Review: Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (Digital, 2012)


First, a bit of history and context: 1985 was the year skateboarding became something I wanted to try, and my guess is most kids in the ’80s felt the same way too. Seeing Michael J. Fox ride his Valterra deck in Back to the Future — at least to an 11-year-old — was amazingly cool. While that particular skateboard was mass-produced and sold complete at big department stores for cheap, it didn’t matter. Kids who had one were the targets of jealousy. Mine in particular.

Earlier that same year, my dad had tried to get me into surfing. It was his favorite pastime, and it was something he had done most of his life growing up on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had a few good rides, but I never did fall in love with it. Most of my resistance had to do with the fact that I didn’t like getting up at the crack of dawn to take advantage of the best conditions. Still don’t. I’ve never been a morning person. Oh, and those best conditions tend to occur in the winter, which in Southern California means the Pacific is more or less freezing.

Additionally, surf shops didn’t interest me all that much outside of the stickers and t-shirts, but I was always drawn to the skateboard walls and counters, particularly the awesome and slightly scary Powell Peralta decals. The first ones my dad ever bought me were for Mike McGill, Tony Hawk, and Steve Caballero. The art was amazing, and even though I really had no idea who they were, I treated them like gold.

Around the same time, and likely due to me still talking about Back to the Future a lot, my dad thought it would be a good idea to buy me a skateboard to practice surfing moves like bottom turns and off-the-lips at home in our driveway:


I don’t remember who made that board, but I do distinctly remember the giant red, white, and blue “Kilroy Was Here” graphics on it, which didn’t mean anything to my pre-teen brain. After we got home, I gave it a try on our backyard patio. Almost instantly, it went flying out from under me, I fell on my ass, hurt my wrists, and it slammed right into the concrete wall. Needless to say, I didn’t ride it again for a while.

Over the next two years, my skateboard was little more than a mode of transportation to my friends’ houses, parks, and sneaking to the liquor store to play videogames. It wasn’t until junior high that my friends and I started hearing about things like some “Animal Chin” video and stylish skaters like Christian Hosoi and a name that came back from my then recent past: Steve Caballero.


Thrasher Magazine started circulating around classrooms instead of Mad Magazine, and almost overnight, everyone I knew had the latest skateboards, with the ones from Powell, Vision, and Santa Cruz really standing out, like the Mark Gonzales, Keith Meek “Slasher”, and Psycho Stick. I was obsessed with the art, and would do my best to copy them in pencil during class. Especially that Slasher. There are elements from that which still sneak their way into my art today.

When it came to actual skate equipment, though, I was still rockin’ my old Kilroy deck, which had a blue noseguard and speedbump-like skidplate on the back. By 1988, I had swap meet-sourced copers on the trucks — you know, for protection — and a lapper on the back to supposedly make climbing curbs easier. Plus, those socks and that haircut. Needless to say, the girls weren’t exactly knocking down our front door.

Even when I got my first real skateboard for 8th grade graduation (a Vision Psycho Stick, coincidentally), I protected that thing like it was a new Ferrari. Maybe no lapper this time, but my small circle of friends and I all had Tracker trucks with those massive wraparound copers and plastic baseplates. Skidplates, rails, and noseguards too. Funny looking back, but I think we were all of the same mindset that we had to make these things last.


Then one day, along came the Powell Peralta video that changed everything for me: 1988’s Public Domain. I’d never seen anything like it, with names I’d never heard of before, like Ray Barbee (misspelled as “Barbie” in the video), whose clean, technical style I immediately latched onto and of course was never quite able to replicate.

Also, unlike a lot of other skateboarding videos at the time, Public Domain had a very polished, professional feel to it, like you weren’t just spending money on a cheap home video, but something that folks had put a lot of time, money, and effort into. I credit this video for inspiring me to become a better skater.

For the next couple years, up until about mid-1990, skateboarding was my life. But as we all began to get our driver’s licenses, started dating, or became more involved in clubs and sports in preparation for college, it wasn’t long before the vast majority of us stopped skating altogether. Thinking back on this actually gets me a little choked up, since it was such a glorious time of freedom, individuality, creativity, and adventure.

And that right there is at the heart of what makes Bones Brigade: An Autobiography such a special documentary.


Everyone is here: Stacy Peralta, George Powell, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Tommy Guerrero, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, and Lance Mountain. Plus a lot of other big names like Christian Hosoi, Mike Vallely, and Tony Alva. Even Fred Durst and Spike Jonze make appearances.

