14/04/2018

☆ C64 Reloaded Talks VIC20, Elvin Atombender and Astro Wars - Video Games Memories ☆ @C64Reloaded #GamersUnite #Retrogaming

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Today we are lucky enough to have a C64 font of all knowledge in the Freezer.
Please welcome one of my fave Twitter peeps out there, Mr Martin Grundy aka @C64Reloaded

Martin's Twitter account is a constant stream of Commodore goodness with a splattering of all other Retro Gaming delights.

If you don't already follow Martin, you should and if you don't have one of his awesome retro gaming calendars you should get one!

Now sit back and relax and listen to Martin's Video Gaming Memories...
What's your earliest video gaming memory?
(Cue wobbly visuals and strummed harp) I have vague memories of playing with a pong clone TV
game at my cousin’s house sometime in the late 70s but I was probably about 6 at the time so that’s hazy to say the least.

Looking back, it was probably one of those Binatone things. They look really naff now but at the time they were incredibly exciting!

I can also remember going to the arcades in Blackpool in the early 80s on day trips with my Mum and Dad and playing a few of those very first arcade games such as Space Invaders, Battlezone and Donkey Kong. My first contact with video games at home was when I got a Grandstand Astro War’s for Christmas in 1981. I absolutely loved it. I was able to complete it (but only on level 1!).
What was the first video game console or gaming computer that you owned?

Astro Wars was great but obviously having only one game was a little limiting, to say the least. So I was over the moon when I became the proud owner of a Vic 20 sometime around 1983/4.

The Vic had a measly 3.5K of memory yet it had some great games. I remember Amok, Chariot Race, Avenger, Shadowfax and Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge of Time fondly.

I eventually got a memory upgrade cartridge for the VIC which extended it to 16K. Yay! This allowed me to play more complex games such as The Perils of Willy (the VIC’s answer to Manic Miner) and the Ultimate classic Jet-Pac. I loved my VIC until my best friend got a Commodore 64, next to Impossible Mission and Ghostbusters, the Vic games looked a bit crap. How did you get into the retro gaming scene? About 7 years ago, I met up with an old school friend that I hadn’t seen for decades. We got chatting about the old days and the computer games we used to play came up. We chatted and laughed for ages remembering International Soccer, Way of the Exploding Fist and The Last Ninja amongst others. He’d discovered all this footage on Youtube of Commodore 64 games and later he sent me a few links.

It kind of spiralled from there. I downloaded a C64 emulator and a few old games then picked up a copy of Retro Gamer and never looked back. What's your favourite video game of all time?

Impossible Mission on the C64. It turned my world upside down. I enjoyed playing those simple games on my VIC but when I saw Impossible Mission on my friend Collin’s C64 I was blown away. The animation, the speech, the depth of design and gameplay. It was a whole new world. Impossible Mission was a quantum leap in my gaming experience and opened the door to a world of gaming that would obsess me for the next ten years. What's your favourite console/games computer of all time?
That’s an easy one. The Commodore 64. Following my almost religious experience at Collin’s house playing Impossible Mission, I made it my life’s goal to own a C64 myself and after constant mithering, for about a year I finally got one a few days before my 12th birthday.

It was 1985 and the C64 was beginning to hit its stride as a games machine. Bruce Lee, Boulder Dash, Pitstop2, Cauldron, Summer Games 2, Spy Vs Spy, Little Computer People, Entombed, Elite, Ballblazer, Beach Head 2, Dropzone, Way of the Exploding Fist, Monty on the Run, Paradroid, etc, etc, the list of great games just goes on and on.

Every month brilliant new games came out and as we moved into 1986 things just got better and better with Mercenary, LeaderBoard, Uridium, The Sentinel, World Games, International Karate, Dan Dare,
Ghosts n Goblins, The Great Escape, Starquake, Spindizzy and Super Cycle. It was a brilliant time to be a kid into gaming.
What's your favourite arcade game of all time?


