Category Archives: Uncategorized

You Found a Secret Area!

Okay, maybe this isn’t a secret, but I’m plugging my brand new blog called “You Found a Secret Area!”. You can find it at http://youfoundasecret.wordpress.com/. It’s a site about the obscure and goofy aspects of video games. Wanted to find out about terrible budget PC games? Want to find interesting game mods for your favorite video games? Want to reminisce about the horrors of MTV2’s Video Mods? That’s where you go to find that stuff.

I actually started this about a few days ago but wanted to hold off on the launch until I had a good amount of content, and I think this is good enough. Give me your feedback on the site so I know if there’s anything to improve or write about. Normal blog stuff continues in a few days, I just wanted to plug this baby.

Testing the tumblr waters.

I woke up one day thinking about Tumblr, a microblogging sort of site. I’ve thrown up a tumblr here. I’m testing it because that site seems suitable more to shorter, paragraph-long diatribes about things more than my personal blog has. If you follow the regular blog, it’d be nice if you follow the tumblr as well, as I’ll probably post short stuff on there and more longer drawn-out pieces here. At least, I hope that’ll be my goal.

My problem as of late is trying to find an audience. All my hits these days come from the blogs where I wrote reviews about two television shows. I get fuck-all views for everything else. What am I doing wrong here?

Shop finds 7/10: Of magazine/catalog hybrids, a dozen Madden games, and before they were journalists.

On the 10th, I decided to go out for a walk as it was a sunny day in Portland, Oregon. I also had something else in mind: Cheap ass games in cheap ass places. Or so I thought.

Honestly, most garage sales around here don’t have much to pick from. It’s usually baby clothes and electronics that may or may not work. Once in a blue moon you might find some place with games, but you’ll just find PlayStation copies of Madden NFL 2002 or something. Speaking of Madden, I found the most humorous thing in one of the Goodwill stores:

So many Maddens...

One copy each of Madden NFL from 1997 (Madden NFL 98) to 2003 (Madden NFL 2004) for the original PlayStation. Even when the PS2 was still being the dominant console by this time, EA was still developing and publishing Madden NFL games to the PS1 as late as 2004. But to find one of almost every year it was released on the PS1 in the same store is absolutely hilarious. I almost walked away with a copy of Madden 2001 because of it touting that it had a modified version of John Madden Football ’93 on the disc, but I later realized it wasn’t worth the $3 asking price and put it back. These old sports games should cost 25 cents, not three bucks.

Just when I thought I was out of luck, I perused the magazines section of that same Goodwill. I found 5 issues of Game Informer magazine, but they were only a couple of years old and not worth buying. But then, I found this:

Interaction Spring 1994 cover

It’s an issue of InterAction, a games magazine published by Sierra interactive sporadically during the ’90s. Yes, Sierra published its own magazine. It’s clear that it just doubled as a catalog for their games, complete with “A blatantly biased look at games from the SIERRA family” on the cover.

While it had editorials — this issue featured founder Ken Williams talking about the then-new video game controversy, as well as praised reviews of their games reprinted from other publications — most of them were written by the designers of the game, making it little more than PR speak if it mutated into game previews. Almost like most game previews today.

Battledrome preview

Unfortunately Sierra was a company I never paid much attention to. Adventure games have never been my genre, I was a Nintendo kid up until the late ’90s and my PC was used mostly to dick around with various programs and the upcoming Windows 95, so I never got to play many of the games Sierra were lauded for back in the day. Granted, I realize most of them haven’t aged well, but I still would love to grab a copy of the Leisure Suit Larry or Police Quest games some day. Maybe I’ll just snag them on GoodOldGames.

Gabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers feature

The cover story is a preview of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, the first game in the series. Like the others, it’s a simple preview that talks about the game’s design and the star-studded cast: Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn and a pre-The King of Queens Leah Remini. I had passed it off as a simple preview until I decided to thumb through a section featuring opinions from users on Compuserve. One of them stuck out to me in particular:

Praise from a certain someone...

Yep, before he was a freelance writer and GameTrailers TV host, Geoff Keighley was praising Gabriel Knight on Compuserve. I always find stuff like this amusing, this is really one of the few reasons I hunt down old game magazines.

There wasn’t much else that was appealing in the games front, hopefully I’ll try again with this in a few days. But for now, InterAction goes in the game magazine pile like the rest of them. Let’s hope I can find older magazines like this, and not issues of Official PlayStation Magazine that are only three months old. I’m still miffed on that one.