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Ultimate Guide to Classic Game Consoles (e-Book)

Posted: May 5th, 2016, 6:44 pm
by scotland
Official subtitle: "An ideal reference to collectors"
MY unofficial subtitle: "You'd be better off going to instead!"

Here, let me save you $2.50 American money and just say "Don't - just don't"

The book is a set of 85 reviews written much like a high school kid giving a presentation to his class. Here is a typical snippet
"In closing, the Intellivision is a really cool and interesting console."

Here is one from the Odyssey 2, whose most well known game is probably KC Munchkin, about Quest for the Rings, which is one of several board video game hybrids for the system, and all of them just a tiny footnote in video game history. Recall the original Odyssey also was a video game board game hybrid.
The biggest and probably most well known game on the Odyssey 2 was Quest for the Rings. This was a video game and board game hybrid that was unlike anything else that was ever released at the time. Quest of the Rings is such a great part of gaming history that is really worth trying to track down this game.

Somethings caught my eye, like the "Bildschirmspiel 01", which is actually an East German Pong console ( the name means basically Video Game 01). I was interested to learn about it, but there was not much meat on the bone. It ends like this:
Despite not setting Germany on fire with its sales there was a followup planned.

Germany? You mean capitalist West Germany? Why would the 1980 East German console version of the Trabant set West Germany on fire with its sales, unless it was a devious Marxist GDR plot?

He never mentions those East German video game classics like "NATO Invaders" or "Komrades Mario" where you have to stop defectors who are using the sewers to get to West Berlin. Now those are classics.

Re: Ultimate Guide to Classic Game Consoles (e-Book)

Posted: May 8th, 2016, 3:00 am
by Retro STrife
Oh god.. I bought this too about a month ago, and thought the exact same thing. It reads like a 6th grade research paper... you know, where you would find online articles and just put them in your own words so that the teacher doesn't catch you for plagiarizing... That e-book reads like the guy took good articles written by someone else, and paraphrased them in his own stupid voice. I'm always looking for new video game books, but this one isn't even worth the $2.50, and usually almost anything is worth $2.50 to me. That's one problem with e-books; a lot less quality control than print copies.

By the way, if you don't already own it, I highly recommend Winnie Forster's book The Encyclopedia of Game Machines. IMO, it's the definitive book and resource focusing on the video game systems themselves (rather than the games); and it's also my favorite video game book ever written, period. It's a little pricier than that e-book, but it's everything you'd hope to find in that e-book and more. Worth every penny. Here is the most current edition, published in 2012 (2nd edition): ... 0987830503

If you want to save money, the first edition is very similar, with the only major difference being that it is missing the consoles released from 2005-2012: ... 3000153594

Re: Ultimate Guide to Classic Game Consoles (e-Book)

Posted: May 8th, 2016, 7:50 am
by scotland
I don't own this one, thanks. Pricey though, but I will put it on a wish list.

My favorite video game book so far is Steven Kents Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon. Its 15 years out of date, and spends a lot of time on Atari, but I enjoyed it. Maybe that is due to growing up in the Atari glory days, or that I read it outside on a lovely day.

Any other recommendations?

Re: Ultimate Guide to Classic Game Consoles (e-Book)

Posted: May 9th, 2016, 10:41 am
by Retro STrife
By all means, save money and go with the older edition of Forster's book--it'll be the best $20 you ever spent on a video game book.

As for Kent's book, I've owned it for almost 10 years now, but sadly I still haven't read it. I really need to get around to that. Your mention of it hopefully motivates me to finally do that this summer.

As far as the history of gaming, my favorite book is High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games. It's a great tabletop book--like 400 pages, all jam-packed with color photos. It's a great book for people like me with short attention spans. I believe that it's original purpose was to serve as a "history" textbook in game development classes (it's even published by McGraw-Hill), so it's also very informative. Best of all, it's dirt cheap, with used copies under $3. It's outdated now (almost 15 years old), but for all things 2000 and earlier, it's excellent. Just check out the "Look Inside" preview and you'll be sold. Here's a link: ... 0072231726

As far as references for games, the Digital Press Collector's Guide and Digital Press Advance Guide remain my go-to resources. The price guides are now only of minimal use, but everything else remains pure gold. Brett Weiss' books are very good too.