Shop: Retro Game Base – 430 Streatham High Road, London, SW16 3PX
Date visited: September 16, 2013
Total Spent: £25.00
Tiny415 checked out the Retro Game Base while I was over in London. If you find yourself in the UK, I strongly suggest stopping by this shop. If you are looking for some classic hardware, you can go here to buy most anything, from a Famicom or Amstrad CPC to an Apple Bandai Pippin or Playstation 2. The staff (who I am failing to remember names, for which I am sorry) are very knowledgeable, we talked for twenty minutes about how I could get a PAL Master System working on in the U.S., without the 50hz to 60hz switch (because they sold the last one with the switch an hour before I got there). We talked about new games, old games, the seemingly random PCs that inundated Europe when the U.S. was recovering from the 1983 video game crash/rise of the NES, and so many other topics. The store reminded me of a comic book shop, locals would come in and hang out, playing on the arcade machines, talking about all sorts of different topics and just enjoying the atmosphere. Overall, this was the video game highlight of my trip. I said it at the beginning of this paragraph, and it bares mention again, if you are in the London area and want to check out a game shop run by passionate and knowledgeable people, with a great selection of classic games, I could not recommend a better store.
I ended up picking up The Nomad Soul from Quantic Dreams (developers of Heavy Rain and Two Souls) for the Dreamcast. (editor note: Released in North America as Omikron: The Nomad Soul).
If you have never seen, or played with, a European Dreamcast game, the case is the biggest difference. In the UK, the case is effectively the size of a PS1 multi-disk case. All of them have the Blue outline, with the name in white on the spine. When I get to see a European collection, I am jealous of how great and uniform the games look. It is what I am most jealous of, when I compare it to the jewel cases we got in North America.
Shop: Forbidden Planet -179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
Date visited: September 16, 2013
Total Spent: £0.00
The other geek highlight of my trip was Forbidden Planet, a geek pop-culture mecca in London. If you are interested in comics, games, anime, science fiction, and fantasy, and you happen to find yourself in Piccadilly Circus (think Time Square for American’s reading this) then you should pop in. The store is packed with geek paraphernalia and caters to toys collectors, gamers, sci-fi nerds and comic fans, by offering a pethora of t-shirts, bathrobes, comics, statues, and bunch of other things you can use to deck out your house in geek chic. Upon entering, I wanted to spend a ton of money there, but I had to consider my luggage requirements for the trip home, so I ended up only browsing.
This brings me to my biggest disappointment, which I have two. 1) I never got a chance to get over to the Orc’s Nest, a great tabletop gaming store that my UK friends have been bragging about for ages. It is unfortunate I just never got the time between work and the drinking to get over there, but I will in the future. 2) I visited HMV GamerBase, which I was told was the ultimate LAN center, with tons of PCs and constant action. The problem was that the HMV store in London is shutting down, so they have closed GamerBase. The websites mentions they are temporarily closed, but with the store it is attached to shutting down, I hold out little hope.