Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Video: The Continuing Story of E.T the Extra-Terrestrial on the Atari 2600

Today we take a look at this interesting piece of gaming history, that helped with the crash of '83 and investigate subsequent urban myths about being buried in the desert.
This isn't really a review as such, as we'll be looking deeper into how this game came to be and all the drama that happened afterwards.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Shenmue II

Previously I posted about the original Shenmue, so I guess it's apt to post that I bought the sequel. Did I pay $80 for it this time though? Hell no! I'm no longer a dweeb... I'm more of a fiend these days more than anything.
It's amazing how it's always the least conspicuous places that have the most fantastic finds. This was bought from an op-shop that I'd only been to two times before (one time in pyjama pants, fun day), which is weird in a way considering how close it is to me. All the op-shops and pawn stores close to me have been picked clean by yours truly over my three year collecting career, so it's weird that I hardly go to this shop.

It's an independent like all great op-shops, so the prices are lower than onions. I bought Shenmue II on Xbox, including the DVD and the instruction manual for $3. I also bought a few others for the same price (which I'll get to in a minute) but hot damn, what a bargain. This is a game I've seriously been contemplating buying from eBay for a while now, just because I wanted to play it so much. I'm not a huge fan of buying games on eBay as long as op-shops still keep stocking them, but I very nearly did. It's been a couple of years since I played the original, so the want has been building. It isn't that expensive online, ranging from $20 to $30, but it feels like a victory none the less.

I would of very much liked the sequel on Dreamcast since that's what I played the original on (of course), but hey, I'm not complaining. I have the game now. I've even set my Xbox up in my bedroom hooked up to my widescreen away from the games room so I can accomplish the complete lazing around in my underwear experience this game deserves. It's a big game after all, the type you play until three in the morning.
I've been squeezing in about five hours a week so far, which is a lot less than it deserves, but unfortunately life has to continue smoothly no matter how great a game is. So far, I'm up to Kowloon so I am getting there, although I'm a bit afraid of finishing it. This game famously never had a third title, and the game has been left in limbo ever since. I guess once I do though, I can start being angry about it like the rest of the internet.

While I'm talking about games I've bought, I mind as well talk about games I've bought. And yes, I know; that last sentence is amazing writing on my behalf.
This is all I've claimed since the last time I touched on the topic:

Both those Xbox games were bought from the same op-shop, both three dollars each also. Red Dead Revolver has been a game I've been after for a while in particular too since I've sunk so much of my life into Red Dead Redemption.
The rest is a mixed bag; there are a few games that I bought just because they looked amazingly shit but a few actually look great.
Shit games are great, I've bought so many recently that it's almost getting embarrassing to look at my collection in general. I don't care though, they're fun to make videos about. Those nuggets of turd include Truck Racing on the PSone ($3) and Hot Wheel Extreme Racing also on the PSone ($5) which has alarmingly good graphics and sound design. Although Truck Racing is a whole different ball game; the menus look like they were made in Power Point.
Soviet Strike and V-Rally both on PSone were particularly awesome acquisitions since I didn't pay a penny for those, my awesome as shit girlfriend bought me those while out and about. Not only are they great games, they feel even greater because they're free. She paid five dollars each for those.
I paid more than usual for Syphon Filter 2 coming in at $10 but it was there, complete, and I just couldn't resist. I've been feeling like that sort of game recently, I played the demo heaps when I was a youngin.
Also in there is Actua Tennis for PSone for $5. I don't know why, but I just really love tennis games; I can't explain it. As a general rule, I dislike sports games quite a lot.
Lastly, I bought the original GTA on PC for $3, because... why not? I do own it on PSone also, but for that price I just couldn't resist.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Find Cheap Retro Games

Retro gaming can be an expensive hobby if you're not careful. The main reasoning for this is because it has become mainstream in recent yearswhich is both good and bad.
I don't want to come out as a Hipster twat or anything (too late?) but the bad side is that it makes the demand for the product go up. Since retro games aren't manufactured anymore, the demand is going up but the amount of product out there is staying the same. This is making the prices go up, which is understandable, but lame for us collectors at the same time. It's great that it's getting more recognition now than it ever was, which is the good since it deserves to be more appreciated but it does sting the wallet.

But hey, don't cry. There are ways around this, which I've figured out over three years of collecting.
I'm by no means a pro or anything, but I've done this long enough to know where to look, and damn it, it works for me. Hopefully it will work for you too.

Op Shops
Otherwise known as thrift stores. You know, the ones Macklemore told you to go to? I never really went to these until recently, which was a big mistake on my behalf as op shops are the motherflipping boss.
You see, these are not always going to have stock, that's one thing I've figured out. Many times I've gone into one, and come out empty handed except for a $4 wooden South Park poster.

True Story
When they do have stock though, the prices are excellent. Not to discredit the fine volunteers of op shops or anything, but most are old woman who don't have a single clue about gaming. They're in the same generation that consider games "toys for kids", which I usually hate, but since they're of that opinion they price them quite cheaply. Most items are under $5, no matter what it is.
When it comes to games that are in CD or DVD cases too, they're usually just lumped in with the actual CD's and DVD's, which are mostly priced at a flat rate. The only downside is that you have to hunt through copies of Hanson's Greatest Hits and the complete season third season of Neighbours on DVD, but some weirdo's like me find that fun.
I also recommend checking out the board game sections, as big boxed PC games tend to end up there. Sometimes, they're lumped in with actual kids toys too if the employee thinks they're just for kids like I was explaining before. The other day I was in a Salvation Army and next to some McDonald's Happy Meal toys was a PSone for $13 that had a copy of Rugrats inside, and a SNES racing game for $3.
It a pays to look, is all I'm saying.

