Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve at The 8-Bit Variety Show!

It's MegaMan... With Santa's powers. Take a moment and think
about the implications of that.
Yeah, that image of MegaMan standing over Santa's body is BitNick's Christmas gift to you.

Ho Ho Ho there, dear readers!

Because this is my website, and I can do whatever I want to do, I wanted to meet you all here, in Christmas cyberspace, to give you your gifts and say a few things that I've wanted to say all year.

First, for all of you good boys and girls, I present two pictures, one old (for those who remember the golden age of Rare and Nintendo), and one new (for everyone who knows ANYTHING about gaming):

First, the old:
May your holidays be haunted by images of toothless, leering monkey-mouths.

I actually remember the issue of Nintendo Power where this image first ran, which dates me terribly. Nonetheless, I was there for the golden age Rareware, and played all of the Donkey Kong Country games like crazy.

Now, for your second Christmas gift:

I found this, and it made me happy.

Now, with presents out of the way, there's some things I want to say.

The first is simple: THANK YOU!

Thank you for reading, for listening, for commenting, for sharing, for liking, mailing, caring, inquiring, and any other "ing" that you may have engaged in for the benefit of BitNick or The 8-Bit Variety Show (although we'd prefer if you kept any of the unsavory "ings" to yourself for the forseeable future)!

I started this site because I wanted to write, and I wanted to write about things that I cared about. I had hoped that there would be readers, but I didn't know if there would be. Now, a year, a podcast, and many articles later, I count most of you as great friends, and a very few others as much-needed enemies. I count myself lucky that there are vastly more of the former than the latter.

I also wanted to say a special thank you to our contributors this year! Although most of the articles this year were written by me (of which, 80% were apologies... at least, it felt that way sometimes) we had some INCREDIBLY solid articles, pieces of art, and podcast contributors who helped make The 8-Bit Variety Show! into something that I LOVED to do. Thank you Warza, Jobot, Kender, and Mrs. Bit for your part in 8BitVS, and here's to hoping for even more good times for all of us in 2012.

The people I've thanked here, comparably meager though your numbers may be, are the reason I love it here. As far as 2012 goes, LET'S DO THIS.

Yours in deepest thanks,

-St. (Bit)Nick

P.S. ....Still here? Alright, here's one last Christmas gift from me to you. I give you "Carol of The Bells" by Rush Coil, an 8-bit band.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The 8BitV-Cast! Episode FOUR!

Can you believe it?! Another week has come and gone, and with it's blood we have given life to another episode of The 8BitV-Cast!

I've attempted to integrate all the feedback that I've been given inasmuch as I have the power to control the particular item in question (for the last time, I don't know why your iPod is jealous of your girlfriend), but I'm always open to suggestions! If there's something you'd like to see, let me know and I'll see if it works.

That said, in this episode of The 8BitV-Cast!:
  • We talk about 3DS updates and Xenoblade Chronicles
  • We explore some lesser-known music from big franchises!
  • We hear from Epic Games and the creator of Rayman
  • ...and we do it all with our trademark wit and charm!
Have a listen, and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks so much for supporting The 8BitV-Cast! as it got off the ground, and if you like it, I hope you'll tell other people about it, too!

DOWNLOAD, for those who'd rather.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The 8BitV-Cast: Episode THREE! (Special Edition)

Hello, dear readers!

I take deep pride in announcing that Episode 3 of The 8BitV-Cast is ready to tickle your eardrums like a feather at a foot convention.

Unlike our last episodes, though, this is our SPECIAL EDITION 8BitV-Cast ROUNDTABLE!

Me, along with my intrepid buddies Jobot and Kender, explore a variety of topics in the gaming world with The 8-Bit Variety Show's trademark wit and sarcasm!

As always, Best O' The Bleeps is here with two new songs of considerable pulchritude:

Gerudo Valley, by Koji Kondo from "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" - Performed by the Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony and Choir

Drake's Elegy, by Greg Edmonson from "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" (Reader Recommendation from our pal Frankie!)

A huge thanks to all of you for listening, and let me know what you think! Do you like the group-style discussion better, or is it too busy? Do you want more open talk, or should we stick with a more structured feel?

Also, if you have any song recommendations for Best O' The Bleeps, please send them my way! We'd love to feature them, and share gaming music with the world!

DOWNLOAD HERE for those who'd rather.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 8BitV-Cast - Episode TWO!

