Thursday, May 18, 2006

Old-school handheld gaming

I know I say it a lot, but man-o-man, I loves me some Internet.

I was going through a few boxes in the massive Siftin Artifact Archive, and I came across some old Super Pac-Man Rub-Off Game cards. Alas, the cards are so old, the dots won't rub off anymore. Well, actually, they will, but they'll take a few layers of the card with them, so they're not as much fun.

It'll be hard explaining the fun of these things when my son grows up. Actually, it's hard to say that we played "Rub-Off games" without my inner 12-year-old smirking. But fortunately, you can't see me and you'll be none the wiser about how immature I am.

This was the cool thing back in the day; the idea was to rub off (huh-huh-huh...) one circle at a time and tally the points earned for whatever was under the dot. Blue monsters, for example, were worth 10 points. You had to go in a line; you couldn't skip around willy-nilly. If you found three regular non-blue ghost monsters, your game was over. It was like a small paper version of Super Pac-Man.

Step 7 in the instructions tells you to "Use SUPER PAC-MAN stickers as prizes, for trading or collecting."

Here's your prize:

If you want to learn more, check out this cool page. Not only are the Super Pac-Man cards featured, but also regular Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dragon's Lair and Robot Wars.

I also remember Video City cards, which featured a few other games.

And while we're on the subject of dubious attempts to cash in on the video game craze, this also came from one of the catacombs in the archives.

Yes, a Defender board game.

I had the Pac-Man board game when I was younger, and I actually had fun moving my plastic Pac around the board, gobbling marbles with it.

This game, well, it cost me 99 cents at a thrift store.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Something to look forward to


I just found out that a movie I've been wanting to see for a long time is coming out on DVD next month, thanks to Anchor Bay (who also made it possible for me to see a special edition DVD of "Supergirl").

I first read about "Cemetery Man" (also known as "Dellamorte Dellamore") in one of the many cult/sci-fi/horror movie review books I have, and it really intrigued me. Alas, the video store selection at the time was not as diverse as I'd've liked, and (this was before Netflix) I didn't end up getting to check it out.

What's it about? Well, quoth the press release:

Directed by Michele Soavi, Cemetery Man stars Rupert Everett (My Best Friend's Wedding and the voice of Prince Charming in Shrek 2 ) as Francesco Dellamore, a cemetery caretaker who finds that his seemingly dead-end job has recently become a little harder. Along with his sidekick Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro), Francesco spends his days interning corpses and his nights killing “returners” – those who have risen from their grave seven days after burial. Life changes for Francesco when he falls for a beautiful, mysterious widow (Anna Falchi). When fate intervenes, Francesco must choose between Love Eternal and the Living Dead…

I'm not a huge zombie fan, but this sounded pretty cool. It hits your favorite movie store shelf on June 13.

Well, that's great, Sparkman, you're probably saying, but are there any special features on the disc?

* Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1), enhanced for 16x9 TVs
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
* Death is Beautiful: The Making of Cemetery Man featuring all-new cast and crew interviews including director Michele Soavi, star Anna Falchi and more
* Michele Soavi Bio
* Trailers

It looks like a cool flick, and I'm looking forward to checking it out.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Mom

This Mother's Day, I made a shocking discovery about mothers. They're like superheroes. No capes or anything like that, but they have amazing powers and abilities that you don't realize until you start thinking about it.

Their hugs can soothe wounds both physical and mental (except maybe severed limbs, but they'll try).

They can alter the flow of time in a fashion that seems to defy the laws of physics, such as when you mention that you're supposed to bring cupcakes for the whole class that day, and you're supposed to leave for school in 5 minutes.

Their saliva is a powerful solvent applied by thumb that can remove dirt from just about any child's face.

They possess seemingly infinite patience, even when faced with children who chase the cat so relentlessly that it poops on the wall in the hallway.

Heightened senses that would put Daredevil to shame (they can tell if you roll your eyes at them, even when they're not looking at you).

I can't imagine anyone more grateful for moms than children, with the possible exception of Hallmark. And See's.

Happy Mother's Day, yo.