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Column: Game Ads A-Go-Go

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Fighting Game Teaser Ads

September 28, 2006 6:16 PM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' was a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive game magazine collection.]

This column was started back in March as a noble experiment into seeing whether I could say dumb things about video game advertisements with any sort of regularity. I'm sorry to say that I have failed miserably, as my commentary was almost always thoughtful, enlightened, and filled with rare insight, while typically leading toward the factual-analytical end of the bullshit continuum. However, this time -- in my last Game Ads A-Go-Go Column -- I promise that I will not fail you.

Why no more Game Ads A-Go-Go? Because this is my 16th entry in this series and I feel that it's time to move on to something fresh. It's been tons of fun, and I've really enjoyed writing for you, so don't be surprised if you see another RedWolf column on GSW soon about something actually serious, like analyzing structural motifs in Shigeru Miyamoto's fibrous navel lint (scientists have recently found that there's a surprising amount of stuff in that weird Japanese hole). Or, perhaps, I was thinking of doing a Jason Scott fan column. But in the mean time -- if you miss me -- you can always find me over at Vintage Computing and Gaming.

For now, however, we'll be looking at fighting game teaser ads! Prepare Yourself.


Not Actually Evil, Just Bad

The moral of this ad is simple: you can't tease someone with something that no one wants. So don't be pretentious enough to try it with Double Dragon V -- quite possibly one of the worst games of all time.

I would write more, but Shredder here has got them evil googly eyes that always make me nervous, even if in a facetious space-filler-writing kind of way. Besides, the people at TradeWest could have learned a lot from the following company...

---


A Little Bit Better

Now this is a game that many, many people wanted to play, even if it was the 15th minimally-changed version of a title released only three years earlier. Not since the likes of Mega Man have we seen such a case of sequel diarrhea. Coming Next Year: Super Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting Byzantine Champion Edition 2 Mini Puzzle Pals III.

Despite Capcom's "Adam, Prince of Eternia"-like attempt to act tough here, this ad still pales in comparison to our next contender...

---


Kome Kloser to the Kloset

Prepare Yourself to Kave into Kravings for Kombat (or for Kellogg's Krusty Killer Kobs of Korn). Ahem...I mean, only one out of the six ads above was not kreated by Midway, the master of all Teaser ads. But they all have to do with one thing: Qombat. Mortal Qombat, that is, the greatest fighting game series of part-time.

So let's see...we've got Mortal Qombat, Mortal Qombat Trading Qards, Mortal Qombat CD, Mortal Qombat II, a Mortal Qombat II (and Super Sleet Fighter II) rip-off controller, and another Mortal Qombat II. It took me forever to scan these ads because they were literally about 8 feet long by 11 feet wide, and I had to enlist the help of an entire Gnome brigade to carry the scanner across the pages.

This just in: after some careful checking, it seems that my measurements in the last page-size estimate might have been slightly inaccurate, but nonetheless, scanning the ads was still quite a chore since I am only four inches tall. It took me about three days to finish the task, and in the middle of day two, the elves (gnomes...whatever) went on strike over low wages. After that, it was up to me and my well-trained miniature oxen team (dragging a plough-like makeshift scanning device constructed of bits of scrap aluminum) to finish the job. But thank God we did, or else this kolumn would not be possible.

So by now, you've probably guessed that I don't actually have much to say about these ads, except for the fact that three out of six of them involve an electrostatic atmospheric disturbance known as lightning. Four out of six involve a circular dragon logo that some have rumored to not actually be an ancient Chinese fertility symbol. But I definitely don't believe them, because I've had seven immaculately-conceived butt-kids since 1992 thanks to repeatedly playing this game series. And three out of six ads involve the declaration "Prepare Yourself," but I have always been confused about this, as two of the six clearly state that "Nothing, NOTHING, Can Prepare You." So to find the true meaning behind this apparent set of mixed messages, we have to combine the two into "Nothing, NOTHING, Can Prepare You Yourself," which -- I think -- was the slogan for Mortal Qombat 3. That's probably why it didn't sell as well as the first two.

