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Wednesday, December 26, 2012


What a crazy time of year it is!! I'm so glad I'm headed for Easy Street now for the next few weeks, December has just been NUTS! But amongst all of the crazy business I did manage to play through 5 retro games and make a video about them. Enjoy!

So what do you think? Any memories of these games to share?

You know, I wouldn't have thought that anyone would still be interested in this blog anymore... After all, in a few days we'll be able to say that 2011 is "two years ago!" Add to that the fact that I'm not updating anywhere NEAR the rate I was when I was doing the main series. But numbers don't lie; I took a screenshot of 45,000 hits at the end of November, and look at the counter now! So, HI TO YOU!! Hope you're still enjoying my "little" trip down memory lane!

All the world's blessings on you for 2013. May it be a challenging, rewarding and enjoyable year!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Yesterday was the 12th of the 12th of the 12th!
So in honour of the date, I popped Final Fantasy 12 into my PS2!

 It's been quite a while since I played it, but wow, it really is a masterpiece of a game. I was never really happy with where the story goes (or doesn't go) but rarely has Square created a game so confident in its own vast world. There are some great characters too. The way the story masterfully unfolds in the opening minutes puts that entire 13-2 rubbish to shame.

Also, has anyone else been playing Peter Molyneux's game/social experiment "Curiosity?" Not recommended for people with O.C.D. tendancies... But anyway, I thought I'd have some fun a week or two ago...

It lasted less than a day, then someone had tapped it all away. Oh well. HELLO to you, if you're visiting this blog from the Curiosity Cube! ;-)

Sorry about the lack of updates recently. There are FIVE (5) games in the upcoming video, and I've played through four of them. Not only that, but this time of year is absolutely insane as far as not having any free time. I finished Mario U, but I've only just started discovering the secret worlds and I haven't tried any of the hardcore challenges yet. Time seems to be the thing I just can't get at the moment. (sigh)

Happy gaming!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Welcome once again, retro lovers! Played any good games lately? Perhaps some of these...?

I'm not sure if anyone's noticed, but the music playing in the background at the end of these "catch-up" episodes always gives a hint of what's to come next time. Any ideas, gamers...? (All I'll say is there'll be a couple of Super N.E.S. games in the next video)

I also just noticed a disturbing trend... Since I started these additional videos, they have been steadily getting longer... Yikes... Well, here's this week's results anyway...

I've got my WiiU all pre-ordered and my Wii-motes are all itching to go on the 30th! From what I've played at the demo store, the three "chasing" games in NintendoLand are going to be awesome for party group play. Not sure how long the other games will last, but eh, whatever. It comes free with the console.

Monday, November 5, 2012


And the catch-up continues!

Any memories of these games to share?

In other gaming news, I'm kinda being owned by a game that I really wasn't intending to play much; I saw a brand new copy of Super Mario 64DS on eBay for $17, so I thought "why not?" I never got the game originally, knowing that the game's controls really wouldn't work properly without an analogue stick. Well, now I've got a 3DS I can use an analogue stick, so I thought I'd give it a try. And hey, the price was right.
Ironically, this means that what's most likely my very last Nintendo DS game is the game that launched with the console!

So, even though I know Mario 64 practically back-to-front, I'm enjoying discovering all the subtle little changes that were made in this upgrade. It's cool having different characters instead of different hats, but unlocking them and swapping between them is pretty convoluted.

The controls are really driving me nuts though! Yes, I can use the analogue stick on the 3DS but it's still just digital controls. Having to hold down the Y button to run is so annoying! And I'm sure they've made the camera even worse than it was in the original, especially since it's now such a pain to adjust it!

Apart from my hatred of the controls, I'm still going back to it time and time again. I suppose that's a good indicator of a game that's stood the test of time.


That's me playing a WiiU yesterday! :-) I've already got mine pre-ordered. Bring on the 30th!!

Friday, October 26, 2012


This one was quite a long time coming, but... well, y'know, life gets in the way. But it's done, and here it is!

Any memories of these games to share?

So, in other news, I've bought 2 tickets for big events next year. I'm going up north to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra perform the Legend of Zelda Symphony in February, and then later on in the year I've got a ticket to the very first PAX Australia, here in sunny Melbourne!! Fingers crossed for that one!

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You know something great about Solar Jetman? You can find it on eBay pretty darn cheap.

