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Pong

Magnavox Odyssey creator photo
Magnavox Odyssey creator

Father of videogames Ralph Baer passes away at 92


One of gaming's greatest minds
Dec 07
// Jonathan Holmes
Ralph Baer was an electronics and engineering pioneer, known as the "father of videogames." Baer designed the Magnavox Odyssey, starting work on the machine in the late 1960s before releasing it in 1972, when it became the w...
Metal as hell photo
Metal as hell

Get stuck in the metal with this 17-minute tribute to video games


Make the gamers dance 'cause he's rock 'n' rollin'
May 31
// Brittany Vincent
What's more metal than a 17-minute instrumental medley featuring some of your favorite video game tracks? Anything Nathan Explosion touches, but that's beside the point. This impressive project was three years in the making,...
Smash Bros.  photo
Smash Bros.

Pong-style assist trophy bounces into Smash Bros. 4


One of Nintendo's first "characters" joins the all-star cast
May 17
// Jonathan Holmes
There was a time when Pong was one of the most popular videogames in the world. This was a time when games were often freely copied by anyone who wanted to take a stab at the fragile, untested world of videogame publishing. C...

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Watch someone program Pong within Super Mario World


Trust me, you want to watch this video
Jan 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There were a lot of highlights out of Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 this year, but this one in particular takes the cake for me. During the Tool Assisted Videos portion of the marathon, the people behind TASVideos.org shared...
#art photo
#art

MoMA adds retro pioneers, Minecraft to its art collection


Mo' games
Jul 01
// Steven Hansen
In March, New York's Museum of Modern Art added 14 videogames to its Architecture and Design collection, with the intent of acquiring 40 over the next few years. The initial group was a varied sample, from Tetris to Vib-...
 Cube Slam photo
Cube Slam

Play pong with Bob the Bear in Google Chrome's Cube Slam


'dat adorable bear
Jun 13
// Chris Carter
Of all the news I expected to be covering during E3, I never thought I'd be typing the words "Google Chrome," "Pong," and "Bear" in the same sentence, but there you go. Google has launched another goofy in-browser experiment...

Contest: Win an Atari 2600-themed Xbox 360!

Dec 02 // mrandydixon
Here's your puzzle: Word ScrambleUnscramble the words in the image below.Hint: Naturally, it has to do with PONG. Remember, once you think you know the answer, submit it via Atari's Facebook page. You have until December 2 at 11:59 PM Pacific to enter, and you can find more details on the contest page. Good luck!
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Celebrate PONG's 40th anniversary in style!
[Update: Contest over! Check Atari's Facebook page for the winner!] Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the original PONG! To commemorate the occasion, Atari is releasing Pong World, the $50,000 grand priz...

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Atari is bringing back the pong


Feb 29
// Fraser Brown
Pong is almost 40 years old, which means it's probably going to get a sporty wee convertible and start hooking up with people half its age. To celebrate Pong's impending anniversary, Atari has challenged indie developers to d...

Bit.Trip SAGA pops and locks on the 3DS

Jun 15 // Jonathan Holmes
Bit.Trip SAGA is a relatively straight port of the six Bit.Trip games as they previously appeared on WiiWare. That said, there were a few changes. For one, the two Pong-influenced games in the series (Bit.Trip BEAT and Bit.Trip FLUX) that utilized motion-based "paddle" controls on the Wii, now use the touch-screen controls. It's similar to how Bit.Trip BEAT controls on the iPad and iPhone, but without the risk of your own fingers obscuring the action on screen. The game is displayed on the 3D top screen, while you gently glide your finger or stylus around on the bottom screen. It feels a bit like the rolling ball bits of Elite Beat Agents/Ouendan, but even more fast paced and insane. You can also use the 3DS' circle pad controls if you want, but as anyone who has played Bit.Trip BEAT or Bit.Trip FLUX knows, you're not going to want to be limited by a conventional control scheme when the action gets really crazy. The other game to get major changes in its control scheme is Bit.Trip FATE. Instead of using the Wii pointer to aim, you now guide the aiming reticule on the touch screen. Again, you won't have to risk obscuring your view of the game, as all the action takes place on the top screen in 3D. Speaking of 3D, every game in this collection look great. The relatively flat Bit.Trip VOID now has a subtle pop, like you're peering down at the bizarre dietary habits of some pixel based amoeba. The deep, complex backgrounds in Bit.Trip CORE are even more eye catching (and potentially visually distracting). As for Bit.Trip RUNNER, that game always looks amazing, but with the 3D on, the game's world looks even more alive.  The improved visuals aren't just related to the new 3D display. I noticed right away that some of Bit.Trip FATE's character models look more striking. Specifically, they look a lot shinier, like they had some sort of reflective texture applied to them (though it's not certain that these new textures will be in the final build of the game). It sounds like the guys at Gaijin intend to add little fixes and visual flourishes whenever possible, but seeing as they're also working on a Bit.Trip Complete for the Wii, and some unannounced secret projects, they're going to have to keep their priorities straight. For me, getting Bit.Trip on the go will be enough. Every game in the series makes for perfect pick-up and go play (particularly RUNNER and FLUX), and having the option to play the games whenever I want, wherever I want, is a luxury I think I can afford. The 3DS is also the perfect vessel for me to show these games off to the world. It still pains me that so few people have given the Bit.Trip series a try, but with the SAGA in the palm of my hands, it will be easy to hit the streets and spread the Bit.Trip gospel wherever I go.
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I was lucky enough to bump into Mike Roush and Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games at E3 while shopping for bananas. I was even luckier to find that they had a work-in-progress build of Bit.Trip SAGA (the 3DS collection of all six critically acclaimed Bit.Trip titles) in their pocket. "F*ck bananas," I told them. "I need to play this thing, like, yesterday." So I played it, and here's what I thought.

