• Graeme Mason

Meet The Colony: VeeKiraRay

Whether it’s the high score tables, challenges or just forming friendships, Antstream Arcade is all about community and bringing gamers both young and old together. With our carefully-curated selection of retro classics the starting point, there’s a whole new virtual neighbourhood at the heart of what we do. For our next gamer profile, we present the legendary Veli-Matti, aka VeeKiraRay! Why not friend him up, and throw a challenge his way – if you dare!


Make sure you stay tuned to the end for some of his hints and tips on this week's tournament: Ghost Pilots, Make It Count!



Bio

Name: Veli-Matti

Age: 32

Antstream Arcade Handle: VeeKiraRay

Twitter: @VeeKiraRay

Occupation: Programmer

Location: Finland

First Gaming Love: NES

Favourite Games on Antstream Arcade: Battle Lane Vol.5, Dark Seal, Wizard Fire, the CJ The Elephant games

Favourite Challenges: Bubble Bobble, Snack Dragon; No Fly Zone, Plus Alpha; and Big Mac, Super BurgerTime


The Nintendo Kid

Our latest retro gamer fell in love with gaming as a tender four-year-old, when he first experienced the wonder of a Nintendo Entertainment System – better known as the NES. “I remember being amazed by all the things happening on the screen: the graphics, sound effects and awesome music,” recalls Veli-Matti, who hails from the north European country of Finland. “I probably could only go through one or two levels in Super Mario Bros – but that didn’t discourage me from trying!” It was an inauspicious but telling start for a man who has today become the king of the high scores on Antstream Arcade.


Growing Up

With that NES console held by his elder brother, Veli-Matti had to wait until 1997 to possess his own console, a Sony PlayStation. “I remember being blown away by Final Fantasy VII’s story, despite the fact I didn’t quite understand all the words!” he grins. When Veli-Matti’s brother purchased a PlayStation 2, he traded his PlayStation in, surprisingly for an older console. “I got a SNES with some games, and started buying more games.” After discovering a love of RPGs with Final Fantasy, Veli-Matti was soon getting into great role-playing adventures such as Illusion Of Time, The Secret Of Evermore, and his favourite game of all time, Chrono Trigger. “For the art style, music and games, the time of the Super Nintendo was my favourite era for gaming.” he declares.

The Collecting Kid

While Veli-Matti owns a credible set of favourite games, he doesn’t collect much these days due to a lack of space – although he still fosters a weakness for Nintendo’s cartridge-based games. “I do still like to purchase games physically for the Switch, but for disc-based versions I tend to look if there is a digital version available. Having said that, I have been thinking of getting some of the analogue HD retro consoles, which might spark my interest in collecting games for the NES, SNES and perhaps the Gameboy.”

Finding Antstream Arcade

“I found the Kickstarter pretty late and was lucky that there were still spots available,” admits Veli-Matti, who is an Eternal Backer on the service. “To be honest, the streaming aspect worried me initially, but once I logged in and was able to test it out, all my suspicions went away immediately. The initial launch of games was massive, and it keeps updating with new games, challenges and tournaments.” Veli-Matti can be seen every week on Antstream Arcade, trying out a new game or honing his skills as he homes in on another high score spot. “It’s my go-to place to experience retro gaming as it’s easy to start up and play something for either a short time, or for the whole evening.”


Kid In A Candy Shop

For Veli-Matti, the discovery of new games and platforms has been one of the marvels of Antstream Arcade. “Almost all the games and systems are new to me, so I’m like a kid in a candy shop!” he exclaims. “I’d never played Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST and very little on the Mega Drive. Arcade and Atari 2600 I did, but very few compared to those on Antstream.” Having experienced PC gaming on his family’s 386 computer back in the Nineties, Veli-Matti is excited to potentially seeing DOS games take a bow on our service – watch this space!

The Kid Who IS King

Veli-Matti, under his handle of VeeKiraRay, is the unofficial king of Antstream Arcade high scores. So, what’s his secret? “Tough question, which I probably don’t know a definitive answer,” he replies modestly. “I tend to stick with one game until I’ve completed it, or had my fill.


So, for a game like Wizard Fire, which I think has been one of the hardest to complete so far, it probably took at least ten hours of playtime before I was able to play it through on one continue.” Veli-Matti utilises save states to practice difficult sections, test a game’s boundaries and figure out enemy behaviour. “That gives you much more wiggle room when things don’t go as planned, and after giving it a fair go, I dive into wikis, guides and playthrough videos to try and fill in the gaps.”


It’s a dedication to his craft that we can’t help admire, and Veli-Matti has a few interesting suggestions for Antstream Arcade, too. “I would love to see more community interactivity in the application, with options such as online multiplayer in a split-screen head-to-head challenge. A personalised landing page with a shareable playlist would also be great!”


Tournament Tips: Ghost Pilots

With Antstream Arcade’s latest tournament, Ghost Pilots, debuting this weekend, what better person to get tips on this tricky shooter than our king of the high scores? Here are VeeKiraRay’s top hints for the SNK game. Good luck everybody!



 Don’t worry about the timer

It’s just there to prevent you score spamming against the boss. You actually have plenty of time.

 Your bombs also block enemy shots

Use them as a defensive manoeuvre.

 Try and avoid the S power up

It makes your shot more powerful, but it goes through a single enemy and only stops if it hits another.

 Don’t be afraid to take a few runs without shooting

Just dodge and play through to get a feel of enemy behaviour.

 Use them or lose them

You get two bombs to start, and three when you respawn. But if you die, they are lost, so better

to use them than lose them.


Our thanks to Veli-Matti for his time.


Stay tuned for another Antstream Arcade gamer profile soon!


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