PAXAus 2015: Classic Gaming Tournaments

PAXAus2015_Tourny_TitleSo who here likes gaming tournaments? There are a lot of hands going up – which is great to see! Well, you are all in luck! The Classic Gaming area will be running tournaments all weekend at PAXAus 2015. You can compete for fun or for the glory.

There will be high score challenge tournaments on arcade machines, consoles, 8-bit computers and pinball tables to show off your prowess. Speaking of pinball tournaments, Saturday’s competition will be fully sanctioned by the IFPA! We suggest that you diarise the following Classic Gaming tournament schedule:


You still have time to practice and sharpen your gaming skills. You never know, you just may end up being a Classic Gaming champion! Are you game to compete?


Toy Shack: A Vegas Toy Story

When was the last time you walked into a toy store and got absolutely wowed? If you are like us, I bet it was way too long ago to remember.

On our recent trip to the US, we didn’t just get wowed, we got absolutely gobsmacked by Toy Shack, a superb toy store in Las Vegas. Nesteled within the Neonopolis shopping complex in downtown Vegas (Fremont Street Experience), Toy Shack is truly a magical place you must visit and experience when you come to the City of Sin! Toy Shack has it all, from every conceivable collectible toy, to old school video games and even some golden age arcade machines to slip a quarter or two to give you that much needed hit of nostalgia.

Both Ms. ausretrogamer and I were mesmerised in each aisle of the store, with vintage 80s toys, comics, games and other collectibles lining the walls, from floor to ceiling – the photos below will attest to that (to an extent)! We had a difficult time leaving Toy Shack with only a handful of bags of super cool items, but the luggage allowance kept us in check.

If you ever find yourself in Vegas and want to do something other than gamble, then head to the Toy Shack for the ultimate in vintage 80s toys – we highly recommend it!

Store: Toy Shack
Address: Neonopolis, 450 Fremont St #117, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Hours: Mon – Sat 11am to 10pm; Closed on Sunday

If you find yourself in other cities within the US, then you may want to check out these places: Musée Mécanique (San Francisco), the Nintendo World Store and the 8-Bit & Up and Video Games NY stores (New York City)

We found it! I wonder what awaits inside…

I spy, Masters Of The Universe (MOTU) and Super Mario stuff!

Woo hoo! I love my MOTU gear – brings back great childhood memories

Oh man, so many MOTU temptations, especially that clock!

Aha, I thought I spied Super Mario action figures!

Oo’er, a nice but scary bust!

Golden oldies! Now when was the last time you found arcade machines in a toy store?

So much to look at! Wish I had compound eyes!

Already worked up a thirst, and we have barely scratched the surface in here!

G.I. Joe baby!

Holy smokes – more G.I. Joe goodness (among other cool collectibles)!

Visual sensory overload! Gotta take in all this Hot Wheels awesomeness!

Haha, this one is for you, Ms. ausretrogamer!

I wasn’t aware of all the diverse (and cool) Hot Wheels!

I’ll take that, thank you very much

Wish we had a limitless luggage (and financial) allowance!

Chocolate and Miami Vice Hot Wheels? Really? Wow!

Moving right along, we now hit the Twilight ZoneIMG_5564

Where do I even focus here!

Found the cool action figures area! First thing we see, Mobile Suit Gundam wing!

What the – Lau as a Virtua Fighter 4 action figure? Want!

Found Lara!

One for the Final Fantasy fans!

Very apt seeing this MGS 2 tactical espionage action figure ;-)

Now this I did not know existed! The temptation to buy is unbearable!

First it was Virtua Fighter 4 action figures, now it’s Tekken 4! *mind blown*

Zelda fans rejoice!

We do need some new plates…….

Admit it, you wanna sing “Transformers, robots in disguise”

Found the old school video games section!

Oooo, GameCube and Tiger gear!

Whoa! Tele-Pong and Frogger tabletop! I wonder what is behind these….

Ah, there you are! Great to see a C64 and a Genesis among the stack of retrogaming gear

Man, this place is too much! I love Toy Shack!

If I guess what’s inside the box, can I keep it?

King of the stuntmen indeed

One for the KISS fans – yep, I am looking at you Mr. Matt Cawley

Now this is a WrestleFest!