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Pong goes 3D, fails


Feb 01
// Matthew Razak
While many of us would argue that Pong in 3D is called tennis a few enterprising gamers out there thought differently. They thought that Pong in 3D should be Pong. So they went ahead and made a tabletop version of it with a ...
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Modal Kombat delivers instrument controlled fighting


Oct 05
// Matthew Razak
Have you been looking for a far less efficient, but suitably awesome way to control your games? Let's say a guitar so you could jam out while performing a fatality? Yale School of Music graduates David Hindman and Evan Drum...
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Mario goes on a sex-crazed rampage


Jul 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
This really awesome video you’re about to watch was originally created as the prologue for a documentary on addictions to MMORPGs. Not sure what’s going on with that documentary, but who cares. This video by Vimeo...
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Is this an exclusive sneak peek at the new Bit.Trip game?


Apr 23
// Jonathan Holmes
I just got an email from an anonymous source featuring an image (seen above) with the file name "9_113_141520_11215145" and the text "Soon, our trip will continue. Sincerely, Only a man". At first I assume...

Destructoid review: Bit.Trip Beat

Mar 29 // Jonathan Holmes
[embed]125861:18377[/embed] Bit.Trip Beat (WiiWare)Developer: Gaijin GamesPublisher: Aksys GamesReleased: March 16, 2009MSRP: 600 Wii PointsOn paper, Bit.Trip Beat is just a really weird shmup: a shmup where you can't shoot, can't move horizontally, and have to hit bullets and obstacles instead of avoid them. That may sound fun to you, or it may not. Either way it doesn't matter, because Bit.Trip Beat on paper has nothing to do with Bit.Trip Beat in practice. Actually playing Bit.Trip Beat is like nothing else I've ever done; it made me laugh, cry, and most importantly, completely dissociate from my body. The game's name is totally literal; Bit.Trip Beat really can take you on a trip, but it's not a trip to another physical place. Instead, the game can take your brain to another state of mind: that "zone" that people usually can only get to with hallucinogens, meditation, or tantric sex. Unlike most modern games, Bit.Trip Beat doesn't try too hard to create a believable visual world for the player to enter; instead, it hypnotizes you by throwing a series of increasingly complex visual patterns on screen, all arranged in perfect unison with the game's driving soundtrack. As the game progresses, this combination of sights and sounds becomes so engrossing that passing hours will feel like minutes. The more you play, the less aware you become of the world around you, until all that exists in your world are you and the beats (the formal name for those little dots flying at you). Sadly, due to necessity of design, the game takes its time before it gets that engrossing. The whole game is controlled via "tilt" controls, and requires no buttons or even D-pad/analog sticks. People who haven't been into gaming since the 1970s will feel right at home here, but anyone used to manipulating analog sticks or 6-12 button controllers might need some time to get acclimated. For this game, "some time" means two or so minutes at the start of the first level, which consists of very easy beat patterns to contend with as you learn just how much a twist of the wrist affects your paddle on-screen. After that, the game goes completely bananas. Just when you think you've seen every kind of beat that the game could throw at you, another one rears its evil head. There are bouncing beats, shrinking beats, laser beats, disappearing beats, wall beats, streaming beats, power-up beats, stalling beats -- the list goes on and on. This leads to many moments through the course of a game where you'll start to feel a false sense of security. You'll think you have the beats under control. You'll think that they can't possibly get the best of you (again), then suddenly a flurry of never-before-seen beats will show up and you'll have no idea how to deal with them. This flow between panic, calm, and panic forces the player to be constantly on their toes. If you miss too many beats in a row, you're screwed. Conversely, if you hit enough beats in a row, you'll be pleasantly rewarded. With every successful hit, a meter at the top of the screen fills a little bit more. Fill it all the way to the end, and the music will change from a straight chiptune arrangement to a more fully fleshed out synth sound. It's a truly satisfying reward to hear the game's soundtrack become more "legit" as you, in turn, become more "legit" at playing it. If you play for points, entering this mode (called Multi+) is an even bigger deal, as it also increases your score multiplier (seen in the bottom right hand corner of the screen). Any combo above ten hits increases this multiplier as well, so staying in Multi+ mode while racking up huge combos is the best way to get a monster score. Miss too many beats, and you'll drop out of Multi+, and back into the game's standard "Hyper" mode. Lose more beats from there, and you enter "Nether" mode, where everything is in black and white, and the music dies completely. Suddenly being unable to see what color the incoming beats are makes it almost impossible to tell what type of beats they are. If you don't know what kind of beats are coming at you, you won't know what their movement patterns are, either, which makes it extremely tough to hit