In this episode, the Video Wizards find themselves in March 1984, where they are confronted with the wreckage left by Atari on the North American video game market and its effect on releases in European arcades. It’s nothing but obscure coin-ops this month as SNK quietly introduce the now little known sequel to Vanguard, Coreland and SEGA put out the bizarre and misleadingly named SWAT, Data East try their hands at a vertical shoot ’em up that’s been lost to time… and then there is Dynamic Ski by the far from prolific Taiyo System. To Ben and Michiel’s surprise there is actually a lot to enjoy there! Plus they also dig out some hits released in the months prior to March, such as Pole Position II, Punch-Out!! and Tapper.
While it’s quiet on the home gaming front, there is never a shortage of Trash from the Classifieds to dive into. And where the gaming industry struggles, there is a lot going on in the world of music, with Run-DMC showing fellow Hip-Hop artists how to make an album and give shape to the music in its recorded form, and a torrent of Local Dutch Metal being released by Roadrunner Records. And what exactly is the story behind that familiar voice on the chorus of Rockwell’s paranoid R&B hit Somebody’s Watching Me?
Musical strengths continue into cinema as the lads discuss the pioneering mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, before being slightly shocked by the original Police Academy and its contents. You’ll find all this and much more in one of the most interesting Video Wizards episodes up until now. Get involved with the choppiest and sockiest podcast around!
In this episode, the Video Wizards travel back further in time than they ever have, all the way to February 1982. In this month, SEGA make a splash with the visually striking axonometric space shooter Zaxxon while Atari revisits Asteroids in a tethered fashion for Space Duel. Gaming’s first diva appears in the form of a yellow orb with a red bow and a beauty mark and chef Peter Pepper has ingredients coming after him in Burger Time by Data East. And then there is the pioneering, but rather mad Jump Bug by the fledgling Alpha Denshi.
Much like Video Wizard Ben in 1982, both gaming at home and the Hip-Hop genre of music in its recorded form are still in their relative infancy, with gaming consoles not being a widely adopted commodity in Europe yet and the home computer boom just barely waiting around the corner in the former’s case and record labels adopting a wait-and-see kind of attitude in the latter’s case. But the music charts bring the goods this time, with a lot of diversity and musicianship on full display. And movie theaters are blessed by the well performing cult flicks Swamp Thing and Death Wish 2.
All this, some shocking memories of gruesome accidents and much, much more is what you’ll find in this new episode of the Video Wizards podcast!
In this episode of Video Wizards, we travel to January 1997 to witness the sad slow demise of the arcades in Western Europe, with cabinets getting replaced by slot machines in all but the last remaining dedicated gaming halls. But in these bright and colourful sanctuaries, there’s still a lot of video game fun to be had, with head to head combat and driving being the running themes. Capcom and Arika’s first 3D entry in their leading fighting franchise, Street Fighter EX, is presented to the masses, while the Osaka giants also get a bit experimental with their first CPSIII game: Red Earth. This is set off by Sunsoft’s oddball parody fighting game Waku Waku 7 and the crowd pleasing, jaw dropping spectacle cab of Model 3 powerhouse SCUD Race. And then there is Cruis’n World by Midway.
With home gaming becoming the more emphasised side of our hobby, Sony’s PlayStation is going especially strong, with Cool Boarders, Destruction Derby 2 and the Japanese release of the seismic Final Fantasy 7, while Europe is gearing up for the release of the Nintendo 64. In the world of Metal, acts like Marilyn Manson and Limp Bizkit carve new paths, where Hip-Hop artists find themselves at a crossroads. And the beginning of the year in cinema is lit up with the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – Special Edition. You want more? How about titanic local Dutch skating tours? A new instalment of the Video Wizards Quiz? The Dan Clark Baller of the Month Award?
This near 6 hour throwback audio experience contains way too much content to detail here, so get very comfortable indeed and enjoy the first Video Wizards podcast episode of the new year!