It's that time of week again, and The 8BitV-Cast is lean, rested, and better than ever!

With your invaluable feedback from last week, I've made a few minor changes to the quality and the format that I think have made the show a little easier to listen to.

Fair warning, though... I was feeling a little bit looser, and therefore chattier, so hopefully you like my "broadcast" voice. I'm willing to read ANYTHING that way for a small fee, so please send all invitations for me to read books, cards, and blogs to the comments below (or my e-mail address, if the subject matter is more intimate).

DOWNLOAD, for those who'd rather.

As before, I would love your input on the show! Please tell me what you liked, didn't like, etc. so I can continue refining The 8BitV-Cast!

Yours in gaming,


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8BitVS Presents: The 8BitV-Cast - Episode One!

Well everyone, the grand moment is here: Welcome to Episode One (you know... like the "Star War") of The 8BitV-Cast!

It's a little longer than it will be normally (coming in at just over 24 minutes) because I'm explaining each of the segments this time around. Don't worry; I'll refrain from bending any ears or blathering more than is needful in the next episode, and with that, I should be able to trim the flabby, out of shape, pants-splitting Episode One, into a taut, sexy, "underwear-optional" Episode Two!

Also, I'm working on a much more elegant hosting solution (which includes hand-coding my own XML for an RSS 2.0 and Atom feed) for this podcast than the one I'm being forced to use now, but while I am working on that, I wanted to get this up and get YOUR FEEDBACK!

For your convenience, you can either listen on the embedded player below, or you can download the episode for your media player of choice HERE.

Now, without further ado...


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here We Go Again: An apology to, and an announcement for, our awesome readers

My Dear, Glorious, Patient Readers:

I realize how I have hurt you over the past month with the utter dearth of posts here on The 8-Bit Variety Show. School has ramped up for my last semester, and I have taken on a few extracirricular activities to strengthen up the ol' resume in anticipation of beginning a painful job search come graduation. As of this semester, I am the assistant editor of my university's entertainment magazine, I am doing an internship with the illustration department which is both game-related and OBJECTIVELY AWESOME (more on that later), and I'm balancing that with the other class responsibilities that I have (which include a law class, a lecture series, and a development for digital devices course).

Still, I come bearing good news! I BADLY want to be on here writing and enjoying your company; I have, in all honesty, missed it. Many of you have become my friends, and being the shameless attention-whore that I am, I like writing new things so people will look at me.

All those reasons considered, I have been trying to find a way to still take care of everything I need to (school, work, extracirriculars, that needy baby of mine), but make sure that there is new content here, at The 8-Bit Variety Show, and I think I found it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pass It On: The Ever-Improving StreetPass Situation

All right. It's time that those of us who are holding out just admit it.

The Nintendo 3DS has had a pretty rough launch.

Not quite this rough, but still...
This is not to say that the 3DS's launch has been bad by all measures. On the contrary, the 3DS had sold about 4.5 million units worldwide by the end of June 2011, a number quite comparable to the first quarter sales of the original DS when it launched. In case you need a reminder, the little Nintendo DS, with some careful prodding, strategic redesigns, and some quality titles has risen to become the best-selling video game system in HISTORY.

Still, adoption rates have been lower than Nintendo expected, and the great games that we all wanted for Nintendo's little multi-dimensional system are only now just beginning to fill out the library. Thanks to one particular fact to which I have been recently acquainted, I think that the 3DS has a long, happy life ahead of it. Let me, as your friend and mentor, share it with you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jo!

For my amazing, faithful readers, I have a few articles that are on their way to you soon. I hope that they shall slake your appetite for 8BitVS goodness, especially considering the famine I've put you through lately... One of the forthcoming posts actually addresses that issue, actually, so stay tuned!

That aside, the REAL reason I'm here today, though, is to wish my dear sister Jo (of 8BitVS fame) the Happiest of Birthdays! She's been a real trooper, and is actually part of the brain-trust that helped me conceptualize The 8-Bit Variety Show before it was even a twinkle in ol' BitNick's eye! For that, we owe her a debt of thanks (or wish a pox upon her house, depending on your outlook on my writing skills).

Anyway, I never thought I'd see the day, but Sweet Hitler's Handbag, she's 23 years-old!

