Dinosaur Dracula!

Campbell’s Super Mario Soup!

I’m taking a day off from Halloweening, because this just can’t wait.

Three words, everyone.

SUPER. MARIO. SOUP.

New from Campbell’s, Mario and friends have finally been immortalized as broth-soaked pieces of pasta. I heard the news on Tumblr a week or so ago, but it was quickly forgotten under the weight of so many Space Jam GIFs.

As such, spotting Mario in the supermarket was an absolute shock. Not only did I buy a more-than-reasonable number of cans, but I threw each of those cans into my cart with such frantic hysteria that I’m sure – absolutely sure – that someone taped me on their phone, and is now enjoying back-pats within some distant microcosm of social media. Fuck all of them. (more…)

Epoch’s “Dracula” Game, from 1982!

I wrote about this many years ago. Now I will rehash my thoughts in video form!

Epoch’s DRACULA game was released in 1982. Even if its graphics and noises are way dated, the theme hasn’t lost a step. There are monsters, mazes and coffins, and it’s up to YOU to steal Dracula’s gold!

Get the full scoop in today’s vid:

A hint of Halloween?

The Legend of Zelda!

While digging through some more old storage bins, I came across that.

The Legend of Zelda, for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Finding an old Zelda cartridge might normally only be cause for a passing smile, but this was different. This was 100% complete, in its original box, with the manual and everything.

I even have the foam block.

Maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m just old, but I feel like today’s kids couldn’t possibly understand what it was like to get a NES game. It was a different sort of experience. Keep in mind, I’m not calling it a “better” one. Just different.

The game – meaning, the actual playing of the game – was only the half of it. I got just as many jollies from the tangible parts. The box, the cartridge, the manual. Sure, these things still exist, but do they have the same feel?

Today’s games – again, the tangible parts – are more like DVDs. They may be packed nicely with great cover art, but you wouldn’t exactly handle them with rubber gloves. You wouldn’t put them on pedestals, proverbial or not.

(And yeah, I’m excluding super special fancy releases that come with wild bonuses. There are exceptions. I’m speaking generally, here.)

When I got a new Nintendo game, I treated it like a freakin’ puppy. I wanted the box to stay in mint condition forever, even if it never did. I’d place it on my shelf like it was a sports trophy.

And the manuals and other paperwork? God! I didn’t look at my Nintendo manuals like simple tools to help me play more effectively. To me, they were real books. From the story summaries to the intense illustrations, I spent more time reading and rereading certain manuals than I spent playing their associated games.

So yeah, this could be another case of someone believing he had a wholly-different and possibly-better version of what “them kids today” have, but if I had to pick one game to support an argument that it isn’t, I’d go with The Legend of Zelda. (more…)

Nintendo Trophy Figures.

This is a Nintendo Trophy Figure, from 1988. I know it doesn’t look like much, but remember, there weren’t many Nintendo toys at all at that time. These things were gold-by-default.

It was a surprisingly large collection, with characters representing three of the era’s biggest games: Super Mario, Zelda and Punch-Out. (I’m going with the abbreviated titles, because the full versions are stuffed with periods and exclamation points and other things that make grammar checks nightmares.) (more…)

Nintendo Cereal System, from 1988!

Breakfast peaked in 1988. You’d need a strong argument to believe otherwise.

Nintendo Cereal System was its name, and according to everyone who was appropriately-aged in ’88, it was the stuff of the gods. I can think of dozens of cereals I’ve liked more, but never did I NEED one more than this.

Nintendo is obviously still huge today, but back then, it seemed to be the only common ground that linked all kids. The exceptions were too few to count. Everyone had a Nintendo and everyone spoke the language.

A lot of things get “hot” for a while, but Nintendo became so much a part of a kid’s very culture that it was less an “interest” and more a way of life.

So, it only made sense that it’d become a cereal. Of course we were going to eat this. Of course we wanted Nintendo to start our days, even when there wasn’t time to kick Bald Bull’s ass before the bus came. (more…)

Facebook Halloween Games!

Admission: I play too many Facebook games. Way too many. I’ve lost countless hours to those horrible slots, bingo rounds and bubble puzzles. Though I suppose there are worse ways to waste my life. For example, I could spend all my free time painting obscene anti-religion signs using tar and blood. And I don’t do that. This opening could use a script doctor.

Even if you don’t play them, chances are, you’ve heard of the “big ones.” But for every Something-Ville or Zynga smash, there are another thousand titles buried deep in Facebook’s app list, netting only a handful of monthly users.

And that’s where the real action is. (more…)

Fishdom Spooky Splash Game Review.

A series of unlikely keywords led me to Fishdom Spooky Splash, made by Playrix. It’s an easy game with a Halloween twist, where your goal is to fill a virtual fish tank with all manner of macabre ornaments.

Further research tells me that there are other “Fishdom” games, and that this is just a seasonal spin on the original. I’ve never played the rest, but it seems obvious that the version with a Grim Reaper Shark trumps all others.  (more…)