Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Retro Game On's Newest Member: The Atari 2600 Jr

You know what Retro Game On is lacking? Corporate sponsorship, hurr, just joking, I'm talking about 8 bit consoles! Yes, before that the only 8 bit representation were my Famicoms. Those don't get as much credit as they deserve either since I only have two games, but it mostly comes down to the fact that I can't figure out the tuning for them on my television. Even when it was tuned into my old TV, it had no sound and the picture was incredibly grainy. That's a Japanese console in Australia for ya, I guess.
I did buy an Atari 2600 nearly two years ago, but that turned out to be a dud. I think I know how to fix it, but in all honesty I've had no time to try, in-between Sega Game Gears. Since I had all the necessary cables, controllers and even a few games from the last one, it occurred to me that I should just buy the console without anything for a discount. Atari's are hellishly expensive online, so I've been putting it off for a while.

I came across this console on eBay for $30, which is plainly unheard of for an advertised working console. I know at that price that something must be wrong with it, but the seller had a 100% feedback rating over 2000 and something sales. I know 2000 is pretty small fry for an eBay shop, but that's still 2000 happy customers no matter how you look at it. I'm always into helping the smaller fish, and they were Australian too which seasoned the deal for me.

The games I have so far are Pole Position, Asteroids, Missile Command and Outlaw. I bought these all for $5 each on the sole basis that they were cheap. Well, cheap for the shop I found them in anyway. I don't know if that is a rational reason for purchasing them, but I did it non the less. After that I bought that broken console and it just went from there. Refer to those links above if you're interested in that particular story.

Since I just got it, I haven't had a chance to play those games I've had for two years, and I suck at them very muchly. It's sad to say since I consider myself a retro gamer, but I just haven't worked my head around that Atari 2600 joystick after years of buttons and dual sticks. I have all the time in the world now to learn though (well, until I die anyway) and I plan to get good.
Either way, my suckiness was a good excuse to create this short video with my friend after one, or, er, nine beers. We thought it was pretty funny at the time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Video: Repairing A Dreamcast that Randomly Restarts

You asked for it. Well, you didn't, but lets just presume you did. What? Please? Maybe pretend you're presuming? For me? Okay.
In a detailed post not too long ago, I wrote about how to repair a randomly repairing Dreamcast. Not content with the quality of most other tutorial videos out there, I stated I would create my own. So, here that is, I suppose. Enjoy.

Awesome Stuffs

Yesterday, two awesome things happened. On the very low end, I bought two great games for less than the price of a Happy Meal. That's great, and is a good start. But with both of those games, there were both physically and nostalgically extra awesome aspects. Lets inspect those now.
For starters, I bought The Getaway on PS2 for $1.

One dollar for this game is absolutely fantastic just by its self, even if it is a damned Platinum edition. What really got me though, and really turned out to be the bee's knees when it revealed its self was what I found when I opened it up:

The sequel, Black Monday was also in the case! Not only did I get a fantastic game for a dollar, I also got it's sibling. What a bargain! I never say bargain, especially with an exclamation mark!
It also came with both instruction manuals and a poster for Black Monday. It's like the gift that just kept on giving, all for a dollar. That same day, I was at McDonald's and bought a small chips. That also cost me a dollar. For the price of some greasy fried bits of potato, I got all this! I just can't contain my excitement and my exclamation marks!

My second find was just as great in its own way, which is why nostalgically is the only way I could think of describing it. You see, when I was a young boy (about 8), all I had to game on was a Game Boy Colour, a console I still own and love to this day. I didn't own very many games for it, but one I did was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I played this intensely, which is not a dramatic way of explaining it. I lived and breathed that game for months. That is why I'm very pleased to have picked up this for $5:

The sequel, which is the unintentional theme for this blog post. 
I first saw it in a thrift store a couple of weeks ago, and found it amusing. Later on I regretted not buying it though, as the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to play it. Luckily, I seem to be the only one who buys games from the local thrift stores which I visit, so it was still there when I went in yesterday.
Five dollars and it was mine, plus the instruction manual, which was a nice touch. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Video: Quake 2 Review for N64

I'm running out of things to write every time I post a video, except for the fact that this is the first video to use my new lighting. Other than that, you'll just have to be lured in by the mysterious 'Quick Announcements' note added into the title. Hmm yes, how very mysterious indeed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Updates to the Film Set: New Lighting

Heh, film set. What a funny way to say it. It may not be up to a Hollywood's or even a top-grade YouTube personalties standard, but it's getting there. You may have read before, if you were paying attention, that my lighting set-up was if anything, ghetto. It was definitely better than no lighting at all, but I was winging it. It consisted of a Target bought floor lamp, and a reading lamp on a bookshelf, both pointing at me from left and right directions as I recorded my videos. It was basic for sure, but it got the job done even if the lighting consistency was off and the colour balance was something to be desired.

I don't know if it was me reaching 150 subscribers on YouTube, or me putting off servicing my car for another paycheck, but last week I decided to take the plunge and purchase some proper lighting. I'm really glad I did too.
For one, it's not all that expensive. $70 bought me a kit that comprises of two stands, two globe holders, two globes and two softboxes.
The image quality improvement is immediately apparent, like some wizard has done something... wizard-like. The lighting is now way more consistent, the colour balance becomes awesome and now because of the softboxes I don't have to stare into those damn bulbs, which burn the shit out of my retinas.
The best part is how much brighter they are. Before I would have to have an ISO of about about 1600 on my DSLR set to make the lighting watchable, but with the new lighting only has to be around 200. This means that the picture is way less grainer, and more natural looking.

