Friday, March 29, 2013

Major Magnet

  As most of you know by this point, I went to PAX East 2013 and I was able to speak with a few of the Indie Game Developers. While at PAX I spoke with Tom Fry with PagodaWest Games about their game Major Magnet that was in the Indie Game Showcase. Video below:

  In Major Magnet you play as Marv, also known as Major Magnet. The game play is fun, easy to figure out, and on top of that, it keeps you interested. You can tell they were influenced by the nostalgia of the classics when developing the game, while keeping the game an original concept. It's definitley worth checking out, especially with it being only 99 cents in the app store.

  If you want more information about Major Magnet or PagodaWest Games go to

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lost Memories of a Film Generation

                 If you were born before the 1990's, or before the imagination was stripped out of Hollywood.Then consider your self lucky, lucky enough to have been born in what is, and will be the best time for you to be filled with memories. Movies that have won a place not only in your hearts, but are forever a part of you, and your life, you quote them, you pass them on to the young children in your life. movies that for all sense and purpose will never die. These are the thing we are blessed with for the rest of our lives. (as long as George Lucas doesn't touch them).

                 With the limitless number of films that came out in 1978 to 1989, these "movies", when they came out did one thing. They allowed children to be and do one thing, to be children. Movies didn't predict  what kids were going to be like, or how they might act one day, but instead what kids were doing and who they were at that time. Unlike films now a days that places things in films for them to  jump on board with. Kids in the 80s and even the early 90s saw their selves on screen and could relate to them, they could have more of a connection. Kids now just skip over being a kid, because their films aren't the same, films are either to adult or to soft, not showing that young generation on screen as they see themselves. This makes it harder for kids to have a connection to what they see, and it robs them from having lasting memories and making films of that generation timeless.

                  This is why parents still show their kids films like, Willy Wonka, The Gonnies, Monster Squad, Who Framed Rodger Rabbit, and The Gremlins. See I just named 5 right off the bat and for the life of me I can not name one from this generation that will have any type of staying power or timeless feel as like we had. No films that came out had any type of a impact on the youth of this generation to create memories.

          I have to say, this is sad, but they will always be able to watch our movies. Make new memories from the very things that gave us a perfect childhood, and kept our imaginations running wild. They can go on a treasure hunt for One Eyed Willy's gold, or save Toon Town, to stop little green men from taking over their small town. Win a golden ticket, or get lost in the land of OZ that isn't CGI. Films are an outlet and a place to leave their crappy homework filled life for a few hours, but when their world on screen has less imagination in it, the lasting effect is that in their real lives, they just don't care. Lets help the kids of a lost generation find memories share these films, pass them on save the kids.... share your favorite kids movie with us a long with your memories on our twitter page. @JohnDavern, @AlexStronach

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Saturday Morning RPG

  Saturday Morning RPG is an episodic role playing game set in a world inspired by 80's cartoons and pop-culture. I was able to speak with Josh Fairhurst the Lead in Design and Programming. Here is the video below.

   After talking with Josh about the game there was only one thing that I needed to do... it was to actually play the game. The great thing about their approach to the game is that they let you play the first episode for free. I went to the app store and downloaded it to my iPhone, I couldn't wait to start playing it.

  Okay so now I downloaded Saturday Morning RPG to my iPhone, I needed to take a minute and just look at the icon on the screen. This was the moment of truth, is the game as good as they say it is? Are there as many cartoon and pop-culture references from arguably the best decade in history, as they say there are?

  Needless to say the instant I started the game I couldn't put it down. I actually got in trouble with my wife to be, because I couldn't put the game down. Don't get me wrong she does support my gaming habits. I found myself not only searching for every reference I could find about the 80's, but also taking the extra time hitting up the side quests. Honestly it was a great marketing idea for them to have the first episode for free, the game pretty much sells itself.

  In Saturday Morning RPG you play a character named Marty, who is trying to save the girl of his dreams from Commander Hood. You loose your first battle with Commander Hood so The Wizard comes around and gives you a magic trapper keeper, which makes you powerful enough to fight Commander Hood and his goons. The Wizard character makes funny references from the movie The Wizard, which was one of the best things to see when you first start the game. I would talk more about the game but I don't want to give out too many spoilers.

