The Guru

We all have those days don’t we? When everything’s a struggle, we lack inspiration and can’t manage the simplest of tasks. Times when your double jumps turn into sideways suicide dives, making a head shot feels like threading a needle or you rag doll across the screen again, and again, and again. It’s times like these you need a guru, a game guru.

Fortunately for us Ready Uppers, whilst I was on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment (aka n00b slayage) through XBL, I happened upon the wise and all knowing Guru Larry of Xleague/Pulse and Screw Attack. Although he was very busy working on shows such as Retro Corners, Wes and Larry’s Top Ten and Reviewmageddon I managed to convince/nag him into imparting some words of wisdom upon us.

What is your earliest gaming memory?

Larry: Earliest gaming memory is probably playing Frogger on my brother’s Atari VCS when I was about two,  which we used to rent out from an electrical shop down the road all the time, we were too poor to buy games in those days :(.

As an expert on retro gaming yourself how do you feel about the PS2 now being considered/sold as retro?

Larry: Lol, I had an argument recently with someone on whether the Dreamcast was retro or not, I definitely don’t think the PS2 is really retro just yet (main reasons, all three console territories are still making games for the system and Sony still manufacturers them), I’d have to consider a console to be two generations past at least be considered retro, so the PS1 just falls into the category.

Would you like to see any retro classics in particular come to XBLA or PSN?

Larry: Ooh,  got a few that I’d love to see someday, the obvious would be WWF WrestleFest, Daytona USA, especially since Sega robbed us Brits of the online mode for the Dreamcast version, NBA JAM would be awesome too, but I was thinking the other day I’d love to see Micro Machines 2 on there,  especially the 8 player mode, we had a Guy Fawkes night party as a kid and we were so into it we thought “fuck the fireworks” and spent all night playing Micro Machines.

Also it’d be nice to see some British classics like Jet Set Willy/Manic Miner and Monty on the Run (obviously), maybe even the greatest darts game of all time, 180, appear on these systems. We’ve had to accept American’s nostalgia for years, so why can’t we have ours too?  I never even had a NES until I was in secondary school, then again, only Boots of all places used to sell them back in the 80s.

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Guru Larry’s Retro Corners: Super Mario Brothers 2

We’ve had some lively discussions in the Ready Up forums on the subject of “What makes a Hardcore gamer?” How do you personally define hardcore and casual gamers?

Larry: Hardcore gamer?  Well I’d say anyone who owns a copy of ICO in its original cardboard packaging to be hardcore ^_^. But really, people who go out of their way to buy more obscure stuff, own a PC Engine or a Neo Geo AES, downloaded a copy of Ikaruga on the Dreamcast off Bit Torrent as they’re not stupid enough to pay £100 for it off eBay, or own at least one game that was never released in the UK are the true hardcore.

You’re not hardcore if you bought the Horse Armour for Oblivion,  you’re an idiot.  You’re not hardcore if you insist on collecting rare video games shrink wrapped in perfect condition, you’re an elitist bastard and I hope you die. You’re not hardcore if you spend 20 hours a day on Counter Strike/WoW, you’re obsessive and you’re not hardcore if you wear a T-Shirt with an Atari logo on it, you’re a twat.

What was your favourite game of 2008?

Larry: It was a bit disappointing for me really, especially after the awesome line up 2007 brought.  I spent most of the year on a “games I vowed to complete someday” pilgrimage, I finally beat Super Metroid after the save file corrupted on my original SNES cart years ago, and I’m almost finished on Red Faction 1 on the PS2, after quicksaving ten seconds before a unescapable death right at the end of the game (I’m an idiot who only used one save file in games). I’d love to be retro-cool and say Megaman 9, but again I don’t have that American NES nostalgia for him (I’d have prolly creamed if it was a new Alex Kidd game tho ^_^) but the game I played the most of 2008 according to my gamertag was Battlefield: Bad Company, but I think I mostly enjoyed Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008.

What new release(s) are you most looking forward to in 2009?

Larry: 2009 looks a bit poo too to be honest, hopefully Valve get their arse in gear and release Half-Life 2: Episode 3 this year, same with Ubi-Soft and Splinter Cell, but I’m looking forward to the new Ghostbusters game, and Prototype intrigues me. Possibly Bioshock 2 as long as they get rid of that backtracking bollocks and make it more like Half-Life/Red Faction.

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Guru Larry’s Retro Corners: Renegade

One of our members “Retro Boy G” asks: Do you know the level select cheat for Sonic 2 off the top of your head… no Google?

Larry: Lol of course, I know the Sonic 2 level select cheat, it’s: 19, 92, 11, 24, the date of Sonic 2’s day (which I can vividly remember buying at launch from Woolworths (RIP) in Uxbridge, prolly the first time I can truly account looking forward to a game’s launch day), (also 19, 65, 9, 17 – Yugi Naka’s birthday). But those are cheats burned into my brain along with WE5T ONE for Wonderboy III, I also discovered a cheat on Sonic 2 myself as a kid, pressing Start, Up, Up, Down, Down, Down, Up, Up, Up, Up on the title screen, turns it into the Japanese version of the game. You’ll know it’s worked as the option screen says Miles instead of Tails now and I’ve never ever seen that printed anywhere.

Guru Larry’s videos can be found at these lovely places below. If you watch them it means you are hardcore FACT.







9 responses to “The Guru”

  1. Mark avatar

    The only code burned into my mind (aside from the Konami Code, of course :P) is “makemeapirate” for Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, which turns Indy into Guybrush Threepwood from Monkey Island.

  2. Snozzeltoff avatar

    This is weird, it was only last night i was trying to remember the code’s for Sonic 2, oooOOOoooo, creepy, kinda.
    I’m going to try the Japanese code out though.

    I laughed a lot at the opinions of what makes a hardcore gamer, genius!

  3. Del Torro El Sorrow avatar

    Hey I thought your xbox was broken?

    Are you telling fibs in order to put off our grudge match??

  4. Del Torro El Sorrow avatar

    Oh, oh! When I was a kid I rented a copy of Sonic 3 that pulled up a cheat menu if you rubbed your finger across the right hand corner of it when it was playing.

    I shit you not!

    Sorry for the double post.

  5. Jay avatar

    Surely a hardcore gamer would have pre-ordered Ikaruga rather than wait for it to sell for silly prices on eBay?

    The only cheat I can remember is the infinite shurikens cheat in Revenge of Shinobi. I can’t imagine completing the game without it.

  6. Van-Fu avatar

    His answers regarding what makes a person a hardcore gamer certainly leave no margin for error. I think that we’ve found a self-hating gamer. 🙂

  7. Jake avatar

    Wooo I have a copy of Ico in it’s original cardboard sleeve. Somewhere.

  8. DunK avatar

    I thought I was the only one who knew ScrewAttack around these parts! 😮

  9. Lorna avatar

    I can remember the cose to flip screens on Treasure Island Dizzy…whooo go me and stuff.

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