Hi, I'm André Meadows and this is Crash Course Games. So we finished the last episode nearing the end of the 1980s, and Nintendo was dominating the US and Japanese home console markets. But, with the video game business being a capitalistic enterprise and all, competition was on the rise. The 90s was the third decade of modern video games, and, like the First Console War between Atari, Mattel, and Coleco, competition drove innovation and better games. These new competitors were filling the hole left from the crash of the 80s, but also targeting an older and more mature audience. In the 1990s, players started seeing first person shooters, fighting games, and lots and lots of sports games https://casinoslots-sa.co.za/.
And today we are going to focus on the entrance of one company in particular that prompted this innovation and the war that came with it. Sega! [Theme Music] So the Sega Corporation of Japan had entered the North American home console market in 1986 with its Sega Master System which desperately wanted to compete with the NES but never managed to capture much market share.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, I want to take a second here to talk about Sega. Sega sounds like a quintessential Japanese company but, actually, it was founded in the United States. By Americans.
The company moved to Tokyo after World War 2 in focus on operating slot machines and coin-operated games on US military bases. At that time, the company was called Service Games, which would eventually be shortened and combined to form Sega. Sega transitioned into video games in the 1970s, and survived the whole boom and bust that we already talked about. And by the time Sega released its Master System, the company had been acquired by a Japanese conglomerate. OK, back to the Master System.
The Sega Master System failed to really compete with the NES in the United States, even though the hardware was technically superior. This was mostly attributed to Sega's poor marketing, but also because of Nintendo's licencing practices (which we talked about last episode) which limited the number of third-party developers that Sega could work with. But then, in 1989, Sega released its Genesis console, which was much more competitive. To paraphrase Yoda, "Big gun, the second console wars had." Let's go to the Thought Bubble.
Sega's first shots in the console wars were from the marketing department. Sega ran commercials that touted their superiority with the tagline "Genesis does what Nintendon't!" Their main weapon, though, was the technology. Their position as the only next generation console on the market was a strong advantage and they kept using that term "blast processing". The superior Genesis hardware had moved from an 8-bit to 16-bit architecture.
This made for improvements in the look, sound, and playability of Sega's games. This improved hardware allowed a home console to more closely match the quality of games in arcades. Sega also took a cue from Nintendo and created a flagship character that could be the face of the console like Mario was for Nintendo.
Sega's answer to the dumpy plumber who could sometimes throw fireballs was Sonic the Hedgehog. But Sonic wasn't Sega's first attempt at a mascot. During the Master System era, Alex Kid had been Sega's flagship character. Unfortunately, he was a bland character on a system that hardly anyone owned so no-one even cared enough about Alex Kid to hate him. Sonic was designed to fix that problem and become the hedgehog that Sega could really sink its corporate identity teeth into.
Sonic, he could really move! Sonic, he's got attitude! Sonic, he's the fastest thing alive! Sonic was meant to appeal to an older crowd than Mario and the NES and it kind of worked.
The Genesis also differentiated itself with the quality of its sports games. They partnered with American athletes to make games like Joe Montana Football and Mario Lemieux Hockey and licenced real teams and their players into these games. Sega succeeded.
It differentiated itself from Nintendo and was growing in market share. But then, in 1991, Nintendo introduced its own 16-bit console in North America -- the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or Super NES. Thanks, Thought Bubble! So the Super NES launched with the universally acclaimed Super Mario World and the technologically impressive racing game F Zero. But the Genesis software library had a two-year headstart. Many games for the Genesis were already on the market and the Genesis continued to lead during the Super Nintendo's first year.
But Nintendo fell back on their tried-and-true strategy of producing high-quality games. The company created hit after massive hit for the new console. Nintendo games like Super Mario Kart, Starfox, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past all sold millions of copies. Third-party developers also delivered hits like Chrono Trigger, Mega Man X, the Final Fantasy series and the import of the immensely popular arcade hit Street Fighter 2. We'll talk more about that later. And Nintendo also introduced another successful console around this time -- the Game Boy which would go on to be one of the most successful handhelds of all time.
