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.

Advertisements

Cleaning up a Super Nintendo Controller and Composite Vs. RGB

Let’s get to Composite Vs RGB video signals on the SNES first.2015-12-14 18.42.47 Composite2015-12-14 18.47.54  RGB

Enough said. Get an RGB scart or similar for your system.

Not let’s get to the main show! When I got the SNES the controller was a bit stiff when you pushed the D-pad down and on the A-button. This is why:2015-12-14 18.08.53I used many, many Q-tips and cleaned the sucker out of what I thought may have been Coca Cola or something akin to that (God I hope it wasn’t diarrhea) and dust, and then I washed the buttons and the rubber in detergent. For the contacts I used an eraser and then a slightly damp Q-tip.

2015-12-14 18.05.36

And here is the beaute all cleaned up. And Super Mario World controlled perfectly after my little inspection. Awesome-SNES.

Game Hunting: This is the End…

…of 2015, so I’ll post whatever I’ve got since the last Game Hunting post!

Let’s start off with some Mega Drive games that I got as a pity-gift for myself since my right middle finger got dislocated at the middle of the finger. Say that 5 times in a row.

2015-12-09 18.29.34I got the sequel of Castle of Illusion, World of Illusion, which takes things even further beyond! Not only will you explore a vast World of illusion (as opposed to a mere Castle of illusion) but this time you get to play as my favorite Disney character, Donald Duck! Both of them use magic, though they only show Mickey using it on the cover. Goody-two-shoes… The game controls well and is of medium difficulty. The music is decent too, i doesn’t contain anything memorable but opts for a typical Disney-esque soundtrack with some kind of orchestrated soundtrack.

2015-12-09 18.29.44Oh-oh-oh-oh-o-o-o-oh-oh! Oh-oh-oh oh oh! Oee-yeee, Talespin! Oeeoo, Talespin! Friends for life through thick and thin, whit another tale to spin! The game contains the opening theme, believe it! It’s mediocre overall though. The gameplay is a tad uninspiring, the controls a bit stiff and the music a mesh between typical Mega Drive tunes and some kind of Carribean theme. It’s fun to pick up and play from time to time, but don’t expect wonders. Grab the controller, bear and grin it.

2015-12-09 18.29.51Sonic & Knuckles is a standalone game that gives Sonic and Knuckles a set of levels to complete together with a new story line. They meant to add all of this to Sonic 3 but where too short on time. Also, they decided that being able to play as the antagonist Knuckles would be kind of wrong, so they postponed this. The issue of adding this additional crap-ton of data to Sonic 3 which already filled up it’s allocated cartridge memory very well also aided them into making this decision. How can you describe this game in the best way… think of it as a tumor. It can either make its own thing, or you can add Sonic 2 or 3 on top of it to be able to add items and Knuckles into those games, effectively loading the content of the two carts together.

2015-12-10 17.35.03This is a milestone for sure, as this is my first ever Repro game. Streets of Rage 3 (in my opinion the best of the three) for the Mega Drive easily goes for 50-70 Pounds (or 70 Euro or more if you’re unlucky) for a complete or boxed version lacking the manual. So it’s really expensive indeed, but for me a must have for the Mega Drive. So what was the option then? A Repro version for 20 pounds. It has the Japanese box art on the cover and the European cover on the cartridge. And so far it’s been a blast to play! Nostalgia aside, this is an amazing game to own and in my opinion a must have for all Genesis/Mega Drive.

The cartridge isn’t of the best quality though, and though sturdy certainly doesn’t feel like the real deal. First of all it’s too smooth on its surface, and a bit hard to insert into the system even though it’s modded to be able to. And the back of it looks unusual too, and contains spelling errors…

2015-12-10 17.36.01

WARNING

Do not bend it, or submerge it in liquids

Do not bend it in direct sunlight or near aradiator or other source of heat

Be sure to take an occasiognal recess during extend play. ——-PLei

So, this tells us that they fit the ROM into a pirated cart or something alike, and that you can have it in sunlight and heat as long as you don’t bend it. I’ll also make sure to take an occasiognal recess, thanks PLei. Still worth it! The cover is of great condition and the box is an original reused one (without the tab!!) so yup. I’d get it again!

And here are the video games I got for Christmas/The Holidays!

