|Nice to be wrong about saying I wouldn't be doing a report on here That'll come later though...|
Well, I was at day 1 of the expo, 2 will be in an hour or two.
A few things: it's nice to play some 'new' games...even though most of them are 20+ years old. Like Moon Patrol, Galaxian and Vanguard...on the Atari 5200. I never played those versions before, even though I had friends who had that system. Who the hell programmed Galaxian, Stevie Wonder?! Since when did the aliens go sideways? I'll know what to avoid once I get that system eventually (always wanted one). H. A. A. G. used to be an all arcade and pinball expo, but two years ago Albert Yarusso (sp?) of atariage.com started bringing some of his home machines to the show, so that changed. However, he brought some new homebrews, like Asteroids Deluxe for the Atari 7800. A good rendition, that game never made it to a gaming console back then, only a PC version or two.
Back to the 'new' old...I also played Varkon, a rare, vertical pinball game. I might try to explain this better when I have more time later. Some of it I still can't figure out though, like how they did the sort of 3-D effect with the score right in your face. And Q*Bert's Qubes; holy #!. I never even heard of that one until several years ago, I never saw it in a game room back in the day. That thing's gotta be really freakin' rare now. Also played a unique game that I don't know what genre it goes under, it came out in 1938 or so. Kind of like a pachinko machine is about all I'll say for now. Another one had bizarre reverse flippers, i. e. the right flipper pointed left and the left one right. Kind of hard to explain. It also had a small sign on it saying that minors couldn't play the game. Sound weird? Back then, pinball machines (this came out in like 1938 or '40 something) were considered gambling devices (since you're not guaranteed to win or something) and were even briefly illegal. So that's why that was on there.
But then, onto the brand new: The Lord of the Rings pinball machine. Holy (*#!, that thing's a damn beauty. It's kind of sad in a way, since Stern tried to bring back pinball in the last few years but already they're laying off people. There's tons of little statues of orcs, hobbits, Gandalf and a big Balrog on the playfield that glows. That thing costs $4,-7,000, I can't remember how much it is, and it shows, all the fancy ramps and all.
And I'll end it on this note for now: I also met Joe Grisaffi (sp?). He's like an assistant executive producer or something of the Friday Night Lights tv show and is a classic gaming enthusiast (he owns a Centipede and several other games, and is a fellow Vectrex owner like myself But I don't have those 3-D Imager goggles and games like he does, dammit! Those cost like $500 nowadays!). He also made a politcally incorrect, but very funny movie called Laughing Boy (the showdown between him and the televangelist is hilarious) shot here and in Sugar Land. I won it as a door prize one year so that's how I know about him, since obviously he's not a big star and all.
Well anyway, I brought my copy of Laughing Boy and asked him if he would sign it. I explained to him that I was covering the expo for TAT and that I could take a picture of him and use it to promote some new movie he has mostly finished that he did a partial showing of tonight (management shut the movie down before it was over; something about them getting all silly for not liking a movie being shown on the patio! ) Unfortunately the pic came out blurry, dammit. If he's there again today I'll see if I can retake it; if not I'll e-mail him to see if he had a photo of himself taken at the expo that I can use instead. I was surprised he called me by name on the way out, since, with a lot of us in general, you meet someone new, then you instantly forget their name But then I had had business cards printed up a couple of years ago so that visual aid probably helped him remember. Seems to be a good guy.
(Note to Greg and Joe if he happens to see this: Yes, I'll make sure his name is spelled correctly and get the correct titles for his job and movie and all, I just don't know them offhand right now ((that's the FUN part of doing these, having to look up all the blasted trivia for it later; whee!)).
Anyway there were tons of other things going on there but I'll leave this as it is for now. Photos to come later!