Welcome to Retro Game On!

Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How My Retro Love Started

Like all good stories, this one started off with a Nintendo 64 controller imitation.
It was Christmas 1999, or was it 2000? I'm not sure, doesn't really matter. What does matter is that Christmas I got my best present yet. A games console. As a 6 or 7 year old male this is probably the best thing you can get besides from a rocket launcher.
It wasn't a known console though. The big guns of the day included the likes of the PlayStation 1, the Nintendo 64 and the Dreamcast, this was called the 'The Super x88.'
What it was, was 88 retro games bundled into one controller that could plug into your TV via AV cables. 
Considering this would be the only type of gaming device I would get for a while, I played this a lot. Its what I blame for my retro gaming addiction, which I'm glad for.

I still have it, and it still works. Although the AV cables are a bit dodge these days but that's a problem that can be easily fixed with a replacements.
Along with the main controller it also came with a secondary controller and a light gun. The light gun is, and has always been next to useless. The second controller is a great addition though as many of the games have mulitplayer. I have many a fond memory of playing this with various people.

It should also be noted that the secondary controller has fake back triggers. Classy.
Duck Hunt! Also note my old style TV. I only use this tellie for retro gaming which I consider fitting.
I found absolutely nil on this thing while searching around the internet. Google Image search's actually came up with porn. Typical internet.

I think from that its safe to presume that the amount of these sold were very minimal. One would even go so far to say that its rare, but I doubt anyone would care or pay a huge price for it. In the end its just another Nintendo 64 controller look a like that plays old games. You see plenty of these around.
This particular one has a huge nostalgic appeal to me though. I have plenty of childhood memories of me playing this and I owe it to my retro gaming love.

There are heaps of great games on this thing. I'm not going to bore you by listing them all, but here are some of the ones I played the most:

Super Contra

F1 Race. This one was particularly awesome for 2 player.

Dig Dug
So yeah, that's my heart warming story for today.
I still pull this thing out every now and again, its just as fun as the day I received it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

World's Biggest PAC-MAN

Click on that picture for a larger version if you're squinting like an 80 year old pensioner. What you're looking at is no less than the World's Biggest PAC-MAN. Yes! You can now play a seemingly endless Pac-Man!
You know you've always wanted to.
The idea is that if you sign in with your Facebook, you can create your own maze letting your imagination go wild. This is then connected with about 15,000 other mazes making one big super maze.

No free advertisement for me

Play the official super fun Retro Game On version. Yes, there are no pellet things so you can't eat the ghosts, but stop being such a pussy.

The whole thing is apparently some Internet Explorer 9 promotional stunt to show off its capabilities. Well f*cking done to them, they managed to make it play Pac-Man. It should be noted though that other, and in my opinion better browsers can support this as well. Personally I played it with Firefox 4.
Check out the whole thing at worldsbiggestpacman.com.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Video: Metropolis Street Race for Dreamcast- Case, disk and inserts review

In this video I check out the original case, disk and inserts for Metropolis Street Race on the Sega Dreamcast.
This is my first ever review video for this site. Please excuse my crappy jokes in advance.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Younger Me Was A Dumbass!

Oh the humanity!

Just look at that picture! Enough said right? NO! Time to rant about myself!
What was I thinking? This poor PSone was my first ever commercial TV console yet I pulled it apart. Why would I do that?
Okay, the story goes like this; Years ago I had been playing my PSone (and I really mean years ago. I was still in primary school) and I had left it out in the lounge room, literally sitting there right in the middle of the room. I was young and obviously didn't think much, but needless to say my little sister (who was a toddler at the time) walked in and tripped over it. This didn't total it but broke the disk case off. A bit of Blu-tack would fix this and everything would be merry again.
Fast forward a few years and I have a PS2 which is now used for any PS1 gaming, the still fairly good PS1 is in its box in storage.

I was always a curious kid, whenever I had an electronic that broke I would instantly pull it apart and see its insides. I never really understood what I was looking at, but I thought it was cool none the less.
One fatal day I decided to dissect my innocent PS1. The plastic pretty much sealed it in so I had to break the casing, which meant no going back. I pretty much regretted doing it as soon as I had finished it, stuffing the pieces back into the box and never throwing it out. I was, and still am so attached to it. Its one of the main things that reminds me of my childhood and throwing it out would just be too hard. Its hard to imagine how I even managed to get myself to pull it apart in the first place.