  On a final note Saturday Morning RPG is a must play in my book. If you want more information on Saturday Morning RPG, or any of their other games, go to

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

American Classic Arcade Museum at PAX 2013

At PAX East I was able to go see the American Classic Arcade Museum exhibit. It's actually one thing I always need to check out every year at PAX. The American Classic Arcade Museum was established to help promote and preserve classic coin operated machines. While exploring the exhibit I was able to interview Gary Vincent the President of the ACAM. Here is the video interview below.

To find out more information about the American Classic Arcade Museum please check out their website

Monday, March 25, 2013

PAX East 2013

   As some of you know I went to PAX East 2013. This was one of the best ones yet. I was able to check out a lot of stuff, especially the Indie Games. There was so much to check out, I actually wasn't able to check out everything that I wanted. Out of the three days I was there for two of them. The third day I had to drive back home for my day job.

   Day one started off as an attempt to see where everything was so we could asses the situation and figure out where to go first (Yes we had the guide, but having an actual visual helps). There was all kinds of crazy commotion. Everyone wanted to check everything out. There was a Watchdogs preview, DuckTales Remastered was announced and they had a playable version there. There were countless indie games, in every nook and cranny. That's not to mention the American Classic Arcade Museum, the table top area, console free play, cos-players, and a tons more.

   Honestly three days to check out PAX East isn't really enough. I was able to interview a few of the indie game developers, but missed most of them. I'll post up those interviews as the week goes on.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Movie Theater VS Home Theater

   Which is better? Watching a movie on the silver screen? Or watching it at home on your home theater system? This has been an argument that has popped up in recent years, with the development of better home theater systems. The argument tends to be based around what might be tradition, comfort, and all around preference. For the sake of argument I'm going to throw in a third option, the drive in movie theater. Yes, it's similar to a regular movie theater, but you do still have a different kind of experience.

    The Home Theater allows you to watch your movies in the comfort of your own home. That's pretty much the reason a lot of people prefer to watch a movie at home, it's the comfort level. You're more comfortable sitting on your couch, or recliner, than sitting in a movie theater seat. There is also a convenience to watching a movie on your home theater. This setup gives you the power as to how, and when you want to watch the movie. You can pause the movie so you don't miss anything, if you need to run to the restroom, or to get a snack. You have the option to watch the flick by yourself uninterrupted, or with some friends, and talk as loud as you want. As I said you're in the comfort of your own home, and have complete power over the situation, you're like a little god of the movie world.

   Next up is the Movie Theater. Many movie goers prefer this above all others because of the experience, and the tradition of seeing a movie on the silver screen. Seeing a movie in the theaters tends to be a social event. Most people are going to go with at least one person, and you're usually going to be sitting in a crowd. The idea of watching a movie is that you get a complete experience. You sit there with a group of other people many or all you probably don't even know, and you immerse yourself right in the film. A good portion of the filmmakers film their movies with the idea of people viewing it in a movie theater. They think about the experience the viewer has, along with the story, special fx, ect... On top of all that, there is a tradition to viewing movies in a movie theater. That's part of the reason why theaters still exist to this day, even most production, and distribution companies think, release the film on the big screen, and then we put it on BluRay, DVD, Netflix, and whatever else that is out there later on. Movie theaters also usually have a bigger screen, and a better sound system than one you might have at home. These are the key parts the help totally immerse you into the film. I could write an entire post on the experience of watching a film in a movie theater, but I believe you get the point.

   Last but not least is the Drive-In Movie Theater. When you go to a drive in movie, you're going for the experience. The drive-in movie is almost like a mixture between watching a movie at home and going to the traditional movie theater. I say that only because you have the option to sit in the comfort of your own car (if your car is comfortable), but you still have strangers around you watching the same movie. They're fun and more relaxed of a setting. I like to think that's why some people even prefer the drive-in over anything else, and at a lot of them you get to see two movies for the price of one. Drive-In movies are a dieing breed. If you have yet to experience one, I suggest that you go check one out before there aren't any left.

