Retro Game on the Brain: Rad Racer

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I didn’t really play Rad Racer too much until 2012, when I got my NES for my 40th birthday. In past years of owning an NES, during the 1990s, I had played the game sparingly. I never really got too far– maybe to the second stage, if I happened to run well– and I just cast it aside as an early NES game that really didn’t matter much. Instead, I played other racing games, such as R.C. Pro-Am or Super Sprint. As my NES personal gameplay experiences came and went over the years, Rad Racer was pretty much forgotten.

Had I attended the Nintendo World Championships in 1990, as I so desperately wanted to, perhaps my early opinion on Rad Racer might have been different. After all, the game was part of the competition. I don’t think I would have fared all that well, though; my skills at Super Mario Bros. and Tetris at the time were intermediate at best, and I didn’t have any experience playing Rad Racer at that point. None of my friends had it, and we never rented it for a weekend to play it. I probably would have crashed and burned at the competition, but I suspect that I would have been sold on Rad Racer (and the other games) at that time, just to improve.

Turning the calendar to 2001, I finally got my hands on a DVD copy of The Wizard. I had heard about it in years past, and I had never seen it in theaters. Chatter grew about it as I had begun to write NES reviews for fun in the late 1990s, but it took until 2001 for me to see it all the way through for the very first time. While watching the film, this scene stuck out to me:

 

Yes, it’s notable for one of the most iconic retrogaming-related sayings of all time, but this sequence also raised my interest in Rad Racer. I had already seen the film more times than I probably should admit to publicly, so when I got an NES on April 21, 2012, I knew that Rad Racer was going to be one of the first games that I wanted to track down. I wasn’t going to play it with a Power Glove, like Lucas did, but I was going to give the game a fair shake for the first time… and I’m happy that I did. In fact, it’s become a game that I play fairly often today.

The play controls are very simple, which is great for those just starting out. The A button is the gas and the B button is the brake. Once the car reaches 100 kilometers per hour (or just over 62 miles per hour, if you’re anti-metric), pressing up on the D-pad kicks in a turbo boost that cranks up the acceleration. Pressing down on the D-pad changes the music between one of three selections, and I find the music to be pretty good. (My favorite is this music track, but the other two are worth listening to, as well.) If you have red and blue 3D glasses, pressing the Select button toggles 3D mode, which is not really that impressive.

The objective of Rad Racer is to complete each of the eight courses in the game. These are races against time, with checkpoints scattered throughout each stage to add precious seconds to the ever-ticking clock. A new player’s first instinct would be to maintain top speed and fly to the finish, but the game punishes players who adopt this strategy. I used to do this during my first few attempts, and it wasn’t long before bad things would happen. High speeds make the car slide to the outside of a turn, which often results in colliding with an object on the side of the road. Going too fast also prevents players from having time to adjust to traffic, and colliding with another car usually leads to a crash. Crashes and collisions waste time, and too many crashes during a stretch between checkpoints will inevitably lead to a Game Over situation.

Too much speed while taking curves spells disaster.

Too much speed while taking curves spells disaster.

The key to succeeding at Rad Racer is learning when to speed up and when to slow down. There are several straightaways that lend themselves to top speeds, but there are plenty of curves that demand less speed and more steering accuracy. Road signs alert drivers to left or right curves, but these fly by quickly and can be easily missed if a player isn’t watching for them. Seeing and reacting to these signs allows for speed and steering adjustment to avoid taking the curves too fast. Traffic is also a variable that must be accounted for, when considering speed. It’s easy to pass a single vehicle, but there are times when all three lanes have vehicles occupying them in various distances from the player’s car. Slowing down a bit can open up narrow passing windows, which is all that’s needed to leave that pesky traffic behind and continue on towards the goal.

Personally, I’ve only made it to Stage 5 once in my Rad Racer experience. Getting past Stage 4, which is a challenging course that winds through the ruins of Athens, is usually my Kryptonite. The first 25% of the course is very curvy, which makes it difficult to maintain much speed early. Once the curves are left behind, the next 50% is generally straight, but traffic increases and requires some deft maneuvering to get around. The last 25% of the course is usually what takes me down. The final checkpoint comes well before the finish line, and two harrowing turns combine with heavy traffic to severely cut down the margin of error. I tell myself every time that I get here to slow down and pace myself through the course, but I feel the pressure getting towards the end and often make too many mistakes.

