On The End Of A Quill

On The End Of A Quill

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Worlds of Power!

 Here is a quick look at some videogame related books. The Worlds of Power books were published at the height of NES popularity during 90-91 and were based upon the big selling games of the day. Here are the first three, I show these because these are the UK releases and the covers are different from the US books. The stories were based as closely to the in-game plot as the authors could manage. While Ninja Gaiden for instance had a complete story to work off of, with the Blaster Masters story they just made stuff up to fill the gaps.
At the end of some chapters you find a hint box that helps you with playing the game. It’s typed upside down so you would have to turn the book to read it. Hopefully most eager games players could crack that code and be privy to such gems as ‘To beat the Barbarian, throw small shuriken, then hit him with you sword’ from Ninja Gaiden. Invaluable. The books are also littered with sound effects from the games in the narrative such as, Yeeeeeeaaaackk, Dzzzzzit, Shcrrraaawwwwwk-clunk, Ffffoshhh etc.


The books were aimed at videogame hungry kids in an effort to get them to read. At the end of each book there is a recommended reading section from the books creator F.X. Nine (hint: ton sih laer eman) So after finishing Blaster master you might like to read The War of The Worlds or after you put down Metal Gear you might enjoy All Quiet on the Western Front. Then go and write into magazines and complain that not enough literary classics get turned into videogames I presume.
In the Metal Gear novel Solid Snake is named as one Justin Halley and  as a member of the Snake Men? He doesn’t shoot anyone and speaks very softly throughout the book and at the end he let CaTaffy escape, not that he’s happy about that mind.

The Encyclopedia of Game Machines was written by Winnie Forster and published by GamePlan in 2006; it is an excellent full colour soft back that covers hundreds of computers and games consoles from 1972 onwards. It is part of a trilogy of books being done by Forster. Games Machines, Game peripherals and finally just games themselves. This is the only one released in English at the moment, the second book, Joysticks, has been released in German only. This year a more up-to-date edition of this book is due to be released.

I show some random page scans (apologises, my scanner is not the best) just to give a taste of what this book is like. It is a very well put together list of exotic oddities and more common machines that we used to play games on. It has notes on how many games were released and what was the best or most interesting software for each. It has hundreds upon hundreds of pictures and screenshots from the Magnavox Odyssey right up to the PSP. At 224 pages long it is well worth a read.
This book is a definite must have, but looking around the net, to get it can be a chore, not many copies pop up on eBay, and Amazon list it at between $150-$300. If you do get the chance to pick one up then certainly do, or you could wait for the new edition to come out and try and see if you have better luck tracking down that one.

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