Even though the Game Boy was handheld, it had similar capabilities to an 8-bit console. It only displayed four shades of grey, though. Some people even said it was green.
And it required a ton of AA batteries. But it was portable, and it was bundled with the hit game Tetris. When the Game Boy released in Japan, it sold out of its initial 300,000 run in two weeks. This early success in handheld gaming would lead Nintendo to dominate this sector of the gaming industry for decades. The Second Console War was long and difficult, but there were some upsides. #1: Nobody died.
#2: All of this was pretty great for people who liked to play video games. The Console War was capitalism at its best. Competition drove rapid innovation and improvements in video game hardware and software. But the Console War wasn't the only fight going on in the early 90s. There was also the bitterly fought battle between M. Bison and Ryu.
Fighting games were huge at this time and Street Fighter 2, which was released in arcades in 1991, revolutionised the format. Now, fighting games had been around since the early days of video games but the genre was mostly made up of platforming beat-em-up titles like Double Dragon. The original Street Fighter pitted players against each other in head-to-head combat.
It had a moderate success in Japan and America. Street fighter 2, though? That was a game changer. There were character backstories, you got to know all their blood types. Hey, you may want to donate blood to Guile one day.
You don't know. But the real star of the show was the gameplay. The new 16-bit technology and its advanced controls were hyperresponsive and gave players the ability to execute a huge number of moves. Street Fighter 2 invented the combo mechanic and created the deep human pleasure of a well-timed Shoryuken or a Haryuken or whatever that thing that E. Honda does when he just does this. But nothing breeds competition like success so in 1992, Midway released Mortal Kombat to compete with Street Fighter 2.
Its deeply compelling characters, visual style and carnage made it a popular alternative to the Street Fighter series. Mortal Kombat used digitised photographs as models for the characters. It was supposed to make the fighters look more real than characters in Street Fighter. Mortal Kombat also aimed for the adult market by including a lot of blood and gore.
And I mean a LOT. You might not have known Johnny Cage's blood type, but in Mortal Kombat he could punch a dude's head off and then put on his sunglasses and look super cool. Hey, it could be worse. You could go up against Sub Zero and he could pull your spine out. Fatality.
Excellent. Let's play some Mortal Kombat! Level up! So when the game came out on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, it was interesting because on the Super Nintendo version, they didn't have any blood at all.
They actually made the blood splats clear so it looked like sweat. So you weren't supposed to think that they were bleeding, you were thinking that they were just sweating. And the Genesis version, as we're seeing right now, is clean to start but you could put in a special code and if you put in that special code, you got blood. I think we're gonna do that right now.
OK, here you go. On this screen, you go A - B - A - C - A - B - B. *gasp* Did you see it? See it change color? That means we got blood!
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is centrally located on the Strip between Bellagio, Paris, Planet Hollywood and Vdara. Take the photo tour to see what's offered at the trendy, modern casino resort. A taxi pulls in to the Cosmpolitan's porte cochere. The lobby greets guests with chandeliers and artwork. The Cosmopolitan is renowned for the living, digital art in its lobby. A steam punk shoe sculpture is on display in a convention area.
Dog sculptures are also on display in the convention area. The Chandelier Bar is a three-tiered bar and lounge encased by 2 million crystals dripping in strands from the ceiling almost to the floor. The middle of the three floors, inside the chandelier serves as a cocktail destination. The top level serves as a comfortable lounge. Guests enjoy personal service from the bartender in the elegant setting Oncasinogames Canada.
The Vesper Bar maintains a rotating menu of signature cocktails. A fire pit marks the entrance to the Violet Hour salon where guests can be pampered with hair, nail and beauty services. The "Space Between," connects the changing rooms and treatment areas in the hotel's 44,000 square-foot Sahra Spa.
At precisely 103 degrees, the Sahra Spa is one of North America's only authentic hammams. The space's centerpiece is a radiant "mother stone," on which you lay for your treatment. A terrace one bedroom, with a standard King, offers a view of the Strip.
A suite area in a terrace one bedroom provides seating, artwork and a coffee table. The suite area also includes a workspace and flat screen TV. The terrace one bedroom boasts a Japanese soaking tub. The bathtub is spacious and comes with a view.
