Wednesday 31 July 2013


We were lucky enough to be sent not one, but two of RetroGT’s awesome T-Shirts for a review (and your reading pleasure) and instantly fell in love with them. Great designs printed onto high quality fabric of course!

When you want to be different and original you have gotta think about details, and packaging is for sure one of those details. This packaging is great, with shirts being packed nicely in plastic bags. We loved the 2-colour RetroGT stickers within the bag, and we will defiantly be finding somewhere to stick them!

With the T-Shirts so brilliantly packaged we were eager to try them on and see how they feel, especially when we felt the quality and how soft they are.

Bearing in mind all of the stuff stated above, RetroGT are well up there when it comes to T-Shirt producing. Fine quality garments with big, bold and often retro gaming orientated designs, all wrapped up and at more than affordable prices.

These T-shirts are great for retro and gaming fans alike! With more T-Shirts and designs available on you are spoilt for choice!

Do you like these T-Shirts?

We would love to know what you think about this review, so don’t hesitate to contact us via Twitter or Facebook or at

Sunday 28 July 2013

Operation Wolf - a true story - By Andy Pryer

In 1987 I was ten years old and already a seasoned gamer. Not only had I cut my teeth on the rubbery 48k spectrum, but I’d also upgraded to the breathtakingly powerful 128k +2 model too. Several of my friends who put brain before heart had C64s (controversial!) and if I didn't already have my Amiga, I’d have already earned my wings on my friend’s machine by now.

One summer, we holidayed in Dawlish and took an apartment directly opposite a large Amusement Arcade. Each morning I was awakened by an an electronic Speak & Spell type voice loudly and repeatedly exclaiming ‘PLACE YOUR BETS NOW PLEASE!’ followed a simple monotone ditty attempting to attract punters to a mechanical horse racing game. The sound is deeply engrained on my brain as the background ambiance of pure and carefree pleasure.

Whatever we got up to during the day, we’d invariably gravitate to the arcade in the evening as there was little else on offer. As I patrolled the arcade interior, waiting for my mother to deplete her generous supply of 2p pieces on the ‘tuppenny waterfall’, I regarded the rows Jamma cabinets with an unimpressed air. ‘Joystick and buttons? Do me a favour, I have that in my bedroom!’ I wasn’t about to be suckered into parting with my hard earned coin playing a game I could play at home, regardless of the marginally better graphics. A veteran like me had seen it all before. (What I wouldn’t give for an evening in that arcade and a wheelbarrow of 10p pieces now though.)

‘But wait a second... now there’s something I don’t have at home’... Introducing Operation Wolf: the game you play with a goddamn GUN! Not a wussy bright pink, plasticy approximation of a gun, but a black, chunky, gratifying, throbbing, death-dealing Uzi. I’d seen that gun on TV! It’s a real gun!

The attract mode was an enormous tease: Commando with Arnie had came out a couple of years before and the scene of him preparing for battle was - I’ll be kind and say ‘homaged’ here with some nicely detailed graphics and oh-so serious music. Unlike many of the games around at the time, this one had a particularly sober and mature feel, which, when combined with the deep bass generated by the cabinet, gave it real gravitas and demanded attention.

Unlike the namby-pamby kids of today, boys of the 80’s were encouraged to play with toy guns, fight in the dirt and watch programs in which large men were routinely punched square in their faces. The chance to dish out some hot-lead was the realisation of all my childhood playground games. I just couldn’t get my cash into the machine fast enough.

The machine acknowledged the drop of the currency with a satisfying chime and as I caressed the weapon, finger itching on the trigger, I eagerly awaited some targets.

The cut-scenes were blessedly short, giving only the briefest exposition: We’re here to rescue some hostages. Who cares? Bring on the badies.
First play and the gun was so gratifying to use I became drunk with power and exhibiting a thousand yard stare, I hose down everything in sight with white hot lead, unleashing mayhem on those poor schmucks who never know what hit ‘em. I expend all my ammo too quickly and I’m captured - doomed to a short life covered in lice and starving. I was even treated to an glimpse of my future self; pale, gaunt and weakened by dysentery. The shame! I should have saved at least one bullet!

Having purged from my system the urge to loose off all my rounds as quickly as possible, I have another attempt. This time, marksmanship is the order of the day and it pays off in spades. Not only is it more satisfying to place individual shots with surgical precision, making one feel like a true professional and the right man for this job, but on the occasions when the enemy squadies obligingly line up, it’s immensely gratifying to mow them down with a short, controlled burst. The heft of the gun and the impact of the bullets is palpable and for the moments you’re contained within the game you’re convinced that your wielding real power. Windows shatter, bushes twitch as the rounds tear through their delicate leaves and missed shot kick up clods of dirt - even cockerels aren't safe from your wrath, as blasting their indestructible bodies yields essential supplies. And for those pesky helicopters and trucks which are a drain on resources to deal with conventionally, there's the handy grenade launcher which makes short work of them as long as you use the grenades sparingly. To cap it all, the action is punctuated by little incidental sound cues, a nice touch which really helps to give it the action movie feel.

Some care is required to protect the non-combatants who stray into the line of fire. There’s a skinny chav who runs unpredictably through the mayhem panic strickenly screaming, a pair of stretcher bearing nurses who I assume must be twins with some vital mental link since if you shoot one they both die with a dismayed ‘NO!’. In the later stages there are the hostages to avoid, snuff them and even if you do make it home Mr Prez won’t be throwing you any parties, the hundreds of enemies of the state dead by your hand will count for nothing if you come home alone.