In this final Video Wizards Podcast episode of 2020, we travel back 31 years, to the month of December 1989. With the last holiday season of the 1980s upon us, we are visited by Santa Haggar, backed up by Cody and Guy, for Capcom’s genre redefining Final Fight. Konami, meanwhile, set out their own brawling path with their first arcade beat ’em up carrying an animated series license, while simultaneously unleashing the terrors of Gradius III on unsuspecting arcade goers and Mitchell and SNK keep things varied with Pang and Beast Busters respectively.
At home, European NES owners might just receive the first Mega Man in their stockings, as Master System owning kids are hopeful to receive a copy of Psycho Fox. And while Hip Hop’s golden era is winding down to the sounds of Biz Markie, the Geto Boys’ Willie D and 3rd Bass, the UK and Dutch charts are bombarded with tacky Christmas pop songs, blaring out the speakers of Chris Rea’s car radio. In cinemas, the police brutality of Tango & Cash shares the spotlight with the holiday brutality of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and in global politics, Bush senior and Gorbachev keep things extra festive by jointly announcing the end of the Cold War.
We hope you enjoy this mammoth podcast about the past and wish you a happy future in 2021!
In the 10th numbered episode of the Video Wizards Podcast, the stage for November 1992 is set by U.S. president George H.W. Bush smoothly transfering power to the political face of the ’90s, Bill Clinton, as SEGA brings about a revolution with their introduction of Virtua Racer to the arcade market. Toaplan enlist “mangaka” Joker JUN to make an impression with their unapologetic vertically scrolling shooter Dogyuun, whereas Irem spin off from their premiere horizontally scrolling shoot ’em up series with R-Type Leo and Konami license another odd anthropomorphic-centric cartoon property, for the Sunset Riders-like C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa. But what exactly are Increbible Technologies playing at with the completely horrifically botched attempt at a fighting game called Time Killers? Meanwhile, movie goers are spoilt for choice for the upcoming holiday season, with blockbusters like Home Alone 2, Disney’s Aladdin and Bram Stoker’s Dracula hitting the theaters.
In the European home gaming market, Nintendo’s SNES is gaining momentum with a slew of instantly classic titles in the face of SEGA releasing the mighty sequel to their smash hit Sonic the Hedgehog on Sonic 2sday. And you might not think of 1992 as being an especially prolific year for Hip-Hop, until you realise that Dr. Dre made clear that it was Nuthin’ But A G Thang, Redman dropped his explosive solo album and Rage Agains the Machine crossed over to fans of the genre, straight from the world of Metal, all around this moment in time. Here’s more than 4 and a half hours of fresh new Video Wizards content for you, filled with a plethora of more fun topics too varied to detail here. Would we lie to you?
Episode number 9 of the Video Wizards Podcast sees us travel back to October 1988, where things are about to get all sorts of horrifying! In the arcades, werewolves are fighting zombies, vile monsters and a dark sorcerer in SEGA’s legendarily oddball autoscrolling beat ’em up Altered Beast. Also, Ryu Hayabusa ends up in his buzzsaw filled personal hell when the player runs out of lives in Ninja Gaiden/Shadow Warriors and the maniacal blue and red clad mercenaries of Cabal find themselves facing the horrors of war once again. Meanwhile, cinema goers are exposed to the now cult creepfest of Pumpkinhead and the most terrifying movie Stanley Kubrick has ever seen: local Dutch film production The Vanishing.
Apart from that, we cover the usual broad variety of topics related to the time, extending to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the Western version of Super Mario Bros. 2, the cute-but-deranged antics of Tiki the Kiwi in The New Zealand Story, the Ultramagnetic MCs’ debut album and other boundary pushing going on in the world of Hip-Hop, Milli friggin’ Vanilli, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (the movie, this time around), nunchuks, a pitbull terrier called Dutch, flip glasses and taco nazis. It’s business as usual then, in the month of October and there’s absolutely no further spookiness going on, we promise!