We had family in Blackpool that we used to visit quite a bit when I was a kid so I had plenty of opportunities to go up to the arcades.

The first arcade game that really made an impression on me 'Back In The Day' was Hang-on. With it’s big red shiny pneumatic motorcycle it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. It was more like a ride on the Pleasure Beach than a video game in the arcade. Truly stunning. I was a big fan of Yu Suzuki’s games. I loved Space Harrier and Outrun too. Both incredible experiences when first encountered.

What's your favourite sandwich?


Hmmmm. Tricky one – I’d have to go for bacon. Bit of brown sauce – and it has to be lean and crispy, not fatty. Delicious. What do you order from an Indian Restaurant?


Poppadoms with plenty of mango chutney and red onions to kick off.
Followed by a mixed starter (Onion Bhaji, and mixed kebab) then chicken tikka bhuna with pilau rice and a Pashwari naan.
A couple of pints of cobra to wash it down.
Heaven.

What's your favourite beer?


It depends. If it’s hot I’ll go lager but I’m mainly an ale fan.
Cornwall has some great ones – Doombar, Boilers and Proper Job are all great, but Tribute is probably my favourite. What current generation video games do you play (if any)?


None. I’m not a retro snob (if such a thing exists). There are some amazing looking games out there. They look like how I dreamed games might look one day, and I’d love to get stuck into a few of them. But the truth is, I just don’t have the spare time that’s needed to sink into them.

With 3 kids, a business and a kids football team to run, time is at a premium. Maybe when I’m retired, and the kids have left home, I’ll get into the games scene – goodness knows what games will be like by then. Who's your fave person to follow on Twitter?


There are some great people out there. I really enjoy reading what @jazrignall has to say. He knows pretty much everything there is to know about gaming and has been there from the beginning yet he’s a very approachable guy and always happy to chat and to support the retro C64 scene. Top bloke. What's your favourite video game genre?


Arcade Adventure (I don’t think that’s really a thing anymore is it?). I like the element of story, background, characters, a quest of some sort, puzzles to solve and a bit of thinking to do.

Those games always kept my interest the most. Although I love a 2 players sports game too with a mate. If you were a console, which one would you be and why?


The Sega Megadrive. It’s the only console I’ve owned, and it was a great machine. It was like having the arcades in your home in the early 90s. Also, like me, it’s a bit old now but still has plenty of life in it. Can you recommend a good retro gaming shop?


There aren’t many near me but there’s ‘Games n More’ in Wigan which is great. It sells my two favourite things – retrogaming goodies and records. What’s not to like?

Another place that’s not really a shop (although it does have a shop inside it) but is absolutely awesome is Arcade Club in Bury. If you have even the tiniest interest in gaming – retro or modern – this place will blow you away. It’s incredible. If you haven’t been, you must. You won’t be disappointed.
If you were going to do a Cosplay tomorrow, what would it be and why?


Professor Elvin Atombender. Impossible Mission is one of my favourite games of all time and Elvin Atombender is a wonderful villain.

Plus, I could go around annoying people by saying “Destroy him my robots!” and “Another visitor! Stay awhile! Stay forever!”
You make those awesome retro gaming calendars every year and send them out to the retro gamers who want them. For me, that is the first sign that it's nearly Christmas :) Have you got any special plans in mind for 2019's calendars?


Cheers. It’s great to get so much brilliant feedback. 2018 saw me expand it beyond the Commodore world for the first time with a ZX Spectrum and an Arcade calendar. Both went down really well so I’ll be doing those again as well as the usual Commodore 64 and Amiga 30-year retrospectives.

I’m also thinking of branching out into other 8 and 16 bit platforms such as the Atari ST, BBC, Amstrad, Megadrive and NES.
There are so many awesome machines and games out there worth covering. It’d be rude not to invite them to the party.


Hopefully You Enjoyed that peek into the video gaming life of @C64Reloaded
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