Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dot Arcade Review: Get Down N' Dirty With Dots

Dot Arcade
Wii U Exclusive

Dammit Dot Arcade! This fun game is as simple as it's is fun. Broken down you have three games -six if you include a secret to unlock old-school looking backgrounds- to enjoy of an 8x8 digital light cabinet. Games include Mr. Snake, a snake like game where you wrap around the screen trying to eat dots (cosmic fruit); Dodge Club, where you're a dancer in a ring of fire dodging death; and Rally Driver, a simple racer. Each game has a very simple look, that's the point, what old-school gamers or just sickos for the hard will want to pull off is racking up the points in these games. They may look simple, cept' for the side art, oh Racer Driver, you're so sexy, that's why the games E-10, but they ain't easy and you can try to master them against friends and family.

I do wish Dot Arcade had even more games, but it was two guys who made the whole thing in a reasonable amount of time and didn't have a Kickstarter for it.

Finding the secret cabinet art isn't so hard and who doesn't like a few secrets in their games that aren't DLC.

Check the game out over at Things To Do In Games. In the latest epsidoe we have one of it's creator's James Montagna, playing it and Mario Party 10.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Good, Bad and Ugly of LA Arcades

What do you want out of your arcade in LA? Fun and excitement? A place to play and drink? That old-school feeling? I break down the arcades in the LA area for you.

Let’s go through are barcades first.

The Good

For those who have since grown up, but still want to play, Eighty-Two; 707 E 4th Pl; (213) 626-8200 is your best bet. The barcade only features machines from the late 80’s and early 90’s. They just got in a six-player version of X-Men, Terminator with the machine gun attachments and many other old-school titles. A room over from the arcade games they have a huge collection of movie and TV themed pinball machines. DJ’s and a bar to wet your whistle make it the perfect hang out to once again beat someone at Street Fighter II. Lacking its own food service you’ll have to eat up all the surrounding goodies nearby in the arts district.

*X-Lanes; 333 S. Alameda St. #300; (213) 229-8910 is walking distance and has bowling, prize games, pool and some of the latest arcade games.

The Bad

Too many colors, and sketchy arcade cabinets make The One Up; 13625 Ventura Boulevard;(818) 849-5181 put my thumbs down. I might get some slack as those who don’t want to venture out of the Valley flock to this barcade diner on weekend. The place gets passes on the food and drinks, try the Captain Crunch Fried Chicken. The arcade and d├ęcor side are in question. Whatever the designer was trying to convey-your first place is your parent’s basement?!!-doesn’t connect with anyone. Arcade lovers can’t stand the bastardized versions of older games with the ugly looking arcade cabinets. They’re free to play, but there’s no question as to why they’re free. Forget seeing titles you remember or loved.

The Ugly

Hello nightmare of being trapped with a serial killer with a Chuck E. Cheese fetish. Blipsy Bar; 369 N Western Ave; (323) 461-7067 has the imagination of taking a crusty old bar and having some old arcade units in it, one being an amazing Punch-Out arcade machine. Blipsy’s is so divey it doesn’t have a sign, just Pac-Man dots on it for you to find. Decorated with stuffed animals and a turned over Cobra Command Center on the ceiling there’s nothing you want to open your eyes for inside. It has a few classic machines, nothing to keep you from leaving.


For the family or for the office party or just friends, Dave & Buster's,
6081 Center Drive; (310) 846-9950; 6801 Hollywood Blvd; 323-603-2400 has the latest arcade games. Star Wars Battle Pod lets you re-enact your favorite scenes from the original trilogy. Race in the latest arcade version of Mario Kart or save Gotham City in almost every Batmobile that has ever existed. Prize games, shooters and Pac-Man air hockey are ready to play with all the newest titles. Games are paid by using credits on a card. It is a barcade, technically. I’ll never agree that it’s a restaurant, the food has to be some of the worst the many users of Yelp and I have had. I’m not for anything fancy, I eat at BK, but at the high prices and bad service, just forget about eating there.


