Backloggd – The Letterboxd for Videogames

My videogame profile on Backloggd is here: todd_russell Backloggd profile

Forgive a little history here, momentarily we’ll get to Backloggd (

Before this website was started, we used Letterboxd to track the movies we were watching. We still use the site every day, tracking all the movies we watch, rewatch and review. Late last year we started doing full text reviews here for movies seen in theaters, but a shorter review still appears on Letterboxd.

We’re still looking for something like Letterboxd that does TV shows. Have a suggestion? Let us know in the comments. We post all TV show reviews here currently and a list (in progress, updated periodically) is available here: TV Series Reviews.

Theaters: April 16, 2021

Since there are movie and TV tie-in videgames, including Mortal Kombat which comes out in 2021 (and looks pretty good from the trailers), we also cover videogames here. However, there are way more videogames that have nothing to do with movies and TV shows. We wanted to use something like Letterboxd, and maybe you do too, hence this post, to track our videogaming.

Enter Backloggd. Completely FREE to use — just like Letterboxd — for all the features you need including game journals, logging, reviews, lists (!) and more. The one feature I don’t see available is any way to export the data you’ve created like Letterboxd. I’m hoping this is available somewhere, somehow (it’s not as of this writing, but is on their site roadmap wishlist here), because if you spend a bunch of time adding and tracking games you own and/or play and the site goes belly up, you should be able to export your data and take it elsewhere. To your own site, another site, whatever. Letterboxd has that feature and it remains one of the reasons we keep using it. We’re essentially future-proofed if the site decides to do something like this: shut down around April 1, 2021 and it doesn’t appear to be an April Fool’s joke

Anyway, one list I’m assembling are for the AtGames Legends Ultimate (ALU) v1.1 arcade (see: Arcade and Console Videogaming Heaven – Legends Ultimate Arcade). There are 300+ licensed games included, some of which I played a long, long time ago, some played in arcades, some on various console systems through the years and most I’ve never played. Wanted to add more detail on the games discovered for the first time, played, including notes for personal strategies developed and possibly even reviews of the games I play more extensively. Not really interested in the reviews part yet, but rather just to have some place to record notes on the games played, as well as the time spent playing these games. This will help me better develop a favorites list and be able to talk about these games with others interested in buying the ALU.

Since we also own the Legends Gamer Pro, I also compiled a list of those games: AtGames Legends Gamer Pro – GAMES Included List.

For other customers of these systems, this makes it easy to explore these games in greater detail, as the systems don’t tell you very much about the games themselves. You can simply click on the titles and play, but where do you record your personal notes, strategies, gaming tips, etc? You can use tools like Excel Spreadsheets or Google Docs or, well, Backloggd. This way if you’re friends ask what videogames you’re playing, you just point them to your Backloggd page.

Backloggd doesn’t do everything it could and should yet, however.

I’ve noticed one (glaring, really) weakness for Backloggd is that it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of video pinball represented in the database. This means I won’t be able to make a list for our most recent purchase: the AtGames Legends Pinball (ALP). I’m sure there is a way like Letterboxd to add games that aren’t in the database, so I fully plan to investigate that feature in the future. They seem to use as a source and I do see how to add games there, so that might be the ticket. Anybody who knows more detail about this process, please feel free to educate and inform us in the comments below.

Will coverage for videogames expand at this site? Probably, yes. I see how movies and TV shows have become important properties for videogames, so it seems only natural to explore that path in greater depth. Also, playing videogames is a more active hobby than watching movies and TV. It’s healthy and good to stay more active. This doesn’t mean that movies will take a backseat to videogames, here, but it does mean the site will become a little broader. Maybe 😉

Thank you for reading!

Sony Patent Will Allow AI Clone To Play Games For You, What’s Next, Watching Movies For You?

The title might sound hyperbolic, perhaps even ridiculous, but think again. AI clones, we don’t need them for entertainment, right? The following game-related patent sounds appealing, but think about it more carefully.

The patent also points out that games may be able to flag if a player needed AI help to beat a task. “If the AI character has completed specific tasks, those tasks can be identified as being completed by the user with assistance from the AI game controller,” it explains.

Another example given is online multiplayer co-op games, where a player may need to leave the game to eat or work. In this situation, instead of the game having to end, the player can turn on the ‘automatic mode’ and have the AI play with their friends in their absence until they can return to take over again.

