Rignall Proves He’s Still A Mean Machine

Twitter’s most important purpose is to remind you that culture is made by real people.

And never is that more useful than in the retro scene. Much of the community’s social media content is navel gazing, rehashed appreciation posts and the occasional picture of an SG-1000. (Much like this one below which we’ve shamelessly rehashed so you can appreciate it.) A bit of nostalgia is fine, but you don’t gain a huge amount from just remembering that things existed.

It’s much more interesting to understand how they came about, what was great about them and, best of all, who made them.

The stories, personalities and conflicts behind our games and consoles provide a deep source of fascinating new insights into things that are old. And on Twitter, you find a lot of gems.

Julian “Jaz” Rignall (@jazrignall) is brilliant at this. As an erstwhile journo and editor of publications throughout the 80s and 90s he characterised the spirit of the emerging scene: funny, irreverent yet passionate, Jaz and his peers at CVG and Mean Machines not only captured the zeitgeist but also built it around us. And his feed is a rich seam of historical narrative brought live, mixed with personalities both past and present.

The best of retro Twitter doesn’t just hold up an old console and ask “Remember this?!” – it builds on the past and adds to what you knew back then.

Jaz hasn’t just got a collection of old magazines – he was the one making them. And thanks to that, he’s got new stories to tell. We all have.

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Tomb Raider tomfoolery abound!

So what with the recent return of the Grigish Empire, I thought I’d better get my act together and pick up my quill once more! In fact, this is my second crack of the whip after I did a post about Teri Hatcher getting THAT haircut back in ‘95 but I actually found the whole experience too depressing to leave on the Grig even 28 years later so I deleted it.

Here’s a nice picture just because.

Instead, what have I been up to? Well I’m currently in a battle of balance between playing 2 games, the fan translation of Grandia, and Tomb Raider 1, both on the Saturn.

And why is this news, you may ask? Well, it’s not. But! I thought I’d revisit a little nugget of info that’s increasingly being lost to time.

Despite its strong association with PlayStation, Tomb Raider came out first on the Sega Saturn.

Not by much, but Sega cut a deal with Core to launch Tomb Raider a couple of weeks ahead of the PlayStation version, which probably didn’t do a whole lot for it except exclude it from a good lick of polish that it could have done with, but still. It was on Saturn first!

Why even Sony themselves didn’t know this, and towards the end of 2021 (Grig first to the scoop as always), they celebrated Tomb Raiders launch with great enthusiasm! See below their tweet sent out on the 25/10/2021.

This was actually the Saturn versions launch. Eeeeeeeeeediots!

Tomb Raider actually came out on the PlayStation 14th November (US) / 22nd November (EU) from what I can see, although I am very suspicious of wrong launch dates being bandied around these days such as the PAL versions of Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally which are currently being misreported all over the internet, namely thanks to people like whoever put this tweet out and despite numerous people pointing out their error, they still didn’t take it down thus leaving a legacy of false info that will be found for years to come. It’s wrong gaming history, I tell ye!

Oh and just as a bit of additional Tomb Raider info, the version I’m playing is not just your regular Tomb Raider, but Tomb Raiders! Y’see, for some reason the Japanese version references not just the raiding exploits of Lara, but the other people you meet along the way such as Pierre and the like, thus warranting an extra S on the end. Now that’s some bonus content worth owning for that extra ink!

Anyway, that’s about it for today. And I am enjoying the game still actually, the level design still shines through so I’m looking forward to the next sesh!

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Rhythm City Challenges Our Spelling As Well As Our Conceptions of How To Engage with Music and Culture

To Roblox now, and yet another affront to my old man notions of what culture should look like. Because those crazy loons over at Warner Music Group have decided to do away with RECORDS, and forget all about TAPES, and even ditch the trusty CD! And instead ask fans to find new tunes in a “first-of-its-kind music-themed social roleplay experience”.

Good Lord!

(Personally, I like to role-play my social experience by going to Woolworths with some pals and buying the new David Gray CD for £9.99. But I suppose that’s too old fashioned for kids these days.)

