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Battlefront 2 Beta & Recent Books/News – The Blockade Runner Podcast – October 7th, 2017

EW Last Jedi CoverRyan and John discuss the Battlefront 2 beta in the latest episode of The Blockade Runner. We chat about all of the content in this week’s beta release, including the playable maps, modes, classes, and characters. We also lament how terrible we are at the game but share our hopes for improving through the experience of playing the single player mode.

After we wrap up the Battlefront 2 discussion, we move on to covering the latest Star Wars books releases as well as touch on our feelings toward J.J. Abrams directing Episode IX and speculate about the now confirmed Last Jedi trailer release on Monday night.

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Part One (Battlefront 2 Beta)

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Part Two (Recent Books & News)

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The Power of the 90s – The Blockade Runner Plays Super Star Wars (SNES, 1992)

Power of the 90s Super Star Wars Cover Art

The Super Star Wars games were super popular upon their release and they played a significant role in bringing a new generation of kids into Star Wars at the time, so I’m thrilled to be playing them for our Power of the 90s series. The games are known for their sometimes brutal difficulty, and that’s certainly part of what I remember about them, but after revisiting Super Star Wars with my copy of Volume 42 of Nintendo Power by my side and exploiting a secret free life-farming area, I had a surprisingly smooth experience playing through the game. And it’s absolutely worth tracking down Super Star Wars (even if you don’t have nostalgic memories of playing as a kid) for it’s bright, colorful visual interpretation of the Star Wars universe, it’s 16-bit renditions of classic Star Wars themes, and its giant green womp rats! Check out the videos below to watch my recent playthrough of the game with Star Wars in the 90s-focused commentary.

The Blockade Runner Plays Super Star Wars – Part One:

The Blockade Runner Plays Super Star Wars – Part Two:

The Blockade Runner Plays Super Star Wars – Part Three:

The Story of A New Hope As Told By Super Star Wars SNES (1992):

It occurred to me while recording my playthrough of Super Star Wars that the story screens are so impressive that they would be fun to break out and cut together as their own video. It actually reminds me of reading a children’s picture book version of A New Hope, only with excellent 16-bit visuals and sound!

Nintendo Power:

 

Super Star Wars TV Commercial:  

In case you were wondering if you want this game or not (you do), check out this sweet television ad from the time of the game’s release!

We’ll be back later this month with our Power of the 90s episode cover all things Star Wars in 1993, and we’ll definitely be posting our playthrough for Super The Empire Strikes Back too! Whether or not we can beat the game remains to be seen…


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The Power of the 90s – The Blockade Runner Plays The Empire Strikes Back (NES, 1992)

Power of the 90s NES Empire Cover ArtThe Empire Strikes Back on the NES is first up for our Blockade Runner Plays videos for covering 1992 for The Power of the 90s. Our play through covers the first 30 minutes or so and features some ice cold 8-bit gameplay in Hoth’s icy caves, battlefields, and bases.

These pages from the March, 1992 issue of Nintendo Power provided some helpful tips to players getting their hands on Empire when it originally released, but I found them pretty helpful all these years later too. Empire didn’t get the Nintendo Power cover for this issue, but Darth Vader does grace the cover of the November, 1992 magazine (more on that in our next Blockade Runner Plays).

Click the image below for a gallery featuring the Nintendo Power images (or open them individually at full size from there if you’d like a closer look).

I’m also including a pic of the NES cart from Moby Games, but follow the link to their site for more developer and publisher info as well as screen shots, box art, and more.

155108-star-wars-the-empire-strikes-back-nes-media.pngUnfortunately I don’t have the manual on hand to scan, though I did find an advertisement for the Game Boy game (which Ryan grabbed a copy of recently). This version looks like it was published by Capcom in the U.S. and Ubisoft in Europe, but it was also developed by Sculptured Software and is presumably very similar to its NES counterpart.

empirestrikesback_1992NES Empire is definitely worth a look or play if you get the chance, and I definitely enjoyed my time with it, but as far as I’m concerned the Star Wars games main event would follow later in 1992. Stay tuned to our Power of the 90s coverage for 1992 as we’ll be diving into Super Star Wars next!


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Blockade Runner Pickups August 14th – 20th 2017

Check out last week’s pickups here.

Ryan

Empire Strikes Back (Game Boy)

Grabbed this Game Boy ESB game (weirdly published by Ubi Soft) for our Power of the 90s: 1992 episode. I haven’t played much, but my first impression is that it’s fairly technically impressive for a Game Boy licensed game, but also has some oddly difficult platforming early on.

Star Wars Galaxy

With their bold artistic visions of the Star Wars universe by a variety of artists (including some of the biggest names in comics), the Galaxy card series showcased the Star Wars universe in ways we’d never seen before in 1993. This book chronicles the first three sets of the cards, which range from gorgeous and detailed to post-modern weirdness. I love it.

Weird 6″ figures

I’m really digging these 6″ 5POA figures I grabbed at Big Lots. Not bad for $6; they can almost hang with 6″ Black Series figures!

Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, RotJ Illustrated Edition

We have an awesome bookstore here in Denver called Kilgore Books that specializes in zines, weird literature, and sci-fi. Not only is their focus totally in my wheelhouse, but their prices are great too- I was able to grab these three books for about $16 total. Really stoked to find out what the heck a mindharp is! 

John

Hassk Thug #2

I grabbed my first long-sought-after Hassk Triplet (or “thug” as the Hasbro packaging refers to him) a few weeks ago when Target initially started their Force Awakens toys clearance sales, but everyone knows that Takodana werewolves travel in threes, so I jumped at the opportunity to grab my second figure when I saw him swinging from the pegs the other day. Two dollars and thirty cents!