So until we meet again, live long and prosper, my friends. Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

---

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. Have you ever chewed so much bubble gum that it makes your whole jaw and neck hurt? Well, he just did.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Games You've Never Heard Of

August 31, 2006 3:31 PM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive game magazine collection.]

While thumbing through old video game magazines, it's inevitable to find ads for some games that you've never even heard of. But I have done one better: I have found ads for games that nobody has ever heard of. That's right; no human being living on Earth knows that these games exist (Don't even bother to challenge me, because I don't count undead zombies as "human beings living on Earth"). In fact, these games are so obscure that they don't even "exist" in a traditional sense -- they occupy a slippery, hazy nether region of space: half here, half there, phasing in and out of our reality and into worlds unknown. Which brings us to the all-important question: if a game falls in a forest, and nobody is there to play it, does it make a sound?


Absolutely Not Derivative in Any Way

Ok, so you're creating a new video game, but the "creating" part is just too hard. What should you do? Not to fear; you can pull a time-tested maneuver that game developers continue to use today: simply combine disparate elements of established pop culture and forcefully cram them into the most popular game genre of the time. Before you now lies only one result of that very popular practice: Socket. One part Plucky Duck from Tiny Toons, and one part Sonic the Hedgehog, Socket is a bad dude with a tude just itchin' to be rude. Did I mention that he's blue and can run really fast?

As far as ridiculous obscure games go, this one takes the cake, freezes it with liquid nitrogen, and smashes it with a sledgehammer. Then eats it.


---


Slip Slip Slippin' Through Tiieeeiiime

I have absolutely no idea what this game is about; I've never played it. But if I were to guess from the ad's imagery, it's probably about an insectoid alien robot with a gun who forces you to travel through time, blowing enemies away, to work off your intergalactic bar tab. Sounds kinda like Contra, but shitty.


---


Vasteely Dan: The Impossible Game

Just about every game for the TG-16 Turbo CD platform is obscure, mostly because only around 5-6 living, breathing, non-zombie humans own a Turbo CD unit. But this game (like the others, I might add), is not even listed on MobyGames -- that wonderful oracle of gaming knowledge -- so there's no telling what really goes on inside its twisted code. The very fact that this game purports to combine "arcade action" and "intense strategy" sounds a little suspicious to me. That's like combining the words "slow" and "fast" into a new unspeakably self-contradictory word that brings the universe to a halt and makes every atom in your body vaporize simultaneously. It's almost as if this "game" was a practical joke by the Japanese on the western video game market. "Ha ha! Lazy Americans will be so mind-boggled, their heads will explode!" Well...consider my head exploded.

But if what this ad says about the game is actually true, then humanity has a long way to go before we're ready to wield such awesome, concentrated power in a single video game. It's best to seal it away in a deep, lead-lined vault and mark it "Do Not Open 'Til 3264." Maybe then we'll finally be ready as a species to play the marvel of gaming that is Vasteel.


[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. He also loves tacos.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Out-Of-Context Game Ad Illustration Face Quiz #2

August 17, 2006 5:52 PM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

Welcome back, my game ad-loving friends! I thought I'd follow up on a popular previous edition of Game Ads A-Go-Go with another exciting installment of the same thing. Just like last time, I have assembled a selection of out-of-context illustrated faces from video game magazine advertisements. On each question, you will be presented with a number of choices, only one of which is the correct answer. After you've thought hard and written down your answer (no cheating!), you can view the correct answer by clicking on each link below the question. Doing so will reveal the full ad and put the faces in context. Then see how you stack up against your so-called friends. Good luck!


Question #1

facequiz2_1.jpg

Look at the picture above. This man is...

a. Selling hotdogs at a football game
b. A cherubic baseball player with a stiffy
c. One of Santa's helper elves
d. Catching a gigantic fish without realizing it
e. Both a. and c.

Click here for the answer.


Question #2

facequiz2_2.jpg

Look at the picture above. This man is...

a. Bono from U2 getting elbowed in the face
b. A patient who just got his eyes dilated at the optometrist
c. David Copperfield's stunt double, circa 1988
d. A mysterious master of martial arts, partially obscured
e. Eating fuzzy, fuzzy wieners


Click here for the answer.


