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…)