2015-12-13 23.05.23I finally got  a Super Nintendo system! It’s in pristine shape and doesn’t have any yellowing whatsoever! My wife was too kind to get it for me, yay! All parts are original and it came with a Composite Scart. Being used to the crisp S-video or RGB signals of the other systems I immediately noticed the blurry difference, so I tried my Gamecube RGB scart on it and voilá! The image went from blurry to awesome in a few seconds. I’m already making lists in my phone of which games I want for it, but awesome as she is, my wife already had overheard my ramblings about video games and picked out two of them already…

2015-12-13 23.05.52When people drive in an infinite row and don’t give way, even when they should as in a roundabout, I call them Lemmings. And that’s the game I got first, Lemmings for the SNES! The controls are surprisingly good and not far from the Mac version I played all those years ago. I’m not too good on reading off those symbols and accidentally sent too many Lemmings to their deaths, and when I was screwed I released 99 Lemmings and pushed the self-destruct button. The intro though…. I really didn’t get it and it was sooo slooooow.

Next game is the instant classic Super Mario World. Even though I have Super Mario Maker I can’t put this one down. I play some of this to death (having reached the 4th castle in 2 sittings) and then I spend the rest of the afternoon playing Super Mario Maker. It’s the best balance, really. I can now also honestly say that the small GBA screen kills off some of the game play as the viewable area of the screen, so if you can get this one first and foremost. If you want a portable version then get the GBA port. Mario is voiced in it, after all, while in the SNES version he’s virtually mute.

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.

2015-06-01 14.59.01 2015-06-01 14.57.30 2015-06-01 14.57.36 2015-06-01 14.57.47

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

J&L Games, New York City

When in New York I stumbled upon this gaming store called J&L Games, by chance, and decided to check it out since I haven’t entered other areas who had retro game stores. The bigger chains didn’t really have that huge selection of NTSC games that I could play on my systems (which are games for the Gamecube, NES, the Game Boy lineup, Nintendo DS, and PS Vita) and now that they’ve ventured into newer platforms, that unfortunately are region locked, I don’t have that many reasons to enter those stores anymore. There might be the odd Nintendo DS game being clearanced (such as Aliens: Infestation which was a steal at 10 bucks) but now I can’t even seem to find that kind of games either. There only are “Language” games and stuff like “Driving School” and “Stop Smoking” games. That’s nothing to waste my money at. So imagine my glee when seeing this store!

I’ll give you a rough walkthrough, and even though the prices were what you could imagine in a game store with a physical location, with Ebay prices being what they are, I still thought that it was worth entering. Most of the new games were decently priced too.

IMG_5730When entering you can see some Wii U games and peripherals at the left, and they had a nice selection too. That Mario figure at the back was for sale too! As with all the images in this post, you can enlarge the image by clicking it, or by opening it in a new tab (right click and choose to open it in a new tab). The setup was clean and tidy. No dust on the shelves either! I’ve never seen that many Wiimotes with special designs in the same place either. That’s neat.

 

IMG_5731

 

They also had lots of Amiibo’s for about 15 bucks each. They usually went for close to 20 bucks in the GameStops I visited, so I was impressed that they didn’t charge more for them. Some, like the Villager and other “rare” and elusive ones were priced at about 45 bucks or so, if I recall correctly. I can’t figure out the prices on the tags as they’re invisible in this picture. I didn’t get any, even though they’re signicifantly cheaper when compared to Sweden, since the only one I want is the Wario one, The others aren’t interesting to me at all, though Mega Man and Samus are awesome.

IMG_5733They had this huge Mario (statue?) at the entrance. I took a picture with it but I don’t want to show off my face like this on the Internet, you know, all those things they told you about that kind of stuff when the Internet was still young still affects my mind. Anyhow, this didn’t seem to be for sale, and I can’t really imagine how you’d take this one with you. I’d reckon shipping would be cheaper if you’d just pay for an extra plane seat for it! Not to mention I’d guess something like this would cost between 200-500 dollars. That’s not any money I’d like to pay for a Mario figure. A Wario one is a different story though…

IMG_5734Look at all these Game Boy games!! When getting into retro territory the prices tend to skyrocket, as was the case with these games, and even among those who were decently priced I didn’t find anything I liked too much, or I already had them. The same goes for the Game Boy Advance games. I didn’t get any loose Nintendo DS games, I only ever bought a loose cart since it had the manual before (Sonic Colors) so I stayed away from them. This reminds me, I need 20 more clear Nintendo DS cases… There are some Game Boy games of mine who still need custom boxes, and one “82 in 1″ compilation (Lies!! There are only 10 unique games or so in it!) that needs a custom case design.