It wasn’t long before I’d burned through my meager supply of 10p pieces and my eyes had become dry from not blinking. As I reluctantly turned away from the machine, I found I’d drawn a small crowd of spectators, mostly bored middle aged men, none of whom had the cojones to step up for some trigger-time for fear of looking foolish. I must admit to being rather pleased with my performance.

That evening back at the apartment, I must have been very tiresome indeed. I was so excited by my discovery that I insisted to recounting my adventure in every detail, listing the various nuances, features and enemy types in the game. It must have been very tedious for my parents, but at least they knew how to keep me occupied in the evenings now, I couldn’t wait to get back to the Arcade. Over the following week, I honed my skill further and became pretty accomplished, although the cash always gave out before I could get to the end.

Once I got home again and the balmy summer evenings of the holiday gave way to more mundane routine all I had were the various home system ports. The game was available for all the home platforms, but I only really had access to two, neither of which impressed me greatly. Without the gun there was just something missing.

The spectrum version was just an insult to the greatness of it’s arcade heritage. For one thing it took ages to load - even for a spectrum game. I seem to remember timing at it a patience-testing 15 mins! How can it possibly take that long to load 128k? The payoff for the loading ordeal left much to be desired. Gone were the vivid colours of the arcade which were replaced by monochrome graphics. There was also a complete lack of animation of the sprites an the constant and annoying beeps and chimes masquerading as sound effects were pretty annoying. I don’t think it was even light gun compatible, at least my gun didn't work with it.

The Amiga version faired little better despite the graphics, which were as faithful as they could have been. The music could have been handled much better and is a little too cheery in places, although some of the arcade original’s samples made it. As for the game itself however there are more enemies to     shoot at, which doesn’t sound bad like a bad thing, but it just means you simply hold the fire button and move the mouse around, which detracts enormously from the sensation of being a professional picking his shots. It also causes a constant cacophony of noise. Gone are the subtleties of the sound design present in the arcade version. The mouse control method is an improvement of the keyboard but can’t make up of the lack of a gun. Completing this game is a simple test of endurance rather than skill, a challenge which can be made easier simply by turning the volume down.

Andy Pryer in full Operation Wolf mode!

Another great Blog story by Andy Pryer

READ the GamesYouLoved Review of Operation Wolf - the Arcade.
Click here

Friday 26 July 2013

outdoor gaming! By Coen Velden

About outdoor gaming with the console: 

The weather here in Germany isn't much better than in the UK, so there aren't many opportunities for outside gaming.

As a matter of fact, at the moment of typing this, we're having some heavy rain.

We did a few multiplayer PS1 sessions on the balcony, must have been in the late nineties. Back then, we connected two Playstations via link-cable, and had some great sessions with: Duke Nukem Doom/Final Doom Command & Conquer - Red Alert I have been a gamer since the late seventies, but there aren't many people with whom I can exchange thoughts about that hobby, somehow there's still this "Gaming is for kids" thing among most of my friends.

With my nephew (Philip), somehow, who is a gamer like me, we hardly ever have another theme when we meet.

Doesn't matter what we start to talk about, each and every time, some gaming theme is always involved. Be it some auctions at eBay, memories of 8/16/32 bit stuff, tamagotchi, PC games, etc...etc... When I proposed him to play outside like in the "good old days", he was in for it immediately.

Sadly enough, we didn't have time for that last weekend, so it had to be in the middle of the week. Last weekend, it was too hot anyway, last night was just the right temperature, not too hot, not too cold.

Good thing is, we still have some old tube television screens at my house, which (in my opinion) is still the best thing to play on with old consoles.
First thing I did, was carrying the biggest TV outside, and placed it on the garden table.
Took an extension cable for the electricity, and made some drinks with ice.

Next decision:
Which console are we going to use?
ATARI 2600
Gamecube (Is that retro enough?.... naah, not yet).
We decided to take my psx, which has a mod-chip inside.
I sold my own playstation in 2002/2003, don't ask me why.
Bought a new one a few weeks ago, and the chip was built in already, so you don't hear me complain.
Since Germany is behaving very strange about violence in video games, that chip is a good thing to me.
Many, many games have a different version, specifically made for the german market.
Some games have green blood, instead of red.
Some games have different cut-scenes.

there are games that aren't even available here, like Perfect Dark and Conker's bad fur day for the N64.

(Good thing is, Holland is not far from here, they don't have these problems over there.)
Command & Conquer, for instance doesn't have human enemies, like in the rest of the world.
They changed them into robots/androids, so you are not fighting against human beings.
In Resident Evil, when shooting a zombie, they are not bleeding red, but "sweating" something like grey blood.
Then, they are not lying on the floor, but start to blink, and disappear suddenly.
Can you imagine?
Same thing with Mortal Kombat (SNES), the characters are not bleeding but sweating.
Grmbl.....I could fill a book with this theme.
Anyway, with that chip inside, I can play us/uk/jp games also.

