The Wicked Console Stack

consoles

 

This is a stack-up of the consoles that I currently have- though that Sega Mega Drive (which wasn’t faulty since I used the packed-in NES power adapter which thankfully didn’t fry it) will be given away as I’ll use a modded Japanese unit which can play games from all over the world. Having a Japanese Mega Drive is awesome too as it sports that reddish look- which coincidentally is the design I thought was here in Europe too but ultimately I was proven wrong. I will keep that awesome box and the controllers that came with it though, and I’ve bought new refurbished controllers for it too. I took this picture right before our move into the house.

As you can see there is a box with Wii U peripherals beneath the Wii U unit- as I couldn’t balance the consoles in a better way and since the two stacks would look off I opted to put that beneath those three consoles to make it look better.

Video Game Hunting: Stay Away, Angry Sun!

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Image from gamesradar.com

It’s Summer Time, and for most of us this means vacation, and a chance to get to play more video games, if it weren’t for travelling and all those other things one has to do. Ah, I can’t play the stationary consoles outdoors, and the weather is nice so I have to be outdoors. Let’s play on the handhelds then! No, I’m required to enjoy this new and exotic country I’m visiting… That means the new and exotic lands of this game will have to wait…

To sum it up I’d conclude that wintertime is a better time to play video games, but don’t forget the surge of flea markets and the likes, as well as last-minute garage sales to scour in search for more video games. If you don’t have enough already, that is (I do, but I can’t stop myself, it’s pathological). This month’s haul is largely from the last 40% sale on GAME (with 20% off on accessories and consoles) and later on, 50% on all goods, and last, but not least, a Liquidation Sale as they went out of business after filing bankruptcy when all games and accessories were on 70% sale!

This post has been delayed by life and things like that, not to mention by how huge it is! This months haul is a record thus far, and it clearly marks some of my issues as a gamer and a collector.

2015-06-01 12.35.32I had cropped this image and I can’t understand why it was imported this way. And I frankly don’t give a damn, as I’m too lazy to correct this digital mistake. Anyhow, this here video game is Carmageddon 64, a pretty decent port of the PC game called Carmageddon 2. Being a fan of the Carmageddon franchise as a whole I decided to get this copy, and it plays very well. Bar the very low framerate, when compared to it’s PC brother, and the lower resolution, it feels the same. What striked me as odd was the inclusion of both fat and thin green zombies and red blood. Yes, not green as in the censored PC version, but red. That’s not very “Nintendo of the 90’s” at all.

2015-06-01 12.35.55Lumines Plus is another game that I’ve ogled, and for a small price I got this into my collection. It’s actually a fun and odd platformer which tries to look very modern, and it has some kind of contemporary look to it even today. The oddest part of it, besides the gameplay, is the music tracks who range from anything from generic electronic music tracks to actual music tracks with singers. The genres vary greatly in my opinion, but so far I haven’t heard rock and hiphop and the likes. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you’re a puzzle fan. If not you’ll just end up getting annoyed at the innovative gameplay style and especially at the odd choice of music tracks. I guess they tried to much to be an “everybody’s puzzle game”.

2015-06-01 12.37.21What a big blank space there is around the cartidge, what a waste. Thank you, WordPress. Anyhow, Astro Boy is one of the hidden gems on the Game Boy Advance system and I’d heard that it’s a great platformin action game. And boy did it deliver! The graphics, sound effects and the gameplay are all great. The story itself is interesting and light enough to draw me in, and has given me the urge to check out the Astro Boy franchise myself. If you find this one decently priced I’d say pick it up- you won’t be sorry. And if you would dislike this game something would be wrong with you, I think. I wouldn’t be to blame, I’d say. While we’re still talking about Game Boy Advance games… stack the heck away from Shrek Swamp Kart Racing.
2015-06-01 12.35.45Official Nintendo 64 Expansion Packs are way too expensive, man and woman. Good thing they had that sale that made this one unit affordable. This device is inserted into the Nintendo 64 to give it more RAM (4mb if I recall correctly, please correct me if I’m wrong, or don’t, have it your way, gosh). This allows for a few select games to output in higher resolution, of which I only have one (Pokémon Stadium 2). I’ve stayed away from Donkey Kong 64 (which technically shouldn’t didn’t require the Expansion Pack, if it wasn’t for a certain part of the game freezing without it). since it needs one of these.

2015-06-01 12.36.08I got myself another new-in-box SEGA Dreamcast Controller. It’s mint and never used, complete with a plastic bag and the manual. There are many of these around on Ebay and the likes, so getting a mint original Dreamcast controller never is a problem. The prices are decent in Ebay too, but when you can get 20% off that price and save on shipping… why not go for it? Now that I’ve got 4 controllers I can play Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear in Deathmatch Mode with 3 buddies. Too bad no one will want to. I tried that mode with my brother and the maps are way too huge for that small amount of players in Local Play. I’ll have to get other games, like Power Stone or something, instead.

