Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

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.