Space Invaders Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Space Invaders RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Gift Guide: 10 of the Best Winter Hats for Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/yv52h/gift-guide-10-of-the-best-winter-hats-for-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/yv52h/gift-guide-10-of-the-best-winter-hats-for-gamers Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0500 SarahKel

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So there it is everyone, 10 of the most amazing retro gamer hats that are currently on the market - enjoy them, love them, buy them.  We love them all too!  We hope that this list inspires you for the retro gamer in your life, or equally for you!

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Metal Gear Solid Cap Foxhound
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: 18.98EURO

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Buy It: Game Legends

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This Metal Gear Solid hat is a unusual hat, more like a military hat, which would be great with a pair of New Rocks and a long swishing coat. It is a hat that fits snugly onto the wearer’s head and is does provide quite a smart look for most occasions. The Foxhound logo is a great embellishment on the hat too!

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Space Invaders Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: $14.94

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Buy It: Amazon

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This adorable hat lines up the aliens from the Space Invaders game. It appears to have a slightly snugger fit than other beanies, the shape is designed to ensure that the wearer stays warm and is a little more robust than other hats.

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Ice Climbers Beanie Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: $13.61

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Buy It: Amazon

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Probably one of the most winter themed games out there, it's a really well themed hat for winter! A simple design, with 8 bit decoration of 2 characters and a heart from the game is perfect to keep the wearer warm, but the soft material means it feels lovely too.

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Nintendo Mario Bros 8 Bit Fair Isle Pom Beanie
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: $22.90

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Buy It: Amazon

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The 8 bit styling on this hat is pretty amazing, Mario leaping in the air throughout the hat, almost like he's jumping for the knitted snowflakes - what could be more wintery than that?  Great colours on its too and the pom pom on top is a great feature.

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Sonic the Hedgehog Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: £14.99

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Buy It: Gamerbilia

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Disclaimer, this hat will not make you go faster, nor will gold coins appear whilst you’re wearing the hat and walking about! But it is so lovely and has the Sonic spikes so is really distinctive and the plaid danglers do make a really unusual twist to this type of alpine hat.

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Pac Man Ghost Crochet Hat
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: £16.48+

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Buy It: Etsy

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These hats are so adorable. It does feel like the eyes are watching you, they are handmade crochet hats and the variation is quite clear on the website, but this is a complete bonus as it does add to the quirky nature of the product. This is a really lovely quality item and recommended as it differs significantly from the usual Pac Man merchandise.

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Eevee Fleece Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: £20.60

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Buy ItEtsy

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This is such a great hat, it is totally handmade too, so even if two people had the same hat, they’d slightly differ which is lovely and quirky. The fleece lined hat is perfect for the coldest of days and perfect for both original Pokemon players and those who’ve jumped on board due to Pokemon Go.

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Blizzard Store Starcraft Abathar Hat
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Rating: 10/10

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Price: $34.00

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Buy ItBlizzard

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The store with the most appropriate name for winter hats, has of course the most elaborate hat, Abathor from Starcraft. The best thing with this hat, is that it’s not just a hat, it doubles as a plushie too, woohoo, two gifts in one! And come on, who can’t resist those tentacles!

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Yoshi Ski Beanie Hat
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: £14.99

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Buy It: Gamerbilia

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Such a great product, it’s fun and honestly, a woolly hat that relates to Yoshi’s Woolly World is such a great tie-in, it really is. A cute ski hat, with pom poms and a smiley proud Yoshi is literally the cutest hat. It is Yoshi green colour, so wearers are easily identifiable, even on a dark night!

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Hero of Time Embroidered Beanie
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: £12.99

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Buy It: Gametee

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It’s a Zelda hat! From the Ocarina of Time. A fairly plain hat, with an embroidered golden triforce, it is a really good choice, without being elaborate, great price too and Gametee is renowned for their quality items. Ideal for a Zelda fan and also a great warming wintery hat.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-ce84b.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-ce84b.png","type":"slide","id":"139941","description":"

Welcome to your essential gift guide for Christmas 2016 and we’re talking hats.  No, not top hats or trilbys, but gamer hats specifically ones where buyers can proudly display their love for their favourite games.

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But with a huge amount of amazing games out there, we can afford to be really, really choosy in regards to merchandise.  Quality is a large factor too, no shoddy generic gamer hats, but true gamer hats made for gamers.

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The hats in this gift guide hats are largely focussed on retro gaming, not just because they are such darn amazing games, but often cause the most finger points, shout outs and comments, because, you know that’s the ultimate kudos!

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So, I’ve narrowed down the best 10 gamer hats out there and remember people they are gifts for others, or you know, keep a beady eye on them for yourself!