Warner have teamed up with Gamefam – makers of such hits as Funky Friday and Tower of Misery – to deliver their big idea which promises users the opportunity to explore, dance, and bond with friends while competing in mini-music challenges. And if that wasn’t thrilling enough to have you reaching for your Robux, Rhythm City will also host virtual concerts and events featuring select WMG artists.

Boom!

Now, if you’re a cynic like me and you’re thinking “Wait! Surely Roblox would only attract soulless, tuneless hacks to shill their wares in such an egregious fashion?” then think again pop-fans! Because Warner’s got form in this field and has previously persuaded such scions of the zeitgeist as Twenty One Pilots, David Guetta and Royal Blood to turn up in block-headed form and strut their Robloxian stuff.

Crikey!

This new fangled, yoof-of-today gimmeckery will launch from Feb 4th. We can barely wait!

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Vega To Join Street Fighter 6 in Super Smackdown Shocker!

I’ve always said it: the one thing missing from Street Fighter is live commentary from a lady wrestler.

So! Imagine my joy to find that Capcom are once again listening to the fan community and, when SF6 hits our shelves on June 2nd it’ll finally be packing that missing ingredient: In-game narration! Yay!

And the latest to jump eagerly into the ring? None other than WWE megastar… Zelina Vega! Double Yay!

OK, OK, this sounds like gumph. But read on! Because Vega, also known as Thea Trinidad, joins an illustrious roster of random squawkboxes who will add their wisdom to SF’s sixth instalment in the form of play-by-play commentary and “easy-to-understand gameplay explanations”.

And let’s face facts, that’s an improvement on the pained shrieking that we normally hear while playing Street Fighter…

“Oh here comes dickhead with his cheaty kick move. No doubt he’ll do that jackass rolling on the floor thing in a sec. Oop, there it is. SHORRRRYYYYYUUUUUUKKKKEEEEENNNNNN!!!!!!”

Ahem… Problem is, the added narration seems like one more bit of junk food in a title already bloated with player titles, stickers, colours, outfits, and Drive Tickets (whatever they are) all crowding a DLC menu that has nothing to do with quality gaming. And, as if our gobs weren’t already full enough from those tasty add-on snacks, Capcom have laid on a positively gut-bursting array of side dishes in the form of minigames like karate-chopping bottles, preparing Italian cuisine, parrying basketballs… and more! (OK, we quite like the sound of those…)

Add it together, and this smorgasbord of guff starts to look hugely worrying to the long-suffering Street Fighter community who are seriously fretting that the series is running out of steam (and decent fighting ideas). But!

We at GRiG Towers are keeping the faith just a little longer – we had our grubby mitts on the game for a few rounds last year and it was looking properly tasty. Glossy, solid, fluid and satisfying – very promising indeed.

Chuck in some hyped up wrestler chat and trust us, we might just have a winner on our hands!

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New Warning for Retro CRT Fans

I Can CRT Clearly Now The Rain Has Gone

Retro fans were left reeling today after news broke that CRT’s are “bloody massive”. Reports flooded in from about 1400 GMT that old style tellies were “about twice as big as you remember” and “weighed an absolute bloody tonne”.

The revelations will send shockwaves through the older gaming community who almost all suffer with bad backs, weak wrists, and general laziness.

A spokesman for the community told grigorig.com about the pain of today’s gut-wrenching discovery: “Well, I tell ya. It’s a gut-wrenching discovery. It’s really painful, really,” he gibbered.

The sheer scale of the CRT situation came to light in horrific images that seemed to show a monstrous Sony behemoth attempting to eat a lowly Sega Saturn in scenes cruelly reminiscent of the mid 1990s. The beast appears to be at least three feet bigger than modern TVs, and weighing almost as much as a double-decker bus.

A vicious Sony monster, yesterday

Victims told this website that it was a crushing blow to their dreams of rescuing a CRT and admitted they’d brought one home that looked tame at first, only to find it was a nasty little beast when it got near their other tellies.

Representatives of GWAGS, the gamer wives and girlfriends group, told grigorig.com that “bedgell wants to bloody think again if he thinks I want to see that ugly old monster in our bedroom. And we are not talking about his wang.”

