Thursday 26 September 2019

Tenth Anniversary Recap: 3. a: The Nintendo Game Watch

Christmas 1992, and I like most kids at this time am heavily into the home gaming consoles! It has been an entire year since receiving my Master System II- it would be another whole year before I would receive a Game Boy and until then I needed something that appeased my craving for gaming on those tediously long, boring bus journeys to school. The solution, my new Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 3 Game Watch!  
Produced by Zeon this was one of three Nintendo LCD format watches with the other two being Tetris and Zelda. It was a simple enough game, considerably far removed from its Super Mario Bros. 3 namesake but with all the elements one had come to expect Mario, Princess, Boswer, Goombas, Koopa Troopers and pipes with some musical notes and a super leaf thrown in to make it feel a little more Mario Bros. 3’ish’. Game play: move along the course defeat Bowser, save the princess, then go back and do it again, just a little bit faster... Wasn’t a revolutionary game but it certainly whiled away those before mentioned bus trips (with its ‘blips’ and ‘bloops’ muted so as to not draw attention) it satisfied my need for platform gaming and not only that but it told me the time and alerted me when it was time to watch Bad Influence! on Children’s ITV
Although being a reliable time piece was it’s primary function, it certainly served its secondary function as a games device to the max and even when I wasn’t playing it I would remove it from my wrist so that my friend Gwynfor could have a go!  Countless games were played and its battery did Zeon proud, but inevitably, it died and it was put aside with every intention of taking it to our local watchmakers to get a new battery for it, but it never happened and as Christmas 1993 came round I now possessed that before mentioned Game Boy along with a new Batman the Animated Series watch effectively sealing the Game Watch’s fate and it remained in the drawer for 27 years, a relic from the past with no real place within my collections in the studio, more so when I started wearing a pocket watch instead, and so last week Omnibot put this much loved Christmas gift up for sale on our eBay store. Yes, the Nintendo logo had worn from the strap and there was a slight scratch to screen but never the less there it was on offer to the world in all its “sold as seen” splendor, a truly reluctant sale as it seemed to represent my love of this era in gaming that I never really left, having never really taken to the Play Station revolution days and beyond. 
I recently looked over some home movies and saw my younger self back in 1993 showing this watch off to my 85 year-old grandmother who was somewhat bewildered but amused at the notion of a plumber jumping over toadstools and tortoises. But funds are always required for the studio, far better for it to be part of someone else’s collection and for the money raised be put into my latest project pushing me ever closer to re-enacting other gaming activity I participated in when I wasn’t in my room playing a home console.... the arcade!   

Coming soon: Tenth Anniversary Recap: 3. b: The Polybius Project

© Arfon Jones 2019. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Friday 13 September 2019

Happy Horror-day! Friday the 13th (1980)

Some well meaning counsellors decide to reopen Camp Crystal Lake, supposedly cursed since 1958 after some camp counsellors were murdered there after a claim of negligence the previous year that resulted in a young boy drowning in the lake. Despite numerous requests not to do so, work begins on preparing the camp for its first batch of campers before the counsellors are picked off one at a time by an unseen killer before the killer is finally revealed at the end...  Much like The Wicker Man entry before and the upcoming Halloween one what can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said by fans, buffs and scholars alike since 1980? Although created to cash in on the success of Halloween in 1978 it seemed to become the most synonymous of all date themed and summer camp themed slasher films making it the most successful achieving ten sequels, a remake, a television show, novels, comic books, video games and a slew of merchandise! In fact the films alone have grossed over $529 million at the box-office worldwide and remained the highest-grossing horror franchise in the world until the release of Halloween (2018) last year and it all started with this one.  Friday the 13th has always had a ‘fun fact’ regarding the killer of this particular movie and how many forget who the actual killer is, but I will not go over that here, as I have vowed to keep all reviews spoiler free. Yes Halloween was the first, but if it hadn’t been for Friday the 13th I doubt I would have been able to do the previous eleven entries of this challenge (or my previous marathon challenge for that matter). Of course, the other thing that sets this movie apart from all the others is that I should essentially watch it again on the 13th of December as it will be another Friday the 13th... so if anyone is actually following this challenge let me know in the comments what I should do? Watch it again? Watch one of the sequels? (If so which one?) or the remake? Until then, I will see you again where it all started.... Halloween.

© Arfon Jones 2019. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


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