Next thing was, which games are we going to play?
I don't own Duke Nukem and DooM anymore, and we only had one console. 
I still wanted to have some multiplayer action, so we had some beat'em ups to choose from:

Kensei - Sacred Fist
Psychic Force
Tekken 3
Bloody Roar II
Soul Blade

Since my opponent alway used to win at Soul Calibur (Dreamcast), he really wanted to kick my butt at Soul Blade.
His favorite character was, and still is, and probably ever will be:
First we enjoyed the whole cheesy rendered intro, with one of the most remarkable videogame songs of that time.
Some kind of Japanese Pop/Rock, I always liked that song, even have it on cd, to listen to while driving.
He took Siegfried (who else), I took Mitsurugi, because I thought he was the one with the Nunchakus.
How wrong I was, Mitsurugi's weapon is a katana, I didn't have any control, didn't know what to do at all, I couldn't stand a chance.
After a few battles, I had to admit I am so f**king bad at this game, everything I heard was:


I'm getting old.

Philip said, those graphics are kind of bad, but the gameplay is as good as the dreamcast game!

To compensate my bad experience, we wanted to give Bloody Roar II a go.
We both hadn't played this before. 
(some 200 games came with the console when I bought it, many of them we've never tried)
After reading many good reviews when BRII came out, we thought it should be a good game.
This time we skipped the intro.
VS mode chosen, characters chosen, let's play:
First of all, we had to lough out loud because of the 
character-presenting voice:
"Uriko.....Half Beast!"

"Stun....the Insect!"
We did a few fights, but the gameplay didn' impress.
We could see it's a good game.... for fans of the genre, but not really our cup of tea.
Win/lose ratio: 50/50.

Next game:
Tony Hawk's pro skater 2
I still have a savegame from the nineties on a memory card, so we loaded that first.
This wasn't easy, as you can imagine from the picture.
Finding the right mem-card with the right savegame can take a little time.
(Side note: I really miss the memory card menue from my old playstation, I had one from the first series.
The menue on this newer ps1 has a poppy, colorful menue, which I don't like at all.
Well, at least this one doesn't overheat the laser-drive).

OK, chosing the caracters, first round was a skate for fun session.
No time limits, no scoring, just some two-player skating fun, for testing purpose only.
Philip asked me what to do, which controls did what?
I answered:
It's like the fighting games, but instead of kicking & punching, you have to do some grinding & performing tricks.
Needless to say, I beat him at this game.
At one point, he had something like 49.000 points, while I had
some whopping 420.000.
THAT compensated my defeat at Soul Blade!
It was getting dark now, and we were running out of drinks, so I went inside to make some drinks and get some ice.
Before that, I started the game One Piece Mansion.
"Here, you have to try this at least once!"
With a big grin on my face, I went inside, left him not knowing what to expect.
At first, he protested, he was thinking it had something to do with the japanese anime series, also called One Piece.
My comment:
"Don't worry, just shut up and play!"
When I came back, he asked:
"WTF is this?
What am I supposed to do?
What kind of people do come up with such strange ideas for a game?"
At that point, I knew I've done the right thing.
For those unaware of this game, you have to manage a house, seen from the side.
It's open, and you can see the appartments.
In each room, there's a person, or family.
Somehow, an evil alien has captured your sister, and to get her back, you have to build more rooms for your house, and keep the tenants satisfied.
When they're too stressed (Because their neighbours are behaving strange, or getting to loud), that appartment will explode, and all the rooms above will drop down one floor, Tetris-style.
Sounds strange?
It is!
We would have played this nice puzzle game longer, but the problem with it is the music.... that music!!!
Some kind of cheap Japano-Electronic-Techno-Videogame Tune is always playing in the background.
When Inhabitants are getting stressed, and shortly before appartments are going to explode, the tune speeds up, and gets louder.
There isn't an option in the menue to turn the music volume down, onle a Mono/Stereo option!
So, before my (real-life) neighbours were coming at my door, we just had to quit.

After this weird gaming experience, we had a little break.
We put the skullmonkey cd in, and just watched the intro.
We didn't play the game, just sat back and relaxed, which was very welcome, after the totally stressed half hour before.
Skullmonkeys is a jump & run, and a very frustratingly difficult one, but the claymation is so great!
And the music too, by the way.

Time for some drinks....again.
Inserted the Star Trek Invasion CD, since Philip is a big Trekkie.
When I came back, he was playing the first training level.
He had his problems controlling the ship in space, though.
In that training level, you have to manoeuvre yor ship through some turning circles, and there's a time limit too.
He was already halfway through when I returned, everything was looking good.
Then, somehow, he managed to miss one portal, and had to fly back.
With only four to go, the timer started to count down:
(3 to go)
(2 to go)
(Only 1 to go!)
.......Mission failed!!
How can such a simple thing be so exciting?
That was fun to see!

