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Add Some Retro Gaming Books To Your e-Shelf

21 Unexpected Games To Love For The Atari VCS and P.T.: A Video Game Ghost StoryThere are so many great games coming out lately and so many more games that you missed out on go on sale each week, so of course what you need now is some books to read.  You still have a few days to check out the Retro Wonder Game Bundle over at StoryBundle where you can pick up eleven books spanning the world of the Atari VCS to the Famicom Disk System all the way up to the withdrawn P.T. demo from just a few years ago.  It's a great deal. Here's the overall description:

Some of the biggest highlights for this bundle include exclusive ebooks on Hideo Kojima's 'lost classic' horror title P.T., on the Doom franchise's amazing start and triumphant 2016 return, and on unlikely gems for the Atari 2600/VCS (including, yes, E.T the Extra Terrestrial!)

We also have a truly wonderful book on the history of the Xbox, a complete look at the rare Famicom Disk System and its games, and a trilogy of Douglas Adams-style novellas about a retro computer/game collector, as well as rare games revealed from the Unseen64 crew and a look at the historical heroines that come in game protagonist form.

I was given early access to two of the books in the bundle, 21 Unexpected Games to Love on the Atari VCS by John Harris and P.T. - A Video Game Ghost Story by Joel Couture.  Both are great reading.  The Atari volume focuses on old classics that many modern gamers would deride as ancient trash that, nonetheless, hold up in various ways and are a worthwhile opportunity to look back in time at how some of today's modern genres took their first steps out of the primordial gaming ooze.  On the other end of the spectrum, P.T. chronicles Konami's withdrawn demo for the canceled Silent Hills project and examines what makes it so scary and why the publisher pulled the plug on it.  Make time for both of these and the other books in the bundle.  After all, you can't play video games all of the time, so you need to be ready to read about them, too.


Power Button - Episode 261: Catching Up

Power ButtonAfter two months of illness and injuries, Power Button is back on track!  This week Blake Grundman and I spend an hour catching up on some of the noteworthy gaming events that we missed during our time away including our new iPhones, dipping to Batman: The Enemy Within, exploring Kirby Star Allies, and much more.  Join us as we gear up the podcasting machine after hiatus.   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 260: Failure To Relaunch (Part 2)

Power ButtonWe are finally back in the podcasting saddle after two months off due to illness and injury.  More on that in a later episode though because this installment is one of our recordings from the can in which we take up the second half of our discussion about failed video game reboots and relaunches.  Catch up on the first half in Episode 256 and then join us for an hour of kicking around failed titles such as Bomberman: Act Zero, Conker: Live and Reloaded, Splatterhouse, Turok, a fun story about Sonic the Hedgehog at E3, and much more. Also, Blake received something special in the mail recently.   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.


An Evening With Video Games Live

Video Games LiveI love live performances of video game music.  I've been to the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess concerts twice and seen the western pioneer of the genre, Video Games Live, three times over the years in Los Angeles at various E3s, but last week the traveling show made stops in Florida, so obviously my girlfriend and I had to go.  This was her first VGL show and she's a second-generation gamer, so I wanted to make it special.  We had front row center seats that I had to secure a year ago to an amazing evening of gaming's greatest hits past and present. 

Sure, sitting that close means that the big screen displaying gaming clips and other fun programming is slightly blocked by the performers, but you just can't beat being right up close to the action.  VGL founder, host, and performer Tommy Tallarico has a manic energy that you can best see sitting right up front, and when he calls out for responses or requests, it's the front row that he's going to hear.  My girlfriend badly wanted a Borderlands suite, but that wasn't meant to be this time (hey Tommy, add that one to your to-do list!).

Continue reading "An Evening With Video Games Live" »


Street Fighter TV Show In Development

Street Fighter IIThis is early news, but the idea is exciting.  A Street Fighter television series is in the works from the team behind the web series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist.  There's no network, no completed script, or anything like that yet (just the business deal), but there's potential here.  Deadline Hollywood has the news.

Street Fighter the series will draw on the game’s World Warrior story-arc — introduced in the 1991 Street Fighter II: The World Warrior sequel to the original game — as the jumping off point, centering on four protagonists: Ryu, Ken, Guile and Chun-Li. Together, they fight to take down M. Bison, the evil mastermind who runs Shadaloo, a global criminal organization. Though on different journeys, our heroes’ paths will cross as they are drawn into the World Warrior Tournament, a competition devised by M. Bison to find the most powerful and capable fighter in the world. On the journey they come to share, they must draw on their strength, skills, intelligence and loyalty in a battle to survive and emerge as the World Warrior.