A true arcade, Family Amusement Corporation;876 N Vermont Ave (323) 660-8180 has so many old titles that cost quarters and tokens that it immediately brings you back to the era of arcades. This place fixes and sells machines in back away from you playing. There are rows, real rows of old titles to play cramped under neon lights and mirrors. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time, not in gum. It looks old, like a good arcade with memories should.


Is the price perfect for Neon Retro Arcade; 28 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena; no phone?
The model of pay for play is an hourly rate of ten buck/per hour to play some classic titles in this newly opened arcade. It’s the newest arcade in the LA area and adjacent to the Pasadena Convention Center. Near many places to catch a bite, I would say it’s in a perfect location. Old titles are the only ones inside, retro all the way.

Weekly What To Do: Escape with Super Heroes into Classic Films

Another wide variety of things to do this week including escaping a new room from Escape Room LA. You can drive out to Anaheim and meet some of your favorite super heroes. Why not head to Hollywood and watch some classic films at the TCM Film Festival? If you want to geek out this weekend you have multiple choices before WonderCon.


Escape Room LA: The Cavern
Wednesdays through Fridays at 5, 6:30 and 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 12, 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30pm.
120 E. 8th Street, Suite 310 in Downtown Los Angeles
Tickets are $30 Wednesday through Friday and $35 Saturday and Sunday.

This time you enter The Cavern, a mysterious new escape room set under LA. You and nine others must figure your way out starting March 25.
The Anaheim Citrus Festival
Saturday, March 28, 12:00 pm
Anaheim Packing District
440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

We hope you don't get acid reflux at this event.

Citrus car parade, citrus cook off contest, citrus label coloring for kids, hayride, free lemonade, hard lemonade garden, live music, and kids games.

Tokyo City Cup & Ramen Festival
March 28 -29 ,
Tokyo City Cup Saturday ONLY

285 W Huntington Dr
Arcadia, CA 91007
Ramen Festival is $5, tickets can only be bough there 

more on the Ramen Festival

Celebrating both East and West and a 20-year partnership between Santa Anita Park and TCK, experience Tokyo City Cup! Japanese cultural exhibitions, a two-day ramen festival in the Infield, and the best Thoroughbred racing anywhere, this is truly a one-of-a-kind race place tradition.

The Japan Family Day features Japanese cultural exhibitions booths such as Karate (Japanese martial arts), Sado (tea ceremony), Kado (flower arranging), Shodo (calligraphy), Kendo (Japanese swordsmanship), Origami (paper folding), Anime and stage shows like Shishimai (Japanese Lion Dance), Min-yo (Japanese folk song), Sumo (Japanese-style wrestling), Ryukyu Buyo (Okinawa traditional dance), Tsugaru Shamisen (Three-stringed Japanese guitar), and Taiko (a special Japanese drum performance).

Downtown Bookfest

Saturday, March 28, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Grand Park
200 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

"READ YOUR HEART OUT in Downtown LA! Grand Park is the place to see, hear and read from the largest coalition of Los Angeles-based authors and publishers in a day for book lovers both big and small. Downtown Bookfest will feature a family pavilion and top ideas from THE MUSIC CENTER’S ARTIZEN LAB, where ideas are shared and brought to life."


Marvel Universe LIVE!
March 27-29
Honda Center
2695 E Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806
 $45.00 - $135.00

Who knows why Staples is afraid to have it in downtown LA? Perhaps it's too much power! The off the wall stage show featuring Marvel superheroes takes over Honda  center for the weekend. See Spider-Man, Wolverine and the Avengers all together, because they can't all come together into the movies...well Spider-Man now.

