Retro gaming is a fabulous way of discovering old gems and rekindling those childhood memories. Instagram and Pinterest have been great places to discover those classics, and one collector who is a big inspiration has to be @retrovladyyy. We absolutely love Nico’s style and passion for video games – past and present. We recently caught up to explore his geeky and gaming adventures in an interview with retrovladyyy.
Hi Nico! Tell us a little bit about your gaming journey so far!
Well, that’s a tough question. To be honest, I don’t have a precise goal for my journey. I’m just trying to get back games I liked during my younger days. I’m a bit more focused on Game Boy and Game boy Advance. Although, my goal this year is to possess all the canon Pokémon releases on handheld consoles. No spin offs, only the main episodes. We are now at the middle of the year and I got back all the tough titles so it’s going to be easy from now!
What’s your earliest gaming memory and favourite retro console?
I think my earliest memories are on Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega drive and Tetris on the original Game Boy. I can’t really recall what came first or second, though. My best retro console is obviously the original Game Boy because it has so many titles which have this retro feeling. Some games are still doing great in comparison to games from our generation and it’s awesome. I’m thinking about the glorious Link’s Awakening for instance among many others of course.
Your passion for Nintendo really shows through your collection! What do you think so appealing about Mario, Pokémon and Zelda?
I’d say I’m more a Nintendo system lover rather than a Nintendo game lover. Of course I like Mario but it’s not my favourite Nintendo first party game at all. I have some issue with 2D Mario games. I’ll never know why, but that’s the way it is.
When it comes to Zelda or Pokémon, it’s all about my childhood. My cousin had Link’s Awakening and we played at my grandparent’s place entire afternoons. He also had Pokémon and we traded Pokémon via link cable. Every time I think about these moments, I’m feeling kinda blue. I miss these good old days. To me it’s all about the memories I treasure.
What games/franchises are you hoping Nintendo will release in the next year or so on Switch?
Plenty of them. I can’t name them all, so let me pick two. I’m really hoping on a Mother collection with 1 2 3 on the same cartridge. For now, GBA is the only system you can play the three of them (Japanese only). I had the chance to play Mother 3 on a fan translation and it changed my vision of gaming. Yes, it really changed me as a gamer. The story was so good and so way out of its era. I strongly recommend everyone to at least try it. It’s my 3rd best RPG ever.
I do hope on a rebirth of the Golden Sun franchise. The two episodes on GBA were outstanding and I humbly think they deserve more love than they get. A re-release on switch would be a strong asset for the console and an opportunity for new players to play my second best RPG ever!
Let’s not forget about your PlayStation and SEGA collections, too! What are you favourite PlayStation and SEGA classics and why?
One of the first games I’ve ever played on PS1 was Time Crisis, and what a game! After that I got more classic releases like Tekken or Final Fantasy but Time Crisis made an impression on me. I mean, this game is pure insta-fun! Take your G-Con and shoot every enemy. So arcade! Loving it!
Regarding Sega, of course Sonic the Hedgehog is a true classic and I can hear the music of the Green Hill Zone while I’m typing. But there’s one game I treasure even more than Sonic and it’s Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse. This very game hits the spot every time. I know it’s not the best Mega drive game, honestly speaking, but I played it so much during my early game days that I’ll never forget it.
What retro game has been the most difficult to find?
Some pieces are really hard to track down nowadays. Scalpers on eBay or simple resellers like you and I always want to make the best of what they got. Finding a good deal is really hard but patience is the key. I’m totally the opposite of patience in most of the cases, not good for me! Lately I’ve been focused on Pokémon Crystal. It was such a pain. Prices are going nuts for an okay condition and only few pieces are on the market. I made the acquisition of one, not because I’ve been patient, but because I’ve been too tired to look for it at an okay price. I caved in…
Your collection looks absolutely incredible Nico! What’s the most prized piece you own?
My most prized item, mmhhh. A tough question, AGAIN! Well, I’d say my Game Boy Advance Micro Mother 3 edition. It’s a Japan release only so it’s really, really hard to track it down. Had it on eBay for an okay price, I guess, but when it comes to items like this, even an okay price is already too much. So this very item is my Holy Grail, money wise. My heart has its own Holy Grail and it’s a boxed mint-condition of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX for Game Boy Color. I had the opportunity to get it from a good friend of mine and we made a great deal.
What tips would you have for someone starting to collect retro games?
It depends on what you’re focused. It really does. I made few mistakes and I still do. Like cave in for current-gen games on sales, even though you know it will easy to find even years after. So, if you really want some pricy items, save money by behaving yourself on not buying every good deal! Take a jar, name it by the item you look for and every time you feel you’ll cave, instead buying non-physical games on sales for instance, put money in it. You’ll be surprised how fast the jar can be filled. Be patient. Collecting taught me to be that way, or tries to! If you already are, then it’s perfect. Otherwise you should really take my advice. It will make you save a lot of money.
How do you currently go about sourcing new retro goodies?
I have a good friend who’s a manager of a second hand store. Every time he gets a cool item, he tells me first. I’ve done that for the past two years and got back most of the items I wanted. I can now wander into stores to hunt peacefully. I got no store in particular. I’m especially looking for good deals now.
If you could live in any gaming world, what would it be?
It would be Pokémon! I know the game is not that far from the real world, except we don’t make animals fight against each other. Go on an adventure, make friends, becoming a Poké-master was the dream I had growing up. When I watched the anime, I always imagined how cool it would to be same as Ash. I wanna be the very best…
If you could have a Poké-pet to join you and your Player 2, what would it be?
My player 2 and I are great fans of Eevee and its eevolutions. Regular Eevee for my wife and a Sylveon for me, please!
Where can gamers find your work?
You can find my work only on Instagram for now at @retrovladyyy. I’m trying to having fun and show you parts of my collector journey!