Games

Sad news all you retro gamers out there. Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco and the man known as the “Father of Pac-Man,” has sadly died at the age of 91.

Nakamura founded Namco waaaay back in 1955 when they originally ran children’s rides with two mechanical horses on the roof of a department store.

The soon to be gaming icon later expanded into the world of arcade games in the 1970s with Gee Bee and Galaxian in 1978 and 1979. However, it was Pac-Man, released in 1980, that came to define his legacy, going on to become a fixture in popular culture and a household name.

The idea for the game, came from the image of a pizza with a slice carved out and Nakamura reportedly chose the word “Pac” to represent the munching of the Pac-Man devouring its prey.

Launched at a time when there were few rival games, such as Space Invaders, Nakamura was one of the people credited with launching the Japanese videogame industry. In addition to retro icon Pac-Man, Namco also released other arcade classics like Dig Dug, Pole Position, and, of course, Ms. Pac-Man.

In 2008, Guinness World Records named it the world’s most successful coin-operated arcade game. It is estimated to have been played more than 10 billion times. Pretty sure we’re responsible for a large chunk of that!

Nakamura sadly died on January 22 which was confirmed by Namco. He will be greatly missed and his mark on the world left behind if truly profound.

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Wall art is a really simple and easy way to spruce up any room and we’ve got a very cool selection that can give your home a stylish and retro touch, you’ll be the envy of every visitor!

Whether you’re a movie buff, retro gamer or music lover we’ve got all bases covered with fab original art for such retro icons as Labyrinth, Back to the Future, Marvel Comics, Sega, David Bowie, Roald Dahl, Coca-Cola and sooooo much more! Whatever your taste, there’s definitely something for everyone at a range of prices that really won’t break the bank! Let’s take a look…

We’re particularly proud of our Harry Potter art collection with a range of magical framed prints featuring the likes of Sirius Black, Bellatrix, Lucius and of course Harry himself.  We also have a Hogwarts crest for those of you wishing to be a wizard in training!

And below are a few of my favourite movie prints that I’m planning to adorn my walls with, let us know which prints would look perfect in your home!

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So it’s official, Pokémon GO is here, and…well… it is absolutely HUGE. Like bigger than the Death Star big! Frankly, if you’re not using your phone to walk around and catch virtual creatures in your area we have no idea why you even have a phone!

With so much buzz surrounding this groundbreaking AR adventure game (for those who never discovered Ingress at least), it seems Pokémon is right back at the top of the pile and bigger and better than ever. Talk about a comeback! From battling it out on our trusty Game Boy colour back in the day to talking stats and evolutions with friends down the pub, Pokémon has always brought people together and turns out is still as cool as ever.

Now it’s back in our lives in style, we figured we would pop together some really cool and useful tips that we have picked up along the way. Who knows they might just give your game a little boost! For free! Sit back and check out our Top Tips for Pokémon Go!

You can grab Pikachu as your starter Pokémon

Yep believe it! Pretty much THE face of the entire Pokémon empire, Pikachu can be grabbed right from the get go. Perhaps not so useful for all you eager players out there already catching your way through the levels, but as a new player when you’re asked by the Professor to catch you very first Pokémon you will be met with some old faces including Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. However! If you walk away from them (literally walk away), and continue to walk away from them until your phone vibrates the three classic stater Pokémon will appear again. Walk away again, and repeat 3 to 5 times and eventually Pikachu should appear.

When exploring, vary your surroundings

So just like you would fine in the real world, different Pokémon can be found in different areas. So for some examples, Rock types can be found near Quarries, Water types can be found near….you guessed it, Ghost types can be found near cemeteries and Electric types near power stations. We’re not suggesting to climb a mountain or break into a industrial area but instead vary where you hunt a bit.

When you capture a gym, defend it!

So you’re at at least level five and the real fun has begun, setting to work capturing your local gym will earn you some big rewards so well worth doing but hey….nothing good comes easy. Other players will be looking for a taste of of high life so be prepared to defend your gym by leaving good Pokémon there. Good defending will also earn extra bonuses and keep you in a good position.

Master your power

Now we don’t mean Pokémon powers or even superhuman powers, we mean getting the most from your device to keep you playing. It’s no secret that playing Pokémon GO pretty much smashes your battery so be smart. Activate the Pokémon GO battery saver mode in the settings option, dim the screen brightness, close unused background apps you might have running or perhaps invest in a battery charging pack to give you some extra juice on the go.

Throw a Curve ball

Not figuratively, literally! When you’re about to catch a critter, hold down on your Poké Ball and spin it in a circular motion with your finger. This will start it spinning, and if you hit and capture a Pokémon with this move you’ll gain some extra XP. Score!

Get out and play!

Possibly the best tip really and perhaps not one which can be avoided too much. The best way to enjoy the game, earn the good stuff and continue your amazing work is just to get out and explore….safely. Walking distances will help everything along and will help you bump into new characters and places. Again try to vary the locations, location types and even time of day and keep in mind that seeking landmarks in your area will be some great treats along with them too. The more you play, the more XP you will earn and the better everything will get.

So there you have them peeps! Hopefully we’ve passed on some handy hints to help you along you way. Know any other cool tips to help you fellow players? Shout them out below in the comments section!