The bathroom in a terrace one bedroom features two sinks and C.O. Bigelow products. Guests in a terrace one bedroom have a balcony with seating and a view over the Strip. The terrace one bedroom also has a standing shower with additional C.O.
Bigelow products on hand. The City Rooms feature two standard Queen beds with Strip views and a workspace. The deluxe wraparound terrace suite includes an open kitchen, a dining table and a complete living room. The deluxe wraparound terrace suite's claim-to-fame is views like this of the Strip.
The bedroom in a wraparound terrace suite is spacious with an open view from the bed and a flat screen TV. The bathroom in a wraparound terrace suite boasts a bubbler tub. The kitchenette in a wraparound terrace suite includes a microwave and refrigerator. The 910-square-foot wraparound terrace suite offers panoramic views of Las Vegas.
A terrace room offers a stunning view of the Bellagio fountains. The first floor of a Cosmo bungalow opens to the Marquee pool. The second level of a bungalow overlooks the living room seating. The bungalow bedroom is spacious and modern with lush red decor.
The bungalow includes access to a private hot tub. Mahogany, chestnut and espresso woods, furnishings and floors define the decor of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas' dark-styled Penthouses. Trendy furnishings and tone on tone decor enhance East End Penthouse Suites at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The unadvertised East End Penthouse Suites at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas range from 4,395 to 5,355 square-feet and include large living and dining areas. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas' unadvertised East End Penthouse Suites come with expansive views and edgy decor.
The Wicked Spoon buffet is essentially the Cosmopolitan's food hall. Diners eat in the artsy dining room. The restaurant combines buffet staples and seasonal fare. Desserts are displayed, including eggnog floating islands on the left, and white chocolate mouse cakes with exotic cream on the right. More desserts are displayed in the Wicked Spoon buffet. Dine at Jaleo by Jose Andres, an outpost of the D.C. restaurant at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
Head chef Luis Montesinos prepares food in the Paella Pit at Jaleo by Jose Andres. Simon Lam carves Jamon Iberico de Ballota at Jaleo. The beauty of Comme Ça is that it's not only an outstanding French brasserie, offering classic dishes such as roasted bone marrow, charcuterie and steak frites, but also innovative in its daily specials and cocktail program.
Dine on the terrace for a spectacular view of the Strip while sipping hand-crafted cocktails that only include spirits that were available during Prohibition from the 18A menu. Estiatorio Milos is known for its budget-friendly lunch special, but the feng shui of the outdoor terrace and Mediterranean garden is as much of a draw. Executive Chef Stephen Hopcraft serves everything from tiger prawn to wagyu beef at this contemporary steakhouse popular with stars. STK's bistro seats 45 with a design fit for the restaurant's live DJ and centerpiece bar.
A man walks by artwork in the Talon Club, a high limit gaming area, at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Shop at a men's clothing store and lounge called Stitch inside the Cosmopolitan. Master Tailor Milton Chavez, who has more than 20 years of experience tailoring for Louis Vuitton and Gucci, has recently arrived at the irreverent menswear boutique. Make an appointment for a full styling session and made-to-measure suite of suits or purchase accessories like neckwear. The lounge in the back is used by customers and occasional private functions. The Chelsea, an intimate event and performance space, opened on January 31, 2013 when Bruno Mars kicked off his residency.
Artists are always changing at the P3 Studio, where guests are likely to see something new every time they visit. P3 Studio is curated in partnership with the non-profit Art Production Fund. A common area offers pool playing to guests outside the P3 Studio. A foosball table converted into a dining table offers another common area diversion.
Figurines are displayed in the table outside Jaleo. The Cosmo's common areas feature art like this old phone in a display case. A cigarette machine has been converted into an "Artomat," art vending machine. The Boulevard Pool is converted into an ice rink in the winter. The Ice Rink is one of four available fr skating in Las Vegas.
The main dance floor of the Marquee Nightclub features elaborate lighting and special effects. The nightclub's pool area is covered for the winter season. In the summer, Marquee hosts one of the coolest daytime parties in Vegas with eight cabanas with infinity pools, bungalow lofts and party decks.
