Category Archives: Video Games

Graveyard Duck Episode 2 – Wizards & Warriors

This week we take a look at the NES classic Wizards & Warriors. We share our memories of the game, discuss differences between the NES and Famicom versions, talk about the musical score, and as always, give you tips and tricks.

Don’t forget to keep up with the show and relive all the nostalgia by following us on Twitter (@duckgraveyard) and Facebook. Send us your memories or show suggestions at graveyardduckpodcast@gmail.com. And be sure to check out all of the great content from this show and other nerdy favorites at geeknerdery.com.

Graveyard Duck Episode 1 – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

Welcome to the debut episode of the Graveyard Duck podcast. Listen as your hosts Scott and Wes nerd out about some of their all time favorite retro video games. This week, we look at Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest of the NES and Famicom Disk System.

Oh, and what is a graveyard duck? Listen and find out.

Don’t forget to keep up with the show and relive all the nostalgia by following us on Twitter (@duckgraveyard) and Facebook. Send us your memories or show suggestions at graveyardduckpodcast@gmail.com. And be sure to check out all of the great content from this show and other nerdy favorites at geeknerdery.com.

Capcom Brings Back The Disney Afternoon Collection

Get ready to relive your childhood in the best way possible.  Capcom is bring 6 titles back from their deal with Disney in the 80s and 90s.  For $20 you’ll get Ducktales, Chip N’ Dales Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, and Talespin along with sequels to Ducktales and Rescue Rangers which I don’t remember but I am all about.

For younger players that don’t remember how hard games like these were they have put in special options like REWIND which can help you keep from accidentally jumping into the abyss which was always my problem.  I’d yell at my controller “I HIT JUMP DAMN IT!  WHY DID IT DO THAT!?!?!”

They’re beng released on XboX One, PS4 and PC on April 18th.  Are you excited for the return of these titles?

Star Wars Rebels Brings Fan Favorite Legends Story Into Official Lore

Oh Star Wars: Rebels, you really are winning my heart. After a jump-out-of-your-seat appearance by Grand Admiral Thrawn from Timothy Zahns trilogy of Star Wars Books known as the Thrawn Trilogy, more lore from Star Wars past is now official canon once again.

Zahn’s popular trilogy of books launched a line of over 100 canonical books that expanded on the universe created by George Lucas and with Rebels introducing one of the most memorable characters, Grand Admiral Thrawn, into the official canon, we wouldn’t have to wait long before Disney started to bring in more of the beloved stories into this new expanded universe.

In episode 13 of this season (season 3), comic.com noticed that an ancient conflict known as the Mandalorian War was quickly slipped in under our radar when Kanan Jarrus drops the bomb saying that “History lesson: The Jedi won the war with Mandalore,” bringing the bloody war first introduced in Bioware’s epic Knight of the Old Republic video games into Disney’s fold and of course that also could potentially bring Darth Revan who, spoilers mind you, gave gamers one of the biggest twist endings since The Sixth Sense.

Now, Revan isn’t officially official yet, but the mere mention of the Mandalorian War brings all kinds of possibilities to the table for expansion of dozens of stories and characters from the much beloved Legens universe back into the Star Wars family but giving Disney the freedom from being restrained by all that lore.

NBA JAM (XboX 360)

I recently been playing a lot of NBA JAM for the XboX 360 and it’s bringing me back to the days when I played it on the SEGA Genesis. The 360 version plays as NBA JAM: Tournament Edition, but with updated graphics, audio, and a few added punch-blocks to steal the ball. It’s 100% nostalgia!

The game is a bit faster than what I remember. I haven’t looked at the options to turn down the speed or difficulty, but winning six games out of ten isn’t bad for a plug in play.

I recommend NBA JAM for the 360 if you just wanna have a good time playing a fast paced basketball game and 90’s nostalgia! Now to find a copy of NFL: Blitz.

Thoughts On WWE2K17

Christmas was good to me this year with WWE2K17 waiting in my stocking. After a day of updates and DLC, I finally sat down and played it. You gotta remember I was still playing WWE2K16 for the XboX 360 since its release. Now playing 2K17 on an XboX One is a big improvement. I still have to work out the new submission reversal and as I said in 2K16, there is a one to two second lag when reversing a punch or grapple. But over time I’ll get the hang of it.

The roster alone is stacked! and adding DLC to it, the match making is endless. I went ahead and unlocked all legends and I’m very pleased with the likes of Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. With DLC I did get Goldberg and Nakamura, both worth the couple bones I spent.

I also dabbled in community creations thanks to Drunken Zombie Facebook Fan Dave Drasheff, and found about ten CAWs. Such as Steiner Brothers, Hollywood Hogan, and Chris Hero. With some CAWs looking so good there’s no need for DLC at times. But you gotta have that entrance and theme music.