Swap Meets
Otherwise known as Flee Markets, these are the places of choice if you want to pick up some 1980's romance novels or pot plants, but people sell their old games too.
Sadly, with the invention of the internet and then smart phones with 3G/4G access there are a lot of sellers who base they're pricing off eBay. This is the sort of thing we want to avoid really, but it does (again) pay to look. Every now and again you'll hit a jackpot, whether it's someone who just wants to get rid of their 'junk' no matter what or clueless mothers clearing out their attic, there are bargains to be found.
I haven't been to many as of late, but recently I scored a $5 copy of Grim Fandango which I was quite proud of.

Garage Sales
These are where people sell their old possessions in their yard, so quite like swap meets although you have to hunt these out more.
Again, these can be hit and miss since a lot of people check their prices online these days, but it's always worth a look. You never know, the seller might be willing to haggle.

Pawn Shops
Pawn stores are a double edged sword. On one hand, they always have good stock, but on another these were the guys who pioneered online price checking. Again, these guys might be willing to haggle but it depends on the circumstance. Usually if you buy a few items they'll be willing to bundle them for a better deal.
Like all retail environments though, they have sales and constantly change the price of their stock. If something sits there for a while, they may bring down the price to clear it out. There are a few places I always check out, and it seems the prices change every visit.

Dedicated Retro Stores
This may not apply to everyone since these aren't everywhere, but there are stores out there who's sole purpose is to sell retro video games. Of course it can vary from store to store, but these places are always very competitively priced , with the staff being highly knowledgeable. Since they deal in the business of games too, usually the consoles are on hand so the games will be tested. These places may charge more, but unlike pawn stores it's always very much worth it.

Craigslist Sorta Websites
These are basically online swap meets, the digital version of the classified section of a newspaper. These can vary depending on where you are; Craigslist is the big one in America but in Australia Gumtree is more popular. This can be a mindfield to navigate as I've talked about plenty of times before, but the deals are there. You just have to find them.
The best luck I've found was with game lots, people will sell a bulk lot of games for a discount as opposed to selling them individually. Sure they may make more with individual listings, but luckily for us most people are lazy.
Some of my best scores include a $20 Mega Drive and a $10 Atari ST.

Emulating is where (using software) the games can be played on the computer, and are downloaded from the internet. This is the cheapest option, as it's obviously free to do so. It is a legal grey area however, since you're technically pirating copyrighted material, and you're not playing on real hardware so it isn't really the same.
However, if don't mind the risk of being sued and don't actually want to collect and pay money but just want to play the games, emulation is a great road to take.
Be warned though, emulators don't always display the game properly and playing console games with a keyboard and mouse is balls. You can however buy adapters that let you plug real controllers in via USB. These can be found on eBay usually.

Officially Emulated
The other option is to buy the official ports, which while more honest also usually guarantees a better experience. This is because since it's the real deal, the controller mapping has been redone making them quite easy to pick up and play.
These can be purchased from the PSN, the XBLA, the Wii's shop (which can be used on the 3DS also) as well as online stores such as Steam or GOG.
There are also retail versions of collections floating around such as the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on the PS3, which I reviewed not too long ago.

When they are Cheap
This is just sort of a general thing, but worth noting none the less. After a console is discontinued, but before it's generally considered 'retro', the pricing of the hardware and the games are ridiculously cheap. This is during a time when no one cares about them, so it's the best time to pick up some fantastic games at some even better prices. Just check out one of my most recent posts about my collection and check out the PS2 section. Most of the games I've picked up in the last year and a lot which were under three or four dollars. The same thing is happening with the original Xbox too.
With the Xbox One and the PS4 just being released, expect the prices for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 to plummet more than they already have in recent years. At the moment it's not out of the ordinary to find them under $20 each, and they're not even discontinued yet.

Video: Pilotwings 64 for N64 Review

It's been a while since I've done a N64 review, so I guess it's just about time. Today we take a look at this interesting launch game, Pilotwings 64.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Photos of the Games Room 04/07/2014

I was rearranging my games collection the other day as it was getting a bit messy, and I decided to take photos of them as I went.
I still can't believe how many PS2 games I now have compared to a year ago. Seriously. Shit.


Since this photo has been taken, I've acquired Red Dead Revolver,Conker: Live & Reloaded and Shenmue 2 (yay!).


PS2 Continued (see!):



Game Gear:

SNES/Super Famicom:


Mega Drive: (also add Golden Axe, as I left that in my MD and forgot to add it to the photo.)


Atari 2600:


Game Boy:


And lastly, my huge Atari ST collection:

Everything all neatly organised... for now:

Video: Golden Axe for Mega Drive/Genesis Review

Today we take a look at this awesome arcade beat em' up! The first beat em' up I've reviewed, actually.