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5 Amazing Retro Video Game Tattoos https://www.gameskinny.com/anc5d/5-amazing-retro-video-game-tattoos https://www.gameskinny.com/anc5d/5-amazing-retro-video-game-tattoos Thu, 01 Sep 2016 12:50:25 -0400 Glitchieetv

Tattoos are one of the ways people use to express their love for something. With many of the millennial generation growing up with some of the first video games and consoles, it makes sense that many of them would show their love for fond childhood memories with ink. Below are five amazing tattoos inspired by retro video games.

Chrono Trigger-Artist Unknown

Chrono Trigger first released in 1995 on the SNES. An instant hit, it sold more than 2 million copies within two months in Japan. It also met with critical success in North America, where it has been a classic. This tattoo of the Chrono Trigger logo is well executed, an excellent homage to an RPG-staple.

The Legend of Zelda-Artist Unknown

The Legend of Zelda is a timeless retro game. With multiple titles in the series, the story that began in 1986 has continued to ensnare hearts. These tattoos, done in an 8-bit style, are a cute couples tattoo that captures the romance between Link and Zelda. 

Spyro the Dragon-Artist Unknown

Spyro the Dragon first charged through enemies in 1998 on the Sony PlayStation. With top of the line graphics and lovable characters, Spyro made a home for himself with gamers. This Spyro tattoo captures all of the dragon's fighting spirit.

Retro Themed Tattoo-Artist Unknown

This tattoo does not simply pick one retro game to exhibit. Inside, this composition showcases symbols from Mario, Tetris, and Pac-Man all revolving around the original Nintendo Entertainment System controller. 

Retro Gaming Totem-Artist Unknown

Here is another example of a tattoo that chose to feature multiple games instead of just one. Including Pong, Frogger, and Megaman this totem of Retro games is a creative take on expressing ones love for them. 

Do you have any amazing retro video game inspired tattoos? Let us know in the comments? Know any of the artists or people who own the tattoos? Let us know so we can credit them!

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RZA To Collaborate With Atari For Album Composed With 8-Bit Sound and Songs https://www.gameskinny.com/mwe2z/rza-to-collaborate-with-atari-for-album-composed-with-8-bit-sound-and-songs https://www.gameskinny.com/mwe2z/rza-to-collaborate-with-atari-for-album-composed-with-8-bit-sound-and-songs Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:27:45 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

RZA, one of the founding members of the legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan, is teaming up with Atari to make a new album that uses sounds inspired by classic 8-bit games.  

In a press release with Billboard about the upcoming album, RZA stated, “I’m so excited to work on these iconic games to deliver what I believe will be one of my best albums. I am going to invite some of my friends to join me and it will be Game On with the first beat!” 

It will be interesting to see how the man who produced albums like Liquid Swords transitions into a project that seems to be so much different than the music that he is known for.

RZA is no stranger to working with Atari, as he provided voice work for their 2006 title Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. 

Lets just hope that the album ends up better than some of RZA's more recent endeavours, Man With The Iron Fists, and unfortunately, Man With Iron Fists 2, because those movies were kind of awful.

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6 Amazing and Simple Video Game Tattoos https://www.gameskinny.com/wduld/6-amazing-and-simple-video-game-tattoos https://www.gameskinny.com/wduld/6-amazing-and-simple-video-game-tattoos Wed, 15 Jun 2016 07:55:25 -0400 JessicaKloss

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Space Invaders

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Go classic with this Space Invaders tattoo! Tattoos that can use just one color ink and look incredible are very impressive. Get your hands on an arcade game inspired tattoo to prove you've been lovin' video games for longer than most. 

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Samus from Metroid Series

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This Samus tattoo is beautifully done and great for any fan. Samus is an inspiration to women, and the creative choice to add the Rosie the Riveter style pin-up bow to her head was an excellent one. 

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"Samus is an ideal role model not just to me, but for many women to look up to as a powerful game icon."

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--Michelle Perl, cosplayer

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-tattoo-9190f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-tattoo-9190f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121357","description":"

Love Ball from Pokemon

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A love ball, or just a regular ole poke ball, would be a great way to express your love for Pokemon and to mark yourself as a gamer.  The love ball is especially adorable, and could demonstrate your skill at catching the opposite (or same) sex.

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Half-Life Logo

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The Half-Life logo represents the Greek letter, Lambda. It is frequently used in the game series because it part of the equation for radioactive decay. Lambda is important in math and programming, so the tattoo could have multiple reasons for being nerdy.

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Scene from Fallout series

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If you're looking for a Fallout tattoo, one that includes a radroach, Nuka-Cola, and an explosion all in one is a good way to do it. As an added bonus, it's all composed rather nicely without being too large. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/t/tattoo-788e0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/t/tattoo-788e0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121354","description":"

Assassin's Creed Insignia 

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Use this beautiful tattoo to showcase your part in the Assassin Order. There have been multiple renditions of the insignia throughout the game series, so to add a little more flair the version from the Italian Renaissance or the Babylonian Assassins could be done instead.

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"The symbol that you sought and found... It is a mark of courage and honor, yes. But it promises pain and loss as well."