Which item captures your eye? Could it be the Transformers or those Star Trek figures?

I knew I was gonna find Star Wars somewhere in here……

Old school Star Wars nirvana!

OMG, Heat Packin’ Jack!

Get in my belly!

I’ll take one of each, thank you (I wish!)

The original road warrior!

I look up and BAM, more MOTU goodness!

I do need a new alarm clock. This should help me get up on those cold mornings

Resistance (to buying temptation) is futile!

Must. Have. That. MOTU vinyl record!

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Mr. Ram Man himself

I need to unsee this, otherwise my bank manager will be calling me!

Spawning more goodness

Diecast to die for!

I’ll take one of, 154, 459 and 192 pieces, thanks

I kneel to the defender of the universe!

Fight of the Century?


Yep, there are comics here too!

I guess E.T. didn’t phone home…….

The perfect action figure mix, Itchy and Sly

Your move, creep!

Be back to Toy Shack, we will!

Mixed bag! Hang on, that’s an Ecto-1!

These guys have ball-Z of dragons!

We see a heartening sight upon our exit – a young lad getting into some old school arcade action. Retrogaming is alive and well!

PAX Aus 2015 Primer: We’re Back, Again!

PAXAus_2015_titleJust like Arnie famously said, “I’ll be back” – well, we’ll be back too for our third straight PAX Aus event! Since the first PAX Aus in 2013, the ausretrogamer team is once again teaming up with the Retro Domination boys and the Weird and Retro crew for 2015 to bring you an even more awesome Classic Gaming area!

All your favourite retro gaming systems from Atari, Commodore, Sega and Nintendo (to name just a few) will be back on freeplay! For this year, the old school consoles and computers will be complemented by an array of ‘other’ bigger (and badder) machines that will inject even more nostalgia into the area. We can’t say too much at this stage, but be ready to be blown away!

With a stellar lineup of systems, games and tournaments, this year’s PAX Aus is sure to be another event you cannot miss! Hope to see you guys there!

Event: PAX Aus 2015
Date: Oct 30 – Nov 1, 2015
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)

If you want to reminisce about previous PAX Aus events, then get into your time machine and punch in 2013 and 2014 right now!

PaxAus_ClassicArea_2015image source: Blow The Cartridge

Coming To America

ComingToNA_HDRIt’s been a while since we had a holiday – our last proper trip was to the Gold Coast (where we spent a lot of time at Timezone Surfers Paradise) almost 2 years ago. So we are well overdue for a vacation!

Although we have been to the US before and visited some great retrogaming tourist attractions (e.g. San Francisco’s Musée Mechanique, the Nintendo World Store in NYC, plus 8Bit & Up and Video Games NY) there are more than enough places left to visit to justify a return trip. This time we will be concentrating on the West Coast.

Los Angeles
Once we hit LA, we do what all tourists do, go on a TMZ Hollywood Tour to check out where the celebs hang out. Also, while in the US, attending a live taping of a show is a must – we will be ticking @Midnight off of our bucket list too (Ed: Hope Stacey Borg will be watching!). And no trip is complete without a feed and gaming session at Dave and Buster’s (in Hollywood).

Anaheim (a.k.a. Disneyland!)
When we think of Anaheim, we think of Disneyland! With a 3-day pass, surely we will get to experience everything that Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have to offer! Then we’ll hit the Games of the Boardwalk and the ESPN Zone Sports Arena in the Downtown Disney District.

Once we are done with Disneyland, we’ll be checking out the Exodus Escape Room – Sherlock’s Study and Trap Room, and hopefully Video Game Geeks and Phat Collectibles. I get the feeling we should have booked an extra day or two…

Las Vegas
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Nah, we don’t subscribe to that saying, we will be happy to share our Vegas experience with you all! I know that Alex is really looking forward to hitting the Pinball Hall Of Fame and then going retro gaming shopping at A Gamer’s Paradise store. We will have to be careful not to exceed our luggage limit!

