SNES Classic Launches on 9/29/2017

SNES Classic Launches on 9/29/2017

What can I say other than OMG!!!!!

As a lifelong Nintendo fan, I live for these special moments where classic gaming comes to the forefront. I grew up playing Nintendo games with my friends daily. Before Microsoft and Sony came into the picture, Nintendo had all of my attention. Sure Sega was around but, they were big meanies in my opinion. Sega did what Nintendon’t and ran themselves out of business. I do have a lot love for Sega don’t get me wrong. Nintendo is my heart though. They just announced that the SNES Classic Edition is set to release on September 29th 2017. Many people probably aren’t excited for reasons I will explain shortly but, I myself am ecstatic.

The SNES Classic follows the release of the NES Classic from 2016. The NES Classic was a mini version of the original Nintendo console packed with 30 classic games. I didn’t go to Target when they opened on release day because, I figured I would be able to just pick on up at anytime. Well, it became the hottest item of the Christmas holiday. Not only were they sold out at my local Target; they were sold out all over the country. People were waiting 10+ hours in the blistering cold to get their hands on one. I was one of those people (maybe not 10 hours for me but, hours before store opening all the same). When I finally got my hands on one I felt like I had finally won! Here we go all over again!

Nintendo is the only video game company that knows how to create rare items. Many people complain about them not making their products readily available. Sure they have stock issues and have historically. I can’t remember a time when a Nintendo system didn’t have a stock issue. That is completely fine with me because, Nintendo creates rare, timeless gems. Only 2 million NES Classics were sold. If they were openly available, Nintendo may have sold double, triple even quadruple that given the demand. Instead the system was discontinued after just 5 months. Another rare gem for the Nintendo fans in the world.

The SNES Classic will come with 21 pack-in games (9 less than the NES) but, these aren’t your run of the mill titles. Please see the game list below:

  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario Kart
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Super Metroid
  • F-Zero
  • Star Fox 2 (never released)
  • Super Punch-Out
  • Street Fighter 2 Turbo
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Mega Man X
  • Kirby Superstar
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Star Fox
  • Yoshi’s Island
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Contra III
  • Secret of Mana
  • Earthbound
  • Super Ghouls and Ghosts

I am genuinely excited to have another piece of my childhood back. A lot of these games I have physical copies of but, I currently don’t have an SNES system. THIS IS AWESOME!

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Microsoft and Xbox Deserve A Lot of Credit

Microsoft and Xbox Deserve A Lot of Credit

This was my view from the Microsoft E3 Press Conference this past Monday in Los Angeles. I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced something as cool as what Microsoft did for me last week. The road to the show wasn’t without it’s own issues although. From having a ticket, to not having a ticket, to the entire trip being in jeopardy; it all worked out pretty well in the end. Let’s start from the top.

Every year, the E3 Electronics Expo comes to L.A to showcase the video gaming technology. This is the first year that E3 has allowed the public to buy tickets to the show as in previous years, only media have been allowed entry. I jumped at the chance to experience my first E3. I was able to secure tickets the minute they went on sale. Microsoft announced their own separate event called “Xbox Fan Fest”. This is something that they have done for a few years now for die-hard Xbox fans. They give gamer’s a chance to experience their newest games away from the massive lines on the show floor. Only 400 tickets were available through an online ticket system and I was one of the lucky few. That is until Microsoft sent a second email out stating that the system let more than the allotted amount in and all tickets had t be voided. Despite the frustration, I tried again on the rescheduled date and received a page time-out error. Even more frustrated, I emailed Xbox support and they rewarded me with a ticket to FanFest!

A lot of gamer’s missed out during the second go round. This is the one issue with social media is that issues bring loads of added attention and the pool became a lot bigger than it was initially. Information was few and far between leading up to the date. It wasn’t until the week of the event that I received my code and information email. With anticipation building, Fan Fest was just around the corner. Since I was a young kid, I’ve watched the major game companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have these really cool press conferences with live music, entertainment and most importantly great games. Going into everything, I wondered if my first experience would be everything I hoped it would. The morning of the event, I took my first Uber ride into downtown L.A and I stood in my first of many long lines of the week. I made it to the Fan Fest.

Microsoft greeted everyone with a pre-party. We were given an early lunch, custom t-shirts to wear with our Fan Fest lanyards. We were then carried over to the Gallin Center on Microsoft’s expense. The picture above is exactly what I saw when I walked into the arena. From the television to my eyes, the set looked utterly amazing! I couldn’t believe my eyes let alone how close I was to the stage. The entire event was very organized and calm. The fans were enthusiastic about Xbox and so was I. On a huge 4K screen I was one of the first people witness the Xbox One X in person. Following the press conference, we were taken back to the pre-party location that had been transformed into an after-party. Full service open bar, custom hat making, free food, free games and more. At the end of the night I walked away with a backpack full of Xbox goodies and they weren’t cheap either.

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The following night we were treated to a preview of all of the upcoming show floor games. We got to play them all before they went public the next morning. Once again a full open bar, food, snacks, games, and personal time with developers, and the people that made it all happen. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for creating an unmatched experience that I don’t think anyone could imagine. They even provided the unlucky folks that weren’t able to score tickets from the first round free 3-day expo passes. No one truly lost as an Xbox fan this year.

