Saturday, September 29, 2007

3 More Classic Game Rooms Online

Booyah! Or should I say, "Game Room Sucka!"

This week we were able to upload about 8 Classic "Classic Game Room" episodes from waaaay back in the day. Back from the year 2000, before the global warming crisis, before YouTube, before the GOP made up a bunch of lies and invaded a foreign country sinking our country into an abysmal mess and back before everyone had cell phones, iPods and Bluetooth headsets.

The episodes are on the InecomCompany YouTube account which can be viewed HERE.

Deep from within Inecom Entertainment Company's vault of cancelled internet TV shows from the network we pulled out the Game Room reviews of Bionic Commando, Fear Effect, Robotron 64, Wild Metal, Chu Chu Rocket, The Empire Strikes Back , Virtual On AND Draconus Cult of the Wyrm.

It's been fun to watch a number of these old reviews that I haven't really sat down and watched in a few years. I poured into the reviews that we included on the Classic Game Room DVD, but some of these others I didn't spend much time with.

My personal favorite of this bunch is Draconus. i think we had a good commentary on that episode. I also like the Chu Chu Rocket review and Fear Effect.

These are good examples of the real show, the normal episodes without the expensive outside sequences like Sega GT or Alien (which are on the DVD). I like the bigger, more expensive episodes better, but these are pretty much standard for us. Dave dropped the best one liners and performances, I muddled through the interviews and occasionally said something interesting... but typically did the mixing and editing work.

I re-edited these down a bit and remixed the audio and video where I could. On some episodes like Bionic Commando and Fear Effect we are actually missing the master tapes of the game footage, so some of the video and audio for the game review (not studio) was pulled from the media files we made in 2000.

For Bionic Commando, since I still have that game, I replayed some of the scenes and re-recorded it. Maybe you notice the change at about 4.02 or so in the episode. When we originally made that episode Dave played the game until about 1am in the studio and won it. He was really good at the game, and there's no chance I could win it now.

The same is true for Fear Effect, sort of. I don't have this game, we probably sold it back after doing the review. So most of the game footage is from the streaming media file. But I did find a Betacam SP tape of some game footage and reworked that in where I could. I also used that to remix the intro on the episode and make the disco dancing burning alive scene. Note the outtakes at the end where I tried to put an Atari Jaguar on the table and Dave wouldn't let me.

Wild Metal and Virtual On aren't anything spectacular in the way of humor, but are solid technically and offer pretty candid reviews of two games which are nothing spectacular.

And who doesn't like Chu Chu Rocket? That game is fabulous and still a great party game.

Hopefully there will be some more old episodes posted soon, so keep on the lookout!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Classic Game Room Returns Online!!

It's the day we've all be waiting for... or at least all of us Classic Game Room fans. And that includes me and Dave! We haven't seen these in so long it's like watching different people almost, so we can laugh at all of our dumb jokes all over again for practically the first time.

Mark Bussler working on Bionic Commando for the Classic Game Room

You can see the original episodes HERE on YouTube!

Inecom Entertainment Company , which owns the rights to all the Classic Game Room episodes, decided to pull out the stops and publish some of the episodes from the 1999-2000 season. This is the first time these have been online since the "" days!! You can still see our old website which has the text reviews, but does not play the videos, at

The Game Room episodes will be appearing under the InecomCompany account on YouTube, along with our feature film trailers and some other cancelled shows that were on back in the day.

Below is one of the all time favorite episodes, our review of The Empire Strikes Back for the Atari 2600. I remastered the episode this week (while awaiting new hard drives to finish my current film). The footage is all from the master tapes so you can see every detail. I'm not sure why my hair was so long back then but it was. I added the new blowing snow fx and the updated sounds of wind and the monsters. The snow was simply made by dragging a long PSD file of "snow" over the video image. I borrowed a licensed Steelers jacket from someone look more vinyl and "Star Wars"-like, and then went so far as to bleep out the Steelers logo with the ice cream graphic.

I also posted our review of Draconus for the Dreamcast. I particularly like this review because we were making fun of learning history and going to school. We were being obnoxious on purpose of course, but the irony is that I now produce historical documentaries and strongly support getting a good education. I'd say I look at the world in a much different way now than I did then, however I still think it's one of our funniest studio segments. I love the part when Dave says "I know Draconus is a word, because someone made it up"

Keep looking for new episodes online. They'll be coming sporadically. So quit playing Halo 3 and go watch some old Game Rooms. FYI, as I'm still waiting for new drives, I'm working on remastering the Virtual On episode and Bionic Commando.

You may ask "but if you need new drives how can you work at all?". Simple. Game Rooms are standard def. My current film, Westinghouse, is HD. HD requires terabytes of storage to do anything.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Classic Game Room Odyssey

The next installment in the saga of our editing system, Edit-Station 1, is up on YouTube. We've changed user accounts, to keep up to date with new episodes of the Classic Game Room (which may be returning??), subscribe to our new user name, InecomCompany!