Next game on the list was Resident Evil 3 (US version)
It was almost midnight, perfect circumstances for a game like that.
Dark, outside, quiet, moon was shining, just perfect.
This time, it was my turn to play.
I had a go already a few days ago, so I loaded my savegame.
Had fought my way through the police station (The same as in RE2, which is a great thing, I think).
We discussed some of the differences between german & US versions, while I was solving puzzles, collecting items, and shooting zombies.
At some point, the game scared the hell out of me!
There wasn't a monster or zombie in sight, and I just opened a garage door successfully.
Then I had to walk the stairs, to get onto the next floor.
There were some steps burning, and I was walking in between them, when all of a sudden, a window was shattered into pieces, right beside of me!
I was expecting some kind of brain-sucking monster to jump onto my face, nothing happened.
So I was continuing my way up, when some BIG flames came out of that broken window.
More frightening than all of the zombies I've encountered before!
This part reminded us of the part in Resident Evil 2, where you fell through the wooden floor in the library.
No zombie at all, but shocking as hell!
Survived everything, and after saving the game, we went on to the next part:

Music 2000!
This nifty little programme isn't really a game, but a music-editor.
And a great one it is!
We used to spend hours and hours with it, creating some fine electro-beats.
Back in the days, we even managed to convert our favourite song via Mini-Disc (Does anyone remember that?) onto the PC, then into MP3, so we could listen to it anytime we wanted.
I was always a little disappointed about the rock parts in it, as there weren't many.
Most of the available samples, loops, and beats are electronic-ambient-techno stuff.
Had a lot of fun anyway.
So, on to the last game, as it was already one o'clock in the night, and it had to a multiplayer game.
Philip mentioned Destruction Derby, which I had to get upstairs.
We started the game, looking for a multiplayer option, and all we found was one player, and two player via link cable.
Much to our surprise, we could also start a two player championship.
(After that, it came into my mind that it had been Destruction Derby 2, which had given us so many good moments.)

Expecting some splitscreen racing mayhem, we were both a little disappointed to see we had to wait until the first player finished each race, so alternate racing was the thing to be.
Never mind, we had some great time, but what the hell did they do with the steering controls?
Was this really THAT bad in the starting days of the PS1?
We had a real hard time keeping those opponents of our backs, we were so bad.
We both managed to finish a race at first place only ONE time each!
Some races seemed to work out really good, battling for first/second/third positions, when suddenly some stupid cpu driver came from behind, and turned the car into the crossroads.
After all was done, I was thinking I had a good chance to have more points than my human opponent....
Then came the final result:
Both of us almost at the bottom of the list, except for two opponents!
Philip - 226 points
Coen - 224 points

So, I lost again!

Never mind, we both had a great gaming night, and we're looking forward to the next one!
(Maybe with barbeque and mini-inflatable pool!!)

Blog by Coen Velden

Music from Music 2000 click here

Wednesday 24 July 2013

London Animicon July 2013

GamesYouLoved covered this unique event at the Rocket Complex in London embracing anime, manga Japanese culture, and a chance to dress up (cosplay) as your favourite crime-busting cartoon, movie or gaming character while enjoying an offering of everything from live music performances, gamers quiz and competitions. 

It’s so rare that this assortment of people has an opportunity to get together on such a large scale in the UK across two days, let alone with so many diverse interests catered for at once. Lots of effort has been taken to ensure that even if you have only the small interest in anime, you’ll find something to do here. The organisers have catered to reach much more than the anime world covers, this was definitely an anime themed event, but included something for everyone! The gaming room was consistently full of spectators and gamers enjoying new and the more classic titles – in fact, there seemed to be more people watching than playing! Sound effects from video games rang around the room. Some you instantly recognised from days that have passed! The room was full from the moment it opened, if you wanted in you would have to work your way through the tables in the maze of consoles and computers.

The latest animi movies were played through the day and also players took on each others skills in an array of card games!

There was also guest appearances over the weekend and managed to grab a few words with voice actor Mike Pollock AKA Dr.Eggman and the voice off Dr.Robotnik from the Sonic the hedgehog games! He was easy going, great to chat to, and sign autographs and felt at ease in the non pressured environment unlike at a commercial event.

London Anime Con has grown massively over the last few years and will be sure to expand it further to include all elements of anime, video gaming and cosplay. But including a Gamers’ Day in the event schedule was a great way to bring everything together, and supporting a great charity like GamesAid was a popular choice.

Maybe next year will hold an even bigger arcade or gaming experience and see the event grow larger than this year! A great, fun convention with a friendly atmosphere. Helpful staff and best of all no charge for autographs!

We at recommend you check this out!

We have a Facebook gallery of images here to - check it out and LIKE our page if you get a chance.
Heres the link

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Retrovision 2013.

Retrovision- Power UP!
"GamesYouLoved spoke to the guys who run a great retrogaming event 
Retrovision .We asked them about the experience and what inspires them in the world of gaming. We found out about their great track record of running retro events and the scene and many thoughts on what it takes to make a great event"

Retrovision is coming soon - 
Oxford 2013
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd September. 
Folly Bridge Inn, Oxford. 

What inspired you to get involved and organise this event? 

The event is a slight play on words and the evolution of Retrovision which was the first UK retro gaming event to take place in 2002 and was organised by Markie from the YakYak forums as a celebration of Jeff Minters Llamasoft. Over the years the event has evolved to become a general celebration of all retro gaming, homebrew gaming, modern gaming and cosplay. After Markie decided to take a break from running Retrovision, Amy (Pinkfearie) who runs a charity auction at the event asked me if I would help her co-organise another event and I agreed. We then contacted Psychorob who has been an important part of Retrovision for many years and the rest of the team who helped run the last Retrovision in 2012 and they all agreed to be involved with the event. I am just a small part of the fantastic team which makes everything happen and special. It seemed such a shame to let a good thing which so many people enjoy end, so it had to happen again!

What sort of gamers come to events like this? 

