Sony BVM  

Sony BVMs are the pinnacle to play retro video games. BVMs were designed for use in broadcast and are top of the line. They were popularized by the user Fudoh in the shmups forum. Scanlines are prominent, and sprites seems to pop out of the screen. PVMs are also a very good option, and you may prefer their soft scanlines.

      Saturn Games         

Saturn was developed at the beginning of the 3D fever, paradoxically the best games of this console are 2D titles (great 2D titles I must say). Although, To get the fighting and shmups jewels of Saturn you have to target the Japanese market, , some must-have reached the European market (Panzer Dragon Saga, Deep Fear or Enemy Zero).

You shouldn't miss any of the games of this picture (even the infamous Final Fight Revenge to know how deep a great franchise can fall). The 4 MB Ram add-on enabled Saturn to had conversions of great arcade games such as Dungeons and Dragons or X-Men vs Street Fighter.

My recommendations are Terra Diver - Soukyugurentai (Raizing) and Batsugun (Toaplan)

  Playstation One Games  

PlayStation One (or PSX as I always named it) introduced new videogame franchises that last until nowadays. In fact, these franchises are still alive and kicking and they get new releases every now and then. A few examples are: Resident evil, Silent Hill (I bet if you played this game you still remember the suspense atmosphere that it achieves), Tomb Raider, Tekken, Time Crisis or Gran Turismo. In addition, PSX successfully brought into the 3D polygon world other franchises such as Metal Gear, R-Type or Final Fantasy.

Gaia Seed, Zanac X Zanac and Harmful Park are Japanese exclusive shmups that you should not miss. Vib-ribbon, Rissin-Zan and Incredible Crysis are the games if you fancy something a little bit crazy and casual. Xenogear and Parasite Eve are RPG games that I suggest to play (and this should mean a lot since I am much more into shmups, Beat 'em up and fighting games than into RGP).

PSX has wonderful 2D games like the ones of the 16 bit era such as Umihara Kawase Jun, Ralph no Daiboken and The Rapid Angel (as you guessed, they were released at the Japanese market only). There are also first attempts of 3D and 2D graphics that turned into great games as Strider 2 and Rakugaki Show Time.

      32X Games         

Sega 32x is one of a kind. This add-on enables Sega Mega Drive to jump from the 16 bit to the 32 bit era. The idea of playing the latest 3D arcade releases was something amazing for the Mega Drive Users. Star Wars Arcade, Virtua Racing Deluxe and Virtua Fighter were games that nobody though to be running on Mega Drive. Truth be told, the hardware of the 32x could not address the high 3D polygon demands of arcade games and the players noticed a lot of downsides.

However, 2D ports of arcade games were quite close to the original game such as After Burner or Space Harrier. In my opinion, porting 2D arcade games to 32x is the way that Sega should have followed. Unfortunately, the 1994 craziness for 3D games pushed Sega to bring 3D games instead of great 2D Games.

Darxide is a very special game of 32x. It is a game that pushed the limits of the 32x hardware. Darxide is most known for its rarity. For a very long time the 32x community doubted that this game were even released. When an original unit pops up, it has sold for up to $1,000.

  Neo Geo Games  

Neo Geo is the system that every gamer of the 16bit era would love to get his hands on. While popular 16bit systems such as Mega Drive or Super Nintendo got (in some cases) acceptable ports of the arcade games, Neo Geo got the real thing. For example, the bigger Mega Drive game has 40 Mb and the bigger Neo Geo game has 708 Mb. There were also big price differences: 50€ gor a Mega Drive game and 300€ for a Neo Geo game.

Neo Geo got timeless game franchises like Metal Slug, Samurai Spirits or King of Fighters. If I could only choose one game of each one of these series, I would go for Metal Slug 3, Samurai Spirits IV and KOF 98. In addition, if you really fancy fighting games, you can’t miss Garou Mark of the Wolves (MOTW in short). This is THE fighting game.

