The Wicked Console Stack

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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.

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.

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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…

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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.

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.

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.:

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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).

 

 

Unlikely Versus No. 10

mega man vs mega man x martianoddity

 

Mega Man X vs. Mega Man

I was requested to make a Mega Man vs. Proto Man Unlikely Versus a good while ago, but they’re too dissimilar in a sense, and I couldn’t really put my finger on why I felt that way. They’re kind of “brothers”, with Proto Man being a robot created by Dr. Wily using the blueprints of Mega Man, though he’s not much stronger bar his shield. And he can’t absorb powers either. Anyhow, I wanted someone with a bit more in common, so I chose, as I’ve done in the last two Unlikely Versus posts, to use two markedly different characters based on the same idea, which is why I choose to pit Mega Man X against his original senior, the Blue Bomber- Mega Man.

Their shared background:

Mega Man came first, and then years later Capcom created one of the most successful revamps of a video game character to date- Mega Man X, in an effort to breathe new life into the franchise. While they continued creating Mega Man games, X was where their main attention was. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just call the original Mega Man simply “Mega” and the revamp “X“. They’re similar in the way that they’re the same character, both created by Dr. Light, but with different stories and personalities. Mega is more cheerful, and not initially created to be a weapon, while X is more quiet, reserved and serious, and as far as we know, he was created to be a weapon for peace. While Mega took on the cape himself to be a hero, X never had a choice in the matter. Mega is part of a team battling Dr. Wily while X is part of the Maverick Hunters, some kind of military group who hunts down Mavericks, Reploids (robots like X and even Mega are) who have been infected by a computer virus and are now evil in nature. The Mavericks follow the former no. 1 hunter, Sigma, who got “infected” first. At least that’s how the short story goes, if I recall correctly.

Their strengths:

Mega Man is a cheerful and fearless robot hero who can copy a good few powerups after defeating his enemies, sometimes even modifications with his own twist. He can also use Rush, his trusted robot dog, to help him get to hard to reach environments with Rush acting as a Jet, Submarine or Coil. He can implement Rush into his design as evidenced by later installments in the series. He can also shoot a Charge Shot from his Mega Buster, and slide to reach narrow paths. There’s also the possibility to gather E Tanks almost limitlessly and use them for instant recovery. Despite his cheerful nature he’s seldom seen making mistakes.

Mega Man X also absorbs his fallen enemies’ abilities and attacks, but lacks Rush. But what he lacks in Rush he more than readily packs in his armor upgrades who give him better and better abiilities, like increased defence, Dashing, Double Jump etc. He can carry 4 Energy Tanks usually, and also has the ability to increase his base Energy as well. His X buster is stronger than Mega’s, and boasts of an improved fire power and three different kinds of Charge Shots, as well as one final grand Charge Shot which is aquired later in the games. He can also control a few robot suits as well, both as a means of movement, defence and attack. He’s serious and valiant, and has a knack to rush into opponents much stronger than himself, sometimes needing the aid of Zero to get out of there alive.

Their weaknesses:

Mega Man has an overall lower defence when compared to X, especially when taken into account the latters armor upgrades. His maneuverability is also impaired as he’s slower and less nimble when compared to his revamp counterpart. He’s very weak when it comes to spikes! A single tap and he explodes instantly.

Mega Man X is too rash at times, and his improved movement capabilities can make him prone to running into enemies if not too careful. He, too, carries an enormous weakness to spikes, and will self-detonate of he’s even scratched by the tip of one of them. He can’t fly either and moves slower in water when compared to a Mega who uses Rush.

Verdict:

All things considered,X has more fire-power, more versatile movements and a greater defence. All in all, even though Mega Man would’ve gotten a full stock of E Tanks, he’d be greatly outmaneuvred, even when taking into account his brief advantages in water and in air. He simply wouldn’t last as long, and his future counterpart, who was built as an improvement and as a pure war machine with a heart, is intended to be an improvement over the original after all. X would annihilate Mega… so:

Mega Man X emerges as the winner!

 

Images from: nintendo.wikia.com and megaman.wikia.com

Nostalgic Toys R’ Us Ads

My brother sent me these images of old ads from Toys R’ Us, and man do they bring me a nostalgia kick! I’m not from the US but Toys R’ Us used the same kind of advertisement style over here with the same fonts, layout and colors, back then.

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The Future is here! It’s always such a delight to read such bold announcements from the past, and this is no exception. Having a Nintendo 64 with Super Mario 64 was the thing I remember. We did have a N64 but no Mario 64 though… I wonder why… but we used to play them at friends’ places. Seeing Mario in 3D was magical, and not having seen anything in 3D before, if you count out Jaws in Back to the Future, this game was most impressive.

We used to have Fighter’s Destiny, Dark Rift and Pilotwings 64 amongst others, though.

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I can’t tell if these ads were in the same magazine or not, but it wouldn’t be odd if they were, considering that this Super Nintendo is quite a lot cheaper than the N64. If I ever had a SNES (which I haven’t) I’d have a Super Gameboy for sure. I never was a big fan of the Donkey Kong Country series though, the digitized graphics made me nauseous (as did the ones in Bug! for the PC and Saturn). Fun fact: I didn’t know they ported the Street Fighter Alpha series for the SNES, I was under the impression they were first ported for the Playstation One, as I played it on that system for the first time while doing a clerkship during middle school at a grocery store (well, during breaks, 30 minutes a day, not during working hours!).

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The Gameboy and the Gameboy Pocket. What is there to say? A lot. I’d say most games on that ad are worth buying if you have a Gameboy of your own. I remembe rsome rumours surrounding the Gameboy Pocket, one being that it could show 1 or 2 colors in a game, and there was this picture of Super Mario Land where Mario was dressed in red. I remember this being from a well respected game magazine, and kids believing in this, and my astonishment when I saw my friends system only showing the games in monochrome. In hindsight that image must’ve logically been from a Gameboy Color review… though I’m not so sure of it.

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This one is for you Sega Game Gear fans, I have next to no memories of the system as I didn’t know anyone who owned it. I vaguely remember Toys R Us selling Game Gear and Master System games on sale, dirt cheap, around the time when Pokémon was released.

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The Sega Genesis (or Sega Mega Drive as it’s called in Europe) was a great system. My favorite games must’ve been Sonic 3 and Streets of Rage 3 (though Comix Zone is pretty good as well).

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I don’t know much about the Sega Saturn as it wasn’t such a great hit over here and I know of no one that had it.

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The Playstation was a great video game system and boasted of a huge game library. I remember thinking that the N64 had better graphics but was impressed by the system never the less. I loved Tekken and Crash Bandicoot, as well as all the 2D fighting games. Fun fact: The PS 1 is a 32 bit system, not 64 bits!

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If I only knew that they had all of these in gold… I wouldn’t have bought them but I’d been impressed never the less. A golden Tamagotchi… that’d be awesome.

Strike gold…

… only at The Martian Oddity.