March 27-29
Marriot Burbank Hotel
2500 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, California 91505
$30 a day or $70 for all days

This annual making of the monster event tells you how to make your own horror movies, meet cast and crew from  horror movies and catch some collectibles or meet fellow fans

Geek Fashion Week End
Saturday, March 28, 6:00pm - 1:00am
Vanaheim Studios
1310 N San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles, California 90065
$20 General Admission tickets (includes admission to all events) and $50 VIP

A “Style Faire” featuring local fashion vendors, a series of practical styling lectures, a Geek Fashion Show and an after-party full of your favorite geeky stylistas. A silent auction will be taking place too.

March 28-29
10:00am to 6:00pm each day
Whimsic Alley
5464 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036
"Our multi-fandom themed Craft Faire is back! Coming this March, we will be hosting 22 vendors who will be selling their handmade fandom wares in our Great Hall. This event spans 2 days- March 28th-29th- 10:AM- 6PM and is FREE to the public!"

LA Opera’s Costume Shop Sale
Saturday, March 28, 10:30am to 4pm
330 South Alameda Street, Los Angeles, 90013

 In the coming months, LA Opera’s Costume Shop will move from its longtime home at 330 South Alameda Street in downtown LA to a nearby location later this spring. To prepare for the big move, the Costume Shop is clearing house and, for only the third time in the company’s history, will have an open-air sale. Great deals on over the top outfits.

San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention
Sunday, March 29, 10am start
Admission: $5.00 Children 12 and under free

This is a small simple comic book convention to hang out for a few hours for those who don't dare take the bus out of the valley.

Extreme Gaming Championship
Sunday, March 29
UCB Franklin
5919 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028 

Enjoy an evening hosted by Thomas Middleditch and Mike Still all over gaming. Audiences members will come on stage to play classic games in a competition. The winner of the night will gain entry to become the Ultimate Extreme Champion and win an Xbox One.


TCM Film Festival 
March 26-29
Multiple locations around Hollywood and Highland
Tickets for showings $20, Passes start at $299

Showcasing classic films on the big screen. I don't even know where to start. There's just so many classic and cult favorites playing. The almost entirely silent crime movie of Rififi to the more light-hearted archeologist adventure of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark are just the tip of the iceberg, they ain't showing Titanic. Comedies like History of the World Part 1 from Mel Brooks to unheard of films like Nothing Lasts Forever filled with cameos from SNL are mixed in. You have a huge amount of choices with often the director, crew or actors in the film in attendance.

Asians On Film Festival 2015
March 26-29
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012
Average screening cost $10, passes cost vary by day

Nothing really stands out in this film festival taking over the  Japanese American National Museum this week.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Starts Friday at Laemmle's

In this darkly comedic odyssey, Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Pacific Rim) stars as Kumiko, a frustrated office lady whose imagination transcends the confines of her mundane life. She becomes obsessed with a mysterious, battered VHS tape of a popular film she’s mistaken for a documentary, fixating on a scene where a suitcase of stolen cash is buried in the desolate, frozen landscape of North Dakota. Thinking this treasure is real, she leaves behind Tokyo and her beloved rabbit Bunzo to recover it – and finds herself on a dangerous adventure unlike anything she’s seen in the movies.


Zoe | Juniper: BeginAgain
March 26-29
Tickets start at $10
631 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
"In a rich and immersive environment of striking projections and kaleidoscopic paper sculptures, this evocative duet is an intoxicating theatrical adventure juxtaposing Zoe Scofield’s supple-edged choreography with artist Juniper Shuey’s swirling and lush visuals."

G1988 & LRG presents...
paying homage to the Golden Era of Hip-Hop
Friday, March 27, 7-10 pm
show will run through April 18th
G1988 (East)
7021 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA

Come meet the artist and pick up a free shirt from LRG produced just for this exhibition (while supplies last). Relive the greatest time in Hip-Hop music through the eyes of one of G1988's most talented creators.

Artists Reception: Saturday, March 28th, 2015, 7pm - 11 p.m.
March 28  – April 18th, 2015
The Gabba Gallery
3126 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90057