Keyboard Geniuses

Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop, Lollipop

Highlights from the week’s comment threads.

By Matt Kodner • July 13, 2012

Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

John Carter Of Marketing

In the first installment of this month’s Digest, John Teti and Steve Heisler debated whether Lollipop Chainsaw was a clever parody of “sexy schoolgirl” tropes or merely an over-the-top T&A-fest. Merve keyed in on a brief discussion of the game’s marketing and expanded the conversation into the rest of modern gaming:

You guys touched on something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially in light of the E3 press conferences. Heisler said that the marketing for Lollipop Chainsaw mainly featured T&A, while Teti contended that the game said something deeper about how objectification can even reduce the status of the objectifier, a message that didn’t feature in the game’s promotional campaign at all.

I think this is symptomatic of the increasing disconnect between video game marketing and the games themselves. There are lots of recent examples. The now infamous Dead Island CGI trailer was nothing like the actual game. Mass Effect 3’s marketing consisted mainly of action and battle sequences, but the game itself focused on the hidden side of war. The widely-criticized sexy-nun-punching trailer for Hitman: Absolution belied the stealth-oriented gameplay of the franchise. And now, Far Cry 3 is being promoted with trailers full of gunfights, fires, drug trips, and half-naked voodoo women, but the developers insist that the game is actually a deconstruction of “shooter culture.”

Then Mike Ferraro replied with a nice summation of what makes most marketing stupid:

Tale as old as time, across media. Seen a movie trailer lately? Drive is an action-packed car flick like Fast And Furious!

Marketing doesn’t care what you made. They’ll sell what they wish you made by cherry-picking elements, what they think will get asses in seats…if they’re good at their jobs, anyway, which they’re probably not—often the trailer is just a montage of stuff blowing up because that’s all groupthink is capable of approving. The cake-and-eat-it-too problem reminds me of Starship Troopers. It was advertised as a serious gung-ho action movie about good guys and bad monsters. The more savvy audience read it as satire, a piece of fascist propaganda from the future, and appreciates it on that deeper ironic level. But it doesn’t quite work for either audience: The people who want to take it seriously find it too cheesy, and the satire crowd starts wondering if they’re reading too much into it: How much of the camp is intentional? Then there’s the third group who totally misread it and find it offensive: a celebration of fascism.

Meanwhile, RidleyFGJ brought to light the wonderful strategy that Shadow of the Colossus’ team employed:

A game that I’m going to call out as having a good ad campaign that actually informed you of what you’ll be doing without giving anything away is Shadow Of The Colossus.

One of the big promo items they gave away was a two-sided poster. On one side, you have Wander staring down, as best he can, one of the colossi that you encounter, as the words “Some mountains are scaled. Others are slain.” are between both of them, putting emphasis on the fact that these will not be the kind of boss fights that you’ve been used to.

On the other side you have a great summary of what the game is all about, describing what kind of world you’re getting into, what stands between you and your ultimate goal, and what you’re fighting for. All of it is wonderfully summed up with the “How far will you go for love?” [tagline].

Too Easy?
Lego Batman 2

The second edition of The Digest revolved around Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, which didn’t capture the fancy of either critic. Eurogamer contributor Dan Whitehead defended the game’s hand-holding from the perspective of the game’s target audience, which includes young children:

I don’t see the handholding as a problem, as the skill range of the target audience is very broad. The hints will get you through the story levels once, but it’s really just teaching you how the game world works so you can go back and get 100-percent completion by yourself. The games have layers of interaction that are entirely dependent on player experience. A very young kid can smash their way to the end of a level and feel proud. That same kid a few weeks later can find every secret and unlock every character.

I think they’re actually perfectly balanced. As adults who grew up from the 8-bit era onwards, there’s a lot we take for granted and if the Lego games are somewhat didactic in the early going, it’s only because they’re aiming at youngsters who didn’t come up with Mario, Sonic, and Crash Bandicoot.

In reply, Effigy_Power disagreed and argued for the benefits of growing up frustrated, exemplified by a cute story about a 12-year-old and Assassin’s Creed:

Child psychologists say that children learn composition, problem solving and generally spatial logic by playing with and initially failing at simple educational toys. That is why they should receive positive reinforcement for success, but not be told what to do.

Putting the star-shaped peg into the star-shaped hole is only an achievement if the child wasn’t told to put it there, but instead figured out that it doesn’t fit into the other holes. That aspect of learning and a sense of achievement doesn’t change throughout our adult life.