The other day I pulled it out again and took some pictures so everyone else can bask in my younger self's stupidity...

Its still good! Its still good!

Even the controller wasn't safe from my savage younger self!

A detailed reconstruction.

Looking at all the internal parts, if I hooked them all up they would probably still work. I never broke any of the circuit boards. Having said that though they have been sitting unprotected in a box for years. I would probably end up setting myself on fire.

The original box. 
Came with some Disney games, lucky me.

I Also found the original Kmart brochure for it, it doesn't have the same Disney deal in though. I remember me and my Dad went down going off the brochure and had to pay more for this bundle instead. The service to this day there still sucks.

So if its one thing to learn from my sob story, never pull apart a perfectly good console! You may later come a retro games nut like me and regret it. 
I can still play all my PS1 games on either my PS2 or my PS3 but there is nothing I crave more than on a PS1. Even more so on the original console that I grew up with! 

After taking picture of it for this blog, I decided to give it a new lease on life and it now acts as a piece of 'decoration' on my computer desk.

People will probably think I'm weird for using a broken console as a piece of decoration, but its a huge childhood object for me. Plus people already think I'm weird.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some Crap I Found

I was recently cleaning up the leaning tower of PC disks next to my computer (been there and building for three computers!) and I came across some old crap. Among the millions of scratched up burnt CD-R's (all with legal stuff on it of course) I found some stuff you could probably classify as Retro. Not necessarily gold mine stuff, but I guess it could be rare (LOL). I'm still laughing at the name of 'Future Sports...'

Sorry in advance for the crappyness of the pictures by the way. I should of made use of that big fucking thing in the sky called the Sun, but instead I choose to take the pictures inside when it was dark out. I couldn't use the flash either because that just gave it huge glare, so focusing the pictures was painful. 

Lets start off with Future Sports (hahahahahahaha).
"Overflow with 600 megabytes of sport games!" Oh yay!

This appears to be a collection of sport games. I thought it was a good buy at $2 (the original tag is still on there at $5) from the Salvos years ago. Considering I don't even like sports games I'm surprised I even bought it at all.
The thing that bothers me though is that all the games on there are in fact demos. Why would someone pay $5 for a disk of demos?

The disk graphics are as stylish as the cover...

Not only are the games demos, they're demos of games I've mostly never even heard of.

A closer look...

Following the website address on the back which apparently lead to a 'Cybermall' lead nowhere.
I have no idea when this disk came out but there were some good indicators by looking into franchises I've heard of on the back case. For example there was a demo of NBA Live '95 and Indycar Racing 2 (which also came out in 1995).

The next thing I found was another demo disk (two actually). This time for an Australian magazine called PC PowerPlay, which is actually still going. It probably cost me, I dunno 50 cents? I got it from some markets years ago and have probably put them into a computer about once each.
I can't help but wonder why I bought this when I could have easily bought a brand new issue. Hell this didn't even come with the actual magazine!

There are actually some decent game on there, but of course I always prefer the full versions.

A better look at the 'Utilities.' Doesn't say which version of Adobe Acrobat is on there, hazard a guess its the first one.

Here is none other than the BEST EVER GAME DEMOS disk.

I'm not going to lie, I have no idea when this came out. I do know that it was from issue #28. Other clues include a small message that says "Most game require Win95" and as you can see one of the programs in the Utilities section of the first disk is called IFOX 98. No idea if that is referring to the actual year or not though.

Last but not least... Duke Nukem 3D!!!

"Prepare Yourself for Total Meltdown!"
I think I bought this from a Pawn shop for about 50 cents. I had some change in my wallet so I thought, "hell why not?"
I'm happy I did because I had a blast playing it. I Forgot it was even there in that leaning tower of PC disks.

The back includes ads for other awesome games such as Oddworld, Hexen, Quake, Mortal Kombat 3 and Final Doom.

The disk was in fairly good condition besides from a few scratches, it worked though and since it was only small change it didn't bother me all that much.
By the way those 'bonus games' on there were only demos as well. So much deceit...

The original owner even left some nice decorative art on the booklet for me to admire.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Can YOU beat this new Donkey Kong world record?

 Plastic Surgeon Hank Chien has beaten the score record for Donkey Kong... again!
Yes, his original personal best was 1,068,000 but he has now shat all over this and upped the ante to 1,090,400! Not only did he pwn himself but he is now also in front of former record holders Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell by over 25,000 points. Talk about an ego!
They should send this dude to the PSN or Xbox Live and show all those annoying 10 year Noob's what its all about.

