Memorable gaming moments: #2 PlayStation Demo One
Jan19

Memorable gaming moments: #2 PlayStation Demo One

During my earlier gaming years there were a number of occasions that have seen me rushing to a local video games store on a particular console’s launch day, my impressionable younger self guilty of succumbing to months of advertising and associated hype. On one such occasion back in 1995, Sony and its first foray into mainstream gaming – the PlayStation, entered the market. After reading at least a years worth of gaming magazine hype, I knew I had to own one and set out early on launch day to take my place in the enevitable queue at the now non-existent (at least in the UK) Electronics Boutique (remember them?) at my local shopping centre. I remember there being quite long queue but nothing too scary and the wait wasn’t too bad. I soon emerged clutching my latest purchase complete with its bundled demo disc. I didn’t have enough money for another game so this would have to do for now. This wasn’t any old demo disc though, at least not for me. This one was more of a gaming epiphany as I will enlarge upon in a moment. Simply entitled Demo 1, the black compact disc in its minimalist card packaging was about to blow this particular gamer’s mind. So, fully laden with backpack on my back, I sped home as fast as my Vespa would take me (lucky the PlayStation is quite small eh?) and commandeered the living room TV for a session on my new technological marvel. A few minutes later and I’m ready to pop Demo 1 in the PlayStation. Game on. What’s on this disc then? I understand that there were 5 or more versions of the Demo 1 disc released between 1995 and 1997, all with games and demos contemporary with each date of release. My disc came with the release day PlayStation –  therefore the first ever version. As such, this disc mainly contains release title demos and games close to release. Shiny Demo 1 in its card sleeve The disc that confirmed to me that I’d made the right decision Video starts… …and tells of previously unknown technical marvels A big flashing start button just begging to be pressed Games to salivate over. I now knew I had made a good decision buying my PlayStation After booting my shiny… erm no, matt new console and watching the amazing PlayStation intro sequence for the first time (amazing enough in itself!), I insert Demo 1. A short but exciting video ensues with games, tech specs and top games publishers flashing up on screen in time to a techno soundtrack, whetting our appetites for all...

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Has online gaming changed on the PlayStation from PS2-PS4?
Dec23

Has online gaming changed on the PlayStation from PS2-PS4?

Hi fellow Retro Heads. Firstly, an apology – I’m not sure I can classify this post as ‘strictly retro’ as I’m going to be mentioning current gen consoles as well (only back two generations I promise). There is something about online gaming that takes me back and I have the same nostalgic feeling that I have for my Master System. As someone who in recent years has ritually purchased every release CoD have thrust upon me and put more hours than I care to remember into games like Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3,  I now find myself just putting them on having a couple of rounds and switching off my system whether I’m playing well or not. It appears the draw to me putting hours in has gone. I had thought that maybe it is I’m now the wrong side of 30 and I just don’t get the time, maybe it’s because my mates and I no longer have same systems… but even back when we all had PS3s everyone seemed to put in more hours and enjoy the games more than I did. So what had changed for me? Well to answer that question I need to take you back to where my online gaming started. Unlike many I’d never had experience of online gaming till the PS2 and a game called SOCOM: NAVY SEALS. Many of you reading this probably had years more experience of online gaming via PC;  I was lucky if I could buy a PC that ran the latest football manager not that I was poor, although I’m still not a millionaire, the price of a good gaming PC Vs a PS2 and my Friday Night drinking fund was only going to produce one winner; and it wasn’t Bill Gates. So what was it about online PS2 gaming that drew me in? SOCOM: NAVY SEALS. At the time I still lived at my parent’s house (so did my much older brother, which is even more sad). We both owned a PS2, because anyone with a sibling knows that sharing is just a myth invented by hippies and people without children, and our own copy of said game. It was no brainer that when we got back from a night at the pub drunken online gaming while eating a kebab from the local late night ecoli dealer was on the cards. It brought good banter to the house and plenty of arguments that we both laugh about now… Sometimes. But it wasn’t just me and my brother who seemed to play together; We joined a clan known then as the [S-A] which stood for...

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Weird and rare – Birthday Mania – Atari 2600
Dec13

Weird and rare – Birthday Mania – Atari 2600

I’ve decided to resurrect the ‘Weird and rare’ series after a long hiatus. And what better game to choose, than something that has only a handful of copies – approximately 10 officially released and a few given out to helpers according to the author? And one that is considered the holy grail of all the released Atari 2600 games. It was also the last remaining released game for which there was no dump, meaning the original ROM was not available. What follows is information on the subject, kindly supplied to me by William Cortez III (Trevgauntlet): Back in 1984, a programmer named Anthony Tokar, developed a game Birthday Mania. He is now in his 70s and is experiencing health issues. He decided to make the game because he loved Atari and wanted to make one of his own as a token of appreciation for the console. So he found a book on how to program the 6502 chip, he doesn’t remember what he used and it took him several months to make it. The only form of advertisement he used was the Newark Star-Ledger, or the Sunday Star Ledger, he doesn’t remember the days but it was sometime after the game was registered after August 13, 1984. This was his only game and sold between 10-15 copies. The manual was a tri-folded piece of paper. Source: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/204909-birthday-mania-unwrapped/page-1 The saga of this recently rediscovered rarity is ongoing with the rights to the game being kindly given to a member of the Atari Age forums by Mr. Tokar – as long as any proceeds made from sales go to charity. Hopefully soon there will be reproduction cartridges available –  watch this space. In the meantime check out Trevgauntlet’s Birthday Mania game play footage below and for more information on the topic, click the Atari Age link...

