Retro Rumble 2016

This weekend I had the first Retro Rumble game night and competition of 2016. I’m really happy that so many people could join! A total of 22 guys and gals were competing, and a few more were there spectating ^_^ It was a blast, and even though there were so many people competing everything went extremely smoothly!

All of the 22 contestants got to compete in 6 games. The games that were played were:
Psycho Chaser for PC Engine, first stage, 1 life and best score.
Race for Philips Videopac, 2 minutes score attack.
Sonic 2 for Sega Mega Drive, first stage, speedrun, best time.
Phoenix for Atari 2600, 1 life, best score.
Daiku no Gensan for Famicom, first stage, one life, best score.
Sachen Tetris for NES, level 9, 30 lines, best score.

When all the games were played one team had the highest score and won the A-Team price! Congrats NinjaBrite, Matt8Bit & Slurpas!

Before the semi-finals we stopped for a retro gaming quiz that I put togehter ^_^ Some of the questions were a bit difficult on purpose but a majority of the questions had 4 options for answers :) The quiz master was KRS ^_^

Wobbly, KRS, TekkenCarr and Slurpas made it to the semi-finals! They got to compete in three games. First up was Horace Goes Skiing for ZX Spectrum, where they had one pair of skis to get as high of a score as possible. Next up was Sugoi no Hebereke and VS Collection on the Super Famicom. It was a good fight!

Slurpas and TekkenCarr came out victorious and made it to the finals where they competed in Twinkle Star Sprites on Neo Geo MVS arcade, Joy Mecha Fight on Famicom and finally Pong on my new Ajax TV Game system ^_^ It was an even fight but the Pong match settled the score and Slurpas became our 2016 Retro Rumble Champion! Congraturation A Winner Is You!! XD

Once the competition was finished we continued gaming all night long ^__^ So much fun! Thanks to everyone who attended! <3

Now here’s some more pics from the evening :D

RSF crew at Retro Rumble 2016

Ajax TV Game – a super sleek pong console

I’ve been on the look out for Pong machines recently, mainly to train my skills before the yearly Swedish Championships of Pong that takes place each year at Retrogathering ^_^ I’ve been attempting to compete since 2014, but haven’t had anything to train on except my Philips Odyssey 2001, which has a quite different feeling than the original Atari Pong console. While scouting for an Atari Pong, like the ones they use in the competition I stumbled upon this beauty on eBay! It was so cheap and yet beautiful that I couldn’t help but buy it ^_^

I’ve never heard of the Ajax TV Games before, it’s from the UK, or at least that’s where I bought it from. It was complete, the box is a bit tattered but the console is in excellent condition! Shining white! It’s also so stylish and well designed! It can run on batteries or a power adaptor (which wasn’t included), and all the outputs for antenna and other chords plus the battery container is hidden behind a sleek compartment where you could also store the controllers, because they’re so tiny! Just look at this beauty ^_^

   “Most exciting…fascinating home video games ever built
  for your family.”

The controllers really are tiny, one of the controllers is a liiiittle bit slower to turn than the other, but they both work fine. I tried it out for the first time today :)

Ajax Pong controller

The machine itself has loads of settings! You can turn the sound on and off, it comes straight from the system and is basically just beeps for when the ball hits the paddle. You can change angles between +-20°/40° or just +-20°, I guess this is how the ball will fly when it hits the edge of a paddle. There’s also two different speeds, H and L, High and Low I guess. You can choose between Auto serve or Manual and you can also set the bat size (the size of the paddle) between L and S, Large and Small.

Apart from this there’s 4 various game modes to choose from, Tennis, Hockey, Handball or Practice mode :)

Ajax TV Game settings

Ajax TV Game variations

This sucker takes no less than 6 C batteries to play!!!! Hahaha ^_^ I need to get an adaptor…

C batteries

When I first tried finding the channel I had trouble. Two of my TVs refused to find it. The second one scrolled through a tuning that looked perfect, but refused to stop there, if I forced it to stop there it went bad again.. and whenever it did stop everything on the screen was warped like I was seeing double.. Eventually I got it working on the third TV though, luckily I have many TVs ;D