Here is a picture of Hitler's afore-mentioned Handbag.
I photoshopped it in her honor.
So, today I raise my glass to you, Jo. Thanks for 18 great years together! ...What? Why only 18? Because, let's face it, you were pretty insufferable for the first five years of your life, that's why. I don't care if it's your birthday, either. It needed to be said.

Happy Birthday, Sister!
We love you!
(Readers: If you feel so inclined, feel free to leave your well-wishes in the comments, too!)

BitNick, Mrs. Bit, and Little Bit

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"I Shot A Man in New Reno Just To Watch Him Die": Dehumanizing Stories of Excess From The Wastes

The Vault-Dweller ducked into an alleyway and hid behind a garbage can as the Bishop family's cronies ran past. They were ardently searching for the man who had fought his way into their casino. The man in question was easy enough to identify: He wore a blue cloth jumpsuit with a leather jacket over the top of it, and carried a dizzying array of weapons on his back, including a .44 Magnum, 3 different shotguns, a rifle, 2 sledgehammers, 10-15 pairs of clothes, and 6 sets of brass knuckles. This was, of course, in addition to the thousands of rounds of ammunition he was carrying for each weapon.

Even in the dangerous post-apocalyptic world they all shared together, the weaponry that Vault-Dweller carried would be considered overkill, but when questioned about why (or how) he was carrying that much equipment, his only answer was, "I need something to barter with."

Friday, July 8, 2011

In Memoriam: The Heads-Up Display

E3 2011 is behind us, and as it always does, the show has left us with some very memorable moments.

We saw gameplay from a variety of Kinect games, and realized, with sadness, that the most engaging game idea shown for Kinect was called "Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster".

We saw the exciting unveiling of the Playstation Vita, a new handheld gaming system from Sony. As the fevered excitement died down, we got to watch the gaming press's elite go from giddy to devastated when it was announced that the Vita's 3G support would come from AT&T, a company whose coverage is spottier than a plus-size string bikini.

We saw Nintendo announce their new home console, The Wii U, innovative control method included, and decided that Nintendo does, in fact, name their new systems by waiting until an overworked employee falls asleep on their keyboard.

Other names considered: The Wuu, The NinTabdo Entertablet System, and The swfghdbe;oa'sphaaaaaaaaa...
I was able to get past the Wii U's name with the help of my therapist, but I started to think about the full ramifications of the new controller. The 6.2 inch touch screen, the full set of face and shoulder buttons, the inward facing camera... All of these are gagdets have already been used in some capacity in a whole slew of other electronic devices. As Nintendo is wont to do, though, they have illustrated some very creative ways to use these pieces of technology in conjunction with the proprietary technology from the the original Wii system (like the Wii Remote+, Balance Board, etc.).

Better yet, they've concievably dealt a deathblow to one of gaming's mainstays, and it is to that long-cherished gaming convention that we bid adieu:
The service, though brief, was sparsely attended.
Master Chief courtesy of BenjiPhil08

Sunday, June 12, 2011

E3 2011 - Impressions on Nintendo's Keynote Address

(If you missed our coverage of the Microsoft Presentation you can find it HERE.)

Hey everyone! Round two of The 8-Bit Variety Show's E3 impressions involves a pointy-eared boy, a round plumber in a raccoon suit, an angel, and a talkative fox with a needlessly angry falcon as a best friend! (Wow... This is starting to sound like a either a really bad fever dream, or a really good one!)

That's right, we're going to tackle Nintendo's press conference, and you can see what we liked, what we didn't like, and what we think of the Wii successor's name (SPOILER: It's unwieldy. More on that later), and you get all of that in semi-chronological order!
Next up: Nintendo

Monday, June 6, 2011

E3 2011 - Impressions of Microsoft's Keynote Presentation

I think that I'm a special kind of nerd. I look forward to E3 each year like douchebags look forward to new hair-bleachings and tanning salon grand openings.

I go out of my way to watch press conferences, read blogs, and I have missed college classes just to make sure that I didn't let any of the big gaming announcements get past me. Good heavens, I skipped an exam so that I would hear about Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the moment it was revealed!

I'm planning to do a little write up for each of the Big 3's press conferences, and I would LOVE to have you along for the ride! Please, hop into the 8BitVS "Black Van O' Gamin'", take a seat on the mattress in the back, and prepare for E3 coverage, 8-Bit Variety Show style... (It's just like everyone else's E3 Coverage, but with more humor, and racism!)