“For once,” they added, sniggering.

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Sega Rally Shenanigans at GRiG Towers

Howdy SEGA fans! How’s the most depressing month of the year treating ya? Are you face-down in a pool of your own self-loathing? Knee-deep in a dung-pile of your own ennui?

Us too!

And why are we so painfully depressed you might cry?

Why, Sega Rally of course!

Sega’s 1995 racer has got us knee-deep in a dung pile of ennui”

Since 2023 came hurtling round the track, like a Lancia Delta gunning for my rear fender, us here GRiG Boys have been pedal to the metal and the thing to the floor playing Sega’s 1995 racing gem. And as the competition’s now heating up (by which I mean I’ve learned how to do the gears after 26 years) we figured it was time to do a li’l pitstop to let you folks know how it’s going.

Sooooo… as at end of January the leaderboard is showing…

Dibbs / Pom / Numbnuts / Jackass – 1st place with 3’16″96

Boomer / Boner / Diki – 2nd place with 3’18″37

Legend / Bedgell / Studmuffin – Bringing up the rear with 3’18″39

(All times on single lap Arcade mode, Desert / Forest / Mountain)

And that’s all for now. It’s gone midnight so I’m gonna go cry myself to sleep hugging my Saturn pad and whispering dolefully about that time I did a perfect hairpin on Mountain. We’ll be back in February to announce my Phoenix-like comeback and, gosh, who knows, maybe some actual content! Until then Grigadiers!!

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Mega Drive Mini 2 Unboxing Shenanigans Abound!

Well, I wasn’t supposed to be buying any gaming paraphernalia until well after Christmas, but it’s not every day Sega actually put out a new gizmo!

And while the wait is on for a proper successor to Dreamcast, there was no way I could turn my nose up at their latest mini console offering!

The combined going rate for everything on this li’l wonder would be astronomical, thus I am obviously well within my rights to purchase this as I’m basically saving money. Or something like that.

Anyway, the unboxing fun and frolics are on Dibbs of the Grig Gaming, which much like this online tome, is also making a long overdue revival from the dead! Until I don’t update it again for another few years that is. So enjoy it while it’s hot Grigadiers, coz like my bowel motions after my back operation, it ain’t gonna be regular!

Currently smashing records at an astounding 3 views, one of which being my own to check the video plays right, DotGG is soaring like a bird on the wing again. Look out world!

Thats all for now. I‘ll see ya next time, same grig time, etc, etc, etc.

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Stop press: Grig in actual Sega news shocker!

Well, actually it’s not official news, so perhaps that headline is misleading. Falling at the first hurdle! Oof! But to be fair, it’s actually better than real Sega news, especially since real Sega is a dead entity that’s nothing more than a decaying husk of its former self.

This news is from the fan community, and man, this is a humdinger!

One of the awesome things about the fan community is that there are so many awesome projects in development for the Megadrive right now, from Street Fighter Alpha, arcade accurate Sunset Riders and the Simpson arcade game, to heavy hitters such as Metal Slug and the super ambitious and amazing-looking conversion of Castlevania Symphony of the Night. This is a coming lineup just as exciting as anything we had back in the day, and perhaps even more so!

And right up there, defying console limitations in a way that’s nothing more than pure wizardry, is our topic this fine day – Final Fight Ultimate!

Now, everyone knows that the humble Megadrive couldn’t handle Final Fight, right? Why even the 2 to 3 years newer SNES coughed and spluttered it’s way through their conversions, seriously hampered by the lacking content that was stripped from it like the 2-player mode, missing levels, missing characters, and limited 2 enemy characters on screen at a time scupperings. Twasn’t till you bolted on a Mega CD to the humble MD that something close to the arcade was realised, so a conversion on the ol’ bog standard would be nothing more than a simpering mess, surely?

Wrong!

What this dude has going on is nothing more than pure magic! Check out this shizzle below…

The dude is called MXRetroDev on YouTube and the channel is well worth checking out for more.

