Health Update

MarioI've been away for a few weeks, but I wasn't on a relaxing holiday vacation.  Long-time PTB readers are familiar with my ongoing difficulties with Crohn's Disease and my multiple surgeries over the years, and while I'm happy to say that my Crohn's is in remission, unfortunately I do have other organs that can fail.  For instance, this time around it was my gallbladder which was kicking out gallstones into my pancreas, causing an excruciatingly painful infection.  What was supposed to be a simple outpatient laparoscopic surgery to remove my gallbladder turned into what my surgeon called the most challenging surgery of his year as he discovered that all of the organs on the right side of my abdomen — gallbladder, liver, etc. — were fused together into a single mass along with the major blood vessels that serve those organs. 

My surgeon spent several hours carefully separating everything and then removing my gallbladder which, as it turns out, was  difficult to identify because it was lost in the organ mass.  He eventually found it and removed it leaving me with a twelve inch-long horizontal incision wound and four small puncture wounds.  Five days in the hospital over Christmas later and I was back at home where I've been resting ever since.  Naturally, you can understand why everything here at PTB came to a halt.  I'm back up and moving around the house now though, my surgical staples have been removed, and I'm able to sit at the PC for a while, so I intend to get back to writing and podcasting.  Thanks for your patience as I recover from my fifth surgery.  There can't be many more of these in my future; I'm running out of removable parts!


Power Button - Episode 226: Let's Go For A Super Mario Run

Power ButtonNintendo has brought out the big guns for its first non-Miitomo app as Mario and friends come to iOS in Super Mario Run.  Blake Grundman and I have been enjoying the game and have some thoughts on how it plays, what it means for Nintendo, what we like about it, and what we do not.  Come for the Mario, stay for the sidequest into the madness of the holiday season.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Give Up Your Appellations, Technical Monkey

Gradius 3There's a long line of confusing video game mistranslations out there spanning from the basic "Conglaturations" from Ghostbusters to "A Winner Is You" in Pro Wrestling to the infamous "All your base are belong to us" from Zero Wing.  You can typically deduce the original intent of the bad localization, but sometimes a game throws you such an odd statement that it takes several leaps of logic to arrive at the proper translation.  Consider the arcade difficulty mode of the Super NES version of Konami's Gradius 3 which, if you can finish all of the game's levels, offers up the praise "I'm give up your appellation's Technical Monkey".  What on earth could that possibly mean?  ReyVGM has solved the puzzle and, like all good mistranslations, there's a fun story of design decisions behind it.  I won't spoil it here, but the answer makes perfect sense.  Well, as much sense as a bizarre localization ever makes.  Appellations all around!


Annual Christmas Special Encore! Power Button - Episode 158: Christmas In Videoland

Power ButtonSpecial Christmas encore of our popular holiday episode! It's the holiday season which means that it's the perfect time for us to dedicate an episode of Power Button discussing video games that include Christmas elements such as music remixes, holiday weapons, festive missions, and appearances from Santa Claus himself.  There's some deep cuts mixed in here with the mainstream titles; we cover everything from Christmas trees in Sonic Adventure's Station Square to the special Christmas cheat code in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble to Banjo-Kazooie's Freezeezy Peak to the special holiday demo of Jazz Jackrabbit to Sega's limited edition Christmas NiGHTS to the hard-to-find Daze Before Christmas from Sunsoft.  Settle in with some egg nog and spend eighty minutes with us this holiday season.  We also sidequest off into NES Remix, adorable amiibo, and much more.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!    Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Power Button - Episode 225: Pinball Fever

Power ButtonIt's been a busy time for pinball fans with real world events and new digital releases coming furiously like an assortment of metal balls all flipping around an area at once in some kind of multiple arrangement.  As we like to do from time to time here on Power Button, this week is another of our in a series of episodes focusing on pinball experiences.  First I talk about the fun of going to the Free Play Florida arcade and pinball event where I was able to play new tables like Ghostbusters and classics like Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and 24, then Blake Grundman takes us on a journey into the new Stern Pinball Arcade Collection for modern game consoles and we wrap things up with a look at the new Zen Studios release of Bethesda-based pinball tables based on Skyrim, DOOM, and Fallout.  Bump out for an hour and join us.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


A First Look At The Super Mario Bros. Super Show

MarioNintendo felt it was burned in the early 1990s when it licensed Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda out to Hollywood for film and animation projects and didn't like the eventual end result, but for a while there the company really was trying to make it work.  1980s powerhouse DIC turned both games into the animated/live-action hybrid syndication smash The Super Mario Bros. Super Show in 1989 and Nintendo Power was there to promote it.  After all, what better way to spread awareness of the new program than through the game publisher's own in-house publicity publication? Over on Twitter, @VGArt&Tidbits has a scan of the single-page tease from the July/August 1989 issue. 