First up: Microsoft! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Outside The Bit: The Face of Innovation

Hey everybody! It's time, once again, for a heaping helping of one of my favorite features, Outside The Bit! For those who don't remember, this is the time where a guest writer comes in and enlightens all of us with a fresh gaming perspective. After all, Heaven knows that a person can have too much BitNick... Even I stop listening to me after a while.

That's why we're saved today by Warza, an old friend of mine, and the man who gave us our last OTB, Gaming in the Cold (War). His last contribution was a great read, and if you haven't had the chance to brush up on it yet, I would heartily recommend it.

That said, the article Warza has for us today tackles some thought-provoking issues about technology and games, and it's a fantastic read.

I hope you all enjoy the article, and, as they say in Los Angeles, "Let the 8-Bit Show begin!"


The Face of Innovation:
L.A. Noire and the Future of Gaming

By Warza

I've experienced a revolution in video gaming this week. I've been playing L.A. Noire ever since it came out on May 17th, and I like what I've seen. The game is very "L.A.", and it's very "Noire", and that is a good thing. But the unique thing that this game brings to the table is also what makes it such an engaging experience: L.A. Noire features a groundbreaking new technique for animating faces in-game, and it is this technology that has forever changed the way I think about what video games are capable of.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Time of Gaming Innocence: A Child's Mario Fanart

I just thought that I would share a picture that was given as a (Grand)Mother's Day gift to one of my co-workers. Her grandson, aged 5, wanted to draw her a picture of something he knew well, and after "working on it for three days", he had the picture scanned in by his parents, and sent to her.

The following image, posted with my co-worker's permission, depicts a level from Super Mario, her grandson's favorite game to watch his brother play.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Review Tank - Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (3DS) Review
by BitNick
I ordered my Nintendo 3DS on months in advance. I had chosen not to upgrade from my DS Lite (an anniversary gift from Mrs. Bit that I had received three years prior) to a DSi, and felt that new hardware, much-upgraded graphics, a better online system, and 3D without glasses, IN THAT ORDER, were more than enough reasons to justify my purchase. With that order, Amazon offered a cornucopia of deals and freebies, which I was happy to take advantage of, like $25.00 off a launch title, a free carrying case, and extra money off with each game purchased.

Now, I must be honest... I was not particularly taken with most the the launch titles for the 3DS. There are a great many games I am looking forward to over the next 3-6 months (plus the Netflix, GOOD HEAVENS, the Netflix), but as fantastic as the built-in software in the 3DS is, I didn't think that it was good enough to keep me completely satisfied for the next two months as I waited for The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time 3D, and Resident Evil: the Mercenaries 3D. I searched diligently for a title to use my $25.00 off credit, and after a careful search, I decided to choose one of the less popular games in the launch lineup; I chose Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.
Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars Trailer
Shadow Wars is a continuation of the Ghost Recon series, though it shares few commonalities with play-mechanics of previous entries. Whereas the other games in the series are usually first-person or third-person shooters, with an on-rails shooter for the Wii thrown in for good measure, Shadow Wars diverges greatly with its predecessors in that it is not only NOT an FPS, but it is just about as far from that genre as one could get.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Quick Update from BitNick...

I have been finishing my university finals for the past week or so, and I'll tell you... college finals are like a 3 day-old Ham Sandwich full of gunpowder: even if you survive, your head will be a mess.

Getting things done, figuring out my next semester of classes, going to work, and trying to enjoy the single week off I have had with Mrs. Bit and Little Bit have all created an atmosphere that was not conducive to writing for The 8-Bit Variety Show.

That said, I am working on a review of a game that has been under-reviewed, in my opinion, and it should be added to The Review Tank in the next day or two.

Thanks so much for your patience, and know that I feel really lucky and grateful to have a readership as awesome as all of you are!

As a peace offering for your patience, I offer you the following image of the Nintendo characters in a Brad Pitt and Edward Norton-esque Fight Club:

I think that Samus has an unfair advantage at a bareknuckle boxing match...
Thanks again for being so great, and keep your eyes peeled for our soon-arriving 8BitVS review!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Bit Histories: The Story of Acclaim Entertainment

Mrs. Bit and my son, whom we'll call Little Bit, have been on vacation for the past week to go and visit her father in Alabama. Because of my schedule for work, school, and game-playing, as well as my love for you, dear readers, I was regrettably unable to accompany them.

