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Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Review [Xbox One]

geometry wars 3 dimensions title

The naked body is one of the most beautiful objects in the world. There’s a reason why the Greeks used it as an analog for the gods in their sculpture and why art students around the world study each muscle and intonation of nude models. It’s because the simple lines and curves that shape the human body conspire together to create the perfect melding of form and function.

Here’s an exercise. Imagine the most attractive person you can. It doesnt matter if it’s a man or woman, take your pick. Imagine that person standing there, void of clothes, makeup, or tattoos. Visualize only their body, proud and confident. Beautiful isn’t it? Hell, it’s downright stunning. Now, keep imagining that person, but add the usual adornments people require. Shoes, a simple shirt or dress, etc. Maybe that person looks slightly better to you now, or maybe a little less. Now, continue adding the accessories that we’re used to seeing draped on the human form. Imagine them with a complicated, in vogue hairstyle, pile on the makeup and gold jewelry. Keep going. Picture them wearing a hat, gloves, designer sunglasses. And just like that, the beautiful work of art that was once there no longer has the simple perfection that they were born into the world with. Instead, this new creation is a gaudy substitute. Hidden somewhere under all of those unneeded additions is the true beauty. Somewhere.
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That’s the path that a lot of modern games have taken. At the core of Call of Duty’s dozens of weapons and myriad of controls may be a solid first person shooter. Deep down beneath The Crew’s needless storyline and layers of special effects could be a decent racer. But like many games today, you’ll be hard pressed to find the beauty of the game underneath all of the extraneous makeup and jewelry that are masquerading as ‘innovations’.

Geometry Wars 3 takes a different route. The simple, straightforward gameplay that dates back to one of the first twin stick shooters, Robotron 2084, is stripped of any pretense. You aren’t inundated with a story that was shoehorned in. The graphics are made up of basic geometric shapes that somehow seem at home even on a powerhouse like the Xbox One. It’s the opposite of the runway model who can barely stand under the weight of the latest in fashion.

The idea of the naked form has become transformed by society. It’s been co-opted by everything from advertising to porn. Sure, there’s a juvenile part of us that wants to laugh and point, mock and ridicule, or reduce it to a base sexual stimulant. But once you look past that, what you’ll see is beauty. Pure, simple beauty without the need to cover it up and over adorn it with needless trinkets and toys.

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The developers at Lucid recognize this. The gameplay modes of Geometry Wars 3 are basic, yet still satisfying. They range from the straightforward ‘Deadline’ where you shoot everything that moves in a set time limit, all the way to Pacifism, where the object is just to survive as long as possible without firing a shot.The adventure mode is a simple progression of level and game types, getting progressively more difficult as your ship equally gains in power via A.I.drones. These power ups are the only really unnecessary piece of bling on the title. Most of them equate to either increasing your firepower, or helping to protect your ship. But with the hectic gameplay, they could have easily been left out without much impact on the experience. Lucid has managed to hone the controls to near perfection, with movement becoming almost instinctive. Your eyes and hands work together in harmony with no middleman to slow them down. 

Some people say that it’s our insecurities that cause us to hide behind layers of makeup or strut around with expensive watches and designer clothes. The theory is that there’s some inherent flaw underneath, real or perceived, that can be covered up. Like an over compensating student at prom wearing too much cologne. Game developers have a tendency to fall into the same trap. It’s as if they know that if you were to strip away the fancy graphics and dense controls from most AAA titles, you’d be left with uninspired, tiresome gameplay thats been repeated for years. Geometry Wars 3 stands defiant and proud, unashamed of the absence of baubles and trinkets. It has grown since it was born as minigame in an Xbox racer. It’s a bit bolder, a bit wilder. The primitives based visuals have matured into a melding of shapes, color and sound that complement the gameplay instead of overpowering it. It doesn’t need nor want to be hidden under a thick blanket of excess. Geometry Wars 3 revels in it’s nakedness. And that’s a beautiful sight to behold.

