Video Game Crafting: Watch Me!

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I opened up a 2 Euro watch and added a Nintendo Seal of Quality sticker as the background, and then I crudely marked the hours. It looks crude, but this is the best I could do with the tools I had (none, that is). I’m hoping to create my own custom video game- themed clocks, and I’ve done a few with discs as bases and even another World Map themed one on the base of a plastic stand for my wife before, so I have some experience at the least. I’ll have to design them in the computer first though, but I’ll be sure to show them off to you when they-re done. I really, really hope they turn out better than this one though!

Video Game Hunting: May You Find What You’re Searching For Part 3

I really hope you’ve gotten the little pun in the title by now. Hint: It’s May month’s recap!

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Can you believe it? This is my first every SEGA console, the SEGA Dreamcast. I vividly remember playing Ready 2 Rumble Boxing and enjoying it while being blown away by the graphics and the technology that was way ahead of it’s time. The advanced technology of it’s time, piracy, an inability to meet demands production wise (it sold out very fast, but ultimately in low numbers) and finally rock hard competition from the Playstation 2 lead to it’s downfall. Still, the Dreamcast has a solid fanbase and a great library of games (some were ported to other systems after the system’s demise) and people keep creating homebrews for it.

2015-05-25 19.08.27I got a white, non-yellowed system together with 2 Visual memory Units, 1 controller and 10 games. Unfortunately I can’t find the photo of the console itself, but here you can see the manuals in great shape2015-05-24 10.59.24. I also bought a Vibration Pack and a Japanese controller (as evident with the red “Dreamcast Swirl” and they work perfectly. The controller fits very nicely in your hands and the buttons are well placed. The vibration is solid and the VMU gives a very retro feel to the console, while at the same time being impressive. Some games show primitive title screens during gameplay, others, like Chuchu Rocket! have alternating moving images and rotating CD’s. Grapchic’s wise you could think “Brick Game Boy” and get a good sense of how it looks. The games use a different control scheme for 3D games, when compared to other consoles, because of there only being one analouge stick. In MDK 2 you turn around with the stick and use the A, B, X, Y buttons as “arrow keys”, think “standard PC FPS control scheme”. Rainbow Six uses the stick to turn around and the A button as if in a racing game, to move forward. It takes some time to get used too, but will feel natural after a couple of sessions. To top it all off I even got an RGB cable for it in the mix, and the image is really crisp!

2015-05-25 19.36.14  These are the games I got with the system:

Hydro Thunder, Blue Stinger, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, V-Rally 2: Expert Edition, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Hidden & Dangerous, ChuChu Rocket!, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, MDK 2 and an NTSC version of Rainbow Six, a Dream On demo disc came with the system, as well as the Dream Key that you used for Internet Access. A decent collection of games for the Dreamcast newbie, in other words! But I had to snag a couple of other games while I was at it.

unnamed (1)The first game is from my wife, she got it during a 40% sale and it’s none other than Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes which I used to play and enjoy on unnamed (2)the PC in Demo form as a kid. The second is Dead or Alive 2, which apart from it’s scantily clad females and the ever so gross Bass, is a really great fighting game.

 

Video Game Crafting: The Infinite Race Around The Hat

Super Mario Kart It’s done! Thank you Emily King for the idea! I wanted to add some kind of bond for the hat on top of the custom Game Boy stand that I’d made, and I got the suggestion to make one with a Super Mario Kart theme (which is an awesome suggestion by the way). What took time was settling on the design and then to actually print it. The circumference was larger than the average A4 sheet, so I had to print an extra black strip and Blu-Tack them together. Enjoy the results below! I know I sure am.

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As you can see I found a Wario sprite, even though he’s not in the game. That just shows how much of a Wario fan I am!

I also changed the SCART cable labels into something tidier. I printed new labels with my Dymo Label Maker using plastic paper:2015-06-01 13.31.06

Video Game Hunting: May You Find What You’re Searching For Part 2

Here’s the second part of Video Game Hunting: May You Find What You’re Searching For. This time I’ll present to the game finds of more recent nature, at least when it comes to production date. They were found in GAME, that both had a separate Retro Game sale of 25%, and more recently a Liquidation Sale where all accessories and consoles were at 20% off and all games, regardless of new or old in nature, were 40% off, and a couple of the games were at Members Only prices of around 2-3 £. There were also one game found in an electronic chain looking to clear it’s inventory too.