The 8th episode of the Video Wizards Podcast is a huge one: we travel to a little bit over the middle of the mid 90s, namely the month of September in the year 1995. This is a real moment of transition, where 3D polygons start eclipsing 2D graphics in popularity, both in the arcades and in home gaming. Tekken 2 makes people take closer notice of painful looking grapples captured via different camera angles and the European launch of Sony’s PlayStation broadens the audience for video games considerably around these parts. But 2D games are still impressing arcade goers, as The King of Fighters ’95 by SNK and Guardians – perhaps the greatest scrolling beat ’em up of its decade – by the legendary Winkysoft, pull no punches and are very much alive and kicking. Meanwhile, Puzzle Bobble 2 is poppin’ like Orville Redenbacher and ex-employees of the by then defunct Toaplan find their way to Taito, Cave and Gazelle, for Gekirindan, Donpachi and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon respectively.
With the early beginnings of internet at home as the backdrop, Oasis drop their insanely succesful sophomore album, while in the Hip-Hop world a chain of events is set in motion that would eventually result in the violent deaths of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.. We find more grim violence in crime cinema highlights like Seven, The Usual Suspects and Clockers, whereas Showgirls is better described as a crime AGAINST cinema. How about them apples?
In episode number 7 of the Video Wizards Podcast we travel to August in the first year of the 90s. It’s a new decade, filled with the hope to wrestle itself from under the looming nuclear threat of the 1980s, but a war that’s far from cold is about to kick off in the Gulf and Atari Games gets gritty with the hyper violent and (for the time) hyper realistic looking underground prize fighting simulator Pit-Fighter. Also, brand new solo rapper Ice Cube defies the idealistic view of America as Hip-Hop as a whole looks for more boundaries to break, Metal music resists both lawsuits and the attack of acoustics and the power ballad groups… and somewhat disturbing pictures like Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Sam Raimi’s Darkman hit movie theaters.
But don’t despair! Michael Jackson’s megalomaniac Moonwalker arcade game aside, there is much lighter material as well. Marvel at water balloon chucking platypii in Liquid Kids, engage in shooty sci-fi fun in Out Zone and storm a massive tower in Magic Sword, next to the home gaming fun of the day. We say this every time, but this might be our best podcast yet!
In the 6th episode of the Video Wizards Podcast we travel all the way back to July in the year 1985. In this month, Yu Suzuki and SEGA go “full body” and unleash the Super Scaler revolution on arcade goers with the legendary superbike racer Hang-On. Namco show their quirkier side with the autorunner inspiring Metro-Cross and the cutesy-yet-slightly-disturbing alien shooter Baraduke, while Konami are all about stabbing Soviet saps in Green Beret. And then there is Atari’s Peter Pack Rat.
As Queen and Freddy Mercury rock Live Aid in Wembley, Madonna and a host of 1980s R&B artists get party people into the groove. Marty McFly aims to travel through time in a direction opposite to ours in what might be the quintessential 1980s Hollywood flick, while Roger Moore delivers his final role as James Stock, er, James Bond. Join us on this wild ride through the mid-point of the mid-eighties!
In this fifth episode of the Video Wizards Podcast we travel back to June 1993, where Midway releases the final revision of the digitised live actor driven fighting fantasy Mortal Kombat II. There is summertime amusement aplenty as well, with the thrill ride-like cabs of Lucky & Wild and Alien 3: The Gun, by Namco and SEGA respectively. And Technos and Data East were bringing some new and exciting twists to the beat ’em up genre.
Meanwhile, the Unabomber is still on the loose and Hulk Hogan gets defeated by a James Bond gadget-like photo camera. Also, Jurassic Park’s roaringly successful release is the mark of a new era in blockbuster cinema, Star Fox (or Starwing) pushes polygons on PAL SNESes and Hip-Hop music by credible artists invades mainstream-inclined homes everywhere. And will Michiel’s winning streak in the Video Wizards Quiz finally be broken?