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North East Retro Gaming 2019 Blog

With it being my 7th year attending I've always enjoyed going to North East Retro Gaming (NERG) every year, the first time I've been was in 2013 which was their first one and I really enjoyed that weekend which had a ton of retro arcade machines and pinball machines which were all free to play. Past events there have been some classic arcade machines I use to play whenever I was away on holiday somewhere in Spain, always kept playing a lot of House of the Dead II or Crazy Taxi, but it was nice to play a few classics again just like being in an actual arcade and always having a great weekend at the same time.

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They also had some classic arcade machines as well, including Pac-Man, Popeye, Space Harrier, Galaga, Dig Dug, Tron, Outrun and Star Wars on the Atari. Another machine that made a return to NERG once again was the Fix It Felix JR based on the movie Wreck-It Ralph. It was nice to play it again, which is the only time I've ever gotten the chance to play the game is during NERG; it is a great experience to play the actual arcade game just like in the film and trying to beat the high-score which a few gamers were trying to beat over the weekend. Both The Simpsons Arcade and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were at NERG this year, which offered up to 4 player co-op on both machines.

The first thing I wanted to play when I first arrived at NERG and I knew it would be quite popular later through the weekend were both The Walking Dead and The Simpsons Party Pinball. The Simpsons Party Pinball was first released in 2003 by Data East Pinball, 100% of speech was by Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright and Hank Azaria, custom recorded for the game. Notable features included Upper Mini-Playfield flippers which had 5 flippers in total, Homer's head moves in the field with lamp inside, Itchy & Scratchy figures, Comic Book Guy figure, Bart figure, and a Television which was a 3-colour digital LED dot matrix display.

And the other pinball machine I wanted to talk about being The Walking Dead, this edition of this machine features additional features and enhancements to improve gameplay and make the table more engaging. The manufacturers have included a fantastic crossbow tool to launch the pinballs something that really ramps up the pinball element. There are extra targets to aim for, and additional zombie heads to blast and destroy. If you are a fan of the series you'll will love completing missions and advancing through levels as they battle the grisly un-dead. You also get additional exposed guts, which is what every zombie hunter really wants to see in a game in general making you going back to classic horror games like Resident Evil or any zombie film directed by George A. Romero.

Other pinball machines I've managed to play were Austin Powers, ACDC, Indiana Jones, Flash Gordon and Star Wars. You also had the chance to play consoles on their tables including the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo NES, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, PlayStation Classic and many more, but instead they had one in the game in each console or multiple games on one cartridge but any games you bought from the event you can play them on their consoles plus also giving you an idea to see if the games play okay without any faults or multiple disc scratches. What I did like about the PlayStation Classic that it's easy to emulate more games for the mini console and one game that was added to the list and got to play at NERG was Pepsiman which was only released in Japan back in 1999 and can never be cheap to find at a good price for retro collectors; playing the game itself did feel like something from Temple Run before it was ever released which wouldn't be released until 2011 on mobile devices.

I was pleased that there were more cosplayers this time round for the Saturday it was still quite warm during the weekend, I always like to do a cosplay that no one else would think of doing or something you don't see at a convention very often or at a video game convention. I cosplayed as Sir Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil and I was surprised that I got quite a few photos taken from a few fans and gamers plus got the odd mentions on fan pages from Twitter pages. There was a cosplay competition for it as I've already mentioned there were quite a few who signed up and a prize for both adults and children; the prizes were provided by Be More Geek and for everyone else who did sign up and enter got a little runner up prize including myself was a NERG mug from any choice between 2013 - 2019. I did cosplay as Kanji from Persona 4 for the Sunday plus wanted to play a few other arcade games at NERG like Outrun however, when cosplaying as Sir Daniel Fortesque can't really sit down when wearing the full cosplay; not mention that I wanted to cosplay as Kanji again with it being the 11th anniversary since Persona 4 was first released back in 2008 for Japan and is still my all time favourite video game.

Plus, since the first NERG there are always dealers selling consoles and games as well at a good price and there were a few artist tables. I did buy a few games over the weekend, including Prince of Persia (Game Boy), Yakuza Dead Souls, Dark Chronicle, Final Fantasy Anthology and a Japanese copy of Final Fantasy XIII, which was really cheap to pick up for £7 and the little changes that were in the Japanese version were never released in the English version of the game including extra music it's the little details that made the Japanese version more perfect than the English version of the game. There was also a Charity Raffle on over the weekend, which the top prize was Nintendo Switch Bundle and the 2nd prize as a Mini SNES all the money went towards Bright Red: Fighting Blood Cancer for a brighter future. Flash House Brewing Co was back again with their mini bar and selling their NERG Pale Ale, which you can only buy at the event you might be lucky in finding in finding in North Shields if you are lucky. I did manage to pick up a few bottles for myself because it was popular through the weekend getting some Pale Ale at the event ran out pretty quickly on Saturday they managed to get a few kegs in for the Sunday and extra bottles.

After a fun and tiring weekend, I was completely tired out by the evening and a fantastic time. I will look forward to next year's event as soon as a date is announced for 2020.

Here are a few photos I took over the weekend-

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darthcobain17

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Oh man, speaking of retro, there is a newer game out called Horizon Chase Turbo, which was one of July's free games on PS Plus. It harkens back to early to mid 90's console racers, in my opinion blending Top Gear and the Cruisin' USA series in to one new game that feels old (in a good way). It's especially heavy on the Top Gear theme, even some of the theme songs are identical. Not sure if you ever played Top Gear, or are interested in racers, but it's well worth a look if you are!

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