The only issues I have so far is that after one day, one of the bulbs blew. Not a mayor issues since the seller said that they would send me a replacement gratis, but now I have to wait for that to arrive for my next video review. No way in hell can I go back to my old ways now.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Repairing a SEGA Dreamcast that Randomly Restarts

Update 20/12/13:
I've since created a video tutorial on this subject. To watch that, check it out embedded on the bottom of this page.

I hadn't given my ye ole faithful Dreamcast a spin as of late, so the other day I decided to take it for a drive. What happened there after scared the bejesus out of me; it kept randomly restarting as I was trying to play it.
From there I panicked, I love that stupid beige cube. It can't die on me, I'm emotionally attached to it since it was the start of my retro collection that we know today.

As it happens though, I have a belief. This is the belief that there is no such thing as a dead console. This belief isn't strictly religious, but I stand by it thoroughly. All it took was a few Google searches to find out that it's fortunately an easy fix. Basically, the contacts that connect the PSU to the rest of the system are prone to getting dirty, which of course can sever the connection every now and again, causing the whole system to restart.
I watched a few YouTube videos and picked up the general gist of how you're suppose to undertake such a repair. One such video that I found useful was this one, right here. That video is quite well made, but majority are just awful. So awful in fact, that I've been inspired to create my own in the very near future. I pride myself on my production values, and I'll create something that wasn't filmed on a potato.  

Until then though, I created a photo diary of sorts of me fixing my Dreamcast this afternoon. I must stress that this isn't really a tutorial, but just me following another tutorial. Having said that however, you may find it useful non the less.
Since this is sort of a tutorial though, I have to state that you follow this at your own risk, and that I'm not responsible for any negligence on your own behalf. It should go without saying really, but that's the nature of this shitty world. Some ass-hats will sue others over anything.

Right'o, lets get down to business.
First off, the tools you'll need. The list is quite a small one as the repair is easy. All are shown in the photo below, which includes a standard Philips head screwdriver, a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol (over 70% if you can). I also did the whole thing on a tableclothe as to not scratch the Dreamcast or my totally expensive desk from Officeworks (hint: that's sarcasm. Officeworks is awesome).

From there you want to make sure there is no game inside (durr) and then remove the modem. There is a screw under the modem, and another three spaced around the bottom of the console. Remove them all.
After that, turn the console around and remove the top case. It's a little easier if you first pop open the disk bay too.

Once it's off, you have to remove the PSU (pictured below). There is a plug at the top that needs to be removed (don't be too aggressive with it, it comes out fairly easily) and two screws. All that's holding it in from there is a clip, and it should slide right on out. If you're having trouble and are scared of breaking something, refer to the video I link beforehand.

The PSU slides right off some pins, which are usually the dirty culprit.
I splashed some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, and then scrubbed it thoroughly on both sides. In some videos peeps have used steel wool, but paper towels worked for me.

After a bit of housecleaning, my Dreamcast seems to be a-okay. I played it for about 20 minutes without any problems, while before I couldn't even get past the Dreamcast splash screen.
I can't believe how easy this fix has been, and hopefully it will help you too. May the Dreamcast live on.


Video: Let's Take a Look At: Abe's Oddysee on the PS Vita

In this new type of video we're trialling, we take a look at retro ports on modern devices. We kick-start the segment with Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee on the PS Vita.
Tell us what you think, yo!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

HUGE PS2 Collection Boost

Look at that photo, look at it finely. Notice how in the title, 'huge' is spelt in capitals? That's because it was huge. Quite literally, huge.
All the games stacked horizontally are from my latest catch, while all the vertically stacked ones were from my prior collection. I just about doubled the amount of PS2 games I own, all for $50 too.
How I came into possession of this whole collection is a cool story in its self. Basically, I posted a status to Facebook. Instead of explaining what I said though, I mind as well just write it here:
"Hey, you! Yes, you there!
Do you like gaming? Have you liked gaming for a long time? Have lots of old games you don't want any more, but want to send them to a loving home? I'm your man. I'll buy them off you for a reasonable price and give them the love and respect they deserve.
As most of you know by now, I run a website and YouTube channel about retro gaming, and I'm always after affordable, awesome games to review and post about on my website. I'm NOT the type of person who will resell these at overinflated prices on eBay. I'm a collector by heart, and will take care of them and treat them well for many years to come. In fact, I've only ever sold one game in my life, and that was to [name subtracted]. A long time ago too, I love to hoard."
I received numerous messages from Facebook friends offering me to buy their games, and this was the first lot off a guy a went to high school with. Facebook may be a data mining, advert ridden, whinge-fest hole, but by damn, does it have its uses. It's even home to a page for this blog! Check it out here for updates on this blog and my YouTube channel.
Hehehe, I'll stop plugging myself now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Video: Spyro the Dragon for PSone Review

It's been three whole videos since I've done a review! Three! God damn vlogs!
Fear not though, my lovelys, as I present to you today, Spyro the Dragon. This fantastic game is on the PSone of course, and was actually something I failed to play during my childhood. I played the bejesus out of Year of the Dragon instead, because that's just what I happened to have. It wasn't that long ago that I came across the original though, so it was time for a review. Enjoy.

Also, side note; I have a new type of video in the works. I won't reveal too much now as it's still in its infant stages, but hopefully I should have an episode out by next week. Notice how 'hopefully' is in italics? That's because it's not a sure thing. Stay tuned though, I promise it will be way more entertaining and original than vlogs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Updates to the Games Room: Part 2

I just enjoy writing about rooms so much that I've decided to write another post about my games room, or more importantly changes I've made since my last post. In the last post (there was also an out of synch vlog) I detailed some things I wanted to change immediately, and for once I actually did those things immediately

First off was getting the AV switching system up to scratch. Not only didn't I have enough ports before to easily switch between all my consoles, but nothing was labelled. This led to mass confusion and hysteria as I tried to smoothly switch between my consoles as all damn composite cables look the same.
This was remedied by buying an extra AV switcher, and writing what each port corresponds to on that writey-sticky tapey stuff.
It's amazing how such a low cost solution (edit: no cost solution) can transform and simplify the whole situation. It's not the prettiest however, but I don't own a proper labeller, and I don't plan on buying one just for this.
It's not the end of my woes however, as my Super Famicom still misses out on a switch and there is no growing room. For now though, I can easily just use the SNES's cable when need be because they share the same connection.

