Retro Gamer Magazine on Bill and Matt's Vintage Games Book

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Thanks to friend and long-time Armchair Arcade member "davyK" for the heads-up on just-released Retro Gamer magazine issue 65 and its mention of our Vintage Games book. Quote: Bill and Matt's Vintage Games - "A brilliant book by Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton that looks at a range of classic influential games from Space Invaders and Castle Wolfenstein to The Sims and Dance Dance Revolution and examines how they have all helped to shape the industry as it stands to today. Essential reading." The issue is available at newsstands worldwide, or order here. I know I can't wait for my copy to come!

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davyK
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It's quite a good issue Bill

It's quite a good issue Bill - highlights (for me!!) are:

Interview with David Crane
History of Metroid
Hardware feature : Acorn Archimedes
Making of ... Toobin'
Making of ... Super Metroid
Making of ... Wolfenstein 3D

Hammer
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Worldwide?

I've never seen that magazine anywhere in the NY area. I thought it was only available in the UK?

Bill Loguidice
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Hammer wrote:

I've never seen that magazine anywhere in the NY area. I thought it was only available in the UK?

Typically the easiest places to find it are places that carry UK magazines, like Borders or Barnes & Noble... I simply ordered mine direct from the publisher's Website, but I've gotten them at Barnes & Noble in the past (I'm in NJ).

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Wow, that does look like a

Wow, that does look like a very relevant magazine for us. Of course, I'm sure it would focus more on British computers. I know there were plenty of British-specific computers, but are there any British consoles? Surely there were a few provincial efforts before the crash. I'm not talking about European versions of foreign consoles, which I am well aware of.

At any rate, the British computer fans I've talked to have fond memories of their BBC Micros and Spectrums.

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Bill Loguidice
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UK only - not that I can think of
Matt Barton wrote:

Wow, that does look like a very relevant magazine for us. Of course, I'm sure it would focus more on British computers. I know there were plenty of British-specific computers, but are there any British consoles? Surely there were a few provincial efforts before the crash. I'm not talking about European versions of foreign consoles, which I am well aware of.

At any rate, the British computer fans I've talked to have fond memories of their BBC Micros and Spectrums.

I have several issues from their original run. It's a great magazine, well written, very visual, etc. It was what I striving for the print version of Armchair Arcade to be when I was shopping us around to US publishers way back when.

There were no UK-specific consoles pre-crash that I'm aware of (the US really was where it was at back then, worldwide - only Sega and Nintendo had significant pre-crash systems going in Japan). I have one of the post crash consoles, the Amstrad GX400, which is a consolized version of the Amstrad computer, similar to the NEC TurboGrafx-16 in that it's a relatively powerful system hamstrung by an 8-bit processor. There really weren't many UK-specific/only or Euro-specific/only consoles, unless you want to count things like the C64GS, which never made it out over here. The VTech CreatiVision came out in 1981 and was Euro/Australian/Japan-only, and was like a hybrid console/computer (I have the Australian Dick Smith version). Still, nothing that truly meets the definition of pre-Crash "UK only".

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Thanks, Bill. I made myself

Thanks, Bill. I made myself look a twit a few days ago at the English Amiga Board because I didn't realize the CD32 wasn't available in the U.S. (I thought it was here but in extremely limited quantities). D'oh!

So, post-crash, Nintendo and Sega ruled the console market in Europe as well as the U.S. and Japan?

One of these days I'd like to try a Turbo-Grafx 16 or a Neo-Geo. None of my friends had them and I have only second-hand information. I remember seeing ads in comic books for the Turbo-Grafx, but I guess it just didn't catch on.

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Bill Loguidice
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NEC and Commodore
Matt Barton wrote:

Thanks, Bill. I made myself look a twit a few days ago at the English Amiga Board because I didn't realize the CD32 wasn't available in the U.S. (I thought it was here but in extremely limited quantities). D'oh!

