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MAGFest – Cabinets, Concerts, and Colossus Yells!

MAGFest is a music and gaming convention that took place the first weekend of 2020. I went to it almost blind; I had heard a lot from friends about it, and their thoughts ranged from, “it’s a cult, join us” to “it smells so bad, you’re going to die.” These responses are both so visceral because when MAG starts on Thursday, it doesn’t close until Sunday afternoon. There are panels at all hours, and they are all over the place. So before we get into it too much, know that while I had an incredible time, it is a lot.

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What’s Killing My Social Life This Week – Shovel Knight

We are living in a time where we have the technology to make some of the greatest looking and most in depth video games and yet there is a small niche of games being made to cater to the retro crowd. I for one couldn’t be happier. It’s fulfilling a basic need for me. I have never been much of a gamer by modern standards, but that would never stop me from popping on an old 8 Bit or 16 Bit game and finding endless hours or entertainment. Thankfully there are game developers who understand that there are people like me in this world that would easily pay for a new “old” style game.

I’ve been loving the new series of Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong Country games. I hit real pay dirt though with the downloadable Final Fantasy IV: The After Years a direct sequel to the U.S. Final Fantasy 2 including the same music, the same graphics, the same characters, the same everything just with a new story. It’s exactly what I wanted. When a friend recommended Shovel Knight to me all I had to do was see the graphics and I was immediately sold. Yacht Club Games is the company behind this and they released the game via download for most major systems. Shovel Knight is everything that’s great about 8 bit gaming and then some.


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Guardians Of The Galaxy Gets A Retro Video Game Makeover

If there’s one thing Biff likes more than the Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, it’s old school video games. Luckily, thanks to CineFix I no longer have to choose. When I saw the SNES like video game that plays through the special features on the Guardians Bluray it hadn’t even occurred to me that such a thing could become a reality. CineFix took that idea and ran with it. While this isn’t an actual game you can play, it might be as good as we are going to get for the time being.

While you’re there take a look at my favorite of theirs, Kill Bill. I would give anything for that to be a real game!

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The Art Of Super Mario World

Many would agree that the height of the 8 bit era gaming rests squarely on the shoulders of Mario 3. In fact, we thought so ourselves. It did what any truly good sequel does by building on what came before but taking it to the next level. Super Mario World for the SNES used the same strategy and is still fondly remembered today.

Recently, I stumbled across a plethora of official art related to the game that I hadn’t known about depicting each of the different worlds (plus the Sunken Ghost Ship, Star World and Special World).  It’s similar in tone and style to Mario 3’s strategy guide art but it’s a little more cartoony this time around. It further blurs the line between American cartoons and Japanese Manga art that would go on to be the staple of the series.


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The Art Of Zelda 2: The Adventure Of Link

I’m a sucker for old school Nintendo art. Chief among them though is the art inside in the instruction booklet for the original Legend Of Zelda game. In a time where video game stories began to evolve a bit often the brief manuals that came with it were tasked with fleshing out the world and giving you a bit of background on the history or the characters. Zelda was a far reaching fantasy epic unlike say the simplicity of River City Ransom’s storyline or Double Dragon.

With the world wide success of the first game Nintendo quickly cashed in with a sequel, the often misunderstood and black sheep of the series Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. I’m not here to praise the game itself today (hell, I’ve already done that) but rather the art that goes with it. Say what you will about the game itself, but the story is richer and deeper than the original and adds a lot to Hyrule mythos. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. It does what any good sequel does by simultaneously driving the story both forward and backward.

The art retains a similar feel to the original yet a little more exaggerated and cartoonish. Just looking at it puts you into the mindset of a deep fantasy adventure along with that classic NES feeling.



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Evil Geeks Over Tokyo Part 2

There’s more? But of course. You can check out part 1 if you missed it and if not take a look below at some of the vintage geek magic that is Tokyo. I think I spent more time in retro video game stores marveling over the elaborate cover art for 8 bit games than anything else. The whole trip was beautifully surreal and these pictures do a damn good job summing that up.

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