metal slug anthology I’m happy this one was still sitting on the shelf during a whole year before they finally had a sale where I got 25% off, saving on both the game and the shipping cost. Well, saving isn’t the correct word as I ended up spending money, but I think you catch my drift. Metal Slug Anthology is a collection of 6 games in the series and was a collection of all games that were released in the arcades thus far. As I love the Metal Slug series I had to get it, and I’m happy I did, as it’d be gone in the upcoming sale in a few weeks. The comedy and action in this game are stupendous and for a retro nut like myself this release is gold.

red steel1 I’ve heard that the Red Steel games are good and for 3 £ I got Red Steel 2 just for the heck of it. I don’t have much more info about the game other than what was in the back of the case, and for that price I went for it. I figured it’d be a game I’d eventually want to play anyways, and the disc and manual were in pristine condition. The case, not so much. Another game for such a small price was Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D for the 3DS. Having only heard splinter cellabout the Splinter Cell series a few times, and tested the first game in the series briefly (for the Playstation 2) I figured I should get this one. There’s a bit of a tear in the cover, but other than that the whole thing is in good condition, and a 2 £ price tag sealed the deal. And did I mention it’s in Threeee Deeee?! That’s epic, man.

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Gunblade N.Y. / L.A. Machineguns: Arcade Hits Pack are U.S.A. centric shooters where you gun down invading robots and such. It’s an arcade conversion of a SEGA- produced game, and since I’ve been eyeing this one for two years, and consider evetything SEGA (bar the new Sonic games, mind that I havent’ played them though) to be good I got this one. I also need another rail-shooter for my Wii U, my chosen platform for shooting games, and this one filled the slot very well. Nothing beats the smell of gasoline in the morning.

 

2015-05-24 10.58.37Finally I got Wii Play for… believe it, the Wii. This came with most, if not all, early Wii systems and I found out my brother-in-law would’ve given me his arguably better copy if I had just asked him for it. Alas, I got this for a small penny so it didn’t matter too much. The price for this title has dropped about 80% over here in the last year. I’m a sucker for these Mii games, even though the cover art for this looks like crud. I much prefer the cover and box of the Wii Music game more.

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Next is a Wario Amiibo that I’ve been wanting, but my lovely wife beat me to it and got it for me for 40% off! This is the only Amiibo I ever wanted really, and I’m looking forward to use him in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and also, hopefully, in other games if possible in the future. I love everything Wario, and this one is a little delicious!

Next comes Part 3! The Epic Finale! The Crown Jewel! The Best of the Best! The King of Kings! The Italian Stallion!

 

Nintendo World, New York City, April 2015

IMG_5502Here it is, almost two months later! While in New York City I visited Nintendo World (which Nintendo Nut wouldn’t?) at Rockefeller Center and I’m glad I did. While the upper stairs are mostly dedicated to Pokémon stuff (pretty much like the Pokémon Center of past) there are now also monters acting as a museum of sorts and an area where you could try out Mario Party 10. I’ll give you a virtual tour of sorts, though the real experience without a doubt beats this by far. Also, I haven’t photographed each and every nook and cranny in the building, so don’t expect to see everything there is in Nintendo World as I don’t want to ruin the magic for you. Click the images to make them bigger or open them in a new tab.

IMG_5487At the entrance we were greeted by Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask as they were promoting the remake on the 3DS. I was thinking to myself how much I’d like to have this cardboard cutout of one of the easily creepiest antagonists there is in video game history. And I’ve never even played the game! I do have it for the Gamecube in the Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition, and after having read the Majora’s Mask manga adaptation and watching this revival I feel even more of a desire to play it through. Well played, Nintendo, well played… Marketing Complete. You got my attention, and would’ve got my wallet too if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a version of Majora’s Mask already.

IMG_5489The lower floor was full of merchandise, and you could find everything from the newest video games to collectible figures and figurines and even custom clothing. I got a t-shirt with the cast of Super Mario Bros. on it. Neat! They had Amiibo’s and such and I figured I’d get a Wario one, but I had misread the release date. I thought “Where else to get a newly released Amiibo early than in Nintendo World?” but that actually requires the item to have been released, evidently, as I was a month too early! Anyhow, you could try out a lot of the newer Nintendo Wii U and 3DS titles on this floor too.

IMG_5488The Upper Floor mainly housed Pokémon merchandise, as in the good ole’ Pokémon Center days (there actually is a smaller Pokémon Center in Tokyo still, but now it’s only housed in 1 of it’s original 2 floors, at least it was when I was there in 2010) but there was more this time around, as they’d added a considerably bigger Museum part with one wall dedicated to all things The Legend of Zelda and, as you can see below, a monter with all the released handheld devices thus far. I’ll show you some of the items I found interesting myself.