The interviews throughout are thoughtful, funny, personal, and at times painful. From its very beginning, even though I was smiling throughout, there is an undercurrent of nostalgic sadness here that permeates all of the interviews.

20141007_bb_tgThat’s not to say that this film is a downer. It’s the furthest thing from it, and is as wonderful a history lesson in Powell Peralta the company and its riders as you’re likely to find. It’s not just a look back on the historic rise, fall, and rise again of skateboarding, but an intimate look at its principal players and how they each responded to their meteoric rise to worldwide stardom.

It’s absolutely mind-blowing to look back on the early days of the skateboarding industry, its advertising, and how things we take for granted like “street skating” weren’t even things yet until the likes of Tommy Guerrero made it so.

In many ways, it reflects that of the videogame industry, how it started small, but that even then there were innovators shooting for the stars (like Electronic Arts and Broderbund at the time) who set their own paths, gave their designers top billing, killed it in terms of presentation, and put out the very best games, giving everyone else something to aim for. I remember the Bones Brigade team doing exactly that, raising the bar for everyone else.

20141007_bb_10One thing that really stood out for me here was Lance Mountain. As a young teenager who was always looking up to the best of the best, Mountain seemed like an anomaly. I thought he was OK, but nowhere near the level of the Hawks, Caballeros, and Mullens of the world.

I remember the silly clip from Public Domain where an English Bulldog steals his skateboard, but I don’t remember any of his actual skating. Bones Brigade spends some time on this very topic, and I came out of it with a much deeper respect and understanding of why he was on the team, what effect he had on other skaters, and him as a human being. These sequences that focus on Mountain are wonderfully done and some of my favorites in the film.

20141007_bb_11I was very happy to see that equal time was spent on the other members of the original Brigade. I was half-expecting most of the coverage to be on Tony Hawk, just because he is the Mario and Mickey Mouse of skateboarding: everyone recognizes him, and deservedly so due to his skills, drive, and business acumen.

Watching the old clips of him brought back some of my fondest memories of the sport, and even though I was a street skater and never did skate halfpipes, when guys like Tony Hawk skated, I stopped and watched. I liked him because he was such a technical wizard. He rarely messed up, and his innovations in bringing so many street-based techniques to ramps was amazing to see.

20141007_bb_6One of the things in Bones Brigade that really got the nostalgia juices flowing was its focus on the stylistic dichotomy between Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi. I was always drawn to Hawk’s quieter, more technical approach to skating, while my best friend’s favorite was Hosoi.

Their real-life rivalry, as it was portrayed in magazines and contests at the time, perhaps seeped into our own approach to skating and friendship. These guys really were huge influences on us all, and many of us projected the pros’ personalities and styles on ourselves. I think there was also a quiet voice in the back of our minds that told us we would be doing this for many years to come, if not forever.

20141007_bb_13That sentiment is echoed throughout this documentary, bookended by fascinating bits of history, including the creation of two of skateboarding’s most iconic moves: the McTwist and ollie. I was engrossed hearing firsthand accounts about their development and how they — particularly the ollie — became the foundation for just about everything that has followed in the sport since.

It’s also during these looks back that we see who did well for themselves and who didn’t, whether it was due to bad choices, grudges, or other negative influences. These moments are sobering, and are a good reminder of how quickly things can change, for better or for worse.

20141007_bb_5Besides Lance Mountain, the most revealing and interesting person in this film is Rodney Mullen, who was one of those guys whose skating just blew me away. He was on a whole different level, captivating me with his flawless runs full of gravity-defying tricks. I also remember how I used to make fun of the way he talked, with his high-pitched voice and odd, stream-0f-consciousness way that he described things.

Here, we see someone who looks like he’s been through the wringer of life; someone looking back on his years in the Bones Brigade with razor-sharp clarity and wisdom. He provides some of the most insightful and crushing interview footage, with a candid and unfiltered look into his personal life and his struggles with success… and himself.

20141007_bb_3Steve Caballero, even with his thick, graying beard, still looks like the skater I and so many others emulated back in the day. The guy had this smooth but goofy-shy style, but he also exuded pure power when he skated. It was no surprise that he was a favorite of mine and so many of my friends, and everyone liked to do his little head-cocked-to-the-side thing.

