The Neo Geo Song: Music Video

NeoGeoSong_titleJust when you thought you got this song out of your head, I come along and ram it back in there! This is such a feel good song – it is absolutely perfect for the festive season!

Get singing people, “Neo Geo, Neo Geo. Four bright buttons and two joysticks. Neo Geo, Neo Geo. Cool red cab and a name that sticks“! The Neo Geo rulez!


source: Nathan Barnatt

Lyrics: Keith Apicary

Hey Santa, I’ve Been A Good Boy

Dear Santa,

I know you are busy and stuff, but I thought I’d drop you a line and let you know that I’ve been a very good boy this year.

Since I’ve been good, I thought I would send you my Christmas present wishlist. I hope you could put one (or perhaps more) of these gifts under my Christmas tree – I have included some photos to make your job easier. I promise I’ll leave you heaps of biscuits, milk or whatever other food or beverages you and your reindeer prefer – just let me know.

Thanks Santa and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Yours sincerely,

AUSRETROGAMER

Being a big fan of Masters Of The Universe, this would look great on my desk.
Santa_1

Ms. ausretrogamer will like these too.
Santa_2

Who doesn’t love Arnie! I’ll be back!
Santa_3

I want to show some love to my Atari ST.
Santa_12

I’ll break you! That’s what he said, not me!
Santa_4

The future is now! Hand me that almanac.
Santa_5

A bit of footy at Xmas is always great!
Santa_13

This would be great for some Xmas eve viewing.
Santa_6

It says it is the complete edition!
Santa_8

I know I am not a Zelda fan, but this hoodie is cool. Oh yeah, I am a medium!
Santa_9a

I can pretend to be Link. I’d be so boss!
Santa_9b

Any one of these gaming related items would be appreciated. I am not fussy.
Santa_10

What Is Inside A Pinball

pinball_titleMachines and their mechanics have always fascinated me – from the brilliantly clever people that design them, to the bits and pieces that go inside them to make things work. One such machine that has brought lots of joy to this retro gamer, is the faithful pinball table. Pinball tables have a fair few moving parts – from ramps and bumpers, to flippers, flashing lights and thundering sound, so wouldn’t it be wonderful to see how this stuff works?

Taking a peek underneath that glossy colourful playfield and mesmirising backbox has been on my bucket list for a fair while now. Luckily, the awesome folks at Design World round up Jon Riplogle, a world-class pinball player who takes us through both a modern machine and a vintage game designed before there were such things as microprocessors and even before logic ICs (Integrated Circuits) found their way into consumer products.


Source: Design World

Infographic: The Evolution Of Controllers

I must admit, I am a sucker for infographics! I am a visual person and would prefer to see more pictures than words. Don’t get me wrong, a well constructed piece will hold my attention, but I get excited over pictures – the more of them, the merrier. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

You don’t need words to explain what you are looking at below – just click on the infographic and then zoom in and enjoy the visual ride!

game-Controllerssource: Pop Chart Lab

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega

ZX_Spec_Vega_titleAs a Commodore 64 lover, I was in constant feuds with my fellow 8-bit home computer enthusiasts that chose the other brands. Ah, those glorious school-yard arguments. I miss those days.

Hang on, what’s this then? A new Speccy? OH MY GAWD! Even I, a one eyed C64 fan can’t deny the excitement generated by seeing the famous rainbow coloured stripes on a shiny black Sinclair system.

Sir Clive Sinclair and his band of geniuses (Chris Smith, Dr. David Levy and Paul Andrews) at Retro Computers Ltd. are back with a vengeance! They are resurrecting the style of the venerable British-made  ZX Speccy and bringing it into the 21st century as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega!  This time around, instead of the rubber keyboard, the computer is the controller!

Vega_gamesThe crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo has gone gangbusters! The £100,000 goal has already been exceeded and there are still a lot of weeks left! You better get in quick if you want a piece of this new ZX Spectrum Vega kit. This initial run is limited to the first 1,000 backers.

For those of you that want to know more about this little beast; it is powered by an ARM processor and contains flash storage that will have 1,000 Speccy games pre-loaded! Don’t stress though, you can also load your own Spectrum games onto the Vega via an SD card.

