Handcrafted, Vintage and Unique Retro Gaming Goodies

When our friends at Pinball Press covered handcrafted and unique pinball products on Etsy, we have a lot of you asking us to do the same for retro gaming. So your wish is our command!

Here is a selection of pretty cool retro gaming items on Etsy to suit any budget and any occasion – let’s go shopping!

Sega Seal Of Quality

Streets Of Rage 3D Shadow Box Art – framed

Hylian Shield Wooden Pin – Zelda

Awesome Nostalgia Retro Gaming T-Shirt

Game Over – enamel pin

Street Fighter – Ryu: 3D Shadow Box Art (framed)

80’s Retro Gaming Cartridge Throw Pillow Case

Altered Beast T-SHIRT / Beast Mode Gym / Retro Gaming / Unisex

Video Game Controller Poster

Oregon Trail Mug

Pokemon 3D Shadow Box Art (Framed)

NES Controller Patch

Retro NES Controller Card – A Card For Any Occasion (Birthday, Christmas, Gift)

Pixelated Heart Deco Coin Necklace

Custom Commodore 64 Printed Converse Sneakers

 

 

WWII Inspired Video Game Propaganda Prints

We are huge fans of Fro’s (aka Fernando Reza) video games related propaganda posters!

His latest series are inspired by World War II video game propaganda prints. This latest set contains a whopping 26 prints! There are six new Mario and Zelda prints each, as as well as Metroid, Galaga, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Tetris, Metal Gear Solid, Joust, Frogger and many more great prints – check them all out here.

Duck Hunt – For Vital War Needs

Space Invader – Stop the Invasion

Mario – Superior Firepower

Galaga – Protect

Zelda – Victory

Tetris – Build for Victory

Zelda – Hope for the Future

Mario – Building for Victory

Pac-Man – Protect Our Pellets

Duck Hunt – Keep’em Firing

source: Fro Design Company

 

Nintendo Switch Review: SEGA Mega Drive Classics

Woohoo, the iconic retro collection Sega Mega Drive Classics has landed on the Nintendo Switch™ and boy, it is a ripper! We thought the PS4 version was awesome (which it is!), but you can’t take your PS4 on the train with you to play these classic Mega Drive games.

Sega Mega Drive Classics on the Nintendo Switch is the largest collection of retro classic games in one pack. There are 50+ classic Sega 16-bit games to satisfy almost every genre under the sun, from arcade action, adventure, pinball (sort of), shooters, beat ‘em ups, fighters, puzzlers, hack’n slashers, tactical RPGs to everyone’s favourite, platformers – and there are lots of platformers (which isn’t a bad thing)!

These old favourites aren’t just dumped from their cartridges and thrown in this package, no sirree, they have had a raft of cool modern features injected into them including mirror mode, rewind (for when you slip up), controller customisation, online multiplayer and achievements, optional emulation enhancement filters like pixel scaling and save states to save your game at any time, meaning players – both old and new, should find revisiting these retro games an absolute blast.


source: Five Star Games

Once we loaded Sega Mega Drive Classics we were totally impressed by the opening title sequence, which we will leave as a surprise (Ed: Unless you have already experienced it on the PS4/XBone), but we can tell you this much, it’s pretty darn awesome – either that or we are too easy to please. Anyway, once you stop drooling from the title sequence you are greeted by the menu system where you can access the 50+ Sega Mega Drive games and various other options. The menu resembles the bedroom of an early nineties Sega fan, which is a great throwback, with dynamic time-of-day conditions, retro SEGA paraphernalia, a shelf full of the aforementioned 50+ Mega Drive games, and of course, a CRT TV with the sexy Mega Drive console underneath it.

When selecting a game to play, its corresponding cart is removed from its case and then inserted into the Mega Drive console – pure nostalgia overload. On top of the already mentioned modern conveniences and features jammed into this package, the most important thing we can tell you is that the emulation of the games is spot-on. The word ’emulation’ may trigger negative connotations, but we are here to tell ya that this is as close as you will get to playing Mega Drive games without forking out for the console on eBay and then fishing around for the game cartridges.

A lot of you may already know this, but for the peeps that don’t know, we aren’t much of adventure or RPG fans, so we stuck to Sega’s arcade conversions, platformers, beat’me ups and puzzle games in this collection. After playing a lot of Sonic, Ristar, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Columns, Comix Zone and the Shinobi games, we can say that we definitely felt like we were back in the early 90s – good times!