We will also be packing a heap of coins to check out the casino amusement centres at New York-New York (The Big Apple Roller Coaster and Arcade), MGM Grand (West Wing Bar Arcade Lounge), Excalibur (The Fun Dungeon) and Circus Circus (Midway Arcade). We’ll even hit the arcade and gaming booths at Insert Coin(s) on the old Vegas strip.

Our non-gaming fun will involve the Zombie Burlesque and a tour of the classic Vegas signs at the Neon Boneyard. Last but not least on our Vegas hitlist, is the underground arcade joint, Flipperspiel Wunderland!

After Vegas, we will be venturing across the border into Canada to check out the wonderful city of Vancouver. While researching of the things to see and do, I stumbled upon the Movieland Arcade. I know we are both looking forward to this one.

We will be cramming a fair bit into our short stay in Vancouver, but places like Pub 340 (for some Karaoke fun!), EXP Restaurant and Bar and Golden Age Collectibles are high on our ‘to do’ list. And of course, no trip to Vancouver is complete without going to Gastown for some live music, board games, pool, darts and video games!

Last on our whirlwind trip is beautiful Seattle. We will be getting more silver ball fever by visiting the Seattle Pinball Museum and then hitting the barcades like John John’s Game Room and Vidiot to quench our thirst and unwind with some games.

Our sweet tooth and gaming appetite will surely be satisfied at the quirky Full Tilt Ice Cream parlour. If that isn’t enough, then I reckon a bite and more gaming at Gameworks will satisfy our hunger.

There are a number of cool museums in Seattle, we’re looking forward to visiting the EMP Museum of Music – SciFi – Pop Culture, the Living Computer Museum and the Museum of History and Industry. Maybe we’ll also check out Pike Place Market for some arts and crafts.

A highlight for Alex is sure to be the Boeing Tour, while I’m looking forward to the carnival themed Unicorn & Narwhal bars and the Rock Box Karaoke Rooms and Bar. To finish up, Alex and I will be downing some hot dogs and frosty beers while playing the arcade machines and classic pinball tables at Shorty’s Arcade & Pinball. Oh boy, it will be quite difficult leaving Seattle, but all good things must come to an end. 

Well, there you have it. I didn’t realise our itinerary was so packed with wonderful things to do and see in North America – we both can’t wait to get there! Rest assured, there will be plenty of photos (and maybe a few videos) from the places we visit, so stay tuned (and don’t forget to let us know about other cool places we could visit in these cities)!


msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter



Bartronica: Lair Of The Barcadian

bartronica_HDRAfter a hard days work, where does one go to quench their thirst and get a fix of gaming nostalgia? That’s an easy one to answer – you make your way to Bartronica, a city barcade establishment at 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Nestled between Elizabeth and Queen (streets), the barcade is in the perfect spot in Melbourne’s Central Business District. The entry to Bartronica is via downward stairs, and upon entry, the establishment is revealed in all of its glory, beginning with the well stocked bar. Speaking of which, there are plenty of beverages which would definitely quench your hard earned thirst. As you down your drink, you notice the upright arcade machines; NBA Jam, Street Fighter II, The Simpsons, Mortal Kombat IIGolden Axe and 1943, and these are just the tip of the iceberg – there are plenty more upright machines jostling for your attention. It doesn’t end there, the venue also has driving and shooting cabinets plus six great pinball tables to get you flippin!

For those seeking comfort, Bartronica also has cool lounges for you to sit and take a load off. If you like to play from the comfort of the lounge, there are old school consoles from Sega and Nintendo which are free to play! The consoles provide a fun way to challenge your friends in some awesome multiplayer gaming action, like Super Mario Kart 64, all while kicking back and sipping on a drink.

With their wonderful hospitality, Bartronica makes everyone feel welcome – it is the kind of place where you would visit quite frequently, on your own or with friends. So the next time you are in the city and in need of a watering hole with a twist, then head on over to Bartronica, you’ll have a blast!

Entering the lair of the barcadian

Anticipation builds, one step at a time!

Hello Bartronica!

What is your poison?

In the driver’s seat, Bartronica owner – Josh Flamank

What to play first?

TMNT it is!

A row of beauties begging to be played

Retro Domination’s Daz Retro hits Ninja Gaiden

Daz Retro gets hacking on Golden Axe!

Behind the bar

Working up a serious thirst!