You wanna know something NOT cheap on eBay?

I know what you're thinking. No, this game was NOT ever released in PAL. This isn't a real box. (From what I understand, the real NTSC box was massive like Mario Paint) Have you seen the prices on eBay for a complete boxed copy of Earthbound?? It's absolutely insane. Even the cost of a boxless cartridge is ridiculous. There's probably been more money spent buying used copies of this game on eBay than there was spent on the original run! Because I wasn't keen on emptying out my entire bank account, I just put two and two together. I bought a single cart, and also bought a "reproduction" box and manual, and voila! My own legitimate-looking copy of Earthbound! ^_^

I finished The Last Story last night. It's a good game, definitely one of the better RPGs I've played lately, but it's still not as good as I WANTED it to be. I never really enjoyed the combat system much, and while the plot and characters are pretty good (I loved Syrenne... never really seen a character like her in an RPG before) it still fell into so many cliches of the genre on a number of occasions, which had me rolling my eyes. Since Sakaguchi and co. left Square-Enix, neither the company or the man have managed to hit the heights that they used to hit when they were together. Perhaps the Final Fantasy VI -> IX "golden age" will forever be the height of that genre's achievements.

So now I'm on to Sonic Generations (only got a few more levels to go. It's decent, but still not as good as Sonic 1-3) and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (is the plot of this series supposed to make ANY sense? It's been a long time since I played Kingdom Hearts 2 and it feels like this game is speaking another language to me) with an additional smattering of Kameo. (I really can't say I've enjoyed this game much at all, but since I've only got one dungeon left to go, my OCD side is demanding that I slog through to the end)

I also JUST started playing the next couple of "missed" retro games today! Hooray! They both seem relatively short so hopefully there'll be a new episode up in the next week or two.

Stay cool! :-)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Here we are again! Enjoy a trip back to the forgotten past!

I went back and watched a few of the earlier episodes recently. It's weird, like I'm looking at a whole different era. It was only a year ago, right? Where on Earth did I find the time to pump out all of those videos?? There's 8 and a half hours of videos!!    :-o

In other news, I finished Epic Mickey. It was good, but it just couldn't quite reach the heights of being "great." I hope they come up with lots of cool level designs for the sequel. (That, and an entirely new camera system!) I'm playing The Last Story now. About half way through I think. I like the characters, and the story seems interesting enough. The battle system is really clunky though. I wonder if I'll like it by the time I reach the end of the game.

So here's the results from this week's games:

Ciao for now!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Holy jinjos! A whole new episode!!
Well, you asked for it, and here it is!

Wow, it felt a bit strange getting back into retro-gaming mode after all this time! Filming inside the Virtual Boy was pretty darn challenging! Holding the camera in one hand and trying to play the game with the other. If you're looking for a gaming challenge, try it some time!

In other news, I (FINALLY!!!) finished Xenoblade a couple of days ago. Only took me a bit over a YEAR! Excellent game, but man, it's huge! Something like 86 hours was my final playtime, and I didn't even come close to completing everything. Now I'm on to Epic Mickey, and contrary to my initial disappointment in the game last year, I'm actually enjoying it quite a lot. The camera SUCKS though.

Of course, I played through New Mario 2 on 3DS. Fun game and all that, but yeah, it just feels like Nintendo's going through the paces. After the upcoming Wii game I think it might be time to put the "New Mario" franchise to bed and think of something... eh... new"er"...

I'd also highly recommend Theatrhythm for any Final Fantasy fans out there. Lots of old-school nostalgia wrapped up in a fun little rhythm game. Kid Icarus is fun too, but I can't play more than a level at a time without my poor hand cramping up.

If anyone else is interested in where I got my Starfox cart from, check out the website
They're doing a brilliant service to the retro gaming community! (A pricey service, to be sure, but a good one!)

So... Any ideas what games will be in the next episode? (There'll be 2 games) There is a little clue hidden in this week's video. ;-)

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Check out that counter! (I love the massive spike on the diagram... Hilarious!) Over 5,000 hits in one day. Brilliant! Thank you Kotaku!

Sorry I haven't been very forthcoming with the news, but the delivery of my new goodies has taken a bit longer than anticipated. Good news is, the "items" have been shipped and will hopefully arrive in the next couple of weeks.