The event attracts locals, regulars and newcomers. The event is unique that it is not heavily promoted locally to the general public, but only promoted on relevant forums (including YakYak, Retrogamer and Stairway to Hell), websites (such as this one), facebook, twitter and at other retro gaming events. Although some people bring their children along during the day, with it being held in a pub it is not really a family gaming event, and is more of an adults gaming event. A number of organisers from other events also normally attend as it gives them a chance to enjoy an event instead of worrying about having to run their own event. Despite having Retro in the event name it is also not just about Retro, and often has XBox 360, PS3s and Wiis running various unique games. Past more recent games have included Taiko Drum Master, Hampster Ball, Space Giraffe and Galaga Legions DX and even a radio controlled flight simulator on the PC.

Is it a really good social experience as well as gaming? 

Some people who go do not even play on the games, and just come along to meet up with friends. The Pub is kept free of computers and separate from the gaming which is upstairs, which also makes it nice to have a break from the gaming during the event. There is also a trip to a local curry house where everyone takes their Nintendo DSs along and use Pictochat while waiting for the food to arrive. There is also 5 gaming competitions held at the event, which adds to the social and competitive aspect and gives people a good reason to play some of the games. Some of the visitors who create homebrew games also bring them along for others to play and get other peoples opinion on them. Past games have included the BBC Micro homebrew game called "Mixed Grill March" which was created especially for the event by starshipcommand and is loosely based on the Wii game "Muscle March" and the PC homebrew game "Markies Revenge" which was created by Beerman.

How far do people travel to get to events like this? 

In the past people have flown in from Europe including PFVA from Portugal and limbclock from Finland just to visit Retrovision for the weekend, but people travel from all over the UK such as Bane who travels from Scotland, Psychorob who travels from Devon and Amy who travels from Doncaster. I myself live in Chelmsford which is a few hours from Oxford. - Whats a good cosplay costume - in your opinion?! Someone who has spent time and thought into making it. It does not have to be perfect, as long as you can make out who it is suppose to be, and the effort has been put in. There seems to be a lot more smaller local cosplay events happening and having retro gaming at the cosplay events is a perfect combination.

How could the retro scene work together more? 

With the increase in the number of events there does seem to be more groups emerging and politics being involved. Somehow Retrovision has always avoided that and invites people from all retro gaming forums, and the atmosphere has always been special, enjoyable and relaxed. - is music part of the event - how does that work out? In the past SID80s (featuring Ben Daglish) have performed at the event in various line ups and while enjoyable this does add greatly to the costs and increases ticket prices as a result. We are not planning any live music this year. During the event we just let sounds from the gaming systems fill the room and have also left retro tunes running through a stereo in the corner to add to the atmosphere. Friday and Saturday evenings will have Rock Band sessions on the XBox 360 and now they have discontinued releasing new tracks for Rock Band I am guessing it might now be considered Retro :-) We are also planning on creating a Podcast at the event on Sunday for the Retro Asylum Podcast.

Do you attend any other gaming or gaming related events - to help out or just for pleasure? 

I have attended many other retro gaming events as a visitor and to supply and help out. So far this year as a visitor I have been to Geek in Kent and Video Games Carnival in Aldershot. I supplied all the systems at NERG and had a large display at Silicon Dreams. I am also supplying TVs and systems for Retromania (being held by the Retro Asylum Podcast) in August, and am hoping to attend the UK Pinball Party in Daventry and CamCon in Cambridge, both events also in August which is quite a busy month. Just to conclude there is a small £10 ticket fee for the event for the entire weekend (Midday Friday to 5PM Sunday) which is used to cover the venue hire and other expenses, although the event is not being done for profit. Tickets can only be bought at the event with Cash.

What’s your take on the console market computing these days as opposed to the beginnings in the 80s and 90s? 

With only three console manufacturers on the market, there is not as much choice as there was and it seems most same-name XBox 360 and PS4 games are identical (apart from the few system exclusives) with the Wii bring in a league of its own.

I own a XBox 360, PS3 and Wii, but only use the PS3 on a regular basis, although one of my biggest frustrations is when I go to play a game I have not played for a while and it then wants to download gigabytes of updates before I can play it, and by the time it has downloaded and installed the updates you sometimes no longer want to play it. It seems more games are being released incomplete and unfinished, using the gamers as beta testers and then releasing updates to fix the bugs and issues which was never possible in the past with console gaming. I am concerned that the next generation of consoles (PS4, XBox 180) seem to be turning more into media devices rather than gaming devoted gaming consoles, and with the increased quality of the games taking more time to create that less games will be released in the future. I am finding myself purchasing less new games than I used to. There also seems to be a load of Android based gaming systems having been announced, but only the OUYA has been released so far, it will be interesting to see if it can find a niche in the current market. As 3D TV sales increase and the eighth generation of consoles are more powerful, it will also be interesting to see if the number of games being created in 3D increases. I would also really like to know what Sega would have released had it decided to stay in the Console market. The only two games I am currently looking forward to are GTA V on PS3 and Transport Tycoon on iOS. The game I am currently playing the most is "I am an Air Traffic Controller 3" on the PC. -

How have the consoles and arcades changed for you over the years? 

Growing up living in Southend I used to go to the arcades and mostly played driving games (Outrun, Hard Drivin', APB), and would also take the bus to Canvey Island which had a few arcades on its seafront. I visited Canvey Island and Southend Seafront a few years back and found it hard to find any classic arcade machines in any of the arcades as it is now almost all slot machines. I really lost interest in consoles during the Fifth Generation of systems, having owned a Master System 2, SNES, PS2 and Dreamcast before they were Retro. Things never stay the same forever so you have to enjoy the moment while you can.