The coolest change though, and comfiest is this beanbag!
A bean bag has been on the back of my mind for a while now, pretty much since I received my SNES. SNES's and other consoles of that era are great, but the lengths of the controllers are always so damn short. A beanbag means I can sit on the floor, but not really sit on the floor. It's great!
I've found I'm using it for other consoles too, even ones with long enough cord to reach the couch. It's just that comfy, and nothing beats leaning back in it with a beer after a shitty day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Video: Retro Game On Vlog #2: Games Room Tour 2013

Yes. Another vlog. Not to worry though, this one should be more interesting than me out and about buying a Mega Drive. Having said that though, no one actually complained about the first vlog. Maybe it's all in my head, maybe I'm being too harsh on myself and should embrace the vlog. Love the vlog and the vlog will love you back, that's what my Gramps always use to say.

In this vlog, I give you a totally interesting and insightful tour of my games room. We take a look at the general layout, plus all the consoles and the games. If you make it all the way to the end, give it a thumbs up and I promise to give you one back.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fun & Games with the SEGA Mega Drive

This blog has been outputting a lot of SEGA lovin' recently. The last two videos were SEGA related with a mini-doco called The Utterly Depressing Downfall of the SEGA Dreamcast released on Wednesday (hopefully the title should be descriptive enough for you) and a spontaneous vlog which I released last week detailing my exploits of picking up a ridiculously cheap Mega Drive.

A lot of people seem to hate the concepts of vlogs so if you don't want to watch it, I'll cut to the chase. It was quite cheap because it came with no cables, games or controllers whatsoever. It was listed as working and I've had good experience with the seller before, so I jumped for it.

I already have a controller (which I bought to test my Atari 2600 Jr. many moons ago) and I could use the coax to RCA cable which I use for my Atari ST. In the vlog I bought some cheap test games, so all I was missing was a power cable. Which was really, the most necessary part to test it.
I was hoping I would have some sort of universal adapter which would work laying around, but sadly SEGA seemed to be having a laugh when they designed it meaning I had to buy one on eBay.

Finally it arrived the other day though, and I can happily confirm that the console does indeed work. Not bad for a short drive and $20.
The two test games were fairly standard issue: Columns and Flicky. Columns is basically a Tetris clone, with some twists, while Flicky is an arcade game where you play this bird saving your chicks from house cats. Also I should note, some of those chicks are fearing Ray-Bans... so yeah.

Playing through RCA is not too bad, but it's a bit grainy and the colours are noticeable a bit fainter than they should ideally be, so I have a composite cable coming in the mail. Also, my shitty eBay USB capturing device doesn't agree with coax, even when it's plugged through a VCR, so hopefully when the cable arrives I can capture footage and hopefully get some reviews out. Otherwise, everyone is totally aloud to buy me a Elgato Game Capture HD for Christmas.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Video: The Utterly Depressing Downfall of the SEGA Dreamcast

As promised, here is a 'normal' video. Well, sorta. It's not filmed with my Galaxy S III for one, and not made up as I go along. It's not a review like a usual release though, but in fact a mini-doco on the downfall of the SEGA Dreamcast; a subject I've written about numerous times before.
I'm not really sure if mini-doco is the right way to explain it, but it's a video, talking about a subject for 10 minutes. So who knows, or in that case, cares? I don't. Hopefully you're indifferent too.

I'm quite happy with some of the effects and animations I've included in this video, and it's probably the video with the most effort I've put in yet. Towards the end of production I had a mammoth 5 hour long editing session. Only the best for my fans.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Changes to the Game Room: October 2013

It's been a while since I switched up the Games Room a bit.
It was becoming sort of necessary after some recent additions. Hmmm, I just said that like I just added a few kids to my family. Well, I guess they are my children in a way, they're my babies.
Creepiness aside, yesterday I travelled to the Swedish mini-city, Ikea, and bought a cheap bookcase.
The key was to find something that was deep enough and sturdy enough to support a CRT TV and a whole heap of consoles.  As well as salmon wraps and cheap Swedish chocolate, I picked up the case in the above photo for $115. Not bad since each shelf is capable of holding 30kg, more than enough for my needs.

It's great getting all the consoles off the floor finally, after many failed attempts at trying to build my own shelf. I'm not even willing to link those posts now, it's all a bit too embarrassing.    

The next change was ridiculously simple, but a fantastic idea.

If the photo is a bit too overwhelming for you to figure out what's going on, I've sorted all my controllers into sandwich bags. Now they will no longer get tangled with each other, as well being protected from dust, water and Nazi's (probably).
I copied the idea off a post on Racketboy, where Racketboy himself published a post about his own games room.

