VHS Preservation Project #5: NMS Street Fighter II Player’s Guide

The Video Game VHS Preservation Project is an attempt to digitise as many video game VHS tapes as possible for the purposes of preservation. Click here for more information.

The fifth tape in my VHS Preservation Project should hopefully be an interesting one for fans of Street Fighter II

The Street Fighter II Player’s Guide was given away with issue 3 (December 1992) of Nintendo Magazine System.

It comes with commentary by the legendary Julian Rignall and Gary Harrod, and it’s worth a watch. Continue reading “VHS Preservation Project #5: NMS Street Fighter II Player’s Guide”

VHS Preservation Project #4: The N64 Magazine Video

The Video Game VHS Preservation Project is an attempt to digitise as many video game VHS tapes as possible for the purposes of preservation. Click here for more information.

The fourth tape in my VHS Preservation Project is the one I’ve watched more than any of the others.

The N64 Video was given away with the first issue of N64 Magazine in the UK, and shows a bunch of gameplay footage as well as Nintendo’s 1996 Shoshinkai (Space World) promotional video.

You also get occasional glimpses of some cancelled N64 games. Watch with my commentary and I’ll point them out. Continue reading “VHS Preservation Project #4: The N64 Magazine Video”

VHS Preservation Project #3: Blown Away (PS1)

The Video Game VHS Preservation Project is an attempt to digitise as many video game VHS tapes as possible for the purposes of preservation. Click here for more information.

For the third of my VHS Preservation Project videos, it’s time to move away from the SNES and focus on what could have been its successor in an alternative timeline.

Blown Away is a video commissioned by Sony in 1996 to showcase the games coming to the original PlayStation in late ’96 and early ’97.

It’s got some interesting imagery and loads of stylishly put together game footage. Well, stylish for its time.

Continue reading “VHS Preservation Project #3: Blown Away (PS1)”

SNES Mini tips special (’90s style)

What’s the haps, kidz?

The SNES Mini is finally with us, and gamers all over the world are reliving (or discovering for the first time) the glory days of early ‘90s gaming.

Some of these SNES classics can be on the tricky side, though, which is why back in the day every games magazine worth its salt had a tips section.

It doesn’t really happen much these days – partly because simple ‘cheats’ like passwords and controller inputs are rare in modern games – but there was nothing quite like the excitement of buying a new mag, flipping to the tips section and finding a new cheat for a game you owned.

With that in mind, I’ve gone through my own personal archives and dug up some never-before-seen SNES tips I wrote way back in the early ‘90s. Yes, I definitely wrote these 20+ years ago and am not making that up for an inevitable comedic payoff layer. Honest. Continue reading “SNES Mini tips special (’90s style)”

VHS Preservation Project #2: Donkey Kong Country Exposed (UK version)

The Video Game VHS Preservation Project is an attempt to digitise as many video game VHS tapes as possible for the purposes of preservation. Click here for more information.

The second of my VHS Preservation Project videos is one that will be a little more familiar to US readers than the Super Mario All-Stars Video was.

This Donkey Kong Country VHS was also made available to American subscribers to Nintendo Power magazine, and was called Donkey Kong Country: Exposed.

This UK version is more or less the same, except for a couple of changes. It doesn’t feature the US tape’s hidden ending, which gives a sneak peek at Killer Instinct.

It does, however, include four or five minutes of UK Nintendo TV commercials. Continue reading “VHS Preservation Project #2: Donkey Kong Country Exposed (UK version)”

VHS Preservation Project #1: The Super Mario All-Stars Video

The Video Game VHS Preservation Project is an attempt to digitise as many video game VHS tapes as possible for the purposes of preservation. Click here for more information.

It’s time to finally kick off my VHS Preservation Project, and what better way to start it off than with the Super Mario All-Stars Video?

This was a promotional tape given away by Nintendo UK in 1993, to promote the release of Super Mario All-Stars.

Despite this, it doesn’t really feature much in the video. Instead, most of the time is spent reviewing other games, showing you how the Nintendo Hotline worked and taking you through the making of Nigel Mansell’s World Championship with Gremlin Graphics.

Best of all though, it’s presented by Craig Charles, better known as Lister in legendary British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. Continue reading “VHS Preservation Project #1: The Super Mario All-Stars Video”

Introducing the Video Game VHS Preservation Project

Over the past 30+ years as a gamer, I’ve gathered a load of gaming memorabilia. A lot of this has been sold or traded over the years but some of it has stayed with me all this time.

One thing that has remained is a large part of my video game VHS collection.

During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, gamers like myself would regularly get VHS tapes related to gaming.

Some of these were promotional tapes put together by hardware or software manufacturers, in the hope that seeing their games or consoles in action would inspire you to buy them more than mere words and screenshots in a magazine could.

Others were game-related videos made by magazine publishers or other companies: tips videos, player guides or even (always failed) attempts at a regular video magazine.

For 20th century gamers, these VHS tapes were the YouTube of their time. But there’s a problem: video tapes don’t last forever, and the picture quality degrades with every view.

Many of these tapes are already becoming scarce: there’s only really a niche market for them, and so most are just thrown out as people get rid of their VHS collections and move exclusively to DVD or Blu-ray.

Others are being sold for crazy money on eBay as traders realise their increasing value and try to make a daft profit off them.

There will eventually be a time when none of these tapes exist any more, either due to them being thrown away or simply deteriorating over time.

I want to preserve as many of them as possible before that happens, to ensure they remain available online as a way of documenting how games coverage and promotion has evolved over time. Continue reading “Introducing the Video Game VHS Preservation Project”