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--Oiá:ner, speaking of the Insignia

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Brilliant, intricate sleeves and full back tattoos are glorious in their artistic skill and value, but simple tattoos can be just as amazing. They are also more affordable and less of a commitment for those of us that want to show off a video game tattoo. So I've taken to the nerdtattoos subreddit to find the best subtle artwork that a fan would feel proud to wear on their body!

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Most Adorable Baby Gaming Outfits https://www.gameskinny.com/fzg6i/most-adorable-baby-gaming-outfits https://www.gameskinny.com/fzg6i/most-adorable-baby-gaming-outfits Thu, 31 Mar 2016 08:23:22 -0400 _Glitchchic_

For all those gamer fans with little ones back home, check out these cute baby outfits -- because who says babies can't be trendsetters in micro-fashion!

Below, I have provided a series of cutesy apparel options for your younglings and links to the places you can purchase them. It's time to gamify your mini me. 

Donkey Kong Bib

 $14 - Etsy

 

Remember the good ole days of Atari? Your kids probably don't, so why not bring up some old memories with this? This handmade Donkey Kong bib fits 4 months to 2-year-olds and will definitely remind the classic gamer of this retro thrill. It is designed to be placed over the head like a shirt, and it's fitted with arm holes in order to keep it steady to catch those impending food drips. 

Loading Diaper 

$16.51 - Etsy

Every gamer knows lag and loading bars well, so why not spiff up your baby's wardrobe with this comical addition? It fits babies from 3 months to 2 years old, and is handmade in Canada. It comes in 4 colors (red, blue, white, pink) and is 100% deluxe cotton. 

Star Trek TNG Uniform Bodysuits

$19.99 - Thinkgeek 

Yes, there is hope that all your children will know the original Star Trek series and why you shouldn't wear the red shirt. Not that you shouldn't get the red shirt from here, because it is stinkin' adorable. This item comes in gold, blue, and red. Perfect for the next generation! 

Game of Thrones Onesie

$10.99 - Etsy

 

For newborns to 24 months. For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, we have the perfect, John Snow sanctioned, baby onesie. It comes in 12 different colors including red, turquoise, white, black, and royal. This piece is also handmade using ring-spun combed cotton. 

Togepi Baby Bodysuit, Pokemon Baby

$14 - Etsy

Here's a friendly face from an old favorite. Your baby is Gonna Catch 'Em all with this adorable piece available at Etsy! Made for newborns up to 12 months. 

S is for Star Wars Kids' Tees

$14.99 - Thinkgeek

As I said, we must think about the younglings. What child wouldn't want to have a shirt with R2-D2 or Chewy? You can pick from the ones shown here at ThinkGeek. There is a Star Wars character to match everyone's personality and favorites!

Space Invader Inspired Baby Shoes

$17 - Etsy

 

Now what about the footsies! My mother always told me that the best way to warm toes is by using pixelated space aliens. At least, I think that's what she said... either way, you can get these on Etsy, too!

Do you have any other baby gamer apparel that you enjoy? If so, post the links below and show us, or tell us what you think of these! 

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Dorkly's latest video levels up boss IQs to defeat iconic heroes https://www.gameskinny.com/5enid/dorklys-latest-video-levels-up-boss-iqs-to-defeat-iconic-heroes https://www.gameskinny.com/5enid/dorklys-latest-video-levels-up-boss-iqs-to-defeat-iconic-heroes Wed, 18 Nov 2015 04:26:36 -0500 Gabriella Graham

Have you ever noticed the truly ridiculous nature of villain logic? Video game bosses leave a generous amount of openings for heroes by following pretty standard tenets of villainous logic. Enemies wait in unlocked castles, leave items lying around that devastate whatever small barriers or obstacles they've bothered erecting, rarely improve upon their techniques in any significant way, and generally set themselves up to fail. 

Dorkly's latest upload sets this tradition in reverse by granting video game bosses an intelligence boost. Watch the link above and witness your favorite heroes foiled with just a touch of forethought.

Plot points

The fan video concentrates on classics, which feature straight-forward hero versus villain dynamics. Dorkly included, in order:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Mega Man
  • Punch-Out!!
  • Space Invaders
  • Sonic the Hedgehog

The face of a truly bummed-out protagonist really drives home the minimal effort it might have taken their sworn enemies to defeat them once and for all. Dorkly's passive aggressive boss-impressions further rub salt in every wound. Link just up and walks away from defeat while a scowling Sonic remains the most defiant of the bunch until the end.

The creators
"Think before you conquer."

Dorkly, a YouTube channel popular among nerds galore, answers hard-hitting and entertaining questions about our favorite video games with their unique brand of weekly fan videos. They'll answer any what-ifs you can think up, mashing up games, or changing their rules. Dorkly's added DLC to classics, thrown Mario into Sonic's territory, switched game developer ownership, explored the intricacies of the Pokemon world, and pointed out the similarities between Super Mario and Call of Duty. This is just a small sample of the imaginative leaps they're willing to make.