2015-06-09 17.41.26Resident Evil 4… what have I driven myself into. I’m notorious amongst my friends and family for being easily spooked by this genre, so I’m not really sure what made me grab this one. It might be the will to conquer my fears… or so I hope, since the other option would be true insanity. I hope this will bring me many hours of fun and not soiled pants instead…

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Next up is XII Stag, or Twelve Stag (or 12 Stag) if you will which is a vertical shooter. I really love those arcade-style games and they’re one of the reasons why I love the Playstation 2 too; there simply are a great lot of arcade ports for it. And they usually go for cheap too! They’re easy to pick up and play, and usually you get Free Credits too. That’s cheap arcadin’!

2015-06-09 17.43.52This is the definitive version of Monopoly with animations and gameplay that’s limited to 2 players only! I lied when I said that it’s the definitive version though… as you’ve figured out you can only play as 2 players in this game which limits the fun I’d reckon. But being a Monopoly fan I needed to pick this up for cheaps. Fo’ Cheapz! And it has both the classic and World Edition boards.

 

2015-06-09 18.11.05Zombie Revenge is one of those games that go for a higher price on the Dreamcast. This sale made me able to buy it without burning a hole through my wallet and, subsequently, my pocket. And it’s a really fun game! The Bare Knuckle mode is by far the best, and is a mode where you use your fists to defeat all those disgusting monsters and zombies. I still haven’t really understood what the revenge is about though…

2015-06-09 18.10.59This is yet another vertical shooter, Castle Shikigami II: War of the Worlds (not like H.G. Well’s piece, mind you) which Play It has released. I’ve yet to play this one, but when I come over these for the cheaps I have to get them. Chances are really good that they’ll be awesome. This one is also one of the finds during GAME’s Great Final Sale. I’m lucky few people even care to get these Old School-style arcade games; that means I get them instead!

N2015-06-11 17.40.49ext is Metal Gear Solid 3: Substinence, which contains a bonus disc that was pre-order or something like that in the US and Japan. It’s a fleshed out version of Snake Eater, and even though I thought I snagged it for kind of cheap in a thrift store it turned out not to contain the bonus disc.  I got it since you need Substinence to live… at least that’s my excuse. I mean, I’m no Snake Eater, right? The Europeans got the bonus disc either way since they had to wait for it for longer.

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Next in line to present to you is none other than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This is my favorite version of GTA thus far simply because it’s based on Miami Vice and since it takes part in the 80’s (which I love) this is the definitive version for me. I love the music selection too and I’ve always liked that the type of car you get predetermines which station it’ll be tuned into. While I’m not much for breaking the law, shooting and driving over innocents and the such, the free roaming world is a very fun thing gameplay-wise, and “borrowing” cars to crash never gets old.

2015-06-24 23.09.00Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a game my wife has wanted to get for a good while now, and during that sale we snagged it. Adventure games like this one always have a tendency to drag me in. I think it has to be the Indiana Jones in me that needs his fix. He’s shackled thight enough not to be able to escape and actually make me embark on real dangerous adventures, thank God, but I’m humane enough to grant him at least this much.

2015-06-24 23.09.49Some Nintendo Entertainment System dust sleeves! These were dirt cheap, and that’s a great thing considering they’re supposed to guard against dust. I took these two since they were the only ones left on the shelf. I asked the clerk if there were any more left. He then asked how many I wanted. I said “all there is.” He then answered that only these two remained. I left that GAME store baffled. I’m still not sure what the point was of asking me if I wanted any more of them if there were none else left than these two.

2015-06-24 23.13.19Microsoft Puzzle Entertainment Pack is something I envision in very much the same way as they’ve portrayed how your mind will become after having played the game on the cover of the box: as a mess. It’s weird that Microsoft ported some of their PC games to the Game Boy Color. It’s weird. It heinous. It’s a testament of madness! And that’s why I got this complete game. It’s too weird to pass on and I actually seem to have low standards when it comes to gaming (I enjoy the NES game Golf a bit too much) so I think I’ll like this one.

2015-06-24 23.10.39This is the only decent Sega Dreamcast game they had left and that I wanted to get: Milennium Soldier: Expendable. This is a top-ish view run and gun game where the tagline tells you what you need to know (something in the lines of “don’t ask, don’t stop, just shoot.”). This is a port of a port of an arcade game (portception) and plays very much like one, with credits, a second player being able to jump in anytime, and bosses and weapon upgrades and such. That sounds awesome!

2015-06-24 23.17.27  I love the Die Hard movies (for sure the first three ones, and even Live Free or Die Hard [but not so much Die Hard 4.0]) and when I saw Die Hard: Vendetta for the Gamecube I bought it. I’m hoping for a decent first person shooter and not something like Die Hard Trilogy for the Playstation. Even though that one is somewhat nostalgic it hasn’t aged well at all.