Sony has patented an AI that will play your games for you

A major part of the satisfaction in gaming is beating your previous best score, reaching new game levels, beating an end boss. These all require your own skills. That all goes out the window if someday you can have your AI clone buddy sub out your gameplay.

If we have AI clones that can sub for us when we’re eating, it’s not too far-fetched to suggest the AI clone will do other tasks we don’t have time for like, yeah, read books, watch movies. Imagine tasking your AI clone with catching up on the new Stephen King book because you don’t want to sit down and experience it yourself, or sit through the 10 episode TV season or, gasp, watch the newest movie so you don’t have to spend the two plus hours. Your AI clone could report back what you might have thought of it, because it knows you so well.

I’m one of the most tech-friendly guys out there, but don’t want an AI clone to do any of the things mentioned above. I want to experience human created art directly and personally, not through some sort of artificial proxy. I don’t like using the word “never” but here it fits: never.

Now, what I might be interested in is playing against an AI clone in a game. We are already doing this in some games, I’m sure. What tougher computer opponent could there be than one that plays like you do? But, um, it’s a big N-O to having an AI clone someday experience entertainment for me.

Then again, maybe someday my AI clone will write these posts. Why not?

LIMITED TIME OFFER: The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Game available for Free on Amazon Prime Gaming

Prime gaming is located at:

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, there are a bunch of other FREE benefits besides shipping for Amazon purchases and Amazon Prime Video streaming. PC gamers will definitely want to check out the Prime Gaming app, which has a bunch of free videogames that can be downloaded.

Amazon Prime is giving subscribers a fairly recent release from 2020 for free, at least until April 23. After April 23, the game will no longer be available to download for free and will return its normal price. However, once downloaded the game is yours to keep and play as much as you want as long as you maintain an active subscription. The catch is that if you’re on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or any other platform other than PC, you’re out of luck. That said, if you’re on PC and if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can download The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, a strategy game based on The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, for free.

Amazon Prime Gives Subscribers 2020 Game for Free

The Dark Crystals: Age of Resistance game is based on the TV series available on Netflix, which is a prequel to The Dark Crystal (1982) from Jim Henson. It only made it one season until being canceled, but there are 10 episodes available for those interested. Haven’t seen the TV series, but the game seems kind of interesting anyway.

In order to play the game, you’ll need to download the Amazon Prime gaming app and login with your Amazon account. The game is a little over 5 GB, so you’ll need the free hard drive space.

Even if you’re not interested right this second in playing the game, but think you might, the offer to claim this for free expires soon, so you might want to at least go to the Amazon Prime Gaming portal linked at the top of this post and CLAIM the game so it’s available for download in your library in the future.

There are several other games of note worth claiming in there. This is Amazon’s bid to compete with Steam, so if you’re interested in any PC gaming and you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, might want to at least check these deals out.

Have you played The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance game? Is it any good? How about watched the TV show? What do you think? Tell us about it in the comments below. So many, many games to play and not enough time to play them, but mentioning this Prime gaming because if you already subscribe, well at least want to see if there is anything included with your subscription to claim before it expires.

Arcade1Up Star Wars Pinball + AtGames Legends Gamer Pro

A couple weeks ago the Arcade1up Star Wars Pinball we preordered from Gamestop back in November of 2020 (see: Upcoming Star Wars Pinball from Arcade1up and Zen Studios Looks Amazing) finally shipped and arrived.

Assembly took one beer and an hour and a half. Basically you screw four legs on the bottom of the table and assemble the back box. It’s not very complex and the instructions are easy to read and follow. I’m not strong at putting things together and I had zero issues assembling.

We have another virtual pinball table coming from AtGames that we also preordered in November 2020. This one also cost $599 + shipping. The Star Wars Pinball costs $601 and some change with delivery included, so the AtGames Legends Pinball is a little more expensive.

Also, recently — guess we’re in the videogame mode at the moment — Walmart had a crazy good deal on the AtGames Legends Pro controller for $99, when it regularly sells for $249.

AtGames Legends Pro Gamer is on the two gaming stools. The AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade is showing in the corner of the room

My son and I picked up four of those (two each). Another nice thing about these is they fit into the AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade unit as a replacement control panel and they are wireless so you can take with you and play the same games on TVs anywhere.

We’ve also scheduled three trips to the local arcade — one each month — for the next three months.

