the local arcade from time to time.

In college, the student rec center had both Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. I got really good at playing Raiden on Mortal Kombat - mainly because Street Fighter II usually had a huge line of quarters on it, and I wasn't patient to wait my turn to play.

It was also in college that I destroyed my friend's finals studying regimen when I bought a copy of Civilization and let him borrow it over the weekend. He told me that he installed it on a Friday night, and still hadn't stopped playing when I visited him to study on Sunday afternoon. 

In my first post-college job, I was transferred to Tokyo. Things there were really different from the video game perspective. Firstly, there were at least 4 competing game consoles that I could remember. (Nintendo SuperFamicom, Sega MegaDrive, NEC PC-FX, and Fujitsu FM Towns). Arcades, or "Game Centers" as they were called, were huge, bright, loud, and a lot cleaner than the ones back home. But most importantly, women loved to go to them too. That was enough to get me to get interested in video games again!

While living out there, I met a few other Americans who were super into video games, and we would meet up on the weekends to have our own LAN parties. At the time, my friend was also beta testing for a new game, Starcraft. He was able to spawn copies to the rest of us, and when we started playing that, I was immediately hooked. US games (especially PC games) weren't particularly popular in Japan, so when the game was first released, it took a few weeks for me to find a copy. I remember going into the Akihabara "Electric Town" district in Tokyo one Saturday morning, and in a tiny shop that sold only PC games, there it was! I immediately snatched up a copy, got home, silenced my phone, and played straight through Sunday afternoon, where I finally finished up the campaign. 

What I loved about the game was how well-balanced the different races were to each other. The Zerg produced units the fastest, but were also the weakest, while the Protoss had very strong units, but took the longest to produce, while the Terran were somewhere in the middle. (Unlike Warcraft II, where the Orcs and the Humans had nearly identical units that worked nearly the same way). 

I loved the original Starcraft so much, in fact, that I continued playing it through the years, all the way to the launch of Starcraft II, some 13 years later. Then I finally hung it up and got into the new game. While there were other games that continued to fuel my love for video games over the years, it was truly Starcraft that threw me back into my interest in games. 

Computers Teach Each Other To Play Games: The First Step to Skynet Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:01:52 -0400 Kate Reynolds

If you've ever put the wrong semicolon somewhere in a piece of code, you probably already know that computers are only as smart as we make them. The same thing goes for robots, which are "very dumb" according to Matthew Taylor - a robot specialist from Washington State University. 

The main problem is that robots - even advanced robots - are easily confused and simply stop working when they don't know what to do. Taylor and a team of specialists from WSU have been working on ways to help computers learn and in their latest experiment, teach each other.

The Experiment

In their most recent experiment, Taylor had computers work in Student/Teacher pairs to teach each other Ms. Pacman and Starcraft.

In the end, the "student" computers ended up surpassing the "teaching" computers in terms of gaming skills - proof that computers can both teach and learn from each other. 

Is this the first step on the slippery slope to Skynet? Most likely.  Computers will only get better at giving each other advice.

“We designed algorithms for advice giving, and we are trying to figure out when our advice makes the biggest difference."

If the computers are only able to master Ms. Pacman and Starcraft then I still think we're fairly safe from Robot Overlords for the time being. My fervent hope is that somehow this project brings about this adorable guy (and he decides to use his powers for good and not evil).

Best Couples Costumes for Halloween Sat, 12 Oct 2013 18:53:10 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Team Fortress 2 Scouts 

There are plenty of great and distinctive characters in Team Fortress 2, but the scout is by far one of the easiest to put together on a budget. In game, the scout is a boy, but outside of the game you can play it either way. 


Seriously, type Scout costume into Google Images and see what you come up with. There are so many ways of playing this iconic character while still being recognizable. 


And can you imagine how fun it would be to run around the party with a foam bat ready to "take out" your significant other? 

Super Meat Boy 

Time for the indie game love! I can't find a good picture of a Super Meat Boy and Bandage Girl costume, which is honestly a shame. Because they are such simple characters it should be easy to evoke them without too much difficulty. 


And they're super cute. 

Tetris Blocks 

The instantly recognizable classic (and still very current if you addictively play Tetris Friends) is sure to be a hit at parties and will allow you to put your DIY skills to the test. 


Just tape some cardboard boxes together to create this unique look and cover the sides with construction or tissue paper and BAM. Couples costume brilliance. 

Mr. and Mrs. Pacman 

Having a little Pacman fever? How about this super cute DIY costume that's bound to tap into an retro gaming excitement you might have?


Simply cut out two pieces of foam board in the shape of the classic Pacman face, cover and connect in yellow felt and voila! You have a Pacman costume you and your significant other can enjoy. 

Zelda and Link 

This is a gamer costume classic. One of Nintendo's best known games, Zelda, has been immortalized in Halloween costumes and cosplay year after year. But there are definitely ways to spice it up. 


You can go the gender-bend route, with a male Zelda and a female Link, or go with a "Dark Link" perspective that's sure to inspire the Zelda fanboys in every group. 

Paula and Ness 

Another old school throw back, here is Paula and Ness from Earthbound. Incredibly easy to put together, you can buy the pieces from a couple of trips to the second hand store and mall. 


A great costume for the old school gamer couple. 

Harley Quinn and Joker 

Everyone's favorite Bonnie and Clyde-- Harley Quinn and Joker. This fascinating duo makes an excellent geeky/nerdy costume. 


This has a lot of options. You can go Christopher-Nolan-Dark-Knight style Joker, with lots of war paint and a slightly messy look, or you can go classic old school Joker and Harley Quinn, or you can go the route of Arkham Asylum Joker and Harley. 

Team Rocket 

Excited for Pokemon X/Y? How about a bit of a flashback to the Team Rocket days of early Pokemon? 


You can buy the pieces from regular costume stores online, or you can go the simple route of of white t-shirt with the "R" in red paint. A sure fire costume success at any party with 90's kids. 


So you've got a significant other. They're pretty cute, you're pretty cute, and you're both gamers. So what do you do? 


Here are a list of the top video game couples costumes. 

Own Your Own Arcade Cabinet—Here's How! Wed, 14 Aug 2013 09:20:15 -0400 Alexa Serrano

Seth and Timothy Peterson, two San Franciscan Bay Area Brothers, have started a new monthly subscription service for retro video games (eg., Ms. Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Tron); however, they do also offer some contemporary games like Street Fighter 2

How They Started

The brothers set out to purchase bargain vintage cabinet games to refurbish them. They typically searched through Web sites like Craigslist and Ebay, because the cabinets are usually cheaper and in better condition there. Through their rental service All You Can Arcade, you can rent out arcade games for $75 a month, in addition to a refundable $75 deposit. The arcade cabinets are all set to "free," which means you don't have to worry about spending any of your loose change while playing!

As of now, All You Can Arcade operates throughout the California area; however, they are hoping to expand to the East Coast this year! Those who are California residents can go ahead and enter their zip code on the site to find out which games are available in their area.