Funco Land - A land of

Where kids came to trade in their games for $3 and buy pre-owned ones for $50 with nice colorful cases. The good 'ol days!

Toys'R'Us Video Game Slips Nostalgia

When all it took was a video game slip to purchase your favorite video game

A Re-seller RANT

The days of where we could find NES and SNES games for a few dollars are gone...thanks to the RESELLER. A RANT.

How I let EARTHBOUND slip through my fingers...

My ultimate prize...gone again.

The Ultimate NES Review Collection

Join me as I suffer through every single NES game known to man! Prepare yourself!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #4 : 8-Eyes


(who could POSSIBLY resist that type of Box Art? Brilliant!)

Title : 8-eyes

Release Date :  1988

Publisher : Taxan


So this shall be my first attempt at writing a game review while riding shotgun on a road trip across the BBQ states while my wife drives. She's keeping herself entertained with some music, while I kill some time with a game review. Wish me luck, as I am prone to motion sickness. However, it is nothing a few gut lurching pit stops won't resolve. Anyway, on to the review!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Retro Gamer Memories #6 - Video Games + Child's Overactive Imagination = Epic Storytelling

When we last left off with Retro Gamer Memories, I spoke about how influential the Atari 2600 was in my growth as a gamer. (Link to that blog post here). How could something so simple in terms of design, have such an impact on me? And how would that change when my family decided to pick up a Nintendo Entertainment System?

Well, it definitely changed in more ways than one. But let me sidetrack a little bit, if you'd let me.
Yup that was me years ago

Originally, I had planned to write this newest post about the upgrade to the NES after our Atari 2600 met its demise. But something interesting happened that rekindled a slew of retro gamer memories of a time long since past. This past weekend, I was over at my folks place with the wife just to have dinner and as usual, bring up some childhood memories. The topic of video games came up, as it usually does, after we were discussing updates on my middle grade book. (If you don't know already, I've written a middle grade book targeting young gamers that my agent and I are just getting ready to put out on submission. You can check out what it's about at the link above for COPERNICUS NERDICUS - MG..or you can just click the link few words back)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #3 - 3-D WorldRunner

(I hate 3D, so god knows how I'm going to feel about this...)

Title : 3-D WorldRunner
Release Date : September, 1987
Publisher : Acclaim (distb. by SQUARE)


I really didn't know what to expect with 3-D WorldRunner. When it comes to 3D, I tend to develop migraines. Part of me wanted to avoid whatever I was going to get into, and toss this cartridge out the window. You can probably guess before we even step into this review, I am highly anti-3D. Some of you may think I'm out of my mind, but to me, the 3D era ended back in the 80s (just like when this game came out).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nerdicus NES Reveiw #2 - 1943 : The Battle of Midway

(Well at least the box art is better this time around)

Title : 1943 : The Battle of Midway

Release Date : June, 1987

Publisher : Capcom


I was seriously hesitant about taking on the next game in my NES collection, but like I said I am going to try my best to do things in order. Even if it kills me, which it very well might. After my horrendous experience with 1942, I couldn't imagine the sequel being much better. I know I shouldn't have been judging the game before I even tried it, but 1942 had left such a bad taste in my mouth it was hard to think otherwise. But, I sucked it up, popped in the game, and started playing. And I can safely admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the results!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Retro Gamer Memories #5 - The beginning - The ATARI 2600

I was three-years old the day I turned into a gamer and I don't think I will ever forget it. That black and brown box that reminded me of a tiny piece of furniture. Those metal switches that always seem to get jammed. And the ridged top that I insisted of rubbing the controller on to make an irritating noise that drove my folks mad. That's right. I'm talking about the ATARI 2600.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #1 - 1942

This might end up being a bad idea, or one filled to the brim with awesome sauce. Regardless, it's the perfect excuse to partake in some retro gaming a few times a week. Not to mention, I'll actually have a reason to sit and play through my ever growing retro collection.

So, starting today, and occurring every upcoming Monday and Friday, I will be going through my entire retro NES collection and reviewing each one. IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER. That's right. You aren't hearing things. The thing is, I am attempting the seemingly impossible feat of collecting as many NES games as possible. Who knows, maybe one day I'll own each title in the NES collection. It probably won't be possible, since some titles are almost impossible to find, and not to mention expensive as hell.

(there is all sorts of wrong with this picture, I can point out probably 10 things, how 'bout you?)

But first, I need to set a few ground rules with my reviews. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Retro Gamer Memories #4 : Funcoland - the original pre-owned video game super store

When you were a gamer kid, face it, you didn't have a lot of money to spend on games. You either had your ten buck a week allowance, or your measly pay from the part time job you worked on during junior high. (I'll get more into my stints as an employee of ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE in some of my later posts). So what did you do when you didn't have enough money for that brand spanking new game? You go the pre-owned route of course.

Before Gamestop claimed the throne as the pre-owned game king, there was one other company who basically thrived completely on the pre-owned game business. A little company known as....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

God I still love this strip....I miss it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Retro Gamer Memories #3 : Toys'R'Us Video Game Slips - Highs and Lows of Video Game childhood

If you grew up in the birth of the video game era like I did, you are all too familiar with the process of purchasing said video games. First it started with you clinging to your parent's legs, begging that they let you buy the latest and greatest game that just hit the shelves. Whether you just saw a commercial for it on TV, or you just happened to be at your friend's house who managed to snag a copy, you NEEDED to have it.