The next upgrade will be another AV selector-box. The current one I have is fine, but there is not enough outlets. This TV has two sets of composite ports, so I'll plug another box into the second set.
From there I'm also considering a beanbag. The couch is fairly far away from the TV, which is fine for the most part, but not ideal for the consoles with short leads like the SNES. Basically, I'm sick of sitting on the floor.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Video: Vlog #1: Buying a SEGA Mega Drive

For this video I'm trying something different; a vlog of my exploits picking up a Sega Mega Drive. It's a test video really, so I'm keen to know what you think.
If you hate it, that's fine. A normal video will be coming out hopefully in the next week.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


So it's Sunday evening, you're chilling, relaxing, it ain't so taxing. You open up this blog post to pursue what's happening in the world of Retro Game On. You see I bought an Atari game for my Atari ST, and it's called T-Bird. "What's a T-Bird?", you wonder. Well:
"Introducing the latest in personal transportation.
The Foourd T-Bird (r). Capable of 0-600 in 5.6 seconds and with a maximum speed of 1346mph, it is equipped with the new and revolutionary ABS (Automatic Braking System), Megagettoblast In Car Entertainment centre (500 watts per channel) and the ultimate in Anti Traffic Warden bolt-on-weaponry - Excerpt from the Foourd T-Bird Brochure."
That's cool, you may think. But what's the in-depth storyline behind this game? Does it by any chance involve drama?
"So there you were, pulling up outside your local Foourd dealer in your clapped out Laader 1000L complete with free flowing air intakes, (rust!), for a test drive. However, after taking a wrong turn, you find yourself in the middle of the local alien communities. And they are not happy about you being there!!! You must fight off the alien attacks against you using only your skill and agility (and the bolt-on-weaponry sent to you courtesy of Foourd)"
Oh. Racial undertones aside, they actually wrote up a ditty for this game. Both of those quotes were on the back of the case. Maybe a bit over the top, but they get top marks for imagination.
This game of course, is my first test game for my Atari ST. It cost me something like $3.33 on Ebay, and it's worth nearly all of those cents. It's basically a Space Harrier clone, but nowhere near as good.
Sometimes I can shoot, sometimes I can't. I can always move though. I dunno if this has to do with my Atari joystick which I also bought off Ebay recently, but either way it proves that the disk drive in the Atari ST does indeed work, which is what I was mostly worried about.

It came complete in a jewel case and a booklet advertising other cheap games (only 4.99 pounds!). The disk was also wrapped in bubble-wrap, which was a nice touch.
All in all it's nice to see that the Atari ST does fully work, which makes me feel even more proud I picked it up for a tenner. Too bad this game is a bit shite, but it's better than some other test games I've bought in the past. It has nothing to do with economics for one.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saturn+ Magazine (Issue One) Gumtree Pickup

Gumtree has been receiving a lot of loving from me recently, ranging from an Atari ST to Game Gear games.
I'm really starting to find a use for this website, while I spent so long resenting it for its usual inflated prices. I found that if I search it a couple of times a week, it's easier than one may think to find that diamond in a puddle. I think me not having a drivers licence for so long hampered my interest as well. Usually Gumtree'rs don't post their items, so it's really an imperative that you can drive out to whatever bumfuck nowhere suburb the seller lives in.

Luckily for this pickup, the seller wasn't actually that far away which is always a bonus considering how far the Perth suburbs sprawl out. It's the first ever issue of the ill-fated English Sega Saturn magazine, Saturn+.
Considering only five issues were ever published and that I'm in the completely wrong continent of where it was printed, I guess you could say that it's rare. I mean, it isn't Nintendo World Championship rare, but it was rare enough that I couldn't find an auction on Ebay for it.
This rarity set me back $10, which is cheaper than most large KFC meals. The condition is quite good too, the guy who sold it to me has kept it in good knick, keeping it in a sandwich bag to make sure it's extra crispy at lunch time. He also said that he bought it himself on release, so I'm only the second owner of this magazine.  

I haven't read through the entire magazine yet, but there are some interesting tidbits to note. For example, every time the Nintendo 64 is mentioned, it's refereed to as the Ultra 64, which is of course its original name before it was released.
I also like how much I'm learning about the Sega Saturn. To be honest, the Saturn isn't a console I know a whole heap about, as my Sega fun-time rests with the Dreamcast and the Game Gear. The fact that this is the first issue means that they explain a lot of base-standard information about the console, as it was probably assumed that people who were interested in buying the console would buy the magazine to learn about it first. You have to keep in mind that this was released late 1995, before you could easily just Google it. The internet was a much simpler place back then.

Besides from the information blast though, this magazine will be great for my Retro Scan section, which hasn't seen any new magazines added to it for a long time.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Vanamo Online Game Museum, for all your Vanamo Online Gaming Museum Needs

Evan Amos is living the dream, and I'm incredibly jealous.
In a potential win for the internet and the retro gaming community alike, Amos has just started a very compelling Kickstarter. In his Kickstarter, Amos is attempting to raise $8500 to buy console hardware (old and new) to archive it for people from the future (in the future).
Amos is a photographer, and a lot of the high quality free to use images you see on Wikipedia are his own doing. He wants to one-up himself though using that money to increase his collection, and take more free, juicy photos so broke bloggers like me don't have to worry about copyright. He also wants to compile it in a way so there is plenty of information accompanying the photos.
Here is a small ditty of what he has to say:
"The goal of this Kickstarter is to improve the quality of images and information about video game systems one finds on the internet. The funds will go toward building a physical archive and collection of hardware that, in turn, becomes an online gallery of high quality pictures - a virtual museum."

 Personally, I'm quite jealous I didn't think of this first. I'm into photography... and games. Pls give me money for the greater good of retro gaming information on the internet.... anyone?

Ah well, I guess I'll just have to make do. This is an excellent idea in my opinion. As of writing it still has 24 days to go and he's already raised over $1500, so colour me impressed. At that rate he'll make the pledge for sure. Check it out here.

[Kickstarter via Kotaku]

Friday, October 4, 2013

Video: Road Rash for PSone Review

Fun fact: this video took about a week to play, script, film and edit. It's comforting to know that I'm getting quicker at producing these videos.