The main piece of art doesn't represent the visual style used on the cartoon at all, but I remember seeing it on licensed products such as TV trays and notebooks back in the old days, so I don't know if it's just an unrelated piece of art used here as filler or cartoon concept art that changed direction.  Either way, it's an interesting look into the past.  Who's that white-haired Mario ancestor in the photo on the wall?


New Bethesda Pinball Pack Sure To Please Fans

DoomI love what Zen Studios has accomplished over the years with the Zen Pinball 2 / PinballFX 2 suite of pinball tables, but while there are many properties that I know and love that become tables, sometimes the company takes me into unfamiliar territory.  The latest release in that style is a triple pack of new tables built around popular properties from Bethesda featuring DOOM, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  Everything I know about DOOM I learned in DOS back in the 1990s and I've never been interested in the latter two franchises, so I went into this new pack pretty much blind.  I don't know anything that's going on here, nor do I fully understand how the tables work.  The fun references and continuity nods are lost on me.  I still enjoyed myself just the same as you'll see in these quick videos of me experiencing the DOOM and Fallout tables for the first time, learning the ropes and trying to figure it all out.  I expect that Bethesda fans will get more out of this pack than I do, but I suppose part of the fun is learning something new.



Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Coming To PS4, Xbox One, And PC With New Features

Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3Sony and Capcom surprised everyone today with the announcement that one of last generation's best brawlers, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, is coming to the Sony PlayStation 4 today.  Marvel followed that up with an announcement of their own that gives more details on this re-release; while the PS4 version is available on the PlayStation Store today, Microsoft Xbox One and PC versions will follow in 2017. 

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is being re-released for current generation systems; with the PlayStation®4 digital download version available today and the Xbox One® and Windows PC versions coming in March 2017. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for current-gen systems includes a new gallery mode, is packed with all previous DLC, and features an improved 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. The re-release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is being offered as an individual download title on all systems for $24.99.

No extra DLC, no season passes, everything is included, and there are new upgrades and a new mode too all at a reasonable price.  Now that's how you do a re-release.  UMvC3 has been lost in the mists of time for a few years now ever since the license between Marvel and Capcom expired.  The original PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita versions are long out of print and are unavailable on digital marketplaces.  Even if you do own the game, you can no longer buy the DLC, so no extra costumes or characters for you.  Bringing this game and its content back for modern hardware is a wonderful thing and despite owning it three times already (original PS3 release, Ultimate PS3, and Ultimate Vita with all DLC thanks to the end-of-license fire sale), I'll end up buying it again for PS4.  It's just such a well-constructed game and while I have high hopes for the upcoming Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, the lackluster debut and first year of Street Fighter V's software-as-a-service model is already making me pine for the days of a predominantly complete base game.


Anticipating Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite's New Characters

Marvel vs Capcom InfiniteEveryone is excited about the announcement of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite coming to the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC in late 2017. While Ryu, Mega Man, Iron Man, and Capcom Marvel are announced as playable characters so far, I know I have a few characters in mind on both teams that I'd like to see join the fight.  Just as I did when Marvel vs Capcom 3 was announced, I've put together a brief list of Capcom and Marvel combatants that deserve a shot at glory alongside Marvel and Capcom's greatest heroes and villains.

"It's not about the size of the artillery. It's about choosing the perfect bullets. Storm, Iron Man, Reed Richards... they all know their own teams inside and out, which is critical--but limiting. I got this job because I'm good at mixing and matching. At studying everyone's strengths and weaknesses and thinking outside the boxes labeled "Avengers" and "Masters of Evil". Remind me to tell you sometime how Quicksilver could kill the Hulk if he wanted to." - Phil Coulson, SHIELD Vol. 3, #1

Capcom

Sigma

Sigma

The leader of the Mega Man X Mavericks deserves a chance to shine.  I want to see him brought back to his original form from the original Super NES game as a base appearance, red cape and all.  His Wolverine-like claws made of electricity would make him an excellent successor for the X-Men favorite if the rumor about the emphasis on Marvel Cinematic Universe characters over the X-Men and non-MCU characters hold true.  Let his later overly complicated forms and ultimate battle bodies appear as devastating super combos and ultimate attacks.  Maybe his robot dog, Velguarder, could tag in as an assist character.

Continue reading "Anticipating Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite's New Characters" »


MST3K Meets PlayStation

MST3K on PlayStation UndergroundIn a match made in cross-promotion synergy heaven, the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the creative folks at video magazine PlayStation Underground once teamed up to create an exclusive segment featuring Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot riffing on old Sony PlayStation commercials and outtakes.  Released in February 1998 just before MST3K's ninth season season (its second on the Sci-Fi Channel) on PlayStation Underground, Issue 2.1, this clip has been floating around the Internet for years and I somehow never got around to sharing it here.  Allow me to remedy that.  You could use a laugh and, depending on your age, a little nostalgia.