Despite my continued failures, I keep coming back to Rad Racer. I keep playing with the belief that it’s only a matter of time before I get through Stage 4, experiencing and conquering the remaining four courses. It’s not impossible. The crashes and failures aren’t ever “cheap”; they’re caused by my own actions, and that’s all that I can really ask for in a difficult game. If a game is fair, then I know that I have a chance to succeed with practice and experience. Aside from fair challenge, Rad Racer also creates what I call rewarding tension. Squeezing though a wall of cars without incident when a collision seemed imminent or coasting just past a checkpoint after time expires are cool resolutions to tense situations. Tension and resolution may not be fun for everyone (or even anyone else), but that thrill is a rush for me.

I’ll never be as cool as Lucas Barton, even though I own more than 97 NES games. I don’t use the Power Glove, I don’t make moves on a competitor’s female companion, and I’m about as far away from being an intimidating presence as one can get. Despite these differences between us, Lucas and I will always have Rad Racer in common. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have given this game more than a few passing tries.

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So, here’s to you, Lucas. You may have lost to Jimmy Woods at Video Armageddon, and you may have been a bit of a jerk to your friends, but you made Rad Racer cool to me 25 years after its release.

First Time Friday: The Karate Kid (NES)

Today brings the first piece in what might be a new series of content. First Time Fridays will have me dipping into my retro library and picking out a game that I haven’t played before– or perhaps a game that I haven’t played for a very long time. 

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I had been warned about The Karate Kid for the NES. The Angry Video Game Nerd warned me. My friend Half-Bit warned me. Other members of the retro community quizzically scratched their heads when I announced on Twitter that I would be playing this game for the first time. The game was warned to be exceptionally difficult, with frustrating sequences that bordered on the unfair. Still… when I saw it at a game store during July 4th weekend, something inside me said that I just had to find out for myself. I grabbed it and it sat for almost a week.

I was admittedly worried that I had made a big mistake. After all, my reflexes aren’t as sharp as they once were, and I might have been setting myself up for disappointment. Sure, YouTube personalities sometimes play up their anger or frustration when it comes to games like this. Viewers dig the outrage. I know that I laughed at several video reviews that I saw of The Karate Kid. Behind the acting, though, there’s often at least a modicum of truth. Was I destined to play this and snap my controller in two? Would I wind up muttering to myself for hours, wondering why I bothered?

There was only one way to find out.

I glanced quickly at the instruction manual, but thought it would be better to go into The Karate Kid cold. I did have some idea of what to expect, anyway. I knew what kind of game I was about to play– it’s a flawed beat-’em-up that seemed to draw inspiration from Irem‘s Kung-Fu Master. I then took to cleaning the cartridge, and the first bad sign appeared. The Q-Tips came back black as night. I wondered if it was some kind of warning, as if to tell me that playing this game would make me soul as black as these cotton swabs became. I took a deep breath, popped the cartridge into my NES, turned the power on… and…

Nothing. A black screen.

This had to be another sign. All that was left to happen now was for the power to go out, or perhaps for my NES to vanish into some kind of sinkhole. Despite my growing fear, I pressed on. I tried cleaning the contacts again, and more black Q-Tips resulted. Maybe it was just really dirty and needed a bit more care to get going. The game isn’t evil. It can’t be.

I popped the re-cleaned cartridge in once more.

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It was alive. I gulped audibly, and pressed the Start button.

The first stage, which take place at the All-Valley Karate Tournament, was ridiculously easy. In fact, the first three matches consisted of my moving Daniel-san to the right and having my opponents literally walk into my kicks. They were like the extra members of landing parties on the original Star Trek TV series. They were just glad to be there, but they knew what was up. Unlike those poor Starfleet casualties, though, these fighters just froze in time after being on the receiving end of one last kick. Doctor McCoy wasn’t needed here. The final round of the tournament was a touch more challenging, but poor Johnny Lawrence never tried to sweep Daniel’s leg. He never had a chance. Two crane kicks sent him down and off to an appearance on How I Met Your Mother. I had won the tournament, but, sadly, I never got to kiss Elisabeth Shue. I felt cheated, but there was no time to think about that now. I was off to Okinawa, and the beginning of a much tougher game.

