RayGunn’s High Score Review!

Hey Arcaders!

Let’s talk High Score– the new six part documentary on Netflix. This one kind of came out of the blue for me. There have been a lot of video game documentaries. Some are great (Once Upon Atari is one I liked) some.. not so much for me (Videogames, the Movie– I’m calling you out!) I’m really going to have to do reviews on them as well.

Once I saw the trailer for High Score- it peaked my interest- a documentary not just about the games, or the players…but focused on the designers and programmers (some of which have never done interviews!) I had to watch. And… I wasn’t disappointed.

Right off the bat, it felt like an episode of The Toys That Made Us- which is a great thing. Also, having Charles Martinet- The voice of Mario- narrating… was genius. Another thing I loved about the series, was the chapters- focusing on an era or genre of gaming, and making the flow seamlessly was fantastic. Which should be no surprise- one of the executive producers, France Costrel- has some experience with this subject: she also directed the seven part series- 8 Bit Legacy: The Curious History of Video Games for Great Big Story (a part of CNN). Which seems to be the case for this series as well.

Let’s talk about the episodes (spoiler free where I can.)

Continue reading

Coming Soon- The High Score Review!

Hey Arcaders!

I’m working on new Pac-a-lisious content (plus a few surprises along the way!)  

When- all of the sudden, I’m slapped upside the head with this commercial on the Book of Face for a new documentary series- High Score! Check this out!

It looks great- and having it narrated by the voice of Mario- Charles Martinet is a win in my book!

I’m watching the series NOW- I will post a review this weekend! So far… IT”S AMAZING!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Pac-Man On Square Pegs!

pMOSP

Hey Arcaders!

I want to thank each and every one of you for making Pac-Man month better than I could ever imagine. It’s been a blast! Don’t worry- I’ll be keeping up on the Pac-Man articles even though it’s over!

But to end everything on a high note (pun intended) I want to have the last article of Pac-Man month be a great one!

So here’s an episode of a show I grew up with- I think most of the older Arcaders (like me) will remember.

in 1982, a show aired called Square Pegs. It’s a fun romp, showing the different cliques in a high school. one episode in particular had our little yellow friend- and it’s called Pac-Man Fever! Check it out!

Don’t fret- the month may be over- but The Pac-Fun isn’t!

Keep Playin Like It’s 1981!

Underrated Video Game Characters – Episode 16 – The Electric Circus Podcast

Hey Arcaders!

From Pac-Man to Mario, to Sonic characters are a big part of video games but for every popular character, some characters seem to go by the wayside. This week Joshua aka @ubernerd527 and Danny the Ultra-Sonic Player @ultrasonic9 talk about some of their favorite underrated characters.

What is your favorite underrated video game character? comment below and we might share it in the next episode.

Please like us, share us, and give us five stars on Itunes!

you can also catch us on the podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Anchor, and many other pod-catching devices.

The Orignal Underrated Video Game Character article by Joshua 

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

The Games That Pac-Forgot #3- Pepper II!

tgtpf2

Hey Arcaders!

In the early days after Pac-Man was released to the world, there were a lot of arcade and home console companies that wanted in on the Pac-profit! This series will focus on these lesser known games. weather it’s an original game, or a Pac-bootleg, we will be touching base with these games that Pac-forgot!

The next one is one is a golden age Maze game it it’s finest- Pepper II!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pepper II was designed and manufactured in 1982 by Exidy- a company known for games like Death Race, Fax, Crossbow, and a game that’s in  one of my favorite movies- Star Fire!

sfmm

Ok- let’s get this question out of the way-  This isn’t a sequel. There wasn’t a Pepper I. Originally, The game was called Zipper. but a higher up at Exidy didn’t like the name. The story goes- he looked at a packet of pepper on a table in the lunchroom and said… “How about Pepper?” The name stuck. The “II” comes from the two personalities your character has.

The character “Pepper” is an angel. There are two types of enemies that must be avoided: Roaming Eyes and the Whippersnapper who unzips all uncompleted, zipped segments by moving over them. Pepper’s one defense is to enclose an area containing a pitchfork, which turns him into a demon “Pepper II” for approximately four seconds. At that time he can go after all Roaming Eyes for points while the Whippersnapper freezes. There are four pitchforks in the corners of every maze. A deluxe energizer is located in the center of each maze. This energizer alternates between being a pitchfork and a halo symbol. If Pepper encloses the middle area when the energizer is a halo, the Whippersnapper disappears from the maze.

Points are made for enclosing a segment, consuming a pair of roaming eyes when energized by the pitchfork (similar to Pac-Man), obtaining prizes, completing a maze, and completing 4 mazes. A bonus turn is awarded at 40,000, 50,000, 70,000 or 90,000 points, depending on the dip switch settings. When a full screen (of the four) has been completely filled, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is briefly heard.

Let’s talk about those mazes. there’s four of them. And they’re all connected.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Each maze has exits leading to three other mazes. All four mazes must be filled to advance to the next level. To fill in a maze, the player maneuvers “Pepper” around different segments of the maze. As Pepper travels, he leaves a “zipper”. Once he encloses or “zips” a segment, it fills in and points are awarded. If Pepper backtracks on an uncompleted segment, it unzips.

Fun Fact- the intro music is Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette” or as most people that frequented Universal Studios Florida know it- the intro song to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

 

Hey- why don’t we watch this wonderfully crazy game in action, shall we?

This is a fun game but it ramps up quickly!

Extra fun fact- There was a version made for the completely awesome Colecovision system- Check it out!

However you can play this game- give it a shot- you’ll love it!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

 

The Games That Pac-Forgot #2- Piranha!

tgtpf2

Hey Arcaders!