Having them gone has left me to my own devices (a phrase that has a very literal slant to it with all the various gaming gizmos I have employed in their absence) for the week, and as you would expect, Mrs. Bit's fastidiously clean house has, as they say, gone to pot. It started with a Taco Bell wrapper on the floor in the living room, or a glass left on the table, instead of immediately cleaning it. Before I even knew what had happened, I was living like a hobo, knee-deep in my own filth. I have almost completely forgotten how to take care of myself without the assistance of Mrs. Bit, to the point where I would not be surprised if you came to visit, and found me sitting on the living room floor, a huddled mass near a fire that was kindled in a hubcap. All things have their natural state, and apparently mine is vagrancy.

We'd like to thank the local Police Department for this
wonderful shot of me from the last time Mrs. Bit went out of town.
The reason I tell you this, aside from being an illustration of how pathetic I am when my wife is gone, is because having all that free time got me thinking about game-related topics I haven't thought about in a long time. My thoughts turned to old games, people, companies, development houses, and consoles, and amid all the synapses snapping busily around my sugar-addled brain, one name rose to the top and gave me impetus to do some research.

Readers, for my enlightenment, and yours, I give you a brief history (read: only the funny stuff) of ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Nintendo 3DS: One Week Later

It's... LOOKING at me.
Well, North America has officially had the 3DS, Nintendo's next generation of handheld gaming, for one week. Most outlets have provided a review, or hands-on impressions (like those by my buddies Coffee With Games and My Little Gamer), or Day One Impressions (like my friend The Dread Pirate Guy, if you follow the link), or some other variation thereof. Because I like to be JUST a little different when I can, I opted instead to get my 3DS and spend a week with it before I wrote anything for you, the readers. This allows me to get to know the new system on a less superficial level, and hopefully, pass any wisdom/judgements I had to you. Like any house guest, if the 3DS had any dirty laundry to air, I wouldn't see it until a few days into the visit. 

We'll begin with a few quick photographs, courtesy of the beautiful Mrs. Bit, chronicling the blessed day the 3DS arrived:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Outside the Bit: "Gaming in the Cold (War)"

Hello, dear readers! I know that you are used to hearing my unique brand of... how shall I say it... commentary. As much as I enjoy it, AND I DO, it occurs to me that you all might enjoy hearing from someone else from time to time.

That is what our newest feature, "Outside The Bit" is for! Outside the Bit (OTB) is when we give a guest contributor the controller for 8BitVS, and let them loose on a game-related topic of their choosing. They will entertain, inform, and dazzle you so that you are fresh and ready for some bad photoshop, and informed opinions when I return! As they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder".

This week's contributor, Warza, is an old friend of mine, and an avid gamer. We met in New Zealand a long time ago, and found that we had a great deal in common in regards to our love of gaming. A prosperous friendship ensued. In my estimation, his insights are sharp, and his opinions, interesting.

Bet you didn't know that old BitNick lived a while in New Zealand, did you? See? OTB is bringing us all closer together already.

Give him a warm welcome, and let The 8-Bit Show begin!


Gaming in the Cold (War)

By Warza

Last summer, for lack of anything better to do, I went on a gaming binge. I bounced from console to console with the giddy rapacity of a 3rd grade sugar fiend let loose in a candy store. I played my PC, I played my Xbox 360, and I even blew the dust off its venerable daddy, the original 'Box.

I dutifully waded through the staples of video game achievement. I shot and fragged. I completed objectives and beat missions, and of course, I earned points. And after I had played through a significant portion of my game collection, something hit me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Move Over 3DS - Microsoft Announces THEIR New Handheld, The 4D!

With only days left before the release of Nintendo's new handheld system, the 3DS, Microsoft has shocked the world and stolen the spotlight with the wholly unexpected announcement of their first true handheld gaming system, the MS 4D.

The announcement came as a shock to many when an emergency board meeting was called late last night with a press conference to follow this morning. The board meeting was reportedly short, and at this morning's press conference, Microsoft has this to say:

"Microsoft has long been a strong competitor in the console market," said Michael Thoft, Microsoft's Executive Vice-President of Research, Development, and, according to him, "Takin' Names". "Today we bring the experience, strength, and most importantly, TECHNOLOGY, that Microsoft has is known for in world of gaming and computing to the handheld market."

"I am proud to introduce to you, for the first time ever, the Microsoft 4D."

