Greetings, Gamer Theory!

Hello everyone!

My name is Zach and I have been selected to be a writer for Gamer Theory (which I have been told isn’t too far away from launching!).

This is an exciting new venture for me so I hope you guys can bear through any potential growing pains as I become adjusted. There are fun, new things in store for Gamer Theory, so I hope you’re looking forward to its launch as much as we are.

Personally, I’m hoping to bring my own personality to the table to help create a great atmosphere for video gameĀ fans and deliver various news, reviews, and features that will be interesting enough to make Gamer Theory a stop in your daily Internet commute.

Here’s to what’s to come!

Swine flu…not a gamer’s best friend

Some time around last Thursday I must have come into contact with an Infected. I’m pretty sure I know who it was and where it was, but I guess you can never be sure. Either way, by Friday I was doubled over and clutching cold porcelain and realizing that it was going to be a rough weekend. During the holiday rush, however, deep down everybody kind of wishes they can get sick so that they have a valid excuse to sit home and put in unnatural amounts of time into their pile of new games, but that becomes a problem when you can’t sit up without nausea setting in. And no, you certainly can’t engage in any multiplayer gaming while under the effects of H1N1 because you’re doomed to moments when you’ll need to simply drop the controller and run for the bathroom.

Swine Flu

So here I am today, still sick, but finally back on my feet. In theory I could get a lot of gaming in today, but no, my 360 is still not back from the Microsoft repair center. Can I blame that one on the swine flu? No, but it’s just as devastating.

Before anybody comments and asks what the point of this post was, I’ll just come out and admit that it’s nothing more than just simple whining. But seriously people, if you have it available to you get the H1N1 vaccine shot!

Welcome, APB! Another arcade joins the game room (with pics)

Today my wife (who is 8 months pregnant), my dog, and I headed up to Nampa, Idaho (about 15 minutes east of Boise) to pick up an APB arcade game from a fellow KLOV/BYOAC member, FrizzleFried. Boise is about a 5 hour drive from here, so we got started early. The little adventure wasn’t without its complications, as you’ll see by checking out the pictures and descriptions below, but it was 100% successful and we had a great time. We’re back home, very tired, but happy to have our new game. It’s still in the garage, but we’ll get it moved down into the game room early next week after I do a little bit of extra cleaning on the machine (it’s already pretty darn clean). I usually don’t like splitting posts with a jump, but since this one is a little lengthy I’m going to do so in order to save the front page from being abnormally long.

Continue reading Welcome, APB! Another arcade joins the game room (with pics)

Vacation time!

Hey everybody, I’ll be out of town and away from the Internet until August 18th. Where am I going? I can’t say.

I’ll be in Alaska, catching some poor and defenseless fishies.

An arcade miracle…a Spy Hunter homecoming

Back in the early 90s, my cousin and I used to ride our bikes to this Fred Meyer department store in Bountiful, Utah each Saturday. We did so to check out the new comics and to play the 7-8 arcade games that they had in a small room up front. The games would rotate, but the regulars included TMNT, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, and Spy Hunter. Each Saturday for years I’d play that Spy Hunter at least once, until the store remodeled and the arcades were removed. As a kid, I was crushed.

Fast forward to 2008 and the wife and I decide to go camping down in Southern Utah to some sand dunes. Just before leaving I did my daily check on eBay, craigslist, and local ads for a Spy Hunter. BAM! There was one in Las Vegas and the auction was to end Saturday night. I contacted the seller and asked if I could pick it up if I won on Sunday, he said yes. I threw in a token bid, and we went camping.

Sunday morning we got up early, broke down camp, and made our way to St. George, Utah where we got some breakfast and I found a computer I could use in a hotel lobby. I checked eBay and…YES! I won! We started down for Vegas when the seller called and told me the directions to his house and that he’d be there all day.

We got there, crammed the machine in the back of my parent’s Yukon and rearranged all the camping supplies (and our dog) and made it all fit. Just wanting to get home, we drove the long drive back home, which is just north of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Last night as I was going over the machine, I found something really odd: a sticker from Classy Chassis Beauty Supply. This sticker came from a store that’s local to Bountiful, Utah (I googled it, it’s the only one)…and is only about 1/2 a mile away from Fred Meyer! I had somehow found my childhood Spy Hunter. I couldn’t believe it.

The machine needs some work to fix a broken trigger button, and it needs a good cleaning up, but knowing where it came from and where it’s been, I’m never letting this one go. Here’s a picture of the machine, before I get to restoring it, and before I get it down into the arcade room.


The Sundance Rock Band event was a blast

I was at a Rock Band event last night at Sundance and they had the wireless guitars there. They played pretty much like the ones now, but, well, wireless. They still use the leaf switches (no clicky), but they felt a lot more responsive. To tell the truth, I usually use my GHII guitar when playing, but I did fine with the new guitar. I’ve got a full writeup of the event coming in the next day or two. I spotted Paris Hilton outside (blech), 50 Cent inside, and Scott Weiland inside as well. I can’t remember the name of the band that played, I think it was Incident Zero or something like that, but I’ll get the name for the writeup. And man…the things that go on in a VIP room back stage…

Here are a couple of pics:

Me looking like a dork on stage with the new guitar.