The problem is that certain areas of society have come to fear frustration and failure as something that is to be avoided at all costs in order to stop people from giving up. People who grow up with everything designed to be easily achievable will never know the pride and feeling of self-worth that comes from succeeding against the odds.

My oldest niece is 12, and she played Assassin’s Creed for a good two hours (we didn’t let her murder anyone by telling her she had to run away from guards) and became so fluent in the complex controls after falling off roofs for a while that she actually beat some of my times at roof-races. Every time she fell off a roof, she was convinced that she now knew what was wrong and tried again. After a fairly short time, she executed complex skips from walls and was proud of herself for figuring it out. I think the greatest aspect for her was that the way she was playing had stopped the conversation in the room and more or less enthralled five grown-ups.

Take A Picture, It’ll Last Longer
Portal 2

This week’s edition of Special Topics In Gameology continued Anthony John Agnello’s interviews with some of the gaming industry’s comedy icons. Anthony spoke with Erik Wolpaw, head writer of Portal 2. Wolpaw mentioned an “F-Stop” concept that was considered for inclusion in Portal 2 but ultimately discarded. Destroy Him My Robots pulled F-Stop out of the garbage and riffed an entire pitch for a photographic puzzle/adventure game:

You know, this F-Stop talk really makes me want a full photography puzzle/adventure game. Set your aperture to f/2.7 to manipulate a single object. Want to manipulate two at the same time? Set it so those two objects are within the depth of field. Throw an object across a chasm and shoot at 2-second shutter speed to turn that object into a bridge. Turn pinwheels into solid discs. Get through fast-moving laser grids by shooting them at 1/1000sec. Need to get an object in the background closer to one in the foreground? Take 10 steps back and zoom in. Bend surfaces with wide-angle lenses. Connect sparks to a device in need of electricity by using long exposure time and panning. And the tutorial writes itself: You start with a camera phone. MAKE. THAT. HAPPEN.

Listen Up, Pikachu
Takeshi No Chousenjou

And finally, this week’s Inventory compiled speech-recognition games that aren’t great listeners. CommissionerG chimed in with a pronunciation trick that relies on some quick-and-dirty Japanese lessons:

If you lived in Japan like I did, you know that Japanese people have a very different style of pronouncing English words. I found when playing Mario Party that I had much better luck with the voice recognition software if I used the Japanese style of pronunciation than plain old American. Perhaps this method will work with other games developed in Japan.

If you’ve never learned to pronounce English words the Japanese way, here are three easy steps to reaching a rough approximation.

1. Pronounce English vowels using the five Spanish vowel sounds. If a vowel is silent, don’t pronounce it.

2. If a word ends in a consonant other than “N,” add a “U” or “O” sound to the end.

3. If two consonant sounds are next to each other, separate them with a “U” or “O” sound.


Apple = Aw-poo-roo

Strawberry = Su-tu-raw-be-ri

Macdonalds = Ma-ku-do-na-ru-do

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll see you all next week.

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1,348 Responses to “Lollipop, Lollipop”

  1. GhaleonQ says:

    Although I’m sure this will someday lead to a taste for ethnic caricature and, subsequently, vicious racism, there are few things I enjoy more than the way the narrator in the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers trailer pronounces the game’s name.  FAINARU Fantaji…Kurisutaru Kuronikuru…….ZA KURISUTARU BEARA.

    I would listen to an opera composed of nothing but Japanese pronunciations of Germanic-derived video game things.  EIJI MABERIKKU!

  2. Effigy_Power says:

    My family anecdotes seem to be a sure-fire way for Comment Cat to pick my stuff. Good thing I have a large Irish-catholic family. Yay.
    Of course it also means that now I have to pay more attention to the horde of kids my siblings and cousins created.
    Oh Comment Cat… you bring families together!

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      To borrow a comment from AVC, “(Genuinely)cool story, bro!”  I can’t wait to start teaching my child (few more weeks before we find out the gender) to play games!

      • Limeade Youth says:

        The proper term for your future child is Shroedinger’s Baby – it’s simultaneously male and female until you determine the sex.

        Oh, and I suspect the proper response would be “Congratulations!” 

        Finally, while it may seem tasteless now, you’ll find this funnier/truer a few weeks/months after they are born:

        • Aaron Riccio says:

          I understand exactly what you’re saying, but now I’ve got an image of a baby that is neither alive nor dead. Throw THAT at the pro-life/pro-choice parties and see what happens.