Glad Star Wars Sandwich Bags

I’m assuming these first released with The Force Awakens, but I’ve never noticed them in stores until now. The bags and packaging are super fun and this is the kind of stuff that is super fun to pull out of a storage box twenty years later. Plus, I figure these will double as handy weapons/accessories bags for my Last Jedi figures!

Darth Vader Backpack

IMG_0069A thoughtful coworker grabbed this for me from the Duty Free shop on the Canadian/U.S. border recently. I guess it was in a clearance bin, but her intuition served her well when she thought, “if it features Star Wars art, he’ll love it.” I do! 


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Star Wars: The Power of the 90s – 1992 – The Blockade Runner Podcast, August 21st, 2017

Power of the 90s 2 Cover ArtJoin Ryan and John as they discuss all things Star Wars from 1992. We cover the Star Wars books, comics, games, toys, and home video releases from 1992 in this episode, including Dark Empire Rising, The Glove of Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back on NES, Super Star Wars on SNES, the letterbox release of the original trilogy, and much, much more! Find more Blockade Runner Power of the 90s coverage by subscribing to our YouTube page or our podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

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Collectibles from the Outer Rim: Star Wars VHS Releases!

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Blockade Runner Pickups: August 6th – 13th

Ryan and I (John) have been having a blast over the past few weeks texting each other  hot tips about good sales on Star Wars march and photos of any stuff we’ve been able to pick up. Ryan suggested we put together a weekly or bi-weekly post for the blog showcasing all of the stuff we add to our collections and I think the Force is very much with that idea, especially considering Force Friday II and The Journey to The Last Jedi is just around the corner! Check out pics and quick descriptions of the items we’ve recently acquired below and stay tuned to the blog for more Blockade Runner Pickups posts to come! We’d also love to hear about any good pickups or deals you may have found recently either in the comments below or by emailing us at blockaderunnerpodcast@gmail.com.

Ryan:

Uniqlo Chewbacca shirt

Uniqlo is pretty much my favorite clothing store ever, and the fact that they occasionally  have exclusive Star Wars shirts only amplifies that love.

Complete Rogue Squadron

Grabbed this for $15 at a local game store. Still super fun, and one of the best looking and sounding games on the N64.

Ezra Bridger + Speeder Bike

$5.98 at Target, heck yeah

Thrawn ebook

While I love the character, Thrawn hasn’t hooked me like other recent SW reads like Inferno Squadron and Rebel Rising. Still, it’s incredibly well-written and I’m curious to see how and where the story ends.

Doctor Aphra Issue #10

Not really a pickup per se (I have a mailorder subscription), I’m always stoked to get a new issue of Aphra. She’s just the best.

John

Jedha Revolt and Base Malbus/Stormtrooper 3.75″ Hasbro Toy Bundles

IMG_0001

Wal-Mart (along with Target and may other retailers) is clearancing out most of their Force Awakens and Rogue One toys, so I got some incredible deals on these figures.  The Jedha Revolt pack was $13 (just over $3 per figure) and the Baze/Stormtrooper combo was $7 ($3.50 per figure). I was particularly stoked because I’ve never even seen figures like Two Tubs and Saw on shelves, so scoring them at that price point was pretty sweet! Now is the time to grab any toys from the TFA or Rogue One lines you’ve been wanting.

The Glove of Darth Vader/The Lost City of the Jedi/Zorba the Hutt’s Revenge

IMG_3344

I grabbed this for around $10 on Amazon for our upcoming Power of the 90s show covering 1992. This hardcover collection was actually released by Barnes & Noble in 1997, but all three of these children’s novels were first published in 1992. They’re super fun and we’ll talking about them a bunch more when our 92 show drops later this month.

Star Wars: Ominbus #1 – A Long Time Ago…

I was able to find this collection for about $15, this time on eBay, and I thought I was buying it for the 1992 Power of the 90s show too, but it turns out I had my circuits crossed and the comics contained in this Dark Horse collection aren’t actually relevant to the next episode of that series. Still, I’d consider it a happy accident as it’s a high quality reprinting of a bunch of the original Marvel Comics Star Wars run and part of a large collection of Star Wars Omnibus releases from Dark Horse I’m now itching to track down.


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The Power of the 90s – The Blockade Runner Plays Star Wars (NES, 1991)

Check out the first 30 minutes or so of Star Wars on the NES in our second (and last) Blockade Runner Plays video for our Power of the 90s series covering 1990/1991. I play from the start of the game up through the first part of the Death Star, so the video provides a pretty solid look at the first third or so of the game.

I’m also including Nintendo Power’s coverage from its September 1991 issue (Volume 28, the rest of which you can read here on archive.org). It’s a fun look at what games coverage, Star Wars or otherwise, was like in 1991 and it’s also super helpful if you want to play some NES Star Wars yourself!

The game’s manual also includes some helpful info as well as some fun graphics and character write ups (Star Wars’s manual can be found at Digital Press’s site which also includes a ton of other game manual scans for numerous consoles). You can also click on the image below to view the entire manual as a pdf.
NES Star Wars Manual
You can also find some information about the hint book mentioned in the video here, or check out this eBay listing for the hint book (which includes a couple of pictures).

I just recently learned that there is a totally sweet tv commercial for the game too. Check out a dastardly Darth Vader taking on a super-heroic mom in this fantastic ad for the game:

While you’re at it, why not check out comedian Mario Cantone (for some reason) shilling for the game on some sort of video game-related tv show:

Finally, check out the Moby Games page for NES Star Wars for more info on the games development and release as well as screenshots from this and other versions of the game if you’re interested in the differences between them that I briefly mentioned in the video.