Off-Topic Fun: Videogames Are Awesome

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A while back, I wrote about the recent Dreamcast Phish and my declaration of love for the ill-fated console (which is currently undergoing something of a Renaissance with home brew kits, games and movie appearances) seemingly took a few of you by surprise, especially those that also had a thing for the SEGA console! I thought it might be fun to post up some pictures of my gaming collection - feel free to post up links to yours, because stuff like this is always interesting. Shall we start at the beginning? Oh, as this post is image intensive I'm sticking the main content after the jump so if you're not interested in looking at lots of pictures of plastic and cardboard, now is the time to turn back!

For those that are still with me.....


Atari 2600, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Above, you can see my (extremely old and messed up) Atari 2600. I found it at the bottom of a long unopened cupboard in a relatives house, and still hasn't been cleaned up yet. Amazingly, it still works perfectly - yet my Playstation 2 recently went up in a big ball of flames despite being extremely well looked after. Funny that. Anyway, here's the games:


Atari 2600 Games, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Man, Atari was wonderful, wasn't it? H.E.R.O., Popeye and Joust were great fun. E.T.....not so much.


My Sega Game Gear, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Ah, the Game Gear. Six AA batteries lasted only 30 minutes, and the old gag continues to circulate that using the charger switched off the Sun for six minutes. A victim of poor workmanship, it's difficult to find a unit that doesn't have a problem with sound and / or the screen blanking out. You can apparently fix this, but if you get it wrong, it'll explode and take most of your face with it. Probably.

Of course, I have a NES and a SNES - here are some of my games for both consoles:


NES Games, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Note that the Star Wars box has a sticker on it for ?50. Fifty pounds for a game in 1992! Anyone else think it's faintly insane that I can pick up Grand Theft Auto 4 in 2008 for anywhere between ten to fifteen pounds less?


My SNES Games, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Does anyone else have a problem with their NES where the spring loader for the cartridges has gone screwy and the only way to keep the carts in is with sellotape?

No? Uh, me neither. Moving swiftly along, we come to my Dreamcast. I have something of an obsession for this console, and that's probably reflected in my collection. Starting off with Shenmue - because anyone with a Dreamcast has to have a Shenmue collection - I've spent a long time collecting the below:


My Shenmue Collection, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Of particular note is the Japanese "Jukebox" edition of the game (so-called because it came with a limited edition CD of music from the bars and clubs in the game not available on the official soundtrack) and the "What's Shenmue" disc (which was given to Japanese customers who pre-ordered the game before release). You can read more about "What's Shenmue" here.



Biohazard 2 Value Plus, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Above is Biohazard 2: Value Plus, a rather clunky name for the Japanese special edition of Resident Evil 2 which came with all sorts of bonuses and extra features that we didn't get either in the UK or the States. Quite difficult to get hold of now - exchanging your first (and maybe second) born child is common. You can say what you like about the effect of videogame violence on society, but there's nothing quite as satisfying as taking out six zombies with a single shotgun blast.


Space Channel 5 Part 2 Boxset, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Above is the (extremely hard to get hold of) Space Channel Five Part 2. Space Channel 5 was doing rhythm games and doing them in glorious style years before they caught on and went mainstream. Sadly, the sequel hit just as the Dreamcast was starting to die off. It didn't even reach the UK, and had a limited release in Japan too (you had to order it from the SEGA Direct website). As such, the game on it's own is hard enough to grab - the limited edition boxset (that comes with rather bizarre headphones as sported by the main character) is almost never seen now, save for the odd auction on EBay that ends in a bloodbath of bidding and (quite probably) swearing.


Dreamcast Backpack (Front), originally uploaded by Paperghost.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder, along comes my Dreamcast Backpack. It's a pretty cool item, but there's not a lot I can really say about a blue thing you carry stuff in so we'll leave it at that while admiring the stitching and artistry (which I'm reliably informed was not the product of a sweatshop somewhere).

Setting the Dreamcast aside, as an ex-music type person who used to dabble in videogame music....I have a thing for videogame music. Surprise, surprise.


My videogame music collection, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

That's a good selection of some of my game soundtracks - Metal Gear Solid, some Resident Evil and a cool mini CD that I picked up while in China many years ago (it's the one with the woman with a pink thing smeared across her face. That's Faye Wong, and she's arty like that).

However, the rarest item would be this one:


The Rika Sampler CD, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

What is it, I hear you ask? Well, some videogame composers mainly write the intro and outro music - usually the most memorable tunes of the game, so it's crucial to have someone who can pull this off time and time again. If you're into videogame music, there's a good chance you may know "Best is yet to come" from the end of Metal Gear Solid 1, "Can't Say Goodbye to Yesterday" from MGS2, "Esperandote" from Silent Hill 1, the wonderfully Bondesque "Snake Eater", maybe even "I am the wind" from one of the Castlevania games. Well, I was majorly hooked by "Best is yet to come", and wanted to know more about the composer. I went on an extremely long trawl through Japanese forums (this was maybe 1999 or 2000, not sure, when it was almost impossible to find anybody pre-web 2.0!) and found an email address during one of those "needle in a gigantic haystack" moments. I sent a mail asking if she was the composer, got a mail back saying "Yes!" and we've been in touch ever since. The above is a CD Sampler she sent me with a bunch of game music on that she burnt and signed herself.

Pretty awesome.

If so inclined, you can see some more of my gaming collection here. Feel free to post up links to your game collections, because I love seeing what weird and wonderful gaming items people have accumulated over the years. For now, let's all raise a Dreamcast-inspired cup of coffee to our wonderful piles of gaming junk:


Dreamcast Coffee, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

....yes, I did get someone to make that. Tasted nice, too...

/ Addendum - It appears there's an issue with the comments publishing for Spywareguide. With that in mind, feel free to post your comments / links here and (once things are fixed) I'll port over your comments. Thanks!

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This page contains a single entry by Christopher Boyd published on April 30, 2008 5:02 PM.

Myspace: Who Is Watching the Detectives Part 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

Credit Card Up For Renewal? Then Beware This Phish... is the next entry in this blog.

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