Here is the original video, Classic Game Room, Whiskey and Fried Circuits!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Westinghouse Film Production Update: 9/18

Smoke if ya got 'em

Been very, very busy proofreading the script and getting ready to record the narration for the Westinghouse documentary film. This doesn't provide for very exciting photos on my blog though. I'm usually hunched over the screen with two cups of coffee nearby and a splitting headache.

Just the other day I was fortunate enough to venture out of my cave (aka editing suite) and enjoy the sun and late summer air. I drove into Oakland, which houses The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Library and Museum, as well as many bars and food joints. One of my favorite is the Original Hot Dog Shop.

40'z and hot dogs in one shop! Score! To be honest I haven't been there for several months, but there have been rumors it is closing. I hope not. My wife will be devastated. She claims they have the best french fries on earth.

Cathedral of Learning

My trip to Oakland was not for cheap hot dogs or double fried french fries this time, but rather to look at the photo archives and maps in the Carnegie Library for potential use in the Westinghouse film. The good news is I found many excellent photos, many of which I'd never seen before, to help me complete the film. Lots of factory shots and trains, etc...

Whoah-Oh, there's goes Tokyo, here comes Dippyzilla!

The library is right next to the museum, which is guarded by a massive dinosaur dubbed "Dippy". I call him Dippyzilla. He's actually quite large and would probably freak out anyone not expecting to see a massive, life like dinosaur standing around Forbes avenue... but not me. I'm used to him. Maybe someone needs to get Dippy a 40 from the "O".

After taking a few more photos it was time to pay for my parking and head back to work... I took the shots of the smokestacks from the parking lot of the museum. They looked pretty neat. I believe they are part of the furnace, or Batcave or powerplant or something for the museum.

Joe Camel

Cheers, giant smokestacks! These photos are all taken with my Canon XTi, 17mm lens and polarizer filter, which is how I achieve that really nice, blue sky.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sega in my free time....

Herzog Zwei for the Sega Genesis

As work on the new Westinghouse documentary has been moving along, we're nearing the narration of the film and final editing. I've been pretty darned busy. Coupled with a few editing system complications is the fact I had to re-write part of the script about the Burlington Brake Trials in 1886 after learning a few more facts from some train experts who are kind enough to help out.

Anyway, by the time I get home, walk the dog, cook dinner with my wife and actually sit down its already 10pm and I'm usually too damn tired to do anything except hide in my basement for an hour or two and succumb to my addiction to Xbox Live.

Modified Sega Genesis with s-video

Another shot:

Modded Sega Genesis 16-Bit System with s-video

A few months ago I decided to hook my Sega Genesis up to an HDTV. After a great deal of research it seemed that modifying the Sega with s-video was the way to go. Obviously the Sega does NOT output true HD video, but the video it does output looks much better with s-video.

I'm not technically competent to do the mods myself so a few weeks ago I sent the system to Canada where Old School Gamer did the work. I just got it back and they did a great job! I don't have any side by side comparisons, but the difference between composite video and s-video on a high def LCD screen (in standard def) is remarkable. has a few screen shots on their website, but seeing it in person is even better.

Wiring nightmare

I run the s-video and stereo cables through my preamp and switch the video and audio with it. That's the Genesis s-video going into the DVD slot there. The DVD player uses HDMI and optical so it avoids the analog inputs altogether.

I have an Xbox 360, PS2, Atari 7800, Sega Genesis and NES all hooked up at once and switching through an Outlaw 950. The Xbox is using HDMI video independent of the preamp, PS2 is component, Genesis is s-video, NES is composite and the Atari runs through a VCR using the RF thingy, and then gets converted to composite. My Dreamcast and N64 will be going s-video, but they aren't hooked up just yet (which is fine because I have no time for them anyway).

The Ninendo Entertainment System

Old School Gamer also repaired my NES which has not been working well since we used it to record the Classic Game Room episodes back in 2000. Yes Game Room fans, this is the actual NES and Sega Genesis used to capture footage for the illustrious Classic Game Room. You know the Genesis we hold up during the X-Men episode? I bought this in 8th grade with Altered Beast and it still works flawlessly today.

M.U.S.H.A. the best Shmup for the Genesis

The s-video brings out sharper details in the graphics and text (it's really noticeable in the text on M.U.S.H.A. and Herzog Zwei, my two favorites). The shadows beneath the jet in Herzog are now clearly a group of dots instead of a blur. The colors are much better of course. It was like playing MUSHA again for the first time because of all the detail in there.

My NES looks really nice too, but to be fair I never used it on my current setup. Which although isn't fancy, is better than the 19" TV I had 7 years ago.

Xbox 360 HDMI cable

I use the HDMI with my Xbox 360 which outputs games in 720p. I got the Atari Classics game for Xbox and love playing Yars' Revenge in HD. The Quotile are that much sharper and scarier. I still suck at Pong, even in HD.

It's probably pretty excessive to mod a 20 year old game system, but as I tell people, "I don't golf. I watch movies and play video games. I have all those dozens of dollars left over to spend on classic game cartridges."

Holy video game controllers, Batman!

What's your favorite controller? Personally I like the PS2 and Genesis controllers the best, but the Xbox 360 controller is growing on me. I never did care for the original Atari 2600 controller, which is why I got the European version that feels more like the old-school NES gamepad.