Three creative minds drive Dorkly:

  • Andrew Bridgman, the Editor-In-Chief
  • Julia Lepetit, the Head Illustrator
  • Tony Wilson, Illustrator and Video Editor

Dorkly's YouTube channel and website also cover movies, TV shows, and comics.

Did you enjoy the video? Which game would you have liked to see? How do you think the boss' strategy would have changed in Dorkly's alternate reality? Discuss!

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Pacapong is Pac-Man, Pong, and Space-Invaders in one https://www.gameskinny.com/08cl1/pacapong-is-pac-man-pong-and-space-invaders-in-one https://www.gameskinny.com/08cl1/pacapong-is-pac-man-pong-and-space-invaders-in-one Sun, 16 Aug 2015 19:19:22 -0400 Andrea Koenig

Many gamers have a soft spot for retro arcade games, so what could be better than playing Pac-Man, Pong, or Space Invaders? How about a video game that combines all three into one? That's what you'll be getting from Indie game developer Dick Poelen's Pacapong.

The game's primary feature is that you control two special paddles, just like in Pong. They can shoot Pac-Man pellets up the screen at invader enemies, and the paddles also have the ability to move in all directions, not just up and down. The paddles also catch and shoot the ball back and forth, except the ball is actually Pac-Man, and instead of blank space, the middle of the screen holds the Pac-Man maze, complete with ghosts and pellets. 

If the game doesn't seem like it could get any cooler, then hold on. Not only is it free, but you can play 1-2 players with local multiplayer, and it supports gamepad, WASD, and ZQSD control options. The game is also available in 1080p, 60fps. Oh, yeah, and Donkey Kong shoots throws barrels in your way sometimes. 

This Frankenstein's mash-up of a game is available for download on PC, Mac, and Linux. 

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Pac-Man Bites Creator's Hand In First Trailer For Pixels https://www.gameskinny.com/is0vl/pac-man-bites-creators-hand-in-first-trailer-for-pixels https://www.gameskinny.com/is0vl/pac-man-bites-creators-hand-in-first-trailer-for-pixels Wed, 18 Mar 2015 06:06:11 -0400 WesleyG

When I first read that Adam Sandler was making a movie about video games from the '80s, I rolled my eyes so hard I'm surprised the momentum didn't throw me out of my chair. "Good lord, the guy who made Jack and Jill is going to take on video games?"

The first trailer for Pixels is now out. The trailer (linked above) tells the story of a group of aliens invading our planet having mistaken a time capsule for 1982 containing records of Earth's culture as a declaration of war. In a bit of irony, the invasion consists of gaming icons of the 1980's being turned against the human race as alien weapons. It's up to Adam Sandler and crew (for some reason) to save the Earth (somehow, the trailer isn't clear on that).

Do I think this movie is going to be good? It's way too early to tell. What makes this different from Sandler's recent movies, however, is how over-the-top the trailer is. At one point Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, goes up to the alien Pac-Man and talks to it like a son. The scene is absolute gold.

These sorts of movies tend to become surprise hits or spectacular failures that garner cult followings at bad movie nights. Either way, it seems like it'll be fun to watch with all your gaming buddies.

Pixels is due out in theaters this summer.

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Roche Fusion Introduces Its First Epic Boss https://www.gameskinny.com/7uojm/roche-fusion-introduces-its-first-epic-boss https://www.gameskinny.com/7uojm/roche-fusion-introduces-its-first-epic-boss Fri, 10 Oct 2014 02:01:59 -0400 Heiny Reimes

As Roche Fusion progressed we were very early on aware that we needed more than just a simple boss. So the proposed bosses soon became sub-bosses to make room for the real stuff. But since we had so much else to implement, we kept the designs apart and planned to put them in as last.

So, hereby the footage created by one of the programmers, who has been really working hard to get this out there.

This boss is one of three Epic Bosses we have in store for the future players of Roche Fusion. So while the programmer has already planned to work on Epic Boss number two this is something we really wanted to show to all of you to get the epicness of the boss and it's weapons, which will also be seen in the other bosses.

It was quite the challenge to create a boss which the player will have to put in quite a lot of effort and not boring him with the same stuff over and over again. Of course there will be some form of grinding in there, but not more than necessary for the players.

So hopefully we will be able to introduce the next boss within the next few weeks!

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The 10 Video Game Consoles Worthy of Putting into a Museum https://www.gameskinny.com/6jiis/the-10-video-game-consoles-worthy-of-putting-into-a-museum https://www.gameskinny.com/6jiis/the-10-video-game-consoles-worthy-of-putting-into-a-museum Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:33:16 -0400 mchiu

Now that the National Videogame History Museum will break ground in January 2015, I thought it might be fun to speculate what would be 10 home video game consoles that absolutely should be on display.