Ladies getting in on the action. That’s Jeff Castaneda, from MTV Games, kneeling down with the big grin.

Mallika, one of Harmonix’s concept artists (I got some good info on some neat upcoming RB stuff):

Sorry, but cool details about what I learned about PS2’s future with Rock Band, a possible Wii version, DLC content, and more will come in an official writeup. Just know that it was a great event and the Harmonix and MTV Games guys are some of the happiest people I’ve ever met in the industry.

Get Well Soon, Stephen!

Stephen Smith, a regular contributor to the Stupid Gamer team, underwent open heart surgery yesterday to repair an aortic dissection. Steve will be hospitalized for two weeks and then will spend the next six weeks in recovery at home. Obviously we look after our own, so (unknown to Stephen) we’ve taken some of the Stupid Gamer Store commissions and sent him a little care package with some DS games to help him pass his time in the hospital and at home.

Thanks to those who have emailed or commented on Stephen’s condition. I haven’t heard from his wife yet, but she’s going to be updating us later with his condition. Obviously open heart surgery is always a risky deal, so our thoughts and prayers are going out to Stephen and his wife.

Get well soon, Stephen.

The Arcade is looking good!

So the wife and I moved into a new home last week and one of the first things we got set up was our home arcade. For the past 6 months or so I’ve been collecting, fixing, and selling arcades, but the only place I could store them in our 2-bedroom condo was in the garage. Now that we’re in a 6 bedroom house, I was able to dedicate a room to the cause. So, here are some pics of the room (details of the arcade follow the pictures).







The arcade consists of:

  • Donkey Kong – fully restored
  • Asteroids – 90% restored (needs a little work on the control panel paint)
  • Ms. Pac-Man – 100% restored (will still do a cap kit on the monitor though)
  • Jurassic Park pinball machine – 100% original in A+ condition
  • Neo Geo MVS 4-slot system in a Japanese Candy Cab. Games include:
    • Metal Slug
    • Metal Slug 2
    • Metal Slug X
    • Metal Slug 3
    • Metal Slug 4
    • Metal Slug 5
    • Samurai Showdown II
    • Ghost Pilots
    • Ninja Combat
    • Aero Fighters 2
    • Strikers 1945 Plus
    • Garou Mark of the Wolves
    • Puzzle Bobble
    • Magical Drop III
    • Baseball Stars 2
    • Shock Troopers
    • King of the Monsters 2
    • SNK vs Capcom SVC Chaos
    • Neo Mr. Do
    • Andro Dunos
    • Blazing Star
    • …more on the way
  • MAME cabinet w/ 25″ horizontal display, 2 player setup, spinner, trackball, and thousands of games (you name it, it’s on the machine)

The green tint you see to everything is due to the lighting I have. I have both a black light and green fluorescent bulb in the arcade. In person it looks great, especially with the dark blue paint on the walls. I still have room for some more cabinets, but right now I’m happy with it as it is. If the right game pops up in local listings however, we’ll see…

A video clip of a short walk through the arcade is available here (1 minute 8 seconds):

Sorry for the shaky footage. I was using a digital camera, and they aren’t the most stable things in the world to film with.

I survived the Halo 3 launch

With the Halo theme coming at me from two angles (a car playing the OST loudly and a goofball strumming it out on a guitar) and a crowd of about 350 people strong surrounding me, I stood outside my local Gamestop last night and waited eagerly for them to call my number and let me in to pick up my copy of Halo 3. The sights of the launch were all very interesting. The crowd was a pretty diverse mix of kids trying to look 17 or older, parents waiting with their kids, older teens congregating in groups, mid-20s guys who seemed to only want to get the game to go back to bed, and the 30+ crowd that was all amped up to be reclaiming a bit of their youth again, even for just one night. There were skateboarders looking like idiots packing the parking lot and making everybody that drove there fear that a rogue board might slam into the side of their ride. It was quite the crowd to see.

As midnight neared, I finished up the article I was reading on The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters in GameRoom Magazine and started checking with the people around me to see if I was in the right spot in line. I found that I was about 30 people back from where I should be, so I hopped up to my correct spot and watched as people filed into the store empty-handed only to come out with a goofy grin on their face and a copy of Halo 3 in their hands. The line moved quickly, and despite being 108th in line, I was still home a little before 12:30am to unpack my Legendary Edition box and get some time in with the game.


The first hour and a half of the campaign were enjoyable, but it’s all I could manage to get in before responsibility took over and forced me to get ready for bed. I checked my friends list on Xbox Live and noticed that Halo 3 had taken them hostage and was most likely going to keep them up much later than I was willing to. All in all, it looks like the launch of Halo 3 was quite the success.

Impressions and more to follow.