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Memories of Maniac – Electronic Retail Stores September 22, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Mind of Maniac, Site Videos.
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Retail is dying, but is that a good or a bad thing? In this new Memories of Maniac, our host tells his best memories about three retail establishments that are no longer with us.

Gaming History You Should Know – Video Game Animatronics September 18, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday. Welcome back to Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently created history videos across the web on a variety of gaming sources. As a lover of theme parks, I know there can be nothing more immersive to see in a theme park ride than a great animatronic. If you’re unaware of the concept, an anamorphic is essentially a preprogrammed robot designed to resemble a real-life character. Due to the cost and difficulty required to create them, animatronics typically appear in theme park rides and attractions. The first known example was Walt Disney’s recreation of President Lincoln for the 1964 World’s Fair. Currently, the best animatronic I can think of in operation is the one of Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout at Disney’s California Adventure. That said, the to-scale King Kong Universal Studios Florida made for the defunct Kongfrontation ride holds a special place in my heart.

The guys over at Fastpass Facts, which is a great reference for theme park animatronic history, did a great video on the known history of animatronics of characters made famous in video games. Let’s take a look!

Week of Neo-Geo – What Games Should Come to the Next MVSX? September 16, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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I hope you all don’t feel the Neo-Geo died after the release of the Hyper Neo-Geo 64. While SNK has had its restructurings, bankruptcies and buyouts, the original games for the platform live on through various means. In fact, two years ago the company UNICO released the MVSX, a bartop arcade machine that comes packed with fifty classic Neo-Geo games. Let’s take a closer look at it in glorious 4K HDR.

The MVSX comes preloaded with slightly over one third of the total catalog of Neo-Geo games including Fatal Fury, King of Fighters and Metal Slug. However, if Wikipedia is to be believed, one hundred and forty-three total games were released for the platform (although that list does include games released on the AES and Neo-Geo CD). UNICO did ship the MVSX with a rear USB port, but that is only for system updates and bug fixes. Sadly, they won’t be offering new games for sale online, at least not to add to the current MVSX platform.

With nearly one hundred games from the Neo-Geo catalog missing in action, what are home arcade enthusiasts to expect for the future? It’s my opinion that UNICO may have decided to hold off offering digital downloads of new games on the MVSX so they can instead rerelease newer revisions of the MVSX with an alternate selection of games. If you remember anything about the Neo-Geo that I’ve taught you this week, it’s that the strength of the platform laid in the fact that the onboard games could be swapped out. With that in mind, there’s nothing holding back the opportunity for UNICO to release a second generation MVSX with an entirely different selection of games.

The best part of this is a potential new release could still be compatible with the existing stool and shelf, allowing players who already own them the opportunity to reuse their existing ones if they wish.

So with that all out of the way, let’s get to the big question then. What games do I think should be included in a next Neo-Geo home arcade release?

Just want to put a disclaimer here that this article is just being written for fun. At this time a successor to the MVSX has not been announced. This is also by no means a complete list and you’re welcome to post your own opinions in the comment section below.

Puzzle Bobble – The MVSX launched with a great amount of fighting titles, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of a single puzzle game that was installed on it. I know it sounds weird to play a puzzle game on an arcade since they are so common on smartphones and tablets these days, but I can assure you back in the day it was common and this is considered the best game on the platform. The game had several sequels, ALL of which could be bundled together in the next machine’s menu.

Shock Troopers (2nd Squad) – The first Shock Troopers has been my absolute favorite game to play on the MVSX, and it’s a shame that the sequel wasn’t included alongside it. You and a second player play as a select member of a squad of commandos in a run and gun side scroller.

Neo Turf Masters – Only one golf game released with the MVSX and unfortunately it wasn’t the specific golf game everyone remembers. Neo Turf Masters is considered the best golf game released for the platform and there’s a heavy demand online to rerelease or I will not question.

Cyber-Lip – I grew up loving cyberpunk shooting games and this classic run and gun game is a perfect example of that. Most people have compared its gameplay to Contra 3 but describe its plot as an adaptation of The Terminator. Sign me up!

Last Resort – A classic side scrolling space shooter on par with several Konami classics in the 16-Bit generation. Would be a perfect addition to a second release.

Riding Hero – The MVSX has no racing games on it, despite the fact several were developed for the original Neo-Geo. Riding Hero was SNK’s answer to SEGA’s HANG ON. The rules are simple, keep your motorcycle on the track and don’t let other players overtake you.

League Bowling – It’s bowling. My wife would not allow me to leave this off the list. It isn’t a perfect bowling simulation (Neo-Geo has no trackball, just joysticks and buttons) but it has a great art style with expressive characters. It also was the only game that took advantage of the Neo-Geo’s ability to link up other cabinets to allow 8-player games, making it a fantastic contender if UNICO intends to ship a machine that allows online play.

Week of Neo-Geo – The Hyper Neo-Geo 64 September 15, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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We’ve spent the week so far talking about the history of the Neo-Geo, but as the week hits the halfway point out I thought it would be important to talk about the dark times for the platform.

