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Power Button - Episode 250: A Dish Of Gaming Comfort Food

Power ButtonIn times of trouble and strife it's nice to be able to reach for that special video game that is always there for you to help cheer you up and take your mind off of your problems.  On this, our two hundred and fiftieth episode of the Power Button podcast, Blake Grundman and I discuss the games that have been there for us when we're down.  All of our favorites are here from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening getting me through a prolonged winter storm power outage to Blake and his father competing at Zen Pinball.  We have over an hour of clicks n' bloops for the soul (is that pun too labored?).  Also, it's the final week to help support Blake in his Extra Life charity campaign, so you'd best get involved with that.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Power Button - Episode 249: Great Minds Think Alike

Power ButtonSometimes, through no fault of their own, rival video game developers independently stumble into the same idea.  On this week's episode of Power Button, we look back at games that competed based on similar concepts: Infamous versus Prototype, Split/Second versus Blur, and so on.   We also look at smash hit games like Street Fighter II and Super Mario Kart and inspired a glut of also-ran imitations.  It's an hour of great minds thinking alike or following the leader.  By the way, why not check out Blake's Extra Life charity goal and see if you can help him out?   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Let's Try To Buy A SNES Classic From Amazon

Amazon Treasure TruckI was fortunate enough to be awake during the four minute window that Amazon.com offered preorders of Nintendo's Super NES Classic mini console somewhere around 4:30am back in August, so I felt confident that I would be happily playing Star Fox 2 and all of my other favorite 16-bit games come release day last week, but then Amazon let me down when they seemingly diverted their preorder allotment stock to their roaming Treasure Trucks.  There's still no estimated shipping date for my preordered console, but those folks who tracked down a Treasure Truck were able to score, right?  Let's go to Platypus Comix's Peter Paltridge who braved the Treasure Truck scheme to try and give Amazon money in exchange for a console and see how well that worked out for him.

The Amazon Treasure Truck was exactly the kind of truck you would expect an SNES Classic to come from. It was a giant, glowing, blaring, gaudy carnival attraction, flashing with lights on every corner. A circular LED display in the center cycled through bright images of the SNES while dual speakers blared out classic Nintendo tunes. As if to say "too much is never enough," a bubble machine sat below the van, blowing out a stream of perpetual bubbles that constantly filled the area.

I approached what looked like a sales counter and casually said to the lady behind it, "They're probably sold out, right?" She said back "No, they aren't!" and pointed to the large table covered by a canopy on the far end. It was covered with glossy bags sporting the Treasure Truck logo, each neatly filled with one SNES Classic machine. There had to be over two dozen!

"I'LL TAKE ONE!"
"Do you have the Amazon app?"
"No, but I brought money--"
"You need the Amazon App to buy a Super Nintendo Classic."

"I can only buy it here with the app?"
"That is correct. But I'll show you where to download it. Do you have your phone?"

"....No."

Amazon made him jump through additional hoops and then, in a frustratingly nightmarish Catch-22 situation, left him starring at consoles on the truck that they would not sell him.  Amazon disappointed a lot of people with their handling of Super NES Classic sales.  I don't know what went wrong or why the company made it so difficult to buy this item from them, but I hope that they get their act together soon and start shipping out consoles to people who ordered them.  To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, Amazon knows how to take the preorders, they just don’t know how to fulfill the preorders and that’s really the most important part of the preorder, the fulfilling. Anybody can just take them.


OverClocked ReMix Album Smashes Records

Smash The Record: The RecordSometimes the talented musicians working through OverClocked ReMix release an album that might as well be called The Songs Of My People, and the latest album, Smash The Record: The Record, is another one of those releases.  Featuring music from Super Smash Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man X5, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, F-Zero, and Kirby Super Star, this album commemorates the Smash The Record 2017 speedrunning tournament.  It's a free download in MP3 and FLAC formats.

Smash The Record: The Record features 7 tracks from 7 artists, arranging music from 6 different franchises tied to Smash The Record 2017's speedruns and tournaments. The event benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through the St. Jude PLAY LIVE charity platform. The album was made by fans, for fans, and is not affiliated with or endorsed by any game publisher or developer; all games, characters, images, and original compositions are copyright their respective owners.