What are the top 5 micros or consoles in your collection?

1. Atari 2600 (USA Sears Tele-Games) - I had a Atari 2600 growing up - a heavy sixer which I still own but is sadly no longer working. The graphics might not be the best, but the games (especially the two players games) are still extremely playable. I now own a modified Sears Tele-Games Light Sixer and the excellent Harmony Multicart. 2. Commodore 116 (Commodore Plus 4) - The Commodore Plus 4 is the computer I grew up with, so holds a special place in my heart. It had some really good games including some exclusives such as Kikstart C16 and The Magician Curse which were not released on other systems. Sadly I sold my original Plus 4 to raise funds towards the C64. The C116 is a rubber keyed mini Commodore Plus 4, but the one I own also has a 64k mod fitted so both 16k and 64k games can be played on it. 3. Commodore 64 - After the Commodore Plus 4, I had a Commodore 64 (the new case style one) from September 1991 until moving to PC in 1995. I still own this and now take it along to events. I think everyone has a special fondness for the systems they originally owned and used back in the day. 4. Sharp X68000 - One of my more recent purchases and already a big hit at the two shows it has appeared at, some of the games on the system are almost arcade quality. 5. Panasonic Q - The nicest looking retro console out there, any console collector really needs to own one of these as part of their collection. The gamecube also had a nice selection of games such as Warioware and Pac Man VS.

Have you ever been to overseas gaming? 

Not yet as there are so many events in the UK to enjoy, there has been no need to travel overseas to any events. However I would like to visit CGE in Las Vegas next year if it happens and work and funds allow it. I'd also love to go to Funspot (USA) at some point if the chance arises. RetroMission 2013 -

All proceeds from the Charity Auction will go towards the charities Cancer Research and Magic Moments for Autistic Kids. 

RetroMission 2013 - RV Has Evolved - Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd September. Folly Bridge Inn, Oxford. 

Info on the event via Facebook: 

Videos from Retrovision 2012: 

Photos from RetroVision 2012:

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Jason Cooper - CEO of BLAZE - Exclusive GamesYouLoved Interview

- Who are you and what do you do?
Jason Cooper

- What video games and arcade games did you grow up with?
First console was Atari 2600. First Computer ZX Spectrum.
I was also fortunate enough to own a SNK NEOGEO
Loved GORF in the Arcades and Donkey Kong junior. Also spent hours on N.A.R.C

- Whats are your favourite video games of all time?
Super Smash Tennis (SNES)
NEO GEO Super Sidekicks
NEO GEO Art of Fighting

- what is gaming all about for you?
A relaxing way to spend time. I like the simpler games and I like the way that gaming is turning into a more casual event on smartphones and that the audience is now so much broader. So Call of Duty is a none starter for me as it is too complex. Though I do like the latest Hitman game, that is pretty cool.

- have you ever been overseas (US and Japan) and if so whats the gaming scene over there like?
The best place by far is the Akhibara district of Tokyo that is dedicated to electronics. I have bought so many video gaming gadgets there, like a Super Famicom TV by Sharp and a combined Gamecube and DVD player by Panasonic. I also loved my white GameGear!

- What item would you like to have for most in your collection but don't have
My friend made a Street Fighter 2 , two player arcade stick for SNES from the original arcade cabinet. It was super cool. I waited nearly 20 years for it and he finally sold it to me last month! So I am not entirely answering the question, but I have waited an age for it!

- Who has motivated you in the past to become what you are today
No single person. I have been fortunate enough to work with some incredibly able people and they have all motivated me in different ways.

- What do you see for your company in the future - 5, 10 and say 20 years?
We will still focus on retro but continue to develop our mobile games. We launched our first title, Fluid Football last August and it became one of the leading sports games last year – it has been downloaded nearly 3 million times now. It has been the number one sports game in over 30 countries including Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, UK and China!

Our ultimate future in video games is developing and publishing games for mobile handsets.

- How have the consoles and games changed for you over the years?
They have become far more complex and in doing so, a lot of the fun has been taken out of the experience. Mobile is stealing this space.

- Where do you see the future of retrogaming in the UK and the world
On mobiles....

- How can retro gaming be part of the the New Gen scene
By Nintendo, Sony, Sega, Activision, Capcom and other leading developers of the original games, licensing to BLAZE their software back catalogue....

We would light a fire under the whole video gaming sector if such a deal could be done...
Thanks for the call!


Pics: Top Picture - Jason holding the NEO GEO X at Finningley Airport near their UK offices
Below pic: Street Fighter 2 , two player arcade stick for SNES from the original arcade cabinet.

Sunday 7 July 2013

RetroActive brings Retrogaming and old skool movies to Leicester

Bringing Retrogaming to gamers in every part of the UK and beyond..that's a dream we all want to bring to life. So RetroActive is back to Leicester again this year. As well as running successful barcade events, organiser Richard Tewkesbury is making a splash with a mix of old skool movie classics and and retro arcade games and consoles -  making a a great day out for everyone.

We spoke to Richard Tewkesbury - Organiser of RetroActive..Based in Leicester they Host A Wide Range Of Retro Gaming And Modern Gaming Events And Tournaments Across the Country.