Before we go on, here is the full list of games included in this package:

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Vectorman
  • Vectorman 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2

The problem with a pack like this is that players will concentrate on all the games there were left out. Granted, they probably could put the entire Mega Drive catalogue on the cute little Switch cards and flog it for $90.00+, but then we would find something else to complain about. The games that are included are solid, bar a few questionable titles, however, just because we don’t like adventure and RPG titles, it doesn’t mean they should be excluded. Same goes the other way, if you loathe platformers, beat’em ups and puzzlers, it doesn’t mean these genres should be thrown out for more RPGs. Actually, if there was a driving game like Super Monaco GP or a motorcycle-racing-bashing one like Road Rash, then we could say that most, if not all, genres are well represented. Come to think of it, a few more shoot’em ups, like Truxton and Thunder Force would have rounded out this already pretty awesome package. Ah, we can speculate all we want, but we have to give it to Sega, they have tried to cater for the majority and we reckon they have done an admirable job.

After waffling on about this Sega Mega Drive Classics package on the Switch, the ultimate decision to buy or not buy is yours, but we’ll leave you with this little nugget – if you want to get your Sega 16-Bit gaming fix on your modern console and also play it on the go, then you can’t go too wrong with Sega Mega Drive Classics.

Review System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date:
December 6 2018
Format: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One & PS4
Price: $48.99 on Nintendo Switch (via OzGameShop)

Disclosure: Sega Mega Drive Classics [Nintendo Switch] download code was kindly provided by Five Star Games for this review.

 

A Rare Look Inside SEGA In The Mid 90s

We couldn’t only feature Nintendo, so to balance things in the universe, here is the follow-up to the series of translations from the French documentary “Otaku”, this time taking a rare look inside Sega, their Sega vs Nintendo rivalry and Sega arcade games from the mid 90s.

Oh yeah, there is ample footage from the 31st Amusement Machine Show (1994 JAMMA Convention) in Japan! Once again, big thanks to Game Escape for the English subtitles!


source: Game Escape

 

Classic Times at PAX Aus 2018

There is one undeniable fact about PAX Aus – attendees love reliving their gaming past in the Classic Gaming area!

For the sixth year in a row the ever popular Classic Gaming area returned to PAX Aus – this year brought to you by Ausretrogamer, Bartronica, Bayside Pinball Club, Mr. Pinball, Pinmem, Press Play On Tape podcast, Weird and Retro and Zax Amusements. These groups all brought along their carefully preserved (and awesome) wares to create the magical and nostalgia inducing area.

From the Commodore 64, Amiga 1200, Atari ST and MSX old school computers to the Atari Lynx, Game Boy, WonderSwan, Neo Geo Pocket handhelds and Atari 2600, Vectrex, Sega Master System, NES, PC-Engine, Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo consoles (just to name a few!), the Classic Gaming area had your retro gaming covered.

Of course the area didn’t just cater for old school computer and console gamers, it had arcade machines from the golden age like Asteroids, Bad Dudes, Rampage, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat 2, Rastan, Street Fighter II and a dozen pinball machines, from the new Stern Deadpool to the old High Roller Casino just to tickle your sentimentality without the need of extracting coins from your pocket!

Another section that made a return due to popular demand was the display museum. Standing along the right perimeter of the Classic Gaming area, the glass display cabinets created the perfect backdrop by showcasing carefully curated classic and exotic gaming pieces that invoked strong feelings of intoxicating nostalgia from gaming’s past. This of course was the intention the Classic Gaming team was going for.

With the area proving to be popular as ever, there was never an empty seat or a lonely controller – attendees took full advantage of playing on machines from their childhood and for those with families, it was great to see kids playing games that their parents would have enjoyed when they were their age. With smiles all around and a lot of positive feedback, we can safely say that the PAX Aus Classic Gaming area was a huge success.

So what will we have in store for you all in the Classic Gaming area at PAX Aus 2019? You will have to wait and see, but rest assured, we will definitely be tickling your nostalgic nerve.

 

 

 

80s Baby: NKOTB Are Back Baby!


New Kids On The Block are back, baby! Well, so are Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson performing 80s Baby. Part of the ‘The Mixtape Tour 2019‘, this new single is a throwback to the awesomest decade of them all, the 1980s!

This song will have you bopping along with that familiar cool 80s tunes. Oh yeah, the video clip is a throwback to Sega’s cool OutRun arcade game – a nice touch indeed!

Huge thanks to Poop Face (aka: Freakin Frankie) for letting us know about this!


source: New Kids On The Block

 

The Existential Horror of Sonic Adventure

Since his debut in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog had been more than a mascot for Sega. He was the lifeblood of the company, a saving grace that finally allowed the Mega Drive / Genesis to gain a foothold in a market utterly dominated by Nintendo. Next to their portly Italian plumber, Sonic was a revelation, a zippy speedster filled with rad 90’s ’tude.