The first games of Neo Geo were released on 1990 and the last game on 2004 (Samurai Spirits Zero Special). As you can realize, Neo Geo got an outstanding lifespan. SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom was one the games released at end of the neo geo life (2003). Taken into account that Capcom was the main competitor of SNK, it was thrilling playing with Capcom characters on a Neo Geo.

      Computer Games         

Every single one of these games deserves its own full website. Most of these games are milestones of the computer games history. All the graphic adventures of LucasFilm (later know as LucasArts) are truly masterpieces. It’s hard to forget how Guybrush showed us to distract someone long enough to escape by means of the catchphrase: “Look behind you, a Three-Headed Monkey!”. Sierra also developed great graphic adventures and one of them really stands up among the rest, the charismatic Larry Laffer.

X-Wing, Dark Forces and Rebel Assault series extended the magic of the Staw Wars movies to our computers. Alone in the dark made the most of our old computer to amaze us with a delightful combination of 3D characters and 2D backgrounds. Theme series, Sim City and Transport Tycoon enabled us to create and maintain our own worlds (at least a part of them).

There was a time when the “first person shooters” were know as “doom-like games”. Duke Nukem added a special touch to the “doom-like games” and Quake III reached the top of gameplay.

  Neo Geo Pocket Games  

SNK proved that it was possible to bring the arcade feeling to a handle console. Some of the famous franchises of Neo Geo got a nice version at the Neo Geo Pocket. Games like the Metal Slug 1st and 2nd mission keep all the spirit of the original metal slug series. The arcade style pad of Neo Geo Pocket helped (a lot) to the fighting games such as King of Fighters, Samurai Showdown and Last Blade. In fact, SNK vs Capcom: The Match of the Millenium revealed itself as a true jewel of the fighting games that you should not miss if you are into handle consoles.

In my opinion, one of the best games (or even the best) of Neo Geo Pocket is SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash. This game mixes the ideas of collectible card games and the characters of fighting games by SNK and Capcom.

Given the arcade spirit of both Dreamcast and Neo Geo Pocket (and maybe the lack of a handle console by Sega), there is a link cable between these two systems. For instance, SNK vs Capcom - Match of the Millennium (Neo Geo Pocket) links with Capcom vs SNK (Dreamcast).

      Hobby Consolas (Most Recognized Spanish Video Game Magazine)         

When Internet wasn’t mass adopted and as developed as it is today, the sources of information about videogames where mainly the magazines. These magazines gave us the opportunity to get information about new releases, tricks and for us, the european children, they were our window to the arcades of Japan.

Since 1991, Hobby Consolas is one of the pioneer magazines which provides us with information about videogames in spanish. In some cases, theses magazines included posters, vhs, stickers and even coupons to participate on contests to win videogames. At 1991, getting one of these vhs to see the new releases of videogames on the TV was something very special for a kid.

The picture shows the first ten issues of Hobby Consolas. The cover of the first issue, the one featuring the image of Bart Simpson, has become an icon for the Spanish video games players. Videogames and Bart Simpson, is it possible to ask for more at 1991?.

  Playstation Portable Games  

PlayStation Portable (PSP) was the first take of Sony in the handle videogame market. The idea of PSP was simple; you get the best of (almost) a PlayStation 2 wherever you want. Very soon the handle system got releases of the flagship franchises of PlayStation 2 such as Metal Gear Solid, Tekken or even god of War.

PSP has decent number of Shumps (for a handle system) as the Darius Burst game. Because of this game, it was the first time I saw some one motivated enough to hook a PSP to a candy cab. The system also has a lot of RPG games although you have to target the American market to get the RPGs developed Nippon Ichi Software (Mana Khemia, Phantom Brave or Disgaea series).

In addition, PSP also has quite novel (and funny) games, as is the case of: Patapon series (maybe THE game of PSP), Death Jr, Prinny or What did I do to deserve this?

      Dreamcast Games         

The last video game console of Sega it is all about arcade games. In fact, the Dreamcast and the Naomi arcade board are quite similar and this enabled developers to bring a lot of arcade games to Dreamcast such as Soul Calibur, Ikaruga or Virtua Tenis.