Score. 9 out of 10

Published in Xbox One
Friday, 02 May 2014 00:00

SC3 2014 Gallery

 On April 26th, Steve Hertz and the Southern California Classic Collectors (aka SC3) set up shop in Santa Ana, CA at the Last Arcade on the Planet and let anyone with a love for games (and a recommended $5 donation) relive the glory days of arcades. Inside were rows of classic arcade games and on the outside were tables filled with retro consoles of all shapes and sizes. From Asteriods to Zookeeper, everything was set to free play. Eventhough the games were the main attraction, the real treat was seeing video game lovers young and old get together, socialize, and just have fun.

Find out more info about SC3 at be sure to make it to the next meet up. You wont be dissapointed.

Published in Galleries
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 23:12

Pac-Man Battle Royale - Ready - Fight!


What can I say about a game that's been around for more than thirty years and seems just as new as if it had been developed just yesterday? Answer:  "A lot."  There are many versions of this classic video game, and of course, none of the new Pac-Man games rival the original. In my opinion, the original Pac-Man will always be the best. It's a game that's probably been imitated, but can never really be duplicated.  I would describe Pac-Man as a video game that refuses to go quietly into that good-night, but instead reinvents itself for the enjoyment of Pac-Man video game players.  This is exactly what the developers responsible for the video game Pac-Man have done -- reinvented this game, time and time again.  By doing so, Pac-Man remains a fun video game to play, today -- some thirty-plus years later.

Of the many reinventions of this game, one of the most exciting, in my opinion, is the video game Pac-Man Battle Royale.  I happened upon this game when I was recently at a newly opened Dave and Buster's as part of my video game field trip for Mom's Minute Video Game Show. During opening night at Dave and Buster's (which was standing-room only), a crowd gathered around a group of players sitting and playing the Pac-Man Battle Royale game.  It was interesting to me to see the words in large letters appear on the gameplay screen, "Ready", "Fight!" before the Pac-Man matches started.   Pac-Man is a bonafide fighting game, where opponents go against each other in video gameplay for the win.

Actually, Pac-Man Battle Royale, as a fighting game, has been out for awhile now -- since January, 2011.  The game was brought out as part of Pac-Man's thirtieth anniversary after being introduced at various video game events such as E3 after parties and amusement expos before actually being released. Since that time, this game has not only retained die-hard Pac-Man fans but have possibly, more than likely, gained new Pac-Man fans as well. 


Pac-Man Battle Royale video game at Dave and Buster's

The video game fighting actions include eating the other Pac-Men or allowing them to be eaten by the ghosts in order to advance. From the happy and smiling faces of the players at Dave and Buster's, I could tell they were enjoying playing Pac-Man Battle Royale and competing against the other players for the win.

Did you know that Pac-Man Battle Royale has a facebook page -- which is unique to Namco games?  The facebook page, among other topics, tells you where you can play the game. I checked the Pac-Man Battle Royale facebook page and found out this game is currently going strong at Comic Con, being held in San Diego, CA.

Regardless of the type video games you play, you will probably be able to find a Pac-Man video game equivalent for it. Pac-Man video game shows no signs of becoming obsolete or evolving in a game resting on its past laurels.  Instead Pac-Man video games continue to gain popularity and from the looks of things -- will probably be even more popular for many years to come.

Published in Mom's Minute Blog
Friday, 15 July 2011 02:05

605 Dead Pixel Live 7.14.11

Dead Pixel Live gives up on chat in this episode. Derrick is under the weather. The DPL Old School Battle Royale contest is announced. More E3 interview from Inversion , Payday: The Heist, and the Videogame History Museum. Mayor Young from the Fantastic Forum podcast pops in to talk about his latest gaming choices.
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Published in Dead Pixel Live
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 00:00

MayFlash Universal Arcade Stick Review

mayflasharcadestick title

Overview: The MayFlash Universal Arcade Stick, simply put, aims to be an alternative to some of the other better known (& pricier) arcade sticks currently out there on the market. Frankly, at first glance at the arcade stick's price point, I had low expectations for the product, assuming that it would be of cheap construction and overall poor quality compared to the alternatives out there that are at a much higher price point, with the saying "you get what you pay for" in mind. I was pleasantly surprised at what I learned upon receiving and testing it.

