Sunday, December 23, 2007

Anwsering the world's oldest question

Maybe not so old, but here it is:

Will Nights controllers work on a Dreamcast?

The answer is....

Not with this adapter at least, it won't work in neither analog or digital mode, not even in the bios screen.

Regular controllers do work though.

So if you were one of those who wanted to build a chain of adapters to use it on Wii, you will be disappointed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Game Accessories Part 2: Super Adaptor

Time for another game accessory, the wonderful Super Adaptor. This is a useful cart that allows the use of imports on the super famicom.

The cart has a weird design, the bottom is shaped like a SFC cart and the upper part is shaped like a SNES cart. The label says "For use with Super Famicom" but it has the concave space SNES carts have in order to fit through the plastic tabs.

Unlike some other import carts, the cart connector has the extra space for games that need the extra pins on the sides and there is enough space and also provides enough space to fit either a SFC or SNES cart.

As far as compatibility goes, i haven't found a game that won't work, though I only tried japanese and american games, perhaps PAL carts will have issues.

Here's what it looks with a US cart and a japanese cart (Sorry for the glare).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Game Accessories Part 1: Game Action Replay

Once again I'm back from the dead, this time to bring lots of useless (and a few useful) game accesories that i have collected over the years, updates will be brief but constant so get ready because here it goes.

To kick off with a good start, here's the Game Action Replay for NES, this is sort of a primitive version of savestates provided by emulators, only a lot less useful.

This is how the front of the cart looks like. It is a very nice looking transparent case with a board much bigger than regular NES carts and a visible battery and cart slot.

Here's the back, it has 5 regular philips screws and for some reason there is nothing protecting the pins on this side. The part of the board that has the pins is also thinner than regular NES carts, which means that if your NES has an old connector it is likely to not make contact.

The installation is fairly simple, though you do have to open your NES and remove a piece of metal shielding and leave the cart permanently there.

Once it is installed you are ready to insert a cart into the GAR's cart slot, doing so is tricky, you have to insert it at an angle and leave the cart door open while you play.

Now comes the fun part, using it with the games, by pressing A + select you are treated with this menu (picture shamelessly stolen from The unlicensed world of Nintendo).

Here's what it does:

Slow Motion: Real Slow motion, not that wimpy start button autofire.

Slow Motion Flash: Sometimes fixes some bugs that slow motion causes.

Function Key: Switch between the select and start buttons to access the menu (for games that use select as a pause button).

Game Type: Depending on the letter selected and the game inserted changes the number of available save states, I'm not sure how this is determined, maybe the manual says.

Save Screens: Save current state.

Load Screens: Load state.

Scan Screens: Get a glimpse of all saved states.

Quit: Exit menu.

Unfortunately its not as useful as it sounds, many games crash or get corrupted graphics when loading, this happens most when trying to load from the title screen or from a level different to the one you saved on, mostly a hit or miss. Another issue is not being compatible with the top loader due to the cart's shape.

Despite everything, this cart usually goes for more than $80 on ebay, whenever you can find it that is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My current Puyo Puyo obsession

I wasn't dead again, I was just gathering games and my current obsession (for a couple of years actually) is Puyo Puyo. As you may or may not know, Puyo Puyo is a blob stacking puzzle game that is very big in Japan but is almost totally ignored in the rest of the world for who knows what reason.

It all started a few years ago when I was asked to make a Puyo Puyo clone as part of a job interview, and luckily I had a copy of Sonic Classics that a friend gave to me back when I got my first Genesis.

Sonic Classics comes with Sonic 1 and 2 and also with "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine" which I had seldom played until that point but had to in order to understand the game. That's when I got really into it and that quickly became an obsession.

So a while back I managed to get Puyo Puyo Sun for the Saturn

Pretty good game and it came complete with all the things a weirdo obsessive collector wants, not that I am one, but they're still cool to have.

First off there is this poster thingy I have no clue what it says but if you do let me know. OK that wasn't very exciting but I was too lazy to unfold it.

Second up is this sheet with stickers but not just any stickers, GLOW IN THE DARK STICKERS!!

Last but not least comes the spine card, why do people make such a big deal about spine cards is a mystery to me and probably always will. It comes with some writing I'll probably never be able to understand and a piece of artwork that is also on the CD case. I have known people that rebuy games online because the first they got didn't have this piece of cardboard that serves no purpose once you remove the shrinkwrap.

Anyways, some time passed and I managed to get some more games, starting off with Kirby's Avalanche, the US localization for Super Puyo Puyo.

Nothing too exciting, pretty much the same game, except Puyos are now "Ghosts" and the cast was replaced with Kirby characters.