Ajax tuning

Here are the four variations of Pong that can be played on the Ajax TV Game :) I find Tennis to be the most fun one. Handball was kind of different though, I’ve never seen it before on a Pong machine. You take turns on hitting the ball, it gets a bit confusing to see which one is you or who’s turn it is. If the wrong paddle tries to hit it the ball just goes straight through. I would call this squash.. not handball.. XD

Ajax TV Game Pong Variations

I didn’t have anyone to battle with so it was my left hand VS my right hand! (I’m right handed), but I recorded some gameplay of the Ajax TV Game, the first video is a game of Tennis on slow setting, and I was amazed at which hand came out victorious! It was hard focusing on turning the wheel in mirrored ways since I had it in two different hands XD The second video is of first Tennis on high speed and then some Hockey and Handball so anyone who’s interested can see how those look as well :) It was extremely difficult just controlling the paddle with one thumb!

The Ajax TV game system is a great addition to the collection! So pretty and works like a charm! Now I just need to find myself the original Pong console! ^_^

I’m on the Retro Asylum podcast! :D

I was invited to be on the Retro Asylum show, which is the UK’s biggest retro gaming podcast! :D They have a new series called Bytesize where they discuss various things with various people and I got to talk with Paul Davies from Retro Asylum for about an hour. It was a lot of fun and we talked about all kinds of retro game related subjects :) I got to explain a bit about the Nintendo culture in Sweden and talk about my collection ^_^ It was great fun! :D

You can listen to the episode here >>
It can also be found on iTunes if you search for Retro Asylum :)

This is the awesome poster they put together for this episode ^_^

Heidi stopXwhispering on Retro Asylum podcast

Review of the 1 UP Card

Adam over at 1 UP Card was kind enough to send me a sample of his product!


The 1 UP Card is supposed to be an alternative to Q-tips for cleaning retro video game cartridges. I have actually grown quite attached to my Q-tips, I’ve found a brand at my local super market (the more expensive brand) that works great! The stick is stiff and doesn’t bend too easily and they do not generate any fuzz, the cotton merely stays on the Q-tip ^__^ I am however open to try new things! :D So here’s what the 1 UP Kit looks like:


There’s a fluid bottle with 1.25oz of 99% isopropyl alcohol. The dispenser is really neat and easy to use, and it doesn’t create as much of a mess as my giant bottle of alcohol that I usually use. However, I’m afraid it won’t last as long ;D


You also get a 1 UP Card with a fluid side and a dry side for rubbing the connections on the cartridges. On the pic below I’ve wet the fluid side ^_^


So I’ve tried this out! First of all I tried an NES game. The pad and the card fit perfectly. Rubbing was smooth and fast. You got a better grip than with a q-tip and could therefore rub faster. Another benefit is that you managed to get the edges of the pins, which is usually a bit of a drag with a q-tip since it easily falls between the gap at the end of the pins before the plastic.


After this I tried out the Game Boy cartrdige! Here the 1 up card did not fit, I managed to force a corner of it in there, but the 1 up card is still wider than the cartridge. So here it’s still more effective with 1-tips.


Next I tried a Famicom cartridge! This worked perfectly! I think it’s got kind of the same dimensions as an NES cartridge in the space between the pin connector and the plastic.


Then I went on to some heavy duty stuff! I just got 5 really really dirty Neo Geo MVS cartridges of Metal Slug 1 – X in the mail today! The 1 up card was smaller than most of the gaps, but on one particular cartridge the last pin towards the plastic had a really thin gap where I couldn’t reach with the card. Apart from that it went well. Here it was much faster working with the 1 up card than with q-tips. I usually spend around 20 q-tips on one Neo Geo cart…


After these games (1 NES, 1 Famicom and 5 REALLY dirty MVS carts) the card looked like this:



What bugs me with this apart from working with q-tips is that you can’t really tell when the game is thoroughly clean. When I use q-tips I pick a new one until they don’t turn dirty anymore, then I know that the cartridge is as clean as can be. Sometimes it’s enough with 2 q-tips, sometimes I have to work through 20! Here, the 1 up card looks dirty after a while and you won’t know if the new cartridge you’re cleaning is clean enough or not…

After this I picked a new 1 up card because I felt the other one was dirty. On Adam’s site he states that it’s ok, because the dirt goes into the pad and stays in the bottom.. but I still felt like it was dirty, and didn’t wanna rub that extreme MVS dirt onto the other less dirty carts ;D So I went on with a new 1 up card on a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) cartridge! It worked, but you had to force it down a bit for it to fit.