In researching this article, it brought back a lot of childhood nostalgia. I remember spending hours in front of the TV playing many of these games, and it was difficult to really sort out which would truly make it into the top 10. I really couldn't rank these against each other since each one is truly unique and groundbreaking, that there really wouldn't be any objective way to say any one system is "better" than any other.

So in the end, I present you with this list, which is not ranked, but rather, is listed in more or less a chronological order of video game consoles that should be included in any respectable video game museum.

1. Magnavox Odyssey

This console is truly the grandaddy of video game consoles.  Released in August 1972, and pre-dating Atari's Pong arcade game by 3 years, the Odyssey did not have any audio, was powered off 6 "C" batteries, (or A/C adapter sold separately) and used translucent color plastic overlays that players could put on their TV screens to simulate color graphics. (Yes, the games back then were only in two colors) It came with 2 paddles for controllers. For you younger folk, "paddles" were game controllers that were nothing more than just a knob that you twisted back and forth. Basically, in those days, game movement was restricted to just left and and right, or up and down. Later models of paddles included a button as an extra input option.

Notable Games

A total of 27 games were made available for the Odyssey by way of printed circuit boards (that were called "game cards") that were inserted into the system, similarly to game cartridges in later systems. Some of the game cards had multiple games on them, so there were only 12 different game cards that were released.

When it comes to the older generations, just about every game is notable since video games were so new at the time. For the Magnavox Odyssey, most of the games were essentially different variations of Pong, with games such as Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer, etc.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

I think this one is a no-brainer. This is the console that started it all, and inspired future generations of video game consoles. The machine did not have any brains, however, as it was lacking a CPU. It wouldn't be until 4 years later until a semiconductor company came up with such a console... 

2. Fairchild Channel F

This is a system that I am willing to bet that most people have never heard of. Released in November 1976, this system was put out by Fairchild Semiconductor, which is better known as a company that produces computer chips, and was the pre-cursor to Intel. (A bit boring of a history lesson, but some of the founders of Fairchild went on to start up Intel, AMD, and other semiconductor companies in the Silicon Valley). The system came with an interesting pair of controllers that were like joysticks without bases.

At the top of the controller, was a triangular "cap" that allowed for 8-way directional control, but could also be twisted, so in today's world, it could be viewed as the analog control knobs, but they could also be twisted. This made it so the controllers were both joysticks and paddles simultaneously. As for audio, it made an improvement over the Odyssey, only in that it did have audio, although it came through an internal speaker on the console, and not through the TV speakers.

Notable Games

The system only had 26 games developed for it, and as you might have guessed already, most of the games were variations of Pong. Games on the system included Video Whizball, Bowling, Pro-Football, Video Blackjack, Baseball, etc.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The Fairchild Channel F is the first video game console to use a dedicated CPU inside, as well as the first video game console to use game cartridges. It was different from the Magnavox Odyssey's "game cards" in that the cartridges contained Read Only Memory (ROM) chips that allowed the games to be programmed by software, versus the game cards which were a series of physical jumpers between pins of the card connector. One other important reason this should be in the museum is that due to the use of the CPU, it was able to produce enough AI for players to play against a computer opponent. All previous consoles required two human players.

The Fairchild F was truly revolutionary, but it never really achieved market success. One other reason it was so important to the video game industry, however, was that it spurred the development of...

3. Atari 2600 (aka Atari Video Computer System)


OK, let me just get the biggest elephant of the room out of the way already. Released in September 1978, the Atari Video Computer System (VCS) basically ate Fairchild's Channel F's lunch, and profited handsomely from it. For mainstream America, this is pretty much where home video game consoles all started. Originally named the Atari Video Computer System, after the introduction of the follow-up Atari 5200, the VCS was renamed to the Atari 2600. It shipped with 2 joystick controllers and a pair paddles. The original units also shipped with the Combat game, however, later models shipped with different game titles. 

Notable Games

In the section below, there will be some discussion of the E.T. game that lead to Atari's demise, but other games notable games on the Atari 2600 include titles such as Breakout, Yar's Revenge, Kaboom!, Adventure, 

Why It Should Be in the Museum

While the Fairchild Channel F was revolutionary as the first console with a dedicated CPU, Atari one-upped them by using a more powerful CPU that was cheaper, and thus, able to offer the Atari VCS as a cheaper alternative. 

Although it was not Atari's intention, it also spawned the market for 3rd party developers. Disgruntled Atari game programmers left the company due to not receiving any recognition for the games they created, nor receiving any kind of compensation for the smash hits they produced, and went on to create their own company that solely made games compatible with the Atari VCS. Atari brought them to court, but in the end, the courts ruled in favor of this new company, Activision. In fact, if you looked at the boxes the Activision game cartridges came in, you will notice that it featured a short bio of the programmer.