Street Fighter has enough characters and just enough lore to make a TV series worthwhile and it gives everyone involved a chance to actually tell the franchise's story in chronological order (none of this sequel, prequel, sequel, interquel, sequel to the interquel nonsense, please).  With the right casting and a slow pace at introducing new characters, I could see this show running for several seasons provided the plot starts out slowly and gives audiences a chance to understand the interpersonal relationships.  Starting out with the premise of a world tournament and then immediately jumping into the madness of Cammy being M. Bison's clone/next body and whatever the hell Seth was trying to accomplish in Street Fighter IV would be too much for those not up on their lore.  Take it slow and do it right.


Health Update: Attack Of The Pancreas

Dr. MarioWhenever I vanish for a prolonged period, you can be sure that a new episode of failing health is behind it.  This time around I'm dealing with an attack of pancreatitis which is a new experience for me.  Sure, I've had my intestines, gallbladder, kidneys, and liver fail at times before (not to mention that time when several of those organs plus others all fused together and had to be surgically separated), but the pancreas is a new spot on the bingo card.  For the past month I've dealt with pain, dehydration, malnutrition, and all of the other fun things that come with a issue adjacent to Crohn's Disease.  I've spent most of the time asleep in bed or at my doctor's office being pumped full of fluids, plus I have new medication to take the stress of my ailing pancreas for a while.  There were two weeks there where I didn't even have the strength to play any video games!  That's how you know things are really tough.  I'll be alright in the end and thankfully I've been able to stay out of the hospital this time, but for now I continue to rest and recover and, yes, I'm back to playing again when I feel up to it.  Thanks for your patience while everything has gone dark temporarily here at PTB.  I'll be back as I continue to feel better and can sit at the PC for longer periods.


Power Button - Episode 259: Movie Mode: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Power ButtonBlake Grundman hijacks the topic this week for an hour of discussion about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  Spoilers abound and may the Force be with you!   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 257: 2017's Biggest News Revisited

Power ButtonWe always take a look back at the previous year and close the books on it each January, so this week's Power Button podcast episode sees Blake Grundman and I joined by Ross Polly, our Special E3 Correspondent live from the Los Angeles Convention Center loading dock (we really should let him come home one of these days).  The three of us spend a supersized show talking about the big gaming news from 2017 including the rise of the Nintendo Switch, the end of the Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft Xbox One trying to change its image with more 4K & less Kinect, the continued rise of eSports in surprising places, loot box controversies, and much more.   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. Next Week: We wrap up 2017 with our annual Game Of The Year episode.


Power Button - Episode 256: Failure To Relaunch (Part 1)

Power ButtonI was overjoyed when Accolade returned from the grave in 2017 and announced a revival of everyone's favorite chatty bobcat, Bubsy.  Starring in the sequel/reboot Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back for the Sony PlayStation 4 and PC, Bubsy's big revival stumbled out of the gate which brought to mind other moribund franchises that came back and then left again just as quickly.  On this week's Power Button episode, Blake Grundman and I discuss the new Bubsy which leads us into some of our favorite and reviled video game reboots. Also, it's last call as our annual News of the Year and Game of the Year episodes are coming up and we want you to get in on the fun!   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 254: Dumb Moments In PR History

Power ButtonHuman meat.  Balloons.  Armed robbers.  Animal sacrifice.  Brass knuckles.  Sure, these sound like ingredients for an unforgettable weekend, but they're also tools of the trade for video game public relations firms for use in advertising campaigns.  On this week's episode of the Power Button podcast, Blake Grundman and I look at some of the dumbest, most irresponsible (and in some cases illegal!) moments in game advertising and promotions.  From Homefront to Mass Effect 3 to Resident Evil 5 and beyond, we have a list of astoundingly bizarre and dangerous campaigns that will boggle your brain. Also, our annual News of the Year and Game of the Year episodes are coming up and we want you to get in on the fun!   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. Next Week: It's a cavalcade of Capcom as we celebrate announcements regarding Mega Man 11 and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.