Retro Gaming Refashioning Japanese Style

Care to use Twitter on your Game Boy? Perhaps you would rather use Microsoft’s Office applications on Nintendo’s little coloured beast? I know, you want to Skype your friend with vintage equipment!

Ah yes, welcome to good use of retro gaming gear Japanese style! You got to hand it to the Japanese, they know how to refashion old equipment and make you notice it. I wish I was this clever. Now hand me those SNES headphones and scroll through these epic pics!

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source: matome.naver.jp

Weird and Retro presents: The Retro Roadshow at PAX Aus 2014

WaR_Retro_RoadshowLookout Antiques Roadshow, Weird and Retro is coming at ya with their even cooler Retro Roadshow at PAX Aus 2014!

Don’t worry about bringing your grandmother’s ‘Torquay Fake’ porcelain deer to this roadshow, Weird and Retro want you to bring along and showcase your rarest or weirdest items from your retro (and not so retro) video games collection!

Pack your weird or rare items and bring them along to show them off at the Retro Roadshow at PAX Aus on November 2nd 2014 at 12:30pm in the Kookaburra Theatre. See you there!

 

Interview With Chris Wolfe: Cosplay Creator Extraordinaire

CW_HdrI have said this numerous times, but I will say it again, you meet great people on social media, and Chris Wolfe is no exception. Recently, we were chatting to Chris on our Facebook page and learned that he was into cosplay and was also going to attend PAX Aus 2014! After we saw a few of Chris’ jaw-dropping creations, we knew we would have to corner the creator extraordinaire and put him in the interview hotseat. So here we go!

AUSRETROGAMER [ARG]: Hey Chris, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Chris Wolfe [CW]: My name is Chris Wolfe and I am from Combustible Props. I work full time in IT and spend my free time in the workshop building props. As you can imagine, I don’t get out very often. I have worked on a heap of theatre productions and a few low budget movies (‘Theatre of the dead‘ was the stand-out) and do a few custom commissions as time permits.

ARG: So how did you get into cosplay?
CW: Believe it or not I haven’t officially cosplayed at a convention as yet! Some small things around the place but I am mostly kitted out for making things for cosplayers who want to commission small to medium scale items. I should start at how I started prop building: A long time ago… I came across a guy named Harrison Krix (you may know him as Volpin Props) making a portal gun and was pretty stunned at what he was able to achieve with his own skill set. I figured I would give it a go as I felt I had the same skills; I grew up in a house with a carpenter and sculptor. The real reason? I wanted an Aliens Pulse rifle (laughs)! At that point you couldn’t import them due to Australian Customs restrictions. Long story short, I have continued to build items and have branched out to a small number of commissions, and as an extension of this, found that I would love to showcase things I make but doing it in person at the conventions.

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ARG: What is it about cosplay that draws you to it?
CW: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For me, I think if I have been moved personally by a movie/game/TV show and I kind of want to be able to continue that feeling. Or maybe it’s even paying respect to a certain character I like. It’s hard to say for sure, but as so many people love it, it’s not surprising I’m getting into it.

ARG: What inspires you when making a new cosplay/costume?
CW: It has to be something that made a big impression on me personally and it has to have a large mechanical aspect. For example, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like power armour of all sorts so if I were to make something like an Iron Man costume, I would sit down and watch the movies and add anything with stomping robots, Pacific Rim, certain anime, you name it. I have to add Edge of Tomorrow to this list as well. People either love or hate Tom Cruise, but those who refuse to watch the movie due to him, are losing out on something amazing! Power armour, guns, aliens!

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ARG: Do you make your costumes or buy them or a combination of both?
CW: I can and do make pretty much everything for a costume except the sewing part. Well I can join material together but it’s generally not sewing when you use hot glue (chuckles). I can machine sew ‘almost straight’ lines but making a pattern and sewing it together neatly is beyond me unfortunately. So if there is a good pre-made base to buy, I will go with that option. Alternatively, I know a few good seamstresses that I can commission to make something custom.

ARG: How much effort goes into creating cosplay costumes? Could you walk us through the process?
CW: With props and costumes I start by collecting as many reference images as I can. These can be in-game screenshots, artwork, film grabs or anything that shows the detail of the build. Once I have an idea of the detail level, I can gauge the build from there. For example, If it’s for a commission, the effort and quality stem from the client’s budget. If the item is for myself then I generally work on it to a point I am almost happy with it. If it’s a base for a cast, then I spend countless hours preparing it to be cast as the mold picks up *every* detail, like scratches and dings you may have missed.

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ARG: Do you have a favourite theme, style, or characters when creating cosplay(s) costumes?
CW: I have always liked the post apocalyptic themes along the lines of Fallout 3. I guess after I played the game I fell in love with the 50s retro post apocalyptic environment. It might be in the same way as you imagine/plan what you would do when the zombies arrive.

