november 17, 2013
A retro meeting yesterday
Yesterday I visited my friend and a very good costumer "stopXwhispering" who writes ambitiously at http://retro-video-gaming.com/. A much more popular blog than mine so your likely to know about it I suppose.
Meeting people isn't something I generally do much of but I couldn't miss this chance to see so many of my old games again. I was also always curious in the 2-player aspect of retro games which would be an excellent opportunity. I think around 25 people showed up in stopXwhispering's fine retro room with many consoles and TVs hooked up.
stopXwhispering is a very good collector because she collects to play games, and it is nice to see people enjoying our games. It is much harder to please the museum collectors who seem to collect items as dust collectors and prefer their manuals to be unread, etc. Not that I care why people buy games, of course, but I do care about making customers satisfied.
She had though out a competition of some games and the best total score would get a price. I think that on purpose they picked games that are not common PAL games people might have played before.
I didn't do to well myself. I ended up in the middle of the field. It was only thanks to a somewhat strong performace in the game Tetris (BPS), which I actually have played a little before.
In Tetris (BPS), you turn the block by pressing Down which takes a couple of minutes to get used to. Somehow I must have learnt the skill from all of my testing of the game. It may still be unfair for those who don't know that to get a high score in Tetris you have to get many four-rows or three-rows. I didn't know myself until recently actually. But I am not much of a gamer.
We also played Hector '87, also known as Starship Hector. The key to get a high score was probably be to watch others play to learn where the enemies are. A decent shoot'em up game, from the "middle" generation of 8-bit shooters in my opinion. I consider first generation shooters to be Xevious, Twinbee and Argus. With the middle shooters you have more enemies on the screen, better music, and just more intensity.
We also played Musha on the Mega Drive and Ninja Spirit on Pc Engine. It seemed that some people were a lot more experienced than others in playing these games, or maybe they were just better gamers. Anyways, I didn't last long. Ninja Spirit is an expensive and sought after game, I could have played it when I had it, but I never really saw the appeal... I can't think of any "run and kill" game that I have played for more than 5 minutes.
Then, a music quiz that didn't go to well for me either. I think one reason is because I wanted to do it alone and another reason that I never really got into NES as a kid. I don't know the hair color of Metroid or the names of bosses in Mega Man. Anyways, the quiz was well drafted, I think. God, in general I find quizes annoying, but a quiz while drinking beer at least makes for one fun.
There was also a Halo moment I refused to take part in so I got disqualified.
In the semi final, the best people played Vs. Collection. I remember I had this fun and uncommon for sale at 25$ for at least six months (in great condition) before stopXwhispering bought it. I think many people don't have good taste in games since they passed out on this fun game.
It was fun for me to see it in action with 4 players.
They also played Super Bomberman. The bomberman games are always fun with 2-4 players (or more in some version!). But I think some of the later bomberman titles got confusing, and that the simpler bomberman the better it is.
I set up Bomberman '93 for pc engine to try out multiplayer and it proved popular. Games for 2 or more players are probably good to have for gamer meetings. It would also increase interaction between people that don't know each other. I read that was one major reason why Pong was so popular in bars in the early 70's.
I did find a person to play Salamander (Life Force) co-op with, but that game is too aggrevating for most first time players. I did make it to the first stage boss for the first time so I will call it a success. My co-op player was game over much earlier though.
In the final match, the two best players played Fatman on mega drive. I once tried to sell this game very cheap but no one ever wanted it. I auctioned it away in a lot last week. It is in the middle.
These 9 games sold for 161 SEK.
Fatman is obviously a crappy game but it was fun to watch and fun for the finalists to play, a "camp" game if there is one.
I sometimes compare the artistical side of games to movies. Some people like movies and are called movie buffs. These movie buffs like to think that they are watching some artistical creation that tells us some deep secret about life, when in reality they are watching some pretentious run of the mill production that lives in its own reality and tells us lies that are disconnected from reality (such as "follow your dreams", "the bad guy always get shot and dies" or "one day a prince will come and take you to live happily ever after").
Video games are no worse or better, from an artistical point of view. A game like fatman is like watching a camp movie, I think. I just happen to like video games better than movies.
I almost forgot to say it was a very nice evening, and thank you very much to hostess Stopxwhispering.