At the time, the biggest game in the arcades was Taito's Space Invaders, which Atari had licensed and brought to the 2600. This was the tipping point that brought video games to the forefront of mainstream American society, and Atari continued to license other IP to much success, including Pac-Man. Unfortunately, Atari also licensed the rights to produce a game based on the movie, E.T., and the game did so poorly, that it lead to the video game crash of 1983. 

 

Also, the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man is also widely criticized as another reason for the downfall. At the time, Pac-Man was a hugely popular game, and  had swept all across America, so the Atari 2600 version of the game was highly anticipated, but was a big letdown when it looked absolutely nothing like the original game. 

In the US, the post-crash hangover lasted until 1985, but when the video game market in the US started to pick up again, Atari was no longer the force it once was, and all the other competitors were nowhere to be found. In fact, it took a Japanese company to revive the video game market in the US...

4. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom

 

Released first in Japan in July 1983 and known as the "Family Computer" or "Famicom" for short, and later in the US in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), this machine featured an 8-bit processor, and used a gamepad similar to the ones that we use today. (albeit, a much simpler version)

Notable Games

The NES was able to bring arcade quality graphics home, which helped bring back gamer's confidence in home video games again. As this is a Nintendo console, the most noticeable game would have to be Super Mario Bros. which shipped initially with every console sold in the US. Other notable titles included The Legend of Zelda, Duck Hunt, (which made use of a light gun) and Kung Fu. (which was the same game as the arcade hit, Kung Fu Fighter)

The NES also had 3rd party titles such as Konami's Contra, which is where we first see the "Konami Code". (up up down down left right left right B A Start) Also interesting to note is that many of the largest video game franchises today all started on the NES. These include games like Final Fantasy, Megaman, Metal Gear, and  Dragon Quest.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

Aside from the fact that the NES resuscitated the then dying US video game market, unlike its predecessors, the NES was able to capture the arcade quality graphics of video games, and bring them home. 

In order to regain consumer confidence in video games, Nintendo had also set up a strict licensing system that allowed it to approve video games for use on its system. Before the 1983 video game crash, there was no quality control, and video game advertising and box art greatly exaggerated the actual graphics of the game, and set up false expectations. Nintendo wanted to have more control over this, and game developers were subjected to a strict approval process that is still used today by all the game console manufacturers, as well as by mobile phone app stores. 

Finally, Nintendo was the first game console to use copy-protection, that made it difficult for pirates to steal developers' IP and resell them without authorization.

Besides, it's fun to have in a museum and to see kids' reactions to what a real NES looks like.

5. NEC TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine

 

The NEC TurboGrafx-16 (PC Engine in Japan) had a bit of a confusing name. This console was released during the era of 16-bit game consoles, yet it used an 8-bit CPU, but did feature dual 16-bit GPUs. The Japanese version, PC Engine, was considered to be the world's smallest game console with the dimensions of 5.5"x5.5"x1.5". This console also featured a gamepad similar to the NES, and used a very thin cartridge that was just slightly thicker than a credit card, that it called "HuCard."

Notable Games

Although not as popular as other game systems of its time, there were some popular game franchises that made their debut on the TurboGrafx/PC Engine platform. The two most notable would be Bomberman and Bonk's Adventure

 Why It Should Be In the Museum

Aside from the fact that it was an extremely compact system, the NEC TurboGrafx-16 was also the first console to feature a CD-ROM peripheral. The CD-ROM also lacked region lock, so US gamers could play CD titles, though the HuCards had different pin assignments between TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine.


Also, later on, NEC released the TurboExpress, which was a handheld version of the TurboGrafx-16. It featured a 2.6" backlit, active-matrix LCD, stereo sound, and the same CPU, however, it's main draw was the fact that it could play the same HuCards that were used in the home version. 

 6. 3DO


The 3DO Company did not actually manufacture any consoles, but instead, licensed out its hardware design to 3rd parties such as Panasonic, Goldstar, and Sanyo. It featured a 32-bit ARM processor and internal CD-ROM drive. (this was revolutionary in those days) 

Notable Games



Since 3DO did not do very well, part of the reason is that it was missing an exclusive title that warranted someone to want to go out and get the console. Since it was slightly cheaper than buying a full-blown PC at the time, if someone really wanted to play PC titles such as Myst, Star Wars Rebel Assault, Doom, or Alone in the Dark, maybe a 3DO machine made more sense, but obviously, that really didn't happen, or maybe it was too niche of a market to grow out.

Why It Should Be In the Museum

I decided to include 3DO in this list simply because I feel that it should be an example of how not to launch a video game console. While it did generate quite a buzz in its day, it was riding on the "multimedia wave" that was going on in the PC world by providing games on CD-ROM. Unfortunately, due to its business model of licensing out its hardware design to 3rd parties, the price of the consoles were upwards of $599, which were double that of its competitors, namely, the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.

