Midwest Gaming Classic: Trip Report

March 27, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

Hey all, I hope if you’re anywhere near Milwaukee, WI that you had a chance to check out the Midwest Gaming Classic!  (There’s still time tomorrow, if you haven’t.)  I spent all day there today and figured I’d give a brief rundown.  This year, it was at a new location in Brookfield, WI instead of Oconomowoc.  It was a bigger location, which meant the show was able to expand a bit.  All the old favorites, including the vendor area, the arcade and pinball machines, and the museum were back, but bigger and better.

I spent most of my time browsing the vendors and spending too much money, but I also spent a fair amount of time playing old arcade games that I don’t normally have access to — like Berserk, Battlezone (which is really cool with its scope cabinet), Centipede, Kangaroo, Ms. Pac-Man, and Outrun.  I also tried my hand at the Super Mario Bros. speed run tournament.  The goal was to get through level 1-1 as fast as possible, finishing with Fire Mario.  I played three entries, but I lost the fire power the first two times through, so I had to play conservatively on the last try just to get a qualifying entry.  It wasn’t a bad run, but probably not enough to win it.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any final rankings, so I don’t know where I finished.

The highlight of the show for me was definitely meeting Eugene Jarvis, creator of Defender and Robotron: 2084.  He was a fun guy to hear speak, and was super nice.  I had him sign a couple copies of Retro Gamer for me — specifically, the “Making Of” articles for both Defender and Robotron.  I asked him what he thought of all the twin stick shooters that have been coming out lately, and he said he thinks it’s great and that it’s just a really good play mechanic.  I can’t say I disagree!  Here’s a shot of my signed Retro Gamer mags:

Signed Retro Gamer mags

Signed Retro Gamer mags

My other highlight was a game of Pong that I played in the museum where I pulled off a dramatic come from behind win, 15 to 14!  It was like my own last second NCAA tournament win, or something… I dunno, I think I have an unhealthy love of Pong.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of everything I picked up today:

MGC Haul

MGC Haul

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • Various SNES and NES manuals
  • After Burner (32X)
  • Space Harrier (32X)
  • Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 (32X)
  • Mutant League Football (Genesis)
  • Outrun 2019 (Genesis)
  • Zero Tolerance (Genesis)
  • Cosmic Spacehead (Genesis)
  • Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)
  • Zillion II (Master System)
  • Sonic CD (Sega CD)
  • Plok (SNES)
  • Body Harvest (N64)
  • Comix Zone (Genesis)
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World (Genesis)
  • Marble Madness (Genesis)
  • Gargoyle’s Quest II (NES)
  • Snake Rattle n Roll (NES)
  • Transfer Pak (N64) (I don’t have any games that would use this, but for just $1, it doesn’t hurt to have on hand!)
  • View Point (Neo Geo CD)
  • Top Hunter (Neo Geo CD)
  • Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
  • Super Mario Land 2 (Game Boy)
  • Alleyway (Game Boy)
  • Tetris (Game Boy)
  • Mario Clash (Virtual Boy)
  • Several spare HuCard and Sega Card sleeves

Phew, that was a hefty list… And to think, I almost went for the Atari Lynx deal that GOAT Store had going — a Lynx plus 7 games for $60.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t interested in a single one of the games, so I figured I’d hold off and get a loose one sometime for cheaper and get games I actually want.

Anyway, that about covers it for now.  I had a lot of fun again, and will start looking forward to next year’s show!  Just one final thought about this year’s show… What’s the deal with the hot sauce?

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Chicago, IL. I'm a retro gamer.


5 Responses to “Midwest Gaming Classic: Trip Report”
  1. Kris says:

    Sorry I missed you, I was sick as a dog yesterday so I was only there for a couple hours before I headed home.

    I was surprised to get home and see the Red Hot sauce in my bag! I guess the company figured gaming nerds was their target demographics.

    You definitely got a lot more out of the experience than I did! Next year I am going to bring extra cold meds…

    Nice stash of games! It’s interesting how you got Viewpoint AND Motherbase 2000. Viewpoint is way too hard (I can’t get past the second boss, even with infinite continues). Motherbase is a similar game, but with flat shaded polygons, and way more playable.

    Sonic CD is excellent, and the US sound track does kick ass. I enjoyed Zillion II better than the first game, and I think you finally got a Master System game that shows off the hardware a bit.

    If I would have stayed longer, I am almost positive I would have bought a Virtua Boy and some games, I have wanted one for a while.

    The highlights for me were playing Tempest 3000 on a Nuon, which was extremely trippy. I also finally got to see and play a PC-FX. It was a lot smaller than I expected. There was a shmup playing, which was pretty fun. After beating the level, the unit crashed though…

  2. Kris says:

    Oh yeah, I picked up Blazing Lazers for the TurpGrax-16.

  3. Tim says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking Zaxxon vs. Viewpoint will be an interesting comparison. So far, after playing the first level of each, I’m enjoying Viewpoint a lot more. I need to get better acquainted with Zaxxon, though — the controls and shooting felt pretty sluggish, but I might have been doing something wrong. That’s interesting that you liked Zilliion II more than the first. Most people have the opposite opinion. Hmm, now that I think about it, I think I’ll make Zillion the next game I play through.

    Yeah, it was good to see Tempest 3000 at the show again, but I was disappointed with the NUON setup — the monitor they had it hooked up to was god awful and made everything a terrible blurry mess. It did not do the game justice! I tried playing it for about 30 second, but just couldn’t bother.

    Blazing Lazers is top notch. It’s fun, and accessible, even if you’re not a hardcore shoot-em-up nerd.

  4. Kris says:

    So how are the games coming? Get past the crab boss in Viewpoint yet? If so, kudos ;)

    Zaxxon is all about the hacking enemy ships. It’s buys you extra fire power and a shield. Half the fun is hacking each ship just to see what it does!

  5. Tim says:

    My 32X has given up all pretenses of even potentially working with my X’eye, so I’m not going to get a good taste of Zaxxon until I get a model 1 or 2 Genesis. Strangely enough, I’ve never owned either. As for Viewpoint, that game is friggin hard, so no… I haven’t played it much! In fact, I haven’t played any of these much… With a few weeks off of school coming up, I think I’ll dig into a game or two.

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