Flashforward to 1998. Nintendo and Sony had entered the 3D space with spectacular results due to Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot, their dominance further cemented by the likes of Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro the Dragon. Thanks to these titles, a solid formula was emerging for 3D platformers. Create a vibrant world, pop a cutesy character into it, and give the player responsive controls with which to steer them.

While these genre defining works were being released, Sonic the Hedgehog was suspiciously absent in the 3D realm. He’d failed to make an appearance on the Sega Saturn, due to a dysfunctional development cycle that caused his 3D debut to be cancelled. In turn, the Saturn died a quick death on the market, which some attributed to the lack of a Sonic title on the system. With the imminent release of their 6th generation console, Sega were not going to make the same mistake.

Hell or high water, Sonic Adventure would be the flagship title for the Dreamcast at its Japanese release, even if that meant a mere 10-month development cycle. In a post-Mario 64 world, Sonic Team sought to create large adventure fields for Sonic to travel through between the more traditional action stages. There would be a greater emphasis on story, quests and exploration. The action stages themselves would be expansive and frantic, fully exploiting Sonic’s foray into the 3rd Dimension. This would be a Sonic game for the next generation, proving that both Sega and their blue mascot were here to stay.

That was the idea at least. In practice, it tells a very different story.

Walking through the adventure fields, the player is immediately hit with an eerie sense of isolation. They’re huge, sprawling areas for sure, but for the most part, utterly devoid of any landmarks or NPCs. It’s easy to lose sight of your objective or overlook the key needed to open the next progression point, so the player often wanders aimlessly through the dull, lifeless environments. For a game starring Sega’s famous speedster, you spend a lot of time trapped in areas, going around in circles. Metaphorically, someone’s put lead in Sonic’s boots.

It doesn’t help that the longer you stare at the adventure fields, the more unsavoury questions raise their head. Why is Sonic suddenly a giant blue hedgehog living amongst humans? Why are ancient Inca ruins a train ride away from an American metropolis? Why is there a ladder that leads down to a solitary wooden pier, seemingly daring the player to jump to their watery doom? Beneath the bright colours and cheery J-pop, there’s the ever-present sensation that Sonic doesn’t belong in this strange world.

When you finally unlock a new action stage you feel nothing short of relief, though it’s short-lived. Simply put, Sonic is way too fast to control in a 3D space, and the fixed camera angles often have a stroke trying to follow Sonic at top speed. These issues are exasperated by a multitude of glitches that cause Sonic to get trapped in tight spaces, or plummet through platforms to his death. This makes later levels like the Egg Carrier and the Mystic Temple an utterly tortuous ordeal.

image source: Nerdbacon

Sonic Adventure feels like a surreal nightmare from which its titular character is trying to escape, and that’s quite fitting. Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot had proven that 3D platforming was the future, but for Sonic, it was his greatest existential threat; his iconic speed proving too much to handle in a 3D space. It makes sense then that Sonic doesn’t fit in this odd world of Inca ruins, garish casinos and lumpy looking humans, because in retrospect, he never should have abandoned his 2D origins.

The dissonance between Sonic and his game world are captured best in the unskippable cut-scenes. The dialogue and voice acting aren’t fit to lick the boots of the worst Saturday morning cartoon, but it’s the lip sync that’s truly abominable. Mouths pulsate and stretch in all directions, like a snake unhinging its jaw to eat an egg. Eyes enlarge and bulge. Nothing comes close to matching the dialogue spoken. In moments like these, the game feels like a horror-show, as Sega pushes these simple characters into dark areas they’re not equipped to handle.

In 2001, the Dreamcast was discontinued, and Sega exited the hardware business, surviving to this day as a third-party developer. For the first time, Sonic was not enough to save Sega from its financial woes.

Though Sonic Adventure continues to be remembered fondly, it’s patient zero for the problems that have plagued the franchise for the last 20 years. The dull adventure stages, the broken gameplay, the insipid storytelling – this is where it all began. In fact, it may be the first existential horror game in the platforming genre, in which a revered icon faces his complete obsolescence in a new era. The real antagonist of the game isn’t Dr. Robotnik or a cranky water god or even the horribly broken controls, but rather the steady march of technological progress. And that’s something not even Sonic could outrun.

Special thanks to Shannen Hogan for introducing me to the madness that is Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast.

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Jack O’Higgins
Jack is a freelance journalist based in Dublin. He covers music, film, comics and video games. If this article angered you, please complain to him on twitter at @jackohigginz, as he really needs to raise his social media profile.

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