In conclusion, I have to show a new respect for Microsoft and people that run the show. Not only did they create magic, but they set the bar really high. This is an experience that I will never ever forget. Despite all of the trouble to get there, in the end it was well worth it. Thank you Microsoft and Xbox for all of the hard work you put forth.

NES Classic and the trouble of getting one!

NES Classic and the trouble of getting one!

It is not secret that Nintendo’s NES Classic is the hottest item of the season. Well that and the Hatchimal but, I’m not interested in that. I never knew that the NES would become one of the hard to find items. I mean it’s a $60 system with 30 pre-loaded games. If you ask a lot of people, they will tell you that no item at $60 should be this difficult to find. I’d like to look at it a bit differently.

This past Sunday I decided to take my chances with the Toys R Us restock. I got myself up at 4 am with plans to arrive at 4:30 am. I arrived as the 29th person in line or so I thought (more on that later). Toys R Us opens at 8 am in my area so I figured 3 1/2 isn’t too bad of a wait. It was pretty cold but, everyone was in good spirits. The Store Manager arrived around 6 am or so and he took a look at the line. At this point I would of estimated a good 75 people had shown up. He came out at around 6:15 and he walked the line twice. The first time he walked the line was to count how many people wanted Hatchimals. The second time was to count The NES numbers. On both occasions he cut the line about 10 people behind where I was standing. Everyone else was told there were no more and to head home. He went back into the store and informed us that he would hand out tickets at 7:30.

Fast forward to 7:30 and we are waiting for our tickets. You can imagine my mood when I was informed that the NES tickets were all gone just 4 spaces ahead of me. I stood in line since 4:30 and was told that I was counted for and now the systems are gone. Not only me but the 4 people ahead of me, and the 10 behind me. I was not going to take no for an answer. The manager said that even though he told us that we were counted, families may have had people in their cars. This means that he has to offer a system to every person in line. He wouldn’t acknowledge that created a false expectation. I got a little angry and I raised my voice at him because, he should of know better. You can’t count people at 6:30 and come back an hour later to hand out tickets. Too many people have showed up to hop in line with friends and family. There is too much room for error there.

He told the ticketed folks to head into the store and wait at customer service. There were six of us outside, who stayed in our line and waited for him to return to us. Everyone behind us has dispersed and began to swarm the guy. At one point he told us to just forget about it altogether. I asked him if we could be added onto a wait list. His answer was no because he wasn’t sure if he would get anymore in before December 25th. I didn’t care when it came in, I just wanted to ensure that I received one. I asked more then a few times until he broke down and said that he needs to obtain approval. He went into the store and came back out with good news. They found an extra box on the truck but, only three are in the box. So by courtesy, the three people in front of me get systems. They head in and we continue to hang out. One of the lucky people were part of a couple. The wife stayed behind because, she wanted one for herself.

More potential good news struck as we were told that another box of three may or may not be on the truck. Instead of giving them to the next three, he wanted to put everyone’s name into a hat and draw them. I said no way…we are still standing in our original formation.Once the people behind us realized that the couple ahead of me were standing in line for two, they totally turned on the wife. They didn’t want her to get a system and told the manager to raffle off her box. I gently pushed her forward as he told us to go wait for him inside. I didn’t want her to get into an argument with anyone…you’ve gotten this close and you don’t need to mess that up.

Once inside we waited for about a half out and finally!!!!!!!!!

I was able to put my hands around my NES Classic. Our hard work paid off. If I wouldn’t of stood there and fought with him, someone else would of gotten my system. Just goes to show you that standing your ground can truly pay off when it’s right. I wrapped my system and plan to open it on Christmas morning. For those of you who are still searching, stay strong. Target gets them in small batches throughout the week and Best Buy is planning a nationwide restock on November 20th. Please don’t get caught up the the EBay resale gimmick paying 3x the price. There was a guy in the front of line willing to sell his for $200 bucks. I told him if he needed to wait in line for a chance to make $140 profit then maybe he needs to find a better paying job.

Good luck out there!nes-pic

Spread the Love Everyone!

Okay so I can’t speak about the election to anyone without starting an argument so at least here I can vent to the open world of the internet. I am not a political person by stretch of the imagination. I am also not a confrontational person. I know when to stand my ground and I know when to just let something go. Right now I’m not proud of the things that are happening in this country.

I grew up in the heart of Baltimore City. Politically you voted for whoever the black person was and if there weren’t any blacks available, you vote for the democrat. I’m watching videos of parents ridiculing their kids on video for having different political beliefs than them. Luckily I grew up with a mind of my own and a voice that gives me the strength to make decisions on my own. I am a proud unaffiliated voter because let’s be honest, no one party is the perfect party.

Whether you voted for Trump or Clinton, someone had to lose. You can’t always come out on the winning end and that’s what a lot of people are failing to realize right now. What would a Hilary supporter be saying if Trump lost and his voters were protesting and their kids were walking out of schools? Probably the same thing that Trump supporters are saying about you right now. This is not the end of the world, life needs to move on. We all have family, friends to worry about and all of the hate is just nasty.