        • Girard says:

           @google-19efbd0104cbaffa5782aef5b7104019:disqus  A “Pro-Life/Pro Choice Party” sounds like the LEAST FUN PARTY EVER.

      • George_Liquor says:

         Congrats in advance!

      • caspiancomic says:

         Teaching a kid to play games is super rad and all, but how long until Babyanaz is commenting on Gameological?

        Also, congratulations there eh buddy!

    • caspiancomic says:

       I have a large Euro-mutt Catholic family but all we ever seem to do is have babies and live in poverty =(

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Well, mine got scared to moderation by the potato blight I would assume, so they manage to only double the national population every 10 years now.
        Seriously, I have only 10 nieces and nephews… I am practically an only child by Eire-American standards.

        • Girard says:

           @Effigy_Power:disqus , you are doing God’s work by having a relationship where you’ll only have a kid if you make a very conscious decision to do so, thereby offsetting in some small way your sibling’s faith/culture-based fecundity.

          Amazingly, my Bohemian-Catholic family is not terribly sprawling. Probably because my parents got divorced after 2 kids, I have no interest in settling down, and my brother, though he’s getting married next year, is unlikely to want to have kids anytime soon…

  3. RidleyFGJ says:

    Wahoo, another call-out!

    A few more of these and Hollywood will have no choice but to answer my calls!

  4. HobbesMkii says:

    I don’t understand it, I cited freaking New Criticism this week. I drew parallels between Hemingway and Teti. Nothing. Nothing!

    • Aaron Riccio says:

      Maybe Teti secretly despises Hemingway? Or is working on “The Old Man and the Wii,” “A Farewell to Joysticks,” “The Steam Also Rises,” “A Playable Feast,” and “For Whom the Red Ring of Death Tolls” and didn’t want anyone calling him out on the comparisons. 

    • caspiancomic says:

       @HobbesMkii:disqus will not rest until he’s a triple threat: highest number of comments, most likes, most favoured by Comment Cat. Two out of three don’t cut it!

      • Effigy_Power says:

         But then… would a world lead by Hobbes really be such a bad thing?
        I for one would welcome if they played Calvinball at the next Superbowl.

    • Staggering Stew Bum says:

      Clearly there is no accounting for taste.

  5. lylebot says:

    How did we get to the point where a site about video games has the best comments on the internet?

    I have to say, though, that I thought the conversation on whether modern games are too easy relied too much on anecdotes and broad generalizations and too little on any actual data.  Effigy_Power’s anecdote is fun, but would anyone cite Assassin’s Creed as a series that offers a significant challenge to players?  The challenge in her story was created by the player trying to outdo herself, not by the game. 

    (The only major challenge I had with AC was with Robert and the Templar fight before him in AC1, which frustrated me so much that I rage-quit.  I eventually picked it up again when I realized I could cheese my way out of them by running in circles until my health came back.  So for me the whole of AC is an example of something that is not very challenging but still fun to play, except for one challenge that I found far too hard to enjoy playing or beating.)

    I will conclude my comment complaining about anecdotes with an anecdote.  I teach computer programming to college kids.  Each one has their own “sweet spot” of being challenging while still being solvable.  For a few, that spot is so high in challenge that if I were to aim everything at them, most of the class would fail.  For a few, that spot is so low that if I aimed everything at them, the class would be a joke.  Most are in various points in the middle.  But there is no “sweet spot” that works uniformly for all of them.  And I’m talking about a class of 50—now generalize to an audience of millions of players.