Typing this post as we’re waiting to enter the AMC movie theater for Sunday movie night at the theater. This will be our 14th movie seen in theaters in 2021. We’re seeing The Courier [FIRST LOOK] tonight. A review of that will be posted here in the not too distant future.. We also watched the Snyder Cut of Justice League. Wish they had gone the miniseries or two-part route (a la Kill Bill) there, but won’t say much else. You can read the Snyder Cut non-spoiler review at Letterboxd.

What have you all been up to? Spring cleaning? Watch any great movies lately you want to name drop recommend in the comments? Please do!

Cleopatra Pinball Slot Machine at Binions in Las Vegas

Downtown on Fremont street in Las Vegas in Binions casino. They feature several skill-based slot machines, that allow you to play pinball or classic arcade games like Asteroids.

Searched YouTube and a video of the Cleopatra Pinball bonus game has been documented and shared. It was made in 2018, so just shows these machines aren’t that new.

Skill-based slot machines sound good in theory, but wonder how mathematically they can work? If a machine is programmed to mathematically pay back at 93%+, what if you have this super skilled videogame player? The answer is the “random” part of the game will be randomly worse, so this will overcompensate for the skilled player part. Does this player cash out after doing so well at the skill-based part, only to leave the next players of the machine to come along and lose at the random slot portion of the game? Yes.

Don’t know how these games actually work, so this is pure speculation, but it seems logical to suggest that if one player does well, then future players will do worse. This is how the machine can pay back at least at a certain percentage.

Will you play skill-based slot machines? Have you tried any? What do you think of this idea?

AtGames NOD – Retrogaming Celebration – over $20,000 in Prizes Feb 14, 2021

Please note: this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just passing along to interested readers.

In addition to being Valentine’s Day 2021. It’s also the AtGames NOD – National Owner’s Day from 9am – 9pm PT (GMT-8). There are multiple different contests happening during this time only, each with a chance to win the new Legends Pinball table (pictured above), a $600+ value ($599+shipping). They are also giving away license packs for the Zaccaria pinball games and ArcadeNet subscriptions.

If you haven’t bought anything yet from AtGames, you have a chance to get in on some killer deals during this event, including a new Pinball controller, a limited edition Tetris-themed mini ALU, wave 4 preorder for the Legends Pinball (we prepordered wave 2 already, still waiting on ours, but they promise to fulfill all existing wave 1-3 orders by March 1).

One of the contests during NOD is the highest combined scores of retrogames: Burgertime, Space Invaders and Tetris. I’m not good at any of these games, but will be giving it my best today during the event. Here are the current AtGames leaderboard top scores as of this post:

Burgertime highest score: 600,600 — my 3,950 looks pretty abysmal by comparison
8,160 on Space Invaders is the top spot, I haven’t registered a score yet — but will today during the event
Tetris: 158,161 — no score submitted from me here yet, either

The 5 contests involved are as follows:

  1. LEGENDS FAMILY NETWORKING: Add 10 friends to your AtGames ecosystem leaderboard system, submit a score on any game to the leaderboards (that will work with contest #1 mentioned above) or enter an active game in the lobby. So, fairly easy to get this one.
  2. LEGENDS MAIL CONNECTION – Answer an ingame message on any of your AtGames connected device (ALU, mini, pro, core, pinball, etc).
  3. LEADERBOARD PARTIES – the Burgertime, Space Invaders and Tetris contest mentioned above, also play Junkyard Cats on the Global pinball games and these three ArcadeNet pinball games: Black Hole, Teed’ Off (highest score during the event only) and Haunted House
  4. SHOP NOW, WIN BIG – make any single reservation ($20 USD) during the event and earn entry. Multiple purchases do not earn additional entries, it’s one per customer max. We’re planning on getting gamepads ($35, $30 each during event only, $20 reservation), the Control Panel for Pinball ($100, regularly $200, only $20 reservation required) and at least 1 license of the 4 Zaccaria Pinball Packs ($100, regularly $200, with $20 reservation required). So, going to cost $80 at least today.

Winners of the pinball tables will be announced on PDubs Arcade Loft show live at 6pm PT, via a message to the AtGames Discord channel:

Good luck to all those participating in this fun videogame event today, February 14, 2021!

The Terminator T-800 and Sarah Connor In Fortnite for 2,800 VBucks

Our grandson is all about the Fortnite character skins. He’s always wanting more Vbucks to buy more skins and dance moves and whatever other virtual assets that make you all fancy looking inside the game.

