This week I visited Halmstad with my buddy Becki. We went there since there’s an exhibition there called Game Masters for a few more weeks. Here they display various video game history from past to present, and they also have a bunch of games for you to try out. We had heard it wasn’t all that great, but that was mainly from friends who thought my game room had more to offer ;D haha! We still wanted to see it with out own eyes, and I also had a free ticket to go see it that I won in the Asteroids competition at the last retro gaming convention we went to :)
To my surprise there were actually A LOT of old arcade cabinets there that you could play ^_^ I tried them all out except for three that were occupied almost all of the time, which were Donkey Kong, Pac-man and Space Invaders. I think it’s sad that people don’t dare to try something else, then again maybe they’re playing those because of the nostalgia of having played them before.. What kind of bugged me though was that the Donkey Kong cabinet was occupied during the entire time we were there and by the same 2 people which were hosts working at the exhibition.. I think it’s fine that they play when there’s no one around, but when I was in there there were at least 10-15 people in the arcade corner, they shouldn’t be occupying the most popular cabinet then since they can play it whenever o_O
It was really hard to get good pictures in the exhibition since it was pretty dark, only colorful neon lighting in various spots. It made for an extremely cosy environment though, and it looked really cool! But you will have to excuse the shitty images since my camera doesn’t have flash and I didn’t bring a tripod for it.. Anyway, here are most of the arcades that were playable!
I tried playing Tempest, but this was much harder than the console versions I’ve tried! The controls were a wheel that you had to spin to make the ship fly around the edges, and the control were extremely unresponsive! I don’t know if the arcade was faulty or if its supposed to be like that, but you had to really spin it hard for the ship to move a few steps around the side.. I prefer the console versions. Tempest 2000 for Atari Jaguar is pretty cool ^__^
I was surprised at how advanced Missile Command was! I have never seen one of these in person before, so I played it for a bit. It was really hard! You had to hit those missiles straight on the tip of the tiny thin line and you only had a limited amount of shots.. pretty cool ^__^ The controls consisted of a giant ball, it gave you quite a lot of precision but it was also very responsive which made it kind of hard to aim precise.. and you had three different buttons for the various missile launchers you had.
Rip Off was kind of cool, it took a while for me to figure out what the objective was cause I was pushing the wrong buttons on the machine, I was probably on player 2’s side haha ^_^ It’s kind of similar to Asteroids in the controls, but you had to shoot creatures that were stealing your triangles, STAY AWAY FROM MY TRIANGLES! LOL!
I was a bit disappointed in the graphics of Xevious, it looked JUST LIKE my Famicom version… at least how I remember it.. I guess it’s a really good port on the Famicom ;D I did make it into the highscore list on this arcade though ^_^ I like Xevious, but it’s far from the best shmup out there…
Reactor was kind of boring. You just pushed blocks with some kind of magnetic force into a wall while trying to avoid touching the wall yourself…
There was also a Tower of Druaga arcade there but it was out of order :/
I also tried out some Asteroids since that’s what got me the free ticket to the exhibition ;D This was the second time ever that I had played on an Asteroids arcade! I really love this game, and it’s extra nice on an arcade! The graphics remind me of the Vectrex, it’s so crisp! I wish I had one of these at home..
Elevator Action was better than I had expected! The graphics look so dull and I thought it was just about moving down the elevator to the bottom level avoiding enemies, but once I got down there they put me back up by the first red door, apparently you had to collect stuff as well! Woah! Advanced shit ^__^ haha!
Scramble is always good ^_^ Here I actually beat the main highscore!! YAY!!! But unfortunately you didn’t get to sign your initials, the game’s highscore on screen just changed… so nobody will know it was me :(
What really blew my mind was Robotron 2084! This game was so much fun!!!! I played this for the longest time, the controls were smooth, it was hectic but still manageable. You’re this little guy with goggles and you have to shoot all the robots on screen, but there’s also obstacles that you have to avoid or shoot and regular people which need saving, each person gave a bunch of extra points. I’ve researched a bit and there only seems to be an old Atari 7800 port on consoles, and one for Atari Lynx, I’m trying to get a hold of the Lynx version now since I don’t have an Atari 7800 :/ There’s also a Midway collection for GBA that contains the game, and then there’s newer versions like Robotron 64 on N64 and Robotron X on PSX, these do not interest me as much though since they probably fucked up trying to make it 3D >_<
The rest of the exhibition contained a bunch of other stuff, both old and new, but mainly newer things as you walked away from the arcade corner. I spent most of my time by the arcades while Becki checked out the rest. I did take a stroll around and looked at everything afterwards though. Everything was extremely neatly displayed :) Colorful and clean.
