To buy or not to buy?

The Xbox 360 is now abundantly available at whatever retailer you choose to support.

What I’m saying is, right now, you can walk into your local wherever and purchase a brand new Xbox 360. No eBay, no scalpers, no friend of a friend. Just plain old retail. The question right now, is of course, should you buy an Xbox 360? Is availability enough? Do you climb Mount Everest just because it’s there?

That’s a question you’ll have to answer.

Also, there are a few things you need to consider before you buy your 360.

Look at the games, first of all. Is there anything there that you have to play? Anything there that isn’t already multiplatform. Will you no longer possess the will to live if you cannot play RockStar Games presents Table Tennis? →  Read the rest

You never forget your first one

PSO Ver 1 case
The future is colorful.

I really enjoyed Phantasy Star Online (PSO). I was there when it launched on the DreamCast. I was there for the DreamCast launch as well, but that’s a different story. There was just “something” about PSO that grabbed me. I’m not sure if it was the lineage of the earlier games, the sci-fi rpg trappings, or the Diablo II elements. Knowing me, it was a combination of all three.

I got hooked when I started playing the online component of the game. Initially, I was dialing in using the DreamCast’s integrated modem. When I first started playing, it was fine. Then I wanted a bit more.

After savagely beating a roommate for picking up the phone during a run of Caves-2, I ordered an ethernet adapter. I could play without any interruptions. →  Read the rest

Origins of a pinball fiend

Capcom’s happiest test arcade.

When I was younger, (which is more than a decade ago, but not long enough to be the “good old days”) my father would bring me to La Jolla Village Square. In that shopping mall was a place called Yellow Brick Road, which was a Capcom test arcade. There, I would meet with friends and unofficially compete against other groups of players to see who could “hold” the Street Fighter II machines.

These were not mere quarter munchers. These were gladitorial arenas, forty-five inch wide screens, with seats for the competitors, meticulously maintained controls, and a constantly changing roster of challengers.

One mantra. “Winner stays, loser pays.”

While I was establishing my fighting game “street cred,” my father would sometimes stay for a few games, but not anything so forward, down, down-forward, punch. →  Read the rest