IMG_5490They begin in chronological order, it seems, and they even have a Nintendo Micro Vs. System. That’s not something you see to often, and I have seen one online in a tattered old box and I believe the game was Ice Hockey or something akin to that. I would’ve gotten it had it not been priced at a whooping 50 Euros… I wonder who got the task to rally these in for Nintendo World, or if they were donated or purchased… Some look to be in very good condition but others looks worse for the wear, just take a look below.

IMG_5493Couldn’t they have found a Game Boy in better condition to showcase? I’m just kidding with y’all, this is the fabled brick Game Boy that survived an explosion during the Gulf War and it still runs Tetris flawlessly. If someone launches a bazooka at you, shield yourself with the closest to you Original Game Boy system. On a more serious note I’d reckon this item is showcased as a testament to the “Nintendo Quality” and also as some sort of item of morbid curiosity. “So that’s what a Game Boy would look like in an explosion… Wicked.” And here is the original Nintendo Power article for you to read, click to enlarge (or open it in a new tab):

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IMG_5495They had a few more or less rare Game Boy systems. The Game Boy Light, which is a Pocket with a frontlight installed to it and, due to popular demand, an LED Power indicator as the original Pocket didn’t have one much to the gamer’s ire. This one to the left is a special edition Astro Boy GB Light, and you’ve just got to love the transparency. Not only does it looks awesome on it’s own, but it really fits Astro Boy well. IMG_5496 Then we have this Pokémon Center Special Edition Game Boy Color which is gold as opposed to the other standard  Special Editions released (of which I have one too).IMG_5497 There was a similar Special Edition released in Japan and you can see it to the left; a Pokémon Center Special Edition Gameboy Advance. This kind of special editions  were IMG_5498normal back in the day but have been replaced by the more commonplace units of modern times (with prints of legendary Pokémon and such) that are released everywhere or exclusively in certain chains. And last but not least we have a Famicom Special Edition Game Boy Advance SP. This is what the Japanese got instead of the Nintendo Entertainment System one we got in the west. I’d love myself the NES themed one, if ever sold for a decent price…

IMG_5499I’d have wet myself if I ever got this Mario Kart Ride-on Vehicle as a kid, and for a price tag of 199,99 USD this can be yours… I mean your kids ride… right. It’s amazing the things you can get… I had no idea this kind of custom items existed as a kid. It might have to do the fact that very little, if any, of these merchandise made their way into our country. Spoiled kids.

IMG_5501And here’s the Demo area for Mario Party 10, and it was also on the upper floor. I never got to play too much of this game since we were about to eat lunch very soon and we were a big party (heh, you see what I did there?). I’ve heard mixed reviews about this game, some say it’s good, especially when in multiplayer, some say it’s a weak entry in the franchise. Myself I’d say, based on what little I actually played the game, that it’s decent nough to buy if you don’t have a Mario party game of preference yet. But if you have one you’re very fond of and that you pick forth every time your friends are over, then chances are you will get dissapointed.

 

Splatoon Global Testfire

The Splatoon Global Testfire was something largely unannounced, and I just so happened to log into the Wii U store at the very same day and managed to download it. I played at the last time slot (British Time) and my experience was mixed. While it was really fun I never got the hang of it and grew frustrated the longer I played the game. I never seemed to figure out how to play it efficiently and was splattered down in no time, constantly respawning. I found the unique mechanics difficult to get used to (like swimming in ink, loading your gun in ink, making sure not to get stuck in enemy ink or you’re instantly killed etc.) and I didn’t fully enjoy the game. I’d need a few hours more with it before I’d be able to tell if I really liked it or if I still were to be frustrated. Though it is an impressive game I think my pitfall was trying to play it like a mainstream FPS, which the game both is and isn’t. For a more comprehensive article, be sure to read SlickGaming’s post. For now, I’ll only present a few sub-par screenshots from my session. If you did test it during the Global Testfire, you’re eligible for a Download Discount!

splatoon1The enemy team spawning.

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A Squid mini game, much like those games where you jump up to higher platforms. This kind of Loading- minigames were patented by Namco  in -95 and they recently lost the patent this year, which explains why no one else did these and also why Nintendo were bold enough to create this for our amusement. 

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A screen of what the mini game itself looks like.splatoon3Constantly at the bottom of my team.  splatoon2I saw this screen much more often than I’d like to admit.