As we roll into this holiday season, let’s try and pick the next person up…not tear them down. Donald Trump is the President elect and we as American’s are strong people. We will make it through as we always have. Love him or hate him, how you deal with this is your own choice. Just be smart about it.

Black Thursday is Upon Us

Halloween is less than a week away! This year has flew by and it’ll be Christmas before you know it. I like to get my shopping plan started early so I try to keep an eye out for early pricing. I would consider myself a Black Thursday shopper but, never for anything in particular. I just like to go out and see what trinkets I can find. Despite the crowds it can be a fun experience. One thing I can always say about Black Thursday is that the poor employee’s suffer the worst. I worked almost 10 years in retail and I don’t think I’ll ever go back….holidays suck! When I worked for Target we always purchased catered dinner for our teams throughout the day. They were always very appreciative of that. I will always remember Target for going out of their way to try and bring a piece of home to work. I would assume that most companies don’t value their employee’s in that way. Macys? JCPenney? Kohls? Best Buy? WAL-MART?

I read an article today that Kohl’s is planning on opening at 6 p.m on Thanksgiving and Macy’s is opening at 5 p.m. Who is making these decisions to open these stores this early? While many companies are starting to pull back on opening so early, retail establishments are just pushing forward. I can only speak for myself but, regardless of what time your store opens, If I’m planning to go there I’m going to go. Makes no difference if it’s 6 p.m (ridiculous) or midnight (like it should be). Its greed and it drives me crazy!

Enjoying IheartRadio 2016 in Vegas

Enjoying IheartRadio 2016 in Vegas

I enjoyed my 5th IheartRadio Music Festival a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. I must say that I had an awesome time as I do every year. As a huge music and concert fan, this is the best of the best in my opinion. It’s the best chance to see artist that you wouldn’t always pay top dollar to see. I’m just going to share a few pictures and my thoughts on night 1 (Friday). I will post later this week to recap night 2.

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Outside of the brand new T-Mobile arena. This place was freaking awesome. It wasn’t the most attractive arena during the day but, at night it’s great. The most comfortable seats I have ever sat in for an arena. Britney Spears is on the video screen but, she doesn’t perform until night 2. Can’t wait to go back next year. 
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I was able to score club tickets for the first night so this was my view for the night. I had a lot of executives sitting around me and they were older. I couldn’t help but laugh when they all would Snapchat and jump in on each others snaps. When older people get a hold of a cool app, they really go for it. 
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First act of the night was Billy freaking Idol. I never listened to his music until I learned he was on the lineup. A lot of his songs I knew but, didn’t know he performed them. He looked really good and sounded pretty much the same. He opened with Rebel Yell. For his final song he brought out Miley Cyrus. Iheart always starts off with a bang. 
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Sam Hunt was the second performer for the night. I know he has a lot of popular songs and he pretty popped up out of nowhere. He was alright I guess. At one point he walked through the crowd and stood maybe 5 feet away from me.
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The band I was most excited about came third in One Republic. I have been saying for years that they need to be added to the lineup. I finally got my wish and what great performers they are. Ryan Tedder is really cool and he puts on a good show. They played their bigger hits and their newest song “Kids”. I’d love to catch them on tour soon.
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The performer of the night was Sia. If you don’t know, Sia is very unique. She doesn’t show her face and when she performs she stays stationary. She is on a small podium in the back whole her dancers portray her visions on stage. The voice is amazing and if you don’t believe me please check her out. If you look above at the video screen, you will notice that her dancers are creating stories right there on stage. It was so amazing to see what technology can do with performances like this. She received a standing ovation afterwards. Can’t wait to see her next week in D.C.
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I noticed a lot of Twenty One Pilots t-shirts walking around Vegas. They played the daytime festival a few years ago and I didn’t pay any attention. I have them on my radars now because they put on a kick ass performance. This picture is at the end when Tyler walks through the crowd and climb this small scaffold. He did almost a whole song up here. They made believers out of me.
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I just saw Drake back in August on tour. I was just as excited to see him again. He kept the energy levels very high with his multiple hits. When you go to a Drake show you have to be ready for a lot of pyro as seen above. A great performance should of ended with Hotline Bling, but he didn’t perform it. Bummer.
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The headliners for night 1 were U2. I didn’t think that I would enjoy them but, I watched from start to finish. Their songs sound so good live. Or maybe it was just the presence of Bono…not really sure. 20160923_233313

In conclusion, I had a great time at night 1 of the festival. I did feel that surprises were kept to a minimum other than Miley Cyrus. This night was definitely about the music though. I can’t really complain about that.

Building a Game Room!

I’m finally taking all of my retro games out of these ugly totes and putting them on display. This has been a project years in the making. I feel like I finally have a respectable library of games to display. I took the smallest room in my house and I cleared it out. This is what it looked like before I began….

room-painted-before

I spent my whole Sunday taping and painting the room and here is the end result!

room-painted-after

In the next few weeks or so I will continue to provide updates on the status of the room. I am so excited!!