In addition to the arcade games, Dreamcast features quite novel games as Rez, Space Channel, Samba de Amigo and Jet Set Radio. The system is also famous for the games that were released long time after the Dreamcast was officially declared discontinued by Sega. For instance, Under Defeat was released on March 23, 2006 and Dreamcast was discontinued on March 30, 2001. That is, Dreamcast got new (and high quality) games several years after its was discontinued.
  Mega Drive - Japanese Games (1 of 3)  

At the 16 bit era, the differences between Japanese ad European releases were huge. Not only European releases were technically inferior (lower game speed and awful bottom and top strips to fill the screen) but also Europeans miss great games such as Snow Bros, Musha Aleste, Eliminate down or Batle Mania.

Other games were released both at the European and Japanese market, but the European releases also featured some minor differences. For example, Castlevania: The New Generation (European) vas a censored version of Vampire Killer (Japanese) and Probotector (European) was an easier and robotized version of Contra: Hard Cops (Japanese). In addition, several common European games become extremely rare at the Japanese market, as is the case of True Lies.

The beloved Treasure company developed several games for Mega Drive that turned out to be both technically advanced and a delightful gameplay: Dynamite Headdy, Yū Yū Hakusho: Makyō Tōitsusen (four players at the same time) or Alien Soldier. However, Panoram Cotton is the game that makes the most of the Mega Drive hardware. This game in action doesn’t look like a Mega Drive game.

      Mega Drive - Black Cover Games (2 of 3)         

Black cover games are the first European releases of Sega Mega Drive. From the very beginning Mega drive got great games such as Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage or Golden Axe.

Mega Drive got a lot of arcade ports as Strider, Altered Beast, Sunset Riders, Rolling Thunder 2… Actually, this system really got a LOT of arcade ports.

The most popular characters of childhood also got their own game on Mega Drive: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Dragon Ball, Mickey Mouse or Indiana Jones.

There are also several marvel licenses developed for Mega Drive: Spiderman, X-Men, Maximum Carnage (only this game has a red cartridge), Hulk or Captain America.

  Mega Drive - Blue Cover Games (3 of 3)  

Blue Cover games are the last European releases of Sega Mega Drive. Some of these games didn’t got large prints and they are considered the rarest releases of the European Market. For instance, The Death and Return of Superman, The Punisher, Foreman for Real, Mega Man: The Willy Wars or Separation Anxiety.

The Sonic and Knuckles game introduced a novel idea of assembling games named Lock-on. That is, the top of the cartridge has a slot to insert other sonic games (sonic 2 and Sonic 3) that can be replayed with the new character Knuckles. If any other game is inserted into Sonic and Knuckles slot it leads (by pressing the A, B and C buttons together) to a generated special stage.

Virtua Racing was he first and only Mega Drive cartridge to incorporate a special chip to increase the console's capabilities. This special chip, named Sega Virtua Processor (SVP), enabled Mega Drive to render a fair amount of polygons in real time. However, because of the SVP, Virtua achieved the highest release price of the Mega Drive games.

      Super Plays         

Super Play DVDs show players mastering a videogame from the very beginning to the end. In some cases, these super plays show players achieving the highest scores. In other cases, the super plays show players performing unbelievable juggleries at the game.

These super plays include the full set of Cave shmup games (Espgaluda, Mushime-Sama, Death Smiles, Dodonpachi and Akai Katana). In particular, they are sealed and the first-print edition. Recently, they got a reprint with slight differences such as lack of bar codes or different DVD case size and colour.

In addition, there are the following super plays of great shumps: Ikaruga (Treasure/G.Rev), Graius V (Treasure/G.Rev) and Castle of Shikigami III (Alfa System). This video shows a small fragment of the Ikaruga super play; a player that controls the player one ship with the left hand and the player two ship with the right hand.

  Shmup Model Kit Build  

I am not that much into model kit building (actually, these are my first model kits). However, It was impossible for me to resist these particular kits: Ikaruga, R-Type and Ketsui.

My favourite one is without any doubt the ketsui one. In addition, this is a very special edition, the Poster Version (there are only 50 units worldwide).