Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Is $4 Too Much For An Xbox Game?

My PS2 collection is getting absolutely ridiculous.
A year ago the then 20 or so PS2 games sat in a neat little row. They shared a section of the bookcase next to my consoles with all my handheld games. Everything was sunshine, happiness and pearls.
Fast forward twelve months and it's all developed into chaos; my PS2 collection has more than doubled to 48 games. All the handheld games (which have in their own right grown in size) have been moved to a different section of the bookcase that use to be full of, you know, books.
The only other platform that squeezes into that section of games are from the original Xbox. My rational for that is because they're from the same generation, and the game cases are the same size. It's all a bit in vane though, my Xbox collection only consists of six titles.

The reason for that? The price difference. I've mentioned the subject a few times on this blog before but PS2 games are laughably cheap right now. I don't know if it has to do with the PS3 dropping in price or the release of the PS4 placing the humble PS2 now two generations behind, but it's not out of the ordinary to pay $2 or $3 per game, even a single dollar if it's a shitty sports game.
This has boomed that collection, but the prices of the Xbox are not consistent at all. I've actually been having a really hard time finding them decently priced, with most places charging $7 or $8 per title.
Yesterday I was in a pawn shop and all Xbox games were $4 each, which is better but still made me groan a bit. This is the absolute best of the best at the moment, why aren't they the same price as the PS2 games? They are in the same generation after all.

It would appear the root of the problem simply comes from availability. The PS2 was both released before and discontinued after the Xbox. The Xbox sold over 24 million units, which is nothing to poke a stick at, but it's nothing but dwarfed by the PS2 sales figure, over 155 million. And no, that is not a typo. One hundred and fifty five million for all you cheque writers out there.
My mouth actually dropped a little when I read that, and I think a fly flew in. I knew it was the best selling console of all time, but shit, that just blows my mind a wee-little bit.

No shit there is no more PS2 games out there and at better prices, the reason they're cheap is because there is so damn many of them.
Is $4 too much for an Xbox game? Some might argue that's too much for any retro game, and sometimes I agree, but next time I'm out hunting for Xbox, I know for one that I will be considering the prices a little bit more.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Video: Barnstorming for the Atari 2600 Review

Fresh of the presses! Today we take a look at Activision's wacky arcade game, Barnstorming.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Video: RC Revenge for PSone Review

It's been a while since I've uploaded a PSone review, so let's get into it. Today we take a look at RC Revenge, developed and released by Acclaim Entertainment in 2000.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Could A Game REALLY Be That Bad?

Last night I had a dream that I went op-shopping, so of course the first thing I did today after class was go op-shopping. I went to a few thrift stores too, but they were mostly shite.
I had a good run with cheap PSone games mostly, with an overpriced N64 cartridge thrown in for good measure.

The first stop was a Salvo's and that's where I bought the game the title is referring too. Go on, guess as to what it is. Hint: It's the one that most likely smells like baby vomit. A double game pack of the Tweenies: Game Time and Bob the Builder: Can We Fix It?
Why would I buy such a thing you hesitantly ask? Well, I don't really have a solid reason. For one though, it was $3. Two, I'm probably going to have a killer-time reviewing both (hell, I might even create two separate reviews). The sad fact is, I just know they're going to be bad. A good kids game is as rare as a pigeon that looks like it's from a Pixar film and is about to explode.

I took this photo this morning, and honestly, I just can't stop laughing.
Both are developed by the BBC too, which is a bit worrying. Don't get me wrong, I love BBC television shows and their unbiased news reporting, but I just don't see them being a fantastic game developer.
Too add on to that, I remember in an issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine years ago where they punished the Tweenies game by letting a toddler destroy it, which I can't say is a good sign. Excellent piece though, maybe one day it will become a Retro Scan.

From the same Salvo's I also bought Speed Freaks for PSone too. This was also $3, and while I don't know too much about it, I have heard a few good things and it's developed by FunCom, who also developed Winter Gold on the SNES. At $3 it was an easy choice.

From there I went to a Anglicare WA Op Shop, which was devoid of gaming related items but I did pick up Need for Speed: High Stakes on the PSone also for $3. It is a platinum case (and one that's falling apart at that) but it was complete with manual, which the two other games were missing. I own a million Need for Speed games, so it was a fairly easy choice. One thing that did grab me though is the Holden HSV on the front case, which I've always believed to be an Australian only car. I could be wrong in that claim, but I'm too lazy to look it up because that car is primarily driven by rev-head dickheads. Whether pricks drive it is beside the case though, it's cool there is an Australian car on there none the less.

Lastly I bought Bomber Man 64 for the N64. This cost more than all the PSone games combined at $10, but it was from a thrift store so what can you do? I played the arcade version of Bomber Man a lot on this thing when I was a kid, so paying the ten smackeroo's wasn't so bad.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Retro Scan: Pac-Man Atari 2600 Manual

The internet is a marvellous thing; making archiving incredibly easy. I’d like to do my part today and show you the whole scanned English section of the manual for Pac-Man, on the Atari 2600.
It's no matter that it’s a terrible game and an unfaithful port to one of gaming’s hugest IP’s; these things deserve to be saved digitally just in case. You never know what could happen: a great flood, a great earthquake, a great fire? Something else equally great? (Not great as in great great, but huge).
I think I'm wondering off the designated path though, into a forest of snakes and bears. Let’s quit this small talk and explore this manual.

The first thing that strikes your eyeballs is that this manual is in full colour. Glorious, glorious colour. At least six of them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a second and take note of of the copyright notice. This manual was printed in 1981, and it's in god-damn'd colour. The most recent new-gen game I've purchased was Assassins Creed IV, which includes a manual in black and white. What the shit, Ubisoft?   

It starts off in a very sensible manner, laying out what the game is about and how to play. It also mentions the fact that you can play this in the comfort of your home, honing your skills to the extreme so you can impress all your dorky friends in the arcade. Considering how terrible this port is, I don't think it would of done you any good. I'm not going to even bother making a joke, it's just plain misleading. Someone please call the ACCC. 

On the next page it talks specifically about the ghosts, and hints at their deviant musical lifestyles. It also talks about the controller, which is quite a small paragraph considering how simple it is. 

On the next page it tells you how to select different game modes using the console controls. I love how old consoles actually have some controls built into the actual unit its self. It makes the experience way more interactive.
There is nothing really else to talk about here, it's all practical information. Moving on... 

On these pages it continues to talk about the game variations, but also prints some helpful hints. Hints that no doubt, will help you kick ass and take names in the arcade while Eye of the Tiger blares in the background.

From there everything is repeated in several other languages leading to this back page. Here you will see that copyright notice, and also a very bold and proud notice proclaiming: "PRINTED IN U.S.A". I find that quite interesting, as most of that type of work comes out of China these days. I guess that's the beauty of looking into one of these booklets; they're basically time-capsules of a different time and place.
And now thanks to my cheap HP printer/scanner/copier combo, the whole world can look back and talk about how shit this game was for generations to come, while also appreciating the manual. God speed.