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- Aug 19, 2012
In the coin-operated, joystick-tugging, button-bashing gaming craze of the 1980s, one particular Nintendo release quickly became a bare necessity in any self-respecting amusement arcade. One of the earliest products of the platform genre, the influential and instantly popular Donkey Kong flaunted a simple concept: Jumpman, later known as Mario, must rescue a damsel in distress from the clutches of a giant ape, all while avoiding the paths of tumbling barrels and flaming fireballs.
Its setting was memorable: rows of rickety steel platforms made accessible through ladders, with villainous primate Donkey Kong always pounding away at the top of the screen. See:
This setting is the inspiration for an uber-nerdy yet super-cool shelving unit created and built by LA-based designer Igor Chak. Suitably entitled ‘Donkey Kong Wall,’ this ingeniously retro design is made of carbon fibre, anodized aluminum pixels, stainless steel rods and toughened glass tops. It is capable of supporting up to 60lbs, meaning the streams can be crossed and the more advanced games of today – or yesteryear, if you like – can be played on its sturdy surface.
A piece of interior decor like this, it’s guaranteed to induce sweet, merciful nostalgia in any hardcore frequenter of ‘80s arcades. Try your hand at Donkey Kong over at Best Online Games
The Sega Mega Drive (or, as it was known in America due to Sega being unable to secure the appropriate legal rights, the Genesis) was first released in Japan in 1988, it reaching the US in 1989 and Europe, Australia and other PAL regions by 1990. The Mega Drive initially competed against the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), its 16-bit hardware giving it a noticeable advantage over the older 8-bit console. In short, this hardware superiority meant that the Mega Drive was able to produce graphics and sound of a far higher quality than the NES.
While I did still enjoy playing on my friend’s NES, in my house we had a Mega Drive, and perhaps one of the most memorable parts about growing up with it was the games’ music. I think it’s fair to say that I played the Sonic the Hedgehog games far more than any others, and while you can say what you want about the blue hedgehog’s modern output, few can dispute the excellence of the music found in the Mega Drive games. As such, here are a few of my favourite tracks from the early parts Sonic series; try and break my nostalgia goggles at your own peril.
If you were a teenager in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s, you may recall playing a few rounds of Space Invaders at your local arcade, heroically battling the alien menace from behind the decreasingly sound security of your ever-deteriorating final bunker. If so, you may be interested to know that a silver ring heavily influenced by the classic arcade game is available for purchase online.
Designed by Amsterdam creative studio Tjep, the Invader Aiko Ring has a pixelated face intended to have a striking resemblance to the extraterrestrial foes featured in the game.
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- Mar 31, 2012
Despite their rep for being associated with the nerdiest and most unwashed of basement dwellers, tabletop RPGs can be really, really fun. However, just as with any hobby there are always a few things – or people – that can ruin it for everyone. Here you will find a few of the most irritating; be sure to avoid committing these cardinal sins yourself.
Fans of retro video games have found a variety of ways to pay tribute to legendary 8-bit classics, from Google’s awesome Pacman anniversary homepage to hardcore nerds going as far as getting tattoos of their favorite game characters. It was only a matter of time until someone came up with an idea as amazing as this one…