Taking a load off with Super Mario Kart 64!

Run out of coins? Don’t stress, whack in some notes

The view from the deck

Hello Lisa!

Getting some 16-bit action

Playing some Sonic from the comfort of the plush lounge

Cool light artwork!

Golden Axe immortalised on the wall

Hang on a second, there’s pinballs over there!

There they are – glorious pinball!

Demolishing Demolition Man

Retro Domination’s Matt Cawley gets flippin on Fastbreak!

Matt has silver ball fever!

Drinking + playing = a good night

Action aplenty!

Retro Domination Street Fighter II Battle: Daz Retro vs Matt Cawley!

Venue: Bartronic – Arcade Bar
Address: 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne


Coin-Op Hits: July 1993

CoinOpHits_HeaderCast your mind back to mid 1993, when arcade parlours were a place you could go to and get your fix of unparalleled gaming experiences from industry heavyweights like, Sega, Taito, Atari (Ed: Yep, Atari!), Namco, Midway, Konami, Capcom and Data East (to name just a few). Throw in brilliant pinball tables from Data East, Williams and Gottlieb, and you start missing those days – Ah, if only there was time travel!

Just in case you were wondering what arcade machines and pinball tables we were most enamoured with in July 1993, take a peek below, there won’t be too many surprises! Which machines were your favourite(s)?

UPRIGHT (Arcade)

NBA_Jam 1 NBA Jam (Williams)
2 Title Fight (Sega)
3 Mortal Kombat (Midway)
4 Lethal Enforcers (Konami)
5 Street Fighter II CE (Capcom)
6 Super Chase (Taito)
7 Terminator 2 (Midway)
8 Fighter’s History (Data East)
9 Steel Gunner (Namco)
10 Golden Axe II (Sega)

DELUXE (Arcade)

VR_sega 1 Virtua Racing (Sega)
2 Suzuka 8 Hours (Namco)
3 Stadium Cross (Sega)
4 Lucky & Wild (Namco)
5 Race Drivin’ (Atari)
6 Moto Frenzy (Atari)
7 Galaxy Force (Sega)
8 Mad Dog II (ALG)
9 X-Men (Konami)
10 Hard Drivin’ (Atari)


Twilight_Zone 1 Twilight Zone (Midway)
2 Jurassic Park (Data East)
3 Addams Family (Midway)
4 Creature/Lagoon (Midway)
5 White Water (Williams)
6 Rocky & Bullwinkle (Data East)
7 Star Wars (Data East)
8 Dracula (Williams)
9 Terminator 2 (Williams)
10 Street Fighter II (Gottlieb/Premier)

 Source: Replay Magazine

The Magic Of Sega: 3D Arcade Classics For Your 3DS

Sega3D_AllBefore Yu Suzuki embarked on the Shenmue saga, he created some of the most technically impressive and enduring games for Sega. During that golden age of arcade machines in the 80s, you would have been hard pressed not to have played on at least one Sega arcade machine – there was the into the screen blaster, Space Harrier, the Top Gun dog-fighter After Burner II, the superb Super Hang-On, the Blue Thunder channeling Thunder Blade, the rail shooter Galaxy Force II (Deluxe Edition), and of course, the sublime driving game with that awesome radio with cool tunes, Out Run.


The conversions of these arcade games on our beloved 8 and 16-bit systems weren’t much chop, I mean, they were ok, but let’s face it, there was a vast chasm between the technically superior arcade hardware and the less-refined home based systems of yesteryear. Fast forward 30 odd years and you have home systems more powerful than a cabinet ten times the size! Imagine if someone told you in 1989 that you would have an arcade perfect version (Ed: actually, even better than the arcade!) of Space Harrier, After Burner II or even Out Run in the palm of your hands? Surely you would have had them committed. Well, before you call the psych ward, that day has come – If you are yearning for some vintage Sega arcade gaming nostalgia on your Nintendo 3DS handheld (Ed: Who would have thought that we would ever say Sega and Nintendo in the one sentence!), then rack up some Nintendo eShop credits and have yourself a blast!

Get some Out Run into ya!

Have some Sega fun on your Nintendo!

source: SEGA Blog