Category: Video Games

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Blog, Movies, Video Games

Hunting Easter Eggs

I love Cadbury chocolate. I really do. I think I can probably blame this fact on having British relatives and having a deep English family connection. Cadbury Flakes? Yes, please! And of course, “no bunny” knows Easter like the Cadbury Bunny.

But I did not come to you tonight to talk about chocolate. I came to talk to you about Easter Eggs. Not even the Cadbury Crème ones… or even the ones you hide in early spring that occupy the kids for hours on end, and you end up finding in July after playing a long guessing game of “where’s that smell coming from?”

I’m thinking more of digital Easter Eggs. Hidden rooms, messages, inside jokes or simple artwork found in video games (especially early games) that were part of the inspiration of the movie “Ready Player One.”

So, the first example of a hidden “Easter Egg” comes right from the movie itself. One of the most prominent “eggs” in the movie involves this one from the Adventure game for the Atari 2600, released in 1979:

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Computing, Internet, Video Games

Relive your childhood through your browser

I’ve seen this trend toward classic computing really take off lately. My favorite is probably the Amiga Forever emulator by Cloanto. I like that one because I actually converted several Amiga disks over to *.adf format before disposing of the old Amiga machine.

But now there’s a way to enjoy some “new” classic games straight through your browser. The Internet Archive has recently added several games from the 80’s and 90’s. Just click on the large green power button, and you are on your way!

You should thank me for successfully wasting your otherwise productive day!

College Hunt — Full Sail University

So, we just returned from a trip to central Florida over Christmas break that included a trip to Full Sail University in Winter Park. Allison will be off to college in no time at all, and with her artistic talents we’re looking for a media-rich school for her to attend. Full Sail certainly delivers on all counts.

This video provides a quick tour of the campus. Many of these places we visited during our tour.

Our tour guide, Jim, was very knowledgeable and full of information about the course offerings. There were a few grade school children along for this tour and Jim handled them all amicably. I had felt a little odd about taking Allison as she is just a freshman in high school, but after seeing the younger kids there on the tour, those worries quickly disappeared.

This would have been a top choice school of my own had I known about it in the early 1990s. I was interested at that time in attending Virginia Tech, as they were using Commodore-Amiga computers. I would have leaned toward television and movie post production, I think. I ended up staying local, and getting a well-rounded education here in West Virginia.

The education from Full Sail is very specific to digital media arts, and upon completion, 72% of students wind up working in their field of study. That’s a real-world education. I was impressed by Full Sail’s list of graduates who went on to work for film studios, audio engineering companies, gaming studios, musicians, etc. There are a few awards (Grammy, Emmy) on site that backs up the quality work their grads are capable of.

As I said, Allison still has a couple of years to get things sorted out, but hopefully we can keep Full Sail at the top of a short list.

Pics are below.

Mountaineers, Video Games

Touchdown, West Virginia!

Well, it’s almost football season again. I’m planning on trying to get to the first Mountaineer game of the season this year. It’s often hard to get tickets, so we’ll see.

In the meantime, here’s a (future) highlight video from EA’s NCAA Football 2010:

Video most likely removed from EASports website…

Video Games

Having fun with Wii Music

wii-music

Wii Music is one of those games that people are either going to love or hate.  I’ve only played it just a little bit today since I’ve managed to mangle up my shoulder, but I think I will really enjoy it once I am healed up.

The game is a great introduction to music for children because it focuses on keeping rhythm and musical experimentation.  And I think when I get some friends over it will be a fun party game.

When starting out you have a very limited selection of songs (think “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”) but after watching my kids play through, now I understand why they start you out so simply.

The basic controls of the game are simple.  You just mimic playing the musical instrument your Mii is holding.  Watch this sample video:

I’m looking forward to playing a little bit by myself to try to improve (practice, man, practice!) but the real fun of the game comes when everyone performs together as a group.  After your performance, you have the opportunity to save your collaboration as a video which can be watched and even overdubbed at a later time.  Apparently, creating new videos will open up more songs and more video locations, but I haven’t played enough to see that happen.

Anyway, I think this will be a fun game overall.  But what I’m really looking forward to is having a few friends over, and having us all work on a grand performance.

Video Games

I finally caught the Red Ring of Death

Well, it took two years and three months, but I finally became a victim of the "Red Ring of Death:"

rrod

So I’ve contacted Microsoft support and they (hopefully) will repair it.  I can’t make it "red light on demand" yet.  But pretty much, if I play for just a few minutes it stops working.

This seems to be happing pretty frequently lately, as I’ve gotten a few messages from friends saying "Sorry, I’ll be missing for a few weeks while my system is repaired."  So it looks like all the original systems must have been affected, it’s just taking its good old time on some boxes.

Children, Video Games

Ryan’s video game adventures

Starfox 64Well, this week Ryan beat Starfox 64 that we downloaded a couple of weeks ago from the Wii virtual console.

The boy cracks me up, because he just doesn’t know what he can’t do.  He’s only six.  He can’t beat Starfox 64.  Not at six.

Shoot, it took me and Tina weeks to beat the original Starfox on the SNES back in the early 90’s.

What I find so funny is that he does this with all his games, and it started back in the fall of 2005 with “War of the Monsters” (WotM) for the PS2.  We were in the midst of moving and staying with my mom for a few weeks back in ’05 and we kept the Playstation hooked up to a small TV in the bedroom for entertainment.  A lot of the toys were packed away, so the kids spent an unusual amount of time in front of the TV.

Anyway, at the time, Ryan was 3 years old, getting ready to turn 4.  We dug out an older PS2 demo disc with WotM on it, and that quickly became his favorite game.  He had beaten that demo (even at age 3) in just a week.  So, for his fourth birthday we bought him the full game.

Within two weeks, he had beaten the full game.

So, as I say, he just doesn’t know what he can’t do.

Here is a couple of Starfox videos I found on YouTube that show the endings of the two games… The original Starfox, followed by Starfox 64.

The original Starfox has some of the best original video game music in history.  The strings are incredible!