Is that a bear pumping gas?

Well, I somehow doubt that it was actually necessary to put in the caption that this isn’t a real bear, but here’s a Modern Mechanix short from the December 1931 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine.

Bear Skin Garb Boosts Gas Sales
TO ADD to the scenic effects of his gas emporium, a garage owner in Thurin-gia, Germany, has bedecked himself in a bear skin. Thus he is able to provide his customers with both amusement and engine juice, to say nothing of the extra remuneration which accrues to himself in the deal.

[tags]Modern Mechanix, A bear pumping gas?, Ideas for drumming up business[/tags]

Nicola’s mamelife blog

I never knew this existed, but the original programmer of MAME has a blog hosted at Blogspot.  If you have somehow existed in the computing world and played games, but don’t know about MAME, then read up on it at Wikipedia or on the official MAME site.  The latest post right now on Nicola’s blog is some details on how the developers have perfected the emulation for Bubble Bobble by getting an original ROM, disassembling it, reading the ROM visually, and then decoding it all.  He also explains some apparent bugs they have found and how the bugs impacted game play.

[tags]MAME, Nicola’s blog, Gaming[/tags]

Worst games ever

(via Kotaku)

Every once in a while, some gaming site or magazine does a worst games list, usually to compliment the best games list just published there or elsewhere. But now Wikipedia is getting in to the list business, with the Wikipedia list of computer and video games considered to be the worst ever. This list appears to be updated according to group discussions on the topic, which at least attempts to make it less vendetta oriented.

Here are just a few of the many bad games on the list.

  • Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis (2003, GameCube/PlayStation 2) This game inspired the golden mullet awards on G4‘s X-play, and X-Play also named it the worst GameCube game ever
  • Burning Desire (1982, Atari 2600) is a pornographic video game with crude graphics and boring, simplistic gameplay. It was considered to have one of the worst premises ever and the game had an explicit ending scene after each level.
  • Extreme Paintbrawl (1998, PC): Horrible physics, abysmal graphics, and a bad team A.I. gave this game the “honor” of being the worst video game ever reviewed by IGN (although, score-wise, it has been beaten out by Olympic Hockey Nagano ’98, which got a 0.0/10 on IGN, although the actual game was not reviewed. IGN went on to review as many games carrying the “Extreme” title as they could and bashed them for being so “extreme.” The game was lampooned for knowingly being shipped without any AI programming whatsoever; that section of the code had not even been implemented. PC Gamer US awarded the game one of its lowest scores ever, a 6%, advising gamers, “Avoid at all costs.” At the time, this was the lowest score ever “awarded” by PC Gamer US, and remained so for many years until it was eclipsed by “Skydive!” which was rated 5%.
  • Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon (1993, CD-i) is widely considered to be the worst Zelda game ever created. As part of the termination of a contract from Nintendo, Philips gained the license to produce three Zelda games. All three received overwhelmingly negative feedback and are referred to in some circles as the “Unholy Triforce.” They were notorious for bad animation, scripting, and voice acting, but The Wand of Gamelon was roundly condemned by all Zelda fans and is #6 on EGM’s 20 worst games list. Filter also ranked it #1 on their “Top 10 Worst Games of All Time” list.

I remember the Extreme Paintbrawl debacle. Shortly after PC Gamer wrote the horrible review of the game, one of the programmers for the program wrote in. I don’t remember the exact details, but I think he said the game was shipped early over the protests of the programmers because the company had to make a deadline. I believe he also said there was a patch that fixed the AI and made a number of improvements to the program and that perhaps the magazine should look at reviewing the patched version. The editor responded that they only reviewed shipped versions of games, so as to prevent exactly the problems seen with Extreme Paintbrawl. Too bad not enough companies learned the needed lesson that games should be relatively finished when shipped. I think most consumers don’t mind patches for odd minor bugs and omissions here and there, but to not even include AI and add that in a later patch? Well, no other company has been that bad that I know of, but a lot of companies have shipped incomplete games with plans to patch them later (I’m singling out Dungeon Lords as an example of this problem).

[tags]Worst games ever, The problem with incomplete games[/tags]