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Holiday Gift Guide 2011 - DVD Movies and TV Shows for Retro Gamers Part 1


When gift shopping for a retro gamer it's tough trying to pick out a game they don't already have, so instead try stuffing their stockings with a DVD based on the classic video games they love. Here is a look at some of the best, worst and most overlooked movies, TV shows and specials available on DVD for your holiday shopping list.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

In 1993 two different Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons aired on TV, one was a wacky and humorous take on Sonic, shown five days a week, the other was a darker, more serious Sonic show airing on Saturday Mornings. Surprisingly, the two shows were made completely separate from one another, with separate production companies, neither of which knew the other show existed, even though actor Jaleel White was the voice of Sonic on both shows.

The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, is the more humorous version of the two, giving Sonic an addiction to Chili Dogs as he and his buddy Tails battle the evil forces of Doctor Ivo Robotnik and his robot flunkies in a world of funny animals and robots.

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Captain N: The Game Master

A classic late-‘80s cartoon featuring the most ambitious mash-up of video game characters ever to grace Saturday Mornings.

While playing a round of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on his Nintnedo Entertainment System, teenager Kevin Keene and his dog Duke are sucked into his TV and transported to Videoland where he ends up leading a band of rebels called Team N in their battle to save Videoland from the evil army of the gender confused Mother Brain (from Metroid).

The parody-style adventure show is packed with characters and references to popular video games for Nintendo’s systems including Mega Man, Pit (aka Kid Icarus), Simon Belmont (Castlevania), Donkey Kong, Link and Zelda (from Legend of Zelda), King Hippo (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!), Bayou Billy, and Team N’s super computer Game Boy.

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Based on the monumentally successful computer game that launched first-person shooters into popularity.

In the distant future an earth colony sent to try and populate Mars ends up getting experimented on, turning the colonists into mutated monstrosities bent on destruction. A group of Space Marines including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, is sent in to investigate.

The movie actually includes a climax designed to recreate exact scenes from the video game, including the first-person camera perspective.

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Dragon's Lair the Complete Series

The historic 2D cell-animated arcade game Dragon's Lair was ripe for a Saturday morning cartoon spin-off, and this previously ultra-rare series delivered. Now, after falling into near obscurity it is finally available on DVD.

The show followed bumbling knight Dirk the Daring as he defends his kingdom and love of his life Princess Daphne from baddies pulled directly from the video game such as Singe the Dragon, the Phantom Night, Lizard King, etc.

One of the unique approaches the show took to try and bring some of the gameplay feel of the arcade game, before each commercial break there would be a cliffhanger showing Dirk in trouble with the narrator asking what the player would do. When returning from the commercial Dirk would be shown trying three different scenarios, the first two ending in defeat, the third in victory.

A terrific series and a great find in DVD will make the perfect retro gamer holiday treat!

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King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

A warm, funny and nostalgic documentary following the exploits of Steve Wiebe as he enters the world of competitive gaming to take on reigning Donkey Kong world champion Billy Mitchell.

King of Kong not only shows the competitive side of classic gaming, but also takes a nostalgic look at the evolution and popularity of video arcades in the '80s and where the gamers who populated them are today.

Mortal Kombat

The most violent and controversial game of all time is milk toasted down Hollywood-style with many actors that don't even know martial arts.

The greatest fighters from every dimension are recruited to compete in a martial arts completion to maintain the balance of good vs. evil.

While the film is by no means a masterpiece, it is hilariously cheesy and fun, especially when they run footage backwards of actress Bridgette Wilson falling down to make it look like she's flipping up to defeat her competitor.

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who went on to craft another video game film on the list, Resident Evil, and produce the movie version of the Dead or Alive video game, which features a near identical story.

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Resident Evil

One of the best video game inspired films recreates many of the scenes from the original PlayStation One survival horror classic Resident Evil and is just an all-around terrific zombie/action flick.

As with the game the evil Umbrella Corporation's experiments go awry, spinning onto a zombie infestation that is investigated by the Alpha Team law enforcement unit.

The main characters from the game, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine don't appear in the film, instead being replaced, undercover agent Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, who goes on to be the subject of all the film sequels.

Resident Evil was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson who gained his cinematic video game adaptation chops on Mortal Kombat.

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Street Fighter

A historically cheesy interpretation of the Street Fighter arcade games that failed at the box office, but has since received a big cult following, mainly from its "So bad it's good" status.

Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Guile, part of a military organization bent on stopping militaristic dictator Bison (Raul Julia in his final role) from taking over the world.

Super Mario Bros.

The Hollywoodization of Super Mario Bros. triggered some pretty bizarre changes to the historic gaming franchise. In the flick, two plumbing brothers, one Italian (Mario) and the other Latino (Luigi) help save a young woman named Daisy, who has been kidnapped and whisked away to an alternate dimension where humans evolved from dinosaurs.

While the movie is ass oddball as you can get, the strangest part was the casting. While academy award nominated actor Bob Hoskins was a perfect fit for Mario, having Luigi played by comedian John Leguizamo seemed strange, but not nearly as much as the casting of legendary actor Dennis Hopper to play King Koopa.

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The Super Mario Bros. Super Show

The Super Mario Bros. first and finest animated series stays true to the characters and humor of the classic video game series, featuring the entire Mario gang, plus comedy live-action host segments starring the late pro-wrestler Captain Lou Albano as Mario, who also voiced his animated counterpart.

Each episode featured a different celebrity guest for the live action segments including Magic Johnson, Vanna White, Norman Fell, and even Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

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