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Coleco – The Complete History Kickstarter campaign launches
Nov01

Coleco – The Complete History Kickstarter campaign launches

Retro Games Collector is proud to be supporting this new Kickstarter campaign by Antoine Clerc-Renaud to produce Coleco – The Complete History, a book about an often visionary and sometimes revolutionary company that brought gamers like us the ColecoVision console, the Adam computer and many great tabletop and TV games. The book will cover the entire history of Coleco Industries, which was founded in 1932 by Maurice Greenberg and went bankrupt in 1989. The company name actually stands for Connecticut Leather Company. With a lot of imagery, including pictures ranging from the 30s to the 80s, but still a lot to read, Coleco – The Complete History (working title) will provide detailed information about this rather unknown company. It will, for example, include an entire part about Coleco Canada and its Montreal-based factory which used to build sophisticated toys that were distributed all over the world. We chose to put the emphasis around the video game and electronic game years of Coleco Industries because this is what enabled them to get recognition from all around the globe more than with any other of their products. Backers of the campaign will have access to some great perks including books signed by the authors and a special Kickstarter edition of Spunky’s Super Car for ColecoVision produced by CollectorVision. For more information and to pledge on the book visit the Kickstarter page now....

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The Story of the Oliver Twins Kickstarter launch event – new Dizzy game revealed
Oct25

The Story of the Oliver Twins Kickstarter launch event – new Dizzy game revealed

The impressive Centre for Computing History in Cambridge was the scene of the action yesterday as a new Kickstarter campaign to fund the new book on the Oliver Twins was launched. The book written by Chris Wilkins and Roger Kean will chronicle the astonishing rise of Andrew and Philip from their first type-in listing submitted to a magazine in 1983, to their first real success; Super Robin Hood and their days coding games for Code Masters which of course include the breathtaking successes of the Dizzy and Simulator series of games. The Story of the Oliver Twins book cover The computers were all available to use And lots to choose from! Explaining what the book is all about Showing some of the Twins’ earlier work A full house The Twins signing merchandise at the launch event Various Dizzy perks Signing Dizzy clocks Neil from indieretronews.com with software just signed by the Twins Yours truly with Andrew and Philip Chris and the Twins talked about the new Kickstarter book which was launched at 1 o’clock with a click on Chris’s mobile phone. There were opportunities for the attendees to then pledge on the campaign there and then in return for exclusive posters and postcards which Andrew and Philip were only too happy to sign. We were all also treated to a compelling talk by Archer Maclean, author of Dropzone, Jimmy Whites Whirlwind Snooker and Mercury. Wonderland Dizzy rediscovered And as if the Kickstarter campaign wasn’t enough, at 4 o’clock we were all treated to the big Dizzy reveal, which was undoubtedly the highlight of the day for many there. The rediscovered disk containing the source data for Wonderland Dizzy Wonderland Dizzy artwork A mock up of the Wonderland Dizzy NES cartridge and box Box art front Box art back A video was shown of the recent Play Event where the Twins had shown a map of Wonderland Dizzy for Nintendo’s NES, which they could remember finishing but had never had published. Further investigation of the attic later revealed a floppy disk, which with much help from Andrew Joseph of yolkfolk.com and Lucasz Kur, they were able to get working and debugged. The game is now available to play for FREE at wonderlanddizzy.com thanks to the generosity of Andrew and Philip. Pledge on ‘The Story of The Oliver Twins’ book...

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Sega Saturn clock battery replacement – how to
Sep05

Sega Saturn clock battery replacement – how to

Imagine this. You plug in your Sega Saturn, grab your Virtua gun, load up your well loved copy of Virtua Cop… and this appears: You almost rage destroy the gun as its a royal ball-ache trying to navigate the time and date setting process using the buttons on your gun and you’re being too lazy to reach for a pad. Well the answer to all your prayers is here. Now before I begin, this is probably the most difficult console fix ever. It involves a no-solder technique and should not be attempted by anyone under the age of 2. So here goes. Take your Saturn and turn it around to look at the back, That flap to the left? Take it off. Grab your replacement battery – a CR2032, I bought this pack from a £1 shop for…  you guessed it, £1 !!! Flick the old battery out, replace it with a new one and replace the flap. Fire up your console, and set your time and date! Switch off and back on to ensure its working properly and BOOM!  You’ve done it, give yourself a pat on the...

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