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    Intellivision Amico

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    A reimagining of the Intellivision brand, headed up by the company's newest owner, Tommy Tallarico.

    Fellow Amico freakos. The long trailer for Astrosmash just dropped and it's kind of hilarious in its own way.

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    bigsocrates

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    #1  Edited By bigsocrates

    I fully cop to following the Amico out of morbid curiosity, because it seems like something terrible and misguided but with incredibly low stakes. That being said I really enjoyed this trailer for multiple reasons. Astrosmash is a remake of the Amico's Space Invaders clone and is shipping as pre-installed on the console with some other games. This remake looks mostly competent with graphics that again seem to be from the XBLA era and surprisingly little animation (the ships just glide around on the bottom of the screen like in a Flash game, though the explosion and enemy destruction effects look pretty good and there's some environmental highlighting and other stuff.) It looks like a moderately fun game and the music is legitimately quite good. I don't know that I would pay money for this or even download it for free off something like Game Pass, but it's not egregiously amateurish. It looks fine. Comparable to a simplified version of something like Heavy Weapon, a game that was released in 2005 that I legitimately do like and finished this year (but that has a lot more going on mechanically.)

    What's funny about this trailer is everything other than the game. Tommy touts the fact that the game has drop-in drop-out co-op like games have had since literally the 1980s (arcade games obviously allowed people to join whenever they wanted to drop in a quarter, and home ports on the NES often let people jump into those games by hitting start) and describes exciting modes like "campaign" which you have to play to unlock the rest of the levels of the game and a vs. score attack mode where you compete for high score. This is about as compelling as saying that your game features "controls" and "sound" because it's all standard stuff. Later he shows that in the options menu you can control the volume of the sound effects and music (wow) and then refuses to tell you what the third option in the settings mode does.

    He then (about 3:40 in the video) says "the big thing is the [touch screen]" which allows you to hyperboost in whatever direction you're going if you tap it. Like a button. The touch screen functions like a giant button. Incredibly exciting. He then shows the cooldown for this and the effect only occurs on the main TV screen, not the controller's touch screen, which just shows a static image of your ship. That's right, in the Amico's flagship game the fancy controller touch screen, touted as a reason the system costs so much, acts like a button and doesn't even show you the cool down of what that button does. This is like if Astro's Playroom had the most basic rumble feature imaginable.

    At 5:20 or so he informs us that "the double shots are so satisfying, I can't tell you how cool" and explains that this is a timed power up, as if these mechanics haven't been in games since longer than most of us have been alive. At 13:45 Tommy informs us that if you finish level 10 you get a storyline and an ending cinematic, which is "pretty, pretty awesome." Again this is a feature that has been in video games since like the 3rd generation. This is not an exciting feature.

    The issue with this is not the game itself. It looks boring and like a few corners were cut, but for people who want a Space Invaders clone it looks perfectly okay, and I could see it finding an audience on the Switch or PS4 or whatever. The issue is that this does nothing to show off the Amico's features or make a case for the system. It's the flagship game for a $250 videogame system and it does nothing to set that system apart, while lacking features that would be present on any other system (chiefly online co-op, since the Amico doesn't have any online play despite requiring an Internet connection since all games are downloadable.)

    As of my posting this the video has just over 3,000 views. It did drop on Thanksgiving for some reason, but considering that the system is already in production and this is supposed to build hype, that's not a great look. I've posted threads on these forums that have gotten more views than that.

    This thing is a giant boondoggle and while I'd honestly like it to succeed because I don't want to see anyone lose their job and I'd like the people who bought one to enjoy their purchase, I'm also really enjoying watching how weird things are getting, and I can't wait for the post-mortems.

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    warpr

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    #2  Edited By warpr

    Seems like the target audience for this video (and this product) are people who somehow are completely oblivious to anything that happened in gaming since 1985.

    And I'm sure there are people out there who haven't played games in decades, but remember it fondly, and look at modern gaming and think all of it is too complicated.

    Is this the perfect shopping channel product? Does QVC still exist? :)

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    bigsocrates

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    @warpr: I think the number of people who are oblivious to gaming since 1985 and want a product like this for $250 (or would even learn about it) is vanishingly small. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and even grandma and grandpa got a Wii back in 2006-10.

    I could see this thing selling for $100 to out of touch grandparents who wanted a system with no violence for their grandkids (that's one of Amico's prime features, all the games you can't get on the system) or people in their 50s and 60s who just want to play some games from their youth with fancier graphics, but not for $50 more than a Switch Lite.