What’s there not to love about this? Absolutely nothing – we love everything about it.


source: Retro Computers

8-Bit Mixtape

8bit-mixtape_TITLEI must admit, I prefer my chiptunes to be emitting from the wonderful SID chip inside the C64, but then I get surprised with mixes like this one from Eclectic Method.

If you are a fan of gaming beats and audio effects, your prayers have been answered. Kick back and chill out with this awesome 8-bit mixtape!

Eclectic Method – 8 Bit Mixtape from Eclectic Method on Vimeo.

Blast From The Past: Weapons Of Mass Entertainment

Joystick_TITLEWhat is your weapon (joystick) of choice when playing on your Commodore 64? Do you make your choice based on ergonomics or suitability for a type of game you are playing? Or do you just prefer your joystick to be microswitched? Like everything in life, choosing your joystick comes down to personal taste.

For me, it is a mix of ergonomics and the game I am playing – if it’s a wrist-breaking waggling left to right type of game, then the Quickshot I (yes, the Quickshot!) never lets me down. For everything else, it is Suncom’s Totally Accurate Controller 2, or simply, the TAC-2. I am not a huge fan of microswitched sticks, even though I do find myself using the Competition Pro from time to time.

As we know, the choice of game control weaponry for the Commodore 64 is vast – from the iconic Atari CX-40, to the Wico Command Control joystick and everything in-between. We hit up the Reset staff to tell us about their favourite Commodore 64 joystick:

Kevin Tilley (Uncle K):
While not my favourite joystick of all time (I have since played on better joysticks such as the TAC-2 and Comp Pro), the Quickshot Pro will always remain my sentimental favourite simply because it was the first joystick I ever bought with my own pocket money. I still remember going into K-Mart and seeing it for the first time. It was highly stylised and looked amazing – like it came straight out of a jet fighter cockpit. I can’t remember how much I paid for it but I did use it for a long time, and still have it. The joystick itself had the usual suckers so it attached it to the desk and It was the first joystick I ever owned with an autofire switch – which made me unbeatable in games such as Summer Games II. The joystick had two fire buttons, one for the thumb and the other for your index finger. The Pro didn’t have any buttons on the base. The stick was contoured to fit comfortably in your hand, and was marketed as a premium Quickshot joystick. I even put a ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ warning sticker on it to keep my siblings from touching it. They probably just used it anyway!

Joystick_Cruiser

Vinny Mainolfi:
I always juggle between a Cruiser (black) and a Competition Pro (Black with red buttons). Both are very responsive with their arcade-style feel and movement. The current Cruiser joystick I use is 24 years old and still going strong! The Competition Pro is about 4 years old and purchased from Protovision – a must for any arcade bashing Commodore 64 freak.

Paul Morrison:
You can’t be a great gamer without a great joystick. That’s a fact. You have to have a stick that fits your hand perfectly and comfortably. You have to have a stick that responds instantly to your every move. You have to have a stick that’s robust and reliable – a stick with which you can break records on Activision’s Decathlon and then, once your arm has recovered from the thrashing, is still capable of taking down dreadnoughts in Uridium.
At first, I thought that stick was Kempston’s Competition Pro. With its classic design featuring a black base with a red stick, and big round, red fire buttons, it was a champion stick. Unbelievably, that stick was eventually surpassed by the one and only, Zipstik.

The Zipstik was very, very similar to the Competition Pro. It featured the same black base and microswitched stick which ensured gaming greatness. The difference came in the fire buttons. They were yellow and square and very eye-catching, but unlike the Competition Pro, the Zipstik had microswitched fire buttons too. The click which came with every button press reassured a gamer that the weapon they wielded was still going strong. My Zipstik took everything I could throw at it and never wavered, and it never broke. I tried other joysticks and they were fine as backups for when a brother or friend wanted to play, but the Zipstik was mine and nobody else got to use it. It really was the perfect joystick.

Joystick_ZipStick

Frank Gasking:
No competition really – but for me it has to be the Zipstik. The black joystick with the yellow buttons. Out of all the joysticks i’ve used over the years on the C64, this has to be the most responsive and reliable that i’ve used. However, it was only in recent years that I managed to get hold of one, having previously been using Atari joysticks and a Python one. Before then I had gone through a whole series of unreliable joysticks which broke at the simplest of games and often just randomly. Ever since using a Zipstik, i’ve never been able to use anything else, and was lucky to pick up two more boxed ones in a charity shop a year or so ago. The same one I brought several years ago is still going strong and also gets used a lot on the Atari 2600 and VIC-20 I have set up. A fantastic joystick and worth seeking one out if you don’t have one already.