Quite how this dude is doing this I don’t know, but he’s got all characters present, 2-player mode with up to 7 characters on screen at a time, and has even found the time to add bonus characters such as Maki from Final Fight 2, and Captain Commando also makes a cameo! The dudes even added the challenge mode previously exclusive to the Mega CD version! Nice!

Back in the day this would’ve had to have come on a 60-meg cart, the same as Megadrive Super Street Fighter 2, thus commanding a high price tag. But it would’ve surely been worth it! I mean, everyone loved Final Fight, and this accomplishment would’ve had people going nuts, so surely Capcom would’ve had to have taken the plunge! Not that they had the skill to have pulled this off themselves at the time. They couldn’t even get a decent sound driver working for the Megadrive with SF2’s speech samples, something else that has now been fixed by fans.

Quite what the timescale is for this game being finished is unknown, but the hype and positivity surrounding it is upper echelon and with each passing update the quality of this title is shining through. It’s just awesome to see the Megadrive thriving even decades after Sega themselves moved on from it, and the potential of the beautiful beast is being realised even further. Seems like the Megadrive hasn’t given up all its secrets yet, and I’m well on board to see what’s coming next!

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Hatching Change: A Closer Look

So hot on the heels of my past efforts (roughly an article 7 or 8 years ago) to break down the barriers and establish the firm connection between Teri Hatcher and video games, I figured why not go even further and having a closer look at her YouTube channel, Hatching Change. For surely ‘tis a veritable treasure trove of gaming connections that will render my past efforts seeming like mere brushings by comparison! Possibly. Let’s find out…

Man I could almost kick myself for not doing this earlier. I mean she’s got an entire YouTube channel, and I’ve just slept on it…

What the?! Well it looks like I’m not the only one to have slept on Teri’s efforts! 20k subscribers! That’s… surprising. Some might say pitiful. But of course I wouldn’t. Especially since I still have a vague hope we’ll meet in the foothills of Mount Tibidabo one day in a romantic encounter before going for a drive in KITT. So I would obviously NEVER say such a thing. It’s just, some people might say that. Not me. But still, you’d have to ponder that for a woman who used to have the honour of being the most downloaded woman on the internet, some may have expected better. Just to reiterate, Teri – not me. Heh.

I mean, it was 1997 or something. And to be fair, it’d be a miracle if my own YouTube channel got to even 200 subs, let alone 20K, so by comparison Teri is giving me a whuppin’ of intergalactic proportions. But the difference is I am pathetic, so the emphasis of failure is far more on her head here than mine! Or something. But look at these view counts.

Not much to write home about is it? 1.9 thousand for one of these videos. That’s standard fare for a Dibbs of the Grig video! Oh wait. No. According to my analytics that’s about my combined overall views from every video I have spanning my 7 year ‘body of work’. I really don’t know why I don’t just delete my channel, I really don’t.

Anyway, crashing on, it seems that there is a big focus on making food. Here, for example, she is growing scallions.

I don’t actually know what scallions are, sounds like something you’d have removed via surgery to me, but I thought I’d present this evidence if only to quote Dana Carvey in Trapped in Paradise…

‘It’s got scallions!’

So cooking, huh? I guess there was that one game on the DS, Cooking Mama. Could that be what’s piqued her interest in promoting this culinary endeavour? I mean, previous investigations showed that she had a Wii, so if she’s a Nintendo company loyalist, she may have indeed picked up said title if it was it ever converted. I’m seeing traces of a breakthrough already. Hmm…

Well my memory does indeed serve me correctly. With old video games at least. I could really do with it kicking into gear while I write this rubbish though to spare me sitting there for five minutes trying to recollect the word ‘and’ while I struggle to string a sentence together. Stupid failing brain!

Aha! See, I knew it. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Another investigative breakthrough for Grigorig!

Actually, one thing I overlooked previously, is that there were obvious tells of video gaming experience on show in her most recent video, as featured on this very website. Fishing? Sega Bass Fishing? Man it’s so obvious! How did I miss that at the time?! Darn my foolish oversights!