Over all whether if you prefer staying in, going out, or driving in, each option has it's pluses. Honestly I could write up a post for each of these giving all of the possible positives and negatives for each experience, but in the end it's all really just a matter of opinion.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Animal that is PAX East

This Friday, I'll be in Boston for PAX East. Every year I get that excited but nervous feeling about it. That anticipation about who and what's going to be there, are you going to be able to see everything that you want to see? Even now looking at the schedule for the different panels, I know I'm not going to be able to see everything that I'd like to, and that's only because a couple of them over lap. It's hard to really explain what PAX is in one post, really the best way to describe what it is, has already been done on the PAX site itself. Here's a link to it;

PAX East is a slightly different kind of animal than other conventions. There seems to be more of an emphasis on everyone working together, and making friends than any normal convention. Yeah people go for a lot of the panels and the different games they're showing, but in the end you feel like you've just made a ton of new friends, that you're pretty sure you're going to see next year.

Everyone has their favorite people/booths/panels they are planning on checking out this weekend. Here are a few I plan on checking out:

PAX East Indie Showcase
Games Journalist in the Age of Independence
Rooster Teeth
Game Audio from Hobbyists to Professional
This (Boston) Indie Life: From Breaking In to Making It
Bioshock Panel
and that is just day one!

I'm not sure how many of these I'll definitely be able to make it to, but I"m going to do my best to check out as much as I can. I also plan on checking out the table top section, and trying out different table top games I've never played before... well and probably a couple I have too.

I'll be tweeting the entire time I'm there, follow me if you'd like @AlexStronach. Also if they allow it, I'm going to get as much video as possible.

For a complete schedule of what's going on at PAX East check out the site here,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Welcome to Retro Ave! Lets talk Batman!

Just a little heads up about this blog. This is a place where we'll talk about pretty much anything, but mostly movies, games, and entertainment in general. The origins of the name Retro Avenue come from an Internet Radio show I did with one of my buddies. In honor of those times, I decided to name this blog after the radio show. It was actually the most popular show on the station, but due to unforeseen circumstances the station was closed down.

Now that we have the intro out of the way, lets talk about Batman. I was able to check out Batman Year One (the movie) a few days ago, and I'd like to post some of my thoughts about it. And if you haven't seen the movie, anything that might be a spoiler I'll mark with (spoiler). It's been a while since I've done one of these, so I apologize if this comes off pretty amateur (I probably shouldn't say that).

Synopsis: Two men come to Gotham City: Bruce Wayne after years abroad feeding his lifelong obsession for justice and Jim Gordon after being too honest a cop with the wrong people elsewhere. After learning painful lessons about the city's corruption on its streets and police department respectively, this pair learn how to fight back their own way. With that, Gotham's evildoers from top to bottom are terrorized by the mysterious Batman and the equally heroic Gordon is assigned to catch him by comrades who both hate and fear him themselves. In the ensuing manhunt, both find much in common as the seeds of an unexpected friendship are laid with additional friends and rivals helping to start the legend. (Synopsis is written by: Kenneth Chisholm on,

These are the thoughts and views of someone who hasn't read the Frank Miller comic it's based from (something else I shouldn't admit). To start off, I gotta say I really enjoyed the flick. I really enjoyed the story, it felt more like a realistic beginning for Batman, and even one for Lieutenant Jim Gordon. Don't get me wrong I love the Christopher Nolan flicks, their classics in their own right. I only had one issue with what comes off at a minor plot point with Gordon, but I understood it to be something used to show that nobody in this world is perfect. (Spoiler) That plot point was when Jim Gordon ends up getting into a little side relationship. My only issue with that plot point is that it messed with your perspective of Gordon, but what else would you expect from movie based off of a Frank Miller graphic novel.

When I first started watching the flick, the first thing I noticed was the animation style, the best way I can describe it is that it's a love child between old Japanese animation, and American animation. At first it threw me off a little (probably because I watch too much of the original animated series, if that's possible), but I quickly got into it.

The voice acting was great. I've always been a fan of Kevin Conroy being the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, so I'm always worried whenever someone different plays him. (I also think the same thing when anyone other than Mark Hamill does the Joker) The voice actors were really able to make the characters come to life, even with the high expectations based around the old voice actors.

Overall Batman Year One is a truly enjoyable flick, and I suggest anyone who is a Batman fan, and hasn't seen it yet, to check it out.