Can honestly say despite gaming for 40+ years that I’ve never bought character skins. I have bought some mounts and expansion quests and extra bank space in MMORPG, but not just design skins.

Fortnite season 5 continues to roll on with a ludicrous list of tie-in skins from various Hollywood and gaming universes. Previously, we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger’s alien nemesis the Predator arrive, and now Arnie himself (or at least his exoskeleton) is joining the fray. Yup, you can now buy a Terminator skin in the Fortnite item shop.

Fortnite item shop: The Terminator and Sarah Connor arrive | PC Gamer

Last mentioned The Terminator appeared in Mortal Kombat (see: Mortal Kombat 11 Shows Love to 80s Action Film Stars: Robocop, Terminator and Rambo), and recently The Predator was available in Fortnite, but now so is the T-800 Terminator and Sarah Connor.

Surprisingly, I’m the one who mentioned to our grandson the Terminator was coming to Fortnite. So maybe it’s not showing yet? It’s coming soon? I don’t know, don’t play Fortnite, but I do find it interesting that The Terminator is making appearances in multiple games. I kind of liked fighting as the Terminator in Mortal Kombat. It’s a little different unlocking characters to fight against or with in a fighting game. These characters have different skillsets and might be able to provide an advantage.

Purely cosmetic Terminator sounds cool, but isn’t worth 2,800 Vbucks, which I think is like $25 USD.

Would/do you buy Fortnite cosmetic skins? Would you buy them in other games?

Atari Trying To Be Jack of All Trades, Throws Shade At PlayStation and Xbox

Not sure I understand Atari’s marketing plans. They won’t be very successful trying to claim — talk, not action — they are a better alternative, gaming-wise, to Xbox and PlayStation. Those are established consoles with huge followings.

Atari needs those fans on their side.

And interesting that there is no mention of Nintendo. The Switch is killing it out there. Nintendo too often is forgotten when the gaming gauntlet is thrown down. They know how to make fun, entertaining games and have a large, passionate fanbase. Atari needs these fans too. Some of them, at least.

But back to what Atari is saying, you can read part of it at the jump below.

“That blend of console, PC, PC gaming device, and streaming device offers a lot of flexibility, and a lot of value… We are actually pretty excited to see how people utilize both PC Mode and Atari Mode. Every computer plays games and video. Not every computer is an Atari.”

Atari slams PS5 and Xbox iterative upgrades and promises “something different” | T3

The Xbox and PlayStation have been streaming devices for years. That’s something Nintendo hasn’t even gotten into very well because Nintendo just wants to focus on what it is and does: gaming.

The Playstation and Xbox have both had apps for streaming channels for quite some time. It’s not something everybody uses on their systems. I don’t. Guess it’s supposed to be convenient to stop playing a game and just switching to Netflix, but why not just change the input on your TV and go full into Roku or Chromecast? It’s a nice added feature, but gamers don’t buy console systems to stream Netflix. And vice versa.

Atari is a decent gaming brand with a long history. They aren’t as relevant for current gaming as they were for classic and retrogaming, but hey, they are gods of the retro scene, with some legendary titles.

Not sure what Atari is up to, they are doing hotels, a new system that seems a bit pricey at $389 USD that’s some kind of hybrid low end PC, retrogaming machine and current console? They are also doing something with crypto currency.

A lot of irons in the fire.

Will say this, whatever they are up to, I’ll probably check into it. Just based on their name. Wonder how many gamers will do that? They can sell on that niche audience initially, but to keep this crowd satisfied they’re going to have to create some compelling new games. Is that in their plans? Are they partnering with others to do it for them? It kind of sounds like that’s the deal with the crypto play.

Whatever they are doing, I don’t think they can compete directly against the three big consoles. Sega tried that and ultimately gave up the expensive hardware game. Now they just make games. That’s probably what Atari should have kept doing.

Will you be checking out the new Atari VCS system? Staying in their hotel? Or are you taking a wait and see what others say approach?

Gamestop Surging To Bizarre High Stock Valuation over Reddit Trading Group Activity

I’m still waiting for this Star Wars Pinball machine to arrive … meanwhile, Gamestop stock is surging

Disclosure: I don’t own any Gamestop stock as of this writing. Never have owned any and no plans to buy any, again, as of this writing — although I’ll admit it’s a bit tempting and scary to jump in on this.

I do, however, still have a pending preorder on the Star Wars Pinball table from Gamestop. Haven’t heard any new update on that status, but am expecting it will arrive in the next few months.

