Posts Tagged ‘scifi’

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!