MEANWHILE... I've been beginning to put some thought into a new episode of the video series. ("OMG, has Irvy lost his mind???") Yeah, probby. But I would guess it might be coming sooner rather than later. Watch this space.

And in the meantime, enjoy some Brentalfloss...

Friday, July 20, 2012


If you were interested at my acquisition of the "Seiken 3" reproduction cart, you'll probably also be interested in my latest two purchases... I'll post once they arrive...

I'm excited, anyway...


Monday, July 2, 2012


Hey again everyone who's still reading this blog. (You weirdo...)   ;-p

If you're geeky enough to visit my blog you're most likely geeky enough to appreciate this video I just put together. I just spent a ridiculous amount on eBay (I won't tell you how much... it was a ridiculous amount) purchasing something that I just really wanted to own. And now I own it! Hurrah!!

Hope you enjoy the vid!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Hey all. I'm back from round-the-world! What an experience! I just thought I'd share a couple of brief highlights from my visit to the home of gaming, Japan. It was my first time in the land of the rising sun. I was a bit nervous about wandering around Tokyo on my own but it turned out to be absolutely fine... except for the fact that they don't seem to have rubbish bins. ANYWHERE. And yet there isn't a single piece of trash on the ground. Amazing.

So here's a quick little highlights video. The footage was super-shakey and bad, but YouTube has an amazing "shaky-cam-smoother" feature that fixed it all up! Thanks YouTube, you make me look good!!

In particular, take note of the "Super Potato" store in Akihabara. OMG, my new favourite shop in the entire world!! Imagine, FIVE STOREYS of retro video games!! I wanted to buy everything in the shop! Of course, none of it would actually work, since I don't own any Japanese consoles, but still...

I wasn't actually sure if I was allowed to video in there, but I managed to sneak some footage. I wish I could have filmed more, but I didn't want to get in trouble.

In the end I bought that copy of Zelda. It's sitting like a crazy otaku trophy on my gaming shelf. I also bought my nephew some Kirby and Rockman toys. And there was a Virtual Boy there ready to play! They had the "Wario Land" game, which from what I hear is the only actual decent game on the system. I've gotta say, the graphics were a lot crisper than I was anticipating. Screenshots really can't do the machine's visuals justice. The 3D effect actually works pretty darn well too, though you probably wouldn't want to play it for long periods of time. I've decided I have to have one. It won't come cheap, but perhaps some time in the coming year...

So yeah, Japan was amazing, as strange and bizarre as I'd imagined, and I definitely hope to go back and explore more of the country someday.

At the moment (even though it's hard to actually find time) I'm playing through Final Fantasy XIII-2. Yeah, it's not really that good. Put it this way: if it didn't have the FF name, I wouldn't have bought it. Don't get me wrong, it's a high-quality production. The graphics are awesome and the battle gameplay is mostly intact from the previous game (although I think it's even easier to win battles now by simply mashing the X button) but the story is stoooooooopid (and I thought FFXIII had a dumb story) and the characters say the most eye-rolling thing. The moogle has the most irritating voice, the micromanagement seems to have little-to-no effect, items are useless... Oh, and did I mention how stupid the story is...?

It's funny, with both FFX and FFXIII I disliked how linear they were. With both of their sequels, I dislike how non-linear they are. Seriously Square-Enix! You hit the perfect sweet spot with FFVI, VII, VIII and IX! You wouldn't think it'd be rocket science! Anyway, I think I'm about 3/4 of the way through the game (hard to tell, since the story doesn't seem to have any kind of coherency) and once it's done I can't see myself returning to it. Still, it's Final Fantasy. Gotta catch 'em all!

(Note: old picture, and numbered games only)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Check that counter! Over the last couple of days that's hit 33,000!! Rock on!

So what did people think of the E3 press conferences? The last couple of years I've woken myself up at 2 in the morning to watch the events, but this year I'm in the northern hemisphere so I could watch them on the iPad at a respectable hour! Hurrah!

I'm generally disappointed at the lack of new content revealed, especially from Nintendo, who had a new machine to unveil and (so I thought) a whole parade of new games to show off. Don't get me wrong, Pikmin 3 and Mario U look fun, but

a) We already knew they existed, and
b) They don't look very much different from previous games!