Overall WWE2K17 is a good wrestling game, a big improvement from 2K16. I know I will be playing this game for a long time.

Friday The 13th The Game Brings In Tommy Jarvis

Ever since it was announced I was super excited about this game.  Why has it taken this long?  The idea of a multiplayer game where one player is Jason and you hunt down, kill, and dismember camp counselors controlled by other players seems like a no brainer.

Add in that you can select specific skins to pick your favorite Jason, different weapons to make the kills variable, and mo-capped by Kane Hodder himself and this becomes a must buy.

Today they broke the news that a new playable character may in fact give Jason a run for his money.  Tommy Jarvis from parts 4-6 has come to Camp Crystal Lake.  This Tommy is based on the version from part 6 when Thom Mathews played him.  He sports the classic denim jacket and bad attitude.

I can’t wait to jump into the game on either side to stalk/run through Camp Crystal Lake and see what Easter Eggs await.  The website http://f13game.com/ allows you preorder the game now.  It looks like the multiplayer version will hit early 2017 with a singler player version coming out later in 2017.  Are you picking this up?

Art of Atari – Bringing the Action Home Again

Art of Atari is a fantastic retrospective of the iconic company’s colorful design history. Written by Tim Lapetino, with a forward by Ernest Cline and an afterword by Robert V. Conte, Art of Atari primarily examines the artistic illustrations behind some of the company’s most famous games and consoles.

Growing up in the early 80’s, one of my first experiences with home video games was at my cousin’s house. I remember playing Combat on the Atari 2600 for hours on end. Even though the graphics were crude, the label art on the cartridge box was astonishing, especially to a kid with an overactive imagination. No longer was I just seeing pixelated squares on the screen – to me those were the very same tanks and planes that I saw on the illustration.

“The box artwork was an essential part of the the ritual of escape you experienced each time you played an Atari game. In a player’s mind, the artwork on the label would be forever linked to the digital artifact inside.”

-From the forward by Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One.

Atari understood that a good illustration would really sell the game. The box art was your gateway into the game world. Look at the cover art of Asteroids for example – there’s a swarm of asteroids closing in on your ship. You’re desperately trying to stay alive. The art tells a story – will you survive the never ending assault? You’ll have to play the game to find out.

As I was reading the book, I realized that while I was familiar with many of Atari’s illustrations, I actually had no idea who the artists were. The author presents many of Atari’s greatest artists here, such as George Opperman, Cliff Spohn, Steve Hendricks, Susan Jaekel, Warren Chang, Terry Hoff, Evelyn Seto, and more. Each artist has a chapter devoted to them, where they talk about their history with Atari and how they came up with their designs.

I was surprised to learn that many of the artists did not actually play the games they did the art for. Often, a programmer would describe their game to the artist, and then the artist would come up with their own concept for what they understood the game to be. The artists were given a lot of freedom to express their ideas of what they thought the game world would be like. Many of them painted their friends and work associates into their designs.In some cases, several of the artists went out and even purchased Star Wars models and ‘kit-bashed’ them together to create new designs. I always wondered why the ship in the Defender art looked like a Star Destroyer. Now I know.

Art of Atari is 350 pages of pure nostalgia for anyone who grew up playing games in the early 1980’s. It is a wonderful collection of Atari’s visual history throughout the years. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in retro games. It is an essential part of the history of video gaming.

Have you played Atari today?

Evil Dead in Videogame

So it looks like Ash will be a character in a new Family Guy mobile game (source).  But this is hardly the first time we’ve seen Ash starring in a video game.

It all started in 1984 if you can believe that. This was in a time before most major consoles, so the game was instead played on Commodore 64. I don’t recommend playing it as it will forever taint your opinion of Evil Dead, but you can at least watch this guy play it.

Ash took some time off after that and didn’t reappear officially until 2000 with Evil Dead: Hail to the King for PlayStation.

Many games use Ash as inspiration for the characters, notably Doom, but it’s good to see the real Ash back in the game.

Review: Garfield Kart (Nintendo 3DS)

I was hoping this game was going to be a Mario Kart clone, well it kinda is because of the racing and all but other than that Garfield Kart is a bad game in general. The controls are loose and clunky and needed to be tighten up. There are only sixteen tracks and they all are about the same. On the plus side you do have a cast of characters from the Garfield universe like Jon, Liz, Arlene and even Pooky. 

The music in the game is repetitive and gets old fast and the power ups don’t work half the time because if you don’t read the digital manual you won’t know what they do. For example, lasagna will make you go faster and a spring will make you jump a few feet ahead.

I dropped thirty bones on this game and after three hours of game play I have beaten every challenge and there isn’t any online multiplayer to keep me coming back. Don’t even bother dropping cash on Garfield Kart, get Mario Kart instead.