The second stage of The Karate Kid is where the game really begins, as it transitions away from being a (pretty lame) one-on-one fighting game into a side-scrolling beat-’em-up. Daniel’s objective in this stage– and for the rest of the game– is to run to the right for a showdown with Chozen. Of course, there are obstacles aplenty that stand in the way of meeting this objective. Chozen apparently has thousands of followers who are willing to get kicked in the face and groin if it means that it’ll keep Daniel from getting to him. For this stage, the followers use their fists and feet more than projectiles and weapons, but the level design here creates a problem as Daniel sometimes finds himself on platforms that are just above or below his enemies; this enables the bad guys to beat the snot out of Daniel while he punches and/or kicks into nothing but air.

Interestingly, the laws of physics ceases to apply to Daniel once an enemy hits him. He doesn’t just flinch; he flies backwards, sometimes by more than half the width of the screen. The best part is when Daniel gets hit and pinballs from an upper platform down to a pit at the bottom of the screen, like so:

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I admit that I cursed– rather loudly– at this. Why was I still flying backwards after falling through one opening in that upper platform? Seriously? It’s at this point, in Stage 3, that I understood the warnings that I had been given about the pits in this game. The pits are… well… the pits. The ridiculous force with which Daniel is knocked back after getting hit by an enemy seems to drive him into these pits more often than not, which leads to cheap and frustrating deaths. I felt my face getting red. I gripped my NES controller a bit more tightly. I gnashed my teeth.

At this point, I was contending with two major problems that were limiting my enjoyment of The Karate Kid: The level design and the physics. Unfortunately, a third problem also reared its ugly head when Daniel has enemies to his and his right. When this happened, Daniel would bounce after getting hit from one enemy to the other, and I helplessly watched my life bar evaporate faster than water on a hot day in Phoenix. That’s always fun, watching your onscreen character getting pummeled and being forced to just sit there and watch it happen. Fun, indeed.

Somehow, I persevered through the second and third stages, despite all of the frustration and through all of the cheap deaths. I didn’t make it to the final stage on my first try; it took a second play to get there. The good news is that taking advantage of two of the bonus games led to enough extra lives to get me over the hump. The fly-catching bonus game took some getting used to, but after a few attempts, I was consistently getting perfect results for maximum points. The block-chopping bonus game is based on timing, and I had no problems here. I will not talk about the Swinging Hammer bonus game, because it’s stupid. It also helped that getting past Chozen at the end of each stage was incredibly easy, as long as I had crane kicks in my arsenal to use. Three of those shots drain Chozen’s life bar, and his counterattacks are no match for Daniel if even a couple connect.

Then came the fourth and final stage.

KKFinalStage

The Angry Video Game Nerd and Half-Bit were right. This was hell. Enemies here require two hits to take down. There are enemies that charge Daniel with spears and run him through without hesitation. All kinds of objects are flying across the screen here to contend with, aside from the usual assortment of bad guys. It doesn’t help that the level design here continues to work against you and promotes getting Daniel surrounded by enemies that he isn’t able to hit. It’s here, at this point, where The Karate Kid becomes The Crying Game. I’m not talking about the 1992 thriller, either; I’m talking about a game that will literally make you start crying. Through the tears, I thought that I was close to reaching the final boss encounter on my last life with just a shred of energy left… but a rock finished me off.

ENOUGH. NO MORE.

I surrender. I take back the William Zabka joke. I didn’t mean it. (But it was pretty funny, I thought.)

The Karate Kid, to be fair, wasn’t a completely terrible experience. I’m no Lucas Barton, but even I got pretty far into the game before I was summarily chewed up and spit out. I liked the music quite a bit, the graphics were okay, and, when the difficulty was fair (and not cheap), I felt like I was… having fun? Yes. Really. It’s not the worst game that I’ve ever played– not by a long shot– but it was certainly one of the more frustrating games that I’ve played.

