In our latest Antstream Arcade Twitch Superstar feature, we chat with another one of the wonderful people spreading the retro gaming glory of Antstream Arcade via streaming platforms. This week, we proudly present Steve, aka Retro Death Row, answering questions on his gaming history, favourite games, Antstream Arcade and more. You can catch Steve on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/theretrodeathrow and on Twitter @RetroDeathRow.
On with the retro inquisition!
Antstream Arcade: Hello, Steve! What are your earliest memories of gaming and your first games console?
Steve: Hello! My first gaming memory was Circus on the Atari 2600. I went to a friend’s house, and when I walked in, they were playing it. It’s not a great game but the fact they could play videogames at home whenever they wanted to just blew my mind. Shortly after that, my grandparents bought my brother and me a Nintendo Entertainment System – NES. That was hands-down the greatest Christmas of my life!
AA: What was the first videogame that captured your imagination?
Steve: I know this is the ultimate cliché, but the Legend Of Zelda on the NES has to be the one game truly responsible for my passion for games. I don’t think I truly understood its depth when I was a kid, but after 30 years of gaming, I can see why it had such a profound effect on me. The ability to go and freely explore while constantly rewarded with surprises for bombing random walls was exhilarating. It’s a classic that truly deserves the reverence it receives.
AA: What’s your favourite era for gaming?
Steve: The NES era just feels like the best for me. Even now, when I start a game I’ve never played before, it just feels natural. The sound chip, pixel art, controls… all of it just feels like home to me.
AA: On-the-spot time, Steve! Tell us your favourite game of all time!
Steve: Oh man, I always struggle to pick favourites, but I’ll say Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link because it’s a game I can pick up and play any day of the week and thoroughly enjoy. When I first moved to Twitch, I streamed Zelda II for a couple of months as I had set a goal to beat the game without dying. Since then, I’ve had six or seven deathless runs – I’m not a speedrunner by any stretch, but I do enjoy deathless runs.
AA: How did you start streaming?
Steve: I was more of a YouTube guy, and creators like The Game Chasers and Pat The NES Punk showed me that there were other people in the world like me that loved vintage games. Then, after a moment of inspiration from The Game Grumps, I decided to try out streaming and celebrated my fourth anniversary back in September. There have been many highs and lows, but I’ve loved it and made some life-long friends.
AA: How do you choose which games to stream?
Steve: My stream is more focused on comedy and entertainment than expert gameplay, so I pick games that give me material to joke about. One of the big fixtures on my channel was the original Oregon Trail game. There is sooooo much to work with in that game, pretty much all the diseases you can catch essentially break down into pooping yourself to death, and who doesn’t love a good poop joke?
AA: Indeed! What do you like about Antstream Arcade?
Steve: I FREAKING LOVE ANTSTREAM! I know I can be a little over-the-top about it on Twitter, but I really genuinely love the service. There are so many fantastic vintage games that I can play whenever I want and challenge my friends. I also have to mention how much I love that we’re seeing more homebrew and indie games on Antstream – I believe Antstream is the perfect environment in which to enjoy games like this. I’m stoked to see the changes that were announced
– it’s definitely moving in the right direction, and I expect the Antstream player base will grow a lot in 2023.
AA: Do you get a response streaming Antstream Arcade?
Steve: It’s great because, as a streamer, you can use it in so many ways. One time, I was putting a lot of work into improving my time in Rolling Thunder; other times, I’ll just play challenges from people in my community. In the process, we’ve all discovered new games that we often come back to.
AA: As a valued member of the Antstream Arcade streaming community, do you have any recommendations on how we can improve?
Steve: I would love to see Frogger on Antstream! As for improvements, I would looooove to eventually get online multiplayer on Antstream. The thought of being able to get on Antstream and destroy the great cities of America with my podcast/Let’s Play partner @itsbeeroclock would be AMAZING!
AA: We’ll get on it! Finally, Retro Death Row on Antstream Arcade, on a scale of 1 to 10, how geeky are you?
Steve: I stream videogames. I write and produce videos for a videogame magazine. I play Dungeons & Dragons over Discord. My wife and I play an MMO together. My three kids all play games. I have hundreds of videogames from the Atari 2600 to the PS4/Xbox One era. So… I’m probably a 12.
Even higher than Spinal Tap’s amplifier! Our thanks to Steve for his time – stay tuned for another Antstream Arcade streaming superstar profile soon! Meanwhile, to keep up to date on all things Antstream Arcade related, check out our Discord channel: https://discord.gg/antstream