Retrospecticus 08: The Year in Review

Today is the the one year anniversary of the Temple of Doom and I thought that a good way to celebrate would be to take a look back at some of the Temple’s most popular posts, as well as some of my personal favorites. I will also be listing some other great places around the web that are leading the charge of  the retro revival. What are we waiting for!?! Let’s begin this year end retrospective type thing.

First off we’ll cover the most popular Temple of Doom posts as well as some of my personal favorites.

Most Popular List Post

“Which Final Fantasy is the best?” – May 20th/08
The most popular list-style feature of the year is a little post dating back to May 20th called “Which Final Fantasy is the Best?”. For the article I skimmed all 12 main series Final Fantasy titles and ordered them from worst to best. This post came about because it was always something that I had been searching for online but could never find. This post gets about 10-30 hit per day. although there was not as much outrage as I initially anticipated.

Most Popular Art of Collecting post

“Reproduction Carts” – April 17th/08
The Art of Collecting category is where I stick all of the stuff that I think only hardcore collectors would be really into. I have covered everything from emulation to awesome finds, but my post about reproduction carts seems to net between 25 and 40 hits per day. I will be doing an update on reproduction carts sometime i9n the future because I have gotten a couple more since April (Sweet Home review, anyone?).

Most Popular Feature

“Top Five Cyberpunk Video Games Part 1” -April 22nd/08
“Top Five Cyberpunk Video Games Part 2” – May 6th/08
This post has remained consistently popular ever since I posted the first part. I seem to get the most feedback via email about this post, and I have taken a lot of crap for including Metal Gear Solid on the list. I just have this to say: It’s about themes, people! Look a little deeper into the underlying message and meaning of the game and you’ll see what I mean. I bet a lot of the people that complained never even played through MGS anyway, and probably lump it together with the overwhelming tidal wave of sub par WW2 games that studios have been shitting out for the past half decade. But I digress…

Most Popular Overall

“Top Ten Rom Hacks parts 1 to 5” – April 5th – 29th/08

This weekly series I did back in April without a question is my most read group of posts. They average about 60 hits per day each, which is pretty huge, considering that is well over half of my total readership right there. I have been thinking about a way in which to revisit this topic, and something may come to me in the future. As of right now, however, I think I am done with ROM hacks.

Most Popular Review

“Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti” – April 11th/08
I like the fact that this review gets so many hits (about 50 a week). Mainly because I am a huge advocate of this game, and import gaming in general and really feel that the English speaking west missed out on some great games. That’s why I love to spread the word about great games unseen by our North American eyes, especially super deformed horror movie games with amazing controls, a sense of humor and a heaping helping of Engrish. THIS WILL BE YOUR GRAVE!

My Personal Favorite Article

“Top Ten Super Nintendo RPGs” – June 3rd/08
I specifically had to hunt down a copy of Lufia 2 just so I could replay it for this list. I knew the game was great from when I borrowed off a friend in high school, but I just wasn’t sure where it fit into the Top Ten. Sure, I could have used an emulator, but hey, that’s sacrilege, right? I think this is favorite post because I just put so much time into it. I didn’t replay all the games; Chrono Trigger, Earthbound and the Final Fantasy’s I knew off by heart, and Secret of Mana and Illusion of Gaia just required a brief refresher course, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t wrap (why does no one say wrap anymore?) both of the Lufia games. By the way: they are just as fucking hard as I remember them.

Find of the Year

“Back with a Vengeance!” – October 1st/08
After a summer hiatus, my first post back was the same day I got a pretty rad Sega CD related haul, including a minty CIB Knuckles Chaotix and a CIB 32X version of Night Trap. This beat out other small but personally satisfying finds and purchases such as Star Ocean: Second Story, a CIB Famicom Disk System, a CIB Castlevania: Bloodlines, and a CIB Streets of Rage 3. The best part, all of those mentioned (except the FDS, which came straight from Japan) where found locally. Nice!

I thin that about covers it for the Temple, but what about other places around the web? This has been a hell of a year for retro game collectors, and I just want to touch on some of the people and places that have made strives towards advancing game collecting as a legitimate hobby;

What more can I say about this site? The sheer magnitude of content available in Retroware TV is stunning. First rate shows done by people who care about gaming and that love really shows in the intelligence and attitude that comes through with each update. Season 2 of the sites main show (Retroware TV) wrapped up on Boxing Day (that’s Dec 26th for you American’s in the crowd) topping off a stellar year. Season 2 of the show will be released at MagFest in early January, and it is expected to go on sale at the Retroware site on or around January 5th, so check the site often if you want to snag yourself a limited edition copy.

Happy Video Game Nerd

One of the many excellent programs presented by Retroware TV, Derek Alexander (aka the Happy Video Game Nerd) puts out practically heart-wrenching love letters to his youth in the form of video reviews.Did I mention that these are some of themost well written reviews I have ever seen?  Each episode is a journey into a forgotten game of times past, and while Derek not only waxes nostalgic about these forgotten gems, he also informs and instills them into the memory of everyone who watches his videos, even if they have never played the games themselves. All I can say is that anyine who makes a video about Metal Storm has got to be awesome.

Famicom Dojo (the most recent episodes can be found at

Famicom Dojo is the perfect launch pad for anyone interested in old school 8-bit Nintendo import gaming. The first season just wrapped in Christmas Eve, and the season covers everything you ever wanted to know about the Famicom; from it’s the Famicom Disk System to the little microphone built into the 2nd controller. Sean Orange and crew so a spectacular job layering each episode with just enough information and humor without overloading you. I highly recommend you check this out.

If you like old school reviews, than this is the place to go. With up to 4 of 5 new review per week, all of the bases are covered here; Odyssey 2, Atari 2600, Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, NES, N64 and he even does a lot of new games for the 360, Wii and PS3. On top of that he also does in depth product reviews of all the classic consoles and their controllers and other peripherals. A great site to get lost in.

If you are charged up about the Famicom after watched Famicom Dojo there is no better place to scratch you itch than at You can be assured to not get gouged with shipping charges and that everything that they sell is tested, clean, and worthy of going in even the most hardcore collectors game shelf. I have dealt with Carl at several times and I have nothing but the most positive experiences.

Re-Play Games

Re-Play games is a video game store here in my hometown or Regina that just recently opened at beginning of November. It is officially my favorite business in the city. Knowledgeable staff, stellar selection (the rare games case is un-fucking-believable!), and tons of amazing games for every system you could even think of makes for an awesome combination. Not to mention that they make double sure the pin connectors are cleaned on every cart they sell before you leave the store adds that extra level of care that serious collectors can really appreciate.

That about does it for the year end wrap up. Expect the next new post shortly after Jan 1st. Until then I am going to enjoy the rest of my holiday and play some video games.


5 thoughts on “Retrospecticus 08: The Year in Review

  1. Oh man, I love ur blog, there’s no more classic games blogs around, so I started mine, I am videogame collector too, so I hope let’s stay in contact for possible transactions. Hugs.

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