This whole "New Mario" thing is actually starting to bug me a bit. By the end of this year there will be FOUR games carrying the "New Mario" title, and aside from a few individual gameplay quirks, the look largely the same and have mostly all the same gameplay features! I watched a video of the game's director talking about how "there are some elements that are just distinctly Mario, like the flag poles, and we can't change them."

Say what?? Whatever happened to Miyamoto "turning over the tea tables?" Think back to Mario 2, Mario 3, Mario World or Yoshi's Island. They were games that took elements of the past but redesigned them into something completely new. Back then the only copy-sequel was The Lost Levels, and that wasn't even released here! Now it seems like every game is like an expansion pack. I want to be surprised again, shocked with new visual styles and gameplay! (I've got to admit, the impressionist painting style in New Mario U made me say "wow..." Why couldn't the whole game look like that?)

No one wants to take risks anymore. And while I'm sure Pikmin 3 and Mario U will be wonderful games, I don't think I'm excited enough to get a WiiU at launch.

Rant over. Happy gaming!!

Friday, April 20, 2012


It's over, but it's still going!
This morning I found this over at GameTrailers...

Very exciting! Now watch those thousands of hits build up! I doubt Terranigma has the mainstream appeal to reach the 9,000+ hits that the Super Metroid episode got, but it's already over 5,000 which is just really exciting to me.

Meanwhile, it's time to finish off the...

By the time 1996 came around, the 16-bit era was effectively dead (with a few outstanding exceptions) and you could tell that the poor creators of a Super Nintendo magazine had their work cut out for them trying to fill the entire mag with content. Of course, a lot of it was made up by news and rumours of the upcoming 64-bit machine, but yeah, by this stage the poor Super Nintendo was living on borrowed time.

Again, some of these picture files will be large. So chances are, you might need to save them to your computer and enlarge them, so that you can read all of the text. Right. On with the show. Let's see some of the highlights of the final four issues.

I find this kinda funny. "Rare's Worst Kept Secret," which turned out to be completely false! LOL.

Awwww, why would you tease everybody like that...?

I remembed at the time, this was almost unthinkable news! SURELY it was an April Fools joke or something! How could a MARIO game not get localised?? Unfortunately, it was completely true, and I think SuperPlay's assumptions in the last paragraph were likely right-on-the-money.

The Super Mario RPG sequel would, of course, turn into Paper Mario, released a good 5 years later, and being a game that - in my mind, anyway - surpasses the first in almost every way.

This is funny. While some of the rumours are WAY off the mark (Kid Icarus 64? LOL!) some of them are surprisingly accurate!

Kirby's Air Ride - originally planned as a launch game for the Nintendo64, arrived SEVEN YEARS LATER on the GameCube... and it was crap.

Sad news indeed. But all good things must come to an end, and the time of the 16-bit machines was more-or-less over. They had taken the ships at the Grey Havens and sailed to the undying lands with all that was left of their kin.

I can't tell you how many times I saw this page back in 1996. I would read this review over and over again, just dreaming of the possibility of actually owning this game. It was good that SuperPlay got to review it in their final issue.

The worst games on the Super Nintendo. Did you get stung by any of them...? 

And here we have the final sign-off from the Super Play crew. If any of the people who worked on the magazine happen to read this blog (very unlikely, I know, but possible) thank you for your wonderful magazine. It was truly the best.

Meanwhile, have you seen Fredde Gredde's YouTube videos? If you haven't, you really should. The guy is my new hero. He's a Swedish musician that specialises in multi-instrumentation. Check out this amazing Wind Waker rendition...

... as well as this mind-blowing 10-minute rock tribute to video game music...

Mind... blown.

I just realised that I had forgotten to mention the final standings of the 171 games that played this year.

SIXTEEN games fell. They just aren't really fun to play in 2012.
FIFTY-SIX games sat. They're still okay, but fond nostalgia would definitely help you enjoy them.
And... *drumroll*
NINETY-NINE games stood the test of time. That's a pretty darn good majority of the retro games I played this year are - in my opinion anyway - still really enjoyable to this day. Go play 'em. NOW!

This will probably be the last update. For a while, anyway. Thanks once again for visiting. Peace out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Here it is, the final hurrah.
Not really much to say that isn't already in the video.

NB. Apologies for the weird glitch at around the 5:30 mark. Strange... No idea why it rendered out like that.