I can honestly say that I will go back to The Karate Kid at a later time and test my skills. Why? As James Rolfe so truthfully put it, I “want to win”. I want to beat the game. I doubt that I’ll feel fulfilled if I see that winking Pat Morita at the end of the game, but it would bring closure to a journey that just began.

Retail Review Update: Game Depot (Holyoke, MA)

Last year, I wrote two Retail Reviews for Game Depot in Holyoke, MA. There were two separate locations at that time, and I had favorable experiences with both. Earlier this year, the decision was made to consolidate both locations into one main store, and the results are for the best with more inventory, more attention to customers, and a newly-dedicated retro section.

The unified store is located on 245 Main Street in Holyoke, MA. This is the first location that I reviewed back in May of 2013. Upon entering, the layout is still the same; games for the PlayStation 2, original Xbox, Gamecube, Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3 are located along two aisles. The combination of inventory drastically increased the store’s PlayStation 2 game inventory, which is big enough now that game cases have to be “spined” instead of facing out. The other platforms are represented well, although the Gamecube selection is a bit lacking. (That can’t be helped, of course, if customers aren’t trading Gamecube games in.) Display cases at the front of the store have a nice array of Nintendo DS and 3DS games, along with some Sony PSP and Vita games. There’s even some new-generation games to look at, for those who have upgraded to the WiiU, PlayStation 4, and/or Xbox One. The pricing for all of these games ranges from below to at PriceCharting values; bargain hunters can and will often find a few games for less money than anticipated.

The main draw for me is the new retro section of the store. Consoles, games, and accessories from the first five console generations are located in this area.

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The supply of NES and Nintendo 64 games is perhaps Game Depot’s biggest strength. While there aren’t a lot of uncommon games, what there is for inventory here is priced at or below average and is perfect for those looking to start a collection or for those looking for affordable expansion to their libraries. There is also a decent number of original PlayStation games, and all of them are complete with case and manual. The Genesis and NES sections are a little bit smaller, but there is still some great stuff to find while looking. For handheld gaming fans, the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance platforms are well-represented by available games. There is also a small amount of Dreamcast and Saturn games available, along with some boxed Dreamcast VMUs.

The staff here– which consists of the two guys who ran each location before the consolidation– is fantastic. Both are well-versed in gaming-related knowledge, and that’s impressive when considering that the store also handles cell phone sales, other electronic sales, computer repair, and more. That kind of flexibility allows the store to do well, even during leaner gaming periods (such as the summer months). Both guys are very personable and genuine, which is important to keep customers coming back.

My updated Retail Review Grade for this store is an A.

There is a solid inventory of games to choose from here, which especially appeals to those just getting into retro collecting/library building or for those looking to add a few games to a growing library. While I’d like to see more games for Genesis and Gamecube, the store can’t be faulted for not carrying what hasn’t (yet) been traded in. The pricing is more than fair and consistently lies at or sometimes even below PriceCharting standards. Despite my tight cash flow and limited trade-ins, visiting this store has allowed me to gradually build my retro library for a reasonable amount of money. The staff is great, offering just the right amount of attention while being armed with sufficient knowledge to answer most questions. If you’re in the greater Hartford/Springfield area, Game Depot is worth at least a visit; don’t be surprised if you wind up spending at least a little bit of money while you’re there.

Consoleation Status Report: July 2014

Hello once again, friends!

Let me lead off this month’s status report with something that’s probably become pretty obvious: my lack of YouTube activity over the past few weeks. The simple explanation is that filming has become difficult due to summer conditions. It’s been too warm and humid to allow me to turn off air conditioning in my living space during the day, and my lack of lighting means that I can’t really shoot at night. So… yeah. Until this pattern breaks a little bit, I’m kind of on forced hiatus in terms of video shooting, unless I want to fight the droning hum of my A/C unit in the background. I will resume some shooting when I can.