Question #3

facequiz2_3.jpg

Look at the picture above. This entity is...

a. An exciting new Disney villain
b. A flaming ping pong ball with a face
c. Estonia's national flag come alive
d. A ghost trapped in a pinball machine
e. Some fat dude in an oven

Click here for the answer.


Question #4

facequiz2_4.jpg

Look at the picture above. This man is...

a. Traveling through space and time in slow motion
b. Getting his face sucked off by the Nothing
c. Trying to remember where he put his glasses
d. A famous golfer violently swinging a club
e. A chess player on an Atari 2600 game box
f. Bleeding mustard

Click here for the answer.


Bonus Question (Extra Credit)

facequiz2_5.jpg

Look at the picture above. This man is...

a. Fighting in a karate tournament
b. Getting blasted in the face with Skittles
c. A vivid allegory of drug abuse
d. Experiencing a tingling of his spider sense
e. A happy Olympic diver

Click here for the answer.


Making the Grade

So, how well did you do? Tally up your score (one point for each correct answer), add five to that, then subtract 3.828. The resulting number you get will be completely meaningless, but you can post it on your refrigerator and feel proud.

Well, that's all for now. Until next time, this is the RedWolfster saying, "Don't forget to cry like a tiny hurt child when your momma tries to blackmail you into buying beer for her and her hairy lover."

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. He is also a professional expert consultant in turnkey solutions to corporate feasibility stratagems.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Bad Game Names to Blame

August 3, 2006 5:42 AM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

August, 1863. After suffering a crushing defeat in the sweltering noon-day sun near Virginia's Chidahoke River, Confederate General William T. Cornhusk Bootstrap Wallace Davidson and his regiment, the famous "Fighting Fifty-Three," were driven north of Richmond into prime enemy territory. After forty days of relentless marching and three days of brutal combat, the regiment was on the brink of starvation and collapse. Desperate for a break, the "Fifty-Three" camped in the deep and varied crevices of Salty Forge on the night of August 3rd, near the rose garden of Henrietta Farnsworth (widow of cotton magnate Larson Farnsworth). It was then that Gen. Davidson coined his famous saying: "A rose by any other name would still taste like trifled horse manure."

And so it is with games. No matter what their name, they always taste terrible. Just the other day I tried spreading a little Maki Maki San Toto Butler Smash!! on my toast and it left me retching. Below are some ads for games with absolutely terrible names, along with a brief description of how they would taste if you ate them.


---


Stop Hitting Yourself

The Name: Revengers of Vengeance

What's a revenger, you ask? It's someone who revenges, silly. As in, "I'm going to revenge you!" and "Revengers Assemble!" According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, a "revenger" is someone who "inflicts punishment in return for (injury or insult)." And what are the intrepid revengers in this game revenging? Why vengeance, of course, or "infliction of punishment in return for a wrong committed; retribution." So you see, revengers of vengeance seek vengeance in return for vengeance. I can think of no other conclusion than that these poor people are locked in an endless cycle of self-flagellation. That explains why it's only a one-player game where your character spends most of its time beating itself up. The self-fatality animations are especially well done.

If you play/eat this fighting game (which is "based on a true story," by the way), just be aware that "some scenes may be too intense for those who do not seek vengeance" (upon themselves). Also, I find that "Barko" and "PsyBart" are the strongest characters in the game.

This Game Would Taste Like: Wrigley's Beef-Flavored Bubble Gum


---


"Here Standeth I, Lodor, Lord of All Brains."

The Name: Brain Lord

I actually own Brain Lord. The first time I ever played it, I was expecting to be amazed and astounded by the best looking giant crazy brain imagery I'd ever witnessed on a television screen. Boy, was I disappointed. Not only were there no giant crazy brains, but there were quite simply no brains at all. Man, Enix's localization team really missed the boat on this one.

I suspect that when this game was in the prototype stage, someone at Enix put the wrong label on the wrong game. As a result, there's some freaky, whacked-out Japanese shoot-em-up floating around out there featuring flying giant crazy brains called "T. Hondo's Lackluster Action-RPG."