"It is, quite literally, THE FUTURE!" *Winking suggestively*
-Michael Thoft

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3DS and Pilotwings Resort Hands-On Impressions!

The Nintendo 3DS is less than 2 weeks away from release here in America, and the excitement is palpable. Nintendo is on the PR war path, hiring a security escort in a black SUV to deliver a 3DS unit to Kevin Cassidy of GoNintendo, then strapping 3DS's to a bunch of female models in matching white pantsuits and having them strut into the Gametrailers offices and present the nearest white male with a 3DS. These are just two of probably HUNDREDS of outlets getting their review systems.

Every one of these hundreds of gaming outlets has also done an "Unboxing" video. Now, don't get me wrong... There is nothing inherently wrong with "unboxing" videos. The problem is, though, that the contents of GoNintendo's 3DS box WILL DIFFER IN NO WAY from the contents of Gametrailers 3DS box, so if you've seen one "unboxing" you've seen them all.

That's where your good friend BitNick comes to the rescue! Rather than watching YET ANOTHER person unpack their 3DS and talk about how they're going to play games on it later, I wanted to give you some actual footage of the system in action!

This would require some ingenuity, I knew. I am, by no measure, popular enough to receive a 3DS demo unit of my very own, but armed only with my intrepid spirit, and directions from the bespectacled guy at the entrance of the Best Buy, I have tracked down a 3DS, played with it, and taken video evidence of my exploits!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Review Tank - Bit.Trip FLUX

Bit.Trip FLUX Review
by BitNick

Those of you who have been following 8BitVS since it's inception will know that I am a fan of the Bit.Trip series. In the short space of two years, Gaijin Games, the developers of Bit.Trip, have gone from being relative nobodies to being a well-known innovative force in the industry in the short space of two years because of Bit.Trip.

Through the Bit.Trip games, which were all downloadable rather than retail releases, we have seen them both emulate and evolve different gaming genres that have often flirted with becoming stale. Gaijin has, in the six game series, re-imagined Pong, platforming games (like Mario), shooters (like Raiden), and rhythm games (like Guitar Hero and Rock Band).

With an impressive pedigree built in such a short time, Bit.Trip Flux, the final game in the series, had to be special. In spite of the fact that the every Bit.Trip entry has featured silent exposition, if any at all, people have been anxiously awaiting the final chapter of Commander Video's journey home.

Friday, March 11, 2011

8-Bit Ballads - Light is Right

If there's one thing that I think that this world is missing, it's a personal dragon for every man, woman and child. Flying and ravaging peasants is a basic human right, and I bring this up so that I can be part of the solution.

If there's a second thing that I think the world is missing, it's poetry based on video games. It's in THIS realm that I think I can leave my greatest contribution to the world, and thusly, The 8-Bit Variety Show presents, "8-Bit Ballads."

My first poem makes insidious inferences about a well-known gaming icon, and is also about one of my favorite franchises, MegaMan.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trial and Error in Gaming: What Games Can Teach About Not Giving Up

I have been playing video games for a long time. I was around for the original Super Mario Bros., Pac-Man, Castlevania, and Bionic Commando games (pro tip: You blow up Hitler's head at the end of Bionic Commando. Go ahead. Take a look), and I am proud of my retro-gaming roots. I can say with unrestrained chest-puffedness that I am not young enough that I must search the past to "discover" great old games. I LIVED them. The only people that have a one-up on me are the people who played the Atari 2600 extensively!

And I hear that I didn't really miss anything. Except the mass burial
of a game so bad that we wanted it stricken from history.
I owned one of the original Nintendo Entertainment Systems, courtesy of my father, who no doubt went on to regret ever purchasing it for us, and I continued that legacy by owning a Super Nintendo, an N64, a Gameboy (one of the big grey ones with the yellow screen), a Gamecube, a Wii, and a gaming PC which has been updated at appropriate times throughout my years. I have borrowed (read: stole) a friend's Playstation and PS2 at various times, and rented or borrowed almost any other console you can imagine at some time or another. My point is, I've been around video games for a long time, and I've played a lot of them.

Because gaming has been a part of my life since I was 3 years-old, I realize that it colors my perceptions. I know that there are some who will read this article and think that being devoted to video games is sad when there are so many things to be gained from books, movies, music, and other media. I know this because I have heard it all before.