    The only people who know about this thing are video game enthusiasts so even if there was a hidden market where they could sell at least a couple million (probably the minimum number required for it to be an economically viable product) I don't know how they would access it. It has big Ouya energy, but I think the Ouya was a much more viable idea at a better price point.

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    GTxForza

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    A good looking game.

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    glots

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    Great looking mobile game from around 2010.

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    Onemanarmyy

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    Tommy trying to sell this thing as if he's marketing it to bored tv-watchers that zap by the shoppingchannel makes me think back to Telsell. Oh man, those good Times. Abtronic, Ying-yang magnetic necklace to bring stability to your soul and the mighty Swiffer.

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    mach_go_go_go

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    When I was a kid I would often daydream about building a time machine and taking our cool new technology back to the medieval ages and appearing before Kings and Lords and wowing them with wonders from the future.

    This presentation is, somehow, the opposite of that dream.

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    eukara

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    The Amico bumper at the end just has every cheesy sound effect under the sun playing over it

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    imhungry

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    I agree one of the wildest things about these 'Deep Dive' videos is that Tommy seemingly has no idea how to talk about basic game features. Like I understand maybe the idea is to explain mechanics that are commonplace nowadays to his seemingly intended unicorn market but he doesn't even do a particularly good job of explaining things in easy to understand language either! Just bizarre all around.

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    noblenerf

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    tfw you have to do a presentation and didn't do any preparation

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    Onemanarmyy

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    @imhungry: To be fair, these games seem too simplistic to talk about for 15 min. This could just as well be a 30 second clip and you'll know exactly if you would want to play this game or not. It felt like i was watching an edited playthrough of the entire game by the end of this clip. We've seen like 9 different backgrounds and 3 powerups? I now even know how the scoring works, that iron asteroids turn red before they explode and can only be blown up by powered weapons.

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    bigsocrates

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    @mach_go_go_go: Like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but with a Gamecube instead of gunpowder? That would make a big fuss.

    @imhungry: Even Tommy's intended market is familiar with these features because they played arcade games in the 80s. Tommy is just always in used car salesman mode, proudly talking about basic features like door handles and windshield wipers.

    @onemanarmyy: There's a small group of loyal followers who respond to every Amico announcement with breathless excitement. I think these videos are for them and maybe for investors. I agree that they're way too long, but for me that adds to the charm because it makes the whole thing seem so surreal. It has been a long time since the video game industry has had a product like this.

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    Onemanarmyy

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    @bigsocrates: oh yeah, it's definitly fun to witness, but i do think i get most of the enjoyment out of the whole thing as a performance and not necessarily the game itself :P

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    ZombiePie

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    Shindig

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    There's more tech in the controllers than the console itself.

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    WulfBane

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    #16  Edited By WulfBane
    @warpr said:

    Is this the perfect shopping channel product? Does QVC still exist? :)

    I was literally just going to say that having seen this and the Tank Battle videos have the feel of a QVC pitch video, extra simplifying and hyping every little thing up.

    And hey, they do have some interesting ideas and such. I wish no ill will, but not quite a product for me.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    I continue to emphasize that the Amico is the video game console for your extremely Christian neighbors who homeschool their kids. And like, maybe the people who got suckered by the Ouya’s weird appeal to retro simplicity but didn’t learn their lesson.

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    El_Blarfo

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    I continue to emphasize that the Amico is the video game console for your extremely Christian neighbors who homeschool their kids. And like, maybe the people who got suckered by the Ouya’s weird appeal to retro simplicity but didn’t learn their lesson.

    So far, the appeal seems to be to those folks, collectors of historical videogame curiosities, lunatics, rubes and Tommy Tallarico himself.

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    jeffrud

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    #19  Edited By jeffrud

    @zombiepie: You know, up to this point I was sorta convinced Tommy was just a naive, delusional dweeb trying to lipstick up a pig. Which, is bad. Now I must add "categorical liar" to the list.

    If anybody can show me a title in the Nintendo Switch catalog which depicts the explicit sexual assault of a child, as Tommy Tallorico asserts, I will mail them a crisp $20 bill.

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    TheodoricFriede

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    Never forget that Tommy Tallarico was the man who gave the licensed Willy Wonka game for the terrible Johnny Depp movie a perfect 10/10 on his review show because he liked the music.

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    ryudo

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    #21  Edited By ryudo

    People are still into this NFT scam system? Tommy is a scumbag who associates with scumbags. This thing is a total scam and deserves the failure it will get.

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    ryudo

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    @shindig said:

    There's more tech in the controllers than the console itself.

    Well, they found a use for all the unsold Microsoft Zunes they found in an old warehouse.

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