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!

Advertisements

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.

20170612_232119

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

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.

20160923_181204
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. 
20160923_184436
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. 
20160923_194239
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. 
20160923_201104
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.
20160923_204944
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.
20160923_211735
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.
20160923_220647
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.
20160923_223157
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.
20160923_231145
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!!

I’m Going To IHeartRadio Music Festival!

20150918_184419

I am more than excited to have finalized my plans for the IheartRadio Music Festival in Vegas this September. If I had to choose three favorite things in the world, it’s music, wrestling and video game. The picture above was my view from last years show. I love this festival because it gives me the chance to see music artists that I wouldn’t spend money to see otherwise. It’s also exposed me to a lot of new music that I wouldn’t listen to on a regular day. I have a new found respect for Zac Brown Band after they performed a few years back. The IheartRadio Music Festival is unlike other festivals. The main difference is that it’s indoors. I dislike standing outside in the scorching heat to see my favorite music artists. I guess I’m being picky but, I’ve seen many people in my time collapse from heat and dehydration. It just isn’t healthy to me. I want to list the artists that I get to see this year, I am so excited!!

Ariana Grande – I saw Ariana two years ago at the 2014 festival. She was the last performer before the headliner which I think was Usher (who is also in this years lineup). A lot of great acts had already come and gone and it really took away from her set. She didn’t sound too great in her set. This time around she’s grown quite a bit and her songs cater to a slightly older crowd. I’m excited to hear her this time around. Hopefully she performs earlier in the night.

Billy Idol – A rock n roll icon who I’ve never listened to until this past week. He sings songs that I didn’t know he wrote. The classic artists are always good and I look forward to my first Billy Idol experience.

Britney Spears – Someone I’ve always wanted to see but, never had a the chance until now. Looking at social media, it seems like everyone is excited for Britney. She cant perform like she used to but, I know she’s going to rock the house. She may even headline Saturday night.

Cage The Elephant – I have a buddy who won tickets to see them and he invited. I declined as I have never heard a song of theirs. I guess I should of went.

Drake – I’m actually going to Drake’s Summer Sixteen Tour in a few weeks. I get to see him twice and I’m not complaining. He’s probably the hottest act out right now and I have a feeling he will headline Friday night.

Florida Georgia Line – They make really good music and I look forward to hearing the hits. I’ve seen some of the best country acts here at Iheart. Let’s keep that trend going.

One Republic – Probably the one act I’m looking forward to the most. One Republic is one of my favorite musical acts. It will be my first time seeing them and I’be been hoping that they would do an Iheart eventually. They will probably go on second or third so I need to brace myself.

Pitbull – An artist that I’be always wanted to see but, won’t pay to see a full concert. He does make good music and I’ll be singing along. He has headlined before also. Gonna be weird to see him do a short set.

Sam Hunt – I know nothing of Sam Hunt other than he’s exploded over the past year or two. I expect to hear the women scream.

Sia – Awesome voice and awesome artist. I will see Sia again in October when she’s on tour. No harm in enjoying the hits though.

Sting – Icon Icon Icon! He may reunite with The Police! Only a rumor 🙂

Tears for Fears – Of the four classic acts, this is the one I am most excited about. They were so unique in their sound and I can’t wait to sing “Shout”. So ahead of my time..but it’s great music.

Twenty One Pilots – Have become popular over the last year. I watched them at VMA’s last year and I wasn’t impressed. Hopefully they prove me wrong.

U2 – I don’t know what to say about U2. I know they are one of the biggest bands of all time. There hasn’t been much excitement about them from what I’ve read though. I hope they don’t get the headline spot over Drake.

Usher – A three time Iheart performer (along with Coldplay). I’ve heard most of his songs but, he has a new album. I expect to hear new music which is cool.

ZEDD – Is also a former Iheart performer. I don’t think he has a new album but, I saw him last December. He tore the house down in December. I can’t wait to jump up and down with him in Vegas.

 

 

I Started a Movie Club at Work

20160506_184448

One of my favorite past times is getting together with family and friends to go to the movie theater. I remember one of the local theaters having $4 tickets on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm. Me and my friends could enjoy films and afford them as middle school kids. Who would of thought?

Recently my favorite movie theater has been renovated. This is a picture of my younger cousin with his feet up in the air waiting for our movie to start. The chairs are leather and there is much leg space. The days of squeezing past others in the aisle are gone. I’m sure there are other theaters like this but, it’s the first in my area. Movies just got a lot more comfortable.

I like to talk about the movies I watch with my co-workers. It’s often that no one has even seen most of the films. With that being said, I decided to reach out to my committee leader. My company has a number of employee committee’s and I joined the Intellectual Wellness Committee. We look for ways to stimulate connections and thinking across the company. I thought it would be a great idea to start a movie club. It’s been about six months now and I have to say that it’s been a great experience. I put together a theme and I create a list of 5 -6 films. Everyone votes on them and we have an end of the month discussion. This theme for July is “Valor” and our film is, “Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots”. We have a lot of females in the club and I figured it would be cool to view a documentary on women in the military.

Next month we are doing Cult Classics. My vote is for The Warriors which is my favorite film of all time. It’s a fun film and it’s just corny enough to not be corny if that makes sense.