You work your magic. Phase one is complete. You've whined and cried your way into your parent's hearts and they have ultimately decided to take you to the store. And what store did you most likely go to in order to pick up your copy of Keystone Capers for Atari, or maybe it was Dragon Warrior 4 for NES? Of course, you went to Toys'R'Us.

Now some of you may know where I'm going with this. You remember that all too stressful trip to the toy store. Your palms were sweaty even though you continued to wipe them on the itchy seat fabric of your dad's old Buick Century. You stare blindly out the window. Your leg is shaking as a nervous twitch wracks through your body. You mentally urged your parents to drive faster, knowing that every second you wasted in the car; someone was at the store already. Someone was there buying YOUR game.

Your parents park the car and you immediately bolt out of your seat, racing out into the parking lot. You're yanked backwards only to have your parents yell at you, demanding that you watch where you're going. Didn't they understand there was no time to look for cars!? Another second has just been wasted. The clock is ticking.

You slam your feet down on the plastic mat, waiting for those irritating sliding doors to open. They always seem to open a lot slower when you're in a rush. In my case, I had to push through the doors and race my way up this slanted ramp that led into the store. Before you go into the store though, you see out of the corner of your eye a room. It seems out of place, but you're called to it. There's a man behind the counter, giving you a devious grin. Behind him you see shelves, upon shelves of something. You can't make out what they are, but there's no time. You know you'll see the man again soon.

The store is always crowded. No matter what time of day you go to, there's a swarm of kids and parents screaming at one another. Another child didn't get their way. But not you, not today. You are going to get what you came for.

You dart down one of the aisles and you stop. You've made it. Tears are already welling in your eyes. But you don't know if they are tears of sadness, or tears of joy. There's only one way to find out. You take another step forward, and enter.....the TOYS'R'US GAME SLIP AREA.

I wish I had an older picture to show you, but this was the only one I could find. The sheer magnitude of the aisles was so much more impressive back in the 80's and early 90's. Anyway, destiny.

You make your way through the rows of video games. But there are no video games here. No, Toy'sR'Us didn't work that way back then. In their place were little clear plastic pouches. Pouches that were either filled to the brim with yellow slips, or those pouches that lay empty waiting to be filled. Or worse. Removed.

Scenario 1 - If you were one of the lucky ones, you would find the picture of the game cover and beneath it the pouch with a slip readily available. In this case, everything would flow smoothly. You would grab the ticket, pay for it at the register, and return to that mysterious room by the exit to pick up the game. Inside that hidden room, laid a virtual wonderland of video games. A kid would pay to be locked up in that room over night (as long as there was electricity and a bag of cheetos). Every game out at the time, if it was in stock, was back there. I dreamed of having that job. Well, not really after I heard of the horror stories of people that actually worked back there. It was basically a glorified stock room. But when you're just a youngin, you don't think of those things. After you handed in your ticket, the video game stock man would browse through his supply, and hand it over. It was that simple. You were home free.

But, things don't always go as planned.

Scenario 2 - if luck chose not to be on your side that day, or your parents just didn't know how to floor it, an empty sleeve was waiting for you. Rushing to the store and finding that empty sleeve was probably one of the most heart breaking moments you could have as a gamer child. You had been looking forward to that moment all day. You thought you would just walk in, and return home with a game that could at least fulfill your needs for the weekend. But no. No matter how much you deny it, all hope is lost. The game is sold out. Some devious foe enough to snatch it from under you. Someone who had parents that were willing to take them the day before. There's nothing left for you to do, but go home and sulk in your misery. Or, just go find a video game rental store and try to find the game there.

However, you can tempt fate and approach the video game counter yourself, pleading with the man behind the counter to search the back for any remaining copies of the game. There were days when a stray copy of a game was found, hiding behind the newest version of California Games. Other days, I went home kicking and screaming.

Which brings me to Scenario 3 - a scenario that happens to only the most unfortunate of souls.

Imagine you find the game you want, with one slip remaining. Can it be? Have the gods smiled upon you? You race to the video game depository, slamming the slip on the table. "Hurry good sir! I have demons to vanquish." you say to the man. He smiles at you and departs into the darkness behind him. You smile at the passing child with tears streaming down his face. Not today young one. Today is your day. That is, until the man returns. Sweat rolling down his cheeks. He looks around nervously. The vein above your eye twitches.

"I'm sorry," he swallows. "We appear to be sold out."

You laugh. Surely it must be a jest. "Come now." you say. "Let us have it."

He shakes his head. Your smile fades.

The slip was a fraud.

Okay - this happened to me numerous times, and it has to be the most gut wrenching experience of them all. It's a lie. The entire slip system was one big lie.

There were tricks around the system. You could grab a slip and hide it in another, waiting to come back another day to secure your copy. It didn't always work though. Sometimes people went to the counter and asked and got the copy anyway.

Luckily for gamers who suffered through this during their childhood years, this system no longer exists in Toys'R'Us. Now when you go there, you just pick up the game in a security shell and bring it up to the register. Easy as that. But regardless of how video game stores sell their goods now, never in my life will I forget the torment that Toys'R'Us put me through.

I will see you in hell Toys'R'Us. Oh yes. I will see you in hell.