You may remember that back in December of last year, I released a Quicky Review for Gradius III. This was all created in a day, but more a first impressions than an actual review. I know that it's probably obvious by now, but I'm not going to try that format again. What I'm creating now may take longer, but I feel the quality is a lot better. Quality over quantity is the key here, it's not like I have any major sponsors or shareholders to please.

No matter how big it gets, Retro Game On will always stay independent. I just don't see the point of joining a network like so many video creators do, on a website such as YouTube. It's called YouTube for a reason, you broadcast yourself. Believe it or not, I've already been asked by a network to join them.
I just don't see the point though. I join, and then what? They take a slice of my non-existent ad revenue? What comes after that? The loosening of my creative control? Nope. For the foreseeable future, Retro Game On will stay a one man show, and if it ever does increase, that one man will still own it all.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Cheap, Healthy Boost to the Good 'Ole PSone Collection

This morning I found myself in a bit of a rare situation. I had to drop someone off fairly early in the morning (and by early, I mean a ball-busting 9:30am), which ended in myself being in one of the main commercial districts of the eastern suburbs. I had no commitments at that point in time, and the whole day ahead of me. So what did I do of course? You guessed it: retro hunting.
I went to a number of places, a lot more than usual. That Mega Drive was still $130, sadly. But I'm hoping it will go down in price by quite a bit soon. A simple man such as myself can dream.
Ironically enough, all the extra places I went to were pretty ordinary. The games I picked up today were from my usual haunts. Always worth a look though anyway, you'll never know what you'll find.
The first decent catch today was the original Spyro the Dragon. Four dollars. I was a keen player of Year of the Dragon back in the day, and I'm the sort of person who will discredit Skylanders in front of little kids. I guess I'm just getting old, but what they've done to this fine series is atrocious. Hell, I don't think it's even been that good since the early PS2 releases. What a sad world we live in.

Moving onto another store, I picked up WRC Arcade and RC Revenge for $3 each. Three. Dollars. Each. Those are PS2 prices, fella's.
RC Revenge, to be honest, seems kinda crap. WRC Arcade on the other hand, has already won me over just after five minutes of play. Why, you ask?

Two things stand out in this image.
One: I essentially get to play as the Retromobile. The Retromobile is a red 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer. What I'm playing as there, is red a Lancer Evo, presumable the 2002 model because that's when the game came out.
Two: I'm racing in my fricken home city. See the purple sign? That says "Perth, Western Australia" which is where I was born and raised (on the playground was where I spent most of my days). It's a track based off the old Telstra Rally Australia circuit, and something I use to go and watch myself when I was a kid. Sadly, it's not around any more because fun isn't aloud in Perth. Either way though, it was a nice surprise to see my home town in a PSone game.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last Ever PS2 Game is Released Today

Today is the day, an event 13 years in the making. Throughout the year 2000, the Sony PlayStation 2 was released to great fanfare all over the world. 155 million units later, the last ever game was released today. The milestone game is of course, a generic sports game. FIFA14 may not be the most exciting game around, but the fact there is something being released this late in the consoles life cycle, is amazing non the less.

Funnily enough, the last ever game released on the PSone was FIFA Football 2005, in the October of 2004. That was roughly 10 years after its release, so it's impressive that the PS2 has powered on for those extra couple of years. It makes you think how long the PS3 will last considering we're so close to the release of the PS4. Hopefully the humble PS3's last game won't be FIFA2020-WE-NEVER-CHANGE-THE-GAME-LOL-THAT-WILL-BE-ANOTHER-$80-THANKS.

So I guess all this means we won't be able to classify the PS2 as retro yet. I haven't seen a brand new PS2 for sale for a couple of years though now, and I have no idea where you would buy its version of FIFA14. All I can say is that it's close now, as it will be two generations behind soon. Either way, now is the time to collect PS2 games. They cost peanuts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Video: How to Replace the Capacitors in Your Sega Game Gear

How's the Sega Game Gear situation going? Well, I could type it for you, but today I have a special treat instead. Instead of you having to read it, I've nicely put it all into a video for you. Hell, you might even learn something. That's a two for one deal! You're welcome.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Retro Scan: Retro Gamer - Issue Three

What is this? A retro scan of a retro scan? Part of me wants to say retroception, but that joke would just be lame.
Let's just call it as it is; madness.
This retro scan is out of the 1985 Advertising Gallery section of the magazine, which it basically their retro scan section. Ack, my cortex.

This page of course comes from the third ever issue of probably the only magazine out there still worth reading, Retro Gamer. This was released way back in 2004, nearly 10 years ago now. I guess it nearly makes it retro in its self. What a mindfizz.

Believe it or not, I actually remember purchasing this magazine. Well, I remember it being purchased for me anyway.
You see, I use to be a Scout. Hard to believe now considering I bet I don't come off as the biggest outdoorsy-type person (besides from my love of camping, which I guess stems from being a Scout all those years ago). Each group of Scouts (Pack? I dunno) had to do fundraising for their group so they could pay for tents, gas lamps, bit of string for sessions of endless knot tying; all the important things to keep on going. One way of doing this was selling raffle tickets at shopping centres.
This, I absolutely hated. I feel very sorry for my father, he literally had to bribe me into selling those bastard pieces of paper, or I would be a whiny little shit about it.

We always did this in-between a Coles and a newsagent. If I didn't complain too much, I received a magazine for my efforts. Since I was only 10 or 11 at the time, this was an excellent deal and one time he bought me this magazine. Suffice to say, I read and reread it a million times over and played the emulated games that came with the disk for hours. I still have that disk to this day, and attribute it a lot for my interest in this hobby today.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flu Induced Gumtree Pickup #2

Honestly, I shouldn't be let anywhere near that website when I'm sick. Usual I'm fairly cool headed and in control of where I spend my money. But as soon as I get a runny nose, sore throat, and a stuffy head, I loose all control and start splashing around money to make me feel better. I also eat lots of junk food too, but lets not talk about that.

