Category : Just Retro

Something Retro – Though Not Gamer

Hello everybody! I am actually at a pause before my next teaching session so I have a little free time. I hope to use it to play and review an old Sega Genesis game like Phantasy Star but I am not sure which one yet. Keep your eyes open for the review. In the meantime, I wanted to share something fun with you all that I picked up while browsing the interwebs.

I love watching the Fine Brothers’ videos because they always have some fun takes on popular culture. As far as I can recall, this is one of the first times I have seen them focus on a retro topic – especially one as near and dear to me as JNCOs. I have not been shy about admitting that I am a child from Generation X. I grew up playing Nintendo, watching SNICK (before the dumb “Club Nick Days”), loved MTV (back when it ACTUALLY SHOWED VIDEOS), had my fair share of Doc Martens (still do), flannels (my original is laying around somewhere), and of course… wearing JNCO jeans. Considering that JNCOs were so near and dear to my heart, I was not as pained as I thought I would be when I saw the teens reaction.

Let’s be honest, we didn’t NEED our jeans to be that big, that was not the point. When we wore these jeans, we felt like we had ample protection from whatever crazy issues we had to deal with as teens in the 90’s. I wore these jeans in almost all weather conditions and never felt like they were too hot or too cold. The pockets helped me keep my giant wallet with a chain on it (yes, I DID have one of those), it was lovingly referred to by my friends and family as “The Samsonite Wallet” and not only stored what little money I had but also served as a perfect weapon for whipping across a bully’s knees when the situation demanded it. I could store my cigarettes (thankfully I am an EX smoker now) and lighter in here and my teachers would never even know I had them on me – sure made it easy to grab a quick smoke between classes if I knew the path would be obscured from teachers or principals. I didn’t actually have a cellphone when I wore JNCOs, almost nobody did, but I could sure keep a TI-83 Calculator in there, a GameBoy (or other portable gaming device), and even my cordless phone when I was at the house. On at least 10 occasions, I placed an entire can of soda in those pockets. I have also placed Pop-Tarts, candy bars, napkins and (on a rare occasion) an entire jelly doughnut.  Ah! Those were the days!

The JNCO jeans had a few acceptable support items that you could wear with them. They included Doc Marten lace-ups (generally black or brown), AirWalks, Vans, and (for some) tennis shoes like Adidas and Nike. Shirts were usually simple T-shirts with some sort  of logo or graphic on them. I tended to wear band shirts (like 311, Insane Clown Posse, Kid Rock and others) or graphic tees such as my favorite shirt that was white with black collar and sleeve cuffs that simply said “Freak” on it. Oh, and let’s not forget the necklaces. Every dude had to have at least two necklaces at any given time. My favorite was my chain necklace that I fashioned out of a dog collar with large chain links connected in the back with three key rings and my dragon necklace which featured a cool chain and a sideways profile of a dragon. Occasionally I opted for an actual leather studded dog collar that was almost a choker but made me look freaking mean!

Okay, I have enjoyed my stroll down fashion memory lane! I hope you did as well. Beware that JNCOs are being brought back to the mainstream. Oh how I have waited for this day! I am first in line for the Stovepipes!

RGB Out!

Hey Retro Fans!

I try my best to not use my blog for advertising my other projects but this information is awesome for any retro gamers. I have not been quiet about the fact that Final Fantasy II is my favorite game/RPG of all time. One of the most memorable songs on the soundtrack is the one that plays at the title screen and in the “Crystal Rooms”. It’s a harp that plays rising and falling notes in a very pretty key. This song was named by its creator, Nobuo Uematsu, as “Prelude”.

At my DJ desk, I had been helping my daughter get the ropes of writing music by giving her sheet music and letting her play around in the studio. While she was working on Hot Cross Buns, I remembered that I had wanted to remix the FF Prelude song many years ago and I dug out my copy of the score. After a few days of working, I managed to create my own remix of this classic song. Here is the link. Tell me what you think!

Hope you enjoy it!

Surge Returns!

Wow! Here’s a retro throwback for you! According to The Verge, Surge is Back but only on Amazon. How does this relate to retro gaming? I can solve that problem easy! When you HAD to beat that new Final Fantasy before your buddies did and needed to pull an all-nighter…how did you survive? Easy! You drank a Surge or perhaps a Jolt! I used to keep cans of Surge around my house hidden in strategic locations. On one occasion, I went from the beginning to the end of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest in ONE session thanks to Good Old Surge. Now, I know it is horribly bad for you but if you need that crazy caffeine jolt, grab one of these… 14 bucks for a 12 pack but beware, Amazon has already sold out of their supply once!

Now, if I can get that Crystal Pepsi Movement started on Facebook… *wanders off*

My First Ever RGB Poll!

Okay fans! I am pondering talking about Classic Doctor Who but I don’t want to alienate my fans. So here you go! Vote and tell me if I should review classic Doctor Who or not! Your opinion matters!

A Different Kind of Retro

Hey RGB Fans, I wish I could tell you that I was taking all this time to craft some AWESOME review of Breath of Fire or any other game but that is not the case. Actually, most of my time has been taken up with the twins that my wife and I just had 3 weeks ago. When you add them to our current family, that is 5 kiddos to take care of which takes a LOT of time. I simply have not had much time to devote to powering through Breath Of Fire. I will get there though. Instead, I have been into a different kind of retro… retro Sci-Fi.

