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review 2014-11-22 01:58
The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987!!!
The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 - Brett Weiss

This book covers all the fun games you played or rented as a kid.  My kids are still loving the 8 and 16 bit favorites.  Games like Centipede, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., and so much more!!


The fun never ends ... but this book brings back all the memories of the games and the joy they gave to all of us in their day.  In full color - these are complete descriptions including year, number of players, developer, and so much more!


I found that this book is handy for trivia games, memories, or even just as a conversation piece on the coffee table.  A true collectors dream!!



***This ARC copy was given free from Netgalley.com for review purposes.

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review 2014-09-30 11:23
100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987 by Brett Weiss
The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 - Brett Weiss

This book is a detailed overview of the so-called "golden age of console gaming", following a subjective selection and ordering of video games. Included are the context in which each game was created, its critical reception, both at the time it came out and over the years, and the price for which it can be bought today, making this book a mix of collector’s guide and historical document. Each game’s entry also includes color photographs of the cover, the cartridge, the instruction manual, and other promotional materials, as well as a screenshot of the game in action (although that’s not included for every game).

The writing is very subjective and often punctuated by sarcasm, which can be rather off-putting. The choice of games is primarily informed by the most subjective of criteria: how much fun the game is to the author. It’s a problem shared by most of the books I’ve read dedicated to making best-of lists (although sometimes it is mitigated by having more than one author). In this case, the personal anecdotes about the author’s experience with playing the game, both as a child and an adult, and how much play time it gets with his children, detracted a bit from the reading. In part, I am to blame for that: I am not familiar with the author’s previous work as a video game critic - if I was (and if it is quality work), I would probably trust his judgment without needing further justification. As such, it would be nice to have had a deeper examination of each game (this happens with a few games, but not with all).

These details aside, this book stands as a remarkable piece of research. The author went through hundreds of games (including ports for different consoles, spin-offs and rip-offs) in order to find the best of the best, and that is not an easy feat. For someone like me, born after the aforementioned golden age, this was an enjoyable read which allowed me to expand my knowledge about classic video games and rediscover some old favourites. An excellent way to immerse yourself in the world of retrogaming, whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran. 


Note: I got this book for review purposes through NetGalley. This review has been cross-posted to my Curious Curator blog. 

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review 2014-09-18 03:52
Review: 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987 by Brett Weiss
The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 - Brett Weiss

I think one of the gems of this particular compilation of greatest console video games is the fact it details some of the background creation and facts surrounding the games released in this span of ten years. I ended up learning much about games that were created somewhat before my generation (I was born in 1984, and while I was able to play some of the games in this list as a child, many of those listed were new to me, and an apt history lesson for this avid retrogamer.) Weiss compiles his own personal list of the greatest console games of the time, spanning Atari systems, NES, Intellivision, among other consoles. There's a preference towards shooter and arcade style games versus RPG, but many of these are classics in their own right (Super Mario Bros, Mario Bros, Castlevania, Pac-Man, etc.), and I definitely saw a number of titles that were obvious precursory games that inspired cult classic titles for other platforms ("Spy Games", the racing shooter game, seemed to me to be a big influence for the early 90s cult classic PC game "MegaRace.")

I really enjoyed reading this collection, and while I wish there were more titles I recognized that made the top 100 (or 200 - I was excited to see Excitebike at least in the second 100), it made for an enlightening, fun, and informative collection. I'd definitely like to see what other lists Weiss comes up with that are in later years spanning this, just to see other factual tidbits and histories behind the games.

Overall score: 4/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

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