By the time the era of the PS1, Nintendo 64 and SEGA Saturn hit retail, sales on 2D arcade platforms began to suffer regardless of how good the art style or performance of the games on it were. As the 90s went on the Neo-Geo’s 24-Bit platform slowly began creeping into obsolescence, and offering new games for the platform no longer seemed practical. What was needed was a new hardware revision in the form of a 3D-capable hardware platform. Enter the Hyper Neo-Geo 64.

If you aren’t familiar with the Hyper Neo-Geo 64, you’re in good company, I hadn’t heard of it either. It never appeared in any of the arcades I frequented back in the day. Thankfully, YouTube channel NeoGeoNow, which we’ve highlighted earlier this week, did the definitive look at the platform.

Next up I wanted to highlight the work of Top Hat Gaming Man, who also has produced a lot of Neo-Geo content over the years. He too produced a video on the Hyper 64, and I would be remiss to not post it here. Enjoy!

Such a disappointment when an arcade platform fails. To be honest, after watching it, the reason the platform never really took off becomes very clear. There should have been a unified core capable of handling all the games like the original Neo-Geo platform could.

We’re going to follow up this week with some original content talking about the current status of Neo-Geo hardware you can get right now. Stay tuned!

Week of Neo-Geo – Bennett the Sage’s Fatal Fury Movie Reviews September 14, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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Welcome back to our look at Neo-Geo. In the past we’ve highlighted the work of the legendary Bennett White, better known to the internet as Bennett the Sage and his series Anime Abandon. As a former member of Channel Awesome, Sage has produced incredible reviews of obscure and infamous anime. Well, did you know that Japan has produced several animated features based on the Fatal Fury franchise? Well, I do, because Sage has done reviews of them.

First off, we’re going to highlight his review of Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture. Extreme fans may need to swallow a chill pill before watching this. He’s crass, even at times juvenile, but it’s also absolutely hilarious.

Next, we’re going to show his second Fatal Fury review, of Fatal Fury Double Impact. This one covers the two OVA films meant for television and is actually really complementary. I know a lot of people enjoyed these OVA’s, so if you weren’t pleased with his jokes about the Motion Picture, you may find more enjoyment with this one.

If you’re interested in checking out the Fatal Fury films, they’re available on Blu-Ray Disc and currently streaming on the RetroCrush service.

PlayStation State of Play 9-13-2022 September 14, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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From the looks of it, Sony wasn’t just going to let Nintendo be the only company to reveal all the upcoming games for their platform. Sony has released their latest PlayStation State of Play, and we can see for ourselves just what major games will be coming to the PlayStation platform throughout the rest of the year. Let’s take a look!

All games shown are coming to PS5.

Splatoon 3 Unboxing September 13, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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We make it no secret that one of our favorite multiplayer franchises is the Splatoon series from Nintendo. Now, the latest game in the series has just been released and we had to open our copy alongside our brand-new Snorlax.

Oh and this video has been recorded and is being presented in glorious 4K HDR.

Splatoon 3 is out now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Direct – 9-13-2022 September 13, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It’s been a very long wait since the last Nintendo Direct, but earlier today Nintendo released the newest one and whoa boy does it come out swinging with some major announcements. If you missed the stream, you can give it a watch below.

All games previewed are coming to the Nintendo Switch.

Week of Neo-Geo – Highlighting Sega Lord X September 13, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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Some of you are reading this title and asking yourself the same question, “Why is he highlighting a self-proclaimed Sega fan on a week he’s dedicating to the Neo-Geo?” Well, first off, it’s pronounced SEGA (you have to scream it when you say it), and secondly it’s because the Sega Lord X YouTube channel has produced some of the best Neo-Geo videos on YouTube. Rather than sprinkle his videos throughout some of the articles we are planning to post throughout the week, we decided it was easier to just highlight his entire channel! Let’s get started shall we?

First off, we’d like to offer this documentary on the early days of the Neo-Geo. It’s a great way, I feel, to set the scene.

But let’s be honest. That’s not what you came here to see. You know that the Neo-Geo was an expensive platform which had expensive games. You’re curious how platform like the SEGA Genesis was able to handle a game originally developed for the Neo-Geo. Well, then you want to give this video a watch. His content is very detailed, and he breaks down differences in music quality, backgrounds and even missing features.

And finally, we want to highlight his look at the top ten games for the Neo-Geo. Obviously this video is just his opinion, but he included several of my favorite games on this list so it is worthy of including here.

Hope you’re enjoying your week of the Neo-Geo! More articles are on the way!

iOS 16, tvOS 16, WatchOS 9 Released September 12, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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As promised earlier this week, Apple has just released major updates for the Apple Watch, Apple TV and iPhone platforms.

The updates include an incredible amount of new features including the ability to alter and delete messages sent from your iPhone.

The updates can be selected right now. However, I must make a note that you will not be able to update your watch to WatchOS 9 until after your iPhone has upgraded to iOS 16.

Mac and iPad owners will find incremental updates for their platforms today (containing mostly bug fixes and compatibility resolutions), however their next generation OS updates will not be released until October.