The Half-cab, derived from his own Caballerial/Full-cab was always one of my favorite tricks, and I loved doing them up and down curbs, stairs, benches, and anything else in front of me. It’s interesting that when I look back, the original Bones Brigade skaters that influenced me the most — namely Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero — were vert skaters. It wasn’t what they were skating so much as it was how they were skating them.

20141007_bb_16Skateboarding was an important a part of my life from 1987-1990, just as videogames were. In retrospect, I would say perhaps even more so. While I was enjoying gaming at home on my Sega consoles and Apple II, it was skateboarding that provided not just a creatively challenging outlet, but a bonding, social, free-spirited activity that both spoke directly to me and reflected who I was and still am as a person today.

Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is a fascinating watch for anyone into skateboarding, and particularly essential for anyone who was part of that culture throughout the ’80s.

Overall: A



Review: Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller (PC)

Although I don’t own an actual Xbox One (XBO), I’ve been hearing great things about its controller since it launched nine months ago. My go-to controller for the PC has always been a wired Xbox 360 one, and aside from its terrible d-pad — and it is truly terrible, despite Microsoft trying to fix it a few times — is probably my all-time favorite controller. It has a great button layout, is comfortable to hold, and I’ve always preferred its asymmetrical and concave thumbsticks over the convex designs found on the PS3 and Wii.

It’s also one of the most durable controllers I’ve ever owned, and I’ve never had one fail… until now. Not bad considering I’ve been using this original white and gray one for what has to be close to a decade now, and it’s been put through the paces, most recently surviving Shovel Knight, Electronic Super Joy and all three of the Arkham games on PC, as well as being a reliable partner in getting me all the way through Super Meat Boy on the 360 back in 2012.


Last week, I started Volgarr the Viking with it, and while it was doing OK for a while, the left thumbstick started to get unresponsive, and that’s not good, especially for a game like Volgarr. Plus, it’s very well-worn, with the raised bumps on its rubber surface barely intact, an ever-increasingly loose dead zone, and an unattractive yellow-greenish discoloration that makes me question my own hygiene. I also didn’t like having to swap controllers for retro gaming due to its DOA-pad, as I so affectionately called it.

“Baby, we had a good run, but I’m afraid it’s time to say good-bye.”

It took me a while to finally pull the trigger on the XBO controller, though. While 360 controllers can be had for a street price of about $30-35, the Xbox One controller costs a whopping $55-60. Sony DualShock 4 controllers are similarly priced, with the Wii U Pro Controller being about $10 cheaper. Controllers are important, however, so if you’re not using a good one, the experience suffers as well.

With my 360 controller not pulling its weight anymore, I clicked the “Place your order” button on Amazon and eagerly awaited its arrival.


I was surprised when the big box arrived. I was half-expecting a padded mailer with the controller sealed in a blister pack, but I’m glad my $55 and change got me a nice box, complete with glossy finish over the controller images. I’m not being sarcastic here; I really do appreciate nice packaging, especially in this day and age where you’re lucky if you get anything resembling a manual at all with your $60 game.

But I digress.


Getting back to the packaging, the box itself is nice and sturdy, with the only included plastic of any significance being the retail shelf hanger (which is recyclable) and the wrapper around the two AA batteries.

Yes, I said batteries. I’m guessing Microsoft had a good reason to stick with them, but it kind of blows my mind that their brand-new console still uses AAs. Sony ditched them last generation, and even Nintendo switched to rechargeable packs in both their Wii U GamePad and Pro Controller.


Anyway, also included inside the box is, of course, the controller itself, a quick start guide, health/warranty information, and a 2-day Xbox Live Gold trial. I ditched Gold a long time ago, but Microsoft’s Games with Gold program makes it more enticing, especially for those used to the perks of PlayStation Plus.

I noticed that the hard internal cardboard that surrounds the XBO controller left light scuff marks on the back of its black housing. They’re minor, but I think Microsoft should include a protective wrap around it to prevent any damage if or when they revise the packaging.

Also, it’s important to note that if you plan on using this as a wired controller — which is how I’m reviewing it — you will need a Micro USB cable such as this one, since no cable is included. Thankfully, they’re dirt-cheap.


The controller itself is quite similar to its 360 older brother, with a near-identical face button layout. On the back? No screw holes! Very nice design. Sometimes those recesses can dig into your fingers during heated, extended gaming sessions, so their removal is a very welcome update.

