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Saturday, 24 December 2016


Here starts 3 days of posting for me. Includes the round up of the year (always hotly awaited), Miranda awards and the ever growing music round up of the year.

But first its gaming and a few bits and pieces on the NES mini. before game of the year.

Looks like the NES has finally gotten popular here as the £50 mini console can be had for up to £150 second hand.  That's £5 per game, and you had better really like either the small form fitting or a good two thirds of the games on here to get it for that price.  Granted it has NES Bubble Bobble which is worth the price alone, and a few Mario games which are also worth it.  But to be honest there was never the nostalgia value here for the original NES,  and I'll explain why.

UK wise there was never a video game crash so there's no UK equivalent of Atari landfill full of ET carts, though thanks to Guru Larry uncovering it there's a clone for Spectrum. Which brings us neatly to the UK scene then.  Largely dominated by Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum and its main rival, the Commodore 64, latterly joined by Amstrad's CPC 464 and rich kids / school computer the BBC Model B, this was the entire computer scene here in the UK.  Games retailed around the £3 mark for budget releases and £10 for a full price game back then.  16 bit computers such as the ST and Amiga cost a bit more as  their games cost around £25 for a full price game but nowhere near as pricey as the NES as most full priced games clocked in at £40, I know as I had one back then.  Forget £50 for every game back then as lazy reviewers would say,  only Star Wars and Maniac Mansion ever retailed for that back then.

Maybe its a London thing but I did know a few people who had one, but it sure was lonely then as budget games were around £20 -30 depending on where you shopped.  There was nowhere official such as Game back then so Dixons, Boots the Chemist and WH Smiths would sell games.  Hell Boots would set up a Sega Megadrive back then so you could play a bit of Sonic over the Xmas period.  But apart from that it was the big electronic retailers and little indie shops that sold NES games as well as dubious mail order places.  I always wanted to send off for the American version of Rainbow Islands before Ocean did their version, but dad always stopped me, good thing too as the US version is shite.

Apart from that everyone I knew had some sort of 8 bit computer and you could get stuff on tapes in fact I spent most of the mid 90's just grabbing C64 tapes and any weird import NES games that came up.  This and the fact that the Sega Master System totally dominated here with euro releases coming out well into 1993 to take advantage of the installed user base.

Also anyone who ever had a yearning for an actual NES back then in the UK would have downloaded enough emulators to PC / Android / Smart TV to play them and relive their youth that way, and that discounts Nintendo's own E shop virtual console re releases of classic titles.

Game of the year is the excellent Dragon Quest 7 Fragments Of The Forgotten.  Even though its has bastard accents in it, (L'arqa is a real chore thanks to this) its dominated what I've played on 3DS this year.  One final thing the old hermit guy in Estard's funbag obsession has been cut along with his porn stash in the bookshelf.  I also don't know if the line he'll sell you his own piss in a bottle has survived but (probably not as its a retranslation) but those were stand out moments for me in the PS1 original, (as were the bastard constantly crashing in PSeven what I used to emulate back then).  That's it back tomorrow for an Xmas TV round up.

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