This album was produced to help promote video game music, the amazing Smash The Record speedruns and tournaments, the important work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, all the original composers' compositions, and the talented musical and visual artists that contributed to this project.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite track off this album as they all strike the nostalgia bone just right.  They're all going into my playlist.  Try them out and see if they go into yours, too.


Help Blake Grundman Meet His Extra Life Gaming Charity Goal

Extra LifeYour friend and mine, Power Button's own Blake Grundman, is participating in the Extra Life gaming charity event again this year along with our old podcast pals Keri Honea, Ross Polly, and Chris Nitz.  The four of them will be playing video games live on a Twitch stream for twenty-four hours starting October 21, 2017 to help raise money for children in need at hospitals through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  He's offering giveaways and other fun stuff for donating money.  Why not check out the event and help him meet his goal?

Your participation is key to making this event fun for everyone involved! This is why I have setup two tiers of support that actually have benefits FOR YOU.

For only a $5 contribution you can tell me what to play for a half hour of the marathon. You name it, I'll play it! Want to torture me? Have at it! You will be able to stream my joy or misery firsthand, via Twitch.

For a $10 contribution you can actually get a PC game of your choosing from the list below.

This event is always a fun time.  The last time Blake participated, I made him play my beloved Bionic Commando.  I've already pitched in to help make a difference this year and now I only have to decide which game I want Blake to play during the event.  What do you think, folks?  Aero the Acro-batBubsyPlok?  So many good choices...


Power Button - Episode 247: A Brief History Of Reviews

Power ButtonThis week's podcast focuses on some inside baseball as Blake Grundman and I focus on the process of reviewing video games.  We talk about memorable reviews, how we go about reviewing games, how reviewing has changed over the years, and so much more.  It's a look behind the curtain at how the sausage is made.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Power Button - Episode 246: Jump, Jump, Slide, Slide Into Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

Power ButtonCapcom recently sent Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 out into the world for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC, so with the combined efforts of Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10 back on our radar, it's the perfect time to discuss how these games have aged and what we learned while revisiting them.  All of that nostalgia leads us into our secondary topic for the week in which we discuss franchises that have earned the right to come back in similar legacy collections.  From Castlevania to Contra and beyond, we're ready to look forward to the past.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Gasping For Air In Sonic Mania

Sonic ManiaFans of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog games know all too well what happens when Sonic is underwater for too long.  The happy, upbeat music of the zone quickly gives way to a pulse-pounding, heart-stopping tune of danger.  The beats quicken, the tempo picks up, and if poor Sonic can't find air before it's over (a mere five-count), there's a momentary beat of silence and then... GLUGGGGGG our hero drowns.  There's a whole generation of gamers out there who feel their anxiety involuntarily spike when they hear that warning song. 

A few days ago I was playing the new Sonic Mania and revisiting the joys of Chemical Plant Zone when I faltered and had to race to the top of the flooded chamber before Sonic's air ran out.  The video below is what happened.  My heart is still racing.


Catch The Mania With A Sonic Medley

Sonic the HedgehogThe new Sonic Mania is stirring up lots of nostalgia for the original Sonic the Hedgehog games from the Sega Genesis era, and what better way to celebrate those timeless classics than with a Video Game Live performance off the group's Level 2 album of the credits theme from the original Sonic the Hedgehog?  The credits theme is a medley of songs from each zone of the game, turning this track into a tour through Green Hill Zone, Star Light Zone, Marble Zone, and beyond.  Looks like Video Games Live got them all.


Power Button - Episode 243: Betrayal Most Foul

Power ButtonRipped from the headlines!  On this week's episode of Power Button we shine a light on the selfish, shameless, or otherwise misguided behavior of some of video gaming's most reprehensible traitors and colluders.  Join us for an hour of shocking betrayals, plus we're also giving away a free eShop code for the Nintendo Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass DLC.  Listen to this episode and the send the answer to the contest question to  before the end of the day Monday, July 24, 2017.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.