by Brandy D. Anderson
There’s nothing like nostalgia to instantly transport you back to a happy place. For many of us under the age of 50 or 60, talk of retro video games is sure to bring back a flood of memories. Video gamers are pretty much the kings of Youtube and coverage of retro games is gaining in popularity. I’ve searched Youtube far and wide to bring you the four best retro gamers out there.
About: “Retro Gaming with a Heavy Metal Soundtrack. I used to work at game publisher Sierra On-Line in the 90s and I make videos about my love of video games & music! Often other ex-Sierra employees appear on my channel like Drunken Master Paul, Mrs. Metal Jesus and more. New videos each Friday!”
This guy has an interesting way of blending his two loves together – gaming and heavy metal music. He has some diverse content in his play lists, some of which will probably make you chuckle like the list titled “Chicks Kick A$$!”. He does system reviews, including: “Ultra rare HALO XBOX DISCOVERED!”, “iPad vs C64 – Which Should You Buy?”, “NEO GEO Pocket Color Collecting”, and “Retro & Weird Game Consoles”.
He also covers “Sony PSP Retrospective & Review”, “Atari 5200 Review & Games”, “Atari 7800 Console Review + Gameplay”, and in this same play list you’ll find videos for Atari Jaguar, Nintendo Virtual Boy, Original Xbox reviews and more. One of the particularly interesting facets of this channel is that the host, Metal Jesus, is a game designer himself and worked for mega PC game corporation Sierra. It’s also nice that he covers a lot of retro PC games that often don’t receive much coverage even amongst the retro lovers, including my personal favourite, the Commodore 64.
About: “Retro Games. Real Talk. No Nostalgia.”
This guy (Derek Alexander) is funny and his silliness is pretty infectious. He does short little “bits” before his reviews which are hilarious. He also has a Youtube podcast series called “Retro Beats”. If you’re asking yourself: “what on Earth is Retro Beats?” he explains “This is a video game music themed podcast… but I’ve got some rules here… this is not cover bands, this is not remixes… what I want to do here is find that underground or that lesser known, find that niche video game soundtracks from games you’ve never heard of and songs you’ve never heard of or maybe games you have played but never thought to actually listen to the soundtracks.” He plays some pretty awesome stuff in these.
Of course the channel is full of much more than game music, there are loads of serious and detailed game reviews. You’ll see Nintendo reviews for games like Shatterhand and Monster Party, a few of his more recent videos. Playstation games such as Jumping Flash and Clock Tower “Is It Really That Bad?” are also covered, as well as Gameboy reviews. Stop Skeletons From Fighting also features a series of live game play where he often plays with fellow gamer and friend Calvin Hansen.
About: “Retro Gaming Videos. Retro Video Game Commercials. Retro Gaming Video Archive. We’ve got everything from Pong to PlayStation. We have the best collection of playlists and we have a playlist for almost every console and gaming PC made in the past 40 years. We’re your one stop shop for all your retro gaming nostalgia needs! Nobody does it better! DigThatBoxRETRO is maintained as a public archive to protect and preserve the history and legacy of video game advertising and other related video content. DigThatBoxRETRO is provided for educational and research purposes only. This archive is currently used by dozens of schools and research facilities around the globe.”
Oh man, commercials can be funny and bizarre things, and this rings particularly true for retro game adverts. It’s difficult not to cringe when you watch the 1986 commercial for the original Legend of Zelda on Nintendo. Two prepubescent boys sit on the couch, one epitomizes the nerd trope complete with big framed glasses and high waters, the other a cool kid, as they pour over a gaming magazine. They pop Legend of Zelda into the Nintendo when they, of course, break out into a rap over how “really rad” Legend of Zelda is and “those creatures from Ganna are really bad – octoroks, tektikes, leevers too, but with your help our hero pulls through”. “It’s awesome, intense!”
Some of the most entertaining and craziest retro gaming adverts hail from Japan and this channel has a plethora of those too! There are ads for Donkey Kong, Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Game Block Breaker, Dig Dug 2, Casio Auto Racing, Gradius, The Goonies, California Games, and many more. There are also old commercials for gaming systems like Gameboy’s “Boy To The World” Christmas campaign. Dig That Box RETRO is a treasure trove of gaming nostalgia.
About: “Welcome to my Channel. At the moment I am attempting to tell the history of video games from the beginning right until the present day… So before you begin I would like to note a few things about the series. This is a video book with each episode being a chapter. Therefore like a book certain chapters can be quite long (usually 30 minutes), but remember like a book you don’t have to watch a full chapter in one sitting. Secondly please be aware that in early chapters I was still gaining confidence with the mic and so please try to give the series a couple of episodes before making you mind up whether you like it or not.”
The Drisk gives you a fun look at the history of video games from a fan’s perspective. His videos are in chronological order and span the entire history of video games from inception to its current incarnation. This channel is also great because it covers games from around the globe whereas most channels focus on American made games over all others. He begins in 1951 with The Festival of Britain’s Exhibition of Science. He talks about the “world’s first game – it was an old logic game called NIM” before he moves on to 1952 when A.N.S. Douglas created a one player game of Tic Tac Toe for a wall sized computer.
In 1958, “the world’s first sports video game was shown to the world called Tennis For Two” with moving graphics to represent the movement of the ball. The Drisk goes on to give more detailed information on the beginnings of gaming, all the while providing interesting video and photographs pertaining to each historical moment. He later moves on to Pong, the rise of the Atari, the Gameboy, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox, and so on. While his nerves can be heard a bit in his early videos he quickly gains confidence with each new entry and his videos are informative and entertaining to watch.