In the early days after Pac-Man was released to the world, there were a lot of arcade and home console companies that wanted in on the Pac-profit! This series will focus on these lesser known games. weather it’s an original game, or a Pac-bootleg, we will be touching base with these games that Pac-forgot!

The next game is one I remember playing at my local roller rink’s arcade- Piranha!

piranha_marquee Piranha was programmed by a small company- GL. This was one of the biggest Pac-Man bootlegs- it actually had an dedicated cabinet release in the U.S. by U.S. Billiards.

125000201

The cabinet looked like a standard Sega cabinet of the time (Frogger, Carnival, Pulsar) with some beautiful artwork, the cabinet’s quite a looker. Check it out!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now that we have seen the cabinet- what about the game?

Here’s a write-up from Strategy Wiki-

  • This hack of Pac-Man was released as a conversion kit. It was available as an upgrade board, much like the original Ms. Pac-Man was.
  • The graphics have been drastically altered to present an underwater theme. You control a red piranha, while you are chased around by four squid-like monsters. (In an earlier variant of the game, they are little more than altered ghost sprites, with extended sprites for the tentacles).
  • Most of the maze in the game is wide open. You’re free to move about various open portions of the maze, but so are the squid-like monsters.
  • One central tunnel is present on the left and right sides of the maze, as well as another central tunnel at both the top and bottom of the maze.
  • There are fewer bonus items, and their values start at 500 points for the Crab, and end at 5000 points for the Yellow Anchor. The Fish (Rounds 3 & 4) is worth 1500 points, the Red Anchor (Rounds 5 & 6) is worth 2000 points, the Cyan Whale (Rounds 7 & 8) is worth 2500 points, and the Blue Whale (Rounds 9 & 10) is worth 3000. Eating the squid-like monsters is also worth four tremendously different point values: 300, 700, 1200, and 2000 points, which adds up to total of 4200 points.

The first thing You’ll notice- there’s not really a maze. I always felt it was like you were in a large salt water tank. The whole nautical theme has been done very well- from the seaweed, rocks, to the kelp bed- you feel like you’re underwater! The screen has four exits- two on top and two on the sides! The ghosts have been turned into squid- with soulless, hollowed out eyes!

pscreen

Your power pellets have been turned into shells! The bonus fruit are now crabs, anchors,and other fish. Interestingly, the dots are placed in a pattern. But, the piranha’s control is still 4-way… meaning you’ll be circling around a few times to get a single dot. So the game’s challenge is tough- even for the most seasoned of players.

So- why don’t we watch a game?

If you have a emulator, you can play this game- I suggest giving it a go. It will keep you coining up for more!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

The Games That Pac-Forgot #1… Make Trax!

tgtpf2

Hey Arcaders!

In the early days after Pac-Man was released to the world, there were a lot of arcade and home console companies that wanted in on the Pac-profit! This series will focus on these lesser known games. weather it’s an original game, or a Pac-bootleg, we will be touching base with these games that Pac-forgot!

The first game we’re talking about, is one that is in my top five games of all time-

mt1

Make Trax started it’s life as a maze chaser called Crush Roller. it was developed by  Alpha Denshi and originally published by Kural Samno Electric in Japan. It was also licensed for North American release to Williams Electronics, and in Europe to both Karateco and Exidy.

What makes this game so unique?

You don’t eat dots- you PAINT THE MAZE!

mt image

Make Trax is a maze game in which the player controls a paintbrush and must paint the entire layout in order to advance to the next stage. Two fish – one yellow, the other light-blue – emerge from separate aquariums to pursue the paintbrush around the board, and if either of the fish succeeds in making contact with the paintbrush, the player loses one of three lives.

And unlike the ghosts- the fish can see you wherever you are in the maze. So, they can plan an attack- most of the time cornering you.

It’s a challenge- checkout Youtuber CrazyClimber 80 playing!

 

I love this game. The maze layout, the roller powerups, The hidden WARP HOLES, the sound, and it’s kooky nature keeps me coming back for more! I might even do a Coin Up episode soon…

How about you? Have you ever played Make Trax? Love it? hate it? let me know in the comments!

Ubernerd’s Top 5 Pac-Man Movie and TV Cameos

Article by Joshua Jordan

Continuing Pac-Man Month here’s another special post celebrating our favorite dot muncher. Since Pac-Man’s creation 40 years ago he has become an intricate part of pop culture. It’s only inevitable that movies and television pay homage to our favorite yellow protagonist. The following are my top five favorite Pac-Man cameos in movies and television:

5. Pixels (2015)


Pixels | Pac-Man Wiki | Fandom

Though I don’t hate Pixels as most people on the internet do, I not a huge fan of it either. One of my favorite parts of the movie is near the middle of the film where the invading aliens take the form of Pac-Man and start destroying the city. It’s up to our heroes to become the ghost and stop him. The best part of it though is one of the people who join the main cast is the real-life creator of Pac-Man Toru Iwatani. He wants to stop Pac-Man and tries to appeal to Pac-Man as a Father. I won’t spoil what happens even though it is in the trailers but I feel it’s one of the funniest parts of the movie. Bonus fact: Iwatani also appears earlier in the movie working as an arcade tech working on a Pac-Man Arcade. 

4. Tron (1982)


Tron is one of my favorite video game movies. I believe this movie is so underrated due to the subject being ahead of its time. As for Pac-Man, his cameo is more of a blink and you’ll miss it one. The picture above shows Stark, the movie’s antagonist looking at a map of The Grid. Taking a close look and you’ll see our little yellow friend. Furthermore you can also hear the Pac-Man noises hidden in the soundtrack. This is one of the greatest video game movies and to have Pac-Man make a cameo just two years after his premiere is just a testament to Pac-Man’s impact on pop culture. 

3. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (2004)