    I ended up giving a significant number of Cs, Ds, and Fs, and almost none of the kids that got those grades complained.  The notion that American kids are spoiled by things being too easy just doesn’t ring true to me.  (TBQH, it’s the kids who are already doing well who seem spoiled into thinking that they can always bargain for a few extra points.)  I think this complaint tends to be leveled by people whose own “sweet spot” is pretty high in challenge.  I learned very quickly in my teaching that my “sweet spot” is far, far above the capability of most kids—that’s why I’m the professor.  You guys have “sweet spots” that are pretty challenging—that’s why you’re writing about video games.  But we’re not representative of most people.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I think in my anecdote the game itself is actually fairly inconsequential. What matters is that Valerie was enthralled by the fact that increasingly complex maneuvers with her hands (which were after all a bit small for the bulky 360 controller) would result in increasingly complex maneuvers on screen.
      Assassin’s Creed (the game was actually AC:Brotherhood, btw) has the quality that failure to execute precise input is represented by almost slapstick-like falling, tripping or smashing into walls, which makes it a fairly good tool to instantly determine what was success and what wasn’t.
      As such witnessing something she controlled to turn out with stylized vaulting and balancing was a great incentive to become more savvy with the controller. I am sure tons of games would have sufficed for this, but I must admit that AC just very clearly shows the line between succeeding and only almost succeeding. She aimed at a ledge and success would be jumping onto it, framed by lesser successes such as barely holding on to the ledge and utter failures, such as falling down the wall or into the street, where NPCs would react with laughter and shock.
      I would say that while AC is streamlined enough in its complexity to be fairly easy for adults, a 12-year old with small hands and a brain not yet fully developed for such complex tasks will find a challenge there.
      In any case, the game itself was really not the point. What was the point is the correlation between fine motor skills, perseverance and the pride of success.
      I also don’t think that things being to easy has anything to do with the actual skill-level of American children or their desire to persevere through challenges, but is merely a constructed idea by game-developers and more so publishers, who have an invested interest in making people feel good about their purchase, not in educating and improving.

    • caspiancomic says:

       Good point about difficulty “sweet spots” being all over the map in a big enough population. I think this phenomenon is where traditional “difficulty selection” comes in. Some games allow you even more customization of your difficulty, like in some Silent Hill titles where you can adjust the difficulty of the combat and puzzles independently of one another, or Bastion, in which you can toggle certain extra challenges at leisure to create your own custom difficulty setting, or The World Ends With You, in which you can artificially de-level yourself for a greater challenge and increased rewards. Somewhere in the comments this week I mentioned Jenova Chen’s Flow theory, which is predicated on the idea that only players can choose their ideal difficulty sweet spot, and that there should be systems implemented in games that give gamers control over their experience. This way the distinction between “hardcore” and “casual” games (at least from a difficulty standpoint) would effectively disappear, since players would be able to play Gears of War with training wheels on if they prefer, or could play Wii Sports cranked all the way up to Dante Must Die.

  6. Mr. Glitch says:

    Hi everybody, Mr. Glitch here with more classic games to review!

    It’s 1985 again and the home computer market is still wide-open. Commodore Business Machines, flush with lucre from the wildly successful Commodore 64, begins selling their next generation machine, the multimedia powerhouse known as the Amiga. I recently dug mine out of storage and played my way through a stack of floppies. Here are my thoughts:

    Defender Of The Crown: Released in 1986 by Cinemaware , DOTC is a strategy game set in medieval England. You play as one of several Saxon kings who must defend his territory from Norman invaders. You amass armies, lay siege to castles, joust in tournament and rescue (and subsequently knock brogues with) distressed damsels. The graphics and sound are the best seen anywhere outside of an arcade in ‘86, but the game lacks depth and can be finished in one sitting—if you can get past the difficult start.

    Arkanoid: A near-perfect port of the arcade game. Big plus: it’s played with the mouse, giving you much better control than the NES version. 

    Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back: Another couple of arcade ports They keep the vector graphics look of the originals, but use more clear-sounding samples. Star Wars with its epic trench run sequence is the more memorable of the two.

    Mindwalker: Didn’t work. Instead, I got this, the dreaded guru meditation. Too bad. As I recall, this game was quite fun.

    It Came From The Desert: A Cinemaware adventure game, heavily influenced by 50s horror flicks; Them! in particular. You play as geologist Greg Bradley, sent to the town of Lizard Breath, Nevada to investigate the recent crash of a meteor. As meteors often do, this one has caused the local population of ants to grow to immense size, and even take over the bodies of the local townsfolk. The game’s currency is time: Speaking with characters, investigating car crashes, fighting giant mutant ants or recovering in the hospital takes time, and you only have 15 days to mobilize the town of Lizard Breath against the insect menace. This is one of my favorite Amiga games, and I may revisit it in greater detail in the future.

    Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco And The time Rippers sends Our Hero bouncing around Time in an attempt to defeat his nemesis, Sludge Vohaul, and save his unborn son. Sure it’s a bog-standard time travel plot, but SQ4 is still pretty epic in scope compared to the pervious games. It also looks much better than the previous games; a fact that’s humorously lampshaded when Roger revisits Space Quest 1. PC graphics and sound had come a long way and closed the gap by the time SQ4 was released, so the DOS version is really the way to go.