The company felt that since it had a very advanced system, the public was willing to pay a premium for it, despite the fact that competitors such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis already had a strong foothold in the US already. While it was ahead of its time, it wasn't that far ahead, and it was more of its arrogance that lead to its demise.

7. Sega Genesis/MegaDrive


Released in Japan as the MegaDrive in October 1988, and subsequently in the US as the Sega Genesis in November 1990, this console was probably the only successful console from Sega. In Japan, it did not do well against its competitors, Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine, but it did acheive success in the US and Europe. This console was a 16-bit machine, and like the rest of the consoles at the time, used game cartridges. 

Notable Games


The Sega Genesis had a huge library games for it, with many of them being arcade translations. Some of the best known games include: Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Battle Toads, Phantasy Star series, Mortal Kombat, Streets of Rage.

Edit: A friend just informed me that the Phantasy Star series started on the Sega Master System (the predecessor to the Sega Genesis) however, it was also a popular title on the Genesis nonetheless.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

In the US, the Sega Genesis was the main competitor against Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Its marketing was geared towards being like the "older brother" of Nintendo with games that were geared towards a more mature audience. While there was controversy over games such as Mortal Kombat, Sega allowed blood to be shown in the game, while Nintendo went on the more parent-approved version of showing no blood in the game. This eventually lead to the creation of the Videogame Rating Council, which was the predecessor to the ESRB ratings we see today. 

8. Sony PlayStation


Released in Japan in December 1994, and in the US in September 1995, the PlayStation was a CD-ROM based console that also used gamepads, however, the gamepads now featured shoulder buttons and four buttons. Later versions of the gamepad included analog sticks and "Dual Shock" force feedback.

Notable Games



At this point in time, we begin to see that in the market, titles on one platform may also appear on another platform. Certain games are available exclusively only on one platform, which makes the console even more popular. For the PlayStation, here are some titles that were exclusive at the time: Final Fantasy VII, Parasite Eve, Parappa the Rapper, Gran Tourismo, Metal Gear Solid, and Crash Bandicoot. 

Why It Should Be in the Museum


The Sony PlayStation kickstarted the 32-bit revolution, and the modern video games we see out today. It was also the first mainstream console to use optical media to distribute games, compared to the cartridge system used before. With CD-ROMs, and subsequently with DVDs, games could be distributed and stored in a thinner form factor, and contain more data for higher quality graphics and audio. The Dual Shock controllers and analog sticks brought a whole new level of play into the mix, as players could have the feedback in their hands through vibrations for explosions, or when they are doing some right or wrong, as well as having more precise control of movements.

Sega soon after introduced the Sega Saturn which also featured CD-ROM, but this is the classic case of the first-mover advantage, where Sony overtook the market. 

9. Nintendo Wii


The Nintendo Wii was unveiled at the 2006 GDC in San Jose, where it was originally codenamed the "Revolution". This console featured a new type of controller that was not only wireless, but also had a motion sensor to allow players to use gestures to control the action in the game.

Notable Games


The Nintendo Wii shipped with Wii Sports, which showed off the capabilities of the Wii, but unfortunately, it did that so well that for the first few years, sales of other titles did not fare well until the novelty rubbed off. Afterwards, other titles started getting more attention such as: Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Epic Mickey, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The controller, known as the "WiiMote" brought a whole new dimension to gaming. While Microsoft and Sony were battling it out with their graphics capabilities and pure horsepower with their upcoming Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, Nintendo realized that it would not be able to compete on this end, and instead, chose to focus on revolutionizing game play. 

At his keynote during GDC 2006, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata noted that in designing the Wii, they wanted to create a system that a young child could easily pick up and understand how to play, as well as something that would not be foreign to an elderly person. The "WiiMote", as the name implies, was meant to look and feel like a remote control, however, it could be used as an extension of the hand, and with a little imagination, could be viewed as a tennis racquet, a sword, etc. while being waved in the air. 

After its initial release in November 2006, the Wii was constantly sold out, and subsequently caused both Microsoft and Sony to come up with their own gesture-based controllers in the Kinect and the PlayStation Move.

10. All Current Generation Game Consoles


At the time of this writing, the current generation game consoles would include the Nintendo Wii U, the Microsoft Xbox One, and the Sony PlayStation 4. These consoles represent the latest and greatest of gaming technology today with some of the most advanced graphics capabilities, as well as the ability to play and purchase games online.

Why It Should Be in the Museum

The current generation of the game consoles should be featured in any video game museum simply to show how far along we have come along. With each generation of home video game consoles come with it a slew of advancements that set a new standard for all future consoles. 