Consoleation is still going strong over at Retroware, which I’m thrilled about. Consoleation 005 will be written this week and should be going up by the weekend. It’s been a great experience already, and I’m honored to be working with such a great team. It’s nice to have a strong platform to widen my potential reading audience, as well; even though we’re clearly in the Video Age, I’m hoping that it’s helping to draw in traffic. I’m proud to share that I have my own section on Retroware now, so if you’ve missed reading any of my work there, you can check it out by clicking here.

As for the Consoleation blog here, I just posted a new Retail Review and another one is in the works. Unfortunately, with money being so tight, I don’t get out to retail stores as much as I’d like to, but I have visited two very cool places recently and they are the focus of these two new pieces. I have some other ideas, but it’s a matter of making the time to make them into written realities. I’m still nursing my injured right arm and shoulder, so typing and even gaming remains limited to short spurts until the healing process is complete. I’m getting closer, though; hopefully I’ll be near 100% by August 1st.

Finally, I wanted to share with you some images of recent additions to my retro library over the last month.

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That’s it for this month! Don’t forget to check out my next Consoleation article for Retroware later this week!

Retail Review: Cheaper Movies, Toys, and Video Games (Norwich, CT)

July 9, 2014 1 comment

I recently took a trip down to the Mohegan Sun Casino in southeastern Connecticut to catch a concert, and I took the time to stop by a new gaming-related retail store that had recently opened. I found out about the store through a Craigslist ad and, since the store was on the way to the casino… I figured that I would take a peek. After I had seen the pictures posted on the store’s Facebook page, I knew I had to look.

The “store” is actually a rented house. It’s not too large, but big enough to show off just some of the retailer’s inventory. Upon walking in, I was pleasantly surprised to hear arcade game attract sounds. These came from a Konami multi-game arcade setup that I forced myself to resist playing, since I’m still recovering from hurting my right shoulder and arm by playing too much Track & Field at FunSpot a few weeks ago. Then, I saw this:

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I said, “Wow!” out loud. I had to marvel at this display case. I hadn’t seen some of these games in the wild in a very long time in a loose fashion, let alone complete. As I kind of expected, the pricing on many of these games was more than I could afford on this day, but just seeing these gems made me smile like a kid on Christmas morning.

I proceeded inside and took a look at the rest of the games. All of the major consoles were represented: NES, SNES, Genesis, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and more. Scanning some of the pricing, I compared a few tags to PriceCharting and was happy to see that most prices were pretty much in line with guidance. Even on CIB (complete in box) offerings like Turtles in Time, the asking price was just a few dollars over guidance– which was fine, considering the condition of the box and game. All of the cartridges that I looked at had clean contacts, and the discs were in good to great shape.

As the name of the store implies, video games aren’t all that’s available here. There was a rather impressive amount of toys on display; many of the Star Wars-related items caught my eye, but I’m not really a toy/figure collector. A nice selection of movies was also available, alongside the games, but I admittedly didn’t take much time to look at them.

The employees there were fantastic to talk to. There wasn’t any upselling and there was no pressure to buy anything. In speaking with the owner, I found out that the store is an expansion of a successful online sales business. The store just opened on July 1st, so inventory is still being shifted around. This store is a great opportunity for people to come in and buy directly, which helps to alleviate shipping costs and logistics. It helps that the store looks clean, there is a lot to look at during a visit, and the staff actually looks forward to having people come in.

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This is what I came away with. I spent $20 for all three games, plus state sales tax. If I had a little more money with me, I had my eyes on more NES games, including both Tiny Toons games, both Ghostbusters games, and Stinger (from Konami), just to name a few. I could have seriously gone hog wild in here.

For the month of July, the store is open from 10am until 8pm, so it could make for a nice day trip for those of you here in Southern New England or perhaps in the New York/New Jersey area. The inventory is impressive, the staff is genuinely nice, and the pricing is reasonable. Bear in mind that this isn’t a swap meet; you’re not going to find a copy of Flintstones: The Surprise at Dinosaur Peak for $5 here.

My Retail Review Grade for this store is an A-.