    The Three Stooges: Yet another Cinemaware game. This one features the Stooges trying to collect enough money to save an orphanage from a standard-issue evil banker.  To earn money, the Stooges work odd jobs, which are mini-games based on memorable Stooges shorts. There’s a pie fight, a boxing match, (Larry has to retrieve a radio playing that Weasel tune before Curly gets KOed) a race through a hospital in Shriner cars, a trivia contest, and others. Like DOTC, The Three Stooges looks and sounds fantastic, but it lacks depth or replay value and it’s really only fun for Stooge fans. 

    Hybris: A vertical space shooter in the style of Xevious. Fun game, but on my Amiga the graphics were badly glitched. The more I played, the worse they got, to the point where the screen was just a mess of smeared colors and random blocks. 

    Better Dead Than Alien: Another vertical shooter, but this one works. It plays much like Galaxian meets Space Invaders. This game’s not much of a looker, but, played with a mouse, it’s a lot of fun as your little space ship is very responsive and maneuverable. 

    Shanghai: A Mahjong game. Remember when these were big?

    Shufflepuck Café:  This games answers the age-old question “What if Mos Eisley got an air hockey table?” You must climb the Shufflepuck ranks, defeating a motley crue of aliens (and a half-naked woman, of course) to become Champion and earn the right to use the pay phone at the bar. Seriously. It’s a fun game of air hockey with smooth mouse controls and decent animations on the opponents. Though he first few opponents are easy enough, the difficulty soon ratchets up to the point where you need preternatural Jedi reflexes to win, making it an exercise in frustration. That naked chick totally cheats, too.

    Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego: Not much more to say about this edu-tainment classic. In terms of looks, it sure kicks the crap out of the Apple II version I played in school.

    Another World: This is it, the big mutha of Amiga games. The one that really showed what the Amiga could do. It’s an adventure game/puzzle platformer that tells the story of a particle physicist who gets zapped to another planet as the result of a botched experiment. He’s attacked and captured by a hostile alien race, and must join with another captive to escape the alien prison, the catacombs underneath, and an alien city. Other than a few words spoken in an alien language, there’s no dialog in the game. The characters’ intentions are all conveyed through their movements and facial expressions, and the plot is advanced through several very cinematic cut-scenes. It uses flat-shaded polygons and a muted color palette of blues and grays that give it a look similar to cel-shaded games like Wind Waker. The character animation is rotoscoped from live-action test footage, giving it a very fluid and realistic look. Unfortunately, as amazing as this game is to watch, it’s more frustrating to play. This game is hard! Certain jumps require you to be in pixel-perfect alignment, otherwise you’ll miss your mark and skewer yourself on a stalagmite. There’s no guidance or handholding here, either. No flashing hotspots or magic fairies telling you that pressing the unimportant-looking button you just ran past is critical to beating an alien six screen down the road. Yep, be prepared to follow a walkthrough or backtrack a lot! It’s adventure gaming in its cruelest, most raw form, but it’s a hell of a ride.

    Thanks for reading my reviews! Next week, we defend Earth from a killer planetoid in The Guardian Legend.

    • Effigy_Power says:

       I remember Shufflepuck Cafe very fondly, but Another World was… something else entirely. I think, as you said, it was as far as the Amiga could go. And for me it was the time to get a PC… very nice.

      • Mr. Glitch says:

        Hell of a swan song, huh? 

        • Effigy_Power says:

           Yes, I think it was the perfect game to go out with. Well, that and “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis”…

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        I downloaded a demo of Another World (called Out of this World in the US) off a BBS around 1991.  I had to tweak my DOS memory settings for an hour or two just to get the demo to work correctly, but loved it!  Bought the game when it came out a couple months later, and had to readjust memory a second time because the executable file was larger.

        As for the game itself – yeah, it was VERY hard!  In those pre-internet days, I’m pretty sure I had to ask for help on the BBS message boards when I got stuck a few times.  The hardest part I remember is fighting off several waves of aliens with the gun/forcefield weapon, having to make a step or two forward, then spam the forcefield while getting shot at, and get off one or two shots before having to put the field back up.  And then, after all of that, the ending was a major downer!