After this I tried Sega Master System. In the front there was lots of space for the 1 up card to fit, but in the back I had to force it down even more than on the Mega Drive (Genesis) cartridge. It worked though, with some force ;D


Next up was Super Nintendo! Also very tight to fit the 1 up card. Like the back of the Master System. Had to force it in there, but once in it worked.


Then I tried a Nintendo 64 cartridge. A little bit better than SNES, but still tight.


And finally an Atari 2600 cartridge! :D These are difficult as is, since you have to push down the plastic to reveal the pin connectors, but I would say that it’s easier with the 1 up card since you can keep pressing the card down while cleaning to keep the pins exposed. When using q-tips you will have to hold it down simultaneously with your other hand.


After this the second card I had used looked like the picture below (middle card). These latest games I cleaned though were from the collection, however not used in a while, so they’ve been thoroughly cleaned once before, but of course collect more dirt by just hanging around.


After a final super-rub of the first NES cartridge I tried to rub it with a regular q-tip and the alcohol I usually use just to see how clean it was, and below you can see the result. Barely any dirt left ^_^


Now for the final test! 1 up card also states that it removes permanent marker, stickers, and grime from your games. I brought forth NES cartridges with stickers, gooey residue and permanent marker scribbles :D


First up is the sticker on Caveman games! After some rubbing and scraping with my nails I got it off. I do the same with q-tips which works just as well. The benefit with q-tips is that the rubbing surface is smaller, which makes it easier to avoid the actual label sticker on the cartridge (which you want to keep on there ;D). Apart from that it worked fine.


Then onto the old unidentified sticker residue on the back of NES cartridge. This one did not come off! I rubbed for over 5 minutes and scraped it, and nothing happened. If anything, it got a little bit cleaner ;D haha


Then the permanent markings ^_^ These came half way off, they revealed what was written underneath with an apparently more permanent marker! haha ^^ The sticker residue in the bottom came off nicely though. The pad was completely black after this procedure and while rubbing it on the sticker the surface got black smeared all over it.. so I will not re-use this 1 up card for any pin cleaning..


In my opinion the 1 up card is a good product! It’s faster than q-tips and less messy. It’s definitely a more expensive solutions though. I’ve used maybe 1/10th of the fluid only tonight, compared to my big bottle which lasts FOREVER! ;D The 1 up card kit costs $12.95 with one bottle and 1 card, and $15.95 with 3 cards and a bottle. Refill cards (set of three) costs $9.95. So it’s still not super expensive, for a small collector this is definitely a great and simple solution to cleaning your games! For me though, who get games in the mail almost on a daily basis, it would not be cost effective (especially not with shipping to Sweden) ;D

Something that was nice is that I didn’t have to re-wet the fluid part of the card, it stayed moist for the entire test! This saves time compared to dipping q-tips every 30 seconds…

I really liked the packaging of the product and it works with almost all retro game cartridges, you can tell that it’s based on the NES though, which it fit perfectly in. Unfortunately not with the Game Boy games though, but these are so fast and easily cleaned with a q-tip anyway so it doesn’t really matter.

I will save and continue using my kit for my Neo Geo games! Here the kit was a major time saver and q-tip saver ;D haha ^_^

If you wanna know more about the 1 UP CARD you can check it out here >> 

Arcades in Akihabara, Tokyo

Tokyo is full of arcades, they’re everywhere! :D And they’re a lot of fun!
2014-04-20 18.40.32-1  Akihabara - Game Taito Station-sq

Personally I prefer playing the music and rhythm games. Here’s a funny video of one of Sega’s newer games Maimai:

You can also find 4 player mario kart, where each get their own steering wheel and screen, and fun games like Taiko no Tatsujin where you hit on giant drums in time with music ^_^
2014-04-20 21.20.40-1