The Back and Start buttons now have symbols on them that represent View and Menu, which is just bizarre to me. Thankfully — at least on the PC — they behave just like the 360 buttons. The large, circular Guide/Xbox button has been moved up and away from the Back/Start cluster, which I think is great.

What isn’t great is that it now emits a constant white glow whenever the controller is plugged in. My SteelSeries mouse emits a similar glow, but I can turn it off if I want. As of this writing, there doesn’t seem to be any way to turn it off or reduce its intensity, which is unfortunate.

Another slightly annoying bit of behavior is that when you turn your PC on or your plug the controller into a USB port, the controller will vibrate for about 3 seconds. The first time this happened, I had the controller sitting on top of my PC case, which is made out of metal. The loud noise that resulted made me think one of my hard drives had died!

Hopefully both of these issues will be addressed in a future driver update, but to be honest, they’re very minor. The drivers themselves are still very new for the PC, having only been released about two months ago. You can download them HERE. Installation couldn’t be simpler, and you’ll be up and running within a couple of minutes.


Grips feel meatier and more comfortable than they did on the 360 controller, and the triggers and bumpers have been redesigned as well.

The analog triggers are silky-smooth and are more or less silent when you press them. They have individual vibration motors in them, which I haven’t experienced firsthand yet. Microsoft calls them Impulse Triggers, but I believe this first PC driver simply emulates 360 controller support, so time will tell if this gets added in and PC game developers support them.

The bumpers are a little bigger on the XBO controller, but are otherwise similar to the 360 ones. My right bumper clicks significantly louder than the left one, though. Not sure if that is intended or not, but a cursory look around the internet shows that other users have observed this as well. In-game responsiveness is fine, however.


What’s particularly nice about the XBO controller are both the new d-pad and analog thumbsticks.

The d-pad is by far the biggest and best improvement on the controller, with a nice concave shape, and satisfyingly tactile clicks with each directional press. Moving your thumb across it is smooth, diagonals are effortless, and it’s wonderfully responsive. If you like the feel of the 3DS XL or Wii U Pro Controller d-pads, you’ll absolutely love this.

The thumbsticks have been similarly revised, with thick, smaller diameter tops covered in a grippy material. I love these. As you can see on my 360 controller, any grip that was there to begin with is now gone. These have excellent feel, don’t slip at all, and are better-suited for multiple styles of play.


The colored face buttons curve around the right side of the XBO controller more than they do on the 360’s. They are also slightly larger in diameter, sit more flush with the controller’s housing, and are less resistant, which yields great responsiveness. They are easier to read now too, with each colored letter set against a black background.

As with the 360 controller, there is an expansion port on the bottom for headsets and other future peripherals.


So yeah, that darn battery compartment. The good thing is that it’s been designed to sit flush with the back of the controller. 360 owners know how bulky and intrusive the battery pack compartment is on the wireless controller, so it’s nice to see Microsoft improve the design significantly, to the point where you won’t notice it.

I do like the “Hello from Seattle” there on the inside label, too. Nice touch.

But again, why traditional batteries? Yes, I get that if a built-in rechargeable battery fails, you’re basically left with a dead controller, but through multiple generations, I have yet to have that happen. The sold-separately Play & Charge Kit will run you an additional $20, so you’re looking at $75-80 for just one controller, which is borderline absurd.

A brilliant aspect of its design, however, is the fact that the XBO controller doubles as a traditional wired one if you use a Micro USB cable with it. You don’t need any batteries at all if you choose to go this route, and it works beautifully. For PC, I believe this is the only option available, so it makes that decision an easy one.

Most importantly, gaming with this controller is a dream. It got me through the second stage of Volgarr the Viking this week, and the video above shows me playing through the first stage of Irem’s R-Type III: The Third Lightning on the Super Nintendo. Whether it’s classic side-scrolling action or frantic shoot-’em-ups, it gets the job done.

I haven’t played through R-Type III since the ’90s, and it’s crazy how advanced it was at the time! Some of those Mode 7 effects are still so impressive today.


In any event, this is a great controller. It’s everything that made the 360 controller one of the all-time best, with improvements and refinements that make it even better. It’s not as radical a departure as, say, the Nintendo Wii controller was, but when your predecessor is so good, you don’t want to mess with it too much. You risk really screwing it up.

Although not without its faults and with room for improvement, this is a fantastic addition to anyone’s PC controller arsenal, providing seamless support for current and retro games alike. If you can play it with a 360 pad, you can play it with this. Highly recommended.