The arcade stick's box contents are basic. Aside from (obviously) the arcade stick itself, it only comes with 2 other items - a mini CD with the appropriate drivers (for PC use) and a card that contains its instructions. Out of the box, the arcade stick is ready to be used on the PS2, PS3, & PC. For the other systems that are listed above, you need the appropriate adapter, which is sold separately (the only downside to the product that comes to mind).

Upon removing the arcade stick from its box & examining it, I notice a few things. First of these is the fact that the product does have some weight to it - not overly heavy, but enough to feel "right". Secondly, it feels rather solid and sturdy, with the body being made of metal. This is in contrast to my preconceived expectation that it would be overly light, flimsy, and easy to damage with little effort.

Visually, it is pretty bare bones. It is a solid matte black in color with no art designs on it whatsoever. In as far as I am concerned, this is a positive. The simplicity in its appearance means to me that it will fit in nicely with your gaming setup & won't clash with anything else.The lack of any game-specific artwork also negates a whole host of other issues that would otherwise come into play, such as having the product becoming dated after awhile, etc.Aside from the joystick itself, the arcade stick has 12 buttons, an auto-fire button, a "clear" button, 2 buttons that serve as a "Start" & "Select" (these 4 are in a row near the top of the arcade stick), & 8 "main" action buttons that are numbered from 1 to 8. The joystick & the 8 main buttons look and feel like what you would expect to find on an actual arcade cabinet, which is fantastic.

I ended up testing out the product on my PC. Installation of the drivers was simple enough & I proceeded to try using the product on numerous retro, arcade & arcade-style games via Steam. Simply put, the product performed beautifully. After playing a given arcade game for a few minutes, I almost felt like I was playing said game at the arcade on an actual arcade cabinet. It was comfortable to use and the button layout was spot on. Frankly, the only thing that would have made this product even better would've been the inclusion of a second joystick on the far right side (for twin stick shooter games) and a small trackball for those games that were originally designed to be used with such things, but I'd hate to be nit-picky.

In conclusion, can I recommend this product and say that it's worth the price tag? Yes, and yes. While it may not be flashy or have a whole lot of bells and whistles, it doesn't have to be and it is still a great product nonetheless.

- Simple design that looks great
- Good ergonomics/layout & weight
- Easy to use
- reasonably priced compared to the more well-known alternatives

- Separately sold adapters are necessary for use on some systems
- lack of second joystick & a trackball for games that would support/need them (minor gripe)


Published in PC
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 20:02

See Arcade Outsiders Live in Idaho


It’s official! We’re gonna be doing a live event at Grinker’s Grand Palace in Eagle, Idaho near Boise! YOU MUST MAKE IT! :) Beer, booze, live podcasting, John’s Arcade videos, listeners, high-score contests, fun, and MORE fun.

Oct 19, 2013 will be a day to remember. For all of the details on the event and tournament, head to and !


This event is coming up! WOOT! Below are the details for our live podcast and Tournament from Grinkers Arcade in Boise Idaho on Friday Oct 18 and Saturday Oct 19.

There will be three separate tournaments and leaderboards going on both days of the tournament. Play the games as many times as you want and record your best scores during the two days of the tournament. Each separate tournament will have a winner. Cash prize and other prize details TBD.

Hours of the tournament are:

Friday Oct 18 6pm - Close
Saturday Oct 19 11am - 10pm
Winners to be announced 10pm PST on Oct 19

An Aurcade referee (Clint) will be at the event to document all scores. 
Tournament status and live updates can be found here:

The games and tournaments

Stern Challenge 

Super Cobra

Main Tournament Games:

Pole Position
Moon Patrol
Paper Boy
Sea Wolf
Stern 2013 - Star Trek Pinball

Ninty Challenge: 

Donkey Kong
Mario Bros.
Donkey Kong 3

LIVE PODCAST Sat 19th 7pm -10pm PST

I hope you guys can join us and show up. Let’s make this a bad ass and FUN get together with beer, booze, and arcade games!!! How can you not have fun?!


Published in All Games Blog