Two of my friends and I went down to Pittsburgh for that huge arcade/video game convention again this year. 750 pinball machines and arcade games along with over 2000 console games filled the David Lawrence Convention Centre that included vendors, live music, cosplay, and of course the King… Billy Mitchell was there again to try and reclaim his Donkey Kong high score. This guy is much friendlier in person than he appears on the King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters. Dare I say he is a nice guy?! Anyways a fun time was had by all (except perhaps for the Rush cover band who had an audience of about 25 people at best… hey I’m not a huge Rush fan, but they covered the band really well. The singer even hit all of Getty Lee’s high notes! Honestly I’m not sure why they weren’t more popular as Rush was huge in the era of pinball and arcade machines?!) The band Bit Brigade was very popular with fans as they played all the music live to a speed run of Mega Man 2, and Ninja Gaiden on the NES. Watching the guy play MM2 was pretty cool and even though I’ve beaten the game a thousand times I learned a few new moves. Also, Ninja Gaiden is a VERY difficult game… this guy can beat it without any problems… not even a scare! The music was actually really good (if you like heavy metal; which I do:). Even my non-musically interested friends were impressed at how hard the musicians had to work to keep up with the difficult NES soundtracks. Very impressed indeed. I definitely recommend looking up Bit Brigade on Youtube!
The vendors at the show were pretty cool. I picked up a few NES games at the show including Captain Planet, NFL, and George Foreman’s KO Boxing. Nothing really to write home about as these are all extremely common games that for whatever reason I didn’t have in my collection.
Around the corner from the convention is a store called The Exchange that I purchased a few cool games at. Bucky O’Hare is a game I’ve been on the lookout for but has just been too pricy. The copy I purchased was no exception and is the most I’ve ever paid for a game at $115US. The price was only about $30 less than it retails here in Canada, but this game just keeps going up in value… and is actually a really good game! I’ve already plugged it in to give the game a spin and I was thoroughly impressed at what Konami was able to do with an 8-bit system. The graphics, music, and gameplay really pushed the NES to it’s limit.
I also picked up these two games: Stealth and Defenders of Dynatron City… the latter of which I’ve not heard of, but the price was cheap enough that I decided to take a risk and make the purchase. Stealth stinks and Dynatron City is just okay. I’m just noticing now however that there is a pink discolouration on the photos I took. The games are in excellent condition so I’m not sure where that came from… maybe an evil spirit, or perhaps some dust on my camera lens?
The only other two acquisitions from the convention were Deja Vu, and The Rocketeer… neither of which are really worth discussing.
All in all it was a great convention. My buddy entered the Pinball tournament and actually made the play-offs; he won $200 so that was pretty cool… though it did cost him $200 to enter the tournament in the first place:( Will I go again next year is the question? Three days of gaming is a marathon. It took a while for all the bleeps and blip sounds to leave my head. Also I wish they had the arcade version of Wonder Boy in Monsterland machine available to play. They did however have a Big Lebowski themed pinball machine which was really cool though I only got to play it once. The hotel we stayed at was the nicest that I’ve ever stayed in, plus it was within walking distance of the convention which was nice. I’ll probably go back next year if my wife lets me:)
SEGA Corner: It’s no shocker that Mega Man is my all-time favourite series on the NES so I was surprised to learn that SEGA actually made a Mega Man game for the genesis called The Wily Wars. It gives players a chance to relive Mega Man 1 – 3 except in 16-bit format. The music and graphics received a major upgrade, though the story in the timeline is a bit stupid… apparently Dr. Wily has a time machine and went back to battle Mega Man again with his old robots. Not the most brilliant of ideas, but hey it sold games. The game was only released in Japan and a retail copy of this game goes for around $310CAN. The complete copy that I purchased was a reproduction game and cost me $45US. But, the manual is in colour and I can lord it over the Sega Dude (his is black and white). The game rocks, and the forty five bucks I paid was well worth it A great addition to my Sega Corner.
That’s all for today. See you next time:)