Thanks once again for visiting the blog and for those who left feedback. It makes all the effort worthwhile when you know people are watching. I may update again in a few days time to finish off the Super Play Corner, but apart from that, this is the end of the Year of Retro Gaming blog... for now, anyway.

Happy gaming everyone!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


And that, as they say, is that.

I don't want to sound soppy or anything, but from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU to the 24,000 people who've visited this blog, for sharing this year (and a half) of retro gaming with me. I'm glad I ended the year with such a fantastic game.

I'm not quite done yet. Hopefully within 4 or 5 days the final episode should be up and then it's time for me to have a REST!! Thanks again for watching.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Second-last week of retro gaming, people!! And this is one of the longest videos. Sorry, I do tend to waffle whenever Mega Man is involved... <_<

So there you have it. Only one more game to play, and I'm halfway through it now. I should be done just in time for me to go on an overseas holiday for 2 months. Phew! I was wondering if I was going to make it for a while there...

Do you think MMX3 deserves to sit? It's not a bad game, but I just felt it was a noticeable step down from the previous ones, apart from the fact that it offered more different paths to play.

Catch ya on the flipside! :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Get yourself a big cup of coffee, this is gonna be a big 'un.

Due to the number of Super Nintendo games drying right up into 1996, there was less to really talk about in magazines such as Super Play, and most discussion had moved on to the upcoming consoles, the already-released PlayStation which at this time was a nice piece of kit but didn't really have any great games yet, and the on-the-brink-of-release Nintendo64.

As usual, I'll just let you know that some of the images here are large and the writing might be difficult to read. If you can't make your browser view them full-size, just save the pictures to your computer and view them in the picture-viewer of your choice. Enjoy! ^_^

Yet another great idea that just never really took off. I was amazed that Nintendo actually had the tenacity to release the 64DD in Japan. It was an interesting experiment, and one of Nintendo's first entries into an online-enabled system. The bottom line is though, the Nintendo64 should have used the DD discs as its storage medium right off the bat. Sure, they didn't hold as much data as a CD, but they were at least better than cartridges! The mad collector in me would love to own a 64DD, so it could sit alongside the Virtual Boy and Panasonic Q that I don't own either. ;-)

I actually own 2 issues of "Weekly Famitsu." Even though I can hardly understand anything, they're still a fascinating read... ehhh... a fascinating "look."

Here we go! *ding ding* Place your bets, and back your favourite. They're both great games, but I've gotta say, I agree with Super Play's outcome for the victor.

... And here was the news that no self-respecting Super Nintendo fan wanted to hear. It was almost too horrible to be true... Square had abandoned Nintendo. Funny quote there from the American guy about how the Japanese Square branch sent the N64 development kits back to Nintendo. Ouch. That's gotta hurt the ol' pride!

So here's Super Play's Top 100 Super Nintendo games!
A quick count told me that I've played 49 of these games this year.
What do you reckon? Would you change much of this list? I was a bit sad to see that Seiken Densetsu 3 was nowhere on the list (It should definitely be in the Top 10!) but perhaps they just hadn't played much of it yet. They SHOULD have, since its Japanese release was in September 1995, and this issue was published in March 1996. Oh well.
I think I'd probably have to agree with their Number 1 spot, although I'd probably move Final Fantasy VI and Super Metroid a bit closer to the top.

Ah, the first whispers of the GameBoy Advance... Or more likely the GameBoy Color, since that was still 2 years away. Amazing that the old black-and-white GameBoy lasted for so long.
LOL @ "SnesBoy."

I must admit, I have a soft spot for good video game OSTs, in particular the more grand, sweeping R.P.G. scores like Uematsu's Final Fantasy. In fact, in just a few nights I am going to see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform a one-off concert highlighting some video game music. Looking forward to that!

I included this Q&A page purely for the answer to the question posed in the bottom-left-hand corner. Namely, what the crap happened to Starfox 2? This is the closest we ever came to official confirmation that the game had been canned. In fact, there WAS no official confirmation. I think Nintendo just drew everyone's attention away towards the big black bohemoth looming on the horizon and hoped that everyone would forget about poor Fox and co.

Phew! Hope you found that enjoyable and / or insightful. There were only ever 4 more issues of Super Play, which I'll perhaps post up another time. Meanwhile, the new Donkey Kong / Mega Man video should be up in a day or two... It's gonna be pretty darn big... Possibly the longest episode yet. Yikes!

See ya soon!