RetroActive have a Massive Collection Of Consoles And Games to bring to the party!

What has been best thing about your days at RetroActive so far?
Showcasing my collection for people to enjoy - I love doing that and making people happy.

What video games and arcade games did you grow up with?
As kids we first grew up with an Oric 1 computer 16k of pure power - but it did have an amazing game called Harrier Attack on it which blew my mind when I was about 6! We then had a C64 which we used to love and play Robocop, Burgertime and Chase HQ 2 - then it was an upgrade to an Atari ST which had some amazing games on it . I loved playing Super Cars 2, Speedball 2 and there was a wicked version of Double Dragon on it as well . 90's arcades were big at this time and we went away with our Grandparents each summer to Weymouth where my love of Arcades Blossomed - TMNT, Simpsons, Mortal Kombat, Streetfighter 2, Roadblasters, Assault, Final Fight, Smash TV and even crappy Pit Fighter!

We played them all to death - with £7 a day pocket money on holiday which was 70 credits at the Arcades - just about enough to complete Simpsons 4 player, that baby used to rob you blind! Good times : ) I also had a Gameboy at this point which used to be glued to my hand - Mario Land, Solar striker, F1 race and Kung Fu were my favourites. When it came out, I then moved onto the Megadrive - Streets of Rage 2, Mortal Kombat and Golden Axe were my favourites. Once i got a part time job I ploughed all my cash into getting a PC Engine Turbo Duo. I built up a massive collection of games including some of my favourites; Gunhead, Splatterhouse and Jackie Chan - but I traded all these in for a Neo Geo AES back in the day when they were £1100 to buy - a mental feat to buy one at 18yrs old but i did it inc Art Of Fighting 2 the day it came out for a mer £275 ouch! - then I moved back to the SNES with classics like Rogue Squadron, Rock and Roll Racing and F-Zero - then really I went through all the rest of the consoles, i could go on for about an hour so i'll leave it there!

If you could be a video game character who would it be?!
Mike Haggar from Final Fight - he's totally badass!

What is gaming all about for you?
Getting all the old consoles and games I had as a kid back together and finding out hidden gems of video gaming that i never knew about.

Have you ever been overseas (US and Japan) and if so whats the gaming scene over there like

I've been to the US a few times i went last summer and brought back 30kg's of gaming goodness back! - gaming and retro gaming is big over there, the nes and snes are soooo massive but it seems that everyone hates the genesis/ megadrive though, so there's some sega bargains to be had! every city you go to always has 2 or 3 gaming stores and theres always retro in each one - shame england isn't the same - one day i'll head over to Japan and man am i going to spend a load of cash there lol i'm going to need some massive suit cases!

How have the consoles and games changed for you over the years?
Don't get me wrong I love my 360 and online gaming -  but I think consoles and games in a way have lost there magic a bit - I'm glad i grew up when i did I've seen video gaming from the start to today and not just ending up thinking video gaming is Fifa and COD. I miss the magic of the mental sega console add-on days and the Sega and Nintendo console wars - video games have got bigger and alot better in ways but sometimes you just want to pick up a game for 10 minutes and thats what modern gaming is missing it I feel.

GamesYouLoved Where do you see the future of retrogaming in the UK and the world?
RetroActive I think it's riding on a wave of popularity at the moment. Retro gaming though has come to a bit of a dead end with this generation of consoles. I don't think i'll ever class 360 games and Wii games as Retro. So i see another 5-10yrs of retro gaming as we know it now then it might dry but i'm sure they'll be another generation of retro PS4 and Xbox ONE collectors to come!

What's it like running all the activity at RetroActive?
It can be really stressful getting everything ready and that's the key - preparation for an event! Testing everything and test it again if your equipment is good your events going to be good! But apart from the sleepless nights its great!

For more information on the next events RetroActive have on offer check out these links:

Also their YouTube channel:

Saturday 6 July 2013

GamesYouLoved on tour - in Gateshead

At GamesYouLoved we want to get out there in the community to get involved with gamers like us -  talk about the thing we love and play some great games at the same time. A great way to do this is by going to one of the many retrogaming events that are establishing a new wave of arcade, console, pinball, handheld interest - across the UK and Worldwide.

The GamesYouLoved Team headed up to Gateshead, Tyne & Wear to do that very thing on Saturday 30th June. In weeks previously we had been following the journey of the organiser and brains behind this unique retro event Phillip Murphy.  Phillip had taken his passion for retrogaming and put something back into the community. As in the North East  - nothing like this had been seen before.

For the months preceeding GamesYouLoved had felt the excitement around the event and put out facebook posts, tweets and even interviewed Phillip on his quest for gaming goodness.

It was a great event in the making...

So we arrived at 7am from the early drive from 'down south' and Phil was there with the keys to open up Gatehead Stadium and nothing could prepare us for what was to happen.  The doors opened and was quiet! But we were silenced as there was rows upon rows of arcade machines and pinballs from a time gone by - a golden time of gaming when nothing else mattered except the joy of play.

We had a job to do in setting up our stand. But as the machines started to be turned on from the early arrival of the engineers and amazing people (mentioned below) who's dedication means that gamers today can get into this world. We were back to the 70s and 80s all over again.