An update on retail store Gamestop, that we last covered closing stores (see: So Much For Gamestop, They Are Closing 1,000+ Stores). There is a current conflict you might have heard about between a Reddit group called “wallstreetbets” and hedge investors shorting the Gamestop stock and losing tons of money as the stock price has ballooned from $6 a share four months ago to over $250/share as of this writing.

Check out the performance of the stock through 9:30am PT today. Crazy up and down volume:

Something tells me this meteoric rise for a stock that is clearly ridiculously overvalued will lead to some sort of federal scrutiny. I don’t know what, but it doesn’t look good.

It sure has mountains and craters aplenty to look at from a graphing standpoint.

GameStop, hedge funds’ most-hated stock, was targeted by an army of retail investors who marshaled forces against short sellers in online chat rooms. In the Reddit forum “wallstreetbets” with more than 2 million subscribers, rookie investors encouraged each other to pile into GameStop’s shares and call options, creating massive short squeezes in the stock. CNBC could not confirm the amount of losses Melvin Capital took on the short position. Citadel and Point72 have infused close to $3 billion into Gabe Plotkin’s hedge fund to shore up its finances.

Melvin Capital, hedge fund targeted by Reddit board, closes out of GameStop short position

Perhaps nothing illegal has happened here, but is Gamestop really worth $250/share from four months ago? If enough investors believe that it is then, yes, it is. Doesn’t matter that hardly anybody buys physical videogames in person any longer. They do buy systems and probably buy and sell some used games, but it’s not a market on the rise. Gamestop should be expanding into some sort of online digital assets business or become like the Amazon of videogames (maybe that’s what they’re trying to do). That’s their only way to survive, in this author’s opinion. Again, I don’t have any money in the stock, so I’m not going to profit from the business succeeding or failing. I’d like to see Gamestop stick around though, if for no other reason than they are a well known retail gaming entity and I like gaming. That nostalgia factor doesn’t translate to a viable business though.

Will this stock price crash? It’s likely to happen. I’m not giving any investment advice. That would be illegal without a license and it’s pure speculation anyway, but I do think common sense and investing go hand and hand. Just ask yourself how a business that was closing 1,000+ stores recently in the middle of a pandemic is suddenly, miraculously worth this much more money?

(if the investors say it is, it is)

Maybe this is the problem with the stock market in general. That it can be extremely volatile for a wide variety of reasons. Both ways. A group of people can say that something sucks and to sell, so the stock price tanks and vice versa. Neither can be tied in any tangible way to if a business is profitable and making good business decisions.

Ironically, AMC stock is also a subject of this Reddit group and that stock has seen some gains as well.

Unsurprising: Nintendo Dropping Netflix Support on Older Game Machines: 3DS and Wii U and No App for Switch

A bunch of evil Harleys on the run … but not for Netflix on Nintendo gaming systems

My favorite gaming-related purchase of 2020 was a retro arcade (see: Arcade and Console Videogaming Heaven – Legends Ultimate Arcade), while the Nintendo Switch was the most played console gaming system of 2020.

Will likely buy a PS5 and the new Xbox at some point in 2021, if/when you can actually find one in a store. I’m not going to fight the online scalping market.

“Starting Dec 31st, 2020, the Netflix app will no longer be available for new users to download from Nintendo eShop on the Wii U console or Nintendo 3DS family of systems,” Nintendo said in a statement on the listings for the Wii U and 3DS Netflix app. “During that time, it will be possible for existing users to re-download these applications. Service for existing users will continue until June 30th, 2021. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed Netflix on these platforms over the years.”

Nintendo is Dropping Netflix From the 3DS and Wii U With No Switch App in Sight | Cord Cutters News

Should mention the keyword here is: games. I don’t care about streaming movies or TV channel support on game machines. I won’t watch Netflix on whatever system Nintendo has, last generation, current or likely the next. No more than I was that interested in the Xbox or PS5 having streaming channel apps.

The one exception: watch party apps. It does make sense to join your gaming friends in a watch party on Netflix. Then again, if you’re on each other’s game friends list, you could just as easily be friends in other apps.

Not saying this fits your situation, but curious if it does? I mean, if you have a smart TV, just click a button to go to your streaming channel menu. It’s as easy as changing inputs. Do you care if your — insert favorite gaming system — has a Netflix app? Not hurting anything if it does, I suppose it does add some convenience, but … does it matter that much?