Retro Gaming is a huge passion of mine. There's nothing better than going to a retro gaming market and seeing your favourite childhood games and consoles neatly lined up ready for you to browse through and buy. More intricately, over the last five years I've noticed some gorgeous custom Super Nintendo's, Game Boy's, Game Cube's and more. Adding a splash of colour to a SNES Shell certainly adds a level of personality and charm I would have never expected. So when Rob from R.A.W Talent Art approached me to collaborate I jumped at the chance. I got the chance to catch up with Rob to talk about some of his work in the console modding community and we find out just what is it that inspires him?
So Rob, tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a 37 year old father of two. I live in Norwich, Norfolk but without the accent, luckily. I'm a creative sort that's a bit of a perfectionist who is currently learning the art of patience. I enjoy playing consoles with my kids and revel in showing them the Retro games I grew up with. Only when they get older will they realise that not every child has access to almost all consoles every released!
How would you describe Console Modding to someone who didn't know about it?
To me console customising and modding is a passion, an escape, therapy, hobby and a job I guess. Its most peoples wish to be paid for something they are passionate about and I've worked hard for almost 8 years to get to the level I'm at now.
What got you in to console modding?
Before I customised consoles I was an illustrator/artist. I was commissioned to make paintings of various things, namely Marvel characters, books covers, abstract work. I became disillusioned with the way I had to acquire work, bidding for jobs against other artists who could afford to do the work for less as they still lived at home with few commitments. I couldn't survive this way so buckled and became a driver for a big supermarket for a few years. This was OK but not my aim in life and soon felt like something was missing from my life. It dawned on me that that thing was creativity. With a full time job and two young children spare time was almost non existent. I started to think of a way to get back into being creative artistically with limited time. The paintings I made previously were VERY time consuming. I asked myself what my passions were, art was an obvious one and the other was gaming. So I came up with a way of combining my passions into a hobby.
Never before has a video game series driven me to feel so overwhelmed with charm, anticipation and devotion. The Legend of Zelda series is exactly what I am referring to. A series which rose to fame on the Nintendo Entertainment System way back in the 1980s with The Legend of Zelda in 1986. Fast forward to 1998. We were firmly in the Nintendo 64 era in which one of the greatest Legend of Zelda games were ever released: Ocarina of Time. I’ve never come across a gamer that had a bad word to say about Ocarina of Time and whilst it would be easy to talk about the many other influential Legend of Zelda games, Ocarina of Time is, for many, the greatest Zelda game ever made.
Awaking in Kokiri Forest on a log in Link’s treehouse is where the adventure begins. The soft green and brown textures and soothing presence of Navi, our devoted guide immediately got me feeling engrossed and excited. This was the first 3D Zelda game Nintendo had released and it looked absolutely stunning! The controls were slightly difficult to adjust to at first but it almost felt like the Nintendo 64 controller was built for Ocarina of Time after the first twenty minutes of play time. In those easy moments time was spent rolling through the grass picking up rupees and talking to other random villagers in the Kokiri land. At that moment I could have stayed in Kokiri Village forever but that would have not made for a very exciting game now.
What are the most stunning memories you have from playing video games? Seeing the Deku tree for the first time has to be up there as one of the finest gaming moments right?! It felt so precious that I almost felt bad for rattling around inside the Great Deku with my sword and shield. From here on in the story unfolded as smoothly as one could have ever hoped. Ultimately the goal is to save the Princess and the wider Hyrule Kingdom from Ganandorf; dungeon by dungeon, collectible by collectible and song by song. With that being said Link exists is two forms in Ocarina of Time: Young Link and Adult Link, both with slightly different abilities. I remember feeling slightly disappointed when I arrived at this part in the game. The Temple of Time lays house to the Master Sword in which only Adult Link can wield. We all know this though right? Now I am pretty certain most of you reading this have experienced The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in some form. Wether you played the original N64 version, the remastered Game Cube version or the furthered enhanced Ocarina of Time 3D on the Nintendo 3DS, Ocarina of Time feels completely solid on any platform. What makes Ocarina of Time so unique are the stories gamers tell about their first play through or how they hounded their parents to buy them a copy. We can boast about the gameplay and story all day long but then I am just recycling many other articles about this majestic N64 title.
Guest Blogger: Justin @JQWits
Diddy Kong Racing (N64) is a game that I have extremely fond memories for that date back to when I was just a small child experiencing 3D environments on a Nintendoconsole for the very first time. When this game first came out in 1997, the Nintendo 64 was still very new to me and having only seen Mario Kart, it was a nice little surprise to see a new kart racer come out so soon; especially since it features its own lineup of characters, many of which I had never seen before. Sure, some people slammed Diddy Kong Racing for being a Mario Kart clone, and for being too easy, but I disagree with both of those assessments. Because although Diddy Kong Racing can be pretty easy at times, there were still a few challenges that had me tearing my hair out when I first played this game as a kid (I’m looking at you Silver Coin Challenge in Snowball Valley). And as far as being a Mario Kart clone, that’s completely crazy as RARE introduced entirely new aspects to the gameplay like boss battles and Silver Coin Challenges, two features that Mario Kart definitely did not have back then or even now; which makes me wonder if there is any room today for a new release of this long forgotten racer.
Diddy Kong Racing also introduced an entire overworld where players can goof off and not really accomplish anything, adding greatly to the general atmosphere in my opinion. In fact, one of my favorite childhood memories is flying around Timber’s Island for hours in my spiffy plane, hovercraft, and go-kart, simply taking in the scenery. I mean, how great is it that you have not one, not two, but three vehicles to choose from? I hadn’t seen anything like that before this game, and driving them all around that gorgeous island whenever I wanted was so much fun that I'll never forget. That’s one of the things that I loved most about the Nintendo 64; the exploration of these entirely new and never before seen 3D environments; it was quite a time to be alive. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely love the water in this game; the look, the feel, it’s so warm and inviting! I still remember the first time that I saw that gorgeous H2O; it was the single greatest thing that I had ever seen back then, and it's still pretty nice to look at today in 2016.
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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