Afterburner, Outrun, Space Harrier...and that was just SEGA...Bombjack, Phoenix, Spy Hunter....the Point Blank and OMG they have ATARI STAR WARS.! was 1984 all over again....

...compose...focus...we're GamesYouLoved...come on guys

...we couldn't for a while!!  This was retrogaming at the heart of our passion and we loved what was there and what everyone who was just about to arrive was going to enjoy...this was going to be a great day.

And it truly was!  We set up our stand - fired up the Pac Man arcade machine, turned on the consoles we had brought and set out our display of flyers and lollipops and were ready to go.  Gamers from all parts of the UK the bisto kids who smelled the gravy from afar. The games they had maybe forgotten or still remember but could never play now - were there to see.

The noise!! The awesome sounds of row upon row of machines pumped out..the DJ played retro tune..we played out gaming music from our own system from commodore 64 original tunes, arcade sounds to the new wave of remixed sounds from Audio Sprite

The great thing about the day fo us - was talking to gamers - what they felt about gaming and why they had came to NERG. Every story was different - some guys ran their own YouTube channel and had a massive life dedication to the gaming world.  Others played now and again and were getting into retro more and more. Some were just fairweather gamers curious for the old world of gaming. But what was true having spoken to people - was that events like had brought this passion of retrogaming alive back in them..And now it was never going to leave.

And at GamesYouLoved that was all we could ask for!

You can see our mini Tour of the show and just a few of the Gamers we spoke to
via our YouTube Channel. Click the link:

We would like to thank and recognise the following people
for their massive contribution to NERG.

The event wouldn't have been same without them:

Retro Games Party -
Northern Lights Pinball Show -
Arcade Dreams -

Thursday 4 July 2013

Games....not Homework!

This article will serve as a confession of sorts. I’ve lived with the burden of what I’ve done for long enough, the time has arrived for me to come clean and be judged by my peers for my crime of true passion.

Let me start at the beginning; When I was in the first few years of middle school, games came on tape and were available from everywhere: Superdrug, newsagents, independent hardware stores as well as the places you’d expect to find them. They were so cheap and so prevalent that you could almost guarantee being treated to a new game each week. They were magical affairs too, showing limitless imagination - I’m talking really random messed up things. The cheaper the game, the more bizarre the concept. No-one had set the rules yet and anything went, when you loaded one of those babies, your patience was rewarded by being transported to a magical nether world which seemed more palpable than games do today even with their physics and graphics.

As you can tell I was satisfied - more than satisfied - I was enthralled!

Then, one day, I paid a visit to a friends house where I was transported to a higher astral plain altogether. This kid was blessed with an Amiga 500, an unbelievable piece of tech and surely proof of humans backward engineering alien technology. I wouldn't have been more blown away if I’d caught a glimpse of his mum getting out of the shower. I needed one to live.

I immediately hatched a scheme to ride my bike to his house each day and walk to school with him under the pretext that he lived much closer than I did. The real reason of course was to create the opportunity for a few stolen moments with my new infatuation.

It was clear that this charade couldn't continue forever, the sordid affair had to be resolved by me acquiring my own system: but how? We weren’t a wealthy family and a gift like this was unheard of for any occasion, so with good honest hard work clearly out of the question I did the only thing I could think of. I embarked upon a media campaign to make a Presidential election look pitiful. I hid notes throughout the house with pro-Amiga slogans such as ‘Amiga Rulz’, ‘Amiga Phorever’, ‘500 reasons to buy an Amiga’ & Wot no Amiga’. They were all up the stairs, in cupboards, wardrobes, coat pockets, shoes, everywhere and anywhere and I kept the momentum up for days and weeks until it became a big joke. The point came when people were surprised to open an ice cream tub and NOT find a note inside.

It was about this time when my school was most insistent on me learning my times tables. The problem was that I didn’t really feel like it. It was quite tedious and I couldn’t see the point in memorising a whole bunch of sums ahead of time on the off chance I might one-day need them. To this day I stand by my principles and still I haven’t learned them and I think I’ve managed to become a useful member of society, preferring instead to make calculations on an ad-hoc basis without having to recite a little song under my breath until I reach the right line.

With my failure to perform in this respect in mind, my father offered me a deal: Learn all twelve of the tables and he would buy me my coveted Amiga and all the trimmings.

This was a remarkable offer and about the best I was ever likely to get. If I wanted Dragon Ninga, Outrun, After Burner et al in the comfort of my room this was my only chance.

The problem was it was still too much like work and besides, I was principled. I’d already decided that to learn the times tables parrot-fashion was a fruitless exercise.

What I did instead was retire to my room early ‘to study’, played on the trusty speccy with the volume way low until I was tired then simply went to sleep slumped over my desk with all my maths revision books as a pillow and still in full school uniform.

My father would test my progress and hide his disappointment quite well when it was clear I’d learned nothing more than the 10 & 11 times tables I’d always known. I guess this went on for a week or two, before my father eventually took pity on me and clearly taking me for a hopeless dunce, drove me to Megaland in Southampton and bought me my prize. I even got the official Commodore stereo monitor. What a day! It came with The New Zealand Story and Deluxe Paint II along with Batman the Movie and FA18 - Interceptor.

I can’t imagine anything ever topping the sheer joy and excitement of that afternoon. I can only hope that my father would forgive me grifting him so mercilessly!

This great story by Andy Pryer.

Also Andy has a YouTube Channel Lizzzzardking