We headed out to Melbourne’s Bartronica retro gaming bar to cover their GoldenEye tournament.

There’s something about multiplayer games that makes everyone think they’re the best. COD? I’m invincible. FIFA? I’m the Messi of digital football. And the same applies for the legendary GoldenEye. 

I must have beaten my brother hundreds of times. I am the Best. James Best. (I’ll show myself out.)

So on the eve of Bartronica’s lauded tournament, Jules and I walked into the retro gaming bar with our chests puffed out and our heads held a little too high.

The G.O.A.T. Source: James Bond Wiki.

Getting ready

We got there early to warm up. If you want to avoid injury, you must remember to stretch. So after a solid cardio and muscular routine, we got our fingers warmed with some 64 Mario Kart. I chose Bowser coz I’m a badass and Jules was something lame and I swear he was cheating the whole time and I let him choose the map so he already had an advantage and I hadn’t played in ages and I don’t lose at games and I’m the best at gaming and I came second but I don’t wanna talk about it and SHUTUP.

I promise I’m not a sore loser.

Anyway, has anyone ever been to Bartronica? It’s in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD and has about every retro game EVER. I felt like a kid in a toy or candy store, except instead of toys they had pinball and instead of candy there was beer and nachos, which is probably yummier anyway.

I don’t know if it was the beer or the nostalgia, but after a while I’d forgotten I was there to compete. In fact, I was so deep in Time Crisis 2 I wouldn’t have noticed if we’d entered World War Three.

The tournament

But the time for games was over. GoldenEye had begun. This was war.

Until I lost. In the first round. With 10 deaths in five minutes.

Yes, it seemed I was completely out of my depths. I was up against professionals. This was a serious tournament, and the only thing I had succeeded in was making myself look like an idiot.

Fortunately for me, after I wiped away the tears and apologised to my parents for betraying the family, I managed to find a way to have a really fun night (which isn’t too difficult in a bar filled with alcohol and awesome games). I ate more nachos. I played more Time Crisis. And most entertainingly, I watched Melbourne’s best GoldenEye players do their thing.

By the time the final rolled around, I was in a state of absolute awe. Never had I seen GoldenEye played in such an expert manner. Never had I seen a Cougar Magnum used so efficiently. Never had I craved shooting a laser so much in my life.

I am sure the winner – who completely outclassed everyone else – will soon be a celebrity of Kanye standards. Digital Fox got lucky though, as we managed to sneak an interview with him before the fame gets to his head. You can watch that, along with an interesting chat to Bartronica’s owner, here:

So there you have it! Bartronica hosts multiple gaming tournaments, including other cool shit like Mario Kart, which I’d definitely win (I haven’t learnt from my arrogant mistakes). It can be found at 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Maybe we’ll catch you there!