Overall: A-


Review: Elgato Game Capture HD

Up until last month, I was snapping most gaming screenshots with my phone and camera. They got me by, and even though some systems let you take screenshots natively — like the Vita, PC, or through the Wii U web browser — I needed a better solution. Ever try to take an action shot in a game when you have to think about pressing another key or button combo? Talk about inefficient and unnatural. Plus, if you have to pause a game to take a picture with a camera, most pause screen overlays make it impossible.

20140626_ghg_gchdSo, after doing a considerable amount of research, my 40th birthday gift to myself was an Elgato Game Capture HD. I’d been considering a PlayStation 4 as well, but in the interest of improving the blog and creating richer media content, I decided on the smaller — and cheaper — piece of hardware.

I wrote last month about its packaging, contents, and first impressions here, but to quickly summarize, it’s all of high quality. The packaging feels premium, which is a welcome bonus in this day and age of cheap blister packs. The device itself is compact and light (smaller than a Roku and about the size of a Nintendo 64 cartridge), with clearly marked input and output ports, and non-slip rubber feet.

My favorite feature is that it requires no external power, which will save you from potentially having to free up an electrical outlet. I definitely appreciate this, since using this device requires at least 2 additional cables.

20140626_ghg_viewhdIf you plan on using this device with a console that has High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) — such as a PlayStation 3 — you will either have to use the clunky PlayStation cable that is included with the Game Capture HD, or purchase an inexpensive HDMI splitter like this one. While the PlayStation cable works, setting it up is tedious. I decided to go with the splitter, and I highly recommend that method. Keep in mind that the splitter is powered, so you will need an additional outlet plus one extra HDMI cable to go from the splitter to the Game Capture HD.

Setup beyond that is a snap. Simply plug in your input and output HDMI cables, and run the included USB cable from the Game Capture HD to your computer. No physical software is included, so just head to Elgato’s website, download, install, update your firmware if needed, and you’re done.


Elgato’s software is very easy to use, and it has yet to crash on me once. The Game Capture HD is automatically detected, and after making a few quick selections, you’re ready to start capturing video and taking screenshots. Since I’m using HDMI for all of my consoles, I leave it on the “PlayStation 4” profile setting.

The Game Capture HD supports many different resolutions, from 240i all the way up to 1080p. Old consoles require Elgato’s Analog Video Adapter (sold separately) or the Component Adapter, which is included. Since all of my old consoles are in storage, I have not tried capturing with non-HDMI sources yet, but I will update this review when I do.

One slight disappointment is that 1080p can only be recorded at a maximum of 30fps. If you want 60fps capture, you have to drop your output signal to a maximum of 720p. Captures done in 720p 60fps still look great though, and it’s my preferred way to go if I need video that most accurately represents the performance of 60fps source material, such as Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta, or Wipeout HD.

In terms of final output quality, I’m very pleased with the results! The following capture was taken at 1080p and uploaded to YouTube at 720p. I think it looks great and retains excellent overall image detail and smoothness:

To check out how crisp and smooth its 720p 60fps videos look like, Right-Click & Save this link: MKV (82MB).

Another thing to keep in mind is that because everything is hardware-encoded on the fly, there is a delay of about 2 seconds between what you see on your TV and what you see on your PC. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to play games solely in the capture software’s window, which is unfortunate. Instead, you’ll want to have either a picture-in-picture or side-by-side setup so that you can play on one screen and monitor your capture on the other.

If you only have a single display without this functionality, you’ll want to get everything set up in the capture software prior to starting, and then use the software’s keyboard shortcuts to toggle recording.

GHG is currently on a limited 1Mbps upstream connection, so I was not able to test out the Game Capture HD’s live streaming capabilities. I will update this review when I am back on a sufficiently fast internet service.


Click for 1920×1080 screen capture (H.264 compression).

For screenshots, I like using 1080p, but this brings up another small issue in that all videos are automatically H.264/MPEG-4 encoded. This inherently adds some compression artifacting and image degradation. This doesn’t matter as much for video, but if you need screenshots of the highest quality, this may not be the best device for you. They’re still good and totally usable, but they have a softer look that nitpickers like myself can’t help but notice.

I posted a few more sample screenshots here, and as you can see, certain content does fare better than others.


