Hey Ho RetRo!

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Last Saturday we had the pleasure of attending NERG at the Gateshead International Stadium. Representing for Teabag or Die were eremenko, The Quim Ninja and Crinbot and we were thrilled to be joined by Bradley Hall from the excellent North East Media and Gaming site. We thought you all might be interested in seeing what we got up to so here is a selection of pics from some of the shows highlights.

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That’s right there’s a Sopranos pinball machine RIP Mr Gandolfini

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Point blank was one of only two light gun games on the show floor which was a shame but it was more than enough to keep us (trigger) happy.

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eremenko smashed the competition in Super Smash Bros. melee on the good old Gamecube.

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Four player Gauntlet machine was just epic although not as fun as we remembered it.

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Star Wars pinball complete with moving, whistling R2D2.

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It wouldn’t be a retro gaming con without the famous dungaree wearing plumber … Quim could not get enough of this.

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Even more retro Mario to delight all

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Turtles arcade could’ve been amazing but sadly Donatello wouldn’t move down due a joystick malfunction which greatly saddened eremenko…

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Millipede … nuff said.

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Missile commander …. look at those next gen graphics.

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The game board for Sopranos pinball, what’s the boat all about? I don’t know I’ve never seen the show.

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Starship Troopers Pinball, more exciting and action packed than Starship Troopers 2 ….

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South Park pinball. Look there’s Mr Hankey, he popped up out of that toilet a lot.

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You have never seen a grown man more excited than Quim was when this Star Trek the Next Generation Pinball table started playing the theme tune.

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Robotron … fucking Robotron!!!

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This is the face of delight that most of us made all day.

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I can’t remember the name of this one but I can assure you it needed every inch of concentration Quim is showing in this shot.

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Sadly the board for Atlantis the Pinball machine was slightly water damaged (badum cha).

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The original Crazy Taxi arcade machine …. I dare you not to get excited about that.

You think all that is great? Well there was more to see. In addition to various arcade machines and classic games there were a whole host of folk showing off vintage and modified machinery, plus a whole plethora of tinker’s peddling the goods from their packs. Check out some of this stuff and I bet you’ll see something from days gone by that you wish you had been there to try or in some cases buy.

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SNES!

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Oh what I wouldn’t give to own those games … oh wait I have that one … and that one .. still that’s insane.

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This thing! Oh hells yeah!

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Wan’t to buy the original CE and limited edition Halo 2? Tough Quim got there first. No wonder he looks so Boss about it.

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Oh …

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My ….

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Lord.

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Can you imagine owning this many games?

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Actually you probably can …. cause you do.

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The NEC TurboGrafX … the stuff of dreams … well my dreams anyway.

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The GCN and it’s modified sister the Panasonic Q which played both Gamecube discs and DVD’s … revolutionary!

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Either that remote is massive or eremenko is tiny …. maybe it’s both actually.

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What kind of retro show would be complete without retro sweets…. eremenko went on a sugar crazed killing spree shortly after this photo was taken … it’s ok though the only people hurt were goombas and some henchmen.

That would just about round off our day but for a few chance encounters with some famous faces from the world of gaming. See if you can recognize any of these guys and girls.

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Were any of you in attendance at this event of epicness? Maybe you were one of the folk that eremenko picked up on his 3DS street pass?

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Would you like to attend it if you could? Check out the official NERG website or their twitter @NERGofficial and keep your eyes peeled for more opportunities to take part in some past loving retro goodness. I’m off to play some Streets of Rage.

– eremenko

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To be this good takes Ages

As a kid I was always on the Sega side of the fence, fiercely maintaining that our blue hedgehog beat the ‘stache off of Ninty’s pipe fixing Italian fella, all the while staring curiously over the divide watching with envy as Ninty fan-boys rejoiced in the brilliance of Zelda and Mario’s many adventures. In my new wiser state I realise it is not necessary to choose just one of the controlling powers in console land, if I had to do it again however I would still make the same choice.

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Platform Mastery was never so tough.

Sega have had some mixed fortunes in recent years but there is no doubt in my mind that the gaming world would not be the same today were it not for the creators of the worlds most famous blue hedgehog. Alex the Kidd on Master system, ToeJam and Earl on the MegaDrive (Genesis) and Panzer Dragoon saga on Saturn are some of my fondest gaming memories.

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It may look like a dinosaur now but to a 16 year old me this appeared capable of interstellar travel.

 

The Dreamcast proved to be the last foray into the console world for the Japanese giants, long gone now but in no way forgotten. I hadn’t realised until recently just how much of a cult following the DC has garnered over the years. It’s hardly surprising though with classic titles like Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, PowerStone, Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Tokyo Bus Route coupled with a surprisingly powerful system a fab controller and a VMU which was completely unique to Sega’s ultimate console.

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Tokyo Bus Route … the most action packed bus simulator ever!

While they no longer produce consoles Sega are alive and well in terms of game production Sonic continues his geriatric sprint putting out titles like nobodies business, most of these however are rehashes or cash ins and the real question is “Where are the big hitters?”. Yes Mr Sega we know you can sell your blue hedgehog but what about the others? JSR and Crazy Taxi have enjoyed a resurgence of late with HD XBLA releases and even an IOS launch for the latter but isn’t it time we had some new releases from these series’? There are many rumours circulating that we will see a new Phantasy Star title on handheld devices at some point in the none too distance future which excites me no end given I was one of the few in the UK who tried with only little success to use the DC’s 56kbps built in modem to play the original console MMORPG.

Look it’s so colourful and fun …. and colourful

This brings me nicely to my main irk with Sega’s current hierarchy “Where is my Shenmue 3?”. Shenmue literally blew my mind the first time I picked it up and popped it into a console. Knowing literally nothing about the under promoted title, I spied it on a shelf at a friends asked if I could have a blast and proceeded to spend the next ten hours completely absorbed in an incredibly well realised world performing QTE sequences for the very fist time all the while knowing I was experiencing something truly magical.

What do you mean there will be no Shenmue   3?

By this point in time I had moved on from Sega and into the realms of the more “adult” PlayStation but this game snapped me right back in and once again harnessed those feelings of joy I had felt the first time I donned a pair of Super Sneakers and sprinted off in pursuit of the evil Dr Robotnik (Can anyone explain to my why he is called Dr Eggman these days? That name is just plain idiotic). Ryo Hazuki’s adventures literally forced me to go out and buy a DreamCast immediately and if Sega announced today that they were releasing a new console bundled with Shenmue 3 I would pre order it right away … no matter the cost. As it seems would many others, recently I stumbled across a twitter campaign calling for the one thing that me and my friends have wanted for years … Shenmue 3 and it seems we weren’t as alone as we thought all this time. The hashtag is gathering pace and the die hard fans are appealing to Sega to release the licence for Shenmue back to it’s original creator Yu Suzuki. If you haven’t played the first two games you probably wont understand and due to 32-bit console limitations it won’t extract the same response now as it did back then but you should still be able to see why it was so revolutionary and the reason that it still holds a place in the hearts of so many. So go now and support this epic cause #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense over on twitter RT, tweet your own desires and generally help convince Sega that this game must be made.

Allow me my vengeance or there’ll be trouble!

eremenko