Some more time passed and I happened to know someone who was in Japan at the time (the same person who sold me Puyo Puyo Sun), so the logical thing to do was ask for more Puyo games.

This is Super Puyo Puyo, the one Kirby's Avalanche and Dr. Robotnik's are based on. This one has a certain charm to it with all the original characters, at least more than the american releases.

Finally, there's Puyo Puyo Tsuu, my favorite of the old series, this one came cart-only, it's the one I play the most.

Finally, the cart that started it all, this one went through a lot back when my friend owned it and it shows, but I treasure it.

I have yet to get the Puyo Puyo Fever games but those ones are a bit though to find at a reasonable price.

If anyone has any puyo game that they're willing to sell don't hesitate to contact me!

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

The invincible SMS!

About a year ago, I was at a yard sale and I found a dirty Master System, dirty is just an understatement, actually it was filthy as hell, as if someone just left it there in the rain for months, then some dogs took it and buried it with some dead animals and then someone dug it up some years later, I didn't even consider buying it at the time, but I asked the price to amuse myself anyways.

It was $1.50, still didn't seem worth it, but then the seller said I could take it for $1, still made me think about it but what the heck, I got it. I left it in my car, in the sun the whole day. When I got home, I opened it, cleaned part of it and decided to take it to my parents' house to finish there, but it took a fall on the way. I took a peek and the LED had come partially off and everything inside was bent. That made me put it in the trunk and forget about it for months until I cleaned my car and put it inside a box, making me forget about it another few months.

So finally, a year and a half later, I opened the box and saw it there, no screws and all forgotten, so I decided to check it out.

Just to give you an idea of how dirty it is, here's a picture, notice the thick coat of dirt near the card and cartridge ports, I removed some dirt with my finger to make the difference more noticeable, there's also lots of lint everywhere and to top it off, the edges are entirely rusty.

Seemed like a lost cause, but I still had to give it a shot. I didn't even bother putting it back inside the casing, I just plugged everything in and crossed my fingers.

The game I tried was Ganster Town, the box has a cute picture of a kid firing a machine gun.

So here it was, the moment of truth, after all its been through, will it work?

It did! A truly amazing feat, but now, does it work with cards? The card made a scratchy sound because of all the dirt in the slot, that made me doubt that it would work.

But it works too! Both on the first try! I didn't see that coming. This poor SMS has had a very though life but its still kicking, unlike my Xbox that died on me just when I was about to beat Jet Set Radio Future, but that's a story for another day.

Now to finish cleaning it up, hoping I don't forget about it again.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

DC T-Shirt!

There are very few things that can express your love for a piece of electronics from last century accurately enough, there's stickers, posters, altars, tattoos human sacrifices and all, but nothing says it better than a t-shirt, unless its one of those Hot Topic ones that all the kids wear now.

So the obvious thing to do of course is getting a Dreamcast t-shirt. Finding a DC shirt or jacket or whatever isn't too hard, if your size is something like XL or XXL or XXXL that is. In my case its M, so it took a while to find, and although it has an awkward fit; its too long and the sleeves too big, it still says Sega Dreamcast.

Sadly, this one came used, so I don't have the slightest clue who wore it before me, and it also cost much much more than anyone should pay for a used t-shirt (please don't ask), but once again, it still says Sega Dreamcast.

No, what you see isn't a myspace picture, but a picture had to be taken and I didn't feel like taking the shirt off just for the picture, so there.

I'll be updating lots more now, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rise from your grave!

So long time no see, so what have I been doing all this time? Collecting of course! The past couple of months have been nearly entirely dedicated to getting some new stuff, only this time from the internet, as my car is busted and I can’t go to flea markets or pretty much anywhere.

So what console can you get almost exclusively online? A few, actually, but which one did I get? Well, the NGPC of course!

Here it is, SNK’s cool little portable. I’ve wanted one of these ever since it came out back in the late 90’s and finally my dream came true. Behold!

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Yeah, that’s the one, the Camo-Blue version, I think this is the only console ever released in camouflage, pretty neat if you ask me.

Also noteworthy is the thumbstick, pretty good for fighters and it makes a cool clicky sound every time you move it, for some reason it never gets old. The screen is also relatively big, but unfortunately it has no lighting, so there is no playing in the dark. It has a great battery life, I get ~30 hours on a pair of AA rechargeables.

That thing under there is the Shock n’ Rock by Nyko, and accessory that provides Stereo sound, audio-based rumble, rechargeable battery; not sure on the life of this one, as I don’t know how long it should be charged, and some rubber grips that unlike all other grips for portables, feel comfortable and don’t add that much bulk to the console.