I started negotiations for these Sega Game Gear games last Friday, when I was in full swing of the illness. These nine game set me back $70, which isn't all that bad when you think about it. That's $7.77 per game, which is quite fantastic when you consider this is Australia (land of the rip-off when it comes to retro games).
The original price for these select titles would of been around $90, and you could tell that the seller had been comparing eBay prices; most were a couple of dollars under the medium. So, considering I haggled him down another $20 after the prices were already ahead of decent, I feel like this was a worthwhile purchase.

The games are Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mappy, Outrun, Sonic the Hedgehog, Chase HQ, Space Harrier, Pac-Man and The Simpsons: Bart VS. the World.

But Brendan! (you exclaim) You have no working Game Gear! That maybe true, but I have a cunning plan. I was quite sick of the fact that I have no working Game Gear, so I started looking at refurbished consoles on eBay. They're not cheap though, most are over $100.
It was there that I decided that I was going to try and fix one myself, again. Last time my shortcoming was my terrible soldering skills, mixed in with me ruining a solder point by cleaning it too roughly (which was honestly the last thing I expected to brick the console). That was over two years ago though, and my soldering skills have (hopefully) improved and now that I know if there is any muck to clean up, I'll be using q-tips with rubbing alcohol as opposed to a toothbrush.

I still have all the capacitors that I bought for the project the first time around (plus various tools) and I have an untested GG coming in the mail. It's not actually posted as broken, but as we all know, all Game Gears were manufactured with shitty capacitors meaning that if it isn't already broken, it will be soon.

If I do manage to screw this up again, I'll just suck it in and buy a pricey refurbished model. I now own too many Game Gear games to ignore.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flu Induced Gumtree Pickup #1

Gumtree, for those not in the know, is an online classified website that is much like Craigslist. Unlike Craigslist though, Gumtree is quite popular in Australia. I bought the Retromobile through Gumtree, and I always like to browse through it to see if there is anything worth picking up. Up until today though I've never come across anything worthy of my retro appetite, but since I'm home sick (and to be honest, a bit delirious) I thought I would give it a solid chance. 
Good thing I did too, because I picked this up for $10:

That is an Atari 520ST FM, something I've wanted since I was a child. I always use to play the Atari ST emulators, I remember downloading the ROM's on a dial-up connection; good times. It isn't something I thought I would ever come across in the wild though and bids are hard to find locally on eBay. When I do come across them, the postage prices always kills the temptation for me.

The ad for this was pretty blunt, it said something along the lines of "give me a price for this today or it's going down to the tip, sold as is." I sent a text explaining I would give the man $10 to take it off his hands, and we had a deal. It didn't come with any leads, but the power cable is the same sort you'd plug into your computers PSU and it can be tuned into any TV with an RCA to COAX cable. The kicker to it all, is that it actually works. This surprised me quite a bit considering it looks like it's been in a shed for a couple of decades (as well as there being a few missing keys), but who am I to complain?
It probably cost me $10 in fuel to drive to where it was, and I found out today that driving while sick is as fun as stubbing your toe on an Atari 7800. Having said that though, it's totally worth it knowing that I saved it from certain death. The fact that it works almost seems like a bonus.
I have a cheap game and a joystick coming in the mail.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blog Update: 12/09/13

Retro Game On is growing up; it's somewhat broken free of some Blogspot shackles, the URL is now mine!
Before you may have noticed that the URL was www.retrogameon.blogspot.com, but after finding out that retrogameon.com was free I decided to see how much it costs to rent.
Turns out, it costs peanuts. Using the widely recommended Dreamhost (which sounds a lot like Dreamcast, which is humbling) I now have ownership of this URL for 12 months, for the meager sum of something like $12.
I'm quite impressed with that price, and having my own URL makes me feel quite important.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Star Fox for the Super Famicom Video Review

This would have been up earlier, but this was my second attempt at uploading after my computer crashed the first time around (and it NEVER crashes).
Today we look at the classic, Star Fox, for the Super Famicom. So sit back, relax, and just pretend you're in 1993 Japan for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Adventures of the Retromobile and I, Stalking out Thrift Stores

Having a day off these days means one of several things. Either I'm at home all day playing video games, or I'm at home all day reviewing video games. It's a hectic life, and sometimes I need to shake it up a bit. Yesterday for the first time since I've gotten my licence, I fulfilled my dream of going out for a drive just to check out thrift stores. Probably doesn't sound all that exciting to some readers, but before I only went to retro stores of interest when I was already in a place for another reason. Yesterday was a milestone in my books, and I thought I would share it here today.

1# Cash City

It was rainy and just terribly sad looking when I started, but that was no deterrent. I started at Cash City. Usually Cash City is kinda shit; it has a lot but the prices are usually ridiculous. I have had some luck there in the past though, I bought a whole heap of Atari 2600 games there for $5 not too long ago. Sadly they didn't have any actual 2600 consoles though, so I still can't play those games. Maybe that's a good thing though, as it might cost $130.
Sadly, the signed Batman and Robin poster wasn't for sale.  
The prices weren't that bad this time though (besides from the above photo), but most were a bit more than I wanted to spend. I did however, pick up Golf for the Game Boy for $10. Not too bad, for a golf game. Hell, I don't even know why I bought a golf game, but there you have it; now I own one.