Naturally, as veteran Pokémon trainers we’ve stocked a whole heap of Pokémon merchandise over the years and it seems that no more than ever is the time to grab a slice of the action and start showing off your love in style! Check out our latest catches including some fab Pokémon jewellery…

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Calling all you gamers! Level up your retro gaming knowledge with our latest installment of fact-finding awesomeness! Yep, this time to help celebrate our latest collection of seriously cool Street Fighter TShirts which have just hit the site (go take a peep!), we’re digging into the combo loving, button smashing and sometimes controller throwing world of the iconic Street Fighter game franchise.

So! Take a leap with us into this weird and wonderful world and check out some of these pretty funky facts! Enjoy….

1. It was almost a failure

Now this might come as a shock, but back when this game was first released, multiplayer was relatively new. Launching into arcades, the concept of playing another human rather then just the AI didn’t instantly catch on. However after a fair few weeks and good word of mouth, competition between players became a big deal and still is today.

2.Lost in translation!

Sheng Long’s name was born out of a mistranslation of ‘shoryuken’, Ryu’s iconic attack. When the AI taunted players by saying they would need to beat ‘shoryuken’ to triumph, translators assumed it was talking about the character, rather than the move.

3. Combos were an accident…..sort of.

Gamers being gamer, will always want more. More custom, better gameplay or design. Well this was certainly the case back in the day. Once hackers had begin to redesign parts of the game to make it easier, one of the tricks was to make the time between moves shorter to allow more damage. The game’s designers caught wind of this idea and set about creating move combos to allow people to do just that and included this in their next release, Street Fighter 2.

4. Speaking of which, Street Fighter still holds multiple world records.

…including Including: “First Fighting Game to Use Combos”, “Most Cloned Fighting Game”, “Biggest-Selling Coin Operated Fighting Game”, and “The Most Prolific Fighting Game Series”.

5. Ken’s Cheap Trick.

Ken’s theme song was inspired by Cheap Trick’s song, Mighty Wings. Yes, that Mighty Wings. From the Top Gun soundtrack. Ken, you can be our wingman any day.

6. In the family!

Ken and Guile are related! Their wives are sisters.

7. The Hadouken is actually a pair of hands!

You heard it folks! It’s not blue fire or perhaps a water cannon but in fact the shape of Ryu’s hands, coloured blue to make it look more menacing.  Can you spot it?

8. Character concepts…

Numerous character concepts were made but never used for Street Fighter II including a fat clown, which was later mutated into Rufus in Street Fighter IV, and Zubaz, a man with a leather whip and ripped shirt which was later used as inspiration for The Baz in Divekick.

9. Girl Power!

Little known fact, Chun-Li was the first playable female character in a fighting game.

10. Ken was the first Street Fighter character to be given a last name (Masters)

When Street Fighter toy figures were produced in the U.S., Mattel felt it would be confused with their own toy, Ken Carson (as in, Barbie and Ken). Now THAT would be a celebrity couple!

So there you have them folks! Know any other cool facts? Let us know below in the comments section. Don’t forget to check out our latest range of Street Fighter Merchandise to show your love for this true 80s and 90s legend.

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Whether you’re somewhat of a board gaming master, or you just like to wind away the odd rainy weekend, Monopoly is surely one of the top games in your collection. If not, it should be! With over a whopping 80 years of being sent to jail, playing a Community Chest card and building and empire, Monopoly has been a household staple and we’re sure it will be around for a long while yet.

To help celebrate this true retro icon and our latest range of Monopoly Merchandise which has just hit our site, we thought we would do some digging and sniff out some cool facts to share with you guys.

So! Without further ado, let us pass GO, collect £200 and let the fact finding begin! Enjoy…

1. As odd as it seems for such an iconic game, it was actually initially rejected by Parker Brothers for having ’52 fundamental errors’. These included game length and simply how complex it was. Mad huh.

2. The games mascot or ‘The Monopoly guy’ is actually called Rich Uncle Pennybags which was also the games original title.

3. The longest ever game of monopoly lasted over 70 days. That’s a lot of arguments and tea!

4. Mega bucks! In 1998, celebrated San Francisco jeweller Sidney Mobell created the most expensive Monopoly set in the world which was valued at a cool $2 million. It was made with a 23k gold-plated board and had tokens made with 18k yellow gold with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. As you do.

5. Weirdly, the origins of Charles Darrow’s game was an earlier game called ‘The Landlord’s Game’ which was created by Elizabeth Magie to help warn people about Monopolies. It was meant to show people the dangers or land grabbing and having single powerful entities.

6. Playing with a POW! To aid the war effort, special secret sets were created to help smuggle tools, maps, compasses, information etc into prisoner of war camps during WW2. Sneaky!

7. Because there’s always someone wanting to take it further, there is actually a Monopoly World Championships held every year. The top prize is a cool $20,580.

8. The character you can see in the jail square is called “Jake the Jailbird.”

9. Make money money money! As it turns out, Parker Brothers actually produce more currency per year than the US mint does!

10. Now it seems pretty insignificant to us these days, but back when this game was first released, you could pick up a set for around just $2!

So there we have them folks! Some pretty amazing (if not sometimes off) nuggets of information there huh. Certainly some you can bring out when you’re next playing to annoy impress your friends or family huh!

Know any other cool Monopoly facts? Shout them out below. If not, why not check out our complete range of Monopoly Memorabilia including everything from Tees to Tea Towels, or Boardgames to Beer Mats!

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