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Joseph Saelee Wins Classic Tetris World Championship

BOOM, Tetris for Joseph

The Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC), now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is complete. Following two days of intense competition, returning 2018 champion Joseph Saelee, of California, out bested opponents for the win at the annual event which took place this weekend at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo at the Oregon Convention Center.

As a special surprise to the winners, Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris®, was on hand to witness the finals, congratulate winners and hand out the awards.

Created by avid fans of the 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System™ (NES) version of the game, CTWC is known as one of the premier competitions by top ranked Tetris players from around the world, including the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. In addition to Saelee, this year’s competitors included Jonas Neubauer (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017), Harry Hong (2014), European champion Svavar Gunnar Gunnarsson, Japanese Tetris Grand Master Koryan, and many other players featured in the award-winning documentary Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

The event took place this weekend with qualifying rounds and an intense, final 48-bracket seeded tournament, which took place today.

To help celebrate the CTWC’s 10th anniversary, The Tetris Company, Inc. sponsored the event with $10,000 in cash prizes. As champion, Saelee was awarded $3,000 in prize money and the coveted CTWC trophy. Second place winner Koryan was awarded $1,500. Third place winner Batfoy, of Minnesota, and fourth place winner DanQZ, of New Jersey, each received $750. $500 prizes were awarded to contestant who ranked fifth through eighth place, and $250 for those who came in ninth through sixteenth place. Additionally, Super Impulse and Paladone outfitted competitors with new licensed Tetris products including Tetris Micro Arcade units and Tetrimino Light kits, respectively.

Jeremy Parish's NES Works #54 - Stinger

A deep dive into Stinger

Another Konami shooter arrives, and this one encompasses a little bit of every other shooter to have appeared on the system to date. It's also tied to a long-running series, despite having been renamed in the U.S. So why does no one ever talk about this game? Is it because it was unbearably cute? Or is it because it was overshadowed by its own sibling release a year later?

Arcade Archives: Vs. Castlevania hits Switch on Oct. 17th, 2019

Whip it good

Hamster continues to release classic games for the Switch, and the latest comes from an iconic series. Arcade Archives: Vs. Castlevania is coming out on Oct. 17th, 2019, and is priced at the usual $8. This gives you the original Castlevania NES experience, albeit more challenging.

Tetris champs prepare to battle at the 10th annual classic Tetris World Championships on Oct. 18th to 20th, 2019

Who will be the classic Tetris king this year?

WHAT: On October 18-20, the 10th annual CTWC, a tournament organized by avid Tetris fans, returns at the Oregon Convention Center during the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, where Tetris masters from around the world compete against each other playing the 1989 NES version of the Tetris game for a chance to win the coveted CTWC trophy and their share of $10K in total cash prizes. Competitors will include returning champions Joseph Saelee (2018), Jonas Neubauer (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017), Harry Hong (2014), European champion Svavar Gunnar Gunnarsson, Japanese Tetris Grand Master Koryan, and many other players featured in the award-winning documentary Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

Entry fee for the CTWC is $20. Entrants can make as many qualifying attempts as time permits. For details, prizing and rules for all tournaments, please visit http://thectwc.com/rules/.

CTWC to also feature:
Fun Tetris Game Demos: Attendees can demo TETRIS® EFFECT by Enhance, now available on PlayStation®4, with optional support for PlayStation®VR, and on PC via EPIC Games Store, with support for VR Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Learn more at https://www.tetriseffect.game. AtGames® Digital Media Inc. will also showcase its new Legends Ultimate arcade machine, featuring hundreds of classic arcade and home video games in a full-sized arcade unit. Learn more at https://arcades.atgames.net.
Additional Sponsors Include: The Tetris Company, Inc., Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE), Shack News, Super Impulse, Paladone, CogWorks Laboratory, PriceCharting, Swedish Columbia, The Gaming Stadium, Total Radness and WiseApe Tea.
WHERE: Portland Retro Gaming Expo at the Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, Oregon