2015-06-27 16.28.01You’re not hallucinating, folks. I’ve bought a PC game, Command & Conquer: The First Decade. Before older console games became cheap enough my main gaming platform was the PC. Either I got cheap games that looked fun enough (Like good ones like MechCommander and Earth: 2140, or bad ones like Krazy Ivan) or I got them through friends (let’s just call that “lending through charred discs of information”). One of the top picks is the Command & Conquer franchise, with Red Alert being my favorite. This compilation contains everything released during the first decade, or so it claims. I got it at a flea market complete, and I’m eager to try it out.

2015-06-27 16.29.49It may be difficult to see, but this cart actually is Pocket Music for the Gameboy Advance. It’s your standard mixboard which is, to me, a bit difficult to learn due to the limited buttons of the system. Mixing is both easy and difficult; if you know which beats to use you can insert them easily. Knowing which tunes are which is the challenge though… I dig the inclusion of a GBA version if “My Name Is” by Slim Shady. That’s really nice!

2015-06-27 16.32.08Next up is Mercury Meltdown Revolution, a game I’ve heard is a hidden gem. You guide this mercuroid blob throughout stages that are sensitive to the motions of your Wiimote. I say, this blob sure looks like a Flubber! I bet you’d forgotten about that movie, no? This one is certainly darker than its Flubbi bethren and gives off a noble look. Amyhow, if you like motion controls and puzzles, look no further. Stop. No, stop looking further. Come ON!!

2015-06-27 16.33.00  Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward is an action game where you kill zombies and such. It looks great, through I don’t expect the gameplay to be stellar by any means, but it’s supposed to be decent. I’ve yet to play this one so I don’t have too much to say about it other than it looks fun. Playstation 2 games are dirt cheap, which means you can gamble when you get games on the system.

2015-06-30 15.53.57Is this one good? I’ve heard about the Fallout games a whole lot and I’ve yet to try any of them out. I definitely think I have a strong anough PC for this one, so I thought I’d see what the hype is all about in this the 3:rd game in the series. It also came very, very cheap at a thrift store, so yeah. That’s the story of how this one got into my possession. Let’s see how I fare in a post apocalyptic world (not so good. I’d guess)!

 

2015-06-30 15.54.09I got Sly 3: Honor Amongst Thieves! Platformers are my thing, and I won’t say no to good 3D platformer like this one. Also found at a thrift store for CHEAPS and when I got to the cash register they put it in at 50% off so it was even cheaper than I thought. You could even say it was a steal… heh. Man, that be nice, y’arr! Though me not be thinkin’ there be no honour amongst the thievery gentlemen, no, y’arr, they be dishonest like the worst of vermin, see.

2015-06-30 15.53.48I really used to play Diablo II a lot when it was new-ish back then. I never got very far, neither did I ever do that great, but raiding the maps and searching for stronger weapons and cooperating with my brother doing all that was a lot of fun. As with all PC games it’s not that certain a thing that the CD Key will work but I’ll give it a chance. I chose the Necromancer to be able to keep my distance and summon Skeleton Warriors and  Clay Golems to fight for me. Letting others fight my battles fits my game style much better and being a Summoner is more my cup of tea.

2015-06-30 15.55.01I also snagged these older Super Play issues, the first one is from January 1997 I presume and recaps the Game Year of 1996, which is insanely awesome. The other one leads you through the Console War of XBox, Playstation2 and the Nintendo Gamecube. As we all know they’re great on their own (with the Gamecube being the best system in my opinion) but as expected the Gamecube sold much, much less than the other systems.

I’d like to end this post with a few lines about blank spaces. Recognize the song? An E-cookie will be handed out to those giving the right answer:

“Cause we’re nerds and we’re reckless
We’ll collect things way too far 
Don’t buy things that are tasteless,
Games like Shrek riding in his swampy kart
Got a long list of games left
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But these images have too much blank space baby
WordPress is to blame.”

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.

 

Beta Fanaticism

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Are you one of those, like me, that often is more amazed by Betas than the finished product?

Then I’ve got some gold for you.

Definition: Software almost ready to be released that still contains bugs. The game is stable enough for reviewers and to be shown at exhibits.

Developers sometimes have private beta testing that you can apply to join. Other times, they make it an open beta that is usually available to download on the game site.

Now that we’ve got the definition out of the way, let’s talk about Betas.

What I find interesting and stimulating with betas is the thought process. As you’ve seen in my post “An Insight Into the Creation of the Pokémon Games“, I find things like that fascinating. You get to see a window into the mind of the creative process of talented people.

There are two sites I frequent in my endeavors to get that peek into their brains:

http://www.unseen64.net/

and

http://www.nintendoplayer.com/

While Unseen 64 has betas and unreleased data from games of all platforms, Nintendo Player focuses on Nintendo (obviously, duh).

Here’s a comparision between the Beta and Alpha versions of Mario Kart 64:

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If you want to read more about Betas and such, written by me, you can read “White City, Where Art Thou” and “Metroid: Zero Mission“.

Images from: http://www.unseen64.net and http://www.themushroomkingdom.net