This Game Would Taste Like: FlavorLess (TM) Brand Goatmeal


---


Welcome to my Navy

The Name: Flying Nightmares

If my nightmares could fly, they'd look exactly like Harrier jump jets equipped with AGM-65E Laser Maverick missiles, AIM-9M Sidewinders, and GBU-16 1000lb laser guided bombs. No, I'm not being facetious. I'm not even being facetious about not being facetious. My nightmares could quite literally blow your ass out of the sky. That's why I never sleep.

RedWolf's Full Nightmare Armament:

MK-82 series 500lbs bombs
MK-83 series 1000lbs bombs
GBU-12 500lbs laser guided bombs
GBU-16 1000lbs laser guided bombs
AGM-65F IR Maverick missiles
AGM-65E Laser Maverick missiles
CBU-99 cluster munitions
AIM-9M Sidewinders
Lightening II targeting POD to deliver GBU-12 and GBU-16 bombs with pinpoint accuracy.

This Game Would Taste Like: Country-Fried Ass

---

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: A Serious, Frank Discussion on Overcomplicated Ads

July 20, 2006 1:50 PM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

After writing too many funny and highly entertaining columns in succession and attracting many admirers (*ahem*), I thought I would try as hard as I could to make this column not funny at all. Therefore, I will be discussing the following overcomplicated and poorly-designed ads as seriously and humorlessly as possible.


Baseball So Real, It's Really Complicated

tecmo_baseball_large.jpg

Some people would find this supremely overcomplicated, screenshot-filled sports game ad hilarious. But let me tell you something, mister: sports game ads are no laughing matter. Two-hundred innocent children died in the making of this very game. So the next time you snicker at an ad like this, remember that you're doing it at the expense of a dead child who has been robbed of life before his time by the evil slave-drivers at Tecmo.


BAM! BOOM!

superloopz_large.jpg

I know what you're thinking: "Man, I really wish I could eat some tasty Froot Loops right now." But how on Earth can you think of food at a time like this? Can't you see that innocent children all over the world are starving to death because they don't even have one scrap of dirt to eat? Can't you get off your butt for one minute and at least send a couple boxes of Super Blasto-Frosties over to China?

What? I heard that, you heartless bastard.


The Ultimate Scoring Machine

tt_sport_large.jpg

Why are you wasting your time looking at useless old ads right now anyway? You should be out in the real world saving innocent children from constant exploitation.

Can't you get your priorities straight? There you are, stocking your cushy, plush-walled game room with thousands of dollars worth of "video games" every year, when children all around the world can't even earn one dollar from making air-filled tennis shoes to buy a single marble to play with. There's only one thing to do about this: you should sell your entire video game collection and buy some marbles for the kids. In fact, sell everything you have and donate the money to somebody else, because you're too selfish. Oh, I hear your whining -- "But I need food, shelter, clothing, a car, a house...a private jumbo jet!" Well Blah Blah Blah! You don't really need those things.

The starving children of the world do.


Get Your Kicks on the Go!

Oh, and one more thing -- I'm not done with you yet. See the ad above? Well, the heartless, brutal, innocent-child killer featured in this ad should definitely not be admired or glorified in an ad for an obvious murder simulator / soccer game. Depressed that his football career was all washed up, Kimmler Dietrich ran down a line of twenty dirt-eating children last year in Baden Baden. Oh, the brutality. The cruelty. The heartlessness. I also heard that he's a godless, devil-worshipping homo-erotic lesbian bisexual abortionist sinner that doesn't even go to church to repent for his blatent blasphemy. Knowing his history, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Will somebody please help me kill him?

---

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. Please direct all hate-mail to yourself.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Deeply Disturbing Game-Related Ads

July 6, 2006 8:02 AM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

Welcome back, ad-fans, to Game Ads A-Go-Go! This week I have collected for you three ads that I personally find disturbing for various different reasons. That doesn't mean that you'll find them disturbing, but hopefully you can at least laugh at the nervous paranoia and general mental instability that is manifested in my reaction to certain game magazine ads. In each case, I've presented the ad itself, why it disturbs me, and some psychoanalytical and physiological musings over why it is disturbing. So pull out your therapists' couch and kick back for a strange and wonderful journey deep within the human psyche.