The CTWC finals will be livestreamed on Sunday, Oct. 20 at https://www.twitch.tv/classictetris

CTWC SCHEDULE:

Friday, Oct. 18
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Mini-tournaments
Saturday, Oct. 19
10:00 am – 4:00 pm: NES Qualifying Rounds
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Seeds 17-48 compete in a “Round Zero” to advance to the 32-player tournament bracket Main Event on Sunday
Sunday, Oct. 20
10:30 am – 1:15 pm: Early Qualifying Rounds – Top 32 and Top 16
2:00 pm – 4:55 pm: Qualifying Rounds – Top 8 and Top 4
5:00 pm – 5:40 pm: Final Championship Round – Top 2
5:40 pm – 5:50 pm: Classic Tetris World Championship Award Presentation

Jeremy Parish's NES Works #53 - Gauntlet, Pac-Man and R.B.I. Baseball

The Tengen trio

We take a side excursion into a nebulous place in NES history: Tengen's licensed trio of games from 1987. Or is it 1988? It's hard to say, because there's no firm record of when these games originally shipped. It's always tough to pin down exact American release dates for NES games, since Nintendo of America only officially cites release months... but what happens when Nintendo refuses to acknowledge the existence of a game altogether for political reasons? That's the conundrum that surrounds the first three games released by Atari spinoff Tengen under license by Nintendo—before they went rogue.

A look back at the Sharp Famicom Titler, a piece of hardware that lets you edit NES videos

1989 was an amazing time!

Costing 43,000 Yen, or roughly $400 at the time (now approximately $800), this is the Sharp Famicom Titler. An NES/Famicom combined with a Genlock system, so that you can edit videos, or combine other input sources, 1989 STYLE.

Thanks to ibbsters for the heads up!

Jeremy Parish's NES Works #52 - 3-D WorldRunner & Sky Kid

Two more NES classics profiled

(That's "The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner" if you're nasty.) Four—count 'em, four!—companies make their NES debut here before going on to become third-party pillars of the platform. 3-D WorldRunner comes to us courtesy of Squaresoft (they of Final Fantasy fame) and Acclaim (they of, uhhh, Bart Vs. The Space Mutants infamy). Sky Kid is a Namco/SunSoft joint. None of these companies should need any sort of intro for anyone who has a decent familiarity with the NES, and this is where they both get their start on the U.S. side of the console. Nothing inspiring here, but these are the seeds for greater things.

1989 Famicom title Desert Fox gets a fan translation

All the way back in 1989, Kemco released Desert Fox for the Famicom. A localized version of that game did release as Desert Commander. The thing is, that localization changed quite a bit of content from the original. Now, thanks to fan translation group Stardust Crusaders, people around the world can now check the game out as it originally was.

The big difference between Desert Fox and Desert Commander is the historical background setting, as the original game was themed after the North African theater of World War II. Most of these references were removed from the localization, but have now returned with the fan-translation.

Famicom game 'Gunhed: The New Battle' gets a fan translation

An untranslated movie game gets its day in the sun

Gunhed: The New Battle launched for the Famicom back in 1989, but never saw an official localization. 30 years later, fan translation team 'filler' has taken on the the task of making the game playable in English, and they've just wrapped up work on the project. Perhaps now the game can find a whole new life with English-speaking audiences.

Gunhed: The New Battle is based on the 1989 film of the same name. The year is 2040, and a battle on 8-JO is about to begin, waged by a new set of people out to get the Texmexium that was previously found on the island. In this game, you'll be taking on the island's defense forces by building mechs with parts scavenged parts.

The Wizard getting a 30th anniversary Blu-ray release

One of the best bad movies

Believe it or not, The Wizard is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and it's going to do so in a really special way. The Wizard director Todd Holland has announced that a 30th anniversary Blu-ray is on the way, and it's set to launch in Feb. 2020. We don't have full details on what this special package will include, but we do know there will be an interview and commentary track featuring Mr. Holland.

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