Becki spent most of her time at the Blizzard corner since she’s an old WoW player ;D She also spent a lot of time with Fable and Black & White, she loves those types of games ^_^ They had most common consoles on display with some typical games in them to be played, like the NES with Super Mario Bros, Sega with Sonic games, Dreamcast with Shenmue etc.. you get the point ;D There were also a lot of PC games, even a lot of earlier ones. A whole corner dedicated to Tim Schafer, and PC’s and consoles so you could play his classics, such as Psychonauts ^_^ They had cubes where you could walk in and play Rockband, a stage for playing some Dancing game, some Outrun arcades and a big corner for indie games at the very end.
In the indie corner I recognized two things I really enjoy, first up the Behemoth studio which made Castle Crashers and Alien Hominide ^_^ Great games! But then I was also really surprised to see Jakob Dvorsky’s Samorost on display and playable on a PC! I haven’t played this game since it came out on the web back in 2003! I used to love this game and show it to all my friends, you could play it in your browser and it was really cool! The graphics were really different for its time, the puzzle solving is a lot of fun and the animations of the characters are just adorable! I URGE EVERYONE TO TRY IT OUT RIGHT NOW! Even to just see the beginning, it’s amazingly odd! And the music is cool ^_^ Click this and play this point and click adventure naaaaoooow!! >> It’s pretty short, but he’s also made sequels to the game ^^ Samorost 2 is longer and harder and has the best soundtrack, you can only try out the first chapter for free then it costs $5 but you get the soundtrack with it if you buy it ;D And Samorost 3 is in the making :D
We got the advice to check out a store while we were in Halmstad, we were told they had a bunch of retro games for sale, among other geeky things like movies, posters, merchandise etc, it’s called Backlist. Of course we went to check it out!
And they sure had some retro games!! :D
There were loads of NES games, some even boxed, but most were quite common titles so I didn’t find anything I didn’t already have. There were also quite a bunch of SNES and N64 games in decent condition. I checked out a few but no real bargains. The store is quite aware of the value of the retro games. I did however find some Sega Mega Drive games. They had both Master System and Mega Drive games, and a few systems as well. In some glass cabinets you could find some rare stuff though, like odd NES controllers, Game & Watch systems, other weird handhelds and a bunch of other stuff.
Apart from all the things on display you could see boxes of things “behind the scenes”, so I bet you could always just ask to see if they have what you’re looking for :) They were also in the middle of re-arranging the store so maybe they’ll put it all up eventually.
There was another room upstairs filled with “not-so-retro” games ^_^ Here’ you could find anything from GBA to PS3. Loads of Xbox 360, Gamecube and PS2 games. A little bit more expensive than Game Stop’s second hand games, but they are on the other hand only selling games. Here you could find a few odder titles though, at Game Stop it’s mainly the same old games in the shelves, the ones nobody want anymore ;D The good or rare ones disappear immediately, while here there still seemed to be a good mix of different games :)
They also had a bunch of other things in the store!
I wish I would have had more time that day, then I would have gone through all the boxes with vinyl records ^_^ There were loads of music at Backlist, both CDs and LPs! And most of all there were movies! DVDs on almost every wall and in the basement! These you could get a really good deal on! But you could also find some really rare collectors edition ones that were priced accordingly. I saw this VHS with Macross “Do you remember love” which I really felt like getting, this one was in japanese, but I already have it from when I was a kid, mine is dubbed into Swedish though! Hahaha! It sounds ridiculous ^_^ But I loved that movie when I was young. They had basically all genres of movies there, both anime and korean films (which I love!).
I also saw vintage toys decorating corners here and there, and merchandise like actions figures and that one pretty cool Final Fantasy watch :) The store is well worth a visit if you’re ever in the neighborhood of Halmstad, Sweden.
Here’s what I picked up at Backlist:
Yes yes, I know.. boxing..?! You all probably know that I’m not a fan of sports games, but I recently had a friend who asked me if I had this one boxing game that he used to play on the Sega Mega Drive as a kid, and I realized I didn’t have a single 16-bit boxing game o_O So when I saw these two (I do not remember which one it was my friend asked about, maybe it was one of these) I just couldn’t pass them up ^_^ So yay (>_<) now I have boxing games too! :D Hahah!
I’ve never even seen the other game before, The Ooze. The cover looked cool, but I have no clue what the gameplay will be like. It’s hard to tell from the screenshots on the back but I will try it out soon ^_^
That’s it for the Halmstad trip, I’m sorry for the extremely long blog post! Creds to those who stuck with it to the end ;D I’ll be back soon with some NEW PC Engine games, yes brand new… ;D