Case #1

momboy_large.jpg

Product Featured in Ad: Handy Boy, Handy Gear

What Disturbs Me About the Ad: The implication that this kid/man is not properly returning the affections of his girlfriend/mother, choosing instead to focus them on a hyper-accesorized handheld video game system.

Underlying Psychological Cause for Disturbance: Inbreeding is not only taboo in nearly every civilization on Earth, but it is also bad for the genetic diversity of a species. Also, immature males over the age of twenty are commonly frowned upon in today's productivity-driven, creativity-deprived adult American work culture.

Comments: "Sometimes life can be complicated..." No shit. Especially when you're an overgrown man-child who's cheating on your mom with a Game Boy.

---


Case #2

cyberpad_large.jpg

Product Featured in Ad: CYBERPad

What Disturbs Me About the Ad: Passively positioned skeletal human forearm jutting forth from TV screen, ready to spring to life at any moment and strangle you. Glowing sparks from broken CRT could set fire to nearby polyester-blend stuffed Mario collection.

Underlying Psychological Cause for Disturbance: Skeletons typically symbolize death because they are usually covered in certain biological materials conducive to the state of being alive. If found uncovered, death has likely occurred in the organism. Death itself is disturbing because it implies an end to existence. And death emerging from a common household TV set is just not supposed to @$%*ing happen.

Comments: The tagline for this controller should be "Makes your worst nightmares come true." Scary ads like this are why religion was invented (*ahem*, I mean, bestowed upon humanity by God).

---


Case #3

gotpanic_large.jpg

Product Featured in Ad: Panic (Sega CD)

What Disturbs Me About the Ad: I really don't care for the font used in the tagline.

Underlying Psychological Cause for Disturbance: Fonts can be extremely disturbing if used improperly. This phenomenon has been demonstrated numerous times by several prominent Dutch experimental psychologists (Devenpeck, 1997). Fanciful lettering observed by the eye is transmuted and processed by the scripticile command center of the brain, also known as the fontainebleau nodule. (Onderdonk, 1967). This all-important nervous center overloads and shuts down when bombarded with too much lateral fontitude, causing serious mental disturbance (also see Greki, 1989, and Vanderveergul, 1995).

Comments: If you're going to parody the "Got Milk" ad campaign, then at least get it right and use the proper post-modern Gravadia Sans-Serif Semi-Bold 104 instead of the cheap Spanish font sweatshop wood-carved imitation, Grasazda Extra Smooth 72!

---

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: It's a Jungle Out There

June 22, 2006 9:30 AM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

After my last column's flirt with actially being funny, I though I'd set back all the progress I've made and go back to presenting ads in a more traditional fashion (i.e. accompanying them with completely nonsensical commentary). I'll likely be doing this until I can cook up another presentation gimmick. Anyhow, this week it's all about animals: what they eat, what they wear, how they live. And it turns out they live inside video game ads. Let's check 'em out.


Never Give Your Penis to an Alligator

alligatorstick_large.jpg

Let's face it: joysticks and alligators don't mix. That's why I keep my alligators and joysticks in separate piles (in quantities of fifteen to twenty) at least five meters apart. If somehow these two base alchemical ingredients combine, out pops a magical wrestle-happy native islander boy with greased hair. And trust me, if you collect more than a few of those, it's a big pain in the ass because you need to keep them in yet another pile (quanitiy ten to fifteen) at least twenty meters away from the first two piles -- lest you find yourself with another reaction that results in plastic half-eaten watermelons named Dave.


Gorillas in the Box

gorillastick_large.jpg

Let's face it: gorillas eat people. That's why scientists at ASCIIWARE have developed a new tiny gorilla that is simply too small to devour humans. Animal behaviorists (likely bitter about their low wages) have specially trained these apes to lean on random objects and make loud mechanical tractor noises with their lips while you're trying to play Donkey Kong. They're a real marvel of modern science. The only question is: how do they fit such tiny gorillas in such a huge box?


