“New video games are junk,” says Jason McMillen owner of Red Ant Retro. “It’s the same 20 stories with different dialogue.” McMillen prefers the uniqueness of older games. “Back when there was limited memory and graphics, and only one screen, the games had to be inventive and innovative; and there were hundreds of them.”
On Saturday, February 3, 2018, Red Ant Retro is holding a Super Street Fighter 2 Tournament at the Cold Lake Energy Centre. Already, people from various parts of the Lakeland have said they were coming to show off their skills. The first 32 people who sign up at the registration desk that day will be vying for the top three prizes (first place includes a RetroN 3 console). He anticipates a line-up before the doors open. “For the tournament, we are using a Super Nintendo gaming cartridge, and running it on a RetroN console. There will be ten elimination rounds of 8 people; 10 ladders and 12 fights per ladder. If someone loses their first fight, they still have a chance to win. We made custom SNES controller style decals for Player 1 and Player 2 to stand when playing. There will be a large screen for game play. Game console, controllers, original game cartridge, and equipment will be provided by us for use.”
There is no cost to enter the tournament, but participants (or people who want to be part of the audience) can use their quarters in the arcade. “We are setting up Donkey Kong Jr., Double Dragon, Beat ‘Em Up, and a stand-up shooter game.” Private collectors and businesses from the Lakeland area that specialize in games, comics, and figures will be in the Collector’s Market selling and trading their items.
McMillen, who was always into independent game development, works out of a red room that has attracted the real thing. But his love of games likely started when his dad used to bring him along to the bowling alley (which had arcade games in it). “He would give me a 20.00 bill and say, ‘Go make quarters with it.’ My pockets would be overflowing.” When he’s not working on the 4 Wing military base, McMillen thinks about his passion. “One day I would love to create an arcade. We need a fun space for kids.”
Registration runs from 11:00 AM to noon on February 3 at the Energy Centre at the table in front of fitness room 3. The tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. after registration ends. For more information contact:
Red Ant Retro
Email: [email protected]