Clearly Teri would have the sense to be a Dreamcast owner, only being in possession of a Wii due to it housing Nights into Dreams follow up, Journey of Dreams. Of course if Teri were a loyalist to any company, it would have to be Sega. I hang my head in shame at even contemplating otherwise! Forgive me Teri!

So outside of the cooking stuff, what else resides in the depths of her YouTube back catalogue?

Well, she did a whole bunch of van life stuff, but I guess that fad has passed. She seems much too friendly and positive though so I quickly moved on before I found her irritating to the point that I would start to dislike her, thus ruining our past. And by our, I don’t mean you and me, dear greader. I’m talking about the Lois that I have in my head who buys retro video games, laughs at my jokes, and tells me that I’m not playing Rocket Queen loud enough on the car stereo. Them’s be treasured memories, so take the taintage of reality away from me!

There is one thing I gleamed from the van videos though. I’d seen that VW Camper before.

Teri’s ‘Van Life’ camper van.

VW camper from Forza Horizon 2 #similar

So what d’ya think? Clearly there’s a link here. This is an influence too uncanny to ignore! She a racing gamer! And we all know who makes the best racing games around – Sega! 

Well, I guess the wheels are the same at least.

For whilst Teri wait’s mournfully for Sega’s port of Sega Rally to a modern system, and after playing Daytona till her thumbs could take no more, she doth while away the hours with substitute racers such as Forza 2. This is definitive evidence of gaming influence right here, and no court in the land could possibly argue otherwise… 

Oh who am I kidding?!

Ok, this is really just a bust isn’t it. I’ve lost my touch in the seven years I’ve been gone! I can’t find anything! Even regular internet browsing yields no results. The best you get is it pulling up pictures of Billy Hatcher when you search Teri’s name along with Sega, and even that’s too poor a result to even make a Grig post out of… yet.

Sigh. Guess I’ll just skulk away defeated. Sniff.

But, just when you thought all was lost after I’d exited stage left, suddenly comes the unexpected and riotous encore!

Now you can’t tell me this isn’t a clear message! Everyone knows that in America the Megadrive is called the Genesis! A sure fire sign her allegiance is with no other than the maker of the bluest skies in all of gaming! In attendance probably to collect best action game on behalf of Treasure for Gunstar Heroes, Teri can be seen lighting up the red carpet here at the Genesis Awards. Other big winners that night were Streets of Rage 2, Sonic 2, Castlevania Bloodlines, and Phantasy Star IV, according to the voice inside my head. 

And if you think that’s all I had, then wait for this! Extracted from her Instagram page… BOOM!

Obviously working for Sega on some promotional marketing blitz, Teri is seen here clearly getting into the habit of emblazoning obscure household items with the name of her favourite Sega handheld all in the name of pushing for gaming superiority!

Well, it’s worked on me. I’ll take three! Oh Teri, ye of such fine taste! Cultured enough to know of even the more aloof of Sega paraphernalia. I salute you ma’am, I salute you.

Laters.

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Crazy Taxi: Update of Grig!

Well my winter mission was short lived. Check this shizzle out!

Now you might not be able to tell, but that says $32,550.49. But it looks highly dubious due to the shaky nature of the picture, all credit to my crappy phone and its broken camera that does a weird freak out thing at random intervals. It certainly picked its moment here, right in my hour of glory!

So the pressure was on. Was the useless leaderboard going to actually update my score, or was it going to throw ten buckets of buh over my latest achievement? ‘Tis highly hit and miss at the best of times, and I’d already been given a whuppin’ when it failed to upload my arcade rules score earlier in the week. Why, the pressure was almost too much to bare!

But no need to fret! I mean it did take several refreshes but after about ten minutes the piece of ayne decided to wake up and post my score so I could actually get a steady picture. 32K baby! Woo woo!

Now that my goal has been achieved I can do many more productive things, like go for walks in the park, observe fresh dew glistening on the grass of a winters morn, sit there and watch endless reruns of Baywatch on the 24 hour Freeview channel thingy on the fire stick. I think I’ll stick to the third one there.

But for now, it’s game over yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Till next time Crazy beauts, till next time. I wonder how realistic breaking 40 is? Hmm…

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