They Called them "Chimplights"

chimplight_large.jpg

Let's face it: before the invention of the Light Boy, we all had to keep these things around. And by "things," you know exactly what I mean -- I'm talkin' chimps. Chimps are horrible cooks and they get highly aggressive and ornery past the age of three. But before 1991, they were absolutely necessary for Game Boy illumination. So imagine my surprise when one day, while strolling on the grounds of my ranch (and coincidentally wandering past a large pile of used chimps), I received a Priority Alpha telegram from Vic himself (that's "Mr. Tokai" to you) telling me that he had developed cutting-edge chimp replacement technology. Having such faith in Vic and all his endeavors (as I always do), I immediately let Bulumbo go. I've been chimp-free ever since, and I feel like a new man. Thanks, Vic. You're a pal.

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Out-Of-Context Game Ad Illustration Face Quiz

June 8, 2006 8:31 AM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

Welcome back, friends. In all my...two months of game ad punditry research, I've discovered that blatantly taking things out of context is a time-honored comedy tactic that rarely fails. So, in the interest of entertainment, I have assembled some of the best out-of-context illustrated game ad faces in the universe and turned them into a little quiz. On each question, you will be presented with a number of choices, only one of which is the correct answer. After you've thought hard and written down your answer (no cheating!), you can view the correct answer by clicking on each link below the question. Doing so will reveal the full ad and put the faces in context. Then see how you stack up against your friends. Good luck!


Question #1

facequiz1.jpg

Look at the picture above. Is this man:

a. Fighting a demonic gladiator summoned from Hell
b. Begging for mercy from his abusive mother
c. About to be dissected in an alien prison
d. Stuck behind the answer board on Jeopardy
e. A really bad volleyball player

Click here for the answer.


Question #2

facequiz2.jpg

Look at the picture above. Is this man:

a. Being tackled by a policeman at an outdoor rock concert
b. Having a colonoscopy
c. Badly piloting a jet pack
d. Sticking his head out of a train window
e. Both b. and d.

Click here for the answer.


Question #3

facequiz3.jpg

Look at the picture above. Is this man:

a. Narrowly dodging plasma blasts
b. Taking part in a live action Pac-Man reenactment
c. Playing tennis
d. Eating a really fast hamburger
e. Really a woman

Click here for the answer.


Question #4

facequiz4.jpg

Look at the picture above. Is this man:

a. All of the below
b. A midget
c. A bodybuilder
d. A pissed-off vigilante with a thirst for alien blood
e. Secretly measuring his penis

Click here for the answer.


Bonus Question (Extra Credit)

facequiz5.jpg

Look at the picture above. Is this man (to the left):

a. A king among men, ready to lead a brave band of adventurers to victory
b. A sport spectator with a gay-looking hat
c. Richard Garriott making a cameo in a tennis game ad
d. All of the above

Click here for the answer (look carefully).


Making the Grade

So, how well did you do? Tally up your score (one point for each correct answer), add seven to that, then divide it by two. The resulting number you get will be completely meaningless, but you can post it on your refrigerator and feel proud. Heck, I'm proud of ya -- but I'm your mom, so I guess it doesn't count.

Well, that's all for now. Until next time, this is the RedWolfster saying, "Eat your prayers, say your vegetables, and don't forget to punch your uncle in the kneecap."

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. He is also a very silly person.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Visual Hyperbole

May 25, 2006 5:29 PM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

Welcome back to another extremely whimsically over-analytical edition of Game Ads A-Go-Go! I'm actually finally almost done moving, so I have more time this week to write total pap. In this episode, we'll be focusing on what I like to call "visual hyperbole." Hyperbole (pronounced hi-per-bo-lee), for those who don't know, essentially means "extreme exaggeration." There are many examples of visual hyperbole in video game ads of yore since the advertisers typically want to get their point across in the most dramatic way possible. Let's take a look at a few.

