Hot on the heels of the first interview, the “We are gamers” series adds a new chapter to its virtual book. Today’s guests (yes, “guests”, this is a double interview) are two friends who embody the ideal gamer persona.
They play a lot, they drink a lot, they have a lot of fun… But the best part of it all is that they do all of the above together, and they stream it live on their YouTube channel. Alright, the floor is yours Allen and Brandon, get the party started!!!
(Tssst, sound of a beer can opening, lol)
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1. Welcome guys and a big “thank you” for accepting my invitation to be interviewed for the blog. For a starter, please introduce yourself to RGL’s readers.
(Allen) Thanks for having us Andrew, this is really exciting! My name is Allen aka Taverns_Last_Patron. I’m 36 and from a little town called Newfane right near Buffalo, NY. We created a YouTube page in September page called This Round’s on Me that’s dedicated to playing retro games and of course… Drinking.
Once a week we run a themed live show called the Happy Hour Live Stream and I also have my own section where I play through old games I never got to beat as a kid.
(Brandon) Yes, we really appreciate the interview Andrew! My name is Brandon aka Brunedulf, co-host of Happy Hour Live Stream on YouTube. I’m 27 and I also reside in a little town known as Cambria, just north of Buffalo, NY (Go Bills!). Allen and I actually met working in a hardware store 10 years ago and we have been gaming together ever since!
2. What was the first video game you ever played?
(Allen) Mario 2 – I remember my older brother had an NES with handful of games. It must have been around 1989 or so but I was only 5 years old and I would hang out in his bedroom when he was gone and play Nintendo (which he did not approve of). It blew my mind that you could turn the lights off mid level and throw potions that made doors appear.
Not only did it have a great soundtrack but it was really cool that you could pick which character to play as. I will admit that I played the Princess a lot. You can’t beat that floating thing she does, it must be the dress or something;) My Aunt had a Nintendo at her place with all the cool adult games so when I would visit as a kid I would play Metroid, Gauntlet, and Kung Fu for hours.
(Brandon) Duck Hunt – We used to have the Nintendo set up in the basement and I remember my sister had to get the NES gun for me because I wasn’t allowed to play with it yet. She would grab it from the laundry room cabinet and sneak downstairs with it, what a great older sister.
I was roughly 4 or 5 when I played this. I will never forget how great the colors were and how cool I felt having the Zapper instead of the controller. The laughing dog still haunts me to this day, but I do have a soft spot for him because I play as him in Super Smash Bros Ultimate haha.
3. What about the first gaming system you ever owned?
(Allen) Super Nintendo – This was the first system that I ever called my own and I played it (and N64) well into the PS3 years before I realized I should start trying newer games. I had about 15 games for it and rented more than I can remember.
A friend of mine growing up had a huge SNES collection so I would spend many sleepless nights over there playing Super Star wars, Secrets of Mana, and Mega Man X. To this day the controller that came with it still works…It’s covered in electrical tape but it still works.
(Brandon) PlayStation – Even though we had the Nintendo in the house, the PlayStation was the first one I considered mine. I got it for my birthday about 6 months before the PS2 came out, but better late than never, haha.
I had a Gameboy Color at the time and was becoming quite the Pokemon master but this was the first true console that I owned (and shared with my sister). We played for countless hours and I was able to get a decent amount of games for it. My favorites were Quake 2, Twisted Metal, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot. Some great memories from those times!
4. Were you guys arcade gamers? If you were, what about your favorite titles back in the 80s / 90s?
(Allen) Yeah, I loved the arcade. My favorite place to be in the 90’s was Aladdin’s Castle arcade at our local mall. My favorite was the 4 player Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet (go Raphael!) and I loved any shooter like Revolution X, Area 51, Lethal Enforcers, and Time Crisis. Honorable mention to Ridge Racer, I lost many hours inside that huge cabinet that blocked out the whole arcade.
I was always afraid to approach the older kids that were playing Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter at championship levels. Still not very good at those games but I was so pleased to see that you beat Tekken 3 on Hard, congrats man!
(Brandon) I personally didn’t have too much time in the arcade scene unfortunately. I was born a little later but was able to play some arcade games in our latest live stream. King of Dragons, Cadillac’s and Dinosaurs, Captain Commando and Warriors of Fate and I was super impressed by all of them. It was probably my favorite episode we have done and having the arcade sticks made me at least feel like I was at the arcade.
5. I am going to name a few video game genres: please tell me your favorite retro title for each of them:
C) Puzzle Games
D) Role-playing games
E) Racing Games
G) Sports Games
H) Any other games whose genre I did not mention?
A) Adventure – Torin’s Passage PC
B) Platformers – Super Mario World SNES
C) Puzzle Games – Tetris NES
D) Role-playing games – Chrono Trigger SNES
E) Racing Games – Battle Cars SNES
F) Football – NFL Blitz N64
G) Sports Games – Mike Tyson’s Punch-out!! NES
H) Beat em ups – River City Ransom NES
I) Shoot em ups – Sunset Riders SNES
I can’t leave out TMNT Turtles in Time, it was the first game I bought with my own money and it’s still one of my all time favorites today!
