Brevity something something wit

What it is in the main

By Shepton on October 2, 2022 in Sheptro

‘sup. When rebuilding the site I couldn’t help but notice just how fucking much I ramble on about bullshit and go off on tangents when I write anything. It was kind of a running joke. But I also think it can get pretty annoying when trying to read. So I’ma try an’ cut to the chase here.

I like old games. I’ve been specifically collecting older games and consoles for a long time now. Two main reasons:

1. I really like video games in general, and I think the older ones are some of the absolute best. I really admire the creativity that was born from the hardware limitations of the various generations of consoles.

2. Gaming today fucking sucks. Everything is a subscription service. Every fucking game is designed around a god damned season pass to sell you on extra bullshit rather than just being designed to be a game that’s fun to play. It’s rare for me to actually have FUN with any new games. Additionally and more importantly, the always-online aspects of modern gaming and complete integration into online services means that games can just straight up disappear. If a service is no longer profitable it can get shut down and the games on it are now inaccessible. I buy a game, I want complete and total personal access to it at any given moment. (I mean if a game is specifically a multiplayer game then yes of course I don’t expect it to work without the internet, I’m talking generally here.)

A lot of the games in my collection are things from my childhood, but even more of it is stuff I never played. With adulthood came disposable income and I wanted to try out some of the games and consoles that I always wished I had as a kid. I figure I might as well write about some of my thoughts and experiences with the various games and consoles here whenever the mood takes me.

So my plan is to make a separate category here just for my retro stuff. It’s gonna be mostly freeform because holy shit the internet is packed full of assholes capitalizing on nostalgia with countless bullshit youtube channels reviewing old games and I don’t wanna be just another maggot crawling in the pile. I mean, that’s exactly what I will be, and I’m not tryin’a come up with some unique selling point here because this isn’t for money or attention. It’s more about just getting my thoughts out there on all this stuff that I like and really wanna share in some small and ultimately meaningless way.

Sometimes I’ll talk about a specific game if I feel it’s worth discussing, but I also intend to talk about collecting itself, the consoles, the hardware, the repair work and modding I pretty frequently do (because retro collecting also got me into starting to learn fundamental electronics repair, as a necessity with the old hardware requiring maintenance.)

Another thing I’ll probably talk about here: CRT TVs vs flat screens. Certain tech relating to that (such as light guns in particular – I really love light gun games but haven’t played any in DECADES because I don’t have a CRT and light guns only work on CRTs. With the exception of the Sinden light gun – I have a couple on order and I’ma totally be trying those out and posting some thoughts here as and when that happens, real excited about those.)

Anyway that’s enough for now. Keep an eye out here if my old man rantings are somehow of interest to you. Until then here’s a vague and messy look at some of my collection right now. I’m gonna be working to really go nuts turning my basement into a retro game arcade/museum like every other chucklefuck out there at some point – for now it’s a comfortable mess.

Mess #1: Rickety-ass cheap old DVD shelf that’s currently struggling to hold the Sega CD games (most of which are my wife’s old collection she got from her cousins – the copy of Snatcher is mine though. The game’s legit, but the manual is a repro. It’s by far the most expensive individual game in my collection and was always my white whale. I basically stopped collecting after I finally got it.
Exhibit #2: Probably the least messy part of my basement. The Nintendo shelf.
The dust is inexcusable in this dungeon, man. This is my main area where I do the majority of my actual gaming. Most consoles are hooked up through the component switch under the TV. I use HD Retrovision cables for as much as I can (the Master System, Neo Geo AES, Genesis/Sega CD are all using HD Retrovision cables. The PS2 and GameCube both have OEM component cables. Everything else is HDMI.) The reason it’s set up that way is that it’s all into one single TV with no need to ever unplug/reconnect cables. Everything is hooked up at all times so I can play it all whenever I want, no fuss. I’m soon gonna hook up an OSSC for the component stuff. Right now it all looks fine on the big flatscreen TV but it’s gonna look SO much fucking better with the OSSC. (Ideally I will also obtain a CRT at some point, consoles from older generations tend to look MUCH better on a CRT). Currently playing Suikoden II, Tales of Symphonia.
Older TV which I’ve got some other stuff hooked up to. The reason the Dreamcast is on this setup is because this old TV happens to have a VGA input, which is a really damn good output that the Dreamcast can do. So that’s just a matter of convenience. This is also the desk where I do all my cleaning and repair work, but you can’t really see that stuff from this angle. It’s a tiny little desk and one day I wanna set up a proper workbench for all the electronic repair stuff rather than just this cramped little corner. One of the N64’s is PAL region – I recently went back to the UK and found a handful of my old N64 games and the console, along with a couple controllers is exceptional condition because I took care of my stuff. Hard to find N64 controllers these days with the sticks that tight, so that was nice. I got the PAL 64 hooked up to an NTSC converter so I can use it in this country. Gonna RGB mod one of the N64s at some point as well because as a console it had incredibly poor offerings as far as outputs went, but modding it can really clean it up.
All dem Segga tapes.
This is such a cool case for the Gameboy.
Kid Dracula is insanely expensive these days. The gameboy and Kid Dracula are my wife’s from when she was a kid, bunch of other games in there are hers too. Hella cool that she held onto this stuff. I modded the gameboy with a backlit screen because it’s just much more convenient to play with a backlight. Not pictured: Couple GBAs which I also modded with backlit screens.
Dreamcast and PS1 drawer #1
PS1 drawer #2