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Of course, the thing that counts the most on any system is the games, the NGPC is mostly famous for its fighting games, KOF R2, SNK vs Capcom, Last Blade, Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown, Gals Fighter and so on, but it also has some other cool games, like Sonic Pocket Adventure, Puzzle Bobble and Metal Slug. All play amazingly well, the fighters are still among the best portable fighters ever, even with the simple 2 button control, there are still combos and most characters have their moves from the arcade complete.

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Fighting games where you can’t fight your friends are no fun, and for that, there’s the Link Cable. The connection is very simple, just link up, select vs and fight away, no loadings, no lags, just fun. This is a third party cable and also was a bitch to find, I searched for around 2 months, only finding this one and one that sold for around $35 shipped but the wait was worth it.

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And finally, there’s the official carry case to store all this junk. Pretty small and easy to carry and even comes with two straps, both of which are way too big for my taste. It has space for the console, and an extra pocket for games and accessories, pretty useful and easy to get, they are all over ebay for $15 a piece.

Getting a NGPC isn’t too hard, just pop around $60 in amazon or ebay and you get a new one boxed with 6 to 10 games, maybe 2 good ones out of the lot, but if you are like me, you can get some for as low as $20, and just buy the games you like and are going to play, getting game-only bundles is another good option. The accessories are rarely found new, but the used ones usually come in good shape.

That’s all for today, but hopefully not for long, see you next time!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

History Revisited

Today was another quick visit to the flea market, nothing new, but still interesting stuff.

First off a copy of Zelda: A Link to The Past, pretty good game that still holds up and my favorite Zelda to date, featuring none of the annoying voice clips from the GBA port, this is always a welcome find.

Next off a Snes Multitap, decent price, but I was about to pass on it, I already own one of those and another no-name brand too, and still no Bomberman games or any multiplayer games for that matter on Snes.

But then along came this (Make a wild guess):

That's right, yet another NOMAD, this one sporting a crack on the screen, but I was planning on getting replacements from ebay anyways, the other problem was the price, seeing it came with no games or AC adapter, I tried haggling to no effect, but still didn't want to pay full price or leave it there. So what do you do in these cases? Taunt the seller and challenge him to a coin toss! If I lost, I would pay full price, if I won, I pay full price but take the multitap along too.

Since you are reading this, you know who won this one!

So there you have it, now there are three of these things here, maybe I should start building a house out of them or something.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A find from the past

I went on a vacation and couldn't find any crazy game stuff, but that doesn't mean I don't have a few aces up my sleeve (or closet).

So what is it?

Is it any good?

Better than buying new stuff?

Oh it is good, behold: A SEGA CDX!!

That's right, another semi-obscure piece of SEGA's past, this came with a bunch of very crappy games, like two copies of Sewer Shark and a few of those Make My Video, after much arguing and haggling and begging and nearly crying, the guy decided to sell the CDX to me with all hookups and no games.

So what is so special about this one? Well, as the name suggests, it's a SEGA Genesis and a SEGA CD in one, with the huge advantage of having a single power supply, not having to swim in a sea of cables, compact size and it doubles as a "portable" CD player!

Just pop in a couple AA Batteries, plug in some headphones and Presto! Not too exciting in this day and age, but back then, I guess it was a cool feature and the first generation CD players were about as bulky and used more batteries.

As for the games part, it works just like a regular SEGA CD and Genesis, no cart and it reads off the CD. This one is also compatible with the 32x, but I have read that some are not, I tried to put the Power Base Converter, but it was bending the power cable, so that will remain a mystery until I decide to tear it apart.

And finally, the size part. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some comparison shots with all the other Gennys I have.

Genesis 3

The Genesis 2 and SEGA CD 2

Genesis 1 and SEGA CD 1

And last but not least, the almighty NOMAD! Or two for that matter.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mega Bomberman

Last weekend was terrible, a friend came by and woke me up to go to the flea market with her, that is usually good except when being practically broke, first I saw a Saturn 3D pad, a bit pricey, so I decided to come back later. After a while, I saw yet another NOMAD, no, I kid you not, for some reason they have been popping up in my area lately, it had a damaged screen cover and the guy wanted $15 for it, could have haggled it to $10, but that is no use when all you have is $5, but not all was lost, sticking out on top of the NOMAD was, you guessed it........(or read the post title, or had a look at the picture below) Mega Bomberman!!

There you have it, Bomberman for the Sega Genesis, at long last, something I could afford! and finally a use for my Genesis multitap, the game, as you can see came with a Box, but no manual.

It's great party game, cute graphics and sports a cool cover, that guy was as bad-ass as you could get in the 90's, Mohawk, Sunglasses and a Skull belt, what more could you ask for?