#2 Cash Converters

One thing about Perth, as soon as it rains, all the crazy drivers come out of the woodwork. Most of them are old people too. On the way from Cash City to Cash Converters I had two driving incidents. Firstly, I was cut off by some old bloke in a van, who wasn't even nice enough to indicate as he was cutting me off. After nearly ramming into the back of him, I had to slow down on the highway as an old lady was driving down the wrong side of the highway. Good times.
Finally I did make it to Cash Converters alive, and to celebrate Perth's bad driving, I bought this for $4:

After all that, I decided I was hungry and had a pit-stop at McDonalds. I tried that new burger, Son of Mac, and was quite impressed. Try it out while you can!

And yes, I'm the type of person who will go through a drive-thru just to eat it in my car, in the fast food joints carpark. I don't really have a particular reason why I do it, but it always feels weird to go into a McDonlads (or whatever) and just sit there by myself eating. Even more so when I demolish my meal in about 5 minutes flat, it's just not the same as going to a restaurant or a cafe.

3# Cash Generators

Last but not least, I stopped off at Cash Generators (starting to see a theme with thrift store naming?).
Sadly, I didn't buy anything there that day but usually I come out with something, thus making it my favourite thrift store in the area. Most noticeably recently, was a cheap copy of Banjo-Kazooie.

So all in all, not a bad run for a first time. Sometime in the future I'll probably do the same thing but with Op Shops instead.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Friendly, Warm and Enlightening Tour of My "Film Set"

Hello! Welcome! Sit down, make yourself comfortable. Please no, I insist, drink the last beer in my fridge.
Feeling all dinky-dory now? Great. Last post in my reveal of the video review for Top Gear Rally, I promised I'd do a tour of my filming setup. I briefly talked about it in a Facebook post, but since this is my blog and it's where I apparently sometimes write things, I thought I would do some more extensive coverage.

The Tripod
I thought I would start with my tripod, since it's really the most important thing; holding stuff up and all. Important business. Currently I'm using a Manfrotto MKC3-H01, which is nicely priced and sits in the mid-range of quality. I've actually been using it since my first DSLR, so it isn't actually that new. However, I felt no need to upgrade it along with everything else since its purpose doesn't become outdated.
It goes nearly as high as me when fully extended (I'm over 6 feet tall), and is quite the sturdy servant. Thanks tripod, you're the best.

The CameraOriginally I was using a Canon EOS 1100D, which was great for learning the core concepts of manual photography, but was really quite sucky when it came to video. For a start its top quality was only 720p, but the real kicker was the fact that you couldn't control the settings for video; it was all automatic. In my opinion, the 1100D sucked at metering. This was all well and fine when it came to photos, but having no control of the video really pissed me off.
Luckily tax returns are a thing, so this year I was able to afford a new camera: the god-like Canon EOS 7D. As well as improvements all over the board, what really matters for this blog is the fact I can shoot video manually, and in full HD. Not only do I get to learn a new skill, but the video quality is vastly improved.

The LensSince I was buying a new DSLR that was going to be used for video quite a bit, I decided to buy a new lens as well. My primary lens is a 15-55mm, which is great, but the aperture only goes as high as f/3.5. That isn't too bad, but for video you really want it as high as possible. This means more light naturally, as opposed to cranking the ISO which will make the video more grainy.
I decided to go for a fixed 50mm lens which has an aperture of f/1.8. It wasn't too pricey either, being under $150. Not only is the lens great for the lighting, but since it is fixed at 50mm, it does a great job of focusing on me and blurring out the background, which gives the videos a nice professional touch.

The Microphone
The number one complaint in the reviews for the 7D was the inbuilt mic. Now my standard of sound isn't that high, so I didn't think it was too terrible. In fact, I used it for my last review, and all my other reviews have used the inbuilt mic of the camera (although my old, old videos using a point and shoot were pretty piss-poor). Since I was going the full nine for everything else though, I thought I mind as well invest in a mic. Why not? This one didn't cost that much. I bought it from a Chinese Ebay store for $25.
I bet there were a few audiophiles who shuddered as they read that, but keep in mind that when you compare it to the inbuilt mic, it's miles better. One day I might buy an awesome microphone, but considering my viewer base and the amount I release videos, I think this one will do me fine for now.

The Lighting
Obviously I've put a lot of money and learning into technical equipment, but what about the basics? The number one thing I hated about the quality of my videos was the lighting. My bedroom isn't that big, so there is really only one place I can sit and talk to my camera comfortable. Unfortunately, this is right under the rooms light. This meant that an ugly shadow was cast over my face as I was talking, so it was time for an upgrade.
Well, kinda. I haven't actually spent any money on this, just now when I film I have a 3 point lighting setup. I use a floor lamp on my right which usually goes in my gym, and an old desk lamp sits at about the same hight to my left on a bookcase. These evenly light up my face while the normal room light acts as an ambient light source. Watch this video compared to this one to see the major difference. Although next time I'm closing my curtains, as the clouds moving outside kept making the window go dark, and then light over and over.

The Controller
One thing about making these videos, is that it's always a one man show. No one else helps out, so I have to come up with ways to make the process efficient. When I was using my 1100D, I would plug it in via video-out into one of my computer monitors. This way I could see if it was focused properly, while using my remote release to actually control the focus points. It kinda worked, but was a bit of a mess around with cables and I had to actually get up to hit the record button.
With my 7D though, I can actually hook it up to my laptop via USB, and completely control it from there. It came with a program called EOS Utility which includes all the manual controls, plus Live View. I can just have my laptop facing me on my bed, as I control it with a wireless mouse on my lap. I don't even have to get up!