        As for those Cinemaware games – I had Sinbad and The Throne of the Falcon on the C64.  The only things I remember about it were that it was really difficult and random, the genie was a jerk, and I probably spent more time watching Libitina dance than playing the rest of the game.  (Onset of puberty yay fun)

    • Enkidum says:

      I had Defender of the Crown and Shufflepuck Cafe on my dad’s old mac. Shufflepuck Cafe was itself the sequel to a shareware (I think) game just called Shufflepuck, which was the same but without any characters or different styles of AI play.

      You’re right that the woman totally cheats. She was the hardest opponent, right after the biker guy, IIRC (and I may not recall correctly). Not sure how I managed to beat everybody in the end, but it can definitely be done.

      • George_Liquor says:

         I’m impressed @Enkidum:disqus, I could never beat it. I don’t think I even scored a point against the woman. Remember the drunk alien? The one that plays worse the longer the match goes and passes out when he loses? Man, I miss the shit game designers got away with back in the day!

        • Asinus says:

          The flash game Curveball is a great spiritual successor to Shufflepuck Cafe. I never had a mac but loved to play Shufflepuck whenever I could.

          No drunk aliens in curveball, though.

        • Enkidum says:

          Oh yeah, I forgot about that alien. I remember being really impressed by the programming there – I’d never seen a progressive handicap before.

          The more I think about it, the more I think I might be lying: did I really beat that woman? I honestly couldn’t tell you – this was over 20 years ago. I have a memory of being really happy about the game, but I just can’t recall if this was getting to the final stage or getting past it.

    • Asinus says:

      Amiga ports of Sierra games were terrible, which is really too bad.

      • George_Liquor says:

        The ports of the 256-color Sierra games definitely were. I’d say the VGA card is ultimately what killed the Amiga.

        • Asinus says:

          It’s too bad that the graphics upgrades for Amigas were so damn expensive. They were, in general, so upgradable (you can pop a PPC into almost any Amiga) but the graphics before the 4000 were mostly stuck at 32 colors (except in HAM, but that was for static images, IIRC). The 4000 had something more like SVGA, but by that time people who had 500, 1000s, 2000s, or other older systems could either upgrade their system for the cost of a PC, get a PC, or upgrade to a 4000 for what I imagine was an ungodly amount of money. I don’t know if you could pop out, say, an A2000’s graphics chip and pop in an AGA one from an 4000 or not, but that would have probably helped Amiga’s survivability.

           My first close-up experience with an Amiga was my great aunt’s (and now mostly my) A2000 with a Video Toaster, an 030 processor card w/ 8mb of ram, a deinterlacer, a SCSI hard drive (don’t recall how big, I think I upgraded it), and a 286 bridge board. I think it set her back  around $10,000.

          When she had that, I had a Tandy that cost less than a third of her amiga (and was overpriced itself), but wasn’t nearly as useful. However, my Tandy couldn’t run anything as cool as Elite Frontier or make 3D rendered movies (as long as you had a genlock VCR) or do video effects.

          I look at Amigas now and wonder just what the plan was supposed to have been. They had such amazing strengths and baffling weaknesses.  Someone gave me a box of Amiga stuff that had a few video cards, a bridge board, an ethernet card, and an A3000 and 4000 (the latter had bad caps on the processor board– fixed that easily enough). I upgraded their kickstart and found a cheap copy of Workbench 3.5. On a VGA monitor at high res, it’s a really attractive OS, but at the default with the onboard video, it looks clunky. I have no idea why they didn’t make it run 1024×768  with the onboard graphics. I think it would have looked less toy-like and more like a real workstation.

        • George_Liquor says:

          Yeah, Commodore made some baffling design decisions with the Amiga. I have an A2500, which is just an A2000 that shipped with the 030 card installed at the factory. Thing is, the original 68000 CPU is still on the motherboard, completely unused. I have no idea what that sucker cost when it was new, but with all that extra hardware, it couldn’t have been cheap.

          Those bridge boards are weird things. My Amiga has a 386 bridge board installed, and I have no idea how or even if it works.

    • bunnyvision says:

      I have a love/hate relationship with Defender of the Crown. It was one of the few NES games available for rent at my local mom’n’pop video store (VIDEONICS), so I rented it often. Unforuntately, this version is extremely stripped down – the Amiga version has beautiful sound and graffix to make up for its shallow gameplay, but the Nintendo version is straight up ugly. See: every other Cinemaware game that made it to the NES.

      • bunnyvision says:

        Talking about Cinemaware puts me in mind of all the other third-string developers for the Nintendo, in particular the unlicensed developers Camerica, Tengen and Color Dreams. Those would make for an interesting article subject.