I know what! a plastic case, the box is cardboard, resembling more the NES and SNES boxes, than the durable genesis boxes, small detail, but with a game this good, it doesn't matter.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Miniature DC and ST Key

A couple days ago, a friend went to the post office to check my mail and what was awaiting there?

No less than a miniature SEGA Dreamcast!!

Here it is in all its glory, It belongs to a series called Sega History Collection. It's very detailed, comes with 2 VMU's with caps (now easier to lose than the real thing!), a detachable modem, Space Channel 5 complete with case, and of course a controller.

This thing is just so cool that the VMU's even fit inside the controller, however you cannot link them, the SC5 disc fits inside the console and the controller can be plugged in.

Everything comes in very accurate proportion, except for the controller cable, the real one unfortunately is much much shorter. The whole thing is very small, check out the comparison shot with the other thing I got....

A ST Key for the SEGA Saturn, this, as you probably guessed, is an import loader, not much to say here, except for so far, so good, all you have to do is plug it in, wait for the SEGA logo, the ST Key splash screen, press a button and presto!, imports on your Saturn.

And where did these wonders come from? From the racketboy forums, grittykitty is selling lots of cool stuff right in this thread at great prices, mostly japanese Saturn and DC stuff, as well as the complete miniature SEGA set.

So there you have it, sorry for the blurry pics, hopefully I'll get a camera soon.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Remy for all

This one is from last week, there was a guy selling a few Remy action figures from SFIII 3rd Strike for $1.50 each, they all come with 2 heads, 4 sets of hands and a plastic thingy that I can hardly make stay in place that is supposed to be the light of virtue. Pretty cool looking, but its kind of hard to get them to stand without leaning on something.

They were all in the original packaging but that didn't last much long, I'm not really one of those "everything must be shrink-wrapped" collectors and my sister opened all the packages to do this:
Pretty fun, just remember not to smell the plastic when you take them out, stinks like hell.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Some NES games..........and a NOMAD!

Today there was a good loot, first a few crappy beat up NES games, all in poor condition but working, they are: Anticipation, Rollergames, NES Play Action Football, Tecmo Bowl, Gotcha and Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, out of the whole lot perhaps only Kung Fu and Rollergames are worth more than 10 minutes, but the guy wanted 3 dollars for the lot, anyways, this isn't about those ugly games, its about that other thing I found.


Yes, that ill-fated, not-so-portable Genesis that SEGA released in the old days. I just love it, this is the third one for me, but one got stolen, that thing is so huge I wish I could beat the guy who stole the other one with it, that would do some serious damage.

Anyways, back to this NOMAD, the screen isn't too scratched, unnoticeable while playing thanks to the battery draining backlight. It came with no battery pack, I've actually never seen a NOMAD battery pack and there is no place in it to put regular batteries, but I've read those things only give you like 2 hours of play time and that you are better off with the AC adapter, which thankfully is the same one as the Genesis 2, 3 and 32x, so it isn't very hard to find.

The NOMAD's screen looks long as nothing is moving, Sonic looks like a blur in it, which is actually kind of normal, but Eric Lecarde of Castlevania does too and also the bullets from Contra, and pretty much every sidescrolling hero, but most games are pretty much playable, like Street Fighter or Puyo Puyo, er...Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine.

Another cool feature of the NOMAD is that it has a controller port at the bottom and an A/V out jack at the top, also like the ones on the Genesis 2, 3 and 32x so you can hook it on a TV and play with a friend.

Definetily recommended if you are a Sega or at least a 16-bit fan.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

And it begins.....

Hey everybody, if anyone, this is where I'll post my findings as a game collector and collector of random weird stuff, and it will also serve as a way to keep track of what I have and how much my hobby costs me.

This thing just got started, so sorry if everything's too crappy now or stays crappy, tips and criticism are always welcome.

Hopefully I'll update frequently with new findings and things I bought before starting this.

So here it goes.......

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Price: $13.50

This is a Sega Master System, The SEGA 3-D glasses, a Light Phaser and quite a few games, most of them boxed and a stack of loose carts, no AV cable or RF Switch and no AC Adapter, but being a collector for a while, I have a few spares.

Everything is in good condition and most of the games have manuals and some promo posters. The games are:

Maze Hunter 3-D
Poseidon Wars 3-D
Black Belt
Great Basketball
Rambo First Blood Part II
Hang On/Safari Hunt (x2)
Great Basketball
Pro Wrestling
California Games
Gangster Town
Out Run
Miracle Warriors

Double Dragon
After Burner
Time Soldiers
Altered Beast
Lord of the Sword

And a monopoly box and manual with no game.

Everything is great, but I'm still hoping for the day I find Golden Axe Warrior.