them with any accuracy. Losing the music also makes it harder to stay on beat, making it even harder to know where you should be at what time. Being in Nether is really a fate worse than death, which causes a genuine sense of panic as you struggle to hit enough beats to climb back into Hyper mode. There are no checkpoints in any of the game's three levels, so if you die, you have to start over. Seeing as each of the game's three levels are about 15 minutes long, it can be really frustrating to die 12 minutes into a level and be forced to start over from the beginning. But since the game is so damn weird, you'll really want to stuff that frustration down to see see what happens next. The game's bosses are especially surprising. I don't want to give it all away, but let's just say that the game's agenda to provide a new take on "paddle" gaming doesn't stop with its boss fights. They'll all evoke a sense of familiarity for those who've been playing videogames for over 25 years, but never in a way that feels cheap or forced.Something I didn't realize about the game at first is that it allows for up to four-player simultaneous co-op. This is what really takes the game from being great to superb. For a lot of people, the Wii has become their "living room" console, which means that having the option to include the family in the gaming experience is a must for keeping a shared space from becoming monopolized by just one person. Bit.Trip Beat's gameplay turns out to be perfect for this, as co-op really does work to accentuate nearly every aspect of the game. For one, co-op can make the game less painfully difficult, but not to the point where it ever gets too easy. On the flip side, co-op can also make the game more panic-inducing. The more players there are, the smaller all the paddles become, making it harder for each individual to successfully hit beats. Also, when the game goes to black and white, good luck telling your paddles apart from each other. It's stuff like this that makes thes the co-op work so well; it helps the game to achieve all its goals to an even greater extent, while simultaneously allowing for more people to enjoy the game at once. While co-op is definitely one of the game's greatest strengths, it also belies its one major design flaw. All paddles are forced to share the same movable area, causing inevitable overlaps. This causes unnecessary confusion and could have easily been fixed by staggering each player's movable area by a few pixels. There are a few other things I could imagine people might find irritating about the game, though none of them actually bothered me. One is that in order to start at one of the game's three levels whenever you want, you have to not only get to it, but get a high score on it as well. Personally, I thought that was a cute touch, as if the game's designer was saying, "Only those with high scores are worth remembering," a very old-school arcade notion. Game length might also be an issue for some. It took me over ten hours to beat the whole game, but it's my understanding that some particularly talented paddle-jockeys have done it in about half that. People's eyes might also get tired from playing the game, as keeping your eye on the ball(s) gives both your eyes and your brain a huge workout. Again, none of these factors were an issue for me, but others might find them bothersome. All in all, the game is must-play for anyone studying game design and/or fans of high-pressure gameplay. Bit.Trip Beat feels like a an intentional deconstruction of videogames as a whole, with all forms of complexity stripped away in favor of delivering a simple, concentrated experience. This lack of pretense isn't totally new; WarioWare and Shadow of the Colossus both went for it in their own ways, but never to this extreme. All hoity-toity analysis aside, the game is just really fun, filled with catchy music, interesting design decisions, and both "eureka!" and "oh shit!" moments to spare. The only people I'd advise to stay away from the game are those who hate everything about gaming pre-1985. Everyone else will find at least $6 worth of fun here.Score: 9.0 --Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)
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Out of all the games that make up this "retro-revival" thing that's going on right now, Bit.Trip Beat is probably the "retro-est." Like the Geometry Wars games, Bit.Trip Beat takes its cues from the pre-NE...

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G8brand brings it on with daring new apparel for gamers


Oct 04
// Colette Bennett
I've seen enough cheesy gamer shirts to last me a lifetime. That's why a company like G8 catches my attention by taking a different type of approach. The concept here is both brand-aware and dynamic - a more understated look ...
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Computer plays Pong against another computer: the beginning of a dark future


Jun 16
// Jim Sterling
Blogging programmer, Ashish Derhgawen, has presented us a slice of our most horrific future, where Pong playing super robots will enslave the world with paddles forged from the very reasoning of sin. Well, not really, ...
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CNN launches game; sadly, it's not Wolf Blitzer's Magical Moustache Ride


Jun 10
// Earnest Cavalli
CNN, Ted Turner's foray into the acrimonious world of televised dog-wagging, launched its first foray into gaming recently with the release of Presidential Pong, a Flash title destined to be exactly as entertaining as th...

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