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What’s your definition of a retro game?
Ask a thousand gamers for their definition of a “retro game” and you’ll get a thousand different answers. There are some who prefer very strict definitions with clearly defined boundaries, be they technical (“only 8-bit machines should be considered retro!”) or chronological (“only games released in the 1980s should be considered retro!”). There are others who come from a stylistic perspective. It doesn’t matter if a game’s old or new—if it evokes the spirit of the past, sacrificing technical concerns to ensure gameplay remains king, they’ll consider it a retro game.
I lean more towards the stylistic end of the definition. However, my initial focus will very much be limited to the games and hardware that dominated the 1980s and 1990s. If you want it more clearly defined than that: Atari 2600, Intellivision, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, BBC Micro, NES, Master System, SNES, Mega Drive, Amiga, Atari ST, PSX, N64, Dreamcast and PC.
Having said that, I won’t be living in an isolated retro bubble that ignores the contemporary gaming scene. When I write about System Shock and Thief, I’ll bring BioShock into the discussion. When I write about A Link to the Past, I’ll invariably mention Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass. When I write a Half-Life retrospective, expect to read about Half-Life 2 and Portal too.
Why do you hate modern games?
There are some individuals who believe that anyone who continues to enjoy older games must dislike contemporary games. That’s not true. When I’m not writing about Knight Lore and Sonic the Hedgehog, I’ll be playing STALKER: Clear Sky, Fallout 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV along with everyone else.
What gaming hardware have you used/owned?
- Atari 2600
- Mattel Intellivision
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum+
- Acorn BBC Micro (Model B)
- Commodore 128
- Commodore Amiga A500
- Atari 1040 STFM
- Sega Mega Drive
- Sony PlayStation
- Nintendo 64
- Sega Dreamcast
- Sony PlayStation 2
- Nintendo GameCube
- Nintendo GameBoy Color
- Nintendo GameBoy Advance SP
- Nintendo DS Lite
- Nintendo Wii
- Sony PlayStation 3
- Sony PlayStation Vita
- Desktop PC (custom built Windows 7, Intel i5-2500 Quad Core CPU, 8GB RAM, EVGA GTX 560 Ti video card, Xonar DG sound card)
Some of those systems have long since bitten the dust, or are tucked up in an attic some 3,000 miles away, so for anything from the Atari 2600 all the way up to the Nintendo 64 I tend to use emulation software on the PC.
My active gaming systems (i.e., the ones I use at least once a month) are the PC, PS3, and Vita.
No Xbox 360?
The Xbox 360 is a nice system and I may break down and get one eventually. The only reason I haven’t already done so is that I’m a hardcore PC gamer by heart and the only titles on the 360 that really appeal to me are ones I can get for the PC anyway (and enjoy at higher resolutions, faster framerates and take advantage of user mods & tweaking, etc.). I primarily bought the PS3 as a Blu-ray player, but figured it would also give me plenty of gaming options beyond the standard PC/360 fare.
Which emulators do you use?
- VICE (Commodore 64)
- Spectaculator (ZX Spectrum)
- BeebEm (BBC Micro)
- KEGA Fusion (Master System/Mega Drive/Game Gear)
- WinUAE (Amiga)
- STeem (Atari ST)
- NEStopia (NES)
- ZSNES (SNES)
- ePSXe (PSX)
- Project 64 (Nintendo 64)
- VirtualBoy (GB/GBC/GBA)
- Chankast (Dreamcast)
- DOSBox (MS-DOS)
You haven’t written about my favourite game/system! How dare you!
I’ll only be writing about the games and systems I’ve actually played/owned, so there will be gaps in Retroblique’s coverage. However, I aim to provide a balance between the very popular games/systems and some of the more obscure ones. While I can’t promise to cover all your favourite games, maybe I can introduce you to a few things you may have missed the first time round.
Where’s your forum?
If you want to discuss the content of any articles on Retroblique, please use the comment form at the bottom of each entry.
What’s with your inconsistent spelling and strange words?
I’m a Brit who lives in the States. Anglo-American, if you like. One week I’ll write “Sega Mega Drive”, “colour” and “pixelisation”, the next I’ll write “Sega Genesis”, “color” and “pixelization”. Some articles will contain British slang, others American colloquialisms. I’m really sorry!