To everyone reading, especially those who think that video games have nothing to offer to art, beauty, or humanity, I wish to tell you one lesson that video games have instructed me in:

Video games taught me to never give up.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"What's The Greatest Innovation of Nintendo's Little White Box? Point Me In The Right Direction..."

Well, it's President's Day here in America, and I passed the time on this wonderful day like all Americans do: Waiting for the ghost of Abraham Lincoln to leave me red, white, and blue candy under the "Freedom" Tree that we set up in the front room. I have yet to catch ol' "Honest Abe" in the act, but I think I caught Bill Clinton once. It was dark, so I couldn't see his face, but he did sexually harass me before he left, so I'm pretty sure it was him.

I know that most were probably expecting me to do a President's Day post chronicling the "Best Video Game Presidents", or the "Best Politicians From Video Games", but I decided to make like our first President, George Washington, and buck the trend. We already have enough lists like that (read: one), and I wanted to have a brief word about something that has been on my mind for some time now.

Like it or hate it, the Nintendo Wii is here to stay. In the time that the Wii has been known to the public eye, it has gone from being the subject of derision, a prophet of doom for Nintendo's somewhat shaky future, to begrudging success, to being one of the most wildly popular console systems in history.

All while making us look like this, and think it's OK.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sony: "Is That What You Want, Nintendo? Whip 'em Out? Measure 'em?"

NOTE: We, at The 8-Bit Variety Show, are a family-friendly site, and our posts range in their content from "G" to "PG-13". There is nothing that will destroy your life in the following article (unless bad Photoshop does the trick), but this article is definitely more on the PG-13 end of the spectrum. If that would bother you, put down the web-enabled device and walk away slowly. If not, ENJOY, LAUGH, AND SHOW THOSE WHO WALKED AWAY THAT THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE BY LAUGHING AND ENJOYING!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gamer Romances - A Very 8-Bit Valentine's Day!

Hey there, everybody! Happy Valentine's Day/day just like any other day!

As I prepared this week to court my personal Princess Daisy at the behest of the Hallmark Greeting Card Company, I couldn't help but think back on the wonderful memories she and I have had together. I'm lucky, as gamers go, to have a wife who encourages my favorite hobby, and in return, I try to keep my gaming to a reasonable amount of time. She even loves video game music, which is one of my enduring passions! Mozel tov!

In celebration of those special guys and girls that we have now or may have in the future (as well as by way of inspiration should any of you ever want to pop the question, and have a significant other who wouldn't mind a geeky, BUT AWESOME, proposal), The 8-Bit Variety Show presents:

Awesome Gamer Proposals!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Your Biggest Gaming Sins

I am going to touch on a subject today that may be sensitive to many of you. I do so, not with a spirit of meanness, although I am a fan of doing ANYTHING with a spirit of meanness. Things as small as walking the dog, or owning a Gigapet are made much more entertaining, not to mention INTENSE, when done with a mean spirit.
"Oh, you want food, huh? You're hungry, eh? Well, maybe you can
have some after more exercise and discipline. Discipline! DISCIPLINE!"
-That one time I stole Jo's Tamagotchi, circa 1997 
Let's imagine, just for today, that this is our little 8-Bit confessional, and speak frankly about our biggest gaming sins.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"2-D, or Not 2-D? That is Progression:" 3DS Press Conference Predictions

NOTE: This article was written on January 6th, and post-dated to publish on January 17th, 2010. What you are about to read is an 8-Bit Variety Show "Post... FROM THE FUTURE!"

On January 19th it will be my birthday, and as a gift to me, Nintendo of America has decided to stage a press conference to give me all of the launch details for the Nintendo 3DS! Because I love humanity, I told Nintendo that they had to let everyone else in on the information, too. As you can imagine, this was met with a few grumbles, and some drunken shouting.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's a Game, Not a Quilt: A Case Against Patching

We now live in an age where video games, despite still having a few mountains left to climb, have entered the mainstream. This is a time when Video Game award shows run on network television stations (even if they often suck), where orchestras tour not just the nation, but the entire world playing music from Mario Bros. and Metal Gear Solid, and where a CD of that music could debut in the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts.

This is a time where, instead of feeling lucky that you found a fellow video-gamer at the lunch table, even if all you did was fight about Nintendo vs. Sega, it's a little unusual to find someone who doesn't play games in some form.
"You're a damn LIAR, Mr. President! Sonic would "Blast-Process" Mario
 into the stone age, and YOU KNOW IT!"
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