Technical execution was flawless and therefore gets five stars. I do have one quibble. I like acknowledgments as much as the next person, but unlike most of my colleagues, I think they should go at the end of the work where the reader has a better understanding of what went into the creation of the book. IMHO,
The book should start at the beginning of the story. Commentary can come later.
The following passage is typical of the book’s pace and gives a nice example of the book’s overall “attitude” towards its characters and it subjects.
Several of Echevarria’s neighbors told police they’d heard him yell, heard what sounded like firecrackers, and glimpsed the killer through their windows. They described him as five-foot-five and 180 pounds. Or five-foot-ten and 160 pounds. Or well over six feet, on the thin side, with a long loping stride—kind of like Gomer Pyle, who used to be on TV back when TV was worth watching. One witness said the shooter was a Latino in his late twenties. Another said he was Arabic in his thirties. Two witnesses said the killer was a Caucasian with a West Hollywood tan. Still others described him as “Jewish-looking” or “the Italian-type” or even Indian—the tomahawk-chop-Geronimo kind, not the kind that worship cows and wrap goddamn bed sheets around their heads. Whoever murdered Echevarria was swarthy and clean-shaven.
The witnesses all agreed on that. They also agreed on the getaway car: nobody saw one
I did neglect one important facet of Mr. Freed’s writing. He is genuinely funny in places. It’s not the mean ugly kind of funny we see so often, but a light hearted understanding of life’s absurdities. When you read this book make sure that you are in a place that when you laugh out loud no one will care.
OBTW… for those of you who do not understand aircraft, the title is itself a joke After you have read the book, look up what happens to pilots who find themselves in a flat spin. It’s not pretty.
By David Freed
The Permanent Press
Copyright © May 2012
An advance reader copy of the book was sent to me in electronic form by the author for review.
by Peter Christian Hall
Copyright © October 2011
4 out of 5
A young libertarian flu fighter huddles at home in New York’s East Village, blogging about a devastating avian flu pandemic as he sells masks, gloves, and goggles over the Internet. An intriguing, vexing woman stalks him while he delves into the mysteries of influenza and serves up colorful commentary on the chaos swirling around—and within—his world. When ‘Count Blogula’ gets involved with some lively community flu activists, he collides with a government bent on controlling Americans as if they were viral intruders. With the U.S. staggering through a kind of national Katrina—Chinatown a smoky ruin, Atlanta evacuated, Houston blown up—he must fight both the system and the contagion to save his life and love.
One man takes his opinions, research, and eyewitness accounts to the internet. A personality known only as ‘Count Blogula’ ships personal protective equipment to people looking for salvation from a deadly flu virus. He begins his blog by offering advice, brief history lessons, and a variety of links that take you to the information that he talks about. But eventually, the world falls apart before his eyes as the virus breaks down his friends, the city that he lives in, the government, and eventually him.
FROM THE BOOK:
We need to infect society with rational fear. We need to go viral – no less than H5N1 has done. People far from New York must prepare. It’s not too late! Yet.
American Fever doesn’t read like a book, but exactly like the story intends: a blog. It’s filled with the random musings of a man as a deadly virus begins to wiggle its way in to his life, and the narration grows more personal every day. It’s a dairy of the madness that the world would become if we were consumed with an epidemic.
I enjoyed this book, but I’m not sure how I would perceive it in paperback. Normally I can rate how much I like a story by how quickly I write my review about book – this was an exception. I read American Fever on my Kindle Fire, and found myself constantly sidetracked by the hyperlinks that were posted within. The narrator offered informational links to videos and websites that made the story extremely interactive.
Toward the end of the story, I found myself reading it on the actual blog. That’s right, the author actually has a blog that contains all of the posts, and you can read the whole story as originally intended online. I enjoyed see the photos that were posted in the blog that didn’t transition over to the download. I’m curious if they made it to the printed version.
You could easily get lost in this, or the hyperlinks, whichever fascinates you more. Overall, I was impressed with the amount of research that Peter Christian Hall invested into creating this… book?