Rob Caporetto:
Deciding what I’d call my favourite joystick certainly is harder than it once was. For the longest time, I’d say my stick of choice was Atari’s classic CX-40. Lately, it’s the Zipstik which has taken that crown. I wasn’t familiar with it back in the day, but from watching a few retro joystick roundup videos – I was destined to hunt it down as yet another candidate in my quest to find the most suitable stick for my gaming action. When it finally arrived, it was only a brief period of play before realising it didn’t just live up to my expectations, but exceeded them! As a fan of twitch games, the short stick travel means that I can respond quickly and feel I’m in control. The microswitches help with that sense of response, and having an auto fire means that I don’t need to pound those lovely fire-buttons down as much. It’s also armed with a set of suction cups, meaning it’s perfect to stick on the desk (with a second one) and go for a round of Smash TV as well. I don’t know what they’d have retailed for back in the day, but I know that hunting one down was well worth the effort, and has made my C64 playing antics much more enjoyable.

Joystick_Wico

Craig Derbyshire:
Having spent the first 2 years of what I consider to be my gaming life joystick-less – using only the keyboard as controls on my ZX81, any joystick would have been a welcomed addition to my arsenal. It wasn’t until I got my VIC-20 that I would begin to use a joystick for gaming – I remember getting the VIC-20 for Christmas with a few games and I spent the first couple of days playing them with the keyboard as this was what I was accustomed to.
A few days after Christmas I asked my mother if she would take me into town to spend some of my money I got for Christmas. It was while were in our local Dixons that I saw it on display, it wasn’t the usual black and red I was accustomed to seeing but a dull grey and black with a white fire button on top of the handle. It was the Wico Boss joystick and I made the decision there and then to buy it purely because it looked different.
When I got it home I wasn’t disappointed, Gridrunner was the first game I tested it on – it was so liberating. I loved this joystick mainly because it looked different but luckily it was also a very functional joystick. It had a nice sturdy base that was also small enough to fit into my hand, the fire button was responsive and the grip was very ergonomic and left my hands blister-free considering the amount of use it got. This joystick remained my favourite joystick and served me well for several years to come. Many people at the time were using Quickshot joysticks which for some reason I couldn’t get along with – they just felt cheap and unresponsive to me.
It wasn’t until I sold my Amiga 500 several years later that I was sadly separated from my trusty Wico Boss having sold it along with the Amiga. I have just managed to purchase one from America and it should arrive soon, hopefully it is as good as I remember!

Jari Karjalainen:
Having spent my early gaming life destroying a few Quickshot I & II’s, a QuickJoy or two and even a black TAC-2, which was supposed to be one of the sturdiest joysticks of all time, my original 8-bit phase ended with two Competition Pro 5000s. One of them broke down soon after getting into phase two in 1999, and the other one is currently suffering from a bad cable, but otherwise works very nicely. For a proper table-top joystick, I would always choose one of those. However, there is another joystick that I have found to be absolutely the best choice for C64 gaming when precision and speed is required – it is the Wico ErgoStick.
My history with this joystick began while I had a C64 and one of my schoolmates already had an Amiga. He had two of these, and in a rather questionable state – the other one had its shell duct taped together, and the other one had a nasty looking cut. I didn’t think much of the joysticks, being a bit awkward for only being able to hold it in one hand. A few years later, when the retro thing was just gradually starting to get popular and new PCs and PS1s were the thing, I bought the Amiga with the two ErgoSticks from the said schoolmate. When I began having trouble with the two Pro 5000s, I switched to the ErgoStick and learned to like it more than any other controller before. Now, the badly kept ErgoSticks still work (more or less), and are still the best for me.

Joysticks_all

As they say, variety is the spice of life. Our Reset staff have made their choice and it looks like the clear winner is the venerable ZipStik. Having never played with this stick, I will have to rely on the trusty Reset gamers that the ZipStik is the weapon of choice when it comes to playing on the C64. Don’t worry TAC-2, you are still my number one!

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DISCLAIMER: This article appears in issue #5 of Reset.