While the pricing could seem high to some retro game buyers, I found it to be generally fair market value and did not diminish what I considered to be the rather impressive inventory or the genuine nature of the staff. For me to know that I’ll certainly be making a return trip to this store– despite it being more than 50 miles away from where I live– I think that means it’s worth a visit for you, too. Just don’t buy all the cool stuff before I get back down there, okay?

Note: The display case image was taken from the store’s Facebook page. The second image is my own, taken in my car.

The Future is Now: Big Changes Ahead

Hello there, friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. I’ve been away doing other projects– most notably Retro Unscripted– but my heart has always had a special place for this blog. After all, I spent years updating this blog– with a lot of different stuff– and it became part of who I am. Deciding to step away in favor of Retro Unscripted was not an easy decision, but it seemed like the best one at the time.

After six months of shooting Retro Unscripted videos, and trying to run a separate brand for myself, I found that it’s not working. I had left behind all of the hard work that I put in on Twitter and here on the blog to gain followers and readers in favor of launching something new… and it really didn’t go as well as I’d hoped it would. It was (and still is) fun to shoot YouTube vids, and I will continue to do so with Retro Unscripted as a series.

So… after some more thought, here’s what to expect:

1. All future videos– Retro Unscripted, Pete Plays, short reviews, and more– will be uploaded here, which is my primary YouTube account. There isn’t a set timetable for new content, other than a target of at least one new video per week.

2. All present and future social media posts will be via my main Twitter, Google+, and Facebook accounts. The Retro Unscripted accounts will not be manually updated any longer.

3. Present and future blog posts will be done here. I’m not sure how often written content will be coming, but when it does, this will be the place to find it. Game impressions, Retail Reviews, and other pieces are on the drawing board; I’m just trying to nail down a schedule to write and post them.

4. This blog will also be the place to get linked to my latest published work, which includes my Consoleation articles on Retroware and future articles for a project that I can’t yet divulge.

To those who subscribed to the Retro Unscripted YouTube channel, followed the Twitter account, and interacted on Facebook: I thank you. I hope that you’ll follow along to these new destinations, but I completely understand if you do not choose to do so. Unfortunately, managing two separate sets of social media accounts just became too much work, and I can’t devote enough time to keep both updated as much as I would like. I probably would have given up on the Retro Unscripted project altogether if it wasn’t for awesome people like you telling me to keep it going… and it still will, just in a different place.

To everyone: Thanks for your support, your interactions, your inspiration, and just for being so incredibly awesome not only through this Retro Unscripted project… but throughout my time as a writer and on social media. I’m confident that this consolidation will make it a lot easier to share my thoughts, experiences, and content with you and– hopefully– allow me to generate more content than before. It may be a pain in the rear at first, but it’ll be worthwhile in the long run.

Exit Consoleation; Enter Retro Unscripted

January 12, 2014 Leave a comment

When I mentioned that I was retiring from writing last year, someone who I admire very much told me that I probably wasn’t leaving for good. I admit that, when I made the decision to step away, I was in a position of frustration and was generally unmotivated. There really wasn’t a future for me in writing as I had known it; I wasn’t buying any of the new consoles, I was unhappy with modern gaming on the whole, and the sales analysis path had really reached its end. I just didn’t see a future.

I knew that I really didn’t want to drop everything and go back to just playing games and watching from the sidelines. My retro library has been growing and decades of video game experiences and memories that I wanted to share still remained. I wasn’t sure how to transition or what my next step would be, if I chose to take one. I had made a few videos that I’d shared on YouTube last year and, while they were fairly well-received, I thought that my lack of editing skills, proper lighting, and a decent microphone meant that videos and I weren’t destined to be friends.

But I thought some more over the holiday period. Friends and colleagues on Retroware and in social media had been supportive of my efforts, despite the lack of polish. Maybe I didn’t have to be the next Gaming Historian, NES Punk, or Backlog to make videos… as long as I was having fun doing them. After all, the Internet is a big place and offers a great platform for sharing content. Questions remained about what my approach would be. What was my angle? What would it be about my content that might convince a few people to watch my videos or read my words?

Then, about a week ago, it came to me. It was a silly approach, but an honest one.

