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RIP-Felix

Portlang Retro Gaming Expo

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Hey, I took a trip to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo this weekend. I left Friday and braved the rain arriving late that evening. I attended Saturday and enjoyed a day of nostalgia before leaving this morning for home. I don't usually go to these things, but decided to check it out this year. Here's some pics.

Freeplay arcade. There was a DJ booth pumping out 80/90s hits. I haven't seen an arcade with someone standing at every machine, ever before. I had to put a quarter on the marquee to reserve the next game, except the machines were free. So the the gesture was just for fun! There were a pretty good mix of games, mostly retro arcade, but a whole row of pinball too.

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Here's the console arcade. They had rows of tables setup with consoles hooked up to monitors ready to play. I got in on a 10 player match of Saturn bomberman! I sucked and blew myself up more often than not, but it was still fun shouting and laughing with complete strangers. Off in the corner there was a professional gaming tournament with projector screens and seating for spetators.

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I'm a bit too young to have ever played any of the Atari computer systems (just the home consoles). So I couldn't pass up the oppritunity to play an Atari 400. This was some space game where you fly around in space and try to find something to shoot. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but it got boring pretty quick and I eventually moved on after blowing up a couple of...asteroids? Maybe you recognize the game, if so let me know. Anyway, now I can say I have played it.

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I also have never played an Atari Jaguar. So I got to remedy that as well. Alien Vs predator was like, um...running around a maze looking for someone to kill, just to make it end. Tempest I got into, I made it a few levels before they caught me! I can see the potential of jaguar now. I'm not sure if I want to add it to my collection, but I might look into it closer now having seen it in person.

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This is just nostalgia in a nutshell! There was a food vendor right next to this setup. So you can get something to eat and enjoy it in a retro living room, Atari 2600 and all.

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Here's the showroom floor with just about anything you could possibly want. I saw japanese imports, boxed NES/SNES/N64/Atari2600/5200/7800, games and more games. Honestly it was overwhelming. That croud was in the morning and it only got worse! I followed the current of people (that's the best word to describe how it flowed). Getting close and actually looking throught the games to find something you might want seemed like it would take a force of will. Seriously, you need to have a clear list of what you want and how much your are willing to spend, because otherwise it's just too much. I didn't buy anything, because I was just paralyzed by the frenzy. It's crazy to see that much retro gaming stuff for sale all in one place.

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And of cource if you were wondering where to go and asked these guys, the answer is always the same, "nothing to see here, move along!"

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Besides the showroom and arcade I attended a number of panels (talks) given by youtube personalities. John Rigs gaming with children, Kinsley burke from Metal Jesus Rocks taking about Japanese imports, and probably the most interesting was Modern Vintage Gamer's panel on secrets of copy protection. I couldn't even get in on the Angry Video Game Nerd's auditorium because the line was so long. Sadly I pooped out too early to catch Bob Neal's "getting the best from retro consoles at any price point" (that's the Bob from RetroRGB). Too bad, I was most interested in that, but probably already know everything anyway. It was all a bit too much to handle. The constant influx of people and lack of seating was off putting. I think I would prefer to go with friends if I go again. Still it was fun, and I don't think it was a waste of the $35 I paid for admittance.

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I just love how crowded it was with pretty much everybody smiling.  Looks like a lot of fun.

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I imagine this is what PhillyClassic could have been if it had not been sold. I wanted to do (and STILL want to do) the 80's living room. I never got the chance though. "The 80's Experience" with a real boombox playing a mix tape on auto-reverse, console tv connected to an Atari, shag rug, poor illumination, floral print couches (maybe with plastic on them!), the god-awful 70's sunburst clock on the wall,  the whole 9 yards!

 

Looks like they got it just right. :)

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Next time I'm going with $300-400 in cash, a list of game I have and want, and a will elbow you attitude. One thing I wish I had taken advantage of was the Genesis cases. I have maybe 10 loose genesis games in need of cases and I know they had a bunch of them. I didn't see manuals, but I'm sure someone had a bunch. One booth had a bunch of loose cases that were buy 2 get one free. I don't think the prices were all that bad either. I was seeing N64 games from $3 - $25. Atari 2600 carts for a couple dollars each. A lot of PS2, Gamecube, X-Box and XB360, PS3 games in the $10 range. Some booths had high prices, about what I'd expect in a retro gaming store front (e-bay is usually much better).

I forgot to mention that the Immortal John Hancock was there with his entire Genesis collection!  Sadly, I missed it. However, he did a video on it:

...lol. I have that stupid Wacky worlds creativity studio game and mouse. I thought it was boring as hell. It was one of those games my mom thought would be neat. That's what happens when parents are allowed to choose the games without asking.

There were plenty of couples and families, a pretty even spread of people. The atmosphere was fun and engaging, if a bit crowded. Like I said, this kind of thing is better attended in a group. I felt kinda lonely by myself, especially seeing how happy couples and families looked engaging in their shared interest of video games. The demographic was mostly 30s male, but I did feel a bit creepy when my eyes lingered a bit too long on the bombshell rocking a skin tight Samus Aran unitard, or the slightly nerdy but attractive girl pulling off Lara Croft. I was a bit surprised to find a fair turnout of women, but the statistics show women game too. Also there was a cosplay contest, so that explains the get ups.

Actually I was thinking if I were to do a costume I'd go as AMS agent James Taylor from the Typing of the Dead:

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Not to difficult to make actually, just a broken Dreamcast shell for the backpack, a spray painted water bottle for the battery, and a keyboard strapped to the front. I have a suit, so that's covered. The problem is that I need 3 friends willing to come in zombie makeup/attire carrying banners with words to type. Then they can bum rush me on stage while I pretend to type their word in dramatic style, and then they recoil and fall down like the keystrokes were bullets striking them...Lol! Man that's a weird game. It's better than any of the costume ideas I saw there. Well, the star wars guys were better. But that's been done.

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On 10/21/2019 at 1:53 PM, ClassicGMR said:

I imagine this is what PhillyClassic could have been if it had not been sold. I wanted to do (and STILL want to do) the 80's living room. I never got the chance though. "The 80's Experience" with a real boombox playing a mix tape on auto-reverse, console tv connected to an Atari, shag rug, poor illumination, floral print couches (maybe with plastic on them!), the god-awful 70's sunburst clock on the wall,  the whole 9 yards!

 

Looks like they got it just right. :)

Here a close up. Excuse the loacal news idiots, they try.

 

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Who's the drunk reporter??? :lol:

Yeah that is exactly what I wanted to do at PC2002. Just didn't have enough time to put it together ... then Dave sold the show. Still irritates me to this day.

Thanks for the video!

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