Retro Power: Issue 4
Greetings once again, true believers. This month we’re writing to you from the far side of the galaxy, somewhere close to the Delta Quadrant. There may have been some interference with our communications, and as such we have not received any reader submitted answers to our question of the month. We realize that the process for submitting answers has been a bit cumbersome in the past, and that is changing. From here on out we will be using a Google Form to take answers. What this means for you is that you may now submit an answer more quickly. The link to the form will be at the end of the article, and we’ll be tweeting it out periodically. Of course it’s still ok to email in your answers, or to leave them in the comment section. We’d really like to keep this a community-oriented project, and cannot do that without you.
-Alex and Valerie
Jonathan Hallée had good fortune on his last gaming hunt! He says you can see the 1 More Castle influence.
Chris Swartz wins for finding the most cool stuff.
Convention Story Time…
Once upon a time I (Alex) ventured by myself to a pop culture convention. Ok, I was with my cousin, but my point is I was with no other 1MoreCastle representatives. So I took it upon myself to spread the word about the castle. One of the good people I came across was was none other than Rusty Shackles. I haven’t bothered to ask if that is his real name, or just his artistic name. But after I found out he knew Eric Bailey, and exchanged a few CROSSFIRES with him he showed me his wares. What he does is combine comic book covers with popular video game franchises. If that isn’t cool then I don’t know what is. I ended up with just one poster, but I encourage you to check out his art and purchase a print if you can. You’ll find all of his video game artwork at insertquarterbin.tumblr.com. You can also follow him on twitter @rusty_shackles.
We decided to answer our own discussion question, because why not? Thanks Retro Revenge for sending in the idea!
My love for retro gaming is something that has never had a chance to die. As a matter of fact, it still seems so very odd to me to think of it as “retro” gaming– for me, it’s just what I’ve been doing as I grew up, practically my whole life. I’d feel the same way if you told me Ghostbusters & Lego are retro. Or food! I still like some of the same foods I’ve enjoyed since longer ago than I can remember. But really, with my brother & I each having our own tv in our respective rooms, getting a “new” gaming console was more like a supplement than a replacement, as we’d just put some in my room to make space in his room. By the time my bro moved out of the house, we even had gaming space in the basement! The darkest time in my “retro” gaming story would be when I first moved, from my parents’ place into a tiny apartment across town. I brought only my GameCube & GameBoy Color, & it was tragic. Some good came from that circumstance, though; I married a man with a Xbox 360, which brought me to get on friendly terms with games previously outside of my knowledge & comfort zone. Even the ones I can’t say I enjoyed helped me gain greater perspective of gaming as a whole! -Valerie
There has never been such a thing as retro gaming in my mind. Gaming has always just been gaming. Granted I do tend to gravitate towards the older generations, but that’s probably more due to the fact that I grew up with them. In high school I remember the NES was coming back into style, and by that I mean Hot Topic had NES t-shirts. The concept of a gaming system going ‘out of style’ then regaining popularity seemed as odd to me then as it does now. My love for the NES has never waned. I share many of the same feelings as Valerie about acquiring new consoles. When I got my Super NES, my NES didn’t get tossed. The same with my Nintendo 64, and Gamecube. If anything, a lot of these older consoles still feel fresh because of the breadth of their libraries. It also helps that I have not beaten many games, so there is still much to discover in my gaming journey. – Alex
Alex’s Public Gaming Therapy
I like to think here at 1MoreCastle we are a fairly welcoming group of people. Not only have writers from all different backgrounds, but also allow Sega and Nintendo fanboys to coexist side by side. If that isn’t tolerance, then I am not sure what is. There is however one huge issue that really should not be tolerated. I am of course talking about the disproportional amount of games I own to the amount I have actually played. Let me back up for a second. Nearly every time I visit a store that sells used retro video games, I am more than inclined to buy one or more, especially if they are cheap. I would love to tell you that I have a complex algorithm of being able to find a quality game at a low price, but that is not the case. My method of buying games simply comes from a quick gut reaction to the beauty of the case (or cartridge) mixed with a low price. As mentioned before, I buy many more games than I play, let alone review, so I thought I would begin ameliorating the situation by publicly logging my first encounters with a few recent pickups.
I recently visited a Half Price Books with fellow Retro Power partner in crime, Valerie. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I have an innate desire to spend money, and am a sucker for cheap retro games. I ended up with three games. I could not have asked for either a better selection of games, or a more diverse one. They were all the same price; I had never played any of them, yet each was slightly nostalgic. Needless to say the playing field for playing these games is quite even. I should add that while I will be logging my experiences with each game, I am not reviewing them by any means. So without further ado, let’s begin my public gaming therapy.
Frogger for PS1:
No matter how many times I start writing about this game it always ends up sounding like a review. Out of the three games I bought at Half Price Books, this was the one I have played the most so far. It’s more or less a 3D update to the arcade title of the same name. The goal is deceptively simple; get all of the baby frogs in each level while dodging traffic, bees, and whatever else. While it does get challenging, it is also easy to pick up and play this game in bite-sized portions. I can easily say I will be playing this the most out of the three I bought.
Monopoly Star Wars for Windows PC:
Monopoly Star Wars, as you may have guessed, is a Star Wars themed Monopoly game. And yes it is called Monopoly Star Wars, not the other way around. I don’t know why, either. I was rather pleased that the game installed on my Windows 7 partition without a hitch. I also rather enjoyed the use of the Star Wars license, although at times it seemed a bit far fetched. For example, the dice don’t just get rolled, they get shot by the Millennium Falcon or electrocuted by the Emperor. While they are amusing to watch, I can imagine they would get tiresome to watch for an entire game. Since I didn’t have a second player, I didn’t even bother finishing the game. I know this game would be fun to play again, just not by myself.
Sim Life for Windows PC:
I’m quite the sucker for any game with ‘Sim’ in the title, so when I saw Sim Life for two dollars I had to get it. Not even the fact that the game came on two 3.5 inch floppies could deter me. I do love physical media, after all. What did prevent me from initially enjoying the game though was a faulty disk 2.
Determined, I took to the Internet to seek out a solution to my problem. Eventually I came across a completely legitimate website with a free download of the game. It was not just a straight dump of the disk contents. Instead it was a modified version that works with modern Windows systems, and requires no installation. Once I got the game started I could tell that it had quite the steep learning curve. After all, the tutorial went so far as to tell the player what icons to click. I don’t have enough time to really get into this game at this point in my life. I will say though that the idea of being able to make new species of plants and animals intrigues me heavily.
I’ll revisit this game someday, but in the meantime I’m happy with playing something else. Also I had every intention of sending in this registration card, but due to the recent closing of Maxis that won’t be happening.
Thanks for reading this issue of Retro Power! Be sure to send in pictures of your gaming haul and/or retro game inspired artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org. And we would love to hear your voice in this month’s discussion question! Simply click here to leave an answer. If you submit your answer by March 27th, it will be sure to be in the next issue.
This month’s reader question is:
“When did you rediscover your love for retro gaming, or did that passion never die?”