VINTROPEDIA

VINTROPEDIA

Vintropedia is, as the subtitle says; [a] vintage computer & retro console price guide. Recently updated to cover 2009, and with 328 (black and white) pages.

I was looking for a decent retro price guide. I found a couple of sites which although they hadn’t been updated in quite possibly years, they were interesting, but I wanted something a bit more extensive. Then I came across the Vintropedia site. The site (www.vintropedia.com) is a bit sparse, and although it does have a forum – it’s not all that busy. But the book is only £16, and was also available from various Amazon sites, eBay, Waterstones, and through the site via PayPal (the cheapest option).

Only when I received the book did I notice that, at the top of the invoice, is Lulu. On closer inspection it is indeed a self published book through Lulu, but this is no bad thing. If the invoice hadn’t said Lulu, I’d have assumed it was a professionally made book, so well done to Lulu (which having seen one of their books, I’d certainly use in the future), and good choice of publisher Vintropedia people!

After a brief introduction it’s straight in to the hard facts and figures of vintage computers. Starting with the Access Matrix Corp.’s Access machine (US origin) from 1983 at £250, it goes all the way through to the ZX Spectrum (Russian edition) from 1993 at £35. This chapter lists God only know’s how many computers, and manufacturers, that I’d never heard of in my life. Not really surprising since I never did get out much. Consoles are next and, like the computers, are listed from A-Z by manufacturer. They begin with the Telespiel 9010, from 1977, at a mere £15. Bargain! If I knew what it was… Next is accessories, listed A-Z by brand, then software, listed A-Z by model. The software section is basically half the book, which is great.

example page from the Vintropedia book

example page from the Vintropedia book

The pages in the book have a basic spreadsheet look to them (above) but contain all the info you need/want, so that’s fine by me. Scattered throughout the book are old advertisements for games, consoles and computers. My own particular favourite being the Digi-Log Interactive ‘laptop’:

The Digi-Log Interactive. Now THAT's a laptop!

The Digi-Log Interactive. Now THAT's a laptop! Portability my EYE!

If you’re looking for pictures, and eye candy then Vintropedia is not for you. If it’s cold hard facts you want, then this is definitely what you want. Are the prices accurate? I’ve no idea, but I’m sure it took the writers one hell of a long time to compile the book as I can only assume they’d be using several sources to obtain an average price for the various computers, and consoles. And since it’s self published these guys deserve a hefty pat on the back for creating the book, it’s obviously been a labour of love for them (otherwise why would they do it?), and it shows.

All in all, I like it. I enjoy flicking through it looking up the most expensive SNES game, or how much it’d cost me for Windows v1.0. How would would it cost for Windows v1.0? Buy the book and find out…

Advertisements
Posted by: Ronnie | February 6, 2009

Video Game Price List

Just thought I’d post this as it’s a pretty good resource for collectors:

Video Game Price Charts

VideoGamePriceCharts.com brings accurate and up-to-date video game prices to your finger tips. Over 11,000 video games all with prices updated daily from across the Internet and charts showing every video game’s pricing history. VGPC allows you to know the value of all your video games.

Posted by: Ronnie | January 31, 2009

Super Mario Kart – Super Nintendo/Famicom – 1993

Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart

I’ll start by reviewing what can easily be described as one of my top five games of all time; Super Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo/Famicom.

I remember buying Super Mario Kart on it’s release, way back in 1993. I also remember my shock at seeing the main screen. After spending approximately £35 (~$50), I was greeted with a screen that looked like it had been designed by some kindergarten inhabitants! After a few plays I was more than happy with my new purchase.

Wait a minute... has this been designed by five year olds??!!

Hang on, has this been designed by five year olds?!

You begin the game by choosing a 50cc, or 100cc, race. This is effectively beginner, and intermediate levels. Next you choose your character. Each character has their own pro’s and con’s. My personal favourite was a Koopa Troopa, or a mushroom guy, both handled well and were middle ground. A nice touch is that there are two of each character type, so when playing a two player game your friend stole your character, there was always an equivalent available.

Which character do you choose?

Which character do you choose?

In a race, all eight characters appear, so there’s no lack of pushing and shoving during a race. Driving over a yellow box containing a question mark symbol (‘?’) would give you a random power up. The power ups ranged from speed up, a brief (single) jump through to homing missiles and brief invulnerability. Your chances of getting better power ups were higher when you were last, thus giving you the chance to redeem yourself. Computer AI wasn’t exactly top of the range, but for a fun game you really don’t want intellectual, and aggressive, AI. Only by winning all the races in 100cc could you unlock the more difficult 150cc. As well as racing against seven opponents you could do time trials, a two player race and battle mode.

Some poxy coins as a power up?!! I want a red shell!

Some poxy coins as a power up?!! I want a red shell!

Battle mode was excellent fun and used special tracks. Your kart was surrounded by three balloons. Take a hit from an opponents missile and you lose a balloon, loose all three, and it’s game over. Tremendous fun.

Battle mode, guard your balloons! Oh my, that sounded dirty...

Battle mode, guard your balloons! Oh my, that sounded dirty...

The music is also bouncy, and cheery. Each track has it’s own theme with the haunted house style tracks having very spooky music.

It took a while for emulators to properly support Super Mario Kart since apparently the cartridge had a custom chip in it, but all that is behind us now as most SNES emulators (ZSNES and SNES9x being the most popular) can easily run Super Mario Kart at 60fps (your CPU permitting).

There have been several newer versions Super Mario Kart (let’s pretend Double Dash didn’t happen), but none have beaten the original SNES version. The DS version is close, and Mario Kart Wii is good too, but none have overtaken the original.

Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii

Even now, fourteen years later, it is still an amazingly fun, and addictive, game, and the thrill of knocking one tenth off your best lap time is still there.

Behold! Super Mario Kart in all its 8-bit glory!

Posted by: Ronnie | January 31, 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to Push Start To Play (PSTP)!

We’ll be reviewing retro goodness in the form of games from the early game consoles to 1980-90’s arcade games. Of course, we can’t own every console/arcade game (we wish!) so we’ll be using emulators, and what-not, to get our fix. We’ll also try to mention in the reviews which emulator we used, which version, whether it was a perfect emulation, and if the game still holds it’s own twenty years later.

Bookmark the URL, grab our RSS feed, and wait for the reviews to start… which won’t take long, I can assure you of that.  😀

Categories