The full shibang (except the mic)
If you've reached this far, thank you for reading. At the moment I'm quite happy with the setup, and I'm having a ball creating the videos. Stay tuned for more of those soon!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Video: Top Gear Rally Review for the N64

Another dollar, another video review? Wait? What?
Last video review, I commented on my goal of reaching two videos a month which was slightly hampered by the fact that my Nintendo AV cable died. I say slightly hampered, because I've actually reached that goal!
For one thing, the videos are getting easier to create as my process of going about them is getting way more streamlined. Secondly, I recently upgraded my camera and bought a new lens, which I was just itching to use for video. I talked about this new set-up in a recent Facebook post, so check that out if you're interested (I'll be doing a post on that here soon as well).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Bought This For No Real Reason

For the hobby? To play? For the collection? These are questions I ask myself every time I buy an item that relates to retro gaming. I am spending my hard earned dollars (and sometimes Euros) you know.
But for this? This is the first time I've bought something and double-take'd the purchase as I was buying it, driving home, cleaning the dirty-ass contacts, testing it and as I type these words right now.
GoldenEye 007 is a great game, don't get me wrong. That isn't what I'm debating about with myself right now though. I should probably give a bit of back-story.

Even though I never owned a N64 during my childhood, the first time I ever played this game was when I was about seven or eight years old. My Dad and I use to rent out a Nintendo 64 from the local Civic Video as well as this game, and since I didn't even have a PSone at that stage, I played it to death in the weekend or week that I had it.
It wasn't the only time we rented out the console either, so I got to play GoldenEye multiple times as well as a few other N64 games. I can't remember which ones exactly that well, except for a distinctly horrifying memory of Superman 64.

From there you would think; "You played it in your childhood, so it's worth it to play again, right?"
Well yeah, except I've played it since. Long before this blog and my collection, I was really into emulators. I would play emulators of all the old consoles I could find. In fact, the reason I bought a Dreamcast (the start of my collection) was because I couldn't find a DC emulator that worked properly.
I was especially into the N64 emulator though, so much so that I bought a cheap Chinese N64 controller knock-off, and an adapter so I could plug it into a USB port on my computer.

It was during this time that I played through the whole of GoldenEye. Considering this was only a few years ago, and I rarely come back to play games so soon, I essentially just bought this game to put on my shelf. I'm not going to play it, not for years anyway. This is exactly the kind of thing I don't want to be doing; buying games just for the sake of it.

Ah well, it's done now. Maybe one day I'll create a video review for it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Video: Banjo Kazooie for the N64 Review

I know that last time, when just under a month ago I posted my video review for Virtua Tennis, I said I wanted to up the game and release two videos a month. Sadly, just as I was in the full swing of capturing footage for this review, my Nintendo AV cable topped its self.
Not wanting to start again on something else while I was still working on this, I waited for the replacement to come. I know that if I got into the full swing of another video, this one just wouldn't get done.

Last night I did finally finish it though, and now it's here for your viewing pleasure. I know it's the best video I've ever made, because I'm wearing a Retro Game On branded shirt.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Retro Scan #8: Forgotten Nintendo Poster

Jeeeez, it's been a while since I've done a retro scan. Probably about time I posted another one, yes? Yes? Okay.

Do I really need to mention that if you click that image, it will become larger? Learn to internet. 

It's amazing the kind of stuff you find while cleaning out garages; be it old toys or that forgotten stash of porno music magazines, there is something for everybody. When it comes to someone like me though, I'm on the hunt for retro goodlyness. I didn't actually find any retro games or hardware (that's all accounted for as far as I know), but I did come across this poster, weirdly enough in a box full of Tazos.

Where it comes from, and how long it's been there remains unknown, but my best guess would be from a magazine or even from a friend as I didn't get a N64 until last year, and I still don't own an original Game Boy (that's what my GBC and SP are for).

Either way it will make a nice addition to my wall, and it's now immortalised on the world wide web forever, or at least until the Google servers melt when the sun explodes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yes, I Actually Paid Money for This

Every time I create a video review, I always try and outdo the previous episodes somehow. Be that by editing, filming or just by general quality, I've set myself a goal to improve every time I make a video.
One way to improve is to basically stalk other retro gaming channels and find out what makes them click. After a while, I figured out what mine was missing; a shirt with my own logo on it.
Seems a bit wanky, I know, but this is the internet. The land of the free; void of hatred, censorship and name-calling. That of course is all sarcasm, but the point is it's the internet... I do what I want. 

From now on I'll wear this shirt in every video I make, whether you like it or not. I dunno how this blogpost turned into a speech about free rights, but whatever. At the end of the day, isn't that the whole point?

Random (and pointless) ranting aside, I bought this shirt from an Australian website called makeyourownshirt.com.au. The interface to integrate your own designs is quite well made, and the prices aren't ridiculous either. I dunno if they ship internationally or not, but at the end of the day there are millions of these sites on the net. I'm sure you can find one that ships locally so you can look wanky in your videos too.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


WOOOAAHHHH-HEYYYY can you believe it? It's been over two years since I started this blog! 100 posts! It really doesn't seem like it was that long ago; 100 posts earlier than this one, I started all these shenanigans. I remember walking all the way down to the post office, which was about a half an hour trek on a bush trail to pick up my Dreamcast. Quite a bit off effort really, but I was determined.
Not much later I joined the Racket Boy forums and noticed people were blogging about this amazing hobby. Since I've had prior blogging experience I decided to give it a crack. I dunno if too many people actually started their blog when they started collecting, but either way it's been a lot of fun documenting my journey so far.

Since one hundred is such a special number and all, I decided to have a little party...

Awww, a muffin! You guys shouldn't have!

 Mmmmm.... fire... delicious. 

Too delicious, it seems.

Mingling and general good times.

After a while the party got a bit out of hard, and the bastards drank all my beer! 

The PS2 and the Dreamcast put their differences a side and took a drunk selfie together. 

Thanks for viewing my blog and watching my videos, guys!