All Hail The Great Shodown

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Somewhere in the South Pacific there lives a race of tiny people in baseball caps that worships a god known as Shodown. The mighty Shodown, in an impressive display for his peoples, regularly manifests himself as a colorful upright wooden cabinet in a local cave. Every week the people of the village gather around Shodown to beg for mercy and forgiveness:

"Oh Great Shodown, we have worshiped you plenty. We have given you trinkets of rock and bone. Why, oh why have you not watered our crops this season?"

Normally, Shodown only responds to their pleas with swirling lights and sound. But one week, Shodown finally replied:

"Trinkets of rock and bone are not enough to satisfy the great Shodown. I require a much greater sacrifice: that of a large metal disc with a picture of a man's head impressed upon it!"

Puzzled by their god's request, the people went to their village's greatest minds: blacksmiths with years of experience in crafting odd metallic things. It took all of the village's blacksmiths working together for seven days and seven nights to craft the perfect metal disc for Shodown. Soon after, the people took the disc to Shodown and deposited it into a slot in the front of Shodown's cabinet. Another week passed, and the people returned, saying:

"Shodown, we have worshiped you plenty. We have given you the sacrifice you requested. Why, oh why have you not watered our crops this season?"

The great booming voice of Shodown replied:

"Last year, one disc was plentiful for Shodown. This year you must deposit four discs before I water your crops."

---

Folk tales aside, there is something else you should know about this ad. Look in the print at the bottom and you'll find this:

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The Best Rack in Town

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"Finally, there's a video pool game that actually 'feels' like real billiards."

I'm completely confused. First, this ad tells us to "chalk up" (Dude), then it tells us not to ("Do not try this at home" in the fine print), then they throw in a couple crude references to breasts, and then they finally reveal that all this hullabaloo is actually about a video pool game, and that we're not actually supposed to use our fingers as pool cues. Talk about mixed messages. Am I supposed to play with my fingers? Not play with my fingers? Chalk my fingers? Chalk the cartridge? Grope the billiard balls?

I think we're just better off skipping this game and playing a different one.

Be Careful What You Wish For

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The other night I was in a similar situation as the young fellow pictured in this ad. I was sitting in my living room playing a crappy baseball game on my Intellivision, when I off-handedly remarked to my friend that someone should make a more realistic baseball game. Just then, a baseball hurled through my living room window, completely shattering the glass and hitting me in the head. My friend walked away with a few small glass shards in the arm, but I was knocked unconscious for a couple hours. When I awoke, a stunning revelation hit me: someone already has made a more realistic baseball game. It's called Baseball and people play it all the time. Then I jumped up, grabbed my shotgun, did a dramatic roll on the floor, popped up in front of the window and blasted the kid outside who threw the baseball at me.

Shortly afterward, in the police car, I realized that I had a problem with distinguishing video games from reality.

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years.]

Game Ads A-Go-Go: Bad Game Ad Puns

May 11, 2006 5:50 AM |

vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

Who knew that moving gigantic boxes of hundreds of heavy game magazines would be so hard? I guess I did...or I should, since I moved them out of storage recently for use in this column. But now I have to move them all again, along with bajillions of (metric) buttloads of other heavy stuff into my new Snarky Commentator Headquarters (SCH), which is located on the opposite side of town. Despite the immense and neverending Great Move, I took a short break today to bring you a few new ads for your consumption. This week's column deals with bad written puns in game advertising. Let's take a look.

Take a Byte Out of Crime

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In this The Lawnmower Man ad, Time Warner Interactive crams not one, but five bad puns into one page, all dealing with the word "byte." Get out your Magic GoGo-Pens at home and see if you can spot all five. 1000 GoGo-Points to the person who finds them all first!

Actual Scream Shot

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Wow. The resolution of that image is pretty good considering it's an actual 3DO game screen shot. Oh wait...it says "SCREAM SHOT." *slaps forehead* Silly me. Turns out it's just another boring picture of a velociraptor screaming.

Rune Your Day

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Like any hardworking man, I need variety in the ways I ruin my day. That's why FCI has released "the ultimate game," Ultima: Runes of Virtue II, for both the Super Nintendo and Game Boy systems. Now I can ruin my day twice: once at home, and once on the go by playing this horrible game. Incredible technology, really.

[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. He is also a big fan of bacon.]