You see, the RGB did not begin life as a nerd, it was a gradual process. One of the primary executors of that purpose was my brother, Walt, a bonafide nerd through and through. When I was about 7 years old, my brother was concerned that I was not reading enough books or listening to stories beyond my TV. He would come home late at night after working his fingers to a pulp at Pizza Inn and would read to me. Sometimes he would read short stories such as those in various collections. At one time, he read through the first three books of the Chronicles of Narnia with me over a multi-month span. But one thing that always amazed me was his collection of Doctor Who books which he coveted and displayed on a broad bookshelf in his room.

By freak chance, one day I asked him if he would read one of the books to me, I was probably 8 or 9. He agreed to do so and selected “Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster” which was an interesting take on the classic Loch Ness myth. In this story, some aliens called the ‘Zygons’ created a spaceship designed to look like the famous mythical creature and used it to terrorize the people. Eventually, the doctor breaks the machine and stops the Zygons. I was hooked! My brother read other stories and introduced me to such great characters as K-9 (whom my brother could do a perfect impression of when reading his lines from the books), at an early age, my brother fostered a love for Doctor Who within me.

In time, my brother introduced me to his friend Justin who had a HUGE TARDIS bookshelf in his house that, once opened, held over 100 VHS tapes of Doctor Who that Justin had either recorded from the American airing of the show or had convinced a friend in the UK to tape and mail to him. It was like a crack house to me. EVERY time Walt went over to Justin’s, I would go over there and ‘rent’ a few of his Doctor Who tapes. I watched a decent supply of Tom Baker era all the way up to Logopolis/Castrovalva. I also watched a few of the Jon Pertwee episodes, at least those that Justin had. I attempted to watch a Patrick Troughton episode but since it was black and white and low quality, I didn’t really get into as much.

Eventually, my brother realized that he had gotten his little brother quite addicted to Doctor Who over a 3 year time frame. Reading books from Doctor Who was a common occurrence, I even read a few myself… or at least I tried. We would have occasional weekends where I would actually hang out with my brother and watch several episodes at a time. On one occasion, we finished the entire “Key To Time” series (The Ribos Operation, The Pirate Planet, The Stones of Blood, The Androids of Tara, The Power of Kroll, and The Armageddon Factor) in a single weekend. If my brother wanted to go to Tulsa, OK (the nearest big city to our hometown) I would beg to with him and bring money so I could buy Doctor Who books with my allowance!

I wish I could say that I stayed a fan of the series but when I got older, my brother moved away, and I had girls and anime to catch my attention, I lost sight of Doctor Who. Fast forward to 2005, I live in OKC and have a wife of my own and the series of my youth is rebooted with Chris Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. I worked a night job at Cox Communications at that time and couldn’t be home many nights when the show premiered. In those days, we didn’t have DVR as prevalent so I ended up trying to record a few on my VCR. Sadly, I never really got started again because I missed too many episodes and it was virtually impossible to catch the recordings. So my love quieted again.

Well… TIMES HAVE CHANGED! I found that Doctor Who’s new seasons are out on Netflix and I have been trying to watch 1 or 2 episodes a night. I also got a membership to Hulu Plus because I discovered that they have almost all of the old Doctor Who series (now called “Classic Doctor Who”) available… even the almost extinct second doctor stories. Friend, my Doctor Who sickness is in full effect. This weekend I got enough time to watch the first episode of the Ribos Operation on Hulu Plus… it was like visiting my old friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Yeah… you could say I am a little obsessed! I am reading up on all the old doctors, learning about the sad fate of the Seventh Doctor and the short lived video career of the Eighth Doctor. I read some of the details about the darker days of Tom Baker including his failed marriage to Lalla Ward and his bizarre way of making The Doctor more and more haggard as the time went on to match his own life, etc. I read about the brashness and very insane period of the Sixth Doctor, Collin Baker (no relation to Tom) who was the most garish and insane Doctor in the whole series, etc. It’s amazing how much I still remember about the series and some of the main villains (the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, etc.) when my last exposure was over 20 years ago.

So why am I suddenly watching old television shows instead of plowing through retro games? Well let me ask you this. Have you ever tried holding a controller and playing a game while also holding one to two infant children? I have! It didn’t work very well. I can barely operate a mouse while feeding a baby a bottle. What about trying to play games while you have a baby trying to go back to sleep in your arms? Forget it! You know what I CAN do, though? Hold my iPad, fire up Netflix, plug in my headphones and visit the Ninth Doctor or the other doctors by firing up Hulu Plus. As a result, I suspect that I will be watching a lot of Doctor who over the next few months.

So what does this mean for my blog? Well, not a whole lot. It just means that I might not have a lot of content of a retro gaming nature to report. Could I talk about Doctor Who? Well, it IS my blog and I could certainly fill a few posts about it but should I since this is about retro games? The answer is probably not. I have found too many blogs try to over-extend themselves in order to discuss a broader range of topics. If I talked about Sci-Fi movies with no gaming tie-ins, it could dilute the blog and I want to avoid that.

All that being said, enjoy the downtime and I will post new content as soon as I have something good to post!

Check out the Galleries!

I am in the process of writing my blog post over the bad guys of the Captain N series but in the meantime I figured out how to make a gallery in WordPress. That being said, please take a look at the new Retro Galleries to see the Final Bosses and End Screens of various retro games that I have beaten. I hope you enjoy!