My games room – wide angle style.

December 26, 2012

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Collections by type…

December 23, 2012

In a slightly different strategy to taking random pictures of odds and ends of my collection, I’ve decided to put together some shots which depict an entire section of my current hoard (e.g. all my SNES games or all my Commodore stuff).  Below I’ve got pictures of my entire Sega Saturn games collection, SNES game collection, NES boxed collection (I have a stack more carts sans boxes) and Commodore goodies (including C64, C64C, C128 and C128D). Enjoy!

So many great 2D fighting titles in this bunch

So many great 2D fighting titles in this bunch

Childhood goodness abounds

Childhood goodness abounds

A small but growing NES boxed collection

A small but growing NES boxed collection

Terranigma, Mega Man X, Zelda and many other great boxed games in this lot

Terranigma, Mega Man X, Zelda and many other great boxed games in this lot

Updated collection pictures

November 18, 2012

Just took a fresh round of photos to add to the collection page here, so if you’ve got a few spare minutes, head in and check them out :). As usual, as soon as I looked over the pictures I realised I’d left plenty of things out, but these will have to do. One day I’ll be clever enough to get a comprehensive gallery in here of everything I own.

Collector Spotlight #3: Emma from Melbourne, Victoria.

September 24, 2012

In the third installment of my look at fellow retro collectors and their shiny and diverse hoarding (er – I mean collections), I spoke with Emma from Melbourne to find out about her prized possessions, how she got into collecting game related stuff, and where it’s all headed. Enjoy!

First things first; Who are you? And where are you from?

Emma, Melbourne.

 What gaming systems did you grow up with?

When I was 6 my sister got a SNES with Super Mario world and my I loved it. Luckily I was able to play it all the time because I didn’t get my own console until I was 10, which was the Nintendo 64. I also had an original Gameboy.

 Describe your collection? What’s the focus? Where are you aiming to end up with it? When did you get started?

My collection is really focused on what I have played thought out my life and what I missed out on. I have gradually expanded to other systems and games as I have learnt more about collecting and other systems. But I don’t think I will expand beyond what was released in Australia.

 I started collecting 6 years ago when I finally purchased a gamecube and twilight princess. After that I wanted to re-play ocarina of time and an assortment of 64 games which I loved when I was young. I then decided to expand to other consoles I missed growing up but had wanted to play.

Eventually, I want the entire PAL-A 64 collection, every Zelda game on all systems and every post NES system boxed. Mostly I want to end up with an amazing collection, which is special to me.

 Why did you start collecting? A general love of gaming? Re-living youth?

I started 4 years ago. First I just wanted to have a small, modest but varied assortment of game goods. I had this fantasy as a 10 year old of an entire book case of 64 games, I really wanted to achieve that early on. I ended up really getting into gaming culture and history, which I had enjoyed as a child to. I can talk for hours about the Sega vs Nintendo saga; I just find that stuff interesting.  At first re-living my youth was my motivation, but inevitably I ran out material and was kind of disappointed by some games so now it’s a general love that keeps me going.

 Do you actively play / use your collection, or are you happy just to admire the shiny stuff sitting on the shelf?

It really depends on the item.  Some items are just interesting collectors pieces, like my Gameboy collection I have every Gameboy system but I only ever use the SP because it’s better, and play’s all the other systems games. I have a few sealed things too, which are just shiny things never to be opened J

 Would you ever sell your collection, or is it with you for life?

I may eventually sell parts of it that I never use but the stuff I originally collected is with me forever.

 What’s your single most prized piece?

Although it’s not particularly valuable, my Jungle green 64. I use it for all my 64 needs and I have always wanted one. Collection wise, it’s my Nintendo Magazine System collection. I have spent the better part of 4 years trying to get every issue. It’s been a lot of effort.

What’s the most you’ve spent on a single item so far? Go on, be honest – no-one is looking I promise.

Hmm, I usually buy bundled Items; I did spend $850 for a bundle from Adelaide and drove there from Melbourne to get it. Single item, would be a boxed Zelda Gameboy Advance SP for $120.

 What’s something you’re lusting after that you don’t have yet, and why?

A Panasonic Q, I can’t justify spending $500 on one item O_O

 How complete do you consider your collection?

I have a lot of items $0-$100 in value with a few pricey pieces in the mix. It’s those really expensive bits that take a long time to collect. I really don’t think it will ever be ‘complete’ even if I had every 64 title, I would still need to resell some and get boxed copies. After that I’d just move on to SNES.

Got any advice for people wanting to start a retro game collection? Where should they start? How should they start?

I found it easier to start with what I knew. As you go along you learn more about prices and items. Take it slow and really consider if you want complete copies of things or not, otherwise you will have to rebuy stuff. I usually buy in bulk that way I can resell the items I don’t need to buy more stuff that I want. Start with what you want to play the most, ebay is usually the easiest option, that’s where 90% of my stuff comes from.

And of course – no spotlight is complete without the juicy, juicy pictures. Feast your sense upon Emma’s assorted gaming goodies!….

