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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.


Power Button - Episode 258: The Best That 2017 Had To Offer

Power ButtonAs we finish our wrap-up of 2017, it's time for our annual Game of the Year episode in which Blake Grundman and I discuss the best games of the past year along with a few honorable and dishonorable mentions.  We have a supersized two hour show for you this week because there were a lot of games last year that are worth some discussion.  From Destiny 2 to Bye Bye BoxBoy and beyond, there's certainly a lot to discuss.   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're going back to a galaxy far, far away for a special Star Wars discussion.


Street Fighter V's Balrog Theme Is Right On The Fight Money

BalrogI walked away from Street Fighter V back in 2016 after a few weeks of playing through what little single-player content the game offered, and while there was a solid fighting game at its core, there just wasn't enough to do that kept me engaged.  Now that Capcom has added an actual Arcade Mode that goes above and beyond my expectations, I'm back into the fray and exploring just how much the game has expanded with post-release content over the past two years. 

One aspect that has really captured my attention is the soundtrack, particularly new remixes and rearrangements of my favorite music from Street Fighter II.  Ken, Zangief, Ryu, and Guile all have rocking new tunes scoring their battles, but Shadaloo enforcer and dirty cheat Balrog has to have the absolute best new take on a familiar theme.  Check out his personal theme song and marvel at how it's structured like a flashy, glitzy Las Vegas boxing match.  I can practically envision Balrog making his entrance into the ring and then letting loose with a flurry of punches... then throwing it all away with illegal headbutts.  "You should be grateful you even had a chance to step into the ring with me!"


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 255: The Mega Man 11 And Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Cavalcade Of Capcom

Power ButtonCapcom is going all-in on new nostalgia with the announcements of Mega Man 11 and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection due out in 2018 for all major current generation consoles (including Nintendo Switch) and PC.  On this week's podcast, Blake Grundman and I discuss the news and kick around our hopes and dreams for the new titles.  There's a lot of potential here and we're eager to see Capcom reach it. Looking ahead, 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.


Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Announced

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Capcom's venerable Street Fighter franchise so it's only right that the publisher bundle up the most important games in the series for a new compilation.  Coming to the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in May 2018, get ready to revisit the original Street Fighter (not properly seen in many, many years), Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter III: Second Impact, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike.  That's a lot of street fighting!  Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike will also include online multiplayer modes, leaderboards, and other fun online stuff.  Here's the announcement trailer.

This is far more a complete package than I'd have expected from Capcom.  It's developed by Digital Eclipse (who brought us the first Mega Man Legacy Collection and The Disney Afternoon Collection) so I'm already comfortable with their track record.  Expect plenty of fun museum inclusions.  Not included are all of the home port off-shoots of these games.  For instance, the Sony PlayStation Portable version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 was entitled Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX and included extra characters not seen in the arcade game, while the Game Boy Advance version was Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper and featured different bonus characters.  The last special anniversary iteration of Street Fighter II, Hyper Street Fighter II for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, is missing in action, as is the HD incarnation Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  Will any of that matter?  Probably not!  There's more than enough to play in this compilation, particularly for Switch owners.  Kinda makes that Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers launch window title seem redundant now.


Star Trek Shooter Elite Force Endures

Star Trek: Elite ForceWhen it comes to video games based on the long-running Star Trek franchise, results mostly span from terrible to just mildly good, but there is one Star Trek game that has stood the test of time and manages to be not just a great Star Trek game, but a great game overall.  2000's Star Trek: Elite Force casts players as Ensign Munro (male or female version available) aboard the lost Starship Voyager during Star Trek: Voyager's sixth season.  Developed by Raven Software and published by Activision, this first-person shooter combines familiar shooter conventions of the day with plenty of Star Trek scenery and flavoring.  The cast of the TV show even reprise their roles.  Over at TrekNews, Kyle Hadyniak looks back on why Elite Force endures all these years (and Trek relaunches) later.

“We needed schematics and layouts for Voyager so we could accurately create our game levels,” said [game directory Brian] Pelletier. “On one of the trips to Paramount Studios, I met with legendary Star Trek visual designer Rick Sternbach, who had done many technical manual books showcasing layouts from many Starfleet ships. I was hoping to get some Voyager deck layouts from him but he didn’t have any. He said he designs areas of the ship for only what the show needs per the scripts. A great consolation for working with Rick was that he helped us develop Voyager deck layouts specifically for the game.”

For all intents and purposes, Pelletier and his team set out to create a virtual Voyager, and that’s indeed what they did. In between away missions, players have the ability to roam many areas the ship. Want to visit engineering and walk around the warp core? Just go to deck 11. Want to view the Delta Flyer in Voyager’s shuttle bay? Help yourself (although you might want to ask Tom Paris first). In fact, as an expansion for the game after its release, Raven Software released “Virtual Voyager,” a sub-game that takes place shortly before the game’s final mission. In this mode, players can access Voyager deck-by-deck, taking their time to explore the Intrepid-class starship. The attention to detail is outstanding, as you can see in this walkthrough video. Obviously, using both old and new set designs paid off, in that the two blend seamlessly together to create one huge explorable ship. Of course, not every room is available to tour, but this is still the most accurate representation of a ship in a Star Trek game, and a large part of why Elite Force is so immersive.

I was going through my college-era first-person shooter PC game phase when Elite Force was released, spending an evening or two a week playing Quake III Arena with coworkers over dial-up.  I was all-in for Elite Force when I saw it at an Electronics Boutique along with the expansion pack.  I spent a lot of time roaming Voyager and exploring the ship, treating it like it was all hub level without any actual missions.  The highlight of the game has to be the opening story arc in which Voyager invades a Borg ship.  After watching the Collective in action on television for years, I had a chance to face them myself without risking assimilation.

I can't imagine how the game would run on modern versions of Windows, but I'm tempted to install it on my PC and see what happens (there are also Mac and Sony PlayStation 2 ports out there).  For as much as I've enjoyed the recent Star Trek films and Star Trek: Discovery, the twenty-fourth century era of Star Trek is the Star Trek that I grew up with and it would be nice to revisit it.  Elite Force was followed by a sequel in 2003, Elite Force II, set following the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and set aboard the Starship Enterprise-E, but I never got around to that one.  Maybe I should look it up.