I personally love this music game with all the buttons ^_^ I don’t know the name of it though :/
music game

Most of the arcades are at least 4 stories high with the first two floors filled with U.F.O catchers.
Akihabara - UFO machines

When it comes to U.F.O catchers, I recommend the ones with three claws, because the ones with two claws are extremely weak. Don’t forget to check machines for something that is about to fall over that somebody else has already been nudging around ^_^
Akihabara - U.F.O

I got pretty good at these machines during our trip ^_^ It is also extremely addictive, I don’t know how many 100 Yens I put into these, and I don’t wanna count ;D Here’s a picture of how excited I was whenever I got to play though ;D
2014-04-24 14.07.24

And I actually won this, after having put in a bit over 1000 Yen in this machine, trying to pin holes into the little paper holding the thing up. Eventually there wasn’t much left but it still wouldn’t budge. So I asked the personnel to nudge the box a bit so the entire weight was on platform (since it was a bit crooked and leaning on the plastic bar against the glass), then the guy started fiddling with the paper instead and the thing fell down, I just assumed that I won it and he gave it to me ^_^ YAY

I also won this cute Rilakkuma bear for myself and I won this other cuddly plushie for my friend ^_^
2014-04-24 13.56.19

Most arcades will mainly have modern games and maybe a few machines with classic street fighter. I went and took some pics during mid-day on a week day so it was pretty empty. After 5 though it is always crammed with people. There’s mostly fighting games or strategy games. Some new ones even have touch screens.
Akihabara - Sega arcades 2
Akihabara - sega arcades 7
Akihabara - Sega arcades 3
Akihabara - sega arcades 8
Akihabara - Sega Arcades 4
Akihabara - start button2
Akihabara - sega arcades 5
Akihabara - sega2
Akihabara - sega arcades 6
Akihabara - start2
Akihabara - sega arcades changer
Akihabara - sega arcades street fighter
Akihabara - Sega Arcades

I found an arcade located in between the two SEGA buildings (you can find the directions in my guide to Akihabara game shops) in Akihabara that had mainly retro game arcade machines! A whole floor of just 16-bit shmups! ^_^ It was called HEY (Hirose Entertainment Yard).
Akihabara - Hey arcade

This place was awesome ^_^ I wish this was my living room! haha
Akihabara - arcade shooters
Akihabara - arcades 16-bit shooters
Akihabara - arcades more shooters
Akihabara - arcades
Akihabara - hey arcade shooters

They also had these special 2-player machines with Darius and Ninja Warriors ^_^
Akihabara - darius
Akihabara - ninja warriors

Also if you wanna find retro arcades you can find some on the fourth floor of Super Potato (directions can be found here). They have more than just shmups, for example Puyo Puyo, Bomber World, Ghosts n’ Goblins, Final Fight, Pac-Land etc.
Super potato arcades
Super potato arcades 2

There’s a lot more arcades to explore in Tokyo and in Akihabara alone. It’s thrilling to see how this culture is still so much alive over there ^_^

Retro Gaming Guide to Akihabara in Tokyo

I’ve recently come back from a two week vacation in Tokyo, I went there with 5 other friends and we had a blast! ^_^
2014-04-20 18.05.11  2014-04-20 17.27.03-1

While in Tokyo I took the opportunity to go hunting for some retro games of course! I’ve been to Tokyo quite some times now, but I’ve only ever found Super Potato where I could buy retro games. This time however I got a friend from instagram to show me around Akihabara to all the best retro game shops! ^_^
Here’s a map I’ve made of the places I went to:
akihabara map of retro game shops akihabara electric town exit

The two Sega buildings that I pinned on the map are easy to find. After you take the Akihabara Electric Town Exit just go right, out into a square, if you look to your left you will see the first giant SEGA building:
Akihabara - Sega building

Once you get closer to it you will see the second SEGA building as well:
Akihabara - sega buildings


So first off is Super Potato, this place is a bit pricey, but it’s a must-go for all retro gaming enthusiasts! It’s located on the street behind the two SEGA buildings. It’s kind of hard to find the entrance since it’s quite small and you won’t really see the signs for it unless you look up (or can read japanese). It’s down on this street, I’ve located it with a circle, however if you go on the route of the map it will be on your right side instead of left.
Akihabara - Super Potatoe

