Had An Awesome Time Hangin’ With My Retro Collector Friends From Colexions.com

7 04 2014

My buddy and fellow Retro Gaming fanatic Corey Buckner has put together a great community of fellow minded collectors over at colexions.com. Well, not only has he put together a great site to show off your own collection and geek out over fellow collectors treasures, he also hosts a monthly “Show And Tell” on Google Hangouts. What it is is a group of us collectors having a great time, showing off our stuff and talking about retro gaming and what ever else might come to mind. This was the third monthly get together and boy did we get to see some amazing stuff. We represented five different countries and three different continents but the distances just made the conversation better. It’s really cool to be able to meet like this. We had Corey Buckner (of course) from just outside Chicago and indie game developer Gary Brafford in West Virginia and lifespiller79 from…um sorry man, Texas (I think), all three in the U.S. of A,  We had Gabo representing Argentina, Mark in the U.K, Paul in Australia and little ol’ me up here in Canada. Everyone pulled out all the stops and showed some real stunners from our collections. Checkout last Saturday’s get together below:

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Bally Astrocade – I Finally Have One!!!

19 04 2013

CameraZOOM-20130418024243585There are few classic consoles that I lust after. One of those systems has always been the Bally Astrocade, and now I have one.

The Astrocade was released in 1978 and was very poorly marketed. At first only available through mail order and then later marketed poorly in small computer stores (though I saw it at a super drug mart called London Drugs in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). It didn’t help that it was marketed more as a home computer than a gaming console, which it really is.

A contemporary of the original Atari 2600/VCS CameraZOOM-20130418024537977and Intellivision, it surpassed both in graphic and sound capabilities. The Astrocade got very few arcade ports, though it had a few great clones of classic games such as Galactic Invasion, a Galaxian clone, and The Incredible Wizard, a spot on clone of Wizard of Wor and Astro. The only true arcade port that I’ve seen is Space Fortress and is almost spot on. The Astrocade’s controllers were unique in that they resembled a revolver pistols handle with a small orange nub at the top that works as the joystick that can also be twisted to be used as a paddle controller. They are both unique and comfortable to use. The cartridges look surprisingly like audio cassettes, though they are solid state cartridges like other systems. There is a compartment at the top end of the system where you store the cartridges. And, being a console of the late 1970’s, it sports a great fake wood finish!

CameraZOOM-20130418024420711I acquired my Astrocade through a trade done on reddit.coms retrogameswap page. The guy I traded with, Chuck traded his Astrocade with a crap load of games for my NEC TurboDuo. I know the TurboDuo is worth more if I were to sell, but the Astrocade is worth more to me as a collectible. The system was clean and in perfect working condition. All the game, except one work perfectly, and the one that isn’t working is a math game so I am not upset. The one game I really want, The Incredible Wizard was not part of the haul, but I have purchased a copy via Ebay, and am eagerly awaiting it’s arrival and this evening I also added Pinball to my Ebay purchases. I’d also love to get a copy of Muncher, an amazing Pacman clone that was released for the system, but the only times I’ve seen it on Ebay, the seller wanted a lot more than I’ve been willing to pay. There are also a few home brew games out there, including absolutely amazing versions of the arcade classics, Crazy Climber and War, a Warlords clone.

I am so happy with this trade.

Here is a video of me demonstrating the games that came with it:





A Couple More Gems from my Video Game Collection

13 02 2008

I find myself with a little extra time before work, so I thought I would post (brag) a few pictures of two more little gems from my video collection.

We’ll start with a real rarity:NEC TurboDuo 16

This was the NEC Turbo Grafx 16 with integrated CD-ROM and a number of internal enhancements (including more system memory). Released in North America in October of 1992 with a price tag of $299 U.S., the system languished on shelves ($300 was way too expensive for a game system at that time). NEC tried to combat this by selling various bundles with a number of game pack ins. Even so, sales were dismal.

NEC beat Sony to the punch by releasing a CD-ROM based system a full two years before the Playstation invaded our homes. At the time, CD-ROMs were rare in computers, let alone game consoles.

Here’s a a look at my system:

TBD-System

TurboDuo, two controllers and multi-tap

TBD

The Console alone

TBD-Controller

Close up of one of the controllers

TBD-Multitap

The multi-tap. The system only had one controller port, but with the multi-tap up to four controllers could be used.

System Two: The Sega Game Gear

Sega released the Game Gear (hereon referred to as “GG”) in Japan in October 1990 and in North America in 1991. This was a hand held system designed to compete with Nintendo’s wildly popular Gameboy handheld system. The GG had some advantages over the Gameboy, namely a beautiful (for the time) colour screen (the Gameboy had a sickly looking green screen with the graphics displayed in grey).

One disadvantage was the fact that it ate batteries like crazy… and it took six AA batteries at a time. You were lucky to eek out five hours of game play with fresh alkaline batteries, compared to what seemed a lifetime of play (probably a couple of days) out of four AA batteries in the Gameboy. Sega tried to combat this with rechargeable, external battery packs that greatly increased the gameplay between charges, but also increased the bulk of the already large game system.

Despite the fact that this was a great little system (far superior to the original Gameboy, in my opinion), it was not accepted in Japan, and while a little more popular in Europe and North America, it was outsold by Nintendo’s Gameboy by a large margine. Nintedo continued to eat up the handheld market over the years. Eventualy, in 1997, Sega dropped support for the system.

Although I wouldn’t call this system rare, I definitely consider it collector worthy. With lots of add-ons and a ton of games to hunt down from a lot of markets (any GG game from any region will play on any GG), I always seem to find somethig new…well, new to me.

Here are some pictures of my collection:

GG

The Game Gear unit.

GG-bag

Official Sega Game Gear carrying bag

GG-Games

Some of my Game Gear games.

GG-TV-Tuner

The coveted Television tuner add-on. Note: This did not work with later releases of the Game Gear

GG-Magnifier

The “official” screen magnifier (there were quite a few third party versions of this).

GG-Game-Genie

The Game Gear Game Genie – a third party “cheat” device.