A) Adventure – Bards Tale NES
B) Platformers – Super Mario Bros NES
C) Puzzle Games – Wheel of Fortune NES
D) Role-playing games – The Legend of Zelda NES
E) Racing Games – Mario Kart N64
F) Soccer/Football – Madden NFL 2000 PS
G) Sports Games – California Games NES
H) Beat em ups – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers SEGA
I) Shoot em ups – 1941 NES
6. While growing up, what gaming system did you have the most fun with? Are you guys still regular gamers?
(Allen) Even though the * SNES was my favorite I still think I had way more fun playing N64 with my family and friends. My cousins and I would play Wave Race together and my brother and I would play GoldenEye for hours just shooting rockets at each other, not to mention challenging each other to collect more stars in Mario 64 or get the maximum amount of hearts in Zelda Ocarina of Time.
Every game for that system seemed so special for some reason. Maybe it was the jaw dropping graphics for the time or just purely how fun and clever each game was. It’s always fun to pick that controller up every now and again to remember how strange and amazing it felt in your hands.
Yes I’m a daily gamer, I love PS4 so I purchase a lot of games and spend most of my time exploring open worlds and trying to collect as many trophies as possible. I’m a sucker for anything like Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Skyrim. I just finished up Ghost of Tsushima and somehow managed to get 100% completion in it!
(Brandon) I had about 5 solid years with my NES but the Playstation takes the cake for me. My first games for it were Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Tarzan. I spent many hours running through each of those games and would sneak out of my room at night down to the basement just to play more. I still have them all somewhere around here!
Yes I still game daily. It’s a big part of who I am, so its great for me to come home and play even if it’s for an hour. I love seeing how far games and graphics have come and happy to be a part of it. I currently play PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Some of my favorite games being Monster Hunter, Skyrim, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, anything RPG/Adventure.
7. What is your relationship with the online gaming world? Do you play online with your friends/family members/random gamers?
(Both) Yeah we play a lot online, especially with each other. We started a Conan Exiles server so we could keep connected with friends and family and ended up inviting some fans to it as well. It was really cool to go on quest with whoever was online and seeing all the cool things they would build.
Brandon and I went so far as to build an entire town filled with bars and wineries and would throw parties for everyone on the server. We always had random people galloping up to our drawbridge wanting to party, some things just don’t change, haha.
8. What are your finest memory/memories related to video games?
(Allen) This is my best and worst gaming memory all in one. My parents took me to Aladdin’s Castle arcade to play games as usual and when we approached the door we noticed they’d been shut down. We walked in and they were selling off their remaining arcade games.
They had 2 games left, I don’t remember what the first one was but my Dad said “We’ll take it” and bought the Aliens arcade cabinet for $200! I remember how excited we were as we carefully moved it into the basement and plugged it in. I never knew you could own one and here it was in my freaking basement!
That game was a focal point in my family’s house for many years, and it was especially heartwarming to see the next generation of kids play it and experience all the joy that I had growing up.
The machine burnt up recently, not sure whether it’s the monitor or somewhere in the circuitry. It must have happened during the ending when Ripley’s trying to throw the Queen into space with the cargo loader.
(Brandon) My finest memories related to video games would have to be playing N64 at my buddies house. There were 4 of us that all grew up in the neighborhood together and the N64 created some of the best moments.
We used to stay up almost all weekend when we would have sleepovers playing Smash Bros, GoldenEye, and Mario Kart. So many fun and heated moments haha. Some of those games show you who your friends really are. We still live close by and game regularly when we can.
9. What prompted you to start a YouTube channel?
(Both) Drinking and playing video games was something we were pretty familiar with already. We had our own separate channels on Twitch that weren’t really going anywhere so one day we decided to combine our creative energies and do a show in the same room together.
It was a lot nicer for our fans who wanted to watch both of us, they could watch our show and see our past videos all in one place. Having us both in the same room also allowed us to play off each other better and give our viewers a sense of what it’s like to hang out with us.
10. What is the goal of This Round’s on me?
(Both) The primary goal has been to create a fun environment that our friends, family, and fans can be a part of. Times are hard for everybody right now so we wanted to give them a chance to shut their minds off and come hang out in my living room to laugh for a few hours.
So the main thing became for us was not to take anything too seriously, especially ourselves. We wanted to play retro games because it brought back that sense of nostalgia for us and allowed us to bring that feeling to our viewers. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to start with Sega.
There were too many titles that we never got to play during childhood so we’ve been having such a great time with that. We wanted people to take this journey along with us, to crack a beer, kick their feet up, and watch two close friends get drunk and have the time of their lives.
11. Last but not least: any future plans or secret wishes?
(Both) Yes we have several plans for the future. We are in the process of setting up another studio at Brandon’s house so he can film his new series for TROM. It will be focused on horror games, mostly indie or lesser known titles.
It’s kind of a remodel of the show he had on Twitch but we’re adding some really cool elements to it so it’s even scarier for the audience. Our plans are to launch possibly by the end of November beginning of December.
Also coming soon will be our new co-op corner where we do full playthroughs of 2 player games. This was inspired by our 2 player arcade episode so we wanted to do more of that since most of the games we feature are single player only.
Our secret wish… In a few years we would love to take TROM on the road so we could do the live show for people all over the world and maybe even invite fans on stage to play retro games with us. We think it would be awesome to meet everyone and deepen that connection we’ve been trying so hard to build. We’ve been very fortunate to have such a supportive fan base and we would do anything to provide a better experience for them…and of course the beers will be on us!
Thanks again for the interview Andrew! We always have so much fun talking games with people. Your channel has been a beacon of hope for us since we started the show back in September and always love to stop by to see what kind of amazing game you pull from history.
So thank YOU so much for keeping the history alive and also for giving us a chance to tell ours. Thanks to everybody for all your support, we love you all and hope your all staying safe!
– Taverns and Brunedulf