Sega Saturn: Digital Pinball – Last Gladiators

September 23, 2012

Got a Sega Saturn? Fancy Pinball? Then you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of Digital Pinball – Last Gladiators from publisher Kaze. Combining a thumping rock soundtrack with some awesome table designs, Last Gladiators captures the same sort of magic I felt playing Pinball Dreams/Fantasies on the Amiga. Each table (there are 4 in total) is suitably unique and contains all kinds of bonuses and specials. To keep you entertained and in the zone, the music hypes up and voice samples play every time you unlock a particular feature or something new lights up.

Here’s a photo of the game case as well as the always handy Sega Satellite region free cart we used to run this JAP release on our PAL Saturn.

  The choice of tables is limited, but each one is great fun to play. My personal fave is Warlock, which features some interesting Werewolf themed specials and bonuses.

In-game shots (admittedly via the incredibly shoddy Saturn RF signal) of the Warlock table


Last Gladiators has that key feature that a pinball game needs – it knows how to induce a frantic feel, this is no leisurely Sunday stroll, this is crazy action as you flip the ball all over the place, juggling score multipliers and trying desperately to light up the last letter of a massive points bonus. I’m suitably impressed and glad to find this gem among a random selection of JAP imports.  If you get the chance, pick it up and let me know what you think.


Sega Saturn: Street Fighter Alpha

August 20, 2012

Street Fighter Alpha for the Sega Saturn arrived today, and after a few minutes play I can safely say it’s redeemed the Saturn as a 2D fighting platform in my eyes. Prior to owning SF Alpha, the only other 2D fighters I’ve played on the Saturn are the slightly weird Golden Axe Duel, and the infinitely weirder Battle Monsters.

Neither impressed me greatly (although Golden Axe Duel is a pretty nifty concept).

Street Fighter however is one of my most beloved franchises, never failing to elicit memories of a misspent youth playing Street Fighter 2 on the SNES at the local video store (we’re talking VHS era here) so I had high hopes for Alpha on the Saturn, and wasn’t disappointed. Graphics – from big bold sprites to colourful backgrounds – are well catered for on the Saturn, and the characters move with a fluidity that is a requirement of any good fighting game. The only let down in the look and feel department (which is a product of the game more than the console) is that the fight locations are a bit drab when compared to some of the other Street Fighter games.

In terms of ]game play, Street Fighter Alpha on the Saturn is absolutely filled to the brim with exciting characters, whopping combos and screen-exploding super moves, all accompanied by some solid sound and music.  To top off the experience, the Saturn control pad is a 6 button powerhouse, destined to be used to beat an opponent into submission with a variety of kicks, punches and grappling goodness.

Yeah, I’m a little excited. And why not? Street Fighter Alpha has proven – to me at least – that the Saturn is a capable 2D fighting platform that holds its own against other SF friendly consoles like the SNES, Dreamcast and Panasonic 3DO.  If you have a Saturn and a penchant for fighting games, you could do a lot worse than seeking out a copy of Street Fighter Alpha.

Bylines from a bygone era

April 27, 2012

Retro Gamer is a fantastic magainze, because it offers retro gaming lovers like myself a chance to get a current, freshly circulated magazine filled to the brim with opinions, news and features about the games and machines we love from days gone by.  The writers do a bang-up job of hunting down the ex-employees of <insert defunct 8/16-bit game studio here> or waxing lyrical about a blockbuster title from when the Intellivision was the newest kid on the block.

But it’s not exactly the same as reading a gaming magazine from the 80s or 90s. For that, you’ve got to dust off, well, a magazine from the 80s or 90s. Luckily I have a box filled with them, so tonight I decided to drag them all out and have a flick through the pages of these  colorful time capsules of video game goodness.  It’s a treat, really.

Oh sure, Retro gamer will put out an amazing feature about the Mega Man franchise and how it rose to fame and glory on every console, but it’s almost too easy to write about retro gaming because you’re afforded a wealth of history and irrefutable opinion to back up anything you say.  You can comfortably talk about the amazing titles and the woeful flops because it’s all there on the record, written about by hundreds of people before you.

It’s something else to read a fresh review – well, fresh back then – of Mortal Kombat II, or the impending arrival of the Sega Saturn.  There’s an excitement surrounding these pieces that can’t be replicated by any nostalgic look back through time. Every game and console accessory is new and sexy, while gaming journalist are rife with speculation and conjecture as they examine  some Nintendo oddity or handheld wonder-contraption. If you dig your old games, the only way to really immerse yourself in the vibe of the times is to hunt down as many old mags as possible and start reading.  It’s a journey into gaming legend that’s far more satisfying than I can put into words here.

So do yourself a favour, and be on the lookout for old copies of CU Amiga, SEGA Megazone, ZZap 64 – whatever you can find. It’s worth it, trust me.  If you’re lucky – like me – you’ll even come across some publications that still have crisp, awesome posters inside featuring all your beloved retro gaming franchises.  I’ve just found a kickarse Mortal Kombat II poster inside an old issue of SEGA Megazone that’s just begging to be put up on the wall.

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