Only the Top 10? Honorable Mentions:

As I was writing this, I realized that limiting to just the top 10 would be impossible. There are so many great video game consoles that were left out of this list that truly deserved to be showcased in a video game museum. If I could have an infinite number of consoles to feature, here are some of the others that I would also include to showcase in a video game museum:

  • Intellivision
  • ColecoVision
  • Atari 5200
  • Vectrex
  • Sega Master System
  • Neo-Geo
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System / Super Famicom
  • Atari Jaguar
  • Sega Saturn
  • Nintendo 64
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • Sony PlayStation 2
  • Nintendo Game Cube
  • Microsoft Xbox

... and this is only the beginning. On top of this, there are also the portable consoles and their predecessors in the handheld game genre, which I have been a big fan of, and have been a bit of a collector. Maybe this would be something to write about in the future.

The home video game console market has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 1970s. As we now cross into this new generation of consoles, and with the advent of cloud computing and virtual consoles, I wonder what's in store for us 5-10 years down the line. Will game consoles still exist as they do today? Will consoles themselves just turn into brands and apps that we can access on our Smart TVs while all of the computing horsepower is done on the carrier side? Buckle up everyone! I think it's gonna be a wild ride!

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Roche Fusion: Taking Back Shoot 'm Ups From The Bullet Hell Niche Market! https://www.gameskinny.com/llqn5/roche-fusion-taking-back-shoot-m-ups-from-the-bullet-hell-niche-market https://www.gameskinny.com/llqn5/roche-fusion-taking-back-shoot-m-ups-from-the-bullet-hell-niche-market Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:23:01 -0400 Heiny Reimes

No more Bullet Hell!

How many of us did not love the old arcade, until it became all Bullet Hell? I loved Asteroids, Galaga, Space Invaders, 1942, 1943, Aleste, Thunderforce IV, R-type and many others? Also Games like Raiden were still doable on bullets, yet more than hard enough.

Many of us must have noticed how the shoot 'em up genre has been slowing down in growth, even though so many others genres just kept on growing. Until Geometry Wars came on the scene, where enemies did not even fire one bullet.

This is why we are making Roche Fusion.

Throwing in all the things we liked of the old classics, adding modern gameplay mechanics and a sauce of eye candy from movies like Tron and games like Geometry Wars.

So like the old shmups you can expect:

 

  • 2 player modus
  • large (sub)bosses
  • Loads of graphical effects(eye candy)
  • Large weapons
  • Many upgrades
  • High scores (offline/online)

But like new games we have:

 

  • Regenerative shield(no more bullet hell)
  • Procedural Gameplay: You never know what type of weapons you can get and what enemies will come. So every run should feel fresh.
  • Loads of secrets (bragging rights for the excellent players when discovering them)
  • Loads of easter eggs
  • Giving a large room for people to develop their own way of playing.

A short impression of version 0.5:

So a lot of things very familiar, but all in high-resolution (while even now running on a 6-year-old system) and a different angle on playing thanks to ideas from other genres.

Get the free 0.5 beta now for Windows and OSX on http://www.rochefusion.com.

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Interview With an Almost Gamer Mom https://www.gameskinny.com/34q5d/interview-with-an-almost-gamer-mom https://www.gameskinny.com/34q5d/interview-with-an-almost-gamer-mom Sun, 14 Jul 2013 15:14:01 -0400 Cupcakecrisis

My mother grew up during a blossoming time in gaming. Arcades were just on the rise and home consoles were exciting but rare. I talk to her about that special time and what it meant to her.

Cupcakecrisis: “So did they have a lot of arcades when you were a kid?”

Mom: “They were just coming out when I was a child. There were about 2 around where I lived. We had pinball machines though, people loved those things. The first game or home system though was Atari. My brother had one, but we (the 3 other sisters) couldn’t play cause he was the boy.”

Cupcakecrisis: “Did you really want to play those games?”

Mom: “Yeah, kinda. They’d given me doll babies instead. I had her; it didn’t matter much to me anyways. It still wasn’t fair though.”

It’s times like that where I really appreciate the way my mom raised me. Games are not just a “boy” thing, and I glad that my mother gave me the freedom to express myself with the hobbies and games that I wanted to.

Cupcakecrisis: “So what was your favorite game to play when you got a chance?”

Mom: “I used to like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders, those were the games that were really fun and challenging.”  

Cupcakecrisis: “Were you really good at those games?”

Mom: “Not really, but I really loved to play them.”

I think she’s under estimating herself actually. Seeing her play those games is a wonder. She plays with equal parts great reflexes and practice, she’s amazing at them.

Cupcakecrisis: “What’s a game now that you really enjoy?”

Mom: “Temple Run. Cause it’s challenging, almost in the way that my favorite games were back then. “

My mom has what it takes to be an awesome gamer, but she was dissuaded from it at a young age. Now we’re at time where girls playing games is becoming less and less of a taboo, but we still need more acceptance.  If many would just encourage children’s endeavors, we’d have a lot more game designer, journalist and reviewers, instead of almost designers, journalist and reviewers.

After the interview is over, my mom heads to the living room, tablet in hand. She loads the menu screen to Temple Run, a smile on her face. 

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