Contra: Celebrating 30 Years Of Awesomeness

Contra, Gryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

image source: GameFAQs

 

A Retro Gamer’s Stroll Through 80s Yakuza 0

Before we begin, let’s set the record straight – I have never played a Yakuza game! Yep, you read that right. You may throw out a “WTF?” at this point, and you’d be justified in asking exactly that – what the fudge, dude?

Well, I won’t bore you with why I haven’t played any of the previous Yakuza games (you can blame it all on those retro games I keep playing!), but at least you’ll get a perspective from a player experiencing the franchise for the very first time! I come into the Yakuza universe as a total noob, so go easy on me.

The vibrant lights of Pink Street!

So,”What’s this Yakuza 0 all about anyway?”, I ask myself. Well, first and foremost, I had heard that this prequel Yakuza action game, dubbed Zero, was set in the 80s, my favourite decade! That was enough to pique my interest in the game, so I thought I’d jump in the deep end and have a go!

Sobering up some drunkards, the old fashioned way!

Beating up peeps can work up a thirst

From a noob’s point of view, Yakuza 0 eases the player into the game with great cutscene sequences that set the narrative for the protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, or simply just Kiryu. Obviously the title gives it away, Kiryu is a yakuza, a lowly debt collector for the Dojima Family (of the Tojo Clan). Kiryu is framed for murder and is then used as a pawn by a bent crime family lieutenant who aspires to be top dog. I’ll spare you the rest as I don’t want to spoil it for you!

Visiting the ‘family’!

No mobile phones in 1988, so pay phones were the best way to conduct business on the streets

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to play Yakuza 0 to roam the streets of 1988 Kamurocho, the notorious redlight district of Tokyo – to explore its karaoke bars, dart parlours and of course, its amusement centres – Club Sega and Hi-Tech Land were high on my list so I could play some (well, a lot of) Out Run! I really didn’t care for the story as to why I was setup for murder and the whole Empty Lot business.

Smoking can kill you! So can a bent lieutenant…

But before I could explore Kamurocho, I would have to dispense some good old fashioned beat-downs to street punks and hoodlums that were dumb enough to move in on my turf. Oh yeah, cash is earned the more peeps you beat up. These fight sections definitely reminded me of classic Dreamcast brawling action games, just like Shenmue. And just like Shenmue, it’s fun to explore the vibrant city you find yourself in.

Giving the vocal chords are work out with some karaoke

What I wasn’t counting on was the game’s ability to suck me into its story-line and its fascinating characters. I had to put the idea of exploration and playing Out Run to one side, as I set my sights on finding the people that framed me for murder and then confronting the bent Dojima lieutenant, Kuze. To say that I was now hooked on Yakuza 0 would be a gross understatement. With about 80 hours of gameplay, I have a way to go, and that is before I even touch any sidequests! So if you excuse me, I need to get back to being a yakuza and kick ten shades out of some really bad people.

Behold, the holy grail of arcades!

Damn, it’s closed. Can’t wait to play some Out Run!

image source: Yakuza 0

Movieland Arcade: A Hit Of Nostalgia In Vancouver

Ah Vancouver, the city of many cruise ships and retirees boarding these massive vessels! This post has been a long time coming, but that’s because we’ve been distracted – till now!

Continuing on with cool places we visited while on our North American trip (like the Seattle Pinball Museum, Toy Shack and A Gamer’s Paradise in Vegas), the city of Vancouver delivered its own piece of gaming nostalgia via the Movieland Arcade!

There are some amusement centres that are stuck in a bygone era, a period of time when arcade parlours in the 80s were lined with machines, both of the arcade and pinball kind, checkered linoleum flooring, cheeky signage, an attendants booth for exchanging your notes for coins and of course, the smell. Well, it is safe to say that Movieland Arcade encapsulates this 80s era perfectly.

Situated at the hipster end of Granville Street in central Vancouver, Movieland Arcade cannot be missed – its distinct red tile facade enticing you to go in and experience some real gaming nostalgia. With pinball tables and arcade machines ranging from the 70s to the late 90s, you better exchange your notes for a shed-load of coins as you will want to play them all!

Movieland Arcade reminded us of the arcade joints we used to frequent in the 80s on Swanston Street and Russell Street in the centre of Melbourne. Unlike those arcade joints going the way of the dodo, Vancouver can count itself lucky with a place like the Movieland Arcade.

Whoa, we spot Movieland Arcade across the road!

You definitely can’t miss the distinct facade of this majestic arcade parlour

We better grab some more coins!

Here we go! Hmm, pinball or straight to the arcade machines?

We shall start from the left and work our way to the right..

You have to go slow when you are in here! Too many awesome distractions!

We can’t go past some Neo Geo action

Killer Instinct is next!

Whoa man, haven’t seen a Gauntlet Legends machine in almost 20 years!

Some single racing action on Daytona USA!

Inserting coins now!

Nothing beats some 8P head-to-head racing!

We spy Medieval Madness! Time to destroy some castle!

Needing some gun action, which Area 51 will satisfy

We enjoy gunning down zombies!

Hmm, not sure if these ‘movies’ and that ‘theatre’ are appropriate, but…

OMG, Raiden Fighters! There go all of our coins!

Our shmup senses have gone into overdrive! Get us some more coins!

We spent our last few coins on some Playboy action *wink*

Darn it, the booth attendant must’ve had a toilet break. We’ll be back.

Get Ready For Some Classic Gaming At PAX Aus 2016

paxaus2016_primer_titleGet your nostalgic senses ready, as the PAX Aus Classic Gaming area is back, bigger and better for 2016! We say this every year, but this year is no exception – there will be games that will take you back to your younger years, and you never know, you may discover golden oldies that you may have not known or had forgotten about.

With systems like the Commodore 64, Sega Master System, Sega Dreamcast and the NEC PC-Engine (to name just a few) to tickle your retro gaming fancy, your only problem will be, what to to play first!

If you want a trip down memory lane while at PAX Aus 2016, then make sure you come on over to the Classic Gaming area!

One fire button is all you need to play on the Commodore 64!
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Anyone up for some Alex Kidd action?
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Shoot’em up action on the Engine that could!
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Let’s go make some crazy money!
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The PAX Aus Classic Gaming area is proudly brought to you by: ausretrogamer, Bartronica, Bayside Pinball Club, PinballScore, Pinmem, Retro Domination, Weird and Retro and Zax Amusements.

 

Old School Halloween Costumes

halloween_starwarsWith Halloween fast approaching, are you struggling to find a costume to scare the pants off your family and friends? These Collegeville Costumes from three decades ago would definitely scare the living daylights out of anyone that bumps into you while trick-or-treating.

If you are channeling Jason Voorhees, you may want to go as the Atari Asteroids man. Perhaps your friends could go as Missile Command and Centipede!

Damn these costumes are so bad, they are really cool!

halloween_Atari_All

halloween_LoTR

halloween_battlestar_gal

halloween_ET

halloween_ADandD

halloween_Rubiks

source: Plaid Stallions (via RediscoverThe80s.Com)