Read more here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Caused the Premature Death of the Dreamcast?


[Edit 21/05/2014:] This particular post seems to get quite a bit loving around the internet, so if you're interested in this general subject, I created a video detailing all these reasons. It can be found here

After a session the other day on my new Dreamcast playing MSR and Sonic Adventure, I thought to myself; "how did such as awesome console like this die such a young death?" 
The Dreamcast was released in Japan in 1998 with a hugely positive response. It was then released in America the following year with the huge 9/9/99 release date marketing campaign. You can see an original TV advert here
It broke a record by having 300,000 preorders and it sold 500,000 units in the first two weeks! The campaign was obviously by no means a failure. It was way ahead of its time with an inbuilt modem and fantastic VGA graphics.
The opinion that is was and still is totally awesome is not only shared by me, the Dreamcast got a cult following after its untimely death. Many claim it was Sega's best console and Indie Developers still make and sell games for it to this day!
So what killed the Dreamcast? After some research (mostly around forums of chums like me discussing the subject) I have come to some conclusions. This is by no way a defining list of what killed the DC, probably only Sega know the actual exact reasons.  But its widely known that the following reasons certainly didn't help the fate of the poor Dreamcast: 

It is widely thought that the PlayStation 2 was the main factor in killing our beloved Dreamcast. While being released two years later, it had about the same graphics and sound. 
It did have one thing though, a DVD drive. At the time of the release of the Dreamcast DVD was a brand new medium and wasn't widely used. Everyone was still into VHS's and god forbid, Laser Disks.
But by the time PS2 came into the scene DVD was the must have tech, especially in Japan where all the technology trends tend to begin. The PS2 could play DVD's and it was actually cheaper than a normal DVD player. DVD shops in Japan actually started selling PS2's! So anyone who was in the market for a DVD player naturally bought a PS2 instead because then you scored a new console as well. 
This is up for debate though if it actually killed the Dreamcast sales. If someone was a gamer and had been for a while they were probably going to stick with their desired brand of choice. There were and still are plenty of Sega fanboys out there. Would they buy a PS2 instead just because it came with a DVD player? Hard to tell unless you have all of the sales records for both the consoles at the same time in the same places. This humble blogger unfortunately does not.
We do know that Sony sure put out a hell of an Ad campaign though. It was the true definition of Hype Machine. You couldn't go anywhere without being assaulted by the weird adverts. You can see one such ad here, beware though, it will truly make you go WTF?

A lot of people argue that Sega not securing EA support was a downfall. While I personally don't think it mattered either way, they surely would of lost some buyers. There are a lot of sport playing gamers out there (its a huge casual gamer market) and EA is the biggest when it comes to sports games. One of their biggest franchies is the Maiden series.
Long story short, EA wanted sports exclusivity and since Sega had just bought Visual Concepts which was a sport making game developer, they said no dice. You can read more here.
Needless to say Sega developed the highly successful NFL 2K1 which outsold Maiden in its first couple of weeks in the market. It successfully marketed its self as the first Football game that supported online play.

One thing the Dreamcast was known for was that piracy on it was amazingly easy. 
All legit games ran on Sega's own GD-ROM disk, but Dreamcast's could also play CD-R's. Anyone could buy cheap blank CD-R's and burn Dreamcast games and they would work! I'm not exactly sure why Sega allowed this but they certainly regretted it. All Dreamcast's made after October 2000 disallowed this to happen, but sadly by then it was pretty much dead.
It was a blessing in disguise though as Indie Developed DC games can be made and sold with CD-R's, which are bigger than GD-ROM's and are obviously way more easy to obtain.

Yes, that's right. Sega may have killed their own creation.
Not purposely though, Dreamcast was a great console and had plenty of potential to go on and do great things. 
But lets face it, there wasn't very much third party support and Sega wasn't known for its fantastic marketing decisions. Saturn was as hard as hell to develop for and Sega pretty much gave up on that, confidence was low in Sega after the 1990’s and they really didn't do much to my knowledge to fix that.
In America it seems that they gave up on the Dreamcast as well. They announced in the March of 2001 that they were discontinuing Dreamcast's, as well as all future Sega hardware. They came an exclusive software company and released all their IP's on other platforms. 
They were quick about it as well, Crazy Taxi got released on the PS2 as soon as June 2001. They released a sequel but the series pretty much died in the ass after that. 
In my opinion other series went down the drain as well. For example have you played any recent Sonic game? Enough said.