The Elgato software’s editing capabilities are OK, but they’re far from robust. I would recommend using a more fully featured editing program such as CyberLink PowerDirector to make things easier on yourself. In a pinch, however, the included editor will get the very basics done. It’s also easy to spit out screenshots from your videos, particularly if you don’t already have the excellent PC capture solution FRAPS.

For a street price of about $150, the Elgato Game Capture HD represents a great value for what is a very powerful and well-designed video recorder. It’s attractive, easy to configure, the software is stable and intuitive, and it will accept virtually any video format, old and new. Although it has some shortcomings in terms of raw image quality, the 1080p 30fps cap, and the encoder lag, it still comes highly recommended.

Overall: A-


Review: The King of Arcades (DVD)

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“Do what you love.”

Those words have rung true for me throughout most of my life, and certainly throughout the majority of my career.  Back in late-’95, before I took my first videogame industry job as a Tester, my college counselor basically told me I was an idiot.  I believe she called it the worst mistake I could ever make and that there was no future in it. She was certain of it, and I walked out of there wondering if I was indeed screwing up my life.

Well, I decided to ignore her and follow my passion for gaming instead, and it would end up being one of the best choices I ever made. It rewarded me with a great career, where I had the pleasure of working with some of the best and brightest people I’ve ever known.  That moment is one I often cite when faced with dream-killing negativity and seemingly insurmountable odds. And that struggle is at the heart of Sean Tiedeman’s The King of Arcades.

Although the title sounds similar to 2007’s The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, this isn’t a documentary about two opposite, but like-minded players competing for Donkey Kong‘s high score.  No, this is about one man: Richie Knucklez, a passionate, energetic guy who equally loves his family, his friends, and ’80s arcade culture and game restoration.

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In that sense, The King of Arcades doesn’t have the same level of dramatic, competitive tension that The King of Kong had, but is rather a fascinating and intimate look into classic arcade culture and those who put their blood, sweat, and tears into preserving those cherished memories.

It’s full of wonderful time capsule-like vignettes, featuring interviews with many iconic industry figures, including Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Defender and Robotron creator Eugene Jarvis, and videogame “Father” Ralph H. Baer, to name just a few. They provide some historically interesting insight into the early days of videogames and their evolution, and are bookended by old commercials and news stories from when the arcade craze was at its peak. Some of them are hilariously cheesy, but they are all charming in their own right.

mpc-hc 2014-06-16 09-35-06-42For those of us who grew up in the arcades of the ’80s, The King of Arcades does a very effective job at tapping right into that nostalgia. I got more emotional than I thought I would seeing graveyard after graveyard of game cabinets in dark sheds, closed arcades, and dusty warehouses. It reminded me of a scene from the 2002 documentary Scratch, in which DJ Shadow reminisces very similarly about old records in basements, unearthing hidden treasures, and the forgotten, broken dreams of artists.

That undercurrent runs through every scene here, and even during the happiest of times, there is a sense that it won’t last forever.  What I enjoyed most about The King of Arcades is that even when things do hit rock-bottom, Knucklez keeps his head up and finds a way to persevere.  It doesn’t feel artificial, either.  In a lot of ways, I think viewers will find that even if their personalities don’t match, they’ll be able to relate well with Knucklez.  He talks us through his younger years working a job he couldn’t stand, and how a physical ticking time-bomb inspired him to live life to its fullest and follow his dreams.

mpc-hc 2014-06-16 11-47-58-92And follow them he does.  I often think back to how important arcades were for me, and how there was nothing that came close to walking into one and being hit by all of those beautiful cabinets and iconic sounds. Popping in The King of Arcades will bring back all of those memories that kept you coming back to places like Aladdin’s Castle, Tilt, and Golfland.

Although it’s not as cohesive as The King of Kong, this should still be on every arcade lover’s shortlist of DVDs to own. You can tell that those involved in the making of it respect and value videogames as much as Knucklez himself. And now I want to do nothing more than make my own dreams a reality, starting with the creation of our own indie game.  That, and maybe restoring an old arcade cabinet. If only I had the space!

Overall: B+

In terms of the DVD itself, I wrote previously about its packaging, and they did a nice job with the on-disc menus and extras as well. While I didn’t really care for the fact that two trailers precede the main menu, there’s a good amount of extra content to be had, which Kickstarter backers got a nice glimpse of during production.

The documentary itself has nice video and audio, and while the production value isn’t as polished as say, Indie Game: The Movie, it’s still tastefully done and fun to watch. Below are some menu system captures:

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