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…

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

Game Swap with Loppisapan

For the first time I decided to partake in a game swap with another fellow game collector. Because of the game selection, trust and postage reasons, I swapped games with Loppisapan, a dude that collects retro video games, comics, movies, toys etc. His blog name translates to “Flea Market Monkey”. That’s rad.

After a week of e-mailing back and forth, to make sure that both parts were content with the swap, we ended up with the following deal:

I’d send Heroes of Mana for the NDS, R-type Dx  for the GBC(cartridge only) and roughly 12 £ in exchange for Goldeneye, Probotector and Super Mario World for the GBA. I considered it fair as he could get 20-30 £ just for Probotector alone.

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Not only did I get these games, but he also sent me these awesome games and objects, to my surprise, as a bonus. I did know beforehand that he’d send me a bonus, but I never could’ve imagined that he’d be this generous! I felt a little bit ashamed as I didn’t send any bonus items myself… but I will next time we decide to swap stuff!

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is really fun and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets looked interesting on startup. In Pro Skater I made a lot of wicked tricks and stunts effortlessly and in Harry Potter I immedately started off meeting Dobby the House Elf. Poor Dobby… at least he had the honor of having Harry as his dearest friend.

He also sent me a lot of inserts, and I’m really weak for that kind of stuff, so here follows a gallery of them:

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I noticed this detail on one of the inserts. It’s so gallantly 80’s the way  it’s portrayed. Kind of like in this picture:

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I’m going to publish one post a week from now on, so that I can play more video games during the weeks at well- but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that things are going downhill for this blog. I’m planning on writing some guides for retro gaming, such as on the choice of  the best CRT TVs for gaming and I’ll try to get some guest reviews posted as well.

Last image from: http://www.liveforfilms.com/