I think that they may have been too quick to jump the gun on discontinuing Dreamcast's in America. Dreamcast's kept selling in Japan until 2006! This is big enough proof for me that they should of tried a bit more in keeping the console alive as they could of got five more years out of the white brick. Who knows how far it would of gone. America pretty runs advanced nations when it comes to technology trends, it could of been a long lived global success. 

All we can do now it appreciate it for what it was. An awesome console, yet short lived. 
The game library is small but fairly cheap and there are heaps of classics on it. These include the likes of Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure, Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future, Shenmue and way more.
You can also find the console everywhere. If you're interested in finding one try your local Swap Meets, Garage Sales, Thrift Shops and online sites such as eBay.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nintendo World Championship Grey Cartridge auctions for huge price, no one buys

The incridibly rare NES game, Nintendo World Championship recently went up for sale on eBay with a whopping starting price of $10,000!
Unsurpisingly, it ended at that price as well.
That of course must be asking way too much, even if there was only 90 ever created. This just goes to show that collectors simply aren't willing to pay that much.

The reason why there is only 90 of these little bastards is because they were only ever used for a competition.
Supposedly only about half of these have ever turned up, so that means others have either been thrown away or may spring up in a thrift store or someones garage sale one day. Hopefully some lucky bastard who knows its worth something will pick one up and we'll see more bids, hopefully at lower prices as well.

Here is bit from the eBay sellers description:
1990 Nintendo World Championship Game # 81.  
I am the original owner/recipient of this game. Yes I was a Finalist and one of the very few Female Finalists.. It is in really Good Condition and works.

There were only 90 of these Grey Cartridges made and is considered one of the rarest and most Valuable NES Games specialized game cartridge designed specifically for the contest. Officially, a player has 6 minutes and 21 seconds to play, which is divided up into three minigames. The first minigame of the competition is to collect 50 coins in Super Mario Brothers,The next minigame is a version of Rad Raceer where players must complete a specialized Nintendo World Championship course. The final minigame is Tetris,and this lasts until time expires. Once time does expire, a player's score is totaled using the following formula:
(Super Mario Bros.) + (Rad Racer x 10) + (Tetris x 25) = final score
You can see the bid here although its has finished. You can guarantee that you'll see it up again and it will probably be at a lower bidding price as well. Stay tuned for more on this story.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Welcome to the first ever blog post of Retro Game On!
In this blog I will discuss just about every darn thing that interests me on a retro related level. Be it news, reviews, articles etc I'll post it all here. Of course I would like to post every single day, but I'm not going to lie. I probably won't. A couple of posts a week will be my goal, so please bookmark or subscribe! The RSS subscribe button is directly to your right! Also if you clicked on an ad or two, that also be awesome (hehe). Gotta feed my retro gaming collection somehow.

Now to start off, a bit about me and my current collection.
I live in Perth, Western Australia and currently go to TAFE (which is collage for the rest of the world) doing Digital Media. My goal is to get into the games industry, but anything 3D would also be nice. While I'm on that subject, if you get a chance please check out my development blog at www.breakingintotheindustry.blogspot.com

Now for my collection. I've been gaming for just about all of my life, and it started out in a very pro retro way. When I was about 6 years old I received a small console for the TV that had about 80 retro games built in for Christmas. Considering I didn't get any other games console for a few years this was all I had to play. I blame that for my retro love. It still works to this day and I bust it out every now and again (although I have to use a different AV cable).

In the past couple of weeks I decided to actually start collecting as beforehand I had been feeding my retro urges with emulators. I decided to start with a Sega Dreamcast, I've always wanted one and I couldn't really get any emulators for it to work.

$100 off Ebay. Came with two controllers, a VMU and six games (plus a Dream On demo disk). Pretty good deal if you ask me! The 7th game there, Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000 was separately bought for $5, which is about all it should be worth. More of that in a separate blog post though!

Out of the other consoles I own I would consider two others to be retro. A PS1 and a Game Boy Color, although I play my PS1 games on either my PS2 or PS3 (long story short when I was younger I pulled apart my PS1 because I was bored, I of course now regret this). Here are my PS1 games:

Here is my Game Boy Color, which is a limited edition Pokemon one. Still got the box and all the original inserts as well.

Also here are my GBC games:
That's all for now. Please check back or subscribe for more posts in the near future!