Who says it wasn't available in the US? I'm almost positive it was available in limited quantities in the US. I don't think they got any major chains to carry it, but I'd be shocked if it wasn't available. I remember when I was working for Electronics Boutique at the time of the Jaguar/CD32/etc. and there was a survey about what to carry. I think only the Canadian stores had any enthusiasm for the CD32. Again, though, I'd need to see some hard evidence that indicates for 100% certainty that the CD32 wasn't available in the US, as I find that hard to believe based on both my memory and some of the products available for it that I've seen.

Matt Barton wrote:

So, post-crash, Nintendo and Sega ruled the console market in Europe as well as the U.S. and Japan?

Yes, that much is true, save for NEC being a dominant force in Japan for a number of years and only a minor factor in the US and elsewhere. Post crash there were minimal differences between worldwide territories, though of course the "crash" was mostly a US thing, though it did have worldwide ramifications.

Matt Barton wrote:

One of these days I'd like to try a Turbo-Grafx 16 or a Neo-Geo. None of my friends had them and I have only second-hand information. I remember seeing ads in comic books for the Turbo-Grafx, but I guess it just didn't catch on.

I actually owned (and still own) a TurboGrafx-16 before I owned a Genesis because it was a bit cheaper at the time (in fact, it was my first post-crash console since I stuck with computers during the whole NES era!). Great little system, and even better in its Japanese form, since it was a dominant system over there and had a long, long life with many updates and upgrades that made the 8-bit system shine well beyond what the base system was capable of (it had an average processor, sound and controls, but it could push lots of colors). I have a very, very extensive NEC collection, owning all of their systems (TG-16, TurboDuo, SuperGrafx, TurboExpress, PC/FX, etc.).

What's sad is that NEC decided to go the business-as-usual route and castrate a lot of Japanese games when they were released over here and not release the best-of-the-best titles in the US. It was poor strategy. Of course I don't think it would have made much of a difference against the Genesis with its stellar EA-backed sports titles (the TurboDuo received a single late release Madden game as shown in our Vintage Games book, but by then it was already too late), which were all the rage in the US (the TG-16 had Cinemaware's excellent, but little known outside the Amiga TV Sports line of games).

Of course the TG-16 also contributed its own popular mascot to the mascot wars of that era, Bonk, who, like Sonic, would later appear on other systems. Ah, I can go on and on about the thing. In short, it's well worth checking out (emulation is great for it, by the way) and the whole NEC videogame history is fascinating in general, particularly on the Japanese side.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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Written by the same guys responsible for Crash and Zzap64

The magazine is written by the same guys responsible for Crash (ZX Spectrum) and Zzap64 (C64), both are British videogame magazines from the 80's and 90's. This 'Retrogamer'-magazine is focusing on retrogaming in particular and has a broad readerbase that is active on the forums ranging from Brazil, Australia, Portugal, Germany,the Netherlands and many other countries besides the UK and Ireland. For some reason US interest has always been low. Of course being from the UK there is some emphasis on European home computers of the past like the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Oric, BBC Micro series but for the most part it is focused on retrogaming world wide without wanting to leave out a specific group. Most US sites/magazines focus on Atari 400/800, Apple II, TRS-80 just a tad more.

I have been a member since issue 1 actually and it is a great magazine. There is a prize guide with all major systems and consoles listed in Euros/Dollars and a collector (this issue actually features a bloke from Australia) is interviewed and part of his/her collection is shown in the magazine. For some reason our website is NOT listed among the essential websites but Shane's retrogaming radio is ;-)

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Bill Loguidice
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Hmm, we need a stratagem to

Hmm, we need a stratagem to fix that serious omission on their parts, Mark. ;-)

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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yakumo9275
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I think the cd32 didnt come

I think the cd32 didnt come to the usa as a snafu kept it locked up in a warehouse at the time it was going to be released. Some kind of embargo or lack of cash on commodores part. I dont remember, and then I think they went bankrupt? my memory is fuzzy.

-- Stu --

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