This is the building:
Akihabara - Super Potatoe building
Akihabara - Super Potatoe Entrance

You will have to go into a corridor and take the elevator up:
Akihabara - Super Potatoe elevator

Super Potato has 4 floors, first floor is mainly cartridge games (famicom, super famicom, sega master system, mega drive, pc engine, game boy etc). Second floor has some newer games like playstaytion, dreamcast etc. The third floor has mainly strategy guides to retro games and the fourth floor has retro arcade machines where you can play puyo puyo, pac-land, final fight, ghosts n’ goblins and a bunch of other old classics ^_^ Everything is very neatly displayed and they also have a bunch of merchandise.
One thing that bugs me about Super Potato is that they have two giant shelves filled from top to bottom with famicom games and most of them are doubles. You will see the same game 10 times in a row sometimes, it makes it hard going through it all.. and time consuming. They have however put end labels on the plastic wrap of each game, but it’s written in japanese.
super potato


Next up is Mandarake Complex, I didn’t spend too much time here, but they had loads of retro games at reasonable prices! And so many boxed games in great condition ^_^ I saw a mint CiB Recca and I really wanted to buy it, but that game is almost just as expensive in Japan as it is on eBay… :( At Mandarake Complex all the games were in hard plastic cases, it made it a bit dull to look through it all, and hard to spot the games you were looking for..

They also had an assortment of Neo Geo games, I really would like to start collecting for that system, but damn those games are pricey! The most expensive one I saw was 220.000 Yen, which is over 2000 USD… o_O


I did however spend more time at another Mandarake store in Nakano (Nakano is just one stop from Shinjuku station with the JR line, or three stops if you don’t take the chuo rapid line). (Note that this store is NOT located in Akihabara and not pinned on the map above..). Mandarake Galaxy is located on the second floor inside Nakano Broadway, a mall that is just straight ahead after exiting the station.
mandarake galaxy

This one wasn’t very big but they made use of their space by only displaying one of each game instead of triples (like in Super Potato). Their games were also really neatly displayed in a way that you could easily browse through them ^^ And it was very reasonably priced! :D This is how happy I was at the Mandarake Galaxy store in Nakano ^_^
2014-04-24 14.01.51
They had a lot of gems and I bought loads of games here, including Gimmick! ^_^ They also had another cabinet inside where they had stuff that wasn’t for sale, just for show >-< Like the Sega Mega Drive Tetris!! 
mandarake galaxy nakano


Next up is Trader in Akihabara, this is located just a bit further down the street from the two SEGA buildings.

Just like in the Mandarake Complex in Akihabara this store had all it’s cartridges and boxed games in plastic cases. This makes it kind of hard to browse through loose Famicom carts.. I bought a few games here though.
trader akihabara

I found a boxed Altered Beast for Game Boy Advance, I regret not getting it since it was so cheap >_<  3500 Yen is approximately 34 USD…
trader - altered beast

They also had a bin filled with loose carts that all cost under 100 Yen! The cheapest I found was 19 Yen, which is less than 20 cents ^_^ There was no guarantee that they would work though. However, all the five games I found in the bin has worked perfectly ^_^
trader bins

You could also get Neo Geo games here and other rarities. However they were not displayed, only by advertisements all over the walls. I guess you would have to go to a counter to order them.
trader neo geo


Now the last shop my friends took me too was so cute! It was run by this old lady and her husband, and it was called FRIENDS ^__^
Friends Game Shop Akihabara        Friends Game Shop entrance
Friends lady

It was very small, but it was crammed with retro games! ^_^ And it was mostly very cheap :) It was really easy to browse through the Famicom carts, and they also had a bunch of bins filled with cheaper carts, around 100 Yen.
Friends game shop famicom
Friends games

Apparently there was also a second floor, I didn’t have time to see it though. I was told they had Sega Saturn games and stuff like that upstairs.

I would recommend all of these shops for retro game collectors that visit Tokyo ^_^

And if you’re not into buying games, there are also loads of places to just play games! :D Here’s my post about the Arcades of Akihabara ^_^