See, when I shoot my videos, I work without a script. I don’t draw up any outlines. I gather a few things to show on camera (if applicable), turn the webcam on, and go… all unscripted. Retro Unscripted was born, quite literally, with this video that I shot:

From there, a few people seemed to like the approach. I got some constructive criticism (mainly that I needed to address low volume in the video) and decided to go all in with the Retro Unscripted project. I created an e-mail account for it. I opened a Twitter account for it. I opened a Facebook page. I created a YouTube channel. I created a Tumblr for it. I basically went all-in on the project; I finally realized what I wanted to do, and this project allows me to do it at will.

So… what does this mean going forward?

Well, for starters, this blog is going silent. Retail Reviews, videos, and other gaming-related content will be going to the Retro Unscripted project. I’m stopping short of closing this blog down, primarily because it’s an archive of my last 5+ years and there’s still some work here that I don’t wish to lose. So, if you wish to keep up with the content I’m creating– and I’m really hoping that you will– it’s going to be via the Retro Unscripted sites.

As for my social media footprint– Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Raptr, and so on– most of my updates will be via the Retro Unscripted ID. I’ll still be using my personal Twitter account with some regularity, but my retrogaming-related tweets and images will be posted on the @RetroUnscripted account… which I hope that you’ll consider following. My @PeteSkerritt account will be more personal, talking about modern gaming, school, and other life stuff. The Facebook page is a mirror of the Twitter account, as well as my Instagram images and other stuff. If enough people like the page, I may do more things with it. I did create new PSN and XBL IDs under RetroUnscripted, as well; so if you want to add them to your Friends lists and compare scores in pinball and other games, I’d be happy to have you. If you want to drop me line at retrounscripted@gmail.com, you can do that too.

As for my writing, at least for now, it’s going to be on the Retro Unscripted Tumblr site that I’ve created. The Tumblr site will be centralized place to find all things relating to the project. My videos will be embedded there, my written stuff will appear there, a few of my Instagram images will be there, and more. After some time, I may switch to WordPress or another blogging platform at some point, but for now, I find Tumblr to be the best solution.

Most importantly, the Retro Unscripted YouTube channel is up and running. The first two episodes are live, and I’m aiming for weekly updates at least moving forward. Some weeks will have one video, others may have two or three, and still others may be silent depending on my workload with school and free time availability. While I am going all-in on this project, it’s still very much a labor of love. I am not monetizing the videos; it’s something that’s fun for me to do and, unless a site like Retroware wanted to pick up the videos and make it a series, I won’t pressure myself or feel that I have to create content. (Of course, if Retroware did come calling, that’s pressure I’d be happy to take on.)

This is the part where I’m humbly asking for your support. In starting this new project, I’m hoping that you’ll consider following any or all of these sites so that I can gain a bit of traction. As much as I really enjoy shooting videos, writing, and being active in social media circles… it’s a bigger payoff when I know that people like you are choosing to take time to read or watch the content that I create. Follows, likes, and subscriptions add up and usually attract more people to check out my work. I’ve been blown away by being able to earn nearly 3,900 followers on my Twitter account. For someone like me who’s never really been attached to anything popular or huge in the last 5+ years, it means a lot that I was able to build and earn that audience. I’m hoping that, over time, I can do that again for this project. Knowing that people read or watch my work is, for me, a huge motivator… whether it’s 40 people or 4,000 people. So please, consider visiting the Retro Unscripted links I’ve highlighted in this post and follow/like/subscribe at will. In return, know that you’ll have my gratitude– it’s not much, but it’s sincere.

Consoleation has been a big part of my life for the last 5 years. In deciding to move on, I do so with the confidence that my new project is worth giving that up for. Whether you decide to follow me along to Retro Unscripted or not, know that it’s always meant a lot to me that you’ve taken the time to read my work here or anywhere else I’ve been. That’s what has driven me over all this time, and I will always be grateful for that. I’m more excited for this new project than ever. It’s a fresh start and just doing it is a giant step that makes everything else that happens from here a big bonus.

Thanks, everyone, for everything.

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