- 22 Nov, 2022
Greetings, hope you’re keeping well and enjoying a rummage through this retro cave of wonder. I’m sorry I’ve been silent for a while, a lot happening in the personal life but I won’t bore you with that. Anyhoo, it’s good to be back and stroll the hallowed halls of 8bitbeyond. I was pleased to see that N64 bundle of joy has found a new home. Speaking of which, it given me an urge to release mine from its cubby-hole and give it a gentle dust off. It’s been mine since childhood; well, I had to share it with my brother and sister, not made easier by the fact that I was the youngest of the trio but after stumbling on it years later at my sister’s flat during a visit I managed to convince her for me to become the next custodian (now I know what Prince Charles felt like….)
However, the time to bask in my own 64-bit glory didn’t last long as waiting to dethrone me is my son, Magnus. Being the kind caring soul that he is has asked me (aka told forcefully), that when I pop me clogs, he’ll claim the power all for his greedy self. Slightly depressing to think about but also, pretty nice to know that my N64 will carry on making more memories just like the owner of that beautiful bundle inevitably will. The thing is, it is easy to forget that lovers of retro gaming create their own history as well as appreciating the heritage of what came before them. I know this sounds all bit So-Crates from Bill and Ted but hear me out; when you buy (or in the case of my cheeky charmer of a son), inherit a console you are making a narrative of your own (actually, maybe I’m being more Spielberg now I think it, just without all the talent and money). It may seem a bit OTT but it is a nice way to look at your new to you, or old from new console. With that in mind, rather than things collecting dust in a cupboard (guilty!) or simply posing on a shelf, let’s give that console of yours its shiny technicolour dream coat and a chance to entertain all for years to come……
A great way of sharing the retro romance is by posting vids on YouTube however, if like me you find that a little too much don’t fret, there are other ways to feel as pumped as 1980s Arnie and let your console sing. First things first, there can be a lot of pressure to complete games and on the golden oldies, there’s no micro purchases to cut corners (I think is a real positive in my humble opinion), so why not set a time and see how far you can get. This is especially good for old boffs like me who don’t have as much spare time due to adulthood making you all grown-up and responsible for stuff like not forgetting to feed the little monsters that belong to you. Just make sure you scribble down some notes and tips that could allow you to go a little further on the next run and when you’re done with em, pop them in a shoebox, time capsule style!
David might have to put a finger in his ears for this one but why not try getting hold of some stickers that show off your favourite games or games developers. If you don’t want to give him a heart-attack, why not make a sticker-book with the kids and add to the history of video games and more importantly, create fluffy new memories for your family to look back on. If your feeling artsy, get the whippersnappers to draw pictures of well-loved characters such as Mario and Sonic and compare them to the newer versions. This is also a sneaky way to get the new generation into thinking about and playing old games.
If you’re still in the mood for being sociable, why not get all members of the clan involved. Now, this can be a tricky thing to pull off as they may not get very far which, can result in a major paddy (especially from the grown-ups so, I’d recommend turning the tables on the above challenge. By that, I mean why not play games the wrong way such as see how quickly you can fall off a platform or crash a car. This may sound a little Mad Max and pointless but trust me, doing this in a group is a great way to spend an afternoon and is guaranteed to produce a hearty belly life or two. Just don’t forget the snacks and camera.
Finally, as us golden oldies know, the big challenge of retro gaming is getting used to a new but old controller. If you’re hell bent on making tons of new experiences with the fam this can be the biggest hurdle to overcome. So, why not have a wee chat with resident expert and genuine nice chap, David. He’ll point you in the right direction when it comes to games that are easy on the fingers and thumbs. Heed my warning though, if you insist on Street Fighter, best prepare the plasters……
So, there you have it; a chance to save more memories than a new-fangled terabyte memory stick. We’d love to hear what you do to keep retro gaming alive so if you have any ideas, please leave a comment below. Right, where can I hide MY N64 so my son can’t find it?……