ARG: What costumes are you working on at the moment and for which event?
CW: I am actively working on a fully 3D printed Star Citizen civilian space suit, helmet and main weapon. For later, I have a Fallout 3 Vault Dweller (hopefully with a working pipboy) and a Hardsuit from the old anime Bubblegum Crisis 2032 (this one is going to be interesting!).

CW_3DARG: You mentioned to us that you will be at PAX Aus 2014 – are you attending as an exhibitor or as general cosplay?
CW: Hell yeah! However I will only be there on the Friday wandering around in cosplay, so come say hi to the guy in the red space suit! Maybe next time I’ll be there for the full 3 days or with a vendor/exhibitor stall. CIG, the designers of Star Citizen will be around the entire convention, and they are releasing the FPS module on the Saturday at an external event to PAX Aus – so I will be there as well (hopefully in full costume again). I would love to get the Star Citizen rifle signed by Chris Roberts and the crew!

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ARG: Finally, where can our readers go to see more of your work?
CW: I post most of my updates to my Facebook page and I can also be reached on Twitter. I also have my blog for entire build projects, but that is seldom updated. Oh yeah, I also post images of my work on Flickr.

ARG: Thank you very much for taking time out of your day and answering our interview questions. 
CW: Thank you too. I’m always happy to answer questions.

As we turn down the heat on the interview hotseat, we allow Chris to disembark and get on with his awesome creations. As you will agree, Chris has an amazing talent and we look forward to seeing many more of his great creations!

 

Retro Gaming: Every Single Game Boy Start Screen Ever

GameBoy_titleIf you have 162 minutes to burn, you may wanna settle back and watch every single Game Boy start screen ever. Yes, you read that right, EVERY SINGLE GAME BOY START SCREEN EVER!

I am a masochist, so I will kill almost three hours of my day to watch this. Enjoy!


source: NicksplosionFX

PAX Aus 2014: The Classic Gaming Schedule

PAXAus2014_schedule_titleThose great people at PAX Aus 2014 have finalised the schedule of tournaments, panels and quiz shows. If you would like to view the entire schedule, head on over here.

For those that are keen to know when and where the retro gaming tournaments and panels will be on, look below and lock in the times and dates in your diary!

Classic Gaming Tournaments
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Classic Gaming Panels
RetroGaming_Panelsimage source: PAX Aus

From Retro Gaming Cat Scratchers To Arcade Belt Buckles

Who said cats don’t retro game? Based on these video gaming inspired cat scratchers from If Industries, it is quite clear that felines enjoy some old school Atari and Nintendo action! Um, need I say more? Of course not! Scratch away baby!

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Don’t worry, those people at If Industries haven’t forgotten about you either. You can now hold up your pants in style with these awesome arcade belt buckles. They even light up! So, are you a 25c or a 50c kind of arcade gamer?

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source: if Industries

Celebrating the Atari Lynx

Atari_Lynx_piles_of_gamesIt may have started life on a napkin back in 1986, but it wasn’t officially released to the gaming public as the world’s first 16-bit colour handheld till October 1989 (Ed: the Atari Lynx was officially released on September 1 1989, but it wasn’t available for retail till October of that year). The Epyx Handy, which would eventually become the Atari Lynx, celebrates a significant milestone – it’s another year older and it is still kicking nostalgic goals!

The Atari Lynx may have been decimated in market share by the Game Boy juggernaut, but it’s place in history is undeniable. It didn’t bask in the same glory as Nintendo’s little pocket rocket, let’s face it, no other handhelds did, but with 16-bit colour graphics, support for hardware scaling, great arcade conversions and the ability to link up with friends, the Lynx was still a force to be reckoned with. With two system variants, the Lynx provided many hours of fun – as long as you were stocked to the teeth with AA batteries.

We wrote about the Lynx’s history (Ed: you can read that here), which in typical Atari fashion was quite colourful, with lots of twists and turns. This feature celebrates everything about the mighty 16-bit colour handheld – its hardware revisions, its awesomest games and some very interesting facts.

The Lynx was truly ahead of its time. Long live the Atari Lynx!

Hardware Comparison:
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Game Cards – Curled vs Flat:

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Awesomest Atari Lynx Games:
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Interesting Atari Lynx Facts:

  • It was initially going to be the Atari Portable Entertainment System. But once it was pointed out that the acronym would be APES, the name change was swift;
  • The Lynx was christened many names before Atari settled with the name we now know and love – it went from being the Epyx Handy, APES, Nuclear Toaster to finally, the Lynx;
  • The model name was chosen due to the system’s ability to link up with multiple machines. It wasn’t in reference to the big cat of the same name;
  • It was the first home system to support hardware scaling, just like After Burner and Pit Fighter in the arcades;
  • Mikey was the first sound chip in any console to provide specialist sampled sound support on all four channels;
  • Game cards could store up to a maximum of two megabytes;
  • The 8-bit CPU was paired with a 16-bit math co-processor – this took a lot of the cycle load off the CPU and allowed the Lynx to provide super fast game play;
  • It was the first colour LCD with a 16-bit graphics chip (Suzy) – providing 4,096 colours to choose from with a maximum of 16 per scanline.