Escape: a Game Boy chiptunes EP by Joe Bleeps
Sep03

Escape: a Game Boy chiptunes EP by Joe Bleeps

Joe Bleeps (AKA Joe Heaton) is no stranger to Retro Games Collector and we have featured his Game Boy modding skills before. It is these modding skills, including the addition of backlights and stereo line-out sockets that led multi-talented Joe finding his way into the chiptunes scene and eventually producing tracks and performing himself. He uses only original Game Boy hardware and LSDJ (Littlesound DJ) to produce his music and three years on from being introduced to the chiptunes scene, he is playing live shows and has now recorded an EP of some of the best music he has created to date entitled Escape. The title track can be heard below: Escape by Joe Bleeps Escape is a mixture of his own take on existing songs and original songs done in Joe’s own unique style. We love it and we are sure you will too. Download Escape from Bandcamp and be sure to follow Joe on Twitter, Instagram and on his Facebook page....

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Custom Game Boy Advance by 8bit Evolution
Jul14

Custom Game Boy Advance by 8bit Evolution

We were thrilled to be contacted a short while back by 8 bit Evolution, a US based company specializing in supplying custom modded and fully refurbished consoles to retro gaming enthusiasts. Established 3 years ago, 8 bit Evolution has 11 people on their team, all of whom are dedicated gamers themselves, enthusiasts intent on breathing new life into old consoles.  At the time of writing the 8bit Evolution website has dozens of different modded Game Boy Advances, Game Boy Micros, Nintendo SNES, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis consoles in stock, in addition to T-shirts, custom enamel pins and and Perler bead art.  The stunning and varied custom paint work on the handhelds and custom consoles is undertaken by Carly, Ryan and James, who will also mod machines to your individual specifications. “ 8 bit evolution breathes new life into retro game consoles, giving them the second chance they deserve! We meticulously clean and refurbish every console we touch, putting as much love into each piece as the enjoyment they have brought to our lives as life long video game enthusiasts. “ They were kind enough to send along one of their beautiful custom backlit Game Boy Advances for us to try out and when it landed on our doormat we weren’t disappointed. The one-off GBA we were sent has been meticulously refurbished from the ground up, with a brand new shell, new buttons, a scratch resistant lens upgrade, a full internal clean, a new backlit upgraded LCD and custom 8bit Evolution holographic sticker. “Well,” I hear you say. “How does it stack up?” True to their philosophy of bringing old consoles back to life, upon opening the 8bit Evolution box there is no sign at all that the console has been previously used. From the custom airbrushed paintwork over a brand new case (in this case a space scene) to the new buttons and shiny new label on the back, the machine is as fresh as it was when it first left Nintendo’s factory back in the noughties. And there is something slightly different looking about that screen… which hints at its best feature, and one which can only be truly appreciated when you switch the unit on. The biggest let down of Nintendo’s otherwise wonderful 32 bit handheld was its lack of a backlit screen, something the guys at 8bit Evolution have succeeded in putting right. Behind the new scratch resistant lens lies a fully backit LCD screen which enables you to play under all lighting conditions. I tried the GBA outside in bright light and indoors in subdued lighting the new screen worked a treat, lots of...

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Modded GameBoys by Joe Heaton AKA joeteach
Jan28

Modded GameBoys by Joe Heaton AKA joeteach

I’ve been following Joe’s Game Boy modding exploits on Instagram for some time (@joeteach) and was more than delighted when he agreed to aggregate his modded GameBoys for all to see here on RetroGamesCollector. Ranging from the subtle ‘Grey Boy’ to some of his more striking combinations, one thing remains true, that he is breathing new life into ageing handhelds. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, and at the bottom of the article you will find a short interview with Joe himself. When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played? Joe: I became interested in videogames when my Dad bought a secondhand Amstrad CPC6128 around 1988.  Before that I’d play games at friends’ houses but I never really thought I was any good at them and that put me off.  I can remember playing my first videogame though, it was some sort of pong clone on a huge computer in primary school, the thing had to be wheeled around on this great big trolley.  Must have been around 1984 I think.  I was terrible at it! What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old were you? Joe: The first computer we had as a family was the Amstrad, however it was when we got an Amiga 500+ that I really started to realise how much fun could be had with a computer.  I was at high school then and I used to spend hours mucking around with random shareware programs I’d get from magazines or market stalls; I played a lot of games but my fondest memories are just from exploring all those weird and wonderful programs.  It sounds a bit clichéd but it is the Gameboy that really got me hooked on videogames. I’d heard about them from a friend and just imagined it as a Game & Watch type LCD handheld; when I saw that dot matrix display I was just blown away! I can still remember seeing it and having that pang of need – I had to have one. I loved it; I had independence, could play it anywhere and it was all mine (a real treat when you’re one of four kids). It was playing on the Gameboy that got me over my insecurities at being able to play well; it became more about enjoyment.  I completed my first ever game, Super Mario Land, on the Gameboy and got pretty good at Tetris too. Very fond memories. What is your favourite hardware manufacturer (Sega, Nintendo, Atari Commodore etc.) ? Joe: I’ve always loved Nintendo stuff, mainly...

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