Pinburgh 2016

2016-Website-Logo6Two 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 andIMG_8683 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.IMG_8684

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:)

Nintendo Joe




Replay FX 2015

This July 30th – August 2nd two of my buddies and I travelled down to Pittsburgh PA for the Replay FX 2015 tournament.  As much encouraging as my friends gave me, I didn’t enter the Kong Off 4 competition.  I wouldn’t have stood a chance as I’m just a less than average player of Donkey Kong.  My high score is 85,000 points…. compared to the 1,0IMG_628800,000+ points that these champs score on a regular basis. This first picture is of myself and the infamous Billy Mitchell.  What else is there to say about this guy… he is the man!  He is exactly whom he appears to be and he really works his style. The long hair, fancy suits, American flag tie… a video game champion.  He is most famous for his Donkey Kong scores which are phenomenal, however he was also the first (and perhaps only) person to ever beat Pac Man with a perfect score.




This next picture is of Steve Wiebe and myself which was obviously taken on the same day.  Both he and Billy were participating in the Kong Off 4 and while they did exceptionally well, I don’t believe either of them won the competition.  But what amazes me is not only what awesome Donkey Kong players these two are, but the amount of time they dedicate to their craft.  There would be breaks every now and then, but these guys would play DK for literally hours on end.  I mean to achieve a score of 1,000,000+ points, it takes at least a good two hours of focused game play.  One stray barrel or mistimed jump and that’s game.  DK is reportedly one of the hardest (if not the hardest)  game ever created.  My hats are off to these fellows… I think it would be really cool to be able to say that “you’re the best in the world at something”… and why not Donkey Kong?!


These carts were my pick ups at the tournament as there were some vendors… though I admit that I was disappointed in how few there were.  The tournament was even sponsored by JJgames… yet they didn’t have a sales booth?!  I went down to get some good deals and while I was able to find a few, it would have been nice to have a wider selection.  Anyways what you see here is Mega Man X and Super Bomberman for the SNES on the left, and Infiltrator, Kid Icarus, and Casino Kid for the NES.  I think I’m most excited for Kid Icarus as I’ve been trying to find this title for the last two years… at least at a reasonable price.  Most people want close to $30 for this game… I paid $19 so I’m fairly happy with that.


All in all I had a fantastic time in Pittsburgh.  I literally played hundreds of arcade games and pinball machines.  I was most impressed at my buddy who managed to beat 49 opponents on Street Fighter II.  Unfortunately there was no SF tournament this year… maybe next?!  That would be cool to see.  In fact the only thing that I didn’t like was the Super 8 hotel by the Pittsburgh airport.  The staff was very friendly and accommodating, however the security and cleanliness of the rooms were something to be desired.  The first room’s front door wouldn’t lock, the second room reeked of smoke, and the third and final room had apparently been attacked by a small alien as there were holes in the air conditioner??  Anyways it all worked out and a good time was had by all:)