“Yeah – truth be known, I think the late 80s and 90s had the best games ever.”
Our fifth blogger interview is a true blast from the true past with a cool dude who knows what’s up: RetroGame Man from his self-titled blog! If you’re interested in joining our series of interviewing internet personalities, you can figure out how to save a spot for yourself by seeing our post “Introducing Blogger Interviews“.
Whoo! I got started late on this one and long-distance interviews can prove to be tough to complete! I’d like to thank RetroGame Man for his tremendous patience through this process. I had a lot of fun
gushing having an orderly discussion about retro games and their enduring appeal. Two super-charged experts on classics collide and the result is a rockin’ interview. Sneak dat!
“Sorry for the delay, sir.
Let’s finally get your interview up and running by opening with the preliminary question: How long have you been a gamer?”
“I’ve been a gamer since I was 4 or 5 (and I’m now 31). I was originally exposed to Nintendo and Atari by my babysitter back in 1990. We would sit and play Mario 3, Donkey Kong, and Zelda. My bro and I eventually got our own Nintendo for Christmas in 1991 – and have been playing ever since.”
“Ah, Christmas. The best time of the year for gamers.
Is there anything you’re looking to pick up this season?”
“Well, I like a mix of old and new, so it will be nice to finally pick up a copy of Final Fantasy XV and get some time to play it. I’m also tying to nab a copy of Rockman 4 Minus Infinity – an awesome hack of Mega Man IV.”
“Yes! I’m looking forward to FFXV for Christmas too!
Hopefully Santa got my list. And I haven’t heard of that Mega Man IV hack. I’m a longtime Mega Man fan. Care to tell me about it?
“Well, I haven’t played it yet – but it’s supposed to be awesome with levels and bosses completely redesigned. Some have called it the best game hack ever – so I’m excited to try it! I have tried a couple other hacks like the Zelda hack “Outlands” and was surprised how it really felt like a brand new quality game in the Zelda series.”
“They can be fun. I remember a few Pokémon hacks I’ve handled.
So with your name in mind, RetroGame Man, along with your awesome avatar, do I detect more than a bit of retro love than merely a ‘mix of new and old’?”
“Yeah – truth be known, I think the late 80s and 90s had the best games ever. I have played everything that has come out since (and loved much of it), but the combined libraries of the NES + SNES + Genesis + N64 + PSX are just outstanding. I’m a bit biased though – I grew up with these machines!
“We got Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, Fire Emblem, Chrono Trigger, Sonic, EarthBound – all classic franchises that really changed the industry…but more importantly, were really fun to play.”
“Bias nothin’! I’d agree with you that that era was the greatest.
This is a bit of controversy I’ve dealt with again recently: What would you say to someone who scoffs at retro gaming? A modern gamer purist, of sorts. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but how would you objectively demonstrate the value of the games from the 80’s and 90’s, beyond of course what you just said of them being fun?”
“I’d ask them what game they played, because there are actually a lot of terrible games from that era too haha!
“In terms of demonstrating the value of retro gaming, I would probably get them to grab a controller and play a game with me. Many modern games don’t really work well with real-life multiplayer (apart from a few exceptions like fighting games). Retro gaming from my experience is way more social – and that interaction makes games way more enjoyable for me! I have gaming nights once a month with 10+ people and we play everything from GoldenEye, Mario, Bomber Man, Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, Mega Man, Streets of Rage, et cetera.
“I don’t remember the last time I had people over to play the newest FPS or open-world game. And don’t get me wrong – I love Star Wars: Battlefront and The Witcher 3, but they don’t seem to bring people together as much as many of the old classics.
“2D pixel art is super awesome too – and the best of it comes from that era!”
“Oh excuse me. It appears I’ve drooled all over my keyboard.
You are of course spot on with couch co-op being a definitively classic gaming experience. Oddly, the ability to interact with millions online instead of a handful of people in your living room makes us less social and less sociable. So aside from retro-lovin’, tell me a bit more about yourself, RetroGame Man! Any other hobbies besides for gaming?”
“For sure – I really enjoy art and anime, and recently finished creating my first comic strip! As a Canadian, I also love the great outdoors and doing lots of stuff outside like skiing and running. Within the realm of nerdy stuff, I am also a huge sci-fi guy and love Star Wars and the author Philip K. Dick. I also love dancing!”
“So much to talk about! Let’s take them one at a time.
What kind of art are you into? Favorite artists?”
“Well – my bro is a fine artist by training so I love his stuff, and much of the stuff he has exposed me too over the years. I could spend hours in an art gallery. Some of my favourite stuff is actually ancient art from Egypt, Greece, Japan, and the Middle Ages. I am also a huge anime guy – been watching it since the original Dragon Ball. This is where most of my drawing style comes from – its quite cartoony. These days I am more drawn to the fantastic Miyazaki movies like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.”
“Awesome! When you said Middle Ages, I was somehow reminded of Gustav Doré.
You might appreciate him if you look him up. Also, I think we’ve got some love for Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli going on this month… What’s your favorite anime series and anime movie?”
“I really enjoyed Cowboy Bebop. It has so much style, the music is great, and the world is so interesting! As for movie, probably Princess Mononoke. It was one of the first full anime movies that I saw and I have watched it like 20 times and it’s still good!”
“We’re cut from the same cloth. Cowboy Bebop is the best!
So short and sweet. How about sci-fi, which you mentioned, what are some recommendable bits of science fiction in let’s say movies and books?”
“Anything by Philip K Dick – both his books and the movies they inspired. Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Adjustment Bureau, A Scanner Darkly. And Star Wars – what an amazing epic. Really looking forward to Rogue One!”
“Hey so tell us about your blog.
What is unique about your blog and how long have you been blogging?”
“Well I started blogging just over a year ago. At the time, I was just finishing up school which was extremely hectic, so I started playing retro games as a way to chill out after a long day. Soon enough I had a huge collection of games and was really enjoying my time revisiting the classics, so I started the blog with the goal of reviewing all the games that I had purchased, and to provide information to help retro gamers decided whether a game was worth their time and money.
“My blog is simple but focused – which makes it an easy place to navigate and find information. I review Nintendo, Sega, and PlayStation games from the 80s, 90s, and 00s – that’s it! If that’s what people are looking for, they should come and visit my blog! All reviews come with original pictures and videos captured by myself too!”
“I’d have to agree. You have an admirably focused approach.
What is something you’d like to see your blog achieve?”
“Well, I’d love to increase my readership. I’m doing okay on Twitter, but only get about 20 views a day on my actual blog. I don’t really spend much time trying to get my website known, but maybe this interview will help a bit with that!”
“Hey, that’s the idea, getting a little bit of a real network going. Hopefully this is the beginning of a fruitful friendship! Two final questions, I promise. One’s a bit harder than the other. What is your favorite game of all time…?”
“Easy – Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for SNES. First SNES game I ever bought. Recently caught footage for it and ended up beating it in one sitting lol. It’s just awesome.”
“That’s a perennial classic!
I let someone borrow my copy in high school and never got it back. Thank goodness for virtual console! Final question is this: Now that you have the ear of your fellow bloggers, what’s a bit of encouraging wisdom you could share with the lot of us?”
“Well – I guess this could be related to blogging and to life in general haha. Don’t be afraid to get out there and do what you love doing, and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way so that we can succeed in what we do. Thanks for having me – much appreciated!”
Failure is just a step toward success, I’m encouraged! Thank you! I greatly appreciate your time and I apologize again for the delays on getting your interview up and running.”