03/02/2018

☆ Video Game shopping in Amsterdam - "Booze, drugs and (It’s only) Rock ‘n’ Roll…on the Commodore 64" ☆ #Retrogaming

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Anyone who has travelled to the continent and had a brief sojourn into any retro gaming store knows that the prices over there tend to be higher than in the UK, in France this is even more apparent (although it’s still possible to grab some serious bronze).

Recently, I travelled to Amsterdam for a friend’s fortieth (panic not, for I am still fresh out of the oven at thirty-four) and I did some research before-hand and discovered that there was indeed a few game shops out there and also a couple of arcades, good! 

It would provide a break from the coffee shops/head shops/seed shops / astonishingly expensive bars.

As we made our way around the town, the first place I came to was an arcade called The Ton-Ton bar. 

There are two branches of these, one just outside of the town and one in the centre. The one I visited was the slightly more out-of-town location and whilst we had a good time there, it was slightly too modern for my tastes with a few too many Japanese button-bashy / dancing machine, from memory there was:

Pinball:

Ghostbusters – amazing table with some great features. 


Invaders from Mars - ludicrous points system, the high score was seventy billion! (My favourite machine though)

The Getaway – This was a bland table that seemed badly designed as the ball never seemed to do anything interesting and kept getting caught on things.


Game of Thrones – I didn’t play this as there literally a queue for it!


Arcade Cabinets:
There were some Mario Kart machines, Time Crisis 3, Terminator 3 and a Sega Rally machine with one dodgy screen, ruining the two-player mode (although I still absolutely adore Sega Rally in any shape or form). 


Rounding off the games was a fantastic four-player Pac-Man game and a Street Fighter 4 machine which a friend of mine clattered his way through but tripped at the last hurdle as Seth sadly shoved his fists right up Ken’s tutti-frutti.





 


The arcade ran on a token system (I kept one for the memories) and it was a fair price but not really enough variety to spend more than an hour or two there. 

Whilst I didn’t visit the central Ton Ton bar, some people went and it was much the same with the exception of a version of House of the Dead that wasn’t calibrated correctly (if there is anything in this world that will cause things I love to burst into flame it’s having to play a light-gun game that isn’t lined-up properly) so I don’t feel like I missed anything.

Moving onto the actual gaming stores, they have a CEX-esque brand out there called Game Mania, I visited two branches and it has games from PS3 / XBOX 260 / Wii / DS onwards (so no retro) and they are essentially the standard fare but marked up slightly from UK prices so I sort of danced in and moonwalked out within minutes.

Then….and only then….did I discover Game Over...


Game Over is an independent store pretty much right opposite the Central train station and it was quite a gold mine. 

They had EVERYTHING in there and what wasn’t on display was in storage behind the counter in blue tubs of solid silver (well, plastic). 


I picked up:
A pristine Tiger LCD game for Faye (Action Man Street Ninja…now she’ll have to collect the entire series) 

Clayfighter for the Mega Drive (as we currently only own a loose cart copy) 

A couple of PSP games for pittance (a mint Gran Turismo and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker) 

and a LOAD of Commodore 64 games for a euro each!


The C64 games I grabbed were:

  1. King Size
  2. Star Seeker
  3. Cauldron
  4. Cage Match
  5. Hopper Copper
  6. Brian Jack’s Superstar Challenge
  7. Master of Magic
  8. International Karate
  9. All Risks
  10. Everyone’s a Wally
  11. It’s Only Rock N Roll
  12. Freak Factory
  13. Highlander (RIP Bob Wakelin)
  14. Con-Quest
  15. Spooks
  16. Hover Bovver
  17. Barry McGuigan World Championship Boxing
  18. Arcade Hall of Fame
  19. Cavemania
  20. Mr Angry
  21. 1943
  22. And a couple of Dutch homebrew collections.
I had trouble closing my suitcase but I cared not! 

The staff were great, I visited the store three times and had a chat, eventually picking up two thick PS1 cheat books in Dutch. 

Game Over is clearly the best retro gaming store in Amsterdam and well worth a visit, especially due to its incredibly central location.
 

The prices are reflective of Europe in general but it is possible to find a bargain, in my case, it was for Commodore games but some of the accessories were tastily priced as well, I just ran out of luggage room!

I’m looking forward to the weekend so that I can smash into all of these, I can definitely feel a C64 night coming one.

Right, I’m off to sober up.

 
Britt