IMG_5738Games everywhere! They had games for the following platforms, though I may have missed one or two of them: NES, SNES, GB, GBA, PS, PS2, PS3, PS4, GCN, N64, Genesis, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, NDS, N3DS… Did I miss something? Yeah, I’m sure I missed something. Anyhow, you get the big idea. The NES games did cost a fair bit, as they pretty much only had quality titles in great condition, and most of the quality GCN titles too, though Wario World had the standard price which is seen both in the US and Europe (around 20 dollars or so). They also had a few boxed NES games too.

IMG_5740The Game Boy systems carried a hefty price tag of around 60-80 dollars, though I’d guess the pro is that you can try them out and feel them before buying them. They also seemed to be in good condition. I eyed that Game Boy Printer but got cold feet as I’m hoping to get one for cheaper. They also had a good few Japanese import titles, something taht isn’t too common I’d believe. I only saw imports in Pink Gorilla, though I’ll admit I didn’t look to carefully for them in other stores either. I have a Yellow Brick Game Boy (follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow, follow, follow follow, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy) and would like to get my hands on one with the original colors and the transparent one.

IMG_5741And here you have the Playstation Vita games, who were decently priced. Can you spot The Walking Dead: The Second Season?

I hope you liked this virtual tour of sorts. Make sure to visit the store, the prices may match other physical game stores but the experience was great. I think I’d have bought more games if I hadn’t decided to buy selected titles instead in January.

Game Room Update: Photo Frame

I’ve wanted to emulate that video game store feeling for quite some time, for nostalgic reasons, and one way of doing that is using a screen to play gameplay footage of “retro” games in the background.

IMG_4847

Initially I thought of using a fat CRT TV or something like that, as that’s what they used to replay taped game footage in the stores I used to visit as a kid, but they’re bulky and there are no economical ways to replay the footage if you wouldn’t connect it to a VHS player.

The criteria I wanted fulfilled were the following:

  • A screen of small size
  • The ability to playback video and sound without additional hook-ups
  • A sleek look and not too big, but not too small either

I found this in this Hama 15” screen, which is really huge for being a digital photo frame! It came with a remote, which facilitates things even further, and looks sleek and has a good picture quality, and decent speakers.

I had some problems with it at first, as I used Cyberlink Powerdirector to edit the videos but that led to them being converted into huge files of easily 3-4 times their original sizes. The encoding that was used, even though this photo frame is supposed to handle AVI, MPEG-1 and MPEG- 4 well, made the system unable to play up the videos too. Usually  it’d play the sounds only, which was a bummer.

This time I downloaded some gameplay videos and directly converted them into AVI files in 480p, which gave a good result that was playable on this device, without editing them and whatnot. This also kept the file size down.

Here you have the final result:

IMG_4850

The screen playing gameplay footage of Sonic the Hedgehog 2IMG_4846

Super Mario Bros. 3 Overworld Map IMG_4849

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 title screen IMG_4853Even some Arcade delight as in the Japanese version of Donkey Kong! I honestly can’t see the difference between this and the original version…

The following games were included into the reel: Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong (Arcade), Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage 3, Rampage (Arcade), Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land, The Legend of Zelda, Pacman, Pokémon Red. Super Mario Sunshine, Terminator 2: The Arcade game, TMNT IV: Turtles in Time.

More are yet to come, and these were the first ones I came to think of when I factored in games I like and games I have a nostalgic connection to. I tried to mix games from different consoles and platforms.

The files are in AVI format and range from 70 – 500 mb (the smallest file being Super Mario Bros. 3 and the largest SSMB 4 for the Wii U) and range from between 2 minutes to 20 or so minutes. The colors display perfectly and the picture has no lag, 480 p is a great quality for this photo frame and the sound is superb.

The Original Donkey Kong

Donkey KongYou’re looking at him. Yes, that is the original Donkey Kong. Who’d know that Cranky Kong (he’s not only cranky, look how he moves that crank!) is the one who kidnapped Pauline and pestered Mario all those years ago!

Well, who’s the modern Donkey Kong then? An imposter? No, I’ll let you in on a secret. He’s Cranky Kong’s (the Original Donkey Kong’s) grandson. Are you starting to get it? The current Donkey Kong is said to be the son of Donkey Kong Jr.:

DONKEY

 

Here’s the complete lineage from father to son, not including Diddy Kong and all other misfits in the Kong family, compiled by yours truly. It’s mind boggling isn’t it? Twisted everything around in my head when I first got to know about it.

Alright. I know you love those misfits. And you probably enjoy gaming, reading this, so enjoy:

DKFamilyPic(There are more of them misfits, but I can’t be bothered finding a picture of them all in a family photo, so this’ll do).