Anyway, that’s part of my collection, in all its disorganized and cluttered glory. I have plans to totally redo my basement soon and really do this up right. I don’t like that everything is inconsistent, the shelves are dust magnets right now, the lighting isn’t great, and it’s in desperate need of cable management. Once I’ve got everything the way I want it I’ll post some updates I guess, because while I’m proud of the collection I’m definitely not proud of how it all looks right now. But the thing is, I fuckin’ play the hell out of all of it, so it’s function over form at the moment. I’m not one of those bullshit collectors. My toys don’t stay in the packaging.

But you’ve heard enough… of my secrets.

Comments

  • Wow, that is a real man cave, adorable plushies and all. Now let me one-up you when it comes to rambling about bullshit.

    I enjoyed living vicariously through your retro gaming menagerie. It’s admirable that you went to the length of learning to repair and maintain electronics in order to play old games on their original machines. I also enjoy playing old games, but I’m a lazy faggot so I just emulate the stuff I don’t have physical copies of/don’t own a console for. I haven’t played a recent game in about 7 years, because almost everything is tainted with always-online bullshit and a made-by-committee feeling, as you said. I’m sure there are some recent gems, but there are so many good old games I haven’t played that I feel no urge to try anything recent. I read in an interview with Takayoshi Sato (Silent Hill modeler) that the typical budget of a PS1 game was about 1 million, while a PS2 game would be about 7 million. I’m pretty sure it’s getting into the hundred millions for AAA games now, with teams of hundreds of people, so it’s no wonder that the individual creative spirit has been completely stifled.

    Agreed 100% on how much better old games look on a CRT compared to any digital display. It’s particularly noticeable with PS1 games that have a lot of dithering, because the CRT smoothed everything out and made the pattern invisible, while also giving the impression of more color variation. And that’s just the visual side; some old games have segments that are hard as balls on digital displays because the CRTs had so much less input lag. It’s too bad that they’re just too inconvenient to be worth manufacturing anymore.

    Also agree 100% on all the assholes capitalizing on nostalgia with old game review channels. Man, I really appreciate all of the instructional videos one can find on Youtube now, but I’m pretty sure that the bulk of content posted to the site is soul-killing bullshit made with 10% interest for the topic at hand, and 90% desire to get lots of views for advertising revenue.

    • Yeah, I fucking hate youtube. Like, there are a ton of youtubers that I love, and I hate that they have to play by the infuriating rules of censorship and homogenized sponsorship bullshit just to get their content out there.

      And I get it – if it’s their main source of income, then they’ll have to do what it takes to get that paper, but that doesn’t make the system any better. Recent example – Summoning Salt, a guy who basically documents speedrun history in the form of documentary-style videos, recently made his longest video ever, over an hour long. Researching, compiling, scripting and editing a video of even a fraction of that length would take forever, so you know damn well that video alone was weeks of work and would also have been a decent money-maker for him. He only recently switched to full-time youtube too, so this would have been his first really major income earning video as a full-timer actively doing this as his job.

      Well one of the clips was of a speedrunner popping off after finally getting a world record and god forbid they said “fuck” a few times in the clip and that got the whole video demonetized. And what pisses me off even more than youtube pulling that kinda shit using the bullshit “tHiNk Of tHe CHiLdReN” excuse, is the people who DEFEND it like “Oh well he should have known and just censored that part of the video!”

      The FUCK, motherfucker? Advocating for censorship is the first strike, but just the very idea of making a HISTORIAN censor the actual events that he’s documenting? FUUUUUUUCK that.

      Anyway, that’s just one example of youtube being shitty and once again I’m rambling off topic.

      CRTs are fucking great and I can’t wait to get one. Mostly it’s about finding a good deal or getting insanely lucky these days though. You can’t get those things shipped because they’re enormous and heavy, and will almost definitely break in shipping, AND you’d be paying eBay money. Gonna have to hit up local donation places or maybe even yard sales and such to luck out. And yeah, the extremely fast response times are the best part about CRTs. That and games of that era were just designed specifically to be played on CRTs.

      As for big game budgets these days – yeah, I heard rumors that GTA6’s budget is somewhere over a billion? Which is fucking ludicrous because you know damn well it’s literally going to be the same thing as GTA5 and GTA4 before that, and most of that budget is absolutely going into in game monetized garbage for the online stuff.

Leave a Reply